Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A New history book! Also, yarn

I love being busy with crafting things, and these weeks leading up to the holidays are quite busy. There is one final craft show this weekend, and I am hoping to have some new items in new colors for the final shopping push to Christmas.

New things!

From my fuzzy ipad photo, you can see my new book, all with two new projects that I've started. The dark blue yarn is another infinity scarf- lion brand has put out several new colors this season in their homespun yarn, and I am taking full advantage of fun and new colors.  The lighter blue that you can
kinda see it a third slouch hat, in a similar style to the red one from last week.

My new book is a gift from my husband, for St. Nick's Day & St. Lucia Day. Traditionally, with his family, books are the gift for St. Lucia, and food or candy is the gift for St. Nick. I've never celebrated Lucia Day before

Joining up with Tami & Ginny!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A finished hat!

You can see my Christmas decorations hiding in the back

The focus isn't great, because iPhone photos are not the best at night, but I have finished a slouch hat. Challenged by my sister, I came up with the pattern myself. I plan on making more of these, so there will definitely be more (& better) pics in the future!

The fact that I've been  able to finish this is most certainly an accomplishment, as I have been so busy with teaching, my time is not always my own. I still want to make a few more before my final craft show of the season- next weekend! I think with Christmas being so close, many people will be shopping for gifts, and these have been particularly popular. 

Linking up with Tamis Amis! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


image by mmwitch

These past months have been busy. My crocheting has been slow. Fusion is a fun pattern, and I'm working it with honeymoon yarn :)
I have about 30 grams left, so I'm trying to decide the best way to end the shawl. Hopefully the weekend will give me time to finish!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In a rare quiet moment....

Yarn-along during lunch

I rarely have time for crafting, since school has gotten really busy. But here's a new color infinity scarf!!! Hopefully, I'll have more to share, as the weeks might slow down a bit more soon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Keeping Myself Busy

Taking care of a husband, a house, and 140 teenagers is rough work! Technically, I'm not taking care of a house, but rather an apartment, but still, the idea is the same.  I'm loving my job, though its really busy. I have 7th and 9th graders at 2 different schools, and they always seem to keep me on my toes. Teaching really is a wonderful adventure every day, and I feel blessed to be where I am.

Working and commuting (40 minutes one way) takes a lot of my time, leaving less than I'd like for knitting and crocheting. But, several of the teachers I work with crochet or knit!! I was excited to learn that, and they inspire me to keep up my craft.

In other news, I've found 3 new LYSs in my area. They aren't actually new, just new to me. I've been able to visit 2 of them, and loved them both! Each of them had something different to offer to me as a crafter, and I hope to go back soon. The last few weeks I've been a bit spoiled, as I've had some spare crafting money, and was able to buy yarn I wouldn't normally buy. However, I still plan on visiting my LYSs every so often. It's quite an adventure for me anyway, as usually I don't deviate far from my route to and from school, plus the weekly grocery stop, gas fill-up and visits to my in-laws' house. Some days I feel like quite the boring person, LOL.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Living on my own results in cooking attempts. 

I made a type of enchilada this week. It was a Pinterest recipe that looked easy enough. I bought what I thought were all the ingredients when I was grocery shopping. When I actually start cooking, I realized that I was missing some things. Taking after my mother's typical cooking method, I made what I had work for me. 
It definitely tasted yummy, and I plan to try it again when I have all the ingredients. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Summer Flies.

You can see some happy butterflies!
I finally got the butterfly section to work on my summer flies. After frogging twice, I was ready to give up, but I gave it one more shot, putting more space between the first row of eyelets. It isn't perfect, but it's much better than before. The picture does not do this Candy Skein yarn justice. It's the June colorway, from my brother for my June birthday. Because my gauge is a bit different from the pattern's, I'm working additional butterfly and eyelet rows to make the most of my yarn. Besides, I *love* the butterflies, and I think that section showcases the yarn best. 

The weather has been cool; we're hoping it stays this way through my wedding next weekend. 

E's sister and family get into town sometime this weekend, and I expect I'll see a bit of them. Between moving and getting ready for the new school year and getting ready to get married, these next few weeks may be too busy for new yarn projects. With most of my stuff packed up, it'll be hard to start new projects anyway. I'm hoping being exclusive to one or two projects will help me finish them sooner. 

Linking up with Tami and Ginny!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My First free day

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my college job. That made today my first day off the job, which I spent mostly hanging out and relaxing. 

Mom and I picked blueberries, since the weather was lovely- cool and overcast, which changed into partly sunny, with a breeze. 

I followed that with awesome made-up Chinese food, some time working on my dresser, and then decided a Harry Potter marathon might be a fun idea. I move my computer, set up with my crochet project and went to town. 

Because I started so late in the day, I only made it through the first film. It was still a fun way to spend my afternoon, and I did get a few more rows on my blanket. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I did not realize how horribly blurry this photo was until I looked at it properly on my laptop. I'll get a nicer one up tomorrow. 
In progress- a shawl design. 
I'm trying something, attempting a narrower crocheted triangle, without the pointy bit. We'll see what it looks like in a few days. It's been a bit slow going, but with fingering weight yarn it always seems to be slow. It's mainly double crochet, which works up a bit faster, but again, we shall see. 

Love this book

On my shelf- a book I actually finished! I read this book from start to finish yesterday, and found it really enjoyable, especially compared to my most recent books that got returned before I was halfway through. It is enough of a true story to appeal to my historical side, and the characters, though fictional, felt real and realistic. 

Having been disappointed with the last three books I checked out from the library, I started my week out reading Harry Potter. Harry's always consistent. I love reading the language, especially with the British terminology thrown in. Yesterday though, this book came in for me. It was among the ones I had ordered based on Amazon's historical fiction bestsellers. Due to my previous disappointment, I was reluctant, and didn't even open the book until I came home from errands after work. I sat out in the sunshine and opened it. Absorbed would be the best word for it. The world in this book absorbed me. I couldn't put it down. Part of me just wanted to have a book that was new and different, and I wanted to savor it, but the other part of me wanted to know what happened next. It was definitely a quick read, but definitely an adult book. And the history's good too. 

Linking up with Tami & Ginny today!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Home WIP

While I have been working on some crocheting and knitting, this weekend I've been working on a piece of furniture for my/our new apartment!!!

There are no before pictures, just halfway to step one pictures. 
On the first day, I got to play with paint stripper, a power sander, and ended with really sore hands, arms, and back. Being liberal with paint stripper (not that I have experience) was difficult, and I ended up probably doing more work than necessary. 

All the white paint is gone, but still needs work!

Day two was work on the drawers, as well as paint that I missed on day one. I also put stain on the top (the only bit that is completely sanded and stripped of paint), which is helpful in motivating me to work harder on the other bits. 

The reason for this dresser makeover? Fiancé really dislikes painted furniture. It was in a little girls room, and it needed either a new coat of paint or a complete overhaul. I counted at least 4 layers of paint, plus the most recent color. If I slapped another coat of paint, it would've needed to be touched up the next time we moved. So I'm striping all the paint, sanding, staining, and then topping it with a coat of poly. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy it. 

Even though I've been busy with home projects, I do have some yarn to share!!!
Decorating my books: a scarf and a shawl

My stack of books increased yesterday, as I decided to pursue the historical fiction section on Amazon. I didn't expect to get them all at the same time. Titles, in case you can't read them: The Age of Ice, The Light between Oceans, The Kitchen House, and Red Templar. It Starts with Food is obviously not fiction, and I'm still working through it, a bit at a time. 

And here's a close up of my crocheting, Hitchin' a Ride. 
Lovely self-striping Felici!
Linking up with Tami & Ginny!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Project Monogamy

I'm trying this new thing, project monogamy. Working on a single project, until it is finished. This is odd for me, because I have a tendency to work on multiple things at the same time.

The reason for this monogamy was first a problem in a knitting project, which caused it to be put in timeout, combined with the realization that I have a lot of WIPs. If I work on one, until it's completely done, I am more likely to be motivated to finish it. 

For example: I am currently working on True Blue Love, using Palette fingering yarn. The color is a great shade of blue, the pattern is interesting. It's also turning out a lot bigger than I had expected. I want to finish it, but I also would love to start something smaller. If I don't finish this now, I'll likely end up not finishing it. It's not really me forcing myself to finish it, just that I am resisting all the new yarn and other projects to make sure that I actually finish.

I'm hoping to apply this project monogamy to some other WIPs, as I have a few, and I think that as long as I start and finish a smaller project in between the bigger ones, I won't get as antsy about all my WIPs. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

True Blue

This is the third shawl I've posted about in at least as many weeks: MAD Cap Designs, True Love. I like that it is shallower and longer than the previous MAD Cap I made. It helps that I really like the color blue, too. I seriously recommend any patterns by this designer- she makes an effort to make purchasing a pattern worthwhile. There are stitch counts and clear charts and se has a fun Ravelry group too!

I've also advanced since my last post, and am reading it starts with food. Very interesting so far. Behind the scenes at the museum wasn't really working for me, so that's been returned already. I'm hoping to find some new historical fiction...

Linking with WIP Wednesday & Yarn Along!!

Reading Update

Amid the hubbub of wedding preparations and moving, I've been blessed to find personal quiet time to read. Good suggestions always seem to come from pursuing the blogs that share on Ginny's weekly Yarn-Along. Two of the books I am currently looking at have come from other bloggers' recommendations.

The first, The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill, is a fiction novel that takes place in 19th century Nantucket.

As it has a historical aspect to it, I immediately sought a copy from my library system, which arrived several days later. What also intrigued me about this book is its astronomical and nautical angle. Both subjects hold some interest to me, though mostly in their relation to history. It reminds me a lot of some of the things I've learned through studying lighthouses.

I am fascinated by the Quaker community that the main character, Hannah, lives in. Many books I've read before, particularly those by Beverly Lewis, discuss similiar (to me) concepts of communities like that, especially the Amish communities.

I'm not as far as I would like to be into the book, but so far it is enjoyable.

In my possession and next on the list are 2 more books, another fiction and a non-fiction.

At the recommendation of a good friend, I am also looking into Paleo.

I'm not sure I can totally go to all whole foods, but I'd like to make an attempt. I've never really had weight issues, so it's not really about that. It would be more about getting healthy and feeling better all the time.

So, that's what I'm reading! WOOO!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Finishes

Last week I posted my finished Michele's Lace, and I have post blocking photos now too! 

The lace opened a lot with blocking. I took some photos with my mom modeling, and I'll get those up next week hopefully. 

I also finished my First Love shawl, and am currently debating about a button for it. The reason for the button is the smallish size of the shawl, which I was expecting. It might get a bit of blocking to help it. 

I left off the picot border, and was left with a small ball of yarn. My project page on ravelry will be updated with the measurements, etc, in a few days. 

Thinking about new yarn is dangerous. But I'm still thinking. I've been doing really good, keeping up with and finishing projects, and I think I need a wedding de-stress-er. 

Linking with FO Friday!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


by D. B. Jackson

A trip through pre- Revolution Boston, infused with magic, a hint of romance, and a mystery.

This is the world that D. B. Jackson skillfully weaves, creating an intriguing historical fiction novel that I couldn't put down. It's been a while since I've been so absorbed in a book, and I loved the experience. 

The characters, a mix of fiction and non fiction, were decently rounded out, a variety of types and social classes. Each contributed to the story in their own way, some not revealing their part until the very end.

The main character, Ethan Kaille, is a conjurer (aka witch) and a "thieftaker"(hired by wealthier people to recover their stolen goods). Both of his "professions" make it hard for him to keep his head down, especially in a place as volatile as pre- Revolution Boston. I'll be the first to admit that I don't really know much about the city of Boston. But I do know a fair bit about the Revolutionary War, and the events leading up to it. Jackson throws in enough historical information to make the story plausible, but the story isnt really about the history. The history, particularly the riots that could've (and did) take place all around the 13 colonies in regards to the Stamp Act and other "unfair" taxes, feeds into the story but does not consume it.

Jackson writes an interesting novel, and blends the history with the fantasy well.

I'd recommend this as a engaging book (Though I will add that I dislike people who write novels hoping to score big writing a whole series)
(And obviously, I dont really write book reviews, I just like sharing about good books I've read)

Books & Hooks

Wedding preparations are getting really busy-- just over a month left now!!

But amid all the hub-bub of bridal showers, moving, fittings, bachelorette parties, and general preparation, I've found time for my hooks.

First Love
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette fingering in Mulberry
Hook: H

Little Star Dishcloths
Yarn: Sugar'n Cream scraps & the like
Hook: I keep switching between G and H, though I like H best.
True Love
Starting this one as soon as First Love is finished!

I've also found time for new books. One was suggested by a follow Yarn-Along-er, the other by a co-worker.

Thieftaker, D.B. Jackson-- pre-Revolutionary War era

Movement of the Stars, Amy Brill-- mid 1800s

I'm enjoying the historical angle of both books, though they are from two different eras and have completely different story lines.

Linking up with WIPWednesday & Yarn-Along!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Still Here!

Over the past month or so, I've found myself on my laptop less and less. A new phone for my birthday and my borrowing of Fiance's tablet, both of which are way more portable, means I don't often sit in front of a screen with a proper keyboard. All of these things means less blogging.

But I'm still around. I'm checking out Yarn-Along, WIPW,  and FOF. I'm seeking a happy meduim, and hopefully I'll find it.

So for now, even if I'm not posting, I'm still around. Weddign preparations are getting even more busy than I had guessed, and with that comes moving and job searching. I just have to remember:

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, July 5, 2013

One Shawl Down

Finished my Michele's Lace Wednesday afternoon. I had a teeny ball of yarn left that lasted 3 rows longer than I thought it would.

It still needs a good blocking, but I consider it done. 

Celebrated my country's independence with my cousin & her little ones. Definitely lots of fun. 

Linking up with Tami for FOFriday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More Shawls than I can count

Shawls have been the order of the day with me, as I have been trying several new patterns. I'm nearly finished with my Michele's Lace, and am planning on starting on another of Julie's designs, either Kendall's Lace or Leah's Lace.  I'm also working on a First Love, and just cast on a Summer Flies. And there's a lace shawlette that might be in progress.... So both my hooks and needles are flying!

Being bicraftual definitely has an advantage, as the yarn I'm using for Summer Flies is Candy Skein's June colorway Bubblegum Ice Cream and it is VERY variegated. Now, variegated yarns dont always play well in crochet patterns, so I switched to the knit pattern, where it does not overwhelm the pattern too much.

Summer Flies
using US size 5 circular needle
Candy Skein Yummy fingering Bubblegum Ice Cream

First Love
using US hook size H
Knit Picks Palette in Mulberry

Michele's Lace
using US hook size H
Serenity Sock dyed by me (shades of blue & purple)

Linking with Tami & Ginny for WIPW & Yarn-Along

Monday, July 1, 2013

Goal Setting

July Goals:
  • Finish the knit poncho that I didn’t finish last month
  • Make at least 5 craft show items (to beat last month’s total of 3)
  • Start on commissioned hat
  • Beat my dishcloth total from last month
  • Use at least 2000 yards from stash (down from last month because I know I’ll be really busy this coming month and I dont want to be too optimistic)
I'm a planner. I've made these July goals to guide my crafting for the month, and they are a bit lighter than my normal monthly craft goals because I know the next 2 month will be busy. However, I find it is still worth it. I just need to hold myself more accountable to checking back every once in a while to make sure I am staying on track.

June In: + 2618
June Out: -3448
June Total: -830 (not as good overall as previous months)

I love my stash of yarn, but I don't want to move it all. So the idea is to use up as much as I can, and start fresh in my new apartment. Hopefully it will work.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Flowers & Wraps

Finishing up my wedding flowers! Pardon the Instagram pic, I'm  trying out my birthday phone. :-) yep! Fiancé bought me a new phone for my birthday. 

I'm also working on Michele's Lace, a semi circular shawl. It has really great texture. The yarn is Serenity Sock, a wool/bamboo/nylon blend. I dyed it myself last weekend. 

Linking up with Tami & Ginny for the usual Wednesday link ups! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Weekend in Photos

I had a busy weekend! I take lots of photos, and never share them properly, so be prepared for some crazy stuff :)
Work-in-Progress all weekend
Practical things
Practical birthday gifts from Mom & Dad- mugs, coffee, contact solution.
New Wallet & Phone
More practical, but also fun. Birthday phone from fiance and new wallet from sister.
Birthday Lunch- mine
"Birthday" Lunch- Chinese buffet is one of our favs.
Birthday Lunch- E
Can you tell that fiance's food was "less healthy"?
Birthday Killians
Dad took me & sister out for dinner on my birthday- birthday beer!
DBirthday Dinner
I love Applebee's appetizer sampler.
Mom knows I love buttons for my craft show hats. I don't think I'm going to run out any time soon.
New Yarn!
WIP shown with Birthday yarn. Brother #1 actually listened when I said I wanted Candy Skein yarn!
As you can see, lots of goings on.
I'll be back on Wednesday for more WIPs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunny Summer Shawl

I just love alliterations! Yeah, I'm a teacher like that. This week, I've slacked off quite a bit here, mainly due to a full work week-- a co-worker's on vacation, so I worked every day. (the only sadness to that is working on my birthday, which I will celebrate with my family tomorrow).

It has given me time, though, to crochet. I tested a shawl pattern for Anastacia Knits, and I wanted to have it finished to show off today.

FOF 6/21/13

I've also been working on some shawl pins, one of which is featured in the above photo. I haven't blocked the shawl yet, but I think it will just bring out the edging more, so the photo is a fair representation.

Linking up with Tami for FO Friday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Going Nowhere Fast

Even though I'd like to say that I am an awesomely fast crocheter, and I finished all my projects from last week, it is not so. I'm stuck in the middle of 2 big projects, and probably will be for the rest of the month.
WIPW 6.12.13
The ripple's folded in half, in case you wondered.
Crocheting: I'm up to 6 skeins for my wedding ripple-- with 10 more waiting to be worked in. Stephanie's Wrap is going slow and steady. I'm about halfway through the second section, and I'd really like to get to the third by the end of the month.

Reading: Halfway through The Two Towers. Still getting through The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Really want to read something new....

Linking up with WIP Wednesday & Yarn-Along!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

FO: Rainbow Sampler

As promised, I present my finished baby blanket.

In a rush on Monday night, I decided to forego the puff stitches & border on this blanket:

Rectangular Sampler
yep, it's really bright
and simply finish with the rounds of granny.

The pattern is Rectangular Sampler Blanket, and it works up to a decent sized baby/lap blanket. I was working it as part of Underground Crafter's CAL, but didn't finish in time for the contest, and was also impatient.

My reason for stopping before the border was 1) because I knew if I didn't end it, I wouldn't finish and 2) I wanted to gift it ASAP. A friend of mine recently had a baby! and I wanted to give her something. It was spontaneous, hence the hurry to finish.

I'm pleased with how it turned out, all happy & rainbow-y. About 1000 yards of yarn went into it, and the rounds were starting to get long. I think if I work the pattern again, which I'd like to do, I would have more planning, and try to keep the colors down to 2 or 3, like the pattern recommends.

Linking with Tami for FO Friday!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Pile

A pile of WIPs, that is. And it looks something like this:

WIPs 6/5/13
Are four things too many?

The pink is my Stephanie's Wrap, pulled out of hibernation. The cream is a knitted piece that makes me want to throw everything. The granny in the front is the beginnings of a Rectangular Sampler Blanket, part of a CAL that just finished over at Underground Crafter's blog. Last is my wedding ripple, and I am convinced that it will be finished by August.

Too many rows of Knitting
It will be pretty when done, but I still dislike the rows upon rows of knitting
I'm listening to The Fellowship of the Ring still, mainly because I can listen and don't need to focus too much on learning the story, since I've known the story since 6th grade or so. I'm nearly finished, so Two Towers will be up next. Also, I love the voice of the narrator, which I am convinced can make or break an audio book.

In more yarn related news, I properly stated my June Goals in the Cold Sheep group on Ravelry.
  1. Finish knitting poncho-- commissioned item, on section 8 of 20
  2. Make Calorimetry for a friend
  3. Finish rectangular sampler blanket from stash yarn
  4. Use up at least 6 skeins on wedding ripple to be about halfway done-- not sure if I have enough yarn for this…
  5. Get to third section of Stephanie’s Wrap
  6. Make at least 3 dishcloths & 2 coaster sets from cotton that is hanging out.
  7. Buy no new yarn, unless to finish any of the above projects.
So far, only 5 days into June, and I'm doing pretty good. I'm on section 10 of the knitted poncho, finished & gifted the Rectangular Sampler (pics on Friday), hooked 2 new dishcloths-- ready to make more!- and nearly used up 2 skeins for the Wedding Ripple. 

Linking with Tami & Ginny for the Wednesday Link-ups!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As Summer Draws Near

My weekend was super packed, so I didn't get as much crafting done as I would've liked. However, I am getting there. Making lots of lists really helps me stay organized.

E just went through all my boxes, packed up and resting at his parents' house, and I have close to 35! More than half are books, with craft & yarn coming in second.

  • been listening to The Fellowship of the Ring on audiobook- I can clean or craft while reading!
  • reading a bit of Sherlock Holmes on the tablet- I love Project Gutenburg!
  • Helena, by Evelyn Waugh- future mother-in-law teaches English to several of the home-schooling families because her knowledge of literature is extensive. This book was on a list in one of the homeschooling programs, and the moms wanted her to teach it. The students didn't like it so much. She's asking me for a second opinion.
  • study guide for the Social Studies MTTC- need to take this last test to be able to properly teach.
WIP baskets
Sampler started on the left, ripple with barely any progress on the right. 
  • Wedding ripple blanket- less than ten rows still, and a bit more than 75 days to complete it.
  • Wedding roses- they are looking amazing, mostly assembly left.
  • Rectangular Sampler- started this one to use up a bunch of leftover yarn from other projects. 
  • Stephanie's Wrap- still half hibernating, brought it out in hopes I can finish it before the end of June
  • U of M afghan- mom forced this one out of hibernation so I can finish it before I move out. I am protesting, since it was never really my project to begin with.
  • poncho- so close to halfway!
  • Caliometry- need to start this for a friend, hopefully to finish before the fall.
Because the school year ends next week, the chances of me getting any more subbing jobs is unlikely. So, the projects listed above are definitely going to be getting more attention, especially the books. I really want to get more of my history books read, just in case I need them for teaching related reasons.

Linking with Tami & Ginny for the regular Wednesday link-ups!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Returning with FOs!

Been MIA for quite a few days- just got caught up in life, and projects, and wedding stuff.

I'm attempting to be more brief, as a way to keep reader and writer engaged and not over-taxed with my chatter. I'll let my pictures do the talking.
FO Hats!
3 new hats!
Flowered hat
Mustard hat with cranberry rose
Close-up of Border
Baby blanket for nephew Josiah, expected in September.
Keeping myself entertained while I crochet!
The bouquet is a hat
Bridal Shower- the ribbon bouquet is a hat, future mother-in-law laughing at my silliness
My future mother-in-law asked that the guests pray over me. 
Oriental Lily
It's been raining a bit here, but some beautiful flowers are out in my mom's garden!

So, I've been busy. The hats & blanket were finished this last week. I'm about halfway through the first season of the West Wing. I'm listening to The Fellowship of the Ring again, because I like the reader, and the content is so fun!

My first bridal shower is done with, and it was a lot of fun-- E's aunt and cousin did most of the work, and the food was amazing. Luckily, I have another month or two before the shower hosted by my sister  & aunts.

Linking up with Tami's FO Friday!!!!