On My Needles

I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but I’ve started attending a knitting group on Friday mornings. It’s such a wonderful break from being at home! The ladies are really nice and they are very helpful. I’m one of the newest knitters in the group and people keep volunteering to help me. Last week they encouraged me to branch out of flat knitted items so I started a hat!

This is the Welldigger pattern on Ravelry. So far it’s been a lot of fun to knit! This Friday I need to buy DPNs so that I can start the crown of the hat. Fun!

A finish!

I finished knitting my kitty blanket! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to catch a photo of the cats actually laying on it.

Close up of the knitting

Here is Fiona checking it out right after I weaved in the ends.

Next up on the knitting queue – a Christmas present for my mom. I will be visiting Joann Fabric this weekend to purchase the needles I need. Thankfully I already ordered and have received the yarn!

New colors!

I learned something new and I am really excited about it.

I learned how to add a second color of yarn! Way back when I used to crochet, I didn’t know how to add a new skein or a new color of yarn. I just tied the two colors together and continued crocheting. This resulted in color changes in the middle of a row.

Thanks to the Mighty YouTube, I discovered a tutorial showing how to add a new color.

This opens up so many more options in my knitting. I can’t wait to learn more!

Organization and frugality – groceries

Today has been a fairly productive day. I ran out of yarn on my kitty blanket so I’m again without a knitting project! If hubby is able to get off work at five, we’ll be visiting Joann’s to buy more yarn and some knitting needles for a baby hat.

Kitty blanket – in progress

This morning, I went grocery shopping at Safeway and picked up most of our groceries for the week. We literally eat week to week at our house, running out of groceries at the end of each week. It’s crazy!

I’ve been collecting receipts for the past six weeks and today I started my spreadsheet. We shop at Whole Foods, Safeway, the Asian market, the farmer’s market, and occasionally, at Target and Trader Joe’s. I’m compiling a list of all the staples – things like refried beans, pasta, jarred tomatoes for our pizza sauce, coconut milk, etc. Most of these stores carry the same products, so I’m recording which store has the lowest regular price for each item.

My plan is to take this list with me each week. When I see that something is on sale, I’m going to stock up. It’s frustrating writing down the same basic shopping list. Since most of our meals are the same from week to week, I’d like to have two months of pantry ingredients on hand. And I’d much rather pay sale prices!

Barely Sick Day #4

Today I feel almost normal! My biggest problem is exhaustion. I am so tired and have no staying power. But at least my headache is almost gone and my sinuses are clearing up! Hurray!

I had a few books due soon at the library so we made a quick jaunt last night. I was able to pick up two of my Fall Into Reading books but couldn’t locate the third. The catalog said it was available but it wasn’t on the shelf.

In addition to the challenge books, I picked up several other Christian novels that are on my to-read list. Every month, when the Nightstand link up is posted, my to-read list grows. I am determined that it will shrink this month!

I also dug around in my craft bins and found some leftover pink yarn. I started the kitty blanket! After all, every cat needs a hot pink blanket, right?

Of course, the real reason we left the house last night is that we ran out of cat food. Our cats are demanding eaters and I know they would be crying if they didn’t get dinner. So we picked out a new cat food per vet’s orders. Do you know how hard it is to find a cat food with no fish? We exhausted almost their entire shelf before finding a natural food with no grains and no fish. What a difficult combination!

We couldn’t help but bring home a new cat toy. Is this creepy or just realistic?

If I catch a glimpse of this toy out of the corner of my eye, I wonder what the cat dragged in and left in the middle of the living room floor. It’s a catnip toy and our older cat seems to love it. Our cats are so spoiled!

Hubby got paid today so we’re off to the yarn store to pick up some supplies for a couple Christmas presents. I sure hope my family likes handmade gifts!

Thursday’s Homemaking

Today I had some additional incentive to finish with my house cleaning early: the library! I thought I had some books due back today and knew that hubby wouldn’t be able to go with me after work. Today there is no “after work” as it’s after seven and he’s still working…

Thursday Cleaning – Stairs and Downstairs Sinks

  • Sweep and mop stairs
  • Sweep and mop downstairs hallway
  • Sweep bedroom floors
  • Scrub both bathroom sinks (one in master bedroom, one across from washer/dryer in hallway)
  • Wipe off top of washer and dryer
  • Tomorrow’s cleaning – the shower and toilet in the downstairs bath.

    I am so happy that I have a checklist now. I love lists. Next week I will have a printed list for each day and that will provide its own incentive, getting to check things off the list.

    As it turns out, I had nothing due back at the library but I was dying to go regardless. So, come 2:30 this afternoon, I finished my cleaning, took a shower, and then hopped in the car. Library, here I come!

    When I left for the library, I had 66 items checked out and took a bag of books with me to return. Now that I’m home again, I have 76 items checked out. Oops. That number is supposed to be going down, not up! I spent an hour browsing the shelves, mostly in the quilting section. I am looking for inspiration for my brother’s new baby (due in December).

    Of course, Bruno demanded that he be included in the photo. I tried to explain to him that they were just books about quilts, not actual quilts, but he insisted.

    And two of the books I checked out just for me. My husband was shocked that I dared suggest that I desecrate his precious French press with YARN but finally acquiesed and I said I could knit him a coffee cozy. 😉 Ah, true love.

    Monday’s Homemaking

    After yesterday’s rather honest confession, I decided that it would be best to try to remedy some of my procrastination/laziness/lack of motivation. It was hard. But I pushed myself and was able to complete all of my housework.

    Monday Cleaning – Kitchen

  • Tidy kitchen
  • Wipe down front of cupboards
  • Serious counter scrubbing
  • Sweep floor
  • Mop floor
  • Eliminate junk mail/library book/random pile that accumulates on my counter
  • Next week I want to add scrubbing the fridge drawers and shelves to my Monday Cleaning.

    In addition to this, I swept the entire upstairs and cleaned out the cat boxes. I even washed, dried, and put away all the dishes after dinner! For me, that is a huge accomplishment.

    My cleaning is usually finished by lunch. In the afternoon, I study Japanese, read books, read blogs, and knit. Here is today’s knitting progress.

    I finished the second skein of yarn on my dad’s scarf. He wants all three included! The scarf is already almost as tall as I am, about 63 inches so far. Tomorrow I’ll be starting the third skein. I hope to have the scarf completed by the end of the month so that I can start working on Christmas presents.

    And tomorrow I tackle the living room!

    A month of knitting – recap

    Whew! I completed an entire month of knitting. Some days I knitted a lot and some days I knitted a little. But I worked on something every single day! I really enjoyed myself.

    First, I completed my shawl. That was a major feeling of accomplishment!

    The last week of the challenge, I started knitting a scarf for my dad. We had a lot of fun picking out both the pattern and the yarn. I LOVE working on size 13 needles. Such fun!

    This scarf should be roughly six feet long by the time I’m done with it. I can’t wait to see how it looks!

    A Month of Knitting – Week 3

    A finish! My first finish in several months. I am so happy!

    Sorry for the bad pictures. It’s late, I’m still feeling under the weather, and I don’t think this shawl is very photogenic. While I am happy to finish it, I kind of wish I had chosen a more distinctive pattern. Ah, well. It’s a good starter project. This shawl is very warm and should help keep me toasty this winter. Plus, I love the color!

    So what’s next? I get to play with this lovely gray, wool yarn.

    My dad requested a warm scarf for his birthday. He even picked out the pattern! In July, when I was visiting my grandfather in Wyoming, my dad and I made a quick stop into a local yarn store and he picked out the color and yarn he wanted. The store didn’t have enough skeins in one color lot, so I made a special order and it arrived just yesterday. Perfect timing!

    I’m really excited to be working with such big needles. What fun!

    A Month of Knitting – Week 2

    I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been so tired. We are still sleeping on an air mattress and I don’t think I’m getting more than 3 or 4 consecutive hours of sleep. We figured out our budgeting and determined that we can order a mattress on September 9th. A little less than four more weeks! Maybe once we have the new bed, I’ll be able to get a full night of sleep and have more energy during the day.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been diligent about knitting every day. It’s not much but I complete at least two rows each day, roughly 30 minutes of knitting.

    I had hoped to complete my shawl this week but fell a bit short. Two inches left to knit!