9-Patch

As I mentioned last time, I have been playing around with some fat quarters I’ve had for several years. Turns out, one fat quarter makes a BUNCH of 4 1/2 inch unfinished squares! it took a while to get everything cut out and then I was stuck with how I actually wanted to put the pieces together.

Turns out I do not trust myself when it comes to putting stuff together. I don’t have enough blocks to stick to a real pattern (like, alternating the same pattern in different blocks). I ended up fussy cutting one of the fat quarters so the animals would end up being featured so I thought that would be fun to have as the center square of the 9-patch. I then played around until I found a configuration I liked.

These were my two favorites:

Option 1

Option 2

And I ended up going with…

 

OPTION 1! Here it is all pieced up!

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A Different Kind of Stitch

Haven’t had much knitting mojo lately – mostly b/c it’s been hot…but I HAVE been getting the urge to sew. I bought a bunch of clothing patterns (who knows if that will ever happen) and I decided to give quilting another shot.

Here’s what I did last night!

Cut up some quilting fat quarters I’ve had kicking around for several years. I’m hoping to do some 9 patches with them!

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Results!

I will fully admit to not being the best gardener. I live in an apartment and our community garden plot is up a steep hill – so often I’ll forget to go up to water or frankly, not feel like getting garden clothes on and going up there. When I do get up there – I don’t feel like weeding. I’m out of shape, getting on the ground is hard and a killer on my knees. I pull as many weeds as I can stomach and then just kind of go “good enough”. Even with all that – look at what I found yesterday!

My very first cherry tomato of the season! There was also a snap pea that was ready but I ate it before I thought to grab a pic. The tomato was DELICIOUS.

I think the kale is ready as well, I’m going to harvest some tonight for our stir fry dinner.

Friday & Saturday my husband and I went to the coast to celebrate my upcoming birthday. It was gorgeous – the temps hovered around 60, the sun was out and there was a great breeze. I had a blast hanging out with my husband, watching the waves and just enjoying having NO obligations for a few days.

View from our room

Down on the sand

Look at this cool rock!

Sunset from the room

I could spend every day on the beach!

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Not Knitting

In the time of Not Knitting, I did do some stuff:

Cooked – To save money and stop eating junk, I’ve been cooking more. Previously, the more I looked at recipes and Pinterest, the more paralyzed I became about cooking wrong. Then I found the YouTube channel Brothers Green Eats and it totally flipped a switch. They are very laid back about, well, everything it seems. They give guidelines instead of rules. This has allowed me to chill out in the kitchen and experiment more…with delicious results. For example:

Planted – Fun fact: my interest in being self-sufficient is directly proportional to how scary I see the world. This has lead me down a homesteading rabbit hole. There’s something nice about the idea of knowing where your food came from and how it was treated. There’s something even nicer about not giving my money to the very corporations that are destroying the planet and screwing over everyone. While I may not be able to buy several acres and build a house out of trees on my own land, I can make use of the community garden plot provided to me by my apartment complex. And buy some books on how to can and how to have a more sustainable household along with reading blogs homesteading/gardening.

Researched – My husband and I have started thinking about maybe someday buying a house. I’ve been doing research about what is available in our area, price points, and wish lists. We’re nowhere near ready but it’s been fun looking into it. We’re going to take a class locally for first time home buyers as well so we can possible qualify for some grants!

Budgeted – This kind of goes hand in hand with everything on the list. Finances have kind of taken a back seat the last year or so, especially in the last six months. We’re working to get those things tightened back up, get our savings rebuilt, get out of debt and start working towards financial independence. A cool thing this month is we managed to not take ANYTHING out of our savings account, only put funds in! I call that a pretty big win. If you need a good budgeting tool, I highly recommend You Need a Budget – it costs a little bit but has been instrumental in helping my finances (this is NOT an affiliate link, I get nothing for recommending them – I’m just a fan).

Coming up – I’ve already started knitting again. There are some sewing projects I’d like to get started (practice napkins, a baby blanket for the future nephew, an apron, project bags and taking in some pants). The big one though, is keeping up on the blog. I’m not going to promise any posting schedule or anything right now, but I do enjoy it and would like to get into the habit.

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Two Rows

If you’re like me, you haven’t really been able to do much of anything the last six months other than obsessively scroll through twitter and the news. Just stare at a screen, scared and angry. At turns worried and embarrassed.

You may be feeling like it’s really hard to find joy anywhere, when it feels like the country is falling apart. When you realize how broken the country really is and that you were willfully ignorant for a long time. That the world can no longer trust us. And you’re so angry at the so-called leaders who are supposed to be looking out for the masses are only looking out for themselves and corporations.

Turns out, if you’re like me, you lay on the couch a lot and watch old tv shows in order to cope. You re-read books that you know have happy endings. Occasionally you go on long tirades to your significant other, venting your anger and eventually crying on their shoulder because you’re so scared. When you’re me, you think a lot about doing something creative but just can’t muster up the energy. You dabble in new hobbies, feel that adrenaline rush of learning something new and then, end up not caring a few weeks later.

You overspend, overeat and undersleep.

You wonder if this is just how it is now.

And yet, you see that people with your values haven’t given up. There are marches, petitions, town halls and court rulings. There are pussy hats, the ACLU and sanctuary cities that won’t back down. There are people punching Nazis, shouting down supremacists, and heroes on trains who stood up and unfortunately, pay a price for it.

But you also see joy is still out there. There are still great podcasts to listen to. New blogs to discover. Youtube series to watch. Walks in the sunshine. Farmer’s Markets. Friends who come a-visiting. If you’re me, you might learn how to cook more than 3 meals. Discover you actually do like peppers and onions! You plant a few plants in your apartment’s community garden and discover the snap pea seeds you shoved in the ground actually sprouted. Maybe you make Rice Krispies treats for the first time in years. Find out that you’re going to be an aunt to a baby boy.

Maybe, just maybe, you knit two rows on a project that has been languishing. Even if it’s 9:30pm and you spent 45 minutes looking for the needles. You sit in bed and feel the softness of the Malabrigo slid between your fingers, hear the soft clink of the needles, and quietly count your knits and purls and you think Ohhhh, that’s right…this is what calm feels like.

You decide that no one, especially that man, will steal your joy.

V Scarf by TinyAnt – knit with Malabrigo Rios in
Fresco y Seco

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Knitting Mojo

The last few months I’ve been in a real knitting funk. I fully lost my mojo.

I was told a few weeks back that my sister-in-law is expecting the first baby in my husband’s immediate family and LIKE CHILEAN MINERS, EMERGING FROM THE DEPTHS so too has my knitting mojo.

Case in point:

Flax by Tin Can Knits – knit up in Berroco Vintage in Cracked Pepper

I swatched, cast on and knit an entire baby sweater in about a week and half.

However, my mojo may have abandoned me again…I’ve currently been working on one swatch for over a week.

P.S. Bonus points if you know the Chilean Miners reference.

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Sweater!

After several false starts I’ve finally made some progress on a sweater! I’m making a baby sweater so I can see how the whole sweater process works and last night I separated the body & the sleeves and it’s LOOKING LIKE A SWEATER!

This is Flax by Tin Can Knits – it’s part of their “Simple Collection” which is a free learn to knit set of patterns. I’m knitting it out of Berroco Vintage in the Cracked Pepper colorway. The pattern is easy to follow, has great schematics and there are links to tutorials and resources at the tricky parts. It’s been great and I’m so excited to finish up the body and do the sleeves!

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Gadgets (aka, All I Want For Christmas)

I’m a bit of a gadget person. If there’s a thing out there that solves an issue in a clever way, I want it.

You know who is GREAT at this? Akerworks.

I have a few of their bobbins – and they’re a dang treat. I also follow them on Instagram so I often see the cool new things they’re working on.

Like the relatively new Lazy Kate (pic shamelessly stolen from their site – clicks through to their site though!):

Or what about their modular drop spindles (Pic also shamelessly stolen)?

This time though, they’ve gone TOO FAR in awesomeness (pic stolen from their site).

This. Is. A. Gauge. Swatch. Tool.

It holds the swatch down. It makes it very clear where the stitches are and how to count them. It is SO COOL I MIGHT SCREAM.

I am LUSTING after this. Like, I may actually do swatches if I have one. Now to subtly hint to my husband that he should get this for me for Christmas…

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