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Java Socks

December 15, 2014
tags: ,

Laura’s Blog Entry

Oh the knitting! When there is a chill in the air you can bet there is wool on the needles. I’ve got about six things going. Some get more attention than others, but they are all on their way. Here’s a big finish from awhile ago. I finally had time to give them a photo shoot, so now I can wear them. Yay!

These are the Java Socks, a free pattern from Knitty.com. They were designed by Cailyn Meyer. I have admired these for years, but just recently felt my skills were up to the task. I’ve been knitting for eight years now and I found these to be a medium high level of difficulty just due to the intricacy. The pattern is so well written, it made it much easier than it looks.

The teeny, tiny cables are just dreamy!

And the way they wrap the foot and become the gusset… genius!

The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in color 809 Solis. This color is a stunner! I have to say, after doing three or four pairs in this brand, it is not the best wearing yarn. No holes or anything, but even with careful washing and no bare-sock-on-the-floor wearing, there is some felting and color fading on the bottoms. I am going to try some other brands for a bit, but I bet I’ll end up coming back for that amazing color!

These were fun, but I have moved on to some simple socks for awhile. My latest experiment is with an afterthought heel. Spoilers: I am loving it for a number of reasons. More on that when I have a finished pair to share.

Hope you are having time for crafting during this busy month. A knitting break can be a real sanity-saver!

Holiday Open House

December 6, 2014

Laura’s Blog Entry

Hello there, blog. Just thought I would slide in an entry before 2014 slips away. So much has been demanding my attention away from writing here. Nice to be able to at least drop in.

Since it is holiday season I thought I would share about a holiday open house we had last year. It was our best way to celebrate the first year in our new home and share it will all our supportive friends who hadn’t gotten a chance to visit yet.

It was great fun seeing how our more open plan worked for a large group of people. There is a nice flow through the main rooms, as you can see from the photos below,  and very different from how our old house was laid out. Ah the difference in lifestyle from 1935 to 1948. Modern living had arrived!

We set up a buffet as we often do on our antique ledger table.

I decided that unless I simplified the food, I would never have this party. So I made it easy by doing a few simple appetizers combined with some hot appetizers (Not pictured. Those came out later when the guests were here.) that I bought from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. Yep. Not afraid to admit it. And they went over pretty well, so there. Best decision I ever made.

Neil made the awesome “chalkboard” labels for all the food. He’s so talented.

See? Simple!

We set up a bar in the kitchen.

A cider station and a beer and wine (and bourbon!) area. For once I was glad to have that second sink in my relatively small kitchen.

Finally, I did a cookie bar with some sweets, provided by the cookie aisle at Trader Joe’s.

Parties can be stressful. This made it so much easier, but also delicious!

Hope your holiday is filled with joy and entertaining doesn’t turn you into a crazy person! Cheers!

Common Ground Hoodie

September 23, 2014

Laura’s Blog Entry

Finished! In plenty of time for fall!

The pattern is Common Ground by Elizabeth Smith. I decided to make mine a little less fitted and a bit longer in length. Last winter I was craving another sweater like this to bundle up in.

The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool XL in color Charcoal. I’ve never used a silk/wool blend before. (It’s 80% wool and 20% silk.) It was a bit dry and papery to knit with, but not unpleasant. It is a bit flat in the skein and not a cushy wool. It did soften up in washing, but still is keeping its shape and not seeming to stretch. We’ll see after some wearing. Hasn’t been cool enough yet to give it a trial run.

I like the simple diamond lace pattern on the main body. It has a gentle shaping and isn’t too boxy in style.

Very happy with this sweater. I think I am getting better at making them fit for me. Now I can move on to some gift knitting. Time to hit the yarn shop. Hooray!

{this moment} – 9/19/14

September 19, 2014

Laura’s Blog Entry

It’s been a week of no words on the blog (and searing migraines). Resting today with just a few words and a photo. Hopefully be back soon…

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Joining Amanda.

{this moment} – 9/12/14

September 12, 2014

Laura’s Blog Entry

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Joining Amanda.

Yarn Along – 9/10/14

September 10, 2014

Laura’s Blog Entry

See that sleeve? Soooo close to being done. I just need a nice hour or so to finish it up! And weave in all the ends, of course. And block it. Can’t wait to block it!

I just finished the book, The Gift in You: Discovering New Life Through Gifts Hidden in Your Mind, by Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s a really interesting book about brain function and how to determine how your brain processes information. It also covers scientific data on the effect of toxic thoughts on the brain. Depression, anxiety, all the heavy hitters. Then she talks about how to reprogram your brain for joy as well as better functioning, which appear to be one and the same thing!

I love that she applies scripture to the concepts to show that this information is actually throughout the Bible. I find it fascinating that brain function is in the Bible. I don’t understand when people think the Bible and science are at odds. I’m sure I just opened a huge can of worms for someone, but that’s the way it goes. I’m just getting real around here. I find the intricacies of science only strengthen my faith in the creator of the universe.

Anyhoo, hope you are reading and/or knitting something enjoyable and you have a happy brain!

Joining Ginny.

*****

The Smiths’ Occasional Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. They don’t tell us what to link to, but they will pay us a teeny tiny percentage if you buy an item we have chosen to feature.

Tea For Tuesday – 9/09/14

September 9, 2014
tags: ,

Laura’s Blog Entry

As the evenings get cooler, here’s what I’ll be drinking to unwind. Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime  tea.

It’s one of the few Yogi brand teas that actually tastes pretty good! Not to criticize Yogi – I drink quite a few of their teas for their medicinal properties. But they usually are a bit… well, medicinal. This one is pretty tasty. The strongest flavor is caramel, with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. It also contains cardamom and ginger. Oh and poppy extract. Which I suspect is more for the “soothing” element than for flavor :-)

I thought the color of this tea cup coordinated perfectly. Happy sipping!

*****

The Smiths’ Occasional Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. They don’t tell us what to link to, but they will pay us a teeny tiny percentage if you buy an item we have chosen to feature.

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