Friday, March 10, 2017

My Knitting Life: 02

Welcome back for the next installment of "My Knitting Life". I am a wee bit late with this post as last Friday I left work thinking I had food poisoning, but as it turned out, I had the stomach flu. Ugh. Needless to say, I spent days in bed not feeling human at all. I went back to work on Tuesday, but in reality, I am still not 100%, but will get there.

So let's get on with my knitting update.

Finished Objects

Nope. Nada. None.


#1: Saltwater Taffy Hermione's Everyday Socks
Started: February 25, 2017
Yarn: Three Irish Girls - Adorn Sock - Saltwater Taffy
Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Sock by Erica Lueder
Needles: HiyaHiya Sharps - Size 1 US

Last week I only had the beginning's of a sock. Just the cuff and a couple of rows into the leg. This week is a whole different story.

I have a HO and half of the second sock completed.
As soon as I finished the first sock, I weaved in the ends and immediately cast on for sock number two. No second sock syndrome here. I am pretty sure the next time you see this sock, it will be an FO!

#2: Goldfinch Shawl
Started: March 1, 2017
Yarn: O-Wool - Sport - Devil's Pool, Paw Paw and Watermill
Pattern: Goldfinch by Andrea Mowry
Needles: HiyaHiya Sharp Interchangeable - Size 6 US

One of my last purchases at Rhinebeck last year was this yarn from O-Wool:
In reality, both my sister and I purchased this yarn. As we walked by the O-Wool booth, we noticed a completed Goldfinch shawl on display. It was beautiful and was immediately decided we had to knit it in the exact same colors as the one on display. Luckily for us, they still had a few skeins of the colors we wanted. We both thought we would knit them together during the Christmas holidays, but that didn't happen and we didn't mention it to each other again.

Then on February 27 my sister posted a pic to her Instagram of the shawl she had just started. As soon as I saw it I said "You started WITHOUT me!" and immediately fell down and started to throw a temper tantrum. I kid, but I did pull out my yarn the next day and caked it up because I wanted to knit this baby with her and had some catching up to do.

This is as far as I had gotten before I got sick.
The setup and first two color sections were completed as of last Friday morning.

My goal is to have this shawl completed by the end of the month!

Stash Enhancement

#1: Orange Flower Yarn - Fingering BFL - Guava and Light Peach
I am planning on knitting "Find Your Fade" by Andrea Mowry and these two babies are the first I have selected for it. I am not sure what will be added to them to complete my fade. I love that the Guava contains these orange, red, brown specks. I will most likely pull in these colors more with my other yarn choices. Not sure.We shall see!

#2: Lamby Toes
Merino Moon Pie - Kitten's Choice
Sweet Pea Sport - Experiment 091
I am planning to knit the Sweet Pea Sport into "Hermione Hearts Ron" Hat by Christy Aylesworth for Inside Number 23's Harry Potter KAL.

So, this is where I leave my knitting with you for another week. While I am knitting away on these babies, I can't help letting my mind wander to all the other lovely things I want to knit. I also need to think about setting some knitting goals to deal with all my long standing WIPs and stash. Will share my thoughts over the next few weeks.

Until then, I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'll be sitting here knitting all things warm in preparation for the snowstorm we are supposed to be getting on Tuesday. Winter is definitely trying to get it's last hurrah in for sure!

Friday, March 3, 2017

My Knitting Life: 01

I thought it would be fun to start a weekly post that talked all about my knitting during the previous week. I am thinking of it being like a knitting podcast, but in blog format instead of video. Maybe one day I will start a podcast as I love watching them and getting all excited over seeing that person's excitement for everything!

So here we go...

Finished Objects

This week I have three FO's to share, two of which have been long overdue in the sharing department.

#1: Men's Cashmere Scarf pattern from "Last-Minute Knitted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson

The scarf was a special request from my nephew for Christmas. I was told the width/length desires and that it should be in a neutral color.

At Rhinebeck last year, I came across a sock gradient kit from Shelridge Farm and my sister thought it would be a good choice for the scarf.

The sticker on the kit said it contained six colors, but sadly it only had five. I didn't really discover this, or it didn't sink into my brain before I bought it or while I was caking it, until after I had already knitted the first four colors. It wouldn't of been bad except that I had already based my calculations for the finished length of the scarf for six colors.
There was nothing I could do at this point so I plunged ahead with it and hoped it would block out longer than what my finished measurement would be.

I finished knitting the scarf towards the end of January, but didn't get it off the needles and ends woven in until this past Monday. Sad, I know. Such a naughty aunt.
In the end I am happy how it turned out. The only thing I wish I did differently was fade from one color to the next, instead of an abrupt change in color. I haven't soaked/blocked it yet, so I don't know if I made it to my desired finished measurements.

#2: Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner

Started: November 24, 2016
Finished: February 4, 2017

I had these sock finished for awhile, but didn't weave in the four measly ends until this past Monday. So therefore, I didn't feel I could share them as an FO until they were "officially" complete. Silly, I know.
The yarn was gifted to me from my mother a few Christmas's ago. It's from HauteKnitYarn in Bumble Rumble. I let it ferment in my stash for quite some time until I knew exactly what I wanted to knit with it.
I love how they turned out !
#3: Grinchmas Sock

Started: February 9, 2017
Finished: February 27, 2017
Yarn: NomadicYarns - Trusty Sock - Grinchmas
Pattern: My basic top-down vanilla sock pattern

You guys! I am so in love with my Grinchmas socks!!!!!
This yarn was a new-to-me yarn and OMG. It is so, so, SO wonderful to knit. The colors are a vibrant tonal and the feel of it is amazing. Slid so easily on my needles.
And, can I say just how shocked I am at how perfectly matched my stripes are between the two socks?
If you haven't knit with NomadicYarn's yet, I highly recommend it. The turn around time for dye-to-order is usually 4-5 weeks and totally worth the wait in my opinion.

These socks are also my first finished pair of socks for the BoxOSoxKAL2017 that Voolenvine Yarns is hosting in her Yarngasm Podcast Ravelry Group.


I only have one current WIP to share this week.

Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder 
Started: February 25

Since I had been knitting with some newly acquired sock yarn for my Grinchmas Socks, I decided I wanted to dig deep into my sock yarn stash vault for these. I came up with Three Irish Girls - Adorn Sock in Saltwater Taffy. I picked it because it reminded me of a beautiful sunrise/sunset at the beach!
The progress you see here was all I completed on Saturday into Sunday morning. I had cast on while meeting my dear friend Shameka (Mekamika Shop Podcast) for some lunch and afternoon knitting on Saturday. I only started them when I got to the heel flap on my Grinchmas Socks. I find when we get together, I need to only knit on items that don't need a ton of concentration because we are non-stop talkers when we get together.

Also, how adorable, and perfectly matched, is the owl progress keeper? Shameka also has an Etsy shop (MekaMika) where she makes/sells amazing stitch markers.

I'm also knitting these for the BoxOSoxKAL2017, but also for Inside Number 23's Harry Potter KAL she is hosting on her Ravelry group. I am totally blaming Shameka for getting me onto these KAL's. She is the queen of KAL participation and somehow I just got sucked into it! It's all good though, as it motivates me to knit more of my stash faster

Stash Enhancement

#1: Dragon Hoard Yarn - Superwash Sock Yarn in Japanese Cherry Blossoms
#2: Corda Bella Hand Dyed Yarns - Ultra Sock Yarn in Dancing Queen
#3 and #4: Feza - Gradient Baby Blanket Kits (Pink and Red)

I purchased these two kits from ImagiKnit after seeing Ellen's (The Ellen Report) gorgeous blanket being knit up on her Instagram and then again on her blog.

I have a close friend who is due with her second baby girl in May. I couldn't decide which color to knit for her, so I bought both colors. I figured I would knit the one I didn't choose for my friend down the road sometime.
The yarn is a mix of cotton and rayon and is totally scrumptious in person!
I ended up deciding to knit the pink blanket kit for my friend. It just called to me for her and of course this is the color Ellen is knitting so I've seen just how gorgeous it knits!
The theme of my stash enhancement this week seems to be pink! It's definitely one of my most favorite colors.

So, that's it for this past week of my knitting life. My goal going forward is to hopefully have this post up every Monday and it will cover all my knitting from the previous Monday to Sunday.

Hope you like it and please share with me all that you are working on in the comments. I always love hearing what everyone is up to in the crafty world!

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!