Yarn Along: FO - Chrysalis to Monarch

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: FO - Chrysalis to Monarch
These topsy-turvy toys are so much fun to knit. And they are great projects for stash-busting! The center vein on the leaf gave me some grief but other than that, I enjoyed the pattern. The butterfly was constructed so uniquely. I am just blown away by how Susan thinks up this stuff! Hopefully my mom stays away from my blog this week because this toy is part of her birthday present.
Pattern: Chrysalis to Monarch by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (Dark Green & Orange), Spud and Chloe Sweater (Brown) and Lily Sugar'n Cream (Light Green)

Do you have any favorite toy patterns? I think I'm hooked.


Yarn Along: Heartwood Chrysalis

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Heartwood Cape
I bought this wool for a different project which didn't work out. After browsing around on Rav for a suitable project, I came up with this one which is right up my alley. Now that I know I'm going to stick with the pattern, I think I'm going to set it aside and save it for a long car ride we have coming up.
Pattern: The Heartwood Cape by Silvia Bo Bilvia (free on Rav)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool

Also Knitting: Chrysalis to Monarch
This is the start of my second topsy-turvy toy. (I knit the Egg to Penguin last month.) My mom requested this toy for her birthday. She likes to raise monarch caterpillars and watch them turn into a chrysalis and then a butterfly. I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how to put the vein on the leaf. I've tried 4 times now and keep ripping it out because I don't like how it look. Ugh! Frustrating.
Pattern: Chrysalis to Monarch by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash and Lily Sugar'n Cream

Reading: The Witness by Nora Roberts
I just finished this great audiobook. Super-smart teenage Liz has always followed every plan that her mother has laid out for her. Until one night when she doesn't. After witnessing a murder, Liz has to go into protective custody. Who can she trust? Liz soon discovers that she will have to run and hide for the rest of her life unless she can find a way to testify and take down the mob that is hunting her. Highly-intellectual Liz reminds me of Temperance Brennen if you're familiar with Kathy Reichs.

FO: Hannah Jacket
I just love how this toddler jacket turned out. I took a bit of a gamble in using such a crazy contrasting color for the i-cord edging but it turned out great. The jacket knit up really fast and I would love to make another one. This was my first time doing an i-cord edging and it's really not as scary as it sounds!
Pattern: Hannah Jacket by Nikki Van De Car
Yarn: Newton's Yarn Country Softball Chunky and Cascade Yarns 200 Superwash in Colorway 849 Blue-Green

What are you knitting/reading this week?


Hiking at Dells of the Eau Claire County Park

Christian and I are heading to Glacier National Park in Montana for 2 weeks this summer to do some serious hiking. In preparation for that trip, we've been trying to get as much dirt under our feet as time allows. Memorial weekend we took a day trip to Devils Lake State Park near Baraboo, WI where we hiked about 9 miles.

Snack break on the West Bluff at Devil's Lake State Park

Last Sunday we spent the afternoon on the Ice Age Trail in and around Dells of the Eau Claire County Park near Birnamwood, WI. The last time we were at the park was in August when the water was low. We got a few inches of rain last week so the falls looked quite a bit different!

The water was so high that we couldn't even get to the center island.

The hiking trails along the river were a little squishy due to the rain and we had a few puddles to skirt around including this one which was decorated with pretty pine needles.

Later on I spotted this guy perched on the edge of a trillium leaf.

Nature is amazing, isn't it? Tomorrow after work we'll be hitting the trails again for another little adventure.


Friday Wake-Up

May 1st, 2015 at 6:08 a.m.

Beautiful view from the deck this morning. I love it when the fog rolls around in the river valley.


2015 Garden Plan

Over the weekend I prepped the garden for another growing season. After weeding, I raked the soil all nice and pretty and Christian pounded in my new row stakes which my brother made for my birthday.

In the foreground (from left-right and front to back) you can see our rhubarb, lemon balm and sage (which both look dead but hopefully aren't), chives, tanzies, alluim, and a dead thyme plant. Oh yeah, there's also a row of garlic in there!

I planted a few cold-weather crops in the rows with the new stakes: Early Blood Turnip Beets, Lacinato Kale, Salad Bowl Lettuce, Ella Kropf Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas, and Burpeeana Early Snap Peas.

Nights are still in the 30's here so I'll have to wait a bit longer before planting anything else. This year I bought some of my seeds as well as tomato and pepper transplant from Seed Savers Exchange. Christian and I visited their Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa a few summers ago. What a cool place!

Here's my master plan for this year's garden:

So much potential! We'll see what happens...


Yarn Along: FO - Egg to Penguin

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: FO - Egg to Penguin
I just finished knitting this cute little penguin. I was giggling with delight as I put the final touches on him. My husband probably thinks I'm losing my marbles. My plan is to give the little penguin to my cousin's little boy for his first birthday. I hope he likes him! This was a fast & very fun knit.
Pattern: Egg to Penguin by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Berroco Vintage in colorway 5187 Med Blue Heather, Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in colorways 900 Charcoal and 871 White, and Knit Picks Swish Tonal in colorway Goldrush. All from my stash!

Unhatched Penguin

What are you working on this week?


Yarn Along: A Star for Hannah

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Hannah Jacket I'm finishing the hood of my baby knit then it's onto the i-cord edging. That will be a first for me. Not sure what color I'll use. I need to poke around in my stash and see if anything will work. 
Pattern: Hannah Jacket by Nikki Van De Car 
Yarn: Newton's Yarn Country Softball Chunky

Reading: A Star for Mrs. Blake: A Novel by April Smith
A group of American mothers from very different walks of life travel to France in the 1930's to visit the graves of their sons who were killed in combat. This is an interesting look at a part of history that I was unaware of. Worth the read.

What are you knitting/reading this week?