New House Day!!!

Today’s the day!!!!

The hubs and I are about to sign documents to purchase our first ever home. At 11 am we will be homeowners and have a boatload of debt….oh wait, we already have student loans!

This whole process has been fraught with ups and downs. Buying a home in this economy is not easy. And I will freely admit I cried several times…

I cannot wait to show you guys photos as we get set up in our new home!!

Stay tuned…..

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Un-Stashbusting….oops

To celebrate myself a little, I finally decided to use my Knit Picks gift certificate…..tah dah!

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I picked up some of Knit Picks new yarn, Billow! I have been seeing photos of ombré blankets made from this stuff all over Ravelry, the blogosphere, and Pinterest. I have absolutely been itching to try this yarn!

I picked up six different hues in the brown/yellow family. In order from light to dark they are: Natural, Willow, Cornmeal, Turmeric, Mongoose, and Chocolate. This 100% Pima cotton is sooooo soft under my fingers. I know this is going to make an amazing blanket. I bet it would make an amazing sweater as well, oh the possibilities!

Now I just have to decide what pattern to make? I want something that will really show off the ombré color changes.

Option 1: Chevron Baby Blanket by the Purl Bee

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(Photo by the Purl Bee)

Option 2: Zig Zag Baby Blanket by knitculture.com

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(Photo from knitculture.com Rav page)

Option 3: Kodachrome Baby Blanket by Jocelyn Tunney

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(Photo from Jocelyn Tunney Rav page)

Option 4: Simple stockinette blanket with seed stitch border and just let the colors do the work

I can’t decide!! I have already made the patterns from option one and two. While option two was more visually striking, option one was more pleasurable to work. I’m torn between trying something new like option three or recreating something I’ve already done like options one, two, and four.

This yarn is special and deserves the proper pattern. Anyone out there in blogger land use this yarn or have any suggestions for a pattern? I really want to stick with a design that shows off the ombré, help!

FO Friday: Milestones

This Friday I wanted to share a milestone rather than a FO.

I noticed this week that I hit 100 followers. This was something of a unspoken personal goal for me. I mostly started blogging to push my fiber creativity and archive my projects. But I also wanted to meet new people, learn new skills, and expand my fiber universe. And I admit, I hooked!! I love interacting with all the creative fibery people in the blog world.

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In celebration, I gave myself a special present. I have been squirreling away a Knit Picks gift certificate from Christmas and I let myself use it for something completely selfish and fun! Stay tuned on Monday and see what it is…

I’m off to pack boxes and clean for our move. T-minus 4 days to closing and 10-ish to moving day!!

Stashbustin’ #14: Mud Season

Introducing Stashbustin’ #14, Mud Season by Elizabeth Smith!!

I pulled my Berroco Vintage Chunky from stash and started to swatch.

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Here is swatch A. I used the prescribed US 10 needles and did NOT get gauge…

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Ugh! I was shooting for 3.5 sts and 5 rows in 1″. I actually got 5 sts and 7 rows. So to the frog pond it went. I went down to US 9s.

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And tah dah! I get really damn close to gauge. I got 4 sts by 5 rows per 1″. I need to knit just a smudge tighter than normal on 9s. I need to give this swatch a bath and see how it does after a good blocking.

But I discovered something as I was working this swatch….I don’t like this colorway for this project. I’m a very pale woman and this is a very bright blue hue. This blue wants to be a shawl or cowl. Something that pops against my black peacoat or grey turtleneck. So I pinned a note about my swatch and gauge to the yarn and back to the tub it went.

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I may or may not have hopped on Webs and ordered enough skeins of the Chocolate colorway in Vintage Chunky…..sssh don’t tell my husband that I’m breaking my stashbustin’ project a bit.

Happy Knitting!

WIP Wednesday: Stylish Square Blanket

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Stashbustin’ #13update!!

I love bulky yarn in big needles. I feel like these projects practically fly off my needles. Just the knitting mojo I needed lately. I’m almost through my fifth hank. I will most definitely need to use six, but I have seven just in case.

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This Knit Picks Biggo is so super soft and squishy. The golden color way has really buoyed my mood this past week when it’s been pretty bleak outside. And Susan’s pattern is as beautiful as it is simple. Right yarn, right project, and right mood!

I almost guarantee this project to be done by the weekend! Stay tuned…

Happy Knitting!

Trying To Learn

I’m a knitter through and through but from time to time I see really awesome crochet items that I want to make. A lady should be able to both right?

I had some scraps of cotton left from my Sweet Cream Striped Raglan Cardigan, so I decided to try a test crochet beanie. I just picked a hook and my yarn and just started to improvise.

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Pictured above is like my fourth attempt, lol. It’s wonky and ripples. The husband thought I was making a flower….

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I must admit he’s a little correct. But I shall not surrender! I will get the hang of this crochet thing. I just might need my friend Kara to give me some pointers!

Any knitters or crocheters out there that swing both ways?

Adventures in the Flint Hills

Remember awhile back when I told you about my weekend hangover? Well this weekend I had the pleasure of spending Saturday with the folks of Prairie Fire Winery at their annual spring planting.

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Right smack dab in the Flint Hills of Kansas on the slope of a hill, we planted over 500 vines. I wish I could remember what variety we planted but the names where in French and I’m a Spanish kind of girl, lol.

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Thems a lot of holes! I even got to take Dex. He was a great dog and didn’t even try to make a run for it. He followed us up and down the hill and charmed everyone. After five hours he was one pooped puppy!!

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I had a blast. I got my hands dirty, learned about vines, sampled some wine, and hung out with good friends. Bob and Julie are truly some of the best people I have had the pleasure of meeting. And boy are they passionate about their vino!! In the past two years their wine has really started to rack up awards as well. Check out this article in winespectator.com, they made the final four!

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And you can’t beat the view either!!

FO Friday: Sweet Cream Striped Raglan Cardigan

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Stashbustin’ #12 is DONE!!!

I finished up this sweater this past weekend. It took me 11 days to complete this sweater. Nothing like a little stress knitting to light a fire under your butt. Finishing was pretty easy because I wove in my ends as I went. I did have to do some crochet “fixes” around the edges to make the different knit bands line up. After a good soak and blocking this sweater is ready for Spring!

I made the whole thing out of Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton that I picked up on clearance. The yarn was wonderful to work with. I have a soft spot for a good soft cotton, especially this time of year. The one regret I have is that I was not diligent in checking my dye lots on the lighter cream color. I knit the entire sweater down to the knit bands up the front before I realized. The darker stripe on the body of the sweater hid the fact that the creams didn’t match. Sigh, the color difference is subtle so I’m just going to live with it. As a knitter friend pointed out, I’m probably the only one that’s going to notice.

I used the Lion Brand Simple Raglan Cardi pattern that’s free online and the same as I used in my Simple Raglan Cardi. I just kept knitting the body until I got the length I wanted. The stripes are two inches each, except for on the arms where I didn’t want the sleeves to go past my elbows.

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I can’t wait to give this sweater some wear. This is officially my first full sweater project and I’m very happy!! I think I have been bitten by the sweater bug.

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I want one of my next Stashbustin’ projects to be Mud Season by Elizabeth Smith. I have the yarn in my stash and the pattern already marked up in my size! I just need to get a swatch started for gauge.

What’s on your needles this weekend?

Where is Spring!?

Did I jinx myself by knitting a spring sweater? It’s been cold and damp and stormy in the plains. We desperately need the moisture but I haven’t seen the sun in a week! Starting to get grumpy….

We had some severe thunderstorms roll through last night. I think between the storms and all the packing for our move my fur babies are very unsettled.

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Dex didn’t want me to knit. You aren’t even safe when brushing your teeth!

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Our dogs aren’t scared in the sense they freak out. They just become very clingy, lol. See exhibit A of our 90 lb lab trying to be a lap puppy!

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At bedtime all four of us tried to fit on a king sized bed. For me it was incredibly soothing to be snuggled up with all my favorite people (dogs can be people too) and falling asleep to the sounds of thunder. However, a particularly noxious fart from the lab got him relocated to the dog bed on the floor, lol.

Hopefully we can see some sun this weekend! We are t-minus 12 days to closing and t-minus 23 days to moving!