Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Wednesday Whatnot

I am here!

I had a good Thanksgiving Week but I worked a lot of it, and I've just worked a lot in November in general. It was a good month though. My sister's birthday, my stepmother's birthday (which I finally just was able to celebrate with her 1:1 this weekend!!) my anniversary, Veteran's Day, The Marine Corps Birthday, lots of things to be thankful for and to celebrate.

And now here we are dipping our feet into December which brings more holiday gatherings, and excuses to eat and greet and shop.

You'll be proud of me. I've gotten a jump on my holiday shopping and wrapping. I do not have an xmas list now, I have an "outstanding" list, which is just of things to remember to get and do. Feels good.

I'm working through most of the holidays. I'm hoping it will be quiet but one never knows. No trip to see my husband's family in Arizona this year, but we will just make the effort to go out another time, maybe for Spring Break or Memorial Weekend. Something more manageable.

Manageable. We talk a lot about goals and positive outlooks and really I hope it doesn't sound defeatist or settling, but that's all I want. I want things to be manageable, the good and the bad. It's another word for balance I suppose in the context I'm thinking of it. Not sure, not worried about it.

Less worrying. I worry too much, let's leave it at that.

I have been knitting. It comes in spurts. You know celebrating and planning for celebrating and working take up a lot of time, sometimes just energy so when I have the time, I sit there like a bump on a log and stare at my little phone.

I finished my Christmas socks from 2016 hehe. Here I am working on the ones for 2017. I'm halfway through sock 1 and it feels pretty good. It's keeping me in the holiday spirit, that's for sure!


Here's a bonus shot of the next day where I'm wearing xmas socks 2015, hehe. That pose is called Knitting chair potato. It's a personal favorite. That's kinda like yoga, right?




Monday, November 6, 2017

Kathy's Monday Q&A

These questions are from Kathy's Q&A. It's been a while since I've participated :)
What is the farthest you’ve gotten on a project this year, only to end  up ripping it out? The yoke of a sweater at the beginning of a sweater. I got lost in where I was in the shaping and ripped it out. sigh.
*Can you remember the most expensive yarn you have purchased? No. I think it's for a cashmere scarf kit for my husband that is still in the stash, but I have a lot of other things I am trying to knit and hopefully he'll be around the apt. a bit. Maybe I'll knit it next year. A scarf feels too tedious to me right now.
*If you  brew your own coffee, what brand do you use? I like a local brand called Blue Bottle that was just recently purchased by Nestle. We often mix it with a coffee my husband purchases for the restaurant. This would be considered a big no no, but I like the blend as I'm not a super strong coffee drinker most of the time, and it makes it last/more cost effective.
*Do you have gifts left to make for the coming Holiday Season? I do. I'm trying to knit 2 baby sweaters. I don't want to talk about it Kathy.
*Thinking about the last week, what was your favorite dinner? We had dinner at a friend's house with 2 other families and there was so much good homemade food. cheese and rice crackers and marcona almonds, steak, salmon, bean salad, Caesar salad, bean salad, peach pie and ice cream. good times.
*What’s your favorite brand of blue jeans? Oh geez, I don't have any brand loyalty right now. 
*You have to give one up tomorrow, for a day : television, computer or phone? The phone. 
*Favorite breed of dog or cat? Oh geez, Can I just say tabby cats? I don't care what color? I like dogs that are small to medium size, maybe a Corgi or a beagle? I was chased and terrorized pretty badly by a neighborhood German shepard between 4th -6th grades and though I love a sweet dog. I am instinctively nervous around stranger big dogs.
*How many blankets did you sleep under last night? We have one comforter and a sheet on right now. I slept in a sweatshirt last night and my husband said he'd put the winter fleece layer on tonight.
Hoping November is off to a good start for you.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November is for Nutkins

It feels really good to have this off the needles. The Nutkin brought my mojo back.
The irony is that I actually didn't love knitting them, especially the first sock. This is not really the pattern's fault. I was distracted a lot during the first sock and found myself having to back out a lot of stitches with dark yarn. The yarn broke and split. I almost ran out of yarn for the first sock due to mishaps and bad judgement. But somehow I finished it.

... and then it was a little tight to get on.


But they seem to have given a little with a nice soak and couple days block.

A lot of people ask if I had gaps or issues with twisting.  I noticed that the pattern was "fiddly" to knit. But I just stuck to the plan/pattern and kept going. If anything, this pattern didn't seem to have much give. It seemed far too tight for a 64 cast on.



Mods:
Long tail cast on.
1x1 rib cuff for 10 rounds.
Magic Loop
Traditional slip stitch heel instead of short row.
80 rounds for leg.

I'm keeping things moving on the needles. I am awfully tired as November comes but we press on. :) Happy Nutkin November to you all!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween you crazy kids!

I hope you are enjoying some treats, whether it's the sugar or the fiber, a party or a moment to yourself. I am supporting good natured frivolity today. (well not only today, but moderation nurtures appreciation)

No, I am not cliche girl for Halloween, but seems like I should be, huh?


I am writing in to let you all know that I finished knitting and weaving-in my Fall Knit Along Nutkins. I woke up and soaked them at 6 am this morning. They are currently blocking because hello, it's 10/31!

I should be able to show my work tomorrow. :)

Something happened this weekend. I feel determined to go into the dark days of winter with a productive mentality. I'm keeping up with the activity -- not as much as last week but I'm getting my cardio in. Also, thanks to the good influence of Bridget I have been slowly nipping away at corners of clutter. The Kid and I went through 2 of his drawers/bins of clothes when I cornered him, We only culled a little bit, but that bit was something to make some space. We went through a shelf in the hutch that had old art projects and old broken crayons and markers etc. We still have a lot, but there is space again. I just need to think, this is okay, I'm going in the right direction.

Wishing you some breathing (and surface) space.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I have thoughts

A good portion of every week is running through potential baking recipes. I bake for both my son's soccer team as well as my recreational slow-pitch softball team that my friend the Canadian Kim got me a guesting spot on when they were short players. I've become pretty regular and honestly, It's really fun to be part of a team sport again.

I'm just catcher and basically get my peripheral vision tested behind the mask as I squint and sweat in the bright sun. (I promise I wear sunscreen). I like it. I wish I was hitting better, but I think in time that will come back, especially if I can get myself to the batting cages. Crap, I might even let Dad take me so he can bark / coach at me and we can relive our youth together. LOL. Well, if we do, we have to bring Sister to complete the nostalgia.

(Still laughing as I picture this in my head, because my family is dorky)



Anyways back to cake. I've been enjoying making this buttermilk raspberry cake, I made it twice last weekend. However I have strawberries that I am trying to use right now, so that's what's being baked later this week. It's simple to make and it delivers. Excellent for breakfast, coffee, tea or dinner parties with a bit of fresh whipped cream.


I did Snickerdoodle Bars for the kid's team last match and I think I'll rotate these into this weekend's game for my team.

Thank you everyone for your lovely encouragement as I worked on my second sock for the Fall Knit Along. I have the knack of the old Nutkin now. I admit the first sock was a little tighter than I was expecting. Maybe a US 2 instead of a 1.5 next time for needles. Surprising for a 64 cast on.

Anyhow, that photo from yesterday was a moment sponsored by overpriced hipster coffee and 45 minutes of such enjoyable knitting post Pilates. I don't get to go to cafes and knit by myself much anymore and it was such a treat.

You know what else is a treat? Reformer Pilates, Holy hotpants it's not a cheap activity, but I do like it. I started it because my back and my foot can only take so much higher impact activity. I now would prefer to run only if I'm being chased, but I won't abandon running completely... maybe.

I am using Reformer along with some dance classes to continue to supplement my cardio at the gym because it makes me happy and keeps my physically active which also is good for my brain. Also all that core and upper body strength the Dr. is always suggesting doesn't seem as daunting when I'm distracted by springs and loops and thing opposed to just my body on a mat. ha!

Have you tried Reformer Pilates? Do you have an activity you can do through the colder months that make you feel a little healthier or stronger? Walking is fabulous, but I always seem to tack a treat onto the end of my walk ;) Whatever it is, if you can, stick with it. Health and Happiness for us all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday

Knitting the fall along. I think I can. I think I can. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

At a pace and an observation on rage reading

A little something: I've been having some lovely weekends. They've been filled with friends and family and it's just been full and good.

The Fall KAL status: Aside from clutching the laughter and burying myself in Mom aka checklist lady mode I managed to carve out a few hours to knit and make some rounds on Nutkin. I decided on a longer leg for this sock. My cuff is at 10 rounds and the pattern itself is 80.



Things were going smooth, but I had some problems at night knitting with this yarn that is dark and shifts colors. I had a hard time seeing my stitches both in knitting and backing out.

I'm in a better place now, finished the gusset on Sock 1 and ready to move on to the foot. I know it's just sock 1 but I remain confident I'll finish in time for the deadline :)

Escapism: I was really tired and my back was aching a bit and just needed to lay there a bit, sometimes knitting, sometimes knot. I revisited the Bletchley Circle series on Netflix. Good stuff.

Trying to read something, anything again: I also finished a book. I KNOW! A real book, not magazines, online articles and tweets! "Do Not Become Alarmed" It's a vacation read. Something that I imagined page turning with hours to spare lining up the next book. I started off intrigued, wondering where it would go. Then it sort of stalled on me.

Last night I couldn't sleep, yet I couldn't knit anymore. I picked up my phone and turned on the kindle app and started reading. I notice when I read a paper book, there is an overall calming effect.I think it's why many of us can read ourselves to a contented sleep. Even if it's something scary or absolutely riveting where I know the potential for me to pull an all nighter is inevitable ... I can give into it. Are you familiar with Harry Potter movies? There is a scene in The Chamber of Secrets where Harry Potter literally falls into a diary. Yeah, that's how I feel. Even exhausted but determined to keep reading, if it's paper, I get into the zone, I cross over.

It appears with digital reading this is not a guarantee for me. I've had positive experiences. But in the case of this book, something wholly uncomfortable happened to me. I got to the point where I was more than halfway through it. I felt like the plot was getting ... redundant. I didn't like the characters. I didn't like most of the children. I didn't like their parents. The people I had some sympathy for were feeling flat, everyone felt flat, except for that bright light I was reading against. I wasn't tired, but I was irritated.

I was determined to finish this book. I wasn't expecting some great literary read from this story. It was supposed to be escapism, but I couldn't be sold. I read so irritated with the book, and so unsatisfied with the ending that I'm not sure if I can tell you my opinion is valid.

But the truth is I feel satisfied I finished a book (and I didn't stay up too late.)

I'm not deterred from reading on my phone either, though I prefer my kindle if I'm going digital. The truth is, I just liked thinking about fake people and fake stories and making the words mean something in my mind. I could use more of that. I think I'm not sure what kind of stories I like anymore.