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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy 2015

Hi friends! I hope the new year finds you well. My new year started with some gorgeous handdyed yarn from Desert Vista Dyeworks:


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Oooh!! The colorways are Zombody Lavender Decomp, You're a Mean One, and Zombody's Bobbin for Apples ♥ I can't wait to knit these into socks! I lust over the pairs I see on Instagram...can't wait!


Knitting after Christmas is kind of weird. I feel that I should be knitting for someone, and the prospect of casting on something new is daunting. Does anyone else feel this way? Right now I'm just focused on two pairs of lingering Christmas socks and both mitered square blankets.


I have Evergreen socks by Madeline Gannon on the needles. I finished one sock and just need to cast on the second. I'm using a very special skein of Cakewalk in Peppermint Bark:

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This is a super pattern. The small amount of lace is nice because it adds just enough to a simple sock and it's just the right amount for this yarn, which could definitely distract from the pattern were it an all-over pattern.


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I love these little trees!



And the second pair is a vanilla sock with Red Heart and Sole in colorway Christmas:

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I've always wanted to knit this colorway since seeing socks on someone's blog years ago... but then I couldn't find the yarn anymore. Just this year the local Joanns had it and I nabbed two skeins. It's a very nice, inexpensive yarn, and I feel that it will hold up well. It feels silly to still be knitting Christmas socks! Ah oh well!


I finished Sugar Plum Fairies awhile ago!

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Gaaaah! I love these socks so much!!! The yarn is handdyed by Lyani Yarns in Sugarplum Fairy colorway...with glitz!!! (which you can't really see in the photos..)


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Modified Eye of Partridge is still my favorite heel


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They are so, so, SO pretty. And the socks are cushy and boingy. I wore them as inside socks for about a week, that's how nice they are ♥

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A progress photo of Mrs. Weasley's blanket:

Mrs. Weasley's


I'm getting there! This is the fourth quadrant; just four more rows after this then I'll seam the quadrants together and knit a border! I haven't really decided on how I'll knit the border. I might follow the directions from Hue Shift Afghan, or maybe i-cord.


Alright!! Hope everyone has a wonderful week! xx

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays, my friends!! I hope you are all well.

What a busy month! I am very pleased to say that I managed to finish everything that I planned on making and baking. And I say these two things every year too: 1. I'm not going to make gifts anymore and 2. I'm going to start making them earlier. haha! The gifts were all well received and that made me feel very good. Makes all that knitting worth it! The two major items I knit:


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Mom and Antarktis
Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne in Alameda (the pattern calls for just one skein, but since Hawthorne  has 357 yards per skein, I dipped into a second skein...but overall used 418 yards)

This pattern was gifted to me by the so sweet Andi. I really enjoyed knitting this shawl, and would love to knit myself one!  I really love the garter sections paired with lace. And after blocking, the shawl grew and has such a lovely drape!


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Aunt Karla and Nurmilintu 
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light in Black Velvet (used about 377 yards)

This is another shawl I would love to knit myself! The lace sections tripped me up at first. This also has garter + lace ...hmm, I see a theme! I really like this shawl!! very pretty



I have been very busy at work. My co-worker has been on vacation since last Monday, until this coming Tuesday, so I have been working full days to cover her. Today was the first day I was able to pleasure knit!! Dani of Little Bobbins blog and podcast started a Christmas Eve Socks KAL and I've been so eager to cast on!! I decided to use Cakewalk Yarns in Peppermint Bark to knit Madeline Gannon's Evergreen Socks. (The designer is also going to have an Evergreen Socks KAL on Instagram if you're interested!)


My yarn and project bag for #lbkchristmasevesocks


oh! I finished this little guy:

⛄️❄️ #giftknitting

little cutie :) he went to live with a friend in Canada :)

I also finished the Sugarplum Fairies socks, but I'll post about them next time! My sock total for the year is 24 pairs! Pretty happy about that!


Are you curious about how Berny and Bruce have been doing?? ;) It seemed like after that horrible week of thinking Bruce had feline leukemia and then hearing the good news, everything would be ok. And it is, sort of. Bruce has since met Berny. They are still adjusting to one another, Berny more so than Bruce. When we first met Bruce, he was so quiet and timid, we thought he would get along with Berny perfectly. As he's grown, his personality has emerged and he's one wild kitten! Very extroverted, LOVES stimulation of all kinds, and is incredibly food motivated (he actually gained too much weight and the vet said he was fat!! oh the horror!! We've been feeding him by dispersing his food in a muffin tin and it slows him down. Has worked wonders!). Berny is basically the complete opposite. She's also gotten accustomed to sleeping all day...

I was able to take this picture one day:

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If I don't have a chance to write again before 2015, Happy New Year!! Thank you all so very much for reading my blog, it means an incredible amount to me. May the new year bring you happiness, health, and many good times. 

Love,

Jesse 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bruce!

Hi friends,

I just wanted to post a quick update on Bruce! Thanks for all of your thoughts and well wishes, we received his test results back, and they were negative ! ! ! yahooo!



xx

Sunday, November 30, 2014

socks and a shawl

Hello lovely friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent it with our families over two days, ate lots of yummy food, and just felt thankful. Oh, and we also gave our attention to this little monkey:

Bruce

His name is Bruce and he is the newest member of our family. We adopted him last Saturday because he just melted us. When I picked him up it was instant and nonstop purring ♥ unfortunately, at his vet visit he tested positive for feline leukemia, which he could pass to Berny. I am thankful my bosses are also my vets as I've been able to ask them all my questions. They recommended sending a further blood test out to a lab to double check. Sometimes the in-house snap tests can give false positives. So that is what I'm praying for. The results should be back anytime this week or next...

Anyway. I am trying to stay positive and accept the results whatever they are, but it is hard. I have been pretty depressed about it. Thanks for listening xx


Well, I have been knitting a lot. I've finished some socks:

Fall socks are finished�� they don't seem quite so appropriate now that it's snowed though... These are off to their new home! Pair 21 #socksforfriends


Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Maple Leaves
Needles: 2.25 mm
Pattern: 64 stitch vanilla with Fish Lips Kiss Heel



Heather's Yule socks


Yarn: Liberty's Yarn Jabbersocky in Yule
Needles: 2.25 mm
Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

Pair 22!


Heather's Yule socks


This pair was part of a swap with an Instagram friend :) I love knitting socks for friends!


Heather's Yule socks

I also love the modified eye of partridge heel! It always looks so pretty.


Um....then I had NO socks on the needles! It was really weird! So I started my Christmas socks:

Hey @knitsomniacdesigns and @lynaiyarns ��I started my Christmas socks! #operationsockdrawer
progress of first sock



Sugar plum fairies
but now I'm on the second :)


It's Lynai Yarns in Sugarplum Fairy -- how pretty is this yarn?! It's hard to see, but there are sparkles :) very magical


Sugar plum fairies


I cast on 60 stitches and am knitting (of course) a modified eye of partridge heel :) sooo pretty. I am just turning the second heel now. These will definitely be finished before Christmas, so I might cast on another pair of Christmas socks .... :) I have another Christmassy yarn that I'd like to knit.

Oh!

Look at this bag from Dag:

Sugar plum fairies


Grinch inside fabric! Too cute, I love it :) And it's holding my Sugarplum Fairies socks of course :)


This weekend I knit all the way to the last lace repeat of Nurmilintu:

Nurmilintu


This whole time I've been pretty nervous about running out of yarn, but now that I'm at the last section, I am sure I will have enough. I really like this pattern and will knit it again. The first lace section was difficult because I kept getting off count. But by the second lace repeat, it felt much easier and quicker.

I still need total silence for the lace parts though!


Nurmilintu

Garter squish *lace* garter squish


Nurmilintu

I'm knitting it in Madelinetosh Merino Light in Black Velvet... so pretty


Those are the projects that I've been working on the most these past few weeks. What have you been up to? I hope everyone has a happy week; stay warm xx

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy November

November 1st! I always like the first day of a new month. I like the literal turning of the calendar, and the idea of a whole month to look forward to is hopeful. I wish the months wouldn't go by so quickly though!

Let's see... since that last time I blogged, I finished the Patronus socks:


Patronus Socks!


Pattern: Blender Socks by Heather Sebastian 
Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne, sampler pack of all the colorways
Needles: 2.25 mm 40" circular (magic loop)

This is my 20th pair this year!!!! I met my goal and will hopefully finish a few more pairs before 2015!


Patronus Socks!


I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and knit the socks one at a time. I love them!! The colors are amazing and the yarn feels durable yet squishy. For the second sock I only juggled three colors once; I mainly stuck with alternating just two colors and it worked sooo much better. There was less, well, juggling :)


Patronus Socks!


Patronus Socks!



And I have a half-finished object:

Just Thumbkin mitten


Dani of the Little Bobbins podcast started a mitten KAL that I couldn't pass up. The pattern I chose is Just Thumbkin by Diane Lyles. It's a basic mitten pattern that has instructions for three sizes. This is the smallest size, and it's a bit narrow on the hand, even for me. I might have to keep them :)



Progress was made on the following projects:

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Fall Socks


Heather's Yule Socks
Yule Socks for Heather


Nurmilintu


And Nurmilintu -- I made it past the first lace section! (though it's pretty hard to tell in the photo).

It's been so cold here! The mornings are usually in the low 30s and the highs during the day only reach about 50-60 degrees. Part of me is happy because I've been wearing handknit socks and shawls everyday, but the other part is dreading winter!! I opened my sock drawer and there's a huge gap of missing socks!! (I have about two weeks of unwashed handknit socks waiting for a soak...)

I hope everyone has a fabulous and warm weekend :) x

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hello, hello, hello!!!


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Happy Fall!!

Last weekend I had the good fortune to have Friday off and we spent the time out of town. In Spokane, Washington to be exact. It is only about three hours away; far enough to feel like you're getting away but close enough that you're not driving all day! I also like the time change :)

We truly did not do much while in Spokane, which was awesome. On Saturday, we walked around  Riverfront Park. It was so beautiful.


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A lot of the attractions were closed for the season, but we were able to take the Sky Ride...a gondola over the falls.

spokane weekend '14
Top left clockwise: 1. Pavilion skeleton 2. LUNCH! 3. Scott on the Sky Ride 4. The view of the falls from the Sky Ride


I was able to knit a lot too :) I brought three projects (because that's what we knitters do...way over pack in case of emergency!) but mainly worked on a new sock that I'm calling Patronus:


sock knitting and this book
and yes, I loved Throne of Glass!


The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne and I'm using all of the colorways. When the yarn first came out, I had joined a co-op on Ravelry to receive a small sampling of the colors. It was really difficult to think of a pattern because I wanted to use all of the colorways. The balls are only about 4.5 grams, so just a little shy of what I need for my sock yarn blanket's squares. I decided on Blender Socks by Heather Sebastian. Here is where I'm at on them:

Patronus socks
One finished!


It's a really fun knit! Sometimes I use two colors and alternate rows by carrying the unused yarn up, and sometimes I juggle three colors. I think three colors makes a more blended appearance, but it's a pain to keep everything untangled! I admit that the OCD part of me hates this project because the rows are pretty much random. Sometimes I will plan it, like once I knit an inverse set: 1 row C1, 3 rows C2, 2 rows C1, 2 rows C2, 3 rows C1, 1 row C2. But for the most part I just grab a strand and knit it.


Patronus socks

I used a Fish Lips Kiss Heel in one solid color.


Patronus socks


Even though each yarn is carried up, there are still a lot of ends to weave in! I think there are twenty colorways, so each sock will have ten different colors...and twenty ends. Towards the end I started using a Russian join...I think the second sock will have many more Russian joins! (don't know what I was thinking)


I also finished each sock from last post, Fall and the Crazy Zauberball:

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Fall Socks received a FLK heel...



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while Crazy Zauberball received an afterthought heel. Now to finish their mates.



and I finished Brie's socks!!

A black and white photo of @littlecreatable's socks!!! Pattern is Faux Cables by Jen Lucas. Just need to find some treats to send with and then it will be mailed, Brie!!! It's killing me that I can't share the color!!!! Pair 18/20 #socksforfriends

I'm dying to show off the super amazing color, but I'm going to wait until she receives them. The pattern is Faux Cables by Jen Lucas. I've knit them once before, exactly per pattern, but this time I continued the faux cable pattern onto the back of the leg. I thought Brie might like that better.

I think I mentioned last time that Brie and I have been making hand knits for each other. I already received the item she knit me and I absolutely love it!!!

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I'm not sure what pattern it is, but it has such amazing texture and patterning! It's been cool enough to wear it already :)


This past week I knit a lot on Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander. I'm using Madelinetosh Merino Light in Black Velvet that I purchased while on summer vacation.

Nurmiluntu shawl


I am just about to start the first lace portion!! And I've ordered some yarn to make one for my mom :)



That is it from me.

Happy Friday!!! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend that includes plenty of knitting x

Jesse