new project!

Finally, I’m diligently working on something:

It’s the beginnings of the Gothic Lace Cowl and I’m making it for my fiance’s younger sister, who is also going to be the maid of honor in the wedding.  She asked for a scarf in a burnt orange color (it’s one of her school colors), and this particular one is cool because you can wear it as a short scarf or as a cowl — it has buttons so you can change it up.  I’m going to try to get it done by Christmas, but with the two times I’ve already had to frog and go back a ways, I’ll have to be working at a decent rate.  We shall see.

The yarn is Berroco Vintage, a machine washable worsted weight yarn composed of 52% acrylic, 40% wool, and 8% nylon.  It’s one of my favorites for gifts and blankets because it is warm, pretty soft, and commonly retails for about $8.50 per skein, which is 100g and 200m.  The color is slightly heather-y:

By the way, the cute stitch markers pictured were purchased from Ruth, who runs the blog Ruth Plus Two, on her Etsy shop, where she also has hand-dyed yarns for sale.

While I’m giving shoutouts I have to mention Nicky, who runs the blog D’NALI, because she was so kind as to send me her extra copy of a Vogue Knitting book, as well as a sweet card:

Thank you so much Nicky, the book has already helped me figure out a couple of knitting techniques that were baffling me!  It was very kind of you to send it and I greatly appreciate it!

And lastly, I want to let everyone know how delicious these are:

I bought these from Target and they are incredible!  I’ve been gobbling them up while knitting and marathoning the Harry Potter movies.  Kind of obsessed with those.

Well, that’s all for today.  Hopefully I’ll be able to post the finish scarf/cowl soon!  Thanks for stopping by!

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black friday yarn

Some yarn buying happened yesterday, but not in a store. In fact, I don’t think there is a LYS at all in my city. KnitPicks, however, was having a sale (and still is), and it was impossible to resist.

I decided to try a new yarn, hoping for some motivation and inspiration, and the Hawthorne line caught my eye. The Hawthorne yarn is a fingering/sock weight yarn and is composed of 80% superwash fine highland wool and 20% nylon, and every colorway is gorgeous! I hope it’s soft, too, because I got 6 skeins.

Here are pictures of the colorways I purchased:

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Aren’t they lovely? I can’t wait to receive them and get to work on some projects!

Have you ever tried this line of KnitPicks yarn? If so, what did you think?

That’s all for today, I think. Thank you for stopping by!

a mess of life

That’s what I’ve got right now.  It seems like it’s been longer than it has been since I’ve posted, but it’s still been a few weeks.  Time for an update.

Well, my uncle passed away at the end of October.  Mom and I went to Arkansas to see him in the hospital the day before he died, so we got to say goodbye.  Dad followed us out there for the funeral.  I got to play my bagpipes for him and for my aunt, which was very special to me.  We had the opportunity to visit with a large number of family members, some of whom we hadn’t seen in many years, so that was a bit of a silver lining, I suppose.  This is me and my uncle last winter when my other uncle passed away and we went to Arkansas:

The days since the funeral have been pretty hard.  There are lots of emotions that go along with that event, and that’s on top of some depression that my fiance and I have both been experiencing lately (not to do with each other, more our situations in other parts of life).  Some days I just called out from work; thank goodness I work in the counseling field where my supervisors understand and encourage me to take the time I need (I’m extra glad about that because there’s been all kinds of stuff going on at work, too).  Even as a counselor, it’s hard not to slip farther into depression and let my anxiety get the better of me.  You can’t exactly counsel yourself.

Crochet and knitting might would be an excellent outlet and relief, but I honestly haven’t been able to pull anything out to work on.  Instead I’ve been diving headfirst into researching fountain pens and calligraphy — I’d like to do my own stuff for the wedding’s required paper goods (BTW, the wedding date has been confirmed!  It’s next October 17th!).  I’ve been practicing my handwriting with a flex-nibbed fountain pen:

I think I’m getting better!

Well, that’s all for today I suppose.  That pretty much summed up everything I can tell you about my life right now.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back with the yarcraft related posts soon, I hope!  It’ll be good for me, I’m sure.  See you then!

Life List

Inspired by Claire at MollieandClaire I thought I’d post a Life List today. It’s kinda like one of those chain emails that used to be really annoying back in the early 2000s when you got a zillion in your inbox but now are very nice because they’re a glimpse into a more personal realm of bloggers. I enjoyed reading Claire’s, and she got it from someone else as well. I’m giving it a shot!

Making : a crocheted fox, a knitted throw blanket, and a knitted cardi
Cooking : cheese on toast
Drinking : a free coffee the Starbucks barista gave me
Reading: listening to “Dragonsong” audiobook by Anne McCaffrey
Wanting: the new iPhone 6 — my poor 4s is on it’s last leg
Looking: at all of the lovely Pinterest inspiration
Playing: Nyan Cat is my go-to phone game
Deciding: whether or not I should go back to school, when I want to have kids, all the serious stuff
Wishing: I had more leisure/thinking time, and time to spend with Chris
Enjoying: lounging around in my PJs
Waiting: in trepidation for a follow-up visit to the OBGYN in a couple months
Liking: organized desks with pretty calendars and accessories
Wondering: how I can make my desk pretty for a low cost
Loving: my family, extended and immediate
Pondering: how I can make my fiancé happy when he comes home
Considering: whether or not I just spent too much money at Target
Watching: The Simpsons… we’ve been on a kick lately
Hoping: that I can get everyone I love great Christmas presents!
Needing: a better paying job
Smelling: a hot salted caramel mocha from Starbucks
Wearing: an oversized T-shirt and cozy plaid flannel pants
Following: some pretty nice blogs
Noticing: that moths keep getting in my house somehow
Knowing: I can get through anything with my fiancé
Thinking: about the future
Buying: shoes for Chris, shirts for me, and the beginnings of Christmas presents for others
Getting: prepared for more paperwork than usual tomorrow at work
Mending: fences with people that matter to me
Disliking: myself for being overly negative and complain-y
Opening: a web-page to look for wooly clothes
Feeling: tired after a long field trip to the fair with my clients today
Snacking: on nothing now — I need to stop eating when I’m not hungry because that’s not healthy

That was fun! I’d love to see this go around so that we can learn more about each other in a fun and interesting way.

Well, that’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!

crochet in the works — fox amigurumi

That’s right, crochet, not knitting. I’m currently working on this Fibi the Fox pattern. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

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I bought the KnitPicks palette yarn for this but I’m not sure if I’ll really need the second ball of the reddish brownish orange color:

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Didn’t think it would take so long, but the yarn and hook are so tiny! My hands also get a bit tired after working on small objects after a while, does that happen to you too? More than with bigger projects, I mean. Not that I’m complaining about the yarn size and hook — I think it’ll make a beautiful item when I’m done! All that’s left are the arms and tail and sewing all the bits together.

It should be mentioned that the patterns from that particular Raveler do cost money, but I think the shapes are so cute I’d rather just follow the instructions than try to guess and end up with something not as good. I also bought the dragon pattern because I LOVE dragons (as you may remember from my giveaway a while back when I gave away a “Dragonriders of Pern” book), but many of the patterns are so similar that I bet I can figure out the bear and mouse, etc. on my own, and the bunny mod is free.

I think these would be good Christmas gifts for children but unfortunately I don’t really know very many, so they’ll just keep me company for now, which is fine with me! I haven’t even bought the yarn for the dragons since the fox is taking so long. Hopefully it’ll be done soon, and I’ll give an update as soon as that happens!

That’s all the yarny news for today, thanks for stopping by!

picky knitting

Firstly, I have a problem:

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What’s up with those holes? That’s my Paulie cardi, which is coming along nicely — I finished the body and have cast on the arms, and what you’re seeing in the picture is the armpit part. How do I fix that? That’s been my first problem so far.

Problem two is actually that I hate using circular needles for the arm part. I thought it would be fine but I think it would really be a lot faster and less troublesome if I switched to DPNs. Problem three: I don’t have DPNs in the required size. Argh! I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before I can get them, so that just puts off finishing my sweater even farther into winter. Boo.

Well, instead, I’ll work on my garter stitch blanket. That’ll be a nice change of pace from tiny sock-weight yarn.

Aaaaand I know I haven’t had much crochet stuff going on lately, but I am pleased to announce that I’ve got some supplies coming in the mail for a new crochet project! I plan on making quite a few of these items in different colors, etc., and I can’t wait to share with you! And there was a surprise with the pattern I’ll be using: it calls for a hook size that I DON’T HAVE. I couldn’t believe it — after 9-ish years of crochet, there’s a hook size I haven’t acquired. Well, that has been rectified, but unfortunately the only kind I could get was Boye, and I much prefer Susan Bates. The hook size is between a US B and a US C. I have a hook that was .05mm too big, but I want to be exact so I don’t run out of yarn.

Well, there’s been lots of complaining in this post, so I’ll just wait to post anything else until I’m in a better mood. All the lovely rain is cheering me up, but it’s still so hot outside. I’m such a negative Nancy sometimes.

I hope ya’ll are having a good week. And of course, as always, thanks for stopping by! We’ll have updates very soon, I hope!

Giftie Slouchie Beanie #4

With a number 4, you can probably guess that this is a great knit hat to make. And with a name like Giftie Slouchie Beanie it’s pretty easy to infer that this particular hat is great for gifts.

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It’s great for gifts for a few reasons: it uses chunky yarn and bigger needles so you can make it quickly; it looks difficult even though it’s not that hard; it’s very stretchy so it can fit almost any adult head. In fact, all of my versions of this have been gifted to men I know for these reasons!

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This one in particular is going to my uncle. He’s starting chemo this week (in fact it could have already started by now), and he’ll be in the hospital for a few weeks at least. I’m worried about him of course, but he’s got such a great positive attitude and I know that that can make all the difference in the world! The doctors said he’d almost certainly lose his hair, though, and since hospitals are often very cold anyway and it’ll be late October-ish when he gets out, I figured a hat would be a nice gift that says that I care and am thinking about him. The great thing is, he doesn’t even know that I knit and crochet, so it’ll be a surprise! I’ll try to mail it within the next couple of days so that he’ll get it ASAP and can start using it! Hopefully he’ll like it!

Here’s a close-up of the stitches:

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For some reason it was hard to get the color of the hat right in the photos — it’s a slightly dark teal (and I almost forgot to mention it’s Berroco Vintage Chunky — a soft wool blend).

Well, that’s it for today. I’d paused on the Paulie cardi and the garter stitch blanket to work on this but updates on either one of those should be coming in the near future. Thanks so much for stopping by!