Tag Archives: pattern

2013 in Review

Hello, 2014! This past year has been such a crazy, busy, educational one that I hardly know where to start with my summary. A year ago this month I decided to go back to school. This was a tough decision; my husband is currently a full-time student, and I work full-time.  After much thought though, we realized that we can handle it financially, and tax-wise it was most beneficial for me to do it now. To date I have completed 19 graduate level credits, and am almost halfway through my program, while still working full-time (much of the time out in the field). 

This year we really tried to buckle down on following a budget. It was definitely rough with me travelling so much for work, but we are figuring out where our downfalls are. In an effort to try and save as much of our CSA produce as possible, I decided to learn how to can. With only being home on weekends, food wasn’t getting eaten before it was going bad. This was a great way to keep money from going to waste, and it’s giving us delicious fruits well into winter!

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I also decided that this was a great time to start a side business! My timing is, to say the least, awful. There has been so much going on that some days I feel so overwhelmed I could cry, but it has been worth it. I’ve gone from making bags and hoping people will notice them, to having a fully stocked website, an active facebook page, a presence in local craft shows, and the latest achievement- bags for sale in our new local yarn store! This has not been an easy road and there are still many challenges ahead, but I am sure I can handle it.

Knitting has been slow this year. With all this chaos, knitting has sadly fallen by they wayside. Even so, there have been a few finished projects this year! Below is a gallery of my 2013 FO’s.

Ok, so technically the Opulant Raglan is currently blocking and still needs ends woven in, but the knitting was finished before the year ends, so I am counting it. 

I will be casting on my annual New Year’s Cast-on-along project here soon. My goals for this year are varied; can more, stress less, knit more, run more. We’ve already decided on doing two sprint triathalons this year, and I cannot wait!

Do you make resolutions, or set goals instead? Or do you just ignore all of that, and just plan on enjoying everything 2014 sends your way?

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The Calm After the Storm

Christmas has come and gone for another year here. Presents were all received with much excitement, and cookies, fruitcake, roast, and sweets have all been consumed. I look forward to a few more days of relaxing before having to go back to the daily grind of work, classes, chores, and social obligations.

J and I have joined my parents, grandparents, and one of my uncle’s families up at the lake for a few days. This time is my favorite; we all sit around drinking coffee and talking, take hikes, play board or trivia games, and just enjoy catching up with everyone’s goings on over the past year.  There is chaos and laughter, exchanging of advice, and copious amounts of beverages. 

I never really partake in New Year’s Resolutions. They always seems to be something vague “get in shape,” and setting something more specific always makes me feel like a failure if something happens that prevents success.  I prefer to go with hopes for the new year- things to strive for, to look forward to, but not obligatory successes. I’m still finagling the details, but it gives me something to think about while I drink my morning coffee. 

I also partake in a “New Year’s Cast-on-along”  started a few years ago by a rubbernecker friend. The purpose of this is to cast on a brand new project, something for yourself, as an enticement for good omens in the coming year.  I haven’t even begun thinking about what I should start for myself. Three years ago it was my wedding veil (so far the good omen seems to be working), and last year I did a quick pair of mittens. Maybe this year I’ll do something simple, such as a nice winter scarf, or a quick hat. Something to wear through the rest of the winter to cheer me up. 

 

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New Pattern!

Hey everyone! It’s been crazy busy around here lately. Between fieldwork at my fulltime job, schoolwork, tutoring, and trying to get bags done for my home business, I have hardly had time to stop and think. I did get a chance to finish knitting the photo model for my new pattern though. Pictures were this weekend, and the pattern is now live on my website!

Aeryn

Aeryn

 

Cozy lace legwarmers, just in time for fall! These are perfect for staying warm in the house, or walking around the neighborhood. The lace pattern keeps them interesting, but there is no shaping! Just drop down a needle size to make them smaller.

Because the lace pattern spirals around the leg, all shaping is done by changing needle sizes. I chose an alpaca/wool/silk blend for these, to provide delicacy and warmth. 

By request, I will also be expanding this to a sock pattern. Once the sock pattern has been test knit, I will update the legwarmer pattern to include both options.

The pattern is available for sale through the link above, or on Ravelry  

Now it’s back to sewing bags. Hopefully I’ll have the majority of the drawstring bags done today, leaving me with the box bags and needle rolls for the rest of October.

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Canning Achievement: Unlocked!

Growing up I was always aware that my grandmother did a variety of preserving different items, but it never really piqued my interest. As a kid, who cared if you canned it? Pickles were gross, and fruit was meant to be eaten right away! Canning seemed pointless and something I would never be interested in.

Enter 2012. It seems that when one begins to engage in rustic activities such as knitting, it slowly leads to more. From knitting came spinning, and from spinning came the desire to know where my food came from at a better depth than “the grocery store.” Sure, stuff from the store is fine, but I kept hearing stories about how home grown produce has so much more flavor, and was a much richer experience all around. I wanted to check this out. So, in the spring of 2012, we joined a CSA. Everything I heard was absolutely true. I never knew tomatoes actually had flavor! The ones from the store always felt like I was eating cardboard! On top of that, we got a variety of fruits and vegetables I have never heard of or tried, and learned that there are a number of items I really enjoy. $400 for 26 weeks was a great deal- we definitely got more than $15 worth of food in each box, and I think the added value of having items picked within the last 48-72 hours was worth it.

But we quickly had a problem: We couldn’t eat it all fast enough! Last year was upsetting because we did end up wasting so much. It was a lot of food, and while we were attempting to eat healthier, we just couldn’t eat all of it. This year we signed up to split the CSA with my parents, but it was still more food than we could eat in a reasonable amount of time. So then what do you do?

That’s when I remembered my grandmother’s canning, and wondered how much of our produce I could do that for. Turns out, almost all of it! Our CSA does a few days a summer where we can pick as much of a certain item as we want at a low or no cost. This seemed like a great opportunity to start! When J’s parents were visiting this past month, we took everyone out for peach picking. $13 for a half bushel, and that half bushel held a LOT of peaches. I bought some pint size canning jars and decided to dive right in!

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Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the first photo I took of the set-up prior to canning. I would also like to point out that this was the second canning event- I had already done a case of pint jars, and needed to finish up the peaches. So this was just the last of the peaches from the picking. I have already given 2 jars to my parents, and 2 to some friends. There is no way we would eat half a bushel of peaches ourselves, canned or not!

When I wasn’t canning yesterday, I was doing some knitting. Doesn’t this look like the perfect Saturday morning, right here?

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It would have been a lot more relaxing if the purpose hadn’t been to do a final troubleshoot on a pattern I’ve been working on. I plan on releasing it next week, but I need to make sure the pattern works 100% the way it is supposed to before publishing. So far it’s only been tiny mistakes, but in doing this I need to focus solely on my knitting.

So that’s my weekend: knitting, canning, coffee, oh and bonfires. Everything about my weekend shouts “it’s fall!” and I love it. 

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