Saturday, October 3, 2015


School started a couple of months ago here, so I am now officially the mom of two elementary students! (And goodbye daycare payments, woohoo!) What I'm wondering is when did I become old enough to have a third grader; I remember being a third grader.

Both boys are playing sports this year. J started a second season of soccer a few weeks ago, and after taking a couple year hiatus C had his first basketball practice this week.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a second Christmas stocking. I've pretty much conceded that E's and mine won't be done before this Christmas but I want to make sure both boys have theirs.


My scarf is slow going. Unfortunately I missed the deadline for the lace along I was participating in. It's pretty much become just my plane knitting since the stocking is too bulky to take.


Speaking of plane knitting, I got to cross another state off my list as I had to go to Oregon last week. I've now hit 40% of the US. By the way Portland is beautiful!

I'm also applying grad school! I'm mildly terrified - I'll be 35 when I start and 37 (hopefully) when I finish. I finished my Bachelors 2 days before my 22nd birthday so we're talking 15 years between the two degrees. My kids think it's funny that mom will have homework like them. I'll also be working full time. Goodbye free time ...


Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Finished Object

I finished the Christmas stocking I was working on. We took a week long vacation to San Diego, which gave me plenty of time to knit - we planned our vacation to have a lot of down time this year, not so go go go, which I think was great for everyone. By the time we pulled back in our driveway I only had to Kitchener the toe (I'm prone to car sickness so I couldn't look at my hands long enough while riding to finish it).

I absolutely love the way it turned out! But I wanted to try lining it so that nothing would catch on the floats if I stuffed it. While I am not an experienced sewer, lining this ended up being super easy.

I found an awesome snowflake fabric at Joann to coordinate with the knitted snowflake motif. Then I laid out my stocking on the fabric, tracing it and adding a half inch seam allowance. I cut it slightly shorter than the stocking (up to the red ridge).

I cut the first piece out, then used it to trace the second piece (turning it so I wouldn't have two front side pieces and no backside pieces.

I wanted to have the right side of the fabric showing towards the inside of the stocking so I was careful to think through which way to sew it. Using my sewing machine I sewed so the right sides were facing each other, all around the stocking except for the top. Then I turned it right side out. I turned the stocking inside out and slid the lining over the inside out stocking. Once it was on the way I wanted it, I stitched the lining to the stocking using an overlock stitch.
The great thing about this particular stocking pattern is there is basically a ridge that forms on the inside near the top, which was the perfect place to attach the lining. Once I finished attaching it I only had to flip the stocking right side out and voilĂ  it was done!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Tutu Part two

A few years ago I made a tutu for my niece's second birthday. Obviously she has outgrown that one but a few months ago she asked me to make her a new one. She wanted one like Angelina Ballerina's friend (I have boys who have no interest in the show so I have no idea what her name is). I followed the same pattern as before but obviously made it wider and longer. I varied the length slightly between 13-15 inches long (so I cut the strips between 27-29 inches) to give it a little bit of depth.

I forgot that the increased width and length would really add up. I went through just under four rolls of tulle! But what fun - I kind of want one for me!

I packaged it up with two books to create a nice little gift.

Happy birthday to one of my favorite five year olds!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I think I'm finally getting in the groove with my stocking and am really starting to make progress. In a week I've gone from this:

To this:

It helped to switch needles. I was using my Hiya Hiyas with five inch tips. They were just slightly too long and I felt like I had to force the yarn around because it was stretched so tight. I switched to a four inch tip and now it seems like it's going much more smoothly.


Monday, June 22, 2015


What a hectic month! So much happened with family and work. My sister got married! I'm so excited for her and my new BIL is a great guy. I was one of the bridesmaids and my boys were both in the wedding too. I finished the bow ties that I was working on for the little boys.

I'm so happy with the way they turned out.

(Goofy kid modeling the tie at the wedding)

Speaking of this goofy kid, he finished preschool!
And C finished second grade! It's hard to believe that I will have two in elementary school in the fall. They're growing up so fast - J was about 6 months old and C was younger than J is now when I started blogging.

We also adopted a new dog. It was sort of unplanned. We had been talking about getting another dog but hadn't made a firm decision or found one who fit with our family. Then my SIL told us about someone who needed to re home their dog. When we heard more about the dog we knew she would be a perfect fit for our family. So meet Foxy!

She's two and about 30 lbs. She loves our boys and gets along amazingly with our other two. I'm so glad she joined our household.

On top of all of that I also had to travel out of state twice for work in the last month. Not so bad but certainly kept me hopping with all of the other things going on too.

And of course where would I be without my knitting. I finished a set of washcloths for the bride; paired with some Bath and Bodyworks soap and voila I had a nice gift.
Now I'm working on a couple of the projects on my resolution list. I've started the first Christmas stocking. I'm using some leftover acrylic worsted weight from my grandma and a size 7 needle. The pattern is Fiona's stocking and has a spot for customizing names on each one. I also was really drawn to the snowflake motif.
I'm also working on a lacy scarf with a great merino silk blend. This tends to be my more portable project and one that I pick up when I don't feel like eating a chart. It's lace but only has two alternating pattern rows, with a row of purling between each one. The pattern is Strangling Vines and it's perfect for anyone looking for an easy intro to lace. Bonus - one of the groups I belong to on Ravelry is having a lace along, so that is providing the momentum I need to finish it.









Sunday, May 17, 2015

Your time, your place

When do I knit?

Normally my knitting time is at night, after my kids and hubby go to bed. I kick my feet up and try to take advantage of the hubbub of the day dying down in "my" spot on the couch. I also have a great knitting group that I meet with for an hour once a week to knit, compare projects and gab.

I also have a few other non-everyday times that I sneak a little extra knitting in. First, my new job requires a little more traveling than before. I'm a nervous flyer, so having my needles with me helps make the flight go a little smoother. I also make sure to set aside a few hours for knitting every year on my birthday (today, yay!) I go to Starbucks, drink my latte, and knit and just completely relax.

Where do I knit?

Well, as I alluded to before, my primary knitting spot is the couch, even though I sometimes knit in public too. But the space that I really consider my knitting place is our office/craft room. We still need a place for a computer and some books but I've turned the rest of the space into a home for all of my yarn (and fabric and paints and ribbon).

I love this space. It's so cozy and inviting! I've noticed even my kids hang out in here more since we made this a crafting space. I'm so lucky to have a space like this.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

All About Me

So today's topic for Knitting and Crochet blog week is not about knitting per se but rather all about the blogger. So some things to know about me.

  1. I have been married for almost 14 years
  2. I met my husband in high school. Yes our prom picture is hanging on the wall (next to our wedding picture)
  3. I have only sisters, no brothers
  4. However I have only sons, no daughters
  5. I love warm weather. I freeze in temperatures below 80 F. Lucky for me I live in Arizona
  6. My favorite color is green
  7. I have surprisingly little green yarn
  8. I love "chick lit" books. It's the reading equivalent of a brownie
  9. Someday I want to visit all fifty states. So far I've been to 19 of them
  10. If I could have any career I'd be a professional singer. Not really a practical idea, though, so I think I'll just stick to singing in the car
  11. Part of the reason I learned to knit was to keep me busy after I finished college and no longer had mountains of homework
  12. I may have a slight sock yarn addiction
  13. I only wear socks a few months of the year (see the aforementioned living in AZ)
  14. I'm a novice sewer but I can see why people love it
  15. I like to make lists


Monday, May 11, 2015

If I was yarn...

...what would I be?

Today is the first day of the sixth annual Knit and Crochet blog week and the first topic is "If you were yarn, what would you be?" An interesting topic for sure. There are so many different types of yarn out there, each with their own purpose for knitting and/or crocheting. Cotton is great for washcloths but can really stretch as a garment unless blended with another yarn. Silk is soft and luxurious but very delicate and wouldn't be good for a child's stuffed animal. In way people are like this too. We all have such different personalities but each person has a purpose and place in this world.

Okay, enough philosophy. Onto me and what yarn I would consider myself to be. I thought about the properties yarn has and think I have an idea. I would consider myself 100% wool. Wool is versatile and can be used in so many projects. Wool can be stretched and molded into shape. It has great memory. But if you agitate it too much, it can felt, shrinking in on itself.

I am known for my memory. I am versatile and can participate in many projects and activities. Too much agitation can be hard on me. So wool-like.
Want to see what other knitters think they are? Search 6kcbwday1!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bow ties are Cool

My sister is getting married next month and thought it would be cute for the little boys in the wedding (C, J, my nephew and BIL's nephew) to wear bow ties. Problem is she needs light pink ones. So far ever store we checked has black ones or plaid ones. Solution: sew them!
All the patterns I've seen seem very simple but I wanted to practice before I volunteered to make them. I found a great tutorial from this website. It basically amounts to folding a rectangle and sewing it, folding it and sewing it again, etc. Easy enough for this novice sewer.
I used some fabric from Ikea that had somewhat abstract automobiles on it. It ended up looking like swirled fabric by the time I was done, but that's okay. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Now onto four pink ones (using satin, eek!).
Bonus - I accomplished something on my resolution list, which was to sew something wearable.



Thursday, April 2, 2015

On My Needles

I can finally talk about what's been on my needles lately - birthday socks for my husband. He likes to cycle so I thought it would be fun to make him socks that match a couple of his riding jerseys. I found a great yarn through Yarns to Inspire on Etsy called Holidaze. I used my usual sock method - cuff down and heel flap - but I cast on 72 stitches instead of 64. I also did just five inches for the cuff because E doesn't like socks that are too tall. The pooling on this yarn is really cool, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Unfortunately I only got one of the two socks done before E's birthday. I think I forgot to take into account how much bigger the sock is than mine, just by adding eight stitches to each row and a somewhat longer foot. Plus only being able to knit later at night when he was asleep. Oh well, at least I was able to give him one with an IOU for the other!


Update - I finished them, just a couple weeks after his birthday. He liked them

Friday, February 27, 2015

Another pair of socks

Recently I finished a new pair of socks. This pair was my "I need a small project; I want to work on something for me; I have nothing else to work on; my feet are cold" socks. In other words I picked them up and put them down repeatedly over the last six months until I really felt compelled to actually make an effort to finish them.

This pair has actually traveled farther than my other three pairs. I started them on a plane ride to Denver, when I didn't want to bring the boys' Christmas sweater projects with me because of the size it would have taken in my carryon and I was procrastinating on the washcloths I did for Christmas. Socks seemed like a good solution.

The yarn is Candy Skein's in the Blue Hawaiian colorway. This was the August 2013 color of the month. What a great yarn to knit with! The socks are super comfy and the colors just came alive before my eyes. It's amazing to see that the yarn started out as the yarn in the middle of this group.
The pattern was my usual top down, heel flap pattern that I like so much. And with that I'm one third of the way to my goal of making at least three pairs this year.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Totally turtle time

I knitted another Sheldon - we're having a baby shower for a coworker this week at work. She's having a girl so I thought it would be fun to use pink for the shell. Otherwise I did it pretty much the same as my last Sheldon. I did find the crocheting much easier than the last one but man, the icord border is still super tricky and time consuming. It looks great though so I think it's worth it.

I plan on pairing it with a book (probably Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton). A few of my coworkers and I are putting together a basket of stuff so these will go with some diapers, receiving blankets and the like. Should be cute when it's done!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Goodbye grandma

Yesterday my family had to say goodbye to a kind, beautiful, funny woman. My grandma passed away early last week and we had her memorial yesterday. So many great stories were shared and we all smiled and laughed at the memories. Goodbye Grandma, you will forever be in my heart.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Recap and 2015 Resolutions

2014 was an interesting year to say the least. Lots of changes and quite a few rough patches. Towards the beginning of the year I started a new job after twelve years at my old one. That was definitely one of the high points of the year - I'm very happy with the change I made. Unfortunately I lost my grandpa this year and we had to put down our (almost) 14 year old dog. J broke his arm, I dealt with a bad staph infection, and C had to have oral surgery to remove an extra tooth in his palate. I'm hoping 2015 is a healthier year.

C turned 7 this year. (I can't believe I have a second grader. I remember being a second grader!) J turned five. E and I celebrated our lucky number 13 anniversary. We were fortunate enough to vacation with E's family in San Diego for a week this summer. The boys got to experience Legoland for the first time and we had lots of beach time. I also got to travel some for work this year, going to San Diego, Denver and Seattle. I've only been through Denver, not staying there (for example we ate at Casa Bonita on the way back from Iowa last summer) so it was nice to spend some time there, even if I was pretty busy. I did manage to find time one evening to have dinner with a friend too! Seattle was great too - again really busy but I'd never been there before. Very different than Arizona.

We were also hit with an epic rainstorm here. Our area went one of the longest times without rain but later in the year we had a 100 year storm come through. It literally flooded out most of the freeways. I'd never seen anything like it.

And now onto my 2014 resolution list. Like most of the past few years, I got through 40% of my list. First the hits.

  • Read five books - yep, in fact I read at least seven. A couple of reasons, one I put more effort into it; two with the new job I was traveling more. More time in airports and on planes led to a lot more reading time.
  • Organizing the pantry - I knocked this out early in the year and kept it more or less fixed the whole year.
  • Make a crochet project - I made washcloths to go along with my homemade vanilla extract and one was crocheted. It finally seemed to click with me.
  • Sew a needle holder - It was a little wonky - one piece was sewn in the wrong order so a seam shows on the outside. But it works wonderfully and I use it all the time.
  • Frosting piping practice - Decorated my son's birthday cupcakes in a Minecraft theme.
  • Blog at least three times a month - I'm going to fudge and say yes. Some months I didn't hit at least three times but I did get over 36 posts total for the year and wrote at least once every month.

And now the misses. Make bread, make truffles, make caramels. Nope, still on the baking bucket list. Although I have yeast in the pantry, ready to go... Learn to play guitar - never made it a priority. Learn entrelac, learn a new cast on or off - I really tried a new cast on, I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Garden - I have such a black thumb! Lose 23 pounds - epic fail, I actually put a little weight back on.

So the list for 2015 will have some repeats on it. But I've got a few new things too:

  • Blog three times a month (36 for the year)
  • Make stockings by Christmas for each member of the family
  • Knit at least three pairs of socks (2/27/15, 4/14/15; 12/23/15)
  • Make a shawl/stole
  • Sew an item of clothing (5/3/15)
  • Make bread
  • Make caramels
  • Make truffles
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Read at least seven books (40 Love - 2/11/15; Sleeping Arrangements - 2/22/15; Baby Proof - 5/18/15; Fishbowl - 5/23/15; The Good Daughters - 6/181/15; Inside the O'Briens - 7/29/15; Funny Girl - 8/3/15; The Help - 9/18/15; Fall of Marigolds - 9/29/15; The One and Only - 10/29/15; Still Alice - 11/1/115; Shopaholic to the Rescue - 12/29/15)
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Learn a new cast on/cast off
  • Finish office/craft room organization

Hopefully I finish above 40% this year! Here's to a great 2015!