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:

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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:

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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

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:


P1060418


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:

P1060406


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.


P1060409
I love these little trees!



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

P1060402

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..)


P1060372


Modified Eye of Partridge is still my favorite heel


P1060364


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 ♥

P1060370


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:


Untitled


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