Gardens, porches & tragedies

The manlet has been working like a madman lately, mostly on his garden. He built a fantastic raised bed & has been experimenting with a couple water bottle gardens. We’ve got peppers, eggplant, okra, artichoke, spinach, long beans, bok choy, thai basil, lime basil, oregano, spearmint, strawberries, blueberries & watermelon all growing already.

He also has been working on getting our front porch stripped down. Someone actually painted over the porch with a really ugly blue/gray paint years before I bought this house. I had spent hours & hours on my hands & knees trying to get the paint off, with little success. Turn the manlet loose on it for one day with biodegradable paint remover and a pressure washer & magic happens!  ♥

Not quite done - here you can see the awful paint that covered the entire porch.

Not quite done – here you can see the awful paint that covered the entire porch.  O.o

Still a bit more work needed, but you see? STUNNING! Why on Earth would anyone paint over it?!

Still a bit more work needed, but you see? STUNNING! Why on Earth would anyone paint over it?!

On a hilarious side note… we recently changed the locks on the front door. I keep forgetting this & I’ve locked myself out of the house about 4 times now. Usually I have my phone with me & I’m good to go – call a manlet & get rescued.

Today? Not so lucky. It was just me & my trusty camera. I decided to see if the gate on the fence was unlocked & thank heavens, it actually was. I was able to get back into my own house through the garage door. When I turned to lock it, I discovered this sight – yet another thing they don’t tell you when you get a Great Dane – you need to clean things you normally don’t think to clean.

These spots would be from Leonardo jumping up & tapping his nose/mouth on the window. It's amazing he hasn't broken this window (he's broken 4 windows thus far).

These spots would be from Leonardo jumping up & tapping his nose/mouth on the window. It’s amazing he hasn’t broken this window (he’s broken 4 windows thus far).

Running

I’ve not been for a run this week yet. I’m still reeling from Boston. My heart goes out to the wonderful people there & all those that ran towards the explosions to help. What a senseless tragedy -horrific. Almost as bad have been the inhumane comments that people have been making online. It never fails to amaze me how such terrible events bring out the best – and worst – in human beings.

Reading

Long Time Dead by Sarah Pinborough – yes, I am also a Torchwood fan (shocking, I know). Not as much as Doctor Who, but I do really enjoy the show. Sure wish it would come back for more series, but that could be a whole post by itself.  LOL

This novel is about Suzie – OMG, does she never properly die – Costello. It takes place before Miracle Day, but after Children of Earth. Now, mind you, I’m not a Suzie fan – but I’m even less of a Gwen fan…  there is no Gwen in this story, so that alone makes it palatable for me. If you are looking for a happy ending finally for Suzie, then move right along, this isn’t it – but if you don’t mind a tragic ending, pick this one up – the story is actually quite good & enjoyable. Even without Captain Jack. :D

Knitting

Well, I’ve actually been crocheting instead of knitting! :)  A friend of mine is about to become a grandma for the first time – a fact that I just found out about. So I decided to crochet up a baby blanket for her. An online Ravelry friend turned me on to this pattern – and I LOVE IT!!

Today’s Ravelry Search

Today’s patterns are all free or available in books/magazines, in keeping with the rest of the theme. :)

Garden apron!

Cushy pad to kneel on!

I think I might know someone that would like this one in yellow & green… :)

SO cute!

Drawstring bag for laundry or clothespins!

How CUTE is this??

Recycle old CD with some acrylic & beads for a really cute & handy basket!

Seriously, it doesn’t get much cuter than this for your clothespins!!

Garden bag!

Ok, I seriously have to make one of these. Use short pieces of yarn (3-8″ long) in preferably natural materials (wool, cotton, alpaca, etc). You can add bits of straw, raffia, leftover fabric strips as well!

Lego doorstop in crochet…

…Or one in knit!

Beer cap hotpad! How cool!

Recycle those awesome Target bags into a bag you can use over & over again!

This pattern reuses mesh onion/garlic bags to make super scrubby cleaning cloths!

Ever have one of those lovely mesh bath poofs for scrubbing your back? Eventually, they all do start to come apart… when that happens, turn it into a super scrubbing cleaning pad!

Happy Thursday, all!

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Sometimes It’s the Simple Things

So I have this fun new cube neighbor sitting directly across from me. He’s a fellow Who fan, though I don’t count him as a full fan yet because he’s only ever watched reboot Who. He did win bonus points for laughter though, the day he saw my “David Tennant is my Doctor” t-shirt he had a thunderstruck expression on his face as he realized that I have the same last name.

He came in to work a few weeks ago, waving about an empty Amazon shipping box. He asked “how do you like my fancy new riser for my MacBook?”  My answer? “Oooh, that’s awesome! You can have so much fun with that, it’s all customizable & everything – all you need are some new skins for it!”  Yeah, we’re geeks, d’uh.  :D

I may have used an image similar to this to create a new skin that I plan to “install” for him when I arrive in the office tomorrow morning. *whistling innocently*  A-hem…  if you look closely at this post, you might see a glimpse.  LOL

Running

Ugh, I’ve been struck with a days-long migraine, so no progress on that front. As soon as this bad boy is gone, though, look out!  LOL

Reading

Love You More by Lisa Gardner – as a page turner, this story mostly satisfies. I really enjoyed the character of Tessa – state trooper, tough woman who loves her child Sophie more than anything. You know that her husband was shot from the beginning – but why? By whom? That’s the mystery in this story, along with what happened to the now missing Sophie. The downside of the book? The lead detective – D.D. Warren – one of the more unlikeable characters I’ve come across. She has a serious chip on her shoulder & decides from the very beginning that Tessa killed her husband & child – so every shred of evidence uncovered, she works at speculating how it points the blame squarely at Tessa.

Knitting

DSC_0100I finished up the manlet’s fuzzy mitts this weekend. He seems to be happy with them, outside of the fingers being just a bit tight (though he would have complained even more if they had been loose instead, LOL).

I also knit a wee heart to leave at my geek’s place as a surprise, as he had to go to work for the day. Boo for our weekend getting cut short, but yay for an awesomely cute pattern!

Today’s Ravelry Search

In keeping with the theme, sometimes, a simple garter stitch pattern is just what the doctor ordered for some “comfort knitting” – a bit of mindless TV watching, book reading knitting that results in a smooshy & comforting fabric! ;) These are all free patterns via Ravelry…

So many cute projects!

I love this picture, with the colorful blanket in the background…

I’m not a big cowl fan, but this pattern is awesome! Plus, hello? Packers colors on this project!! :D

The baby blanket from Once Upon a Time – sweet!!

OMG, so cute!!

And, hey – super cute one for adults!

Not quite as smooshy as Checkerboard, but still very comfy looking slippers!

The bias makes this bag look quite cool!

I love these!

I adore this pattern as well!

I’ve posted this one before, but seriously – who can resist this picture?!

Of course, a post about garter stitch patterns would not be complete without the Doctor Who scarf! This one is mine & is only 8″ wide instead of the more accurate 10-12″.

Did you spot the Angels?  :D

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Happy Making

YES. Filming has begun.

Running

Hmmph. I was planning to get in a good 4 mile run today, but the weather does not look to be cooperating with me at all! Guess I’ll have to drag my geek out for a run tomorrow instead. :)

Knitting

Well…  I’ve cast on for the manlet’s mitts, anyway. LOL I’ve been reading a book that completely sucked me in, though, so I haven’t been knitting. It happens. :D

Today’s Ravelry Search

With all my talk about how much I love brightly colored afghans/blankets, I realized that I haven’t done a post with a focus on just those. So, here you go, some truly fun & gorgeous patterns to go fave!

No post about gorgeous afghans could leave out Woolly Thoughts. Their patterns are AMAZING. :)

This pattern is brand new this month on Ravelry – isn’t it awesome?

* Falling leaf blanket – lovely!

* Seriously stunning – and would take a tremendous amount of patience!

I have this kit & will absolutely be knitting it! ♥

Very pretty!!

I really love the Great North American Afghan patterns, SO awesome!

* LOVE the colors!

It’s a simple pattern, but only $2.00 – and the funds get donated to a food bank! ♥

Just, wow, just gorgeous.

* This pattern is amazing – check out all the different variations you can create with it!

I love this one.

* The classic Sock Yarn Blanket. I really need to get back to mine!

* WOW! I love this designer’s patterns. This one is amazing!

* Cute stitch pattern! Love it.

* Could not resist this pattern for the list!

* Free pattern

Do you have a favorite colorful afghan project/pattern?

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Conversations with Myself

So last night I was out on my run, trying to squeeze in a shorter one before a date with my geek. I was thrilled with my pace – at the end of mile 1, it was the fastest I’ve had all year. I decided to keep the run to just 2 miles & headed back. I managed to maintain the same pace until about the last half mile or so, then found myself dragging a bit.

It’s usually at that point that I start having conversations with myself. Some examples from last night…

Dude, are you walking your CAT on the trail on a leash? Oh, FFS, H3Dakota – that’s not a cat! It’s a wee grumpy dog with a really long tail!

Wow, look at that guy walking – his workout outfit matches mine almost exactly! Twinsies!

Quarter of a mile left… that’s only 2-3 minutes! Damn, wish I had my phone, I’d listen to a song to keep my mind off it. I know! I’ll sing a song in my head! What song do I know all the lyrics to?

So many nights,
I sit by my window…

Dada da dada da da dada…  hey, what a minute!  WTF brain?! Did you SERIOUSLY just do that to me? Of all the damn songs in the world that you know, you had to go & pick You Light Up My Fucking Life to latch on to? Trying to pick up the pace wasn’t torture enough for ya?? How about some Green Day or Mumford & Sons?! GAH.

Oh look…  I hit the end of mile 2.

Honestly, it was the damn Stay Puft Marshmallow Man all over again.

Reading

Doctor Who: Dark Horizons by J.T. Colgan – as many of my readers know, I’m a slight Doctor Who fan. Well, ok, fine, I’m a HUGE fan. Not so much over the 11th Doctor though – up until recently. My biggest complaint is the writing for his stories, both on TV as well as in books – most stories have Amy being the clever one, which just irks the hell out of me. This story features 11 on his own, however – and the Doctor is back to his usual clever self. Plus, Vikings & an island destined to become part of Scotland?  WIN!

Knittingcheckerboard

I finished up my geek’s slippers rather quickly. :) The oldest manlet has been asking for some fingerless gloves (well, nagging, really), so next up will be a pair of Men’s Convertible Mittens – though I’m not sure he wants them to be convertible.  :) He was very specific on the requirements though – he wants them out of worsted weight yarn, must be fingerless and the yarn has to be “fuzzy” and brown, with one finger in red. Enter Rowan Kid Classic.

Today’s Ravelry Search

Spring! Yay! Why not, these tie in to the post theme, right?  ;)

I’m surprised there aren’t any projects for this sweater, it’s quite nice!

Hee, aren’t they cute? :) In this case, yes – bow ties are cool.

SO stinking cute!

* Baby mittens! :)

Aw, Flumpy! Really adorable bunny.

* Crocheted peeps! The only kind worth having. he he he

I really like this one, it looks so comfy!

* This guy reminds me of the Abominable Snowman from the classic Rudolph tv show! LOL

* Great pattern if you like cowls!

* Super cute baby set in crochet.

These mitts look so warm & smooshy!

* Another good stashbuster! ;)

* Free pattern

Happy Wednesday!

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Stashbusting 101

As with any knitter or crocheter of long standing, I have a wee bit of yarn. There is a running joke in my house along the lines of “open a drawer & you are sure to find some yarn”…

In the interest of continuing to work on my house & do some renovating, I’m also determined to knock down my stash a bit. I will admit that it has gotten somewhat out of hand. So this year, I’ve been determined to knit/crochet down the stash some. I’m making some progress on it, having managed to withhold from actually buying yarn outside of a couple skeins here or there for specific projects. I’m actually quite pleased with myself. So far this year, I’ve knit around 3890 yards or 2.2 miles of yarn. ;)

I went to my projects in Ravelry to calculate up how much yarn I’d used & discovered to my amusement this oops on my part…  thought it was funny enough to share:

LOL

Running

Ugh, it’s been a bad week on the running front. In my defense, it has been a very busy week at work & I’ve been getting home late and/or tired. It will be different this coming week, for sure! In the meantime, I’ve got my brand new pedometer (the company replaced my last one, which had stopped working), so I’m good to go again!

Reading

Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram – I was in the mood for lighthearted fluff in light of the crazy week I had at work. I made a good choice in this one. It was lighthearted, funny at bits & just mostly fun. While I don’t really like her choice of boyfriend (I just can’t stomach the cocky, arrogant jock who thinks he’s irresistible to every female on the planet), the rest of the story was good. A great read for when you want a bit of YA with a dash of geek thrown in.

Knitting

I finished my Checkerboard Slippers yesterday & immediately cast on a pair for my geek. I’m trying to burn through my tub of acrylic & this pattern is perfect for it! Warm slippers that are SO smooshy on your feet, yet are totally washable & indestructible? Perfect.  LOL

Today’s Ravelry Search

So how about some other patterns for stashbusting? Here are some ideas!

* I know a certain Pixie that would LOVE this blanket – it’s the Ron Weasley blanket from PoA, GoF & OotP. :)

*Oooh, and the Pixie’s mum would love this one, I think! ♥

* Clever! I bet these would be fun to knit.

* I love the story of how this hat came to be, so cute!

Aw, really adorable little sweater for babies!

Stashbusting shawl!

* PUPPEH toys! ♥

* Fantastic scrap blanket!

* Great pattern for using up small bits of yarn leftovers!

* LOL, can’t go wrong with a pattern called The Wool Eater!

Smooshy garter & bold blocks of color – nice!

* What a fun way to use up leftovers!

* Perfect pattern for TV watching & stashbusting. ;)

Gorgeous!!

* Free pattern

What are some of your favorite stashbusting patterns?

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Checkerboard Slippers

I decided tonight that I was in the mood to start another pair of slippers for myself. The last pair I’d made, I foolishly knit with plain regular wool. Really silly mistake for a household with an extra large & constantly shedding Great Dane. One wearing & my slippers were in dire need of washing. :D I loved, LOVED my pair – they were sooo deliciously smooshy.

DSC_0019_medium2This pattern is my ultimate favorite go to pattern. So imagine my dismay when I discovered that the site where the pattern is stored appears to be gone! Oh Noez!

Happily, I remembered that I just knit a pair for the geek’s son for the holidays – so I thought to check my hard drive for a copy. YES, I found that I had indeed saved a copy. In case anyone else loves this pattern, I’ve created a PDF of it & made it available here on my blog. I do not know who the original designer of the pattern is, so I cannot give credit – but I do know that it is a rather old/vintage pattern that grandmothers the world over have knit for their loved ones. :) Checkerboard Slippers

Running

I’m happy to report that I have also been running! Not on a regular schedule yet, it’s a bit hit or miss at this point – but I am definitely running again. Depending on how much time I’ve got, the weather & how I feel, I’m getting my feet on the street for 2 to 4 miles at a time again. ♥

Reading

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – a fascinating take on religion & its impact on our world. Many of the thoughts I’ve long held are covered in this book – it was nice to read of someone else thinking the same way about certain aspects of religion. While I don’t consider myself an atheist, I do not believe in organized religion for many of the reasons outlined in this book. I can see where many would take issue with the book & argue vociferously against it, but for my peace of mind, science, logic & reason wins out over blindly believing myths. To each his own – believe what is right for you & keep it for yourself. :) If you are so inclined to give the book a try – it is free to read for Amazon Prime members.

Knitting

First – let me say…  WOW. I could not believe the reaction to my coupon code on Ravelry. As of right now, there have been 767 downloads total of my patterns!  O.o Some folks posted the coupon code in groups on Ravelry, which really caused it to take off. For the folks that posted it, but linked to my blog post in doing so – I say “thank you so much!”.

I finished my Devin sweater finally, YAY! I had intended to knit longer sleeves on it, but by the time I hit the sleeves, I was terribly bored with knitting it. It ended up with short sleeves, but I like it just the same. It’s comfy – loose fitting – and will look pretty cute with a blouse underneath it, I think. Today I wore a white polo under it & that worked too.

Today’s Ravelry Search

I started going through my library the other week & updating my Ravelry library. I have a ton of magazines that I hadn’t put into my library, so I’m working on getting it caught up. I love the feature because it’s much easier to find patterns I would like to knit on Ravelry, then find the appropriate magazine on my shelves.  :)  So this search tonight is from my pattern library on Rav – hope you enjoy!

* I love brightly colored crochet afghans. I really do!

This sweater caught my geek’s eye some time ago. I got the pattern, but haven’t gotten round to knitting it yet!

* Such a pretty scarf!

* The Bow Pouch – this image is actually mine, I knit it for my sister. I love the pattern – you knit a wee pouch on the other side – perfect for slipping a key, stitch markers or maybe even an iPod shuffle into.

I love Doris Chan’s designs. I have her book Everyday Crochet, but I’ve not crocheted anything from it yet. Really must remedy that!

Ah, the Hacky Sack Hoodie! I’ve knit 2 of them – this image is the one I knit for the youngest manlet. He still wears it, 3 years later, so I think it was a hit with him. :) Yes, that’s Leonardo with him. LOL

* This pattern is a new addition to my library – and one I totally intend to crochet! I even have the yarn wound – I started a few rows, but I’m not sure how much more I’ll work on it right now.

See, another brightly colored blanket! ♥

* Another really great crochet afghan!

* I love scrap rugs too!

* Stunning square – the hardest part was picking a picture! They are all beautiful.

* Well, of course this pattern is in my library!! ♥♥♥

* Free pattern

Have a fantastic week!

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What to give for a 5 year anniversary?

You know, the birth of this blog & the birth of my knitting addiction coincides with my very first design that I published on Ravelry, my beloved Severus socks.  So I went & looked it up…  April 22 will have been 5 years since I published that pattern!  Wow!  So I’ve also been knitting & blogging for 5 years too. What better way to celebrate than to offer up a free pattern? From now until 11:59pm on April 30, you can use this coupon code on my Ravelry store to get any one of my patterns for free.  ♥

5YearsOfSeverus

Running

Well, I haven’t been out for a run in a couple of days, but the youngest manlet & I have been out walking with his girlfriend on a regular basis. I’ve really come to love this time with my family, it’s fantastic. Even better than sitting around the dining room table, talking during dinner – no need to yell at anyone for talking with food in their mouths!  ;)

Knitting

Yes, still working on my Devon (sort of) sweater. I haven’t been knitting too much on it the past day or two. Work has kind of kept me busy, plus I’ve been reading. I’ve also gotten hooked on a word game or two over on Lumosity. LOL

Today’s Ravelry Search

* Could this get any cuter??

Photos are (c) Michael Crouser

♥ You know I can’t resist a great photo, especially for a great pattern!

* Another great photo!

Great way to use up some of your colorful sock yarns!

* Seriously, I love that he struck a pose for this shot – almost more than the total geekiness of the sweater, actually! :)

Really cute, I love this bag! Wish there were some projects for it!

* ZOMG… a TARDIS apron! ♥♥♥ Almost wish I cooked. LOL

Om nom nom, Guinness mittens! ;)

SO adorable.

Hard pressed to say which pattern is the cutest, but this one looks to be the most work!! Worth it, I should think, though.

* Breathtaking. Just gorgeous!

Ok, this picture had me giggling furiously. :D

* Free Pattern

Have a fantastic week & thanks for stopping by!  ♥

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