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{My Crafting Corner} A Twisted Little Raglan

When I first discovered the local yarn store, I fell in love with a hand dyed yarn from a local company. The yarn is called Cashmere Squeeze and is 75% SW Merino, 15% Cashmere, and 10% Silk. The yarn is pure heaven and a delight to the touch. The yarn inspired me; Mr. Tux persuaded me. I was going to start knitting my first sweater. A sweater for Kiera instead of just making things for everybody else. The yarn store owner helped me choose a top-down patter that was in a style I liked, at an advanced beginner level.

I purchased the book, The Knitter’s handy book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd and selected the pattern, A Twisted Little Raglan. If you are interested, you can find the pattern and others from the book on ravelry. With my pattern found, my yarn purchased, and all of the knitting notions required gathered, it was time to start knitting.

I cast on for the sweater back in late February/early March and got about an inch and a half into the sweater before hitting a snag. I accidently purled nine stitches that should have been knitted and only caught the mistake on the next round. I was stumped. I didn’t want to unravel what I had worked so hard to knit, but I didn’t know how to fix the mistake. So I set the sweater aside.

For weeks it haunted me. I wanted to knit the sweater, but I didn’t want to face having to rip out the stitches I had so carefully knitted. So the sweater sat and I avoided it. Last weekend, while shopping the Easter basket sale at the yarn store, I mentioned to the store owner how I wasn’t working on my sweater because I had screwed up and I couldn’t face ripping out the stitches. She was all like, oh no problem. That is an easy fix; just bring in your sweater and we can help you. I was floored. Was there possibly hope for my poor little raglan?…

So Saturday morning, after Mr. Tux and I had enjoyed our usual weekend breakfast date, I took my poor little raglan into the store for some magic help. The lady running the store that day, sat down with me, and in ten minutes had walked me through fixing the messed up stitches, explained how use the same process to fix larger mistakes if they happen, and had my little raglan back in the land of the living. I was floored! So easy. If only I hadn’t dragged my feet and avoided my sweater problem, I could have been knitting my sweater all this time. I am so thankful for our local yarn store and the wonderful people there who are ready and willing to answer the stupidest questions any time. Thanks to them, my little raglan has been granted a new lease on life and I can return to knitting my sweater.

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All better! You can’t even tell.IMG_5346

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Happy me!

Kiera

A Sparkly Mermaid Hat for Me

I finished knitting myself another hat. If you recall from this post, I was planning on using my pink variegated Sport/DK yarn from Cascade Yarns Sunseeker Multis create another hat. While I loved how my first swirl hat turned out, I wanted to try again to have a hat without mistakes. Success! I managed to knit the swirl hat without mistakes, in an even gauge, and it fits perfectly. One small change I did to the pattern was choosing to not knit the full 7 inches in length. I only went to 6.5 inches and I love how the hat turned out. It doesn’t have extra room at the top of my head like the first hat, and it covers my ears perfectly while still staying out of my eyes. I am in love!

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One pink sparkly mermaid hatIMG_5333

My original Swirl HatIMG_5340

Side by side of the two different hats. The colors are so different!IMG_5341

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I LOVE how this hat turned out! And I LOVE wearing this hat.

Kiera

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{This Moment} A Little Bit of Knitting

A Soule Mama Inspired Ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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04-25-2014

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Kiera

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My Yarn Stash

Ever since re-discovering knitting this past Fall, I have been slowly developing my yarn stash. When I discovered the local yarn store, my stash grew in leaps and bounds. Before, I only had a stash of acrylic based yarns from Jo-Anns, Michaels, and Wal-Mart. Now, besides my regular yarn stash, I have a stash of high quality yarn. I call it my “good” yarn stash. These are yarns that are pure fiber, mostly hand-dyed, and exceptionally luxurious to the touch. My good yarn stash is amazing. I love searching through the stash to see what I have on hand and dreaming of new projects I could create with the stashed yarn.

My stash just grew over the weekend with the yarn store’s Easter Basket sale. I picked up some Sublime silk and bamboo baby yarn in three different colors. I also picked up three skeins of variegated blue, two skeins of variegated green, one skein of variegated pink Sport/DK yarn, and two packages of pencil roving for my drop spindle. I have already started knitting the pink variegated into another Swirl Hat. I just love using that pattern. It is my current favorite pattern for a hat. I am thinking the green variegated yarn would look awesome as a Swirl Hat with matching arm warmers set. The blue is destined for a new project I have in mind. I am thinking the blue would look amazing as either a sweater or a shawl/neck cowl. Right now, I am definitely leaning towards making it into a shawl.

The Sublime yarn will make some of the nicest, softest baby knits. I will probably make some baby hats and booties out of that yarn. The blue and pink skeins of sock yarn and the variegated blue cashmere are still up in the air. I just couldn’t resist them in the store.

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I am looking forward to trying out this pencil roving on the drop spindle. I just love the colors!IMG_5308

I call this my blue mermaid yarn. The camera barely picks it up, but there are bits of sparkle woven in the yarn.IMG_5310

This is my green mermaid yarn. IMG_5327

There was only one skein of the pink mermaid yarn left. I kind of wish there had been more. I think a hat, scarf, and arm warmer set in this color would have been fabulous!IMG_5311

My new baby Sublime yarn. I have been eyeing this yarn for a while and the sale was the perfect time to grab some.IMG_5312

All of my new additions to the stash. Mr. Tux has informed me I have spent my yarn budget for a while. Until I make a few things, I am not allowed to buy any more.IMG_5320

Pink sock yarnIMG_5321

blue sock yarnIMG_5322

together the blue and pink are eye-shockinly bright! Maybe I will make a set of stripped socks…hmm…IMG_5329

My entire stashIMG_5330This should keep me busy for a while.

Kiera

Weekending: Fun Times with Lobstermom

Lobstermom came down and spent the weekend with us. We went cycling Saturday morning up a 10 mile hill with 2,000 vertical grade with 64 curves. Riding up the hill we averaged 6.3mph up the hill and 9.5mph down. I hit a top speed of 31.8 mph coming down the hill. The descent was well worth the climb.

After cycling the grade, Mr. Tux and I borrowed a tandem from the local bike store and test road the tandem. While we were riding the tandem, Lobstermom was riding her bike and pulling Tuxley.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend and I am ready for another work week.

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Tuxley got a new toy from GrandmaIMG_5273

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Cows along the road we were cyclingIMG_5280

Almost to the topIMG_5282

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Tuxley wasn’t sure about someone else pulling his trailerIMG_5302

Riding on the tandem freed up my hands for taking photosIMG_5312

We also went to the Easter basket sale at the local yarn store. Look at all my new goodies!IMG_5317

I couldn’t resist starting a new knitting project with some of the new yarnIMG_5327

Kiera

{This Moment} An Early Morning Visitor

A Soule Mama Inspired Ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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04-18-2014~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kiera

Adventures in Tree Planting

Mr. Tux and I have talked about planting shade trees and what our future plans for the backyard are for a couple years now. Lots of ideas have been thrown around, and no real decision had been reached. Until this Spring. About a month ago, Mr. Tux was talking to a co-worker about trees and landscaping. Over the course of their conversation, it was discovered that this website was having a 50% off sale through the end of the day. After work Mr. Tux and I browsed the site and picked out 7 items we wanted to purchase. We ordered a Royal Empress shade tree for the back yard, a Flowering Almond, two Junipers, and three lilacs. Then we waited. And waited.

The trees shipped from North Carolina and we were so excited when we came home from work to see a couple boxes on our front porch. The trees were here! We unpacked the boxes and planted all seven trees that evening.

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This one box contained three lilacs and two junipers…the plants were rather tiny looking.IMG_5124

This box hopefully contains our Royal Empress and Flowering Almond trees…IMG_5125

Opening up the first boxIMG_5126

Oh look, the bush with all the flowers must be the almond…but where is the Royal Empress?IMG_5127

That stick is our Royal Empress?!? That is supposed to be our large shade tree? Skeptical!IMG_5129

But hey, at least the Almond is pretty.IMG_5130

All of the plants in their pots lined up and ready to plant.IMG_5131

The Royal Empress (or stick as refer to it as) didn’t even have a pot. Just a couple roots wrapped in damp paper…IMG_5132

Tuxley is very suspicious of our activities in the yardIMG_5137

Planting the stickIMG_5139

Planting a lilac that looks more twig like than shrub likeIMG_5146

But hey, at least the Flowering Almond looks promising.IMG_5151

The two Junipers were cute. IMG_5153So pretty and green.

For now, Mr. Tux and I are faithfully hauling water to each and every one of these plants every other day as necessary. We are trying to be optimistic that all will survive and grow large. Hopefully, I might get to sit under a shade tree in my back yard…someday. For now, we try to remain positive.

Kiera

 

Cycling for Our Lunch

Mr. Tux, Tuxley, and I cycled 54 miles on Saturday. We were on the road by 8:20AM and made it back home by 4:00PM. A friend of ours rode about 4 miles with us. He was just coming back from a ride and met up with us as we were headed out. He rode back out on the trail with us for a few miles before heading home. Tuxley was very unsure of him. The G Man rides a trike and Tuxley was suspicious of somebody riding along at his level. He threw many dirty looks at the G Man before opting for his sulking doxie routine.

We rode the first quarter of the ride and stopped for breakfast. I had half a veggie & hummus sandwich, some delicious baked french toast, home-style potatoes, and a thing of chocolate milk. Pure heaven. Mr. Tux had the same french toast and potatoes, with half a banger, a lemon bar, part of a turkey sandwich and some chocolate milk. We love our chocolate milk. After our breakfast stop, we continued on our ride out along the trail.

For lunch, we stopped at a favorite cafe of ours that is finally accessible by the trail now that the snow has melted. (This is the same trail that we cycled on up to the snow line a few weeks ago.) Lunch was delicious as normal. The cafe owner remembered Tuxley from last year and even gave him a dog biscuit. Tuxley loved it. The owner is really friendly and owns a couple dachshunds of his own. Mr. Tux enjoyed a mango smoothie and cinnamon roll for lunch. I nibbled on a piece of sourdough toast, a bag of Doritos, and a mango smoothie. Very tasty.

Heading home, we got hit with the headwind again. We had looked at the weather report before leaving and knew the risk of a strong headwind. Yet, cycling is like a drug. We couldn’t resist the beautiful sunshine and clear sky even if it meant a headwind coming home. Halfway home, we stopped again to nibble the other halves of our sandwiches from breakfast. We also stopped again about three quarters of the way home for some nuts and a Pemican bar. Because of fighting the headwind all the way home, it was essential that we kept consuming calories so we could make it home and not burn out.

Less than two miles from the house, the storm the wind had been blowing in hit. We got sprinkled on. Just as we rolled into our garage, the rain really started coming down. The sky opened up and just dumped. We were so thankful to have made it safely home before the rain hit. Overall it was another wonderful ride. We were a bit sore on Sunday, but still considering going riding. Instead we settled for doing yard work and cleaning around the house. I am looking forward to our next cycling outing. This past week, we rode a total of 3 rides and over 100 miles. Well on our way to reaching our total mileage goal for the year.

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Mr. Tux’s bikeIMG_5243

Saoirse with the trailerIMG_5246

The weather was beautiful, if a little blusteryIMG_5245

Tuxley and I wore matching blue vests. Aren’t we precious?!IMG_5258

It takes quite a bit of space to park both bikes and the trailer when we stopIMG_5249

Tuxley got cold and needed his heavy coatIMG_5251What a styling dog!

Kiera

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{This Moment} Yin-Yang Cats

A Soule Mama Inspired Ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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04-11-2014~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kiera

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This Walk Went to the Hounds

Last time we were up visiting Lobstermom, we took all of the dogs for a walk. Lobstermom owns a Beagle (Bentley), a Basset Hound (Beau), and a mutt dog that has got to be part Great Dane part yellow Lab (Barkley). Mr. Tux and I of course have Tuxley. All four of the dogs are great friends and love playing together. Whenever we have a change, Lobstermom, Mr. Tux and I take all of them for a long walk. We make quite the sight. Three humans, one dog the size of a small pony, and three hound dogs.

All three hounds follow their noses and trample over each other to get first access to all of the wonderful smells. Their longs ears all flap as they run, and their tails wave proudly like saluting flags. The pictures from the last walk turned out awesome. I have been meaning to capture the walks in pictures, but I always forget the camera in the car when we arrive and remember it as we drive away. This time was different. I got my pictures!

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Bentley, Beau, and TuxleyIMG_5027

Tuxley just adores Barkley and tries to follow him everywhereIMG_5028

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Just look at those Hound tails!IMG_5043Tuxley loves these walks! He always ends up exhausted at the end, which Mr. Tux and I love.

The best part about hounds after a long walk is that all of us can go home and nap contentedly in the living room. A relaxing ending to an invigorating walk.

Kiera