WIP Wednesday- Pollen edition

I have so many projects going on right now and I can’t share any of them! It is a mix of custom requested projects, gift items, and test/samples – all under wraps for the time being.  I really wanted to share something this week, so I started something new. (Who’s surprised? No one who reads this blog for any length of time.  Yeah.) I have dealt with seasonal allergies forever! My dad was a family practitioner, so that was my informal diagnosis from when I was a kid. I have noticed that my allergies have changed a bit over the years – I used to get them guaranteed twice a year – in early September / middle of Spring.  The last few years it seems to be a once a year annoyance, around the middle to end of May. My casual investigation to discover the predominant pollen leads me  to oak and birch tree pollen as the culprits. I have had the Pollen Count pattern in my queue for ages, so I decided to work out the aggression with which I want to rub my itchy eyes and crochet this little guy. Maybe if he’s cute I’ll be less annoyed?

Pollen in progress but once I put eyes on it I think it wants to be something else. #crochet #amigurumi

Anyway, I’m at the point where you add the face before decreasing. I placed the eyes to check the position and then was distracted having to work on something else. For several hours this little guy has been watching me. That has to be the downside of making amigurumi, right? And now I’m thinking I don’t know if this little project really wants to be a pollen grain. He sort of looks like the right shape for a coffee cup.  Or a mouse.  Something.  So, you might see a pollen grain or something else here on Friday.

Side note. In a manner similar to weeds, I find pollen so interesting! This itty-bitty bit of fluff, essentially, harmless to my body but my body thinks it’s bad and makes me sneeze / cough / have itchy-watery eyes to just Get. It. Out! When I was in graduate school, most of my research involved Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and looking at particulate matter (tiny airborne stuff) on Oak leaves. I found a lot of pollen among the other stuff I was looking for – like these! Funny that I spent all that time studying oak leaves and now the oak may be partly to blame for my misery this week!

May your week be sneeze free! Looks like we’re switching from cool spring temperatures to hazy, hot, and humid!

Yarn Along / WIP Wednesday – For the kids edition

Truth: It’s been a decent week for starting projects. I am super pleased at how a few of them are progressing, so that’s good. I am not so pleased with how a finger on my hook holding hand tends to cramp up / lock straight when I crochet an awful lot. Has this happened to you? I hold my hook in my left hand, not always like a knife and not always like a pencil, but frequently my ring finger will be bothered.  Obviously it is not keeping me from the craft!

YarnAlong

Two books arrived last week: Topsy Turvy: Inside-Out Knit Toys by Susan B. Anderson and Amigurumi Two by Ana Paula Rimoli.  They are adorable and I have already queued up several patterns; I even have perfect yarns to use right away! We’ve been reading Little House in the Big Woods with Lorelai at night, which I am really excited about. We were using my copy from when I was a kid, the one that came in the yellow box set – did you have that? Well, it is a well-loved, well-read copy, with many yellowed pages and a broken spine.  Last night the book split in several parts and I need to tape it back together. We have ordered her her own copy! It is so different to read that book now as a grown up and just think about all the work that went into just staying alive out in the Big Woods. Pa caught a bear, YAY – food! But then, woah – all the prep! Spend all day making butter? Amazing.

I have slowed down on my Morning Coffee, due only to my own distractions.  I am on the cable detail at the cuff of the first sleeve.  I’ve crocheted half a pair of baby sandals for a gift, started a cactus for a swap, gotten the body of the second slug ready for the eyeballs to be attached, and I’ve been tackling the Springtime Sampler. I’m only showing the sampler here with the books because it’s just a bit too much to gather everything up right now!

It’s April vacation this week, so in addition to my usual struggles with distractions, both kiddos are running wild.  Yesterday, L came over to me and said “Mom, I think there’s a beaver in our yard.”  Ummmm, I don’t think so kiddo.  “But Moooom, it’s still there!”.  What do you know? She was right – almost! Apparently a groundhog has moved in under a gazebo in our backyard!  He’s probably the size of Jackson, and Jackson wanted to go after him!

GroundhogGroundhog
 

WIP Wednesday – a bit of everything

Before & after. I am a lazy gardener, should have done this last fall. Getting the beds ready.Instagram has captured what I have worked on this week.  I finally cleared out my garden beds. After a not-so-successful garden last year (the weeds won), I left everything there over the winter. I figure it gives a little bit back to the soil. This year, with the sole exception of green beans, we’re going to try and have a flower garden. This will give the soil a break from our usual attempts of general vegetables. Our house came landscaped, which is great and all, but I miss seeing the blooms.  Hopefully this will also attract butterflies!

My Morning Coffee is coming along! On to the sleeves! #knittingThe body of my Morning Coffee sweater is done and I love it! I have started a sleeve and it is slowly but surely moving along.  Speaking of coffee, I tried a coffee “recipe” I saw online – this particular blogger raved about coffee + coconut milk + cocoa powder, so I gave it a try. And I will not be doing that again – ugh! I will stick with my cream and sugar.

Working on my #frostedpumpkin #springtimesapler - I'm slow & behind but it makes me happy! @heyporkchopThe weather has taken such a nice turn over the last week or so, we’ve been getting outside just about every day! Yesterday I was so tired at the end I didn’t even want to pick up my knitting, or crochet! Shocking! Thankfully I have another craft in the works. I think I mentioned being bit by the cross stitch bug – I have the Woodland Sampler and the Springtime Sampler, both from the Frosted Pumpkin. I am behind on both, and I am not fast at it, but I really enjoy it. One little stitch at a time.

I haven’t been reading much, a few fluff magazines is about it, but I am expecting a few books to arrive soon to help with my toy box project! I also really need to get moving on a few custom-request items, so hopefully I will have some fun to show on Friday!

WIP Wednesday – Ombre Coffee

photo.JPGI’ve been really pushing myself on my Morning Coffee sweater. I would like to be able to wear it a few times before fall! The body needs one more inch or so and then several inches of ribbing. I should be able to start the sleeves next week! Except for the first skein which was used to knit most of the yoke, I have been alternating skeins. You can see there is a slight ombre effect going on here, but I’m ok with it. I have added what feels like 2398754 more things to my mental queue – the beginning of the month is always like that, but this month we have the added excitement of my baby (19 months now!) being awake a lot more when I need to get work done! Also, I am going to be an aunt this summer! My niece is due to arrive in August sometime! I am very excited and I’ve coordinated with my SIL (who is not just a knitter but the daughter of a knitter too) with special-request items.  Lucky for my blog readers, I am sure to have multiple projects going so I won’t have to just show teaser pictures between now and then!

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!

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?

WIP Wednesday

I have had a lengthy love affair with Malabrigo. I think it was one of the first “nice” yarns I bought myself in my early knitting days. Over the years I have stashed it, admired it, coveted it, and yes, knit with it. Lately though I have just let it simmer in my stash. I decided to join in a few Malabrigo March KALs and doing so has truly rekindled my affection for this yarn. Here I am using Malabrigo Rios to make a pair of Nathair Mitts in the Solis colorway. These are for me and I can’t wait to finish them. The first mitt is done and ready for a thumb! This week I have finished a cowl that I hope to share with you tomorrow, and two items for swaps have gone out in the mail, so I’ll share those on Friday.  Mentally I’m queuing myself up for a few more KALs which I hope is not jinxing it for me. I am hoping to follow through and participate in the March sock knitter’s anonymous challenge by making Carousel socks, the Flame KAL in the Crafty Diversions group, and the Morning Coffee KAL starts next week. I have swatched for that one and am itching to get started! How about you?