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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gearing up

I've had a bit of a hiatus from blogging, and I don't feel bad about it. I've been celebrating with family, knitting, reading, and doing all the things people do leading up to Christmas. Now that its over I'm looking forward to a New Year and a new term with the HPKCHC. I'm on staff once again, which always makes me happy. I'm working on swatching for my OWL. This term I'll be attempting to make two of these. I think they're lovely and I was very excited when putting up our cheap store bought stockings this year because I realized it will be the last year we use them.

The only knitting I did for Christmas this year was these:


They are cute, fun to make, and the recipients really loved them! We gave them to our closest friends, and I think it might become a tradition for me to make them all little hand knit somethings with baked goods. I've got a few projects that have deadlines in January, but for the most part things are open and I'm looking forward to casting on ALL THE THINGS :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still here

I feel like I don't have much to blog about, even though I'm still here, still knitting, still doing things! Last night hubby and I went Christmas shopping and got a few things, but still have a lot to do. The rest will probably be bought online. You'll notice that there's a new projects over in the progress bars... I caved. I am knitting something for Christmas. You may have noticed that I skated over it in the last post, casually mentioned that I had a few mini sweaters to knit. I've decided that this point I'm knitting at least 7, maybe 9. Not 100% sure yet. I got one about 75% finished tonight, so each sweater shouldn't take more than 3 hours between knitting and double stitching the initial on the front. Not to shabby.

The other project that's been getting a lot of attention is Danny's Teaching sweater. I finished the back and I'm almost finished with the ribbing on the front. On track to finish that by the middle of January when I want to give it to him :) Everything else currently on the needles doesn't have a deadline, so I'll probably start my brother's girlfriend's cowl for her birthday. So I'll be here, knitting along, hopefully finishing up a few things!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Whoa, progress!

I feel like I've been knitting a ton the past week or so. I finished two biggish projects last week (post below this one) to finish up the term over at the HPKCHC. Off months are funny for me... usually I take a break the first few days then start working on some WIPs and all of a sudden realize I only have a few more days until the new term begins and Ibetterhurryupandswatchandpickoutnewprojectsrightaway!

This off month is different, and I haven't quite figured out why. I've been working on the bunny snuggly for my cousins baby due in February. I was originally going to finish it to give to her yesterday at her shower, but I ended up going in a large gift with a few other family members, so I decided to hold off and give it to her when the baby is born. I'm almost done with the head, so all that's left are the ears and the finishing. Then I pulled out my brother's vest that I plan to give to him in January before he heads back to school. This has become my main "home" knitting, and I managed to finish the whole back as of this afternoon. And then (yes, there's more!) I pulled the gryffindor scarf out for a few car rides since that's just stockinette in the round, and that's almost half finished. Crazy!

So what's next? Well, I have a few mini sweater ornaments to whip out, which shouldn't take me more than a few hours apiece. I'll be starting a cowl for my brother's girlfriend for her birthday at the beginning of January. Other than that its just swatching for the Christmas stockings I'll be attempting for my OWL next term and working away on the projects mentioned above. I'm liking all this progress! Let's hope it keeps up :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Satisfaction

You will notice a project is missing from my progress bars over there --->

That would be because I finished my mini sock garland. I love how it turned out!


And here's a photo of just the socks:


The yarn is Classic Sock from Sunshine Yarns. If you would like to know the colorways (all Harry Potter, of course!) you can see my project page here.

The last thing I am working to finish up before the end of the month is the blanket of doom. Here's a picture as of this weekend:


Cat added for scale. This thing is as wide as my couch and was taller than me. Last night hubby held it up and it was taller than him, and he proclaimed that after two more stripes it would be finished. Thank goodness!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Real fast

No pictures in this post- its a quick one! I am working on my last mini sock, only half of that and the string to hang them on. The epic blanket of doom is also nearing completion. I've started something new as well. Stay tuned for pictures and explanations!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Belated Birthday

My birthday was Monday, but the celebration was spread out over the weekend as well, hence the silence here on the blog. It was wonderful and I got to spend it with people I really care about, which I think its the best kind of gift. Hubby gave me the most wonderful gift in the world! He made me a swift! This is a terrible photo, but it was Monday night when I got it so the lighting was terrible.


The stain is beautiful and I've already wound 2 balls from it. If only I had this back in September!

I'm at 90% of my OWL with the end in sight! I hope to finish by this weekend, but definitely by the end of the month. Here are photos of the most recently finished mini socks:




I am still loving the mini socks, but will be glad to be knitting something else after I finish up the last three. Eventually I will add to this garland with more of the HP Sunshine colors as I get them, but I think once its done its going to be hung up and stay there until January, at least. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Good Yarn

First, a picture of an FO, my Bonnie's Shawl that I made for my mother in law.


Yes, the dog sneaked into the photo when I wasn't paying attention. And its not a great photo because its been very rainy and overcast here, so I have to use a flash. Nevertheless, its done and I hope to give it to her this week.


I also have a book review for you! I've been working hard to do more fun reading in my free time, and the most recent book I finished was A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber. I was hesitant to start this series because I'm not a romance novel fan and I think many of Debbie Macomber's books are romance-y. But this had ot do with knitting, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I had read the first book in the series last year sometime, and I reread it before starting this one to refresh my memory. The series so far has a nice story line; not too predictable or crazy, with characters that are easy to relate to and likeable. Its definitely not heavy reading, but its nice to sit down and read when you feel like a nice story. I enjoyed that she brought back some of the main characters from the last book and integrated them into the story. The only comment that might be considered negative that I have is that the story always ends nicely tied up. Almost everyone gets their happy ending, and while that is nice for the story it does leave me feeling a little cheated. Overall I'd give it 4 starts out of 5.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My math skills fail me

So for the past week I've been thinking about how I was so far behind on my mini socks. I made myself a little schedule on my calendar of when I needed to finish each one in order to finish on time. Its been really helpful! However, the past few days I got very discouraged because I was about a week behind. Last night pretty much all I did was knit on mini socks and wind mini socks while watching knitting video casts (The Knit Girls and 90% Knitting) Today it was finally nice enough to get some decent pictures, so I was uploading to Ravelry when I made a discovery... I actually have 22 socks done, not the 20 I was thinking! This makes me only one day behind on my self imposed schedule, which I can totally catch up with.Without further adieu, here are the recently finished mini socks:





I also have finished a mittens ornament! The big deal about this is that is is crocheted, and if you know me at all you know that crochet and I have a love hate relationship. Mostly that I love to hate it when I can;t do it. Here are the mittens, which are on their way to California!


The last thing I have to show (I know, its very photo heavy today) is another crochet project. I have a small amount of mystery worsted-ish weight acrylic yarn that was given to me, so when the mood strikes me I make squares. Here's the second one (and it only took 2 tries!):





Monday, November 14, 2011

Knit Picks Love

If you haven't noticed from my projects, I knit with a lot of Knit Picks yarn. For me they're a great option because I don't have a ton of money to spend, so I get more bang for my buck. Also I enjoy working with them much more than the big box store yarns. They're running a contest to win $50 worth of items from your wish list, so I'm posting mine to enter myself to win!

Wish List

Go on over there and enter yourself!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting a handle on things

I've felt like my knitting life has been very rushed lately. I feel like I'm always down to a deadline and having to neglect projects to finish others, only to end up rushing on those neglected projects. I think part of this is due to bad planning, part of it due to me not managing my time well. I realized that this is starting to change. My mindset is changing and instead of casting on new things and making plans for who I can knit for next, I'm focused on finishing projects I've already started. I'm not knitting personalized Christmas gifts this year (though I may knit several of the same SMALL thing for a few people, undecided on that yet). I'm only knitting for people who I know will appreciate it and use what I am knitting for them.

I know a lot of this seems like common sense, but its taken me a while to get here. That said, here's what my knitting will look like through the end of the year. By this weekend I'll finish and gift a shawl to my Mother in Law (Bonnie's Shawl). That leaves me to finish my OWL (30 mini socks) and Zach's blanket by the end of the month, which I think I can do. I'll also be casting on and finishing a small baby item in that time (probably this) for a baby shower for my cousin in early December. As I finish these items I'll work on (in this order): my small Christmas items if I decide to do them, my brother's vest, a cowl for my brother's girlfriend (this I will have to start and finish, but its for her birthday in January), and the ever neglected invisibility scarf. If you're paying attention, that finishes all my current WIPs.

Its a big task, but I think I'm up for the challenge. All of these WIPs are at 20% or more, and I'm the type of knitter who needs to have a few things going at the same time, so I think its going to work!

Speaking of planning, I'm already making big plans for 2012. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Odd Tuesday

Its been one of those days where you can't classify it as bad or good, just odd. Thankfully I've been knitting away and have some new progress to show for it.



Mini socks aren't the only thing I've been knitting. I'm working away on the shawl for my Mother in Law and I'm up to the lace portion. I'm really hoping to have it done by this weekend to give to her on her birthday, but she'll be ok if I have to show it to her and actually gift it a week later. Not too much else to report knitting wise. Hopefully i can knit like the wind for the rest of the week.

I'm still debating Christmas knitting plans... not sure what I'm going to do yet. More on that later :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

It has been a while

So long, in fact, that this is my first post in November. I don't have anything much to share knitting wise because I haven;t taken pictures lately. I can tell you that I'm still working on my mini socks, still working on the shawl for my mother in law, and that the only new thing I have done is crochet another unholey granny square. We had the Marine Corps birthday ball this weekend, which was pretty fun. Its a formal event, so we got all decked out. Hopefully I'll have a picture to share (but I might have to cut hubby out of it. He's funny about that).

Anyway, that's what's up. Hopefully later in the week I'll have pics and more interesting things to tell!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Picture Post

My weekend consisted of these:


which are very yummy and almost gone now.

Also these:


which are really cute! I am enjoying them immensely.

Also this:


which is pretty darn exciting. Its my first hand spun! Pictures of it all finished to come shortly. Stay tuned! Also... what should I knit next month? I might do a poll once I get my options decided upon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finally, some knitting

I know you are probably worried that something is wrong when more than one post goes by with no knitting content. I am still knitting, but the progress has been slow. But today, 2 mini socks!



I'm still working away on the shawl for my mother-in-law. It should hopefully be done by the end of the month, but if not by her birthday in November. You also might notice that the Shalom cardigan is no longer in my WIPs. The pattern and yarn were just not having it, so I'll be trying again, probably with a different yarn, sometime in the future. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Take out... in?

Hubby and I had a crazy weekend, and hopefully tomorrow I can post photos of some of our weekend spoils, but for not a quick post and a picture of last nights dinner:


Hubby really wanted lo mein from the local Chinese take out place downtown, but they are closed on Sundays.  We have tons of pork in the freezer and happened to have broccoli, so I boiled some linguine and made him my own version of lo mein. he said it was almost (if not better) than take out. What higher praise is there? :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More bread

I baked bread for the first time a few weeks ago, and this time I decided to use a pan bread recipe. I was up until after midnight waiting for it to finish baking because I didn't gauge how much time I needed. Oops. Anyway, Its all done and here's a photo:


The one on the right is just plain white bread, and I decided to try and make the one on the left cinnamon brown sugar swirl. It worked pretty well considering I was making it up as I went along. I'm not sure if we just thought my first loaf was so good because it was my first or what, but these ones don't quite measure up to that one. Still, they;re pretty good and its fun to do... when you have the time!

On the knitting front, mini sock number 13 is almost finished. At this rate I'll be half way by this weekend, which is good. I'm hoping to keep up with my current pace, but I do have a shawl that need to be finished and Christmas gifts to be starting. Anyone else need more time in their day!?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hermione

Just a quick post today, yet another mini sock completed. It seems like these are all I'm knitting, yet I'm still behind. The porch seems to be working all right for photos... once it starts to snow I'll have to find another spot!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Post Rhinebeck

This is post as in after, not a post about Rhinebeck, mostly because I didn't take many pictures and the few I did need to be sorted out yet. I finished my cowl but I have terrible photos of it right now, so hopefully I'll get a chance to take better ones to post. I also finished 2 mini socks:


If you have been reading for a while you'll notice that this last picture is out of mt usual photo spot. I always used to take pictures on my kitchen table because we have a big door with a window and it let in a lot of light. I'm realizing with the change of seasons the lighting isn't as great in there and it makes everything look more blue than what it really is. The Harry Potter sock photo was taken on our front porch and I think I'll be trying that spot out for a while.

I haven't made a whole lot of progress on the shawl, so no new pictures there. However I do have a photo for you to make up for it:


Do you see that in the middle there? Jamocha Oreo shake. Yup. Delicious. That may or may not have been my dinner on the road Friday night. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunshine

We finally had some sunshine so I could take decent pictures of my knitting. First, some finished items:


This is the shawl I started for my Mother in Law. The color is actually a nice foresty green... for some reason the area in my kitchen where I take all my photos is making things come out very blue lately.


And lastly, the cowl that I will finish tonight. Can you see how close I am to running out of yarn!?

Again with the blueness. Anyway, after going back and forth every row, I think I'm going to make it with the yarn I have. If I don't, I'm going to rip back and do one less row in the stockinette section to make it work.

I probably wont blog again for a few days as I leave fr Rhinebeck tomorrow and will be doing a lot of driving to get there and get home. Watch for pictures soon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nothing too interesting

The past few days have been a lot of cleaning, knitting, TV show watching (while knitting of course) studying (not me, hubby) working, etc. Tonight I'm hoping to bake, clean, and knit some more in preparation for being gone Friday and Saturday. Wish me luck!

Oh, and just because a post can't be a post without a picture, this was the view from my front window yesterday:
Yup, it was a mess. All cleaned up now though!

Monday, October 10, 2011

And yet another

More mini socks. I feel like all I've been doing is knitting mini socks, but this isn't true because 1), I'm still behind and 2). I've also been making progress on my cowl. Here's the latest one:


It was pretty darn hard to get the colors to show up properly. This is pretty close, but its a little lighter than the picture shows. I really love this colorway and hope to find something special to make with the rest of it. 

This weekend is Rhinebeck and I'm going! My plans were pretty up in the air until a friend graciously offer to let me stay the night at her house, effectively cutting my commute to make it more manageable. I hope to have some photos to share!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baking Day

I finally got around to making bread. This is the first time I've ever made it from scratch and it actually turned out well! Here's a photo... unfortunately I forgot to snap one until we had already sampled it ;)






Or perhaps it was more than just a sample. Anyhow, it was pretty darn good and I plan to make more bread soon. I think I'll try a pan bread next.

I've also been knitting away, mostly working on two projects; my mini stocking and a cowl. Here is one of the mini socks I've finished:


I've finished anther, but its terribly difficult to take a photo at nighttime, so I'll have to get it some other time. Here's a picture of the cowl:


Its made from Sunshine Yarn Merino Sport in the Hermione colorway. I'm really enjoying the yarn and the pattern is ok. I'm a bit frustrated at how badly its curling, but hopefully a good block will fix it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Bit Behind the Ball

We had a weird weekend here. Friday started us off with some bad news (an unexpected death of an extended family member) and we kinda just kept rolling through the weekend. I worked both Friday and Saturday at job #2, hubby worked Saturday with his father then was gone all evening too. Sunday we tried to play catch up on all the stuff that didn't get done Friday and Saturday.

I'm all caught up with my grading for the HPKCHC so now I'm finally diving into classes and starting my BROOM. Since I haven;t been able to read class prompts in depth or get together my supplies for my Shalom (BROOM) I've been knitting mini socks. Here are numbers 5 & 6:


Number 7 is on the needles and should be finished tomorrow... so you'll have to tune in to see what colorway is next :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finishing more than knitting

For once this whole post isn't going to be about knitting (although there is just a little). I finished a book over the weekend and thought i would share it. If you remember back I had started the Faerie Wars series by Herbie Brennan. I just finished the second book and since I took the third out from the library (for whatever reason they offer number 1, 2, 4, and 5 digitally but not 3) it is still holding my interest. Overall I give this series a 3.5 out of 5. Its not stellar, but it is fairly interesting, the characters are likable, and the plot is believable while still interesting. I'm hoping to start the third book soon!

I also finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with me read-along group, so I'll be moving on to Prisoner of Azkaban in a few weeks. While I wait I'm going to finish the Katie Couric book I had started a while ago.

And (since it wouldn't be a post without some knitting) I finished another mini sock! I've been trying to crank out these bad boys right fast and in a hurry since I'm a little behind. This is number five our of thirty, and with any luck number six will be finished tonight.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finishing up a storm

With all the homework hubby has had this week, we've spent the past few nights up in our office, him working away on homework, leaving me to do whatever I wish. His only request is that I hang out with him in there. So I've been knitting, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and reading. Here are the fruits of my labor:


This is a terrible picture, but on top of the rainy weather we're having a hat is a hard thing to photograph without a head to put it on. You'll just have to use your imagination!


If your keeping track this is number 4 of 30 mini socks. Yes, I'm a bit behind schedule. I plan to spend today and tomorrow knitting nothing but the mini socks to try and get to 6 by the end of the month.

I've been thinking a lot of Christmas and gift knitting. I totally blame BJs because they had a Christmas decorations aisle already when I was there last weekend. Anyway, I have 1-2 medium sized gifts I'm planning to make and give for Christmas this year. But I got this crazy idea to make mini sweaters with initials on them for people this year. They would work great as decorations for my nieces gifts and equally as well for gift cards to my siblings in law who live out of state. This could mean between 14-24 mini sweaters. Is this crazy? Or ingenious? I have yet to figure it out :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dreaming

Every once in a while (probably a few times a year) I go on a big pattern browsing kick and favorite several projects. Some of these make it into my queue, others stay in my favorites for a while, and some may never get made, but I keep them any way because I either like them or plan to use them for inspiration for something else.

The last two nights hubby has had a lot of homework to do, so I sit up in the office with him and knit, catch up on Ravelry, listen to podcasts, etc. Last night my chair in the office was getting pretty uncomfortable, so I took my computer to bed with me and started browsing patterns. I thought I would share some of the ones I found last night with you.

 
Hampton Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

  SnoBuddy Family by Chris de Longpr√©

 Acadian Shawl by Melisa McCurley

Button Up your Cup by Julie Tarsha

Oink by Susan B. Anderson

Clutter Control: Stash Baskets by Bernat Design Studio

 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Wrap up

This weekend was awesome! Saturday I packed an overnight bag and headed to Rochester to hang out with some family. I got a pedicure (my first one this year!) and got to Skype with my cousin who is studying abroad in Italy. We had good food and a fun time. Then Sunday I stopped to see my brother and his girlfriend at college on my way home. It was nice to hang out and catch up with them. Then last night we celebrated a friend's birthday and watched some Leverage. It was pretty close to a perfect weekend! If only all these people lived closer to me.

I have photos of our meals from over the weekend... it was all pretty yummy! First, our salad an entree. This is a mixed greens salad with red onion, celery, apple slices, dries cranberries, blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing. I'm not normally a fan of fruit in my salad, but this was FANTASTIC! My favorite part of the meal. Our main entree was a breaded chicken. The interesting thing was that this was breaded with Doritos!


The other thing we made was an Apple Crumble Coffee Cake. I got to take most of it home with me! It is very dense and flavorful.