Friday, April 29, 2011

Finished Object!

I love finishing a project and being able to share it! I cast off for my Traveling Woman shawl today. This was my first lace shawl, so I'm especially proud of it! Here's the picture of it unblocked:

Obviously it will look much better when it is blocked! Since this is my first time blocking lace I went ahead and ordered lace blocking wires from Knit Picks. Hopefully those arrive early next week so I have a few days to block before sending this off to its recipient.

I'm still plugging away on the back of the vest I'm making for my brother. It makes for good TV knitting, which brings me to...

A movie review! I mentioned in an earlier post that hubby and I recently got Netflix, and I have to tell you, we are really enjoying it. We just watched our first DVD from them, Charlie Wilson's War (Widescreen). I'll be honest, I fell asleep during a part or two, but this was due to me not getting enough sleep, not an effect from the movie itself. I actually thought the movie was pretty decent. I appreciated that it was more than a fluff movie and that it was based on historical events. Hubby was pretty interested in it as he just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. I thought the actors did a good job in their roles, especially Julia Roberts. Then again, I like a lot of her movies, so I may be biased! I think I'd give it a solid B+. If you haven't checked this one out yet I would recommend renting it through Netflix, finding it at your local library, or buying it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Current Reads

I thought since I don't have a whole lot of knitting progress to share that I would talk about what I've been reading. First up is the Chronicles of Narnia Series. Even though this series is pretty far below my reading level, I never finished it when I was younger and decided I wanted to read completely through. I'm currently on The Silver Chair (The Chronicles of Narnia, Full-Color Collector's Edition) which is the 6th book in the 7th book series. If you've never read these books I highly suggest you check them out.

The second book that I recently got from my library is The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. A friend recommended this book to me and hubby and I have actually been reading it together. So far we're only into the third chapter or so, but I like it pretty well. I find with a lot of these relationship/self help books that I don't ever fully subscribe to their ideas, but I always learn something. This one doesn't seem to bad, but I'll reserve judgment for when I've finished :)

Lastly, once I finish the Narnia series (which will hopefully be by next week) I'm going to reread the Harry Potter series. Its been years since I've read most of the books and I joined a read-and-craft-along group on Ravelry. I thought the timing was perfect with the last movie coming out in a few months.

I have a whole list of books I want to read (my queue, if you will) but I think I'll save that for another post!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Progress, for the sake of progress

I finally have some knitting progress! This is thanks to a few nights at home last week and being able to knit while hubby drives. First up is my Traveling Woman shawl. This is my first shawl, and I'm on the last section before the bindoff. I can't wait ti finish it off and block it! Here's where I'm at right now:
Its kind of hard to see the lace because it is bunched up on my needle, but I think it will be lovely when finished and blocked. This one is a gift, but I think one for me is coming soon!

Next is the vest for my brother, otherwise known as Danny's teaching vest. The title came about because my brother is going to school to be a teacher, and he thought this would be a good thing to wear with a dress shirt in the cooler weather when he is student teaching. His birthday is in June, so I'm hoping to finish by then. Here's my progress so far:
I had a few issues with this pattern. My gauge was a little small, but I felt like the fabric was already a little loose for my liking, so I didn't want to go up a needle size. What I ended up doing was going up a pattern size. I'm somewhere inbetween the two sizes now, and I think it will be ok because this is a seamed vest, so if its a little large I can just make the seams a bit bigger. Right? I'm almost feeling like I should also go down a needle size, but honestly I already had to rip out several inches when I discovered the gauge discrepancy and I don't want to do it again :)

Lastly, one of the biggest things that has happened in our house is that we got Netflix. We've always had internet wherever we lived because of doing schoolwork and such, and (partly for monetary reasons, partly for not wanting to waste all our free time) we've never gotten television service. We thought that Netflix was a good compromise. Hubby has several TV shows that he enjoys and this is a great way to catch some of those. We're enjoying our one month free trial right now. One of my favorite things about Netflix though is that is has Bones. Bones: Season Four (Body Bag Edition) is the season we are on right now. We own the first three seasons because it is our favorite show, but for right now we're just watching the fourth on Netflix. If you haven't checked this show out I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It took some hard work, but I managed to get through all my yarns yesterday! This was a good thing, because even though I warned hubby that I was sorting and organizing my yarn, I don't think he understood the implication of that until he walked in the door. He was gracious though, and didn't complain as I finished weeding through and cataloging and organizing. (It probably helped that I was fixing dinner simultaneously!). I had already gone through my random acrylic stash a few days prior and tossed about two dozen skein in a box to donate. My goal here was all about the organization!

And now, if you would please, review how the yarn looked sprawled out on my living room couch (previous post).

I give you, my craft corner of the office!:

Here's a walk through. From left to right, top to bottom- the black and white case has all my notions,The box under that has the yarns I will be using for a project in May. The the drawers in the green cart are alpaca blends, dishcloth cotton, other cotton, yarns I have listed for sale, sock yarn, wool, and then kits and misc. The next stack is a box with all my unlabeled acrylic and scraps, then the drawers go Knit Picks Palette, Sunshine Yarns, and Sport and DK weight yarns. In the crate is all my labeled acrylic, under that is 2 boxes with a sweaters worth of yarn each, then is my little green organizer that holds most of my non-yarn crafts. Then its my basket with patterns bagged with yarns, another sweater's worth of yarn, and my sewing machine.

I know its not perfect, but this works for right now. Once we're done remodeling the kitchen I hope to get a nice cube organizer (or at least another cart) to sort everything into and eliminate some if not all the cardboard boxes. But it's functional and I can find everything, so I think we can call this a success!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cleaning, organizing, and newness

I mentioned in an earlier post that the HPKCHC is on an "off month". Instead of doing regularly scheduled crafting activities, there are quite a few optional things to participate in. One being offered this month is "Cleaning the castle with Filch". Its all about organizing your physical craft space and stash, weeding and organizing (tagging) your Ravelry queue and favorites, and lastly making a crafting schedule for yourself with projects for the next 12 months.

I thought this was a great idea for me to do, especially since we just moved and I hadn't really unpacked my yarn. Here's a picture of all my yarn:

There actually is less here than I thought there would be. Its been nice going through my yarns, re-finding ones I'd forgotten about, and organizing them. I've also been making sure my stash in Ravelry is updated. About 75% or my yarn has been in there, but there were some random and/or recent purchases that weren't.

I've already organized my favorites and queue. This wasn't too hard because my queue is only the things I'm really planning on making. Usually this means I already have the yarn for the project. My new goal is to curb my yarn buying. I only want to buy yarn for projects that I know I'm going to make, preferably in the next few months. Hopefully I finish going through all my yarn today and I can post pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's on the needles?

Since this is an off month for the HPKCHC, my projects are a little more all over the place than they would normally be. Starting from oldest WIP to newest, I'm still working on the blanket for my husband. I started it at the beginning of January and its about 70% done right now. It ended up a lot wider than I originally planned on, so each row takes a LONG time! This picture is a little old, but just imagine it with another 10 inches or so!

Next is my Traveling Woman shawl. This will be a Mother's Day gift, so I need to finish it up in the next few weeks. Its my first lace shawl and after a big setback (ripping out the entire stockingette portion) I'm finally onto the last lace repeat. This is an old picture (updated ones to come soon!)
Lastly is the project I started this weekend, which is a vest for my brother. No pics yet, but its the Peter Easy pattern in Knit Picks Comfy. This will become my TV/traveling knitting as its pretty straightforward. Its also my first garment requiring seaming, so that will be interesting!

I have a few projects that are either ongoing or lingering between WIP and Hibernating status, but more about those later!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Starting New

I originally started this blog as an assignment for a class, but I've decided to start clean and use it as my crafting blog. Over the past year I've decided that I want to make crafting and writing a bigger part of my life, and this is a great way to do that! You can expect a report on my current projects, new designs, the occasional recipe (once we finish remodeling our kitchen that is!) and some real life jabber. I might even throw in books and movies I've recently watched or read and give you a review. These are the things that I enjoy doing and I hope you enjoy reading about them!