December 31, 2010

Finished Knit: Victorian Romance (GKMS09)

I love how this shawl turned out! It's was a little smaller than I expected at first, but it blocked out to a very nice size.

The yarn is a Knit Picks Bare yarn that I dyed myself using Kool-Aid. It was really cool to knit with my own hand dyed.

One of these days I'll have to do a shawl with hand dyed and hand spun yarn. Also, sunset is an awesome time to take pictures of knitting.

Pattern: Victorian Romance by Renee Leverington

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Merino in what I'm calling "Strawberry" - 126 grams/1109 yards

Needles: US 2.5/3.0 mm Addi Turbo circulars

Knitline: March 18th - December 30th

YTD Mileage: This shawl brings me up to 5.83 miles!

Happy Knitting,

Random on The Last Day of The Year!

I figured the last day of the year was a good day to do a Random post, seeing as how I haven't done one in awhile. 

1. Remember how I was going to try to finish the pink shawl by the end of the year?

Shazzam! I did it. Finished the incredibly, painfully long bind off last night.

It's on the blocking board now and I'll hopefully have a Finished post up by the end of the day. It was close, but I did it. I'm curious to see how much yardage this was.

2. It's New Years Eve! Tomorrow is the beginning of 2011. Ugh. I'm getting old. If you haven't done a list of resolutions yet, maybe now is a good time? If you're into that.

3. Speaking of my list of resolutions - Number 4 on that list is on it's way. I've got my Fictitious Business name (or "Doing Business As") license and my application for a seller's permit is on it's way to the state right now! I've started my Etsy account and am hoping to start selling as soon as I get that permit back. I'm nervously excited about finally selling my stuff. Wish me luck!

4. Did I mention it's New Year's Eve? I'm kind of shocked this year is gone.

5. It's been an absolutely wonderful week having Ben home. Neither of us is looking forward to him going back to work on Monday.

6. In an effort to streamline the selling of stuff, and achieve #6 in that Resolutions List, I'd like to get at least the domain name changed for this site soon. Would y'all follow me if I changed it to a .com? The RSS feeds should update automatically once I switch over, but if there's any problems I'll let you know. The look of the site will stay the same for awhile, just the address will change.

7. It's the end of the year! Woot!

Happy New Year,

December 30, 2010

Finished Knit: Honey Quartet in Black

These were a Christmas present for my sister-in-law. I finished them December 14th and have had a hard time keeping them from the blog since then!

When I was making the pink version she kept remarking about how pretty they were and when I mentioned maybe making another pair, she said I should do black. I love when people drop unintentional Christmas present hints. It's really easy to gift people if you pay attention to things they say.

Hopefully, these will keep her hands warm while she works and plays on the computer, or out and about in the cold.

Pattern: Honey Quartet by Annika Abbott

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage in "5601" (Black) - 39 grams/171 yards
Needles: US 1/2.25mm Susan Bates Quicksilver DPNs

Knitline: December 10th - December 14th, 2010 (That's 4 days!)

YTD Mileage: At 171 yards, that brings my total up to 5.20 miles!

Happy Knitting,

2011 New Year's Resolutions!

My goodness. Where on EARTH did this year go? It just flew by and slapped me in the face as it went. Now I'm standing here a little dizzy and wondering what happened!

Well, another year means another list of resolutions. I've done pretty good with the 2010 list. I like to make a list of resolutions not really because I need or really want to get all the things on it done. But I think making a list of goals is a good way to start out a year. Even if you don't finish/reach them, at least you have goals in mind. Better than just floating around aimlessly without any purpose. Even if your goal is just "Live my life this year", that's still a goal!

So here are my 2011 New Year's Resolutions:

1. Pay off the car loan. We paid off 3 loans this year, including Ben's truck and another really big one! By putting our heads down and really getting serious we were able to put our money to good work. Our goal is to get the car paid off sometime this year and have no debt left but our house ( which we're also hoping to pay off in about 10 years or so).

Scratch that - our roof started leaking during this last big storm (and since I made this list) and changed our plans. This year means hopefully getting a new roof before next rainy season. This is a little more important than paying off the car, so wish us luck!

2. Knit 10 miles. Oooooh. I only did 5 this year. Think I can do it? Might be a lot of shawls!

3. Be a better blogger. Oy, this one winds up on the list a lot. But I've tried hard in the last few weeks to blog every day, or at least every other day. Hopefully no more week long pauses. And better pictures. Which will be easier with my new fancy DSLR! But I'll cut myself some slack on this one since my family comes first, of course and there's no telling what will happen with small ones.

4. Open a knitting business. That's already sort of started with the zombies. But my hope is to open an Etsy shop and get the word out. Hopefully I can sell more than just zombies, too. Hehe.

5. Start and keep at a 365 Project. This means taking and posting a picture every. single. day in 2011. Doesn't have to be a theme, or anything fancy. Just a picture, everyday. With the purpose to use it as practice at taking better pictures. This should also help with #3.

6. Start my own website and move the blog. There are things I would like to do (like offer patterns for free and sale and incorporate #4), and expand the design of the blog. Hopefully income from #4 will allow me to do that.

That's my list! It's a pretty big one this year.

Are you making resolutions this year? What are they?

Happy New Year!

December 29, 2010

Finished Knit: Blue Garter Scarf

It was nice to have a plain, garter stitch project to work on between zombie knitting. It's funny how something so boring can be so soothing. I guess it's only boring when  you don't have anything else to pay attention to.

Pattern: Pointed Garter Scarf by Meg (see below)

Yarn: Gedifra New Age - 147 grams/338 yards

Needles: US 9/5.5 mm Brittany Wood straights

Knitline: December 12 - December 24th, 2010

YTD Mileage: This project got me to 5.10 miles! Yay!

Pointed Garter Scarf Pattern
Gauge: Don't worry about it, it's a scarf!
M1: Make one
SSK: slip 1 stitch purlwise, slip next stitch knitwise, knit both slipped stitches together  
K2tog: Knit two stiches together

Dbl Dec: Slip two stitches as if to knit, knit one stitch, pass slipped stitches over (This is a centered double decrease, taking three stitches to one)

Cast on 3 stitches.
Row 1: K1, m1, knit to last stitch, m1, k1.
Row 2: Knit plain.
Repeat last two rows until scarf is desired width.

Knit in plain garter stitch (knit every row) until scarf is desired length or you are nearly out of yarn, leaving enough to create point. 

Next Row: K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.
Next Row: Knit plain.
Repeat last two rows until there are 5 stitches left.
Last row: K1, dbl dec, k1.
Bind off. Weave in ends. Block if necessary .

Happy Knitting,

December 27, 2010

Finished Knits: Bills 5 & 6

I'm going to be having a parade of Finished Knits this week!

Now that they have successfully been delivered to their new owners, I can post this. Bill 5 and 6! (So many have been done that I have to number them now.)

Bill 5 was bought by a customer for my brother-in-law, that I gave him directly. They know each other from school and it was a hilariously fun gift that was from me, but not from me (if that makes sense).

Bill 6 was made for my sister's boyfriend, who apparently is a zombie fanatic. It was... interesting trying to get these done during the week while trying to get cooking and cleaning and holiday prep done as well.

Pattern: Bill the Zombie by Meg
Yarn: Drops Alpaca in "Lime" and red, Knit Picks Stroll in "Ash" and "Dusk" - 12 grams/28 yards, 7 grams/27 yards, and 3 grams/14 yards, respectively

Needles: US 1/2.25mm Knit Picks Harmony wood DPNs

Knitline: December 14th - 24th for both (I kind of procrastinated a bit on the second)

YTD Mileage: These two little dudes bring me to 4.91 miles!

 Happy Knitting,

December 26, 2010

The Day After

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house....

Are toys. Lots and lots of toys.

Those pictures are only the beginning of the carnage. My house looks like a Lego/Nerf/Hot Wheels/Dinosaur/tool war zone. Plus the goodies Ben and I got.

But it was a wonderfully easy and nice Christmas. Staying home was so nice and although I'm exhausted I'm really glad we did it.

Not sure I'll be doing it again next year, at least maybe not the mass of cooking. Maybe we'll get it catered! But the having people come to us part was really nice.

I got quite a few goodies this year. Aside from the mass of Knit Picks gift cards, yarn and Elizabeth Zimmerman books, I also got some awesome kitchen gadgets.

Ben got me some new sheet pans that I have been lusting over for quite a while. I can't wait to start using them. He also got me an electric knife. You know, those ones with the blade that runs back and forth really fast. Perfect for bread and tri tip! I was really sad I already sliced the bread I made the other day.

In addition to that, my Grandmother got me this really awesome little gadget:

It's called a Demy and it's a digital recipe holder that has all kinds of fancy options. It's really awesome!

All you have to do is register at the website, add in your recipes, then sync your account with your Demy via software you download to your computer. Then you can view your recipes on this little thing and read them as you work.

You can organize everything by creating separate "cookbooks" and putting the appropriate recipes in them. It has an index for easy finding. It has a measurement conversion page, a timer page with three separate timers for things you are cooking, and a substitution section for finding a sub if you run out/don't have something you need. It's pretty cool and I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of use out of it.

On Christmas Eve I finished my scarf and it's sooooo fuzzy and nice. I wish I could send it to each of you just to pet it. It's unusually soft for being a nylon yarn. I made it pretty wide because sometimes I like to wear them up over my head to cover my ears. I'll get a Finished Knit post up soon.

Now, to finish the pink shawl before the first!

Happy After Christmas!

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours! May your holidays be filled with family, good food, and many laughs.

Love to you all,

December 23, 2010


After 9 hours

A few pounds of flour

Cups upon cups of sugar

A LOT of butter

Lots of stirring (my arm is sore)

A carton of eggs

Lots of standing (my legs are sore)

A ridiculous amount of electricity and natural gas

Various assorted other ingredients

A cooking show's worth of chopping, slicing, dicing, cooking, baking, mixing and pouring

 A killer three cheese omelet and a few cups of really strong black tea....


December 22, 2010


After a temporary, slightly sunny break yesterday, our rain is back. We're supposed to be dry tomorrow and Friday, possibly wet on Christmas, and then dry again the beginning of the week. It's been so nice getting this much rain.

We're three days away from Christmas and I've hit a state of panic now. That means I have three days to do a TON of stuff and I'm starting to get a little crazy. I've noticed that when I'm overwhelmed with a lot of things to do sometimes I just shut down and don't get much of anything done. That's what I've felt like this week.

I have grocery shopping to do, two presents to finish knitting, baking and cooking prep, house cleaning to do... all before Friday night. It'll get done, and I really do have plenty of time. I just feel a little... manic right now.

The blue scarf continues. I work on it when we're watching shows, in the dark, when I don't need to see. It's nice to have a mindless-don't-need-to-pay-attention project again. I will probably be finished with it this weekend. I'm just going until I run out of yarn and I have one ball left.

You might not hear from me much over the next few days, due to my running away from home being busy. So if I don't see you before then...

Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is peaceful, relaxing and filled with joy.

Now I'm off to knit while the kiddos are still asleep.


December 20, 2010

Drenched, In Black & White

Because those have been the colors around here for awhile.

It has been raining here none stop since Friday. And it's supposed to continue until Wednesday. This is incredibly unusual for our neck of the woods, but it's been wonderful!

Y'all know by now how much I love the rain.

We saw on the news this morning that there is severe flooding in the southern part of our town. I am thankful we're up above most of it. Even with all the rain, our street has been flood-less. Just our planters and low spots in the yard are all that are suffering.

This is a smaller version of the lake that we had around our shed. I told my mom-in-love that we had so much water the shed was starting to look like a house boat. Ben went out and dug a trench under the fence to allow the water to drain away, and this is what's left. It was a LOT bigger than that. We're afraid the whole thing might sink.

Can you see the rut from the rain dripping off our roof? If it keeps going like this we're going to see China.

Aside from a quick shopping trip on Saturday, we haven't been outside much this weekend. It's pretty cold rain (for us), with temperatures in the low 50s. The kids have been camped out watching movies most of the time, I've been knitting and baking of course, and Ben spent a lot of his time in the garage making this:

It's a fire poker and this picture does not do it justice. It's gorgeous in person. And amazing. He also made a shovel to match. His creative talent still blows me away. How he gets stuff like that to come out of his head, I do not know. And he did it all from one stick of 1/4" wide metal. Everything you see there he twisted, turned, hammered and shaped himself. No pre-made parts.

The only bad part about this rain is we are noticing a lot of leaks in our 25 year old wood shingle roof.  Or maybe that's a good thing. We were planning on putting off roof replacement another year or two, but have now decided to move that to the front of the list of things to do next year. Which is alright, because it will drop our home insurance premium by about 20% and up the value of our home. It's never dull around here!

I hope everyone else dealing with this storm is safe and dry!

Feeling like a drowned rat,

December 19, 2010

Birds In The Rain

These birds reminded me of the vultures from The Jungle Book.

"So what we going to do?"  

"I don't know, what'cha wanna do? "

"First I say "what we going to do?" then you say "I don't know, what'cha wanna do?" then I say "what we're going to do" then you say "what'cha wanna do". Let's do something."  

"Ok. What'cha wanna do?"

"Now don't start that again!"

December 17, 2010

Holiday Cooking Survival Plan!

After a slightly hectic and kind of stressful Thanksgiving, we decided to change it up for Christmas. We're staying home! Wooohooo! The various groups of families are coming to us on assorted days, and then we are spending Christmas evening with my dad and step-mother at their house.

I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am for this. I get to stay in my own home, with my own tree, and relaxing as I watch my babies open presents without having to hurry up and go somewhere else. All I have to do is wait for people to come to us!

That means cooking for people, which is what I love to do. Or rather, I love to feed people. It's the Southern in me. But it also means a lot of food, and that means...

Spreadsheets! Gotta love 'em. Or at least, I do. They make my OCD self giggle like a school girl and then I get "worried" looks from my husband. To the creator of Excel: You have my eternal and heartfelt thanks. I'll send you a cookie.

Anyways, in order to make my life smoother, easier, and as stress free as possible I've come up with a plan, and wanted to share a few points with anyone else who might be hosting multiple holiday events.

Holiday Cooking/Party Survival Plan

1. Make a list. Of everything you plan to cook, assemble, serve and drink. Make a list of people if you need to, or at least a number. Preferably on a spreadsheet! I've made one including all the dishes I plan to cook and their ingredients, which I can check off as I stock them.

2. Do as much shopping as possible as early as possible. Frozen things can stay in the freezer for the next week. Paper/plastic/canned products can be bought now. I have pretty much everything ready except for the fresh stuff that needs to be, well, fresh. This means avoiding the crowds and spending less time running around like a chicken with it's head cut off because it's 5:00pm and your guests are coming at 6:00 and ohmygoshIhaven'tpickedupanythingyet!

3. Do as much prep work as you can before hand. A lot of things can be done the night, day or a few days before the event. Casseroles can be assembled, dips can be mixed, cookie dough can be prepped and put in the fridge for baking just before. Veggies chopped, meats and cheeses sliced, etc. The less you have to do the day of, the better (and easier!) for you.

4. Make an oven schedule. If you have a lot of things that need to be baked/heated/cooked, and only one oven, then make a schedule. I've made a spreadsheet that has a column for the time of day and following columns for each temperature I need for my recipes. I've filled in cells with the recipe name and cook time. This way I can cook multiple things in the oven at one tempt, then change the tempt and repeat for other recipes. No crazy changing back and forth between temperatures, or forgetting that I could have done breakfast casserole with the biscuits.

5. Stop. Breathe. Relax. If you run out of time to fix that last thing, or you forget to assemble something and people are walking up your drive way, RELAX. It's ok, they're not coming for the food. They're coming for you. Hiding in the kitchen to make everything perfect is just going to stress you out and you won't get to enjoy the holiday at all.

Yes, I'm a spreadsheet loving nerd. But I am an efficient spreadsheet loving nerd!

Now, if I can just stick to my own list. Especially that last one.

Anyone else have big plans for the holidays?


Last Minute Gift Ornaments

Need a last minute gift for someone? Or want a keepsake ornament of your over-sugared precious children?

 (Please, please ignore the horrible picture. I don't take kindly to having my picture taken.)

A little bit ago my Aunt mailed me and asked if I could make some ornaments for our Grandparents. Their memories are starting to fade, and she is getting a live tree to keep year round to place ornaments on to remind them of family. Her request was pictures with name and rank (such as "Megan, Granddaughter").

So I did some thinking and came up with these. Now I present to you a tutorial! Just in case you want to make these for yourself.

What You'll Need:
1/4" Poster Board
Decorative craft paper of your choosing
Box cutter/Exacto Knife
Hot Glue gun
Pictures, of course

Step 1: Cut out a piece of poster board that is one half inch larger than your picture on all sides. This will give a frame to the picture that will allow writing, or just to admire the pretty paper.

Step 2.a: Cut out a piece of decorative paper that is one half inch larger than the poster board on all sides. This will allow the paper to fold over the back of the board. (If you are using poster board thicker or thinner than 1/4", just make the paper one quarter inch wider than the thickness of the board. Confused yet?)

Step 2.b: Mark a border for the picture in the middle that is 3/8" from the edge of the poster board. You want it to overlap the picture a bit on every side.

Note: Make all your marks on the back of the paper so as not to show when the ornament is done.

Step 3: Cut out the center piece for the picture.

Step 4: Put a piece of tape on the back of your picture...

And stick it to the board.

Step 5: Using the hot glue gun, run a very small bead along the inside edge of the paper frame and stick it over the picture, to the board.

Step 6: Trim the corners a bit so you get a clean fold.

Step 7: Fold the paper over to the back and secure with hot glue.

See the pretty corner?

Step 8: Fold over a piece of ribbon and glue to the back. (Make sure your glueing it to the top of the picture and not the bottom!)

Step 9: Glue a solid color piece of paper that is slightly smaller than the board to the back to cover up the rough edges.

That's it! Tada! Keepsake picture ornament! Or, leave the ribbon off and you have a nice framed picture to keep year round.

Happy Crafting,

December 16, 2010

I Should Be Christmas Knitting

But I was going to my mom-in-love's today and I needed something to knit that didn't require attention. So I found this fuzzy nylon yarn in my uncontrollable stash and started a garter stitch scarf. With a point on the end.

I always want a scarf around this time of year. When it's cold and my neck is unprotected. So I make scarves, but then I give them away as presents. Not this time! I'm keeping this one.

But now I must get back to Christmas presents. Maybe I can finish it after that. Or maybe I can just be a Grinch and knit for myself? Muahahaha.

Merry Christmas,

A Dreary Morning of Pictures

This is the view front our office window this morning. Delightfully dreary, don't you think? I just love this weather. It makes me want to knit! But then again, what doesn't?

It looks the same in the back yard too!

I had to show you how much yarn I had left after finishing a Christmas present. Not. Much. I was sweating the whole time, hoping and praying I could make it to the cast off because the chances of finding the exact same yarn with a dye lot that would match with only a week left to finish the project... would be nearly impossible. I made it though! And now that present is done.

Last but not least, a picture of my goofy littlest one who was mid-scrunch when I got this picture. He's kind of a ham for the camera. (Sorry about the flash. It was so dark yesterday it popped up before I realized it.)

Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day!
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