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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season…I’m trying to get my act together with updating this blog & my knitting projects – I haven’t even been keeping up with adding projects & stash to Ravelry!  Now I’m just trying to enjoy my last few days with CoffeeBoy until he goes back to MA then I hope to get back into a regularly updated blog.

I’m also going to attempt to do Project 365 – My flickr set is here.  I’m really terrible at keeping up with projects like this – which is why I hardly ever do KALs – but I want to get back into the habit of taking pictures.  And I have some healthy changes planned for myself, so I think keeping a record of it will be neat. 🙂

So this weekend was spent finishing a couple of projects.  It was a lovely cool grey Saturday, so it was perfect.

First was my biggest sewing project to date:

I made duvet cover for my bed!  And I’ll probably never do another one!

So, I hated the comforter on the bed – the fabric was a little rough & I was getting super tired of it – I bought it 3 years ago when we bought the bed.   When I bought Simply Sewing, I saw the pattern for the duvet & thought “prefect!” (after my first reaction of “12 yards of fabric? Are you kidding?”)  It’s not a difficult project when you read over it – basically 5 long pieces of fabric sewn together, then folded in half & sewn up again.  But…those pieces of fabric are LONG (especially for our king sized bed) – 105 inches in fact.  So first was the adventure of ironing the fabric & cutting it out while trying to keep the cat off the pieces since I had to use the floor.  Then sewing it together tried my patience.  That was a lot of cotton fabric, which is not light.  But it was worth it in the end, I even had enough for some pillows.

The fabric is from Connecting Threads – the other company I work for.  I saw the colors in the Twilight Frost collection & decided that those were the ones I wanted in my room.  Luckily, the fabric is really nice & not too expensive.    So I really love it – I’m trying to convince myself I sleep better with it on my bed.

I also realized, with this project,  it is unlikely I will ever quilt.

The other finished item is a pair of socks I’ve had on the needles for an embarrassingly long time.

Groovy

Started: April 3

Completed: September 19

Yarn: Handgefaerbt Merino Extra Fine (or as I like to call it, the “Other Pretty German Hand Dyed Yarn”

Pattern: Groovy Socks

Needles: Size 1.5US

Notes: No I don’t know why it took me so long to finish these.

The yarn is nice. The pattern is nice.  The first one I finished is nice.  I just couldn’t get motivated to work on the second sock.  I never used to suffer from Second Sock Syndrome but it hit me bad.  I finished one in, oh way back in April. I think I even cast on for the second right after I finished the first…and ignored it until Sock Summit.  Then I worked on it there & completed the heel…then I ignored it again.  Finally last week I picked it back up & finished it up.  And hey, guess what?  They are nice socks.

Mostly I wanted to finish them because I really wanted to start a new pair (I am going to conveniently ignore the other two socks with unfinished mates I have, as well socks for CoffeeBoy for now).  When Cristi stayed with me during Sock Summit, she made me promise to do a pair of toe up socks, especially after I learned Judy’s Magic Cast-On.  What better way to do it then with Cristi’s own pattern?

So this is my first adventure in a very long time of doing toe up socks (what can I say? I love my top down socks.) Judy’s Magic Cast-On made a huge difference – you know when people say they hate kitchner stitch? I bloody hate provisional cast-ons, which is what my other toe up socks started as (short row toes).  I am just an idiot when it comes to crochet hooks apparently.

The pattern I choose is Calvin & Ripple (although, sorry Ripple, I keep wanting to call it Calvin & Hobbs).  I freaking love the stitch pattern.  I still didn’t quite get the toe (forgive me, I did just a plain toe) but I’m having fun with it…partly because of the pattern, partly because of the yarn…it’s a Socks That Rock mediumweight mill end, no idea what color way it was suppose to be but I love it.  It reminds me of fall, which is officially starting tomorrow, (according to the calendar although Mother Nature isn’t paying attention because it’s suppose to be in the 90s again. UGH).  Anyway, I’m enjoying every bit of this sock…I haven’t decided if I’ll do another Calvin Sock or switch to Ripple…hey maybe that will solve my Second Sock Syndrome!

Obviously, since I haven’t posted in quite awhile. Having CoffeeBoy in town has been great – I’ve missed him so much and we’ve been doing a lot around the house…and doing a Foodie tour of our favourite (old & new) Portland restaurants.

But sadly, this will all come to an end on Monday when he returns to MA and we’ll be seperated again for an undetermined amount of time :(.  Although I will be able to update the blog on our adventures – Sock Summit registration (okay, so that was just my adventure), Anthony Bourdain, seeing Up, several incredible restaurants we have discovered.  Oh and a wee bit of knitting.

Until then, here’s one of my flowers that bloomed.  I’m in shock that I actually haven’t killed everything in my gardens yet.

After a brief stint of  comfort knits & toys, I’m back on pretty much only socks now.  I keep casting on for more – maybe it was a mistake buying more long circular needles because if I have free needles, they need to be put to use, right?

I did finish up a pair in time for CoffeeBoy’s visit next week:

More Boy Socks

Started: April 19

Completed: May 19

Yarn:  KnitPicks Bare Superwash Merino/Alpaca/Nylon Sock Yarn and KnitPicks Essential (Ash)

Pattern:  Tubey from Son of Stitch & Bitch

Needles: Size1US

Notes: This will be the 4th pair of socks for CoffeeBoy, hopefully these will stand the test of time (and CB’s doing his own laundry) –  two pairs have felted or shrunk, one pair bled everywhere so they are now pink.  Sigh.  Anyway, these are not the most exciting socks to knit, but CB likes them so of course I’m going to make more.  I’m loving this new Bare yarn – soft & fuzzy!  One day I’ll have to get the actual Imagination yarns, but the Bare is lovely to work with.  Anyway, I used Tubey again for inspiration, but it’s my basic top down sock, slip stitch heel & plain toe.  I did go down a needle size for these (usually I knit the socks on 2US because…well, it goes faster) so maybe these will last a bit longer.

More socks!

An update on my Sunshine Socks – I’ve been working on them while watching season 2 of Veronica Mars – funny, I finally have cable, yet I keep watching my old videos.  Anyway, I like the  pattern a lot, as always with Cookie A.  I probably should be further with these but…

…I had to cast on with my new Cashmara yarn from the Knit/Crochet show last week.  Oo, I forget how much faster socks go on DK weight yarn.  I’m doing another Reversi – and hope these last.   I would have had a complete sock but I had to rip back – I did the pattern heel and got half way down the socks & worried I would run out of yarn on the second sock.  So I did a simple short row heel instead.  I’m also planning on not sewing up the toes right away on this sock until I’m sure I have enough yarn – if not, I’ll have rip back again. 😦  Now that I think about it, I guess I should have done an afterthought heel.

But to be honest, most of my days (nice days that is) have been spent working in my yard – I kind of got lazy for a week or two and spent way too much time being a depressed couch potato and I am fighting falling into that again.  So it’s been yard work for the past couple of days – and I really need to invest in better sun block. Ow!

Here’s my latest project – my “orchard”

That’s a nectarine, plum & peach tree planted there, along with my grape vines that are finally coming in.  I doubt I’ll get much fruit off of them this year, but we’ll see!  Obviously, I still have some work to do in this area.   It’s suppose to be beautiful the next few days, so I think I’ll get more done!  🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

It is a happy Saturday for me – I finally got decent internet in the house!  I’ve been using a sort of dial up I guess it might be called – it wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t doing it for me – it didn’t like my itunes (which means I’ve been missing my podcasts) and it was slow, so I couldn’t watch videos & uploading pictures would take a half hour. Plus it was a pain because I actually have 2 computers.One is my 3 year old laptop.  It’s getting old but still working.  It’s become my desktop computer – I  keep my itunes on it, plus it has all my programs for photos,videos, & word processing.  I prefer to work on it because it does have a much larger screen & keyboard, but it likes to overheat & shut down sometimes.  Still, I hang on it to it.

I got my new one right before I left MA – it is tiny!  CoffeeBoy has the same one.  It’s great for travel – light & tiny and fits right in my purse.  It honestly wasn’t my choice for a new computer though – I like to watch videos on my computer which the small size doesn’t really work for me and the keyboard is taking some time to get used to.  Plus, it doesn’t have a cd drive on it, so it makes loading new programs impossible at the moment.  But it is a lot faster than the big one and handy when I want to use the computer away from the desk. Plus it has a camera on it, which is fun for gmail chat with CB.

So neither are perfect but I do use both  pretty regularly & switching the modem back & forth was a pain  I got a good deal on cable (oh Daily Show, how I’ve missed you!), phone (which probably isn’t something I’ll use all that much), & internet for the same price and got it set up today.  Huzzah!

Now to go catch up on my tv shows I”ve missed…

It’s been awhile.  Most of it has to do with my internet connection – or lack there of.   I was able to pick up a free signal…if I stood out on my porch and the wind was right.  So while I was able to check my email & such, it made blogging a bit more of a pain.  And really, I didn’t have much to blog about.  Oh I have been knitting – just not finishing a darn thing.  So really, even if I did bring my computer to the coffeeshop to sit down and write, I didn’t really have much to say.

And really at this moment, I still don’t.  I finally have a internet connection I can actually use in the house but I feel at a loss. You’d think, with no job & not much of  a social life, I would have multitudes of FOs to show off.  Wrong.  I have none.  Part of it is the fact it’s been absolutly beautiful and I’ve been trying to take care of the yard.

pretty picture of the tree in my front yard

pretty picture of the tree in my front yard

The yard has taken up a lot of my time – with the exception of a couple of trips CoffeeBoy & I took out here, it hasn’t been cared for in over a year.  Not to mention, this is the first time I’ve lived alone in a house with a yard to keep up with.  So it’s been quite an experience.

Another factor is general restlessness.  I knit for a bit, then I have to get up & do something else.  I don’t know if it’s the projects I’m working on, or what.  Maybe I need an instrant gratification project or something.

I did finish a sock.

 

Groovin sock

Groovin' sock

But instead of casting on for its mate like I normally do, I co for a pair of socks for CoffeeBoy.

Mostly because I’m doing quite a bit of reading and it’s so much easier to work on the borring stockinette while reading  than trying to mess with a pattern.

The yarn is the newest in the Bare line at KnitPicks – the Superwash Merino/Alpaca blend and it is as lovevly as it sounds.  My worry is CB washing & drying them – though they are superwash, I worry about his tendency to just throw everything in the dryer – he did that with the first pair of socks I made him & he thinks they shrunk up a little.  Sigh.  Good thing I love him.

I’ve been making some inroads on setting up the house…to the surprise of no one, I had to get my yarn out in the open right away.

thats most of my yarn...though there are some storage bins stacked underneath.

that's most of my yarn...though there are some storage bins stacked underneath.

It just made me happy to have it all out.  I put the shelves up myself – my father would have been so proud (he was a woodworking guy – I still have much of the furniture he made me).  Between the yard & shelving I’ve been putting up, Home Depot has become my best friend.  It’s also right next to my gym – where I’m pleased to say I’ve been making a concious effort to go at least 5 times a week.  

So that’s a brief update of what’s been going on – hopefully now with much easier internet access, I will be around more. To end, here’s another pretty flower from my yard

Happy Earth Day!

I’ve been so restless since getting back to Portland – I’ve been trying to keep busy so I won’t be so sad.  Most have my days have been spent working on the yard – I planted a tiny garden out back & have about 6 big pots of plants on my deck, plus I have been doing all the yard work that has been neglected for a very long time.  It’s touch living alone in a house with a big yard.  And yesterday, the movers showed up so I’ve been working on trying to unpack, which is exhausting.  But I’m managing.

 

This restlessness has taken root in my knitting as well.  I’ve been pretty good at having one or two projects on the needles at a time the past couple of months.  I currently have 3 I’m working on and a bunch I have in mind.

First up, some groovy socks!

This is the Handgefaerbt merino sock yarn I ordered last fall – it’s really nice.  The pattern is Groovy Socks  and I think this might be my new mindless pattern – it looks really cool and super simple to memorize.

Next!

This is the pretty pretty pattern Ishbel with my pretty pretty Lotus Yarns Mythos Yarn Club shipment #1.  It’s my first lace project and seems to be going well – I made an error near the beginning but it’s not that noticeable.  I’m doing the small version but I heard on Stash & Burn that Nicole is also making an Ishbel but suggested doing the plain portion for the large size for maximum use of the sock yarn.  Great idea!  So that’s what I’m going to do – I have about 15 more rows of the plain stitching to go.

Next!

I found this great deal on this wool/soy yarn at Ben Franklin – two 220 yard skeins  for $8 and it’s super soft – I was concerned it would be similar to Patons SWS, which while I do like, isn’t that comfortable to wear. Nope!  I knit up the swatch & it feels so nice.  Decided I really needed another cardigan similar to my Central Park Hoodie (which I wear everywhere) and decided on Cassidy – similar but  more complex cables. Of course, it’s getting a little too warm for a wool sweater but, eh, I’ll love it in the fall.

I also got my KnitPicks order this week so I have all sorts of ideas on items to make with that – I knit up a washcloth with the new  Simply Cotton and it is lovely.  I can’t wait to make more.

But for now, I’ll be working on my other multiple projects,  including my non knitting ones

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