New Month

Well the month of WIP’s ended and then this happened:

IMG_5057

IMG_5059

IMG_5060The first picture is the Grace cardigan by Jane Richmond. This is the second time I am making it, this time it is for a family friend. The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light colorway antique lace.

The second picture is the Lady Bat by Teresa Gregorio. The yarn is KnitPicks shine colorway robot.

The third picture is just a swatch of what will soon become a Trillian.

As you can probably guess I haven’t touched a WIP since I finished my last one in March, I still have a few left and I hope to get them off of the needles soon. The Grace needs to be finished because it is a gift. The Lady Bat was started because I am itching to start working on warm weather garments and the trillion is part of  a KAL that I will talk about in another post.

What have you been working on? Have you been neglecting any WIP’s?

When life slows down

So my life has finally slowed down, as I posted last time I have gotten to go out antiquing and have been able to take some much needed me time to knit and relax. This past Monday I finished up my 2nd semester of grad school which has given me a lot of free time, but my nephews baseball season is over. This baseball season was probably the best year my nephew has had, I think in regular season they only last 4 or 5 out of I think around 18 games and tied one of those. Then his tournament team won like 24 out of 28 games and in the 5 tournaments they were in they got three 1st places, one 2nd, and one 3rd (sorry for the proud aunt bragging I am done for now).

After their win in Bridgeport WV, they went undefeated in that tournament and came back to win the championship game 12 to 13 in the 6th inning they were down by 6 in the 4th.

After their win in Bridgeport WV (last tournament they played), they went undefeated in that tournament and came back to win the championship game 12 to 13 in the 6th inning they were down by 6 in the 4th.

My nephew with his plaque and the team trophy. He hit the ball and got on base 9 out of 12 times and got walked 3 times. (Now I am seriously done.)

My nephew with his plaque and the team trophy. He hit the ball and got on base 9 out of 12 times and got walked 3 times. (Now I am seriously done.)

To top off baseball season coming to a close and having a three week break from school the kids I babysit for went on vacation, now I still ended up babysitting for another family, but only 3 days this past week and I could still get some knitting down. So without further ado here is some progress shots of some of my wips.

My grace designed by Jane Richmond, this and the chocolate stout are part of the Summer Sweater KAL through the luvinthemommyhood blog.

My grace designed by Jane Richmond, this and the chocolate stout are part of the Summer Sweater KAL through the luvinthemommyhood blog.

A close up of the Bradbury to show the beautiful lace work.

A close up of the Bradbury to show the beautiful lace work.

My ease designed by Alicia Plum, I'm about two inches away from finishing up the body, but of course the is my reading/homework project so it won't be getting worked on for probably another two or three weeks.

My ease designed by Alicia Plummer, I’m about two inches away from finishing up the body, but of course the is my reading/homework project so it won’t be getting worked on for probably another two or three weeks.

So far I am loving all those projects and yes I still have quite a few others that aren’t present but everything that is on the needles will be finished before January first with the exception of my helix scarf that is the bane of my existence.

In other crafty news my toms shoes started getting a hole in the toe of one of them and since I don’t want to buy a new pair, but also don’t want to wear shoes with a hole in them I gave them a makeover.

20130809-211213.jpgI used this double sided fabric adhesive stuff. You first cut fabric to fit the area that you plan to cover then you put one side of the adhesive down on the shoe then once you have the adhesive stuck where you want it you pull the other the paper part off and then you have an exposed sticky side, with the sticky side exposed now you can place your fabric down carefully to where you want it and smooth it onto your shoe. This the second time I have redid a pair of toms.

This is the first pair I did.

This is the first pair I did.

And this is what the adhesive stuff I use looks like, in case you were wondering.

And this is what the adhesive stuff I use looks like, in case you were wondering.

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.

IMG_4522

The Gemini

IMG_4520 IMG_4519 IMG_4525 IMG_4524 IMG_4523 IMG_4532  IMG_4529 IMG_4528 IMG_4527 IMG_4534

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.

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.

 

IMG_4452 IMG_4453 IMG_4455 IMG_4456

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!

IMG_4458

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?

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.

IMG_4395

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.

IMG_4394

Here's a close up of the back.

Here’s a close up of the back.

IMG_4393

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.

IMG_4391

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.

IMG_4386

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.