Monday, December 31, 2012

I Love Knitalongs


Yesterday I was thinking about how much knit blogging has changed over the years. When I first started, knitting blogs were around every corner on the internet. If you were thinking about making a certain new scarf/sweater/sock pattern from Knitty, you could find bloggers making it. Now you look on Ravelry for that. And most of the knit bloggers have faded away into the ether. I spent last night looking for knitting blogs that are still active. Most of the ones I used to read are gone. Either defunct or changed into something else. Earlier this year I asked myself if I should make the 'goodbye' post that I've seen on a lot of blogs in the past few years. However, I love blogging even though I don't do it much. I've always wanted to be one of those people who could find something to say every day. I've decided to try to have something to say 4 or 5 times a week. We'll see how this goes.

Today I am showing you my orange sock project:


I worked on these a bit yesterday. This is the second sock. I wear socks like these quite a bit, so I thought I'd give this pattern a try last summer. I don't actually have enough of the orange yarn to finish them, so I will will be finishing with some leftover yarn from the red scarf I made last year.

I am now just a row or two away from the decreases on my lopi sweater. Very exciting stuff. I decided to join a 13 sweater knitalong for 2013. I think I can count this one. One of the knitalongs I am going to attempt to do lets you count things you are currently working on. It could be the sock one, though. I am pretty sure I could knit 13 sweaters in a year. I have knit a lot of sweaters in my life. And my kids could use some. I also decided to go for it and join a shawl knitalong. It is called 12 Shawls Forever. I don't think I could knit 12 small shawls in a year, but I could knit several. And I love shawls. They are perfect for keeping cozy and warm. Plus they are beautiful. Not sure what my first up will be since I can't count the Stephen West one I started a year and a half ago. I still have to finish a couple projects before I can start on a shawl for the knitalong. Gives me a reason to get that knitting mojo going, though! The knitalongs I've decided to try to do are all Ravelry groups and are linked in the side bar under 'Things I'm Doing'.

I hope everyone out there has a happy and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Knitting Project List



I've made my list of projects have going. I think I have them all. Now I am considering whether I should try the one project until its done method. It is actually mostly what I have been doing recently. And it does seem like most of my projects are well on their way to being done. Some of the projects way down the list aren't, but I am not sure I will bother with completing them. One of my sock projects is going to require the book to either reappear or be bought again. Here is my list:

Lopi sweater
Bonsai vest
bun hat
orange socks
brown socks
purple mittens
Brent's socks
Earth Sky shawl
Revontuli shawl
Cathedral mittens
mystery scarf

I even made a short list of things I would like to make or need, but I am not going to bother posting it. It will no doubt change before I get a few of these things done. Here is a picture of my current project, the Lopi sweater:



I am just a few rows from the first decrease of the yoke. Very exciting stuff because I've been having a hard time keeping all the stitches on the needles. Especially if the little knitters touch it.

Here is a picture of my updo from a couple days ago:



This is a nautilus bun held with my large flexi-8.

I haven't been doing anything for my hair lately, so I have promised myself to give it a good oiling tonight. Tomorrow will be wash day, so tonight is perfect for a heavy oiling.

Last summer I cut myself some layers and long side bangs. I cut the bangs long so if I wanted them shorter, I could trim further. After a few months, I have decided to let everything grow out. I really hate the layers poking out of my braid because they tend to poke my through my shirt. I find it almost impossible to wear a braid these days unless I bun the braid. And I love braids. My next trim will be in February, but I really don't think it will make a difference in my braid poking me through my clothes. I didn't cut any of the layers above my shoulders, but the growing out will probably take a couple years. The worst offenders seem to be the longer ones, so hopefully a year from now the poky braid business will have passed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Goals, 2013

I decided to make some knitting goals for the new year. Here they are:

1 I am going to knit more. I love to knit.
2 I am going to learn to knit continental. Probably on a sweater project.
3 Learn to knit socks on circular needles
4 Do 2 socks at once.
5 Quit starting new projects all the time.


Back when I started this blog, I knit 1, maybe 2 things at a time. One year at Christmas I went insane and started too many projects. Ever since then I have been wallowing in projects. Yesterday I successfully prevented myself from starting some earwarmers. My new plan is that if I want to start something new, I have to finish 2 current projects first. I am really tired of having all these unfinished projects laying around. Sick and tired of it. Some will probably end up being frogged. And if I am not going to want to knit them, why not? I'll use the yarn knitting something I WANT to knit. I have loads of fingering weight yarns laying around dying to be knit into mittens from Nancy's Bush's books. And into tams.

I'm going to have to get a running total of projects I have going so I know what I am up against as far as finishing stuff. Maybe I will post a list in the side bar or something. That would be fun.

Lately I have been knitting on my Lopi sweater. I am almost done. I am well into knitting the yoke, the most fun part of the whole sweater.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Came!

Now it's fall and the weather is nicer. The kids are settled into school and I am settled into work for another year.

For the last couple weeks I've been working on my new etsy shop. I've been agonizing for a long time over what to do about the shop. Do I stick with just yarn and let everything else go? Or do I keep everything? My final decision was to move the yarn to its own shop. 3 Grrrls Handmade will continue on, but is going to be mostly hair stuff. Right now, the other stuff is going to stay until its current listing expires. Then it will not come back. The kitchen and bath stuff will go to my kitchen and my bathrooms. Once I made up my mind, the real work started. I had forgotten how much work went into setting up a shop. And then I had to start copying listings from one shop to the other. You can't transfer listings to a new shop, so there is lots of copy and paste. Right now, there is still quite a bit of yarn to move, but most of it is in my new shop, Moon Stone Farm Yarn.

I am hoping in October I will hit the magic place and lose some more weight. In August I lost 5 pounds. It was exciting to finally find myself able to do all the right things at the same time and get results. I can eat right, but I don't exercise enough OR I exercise enough but don't eat right. So I am trying to get on track with BOTH at the same time. I'd like to lose 17 pounds by January. Right now I am not confident I can manage it. It would be so nice if I could fit in my old clothes again. Otherwise I will have to get rid of them.

I've been knitting away on my Lopi sweater. I am going to be very happy wearing it this winter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Finally, Pictures Are Back

I'm getting tired of short, picture-less posts. So today, pictures.

The other day, I trimmed my hair. I use this method to trim. It works well for me. I took a bit more than an inch off.

Some pictures of my fair ribbons. Once again, everything I took placed. Here they are:



I'm making some changes to the blog. It has stayed relatively the same for a long time now. Time to change the look, add some pages. Have some fun. I'm even thinking about getting a domain name. We'll see. I want to finally add some of my patterns. Having them online would solve my problem when I need to make Brent a new hat and I've lost track of the book I wrote his special pattern down in. Right now, I know where the book of handwritten patterns are. I need to type them up and post them somewhere.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August

Finally, I can get my laptop online anytime I want. It took a new router, but now everything is working fine.

I haven't taken pictures of all my fair entries and their ribbons yet. It seems like I've just been behind on these things lately. We are finally enjoying the summer and getting some relaxation. School starts for the kids at the end of the month and the week after that, I go back to work. It will be fun to get back to preschool. I love all those sweet little faces.

I've been getting back on track with my fitness plans the past few weeks. I also decided to give up sugar. And I feel great! I decided I wouldn't eat things with a lot of sugar or added sugar. Fruit juice with sugar added? No way. It's hard to find juice that I trust to not have sugar added, so I haven't drank much of that stuff for years anyway. I did decide to allow myself something sweet every week in case I ever really want something. So far I have done really well. One day I forgot I had quit sugar and ate something sweet. I don't know if it is really not eating sugar or the combination of other things, but I am feeling great. And if I am feeling like something sweet, there is always fruit.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fair Week

I am on the hunt for a picture program that will allow me to crop my pictures. The Canon programs that came with my camera don't seem to allow cropping. I had a hard time finding out how to resize the pictures for putting them on the web. Anyone out there know anything?

Today is 4H interview day at the fair. We have to finish putting the book together this morning. It amazes me how much my oldest child hates doing a little work. It might be easier to go after her teeth with pliers than get her to work on her 4H book. Next year we are going to work on it as we go. Last year she was a clover bud and it was EASY. I warned my pal Heather that she is in for it next year when her son will be a full fledged 4H'er.

Cold weather will be here soon, so I am starting to think about cold weather knitting. I need new chore mittens for this winter. The thumb unraveled on my last ones. I shouldn't think about new knitting projects when I have old ones to either frog or finish.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

So Little Time

This week is our county fair. I don’t know what I am taking, really. It will all be up in the air until the very last moment. I didn’t make anything just to take to the fair. It was just too much pressure to bother with. I have a kid with a 4H book to get ready. That is pressure enough.

I haven’t knit at all in days. I’ve been crocheting on flowers to go on a baby hat I’ve made. I haven’t really had time to get a lot done on them. It requires concentration and I’ve been busy with too many other things lately.

I wanted to show off the braided bun I did yesterday, but I loaded it on the laptop and tonight the laptop can’t get online. The desktop and the tablet have no issues getting online, so I don’t know what is up. Some kind of annoying issue. I’ll have to ask my computer expert about it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The New Toy

Finally, I am typing up my first blog post on my new laptop! My report? I love it. Now if I could find the disk for my camera's programs...

My raised beds have little sprouts in them! I had been worried that the heat would dry them out too quickly for the seeds to sprout. I'm getting excited about the possibilities for my fall garden.

Of course, now I am going to have to be Farmer MacGregor and start packing a gun to get rid of rabbits. If I call them bunnies, I'll feel bad about blowing them away. We have so many, they aren't afraid of me. Yet. I think that if they aren't afraid, it is definitely an infestation. I really don't like them. They will attract hungry coyotes, bobcats, foxes and who knows what else. And they will all take an interest in browsing the other delicacies. Chickens, ducks, turkey, baby goats. No babies right now, but I have 2 does getting wider by the minute. I want the babies alive and sellable. Too bad I can't sell cottontails....

Friday, July 27, 2012

One Tomato

I am pleased to announce I am getting a new computer!  The first in the history of this blog.  The machine I am typing on now was bought when our 9 year old was 8 months old.  This thing is beyond dinosaur.  And it is close to refusing to upload another single picture onto it.  The other day it tried to refuse to upload only 4 pictures.  I deleted a lot of pictures a few months ago and it didn’t really help.  I think there is more clogging up this pc than pictures.  I’ve uninstalled a lot programs that I never use.  It is just time to quit asking it to bear the whole load.  When my new laptop arrives, this one can go into semi-retirement.  My new laptop is a Dell Inspiron N7110.  After ordering it from Geeks, I read a lot of mixed reviews on it.  But I also couldn’t find the exact one that I ordered reviewed anywhere.  It has 6 GB memory and a 1T hard drive, and the closest I could find was much smaller.  So this one may have different parts in it than the ones I saw reviews for.  Expect a report sometime soon.

Summer rolls on.  I keep thinking the things I planted in my raised bed should be sprouting already.  Then I look at the seed packets and the calendar and try to get real.  You can’t expect every seed to sprout 1 day after it was planted.  Last night, I found this list of things to plant in your fall garden.  I’m glad, because there were a couple things I hadn’t thought to put on my list.  This fall garden better pay off, because I am putting a lot of work and research into it. And look who my husband brought in the other day:


The other day, a friend gave me a bag of swiss chard and a bag of kale.  I am totally addicted to having cooked greens with my supper.  Don’t know how I am going to survive for the next month or two without them.  Maybe the veg stand I go to has some in their little cooler.

Look, I still knit and crochet:


I just haven’t been doing much lately.  Too many other things need done.  Like all the gardening stuff, jam, and turning goat milk into cheese so we can have food in the refrigerator.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby Plants


Look! Broccoli! Very, very tiny broccoli. That was Tuesday morning. Later, kale and broccoli raab joined the baby plant party. Those little sprouts are going to become part of our fall and winter garden. Monday I planted some things in one of our raised beds. Our spring garden plans didn’t do well this year, so I started some late beans, carrots, green onions, and peas. I have confidence in everything but the peas. They may not want to sprout in the heat.

Here is a little something from the few things we got planted this spring:


Sadly, they are all gone. I am sure that there will be more in just a few days. We are also days away from our very first ripe big tomato. I’m disturbed by the lack of tomatoes on the vines right now, but I suppose it is early in tomato season.

I am happy to say we are now going to be enjoying what remains of summer. No more swimming lessons and only a few days next week at the fair. To me, summer is about staying home most of the time and having slow life. No hurrying to be places. So far this summer, it has been nothing but hurry to be here or there. The school year seemed a lot more leisurely.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Berries!

It’s been a busy few days with this stuff:



Lots of jam and a few desserts have been made and enjoyed. The first picture was of berries in the pot getting ready to become jam. The second is this recipe for triple berry crisp. It is SO good! You have to try it.

I have been thinking a lot lately about food production. One of the things that really bothers me about growing my own and making my own is my husband’s inability to consume an animal raised here. It isn’t an emotional attachment. He seems to only want to eat meat from the store. After we butchered our lamb last year, he refused to eat any of it. He kept claiming it tasted funny. Right now, he won’t eat any lasagna HE made because he had to use goat cheese in it. He claims it tastes like the buck we no longer own smelled. The doe we have in milk does not smell like a buck. I know that goat cheese can have a strong flavor, but I don’t think chevre has much taste at all. He told himself it was going to be awful before he even ate it. To be honest, I think he is a freaking ignoramus.

I have always wanted to live as self sufficiently as possible. Sometimes the people you love don’t make things easy. So you have to do it without them. Maybe they will join the party later. Maybe they won’t.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Busy With Fiddling

Last week and the weekend were hectic. My oldest child participated in her first fiddle contest. She’s been playing her fiddle for about 2 years now. She didn’t make it past the first round, but she enjoyed being there and had a good experience. It was a fun time. Now we might have to start calling her Fiddler #1 instead of Knitter #2.

The heat last week lasted. We had 3 consecutive days of 109 here at our house. Ugh. Now the low 90’s feel fantastic. Almost cool. One night when I went to milk the goat, it was still nearly 100 out. I milk fairly late in the evening.

Our little trip resulted in me having some unpleasant digestive troubles. Awful gas, awful yuckiness. I’ve never been so happy to see vegetables in my life. When I was a teenager I went on a trip where the water was scary and I couldn’t drink it. When I got home I loved water like I never had before. My love of water has never since waned. This trip may have made me love vegetables in that way. I’ve always liked them, but I really craved them when I got home. There were none to be had in the park where the festival was. Restaurant food is notoriously shy of REAL vegetables. I bought a salad on the way home that really was very poor. It had lettuce, but a lot of it was full of the thick stem bits that aren’t very good. It had 2 small tomatoes and 3 pieces of cucumber. It was a pathetic salad, but I was desperate for something good to eat.

My friend and I took our kids to see this:


Shoshone Falls outside of Twin Falls. I hear they are amazing in the spring when the run off has all the rivers high. They are pretty amazing in the middle of the summer.


Monday, July 09, 2012

Cuties

To start out today, I am going to complain. NBC is rotten. I have been mad at them for weeks for getting rid of Ann Curry. If their Today Show ratings are dropping, maybe they should look at what they think is ‘news’. I watch for actual news, NOT celebrity news. I could care less about people with loads of money and no brain power. Now that they have installed Savannah Guthrie in Ann’s place, they sure seem to be working hard to tell people how great she is. All the advertising showing how ‘fun’ she is. And I walked in from doing chores this morning and they were having a sing a long?! If they were doing such a great thing by getting rid of Ann, they wouldn’t have to pimp Savannah Guthrie so much. I think tomorrow I will turn on Good Morning America instead.

And now, let use move on to better subject matter. Venting over. I am knitting these little cuties this week during swimming:


They are for a set of football hats I am making for myself and a friend. I think they will be much better for out in the heat at the pool. I think the Lopi sweater might give me heatstroke if it hits 100 before noon like it did yesterday.

Just for the record, the temperature eventually hit 109 on my back porch yesterday afternoon. Today, I have hopes of not surpassing that.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hot Old July

It is SO hot here. I really shouldn’t be complaining, though. Idaho doesn’t have high humidity and it only got hot here a few days ago. And I have air conditioning. Anyway, a few minutes ago, it was 106. I was out refilling a stock tank so my animals have plenty of water.

Today is much better for staying in and knitting or blogging. Earlier today I was contemplating my next batch of bread and thinking about a blog I used to read. The blogger always made her own bread. That is the sort of thing I want for my family. It is the way I grew up. Mom always made our bread. My husband was raised on Wonder bread, hot dogs and mac&cheese out of a box. He likes store bought bread. The kids have been loving my bread lately, though. So I decided to just go with the flow and keep baking. Maybe a conversion has happened in my house. But I am not going to say anything. If I do, it is bound to go poorly for me.

Having been raised by my mother and not his mother, I tend to think that prepackaged food is not really good for you. That home made food is REAL food and boxed food is bad for you. I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I could be sneaky and phase it out of our lives. Except that Brent will go buy it on the sly. But if he doesn’t really know it has been phased out, maybe he won’t notice. I do have to say, we don’t eat much prepackaged, boxed food. I just think we do because we didn’t eat it at all when I was a kid. My mother’s idea of a birthday cake did not involve any boxes. She was disgusted the year I asked for a white box cake for my birthday. But she DID make it for me.

Anyway, what I have been making lately:


I love Lopi for a winter sweater. I have one that I originally made for my husband that is great for going out to feed in the winter. Coats don’t really keep me warm enough. Wool does. Most of the winter the past few years, I have just worn wool sweaters outside. This sweater is from Alafoss Lopi No.18. It is sweater #18/19. It has 2 numbers because they show 2 different color combinations in the book. This is my own color combination that I think is going to look fantastic.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lots of Maybe

We had horrific winds last night, and I think Brent was disappointed the power didn’t go out. He always loves a good wind storm and getting ready for one. We knew about it days ahead of time, so he really was able to get lots of enjoyment out of it. Several days of ‘tying things down’. Lately, he’s been watching Doomsday Preppers on the the National Geographic channel. I was hoping there would be a lot more really bonafide crazies on it. I live in Idaho, I know they are out there. The kids are now a bit obsessed with the show. AND. I have found that my darling husband, light of my life, is a closet prepper. We DO live in Idaho. Maybe other states have loads of crazies, too. Maybe.

On to what you really came here for. Knitting. The Bonsai vest is coming right along. When I last worked on it I was bored and sick of it. Now it is fresh and exciting. I have moved from the lace pattern into the waist ribbing. I’m going to wait to start a pair of socks until I finish the ribbing.

I need to start sewing the pieces of the bunnies together. But I hate that part, so I am going to do it when I am more in the mood for it. Maybe next week. Definitely before Easter, though.

I have to start considering which project to take up next. I’ll have refer back to my list of projects to see what all I have.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog or No Blog, She Kept On Knitting

It has been snowing all day here and acting like it is WINTER. I was just getting used to the idea that it is spring… Our grass has even been growing.

Lately I’ve been thinking about ways to cut costs AND be more green in the way we live. I’ve always been obsessed with not wasting things. My Grandmother was a young housewife during the Depression and never wasted anything. She taught me well. So I don’t waste things if I can avoid it. The only things I could come up with where I really felt we could do some cutting was on paper products and plastic baggies. I decided it was high time I start using up all my remnants of flannel around here. I am going to make some paper towel replacements with them. And snack baggies out of fabric and Velcro. Sandwiches go in boxes I bought expressly for that purpose, so no plastic bags there.

How about my knitting? I knit Brent a hat for his birthday a few weeks ago. I made a mug cozy last week. And I have finally finished the knitting on the Easter bunnies from last year. I am feeling pretty good about how all the knitting is going. I am going to start working on my Bonsai Vest now. Earlier today I made an executive decision that when I get finished with the section I am on now, I can start myself a pair of socks. I can’t do Brent’s socks until I find the missing knitting books. I have a feeling they are all together sniggering at my inability to find them…

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My Project List

Here it is the end of the first week of January and I have a finished object to show off:



This is the sock monkey posing with his friends that I sewed up for the girls for Christmas. I am closing in on finishing another project. The red scarf is now longer than I am tall, but my goal was to just knit until the yarn was gone. The ball is getting small:



Unfortunately, I keep seeing things I would like to make. Like this cute sweater:



Or like this afghan from the latest Lion Brand catalog:



Right now, I am planning on getting the yarn for the afghan. I think I will dye my own for the sweater. I’ll have to find a dk weight yarn to try out for it. I don’t currently do dk for my shop, so I don’t have any laying around to dye. That is probably just as well, because I did sort of promise myself to finish up some projects rather than starting new ones. And I don’t actually have a complete list of the things I have on the needles. I’ll try to list them all here:

1. Socks for Brent
2. Bunnies to felt for Easter (last year)
3. Bonsai vest
4. Purple mittens
5. Cathedral mitten
6. Gift Scarf
7. My socks
8. Hat for Knitter #3
9. Earth and Sky Shawl

I think that is all of the knitting projects. There are others that are abandoned forever. I just don’t care to finish them. They lost the luster and I am letting them go. I have a few crochet ufo’s, too:

1. Hello Kitty toy
2. Butterfly afghans for the girls (2)

My crochet projects are usually smaller and much more likely to get finished.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Starting the Year in Full Drool Mode

I love watching period shows like Downton Abbey. I like to drool over the fabulous clothes and hats. Lately, I have been wondering why women quit wearing hats. I love hats. I’ve decided that I am going to buy some nice hats to wear than my floppy ones I use for gardening. They are wonderful, but not stylish at all. And when I say stylish, I mean that they are pretty much for wearing with jeans. I will need a nicer hat to wear with the pretty outfits I have sworn to wear this year.

Happy New Year!