Monday, October 30, 2017

Random Thoughts

I feel like the last two years have added about 30 to my life.  Lots of “downs” with very few “ups”.  Things seems to be slowly righting themselves and I’m trying to get back to some solid ground.

I have had almost no time to pursue things I enjoy(like knitting, stitching, reading, exercise) and I’m really starting to see the toll that has taken on me, physically and mentally.  I’m going to be forcing myself to schedule time for these things.  Yesterday was the first time in a long time I was able to spend an afternoon knitting and it felt great.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


I cannot wait for 2016 to be over.  This has been one of the longest, most stressful years in my life.  I am hard pressed most days to find something to be positive about.  My kiddos continue to be my light.

I'm hopeful that 2017 will bring a positive change in my immediate circle but judging by the results of our November election, I'm guessing that as far as the nation goes 2017 will be another very long year.

Here's to happier new year for everyone. :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

What's on the needles? Spring 2016 edition

It has been an interesting year so far at Casa KiP to say the least.  Lots of changes, lots of rolling with the punches.  The biggest change for me is that I am working part time(25-30 hours per week).  It's been quite a change for all of us but we are getting settled in to a routine.

Because of the changes, crafting time has been hard to come by but I have managed to get some things done by working on some focus pieces.

As far as knitting goes the current rotation includes:

--A pair of simple skyp socks
Simple Skyps again 4/2016

--A hexagon sock scrap blanket
Sock scrapghan March progress

And. . .hold on to your hats. . .I have been cross stitching!

I decided to focus on one piece this year.  My HAED Storykeeper by Selina Fenech.  As with most of my stitching projects it has been in the WIP pile for far too long.  I have loved this piece since it was first released and I have been inspired to pick it as my focus piece for the year.
HAED Storykeeper March 2016

I have also been using it for the HAED SAL on Facebook so when I post WIP picks there may be some interesting things going on with it since Michele(our HAED fearless leader) has been having us try different techniques for each SAL--hence the squares on the piece right now.  It's been fun and motivating to try something out of my normal stitching comfort zone.  I am a little afraid of the current SAL as we have to pick one page with at least 5 colors and stitch only one color at a time cross country style until the page is done--that will be so hard for me as I am pretty dedicated to doing my 10x10 blocks on HAEDs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Year End List 2015

1.  Top Five Finished Objects

**Links to the patterns on Ravelry

-- Pittsburgh Penguins Crackerjack Cowl, a visual reminder of the 2014-2015 season
--2015 Felted Clogs, I wore out my first pair and I love them they are ugly but comfortable
--Socks That Rock Pebble Beach Jaywalker socks, I love the pattern and the colorway.
--First pair of socks without a pattern which is crazy because I've been knitting socks forever and I've never tried to knit a pair without a pattern until this year.
--Mystic Spiral socks, I wanted to try a new technique.

2.  Favorite Yarn

This has been my favorite yarn forever it seems.  I try all kinds of sock yarn but these colorways and this yarn always seems to be my favorite go to :)

3.  Favorite Inspirations

Book:  The Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  I didn't read a lot this year and I got inspired to read these after I saw the first movie.  Of course the books are always better than the movie!

Magazine:  HGTV and People are the only two magazines I read with any regularity anymore.

Pattern:  Skyp Rib socks, the same designer who did the Simple Skyp which is an all time favorite

App:  Pittsburgh Penguins App, I could not live without it during hockey season!

Website:  DietBet, Etsy, and, of course Ravelry

4.  5 Inspirations

--My daughter!  She is growing into an amazing young lady.  I love how she seems so secure in herself and her decisions.  It's bittersweet seeing my baby girl grow up but I can see the beginnings of an amazing life for her.
--My son!  He became a teenager this month.  He has faced a lot of challenges and he never gives up.  I'm excited to see him start to find himself.
--Ravelry--as far as my knitting goes this is where I find so much inspiration and so many like minded people.
--My sisters.  They both manage to juggle families and careers.  The older I get the more I realize that family really is most important.  I wish we all lived closer.
--My husband!  He goes above and beyond for our family.  The fact that he has put up with me for so long is a credit to what an amazing man he is.

5.  Random Favorites
--Disney World trip in June 2015 with my daughter, my sister and her family!
--Blythe dolls. . .I was never really a doll person but a I have a small collection of these.  I love knitting and sewing for them.  I love taking pictures of them.  It's just a small thing I do purely for my own enjoyment :)
--21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme.  These were my primary workouts this past year.  I love them and I love the food plan, I just wish I was able to stick to it better ;)
--Simply Sock Yarn. . . my favorite online sock yarn store!!
--Heaven and Earth Designs. . .although I have had zero time to stitch this past year.  It is so inspiring to see the new patterns and to see everyone's WIPs

6.  Challenges for 2016
--Blog as least once per month.  Seriously, I had better be able to do at least that.
--Knit from Stash.  I am going to try very, very hard to knit from my stash during 2016
--Stitch!  I am going to set some monthly goals for myself and see if I can make progress on my stitching pieces
--Find more time to sew
--Read more, screen surf less
--Write more.
--Be happier.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Jane Lefroy Chronicles

April 2015:

 I received Neo Blythe doll, Jane Lefroy.  I LOVE her stock and she has a beautiful face and coloring.  She reminded me of Vinter Arden(who is one of my grail dolls).  I follow some Blythe happenings on Facebook and Flickr and when I started seeing pictures of Jane out of the box I was petrified.  This girl has crazy hair!  She has a TON of hair and for some reason Takara decided to try some sort of weird curliness in her hair.  It starts out smooth at the part and maybe 1/3 of the way down her head then it turns into an absolute rat's nest.  I was afraid to even take her out of the box.

19 August 2015 Jane Lefroy. .  Are you kidding me with this hair?   Holy hell :(

 August 2015:

I finally come up with the courage to open Jane up.  She is beautiful but OMG that hair!  It's very soft in spots but I cannot even run my fingers through it.  I have been doing some research on Blythe hair and I have done a few spas on my other dolls but they seem like child's play when faced with Jane's disaster hair.  I have seen other collectors who were actually able to tame her hair and I have gathered bits and pieces of what they did (On a side note, it is interesting to me how vague some collectors are on their dolly spa process.  When pressed they give a vague description but not much more.  I would be flattered if someone asked me what I did to my doll's hair because they wanted to figure out the same thing.).  I have decided to try and conquer Jane's hair.

JLF 26august2015 After spa 1 Back
25August2015:  Jane's first spa

I gave Jane her first hair wash to day.  I used Dawn dishwashing liquid to try and break up the rat's nest a bit.  I then used a mixture of 1.5 cap fulls unscented Downy and water and let her hair soak in that for two hours.  After that I was actually able to run my fingers through her hair but it seemed to come out of the process very dry still.  I braided her hair and put some rollers in the end of those to try and rein things in.  She is now drying for a day or two before I take the braids out and see how spa #1 went.  I'm positive I will have to do at LEAST one more to get her hair to look anything like I want it to.  Probably a lot more than one more.  I will spend the next couple of days researching what human shampoos help tame dryness and frizz.

JLF Spa 2 Back 26aug2015

28August2015:  Jane's second spa

Second wash.  Dawn, Argan Oil shampoo, 3 hour soak in undiluted, unscented Downy.  Before braiding her hair I used a little bit of leave in conditioner for frizzy hair.  I am very happy with the results ;)

Thursday, April 02, 2015

April 2015!

Wow!  It doesn't seem that long since I have posted.  Life just keeps getting busier and busier.

I have declared 2015 "The Year of Socks".  My goal is to finish at least one pair per month and if I could get 15 done in 2015 I would be thrilled!  I have joined the Socks from Stash group on Ravelry and it's been so fun.  Every month they have a theme so that keeps things interesting.

So far I am on track:


Skyp rib 1

Stashbuster February15


April(in progress):
 Sfs April15 wip

I have also become addicted to Downton Abbey and have been binge watching that, of course, I start watching it now when there is only one season left!
I'm still working my way through the Song of Ice and Fire books.  I'm on Dances with Dragons and that one is taking me forever.

Happy crafting everyone!

Monday, September 08, 2014

September 2014

So I just reviewed my summer to do list and I felt like I accomplished nothing but it looks like I got more done than I thought.  This summer was BORING.  It was a summer about nothing that went too fast.

The kiddos are back in school and I am getting back into a routine.

Here are a few summer knitting finishes:

First up, my "Groovy" socks.  I had been wanting to knit this pattern for a while and I'm pleased with how they turned out.  The yarn is OnLine SuperSocke Neon Color.  It is bright and an odd grouping of colors but I love having wild colored socks.
Groovy socks 8/2014Groovy wip

Next up, two pairs of  Felted Clogs.  One for me, one for DH.  Most of my friends have knit numerous pairs of these but these are the first pairs I have knit.  A friend knit pairs for each of my kiddos and I decided all of us needed a pair.  They aren't the prettiest things but they are warm and comfortable and that's what really matters for padding around the house.
Felted clogs 2014

This fall I have yet another ambitious list of things to get to and hopefully I'll have more time and more motivation for the more challenging things.

Here's the list so far:

1.  Clean out our basement.  I avoid this like the plague but it NEEDS to get done ASAP.  I really need to find a place where I can donate gently used toys.  It seems a shame to throw them out I'm sure someone would get some use out of them.

2.  Get rid of magazines.  I have a borderline hoarder mentally on magazines.  I have some knitting and cross stitching magazines that I need to unload.  I also love home decorating magazines.  I think I should just a make a binder with my favorite stuff and get rid of the rest.

3.  T Shirt Quilt. . .seriously, I have a ton of  t shirts I've been saving and I want to make lap quilts for the family.  I just need to get over my fear and jump in headfirst with this.

4.  Read Dance with Dragons.  I'm FINALLY on the most recent  Game of Thrones book and I'm very excited to work my way through it.

5.  Reach my goal weight.  I have been working this year on losing weight.  Prior to summer I had lost 25 pounds but I put on a few over the summer.  In the spring I found the DietBet site and it really helped me lose weight and I won some money in the process!  I have an attainable goal by the end of the year and I'm thinking of using DietBet again to help me get there.  I start my sixth bet tomorrow.

6.  Knit--I have the sock bug right now and I also am loving knitting clothes for my Blythe dolls.

7.  Stitch--Find time to cross stitch.  Finish 12 Days of Christmas BEFORE Christmas. . .what a novel idea!

8.  Blog at least once a  month.  I have gotten away from blogging but I do miss it.  It's something I do just for me and it keeps me on track with goals and such.

9.  Oh, almost forgot, I would like to win the lottery.  Not an obscene amount of money, just enough to be comfortable.  (Can't be greedy after all).

So that's about it for now.  Back in October if not sooner!