End of Summer

The summer ends and we wonder who we are… ~Dar Williams

So, yesterday was Labor Day and I guess that marks the end of summer (although the weather here in south Mississippi did not get the memo).

I would say that out of all of the seasons, summer may be my least favorite. I love the longer days but I hate the heat! (Like seriously, I have NO LOVE for the heat of a southern summer.) I feel like I go into hibernation during the summer (I’d never make it as a bear). I slow way down (probably because movement will just make it feel hotter). My creative juices dry up. And my motivation takes its own summer vacation. But once I start to notice tiny glimpses of Fall, I start to stretch and slowly wake from my slumber.

So what have I been up to this summer? Well, let’s see… I’m still running! You may remember I hired a running coach in January and he’s been a fixture in my life ever since (whether I like it or not!). No really, it’s been a great experience and I’m actually feeling like a “real” runner. I still haven’t actually run a race yet (I’m waiting for the cooler weather to arrive) but I’m definitely logging some miles. This week I’ve got 18 miles of running on the schedule! In the high heat and humidity! Good times! Again, if any of you are on dailymile please add me as a friend so we can cheer each other on! I swear it’s the words of encouragement from my dailymile friends that keep me going some days!

Have I been knitting? Crocheting? Yes. A little. If it weren’t for Knit Nite every week at my local cafe/record store, I definitely would have gotten a LOT less done. (Again, I blame the summer heat!) Have I actually finished anything? Yes. I did finish my Aidez sweater just in time for the hot weather so I don’t have a finished pic of it yet. And I’m this close to finishing my Ruffle Rose Pillow. I just need to do a few more rows and find a pillow form. And of course, with Fall coming, I’ve got a bad case of startitis. I want to make ALL THE THINGS. I can’t look through a knit/crochet magazine without at least five projects jumping into my queue. I also have a couple of new design ideas floating around in my big head that need to be put down on paper.

We’re also starting to make strides in finishing the addition to the back of our house (that’s been going on now for THREE YEARS, people). One of the pieces to that puzzle has been put into place. The landscaping! Our poor backyard had been forgotten during this whole construction process and it turned into a bit of a jungle. But now it is a beautiful oasis!

You can click here to see an entire album of before, during, and after photos. We are so happy to have a great outdoor space in which to relax and entertain! And the pieces are falling into place for the completion of the addition itself so that will be a welcome project for the Fall. (This blog may turn into a home renovation blog for a little while.) Will I finally be able to unpack all of our moving boxes? Stay tuned!

Well, wherever you are (in the northern hemisphere) I hope that your summer was wonderful and that you’re getting ready for Fall. I know I am!


Hello, May!

Wow, I see it’s been three weeks since I last posted!  April came and went in a frenzy!  It was a busy three weeks with family visiting, little Frank celebrating his first doggy birthday (my boy is growing up!) and getting a brand new bed and a Tempur-Pedic mattress!  Those were all good things (especially the mattress… oh my god the mattress…)!  There were also some not-so-good things… like coming to terms with a crappy contractor and feeling like I’m starting all over with our house renovations.  Gah.  Of course, I’m thankful for the contractor I’m now working with.  He’s a good egg.  Out with the old and in with the new.

I know I mentioned briefly the home renovation hell that we’re in.  We are turning our 3 bedroom/1 bath house into a 3 bedroom/2 bath house by creating a master suite and adding a screened-in porch on the back.  It will be heavenly once it’s finished (and I’m feeling a bit more hopeful these days that it will indeed get finished).

I’ve been knitting as well!  I did finish the Ribbed Lace Bolero but haven’t had a chance to take pics yet because, honestly, I don’t like the way it looks on me.  I think this is the third bolero-type thing I’ve knitted and I’ve never been in love with any of them.  I think the simple construction and small project size seem to entice me and make me forget that I’ve already been down that road and should probably make a U-turn.  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll warm up to it.  I hope so.  But for now it’s in time out.

And I’m swatching another project now that I will hopefully start in the next day or so (I need to start it in the next day or so!).  My mom’s birthday is June 2 and I thought she’d like something knitted.  Of course, it would be great if I had thought about this, say, in March.  But no, I think about it with a month to spare.  And to make it extra fun, I choose a piece that isn’t something I can just “whip up”.  This will require thinking.  Concentration.  Crochet!  And meticulous blocking.  But I’m up for the challenge!

I’m making her the Botanica Medallion Cardigan from the cover of the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting.

I’m using the exact same yarn in the exact same color because I love it just the way it is!  I hope she’ll love it as well.  It’s totally her style and I think she’ll look awesome in it.

We’re having a dreary, rainy weekend here in Mississippi so it’s perfect weather for marathon knitting sessions.  Tomorrow may be a stay-in-bed-all-day-knitting kind of day.  Did I mention the mattress?

Summer Hiatus

Well, I seem to have taken a bit of a summer vacation from this here blog, eh? It wasn’t intentional. And to be honest, it hasn’t been a vacation either. I have not been kicking my feet up, lounging by a pool, drinking mojitos. None of it. I wish I was!! And to be honest, I haven’t been doing much crafting either. Booooooooooo!

Well, let’s see… I did make this potholder from Amy Butler’s book. I gave it to my mom. Apologies for the poor photo quality.
Potholder Amy Butler Potholder

I also made some machine appliqued t-shirts for my nephew’s first birthday.
appliqued tshirts appliqued tshirt

And I crocheted myself a dishrag (no picture of that – it’s a green single-crocheted square – nothing glamorous). Add a touch of knitting here and there and that’s about it! Not much to show for almost three full months! Why? Two words. Home Improvement. We got our house re-sided, had our hot water heater bust, had a pipe under the house bust and on and on. We are currently renovating our bathroom and have been for weeks now. (Our ONLY bathroom by the way. While we re-tiled the tub and shower we were having to shower at a friend’s house or the gym. That’s a real kick in the pants.)

I’m also still working on getting my studio finished. That sorta came to a halt when we started the bathroom because everything that needed to come out of the bathroom was put in the studio. And we painted our bedroom at the same time so lots of stuff from there was put in the studio, too! It’s almost cleaned out again with the exception of the new bathroom vanity waiting to be installed.

So I’ve been kinda bummed because I haven’t been able to do much crafty stuff and when I have had time to sit and chill for a bit I sometimes just want to veg out in front of the TV or computer (so many blogs to catch up with!). But I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve picked out a wall color for the studio finally. It always takes me SO long to pick out paint colors. Is anyone else like that? I feel like it’s a big commitment and I need to find the perfect color. It’s like I have the color I want in my mind but when you stick me in front of the paint chips at the store I freeze up and get so confused!

Anyway, I do have something exciting to share that has happened since we last spoke. I got a new car! I’ve wanted one of these cars for years and years and years.
Subaru Outback

It’s the ’08 Subaru Outback. A car from the future! We’re still in 2007! Anyway, we’ve barely had it a month and we’ve already used it to carry a new hot water heater, a complete patio dining set, a bathroom vanity and, believe it or not, a love seat and ottoman. It has definitely earned its keep! I am amazed at how much room it has inside (which may come in handy if the house implodes and we are forced to live in it).

So anyway, apologies for the lack of activity here lately. I just feel like I don’t have anything to blog about if I’m not knitting or crafting something!

So I may not pop in here very much for the rest of the summer. Geoff and I are putting our nose to the grindstone to finish a list of home improvement projects so that we can relax during the fall. So you may not hear from me until September. Hopefully I’ll pop in before then, even if just for a brief “hiya!” I do miss my virtual friends.

Until then, please kick your feet up, lounge by a pool somewhere and have a mojito for me. Someone has to!

Still here!

Man oh man. What a busy couple of weeks! Lots of house stuff and work stuff has kept me from blogging (but it’s given me a lot to blog about!).

First of all, my work stresses are over… for now. The grant application was submitted and my tenure file was turned in for my 3rd year review. I’m sooooo glad to have that damn thing off my shoulders. It’s been stressing me out for months. But not anymore! I’m enjoying a celebratory glass of wine!

And we are doing tons of stuff around the house. First of all, remember the new chairs I mentioned in my last post? Well they came and they both fit in our tiny house! So my new favorite knitting spot is this new leather chair… MY chair…
My new leather chair

It’s so comfortable! I love it!!

And ever since Geoff and I got central heating and air installed back in February, we have been puzzled by what to do with this…

That is a window a/c unit in the wall of our kitchen. Removing it would leave a gaping hole in the wall and patching it would have been difficult because on the interior wall there is wood paneling that’s been painted (so a patch made of drywall would have been noticeable) and trying to match the siding on the outside of the house would have been almost impossible. What to do?

I know! Make the hole BIGGER and fill it with something pretty!

As you can see, we are still doing some painting and touch-ups (and are getting ready to paint the kitchen a different color), but I love all of the light that the kitchen gets now! And now while dining we can look out on our side patio. And it has a great ledge for potted plants and herbs! I want to find some cute pots!

We also tore down the screen on our porch and reframed it to replace some rotting wood (you can see a teeny bit of it in the left of the window above). Plans in the coming weeks include painting and rescreening so we can enjoy some nice dinners on it during the fall. And my big strong hubby gave us a new driveway by putting down 6 tons of gravel and he jackhammered and removed the very old ugly sidewalk that led up to our front door. We are planning on replacing it with a nice walkway made of flagstone. Lots of excitement in our little home!

All of this craziness has led to a noticeable lack of knitting the past couple of weeks. I had been cranking out that blanket for my nephew and then hit the brakes HARD. I just finished up that second strip over the weekend and went ahead a seamed up those first two strips. Just two more strips to knit and seam and then add a border! You can see it in the above picture draped over my chair. I’m hoping that now that my life is a bit less stressful, I’ll regain that knitting momentum and finish that blanket soon!

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! Geoff and I went to see Little Miss Sunshine Friday night and we LOVED it. Hilarious. Go see it!

Just three more days in my work week! I love long weekends!