WIP Wednesday #6 - Mostly A Sweater

I've mentioned that I just have a few knitting goals this year, right?  One of those goals was to finally cast-on, and finish a sweater for my husband.  I've had the yarn since 2011 that I bought from a big Webs sale.  But it's just one of those things that has been sitting in my stash, and my queue.  You know how it is right?  You put off knitting stuff for those who live with you because "they'll understand".  You have other knitting deadlines to meet.  Well, I'm sick of knitting like that.  I've wanted to do this for so long for a few reasons;

Sorry for the bad iphone picture.
  1. I've yet to knit an adult size sweater.  I know I'm up to it so I need to prove to myself that I can.
  2. It's nice to get things off your "to knit" list and get them done.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment.  
  3. My husband just plain deserves it.  He supports my knitting habit and never [almost] complains.  I love him and I want to show him that.  
  4. He also needs more sweaters.
I've been knitting on other things, but I'm trying to be mostly monogamous so I'm mostly working on the sweater!  

Pattern: Emilien by Ariane Caron-Lacoste

Linking up with: Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday


Into Action Intro

How many of you live off Pinterest?  And you have tons of boards don't you?  Home stuff, craft ideas, workouts, recipes?  I've decided that I'm going to try to put one of my Pinterest finds into action, at least once a week!  Then I'll do a "review" of sorts.  I'm sick of all of these ideas floating around without trying them out!  Join me if you'd like, and leave a link to your post in the comments section.  If I get enough comments, I'll start to add a Mr. Linky at the bottom of my page!

This week I made a recipe I found on Pinterest called Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones.  I've never made scones before so it was a bit of an experiment.  It came from the blog Skinnytaste which is one of my favorite food blogs!  Lots of great recipes, on the light side.

Photo credit left goes to Gina @ Skinnytaste.com. Right is my own photo.

I was in the mood for baking something, but I didn't want the high calorie count of a cookie.  I figured I try out these scones since they look so good!  Almost every ingredient is something I have on hand, minus the buttermilk.  Also, she calls for 1 cup of white whole wheat flour.  Something I don't think my commissary even carries, but I wasn't buying it just for one recipe.  They tasted good!  But in all fairness, they have chocolate chips so as long as you don't do anything drastically wrong, they are going to.

I personally didn't think they were amazing though.  This could be my lack of experience actually tasting scones.  Maybe I just don't really like scones?  I don't know.  I think I've only had 2 in my whole life.  It could be the fact that I didn't use both types of flour in it, and only used all-purpose.  Could be the fact that I forgot to cut them till they were already cooking so they may have cooked unevenly?  I'm not sure, but I truthfully don't think it's a repeat in my book.  This won't stop me, however from trying more of Gina's recipes!  200 calories per scone though, still beats the high calorie count of chocolate chip cookies.  Does it beat the taste though?

Now I have 3/4 of a pint of buttermilk left.  Any ideas on what to do with it?  Come find me on Pinterest!!


Don't Laugh

My only contribution to FO Friday this week is a Ball Sack. That is all.

Yarn: Scrap Zauberball Crazy
Pattern: Ball Sack by Jennifer Sugarman

You know you laughed......you have a dirty mind.


WIP Wednesday #5 - Hi Ho

I have a HO, or Half-Object, if you prefer.  A term coined by the Stockinette Zombies.  A term they actually had to "clarify" or "defend" recently.  Apparently some were offended by the term, but personally I'll use it with gusto! Especially since it took so long to get here!  Last entry talked about ripping out the toe.  Well, that was only the first time!  Had to cut and frog the toe twice, but I will say it was totally worth it.  I'm taking notes on the measurements and plan to use this pattern a lot more.  The only problem I foresee now, is that I did the heel then went back and finished the toe, had some bits of yarn cut out, so now the second sock will not in fact, match, as it should. It's a HO, with a perfect fit though!  Here's my HO.

Yarn: Dyed by me, Sock Blank from Knit Picks
Pattern: Laura Linneman's Afterthought Heel Socks

Linking up today with WIP Wednesday.  Also worth a mention is that Vogue Knitting Live was this past weekend.  Many people had the wonderful opportunity to attend, which I was not one of.  But Maria of the Subway Knits podcast did, and has a few wonderful blog posts about the event and an interview.  I urge you to go check them out.  Especially if you are like me and have to live vicariously through other knitters!


Ribbit, Rip it

According to Urban Dictionary there are several definitions of frogged.  Who knew?  My two favorites:

"When a female frog has kicked u in the bum"


"Past tense of Frog -- to be kicked or punched in the testicles."

That provided me with several laughs and maybe it gave you a little chuckle too!  Today I'm talking about the very first definition that comes up -

             "in knitting, a frog says "rip it rip it" and fogging refers to unraveling rows of knitted work due to an error found."

I think I've spent more time frogging this week, than knitting.  Actually, I guess that's not completely accurate.  I've been working on my Reader's Choice Project which is a beaded shawl.  I was on the last beading segment.  Do you know how long it takes to bead over 300 stitches?!  I think the one row consumed 3 days of my knitting! Then I cast-off which also takes a decent amount of time. So how happy do you think I was when I realized I put all the beads on the wrong side of the shawl!?  I played with it, and decided I definitely could not deal with it, so frogging commenced!  I should be done with this shawl by now, but sadly I'm not after that "hiccup" in my progress!  

I was frustrated, naturally so I picked a different project up.  Some self-striping, vanilla socks I started on my vacation.  From yarn I dyed way back when I lived in Germany.  I had kitchenered the toe, and thought that it seemed quite shorted than I had planned.  I did all decrease rows on the toe......not the decrease row your supposed to do opposite the knitting row.  If you don't knit socks, you are supposed to alternate through the whole toe.  So...oops.  More frogging.  So, here's hoping next week not only do I have a finished shawl to show off, but that there will be no more humming "rip it, rip it" from the frogs!


Weekly Reads 2

This will be the second week of Weekly Reads!  I've also decided to add what I'm watching or listening to the weekly post.

Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber.  Another in the Blossom Street series, although I don't know if I would exactly call it that.  So far, and I'm half way through, the only relation so far to Blossom Street is that one of the women is the boss of the character Alex who is a main feature in the series.  I haven't seen any other relations to the series, minus the fact that is has the same setting.  I like it.  A simple romance as far as I'm concerned.  I'm hoping to be done with it and have a new book to write about next post.


Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carvarnon.  I'm obsessed with Downton Abbey and really could add the show to watching, except for the fact that I cheated and watched Series 3 online as it was released in the UK.  I'm a big fan of The Subway Knits Podcast and am helping out with her Downton Abbey Swap.  We decided to also do a read-along Downton related, and after some voting, this was the book chosen.  So far to me, it's a bit slow.  I'm only 3 chapters in and it takes a while for me to get into non-fiction sometimes.  So far its more about the history and how marriage works amongst the social class of the era.  It is fun to compare parts of the book to the show!  And the narrator is great!  Venusfueri (on Ravelry), who records the podcast wrote that Wanda McCaddon (the narrator of the audio book for Lady Almina) "is the perfect balance between posh and stuffy.  This will be a slower read, since we are doing 3 chapters a week to discuss.


Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  I joined a group my friend started on Facebook, and started doing the shred video yesterday. Jillian kicks your ass!  If you want to sweat and you want to hurt, check it out.  You are supposed to do this video for 20 minutes a day, for 30 days straight - no rest days!  That is going to be my hardest challenge.  There are 3 levels, and you work each level for 10 days.  Most videos don't give you a variety.  I think it's nice that once you might be starting to get bored with the same exact thing you move up to a more challenging, all over new routine!  It's great doing this with a group because we get support from 15 others to keep at it!


One Year

I really can't believe my little Jelly bean as I called her in ultra-sounds is One Year Old today.  It's like the slower I say it, the more I think it should sink in.  But it doesn't.  She is the source of so many laughs and smiles everyday.  She is my motivation to live and love every minute!  So here's to her, my little sweet pea.





Hard Mommy Moments

Having a child isn't easy.  But it's not the hardest thing in the world either.  There are moments I want to tear my hair out, yes, but I don't feel that I'm one of those mother's who get anxious about anything and everything related to their first born.  I've seen my share of those Mothers after working in daycare for years on end and being a military wife. She was never colicky. I'm pretty laid back.  Miss A is very independent and I let her really navigate her play on her own, minus reading and teaching moments of course.

With that said, I experienced what I feel was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done this past week.   I'll start with a little bit of background.  If you don't know, my husband is in the Army.  We arrived back home after a few weeks in Rochester visiting family for the holidays and he left for training a few states away the very next day.  He'll be gone for 6 weeks, which leaves me home without a whole lot of friends here to depend on.  And no car for the moment (long story).  Two days later..... Miss A gets sick.  And so do I.  No big deal.  We go to the doctors and both of us have "colds".

I wasn't really happy with that.  Me?  Fine.  But my daughter had such a horrible sounding cough and what concerned me most.....really tight, rough breathing.  The nurse wanted to give her a breathing treatment.....but NO.  The doctor didn't seem to think it was necessary.  Really?  What could it have hurt?  It would only have benefitted her.  So Hard Mommy Moment #1:  Watching my daughter be sick.  And not being able to do anything about it.

Three days later, we have most obvious wheezing.  Maybe this could have been prevented if we were given a breathing treatment?  So a trip to the ER is in order, sadly.  Hard Mommy Moment #2:  sitting in the ER waiting room alone with a tired, cranky, sick child around other very obviously sick people for 2 1/2 hours without being seen and making the decision to stick it out even though the thought to go home and take her to the doctor the next morning was definitely in the back of my head!  Putting my child's well being first, as it should be.  But it's not always the easiest thing to do.

Finally we get seen by a doctor.  Next is a chest X-ray to show if she does or doesn't have pneumonia.  So of course I wouldn't even hesitate at getting this X-ray!  I didn't think about HOW they give a baby an X-ray.  Never having experienced it before, you really think an X-ray is an X-ray.  So onto Hard Mommy Moment #3: Watching your baby be put into this random contraption that looks 100% like some type of mid-evil torture chamber while she is screaming her lungs out because she just doesn't understand since she's, well, a baby and having to idly stand by and watch it all.

So you think the hard part's over?  Guess again.  My daughter is too strong willed.  Not surprised with the gene pool she has.  She kept pulling her arms down, even though this contraption - which is called a Pegasus- is designed to keep a child's arms up.  They can't get a good X-ray if her arms aren't straight up so now for Hard Mommy Moment #4, you guessed it!  Mommy had to run over and hold her arms up in the air.  The screams and crying that pursued and the look on her face just broke my heart!  It took everything in my to NOT pull her straight out of this darn thing and cuddle her and make her pain go away.  But I knew how important this X-ray was.  So instead I just held back tears myself till it was all over.

You know she is just so darn cute that it was all totally worth it, and it will be the next time I have more hard mommy moments too.  I know being a Mom isn't all fun and games and there will be alot of rough days sometime in the future.   I am glad to say she doesn't have pneumonia and we got the right meds to help.  She's still working on getting better.  Oh, and I should mention that the first thing the Doc did (even before the X-ray) was to give her a breathing treatment.  I still hold a grudge with that doctor and I'm glad to say it wasn't our usual one.


Back On The Wagon

Back to WIP Wednesday.  I always have a lot of projects on the needles, but typically I spend 80% of my time working on one thing.  So from now I plan to only feature the one project I'm working on.  If it's the same next week I probably won't do another WIP post on it.  I figure that I get a lot of redundancies on my blog, and that's one thing I'd like to change.  I'll post when there is a lot of progress, but I don't want to bore my readers (or myself) with the same thing week after week.

So here it is!  This weeks project.  And you may even remember it.  My Reader's Choice shawl, where readers voted on the yarn and pattern last year.  All the way back in April.  It seems like so long ago.  And then it went into hibernation in May when I went on a trip since beading is not the best travel knitting.  When I returned we moved into a new house and it stayed in hibernation.  Till now.  Working on this is joyful and finishing it is one of my new year goals. 

Pattern: The Age of Brass And Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower
Beads: 6/0 Seed beads, Transparent Lilac from Fire Mountain Gems


Another Addition

I've recently started reading the blog Good Life Books  (check out the whole blog.  Great recipes as well!) as a hopeful kick in the bum to add more reading in my life.  Yesterday she posted about a new weekly meme Weekly Reads hosted by her and Life Your Way (a blog I intend to peruse a bit now).  Basically we just blog about what we are reading, want to read and whatnot.  Not much different than our WIP Wednesday posts most of us are so familiar with, but with books.  She explains better than I, so go check out her post.

Alot of you may be thinking that this isn't much different than the Yarn Along Meme I've participated in.  Well, it is and it isn't.  The Yarn Along Meme is a combination of knitting and reading, not to mention it gets a bit outranked by WIP Wednesdays.  I still really enjoy GSheller's Small Things blog but in an effort to really concentrate on life as a whole instead of having life and having knitting, and really try to make reading more a reachable 2013 goal, I thought participating in the Weekly Bookclub would allow me to put more of a concentration on books.

Asked on the first post "Do you have a list of to-read books?" the answer is yes!  Yes, yes, a million times yes!  And the list will never end.  And I will never read everything on it.  So in the best interest of being realistic I'm not even going to post a list for 2013.  I'm going to post a very short list.  For the near future.  Mostly because I've already started (if you count 1 or 2 chapters as starting) a few of these.

Lets start with currently reading:

1.  Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber - seriously, I started this book in April according to my Goodreads account.  But I am actively reading it now, again.

2. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carvarnon - just started listening to this audiobook as part of a Subway Knits RAL.

To Finish:
1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - I picked this up as soon as I finished Hunger Games.  Then I picked it back up with the movie came out.  Next time I'm sure I'll finish!

To Read:
1.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - because no - I've never read it.  Now I've seen the movie though.  It has to count for something right?  I'm one of the very few children who didn't get the privilege of being forced to read this book as required classroom reading in school.

2. Continuation of the Blossom Street series.  Maybe the next book, maybe finish the series.  There are only two more.  We will see where the year takes me.

3.  Another Non-fiction book.  I don't read many non-fictions, but the few I do read always tend to resonate with me.  Sometimes they even become my favorite books.  So I'd like to actively attempt to at least read one this year, apart from Lady Almina.

That my list.  Short.  Sometimes a bit vague. But hopefully my year will consist of this reading plus some.


Things Will Be Different

Both with my blog and my life.  I have a few "resolutions" as you would call them both for my knitting life and my life in general.  Really though, you can make resolutions anytime during the year.  I find that the New Year just seems to be the convenient time to do it.  Screw "going to the gym" and "losing weight".  Not that its not a goal, but the fact is, it they are always a goal!  So saying that my resolution is to go to the gym more really is saying that I haven't changed anything. I've told myself I'm going to the gym more, and going to eat better, and lose weight for the past 6 months.  And sometimes I do great and sometimes I don't.  Saying that just because it's January will not change anything.

So here's my real list.

Get A Job.  I need one.  I want one.  And I will go stir crazy if I don't have one when my husband deploys.  Even if it means less knitting time and less time with my daughter. It also means more socialization and no longer being alienated from the outside world.  Plus, money.  Money never hurts.
Spend Less Money.  I'll use the cliche' phrase here, but I'm going on a yarn diet.  Why?  Because I have so much stash and it can and will keep me busy.  The only exceptions to this rule is if I use all my garment amounts of yarn (yeah right!) and want to make another.  But this extends beyond knitting.  It means when I go grocery shopping I don't need to buy everything I want.  Stick to the list.  And plan meals better.  Not hard.

Organize My Life.  This means stash, this means storage, and this means my computer.  I want to go through all my pictures and get them into albums.  All my patterns should be in one folder and easy to find.  All my (physical) pictures should be in real albums or on the wall.  My stash needs some type of organization, rather than all thrown together in 2 big bins.  I want to get some storage for out of season clothes.  Boxes are not practical.  Same goes with seasonal decor.  I need to move it out of the moving boxes and into more practical and permanent containers.

Read More.  I need to start reading blogs again, which makes me want to blog again.  I also need to read real stuff.  Books.  Newspapers.  Current Events.  I read like crazy till Miss A was born.  Since then I pick up a book at bedtime and I fall asleep.  My solution to this was to just not read.  I've since realized that it doesn't work for me.  So I need to change when I read.  But reading more doesn't just include me.  I want to read to my daughter more.  We have books upon books for her.  But I really want to take the time to build "reading time" into our daily routine.  It is an important pastime and I want to instill that into her life.


Starting Over

In all truthfulness I haven't been feeling the blogging love since I've moved to Blogger from Wordpress.    I've been blogging for almost 3 years and I started to feel like it was the same old thing.  Especially when I stopped getting comments.  I wasn't sure what I was blogging for if no one was going to read it.  

It was just that though, apparently.  I haven't been reading blogs either.  I don't know if I've just been sidetracked, have just had blogging ennui or just had better things to do.  All I know is that I'm starting to miss it.  But I think I might do things differently this time around.

 I'd like to blog alot more about things other than knitting.  I think I just have to find the right words.  I suppose that is what a blog is for right?  Creative expression.  I might not express myself perfectly all the time, but after some practice maybe I'll find a better routine for me.  And something readers enjoy a bit more.

I'm sorry if you've missed me.  I've missed you as well.