September

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Autumn seems to be arriving right on time this year, which is so lovely, because September is often peak fire season and heatwaves are not uncommon this time of year around here. This September, however, has been cooler and we’ve even had rain! The leaves on the trees up here in the mountains have a tinge of yellow, so we’ll have some brilliant color very soon. I’ve decided to keep track of what’s been going on for the last few weeks and then just publish a post at the end of the month, so here we go!

In September I finished a most enjoyable series of books called The Lunar Chronicles. I actually read the first one, Cinder, at the beginning of the summer and then requested the others from my library. I had to wait a bit for Scarlet, the second book, and then immediately read the last two, Cress and Winter over Labor Day weekend. I’m not sure how to classify them other than sci-fi/steampunk/fairy tale retellings, but it was a fun series that I highly recommend.

Speaking of fairy tales, I usually also have an audiobook going for my drive to and from work, and this month I finished As You Wish, followed by a screening of The Princess Bride (currently on Netflix). It was charming and fun, and reminded me how much I loved the movie. I highly recommend the audio version of the book, it’s read by Cary Elwes himself, and features many of the other cast members too.

I try to bring my lunch to work most days. I’m always on the lookout for good salad recipes and usually will prep all the ingredients and then eat the same salad for a few days. I found a couple winners via Pinterest this month. First up was Lamb and Dill Meatballs with Horitaki salad. The meatballs were really simple and so delicious. As soon as I was done with the first batch of meatballs I bought more ground lamb for the freezer so I could make them again soon. Basically, everything in this salad is my favorite, so it’s a big winner.

lamb meatball salad

Another new and delicious find was this Moroccan Steak Salad. The prep for this one was more intensive, but worth it. The pomegranate seeds were a nice touch.

steak salad

Here are some of my favorite finds this month:

  • Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way – I’m not an artist, but I decided to start practicing drawing. This is a fun book, full of prompts and different types of paper for sketching. So far I have created some terrible drawings, and a couple that I actually like. I may share more on Instagram eventually.
  • Duolingo <– the link goes to the website, but I’m using the phone app. Twenty-something years ago I was pretty good at speaking Dutch. When you don’t use a language for that many years you get a little rusty. I’ve been practicing with 5-minute sessions and it’s coming back!
  • Hillview Yarns is an Etsy shop recently opened by my friend Vivian. I’ve invested in a few skeins for some hat designs I’ve been working on, and I just love the colors she’s been coming up with, especially her blues and greens. I just got a skein of Socky McSockface for a pair of elaborately cabled socks that I can’t wait to cast on.
  • I’m working on my first sweater made from my handspun yarn, and have another handspun sweater quantity in the works, but I really want to make Mohr from the new Brooklyn Tweed collection.
  • I invested in the handiest piece of jewelry ever: Wrist Ruler (I have the medium leather), also available at Tolt

I like collecting my favorites for the month and just throwing them up here. I think I’ll keep doing this each month.

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lovely things

Some things I am enjoying right now:

::Lilacs::

It’s a good lilac year. It was warming up a couple weeks ago, so they grew and bloomed quickly, but then it cooled down and got rainy, so they’ve been lasting longer than usual.

::Book Recommendations::

Modern Mrs. Darcy and her What Should I Read Next podcast

MMD-2016-Reading-Challenge

I’m going through a bit of a reading lull at the moment, but listening to episodes of this podcast is helping to get me enthused about reading again.

::Organization::

Bullet Journaling

I’ve always been on the lookout for the perfect planner, I’ve tried all the apps, and I have lists on bits of paper scattered all over. I think Bullet Journaling is the perfect solution for me. Sometimes I have to-do lists a mile long, but sometimes keeping a calendar seems like overkill for my relatively peaceful life. With a bullet journal I can adjust it as needed. So far I’m finding it helpful to use a page for a weekly spread, rather than daily pages. I also love having a place to keep lists of projects I want to do, and books to read, and recipes I want to try. I even keep a post-it on my current weekly page to use for listing groceries I need to buy. It’s as simple or as complicated as I need it to be, I think it’s really genius!

::Beautiful Knitting::

waiting for rain

My next new knitting project is going to be this beautiful Waiting for Rain Shawl. I have some Lakes Yarn in Fernan Merino Fingering in a pretty silver-green color. I am not allowing myself to cast on until I’m finished with two other projects first. This is highly motivating, however, and I hope to get to this within the week.

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all the knitting

How about a knitting update? I have been just knitting my little heart out. It’s the perfect thing when you don’t have much energy for anything else. I was also motivated by the fact that my sister is having a baby girl in October, and there isn’t much that’s more fun to knit than tiny, cute, baby things. I’m doing my best to make sure she’ll be cozy and warm for her first winter. These photos all showed up previously as Instagram photos, but I’ve sent everything away, so they will have to do for now. Click the photos for my Ravelry project pages, links below go to the pattern pages.

Photo Aug 17, 3 08 51 PM 13570139673_8b04617b0b_z Photo Aug 10, 2 11 22 PM

Patterns are:
Cascade // Beyond Puerperium // Sleeping Cedars

Is this not the cutest set? I also added little pearly buttons to the cardigan.

Photo Jun 16, 7 15 47 AM 14510790013_209e19ed26_z

Semis de Printemps // Béguin de Printemps

I didn’t want my other niece to be too jealous of her new baby sister, so I made a couple things for her as well. I love that little teddy bear pattern, and will probably make more, including one for myself because he’s just so cute. I added the garter stitch scarf in yarn to match the sweater.

Photo Aug 17, 3 08 04 PM Processed with VSCOcam with h4 preset

Sweet Peasy // Brambles Bear

I did make some things for myself, but need to get some better photos. There are also multiple adult sweaters underway at the moment, but they take so much longer than baby sweaters, I admit that I’ve fallen victim to the instant gratification of knitting tiny things. It’s still so warm, but I’m sure my motivation to finish the bigger projects will increase once it starts cooling off.

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fair isle

I got bit by the Fair Isle bug recently. It all started with the making of a hat earlier this spring. I’ve been doing a bit of reading and research, and made a mitten for a bit more practice (is it just me, or are mittens more difficult than hats? I had a much harder time keeping the floats even and not too tight). Then I bought some neon pink yarn to use for pocket linings on a sweater that I will not even be able to cast on until later this fall. It sat in my knitting basket, taunting me with its cheery brightness, especially next to the charcoal grey yarn I plan to use for the body of the same sweater. And then I had a vision of a Fair Isle-style hat in those two colors. So I printed up a few sheets of knitter’s graph paper, and got out my colored pencils and started coloring. I also have a basket full of Knit Picks Palette yarn, and pulled out a few more shades of grey to make an ombre background. I’m having a lot of fun figuring out a pattern, I knit a little, then color a few more rows on my graph paper, and knit a little more. If it all works out (and I’m thinking it’s going to), I’m going to be writing up the pattern to sell on Ravelry.

Color work like this is so addicting, I always want to do just one more row to see what the pattern will look like! Oh, and it seems that photographing neon yarn is really tricky. I’ll try to do better once it’s all done!

Some related links:

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knitting ADD

I’m a little scattered, knitting-wise, so I’m just going to throw a bunch of my recent knitting-related thoughts up here and maybe purging my brain will help me focus. I keep wanting to knit all the things and also buy all the things.

  1. Knitting Projects: I still have that list of sweaters to work on, and I really do want to get as many of those made this year as possible. The trouble is that I keep getting distracted by other things.citadel
    I just finished a hat, I have two shawls, and a baby bunting on the needles, and I am trying to write up a pattern for a pair of socks but I can’t make the chart work properly. So what do I do? I just go ahead and start one of those sweaters. Yeah, that makes sense.
  2. Yarn: I should write a post about stashing yarn. My stash is currently pretty great, although maybe a bit too big. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy more yarn. I’ve gotten a lot better about buying yarn with a specific project in mind. But then I saw this the other day, and there was no way to resist.dragonfly
  3. Knitting Supplies: I would like one of every thing from Fringe Supply Co., but especially this needle gauge, some bento bags (in natural linen, please), and a rice basket or three.
  4. Knitting Podcasts: Since I can’t knit while I drive to and from work, I like to listen to people talk about knitting. I’ve found that the podcasts I like the most are the ones with two people having a conversation. My most favorite podcasts right now are Knitting a Story (I like the way they giggle, and I think we would be friends IRL), and Prairie Girls Knit and Spin (I would also like to be friends with them, and I like their giggles too).
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