Thursday, August 20, 2015

August

Hi guys!!

Elephant in the room...I stopped blogging for a brief period because I felt like I was in a rut and it all felt too routine. There have also been two big technological changes in my everyday life that have hindered my posting: the biggest change being a smart phone with a very good camera that I take almost all my photos with, and the second, using a tablet more than this laptop. Blogging takes effort. Time to "style" the knitting (which for me generally means waiting for the right light and photographing [with a real camera] on my front steps), head space to put a meaningful post together on a laptop, and time to edit. Sometimes it takes me an hour or two for one post, and that feels like a really long time to me. Maybe that's a normal amount of time? I am interested in your thoughts, how you blog, your system. I am definitely not trying to judge or put anybody's blogging style down; everybody is different and I am still trying to figure out what works for me. During the time when I wasn't blogging, I felt a little sad because I like calling myself a blogger and don't want to lose that.

Ok, enough of that. Knitting. My latest finished object is a pair of socks.

Huckleberry/June socks for Brie


Yarn: Opal Smile
Needles: 2.25 mm 64 stitches
Pattern: Plain vanilla with a modified Eye of Partridge heel

Looooooooooooove Opal. Forever.


And I recently cast on another pair of purple socks:

Arne and Carlos!!


This is the Arne and Carlos yarn from Regia!!! I was super excited when I realized my LYS had it! (I purchased three colorways). This colorway is Star Night and it's my favorite. Though this pair is for a friend, I bought enough yarn to knit myself a pair too. I'm knitting a contrast color for the heel (and will also use it for heel and toe); it's white. I absolutely love knitting this yarn; Regia is always great, and Arne & Carlos...duh.


I made pretty good progress on Scott's Crazy Zauberball socks:

Scott's crazy zauberball socks



I'm planning to finish them for his birthday in mid-September. The colorway is called Riverbed and I felt it fitting for his outdoorsy self.

Scott's crazy zauberball socks


Massive sock. Scott decided he didn't want individual tomato cages, so he built one large wooden cage around the entire tomato raised bed. I tell him it works pretty good, but really.... ;) it definitely works well for showing off socks.


We are gearing up for our summer vacation which is in a few weeks! (after that, I told myself, I can start looking forward to fall stuff; pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, everything cozy) Until then, I'm excited for the Oregon coast, camping, yarn souvenirs, car knitting, and relaxing!!

I hope everybody has a good Friday and a happy weekend, and thank you so much for reading. xx

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hi friends!!

Just wanted to say a quick hello! I will hopefully be back this weekend for a regular knitting post :)

Untitled

Thanks for reading xx

Sunday, April 26, 2015

XO socks

Hi friends! This weekend has been perfect for recuperation, there has been lots of knitting (crochet too, eek!) and reading. Today was especially cozy for staying indoors because it rained and was cloudy.

Untitled


This morning I finished a pair of socks that have been on the needles since February.

XO / birthday socks


Pattern: Allons-y!! by Jennifer Thomassian
Yarn: The Little Mount Yarn Co in Chocolate Covered Cherry
Needles: 2.25 mm


XO / birthday socks


I follow Madeline of The Little Mount Yarn Co on Instagram, and when she posted a photo of this yarn I snatched it right away! The yarn is gorgeous and was so nice to knit with!!

The pattern is by another Instagram friend, Jennifer. The X O pattern might be a little lost in the yarn, and it especially doesn't photograph well, but I love the pairing! I love that this pair of socks reminds me of two crafty and inspiring friends :)


XO / birthday socks


I cast on two new pairs, one I will share next time because I'm not very far along yet! A photo of the yarn though:

Grass stains!! best colorway name ever
A Fine Fish Yarns

and the second pair:

Stanley Shunpike :)


Pattern: Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner
Yarn: Knit and Fiber Creation in colorway Stanley Shunpike (!!!!!)
Needles: 2.25 mm

This yarn came with a small skein of gray for contrast heels and toes, which I love. I have been seeing a lot of knitters creating contrast heels and I just love it! These pairs by Andi (she also convinced me to cast on a pair of Blueberry Waffles after a recent post) and Dani, in particular!


Alright... I've done something recently that I haven't done in years.

Crochet.

Untitled

And it's all Dani's fault!!! I mean, just look at her project page.

The pattern is Weekender Blanket by Sandra Paul. The designer used DK weight, but Dani is using sock scraps so I had to, too :)  I love these teeny hexis!!! Utterly addictive. And they join as you go, which is such a time saver.



I hope everybody has a fabulous week!!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good morning!

Hi friends! I hope you all are having fantastic spring weather! We've been celebrating the season by planting flowers (marigolds, zinnias, gladiolas) and hiking. Maybe it was too early for this area to plant seeds directly outside, but it feels like this weather will last forever!


Untitled


I finished two pairs of socks recently. The first pair:


Gnome Acre socks


Pattern: Basic 64 stitch vanilla pattern with modified eye of partridge heel
Yarn: Gnome Acres in colorway Camping with Hippos
Needles: 2.25 mm


Gnome Acre socks


This pair was incredibly enjoyable because the colors are so fun.


Gnome Acre socks


The second pair was just as fun to knit.

Jaywalkers

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Regia and scrap Crazy Zauberball (for contrast cuff, heel, toe)
Needles: 2.5 mm for the leg and heel, 2.25 mm for the foot and toe

This pair is crazy!! In the last post I mentioned how I didn't realize I had two different colorways, and therefore two different stripe patterns!


Jaywalkers


This is a great pattern and I will knit another pair. If you haven't knit this pattern and are considering it, keep in mind that it makes a tight fabric. I went up one needle size than what I normally knit socks on.


Those were pairs six and seven for the year. My goal is eighteen pairs and I think I should be able to reach it without too much trouble :)


I cast on Meagheen Ryan's Tax Day Mystery Anklet on April 15 because I felt it was the perfect treat for having taxes filed. And also because it's a mystery anklet... cute!! I finished the cuff and heel, and am just starting the patterning of the foot. They are going slower than I'd thought; I think it's the needles. The only 2.00 mm I have are Addi Lace needles, and there's something about brass needles I don't like...I'm going to pick up different 2.00 mm needles, and next time I'll share a photo of my anklets! Hopefully they'll be farther along by then.


Last week I found a Montana Brewery Passport at a local book store, and we received our first stamp this weekend:

Untitled


After we hiked, we stopped in Lolo for a beer :) it's funny, the brewery was built about a year ago at the base of the hill Scott grew up on! Missoula has quite a few breweries, we've been to most of them already, but it will be fun to go back and have our passport stamped. And it will be fun to take day trips to out-of-town breweries. What we really need now is an Oregon brewery passport...I think we've visited just as many in Oregon as we have here! (we're planning a trip there for September, eek!!!)


I hope everybody has a fabulous week! I just realized it's already Wednesday, holy smokes...

xx


Sunday, March 29, 2015

catch up!!!

Oh my.

Holy Toledo.

I am so sorry for being absent for so long! It wasn't intentional, but life just got busy.

And also partly, I usually don't feel like blogging if I don't have nice photos to share. We've been having very typical spring weather; one day it's 60 degrees and sunny, and the next brings clouds and wind! I just wasn't in the photographing mood. But this weekend I've consciously been thinking about this post, and I snatched the opportunity this evening to photograph some finished socks.

First up, Scott has another pair for his little sock collection.

Scott's socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne in Mt. Tabor
Needles: 2.25 mm


Scott's socks


Even Scott's socks receive a modified Eye of Partridge heel :)

Scott's socks


The second pair I finished:

Crazy Zauberball!!!

a pretty pair of Crazy Zauberball socks for me!

Yarn: Crazy Zauberball
Pattern: just a simple 64 stitch vanilla
Needles: 2.25 mm

Crazy Zauberball!!!


My friend, Dag, sent me this ball of yarn that she purchased in Germany! I know you can purchase Crazy Zauberball here, but it seems way more special that it was actually bought there, like local yarn :)


Crazy Zauberball!!!

And just recently, I finished this pair for March:

March socks, Zwerger Garn Opal


Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal
Pattern: simple 64 stitch vanilla
Needles: 2.25 mm

This pair totally knit itself!! Of course, it didn't hurt that I was also reading Harry Potter while knitting them!

March socks, Zwerger Garn Opal


And the socks in progress:

So....the second ball of this yarn has way skinnier stripes! #mskstashdownkal


This is my first pair of Jaywalkers! (Pattern by Grumperina) I am loooooooooving this pattern with self-striping yarn! So much fun! I am also using contrasting yarn for cuff, heel, and toe. BUT look how teeny the stripes are in the second sock! I bought this yarn from a friend's destash, and one ball was a partial and didn't have a ball band. I assumed they were exactly the same yarn because the colors are the same. I would never have thought a yarn company would make two different sized stripe sequences, but that's what it looks like happened. So crazy, huh? But I really like them and will keep going. ....... ok..... the teeny tiny stripes kind of drive me nuts, mainly because they are only TWO rows wide!! It makes me manic! As a pair, I think they will be really cool though.


And the second pair on the needles:

Gnome Acres in Camping with Hippos

My first Gnome Acres skein! The colorway is called Camping with Hippos, hehe! I really like how it's pooling. These colors just make me really happy :) (they're a bit more vibrant in person)


All of these socks were/are knit from "old" stash! I'm trying to knit 2500 yards from stash for My Sister's Knitter Stash Down KAL. The main rule is that the yarn has to have been stashed prior to 2015. So some of this yarn was purchased towards the end of 2014, but some of it has been in my stash for a few years. It always feels fantastic to knit with old stash, to remember why you loved it enough to buy it. Right now, I've knit 1180 yards for the KAL. If I don't make it, that's ok :)


I've been meaning to post the books I've read so far! I just remembered because I'm currently listening to As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride. Anyone obsessed with the Princess Bride should definitely check out this book! It's mainly narrated by Cary Elwes (swoon) and many more who were involved speak also. It's just.... so good. I love behind-the-scenes and trivia about productions though. I mean, I watched all appendices multiplemultiplemultiple times of the Lord of the Rings films.

So, books. I will make another 2015 tab at the top of this blog (I did that one year) and list all of the books, but here are some of my favorites so far:
  • Yes, Please - Amy Poehler. This was an audio book; it was fabulous listening to her!
  • Stardust and The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman. You can never ever go wrong with Neil Gaiman; both audio books
  • The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls. I didn't expect to like this one so much, but I really adore it
  • The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins. READ this one!!! the hype is real
  • To All the Boys I Loved Before - Jenny Han. A really, really sweet YA book
  • Rules of Prey - John Sandford. Scary thriller! I couldn't put it down

What are your favorite books read in 2015 so far? I would love to know.

 
ok!! That's all from me for now! Thank you so so much for reading. It does mean a lot to me. I hope everybody has a wonderful fabulous spectacular week!!! xx

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Germinate WIP

Hi friends!

I'm sorry for missing last weekend's post. It was Valentine's Day (Happy Valentine's Day!!) and the weekend passed way too quickly! Scott and I went out to a movie, the first one in a long time, so that was kind of special. We saw Kingsman and it was highly entertaining. I recommend it if you like spy movies, Colin Firth, and a little cheese :) We also had frozen yogurt ♥ and made dinner.

Scott's gift to me was a gift certificate to a day spa and salon! He thought I might like to try a gel manicure, because I've mentioned it before. Well, I had them done this week, and I absolutely love them!! My biggest problems with nail polish are that it takes forever to dry, it chips much too easily, and it only looks good for a few days. That's too much effort for me! The gel manicure took about one hour from start to finish, and that included cleaning up my cuticles and shaping my nails...which took some time because I don't do much for my hands beside moisturize. My nails were instantly dry thanks to light curing, and they're so shiny!! (seriously, I still can't get over how shiny they are!) It's been three days since the mani and they still look perfect. This is going to be a bad obsession :)

Ok, knitting. I cast on a new shawl:

Germinate....LOVING this knit!!! @havirland it appears I'm subconsciously wishing for Halloween too! #iloveagoodwip


The pattern is Germinate by Kristen Kapur. It was originally a mystery KAL in 2013 and I fell in love as more Germinates popped up in my Instagram feed. I love the lace and stripes, and the zillions of possible color combos. My sweet friend Denica gifted me the pattern and it's taken me a long to decide on my color scheme. I really wanted to use stash yarn, but most of my fingering weight is heavily variegated or self-striping. In the end I only purchased one skein (orange) and used two from stash :) Green and purple are both Knit Picks Stroll Tonals and orange is Ella Rae Lace Merino.

When I was at the LYS I saw some beautiful sport weight (Frog Tree Pediboo), which would have made the ultimate squooshy shawl, but it would have cost over $80 for all the yardage. I almost justified it because my birthday is coming up, but I think in the end, I would have felt crummy for breaking my self-imposed-not-strictly-enforced yarn diet. And you know what? I feel great with my colors and am really glad I didn't splurge on yarn :)


I also cast on a new pair of socks:

Untitled

The yarn is Crazy Zauberball from my dear friend, Dag! I love this purple colorway! This is my third pair of socks on the needles.... I just needed a vanilla one to take on errands! And it's shown me that I really do knit a lot while on the go, because I'm already on the heel (and I knit a seven inch leg). I tried knitting and reading a "real" book...it was hard! No matter what I do, the book won't stay open. If you're interested, I'm reading The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. It is really kooky. Which is just up my alley :) The book jumps in time from current day, back to periods in the main character's life. It builds his character, but really, I think a lot of it should have been edited out. I think the present day storyline is funny enough to have held the book. We'll see how it evolves, I'm about halfway through.

If you've seen my Rav page for these socks, you'll see that I've named them All About that Space socks. That came from a really funny parody of Megan Trainor's song, All About that Bass.





hehe :)

That's about it from me. This kitten cracks me up:

Untitled

He is so content laying in sun rays. But he totally zones out when he lays there!


I hope everybody has a fabulous weekend! Stay warm!!
Jesse




Sunday, February 8, 2015

a post in which I get all the knits

Peppermint Trees
Happy Weekend, friends! It has been a good weekend for recharge and knitting.

I finished the Evergreen socks:



Pattern: Evergreen Socks by Madeline Gannon
Yarn: Cakewalk Yarns Footsie in Peppermint Bark, which is sadly discontinued
Needles: 2.25 mm
Modifications: I added a little length between finishing the chart and starting the heel, only because I like longer socks!
This is my second finished pair this year! I am aiming for 18 pairs.


Peppermint Trees
modified eye of partridge heel

Peppermint Trees


The pattern is very well written and includes both charts and written instructions for the lace trees, making it an excellent pattern for knitters new to lace and/or charts. I remember the first time I knit from a chart, I also used the written directions to double check that I was reading the chart keys correctly. It was very helpful and gave me confidence in chart reading (when I got it right, ha!)

Cakewalk Yarns is such a pleasure to knit with. It is sad the dyer is no longer dyeing yarn, but there are hundreds of indie dyers producing yarn everyday that deserve their work to be celebrated too.


I also finished a hat! For me!

February Hat


Pattern: Brier Toque by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Liberty's Yarn Sockingbird (also another discontinued yarn) in Montol
Needles: US 2.5 for brim and US 5 for body
Feb 1-Feb 7

I've owned this book for at least two years, I enthusiastically marked patterns I must knit, and yet this is the first hat I've knit from it. Story of my life! All of the patterns in Weekend Hats are beautiful and I'd really love to knit more of them...maybe even one a month??


It needs a good blocking but my February hat is finished! Pattern is Brier Toque. #mskstashdownkal


This hat is my first entry for My Sister's Knitter Stash Down KAL! Yahoo!! It feels awesome to have used stash and also knit myself a hat that I love.

It's a beautifully mindless knit. I cast on February 1st and finished last night. At one point when I had knit about three inches and was b o r e d  to  d e a t h of the vanillaness of it and wondering what the heck I got myself into, I opened a book. Sometimes vanilla knitting and watching tv is honestly not stimulating enough and I will get tired of knitting. But there's something different about reading and knitting that makes me want to knit and read and knit and read forever.


 February Hat

I knit to the pattern, so the hat is ten inches from cast on edge to start of decreases. It does make for a long hat. Several Ravelers noted in their project pages that they just knit to eight inches. I might do the same when I knit this toque again. The pattern calls for Crazy Zauberball, and I'd really love to have a Crazy Zauberball hat :)


I cast on my Valentine's Day/Birthday socks!


XO / birthday socks

The pattern is Allons-y!!! by Jennifer Thomassian and yarn is by The Little Mount Yarn Co in Chocolate Covered Cherry.

I loooooooove these socks.


XO / birthday socks


I've knit almost exclusively on this sock and the February hat this week. Scott's socks have the beginning of a heel flap but it's almost impossible to pick them up when I have this lovely pink one on the needles too. It's like choosing between a bag of Skittles and boiled Swiss Chard... Duh.


It rained all week but today the sun is out!! I am going to take a walk while I can :) I hope everybody has a beautiful Sunday and a fabulous week xx

Saturday, January 31, 2015

socks and KALs

Hi friends! I hope everybody has been enjoying their weekend so far. Thank you for your reading recommendations in last post! I might be out of my reading slump! I finished Stardust and am close to finishing The Night Circus. And I have several other books lined up :) I also read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell -- which I think everyone has read but me, and I am still obsessed with it. Going to start Fan Girl soon :)

I made a bit of progress on Scott's socks:
 
Scott's socks: Thuja in KP Hawthorne Mt. Tabor


I am not in love with these socks. I am not wild about the pooling. I am not crazy about the color. But the more I knit, the more I kind of like them. This is about five and a half inches, and I am not ripping it out! The pattern is Thuja and the yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne in Mount Tabor colorway.

This is my first two at a time pair in a long time. Every once in awhile I stop and think, wow, this is taking forever! But then I look at the socks and I remember there are two, and then it feels fast :)

These are my first entry for My Sister's Knitter Stash Down KAL! It's not the oldest yarn I have but it counts! This is going to sound ridiculous, but my goal for this stash down KAL is to knit 2500 yards !!! It would feel good to knit that much stash yarn.




Evergreen socks in Cakewalk Peppermint Bark

These Evergreen socks are getting so close! Just a few more inches before I start toe decreases. I'm going to try and finish them during the Superbowl tomorrow! Gah, I hope it's a good game and not like last year! I'll be cheering with Melissa and the Seahawks!!! woooo!


My February socks are planned. I received this super pretty skein from The Little Mount Yarn Co this week and it's having a hard time staying skeined:

The Little Mount Yarn Co in Chocolate Covered Cherry !

The Little Mount Yarn Co in Chocolate Covered Cherry !


The pattern I'll use is Allons-y!!! by Jennifer Thomassian because it has x and o cables. I have no idea what/who/where allons-y is, except that it's Dr. Who related ! Please don't hold that against me!!


The Little Mount Yarn Co in Chocolate Covered Cherry !



I also chose yarn for My Personal Mystery Sock Yarn Club 2015!

Personal Sock Yarn KAL


I went through my stash and pulled out skeins that I really want to knit this year. One was gifted to me. Two of them I won in contests! One started out as a shawl but was frogged later. My stash got a little out of control during 2014, where I was buying yarn left and right without any reason except that it was pretty and I loved it. Which is a good excuse!! But it left me with a lot of lovely yarn that have no project plans. They are all special, and all of them deserve to be knit up.

Like, can you believe this skein is still not socks???

Personal Sock Yarn KAL


It's going to be knit up while I finish rereading the HP series. Last year I left off on book five (is he even in that one??)


I'm still planning on knitting other sock yarn (obviously...I just bought Valentine yarn, bwahah). But it's my goal that each of these skeins be knit by the end of 2015!


Personal Sock Yarn KAL

That's it for me! Hopefully next time I'll have some finished socks to show! Happy weekend! xx

Friday, January 23, 2015

Socks FO and book chat

I'm spending this Friday night listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 (thanks Shari!) and writing a blog post... so wild :)

I want to share my first finished object for the year!


Christmas socks


These were my Christmas socks I started in December. Even though they were started last year, I still count them towards my 2015 sock and yardage totals.

The pattern is a simple 64 stitch vanilla sock, with modified eye of partridge heel. The yarn is Red Heart and Sole in the Christmas colorway. I saw a blogger knit a pair in this colorway years ago, and ever since then, I've wanted to knit a pair too! I haven't worn them yet, but I think the yarn will hold up pretty well.



Christmas socks

These little stripes make me happy :)


Christmas socks


Christmas socks


My knitting goals this year are not really finalized yet, they might not ever be! I would like to knit eighteen pairs. I'd like one of those pairs to be my first Fair Isle pair! And like last year, I'm going to try and knit more from stash and from my library. (I'm not ever going to try a "stash diet" again because that totally had the opposite effect!!)

Last post I mentioned I was having a hard time finding interest in casting on new projects. Maybe it was more of a drive to finish WIPs and feeling weird about having a bunch of new projects at the start of the year. I mean, you don't get much more of clean slate than January 1st. Anyway, I did cast on something new! They're socks for Scott; I'll post a picture next time. They're not very far along!


There's been more Mrs. Weasley's knitting; it's living in my new bag from Love Sock Wool:

My unicorn bag from @lovesockwool arrived today!! It is gorgeous, Sara, thank you so much! ��
"I loooooooooooooove it!" is an understatement!!!!!



So I have also been having a hard time getting into books lately, it seems. I'm about one third of the way through The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and I just have a hard time with it. It involves time travel and lots and lots of philosophy; I really dislike philosophy. It's just not my cup of tea. My dilemma is there are parts in the book that I absolutely love, the dialogue, the prose, the characters, are all excellent. It's just the other part. And I think the deeper in the book I read, the more prominent philosophy and that type of writing will become. Ugh. I put it on hold to start Sure Signs of Crazy, which was on sale and seemed like it could be a sweet bildungsroman...... I just can't. It was discouraging to give up on two books, one after the other. I want to love everything I read, but it's also good to know when to stop a book that just isn't doing it for me.


I decided to purchase a few audiobooks that I've previously read and loved, but never listened to. Stardust and The Night Circus are going to get me through this slump! Stardust is written and narrated by Neil Gaiman, who is probably my favorite author. He is such a masterful storyteller, and it's the ultimate treat to hear his work. I used to buy his books because his words on the page are something to savor, but to hear him read...... just outstanding. And The Night Circus is a magical story, and read by Jim Dale, whom I adore! (Have you listened to his Harry Potter performances?!)

What are your favorite reads? or audiobooks? Are there books you read and reread when you don't know what else to read?



I wish everybody a very happy weekend!!

Jesse xx