Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Over!

My goodness it has been so long since my last post!! Now that the Holidays are over (thank goodness), and the mad rush from clients to get prints for Christmas is all done (yay!) I can now sit peacefully in front of my computer and update my blog. Something that I haven't been able to do in what seems like ages! And today is an exceptionally nice day to update seeing as how I am stuck in my house from the blizzard that is blowing through New England right now!

Last we spoke it was the end of the Fall Season. And what a beautiful fall it was!!! I miss it very much, but winter has been good to me so far. But really now, Autumn went by way too fast! Here's a few photographs from the end of my autumn :)
Although Fall went by very fast winter seems to be doing the same. I think it's because I've been so busy. I wish I could say that I've been knitting my little fingers off, day in and day out, 24/7, but that simply is not the case. November and December both were filled with client bookings, and all of December was also crammed with print orders (due to Christmas). Which meant I've been more busy than normal. Luckily I got to take a few days off near Thanksgiving (and got a lot of knitting done during it)! It was nice to have a few days off...even though it simply was not enough time to regain mental sanity. But this Thanksgiving was one of the best I've had! This was Miles's first Thanksgiving with my family, and it was also his first Birthday with my family. His Birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. So it was twice the celebration! And it was so wonderful to have everyone around up at the farm!! I made Miles a Birthday Pie...because he doesn't like Birthday cake. I also made my famous magic bars and peppermint bark.
 My peppermint bark and my moms famous peanut butter cookies!
 The boys relaxing before the big thanksgiving feast! Miles and Mr.Fisk the cat (Left) And my brother-in-law Jeff (Right)
 So much good food!!!! Miles Blowing out the candles to his birthday pie, and my nephew Nolan took a picture with his bug chocolates...which he wanted "him and I" to make, but I ended up making it all by myself!

Thanksgiving was so great and it was wonderful to have Miles around for it! Last year we spent it up in NH which was nice, but I get home-sick VERY easily, especially for Holidays. So I was incredibly happy when Miles agreed to spend Thanksgiving at my house, even though I told him he could go to NH and spend it with his family.
But like everything else Thanksgiving was there and gone in a flash, and it was back to work for me! My Christmas knitting list was getting shorter by the day!! Finally it ended up being:
Tiffany (my sister)
Jeff (my brother-in-law)
Well...I almost did it! But I'm sad to report that I failed at my task! I guess I under-estimated how busy I would be with my photography work. BUT, I still managed to get 3 1/2 of the gifts finished! My Moms, Tiffs, Jeffs and Miles's. I will have to post pictures of them later, but I wasn't able to get pictures of everyone with their gifts.
Needless to say gifts completed or not I still had an AMAZING Christmas! Two days before Christmas my mom and I spent at least 12 hours in the kitchen baking cookies! It was so much fun and a lot of hard work but we made some ridiculously tasty treats!
 Kuma and Mister Fisk spent the day in the kitchen with my Mom and I while we were baking cookies for Christmas.
 Sugar Cookies!
Peppermint cookies! DELICIOUS! Our Christmas tree was beautiful and overflowing with gifts!
  Top Left: My Mushroom Meringues
 I also made some "Mushroom" meringues. They were super easy to make and turned out to be a big hit at Christmas dinner!

Christmas eve was essentially Christmas for my family. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew all came up to spend the day with us, and Miles too when he got out of work! This year my parents made a little ice skating rink in the back yard, and we all went out and skated on it! I didn't have skates but I still thought it would be fun to go out and slide around...that is before I fell and almost broke my a$%!!! 
 After we were done skating we cleaned up and went to Christmas Eve Mass. Then came home and had a GIANT dinner which consisted of lobster, fish and chips, bake stuffed shrimp, and wine! Then we all got to open gifts!

Stockings hanging up above the fireplace!

One this I inherited from my mother is her obsessive compulsive, over-indulging, boarder-line hoarding behavior to decorating for Christmas. Every Christmas season it looks like Santa came to our house early and threw up all over our living room! And because I was raised this way, I decorate EVERYTHING and ANYTHING! Poor Miles! Our house will be clad with Santa Claus heads, snowman, and reindeer. And a fake Christmas tree with more ornaments than we will know what to do with! And it will probably stay up for at least 2 weeks after Christmas! Even now I find myself sitting here listening to Christmas music while I type this all out!
Just a few of our decorations!!!

Now that it's all said and done Christmas was great! I will be finishing the rest of the gifts soon, and once those are all done I will be starting on new projects! Giving myself this task has really expanded my knitting techniques. I tried new things I've never done before. I feel much more advanced now than I did and the start of all this! And I don't feel afraid to tackle new patterns and projects! Plus my wonderful fiance bought me a magic loop and a knit-two-at-a-time sock book! SO EXCITED! Thank you honey!!!
I did manage to capture a few shots of my sisters scarf.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and beautiful holiday season filled with laughter and love! And may this New Year bring you good fortune!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let's add some pressure to the cooker!

I have suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling that I have taken on an impossible task! With only 3 of my knitting gifts barely half done, I'm wondering if I can actually do it. Needless to say my christmas list has gotten shorter. Now it only includes my immediate family and my fiance! Unfortunately I won't be able to upload any pictures until after Christmas of certain gifts! My fiance and sister check my blog (maybe less frequently then I'm told...but I won't risk it!)
For now I will ask for some positive words of encouragement! Please?! Hopefully I will be able to upload some pictures of my mothers gift soon! She doesn't check my blog!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Striped Mittens Pattern

Striped Mittens

As promised here is the pattern to my striped mittens :) It's not perfect so bare with me!

(By the way, I blindly picked the size of my needles. The yarn is a cashmere blend. Main color is the Blue, Contrasting color is the Red)

Size 3&4 DPNs

Size XS. SUPER XS!!!! I am teeny tiny and there are even a little tight on me!

Arm and Wrist:
On size 3 DPNs, CO 36 st. with MC. Divide between 3 needles. Join.
Cast on more than 36st if you have larger hands.
K2, P2 repeat to end of round an PM.
Continue K2, P2 ribbing for about 3/4in - 1 in

Switch to size 4 DPN. Join CC.
Knit one round even.
At beginning of next round do a jogless join. **This creates continuos stripes.
Not sure how to do a jogless join? Jogless Join. In simple text: pick up the stitch below the first stitch and knit it together with the first stitch. It's pretty simple to do!
Repeat the jogless join on the second round of each stripe, every time you switch your colors.**

After these two rows, switch to MC and K two rows even, continuing with the jogless join.

*Row 5: K1, K2tog, Knit to 3 stitches before end of round, ssk, k1
row 6-8: K, continuing with stripes*
*Repeat these 4 rows five more times (24st).

Knit 10 rows even

Thumb Gusset
Row 1: K around to last 4 st. (place marker) P1, KFB, M1, K1, (place marker) P1
Rows 2-3: K even
*Row 4: K to first purl st. P1, KFB, Knit to 2 stitches before final purl st. KFB, K1, P1
Rows 5-6: Knit even
Repeat from * 4 more times, until you have 14 st between the two purl stitches. The marker helps you keep track of where your first and last purl stitches are.

Next row: Knit to 1st purl stitch, P1, place 14 stitches onto waste yarn. Cast on 6 stitches using the backward loop method, P1 (28 st)

Knit even in stripe pattern until the top of the mitten reaches just below your knuckles when you try it on. For me this was 10 rows. End on a row of CC.

Place thumb stitches on 2 DNP. With a 3rd DPN, pick up the 6 stitches you made between the thumb and hand. Continuing in stripe pattern (starting in the middle of the thumb stitches), knit until 1 stitche remains on DPN. Knit this stitch together with the first picked up stitch on the next needle. This is important because in prevents a hole from forming. K4 picked up stitches. K the last picked up stitch together with the next thumb stitch. K to end.

Continue knitting in pattern for 9 more rows ending in CC. Switch to smaller needles and K2, P2. Continue for a little less that 3/4". Bind off loosely.

Mitt 2: Repeat this pattern but  work on the THUMB GUSSET on the first four stitches of the row instead of the last four.

The only thing I would have done differently to this pattern is I would have decreased in the thumb. My fingers are pretty thin so the thumb part fits loosely around my thumb and I would rather have it fit snug. That's just how I would like it though!!

Have fun with this!! I would love to see final projects from anyone who uses this pattern!! If you have any questions at all on it or need any help (or want to make any corrections with it), feel free to contact me!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yarn winders, Umbrella swifts, and Lenny

This past weekend was so much fun!! I did so much! Miles got a job (FINALLY!) so he will be moving back to Rhode Island as of November 1st. Let's just say I'm incredibly happy about that!! Though there may still be a lot of obstacles we have to overcome, at least now we will be able to overcome them together!

Sunday I had a great engagement session with a bride whose wedding I will be shooting on October 30th. It will be a masquerade wedding and I am incredibly excited about that! It will be a great addition to my portfolio. Plus I love fun weddings! My wedding will be very fun. We plan on having the ceremony be less than 10 minutes (I've never met anyone who actually ENJOYS sitting through a 45 minute ceremony at a church), and there will be lots of alcohol for everyone! Here's a preview from my session from Sunday

Although I wasn't feeling completely up to par, the shoot was pretty successful and went by very quickly. Those two boys on the end were so much fun and I got some great pictures of them! By the time the session was over I was tired and had a pretty bad migraine though. So once Miles and I got home I just wanted to stay in and cuddle. Which worked out great! We made lots of good food and carved a pumpkin together! I believe this is our second pumpkin carving as a couple! Miles wanted to take me to a bar at 12 a.m Sunday night for my Birthday which was Monday. Seeing as how I was turning 21 (legal in the states to drink), he wanted to buy me my first drink. Now don't get my wrong, I love my glass of wine, but I'm not a bar goer. Or a heavy drinker. I objected against the idea and we stayed in and cleaned up pumpkin guts at 12 am! How romantic!! But I have to say, I wouldn't have changed a single thing. I got some great creative energy out through pumpkin carving, and I got to spend it with my love!
We watched horror movies the whole time!!

We named our pumpkin Lenny. Not sure why, but it just looked like a Lenny to me! I originally wanted to name it George, but Lenny fit better!!

As I said before, Monday was my birthday. And I have to say, there are certain times that Miles REALLY impresses me. You know when a guy really goes the extra 10 (or 20) miles! That's what Miles did for my birthday. About 2 months ago I told him I wanted an umbrella swift and Yarn ball winder. It was just something I brought up in casual conversation while I was going on some rant about knitting and how much I enjoy it. Well...this wonderful man remembered it! He actually stored it somewhere deep down in his memory bank until my birthday! And he bought them for my birthday gift! Really now! What guy does that?!

I was so happy and excited that I had to try it out right away!!!! I was completely shocked that Miles actually bought me these two items :) Other things I got for my birthday was a great knitting pattern book and craft book from my sister, and a portfolio to add pictures into. My whole family was there for my birthday and we had a yummy family dinner! Then went on a spooky walk to my neighbors house to look at their halloween decorations (my nephew didn't even get scared!).

It really was a wonderful time! Now to get down to business! What I'm really here for! I know awhile ago I mentioned that I finished my mittens. Well now it's time for PICTURES!! yay!

I am really happy with the color combination!

Perfect for an engagement ring don't you think?

I took these bad boys on a test run to my nephews hockey practice. They were incredibly warm. And even though my fingers were completely exposed they stayed warm because the palm of my hand was so toasty! I PROMISE I will upload the pattern to these within the next couple days! I have it written down in my notebook which is currently missing in action! 

So what's the best birthday gift you've ever received? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkins, knitting, and a little thing called a neti pot

My oh my how busy I have been! So busy that I haven't even been able to blog! That's a lie. I haven't been busy at all. I wish I was busy. But instead I was sick. So sick I think death was knocking at my front door (I am being a little dramatic!). But now I am better!! Thanks to a wonderful invention called a neti pot! My sinuses were so congested and I was in so much pain that I had no idea how to solve the problem. I tried to go to the doctor but no dice. "We just treat sinus infections as if they were the common cold"....Yeah, easy for you to say Doc! Let's see what you do when your face is in pain and you can barely function. :sigh: So I took problems into my own hands. I went to facebook and asked all my friends of possible solutions to help with sinus pain and pressure. The most popular response was using a neti pot. I have heard of neti pots before and was always terrified to use them. To be perfectly honest the thought of liquid going into one nostril, and then flowing out the other completely grossed me out. But I figured "what could it hurt?". Out to the pharmacy I went and picked up the cheapest neti pot I could find. Ran home...filled it with water and the solution...tilted my head, closed my eyes, and just let it flow. Within 10 minutes I was feeling completely better. Thank you facebook friends! And thank you neti pot! For all your skeptics out really does work! I would recommend it to anyone!

So now it is time to catch everyone up on the past weeks activities!! Last Saturday my sister hosted a free cupcake day at the resteraunt/cafe she bakes out of! HELLO FREE CUPCAKES! She makes magic happen in the kitchen. It really is amazing!!
She made some amazing pumpkin cupcakes. And apple flavored. It was amazing!

There she is in all her glory!

After I went to free cupcake day, my wonderful man and I went on an adventure to the Scituate Art Festival. Now I don't expect most people in Blogger world to know what that is, but I'm sure you can all guess its a festival of the arts. A lot of hand crafted items, paintings, and food. I live right near a little town called Scituate. It really is your A-typical small town country setting. Super cute and absolutely beautiful during this fall season. Everyone there is really friendly too. The festival was ok. I've seen a lot of the things before, and as usual it was incredibly over-priced. But Miles had never been and it was nice to take him to it. 

The reason why I managed to get so sick is because last Sunday, my family and I went out to pick some pumpkins. Along the way we decided to take a little hay ride for my nephew. As soon as I saw all the dust floating in the air I thought "oh goodness...I am going to be in so much pain tomorrow". But I have to say, it was definitely worth it!! We all had such a blast! We got a pumpkin for my nephew, ate some amazing curly fries, and the atmosphere was filled with the love of my family.
The farm we went to was Schartner's farm (pronounces Shatners farm...or if you're a true Rhode Islander Shahtna's fahm.)

All done! I ate an entire large order of curly fries!!!

Nolans spider ring. He's getting into the spirit of Halloween!! 

Hello little Alpaca...Can I shave you and use your wool to knit with? Pretty please?!?

Ok! Now lets get down to business. I know I said I finished my scarf. Now it's time to post pictures of it! Thanks to Miles for the great pictures! This scarf is INCREDIBLY warm!!

Bo wanted to try it on

My fiance loves my knitting abilities :)

All of my christmas gifts are coming along smoothly so far! I'm working on my mom's and sisters. One requires 200 stitches to be cast on, and then increased to 600 stitches. I really don't enjoy working with that many stitches on one needle. But it's surprisingly going very quickly and I am almost half way done with that one! My gloves are also finished!! I absolutely LOVEEEEE them and wore them to my nephews hockey practice the other night. They kept my hands nice and toasty. And I got to show them off to everyone! I will have pictures of those this weekend :)

Ahhh! It feels so good to catch up on everything. I have been very productive today now that I'm feeling better!! This weekend will be nice! Miles is coming to visit and he has a couple of interviews to go on! He will be officially moving back home as of November 1st!!! And it's my birthday weekend! 

So what has everyone out in blogger world been up to? Fall is in full swing and I'm curious as to what everyone's fall activities have been! Bake any good pies? Take any good pictures of trees? Start any new knitting projects? I'd love to hear all about it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I challenge!!!

I really hate thinking about the holiday season this early in the game, but the reality of having to buy gifts snuck up on me pretty fast and I had a slight panic attack wondering how I was going to pay for peoples Christmas gifts. Last year I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of money on christmas gifts for everyone, and seeing as how money is tight, I can't do that again this year.

So instead I came up with a plan. Why buy gifts when I can simply make them? Ok sure, maybe a knit hat isn't as fancy as a $95 GPS, but I'll spend a lot more time and energy into knitting that damn hat then I will in running to the store to buy a stupid GPS. So I'm challenging myself. I will make EVERYONE who is on my Christmas list something. EV-ER-E-ONE. I feel like I may have decided this a little late because there is only a little over 2 months left until Christmas, (can we please stop thinking about Christmas? I want to enjoy the Fall first!!!), and I have a pretty long christmas list. Sorry guys, you are just going to have to enjoy a hand made gift this year. The well is running dry, and I have a wedding I have to save up for (call me selfish...but it's true...weddings are expensive!!)

Who's on my list you may ask?
My parents
My sister
My brother-in-law
My nephew
My Fiance
All of my future in-laws...lets see...5? of them...wait no...6. That's including ones girlfriend.
The two kiddos who live at the end of my street L&J

I think that's it? may not be...but that's the extent that I'm going. Looks like I'll be knitting socks, hats, gloves, and scarfs for the next 2 months. I'm interested to see what I come up with though. I've already started on my moms and I'm knitting her a GORGEOUS scarf. It's got some serious CLASS to it!! Pictures to be uploaded soon :)

:Sigh:...To change the subject....Remember how I was so determined to get that scarf done by today? Well I actually finished it on Tuesday. I have to upload pictures after this weekend. Miles will be up, and he's pretty savvy with a camera. So I will have him take some shots of me with my scarf :) I also finished on of my mittens. I will be starting on the other one tonight. I'm so proud with how the first one came out!! I've never done mittens before, so I was REALLY nervous when it came to knitting the thumb. But it was a huge SUCCESS!!! HURRAH! Pictures of them to be uploaded soon as well. As for this weekend I will be busy...busy...busy! With very little time to knit :( I'm trying to get my mother and fathers gift out of the way first seeing as how I can't knit their gifts in front of them (I sneak in about an hour a night before I go to bed...the progress is pretty slow). As for everyone else I have to get started on those ASAP.

So...thoughts on all this? I hope this doesn't make me look cheap...but really, who can afford to buy things food...thank goodness oxygen is free or else I would be screwed! Let me know the most creative gift you've made!! I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Woven Daydreams

To say the only creative thing that I do is knit would be a lie. In fact I would be lying straight through my teeth! Another hobby I enjoy doing is weaving! Does anyone weave anymore? I'm the only person that I know who still weaves! Anyways, my father deals with antiques, and he came across this nifty little hand loom. It's larger than the 2-inch hand loom that some people still use. I really enjoy weaving on it. And unlike knitting, it's instant gratification to me. It only takes me about 5-10 minutes (depending what's on TV), for me to weave a square.

So I'm working on a throw blanket. For some reason I'm taking my sweet time with it. I've been working on and off at it for a couple months now. If I really focused on it I would already be done, but unfortunately that's not the case. I wanted to make a throw blanket for my Fiance and I for when we get an apartment together! That probably won't be until late winter/early spring, so I have plenty of time to finish it. But I'm very excited for when it will be done!! I can't help but daydream about me and my sweetheart cuddling up under it while watching TV. Or maybe he will be reading a book while I knit. Either way, they are very warm and happy daydreams! Let's hope his job hunt goes well so he can move back to RI and be with me!!

As of right now the colors of the "blanket" are tan and black. That will change. I will be adding red and white panels into it as well. The yarn is %100 cotton. I normally don't work with %100 cotton (only wool), but I am absolutely obsessed with it for this project!!

INTENSE WEAVING! I had my stitches a little too tight when I first learned how to weave, and I ended up snapping the hand loom while trying to thread the needle through. Handy Dad to the rescue! He came and fixed it for me with some plastic stuff. Whatever! It works now (thanks dad!)

Aw ain't we cute?? Taken about 4 hours after he proposed to me. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No such thing as a mistake!!

So folks, there really is no such thing as a mistake! Even art can be made from a fatal flaw! Case in point: I tried to make a lace-type of pattern for a new hat I was knitting. Well, it's not exactly what I had in mind. In fact, I messed up so badly that I started panicking. But, I kept knitting. Mostly out of curiosity. I wanted to see what my awful mistake was going to look like. And actually, I'm really happy with how it came out!!

This was actually super simple to make! I cast on about 57 stitches onto circular needles (I have a teeny tiny head). I joined in the round and k2, yo, k2tog. I repeated until desired length. Then to add a little flair to it, I just knit for about 2-3 inches (decreasing stitches as I went) until I finished the hat. I'm actually really proud of this little hat! I love the little twisting affect that my "mistake" made!! 

And if this weekend couldn't get any better, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew showed up with a car full of goodies. Tasty goodies. Desserts to be exact!!! She wanted to take some promotional pictures for a new desert table service she's offering to all of her brides, and our farm made for a lovely backdrop! It was so much fun setting up the table with all the little decorations she bought. It was even more fun to eat all the wonderful goodies when we were done with the pictures! Martha would be proud! My sister got to take a couple of great shots of me and my hat as well (thanks tiff for taking some pictures of me!!)

My nephew (and his glow pop) wanted to take a picture with me!

Candy apples covered in carmel and heaven!

The most amazing white chocolate covered strawberries I have ever had. And I have had a lot of white chocolate covered strawberries! I love them almost as much as I love knitting!!

Rice crispy treats with peanut butter chocolate wonderfulness on top!

Cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream.

Are you drooling yet??

White chocolate and chocolate dipped pretzels which were then rolled in jimmies, nuts, and cranberries (or some kind of berry thing).

Fudge brownie bites.

The desert table! I want this for my wedding :)

Our masterpiece glowing in the pale moonlight.

So glad I got to take a couple of shots at the desert table. I was so tempted to reach over and grab some goodies though.

Nolan wanted another picture. This time just of him and his glow pop. What's the stuff under his bottom lip you ask? He stole a fudge brownie while we weren't looking. Then another! That little thief!!

Ah! I had such a wonderful weekend. I'm sad that it's over. I've been working diligently at my scarf, and I'm a little upset that I'm not done with it yet. Between all that happened this weekend I didn't have as much time as I thought I would. Oh well. I'll be cuddling up in front of the fireplace tonight with my knitting needles! It's going to rain (again) for the next 4 days, which leaves even more time for me to knit! I WILL be done with this scarf by Friday!!

Oh! And incase I forget! I tried the wonderful apple pie we made! It was amazing! We have had some trouble in the past with the pie becoming slightly watery from the apples. But that wasn't the case. It was seriously, perfect. PER-FECT-O!