The last few days have been crazy.

The day before yesterday was full of shopping for Christmas presents and wrapping some of them.

Yesterday was full of weather!  We woke up to howling winds. Now, when it's that windy, the fact that it is over 50 degrees doesn't matter.  I put my hair up in a bun and by the time I was picking up my husband in the afternoon it looked more like a really sloppy ponytail.

Now it's raining and windy. It's actually below 40 degrees out now so it is getting really cold. And with the clouds outside, it's still dark out even at almost 7 am.

A few days ago, we saw a commercial for a show about the Civil War. My 15 year old son said he really wanted to watch it. So I told him I'd record it for him. Then he reminded me that we don't have that channel anymore.  He really likes to watch shows like this, and rarely speaks up about wanting to watch specific shows, so I went and bumped up our satellite package.

In order to get that channel, I had to go up 3 packages.  The thing is, I was watching a show on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries when I did this, and I knew the package had officially gotten changed when the screen went blank and then let me know I was not subscribed to this channel. Immediately I went and checked to see if I really didn't have that channel anymore and of course you get that channel in the lowest package, but they remove it in the next two  packages and don't put it back for another 2 packages.  And I'm not going to spend over $300 a month just so I can watch sappy ass Christmas movies and mystery movies. 

Well, the show comes on today. And I upgraded the package a few days ago. Since then, my husband has enjoyed having that channel back in our line up and is driving me bonkers watching shows about World War II. Which isn't bad, but sometimes it feels like they're on for hours.

Still, I sit and crochet or knit. I'm still working on the Crochet Plaid Slouchy Hat. I should finish the hat today, but I'm not sure about the puff on top. I'm terrible at making them by hand and my pom makers are way too small. Hopefully I'll be able to find a large or extra large maker while we're out today.

While we're out, I'll be waiting to hear back about some jobs, remembering that I can't buy presents for the kids because they'll be with me and probably thinking of things that will never be finished by Christmas...Because Christmas!

Things We Do

So, we're about 9 days from Christmas.

And of course, I only JUST started shopping in earnest.  Sure, through the year I've been making purchases, but now it's getting down to the wire with finishing up and buying gifts for friend's kids. Which I managed to do yesterday.

My husband and son went hunting at the beginning of the month. Both came back empty handed, and a few pounds lighter. While they were gone, I took advantage of the fact that my husband wouldn't be underfoot and cleaned out the closet.

There were MANY hand knit or crocheted items that have never been used or worn.  I decided to put these up for sale.  Some have sold, one generated interest in something else.

There are four slouchy hats, Waffle Stitch Slouchy hats, I think.  They're made with Lion Brand Hometown USA or Wool Ease Thick and Quick, and while there's a lot of open work, it keeps your head pretty warm.

Well, a lady asked if instead of those, I could make her some Messy Bun Hats.

Can I just say, UGH!!

I didn't want to get into this whole trend.  It sort of makes me crazy looking at all these hats with hair hanging out of a hole on top.  Still, for $30, I could hardly say no, especially since I wouldn't have to purchase a lot of yarn to make them having quite a bit of stash yarn on hand.

Thankfully, there are several free patterns available on Ravelry. A few that are amazing (and also being made by me). These are done by Celina Lane of Simply Collectible Crochet. These work up fast and look fantastic!

I am sort of tired of messy bun hats right now though so I'm working intermittently on some World's Simplest Mitts from TinCan Knits, and the Plaid Slouchy hat from Whistle and Ivy.

TinCan Knits is running a Hack-a-Thon right now.  The rule is you take a TCK pattern and hack it in some way. I am making the mittens with two colors of wool on each one, instead of making them the same color. I lost the cuff of the first mitten I had been working on, after cleaning up and 'organizing' things. I put it in a container to keep it safe so I could finish this blanket I've been working on for about a century. I managed to finish the piecework, but now need to put it all together and do the edging. It's a three color corner to corner blanket and I want to put the squares together about as much as I'd like to get shot.

Well, I'm going to work on hacking my mittens... I hope you all have a great weekend and Keep on Crafting!

The Weekend

Finally, it's Saturday.

That doesn't make much difference around here.  All we're doing at home is cleaning up so we can go out and get more wood for the wood stove this winter. So it's chores, chores, chores.

Add into that having to go into town twice at two different times of day-so I can't just do both errands at once, and you've got a helluva day.  The best thing is, it's Saturday, so traffic isn't horrendous.

And I'm doing super duper adult type things, like paying the mortgage and stuff.  Whooo. Hoo.

Craftwise, I'm sitting here working on a Classic Cuffed Hat, by Purl Soho. I'm using Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Vibrant Orange. Currently doing the ribbing so I'm on size US 5, 3.75mm needles, getting close to switching to size US 8, 5 mm.

Just as I was ready to cast on for a Flax Sweater, I remembered that NaKniSweMo starts on Tuesday. So I put that aside for now, even though I'm on a deadline-I hope it'll help me get it done by the time I need to, since it's going to be worn starting on December 10-ish.

My pattern currently in testing is just about ready for release. If I'm correct, I might be able to get it released on Halloween- a whole day earlier than planned.

I had an awesome moss stitch hat pattern that I was working on, but I lost my place doing the decreases so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it out for release like I want to.

I am also working on a cowl, which SHOULD be ready for testing soon, plus matching mitts, which will be my first pattern with a gusset.  They're going to be part of an e-book set of three patterns.

In real life stuff, like I said, we're stocking up on wood for the winter, and working on other things around the house.  Like trying to get rid of this darn mouse that's evading all the traps we set.  Seriously, I was using the bathroom this morning and it skittered across the room next to the toilet.  Hello!  Good morning!

Soon, my daughter will be 15 (yay!), we've gotten her some pretty cool presents that she'll love.  On top of that on the same day is my 20th wedding anniversary!  I can't believe it.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but at the same time, it feels like we've been married forever.

Also, I've been thrift store shopping with my friend.  I was able to get some comic books and a hardcover copy of E.M. Nathanson's The Dirty Dozen for $1.50.  These will make great Christmas presents for the boys. My daughter will get leggings. But none of those LulaRoe leggings...I just cannot.  Really cannot.  As much as I would love leggings with those designs, I cannot see paying over $20 for leggings when I can buy leggings at Wal-Mart for less than $4.

Alright kids, I have about 1.5" of ribbing to do before I can just knit, knit, knit this hat into being finished.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Hickory Dickory

There's a mouse in the house.  Nothing new, we had them last year.  They were all evicted. This one, however is a little more cagey than the ones we have dealt with previously. Every trap we have set, it has evaded. It's freaking me out a little. But we're on our way to making it a not happy environment for mice so hopefully, this will be taken care of soon.

On to better things though...

We're less than a week from the release of my pattern Highlighters. It's a fun, quick knit that's great for beginners that want to practice knitting and purling and making a ribbing.  Look for it on November 1!

While that's in testing, I've been working on a cowl and a hat.  I've also been wracking my brain about a set of mittens or fingerless mittens that have a gusset. It won't be the usual mitten pattern though, which is what all the brain wracking is about-besides the fact that I've never written a pattern for a gusset.

The cowl is a much easier pattern- I just have to finish knitting my sample before putting it out for testing. The hat is a little more difficult for me, as I'm jumping ahead to the decreases and how those are going to be worked out.

Somewhere in all that, though, I have to make a hat and a sweater. I'm probably sticking with the Flax pattern for the sweater and the hat is going to be the Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho, without the pom pom, since it's a hat for hunting. The sweater is smaller than the one that I made last year, which is cool, because I am REALLY late in starting on it and need to have it done by the beginning of December.  The yarn was all delivered earlier this week... thankfully the dye lots of the sweater yarn all match. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I started dancing around...Then I explained that this sweater won't be two different shades of the same color like his is.

The bottom line is, my craft life should be about getting my boys ready for their hunting trip, but my brain wants me to make new things. So I'm trying to do both and also there's a project that I am working on, Jennika by Melody's Makings. It's full of cables and twists and is just looking beautiful.

Now, I'm going to sit here and try to knit a gauge swatch for Flax instead of knitting this super awesome hat that's been jumping around my brain for a while.  Wish me luck!

This Post Has No Title...

As I am sitting here in my living room listening to the rain, I am grateful. Completely and absolutely grateful.  Grateful that I am no longer outside.

The rain was coming down...naturally as soon as I touched the door knob to go outside.  I am glad though that there isn't any water in my shoes this time.

My last trip in the rain was not pretty.  I ended up being so soaked that the next day, the car seats were still wet the next morning.  It was hysterical.  We were stuck outside for a few minutes, trying to move as fast as we could, but we had these huge carts full of stuff in pouring down rain.

Today was close, but my feet stayed dry.  I only needed to hang up my hoodie this time.

But home now I am.  And I have got some ideas!

I have a pattern in testing right now that's close to being released. I had planned to have a whole set by the end of the year, but I got an idea for some other stuff and I've kind of slacked on working on everything else.

Keep an eye out for the Highlighters pattern that will be released the morning of November 1. I'm very excited about it as it's my first pattern that's gone through testing.

BUT, currently I'm working on a hat pattern.  This might be the first one that I'm going to do with 100% wool, with fun colors and possibly a big pom pom.  IF I can find a pom pom maker-because I'm terrible at making pom poms with out one.  I have a small one and a medium one...I just need to find a large one somewhere.

Hopefully this one will work out as well as my Bass Ackwards hat did.  That was a lot of fun.  Its just the one size, but eventually I hope to be able to figure out the math to do other sizes so the decreases are done correctly. I'd especially like to see it in a beanie size, instead of just the slouch.

I've found a place where people will volunteer to test patterns and actually give feedback and pictures. So I'm very excited about that.

Well, it's that time when the house is waking up. I'm going to sit back and work on this hat that's been bugging my brain for days and get the kids all up and ready for school-because that doesn't stop even when they're in high school!


I've been thinking..

A dangerous pasttime.

I know.

Sorry!  Every time I say I've been thinking, in my head, I start singing the Gaston song from Beauty and the Beast.

Since I haven't been able to login regularly, because of the internet situation out here, I was blogging in Microsoft Word. There's a whole thing where you can compose blog posts and then hook up to the interwebs and put them online.

So I had about 10 posts that I had done, including one where I made Ree Drummond's Perfect Potato Soup and instead of pepper I started seasoning it with cinnamon. It was lovely!  I managed to save the soup, and it had an extra little flavor to it.

Then, I got this wonderful idea to get Windows 10 the hell off of my computer and go back to warmth and comfort of the very familiar Windows 7 Professional.

And I screwed everything up.  I ended up deleting all the files and basically setting the computer back to day 1 of Windows 10...Because it kept telling me that my back up discs weren't working or were blank.  Which is BS because I've used them before.

Anyway... We're still stuck in this abyss where the phone company doesn't want to spend the money to upgrade their stuff to be able to bring the internet to all of their customers, and the satellite company offers what amounts to a pittance of MB in a home where there are three teenagers with smart phones.

So what I've been doing is this. I set up my new cellphone as a mobile hotspot. Can you believe that I had it set up and my daughter, who gets 6 GB of high speed internet on her phone had the audacity to ask me for the password to my hotspot so she could go online on the home pc?  This, folks, is 14.

Now, I've reopened up my Etsy shop. There are currently stitch markers and a pattern up for sale. The pattern came from an idea I got during the Geeky Girls Knit Gilmore Girls KAL. I saw a picture of Lorelai with a grey hat on and while I couldn't clearly see the hat, and have no idea which episode or season it was from, I decided I'd make this hat. It's mostly purls and slipped knit stitches, but it's pretty cool.

While we're on that subject, I'm going to be working on different sizes of the hat and also re-working the knitted wrist warmer pattern, for dpns or magic loop, so there won't be any sewing at the end.

So, lets talk crafty stuff!

I've been participating in lots of KALs and CALs and in fact am in the midst of a big one right now. It's the Mystery Blanket K/CAL with Joann Fabrics and Crafts and Bernat Yarns.  It's a lot of fun. We're in week 2 now, and seriously I've only done one pattern repeat.

Because of course I'm sick!  It has really messed up my week, and I've only been down for 2 days.

Also, I'm participating in the Expression Fiber Arts K/CAL on their Ravelry group. It's been lots of fun. I did one crochet hat and one knit hat.  I'm working on my second crochet hat as part of a gift for someone. If you're not a member, you should go join.  EFA has some lovely looking yarns for sale.  The kind that just want to make you say, "Shut up and take my money!"

Tuesday, October 18 starts another great K/CAL with Melody's Makings Jennika! It's looking to be a great time for everyone.  We're all very excited to start and sharing pictures of which yarns we'll be using on the Melody's Makings Facebook group.

This week, before the sickness knocked my on my rear, I finally was able to make it out to visit my closest local yarn shop, The Yarn Garden.  It's a lovely little shop with some great yarns at great prices.  I walked out with two balls of Berlini Merino Velvet Sock yarn, which is SOOO soft. I also picked up some Berlini Palisades, which is a DK weight yarn, and a ball of Ice Yarns Pure Alpaca, which is also a DK weight yarn.  Honestly, though, they both look sort of heavy to me.  That may just be because I want them to be worsted... or because the project I'm going to use them for calls for worsted and I'm all, who cares! I want the hat in these colors, dammit!

This is getting long, and since I'm sure one of the kids at least will be up soon, because that's how it is, I'm going to go.

I'll be charging the batteries in my camera and begin posting photos with projects and things, but keep an eye out, because I'm back!

Promises, Promises

I know.   I know.

I keep saying I'm going to update this more often.  But I don't.  Not having reliable internet/cellphone coverage is a pain in the butt!

Case in point:

A few days ago, I got it all-good internet and cellphone.  Voila! There's a message, a voicemail message mind you, on visual voicemail...From December 2015.  Seriously.  I try to update that as much as possible when I am in town, but it obviously isn't working correctly.  I think I'm going to have to get rid of that as my default voicemail thing.

We have been really busy too, as a family.  My husband took the first two week vacation he's taken in over 10 years. He spent a few days in San Diego with his sister to see her son graduate from US Marine Corps boot camp. When they got back, we all went to see Star Wars.  I saw more that time than I did from the front row for Christmas when we treated ourselves to an early holiday.

We installed a wood stove in the house.  It's pretty sweet.  The previous owners had it outside and asked if I wanted them to leave it.  I said Sure! Thinking we'd end up re-purposing it or something.  Then our pellet stove went out and it is going to cost $63 for this teeny part to fix it. So we went without for a while, just relying on our electric heater.  Which of course drove our bill up over $300.

So the wood stove was finally put in.  It's nice, especially today when it is so cold!

We had a LOT of help with the installation and just basic information from our awesome neighbors! I keep telling them, "I come from a place where you peek out the window at your neighbors moving in and that's about it! We're not used to being able to talk with our neighbors like this!"

It's very nice having good neighbors. Especially ones with their own little farms! We've learned a lot from them, and it's very nice to hear, "Hey, send the kids over and we can show them how to do...."

My daughter spend a day with the neighbor helping with their holiday baking. She's spend days working with the animals with our other neighbors.

We send the boys out, "Hey, go see if they can help you with this"

And in turn, the neighbors know we have three young able bodied teens in the house and they can call and have them sent over for whatever.  My son spent some time helping collect wood for the neighbors.

Now that we're out getting our own wood, he goes out there with dad, cutting down and collecting old trees for the house.  I think we've all learned how to cut wood with a chainsaw now, and I know that the kids spent hours chopping up wood with saws and an ax.

In crafty news...I've cast on a bunch of socks.  One of them is my own design, which is looking pretty nice right now, and I haven't gotten to the heel yet.  What I have gotten with that pair of socks is a broken needle!  And I think all of my other needles that are size 1 have something on them so I have to either finish something or put it on waste yarn.

I finished some vanilla socks for my SIL, which I promptly forgot when we went down to her house.

 I made a Doctor Who Beanie!  My first color work project ever!  It was a lot of fun to make.  That's going to be for my friend that just moved in a few miles from us. It's all acrylic yarns.  The blue is Red Heart Super Saver in Royal, the white is Lion Brand Yarns Vanna's Choice in White, and the black is also Vanna's Choice. It just needs to have the ends weaved in and then I can gift it away.  I can tell that I pulled more on some of the strands than the others, particularly the white windows, but I'm hoping that it'll become less noticeable after the ends are done and the hat is washed.

 One sock is done for my January Knit from Stash KAL. It's done in Phydeaux Yarns Chaussette in the Myrddin colorway. I just found the leftovers of the skein so I'll have to start in on the second one very soon.

In honor of the passing of Alan Rickman, I began Snape's Stockings by Erica Leuder. The yarn is Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock yarn in the aquamarine colorway. I've always enjoyed Alan Rickman's work, particularly his go as Professor Snape, and at the time, it felt like the right thing to do.

This picture here is a few weekends ago, mid-January. We were getting ready to go pick up my husband from his sister's house and this is what it looked like outside.  Most of it had fallen the night before, in fact, we had to clean of the dish a few times because it got so full of snow it couldn't get a signal from the satellite. This is showing our 'driveway' from the front porch.

THIS is one of the surprises I got when everyone came back from San Diego.  It's really weird.  I usually get myself men's tee shirts with crew necks.  All my women's tees are v-necks, so I wasn't sure if it was going to fit. It does!  I haven't gotten to wear it out yet, because no matter what we're doing or where we go, I always end up a mess and I don't want to ruin it, like I did my favorite pair of pants (Primer on the wall that kept dripping on me and I kept leaning on or touching accidentally is permanently everywhere on my pants). Also given to me once we returned home was a Red Ryder BB gun, just like Ralphie's from A Christmas Story.

So, that's it for now.  Besides all this stuff, we're painting (just primer, really) still unpacking stuff, and I'm casting on projects like a maniac.  Why? Because I keep forgetting about the 32 I've already got going!

Have a great week and Happy Crafting!