Monday, December 14, 2015

Snow and knitting

It's been a while. I kept thinking I would get better pictures of my finished projects, but I haven't so...oh well. It has been a great month here so far. I actually got our advent calendar up and in use! I love it.  The mittens look so cute hanging on the wall and I have been planning it for about four years, so it is nice to finally see it happening.

The kids alternate who gets to hang a mitten every morning and when all the clips are full the next day will be Christmas. I have been knitting a lot, some of which I can't share because it is gift knitting, but some that I can because it is for ME! I love rainbows. I am knitting a rainbow blanket for the couch, but it just wasn't going fast enough for my taste. And Knit Picks had a I whipped up this over Thanksgiving. 

It makes me so happy to see this draped over the couch all day and cuddle up with it at night. It was knit with the new super bulky Knit Picks wool, Tuff Puff. So far it has held up well and kept me nice and warm. I have also whipped out a hat for Sawyer (which he claims is itchy...apparently he doesn't care for alpaca) and a pair of mittens for Lucy. 

I have plenty of projects to keep my needles busy. I still have one gift to finish, and a few mini mittens to knit up to finish the advent calendar. I also have yarn to knit about five different hats. Ha! I apparently have a hat knitting problem. I also have a sweater started for Sawyer that need attention. And Weston's sweater...which I have to redo all the math for, but have decided on a gage and needle size, so that is a step in the right direction. 

Knitting isn't the only thing that has been keeping me busy. We have had a lot of fun Christmas events going on around town.  This weekend was Breakfast with Santa and it was a blast. It was Candy Land themed this year and there was a life sized Candy Land board on the floor of the cafeteria where the kids could play. It has also snowed a lot this week! YEA! I woke up this morning to close to a foot of snow which is awesome. I love winter (when there is snow) so I was quite happy to walk the dogs in a winter wonderland this morning!

Alright, back to knitting. Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Wow. How is it already December? Thankfully, I am almost finished with my holiday knitting! Pictures of that will have to wait, but I have some other things to share today. When Sawyer was born I decided I wanted to knit an advent calendar. A few years later, I gathered the yarn to knit it, and last year I actually started it! I found the pieces when I was looking for something else the other day and was inspired to get it finished this year! This is what I have so far:

I still need to knit a few mittens, but the plan is to hang one every day, which gives me time. I finally got the string all finished and the kids and I will hang it after school. Pictures next time, as I found the cutest snowman ribbon and mini clothes pins to use. 

In knitting news, I finished a pair of mittens for my SIL, and should be able to finish Sawyer's Christmas hat today. I did also finish the crochet blanket I was working on. It lives on my couch and cheers me up every time I see it. 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We spent it in a cabin, which was fun! There was a deck of Uno cards so we played for a while and I read the kids the first book in the Magic Treehouse series. A good time was had by everyone. Now back to holiday knitting....more pictures next time! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015


It is Thanksgiving here and I am grateful. I am grateful that I have shelter (it has sounded like a hurricane outside for the past two days), food, and heat. Grateful for my family (even though my kids got up at 5am today) and friends. Grateful that I have time to knit. I have finished a cowl for my new SIL, but I still need to block it. I am almost finished with Sawyer's christmas hat and almost finished with a super chunky granny square crochet throw that I started yesterday. I also sewed a small baby quilt for my SIL. This will be my first time being an aunt and I am very excited! I will probably overwhelm you with pictures next time, but today I will just leave you with this one. The kids being themselves. Happy knitting. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Knitting lull

I have been in a bit of a knitting lull this week. I almost finished Sawyer's green Christmas tree hat, but then got sidetracked with some other sewing projects.  We had our local quilt guild's tea and auction this weekend and it was so fun! I bought a few items and enjoyed the excitement of a live auction.  I had never really participated in a live auction before so it was quite memorable. I had the kids with me, and they were very well behaved...I think sitting at the table that had a bowl of swedish fish had something to do with that! I sewed these two pillows to donate to the auction.

The blocks are from the book Farm Girl Vintage and they were very fun to piece! There is a sheep block in the book, so I plan on making myself some sheep pillows sometime. I also would love to make the sampler quilt, which has all different 6" blocks.  Another member of the guild is working on that and the blocks are just adorable. 

The other excitement of the weekend was that we had professional pictures taken of our family! In eight years of marriage, we have never done that (even for our wedding), so I am very excited to see how they turn out. Lucy was quite grumpy during the whole shoot, so hopefully there is one where she doesn't look angry. We were all practicing our smiles before going, and clearly she is capable of smiling. Silly girl. 

No real updates on knitting as I just haven't been doing much.  Next time I should have at least one FO. I realized this morning that we are about 5 weeks away from Christmas and I haven't started any of my gift knitting yet! YIKES! I don't knit a ton for holiday gifting, but I have a few smaller things planned.  The yarn and patterns are all chosen (and printed out somewhere, I think) but I need to start! Perhaps that will be my plan for the between a pampered chef party, time to sew, and a guild meeting. Man oh man. 

Get your knit on!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hats, hats, hats

If you know me, you know my favorite thing to knit is hats. They are a quick project, perfect to learn a new skill, and useful.  In Alaska, it's a rare day that you couldn't use a hat, so I don't mind that we have a bucket bursting with hats. The kids always love to dig through and pick their favorite hat for the day (or the hour) and it warms my heart to see one of my creations on their little noggin.  I knit Sawyer (Brochan Slouch by Kate Oates) a new hat while I was on my trip, and just this week whipped Lucy (Oh Christmas Tree! By VANGY knits) up a new one as well.  Her hat will soon have a matching one for Sawyer (in green) and maybe if I am ambitious, Weston and I might have blue ones. We will see though... I have a bit of other holiday knitting to get through as well.

The kids were being so sweet holding hands on the way to school...

Quick report on some other knitting. My beaded lace shawl is two repeats away from moving back into garter stripes.  It has been sidelined again for holiday knitting, but I hope to plow through the lace soonish.  My rainbow stripe blanket is on color 5! Which is halfway! So that is very exciting. It is going to be a pretty sizable blanket and I can't wait to snuggle under it on the couch.

I picked up yarn today to knit Sawyer a new sweater. I hope to get that finished in time for Christmas.  I expect some baby knits to jump on my needles soon as my SIL just found out she is expecting a little girl in March. If only there were more hours in the day for knitting!

In other news, the Cordova Center (the big, beautiful civic center that Weston is the project manager for) had its grand opening last night and what a grand event it was. A TON of people turned out to see the building and I think everyone had a great time.  It was wonderful to see the building used and full of people! I know this town has been waiting for that for a very long time and I was excited to be a part of it. And there is photo evidence that I know how to dress up and be girly....I even wore lipstick! So adult.

Until next time...Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 26, 2015


I am currently on vacation, but had so much to share! I just got back to Anchorage from a weekend away in Washington at a small, local, spinning retreat.  A lot of the friends I know from Ravelry go every year, and this was my second time attending. It is so nice to get away for a few days and see people who understand my love of yarn and fiber! I got a LOT of knitting done (but I will talk about that in another post because I have other yummy goodness to share) and I got to meet my friend's baby! She was adorable and we were quick friends. I was very sad to leave her, but I am hoping to get to see her again soon.

The mornings were foggy and cool, but still beautiful

I love the fall colors in Washington! Alaska doesn't have the wide variety of trees that the lower 48 has, so it is nice to see all the colors. 

The last day of retreat the weather was gorgeous. Just crisp enough for a light sweater.

There were vendors at the retreat, but I restrained myself. I haven't been spinning as much as I used to, so I didn't want to stock up on fiber. I have also been very good about only buying yarn for projects I am about to start, and that list is pretty long at the moment.  I was gifted a lovely skein of handspun from my friend, Sue. She said it reminded her of Lucy and she wanted me to have it. Sue is just the sweetest.  Lucy has a hat knit out of another skein Sue had spun for me when Lucy was born. It is a favorite of mine, and I love thinking of Sue spinning it when she wears it. 

Not sure what this will become, but it is Lucy's favorite colors, so I am sure she will love it!

I did make one small purchase for myself at the retreat, from my friend Brittany (Bohoknitterchic on Etsy).  She normally dyes a colorway especially for Tour de Fleece and I was unable to purchase it when it came out. I was very excited to see she still had a 6oz braid for sale and I decided to treat myself as I loved it. 

I can not wait to spin this up!

Sunday afternoon we packed up and I headed back to Spokane with a friend I was staying with for the night. We had to stop at Paradise Fibers (which is mere blocks from where I used to live in Spokane! It wasn't there when I was living there...which my wallet is thankful for!) and I might have treated myself to a few other goodies. I feel given the gorgeous things the shop carried though, I was rather restrained. I have never knit with Madelinetosh yarn, so I decided to give that yarn a try.  I think this will be a fun new hat for me!

The gradient skein is something I wanted to try as well. I keep seeing gradients knit up and love them but haven't seen them available to buy, so I decided to try this one out. It is a DK weight, and I think it will become some sort of scarf for me. There were so many gorgeous colorways of both of these yarns, it was hard to choose! But, I know myself and knitting that is for me gets pushed to the bottom of the stack, so this was enough for now. 

I had such a wonderful (and short!) trip. I hope next time I can stay longer like I did on my first time going, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. I am happy to be in town and get to spend some time with my parents (and see a movie in a THEATRE!) so that is good. My next check in will have lots of knitting. Probably at least one FO! Amazing. 

Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Preschool Mom

Well, it's official. I am a preschool mom. Sawyer made me my first macaroni necklace at school this week.

I wore it to music class on Friday and got a lot of compliments. :) Lucy has since broken one of the pieces of pasta, which totally ruins the pattern that Sawyer did, but it is fine. 

Other than that, I have been getting a lot of knitting done on Lucy's dress. I always forget how much I love color work until I pick it back up.  It is so satisfying to move through the chart and see the picture appear.  This dress was a bit of a struggle because I had a tough time seeing the pattern emerge as I knit it, as it starts out rather abstract.  Now that the color work is finished I just have the top of the dress to do! I love how it is turning out.  

I also have gotten some sewing finished, but I don't have pictures of that.  I am sewing bags for the quilt guild's auction coming up.  Piecing the blocks for the front of the bag was a lot of fun and I think I will be making a few more for myself. Because I obviously need more project bags. Ha!

Off to hike with the family. Weston has the day off in observation of Alaska Day (which was yesterday) and it is not raining at the moment so we are going to take advantage of that. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Small victories

I have been floundering with my knitting lately.  Weston's gansey is in time out as it has a huge gage issue that I need to work on. I was hoping my math was just wrong, but I had him try it on and it is FAR too big. So, I am going to have to re-swatch, re-do all the math, and start over. I can't deal with that right now, so instead I am planning holiday knitting! Because what better way to deal with a problem than to start a lot of new things. 

In an attempt to feel like I had finished something I knit an itty bitty preemie hat for the KAL over in the Knitting Daddy Ravelry group. Greg learned to knit while his daughter was in the NICU so he is hosting the KAL in an attempt to get people to donate hats to their local NICU. I thought his story was just so touching, I had to knit at least one! Although, these are so small and rewarding to knit, I am sure there will be more in my future!

I have also pulled out some other hibernating projects in hopes of finishing them. Fingering weight color work is probably one of my favorite things to knit. I am not sure why this got stashed away, but I have pulled out Lucy's flower dress (Lovely Rita by Martina Behm) and have made great progress on it. I have about 25 rows left of the chart and then it is just knitting the top and BAM! Dress. I have a picture of the inside, as I often find that just as pretty as the outside. 

I have a variety of pinks and the idea was that it would look like a gradient. I am not sure I am entirely happy with it, but at this point, it is what I am going with. Lucy will love it, or it will be an amazing gift for someone! 

The other thing I have dug out is my Lilli Pilli shawl for a KAL in the Bohoknitterchic Group. If you would like to join us, check it out here.  You can knit any of the patterns from this designer (and she has a lot of fabulous ones) so jump on in! I decided to add beads to mine, which is why it was stashed away. Beaded lace is not very kid-friendly knitting. But, with the KAL, and a trip coming up, I think I can power through the last 5 repeats of the lace and then I will be back to garter stitch stripes which are super kid friendly! I would love to have this finished so I can cast on something else just for me. 

I mentioned my trip, which I am very excited about! Next week (!!!) I am headed to Anchorage with the kids and then I am flying (alone) to Washington to go to a spinning retreat with some Ravelry friends. I attended the event when Lucy was 6 weeks old (with her) and it was such great fun! I am so very excited to go again. This will be the first time the kids will remember being on a plane (we are flying to Anchorage, not taking the ferry) so hopefully that isn't a big deal. It is only a 30 min flight, so it shouldn't be bad, but I always get stressed traveling alone with the kiddos. Next week is also Sawyer's birthday! He will be 5! How is that possible!?!? Crazy. The rest of my month is jam packed with lots of fun, and hopefully lots of knitting!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Busy, busy, busy!

It has been busy around here! Everyone has been sick (except me, knock on wood) so I have been taking care of them.  We are all healthy now, and I am really hoping that lasts for a LONG time! There was also a big conference in town this past week in the convention center that Weston is the project manager of, so he was pretty busy with that. I was able to go see a documentary in the theatre on Thursday, and it was wonderful! I have only been in the building one time during construction and to see the transformation from June until now was amazing. It is a beautiful building and I can not wait to have it all in use.

I was so excited to be in the building that brought me to this town, I had to document it. 

KNITTING REVEAL!! I can reveal what my secret knitting was this past month.  I was working on a test knit for Kate Oates of Tot Toppers.  If you follow my knitting at all, you will know that I am a huge fan of her work.  (I think I knit 10 of her designs last year alone) I was excited to test knit a hat out of her new booklet, New Girl. The hat is a simple colorwork project with beautiful details that really make the finished object. I learned how to do an applied i-cord for this project and I really enjoyed that finish.

I also love the giant pompom on top. Lucy wanted the biggest pompom ever, and I think I succeeded! Any bigger, and it probably would pull the hat off her little head.  The booklet is a compliment to the New Guy collection, although I think all the pieces would work for either gender. All the pieces are knit out of fingering weight yarn and would make a great baby gift. 

Alright, off to grocery shop and do laundry.  No kid activites in town on Mondays, so we try and get a lot of chores done. Have a great week!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Secret knitting

Most of my week has been spent knitting on a project that I can't share, as it is a secret test knit. The pattern should be out in early October and I can share pictures then.  I can say it was a hat for Lucy and she sported it around town today and loved it.  I learned how to do an applied i-cord, which was a neat way to finish an edge. It was a bit time consuming, but I really like the finish product. Lucy's new hat also has a *giant* pompom on top and that is amazing. I can share a picture of that. :)

Other than that, I have been battling sick kids (conjunctivitis is going around and it sucks) and just trying to stay afloat.  Weston has had a busy schedule and he is actually out moose hunting now, so it's just me trying to manage the kids and the dogs. Hopefully he is able to get a moose and come home soon! 

I checked out a book from the library this week that I am almost finished with.  It is called The Martian by Andy Weir and it is a great read. I guess it is going to be a movie with Matt Damon soon (I don't know what goes on in the "real world" anymore) which should be interesting. The book is really great. If you like to read, and you enjoy space, go pick it up. 

Other random things, I am still loving my fitbit. In the past 7 days I have over 95,000 steps and 36.6 miles. This sounds a lot more impressive than it is, as most of the steps are taken with the kids and not really exercise.  While walking this week I have been listing to knitting podcasts and I have found a new one I enjoy.  It is called "Yarns at Yinhoo" and it is great.  The host has a very clear speaking voice that is relaxing to listen to.  She is a school teacher and discusses knitting and foodie stuff. It's fun. 

One other thing I want to mention is a new KAL that is happening with Tot Toppers. Here is the link to the thread of Ravelry.  From now until October 7 you can get 35% off select patterns from Kate Oates. HUGE deal! There are two new patterns that will be released soon from Kate that I will be knitting. One is a sweater for Sawyer and the other is a hat...not sure if it will be for me or Sawyer. I feel like poor Sawyer has been neglected with knitting projects lately...for some reason I have a ton on the needles for Lucy.  Silly, as Sawyer is much more willing to wear what I knit for him! That will be resolved shortly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fair fun and knitting woes

I just got back from a quick trip to Anchorage to see my family and go to the Alaska State Fair.  The fair has long been one of my favorite summer activites and I look forward to it every year. I was so excited to go this year with my good friend, Josh, and get to see Jim Gaffigan.  As expected, the fair did not disappoint. I ate so much food and just had a blast. I found a selfie stick on clearance and had to have it for the was so obnoxious and crazy fun. 

Here we are posing with Obsidian the highland cow. He was not being cooperative. 

I had a fair amount of knitting time which I spent working on Weston's gansey.  I got about an inch of it finished on the ferry and then (smartly) decided to check my gage.  I had to have Weston look at my design notebook here at home to see what my gage was supposed to be and realized it was off by a whole stitch. So off I went the next day to the LYS to buy a new needle.  This solved the gage problem, but after knitting another inch, I did the math and realized the tighter section was going to be a whole 5" tighter than the normal section.  I didn't think I could block that out....soooo....sadly, I ripped back. 

Two inches may not seem like a lot of knitting, but at 328 stitches per round, it really is.  It hurt me to do it, but it needed to happen.  I am about an inch and a half into the sweater now with the proper gage. This is the knitting that lives in my purse at the moment as it is just stockinette for about a billion inches. I figure if I can chip away at it one day I will look down and have a sweater in my lap. HA! 

I have quite a few other things on the needles at the moment. I did get the yarn for the rainbow blanket I mentioned a few posts ago (actually, two of them....there was a was a great deal....) and have started that. That is just knitting for a million miles as well, so I have it in the house to pick up and knit when I have a few mins.  The other thing I am actively working on is a test knit for Kate Oates at Tot Toppers, which I can't say much about, other than I am **loving** it. Which is not at all a surprise because I just LOVE her designs.  The pattern should be live in about a month at which point I will have pictures and rave reviews galore. 

In random other news, I earned a new FitBit badge this morning on my walk, the London Underground, which means I have walked 250 miles since July 29th of this year.  Crazy.  I will say when I was in Anchorage there was only one day that I hit my 10,000 steps and that was when I was at the fair with Josh. It is a challenge to stay active when you don't have to be.  Where I live now, if I want anything, I walk. I walk to get my mail, my groceries, to the park, to drop the kids at school, everywhere. I really enjoy walking. After dinner today, I went for a walk despite the pouring rain, by myself....I just needed to decompress. And I loved it. I listened to a knitting podcast (the Knitting Pipeline) and felt a lot better when I got home. 

Alright, off to knit something mindless and watch The Good Wife. Happy knitting!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A finished object

So a few weeks ago I took a class at my LYS (The Net Loft) to make a needle felted piece.  They had offered the class a number of times, but I was never able to make it.  So when a friend asked me to join a special class she had set up because her mom was in town, I jumped at the chance! I have done needle felting before (and used to teach a class on it in Anchorage) but I always love taking classes and learning little tips and tricks.  I was able to finish this project in class, minus one small thing…I bought a charm for the center that has the latitude and longitude of Cordova on it.  I wanted it to have something Cordovan without it being obvious and this was perfect. This week I finally took the five mins to sew it on and get it hung on the wall. I could not be happier.

As I was looking at my calendar this week I realized a pretty big event was much sooner than I expected.  I have been so busy getting ready for Sawyer to start preschool Monday and our trip to Anchorage Wednesday that I didn't even realize that it is SEPTEMBER! Which means it is almost Lucy's 3rd birthday! And here I am almost two weeks out with nothing planned. For me, this is nuts. But, it has been a crazy summer for us, oh, and how is it already SEPTEMBER!?!? Anyway, I asked Lucy what kind of party she wanted and she said "Ponies", so I will pick up a few things in Anchorage for that while we are there. I also dug out a knitting project I talked about last week to attempt to finish it for her birthday, her Lovely Rita dress. This is a pattern by Martina Behm (who has a lot of patterns, most notably probably her Hitchhiker scarf) and I have really enjoyed it so far. It starts with a provisional cast on and a picot hem, which took some time, but was worth it. I am using a variety of pinks for the main color (a gradient effect with multiple balls) and white for the accent color. So in my mind, the flowers will wind up white. I wanted to minimize the white because Lucy is a very rough and tumble child who gets pretty dirty. So, while it is unlikely I will get this finished for her birthday, it is getting worked on which is a step in the right direction. 

Another project I pulled out of hibernation this week was Weston's Gansey.  One night I decided to cast on the second welt and just about had a heart attack when I couldn't find the binder with the pattern I had designed in it. I searched everywhere. I was frantic, convinced I had misplaced it in the move and I would be unable to find it until I moved again….then I searched one more random box (a box with preschool stuff in it) and found it. Whew. So, I got the second welt cast on and finished and now it is waiting to be joined in the round. I am hoping to do that tonight so I can take it with me on my trip next week.  It will be the perfect carry along project because it is just knitting for a million inches now. 

Next week will be eventful for us, so hopefully I have fun stories to share next time! 

Happy knitting!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back in the Saddle

I stumbled across my poorly neglected blog while looking at my Ravelry profile the other day and have been thinking about it since.  It was fun to look back and see how I felt about different projects and the different things I would write down…

SO, I decided to get back to it.

Things are a bit different now, more than two years later. Our family moved to Cordova, Alaska this past fall and have been enjoying our time here. Lucy is almost 3 (and very much a three-nager) and Sawyer will be 5 soon.  Sawyer recently got into the preschool here which starts at the end of the month and he is very excited to go!

I have been knitting…and knitting…and knitting. This year I have finished 18 projects so far. (Rav link if you are interested in seeing what they are) My favorite one is Lucy's latest sweater. I need to get a modeled shot of her, but I just LOVE it! It is the Imagination Sweater by Kate Oates out of her newest book Knits for Boys.

On the needles I have …. a lot. I am working on a Gansey sweater for Weston (as part of the Cordova Gansey Project which you can read more about here), which I am dragging my feet on. I also have another sweater for Lucy that she helped dye the yarn for (PINK!) and I need to knit Sawyer an Imagination Sweater as well. I also have a dress for Lucy and two projects for myself on the needles.  The problem is a lot of these projects are at a place where I need to focus on them to work on them, which means knitting only happens after the kids go to bed. So I keep casting on new, simpler projects to keep with me in my purse for knitting on the go.  My mom recently send me some fun yarn and I whipped this hat out for Sawyer in a day.

When all of your projects are on size 0 or 2 needles, working on a size 9 makes things fly off the needles! The yarn is called "Top This" by DMC and it is hilarious. Lucy will have a pink bunny one tonight and my mom also sent a monkey and an owl.  The kids have plenty of hats, but they are my favorite thing to knit, super useful, and always good to have stashed away in different places. 

Having so much on my needles (and more to knit in my stash) hasn't stopped me from dreaming about what yarn and project I want to buy for next. I have become obsessed with this rainbow blanket from Knit Picks and I will knit it. It is simple and looks so cozy. 

I have been walking the dogs a lot since I got a Fitbit this month. I average about 6 miles a day walking and during that time I listen to knitting podcasts. Maybe if my dogs were better walkers I could knit and walk, but I really have to focus on not getting tangled… Anyway, I have found a new one (to me) that I am really enjoying.  It is called Teaching your Brain to Knit and it talks about knitting and the brain.  Today it talked about how knitting can help prevent age related dementia, which was very interesting. 

Alright, off to a softball game for Weston's work. I hope everyone has a great weekend!