The Stacy Chronicles

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Magic Loop Knitting VS 16 inch Circular Needles

I started knitting a beanie for me, really just to practice the magic loop.  If you don’t know what magic loop is then check out this video:

Okay, so I am not so hot at magic loop.  I need lots more practice.  I figured it out and was able to knit about 10 or so rows, but I was having issues with a gap on both sides where you join the two rows.  I think I got the concept, but need more practice.  Have you ever knitted with this technique?  If so how do you feel about it?

I was using a 42″ cable and felt it got in the way.  Anyways, for those of you who are new to knitting, you might be wondering the purpose of this technique.  If you are knitting something round and small, say a newborn hat, socks, sleeve, etc.  you only have three options: magic loop, double pointed needles, or throw it all out and pick up a crochet hook.  I am of the latter breed of people!  I love knit, I love the way it lays, looks, feels, the fact that it uses way LESS yarn than if you crochet.  BUT lets face it, crochet is just quicker and more convenient!  It hurts my hands more and looks more chunky, but if you have to have a beanie it’s the easiest way.

I want to switch over to all KNIT.  For my personal use and for my items in my shop here and here.  Okay, so what does this have to do with this post?  I ended up ripping out all of my rows, because I remembered I had 16″ cables at home.  I am currently using Hiya Hiya brand needles.  You can sometimes get them off amazon, but they will run you $75.  Mine are sizes 2 to 8 and come with 4 or 5 cables (small enough to knit adult hats 16″ and big enough to knit blankets 42″), but I also need the bigger set.  I have since found another brand that offers a size 4 to 11 set and is only $50, that’s my next purchase.

Okay, knitting on 16″ cable/cord is soooo much easier than the magic loop.  BUT you can only knit ADULT hats and legwarmers on these, anything smaller you have to switch to dpn or doing the magic loop.

I was off the hook for the pattern I wanted to try because it’s for ME!  I’ve actually never knitted myself a hat.  I’m a very slow knitter and I prefer to make things for others, but I said, “hey, I can spoil myself just this once!”

Here is the pattern I am using.  If you know how to knit and purl you can make this hat!  I think it has a 20’s flapper girl vibe.  I’m all about some vintage accessories.

So, moral of this story is: you SHOULD learn magic loop because it’s great for smaller items, but if you aren’t knitting things for little people, buy a super awesome interchangeable needle set and go to town.  It’s worth the extra money to get a great set of needles, if you are going to be using them a lot.  I can promise you, you will NEVER buy straight needles again.

Need tips on knitting with circulars? Check this video out.

I am using naturally caron spa blend it’s made of bamboo and super soft.  Though I don’t recommend it for new knitters, bec/ the yarn separates easily.

Here’s what a hat being knitted on 16″ circular needles look like:

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Crochet Nesting Bowls for Nursery

 

I made these nesting bowls as a fun project for the nursery.  They can hold all sorts of knick knacks or just sit pretty on a shelf.  You can find the free pattern here.  It’s super easy and super quick.  I had a hard time finding the perfect colors in yarn.  Raspberry, Coral, Gold (even though in these shots they look like Fuschia, Strawberry, and Buttercup) <<Sorry but that was fun!  So, my yarn is softer than you would probably want for this project.  I got expensive yarn at our yarn shop.  I always want to support local, small businesses, BUT honestly, Red Heart would have been better for this.  You want something stiff so the sides will stand up.  I will sacrifice utility for beauty any day…just ask my husband (we get in discussions about my “art” projects daily).  Guess I’m not a total reasonable minded person.  I’ll blame that on the artist inside of me.  Lover of all things colorful, soft, and purdy! 🙂

 

Anyways, I love these little babies and think they will go beautifully with the soft aqua walls in the nursery!

 

If you are new to crocheting this would be a very simple, quick, project.


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Steamer Trunk Revamp {DIY gone crazy}

It’s not doing me any good right now, because while I was taking pictures of it it locked!  I was so excited to have this old trunk to use as a toy chest!  I had no idea it could lock on it’s on.  I’m pretty upset right now, but will do this post anyways.  If any of you have ideas of how I can open up this baby without having to shell out $40 please let me know! I bought it at a thrift store for $20.  I thought that was a fair price considering the condition.  It’s pretty useless to me now, since I can’t store anything in it.

Not in great shape, but nothing was missing…but the KEY!  Anyways.  I picked this one because it is small and had leather handles instead of plastic or vinyl.

Not sure if I’m done with her.  I thought about distressing the hardware or maybe adding some gold like here.  If you haven’t checked out Lovely Indeed, you really should.  Her home is so beautiful to me!  I especially love her living room.

So here is what I did to my old trunk:

  1. first sand all the rust off.  i used 60 grit and a small power sander.
  2. prime.  i primed inside and out.
  3. paint!  super easy.
  4. if you want your hardware another color or want to leave it original tape it off.

 

Yes, I know my paint job isn’t that great.  I need to do another coat.  I’m just waiting to see if I’m going to go with the gold.  Then I will tape the white, spray the hardware, then paint the white again.  I had to get this done, so I could have a place to store all the baby toys before the homestudy.  I wanted to go ahead and post it while it was fresh on my mind.

Anyways, this is a super EASY project.  Would look great as a coffee table or nightstand.  I’d love to do another one and put legs or coasters (as a coffee table) on it!

My favorite part of the whole chest is the inside!  I had left over fabric from when I made the cushion to go on our bookcase/bench.  Take a look.

The inside needs another coat of paint, I already did 2 or 3.  I figured since it was inside and will be filled with toys, I’d probably skip painting another layer. 🙂

 I had this left over chevron fabric from this project.  I think I got it from Hobby Lobby.  You just want to cut your fabric to size, mod podge (I just slowly worked my way from one side to another), and then mod podged on top.  I used a foam brush and let it all dry overnight before use.

 

I love this fabric from Ikea!  So happy I had enough for this project too!

Besides being a toy box it makes a nice little reading bench!

 

**UPDATE**  We had to use brute force, but we have the lock open!  Yay!  I can use my chest now!  It’s not tore up too bad, but we made sure it won’t lock again!

 

 

 


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Homestudy/FosterCare Update

Hi!  It’s been a little while.

So what have we been up to?

I am currently crocheting a bedspread (toddler size).  I offered to do a giveaway on Facebook for a friend out of my shop: AbsorbednArt.  Anyways, this is the biggest blanket I’ve done so far and  I am following a simple granny square pattern.  BUT she needs it to be a rectangle so, I’m kinda doing my own thing when it comes to that.  My wrists have been killing me!  I have carpal tunnel, but it’s only bad when I knit or crochet a lot…mostly crochet.  SO, that means no more orders before Christmas.  I’ve been taking B6 and wearing my wrist brace things, not much else I can do.

On to school.  Some of you might know that after 9 years of being out of college I was headed back this Spring.  Yeah, I said was.  If you know me at all you know all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a SAHM.  That’s my dream.  My job right now is just a temporary job that ends in January of 2013.  And, *Bumbumbaaaa!!!! we are finally ready to do our homestudy!*  We have it scheduled for the 28th.  Yes, that is a week away!!!  Yes, this is Thanksgiving weekend.  Yes, my house is super messy!

But I’m off work that day and that is THE day.  I’m so nervous.  Is she going to look in every drawer, closet, pantry?  I’ve never had my house scrutinized that way.  I’m just happy it is scheduled and pray it doesn’t get “re-scheduled” like it already has twice!  Oh yes, I have been warned that this journey requires lots of patience.  Patience is something I should be really good at right now.  I’ve had lots of practice with that… well, with waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  God’s timing…right?  Just pray for us.

So, back to school.  I really don’t know what was going on in my thought process.  But it isn’t the right time.  Yes, I believe getting a degree is important.  Is it the most important thing in my  life right now?  No.  Will it ever be?  Probably not.  Is it a goal of mine?  Sure.  But again…I JUST WANT TO BE A MOM!  Haha.  A Godly wife and stay at home mother.  That’s what I dream of.  I sooo look forward to cloth diapering, making baby food, cleaning up sticky fingerprints from my stainless appliances (yeah I know), bathtime and bubbles, snuggling down with a book, swinging in the back yard, and homeschooling my tots!  Yes, I know my ideals are not “mainstream” but we aren’t “mainstream” type people.  I also know my life will be kinda hard to relate to.  I’m okay with that.   I know we will probably get looks, and rude comments.  I know you can’t really prepare for that either.  All that matters is I love God.  I love my husband.  I love my church family.  I love these little souls that will be in-trusted to me…sometimes for years, but other times maybe just for days.  I’m gonna squeeze them so hard and kiss them so much and fill their cup up with so much love it will run over!   Makes me think of this song by one of my favorite bands:

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

As for school.  Who knows?  I only lack one or two classes for an associates.  They can’t take away my credits once I have them transferred over.  Then maybe when my babies are grown and I’m bored, I can go to school and work as much as I want.  Oh wait, then comes grandkids! 🙂

 

I just had to share this picture with you.  I couldn’t resist buying these baby mittens at my favorite local yarn shop!  They are made of Alpaca and were only $6.  They also were hand knit in Peru.  The money supports the local women there who knit them.

Aren’t they precious?  I wasn’t sure if they would have them in next year, around this time, so I grabbed them up.  Plus it could just be a few more months before we get little ones, and everyone knows February is Alabama’s coldest month!  If you are interested in ordering some you can go to their facebook page and contact them.  It’s Yarns by HPF.  (Home Place Farm)

 


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Happy Beginnings Post II {The Croley Family’s Foster, Adoption, & Birth Story}

This is not actually a “birth story” in the typical sense of the word.  It is the “birth” of their family and then ends with the “birth” of their daughter!  But of course this is not the end of the Croley’s story…  I feel God has even more plans for their wonderful, beautiful, life!  They are blessing us today by sharing Their Story.  Here goes…

Andrew’s Story

My aunt and uncle adopted twins when I was seventeen years old. The immediate and permanent love I felt for them the night I met them was the first experience I had with adoption love being no different than that of “blood” love.

Tim and I decided to be foster parents about a year into our marriage. We just felt a deep need to help those who Jesus asked us to help. We went to class for over two months, we got our home in order to pass detailed checks, and we jumped in with both feet.

The day we were first called to keep foster children was hectic and wonderful and it ended with two precious babies sleeping in the room across the hall from me.

After just over a year of foster parenting, and caring for a variety of children.. and sadly seeing some that we dearly loved leave.. we met Andrew.

DHR called and asked us to take sweet Andrew home from the hospital the next day. I remember the call clearly.. and the feeling I had of pure excitement. That night we didn’t sleep. We talked about caring for a newborn. Doubted ourselves and our ability to do so. But the next day, ready or not, we met Andrew. My daddy and I brought him home from the hospital and almost our whole family came to meet him that night. He was truly loved from the very first minute I held his little 5lbs in my arms.

Andrew was cared for by my Aunt Tina while I worked. He was too young to go to daycare, and I had obligations to return to work when he was three weeks old. She opened her home and her heart to our sweet boy. She has adopted two children of her own, but made our adoption possible by her desire to love children like Jesus did. She and Andrew have a forever bond, and we are proud that he now carries her maiden name.

Our road to adoption was long. DHR searched for blood family to care for him. When I look back at the 18 months that I deeply loved him, I am surprised at the peace I felt about him being ours. I did worry at times, but every worry was met with a beautiful answer from our Savior about  His plan for Andrew to be our son.

On January 5, 2012 Andrew became an official member of our family. Our son. I can honestly say that I cannot imagine my life without him. He is pure joy and has touched the hearts and opened the minds of so many people who have been blessed to know him.

I tell my mom that he should run for Mayor. People just gravitate to him. Anywhere we are people stop to speak to him, and I am certain that in his two years he has made nearly as many friends as I have in my twenty eight.

The idea of families being bound by blood is much outdated. And well, wrong. Families are made by heart. And Andrew certainly has ours.

Andrew was joined by a sweet sister on November 3, 2011. They are dear friends and light up when they see one another. Our family is diverse and wonderful. And adoption has blessed us greatly.

While our adoption story did not begin with infertility, we all have the same desire.. to expand our families and love those who greatly need us. Usually to find, we needed the children and the joy they bring just as much as they need us.

Thank you Croely Family for sharing your beautiful, amazing story with us!  May God continue to Bless and Keep you.

*Hey Readers!* If you know anyone who would like to contribute their “Happy Beginnings” story with us on The Stacy Chronicles please email me.  Thank You!


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A House with a View…Behind Us.

That is our house on the right, with the dogwoods that have turned red.  And behind our house is a very colorful (this time of year) mountain hill.  I love that we don’t live in the ‘flatlands’ anymore.  I think everywhere we’ve ever lived has been FLAT, except here of course.  When I am driving home everyday I get to see this view, but I come over a big hill and you can see it a lot better.  I was too lazy to drive back up the hill -after I had fetched my camera- to take a better pic.  Anyways.  This is our hill-mountain.

 

 


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Happy Beginnings Post I {Tina & Stan’s Adoption Story}

First let me explain what “New Beginnings” is.  It is a collection of thoughts and stories of mother’s around the U.S. who have struggled.  Most of the stories will be about those who have struggled with infertility.  It is to bring hope and inspire us (future moms and dads) who have faced the pains of trying to conceive.  I’m sure these stories will inspire others too, but it is mainly to encourage those on the TTC road or on the road to foster and/or adoption.  New Beginnings will go on as long as I have contributors.  I hope one day to put together a book of all the inspirational stories.

Our road to adoption has been hard.  We are still on it.  During those dark, despairing days of TTC and infertility treatments, all I wanted to hear was “it worked for me”!  I needed positive encouragement…I still do.  We all love positive, happy, real stories!

If you have a story of struggle.  Whether long or short, please, PLEASE email me to share your story!  God bless you all.

Now on to Tina’s Adoption Story:

HE is Never Late

My Journey to Motherhood
I have GOOD news and I have GREAT news; which would you like to hear first? Let’s start with the GOOD news because then we know it will get even better, right? The GOOD news is that the ever-present, ever-loving GOD has indeed answered my fervent, effective and righteous prayers for children in His perfect time, for our GOD is never late.  I can’t name the exact number, but I do know that for at least seven years I asked, I sought, and I knocked before my arms were filled to overflowing. It was a long, difficult road, filled with both physical and emotional pain.
To be certain, those were some of the most tear-filled, disheartening, BEAUTIFUL years of my life to this day. Which brings us to the GREAT news! In GOD’s magnificent wisdom, it was necessary to empty me in order to prepare me for “such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10b.) GOD could have opened my womb at any time or opened the first door to adoption, but HE did not. My way would have been instant motherhood; GOD’s way has resulted in a pure, abiding, trusting, everlasting relationship with Him that I never knew before. The children were the delicious icing on the cake, so to speak.
So often during the waiting game, I would return to Psalm 37:4 which reads, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I’m sure you can guess which part of that verse engulfed my attention. Yes, the latter part.  Wasn’t my desire reasonable? Wouldn’t my husband and I be better equipped and motivated to rear God-fearing children than so many other unbelieving women who were having babies seemingly every time I turned around? What have I done wrong? I even prayed for the LORD to change the desire of my heart for children. The common thread among all these questions was, well, me.
During a seemingly endless array of tests, procedures, ultrasounds, and surgeries we began fulfilling the adoption requirements. In the beginning, I thought of adoption as my “back-up” plan or my second-best option. So foolish, so near-sighted. I was still more focused on giving birth rather than becoming a mother, and there is a big difference. God was patient with me and continued to strengthen and transform my thinking daily. He is so faithful.
My husband, Stan, and I were ministering to the youth group at our small congregation when Agape of Central Alabama called with news of a possible adoption opportunity. We were among the very first to hold this precious little boy only to be informed that the birth mother had changed her mind. Our drive home, two instead of three, was smothered in quiet numbness not unlike returning from a loved one’s burial. The strength of our marriage allowed us to grieve as one, and we felt a peace about our future, with or without children. I remember telling the youth group that they were the children that GOD had given me. In my heart I believe that is exactly the place where GOD was waiting to give us his BEST.
Two months later, when we least expected it, Agape called once again. If you have ever been on the receiving end of “the call” you well know how your world immediately stops and begins spinning in a totally new direction. Many, many phone calls, very limited sleep, and racing thoughts only begin to describe life after “the call.” We were in Florida on a working vacation along with our parents when we met, via the web, not one but TWO precious creations who needed a daddy and a momma. And there began the third most beautiful love story of my life.
On February 3, 2002, we brought home William Luke and Anna Grace, four-week-old twins! All four of us fell into the wide open arms of an incredible extended family and loving church family, both prepared in advance by the Master Weaver. Pure joy. Should I have expected any less from JEHOVAH-RAPHA, the LORD who heals? He continues to bless and grow us each and every day. And He is never late.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And HE shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:13-14
Tina wanted to offer her email address if anyone would like prayers, additional adoption info, or just an empathetic ear.  You can contact Tina at: tsfoster1@yahoo.com
Thank you so much Tina for sharing your beautiful story!