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!
Happy May! I have a few more books to keep it interesting this week. I haven’t finished the Agatha Christie book yet, but I was so drawn to the cover of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and it seems interesting so far. I thought I would also share what my kids are reading. We are working our way through Little House in the Big Woods with Lorelai. Nate’s been obsessed with Bear at Work. We have several of the “Bear” books, but this one is his favorite. Project-wise, I’m just about ready to pack up this Giant Cactus. I am it needs two more flowers. I have a few knitting jobs that are gearing up, so I’m also swatching.
Linking up at these fine blogs – check them out!
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!
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!
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!
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?