Gratitude Sunday - On Tuesday?

*I apologize about being late.  I wrote the post on Sunday but had to get the link in and I can't do that on the iPad.  So here we are....

Join Gratitude Sunday at Wooly Moss Roots.   This week I'm grateful for -

} Snowdays. Read here. My husband had two, and a delay already for tomorrow.

} Twitter and Ravelry. The support for the Hoalohakal KAL has been tremendous. I've hit as all snag in the knitting and I love that I can ask questions and get the help I need! What would we do without social networking.

} Annabelle sleeping through the night Wednesday. I could benefit a little more if she did this more often for us! But Wednesday night I started with this stupid head cold. I can't shake it still, but that night my throat was just so sore and swollen that I really needed the extra sleep.

} Asparagus. It may have cost me over $6.00 but I love me some asparagus. It's almost like a comfort food and I'm making it tonight with a savory sauce for it. Flank steak and potatoes too!


FO Friday - One Down

Finally got my replacement needle tips from Knit Picks. I say finally because I feel like its been in its last leg forever, not because Knit Picks took a long time to get it here by any means. I love how this turned out, and I'm even making an Easter dress for my daughter to coordinate with the sweater! Can't wait to get the buttons on it and have her wear it. Just wait till you see the buttons!

Ravelry Project Page: Purple Yoked Cardigan
Pattern: Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: JoJoland Baritone
Linking Up with FO Friday


Snow Day

Snow is quite a different experience in Kansas. I grew up in upstate New York about two miles from Lake Ontario. Snow is definitely in my vocabulary. My birthday is in December so when I learned how to drive not only was I practicing parallel parking and K-turns but my Dad was teaching me how to fish-tail and regain control of the car. It's just a normalcy for me and on many occasions I would clean a foot of snow off the car, go to school and have to clean a few more inches off when I came out. Sometimes this included a broken snow brush from chipping off ice or grabbing mismatched mittens out of the back seat. Because I lived in lake-effect land they were always there!

We woke up to 5" of snow. everything is covered. So today is like a trip back for me. A trip into my childhood. Most of my favorite memories involve snow. It's very nostalgic. But at the same time it's so very different. They have been talking about this "big storm" for days now. It's all over the news, we are getting emergency preparedness letters from post and our housing office, and the commissary was a mad house two days ago (I don't even want to know how crazy the stores were yesterday). My husband has all non-mission essential soldiers called off mid-afternoon yesterday. and they already decided on a two hour delay for Friday! They even announced where the emergency shelters would be just in case. All for this snow. This measly bit of snow. We have a whole 5" and its continuing steadily for the rest of the day. I think we might have a bit over a foot when it's all said and done. That is nothing to a New Yorker.

I'm not complaining though. In New York life goes on like normal when it snows, but Kansas doesn't handle snow the same because they don't get a lot. The fact that the Army is broke and wont pay the plow drivers overtime so plows don't start till the work day starts doesn't really help the matter. So here everything stops, or at the least slows way down. I'm going to enjoy this slow pace and this nice snowy view from my window. Today is going to be dedicated to spending some family time together, doing a little baking and really just slowing down. It's like they say "take time to stop and smell the roses". I'm taking time to enjoy the beauty the snow provides.


WIP Wednesday - Proud

When I got back to blogging at the beginning of the year I said I wasn't going to post about the same WIP every week. And as you know I've been working on 3 sweaters at the same time so it seems I wouldn't have a great deal of progress to post. I surprise myself when I say this but I actually do!

Ravelry Project Page: Pen Pal Mystery KAL
Pattern: Hoaloha

Last week I was just swatching for Mel's Mystery KAL. I'm proud to say I've kept up with the clues and have started clue #2, which puts me past the bust. This is the farthest I've gotten on an adult size sweater and I'm proud to say I did it in a week. It's amazing how working with others at the same rate can motivate you to keep up and keep going. Mel is doing a wonderful job with this mystery. Not only does she put out a new clue every week with further directions, but she also has password protected posts on her blog to help explain and for asking questions. Then of course there is also a thread for the KAL on Ravelry AND you can tweet her! So there is no reason to have any issues because its impossible not to get your questions answered! If you aren't participating the pattern will be available later. I also suggest keeping an eye out in case she does another mystery KAL. If you are on the fence about them, hers is definitely the way to go!

Ravelry Project Page: Blue Tweed Road

I've also cast on a cowl this week. It's quite a fun knit and I can't wait to see the finished product. I think it's turning out to be a great combination of yarn and pattern. In fact I'm really loving the tweed. I don't think I've ever knit with it before. I really chose this cowl pattern because of its versatility. I'm sharing with you the actual pattern photo because that is what sold me on this pattern (even though its free). There are so many ways you can wear it so it works weather you want to dress up or down and wear it with your outer wear or regular clothes.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

ETA*  Will have links added later today!


Gratitude Sunday

I'm going to try to keep up with Gratitude Sunday. Pop on over to Wooly Moss Roots for more posts like this. Short and sweet.

} No more nursing. There is nothing wrong with nursing children past 1 yr old, but I was ready to be done at ten months. Call me selfish, but I was proud to make it that long and I got really annoyed with not being able to wear normal clothes, or bras and basically interrupting my day 8 times a day to sit and nurse. At a year she could have cows milk and that was it. I wasn't waiting any longer. A month later she is finally weened and it makes me so happy! Now I can go out with some friends, my husband can do bedtime duty on rough days and I don't always have to be the one getting up on the middle of the night.

} Skype. Tonight my Grandparents got to see their great-granddaughter while at my parents house because of Skype. I love that we can do this. They won't be around forever, they live so far away and they can't really drive this far any ore. We also can't afford to go home all that much to see them. So the fact that they don't have to miss every bit of my little girl growing up is just priceless. She got to show them how she waves, dances, and blows kisses.

} Warm weather. It's so nice to get my daughter outside to enjoy the weather. I really love being outside and I wish we lived in a place that had more things to do outside. I mean, there are things to do here but right now it's so hard to get to them with the current car situation. I miss taking my hikes to gorgeous places right from my apartment in Germany. But today my husband and I walked across the street and took Miss A to the park. It's fun seeing her outside, playing, walking on her own two little feet and smiling at Daddy!


A Day of Love

Today is Valentine's Day which is the day you are supposed to show your love. I thought I would share some of the things I am currently loving at the moment with you.

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred
I have to say this video can kick my ass and its not for anyone not dedicated to working everyday. It's a 30 day program and you work 3 levels for 10 days each. I had such great results and I only got 12 days in! Dr.s orders required that I stop for the time being but hopefully after a little Physical therapy I can resume. The fact is though, I only did half the program and lost 4 inches! And it's a month later and I can still see the results! I've decided that the moment I get the clearance from the doctor I'm starting up again since I feel great, and felt even better when I was doing the video every day.

Joyafibers Etsy Shop
I needed some buttons and I just happened to wander across this Etsy shop when I was searching around. You know how easy it is to get lost searching Etsy shops right? This shop has so many different types of buttons, mostly wood. They are too cute, not to mention SO cheap! Most sets of buttons are only $1.99 for a set of around 10 buttons. You should totally check out these buttons. Especially if you are knitting or sewing for kids!

Ravelry's Valentines Feature
Ravelry does this every year and I don't think it's too widely known. In fact I almost forgot about it, but opened my inbox this morning and had a Valentine from my Pen Pal! So I immediately sent some Valentines to my fellow Raveler friends. Go to your friends Ravelry profile and where it says "send message" it will say "send valentine" below! There are so many cute vintage valentines to choose from!

Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio
If you watch the new show Nashville you probably know who they are. They play the characters Scarlett and Gunnar and they aren't exactly the big stars of the show but they are really the hidden gems of the show. I think their chemistry reminds me of Johnny Cash and June Carter and their music really defines country music. Anytime I hear another song by them I stop in my tracks and listen to every word. It's mesmerizing. I highly suggest you all go look them up on YouTube or ITunes. My favorite song of theirs so far is called If I Didn't Know Better.


WIP Wednesday #8 And Another

Well I will say I'm off to a good start if I want 2013 to be the year of the sweater.  Only 2 months into the year and for 3 weeks in a row now, I'm posting about 3 different sweaters!  And the very cool thing?  They are for the 3 different people in my family!

I had every intention of waiting till my husband's sweater was off the needles to pull out a hibernating sweater for myself.  That was the plan, but you know what they say about sticking to the plan right?  It never works out that way.  I have a pen-pal made through the Single Handed Knits Group on Ravelry. We keep in contact mostly through snail mail, which was the whole appeal of the pen-pal idea, but every now and then we send quick little messages on Ravelry.  Imagine my surprise when I opened up my account the other day and found Mel Ski's Mystery Sweater Hoaloha gifted to me by my pen pal!  I was so excited!  I've never done a mystery KAL before!  If you haven't heard about it, or Single Handed Knits for that matter, you should go check it out!  Mel is such an upbeat, optimistic podcaster and she lives in such an amazing place!  She shares with you so much of the culture that is Hawaii in her podcasts.

I don't actually have my sweater on the needles yet, but I'm hoping that changes tonight.  I'm doing mine a bit different.  Since I'm on a yarn diet and I wasn't planning on this knit, I'm stash-diving.  But I only had cotton in my stash in sweater quantity for worsted weight yarn.  The pattern calls for wool but I'm going to experiment.  If it doesn't work than it doesn't work.  But it is always worth a try, right?

Also still plugging away at Miss A's Purple Yoked Cardigan.  Hopefully I'll post again about it soon as a Finished Object!  I just have about 2 more inches on the one sleeve, then I have to knit the next one.  I also think I have the perfect buttons I just have to search for them because I've apparently misplaced all the new buttons I bought from Etsy.  And I really want to tell you about them.

Ravelry Project: Purple Yoked Cardigan

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.


Weekly Reads 3

3 Weeks ago I posted about reading Hannah's List. This book has taken me over a year to read. Granted, it was "hibernating" for about ten months of that. I found that a new book and a newborn didn't really go together. But I was determined to finish it because it was one of the Blossom Street Series written by Debbie Macomber.

It was still slow going though. The beginning of this book really is downright slow. That wasn't just me. I had to set reading goals for myself to get through it until I was about 60% through it. Then I couldn't put it down. It is a great story about love, loss and the possibility of finding a second great love of your life. It was good, even inspirational.

But I have one critique. This book did not fit in the series. Not at all. There were characters from the Blossom Street series that really made "cameos" a few times but were not really needed to tell the story. There were a few other obscure connections that I felt the author had to stretch to make. This book would have been quite the same story without being connected to the series and it makes me wonder if the ties are there just because the Blossom Street Series makes more money than her other books. To be fair though, I have thought the same things about another book in the series, Susannah's Garden. Then, later in the series you saw the characters again. My hope is that you see one character, Macy again, interacting with the girls in the Blossom Street yarn shop because I think she would be a great addition to the antics.

Now that I'm done with this book, I'm free to start my next one. And as I've promised my husband, I will read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I've seen the first movie, but have never read the book. I don't know how it was never assigned in school. I really just don't. I tried listening to the BBC version of the book, but its not like a typical audio book and I couldn't do it. It was like listening to a movie. Different voices for each character and no narrator, just dialog. It just didn't work for me, so hopefully the book will!

Linking up with Weekly Reads on Good Life Books.


Gratitude Sunday

This week I've been doing a lot of blog discovering. I was in a pickle on how to connect my blog reader on my Mac to the iPad. The only conclusion I was finding was to use Google Reader and an App that syncs with it. I've never really loved Google Reader and it just wasn't going to work. I have an App on the Mac (there is an App Store for the Mac too!) called NetNewsWire that I've used for about two years now and love it! Online feed readers just don't compare. So I came to the conclusion that I would just have to find new blogs to follow and different blogs would be on the IPad.

One of the lovely gems I wandered across is called Brambleberries in the Rain ; Gardening, Natural Dyes & Knitting and life in the Pacific Northwest. I've been enjoying her posts and one of the weekly posts she has is called Gratitude Sundays, which she links up to Wooly Moss Roots for (just like how I link up for WIP Wednesday). Since I started blogging again I've been trying to become more personal and blog more about me, rather than just knitting. I think Gratitude Sunday is a perfect way to do this and i have a lot to be grateful for this week so here goes:

} good neighbors. We've had a car situation as of late so my neighbor has been taking my daughter and I grocery shopping. As if doing this isn't enough she watched Miss A for a few hours the other day when the guy came to clean the ducts out in the house. It was a loud process so I know she wouldn't have faired well at home. It's nice to have someone right there, a few feet away, when needed.

} the iPad. It's already making some things in life easier. And it's providing entertainment. Not only am I glad we have it but I'm glad we had the means to purchase it. Not everyone is so lucky.

} dinner guests. It's always nice to have a reason to get dressed up a bit, get the house clean and prepare a good meal. Our friends came over, shared some wine and some laughs and some recipes. These friends are new to post, but were stationed with us in Germany. it's great to see familiar faces!

} having my husband back home! Saved the best for last. He's been gone at a training school in Alabama for 6 weeks. 6 weeks is the longest we have ever spent apart since we started cohabiting in the same house. It's so nice to hear the sounds of joy from my daughter, so happy to have her Daddy back. I've missed having a warm body in bed, hearing his side comments about whatever local news story, cooking meals just to have him say he liked it and mostly just having my small little family together!


New Acquisition

Guess where I'm blogging from?! It's not really a different place (I wish! I've been cooped up in this house way too long!) but it is a different device! That's right! Our iPad has arrived. We really are an Apple family here. This completes our collection. Lets count - 1st generation iPod, Classic iPod, Macbook Pro, 2 iPhone 4's and now the iPad makes it complete! The main reason for the new toy is for my husband. We both love the Mac Book, and have no problems sharing but the Hubs is a soldier. We've discovered he needs to have something he can take with him on training missions - not to mention his deployment coming up this summer.

This does not mean I won't take advantage of it while we have it! I'm hoping that this will provide more ease in blogging more often. Not only does it provide more convenience in posting (hehe, I can post in bed!) but I think it will give me more to post about. In fact, the portability was probably its biggest selling point. Having a 1 yr old makes it so I can't work on the laptop on the couch, or floor, or anywhere besides the table. She likes electronics (too much) so she comes and presses buttons, pulls or hits it. And it would be a lot more expensive to repair a MacBook than to buy an iPad.

Other benefits of having an iPad? I'm already reading more, just by having it one night. I really do love the Kindle App!

My daughter can play! There are some great leaning apps by Fisher Price teaching shapes, colors, animals and more. She fell in love with my Aunt's iPad when she was only 4 months old so I'm sure she will have a ball now!

It makes watching video podcasts a lot easier. I can take it with me wherever I chose. I've really been getting into more and more video podcast lately, although I still have my favorite audio ones too! Not only video podcasts though, any videos. I can download my yoga and Pilates videos to Amazon Instant and workout in our bedroom when my husband is watching out one tv. It's nice not to have to interrupt and really I'm more likely to not workout.

Not only am I an avid blogger, but the real motivation for me to blog is reading other blogs! Now I can do that more, get less behind, and be anywhere!

Any other suggestions for good use, and Apps leave a comment and let me know! I'd appreciate it.


WIP Wednesday #7 - Another Sweater

Yep, another sweater! I'm working on another sweater this week.  My husband's has grown.  In fact, I'm afraid it may have grown too much, and he's not here to try it on.  So it's hanging out for a week till he gets home.  I need to measure him again and try this on.  I don't want to end up with way too much sweater because then my little buddy the frog will have to come back out and play!

Onto Miss A's new sweater!  I cast it on in December, but I was traveling for the holidays and couldn't give it enough attention.  So I knew I had some how screwed up the stitch pattern of the beautiful Yoked Cardigan pattern that Maria from Subway Knits gifted to me.  So I ripped it out completely two days ago (cue the frog) and cast it back on.  In two days I went from a pile of yarn barf to this!  I'm so proud!  So I know this won't take long to finish, and I have very exciting buttons to complete it!  Can't wait to share it with you when it's finished!

Ravelry Project: Purple Yoked Cardigan (original name, I know!)
Pattern: Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: JoJoland Baritone 100% Wool in color #269
Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Tami's Amis!

Now, to be honest, I really hope this is only the first blog post titled "Another Sweater".  I have high hopes for this year.  I'm thinking 2013 - the year of the sweater!  There's no going back.  I just proclaimed it!  Hopefully it will work out.  Truthfully though, if I finish the sweater for my husband, the one for my daughter and one for me, than it will be.  I will have increased my count of knitting sweaters by 3 and my count of knitting adult sweaters will have gown from a big fat zero to 2!  So be on the lookout for more sweater talk!


Hand Me Down

Short and sweet today.  My FO Friday is the final product of my Reader's Choice Project, which was a pretty fun experiment (a carry over from the old blog).  I've decided I'm going to keep it and if I have an occasion to wear it, great!  If not, no big deal.  Either way it will become my daughter's when she gets a fancy dress that matches and she's old enough to understand how much it means.  I hope the wait will be worth the "hand-me-down" of sorts.

Yarn:  Cake Walk Yarns in the Jam Colorway