Finally Finished!! {Tangelo}

 

Well here it finally is. I just got around to taking pictures of Ayla’s Tangelo Summer Sweater. You may remember it from the summer sweater Knit Along I did with Nice & Knit back in the early part of this summer. Now that it is officially Autumn I’m posting the finished product.

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The color is a little difficult to truly capture. I had to play around with filters and settings just to get this almost true to color picture.

Honestly, this sweater has been officially done for sometime. Ayla has worn it a few times throughout the summer. The picture above is after a few runs through the washer. It even managed to find its way into the dryer this last time and its a little felted, but didn’t manage to affect the size too much. It seems a tiny bit shorter and feels a little heavier, but with the chillier temperatures that have arrived it shouldn’t be a problem.

You may recall from a previous post that I had some difficulty with this bugger. The gauge was way off. I ended up having to hold the yarn double because it was more like fingering weight instead of the DK that it indicated on the paper band. It was because of this that I had to shorten the pattern from a tunic style top to a regular length sweater that hit at the hips.

The yarn was wonderful to knit with. There were bits of vegetable matter through out the yarn and there was a joining knot somewhere in the middle of the first skein. I thoroughly enjoyed the rustic feel of the yarn. It’s not scratchy but it wears tough. Ayla didn’t show any signs of itchiness or allergy to the wool content, so there’s a go to make more wooly loveliness for her in the future.  Ayla in summer sweaterThe above picture was taken when it was fresh off the needles. You can see that I didn’t even have the buttons sewn on. I really didn’t need to even block it but it helped to straighten out some stitches. My only complaint is really about my knitting. You can see little holes on the sides, from where I did my increase stitches. Once it’s on her it’s not really noticeable though. I’m not sure what I did wrong (if anything) but I hope these don’t show on the sweater for Travis.

All in all though, it was a nice little knit. Great pattern and great yarn. I have more of this yarn in 2 other colors, and can’t wait to knit with them again.

Another one of those posts

I am terrible at this blogging thing aren’t I? Nice weather hit and I went off on hiatus. I had more posts about trying to blog more than I actually posted about knitting or my other crafty endeavors. And I am sorry… wait. Honestly, I’m not that sorry. I was busy enjoying the warm sunshine and local festivals with my baby (…who isn’t really a baby anymore…) and my husband when he is home on the weekends. During the week I was throwing myself into my job and my housework. I have gotten better at keeping things tidy but I still have a long way to go.

There wasn’t much knitting going on either this summer, so there wasn’t much to even blog about. The little summer sweater I made up for the Nice & Knit knit-a-long was the only thing I really finished. I will try to get some pictures of it and the finishing details up this week.

Please readers, be patient. I have some good knitting projects in the works right now. I have the yarn for my husbands sweater and a gauge swatch has already been done. A pattern has been picked out for two of my nephews matching sweater vests. One for Liam who is a bit over 2 years old and one for “baby boy” who is due to arrive around Christmas. I just purchased another hank of Alpaca yarn from a local agricultural festival and I plan on making another cowl. I personally can’t wait to get my needles working with it.

So that’s what I have going right now. Oh and I forgot to mention that I started classes for my next degree; a Bachelor of Science degree studying Medical Laboratory Science. So I have a full plate right now, but I like being busy. I hope you all stick around for the ride.

With love,

Nicole <3

 

 

 

 

DIY {Flowered Bookends}

floral book end

I have been searching for bookends to hold my cookbooks for months. Until this morning, they were stored inside Mister’s Grandmother’s antique buffet/sideboard (honestly I don’t really know what the difference is between the two). The two that I use the most were just stacked on top with a recipe box topping them. It worked, but I love the look of all of them lined up on top.

I didn’t realize I even wanted needed bookends until I seen these beauties.

I am loving the color (I would say I have become a tad bit obsessed with it lately). The little paisley wings are just lovely. But the price, *womp womp* not so much. I don’t remember the exact price, but I remembered that when I showed them to Mister, he gave me the “Are you out of your mind!?” look, and I bowed my head in defeat.

But now I had it in my head that I needed bookends. I search and search but everything I liked was way out of price range. So I decided that I should just DIY some. I didn’t want anything to chunky and heavy because I didn’t want something to gouge or dent the top of the buffet.

I stumbled across a blog called SewLikeSisters and found this post using Mod Podge, scrapbook paper, and the plain old metal book ends.

I went through my mental stash of scrapbook paper (I don’t have much) and remembered having a few pages of a pretty floral print. It has a vintage vibe with some places having a worn look to it and the print itself was reminiscent of older times. The post said it would take under 20 minutes. Challenge accepted!

I started by cleaning the dust off the bookends.

Plain Book Ends

 Next, I laid the paper print side down on the counter, laid the book ends on the sheet (I could fit both on one sheet) with the bottom lip hanging over the edge of the counter. I carefully cut out the paper.

Next I applied a thin layer of the Mod Podge directly to the outside of the book end with a foam paint brush. mod podge on book end

You want to carefully lay the paper on the Mod Podge, and make sure you are lined up as you are doing it. Once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere! Now that the paper is on, I smoothed it out gently with my finger to get the air bubbles out.

I went over the paper with another thin coat of Mod Podge to help set things in place. I placed them outside in the sun to dry for about an hour.

air drying

I wanted them to have a sealer on them so that they can be dusted (eventually…when I actually remember to dust). I found this Acrylic Sealer in the spray paint isle. I chose the glossy finish.

clear coat

sorry about the sideways picture. When I tried to rotate it, it looked really stumpy and it was hard to read the label.

I gave it some short and light squirts, sweeping from side to side and let it air dry for a few more hours out in the sun.

They were dry withing a few hours so I pulled out the cook books and filled the top of the buffet. (This wasn’t all of them, so I think I need to do some purging.)

right side

left side

dining room buffet

Don’t mind the little rice puffed cereal on the floor. Little Miss seems to get more on the floor and in her chair than she does in her mouth.

In the end, I think it really only took me about 20 minutes (with out drying time of course) to get these done. I feel pretty accomplished because I managed to roll these babies out all before Noon!

This was my first time using Mod Podge (that didn’t involve elementary art class) and I’m looking around the house to see what I can ‘Podge next!

Do you have some success stories or even some failures using Mod Podge? I would love to hear them.

<3

Making Progress

I’m finally able to cast on the Tangelo sweater for my little miss. In my previous post, you read about the issues I had with the gauge swatches. I had big plans to work on the sweater during a 10 hour car ride to the Porcupine Mountains with the Mister. Last week was our 1 year wedding anniversary and we were gonna spend some quality time alone in the woods. ;)

Well after driving all week for his job, the Mister realized that, no matter how excited hr was for our trip, he was NOT wanting to drive that far for one night. So plans will be made at later date for some backwoods hiking. I mean, hike 4 miles to the cabin, boil your water, poop in a hole and bury it, kinda back woods camping.

We did go away for the weekend, but we went to Mecosta and stayed at a little family campground at Bluegill Lake. We got rained out and the tent leaked but it was a great time. I won’t get into all the mushy and lovey dovey details but it was nice to be US again.

I brought my knitting along too. Ahhh to stretch out on a dock with my toes in the water while I click away at my needles. Uh yea about that…with out some sort of thing to loop my yarn on, my hank turned into a huge knot. Argh! I threw that crap back in the vehicle and filled my face with cold beans from a can and the parts to a s’more.

Back at home with a bottle bit of wine and some swearing patience I got enough of the knot undone to get the sweater started.

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Today I’m working the afternoon shift at the hospital and have made some good progress on the little Miss’ sweater in between the few Emergency Room patients.

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I’m loving this little big of lace for the shoulder sleeves. I can’t wait to finish this and get Miss into it. I may knit it a little longer so its more like a tunic/sweater dress. We have a family wedding coming up in the beginning of August and I think this would cute with some little black Mary Janes. 

Cast On {Tangelo}

Well I have at least started my gauge swatch. I am joining Nice & Knit for a Summer Sweater Knit-A-Long. I am knitting Tangelo with Silky Wool’s Yellow Apple. This swatch is really giving me fits. The patter says that DK is OK to use and calls for a size 7. I came up with 2 extra stitches in my gauge. While knitting, I realized the yarn really feels like a fingering weight. I went with the next size up needle, but the gauge seems too open for me. It wouldn’t be in issue for me because a small cami could be worn underneath, but it’s supposed to be for summer so an extra layer just doesn’t make sense.

I wanted to double up the yarn to make it bulkier since it felt so fine and had a minor freak out! I wasn’t going to have enough yarn!! Then I realized I had estimated my yardage wrong. DER! I hadn’t realized the pattern was in yards and the yarn was in meters! UGH! I just wish everyone used the metric system. It would make things so much easier. So I jump started my brain and did some number crunching and the coast is clear. I will have just enough yardage to finish with the yarn held double.

I’m so in love with this yarn. The color is so sweet and summery. My sweet Little Miss is so adorable in yellow, but I may be a bit biased. The only issue I am finding, is that there are bits of “vegetable matter” in the fibers. It adds to the rustic feel of the yarn and isn’t a huge problem. I just pick them out as I go along. I had read some reviews and seen that some people had a major issue with this though.

The drape is going to be great for this pattern. It doesn’t seem like it will be too clingy, so that will help with the coolness factor of the sweater.

I can’t wait to get this dumb swatch done so I can finally OFFICIALLY cast on. Being impatient has gotten the best of me in the past, so I will continue on.

I will leave you with a simple reminder incase some of you were wondering:

1 yard=0.914 meters and 1meter=3.280 feet

Please click that link to go to the Nice & Knit website to get all the details for the Knit-A-Long and feel free to join in!

Love Always,

Nicole <3

Summer Sweater Knit-A-Long

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I honestly use algebra more in my knitting than anytime else.

Today I started my first knit-a-long. I’m joining Nice&Knit for a summer sweater knit-a-long. I’m making a sweater for my Little Miss because I want to use up stuff in my stash and I definitely don’t have enough yarn for one for me.

Tomorrow I will fill you in on all the details. For now, its off to bed.

I’M BACK!

Sorry for being MIA the last few weeks. Things have been a little hectic at the homestead. Little Miss is crawling and very busy. With the Mister gone all week, it’s just me holding down the fort and there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I have recently just made the decision to drop from 40 hours a week at work to 32. I’m hoping the extra day off during the week helps. All this constant running is hard on me, physically and mentally. I have been having panic attacks almost twice a week and those are no fun.

Because of all this, the needles haven’t been in my hand too often, and when they are, it doesn’t last very long.

That being said, I have managed to get one knitted hat done. It is just a simple ribbed hat, just to use up my single skeins of acrylic yarn. These single skeins make up about 90% of my stash. I don’t really like having a big stash of yarn, but most of it came from my great-grandmother after she passed away 7 years ago, or it was from people who found bags of random skeins at garage sales or thrift shops and thought of me. I am a sentimentalist and I have a hard time throwing that kind of stuff away. I am more of a donation person. I just need to find a good program to give it to.

Well I don’t want this post to be too word heavy. I just wanted to touch base with all of you. I wanted to let you know that I’m still here. I’m not laying in a ditch somewhere and I’m not in jail.

Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful Dads and the Moms who do it all.

Don’t worry, I’m not dead.

Sorry that I have been MIA lately. I really haven’t been too busy these last few weeks, I just haven’t really had anything blog worthy.

The sweaters are finished for the twins. I have one single button left to sew on tonight when I get home. I even managed to make some matching hats to go along with them. The baby shower for my Aunt is Saturday, so I can get the detailed post done up this weekend along with some pictures of a cute little model.

I did manage to get the spare room cleared out in time for my SIL to move in last week.

Mister has been at his new lineman job for a week now. The weeks seem even longer now that he isn’t home. I thought it wouldn’t be bad because I didn’t really get to see him when he worked his 12 hour midnight shift at the factory. But it’s definitely not the same when I KNOW that he hasn’t been in the house in almost 5 days. Even Ayla has noticed when he is gone. Last friday she was yelling “Dada” and was so excited to finally see him that night. When we watched him pull out of the driveway on Sunday, she rested her head on my shoulder and sighed. She may only be 7 months old, but she misses her Daddy and didn’t want him to go either. She will understand when she gets older and she will be so proud of the job that he does.

This month I am going to take a slight break from knitting and focus on trying to get the house organized. I just can’t take things anymore. Especially now that all of the contents of the spare room are now piled in our master bedroom. There are pathways around the bed and to the bathroom. You have to step over the office supplies pile to even get at my closet. Now the Brenna has moved in, I realized that I need to make room for her things in the bathroom cabinet and the drawers.

I need to get around to getting the kitchen office/command center done. I finally got Mister on board with it but then never did anything.

Which leads to the pantry getting overhauled.

…and the laundry room…

…which leads to the mud room…

…and the garage.

There aren’t enough hours in the day. If Baby girls tooth ever comes in, I may be able to keep “the beast” at bay for a while during the day to get things done; but she has been teething on and off for 3 months now so I can’t guarantee anything.

There are tons of other things that need to be done that are floating around in my head…

…but that’s another post.

And then there was only one…

1. I have one sweater left to seam up. It’s only the side seams and the arm seams. It’s only a 3-6 month size. I have been putting it off for a week or so now.

2. I have a serious case of startitis (no i didn’t make that up. It’s a real thing in the craft world.) and I’m itching to cast on this cardigan. My hands are seriously twerkin’! But alas my pocket-book won’t allow it. I NEED to buy new tires, but I WANT new yarn and those tires are going to take some serious saving for the next month or so.

3. My sister-in-law, Brenna, is going to be moving in for the next 4 months or so while she does some clinical rotations at a hospital that’s kinda-sorta-not-really near us. I think I may have mentioned that in a post a few weeks back. Well, not much has changed in the spare room since that post. These are the last couple days Mister is going to be home to help me move the big stuff before she moves in and it needs to get done. She is going to be moving things in this weekend! EEP! Where the hell did this month go?! Little Miss has a check up tomorrow and I have a hair appointment with my beautiful sister tomorrow. My grandma is also supposed to be coming over tomorrow as well. Sometime in between all that the room will get finished…i hope.

4. I have some amazingly awful and embarrassing “before” pictures of the room to show all of you and once things are set up I will definitely post them along with some great “after” pictures.

5. Happy Medical Laboratory Professionals Week!

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is an annual celebration of the laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of health care. Since they often work behind the scenes, few people know about the critical testing they perform every day. Lab Week is a time to honor the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the US every year.  -ASCP

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HAVE YOU THANKED YOUR LABORATORY PROFESSIONAL THIS WEEK?

 

It’s official!

I would like to announce that I am officially a linewife. My husband was sworn into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876 Union. He is going to start work as a Level 1 Apprentice for Hydaker-Wheatlake Company on April 28th. I am beyond proud of him. He did the work as a Lineman in South Carolina for about 4 years before he moved back home to Michigan. The work done down there wasn’t in the Union so he has to theoretically start over, but this is something he has been trying to get back to doing since he moved back in the Summer of 2011. Since then, he has been working in a dirty factory as an industrial electrician. He didn’t enjoy it, but it paid the bills and was at least still in the electrical field.  

So now the race is on to get him some warm gear knitted up before next fall. I have to make him at least one sweater and he requested warm underwear as well. He may get some long socks too. I have to keep in mind that it needs to be Flame Resistant. He will be working with High Voltage every day and the risk of electrocution/burning is a very real thing. I try not to think about it really. It just gets me worried and anxious. It’s what he loves to do though, so I fully support this crazy dream of his. I wasn’t sure of what kinds of yarn I could use, or if there were actual FR yarns out there. I knew anything synthetic was a big NO-NO. In case of an electrocution or a burn, I need the material to ash away, not melt to his skin.  So I took to Ravelry.

It turns out that wool is naturally flame resistant! I found a link that someone posted that explains the science behind it. It’s a pretty interesting article to read if you are a science nerd like I am.

The sweater I have queued up on my Ravelry is “His Favorite Hoodie”. I have had it in my queue for a while now, but now I finally have the pressure behind me to get it done before it gets cold again. 

Sweater update: I am officially done knitting. I decided not to add hoods to the sweaters like it calls for in the pattern. I have one side/sleeve seamed up. It took me a few tries but I finally got the hang of it. I will post about that later. I just wanted to give you all a little update on my progress on the darlings.