Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Finished Object Roll Call: May 2016


Preemie Hat

A Baby Sweater! 


The Cardinal Blanket

A custom ordered skirt and one gift fleece blanket, that I didn't get a picture of. 

If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook.  You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It happened again

Why is it so difficult for me to focus?

I have several projects on the needles right now, some that are custom orders that really truly need to be completed. The rest are part of my ongoing Get Rid of Stash project. I mean, the Use What I Have project. I need to finish these things. I promised myself I would finish all of them (except the huge custom order, but I needed to finish 1/3 of it) this month.

BUT, there's that sweater I want to get started on. And all those babies set to arrive over the course of the rest of the year and baby sweaters are so cute and easy to make. And I really need some more socks for myself, because this past winter I found my current collection sadly, and very disappointingly, lacking.

At least I'm not buying any more yarn.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pinterest Experiment: Freezer Jam!

About once a month, my friend and I get together for a lady date. It usually consists of one of us going to the other's house for dinner, and then we knit and talk for a couple of hours. I LOVE it.

But this time around, I wanted to do something different. And this something I wanted to do I just knew my husband wouldn't really be in to, so I suggested it and my friend was all on board. We invited another cute girl to join us and had a blast. As we were doing it, we found out that everyone's husband was relieved to be 'off the hook' for that particular activity.

We went berry picking at the Fruit and Berry Patch. I've always wanted to do berry picking and was super happy that the other ladies were on board. We have plans to go back when it's blackberry and peach picking time, too. But this post is not about berry picking.

Its about what I did with the berries.

It was strawberry picking time when we went. For quite a few years, I've been wanting to be a 'better' homemaker, but really just want to be more self-reliant and frugal. I pinned stuff on Pinterest to help me out.

One of the earliest things I pinned was a Freezer Jam recipe. And that is what I had in mind for these strawberries from the get-go.

I followed the directions, that I understood. The first step was to cut the tops off the strawberries:

Then I was supposed to put them one layer at a time in a bowl and mash them. This is the direction I didn't understand, so I just dumped them all in at once and mashed away. I later realized that this direction meant I needed to put just a few strawberries at a time in the bowl, so none were on top of each other. My brain hasn't been functioning much lately.

I boiled the apple juice and pectin on the stove, while repeatedly telling my husband in my teacher voice that if he got in the way when I removed it that I was not responsible for any injury or death. (We have a very small kitchen and he followed me around in there!) I added some sugar as well, and made sure that it all boiled for a minute or so.

And added it to the mashed strawberries. After stirring vigorously for a minute or two, I poured the mix into the containers I had bought for this sole purpose. I bought the amount the recipe said I would need and that would fit all the jam.

The recipe was wrong. Not only did it fill those four cute containers, there was a TON left over. It filled a ziploc reusable and half of a clam chowder container. I would say there was at least double what the recipe claimed it would make. And yes, other than adding sugar and not mashing the strawberries one layer at a time, I made the recipe with exact measurements.

I actually waited a couple days before being brave enough to try the jam, and once I did I was pleasantly surprised that it actually was edible. I have never made jam of any sort before and wasn't sure I was doing it right, or that it wouldn't be sweet enough since some of the strawberries were a little past being ripe and some were not quite ripe yet.

I would count this one a Pinterest success.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Last Yarn

This week I received a package in the mail. This was a very important package. It contained the Last Yarn. Three skeins to finish off a custom order, and one skein for a Very Important Project (more on that one later).

I had set a goal this year to use what I have when it comes to stash. I have not been very good at not acquiring stash so far this year, but heck, the year isn't quite half over so I think I'm ok. I mean, I've got a whole 7 months to catch up right?

Last year (or was it two years ago?) I did a 100 day no buying challenge. I made it about a week past the 100 day mark, and felt pretty good about it. About the no buying part, as I recall not a whole lot of knitting got done, so not a whole lot of stash got moved out.

This time around though, I have planned projects. I have several WIPs that I'm focusing on. Stash will move out! I have been stalking a Ravelry thread for finishing WIPs this month, and have 'joined' from home (not by officially joining the threads, just reading them for motivation). And have been following a thread called 100 Balls in 2016 as well as a destash thread.

Current Goal(s):
Finish WIPs before casting on a new project
No buying yarn!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Curls Project: Argent

I know I said I was going to wait and knock out a couple of other projects before casting this on. I couldn't help myself. I had it all ready to go, both physically and mentally, and have for a couple of months. And the thought that this project, which I optimistically thought would take maybe a year to complete has already taken a year. And I'm only on the 4th of 14 projects in it. That's not even 25% done (technically once I finish this one, I'll be 28% done, but it isn't finished so it doesn't count).

The next pattern in the Curls book is Argent.

The yarn I'm using is a bright yellow HauteKnit Simple Sock that I bought as part of a flash sale on Instagram a... long time ago. I think I'm using a US5 needle, but we need to wait a bit before knowing if that's the final decision or not. Sometimes I start one way, and end up going back and re-doing it after deciding it wasn't meant to be that way in the first place.

I have to admit, I have a recipient in mind already, but am going to be flexible with this. Sometimes I start knitting something and think it's for someone, then later change my mind. Or sometimes I get the message confused while knitting, only to have it straighten itself out later on. (I thought I wrote a blog post on this already, turns out I haven't so it's going on the list.)