Has it really been a year?

Wow!  It’s hard to imagine that it’s been almost a year since my last post!  And especially incredible to think about everything that I’ve done over the last year!  The cliff notes version is that I moved so that my 45 minute commute to work became a 5 minute commute, broke up with Justin, had an epic summer which included seeing a Beyonce concert (yes, I totally fan-girled the whole show, I LOVE Beyonce!) and a trip to the motherland, and even survived my first semester of graduate school.  Phew.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

I’ve always tried to set goals for myself about content and how often I’m posting.  While helpful in past years, I find that I was getting a little overwhelmed when I was thinking about the blog in the past months.  I feel guilty not writing more (partly because I love writing and it’s helpful to remember how it feels writing for pleasure and not for work or school), but for those of you who are on instagram and curious about my crafty adventures, be sure to check out my profile there, I’m @fsujoha.  Working on my Master’s in Social Work I come across a lot of journals and articles I find interesting, which I think I am going to start to share here more often, so that we can have a dialogue about social justice issues and what we as citizens can do about it.

But for now, here are some photos of my favorite knitting projects lately.  Between work and school I don’t have much time to play with yarn these days, but I suppose that means whatever I’m making I really really love.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

Love and the Next Step Sock Knitalong

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Hello everyone! And a very Happy Valentines Day to all of you! I never have been one to really get into the Valentines Day spirit, but I think the older I get I really enjoy the idea of celebrating those around me. Valentines day to me isn’t all about having a man love me and buying a card, it’s a chance to step back and say to friends and family just how special they are to me. Not to mention I love all of the kitschy decorations I get to put everywhere around the house and office.

So my socks have really been coming along the last few weeks. That is until Blizzard Nemo (since when do we name blizzards and winter storms? I still don’t think I can get used to that) left me house-bound for a few days and I for some reason felt motivated to make progress on my Fiddlehead Mittens instead of working on the socks. I’ve so far finished the left sock for both me and Justin, and gotten started on the right sock for Justin. He’s not too happy that I was distracted from finishing his socks (but when the mood strikes, you just have to knit what’s calling to you, am I right?), but this weekend will be my chance to get the second one done. Here’s the progress so far.

Sock progress so far

Sock progress so far

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I know these sheep are 🙂

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

On my needles & hook this week…

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Hi Everyone! Sorry for missing WIP Wednesday AND FO Friday last week… things got a little hectic and my week got away from me really quickly! Especially with the blizzard that hit us over the weekend in New England, which gave me lots of good time to knit 🙂 We ended up getting about 2 feet of new snow in about 24 hours, and all of the snow made me feel like I was a kid in Michigan again. Growing up near Lake Michigan we used to get tons of lake effect snow all the time. Here’s a little glimpse at my weekend.

The 'calm' before the storm

The ‘calm’ before the storm

That's my poor car buried under all of that snow.

That’s my poor car buried under all of that snow.

Needless to say, all of that snow gave me a great chance to get some knitting done. If you remember my Fiddlehead Mittens from the last WIP Wednesday, you’ll know that I only had one completed. Not the case any more! I was able to get the entire second mitten finished and even get started on the lining. I know it’s hard to tell in the picture, but all of this alpaca is so amazingly soft! I have a feeling these mittens will feel like I’m wearing a cloud!
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As part of one of my favorite facebook groups full of knitters and crocheters, I’ve recently joined a ‘littles’ swap. 12 people all across the US and UK have signed up to make knit or crochet motifs no larger than 1.5 inches to send to each other. Mine have started coming in and they are so cool! I’m thinking about putting them in a pretty bowl on my desk at work so I have something pretty when I need to fidget. I finally have gotten around to making mine in hopes of getting them in the mail on Friday — I’ve decided to go with a theme of upcoming holidays making shamrocks from Sarahndipities, and easter eggs from Fiber Flux. If you’re looking for cute little crochet projects be sure to check out both blogs, I’m thinking I’m going to make extra for me and make bunting, since anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of country kitch decor. Here’s what I’ve got so far on my littles, 5 down, 17 to go!

My collection of littles so far

My collection of littles so far


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Thanks for checking by to see what’s on my needles & hook this week. Be sure to click on the WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along links the top to see what others are knitting and crocheting this week. Happy Knitting!
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Happy FO Friday!

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Happy Friday, everyone! I can’t believe it’s finally Friday, and February 1 at that. Between some personal issues like my car being in the shop for 3 weeks and Justin and I both getting sick, we both are ready to turn the calendar and see what February has to offer.

I’m taking College Algebra at the local community college this semester to help brush up on my math skills as I prepare to take the GRE this spring. My undergrad GPA isn’t as high as I’d like, it’s a 2.98, so I need a killer GRE score to get into my grad schools of choice and have any prayer at financial aid. Let’s hope all this studying is going to be worth it, the 2+ hours of math homework and studying a night are getting tiring, and we’re only 2 weeks into the semester.

But to help keep me sane between my crazy job and class I knit. Big surprise, I know. So let me introduce you to a new series for the blog, in the tune of ‘WIP Wednesdays‘ I’ll be posting ‘FO Fridays’ (which is Finished Object Fridays, for those of you knew to knitter-speak). This is my chance to show off projects that I actually manage to finish and either wear or gift.

This week’s project is a favorite for many reasons. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I was able to travel to Germany this spring through the Rotary Group Study Exchange Program. That in and of itself was an amazing experience. Being the yarn nerd I am, rather than buying souvenirs in each city, I bought yarn that I would take home and use to make projects for me. In Norderney I picked up a ball of a very vivid and bright sock yarn, Schopple Woole’s Crazy Zauberball in Indisch Rosa, which is a funky pink/purple/red combo of self striping yarn. While I had initially intended that yarn for socks, through the wonder that is the Instagram knitting and crochet community I joined a knit-a-long in January dedicated to the 22.5 Shawl by Martina Behm. I knew right away this yarn needed to be a shawl so it wasn’t hidden under pants and in shoes. And the designer of this shawl is German, so I felt it was a perfect match. Here is my 22.5 Shawl, which I’ve affectionately nick-named my Norderney Shawl.

The beginnings of my Norderney Shawl

The beginnings of my Norderney Shawl


Making progress!

Making progress!

My finished shawl!

My finished shawl!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work. Be sure to click on the FO Friday photo at the top of the page to check out Tami and the others participating in FO Friday.

Happy Knitting! knit.gif.pagespeed.ce.LRMYtQ35pD

Knit-A-Long frenzy

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My how the time certainly does fly.  It’s hard to imagine that we’re almost finished with January, 2013 already!  I feel like I blinked last summer and woke up 6 months later.

Since my announcement back in October that I wanted to have this blog take a turn for the crafty, I’ve been doing lots of knitting. And then I knit some more. 🙂

Through the smart-phone social networking wonder that is Instagram I have come across the most wonderful group of folks who love to knit, crochet, and spin even more than I do! Hard to imagine, I know. I’ve been so inspired by all the wonderful projects and colors, it was just what I needed to get my behind in gear! {now I just need to make my blog schedule and stick to it!} As part of this community I’ve been able to join a few Knit-A-Long projects, or KAL’s as they’re called in the knitting world.

The most recent is hosted by Sarah, the clever mind behind Crafts from the Cwtch. This project is called the “Next Step Sock” knit a long (or #NSSkal for all of you instagram junkies like myself), the idea being that everyone has either knitted, or wants to knit socks. Rather than everyone knitting the same pattern, as is the usual format for a KAL, everyone is knitting socks that challenge their current level. Some people are making their first ever socks in basic pattern to learn new techniques like gussets and turning heels, some people are making the most beautifully intricate color-work socks, and everything in between.

Because I’m taking 7 credits this semester and working full time (I’m crazy, I know), I decided to do a basic sock with a twist. I’ve made several pair of socks before, all in the standard top-down construction with little to no flair, besides the awesome color changes that happen in variegated sock yarn, so Socks on a Plane was the perfect pattern for me. It uses a toe-up construction and has a simple cable up the side. Just enough to learn something new and yet not be overwhelming. Justin has been working in one of the schools as a paraprofessional, so these are going to be his ‘congrats on the new gig’ socks. Here’s my progress so far: (sorry the cable is hard to see, I’m still trying to figure out how best to photograph dark yarn)
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For those of you out there interested in joining in on the fun, do it! You’ll be glad you did (and if you live somewhere cold your toes will thank you)! You can join our Ravelry group for lots of tips and pointers, and if you’re on Instagram be sure to tag your photos #NSSkal.

Happy Knitting! 🙂

Hallo von Deutschland!

Well, I can not begin to try and explain my long absence from my blog other than the fact that life has been super super busy the past year.  As a matter-of-fact, I’m not even writing this from the US, I’m in Germany!  I am here as a part of a program called . This is a program of the Rotary Foundation that allows folks young in their careers to travel to another country and learn about their profession there. Pretty incredible, if you ask me! We arrived in Germany Sunday around noon, and so far everything has been really amazing! Granted, with this being my first time outside of the United States besides driving through Canada to visit with mom and dad in Michigan I kind of expected everything to make me excited:). Before you ask, nein, meine Deutsch ist nicht serh gut (aka my German is not very good… I can ask for the bathroom and beer, though, so what more does a girl need?).

So far each day truly has been an adventure in its own right. Sunday was a very peaceful and relaxing day, considering the very long flight we had the day before. For someone not used to flying, like myself, the travel from Manchester to Philly to Munich to Bremen was quite the trek. I’m traveling with 4 others from the USA, so that was nice to not make such a long flight alone. We arrived to a rather regal reception (in a good and special way), with our host families and several other key Rotarians from the district meeting us and taking us for kaffee in the airport. Then it was off to our host homes to get to know the families and become oriented with the city. Both lunch and supper consisted of asparagus, which for me was fun because that is a staple food for this time of year in Oceana County, where I was born and raised. Although, here the asparagus is white and at home it is green (white is grown without any sunlight). Nevertheless, my first German meals were delicious 🙂 After lunch I went for a bicycle ride with my host family, which was so very incredible. Here in Oldenberg everyone, and I mean EVERYONE rides bikes. I’ve never dreamed of a more eco-friendly community, people even stop their cars when the gate for the train is down! Something no one in the US I think would ever abide to! But I digress. The first stop on our bikes was I think my favorite, we saw the sheep on the dyke.

Sheep on the Dyke

These were even Suffolk sheep like I used to raise growing up in Michigan! I also got to see my first public display of which to me was so very cool! I’ve loved to knit and crochet for a very long time and started to become interested in this idea of knitting as street art. Check it out! My first spotting of yarn bombing! The artist's 'tag'

Needless to say, I’ve been having an incredible time and am now off to visit an after school program! Right up my alley! Tschüss for now, and more of our adventure to come soon! 🙂