Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lexicon Project Subject Word

Today is Lexicon Project Day and Rachel is hosting over at House Full of Jays! 
Our project word for last week was "help".  To see our help themed images, 
or If you took a help themed photo this week, 
head on over to visit Rachel and post your link in the comments section!

Here's our new word for week 3

Click here for information on the Lexicon Project

If you're participating and you haven't already, grab a button for your side bar!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{Yarn Along} :Gretal

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

This week I haven't gotten a lot of knitting done, household chores (a.k.a more laundry than usual and a basement clean-out) needed to be addressed instead.
I did however manage to finish one of the hats that my sister requested for her little girls
. {Project notes here.}

I plan on doing some modifications to it for the next one, maybe adding some eyelet further up than just the brim, and using nicer wool. I always like to use the cheaper stuff when i'm "winging-it", so to speak.

Reading has been slowed a bit this week, I did start another book though on top of the ones i'm already reading. Mark and I saw "Les Miserables" last week which inspired me to re-read it. As good as the movie is, it's so much more about the music than the depth of the character development- (Which is fine, it would be 8 hours long if they did both character development AND music.) 
I hadn't read the book since high school though and had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. 
This one might take me a while as i'm reading it secondary to other books, and on top of that, I'm reading it on my phone since my e-reader went kaput. It's a slightly frustrating way to read, but at least I still have access to my downloaded books!

Yarning along with Ginny

P.S. Don't forget that week two of the lexicon project is going up tomorrow over at HouseFullOfJays.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

::The Lexicon Project:: Week 1- Shadow

Week 1 Lexicon Project assignment word (chosen at random) was : 


Here's Mine!

Here's Rachel's!

Can we see yours? Anyone can join in at any time. Post a link to your photo in the comment box! 

For the word assignment for week 2, visit Rachel over at  House Full of Jays.

And don't forget to grab a button for your blog!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{Yarn Along : Capucine}

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Yarning Along with Ginny

I've had several longer projects on the go lately and finally managed to polish off a couple of of them being my Downton Cowl. I messed up my counting a few times and had to pull it back a row or two, on several occasions. Towards the end though I could tell where I was without counting at all. I love the way it turned out...and the madelinetosh dk is so luxurious.

This week I just wanted something small though, something fun, and some instant gratification. 

The little miss was in need of a hat that ties to her very cute, but very stubborn noggin. The girl will not leave a hat on her head...which means half the hats that I've made her have been passed on to other, more obedient children in the family. 

The girl needed ear flaps, and ties. After a little bit of poking around on ravelry, I came across the
perfect hat, intended for an adult. 
It was supposed to be knit in a bulky yarn with a large needle, so I went down to a worsted weight yarn (that I've been itching to use for quite a while!)  and a smaller needle and it worked out perfectly. 

For the tassel and braided ties I mixed in some pretty blue fingering wool that I had leftover from another project just to add some weight variety.
I expected a bit more of a fight about wearing it, but she seemed to rather like her new hat once it was tied on. (Okay, I did bribe her with a piece of popcorn. I'm assuming i'll have to sweeten up those bribes over time...if she's anything like her brothers.)
She seemed to enjoy the tassel at the back too, and was shaking her head back and forth to make it move, as she watched in the mirror.
I think I may knit a few more of these for baby gifts, it was so fun, and quick!

My reading has been slowed again, but I'm still plugging away at "The Mermaid's Chair" and "Mere Christianity". The Mermaid's Chair is continuing to grip me with scenery and writing style alone...while the main story line is continuing to annoy me.

I'm so used to my old reading days when I could polish off a novel in a day, easily. But for now, my days are filled with sweetness that no novel can bring. 
P.S. Don't forget to check back on Thursday to join in on the Lexicon Project! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Lexicon Project-First Word!

Earlier this week I shared a new photo project  that Rachel and I were going to be working on, with an invitation for anyone else to join in.

Here is our first word to start us off-and it looks like we'll be starting rather easily! I mean, the random word generator could have been pretty tough on us, and issued us a word like..oh..say, "Negotiate". But it didn't. Thank you random word generator.

When you work on your photo this week, keep the word shadow in mind. Whether you use it literally or figuratively is entirely up to you.

Next Thursday, post your photo on the source of your choice (ours will be here on our blogs, but you can use flickr, instagram, a private website etc). Then come back here and we'll  have a place for you to put your photo link up so that everyone can see your image.

The following week, Rachel will be hosting! Have fun-we can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Grab a button for your side bar!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarn Along...Downton Cowl

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

I've put aside my sock for a few days to work on the "Downton Cowl"-something that I signed up for as a Downton Abbey knit along over at Luvin The Mommyhood.
I messed up the lace pattern in the second row and had to rip back a few rows and start over. I'm terrible at counting while the kids are trying to talk to me, or if there are any shenanigans going on around our house. (It's safe to say that there usually are.)
Once I got it ripped back and got the first set of pattern work done, I found it much easier to figure out where I was in the pattern if I was interrupted. And not near as much counting now because I can just see where I am, what I've just done and what needs done next without looking at the pattern chart.

This is my first project using Madelinetosh wool. I'm not sure that there's any going back after this, knitting with Madelinetosh is pure luxury!
I'm a bit confused because the woman who owns the yarn store where I bought this wool told me that i'm knitting wrong and that my stitches are going to come out twisted. (Because I knit continental, she said I should be knitting through the back loops?)
It bothered me a bit-and it took a bit of motivation to start again. I didn't want to continue if I was doing it *wrong*...but at the same time what i'm doing feels right, and ends up looking the way it's supposed to. 

I've watched quite a few knitting videos on youtube and I don't think doing anything different than what they're doing. And my stitches aren't twisted either, so I'm not really sure what she was trying to say.
Once I got over that hump, I'm  back to loving knitting. There were a few days though where I just left it in it's bowl afraid I was somehow going to mess things up.

I've been reading "The Mermaid's Chair"'s been sitting in my "to read" pile for a while now and decided it was time. To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of the story line (from what I know by reading the jacket anyway). Stories about unfaithful spouses-or stories that excuse that behavior, rather, tend to bother me.
I do like Sue Monk Kidd already though, so I decided to give the book a chance.

Also, re-reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. It's been a while since I've read it and found it floating in a stack of my Dad's books.
It might take me a little while to get two books read with the little reading time I've got...but at least I wont' be short on reading material!

P.S...Don't forget! The Lexicon project starts tomorrow!! Check back here or over at House Full of Jays for the project word of the week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Lexicon Project

I've been so excited to share this blog collaboration that Rachel and I have been wanting to do for almost a year now. We've finally lined up our ducks and have a plan. Horray!

Rachel and I noticed that a lot of the time our pictures end up looking similar. 
Sometimes it's something as simple our children, the way that they're posed, or the lighting. And sometimes they're so close to the same that it's just weird. 
It's not as if we get to take pictures together, as we're over 1000 miles apart and haven't seen each other since college. 

We've decided that we needed to play a little game...and you're welcome to join us!
Each Thursday, we will be posting a word. A single word, chosen at random. (Would you believe that there are Internet generators dedicated to just that?)With that word in mind, we're going to take a photo to submit for the following Thursday. Rachel and I are going to take turns hosting each week. One week it will be here on my blog, and the following it will be over at House Full of Jays,
and will include a link up for those who want to participate! (you can participate anyway you like-via your blog, flickr or instagram etc.)
Won't you join us?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yarn Along....Socks!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?  Yarning Along with Ginny

I have about 5 projects on the go right now... Eeeek!  I normally like to have at least two projects going at once so that I have a few options to take with me in the car etc, but 5 is a little much! 
I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but alas, I have a lot of knitting to do. (oh...darn?) 
I have my mother in law's hat to complete which I started before Christmas-and was supposed to be a Christmas present. I'm so glad that she's a sweet, understanding woman!
This would have been a quick project, however I attempted cabling while fevered. That didn't turn out so well. I have to rip back about 10 rows and carry on.

I'm also starting
this cowl as part of a Downton Abbey Knit-Along. Could it be? My favorite show mixed with knitting? I'm so excited-I've only just cast on but i'm itching to get some rows polished away on this. 

Our local knitting group is also doing a knit along right now, we've just started on socks since so many of us have never knit them! The pattern has been a little bit tricky for some of us (myself included) because we're using circular needles rather than double pointed needles. The pattern refers a lot to "needle 1", or "needle 3" etc. It's taken a little bit of patience to figure out but with the help of Kelly's videos (from Knit Picks) I think i'm finally getting the hang of this. I'm ready to start on the toe of the first sock. Now if only I can remember how I did the first sock when I go to do the second...haha.

Last but not least, I'm working on two baby gifts for friends. At least those will be fast, since babies are so conveniently tiny. I just love knitting for babies!

Lately i've been reading "Things I've Learned While Knitting", by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, a.k.a, the Yarn Harlot. What can I say? I just can't get enough of this woman. Her writing, even when informative and practical, never fails to put me in good spirits. I often end up laughing out loud and have to re-tell her story to the boys or Mark who wonder why i'm laughing. Who knew that there could be so much knitting humour?!

Later this week I hope to start "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. This has been kicking around in my pile of books "to read" for a while now and I decided it's time. I really enjoyed "The Secret Life of Bees" so i'm hoping that this one will be equally satisfying.

I'd love to hear about your knitting and reading if you'd like to leave a comment! 


P.S...Tomorrow (Thursday) i'm going to be announcing an exciting and fun project that Rachel
and I are going to be working on together, and anyone else is welcome to join in! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Coming out of Hibernation

I would include a nicer picture, but my memory card decided to fail big time and delete all of our recent pictures.

Over the holidays, I ended up taking a completely unplanned, (some would say forced) break from updating here. We were hit with every viral illness and 24 hour plague possible, it seems, one right after the other. Those flu bugs rolled their eyes and laughed at our vitamin armed (but sleep deprived) bodies, marched in and took the fort.

 Our long list of things that we wanted to do over the holidays were reduced to doing nothing but what felt like a trillion loads of laundry, and fevered movie marathons.
Despite spending the holidays with humidifiers, mentholatum on our chests, cold packs on foreheads and with emergency buckets in our laps, I honestly can't say that it was all bad.
We spent a lot of time together as a family, crowded and piled on two sofa's together in the basement rec room, cozied up under blankets and laughing together. (I did manage to knit some, but I wouldn't recommend knitting cables while fevered. I have some frogging to do.)

While I'd never want to spend another Christmas feeling so lousy, I don't feel like all was lost. A lot of happy memories were made and for that I'm grateful.

I'm still picking up what's left of Christmas and putting it all away in the appropriate boxes, hoping that next year we're able to enjoy it all a little more. 

I don't normally make resolutions for the new year, I'm from the school of  thought that if something in your life needs a drastic (or slight) change, it really can happen any time of the year, why wait until the new year?
However, cleaning up after Christmas always brings bittersweet refreshment and inspires more cleaning/purging. I not only enjoy having the floor space back that our Christmas tree took up, and having a simple, much more sparse mantle, but I'm also finding a cheap thrill in taking the time to get rid of things around the house that we aren't using or enjoying anymore and are just taking up space that we could be using more efficiently.
Also, i'm going through closets and finding things that are either outgrown, never worn, or in need of mending before they can be worn again. 
I have been trying to think of the things that take up more space in our lives than they're worth, if that makes sense. Simplify. I find that when my surroundings begin to feel chaotic, I begin to feel stressed, and scattered. I can't focus as well, and feel as though something is always eating at me.

Part of this is simply how life is with a baby-babies make messes, and force you to keep putting things up on higher surfaces so that they don't get into things that they shouldn't. I find though that i'm running out of surface space and no longer enjoying my home.

I'm no where near my goal yet, i'm still sorting through boxes of odds and ends, making piles of boxes to go to the thrift store, and still adding to them.  Hopefully before too long our home will be restored to a peaceful dwelling and we'll be all the more happier for it.
What are your tips for keeping down the clutter level in your home? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!


I'm also going to be joining Rachel over at House Full of Jays for a smart, daily water intake challenge. I know a lot of us sometimes forget out important it is to hydrate, and how thirst can often be mistaken for hunger! If you're interested, check it out here.