Friday, December 17, 2010

Stick to it! Menu Planner WINNER!

And the winner is....

Commenter #4, Jennifurla! Congrats, lady! Email your address to me at pisceschick99 at gmail dot com, and I will forward your info on the the good gals at Stick to it!

Thanks again to one and all for entering, and please stop by again soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Maniac Manic Knitter

Ten days 'til Christmas, and I still have three projects left to finish and four to block. Why do I punish myself so?

Today's project was an earflap hat for one of Olivia's teachers who is a MAJOR San Diego Chargers fan. Here's my baby, the Football Fan Earflap Hat-

I improvised/designed/whatever-you-want-to-call-it this hat myself, so there is no proper pattern to post, at least at this point. I'm hoping to write it up soon, but in the mean time, the basic project outline is up on Ravelry.

Ok. Falling into bed now. I get to wake up bright and early with kiddos, then dive head-first back into Craft Cram-a-thon 2010. Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review & Giveaway - Stick to it! Menu Planner

About Stick to it! Menu Planner -
Stick to it! is handy-dandy magnetic menu planner. It was created by two busy moms who wanted an easier way to plan their family's meals and the grocery shopping required to make them. It comes with 40 blank magnetic "tiles" which you personalize with your family's favorite breakfasts, lunches or dinners, to plan a whole week's worth of meals in advance.

My experience with Stick to it! -
I got mine the week before I had my surgery, and used it to plot out a meal plan for my husband to follow while I was down and out. Having several days worth of meals planned in advance (all the way down to the side dishes) also made grocery shopping a lot easier. Here is what my planner looked like that week -

I only set mine up through Saturday, because I was expecting to be back up and about by Sunday. Alas that wasn't to be, but that's on me. I could have easily planned and shopped for an entire week's worth of meals using Stick to it! as an organizational aid.

You might notice that I used labels on the magnets, rather than hand-writing my menu items on them. I initially wrote on a few of the magnets with a fine-point Sharpie, but found that they were still a bit wet and smudgy even a week later. I spoke with Amy, one of the creators of this planner, and she told me that a regular ball point pen works best if you choose the write-in option.

Your chance to win!
So now we're down to the good stuff - a giveaway! If you think that a Stick to it! meal planner would help to simplify your life and would like a chance to win one, simply leave a comment expressing your interest in the planner and you'll be entered to win! I'll draw a winner and post the result this Friday, the 17th, at which point you can email me your mailing address which I will pass on to Stick to it!, so that they may mail you your planner directly. BUT - if you can't wait that long and want to lay your hands on one now for yourself or as a gift, you can place an order via Stick to it!'s Facebook page.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review and to those of you entering to win - Good luck and Happy Holidays! :)

**Full disclosure - Amy (one of Stick to it!'s creators) is a friend of mine. That being said, my opinion and subsequent review of this product is an honest reflection of my personal experience with it. I don't tend to do reviews because my opinions aren't for sale. If I sing the praises of (or rail against) a product/service/business, you can bet that I'm doing so because of my first hand experience with it. I hope that you will trust that this will always be the case with this and any future reviews on this blog.**

Knitting Project: Decreasing Rib Capelet

My lovely and talented friend, Kris, over at Quilted Simple made this lovely capelet and sang the pattern's praises, most importantly to me, that it was a quick and fun to knit. And it was! Here is my finished capelet (which is actually more like a poncho-let), modeled by the talented, beautiful and not yet fully awake, Olivia.

You can find the original pattern here. Like Kris, I made a few modifications, which in my world is usually code for errors, but most of these were actually intentional.

My changes-
I cast on 195 stitches, which is 30 more than the largest size given in the pattern, because I fell in love with a yarn that was smaller (DK weight) than the bulky weight yarn called for in this project, and naturally also used smaller needles, size 8 rather than 10.5. I also made a cowl neck (6 inches long) instead of a turtleneck, and switched all the way up to size 13 needles to make the cowl, because I tend to knit a little tight.

I am so happy with how it came out! Now I can only hope like crazy that this will fit the intended recipient, or in lieu of that maybe her daughter. This paranoia about garments not fitting well has been the chief reason for my long-standing aversion to knitting clothes. If this one goes over well, I may have to rethink my position on that, because this was a really fun project.

Thanks again, Kris, for the inspiration. I hope to someday be half the knitter/mom/superwoman that you are! :)

By the way - I used 2.5 skeins of Cascade Yarns "Eco Duo" undyed baby alpaca/merino yarn in a light brown/natural twist, on a size 8, 40" circular needle, and switched up to a size 13, 24" circular needle for the cowl. This project took me just over 3 days of fairly intense knitting.

P.S. - I finally got my booty in gear and got going on ravelry. This capelet is posted here.