Posted in Current Projects

Three S’s: Spinning, Scarf, and Stash

Last night at knitting, I was talking to one of the group members about spinning. I think there’s 2 people in the whole group that spin! I mentioned that this year, I’d really like to get a wheel, so we talked a little about wheels and said that I should come over when the weather gets warmer and we can spin outside. I have wanted to get a wheel for a long time now… I think since 2005! I got a drop spindle in 2005 and there are a few posts here that I talked about it. I did spin up the first roving I had. Then in 2007, I went to Knitter’s Connection and took a class on spinning. I learned more about drafting and my second go round looked a lot better that my super bulky first try, but I never did finish it. I started having a lot of pain in my right shoulder and it made it really difficult to spin, so I put it aside for “some other time.” Every so often, I’d get it out and look at the spindle with the little bit of yarn I’ve made on it and just dream about having a wheel. This year is THE year. I want to have a wheel by the end of the year.

Anyway, last night I was talking to her about spinning and I mentioned how it hurt my shoulder. She asked if I pull it up or to the side when I’m drafting. Up. Then it hit me – duh! No wonder it’s bothering my shoulder so much. I’m pulling UP instead of to the side, which would be much easier on my shoulder. She said I should try it sometime. No better some time than now!

7/365: Spinning

I haven’t actually tried it yet, but I plan to this weekend.

On Monday I started my sisters Hogwarts scarf in Gryffindor colors. After knitting on it last night and today, it’s looking pretty good:

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I’m hoping this will end up being a pretty quick knit. It’s great for knitting in front of the TV, while on the phone, having conversations with people, or while reading a book (as long as you have something to hold the book open!). I was wondering, though, what the height should be on the stripes. It doesn’t say in the pattern and looking at it I almost feel they should be taller. Right now the are 3.75″. It does say the scarf should be 7 to 8 inches wide and mine is about 9 inches wide. I added 10 extra stitches to make it easier to knit in the round (70 was just a tad on the tight side).

Monday I had to go to Michael’s to get the yarn for the scarf (it’s Vanna’s Choice yarn, my sister requested something not itchy and this definitely isn’t). After I got home, I decided that I needed to get all the yarn I’ve acquired photographed and entered into my stash on Ravelry. All of it was either given to me or acrylic that I bought a skein of here and there.

I thought I’d have some fun and create a little picture with all the yarn I took pictures of and uploaded to my stash:

Yarn Stash

Might be a little boring here on the blog while I knit this scarf. I’m hoping it won’t take the eternity it feels like it will. Then again, I’m sure I’ll come up with something to talk about!

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Posted in Current Projects

Catching up on a bit of everything

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged last! I've been rather busy at work and at home since I last posted. I've taken on some extra things at work that I'm excited about, but that means I've been working more hours each week, which leaves me pretty tired. The last few weekends have been busy, too. Visiting with friends and family – fantastic, but also tiring! Not to say I haven't been enjoying it, because I totally am, it's just not left me much time for other things and blogging seems to fall to the wayside when I'm busy. (I really must try and fix that.)

Anyhow…

Today I booked our vacation! We're going to Charleston, South Carolina and will be staying at The Lodge Alley Inn, right downtown, the first week of November. I have owned a timeshare for about 5 years now and this is the first time I'm using it. I'm SO excited to be going!

The Ravelympics have come to a close and I did not finish my Starlight sweater. I knew about half way through the Ravelympics that I wouldn't finish and I kind of just stopped knitting at that point. I think I got a little bored with the pattern and the cable row that is every 4th row, not to mention that it's not very portable at all. I've found that I am just not that great at knitting on only one thing if I'm not that interested in it. It's become my "knit while watching tv" project and eventually it will be done. I'm hoping by the end of the year. If I'm not done with it by the time we take our vacation, I'm bringing it as my "knit in the car" project.

Since I was totally over the Ravelympics once I figured out there's no way I'd be done with it (I highly over-estimated how much time I'd have to knit and I started working more hours at work which left a lot less knitting time for me), I started a sock:

Nutkins Sock

When I found that this sock didn't really fit over my heel without a lot of struggle, it was frogged last Wednesday. Since that didn't work out and I like to have a good sock project for taking on-the-go with me, I started this yesterday:

Pomatomus:
Hippomatomus-whatsit Sock

I started another project at the request of the boyfriend. I was trying to find a pattern on Ravelry and he was standing next to me as I was searching and saw this pattern. He suddenly couldn't live without it and requested I knit it for him with my left over Nanner yarn. I said I'd only knit it if he'd wear it and I can take photographic evidence of him wearing it. He said he'd totally wear it and let me take pictures, so here I am knitting a Banana Hammock!

Progress so far:
Banana Hammock

I'm actually a bit further along than that, but I don't have a picture yet.

This past weekend, my friend Grace came over so we could go to the Gaiam outlet sale (it's close to my house) that was going on. I was lucky enough to get TWO pairs of Earth shoes for 60% off! Quite a steal, if you ask me. I haven't bought a pair before, but have heard so many good things. I just couldn't ever justify the expense. For the price of one pair of Earth shoes with the Kalso Negative Heel Technology, I got two pairs of Vegan Earth shoes, a yoga mat/block/strap kit with dvd, a t-shirt, yoga flip flops (they separate all your toes, supposed to be good for balance), and a really cool bag (my new purse). I am beyond excited by it! I'm wearing one pair today and I absolutely love them. I can actually feel myself walking taller/straighter.

I have to say that the bag I got excites me as well. It has two separate zippered compartments in it and is very light. I thought it would be perfect for keeping my purse junk on one side and my sock project on the other. I've been wanting a bag that can do this that isn't as big as a suitcase (like it seems most knitting bags are) and this meets all my needs completely! Only thing that I'd like is another small zippered pouch for some of my purse junk that I used to keep in the inside zippered compartment since this bag doesn't have any inside pockets. The bag itself is very light and even with my sock project in it, I'd swear it's lighter than the last purse I had.

The bag:
New Bag

The inside:
Bag Compartments

I love this bag! It only cost $15 (regular price $50 with 70% off that price). LOVE.

I know a number of folks got into the Wollemeise sock club recently. Lucky folks! I was going to try and get a spot, but I figured that it was best for my budget not to do that. Speaking of budget… I have paid off my Visa card! Just waiting on the payment to post, but man am I happy about that!

I sold off some of my stash and gave away some to my sister. I just felt the need to get rid of yarn that just wasn't right for me for whatever reason. Anything that I didn't have plans for pretty much went with the exception of most of the sock yarn (there were a few lone skeins that found new homes) and lace yarn. It felt rather liberating to just have yarn that I really wanted to knit with, even if I didn't have a specific pattern for it. My Ravelry queue holds plenty of sock and lace patterns that I like, so that's not a problem! It was the worsted weight stuff, just a skein here or there that I wanted out of my stash. My sister was welcoming to the new yarn (a trash bag full!) and I sold quite a bit on Ravelry. I sent out 11 packages today, all making their way across the states and one making its way to Norway.

Last week I bought a book to learn amigurumi.

Amigurumi!

There's some cute things in here and once I finish the Banana Hammock, I'm going to be teaching myself how to make things from the book. My crochet skills are limited at best, but my sister crochets and I'm sure if she can't help me, someone at SnB can.

Recently Miss Voiolet (of Lime & Violet fame) started selling soaps and scents. I was able to get in an order in when the shop first went up and got my goodies about two weekends ago:

Soap and Scents
Soaps: Dirty Jack, Farmgirl, Sinflower, Afternoon Baking, and Plurk Nannerbread
Cupcakes (scents): Dirty Jack, Organza Fills, Afternoon Baking, Lime & Violet, Soda Jerk, and Wednesday's Market

So far I've used the Afternoon Baking soap and scent and the Soda Jerk scent – all are great.  All the soaps and scents smell good and I'm looking forward to using them :o)

I bought this at the Target $1 spot (or former $1 spot because now they have things for $2 and $2.50!) for my desk at work because I thought it was cute:

Mr. Man and Little Miss

Recently I've had some ups and downs concerning my health.  My back is in worse condition than I thought (I really did hope physical therapy would help) and I'm waiting to see my neurologist on Sept. 9th. Then I got some news from the VA about the disability claim I filed last year for my back - they approved me for compensation for the back problems at 20% and I'll be receiving a check from them monthly.  They are missing some paperwork, though, so I'll be appealing my claim and maybe receive more.  I was pretty mixed about this decision, but overall it means more good things for me than anything bad.  Now it's all just a waiting game to see where I go from here.

I had started two other posts between the last time I posted and now, but neither made it to completion, so I'm sure there's more that I wanted to write about, but I don't recall (or it feels too old to mention). Til next time!

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 Knit Ramblings

Ravelry, stop sucking my time!

If I ever stopped poking around Ravelry, maybe I’d post (and knit) more.  I get sucked in by the fourms and now they have Radar where you can see messages as they are posted and it’s sucking up loads of my time.

In other, non-Ravelry related news, I’ve completed the body of my Noro Cardigan and now I’m working on the sleeves.

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This is really all I’ve been working on lately.  I feel so close to being done and just want to be done already!  I’ve knit on the toe-up socks here and there, mostly at work, but other than that, I’ve been working on the Noro Cardigan.

Nothing much exciting going on here.  It was Nathaniel’s birthday today.  He’s 15 now!  It’s hard to imagine that I met him when he was 11 and a lot smaller than he is now.  He grew enough over the summer that he’s now taller than me!  Not too hard to do since I’m only 5′ 4" tall.  We went to Margarita’s for dinner tonight.  I forgot my camra, but took a photo on my cell phone (so please excuse the no-so-great quality!):

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For some reason we found the fact that the size of the chip he’s holding was as big as half of his head very funny and laughed for a good few minutes about it!

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That’s about all that’s going on in my part of the world.  It feels like it should be Friday already and it’s only Tuesday.  What’s up with that?

Off the computer with me and back to knitting that cardigan!  Happy Tuesday everyone :o)

Posted in Completed Projects

Ravelry, The Weekend, and Mention of an FO

There’s so much that I like about Ravelry.  I have seen more patterns than I have since I started knitting.  I try and keep up with what’s out there, but it’s difficult since there isn’t any real resource out there to find all these things.  Now that Ravelry is here, I’ve found a lot more patterns I want to make.  This is, of course, good and bad.  Bad because there’s a ton more stuff I want to make now, good because I probably wouldn’t have found most of these otherwise.  For me, I could see a pattern in a book a hundred time and it just won’t do it for me… I won’t want to make it.  Put it in a different yarn or color and suddenly I have to have it!  I love how I can look up a pattern and see different people who have completed it.  It can totally change my mind about a pattern I didn’t like before.  I looked up "lace" today and came up with all kinds of good stuff.  I have more patterns that I want to make now, but it’s okay.  I’m still looking for the right scarf pattern for the lovely Evolution yarn I purchased at Knitter’s Connection, but I think a stitch dictionary should take care of that.  What I was looking for is a good use for the Kid Silk Haze I have left over from the Mrs. Beaton’s I made last year.  I may end up coming up with something on my own, but we’ll see.

This weekend was good.  Dinner was great on Friday and I had a lot of fun.  The yarn shop hop on Saturday was fun.  I got to visit a shop I hadn’t been to before and I really would love to go to again sometime.  Plus now I know about more shops that I haven’t been to yet.  Must plan another yarn shop hop again, soon.  I was so good and didn’t even buy anything.  I almost came home with a pattern for a Noni bag, but decided to wait on it for now.  I knew if I got the pattern, the yarn would have to come home with me, too, and right now I don’t even have a washing machine at home to felt anything, so holding off is a much better idea at the moment.  I’d be bummed if I knit the whole thing then had to wait a long time to felt it.  After the shop hop, I went to The Beach waterpark with my mom and sister.  Despite the earlier not-so-great weather (it was very overcast and looking like it would rain), it was sunny by the time we got there.  I went on some water rides and had fun floating in the Lazy River.  The first ride I flipped over backwards on and swear I thought I would die, but I didn’t.  I did get a headache for a while because I think water went up my nose when I flipped over.  The movie they played after the park closed was "Flushed Away" which I thought was both cute and funny.  While it was playing, I knit some on the Prayer Shawl I’m working on.  I’ve used up 4 of the 10 skeins of yarn I purchased.  I think I’m nearly half way done now.  It’s taking no time at all!

Today, I completed the Shedir hat I was working on.  As of right now it’s not going to anyone, but there’s a small chance it might.  We’ll see.  I have more than enough yarn for a second one and I’m really thinking about making another just to use up the rest of the yarn.  I may be able to get some photos up of it today if it’s still light enough when I get home tonight.  It’ll be about 8:30, though, so I doubt it.  Tomorrow, then, if it’s sunny.  This really does need some natural light to really get the right photo of the color.

Well, I really must be getting back to working.  I just needed a little break for a bit!  This day has been dragging by and I’m ready to go home and knit a while.

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Start-itus

I’ve had a very bad case of start-itus lately.  I cast on for yet another project last night because this Lana Gatto Summer yarn had been calling me for days!  Finally I found a pattern that it would work for, swatched and my gauge was spot on.  How could I resist?  Now the number of WIPs have gone up to 9.  I should work on getting that down a little bit, I suppose.  Well, at least work on my Sockapalooza 4 socks.  I know that if I actually worked on them instead of other things, they’d be done in no time, but they just aren’t calling me at the moment. 

Ravelry is taking up a lot of my time on the internet these days and yesterday I signed up to be a volunteer editor  I’ve been editing some of the yarns that I come across that need more information.  I’ve heard about other people doing this (volunteer editing), but until yesterday I couldn’t figure out HOW they were doing it.  I even read the Ravelry Wiki about it and know more about how it all works now and what to do to help.

Even though Ravelry is taking up lots of my time, I still knit, but there’s not much progress on anything that’s really worth showing.  I’ve been working on a little bit of each project and a few rows here and there isn’t much to show.  I am designing a cabled bag based on this bag from Drops.  I knit that whole entire bag and didn’t like it, so I ripped it all out.  I wanted to add a strip of bottom to the bag, but it wasn’t working out and it was just too floppy to be a good bag which was probably a combination of the pattern and the yarn.  I decided it need to be knit on smaller needles (thus making it tighter and more sturdy) and it needed a flat bottom and two straps instead of one.  There’s so many modifications I’ve made to it that it’s really no longer that bag anymore.  The only thing that is the same is the six stitch cable (and not even the chart is what I’m working off of, just that the cable has six stitches still).  I suppose when it’s done the resemblance will be there, but even that will be minimal.  At least I found a use for that yarn!

Well I’ve got to get ready to take my sister to the dentist and I’m going to a cookout later on.  Stuff to do and people to see!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

It Arrived Today

When I checked my email this morning, I found an invite waiting for me. One that I’ve been patiently waiting on while everyone else in the blogging world is talking about it and using it already.

An invite to join Ravelry!

Be still my heart!! Can it be?! Yes… it really was the invite I’ve been waiting on.

I am now part of Ravelry. I have a feeling I will be on this all the time now!