Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My life is moving forward at an alarming rate.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already past the 4th of July holiday and are steadily moving towards August. Good thing that despite my lack of posts I have been making progress.

Knitting: I finally finished Todd’s hat!!! Yay!!! I’ll have a Finished Object Post about it this weekend. I’ve cast on for another one of the Yarn Harlot’s Unoriginal Hats, but I haven’t gotten past the cast on yet. It’s been sooooo hot and humid here that I just haven’t wanted to get out the wool. I’ve got other things to work on anyway.

Sewing: I have not touched my sewing machine of late, but that’s going to change in a few minutes. I’m planning tonight to finish the curtain I started, hem the other curtains I bought, and hem the piece of fabric I am using as a backdrop in my knitting photos.Or maybe not. I just realized it's 8:30... crap. Oh well, maybe this weekend.

Photography: I've been messing around with my 60mm Macro lens and have been getting a better understanding of exposure. I'm just the kind of person that can read about it all day long, but it doesn't really make sense until I actually do it several times. I'm thinking that I might anoint a Saturday as "Photography Day" and everything I do try to take a good photo of whatever it is I'm doing... like laundry, yard work, or cycling.

Bicycling: We took this week off due to the excessive heat, we're expecting record temperatures in the Detroit area, potentially over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Blah. Thank goodness for central A/C!!! We will pick back up next week, and maybe have another 50 mile week now that Mr. TEK is done with classes for the semester.

Cooking: Thanks to the heat and our outside project (more about that in the next paragraph) I have been cooking the bare minimum to keep us fed. It's not good by any stretch, and it certainly doesn't help that I'm in a bit of a slump. After about a year of no eggs, no beef, no pork, or no dairy you tend to run out of ideas. I'm totally craving some home made stuffed shells pasta with 4 cheeses and italian sausage. yyyyyuuummmm...

Outside Project: The Patio. The concrete is in, the fence is up, the plants are in place. We still have a small pile of topsoil to disperse around the yard. I am so sick of yard work though! It is certainly worth it, as I love our "Beer Fridays" where we sit on the patio and have a beer and either chat or read or I knit.

I had an awesome thing happen to me last week.... I got a great haircut! I'll write a full post about that too.

(Mr. TEK might not be able to have butter, but Duke doesn't mind having his portion!)

Duke ate some butter... I have proof

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday night already

What a weekend!

Knitting: Finished the knitting on Todd's hat. I wanted to get it done before the weekend so I could spend some time planning my next project and organizing my yarn stash so I could hopefully knit it without buying more yarn. I managed to get organized, but the stash isn't looking good for what I'm planning. I need to finish weaving in the ends on the hat, and then I'll post some ideas for the next project.
Here's the hat:

Todds Hat- PreBlock

Here is the inside:

Todds Hat- PreBlock

Photography: I'm getting better with the camera, I think, at least for these kinds of still-life shots. I really need some work in post processing, but it's hard to know what to learn when you don't really see what needs to be done. I tried taking a shot for this weeks Digital Photography School contest- the theme is "Independence". I was going to take a photo of my belly. Why my belly? Well, being able to pick and choose my childbearing gives me independence. It did not go well. Thankfully, the camera did not break.

Food: I just don't want to cook when it is so hot out! Must plan something new for next week!

Sewing: um. yeah. nope.

Biking: Now this is where the progress was made. Last week was a 30 mile week. We were just 5 miles short of our goal for the week, but we can make it up this week. We've already got 16 miles for this week, and we need to reach 35. It looks like we will be able to ride 10 miles on Tuesday, 10 on Thursday, and hopefully another 10 on Friday. Saturday we will be busy with yard work, putting up some fencing to give our patio some privacy.

Duke has been quite the jerk lately. I'm not sure if I am concerned or not.

Photograph 449

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cascade 200: What can’t it do?

My FAVORITE yarn is Cascade 220. Let me count the ways:
  1. Yardage- 220 yards is awesome. I  hate joining new yarn!
  2. Fiber- I love plain wool. I can’t do brown sheep yarn because of the mohair/angora fuzziness.
  3. It felts- I can do the felted join when I do have to join a new skein and that makes me happy.
  4. It’s smooth- you get great stitch definition.
  5. Color choices- Is there a color that it doesn’t come in? And with heathers, quattros, hand-paints, and solids, there is something for everyone and every project.
  6. It’s inexpensive- under $10 a skein, that’s, like, 4 cents a yard! ($10/220)
  7. Quick knits- it’s a worsted and I usually use US8 needles with it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Weekend Wrap-Up

I love a summer long weekend, especially now that our patio has been completed and is set up with seating. We were pretty busy all weekend, but I had some time to do some “me” stuff. Did I work on all the crafting projects I wanted to? No, not really. But the housework was caught-up, yard work too. Here’s my recap:

Friday: 10 mile bike ride at Sterling State Park, then a trip to Lowe’s to see about getting the fencing to provide some privacy to our new outdoor space. We ended the evening with a couple of beers on the patio. (Bell’s Oberon and Paulaner Hefe-weizen)

Saturday: We started early with 15 miles on the bikes, then did a bunch of hard-labor yard work. We needed to fill in around the new cement, and prep the center area for landscaping; using the dirt they had taken out of the area- which was littered with sod, rocks, and plant roots. It was not easy, and we had to take several breaks, lest we get heatstroke. No heatstroke, but I tweaked my lower back. It’s still a little sore, so I’ve been taking it easy. The rest of the day was housework galore, but it got done. That’s all that really matters to me!

Sunday: I had a nice coupon in addition to the mega-sale going on at the Banana Republic Outlet, so I picked up my sister-in-law and we went shopping. The mall is over an hour away from where we live, so it was an all-day shopping trip. We both needed work clothes, so we stocked up at Banana Republic, and then I stocked up some more at the Ann Taylor Outlet Store. It was definitely worth the drive. In the evening I started the Black Forest Cupcakes again for the 4th of July party at my Grandma’s house on Monday.

Monday: Work holidays can’t really be bad, can they? Mine started with a cup of tea and my knitting out on the patio. I got to the point of decreasing on Todd’s hat, however when I looked at it, I didn’t start my decreases soon enough (le sigh). Before I could properly deal with that, there was housework to do, video games to play, and cupcakes to finish, and a party to attend! I had purchased the supplies to make this paper plate tiered dessert plate thingie, but I don’t own a hot glue gun, so I couldn’t make it before the party. But my Grandma has one- so I was able to throw two together with my cousin, Nicole. I did not have the presence of mind to take pictures, but it was super easy and looked super cute, so I’m sure I’ll make more. The party was fun and the cupcakes were delicious.

When I got home, I frogged several inches from the hat, and got the live stitches picked up onto a combination of thread and circular needles. I absolutely intend to finish the hat this weekend.Since I demolished any progress I had made on the hat, I did not take any pictures. That’s something else I have to get better about. I’m working on it though! 

Duke 11
Old photo of Duke "helping" me knit. He's keeping my pattern from floating away!

Friday, July 1, 2011

There's Nothing Like a Long Weekend

It's been a pretty crazy week for me leading into what is going to be a crazy weekend, but good things did happen. We now have a patio on the side of our house! Hooray for outdoor spaces! And just in time for 4th of July.

Unfortunately, due to the pouring of concrete, and the preparations for the great yard work weekend from hell, I did not do much with my hobbies. I'm hoping that despite all of the work that Mr. TEK has planned I'll be able to do some baking for a 4th of July party, finish Todd's hat, and maybe do a tiny bit of sewing I have piling up.

The sewing is nothing fancy or special, just repairing a couple of pairs of pants, but it's something.

There is nothing like writing a blog post from your backyard on a beautiful day, unless concrete sealant fumes drive you back inside.