Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

With having finished my Blueberry Waffle Socks over the weekend (FO post to come), I am itching to cast on another pair. Mostly likely will be a plain vanilla sock.

A few nights ago, I decided to pull out some of my sock yarn stash (old and new stuff) to see if anything tickled me fancy.

Here's a look at it all pulled out together:
So many pretty yarns to choose from. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe!

Let's take a closer look at these lovelies shall we?

Here is some (I say some because I already knit a skein that was in the original haul) of my sock yarn haul from Rhinebeck 2015:
Then I looked over some of my haul from Rhinebeck 2016:
Finally, I perused all the yarn I purchased during December:
Don't you love my little getting in on the action?
Her choice was the Molly Girl Yarn which she let me know by licking it! Unfortunately, it didn't make the final cut this time.

Finally, I narrowed my choices down to these three:
I chose one from each Rhinebeck year and one from my December purchases.

From left to right:

Socks That Rock Lightweight (Rhinebeck '15) - Gnome of the Range
Socks That Rock Lightweight (Rhinebeck '16) - Splendor in the Trees
Nomadic Yarns Trusty Sock - Grinchmas (self-striping)

Now, I am left with the decision of which one to cast on with next. Tough decision I tell ya!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Progress Made

Great progress has been made with my Blueberry Waffle socks!

In my last post about what was on my needles, I mentioned that I hoped to finish sock number one and cast on sock number two.

Well this is what they looked like at the end of January:

Yup, I indeed finished the first sock and as of January 31st, I was at the gusset decreases on the second sock.

I am now working my way down the foot and hope to have the sock completed by the end of this upcoming weekend.

After I get this baby off my needles, it will be time to peruse my sock stash and get another pair going. It is my hope that I can knit one pair of socks per month this year. I have so much loveliness in my stash that I really want to put a dent in it.

My little "helper" thinks some of my sock yarn stash is pretty awesome, especially when she started licking it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017 Reads

Now that I am feeling more like myself, I have fallen in love with reading all over again! If feels amazing to pull out my Kindle on the subway during my morning commute or before I go to bed at night and get completely lost in a book. I had truly missed this in my life.

Since I am participating in a self imposed reading challenge through Goodreads again this year, I thought I would share one post a month recapping what I've read the previous month.

I managed to complete two books in January. Not bad considering I only started reading again during the past couple of weeks.

The first book I finished was "Matched" by Ally Condie on January 19. I had this one on my "To Read" list for quite some time and thought this would be an easy and enjoyable book to get me back into reading again.

While a lot of reviews thought it was boring or not at all what they expected, I rather liked it. To me it's not award winning, and I am a 45 year old adult reading a Young Adult Dystopian book, but I enjoyed it enough to read the remaining two books in the trilogy.

The second book I finished was "The Poison Tree" by Erin Kelly on January 27. I had this one on my "To Read" list for a very short period of time and when I decided to read it next, I devoured it! This is a book that I couldn't wait to crawl into bed at night and read.

The only negative I will say about this book, is that as I got closer to the end, I knew the story was going to wrap up very quickly and it did. I felt the ending was rushed, but I still totally enjoyed the book. I would read another one of her books for sure.

As of right now, Goodreads informs me that I am still one book behind in my challenge, but that's ok. It's early in the year. I will continue to read at my leisure and enjoy every minute of it!

Monday, January 23, 2017

On My Needles

It's been awhile since I've talked about my knitting. Towards the end of 2016 I regained some steam with my knitting and actually finished some stuff I had started earlier in the year and even started and finished a new item within 2 weeks!

Instead of talking about the past stuff I've knitted (and completed), I want to share what is currently on my needles.

After two years of knitting socks for my nephew for Christmas, this past year he had a new request. A scarf in neutral colors. My sister was visiting this past October when she delivered this information to me and since we were attending the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, I knew I needed to find the yarn to knit this for him.

I ended up purchasing a fingering weight gradient kit from Shelridge Farm. Living in a southern state, he didn't need anything worsted or heavier.

A few weeks later I cast on the scarf and dutifully knitted away on it. I made excellent progress, but due to a lack of proper brain function, I wasn't able to knit on it in December. Thus meaning I suck as an aunt and wasn't able to finish it in time for Christmas.

Alas, let's fast forward to this past week where I finally felt like a normal functioning human again and I finished adding the last two color changes to the scarf.
All that is left for me to do is bind off (so it's technically still on my needles) and weave in all the pesky little ends from the color changes. After that, it will get a little bath/blocking and will be on it's merry way to it's owner. I'm calling this a win because it's still winter so he should still get some use out of it!

I have another WIP on my needles and this time it's a pair of socks for me!

In November I was on a sock knitting roll and managed to finish two pairs. I wanted to keep the good sock knitting vibes rolling so I immediately picked out yarn from my stash (HauteKnitYarn Sparkle: Bumble Rumble) that had been fermenting for a couple of years and cast on the Blueberry Waffles Socks by Sandy Turner.

This is what the sock looked like on November 27th:
Compared to what it looks like today:
I am at the toe shaping and hope to get the second sock on my needles before the end of January. Totally doable!

Tell me what's on your knitting needles right now?

Friday, January 20, 2017

40 Book Challenge

It's a new year and that means a new reading challenge!

Ever since I joined Goodreads in 2011, I have participated in the yearly reading challenge. The goal has always been the same. Read 40 books in one year.

As someone who loves to read, 40 books isn't an unreasonable challenge. I've been known in the past to read a book in a matter of days.

Each year I set the challenge and at the end of the year I always fall short.

Here's a recap of the number of books I've read each year in the past:

2011: 37
2012: 37
2013: 36
2014: 32
2015: 24
2016: 37

Some would say,"Why don't you lower the number of books to read if you never make it?". Nope. That's not going to happen.

As you can see, I've come really close most years and honestly, I would of completed it last year if I hadn't spent the entire month of December with a lack of brain focus. I know that this goal is possible!

So here I am officially declaring my reading goal for 2017 will be to finish 40 books! I've already got one under my belt. Here's to the next 39 books!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life Update - July Edition

Life Update bullet style!

Shana: 
  • The night of July 12th, little one decided she was either extremely bored or extremely hungry because she ate a shoelace in the middle of the night. How do we know? She decided she must of been full after devouring 35" because we found 6" nicely chomped off by her bed and the rest was no where to be found. The other tell tell sign of her eating it was when she vomited 8" early Friday morning. To this day remaining 27" is still inside of her.
  • If remaining shoelace doesn't appear by Friday, we have to schedule a sonogram with the vet as she may have a partial blockage. She will be given an additional 4 days to produce said shoelace or else she gets a belly shaving. I keep reminding her that!
  • Last night, she played like she did before she ingested the shoelace. We are taking this as a positive sign that maybe said shoelace has vacated her small intestine and has now taken up residence in her large intestine just waiting for eviction.
Travel:
  • I decided to take a little vacay to visit my family in Georgia this weekend. I will be doing laundry and packing like a madwoman tonight as I fly out tomorrow afternoon.
  • Leaving hubby behind to look after our little one and assist with removal of shoelace if needed.
  • I am hoping little one won't miss me too much or be mad at me when I return a week later. We shall see.
  • Also looking forward to heading to Acadia National Park in Maine for a week in August.
Knitting:
  • Still knitting away on those little socks I talked about a few weeks ago, here.
  • Need to bind off the toe on Sock #1 so I can use the needles to finish Sock #2.
  • Mission tonight before going to bed is finishing off Sock #1.
  • Need to finish this pair before I leave Georgia next week as the recipient lives there and I can save the postage from having to mail them.
  • Already have my next sock yarn balled up and ready to go.
Scrapbooking:
  • I've completed a few more pages since my last layout update, here, which is one of four parts. I've done three more for my backpack album and one from adopting our little fur ball.
  • I haven't completed any pages for the past week and a half as my thoughts and time have been consumed with little one and the shoelace ingestion.
  • Looking forward to going to an actual scrapbooking store with my sister during my visit in GA. The price she has to pay by me assisting her with her craft room purging/organization. Of course I didn't have to twist her arm and after seeing pictures of the room situation, I think my price will have to go up.
Reading:
  • Still plugging away on my reading goals for the year and have now finished 21 books of 40.
  • I shared all the books I've read so far this year here.
  • Loving that Goodreads is emailing me "Goodreads Deals" for purchasing books in genres I elected to receive deals for and so far have purchased several through these emails at $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 or free.
  • For some reason the first five or six books I purchased, I got for free. Amazon must of been having a promotion that day. 
Exercise:
  • Started running more consistently lately. Gotten myself up to running 2.5 miles without stopping. Starting over sucks.
  • Need to start incorporating weight workouts again and even HIIT workouts.
  • Started a Midori Notebook to keep track of all this. My thinking is that by finding a crafty way to record all of this will keep me motivated as I am physically writing all of my accomplishments down in this notebook.
  • I've been hitting at least 10,000 steps a day almost every day this month.
Nutrition:
That's it! Now tell me what you've been up to!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Reading More

As a young girl, I always had a bookshelf in my room filled with tons of books. My mother is an avid reader and I think she felt it was truly important for her children to always have books on hand to read.

I have very fond memories of going to the public library and obtaining my first library card. I remember enjoying spending so much time perusing all the books that I could potentially bring home.

While I always had books, and enjoyed looking at them, I remember the younger me taking forever to finish a book. I also remember as a teenager and having to read books for school was something I struggled with, not sure if it's because I was being told I had to read these books or if the subject just wasn't for me.

Fast froward to my twenties and all of sudden I became an avid reader and as time went by I couldn't get enough. I have been known to stay up way past my bedtime because I couldn't put a book down or even devouring a 1,000 page book in just under a week.

Since 2013, I have participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. My goal has always been to read 40 books and I have yet to hit it. The closest I came was in 2013.

2013: 36 books read
2014: 32 books read
2015: 24 books read

This year; however, I think I just may hit my goal.
For the first time in years, I am 50% to meeting my goal halfway through the year!

If you were to look at my bookshelf, you would see a wide variety of genres. I like to pick books that suit my mood. Sometimes I want funny or an easy young adult book to read. However, by far my favorite is a mystery/thriller. As a young girl, I had Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie books on my shelf. Some things never change.

Here's a peek at what I've read so far this year:
There is definitely a variety in here. If you want a good paranormal book read "The Piper", couldn't put it down. A good tear jerker, "Me Before You". A funny feel good book, "Big Girl Panties". Pyschological suspense, "Black Eyed Susans". Need a vampire fix, "Lover Reborn".

I am always looking for my next great read. Let me know what you recommend.