Busy Having Fun!

I keep meaning to come and make a post since I finished the Kismet tank top for Minnie. We’ve just been having too much summer fun! Every time I get a few minutes to sit still I think, “I should go write a post,” but I’m too exhausted to follow through. So, this will be a quick one.

I did get to knit and knit and knit while I sat by the lake at our family camp and watch my kids (and nieces and nephews) swim. It was a glorious 4 days away from real life and I hope I can make it work to go again next summer! (Stay tuned for some camp photos below.) Mostly I knit on the Kismet tank for Minnie. I actually got so into knitting it that I read my pattern wrong and knit 6 extra inches on the back (whoops!) It was easy to rip it back and finish it up. I did finish it there at camp besides the blocking and buttons. Once it was all finished up me and Minnie had a little photo shoot! I would highly recommend this pattern! I have been looking through this designer’s patterns to see what else I want to knit!

After I finished the Kismet I started a cowl with the yarn from the  Brickless…I have already ripped it out. I wasn’t feeling that one either. I need to keep looking to see what to do with that yarn. Then I cast on the Hooded Baby Sweater with Back Zipper for Baby Girl. I love this yarn! I’m knitting her the 12 month size. It is good mindless knitting and it shouldn’t take me too long to finish up. I am undecided what I’m going to work on when I finish the sweater.

IMG_1021

Here is a little photo collage of our summer including: Family Camp, Fourth of July and Como Water Park.

Enjoy your Summer!

Advertisements

Summer At Last!

How is it the end of June already? I wish I could quote the old cliché here that time flies when you’re having fun, but I feel like I’m still waiting for the fun to start. I guess that is how it goes when you work 40 hours a week and your fun is restricted to the weekends only. I have a couple of days off coming up that will give me a four-day weekend. I am taking my kids to family camp that my father-in-law has been nice enough to get them to for the past several years. I plan to sit by the lake and supervise their swimming while I knit and knit and knit. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I have taken to eating my lunch at work outside everyday that I can so I feel like I’m getting to enjoy some summer. I typically soak in the sun while I eat, knit and listen to my most current audiobook.

I promised I would post the impromptu item I was working on for Baby Girl when I was done. I finished about a month ago already, but here they are. Leg warmers! I love leg warmers on babies. They are both adorable and practical. That being said, I’ll have to wait to see Baby Girl get some use out of these. The size range on these is about 3 months to 3 years. Right now she is too skinny to keep them on her little legs, but since it is summer that works out fine. I used a solid yarn with a variegated yarn. I almost made it though a whole color repeat. I kind of love that these coordinate instead of exactly match. (This pattern is Legwarmies by Alana Dakos)

IMG_0690

My daughter felt much neglected, knitting wise, during the months leading up to Baby Girl’s birth. And, looking back at the number of things I knit for Baby Girl, I guess she has a point. So, I made it my first priority to cast something on for Minnie. She actually wanted a fun pair of rainbow leg warmers too, but I told her I’d knit those in fall since she shouldn’t wear leg warmers during MN summers anyway. For a few years now I have been thinking of knitting her a summery top. I decided on the Kismet pattern by Sara Gresbach. (If you are at all interested in knitting a summer top, go look at my Ravelry profile(GreenEyed79), there are oodles of tank top type patterns in my favorites.) I am nearly done! At a certain point you split the round you’ve been knitting in and knit half for the front and half for the bank of the tank top and sew them together at the top of the shoulders. I am anxious to see how this fits and how it looks after it is blocked. At the bottom edge there is a little seed stitched edge that is probably supposed to keep it from rolling up but right now that part is always folded up over the body, so hopefully blocking will remedy that I have gotten no other work done. Just knitting and knitting on the tank top. (It has been good TV knitting as it is pretty mindless to knit endless rounds of stockinette.) I do want to get back to my Eiffel Towel shawl! I also plan to start on a Zip up the back Hooded Sweater for Baby Girl soon.

IMG_0793

Last week I went and spent a gift card at my favorite yarn shop (Amazing Threads in Maple Grove, MN) that I’ve been hoarding since Christmas. As I poked around looking for the best yarn to spend my money on I thought about how I go about spending a gift card. Typically I do not go in with a specific project in mind. I just wander around and buy what calls to me the most. Which is probably stupid. That is probably why some of the yarn in my stash has been unused for as long as it has. I wish I was better about shopping for specific projects. This time I did spend part of it on yarn for the hooded sweater for Baby Girl, but the rest was just random yarn that I liked and thought might knit up into something nice at some point. How do you spend your gift cards?

IMG_0751

I’ve been looking at my list of unfinished projects again, big mistake! How do I let things get this out of control? I need to sit down and seriously consider if I’m going to finish these items or if I should frog some of them and reclaim the yarn. I am pretty sure that the Shaelyn is getting frogged. I have come to hate that shawl. Something went wrong with it and I have spent hours trying to sort it back out and I’m not getting anywhere. And after all this time I just don’t love it like I used to. I should save the yarn and knit something else out of it.  Same with the Brickless…for as anxious as I was to cast it on, I’m not sure I’m feeling it anymore. I also think I should have used larger needles. I should go online and see what else I could do with yarn from both of these projects before I frog.

My sister has gotten some proofs back from her newborn photos shoot of Baby Girl. They are so gorgeous! I was especially excited to see photos of Baby Girl modeling some of what I knit for her. Here are few are my favorites. These photos were taken by Rebecca Zenefski. Her website is: www.byrebeccastudios.com you can also visit her on Facebook at: facebook.com/byRebeccaStudios

Enjoy your summer! Eat your lunch outside in the sun if you have to!

Here’s a picture of my kiddos from their last day of school.

IMG_0728

New Dress & Nostepinne

I am starting to feel the crunch of a looming deadline. Baby Girl will arrive in roughly 6 weeks and I feel like I still have so much I want to knit for her. This is a self-imposed deadline of course. I can obviously keep knitting for her once she arrives, I just have an idea of what I want done and folded neatly into a gift bag for the hospital visit. I still have one hat I wanted to knit and one more pair of booties too. I am still working on the large mystery item which is close to fully knit but it going to require a lot of finishing work. I also cast on something new for Baby Girl on Friday evening. (I will resist mentioning all the other cute little patterns I want to make for her…there are oodles of them.)

Back to my newly cast on item. I LOVE when I cast on a project and it feels like magic! I always love knitting, but I’m talking about a project that goes smoothly and feels fun and exciting to knit and as the item takes shape you can just tell that it is going to live up to expectations. I was going to try to keep this item a secret too, but I think I already revealed too much about it while talking to my sister on the phone. It is a dress. I will not show a picture beyond this boring one below. I will also not share the pattern name, yet. I am knitting the 0-3 month size. It is knit in fingering weight yarn. I really like how it is turning out. Despite checking my gauge and moving up a needle size I keep looking at the neck hole and wondering if it should really be that tiny. It has been awhile since I’ve had a newborn of my own, but wow, tiny! There are button holes knit into the garment but I am already planning on adding a button loop so that if the neck is too tiny the garment can still be functional.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 11.34.21 AM

I have to give a shout out to Knit Picks. I know I was kind of harsh after their systems got hacked and MANY of us had our credit card info stolen, but this makes up for it. I really have resisted shopping with them since the hacking ordeal, but I may have to revise my position and just use the PayPal feature they have now instead. About 4 years ago for our anniversary my husband bought me a swift and ball winder from Knit Picks. They have since gotten a lot of use. Recently one of the wooden screws that holds up the spinning part of the swift broke and in turn the swift was no longer functional. I called Knit Picks to see if I could just get a new wood screw to try fix the problem. They shipped one out immediately, for free. I tried it and the swift still wasn’t working. Possibly the problem was with the part the screw, screwed into. I called them back to see if they had any ideas of what I could try. They sent me a brand new one, for free, after four years of use on the original one! The one I got in the mail is their newer version! It is so nice. I am totally impressed with how well they are standing by their products. They just as easily could have told me “tough luck, lady.” Way to go Knit Picks, you have earned back my business!

My ball winder from Knit Picks has also stopped working properly. It would be tempting to call and see if I can score a new ball winder too, but unlike the swift I know that the reason it is not working is my own fault. It worked fine until I bought a skein of Yowza! from Miss Babs. This is 400-some yards of worsted-weight yarn. That makes one GIANT ball of yarn! At one point of its winding some of the yarn slipped off and got sucked into the gears that turn the winder. I have taken the thing apart and removed the yarn and tried to put it back together right, but it has not been the same since. A new ball winder doesn’t cost that much money, but I have still been reluctant to buy one. My broken one is still kind of limping along. I decided to buy a nostepinne. Basically a nostepinne is a wooden dowel that you can use to hand wind a center pull ball of yarn on. I ordered from a company that I found on Etsy (if you want to know who, let me know and I will go check.) I watched a few YouTube videos when it arrived and hoped for the best. It took much longer to wind a ball of yarn this way than I expected. Mine also didn’t turn out as the shape I usually get from my ball winder. I may have wound it too tightly as I had trouble getting it off the nostepinne at the end. It was kind of a fun experiment for me though. I will keep practicing! A few of the podcasts that I listen to have talked about nostepinnes. I guess there is a theory that using a ball winder stretches the yarn out and using a nostepinne instead would not. I feel like I did more damage to my yarn using the nostepinne than the ball winder, but that is probably just due to my inexperience.

It is snowing in MN again today. The weather has been so very depressing this winter. My kids have 38 days left of the school year, not counting today. I am just hoping it does not still feel like winter when their summer vacation starts.

Flowers, A Baby and an Award

I was informed as I logged into Word Press today to write this new post that today is the two-year anniversary of my blog. It kind of made me laugh. For me this blog is about getting to write about something that inspires me. I have always loved to write, since finishing school I have always tried to find ways to keep myself writing. I obviously also love knitting; so, two years ago I decided to try a blog which would let me write about something I love. What could be more perfect? The fact that I’ve been doing this for two years now doesn’t mean so much to me because it is not something I do for recognition or praise. I simply do it because I enjoy it. I love getting comments and likes from people, but I don’t get many. I would write these posts even if no one else was paying attention. It is just a good outlet for me! I kind of use this like an online journal of my knitting adventures. It has been very helpful a few times to go back and see my notes about specific projects here.

It has been bugging me since Christmas time that I couldn’t figure out how to crochet a flower for my niece’s hat. I have spent a fair amount of time with crochet books trying out stitches and feel that I have a good grasp of the basics….so why wasn’t it working? The cure to my problem was to watch a You Tube video of someone crocheting a flower. There was one tiny thing that I had not understood from the written directions that as soon as I saw performed in a video made everything click! So, here is my first ever crocheted flower!  Hooray! Persistence pays off, and You Tube, of course! (Here is the link for the video I used: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfaX4nYA45U)

IMG_1728

Another niece’s birthday was just a couple of days ago. I decided to add a knitted hat to her gift since her sister got one for Christmas. I tried out a new hat pattern I found on Ravelry. It is called Gingerbread Icing by Elizabeth Seidle.  It is a really lovely cabled hat pattern. I must add that the pattern is written REALLY well. I despise patterns that leave something up for interpretation so I like to mention when patterns are really great! I chose some yarn out of my stash. As I neared the end I realized I did not have enough yarn! Ack!! Back in the summer of 2012 I was working on an American Girl doll sweater for my daughter’s doll. I got the first sleeve sewn onto the body and decided I hated it. I clearly need some classes on finishing techniques. The sweater has been abandoned since then. It was knit out of the same yarn. So, I murdered the unfinished doll sweater to get enough yarn to finish up the hat. Frankly, I’m kind of relieved that I will no longer have that stupid unfinished sweater hanging over my head. I will knit her another doll sweater at some point, but I will make sure to choose one that is knit in one piece, if possible. I added a two-color crocheted flower to this hat. I love how it turned out. My sister-in-law shared this photo of my niece wearing it. So cute!

I will be an Auntie for the 10th time in late May/early June. I am always excited to welcome a new baby into the family. My sister is having a baby GIRL!! I am so excited and have already begun my knitting for my new niece! I love any baby knitting but knitting for little girls is just a tiny bit more fun for me since I love girly stuff! I cannot post here what I’m working on specifically since I want it to be a surprise for my sister when baby girl arrives. Maybe I will include photos that are zoomed in to disguise what the item is.

IMG_1756

I have a favor to ask of my readers: Please recommend any blogs to me that you feel are excellent and have less than 200 people who follow them. It does not matter what the subject of the blog is. I read more than just knitting blogs. Back in April I was nominated for a  Liebster Award by jennamakesthings. I am stealing the meaning of this award from Jenna’s blog: “The Liebster Award is an award given to rising bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.” I been really slow at following up with the things I’m supposed to do in response to being nominated (for all I know the deadline for me to have done this has come and gone.) I need to nominate 11 blogs for this same award. I have a few blogs in mind that I plan to award, but I need more. I don’t have a lot of time to search out more deserving blogs, so if you know of one I should check out and add to my award list that would be amazing. Thank you Jenna for this honor! I am sorry it has taken me so long to proceed with what I should have done with this ages ago.

Liebster Award Logo

Minnesota is still dangerously cold. Since it is only January and I already feel like this winter has gone on for ages I can only imagine that it is going to be a REALLY long one. I will try to focus on how much time indoors knitting this will allow me

Stay warm!

Burr!!

Happy New Year! Here in Minnesota we have started off the new year in a deep, deep freeze. My kids were supposed to return to school today from Christmas break, but they are at home enjoying an extended break since school was cancelled due to the extreme cold. And I just heard that tomorrow is cancelled as well. (Too bad I still have to go to work.) Our high temperature today is supposed to be -15. The low is -20 and that doesn’t even include the wind chill. With the wind it feels like -40s out there. Yuck! When we get back up around 35 degrees this coming weekend it is going to feel darn right tropical!

So far this year’s knitting has been all about socks. I finished the After Thought Heel Socks for Minnie I had going on simultaneously as the ones I was working on for myself. Technically I finished those last year as I finished them on New Year’s Eve. As much as I came to dread this pattern as it is so dull to work on, this is the kind of yarn that this pattern should be used for. Yarn that is vibrant and exciting all by itself that doesn’t need a busy pattern getting in the way. I love how these turned out and I love that she has worn these many days already in our frigid weather. I will keep this pattern in mind for next time I have busy yarn to use, otherwise I will stick to fun sock patterns.

Since Minnie has a finished pair of socks I decided to start a pair for LJ. I recently downloaded a pattern booklet from Ravelry called Tiny Treads. It is all sock patterns for kids! I picked one called Goosey Goosey. (I have no idea why that is their name.) I am knitting them two at a time on circular needles. I tried this before and it worked on the boring leg area of the socks, but it was a Cookie A pattern (Kai-Mei) and the feet had something rather dramatic going on and I was never going to be able to keep the left sock straight from the right and have the patterns mirror each other, so I gave up on knitting two at a time after that. I have not done it again since and have come to realize that I should. I get second sock syndrome so badly!!

I have also worked on my Brickless a bit, but made very little progress as I had to tink back to fix where I forgot to cast off 11 stitches…whoops.

I forgot to mention in my last post that one of my sister-in-laws has taken up knitting! I am so thrilled. I always love when people discover knitting. She asked if I would teach her how to knit when we were together at Thanksgiving. She came armed with yarn and a pattern. I brought needles and spare yarn to teach her the basics before she started on her first project. She had looked at some instructions on-line previous to our lesson, so she picked it up extra quickly! I am anxious to see how her first project turns out!

My family started off this year with a special treat. For Christmas my husband bought tickets for the four of us to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Orphium in Minneapolis. We Love FOTO! He and I saw it in Orlando almost four years ago. The kids have never seen the stage or movie version, but have loved the music for years. My husband has been very anxious to take them to see it. They did very well and both enjoyed it! It was a wonderful show! I was so glad we braved the bitter cold to see it.

Stay Warm!

IMG_1722

I Heart Pintrest

Well, we finally moved out of winter in Minnesota, but apparently we’ve skipped spring entirely and moved straight into summer. On Friday, April 19th my kids had a snow day thanks to a late in the season blizzard. This weekend it was in the 70s and we hit 80 today! What a difference. But we still have brown grass and leafless tress. It is crazy to think that my kids will be done with school in a little over a month.

Friday the 19th:

IMG_0307

Yesterday:

IMG_0335

I finished my sunglasses sock. I like how it turned out, but I think the ribbing was meant to keep the glasses in, but mine doesn’t. I just made a little tie to cinch it closed and it works fine. I even like how the purple and green stripes worked out. This was a fun little pattern to do.

IMG_0354

I started a Citron with some of stash…and I’m pretty sure it is getting frogged. I’m just not feeling it. It might be my choice of yarn. Or, it might be the fact that I was doing yarn overs for all the make-ones, which of course results in a series of holes. None of the other photos I have seen of this pattern have those holes, so…I’m not sure mine is right. It might also be that I discovered that I read the pattern wrong. I should probably just start it over again because I haven’t knit in days because I don’t want to work on this.

IMG_0355

Onto the subject matter which is reflected in the title of this post! Pintrest is awesome. I am not new to it, but I felt the need to express my love for it publicly. If you have not checked Pintrest out, do yourself a favor and do it! It is such a fantastic place to get ideas. Ideas for anything! I especially love to look at recipes and crafty stuff. But, there is SO much more on there. I also get a lot of good ideas of things to do with my kids. LJ’s Arts and Academics project for school this year was a Pintrest idea: a Lego maze! I found a craft that I was interested in trying and so Minnie and I did it today. We lined cake pans and a muffin tin with designs of pony beads and then baked them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. And we have…sun catchers! Well, only one is a sun catcher so far, I need my husband to drill holes in the others.

collage_2013-04-28_20-18-55

I am hoping to get a new knitting project going that really inspires me. I need my knitting to keep my stress levels under control. It has been too many days since I knit at all and it would feel good to sit down with some knitting and let some stress go.

We had a little thunderstorm pass through earlier tonight. Hopefully our April shower will bring some May flowers (and leaves and green grass!)

IMG_0356