And it begins…

Today is the start of the luvinthemommyhood summer sweater KAL, and boy am I excited. I have been waiting for this KAL for a while now because I knew it would be great motivation to start and finish my grace and Thea Colman’s chocolate stout. If you would be interested in joining the KAL you can join here.

I am planning on using the madelintosh yarn in charcoal that I talked about awhile back for the grace by Jane Richmond.

Madelintosh colorway charcoal to make the Grace cardigan

Madelintosh colorway charcoal to make the Grace cardigan

Then I am planning on using this cascade eco in the colorway coffee for the chocolate stout. I have actually swatched both yarns for each project and started my chocolate stout today, pictures of the progress will be put up later.

With all of these new projects starting today I have been busy finishing up so works in progress the past few days. I finished the Long Sands Cardigan from Amy Christoffers and I have the Abate almost finished up (it will be done tonight) and I have finally gotten good photos of my gemini and different lines shawl. So here’s some pictures of the gemini, different lines shawl, and long sands cardigan.

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The Gemini

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I am also participating in the summer wharf and bradbury KAL in the plumdandi ravelry group. I am making the bradbury in some stashed Jagger Spun that has been sitting around in the stash for far to long. I am through the first set of lace and I have two more to go and so far I am really enjoying it.

The Bradury thus far.

The Bradury thus far.

On top of all of this fun knitting I will be wrapping up my second semester of grad school in the next few weeks, only two papers, an article discussion, 100 pages to read and a test standing in my way, then I will get a short break.

Too much knitting…

Recently people have been telling me I knit too much, and you know sometimes I think they are right. But you know I always have my knitting. So here is what is going on in my knitting world because though I have been absent again from blogging, I have not quite knitting no matter how many times I have been told I knit too much.

This past Sunday I finished my different lines shawl, and well I love it! It is just so pretty and the Luna Grey yarn though it started out a little rough once I washed it, it softened right up. The pattern was super easy to follow also, overall great yarn and great project.

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I will try to get some non-camera phone pictures as soon as possible.

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I was only able to do 13 stripes because I would have run out of yarn doing the 14th, but other than that I couldn’t be happier.

Since my last post besides finishing the shawl I also worked more on my abate and stated two other sweaters. The Pontos from the yarnaid and the ease from Alicia Plum.

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Here’s the Ease, I absolute love it so far. This is my homework knitting project though so I only work on it while I’m reading textbooks.

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Here’s the Pontos, so far it is rather enjoyable and has an easy mesh/lace pattern to follow.

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Here’s the Abate which is for my niece. It is so close to being finished!

And just in case I don’t have too many projects or especially sweaters going I am planning on starting Amy Christophers Long Sands Cardigan in billow from Knitpicks.

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The color is spearmint.

The color is spearmint.

And when I think I knit too much I think about this quote:

“the desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”

Real life

Well I’m alive. Sorry for being away for so long, but this time I actually have a good reason for being gone for so long. On June 11 I started working 8 hour days 5 days a week, my nephew has had ball games almost every night and tournaments on the weekends, family has come in to visit and I took a mini vacation to Cedar Point with my family, then when I got back from Cedar Point I got sick and I am actually still recovering. Tonight is actually my first free night in I don’t know how long. I have been nothing, but exhausted and have gotten very little knitting done, especially since on top of all that I has been going on I am still taking grad classes. So far classes have been going well though.

I don’t have any pictures of my finished fingerless gloves or gemini to show you because I haven’t found a time where I actually look decent to take them, but here are some pictures of my on going new works in progress, some pictures from Cedar Point, and my new favorite kitchen appliance.

Different Lines shawl from Veera Välimäki. I am using my luna grey ripe peach and charcoal.

Different Lines shawl from Veera Välimäki. I am using my Luna Grey ripe peach and charcoal.

Here:s the Abate that I am making for my niece Olivia, the designer is Alicia Plum from Plum Dandi Designs. I am a big fan of almost all of her designs, but not until recently have I purchased anything of hers, but expect to see a lot more projects from her designs soon. This will essentially be Olivia's Christmas gift.

Here:s the Abate that I am making for my niece Olivia, the designer is Alicia Plummer from Two Little Plums Designs. I am a big fan of almost all of her designs, but not until recently have I purchased anything of hers, but expect to see a lot more projects from her designs soon. This will essentially be Olivia’s Christmas gift.

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Here’s the sunset from the shore of the lake at Cedar Point.

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The Ferris Wheel during the day at Cedar Point.

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The Ferris Wheel, Swings, and Wicked Twister at night at Cedar Point.

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The new Kitchenaid mixer that my mom bought because I burnt up her crappy little hand one. I love this mixer and have big plans for it. I have already made about 3 to 4 dozen cookies with it!

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.

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!