Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review 2010

Year in Review 2010

1. your best FO of the year:
Based on the tenacity it took to master the pattern, I would say my Skew socks are my best FO of the year.

2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to:
I have not really been reading as many blogs but there are plenty of FO on Ravelry that I have liked this year.

3. best yarn you tried:
No new yarn for me this year--I stuck with my old stand bys.

4. best book/mag/pattern of 2010:
Book:
I have to say that, for me, Aran Knitting was my favorite release of 2010 in the knitting category. I also loved Amy Butler's Style Stitches so much that it motivated me to buy a sewing machine.

Magazine:
Oxygen is still my favorite magazine--I look forward to reading it every month. As for knitting, I have found myself buying Vogue knitting more and more and disliking Interweave Knits more and more. I am letting my Interweave subscription go when it's up this year which is bittersweet for me as I have subscribed to it since I started knitting but the patterns, articles, and the general magazine layout do not appeal to me anymore and I had such high hopes when Eunny took over as editor :(

Pattern:
Challenge wise, Skew was the pattern that tested my patience this year. I enjoyed the dishcloth pattern from Mason Dixon and made tons of those this year for friends and family.

5. best new technique or gadget you tried in 2010:
I FINALLY learned magic loop this year. Thank you to Stacey who put up with my raving while trying to master this.
Fitness wise--Turbofire was the best technique I tried this year, love the intensity, love the music, love the choreography--makes me want to be an instructor again.

6. top 5 inspirations--what five things inspired you the most over the past year?
**Stacey--her enthusiasm is infectious
**Facebook--especially the groups I am in that remind me constantly of my fitness goals.
**Let's Go Pens! from Ravelry--knitting Pens fans--we are from all over the world and are bound by our love of the Pens and knitting. Oh what fun it would be to have our whole group together at a game in Pittsburgh.
**My sister who finished her first Ironman this year--WOW!!
**My kiddos who are always a light in my life.

7. designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year:
Probably Cookie A, again. She is a sock genius!

8. Challenges for 2011--what's next for you and your blog?
**still working on project me--getting in better shape, eating better.
**get sewing again--as I haven't since 8th grade
**finish at least 11 projects before starting anything new

Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Inventory of Finished Objects 2010

Knitting:
(1) Winter Lace--Lion Brand Thick and Quick--Free Lion Brand pattern
(2) Baby Socks--Shibui Knits--personal pattern
(3) Baby Hat--Colinette Jitterbug--Handle pattern
(4) Baby Hat--Opal Harry Potter Tonks--Handle pattern
(5) Rick socks--Red Rocks Fiber Works--Rick, Cookie A, Sock Innovation
(6) Barn Raising Square--Red Rocks Fiber Works--Knitalong
(7) Barn Raising Square--Collinette Jitterbug--Knitalong
(8) Barn Raising Square--Pagewood Farms sock bites--Knitalong
(9) Barn Raising Square--Pagewood Farms sock bites--Knitalong
(10) Barn Raising Square--Pagewood Farms sock bites--Knitalong
(11) Barn Raising Square--Pagewood Farms sock bites--Knitalong
(12) Barn Raising Square--Shibui Knits sock--Knitalong
(13) Barn Raising Square--Pagewood Farms sock bites--Knitalong
(14) Dishcloth--Sugar and Cream Cotton--Mason Dixon Knitting
(15) Dishcloth--Sugar and Cream Cotton--Mason Dixon Knitting
(16) Dishcloth--Sugar and Cream Cotton--Mason Dixon Knitting
(17) Dishcloth--Sugar and Cream Cotton--Mason Dixon Knitting
(18) Show-off Stranded socks--STR Lightweight--Ravelry download
(19) Skew socks--Noro Silk Garden sock--Knitty
(20) Fiobanacci socks--Opal--Get Starting Knitting socks
(21) Plain Vanilla socks--online cotton sock--Classic Beginnings Socks for the family
(22) Barn Raising Square--Online sock--Knitalong(finished 12/28/10)

Reading:
(1) Fade Out(Caine)
(2) Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Cole)
(3) Flirt(Hamilton)
(4) Dark Lover (Ward)--reread
(5) Lover Eternal (Ward)--reread
(6) Lover Awakened (Ward)--reread
(7) Sweater Quest (Martini)
(8) Lover Revealed (Ward)--reread
(9) Lover Unbound (Ward)--reread
(10) Lover Enshrined (Ward)--reread
(11) Lover Avenged (Ward)--reread
(12) Kiss of Death (Caine)
(13) Lover Mine (Ward)
(14) True Love and Other Disasters (#4)(Gibson)
(15) Simply Irresistable (#1) (Gibson)
(16) Nothing But Trouble (#5) (Gibson)
(17) The Trouble with Valentine's Day (#3)(Gibson)
(18) See Jane Score(#2) (Gibson)
(19) The Darkest Whisper (Showalter)--reread
(20) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)--reread
(21) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)--reread
(22) Deep Kiss of Winter (Cole/Showalter)
(23) Demon from the Dark (Cole)
(24) No Mercy (Kenyon)
(25) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire(Rowling)--reread
(26) Crave (Ward)

Fitness:
(1) P90X Lean--December through April
(2) P90X Lean--August through October(finished 2 weeks early to start Turbo Fire)
(3) Turbofire--October through December (finished first 12 weeks--looking forward to weeks 13-20 in starting in January)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Final Finish of 2010


I made this pair of socks for my Grandmother to keep her toes warm this winter :)

Stats:
Needles--sz. 2, magic loop
Yarn--Online sock
Pattern--Classic Beginnings Socks for the Family

I am almost 100% positive that this will be my last finish for 2010 unless I have a major knitting binge in the next few days. I am going to be making a blanket square with the leftovers--that "may" get done before the end of the year if I actually have time to sit and knit.

And totally off topic but has anyone ever checked out this blog, And Then She Saved? I saw a news feature on it a few days ago and I think it's a brilliant idea although I don't think I could go as spartan as she did.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all. . .

. . . and to all a good night!

Happy Holidays and Blessings for the New Year :)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Turbo Fire--Month One

October 16:
I finished week one of Turbo Fire while simultaneously finishing my third week of my third phase of P90X Lean.
My initial thoughts:
**Music: I love the music. Music is so important to me when I workout; it really can push me to the next level.
**The workouts: I have only done the first week's worth but from what I have seen so far they do not disappoint. The are definitely a step up from Turbo Jam but not as hard as Insanity. There are three types of cardio workouts: Fire, FireEZ, and HIIT. The HIIT workouts are on par with Insanity and the others are good steady state cardio workouts. I have also done the core workout and two stretch workouts. I'm anxious to try the toning workouts next week.
**Diet: I am still reading through the diet materials. It looks to be along the lines of clean eating and I like that you can mix and match meals. I will definitely give it a go at some point in the next 20 weeks (yes, it is set up as a 20week program).
I really look forward to each workout and that is a big plus.

October 23:
I have finished up my second week of Turbo Fire. Love it more and more every time I do it. I have actually bailed on my last two weeks of my third round of P90X. I think once I get the hang of the Turbo Fire I will add in some P90X weight work because nothing else I have tried beats P90X weight work.

Turbo fire does incorporate some toning/strength work but it is nowhere near as intense as P90X. I do think Turbo Fire lends itself really well to travel. You do not need a lot of space for the workouts and the toning DVDs only use resistance bands.

So far my favorite workouts are HIIT 15(the music in that is hands down the best and it was much harder than HIIT 20) and Fire 55EZ (because it is the longest one--at least until I order the advanced dvds ;)--and I love a LONG workout).

I have noticed a little bit of muscle soreness which is good--lets me know I'm hitting stuff I haven't before.

The interesting thing about Chalene's workouts are that even though you are working really hard you don't notice it because you are so absorbed in the music and choreography(at least that's what I love about it)--I think that is what makes it more appealing to me as a long term workout instead of Insanity. Insanity is really hard and the music does nothing to take your mind off it.

October 31:
Finished Week three with a double up workout to day(I missed yesterday's workout).

Thoughts on the week:
--I am really getting the choreography down which makes the workouts more enjoyable.
--I am feeling stronger during the HIIT workouts.
--I feel as though my body fat is down even though the scale is not reflecting that.

I am toying with the idea of adding the turbo sculpting gloves in. I use them for every Turbo Jam workout but I have hesitated in starting to use them with Turbo Fire until I am more secure in the choreography. I think I have a week or so of workouts coming up that has no HIIT workouts so that may be when I add in the gloves.


November 7:
I have finished month one. I'm still very much in love with the program. The choreography is really starting to kick in and it makes the workout even more enjoyable. I'm definitely going to be adding weighted gloves sometime during this upcoming month.

As an aside:
I am not a Beachbody coach--I have no interest in becoming a Beachbody coach. I came to love Beachbody workout programs entirely on my own. I genuinely enjoy the workouts; they have given me results that no other workouts have. I recommend the programs I have used wholeheartedly to any advanced exercisers who are looking for a change of pace or a challenge. It's frustrating to do a search online for workout reviews and all you see are reviews by Beachbody coaches. It would be nice to have a discussion with people who love these workouts but aren't getting paid to promote them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


From Left to Right:

Diva's pumpkin "Moe", Rage's pumpkin "ghosts", Mommy's pumpkin "vampire with victim"

Again this year Diva designed her own pumpkin. Rage picked his out of a pumpkin carving book--he scooped out the pumpkin and I carved. I decided I wanted to make a pumpkin this year (and I wanted more seeds) and I found my pattern in a book as well--I love it I wish it would last longer :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace
Dreamcatchers Kahlua (aka. Cracky)
October 20, 1996-October 4, 2010

You sweet little bundle of energy. You were the most talkative, most high strung cat I have ever been around but you were so sweet. I will miss seeing your beautiful blue eyes, hearing your voice around the house, and hearing you purr when someone said your name(that's all it usually took). Letting you go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My head understands why I had to but my heart didn't want to.

I am glad that I was able to bring you home for one last weekend with your family, enjoying the sunny spots in the house, and soaking in all the love we could give you before your final journey.

I love you so much and I will miss you every day.

Good bye my sweet girl.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What am I up to?

I am halfway through my third round of P90X. This is more of a hybrid version where I have been mixing up the cardio days with different programs--mostly Turbo Jam and Cathe. I have also been mixing up the ab workouts. I do not really like Ab Ripper--in fact, I call it hip flexor ripper because that's the only place I feel that workout. I have been subbing in Turbo Jam Abs, Insanity Abs, and Cathe's Ab Circuit and Core Max to get a more varied abdominal routine. In addition to those modifications I have been been adding an extra cardio workout after every workout every other week--did you follow that? Basically, I add an additional cardio daily on alternate weeks.

I am looking into getting Turbo Fire from Beachbody. I really enjoy Turbo Jam--love the music. Turbo Fire is a big step up from Turbo Jam from what I've read. It incorporates HIIT training (high intensity interval training) as does Insanity but I think I like Chalene's music style more(she's the instructor for both Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire). I am in the final debating stages now and if I can pull the trigger and get Turbo Fire I'll probably start it in October in addition to finishing my current round of P90X.

So the fitness part of my lifestyle is going very well. I am still, after two years, continuing my battle with my diet. I would really like to eat clean but I have the worst time sticking to it. I keep a food journal and everything that goes into my mouth goes into that journal but there are days where I just don't make good choices. I also thinking that serving sizes are an issue for me as well. If anyone has any brilliant ideas for how to get eating under control(without supplements) then let me know :)

I have also been knitting, mostly socks lately, and I really want to start a sweater this fall. I am thinking maybe Cassidy from Chic Knits since I have yarn in the stash specifically for that purpose.

I have been fitting in more reading, as well. It helps that some of my favorite authors have had books out recently.

I'd like to be getting in more time for cross stitch but I have not stitched since March--although any time I travel a cross stitch project goes with me.

I'd also like to make more time for writing. Maybe another round of Nanowrimo should be in my schedule for November? Hmmmmm.

If all that and the usual family obligations weren't enough, I am going to try and get back into sewing. And by "get back into" I mean I haven't sewn with a machine since middle school but I have been inspired by my friend, Stacey, and artist/designer Amy Butler and I think I want to start yet another hobby. You know, because I have so much free time LOL!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Go Pens!


I finally finished my Penguins socks. I started them when they won the Cup(2009) and finished one very quickly and then the dreaded second sock syndrome hit and I worked on the second one sporadically. I thought I could finish them while watching games last season but what I have learned is that I cannot knit a lot during a Pens game--I get too into the game. But they are done now, ready for pre-season which starts at the end of September!

I also started another pair of socks for my Grandmother. I'm trying to do them using the magic loop method. I'm not sure my gauge is the same this way but I am getting the hang of it.


In other news, I started a third round of P90X when my kiddos started school in August and I have finished the first month, starting the second this week. I just love P90X even though it is sometimes a pain to make the time to workout everyday--the results are more than worth it. Speaking of which, I need to go workout now.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Finished Skew(s)


Skew 6Aug2010
Originally uploaded by KnitterinProgress
I finished these a few days ago. I shortened the foot a little on the second sock and I like the fit much better.

I think that this pattern is more about form than function; they will be nice socks this winter when I want something warm on my feet while I am padding around the house or ---God forbid---shoveling.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skewed



I have started, and restarted, and restarted, and restarted this pair of socks too many times to count. I have finally finished the first one. I branched out and learned magic loop for this one and I learned a new toe up Cast-On.

I followed the pattern exactly and they are just a little bit too long in the foot BUT I am not ripping it out. This yarn is sticky and knots easily. The pattern was fun as it is a departure from traditional sock structure.

On to number 2!

Stats:
Needle: 1.5 40" circular
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock
Pattern: Skew from Knitty

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gifty Knits


I made these for my friend's birthday. I loved the pattern and the yarn.

Pattern: Show-Off Stranded Socks(Ravelry)
Needles: 1.5 dpns
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight, Hard Rock

This pattern uses up a bunch of yarn but I love the construction. I think that the basic construction of this sock would be perfect for a beginning sock knitter. The heel is made with increases and decreases instead of picking up stitches--which, from what I've noticed, seems to be the arch nemesis of new sock knitters.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer 2010 Begins

The kiddos finished school and we are on to summer vacation stuff.

In addition to our usual summer stuff, I decided to have Diva and Rage make a list of 5 goals for the summer. Diva came up with her list without too many problems. Rage, on the other hand, has 5 "goals" that all revolve around watching TV and playing video games--consequently his list is still a work in progress--my definition of "goal" is more along the lines of trying something beyond your normal.

In the interest of being fair, I also made a list of 5 things I would like to get done this summer. Now I just have to get my husband on board--maybe that should be my sixth goal ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gift Knits

I am working on a gift for someone--can't say who but I can say it will involve more of these:



It's the Ballband pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting. It is such a fun pattern to work on.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More Barn Raising

I have been working on squares while watching the NHL playoffs.



Clockwise from the top left: Shibui Knits sock, Pagewood Farms Sock bites, Pagewood Farms sock bites, Pagewood Farms sock bites

The purple square ran out of yarn with about 3 rows left so I threw on a super tiny sock bite in green. One bad thing about the sock bite bags is that there are tons of bits that are just about too small to do anything with.

I am off to get ready for our upcoming snowstorm. I'm hoping it's a false alarm but from the looks of things outside I am not optimistic.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TUSAL

Totally Useless SAL for April(where is this year going, I can't believe it's April already)! Check out the blue sky in the background and the beginning of leaves! Bring on the hot weather :)


No stitching jar this month--just the knitting jar. I should be adding more to the jar by next month because hockey playoffs are starting and I knit through the games :)

Lets Go Pens!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Been Working on the Barn

Raising blanket, that is.


Guided tour(top row, left to right)
Pagewood Farms Sock Bite, Dream in Color Starry, STR Lightweight
Opal Harry Potter, Red Rocks Fiber Works(from Stacey), Three Irish Girls Sock
STR Medium Weight, Red Rocks Fiber Works, Pagewood Farms Sock Bite
Pagewood Farms Sock Bite, Colinette Jitterbug

I am probably going to keep cranking out squares to make one giant blanket instead of the two I was originally planning. Right now I have over 50 squares.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trying to Cure SSS

I have had a severe case of Second Sock Syndrome(SSS) over the last year. I have three finished socks and none of them made a matching pair. I have started to remedy that.




Stats:
Yarn: Red Rocks Fiber Works
Needles: Size 2 dpns
Pattern: Rick, from Sock Innovation


And, although it's a little late, I have my picture for the Totally Useless SAL. I have added to both jars over the last month. Lots of red in the stitching jar thanks to the Bramble and the Rose :)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Olympic Crafting--Closing Ceremonies

Here is where I ended up by the end of Closing Ceremonies on Sunday:

In the Knitting Olympics there is only one goal--start/finish during the Olympic Games. I admit that this is what I had wanted to do with this project BUT life intervened.

I had obstacles to overcome:
**Rage was sick for the first week of the Olympics--as in home from school requiring Mommy's attention sick.
**My birthday took out a day
**I actually watched a lot of the Olympics and, although I was stitching during all of it, I was distracted by watching instead of counting especially during all of the hockey events.
**I had a few visits to the frog pond when I was distracted by said hockey events.
**By week two I was fighting off aforementioned illness that has taken down everyone else in this house.

I decided after the first week that I would strive for one of the following:
All 9 pages of the chart=GOLD
6 of 9 pages=SILVER
3 of 9 pages=Bronze

I am proud to say that I made it to the BRONZE and I think that is something for a cross stitch project that was worked on only when the Olympics where on in this house :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TUSAL and Olympic Progress

I am a little late in posting my Totally Useless SAL progress but here it is:

I decided to start using two jars; one for knitting, one for stitching.

I didn't get a lot of time to stitch this weekend--it is always harder to find time when everyone is home. I am going to to kick it into high gear this week.

I love, love, love the thread I am using for this. I have always admired pieces people have done with DMC 115 and love it even more seeing it in person.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baby Knits

I've been working on some baby knits for my friend Sam's upcoming arrival. We had her shower yesterday so now I can unveil the the socks and hats I knit for her little one.


The pattern is a personal baby sock pattern and I used a few yarns: Dream in Color Smooshy, Pagewood Farms, ShiBui sock, and Socks that Rock.


These are too cute and very quick knits. It is the Handle pattern by Larissa Brown; I found it on Ravelry. I used Jitterbug and Opal Harry Potter yarn.

I also bought her a few other store bought gifties. Now we just need to wait for the little one to arrive!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Fabric, floss, and pattern ready:



Just waiting for Opening Ceremonies to begin, so I can begin :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Done with Practice, Ready for the Games


I have been working on Blackstone Fantasy Garden as an Olympic warmup. I finished the main design and now I'm just filling in. This will actually be set aside until after the Games. I love how it looks.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Happiness Project

I've been hearing about this book in various places and I've been following the blog.

Happiness Project

I decided to read it and see if I was inspired--I'm still working my way through it but I'm fascinated. I love the idea of setting monthly, themed goals and adding to them each month. Although the book is a chronicle of the author's personal happiness journey, it could be tailored to fit anyone's personal goals. Even if you never read the book, you should take a look at the blog. I look forward to reading the posts every time they pop up on my bloglines.

Maybe I need to use what I learn in it to find a way to make time for all of the things that make me happy: knitting, stitching, reading, family time, alone time, exercise time, etc.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Olympic Warmup

I figured I should transition my mind from knitting to stitching if I plan on meeting my Olympic goal of starting/finishing Ink Circles The Bramble and the Rose, so I pulled out Blackstone Fantasy Garden(also by Ink Circles) in order to get my mind and fingers back in the stitching groove.

I started this piece quite a while ago and have just pulled it out of the WIP pile.

Stats:
Fabric: 28 count white evenweave, the exact type I can't remember
Floss: I'm changing the colors from the original piece. So far I've used DMC 814(the reddish color) and DMC 803 (the blue). I'll be using DMC Impressions floss for the rest of the piece.
Stitched: 2 over 2

I'm hoping to have all the outlining done before the Olympics starts. When I first picked this back up at the beginning of January I only had about 1.5 pages done(of the outlining)--now I only have 2 of the 9 pages left before I start filling in :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Lace Afghan & TUSAL

First finished project of 2010.


Stats:
Needles: Size 11
Yarn: Lion Brand Thick and Quick, Claret
Pattern: Winter Lace Afghan, Free at Lion Brand

It's very easy knitting once you get the pattern down. It makes a heavy, nice sized, lap blanket.



I have also decided to participate in the Totally Useless SAL again. I'm using my jar that I started in July. I'm thinking I might divide it into two jars--one knitting, one stitching.


Here is the jar as it is now--the bulky yarn from the blanket really added to the contents.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Thinking about Olympic Crafting

I have been thinking that I would challenge myself to some Olympic knitting/stitching a la Harlot.

Right now I am thinking I would like to start and finish Bramble and the Rose by Ink Circles during the Olympic games next month.

Anybody else going to give themselves an Olympic size challenge?