Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stash Dash

I'm really excited to be participating in The Knit Girllls Stash Dash this year! I've tallied up what I want to accomplish and here's what I came up with:

For my WIPs we have Jerry the Musical Monkey, my Marsh Stripey Socks, the Rousette Shawl, and the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket.

Here they are in all their unfinished glory! (From top left, the Moderne Log Cabin blanket, parts for Jerry the Musical Monkey, my stripey socks, and the shawl)

For new projects, I'm definitely going to be casting on 22.5 degrees, Hermione's Everyday Socks, and Devil's Snare socks. They will be out of Colinette Jitterbug in the Caramel colorway, Sunshine Classic in the Hermione colorway, and Sunshine Classic in the Devil's Snare colorway respectively.

(In order from left- Devil's Snare, Caramel, and Hermione)

I know I'll do some spinning too, but I'm not sure what I'll spin yet, and there may be a baby item or two tossed in for good measure. My goal is 2000 grams, but I'm really hoping to blow that out of the water. Guess we'll see!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All queued and ready to go!

I've been working hard to be more organized this year, and I think I've done a pretty good job of it in my crafting. I've been utilizing my queue on Ravelry more, and working to find patterns that work for yarns I already have. Since I'm slogging through a couple of larger projects (umm, hello Moderne Log Cabin Blanket) I thought maybe I would share what I plan to work on for the next few months.

First up is 22.5 degrees by Martina Behm
(This photo and all others from the pattern pages)
I'm pretty excited about this because Martina Behm has some great patterns out and I've been wanting to try them for a while. This will be my Camp Loopy project, so I ordered some Colinette Jitterbug in the Caramel colorway:

Next up will be Hermione's Everyday socks by Erica Lueder. 

I actually cast on these socks a couple of years ago (my first try at socks) and I'm pretty sure they are somewhere in the office, collecting dust. I should finish them someday. This time around, though, I'm finally using some of my Sunshine Classic Yarn in the Hermione colorway.
I get immense pleasure from pairing yarns and patterns with the same name/colorway together. I think its just my Harry Potter yarns I want to do this with, but I've got about a dozen lined up and ready to go. I'm nerdy, I know ;) These socks are going to be for the KAL with the Sunshine Yarns group.

Also in the queue is another Tabitha kitty. This is a request item from someone who saw the one I made my friend last week for her birthday. Funny how that works!

After that I have another pair of socks planned, the Devil's Snare socks also by Erica Lueder. 
These will be in (you probably guessed) another skein of Sunshine Yarns Classic, Devil's Snare

I have more things in my queue but they aren't set in stone, and the order might change depending on what comes up. I'm really glad to be working on more socks! I've also had the itch to work on a sweater as well (it was 90 here yesterday, so I'm not sure where this feeling is coming from) so I've been perusing patterns :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Pattern

My new pattern is up! Its called the Valley Between Two Hills, and it can be found here. I'm pretty proud of this, and I have a new respect for designers. I had a hat pattern out already, but that was reverse engineered and there's something about writing a pattern you conceived in your head, knitting it, obsessing about it, having it test knit, revising it, taking beauty shots, and finally releasing it into the world. I hope you like it!

ETA- This is my 100th post! I think it is very fitting that it is about the release of a pattern :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

What's Happening on the Literary Front

I've finished some of the books I last talked about, and almost done with another, so I thought I would share what I've started recently and what I plan to pick up next. I recently finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
 and Explicit Gospel
I'm also listening to Hunger Games
on my iPod, and I have about 40 minutes left so I'm *this* close to finishing. Its odd that I end a lot of books at once, so I've been searching for some books to fill my different reading needs. The first one is Semi-Sweet
which is a random book I picked up at the library. At first glance I thought it was your run of the mill chick lit (and that's not a bash, as you can see I'm reading it!) but its definitely a little different. Its set in Ireland, which my husband and I will be visiting later this year :) I'm about halfway through this right now, and I plan to review it when I'm done.

I'll also be starting Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
to keep up with the Harry Potter Swap and knit-along. This is a reread for me but I always enjoy revisiting these books :) This will be my new audio book for a while- I think it will be a nice break from the Hunger Games series before I start in on Mockingjay.

The last book I'll be starting is 
I didn't pick this book; we read books as a staff for our staff meetings at work, so one of my coworkers picked this. Reading the description it looks like it will be interesting!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

Which is good, because I haven't blogged in a while and there's been a lot going on! First, I finally finished my shawl and got some decent photos of it. Here's a teaser:

I'm pretty happy with it, though I did need to get some help from the photographer in the family (thanks mom!) I spent the first half of the day over at my parents and my brother and I made brunch as part of our Mother's Day gift to mom. Later in the day we went to my In-law's and my Grandma-in-law's. All in all it was a good day, but long!

The week itself was busy- it was one of those weeks where you have little errands or paper work or mini trips almost every night of the week, so by the time the weekend rolled around (which I knew was going to be busy) I was just waiting until this week so we could have a break! Don't get me wrong, most of the stuff was fun (except for filling out the FAFSA and other school paperwork) but it kept us so busy that we had no time for ourselves, us as a couple, or to get chores done around the house.

Saturday morning started with replacing our living room windows. They were original to the house, so they were somewhere around 40 years old and needed to go. Most of them didn't even open, and since they were encasement windows we couldn't put an air conditioner in there. Here's a photo after we had gotten the first set of windows out:

As you may be able to tell from the photo, these were HUGE windows. That's the hubs you see bending over the opening, and he's almost 6 foot tall, for comparison. I worked with him until lunchtime, then I hopped in the shower and went shopping with a friend to get stuff for a birthday party that night and a baby shower the next day. 

The birthday party was a small girls night, with just three of us making yummy food and tye-dyeing some tank tops. The birthday girl had said she didn't want any gifts, but I made her a small stuffed kitty since she is a big cat person.

This was my first stuffed toy I had ever knit, and it turned out a little wonky but otherwise I was happy with it. She was too! After that we went back to our house for a small fire to try and use up some of the wood we have. It wasn't a super late night, but it had been a PACKED day, so I fell asleep right away and slept like the dead.

Sunday after church I ran home to bake cookies for the baby shower and finish knitting my gift (I know, I'm a terrible procrastinator!) As soon as I was finished I went down to the church and helped set up. It went really well! My friend we were having the shower for was going with a jungle/monkey theme, which was super fun. Here's a shot of part of the room:

They got a ton of great stuff they needed and we had a blast hanging out with everyone, so it was a great success! After I got home I changed into some comfy summer clothes (it was 80!) and headed up to a friends house for some 4 wheeling/dirt bike riding, pool deck lounging, and general hanging out. After we had dinner and sat by a fire for a while we dragged ourselves home and went to bed.

Now do you see why I've been so busy? Am I forgiven for not blogging? :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bustin out the Blanket

I've been working double time on the Moderne Log Cabin blanket (even though I should probably be knitting more on the baby shower gifts for next weekend). I really want to get a good head start on this because I'm worried that I'll either become bogged down by all the garter or will get distracted by more complicated projects (Rousette Shawl anyone!?) I set a deadline for myself of having the first four blocks done by the end of the month and I'm happy to say that I finished square number two!

Blue is up next and squares 3 and 4 are much larger than the first two, so I really need to balance my small baby projects with this blanket until I start that shawl. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The socks are taking over

I had to work this weekend, which meant my striped socks got more love than usual. They live in a project bag in my purse/bag I take everywhere and usually only get worked on while I'm at job #2. Remember how a few days ago I only had about 3 inches done? Now I'm almost to the heel on the second one. These should be done by the end of the month!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Beginning of the Long Haul

I've been working away on the Moderne Log Cabin blanket for my friend's wedding. See?

This is the first square about 2 minutes before I finished it and bound off. I'm hoping to pick up stitches and start the second square either tonight or tomorrow, whenever I can find 20 minutes of quiet time :) I'm trying really hard to stay on top of this project because I know that even though its not hard, the endless miles of garter are going to slow me down.

I've also been working on a few other projects. I had a shaky start with my Marsh Stripes socks. These are my first pair of socks for me and it took me a while to get the right stitch count. Here's where I'm at right now:

I discovered that, at least for stockinette socks, my secret to a good fit is to go up a needle size after the heel. My feet are a little narrow but I have thick ankles, so going up a needle size gives me a little bit more room. I hope to start some patterned socks in June, so we'll see if I'll need to do this with those as well.

Lastly I started a little project as a birthday gift for a friend. This is going to eventually become the Tabitha the Destash Kitty even though it doesn't look like much right now :)

This project has gone pretty quick so far- this took me about an hour? I haven't made too many stuffed animal type knits before, so I'm a little nervous about the seeming, attaching, and stuffing, but I figure I can handle it :)

Part of the reason I am trying to stay on schedule for the blanket is the pattern I will be casting on in about a week: the Rousette Shawl. I'm wondering if I have bit off more than I can chew with this one. The lace portion is entirely charted out and I (not being a fan of charts) am not sure if I'm going to rewrite it into written directions or just plow through with the chart and hope for the best. I plan on increasing both the stockinette and the lace section as well. The pattern includes directions on how to increase the stockinette portion, but I'm a little lost as to where to increase the lace. Hopefully it all comes together soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Refrigerator Rice

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned this dish before on my blog, but its such a staple in my diet (and I had a slightly different version for lunch yesterday) that I thought it was worth repeating. Usually it consists of rice, garlic and ground ginger, soy sauce, hot sauce, and eggs. Anything on top of this is bonus! I've added asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and pretty much anything you have leftover in your fridge would work as well.

Yesterday I had some spinach that was almost past its prime and some leftover chicken, so those got added in. I wasn't sure it would be up to its usual standard- I have a funny relationship with cooked spinach and I was worried it would make my rice dish odd. But it was pretty yummy!

The fruit cup is Del Monte Fruit Naturals Peaches. I have come to LOVE these peaches and always pick them over any other fruit we might have in the house :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

All Quiet on the Blog Front

Its been pretty quiet here lately! Its the end of hubby's (insane) school semester, beginning of a new term over at the HPKCHC, and this weekend was taken up with graduation festivities. My (not so) little brother graduated!

So, needless to say, while I've been knitting, reading, and cooking a little I haven't been blogging about it. Here's a quick recap.

  • I finished my self designed shawl, and the pattern will be up as soon as I get some good photos!
  • I started the blanket for my friend's wedding late this summer. Its going pretty well!
  • I'll be making a lot of cute, small items in the near future
  • I had a win with my crock pot last week! One of my goals is to use it more, so it was nice to make a good meal with it.
  • I'm almost finished with the Hunger Games. I know I'm really late to the game, but I really wanted to read the book before we went to see the movie.
  • I'm going to be starting a reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire here soon, to go along with this read-along 
  • I'm also working on reading Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in Spanish). I'm only a few pages in, and its slow going because my Spanish has gotten a little rusty, but I'm really enjoying it!
  • Lastly, I got an iPhone! I have been eligible for an upgrade for months now, and I went back and forth on whether or not to get a smart phone, but I'm really glad I did. I might do a future blog posts on the apps I have so far.
Anyway, I'm hoping to be back to blogging on a more regular schedule soon!