Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sewing the Seams of My First Knitted Sweater

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I have been away for a little while because I have exams this week for my office administration program. I just had my accounting exam yesterday which I had been studying non-stop for a few days and I think it went pretty well. Tomorrow I have the project management exam, wish me luck!

I got a little bit of work done on my sweater on Saturday and was sewing in the seams on the shoulders, and one of the sleeves. I looked up the order of how to seam and this seems to be the best way to do shoulders, then sleeves, then the sides afterwards which makes sense because you can go up the side then right up to the end of the sleeve to close the sleeve afterwards.



I started with the shoulders and did a mattress stitch to sew up the seams, this was a little bit tricky because the stitches were going in the other direction so I just put the needle horizontally across the stitches.I then moved onto the sleeve and spread out the sweater to see how the top of the sleeve would fit into the piece once the shoulders were sewed together. I then began doing the mattress stitch to sew the seams together and this worked well as well. I will finish up sewing the sweater, then talk about how sewing the sides went and post some photos of the sweater next week! I am so excited to be done and have my first knitted sweater. Looking at the photo, I think I will take some of the seam apart of the sleeve and try to have the lines in the sleeve going down the middle, I can see it is a little off center. The sleeve at the top of the photo is not sewed in yet.

The sock is coming a long too, it is getting a bit longer and I am enjoying knitting the simple sock pattern by Patons called Spiral Socks.

I am still reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins and I am so interested in what will happen next. It really keeps you on the edge of your seat just like Girl on the Train did, and you start to feel like you are understanding the characters and that they all have some secret motives and you are trying to figure out what they are.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, and AsKatKnits for Unraveled Wednesday.

Thank you for visiting my blog today and I hope you come back to visit! if you liked this post and would like to keep updated on when I post new entries, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a good day!


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Knitting Socks,and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  I am having a good week so far. On the weekend I went to Ripley's Aquarium with my family and my boyfriend and it was fun! My boyfriend and I had been there before one other time and it was nice to go back. I enjoyed petting the stingrays at the end of the aquarium, they were so smooth.  I also had a good time at a friend's barbecue, and saw my family again on Monday for another barbecue and going to an art exhibit. This week I will be busy studying for final exams which are next week. I am looking forward to being done these courses and having a little break in between courses at the end of August. I will be getting a lot of knitting in that week!

I made more progress on the sock which I am knitting for my mom for Christmas. I am following the Patons Spiral socks pattern, It is a nice, relaxing pattern to knit because it is a five row repeat all the way down to the toe shaping. I can remember the repeat now so it is a good project to bring with me to watch television or on vacation.


I will be starting the sweater seaming this week too because the back piece is blocked now. I will be seaming the sides and the top of the pieces to attach the front and back pieces together. I just want to look up how to properly seam pieces of garments together before I do that. The sleeves are also ready to be sewn on as well as I did not block them.

Pieces done and blocked, ready for seaming

I have not really picked up the stocking and scarf since last week, so I will share those maybe next week when I have made some progress on those projects.

I have finished reading Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding. I enjoyed reading about Bridget's difficulties and gains, and while I was reading the book I felt like her character was so easy to relate to and understand. I have difficulty reading a book if I cannot relate to the protagonist but she is like every woman trying to find their way through difficult times and also to understand sometimes complicated relationships.  Now I am going to focus on reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins more intensely. I was so excited to read this book so I started reading it at the same time, but honestly, I have not picked it up much this past week as I have been working on finishing reading Bridget Jones. I will be reading one book at a time after this because it is hard to juggle two books as you all  probably know.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AsKatKnits for Unraveled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post entries, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: How to Knit the Chickadee Bubbles Stitch

Hello Friends,


I hope you are doing well. This week I decided to knit the Chickadee Bubbles Stitch. I found a lovely photo of the stitch on Pinterest by @woolvan knits and I wanted to give it a try. I love the look of this stitch and it was a lot of fun to knit up!

Chickadee Bubbles Stitch 
For my swatch, I cast on 20 + 3 stitches and knitted the 12 row repeat three times

Pattern:
Knit 4 below: Insert needle in stitch in the 5th row down, drop stitch off needle and unravel 4 rows down, and knit, catching the 4 loose strands behind stitch. (Directions with photos below)
With color A, cast on a multiple of 4 stitches + 3.
Row 1 - wrong side: purl.
Row 2 - right side: knit.
Row 3:  purl.
Row 4: knit.
Row 5: purl.
Row 6:  knit 3, * knit 4 below, knit 3; rep from * to end
Row 7: purl.
Row 8: knit.
Row 9: purl.
Row 10: knit.
Row 11: purl.
Row 12:  knit 1, * knit 4 below, knit 3; rep from * to last 2 stitches, knit 4 below, knit 1.
Repeat Rows 1 - 12

Knitting pattern from Knitting Stitch Patterns. 


Instructions on how to do *knit 4 below: 

1. After knitting the three (row 6) or one required stitches (row 11), on the next stitch, count five holes down below the stitch

2. Then put needle through the fifth hole below the stitch


3.  Drop the first stitch on the left needle, then pull the stitch down until there are four rows of dropped stitch visible

 4. Then wrap your yarn around the right needle to make a knit stitch and pull through


 5. Once you have knit the stitch, it will look like the photo below, then continue on to knit three stitches


 It will look like the photo below once the three stitches are knitted, then repeat steps 1 through 5 to complete the knit four below step in the chickadee bubble stitch pattern.



What I thought of the stitch pattern:
I loved this pattern, it is so fun to knit up and does not take a lot of time. I really love the finishing texture and I think it would be so fun for a hat and give it such a fun unique look.

Knitting level:
I think that this could be done by a beginner knitter because it looks hard, but it requires mostly knit and purls and then if you follow the photos above to knit the "knit 4 below" technique, it is not that difficult to do.

Thank you for visiting my blog and if you would like to keep updated on when I post more Stitchy Saturday posts and other posts during the week, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a great day!








Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Visit to Wishing Well Sanctuary, Knitting, and More Blocking

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am sorry for my lack of posting in the past few days, I have been working on finishing up some courses for my certificate. I did a quiz yesterday and was studying up until that point. I only have one more chapter to get through for Accounting, then I am done. I am not working towards an Accounting certificate, I am working towards office administration but it is one of the courses you must take towards getting the certificate.
I had a great weekend, on Saturday I went to the Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford, Ontario. At the sanctuary, they keep animals, cows, pigs, sheep, lamas, goats, ducks, and horses who were abused by past owners, had nowhere else to go, or would have been euthanized. The sanctuary was nestled in a rural area with beautiful fields, and greenery. We were part of a large group of people for the tour and while on the tour, the volunteers told us about the animal's stories from before they arrived at the sanctuary. The tours only go on the first Sunday of the month and the last Saturday of the month so it draws in large crowds by not running every weekend. First we went to feed the steer and bulls grass that we collected along the way. There was one cow but she wasn't coming to eat the grass from us.  It was fun they came right up to us and ate the grass from our hands, they were very sweet and let us pet them as well.






Then we visited all the other animals and were lead into their sections by a volunteer. I enjoyed petting the sheep, their coats were so soft, and they had just been sheered. I also enjoyed being in with the potbelly pigs and goats, they were so cute.

The rooster's Harry Potter cage

Visiting the sheep and lamas



I would go back there again, it was a wonderful experience and the staff who work there have big hearts and love the animals. I look forward to visiting again.

I finished knitting the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief again. I had taken it apart because it was not large enough and did not match the measurements required in the pattern. I knitted another section of the stockinette/garter section and then the final section. I noticed one side has a line at the bottom, which is where I connected another skein of yarn that matched at first then switched colors. It bothered me at first, because as knitters we are picky about how our final projects turn out! But now I am accepting that it has a flaw but it gives it character. I love how it turned out and I will block it soon after I block the sweater pieces. It now wraps right around my neck to the front so I am more pleased with how it fits and it will be even bigger once I block it.



For my other smaller projects, I have been working on the stocking and the chevron lace scarf. I haven't picked up the scarf in a while so it is not much longer. For the scarf I am using the pattern for the chevron lace stitch which I shared in a Stitchy Saturday post. The stocking is coming along and I have added a few more rows. I am using a pattern I found on Ravelry called Christmas Stocking in a Jiffy- Striped by Jennifer Jackson. I have been enjoying knitting it and thinking of Christmas as I knit it. I hope you all enjoyed my Christmas in July posts, I had a lot of fun making them and thinking about Christmas at this time of year and preparing for the holiday season earlier than I usual do.





I recently started knitting the socks that I will be working on this summer with the Patons Kroy FX yarn. I found a pattern on Ravelry called Spiral socks by Patons. The pattern required the Patons Kroy FX cameo yarn and had required the 3.25 mm needles so I decided on the pattern. When I looked it over again, I realized they are long tube socks, and have no heel so I was wondering if that would be something I would want to work on but I realized they look cool the way you can twist them up and they look comfortable. They will be a gift for my mom for Christmas, so I checked in with her to make sure she would want tube socks and she said she would. Here is how much I have knitted so far:




Products I am using for the socks:

    

I blocked the back piece of the sweater today. I will be blocking the sleeves in a couple of days, then I will be started to seam the pieces together.  I am looking forward to sewing the front and back pieces together and seeing how the body of the sweater fits.



I am still reading Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones series Book 3) and Into the Water. They are so good in different ways and I have enjoyed reading them, they are so well done. I will be finishing them soon, I have been busy with school work and also knitting, but will spend more time reading this week. I would like to start reading something fun and light for summer soon, so I will be looking for ideas on Goodreads.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting on, with AsKatKnits for Unraveled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

Thank you so much for visiting today! if you would like to follow my blog and keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a great day!



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Knitting for Christmas in July Part Two

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I decided to do a continuation of yesterday's Christmas in July post because I knitted more of the Christmas stocking. It is looking more like a Christmas stocking now and I wanted to share my progress with you. I also want to continue this Christmas topic a little longer.

Some of you commented that you love Christmas too and that you celebrated Christmas in July already, which is so great to hear! I can't wait to celebrate with you once Christmas is here and I have something special planned for around that time and I am looking forward to it!


I knitted more of the stocking yesterday and today. I am following the pattern Jumbo Christmas Stockings in a Jiffy-Striped by Jennifer Jackson which I found on Ravelry. Today, I learned more about the traveling jog-less stripes that I was not aware of before. It is so much easier than cutting the yarn each time, then having to weave in the ends afterwards. I watched a few videos on the technique including the video "How to Knit Traveling Jogless Stripes in the Round" by the YouTube account New Stitch a Day: Knitting and Crochet Video Tutorials. It was so helpful to watch and follow along with the videos while learning how to do it. Using this technique for knitting stripes made it look so much tighter and cleaner than when I was cutting the yarn when I was finished with each color. It was loose because of having the strands sticking out and harder to tighten them. While I am knitting the stocking, I am thinking of all the Christmas goodies that will be filling the stocking and getting more excited about Christmas.


Stocking with the cuff rolled down which is how it will look when it is complete

I pulled out these two plush Christmas decorations that I love today to take photos of the stocking. This really made me feel like it was Christmas in July. All of the things I have collected over the years brings me such joy and I love pulling it out and decorating my home with them. Last year we had people over and they called my elf friend here, "Elf on the Shelf" as it was sitting on our windowsill. It does resemble Elf on the Shelf, but hopefully not as creepy.


I am happy with the stocking so far, and working on my jog-less stripes technique. It still looks a bit obvious where the change in color begins. I will be working on this technique as I knit along.

While thinking of Christmas this morning, I came up with a list of some of the things I would like to accomplish before the Christmas season begins. I usually begin my celebrating around the middle of November, so this gives me some time to think about what I would like to do and get these things done. I will go into depth closer to Christmas about these goals on my blog, but these are just a few things I would like to think about earlier on before the rush begins.

  • Knit Christmas gifts for family, friends, and boyfriend
  • Knit Christmas stockings
  • Knit some decorations for the apartment
  • Research new cookie/Christmas treat recipes
  • Start Christmas shopping early
  • Think of ideas for gifts 
  • Create Christmas gifts budget 

Thank you for visiting my blog for the second post in Christmas in July, you can Click here for the first post I did yesterday for part one of Christmas in July! If you would like to follow me to keep updated on when I post blog posts, please follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Knitting for Christmas in July

Hello Friends,


I hope you are doing well.  I have been seeing Christmas in July everywhere lately, I have seen some vloggers and bloggers doing Christmas in July posts.  I did a Google search and read that people like to celebrate Christmas now because we don't have any holidays at this time of the year. I myself have started thinking more about Christmas lately, and thinking about our traditions and looking forward to it. I love the warm feeling of Christmas, being with loved ones, giving gifts to each other, and I really love knitting gifts for my family and friends to show how much I appreciate them. I was inspired by seeing Christmas in July everywhere, that I decided to also blog about it.

I remember that last Christmas, I was thinking it would be so nice to knit up some Christmas Stockings. But I realized with all the Christmas gifts I was knitting already, I wouldn't have enough time to get them done. So, I am going to start early this year and hopefully knit up a couple stockings for my boyfriend and I for Christmas. I found a pattern on Ravelry for Jumbo Christmas Stockings in a Jiffy-Striped by Jennifer Jackson and thought they looked really cute and it would be do-able in time for Christmas. I am excited to get started. I looked over the pattern and bought the yarn needed and I am ready to begin.



I love knitting with these new bamboo US 15 needles with the chunky, soft yarn. It has been awhile since I knitted with super bulky yarn and thick needles, and today I really enjoyed knitting with them again. I also love how quick you can knit something up with bulky yarn. Sometimes I am knitting with the fine yarn and it feels like I am not getting very far because it takes more time to knit up. The pattern I am using for the stockings, is Jumbo Christmas Stocking in a Jiffy- Striped by Jennifer L. Jackson, and I found the pattern on Ravelry.

Photo by Jennifer L. Jackson from her Ravelry pattern page (click for photo source)

So Christmas is only 5 months away which is crazy and I am so excited for it to be the holiday season. Is anyone else like that? I love the music, the decorations, the food, the family gatherings, the shopping, and just the happiness it brings. I even catch myself listening to Christmas music and it is summer, it feels wrong but I love it. I am looking forward to spending my second Christmas living with my boyfriend. He is now more aware of how obsessed I get with Christmas and he thinks my Christmas in July post is kind of crazy, but I think he secretly loves it. That is what I am telling myself anyways. I usually start celebrating right after Halloween, like maybe a week after. I used to decorate the family Christmas tree in mid-November and I still go over to my parent's house for our Christmas tree decorating and we have dinner, decorate the tree, and eat too many chocolates and cookies, and have my favorite festive drink, eggnog! So the countdown begins...

I have still been reading Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding, and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. This does not reflect on how good they are, I just haven't been reading a lot these past few weeks and should make reading more of a priority.

In other knitting updates, I blocked my first sweater piece and will be working on blocking the others this week which I will share with you soon.  I have been working on knitting up the kerchief and almost done, and knitting the chevron lace scarf and will be starting to knit my summer sock project soon.  It has been really busy with my certificate courses wrapping up for the Summer but I will find the time to knit as well

Joining along with Frontier Dreams with Crafting On, The Little Room of Rachell with Yarning Along, AsKatKnits with Unraveled Wednesday, and Julie's Creative Lifestyle with Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

Thank you so much for visiting! If you would like to keep updated on when I post on my blog, please follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers, I would love it if you visited again.

Have a good day!



Friday, July 21, 2017

My First Time Blocking a Knitted Piece for the Sweater

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  Today I went to Michael's craft store and bought some yarn and needles for a project I will share with you soon, and then to Walmart to buy some more pins for blocking. They did not carry them at this location, so I bought some dress pins and they worked well along with the fork pins I had purchased already. I will definitely be buying more blocking pins in the future. I blocked my first knitted piece and it took quite awhile because I was just getting used to placing the pins and making sure they stayed in place and made sure the tension was good and even throughout the piece. It required cold blocking by spraying the piece once it was pinned down to the desired measurements. I pinned it all down, then used a spray bottle and sprayed cold water on the piece. I was not sure how much to spray so I kept going until it was all damp.  Now it is sitting in my living room drying on the foam mats.

After pinning the sweater and spraying the piece
 First, I pinned the bottom of the piece to be 24 inches across, I had to stretch it quite a bit. I did not have to stretch it up as much it was already pretty close to the measurement because I knit a little extra so it would be longer.

It is hard to see, but the photo is of the pins up the side of the piece


Before blocking the piece
After the piece is pinned and sprayed 

I will be sharing how all the pieces turned out in an upcoming post. I will post some before and after shots to show the difference blocking makes.

I went to Michael's today and they had a clearance sale on these Loops & Threads skeins and I scooped them up for $4 each. I was looking for white and red super bulky yarn for a project so I was very happy. I bought the US 15 bamboo needles for the project and the Patons Kroy socks yarn for the next pair of socks I will start knitting soon.

Michael's haul 

I enjoyed my first time blocking a knitted piece. It took a lot of focus and attention to detail. It is very important to have a lot of time to work on blocking a piece, because it took me longer than I expected it to. I am looking forward to seeing how all the pieces turn out after they are blocked, and how it looks once I seam all the pieces together and have a sweater.

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to keep updated on what I am up to, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and/or Google Followers.

Hope you have a great day!




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Preparing For Blocking, Healthy Smoothie Recipes, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I had a wonderful weekend spending time with my family and going shopping and now all the summer sales are happening, so it is a good time to shop! We got our new Sealy mattress, bed frame, and headboard delivered on Sunday which we purchased at Sleep Country and it is so comfortable. It is taking me awhile to get used to it though, I have a hard time sleeping on different beds or in different places right away but I know I am already adjusting to it. I am looking forward to this week, I will be working on blocking some sweater pieces finally and continuing to finish my Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief.

I have the materials all ready to begin the blocking process for the pieces of my sweater. I have the blocking mats that I bought at Walmart instead of using some more expensive blocking squares I found. I also bought some blocking pins from Walmart. They aren't the T-pins I keep seeing people use, but I will give them a try. I will be sharing my experience blocking all the sweater pieces, along with some before and after shots in the next posts.


Close-up of the pins
 I have also been knitting more of the chevron lace scarf and loving this pattern. I am looking forward to wearing it towards the end of the summer when it is a bit cooler.  I am almost finished the last section of stockinette pattern before the final garter/eyelet section and finishing section. I hope to block the kerchief next week.

To be a scarf using the chevron lace stitch pattern

Kerchief in progress, almost finished
I have still been reading Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding and Into the Water By Paula Hawkins. I have not been reading too fast these days. I think I just need to pick a time each day when I sit down and read. I can't read in the late afternoon too much or else I will get too sleepy. I am really enjoying these two books!

I tried two smoothie recipes with the new Hamilton Beach Personal Creations Blender I bought on Saturday. It works so well, and it is so powerful for such a small blender. I love it because after you blend your ingredients, you can drink right from the same cup. It is so fast and easy, and cuts back on dishes. The two smoothie recipes I found and tried this week are the Hearty Fruit and Oat Smoothie from Martha Stewart and the Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven. Hope you give them a try!


Hearty Fruit and Oat Smoothie:


Ingredients

Ingredients:
I split all the ingredients in half for this smoothie because I am doing a weight loss challenge which requires me to eat only two servings of fruit each day(more about the challenge below). It tasted great with half the ingredients and it was enough to eat for me.

1 cup quartered strawberries  
1 sliced banana     
¼ cup raw almonds          
12 cup old-fashioned oats        
1 cup of low-fat yogurt             

1 teaspoon maple syrup         

Method: 
put all ingredients into the blender, blend and enjoy

Recipe from Martha Stewart 

What I thought: 
I loved this smoothie, I liked the taste of the almonds and the oats mixed in with the fruit. I felt so energized after drinking this and that it would fill me up for the morning. I can see this being a good drink for when you need a quick breakfast to take with you on the go. The only thing I would change about this smoothie, would be to make it colder by adding frozen fruit or ice to the mixture.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie


Ingredients

Ingredients:
1 large banana peeled
1 cup of ice cubes
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, store bought or homemade

Method:
put all ingredients into a blender, blend and enjoy!

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

What I thought:
This one was my favorite. I am obsessed with peanut butter and banana, so I knew I would love it. I like that it is colder too because of the added ice. I really enjoyed drinking this smoothie for breakfast this morning and it filled me up until lunchtime. With its simple ingredients and delicious taste, I have a feeling I will being making this one a lot.

I have been still working on losing weight and getting toned by following the Cityline Weight Loss Challenge guidelines which is basically each day eat  3 protein, 3-4 fats, 1 grain (the hardest one, and no grain at dinner), eat lots of vegetables, and 2 fruits. I had fallen off the wagon a bit, but my mom and sister are also doing the plan and they encouraged me to get back on track and we have all be encouraging each other. So far I have lost 12 pounds but I feel a change recently again and I feel more motivated to resist temptation and grains at dinner so I think the loss will pick up again. I really want this for myself and I am feeling less bloated and feeling better lately which was my reason for starting.

 I still need to have my gelato in the evening sometimes!
Joining along with Frontier Dreams with Crafting On, The Little Room of Rachell with Yarning Along, AsKatKnits with Unraveled Wednesday, and Julie's Creative Lifestyle with Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

Thank you so much for dropping by! I hope you liked the post today. If you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers and you can get notifications on when I post.

Have a great day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...