Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Reading List 2017

Happy first day of Summer! One of my favorite things to do on summer mornings is to sit outside and read. Every year I come up with a book list, which as always is overly ambitious and usually takes me into the fall to finish.

This year I have seven books picked out. All of which have been on my to read list (or reread) for quite awhile.



I have two classic books picked out. 
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was by far my favorite book I read for high school english. 
1984 by George Orwell which is a book I have always wanted to read. 


I have two mystery books, both of which my mom has read and liked which is how I found out about them. 
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willing


And of course my favorite type of book to read in the summer is girly books. I really enjoy books like this to break up more serious reading, which I frequently do. Girly books were pretty much the only type of book I read in college to break up the text book and journal paper reading. My choices for this summer are: 

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella - I absolutely love the Shopaholic Series so I am very excited for this book. 
The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus
Very Classy by Derek Blasberg


What are your reading plans for the summer?
~ Katy

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Raindrops and Rivulets


Flipping through Cozy Knits by Tanis Gray I fell in love with the Raindrops and Rivulets pattern. I found the texture of the body of the hat absolutely gorgeous, and knew almost instantly that I had to make it. The next trick was to find the perfect yarn. 



At my local yarn store I found a stunning skein of orange yarn by Three Fates Yarns. It is Chione's 250 Worsted, 4-ply superwash merino wool in the color Mt. St. Helens. It is such a pretty orange color and I knew instantly upon seeing it what pattern I wanted to make it into.


I love Cozy Knits by Tanis Gray! Overall I think it is a very good book with many patterns I have done and still want to do; as well as many patterns I would do multiple times.


A side view of this finished hat. I am absolutely in LOVE with the texture the pattern creates.


A close up of the pattern on the body of the hat. Again I LOVE the texture the pattern creates as well at the slight variegation in the yarn. I also love how squishy and soft this yarn is, it will be beautiful to wear.


The top of the hat ends up looking like a bobbled rain drop. While it does make the hat look a little boxy, I think it is a different way for finishing the top of a hat but is rather cute. 

Overall I really enjoyed making this hat and think I would make this pattern again. 

~ Katy

Friday, June 2, 2017

I have Plants!

This past weekend I went with my family to pick out flowers for our patio. During the summer my mom and I like to drink mojitos and it can sometimes be hard to find mint at our local grocery store so for the last two summers I have gotten mint plants. While looking for a mint plant I decided I wanted some other edible plants as well.



So today I dragged my brother back to Home Depot for edible plants, pots, and some potting soil. Thanks Ed for lifting and moving potting soil for me.

 

I got home and put some rocks in the bottom of the pots for drainage. Put in some potting soil, that was quite a challenge until I was about two thirds of the way through the bag. I then planted the plants based on the directions that came with them. 


I got four different plants: Sweet Basil, Cilantro, Garden Salsa Hot Pepper, and Pink Brandywine Heirloom tomatoes. 





If my plants work out well I am hoping to make salsa!

~ Katy

Thursday, June 1, 2017

UFO Sighting!

For those of you who may not know, or may have ended up here by accident, a UFO in knitting is an Un-Finished Object. To this day I have never had this many at one time as I try to keep all my projects in the Work In Progress (WIP) phase. Well anyway I currently have four UFO as well as two work in progresses. I know to many people this may seem small but to me it is a lot and one of them is a rather large project. 

I have two pairs of mittens about half finished both of which are part of 12 Months of Mittens. 12 Months of Mittens has started out rough but will hopefully get better as the year progresses. 

January's Mittens 


I have yet to start the second snowflake mitten, and this mitten does not have a thumb.

February's Mittens


I have the cuff of the second mitten started neither have thumbs. I am planning on adding these back into my rotation soon. 

I also have the Raindrops & Rivulets hat started which hasn't been picked up or thought about in probably a month. It is a pretty pattern and the yarn is gorgeous but I got side tracked by other projects. 


For the March for Science I also did several of the cable version of the GENEie Hat pattern from ChemKnits. I was able to finish three of them but still have a few left. The one I have started is out of gorgeous teal 100% alpaca yarn.


Another hat which I believe I started last spring or summer that has never been completed is a Flower-Motif Benie. Thankfully I haven't needed the needles for another project because it has seriously been sitting for months.


I am also still working on the Babies and Bears sweater, I have both sides done. Now I need to Kitchener stitch the two halves together and add on a boader and coller. I has been very easy for me to get side tracked from this project because it is rather hard to see progression in the pattern.

My current plan is to limit the number of proejcts I start until I get some of these done. This has included some yarn buying freezes until I get certain projects done. So far it is working and I plan on updating on the projects I have finished soon.

~ Katy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

How I Decorated my College Graduation Cap + What I did with it After

Last May I graduated with my degree in Biology, with an emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology, from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. As graduation approached I knew I wanted to decorate my graduation cap, but didn't have a lot of time. During my study breaks I started looking up ideas where else but Pinterest


Thankfully my finals were done about three days before I graduated so I had time after I was officially done with classes to work on in. Our caps and gowns were maroon so I decided to stick with silver for decorations and I knew I wanted sparkle. 

On a quick trip to Hobby Lobby I got silver glitter ribbon, 8mm plastic rhinestones, and some loctite super glue (I got the liquid knowing I would use it sparingly). I also used scissors to cut the ribbon but I had those on hand. 



First I layed out the rhinestones in different patterns till I found one I liked, using my Pinterest page for some ideas. Once I found the pattern I liked I slowly glued the rhinestones down using A DROP of super glue for each and adjusting with a pair of tweasers or pencil as needed. 



After I was done glueing on the rhinestones I started working on my bow. The ribbon I got has some plastic fillament in it which would have made tieing a nice bow difficult so I cut a long piece, significantly longer than I knew I would need, and was able to easily pull out the fillament. Following a set of diagrams I found, yet again on Pinterest, I was able to tie a pretty bow.  I then decided where I wanted it placed and used a few drops, not to many, of super glue to glue it down. 



I absolutely love how it turned out. I stood out so my family could find me with out over doing it. 



After graduation I knew I wanted to keep my hat but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I knew I didn't just want it to sit in a box somewhere for years until it eventually got thrown out. So, I took a piece of fishing line and tied a loop. I then hot glued the cap down so it was almost flat and glued the loop to the unfinished side. After letting it cool I was able to hang it on my wall as a decoration.



Here is what the back of it looks like.



I love the memories it holds and that it remindes me of something I worked extremely hard to achieve. 

~ Katy

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bright Bags on Grey Days

It's been a few years since I have gotten a new everyday purse to use. The last one I got was a Chirstmas gift. It is a Vera Bradley Crossbody bag in Ellie Blue. I love it and still plan on using it, especially since Ellie Blue is one of my favorite patterns ever. With that bag being 3+ years old it was time to get a new one. 


Knowing that I love Vera Bradley bags and that they are good quality and last me quite a long time that was the first place I started. When I got to the website I started with the Sale tab and found so many options that I loved, including the one I ended up getting. 

I decided on the Tess Crossbody Bag. I got the color Wildwood Coastal Blue. It has gold hardware which is my metal color of choice.


I absolutely love the size and color of this bag.



I wear a lot of blues and navy so it will go with a lot of my clothes. I look forward to using this bag for several years to come. 


Originally the bag was $148.00, it is currently marked down on the site to $51.80. There is also a coupon code that may be applied at checkout currently (I don't know if it will apply to this or not). 


I love it and I'm so excited to used it!
~Katy

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fail: 12 Months of Mittens So Far

So I have been hardcore failing at 12 months of mittens. I have one mitten done for January and February and that's pretty much it. I started March's mittens a few days ago but also have a few other projects going which I need to have done by mid-April. 

January Snowflake Mittens
February Heart Mittens
Both of these sets of mittens only have one mitten done but hopefully I will find time to finish them in the next few months.

Again March's mittens are Eugenia's Mittens by Mollie Woodworth

Photo by molliebatmit
For these mittens I am using Expression Fiber Arts Cozy Worsted Weight Yarn. I received the skein free as part of a promotion so unfortunately I do not know the color name. It also is not available on the site at this time.

Cozy Worsted by Expression Fiber Arts
I chose this color because it reminds me Aquamarine, which is the March birthstone. I also have really wanted to use one of the Expression Fiber Arts yarns I ordered and this was a fitting project

I am currently using size US 6 needles for the cuff and plan of switching to size US 7 as recommended in the pattern.

Keeping with my current pattern of only having one mitten done by the end of the month that is my current goal, with hopes to catch up on the other half of the mittens at some point in the year.

~Katy