The solution?! CROCHETING!
Momma taught me how to crochet when I was in elementary. I primarily made scarves for myself and blankets for my dolls. I did venture into reading patterns by making two hats once - one turned out fine, the other one turned into a doll's hat (I still haven't figured out why that one was smaller than the other... oh well!) Since my doll-days, I've made a few more scarves, but I never took the time to do anything bigger than that.
Well, then came the substitute teacher time in my life... since picking up the hook again, I've made another scarf for myself, some doll-things for little relatives, and slippers for myself.
The slippers idea came from pinterest (of course). There are plenty of patterns online for different types of slippers, but I think I found the easiest one. I made one foot last night and finished the other foot today during a prep period. I used the lovely baby-colored yarn because I have a lot of it (thanks Mom!) and I didn't want to use expensive yarn until I knew that the pattern would actually work. When I try making another pair, I plan on making a few changes, but for the most part, I love them!
I've been playing around with the idea for my next project for awhile now. Grandma made the Christmas stockings that I grew up with, and I never thought I'd be good enough at crocheting to even try to make my own. BUT, I really want similar ones for Grizz and I - plus, the parents will need a few more with all the new additions we've add in the family (the in-laws and the Cali-babies!).
So, I scanned the internet for patterns. Turns out, they appear to be rather easy. Here's the pattern I plan on using... LINK. It is almost completely made out of granny squares (something I guess is rather common in the crocheting world, but something I've never even tried before).
Today, because I had two planning periods, I tried making a granny square with my baby-yarn to practice. It wasn't perfect, but I know it's something I can improve on. Now, I have something to do during my prep periods, and it should last me awhile. Each stocking requires 12 squares, and if I make them for the parents (if Mom doesn't beat me to it... I think my excitement about crochet is creeping back into her!) I will need to make 7 stockings. Woot woot!
Here's the granny square from today... it's prettier in Christmas colors!