Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday!  Can you believe it’s July already? Me neither. This summer is slipping away! This morning when I looked at the outside temp it was 44 degrees. Brrr. Because we have our air conditioning on instead of heat, it got down to 65 degrees in the house. Perfect for sleeping, so even my youngest who is usually up early stayed in bed a little longer this morning. But at least the sun is shining today so it should warm up. After 2 rainy days keeping us indoors, it will be nice to be able to go outside and play with our kittens.

Speaking of kittens…

We have four adorable kittens. They are six-and-a-half weeks old today. And so much fun to watch. I just love watching them practice their pouncing. It’s hilarious!

kittens

Yarn Along

Once again I’m going to link up with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I know I get a bit long-winded at times, so this week I’ll TRY to keep it short and sweet! 🙂

On My Needles

1) Kingdom Gloves: PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE! Amazing. I know. But 2 days of administering my 8th grade son’s standardized tests (as required for homeschoolers by the state of MN) means a lot of time where I need to be present and quiet. So once I get him started on a test, I either read or knit. I decided to work on the gloves because the quiet atmosphere allowed me to really concentrate on the cable pattern.  Not only did I finish knitting the right-hand glove, I started the left one too!  Woot!

2014-07-02 09.12.12 cable knitting

{You can see I still have to do some weaving in ends and seaming between fingers as well as sewing the cuff’s inside layer where it belongs, so it’s not all done, but the knitting part is!}

2) Simplicity Socks: This is my take-along project. During the kids’ swim lessons, or whenever we’re going somewhere and I think I *might* have time to knit, I grab the bag I keep this project in. So I’ve made a little progress on these also.

3) Mendel sweater: Finished my swatch. After washing and drying, I think my gauge matches the pattern’s. I will check it once more before I cast-on this project though.

Reading

My Book Reviews:

I decided to quit reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore.  I don’t enjoy reading books with descriptive scenes of intimacy–it’s not my style. And it really disappointed me that the author had the {rather young} characters choose to have sex without the commitment of marriage.  Unfortunately, it’s a reflection of what a lot of people think is perfectly acceptable behavior nowadays.  But it completely ruined the story for me. I’m usually very careful to read reviews before choosing a book by an author I’ve never read before. But too bad for me…I obviously hadn’t read enough reviews on Graceling to know I shouldn’t waste good reading time just to get half-way through the book and quit.

Still Reading:

One Realm Beyond  Force Heretic Remnant cover

Although, technically I’m still reading the others in my last post’s list, these two have been getting my attention the most this week.

1) One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul I’m really enjoying this story now that I’ve gotten into it a little more. Bixby is such a funny and interesting character…can’t wait to see what more happens in the rest of the story! {And I know I can trust Donita’s writing!}

2) Star Wars The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant by Sean Williams Having read a TON of Star Wars books, I pretty much know what to expect with this one too. Just plodding along, seeing where the storyline goes next. 🙂

Show and tell?!

I’d love to see your current projects too! Once again, let me remind you that my Facebook page {perfectioKnits’ Facebook page} is open for you to share photos of what you’re working on. Or leave a link to your project’s Ravelry page if you prefer. Also, I’m using Instagram more and more these days {follow me: perfectioknits}, so tag me if you’re sharing project photos and want me to see them. Thanks!

And be sure to leave a comment below before you go! I look forward to hearing from you!

As always, happy knitting and reading!

~Steph

Blogathon Bash Wrap-up

Just a quick wrap-up post for the Blogathon Bash

blogathonwinter_thumbSo how’d I do?

New pattern published. Check!

Scheduling posts. {Going to have to do that one still.}

Learn more about media kits. {Nope…didn’t have time for that either.}

Design a blog button. {Do I really need one? Didn’t have time for it anyways.}

Clean out my email inbox. {Well, I didn’t get rid of old mail, but I’ve been keeping up with reading/deleting new mail! I should still set up a separate folder for those emails I want to keep.}

Mini-challenges for this Blogathon bash. THIS is where I spent a lot of my time.

The mini-challenges I worked on were:

  1. Creating a Pinnable Image with Picmonkey
  2. Categories and Tags
  3. Growing Your Facebook Community
  4. 15 Clever Ways to Get New Blog Traffic

PLUS, I’ve wanted to set up a redirect page for new commenters.  I had the plug-in already (Comment Redirect by Yoast for any interested bloggers), just needed time to design the page for it and make sure the plug-in was activated and set up to redirect to the correct page.  I think this is what took me the longest. Just had it tested this morning and it worked!  Yay!

So although there’s still a lot I could do for my blog, I feel good that I was able to spend some quality time working on it this weekend!

If you’re a blogger and haven’t yet participated in the Blogathon Bash, be sure to click on the above image and check out the dates for the Summer Blogathon.

Have a great week!

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No Featured Photo?

Ravelry members: a gift for you

Do you ever find you’ve finished a project and were so excited to give it to the recipient that you forgot to take a photo to upload on Ravelry?  You later realize that “no featured photo” is just sitting there mocking you and your photo-forgetfulness. Annoying, isn’t it?

Well, I’ve got a little image that can help make that space a little nicer-looking!  And I’m happy to share it to anyone who’d like to use it. That’s right…you may use it too!

no_photo

So, if you happen to have a few of those annoying “no featured image” empty photo spots bothering you, just save a copy of the above image. Right click on the image, save it to your computer, and upload it to any of your Ravelry project pages that are missing photo evidence. And breathe a sigh of relief to see something in the place where a photo should be.

And if you like this image, be sure to Pin this post on Pinterest and share it with your Ravelry friends! Enjoy!

Happy knitting!

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Newly published pattern!

Published pattern: Newborn Bunny Hat

That’s right!  I finished one of my monthly goals and published a new pattern!  This one is for the crocheters out there.  It’s an adorable baby bunny hat!!!  Newborn size, but since babies come in a variety of sizes it might fit smaller babies up to 2 months or so.   {It’s been so long since I’ve had a newborn, that I really can’t say for sure.}

The hat is made with basic single crochet. It’s easy-peasy! Then comes the slightly-more-difficult-but-still-pretty-easy making of the bunny ears.  The hardest part is getting the ears sewn on so they look proper!  But if you take your time (and aren’t afraid to undo stitches if an ear isn’t standing in just the right place) you’ll do fine.

crochet pattern

I’ve decided to set the cost of this hat pattern at the affordable price of just $1.00 since it’s pretty easy to crochet.

To all my hook-loving friends, enjoy and happy hooking! 🙂

Blog Updates

Thanks to the Biannual Blogathon Bash, I’ve gotten some blog-related work done today!

1. New pattern published!  YAY!!!

2. Updated blog pages:  If you check out the menu bar above, you’ll see I’ve updated it to include a page for my Free patterns as well.  And I’ve updated both pattern pages with links to my newest patterns, both free and for purchase.

3. Another blog update that’s probably not as noticeable, but will hopefully help me:  updated categories and tags for my posts. One of the Blogathon’s mini-challenges was to sort out the difference between categories and tags, and then limit the categories to 3-6 and have related tags for each category.  I had *no* idea what I was doing before, but it was getting pretty messy!! So I’ve cleaned it up and re-categorized my posts.  It’s still not perfect, but MUCH better!

Still working on the other goals…plus a few more that I’ve thought of too!  Plus I’d like to try and do a few more mini-challenges before the Blogathon Bash is done.

But for now….I need me some KNITTING!!!

So I’m going to go put the kiddos to bed, find a show to watch with my man, and knit!

Have a nice night!  Happy knitting!

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Christmas Knitting

Christmas is Coming!

It’s hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner.  Less than 5 days!  I’ve been extra busy with homeschooling my boys this past month and whenever I do find I have a little extra time, I’d much rather be knitting than writing about my knitting!  I suppose that’s my excuse for why I’ve been neglecting to write lately!  If you’ve ever run a blog, you probably understand how hard it is sometimes just to find time to sit at the computer and write instead of doing the things you write about.  I’m often torn between wanting to post a work-in-progress update and just sitting down to work on the project–and lately the project has won out over the writing!  I just don’t find enough time to do both.  What with having to drag out my camera, take photos (which usually requires a clearing of space and decent lighting), uploading said photos to computer, editing photos, and then writing writing writing!  It takes a lot more time and effort than I have sometimes to do.  BUT my husband tells me he’s planning to get me something for Christmas that I believe *might* just help me add new posts a little more frequently…a certain tool that will make posting half-way decent photos much easier. *squee*  But I better wait until AFTER I get it to tell you all about it.  I’m super-excited though!

On My Needles

So here’s a quick update of my knitting since I last posted.

Still working on the Bigger Bigger on the Inside for Patty.  I’ve gotten past the lace and am working on the TARDIS section now. Because I’ve made it larger, there are more stitches to work.  Each row has 351 stitches!  That’s a lot!  Again, I just haven’t had as much knitting time as I’d like to, so I’m not nearly as far along as I had hoped to be.  Add to that the OTHER projects I’ve had to make as well and it’s taking me a bit longer than the first to make.

The next project I made is a Calorimetry headband for my husband’s sister.  She requested a headband to keep her ears warm in winter.  This is the best pattern I’ve found for doing just that!

And finally, I’ve made another certain item that will be part of my “white elephant” gift for the family get-together on Christmas Day.  I have to keep it a secret for now because I want it to be a surprise!  But I’ll be sure to tell you all about it later! Especially if I get the reaction I think I will get.  Tee hee!  Can’t wait!

Having fun getting ready for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, my Savior. Praying you have a blessed Christmas this year too!

As always–happy knitting!

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Weekend DIY: Updated Chair

If you’ve read my About Me page, you know I homeschool my kids. And it’s the middle of August now, which means it’s time to get my butt in gear and get ready to start the new school year. And that means getting my school room cleaned up and organized.

Weekend DIY Updated Chair for Schoolroom

While I haven’t had time yet to clean or organize, I have been working on a furniture project for my classroom. Chairs. I have been looking for replacement chairs for months. The seats on the ones we have are all cracked and falling apart. The photo {see below} on the left of my collage shows the one in the BEST condition of the four. Let’s just say they weren’t fun to sit on. At all.

My problem? I couldn’t find any good used chairs for less than $35/piece that were sturdy enough to let my kids sit on every day. But then one day about a week ago I was on Pinterest and the idea just sort of popped into my brain: remove the old cushion covers and make new ones for our old chairs!  And since the metal frames are also worn a bit where they’d been handled a lot, a new coat of shiny paint would be necessary too.

So I went to a local craft store that sells fabrics. I let the boys each choose (within reason) the fabric they wanted and picked out one for myself.  We found spray paint on sale at a local hardware store. They didn’t have the color my 13 year old wanted (his favorite is purple–the color of royalty–I think he wants to be king) so he choose the metallic silver instead. I was SO glad…the idea of purple with the blue with white polka dotted fabric that he choose really didn’t thrill me.

In the collage below you can see chair #1 (the 6 year old’s) is almost done! He didn’t care AT ALL about the fabric as long as the chair frame was going to be red. I picked this one out because it has a little bit of red in it as an accent, but it’s still a calming color scheme. He looked at it ever so briefly and said “yes” to it.  The hardest part of this project (aside from the fact that I have to use my sewing machine…something I  haven’t done in years) is getting the cushions screwed back onto the chair. I recruited Mr. Muscles (aka my hubby) to help with that.  So far he’s done the seat cushion, but we haven’t tackled screwing the back cushion on yet. I hope it goes well…

Chair DIY cover

Chair #1 for our school room updated with new cushion covers and paint!

I’m not certain how long the cotton fabric will last, but even if it’s just for a year or two, I know how to make these chairs look new again and can get some heavier-duty fabric next time if need be.

So even though it’s a non-knitting project, I’m really happy about it and wanted to show off what else is keeping me busy these days.

Now to get those other two chairs finished before we need them for school!

Furniture DIY-ers?

Have you ever updated an old piece of furniture to give it new life?  Tell me about your project by leaving a comment below!

Happy crafting!

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Knitting and Reading

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at Small Things

Knitting

Heartland Lace Shawl

I’ve continued working on my shawl. And at some point in the past couple weeks I realized that it’s not the Crow Prints shawl pattern that I’m using (although that’s a pretty shawl too), but rather the Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. I think when I was getting ready to start the project back in 2011, I was debating between the two patterns. At one point, I was pretty sure I was going to knit the Crow Prints Shawl, but evidently I must have finally decided on the Heartland Lace instead.  My shawl’s name on Ravelry now properly reflects the pattern I’m using.

If you follow my Facebook page–you do don’t you?–then you already know I had a minor issue with the transition between charts. (It was late, I was tired, and just couldn’t figure out that I needed to move all my stitch markers at the beginning of the new chart!)  I set it aside for a couple days, then took a look at it again when I wasn’t overtired, and easily figured it out.

I’m now on Row 17 of 32. I should be finishing it soon even though helping with our church’s Vacation Bible School is taking up all my regular knitting time this week.

WIP Wednesday

Reading

Finished

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

I finally finished reading this one.  It was a good read as all of the books I’ve read by Donita K. Paul have been. If you like dragons, made up worlds, and stories that point to the Truth, then you will enjoy any of Donita’s books.

Currently reading

Heiress by Susan May Warren

In many ways the main character of Heiress reminds me of Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey.  If you’re fan of Downton, you might enjoy this series too!

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

I’ve just barely begun reading the second Mysterious Benedict Society book.  The characters are getting ready for their next adventure. I can’t wait to find out what happens to them this time!

Once again, I’m linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Tami’s WIP Wednesday. If you’re looking for book recommendations or pattern ideas, be sure to head over to their blogs and see what others have posted too!

Happy knitting and reading!

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