Friday, March 27, 2015

I've got it figured out

Sort of. I've figured out the best way to keep things clean and organized around a toddler is to keep things away from them. We put child locks on all the cabinet doors as soon as we moved in, we put toilet bowl locks on last week (after she threw her socks in there), and as soon as we get some child-proof door locks we'll use those those too. (The bottom shelf in the pantry is useless, because Olivia thinks its fun to throw cans on the floor. Ouch!) Anything less than two feet off the floor is pretty much fair game. Ideally, we'd anticipate what she's about to tear apart before she does it, but as is, we're about a half step behind. Anyway, I figured something out today that I'm pretty pleased with. 

Olivia loves pulling things out of my purse or her diaper bag. We have wasted so many things of diaper wipes because Olivia loves pulling them all out like tissues. Unfortunately, the diaper bag and purse are necessary pretty much every time we leave, so they need to stay near the door. Command hooks to the rescue! We rent, and I'd like to put as few halls in the wall as possible.

On the organization front, I finally figured out how to organize my circular needles!

It isn't the most travel-friendly solution, but at least I can see what I have, and they aren't all shoved in my straight needle case. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Tuesday's are usually my knitting update posts. Not only did I not post on Tuesday, but I have no knitting updates to show. That's right, I've knit almost nothing for a whole week. We did hang out with a lot of people which was tons of fun, so it was a pretty good trade off. I had two different interviews that took up what is normally knitting time. Friday we went to BW3 for March Madness with some of Brad's coworkers. Saturday we went to the Columbus Auto Show, then had some friends over in the afternoon, then went to other friends' house for a party there. Sunday I worked, and then for dinner we hung out with some amazing people we know who spend half their time in other countries, so social time with them is pretty limited. It was an amazing weekend, but I do wish I had had some knitting time in the middle. Today is rainy and chilly, and really, isn't that just perfect weather?

Olivia and her friend read books (Olivia's is upside down)

She loved wearing those glasses. She kept putting them on and she walked around wearing them a good bit.

I did sign up for a KAL with a friend of mine to make a blanket. I've been wanting to knit a blanket, and I'm pretty sure a KAL is the only way that's gonna happen. So I've ordered yet more yarn.  Oh! And I did my roving from Zenitude in the mail, and its so pretty! Although I'm making myself not even think of spinning it till I've spun and plied all my other roving first :p

Friday, March 20, 2015

Big Plans

I always make big plans, but honestly, I hardly ever follow through. It's not that I'm flaky, I think its more that my plans are usually unrealistic. But making plans is what I do. It makes me feel in charge and like I have direction. Plus, as much as I like plans, I also like doing things spontaneously. I'm currently planning my summer wardrobe, because the weather is so close to being warm its driving me up a wall. Also I have a job interview tomorrow *fingers crossed* so I'm planning out my business casual look for warmer weather. Which really, is what I want to wear day to day even if I don't get this job.

I'm really into navy & coral recently. Well, I always love beachy color combos. Our wedding was mint green & navy, with a very light beach theme, since we got married on Mackinac Island. So not 'beach' exactly, but more 'island' themed. I really like capsule wardrobes, but I wasn't sure I could do a professional looking wardrobe with navy and coral, until I actually saw a lady wearing a coral blazer, navy pants, and a white top on my way to Starbucks this morning. I thought that was an awesome outfit! I've been looking at my New Year resolutions and trying to decide what I want to keep and what I want to modify - even though its only been 3 months :p (And this is why I'm the worst at plans.) I've pretty much given up on the winter style stuff, like the vests, since all my winter knitting was taken up with Christmas stuff. I'll probably pick that up again in fall though.

But, I do have a list of stuff I'd like to make for the summer:

(image found on pinterest)

This top, I actually want to knit, with this pattern.
I also want to do two more cardigans, one in navy and one in a coral color. 
Several pairs of Thurlow trousers (which have been in my to do for a while), in charcoal, black and navy.

I just ordered this dress from eshakti, and even though it's a bit on the nose with the nautical theme, I think with a red or coral cardigan it'll be super for summer.

(all images from Pinterest)

This is pretty much my inspiration board. I'd love to throw a pair of coral capris in there, but I don't think that'll pass muster for any workplace, so coral on top is pretty much key. On the plus side, I have necklace very similar to that teal one sitting around somewhere, I'm sure!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WIPs and warm weather

Yesterday was 70 degrees, and it was glorious. The 10 day weather forecast doesn't expect anything over 60 in the next 10 days, but I'm holding my breath. Spring is right around the corner. I did stop knitting yesterday morning to take this perfect picture. (Oliva was napping, so I was able to leave my coffee and my knitting on the ottoman, which is awesome in and of itself.)

I also got a good bit of knitting done. I finished up the body of my sketchbook cardigan, although its still awaiting sleeves. (I'm trying to power through them before I lose interest, because I'm excited for this sweater to be done.) I did cast on Petrie in the same comfy worsted, in beachy colors. Navy & coral is one of my favorite combinations, although this yarn is more mauvey than coral. 

I also got 8oz of roving from KnitPicks last week (merino and silk!) and I've been spinning it like crazy. I spun 4 oz on one bobbin, and I'm going to spin 4 oz on another. I've figured out how to DIY a lazy kate, so that'll be fun.

4 oz is A LOT of fiber! I also ordered some dyed roving from Zenitude that I want to spin up as well. I want to knit something out of yarn I've spun, but I wanted to start small. I'm going to knit this sweater for Olivia. I'll use the white for the body and the dyed for the sleeves. She'll turn two in November, which is right when this sweater will come in handy. (Plus that gives me 8 months to work on it.) 

Also this happened the other night, and I had to snap a photo. Look at that sky!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Summer supplies

The weather is definitely spring-like here (today the high is 61!) Warm weather always puts me in a better mood. I keep trying to get Brad to move farther south (One of the Carolinas by the beach would be perfect!) but so far it is a no-go. I did get some stuff in the mail though that makes me excited for warmer weather.

Two more tees from Alison Rose (these are definitely my go-to for summer), a super cute water bottle from Faucet Face (I got the hummingbird one). Glass water bottles are reusable, easier on the environment, plus for every 5 bottles they sell, they donate a water filter to the organization Third Millennium Awakening

The third thing in that photo there is an electric spinning wheel from Heavenly Handspinning. I've made a couple spinning wheels before, a bicycle wheel spinning wheel, and a dodecahedron one. That bicycle one isn't exactly the prototype I used, but it was similar. They both worked kind of mediocre. I want to spin, but I was nervous about buying an actual spinning wheel, what if I was overestimating the ease, and a new wheel was just as difficult to work? (My calf muscles KILLED trying to spin with both of those.) So I figured an electric wheel would be a good compromise. Its smaller and more portable, and it takes at lease some of the user error out of the whole process. It turns out to be way easier to use, and I love it! I definitely need some practice drafting consistently, but I love it so far. I do need to either buy or DIY a lazy kate though, because plying was kind of a disaster :p BUT I understand the concept, and I bought a bunch more roving, so we'll see.

The singles went pretty well. The plying, not so much.

I also got some lotion from Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe on Etsy. I got Black Tea and it is delicious. I was afraid to get a scent that was too overpowering, but this is perfect. I carry it in my purse and use it all the time. Its also great for my dry elbows and my new tattoo. 

I got this dress from Eshakti in the mail. I wore it to the opera with mom, super fun! (OK, it was a little casual for the opera, but it'll be perfect for Easter and summer in general.) Which reminds me I got some Tom's a few weeks ago that its just now warm enough to wear but I forgot to take a picture. 

I got these sunglasses at the mom & pop gift shop I work at, and while they're straight up mass produced from China, they also make me look fantastically like Horatio Caine (CSI Miami was the best.)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! There's a bunch of awesome stuff on the internet about women today.

Google Built An Awesome Interactive Map To Highlight Women In History

Time Magazine talks about how we need more than just awareness for International Women's Day, and some of the progress we've made so far.

Eshakti (a fair trade clothing company in India) is offering a buy 2 get 1 free deal today

Raven + Lily (a fair trade company employing mostly women) is offering a discount today.

Ten Thousand Villages (a fair trade company fully staffed by women) is offering 25% off today.

Kiva, while not offering any specific discounts, is always a great way to loan money to women running their own businesses worldwide.

Learn about the history of International Women's Day.

Happy Day, Ladies!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Keeping Warm with knits

March is still blustery and snowy, although thankfully we have significantly less ice here in Ohio than in some of the more southern states. I knitted up two different cowls to wrap up with, and my sweater knitting passion has been reignited. Really what happened was I tried knitting a sweater with a way complicated cable and used a couple different pattern graphs, and it was just slow and frustrating. Instead I'm going to try a simpler repeating pattern, maybe a lacy/cable mix. It won't make a really heavy winter sweater, but hopefully something a little more 3 season. This is the first swatch I made:

Those diamonds are fairly large, a row of seven would span the whole front of the sweater. I think I might want something a little more complex, so the sweater isn't too plain. Maybe alternating small and large diamonds like on this Diamond Kerchief?

You can see in the middle where I missed part of the pattern and instead of 4 small diamonds I have little pointy hearts, but oh well. I do like this design though, and I used the suggest knit picks 'swish' yarn in Dublin and I love it. The top of mine seems to curl over more than the pattern picture. Maybe I should have added more ribbing?

I also finished my PurlBee Stitch Block cowl, which was meant to be a stash buster but didn't really use up too much yarn. I'm calling mine the 'watermelon cowl' because the pink/green/white combo really makes it look watermelon themed (but also very springlike!)