Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's Goin' on?!?!

I know that I have been pretty silent for a while now and I don't think I'm going to even try to catch up with blogging about what life has brought me. . however, I can start right where I'm at. 

1. I've been working out of the book The Artist's Way.  I'm in week 11 out of 12 and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Review
"With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity."
I don't really feel blocked or unblocked. . but I have learned some things about myself during this process and I'm glad I've done it.  Because I own the book, I'll probably do it again in a few years time.  Julia Cameron has other books with the same concepts.  I think the next book of her's that I'll try is The Artist's way at Work. 
2. I've given up on Christmas Knitting. . I've finished a few things and I've decided that I'm not going to freak out and try to finish all the projects that I had planned on doing.  Not worth the crazy.  

3. I've been thinking a lot about my 2013 New Year's Resolution.  This is where life gets kinda crazy. . . 
- I'm currently trying to pay off all my debts: credit cards & medical bills.  So spending less sounds like a good place to start.
- I have LOTS of unfinished knitting projects (known as UFO's).  I went through my knitting "area" and put all projects on needles in a box.  The box overflows with UFO's.  
- While going through my stash, I was reminded of the amount of sock yarn I own. . . . last year's resolution was to knit one pair of socks per month, I made 7 out of 12. . .   good enough for my first attempt but I still have a crap-ton of sock yarn.
     So, keeping those things in mind, my 2013 New Year's Resolution is:
Do not buy yarn for the year of 2013, Knit from your stash!
     I know that might be scary for some knitters. . . .  But really, I did spend a lot of money in the past year on yarn when that money could have gone to paying off a bill faster.  The time spent shopping, storing, and (yes) smelling the yarn (I know I'm not the only one who does that!) could have been spent knitting on projects in my stash or finishing a UFO.  
But not buying ANY yarn??  Ok, I have some exceptions, if some one gives me a gift card to a yarn store for Christmas or my birthday. . I'll probably get yarn.  I will not stop buying sweaters to convert back into yarn. . .  however, I still have a small pile of sweaters to go through.  This summer when we go on vacation, we're probably going to Colorado.  I will allow myself some souvenir yarn IF I come across some that I like.  Hubby is pretty good of staying clear of yarn stores when we are out and about together.  
So there you have it. . . .   My 2013 Resolution. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving; just us & the cat

 I need to rename this post "My husband is awesome because he knows how to cook"

He made our entire Thanksgiving day meal (except the pumpkin cheesecake) while I watched the movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and knit on some Christmas presents.
Crab dip
yummie Salad
Not Turkey! COW!

Roasted root veggies and Potatoes.

Even Slick the cat wanted in on the action.

As far as the pumpkin pie. . we opted for a cheesecake instead.  Pumpkin Spice cheesecake!  Super easy and fast.  Find the recipe here.  It is a "skinny" recipe, when I made it I undid the skinny part ;)

CD Release Party

So Rick's CD came in and we did what we thought was the next step.  CD release Party!
The bad news: the lighting was bad so the pictures didn't come out to well.  So forgive me. .   The Good News: It was an Amazing night!  The place was crowded and people were excited! 

So here are some "horrible lighting" Pictures:

Unfortunately, Rick's parents were not able to attend the party.  So Rick had a drink in his Mom's honor.  Here's your proof, Juliemom, he did drink a Margarita for you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last Call

Ok, so I know that it's been a while. . a long while.  Like a few months . . .  and I know that I seem to start new posts like that all the time ;) you should be used to it by now.  

Anywho- Just wanted to post a quick little note about how awesome my Husband is :)

He wrote and recorded a Jazz Album.

Tonight is his CD release party.

Amazon has the MP3 for sale, which makes it available for lovely people like you to have a little listen to each one of his songs. . 
You can find it here.

 If you want to purchase a CD instead of the MP3 please contact me and I'll see what I can do!
I'm the "photographer" tonight so hopefully in the next week or so I'll post some lovely pictures!

Happy knitting everyone and if I don't make it up here before Thanksgiving. . Have a nice holiday too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Not so Dirty Hippie

So my new friend Lilly sent me and Dear Husband a care package. Mostly books for us to enjoy among some other exciting things. The whole box smelled really really good. That's because she mailed me some Zum Bar soap. I've eyeballed this stuff before at one of our local grocery stores. But I've never picked any up, just sniffed the heck out of them while shopping. This soap has brought out my inner dirty hippie, but in a fresh and clean kind of way. I mean it is soap and I'd have to shower to use it, so I can't be that dirty. 

With all this hippie talk, and to Dear Husband's greatest pleasure (not really), I've started burning incense again.  Damn hippies.  My favorite incense of all time is Nag Champa, but I found some that was Nag Champa with Jasmin.  Yummm.

I've also been reading up on some home made products that are cheaper and possibly more effective then store bought products.
The most recent home-made, cheaper then store bought, hippie item: OCM Face Wash. OCM stands for Oil Cleansing Method. Using an oil that is similar to the pH of the oil my skin produces to help absorb excess oil.
I found an old plastic bottle in my home-made beauty supply box (that has been at the back of the bathroom closet for almost 5 years. AND, I might add, was covered in coconut oil that had leaked all over in the box of home made beauty supplies). I think it was Sea Breeze bottle at first. I put in 4 oz of caster oil then filled the rest up with extra virgin olive oil. I then put in a bit of tea tree oil since I have acne prone skin. This made a lot! I then started the hot water but I didn't get my face wet. I just applied the oil mix to my face and massaged it in. Then I got a washcloth really hot and placed that over my face, letting it warm the oils and let them do their magic. After a min or two I wiped the oil off. Easy as that. Afterwords, my skin felt tight and clean. It had that clean kind of shine to it. It was so clean feeling that I put on some moisturizer, just in case. I don't think I will stop using regular face wash just yet but it felt good to make something that felt so good to use. Felt even better when using a hand-made washcloth for the steaming part!

Post Apocalyptic Life Skill

I know that it's been a while.  And It definitely has nothing to do with not having anything to say because, wooly moley, a lot has been going on.  More on that later. . This post is just a quick little "HI" and a funny.  I saw this picture on Facebook and decided to share it here.  To whoever designed this; Thank you, it's beautiful! And sorry if I'm doing something wrong/bad by sharing this.  Have a great day!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How a Beekeeper keeps warm at night

I've started making the little honeycombs for this blanket out of left over sock yarn. The pattern suggest to put polyfil in them so they poof, but I've decided to not do that. So here's what I have so far, you might recognize some of the yarn from some of my other projects:

Did I mention that I'm using the same kind of yarn for all my "poofs"? It's knitpicks Stroll.

So many color options!! I can make some that are solid colored, tonal, or variegated. This will look great, laying over my lap, while I knit. Sitting in a comfy chair with either coffee, tea, or wine inside my future knitting cottage :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

What life brings. . .

A few weeks back my husband announced that one of his previous girlfriends had found him on Facebook and wanted to be friends. He hadn't had a real conversation with her in about 10 years. Now, I know how most wives would have responded. "OH HELL NO!" I couldn't be that way. Dear husband has every right to talk to and befriend who ever he wants. I'm not the kind of person who is willing to control someone like that. I completely trust my husband and if that makes me foolish then I guess I'm am. I'd rather be foolish then feel suspicious of him or her.
I will admit that I did feel a little weird at first. It was mostly feelings of protection. When I became friends my Dear Husband, his relationship with her was still fresh on his mind. He wasn't over her, and as a friend, I tried to be there for him. Eventually he got over her and we fell in love. His feelings towards her haven't been a problem for him since. So when he told me that they were catching up I kind of panicked. Dear Husband!? She broke your heart and made you really sad, why would you want to talk to her? But as I thought about it, he is the best ex-boyfriend to have. He knew that he was blaming her for how upset he was over everything in his life. Spilled milk, blame your ex, fail a final, blame your ex. . . Once he got over her he wrote her a letter apologizing for all the crappy things he did to her after they broke up. I've NEVER had an ex do that- yet. So she's lucky to have dated a guy who could own up to being a jerk and understand that his immaturity got in the way of them being friends afterwords. And I'm lucky, he's a really great guy that makes me happy. Plus, I got to grow with him as we both emotionally matured, learning from each other.
She lives across the state with her family but this past weekend she drove up to our little town to meet us and hear Dear Husband play live jazz. After meeting her I can no longer call her my husbands ex, she's more then that to me. But for privacy reasons I won't say her real name on here, so I'll just call her Lilly. Lilly and I have a lot in common and that feels good. We have lots to talk about!  Sadly, she's not a knitter, her mom spun and dyed wool, so she's been around it. I believe that she has a great appreciation for hand-made things. I feel that if I knitted her something she'd take really good care of it. And on the off chance that I can't convince her to learn to knit (even with my awesome evangelic knitting powers), we'd still be good friends.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sock Progress July/August.

So this last month, July, was not a good month to start or finish any knitting projects. I tried and tried to get a good go at July socks but it just didn't happen. The yarn was to ugly and the pattern I chose just wasn't working out the way I had hoped. So, July came and went with out any socks. By July 25th I'd already started swatching August's socks. And as of today I'm one sock down with one sock to go.

 I've also started working on September's socks, but that isn't going to well either. I've swatched a few times, trying to convert a top down into a toe up, again. Maybe that's my problem, I just need to learn to deal with top down socks. 

Another let down was the end paper mitts. Here's my swatch:

Isn't it pretty?! I was so excited until I measured my stitches per inch. Nowhere near what I needed. Decided not to go up in needles size (again), I might be new to color work but I do have some amazing experienced friends. I am to understand that the larger the needles you use, the more the fabric will stretch, the more it stretches the more you can see the color of the yarn runs in the back side. So no Endpaper Mitts for me, not now anyway. I did find a pattern that I did make gauge for, so hopefully before it gets cold out I'll have some nice mittens to wear.

You can find the pattern here: Vespergyle Mittens

Catching up with previous posts: you know how I said I was not going to buy any more books? At least not physical books that take up shelf space, require dusting, and attract paper eating bugs? I broke that rule pretty quick.

Maybe someday I'll just live in a bookstore/yarn store/coffee shop.  That would solve a lot of problems.

P.s. On a de-junking note I recently parted with two large boxes of Magazines

Monday, August 13, 2012

Great Day to Dye

A few of my fellow knitters and I decided it would be fun to get together and dye our own yarn.  We talked about it for a while but never set any plans into motion.  Then a while back, we did it.  We got together with our crock pots and Kool-Aid and made beautiful yarn.  And here are the results of that day:

the pink and red on the left are mine

I tired to do it again at home a few days later:

started out as red on one end and yellow on the other.  I was trying to dye the middle section orange in this photo.

as you can see, the yarn turned out peach.  no red or yellow or orange, the whole thing is peach.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Joy of Less

Today is my first day off from work since my husband I went on vacation.  And I feel accomplished.

1. Day started off with some good coffee and a good book: The Joy of Less
2. Two loads of laundry: washed, dried, AND put away!
3. Large trash bag of trash and junk out of my house!
4. Box of things to donate: a few text books and some winter gloves and hats
5. I've got cookies in the oven as I type.

I think it's time I sat down and knit :)

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A little Vacation

Yay! I'm updating my blog!! I feel like it been forever since my last post, but I know that I've gone longer between posts, so I'm trying not to feel guilty. Besides, I'm a busy girl! Last week my hubbiekins and I were house setting. The house we were at was about 2 min from my job. Awesome. My house is about 25-30 min depending on traffic, and that includes highway time. So I didn't spend a whole lot of time at my own house. Just enough time to pet/feed/love on the cat and do some laundry.

This week, Hubbiekins and I went on a little out of town vacation to celebrate our 7th anniversary. We went to Kansas City and stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast. Each room was named after a famous person who lived in Kansas City. Our room was the "Clara and Russell Stover" room. They were from New England originally so the room was decorated with pictures of light houses and things that reminded me of the ocean. The rest of the furniture was "dated" to look like it came from the time period that they lived (late 1800's to early 1900's). All except the jacuzzi tub for two. The next morning we enjoyed Carrot Cake Waffles with maple mascarpone cheese, raspberry coffee cake, and a cold watermelon soup. If you want to check this place out. . Here they are: Southmoreland bed and breakfast.

Rick trying to use the internet in our room.

For the remainder of the trip we rented a cabin at Lake Perry, between Lawrence and Topeka. It was cute! Makes me want one of the tiny houses from the Tiny House Blog and fill it up with yarn. The cabin came with air conditioning, full size bathroom, kitchenette with stove, oven, refrigerator, AND dishes/pots and pans. There was a sign asking patrons to clean up the cabin before they left, and sure enough in the bed room closet there was a broom and a bucket of cleaning supplies. The only thing that we needed that wasn't provided: towels. 

From the front door looking in. 
From the bed room looking out.

View of the lake from the front porch.
Rick enjoying his new pipe.

In addition to sea gulls and geese, we also saw wild turkeys.

If you looked up what Robert's Rules says about gifting for the 7th anniversary, you'd know that it is the year of WOOL. OOOH YESS!!! Knitter's dream. Rick and I went to a yarn store while in Kansas City called The Studio. There he got me these lovelies:

The Knit your own Ninja kit did not come from The Studio, I have no idea where he got it.  I, in turn, got him a wool newsboy hat and some pipe supplies. ( he didn't want me to knit him anything?!. . The brown yarn, I had to twist his arm over, b/c I wanted to make him socks that weren't black)

But all this living away from home has me thinking about the things I own and whether or not I could live without them. So today I made a list of 100 items I didn't think I could live without. Car was the number one thing, so the list has some pretty obvious things on it, but after item 53, it started getting harder to come up with the things I had to have. This kind of thinking has helped me create a new goal for myself. Every Day I will throw out one garbage bag of trash. I did this yesterday and I did this today. Dear reader, you also have to understand that I'm talking a kitchen trash can sized garbage bag, not some heavy duty bag that would use on the show hoarders. I'm going to do this until I feel that my clutter and life are more simple. I also know that means that I have to learn to bring less into the house. No more buying stuff if there is a way around it. Today I linked up my kindle to the public library's ebook website. No more physical books! Well, unless they are knitting books. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Socks

I haven't posted for a while, I'm feeling a bit "blah".  That last bit if knitting nasty really got me.  I went a week without knitting at all.  nothing at all.  crazy.  I did, however, make an espresso cheesecake and played a lot of Diablo.  Then July 1st came buy and I realized it was time to start another sock.  The yarn I chose is Stroll hand painted in watermelon colors by knitpicks:

I love how it looks in the ball but knitted up, not so much.  So I needed a pattern that would break up the colors.  I chose the Aquaphobia sock pattern by Crystal Flanagan.  I'm in the process of re-writing it to make a toe up sock using Judy's magic cast on and knitting them up using the magic loop method.  I should call these my magic socks. . .   I'm also going to use some leftover black yarn for the toes and cuffs.  Well, yesterday I knitted up the toe and started the pattern with the main color and it just doesn't look right.  

I don't think I started with enough stitches, the toe looks narrow and pointy.  And I know you can't really see it in the picture but the cables don't match, they twist in opposite directions but the right side looks more like a slip stitch and the left looks clean. . .  So today's goal is to undo and redo the toe and write out the pattern using the left cable on both sides.  I really want to get this going this week because the hubbiekins and I are taking some vacation days together for our anniversary.  We're going to drive up to Kansas City and I wanted some good progress on the sock before the trip.  

As far as Celebrating the 4th, I have some snakes and some throwy-snappy thingies.  Not really into fireworks (especially in 100 degree weather), but I hope everyone has a lot of fun and plays it safe!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Disaster

 A while back I started on the Pogona Shawl By Stephen West. It's been going well, almost mindless knitting, almost. I hadn't worked on it in a while and when I picked it up again I had forgotten how to do the M1 stitches. For the non-knitters out there, M1 means "make one". I realized a row too late that I had done them backwards. Again, for the non-knitters, there are several ways to make new stitches, the m1 I was doing caused the new stitch to lean a specific direction. Since the Pogona is several triangles, the m1's lean away from each other, making the triangle bigger. So I did the wrong side row, when I got to the messed up m1 stitches, I figured out how to undo them and redo them. This shawl has gotten so big that it takes almost an hour to finish a row, so I didn't want to tink (that's to knit backwards to undo my work, also, it's the word knit spelled backwards. . Yup, knitters are crafty) the whole row just to fix two stitches. After I fixed the stitches, I continued on, until I discovered that many many rows down, I'd YO-ed. As in I added an extra stitch by yarning over, leaving a HOLE in my work.

 And by many many rows down I mean almost 18 hrs, that's
 e i g h t e e n  h o u r s
 of work to undo and redo. AHHHHCK. I'm SOO pissed! It's just a little hole but it looks so BIG to me. Several knitting peeps all said that nobody will notice it. As the saying goes amung my knitting friends "if a Hun on a horse rides by and can't see the mistake, then it's not a mistake", others called it a design feature. I call it a hole. And I know that a non knitter wouldn't notice it, but I'm making this for me. I don't want to get it done and then regret not going back and undoing that stitch. So for now, it's going to hibernate, and I'll work on something else. Sometime before fall I'll pull it back out, fix it, and in November I'll have the most awesomest shawl the Manhattanites have ever seen.

As for the something else, I did get a good start on a previous months unfinished socks:

I'm also getting ready to swatch for the Endpaper Mitts in these colors:

Friday, June 22, 2012

This past week in photos

Photos from this past week:
1. I cashed in an Amazon gift card to buy a computer game.  With the left over money, I got some knitting books. I did hesitate for a second, What if I saved the leftovers to buy Christmas gifts?  But it was only for a second.
The Cast on Bind off Book will come in handy, specially if I want to create knitted items that look more professional.  The Knitter's Life List isn't really a knitting book.  It's more of a self help book for knitters, helps you create the ultimate "knitting bucket list".  It also has a lot of info on types of yarn, designers and/or people knitters should know about, places to visit, history of patterns and techniques, . . . . .  Pretty cool book for when you're not in the mood to knit.

2. I also let loose my inner crazy coupon lady.  The items pictured above were all FREE b/c I used coupons.  I know, I rock.  I also took a picture of my receipt, I saved 38% of my total order, again, I rock.
3. Then I got the game in the mail.  I feel like it's Christmas.  I LOVE the Diablo games.  So I got the game plus a strategy guide.
There is a catch with the gaming.  Some may find this silly, but this will keep me from sitting around playing all day (and all night).  My husband is a gamer and so we decided together that we had to "buy" our gaming time.  How do I do that?  Cleaning.  I've been cleaning almost every day, timing myself, putting "money" in my Gaming bank.  When I'm gaming, I'm withdrawing the "money" with the amount of time I game.  We'll see how long this lasts.

As far as my knitting goes. . I had a little disaster, but I'll have to use that as my cliffhanger for next time ;P

Friday, June 15, 2012

Must. Knit. Faster.

So I've been cleaning up my queue on Ralvelry. When I first signed up I added anything I liked to my queue, weather or not I would actually make that item. I've become a bit more realistic about what I can make and how long it takes to make things. Since I've been deleting stuff, I've been looking at patterns differently. Asking myself, would that look good on me? Would I enjoy knitting that? And most importantly, How much would it cost and/or do I have yarn in the stash for that? This year's resolution (12 pairs of socks in 2012) was so that I would use up stash yarn and not buy any yarn. . . because I already had all my knitting planned out for the year. I learned that socks are not boring, but not enough to keep me satisfied. I also discovered that if the money is there, I will buy yarn. So I've made sure that all the bills are paid first, that something is set aside in the emergency/gift fund. Then I'll buy yarn. I've even bought some patterns this year. One I liked so much that I made sure I bought the same yarn as used in the pattern (my color choice of course). But looking at all the things I want to make, I feel a bit overwhelmed. How silly? I should feel overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning my house needs or how much debit I still owe. Not over what I want to knit. So little time, so much to knit, must knit faster. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Finished Socks

June Socks are Done!!!
And here are some crazy pictures of my cat and what he does all day.  It's very tiresome to be so adorable.

His name is Slick.

One sweater = Several Teddy Bears

I started taking apart another sweater recently.  It's acrylic that feels like it's been washed a bajillion times.  Picture doesn't quite capture it, but it has a beautiful grayish purple look to it.  It's several strands of different shades held together, including a cream color.  This will make some amazing Teddy Bears some day :)