I have used H&R Block in the past, but have decided to give a try at Turbo Tax. Year for trying new things!
I started the Prayer Collection for 2018 and this year it will be… Beanies! There’s a lot of newborns on the way so it just made sense since I didn’t have much time between baby showers to get them ready.
The first one I made was for Karis using We Are Knitter’s The Baby Wool which is 100% baby alpaca in Natural and Camomile. It was made using 5.00mm knitting needles. You can also make hats using double pointed needles or circular needles, but I decided to use what I had at the time to create this piece.
Pattern: Striped Baby Beanie (Newborn, Knitting)
- Cast on 60 stitches with Color A.
- Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 2.
- Row 2: Purl 2, Knit 2.
- Repeat 1-2 2x totaling 6 rows.
- Row 7: Use color B to knit entire row.
- Row 8: Continue B to purl entire row.
- Row 9: Use color A to knit entire row.
- Row 10: Continue A to purl entire row.
- Repeat 7-10 until you the 11th stripe finished is color B or row 22.
- Row 23: Use color A to knit entire row.
- Row 24: Continue A to purl entire row.
- Repeat 23-24 2x totaling 6 rows. (Bind off on the last row.)
- Leave a long tail to sew through top edges to bunch top of hat.
- It’s up to you if you want to bunch it right side in or right side out, but I flipped mine inside out to bunch it.
- Sew in end tails and voila! Finito.
The hat will stretch to fit the baby’s head and it ends up being about 5″ tall.
Use MGMEMHJ0Z for $12 off your order at WAK!
I finished my first cardigan! This used 9 skeins of the DROPS Andes yarn. They recommended 1100 grams (11 balls) but it ended up being too much for a small. I think it was written into the pattern for mistakes, but if you’re pretty careful I wouldn’t get more than 10 balls for a small.
You can get the pattern for free from GarnStudio.com and they also have a section filled with videos to show you the different techniques you’ll need for the pattern. I found them super helpful. They do use a different technique when wrapping the yarn on the needle, but if you understand the process it shouldn’t mess you up too badly.
I did make my sleeves slightly shorter since I’m more petite, and I used huge buttons instead of the regular large. I bound three stitches for buttonholes instead of two so the button would fit through. And I also noticed at the end the arm holes did not perfectly fit into the 40 stitches of the sleeves. I sewed it to fit, but with more patterns I’ll learn if that’s normal or not…
To insure that I made each side exactly the same, I took row by row notes on a notepad so I made sure to purl in the same row number or knit. It was a helpful thing to do since measuring cm or in can be a little off since the material is stretchy. Can’t wait to wear it!
Yarn finally arrived from We Are Knitters for me to finish the basket weave blanket! (Baby’s rattle pictured for size reference.)
This took 7 skeins of The Baby Wool in Grey, 100% baby alpaca. The blanket came out to be about 2′ x 2′ or 24″ x 24″.
I think as I begin to develop my own patterns and pieces, I’ll be able to write more coherent patterns for you all. If you’re interested in making this blanket also, please check out the video below for the tutorial I used on how to make this stitch. It’s essentially one giant square in that stitch.
- US Size H or 5.00mm crochet hook (Clover Soft Touch) per the yarn’s suggestion
- When making the basket weave design your item has to be made in multiples of 8 and then add 7, this blanket was 103 chain stitches across the bottom.
- On her video she did 4 rows of each, making 2 chains across every other, but I opted for 5 rows to make 3 chains across every other. It looked more pleasing to me since the vertical ones were 4 across. It’s really up to you how you want your blanket to look.
Get $12 off your order with coupon code MGMEMHJ0Z at WAK!
Video tutorial below from Bella Coco:
Here’s my work in progress so far for the Aredhel cardigan.
I always have a hard time unraveling work I’ve done if there are mistakes because like any newb, dang we spent a lot of time on this! J always makes me unravel the mistake though, and in the end I appreciate it, because then it looks perfect. 😍 But it’s also kind of like life, I mean you’ll never get the time back, but to be able to fix your mistakes, make it right again, is something so human and beautiful. Can’t wait until this is done!
Scroll through the gallery to take a peek!
I’ve been kinda obsessed with alpaca of late, can you tell? ☺️ These lovely skeins of yarn come from Garn Studio’s DROPS Design (shipped by Nordic Mart based in San Luis Obispo, California). They were having a 30% off alpaca party during the holidays and I couldn’t resist. I picked up the Andes (size E yarn) and Nepal (size C yarn). Although the sizes are different the content is the same, 65% wool and 35% alpaca. These colors looked so beautiful online and getting them in person was even better. I guess you can say that about any yarn mail I get though… They were the perfect shades of off white/grey I was looking for, although, please keep in mind that computer monitors can vary in display color.
I really liked this company mostly for their vast array of free patterns! I was so surprised when they mailed me three books of patterns with my order. It was really nice to have the patterns in print and online available for me so I could take them with me without needing to open my phone or computer. Plus it definitely gets me excited to order more yarn and get cracking on some of these… Marketing is working on poor me. 😂
Of these three colors I’ll be making (or attempt to make) three sweaters. Two for me, one for J. It’s actually been a really long time since I’ve picked up knitting needles, the first pair I borrowed from my mother as a pre-teen. For the patterns to work with the yarn, I went ahead and picked up the recommended sizes along with the types so I could accomplish it without needing to convert (since I’m such an amateur). If you’re in my shoes, don’t fret. Be ambitious. Just like the WAK company, DROPS has videos on the pattern pages to help you get started. (SO HELPFUL these videos… Yay for 2017 and videos.)
I’ll post up my WIPs and which patterns I’m working on, as well as the finished projects soon!
We picked up a Tiger Tail and guide book yesterday. (If you need a two-pack, Costco is currently selling one for $40USD.) We got a pretty good deal on one at Target and their fitness promotion and we don’t need two so we just picked up the single.
The book was pretty pricey, retail, but I found it to be pretty useful at showing you where to target the pressure or trigger point to relieve some of the pain. For someone who had to go through physical therapy, etc, I found this to be really great and saved some money going to get massaged or at the chiropractor. I’ve actually been looking for a resource like this for some time now, I’m really happy I’ve found it.
Although the Classic Tiger Tail is a super simple device, it’s huge draw was that it was simple and didn’t contain all the weird looking knobs and bumps of the other guys. After trying several in store, we just felt that the simple one was able to target the areas the best since your muscles are already non-linear so to speak. (Full disclosure, we also have a Homedics Cordless 3D Tru Touch Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat which works really well when leaning against the back of a couch and moving it down your back.) I also like that it can be cleaned with anti-bacterial products because I know J is gonna use this without a shirt or long pants after a workout. 😒 And, despite the Asian sounding name, it’s made in the USA!
We might acquire more products from this family at a later time, but looks like this is a great basic pack to start 2018. Recommended!
This year has been incredibly wonderful to say the least. Prosperous, even, as my Auntie C had put it in the a holiday card. This year has been filled with many stresses, but enjoyable still. So many moving parts with our lives. So many significant events in 2017… (maybe one day I’ll tell you) and tons of hosting large parties this year. I enjoy the planning process and putting everything together in the background, and it has been such a joy to share my visions with others. Although I wouldn’t say it’s pay-me event planner status, I’ve been pretty impressed with my developing amateur skills. Hopefully with each passing party, it will get more focused and fluent. Less sweaty, hopefully, at the very least. More pictures, definitely.
As I look forward to the coming year, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for what is to come. Although most of the advice throughout my life has been variances of “be careful” and “you don’t know what you’re getting into”, I realized that life is really taken one step at a time, one minute at a time, one breath at a time. So far, it’s been much easier this way, less worrying about what I cannot control. I would say 2017 was mostly spent learning to let go. Still definitely a work in progress, I am only human, but it has been helping to be in my current state, to feel helpless, to feel frustrated at the lack of mobility and restrictions, and also to learn to let go of it, and realize the beautiful (and thoroughly amazing) process that is happening. Sort of like driving a Prius and sitting in traffic.
Some part of me is somewhat skeptical. I keep running through my mind that maybe my wishes won’t come true in the end, but I think about the journey that I’ve embarked on, and all the people that have come into my life to stay now, and I know it won’t be for naught. This year has taught me about how much community I have, how much loving family, and how not alone I am. There will always be people to celebrate with you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, and mostly, to love you. So although this “era” was short and sweet this year, it was a full year to fully enjoy and relish in all the good things that have happened, and this year I’ve never felt more loved.
If your year didn’t go as well, please remember, not everyone’s journey is roses and peaches. Sometimes you have to live for 30 years in darkness before you see the light. And feel it. Truly feel it, no matter what comes. Don’t give up on yourself. And as everyone keeps telling you, it’s true. It’s all in your head. Be grateful for all the wins, no matter how small. Take a moment to breathe every day.
Best of luck.
I don’t think I’ve ever estimated how many balls I need for a blanket properly… This is 2′ or 24″ wide. But that’s the last of my four balls of grey The Baby Wool (100% baby alpaca). J let me finish my project instead of making me unravel it, so I got to order 3 more in the mail based on WAK’s Skein Converter. In order to make the $60USD for free shipping deal, I added another color skein of baby alpaca and 3 balls of The Pima Cotton. 😍 And now we wait for my happy yarn mail from WAK…
Oh, P.S. I ordered a bunch of skeins from DROP Yarns also via Nordic Mart… SO MUCH YARN. ☺️ So happy. Will post pictures of the haul when it arrives…
If you want to learn this technique, please check out Bella Coco on YouTube! I added a third row to make it more even to my eyes, but after you learn it, super easy to design how you want it! I used a Clover soft touch crochet hook in 5.00mm or US size H to make this pattern on The Baby Wool from We Are Knitters.
The Feel Good Food Plan from healthyish of 2018 begins January 2!
At the beginning of the year, every one and his mom usually embarks on their new year resolutions, and general attempt at getting into good habits. I thought this plan was well thought out and includes shopping lists, and wonderfully (pictured) recipes. I might give this one a go this year since I cannot join on the church-wide fast.
So you want to feel amazing this year? Forget the detox. The Feel Good Food Plan is a mind-body-belly strategy for getting the most out of 2018. It’s not about counting calories or cutting out foods. It’s about finding joy in healthy cooking through whole foods, simple techniques, and tons of flavor. Starting on January 2, we’re cooking five just-so-happen-to-be healthy dinners each week for two weeks. We’re mastering lunch prep once and for all. We’re getting out of our breakfastruts. We’re getting all kinds of inspired. And we’re eating dessert. Obviously!
All the recipes are dishes we’d cook any time of year. The dinners are made to be cooked in under an hour, with ten or fewer ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery store. We left out preservatives and refined sugars, and many of these recipes are already gluten-free and Whole-30 friendly. Some, like this broccoli and tofu and these cashew noodles, are naturally vegan. If you want to know how to adapt a recipe, leave us a comment on Instagram or email us at healthyish@ and we’ll try to help. Above all, this plan is flexible. You can cook the recipes straight through or work them into your regular cooking routine.
Want in? First off, make sure you’re signed up for the Healthyish newsletter before January 2, so you always know what to cook each night, and follow us on Instagram, where we’ll be giving away free stuff and sharing extra tips for mastering the Feel Good Food Plan (and life) in 2018.
Don’t forget to get a copy of their PDF plan in case it’s not available later in the year… Because anytime is a good time to start good habits!