Happy Easter

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter! I’ve been prepping for guests and a cookout this evening. Already have the pie done! Miss Annabelle is dressed for the occasion.

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Spent some time at the beginning of the weekend dyeing more yarn. I typically just dye yarn once a month, using the monthly theme of the Kool Way To Dye group on Ravelry. This months theme was Easter Egg colors, as in the kits you buy for Easter Eggs. I dyed my eggs then used the leftover dye for the yarn. I used a kettle dyeing type method. Put the yarn in a pot on low. Added each left over color, one at a time moving the yarn and dye a bit to blend instead of getting vivid color separation. There’s a lot of different colors but the blue and purple were mostly dominant. I’m not complaining though because I love the end result!
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Something To Aspire To

Something to aspire to.Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make bu can admire the result of those that have.

Ok, I know I’m behind.  You really don’t need to remind me!  But I had a pretty darn busy weekend and just didn’t have blogging time.  I had a surprise baby shower to pull off on Saturday and I had some sun and a BBQ to enjoy on Sunday!  And yesterday I was just too busy trying to finish my shawl (which didn’t quite happen).  So back to Knit Crochet Blog Week even if it is a little bit late!

I bought a kit from Knit Picks 2 Christmas’s ago that I haven’t touched.  The kit is The Modern Classic Christmas Stockings Kit in the blue and white colors. I bought it after I was just knitting a bit but decided I wanted to knit a stocking!  The fact that is was color work didn’t scare me.  But now, it seems to.  I’ve only done two colorwork projects and they were both relatively small.  Nothing this complicated.  I really need to get over the intimidation that this pattern causes and just cast the darn things on.  And I should probably do it soon so my husband and I can actually have stockings for the next Christmas.  We have dollar store stockings.  And he has his old family stocking.  In my family though, everyone has matching stockings.  That’s what I want for my family too.  My hubs and I should have these stockings, and I’ll hold onto the pattern so I can knit the same for our kids!  It’s the beginning of a tradition, that hasn’t started yet!  I’ve made baby steps though. It is in my bin for my Knit The Queue project for the year!!

Hope You Had A…

 

My husband and I didn’t go to a party and celebrate this year.  He had to work this morning once again, even though a majority of the companies here on post had today off.  Oh well, it’s nothing we aren’t used to.  I did however try to cook for the day.  I made Guinness Corned Beef and Potatoes.  The reviews for the recipe are great.  With that said, this was the very first time I have ever cooked corned beef.  Maybe I shouldn’t take initiative and do my own thing when I’m making something for the very first time.  I thought I could cook the whole thing in the crock pot on low all day.  And I mean ALL DAY – a good 9 hours on low.  But it didn’t work too well, and I didn’t think the meat was cooked just right. I also discovered I really don’t like the after taste from the Guinness.  Needless to say, the hubs still loved it.  So at least he was pleased!  He was also happy to have some Guinness left over so he could make his very Irish Black & Tans (seen in the picture above).

Onto FO Friday.  I don’t really have much to share, but I suppose not having much is more than having nothing like most other weeks!  I finished the Pacifier Clip.  I have more plans to make some things to match the pacifier clip but they are non-knitting related.  I’ll share when the whole gift is complete though!

Another New Year

Another New Year, which of course means a new year of resolutions.  When I was thinking about what my resolutions would be for the year, I got to thinking about last years.  I didn’t even remember what they were.  Luckily, I posted them on my blog (the old one) and was able to refer back to them.  I think the fact that this was the first time in a year I had looked at the list is a bit of a prediction on whether I have reached them or not.  Here’s the old resolutions:

1. Work out 4 times a week (even when I get busy!) I’ve done pretty well with this, but the sad thing is it really took me most of the year to get into this habit.    I wasn’t really working out at all when I set this goal, and now I work out at least twice a week, if I’m busy.  Usually more, and sometimes even more than 4 times!  That doesn’t happen too often though!
2. Lose 35 lbs (already 10 lbs there) Truthfully I have no idea what weight I was actually at when I posted this, but I’m pretty positive that I haven’t reached it.
3. Read at least one book a month. I don’t think I was even close, but I must say I have to find a better way of keeping track of the books I have read.  I don’t really know when I’ve read what I did, and I think I’m going to look at some websites to see if there is a good site to do this with.  Any suggestions??
4. Stay in touch with friends back home. I’ve done better.  I must say there are certain people I wish I talked to more, but there are some people I have done pretty well with.  I’m just not a phone person, and being here in Germany it seems like all the pressure is on me to call people.  I don’t like that.
5. Blog at least once a week. YES!  Finally a goal I reached!  There may have been times I didn’t do to well because I got busy, but I blog much more than I did a year ago!  It seems that I have more of a passion for it, and blogging has really become an outlet for me, creative and otherwise.

Those were last years, and thinking about this years I really cannot stop thinking about the fact that I never referred back to my resolutions.  It makes me wonder it would be more reasonable to set a monthly goal.  Personally, I’d like to try this.  So this year my New Years Resolution will be to make a monthly resolution and follow through.  I think making less each month will also help, since there is less to work on.

January Goals:

1.  I’d like to make a regular cleaning schedule.  I’m home all day and I have no excuse to have a mess anywhere really.  But I go by “what I feel like doing” instead of what should be done.  I think if I created a schedule and clean a certain room a day, our house would look much better.

2.  I want to stick to my workout schedule.  I’ve started using the EA Active 2 for the Wii.  I finally got it as a birthday present from my amazing husband.  Although I love using it, I haven’t been able to stick to the schedule the game sets for me, but I would like to get in the habit of doing so.

I think both of these goals are achievable in a month.  I’ll keep you posted to see how well they go.  Anyone interested in joining me with a monthly goal?  We could even create a meme, and a Mr. Linky for it.  Let me know if you are interested and I’ll get one up if I get enough people!

Quick Fix Decorations

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with all the decorations I put up.  I feel like I’m the only one who seems to appreciate them, yet I still continue up until Christmas Day.  We didn’t have a big party, or a fancy dinner that required the need of a dining room table center piece, yet I was creating one on Christmas Eve.  I’ve decided though, that it’s not just for me.  If our house was barren of Christmas decorations then the snow and gifts would not really make it feel like Christmas.  It’s not that I or anyone else really needs the decorations.  We would have a perfectly humble and enjoyable holiday without, but when you have them and can decorate your home it just creates a sense of coziness.  To me it makes the season.   After realizing this, I decided it was ok to do more, even though it was already Christmas.  Even if it really was just for me!

With that said, I want to share with you two unbelievably easy tweaks I did on some not so perfect decorations, to create a wonderful center piece.  I’m actually wishing I had had a nice big dinner and some guests to enjoy it.  I would however prefer family right now, but that just wasn’t possible being in Germany.  I figured I’d still share even though Christmas Day has passed, because I am still celebrating the Christmas Season.  12 Days of Christmas right?  I’ll still be listening to Christmas music, and I’m sure many of you are still having Christmas parties and enjoying the season as well.

I’ll start with a decorative vase I was given on my birthday.  It was given to me by someone who was invited over for the birthday celebration just several hours earlier.  Which leads me to believe it was a quick, put-together, what do we have around the house type gift.  Don’t get me wrong- I am very grateful that they even came to celebrate my birthday and was not expecting any gifts at all, so the large vase was very much appreciated!  It, however was not quite my style.  There were these twigs set up in it, that I really felt were not quite right for me.

But I made a quick fix! I just replaced the twigs with some green and red glass ornaments, finagled a little with the bow and viola!  Although I would prefer a different bow, I didn’t have the time to go out and buy one.  Even without though, it is perfect for the season!  Now my Aunt also sent me some gift garland.  I don’t know.  I just don’t love them.  And with the cats I have, I don’t know if I would trust having it on my wall.  Plus, just by taking them out of the box we had these big pieces of glitter all over our new couch and I didn’t really enjoy the clean-up process of that.

But I used these to make a quick fix too!  Coincidentally my mother sent me a package that I received the same day, which had a cute little sleigh in it. I cut some of these little presents off the garland and arranged them into the sleigh.  I’ve thought about gluing them, but I figured that if I don’t I can add things I find in years to come, and rearrange how they look.  I’m very happy with the results of these little improvements I have made.  I hope it inspires you to take another look at things that you don’t love, and figure out what you can do with them to make them into something that puts a smile on your face.  Here’s my finished center piece and I must say I am still smiling.  Not to mention it took longer to post about this process than it actually took to put it all together!  Hope everyone had a safe, warm and merry Christmas!

An FO Christmas Eve

I worked on one project this week and finished it.  I talked about the knitting monogamy I’ve been practicing in my last post.  I’ve cast on for my new sweater, and although I feel more accomplished when only knitting one thing I’ve discovered that I need to work on more than one thing when one requires so much mental work.  I need a simple, no thinking project to work on.  But I’ll talk more about it next week.  Right now I just want to share my finished Starry Night Hat and wish all my readers a Very Merry Christmas!!  I’m very happy with the way the hat turned out, but wish it would look a bit better on my head.  See you after the holiday!

Christmas Card Swap

Sorry, I missed WIPW yesterday.  Didn’t have all too much to share.  Spent yesterday making swatches and trying to get gauge for my Amused sweater.  Then I got as far as casting on.  Hoping to get more done today.

A few months ago I signed up for a Christmas Card Swap over at Useless Beauty Designs.  It was a nice small swap, just make one card and send it to the address assigned.  I made a card at the beginning of the month and sent it out just a week or so ago.  My recipient has gotten her card in the mail and will be blogging about it at some point today on her blog, knitterofhats speaks.  I really can’t wait to read her blog post to see how she liked it! I also received a card in the mail a day or two ago.  I have to say, I believe that this card is the card from the swap since I don’t recognized the name.  But it did take me a while to figure it out.  You would think that I would know a handmade card when I see one, but the fact that I couldn’t tell, should tell you what an excellent job Eileen did on her card.  Unfortunately, I don’t know anymore than her real name!  No Ravelry ID, no blog name.  So once I can find out more, I will link to her blog!