Hi!

Ok.  It has just dawned on me that I am very busy and it is hard for me to sit down and write on this thing.  For that I apologize.  I like doing this, sometimes the motivation is just not there. And if the motivation is not there, you guys will be able to tell.  It has also occurred to me that as much as I LOVE knitting and I know you do to that there is more to life than knitting.  I love to knit, but I don’t do it all day, so this blog is taking a turn.  I’m going to keep the name of the blog, mostly because I own it.  Thank you GoDaddy.  However, I will start to write about the rest of my life.  Cooking (This will not become a food blog) my adventures and mis-adventures in fitness and keeping myself healthy and my various adventures in life and Oklahoma City.

First off, I have been knitting.  I did finish the Endearment Cardigan.  I’m not extremely happy with it.  I haven’t even tried it on.  I may attempt to wear it when we are no longer under a heat warning. We shall see.  Right now I am knitting cat toys.  Lots and lots of cat toys.  My friend Michelle is very involved in a  local animal rescue and has purchased a booth at a Cat Video festival to raise money.  This Cat Video Festival is so fun.  Its held in the evening and outdoors.  There are food trucks and vendors and once it gets dark you are treated to 2 hours of the cutest and funniest cat videos the internet has to offer.  I am unable to make to the festival this year but I am lending my skills and knitting toys to sell to help raise money for her animal rescue.  I am putting catnip in some of my toys and boy do my cats get jealous and excited when I break that out.  I had to put the catnip up high when I am not using it and also put some in a small cloth bag for them.

Can I just say it has been HOT lately.  I am from the desert.  I lived in Las Vegas for 15 years.  Give me 120 degrees in the dry heat anyway, but 95 in the humid Oklahoma summer and I am dying.  We have been over 100 for the past few days and today the high was 95, it was almost nice and cool.  I even got some yard work done.  In between meal prepping.  I love meal prepping. I get everything ready for the week for breakfast and lunch so I have to do is grab in go in the morning.  I prepare healthy meals to keep me on track during the week.  Because I tend to fall off track during the weekend.  However, I hate how on Sunday’s it feels like I am using half my Sunday to meal prep for the week.  Whatever. I am watching crappy tv while I do it.

Ok. That is all I have for today.  I will talk to you all later.  Let me know what you think of the content change.  I’m also trying to to post to many links to recipes, etc., because I hate reading blogs where it feels like one giant ad.

Have a great week everyone!

-Alexis

I Learned So Much!

Hello Everyone!

So yesterday it occurred to me that I have not posted i like 3 weeks!  Sorry about that. I have been a bit pre-occupied the past few weekends.  I started the Whole30 Diet/Challenge at the beginning of the month and really I have been spending my Sunday’s meal prepping.  All that cooking in one day is a little exhausting. I barely have time to knit let alone write about it. Real quick, the Whole30 is like a food reset.  For 30 days you cannot eat grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, sugar or soy.  I’m halfway through and trucking along.  I feel good.

Ok, back to knitting.  DFW Installment 2 – Classes.  I LEARNED SO MUCH!!!  Seriously, I have been knitting for about 16 years and thought I knew a lot.  Nope! The first class I took on Friday Afternoon was Knitting Smart taught by the one and only Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  I have read her books and she is just as funny and real and awesome in real life as she is in print.  The whole class was about how to walk into the yarn store and pick the right kind of yarn for our project.  She went over so much, I can’t even begin but like I say.  I thought I knew how to knit and it turns out I don’t.  Oh well, it only helps to become a better knitter.  She debunked several knitting and yarn myths.  I slowly became a convert to swatching, (I hate swatching).  Really without going on and on. It a knitting 101 course.  Every knitter should be required to take it.

Saturday, I took 2 other classes, both by the illustrious Clara Parkes.  Clara was my first insight into fiber, after I had been knitting for a few years and really started to get obsessed with it. I found her book The Knitter’s Book of Yarn at the store and was immediately a fan. Now I think I own all her books. Also, she is SOOO incredibly nice!

My morning class was Joy of Swatching. Of course I took this class because I realize its importance.  If you want you sweater that you have spent tons of time and money on to fit, you need to swatch.  Not only was this an good 101 and appreciation to swatching, it was like a Zen of Swatching.  Clara gave us each small ball of yarn from her Great White Bale project and just let us play.  She herself, while she does knit projects, simply enjoys just swatching, in the morning to wake up or to receive stress, just swatching to play with yarn and feel it move between your fingers.  It was a very zen class.

My afternoon class by Clara Parkes was Yarn 101. Now if you are going to take a class on yarn and fiber you need to take it from Clara Parkes.  She literally wrote the book. The Knitters Book of Yarn, and The Knitters Book of Wool.  She has a technical writing background and that combined with her passion for yarn and knitting is the perfect combination.  A few takeaways from this class. “It’s not you, its the yarn.”  “Fiber trumps EVERYTHING” and “The inner workings of the fiber will always dictate.”  This class really elaborated on the above in how which fiber is more durable, what fiber to use for what project.  How ply comes into play with the look of your garment and what you want to knit.  The scales of the fiber and how they interact with each other.  I already knew or had an idea of a lot of this information but this class really shed a light and clarified a lot of it.

I really wasn’t even thinking about going to DFW until I saw the class line up.  So long story short, if you have a chance to classes by either of these fabulous teachers or really any knitting teacher, DO IT!  It will be the best money you every spent and you will walk away having learned so much more than you thought you ever could.  When going to fiber festivals I never really took a look at or really cared about any classes but now I think I will take a closer look.  Its well worth it.

Ok, I will talk to you all hopefully sooner rather later. In the meantime, find a class and learn something new.

Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

Caught My Breath

Hello!

Well, I have finally caught my breath from DFW and a busy Easter and week after.  So let me tell you all about the Dallas Fort Worth FiberFest!  In installments.  There is so much to tell so I will go over it in 3 parts.  Today I will give you a summary. Part 2, the classes.  Part 3, the yarn

It was amazing!  A fantastic 4 days! I arrived on Friday just before noon and checked into my hotel from there I was a short shuttle ride away to the convention center.  Friday before my class was really my only day do shop in the Vendor Hall.  It was so quiet and less crowded than it was on Saturday and Sunday, so it was nice to just wander and look at the yarn and have to worry.  I bought a lot of yarn.  Of which I will tell you about in part 3.  All I can say is I bought some more on Saturday and on Sunday I went back to the Vendor Hall since it was the last day of the festival and said I was just going to look, (said no one ever) and of course bought more yarn. The good thing was I drove and packed light so I was able to pack my yarn in my suitcase and in the awesome bag I got when I signed up for classes.

The yarn and the classes were amazing but what I loved most about DFW was the people.  I think this was the most social Fiber Festival I have ever been too.  Probably because most of us were staying at the same hotel. And let me also tell you. Knitters are the nicest people!  I would go down to the lobby bar in the evenings and everyone would be there just eating, drinking, knitting and talking. I would smile at someone and they would invite me to sit down.  I met some great people that way.  It also happened at breakfast, Saturday morning, the hostess was seating me in the restaurant and some ladies I was chatting with in the elevator invited me to sit with them instead.  There were stitch marker swaps all over DFW and of course, I always forgot my stitch markers everywhere.  I also really don’t have that many but some ladies were swapping stitch markers on the shuttle and offered me some. I forgot my stitch markers in my room but they insisted I pick out a few anyway. Those stitch markers will always hold a special place in my heart.  Again, knitters are the nicest people.

Not only was this a fiber festival for me but it was a long awaited and much needed vacation. I was able to really just relax and do my own thing.  I think I officially reached vacation mode on Friday morning somewhere outside of OKC heading south on the I-35 and didn’t get back to the real world until I went back to work on Tuesday morning.  It was fantastic.  I slept in all days besides Saturday since I had a class. I had some quiet me time and even took myself to dinner on Saturday.  Vacations are good. Everyone needs vacations and to be able to re-charge, preferably doing something they love.  The hotel helped also. The Marriott Los Colinas is in kind of a business-y corporate area but it was quiet and on a man made lake so there were nice surroundings.  Also, its a Marriott, very nice accommodations and the staff was so friendly and helpful and the food was good too.

During my trip, I bought a vanilla sock to work on in class and while chatting. I am at the heel now and will probably finish it when I finish my Endearment Cardigan.  Its coming along but going slow.  It will get done eventually.

Well, that is all I have for now.  Stay tuned for next week on the classes of DFW FiberFest.

Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

Weekend Plans and Planting

Hello Everyone!

First of all I am super excited for next Friday.  I will be at the DFW Fiber Fest in Texas.  I will be taking classes by Clara Parks and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and wandering my way around the awesome market place.  Again, so excited and the countdown in on!

In knitting news, to be honest I haven’t really be doing much. I am still working on my Endearment Cardigan.  I am almost done with the body. With work and my boot camp workout by the time I get home I am so tired I’m lucky if I can knit for an hour before my energy just peters out and I go to bed.  Some nights I haven’t even worked on the sweater.  I have made a few hex-puffs and also worked on the Mindless TV blanket.  Because you know how it is. Sometimes you just really don’t want to think, even about lace repeats.

In other news.  With Spring being here, the past few weekends, we have been gardening and planting and yesterday, the hubs redid the island flowerbed in the front yard to a raised garden.  It looks amazing.  And if today wasn’t so cold and rainy I would have planted in it.  So maybe in a few weeks I will plant.  Today it would have just been digging in the mud.  I cannot wait until I can just wander the garden center at Home Depot and pick the plants I want in there. I still have no idea what I want.

Ok. Just a short post today. I will talk to you all later and let me know if I will see any of you at DFW next weekend.

Happy Knitting

-Alexis

Knitting and Hiking

Hello Everyone!

Its a cloudy windy Sunday, it rained a bit last night, but it would be nice it rained a bit more. I just woke up from a nap and had a dream it was pouring.  I was a bit disappointed when I realized it didn’t rain at all.

It has been cloudy and windy all weekend but that didn’t stop my husband, my friend Danielle and myself from going on a hike to the Wichita Mountains yesterday.  It so crazy in the “flat” state of Oklahoma, just about 90 minutes south of OKC is this small little mountain range, complete with a wildlife refuge for buffalo, longhorn cattle, elk and prairie dogs. Yes you will be driving along there may be buffalo or longhorn just chilling by the road eating a snack.  

There are also tons of great hiking trails and a cute little mountain town to boot.  We had a great hike to the top of Elk Mountain and then broke my diet and had a Cheeseburger in Medicine Park.  The cute little mountain town.

Elk Mountain

Saturday night was spent binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and knitting on my Endearment Sweater.  It’s making slow progress.  I just started on the wait shaping.  Lately during the week I will come home from working out and just not have the bandwidth for pattern repeats, so on nights like those, I have been working on my Mindless blanket.  But I really do need to concentrate on the sweater so I can get more scrap yarn for the blanket and my other side project, the Beekeepers Quilt.  But the Sweater is coming along nicely and I am getting the pattern down so its taking a lot less energy, brainpower and concentration. Something I am severely lacking at 8:30 on a weeknight.

In other knitting news, in April I will be attending the DFW Fiberfest in Texas.  Its just a short 3 hour drive for me and for the first time I am taking classes.  Not just any classes. Classes by non other than Clara Parks and Stephanie Pearl McPhee!  I am soon excited!  Stay tuned for lots of stories as well as instant posts on social media.  I will be there all 3 days.

In cooking, from my Pinterest Board, tonight I am making Island Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Cheesy Crescent Rolls, and for me Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  Ok, I better get cooking so I can work on my sweater tonight.

Talk to you all soon & happy knitting.

-Alexis

Hello Again

Hello Everyone!

I know, I know, time just gets away from you and when you resolve to blog on the weekends because your weeknights are crazy then you weekends also get away from you.  Its crazy that way.

In knitting updates, since we last spoke, I have of course been knitting.  A day without knitting just doesn’t seem right.  I even managed up until the week before Christmas to not do any gift knitting. Then I realized I was going to knit a hat for a friend.  She got in January, but she still appreciated it. Since then. Selfish knitting January has not been selfish.  I just completed the “Bambino Blanket” by Mary Lou Egan from Drop-Dead Easy Knits by Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan & Kirsten Kapur (whew) for a friend new baby and of course I had to put that project on pause for a bit knit a few Pussy Hats. I sent one to Washington for the March and as I wasn’t able to make to my local March in Oklahoma City, I let my friend borrow another one.  I know my friend and the awesome marcher in Washington wore them with pride and I feel happy and proud that I was able to participate in this in someway.

Now that the baby blanket is done I have some other projects in the pipeline that I am excited to start.  I have also been cooking a lot lately.  My husband was out of town on a boys weekend so I took that opportunity to try some new recipes.  I have just as many cookbooks as I do knitting books and my Pinterest account looks like my Ravelry favorites and queues except with food.  I am going to start working my way through these recipes.  Yep, my two favorite things, cooking and knitting.  So it has been a good weekend!  I also got a Blue Apron box yesterday, which I plan on cooking up this week.  Each box comes with food and recipes for 3 meals that each feed 2 people. Stay tuned to my Instagram to find out how they were.

I feel like I am rambling and if I named all the projects I have knit and recipes I have cooked just this weekend I will ramble more. So I promise, ok, I will try to check in more regularly with my knitting progress and cooking. I don’t think this will turn into a food blog.  It will stay a knitting blog but hey, I need eat so I can keep up the energy to knit.

Happy Superbowl Sunday, btw, I am making Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from the Well Plated by Erin blog and Homemade Blue Cheese dressing from the I’d Rather Be a Chef blog to bring to a party.

I will talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Slow Knitting

Hello Everyone!

First I feel like I have to tell you.  I love knitting.  It makes me happy.  It takes all my stress away.  No matter how crazy my day was, I come home and start knitting and everything is better and right with the world.

With that said, I feel like I really haven’t gotten much knitting done this fall at all.  Its just been crazy.  Many nights I have come home form work or from working out and have really not had much energy for anything else so my knitting as suffered and progressed slowly.  I am sure you have all been there.

Well, in September, when I went to Michigan, I started the Laurel Socks in Toe-Up Socks for Everybody by Wendy D. Johnson and finished them just before Halloween.  I am now knitting the Fractal Danger shawl by Martina Behm. This is a fabulous shawl, crescent shape with a great geometric pattern.  It is also easy enough to get me back in the swing of things and motivate me.  I am about half way though.    What am I knitting it with you ask?  I dug out some yarn from my trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years ago. Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering.  Don’t ask what the colorway is.  It is a long story, I know what the yarn is but not the colorway. I even looked on their website neighborhoodfiberco.com and it wasn’t on there so I think it is discontinued.  But my yarn is orange.  A bright beautiful hand dyed orange.  I think it will bring a fantastic pop of color to any outfit.

Ok, well as with all Sunday’s and weekends all good things must come to an end. I have some chicken stew in the slow cooker for my lunches this week that I need to check on.  The hubs went to get wings and watch sports with his buddy so I am left to forage for my own dinner.  And I’m getting kind of hungry so I am going go do that now.

I will talk to you all soon and I hope in the crazy holiday’s we are walking into you get to set aside some time to knit for yourselves.

I will take to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Welcome Fall

Hello Everyone,

Well, I am home and fully recovered from my vacation.  I have been knitting but really not much.  It’s been a bit busy around here so when I get home from work, I don’t have a whole lot of energy to knit.  I am still knitting on the Laurel Socks that I was knitting on my vacation.  Maybe that is why.  It is an involved lace pattern.   I am almost done and if I push, I can finish this week.   I have had a few other projects going on since I returned from vacation though.  I have decided to sew my halloween costume.  Yes, for the first time in over 10 years I am sewing.  I used to sew a lot and I know how and was pretty good so I was nervous but sewing is like riding a bike.  You never forget.  I started on my costume last night and I am surprised, it all came back to me.  I am not done yet.  One more weekend I will have an awesome costume!  I will let you all know what I am going to be when it is finished.

Speaking of finished projects, I promised you I would show you a picture of my Rocky Coast Cardigan and here it is.  I am so proud of it and excited it is done and here.  It kept me warm on the beach by the fire in Mackinac if only it would cool down here so I could wear it again.

Rocky Coast Cardigan
Rocky Coast Cardigan

So, on my plate right now, knitting and sewing.  I do have a deadline the Halloween costume so I may put that first.  Ug, I want to finish that sock!  Wish me luck on both.

I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Vacation Mode

Hello everyone!

Well here I am on vacation in Michigan san the hubs.  I came up by myself to join my MIL, my SIL and my husband’s Aunt for a girls weekend on Macinak Island for the weekend.  I am spending a few extra days to hang out in Western Michigan with my lovely Mother-in-Law.  We had an amazing time on our road trip and on the island itself.  I love coming to Michigan, it is so green and so many trees and up north on the lake is beyond beautiful!  I can’t even describe.

We had a great road trip up to Macinak stopping in Frankenmuth, MI.  I very cute (and touristy) town with a German themed main street with all sorts of cute boutiques and a Cheese Haus!  And of course, how can I ever travel without finding a yarn store.  This great little boutique named Rapunzel’s Boutique.  They have great clothing, jewelry and gifts in the front but toward the back… YARN!!!  Madeline Tosh, Plymouth and my favorite Michigan yarn Stonehenge Fiber Mill.  The had a whole basket of mill ends so I bought 2 skeins. I think I already have 2 or 3 skeins at home.  Wondering what I will do with them…

Macinak Island itself is quite a tourist town but a very cute village set in a view that honestly, I would brave their winters to live on that island year around.  All of the houses and buildings are Victorian and all vividly painted like they were brand new and there is beautiful flowers and landscaping all over the island.  While my MIL and aunt took a trolly tour of the island my SIL and I had a great time exploring on our own.  We found a stair case that let right up the hill and then stumbled upon my other favorite place than a yarn store.  The Butterfly House!  Of course we had to go in.  So many butterflies the flitting around.  I got so many pictures of the island, our hotel on the beach of Lake Huron on the mainland and of the Butterfly House but alas, I left my USB cable for my camera at home in OKC so you will just have to do with my Instagram pictures for now, but I will post them below for your.

I love being on vacation and traveling.  It is true what they say.  Everyone needs vacations, to travel, to forget about their routine and relax and try new things. Get out of your comfort zone.   Quit watching the news and checking emails and your social media feeds and even just get into different scenery and be around different people. That is what is great about traveling and vacation.

So here are some pictures of Frankenmuth and Macinak for your viewing enjoyment and possibly a weekend getaway.

Talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Cheesy tourist stop.

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Wow!

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If it not be yarn. It be butterflies

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BBQ’s and Knitting

Hello Everyone!  Well, I am taking some downtime uploading some Jimmy Buffett on my iPod (yes, I still use an iPod for music, not my phone) for a BBQ we are having today.  While I had my computer open, I thought I would blog.  It is the middle of August and nearing the end of what has turned out to be a very busy and social summer.  There was one week, not to long ago that I had something going on after work every night of the week including Saturday.  The average time I got home was 9 pm.  I didn’t even knit those nights, by the time I got home, I only had enough energy and brain capacity to lift the wine glass to my mouth while I watched House Hunters.  (I love that show)

Fortunately I was able to finish my Sunnyside Market Tote before then. I haven’t used it yet but I will let you know when I do.  It so pretty and colorful but I can’t tell you the last time I went to a Farmers Market.  I don’t know when or for what, but I am sure I will find a use for it.

Sunny side Market Tote
Sunny side Market Tote

 

Unfortunately during this busy summer, I have had kind of slow progress on my Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig,  I started this in July and I want to wear it on my vacation to Michigan this September, I will be in Northern Michigan by the lake so I think I will need a sweater.  I am leaving in 3 weeks and I am almost done with the 1st sleeve.  So one more sleeve after this on and the collar.  I have been wanted to knit this sweater since I heard about it when the book it is in Coastal Knits, by Hannah Fettig & Alana Dakos came out. I tried once before but apparently didn’t buy the correct yarn.  So this time made sure to do so. I am using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targee Worsted in the colorway Strawberry Fields Forever that I purchased last year at Rhinebeck.  I got this yarn specifically for this sweater.  Other than the fact that I have knit with Blue Moon before and I LOVE LOVE LOVE their yarn, I love it came in one of these long loose loops, not a skein so I got to ball all 600 yards of each “loop” into one gigantic ball.  I loved the giant ball. Right now I am on giant ball #2 that still doesn’t even fit into my yarn bowl.

That's a big ball of yarn.

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I think if I buckle down I can get that sweater done before I leave.  Wish me luck.

Ok, must go shower and get the food out for the bbq.  Bob is grilling burgers, I made my Crab and Spinach dip, Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups and Candy Crack.  Our guest are also bringing food so I can kiss my diet goodbye today.

I will talk to you all soon!  Happy Knitting!

-Alexis