Monday, December 15, 2014

baking

So last week--let's just say that perhaps maybe I neglected to put the things I was really going to do--actually needed to do on this list. Which made it very unfulfilling to spend a day doing them and having nothing to cross off. What am I talking about? Baking of course.
Last week I made, two batches of hard candy--one strawberry, one watermelon and a batch of marshmallows. The candy was supposed to be red and green. I made the strawberry first and colored it red. Then I made the watermelon and the flavor oil turned the candy pink! Which of course meant that my green turned it grayish brown. So lovely and so festive! I'm making two batches of spiced pecans today. So at the end of last week, my kitchen was full of this: DSCN4102
and this:
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And of course this morning, I'm doing the first batch of pecans (I need to buy pecans for the second batch --eeek) so this is making my house smell all good: DSCN4108
That's a long way of saying there were still items left on the list. Mostly dealing with wrapping presents--a task I despise. However, wrapping of the girls' presents must must must get done this week--this is the last week of school. I also broke out bigger tasks I want to accomplish this week, so my list for this week looks really really long.but it is so so satisfying to cross things off--so there is that.
Hopefully though, even if I don't get all the way through my list, I'll be ready for everyone to have their winter vacations and just chill in my messy messy house. And knit--oh yes knit. DSCN4107




Monday, December 08, 2014

cowl and sweaters

Last week I got EVERY SINGLE THING on my to do list done. That has not happened since I started keeping a weekly to do list 7 weeks ago. And it means that the secret Christmas jammies are done!! This week's list looks long, but I'm hoping I can knock it out too.

One thing that was not on my list this week, but needed to get done (and I should have written it on there) was to create a "ugly" Christmas "sweater" for both girls to wear to a Christmas party. After failing to find anything at Salvation army and refusing to spend $ (although I did buy puff paint for $10 so maybe I should rethink this next time) we decided to decorate some old sweatshirts that their grandma gave us for the occasion. What was really funny was in discussing the designs, it became clear neither girl understood what "ugly Christmas sweater" meant. So they both were dubious as my suggestions, and one of them kept begging to add black widow spiders. It went like this:
me: how about a big santa hat?
her: with a black widow spider on it?
me: um or maybe a Christmas tree?
her: decorated with black widow spiders?

In the end, no black widows, and not terribly ugly either: DSCN4044 DSCN4043

On to the knitting!:
I think I might have finished the cowl I was letting myself work on only for this week. I say think because I'm not sure I'm happy with it. DSCN4055

First, I'm not sure it is wide enough. I still have enough of both yarns to make a second one, but that seems a little odd to have two. Even odder to give the identical one away. And I'm not sure it is actually long enough either--this is it wrapped around me--just one wrap. (pre morning run, and so pre-shower/makeup sorry)

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So, I didn't tuck in the ends, in case I decide to rip it out and start over.
Pattern:Bloom Striped cowl
needles: US size 8
yarn: Misti alpaca baby me boo Autumn Aster and Malabrigo silky merino

Monday, December 01, 2014

Bloom Striped cowl

I finally finished the socks. I did neglect to get a picture of puppy girl wearing them, but she wore them for a day and a half before taking them off and shoving them behind the throw pillow on the couch. This is a normal repository of socks in my house and I am convinced that both girls consider this to be part of their hamper. I TRY to do the natural consequence thing and not wash things that aren't in the hamper, but honestly they either have too many socks or their tolerance for socks shoved behind cushions of the couch is higher than mine. Perhaps both.

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I decided to compromise and give myself a week, this week, to work on an alternate project before starting the second pair of socks. I mentioned a while ago that my LYS had a sale and when I went everyone was just gushing about the Bloom striped cowl. I bought two skeins to make it with and then laid out all my other purples to see if maybe one of them didn't go better. Then this weekend, I even dug out a burgundy and a baby blue. In the end I decided to go with not the silky wool I bought, but a darker purple. That um is called.... um.... I think I may have lost the ball band. Isn't that terrible? I do keep the ball bands--but I always get into trouble when the yarn comes in a skein and I decide I need to wind it RIGHT NOW!

I did a search of the yarn cabinet and did come up with the tag. The yarn is Malabrigo Silky merino. DSCN4031

And I quite like how it is turning out. DSCN4037

I will say this, whenever a pattern says cast on, I use a knitted cast on. I like it, I like how it looks. Sometimes I'll do a cable cast on--again easy peasy and looks nice. However, sometimes a pattern will specify and I truly try to believe that the pattern designer is not just a control freak who wants me use her favorite cast on and actually think there is a reason. So I use the cast on specified. That said--man I hate me some long tail cast on.

Monday, November 24, 2014

about the socks

You know what I am liking? The weekly progress pictures on the sock. Why? Because this week, I felt like I hardly knit at all. My arm has been hurting (which seems to be a combination of the ulnar nerve problem AND the tendonitis problem that I've had in the past. So my pinkie goes numb and my wrist hurts and my thumb feels weird.) Needless to say, it makes me not want to knit. I do think I have most of it figured out--I think the planks were aggravating my ulnar nerve and the brace I was wearing for that was making my wrist hurt. I'm switching from planks to boat pose, but I need to work up to a 30 second boat. I stopped planking a few days ago--stopped wearing my brace, and moved my pillows so I wasn't sleeping totally on my shoulder and I felt better so fast it wasn't even funny.

Are you curious about the steps? No? Well I'll tell you anyway. I still have my 10K streak going, but this week was HARD for that too. Wednesday I had to take my car in for service, AND I took a nap in the morning (it had been a rough rough night the night before). Then I didn't walk over to the school to get the girls (my daily walk!), so by 3:30 when we were all home I had 3000 steps. Usually I have 7000 by then. Let's just say I paced while dinner was cooking and barely made it. Yesterday was a similar thing--except we helped pack Thanksgiving baskets for the food pantry--and while it SEEMS like you'd be getting a lot of steps because you are walking along a line of food, picking up cans as you go, it turned out to only be 1500 steps for a 2 hour block. I probably have more to say bout what foods you should donate to food pantries based on this, and you can most likely find lots of articles that tell you the same thing, but I'm going to start with my big pet peeve: DON'T DONATE EXPIRED FOOD. And my "rule of thumb" If I won't eat it--I'm not donating it (exception: pumpkin pie filling stuff--I hate pumpkin, but some people love it--I haven't met anyone who likes canned potatoes though--if you do--give me a shout out). But on with the knitting!

socks

As you can see--I'm getting closer to the end. If all goes well I may even finish it thins week.

Also on my list this week were to darn my Harry Potter socks. These are my favorite of my hand knit socks, and they are old, and Opal no longer makes the Harry Potter colorways. (note to self--I should have bought more of this yarn when I had the chance). I was distressed last year to note that one of these socks was getting thin on the bottom, and sad to say, I've been putting off fixing them for far too long. Every day this fall I'd look at them on the dresser and think--You should fix those! So I put it on the list (that coincidentally sits next to where the socks were--duh) and actually did it.

darned

That's the Harry and Ron colorway BTW.

Also on the list--2 pairs of secret pjs (not done) and 2 pairs not secret PJs (done!). I am all set to get the secret ones done too--the problem is I got the elastic measured out for them on the weekend, so you can't really pull out the secret pairs while everyone is home. Joann's has flannel on super sale Wednesday and Friday this week, and I may pop over and pick up some more--for me. The girls are set I think after their Christmas pairs, but I would love another new pair.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sewing

I think I mentioned last week that I've been making a weekly to do list, to help focus my efforts. This week I think I went a bit overboard because there are 13 items on the list--I did add the 4 calendar items that I have this week--which is something I don't normally do, but we'll see how it goes. I think I jsut wanted to be sure I could cross something off every day. That's a real motivating thing for me to cross things off.

Last week I did EVERYTHING on the list except one item. The very last pair of planned pj pants for my panda girl still sit in the basement with no elastic because I was stupid and didn't cut a second length when I measured her for the frog PJs. I decided to do a pair for each of them for Christmas, and wasn't sure how to put those on the list because the list sits on my dresser. So I made them SCJ #1 and SCJ#2. And technically panda girl's only needs elastic--which when she decides she needs the plaid jammies that are still waiting on elastic--I'll cut two lengths. Puppy girl should be easier--her last jammies (a set of dogs with glasses) should get done this week. And she is always up for letting me measure out elastic.

This week I also finished a pair for me! Wore them and decided the elastic needed to be tighter--so I fixed them too: pants

Cute right! Sorry you can't see me modeling them, as I am very cute in them. But I'm sure as the winter goes on if you time it right, you'll see me walking (or driving) to school in them.

I never put knitting on the list--I just slog away at it every night as a form of relaxation. And this week I also hauled it to school conferences because it is set up like the DMV. Just what you want in a conference right? Sit in a chair and wait your 5 minute turn. We were there from 5pm when it started (ok we were there at 5:05 and it was already lines) until 6:45 when we saw the last teacher on the girl's team. I am so glad we put them on the same team of teachers! Otherwise we would have either had to split up or spend another hour waiting I'm sure. I'm so good at this sock pattern that I've done gobs of times that I actually turned the heel and set up the ribbing while I waited. I also got a ton of compliments on it. I still have about 3-4 inches of ribbing left. And I'm still trying to figure out how to not jump right back into the next pair of socks without hurting anyone's feelings.

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Maybe I'll start the socks AND a cowl and alternate days? Maybe I'll find I don't like the cowl pattern. All these maybes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Socks, skirts, pj pants

You would think that in a week I would have gotten a lot done and have had a ton of pictures to show for it.

At this I laugh.
Seriously though, I did make progress on the second sock, despite the fact that I feel like I have already knit 2 socks and am a little tired of knitting socks. DSCN3950 I was told that it might be preferable if they didn't match, so they don't. If that bothers you--look away.

And yes, I am a little tired of knitting socks and I'm ready to knit something else. However, I still have 2.5 more socks to do. You see I have twin girls and they are very competitive for my attention/love/knitting. And I can't just knit socks for one of them ( these are for puppy girl) without knitting socks for both of them. So I have 2.5 more socks to knit before I can move on to something else. At least the next pair are a different colorway.

I did make some barbie skirts out of the pleather. (I made two!) And it appears that my panda girl LOVES this, as she's asked for a lot more skirts. Like one in every piece of fabric we have maybe. I did take a picture of the one doll I could find wearing the skirt. Which just happened to be the panda girl's doll.
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My hand is there because this is the Barbie who rides a bike and so if I don't hold her I get this:
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I also made pj pants for me (although I haven't done the waistband yet) and 2 pairs for panda girl (one is a Christmas surprise) --again no waists yet. And I cut out a third pair for her.

I sort of got on a kick while I was waiting for stuff. I should get on a kick about putting in the waistbands.

Planking, steps and decluttering are all proceeding like they always did.

Monday, November 03, 2014

October wrap up

Here we go--October wrap up. In October I wanted to accomplish:
Halloween costumes
Steps, planing, decluttering
Get on a regular schedule
Knit something

Obviously I finished the costumes. It felt last minute, but I think October 30 wasn't bad. The girls wore them to school and entered a costume contest (but didn't win). Panda girl was going for "most homemade"(she meant best homemade, but kept saying most homemade)--I felt like I should leave some thread hanging for her. The weather was NASTY, windy and cold and drizzly, but the girls desperately wanted to trick or treat. So we bundled up (long underwear. winter coat and boots for me, coat UNDER the poodle jacket, and coat OVER the superhero costume--a trench that she flashed open at every door--it was cute.

I'm sure people look at my nearly fully grown eleven year olds and think they are too old to trick or treat--but at least they are fully decked out costume wise. They took their best friend's little sister with them, and I think fun was had by everyone.

Steps! Did you know I've gotten at least 10K steps every day since May 1--except June 29 and August 6? I have! (Those two days were long driving vacation days).
Planks--ok not so great with the planks--but most days! And I really can tell the difference. I need to up either my reps or my time on each.
Decluttering is where I kind of fell off. I feel like when I look around the obvious clutter is not mine, but the girls'. And I feel like I bought too much fabric for all the costumes, and I don't want to pitch the extras, but I don't know what else to do with it. I tried though--and over the weekend, I made some strides in getting at least one girl to work on her clutter problem.

Getting on a regular schedule. Hmmm I'm not sure why I said that except maybe I was stressed at work because I wasn't putting in regular hours. I have kind of a routine going now, so we can call that good right?

Knit something! I planned socks for the girls, with my goal in my head of finishing one pair by the end of the month. And I kind of did--I finished 2 socks. They just happen to be the same sock re-done so it would fit!
Socks

The one on the left is the first one, that sadly did not fit. I ripped it out and got just past the heel and tried it on her again, and the foot part fit. So I picked it up again, gave it a wider heel--added 4 stitches to the leg, and did a lighter ribbing. I just bound it off last night, so we'll try it on her again and hope it fits.

I'm not doing goals for November. I know it is a month many people blog every day or write a novel, but I just want to relax. I have a weekly to do list--which is something I started a few weeks ago. It helps me remember what needs doing, and get them done. I'll check in here from time to time with projects, but probably not every day. Although yesterday I sewed a cute pair of PJs that poodle girl wore today for Pajama day (which I sewed quick because I heard her saying she thought her kitty jammies and her monkey jammies were "babyish" and she wanted these leopard print ones instead, and she was really saying--I don't want to wear pajamas to school. Oh well--that's one pair of jammies done--and quick--within an hour--so you know I can pull this stuff off. Perhaps I'll get a picture of them, perhaps not.

At any rate--Happy November!