Thursday, October 24, 2013

A New Obsession: Tundra Elements

You guys. For real. I am totally obsessed with the designs from the Tundra Elements collection of sweaters designed by Maura Kirk.
How bad is it, you ask? I keep going on Ravelry hoping more people have started more projects for me to look at and read about( which hasn't happened.) I keep gazing wistfully at the back cover of my Harry Potter Knits magazine at the ad for the designs wishing I had that pattern book that on my lap, on the table in front of me also.

(Gotta love a good old Rav screenshot, right?!)
I can't decide which sweater I would make first. I'm not a fan of huge collars like the ones on Dragonslark or Sugarcane Island, but they aren't any less appealing to me either. I am torn between the Echo Lodge, Luckiest Day, and Reality Machine sweaters. So cozy looking. So perfect for Wisconsin winters. And edgy designs.

I even added the book to my husband's Amazon cart. (Can we say subliminal messaging? Haha!) Now, can someone tell my husband to buy me an early Christmas present?!

Disclaimer: I was NOT asked to review this, discuss, or was compensated or offered anything for this post by the designer, publishing company, or yarn company mentioned.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Slow Going

I still don't have a new screen on my computer but I'll suffer through writing on my phone this week.

I'm still working on the sock I started the first week of the month. I've been so busy this month I'm actually preferring to sleep and be with the family rather than knit in my free time. Crazy, I know. It is a Rachel Coopey pattern from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine. The pattern is the Narcissa Socks.

Also, it has probably been going slow because I hate making socks and I have two pair (including these) to make for Christmas this year. The lace is beautiful but it cramps my hands and slows me down.

I also cast on for hats since Halloween is going to be frigid by the looks of it this year. I picked up hairspray for costumes this week but, um $$ and cold vs. knit a hat? Yeah. Knitting the hats.
As you can see I am also lacking in basic photo shop too this week as a result of the aforementioned issues.

I also don't think I've picked up a book in six weeks or more. So no reading recommendations here this week.Even my daily Catechism emails are done so I'm really not reading anything.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Technical Difficulties

Things will be quiet around here for a while since my computer was broken last week and needs major repairs.
My only access to this is via cell phone at the moment and that is a pain and a half so I'm just taking a break.
That being said, I'll keep projects updated on my Ravelry account, linked to at right ------>
Thanks, and happy knitting.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Book

I started and finished reading a book on Sunday night that I found at my parents' house. It was in a stack of my brother's college reading material that was in a donate/get rid of pile.

Persepolis is a memoir by Marjane Satrapi about a woman who was born in and raised in Iran until her parents sent her to Austria when she was fourteen. It was a quick read because it is written in a comic strip form, although very far from comedic. She depicts a childhood full of political uncertainty, although her parents were very loving, supportive, and provided her with a stable life. She includes the changes in their neighbors and personal lives once the government was taken over by Muslim extremists.

She has written two other books and I think I might look into them. I've read other books, fictional, about Middle Eastern life as depicted by authors born and raised in the situations they are writing about. I guess I'm not really sure why I am so interested in the subject, since I have no connection to anything related.

As far as knitting goes, Christmas gifts are on the needles, and since a few others reminded us all last week that it is "Socktober" I figured I'd knit along. I've got a couple people who have requested socks from me so despite my dislike for them, here I am making more. Also still blocking the fair isle sweater I finished on Saturday.

Click on the buttons below for more projects and book recommendations:


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Answered Prayers

I don't usually share about my personal life on here but since I have requested prayers from anyone who actually reads me, I think you deserve this post. And since timing coincides with this link-up, here is a more personal one.

But you'll have to scroll through the fluff first. Hahaha.
We got a cat at the beginning of last month. First we named her Alexandria. But it didn't fit well and it was too hard for our son to say, so we renamed her Rosie. It was my idea. Since the boys are named after saints, I figured the cat should be too. I thought Rosie would work, after the "Little Rose," Terese of Liseux.

We have a pocket gopher problem and they've been slowly spreading over the last month. But it makes for great geological dig sites for the boys, so I can't complain too much.

Of course, you have to love a good crisp morning walk.

And finally, the answer to many prayers from me, my friends and family:

A friend who also got in said, "I keep waiting for my acceptance letter to self destruct after reading." I feel the same. I know I still have two years before this is all said and done, but my job exhausts me. Psychology is not and never was for me. I have lost my charitable attitude towards my patients. I'm tired of getting peed on, pooped on, bit, hit, punched, kicked, and a first from the weekend, the back of my neck strangled. I'm tired of being a pion at work, and I know that when I'm an RN I will never take the aids I have to work with for granted. And yes, I know these things are all just as likely to happen to me as an RN too. But this weekend, while helping a patient clean up in the bathroom, the patient grabbed me by the back of the neck and let me tell you, it was the most painful thing I've yet put up with at work. The person can't help it due to their diagnosis, but for cripes sake, my charge nurse acted like it didn't matter because "[they were] hallucinating."

I have no patience left for my kids when I get home in the morning. It has gotten to the point where my son repeatedly tells me "Mommy, I sorry for making you mad" almost every day that follows a work night, despite the fact that I cut back on my hours in August. I can't stand that. My boys deserve so much better than a mother who is on edge and upset all the time. So much prayer over the last year has been devoted to receiving this letter, with those words, that when I opened the mail the other day I actually cried. And I swear to you, I'm not a crier. All the stress, all the emotional struggles from work, the knowledge that I have something to actually look forward to, just caught up with me. I didn't even cry after my kids were this means a lot.
Catch The Moment

Monday, October 7, 2013


Spring buds

Early summer blossoms

First fruits
From our other tree

My applesauce recipe:
Take apples, core and skin them, and boil in minimal water. I do this as I pick them, and freeze them, so I don't usually add water since the ice adds water when cooked.

After apples have softened, remove from stove and carefully begin puréeing in a leak proof blender (also why I don't use a food processor for this).
My blending setup

Place applesauce back on stove and add spices to your preferred tastes. I don't add sugar but otherwise I like my applesauce to taste like pureed apple pie filling, so this year I added 1/3 cup of cinnamon, and sprinkled the batch with a little nutmeg and a little cloves. Even for me that was more cinnamon than I prefer.
I like to can on a tray because messes clean up easier
and I can just rotate the jars instead of shifting them around when they're hot.

Pour into hot, washed canning jars to half an inch from top, remove air and put a hot washed lid and ring on. I always take a clean rag to the lip of the jar to make sure there will be a tight seal after processing.

I process according to the Ball Blue Book Guide, for twenty minutes in a hot water bath. However, look up the specific instructions to get it right. My jars overflowed the first time I processed them because I didn't measure the 1/2" allowance correctly, and probably didn't get enough air out. I ended up getting new lids and doing it again.

My eight-quart pot, which was full, fit into only 6 1/2 quarts. Please, Maths, explain that one to me. And no, I didn't eat the other quart and a half.

So there you go. I've got applesauce.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Knitting Memes

I just have one for you today. It came to me while reading the Wednesday link up posts. Someone was talking about how annoying it is when patterns say to "decrease x stitches evenly across row." I agree... It's pretty much one of the most annoying directions someone can put in a pattern because I'm terrible at math.
So for everyone who agrees, this one is for you.

And here's the blank template. If you're not familiar with the meme, ask YouTube.

Make sure you go to church today.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Visit to the Yarn Garage

I did some Christmas shopping today and decided to check out a new yarn shop. And by new, I mean a shop I haven't been to before.
These are some photos of the Yarn Garage in Rosemont, MN. Make sure you go on a day you have other obligations or you will never leave. Ever. I'm serious.
The back of the store

Wood shelves display amazing
hand painted yarns.

Yarn to the ceiling

The walls were literally covered in yarn. To the ceilings. You are completely surrounded. It's every yarn addict's dream, and their husband's worst nightmare.
The store is great. It's well lit. It's located in the heart of downtown Rosemount, so it's very convenient to stop in when you're doing other things downtown.

One thing I think is pretty much genius about Yarn Garage is the number of their display projects done with novelty yarns. It can be so difficult to visualize the outcome of a project you are considering knitting in mohair, glittered, sequined, furry, and other outrageous yarns. And the projects are beautiful.

I bought two skeins of Cascade, because I love it, and my very first skein of Madelinetosh. That will become a gift for someone who I know will handle with care, love, and wear the crap out of the gift. I know the future recipient of the yarn will appreciate the work, so I splurged on her.


Yarn Garage has a swift available for customers to use if you choose to ball your yarn there, or if you don't have your own. They have events and classes posted on a chalkboard behind the register so you know what's going on and when.

The store is organized more by yarn brands than by yarn weights, unlike a lot of other stores I've been to. Yarn weights increase the higher up the wall you look. I really liked this setup but I am sure it's not convenient for everyone.

Another unique thing about the Yarn Garage is that it has its own yarn produced by and for the store. The yarn is Steven Be and while the yarn is really nice, I had a hard time choking back my sticker shock. Sorry Yarn Garage, I'm just being honest.

I hope I'll be able to visit again soon, when I'm back in the area.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this by the store featured, or anyone else. Opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

18 Rows

You guys. Seriously. I have only 18 rows of fair isle left on this sweater. And there are 5 rows with decreases in those remaining 18.
I feel like I'm in the home stretch and I'm amazed it's gone so fast. Well, faster than I expected considering it calls for size two needles... I've been working on it since the end of July.

So there you go.
Still reading Silas Marner, finished The Help last Thursday.

See more by clicking below:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Love Your Library: October Goals

Started by Snapdragon Crafts, the Love Your Library Challenge was started as a way to make projects from the pattern library that has been building up in all of our closets and other nooks and crannies in our houses. I have enjoyed trying to show my small pattern library a bit more love, especially since my discovery of Ravelry last fall.

Just a short and simple one this time. I have to do another 42 rows on the afghan (that's how long one pattern repeat is). I also need to find another pattern in my library to work on.

So far, I've started and finished only four two library challenge projects this year. But even if I only finish the afghan and nothing else for this, I'm going to be a really happy camper.

I could swear I bought the bear pattern last year, but my Craftsy purchase record doesn't have the date and I never mentioned these in the monthly updates, so I really do only have two library projects done. Ugh.

See my other Library Challenge posts below.

Previous LYL posts:

January Goals
January Wrap-up
February Goals
February Wrap-up
March Goals 

April Goals
April Wrap-up/May goals
May Wrap-up
June Goals
June Wrap-Up/July Goals
July Wrap-Up
August/September Update