Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vacation Crafting

Not typically considered the time to craft, vacation is a time to relax. For me, on the first 'family' vacation since getting married, it's a little different. I'm usually one to get in one the action and play around with the kids, but being in my third trimester puts a bit of a damper on that activity (8 kiddos, 8 and under). So I play referee in the corner, with my bag of yarn next to me. 

My first project is the Lagnaippe shawl, though I'm only a third of the way done. I ran into some color coordinating problems so it got put on hold. 

The second project is the Citrus Shawl. It has a really pretty starting motif, followed by a vstitch body. The pattern is soothing to me. 

Both shawls use some KnitPicks WOTA that I dyed for another project, but they coordinated really well with some Shepherd's Wool that I've had in my stash for close to a year. I really love the Shepherd's Wool-it's kinda local to me, which is nice- great colors plus a great feel for a wool yarn. It is very soft, even in the skein before washing. It also has a nice weight to it. If I get the chance, I'm definitely buying more of it. 

The next two days of vacation may prove to be the downfall of my shawls, but I'm really hoping to finish, as the kiddos are taking a day trip today. There might be a bit more quiet and productivity, if I put my mind to it.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Keeping Busy

Oh how the summer starts to seem shorter in July. I suppose our move at the end of June didn't help with that much. But there is still sunshine and peace to enjoy, if I take the time to find it. 

New book this week!
So far, I've been finding a decent amount of time for my crocheting, which has taken several different forms. In trying to minimize my stash, I have pulled out a ball of cotton yarn after finishing big projects. In as little time as possible, I try to finish as many dishcloths as possible. Above is my 4th with this bright yellow yarn. I'm participating in a Rav group's "Epic Summer Stashdown" and find that just getting one ball of yarn out of the closet is really helpful for me. 

However, I'm not entirely ignoring other projects. I've been working on a baby sweater as a test pattern, and finally sat down again to put more time into it. It is quite a quick pattern, when I am actually paying attention and working on it. It helps that I am working on it in worsted weight wool, but still a straightforward pattern. 
Baby Sweater in wool
For comparison purposes (and because I wanted to make two baby sweaters), I started a second sweater in DK yarn. This second sweater is in CotLin, which my last project (Hexy shawl) was made out of. I really enjoyed working with it, and wanted more. 
Dim kitchen does not like color
From my first photo, you can tell I've jumped on the bandwagon and started reading Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler. I absolutely love this book and cannot recommend it enough!! It's honest and insightful and so much fun to read! I really have not been able to put it down, which is a joy for me, especially after trying several books that I just didn't like.

Hopefully I will have more progress on my CotLin sweater next week-- lots of car-riding in my future :)

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is this nesting?

Pulling things out of hibernation and finishing them is extremely rewarding. Over the past week, I have totally frogged a project and am on the verge of finishing another.

The overcast skies and dimly lit kitchen do not help my poor photography skills.
I have a feeling that this might be the extent of my pre-baby "nesting" that seems to happen to many people. I'm at 33 weeks, and living in a new apartment means there are lots of messes. Focusing on the crafting messes seems to work better for me, because I have control over those. 

So over the past week, I finally frogged my Stephanie's Wrap, which has been "in progress" for at least a year, if not longer. I love the simplicity of the stitches and the pop of fun with the striping, but I think I picked the wrong colors. Somewhere in my future is the time and motivation to make another one, but not today. 

My other "out of hibernation" project is a shallow triangular shawl. The end results are not my favorite, but I couldn't bear to frog another project and I really want to experiment more with the design. For me, the hardest part is deciding on a border. 

Actually, the really hard part for me is not crocheting and trying to get everything else settled. A few women from my church came over yesterday and helped with that- I have a clean bathroom now, which is wonderful! 

Reading a new book, but haven't gotten far enough to form an opinion. It's a WWII era historical fiction/romance. I do want to finish a few fun books this summer, and seeing as it's halfway over, I'm trying to get a good start with this one. (I'm dreading going back to the textbooks).

Joining Tami & Ginny today!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Green Things

I was thrilled Tuesday morning when I checked on my potted plants and found buds! Since finishing school, I have been aching for a proper flower garden.

Thinking zinnias would do the trick, I planted a nice big window box full of them. But the little sprouting green leaves were not that exciting. So a few weeks later, I bought a full lavender plant, with flowers and everything. It was a step in the right direction. But now I have the potential for actual, grown from seed flowers, and I am excited!!

a little zinnia bud

My herbs are also doing well, with the basil still in the lead for biggest plant. Still no success with the rosemary, but I think i've worked out the problem, so it might just come in late. The oregano is not stellar, but doing better than before. And pretty soon I should be able to harvest my lavender, as the flowers are just starting to bloom. 

Showing me our first cucumber!
Flowers a-plenty on our green beans

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

With the humidity we've been having, rain is a welcome change. I'm honestly hoping for more daytime rain, as our last two storms were at night.

a poorly lit doctor's office WIP photo
But even with the storms and intermittent humidity, crochet has taken place! My Hexy now has two skeins worth of Cotlin into it, and I have a third still in my stash, with several more on the way to finish up. Not the perfect stashdown project, but stash is still moving from yarn to WIP to FO.

To keep my 'theme' of project polygamy, I did start another project last night. I'm testing a baby sweater pattern for MAD Cap Designs, and so far so good. My husband made a comment about the last sweater I made-- it was a knitted vest for my brother and took 3 years to make- and I scoffed, saying that crochet plus baby equals a faster project. I really hope I'm right this time :) I was only able to get the bottom ribbing band done at craft night last night, but I am hopeful that spending some time with my DVDs will make the progress go faster.

Nothing really in exciting colors yet. Sometimes its uncanny how my colors match my mood and/or the weather. And my dear Michigan cannot decide if it wants rain or sunshine. Early early this morning when I took my husband to work, it looked like more rain. As the day goes on, it's starting to look like sunshine again. So much "wait and see" with the weather.

My reading this week is work related. If anyone ever tries to tell me that teachers don't work in the summer, I may get violent. Take a look at one-fourth of my work:

I will have 4 totally new to me classes next school year, while also being on maternity leave at the beginning of the year. Not sure if this situation is better or worse then last year's, where I had less than two weeks to plan for 2 classes-- plus a wedding. Oh well, the world of teaching is always exciting.

Linking up with Tami & Ginny