No NaNos for Me This Month!

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This year, I’m not doing NaNoWrimo, NaNoKniMo, or any other monthly challenge… and I feel kind of guilty. I just have a lot of stuff on my plate. I want to finish my 16 in 2016 challenge, I’m working on a new secret design that I thought was SO AWESOME but now think it’s a little lame… I just don’t have a lot of knitting confidence right now, which translates to not a lot of self confidence.

I’m happy to watch from the sidelines while everyone else works hard, though! 😉

I DID print a copy of the novel that I finished last year. It’s languishing away, unedited and un-looked at by anyone. (Maybe it should stay that way?)

I’ve Moved!

I’m hopping onto the WordPress bandwagon, and while I was at it, I decided to get myself my own domain. This means that I’m going to be trying to be serious about this side hustle knitting thing. Which, if you’ve been tuning in frequently, you might notice as a theme.

Anyway, I’m hoping to be able to make enough money to pay for my hosting from sales and blog income. That’s about $275 in three years. If I can’t, I promised myself that I’d be moving back to my free hosting. So, we’ll see!

Hope the mess isn’t too bad. I’ve lost all of my photos for the past year, but they’re stored in Flickr, so worst case I’ll re-upload all of them… gross but managable since I haven’t posted much!

Jean Tannen the cat.
Here’s a picture of JT in a box, so that you don’t get too mad at my mess.

I had an engagement party and no one died!

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Adorably(?) bad kerning

I was very nervous about our engagement party. It helped to set a goal – when asked about my expectations, I just said “As long as no one dies, I’m happy.” So when things when inevitably wrong (the CD that was playing party music skipped, high winds tore down handmade bunting, I forgot one of Dan’s relative’s names) I just told myself “no one is going to die” and was able to float through the party with something that was close to zen.

Of course, that probably didn’t seem zen to some people. I was really hoping everyone had a good time, and so I tried to get the two families to mingle. Eventually I realized that I should have at least taken some photos, so the only photos I have are kind of grainy 8PM post party stuff.

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Yes, these are the LEFTOVERS.

We had a great dessert table, with all sorts of sweets! Sadly only one cake was gluten free, and that ran out fast. At least I got some before it was gone, but at 9PM when the last few stragglers were eating cookies and milk I felt a little awkward munching on veggie tray leftovers.
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I test drove my homemade bunting that I put together, and I learned two things. First, I need at least 10 times more bunting for the wedding. Second, wind and bunting don’t mix. Wind and decorations don’t really mix in general. Most stuff had to be brought inside, where my hard work went pretty much unnoticed – oh well. No one died.
My favorite detail of the party? This thing.
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Yeah, the gift table is not really pinterest worthy, sue me.
It’s a cloud peeing rainbows. We saw it at the party store and I bought it on a whim. I love it. We brought it home with us, and I spend the entire drive like this:
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Overall, I had an awesome time and would do it again. Oh wait… I am, and it’s going to be even bigger and I’m going to get married at it. 
Yikes.
Better just knit some more and not think about that.

I’m Engaged!

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Ok, I’ve been engaged for about two weeks now, but I’ve been so overwhelmed talking with family and friends offline, that making the post here slipped my mind.
So, obviously, my 16 in 2016 goals might be… not met? I’m not sure what I’m going to craft for this. Dan and I got the book A Practical Wedding and the workbook as an engagement gift from Alysia, so we’ve been using that to plan things. It’s really been great!
Our date is set – June 3rd, 2016 – and we have our photographer/videographer already booked! We’re also planning an engagement party, engagement photos, and all the trappings. I’m really excited!
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Oh – of course, I should tell you how he proposed! It wasn’t a surprise. (Can it really be, when you’ve been living together for almost four years?) I knew that he had the ring, but I didn’t know what it looked like. I knew he was going to propose to me on a weekend. He really wanted to go to Maine, so I kind of figured he was going to do it there. We had a great day at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, then pizza for lunch before going out to the island.
Before dinner, he suggested we take a walk along the beach and watch the sunset. We did, looking for sea glass and just having a good time. Once, he bent down on one knee to pick up a piece and there was an incredibly awkward moment where I thought he was going to propose and I felt myself crying with happiness. He just looked up at me confused and we had a good laugh. I said “You know when we reached the point in our relationship when you couldn’t get me any jewelry in ring-sized boxes? Well, now I guess we’re at the point where you can’t bend down on one knee for things.” So he pointed out the seaglass and I picked it all up.
When we had walked up and down the beach, we sat down on a big fallen tree that was turning into driftwood and went to compare treasures. When they were all on my lap and we had come to the traditional decision that it was “a pretty good haul,” he stopped and gave a cheesy gasp.
“Oh, wait, I have something here in my pocket.”
It was a suede jewelry box, that was slightly sandy. I opened it and the ring was inside.
I said yes, of course 🙂
Oh, and here’s a closeup of the ring. It’s a little big, so I have to get it resized this weekend.
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Magpie in Lexington, KY

So I travelled to a plant in Lexington to go to an awesome workshop on ergonomics.  It was really cool to see how each task is broken down and the motions are analyzed – and the Lexington area has got a lot to do and see (well, not for someone who has to sit in the hotel room and prop her leg up! 🙁 )
The one place I made sure to check out was Magpie Yarn downtown.  It had a great selection of yarns (by color and size) and the woman there was so helpful.  Here’s some pictures of the inside to get a feel of the ambience:
It makes me want to sit and knit all day. But, doesn’t take much.
Anyway, I decided to buy some local Kentucky yarn – which, strangely enough, there isn’t a lot of.  I got two skeins of Colors to Dye For, which are very squishy and beautiful.
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This blue is for me, it’s a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend sock yarn.  Cashmere socks.  I feel so rich!  I actually think I might make wristwarmers for these, or maybe another shawl… I broke my cardinal rule with this, which is not to buy yarn unless you have a plan for it… but it was in the spirit of tourism/supporting local business/Iwantitandit’snotlikewe’regoingtostarveifIbuythis.
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I don’t want to oogle over this light blue/blue/purple mix too much because I bought it for Alysia.  When I find pretty vegan yarn I like to get it for her because she can’t work with animal fibers.  The colorway is “Panda” which is her fiance’s pet name for her… right? Destiny!
Then this last yarn isn’t Kentucky-made, but I was inspired by it.
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A few weekends ago Dan and I went to a convention and he bought me a corset that was cream and this exact color yellow.  So, I can make a shawl with this that will match! At least, that’s the dream.  My current pace of knitting probably makes that dream laughable, but whatever.  It’s a silky smooth sock yarn from Knitted Wit, and the colorway is “Sunshine.” I actually think I might design with this yarn, a first for me in like 6 months.  
Ugh, it’s been six months since I finished Moby and I still don’t have the pattern up :'(

Christmas Vacation!

Well, things got a little crazy this weekend.  We were driving through Vermont when this happened:
 At 6 o’clock on a Saturday night, no one was open to even look at the car, but the person that towed the car said he would come in and look at the alternator the next day. 
So we stayed at a hotel, the Paradise Inn, and ate some bad pizza, bought some souvenirs, and were on the road by noon on Sunday.  It was fun and I took some nice photos, but I’d rather PLAN a weekend getaway and suddenly find myself having one!

Rhinebeck Recap 2013

I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with my mom and Ash this year and go to Rhinebeck! My mom is a travelling nurse, and she’s staying in Hyde Park… so naturally we said “Hey, mooooomm… would you mind letting us stay in your apartment and doing nothing but talk about knitting for the weekend?” And, weirdly enough, she said yes!
So, Ash and I met up on Friday, ate dinner, and we blocked our Rhinebeck projects out on my mom’s carpet while watching really bad horror.
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Then, on Saturday, we realized neither of us had a yarn needle, so we ended up kitchnering the armpits of her sweater and weaving in the ends with a bobby pin.  I felt the most clever I had ever been, and she took this picture of my hands that “look like the light of god is shining down on you.” Not my words!
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So, we perused all the crafts and yarn and demos, and I didn’t really see anyone famous, sadly.  The past few times, I’ve seen someone that I’ve known online (whose blog I follow) but have been too shy to say hello.  I don’t want to be a creep! I did meet some lovely sheep though.
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I spent more money this weekend then I have any month this year on personal stuff.  I feel almost ashamed! In addition to yarn, I bought:
1.) A 2013 tote bag
2.) A basket (I’ll use it for other stuff besides knitting!!)
3.) Boy scout popcorn
4.) A hat that my mom and Ash said looked cute on me
5.) 2 project bags
6.) A bouquet of sweet annie, whatever that is – it smells so good!
7.) 3 magazines
Ash and I also started on some socks.  There was a booth that was winding yarn into skeins for a fee – it was awesome! 
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And I managed to finish the toe – it’s Rainbow by Steam Valley Fiber.  Here’s a closeup:
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Have you ever been to Rhinebeck? What did you get? Did you go this year? If you did, why didn’t we meet up!? I’ll kick myself 🙂

Mail Coming and Going

I sent a lot of mail over the weekend – my mom’s birthday gift, my redditgifts yarn swap, and a mountain of letters.  And today, I got some mail!
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It’s an embroidery thread holder from Bugs and Fishes! I won it over at her blog a while ago.  I love her blog, by the way, and her felt squares are my favorite things in the world.  (I used them to make my hedgehogs, but she doesn’t sell them anymore.)
I can’t wait to embroider something… my fingers are just itching.  I have way too many projects on the docket 😉
Oh, P.S. – she also included one of her Vintage Scissor cards.  It’s really nice quality and looks like a work of art! I’m contemplating putting it on my wall.

More Photos from MinneSOHta

I got back on two weeks ago, but catching up with things has been so crazy that I didn’t have time to share these.
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The hotel that I stayed at (Holiday Inn East in St Paul) actually has an authentic Korean chef, so one night I got Stone Pot – I never had Koren food, and I was scared that it was spicy, but it wasn’t! It was kind of like fried rice that you cook yourself.
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I had never been to Culver’s, so after work I went with two coworkers.  One of them was like “Why do you want to go there? It’s not that good.”  They said that when I said I wanted to go to Sonic, too!  But we didn’t feel like driving too far for food, so it was a good idea. There’s nowhere that has similar service near where I grew up – you take a number and then the server brings it out to you. It’s pretty cool! Their custard wasn’t bad, either.  It was a mix between Abbot’s (from Rochester) and Rita’s (from PA)
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And, of course, I went to the Mall of America! I was told that there was a ferris wheel in it, it was so big… no one prepared me for the amusement park that’s in it! I went after 5 on a Wednesday, so the crowds weren’t bad at all 🙂 I’m not much of a shopper, but I love looking in stores for things.
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I haven’t done much knitting since I came back, though.  I’ve been trying to get my head above water and catch up with everything I missed!

Liebster Blog Award

I got nominated for this award by Jordan from In It to Knit It.  You give eleven random facts, then answer 11 random questions.

So, here are my facts:
1. When I was little I slammed my hand in a car door and can’t bend the first joint of my left ring finger.
2. I love listening to people talk.  Everyone has a story and once they start talking it’s amazing what everyone has in common.
3.  My Myers-Briggs type is ESFJ, which is the “nurturer” subtype.  My type has changed 4 times since I first took it five years ago.
4.  I try really, really hard to eat healthy, but I have a craving for cheeseburgers that is bigger than most lolcats.
5.  I am addicted to reddit.  I check it on my phone every chance I get!
6.  I keep a journal.  I think it’s the best idea to write in one, especially when making a big decision.  I have looked back on my journals and thought “Right, that’s why I did that… I forgot.”
7.  I have lots of good friends, but they don’t know eachother well, and I’m nervous when I get married and they are all my bridesmaids they won’t like eachother.
8.  Sometimes I stop and think and am amazed at normal things like GPS (four satellites?!) and the fact that we walk on two legs.
9.  Sometimes I get this burst of energy and want to run.  It doesn’t last long. It reminds me a little bit of rabbits, they do something similar.
10. I do a little yoga every day.  My dream is to be able to do firefly pose.  I never look as graceful as photos of yoga on the internet.
11.  I am devestated by the fact that Google Reader is going away in July.  That website is like my connection to all my “online friends.”

Jordan’s questions were:

1. What is your favourite holiday destination?
 Until recently, I didn’t have an answer to this… but then I went to Maine with my boyfriend last summer.  So yeah, that! How can you say no to a view like this:
2. What is your favourite type of food e.g. Mexican, Italian, etc…?
I really like Pho.  It’s the best comfort food for me, but I can’t eat a whole bowl!
3. If you had an elephant what would you name it?
Mr. Sniffles.  Even if it was a girl 🙂
4. If you could do any job for a day what would it be?
I wouldn’t want to change my job.  Ask me again in ten years maybe?
5. If you had to change your name what would you change it too?
I would pick something easy to spell.  Maybe Alice Jones?  It’s hard being the only Alyssa Lynough on the internet, so Alice Jones would probably blend in well.
6. Do you play nay sports?
No.  I used to play tennis but haven’t since highschool.
7. What is your favourite item of clothing you own?
Any of my hand knit socks.
8. Do you play any instruments?
I can play flute and guitar, though I haven’t played either in a while.
9. Can you speak any other languages?
I can speak French and ASL enough to be understood.
10. What is your favourite dessert?
It depends on the time of year. Spring – Strawberry Shortcake; Summer – Key Lime Pie; Winter – Chocolate Bread Pudding.
11. Fruit or vegetables?
That’s hard.  I would probably pick vegetables because they’re healthier.

So, now that that’s done… I’m going to nominate eleven people! You don’t have to pass it on, it’s just fun. 

My eleven people are…
1. Sara from KnottyGome Crafts
2. Dee from Tangled Up in Sticks and String
3. Kathy from Irish Eyes Knitters
4. Rilana from PDX Princess
5. Mummybear from Slugs and Snails
6. Kate from Knits In Class
7. Louise from Wildflower Wool
8. Kate from Under the Red Umbrella
9. Alysia from Anxiety and Coffee
10. Carla from Tiny Angry Crafter
11. Emily from Yarn Miracle

And my questions are…
1. What little thing are you amazed at right now?
2. What can someone do that will cheer you up almost no matter what?
3. The ocean or the beach?
4. What’s your favorite word?
5. If you had all the time and all the money and no carpal tunnel, what would you knit/crochet?
6. What’s one thing that you loved as a kid that you’re not sure why you liked now?
7. What’s your spirit animal? (Be as silly as possible.)
8. If you were stranded on a desert island, what snack would you miss the most?
9. If you had the ability to go anywhere just by thinking about it BUT you were invisible and couldn’t be heard or interact with anything, where would you go?
10. You get home to find a mysterious package.  You open it up, and inside is that thing that you need right now.  What is it?
11. What is your worst knitting or crochet mistake that you’re comfortable talking about?

Wow, I really like asking random questions.  I think that was the fastest part of this blog post.  Anyway, I’m excited to see what the answers are! (Or if people read my blog… >_>)