Yarn Along: Sunnyside Company

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

Knitting: Baby Sunnyside
I just finished my Baby Sunnyside cardigan that was supposed to be done in October for the KAL. Oops. Just a little bit behind schedule... In any case, I'm glad I slacked off on the project because Christian gave me those perfect pottery buttons for Christmas. I was really excited when I sewed them on and exclaimed, "Isn't this just the cutest thing you've ever seen?!!" Christian intoned, "Yes, dear." He just doesn't get excited about knitting like I do.
Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee (free on Rav)
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering in Colorway Chestnut
Buttons: sheppardhandmade

Reading: In the Company of Others by Jan Karon
This is my first Karon book and I've been wondering why I haven't read some of her books before! The Irish accents really come through in the dialogue and I love that! And the sense of place... [SIGH]

Every winter my little library has an adult reading program called Biblio Bingo. Participants receive a bingo sheet and each square is a reading category. In order to get a stamp on your sheet, you have to read a book in that category (the librarians have pre-selected the books that qualify). Once you get 4 in a row, you receive a prize (mug, tote, notepads, etc.) and are entered into the drawing to win a gift basket. I've never read Karon before but this book was in one of the Bingo categories so I picked it up. And, that's the whole purpose of this reading program - to introduce readers to new authors. Pretty cool!

What are you knitting/reading?


Yarn Along: The Great Sand Fracas Cowl

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

Knitting: Chunky Lace Cowl
When I first started knitting this cowl I cast on 121 stitches. I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to get a wide enough cowl out of just two skeins of Bazinga. So, I frogged the cowl, CO 105 stitches, and added trim in Pima Silk. My hope is that the cowl is still long enough to wrap it twice around your neck. Time will tell!
Pattern: Chunky Mochi Lace Cowl by Barbara Breiter & Susan Druding (free on Rav)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pima Silk in Colorway Regal and Plymouth Yarn Bazinga in Colorway Lime Grape.

Reading: The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County: A Novel by Jerry Apps
This book could have been written about my own town as we have been trying to stop a frac sand mine from coming into our community for over 2 years now. Actually, the fictional town of Link Lake is located in the same neck of the woods that my Wisconsin town is so it's really fun for me to read about the nearby places. The author has done a great job at portraying some of the tactics that these rich mining companies use to gain favor in a community: sending in a frontman to scope things out, contributing money to local events, promising to be a good neighbor and bring jobs to the community, trying to get their operation up and running before much opposition can mount, etc. It all hits very close to home. Apps is not the best writer but he does tell a good story.

What are you knitting/reading this week? 


Yarn Along: 2014 Knitting Recap

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

Click HERE for the project details.

In this new year I wanted to take a look back at the knitting projects I finished in 2014. Sometimes it feels like I'm not getting anything done but I completed 21 knits last year. I'm kind of impressed! Of course, most of the knits are just little things but that's okay.

Favorite Knit Gift: Booties for Noah

These booties for my cousin's baby were kind of an afterthought. I had some yarn leftover from leg warmers that I knit for Noah but not enough to complete both booties. So, I added in another yarn from my stash. I just think they're so cute! They remind me of moccasins. 

Hardest Knit: Follow Your Arrow Shawl

This knit was a challenge for me. I had to watch numerous YouTube videos on how to do certain things in this pattern. And the time that I put into this knit, whew! Parts of the shawl took me 45 minutes to knit 1 ROW! But, I'm really happy that I stuck with it. Out of everything that I've ever knit, I think this shawl is the knit that I am the most proud of.

Most Worn Knit: Shoulder Cape

Wearing this shoulder cape is like walking around with a blanket wrapped around you. It adds so much warmth which is greatly needed for our frigid Wisconsin winters. This project is also special to me because it's the first adult-sized garment that I knit with my own handspun yarn.

What did you knit in 2014 that you are the most proud of? I would love to hear! 


Yarn Along: Apis Dorsata Shawl Goes Home

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

Over the summer I worked on an apis dorsata shawl for my mom who is a hobby beekeeper. I was finally able to give her the shawl on Christmas. This was the only knitted gift I gave this year because it was such a big project. My mom called me over the weekend and told me she wore it to church and just loves it. I'm so happy to hear that she already got some wear out of it. It's fun gifting hand knits when the recipient appreciates the hard work that went into the project.
Pattern: Apis Dorsata Shawl by Anna Sudo (free on Rav)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Colorway Goldrush Tonal


Christmas Eve Visitor

Christian called me as I was driving home from work on Christmas Eve and told me to sneak into the driveway. A huge bird was perched on the peak of our machine shed and he didn't want me to scare it away without seeing it.

Our visitor was a snowy owl! I've never seen one in the wild before so what a treat it was to have one at our farm. I watched him through the binoculars for a bit and then snapped a few photos. He hung out on the roof for a few hours presumably looking for dinner. 

What an awesome Christmas present from Mother Nature!


Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.

(Click the photo to view larger)


Gifts Rich in Fiber

Last Friday my spinning/knitting friends got together for a Christmas party. We exchanged little handmade gifts and I wanted to share the awesome things I came home with:

Spearmint soap made by Angie. Chocolate soap made by Dawn. A felted sheep pin made by Vickie. An ornament with a mini knit scarf (still on the needles!) made by Kathy. A hand-carved wooden spatula made by Mary's husband, Bill. And a woven bookmark made by Audrey. 

I feel so blessed to know the wonderful women who made these crafts and I will treasure them for a very long time. Fridays are my favorite day of the week because I get to spend them in their presence. 

And, because I just can't help sharing this guy too, here is SeƱior Hot Sauce. I snagged him up at a white elephant gift exchange. Score!