Weekend Craziness

Well I am exhausted, burnt, and sore.  I so wish I could have an extra day to recoup from this weekend, but as it is I have already technically had a 3 day weekend. Friday the kids had no school, which meant that I was babysitting so I babysat two little girls for roughly 7 hours. Not “working in the since of through my employer” is what I mean by technically having a three-day weekend but I actually worked more hours on Friday than I do regularly. By that evening I wasn’t feeling really well, so I went to be early, then I woke up nice and early again, but not as early at 6 on Friday, but 9 which isn’t horrible and went to the ball fields. I coached softball for about an hour and a half and then went to watch a friends kid play and chat. After that I went and watched my nephew play. So all in all I was at the ball fields for about 6 hours give or take playing with kids and swinging them around and watching baseball without any sun screen because we had none at my house and I wasn’t really thinking about it. Needless to say I am a pale red-head and I got BURNT! Then that night I ended up getting asked to babysit about 5 hours watching 5 boys which is fun but exhausting. Then again today I was at the ball field for another two hours to watch my nephew. I am BEAT! Oh and in case you are wondering my nephew has another game tomorrow and the team I help coach has a game on Tuesday, and I go back to work so no break in sight.
Me at my babysitting job Saturday night with their cute little puppy Ginger.

Me at my babysitting job Saturday night with their cute little puppy Ginger. This picture surprisingly does not show how truly burnt I am.

But on the plus side I have been able to get a lot of work done on my Pistachio robot while babysitting and while watching baseball.
So far everything is going according to plan with my pistachio robot. Since I am working on32 in  needles that are not interchangeable  I can not try it on as I go yet, but I have compared it to a shirt that I bought and a sweater I have made and it seems to be matching up to the size I was hoping for.

When I picked this top I knew I was going to be making some pretty major modifications to it. I have read through some of the other FO’s that have been modified, but from what I saw most of them were size small and well I am a medium so I am taking some things others have said and making it my own.

Cast On-
I decided to knit it in the round because I don’t like to seam and I think it goes faster. So I cast on 198 stitches, I put a stitch marker in the middle so it has 99 stitches on either side of the stitch marker and I placed a stitch marker when I joined in the round.

I followed the eyelet section like it was written, but since it was in the round at the end of the round you need to yo then k2tog, after you k2tog you are at the stitch marker, you need to remove it k1 then pm again. Then you will have 99 stitches on either side of the stitch markers again.

Body-
I prefer things to have a more fitted look so besides casting on fewer stitches I have also done some waist decreasing and increasing. After knitting 4 in. (including the ribbing) I started decreasing. Since my starting point is one of the sides I did a k1, k2tog then knit until 3 stitches before stitch marker ssk, K1, sm, k1, k2tog, then knit until 3 stitches before stitch marker ssk, k1. I did that every 5 rows (about an 1 inch between each) 4 times total. Then I knit 3 inches and started my increases. I started at the same spot for the dec and did a k1 m1 knit until a stitch before marker m1, k1, sm, k1 m1, knit until 1 stitch before marker m1 k1. I did the inc every 5 rows, for a total of 4 times. Then I knit until the body equals 16 in. including the ribbing.

I am about 3 inches from the 16 in. mark and then I will separate the front and back to make the arm holes and work on the lattice portion

My progress so far!

My progress so far!

Though I have had a long weekend it has been great, even if I did kind of complain about it in the beginning of this post. This weekend I got to knit which I love, coach softball which I love softball, watch my nephew play baseball which I love, and I got to spend time with friends, family, and kids that I absolutely adore. Today in church my priest talked about love, and one thing that he said that really stuck out to me (that I have heard before, but is a great reminder) is that you need to do everything in love. This weekend for me was a weekend of love and not just because I got to do what I like to do, but because I got to show love and share love with others. I think the best part about my babysitting jobs and the after school care job that I have is the fact that I get to spend time with kids, and play with them, and listen to them, and show them that I care about them. The priest read a quote from Mother Teresa that I have heard before and absolutely love, it is: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” That’s a great quote to live by, but hard to live up to.

Here’s a music video from one of my favorite artist’s I hope you enjoy. Oh and in posts to come I have some new yarn to show you!

What have you been up to? Was your weekend really busy? Did you get to work on any knitting projects?

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Glutton for Punishment

Well my plans for a big weekend of crafting essentially got destroyed by the amount of homework I had to do, because well I have been procrastinating A LOT! I ended up getting to work on my Gemini some and I am about halfway done with the body of it, so that’s exciting. I did work on the Strathcona some this weekend, but last night I got to work on it and I am all the way to the garter part so the next time I get to sit down and seriously work on it I will probably finish it up. Which is super exciting because I really would like another finished objects because well my works in progress pile is getting rather larger, and all of them are considerably larger projects. I also made my friends card and necklace, which turned out really well in my opinion.

The card and the necklace. They ended up being color coordinated but that is mainly because those colors are our favorite colors.

The card and the necklace. They ended up being color coordinated but that is mainly because those colors are our favorite colors.

 

In other news the Spring Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL with luvinthemommyhood started on Wednesday and I cast the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top. I also plan on making the Mackinac tank. I really hope that I can get both of those projects done and the Gemini, Strathcona, and Annis by the end of May. For those of you counting besides the four things I have mentioned above that are on going I also have 3 other projects on needles. I really need  to finish some projects.

Here's my Gemini so far!

Here’s my Lime Gemini so far!

Here's the lattice top or as I like to call it due to the two colorways I am using A Pistachio Robot

Here’s the lattice top or as I like to call it due to the two colorways I am using A Pistachio Robot.

So besides all of the knitting going on I still have plenty of homework to do, after Monday though it will mostly be reading which means I will be able to knit while I am doing it. On top of that baseball season starts Saturday so because I love my nephew I will be going to those games 2 to 3 times a week. Also I am helping to coach a 8 and under girls softball team, I am really excited for that! I love and miss softball so much, it will be nice to get to be involved with the sport again.

And for your viewing pleasure some pictures I took this past week of the flowers blooming outside my house.

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What have you been up to? Have you been procrastinating on anything?

Big Plans

Well this weekend I have big knitting and jewelry making plans, on top of the fact that I would like to work on my crocheting skills some.

Everything I want to work on this weekend.

Everything I want to work on this weekend. My gemini, my strathcona, look through the knitscene because it has some articles I would really like to read, fix a necklace, and make a necklace for a friend. Also I would like to make up some cards and write to a few friends.

All of that is all well in good, but I have an obstacle standing in my way. That obstacle is called the end of the semester grad school paper fiasco, as with most college students when warm weather hits with the combination of the end of semester fast approaching I have less and less desire to actually do homework. So I have a stack of homework, papers, and reading I need to do, but I have new yarn and very exciting summer projects to cast on.

Here is the dreaded stack of homework.

Here is the dreaded stack of homework. I don’t know if I talked about this before, but grad school is a lot more work than undergrad and the professors are way more critical.

Well even though I have that homework I still plan on doing everything I want to do this weekend and the homework. Wish me luck on completing all of my endeavors.

Something lacey and something sweet

Well I think I have officially come out of hibernation mode. Honestly March was a rough month, February was too, but there was just something about March, I just wanted to stay buried under my covers and do nothing. All of that is in the past, I am starting to eat like a rabbit again as my family would like to put it (fruits, salads, veggies, super healthy organic stuff), I have been itching to start running seriously again, and I am knitting a lot again. I have a whole list of summer knitted items that I want to make/am in the process of making, which is really rare for me because I generally don’t like knitting spring/summer stuff because first off  I generally don’t  like working with plant fibers  and secondly because I usually don’t find many if any patterns that I would actually wear. That is not the case this year, Knitscene’s summer 2013 magazine is out and boy is it amazing! The front cover pattern is beautiful and there are a ton of other patterns that are to die for. Also I feel like people are really stepping it up on spring and summer knitwear this year, I have seen quite a few really great patterns come up on ravelry too, some free and some for sale.

Just recently I have restarted the gemini from Jane Richmond, I ended up ripping it out and re-gauging because I just had a bad feeling, the bad feeling was confirmed and everything is back on track with it. The bad feeling I had was that I got the gauge wrong because I wasn’t using the needle size the pattern called for I was using two sizes down, I don’t know why my gauge came out so wrong the first time, but I went back up to the original needle size and I am much happier. Also just this past weekend I finished the Something Lacey Shrug from Vera Sanon. I pushed myself to get it done this past weekend because it is starting to get up to the 70’s and 80’s here and I wanted something to go over my shoulders so I could wear spaghetti strap tank tops to work. Essentially I could wear them without it, because I am not affiliated with the school, but I just feel more comfortable to have my shoulders covered.

Here's my Something Lacey Shrug.

Here’s my Something Lacey Shrug.

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For some odd reason the flash came on during this picture and totally washed me out, but I kept it because it was my only side view shot I got.

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Here's a close up of the back.

Here’s a close up of the back.

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Overall I really like the shrug, it was a super quick and easy knit. I would be great for a person who has never done lace before and wanted to give it a try. The lace pattern is super easy to follow and after the first set I had it memorized so I didn’t have to keep checking with the pattern. The lace is knit in a flat rectangle, blocked, sewn together, and then the ribbing was picked up. One thing I was surprised by was the fact that I made a medium and I was all but sure that I would need three ball of the yarn I bought and I only ended up needing 2. The yarn I used was great and I really enjoyed working with it, it is called Illaris from Marisol yarns. It is a 100% pima cotton yarn, and it was just wonderful to work with, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer cotton yarn. It wasn’t harsh or hard on your hands which cotton can be sometimes.

Besides all of the knitting and jewelry making  I have been doing, I have also been making food and finding healthy recipes to try out. Today though I made homemade peanut butter, I have been wanting to make this peanut butter recipe for a few years now. I got the recipe from a friend who ran the kitchen at this really amazing place called Nazareth Farms. Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community open not only to Catholics and they hold service-retreats in rural West Virginia. It’s corner stones are simplicity, community, service, and prayer. One of the ways they promote simplicity is by making whatever they can by hand and living off of the land as much as possible. So they make their own peanut butter so long story short that is where I got the recipe from, except I tweaked it some, but it is still super yummy and simple.

Here's my homemade peanut butter in the food processor.

Here’s my homemade peanut butter in the food processor.

Here's a picture of it in the container I'm storing it in.

Here’s a picture of it in the container I’m storing it in.

It is made up of: 4 cups peanuts and 3 tablespoons of honey. I made way more of it, but that’s just the starter recipe. All you do is throw the peanuts in the food processor until they get to a creamy consistency then put the honey in, let it mix for a  minute or so and then put it in a storage container/eat it. What makes this peanut butter even better is the fact that the honey came from bee hives on our property.

The honey from our bee hives.

The honey from our bee hives.

Well I hope you all have been having a good week so far and if you try the peanut butter recipe let me know! I would love to hear what you think of it!

 

Spring has sprung

Fun fact daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. This picture was taken in my front yard.

Fun fact daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. This picture was taken in my front yard.

Well most recently my life has basically been consumed by grad school work, which is kind of miserable, but also good because it means the end of the semester is in sight. But though I have been consumed by school work with all of this nice spring weather I have been really inspired. I have been so inspired that I started making jewelry again. I haven’t made any new jewelry since November and those were just copies of ones I have already made.

In the past two days I have made 5 new necklaces and fixed two for various reasons mainly because I thought something looked sloppy. So here’s some pictures of the newly finished projects and a group shot of all of my necklaces that I have made and still have in my possession at the current moment.

All of my necklaces together.

All of my necklaces together. I just love how they all look when they are together like that.

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This one and the next one I made because I saw Eliza from if&any make some and I really liked them and wanted to make one or two for me.

This one and the next one I made because I saw Eliza from if&any make some and I really liked them and wanted to make one or two for me.

Here's the second one I made. I personally like the first one better.

Here’s the second one I made. I personally like the first one better. And the one to the right is another new necklace I made.

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Here’s a group shot of all of the new necklaces.

And well this I think is my favorite out of all of the new ones I made this week so far.

And well this I think is my favorite out of all of the new ones I made this week so far.

 

In other news my friend Alicia and I started our KAL together via skype on April 1st. We had a lovely time skyping and knitting together and then this past weekend I went down to visit with her and some other friends. Basically for the whole day Saturday and part of Sunday we worked on our strathcona (a Jane Richmond design) scarves. At the current moment I am over halfway done. I just passed the center mark of the scarf. Overall I really love the pattern, which seems to be the general feeling I have for all of Jane Richmond’s designs. I just love the aesthetic to them, they are just a fun simple knit with just enough of a twist to make them interesting. This scarf is no different the design of it is great and I can’t wait to finish it so I can wear it, it’s definitely is going to be a go to spring/summer scarf in my close, but I doubt I will only limit it to those two seasons.

Now it’s not only the pattern and design that makes a project great, but a good yarn makes a lot of difference and boy is this yarn wonderful. I usually don’t like working with cotton yarns, but this yarn is totally an exception to the rule. The yarn is Riveting from Kollage yarns it is 100% recycled yarn from recycled blue jeans. My friend Alicia and I are both super happy with this yarn and know that we will use it again, we were considering using it to make a 3/4 length cardigan or something.

Here's a pictured of my Strathcona so far.

Here’s a pictured of my Strathcona so far.

Over all I love this scarf, pattern, design, and yarn and totally recommend it to anyone.