Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Knitting lull

I have been in a bit of a knitting lull this week. I almost finished Sawyer's green Christmas tree hat, but then got sidetracked with some other sewing projects.  We had our local quilt guild's tea and auction this weekend and it was so fun! I bought a few items and enjoyed the excitement of a live auction.  I had never really participated in a live auction before so it was quite memorable. I had the kids with me, and they were very well behaved...I think sitting at the table that had a bowl of swedish fish had something to do with that! I sewed these two pillows to donate to the auction.

The blocks are from the book Farm Girl Vintage and they were very fun to piece! There is a sheep block in the book, so I plan on making myself some sheep pillows sometime. I also would love to make the sampler quilt, which has all different 6" blocks.  Another member of the guild is working on that and the blocks are just adorable. 

The other excitement of the weekend was that we had professional pictures taken of our family! In eight years of marriage, we have never done that (even for our wedding), so I am very excited to see how they turn out. Lucy was quite grumpy during the whole shoot, so hopefully there is one where she doesn't look angry. We were all practicing our smiles before going, and clearly she is capable of smiling. Silly girl. 

No real updates on knitting as I just haven't been doing much.  Next time I should have at least one FO. I realized this morning that we are about 5 weeks away from Christmas and I haven't started any of my gift knitting yet! YIKES! I don't knit a ton for holiday gifting, but I have a few smaller things planned.  The yarn and patterns are all chosen (and printed out somewhere, I think) but I need to start! Perhaps that will be my plan for the weekend...in between a pampered chef party, time to sew, and a guild meeting. Man oh man. 

Get your knit on!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hats, hats, hats

If you know me, you know my favorite thing to knit is hats. They are a quick project, perfect to learn a new skill, and useful.  In Alaska, it's a rare day that you couldn't use a hat, so I don't mind that we have a bucket bursting with hats. The kids always love to dig through and pick their favorite hat for the day (or the hour) and it warms my heart to see one of my creations on their little noggin.  I knit Sawyer (Brochan Slouch by Kate Oates) a new hat while I was on my trip, and just this week whipped Lucy (Oh Christmas Tree! By VANGY knits) up a new one as well.  Her hat will soon have a matching one for Sawyer (in green) and maybe if I am ambitious, Weston and I might have blue ones. We will see though... I have a bit of other holiday knitting to get through as well.

The kids were being so sweet holding hands on the way to school...

Quick report on some other knitting. My beaded lace shawl is two repeats away from moving back into garter stripes.  It has been sidelined again for holiday knitting, but I hope to plow through the lace soonish.  My rainbow stripe blanket is on color 5! Which is halfway! So that is very exciting. It is going to be a pretty sizable blanket and I can't wait to snuggle under it on the couch.

I picked up yarn today to knit Sawyer a new sweater. I hope to get that finished in time for Christmas.  I expect some baby knits to jump on my needles soon as my SIL just found out she is expecting a little girl in March. If only there were more hours in the day for knitting!

In other news, the Cordova Center (the big, beautiful civic center that Weston is the project manager for) had its grand opening last night and what a grand event it was. A TON of people turned out to see the building and I think everyone had a great time.  It was wonderful to see the building used and full of people! I know this town has been waiting for that for a very long time and I was excited to be a part of it. And there is photo evidence that I know how to dress up and be girly....I even wore lipstick! So adult.

Until next time...Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 26, 2015


I am currently on vacation, but had so much to share! I just got back to Anchorage from a weekend away in Washington at a small, local, spinning retreat.  A lot of the friends I know from Ravelry go every year, and this was my second time attending. It is so nice to get away for a few days and see people who understand my love of yarn and fiber! I got a LOT of knitting done (but I will talk about that in another post because I have other yummy goodness to share) and I got to meet my friend's baby! She was adorable and we were quick friends. I was very sad to leave her, but I am hoping to get to see her again soon.

The mornings were foggy and cool, but still beautiful

I love the fall colors in Washington! Alaska doesn't have the wide variety of trees that the lower 48 has, so it is nice to see all the colors. 

The last day of retreat the weather was gorgeous. Just crisp enough for a light sweater.

There were vendors at the retreat, but I restrained myself. I haven't been spinning as much as I used to, so I didn't want to stock up on fiber. I have also been very good about only buying yarn for projects I am about to start, and that list is pretty long at the moment.  I was gifted a lovely skein of handspun from my friend, Sue. She said it reminded her of Lucy and she wanted me to have it. Sue is just the sweetest.  Lucy has a hat knit out of another skein Sue had spun for me when Lucy was born. It is a favorite of mine, and I love thinking of Sue spinning it when she wears it. 

Not sure what this will become, but it is Lucy's favorite colors, so I am sure she will love it!

I did make one small purchase for myself at the retreat, from my friend Brittany (Bohoknitterchic on Etsy).  She normally dyes a colorway especially for Tour de Fleece and I was unable to purchase it when it came out. I was very excited to see she still had a 6oz braid for sale and I decided to treat myself as I loved it. 

I can not wait to spin this up!

Sunday afternoon we packed up and I headed back to Spokane with a friend I was staying with for the night. We had to stop at Paradise Fibers (which is mere blocks from where I used to live in Spokane! It wasn't there when I was living there...which my wallet is thankful for!) and I might have treated myself to a few other goodies. I feel given the gorgeous things the shop carried though, I was rather restrained. I have never knit with Madelinetosh yarn, so I decided to give that yarn a try.  I think this will be a fun new hat for me!

The gradient skein is something I wanted to try as well. I keep seeing gradients knit up and love them but haven't seen them available to buy, so I decided to try this one out. It is a DK weight, and I think it will become some sort of scarf for me. There were so many gorgeous colorways of both of these yarns, it was hard to choose! But, I know myself and knitting that is for me gets pushed to the bottom of the stack, so this was enough for now. 

I had such a wonderful (and short!) trip. I hope next time I can stay longer like I did on my first time going, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. I am happy to be in town and get to spend some time with my parents (and see a movie in a THEATRE!) so that is good. My next check in will have lots of knitting. Probably at least one FO! Amazing. 

Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Preschool Mom

Well, it's official. I am a preschool mom. Sawyer made me my first macaroni necklace at school this week.

I wore it to music class on Friday and got a lot of compliments. :) Lucy has since broken one of the pieces of pasta, which totally ruins the pattern that Sawyer did, but it is fine. 

Other than that, I have been getting a lot of knitting done on Lucy's dress. I always forget how much I love color work until I pick it back up.  It is so satisfying to move through the chart and see the picture appear.  This dress was a bit of a struggle because I had a tough time seeing the pattern emerge as I knit it, as it starts out rather abstract.  Now that the color work is finished I just have the top of the dress to do! I love how it is turning out.  

I also have gotten some sewing finished, but I don't have pictures of that.  I am sewing bags for the quilt guild's auction coming up.  Piecing the blocks for the front of the bag was a lot of fun and I think I will be making a few more for myself. Because I obviously need more project bags. Ha!

Off to hike with the family. Weston has the day off in observation of Alaska Day (which was yesterday) and it is not raining at the moment so we are going to take advantage of that. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Small victories

I have been floundering with my knitting lately.  Weston's gansey is in time out as it has a huge gage issue that I need to work on. I was hoping my math was just wrong, but I had him try it on and it is FAR too big. So, I am going to have to re-swatch, re-do all the math, and start over. I can't deal with that right now, so instead I am planning holiday knitting! Because what better way to deal with a problem than to start a lot of new things. 

In an attempt to feel like I had finished something I knit an itty bitty preemie hat for the KAL over in the Knitting Daddy Ravelry group. Greg learned to knit while his daughter was in the NICU so he is hosting the KAL in an attempt to get people to donate hats to their local NICU. I thought his story was just so touching, I had to knit at least one! Although, these are so small and rewarding to knit, I am sure there will be more in my future!

I have also pulled out some other hibernating projects in hopes of finishing them. Fingering weight color work is probably one of my favorite things to knit. I am not sure why this got stashed away, but I have pulled out Lucy's flower dress (Lovely Rita by Martina Behm) and have made great progress on it. I have about 25 rows left of the chart and then it is just knitting the top and BAM! Dress. I have a picture of the inside, as I often find that just as pretty as the outside. 

I have a variety of pinks and the idea was that it would look like a gradient. I am not sure I am entirely happy with it, but at this point, it is what I am going with. Lucy will love it, or it will be an amazing gift for someone! 

The other thing I have dug out is my Lilli Pilli shawl for a KAL in the Bohoknitterchic Group. If you would like to join us, check it out here.  You can knit any of the patterns from this designer (and she has a lot of fabulous ones) so jump on in! I decided to add beads to mine, which is why it was stashed away. Beaded lace is not very kid-friendly knitting. But, with the KAL, and a trip coming up, I think I can power through the last 5 repeats of the lace and then I will be back to garter stitch stripes which are super kid friendly! I would love to have this finished so I can cast on something else just for me. 

I mentioned my trip, which I am very excited about! Next week (!!!) I am headed to Anchorage with the kids and then I am flying (alone) to Washington to go to a spinning retreat with some Ravelry friends. I attended the event when Lucy was 6 weeks old (with her) and it was such great fun! I am so very excited to go again. This will be the first time the kids will remember being on a plane (we are flying to Anchorage, not taking the ferry) so hopefully that isn't a big deal. It is only a 30 min flight, so it shouldn't be bad, but I always get stressed traveling alone with the kiddos. Next week is also Sawyer's birthday! He will be 5! How is that possible!?!? Crazy. The rest of my month is jam packed with lots of fun, and hopefully lots of knitting!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Busy, busy, busy!

It has been busy around here! Everyone has been sick (except me, knock on wood) so I have been taking care of them.  We are all healthy now, and I am really hoping that lasts for a LONG time! There was also a big conference in town this past week in the convention center that Weston is the project manager of, so he was pretty busy with that. I was able to go see a documentary in the theatre on Thursday, and it was wonderful! I have only been in the building one time during construction and to see the transformation from June until now was amazing. It is a beautiful building and I can not wait to have it all in use.

I was so excited to be in the building that brought me to this town, I had to document it. 

KNITTING REVEAL!! I can reveal what my secret knitting was this past month.  I was working on a test knit for Kate Oates of Tot Toppers.  If you follow my knitting at all, you will know that I am a huge fan of her work.  (I think I knit 10 of her designs last year alone) I was excited to test knit a hat out of her new booklet, New Girl. The hat is a simple colorwork project with beautiful details that really make the finished object. I learned how to do an applied i-cord for this project and I really enjoyed that finish.

I also love the giant pompom on top. Lucy wanted the biggest pompom ever, and I think I succeeded! Any bigger, and it probably would pull the hat off her little head.  The booklet is a compliment to the New Guy collection, although I think all the pieces would work for either gender. All the pieces are knit out of fingering weight yarn and would make a great baby gift. 

Alright, off to grocery shop and do laundry.  No kid activites in town on Mondays, so we try and get a lot of chores done. Have a great week!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Secret knitting

Most of my week has been spent knitting on a project that I can't share, as it is a secret test knit. The pattern should be out in early October and I can share pictures then.  I can say it was a hat for Lucy and she sported it around town today and loved it.  I learned how to do an applied i-cord, which was a neat way to finish an edge. It was a bit time consuming, but I really like the finish product. Lucy's new hat also has a *giant* pompom on top and that is amazing. I can share a picture of that. :)

Other than that, I have been battling sick kids (conjunctivitis is going around and it sucks) and just trying to stay afloat.  Weston has had a busy schedule and he is actually out moose hunting now, so it's just me trying to manage the kids and the dogs. Hopefully he is able to get a moose and come home soon! 

I checked out a book from the library this week that I am almost finished with.  It is called The Martian by Andy Weir and it is a great read. I guess it is going to be a movie with Matt Damon soon (I don't know what goes on in the "real world" anymore) which should be interesting. The book is really great. If you like to read, and you enjoy space, go pick it up. 

Other random things, I am still loving my fitbit. In the past 7 days I have over 95,000 steps and 36.6 miles. This sounds a lot more impressive than it is, as most of the steps are taken with the kids and not really exercise.  While walking this week I have been listing to knitting podcasts and I have found a new one I enjoy.  It is called "Yarns at Yinhoo" and it is great.  The host has a very clear speaking voice that is relaxing to listen to.  She is a school teacher and discusses knitting and foodie stuff. It's fun. 

One other thing I want to mention is a new KAL that is happening with Tot Toppers. Here is the link to the thread of Ravelry.  From now until October 7 you can get 35% off select patterns from Kate Oates. HUGE deal! There are two new patterns that will be released soon from Kate that I will be knitting. One is a sweater for Sawyer and the other is a hat...not sure if it will be for me or Sawyer. I feel like poor Sawyer has been neglected with knitting projects lately...for some reason I have a ton on the needles for Lucy.  Silly, as Sawyer is much more willing to wear what I knit for him! That will be resolved shortly.