Tag Archives: knitting

Baby Blanket | My Very Own

Pinwheel-Blanket-1I have knit quite a few baby blankets over the years. They make such sweet, yet useful gifts for expecting moms that I don’t ever mind the extra time that they take as compared to something smaller like a baby hat or booties. But this time, this time I am knitting for me! I will finally get to experience one of my own baby creations.

Pinwheel-Blanket-2I chose the pinwheel pattern because I just loved how it turned out the one other time I made it. And as I did before, I chose bright and cheery colors instead of your typical baby pastels. It took me much longer than I planned (started this in Costa Rica in February), but that’s to be expected with everything we have going on. I think it will be perfect as a floor play blanket and can’t wait to test it out on my very own bebe.

Pinwheel-Blanket-3

 

5 Fantastic Things | January

P1100222As I’m sure most anyone who lives in a region that experiences winter will agree, January has been a brutal one this year. But sharing my 5 fantastic things for that month can only mean that it’s over and we are one month closer to spring.  It wasn’t all bad though. There were plenty of good moments and plenty of time to relax and do the things that we wish we had more time to do the rest of the year, like read, watch movies and dream.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I want to remember:

  1. Brainstorming and sharing our words of the year as part of a New Year celebration with my sister and brother-in-law. I love that we are all so focused on setting goals and being our best selves. Their energy is contagious!
  2. Using the snow as an excuse to spend hours of weekend time reading rather than cleaning or other chores. It’s such an indulgence but one that I hope I continue.
  3. Seeing movies in the theater! The Academy Awards are always a good reminder that great movies come out almost every weekend during this time of year. I saw Frozen and Philomena, with many more on the to-see list.
  4. Buying our first new vacuum cleaner! I know it might not be exciting to everyone, but after using hand-me-downs for years (don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative mom), opening a brand-new Dyson was pretty amazing. And even more amazing was all of the cat hair that we never knew was getting missed before! Yikes!!
  5. Trying several new recipes this month, including some for the slow-cooker (I’d never owned one until Christmas this year). It’s often hard to motivate yourself to try new things in the kitchen during winter when the produce seems to look the same week after week, but it really is a great way to spend your time indoors and the extra heat from the oven never hurt a cold kitchen! (Corn Chowder // Stuffed Bell Peppers)

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I’m looking forward to:

  1. Seeing old friends.
  2. Tackling a home improvement project, though I haven’t decided yet which one. Maybe painting the kitchen or half bathroom?
  3. Watching the Bill Nye debate (online) taking place at the local Creation Museum.
  4. Picking up my stashed sweater and re-learning the pattern I selected over a year ago.
  5. Learning some new music on the piano thanks to the music books that my sister and brother-in-law sent me.

Past “5 Fantastic Things” posts:
December // November // October // September // August // July // June // May

Baby Blanket | Peach Lace

I wrote last week about finally finishing up some long-standing abandoned projects around the house.  One of those was a baby blanket that I started almost 6 months ago! Baby blankets are by no means a quick knit, at least not with the patterns that I select, but 6 months is still a little long. I usually estimate 1-2 months depending on how much time I have to devote to the project. In this case, it was a combination of lots of other projects going on at the same time and a general lack of interest in knitting, that led to it being dormant for so long. But over the holidays I decided that I just needed to tackle it row by row and last weekend I sewed in the finishing ends and I’ll be excited to finally see a baby enjoy my hard work.

P1100241 copyP1100248 copyI used the same yarn that I’ve been using for all my baby projects these days – Berroco Comfort. I think the peach (a little hard to see in these pictures) is a nice change from the typical pink for a little girl and makes it look vintage in a beautiful way.  I’m very pleased with the pattern as well. This one could be a staple for summer babies since it’s lighter and more delicate than a chunky cabled pattern (funny that I’m finishing it during the polar vortex!). I hope it is well received!

P1100252 copyNext I will be picking up my long-forgotten sweater and I am determined to finish it before spring!  Wish me luck because I am going to need it.

Restarting a Stalled Project

Unfinished Knitting

I never thought I was one to leave a lot of unfinished projects in my wake, but after spending the recent three-day-weekend almost entirely at home (in my pajamas!), I discovered that I do that more than I realized. I found cleaning projects only partially completed, organization projects left unfinished and of course, several knitting projects that had been abandoned for something new.

It’s interesting to think about what makes us stop in the middle of something and move on to the next thing. Sometimes it’s as simple as a distraction or running out of time, but if it’s that simple I would think you would return to it again as soon as possible. So why leave something hanging over your head or cluttering up your house for months or even years without finishing it? I thought about it as I stared at my cluttered file cabinet, a project that I started over the summer and haven’t touched since, and figured that there had to be an explanation and something to help me get the ball rolling again.

  1. Decide if the project is still relevant.
    If it’s been a year since you’ve made any progress, it could be that your situation has changed and the work you were doing has no relevance today.  If that’s the case, let it go. But if it is still something you want to pursue, it’s time to get excited again! What prompted you to start the work in the first place? Find that inspiring article or look at that pinterest board and refresh your memory!
  2. Outline 3 immediate next steps (no matter how small).
    Sometimes for me, a project seems so big that I am intimidated by its size and become paralyzed in action. Like all the time management books will tell you, break it down. Identify the next 3 things that need to happen. For me that was print labels, shred papers and re-order my files. Seeing that the next thing you have to do will only take a few minutes will make it easier to start.
  3. What do you need in order to continue – a skill, a tool?
    Did you take a break because you were missing something that you needed? For me that’s often the correct size of knitting needle, more file folders or replacement ink for the printer. Whatever it is that you need, put it on your list and get it. That might have been the only hurdle these last few months between you and a completed project.
  4. Split up the work into several shorter sessions.
    The thought of spending my entire Saturday finishing cleaning out the pantry and kitchen cupboards sounds exhausting, but tackling one shelf a night doesn’t sound too bad. Just like you broke down the project into smaller to-do items, break up the overall time into smaller sessions where you’re less likely to lose steam.
  5. Don’t start anything new until you’ve finished.
    If all else fails, commit to not starting any new projects until you’ve finished anything that’s already unfinished. You’ll get to the point where you really want to start something new, like a new knitting project for me, that I’ll do anything to get started, including picking up an old project and spending a few more hours finally completing it.

I was able to finish a baby blanket that had been sitting on the needles for almost 6 months and I finally finished getting my new filing system put together in the office. It was a little hard at first to get started again, but once I broke it down into manageable tasks, I was done in no time. Now I have one more unfinished knitting project that I must complete before I can move on to something new. Talk about motivation!

5 Fantastic Things | 2013

Happy New Year! We’ve had a busy couple of weeks with lots of travel, family and holiday celebrations, so while I hope to eventually share some photos and also spend some time thinking about what 2014 will have in store for me, I’m not quite ready with those updates yet. In the meantime, I wanted to take a minute to remember how great 2013 was.

At the end of each month, I typically recap 5 great things that I want to remember, but because the end of December also means the end of a year, I thought I would expand my list a bit to include all of 2013. 5 FANTASTIC THINGS I want to remember:

1. We had the opportunity to do some amazing traveling this year. Our trips were a combination of relaxing settings, adventurous activities and family visits. I hope we can continue to travel more in 2014.

2013-Travel

{Alexandria, VA // Pentwater, MI // Playa del Carmen, Mexico}

2. This was a year of new experiences and adventures, from my first scuba dive and half-marathon to our first-time hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in a year!

2013-Adventure

{Columbus Half-Marathon // Scuba-Diving // Thanksgiving}

3. 2013 brought us our new/first home! While we have had some growing pains adjusting to home-ownership, I think we’re starting to get the hang of things and really loving this old house. I’m sure we’ll see many more projects, and learning experiences this year.

2013-House

{Little Updates // New Home-Owners // Small Wins}

4. I set a few resolutions last year that had to do with living a more simple life by paring down on things and not over-committing. I accomplished several smaller goals toward that resolution and know that this will be an ongoing pursuit.

2013-Simple

{3 Things // Live Simply}

5. Each year would not be complete without all of the small things, like hobbies, that make up the in-between times. This was another great year of cooking, reading and knitting to name a few.

2013-Hobbies

{Cooking // Reading // Knitting}

So there you have it. 5 great things from 2013! What fantastic things are you most proud of from the last year?

Past “5 Fantastic Things” posts: November // October // September // August // July // June // May

8 Things…

8-things

I’ve seen this list on a few different blogs over the last couple weeks and have enjoyed reading the perspectives on each. I’ll admit that when I copied this list to answer the questions in my own way, I was reminded of those chain emails that used to circulate back in the day… “forward this or else”. Those usually ended with me. But this one is interesting enough that I’m going to keep it going, if for no other reason than it’s a fun and easy way to share some things about myself that you might not have otherwise known.

There is one thing that I want to point out before you write this off as a superficial activity, as the title may have led you to believe. This list is called ‘8 things a happy woman should have’, not ‘the 8 things that will make a woman happy’. Big difference. Now that we’ve cleared that up, on to the fun…

  1. A Go-To Drink – Finding my signature drink is something that I’m working on as a part of my 30 before 30. (“Working on” is code for occasionally thinking about trying new drinks at times when it’s either completely inappropriate to drink or there’s no chance of finding the ingredients I need to mix said drink.) But when I walk into a bar and I’m not drinking beer (Bottingtons) or wine (malbec), I’ll order a gin and tonic…for now.
  2. A Go-To Karaoke Song – I don’t frequent the karaoke bars to be honest. I’ve sung in front of many people from the time I was little singing at church to college when I was performing as a music major. But something about singing an unrehearsed song at a bar makes me nervous. If I had to pick a song on the spot, I would probably go for a Carol King song like “It’s Too Late” or Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About”.
  3. A Uniform – This is a tough one as my style is always changing. For awhile now I’ve been gravitating toward button down shirts, well-fitted jeans and a classic pair of flats or boots. I can always dress it up with blazer or sweater, necklace or scarf.
  4. A Hairstylist they Love – I have been fortunate enough to find great stylists in the last few places in which I have lived. Maybe it’s because I have a pretty easy haircut now, but either way, I have found Parlour here in Cincinnati and I’m not going anywhere!
  5. An Exercise Routine – I enjoy weight training, spinning classes, swimming and many other forms of exercise, but I’ve found in the last couple of years that the two activities that do the most for me both physically and mentally are running and yoga.
  6. A Hobby – Have you met me? I have so many hobbies I don’ t know what to do with them all. Those rounding out the top of the list – knitting, reading and blogging.
  7. A Best Friend – I have been fortunate to have several best friends. Ones that have come and gone and ones that have stayed. And through it all, I’ve always had my sister, who I consider my best friend. She’s been around the longest and knows exactly where I’m coming from.
  8. A Healthy Sense of Self – This will always be a work in progress, but I feel good about who I am at this point in my life and the best version of myself that I am always working toward becoming. I think that is all you can ask.

What do you think? Do you have responses for each of these 8 things? I know it’s not all-inclusive, but it’s a fun list nonetheless.

In the Mood for Knitting

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any knitting projects on here. Sorry to get your hopes up, but today is not going to be that day. I should be working on those never-ending baby projects, most of which are half-finished and still sitting on the needles, but this beautiful fall weather has got me excited to start knitting scarves and hats in anticipation of winter. I am always in the mood to knit a new scarf each year. Don’t believe me? Take a look at our overflowing winter accessory basket, One can never have too many. During those winter months when you practically live in your coat, having a variety of options from which to choose makes the cold actually a little fun, and dare I say, stylish.

Infinity-Scarf

So, instead of finishing those half-finished projects, I’ve been perusing ravelry “pinning” all of the infinity scarves that I would love to knit this season. Decisions, decisions…

clockwise from top left: Mix no. 20 // Arnhem Loop // Rayures // Jeweled Cowl // Annie