Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

Summer is winding down, though I admit that the heat seems like it’s found a permanent home. We had one lovely day that stayed in the 80’s – unbelievable! Unfortunately it was a fluke and we are back in the triple digits. So you know what that means. Swimming, sweet ice tea, homemade ice cream. Anything to lower the temps. Even if only by one degree.

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time getting ready for Christmas. You heard me right. Christmas. I decided that I wanted to make an Advent calendar, (similar to Leslie’s), for decorative purposes only.

AdventHats2

Currently I have ten hats knit. Two more to go. And then I can knit the dozen mini mittens. I’m using non snobby yarn too. Can you believe it? I was perusing Beverly’s when I found that Red Heart is now trying to be environmentally friendly. I picked up four skeins of their Eco Ways yarn and I have to say that I’m very impressed. Acrylic yarn has come far.

In the midst of all this mini hat making I decided I needed another project to sustain me. Not only do I need to finish the hats and mittens but I will need to make pom-poms, (not my favorite thing to do), attach them to the hats, and embroider numbers on each one. Twenty four of them.

So I cast on a pair of mittens. With this.

LLEcho

One beautifully soft and sumptuous skein of Lorna’s Laces Green Line Worsted in Echo. This yarn is perfect for a pair of winter mittens. I’m already half done so I’ll post pictures of them in a day or two.

Not much else crafting is going on here. I’ve spent a few days, (and nights), in the kitchen. I made another batch of strawberry jam. You never can have too much. I also baked a couple loaves of banana bread. I had to do something with the brown, nearly decaying, bananas sitting in the basket. And last night I experimented with making some Butter Pecan Ice Cream but I have to admit it was a major fail. I made it according to the recipe not realizing that I had to let the mixture cool completely before putting into the mixing bowl to let the KitchenAid do it’s thing. I’m going to try again tonight. This time there better be success. Otherwise I’m going to have to break down and buy some Dreyer’s.

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Trip to the Beach

Out of all the days to go to the beach today should not have been one. After stuffing our faces with croissants and doughnuts on the 101 freeway we took the scenic route up Kanan Road to the beach. We got there early and we ended up leaving early. The fog was a thick as pea soup. We spent about two hours just watching the waves, the surfers, runners and walkers, and the funny little birds that seem to run 20 mph looking for sand crabs.

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Even the ocean was a drab gray.

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A massive clump of seaweed.

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And a very brave, and unrelenting, seagull.

So we didn’t get to swim in the ocean. But we did get home, where it was stick to your car seat interior HOT, and went swimming with Scout. Gotta ♥ having a pool.

Summertime

I will be the first to admit that I am not a summer lovin’ kind of gal. I much prefer the colder temps of Autumn and Winter. I especially don’t like racking up a high electric bill for central air that doesn’t really keep us cool. But there is one thing that I do appreciate about our one-hundred-and-four-you’ll-burn-your-feet-on-the-asphalt type of weather: the pool. We are lucky enough to have five different pools to choose from, (luckier when they are all clean). So today the kids and I had an little outing to the cool oasis. There were ruffled butt bikinis and a lot of brave diving and flips. And a bit of soaking up the sun, (which is very nice when you spend a week in the confines of a sterile and bleach infested hospital, again).

So I’m home and only enjoying some of the Summer. I am looking forward to the cool nights where you can walk around barefoot and not worry about blistering toes. I am looking forward to knitting with heavier, and warmer, yarns. I am looking forward to taking another college class, (still yet to be determined exactly what class). I am looking forward to warm drinks and early evenings.

In the meantime I’ll try to enjoy the Summer in the best way I know how.

SundaraUnderthesea

: With Sundara Yarns:

Dalton

: With spending extra special time with Dalton :

Couch

: And with trying my damnedest to get a still shot of my Monkey Girl and her two year old antics. :

It’s good to be home.

Be Cool

Amidst the summer heat we’ve been spending a little more time at the pool the past week or so. We’ve been lucky that we don’t have to share the pool with anyone else at the moment. (Schools out here start mid August so the kids aren’t traipsing around the spa and getting in the way of the younger kids.) Scout has become much more proficient with her swimming skills. And a bit more courageous when it comes to jumping into the pool. Of course, she still uses her Floaties but she can float on her own and even tries to dog paddle in the shallow end.

Scout should have been born in a bathtub. She’s turning into a regular fresh water fish.

And while I stay home in the cool and comfortable air conditioning I’ve been trying to get as much knitting done as possible. I’ve commissioned a few more projects on Etsy and am spreading myself a little thin. But bills have to be paid.

I finished the Golden Snitch Hat and had Scout model it for me so I could send it off to it’s rightful owner.

I used some of the Vanna’s Choice yarns and while I’m a self proclaimed yarn snob, I have to say this particular acrylic is actually nice to work with. No itchy, fuzzy, yucky colored acrylic for me!

I’m ever so close to finishing the CPH. I did all the seaming and am currently working on the hood. I hope to have this done this week. I hope to have the quilt done too. I finished all the quilting so onto the binding I go. I don’t look forward to the binding. But if I truly learned from my mistakes from the first quilt it shouldn’t be that bad, right? Right?

Terrible Tuesday

It’s been a long Tuesday.

I can’t seem to shake this feeling of ickiness. My head still hurts, though more like cluster or tension headaches as compared to the immobilizing headache known as a migraine. By afternoon my stomach feels like I’ve been on a 100 story top to bottom roller coaster. My stomach feels sour. I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s not the only time, but it has me thinking that there’s something more serious than just headaches and vertigo. I really don’t know how to describe it, but I will be delving into finding a GP to diagnosis whatever the hell is going on. I just can’t handle feeling this way. I just feel weird. That’s really the only adjective that I can think of that fits. Weird.

On the up side, I have a finished object which always makes me feel good, if not better.

The Shalom Cardigan is all done, but for the button. I was quite happy to get those last 8 garter stitch rows done. Not that this took long, less than a week in fact. But I had a deadline to have this out by Jem’s 10th birthday on Sunday and I was successful. So I’ll add a button. Wrap it up in tissue paper and string. And say goodbye.

Overall I’m happy with the pattern. As I mentioned before I’m a little disheartened that the pattern only has one sizing. Not that it would be difficult to modify. Even just adding 10 stitches to the yoke and decreasing to the appropriate shaping would easily make this a wardrobe staple. But for now I have a few unfinished items and Juliet to keep my yarn and my hands busy. Though, I haven’t figured out what yarn I want to use. I know a number of people have used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece double stranded, but I am hesitant because I’ve never used the yarn, (actually, I’ve never seen it in person), and it reminds me too much of the scratchy acrylics I’ve come to despise. (I’m an uber yarn snob.) I did a Ravelry check and there seems to be an abundant number of knitters, (and crocheters, Jody), who have this stashed or used it for clothing. Do the numbers lie? We shall see. It’s between the cotton fleece or Uruguay Chunky from the Queensland Collection. (I just learned of a 60-70% sale on bags of 10 which would be the right yardage for my size, do I dare?)

Not too much else has been going on. Jem started summer school, (yay!). Is it bad that I over appreciate summer school? I’ve read a number of blogs where the author and their children are having a pleasantly slow summer swimming, baking, reading, and other activities. But here I am. Happy to have me and Scout time. Happy that Jem is away. It’s for his own good though. Not just academically but socially as well. He gets out of the house, gets his energy out and then we go from there. And because I don’t believe every moment of time needs to be filled. Summers are meant to be enjoyed. So mainly it’s been a lot of swimming. It’s almost too hot to go out most days, (though today is reasonably cooler, in the low 90’s). I have plans for a trip to the zoo and the beach. Plus I want us to make more ice cream and if you check out Heather Bailey’s Strawberry Pretzel Dessert you can see why. And Shawn and I have been discussing an overnight camping trip. But since we don’t have 24/7 entertainment aboard Princess AJ cruises we will have to be content to do nothing. Which sometimes I think what summer should be.

Scout seems to think so too. Life should be about laughter and fun, not just filling time.

Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to capture, but when you do you know it’s been worth it. (Especially when you see Scout dance to Fall Out Boy’s rendition to “Beat It”. Classic!)

This, that and something else

If I told you that I’d been busy, you would believe me right? Yesterday was the last day of school for Jem and his counterparts. Fortunately for him, unfortunately for them. I’m certainly not ready for the “I’m bored” and “what are we doing today” drill. But he’s going to summer school in a week. Fortunately for me, unfortunately for him.

So in the midst of early dismissals and end of the year parties I’ve kept busy at home trying to get a few things done before having even less time to myself than before.

Nothing finished in knitting land, though I am … that close to finishing the Ribs and Lace Tank. Maybe this weekend? I cast on for the test knit in Noro, which I read some not so good and some great reviews on the yarn. I’d been expecting scratchy, itchy wool. While it doesn’t have the best in soft factor, it does knit nicely and the color, of course, is superb. I also checked out the new Knitty for Summer and was quite pleased that they had something for Scout’s age. I bought some Elastico for the Helena cardigan for Scout, which was what I used for the Bubblegum sweater that I made about a year ago. I also like the look of Gigi though I don’t have the models figure so it may not be as flattering for me as it is for her.

But onto the actual finishing. I finished two Icy Petal bracelets for a friend at the LYS. The first was similar to the lilac one I made myself, though I used a different accent color. I don’t have pictures to share since she picked it up after I finished attaching the clasp last night at the SnB. But I did finish the second one for her friend which is done in earth tones:

Check out Flickr for a few more shots. I really like the greens and browns together and I’m hoping they will too.

I also finished my first quilt. I can’t say I’m 100% proud because once I finished the binding there were three mistakes on there which I don’t know if I can fix. Basically on two parts of the quilt I either didn’t sew it exactly on the 1/4″ seam so it seems to have frayed away a bit. Or, the fabric just frays and that’s what I get. It is very lovely though and Scout loves it a lot. So that’s all that matters because she will always know I put a lot of love, (and a lot more fingers pricked), into this quilt. I think all in all I learned a lot and I suppose I should be 110% proud because what I’ve learned I can now apply to my second quilt, (which the top is done but for the borders and the sandwiching of layers). But see for yourself and tell me what you think:

So that’s really it for my FO’s. Like I said before I’m really hoping to get some knitting done. I haven’t been knitting as much as I’ve wanted to lately, though the beading and quilting are similarly satisfying. So are water balloons. At least Scout thinks so:

Jem and Scout had a water balloon fight yesterday. I filled a bucket of water and got them soaked. With the weather the way that it is I won’t be surprised if we do this more often. It was 83 in the house at 9 this morning. It’s getting ridiculous especially when you hear about the floods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My cousin lives out there. Hopefully her house hasn’t floated away.

Have a great weekend and Father’s Day out there!