Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I always love sharing my knitting on the blog. Not only does it keep me accountable to work on all my projects and finish in a timely manner, it also feels good to share something you made with the world. Or at least the small section of it that reads my blog :)

This week I finished the baby sweater I have been working on. 

This sweet little cardigan is a DROPS pattern, and I was pretty happy with it. I decided to do the 1-3 month size. I think my stitch counts got a bit wonky at the lace section, but it ended up working out and I wasn't too worried about it. I used Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport  and I was pretty pleased with it for an acrylic. It was a bit rough when working with it, but the finished product is nice and soft. Perfect for a baby!

The other project going on my needles right now is a pair of socks.

I had hoped to have these done by the end of the month, but a few days ago I realized that only one of these projects was going to get finished, so I worked on the baby cardigan more. Still, I've only had these on the needles for 2 1/2 weeks, so that's not bad progress. 

As far as reading goes, we finished reading Multiply as a staff here at work. It was a pretty good book, but definitely meant to be read with application to a mentor relationship. Still a good read though. I'm more than halfway through Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident, and still working away on A Letter of Mary. I hope to sit down with Young House Love this week and make more progress on that book. I want to find a way to save the projects in there I see myself doing in the near future but I'm not sure the best way to do that. Maybe an iPhone photo uploaded to Pinterest?

This post is linked up with Ginny's Yarn Along.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Monday

This weekend was pretty boring in this blogger's home. It involved a lot of working, some cleaning, church, and the bright spot- dinner and a movie with friends. The hubs and I went to get groceries and run errands after church, and 5 minutes into our grocery shopping somehow I deleted my list off of my phone. Fail. At least I got to have lunch at Wegmans!

I got tilapia, corn and bean salad, edamame and garbanzo bean salad, chicken salad, roasted curry cauliflower, pasta salad, and some sort of grain salad in the top left that I don't remember. It was all delicious! Best part about Wegmans (for me anyway) is that I can get one spoonful of a lot of things.

Anyway, this week's eats:

Monday: lunch- leftover burger and mac and cheese

Tuesday: lunch- leftover lasagna
dinner- tuna melts

Wednesday: lunch- leftovers or sandwich and an apple
dinner- Crockpot Sesame Chicken with rice

Thursday: lunch- leftover chicken and rice
dinner: maybe out? or help yourself night

Friday: lunch- cheese and crackers and a banana
dinner- meatball subs

Saturday: fair day!

Our niece is showing her pig at the fair, so we will probably be there part of the day Saturday, and possibly Thursday as well. You will notice that none of these foods are particularly summery, and that is because the weather in Western NY is resembling a cool rainy Spring rather than warm summer. Oh well, at least we got rid of the high 90's weather we had a few weeks ago!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Pinterest Finds

It has been a while since I shared what I have been pinning! I wasn't on Pinterest much for a bit and decided it was better to wait until I had some good stuff to share rather than have short, skimpy posts. This post is mostly home decor (because I'm in a mood to make my house prettier than it is) and of course food, with a few random things thrown in.

Chevron Pillow from Target

Cute idea for closet doors

Decor for above the bed

Have you found anything good online lately? Any home decor ideas you are implementing?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mark of Athena and a Sunset

This week I finished two books! The first was The Mark of Athena, the third in a series by Rick Riordan. Even though this is a junior fiction series, I really enjoy Rick Riordan's writing and the Greek and Roman mythology he weaves in. I don't want to give away too much in case you aren't familiar with the series, but this book was a nice meshing of the first two, and the first time we see the different characters interact with one another. There were a few points that made me roll my eyes, but I think that was more because of the age level they are written for rather than cliche or poor writing. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars over on Goodreads.

The second was an audiobook I happened upon at the library, and I listened to it in about a week. It was Sherlock Holmes Radio Mysteries, and it was a recording of old radio broadcasts. I love anything Sherlock Holmes, so even though it was a little overdone and the mysteries were a little easier to figure out than some other Holmes books I've read, I still found it enjoyable. It also got a 4 star rating.

Speaking of Goodreads, at the beginning of the year I set a goal to read 50 books this year. I'm finding that goal very ambitious, especially since I was in school until May and had no time to read books outside of school assignments. So far I am at 19 books for the year, but I also realized that a lot of those books were very long. Hopefully I can sneak in a few quick reads to try and get back on track.

Last night we went out to dinner with friends to Cabana Sams. We hadn't been there before, and it was really neat to sit right on the water for dinner. We even snagged a table on the upper deck outside, so the view was nice for the whole meal. I had their Cubana Sam-wish, which was their version of a cuban. It was pretty good, but nothing spectacular. After dinner we look a stroll on the beach and the pier before heading home. I managed to snag a few photos:

It was actually pretty cool yesterday- I don't know if it got over 70, which is crazy because last week we were pushing mid to high 90s. Either way, the weather was nice and it was fun to try out a new place :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I feel like I have lots more knitting to show you than I have the past few weeks, and I'm not sure if that is because I have more free time, or because I'm not spending as much of that free time spinning for Tour de Fleece. Either way, I'm not complaining! Here's what I worked on this past week:

Dad's Socks saw quite a lot of work on them, and I'm pleased with how they are turning out. I hope to finish the pair by next week! This has to be the earliest I have finished a Christmas gift.

The other project I worked away on is new this week, a baby sweater:

This little sweater is a Drops pattern, and I'm liking how it is knitting up. The yarn isn't my favorite, but it isn't bad, and since it is going to a non-knitter and a new mom, I thought washable was key :) It would be nice if I could finish this by the end of the month as well, since I could turn it in for a HPKCHC class and because I have two large-ish projects slated for next month!

As I mentioned last week, I'm planning on participating in Camp Loopy for the month of August, and I selected the Barndom pattern to knit.

I ordered two skeins of Malabrigo Sock to go with a skein I already had, since I intended to make the 3 color version. However, now I'm wondering if I want to knit the two color version and end up with a smaller, slightly more wearable version. Looking at the pattern, there isn't a ton of difference between the two sizes (only 2-3 inches) and the only knitting difference is the last several rows, so I may not totally decide until I near the end of the shawl. Here are the three colors pictured together:

This photo is a little dark, but you get the idea. If I only used two colors I would use the brown and either the green or the red/orange, but I think the three go together nicely as well. Decisions, decisions!

Lastly, I finished skeining up my last handspun from Tour de Fleece. I can't remember what the fiber content is off hand, but it is nice and bulky and lofty.

I like it, and it was good experience to spin, but I don't love it. Maybe I will find the perfect project for it, or maybe I will sell it/give it away to someone who loves these colors more than I do. 

This post is linked up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Menu and Weekend Recap

This weekend was perfect- nice and relaxing. Since we had originally planned to be in Florida (trip was postponed until later this year) we had an open schedule, which almost NEVER happens. Friday I had the day off, so I went and visited the hubs who was at his grandmothers helping to prime and paint her shed roof. I visited with everyone for a bit, and then I got a text from a friend I hadn't seen in a while inviting me to run to Hobby Lobby with her. Totally last minute, but perfect! We just had a Hobby Lobby open about half an hour from us, and I hadn't been yet so I was totally game. It was a quick trip, but it was nice to catch up with her and her adorable son and also to shop at Hobby Lobby! The rest of the day the hubs and I relaxed at home- I think a lot of knitting and Tv watching ensued :)

Saturday I went in to work for a bit since the hubs was at work anyway, and then we worked outside and caught up on chores inside. Again, another lazy night relaxing- it was great! One thing that did get accomplished was I finished spinning the singles for my last skein for Tour de Fleece.

I tried very hard to keep this a bulky yarn, since most of what I spin in DK weight and thinner. Singles looked good!

We also finally hung the beautiful quilt/wall hanging that a family friend gave us for our wedding. Not only is it beautifully made, its super special because guests signed small pieces of fabric that make up the quilt. Between chasing after a few key people who hadn't signed fabric pieces, then the massive amount of time spent making it (Thanks again Margaret!) and then getting it and finding the right place to hang it, this thing has been a few years in the making. I'm so glad it found a spot in our home though!

Sunday we did a few things around the house after church and I finished plying the singles pictured above- this is one full bobbin!

I didn't get a chance to skein it up and soak it, but I feel proud of spinning 12oz for my first Tour de Fleece :)

We spent the rest of the day with Kris and Sara, who are old news to readers of this blog ;) After Sara and I grabbed groceries for the week, we sat in the basement with the boys while they honed their CoD skills.

Sara has finally decided to start a blog, which can be found at  Sara is tons of fun, and just shared a post about her week long anniversary trip to Tennessee. Check her out!

This week is looking good as far as eats go :)

Monday: lunch- salad with tomatoes, leftover grilled chicken, sliced turkey, and peppercorn ranch
dinner- salmon and veggie fried rice

Tuesday: lunch- leftovers
dinner- Dorito taco salad and corn on the cob

Wednesday: lunch- leftovers
dinner- out!

Thursday: lunch- salad with fruit
dinner- Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas and pasta salad

Friday: lunch- leftover pasta salad
dinner- out

Saturday: lunch- not sure

Also, I pinned a TON of stuff this weekend. I have the sudden urge to make my house really "lived in" by decorating, if that makes any sense. Even though we have lived here for two years, after the initial painting and fixing up of things, we haven't decorated much. I've decided that I want our home to be a space that makes us happy, so I looked for ideas yesterday. I also found a lot of inspiration from the book Young House Love. I may do a book review when I've finished it (almost there!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I caught a bout of finish-itis last week, and as a result I finished both of the projects I had been actively working on. The blanket, while finished, needs to be washed, so I don't have a photo of it yet. However, the dog sweater is all completed, and I even have cute modeled photos!

Diesel loves wearing it, even as hot as it is here right now. He will have to wait until Christmas though! It's getting packed away in the gift box until then.

Since I finished both of those I needed something new to work on. Before I cast on a new project I did make myself work a few rows on the stripey socks I've had going for months and months. I don't know what it is with these- I have about an inch left on the cuff of the second sock and the heel to do, but I can't get motivated to finish them. It might be because I worked on these socks a lot while I was at school, or maybe because it is too hot to think about wearing socks. Either way, they did see a tiny bit of progress. But what has really captured my time is a new pair of socks!

These are the Men's Socks for Giving Away, which is a pattern I totally recommend for man socks. They knit up quickly on DK weight yarn and size 5 needles. Notice my needles there? I picked up a set of Chiaogoo needles at Natural Stitches in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago when I got the yarn for this project (Berocco Vintage DK). I've had the same set of Knit Picks interchangeables for years now, and thought it was time to give something else a try. So far I like them, but I want to wait until the project is finished for a final verdict.

So, I had told myself that I wasn't going to do Camp Loopy this year. With everything we have had going on I thought that the House Cup and Tour de Fleece was plenty. But I got reading the blog post about project 3 that Sherri sent out... and next thing I knew I was researching patterns and yarns. I ended up ordering yarn to make Barndom by Stephen West. I am really excited about the colors I chose, and I can't wait to show them to you when they come in!

This post is linked up with Ginny's Yarn Along.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Menu

This weekend was pretty low key. It was the first weekend in a while that we didn't have a wedding, weren't going out of town, or weren't running from one thing to the next! Saturday, after a nice morning walk with the hubs I did stuff around the house and (finally) got some good knitting time in while the hubs was at drill. Sunday was family day, so we spent most of the day in Buffalo outside. It was pretty hot and humid, so it wasn't all that enjoyable, but overall the day wasn't too bad.

I've got a tasty week ahead! Check it out:

Monday: lunch- leftover pizza and a banana with mini brownie cups
dinner- leftovers/cereal

Tuesday: lunch- tuna salad and crackers with an apple
dinner- Grilled chicken with asparagus and zucchini on the grill

Wednesday: lunch- unsure
dinner- jumbo salads with leftover chicken and veggies

Thursday: lunch- subway
dinner- salmon and fried rice

Friday: lunch- I will be home so whatever I make myself!
dinner- grilled steak and potato and zucchini cakes

We had been hoping to go out of town this weekend to see my brother and sister-in-law and their new baby (she is SO cute!) but the timing ended up not working out, so we postponed the trip until later this year. However, this means that I have Friday off, and I think the hubs and I are going to tackle our office. Since it is on the 2nd floor it was been sadly neglected and a lot of junk has piled up. Maybe some before/after photos should happen?

I also have a family reunion coming up, and I'm going to need a few desserts to bring. Off to scour Pinterest boards! Any suggestions? I'm thinking a combo of decadent and summery treats.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

TDF Skein #1

I finished my first skein of Yarn for Tour de Fleece!

This is Into the Whirled English Shetland in the Sternennacht colorway.

Its about a fingering/sport weight yarn, and I got 330 yards of a chain ply from 4oz. I was really happy with that, especially since this was my second yarn spun on my wheel. The plying isn't perfect, but I'm sure it will make a nice project/ finished object someday.

I'm almost finished spinning my Sunshine yarns fiber into singles, hoping to ply tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This is going to be a quickie since I just walked in the door and have to walk back out really soon! I finished the baby blanket I have been working on. There are still some ends that need to be woven in and I might do some sort of border, but I'm considering it complete.

I'm still working on the dog sweater, but it hasn't gotten much love. That project will become my priority now though, so look for more progress next week!

I have been spinning a ton! I have a finished skein of yarn, but its not dry yet so that will have to wait. This is my current spin- Sunshine Yarns SW BFL in the Hogwarts at Night colorway. I love it!

Above is the second 2oz still in progress, and below is the first 2 oz.

Such awesome colors. I am loving spinning this fiber.

My next project has me starting my Christmas knitting! More info to follow :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Weekend Recap Part 2 and a Menu

Picking up where the last post left off, we woke up Saturday and drove to meet my brother and his fiance before heading up to Alexandria Bay. The wedding ceremony took place at Boldt Castle, which is on an island, so you take a ferry to get there. This is one of the smaller buildings on the island:

And this is the view of a castle as you come up in the ferry.

The wedding location was beautiful, and the bridesmaids and bride walked down the outside stairs on this building.

 Here you can see the matron of honor, flower girl, and bride making their way to the ceremony.

I didn't take too many other shots of the wedding itself, but it was beautiful and I'm sure the photos will be something they treasure for a long time. After the wedding we had some time before the reception started, so the four of us did a little exploring of the castle. I was having some shoe trouble (read: heels and outside wedding on an island with lots fo walking- what was I thinking???) so I didn't take to many photos.

After we had our fill of the island we headed back to the mainland to go to Bonnie Castle Resort, where our room reservation for the evening and the reception were.

It was a fairly small wedding (between 80-90 people) and the tables were decorated beautifully.

 My brother and his fiance (they will be doing this sometime next year!)

Friends Larry and Yolanda, who also sat at our table.

It got hard to take photos because of the lighting, but this is the bride and the groom with the bride's brother. 

It was a great wedding and it was nice to know so many people at the reception because I have known the bride and her family for a while now. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast with my parents, brother, and fiance and the North Star Restaurant. 
 I ordered their brocoli scramble, which was hash browns topped with scrambled egg, broccoli, and cheese sauce. YUM.

Afterwards we had planned to go on a boat tour of some of the islands, but since it was raining we decided to head to the Syracuse Mall. My dad was very interested in the racing Zach and I had talked about, so of course that happened.

Mom, Amy (my brother's fiance) and me waiting for the boys to race!

Random racing photos!

After hitting up a few stores and the food court for some lunch, we said good bye and drove home. It was a great weekend!

Now that I have to cook for myself again (what is it about vacation and eating out that makes cooking for yourself seem like such a drag?) we need a menu!

Monday: leftovers/random snacks

Tuesday: lunch- chicken noodle soup and cottage cheese (not together though!)
Dinner: Fish (I think salmon is what is in the freezer) with rice and a veggie

Wednesday: lunch- whatever I can come up with
Dinner- out

Thursday: lunch- undecided (maybe Subway?)
Dinner- Slow cooker BBQ chicken and pasta salad

Friday: lunch- leftovers
Dinner- homemade pizza and salads

This weekend should be fairly quiet, just working around the house and a family event with the hubs. Knitting and spinning progress tomorrow!