The Time That Flies

It’s a thing! I swear! Now if you ask me where the time flies to…I’m not sure, but it isn’t here any more! It is mid-July. I am feeling recovered from the school year. In fact, yesterday I went to the school’s webpage and a few of my students’ pictures were on the page. I had to actually stop and think very hard about a few of their names. It’s amazing what the brain will “dump” when the necessity is gone πŸ™‚

I’ve taken a few classes this summer and helped out some at a summer camp. Jordan and I are gearing up for a vacation to South Dakota very soon. I’ve finished several projects and now I need to sort out my knitting to take on this trip!

One of the fun things that has been released from my needles is Nora’s Harvest Cardigan!

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Just in time for her 7th birthday. I knit the 7-8 size and its a little big. Which is perfect since it’s JULY and a zillion degrees…who wants to wear a sweater now!? Regardless, she loved it. That made my heart sing. Her favorite is the rainbow around the bottom hem πŸ™‚

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I finished the Bootstrap Socks which have been kickin’ around for about 3 years.

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A few hats, a baby sweater…I’ve got a few more in the works. Seems like all my friends are expecting.

In other news, I completed a Whole30! I didn’t die. In fact, I feel pretty good! I’m still slowly re-introducing foods, but mostly eating Whole30. I’ve lost a few pounds. That feels good. It took a while for the “Tiger Blood” to kick in, but now it just feels like everyday.

This summer is scooting by way too fast. I’m hoping to get some planning work for school done before school starts again. Ah…just where did the time go!

❀
Jenna

Hard

Some days are just hard. Or maybe it’s the years too. I’m not sure. Let’s start with the days. Like today.

Everything just kept coming. Without stopping. Without any sort of slow down or let up. I’m supposed to be working on my portfolio to turn in for my yearly evaluation…don’t worry, it’s only my first year back and I’m not overwhelmed or anything. I find tons of time to do all the things I need and WANT to do. No, I’m not complaining…

When I started this blogging adventure, I wasn’t teaching. I was just married and moved to a brand new city, coaching some volleyball and taking orders at Starbucks…after I’d been on my own, teaching for two years. The transition felt like a backslide professionally, but a huge leap in the right direction for me personally. That backslide really puts things into perspective for me now.

So no, I’m not complaining. Maybe engaging in a little self-pity…a little “Oh poor me” moment…I know I just need to buckle down and get it finished, but I’m at a stand still.

My brain won’t go any further. I’m stuck on today and that it was hard.

I’m only 1.5 days away from a much needed “spring break.” I’d like to get this portfolio finished before then. It would have been nice to have the break to work on it. I think I’ve written the hard part. Now I just need to pick apart the “responsibilities of the educator’s position”, the “communication and interpersonal relationships” and “professional responsibilities and professional development” portions of my packet and decide how I’ve done those things this year. I’m sure I have, but man, my brain is having a hard time finding it all right now.

It’s awfully mushy up there.

As the school year winds down, I know I need to make this final push and start planning for the summer. And the next school year. I’ve been offered my contract again. Yay! I’m excited for some continuity…it’s amazing that it’s been since 2013 since I’ve had something constant in my life other than my husband and my cats…and maybe my knitting.

I’d like to pick up the needles again, but until the portfolio is done, I feel it would be irresponsible…just as writing on here is…but maybe this is a brain break πŸ™‚

❀
Jenna

Promised Pictures

I told you I’d be back with the pictures I promised πŸ™‚

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So I have been actually working on my Turia Sweater…I attached the sleeves and have a little bit more knitting for the yoke before I decrease any. I am loving the way it looks and even though the needle squenching isn’t totally flattering, it is a fantastic piece. I can’t wait to wear it!!

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On to the needle-squenched project number two…its my Foggy Sunset shawl. It’s truly the Daybreak pattern by Stephen West and I’m using some lovely leftover Vice Yarn Paradigm in the Wet Concrete color from my 3 Color (Sorta) Cashmere Cowl and some Crystal Palace Mini Mochi. I’ve got one more gray stripe before the border in all Mini Mochi all the time!

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And then there’s this…this is yarn, Knit One Crochet Too’s Ty-Dy Cotton I’ve reclaimed from a scarf and cowl gone bad plus the leftover gray Berroco Weekend from Leigh’s Chevron Baby Blanket. This wants to be a Harvest Cardigan for my niece Nora…I’m thinking of using the rainbow color for the button band/collar and to stripe the sleeves with it and the gray for the body of the cardigan. Now I just need to cast on. I know she would love it…the rainbow colors are so her! And I think I have just the right amount…

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And this is the cutest project bag ever that my friend Korey gave me a week or two ago…it’s so perfect and it’s so true! And it’s my slogan here on the blog (and in my life!). Just a reminder of how much friends are truly a blessing…and so is yarn!

Ah…it feels good to stretch my legs again here and catch up! I’m on point with my blog roll too right now! Looks like everyone has been busy πŸ™‚ I’ll try to get up to speed here with Β my finishes from the last month like the Hammrhavn Test Sock, the Chevron Baby Blanket, The Antler Toque, my Autumn Shawl…All in due time!

Can’t wait to cruise around and see what you’re working on! Drop me a hint in the comments…or even better, drop in a link πŸ™‚

❀
Jenna

No Socks!

What is a girl to do when her hand knit sock drawer is empty?? And it’s 25 degrees Fahrenheit? And her toes are cold?

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Well, she has to wash her socks! I only have 4 pairs, and 3 pairs are every day pairs…one is Β a pair of house socks.

In a 2 bedroom, one bathroom flat, sometimes the sink is not the best place for these things…so I use a mixing bowl. I fill it with some Eucalan and warm water.

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I throw in the pair of socks, one by one…first up are my Squishy Socks out of some Regia 6 ply followed by my Technicolor SocksΒ in Pagewood Farms Denali Sock.

And my ???? socks I can’t find that I made a project page on Rav…I don’t even know what the yarn is…they were the first real pair of socks I made after my House Socks made from Jarbo Yarns Raggi.

Next up I just need to roll them out and lay flat to dry…only 24 hours between me and toasty toes!!

How do you block/wash your knits?

❀
Jenna

Um, Tuesday?

Yes! It’s Tuesday! I’ve made it to the second day in the work week, it’s before 6:00am here in St. Louis, Missouri and I’ve been marinating on what to post about for a while…when I say “a while” it’s more like 4 days or so.

This weekend was beautiful! Saturday, our temperatures got up into the 60s. We cleaned the house…like real cleaning. I was sweeping in the kitchen and my husband made a comment about getting some dust off the bottom of the wall by the stove. I moved the broom a little ways up the wall and knocked it down. Then I started looking at the stove…we’ve been in this place about a year and a half and I don’t know if I’ve ever moved the stove. It looked a little yuck and I could see a part of a pretzel sticking out from under one corner so Jordan pulled out the drawer and we walked the stove out of it’s corner only to uncover a 2 hour project. I swept, I scrubbed, I rinsed, I scrubbed, I mopped, I scrubbed…you get the picture.


I don’t think that thing had been moved since before we moved in as we found a spoon and a tupperware lid back there that we’ve never owned. Oh well, I guess that’s what you get with rentals…I eyed the fridge, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up another 2 hours. Instead we went downstairs and washed cars. Yes, in January.

After that, all I wanted to do was post up on the couch and knit! I’ve been staying focused on my two deadline knits.

First up the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot. Talk about a potato chip knit! The pattern is pretty intuitive and I’ve put in a few markers so I can count less…in fact I was zipping right along, getting ready to change colors when I counted one of the sections and I had something like 7 or 8 stitches too many…I neglected to do the double decrease some 8 rows back more than once…I thought about dropping down to fix it like with a cable, but I decided there would be too much extra yarn in the rows the error was on and the 8 or so rows above the “oversight”…so I ripped it back, used some size 6 needles to pick it all back up and got going again.


I made it out of the dark purple in a little over an afternoon’s worth of knitting, making up the progress I had taken out. I thought about leaving it, but the blanket would have had a weird overall shape I think, fanning out a bit. I don’t mind leaving a single stitch mistake in a bigger project like this, but 8 stitches too many? I’m not sure it wouldn’t have gone unnoticed. Besides, the lines running up the decrease section looked weird.

Enough about that one…I’m still working on the Hammerhavn Sock by Pia Juulsen. It’s a test knit for her and I’ve got til early March. She’s given the ok to gush about the project and share a bit with you guys!


I’m using some Lorna’s Laces Solemate in the Satsuma colorway. I keep wanting to call it Shepherd Sock in the Tangerine colorway πŸ™‚ I knew it was named after some citrus! Pia has written a gorgeous pattern. The cables wind down the leg and while I do have to pay attention to my knitting, the rounds go quickly and it’s easy to see where your next cabled stitch will fall in the pattern. I don’t feel very dependent on the chart any longer and I’ve just finished the second repeat on the leg.


It’s been excellent practice cabling without using a cable needle as these are only 1×1 stitch crossings. I think that’s what you’d call it, but I’m only swapping the order of 1 stitch with another stitch so dropping one off to the front or back is not intimidating. If it were 5 or more, I’d be pulling out the cable needle for sure.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough and I made need to go get in the shower so I can be at work on time…I wish I had the whole day to lounge and knit and talk with you guys, but I’m not sure my co-workers would appreciate being shorthanded πŸ™‚

Until next time…linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On.

❀
Jenna

Second Sock Syndrome…

I would guess that if you are a knitter of socks, you are quite familiar with Second Sock Syndrome. Even if you don’t knit socks and just knit anything, you can probably guess what SSS is…in most scenarios, Second Sock Syndrome occurs when one finishes one sock and delays/dreads/doesn’t start the second sock. It can happen when knitters are in fear of diving into a second sock of boredom or mistakes…I usually am afflicted with boredom.


I’m someone who does not usually enjoy knitting the same pattern more than once. There are exceptions like basic socks (oh irony), hats, and the perfect, quick baby blanket. Otherwise, I’m a one and done kind of knitter.

Thus I’m generally bored of the sock and delay starting the second one in fear of being bored.

However, I may have discovered a new form of SSS. I’m dying to start this second sock!!!!


They are my Bootstrap socks. I have been wearing the 3 pairs of wool socks I’ve made non-stop and I would love to have these finished too so I can add them into the rotation.


Except, I’m being stopped. By this:


Yes, it’s still the Skinty Striped Scarf. I’m trying to remain faithful but it’s hard. I want my sock. I want my finished pair of socks.


I made about this much progress last week, and I’m going to stick this out, at least through the end of the week. Then I’ll re-evaluate πŸ™‚

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On…don’t know if I’m particularly calm, but we shall give it a go πŸ™‚

It did help airing out a little frustration here. Perhaps tomorrow I can stare at all the other stuff I want to finish/start…

❀
Jenna

Fall Cleaning?

I think it could be a thing πŸ™‚ Since starting the full time job and coaching JV Volleyball at a local high school, my time at home has dramatically decreased. I’ve stopped playing in all but 1 of my volleyball leagues and tried to get back to the gym and knitting one night a week. All in all, it has made me more aware of my limited time at home and all the chores I need to do.

Anyway, the cleaning bug bit this weekend. Saturday, we ran errands and spent some quality time together. Sunday, we met Jordan’s brother for breakfast at the Original Pancake House and went to Mass. Then we came home and started putting away laundry and picking up. I was so inspired, I overhauled my entire closet.

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I took out clothes I haven’t worn and didn’t fit. I hung up all my clothes. I organized my cardigans. I went through my handknits.

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I put away my *cough*storebought*cough* scarves…

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When I woke up this morning and went to my closet to get dressed for work, I opened the door and was met with a sense of calm.

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I pulled out a few handknits I don’t wear and am planning to donate to my local knitting guild. They donate tons of hats, scarves, blankets, baby things to various charities in our area. I’m hoping someone will be able to wear these.

Still working on whittling down a service to use for going my own way on the web. It’s between wordpress & squarespace. I’m leaning towards worpress since I already have an account and think the transition could be easiest here. I would hate to lose the previous 129 posts I’ve made here. Such a comfortable place, but I’m ready to stretch my legs.

Hopefully see you Wednesday for Yarn Along/Whatcha Workin On/Stitch Along/Keep Calm & Craft On so I can show off my nearly finished Catkin πŸ™‚

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❀
Jenna

Made it to Monday

Monday Musings

So we made it to Monday, again. I’ve started a new job at a law office as a docket clerk. My days are filled with giant files and computer screens so the last thing I want to do is really come home and soak up more of the computer screen.

Instead I have been knitting. A. Lot. I’ve been giving a good effort at Stash Dash…I keep hearing the Knitmore Girls & the Prairie Girls talk about it. I love to listen to audio podcasts while I drive to and from work. It’s better than the radio with the same old songs and there is only so many times I can listen to the same depressing news on NPR.

So how about a look at my knits…

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I’ve officially frogged the “Colour Change Scarf.” Β The more I looked at it and the more I worked on it, the less I liked it. It was supposed to be a birthday gift for a friend…now it’s at least 2 years over due and it was looking less like what I initially had in mind. Now I’ve got 4 full balls of Silky Alpaca Lace…what to do with this goodness?

There is also all these bags that have been sitting by me on the couch for at least 48 hours. I keep bopping between bags, moving needles, notions, patterns around…it’s really a form of procrastination. But at least I am putting my hands on the projects.

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I pick one up. Knit a few stitches. Get distracted by another pattern. Mostly I want to finish things, but I can’t decide which one I want to finish first so I keep picking up different things. It’s hard to see the progress, but my attention span is short. I don’t have too much left on this one…

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Maybe I’ll focus and free up some needles. And the Curls book. So I can start another one. Since I fell off that KAL after my Caesious…but Cerise is lovely, especially in the Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Glitter Sock πŸ™‚

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How is your summer knitting coming? Are you procrastinating? Or do you genuinely have project ADD?

❀
Jenna

 

 

 

Did Somebody say Socks??

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Wow! It feels so wonderful to be back in the states after a restful trip. We had a great time, lounging on the beach, eating as much seafood as possible, and even getting to go bonefishing! Being abroad really does make you disconnect due to the high cost of a phone and data plan. I’m certainly grateful for my time away, but it does put me fretfully behind on reading and posting πŸ™‚

I had some great knitting time on the trip. With a nice long journey down and back, I probably racked up around 15 hours of knitting time. I worked on several projects I already had going, but I couldn’t resist starting two new ones…

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Check out this lovely pattern. It’s 22 Little Clouds by Martina Behm (joining the Knitmore Girls for #Behmalong) and I’m using some deep stash…Malabrigo Worsted in this super rich royal blue, azul bolita. It’s leftover from a Honey Cowl I made myself a few years ago. Despite its gorgeously deep color, when I blocked the Honey Cowl, no bleeding! I ❀ Malabrigo.

Meet my first pair of Toe-Up Socks!

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They are the Strie pattern by Lara Neel in Sock Architecture. I must admit I was a bit intimidated by the thought of having to learn a new cast-on, Judy’s Magic Cast-On, but once I read the tutorial on Knitty a few times, I had it. Then it was just increasing which meant re-familiarizing myself with M1L & M1R. Plus I have been holding onto the Zitron Trekking for about 4 years and since it’s been caked up at least that long, I thought they should be the next pair of socks on the needles, especially since I finished Nora’s socks!

We celebrated her birthday this weekend and it took all I had to pretend I hadn’t finished them when she asked me as soon as I walked in the door. I wrapped them up and waited until it was time for presents. So mean Aunt Jenna!

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I think it was worth the wait. She was so excited she put them on straight away and ran all around. She even wore them over her pajama pants to sleep in.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and I can’t wait to catch up and see what everyone’s been working on!

❀
Jenna

Picture Perfect

I don’t normally take pictures. Of anything. Ever. Unless I’m planning to showcase it in a blog post and even then, it’s after I’ve written the post. I’ll pull out whatever projects and yarn I need to really complete the post.

It’s funny because when I was in college, I had the nickname “Party Pics.” When I’d be at parties, I’d just snap away without even looking through the viewfinder or the screen…tons of candid shots of people dancing, drinking, talking, smiling. I loved snapping those photos because it gave me a real sense of what the night was about, how it felt, the people who were there, having a great time, not “posing” for photos with their best smiles and best hair flips and best sides and what not. It felt real.

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I love coming across those photos now. It reminds me of silly games, bad dance moves, and honest if not slurred conversations. (This is from a friend’s wedding, I love it since weddings seem to have the most pictures that are posed.)

I don’t do that anymore. Perhaps I don’t live that lifestyle any more…it’s probably for the best since I’m sure my liver would object to consuming alcohol that many nights a week for this many years in that amount (use your imagination here). But I do miss the honesty.

All this to say, I don’t take pictures. πŸ™‚ I need to make a better effort.

I was reminded when my 4-year-old niece commandeered my phone and was snapping away without a care in the world. I got it back from her later that evening filled with pictures of her swimsuit, her bunny, her brother, the tv, the floor, the ceiling, me…here are a fewΒ of my favorites:

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I’m putting these in like I found them on my phone. As a reminder to find the beautiful in the candid. As a reminder to snap away more frequently, without being hesitant, without wondering if I look silly, without worrying if it will make my life look less than “Instagram Perfect.”

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I’m hoping to do my best to give you more candid knitting as well…speaking of less than perfect…

Remember those Bootstrap socks that looked like this?

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So after I finished up the Technicolor Socks last Friday, I went to turn the heel on the Bootstrap sock so I could have something mindless. I opened up Sock Architecture and started reading about the heel turn. It involves knitting a heel flap and I was trying to figure out where the little garter “straps” would ride in relationship with the heel…I looked at the pattern picture and it looks like they ride on the heel side of the gusset stitches, I read the directions and it was saying to work the heel over the first half of the stitches only my garter straps weren’t both in the first half of the stitches….

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so I ripped back. It was actually a much bigger pile, but you get the idea of kinky yarn that’s been knit…what’s better than a little mindless knitting on the leg of a sock on lovely Dreamz US 1 with some squishy (and sturdy) Mountain Colors Crazyfoot sock yarn?

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I even got to knit on these while those cuties from earlier bounced around on a few bouncehouses at this huge indoor thing! Wish I would have snapped a picture :/

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When life sends you to the frog pond why not enjoy the journey back?

What about you? Any little setbacks in your knitting recently?

❀
Jenna