Friday, February 26, 2016

FO from another place sweater for Great Northern KAL

How the heck did I finish a sweater in 10 days?! This is unheard of for me. I worked on this relentless because I'm a crazy person and had this nagging voice in my head saying "you are not going to finish, pick up the pace! You can't make a sweater in 6 weeks." Take that voice of unreason! In true me form I said "oh yeah, I'll show you!" Because I'm a stubborn child. And here we are.

Great Northern KAL

It felt really good to take some time and do something for me. Yes, I knit regularly, but it's always for someone else, which I love to do but doing something that's purely selfish feels pretty darn good sometimes. Almost like a vacation. I definitely skirted my responsibilities and knit while the kids did quiet things breaking my own rules.Tough cookies children!

I really enjoyed every part of this sweater, the directions were simple and straightforward. I had to bug Someone for the third page update. I feel really bad for being a pain whilst they were sick. Sorry lady!

From Another Place Sweater

I used a around 850-900 yards, I frankensteined one skein around all the color work and collar. That one skein was both significantly darker and lights than the others. Had I known that I would have ended up with a whole extra skein I wouldn't have bothered, but I couldn't have possibly known that. I used size 7s for the body and 4s for the ribbing. Some of the ladies in the KAL had problems with their cropped version during blocking, I was extra careful while it was wet to keep it from getting all wonky.

Thanks Scribs for taking pictures and chopping my head off in most of them. I hope you enjoy the awkward poses.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 garden plans

garden planning

This winter can end any time now. It wasn't particularly cold, we did have a few sprinkles of snow. The rain and the floods, Ugh! We had another tiny flood, just in the low spots. Someone told me that this winter we had over 2 feet of rain. That is a whole lot of rain!
I don't know what it is about this year (well ok, I do) but I am exhausted and ready for the sun to be out before 7 am. I'm starting to think about hibernating next year. Bears are onto something! Any chance I get, I've been doing small bits of work in the garden, but it really needs to dry out before I can really get working.

Our bulbs have been coming up since December, and are ready to bloom! The neighbors already have flowers. The time has come to start planning and working out what we're going to do for our garden this year. I've already started pulling up what ever is left. There is already some slugs that will be to be taken care of. I have a nice pile of compost ready to be spread. I'm guessing I'll need a few yards for top soil and manure.

I put the green house up on the deck this year, that thing is on it's last leg. It's filthy but it's doing it's job. It's 55 degrees outside and 82 degrees in the greenhouse. Thanks person who gave that to us!

In case you forgot, our garden is 60'X40', last year was our first year planting. First things first, we need to pull everything and get the add-ins in. Compost and manure. We will have our rows running north-south, not that I think it'll make much of a difference. I'm hoping for 8 to 10 rows this year, last year we had dozen or so running east-west. Each row will have weed barrier fabric around the plants and a nice thick layer of straw between the rows. Weed control is going to be top priority as last year it was out of control.

Next up is a chicken fence, the chickens discovered late in the season that the garden was full of delicious treats. Not this year, they can have the bugs. Realistically I'll end up going with just chicken wire and upgrading to something nice in a few years.

Up next, watering. Last year was dry, we went months without rain. We're putting in drip irrigation to minimize the water loss and get the most bang for our water-buck. We'll be putting gutters on the barn and getting a few rain barrels for the fall and winter. It seems silly not to collect the rain.

I'm going to try and get the kids to start some seeds with me in the next 2 weeks. It's tough to get them interested, it takes a long time to get things growing and they lose interest.

Coming soon will be selecting our plants and planning our rows.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nature baby's room redo painting

I painted the ceiling a few days before Christmas, I did the pitched parts and the flat part. Technical terms, I know! It went surprisingly quickly, about an hour from start to finish and I did 2 coats. Then the sun hit it a few days later, out came the 3rd coat. The third coat was tricky to see where I had already painted and what needed a once-over. I supposed that's why tinted ceiling paints was invented.


As I painted the samples on the walls, I knew right away which one it would be. Galaxy purple, girly but subtle. I wanted her room to be calm and bright. The walls were easily covered, well as easily as textured walls can cover. The person who thought texture walls are a good idea is the devil. THE DEVIL! 2 coats and the walls were done. I'll be doing small touch ups for a long time, textured walls being the devil and all.

Valspar Ultrawhite

For the ceiling I used Valspar Ultrawhite, it's the same white I used in the living room and the same I will use for every ceiling in the house.
On the walls is Sherwin-Williams Galaxy Purple.

Valspar Ultrawhite

What do you think? I'm inclined that say that it's a huge improvement. Her room is now bright and girly, there is a clear difference between the walls and ceiling but it's subtle, definitely a color that she can live with for many years. By the time Nature Baby wants to new color I should forget how much of a pain it is to paint textured walls.

This will be my last painting project until help arrives, I just can't get enough done during nap time. I still need to paint the trim and the doors, the doors are bad! There is pain drips, scratches and dents. That'll be a project. And ALL the hinges are painted. Why! Can someone explain that one to me, please? I haven't decided if I will strip them or just buy new ones.

Valspar ultawhite

Now is the fun part, decorating! I'm not going to spend a ton but I did already by this little turquoise bench, I love it! It's the perfect height for her to put her books in and put some things on top. I have a few DIYs to do, and I'll be posting about them too! The only thing I've put back on the walls is her little elephant bunting, that was mine when I was a kid, hung in a very similar spot in my room for years.

What do you think?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Finished! Denali Sweater!

Here it is! It's finished! My Denali Sweater by Brooklyn Tweed out in the wild surrounded by feral children, beautiful snow capped mountains and a dormant berry field. Such a terrible back drop, let me tell you!

This sweater has been out and about a few times. Scribs wore it to work and no one believed I had made it. So there's that. I asked Scribs for comment his response "It's great!" Well ok then. 

This has been finished for a while, but it has been so rainy (and flooded) we couldn't get out to get a good photo until a few days ago. 60 degrees, not a cloud in the sky! 

Overall, I'd say I'm about 90% happy with the finished product. I should have made the ribbing and sleeves smaller, and I'm not crazy about the saddle at the shoulders. But when it's all said and done, I'm not complaining. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Gosling, size 6 for the body and 5s for the ribs. Next time I'd use 4 or smaller and probably add some stitches for the ribbing. 

I honestly can't believe that it's finished. I feel like I was working on it forever!

Interested in how this all came together? Here's all my wips! (1, 2, 3, & 4)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Painted Brick Hearth

So, this past week I got in into my head that I need to paint my hearth. This has become an all consuming obsession. I've been reading and reading over again how to do it, what primer to use and paints, now I think I need to do it. I'd like to add a wood shelf on the top layer of bricks and paint it all bright white to match the wainscoting.

There's nothing wrong with it, per se, it's just... blah. I obviously took down some of the pictures on the mantel and wall. All the other junk is hiding in the kitchen.

What do you think, wouldn't bright white look much better?  Am I crazy? Is it going to get filthy beyond belief with two kids, a dog and a some-times being used wood stove?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wip Wednesday 2 sweaters? what the what!

construction truck sweater

Soooo I was going to started something for myself. I had had yarn in my basket for two sweaters for ages! Crazy, I know. Then, a certain LoveBug boy asked me for a sweater, you got it kid. He doesn't like the red yarn I picked but too bad! The amount I'll use for the fair isle isn't worth buying something I'll never use the rest of. Tough cookies boy!

knits for boys

My favorite Mother-in-Law asked me for mittens. You got it, lady! Now, of course I could just bang out any old mittens, but that would be boring. I had to make her something a bit sassy. So there you go. I'm certainly not complaining about people asking for knits, I'll gladly do it!

Mrs Crosby Steamer trunk

And then I thought about my goals for this year, "Knit something nice for myself." The Great Northern KAL started February first. A KAL is a knit-a-long for you non-knitters. It's my first, pretty fun so far. Anywhoo, I certain SOMEONE twisted my rubber arm. I swear, the knitting peer pressure from this one!

Great Northern KAL

I've started From Another Place, using some on the yarn that was in my basket from 35 million years ago. I wanted to make the cropped version, I've never made or worn a cropped top and wanted to get out of my comfort zone a bit but after really thinking about it, I came to the realization that I will NEVER wear a cropped top, even with high waisted pants the weird post-baby belly button would be right there. No thanks! TMI? Whoops! So I'm making the long version.


I'm just a few days away from starting the color work! It has been so nice out the last 2 days that we've been out and about, no time for stitches! The rain is coming back, so I'll be able to sneak in a few rounds. I'm hoping I will be able to finish by the March 14th deadline but thats a bit of a stretch for me. The colors I'm using are Wild Huckleberry (purple) and African Grey which I'm obsessed with. I love this color way to the point where I'm considering making a fully onesie jump suit and wearing nothing else. I'm kidding.... kind of. The subtle variations in both yarns are perfect! I would consider choosing colors to be... not my strong suit. I am very happy with these two. Alright, thats enough rambling from me, I've got some knitting to do!

What are you working on?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Blue moon Fiber Arts Rocking sock club

I first heard about Blue Moon Fiber Art Rocking Sock club a few years ago after Scribs brought me some of their Socks that Rock yarn back from a trip. It's delightful yarn! The sign-ups were closed that year and I vowed to join the following and then I forgot. Whoops! Finally I said, this would be the year. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, thats ok, I'll fill you in. It's a bi-monthly yarn club, they send at least 1 skein and 2 patterns and sometimes little bits and bobs. Sounds fun right? And the colorways are exclusive. Fancy! I'm into it!

This week I received my first shipmen! Check it out  After the Jump

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Eggs in January

It was a good month for eggs, certainly not as good as summer, but the best we've had an a while. We had a 5 and a 6 egg day! Lots of little first-eggs-in-a-while eggs, maybe half a dozen cracked eggs that were fed to the chickens.
Faux-Roo is still a bald mess, I've been giving him eggs when everyone else is doing other things. I'm starting to think he's not going to make it. He's a mess. One chicken broke a toe nail. And one didn't make it into the coop. So it goes

Here's the break down  107 eggs, 8.92 dozen, Spent $36 made $17 Cost $19 Cost per dozen $2.13 pretty good way to start the year!

This month we no extras, I didn't need to buy shavings, I only needed feed. Not too shabby! The first week of February, feed will be on sale, I'll be buying enough for the month, maybe for 6 weeks. I haven't decided yet. It's only a dollar off, so we'll see.

I'm going to try using straw in the coop instead of shavings, my thought process is it will break down in the compost much faster then the wood shavings and straw is much cheaper, not that cost really a big deal. We shall see how it works out.

It's also that time of year to think about getting more chickens. Last year we lost 2 pullets and 2 cockerels. Do we need more? No. Do I want more? Some times. I'd like to have a few colorful eggs just for the novelty. There is always a minimum chick order number and here you have to buy 6. I don't really want 6 chicks. I would like a few turkeys for thanksgiving though. We'll see.