Lot’s of new pretties

So this post is basically just going to be lots of pictures of new yarn and the stuff I got in the mail today from freckled fawn. First up is yarn from Luna Grey Fiber Arts. I got this yarn to treat myself for doing so well in my first semester of grad school while balancing work and everything else that I do. All of the skeins from Luna Grey that I got are from her astro line they are fingering weight and 75% wool 25% nylon.

The colorway of this yarn is ripe peach. I got it to make the different lines shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is ripe peach. I got it to make the different lines shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is called charcoal and I got it to pair with ripe peach in the different lines shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is called charcoal and I got it to pair with ripe peach in the different lines shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is called enchanted. I plan to use it to make the crystal chandelier shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is called enchanted. I plan to use it to make the crystal chandelier shawl.

The colorway of this yarn is called Ionian2. I have no true pattern in mind for it, but it was just too pretty to pass up.

The colorway of this yarn is called Ionian2. I have no true pattern in mind for it, but it was just too pretty to pass up.

I can’t wait to cast on using one of these skeins of yarn, they are all so lovely and soft. Another incentive to buy as much yarn as I did was the fact that Jackie from Luna Grey was running a spring special where in you spend over 50 you get free shipping so that also was and incentive.

The next yarn I purchased, I got at the local yarn store down in Charleston, West Virginia. My friend and I met up down there this past weekend and had a lovely time as usual. I always look forward to those Saturday hangouts that we get to set up about once every two or three months. It was cut short this time because I had to babysit but we both got some lovely yarn, ate some delicious pizza, and had a yummy coffee at the locally owned bookstore/coffee shop.

I got this yarn from the yarn shop to make the Sperry. The colorway is called Mallard. Is nature spun brown sheep yarn. I just love the cones they sell because you get so much yarn for a decent price.

I got this yarn from the yarn shop to make the Sperry. The colorway is called Mallard. Is nature spun brown sheep yarn. I just love the cones they sell because you get so much yarn for a decent price.

This is Natures Spun colorway snow. I got it to do the contrasting stripes for the Sperry sweater. I absolutely love the look of the Sperry sweater and can't wait to get started on it.

This is Natures Spun colorway snow. I got it to do the contrasting stripes for the Sperry sweater. I absolutely love the look of the Sperry sweater and can’t wait to get started on it.

The last skein of yarn I wan to show you is something I am very excited about! Recently The Plucky Knitter held a giveaway, and I was lucky enough to win a skein of yarn and a pattern to go with it (the pattern is curtain call cowl). I have been wanting to try some Plucky yarn for awhile so I am very grateful and excited I won this skein. The funny thing is how I won the prize, I won it by telling one of my favorite jokes. This is the joke: What do you get when you mix alcohol and literature?Tequila Mockingbird.

Okay now on to the yarn, it is there traveler sport yarn which is beautiful, soft, and oh so pretty. It is made up of 65% merino wool, 20% silk, and 15% yak. It is just wonderful, what’s even better is the color. It is called November skies and it is like it was made for me. They picked the yarn out for me so I had no clue what color I was getting, but when it arrived I couldn’t have been more thrilled, it’s like they knew who I was and what my favorite color was.

Isn't it pretty?

Isn’t it pretty? I’m not sure if I will use it with the pattern I won with it, but I can’t wait to find the perfect pattern for it!

So that’s all of my new yarn. Yes it seems like a lot, but at least one skein I won, and with the others I have projects picked for all but one of them. In my mind as long as I have a project in mind for it and the money to spare I don’t care going on yarn binges every now and then. I don’t do it too awful much, but sometimes I just get in that kind of mood where I just want to buy every single skein of yarn I see that I think is soft and beautiful.

Now on to my freckled fawn purchase. I first hear of the freckled fawn through luvinthemommyhoods blog. She was showing all of her goodies and well I was in love. I had put off purchasing anything through them because I had no need for anything, I had been wanting some washi tape, but I didn’t NEED it. Then on my instagram they posted a picture that they were doing 5 dollar washi tape grab bags, a retail value of 20 dollars and I knew I couldn’t pass it up. So I bought two grab bags and decided to get some bakers twine while I was at it because I had been wanting some of it too, and their bakers twine was only five dollars they had tones of colors and they gave you a whole roll of it. So here’s some pictures of my new stuff! I just got it in the mail today!

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Aren’t they pretty, especially since they were just from a grab bag! I’m not in love with the plain orange and the plain yellow but I will use them and well all the other I love. I can’t believe I got four rolls of it for only 5 dollars each. Such a steal!

So to finish of this post I just figured I would show you my basket of all of my new yarn because I think they are just so pretty  and inspiring all together and some pictures of my new succulent plants.

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Strawberries

Growing up I have always loved strawberries, but I never knew I could love strawberries so much until last week. Last Thursday my Mom, Aunt, and I woke up and went strawberry picking at a local farm called Stacy’s at 7 in the morning. The only reason I was okay with getting up that early was the thought of fresh strawberries and the fact my Mom told me I could make the fresh strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream icing. So as soon as we got to the farm and opened the doors you could already smell the strawberries, I was in love. We ended up picking berries for about an hour and a half, the results of an hour and a half picking was my mom and I coming away with roughly 66 lbs of strawberries and my aunt had roughly 33 lbs of strawberries.

The back of my Aunt's car right before we left.

The back of my Aunt’s car right before we left.

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After we got home my friend Marissa and I cleaned some strawberries and put them in our cereal. We were both pretty sure that was the best cereal we had ever had.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds and fresh picked strawberries.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds and fresh picked strawberries.

After we ate breakfast we got cleaned up to go out and get some ingredients so we could make the fresh strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream icing. While we were gone my mom went to work removing the caps to all the strawberries because we got most of the strawberries to make jam with. Some of the strawberries were saved to eat fresh, for the cupcakes, for two pies, and to make some smoothies.

So about the cupcakes. They were amazing! This was the first time I have ever made cupcakes and icing from scratch. Marissa and I were in heaven and everyone who tried them said they were amazing. One friend of mine said “it’s like a party in my mouth.” Needless to say there were a hit and will totally become a strawberry season tradition. Making the cupcakes though made me really wish I had a kitchenaid mixer. It would have been ideal, I ended up blowing out my moms little cheap mixer and having to run up to my aunts to finish the icing with her kitchenaid mixer.

The amazing batter.

The amazing batter.

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Marissa with all of the cupcakes.

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The pretty finished product. It was so good!

I would recommend that recipe to anyone. After all of the cupcakes were gone, either from us eating them, family get together, or me giving them away to friends my mom made a homemade strawberry pie. The pie filling recipe came from my grandma and boy was it good.

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The pretty pie.

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This is my nephew. He decided to eat the pie like it was a piece of pizza.

All the strawberries are either gone or in the freezer already mashed waiting to be turned into jam, which though the jam is good I am totally missing the fresh strawberries, but I over heard my mom saying that she may go picking again before the season is over to make some more pies. I can only hope.

Do you have any good strawberry recipes? Have you ever had fresh hand picked strawberries?

Cruising

The past few weeks I have been incredibly productive, I have been just “cruising” through projects. I just finished my second project for the tee’s, top’s, and tank’s KAL. My Mackinac Attack Tank is complete! Now I am not super thrilled with the pictures, so I plan on retaking them, but here’s two so you can at least see the finished project.

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Overall I really enjoyed this tank top. The pattern was super easy and the ruffles were a lot of fun. I felt so accomplished and proud after I finished the ruffles. I also really liked the shaping, I can’t really explain but it wasn’t right along where the seam would be like most of the shaping I have encountered. One thing I did change was I made it in the round-up to the armpits and then I worked the front and back separately.  By doing that it I was able to knit it up faster, and well I hate seams so I actually finished it instead of it getting put to the side.

Now the KAL is supposed to end this coming Wednesday the 22nd, but I have a feeling there will be at least a 1 week extension. So with that in mind I have decided to start project number 3 of this KAL, which is… The love braid cardigan.

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I may or may not get it finished by the end of this KAL, but I can at least get it started. With me starting this cardigan it makes me feel accomplished, because that means I will have knit up or at least started to knit up almost all of the yarn from my last knitpicks purchase. It only leaves two skeins of sock yarn, which were both kind of impulse buys and have no distinct project in mind, but the wonderful thing about sock yarn is that it can always end up being socks.

With starting cardigan I will still have that, the annis, a pair of socks, the helix scarf, a pair of fingerless gloves, and my Gemini on the needles. So I still have 6 projects on the needles, none of them getting much attention except for my newly started cardigan and the Gemini. Not all of the attention the Gemini is getting is good though, the Gemini is causing me a lot of stress because I am afraid it will be too big. At the current moment the Gemini fits just fine, actually kind of snugly, but I heard linen has a tendency to grow. I have never worked with linen before so I didn’t know that I should wash my swatch before starting the project, I mean I know you should wash your swatch as a general rule, but I never do. So now I am concerned that it is going to be too big. I think I am going to make up a swatch and wash it to see how much it grows. I really hope it doesn’t grow more than an inch because I am over halfway done with the body and would really hate to have to rip it out.

Sunshine+Chalk=Happiness

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Well today at work was a lot of fun! We got a new box of crayola chalk, the new chalk that they keep advertising having all sorts of beautiful colors. Well it’s true, and they were so much fun to doodle with today. Needless to say I took full advantage of the new chalk and the lovely sun that was out today. The sun has been hiding from us since I think about Sunday, all it’s been doing is raining. The kids, my coworker, and I were very happy to be back outside again!

In other news my Mackinac tank is coming along beautifully! It is my second project for the luvinthemommyhood‘s Top’s, Tanks, and Tees KAL. I decided to make it in the round instead of flat and it is working out wonderfully so far. I am already about 9 inches in!

Here is the Mackinac Attack thus far!

Here is the Mackinac Attack thus far!

I’m not too sure about the color. It may be too orange for me, I bought the yarn online through knitpicks and I thought it looked a little bit more red in the picture. I may try over dying it with a red RIT dye, over course I would try the over dye on a swatch first. I don’t know though, I have never over dyed before. The yarn content is 60% pima cotton and 40% modal. I guess I will need to see the tank on to make a true decision on it though.

What do you think? Should try to over dye a swatch? Do you like the color? Have you ever over dyed, if so do you have any tips?

Done!

*Cue dramatic celebratory music*

I am done with my first semester of grad school and I couldn’t be more relieved or happy! Sadly I will start back up in about two weeks, but this is a much needed break!

Besides being done with grad school the fact that I have two finished projects recently finished makes everything even more exciting.

Here are the promised finished project pictures:

The pistachio robot aka the cap sleeve lattice top!

The pistachio robot aka the cap sleeve lattice top, from Purl Soho. My first finished project for the Top’s, Tanks, and Tee’s KAL with luvinthemommyhood.

 

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Here’s a run down on all of the modification’s I made for the cap sleeve lattice top, I already posted part of this and it is all on my ravelry page, but here it is again:

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.

The split-
So after the body equaled 16 in. I split the work into front and back which is where the stitch markers on the side come in handy again. You put 99 stitches on scrap yarn and you work on the other 99.

Lattice-
So I followed the lattice pattern once I split the work into front and back. I started with the ws row like the pattern called for, so the inside of the sweater. Once I knit about 5.25 in. I continued to follow the pattern except with how many stitches they left for the arms, and bound off for the neck.

-Neck I left 25 sleeve stitches and bound off 49 stitches for the neck and then 25 for the other sleeve. Then I continues with the lattice and once I got to 5.25 in. and I used the kitchner stitch to connect the lattice to the rest of the body. I ended up connecting directly after a lace row and it was fine.

I ended up having an entire skein of the pistachio (MC) left over and about a ball and a half of the (CC)

Now on to the Strathcona which I didn’t alter at all! I love it and the Riveting yarn from Kollage is fabulous considering it is cotton, and the fact that it is from recycled blue jean makes it even better!

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And here's the strathcona!

And here’s the strathcona from Jane Richmond!

Have you finished anything recently? What’s on your needles? Have you modified any patterns? Did the modifications come out well?

Busy busy busy

With my first semester of grad school coming to a close this coming Wednesday, I have found myself with a ton of work left to do. Happily though I have procrastinated (I admit it) everything has been getting turned in by there due dates. A great example of that is I finished my 15 page paper with 15 minutes to spare before the turn in deadline last night. Nothing like cutting it close.

Besides all of my school work we had a yard sale this weekend and I helped to work it. We had a surprisingly amazing turnout. I was shocked. I had 5 tubs of clothing that I laid out for sale and I only have about 2 tubs left that will go to charity. Plus I sold two of my old tennis rackets, my CD player, mp3 player, DVD player, some books, a shower curtain I bought for when I was in the dorms, and an old rug.

Also now that I am coaching I have come to realize that my life has gotten quite busy. I really do enjoy coaching though, the girls are all really sweet, they need a lot of work though. But heck they are all under the age of 8 so it’s not too bad considering there age. They have lost every game by at least 5 points I think.

In more exciting news my nephews team has lost two games, tied one, and won one today. The part that makes them winning today even more fantastic is that my nephew hit his first out of the park home run, bringing in another player. My brother-in-law said that it was over 200 yards. I’m so proud of him!

So between Levi’s baseball and the softball team I help coach, I am at the ball fields around 4 to 5 times a week on average. When you add in work and grad school my free time has been cut in like half.

Even with that being said I have gotten my Strathcona and my Lattice Cap Sleeve top (Pistachio Robot) finished. Here are pictures of them on my bed, I hope to get out and take some pictures with me actually wearing them some time soon.

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I’m really please with both and once I get pictures of me modeling them I will post more about each individual one.

Also I promised to show some of my most recent yarn purchases so here it is:

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