Posted in Completed Projects

Starlight Progress, Midsummer Socks, and Scarf FO

This weekend, we went to Cedar Point with some of Matt’s friends. It was a lot of fun, but man was I sore the next day from all the walking! We went up Friday afternoon after picking up Matt’s brother. Stayed in a hotel Friday and Saturday night, then came home Sunday. The drive wasn’t too bad and I got a lot of knitting done. I uploaded pictures to Flickr from the day spent at the park. You can see them here.

On the car ride, I stuck to knitting on Starlight. I’ve now reknit past the point I had to rip out from the weekend before last.

Starlight Sleeve
Starlight Sleeve

While at the park, I knit while waiting in line and when I sat out a few of the coasters. I’m a few rows away from finishing the first Midsummer Night’s Dream sock!

Midsummer Night's Dream
Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oh! I actually finished something last week. I started a garter stitch scarf the day I had back surgery. I put it aside for a while, but would knit a row here or there. After moving, I didn’t work on it much. I decided a few weeks ago it was time to get it back out and get it finished. I knit just a few rows every day until I ran out of yarn. This is the first garter stitch scarf I’ve made! I really like it. I have 2 more skeins of this yarn and I think I’ll make a hat and gloves to go with it.

Pattern: Garter Stitch Scarf (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 2, 2009
Completed: September 24, 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Sunrise, 1 skein
Needles: US 7 bamboo circular
Notes: I cast on 25 stitches (I think) and knit until I ran out of yarn. The FO picture makes the yarn seem more orange then it is. The second picture below is a little more accurate in color.

Malabrigo Scarf
Finished Scarf

110/365: The Slow Going Scarf
Scarf in Progress

This week is looking like it’ll be another busy one. At least the end of the fiscal year is almost over, so work should slow down a little (at least not be so super crazy). We’re having our housewarming/birthday party (for Matt and I since both our birthdays are this month) this Saturday and all this week we’re doing preparations for that – getting food, cleaning things up, planning everything out and so on. I think things will calm down at home after this weekend. The last two months we’ve been busy almost every weekend, so I’m looking forward to the slow down. We’ll have one three day weekend to hang out and do nothing, then the on the 15th I’ll be heading out to DC for Rhinebeck on the 17th. I’ll be staying with Laura in DC, then heading up to stay with her friends in NYC Friday, Rhinebeck on Saturday, back to DC Sunday, then back home Monday. I’m really looking forward to it!! This will be my first time going to Rhinebeck. Maybe I’ll see you there! 🙂 Now I just need to get Starlight finished so I can stop stressing about having it done on time.

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Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Life

A Wool Gathering, Sweater Woes, and Cilantro Lime Chicken

This past weekend, we went up to A Wool Gathering. A fellow Raveler (Kate) was in Columbus for the weekend, visiting from overseas, and I offered to give her a lift to A Wool Gathering. It was fun! I do feel a little lame that I didn’t take ANY pictures while there and let Matt take care of that, so here’s some of the photos he took.

Sheep with Horns
We saw sheep while there (of course)

Small Balls - $2
And some small balls, for $2 each (that’s Kate holding them)

Comparing Skeins
Kate and I comparing some skeins of yarn outside the red of the tent.

Yarn Love
The one skein of yarn I came home with.
Here’s another picture, where you can see the yarn better.

We met some other knitters from my knit group there. It was quite a bit of fun! I was happily surprised that I only came home with one skein of yarn. I gave myself a small budget since I don’t really “need” any yarn, but I couldn’t go home without this one. It’s a skein of sock yarn from Creatively Dyed. I love the fun, happy, bright colors! I have to admit that I’m having a hard time not winding this up and casting on RIGHT NOW. Must knit that sweater first! Or finish some socks that I have on the needles. I already have 3 pairs on the needles, probably not best if I start another before something else is finished first. (I have more pictures from this past Saturday that we spent taking pictures, but I haven’t uploaded them yet. Next post!)

Last night I had a bit of a sweater disaster. I had been diligently working on the sleeve to my Starlight sweater all week and weekend. I even had a lot of extra time to because of the car ride to and from A Wool Gathering, so I was getting close to the top of the sleeve shaping. I measured and I finally hit 47 cm. Before I started the top shaping, I decided to double check my stitch count. I count 96 stitches. I check the pattern. It says I should have 106 stitches. Hmm… count again… nope, 96. Uh, oh. 😦

I look at the pattern and realize that I didn’t do the second set of increases correctly either (increased every 10th row instead of every 8th row). I must have read it wrong at some point. You know where this is going right?

IMG_6124
Sleeve at 47 cm (~ 19 inches)

::sigh::

The sleeve had to be ripped out back to the second set of sleeve increases. I now have all of 12 cm (4.5 inches) of sleeve done.

IMG_6127
What’s left of the sleeve

I’m feeling a little frustrated now that I wasted a week knitting this only to get back to where I was last Tuesday. I’m planning on having this be my Rhinebeck sweater, so I have some time to make up on it. I still think I should be able to get it done, just a little more stressed about it now.

For dinner yesterday we tried a new recipe: Cilantro Lime Chicken. It came out pretty good, but I don’t know that I’d make it like tacos again. Wasn’t quite what Matt was looking for when he asked for cilantro lime chicken, though it was still pretty good in it’s own right. It seemed like it needed something else. Matt suggested corn salsa and that sounds like a pretty good addition to me!

264/365: New Recipe
Cilantro Lime Chicken (tacos) with white rice.

It was fun getting in the kitchen and trying something new. I really must do that more often! We tend to eat a lot of the same things week after week because it’s “quick” or “easy”, but when I make something new, I remember how much I like cooking. I should line up more “new” things to make! Got a favorite recipe? I’d love if you shared it with me in the comments. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Life

Bellona Cowl, New Camera, and New Sock

It’s the month of crazy at work (aka fiscal year end). I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I’ve wanted to lately, but I’ll get back there once all the crazy ends and I can go back to “normal” work days without quite so much crazy in them! I fully intended to blog about this FO last week, but you know how that goes when things are crazy. So, today I bring you the Bellona Cowl!

Pattern: Bellona Cowl by Didi (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 4, 2009
Completed: September 7, 2009
Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed in Morning Glory (1.5 skeins)
Needles: US 4 bamboo circular
Notes: I did 7.5 chart repeats. I probably could have done more, but I’m really happy with the results. Hoping to get a pair of fingerless mitts out of the leftovers. The yarn is really nice to work with and the cowl ended up soft and drapey. I definitely want to make more things with this yarn at some point. The pattern was great and I love the way it turned out. Simple and interesting enough that I didn’t want to put it down! 🙂

Bellona Cowl, flat
Here it is laid out flat.

252/365: Bellona Cowl
Wearing it!

Bellona Cowl, up
Little more detail of the cables.

This weekend ended up being pretty busy, but the highlight for me was inheriting Matt’s old camera when he purchased a new one. I’m now the proud owner of a Canon Rebel XT. He also gave me the kit lens he got with his new Canon XTi since he already had some better lenses and his old camera bag (same as his new one, just smaller).

255/365: New (to me) Camera
Mine!

This weekend, my friends Karen and Lani had a booth full of bags they made at Oktoberfest. I stopped by Saturday and Sunday to help out and support them for a while. Alita had some of her HairWare and Stuff there, too. Matt got better pictures of all of that, but hasn’t uploaded them, so here’s the one I took of their booth.

IMG_5364

I managed to cast on a new sock this weekend. I wasn’t going to, but I needed something different. I had a plain sock on the needles and a colorwork sock on the needles. I was bored of the plain sock and the colorwork one really isn’t transportable since I’m also designing it, so I cast on Midsummer Night’s Dream from the new Knitty.

Midsummer Night's Dream
Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wollmeise Twin, Campari Piccolo.

I was going to make myself wait until I was done with Starlight to start anything new, but I’ve decided that’s silly. I’m a process knitter and my knitting usually goes on my whims. If it’s not interesting, I don’t want to knit it. I needed something portable that was also going to capture my interest RIGHT NOW, so new sock it is!

Sadly, I have to report that I lost one of my DPNs under the driver’s seat in Matt’s car. There’s no way it’s coming out unless they remove the seat and I really don’t want to go through all that hassle when I can get another set of Knit Picks nickel plated DPNs for $5. Still, this means that my colorwork socks are stalled because I had to borrow one of the needles. I suppose I could move the 5th needle between these socks and the colorwork ones, but knowing me that would either cause me to loose it or never have it when I need it! More DPNs are on order already. 🙂

Another busy week and weekend ahead, but this weekend is A Wool Gathering!! I’m pretty excited about that this year since I have a great group of knitters to go with. I’ll be there probably wearing my Ravelry shirt (“Daily dose of fiber”) and button with my username (mslindz, of course), so if you see me be sure to say hi! 😀

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Life

Secret Garden Shawl (FO!), New Sofas, and Delicious Food

I was a busy knitter this past holiday weekend! Saturday I finished the Secret Garden Shawl. Here it is pre-blocking, measuring 30 inches across.

248/365: It's done!!
Pre-blocking

Sunday, I washed and blocked it. It took about an hour to get all those pins in it and my fingers were rather sore after.

249/365: SGS Blocking
Blocking

It seemed pretty dry by the evening. I gave it overnight to dry, just in case there were any parts that weren’t quite dry yet. It took a good while to get all those pins out and my fingers were even more sore after I pulled all of them out, but… it’s DONE!! I thought it would never end. The last clue’s rows seemed to last an eternity!

Pattern: Secret Garden Shawl (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: July 23, 2009
Completed: September 5, 2009
Yarn: Green Sheep Fingering in Hearts on Fire, 2 skeins
Needles: US 6 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I lined up the double decreases from clue 3 with the ones in clue 4 by moving the marker. In clue 5, I didn’t need to move the marker at all for the double decreases in row 11 to line up with the double decreases from clue 4. In clue 5, I only did one chart repeat because I was worried that it would end up too big. It probably would have been fine with the 2 chart repeats, but I like the size it ended up (4 feet across). This is the first shawl I’ve knit that used fingering weight and the first shawl I’ve knit for myself. (Other 2 shawls were bulky weight and worsted weight, both gifts.)

Secret Garden Shawl (Full)

Secret Garden Shawl (Fence)

Secret Garden Shawl (Half)

I think I’m done with shawls for a while! Well, I do have Ishbel on the needles still and I’ll probably finish that, but nothing quite as big as this one is going to happen very soon. I think I just need a break from it for now! As a celebration for finishing the shawl, I started and finished the Bellona Cowl this weekend. I don’t have a picture of the finished cowl since it’s currently blocking, but I hope to share that later this week. 🙂

I think all this non-sock knitting has finally caught up with me and I’ve been itching to do socks recently. I’m figuring out the last little details of a sock design, but I think I’ll cast on for that very soon, maybe even today! Speaking of socks, I did actually start a pair recently. It’s the mystery pattern for Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA) for the month of September. It’s designed by Nancy Bush. So far I’ve knit clue one and clue two was just released today. I’m using Socks That Rock mediumweight (mill end) on US 2’s.

SKA September Mystery Sock
Clue 1 of SKA Mystery Socks

Now that the shawl is done, it’s back to knitting Starlight. It’s a little over a month until Rhinebeck! Still plenty of time, but also a lot going on between now and then. I’ve been doing good keeping myself motivated to knit it and as long as I keep that up, I should have it done with time to spare!

We got new sofas last Friday. We used to just have a futon in the living room, which didn’t offer much seating, especially after rearranging the living room to accommodate the surround sound system. We picked out these from IKEA and they’re the KLIPPAN series. I think they fit nicely in our living room!

247/365: New Livingroom
Matt approves!

I have to share last night’s dinner. We made the most delicious dinner! We had scallops, golden-crusted brussels sprouts, and white rice (with butter and salt, yum). Oh my!! It was SO GOOD. Normally, I’m not a fan of seafood, especially scallops. Most (most, not all, there are a few exceptions) people and restaurants that I’ve encountered overcook them, so generally I avoid them. Yesterday, though, Matt cooked these absolutely perfectly with some garlic and olive oil. If I didn’t have a stomach the size of a bird, I would have eaten all of them myself! Om nom nom nom! The brussles sprouts were really good, too. All together it was a perfect combination and nice end to a great weekend.

250/365: Delicious Dinner
Om nom nom nom! Scallops, golden-crusted brussels sprouts, and white rice.

How was your holiday weekend? We didn’t do much for a change. This is actually our last free weekend for a while. Lots of stuff going on this month and next. All good things, though! It was nice to hang out at home and have my sisters and Matt’s brother over this weekend. 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening

The Shawl, Socks That Aren’t, Wii, and Bees

Not a whole lot of interesting knitting going on here. I’ve been working on the shawl, which is very slow going considering how long each row takes.

SG Shawl
See? Looks the same as last time, right?

I’m about halfway through the 1st chart repeat of Clue 5. Last night I decided I won’t do the second chart repeat as I think that will make it too big. I’m not a very tall or big person and this is already looking like it’s going to be huge. I have 8 rows plus the bind off left to do! Hoping I can get it done by this weekend.

Clue 5, Up-close
Close up of Clue 5 so far.

This past weekend, I was getting kind of tired of the shawl, so I cast on Entrelac Socks (pattern by Eunny Jang).

243/365: I have no willpower.
Entrelac Socks

Just as quickly as they were started, they were frogged. Sadly I didn’t like how they were turning out and I was getting holes where you pick up stitches on each edge, so I frogged them. Plus, I really wasn’t enjoying knitting them at all! Matt helped me work up a design that I’m now charting out for these two colors, though, so you’ll see these two yarns together in a different pattern.

The sweater is still coming along. I have a few rows left of 1×1 ribbing on the second front piece. I’ve set it aside so I can finish the Secret Garden Shawl first. Still plenty of time to finish this in time for Rhinebeck, though. Soon as the shawl is done, this is going to be my primary project again. I’ve been spinning a little, but it’s been slow going, so no pictures of that right now (still looks the same as last time, just more of it).

This week I finally tried out EA Sports Active for Wii.

Wii Active
Me, finishing up a round of EA Sports Active.

Overall I like it a lot better then Wii Fit. I found that I should not, ever, do the run. My back was quite sore later and the next day. I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I didn’t realize it was in the set “30 day workout” program (it can be unchecked at the beginning of starting the routine each time, I didn’t look to see that there was a run portion, so I didn’t uncheck it). After it started, I couldn’t figure out a way to skip past it, which was kind of annoying. I like that you can use the Wii Balance Board with it. With the “30 day workout” program, you switch between doing balance board exercises and non-balance board exercises. This would probably be okay if this didn’t mean having to put my shoes on and off to do the balance board ones. You can set your own program and group those together (or not do them at all), so I’m not too worried about this in the future. Just a learning curve, I think! So far I really like it and I’m trying to stick with a every other day routine that will eventually get to an every day routine.

Recently, I’ve been seeing bees every day in the sedums on the side of the house. Yesterday I took this shot of two very large bees. Bees have been really fascinating me lately! Every day this week I’ve seen bees on the sedums and taken a picture. The flowers are starting to bloom in a vibrant pink! I love it!

245/365: More Bees
Bees on the sedum.

It’s almost Friday! This week has been a long, hectic one. Tonight we’re going to go look at getting a new sofa. Tomorrow my sister is coming over to hang out, probably watch a movie, and make popcorn. This weekend we might do a game day thing, probably work on the house some, and finalize the details of the caterer for our housewarming (which will be October 3rd and be a housewarming/birthday party). Next few weekends will be busy, too! Lots of good stuff coming up, though, so it’ll be fun. 🙂