Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Food

I don't have any pictures to share, but I have been cooking a lot lately.

We have had some fridge issues in the past year. The first issue being that the fridge quit working right after Arthur was born. The landlords just bought us a new one since it was so old. Ok, wonderful. Then a few months later it quit working again. The guys came to fix it and they replaced the defrost timer. Great. Then it started having some problems in December... the fridge wasn't cooling as well anymore, though the freezer kept working fine. It was still cool enough, though I could tell it wasn't as cool as it used to be. We went away to Georgia for a week and came back to a very disgusting fridge full of bad food.

It took them over a week to fix it. Apparently, modern refrigerators do all the cooling in the freezer and there's a passageway that the cold air travels through to cool the fridge. There is a heater in that part to keep ice from building up and blocking the passageway. Our heater hadn't been working for about 6 weeks, thus the gradual "less cool" feeling in the fridge part while the freezer worked fine. Anyway, we finally got it fixed and I really hope that's the end of our fridge problems! Three times of losing all the food we had is enough (the freezer stopped working this last time for the week between their first diagnostic visit and the one that actually fixed it).

So, I've really been enjoying cooking lately. We had to eat out a lot during the week following our return to Michigan (thankfully we had a lot of gift cards from Christmas) and, while I do love going out to eat, there is just something so satisfying about eating something I made.

I got a crock pot for Christmas, along as some much-needed cooking utensils and such, and have been making good use of them. I've never really been much of a cook, but I've been researching and experimenting and trying and have been pretty successful at it!

I may start doing a little food segment on the blog (with pictures!). I must admit, I'm quite proud of my cooking efforts. I'm no iron chef, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job for someone who just recently go interested in it and someone who had never really cooked before in her life.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Korean Cousin Vest


 
 
Nathan, the completed vest! It turned out great. I knit it to the pattern, other than adding the texture stitch from Hermione's Everyday Socks to the front. I really liked the pattern and I love the ribbing detail on the sides (not shown). It seems that a lot of people found the arm and neck holes too small, but I didn't have a problem. The neck may be just a tad tight, but it is easily slipped over the head and my cousin wanted a shallow neckline anyway.
 
Charlie is modelling and it actually fits him well. That should be a bit concerning since he's at least a foot taller than the intended recipient, but my cousin sent the measurements and apparently likes his vests a bit on the longer side (the vest is actually shorter than what he sent).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bearded Baby




I whipped up two Bobble Beard Beanies, one yesterday and one this morning. They are adorable! I made a beard hat (different pattern) for my brother Arthur for Christmas 2011 and when I came across a baby pattern.... well, it just had to be made. Baby Arthur is wearing a toddler beanie and small beard. The brown is leftover Knit Picks Cotlin (Bison) and the green is a random ball of Cascade 220 that I had. I really like the hat, so I tied the beard in so we could use it as a regular beanie for him.


This is the other one, made for Mikah. The brown is the Cotlin and the red is WotA in Hollyberry (leftover from the Nathan vest). This one is an extra small beard and a baby beanie. So cute! The beard is sewn in.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Blanket

 
 
I was getting a little bored of the Nathan vest (which is finished and blocking right now, more on that once it's dry), so I started the Sunshine Baby Afghan in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted (Elfin colorway) for baby Mikah. I finished up the first ball of yarn that first night, then another yesterday. This is the same blanket in the same yarn (though different colorway) that I made for baby Arthur before we even knew that he was a he. It's become a favorite blankie and I really hope that the same is true for Mikah and this one. I'm using a total of four balls of yarn, so am a little more than halfway through.
 
Now that I'm free of commission knits, I can actually work on things that I want (though Charlie did ask that I make something for him, a gun cozy thing, but that should be quick and easy). I will finish the blanket, then make a dinosaur baby bib, a dinosaur toy, and a few hats for the little guy. I might make a pair of boy booties as well. We'll see. After the baby knitting is complete, I think I'll start on a pair of socks.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Georgia 2012

I found it!


Barrett and Lady, my dad's service dog.


Brer Rabbit and the Uncle Remus Museum.



Enjoying a lollipop at Imo's house!


His little ammo can.


My mom and Arthur at his first gun show.


Welcome to the gun show!


Charlie and Arthur and a Jeep in Juliette, Georgia, home of the Whistle Stop Cafe.


The Whistle Stop Cafe! Fried Green Tomatoes is my all-time favorite movie and this is where it was filmed!


Fixing to chow down on some fried green tomatoes!


Charlie and Arthur.


My parents.


The best, and possibly most expensive, fried green tomatoes you'll ever have.


Opossum munching on some Cracker Jacks.


Squirrel riding a tractor.


Coon stealing lunch.


Here lies Buddy's Arm. So long old pal.


Confederate memorial in Monticello, Georgia.


Courthouse in Monticello. This is the one in My Cousin Vinny.


Sac o Suds from My Cousin Vinny. It's being renovated.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Mail Day

Charlie and I both got a package today and there were no bills in the mailbox, so it was a good mail day. His was some new reloading stuff (we reload ammo) and mine was from Knit Picks.

Of course, my little helper assisted in opening the box and going through the contents, as well as helped with taking pictures (if by "helped" I mean grabbing all the yarn and throwing it while I attempted to get a decent pic of all of it together):


 
 
* 4 Felici Sport, Boutique - baby knit and maybe a monster
* 2 Felici Sport, Too Cool - ditto
* 2 Felici Sport, Sunny Day - to go along with the 2 that I bought a few months ago, same dyelot and everything!
* 2 Felici Sport, Macaroon - much prettier than I thought that it would be; probably going to be monsters or something
* 5 Felici Sport, Recess - Sweater for Arthur (Bert and Ernie style! Love it!) and the rest for me!
* 7 Shine Sport, Platinum - the torso part of the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top
* 4 Shine Sport, Dandelion - the top part, to go with the Platinum
* 7 Comfy Fingering, Lilac - either Raiun or Featherweight Cardigan
* 2 packs of 12mm safety eyes
* 1 pack of 8mm safety eyes
* Rebecca Danger's The Big Book of Knitted Monsters
 
As you can see, I want to make monsters! I always thought that they were cute, but kind of useless. However, I want to make a few to see what they are all about (plus, they are the perfect project for using up scraps and self-striping yarn).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spun

I'm trying to actually follow through on resolutions this year, so I've been spinning!!! I find time at night after Charlie and Arthur both have gone to bed. I love my husband and I love my baby, but boy do I also love it when I get some quiet time to myself!

I had 2 ounces of extra fine Targhee that my parents' neighbor in Colorado had sent me as a gift. I spun Targhee once before and remember it being very soft and squishy and smooth to spin. I wasn't disappointed in this natural-colored fiber!


 
I ended up with sport weight and a total of about 209 yards (127 yards in the larger skein, 82 yards in the smaller one).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update

 
 
 
I've been very busy knitting on the Nathan sweater! I just added the 4th ball of yarn and it measures 10.5 inches now. It is growing very quickly and the textured stitch and side ribbing keeps it from getting boring, but aren't difficult at all so it's still good for knitting while keeping one eye on Arthur while he plays.
 
I have a bit of a problem, though. In looking at the Rav projects for this vest, about half the people said that the arm and neck openings are too small. The other half makes no mention of any issues or mods. I can either knit to the pattern and risk the holes being too small (forcing me to either rip and reknit or maybe get creative with the ribbing like some others have done) or I can knit the body an inch shorter and add an inch in the top parts to give more room. This is for a Korean man, who aren't known for being particularly large... I am making row gauge exactly and am thinking that I'll just follow the pattern. I still have several inches to make my decision, so will think on it a bit more.
 
 
I did take a short break from the vest the other day to start a scrappy granny square blanket. I have been saving and collecting all my scraps and joining them into magic balls for use in scrappy afghans. This one has yarn ranging from sport to bulky weight (fingering weight is going toward a different blanket). I had started a few different patterns first, but ultimately settled on a simple granny square. I think that this is the best choice since the range of weights isn't as noticeable, it's quick and easy for me to do, and I like how the colors are coming out. This, like my fingering weight blanket that I'll share later, is a longterm project and will be added to as I get more scraps. I am joining new yarn with the magic knot.
 
 
Yesterday was Arthur's 9 month birthday, the big .75! He is growing so much and just has more personality everyday. He's a smart little thing, too. He is crawling everywhere, pulling himself up on everything, climbing on everything, and can stand without support for a few seconds at a time before plopping down again on his little bottom. He is learning what "No" means and definitely has his own ideas about how things should go (and makes his protests known when they don't go his way!). We are so in love with the little guy it's crazy. (In case you were wondering, that hammer is a part of an old xylophone toy my parents bought him for Christmas. It (just the hammer) is his favorite toy and he carries it around everywhere).
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nathan

 
I started the Nathan vest for my cousin in Korea. I need this to come out right (all I have to go on are measurement's Misu took of a vest her husband already has), so I'm doing everything the way that I should... including swatching and washing it.
 
 
The picture above is post-washing. I just soaked in Eucalan for a little bit then layed flat to dry overnight. A big difference! This is the first time that I have ever washed a swatch and I do think that I'll be washing each and every one from now on. It's so worth it and I should stop being lazy about it!
 
The bottom portion is on size US 8 and the top is size 7. I ended up going with the 8s, which gave me gauge after washing (I got 17 sts/4 inches in the textured stitch which is what I was aiming for; it was 17.5/4 inches in stockinette stitch). 
 
By the way, the washed swatch photo shows the true color of the yarn. It is a rich dark cranberry red wine color. Very pretty.
 
 
I got the bottom ribbing done today and am starting the body part now. I'm working the textured stitch on the front and plain stockinette on the back. I bought 8 balls of the WotA yarn and I hope it's enough. The swatch (which is generously sized) and the ribbing have taken most of one ball already.

Resolutions

The camera is still MIA, so no Georgia post yet again. I think it's in the car somewhere, but we haven't been able to fully unload and clean it from the trip since life has gotten in the way of that so far.

This is the annual resolutions/goals/plans post...

Resolutions:

- Lose some weight. Original, right? I am still 30 pounds heavier than I was pre-pregnancy and I want to see every last pound gone. Totally doable in a year (unless we have another little munchkin, which is entirely possible).

- Try to lessen my quick temper. I have always had a bit of a temper and want to work on that, especially when it comes to Charlie.

- Save money! This is a biggie. We are finally in a situation where we have enough to not only cover our bills each month, but also have a tiny bit leftover. We need to save save save so that our goal of moving to Georgia in a few months becomes a reality. My grandparents have agreed to cover the moving expenses, but it's still on us to have a place to stay and all that.

- Be the best mommy to Arthur and the best wife to Charlie that I can possibly be.

Fiber Goals:

- Steek something!

- Try Tunisian crochet.

- Start on Christmas knitting early and get it all done.

- Find time to spin at least once a week.

- Work through stash as much as possible. I'm not looking to really "stash-down" but rather wanting to save money.



I guess those are simple enough and all are definitely doable.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Knitting

I have to find my camera to do the Georgia post, so until then, I'll post a (very) little knitting...

 
This is another DRIPS hat in Kathmandu Aran, but this time with no colorwork. Charlie took the first one to his work's White Elephant and it was a big hit. One of his coworkers asked if I could make her one, so I did.
 
 
This is the beginnings of a swatch for Nathan in KP WotA (Hollyberry). Misu, one of my cousins in Korea, requested a vest for her husband to wear to work (he's a teacher). She wanted it in a wine color and sent dimensions of a vest that he already has. She wants some sort of pattern on the front, so I'm going to have to see what I can do. I am thinking of doing the pattern from from Hermione's Everyday Socks since it's simple and looks nice.
 
I'm pretty much going to be focusing soley on the vest until it's finished. My mom wants to be able to send it by the end of the month, so I had better remain faithful to it since my knitting time is limited nowadays. After this is complete, I'll be working on knits for baby Mikah, my brother's baby boy due to arrive early April. The shower is early March and I want to be able to send a few things down... some booties, a blanket, a hat, maybe a sweater, etc.
 
Coming soon are the Georgia post and a resolutions/knitting goals post!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas in Michigan

 
 
 
Christmas at my MIL's house was the 23rd. Arthur's big gift from them was his Cars car! He loves it and will ride around for as long as you will push him. He also walks behind it.
 
His total loot from Grandma and Grandpa Kelley... Cars car, Nuk pacifiers, formula, small toys in his stocking, boogie wipes, snacks, a new sippy cup, and some clothes.
 
Charlie and I got some stocking stuffers like gift cards, socks, and then we got our big gift of cash for our trip to Georgia.
 
 
Christmas at my FIL's house was the 24th. I didn't get any pics of the presents other than Charlie and my's new bikes! We took them for a ride around the block and it was fun, though freezing cold!
 
Arthur got a tunnel to crawl through, snacks, a bunch of toys, and some soft blocks that have the letters of his name on them (my step MIL made them).
 
Charlie and I got our bikes, gift cards, and stocking stuffers.
 
We left that night for Georgia, which is a post all on its own, coming soon!