Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Borders

Hello everyone I only have time for a quick post today but I do have a nice and juicy project update for you all.

Today is really dreary and I have on my Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan to keep me warm at work.  I would rather have a hug from my real boyfriend though.  

Warm Sweater

Half way done with the border
I am so in love with this blanket.  It has kept me warm as the summer nights cool when I have been working on this blanket.  I am considering backing the blanket because of all of my weaved in ends but I probably won't do that.

I bound off each side with a size 9 needle to give the edge some give and I think it will square up nicely once the other two sides are on.  Hope to pick up all of the stitches tonight.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Highs and Lows of Life

So one of the reasons for my lack of posting lately has been some major changes in my life which are both good and bad.  I guess we can start with the good.

The Highs

Saturday July 5th, I went on an amazing date with a wonderful guy.  We met on eharmony and this was our first time meeting each other.  I was nervous but really had no idea that my life would change during that lunch.

So he decided to try on my glasses
Joe made me laugh and swept me off my feet in one afternoon.  He turned out to be everything I ever mentioned about a guy and more.  He is nerdy and sweet, kind and funny, and makes me want to be a better person.

Aren't we cute?

Seriously people I am in LOVE.  Since that date, we have been inseparable and I can't describe how happy I have been.  I don't really remember what life was like before July 5th.  Really this has been one of the major causes of my distraction and I wouldn't change I for the world.  :-)

The Lows

A couple things have really made this time suck too.  While I am deliriously happy and in love, I am also stressed out.

I made the decision earlier in July to break my lease and move home.  Between school tuition payments and my medical bills I just couldn't make things work anymore.  Dad has been awesome and is helping me break my lease.  The original plan was to be out by the end of September but that took a quick detour on July 29th.

It was a normal work day and I was plugging through email when my dad calls out of the blue.  He asks me if I'm sitting down and proceeds to tell me that he's been let go from his job.  What a crazy turn of events.  So I moved up breaking my lease and the past three weekends have been spent moving stuff home.  I am about half way done with getting the stuff moved but it's still a sad sight.

I love my little place but I know this is the right thing to do.  So I am sorry that things have been a bit quiet around here.  I think once everything is settled down, I should be back to my regularly scheduled programming here.

<3 Heather

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Update 5)

Image by Wade Kelly
I have another collage photo to post.  I realized that I like these monthly look backs on how I am changing and improving my life since the surgery.

I wouldn't say things have decreased to a crawl but I haven't been to the gym in ages.  Unfortunately life has gotten in the way but I think I should be able to find a better routine come September.

I have lost 103.4 lbs since my surgery in December for a total of 133.4 since September.  While I am not always seeing the scale wins, I am now mostly wearing size 18 pants.  I was super pumped on Sunday when I was able to wear size 18 jeans from the Gap and a Large T shirt.  I think the last time I wore a Tshirt that didn't have an X in was Fall semester freshman year of college.  Score!

In news about my hair saga, I am starting to grow some back.  It's weird because when i have my hair down I can feel all of the short strands on top of my head.  Hopefully they grow quickly.

All in all I feel great!

<3 Heather

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Still Distracted

Geez the summer is slipping away fast and I am still super busy.  I wanted to pop in and say hello and show you some progress I've made so far this summer.

Got another manicure

working on the border

So this is an older picture but I wanted to show you all how the border is working up.  I actually cast off this side and am working on the other side.  I really think I chose well with the camel.  I work on this thing in fits and spurts but I am making progress.  It's great TV knitting because it's mindless while keeping my hands busy.

Willow Square Blanket

Willow Squares!
I have gotten a few more squares done and I love the combination of colors.  I did however make a decision to rip out the single crochet row and add a double crochet row. I have a bit of rework to do but I think the end result will be a nicer, fuller blanket.

It's a sweater!
I am really pleased with the progress on this sweater.  I really think the end result will be better than my original planned stripes.  But it's been to hot to think about a sweater.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Distracted

So I missed posting last week because I forgot to take pictures and I kinda forgot to take pictures this week too.  I have been distracted lately.  Nothing bad just a combination of nice weather and a busy schedule.

I did splurge and get another manicure on Monday.  My last one chipped way to early for my liking because of all of the dishes and water I was around during the festival.  So I got a sparkly red color.

Anyway, between the nice weather and busy work days, I haven't really gotten much done craft wise, but I did start a hat.

Princess Plume

The yarn is an evolution from Twisted Fiber Arts in 12 Princesses.  I am really pleased with this evolution and this hat has been flying off the needles.  The pattern is Plumeable and is free on Ravelry.  I really liked the sample on the project page and knew I had to make it with my Twisted.
I have started on the decreases and hope to get it finished soon.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Update 4)

Image by Wade Kelly
I have another collage photo to post.  I realized that I like these monthly look backs on how I am changing and improving my life since the surgery.

Things have been a bit slow going, lots of busy stuff for summer so the gym hasn't been a priority as much as it should.  I was able to do 25 push ups in a minute and 48 squats in a minute.  My mile time digressed a bit but I am working to get back in the swing of things.

I have lost 103.2 lbs since my surgery in December for a total of 130.2 since September.  I keep adding clothes to the donate basket and that is a huge win.  Though, I am running low on closet stock of pants.  I went and bought a size 18 and 16 jeans in prep for the next sizes.  The 18's I can get on and button but it's really not flattering right now.

Other than that things are good.  I have been thinking protein first and my hair is rebounding nicely.  Less is coming out when I wash or brush it.  Let me tell you that was a relief.

Sugar and I are not getting along and I have been having pain for eating to much of it.  Sugar and carbs are also causing me to get a bit dizzy and my blood sugar spikes.  Lovely but manageable.

All in all I feel great, my energy is amazing and I am really happy with my progress so far.

<3 Heather

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Err Thursday? #5

What a crazy week!  I went from dull and sedate to busy and hectic in a short span of time.  Sunday was my ::cough:: 29th ::cough:: birthday and the whole weekend was busy with family and friends.

Friday, I took the day off of work and went to the pool.  Nothing to fancy just wanted to cool off and get some sun, though I made sure to lather on the sunscreen.

Such a beautiful day,

Because on Saturday, I went and got my first tattoo.  I had mentioned that I was getting this before (well at least I think I did, old age sure does creep up on you! ;-) ) that my aunt and were getting matching tattoos for my mom.  Where here is mine.

Mom loved angels.

The angle of the picture makes it look a little squatty but really it looks nice.  The redness is gone and it already peeled just need to let it finish healing.

Sunday, I had a lovely dinner with Aunt Becky and Aunt Fran before heading back to my apartment to watch the USA vs Portugal World Cup match.  So annoying :-/

Then as one final treat to myself, I got a manicure and pedicure on Monday after work.

Then this week is also the week of my church's festival.  I took off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to help prep and work.  I did have good intentions to post yesterday but never left the hall to get home.  That was a long day.  I am not due  back until 3 pm today so I have some time to share with you.

So without further ado, let's talk about knitting :)

Oh La La!

So I finished the first part of the back and the right front.  I need to start on the left front soon.

Willow Square Blanket

I did manage to get 2 more squares done.  Love how all of the colors work together.

Blast Off Shrug

I finally got my swatch done.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Borders

Things have been very dull lately.  Just work and home for the most part and knitting at night.

So without further ado, let's talk about knitting :)

Hue Shift Afghan

It's Alive!
I finished all of the sections and couldn't wait to put it together!  I used a crochet slip stitch to join because I am faster with a hook than a darning needle.  It created a ridge but there are so many ridges from picking up stitches that it really doesn't matter on the back.

Also, I needed to create a ridge so the pattern would line up.  I tried mattress stitch and whip stitch and both caused the squares to be slightly off from one another.  Given the optical attractiveness of the pattern, it would have bugged the crap out of me with the squares being slightly off in the center.

I still have some ends to weave in but its mainly along the seams which I can catch as a distraction from the border.

Speaking of the border...

We have the start to a border
So based on the expert opinion of Samie (NotYourGram'sAfghan), I decided to go with a camel colored border vs a navy border.  That blue is bright in this picture, but in natural light is actually pretty dark and the colors would have been lost with the navy border.

I have 3 garter ridges done so far.  I am aiming for either 15 or 20 ridges and will make that call when I get that far.  I do need to switch cable lengths again.  I am using a cable that makes the needle set 60" long and its just too long.  Need to switch to something a little shorter so the stitches move easier as I knit the rows.

I did crochet two more  Willow Square Blanket squares but failed to get a picture this morning before work.  I hope that now all of my yarn is freed up from this blanket that I can get more done between border rows.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday - So Close

Nothing to thrilling or exciting going on this past week.  Work and life are moving along and before I know it, it's Wednesday and time for an update.

So without further ado, let's talk about knitting :)

Hue Shift Afghan

Almost done!
I can see the light at the end of the mitered square tunnel.  This has been a long time coming but I am so close to finishing this section.  I plan on getting it done this week and sewing all 4 sections together this weekend.

This is looking awesome!
I have been debating about a camel color for the edging vs navy.  The original called for black but since my dark blue is so rich I worry that it won't look right with the navy.  If you have thoughts or opinions please let me know to help me decide.

Oh La La!

Slowly progressing
I know it doesn't look like much but I am making progress with this project.  I get a few rows in when I get sick of mitered squares.  I have to knit this block until its 6.25 inches and I think it's at 5.5 right now.  The next step is the arm hole shaping then picking up from the provisional cast on for the fronts.

Blast Off Shrug

I messed up the pattern a bit but it's just a swatch ;-)
So I got another pattern repeat done on my swatch.  I have one more to go before I can wash and block it.  As of right now I am pretty sure I found my needle size and yarn.  Wish me luck.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Friday, June 6, 2014

Finished Object Friday - Hats Galore

So I sort of went on a hat making binge this past winter.  Alas I didn't really get around to telling the world about them but there is no time like the present right?

So here we go!

Pittsburgh Panthers Hat

Pittsburgh Panther Hat 1.1
I made this hat for as a Christamas Gift for Jenn's Fiance, Ryan.  As a fellow Pitt Grad, I knew I wanted to make him something blue and gold.  He is an insurance appraiser so I knew a nice hat would be the perfect thing for the rest of the cold winter.  

I found this pattern on ravelry because it showed a nice transition between the colors without screaming PITT!  I figured it would work in a work environment.  

The knitting was fairly easy even though I sort of mis-read the pattern and started the colorwork about 2 inches too early.  Oh well, I made it work and I think it turned out well.

Ravelry Page - Pittsburgh Panthers Hat
Pattern - Pittsburgh Steelers HatNeedles - US 7/4.5 mm
Yarn - Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted Solids & Heathers
Colors 848 Navy, 460 Golden Glow
Duration - 10 Days

Recovery Katahdin

Recovery Katahdin 3.0
Lovely teal and brown

As a get well gift from work, I was sent oodles of yarn and two projects to work on.  It was a lot easier to knit and crochet while I recovered from surgery than to read.  I had the attention span of a gnat but stockinette in the round I could do from muscle memory.  Plus it was ever so forgiving when I put it down to nap for a bit.

So as I opened my lovely surprise gift, I knew I had to make this hat ASAP.  The pattern was awesome and taught me how to do a jog-less stripe which was awesome.  I loved this hat and wore most of the winter.

Recovery Katahdin 3.2
A little hat selfie

Ravelry Page - Recover Katahdin
Pattern - Katahdin
Needles - US 5 /3.75 mm and US 4/3.5 mm
Yarn - The Fibre Company Acadia
Colors Blue Heron, Pinecone
Duration - 14 Days

Hurricane During High Tea

Hurricane During High Tea 3.2
From the back
The lovely thing about evolutions is that they progress from one color to another.  This one went from a lovely plum purple color to a nice chocolate brown.  I made this hat with Jenn in mind even though it hasn't gotten to it's recipient.  I was really happy with the pattern and love the swirling purl rib that travels up the hat.  It was deceptively simple with a great result.

Hurricane During High Tea 3.1

Ravelry Page - Hurricane During High Tea
Pattern - Hurricane Hat
Modifications - Cast on 101 Stitches
Needles - US 5 /3.75 mm and US 4/3.5 mm
Yarn - Twisted Fiber Arts
Colors - High Tea Evolution (Fall 2013 Downton Upstairs Club)
Duration - 13 Days

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

<3 Heather

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Beautiful

Hello my lovely followers! I hope all is well with you and I can't wait to share what's going on in Amaryllis world.

I had another long weekend and spent it with awesome people. I had one last day of vacation before the end of the work fiscal year (May 31st).  I was able to move a doctors appointment with my sleep study doctor (I have sleep apnea) to the late morning so I could sleep in later than normal.

After my appointment I met up for lunch with Samie from NotYourGramsAfghan and Dianne (friend from work and knitting).  Samie posted a great post about our day but I the long an short of it was that I bought yarn that I had no intention of buying but it's going to make a great Ginny's Cardigan.

Impulse Buy!
Saturday evening I met up with Aunt Becky and Aunt Fran for Indian Food.  I have been craving the stuff constantly lately and none of my family is into the savory dishes except for them.  I am so thankful that do like it because dinner was awesome.

Sunday, I had breakfast with Lucy and her fiancĂ© Kevin.  Lucy and I were college roommates and we don't get to see each other a lot because she moved back east to Philly.  We do talk online all the time and I am in her wedding next June.  Seriously it's like a year from this weekend!  So exciting.

Lucy and I after breakfast at Pamela's Diner

Other than that I went to the gym and worked on my knitting but what I did realize recently is that I actually believe people when they tell me that I am pretty and beautiful.  I can't tell you the last time I had confidence in my beauty and it's kind of awesome.

Yeah, I kinda rock!
So with that said, let's see what I have worked on this week.

Quadrant 4, half way done
I don't know what has kept me working on this but I have been churning out mitered squares like it's my job (alas, it's not).  I just want to see this blanket done and want to start on the border.  So I keep pushing through and soon it will be done. 

I am already on the 4th color of the 5 in this quadrant.  I remember how long it took to make my first quadrant. That just shows how far I have come as a knitter.

I ripped out the original work I did on this sweater
So I know I talked about this sweater before and I was really excited for the concept but in practice I didn't like how it was turning out.  So after a bit of time in timeout, I decided to rip out all of my work and start again.

What I have so far
I changed my striping scheme to make my life a little bit easier and have less ends to weave in.  So I do a few rows every night and it's coming along.

Just a bit of a swatch
So I got an email from SweetGeorgia Yarn talking about patterns and new colors of her yarn.  Needless to say, I fell in love with the Nineteen Twenty Shrug and immediately bought it and started to plan.

I had lovely hot pink and orange yarn from SpaceCadetCreations in Celeste that I bought at a local yarn festival.  The color was a "Department of Rocket Science" color so that means the dyer was experimenting and hasn't decided what to do with the color way.  I really hope it becomes a part of the regular line up because it's gorgeous.

Anyway, I started to swatch with the recommended needles but it was just too large so I ripped it out and started again with smaller needles.  I need to keep working on it so I can wash and block it before I get started.  So excited about this though :)

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Daughter

So I had been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now.  While I have been busy, really I have been avoiding thinking about this particular post.

Last year I talked about how happy and content I was during May.  I was happy for the nice weather and things were finally starting to settle down in my life.  While all of that is still true, this particular Mother's Day was hard.

#tbt Mom and I.  See I've always been cute :)

The first mother's day after my mom passed away was just dreadful.  I was inundated with awful daytime TV that talked about Mother's Day ad nauseam.  It was an assault to my sense and I just wanted to bury my head in the sand and let the day pass without me.  Last year, I was okay with holiday.  Still a little sad but it came up so quickly that I just went with the flow.

This year was a mix of both and it made me angry.  I was just angry at all of the commercialism that was taking place.  As I reflected on my relationship with my mom, I think I did a pretty good job of letting her know that I loved her and that she was important to me.  Why did I need a specific day then to show her what I thought I was evident everyday?

So the emails, the commercials, the sales, the ads and the restaurants just rubbed salt in this hatred for the holiday.  I wasn't mad at mothers or the love that was being shown just that commercialism dictated it to  happen.

I know that kind of sounds like a cranky curmudgeon but I couldn't help how I felt.  I did however have some amazing women help me make the most of the weekend.

My Aunt

Aunt Suzie coloring my hair on Saturday morning :)
Selfie while getting my hair colored

I am so thankful to have her in my life.  She and I miss my mom so much but we are able to move on together.  She has helped me so much with everything but especially before and after the surgery.  She and I are even getting matching tattoos of an angel to honor my mom.  My mom loved angels and our Christmas tree is covered primarily in angel ornaments.  

I am getting it in Black and Grey on my Shoulder
Aunt Becky and Aunt Fran

Had a great dinner on Saturday with some of my favorite ladies.  Love you Aunt Becky
That look that Aunt Becky is giving me is just perfect
First of all, they are some of my most devoted readers.  I get texts if I haven't posted in awhile.

I get all my nerdiness from Aunt Fran
Mathra!  Where's the Butter! -- Mystery Science Theater 3000

In general, some of my best adventures of my childhood involved these women.  Whether it was a sleep over and chasing Raider (their dog) around the living room.  Jumping on the little trampoline and then crashing on the couch to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I have always loved spending time with them.  The best thing is that they loved my mom so much and I just want to soak up all of the memories and stories they have of her.

Of course there are many others but these women were so awesome this year.  Instead of letting me mope around the house during Mother's Day we went out and had dinner.  It made me feel a little less alone

After this weekend I finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and while there were many things that made me cry in this book the following quote just summed up how I was feeling regarding Mother's Day.

"you won't be a mother anymore." "As long as either of us is alive, I will be your mother," she said. "Even when you die, I will still be your mom, Hazel. I won't stop being your mom."
While I am not a mother the thought that I was no longer a daughter rolled around in my mind that weekend.  I really needed to hear read that even though my mom is gone I am still her daughter and she is still my mom.  I hope that I make her proud.

<3 Heather

Friday, May 30, 2014

Finished Object Friday - Shapely Boyfriend

I truly try and let the yarn guide my project.  I want to love what I work on and I want the yarn that I am using to be the star of the project.

This project has some history.  It started it's life as a vest that I just wasn't pleased with and ended as a cardigan.  In the middle however, I decided to make it a different size and ripped it apart again.

Back in October, I decided I wanted to finish my half done sweater but when I looked at it I realized that I was making it too big.  I had just started my journey to weight loss surgery and knew that even if I finished before the surgery, I wouldn't be able to wear it for long.

So I started over and was shocked at how fast this project went.  I began with a new skein of yarn and once that was used I ripped out the needles on the old sweater and started to use the yarn that was already knitted.  I was about 4 skeins into the sweater and I didn't want to rip it out and re ball it.  So I am carried around 2 sweaters, one that is growing and one that is shrinking.

Shapely Boyfriend 4.0
Beginning Again.

I was shocked that in 6 short weeks I was able to finish the sweater.  I had the entire thing done and the buttons on but still had ends to weave in.  It was also about the time that I was prepping for surgery so I hung it up in my closet and left it alone for a bit.

Shapely Boyfriend 8.0

Then earlier this month I stared at my almost finished sweater and decided it was time.  Between loads of laundry I sat on my bed and worked through weaving all the ends.  It was done and time for it's photo shoot.

It's Done
Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

<3 Heather

Now for the Details:

Ravelry Page - Shapely Boyfriend
Needles - Size 10.5 mm Chiagoo Red Lace Circular Needles/ Size 9 mm Red Lace Circulars for band
Yarn - 9 skeins of Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn in Pumpkin
Duration - 6 weeks
Pattern - Shapely Boyfriend by Stefanie Japel in Knitty Deep Fall 2011

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Update 3)

Image by Wade Kelly
I have another collage photo to post.  I realized that I like these monthly look backs on how I am changing and improving my life since the surgery.  Once again I have to thank the Amazing Dianne for her photography skills and taking another shot of me at the mall during our knit night.  And a quick thanks to Samie for taking May's picture.

Collage through May 2014

These last two months have flown by and I am super happy with my progress.  I have tried to make it to the gym as much as possible and am really happy with my endurance.  I am able to do 22 push ups in a minute, 45 squats in a minute and jog a mile in 15 minutes and 35 seconds.  What that equates to is 98.5 lbs lost since the surgery and 125.5 lbs since September.  My clothes are really just falling off of me and I have a ton of stuff to donate.

My 6 month progress shot!

For my diet, things have been looking up.  I can tolerate chicken again as long as I eat it slow and take small bites.  I am now allowed to eat salads and other fibrous veggies and am really happy with the variety.  Unfortunately, I had to adjust some things so I can get enough protein.  I have been noticing that my hair has been thinning so I eat with protein in mind first.

All in all I feel great, my energy is amazing and I am really happy with my progress so far.

<3 Heather

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Three Quarters

Hello again, I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day and weekend.  I am so thankful to those who dedicate their lives to defending our country.  I definitely try to keep that in mind during the long weekend.

I did however have a nice relaxing weekend where I didn't do to much.  I basically hung out with family, went to the movies (Godzilla - it was awesome!) and cleaned.  Really exciting stuff but I did get a new duvet cover for my bed and new sheets to compliment it.  What was even better was that it was all on sale!  Score!

I got a new duvet cover and pillows :)
So in love with Pink and Orange right now
So other than that blanket work has kept me entertained these past two weeks.

Hue Shift 23.2
Three Quarters of the blanket are done!

So I have been super motivated to get this blanket done.  I really love seeing these blocks come together.  I did try and start to join them but the mattress stitch pulled the patterned stripes off and it hurt my brain.  I have a few tricks up my sleeve though.  I am going to try again but move a bit further into the block than my first test.  If that doesn't work then they are getting whip stitched together.

Hue Shift 23.3
The last quadrant

While I put the thoughts of joining in the corner to think about what its done, I started on the last section.  I purposely made sure this was the last section because these are my favorite colors of the blanket.  I knew when I started this thing that I was going to need a good motivator to get this last section done and so I put these colors last.

That combined with the Willow Square Blanket have really gotten me grooving on getting this project completed.  I even have the ends weaved in on two of the 3 completed quadrants.  Which is huge because there are a lot of ends.  I try and finish some ends after I complete a row so everything is ready when I start to join and complete the border.

I am going to modify the border on this blanket.  Since it's coming out smaller than I thought it would, I am going to make the border thicker to make the blanket larger.  I am also using Navy as the border instead of black like the sample had.

All in all I can't wait for this blanket to be done to snuggle underneath.

That's it for this week.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather