Currently {january 22nd}

I've had really busy hands.  Just not busily typing on the internet.  I have been knitting ALL THE THINGS.  After the pillow,  I did my first seamless sweater!  

It took between 4 to 5 days and turned out nearly perfect!  Rowan has already asked me if I would make her another sweater.  I finally started on a memory blanket of mitered squares using little balls of stash yarn from previous (and future!) projects.  There is probably so much more I should be doing, like dishes....

This weeks themes:
starting, looking, listening, snapping, making

Starting:  I have started my first pair of knitted socks!  Finally doing a knitting project for myself for a change.  They are from the same pattern collection as the sweater I knitted for Rowan.  Called The Simple Collection from Tin Can Knits, there are 8 FREE patterns to help new knitters, like myself, get used to some of the basics of knitting.

Looking:  We've been looking at new kitchen cabinets, bath tubs/surrounds, etc.  Our bathroom is hideous and the kitchen isn't much better.  The cabinets are custom built and while that sounds awesome... it's not.  None of them are the same, doors barely close properly, lots of wasted space.  But buying new cabinets means buying new countertops, new floors, new dishwasher.  You get the idea.  Lots of research will be required.

Listening:  Rowan has really started to have the cutest little pretend conversations between her stuffed animals and little toys.  The other day I was listening to her line up all her Care Bears and they were all at the doctor's office being seen for different things.

Snapping:  I've been snapping at my oldest daughter quite a bit lately.  She seems to know just how to push all the buttons.  I feel bad for snapping at her, but she has the most horrible attitude.  I feel like no matter what I do, say, or try, she could care less.

Making:  I'm making big plans to get back on the meal planning wagon.  I want to try for monthly shopping instead of doing week to week.  This will definitely require a lot of planning on my part, but in the end I think it will work.

Reading:  Sadly, I am still reading the same book that I've been "reading" for about a month.  I haven't actually read a page in quite a while.  Maybe I should do that....

Watching:  Agent Carter!  I'm a geek, if you hadn't noticed, and I love all these Marvel movies/tv shows.  Avengers, Thor (but really I love Loki), Iron Man, Captain America, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc.  And I love how they all have little pieces of the others in them somewhere.  When I saw that ABC was going to be having a show about the awesome Agent Carter from Captain America, I knew I had to watch.  I'm already bummed that there will only be 8 episodes though.

Next weeks themes:
wondering, running, winning, calling, finishing

Currently link up is hosted by Kale + Beans and OT & ET.

Big B's and Lots of Strings

I decided to boost my craftiness this year by following along with a Tumblr blog, Craft Challenges.  Doing a new project every month.  Probably a lost cause before it even starts because I rarely ever finish a challenge.  I do try though.  And this month is already complete!

This month's theme was white.  You are open to interpret that however you see, but it must have something predominately white about it.

I was randomly searching through Ravelry for something I could use.  I definitely didn't want to knit something white for the toddler to wear because it wouldn't be white for long!  I happened upon a pattern for a pillow.  With a big B on it!  If you don't know, our last name starts with a B.

Turns out I learned two knitting techniques while doing this project, intarsia colorwork and how to use mattress stitch to seam a bound off/cast on edge.

I've done stripes, but not blocks of color.  I did not do it right.  At least for the first half of the B anyway.  I was cutting the yarn at every color change.  I hang my head in shame.  What can I say?  I'm still fairly new to this.  I realized that this just wasn't right, considered frogging the whole damn thing, watched a few videos, discovered yarn "bobbins", and finished it.

The original pattern called for using a crochet hook to weave together the edges with a nice contrasting yarn.  I wanted a more finished look so decided I'd go with what I know.  The mattress stitch.  Except when I got to the cast on/bound off edges, I realized I had to go back to videos.  Turns out it's pretty easy and I got nice pretty seams.

The B may not be pretty.  It's got tons of mistakes.  I think for my first go with so many new things (a pillow, colorwork, these kind of seams), I like it.  I hope to possibly make other letter pillows in the future.

Erryday I'm Ravelin'

I just published my first pattern on Ravelry.

I'm nervous, excited, like a deer in the headlights.

When I first began knitting, which wasn't that long ago peeps, I looked everywhere for patterns that were knit flat as I had no idea how to knit things in-the-round.  My daughter, Kaia Papaya, wanted me to make her a slouchy beanie (because she's a secret hipster), but I was having trouble finding something that I could create.

I finally came across a pattern that was 1) slouchy and 2) knit flat.  Hurrah!  I made one.  Another and then another.  I found I could literally make one of these in just a few hours.  The problem is that the original pattern disappeared.  It was posted online and is lost to the matrix.  And I had never copied or written the pattern down.

I sat down with one of her beanies, a notebook, pen, some yarn, and needles.  Several trial and errors later, I think I found a pattern that works!  Since it's not exactly original, I was working off of another pattern, I made it free!

You can find it on Ravelry here and there is also a link on my Shop tab.

Currently {january 9th}

This weeks themes:
resolving, planning, cleaning, leaving, thinking

Resolving-  To be more crafty this year.  It's not an official resolution, just something I'd like to do for myself.  I don't feel like I completed enough projects as I could have.

Planning-  I'm not really planning too much right now.  The hubs just found out that he has a hiatal hernia so he's had to take a few vacation days.  How long he has to take off will determine if we'll be able to take a vacation this year.  Hopefully surgery won't be required.

Cleaning-  I did a big scrub on our funk-tastic bathroom.  It has wood paneling, no vent so the paint (that the previous occupant used) is peeling from the ceiling because... moisture.  It's not the worst thing up in dis ol' hizzouse, but it's definitely the most embarrassing.

Leaving-  The car payments behind!  Just as soon we file our income taxes in February....

Thinking-  I would really like to find a location that has weather that alternates between Fall and Summer.  This cold is no bueno.  I don't care for Spring either so yeah....  I'm over Winter.

Reading-  Knit patterns. I still have my book sitting on my bedside table, but I'd like to start and finish a project once a month so I don't know when I'll read.  I just finished these super cute little bell bottom pants for my friend's daughter.  She turns 1 on the 14th!

Watching-  I love Josh Gates.  I loved watching Destination Truth on SyFy, but it got cancelled.  Boo!!  Hiss!!  Now he has new show on the Travel Channel called Expedition Unknown.  First episode aired this week and he was searching for Amelia Earhart.  SPOILER: He doesn't find her, but I'm still excited about this show!

Next weeks themes:
showing, working, testing, cooking, dreaming

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

Online Eyewear

Way back in November, I told y'all about my trials and tribulations with my eye doctor over my prescription.  I finally got around to ordering a pair online.

DISCLAIMER:  I was not asked, propositioned, or solicited in any way by the following company to review their product or service.  I did not receive any free or discounted product for this post.  I just wanted to share my experience.

I chose to go with Zenni Optical.

They have a wide selection.  Men, women, and kids.  If you are worried about price, like myself, they even have a whole section for only $6.95!  I opted to go with a pair that were $19.00 though.

Image source
Price is a big factor for me.  My current insurance doesn't cover new frames or lenses.  I definitely can't afford to shell out $400 for a new pair.  Shipping is $4.95 per order.  So if you want to buy multiple pairs at a time, still just $4.95 to ship.  My total was only $28.90.  

I placed my order on December 22nd knowing/expecting to not receive them until after Christmas.  They shipped on December 31st.  Somewhere between leaving San Francisco, CA on January 2nd and arriving in Nashville, TN on January 6th, my glasses took a four day vacation.  I speculated that they were chillin' in Nebraska.

Until they were scanned at Nashville, the expected delivery date was still showing January 3rd.  Ironically, I contacted Zenni via their live chat on the 6th and got a pretty lazy ass response.  Basically they said... we checked the tracking number via the USPS website and your package left CA on January 2nd.  The "expected" delivery date is just a best guess.  You need to give it a few more days.


Gee thanks for that generic ass response that tells me nothing I don't already know Zenni rep.  Please don't be troubled enough to research where my package is.  *le sigh*  In the end, my glasses arrived and that's what matters.  I mean, I paid less that $30 for these.

Packaging was a bit less than what I was expecting.  My mail lady was able to just put it in my mailbox.  I was a little bit worried.

Just a basic bubble mailer.

Even though the packaging was a little skimpy, the glasses and contents were not broken.  My order came with a plastic case (padded on the bottom), cleaning cloth, PD measurement tool (more on that in a minute), and my glasses.

Taadaa!  New glasses.

I can see just fine, but there are a few issues.  These glasses are smaller than I anticipated so they fit quite snugly.  Remember the PD measurement tool?  PD stands for pupillary distance, which is the distance between the center of each pupil to the other.  This number is used to make sure the center of focus on your lenses is in the correct place.  Zenni has a printable measurement tool that I printed out and used to check mine.  Because don't ya know the eye doctor didn't write that on my prescription.  Anywhosie...  I measured myself several times then I had my husband measure a few times (measure twice, cut once theory) and we got the same number.  63.  I think I may have measured a few millimeters off OR I just need to let my eyes adjust to the new shape/size of these lenses/frames.

When I am looking straight forward through my glasses, all is well.  It's the peripheral that is a little off for me.  It's a bit distorted and causes me to be unfocused for a second.  I seem to remember having this issue when switching to new glasses in the past too.  I'm just hyper aware of it this time because I feel like I did this all by myself and I don't want to mess up my vision.

Conclusion:  I will definitely buy more glasses from this site.  In fact, I'm super excited about trying out some sunglasses.  I've been wearing glasses since about the 2nd or 3rd grade.  Never worn sunglasses, just squinted my way through life.

My Year Ahead Spread

I grew up with my mom reading her own tarot cards so I wasn't exactly new to them.  I'd never really gotten into doing them myself before, didn't have a deck of my own, but last year I saw a deck that absolutely screamed at me to buy them.  

They are so dreamy.  I have done a couple of readings, but still a total novice.  I just love to look at them.  So when I saw the creator sharing her "year ahead spread", I thought... why not?  If I want to learn, I have to just jump all in!

Year ahead spread with The Wild Unknown tarot deck
Excuse my quickly snapped, slightly blurry phone photo.  The thing about tarot is while all the cards have their own meanings, how you read them is open to interpretation.  Or at least, that's how I see it.

This spread has 13 cards.  Basically one for every month and an overall view of the year ahead.  

Right out of the gate, it looks like I may have some difficulties coming my way, but if I can find my way through them, it looks positive.  Especially creatively.  I love to sew and knit.  I kind of had a boost to my confidence when I read things that said to take action, not be afraid to begin, be confident, and find my inner warrior (thanks Chariot card!).

So here I come 2015.   I'm going to make it a good year.