Friday, June 29, 2012

Awesome Thursday, On A Friday!

I know I've been somewhat absent the last couple weeks, but with starting the new job, I'm exhausted by the time I get home. Anyway, this is what's been going on in my life lately:

  • Winston had his check up at the vet yesterday. He's doing great! His hair is growing back around the incisions, so soon, you'll barely be able to tell he had anything done.
  • The new job is wonderful. My coworkers are all fantastic, the work isn't difficult, and I'm getting lots of hours.
  • I finally got shoes and a hand bag for my cousins wedding, which is happening on the 14th of July. I'll probably make an exception to my "I don't post outfit posts" rule, and show that one off. 
  • I'm about halfway through my shawl that I plan on wearing at the wedding. I'm wearing a light summery dress, so something to cover my shoulders was necessary. I got the perfect colour yarn completely unintentionally in my KnitPicks order, and started on the shawl right away. I'll show this in my outfit post.
  • I paid off a chunk of my credit card debt this week. I don't owe a LOT on my card, certainly not in the tens of thousands, but the debt has been looming over my head for a while, and it felt good to knock some of it down.
There are lots of other great things going on, but these are the most important ones. What's going on with all of you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Quick Survey For You Fine Folks!

I'm looking at changing some things in my blogging life, and I'm not sure how to execute them. If you could help me out, it would be greatly appreciated! All answers are anonymous.
Click here to take survey

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Magic: June 25 2012, Pretty Pretty Yarns

After a brief hiatus, I'm bringing my Monday Magic posts back! This week, I chose three yarns from Etsy that I absolutely love. There are loads of gorgeous hand spun and hand dyed yarns available on Etsy and it was difficult to choose just three.
This beautiful pale green/blue fingering weight yarn is called Mermaid Tails. It's made from superwash merino and Tencel, and just looks so so so soft! When I first looked at it, I noticed the blues and greens right away. But when you look at it more closely, you notice the yellows, pinks, purples and oranges throughout it. I think this would make a really pretty shawl or stole.
This pretty grey yarn is from Gynx Yarns. I've been ogling her yarns for aaaages. She has some awesome colorways, and even more awesome names for them: Margarita on the Rocks, Ice Cream Sundae, and Wonka just to mention a few. Another great thing about her yarns is that they are organic. This skein in particular is one of a kind. It's mostly grey with blue and purple throughout. It would make a beautiful textured slouchy hat or pair of socks. Check out the Gynx shop on Tuesdays for updates with new items.
Last but certainly not least, are these wonderful skeins of aptly named Acid Washed Jeans. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw them. They are a pretty merino/silk blend that I think would feel fantastic worn against the skin. I would probably knit a cabled cowl, or maybe some fingerless gloves out of this. Maybe both? Who knows! There are three skeins available, so definitely lots of options.

Don't forget! If you want to see one of your items in a future Monday Magic post, leave me a comment, send me a message on Etsy, or shoot me an email. You might see one of your items here in the future!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello Again, June Sponsors!

^^Use the code KnitNicole15 to save 15% in the shop!^^
She Makes Hats 
  Chocolate Mints In A Jar

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Forget Me Not: An Item Review

You may recognize these earrings from a Monday Magic post I did a little while back. I often contact the sellers of the items I feature, because I know I would like to be notified if one of my items was featured on a blog. The seller and I had a little back and forth, and decided that I would write an item review. This got me super excited. Take a look around the ModernFlower Child shop, everything is absolutely beautiful.
When I got home from work today, there were a few pieces of mail waiting for me. The usual bills/credit card statement, and a little padded envelope. I tore into the envelope immediately, excited to see what was inside. For once, I actually remembered to take some photos, albeit crappy ones, of the opening process. Within the envelope was a little kraft paper box, tied with a piece of hemp. I really like simple, pretty packaging like that. The natural materials really fit well with the contents of the box, as well.
It's really difficult to see what the earrings look like in this photo, but I promise they are BEAUTIFUL. Hardly a bubble in site, as is the problem with some resin items that I've seen before. They're smooth, shiny and the flowers themselves are nearly flawless. They really look like the tiny flower was captured in a rain drop and froze that way. They're so neat looking!
Here is a much nicer photo of the earrings from the shop so you can see how nice they look.
You should definitely head to the ModernFlowerChild shop and have a look around. The shop is currently on holiday, but check back soon!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Finished Blueberry Jam Shawl

Pardon the dirty mirror picture. What is this, MySpace?
A couple days ago, I cast off my Blueberry Jam shawl. I did a picot bind off, which took approximately two and a half forevers, but looks spectacular. I think I should block it, but I haven't got a clue how I will do that, as I don't have pins or wires or a place to do it. I might just try to dampen it and spread it out on the bed, but we'll see.
I'm not quite sure what to do with this shawl. Part of me wants to keep it, because it feels great, but I'm not in love with it. The other part says list it on Etsy, and see if it sells. I'm planning on moving to more higher end yarns, and I think this would be a good start to my luxe line. I can offer it in different colours and materials as custom orders.
I have another skein of Ultra Alpaca Fine in the Blueberry colour, and I think I might knit a rectangular stole with it.
I'm also browsing Ravelry for some things to make with all the yarn I got yesterday. One of them will probably turn into a birthday gift for my mother in law. Her birthday isn't until October, so I have lots of time to figure that one out. Her winter coat is a bright cherry red, so any of the neutrals would go very well with it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life Is Good!

Life has a funny way of turning around for me. As I mentioned in the initial post about Winston, everything was going great, and then we got the unfortunate news that he needed surgery. Well, he's home now! The infection has cleared up, his fur is starting to grow in from where they shaved it, and he's HAPPY! He's had a smile on his face since we picked him up. Another happy thing is that the incisions are not very visible. I've looked at some of the pictures of this surgery online, and they all looked terrible. He's taking it all in stride. He still growled at the vet, but was very happy when Rick walked into the room he was in.
Another awesome thing! I got my KnitPicks order today! I placed my very first order a little while back, and it was delivered to the PO Box today. I received an email about it being in the Canadian Postal system, so I checked the tracking number. I literally did a happy dance when I saw that it had arrived. I begged Rick to bring me there, offering to buy gas in exchange. We picked it up, along with a parcel for Cindy, and off to the gas station we went. That pump couldn't go fast enough for me! I just wanted to tear into my yarn and needles!
As soon as we got home, I made a beeline for the scissors, and carefully opened the package. I didn't want to hurt my yarn! Out came a bag with five beautiful skeins in it. Left to right, they are Alpaca Cloud in Wonderland Heather, Oyster Heather and Smoke Heather, and Shadow in Summer Blooms Tonal and Basalt Heather. The Alpaca is the softest thing I think I've ever touched. It's unbelievable. The Shadow is so nice and squishy, I just want a bed made of it. I will definitely be ordering more yarn from KnitPicks in the future.
The other thing I got from KnitPicks was a set of Options Interchangeables in the Harmony Wood. They are so pretty! I can't wait to cast something on with them. I also got a set of 40 inch circular cables, and some cable connectors. I'm starting to knit more, larger and smaller, projects, and I need to have the flexibility. I want to be able to see the full size of a shawl I'm working on, without having to slip the stitches off onto scrap yarn, and then trying to slide them all back on after. I also want to be able to use the Magic Loop technique for the tops of hats, and potentially some mittens. This set is going to help me grow as a knitter, and I can't wait to start using them.
Keep an eye out tomorrow for a (bad) picture of my most recent project!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Update About Winston

First off, thank you EVERYONE who has helped with our current Winston situation. Whether you purchased, shared, or sent happy thoughts, it's all appreciated.
Winston is STILL at the vet, nearly two weeks after the surgery. Both of his ears became infected after being operated on. They couldn't start him on antibiotics until all of the anesthetic was out of his system. They could finally do that a few days ago, and from what I know, he's doing well with them. He could be coming home as soon as this Friday, and we are crossing our fingers that it will be the day.
If you are curious about what exactly he had done, do a Google search of "lateral ear canal resection" I do want to warn you that if you do an image search, some of the photos are pretty traumatizing, and gross looking.

Carpe Omnia: An Item Review

Recently, I had a streak of good luck and won quite a few giveaways. I was very, very excited to have won a print from A Wild Tonic, that was hosted by Amy Morby of A Is For Ampersand/Vanagon Champion. I'd had my eye on these prints for a while, and I was so stoked when I got the email saying I won!
I chose the Carpe Omnia print. Sure, seize the day is great, but why not seize everything? It was beautifully packaged, with a cardboard backing to prevent it from getting bent, and securely inserted into a plastic bag within the envelope, to keep it from possibly getting wet.
I'm going to look for a pretty frame to put the print in, so that I can put it on my desk once I finally get one.
You should definitely check out A Wild Tonic, and buy some pretty vintage things.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Monday Update

I have been so all over the place the past little while, that I don't know up from down. From Friday to Sunday, I spent most of my time working on hats with LeeLee Hats at Carrousel of the Nations. We made over 150 hats, which brings the total made over the past two and a half years to over 6000! This is amazing. I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful project.
We decided that it would be fun to get as many "celebrity knitting" pictures as possible, to help promote our project. Our first one was Dora the Explorer, who spent some time in the children's tent this weekend.
There is so much more that I could write, but my brain is jut so full, that I could write all day, and still not even scratch the surface.
I will be back in a couple days with an item review.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy June, Christy!

PhotobucketThis month, I asked my sponsors what they are most looking forward to this June, and their favourite TV show. Here is what Christy had to say:
For the month of June I am extremely excited to celebrate my sons 8th birthday by going to the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America. Currently my favorite tv show is Criminal Minds.
Don't forget, you can use the code KnitNicole15 to save 15% in the shop!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy June, Robyn!

This month, I asked my sponsors what they are most looking forward to this June, and their favourite TV show. Here is what Robyn had to say:
She Makes HatsWe're heading to Chicago in early June to watch my youngest brother graduate from high school, and to show Owen to Chicago for the first time!
Right now I'm loving on American Ninja Warrior!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy June, Nancy!

This month, I asked my sponsors what they are most looking forward to this June, and their favourite TV show. Here is what Nancy had to say:
At the end of June, the hubby & I, who eloped on Leap Day, are having our wedding reception with friends and family. I'm very excited for it and can't believe it's already so close!
I'm a self-proclaimed TV junkie, so I have to name a few: Loving Modern Family, Girls (HBO), and Dexter the absolute most.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Custom Order Is Complete: My First Hat In The Round

Recently, I had a friend ask me to knit a hat for her son. She had the pattern and the yarn ready to go, and wanted to help pay for Winston's surgery, so she asked me to do it. The pattern seemed easy enough. A little colour work, and knit in the round, though; two things I'd never done before. (I've knit in the round, but never a hat) I figured I would try it out, and if I failed miserably, I would admit defeat, and give everything back to her. Initially, I cast on with 6mm needles that she supplied. It would have fit an elephant. I went down to 5mm and it was perfect. The stranding wasn't that difficult, to be honest. It took me a couple days to finish, but I got it done! Not to toot my own horn, but I think it looks great! The pattern is the Skull Beanie from Polar Knit.
I'm now confident enough to start working on regular hats done in the round. Will I forget the loom hats completely? Probably not. But it's nice to add another skill to the knitting arsenal.