Friday, December 9

Cats Make the Best Helpers

Or something like that.

Cat, helping.

I was pushed out of the way with paw swats and teeth nips while folding freshly laundered fabric. Apparently I was mistaken in thinking these were going to be pillowcases and an apron; apparently this piece was already a cat bed.

Thursday, December 8

More Craftiness: Tree Skirt

I've had a urge to tackle small, instant gratification projects this holiday season. Probably because I've finally put my foot down with myself and decided that not all handmade gifts need to be knitted!

(Long time readers might noticed that there was not a "Gift Knitting 2011" post this year. Very freeing.)

I found this kit for a felt tree skirt at Joann's for 50% off. Since I've been meaning to make (knit) a skirt for the last umpteen years I figured this was a good trade off.

tree skirt

The kit had instructions for sewing or gluing. Even thought I had my sewing machine out from the Advent Calendar project I still went with fabric glue. Much less fiddly. (I did however sew the rickrack along the edge - I thought it would be more of a pain (in my hand, literally) to have to squeeze the glue that whole way.)

Another awful photo. Damn you, early darkness!! I want sun!

Wednesday, December 7

Wine Bottle Outerwear

My Aunt asked me last Thanksgiving (as in 2010) if I could knit a few sets of wine bottle hats and scarves for her wine club this Christmas (as in 2011).   Unsurprising, I waited until the last minute to finish them.

Maybe I'll start them... nah, I have ten months.  Maybe I'll start them... nah, I have five months.   Maybe I'll start them... nah, I have two weeks - um. whoops.

Anyway, they were great fun to make and experiment with color patterns and striping.  I used Knit Picks Palette yarn in three Christmas-y but not obnoxiously bright colors.

Wine Bottle Outerwear


I am definitely going to be making more of these little babies for gifts, and may post the pattern I came up with here if anyone is interested.

Sorry, both the photos are a little blurry. I had about a minute to take them before they had to be packed up and at the post office.

Tuesday, December 6

Advent Calendar

First of all, I want to say a truly sincere thank you to everyone who as contacted me both by email and on Ravelry about my Dad.   Your thoughts and advice really help.  =)

I've been in a crafty mood lately, mostly thanks to Pintrest.  (Don't use Pintrest?  Go! Go now!)   I came across an advent calendar with a sewn paper pocket for each day, that you would have to tear to open.   For whatever reason I just had to make one.   I thought it would be perfect for my parents as a fun little distraction each day.


I had so much fun putting this together.  Sewing paper is practically addicting. The original idea from Pintrest had each pocket sewn in a Christmas shape: stars, trees, etc.    I had one go at a star and decided to stick with ovals and squares.   I'd probably still be fiddling with it if I hadn't!      Each packet contains a small something wrapped in tissue paper.    The numbers were cut out from a sheet of Teresa Collins' Christmas Home scrapbook paper.

My parents loved the surprise and it seems to be serving it's purpose well so far.

Tuesday, November 22

On a Lighter Note

I have a confession.   An embarrassing, yet amusing, confession.

First, a little backstory.    I love to read.  Classics, non-fiction, fiction, technical manuals, medical journals, anything.   I have a very low tolerance for anything cheesy, shallow, or ridiculous.


 Last week, I checked all four Twilight saga books out of the library.  I told myself I was tired of hearing references that I didn't understand.

 I read them.   I ....liked.... them.   I want more.   I've had the story swirling around in my head since I finished.

My husband is shocked and confounded by this.

I really have no explanation. But I think I need to buy them.

Friday, November 4

What Matters Most

It's so easy to spend your days looking forward to the weekend, or two weeks from now, or Christmas.   I am guilty of spending nearly every day planning the next.    I've been working on it but it's hard to change, especially since my job requires me to plan and prep for the week ahead.

Life has a tendency to sneak up behind you and smack you in the face while you are enjoying making those plans for two months from now.

I've had this blog for... 9 years now.  I used to write a lot more personal things but decided at one point to keep it strictly to knitting.    I need to suspend that policy for a while, since I could really use a place to dump my thoughts.

We found out in August that my Dad had some sort of suspicious "something" in his bladder.   That turned into minor surgery, which turned into bad news - bladder cancer - and then more bad news around every corner.   Even the doctors seem surprised at how advanced it is, since he is relatively young for this a doesn't have any of the "risk factors".

Last week he made it through a 10 hour surgery with flying colors.  The news was not what we wanted to hear, but I was just so thankful to see him again after that I didn't really care.  Now that he is home, reality has started to set in and I am scared.

I know with all my heart I need to think positive thoughts, but what in the world would I do without my Dad? We can't lose him yet.  As his surgeon said, he's young and healthy (besides this), has a lot of people supporting him, and an overwhelming desire to beat this thing.  And that matters more than percentages.


Wednesday, October 5

Day 5: Mirror

Three reflections:  me in the rear view mirror, me in the window, me in the window reflected in the mirror.

Day 4: Stairs

This is looking from the top floor down to the bottom in our house.  I love the wooden handrails, but like everything else here they need a little TLC.

Monday, October 3

Squares. Lots of Them.

For years now I have wanted to make my own knit blanket for couch lounging.   But the idea of knitting something that huge, buying that much identical yarn, and let's face it - getting tired of the pattern was more than I could bear to start.

Instead I've decided to pull out my rusty crochet skills and go for the Babette Blanket from Interweave Crochet Spring 2006.   The original pattern calls for Koigu (fingering weight) yarn and made a lap sized blanket.   This just wouldn't do.  Besides, a whole blanket out of fingering weight?  Ouch.

So after much browsing of finished blankets on Ravelry I chose to use Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. Washable, lightweight, and most importantly, comfy.   I am using one ball of virtually every color ever made.   It took months to collect them all.

Babette Blanket squares

So far, I am loving it.  Once I remembered how to change colors in crochet the squares have gone quickly.   I'm trying to sew in the ends as I go, and I have a system set up to keep track of the squares.  (More on that in another post.)

The only challenge besides finishing another, oh, 400 of these, is to learn how to neatly sew crochet together.Quite a feat, since I can't really sew anything neatly.

Day 3: Bubbles

This challenge required a little thought, mostly because the only bubbles I could think of are the bottles kids play with on summer days.  Not very October-ish.

My evening homemade faux latte came to the rescue. ( there anything it can't do?)

Saturday, October 1

October 1: Fall

Day one of the October photo challenge is Fall.   We recently pulled up our summer flower beds in front of our house and planted two new dwarf pine trees, mums, and ornamental kale.  We threw in a few pumpkins for good measure, since you can buy them everywhere already.   Mums and fall go hand in hand.

October Photo Challenge: Intro

I came across this photo challenge from Where the Blue Birds Nest on Pintrest and thought it would be fun to play along.   I always carry my camera but have gotten out of the habit of taking it out and using it.  Maybe the daily prompt will have me searching for things to shoot and seeing my surroundings again.

The Summer that Wasn't

I have realized the main problem with deciding to blog only knitting, not my personal life:  no posts.   Fairly obvious, I realize, but I might be suspending that rule a little since I do want to write.   I just don't want this blog to come across as one big dramatic sob story.

Because that it what it would be if I wrote about this summer.   My heart hurts and my head spins when I try to process everything. Steve and I are still here, as is our house and jobs.  Good things.  My mental health seems to have taken a beating though - challenging, because no one can tell from the outside.  I may write more in the future but for now if you have some positive energy to spare shoot a little our way, ok?

I am trying hard to get back into my relaxing evening routine of knitting, tea, cat, and I Love Lucy.   I have written up my annual Gift Knitting Countdown plus a bunch of other projects since we are working on a handmade Christmas this year.  (I know it's early.  I'll never get it all done otherwise!)  We here planning another Halloween blowout but it is probably going to have to wait until next year.

For maybe the first time I am really looking forward to fall.  I might even call it my favorite season.  We'll see how it treats us.   Apple picking tomorrow!  I can't wait to walk around and breathe in crisp, clean fall air.

Here's to happier times and lots of knitting ahead!

Sunday, August 14

Finished: Mud River Socks

Mud River Socks

Look! I finished something! This feels like a real accomplishment, and a step in the right direction, since I have started approximately 3,000 projects recently but finished nothing.

I call these socks "Mud River" since the pattern is designed after the Kalajoki river in Finland, but I choose a brownish red yarn instead of something more reminiscent of water.

The pattern for the Kalajoki socks can be found as a free pdf on Ravelry.

Since I knew I would have plenty of yarn, I did one more chart repeat on the leg then written. It makes these the tallest socks I've ever knit. After trying them on, I got such an urge to knit knee socks or even thigh high stockings. They sound so comfy for wintertime but also like so. much. knitting. Maybe if I find some DK weight yarn?

Mud River Socks
(It's hard to capture how tall they are when photographing your own feet.)

Saturday, August 6

Happy Belated Birthday

to me. August 1st was my 31st birthday. I took the day off work as planned, but ended up spending the time cleaning funky water from our possessions. Not really what I had in mind.

Oh well. We did have a nice little family pool party the previous Saturday to celebrate mine and my Mom's (July 29th) birthdays.

I think that was the most grammatically awkward sentence I have ever written. Hmm, let me try again:

My Mom's birthday was three days before mine on July 29th and we had a nice little family pool party to celebrate both.


One weird thing is that 30 didn't bother me a bit. I even tried to make it bother me, since I thought somehow it should, but I was totally cool with it.

But 31? Yikes. I need to let go of my inner monologue of "is there where you thought you'd be what should you have done differently look at what your friends/ random facebook high school acquaintances have".

I know that's not what it's about, and I am almost completely happy with my life until I start the comparisons. So, here's to a great year of doing what is right for me. Which includes plenty of crafting.

Saturday, July 30

Tour de Fleece, Finis

Although I didn't meet my goal for ounces spun during the Tour de Fleece, I am very happy with what I accomplished both in finished yarn and skills improved from spinning every day.

I wanted to put up a quick "stats" post but have been delayed by our first disaster of home ownership: a flooded lower level.

Luckily it wasn't feet of water, only inches, and we managed to save almost everything that got wet except for papers, a few books, and some holiday decorations. We tried in vain to save the carpet but it looks like we are going to have to rip up about 500 square feet of carpeting. (That we can't afford to replace right now; hello concrete floor!) So much for my cozy family room...

My new mantra is "It could be worse".

Anyway, here is my completed selection of Tour de Fleece yarns:

Tour de Fleece, end

It is close to 850 yds total from 19 oz finished; the singles totaled ~1,500 yards.

I am looking forward to doing it again next year!

Wednesday, July 27

Tour de Fleece, Days 19-23

I'm still playing catch-up here. But I am very pleased to say that I did complete the Tour de Fleece by spinning every day and not forgetting about it halfway through as I have a tendency to do with these things.

Coming to the end, I started spinning some Mountain Colors Targhee Top my Mom bought for me at The Fold. I found it to be a little sticky and hard to draft. Not sure if this is because of the type of fleece, how it was dyed, or the fact that it has been crammed into my fiber storage bag for over a year.

Mountain Colors fiber

I ended up pre-drafting a lot which I never really do anymore. But it made this somewhat enjoyable to work on instead of frustratingly difficult.

Tour de Fleece, Days 22 & 23

I chain-plied to keep the colors together but didn't do such a hot job. As I was making the loops I totally forgot about watching for the color changes. So it will be a surprise when it knits up... maybe it will still stripe.

Tuesday, July 26

Tour de Fleece, Days 17-18

On these two days I worked on spinning my first batt and "art yarn". It's no where near true art yarn, but it's the most outrageous thing I've down thus far in my spinning career.

I had a 3oz Hanks in the Hood batt from Paradise Fibers that had been marinating in my stash for a while.

Tour de Fleece, day 17

I spun it into a lightly twisted, bulky single...

Tour de Fleece, day 17
(sorry for the awful photo)

... and then plied it with purple cotton sewing thread.

Tour de Fleece, day 18

The plying was definitely a learning experience. It took a few tries to get the look I wanted and even after that it's not very consistant.

I needed more twist in my original single - it drifted apart a few times as I was plying. I am a little afraid to use, but I think after a hot wash it'll be able to hold itself together. I can't wait to try this technique again.

Sunday, July 17

Tour de Fleece, Days 13-16

I thought I'd spare you three days of almost identical photos of my spinning and share this fiber all at once.

..actually, I didn't feel like turning on my computer to post individual posts on each day. Is it any wonder my blog usually suffers?

I didn't spin at all on day 13. I was fighting a migraine and spent the entire night lying in bed in the dark, with earplugs and an eyeshade. I was able to function the rest of the weekend, so it must have worked.

On to the fiber. On days 14 and 15 I spun up two bobbins of Fiber Optic Yarns 50% superwash merino/50% bamboo fiber. Today I finished the last bit of fiber and plied.

Tour de Fleece, Day 16

I love plying. It's like magic to me. Suddenly, yarn!

It's about 13 wpi and I got 288 yards.

Wednesday, July 13

Tour de Fleece, Day 12

Today marks the halfway point of the Tour. I'm still going strong. Sometimes keeping a commitment to yourself can be the more rewarding thing you can do.

I spun up the second ounce of my merino/bamboo fiber. The drafting was much easier today; I must have developed some muscle memory yesterday.

Tour de Fleece, day 12

Since I've been doing all of my spinning in the evenings, my photos have that annoying bright flash quality to them. I'm hoping to at least get one good daylight photo of all of the yarns I finish at the end of the Tour.

In other news, I was back at work for the first time this week today, after the major storm that came through Monday morning. The only downside is that the school where I work still was without power in about half the buildings... of course including my department's wing. Darkness and stifling hot air do not make for good working conditions. Sigh.

They are hoping all of the power is back on by the weekend, so classes can resume normally next Monday. I sure hope so...

Tuesday, July 12

Tour de Fleece, Day 11

I started another braid of fiber on my Lendrum today, a merino/bamboo blend from Fiber Optic yarns in Unforgettable.

Fiber Optic fiber

Tour de Fleece, day 11

This fiber was a little bit of a struggle at first, since I've never spun anything with this much bamboo (50%). My first few yards (probably more) are very lumpy and uneven, but things settled down after I started to get the hang of it. I was going for a two ply lace weight finished yarn, but I think it is going to end up a little thicker than that.

Monday, July 11

Tour de Fleece, Day 10

On the Tour de France, July 11th is a day of rest. I'm not sure, but I can't imagine they are just sitting around napping the day away.

I didn't plan on completely resting for the Tour de Fleece either, since spinning isn't exactly strenuous but mother nature had other plans.

A massive storm blew through out of nowhere yesterday morning while I was at work, knocking out power to most of the area. The school was closed and we all got to leave early; the damage as I was driving home was unbelievable. We were very lucky to only lose a branch of a front tree and some garden plants.

No power at home, which of course means no air conditioning. Now, I'm not generally wimpy about stuff like that but it was 86F inside and humid. Just the idea of handling wool fiber was too much.

So, they say it may be a few days before the power is back on. We're both off work again today and hanging out at a library the next town over soaking up a/c and electrons.

It felt a little cooler outside today; maybe I will be able to spin a little without melting.

Sunday, July 10

Pool Knitting

It was H.O.T. here today. Almost painfully so, since we were sitting in metal grandstands trying to watch NHRA drag races in Joliet. As soon as we got home we immediately headed for the pool.

I tried something I've been thinking about all summer:

pool knitting

I am still so thankful, grateful, and surprised that we got this house.

Tour de Fleece, Day 9

I wasn't home much today, but I did have a few quick moments to spin on my mini spindle again:

TdF, Day 9

This is still the merino and milk fiber Phat sample that I started on last week. It's going to be a two ply lace weight so even though it doesn't look like it, a lot of work has gone into that tiny bit of cop on the spindle!

Friday, July 8

Tour de Fleece, Days 7 & 8

Friday and Saturday I didn't do any new spinning, just plying.

Tour de Fleece, Days 7 & 8

This is the Border Leicester fiber in "Spring Forest". It's a two ply, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. I made a decision to underspin the singles a little and then over ply them and the yarn turned out just as I hoped. Soft and bouncy instead of ropey and loosely twisted around each other. Hey, I'm actually getting better at this stuff!

I ended up with around 160 yards from 4oz. Not great, considering it's around worsted weight but not horrible either.

Thursday, July 7

Tour de Fleece, Day 6

This is getting a little repetitive. But I'm getting an amazing amount done!

It's day 6, and I've finished the last two oz. of my Border Leicester fiber. I haven't decided if I'm going to ply it with itself, or spin something else to ply it with.

Tour de Fleece, day 6

I do know it's going to be a 2ply. I have some alpaca fibers that match fairly well; though it may just be plied with itself.

Wednesday, July 6

Tour de Fleece, Day 5

Day 5; and I'm still at it. This might be a record for me.

Tonight I spun another ounce of the Border Leicester. It really doesn't look much different than yesterday.

I also started a sample of merino/milk fiber from Mama Jude's etsy shop on my tiny spindle.

Tour de Fleece, Day 5

I wanted to spin more on my wheel tonight but developed a strange cramp on the outside of my left leg. It's not my calf muscle and not my shin, but somewhere in between. I can't figure out how to stretch it or position my leg so it doesn't keep cramping up. Hmmm... spinning injury? Maybe it's from yesterday when I fell off a garden stepping stone 1/2 inch off the ground. (Grace personified, that's me.)

Tuesday, July 5

Tour de Fleece, Day 4

Today I managed to spin 1 oz. of Border Leicester fiber in "Spring Forest" from Esther's Place in Big Rock, IL.

The fiber is from the Illinois Green Pastures Co-Op, so not only do I get to spin something pretty, I get to support local shepherds and farmers as I do. Just this little thing makes me feel good on an otherwise craptacular day.

Tour de Fleece Day 4

I have 3 more ounces of this fiber. I think it's going to be a three ply. I'd like to to be at least a worsted weight so I'm trying to spin a little thicker and with less twist than I have been lately.

I can't wait until I have time to spin more than an ounce in a day!

(It would probably help if I didn't spend so much time keeping up with the Tour de Fleece boards on Ravelry!)

Monday, July 4

Tour de Fleece, Day 3

I didn't have much time to spin today, since we were heading down to my parents for a picnic and fireworks.

I finished spinning the Fiber Optic fiber from yesterday and plied it. When dividing the fiber, I was more concerned with how it was going to stripe and not how even my piles where.

Tour de Fleece Day 3

I wanted a three ply, but as you can see above I didn't have the same amount of each color section. As each single ran out I ended up with about 26 yards of three ply, 30 yards of two ply and about 2 yards of chain ply.

Tour de Fleece Day 3

Tour de Fleece Day 3

I am very happy with my three ply. At least it will be a little experiment in spinning self striping yarn.

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July 22011

Sunday, July 3

Tour de Fleece, Day 2

Day 2 didn't see as much spinning as I would have liked, but I did finish one ply of a future three ply yarn from Fiber Optics fibers.

I took some time to split the fibers up lengthwise so to end up with a fractally plyed yarn. I hope. (Think of Trekking XXL sock yarn striping to get an idea of fractal stripes.)

TdF2011 Day 2

Saturday, July 2

Tour de Fleece, Day 1

On Ravelry, I am participating in the "Tour de Fleece" this year. It's a fun non-competition where you spin yarn while the Tour de France rides. I've never joined in past years because, frankly, I know next to nothing about the Tour de France and I'm usually so far behind the curve hearing about these things that it's too late anyway.

Well, I caught the chatter about it in time this year and realized that there really isn't a strong connection (or at least there doesn't have to be) between the Fleece tour and the France tour. You just make yarn.

It helped that the Tour started a week after I took three spinning classes, and have been itching use my wheel more. My personal goals are to spin every day the Tour rides, finish a least six stash fibers, and try new things.

Today, July 2nd, was day 1. I tried something new by using my new mini turkish drop spindle to spin a mini art batt (from a Phat Fiber box) and ply it onto itself. I'm impressed with myself that I actually used a spindle to make yarn. I usually just end up frustrated in a tangle of fiber.

TdF2011 Day 1

If I do manage to stick with this every day, it could do wonders for my blogging as well!

(The Potentially Cursed) Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair 2011

June 24-26 was the Fiber and Folk Art Fair in Grayslake, IL. It was their 5th anniversary and the 4th year I've attended. It's wonderful living only 20 minutes away from such a fun event - I was able to go all three days. Ironically the 26th was hubby's and my 6th anniversary.

Where to start.

I had been looking forward to this weekend for months, even though I haven't done much knitting, spinning, or general crafting since we moved in March. I had signed up for an all day class on Friday (drafting techniques) and two half day classes on Saturday(plying techniques and spinning self striping yarn). Sunday my Mom drove up to shop the market with me.

Last year at the fair, I received a message during the class I had on Sunday that I needed to drive home asap to see my Grandma for the last time. I still haven't unpacked my purchases from the market that day. It's just has too many memories tied up in it.

I was a little nervous about this year but was looking forward to making some new happy memories. Except that the weekend before, my Grandpa passed away.

It was (is) a whole emotional mess of sadness to be without him and relief that he's with Omi and no longer in pain.

So I went to my classes and learned a lot and Mom and I went to the market and had a fun time. But I couldn't shake the sad little gray cloud over my head. And when my phone rang in the middle of a class with my Dad's cell number I probably freaked out more than necessary. Especially since it was just my parents calling to leave a message to show off the Bluetooth connection thingy in their new truck. (I still don't think it was the most thoughtful thing for them to do...)

Here are the fun things I purchased:

MFF haul 2011

A few spinning tools I've wanted for a while, a swift(!!!!), some pretty sock yarn, a few patterns, and an amazing little drop spindle that I'll show off in another post.

I'm definitely going to be going to the Fair next year, and I encourage anyone nearby to go as well. They have a huge selection of classes with wonderful teachers and the market is always packed with goodies. And the polish food booth is not to be missed!

Although if something happens next year around this time I think I'll take the hint and stop going.

Friday, May 13

Finished Object Friday! Multnomah Shawl

Wow, how long has it been since I've finished something? (I checked - December 14th, 2010.)

I've been on a bit of a stash-busting bender lately. I found this ball of Mark's and Katten Fame Trend, a Christmas gift in 2009 from my aunt and uncle, and decided it was next on the list.

stash yarn

I browsed the Ravelry pattern database to see what I could find. I came up with Multnomah. (Available free at

Multnomah finished 1

Multnomah finished 2

My goal was to use as much of the yarn as possible. I left I tiny tail after casting on the 3 starting stitches:

Multnomah 1

I knit extra repeats until my yarn supply seemed dangerously low and did a k2tog bind off to keep the end stretchy. I had about 8" of yarn left.

multnomah 2

Let me tell you, I was seriously sweating that bind off! Here is a shot of the whole thing, pre-blocking.

Multnomah pre-block; cat for scale

The cat's odd sitting position is due to the fact that he was slowing inching his way closer to the yarn tail while feigning innocence.

Thursday, May 12


I have many works in progress right now - more than the total number of projects I completed in 2010. I think packing and moving my yarn stash shook the dust off of my knitting mojo.

I am actively working on a pair of socks and two cardigans. I actually finished a lace shawl last week - more on that in another post.

Kai-Mei socks:

Kai-Mei socks in progress

I should have been finished with these a few weeks ago, but I found a mistake on the foot of the second sock. Not that it was hard to find; there was a large bulbous protrusion on one side of the lace pattern where I had apparently forgotten to decrease for twenty or so rounds. I ripped back to before the problem started... but haven't picked them up again. I probably could finish them in a night if I set my mind to it. Maybe tonight?

Vine Lace Cardigan:

(No Photo. How boring.)

This has been on my needles for months. I realized pretty early in that I had misread (or mismemorized) the lace pattern and was doing something completely different. Didn't feel like ripping it out, so I'm going with it for the rest of the cardigan. I think I put this down to work on holiday projects in December.

(Did I write 'actively working on' above? Well, it felt like it until I thought about those projects.)

Clara Cardigan:

Clara cardigan

I started this just last week. I've had this yarn (Cascade Sierra) in my stash for years and really wanted to find a pattern so I could finally knit it. The cardigan has an interesting side-to-side construction, with short rows creating the collar. I hope the cotton content doesn't make it too heavy and pull the garter stitch out of shape. Hopefully the vertical rows will help prevent that.

I have also gone a bit crazy and have started matching up all of the yarn in my stash to the project I will make with it. Somehow, this feels like it will help me knit faster and get through the stashed yarn quicker. At least it looks a little more organized!

Thursday, April 7

Back Again

Somehow it has once again been months since I've blogged.  I really do want to write, but at the end of the day things feel to mundane, or I'm to exhausted, or whatever.  At least this time I feel like I have a good excuse for disappearing for a few months.  We bought our first house!

New House

The whole process was both much simpler and much more complicated than I imagined all at the same time.   Suffice it to say that we got very very lucky, and it was only 37 days from when we first saw the house until the day we closed.   We weren't even looking all that seriously, since for so long everything we loved was so far out of our price range.   This home had been on the market since April 2010 after a few failed deals - and for once in our lives we came out on top.

It was mostly in livable condition when we moved in aside from the fact that it had been empty so long, but there were/are still plenty of projects to be done before we can finish unpacking.   The majority of our furniture is still in the (slightly damp) garage.  At least that is creating some motivation!

I'm very excited about all of the projects I have planned.   For me, interior decorating has taken a back seat to the fact that I finally have room for a garden that is larger than a few square feet.  Can't wait for spring!

Wednesday, January 12

WIP Wednesday

I started this cardigan fromStefanie Japel's Fitted Knits last Friday night (Love this book). I was amazed and very pleased at how fast it seemed to be going. Then I had increased to the entire amount of sleeve and body stitches and progress slowed down dramatically. Still, it will be finished soon enough to wear this winter which really in an accomplishment for me!


Tuesday, January 11

Welcome to the rest of your life.

2011? Really? What about all of those things I planned back in January in 2010?

It's amazing how the passage of time seems to change as we get older. Summer is over before it seems to begin, a day off work goes by in about 15 minutes, weeks disappear as we try to make it to the weekend.

I'm not one to make resolutions, but something I've (finally) learned about myself in 2010 is that I need concrete goals and time lines. Strange as it seems, the days off work that I plan out to the letter feel far longer and more satisfying than those I just try to relax on. I suppose I've always intuitively known this, but only recently discovered how much writing it down solidifies a plan for me. I planned it out on paper; I should try to follow it.

To this end, I've written up a list of goals that I want to accomplish by the end of the year. Now, I'm not going to work myself up in a panic to finish these - some are actually very easy - but it is a nice reference to see how much I am actually accomplishing.

1) Be Healthy - lose an amount of weight I managed to find in the past year
2) Be able to run a 5k (key word is run...the whole thing)
3) Read 12 books (easy - already down two)
4) Knit 12 pairs of socks (Easy, but probably wouldn't think to do it otherwise)
5) Knit 6 sweaters-sized projects (same as above)
6) Spin 12 braids of fiber (again)
7) Take at least 20 photos a month (my picture taking has dropped off significantly recently)

I think there might be a few more, but this is what I remember at the moment. Basically, they are all things I would be doing anyway (except the 5k) if I didn't fritter away so much time doing not much at all.

I also want to blog more, if only to get out my thoughts and feeling. I think I may be switching this site back over to Blogspot in the coming months. I'll let you know ahead of time so anyone still linking here will know where to go. The dot com has been a lot of fun over the years, but it's something I just don't feel like I need anymore.