I finished Stitches last week and enjoyed it, though I was left wanting a bit more. Lucky for me, my mom brought Help, Thanks, Wow to borrow (which I gave to her at Christmas). I have yet to start it; maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a few pages today. I’ve also been reading class material on website development, which will help me at work. And I’m finally going to be taking nutmegknitter to it’s very own dot-com! Exciting stuff!
In the last week I have knit on my March Socks and a crochet scarf. The heels are turned on the socks, so now it’s a matter of deciding how tall I want the legs to be. There is a strong temptation to make these socks shortie-style just to be done with them. On the other hand, the yarn is an MCN blend and I don’t want to stop knitting with it. The crochet scarf is a challenge project for Team Stitchosaurs and the eatsleepknit Yarn Marathon.
It has been a long while since I joined any sort of yarn club or bought any themed kits, but I did treat myself last week. From the Stockinette Zombies podcast I learned about Little Skein on etsy, when she did a custom kit focused around the Extra Yarn book. This latest kit is focused on the children’s book “I Love You as Much”. We used to read this to my daughter and she would act out the parts with her dad (adorable!) and we’ve been reading it to my son and when I tell him I love him to the moon and back when I put him to bed, he replies with “and across the river”. So I stalked the update and purchased it. I have to say, I am completely sold and would buy any other kit that Anne creates. The are on par with the kits I had bought in the past from WoolGirl. Not only is the bag well made, but everything in the kit so nicely fits the theme – the yarn, the pattern, the stitch markers, the candy…. I love it! I am already putting the bag to good use and it is holding a new project, bunny-themed of course. I have one leg done, but I think holding the yarn doubled was not a smart choice as the fabric is too stiff. So I don’t really have much to show you there.
This week I picked up Stitches, by Anne Lamott. I was first introduced to her writing freshman year of college with Bird by Bird, a book that I think of often and really should reread. (I think it was a social justice class. I also read Amazing Grace in that class which was phenomenal.) I can’t quite put my finger on why I like her style, but I do. Have you read her work? This book takes a look at how we deal when life gets all out of whack – the big awful events, the daily frustrations, and everything inbetween. It’s not light, with references to things like Sandy Hook and sick children, but I’m able to enjoy a few words here and there.
(thank you pinterest, for allowing me another method in which to catch all the quotes that catch me!)
I’ve been knitting on my March socks, and though they may be plain vanilla socks, they are a merino-cashmere-nylon blend and stripey and it’s nice to be in a world where such a wonderful thing also exists! I’m on to the stockinette section of my sockhead hat. No modifications, I’m knitting to the pattern, so I’ve still got quite a ways to go on that. It is soothing and I love love love this speckling in the yarn – the pops of magenta here and navy there make me take notice of the beauty of the stitches again and again. Also, this yarn would be so awesome as a HeartCat I think!
This week has been full and on the go. This photo (from my Instagram) sums it up well enough. I’ve had one kid (on the left) be a bit whiny, but that seems to be improving. He is the epitome of being 2. The other kid (you can see part of her leg on the right) has gone back and forth between hyper-excited and bossy. I wish I could bottle some of that. It might be time to admit I might have too many projects going at once. Mostly they are blobs and not interesting to photograph (Cody Cardi), or I just can’t show you (current sample). Oh well. I will have a finished item (the one I’m knitting in the photo) to share on Friday, so please come back! I’ve been reading more SEO class materials, web design stuff, and an actual book – Survival Mom. It’s not bad and appeals to me in the Girl Scout sense – always be prepared!
How is your week going? What are you reading? What are your WIPs?
This week I have been working on the Cody Cardigan, a specially requested HeartCat, a pair of socks, and the Once Upon a Time Sampler. I like having a variety of projects as it stretches my hand muscles in different ways and keeps my attention. I am expecting to get moving on a few other projects over the next few days, I just can’t resist. The Cody Cardigan has to be kept in a zippered project bag for now as Jackson has gone after the yarn twice. I usually don’t have this issue with any other yarn (wool, alpaca or mohair) and I haven’t noticed any eau du doggie (even when the swatch was wet), but I’m not going to question Jackson’s nose. I’ve just finished the second buttonhole row and have finished one ball of yarn. I am pleased with how this project is working up, but it is very fuzzy and, no surprise, sheds. A few too many inhaled fibers is my sign to take a break from the knitting. The HeartCat is in the finishing stages and I’ll be sharing him in more detail on Friday. The little bag the HeartCat is in is from GirlCaveBags; I love the shape and it is just the right size. This was also the bag I used to hold Violet’s HeartCat, so I figure there is good juju with it. I do have an inkling to have a HeartCat specific project bag made (by myself or someone else) with Japanese fabric. I started looking on etsy and pinterest and that’s a whole other rabbit-hole.
Reading-wise, I’ve signed up for an online course to learn more about search engines and SEO. This will be the second online course I’ve taken through ed2go.com – it connects you with online schools and adult education programs.
Going for the short and sweet version today.
Reading: I finished Me Before You and would totally recommend it. Impulsively I grabbed The Woman Upstairs at the library from the 7-day loan section. It’s slow going, mostly because I keep stopping to re-read passages. I really like this main character. Sadly, I’m only 40 pages in and this book is a non-renewal, so it’s going back to the library. I will pick it up again someday. I did get the notice that Dark Places is available for me as a digital download, so I will be shifting to that book in the next few days.
Knitting: I started a pair of Simple Summer Socks for me because the yarn was wound and ready and my other project needed the next skein wound. I have had this one skein for a long time and always wanted to do something with it, so this pair of anklets should be just right. I’m having trouble keeping my rows straight and for a section I repeated the yo, decrease so there is a spot that’s just not quite right, but I’m the only one who’ll notice. Well, me and my husband only because I’m sure to point it out to him each time I wear them. I’m in the middle of the foot on the first sock.
Crocheting: My Camp Loopy project, the Augusta Shawl, is moving along nicely. The great thing about this pattern is you just keep crocheting until the skein runs out! I have worked my way through 2 of the 5 skeins so far and I feel like I’m on the right track.
And how about you?
It’s Wednesday again, time for WIP Wednesday & Yarn Along! I finished up my Stripe Study (yay!) so you’ll have to wait until Friday for that report. I have other secret projects I’m working on and in the “downtime” until the next Camp Loopy project starts (tomorrow! I have to get my yarn wound!) I decided to start a new project: socks for Lorelai. She has been showing a greater interest in the things I have knit and has asked for a few amigurumi things here and there. I uncovered a lone skein of Knit Picks Stroll in the stash the other day while looking for something else. She seemed interested in the socks at first, but when I put the WIP on her to see how tall she wanted the socks she told me she wanted knee socks (I don’t have enough of this yarn!) and then that she didn’t want socks. Sigh. I’m deciding to keep on and knit these up for her anyway, and I have been looking for ideas for knee-high socks. Isn’t the project bag great? It’s my new Piddleloop bag, it’s so cute and roomy! I love how the triangle shape sits too, and even DH noticed it yesterday.
Reading wise, I’ve been a bit disappointed with the e-book selection via my library – there are a lot of classics (which I should read, but I’m just not feeling), a lot of trashy romance novels (meh), a lot of chick-lit (not interested). I have holds on several items, but it’s probably going to be a while. I took a gamble and found The Anatomist’s Apprentice while I was randomly browsing. We’ll see how it goes.
I am so close to being in the final stretch of my Stripe Study shawl -colored stripe #12 to go, then on to the last grey section! I even dreamt about this shawl last night, that was a first. Garter stitch is just so soothing. The rows are getting longer, so it feels like it is taking forever, but I do love that I can mostly work on this in an auto-pilot mode. Auto-pilot of one version or another. If you follow me on instagram, you have seen my mistake – somehow I switched and purled a row or two because I have a very small wedge of stockinette! Design feature anyone? Oh well.
I’m almost to the end of “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”. This book is unsettling to me and I am having trouble figuring out why. I heard from 2 people (who I often look to for book recommendations and trust their opinions on such things) that they either a) didn’t like this book or b) wanted to know what I thought because this book didn’t do it for them. Without spoiling anything, I think I can say – the part with Joe and the chair? What’s up with that? I feel like I’m missing a big chunk of this story, like there were parts edited out or just not included? Maybe it will all come together in the last section.
I have also been working on a crochet project (the star shaped item above) and have run out of yarn! Briefly I considered substituting yarn, but that would mean starting over. Not a big deal to do that of course, but I like the yarn I’m using now – it matched the rest of the project (which is under wraps for now). Luckily, Ravelry to the rescue, I found one skein in the exact dye lot (!!!) and a kind knitter responded to my request quite quickly! I have decided to rip out my “Vanilla with Rainbow Sprinkles” socks that I started (basic vanilla toe up socks). I knit past the toe and they were just looking big to me. I measured them up to the other socks I recently finished and they are wider too. I should pull out the sock books I have and read up on this toe-up business – I saw online in two different places that the toe only needs to be increased to the point where it will cover 4 of your toes, because there will be some give width-wise. Have you heard that? So, I’ll rip them out and start over. I may end up with two at a time, top down because that’s what I know by heart. I am on the hunt for a good toe-up pattern for stripey yarns – let me know in the comments if you’ve got a good one queued!
How are you holding up in the heat? I am thankful to have the air conditioner on, but I do wish it wasn’t running full all the time. I hate to sweat, so I’m a bit more crabby lately. Last week (or maybe the week before) I tried a “Homemade Slushee” recipe I found on Pinterest – it’s amazing! If you have an ice cream maker (and you like slushee type treats) give it a try! My knitting has been moving along even quite nicely. I think I have 9 stripes on my Stripe Study shawl done and I still love this project and love the colors. I also fired up my kindle again and have downloaded “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” from the library. Hope you are able to find ways to stay cool and beat the heat!
I’m very excited to link up with WIP Wednesday & Yarn Along this week, look at that pile! Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, is very good and I am half-way through it. I want to read Gone Girl, but currently the library has it on a 7 day loan status, something I may have been able to do before kids (and knitting). I expect that I will pick up Dark Places next; I do like a series. I was given a Zoom Loom for my birthday from the gals with whom I work and I have been having fun playing with it a bit. The blue square is a Schaefer cotton and the pinky-green is a berroco (I think). This is going to be a lot of fun and if nothing else will ensure I have coasters! The key really is to be relaxed when first winding the yarn before you begin weaving. I have rediscovered my love of socks and pulled out my Jelly Beans (started last summer!) that had a second sock started and I’ll be ready to do that heel tonight / tomorrow. The rainbow / white stripey socks are my first two-at-a-time toe-up socks and first time with a self-striping yarn; it’s rainbow brite and I love them! For this first time around I am using a Vanilla socks pattern. Also in the pile is my Stripe Study Shawl, project #2 for Camp Loopy. For this round at “camp” we’ve been assigned to a Treehouse (last month we were assigned a mountain for hiking) – I tossed my receipt when the yarn arrived and didn’t think to look at the bottom! Oops. Stripe Study is very relaxing project that seems to move through the repeats quickly and I don’t mind the garter stitch. Squishy goodness. I love how Kauni changes colors – the skein I have goes between green, purples and blues. Love love love these projects!
My socks are making very good progress! I have turned both heels and one sock has the gusset decreases finished. The deadline for these, for Camp Loopy purposes, is July 1 and I think I just might make it! While working on these I am remembering why I love knitting socks so much and it makes me want to finish the others I have in progress (Jelly beans, Carousel, and about 3 or 4 that need mates). As I mentioned the other day I’ve been working my way through eleven pounds of strawberries. We finally found the bottom of the box and had to pitch several that were turning, but I’m really pleased with the jam, ice cream, popsicles, syrup and frozen berries I have ready to use. The ice cream recipe I used was from the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Book that I bought after trying Jeni’s last summer. It was a lot of work (or maybe it just seems like more work with little ones underfoot?) – roasting berries, mixing this, heating that, chilling in an ice bath, etc. I probably spent an hour prepping / making the parts before it went in to the ice cream maker. However, those first tastes were heavenly and I am probably going to be very protective of my quart of ice cream! Do you like to read cookbooks? I have heard people talk about reading them – this ice cream book is a great read and the pictures will make you want to get a scoop or two!
I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday & Yarn Along! Check it out to see what everyone else is up to!