It has been a very long time…

Yarn Bowl

My beautiful yarn bowl

It has been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened in life. Unfortunately not much of that time has been spent doing anything crafty. Some, but not much. It is funny how life is sometimes. The good news is life has evened out quite a bit and I am making more time for things that I enjoy.

My ex-husband asked me a while back asking me for some new hand knit socks for work. I accepted the assignment and have (slowly) been knitting him socks. I don’t normally take this long to knit socks, but he wanted black socks. I mistakenly started out with a pattern that I know that he likes, but in black yarn it is extremely difficult to see the patterning as I am knitting. Add the splitty nature of the yarn and it means that I have to actually pay attention to what I am doing and no knitting in low light situations.

He wanted black socks so I went on the hunt for inexpensive but decent black yarn. This was a surprisingly difficult task. Not a lot of yarn brands have a black yarn in a sock weight, but I finally found some. I don’t hate the yarn but I am not in love with it either. Like I said, it is on the splitty side, but it has a nice feel to it, sturdy but soft. We will see how it actually holds up to wear. For the next set of socks I am probably going to use the same yarn but a different pattern and see if that helps any. I also was planning on knitting two at a time, but somehow forgot. Next time I will definitely knit them two at a time. Next time I may do a plain ribbed sock instead of the Gentleman’s Sock. It would cut down the time and frustrations with the black yarn. But since they aren’t for me, I will have to consult with him. At least they are finally completed.

I currently have the Renewal Shawl on the needles. Because I am a (mostly) monogamous knitter, I have painfully put it aside while I worked on the socks. It is currently sitting in my lovely yarn bowl. Y’all this yarn bowl is the most beautiful gift I have ever received. Not just because it is gorgeous, but because of the thought that went into it. It is probably the most meaningful gift I have ever received.

My wheel is in need of repair so I haven’t been spinning at all the last *ahem* year or so. I need a new drive band. So I am going to make one out of cotton yarn and we will see how that goes. Hopefully I will have a new blog post before too long with some new spinning.

I haven’t done much else crafty. I have some plans to get some sewing done eventually but it has not been a priority. Since my last blog post I have done a little but not much. I am planning on sewing a couple of weighted blankets. I would also like to sew a couple more project bags and maybe an apron. My mom and I did reupholster a chair and I have helped a small amount with some home improvement projects at my boyfriend’s house. Mostly I sit there and look pretty and keep him company, but I help where I can.

I have been reading a lot lately, but understand that this is a relative term. In the last several months, I have read a few very good books. Books that I have enjoyed:

  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
  • Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I have read a few others and enjoyed them as well, but not to the same extent so I am not even going to mention them. I am currently reading Outlander and am loving it. I highly recommend it. I am finding that I am too sleepy to read much, but again life happens sometimes.

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Working Spinning Wheel!

At some point in the last two years, my monster sweet darling, adorable, tiny, innocent little boy decided to take my wheel for a spin. He stood on it and bent the rod that holds the treadles in place. I have always had issues with the rod walking its way out of place but after my son decided to ride on it, it has been near impossible to use. I decided then that I needed to just wait until I could come up with a good fix for it or buy a new wheel entirely. Yesterday we made a family trip to Lowe’s. My hubby needed to pick up some pvc to make fishing rod holders for his kayak and I decided that we would search for the right thing to replace the rod. I should mention that I tried cotter pins, but they walked themselves out just about as fast as the rod did. I finally found the fix. I purchased a 3 foot length of threaded metal rod. Basically it is like a screw without a head on it. I just cut a foot off of it and it works perfect!

I realize that it has been a little over 6 months since I last posted. I have had a lot of things happen in that time. Quick update. My dad passed away December 16, which was just a few days after my last blog post. I miss him very much. Some day I am going to make a big long post of memories with him, happy thoughts, and all that, but I am not there yet.

We also decided to purchase a house here in Hot Springs Village! I love our house. We have a neighbor right next door and beyond that, we are surrounded by woods. We are really settling in the area. I am starting to meet more people and making new friends. I still miss all my NWA people, but I do love it here. We are talking about converting a good chunk of our garage into an art studio/wood shop plus we have an office as well. We have also added to our family. We knew someone who had a kitty that needed a home so we brought home Lily the day before we moved into our new house. A week later we found out she was pregnant. We are now outnumbered by animals. She had two babies, a boy that I named Sebastian and a girl I named Daphne. We are keeping both.

In all the craziness of things going on lately, I haven’t made much time for knitting or anything. I have finished a shawl, save for blocking. I also have a cat toy to bind off and stuff. I have completed an entire pair of socks plus another sock that I will be casting on the second sock very soon. Since this is a lot of updates, I am going take some time over the next week or so to go into more details on things. For now I will leave you with a picture of a pair of completed socks for my husband and a sock that I started for my son. I have not finished the kiddo socks yet.

Sock family

Sock family

Almost Finished Sweater

I apologize that I haven’t been posting lately, but I have had a lot of non knitting things going on that I will save for later.
I have finally finished (almost) the Bethel Woods Cardigan by Lion Brand. I am going to install a zipper and I haven’t blocked it yet, but otherwise everything else is complete on the sweater. I haven’t taken pictures of it completed yet, but I plan on doing so soon and will take pictures soon. I am now tasked with what to cast on next. I have so many things that I want to knit, but it seems like I have the hardest time making a decision on what I actually want to knit. I have enough of the Cascade Eco Wool left over from the Bethel Woods Cardigan to knit a sweater for my son, I think. Wouldn’t father son sweaters be adorable? Maybe a different pattern, but similar. It is definitely something to think about. I think I will cast on some more socks, at least until I can come up with something else. I may have to spend a day or two on Ravelry. Oh darn! 😉

What is everyone else working on? I love seeing other people’s projects.

For now, here is a knitting, reading, drinking coffee, and playing outdoors picture. Life is good.

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Spring, where are you?

We have officially made it to spring. Unfortunately the weather seems to keep forgetting that it is no longer winter. Here in NW Arkansas, we will have a couple of days of nice weather followed by almost freezing again. My solution? Finish knitting the sweater for my husband. That has to make the temperatures start rising, right?

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The main body of the sweater is finished and I have cast on one of the sleeves. I am happy with the way the pieces are looking so far. I do feel that the sleeves would have been better to have been knit in the round, but I chose to follow the directions and leave them knit flat. I am sure that this will make attaching them to the body easier. I haven’t been making enough time to knit lately. Shame on me, but that gives me something to work on.

20140324-112059.jpg This is what my evenings have been looking like lately. Staying up later than I should while knitting and watching classic Doctor Who.

My husband and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. The weekend before, we went out to a nice dinner with our little fella and bought a couple of movies to watch at home. We also had wine and strawberries and chocolate while watching the movies. And of course I had my knitting!

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No second Sock Syndrome here!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and general holiday season. I love Christmas, but with a toddler, this year it was slightly stressful for me. We managed to only have a few ornament casualties and we didn’t put out presents until the evening of Christmas Eve. I finally finished knitting the second sock in the pair I was knitting. All that’s left is weaving ends. I think I may have to do that today.

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I haven’t been doing much other knitting lately because I have been letting life get in the way. Honestly my stress levels go up drastically when I don’t knit that it makes me not feel like knitting and then we end up in this vicious cycle that sadly doesn’t involve knitting. No worries, I have several projects being planned out right now. I did start knitting on the Bethel Woods Cardigan for mg hubby again this week. I am still not completely sure that I am comfortable with this while uneven number of stitches in a 2X2 rib, but whatever. I am hoping that I don’t end up with some weird seam trying to hide extra columns of stitches. The Lionbrand site says that the pattern is completely up to date and I haven’t found any other posts of people having an issue, so either they are making a different size that has even numbers of stitches or I’m just crazy. I’ll knit it like the pattern says but I am not going to like it! Lol! If I get it finished and it looks funky, I’m ripping it out and knitting it in one piece. I’ll update more on that as I make more progress. Hopefully it won’t involve ripping things out.
I am wanting to start spinning more, but I am running into issues with my wheel and children. I still haven’t fixed my wheel from the last time my child broke it (no permanent damage, just loosened the nut holding the actual part that turns the wheel) and now I watch another child during the day, so I can’t always be in one room and I don’t trust either of them near it, even though she is older. Right now it is hidden in my storage closet which the kids aren’t allowed to get in to. It makes me so sad to have it locked away, but I don’t want it broken more permanently. I need to work on my schedule so that I can work more on things that I want to work on.
Speaking on scheduling, I am spending a lot of my time trying to learn a new skill (non fiber arts related). I’m one of those people who want to do it all, but I have had to sit down and look at life realistically. If something were to happen to my husband or he decided that he wanted to retire one day, I’m not in a very good position to jump into a career. I don’t have a ton of formal schooling and while I have a lot of experience in data entry and customer service, It isn’t my first choice of ways to spend my life. I’d love to write, but I don’t think I have the drive to do that, at least not at this point in my life, although I will always write. It’s what I do. By the way, my blog should not be any indication of my writing style! Lol! So what I am trying to say is that my spare time is being pulled yet another direction, as I am doing a ton of independent studying right now. I am not planning on quitting knitting or blogging, but my progress and posts probably won’t likely be as often as I’d like. Who knows. Maybe I will surprise myself!
Now since today is Saturday, I am going to spend most of the day laying around knitting, so I better get to it!

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Let it snow!

It’s been a while, but we’ve had a lot going on. Where to begin? Well let’s start with the most recent events! We have snow! I believe we got about 8 inches here in Northwest Arkansas but that is not an official number.

20131206-210932.jpg I am not a fan of cold weather but something about snow turns me into a giddy little girl again. I played in it twice. Jonathan has inherited the love of snow. That would be awesome if coming back into the nice warm house wasn’t a huge fight, but he’s 2 so I don’t expect any different.
What is the best thing to do on a beautiful, snowy day? Knit and drink the hot beverage of your choice while curled up on the couch in a cozy blankie. What did I do today? Sadly not knit. I have become obsessed with Pretty Little Liars and finished the second season today. I haven’t touched my knitting much since the obsession began, but luckily I will be done soon and life can go back to normal. I’m shooting to be done this weekend.
My birthday was last weekend (November 30). I got to start my birthday a little early with some shopping with my mom on Friday! Our first stop? The yarn shop!!! I couldn’t decide on what I wanted because I don’t have my next project picked out, but I did go home with a new set of needles for sock knitting. After we went and picked out a new top for me, I went home and ripped back to the cuff on my socks. Now that I am almost back to the heel, I’m thinking that should start all over, but we will see. Since I haven’t made that decision yet, I’m not really in a big hurry to knit on them.
I have worked a little on the cardigan for my handsome hubby. The back is completed and I have started on the right front. I’m a little past the ribbing but I’m a not real happy because it’s an odd number of stitches and it’s a knit 2 purl 2 rib. I’m beginning to feel like it would have been so much easier to have knit it as one piece. If I didn’t already have the back finished, I would. And despite the fact that the back is done, I may still rip it all back. I hate being indecisive about this kind of thing because it makes me not want to knit until I can figure it out. Maybe that will be a good thing to do tomorrow.

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Who needs monogamy?

For the first time in my knitting career, I have cast on two projects within days of each other, with the intent of working on both projects at the same time. I have been known to cast on a new project if I get bored with a current project, but I only work on one at at time. I know that the sweater will take me a while to knit and I want to start adding to my sock drawer so I cast on a pair of Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks. I have a feeling that I will end up working on just one project, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to knit on both regularly. I will post pictures at a later time. It’s pretty dark in this room and I have a snuggling baby so I’m not going to get up.
My knitting may be slowed down a little for the month of November, as I am planning on participating in NaNoWriMo. Believe it or not, I can actually write. I like to keep my blog pretty informal, especially since I usually post from my phone. That means there are the occasional autocorrects that I don’t catch, and punctuation errors. I’m excited for it, though 50,000 words is quite a bit considering I am a busy lady. It will take some scheduling time in, but I’m excited for it. If all goes well, I should have my first novel completed on my 31st birthday, which is a pretty awesome birthday present to myself if you ask me. I won’t blog much about it, but in case I don’t blog much in the month of November, you’ll know why!