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.

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!

 

Long time coming

Well my friend Ashley came over and as I hoped I got some good finished objects pictures and we made some yummy desserts. We also watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I would highly recommend the book and the movie. I enjoyed both) and talked about what was going on in our lives so a good time was had by all.

So here are the pictures that I have been saying I would post for about a month now.

Well I have decided that I love the cowl the colors are perfect. They are just a nice pop of color in the dreary winter months. And again, it was wonderful to knit up. Such an easy and fun project.

Well I have decided that I love the cowl the colors are perfect. They are just a nice pop of color in the dreary winter months. And again, it was wonderful to knit up. Such an easy and fun project.

Here is my deja vu cowl.

Here is my deja vu cowl. I love it!

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Now here is my beautiful blue sweater. This is the one that gave me such a hard time with size. It ended up that the second time around modifications work perfectly.

Now here is my beautiful blue sweater. This is the one that gave me such a hard time with size. It ended up that the second time around modifications work perfectly.

I absolutely love the color of this sweater and though it caused me a lot of grief and I hated having to rip it out and start over the knit picks city tweed dk yarn is just lovely.

I absolutely love the color of this sweater and though it caused me a lot of grief and I hated having to rip it out and start over the knit picks city tweed dk yarn is just lovely, so it made ripping it out and starting over easier.

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Mainly what I did was follow the Emily Raglan Henley pattern the raglan equaled 9 in from the back of the neck, then I cast on 10 stitches under each underarm, placed a stitch marker in the middle of the 10 stitches and then the five that it called for in the front and then joined it in the round. After that I decreased on either side of the stitch maker under the center of each arm every 5 rows until it measured 16.25 in. Then I increased every 5 rows 3 times. Then I worked even until the in measured 23.5 in from the top to bottom and did a 2 in 1×1 rib. Then I followed the rest of the pattern except of the arm ribbing I only did a 2 in 1×1 rib.

Here's the hoarfrost test knit that I did for IvoryEve.

Here’s the hoarfrost test knit that I did for IvoryEve.

It was a super fun and easy knit and I really happy with the color of the hat. It was by far my favorite dye job.

It was a super fun and easy knit and I really happy with the color of the hat. It was by far my favorite dye job.

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Now that I got all of that out of the way now on to the yummy stuff. The first thing we made was this Berry Cobbler thing. It was super easy, only required 3 ingredients and the prep time was only 5 min. I liked it, it wasn’t my favorite thing that I have ever made, but I’m not a big cobbler person. Everyone else in my house liked it so it was a success.

 

The Berry Cobbler.

The Berry Cobbler.

The second thing we made was Golden Grahams S’mores. They were so yummy, I took them to work and gave it to the office staff  at the school, a coworker, and a friend of mine and they absolutely loved it. One person said it was like crack, overall it got a great reaction. It too is easy to make and has minimal ingredients, the other great thing about it is all you need to do is let it chill in the fridge for like 15 min. so it can get set and then you can devour it.

The Golden Graham S'mores.

The Golden Graham S’mores. We made these Thursday morning and this is all that’s left Friday night.

 

 

 

 

New Beginnings and Great Endings Part 2

Well I failed, I didn’t post as early as I was hoping, but in my defense, the week before last I babysat 4 different times in one week. The first job I did involved 3 kids, the second 2 kids, the third time 3 kids, and the fourth and last babysitting job consisted of 7 boys ranging from 2nd grade to 5th grade so with all of those babysitting jobs, work, and grad school work I was very tired and took this week as a week to recuperate and continue chugging on with homework, knitting, and school work.

I did on the other hand start the annis and the gemini though I haven’t taken a picture of the gemini yet because really all I have done is the cast on. Also I started working on/designing the baby owl hat and I finished the Mickey Mouse hat which I hope to get a true pattern written up soon.

Sadly I also failed because I still haven’t gotten good finished project pictures of my hoarfrost hat, my blue emily raglan sweater, my cupido, or my pink welted cowl. On the plus side I have a friend coming over this week who is better at taking pictures than my mom so I should get those pictures done and up later this week. Also the friend who is coming over is my friend Ashley who if you remember from past blogs, is the friend that we always try pinterest things so hopefully I will have some good posts coming up for you.

In the mean time here are some pictures of finished projects and works in progress.

Here's the annis, I am about halfway done with the the lace chart.

Here’s the annis, I am about halfway done with the the lace chart.

Here is the baby bunny hat I am working on. I just have to figure out what I am going to do with the ears.

Here is the baby bunny hat I am working on. I just have to figure out what I am going to do with the ears.

I finally finished my socks! Which means I have two out of four pairs finished for my goal this year!

I finally finished my socks! Which means I have two out of four pairs finished for my goal this year!

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And finally the finished Mickey Mouse hat!

And finally the finished Mickey Mouse hat!

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New Beginnings and Great Endings Part 1

So I know I have been slacking with this whole keeping up with a blog thing, but my life has been nothing but confusion and life decisions, mixed with stress and being super busy, and sprinkled with doubt. A lot happened in the month of February that kind of sent me reeling and it has taken me  a while to get a handle on things. I think my knitting like I said in my at a loss for words post has very much reflected my life. I saw it again this past week, I was working on socks and I was at the point of turning the heel, I hate turning the heel, but it brings on something new. Just like with my life I hate making big life decisions, but it brings on something new. Sometimes not always good things, but new things. Luckily with the sock whichever way I’m working either with top-down or toe-up it’s generally a good thing and though the decisions I’m making are hard, the choices I have made though mixed with some difficulty will work out best for me in the long run.

I don’t know why I have been looking at knitting so much and comparing it to my life, maybe it’s because I am just trying to make sense of things, and well knitting makes sense so I’m using it as metaphors for my life, I don’t know but strangely enough it does make sense. This blog is going to have two parts (which you probably guessed that there would be at least two due to the title). I’m making it two parts first off to make me take finished project pictures of me wearing my beautiful blue sweater (Emily Henley Raglan), my hoarfrost test knit, my deja vu cupido, and my for the love of pink welted cowl, secondly to put me back on a reasonable blogging schedule, and thirdly to challenge me to start two new projects for myself.

The projects I want to start are the the annis and the gemini. I initially wanted to work on the gemini for March and the annis for April, and well I know that I will definitely keep close to those guide lines some with gemini being my first priority, I just really want to start the annis. I don’t know why I have such a strong need to start it, but I do. I also really want to start the citron, mainly because I think it would be a good textbook reading project where the annis will not be, the jury is still out if it will be started. So that covers the first part of the title and I hope to have pictures of them started and blog about them by Thursday.

The freshly balled yarn for the gemini, annis, and citron

The freshly balled yarn for the gemini, annis, and citron.

So the great endings part of the title is what I want to elaborate on some tonight because yes I need to blog and post pictures of the finished projects that I spoke about about, but I have a few other finished projects that I do have pictures of and can show you right now.

The is my I'm seeing green hat better know as the whittier hat that my sister requested.

The is my I’m seeing green hat better know as the whittier hat that my sister requested.

Here's my let's get down to business, business casual socks that were part of celticcastons KAL. I finished them and I absolutely love them. I will totally make another pair. They are just so easy, the pattern is so well written, and the finished product looks great.

Here’s my let’s get down to business, business casual socks that were part of celticcastons KAL. I finished them and I absolutely love them. I will totally make another pair. They are just so easy, the pattern is so well written, and the finished product looks great.

I know I have mentioned in the past that I had quiet a back log on orders for knitted items for people, well I have a few new ones, but I have started some and finished others. So here are some of the ones that are finished or in the works.

A baby owl hat for my coworkers baby cousin. The owl hat is one of my designs.

A baby owl hat for my coworkers baby cousin. The owl hat is one of my designs.

This is that started fingerless cabled gloves that some people requested. I am designing it myself and so far I really like it.

This is that started fingerless cabled gloves that some people requested. I am designing it myself and so far I really like it. In this picture you can’t really get a good idea of what the cables look like, but I hope when I finish it will show up better in different lighting.

I still have at least 1 maybe 3 more pairs of the fingerless gloves I have pictured about, a baby bunny hat to make/design, and a mickey mouse hat to make/partially design. I hope to get the Mickey Mouse hat done by the end of the week and get the bunny started this week too.