Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Hulabaloo

Tonight is super-special.

Tonight, I'm going to a midnight showing of The Hobbit, with my friend who has come to be like my sister. It's markedly more special because it's our last shebang of the year! After the movie, roughly 4AM PST my husband is picking me up and we're going to the airport.

I'm flying home for Christmas, and I could not be more excited. The weeks, and days, and hours have dragged, and we're almost there!

I have no hurried holiday gift-making this year, instead I have "how much can I reasonably pack and work on, and even complete on 4 plane trips, the drive to and from Orlando from NJ, the drive to Northern PA and back to NJ, downtime in-between seeing family and friends, etc." It boiled down to something like this:

1 Partially completed pair of Cookie A.'s Twisted Flower socks

2 Pairs of not-yet-started socks

1 Double-Knit Tree of Gondor Scarf (just remembered I need to move a pattern to my iPad, STAT!)

2 Hats, one for a stylish bloke, one out of leftover cardigan yarn (yes, it's done, there will be pictures and details)

1 Stephen West geometric shawl, second time doing this pattern

1 Jared Flood, complicated fiddly shawl

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

I have the partially started socks, a yet-to-be-begun pair, and the geometric shawl set up in my lap bag for my flights tomorrow so we'll see how smoothly that goes!

I'm so giddy, I'll be home for Christmas!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day Off!

Today I'm off from work, and so far I have:

Chased Evey and Aidan around the house.

Painted Evelyn's finger and toenails upon her insistence.

Cleaned my living room, for it to be promptly destroyed again.

Made a dent in cleaning the kitchen after yesterdays grilling.

Healed a heroic dungeon in WoW (corny I know).

I'd give you a picture of Evey's nails, but she won't stand still!

Love you all!! <3


Monday, August 13, 2012

A Secret Knitting Project!!

The secret is out at last! In a whirlwind of needles I managed to finish my husband's birthday gift in one day! This worked out especially well because he got an early flight home from training and arrived a day earlier than expected.

After pouring over hat patterns searching for the one that was just right (Goldilocks has got nothing on me) I came across Windschief by Stephen West. Now, you already know what a fan of Stephen I am from my earlier projects so I knew the hat would be a pleasure to work up.

And indeed it was. I used one ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in Navy. The yarn was plied perfectly to give the crisp clean lines I knew my husband would love. I casted on and knit the entire thing on size 7 DPN's instead of casting on in 6's and switching to 7's after the brim. This may be why I used a lot less yardage than the pattern anticipated. However, the hat fits both his very large head and my slightly smaller than average one.

I can't express how much I love it, see for yourself!

 




See? I can't get over how sharp it looks!! Hope you have a great day!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Evolution of a Freddy

I began a fish yesterday! A fish with the sole purpose of keeping his little friend Aidan's head warm!

So I dug out some leftover Spud & Chloe Sweater, from Evey's barnyard set...

and beginning with red "firecracker" lips casted on.

Not long after the colors began to flow.

I used crayons to plan out my color pattern, but the width of the stripes were very much improvised. Balancing working the blue "Splash" in, while not making it look like the base color was tricky, but ultimately it all played out okay.

He's nearly done, Aidan has named him Freddy and I can't wit to get some pictures of them playing together!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Preparations

Apologies for the lack of continued WIPs yesterday! We had technical difficulties...

We did get some things accomplished around the house though! My husband is getting ready to go away for training next week. He will be away for a week, and I'll be home with the kids. A few people ask me how I deal with separation, how I prepare for it, and how do I talk to the kids about it. I figured this would be a good week to touch on these topics!

Today I can tell you about preparation, because that's what mode I'm in!

This training stint is a short one so we're able to get most of our ducks in a row before he even leaves. I like to start by going grocery shopping, stocking up on quick-fix meals (Stauffers Lasagna, Chicken Nuggets, Frozen Pizza, but a nice variety) so I can spend more time with the kids and less distracted in the kitchen. My kids -Evelyn especially- are still small enough that they get into big problems when left unattended, and even get hurt.

Next I plan out all of my meals for the period of time Kevin will be away. By planning out this, I can just glance at my meal schedule and pull out what I need, no thinking needed! Like I said, this is easy to do for a week, but when he goes away for longer periods of time things are very different. A meal plan for 3-6 weeks would be too structured, even for me!

After the food part, extreme Laundry mode commences! We start by washing all of the clothes that will be going with my husband. Uniforms get special attention, updating patches, pressing seams, and shining boots. After that, every piece of clothing in the house gets cleaned. This way I always have something clean on hand during the day (which in a perfect world would be the case anyway, but I'm no perfect housewife) in case of "accidents".

I then like to plan out activities for the kids. By knowing the plan each morning I can map out their day for them when they get up and it gets them excited. They miss their Dad, but the anticipation distracts them a bit. We go for walks, draw with sidewalk chalk, go to the park, walk the mall, have marathon coloring book days, & loads more! All in all, it's about distraction. At night we can Skype with Daddy when he's training, when he's on boats this is far less likely. The kids get to to tell him about their day and say their goodnights.

Lastly, a whirlwind of maintenance takes place. The lawn gets mowed, grill cleaned, trash cans hosed out. We also take the cars in for brakes checks and oil changes.Time is requested off from work, paying a sitter isn't worth the trouble when I just work in retail. Plus, I like the quality time with them!

And that's getting ready, at least on the practical side, emotionally is a bit tougher. Fortunately, this is a brief trip, so the heart won't ache too terribly!

Hope this was interesting and/or helpful!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Works in Progress!

My family and I are getting geared up for our trip home to New Jersey for Christmas! This includes booking rental cars, flights, and also preparing for a surprise trip down to Disney World with my parents. This kids have no idea and I'm not sure at what point we're going to tell them but it's going to be wonderful!

But as a knitter, preparing for a wintertime trip also includes lots of special planning on my part alone. I've begun the knitting of hats & mittens for everyone (PDX winters are super mild) and some cowls and shawlettes for myself to fend off the wind. This also includes planning special projects for entertainment on the flights, the drive to Orlando, as well as quiet Christmas nights in my parents living room catching up. I am so longing for that.

But I've already begun some of our winter gear!

I knit a Bandwith by Stephen West, it went surprisingly quick! It's out of Madelinetosh tosh dk in Moorland and the lighter Thyme colors. This picture doesn't do them justice but for FO Friday you should get a better look!

Secondly there is another Stephen West Design, Drawbridge on my needles. I'm 80% done already and so pleased with it. The pale blue is Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes (a super soft alpaca blend) and the light celery is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. They are both so divine and soft, that I cannot wait to have them cuddling my neck in the East Coast air!

Now this doesn't even touch on my regular knitting that is continuing. I'm working on a sweater for my Mama, a pair of intricate socks which you've seen if you follow me on Instagram (username: Applesin), and some fruity mittens which have been kind of a secret. I'll show you these tomorrow!

What are you working on?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Breeze

Here in the PDX area, the weather is super mild. The weather is warm but not too hot. We have sunny days, but still some overcast and breezy. I'm thankful not to be subjected to the heatwave affecting much of the country.

Mostly because it doesn't impair my ability to knit, sweaty palms and whatnot, but also because I'm not much of a hot weather girl!

Work has been keeping me busy, we just launched a new fantastic line called Emotional Brilliance. I love it, it's all about color-therapy and empowerment.

My kids both celebrated their birthdays and Evey is now nearly complete her potty-training (the joys of parenthood eh?) We've been keeping busy in our new home, we have a pretty regular schedule. Kevin works mornings, I work evenings. Sunday Mornings we go to Waffle window with our friends (best.waffles.ever.) and we try to get out at least once a week just Kevin and I.

We've explored the city, found some great shops and restaurants, and made wonderful friends. We've been out here for a year now, I'm still homesick but not enough to let it get me down. The first year has had ups and downs but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week.

I have a lot to look forward to!

Today

Jenni is coming over to visit! We're on a mission to warm Evey up to her, there will be donuts, crayons, and playdough involved.

Tomorrow 

I'm expecting a phonecall to possibly change my life. Okay, the phonecall won't do that, but it should provide insight on a new path I'm contemplating.

Thursday

Shelby is coming over to visit, she hasn't been over in two weeks, the kids are trying to tell Kevin and I to go out so they can just hang out with her. She's that cool.

and Friday

Dani is coming to visit with her lovely beau and we're grilling steaks and talking nerdy :D

I'm really, really, really excited!

On Knitting:

Remember the gnome mittens? Well I finished one, and they fell to the wayside. So I began the second mitten yesterday and it's a completely different size/feel than the first but I like it better. So I suppose it is now the first of the NEW IMPROVED GNOME MITTENS!

My mother wept, she doesn't think she'll ever have warm fingers at this rate >.<

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What's New?





We got a kitten. Evelyn is obsessed with her fuzzy pink mittens. I cast on a scarf for a friend.

What's new with you?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thrifting!

I've always been the girl who loved garage sales. I had so much fun when my parents had our own yard sales. The negotiations, the atmosphere, the exchanging of cash and watching your clutter walk away.

I kind of feel like going to thrift store gives me that same rush only I'm the buyer!

Today on a whim my husband wanted to go to Goodwill (6 months ago, you never would have heard that statement uttered by him, he's a convert now). So I went to check out some sweaters and books and he disappeared into housewares. I found a few Nora Robert's classics (don't judge me, they're my guilty pleasure) and went to look for him.

He had a box and was grinning from ear to ear.


$49.99 for a $200 Knife Set. Yup. Now to be fair, it has a flaw.


It's missing a knife. Not a huge deal, but this is still a significant improvement over the setup we have currently.


That knife block was $1.99 and has served us well. But my husband, being a chef, has been itching for some nicer steel.

Notice Anything?





There's no missing knife afterall!

Now my find was pretty neat too. I found a bag. A magical bag. A bag of great possibility. A bag that made said husband roll his eyes. A bag filled with this.




COOKIE CUTTERS! 70 Cookie cutters to be exact! I like metallic ones a lot better but this was a steal! I paid $6.99 for the entire bag! And there is some great variety!


An American Flag which I know will get LOTS of use!
LOADS of Christmas, predictably.
I think the bashful pig is for Valentine's Day

Fall/Halloween/ Thanksgiving
St. Patrick's Day!
Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs. Awesome for a game night!
Loony Tunes!
Raggedy Ann and Andy

Do you have any favorites?!

Friday, January 13, 2012

FO Friday : Chloe.

I have a lot to catch up on as far as all of my knitting! I'll start with one of my favorite Holiday projects.

Remember This?


Well it made A LOT of little characters for Evey's Christmas Playset! We had a barn, Spud, Chloe, a cow, a cat, a dog, a pig, a mother hen with four little chicks in eggshells, and three (not blind) mice! I still had some leftovers but was sort of unmotivated to keep making toys by that point, but more on that later...


My first project to tackle was Miss Chloe. She was going to set the tone for this entire undertaking. If she proved difficult, I knew the whole thing would be a giant headache. I was so pleasantly surprised!

Her head and torso were done in an hour and a half. Her little limbs flew off my needles. I was so pleased with the spead of all of it, I was beside myself.

After stitching all of her pieces together she looked like this. Evey found her in this state and declared her "Monkey!" and toted her all over the house. I was thrilled she liked her so early on! After retrieving Chloe and Evey went to bed I went back to work.

Next was the hair, her red hair. I didn't plan this, I didn't fall in love with Chloe because she is a fellow ginger (well maybe subconsciously I did), but I love that she is a spunky lil redhead! Her face had me so worried. I knew it could come out badly and make her look foolish but it worked out just right and I'm thrilled with the result!



All together and finished in two days. Evelyn loves her and calls her by name. She loves taking her little shoes off and attempting to put them back on. I love how Chloe turned out, and the rest of the farm, but you'll see those later :)