Friday, March 1, 2013

Mossy Scarf

I have been keeping plenty busy since the craft fair, which was mildly successful for me. I certainly did better than I did the last time I participated (by a long shot!), but for the amount of time and effort that I put in preparing for it all, it didn't really balance out.

However, because I posted on Facebook for every hat/cowl/scarf I knitted for the craft fair, I stirred up a lot of interest, starting with my friends, in the selling of what I create. I have been in the process of conferring with the legal office on base to get my etsy shop running while we still live in Germany, but it has been slow moving and frustrating.

In the meantime, though, I have had quite a few people contact me for commissioned projects. One of those commission customers prefers scarves to cowls, and she loved the Mossy Slouch set that I had written up, so I now have a third pattern of the same look to share with you!

Mossy Scarf

Materials Needed:
Size US 15/10mm needles to knit in the round

150 yards of bulky yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Cast on 15 stitches
Row 1: Sl st purlwise, *k1tbl, p1tbl,* 6 times; k1tbl, k1
Row 2: Sl st purlwise, *p1tbl, k1tbl,* 6 times; p1tbl, k1
Row 3: Sl st purlwise, *k1tbl, p1tbl,* 6 times; k1tbl, k1
Row 4: Sl st purlwise, *p1, k1* across
Repeat Row 4 until 50"/127cm from cast on edge (or until desired length, which will require more yarn)
Repeat Rows 1 and 2, casting off in pattern with Row 3.
Weave in ends and block as desired.  

The selling of projects resulting in use of this pattern is permitted, but please don't sell the pattern itself, and always provide the link/URL to the pattern where you sell it so others can enjoy crafting as well!  

And now there is third piece in the set to match with the Slouchy Moss Hat and Mossy Cowl! :D 

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mossy Cowl

Since the last time I blogged, I have continued preparing for the upcoming craft fair...which is in 3 days!!! I'm quickly running short on time! I'm in the process of staining a couple of boxes I found at Toom (a German hardware store) that I will be setting up for a jewelry display. I found the inspiration from Pinterest in which a pinner used wine boxes/crates. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

I've also managed to knit up a couple garter stitch scarves with some ribbon-like yarn and large needles and a heart tam.

On top of that, I've come up with a pattern to make a cowl that matches my Slouchy Moss Hat! I love that it looks good both with matching the same color and mixing and matching the colors. :)

 So for the second time in a week, I present you with a new pattern. :D

The Mossy Cowl

Materials Needed:
Size US 15/10mm needles to knit in the round
80-100 yards of bulky-super bulky yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Stitchmarker to mark the beginning of the round

CO 52 with long tail cast on
Rows 1-4: *k1tbl, p1* repeat from * to * around
Row 5: *p1, k1* repeat from * to * around
Row 6: *k1, p1* repeat from * to * around

Repeat rows 5-6 eleven times, for a total of 24 rows. Repeat row 5 once more.

Repeat rows 1-4, then bind off.Use a tapestry needle to weave in ends
Block as desired.

And now you have a matching set to keep you warm through the rest of the winter! :D Happy knitting!

The selling of projects resulting in use of this pattern is permitted, but please don't sell the pattern itself, and always provide the link/URL to the pattern where you sell it so others can enjoy crafting as well!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Slouchy Moss

I have been knitting up a storm over here in Germany! I had a job for a while there (which is part of my reason for my extended blogging lull this time around) that began in October and ended January 18th. I was actually pretty disappointed to be leaving. I really liked the people I worked with, had a good time, and felt great doing something outside of housework that I got constant recognition for what I did. (Not to mention my own paycheck to have some spending money of my own...which pretty much all went to Christmas presents...) But more about that later! For now, I am focusing on gearing up for the upcoming Spangdahlem Air Base Craft Fair!!!

The plan at this point is to share a table with my friend, Jessica of The MOMster Shop, and hopefully sell a lot of stuff! :D I have been knitting hats nearly nonstop since I signed up last week, and I think I may actually be pretty prepared.

I bought some yarn when I was down at Ramstein this past weekend for my girl's weekend with Elphie, but was unaware that what I purchased was not the chunky I had thought it was (I had been using bulky mostly), but super bulky. So instead of using those to make more of the hats that I have been cranking out, I decided to throw together something of my own. (Disclaimer: As this is made from a very common and basic stitch, I'm pretty sure there is a hat similar to this out there somewhere, but this one I wrote out and knit myself.) So without further ado, I give you....

The Slouchy Moss Hat

Materials Needed:
Size US 13/9mm needles to knit in the round
Size US 17/12mm needles to knit in the round
80-100 yards of bulky-super bulky yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Stitchmarker to mark the beginning of the round

With size US 13/9mm needles, CO 48 with long tail cast on
Rows 1-5: *k1tbl, p1* repeat from * to * around
Change to size US 17/12mm needles
Row 6: *p1, k1* repeat from * to * around
Row 7: *k1, p1* repeat from * to * around

Repeat rows 6-7 until the moss stitch section of the hat measures 7"

Row 1: *p1, k1, p1, k1, p2tog* repeat * to * around
Row 2: *k1, p1, k1, p2tog* repeat * to * around
Row 3: *p1, k1, p2tog* repeat * to * around
Row 4: *k1, p2tog* repeat * to * around
Row 5: k2tog around       
Cut long tail and use tapestry needle to sew remaining 8 stitches closed and weave in ends
Block as desired.

And you get a slouch hat! :D Pretty simple, right? I like the way it looks!

The selling of projects resulting in use of this pattern is permitted, but please don't sell the pattern itself, and always provide the link/URL to the pattern where you sell it so others can enjoy crafting as well!  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Skinny Irish Hiking Scarf

Once upon a time, in the far away town of Sacile, Italy, a brand-new knitter was born. After her first foray into knitting, expanding on her years and years of yarn experience with crochet, she joined a social networking site for yarn crafters called Ravelry. While accessing this mystical portal to all things full of yarn-y goodness, she came upon a magnificent and talented group of knitters that participated in a Harry Potter-themed knitting swap. While her husband was far off assisting in the slaying of distant foes, this group became her support system and close friends.

When one of them suggested starting a new kind of swap, one that passed along a piece of knitting for all involved to participate in and each end up with their own scarf worked on by hands from around the world, the neophyte knitter was overcome with excitement and immediately set to searching out the perfect pattern to use.

To her dismay, she was unable to find one that catered to her tastes and desires....thus, the Skinny Irish Hiking Scarf was born.

With needles clicking and quill scribbling, she made notes, alterations and ultimately, the scarf she envisioned so clearly in her mind.

She wrote out the pattern with care and sent the written instructions and beginnings of a community project around the world.

About a year later, it came back home to her, waiting to be finished off and worn with pride, and now that the written pattern has recently been uncovered from the depths of my castle's dungeons, I pass it along to you all...

Skinny Irish Hiking Scarf

Size 5.0mm/US8 knitting needles

Cable needle

Worsted weight yarn


C6F: slip 3 stitches to the cable needle and hold in front. Knit next 3 stitches, then knit 3 stitches off the cable needle.


CO 22 sts

Knit 4 rows

R1 (WS): Sl first st p-wise, K2, P2, K3, P6, K3, P2, K3

R2 (RS): Sl first st p-wise, K4, P3, K6, P3, K5

R3-6: Repeat rows 1 & 2

R7: Repeat row 1

R8: Sl first st p-wise, K4, P3, C6F, P3, K5


Repeat last 8 rows until desired length, ending with row 7.


Knit 4 rows.

Bind off.

The selling of projects resulting in use of this pattern is permitted, but please don't sell the pattern itself, and always provide the link/URL to the pattern where you sell it so others can enjoy crafting as well!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Won't Give Up

I. Love. This. Song.

Since the moment I first heard it on the radio. I adore it. And I have been listening to this cover for at least the past 24 gives me chills.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Timing is an interesting thing.

For instance: tonight, I had Superman and Batman change their bedding (it didn't happen over the weekend due to my being sick with one ferocious cold!). They were determined to impress me with their bed-making skills, and when they were done, Batman asked me if his was the best made bed ever, in the whole wide world. Not to be outdone, Superman asked if his was the best in all the planets of all the galaxies in all the universe. (No lie! His exact words!) Part of me beamed with pride and wondered if maybe I could introduce him to Doctor Who. The other part of me, the part that cringed at the competitiveness that was sure to get a rise out of his brother, knows that he is not quite ready for the good Doctor, as I'm fairly certain it would give him nightmares of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels. But I'm almost certain that in a few years, he will be my fellow Whovian, watching the new episodes with bated breath.

I'm not known for being a patient person. (Mostly because I'm not. LOL) My whole life, timing has been a thorn in my side (not to mention the cause for tantrums thrown that would put toddlers to shame) more times than I care to admit. I want things to be done when I want them done. I don't want to wait. This tends to make me a difficult person to work with. (Obviously.) However, I think marrying into the military (which I was dead-set against for as long as I can remember...mostly because I didn't want someone else dictating my life and being in control guessed it...timing) was about one of the best things that has happened to me in my life. Not only because I would have passed by a man that is an amazing father and wonderful husband, but because it has taught me a few things.

Let me tell you, me learning from life lessons takes nothing short of a brick wall to stop my forward progress and change my course. I honestly don't think that I would have learned these things without my husband's career being military. I know there's no arguing with the rules. For as bull-headed as I am, I do generally have respect for authority. And rules. So learning to be flexible and plan for things without set dates, and moving internationally, and dealing with Superman's challenges...even though I'm an independent spirit, it was NOT the right time for me to be working outside the home. And I wanted to be home with my boys. I am so very grateful that I was able to stay home and be a mom and homemaker full time. And I think I needed the time the boys were in school to just be with myself. Last year, when Batman started Kindergarten, I wanted to throw a party. I may not have made the emotional progress I wanted to in the course of that year (my goals also tend to be quite lofty...they probably weren't realistic...), it was enough. And now, with having made the diet changes over the summer that I did in addition to joining a workout challenge with Elphie, I am feeling more like my old self than I have in a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

I started to see signs of my restlessness of being at home all the time pretty soon after the boys started school. The first week, I relaxed, knit, and caught up on some household duties that I slacked on during the Ravellenic Games (my butt was planted in front of my computer, knitting and watching the Olympics!). Then I started to get active with working out, and it all went from there. I signed up to volunteer at the school to escort kids around for health screenings and special "briefings" (bus safety, the gifted ed program, library, etc.) while the teachers do evaluations on the students in a one-on-one setting. I volunteered for all three weeks. Last week was 3rd & 4th graders. This week (starting tomorrow!) is 2nd graders. Next week is 1st grade. So when I had the car last week, I made good use of my time. I didn't stay cooped up in the house. I went to the craft store on base and got set up to be the new knitting instructor (for the last year or so we're here). I went to a "career fair" at the lame BX we currently have to see about getting hired at the new BX that is nearly finished being built. And as of today, the contract has gone through for the knitting classes (so tomorrow I will go finalize all that paperwork), the background check to move forward with being officially hired with AAFES has been started (I should be able to get into the "new employee" class the first Tuesday of October!), and I'm finally over this nasty head cold and was able to get back to working out.

I'm not sure what it was that clicked into place, but I am feeling better about myself than I have in quite a while, I have more energy (I know that's a combination of dietary and exercise changes), and I am super excited to start making my own small paycheck to cover my yarn addiction (which I will have significantly less time for, lol) and gift shopping for The Instigator! :D I think I'm finally learning to sit back let things work out to God's timing instead of pushing my own agenda. It really takes so much less fighting that way. LOL

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anna Karenina

This blog post contains spoilers about the literary work titled "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy. 

I have done it.

For the second time in my life, I have completed reading the novel Anna Karenina.

The first time I read the book, it was (evidently) an abridged version (which, had I known that, I'd have gone in search of the UNabridged version...) and it was for my senior year as an assignment of summer reading for my AP Lit class.

I trudged my way through it, using sticky notes to make a multitude of notes about imagery, prose, character development, tone...all of those technical writing things.
I hated the book. Hated. And more than anything, I hated the character named Anna Karenina. The first version I read ended with her suicide and it left such a bad taste in my mouth. I could not believe how immoral she was and her "woe is me" attitude about the situation she got herself into by making the choices that she did. However, at the time, I was also a pretentious, stuck up, goody-two-shoes perfectionist that tended to have pity for those that sinned. I knew I wasn't perfect, but I acted and judged like I was. So to see someone in a piece of literature that was so immoral and the steps she took to escape the mess she made for herself and those around her...I couldn't stomach it.

I talked it over with my teacher a little bit, and when she asked me certain questions that made me reflect on it in a (teeny, tiny bit) different way, the hated was toned down from volatile to disgusted, but I was still not sold on it. She very obviously saw why and where I was having trouble with it, and told me that when she was in college, she read the book Vanity Fair for an assignment and loathed it. She went back a decade later and re-read it and it became one of her favorite books of all time. At that point, I vowed to myself to try and read it again some day, though at the time I didn't expect to wait 10 years to do so.

Fast forward.....that's right, you guessed it...10 years. I had every intention of re-reading Anna Karenina before now, but with life and marriage and kids and moving (multiple times!), it just didn't happen. But a movie is coming out this holiday season based on the book (starring Kiera Knightley and Jude Law), and when I saw the preview, I thought it looked pretty accurate to what I remembered and a desire was ignited in me to finally take on reading the novel again.

It took me more than 2 months, but I have finally accomplished it! I don't hate it as much as I used to, but I'm fairly certain that it is not going to become my absolute favorite book. (I am, however, now curious about War and Peace and reading some of Dostoevsky's work...) I do like Tolstoy's style of being so thorough and detailed about the characters in the novel, even though some of them seem obsolete or pointless. They all have a role to play, and this snapshot of these characters in the 1800's so accurately depicts people and their personalities and choices that I see everywhere in today's world.

Now that I have experienced a little bit of life and am no longer the sheltered, over-protected girl I was in high school, I found the book was much easier to read (regardless of the 2 months it took me to get through over 900 pages) and far more relate-able than the first go around.

There are still things about Anna I can't stand. Like how she was so selfish and looking for an "out," which culminated in her suicide. Or the fact that she even gave in to the desires she did with Vronsky and cheated on and left her husband. The mind games she played with Vronsky, trying to get him to respond to her a certain way after the "honeymoon phase" wore off. I just really did not like her at all. (Granted, I knew this time going into it that she was going to take her own life, and I did really try to see things from her perspective, but the moment she was unfaithful to her husband, it was all downhill for me. I may have looked for more redeeming qualities or instances I could relate to, or had more hope for her recovery had I not known of her coming demise.)

However, I did appreciate the book far more than I did before. I was able to see Kitty and Levin in a way I would never have understood before, and the juxtaposition of the relationships screamed at me. (I can't believe I missed such an obvious thing 10 years ago!) And I found seeing the way that Levin felt hopeless and how he handled it, searching for and finding a spiritual answer to his troubles and that his relationship was built on trust and logic and love absolutely moving. Even more so when it's compared to Anna's hopelessness that spirals from the beginning, with a brief reprieve in the middle, and she turns to fleshly desires and a relationship based on the physical and her answer for those things.

I am definitely not sorry that I re-read it, and I may read it again, once I have some more life experience to my name. My view of her may change yet. But for now, I'm glad to have made it through the entire book!