Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Sewing, Spinning

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece is in full swing here! 🙂

Saturday I started out with what was left of the All Spun Up superwash merino (full braid was 6.2 ounces). I started on this fiber months ago. I managed to get two and a half bobbins done and even plied up the first two bobbins before putting it aside. I think I had about 1.5 to 2 ounces worth of fiber left when I started out the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up (Spinning in progress)
All Spun Up Superwash Merino

I didn’t spin that much on Saturday. We were busy getting ready for having people over on Sunday and we ended up going to see Knight and Day with some friends in the evening. I did get about halfway through what was left of the ASU fiber, though!

TDF Day 1
TDF Day 1

Sunday we had a full house, but even while people were over, I got in a fair amount of spinning time between playing hostess to our friends and family. I managed to finish up the rest of the fiber and ply it!

TDF Day 2
TDF Day 2

I didn’t figure out how much yardage I had right away because I’d never written down what the first two skeins were. I took the time to calculate it on Monday and I figured out that I have about 776 yards. After thinking I’d lost it, I managed to find my wraps per inch (WPI) tool and figured out that I have about 16 WPI (14 WPI in some places) giving me 776 yards of fingering weight yarn. That’s WAY more then I imagined I’d end up with or even thought that I had! Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. It’s pretty variegated, so something simple. Suggestions welcome!

TDF Day 2
All Spun Up Superwash Merino Fingering weight, 776 yards total

Yesterday I was finally able to start the fiber that arrived last week.

TDF 2010 Roving
Corriedale in a special Tour de Fleece colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers

I split the first 4 ounces into three equal lengths and prepped the first bit by doing a bit of pre-drafting. I wanted longer bits of each color, so after separating it into three equal lengths, I didn’t split the sections further into 2 or 4 (split in half, then in half again for) and just drafting as I go or doing just a little pre-drafting like I have been doing. Instead I pre-drafted the whole length of the first section and just went for it. It was kind of nice because I didn’t have to pick up or add any fiber to it as I went. By the end of the day I was able to get through the first 1/3 of the first braid.

TDF Day 3
TDF Day 3

This is my first time working with Corridale. So far, I’ve found it to be a sticky fiber (as in it likes to stick together). I’ve been trying to spin it a little thicker and so far the singles by themselves are looking about a fingering weight. I’m going to ply it, but not sure how yet. Considering trying to Navajo ply it since I’ve never tried to do that before. The one thing that I’ve noticed about my spinning vs others that I’ve seen is that my yarns end up rather loose when plied. Not really sure what I’m doing wrong here. There are parts that seem tighter then other parts, but overall it just seems loose. From what I’ve read, it seems like I’m plying correctly and when I’m plying it seems tight enough. Maybe I just need more practice. The third skein of the All Spun Up superwash merino did seem like it was an improvement. The first two had more loose parts and the third had much fewer.

I forgot to mention my goals for the Tour de Fleece in my last post. My overall goal is to spin at least an hour a day. I haven’t been keeping track of all my times like I did last year, but I can estimate how much I’ve done so far, so I might from here on out. My first goal was to finish up the All Spun Up fiber (check!). Second is to spin up the Corriedale in the TDF colorway. Beyond that…. well, I’m not sure! I thought that 8 ounces of fiber would take me a good long while to spin up, but thinking about how many days are in the tour and how much I’ve done so far… yeah I think I’m going to have to find something else to work on after I get done with the Corriedale. I’ve got enough fiber in my stash that I don’t think it’ll be a problem to find something else do spin up after that’s done. Might finally get around to the CJ Kopec fiber I got last year.

Between spinning breaks, I’ve been knitting. I’m working on the heel flap of Malestrom, I frogged the KawKawEsque socks I mentioned in my last post (wasn’t liking the yarn/ribbing combo), and yesterday I started the Serpentine Socks for this month’s Socks From the Toe-Up KAL. I’m still working on Daybreak, too. The rows are getting quite long and seem to take forever, plus it’s been hot and sticky out, so I’ve been favoring the smaller projects. I haven’t worked on my crochet top or the Rippleghan in about a week since other projects have been taking up my interest. I think once I get Daybreak done I’ll focus on the top again.

Can’t wait to get more spinning done later today! I’m sure the Corriedale will be done in no time 🙂

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Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Gardening

Project Updates, Garden Updates, and Tamales

After saying I felt like I haven’t been working on much in my last post, I now feel like I’ve got a lot I’m working on! Funny how that ends up working. 🙂

Sunday I finished up a little case for my phone. I was tired of the one I was using because it was difficult to dock my iPhone, so I stopped using it. Then I was worried it would get scratched up in my purse and decided it needed a pretty case.

iPhone Cozy
bHive iPhone Cozy

Pattern: bHive (My Ravelry project page. <– Non-Ravelry users can see this now!!)
Started: March 20, 2010
Completed: March 29, 2010
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Lowenzahn and Malabrigo Sock in Violeta Africana (small amounts of each)
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm), Knit Picks Nickel DPNs
Notes: This was a easy knit, but was one that I started and put aside for a week, then finished. It could have been knit in one day… I’m just easily distracted! I changed the bottom to be garter stitch instead of stockinette and I did 2×2 ribbing instead of 1×1 (personal preference, I’m not a fan of 1×1 ribbing). If I were to do this again, I would do a total of 5 repeats of the color pattern, which would leave very little garter stitch to do at the bottom to finish it off. I think I might add a flap or button to it. I keep thinking it’s going to fall out because the yarn is rather slick!

iPhone Cozy
bHive iPhone Cozy

iPhone Cozy
bHive iPhone Cozy

I’m still busy working on Camber. I’m up to the waist increases and I’m betting by this weekend I’ll be on the sleeves! Here’s an updated progress shot (though the color is a bit off).

Camber Cardigan
Camber Cardigan

I started the Brandywine Shawl with my handspun from my last post. I think I really need to make my niddy noddy smaller. The skein was too big for my swift and it ended up in a horrible tangled mess that took me THREE HOURS to untangle. No progress photo of the shawl yet, but I’ve done the first chart and 2 repeats of the second chart. So far I really like how it’s working up. I’m glad I ended up changing my mind on the pattern. I think this one suits the yarn much better.

I’ve been feeling the cast-on itch lately and yesterday Karen (who now BLOGS! hehe) queued the Textured Circle Shrug. I mention that I wasn’t really feeling Rogue anymore (Rogue #2 in green Cascade 220), but I really liked that shrug and was thinking of frogging it to make the shrug instead. Being the evil enabler that she is, she talked me into a mini KAL. I swatched last night and cast on. I’m only about two rows in right now and I’ll be putting it aside so that I can get Camber done. Sometimes you just need to cast something new on!

Textured Circle Shrug
Textured Circle Shrug Beginnings

We’ve been busy working on the yard recently. Two weekends ago Matt’s dad and brother came over and the three of them pulled out all the bushes in the front yard. There were 11 of them!

No more bushes
Here they are hard at work.

With those gone, the front of the house has looked a bit empty. Over the weekend, I purchased two pots of flowers for the porch. Still a lot I want to do, but it’s a start!

Plants on porch
Front Porch Flowers

Flowers
Tulips, Lilies and Hyacinths

Tonight I’m going to attempt to make tamales. I cooked up the beef for them yesterday.

Tamales!
Beef, Onions, Garlic, and Water for TAMALES!

Wish me luck – I’ve never made them before! I’ll report back with how they turned out. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening, Sewing

Christmas FO’s and a Trojan

Wow, how have I not posted since the beginning of December and it’s now the end of December? Where did all the time go? I suppose the holidays get to you like that. We’ve been pretty busy with various get togethers over the entire month, but I think things have finally slowed down. I kept coming to a block when I wanted to blog since most of the things I’d recently finished or was working on, weren’t things I could blog about yet. Now the gifts have been given and I can finally post about them!

The first gift I finished was a beret for my sister Kaylee.

Kaylee with her beret!
Kaylee’s Beret


Kaylee’s Beret

Pattern: Moss Stitch Beret (PDF) (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 8, 2009
Completed: November 10, 2009
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch W4 in teal, 1 skein
Needles: US 3 and US 7 bamboo circulars and US 7 DPNs
Notes: I knit to 6 inches before the decreases instead of 5.5 inches like the pattern called for. That was an accident, but it worked out fine. Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly and it was a pretty quick knit.

The second gift I finished was a bucket hat for my sister Caitlin.

Caitlin is stylin' with her hat
Caitlin’s Bucket Hat


Caitlin’s Bucket Hat

Pattern: A Better Bucket (Ravelry Link) (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 10, 2009
Completed: November 11, 2009
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch W4 in pink, 1 skein
Needles: US 7 bamboo circulars and DPNs
Notes: I knit this as written except the cast on. I didn’t really understand the cast on that was talked about in the pattern, so I just did a provisional cast on and it worked out fine.

The third (and final) gift I finished was a pair of socks for my mom.

348/365: Socks
Mom’s Sunday Swing Socks


Better photo of the yarn color.

Pattern: Sunday Swing Socks (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 14, 2009
Completed: December 14, 2009
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Finley Fingering in Seacoast, 1 skein
Needles: US 7 bamboo circulars and DPNs
Notes: Only change I made was to knit to a smaller stitch count on the foot. I decreased down to 14 stitches on the sole (16 on the top) for a bit more snug fit. I kept working on other things while working on these, otherwise I think they would have been done a lot sooner!

I finished my Long Sleeve Leisl, too, but it doesn’t have buttons yet and I haven’t taken any finished pictures of it (or Multnomah), so I’ll post about that later on.

I finished up a little Trojan this weekend for Matt. He’s now on Matt’s desk, but I took a few pictures before I sent him off.

Trojan!
Trojan!

Trojan!
Trojan – side view

Pattern: Trojan from Creepy Cute Crochet (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: Not sure
Completed: December 26, 2009
Yarn: Various Bernat acrylics
Needles: F, G, and H crochet hooks
Notes: I don’t remember when I started this, but I put it aside for a long time because the first head I crocheted didn’t come out the proper size for the helmet. Body and helmet are done in a G hook, head in an H hook, and the red part on top of the helmet was done with an F hook because it would have been too long otherwise. I think he turned out great!

Right now I have a total of three projects on the needles: a shawl for my grandma’s birthday, the scarf for Matt, and the Porom hat. I just finished the first half of the shawl for my grandma’s birthday.

362/365: Half of a Shawl
Hardenburgia Shawl

I made some changes to the border to make it flow better. I’ll go more into detail on that when I finish it. Matt’s scarf doesn’t really look any different and I haven’t taken pictures of the Porom hat yet.

The holidays kept us pretty busy visiting family, but it was good overall. Hope your holiday was a good one!

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. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Busy (Fun) Weekend, FO, Spinning, & Lace

I feel like I have a lot to share today. Yesterday, for some reason, I didn’t feel like I did. I think part of it was that I don’t have good pictures of something I recently finished (I’ll get to that), so I was going to wait to blog until I had a decent picture. If I do that, though, I know what will happen. I’ll wait and wait, then have so much I want to update on that the post will be insanely long and I’ll put it off. Life isn’t perfect, pictures aren’t perfect, so on we go! 🙂

Last week, my TLE Anniversary Kit arrived. I don’t know if I’ll use the pattern with this yarn, but I do like both. The colors of the yarn are even better in person then they were on the website. Sometimes, pictures just don’t do something justice! The kit came with 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces, a TLE mug, sock pattern, and tape measure.

TLE's Anniversary Kit
TLE Anniversary Kit

This weekend felt a little busy, but not in the “running around everywhere” busy way that it had been feeling. It was busy in a “let’s get all this stuff done around the house and have people over” way. On Saturday, we got up fairly early and Matt mowed the lawn.

213/365: Mowing
Matt mowing the lawn.

I was the “helper” that got to sit and knit until he needed me to clear some branches that he didn’t want to mow over and sweep the grass off the sidewalk and driveway. It worked out well and didn’t seem to take too long to do. After that we spent some time setting up the rest of the game systems, unpacking boxes, and moving some stuff to the basement. Saturday evening we went to dinner with my family for my dad’s birthday (his birthday was Friday). We went to a Mexican restaurant and it was yummy. I swear I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life and be fine with it! Sunday we were up fairly early again and finished unpacking and moving stuff around. We set up the shelf in the kitchen Saturday night, so I finally filled that with the rest of our kitchen stuff that doesn’t fit in the cabinets. Very glad that’s done with! I think seeing all the boxes around was getting me down a bit. It’s so nice to not see these piles of boxes everywhere anymore.

Sunday afternoon, we had invited a bunch of people over for a potluck/game thing. Karen, Than, Sarah S., Jessy, Brian, and Alita were able to make it and Lisa stopped by briefly and got the grand tour of the house. We ate good food and played Trivial Pursuit and Rock Band. I forgot to take pictures while everyone was there, though! I didn’t think about it until later, after Jessy, Brian and Sarah S. had left. I did get a picture of Karen, Than, Alita and Matt playing Rock Band, though! We’ll definitely need to do something like this again. It was a lot of fun!

214/365:Get Together!
Left to right: Karen on vocals, Matt on drums, Alita on bass, and Than on guitar

On to my most exciting knitting news… Friday, I finished Hey Teach! I took a picture with my iPhone, but since it was kind of dark, it didn’t come out too great. It’s done, it’s done, it’s DONE!! Once I get some better pictures I’ll do a full FO report with commentary. The good news is that it fits me and I really like it. 🙂

212/365: Hey Teach, DONE!!
Proof Hey Teach is DONE.

Last night I finished up the first bobbin of the Scarlet Macaw I’m spinning up. I probably have over half of it left to go, but I really like how it’s turning out.

One Bobbin Done!
One bobbin done!

I also finished up one repeat of the lace chart of Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl.

One Chart Rep of Clue #4
Secret Garden Shawl

The next and final clue doesn’t come out until next Friday (August 14th), so I have some time to finish it up. Since this will be done soon, I’m already thinking about what lace I’ll knit next. Thanks to Karen, I’ve been reminded of two shawl patterns I want to do: Shipwreck and Aeolian. Since I was already planning on ordering new yarn for the Little Birds Cardigan from Knit Picks (going to use Palette), I decided that I want to use Palette for both of these. I love all the colors Palette now comes in! I don’t think I would have thought to use it initially, but then I saw a few people had used it for Shipwreck. When I looked at the colors, I just knew the color I wanted to do it in: Marine Heather. I’ve picked out beads for both from Fire Mountain Gems. I love having knitter friends so that we can do combined orders for things like this and get discounts! 🙂

Today, it’s rainy out. It makes me wish I could just stay home and knit! Hope your week is off to a good start. I’m still trying to remember that it’s August now! (Can you even believe it??)

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Garden, Matt Knits, Neck Warmer, and Hey Teach

I fully intended to blog on Wednesday and Thursday, but ended up not having time. I wanted to blog yesterday evening and planned to… then I ended up helping Matt with his school’s website which took up most of the evening. Ah well, that’s how life goes sometimes!

On the house (garden) front, we had some bushes that were by the deck cut down. We need to dig up the roots but haven’t had the time (or desire, really!) to do that yet.

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More flowers are coming up in the garden, too!

IMG_3164
Pink flowers in the back yard.

IMG_3169
Not sure what kind of bug is on there, but I found it interestingly shiny, so I took a picture to share.

I posted about these before… still not sure what they are, but they’re some kind of flower. Matt and I walked around the neighborhood yesterday and found a few other people have them in their yards. Rose (one of my knitting friends) also has some on the side of her porch and said that many people in her neighborhood have them. I’m anxious to see them bloom!

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I’m not really sure what’s all growing in here, though I’m sure a number of weeds are present.

IMG_3174
This is the end of our driveway – no idea what’s all here!

On knit night this past Wednesday, Matt came with me and showed us what a good knitter he is and how to knit with just one needle…

While we were at knit night, I dropped my needle and it somehow disappeared under the table. Yes, a US 8 straight needle, fell to the floor, we heard it hit, but it could NOT be found. Thursday, Karen (who I sat next to) let me know it had somehow transported itself into the bottom of her knitting bag somehow! Mystery solved, but this left me with only one needle to work on my new project (I’ll get to that), so Matt decided to take over my project for me. 🙂

Wednesday, I started a new project for the SAL/KAL in the Zarzuela’s Fiber group on Ravelry. I’m working on the Button-Up Neck Warmer. I have to say, I really LOVE knitting with yarn I spun!!

Button Up Neck Warmer
Button-Up Neck Warmer in Emerald City merino.

When I got home Wednesday, I realized that Hey Teach was dry, so Thursday I started seaming it up…

211/365: Time to Sew
Side seams on Hey Teach

… and it wasn’t long before it was all seamed up!

Hey Teach, sewn
Hey Teach is finished being seamed!

The best news?!? IT FITS!! I’m beyond thrilled by this after my last horribly failed attempt. If it didn’t fit, there was not a chance that I’d be knitting it a THIRD time, so I’m really glad it fits. I’ve knit the neckband on already and just have the button bands left to do. I’ll probably work on that this weekend if I don’t get too distracted by Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl that I just received.

I’ve found a bit of time this week to fit in some spinning, though I admit not a whole lot. My hip has been bothering me since it’s been raining, so I don’t think I’ll be able to finish this up this week like I had hoped. I’m really loving spinning this, though, so I’m not exactly bummed it’s not done yet! I can really see how far I’ve come since I “got serious” about spinning this month for the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up - Scarlet Macaw
My so-called Scarlet Macaw superwhash merino from All Spun Up.

Have anything going on this weekend? We’re taking it pretty easy since it feels like we’ve been pretty busy every weekend this month. We’re going to dinner with my family tomorrow and have invited some people over on Sunday for a small get together since we’ve been wanting to have people over for a while now, but not quite up to the “big housewarming” thing yet. Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

Posted in Gardening

So Long On-Hold, Absinthe, and the Yard

Happy Friday everyone!

Remember how I started those On-Hold sock earlier this week? I got to the 3rd lace repeat and I really wasn’t loving the yarn, so it’s been frogged. It’s something about the color. I’ve tried to knit it into a sock twice now and each time the colors don’t excite me. The first time, I started knitting the Lacy Rib pattern with this yarn. I thought it was just the pattern I wasn’t loving, so I frogged it. Then I tried again with this pattern and I really love the yarn itself. It’s soft and very nice to work with, but the color just made me feel kind of blah when I knit it. I’m thinking about maybe over dying it with some Kool Aid… or just knitting a plain stockinette sock with it. I’ve been feeling so indecisive lately!

Since I frogged the On-Hold sock and nothing else in my WIP pile was really enticing me, I cast on for Absinthe.

Absinthe Socks
Lime green Absinthe sock.

I started these on US 0’s while I debated frogging the On-Hold sock, but the row gauge was off and I really didn’t want to mess with the pattern so that the chart lined up right. I decided to frog the On-Hold sock, so my US 1’s (2.25 mm) were available to use. I frogged the little bit of toe I started with US 0’s and started over. I just started the foot chart of the pattern. It’s going fairly quickly. I’m loving the color a lot more then I thought I would!

I’ve still been going on the Tour de Fleece, though not as much as I’d like. I’ve been so exhausted lately. Last few days I’ve only got as far as drafting for about 20 minutes each day and no actual spinning. Still something, though! I need to find my spinning book so that I can figure out what the next step will be after I finishing this last bit of fiber.

I’ve been exploring the things that are growing in our backyard and I found that more and more things keep coming up. First the daylilies came up and then I noticed these coming up in our yard…

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)
Lots of these are coming up! They look like garlic bulbs before they bloom.

I asked my Twitter friends if they knew what they were and Rose let me know that the looked like Wild Onion (Allium Vineale). When I got home, I smelled them and found they smell like onions! I think they’re really pretty looking, interesting, and different. I can’t wait until they all bloom!

For a while there was a group of plants that I couldn’t figure out if they were weeds or not. I finally saw what looks like buds coming up, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t weeds, though there are some weeds coming up beside them. No idea what it is, though. Anyone have any ideas as to what they might be?

What is this?

Closer - what is this?

There’s going to be lots of garden work that needs to be done. I’d like to get some flowers for the front porch and maybe the deck in the back (potted). This summer/fall, I want to get the bushes on one side of the deck pulled up so that I can plant veggies there next year. There is a LOT of weeding that needs to be done, but I’m waiting until I have a better idea of what needs to be pulled up and what doesn’t. I need to take more photos of the backyard to share! 🙂

Last night we finally got the living room set up. It feels cozy to me! We just need some lights in there. We thought that the living room, like every room in the house without a light fixture so far, would have two outlets that have the top one connected to the switch. We tested all 5 outlets in the room and NONE of them are connected to the switch! How strange. We speculated that either there used to be a light fixture or they intended to put one in, but never did. Seems like we’re learning things little by little about the house and it’s quirks!

190/365: Living Room
Sorry for the low light photo of the living room.
We don’t have any lamps in there yet and there isn’t a lot of natural light in the room.

Have any plans this weekend? We’re going out with friends Saturday night for dinner and Sunday we’re going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’m sure in-between that we’ll spend time unpacking, setting up the house, probably a trip to IKEA for some light fixtures, and hopefully some relaxing time on the deck (I really need to get some candles to keep the mosquitoes away from us, though). Have a good weekend 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening

Nanner socks, Nanner bread, and the Garden

I can hardly believe that July is almost over! Where has this summer (and this year) gone?!

This month seems to have gone by especially fast for me. I think the change in my medications had me rather foggy most of the month making it feel like a blur. I’ve adjusted to the change, but found that the side effects don’t outweigh the benefits on this one, so the next time I go to the doctor I’m going to ask to be taken off of it (which shouldn’t be a problem at all). I started going to PT this past week. So far it made my back waaaay worse than it was and then my follow-up appointment on Tuesday was canceled until this coming Tuesday, so I don’t really have much of an idea where it all stands other than so far it hasn’t helped at all.

Aside from that stuff, I’ve been knitting on my Nanner socks like crazy. I finished the first one on Thursday and started the second one the same day. I’ve now completed the heel of the second sock, so I should be done with this pair very soon.

1st sock done, 2nd started

After thinking about it for quite a while, I decided to join the Ravelympics. I decided it’s time for me to get back to that Starlight sweater I started near the beginning of last year that has been sitting in my WIP pile for too long now. I’ll be doing the WIP Wrestling event for Team Splurk. Here’s what it currently looks like:

Starlight Sweater

Last week I managed to snag a Ravelry t-shirt while some were in the store:

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I love it!

My garden has been growing like crazy. I uploaded a bunch of pictures to my Flickr album, but here are a few of my favorites:

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I have three ripe tomatoes and plenty more on the way. The bell peppers have finally started showing and a few more cucumbers have come up, too. I’m not convinced that they are doing that great, but they’re doing okay enough I guess. The thyme and cilantro died completely and I pulled them out of the container they were in. The lavender and lemon balm aren’t doing so great and I’m not sure what to do about it. I trimmed back the lemon balm because it was getting a bit out of control. Seems okay enough, but the lavender – I have no idea what to do about it. It is looking rather wilted at the moment. Overall, though, I’m just really happy about the success I’ve had!

Today I baked up some chocolate banana bread since we had some bananas that needed to be eaten or baked up. I think it came out really good! I’ve made it before, but it’s been years since I made it. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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Lindsey’s Chocolate Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 bananas, crushed
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and crushed bananas, combine well. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mix and vanillia to creamed mixture, combine well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until done. Cool, serve and enjoy!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend :o)

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening

Monkeys and Nanners

I’ve been meaning to update for a while, but it was one of those things I just kept putting off until later. Honestly, though, for the last few weeks I haven’t been feeling that great physically. Recently had some medication changes that didn’t effect me well. I think I’m adjusting better now, but I’m still quite tired most of the time. Went to the Physical Therapist on Thursday for my back problems (two herniated discs in my lower back) and was given some exercises to do. So far I think they are making the pain worse. I go back on Monday, so we’ll see what she says about it. Anyhow, enough about all that stuff. There’s knitting and garden stuff to talk about!

Last weekend I completed my Monkey Socks! I really love how they turned out. They’ll be nice and warm to wear this winter. I also found that I love picot edging and I’m sure I’ll be using it on socks in the future.

Pair #1 Done!

Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Started: June 29, 2008
Completed: July 13, 2008
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, mediumweight, color: Cobalt Bloom
Needles: US 1 bamboo DPNs
Notes: The only difference I made in the pattern is knitting a picot edging instead of the ribbing. I really love how they came out!

After finishing those, I cast on my next pair of socks almost immediately. I’m working on a pair of Nanners (pattern by Wendy).

Nannnnnnnner

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The garden is doing okay. I have one cucumber growing (well a lot of little small ones, but only one that has REALLY grown), a bunch of tomatoes, three Hungarian hot peppers, and one yellow bell pepper has finally sprouted. The herbs haven’t faired too well. The thyme, sage, and cilantro all died. The basil, lavender, mint, lemon balm, and rosemary all seem to be doing good, though.

I am a little concerned about the cucumber plant. A bunch of the leaves have died off and I have no clue why. It also killed two little cucumbers that were growing. I’ve been watering and feeding all the plants pretty good, so I don’t know what might be eating it. Seems to just be the cucumber plant, though. A few leaves have died on the tomato plants, but nothing to be really worried about. The cucumber plant, on the other hand, has parts where it’s not really green, but yellow and those are the parts that the leaves are dying on. Hmm. Must research and find out what might be going on.

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Tomorrow Matt and I are going to the Dayton air show. It’s supposed to be really hot tomorrow and possibly rain. I’m hoping for no rain and hopefully the heat won’t kill us. Should be fun, though :o)

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening

The garden grows and the knitting goes.

After some contemplation, I’ve decided to not continue to upload my garden photos to my TypePad album.  I already upload them to Flickr and the quality doesn’t seem as good when I upload them to my TypePad album.  That said, I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures to Flickr of the garden today.

My favorite of the bunch are these ones:

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Hungarian hot peppers

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Cucumber

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Tomatoes

I wanted to get photos of the garden yesterday, but the sun didn’t want to cooperate with me.  I managed a good set of photos today, though.  I can hardly believe how fast everything is growing!  I have THREE cucumbers growing now, along with three tomatoes that have been growing for about two weeks now.  There’s a lot more flowers sprouting up on the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.  The Hungarian hot peppers have a third pepper growing now.  The bell peppers still haven’t flowered, but when I grew bell peppers before, they were the last to fruit, so I’m not too worried.  Over all, everything is doing pretty well.  I think the bugs are pretty much gone.  I still see a few here and there, but nothing that I’m overly worried with anymore.

As for knitting, I’ve been working on that SoS ’08 pattern that I talked about in my last post.  I turned the heel, completed the heel flap, and started on the leg.  I tried it on and I’m just not happy with it.  The pattern makes the sock twist, which is all well and good because I figured it would even out once I had the heel done.  Yeah, not so much.  Still twisty.  It’s also a little tight on my foot and hard to keep straight, so I think I’m going to be frogging it.  I’m wasn’t really sure about the pattern with the yarn that I was using anyhow.  It’s for the best in the end.  Still stinks that I’m nearly done with the sock and I am frogging it.  Ah, well.  It’s better to have socks that I’m going to wear.  I do love the yarn and really enjoy working with it, so I’m sure I’ll find a pattern that works better with it.

I’ve started a new sock, since it is Summer of Socks now.  I tried to do Mokey’s toe-up, magic loop style, but the 2.5 mm needle wasn’t working with the yarn.  The sock was coming out too big for me, so I frogged the toe I’d done and started it top-down on 2.25 mm DPN’s.  I’m doing picot edging, which is a first for me!  I like the fabric the 2.25 mm needles are making much better than what I was getting with the 2.5 mm needles.

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I’m off to go visit with family for a while.  Hopefully I can get some knitting time in there somewhere!