2015-06-01 20.28.51-1We are on our way to summer.  The end of May was almost all dark brown (upper 80s) with a few pink stripes (lower 90s)!  I love the brown and pink together!

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Here is a close up of May (between the white stripes).  You can see it just getting hotter and hotter.  I expect next month will introduce the next color (red)!

I also got my Reducio Swap package!  The theme was the TriWizard Tournament!  The outside of my package was so cute!

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The inside was even better!

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There was a cute little Ravenclaw mini sock, a golden egg (which Millie has claimed and plays with), gillyweed (both as a cloth/doily and in a little vial), a copy of the maze (with 4 champions marked), some tea to keep me warm after a trip into the lake, and 4 mini skeins of handspun yarn for my sock yarn blanket!  So lovely!  I love the Reducio swaps. They are so much fun!




My poor sock yarn blankie got neglected for a few weeks.  I was focused on Zack’s birthday stuff, so I put it aside. Now that that is done, I have picked it back up. It is the perfect instant gratification project combined with mindless knitting.  Since I still haven’t been able to focus much this week, it has been my meditation knitting.  I managed to do three blocks (bringing the total to 111 blocks).


The block on the left is the first block.  It is ShiBui Sock in the Zinnia colorway.  This yarn has been discontinued. It is one of my “time capsule” blocks. I got the yarn in a Blankie Mania swap many years ago. I love the colorway. It is very spring and floral!  The second block is on the right. It is purples, pinks, greys, and a touch of black.  It is Panda by StitchJones in the Umeda colorway.  I believe that this was a hand dye, but I can find no shop or anything on Ravelry.  I got this yarn in the same swap.


The last little block is the pretty blue, purple, yellow, and red block. This is Plymouth Happy Feet in color 7.  The color is so pretty!  I got this in the same swap that I got the others.  These three little blocks have been great therapy for me this past week!

Well, given the week I had, it is probably not a surprise that I didn’t complete any blocks last week. I did complete a swap for mini skeins for wee little blocks!  I posted a picture of the mini skeins that I sent last week for the Yarngasm mini swap.  I got my package from my swap partner!

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My package was so full of goodies!  I got some chocolate squares.  I sent identical squares to my pal, so I laughed out loud when I saw that!  She should enjoy what I sent since it what she also sent!  There is also some tea. The Candy Cane Lane tea is some of my favorite!

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Of course, she also sent some really lovely yarn!  One of the little skeins (the blue that is almost at the end) is her own handspun! She says it may not be fingering weight, but I am going to add it to my blankie anyway!  I love it.  The yarns are lovely and fun. I hope she enjoys what I sent as much as I enjoy what she sent. I should have some new blocks next week now that I have replenished my supply with some yarns I am really excited about!

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!

Every year, we have a big New Years party.  This year was no exception. We did have the big party.  It was a blast.  I love welcoming the New Year in surrounded by friends and fun.  Then we spent a day recovering. The boys and I had a jammie day.  Today was church and then knitting group. I  never really feel like it is a new year until work starts back up. That is tomorrow.  I really feel like my year starts tomorrow.  So I have spent today doing what most people do on New Year’s Eve, thinking about the upcoming year.  I don’t really like New Years Resolutions.  I prefer to think of New Year’s goals.  So, here is what I have come up with in the crafting realm:
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1. Every year I make a Christmas crafting plan in January. I assign different gifts to each month and work on them through the year.  This year is no exception.  For my Christmas dishcloths, I chose the Nubby Dishcloth pattern.  I have already made 6 1/2 cloths. I will need at least 20.  I am working on them in January and February.

2. I want to do more scrapbooking. One of my big holiday plans is a 2011 scrapbook for my mom and mother in law.  In the January/February 2005 Simple Scrapbooks magazine, there was a “Scrapbook 200 photos tonight!” article.  The idea is that you use a “two-up photo album” (an album that holds 200 4×6 photos).  I loved the idea and bought two albums back in 2005. I also cut 400 4×6 pieces of coordinating cardstock.  Then, I put it away. All I have to do is print out photos, attach them to the cardstock, embellish, and do some quick journaling. My plan is to do two identical albums and to do a few pages each month.

3. Each year I have a goal to learn something new.  This year, there are two things that I want to learn. The first is that I want to learn to really use my serger. I have used it a few times for very simple stuff.  I know that it will do a lot more than I have ever used it for in the past. I got a book called Ready, Set, Serge.  I plan to make some of the things from the book (and put them in my future gifts basket).  I am really excited to do a rolled hem. One of my Christmas gifts next year will be cloth napkin sets!

4. The second thing I want to learn to do is make soap.  I don’t really have a plan on this one, but I will soon.  I would like to make soap for gifts next year too.

Wee block jar

5. This is the cookie jar I bought for $3 today. I put my very small sock yarn balls in the jar.  These are for my sock yarn blankie!  These are only the ones that have not been put into the blankie yet.  After I use a ball, I put it in a bin. Later, they will be put back into this jar to be used again (just not too close to the first block).  One of my goals is to work on this blankie more consistently!  I really think the jar looks beautiful. It will be a nice reminder to work on it.

6. I also want to finish some unfinished projects.  My February Lady Sweater needs one sleeve.  I need to assemble Logan’s blankie from 2009. I need to finish Wyatt’s block borders and then assemble his.  Neither will take me long, but I just need to buckle down!

7. I want to start an Etsy shop. I am working on getting all of the legal stuff in order. I am hoping to announce more and launch in early this year!

8. My last crafting goal is to blog regularly.  I think this is self-explanatory. I love blogging, but I don’t do it as regularly as I would like.

I also have some personal goals. The first is to get pregnant. I know this seems a bit weird, but we have been trying for about a year. I had an ectopic back in March. Since then, no luck. I really want another baby (my last).  The second is to go through Operation World as a family.  We have “family church” every night. We read a bible story and pray as a family.  We are really excited about a more guided prayer experience as a family.  My last personal goal is to keep my house up.  We have been doing a pretty good job.  I want to keep that going.

Well, that seems like quite enough for one year!  Happy New Year to you!!

I can’t believe how little time I have had lately.  So, this will probably be a long post.  There is a lot going on in my life.

1. CB’s testing and such: We had CB’s EEG last week.  The neurologist was really surprised by the results. We suspected that CB was having absence seizures a couple times a week. It turns out that it is more like a couple times a day (and when he is tired or stressed, a couple times an hour).  He is now on meds. We have already noticed a difference after one week. He is more focused. He is also sleeping a lot more (and really well).  We have an MRI in December.  That will determine if there is any neurological cause for all his right side weakness. In the meantime, we will be starting physical therapy on Friday.  Everyone has expected me to be very upset about the results. So far, I just feel a real sense of peace.  CB is happy and healthy. He has absence epilepsy, but no delays as a result and it seems like the meds will work. He is growing and is cute as a bug. I couldn’t ask for a better kid. We are just trusting in God that this is all part of the plan.  On a very positive note, CB has started calling me “mama”!!  Until last week, he called me “this” if he was talking to me or “that” if he was talking about me.  He called his pacifier “mama”.  It was a little strange to hear him say, “Love you, This.”  Last week, he started calling me “moi moi” (think French pronunciation). Just last night, he finally converted that to “mama” (so now it is confusing…sometimes he wants me and sometimes he is asking for his paci).  It is so nice to hear, “Love you, mama” at night!

2. On the knitting front, I have been working like crazy on Christmas gifts (when I get a chance). I have done some more afghan squares (all are pictured in my projects on Ravelry).  I am currently waiting on the final Knitpicks order for the yarn. Once I get that, I should be able to blaze through the squares to get caught up (I hope)!

3. I got a great package from my pal in the Flat Rate Box Swap!  It had two skeins of Classic Lite Alpaca yarn, two skeins of Palette, a skein of Sockotta, and a skein of Baby Cashmerino.  She also included a pumpkin dishcloth (which CB loves, and keeps him from whining about having his face washed). I also received cocoa, two kinds of coffee, cinnamon bears, and Good n’ Plenty.  My pal, Shannon, included things for the kids too. There was some ribbon for their scrapbooks, a little book for CB, an activity book for LB, and stickers for their scrapbooks.  She also included honey from her local market (that is my littlest one’s hand reaching for the bear), soap from her local market, candles (that smell so good!), a circular needle perfect for two at a time socks, stitch markers (the kind I was going to buy myself, but could never justify it), stationary, and a calendar!  It was a very full box!!  Here is a link to a post about it with pictures.

4. I have also been very busy with church.  We are putting on a Kid’s ministry program the first Sunday of every month. I am the team leader for the greeters. I am also the contact person for the volunteers for our church (we are doing the ministry with three other churches).  That hasn’t been too bad.  I am also in charge of the planning for our annual Halloween carnival, Halloweenival (clever, huh).  It has been hectic planning, but it is all starting to come together.

5. Lately, I have really been focused on the homeless.  As some of you know, during law school, I worked in the Homeless Legal Rights Unit in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale legal aid.  Homelessness is a big issue for me (my pet issue if you will).  When I moved north and took this job, it kind of went on the back burner.  Lately, every conversation, every new person I meet, everything I do seems to put me into contact with the issue again.  Our community no longer has an emergency shelter.  Right now, I am working with some other members of the community to see what can be done about that.  In knitting related news, I decided to open a chapter of Warming Families here.  The North Florida Chapter is officially open and accepting donations! I am really excited to be doing this small thing to help the community!

Well, that is what I have been doing with my time!  I will try to be better at posting as things slow down (which I hope is really soon!)!!

It is September. That can only mean one thing this year.  That’s right…all Christmas knitting all the time.  I am in the Christmas spirit. I have been working on Christmas dishcloths, Christmas tribbles, Christmas laundry soap, Christmas blankie squares, and a Christmas scarf!  I have gotten a couple more dishcloths done. I have also gotten a couple of tribbles done. These will go in baskets with some “kitchen” goodies (measuring cups, hotpads, etc).  I also found a great recipe for laundry soap, so I have been making batches of that to give away in pint jars!  My laundry soap is 1 Bar of Kirk’s Castille soap finely grated, 2 c. washing soda, 2 c. baking soda, 3 c. Borax, and a small amount of fragrance (about 30 drops).  It smells wonderful and cleans better than anything I have ever tried. It is also diaper safe (a big deal in our house).

In working on the Christmas blankie squares I have learned a new skill.  Cabling.  I haven’t just learned to cable, but I have discovered that I hate cable needles.  I learned to cable without a cable needle!  I feel so daring!  The May square was my first attempt at cabling. I decided that I was not brave enough to cable without a needle.  I fumbled with the needle for two really badly done repeats. I decided that there had to be a better way. I had only ever seen cabling without a needle where you drop the stitches you would normally put on the cable needle, knit the others, and then pick up the dropped stitches. I decided I just wasn’t that daring.  Then I saw some reference to doing it the way that is described in the Confessions of a Knitting Heretic.  Well, I just got the book. I looked up how she did it.  Taking the example of a 4 stitch cable, she takes the first two stitches and slips them to the right hand needle. Then she knits the next two stitches. Then she puts her needle into the two slipped stitches (into the front if the stitches were to be held in front or into the back if they were to be held in back). She then slips all four stitches off of the right needle.  The two slipped stitches are now on the left needle. The other stitches are “dropped”. You then pick them up on the right needle.  They don’t hang out there. They are only off of a needle for a few seconds. That didn’t seem so dangerous.  I tried it out, and discovered that I love to cable that way!  For some reason, it is much neater and easier for me.  Not to mention that I don’t risk losing the cable needle. I ripped the first cables I tried and started over. The square came out great.

I have now done three cabled squares without the cable needle. It is making me feel so clever and daring (and as you know, that always makes me love a technique…when it makes me feel smart)!!  I am so glad I waited to do the May and July squares until after I bought that book.  I am thinking of writing an ode to Annie Modesitt since she has so transformed my knitting (or maybe that would just be weird)!!

I also got a great present in the mail, which made me think it was Christmas for a day!  I got my package for the Reducio 7 swap.  Included were a lovely little Hufflepuff sock, a travelling bag (which is lined and has a little bumblebee sewn into the lining…my pal’s patronus to protect against lost items), a train whistle, and some candy. It also had the Ribbit pattern, yarn, and a tennis ball to make a cute little frog!!  She did such a fantastic job on the package!!

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