Project Year-Long Sweater

*eye of the tiger music plays*

*Runs out of doorway, victoriously fist pumping, wearing an amazingly soft, intricately cabled, cream colored sweater*

YEEEEEESSSS!!!!!

I DID IT!!!!!!

I FINISHED MY SWEATER!!!!!!!! THE ROCKY COAST CARDIGAN IS DONE!!!!

And it only took me 361ish days!! (According to my ravelry page I started December 1, 2013…but usually a 1st of the month start date indicates I forgot when I actually started it…sooo….yeah.)

Let me back up and start at this sweater’s humble beginnings.

Technically, this journey probably began with Hannah Fettig and Alana Dakos publishing Coastal Knits. Most of you are probably aware of this book, but if you’re not then GET THEE TO CLICKING THE LINK!!! It’s probably one of my favorite pattern books of all-time. I have a rule about purchasing knitting books. I only drop cash if there are 3+ patterns in the book that I desperately want to knit. So my book collection is reasonable…and…I’ve never knit a single thing out of any of them until now. HA! Yeah…I’m special.

But Coastal Knits is amazing. I fell in love with every single pattern and bought the yarn for more than one. However I never cast anything on.

I desperately coveted the Rocky Coast sweater on the book’s cover…but immediately I said I wouldn’t ever knit that. I wasn’t a sweater knitter. I’d started a sweater…and eventually finished it 3 years later in 2013. So last year I decided I might be able to be a sweater knitter. I was flirting with the idea not that one, very basic, sweater was complete.

In October of 2013 I went on my yearly trek to the Montpelier Fiber Festival in Charlottesville VA. I went to sleep at my friend’s mom’s house the night before the festival….and had my first knitting-dream ever.

I dreamed I had knit the Rocky Coast and I had worn it in my engagement photos. (I was engaged and the photos were scheduled for a few weeks after the festival…so this dream was clearly not in the realm of knitting-reality) I woke up…and I had to knit that sweater. I bought the yarn from a festival booth that day. The most perfect cream colored worsted weight wool.

And…judging by my project page I cast on after my engagement photos….sometime in December. Now, you should know I’m a polygamous knitter. I’ve never…ever…(well since my first ever project) had less than 3 things on the needles. Right now it’s closing in on 20…*dies a little* So I started….

Progress as of December 1 2013

Progress as of December 1 2013

I dug this photo out (it’s weirdly yellow….bad lighting, sorry)…and maybe I did start on December 1st. Huh. So 361 days. Nice!

December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Then…it got sat down for awhile. And I got married…so that was a tiny distraction…

Around August of 2014 I decided IT MUST GET DONE BY THE FESTIVAL AT WHICH I BOUGHT THE YARN….

September 2014This is from roughly September of 2014. I got one and a half arms done by October 2014. Then…in the last week or so….I decided it MUST BE DONE BY THANKSGIVING. Night after night (Ok like 2 nights and one morning) I knit for hours. The arm maybe took 2 hours to finish, but the edging…Ohhhhh the ribbed edging. I even did knit-math. One repeat took me 22 minutes. I needed 20 repeats then a bind off row (which always takes exponentially longer than anything else ever and involves some kind of time-vortex, I’m sure.) So…yeah. That took time. And then my knitpicks had a slight malfunction

NO!!! DEAR GOD NO!!!!! WHY, GOD, WHY???!?!!!? My interchangeable needle CORD separated from the metal part!!! EVERYBODY KNIT-PANIC!!!!

Ugh. I switched to my other cord….and pressed on. To the bind-off-vortex.

BUT I DID IT!!! THANKSGIVING MORNING AROUND 10AM I FINISHED THE BIND OFF!!!!

And then of course….I have to wear it to lunch. (Please ignore the random fan and heater and dog beds in the background. We were in a smidge of a hurry)

So today, it’s blocking. My beautiful, finished, cabled, masterpiece of 361 days is DONE!!

Ahhhh. Life is good.

Former Perfectionist Tips on Rocky Coast:

  • If you have normal-human (Sorry Hannah, you’re a tiny, tiny person) arms, FIND THE ARM WIDENING INFO.
  • Learn to cable without cable needles. This is a great project to exercise that skill.
  • Write out the cable repeats on a post-it to tally your rows as you go.
  • Fall in love

What’s your longest project on the needles? Have you ever had knitting dreams?!?! Ever knit a dream-project? Anyone else in love with this pattern?? Because I’m about to make another!! Happy knitting!

Signature Large

 

Why the changes?

I’m so glad you asked. And I’m glad you’re still here…(or I hope you are) or WELCOME if you’re new!!

So I had been slacking with this blog…especially when slacking with my knitting and spinning. I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. But…I’m always doing SOMETHING.

I decided to adjust this blog, and my username to reflect where I am now, and where I want to go. Here’s why…

Old Username: Knitter in Pink. New Username Former Perfectionist. 

I knit. This is true. I wear a lot of pink. That’s true too. But it’s not all I do. It’s not all I’m passionate about. And sometimes I don’t knit much. Sometimes I garden. Or bake. Or make homemade cleaners. Or…dissertate.

Also? I used to have to make everything perfect. And I still kind of do. But I’m working on it. I’m NOT PERFECT. Ha. And my new username is what I am trying to be. I’m trying to let go of the compulsion for perfection. It’s OK if I twist a stitch the wrong way. It’s OK if I have to spit-splice my spinning. It’s totally cool if I forgot the vanilla in the cookies. Fell out of my yoga pose? No big deal.

Perfection is exhausting. So is life. Why make it moreso?

Old Blog Name: The Knitter In Pink. New Blog Name: A Life of Projects.

Why? Isn’t your life made up of projects? My wedding…HUGE project. My dissertation…if that’s not a life project I don’t know what is. Sometimes I’m gardening. Some days I knit. I am a pinterest junkie. Tomorrow’s project might be a headstand. Yesterday’s was a half marathon.

So I’m going to share those projects here. At least one a week. I couldn’t talk about knitting every week. I tried. For years. But I do too much STUFF.

So all of it gets to be included. Why? Because it’s my life. And it has projects.

Enjoy.

 

So. Broke.

Look, I came back!! (again, damnit.)

Anyway…

 

Dear grad school, you suck the fun (read as: money) out of everything.

Between wedding planning and living on my stipend…it’s rough. But the good news is that my awesome boss at the yarn store is letting me teach some classes on Sundays!! Yes, this means I’m going to be working both Saturday AND some Sundays….in addition to doing long runs on Sundays…and…yeah. Just one more year…one more year…one more year….then I SWEAR, mom, I SWEAR I’ll get a real, big-girl, all grown up, adult job.

I hope.

I’ll try, at least.

Let’s go to some pictures, shall we?

Engagement Pictures by Christina Wolfe Photography:

LW0A6129 adj

LW0A6407 adj

LW0A6108 bw

Best Christmas Presents EVERRRR…

Photo Dec 25, 9 05 43 PM

 

 

I FINISHED A SWEATER, OMG!!!

 

 

 

Photo Nov 29, 12 00 16 PM

 

Then I cast on another…

Photo Dec 20, 7 58 56 PM

 

Then I am working on some socks from my handspun Hedgehog Fibres

Photo Jan 02, 9 43 19 PM

 

Aaaannd that’s all for now. More coherence next time, I swear.

 

Festivus!

Best. Weekend. EVER!!!

Ok, I say that every year, this weekend.

Why? Because it was Montpelier Fiber Fest!!!! Every year I go with one of my favorite people in the whole world…she’s my mentor, my trainer and basically who I want to become when I grow up. I get to spend the whole weekend with her and her family, some other friends, AND we go to a fiber fest, AND get awesome food (because her mom is an amazing cook) AND I get to run one of my favorite routes, AND I get my flu shot!!! YES!!!

I’m not kidding, this weekend even makes me excited about flu shots.

I love this weekend so much. Only 363 more days until I get to do it again!!!

Friday night we got in late. I basically went right to bed so that the next day we could get up and go to the festival!!!

Photo Oct 05, 10 35 49 AM

I love this festival so much. Awesome vendors, great selection, but not over-crowded. I can look around, then go back around again and get what I wanted. No pressure. It’s fantastic. More on the purchases later. I promise.

So after the festival we headed home for dinner…and these awesome ladies gave me the most amazing card…and I lost it. Cried at dinner. They also got me a little gift to wish me well for the following weekend (this coming weekend) when I will complete my first-ever marathon. The full 26.2. The big dance.

*falls over*

So…I’m as prepared as I can be. More on that…next week.

Oh holy God I’m actually doing this, aren’t I? Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

EEK!!!!

Ahem.

So. Stash that got acquired….

Photo Oct 06, 7 33 55 PM

 

From leftish to rightish: 1) Spinning gift bag from friend’s mom. Included a new lap pad for spinning WITH POCKETS!! What??!? Yes. 2) Alpaca fleece from friend’s mom is under that. AWESOMESAUCE. I almost bought one and was regretting it. She had some to spare. SO COOL. 3) Spindle and 3oz fiber for a gift for a friend that worked all weekend at the yarn store for me so I could go play!!! 4) 6 oz each of merino in slate and burgundy. Goal is to spin for the Tempest sweater. 5) White merino for dying. 6) So…I had a dream the night before the show. I dreamed I was knitting the Rocky Coast Cardigan….and I was wearing it in my engagement photos. So I bought yarn to make it. Why not. I feel like if something comes to you in a dream and it’s reasonable…you should follow that notion. 7) Random 3.5oz of cormo that was purchased to go with hard to see 8) which is my new supported spindle!!!! IS SO PRETTY!!! Better pictures later. 9) Spinners Book of Yarn Designs. *drool* Had wanted for awhile. Friends mom had it and I spent all weekend lusting over it. So I bought one. Then 10/11) is the gifty from the amazing friends and the card.

Fantastic weekend.

Well…3 days until Baltimore. I better get packed!!!

Social Filter Smackdown

Let’s start off with a small discussion on social filters.

So, I was sitting somewhere that it is socially acceptable to have a spinning wheel in public…and spinning on my Schacht Matchless. Spinning away. Loving every second.

And then…this woman comes in to the general vicinity of myself. She watches me for a few minutes. And then promptly states “I just hate double treadle machines”. To which I politely told her that that was fine, and mine was a single treadle.

(My wheel looks like this…..)

She stood there for a few more seconds and then said “Well but you’re using two feet”. I calmly explained to her that I was choosing to do that, but I could also treadle with one foot. I have a SINGLE treadle. ONE. ONE PIECE OF WOOD THERE. (I didn’t get shouty. Be impressed.) So she stood there some more, walked around me and finally said “Well, I have a CLASSIC single treadle, single foot machine.”

Good. For. You.

Did I ASK you if you liked my wheel? NO. Did I ASK you if you WANTED my wheel? NOOO. Do I CARE if you hate my wheel?? NO I DO NOT!!! Are you rude in walking up to someone and telling them you hate something they clearly at least like enough to borrow or own? YES!!! For the love of all things wooly, social filters, people! Social filters!!! Let me tell you, there was a LONG list of very rude things I thought about telling her that I “hated” but due to my upbringing and SOCIAL FREAKING FILTER, I maintained my good manners and didn’t tell her my thoughts.

She had a friend with her…and personally if one of my friends had have said something like that out loud to another human, I would have physically hit them. Or another option, the one I currently utilize, is to not be friends with rude people. I mean, turning to your friend out of earshot and expressing your loathing of jeggings is one thing…but walking up to a stranger and telling them about their fashion faux pas is not in your job description unless you are Stacy and Clinton. For seriously, people. SOCIAL FILTERS. Use them and encourage others to do so as well.

Social. Filters.

Moving on. And not beating anyone with sticks.

Knitting News

I fell down a rabbit hole today. I just discovered VeryBusyMonkey. Oh. Em. GEE. Have you SEEN her patterns?!!!? MUST HAVE ALL THE PATTERNS. Usually, I’m a free pattern knitter. I’m broke, in grad school, and value my free patterns. Yeah, I buy books and magazines, but I’m getting more than just a pattern or four with that. It is RARE for me to buy a pattern. Not because I don’t value the designers work, but mostly because I prefer to buy a whole book or magazine for some reason. I don’t know. It’s just me. I’m odd. Also, it’s rare that I like ALL of someone’s something (yarn, fiber, patterns, whatever). The only other designer I’m hardcore in love with is Wooly Wormhead. So now I’ve found another favorite, which is awesome.  I bought her Shawl Pattern #4 collection. I want every single one. The good news is that I’m getting one of these for Christmas. I’m gifting the patterns to a friend for a swap. I knit her socks, she knits me a shawl. SO EXCITED. I don’t know which shawl I shall get, but it will be AWESOMETASTIC.

I’ve also been working on mittens for KP’s mom. One done and size-tested on everyone’s hand I could find, since I do not know the exact size of KP’s mom’s hand…but I assume it to be larger than my tiny ones. If I was a good blogger I would have pictures. But I slacked. So sorry.

I did manage to get some spinning done though!!!

Spinning Stuff

DONE!!!! My first TIBH spin is all done!!!! Not sure on yardage yet, it’s resting on the bobbin right now. I’m also not sure what it’s going to be…. The colorway is Olivander’s Wand Shop. Mostly greens which isn’t something I wear a lot of…so I’m not sure what it will become just yet. But it was super-fun to spin. Love me some TIBH.

Photo Sep 21, 12 59 17 PM

Single ply…

Photo Sep 22, 7 05 39 PM

2 ply with some chain at the end because….I fail at spinning evenly.

More pictures once it’s skeined and set!

Craft-tastic Crap

Well as you know both DF and I are major University of Tennessee fans…and thanks to pinterest I have been stalking some super-cute UT wreaths. Then at the flea market I found wooden wreaths for $3. So why not make one???

I got some ribbon and wooden letters, painted them up, wove in the ribbon, and…..

Photo Sep 09, 8 25 40 AM

Super cute, yes?!?!

Well, that’s it for now. I’m going to go do some meal planning, school work, and remember to use my social filter!!! ❤

Salted Caramel Tardis

Well, last week involved a lot of crying. Mostly grad school related. This week started off with Flat Tire Monday!!!

So awesome.

I don’t know HOW I didn’t look at my car on Sunday night when we got back from TN. We parked right beside it, I got out on the side of Stephen’s car facing the offending tire. No idea how I missed seeing my flat tire. But I did. So Monday morning I got in and pulled out of my parking spot and instantly knew something was wrong and what that something was.

Got out, walked around, confirmed suspiscions, said a few explitives to myself. Started unpacking the crap in the trunk to get to the donut. Gave up. Texted my dear, dear, amazing, wonderful friend, KL, and got her up a half hour before she needed to be up…and she came to help me change it.

Long story short, I have awesome friends, my car is ancient, crap is breaking. Need new car. The tire wasn’t actually the issue. It’s the rim. I know this now because on Wednesday, the day DF has to have surgery…my tire was flat again. So Charlotte the Carlett is off at the mechanics, waiting to find a suitable rim to make her all better.

Thankfully, got DF to surgery, got through surgery, and knocked him out on the couch with some good pain meds. He is currently knocked out beside me. Love those meds. 🙂

Shockingly, I don’t have much in the way of

Knitting News

I didn’t even touch my needles at the hospital. I did, however get a LOT done on my Hitchhiker on the trip to TN. Let’s rummage around for a picture, shall we?

Photo Sep 12, 3 10 55 PM

There. So we are at 27 points. Kind of half way point-wise…but definitely not halfway knitting-wise since (if you know the pattern you know this) the latter points mean longer and longer and longer rows. I’m going to tell myself I’m 1/3 done. Sound good? Ok.

Sadly no

Spinning Stuff

to report either. 😦

But I DO have lots of

Recipe Reviews!!

Let’s start with dessert, shall we???

As a thank you to my dear, dear friend for helping me change my flat tire, I made her some salted caramel rice krispie treats!! That I found on pinterest, of course.

I was kind of worried that the massive amount of liquid on top and in the treats would make the treats too soft and not all krispie like I like them. The top layer was a tad more moist than a normal treat (I made regular ones to…compare, right? Sure. Let’s go with that.) but overall it was still a good amount of krisp. 🙂

Photo Sep 11, 7 49 17 PM

Then I also attempted some vegan black bean chili that is also gluten free! I’m trying hard to avoid gluten because I have noticed that it makes me feel icky. I don’t have celiac’s or a specific allergy to it…but it really does have an impact on me. So avoidance when possible. (With exceptions for cupcakes from Viva La Cupcake. Oh. Em. Gee. Worth it.) Anyway. The chili was quite good. I tweaked it a bit by adding about a half cup of quinoa for some extra texture. I also put a little more flavor in with some onion powder, a diced pepper of unknown variety from the CSA box, and diced garlic….a lot of garlic. I can’t help it. Everything needs more garlic.

Photo Sep 12, 3 10 03 PM

Not the best picture, but tastes pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

And now for a new section:

Craft-tastic Creations

Aside from knitting…pinterest has made me 10 kinds of crafty lately. In case you didn’t notice on the last entry from the fleamarket finds.

Recently, DF turned 30. So I had to go big, right? For some reason, I keep putting themes to his birthday events. Last year it was Thundercats. Complete with a Thundercat cake. No joke.

This year? Dr. Who.

So I took our white pantry that we use for extra storage in the kitchen and turned it into a TARDIS. Because who doesn’t need a TARDIS in their kitchen??? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about right now, then I am oh-so sad for you. Get yourself to BBC or Netflix and get your Whovian on.)

My friend and I managed to transform the cabinet from boring to Who-tastic in just a few hours while DF was at work!!

I had dad pre-cut out all the wood to make the doors look like the TARDIS. The Amazing KL helped nail them on.

Photo Aug 31, 3 05 27 PM

2 inch painters tape for windows, YES.
Photo Aug 31, 3 58 53 PM

And painting and painting and painting….

Photo Aug 31, 4 17 40 PM

We didn’t paint where the sign goes, I was worried it would show through when I put the sign on.

Photo Aug 31, 4 25 34 PM

ALL DONE!!! Peeled off the painters tape, added the top sign and the door sign (printed them off google image) and it was done!Photo Aug 31, 9 17 34 PM

TA-DA!!!!! How awesome is that??

Well, that was a looooong post. Longer than I meant. I’ll try to break it up more, I think.

Now, off to visit the teaching blog for a bit!

Big Orange Update

Well, the decision has been made, mostly due to the class and the articles we read related to blogging and our professions. I’ve decided to attempt two blogs. A colleague of mine runs two blogs, one professional and one craft-tastic one. Granted, she’s out of school and in her career…but still, I think I can attempt it. My main goal behind this is to improve my writing. This would force me to at least write SOMETHING twice a week…even if it’s not academic writing. (I solemnly swear to not APA cite things at you.)

So this blog will continue. It will IMPROVE. I will take care of it and post regularly. I can do this.

However we may not cover all topics every time…but we shall see.

Let’s move on to….

Knitting News:

I FINISHED TWO PAIR OF SOCKS IN ONE DAY!! What?!?!?!?! Yes. Yes I did.

Notice that I said “finished”. Not “start to finished”. Haha.

Photo Sep 02, 9 09 44 PM

Photo Sep 02, 9 11 37 PM

Both are just plain vanilla socks. The top pair had only been on the needles for a month. The bottom….heh. Let’s not talk about that. But I’m super excited to have two new pairs of socks to add to the collection, so of course I immediately cast on two more pair. One short pair and one tall again. Haha. The tall ones will be my Vols socks!!! YEAH!!! GO BIG ORANGE!!!! The short ones are for my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN!! Then I’m also working on a hitchhiker out of my Into The Whirled ❤ handspun from TDF!!! 

Photo Aug 10, 7 00 18 PM

 

I’m loving the hitchhiker but…I keep either forgetting to bind off, or forgetting to kfb in places. Oh well. It’ll have some character, right??? It’s striping up nicely. I think I have around 18 points so far. I’m determined to hit 42. I mean it IS the answer, after all.

 

 

In other news, DF and I went to one of the biggest flea markets in the country that just so happens to be about an hour from where we live. I love this flea market so much. I’ve gone almost every year since I was little. Mom and dad stopped going while I was in college, but I continued to go and drug friends along. Thankfully DF LOVES flea marketing too.

We got a nifty shelf that was pretty dinged up, but a little sand, dusting, and spray paint turned my $6 investment in to some awesome bathroom storage. Here’s the before and after:

Photo Sep 01, 6 07 47 PM

 

Cute, right?? It’s now hanging on the bathroom wall holding all the clutter that I had on our tiiiiiny bathroom sink. Then I also got this uber-cute drawer for $5 (I tried hard for $3 but he wouldn’t budge.) I needed it for storage for my BPAL collection. Worked. Out. PERFECTLY. The box on the top shelf holds all the imps (tiny samples) and the rest are my different sniffies, now sorted by overall scent…beach, halloween, floral, etc. If you know and love BPAL, you get this. If you don’t…then go get some. Right now. You’ll thank me.

Photo Sep 01, 6 15 23 PM

And yes, there’s one empty slot. There is a BPAL order somewhere in the universe on it’s way to me right now. I shall fill it with the things.

You seriously have no idea how long I stood in the bathroom admiring my flea market finds on Sunday. Seriously. The cat even joined me to soak in the awesome for awhile. Technically I think he was debating if he could jump on them and reach a higher level at his Kitty Kingdom but I like to think he was appreciating my new decor.

 

So since this blog is my hobby-life only, I did start a new professional blog. It’s about my experiences in grad school, my research, my frustrations in grad school, and my main interest of the field of evaluation. If you have any interest, go check it out, otherwise just hang out here! Things may cross over from time to time, but that’s cool, right?

Ok good.

Well, we’re off tomorrow to see my FAVORITE college football team play. I’ve packed all the orange and white I can fit in a bag. I’ve got the car flags and magnets ready, my nails are orange and white, tickets are printed and packed….we are so ready for this!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!

More next week!! (I promise.)