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No Spring in Sight

It’s supposed to be almost spring here, but it doesn’t feel like it.  Many of us around here were fooled a couple of weeks ago when local highs reached 60 for several days in a row.  All the snow melted and I actually started thinking about casting on some fingering weight sweater projects.  However, as we all know, weather is fickle, and we’re back to sub-freezing temperatures during the day now and, once again, there is snow blanketing everything.  The bushes are literally flattened by the change in weather.

The end of February meant also the end of the Through the Loops mystery sock knit along I mentioned last time.  To my surprise, I was actually able to keep up and get them finished on time.  This might be the first time I’ve ever done this as I am notorious for being easily bored and distracted, especially with socks.

I tried knitting both socks at the same time with this pair and was rewarded with a completed pair of socks at the end of the knit along.   Maybe this is the cure to Second Sock Syndrome?  It worked for me this time, anyway.

As for the Snowmelt shawl, this one got finished mostly because it was super easy knitting.  There was a little lace, but it was easy to follow and watch telly at the same time.  While knitting, I was a little unsure of how the multicolored yarn was going to look in the finished project, but despite my insecurity, I pressed on.  It turns out that I needn’t have worried.  There’s a little pooling, but it’s broken up pretty well with the pattern.

I cast on this project during our first Nor’easter in New England in early February.  It seemed fitting to block it while a second Nor’easter shook the house this past week.

For a brief moment, when both of these two knit alongs were nearing completion, I wondered what I was going to knit next.  Then, A Year of Techniques was brought to my attention (sorry there’s no link right now, but I will add it later when their server is back on) and I knew exactly what I was going to knit next: Hyacinthus Armwarmers.

If you have never done Helical striping, I urge you to try it.  Here’s a link to a video.  There’s also some info in there on how to get all the patterns that go with the knit along.

It took me about a week to finish the first set of mitts and I immediately cast on another, which says a lot about the compelling nature of the pattern and technique, since I almost never knit the same pattern twice in a row.  Plus, I had enough yarn leftover to make another set, so why not?

The return of the cold weather also drove me back to my old sweater project, Chartreuse.  I almost gave it up for the season when the temps were warm and I was dreaming of greenery all around me.  It did not seem likely that I would be able to finish it before the cold weather was gone for good.  I should have known better than to indulge in those daydreams.  So, I have picked it up again and after about a week’s worth of steady attention, it actually looks like a sweater now.

The chances that I will actually be able to finish this and wear it before the weather turns warm is pretty high now, I think.  As long as I don’t get distracted by something else…

 

Sidetracked

As so often happens when I set goals, I got a little distracted this month.  My original intention was to finish my Chartreuse, but it’s been a few weeks, and it doesn’t look much further along than it did before.

There is a slight difference, though.  I was able to get past the pocket portion, so that is something, I suppose.  Then, it got tossed aside for two completely spontaneous new mystery knit along projects that both started the first week in February.  There is the Through the Loops Mystery Sock knit along.

And the Snowmelt Mystery Shawl knitalong.

Both of these designers are new to me, which is fun and I enjoy a bit of deadline knitting now and then.  That’s not to say that I will knit anything.  Before I signed up, I made sure to check out their other designs to make sure I liked them, generally speaking.  And I did and, so far, I am really enjoying these knitalongs.

I’ve also just recently signed up for A Year of Techniques, which will be starting up in March, so I already have the next mystery lined up when these will be wrapping up.

My original intention was to sort of try to finish one pair of socks, one shawl, and one sweater a month, but I think I’m coming to the realization that that might be a bit much to try every month.  Two out of three might be a better goal.

I did manage to finish a pair of socks in January, but did not mention them here because they were a Valentine’s Day gift for the husband.  I used the Simple Skyp Sock pattern for these which was quite an easy to memorize pattern.

Incidentally, the husband and I had an interesting conversation the other day about process knitting versus product knitting.  I always thought of myself as a product knitter.  Generally speaking, I don’t see the point of making something if I don’t want the end product, but then he pointed out to me that I knit lots of shawls and hardly ever wear them.  That is totally true.  I love to knit shawls.  They can be easy or challenging skillwise, but they are almost always easy on my hands, which is not true for sweaters and socks.  Also, I don’t need to worry if they will fit.  As a result, I do have quite a few shawls which I love, but never wear.  What to do with them?  Anyone else have this dilemma?

 

 

Random and Mysterious

I just looked back to see when I had last posted and was surprised to see that it was a month ago! Where does the time go? May was a flurry of things for us. There was lots of anxiety about selling the house, lots of cleaning the house to show to people who did not want to buy the house, and lots of talking about our next steps. Intermingled with that was Mother’s Day, our Twentieth (!!) wedding anniversary, a piano recital, field day, last days of school, and finally a week long trip to our new state to look for housing. That was really a lot to pack into one month of life! It would take too long to recap every event, so I will just show you some highlights.

Firstly, I am ever so proud of my boys who did a fabulous job at their piano recital. Their teacher is the best; so kind and loving without sacrificing high expectations. We will miss her! If you are so inclined, you can listen and watch here. If you click on the photo here, it will take you to my flickr page where you can watch the video.

Mothers Day 2015 Bach Prelude in C Ethan 540

Spring has been very pretty here, especially our Peonies. We missed the blooms of the purple ones while we were away, but really enjoyed the blushing pink ones.

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While we were in MA, we did make some time to go into Boston and poke around a little. The Common was a nice place to wander around and we did attempt to walk the Freedom Trail, but had to cut it short because it was unbelievably windy.

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Our next trip into the city a week several days later, we spent mostly inside in the Museum of Fine Arts, where we saw this amazing Chihuly sculpture. The photo does not capture the amazing color or the way it seemed to glow, even in low light.

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I was so taken with this color green, that as soon as I could when I got home, I dug out some yarn of a similar hue. Then, I decided I needed a bright pink to go with it and the dark blue is there just to soak up some of the luminosity of the other two.

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This trio is going to be used in Gudron Johnston’s Shetland Trader Mystery Knitalong. Yes, yes, I am starting another mystery shawl. Clearly, there are not enough uncertain things in my life right now, lol! I did manage to finish my Romi mystery shawl. It is still drying, but here is a blocking picture. I’ll try to get more pictures when it is dry.

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In other knitting, I have been working on my blue Triticum. This photo is from the beginning of last week. I am actually past the underarm now. The yarn is delightfully soft and easy to work with. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow so far. I think I will wear this one a lot once it is done.

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I also managed to finish one sock from March. Now, if I could just finish the second one! That’s always the trouble with me and socks. Knitting the first sock is fun, but the second one is often a chore.

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We are not sure what the next few weeks will bring, as we are still trying to buy and sell a house, so I may be in and out. If you are on Instagram, you may be able to find me posting there instead of here in the interim. My Instagram name is Crafteamama. I am still getting the hang of instagramming, so don’t expect too much, but I would love to see you there!

Little Tid Bits

Here is a small collection of things I have been meaning to share with you lately. None of them would really make for an entire blog post, but maybe altogether, they can work together to make something interesting, albeit a bit random.

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Awhile back, I made this neopolitan bundt cake for the younger’s birthday. It was pretty easy and tasted delicious. It came from America’s Test Kitchen Best Summer Desserts. The texture was dense like a pound cake and is one of the only cakes we thought tasted just as good cold as at room temperature. Ice cream is almost a necessity with this cake and I love the wow factor that it has.

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The rotisserie attachment that I got for the husband for an anniversary/father’s day present has turned out to be the present that just keeps on giving. Here, he did a roast beef, which we ate with cheesy herbed popovers and green beans.

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Last Sunday, we splurged and did a roast duck, chinese style.

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Served with rice, green onions, and szechuan pepper salt in a lettuce wrap, the duck was heavenly. Unfortunately, my older son liked it so much that I think we will have a hard time restraining him from ordering duck wherever we go now.

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More yarn has arrived in the house. The skein on the far left is the one I got as a prize for finishing all the camp loopy projects successfully and the other two came along for the ride. For some reason, light blues and pinks and oranges has been on my mind lately.

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See? Pinks and oranges here too. This yarn is destined to become a shawl in Susanna IC’s Autumn Mystery Knit Along Shawl. I did one earlier in the year and had a blast, so when she announced this one, I jumped on board immediately. I have got to pick some beads and then I will be ready to cast on when the first clue comes out this weekend. What color beads would go with all these colors?

Sigh. I am still working on chocolate chip cookies, but I suspect you don’t want to hear me moaning about that again, so I won’t bother you with it.

That’s the story from here. What’s new with you?