January 31, 2010

First off my Heather Hoodie is finished!!! I finally got the buttons and finished it off on Saturday evening. Sunday Hubbs and I went off for a photo shoot/fishing expedition. So here she is!

Pattern: Heather hoodie vest by Debbie O'Neill
Size: 38
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool in Latte (2 skeins)
Needles: US 10
Started: 01/03/10
Finished: 01/30/10

Hubbs and I went to our local none operational nuclear power plant for our photo/fishing trip. It's about 11 or so miles from our house. Rancho Seco is no longer operational but is still owned by the Sacramento Municipal Water District (SMUD). There is a pretty big lake on the property that they stock with fish for people to come and enjoy. Since the weather here over the weekend was more like May then January, we decided that we need some outdoor time. I'm not sure what the temps were but it was just amazing and I really enjoyed some time to sit in the sun. All the gray winter weather really depresses me after a while so blue sky's and green grass were a very welcome sight.

These are the cooling towers surrounded by grape vines. Our area is heavily agriculture and we saw cows, horses, lamas, goats and sheep on the ride out.

We could easily see the snow capped Sierra Mountains from here. Hard to believe it was January 31st when I took the picture. Looks like May.

The lake was lovely and calm. So peaceful with all kinds of water fowl including Mud Ducks, Canadian Geese, Swans and a few others.

The trees, of course, are still bare but so beautiful.

Hubbs of course enjoyed the fishing.

Too bad Hubbs only caught weeds. I was sure he was going to catch a monster.

Of course I took the opportunity to knit. Currently working on my Thermal. Can't wait for this to be finished. Size 4 needles and fingering weight yarn make for a lot of work. But it's always enjoyable. Thank goodness for a comfy and easily portable camp chair.
The Thermal enjoyed the sun too.

Three Swans a swimming.

There were lots of song birds too and even a few Swallows. I need to get my bird book out and see if I can figure out what this little guy is.

The mountains were amazing!

I got Hubbs to pose and let me take a nice picture of him. Normally I never get one of him that doesn't include him giving me the finger unless he doesn't realize I'm taking on of him.

Got him to take one of me too. If there had been anyone around I would have love to get one of the both of us.
All and all it was a great day. We went out to lunch after fishing and I finally managed to get a copy of the latest Knitscene. I'm in love with the Helleborous Yoke by Mathew Gnagy. It's a beautiful sweater. I can't wait to get started on it!

January 26, 2010

Finally! Moll Flanders is done and I can move on. It seems like it took forever to read this book. I didn't like the way it was written and it made for a very hard read. Now I'm moving on to Ulysses by James Joyce. I hope this one is a much easier read. !

January 25, 2010

I accomplished #6 on my list of goals for the year. I made another skirt like the one I made last weekend and I made the dress that I had the pattern for too. This skirt is a little more dressy then the one from last weekend but very comfortable and will be great for work. I chose a polyester, not something I normally choose because I don't really like synthetic fabrics but because it's more was and wear then cotton it means no ironing for me! I hate ironing.

I really love the length of this skirt. It's long enough to be modest enough but short enough that it has some fun to it.

The dress turned out really cute too. I like the detail on the bodice. And it was fun to spend another day with my mom learning to sew. I can't wait to get to the fabric store to check out some other patterns.

January 24, 2010

Since my Heather Hoodie is blocking I cast on for another sweater. I cast on for Thermal by Laura Chau. I'm using Knit Picks Gloss in Woodland Sage, it's a blue/green sock yarn, and size 4 needles. It takes a long time to do one repeat of the pattern since the yarn is so small and the neeles are so small. So far I love the pattern but I just wish it was knitting up faster! I actually started the swatch for this back on January 12th but really didn't start to actually knit on it until about the 18th becuase I was still working on my Hoodie. But now that the Hoodie is in it's final blocking, I can work on this. It's going to be a while before it's done but I'm willing to wait for it.

I still need to make progress on the three other sweaters that I set a goal of finishing for this year. One just needs blocking and some finishing work, one needs to have it's button band finished and then blocked and the last one, Celeste, I have a lot to do on. Celeste only has one sleeve finished and I need to get cracking on all three.

It's only the middle of January and I'm feeling a ton of pressure to get all my goals accomplished for the year ASAP. I think I need to relax a bit and give myself some room to breath. I still have 11 months to get it all done. Pleanty of time! (I hope) ;)

January 23, 2010

One of my favorite things about any hobby is all the notions and gadgets that go with it. For Christmas I got my mom a really cool seam ripper that has replaceable blades. It's super neat. My mom was telling what a great ripper it is and how much she loves it. Since Christmas I had been coveting the above rotary cutter/ripper set but it was $100. That's a bit pricey for me to be spending on notions. Last week when I was sewing with my mom I found the set at my local Joann's Crafts. It was on sale for $40! Hubbs had given me a gift card for Joann's for Christmas so I grabbed it up. I just love the flower pattern and the ripper is so sharp. It's a beautiful set.

January 22, 2010

I love my new shoes! They are so cute. And they looked great with my new skirt that I made last week.

If I was able, I'd buy new shoes all the time. They are my favorite part of any outfit.

January 19, 2010

As part of my goals for 2010 I wanted to learn to sew garments. My mom came over for the weekend and we did some sewing. I completed the Simplicity pattern! I love this skirt. It is so comfortable and it fits perfect.
Pattern: Simplicity 5914, view E
Fabric: Chocolate brown corduroy
Size: 12
This skirt hits me right below my knee. It's a smidge tight around the middle but since I'm working on losing weight for the new year (1.6 pounds so far!), it should fit perfectly when I'm done.
We also cut out the dress from the Project Runway pattern. My mom had to go home before we could finish it but she's going to come back next weekend to finish it. I cut out a second skirt in the same pattern as the corduroy one but in a polyester. Normally I'm not a fan of polyester but since it's a wash and wear type of fabric it will be really great for work.
My Heather Hoodie is really coming alone now. I finished the button band and am working on the little cap sleeves. I'm hoping to finish it this week and block it to wear ASAP. It's going to be super cute too!

January 18, 2010

My Favorite Cookie Receipe: Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Chip Studded Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredient List:
1 Cup butter, room tempature
1 Cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups quicking cooking oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside for later.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vannilla; beat well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips & peanut butter chips.

Drop by medium cookie scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 min's or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 min and move to wire rack.

Serving size: 1 Cookie
Number of servings: 38
Use medium cookie scoope to get portion size.

January 13, 2010

I finished Madame Bovary Yesterday and picked up my next two Library books. I was able to get Moll Flanders and Ulysses. I choose Moll Flanders to read first because it is only 400 pages and Ulysses is over 1,000. I didn't get very far into it last night as I fell asleep really yearly. Normally I have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night and it usually takes at least an hour of reading before I feel sleepy but last night I was asleep in 15 min's.
Madame Bovary was an interesting book but I didn't really like the end. I felt bad for the woman even though it seems like most of her problems were her own fault. I really felt bad for her husband, who after her death discovered that she was an unfaithful woman. He morned her passing so much and it was so hard on him. Poor guy.
On the knitting front, I have finished the Heather Hoodie up to the point where I have to block the fronts and the backs. They are currently blocking and I'm hoping that they will be dry enough today that I can begin doing a three needle bind off on the shoulders to start the hood and the button bands and the short sleeves. This knit up so fast that I'm almost disappointed that I'm more then half way done. But I also can't wait to wear it! It's going to be so great for cold days when I'm working in the kitchen where I like to have my sleeves pushed up so nothing gets on them but I still need something to keep me warmer. Or when I'm working in my sewing room where it's always either chilly or steaming hot from having the bright lights, sewing machine and iron on.
My mom might be coming over this weekend with my Grandmother and my sister for some girls bonding time. I'm hoping that there will be enough time for my mom to give me some sewing lessons. I really want to learn to sew clothing but all those markings on the patterns are so confusing. I need some in site on what they all mean so I can learn to sew my own clothing. Last time I tried I think I was like 11 or 12 years old. Let's just say that it didn't go well then. I'm hoping that it will go better this time!

January 12, 2010

Another Finished Object: Who Beanie
Pattern: Who? by Sara Amoroso
Yarn: Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease Worsted Weight in Black
Started: 01/10/10
Finished: 01/11/10
Mods: None, buttons are from my extra button jar

January 7, 2010

My next library book finally arrived on Tuesday, Madame Bovary. Not sure if I'm going to like this book or not. We'll have to wait and see. One thing I will say is that this challenge has led me to read books that I most likely would have never chosen on my own. Brave New World was definitely a departure from the rest of the books I've read so far and Lady Chatterley's Lover...I can see why they would have wanted to ban it when it first came out. But all in all, interesting books.

Madame Bovary is the seventh book from the list of Top 10 and not that I'm really coming near the end I'm wondering what I'm going to do for reading. I definitely going to keep using the library but I guess I'm going to have to find a new list to read off of. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know! Being without a book is like being without air for me. I've been a night time reader for as long as I can remember. I always have a book, at least one, sometimes two that I'm reading.

I love books. The only book that I know I want to read that's not on the list is George Orwell's 1985. I've never read it and it's mentioned a lot when I'm reading about books. Don't know how this one escaped my notice but it won't go unread for long after the list is done.

January 6, 2010

I cast on for my Heather Hoodie Vest the other day. I'm using Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool for the sweater. It comes in huge skeins of over 400 yards each so when I wound it into a cake it was huge. As it got to the end I had to get Hubbs to come over and hold they guide on the ball winder out a bit while I turned the handle because it was getting to the point where it was over whelming the winder. I've never seen such a huge cake before. Every day for the last couple of days we've marveled over the size of it.

My first swatch came out right on target so I'm for seeing that this sweater should fit just as intended (I hope). So far I've done a few repeats of the pattern and it's coming out beautifully. Can't wait to see how it comes out.

January 5, 2010

I'm so happy! As you can see by the below picture! I'm such a goof! My February Lady Sweater is complete. I ran out of yarn and had to wait and then it took me forever to get around to blocking it and then sewing the buttons on. What can I say? I'm not a strong finisher. But she's done and I even wore it to work. I got ton's of compliments and I was very proud of her.Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Tide Pool Heather
Started: 9/30/09
Finished: Finished Knitting on 12/5/09, Finished Blocking and putting on the buttons on 01/03/09

I love, love, love this sweater! Can't wait to finish the rest of the sweater that I currently have started.

January 4, 2010

I finished Lady Chatterley's Lover this morning. It's the 6th book out of the 10 on my list. It was a good book but I can see why it was banned in the '20's. There is a lot of imagery and swear words that Americans would not have liked at that time, most of which is pretty common place now. Over all it was a good book but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone because of the sexual imagery and the swear words.

I have three more books on request from the library and am just waiting for them to arrive. I requested Ulysses, Moll Flanders and Madame Bovary. I know it's the holidays and the library has been closed a lot but it seems like it's taking forever. I hope at least one of them arrives today so that I can pick it up after work. I hate not having a book and I hate having to read something else why I'm waiting for the next book to arrive. I keep checking my e-mail to see if they arrived. Thank goodness I can check it on my phone and I don't have to use the computer every time. If I did, I think Hubbs would kill me because I'd be constantly begging him to get off of it so I can check.

I finished my February Lady Sweater yesterday and wore it for most of the day. I took pictures but haven't gotten a chance to up load them yet. I also cast on for a new sweater on my new needles that Hubbs gave me for Christmas. He bought me a set of Harmony interchangeable circular needles that I was begging for. Thankfully he got them on sale so it was a bit more reasonable. They are just fantastic. They have nice sharp points which is great for working with bulky yarn and the joins are so smooth that you hardly notice they are there. With a lot of other needles I've noticed that you have to force the yarn over the join but with these it just glides over. I cast on for the Heather Hoodie Vest from the fall issue of Knitscene. So far I'm loving it but I've only got past the ribbing and am on the second round of the cable pattern. When I knitted up the swatch it was fantastic looking. The cables are really interesting and I can't wait to finish this project.

Picture stolen, I mean courtesy of Knitscene.com

Heather Hoodie Vest by Debbie O'Neill

January 3, 2010

Finished! My first toe-up socks!

Pattern: Azure Socks by Deb Barnhill
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Make Believe
Started: 12/26/09
Finished: 01/02/10
First toe-up socks and first finished object of 2010!

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone! From my family to yours! May the new year bring you only health and happiness!
Since it's the new year I've decided to get myself back on track with my weight. In the last year and a half I've put back on 15 pounds, 10 of which were the hardest pounds I've ever had to lose. I'm determined that I can take this weight back off even if it takes me another year and a half to do it. Or longer. It doesn't matter. I am determined. Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to add it to my sidebar to help keep myself on track. I'm scared to admit failure it I don't make it but on the other hand I really want to lose the weight and the accountability might help me some.
For now I'm off to plan my meals for the week. Wish me luck!