Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Saturday

A few random things from yesterday:

I tried the spinach shake that Holly posted on her blog, Holly Knitlightly.
 It was delicious!  You can see her post about it here.  The people I told that I was going to try this (mom & Ben) were very skeptical but it really did just taste like creamy banana.  Now I wish I had another banana so I could make another shake.

Being still hungry, I made a grill cheese to go with my spinach shake.  Not just any grill cheese though, this was an odd combo of sharp cheddar, pepperjack and gouda.  Yum.

Oh, and then I might have had a birthday party in the evening.  ;-)
Look at this fantastic cake my hubby ordered.  :-)  It was made by Yummy Cakes and it was delicious!!  The top tier was lemon with raspberry filling and the bottom was strawberry cake with apricot filling.  (The top tier was definitely my favorite so I kept trying to divert attention away from it by offering people pieces from the bottom tier.  

My party was great because my friends are awesome and my mother makes the best food in the world.  (You can ask my friends, the majority of them will attest to that as long as their own mothers aren't within earshot)

In between all of that food and partying, I have been working on the softest little carseat blanket.  It will be just large enough to tuck around a newborn in a car seat or around and older babies legs and tummy when they are in the car seat.  It is also a super soft and wonderful organic cotton, so it has been lovely to work with.  So soft in my hands.  

Pictures of that soon and of the 1 year birthday party I went to today for the cute little girl who shares my birthday.

(p.s. - I am really happy that we just steam cleaned the bedroom carpet.  Ridiculously excited about that)

Friday, February 25, 2011

There's something in the blogosphere

After a long week of very boring, completely unexciting mail, I can home to some very, very awesome mail today!  I took pictures of all of it, I was so very excited.  (Still am)  Then I sat down with some dinner and went to catch up on all the blogs I read and guess what I found.  LCH had a blog post up JUST LIKE the one I was plotting in my head.  I laughed so hard!  The dogs thought I was crazy.  See, on Tuesday while I was contemplating my mail lady post, LCH wrote about the exact same thing!  And later that evening so did GreenerMe!  It's something in the blogosphere, I tell you.  

Well the stuff I got in the mail was just too good, so I am still going to do my What I Got in the Mail post, despite the fact that it's already been done.  In fact, you really should go check out Kaelah's post because she mentions the little gift I just sent her.  (I'm so very flattered!)

Back to my mail:
 Charms from HollyRocks!!!  And Holly does Rock, by the way.  Pretty glitter hearts in red and pink!  Yay!!!
 Next I received the prize from a giveaway I won from Ella Bands.  Her packaging was excellent!  She even sent a little square of chocolate (I already ate it, while i was typing this.  Yum)
 Please ignore the red face.  It's cold outside today.  
 How cute is it?!?  Seriously cute.  I must have a teeny head though, or just not as much hair as the rest of the world, cause I'm going to have to tighten the band a wee little bit.  I can tell its going to b super comfortable to wear though.   Am I going to turn #$*$#%* next tuesday?  Yes.  Can I still wear felt hearts on my head?  Yup.

So after dinner and catching up on all my reading I was going to post, but I was too tempted by the charms so I set about making sets of stitch markers.  
 Pretty!  You can find them here.
 These have ALREADY SOLD!  I can't even tell you how thrilled I am.
 This set I call Love Coffee.  Cause I do.  
 All the pretties waiting to be packaged up.

In other goings on tonight,
 I finally remembered to photograph this hat I made this week.  It is, hopefully, for a friend's dad.  As long as my friend likes it, that is.  He hasn't seen it yet.  It's super soft and super stretchy, but still masculine.
 Neither of these pictures show it, but there is actually a lot of brown in this yarn.
 While I was taking pics, this washcloth was still in progress.  It is now finished, so I guess it's time to take more pics.  This might very well be the softest washcloth I have ever knit.  It is a beautiful organic cotton.  I am trying to decide whether to list it on its own in my shop or wait until I have a couple more like it and list a set.  What do you think?  Would you ever purchase a single knit washcloth or are sets more enticing?
This is that half linen stitch washcloth I mentioned the other day.  It's really pretty, but working with two colors makes it harder to just toss in my purse and go, which is why it is way less far along than the other one.  This one is going to be part of the set with the sailboat washcloth.  

Back to the knitting now.  I can't decide whether to work on the washcloth or start something a little grander.  Hmmmm.


SomerKnits is going to be at Peace, Love & Crafts spring show on April 9!

I knew I should have started on the spring stuff sooner!  It's going to be crazy for me, knitting like mad and dealing with the absolute busiest time of year at my office.

If you are in the greater Tulsa area, drop by the show!!  Admission is free and donations benefit Animal Rescue Foundation.

I will post more info as the show gets closer, I just wanted to make this exciting announcement!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cowl Winner!

Congratulations to dreamer, the winner of the plum colored bow cowl given away over on Much Love, Illy!!!  I really hope you like it!

Speaking of Much Love, Illy, if you didn't go check out her blog during the giveaway, you might want to do so now.  She is celebrating her blogiversary this week, so there are a lot of fun things going on over there, including some really big giveaways

So, completely un-related to anything else, I actually watched the second twilight movie last night.  I discussed with some friends on facebook how this either makes me really behind the times or a mega dork, depending on your point of view.  I believe all of the males decided I was a dork.  

During that movie I finished a fantastic and soft hat that I can't wait to give to person who ordered it.  I also worked on another spa-style wash cloth, this time in a half linen stitch.  I love linen stitch and all the variations on it, although I do half linen the most.  Don't know what the heck I am talking about?  Thats ok, I will post pictures as soon as its done.  

For now, here is a picture of Ben getting squashed by puppies.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There Are Never Enough Hours

Last night was a very busy evening for being such a quiet one.  My mind races all day long with all of the things I want to accomplish in the evenings.  I make lists so that I remember all the things I want to get done, but then there are never enough hours before bed.  I'm not one to sacrifice my sleep very often, so I am fairly rigid about putting everything down and hitting the sack, which in the long run is probably better for me that trying to stay up and do it all, but sometimes it gets to me that I can't get it all done.

This week I am blogging over at make:Tulsa.  It's not my usual style, so I have stressed over it just a wee bit, but now that I have gotten going I think its going fairly well.  I hope to get a couple more quality posts up before my week is over.  So far I have done a list of knitting links and a post of sunny springtime inspiration.

I got my latest scrunchie posted to my etsy shop last night.  I never know what to say in the descriptions. I worry that I am being really dry and boring or forgetting to relay some piece of information that someone might want to know.
Action shot!

 I finished up a sailboat washcloth last night in a super soft blue cotton blend.  Now I have a delima, I would love to do lots of pretty spa sets with neat stitch patterns and pretty pictures, but if I spend the better part of two evenings knitting a washcloth, I can never price it such that it is profitable.  After all, how much are people really willing to pay for a washcloth?  So I may have to stick with simpler spa sets right now until I am not under the gun to get my inventory up.
My one sweet pause amidst all the business last night was for a really good cup of hot chocolate.  I read Lovely By M's post yesterday about Hot Chocolate on a Stick and it inspired me to make a really quality cup of cocoa.  I opted for Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, non-fat milk, marshmellows, light whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.  Yum!

Speaking of Lovely By M, she is having a giveaway this week for Spring in a Can!  It looks so very, very cute.  I could totally use some Spring in a Can.  So drop by over there and check it out.  

Today I get to meet a good friend for lunch!  That will be a nice break in the middle of my work day.  And here's hoping there are enough hours tonight to get a few things done.  :-)

Snail mail offer still stands.  E-mail me at somerknits (at) aim dot com with your address!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hoo-ray for the mail lady!

As much fun as holidays might be, I hate days without mail. I especially dislike them if they are days I still have to work because they don't feel like holidays to me, they just feel like days without mail. 

I love mail.  Seriously.  Ben doesn't seem to understand it.

I think its a curiosity thing.  I have to know what came in the mail.  It's like opening a present everyday, somedays its really, really cool and other days its very eh.

I used to write a lot of letters.  Seriously a lot.  I wrote 2-3 or more a day.  Every single day.  Ah, college, how I miss you.  Now I seem to have gotten away from it, which means I get way less exciting mail.  I do have one faithful friend who I have been exchanging letters with for more than 15 years!  (geez, does that make you feel old too?)  She's awesome and I always love getting her letters.  I should post a picture of the cute cupcake cards she has been sending me recently.  They always make me hungry.

Today I am more excited about mail going out that mail coming in.  You see, I'm sending in a show application today and sending out a couple other fun and exciting things that I am not yet ready to mention. 

If you are like me and really love both sending and receiving good old fashioned snail mal, drop me an e-mail (somerknits (at) aim dot com) with your address.  I promise you a hand written letter in response.  (I bet Ben would really like if I used up the two giant copy-paper sized boxes of stationary that I have.  I am a sucker for stationary and notecards)  I think getting back in the habit of writing a letter a day (we need to start reasonable here) will be really good for me.  Maybe I will also drop a few notes in the mail to people who aren't expecting them.  Old friends, relatives, who knows.  I am feeling inspired right now.

So maybe the one lack of mail day yesterday was actually good for me, since it made me reflect on how much I love mail and want to send some of that love back out into the world.  It's funny that Kaelah over at LCH (you can click her button over on the side to hop over there) blogged on RAoK yesterday, since I was already contemplating this whole mail thing.  It helped solidify for me the awesomeness of sending mail.  (When I read her post I looked over at the side of my desk which was already stacked high with outgoing mail and it made me grin) 

So, how do you send love back out into the world?

My Babies

The other night Ben asked me how many puppy pictures do I really need.  Really?  A million!  My babies are so cute!!  They won't be around forever and I want to remember every little moment of adorable.

In no particular order:
Ok, so Riley wasn't thrilled to be on that motorcycle, but he wasn't up there more than a few seconds.
 He has so many expressions, i just want to capture them all.  (Riley is a pug chihuahua mix, in case you were wondering)
 Angry Face.  He makes angry face at any attempt to put clothing on him.  It's pretty cute but we always end up feeling sorry for him and taking it back off.  In this one he has on a halloween t-shirt.
 As I was moving furniture he decided to camp out in a drawer.  I too half a dozen pictures of him doing that because it was just too cute.
 Little Ripley the day we brought him home.  So many memories of that time.  He was so shy and I felt so sorry for him. (both puppies are humane society rescues)  He was so skinny too.  Riley just wanted to play with him and Ripley didn't really know what to do.  I spent a lot of time cuddling him that week, just trying to convince him that he was in a safe place and would be loved.  (I was also really sick and running a very high fever.  Timing.)
 Ripley in his natural habitat.  He sleeps so much more than Riley does.  I'm not sure how one can sleep that much.
 He does love to lay in the dirt too.  In this one you can tell that he gained a little weight and his little personality has started to show through the shyness.
Since I posted one of the day we brought Ripley home, I thought I would post a baby picture of Riley too.  He only weighed 4 pounds when I brought him home and he could lay down on my forearm.  They told me he wouldn't get much bigger, but now he's 14 pounds.  Hmm.  Oh well, he's still cute!

I love my babies so much, I could never have too many pictures of them!!  I hope I haven't bored you with excessive puppy pictures. (I will call them puppies even when they are old)  A lot of times my favorite pictures on other people's blogs are when they show their fur-babies.

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Foofy Coffee, Commissions and the 80's

Saturday morning was a foofy coffee kind of morning.  And an I <3 Elvis kind of morning.  Elvis is kind of my saturday morning tradition.  If I don't have to go anywhere and I can relax on the couch with my morning coffee, I always reach for my I <3 Elvis mug.  It's more special than just Elvis though, it's the souvenir I bought when Ben and I took our first vacation together.  (We roadtripped and one stop was Graceland)

Foofy coffee is just such a lovely start to a day.  (you should always keep a can of light whipped cream in the fridge for just such occasions.  And sprinkles.  I used course cinnamon though) Foofy coffee and browsing some blogs and looking at new patterns posted to Ravelry.  What would we do without the internet?

 While I was cleaning the house later in the day I stopped a second to admire the new hair dooies I bought while out for yogurt with two really good friends.  Am I turning ?&*% soon?  Yes.  Did I still buy hair dooies in the kid section?  Yes.  Am I ok with that?  Completely.
 After all that super fun-tastic cleaning, I finally finished Rhys's mittens!!!  Finally.  Please don't ask me for mittens anytime soon, I have mitten block.  But these are super cute and should fit his tiny hands great.

You know what else I knit saturday.  In fact, I am totally overwhelmed by the response on Ravelry to The Illy Cowl.  It feels so good to have so many people heart and queue my pattern!!  I think this has been my best received pattern to date.  I love writing patterns and so far I have always offered them for free.  Maybe some day I will write a pattern that I feel is so stellar I will consider selling it.  For now I just really love to get to share what I do and the goings on in my mind.  If you ever knit something from one of my patterns, I would love to see a picture.

Sunday I actually broke out the crochet hooks.  I haven't done that in a long, long while, but I have some plans for those babies now.
 First I made a chunky scrunchie.  80's?  Maybe.  Fun?  Yes.  Regardless, I have already listed this guy in my etsy shop and plan to make more.  Different sizes, different colors and different patterns.  :-)
 I was trying to find the best background for scrunchie photography, I think the last one shows the color most accurately.
 Would you wear a crocheted scrunchie?  Tell the truth.  I fully admit that when I get home and change out of my work clothes into my comfies that I throw my hair up in a messy knot with a scrunchie to keep it out of my face as I knit or clean or cook dinner.
Back in the knitting world I also worked on this super squishy pink hat for a friend whose hat was stolen.  (That's just not right, people.  Do not steal someone's hat.)  Now I just have to figure out the stacked flower.  Her old one had 3 flowers in different shades and sizes stacked to make 1.  Hmmm.

I had really wanted to get the hat and mittens to the appropriate people before it turned cold again, but cold is relative and now they have raised this coming week's predicted temperatures.  (which is good, but won't require as much knit wear)

I hope soon to have exciting news about a couple of spring shows, so stay tuned.  :-)  I need to get seriously moving on my spring knitting if I expect to be able to handle 2 shows, 1 of which is still during tax season. Eep!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Illy Cowl & Pattern

I was inspired by the fabulous Ilene of Much Love, Illy and her love for mustard colored accent pieces, so when she very patiently dealt with my first blog advertising endeavor, I decided to send her a little something.  I had some designs floating around in my head, but this one spoke to me as really being her style, so the Illy Cowl was born.
 (picture stolen from Ilene, with her permission of course)

 Here's a couple close-ups.
 It's an easy, fairly open lace-work pattern that looks far more complicated than it actually is.  It's also lightweight and comfortable on.  
 I played around and took some pics before I mailed it off.
 Last week I worked on a purple version, which I inadvertently made wider than the original.  (Nothing like screwing up your own pattern, huh?)  I forgot that I only put one repeat of garter rows between the lace repeats, oh well.  The mix up caused me to run out of yarn in the middle of THE VERY LAST ROW.  Sooooo frustrating!  And it was during all the snow and total yuckiness, so I really couldn't just run out and get more.  I had really meant to finish it and post it in my etsy shop as soon as Ilene had posted about the original.  Oh well, whatcha gonna do?  Thursday night I finally made it to the store to get more yarn and after finishing a couple of other pending projects this afternoon I got to finish it!
 So here it is, the slightly wider version of The Illy Cowl.  I am going to post both versions, but know now that I did not swatch (sorry, I hate swatching and think its rather unnecessary on a cowl).
Here's a close up of the stitch pattern.  Like I said, its an easy to memorize pattern, so its good for on the go knitting.  Oh, and the purple one is for sale, see the listing on etsy here.

So, here it goes, The Illy Cowl pattern:

For the skinnier version: 160-170 yards worsted weight yarn
For the wider version: 180-200 yards worsted weight yarn
Size 10.5 circular 20" knitting needles
One stitch marker to mark beginning of round

Cast on 100 stitches using your favorite stretchy cast on (I did basic long tail)

Join in the round and place marker to indicate beginning of round.  Take care to make sure no stitches are twisted.

Original Version:

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Purl
Round 5: Knit
Rounds 6-10: (YO, K2tog) around
Round 11: Knit
Round 12: Purl
Round 13: Knit
Repeat rounds 6-13 3 times more (total of 4 lace sections) or until desired width
Next round: Purl
Next round: Knit

Bind off all stitches using your favorite stretchy bind off.  I used Jeny's Surprising Stretchy bind off.  Weave in ends and block to open up lace pattern.

Wider Version:
Round 1: Knit

Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Purl
Round 5: Knit
Rounds 6-10: (YO, K2tog) around
Round 11: Knit
Round 12: Purl
Round 13: Knit
Round 14: Purl
Round 15: Knit
Repeat rounds 6-15 3 times more (total of 4 lace sections) or until desired width

Bind off all stitches using your favorite stretchy bind off.  Weave in ends and block to open up lace pattern.

The pattern can also be made longer or shorter.  It will work with any even number of stitches.  This pattern has not been test knit by anyone but myself, so if you notice any issues or typos, just please let me know.  Happy Knitting!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

and all the exciting goings on

Notice the lovely blog re-design?  Surely you have, it would be hard to miss it!  I had Miss Kaelah Bee help me out with it and now I think it looks fantastic!  If you are not the super-tech type but want to give your blog a face lift, hit her up.  The button for her blog, Little Chief Honeybee, is over on the right under Daily Reads.

Next up in yesterday's Day-of-total-awesomeness I received the purse I ordered from atouchofstardust on etsy.

 It's so pretty!  It's a lovely grey-blue with big pretty white flowers and a grey strip and handles.  I custom ordered it based on 2 other bags in her shop, using the elements I liked from each one.  It took me months to decide on the perfect bag because she has so many amazingly wonderful ones.

Also in yesterday's awesomeness I got to go have Peachwave with 2 ladies whose company I very much enjoy!  Thanks for coming out with me, Jen & Gracie!  I needed to hit up Michaels for a couple things.  I had run out of yarn 1 row from completing a project.  ONE ROW.  I was so frustrated.  And then I need to pick up a dusty rose for a custom order hat.  I hope I got the right color!

And last for the day of awesomeness, I wove in some ends while catching up on the blog world.  Now, I am not one of those people who could make a whole bunch of stuff and horde it away and not tell people about it and then spring a whole new line of stuff on them at once, so you will very likely see my spring line one project at a time, but thats OK!
 This is the first Spa Set of the spring.  I am calling it the Lemon Chiffon set.  It's a set of three super soft spa-style washcloths made from 100% cotten.  Luxurious feeling on adult skin but soft enough to use on a baby.
 I have not listed the set on etsy yet, but I will soon.  Last night I was just happy to get all the ends woven in and take a couple photos before falling exhaustedly into bed.
This light yellow feels so spring-like to me.  Makes me happy!  I didn't used to be a big yellow fan, but now certain shades are really growing on me.  Must be my old age or something.  Not that I am spending a lot of time thinking about how old I am.  Or at least, I am trying not to.  Hard with that big birthday right around the corner.  The whole changing decades thing is just a little weird.

Here's to another day of awesomeness today!  I get to play with new make-up this morning, that is always a lot of fun.  And then after work I get to go on a date with my wonderful husband, which is sure to be fantastic.  :-)  I can't wait!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Experimenting with Spices

Way back right after Christmas I think I mentioned that Ben had given me a set of curry spices for Christmas.  I love curry and I love to cook, so this was definitely a perfect gift.  Yesterday, here in Oklahoma, we all received the gift of a perfect 70 degree day, so I decided to grill.
 I don't tend to follow recipes and I was also trying to keep everything as healthy as possible, so the big grill basket of veggies got a spray of sesame oil, just enough to lightly coat, and a sprinkle of sweet curry powder.  
 There wasn't time to actually marinate the chicken in the tikka masala, so first I made a sauce with the spices and let that sit, then I sprayed the chicken breasts with the sesame oil and rubbed some spice in to them and tossed them on the grill.
 Once the veggies had come off the grill I tossed them with some sesame seeds that I had toasted.  Be careful, those things can go from toasted to burnt in a split second.
 Some mango chutney, naan bread and those crispy things that taste wonderful but I am sure I can't spell completed our meal.  (its awesome that those crispy things can be cooked in the microwave in about 60 seconds.  Its fun to watch them crinkle up)
 I was so full after dinner!
I know I don't normally post about food, but it was such and easy but yummy dinner that I thought I would share.  

Since I am so in to curry right now, if you have a favorite curry dish and want to share the recipe, please let me know!  I am always up for trying new things.  

Next up, something I forgot to share before.
 This pretty plan Ben gave me for Valentine's Day.  I had been saying I really wanted a green thing for my office and he went and found the hearty plant that doesn't need a ton of sun and only requires a little bit of water and has a beautiful red bloom in the middle.  
It's in a really pretty pot and looks fantastic on the bookcase behind my desk (all my office furniture is black).  So now I get to look at it everyday and think about how wonderful my husband is!  There is a picture of us on our honeymoon that sits right next to the pretty plant, it's perfect.  

It's off to get ready to go to that office now.  If you haven't entered the giveaway for the plum purple cowl on Much Love, Illy, you should definitely head on over there and do so!  She also announced she'll be doing a really big giveaway next week, so keep an eye out for that too.

Have a great day!