Too much stuff – Yarn Along & WIP Wednesday

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Let’s just sum up by saying I have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of projects going on, I have to keep track of a lot of details for my work, my home & family. I may be reaching a tipping point.  Today I started the washing machine and left the top open; luckily once it’s filled and bubbly it doesn’t continue on with the cycle unless the top is down! Later, when I went back to move things along I opened the machine to find it completely empty.  I didn’t bother to actually put the clothes into the machine! This week I’ve worked on 2 cross stitch projects, my Morning Coffee Sweater, my Carousel sock, a slug and a secret project. I have a really hard time doing one thing at a time. I feel bored and antsy if I do not have a choice of projects. Some nights I need plain stockinette or garter stitch, other times when I have a moment to work stitches I want to tackle a cable or two.  I started reading “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie.  I’ve been a long time fan of her mysteries and this one, somehow, I had not read before. I thought it was going to take me longer as the typeface on each page is tiny, but I am already a third of the way through the book.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try and salvage what’s left of this afternoon and my to-do list, with two little ones adding to the chaos!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Looks like Irish bread. Tastes like Irish bread. Mom's is still better, but this isn't bad!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It has been a very low key weekend here in this nutmeg.  My husband and daughter went to visit some friends and their kids, then stayed overnight, so it’s just been Nate & I.  Mostly peaceful, more quiet than usual, it’s nice.  I had big dreams of getting so much done (start spring cleaning, weed out the clutter, maybe get a head on my work, back stuff up, figure out my email issue, etc etc, the usual). It’s only for 24 hours, but I have big dreams and when I read the Yarn Harlot’s post, I just sat here and nodded! Anyway, I stitched a bit on the Woodland Sampler (I’m behind) and on the Spring Sampler (almost have one frame done) and knit on my Morning Coffee. I enjoyed a Guinness & corned beef sandwich from the local food center for dinner and decided to try to make my mom’s Irish Bread.  I am very pleased with the result, even Nate seemed to really like it.  It’s not the same, but it’ll do.
   

FO Friday – Mitts & a Monster

Nathair Mitts

I am in love with these mitts! This was my first Malabrigo March project, the Nathair Mitts, in Malabrigo Rios, the Solis colorway.  The cable was fun to work and though it did require my attention, I was able to work on these while watching TV and at knitting night without any mistakes! The yarn is butter soft and squishy and I will be on the hunt for more.  I only used 40grams to make the pair, so I have a decent amount leftover. Maybe I’ll make a cowl and finally have a matching set of accessories!

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This is overdue. This is a Mixtro monster (yes, another FreshStitches design!) that I made with stash-busting acrylic for the 600 Monsters group.  I finally got the right size eyes and stitched him up, and have sent him on his way. He probably won’t end up with the original 600 in Newtown, but that’s ok – the group promised to find homes for the additional monsters with kids have been through a tragedy or trauma and need a helpful monster to hug. 

Here’s to a great weekend – it’s been a bit of “one of those” weeks!

WIP Wednesday (Post #1001!)

WIP Wednesday

I noticed when I logged in this morning that this is post #1001! Keeping things moving, here is what I have been working on this week. I started a pair of Carousel socks. They have been on my mind for a while and they qualify for a Ravelry sock group’s March challenge of “Unusual Construction”.  So far, I am really enjoying working on this. The small section of stockinette seems to move along quickly. On a few rows I have tried knitting backwards and it worked, but I don’t know that doing that saves me any time (and I don’t mind purling). A good friend has commissioned two large slugs for her friend’s children after seeing the “Princess Slug” I made for Lorelai, so you can see the eyeballs and antennae of the first one in the middle. I am just about halfway through the second Malabrigo mitt and I am still loving it.  As much as I am looking forward to spring I am glad that I will be able to have these done and put them to good use sooner rather than later.  

I’ve been reading a bit here and there. Still working through “Case Histories” and I’ve been reviewing the material from the latest Craftsy class I’ve enrolled in, Knit to Flatter. As with my StitchFix experiment, I really want to make sweaters for me that fit and look right. I’m expecting to cast on a new sweater tomorrow, Morning Coffee, as part of a KAL – I think I might be making a few modifications given what I have learned in the craftsy class.  Or, maybe not just yet as I’m still processing all the information. What are you reading and working on?

StitchFix Experiment

(this post has nothing to do with knitting!)
I have been thinking about my wardrobe quite a bit lately.  I am getting annoyed with much of it. I am tired of everything in my closet.  There is a lot that doesn’t fit, since I have had my kids and as I work from home, I haven’t needed to update much of it.  I have picked up a few things here and there, but I know I am not always the most fashionable and, honestly, I don’t really like clothes shopping. It takes more time and effort than I am willing to put in and in the end usually costs more than I want.  When I heard about StitchFix, I had to give it a shot.

StitchFix is an online service where you answer several style preference and sizing questions. There is a $20 service fee for StitchFix to gather a box of 5 options for you of a variety of pieces. Once you receive the box you have 3 days to try on the items and decide if you want to keep them or send them back (and the $20 is credited toward your purchase).  My first box arrived today (a day earlier than expected) and it proved to be quite interesting.  What did I get? 2 shirts, 2 tanks and a pair of earrings.  What’s going back? Everything except one of the tanks. 

These were items I would never pick out on my own. Each of the clothing items comes with a little “How to style this” card – suggestions to pair it with a skirt or jeans or whatever.  That’s really helpful! The earrings are very cute but between my hair and little grabby kids, I avoid the dangles.  The green tank I thought did nothing for me – this one I was least impressed with.  The longer sleeved shirt had a cute print on it (cars, nuts and bolts) but I wasn’t crazy about the material.  I felt like those first two and the green chiffony shirt were more maternity style! So yeah, I am passing on those. I like comfort, but not the billowy-loose stuff. It has taken me years to get comfortable with clothing that fits!  The grey tank with the leaves down the front I liked right away – comfortable fabric, I thought it looked ok when it was on as well.  The price was not outrageous – maybe a bit more than I would usually spend, but not out of range of say, the Gap or J.Crew. 

Will I request another StitchFix? Yes – I liked the element of surprise in having someone else select items for me. I did fill out their survey to provide my feedback on each of the pieces, so I hope that future boxes would have more items I love.  You can sign up for a monthly box or as you need “a fix”.  If you think you might give it a try, here’s a link (and yes, if you sign up and get a box, I’ll get a credit.)

A cowl, an owl and cables! FO Friday!

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It’s been a good week! This cowl was my first crochet test project! Crystal wore hers a few weeks back to our knitting group and I was absolutely taken with it. I was rather forward in telling her that I was very interested in the pattern – I am feeling a lot more comfortable with a crochet hook and really enjoy the process. Crocheting makes me feel like I am using my brain in a different way, if that makes sense, probably because I still need to stop and think frequently, unlike knitting (usually!). Anyway, the Miss Adler pattern is wonderful for a beginner like me. Once I got through the first set of rows I was flying. Crystal has a great knack for explaining the details and her style is very clear. I can also vouch for her dedication to a pattern – I have seen her work through designs to be published at our knitting group and she doesn’t do anything half-way. She is having a trunk show this weekend and I am really looking forward to checking it out! I used Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for my version in the Wildflowers colorway. So many lovely colors poking through, very appropriate for spring. I did dip into a second skein, and as my gauge is different, my cowl is bigger, so I will probably wear it folded over as you can see in my Ravelry notebook.

Little Crochet Owl

Continuing with the crochet theme, this is Nel, the tiny owl, that I made for a swap on Ravelry.  He is another Fresh Stitches design and a lot of fun to make. I used Cotton Classic from the stash, and he turned out to be around 5 inches tall.  I hope he is loved when he gets to his destination!

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And finally, the Sweet Fern Mitts, from The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  These are also for a swap and I am very sad to see them go, but I will certainly make myself a pair.  They are just snug enough, and I made them with less than one skein of Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed. I struggled for a while with that yarn, trying to decide what to make with the lonely skein, but I would seek it out again – I loved working with it.

Have a great weekend!