Tuesday, December 31, 2013

~Finished Pendulum~

This was a knit that I finished quickly! Cast on: December 2, Bind off: December 22.

And then: I blocked it! Hurrah for me! No waiting 2 years to wear this fun knit. :-)

When I finished knitting the shawl, I was kind of "meh" about it. I thought, "Wow, that was a lot of knitting for that." And then, I moved on to the blocking a few days later. If you look on Ravelry, knitters block this shawl with it either being knit from the neck edge down, or as if it were knit from the bottom edge up. It is designed as being knit from the neck edge down, but from looking at other projects, I decided to block it in the opposite direction. As I was blocking it that way I was again feeling as if I had taken way too much time knitting something I didn't like very well. So I took the pins out and blocked it according to the pattern and I instantly started liking it very much!

Project notes found here (Ravelry link).

Monday, December 23, 2013

~Hair Cut~

My daughter's hair is very thick, and while she really wants it to be long (like a princess!) for this season we are keeping it shorter, so that we have fewer tears and complaints about drying it, brushing it, and caring for it. Trust me, we still have tears and complaints! But this just works out so much better.

Anyhow, when we first got her hair cut (early last summer) I watched carefully and cut her hair on my own the last two haircuts. This time around I decided to see if there was something online to walk me through it. Well, there was!

So with the help of Little Bear (television show), and this video:

I got this result:

It's not perfect (there's a little spot on the left side that bugs me!), but I'm super happy with the results! So far, it's the best I've done. I didn't want the layers stacked too much, so I kept the layers short rather than angled as much as the video shows. I'll watch this video again next time I cut her hair.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

~Thoughts on Canning~

I previously blogged about my remaining apples to make into sauce, but alas and alack, those apples ended up in the compost. Thankfully it was a waste of only $6 or so. Kevin dumped them for me and I guess the apples on top looked semi-usable but the bottom apples were becoming vinegar.

So! I cleaned up my jars and moved everything back down to the basement to await for next summer's madness. My jar count for this year ended up being 227. That's my all-time record--so far! I will probably try to outdo myself next year, if I know myself very well at all. ;-) If you'd like to look at my list, it's up on the "pages" section under my blog header.

If this doesn't look like 227 jars, we've already gone through quite a bit. *smiles*
I am trying to think of a better way to approach canning. I love canning. I love having my shelves in the basement loaded with home-canned delicious foods. I love the fact that I don't have to buy tomato products, or canned green beans, or applesauce. I opened a jar of sauce the other night as I prepared dinner and inhaled deeply. Mmmm....

But, there's always a downside to something so wonderful, it seems. My downside is the kitchen in a terrible upheaval. Dishes that multiply by the second as I can.  My daughter who is not quite able to help but seemingly unable to entertain herself the second I get my canner out.

So next year, as I prepare to can, I want to go about it more purposefully. One can't choose the timetable for when vegetables and fruits are ripe and ready to process, but I can choose the time of day. I can choose to not buy as much so I am not forced to spend quite as much time in the kitchen. Having a smaller amount of something is not so horrible. It makes it more of a treat! I can choose to skip some of the more time-consuming recipes.

This next year we're planning on growing just as big of a garden. I'm planning to can just as much, if not more. But somehow I am hoping it will be just a little less crazy feeling! One can hope, anyhow. ;-)

Monday, December 09, 2013

~Knitting Happily Along~

My shawl has been such a fun knit! I can't stop knitting! I find myself picking it up and working on it throughout the day.

Since it is on circular needles, which want to curl and twist, it is not very photogenic at the moment. ;-) I love the pattern, and (depending, of course, on how this one turns out in the end!), very much want to knit another one!

Monday, December 02, 2013

~New Project~

I have birthday money burning holes in my pockets. Yes, holes. ;-) I've been fretting over the perfect way to spend my money, and for a small portion of it, settled on this project:

Pendulum, by Amy Miller (Ravelry link, picture from the author's Ravelry pictures).
In August, I walked into a yarn shop, and this pattern was worked up and on display right inside the door. I was fascinated by it immediately, and even took it off the mannequin bust and tried it on!

I chose Lion Brand Sock Ease for this project. I bought the yarn today, and the check out lady at Michaels was kind enough to let me do two transactions so I could get both skeins at 50% off.

I've already cast on, and have the first section finished! I'm looking forward to this project!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

~Blocked, II~

I'm home from church with my little girl who is still sick. I'm telling you, this sickness just hangs on! I got it first, a week ago Saturday, and I am still feeling some lingering effects!

In my previous post I showed my scarf which I blocked. Well, once I got that one unpinned, I moved on to my Lace Wrap (Ravelry link). Now that it is truly finished I am looking forward to wearing it! I think I'll most likely wear it as a scarf more than a wrap/shawl.

You can see that the edge is a little wobbly, but wrapped around my neck it isn't obvious at all

I'd still like to get a set of blocking wires, I think it would make blocking easier! But until then I know I can get reasonable results with pins!

Now I'm thinking about what to knit next. I am kind of lost though. Knitters, any ideas for me?