Dream project

As I continue to get better at my crochet, I like to dream about what I will be able to do in the future. What will I make next? When will I be able to make that?

Today, while wasting time on a Etsy, I found my dream project. Actually, I think I prefer future goal as I hope to be up to the task of making it soon. If I keep motivated and keep those fingers a hookin (while still knitting of course), I should be blue to make this soon!

Click on the links below to see!




Crochet beginnings….

At the beginning of December, 2017, I decided it was finally time to learn to crochet. There were cute crochet elephant rugs, stuffed animals, and granny square blankets calling my name. Why not add another skill and find new ways to use my yarn?

I purchased a beginning crochet class from Craftsy and got a cute little hook case from Amazon. I was ready to go. And go, I did. I learned my stitches, my increase and decreases, a future filled with cute crocheted animals was going to be mine!

My plan was to make a dinosaur as a Christmas gift, giving myself a week to get it done (while also knitting and painting a few things). A perfect plan, am I right? I soon realized my increases and decreases were out of control, somehow decreasing stitches when I mean to add and vice versa. There is still a little Dino head on my shelf, sitting right beside my cute set of hooks that were gathering dust.

Last week I decided to give it another go. I reviewed my Craftsy class (I needed a refresher) and found a project with minimal increases, decreases, and working in the round. A sweater! Go big or go home, I say. At least with the sweater, 75% or so is just rectangles that are knitted flat. I then made my swatch and let it sit there for multiple days. I was a little worried that I was taking on more than I could chew.

Today I bit the bullet and got started. I now have about 6 inches of the bottom back done and am feeling confident. This sweater will get done! Sometimes the biggest step is just getting started.

Knitter’s block

I have this amazing ball of fingering weight variegated yarn by Knitted Wit, it is called Ladies Supporting Ladies and it is amazing. It reminds me of a rainbow in the palm of my hand. The second I got the yarn, I unwound the hank and set off to find the perfect shawl pattern.

And here I am multiple days later with the yarn still in a ball and nothing started. I have looked at Ravelry over and over again but I cannot find the perfect pattern, nothing calls out to me. Sure, I see shawls that look good but nothing that will bring out the awesomeness of my yarn.

Should I make an “ok” pattern? Redo a pattern I made in the past? Make something up?

While I deal with my indecisiveness, I have cast on a new pair of socks, at least something to keep me busy. Yet in the back of my head, I keep thinking of patterns. I feel like I have a time crunch as the yarn is part of a monthly club and I must have this ball knitted before the next colorway, I must!

Anyone have the perfect pattern to share?

Knitting fail….or motivation?

I love Mosaic Moon yarn and decided to make my own cowl pattern with 2 skeins that I had, a worsted weight made up of pink tones. My pattern idea was to start with a shawl base using linen stitch, and then join in the round ending with a simple lace. I could see it in my head and it was going to be perfect.

Unfortunately the pattern in my head did not transfer over to the needles well. I decided against a gauge swatch (pfft! I decide to live dangerously and had used the MM yarns multiple times) and just kept trying it on as I went. It looked pretty good, a little looser on the neck than I wanted but still, it was going to work out.

Somewhere between casting off and blocking, my pretty cowl doubled in size. I have no idea what happened. Instead of a cowl that would keep my neck and lower face area warm, I have a cowl with a v-neck.

I have now put the cowl in time out. I figure I have three options:

1) hide it in a drawer and only pull it out every now and then and cry over my failure

2) cry as I unbind it and make something else, a pattern by someone else who knows what they are doing

3) stop looking at this project as a failure and as a learning experience: unbind and reknit it with my blocked gauge measurements from the first try.

I know I should do the third option but the other two are pretty tempting! I keep wondering if I have what it takes to make my own patterns, if it is a real goal or something lofty. Should I take the easier knitting road, with tons of patterns to choose from?

For now, I continue to tell myself, this project is not a failure but the first draft and it needs a little work.


The yarn room….

I have decided that this coming weekend will be extra productive and will result in a clean, organized yarn/craft room. My plan is to move the yarn room to a different location. On one hand, I am excited for the weekend to get here. However, on the other hand, I feel like this is a mountain sized task that will be hard to accomplish. So many thoughts are running through my head: where to start? How long will it take? Will the task get completed? With such a daunting task, I just want to bury my head into my knitting and Netflix!

I must think of the positives: I love organization, I want the current yarn room for another use, I can find out everything I have, and so on. I can do this! Netflix and knitting can wait!

Distractions, distractions, distractions….

When it comes to the web and technology, social media and ravelry are both wonderful and my downfall. They get my creative juices going and improve my abilities but they also result in wasted hours that could be put to better use knitting or painting.

And now, I have another blessing/weakness- my mother’s new cri-cut. I love looking at design space and Pinterest, fantasizing about what I will make next. Boy, is my last long!

I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about when it came to the machine. All I knew was it cut materials, what did I need that for? Apparently everything, as I have made three projects in the week alone, two vinyl iron-ons (should be three but the cutter didn’t work on one attempt), and a stencil for a ceramic tile trivet. I plan on making a few projects for this work week. Whoot whoot! The only problem is material costs, there goes my extra money!

I love looking at the design space projects. I have spent way too much time drooling over projects. It is interrupting my knitting time and goals but I am having fun!

I know I have been absent from AmandaBanana Knits and Paints, I kept thinking about the blog and wanting to write but I hated the fact that I had been lazy and hadn’t written. So because I hadn’t written for weeks, I was afraid or embarrassed to get started. Then weeks became months and the embarrassment and fear or failure grew bigger. My silly fears became my downfall and I didn’t post for the last few months.

I decided that January, full of resolutions, would be the perfect time to restart AmandaBanana Knits and Paints. A new year, a new me and a second beginning for my blog. Fear will no longer stand in my way.

In the beginning of 2917, I had three knitting goals (if I remember correctly):

  1. Minimize my yarn stash and use 20 balls of yarn before buying more
  2. Make my husband a sweater
  3. Make me a cowichan sweater

So how did things go? I decided in June that I would wait on the second and third goal. I really wanted to work on minimizing stash and purchasing yarn for two sweaters would not help with that, especially when I already had yarn for multiple sweaters!

The first goal went well, I used 20 balls from stash, it took me longer than anticipated as I was on a fingering weight kick! For the year I ended up using 49 balls of yarn, way more than I purchased. Until the end of December, any purchases were used immediately. After that I focused on Christmas knitting.

Here is my full jar of yarn labels.

For 2018, I have some similar knitting resolutions:

  1. Minimize yarn stash, only participating in a one ball per month subscription of Knitted Wit yarn my local LYS is having.
  2. Having 60 balls of yarn in my jar by the end of 2018
  3. Use up scrap yarn, it is beginning to pile up!

I still plan on making my two sweaters but I really like the idea of minimizing stash and decluttering my yarn room.

Good luck to you all on your knitting resolutions!

Upcycling in the Summer

Once upon a time, there was an old locker who sat all alone in a dirty old shed. He gathered dust and rust, and was not much to look at. He wished and he wished for changes to be made and BOOM his fairy godmother obliged.

What a difference a wash, sanding, primer, paint can make!

From the dirty shed to the laundry room! Now what to paint next?


These past few weeks I have been slapping paint on everything! I have made Christmas gifts, kitchen items, you name it. I am on a roll!

My most recent item is a stoneware plate that used a Magic designer line pen and Duncan underglaze paints, which was supposed to result in a water color look.

I chose a crazy chicken face, applied it to a plate, and then painted away, using blues, reds, greens, yellows, and a light brown. Then I took the designer line and lined the whole thing in black.

And of course, forgot to take a photo of the pre-glazed plate! The end result came out beautifully, except for one little thing: the reds and yellows did not show up. It is likely they magically disappeared! The yellow was used by others and it showed up on their plate. Mine? Nope. The paints must have thought it looked better without them.

Here is the end result! The whole face is missing most of the color, but I like the end look.

Quit Needling Me!

I have the perfect two balls of fingering yarn for a shawl: a deep green and a variegated light red/green mix. Together they will make the perfect accessory.

I wound the hanks into balls and then began looking for the perfect pattern. I thought the pattern would call to me and the second I saw it, I would know. Unfortunately the perfect pattern never came.

I would work on other projects, searching Pinterest and revelry in the night, still searching for that perfect pattern. Still it hid from me.

Finally, I decided I would make that shawl now! Now, now, now! I was sick of waiting. No more hide and seek! I spent a large part of yesterday looking and decided on the pattern. It called for a DK wait and was $6. It was well worth the splurge. I decided to go down to a size 6 needle to deal with the yarn difference.

The yarn and the pattern were not happy, they despised each other from the start. So, grumbling about my wonderful paid pattern, I went searching for something new. I found another pattern.

I decided to stick with the size 6 needles, even though the pattern called for size 5. I needed those for a collar for a project I need to finish today (it must be DONE today!) and I didn’t feel like looking for another pair. The yarn still could not get along with the pattern and needles.

I kept looking and looking into the evening hours, the yarn liked nothing I suggested. I was about ready to put them aside and work on something less picky.

Finally I decided to do a Cameo shawl. I made one in the past and I loved it. I didn’t necessarily want to make the same thing again but why not try it. For this, I decided on the size 5 needles as these are what I used last time. I can go searching in the yarn room for another pair for my other project. After all, I can’t be that lazy?!

Finally the yarn was happy. I found out it wasn’t the patterns it was against, but the size 6 needles. Next time, I will listen to the yarn better! (And not be so lazy when looking for needles!h