Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Working Hard

I've been working quite a bit on my sock blanket project. As I mentioned before, it is a great project to have in my bag, for those spare minutes. I've completed my goal of seven base squares, though it's possible that I will add if I see fit. Yesterday I started joining them together, which is what you see below.
Kinda blurry....
The 3 yarns you see here are all from different places- the pink is from a Harry Potter mini-skein pack I got in a swap ages ago; the purple/blue is Candy Skein; the cream/gray is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Pearlescent. You will definitely see more of all of them in the future, as I still have some left. If my calculations are right, I can get 2 squares out of a mini-skein- and many of my leftovers are larger than mini skein size. 

Sneak Peek!
The above is a quick look at what I've been crocheting, which will be revealed on Friday, since it is finished!!

Reading has slowed down again. I have many of the same books on my shelves as I've had for the past 2 or 3 weeks. Hopefully with the school year winding down, I will be able to get a few new ones in!

Check out:
WIP Wednesday
Yarn Along

Friday, April 25, 2014

One Step closer

Five Finished Squares
My finishes have been small, but I am seeing a bit of progress on my sock blanket. There are plans for dyeing yarn that may take place this evening, but nothing really concrete. These little squares are definitely the best on-the-go project to have right now, so there is hope for more progress over the next few weeks.

The weather is tired and rainy today, and my mood reflects that. I've been busy, bustling around trying to get lesson plans together. Hopefully the weekend will be calmer.

FO Friday!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Not Wednesday Anymore

My crooked cast-on (later ripped out)
Planning for summer

Newly dyed sock yarn

This week has been a bit hectic, and it shows through in my lack of crafting time. Easter weekend was busy, filled with family, church, traveling, being pregnant sick, and sleeping. I really needed the weekend to decompress, so Monday morning I was not as prepared as I would've liked for classes. But it is Thursday now, and I've nearly made it through. I'm attending a retreat Sunday and Monday with the high schoolers, so I need to have substitute plans put together before I leave. It's a relief, in a sense, since this retreat gives me another 4 day week. After this, the next one doesn't come along until the end of May. The teacher who shares my middle school classroom optimistically has the note "7 more Wednesdays" on the board, as a reminder for all of us that the end is coming closer. I will never begrudge a teacher their summer again. It really is needed.

Speaking of summer, my summer plans include some lighthouse visits. The books are my heavy hints to E for a birthday trip. Nothing too intense, just an overnight visit, but a getaway nonetheless. 

I've been really enjoying the sock blanket as a project, because I am able to take it with me, and it doesn't take up much space in my school bag. My goal for Friday is to have my 7 squares finished, and I'm halfway there--- 7 is the number I decided on for getting enough width from the blanket, about 36" across. My only worry is running out of yarn. But I suppose running out will encourage me to start and finish other sock yarn projects, in order to have leftovers :-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Happy Finish

Not really true to color.

I finished my sister's birthday present this morning, with just the ends left to weave, and a light blocking if I have time. Seeing as she picked out the color & yarn, I'm really hoping she likes it. Working with Knit Picks Stroll was lovely- I have worked with similar before, but not the plain Jane Stroll. I have to find a place where I can capture the true color of the yarn; it is much richer in person. Also, my couch is not a good staging place. Nor is my iphone a fabulous camera when I need it to be (it takes great pictures when I dont need it to take great pictures).
New wardrobe in the first bedroom
Yesterday afternoon, E and I spent quite a bit of time assembling the above wardrobe. E was having a bit of trouble, but once two heads were involved, it came together fairly quickly. It looks great with the new paint too. Assembling this was one of the last steps in having the apartment move-in ready. My parents have a baby crib for us, which we are picking up this weekend, and after that, there is just a bit of cleaning left. We won't start moving in earnest until after the school year is over, but we are getting there. (Also, I'm making new curtains.... Hopefully)

Again, colors don't work, though this does give you an idea.
My sock blanket is progressing slowly but surely. I came to the conclusion last night that this will most likely NOT be for the baby on the way. While I'm not big on gender colors, this blanket will definitely lean girl, based solely on my own personal choices of yarns that have pink and purple in them. There has been no firm decision yet, but I'm pretty sure even if this doesn't work for baby, it'll work for someone else another time. I have many other more neutral options open to me. 
I really enjoy the sock blanket as a project, though, more than I thought. A quick knit for me, though still not up to speed just yet. The project as a whole may take a while, but the little squares will come together fairly quickly. It makes me want to start another crochet block project.... But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.
It's a happy Friday today, for me at least. Many things are getting finshed- both cleaning and crafting, we celebrate the sacrifice of Christ through his crucifixion, and Sunday we celebrate his rising from the dead. Overall, a good way to end the week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Today is Holy Thursday, the start of the Sacred Paschal Triduum. I find that there is something extremely peaceful and relaxing about a weekend of going to church. The pinnacle of the liturgical year for Catholics, the events celebrated during Triduum represent our faith.

This year, my husband and I will be celebrating Triduum in our own fashion, separate from both of our families, at least for a time. I have an appointment this afternoon (half day of school) so we will not be able to attend the Chrism Mass, but we have plans to attend the celebration of the Lord's Supper. (We are still searching for a parish where we both are comfortable, so the location is TBA.) Tomorrow, E works, so I'm looking for someone to go to noon services with me. I don't really require companionship to church, but for the last 4 or 5 years, I've been attending Good Friday services with my mom and little sister, so the abrupt change to going by myself this year will be difficult. E did get both Saturday and Sunday off this weekend, so Saturday we plan on attending the Easter Vigil, with Sunday being a day of traveling to celebrate with my family. Of all the holidays, Easter is the one that both families celebrate on the day of, so E and I have to make decisions. We turned down his brother's celebration since we went there last year. My sister's birthday and my goddaughter's birthday also fall during Triduum, so we are including those celebrations on Sunday.

I'm really looking forward to the extra days off of school (Friday and Monday) even though they won't be as relaxing as Spring Break. A little rest is always needed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Socks and Needles and Birthdays

This week, I actually have more of a variety, as I am trying new things to make the best use of my stash. Confession: I love sock yarns. They come in such a wide range of colors, are nearly always machine wash and dry, and the skeins come in a size perfect for a quick project. Problem: I don't knit socks. I mainly crochet shawls and scarves, with a tiny bit of knitting thrown into the mix. So this new project is a bit out of my zone of comfort. I've started the Sock Yarn Blankie. So far, I'm going no where near the speed that the designer, Shelly Kang, says she went (20- 30 minutes per square), but I'm finding a small, extremely portable project something I need right now. And there is the more instant gratification part of the project too. I can knit one small square and still feel mostly accomplished.  

My selection of sock yarns at 6 am.

I'm not neglecting the crocheting front in any way, I'm just at the awkward, non-portable point of my current hooking project. My sister's birthday gift needs to be finished before the weekend, and I'm hoping to finish tonight after I get out of work. I'm really loving the Stroll for this project- extremely squishable! (See also-- I'm using sock yarn for crocheting. Again!) And the color really fits the name of the shawl- Shallow Waters. This really is one of my favorite shawl patterns- a soothing repetitive pattern, with excitement at the end with the border. My sister is more petite than I am, so I'm thinking only one or two more rows before moving on to the border. She will definitely wear this as a scarf too, so I dont need to worry about making it bigger for shawl purposes. 
A nearly completed gift

My younger sister's birthday is tomorrow, but due to drive time, work, appointments, and Holy Week services, I am not going to see her until Easter Sunday. Even though I hope to finish tonight, I do have a bit more wiggle room with this project. 

I'm still reading the Scott Hahn book from last week, as it is written to be read in bite-sized chunks. There is still the hope that I can find a good novel to read, but it would probably be better if I wait until summer.

On the moving front, my husband installed the new gas stove this weekend, so we are nearly at the point where the new apartment is livable. Also, all the old, junky, left-behind furniture has been removed, so we can really start to move in as we want to. The next few months will definitely be a time of slowly transferring the winter clothes, the unused books, and similar things out of our old apartment and into the new one. I will be grateful to be out of the old one, especially since we have a deadline (the lease expiring) for this move. Any later moves will be as gradual as the first-- slowly moving things to a new place (hopefully, God-willing, a new home) from the current place. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Exploring Wednesday

A Shawl, A Book, and a Scarf.

I'm exploring a number of things this week. First, I'm adventuring into new book territory- theology!! The book is Signs of Life, by Scott Hahn. Before my marriage, I read a book by Kimberly Hahn, which I really enjoyed, so I'm hoping her husband is as skillful a writer as she is. Even though I'm nearly done with my stint as a religion teacher, I'm hoping that this book will give me some insight into the material I'm teaching, just on the off chance I teach it again. 

My second adventure this week is another self-designed pattern. I couldn't find was I was looking for in a rectangular stole pattern, especially something crocheted, so I am totally winging it. The heart motif is from a scarf I made for my sister a month or two back. During the crocheting of that scarf, I toyed with the thought of adjusting it, but felt that adjusting in the middle of a piece would look funny. So here's the start of the results. The yarn is Knit Picks Gossamer Lace, in colorway Sunrise. It is a discontinued line, but I find it very similar to Shadow Lace, except in the coloring. As I watch it develop, I've been brainstorming ways to make the FO more versatile, and I think this may be an experimental FO dye-job. I really love the colors, but the blue seems to pop out too much for my tastes. However, I am open to opinions and suggestions. :-)

Third in my adventuring is a previously used pattern with a new type of yarn. Shallow Waters, by Anastacia Zittel, is perhaps my most worn scarf/shawlette. When I first crocheted it, I used Shadow Lace in colorway Summer Blooms. My subsequent attempts have been in Felici, but the striping always seems to turn out funny. This attempt is in Stroll Fingering, colorway Blue Topaz. The plan is to have it done before next week, as it is meant to be a birthday gift for my sister. However, because I know myself really well, I did buy a back-up gift, just in case.  

I'm still contemplating baby items to make, though I do have a few on my list. Large (or what seems like large to me) quantities of Bare Wool of the Andes in Worsted and Bulky weights seem to be hiding out in my stash. Those skeins might get some experimental color so I can get started on a few of my projects. If only there was such a thing as a weekend for teachers...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Mostly Relaxing Wednesday

Multiple things in progress this week, especially since I am on spring break!

I'm hoping to use both of these yarns (and eat all the pretzels!) and get their projects started tonight. I've been hunting for the right pattern for my laceweight for a few days now. My hands are itching to start another project. The yellow bit is for a hat that needs a flower. So tonight it shall get a pretty yellow fluffy flower. My husband was giving me a list of color suggestions when I asked, most of them were just him goofing off, but when he called out yellow, and I knew I had yellow, etc, it worked out. He can be such a goof with colors, and usually is the one asking me for matching/color advice. And most times when I ask for color advice, I'm just looking for someone to give me a list of colors, and hope that eventually they will hit on the color I have in my head but can't verbalize.  

The moving and painting process is going well this week, though mostly it's been painting. Today we did a lot of moving of furniture, etc. Husband's siblings may be claiming some of the furniture, so we're hoping to begin moving more of ours in over the next few weeks. 

Itty bitty baby bump. Nearly 20 weeks now, and we had our first ultrasound. Fortunately for us, we picked the right color for the baby's room!!! (It was going to be blue no matter what, but we thought it was funny) So now I get to hunt for baby boy patterns! Any suggestions? There are so many cute girl things, but I find its more difficult to find boy things. So I will definitely need help. We have some friends who were team blue as soon as we found out we were pregnant, and we told them straight away. Todd has predicted gender correctly for the last 3 of his friends, so he was quite excited to know he was 4 for 4.

So, baby in progress :) I hope everyone has a Wednesday that was as exciting as ours :)

WIP Wednesday