STARLIGHT Blogger Award

starlight-blogger-award

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again to t.e.d.d.y. from the Funky Air Bear blog for the nomination for a STARLIGHT Blogger Award! I am truly honored and thrilled that you love reading my blog 🙂 I love going through her blog to see what I can find for inspiration on any given day! Go check her out and visit her Etsy shop where she lots of goodies for sale!

This award was created by Carolina at Yesterday After to celebrate the bloggers who inspired her “through their beautiful and original content, imagery, art, abilities, and wonderful personalities.” I’m so glad to have found her blog through this award. What a beautiful site! After doing a little research, I found that the STARLIGHT Blogger Award is the nomination and award in itself; it is the recognition of bloggers by bloggers.

Nominations Rules:

Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think at the light emanating from the stars the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

Rules for the STARLIGHT Blogger Award:

  • Thank the giver and link their Blog to your post.
  • Answer the 3 original questions and then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.
  • Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions answer that first then answer the 3 new questions from your nominator and never change the Award rules.

 Please don’t delete this note: The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter is a Copyright image. You cannot alter or change it in any way, just pass it to others that deserve this award.

Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo

The Original three questions for everyone to answer:

  1. If you describe or picture your inner soul how will you describe it?
    • I see my inner soul as peaceful, creative, and fed constantly with light and love from the people and things I surround myself with.
  2. What are you working on right now?
    • I am currently test knitting a secret project that will be published in a book. I’m not able to release any details until it is published. I also keep a few other WIPs going for some mindless knitting on the go.
  3. What is your creative dream project?
    • Mine would be to be able to quit my full time job and start knitting full time. I would love to open an Etsy shop one day and am currently working on adding to my stock, so I don’t have an empty store when I do open. I would also love to start creating my own patterns. As I learn a new technique, I am constantly thinking of ways I could use it in a pattern.

My answers to t.e.d.d.y.’s questions:

  1. What are 3 things you want your blog readers to remember about your blog?
  • You can be inspired by anyone and anything. Keep an open mind. I’m always open to comments and questions; I’m actually thrilled by them!
  1. When did you start your blog and what inspired you to start it?
  • I started my blog in June 2015. I was inspired after reading and looking at so many other blogs. I wanted somewhere to be able to showcase my talents and hopefully inspire (yes, I said it again!) others.
  1. Describe your perfect creative space (money is no object.)
  • I currently have an entire room devoted to my creativity; however, I also share it with my office space and I rent so I can’t make any modifications. I would move the office to another room and put up shelves all over the walls to showcase my ever growing collection of yarn, fabrics, and other crafty items. I would also have a dedicated work table and boards to pin for future projects / ideas. I have some spaces on my Pinterest page to help guide me when I can make this a reality. Something like this The Budget Decorator.

I am nominating these amazing blogs; although I could really nominate way more! I find myself coming back to their blogs time and time again for inspiration and enjoyment:

1. Autumn Acorn

2. garnharmoni

3. The Sock Monkey

4. Fashion Food Fotos

5. The Xandra Chronicles

6. Rohn Strong Designs

7. phightlikeagirlnichole

8. Knitting to Stay Sane

9. Slipped Stitches

10. The Knitter Nerd

And the questions for my nominees:

  1. What topics are you most thrilled to blog about?
  2. What was the last good book you read, one that you just couldn’t put down?
  3. If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?

Please note:
No one should feel obligated to accept this Award or to link back. I just wanted to share with other’s in the community how inspiring and amazing you and your Blogs are. If you do decide to accept this award, that’s fantastic and greatly appreciated!

Thank you again to t.e.d.d.y. for nominating me!

FO – Septima’s Asymmetrical Shawlette

Another Finished Object (FO)! I’ve been waiting awhile to post this so I could link out to the pattern. It’s now up on Ravelry and I am so pleased to show this off! The pattern is Septima’s Asymmetrical Shawlette from Linda Browning, aka tinyknit on Ravelry. She has a lot of awesome patterns for sale and at a pretty low cost.

This pattern was super easy, as long as you use stitch markers on all the odd rows and remove them on the even rows. Otherwise, they will not be in the correct place with the extra increases. It helped me tremendously with the counting! This was the fastest shawl I’ve completed, starting on 7/10/15 and finishing on 7/20/15. That may seem like a long time to more experienced knitters; however I also work a very demanding full time job 🙂

The final size was 57″ x 17.5″. I used US 7 – 4.5 mm 40″ circular needles, knitting flat. If you did not read my initial WIP post, the yarn I used was Hand Dyed Sport Yarn, Hand Dyed Yarn, Superwash Merino – Northern Lights on Serenity. It was super soft and squishy and it was a dream to work with.

I love learning something new with every project and with this one I learned the provisional cast-on and how to pick up and knit stitches. There are several youtube videos out there that can help you if you’ve never done either of these methods. Here are the ones I found most helpful:

Provisional Cast On with Crochet Hook

Picking up Stitches

My beautiful friend, Gina, modeled the pictures for me. So, without further ado, the final pictures!

Happy Knitting!

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Gina – Draped around shoulders

Gina - Front drape

Gina – Front drape

Gina - Side Drape

Gina – Side Drape

Gina - Full Shawlette

Gina – Full Shawlette

FO – Two new hats!

I have been working on my Sockhead Hat since May 13th and finished it yesterday! It quickly became my take-along project while being a passenger in the car, going to appointments, and talking while knitting. I loved working with the Regia Flusi Das Socken Monster yarn (although I understand this particular yarn has been discontinued) in the color 44941 – Partie. It created interesting stripes in the hat and was a lot of fun to work with. I’m actually kind of sad to have finished it.

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I’m currently waiting on a pattern for a secret test (no pictures until it comes out in the book) and decided I wanted something super quick and easy to fill in some of the time. I have made The Big Hat before and knew that I could knit one rather fast. Because I had experience, I decided to cast on with 40 stitches this time to make the hat fit better. I’ve also decided to forgo the pom pom for now. The yarn for this one is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Galaxy; described on the website as “Metallics Deep purple with sparkling amethyst wrap”. I love the bits of sparkle and I know just the person who will appreciate this 🙂

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Happy Knitting!

Weeknight Dinner

While my husband and I were at the store this weekend, pondering once again what we were going to eat for a couple of nights, I happened upon a Hormel Lemon Garlic Pork Loin Filet in the pork section. I’ve never tried their pork products and thought we would give it a go. It was very delicious, although a bit too salty for my taste. I think the next time I will just buy a pork tenderloin and marinate it myself, although I did love the no fuss, no muss preparation.

I also came upon some beautiful brussels sprouts. I hate the smell when they first start cooking, but they always come out super yummy after being roasted in the oven. This time I cleaned them up, cut them in half, and drizzled them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. After I had them on the cookie sheet, I decided to add some freshly squeezed lemon juice.

I cooked both at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, turning the brussels sprouts over at the half way point. The pork needed to bake for another 15 minutes to reach a perfect, medium 160 degrees F. Thank goodness for that trusty meat thermometer!

My husband had made a tomato, cucumber salad for another dinner and we had leftovers, so that was our other side. It made for a very delicious, filling dinner!

Brussels Sprouts ready to go in the oven!

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Hormel Lemon Garlic Pork Loin FiletIMG_9109

Fresh out of the oven! I think the tips turned a little purple because of the added lemon juice.

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Perfectly cooked medium pork!IMG_9113

Final dish! Not the prettiest plating, but good enough for us!IMG_9114

Book Review – The Little Paris Bookshop

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From the very first page, I was entranced! My favorite quote from that page? “Not you of course, Monsieur Perdu. You are cashmere compared with the normal yarn from which men are spun.” Those that know my love of fine yarns would know this would pull me in hook, line, and sinker.

This is the first hard back book that I’ve read in a long time due to my love of Kindle and other reader apps. I must say that it was a joy to hold a real book in my hands again. I was entranced with the world that Nina George created and didn’t want to put the book down.

Monsieur Perdu (Jean as we later come to know him), is a very lonely, heartbroken man at the beginning of the tale. He keeps everything bottled up inside while trying to help others solve their problems through books. After questioning the recipient for their ailment, he is able to prescribe the perfect book to help heal their hearts and is well known as a literary apothecary. He owns a working barge, used as his shop and library, and after finally reading a letter from his long, lost love, sets out to the south of France to try to heal his heartbreak. We get to see the transformation in Monsieur Perdu, as well as his traveling companions (he picks up quite a few along the way), enjoying their adventures as they make port in little cities on their way.

The writing drew me in and I clearly saw the world the author created. This was one of those books that made me laugh, sigh, cry, and empathize with the characters and their situations. It is one that I will want to read over and over again. Bravo for such a wonderful book!

For more information, check out the following links!

About the Author

Read a Chapter

More Info

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

WIP – Septima’s Asymmetrical Shawl (Test Knit)

I am working on my very first test knit for Tinyknitters from Ravelry! So far, there have been two errors in the pattern that other caught before I started, so it’s been smooth sailing for me. I decided to use the same yarn the designer used. It a new yarn to me and is absolutely stunning in coloring, so squishy to work with, and an absolute dream to knit up! It came in a hank and I immediately wound it into a cake. I bought it on Etsy from this shop:

Hand Dyed Sport Yarn, Hand Dyed Yarn, Superwash Merino – Northern Lights on Serenity

Yarns to Inspire - Northern Lights Serenity

I’m working the test with slightly larger needles than the pattern called for, as I always have to go up a few needle sizes. I’m on row 40 of 103 and it is such a fun knit! I know that this is the first in a series designed around the Harry Potter books and movies and will feature items that different staff members of Hogwarts might wear. I hope I get to test knit the rest of them 🙂

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Happy Knitting!

FO – Summer 2015 Knitalong Stepping Stones Shawl

I’m so excited that I finally finished this! It’s a beautiful yarn to work with (Artyarns Merino Cloud in Color 904 – Mood Ring) and a stunning free pattern, just for buying the yarn. I learned so much…my first CDD, SSK, short rows, and lace sections. At first, I thought I had taken on too much. As my Ravelry notes show, there was some frustration; however I made it through to the end. I’ll post my notes below the pictures. Do you think it’s too much and I should edit? Or maybe it would be helpful for someone else that’s a newer knitter to learn from? I also just got asked to be a featured photo on the pattern page! That’s so awesome 🙂

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5/29/15 – I completed the swatch with size 10 needles.

6/7/15 – Completed part one of the pattern. I had to frog and redo rows 1-9 three times before I finally started using a lifeline. I don’t know why I was having such trouble with it because the pattern is written perfectly. User error 🙂 I’ve decided to just do the one skein shawl, as I want to learn how to knit short rows.

6/9/15 – Onto Part Two of the pattern. I’ve gotten quite an education after reading the pattern wrong and doubling each short row (didn’t realize when it said Rows 1 & 2 that the purl back was row 2), frogged back, did it again and was successful. Now to tackle the other side! I completed the short rows; however when I got back to Row 1 of the beginning of the third repeat, I had the wrong stitch count (btw, there should be 65 stitches after you finish Row 14 of 1st set of short rows). My lifeline was at the beginning of the short row section, so frogged once again! Then for some reason, I couldn’t get the counts right – 5 times…frogged again. I finally put it away and came back to it today. Success! I’m onto the third repeat!

6/10/15 – The third repeat is complete! Fourth repeat is six rows in. I must resist the urge to continue knitting when I have to be up at 5:30am.

6/11/15 – The fourth repeat is complete; after having to frog because I missed a stitch. Onto my next set of short rows!

6/13/15 – The fifth repeat is complete; after having to frog four times because I miscounted. I really need to get better at the short rows 😦 When I make this again, I’m going to try it without short rows. I think the progress will be much faster! I just counted and need 101 stitches to start the sixth repeat. I’ve counted three times and still only come up with 100 stitches. Argh!!!! I’m going to try to see where I went wrong and if I can just increase a stitch instead of frogging again 😦 Update: I found these instructions and they saved my bacon 🙂 http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/05/very-nearly-invi…

6/15/15 – The sixth repeat is complete. Once again, I missed picking up a yo; however I’ve found the mistake and will be able to pick it up on the beginning of the seventh repeat. You need 113 stitches to start the seventh repeat.

6/16/15 – The seventh repeat is complete. I’m going to switch to German Short Rows for the eighth repeat and see if it’s easier to keep count 🙂 And…just like that! The eight repeat is done! German short rows are so much easier!!!

6/17/15 – I’m glad I asked, otherwise I would have continued on with the short rows! Clarification on one skein short row shawl:

Repeat 1: Rows 1-8 regular
Repeat 2: Rows 1-14 short rows
Repeat 3: Rows 1-8 regular
Repeat 4: Rows 1-8 regular
Repeat 5: Rows 1-14 short rows
Repeat 6: Rows 1-8 regular
Repeat 7: Rows 1-8 regular
Repeat 8: Rows 1-14 short rows
Subsequent repeats 9+: Rows 1-8 regular

6/20/15 – The ninth repeat is complete. I haven’t had as much time to knit the last few days due to my work schedule 😦 Hoping to get further along this weekend 🙂 The 10th repeat is complete. I probably could have had more done; however I have a sick husband and severe ADD today.

6/21/15 – The 11th repeat is complete.

6/24/15 – The 12th repeat is complete. Two more to go until I’m finished with Part 2 of the pattern 🙂

6/27/15 – The 13th repeat is complete.

6/28/15 – The 14th repeat is complete, which means Part 2 is finished! I finished with exactly 209 stitches, so the counting paid off. I have 30 grams of yarn left for Part 3.

6/30/15 – I received Part 3 of the pattern yesterday. I was finished with the first three rows and had to frog back to the end of Part 2. I’m not sure how my counting got away from me; however, I had an extra stitch at the end of Row 3. Also, I am getting 16 repeats instead of 14 as the pattern was written.

7/1/15 – I completed Rows 1-6 of the 16 rows included in Part 3.

7/4/15 – I counted my stitches in row 5 and they were perfect. I did not count in row 6 because I figured it was the same stitch count as row 5. I was at the end of row 7 and found out I had added a stitch in row 6. I’m not sure how I did it, but I did. I just frogged back to row 5 and I have the correct number of stitches. I went ahead and added stitch markers for each section just so I will know if I mess up again. Lesson learned…count after every row!!! I completed Rows 6-9 today.

7/5/15 – Frogged back to row 7 again after not putting in a lifeline on rows 8-9 and realized that I had an extra stitch at the end of row 10. Knit all the way back up to row 10 and realized that all of the middle sections of my diamonds are falling out now that I’ve removed my lifeline in that row. This is so extremely frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to frog back to the beginning of Part 2 and start over. Unfortunately, I don’t have a closer lifeline than that section as I’ve been removing them row by row.

7/6/15 – I completed rows 1-10 again in Part 3 of the pattern today. Yes, I’m on vacation 🙂 I figured out that I made a mistake in following exactly what the pattern said for row 8 the first time. There are yo3 times in row 7 and row 8 stated to k1, p across to last stitch, k1. You cannot complete three purl stitches in a yo3 times. This was clearly written out in Part 2 of the pattern, but not Part 3. It would have unraveled whether or not I had the lifeline in that row once I removed it. Halfway done with Part 3 again!

7/7/15 – I completed rows 11-16 today. I’m 1/4 of the way through the bind off and wanted to finish today as I started on 6/7; however, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Tomorrow morning is soon enough 🙂

7/8/15 – I completed the bind off and wove in the ends. Now to block it before the final picture! I had 6 grams of yarn left over.

7/9/15 – Final pictures are up!