Miss Socks-A-Lot

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That’s right folks, it’s time for my weekly knit-a-long update! You can just call me Miss Socks-A-Lot since that seems to be all that’s on my brain lately. Sure I’ve got a whole slew of projects laying around the apartment on needles, but the cold weather has made me want enough hand-made socks to have cozy toes every day of the week. As you saw in last week’s post, I decided to make socks for Justin as I take part in the knit-a-long being hosted by Sarah at Crafts from the Cwtch. As of Saturday night I’d turned the heel on the first sock.

... and we have a heel!

… and we have a heel!

So of course I continued to knit like a crazy woman and finished the first sock before going to bed on Saturday.

When I woke up on Sunday I decided to start a pair of socks for me, in order to help avoid the dreaded second-sock syndrome (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to keep from feeling guilty :)) Last week when I was at one of my favorite yarn shops, The Yarn Seller, where I was lucky enough to find a crazy zauberball to finish Friday’s featured shawl, I decided to pick up a pair of Addi Turbo knitting needles. As I mentioned last week, trying to knit toe-up on the double pointed needles was more than a pain, so I thought this was my perfect opportunity to try out some needles I’ve always wanted and give the magic loop technique a try.

For those who have only dreamed of the addi turbos like myself, let me tell you, these were magical! Other than my hand getting a little sore (I’ve pretty much knit only on bamboo needles for at least the last 5 years) these were incredible! I’m not sure if it was the needles or magic loop or some combination of the two, but these are the fastest socks I’ve ever made! I cast on in the morning and before bed had turned the heel! I still kind of can’t believe it. But here it is folks, my first magic loop sock.

The funky toe (increases only on one side)

The funky toe (increases only on one side)

The yarn goes so well with my purple leggings!

The yarn goes so well with my purple leggings!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work, and be sure to click on the picture at the top to see how Sarah and the rest of the KAL crew are coming on their socks.

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

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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

Welcome to WIP Wednesday

Two posts in the same week (let alone consecutive days)… I can’t believe it! One of my crafty goals for 2013 was to be better about documenting my craft-ventures on my blog. So be ready for lots of ‘WIP Wednesday’ and ‘FO Friday’ posts.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with knitter-speak, WIP is ‘Work-In-Progress’ and ‘FO is Finished Object’. So no, I’m not actually breaking out a whip on Wednesdays and I didn’t mean to type UFO Fridays (though some in the crafty-universe call their wip’s UFO’s, aka unfinished objects. For the sake of the blog I go with WIP since last i checked there isn’t a day that starts with ‘U.’ Confusing, I know. You’ll get the hang of it, I promise.)

Recently Danielle from A Stashed Addict posted on her facebook asking how many wips people have laying around. That got me thinking, just how many projects do I have on needles and hooks laying around the house. After some digging I’ve discovered 2 crochet projects and 4 knitting projects on needles and hooks around the house (I think there may be 2-3 more in the storage unit too!). So over the upcoming weeks I’ll be highlighting my work in the ‘WIP Wednesday’ feature.

Up this week is my current favorite WIP, my Fiddlehead Mittens. With some inspiration through the class at my favorite lys (that’s knitter-speak for local yarn shop) Knitwit Yarn Shop in Portland, ME, I decided to jump into more detailed color work and give these mittens a go.
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I’m using Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Couscous for the main color, Malabrigo Rios in Aguas for the coordinating color, and Suibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK in Suit for the lining. With the alpaca and merino wools these bad boys feel like a cloud, they’re so soft!

At time of publication I’ve got one shell totally done, and the second one just barely started. I think these should be done in the next few weeks, just in time for those late-winter New England cold snaps.

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Thanks for stopping by, and 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! 🙂

Welcome to fall… aka time to get crafty!

Wow, it’s really incredible just how fast time can fly by. Living on the beach was awesome this summer, lots of time in the sun and sand forgetting all about technology. The after school program I run started a few weeks ago and wow, what a year it’s going to be. In 4 program sessions we’ve seen 276 different students! Last school year it took us 5 months to see that many kids! Lots of exciting things happening there and our website/blog will be live soon for you to learn about what exactly it is I do when I’m not knitting. Now that it’s no longer beach weather I’ve been spending my weekends getting crafty, learning new skills like fair isle knitting and getting started on Christmas gifts for the family. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been working on… enjoy!

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Confessions of a Craftaholic

Hi everyone. I’m back stateside and finally getting caught up on life after my 6 week adventure in Deutschland. For a while I thought about shutting down the page, but I realized that I do have a lot of fun writing from time to time (it’s nice to write for pleasure instead of all grants all the time!) and my blog is a good way for me to share what I love with those who may not be on my facebook or twitter. So as many of you know, I LOVE to craft. I learned how to sew when I little and have been knitting and crocheting TONS the last few years. So I’m thinking this blog might be a good way for me to keep up with my writing for fun while sharing my crafty adventures. What do you think?

So to kick things off, I’m going to be working on a Granny Christmas tree skirt. That’s right, I’m crocheting a tree skirt in August! My fellow crafters would agree that it’s never too early to start on holiday projects! It’s a pretty awesome pattern from that looks easy enough for my intermediate crochet skills. Not to mention that I’m hooked on granny squares, and it’s just simply beautiful! Anyone out there want to craft along with me? I’m planning on picking up my yarn tonight, so be on the look out for picture soon!

Here’s a new favorite song of mine that I discovered on my trip to Germany, happy almost weekend!

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! 🙂