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. 🙂

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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 Completed Projects, Current Projects, Life

How to: PVC Niddy Noddy, Grill, and Project Updates

This weekend I made myself a niddy noddy for under $2! I’ve been needing one for a while now, but I didn’t really want to spend a whole lot of money on one right now. I looked up some instructions on what I’d need to make a PVC one. It seemed simple enough, so when we were at Lowe’s this weekend, I picked up what I needed to make one. Directions said to get a 4 to 5 foot 1/2″ PVC pipe, but they were out in the 5 foot size and I didn’t want over 6 feet of pipe that I didn’t need, so I got a 5 foot 3/4″ pipe instead. There was a pipe cutting station, so I went over and waited for someone to cut my PVC pipe. The guy came over and said “This is only for metal pipes *grumble grumble*” and took my pipe. I was confused and ready to take it back and find whatever tool I needed to cut it, but he went and got some tool and cut it for me anyhow. I had him cut one 18″ piece and four 6″ pieces, which left an additional 19″ piece I have no idea what I’ll do with. After that I found two “T” pieces that fit the pipe. The pipe was $1.23 and the “T” pieces were $0.33 each for a total of $1.89 to make the niddy noddy!

PVC
Niddy noddy pieces, pre-assembly.

I got home and pieced it all together, which hardly took any time at all. There’s no need to glue anything in place since you want it to be able to twist. It’s easy to assemble or disassemble for storage. I still need to sandpaper the ends, but I need to find some sandpaper first (we probably have some, I just haven’t looked). Pretty easy project and cheap, too!

226/365: Niddy Noddy
Niddy noddy, assembled.

We really went to Lowe’s to look at and possibly buy a grill. We did manage to find one we liked in our price range. We got it home, but weren’t able to put it together right away because we had a birthday party to go to. After that, Matt’s brother came over and they put the grill together. The instructions said it would take 50 minutes, but it took 3 hours. I don’t know how anyone could have put the thing together in 50 minutes!

227/365: New Grill
Matt and his brother putting the grill together.

By the time it was put together, it was dark out and we found that we didn’t have a metal spatula to use the grill with! Instead of making the burgers on the grill, we ended up making them in the kitchen. The next morning, though, we made breakfast on the grill: turkey bacon, eggs (in a skillet on the side burner), and toast. It was pretty good! For lunch/early dinner, we invited Karen and Than over and made salmon, thyme marinated asparagus, and wild rice. I think it turned out pretty good!

228/365: Grilling!
Matt making lunch.

Saturday, while at the birthday party, I finished Liesl. I don’t have pictures yet. I still need to get some buttons and block it. I love how it turned out, though! I’m already itching to make another one. 🙂

I was all jazzed that I finished something and pulled out my Button Up Neck Warmer hoping I could finish that, too. Sunday, I did! I need to wash and block it and add buttons, but I love how it turned out. It’s going to be nice and warm this winter!

Button Up Neck Warmer
Button-Up Neck Warmer, finished!

Looks like I’ll have two FO’s to show you a little later this week! 🙂

Since I finished Liesl, I’ve brought Starlight back out. I have 2 months before Rhinebeck and my goal is to get this done by then! Think I can do it? I’m nearly to the arm shaping of the first front piece, then I have to knit the other front piece and the sleeves.

Starlight
Starlight

Still working on the 4th clue for the Secret Garden shawl. I have 2 more repeats before I move on to clue 5 (final clue), which will make the shawl jump from about 400 stitches now to almost 800! If I think that each row takes a while now, I’m a little scared to see how long THOSE rows will take!

Another week and almost through August. I can hardly believe it. This year has really flown by, but it’s been a good one. This week will probably be slightly busy. Tonight my sister is coming over to hang out and Wednesday night Matt and I are going to a Reds baseball game (which means no knit night this week). I think Friday we’re having dinner with Matt’s family. This weekend, as far as I can remember, we don’t have anything going on. Just house stuff. We’ll be moving things around since we’re getting a surround sound system and we’ll probably do some housewarming/birthday party planning since we’ve finally decided on a date for that! I can’t believe we haven’t done it and that the date we picked is kind of far from now, but I think it will be a lot of fun since we’re also planning to combine our October birthdays with it. Time files when you’re having fun! 🙂

Posted in Life

Non-knitting Content (aka Shopping Deals)

I mostly write about knitting here, but I’ll change it up a bit because I want to talk about the great deals I got today.

I shop at the Gap Outlet from time to time and usually get some pretty good deals.  Target is another place I like to get clothing on clearance.  Today I went to both and managed to only spend $10, but I got 2 pairs of pants, 4 tank tops, and a skirt.  The pants and tank tops were purchased at the Gap Outlet and the skirt from Target.

Hpim3634

I’m not big on these sort of tank tops, but the were 25 cents each, how could I pass that up?  They’re great for wearing to bed or around the house and good for layering in the winter, too.  The pants are great for weekend/non-work wearing.  They’re cargo type pants, which I rarely buy, but they fit great and only $1.99 each, so I bought 2 pairs.  The skirt fits great, I can wear it to work, AND it only comes to my knees!  I know it sounds silly, but it’s so hard for me to find skirts that only come to my knees.  When they’re longer, they tend to make me look like I’m even shorter than I already am.

I went to The Village Discount Outlet hoping to find some things, but came up empty.  Things were either too big or too small, but that’s the way thrift shopping usually goes for me.  No worries.  I have enough nice stuff to wear to work and though it’d be nice to have more for variety, I’m not going to break the bank for it!  I think I’m going to be going through my clothes soon and getting rid of things that I either don’t wear or don’t like the way they fit (I don’t like tight clothing at all).  I am finally going to give up a lot of my shoes, too.  Mostly the shoes that I can’t really wear (anything that’s not flat or a low heel).

Anyhow, I just wanted to share the good deals I got today because it made my day a little better.  It’s been quite a while since I bought clothes, especially at such a great deal :o)

Posted in Life

More than just knitting content

Okay, so I know I usually just post about knitting related stuff, but I thought I’d share this for anyone that was interested. I’ve been trying to eat more healthy and lose weight. I have a food journal that I’ve been posting in a little bit about things, but I want to start posting more there. Anyhow, on with what I wanted to share!

I found this great website the other day after misalady posted about it in her journal. It’s called Spark People. So far I really like it. It gives you a meal and fitness plan, you can track all your progress, post to message boards, read tons of good articles…. all for FREE. Seriously, 100% free. I was all set to join up on eDeits again, and paying for it, when I found the link on her journal. I like it BETTER than eDeits (which I’ve been a member of before). It allows you to easily change your meal plan – even just one part of it. Say instead of cream cheese on that bagel, you want peanut butter – no problem, a couple clicks and it’s changed! I really like that because eDeits doesn’t offer those options at all. Anyhow, you should check it out! The link below is a sign-up link. You don’t have to use it, but if you do, I get points (that as far a I can tell aren’t worth anything). Either way, I think it’s a great site and pretty easy to use.

My SparkPeople Profile

Also…. I straightened my hair today and I like how it looks. I might start straightening it more often now.

More on the things I’ve been knitting lately in my next post :o)

Posted in Life

Moving!

Yesterday everything was set in place. We have a move date set for when they’ll come pack all our things and ship them to Ohio (December 12th and 13th). I have put my notice in at work and Tuesday, December 5th is my last day and yesterday was Nick’s last day.

I’m mixed to say the least. Sad to leave a good job and nice people (not to mention friends in the area), but happy for a new start with the man I love.

The plan goes pretty much like this: Tuesday, December 5th is my last day at work, then it’s down to business. We have things to move from storage to here so it gets repacked properly because everything that is left in storage is “pick up only” and there’s a bit of stuff that isn’t boxed anymore. The time between my last day and the 12th will be used to do this. The 12th they’ll come and start packing and the 13th they’ll finish and load everything onto a truck. The 15th is our housing check out. After check out we’ll head to Endicott, NY for a few days, then it’s off to Dayton, OH and a quick visit with my family. From there it’s down to Florida for at least three weeks and we’ll be settling in Ohio mid-January. A lot of change, but also enough down time, I think. Hopefully bills won’t pile up too much before we get settled and get jobs out there.

~~~~~

As for knitting, Rogue only has half a sleeve left to be completed, then sewing them on, weaving in ends, and blocking. The Shetland Triangle is on it’s second ball of yarn. I’m working on socks for a friend for her birthday. Not much else going on with knitting, but I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy with the move.

~~~~~

Hope everyone is well.

Posted in Life

Arrival

My Little Visitors arrived in the mail today!

Meet Fred and Ginger:

I’ve already got a bunch of stuff planned for their visit here in Connecticut. I’m actually really excited about it! It’ll give me a lot to do and I’ll be able to do some touristy things that I haven’t gotten around to yet (after nearly 4 years of living here!). Plenty to do with these two in town – I’ve got some sightseeing, a scrapbook, and crafting to do! :o)

Posted in Life

Knitting while asleep

Last night I had a dream that I was kitting Odessa and I was half way done with it.

Of course, I woke up to find that it hadn’t magically grown overnight. I’m not terribly dissapointed by this, though, because I love the Rowan Cashsoft DK that I’m using for this pattern.

I think I’m giving up on Liesel. It’s an okay pattern, but I get the feeling I’ll never wear it, so what’s the point in making it and not giving it to someone who’d love it or that I don’t love myself? I may just bind off and keep what I DID do of it. We’ll see. It’s so strange to only have one project that I’m really working on on the needles.

Maybe I should go back to knitting Folly for my mom. If I really go at it, I could be done by her birthday on April 10th. We’ll see….