March 2015

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It’s that time of the week again!  We have had really variable temperatures this week. What would have driven me crazy normally made me giddy with joy this week!  Look at all the pretty colors! I got to use every shade of green this week!  Here is a close up so you can really see all the greens.

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Four different shades!  It is very March to me.  I really wish that the temperatures would keep the critters away, but no such luck. We have had a ton of mosquitoes already. Oh, Florida!

We have also had a lot of ticks this season. I was hoping the cooler weather would kill them off, but it hasn’t. I pulled a tick off of Millie on Friday. I noticed it on Wednesday, but thought it was dirt (it was down inside her belly button).  My husband had pulled another tick off of her earlier that day, and said that he had checked her really well.  Unfortunately, one was missed.  Now we are watching her for signs of fever, headache, and rash. Of course, while I am all worried about it, last night  she started holding her head, crying inconsolably, and running a fever. I took her in this morning feeling a bit panicky about Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Turns out, she had a bad ear infection.  She gave me a good scare.  Now she is on antibiotics and hopefully on the mend.  We have started really checking the kids for ticks anytime they come in from outside. So far we have pulled two off of Wyatt and three off of Logan. I really hate ticks!  The bugs are my least favorite part of living in Florida!  It is just going to be one of those summers!



I love swapping yarn with other knitters for my sock yarn blankie. I got a bunch of extra little bonbons when I got the yarn for my scarf. I traded one set for some sock yarn scraps. I got them in the mail yesterday! There are no notes about the yarns included, but they are so pretty! I am so excited to include them!

I have never really been into roll playing games (RPGs).  I just didn’t really “get” them.  I also am not really good at establishing habits. My attention span is shorter than the time it takes for habit to really form.  I always have good intentions, but end up forgetting or losing interest.

This year, I decided I wanted to be more intentional about my goals and keeping up with tasks that I need to do in my life.  I looked and looked for a way to keep me motivated and to keep me on task.  I found HabitRPG.  It is a roll playing game (although I still feel like I don’t really get that aspect of it) that turns your tasks and habits into a game.

You divide your goals and tasks into three categories.  Habits are things that you want to repeat (or don’t want to repeat). Dailies are things you do every day. To Dos are one time only type tasks. For example, one of my goals was to keep up with my correspondence.  One of my habits is write a letter.  Another goal was to cut back to only one soda per day, so a negative habit is drink coke (if I drink more than one, I click it and it “damages” me).  I also wanted to be more active, so I put my step goal in for a daily. If I meet it, I check it off. I also wanted to be better about doing a daily load of laundry (we have 5 people in our house, one of whom is in cloth diapers).  That is also a daily task for me. Some examples of one time only to dos are to do a memory book for Logan’s 10 year adventure that he took earlier this year. Another one is to use the Magic Eraser mop to get the last of the hairspray residue off of my bathroom floor.

As you do good habits, daily tasks, and to dos you move up in level and accumulate “gold”. You can use those for rewards (like armor for your avatar or rewards you set up on your own).  You also get eggs and hatching potions as random rewards.  My favorite part is collecting the “pets”.  I have no idea why this is so motivating to me. It probably says something about me that a virtual “pet” would be more motivating than good health or a clean house, but it is the truth.  I think this makes doing a lot of things that I don’t love to do fun, or if not fun at least they are tolerable. It keeps me on task and motivated.  I have moved on from any of my goals three months in (which is amazing). I have added new goals and habits as I go along. Anytime I have a task at work or home that I just don’t want to do, I add it to the game.  It motivates me to do it and do it much sooner.

As you progress through levels, you can also do things like quests and challenges.  Those are fun. I am only now starting to figure them out.  They add a whole new layer of motivation in that others are relying on you to do your tasks to help out the team.

HabitRPG is best on the desktop platform.  There are mobile apps, but those mobile apps are just for keeping track of things on the go. It is really best to log in on the computer.  Try it out! It is a lot of fun.

Azaleas in their glory

Azaleas in their glory

1. The azaleas that are planted near my office are starting to die. Most of the azaleas around town still look great. I am a little sad at how short lived they were in the place that I see them most.

Lorepetulum in bloom

Lorepetulum in bloom

2. My lorepetulum around my house is crazy full of blooms!  You can’t even see leaves until you get close because there are so many flowers!  I love how pretty they look.

3. I have been in court for two straight days. I am finally back in my office, but my brain is fried.  It is really beautiful outside (another yellow stripe for my scarf), and I am tempted to take my laptop outside to work!  I wonder if anyone would notice.  I just love spring!

I have added three more blocks!  The first reminds me of ice cream. I got it in a trade with someone back in 2009, so I no longer remember what yarn this is.  I do like it though!

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The second block is another from back in 2009. I don’t know what yarn this is, but it reminds me of the desert sky.  It is sort of grays and blues with a bit of pink.  The ice cream colored block right below and to the right of it is not the same yarn as the photo above. It looks like it in the photos, but it is two completely different yarns. The one above has additional color repeats which I didn’t use. The one below has only the three colors in the yarn.  The yellows are really different in person too.

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The final block I added is a really pretty, tonal red.  It reads as a tomato soup orange red, but up close there are a lot of different tones.  This is one that a swap pal sent me back in 2009. Again, I no longer know what yarn this is.

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I forgot to mention one block from last week.  It is yarn from The Accidental Knitter.  The colorway is Pretty Feet. I always knew that I couldn’t wear it as socks, so I made it into a cute baby dress for a friend.  I also love it as a block in my blankie!

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I am really excited that I am going to be getting some more scraps from other knitters. When I bought the yellow for my Temperature scarf, I had to buy it in packages with 8 colors. I bought several packages, so I have a ton of the bonbons in those other 7 colors. I am trading those spares for other scraps on Ravelry (see original posts here and here).  I can’t wait to see what scraps arrive. It is a total surprise!

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I know that I have said it before, but I am totally in love with this project!  Our temps have been mostly lower 80s (yellow) with some upper 80s (chocolate).  My boys call the scarf Charlie Brown because of the yellow and brown mix.  Yesterday it dipped back down into the the upper 70s (lime)!  It is supposed to be cooler for the next few days. We may even dip down into the lower 70s!  If we do, I get to add a new color!

One of the things I love is the different textures. I am doing it in garter, but I do “special” days in seed stitch.  Special days are weekends, holidays, or days we travel.  Right now, the mix of textures looks so cool.  It seems like a secret code that only a few people know.  I love that.

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I am currently knitting socks for my husband’s birthday.  They are the Time Traveler pattern with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the old Franklin’s Panopticon colorway.  I feel like this yarn may not want to be socks for my husband.

Way back in early 2009, I bought this yarn at Hank’s (my LYS that no longer exists). Lorna’s Laces was doing limited edition colorways to honor various knit bloggers.  One of the ones they chose was Franklin Habit’s Panopticon blog (if you don’t follow him, you should).  I had knit my DH a pair of socks before. It is a complete labor of love as his feet are huge!  I decided maybe it would be easier with a snazzy colorway like this.  He approved of the color, so I started knitting the MonkeyMen pattern. It was a test knit for the designer. I finished the first sock only to discover that it was much, much too small (there was a reason it knit up so fast).  I tried several times with larger and larger needles.  The socks got closer to fitting, but the fabric would never have held up to wear.

So, I decided that I wanted to learn 2 at a time, toe up socks on a really big circular needle.  I had gotten the book (which was new way back then) 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  So I cast on just the Classic Sock from the book.  It was slow going. I hated how the stitches moved on the circular. I kept tangling my yarn (and occasionally knitting from the wrong skein).  I gave it the old college try. I did not love it. I did not love it so much, I put them away for years. I decided that I was going to tough it out one more time just a few weeks ago. I pulled them out of time out (yes, after nearly 6 years in time out).  I knit a round and decided that 2 at a time socks was just not for me.  I frogged them, and went looking for a new pattern.

My criteria for the pattern was that it had to be something with some interest (no plain, vanilla sock with miles and miles of teeny, tiny stockinette for me).  It had to meet my husband’s criteria for “manly”.  It needed to be something I could knit on DPN’s (the pattern is written for a circular, but is easily converted).  I also still wanted to try a toe up sock, so I wanted a toe up pattern.  The Time Traveler pattern fit the bill.

I did a quick gauge swatch and decided to start with the size 0s.  I did all the way up to the end of the toe increases and realized that it was no where near big enough. My gauge was suddenly very different (I think because my quick swatch was knit flat, but who knows…I could have just measured wrong or something).  So, I pulled it back out. I went up a couple needle swatches. Did another swatch (this time in the round). Decided it was good, and cast on again. If you are keeping track, this is the fourth time casting on with this yarn.

They have been going swimmingly. They fit beautifully. They are interesting enough and are knitting up super fast.  Today, I had just a little bit of the cuff left (like 5 rounds). I am doing a 1×1 twisted rib cuff.  I have seen it on project pages and thought it looked nice, so I decided to try it.  I figured, “5 rounds, I can easily knock that out at lunch”.  I want to be done with the first sock so that I can get to a good point on the second that I can take it on vacation over Easter.  So, I ate my lunch quickly and pulled out my sock. My hands were shaking (my food hadn’t hit my bloodstream yet, and breakfast was apparently not enough today). I knew I should wait, but I just kept thinking how quick I could knock it out.  Big mistake. I ended up dropping a bunch of stitches when I dropped a needle and fumbled for it. I think I dropped about 8 stitches. I then fumbled some more and they dropped down a couple of rows.  I do not have the right size crochet hook with me.  So I had to pick them up with a cable needle. It took me my entire lunch break to pick those stitches up in a twisted rib pattern with a freaking cable needle.  Guess who still has 5 rounds left?  This girl!  I didn’t make any progress!

I will try again tonight, and hopefully have a finished sock to show for it (as I knock frantically on wood)!

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