Crossing the Finish Line

Last week I’d posted about Ravellenics on Ravelry.  I’d joined the Sock Hockey event with plans to create a pair of socks using the yarn Darling Hubby brought back from Northern England.  Well, I’m happy to report that after going for the gold for a week I finally crossed the finish line this morning (after shoveling out from the Valentine’s Snowpocalypse of 2014!)

We got at least a foot of snow, but since I’m not 100% sure of that exact measurement I’ll just say we got a metric butt ton of snow.  I say this because I shoveled it…not once, but twice.  I wouldn’t have had to shovel this morning except the half of the snow blower auger broke (a shear pin broke off and was lodged in the bar) and it took Darling Hubby 2 hours to do a passable job on the driveway (and I say passable as you could pass the car from one end to the other and get out into the street) and most of the day to fix the auger (he even stayed home from work to get it done since he didn’t know when the plows were going to go back through refilling the driveway.)  We are under a state of emergency now so all cars need to be on the other side of the street so the plows can come fill us back in sometime between 8pm tonight and 8pm tomorrow.  I’m sure it will be right before I need to leave to go to the grocery store…

Anyway, here are my Vanilla Latte Socks in Wendy Roam Fusion sock yarn in the colorway Moor.  I haven’t worn them yet, but I can tell they are going to be warm.  I think I’ll wear them tomorrow.

Ravellenics Socks

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As for the pattern I did enjoy it.  My standard go to sock pattern is just a plain vanilla one with a short row heel and a standard toe.  I did a little combining of that pattern with this to come up with something I love.  I used the ribbed pattern for the cuff and the top of the foot, the short row heel from my vanilla pattern and the wedge toe from the latte pattern.  I have to say I really enjoyed that toe.  I think I might start using it for other socks.

The ribbed pattern does spice up a plain vanilla sock, even with variegated yarns like this one (I usually don’t do fancy patterns because I love striped socks and funky variegated yarns and this is just enough pattern to be noticeable and not so fancy that it is either lost in the color or takes away from it.)  It’s mindless enough that I can work on it while holding a conversation or watching TV, but gives me just a bit of a brain workout in that I have to occasionally count and take note of what row I’m on.  It was also nice that I could make the 2nd sock exactly the same as the first by counting the number of purl repeats.

As for my other entries, I’ve been plugging along.  I worked through this weeks intermediate clues for the Downton Abbey Shawl Mystery Knit-along hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool.  I believe we will get the final week’s clues with enough time to finish it before the 23rd.  It only took me a couple days to do the 6 rows for this week, so I’m hopeful.  I only hope I can make the time since my oldest will be off from school next week for winter break and when both he and his little brother are in the room together…nothing can get done!  lol

I also found some time today to work on my sock hop sweater.  I sewed the shoulders together and picked up the stitches for the turtleneck.  I have to work 6 inches and bind off and then sew on the sleeves.  I have hope that I can get that done this week, too.  I’m kinda disappointed in how the shoulders look because my color change happened right at the bind off for the back and it made a single “row” of teal on the black so when I sewed them together it was just noticeable.  More so on one shoulder than the other.  Hopefully it will be on the top and not so noticeable to everyone else.  Fingers crossed.

As for the Olympics themselves, I haven’t watched very much.  I caught a bit at Craft Night last Monday and watched a little at home on Tuesday, but that is pretty much it.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been plugging away on my knitting and I even blogged twice in 2 weeks!  I’m hoping to keep the blogging up, so be prepared for random ramblings from me.  I know I can be a bit wordy!

FO Friday And A WIP Sneak Peek!

Considering at the beginning of this week I was shocked that it was only Tuesday I can’t believe that it’s already Friday!  I think it helped that Wednesday we got some snow.  We’ve had a very mild winter this year and I’m loving it!  The snow was predicted to start after noon, but it started a little after 11 while I was out buying yarn, of course..  We only got about 5 inches in our area.  It’s funny that this is only like the 2nd storm we’ve had since Halloween last year.  The first one, in January, we only got a couple inches and it didn’t last that long.  The weather is supposed to get warmer by Saturday (near 50*F), so our recent bit of snow probably won’t last long (and I’m actually ok with that!  lol)  My boys, however are gonna be kinda bummed.  We had a snow day today for Bug and after breakfast we bundled up and went out to play.  Fidget loved being dragged around in the sled.  I will say that snow is a good workout for me.  Before 8am I had the front walk, side walk and the bottom of the driveway shoveled out and all the running around in circles pulling both boys in the sled gave me some cardio!

Anyway, like I mentioned in my last post, I finished my Grey Hooded Cardigan.  Here are a couple pictures of it.  I really do love it!  It’s my new favorite!

And here’s one with the hood up.  I mentioned previously that with the first sweater I made with this pattern I had trouble with getting the front panel of the hood on easily and without a slight twist.  I felt it was unnecessarily difficult to sew on the extra piece.  Following the suggestions of fellow ravelers who endeavored to make this sweater, I picked up the stitches along the front of the hood (the same number as the final amount of rows for the front panel) and knit it to the width of the 20 stitch button area.  Then I inserted the cord and folded it over.  It doesn’t twist like the first one and gives it a slight flair, which is unique.

I don’t have a close up of the buttons, but they are a silver metal button that has what appears at first glance to be a Celtic design.  They really suit me and the sweater nicely!

I mentioned buying yarn, too.  I picked up some Caron One Pound skeins at Joann’s on Wednesday (Lavender Blue, Deep Violet, White, Sage Green, and Petal Pink) and I’m using some Rose and Cream from my stash.  I’ve started working on a Twin Sized Spring Flowers blanket for my friend Pammi’s daughter.  I’m really excited about it.  Here’s a sneak peek.  The pattern can be found here on Ravelry.

So far (in 2 days) I’ve made 7 white ringed hexagons and 7 cream ringed hexagons (only the white are pictured).  I really like how the cream looks…I’m leaving it up to Pammi whether we omit the white and go with the cream only or if we use both.  It would probably end up with diagonal stripes if we go with both, though that’s not a bad thing.

WIPS and FO’s – Sweaters

So, I’m still working on Fidget’s sweater.  I have only worked on it a bit here and there after posting last Wednesday.  I did manage to sew the one neck seam and pick up the stitches around the neckband and knit that for an inch or so, but other than that it’s just sat in the work bag.  I was hoping to get to it today (maybe during Fidget’s nap while watching Breaking Dawn part 1 that Darling Hubby bought me yesterday) but it’s looking like it might be tomorrow or this weekend.  lol  I’m hoping for a snow day tomorrow for Bug since we are supposed to get our first big snow of the season…I can’t believe that tomorrow will be the 1st of March and we are just now getting some snow that will last more than a few hours!    At least if March comes in like a LION it will go out like a LAMB, right?

On the other hand, I did pick up my hooded cardigan a couple times over the week.  I finished sewing the button holes Monday night and last night at Craft Night I sewed on the buttons.  It’s a bit bigger than the last hooded cardigan I made using the same pattern.  Mostly because I used heavier yarn and I didn’t do a proper “washed and hung” gauge swatch.  I just went with the needles called for on the pattern and my quickly knitted up, measured, and then frogged swatch.  It’s fine as I prefer my sweaters to be a little baggy.  It’s not like the sleeves are too long or anything!  lol

Hopefully by next week I’ll have another WIP to write about.  One of my fellow January Jubilee mommies approached me asking if I’d make a blanket for her 7 year old daughter.  I’m looking forward to the task.  I have to take some measurements of Bug’s twin bed and calculate dimensions and figure out how much yarn I’ll need.  I also have to find a pattern.  I’m thinking flowery hexagon granny squares in purples, pinks and white with some light green.  I’m excited to start it!

Donations Make You Feel Good

After my Hats Off post yesterday I went through all the hats, mittens, scarves I had in storage and pulled out a bunch to donate to those who need them.  In total I pulled out 3 hat/scarf sets, 3 scarves, 3 children’s hats, 4 adult hats and 3 pairs of mittens/gloves to be donated.  Many of those items were either knit or crocheted by myself or my mom…only a 4 pieces were store bought.  I washed and dried everything last night and Darling Hubby took the to the clothing drop box this morning.  Hopefully someone out there will be warm this winter here in NY!

Hats Off!

At the beginning of the month one of my Craft Night friends and her sister-in-law planned a trip to a LYS called Common Thread Saratoga.  Carole (the sis-in-law) found this yarn shop in Saratoga, NY and thought it was different and knowing my friends yarn crafting habits, thought bringing her up there to buy her birthday and Christmas presents would be fun.  I tagged along in the hopes of finding some yummy yarn.  I can count the time I’ve used the really expensive and awesome yarns on well one finger!…pretty much all of the yarn in my stash is acrylic or wool/acrylic combined.  Not that there’s anything wrong with acrylic.  It’s great for items that need frequent washing  or things that are difficult to wash like baby blankets, large blankets and sweaters.  It’s just not yummy yarn!

While we were in the shop I fell in love with this Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky (100% baby alpaca) yarn.  Oh. My. God!  This yarn is so soft and squishy and, like the clerk said, it’s like knitting with a cloud!  I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind when I set foot in the shop, but one of their display hats caught my eye and I was in love.  It was a bulky snowboarder earflap hat with braids.  It was exactly what I was looking for!  I ended up purchasing the pattern (at around $5.50) and 2 skeins of the alpaca yarn (at $22 a skein!) in a variegated green called Midsummer’s Night (CP25) that matches the bright green of my winter coat.  I’ve never bought yarn that cost that much…much less 2 skeins of it!  Thank goodness for credit cards! lol

I had to wait about a week before I could start on the hat for myself…I had to finish the project on my circulars before I could start anything new.  I have a set of Boye interchangeable circulars and I was using the smallest length for a scarf that is a Christmas presents for one of Bug’s teachers.  I also had to pick up a set of size 15 dpns and I ended up going up to the other LYS called Trumpet Hill because Joann’s (despite me having a 50% off coupon) just doesn’t carry needles that big.

I finished the scarf on Thursday the 8th (I’ll post about those Christmas presents later) and started the Snowboarder Hat (for Everyone) on Friday.  I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn since the pattern calls for 130 yards of super bulky yarn and together the 2 skeins of Misit Alpaca were only 110 yards and only bulky, so I would have to hold them together to get gauge.   I figured worse case scenario I’d go back up to Trumpet Hill to get a contrasting color in the baby alpaca they carry for the border and braids.  Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  The hat is such a quick knit and the alpaca was like knitting with a warm fuzzy cloud.  The only downside is that it shed quite a bit, but I didn’t mind!   I ended up making the braids holding the yarn single stranded rather than doubled and I’m sure that saved me a bit of yardage at the end.  I actually love how it came out!  I wish I had more of the yarn leftover so I could make a matching scarf or some mittens.  It’s the most expensive (and luxurious) hat I’ve ever owned.  Seriously, I’d never buy a hat that cost nearly $44 bucks in a store!  It cost as much as (if not more than) the 2 new pairs of jeans I bought last month!  I’m looking forward to wearing it every chance I get this winter!

I seriously loved the pattern so much that before I was done making mine, I bought yarn to make more and I’ve made it twice since!  Once for Bug and again for Fidget.  Bug's HatI picked up some Lion Brand Home Town USA yarn in Cinncinati Red and Oakland Black at Wal*Mart for less than $3 a skein when I had to buy a replacement Christmas tree stand for out 8 year old one that cracked.  Two Skeins of Red and one black was enough for me to make 2 hats and have enough left over to probably make one more child size one.  Bug’s hat is red with a black edging and red and black braids (that’s the one that’s pictured).  Fidget’s took some modification to make it sized down for an 18 month old, but I did it (the mods are written on my Rav project page) and it’s also red with black edging and has black braids (mostly so I can quickly tell which hat is which.)  Now if I can just get Fidget to keep it on his head when we go outside!  lol

Since pretty much everyone in my family has new hats, (except Darling Hubby who has a perfectly good earflap hat (not made by me!  GASP!)) I think it’s time to go through all the hats in storage and wash and donate the ones we really don’t need.  I know I have at least 2-3 hats and a couple scarves that I haven’t worn in forever…Guess it’s in with the new and out with the old.

What’s on the Needles?

Today is the first snow day of the 2010-11 school year for Bug.  We are getting quite a bit of snow and as of 6:30 this morning had about 4 inches on the ground with the possibility of 9-15 total by this afternoon.  Darling Hubby braved the snowy roads and drove into work (they never close!) and I’m hoping that they send them home early…but I won’t hold my breath.  It has been coming down pretty steadily, so who knows what’s on the ground…I do know that the snowplow went through twice, so the end of the driveway will need to be cleared.  Not sure if I’ll attempt to do it before Darling Hubby gets home or if I’ll just wait and let him do it…I have to see how Fidget is this afternoon.

I’m not sure what today will bring for me, Bug and Fidget, but I plan to stay warm, whatever we do.  We’ll probably play a little on the Kinect and I hope to get some more knitting done while Fidget naps later.  Fidget is officially crawling now.  He started on New Years Day and once he really figured out what he was doing he just took right off.  He’s also started pulling himself up on the coffee table…not to standing, but he gets himself upright on his knees.  I keep telling him he needs to master crawling better before he starts pulling up and walking!  Speaking of Fidget, he’s nearly 8 months old now and is just starting to get his bottom 2 teeth…Bug had at least 4 teeth by this point, probably more.  It’s true when they say each kid is different.

Anyway, I wanted to write about my crafting projects.  I’m still been working on Bella’s New Moon Hooded Cardigan since December 5th and I’m happy to report that I’m almost done!  I’ve been doing a couple rows here and there each day and last night I managed about 10 rows at craft night.  I’m about 30 rows away from starting the hood and then I have to make the pocket tops and do some finishing up.  I’m really happy with how it’s coming out.  The only thing that I’m upset about is that one of the stitch holders I used was red and some of the paint wore off onto the sleeve (underarm specifically)  I’m hoping that it will wash out.  To me it’s a rather obvious pink spot on a cream colored sweater.  😦

Here’s a picture of the cardigan in it’s half way done state. If you look to the left hand side of the picture (under the right arm), you can sorta see the pink spots. 😦 Otherwise, I love it!

Bella New Moon Cardigan

I’m hoping that I’ll finish it in the next couple weeks so I can start on a couple new projects (I have start-itis and want to start something new, but I’m being good!)  Things that need to be completed by the beginning of April.  The first thing is I’m going to finish the dress that I started over 2 years ago for the wedding that never was.

It’s really sad that it has been over 2 years and I’m still pretty pissed off and hurt by what happened with those dresses.  I still feel like I was taken advantage of and wasted my time doing something for someone who didn’t even say thank you for all that I did to help her out.  She told me to just be thankful she didn’t pick $125 dresses from the bridal store and be happy I was only out $50…no mention of the weeks I spent cutting out fabric, pinning, and sewing I did to make 4 dresses for her!  Oh, and she didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me in person that the wedding was postponed (I got a generic card in the mail like all the other guests.)  Yeah, I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing…but, I digress.

My plan is to move past all that and do what I originally intended…finish my dress and wear it to a wedding!  My friend Leana from Craft Night is getting married in April and rather than go out and buy a new dress (I already have to buy a suit for Bug since he’s her ring bearer) I’m going to wear something I already have.  With a little modification (I’m thinking going knee length rather than floor), I think the dress can be appropriate for an early spring wedding.  I really just need to find a zipper, which will only cost a couple bucks.  The 2nd project goes along with the first.  I’m going to knit myself a wrap/scarf to wear with the dress.  I’m thinking the Clapotis (rav link).  It seems that everyone is making one (there are over 16,800 projects on Ravelry!) and while I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon it looks like it will be a quick knit and functional for both wearing to the wedding and for wearing later on in a casual setting.  I’m just debating about what color to make.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll make it in a cream color (the same color as my Bella Cardigan) as it would be a nice color to go with the light purple satin in the dress.  I’ll have to see what yarn is out there when I finish the dress.

Off to shovel out a spot so I can walk the dogs and assess the driveway situation while Bug is playing on the kinect.  Hopefully I’ll get a row or 2 done before Fidget wakes from his nap.  Happy snow day everyone!

Debt Free! Yahoo!

Well, not completely, but I just paid off our credit card with a portion of our federal tax refund!  That’s HUGE!  That will save us around $100-200 each month.   Now I’m hoping that we can just keep from putting anything on the credit card for a while.  I haven’t used mine in months and when I did it was for something small and I paid it off right away.  It didn’t help that we’d paid it off all the credit card debt last year and then I coerced Darling Hubby into getting an X-box and Rock Band, ended up putting it on his card where we had a promotional interest rate (so long as it was paid on time)…and then paid it one day late a few months later.  But I have to say, the X-box was a good investment.  We’ve been using it and having fun and that’s what matters, right?

Darling Hubby got a small raise…it’s not even the cost of living, but we’ll make due.  We’ve got some money in savings and are getting a decent refund from the state…whenever they get around to giving us our money back…they are taking forever!   I’m just hoping that the rest of my dental work doesn’t drain everything…I don’t think that it will, but you never know.  I go in tomorrow for 6 more fillings.  Eeep!  The first round wasn’t that bad…fingers crossed this round goes as smoothly.  I’m just going to ask for additional novacaine in advance so we don’t have to stop work to get more.

On another good note, I’ve picked up Darling Hubby’s Gatsby sweater that I started eons ago and have made a vow with myself (in front of Rose and Leana, my crafting buddies, so I have witnesses!) that I am not going to pick up another craft project until this sweater is finished.  Kinda like a lent thing, giving up all other projects til this one is done…I’m hoping that I’ll get it done within a month.  It’s still kinda chilly outside, but with March roaring in like a lion with a small winter snowstorm, it might not be sweater weather come the end of the month when it goes out like a lamb.  I’ve at least finished the back panel and have started to work on the back neckline.  I’m actually looking forward to getting it done.  It will be one less WIP that will be hanging around in my craft trunk.  Actually, it’s really the only thing I have going that needs to be finished…

I think I’m going to go work on it for a little while, while Bug plays with his play-doh, and see how far I can get on it before I need to start making homemade pizza for dinner.  Yum!  Oh, this chili recipe that I linked to in my last Food for Friday post was a big hit with the family.  I substituted ground turkey for the beef, used a 16oz jar of Toastitos salsa, used a 15oz can of tomato sauce and  6oz can of tomato paste and omitted the corn.  It was great.  I think the only thing would have made it better would have been if we had some corn chips to dip in it.  I think I’ll have the leftovers for lunch!