Monday, February 28, 2011

On with the kitchen project!

I haven't make a whole lot of progress on my cardi in the past couple days.  Hubby left for a business trip to New York yesterday, so I was doing a lot of laundry, making sure he had everything he needed.  And as soon as he left I began my kitchen project.  As a matter of fact, I started painting before his plane left our airport.  So the kitchen walls are now a lovely deep brown.  It reminds me of hot chocolate.  Goodbye, wine-themed kitchen!  Hello, beautiful brown and blue kitchen!  I just spray painted the picture frames for the doilies; the frame sizes I needed were hard to find, and I only found black.  I didn't want black frames against the brown walls, so I got some hammered bronze color spray paint and changed them.  I think they look much better.  I'm going to make the new curtains this afternoon, and hope that I have enough leftover fabric for the doily-framing project.  I think I might also make a sheer curtain for the door to the back yard, if I can find magnetic curtain rods.  I'll take a picture later, after I make the main curtains...if the kids remember to do the dishes...

I went to the gym today.  Worked my arms and did 20 minutes on the elliptical.  It was a good workout; I bet my arms will be hurting tomorrow...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Goal accomplished!

I've finished the body of my cardi!  I got the crochet edging done last night at Knit Night, and this morning I bought buttons.
 I got all the ends woven in(there were a lot of them) and the buttons sewn on.
Now it's time to start the sleeves!  I think I'm going to Magic Loop them, so they go more quickly.  I was going to do them both at the same time, but I don't have a long enough needle for that.

I went to the gym this morning and worked my back and legs, and did 20 minutes on the elliptical.  That 20 minutes burned 180 calories!  So I probably burned about 200 with my whole workout.  Not bad!

Back to knitting!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another step closer!

Today I rented a tiller from Home Depot, and tilled up the ground where I'm going to build my garden.  Wow, that was a lot of work.  My back and arms are really sore.  But the ground is broken up and ready for the garden boxes and good soil. ☺ I'm exhausted, but hopefully I'll be able to find the energy for knit night.☺

I've almost finished the body of my cardi!  I still need to finish up the garter stitch border and bind off, then do the crochet edging.  I think I'll bring along another project to knit night, so I can work on something else after I finish that.

I lost a friend yesterday.  Her name was Amy.  She had been in the hospital for the past week and a half, due to complications from influenza A and B.  Her heart, lungs and kidneys stopped functioning.  She was hooked up to several machines that were doing the work for those organs, so her body could fight off the infection.  And she was improving.  But yesterday she had a massive stroke, and died.  She left behind a loving husband and four young children.  Please be praying for her family as they deal with this great loss.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Knitting and exercise and gardening, oh my!

I finished the waist cables on my BBSweKniMo project!  Hooray!  I decided to only do 7 repeats, instead of 8, because I have a short waist(along with the rest of me).  So now I'm doing stockinette, except for the rope cables at the front edges. ☺ I've come to the conclusion that I won't get this project done by the end of the month, so my goal is to get the body done.  I have to do a few inches in stockinette, and an inch or so of garter stitch, and then add a crochet border and buttons and buttonholes.  I'll do the sleeves next month, I guess.  I'll be glad to get this sweater done, even though I won't be able to wear it until fall.  I started designing it so long ago that I'm just ready to have it done.

I've been thinking about socks.  Socks are nice, quick projects.  And I have a gazillion sock patterns printed, and lots of sock yarn to go with them.  So I think I'm going to set another goal, of knitting one pair of socks per month.  That way, I'll have plenty of them when cold weather comes back.  I loved wearing my handknit socks this past winter, but I only have three pairs, and none of them are superwash wool, so I have to wash them by hand.  I think I'll start a KAL with my friends in the Bunker, if any of them are interested.  I love our KALs!  I'll bring up the idea tonight, when we meet in the chat room for our virtual Knit Night. ☺

Oh, my goodness, I totally forgot to post this yesterday!  I got an email from Stacey at Knit Picks: they like my Julia Lynne cardigan!  So I'll be knitting another one of those as soon as the yarn support arrives.  I can't wait!  I'm still waiting to see the pics from their photo shoot of my Evellyn Anne blanket; I'm not sure whether they'll want me to replace my pics in the pattern with theirs, or just use them for the "additional pictures" on the site.  If it's the latter, that pattern might be up on the site tomorrow; if it's the former, it'll probably be another week.

I went to the gym this morning.  I didn't want to.  When I got there, I didn't want to exercise.  While I was exercising I wanted to stop and go home...until I reached the 15-minute mark on the bike.  When I was done, I was glad I was done.  I have yardwork and knitting and laundry and cleaning to do.  Haha.

Speaking of gardening...we were speaking of gardening, weren't we?  I peeked at my sprouts again, and saw that I have cantaloupe and pumpkins and cucumbers sprouting too!  Nothing yet with the lavender, but that usually takes longer.  I started my tomatoes yesterday: Big Boy and Red Cherry and some seeds I saved from really yummy yellow tomatoes.  And I started my Texas Bluebonnets too.  I love Bluebonnets, but since it's the State Flower, it's illegal to pick them where they grow wild.  This way, I'll be able to pick them and bring them inside.  I haven't started digging yet; I'm waiting on the utility people to come mark the underground cables and such, to make sure that I don't cut anything. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I'm working on creating a garden.  On Sunday I boarded up the holes at the bottom of the fence, so the garden soil doesn't fall out into the pasture.  Yesterday I dug up the irises that were in the way and transplanted them to the front yard.
Would you believe all those plants were squished into about 4 square feet?  Now they've got plenty of room to grow.  I also planted some other bulbs (daffodil and gladiolus) in around the irises, so we should have lots of pretty flowers in that area.  I just hope I didn't plant the bulbs too late; Spring has already arrived.

I started some seeds on Saturday, for planting in my garden once it's ready.  Left to right, I have lavender, cucumbers, pumpkins, cantaloupe, corn and beans.  I love these little Jiffy "greenhouses"; things sprout so quickly in them!

 Look!  I have corn and beans sprouting already, three days after planting!
I went and bought another "greenhouse" to start my tomato seeds, and some Texas Bluebonnets.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Busy busy busy

I skipped my workout today, but made up for it by doing yardwork.  I'm working on cleaning up the backyard and getting the space ready for my garden.  I've decided to plant an actual garden this year.  Last year I planted a container garden, and it didn't do very well.  I might still plant a few things in pots, but the majority of it will be in the ground.  I started some seeds inside today: corn, green beans, pumpkins, cantaloupe, cucumbers and lavender.  I have seeds somewhere for tomatoes, and some herbs.  I'll start those tomorrow, maybe.

I haven't knit a stitch today.  Yesterday either.  I need to do that this evening, but I'll have to wait until the kids are in bed.  They're driving me crazy.  But now I have to go; it's bathtime.  Which will be followed closely by bedtime, thank God.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cleaning, organizing and planning, oh my!

I was all ready to go to the gym...I was about to tell the girls to get their shoes on so we could go...and I twisted my ankle.  Heard it go "crunch" and everything.  Ouch.  So I'm not going to the gym today after all.  Hopefully tomorrow it'll be healed enough.  I was pleasantly surprised when I weighed myself this morning, though.  I'd lost two pounds since the beginning of the week!

Instead I'm cleaning, and doing laundry.  We're washing sheets and blankets today.  And cleaning the trash heaps ... pig styes oh, yeah, they're called bedrooms.  Or at least they will be when we get them done... I am so sick and tired of the constant mess.  I guess we (all of us, but especially the kids) still have too much stuff.  Time to purge again!  We'll call it spring cleaning, since spring weather has arrived.

And I'm getting ready for my next project.  Hubby is going to be traveling next month, one week in New York and one week in London.  A long time ago, I used to take advantage of his travels to do a home decorating project, and surprise him when he got home.  I haven't done that in a long time, partly because he doesn't travel much these days.  So I've decided that this time, I will.  It's "sooper-seekrit" so I won't be posting on Facebook about it until he sees it, but I'll post here since he doesn't read my blog.  I'm going to paint the kitchen and make new curtains.  It doesn't sound like much, but I'm totally changing the color scheme in there.  We recently got a new loveseat and chairs for the family room, which is open to the kitchen.  So I want to coordinate the two rooms.  I want to have the family room painted blue(I'd do it myself, but it's a really tall room) to set off the chocolate brown in the furniture.  The kitchen is going to be opposite: chocolate brown on the walls, and blue for the curtains.  I'm doing the kitchen first, so Hubby will see what a nice color combination it is, and be convinced that we should use it in the family room too.  I'm considering glazing the kitchen cabinets to make them darker, but not as dark as the walls; right now they're oak-color, builders'-grade cabinets with no hardware.  I'd love for them to be darker and have some nice handles and pulls, but new cabinets aren't in the budget this year, so I have to work with what we have. 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention what I'm going to do for "art"... I have a bunch of antique crocheted doilies made by Hubby's great-grandma, grandma, and great aunts(most are over a hundred years old!) and I'm going to frame them, with some of the curtain fabric as a background, and hang them on the walls.  Since they are so old and delicate, I've been afraid to use them, lest they get stained or torn.  This way, they'll be seen, but not destroyed.  I'll put some in the kitchen and some in the family room, to tie the two rooms together.  The tricky part will be finding frames large enough without breaking the bank...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Movin' right along...

I've finally gotten a new pic of my cardi!
This is the first half of the waist section.  I'm going to do four more repeats of the cables, then switch back to stockinette for the hip section.  After that....a border of garter stitch, and a crochet edging...and the sleeves!  I'm planning on magic-looping the sleeves, maybe doing both at the same time, in order to get this done by the end of February.  I love how this sweater is looking so far!  It has a little more negative ease than I had planned on, but it should be perfect when I lose a few more pounds.

Speaking of losing pounds...I haven't lost any more yet, but I'm workin' on it.  I went to the gym, worked my legs and did 20 minutes on the stair-stepper. 

And now, back to knitting!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I need to quit drinking alcohol.  At least while I'm trying to lose weight.  It cancels out my workout for that day, and makes it difficult to work out the next day.  I went to the gym, but I was yawning the whole time.  I worked my arms, but only did ten minutes of cardio.  I made up for it, though, by taking the girls to the park to practice riding bikes again.  And now I'm tired.  I need a bath.  And a nap.  Sorry, no sweater pic right now.  Maybe later.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Knit, exercise, knit, exercise...

I'm chugging along on the sweater waist cables...I've finished three repeats, and I think I'll do another four or five.  I'll try it on tomorrow and get another in-progress picture.  After my workout, I think...

Speaking of workouts, I had two today.  Went to the gym and worked my back, and did 15 minutes on the bike.  My legs are still sore from yesterday.  Then this afternoon, I took the girls to the park to learn to ride their bikes.  Angel had never ridden without training wheels, and neither had Princess.  So I figured it was about time for both of them.  And time for Kitty to learn to ride with training wheels.  Angel and Princess both did great; kept trying and trying, and didn't give up.  Kitty tried for a little while, but got frustrated because she couldn't figure out how to pedal.  Oh, and the reason I counted it as a workout was because I had to help all three of them, in separate areas of the park.  I did a lot of running.  It was exhausting, but in a good way.  I'm sure I've totally undone it now, by drinking wine.  Oh's a holiday!

Happy Valentine's Day to my readers(if there are any...)!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Home from the gym..

and my legs are on fire.  I intended to focus on my arms, and I did work them, but I changed my mind, and spent most of the time working my legs instead.  And then, when my legs were exhausted, I got on the bike.  Crazy, I know.  I only did 15 minutes on the bike, because I felt like I was going to collapse.  I think I'll go sit in a tub of hot water now.  Ow....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Knittin' knittin' knittin'

I've finished the stockinette portion of my sweater!  After trying it on yesterday, I discovered that the three sets of short-rows I had done were enough, and all I needed was a few more rows of stockinette.  So on I go!  I've started the cable section, which will probably take a while. 

I've just sent off another design proposal.  This one is for my Julia Lynne cardigan that I designed in '09.  (Can you believe this pic was taken just a year and a half ago?  Kitty looks so much older now!)

After it was rejected by Knitty, I didn't have the courage to submit it anywhere else until now.  So I spent this afternoon reworking it and writing up a design proposal for it.  I've had pretty good luck with Knit Picks so far, so I'm optimistic.

I went to the gym today, and worked my chest, shoulders and back.  Then I did 25 minutes at level 4 on the bike.  I'm really feelin' it now...  Hopefully I won't hurt too much tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Makin' progress

I made a few inches of progress on my sweater last night at knit night.  I need to try it on again, and decide whether it needs more short-rows in the bust area.  I've already done 3 sets of short-rows, but I don't think it's enough.  We'll see...

I went to the gym this morning, and worked my back and legs and did 25 minutes on the bike.  My back is still hurting too much to do Zumba.  After the gym, we went to the thrift shop, and I found a really nice gray dress, which is a little bit snug around the middle.  So I'm going to hang it up, and use it as my motivation to keep working on this weight-loss thing.  It should fit when I lose another 5-10 pounds, so hopefully in a few weeks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feelin better

I woke up in a little less pain than what I had when I went to sleep, so after waiting for the outside temperature to reach 33 and melt the ice, I went to the gym.  Worked my back and arms, and did 20 minutes on the bike.  Still not up to the level I was at when I went on my hiatus from the gym.  But at least I didn't gain back any weight during that three weeks.☺

Last night I finished the yoke of my cardi, and set aside the sleeve stitches.  So for the next couple inches, it'll be mostly stockinette, with just basic rope cables at the front opening edges.
Once I get below the bustline, I'll start the cables around the waist.  I'm not going to do any actual decreasing; the cables will create shaping by virtue of their natural "pulling in".  Those cables will be the same as the ones on the sleeves, but with a little bit of ribbing between each column.  It'll be easier to understand what I mean when there's something to see...

And now, back to knitting!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pain. And Knitting.

I went to the gym yesterday, and had a much better workout than the day before.  I worked my legs again, and worked my abs a little harder than usual.  Today my abs hurt, so I know that worked! ☺ But my back hurts so bad I can hardly move, so I'm not working out today.  I'm using a heating pad, and taking Advil every four hours, and doing a little stretching every once in a while.  I'm staying in my nice warm comfy jammies and staying out of the cccccold rainy weather. 

I took a little break from my sweater project(which, I'll admit is going slowly) to make something "little" in a Bunker Blue yarn.  I used KP Palette in "Pool", and a size 0 needle.  And it turned out really well!  Beyond that, you'll just have to wait to find out what it is, until it is received by my spoilee in the Bunker Blue swap.

And now, back to NCIS and sweater-knitting...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Check the box.

Well, I checked the box for exercise today, but I didn't do much.  I got there just a little while before the kids' club was closing for lunchtime.  So I just did a short workout.  I wasn't feelin' it anyway...too much alcohol, not enough sleep, too much pain.

Surprisingly, I have stayed at the same weight over the past three weeks, despite eating lots of fast food, drinking wine and not working out.  I am glad to get back to exercising again, though.  Hoping I can get my weight-loss jump-started.


Yay, me!  I was finally able to get back to the gym yesterday!  I've really missed it.  And of course, my back felt great while I was working it...but hurts like the dickens this morning.  I worked my back and legs, because those are what's been hurting.  I only did 15 minutes on the bike, because my hubby was ready to head home at that point.  We sometimes go together on Sundays. ☺I felt good, and was glad I went.  Now if I can just get my back to hurt a little the point where I can move a little...I'll go this morning too.

Yay, Green Bay Packers!  Normally, I don't give two figs about football, even when it comes to the SuperBowl.  But one of my friends posted something before the game, in our conservative knitting site, that made me want to cheer for a team.  Copying and pasting here; I'm not sure if my friend came up with this on her own, or found it somewhere, so I'll give her credit and she can correct me if I'm wrong.  Thanks, Michelle!

Every Red Blooded American should jump in line to support the Green Bay Packers! The Packers defeated the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon thus earning them the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl . By doing so, they saved the Hard-Working, Red Blooded, Taxpaying Americans literally several million dollars of tax money. How you say? Simple... we were told that if the Chicago Bears had won that President Obama (and probably his family) would be attending the Super Bowl to cheer on his hometown team. Since the Bears lost...the President won't be attending. The money saved from not using Air Force 1, the limosines, all the additional security, and let's not forget Michelle Obama's entourage, is literally several million dollars! Therefore every American should cheer on the Green Bay Packers at the Super Bowl to show them our gratitude. Oh...and let's not forget to thank Chicago Bear's Quarterback Jay Cutler for his role in the Packer's success! With that said...let's circulate this email to everyone we know so they can understand why they should cheer for America's team ....the Green Bay Packers!

And the Packers won!  Yay!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Check out my girls' new bathroom!

I just finished re-decorating my daughters' bathroom!  We went with a butterfly theme, because the only fabric they all liked was green and white gingham with butterflies on it.  I used the fabric to make the shower curtain, and drew inspiration from it for the rest of the room.
I painted the walls with a slightly lighter green than what's in the fabric, and stenciled butterflies(and a few dragonflies just for fun) all over the walls, using the colors of the butterflies in the fabric. 
Here's the view in the mirror.
 I found the towel hooks at Hobby Lobby, and let the girls each pick a color from the fabric for their bath towels.  Angel picked dark purple, Princess chose medium blue and Kitty picked bright pink.  I picked the yellow for the hand towels and the green for the bath rug(you can see the rug and a glimpse of the new tile floor in the first picture).
The butterflies hanging from the shower curtain were found in the Christmas ornament aisle at Walmart a few months ago.

I'm really pleased with how the room turned out, and the girls love it.  I just hope they keep it clean and neat.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I'm participating in BBSweKniMo.  Which is sort of like NaSweKniMo.  My friends and I in the Bunker liked the idea of National Sweater Knitting Month, but we weren't ready to start our sweaters right around Christmas.  I mean, seriously, Christmastime is time to knit Christmas stuff.  So February is Bunker Babe Sweater Knitting Month!  We're all knitting different sweaters, and we don't really have any rules. ☺We're BunkerBabes; we don't need no stinkin' rules!
I was going to start my sweater on February 1, but I couldn't find the notes.  I had half-designed it two years ago, then frogged it because I hated the cheap acrylic yarn I was using.  I'm glad I had the foresight to take pictures, because after searching for hours on the first and second of February, the notes I had taken were nowhere to be found.  So, working from my photos, I created new charts, on my computer this time, where they won't get lost.  I had bought new yarn a couple months ago, Knit Picks Merino Style in "Hollyberry".  It's a lovely sport-weight wool.  I had to search for my needle....obviously I'm very disorganized these days.  I found it in a lace project, so I slipped that project to a spare needle, because I really wanted to use that particular needle for this sweater.  So after all this searching, and all this charting, I was ready to start....but then I remembered I hadn't knit my gauge swatch, or done any calculations.  Doh!  So I did that and got it out of the way.  It's a good thing I did; since I never did find my notes, I had no idea how many stitches to cast on.
Anyway, here's the beginning of my sweater, after finishing up the first skein of yarn...
It's a top-down, seamless raglan, cabled, v-neck cardigan.  Those twisted-stitch cables are going to run the length of the sleeves, and there will be more of the same all around the waist.  The front edges will have basic rope cables.  And I'm thinking I might add a crochet border around the front and neck edges, to help control rolling, and add some buttonholes.  I hope I can get it finished by the end of February, because sweater weather won't last much longer than that around here.