Posted in Current Projects, Life

Housewarming, Starlight, and New Yarn

Friday, we made the final big grocery store run before the housewarming party Saturday.

275/365: Fridge Full
Fridge Stuffed Full

Saturday morning, I had to do the final run to the grocery store for ice and when I returned, the first guests had arrived. It wasn’t long before we had a house full of people, though! In the end, we had a lot of food, a lot of company, and a good time. I think Rock Band was being played most of the party!

276/365: Housewarming Party
Rock Band: Matt and Jerry on vocals, Caitlin on bass, Andrew on Guitar, and Billy on drums

I haven’t had much interesting knitting going on. I’m still working on Starlight and have pretty much put everything else aside to work on it. I’ll be leaving for Rhinebeck in a week (wow, time flies!), so this takes priority over all other projects at the moment! I’m working on the second sleeve and I’m about 2/3 of the way through it. This weekend I’ll be sewing it up and blocking it. That reminds me… I still need buttons!

279/365: Still This Sweater
Starlight Sleeves

Since I don’t have that much knitting to show, how about I show you some lovely yarn that arrived recently? Laura gave me a Loopy Ewe gift certificate for my birthday (it was last Friday) and I purchased a skein of Sea Silk (150 g) in Sangria.

Sangria Sea Silk (150 g)
Hand Madien Sea Silk (150 g) in Sangria

I’ve already decided what I want to do with it, too. I’m going to make the Waves of Grain scarf. I still need to pick out beads for it, but I’m considering not doing beads at all or maybe contrasting beads instead of matching ones (maybe teal?).

First weekend in who knows how long that we have no plans! And it’s a three day weekend! Hoping to get some sewing done and finish the sweater up this weekend. Next week is a 2 day work week for me… then RHINEBECK!! 🙂

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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.

IMG_3162

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!

IMG_3171

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 Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Craft Room, Prezzies in the Mail, and Nanners

This weekend seemed busy, but long. I feel like I at least got a lot done, so that’s always a plus! We did 5 loads of laundry yesterday, which didn’t seem so bad because we only had one to fold at a time compared to the 2 we would do at a time when we were at the apartment since they had 2 washers and 2 dryers available (of course we paid per use for those). I love not having to get quarters anymore and not having to wait on other people to use them. We’ve been cooking a lot more lately, which I’m really happy about. I think I’ve had my fill of eating out for a while. Occasionally is fine, but when you’re doing it really frequently, it gets old quick! At least for us. We’re even making breakfast in the morning – mini bagel sandwiches with egg, cheese, and turkey sausage or bacon. YUM! And it keeps me filled until lunch, which is fantastic 🙂

I unpacked almost all my books in the craft room. I need more shelving before the rest of my cooking and other books can be unpacked, so for now the ones that don’t fit on the shelf are in boxes in the closet area. I even sorted some recipe cards I never bothered to open however many years ago it was that I received them.

200/365: Sorting
Sorting recipe cards.

I’m hoping to use my cook books and recipe cards more to change up our dinner routine. We’ve started to get bored with the same old thing week after week and now that they’re unpacked, I plan on making use of the books that haven’t received much love over the years. I took some updated pictures of my craft room to show how it’s coming together.

Craft Room - Entering
View as you enter the room.

Craft Room - Books & Sewing Table
To the left after you enter are my book shelves and sewing table.

Craft Room - Stash
To the right after you enter is my stash.

Craft Room - Closet
On the back wall is the closet. I’m planning on hanging those curtains draped over the bar there in place of closet doors.

I wound up the pink and purple yarn I spun this weekend and found that I have about 153 yards. Not bad! This one was much more even then the first one, but that’s to be expected. I’m really loving spinning!! I’d say I’m thinking about it just as much as knitting now 🙂

Pink and Purple Yarn
Pink and purple yarn, skeined.

Friday, I got prezzies in the mail! I received a shipment from All Spun Up. Talk about fast shipping! It was mailed out Wednesday from the west coast and I received it Friday. I love these colors even more in person then I did from the photos online! Simply beautiful 🙂 This was my first order from Kristin, but you can bet I’ll order again.

Fiber from All Spun Up
Top: Mernio/Silk blend, Bottom left: Superwash Merino, Bottom right: Merino, all are 6.2 oz

I also received the yarn I one in the Cookie A. KAL on Ravelry. It’s Nature’s Palette in Seafoam. Very pretty! I’m already trying to decide what I’ll make with it.

Nature's Palette
Nature’s Palette in Seafoam

This weekend I decided I wanted something new to knit on, something that would go pretty quick, so I decided to cast on Nanners with Socks That Rock mediumweight using US 1.5’s (2.5 mm). I’m up to the cuff of the first sock as of yesterday, so it’s going pretty quickly. I didn’t even modify the pattern to do a short row heel instead of the slip stitch one the pattern calls for. I have to say, the slip stitch heel seems to take a lot longer and I can’t say it fits my heel any better then a short row one, but I like how it looks.

Nanners
Nanners!

Nanners On - Top
Nanners, on my foot, top of the sock.

Nanners On - Side

Nanners, on my foot, side of the sock.

I did some spinning this weekend, but I’ll wait until the next post to show you all my progress and talk a little about my Tour de Fleece progress. Hope your Monday is turning out to be a good one!

Posted in Spinning

Just keep spinning, Just keep spinning!

Yesterday I spent a good 2 hours unpacking and re-organizing things in the house. Our kitchen really doesn’t have enough cabinet space! I was able to remove a shelf from one cabinet and add it to another, so things fit a lot better, but we still have a number of boxes that have no place to go. I can’t wait to be able to re-do the kitchen and add a LOT more cabinets (and stove and counters and….). I think that if there’s one room I’m least fond of, it’s probably the kitchen, sadly. There’s a lot of physical space, but not enough storage space. Plus, I really want a gas stove! Anyhow, I got a lot done and the only things left to still unpack is the rest of my books in my craft room, a few kitchen boxes, and bathroom stuff. I’d say we’re about 75% unpacked now. Soon I hope we’re completely unpacked and can have our housewarming get together!

Since I did some work around the house, I didn’t feel so bad about spending time spinning. I knew that if I didn’t get to the house stuff soon after getting home, I wouldn’t do it, so I made sure I didn’t sit down to spin until after I felt pretty accomplished about unpacking and re-organizing. I was able to finish the rest of the fiber and filled the bobbin almost full.

Second Bobbin
Second Bobbin

I was half tempted to just keep them as singles after putting them side by side.

Both bobbins, before plying
Pretty Singles

But, I decided I wanted to ply it.

197/365: Plied!
Two Ply Yarn

I really like how it looks plied, so I’m glad I decided to do that. I haven’t taken it off the bobbins yet and don’t know how much yardage I have. Total, I spent 2 hours spinning yesterday. Next, I think I’m going to spin up this:

Zarzuela's Fibers: Emerald City, Merino
Zarzuela’s Fibers merino in “Emerald City”

And maybe after that, I’ll spin this:

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Fiber

I did do a little bit of knitting on Hey Teach yesterday, but no real progress to show. Spinning has become about as addicting as knitting! As if I needed another addiction! I blame all the spinners who’ve been slowly sucking me in with all their pretty fibers and yarns they make from them 😉

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

House Updates, Spinning, and Socks

Since the last time I blogged, I feel like I have a ton of stuff I want to share or say! I suppose that means I should just blog more, but other things keep getting in my way lately.

This weekend was good. Spent time with friends and had a good time with that. We bought lamps at IKEA that have their on/off switch on a button attached to the cord at the base of the lamp. I really love this idea, especially for the living room where the light switch isn’t connected to any of the outlets. We bought two for the living room and one for my craft room. We use CFL’s in all the lights we possibly can, but I’m always worried about breaking them. Well, I finally broke one. I was trying to fix the lamp shade for the lamp going in my craft room and while looking for a place to set the bulb, it broke! 😦 I was really stressed out about it since Matt kept telling me horror stories about people who broke them and had to have hazmat teams come out (CFL’s have mercury in them). I quickly looked up what to do. I found this very helpful article on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Now if it ever happens to you, you know what to do! It’s really not as big of a deal as I thought it was, thankfully. I also looked up how to dispose of them for Ohio and found EPA Ohio’s website that said to throw them in with your regular garbage. I was a little disappointed that we don’t have recycling facilities for this, but we did find out after a second trip to IKEA that they do accept CFL’s for recycling there (though it didn’t say anything about accepting broken ones, so I’m not sure if they do). We have a few others that aren’t useable anymore, so the next time we go to IKEA, we’ll be taking those there for recycling.

Anyhow… enough about broken light bulbs! I now have lamps in the living room and a lamp in my craft room. I’ll have to take a picture – I love the lamp shade I picked out. I bought a chair from IKEA for my sewing table, but we couldn’t get it together. One of the bars wouldn’t allow the screw to go in. We took it back and I didn’t bother getting another. It was on clearance and I didn’t want to chance getting another broken one that needed to be returned. Oh! And blinds!! We got blinds for the house, finally. We have them up in the living room and downstairs hall. We bought enough to also put some up in the bedroom and office, but I didn’t understand how you should measure for blinds, so we ended up with blinds too small for the living room. As a result of buying cheap blinds, we have two others that need to be returned on top of the two that are too small. One of them had holes and stains on the slats (near the top, so they can’t be removed) and I can’t remember what the issue with the other one was. Slowly, we’re getting there!

I took some pictures of the backyard and uploaded them to Flickr. You can see them here.

This weekend, just as the power went on Saturday evening, I finished spinning and plying my first yarn!

192/365: First Yarn!
Yarn I made!!

My First yarn :)
All skeined up.

I ended up with about 137 yards worth. I’d say it’s bulky weight, sort of thick and thin. I love how it turned out and I’m quite proud of it! The fiber is from Zarzuela’s Fibers, BFL in the “Thinking of Fall” colorway.

Speaking of Zarzuela’s Fibers… have you seen her Luxury Sock Batts? This one was so beautiful, I had to have it! It’s BFL, mohair, and silk. I love the color and pictures just don’t do it justice. So soft!! I can’t wait to spin it up 🙂

Luxury Sock Batt

Now that I have the other fiber off my wheel, Sunday, I started pre-drafting the next thing I wanted to spin. I picked up this BFL a while back at a fiber fest and I believe it’s from Twisted Stitches. Monday I finished pre-drafting it all.

Pink and Purple Spinning
Box full of pre-drafted fiber.

Then, even though I’d said I wouldn’t spin any of it since it was the Tour de Fleece “day of rest,” I ended up spinning a little anyway!

194/365: Pink and Purple Spinning
Pretty pinks and purples.

This weekend I spent 5 hours spinning and did 2 hours on Monday. I feel like I’m really getting the hang of spinning and find that I want to do it more and more! 🙂

I’ve been working on my Absinthe sock and have started the increases. The pattern is going along pretty smoothly so far, no issues. It’s been a while since I’ve done cables, so that’s been a nice change of pace for me.

Absinthe Sock
Limey green Absinthe sock.

I haven’t worked on it much in the last few days between spinning and starting this sock…

Open Flame Sock
Vesper Stripey Goodness

It’s been a while since I knit a stripey sock and the recent sock club shipment was really calling to me, so Saturday morning, I cast on for a plain stripey sock. The colorway is “Open Flame” a four stripe colorway. I love it 🙂

I’ve been working on Hey Teach. Pretty close to being done with the left front, but no pictures yet. It keeps getting put aside for other things lately! Ah well, I’ll get to it.

Tonight Matt and I are going to a cooking class at The Learning Kitchen. The class is called “For the Love of Garlic.” Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. It’s almost mid-week again. Sometimes I just can’t believe how fast the time goes by! Later, all.

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 🙂