Creative Endeavors

A most unusual occurrence this summer… I kept knitting!  I typically find I lose the motivation to knit in summer months; there are just too many other things to do.  But for some reason this year I’ve kept up with it and as a result I think I’m actually going to do really well with making gifts for loved ones this year.  See, every January I sit down and make a new “Project” sheet which lists birthdays and things I might like to knit for each  person.  At the bottom I create another list called “Yule” where I jot down people I’d like to knit a little something up for for stocking stuffer type gift, as well as bigger gifts for family members.  Finally, I make a smaller list of things I just want to try for the fun of it or to make up for myself.  Naturally, after all that work (setting up the list is half the fun )… I suddenly find myself in October with 5 different birthdays and the holidays (and yet more birthdays) looming just beyond… and I’ve hardly knitted a thing!

Anyway, I won’t find myself in such a plight this fall.  Though I may not get to everyone and everything on my list, I won’t be left so woefully behind.  So far I’ve knitted:

1. Another pair of the Alice In Wonderland fingerless mitts for my mother-in-law.  She specifically mentioned how much she liked them when I showed her the pair I had knitted up for myself.  She’s a composer and her hands get chilly in the winter when she’s working at the piano.

2. A toddler blanket for my nephew (see photo)  When he was up visiting this summer, he LOVED the 6-hour throw I made.  So I decided to make him a smaller version, using a different yarn (I despise Homespun!!).  I used the Jiffy yarn, because although I don’t like acrylic, I wanted it to be wash and dry for ease of care.

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Toddler Throw for H

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3.  I also made a pair of fingerless mitts for my father and brother, who share the same birthday.

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Fingerless Mitts for R

4.  I’m currently working on something NOT on my list, as I just found out recently about it:  an Owlie Sleep Sack for the my new niece/nephew who is expected in February!  I found the pattern at Ravelry (of course) and it’s adorable.  My very first cable project!  I finished that part last night and am very pleased with how the owls came out.  I find it’s a little tricky maneuvering the cable needle, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.  I really, REALLY wanted to find a nice yarn for this project; for it to be an heirloom piece.  I was loathe to knit with acrylic again, but I was worried about wool being to scratchy and/or too difficult to care for.  Lo and behold, I was ecstatic for find a very soft, hand dyed,  100% superwash merino wool that can be machine washed gentle and machine dried on low temperature at my LYS!  It’s called Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted and the colors are fabulous.  I tried to pick something gender-neutral and came up with a beautiful blue/green/purple mix.

Owlie Sleep Sack

Owlie Sleep Sack

Next up for September I have my mom, who I plan on knitting slippers for, and my neighbor, who I’m going to make a calorimetry for.  I guess that’s all for now.  Happy Knitting!

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Summer Vacation

Just getting back from a week at DH's family's beach house.  It was a lot of fun, as usual, but I'm left feeling a tad exhausted (that whole need-a-vacation-from-your-vacation thing) and shell shocked that August has snuck up on me so quickly.  Where did the time go!  I need to get crackin' with school planning, which I intend to do next week.  I also need to play a bit of catch up in the garden.  A week away and WOOSH all the weeds I took care of just days before I left appeared to have not only returned but tripled in size!  Egad.  But enough about that… I'll write some garden updates in another entry.  I mainly wanted to post a few pics of vacation before I forget!  So without further ado…

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The top photo really says it all… beach feet! 

The second is a shot from the front porch, which faces west.  This is a million dollar view and I can't seem to take enough pictures of it that really capture the scene in all its glory.  This was one of the better ones; I'll spare you the multitude of similar shots! 

Photo number three:  YUM!  Need I say more?? 

Four:  The Peeps (Peep #1 sporting his new hair cut) play a game of chess while waiting for dinner.  Seems like all we do is kill time between awesome meals there! LOL 

Pictures 5 & 6:  Peep 2 and 1, respectively.

We really lucked out with the weather… not a single rainy day the entire time we were there!   The Peeps played tennis, swam, and enjoyed the freedom of being able to ride their bikes all over the place.  We don't have any good spots for biking right around our house– we have to drive to go biking– so this was a huge treat for them!

As for me, I got a lot of reading in, including my latest, Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks. (thumbs up)  I also got quite a bit of knitting done, including some felted items that I've been wanting to experiment with.  But that is something else I'll save for another post, once I get the photos uploaded!

So, after some much needed R&R (the summer has been crazy busy, as usual), we're settled back home, and I'm am really looking forward to August.  It is usually quieter as the summer winds down.  I love knowing my favorite season is right around the corner, but still enjoy the warm summer days and bounty of fruit and vegetables from my own garden as well as those from the Farmer's Market.  It is a season of plenty!  The hot days are tempered by cooler nights, where I find myself reaching for the thin wool blanket at the end of the bed in the wee hours of the morning.  Great sleeping weather!  This is a brief respite before the bustling days of school, honey extracting season, and putting the garden to bed for the winter starts.  But, I have to say, I am truly happy to greet each endeavor as it arrives.  It's a good life!