Thursday, March 23, 2017

Simple Toddler Watch Cap

This is a basic watch cap that I threw together for the munchkin a few weeks ago. Little hats are a great projects because they're quick to knit up and they don't take much yarn so they're great for using up scraps! For this hat I used Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lana D'Oro in Charcoal and have been very pleased with it. The alpaca makes it incredibly soft and it's very warm. I may have to use the rest of the skein to make myself something cozy!

Worsted weight yarn (~1.25oz/75yds)
size 7 round needles
size 7 double point needles
8 stitch markers

Cast on: 80 stiches, join in round, place stitch marker
Ribbing: k2, p2 around, move stitch marker and repeat rows until ribbing measures approximately 3 inches high.
Body: knit around, move stitch marker. Repeat until body measures approximately 3 inches high.
Decrease: Row 1: (knit 2 together, knit 8, place stitch marker) 8 times total. (72 stitches on needle)
Row 2: knit around, moving stitch markers as you come to them.
Row 3: knit 2 together, knit to stitch marker, knit two together first two stitches after marker. Continue alternating knit and decrease rows, moving to double point needles as necessary. Once you reach 8 stitches on the needle cast off and pull tight.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Late Summer

Alright, ya'll. I have not fallen off the face of the earth but life got busy and then it was SUMMER! But now sadly things are cooling off and I'm back to blogging. Not that I'm unhappy to be blogging but I was rather enjoying spending my time doing other fun things. And now I've got plenty of fun things to fill you in on!

Seriously though, life has been full and mostly crazy fun. In the last six months Justin's grandma passed away, we've worked on house projects, worked on yard projects, bought a new car (my dream car; a Suburu Forester!), had Katherine stay for two weeks, run (a little), gone on weekend trips and camping trips, and started prepping for Baby Lange.

21 weeks

Yup. You read that right. We're expecting a kiddo right around New Years! I'm 25 weeks along and feeling great. I've had a super smooth pregnancy so far and haven't really had to slow down at all yet. I did have to give up running fairly early on but only because I don't have the money to buy a new $70 sports bra at this point. Sorry for the TMI but running bras are crazy expensive! I'm still walking plenty though to make up for it. I'm currently taking brisk 3 mile walks four to five days a week and that's been helping keep me sane.

It's been a very uneventful pregnancy though and I'm pretty thrilled with that. For realz though, why didn't anyone tell me how hard it is to pick out kid names?!? We're not finding out the gender so we have to have both names but seriously though. There are so many awesome options! I currently have about 50 of each gender on my list. Granted, some of those are only options for middle names but still. That's a shit ton of names to sort through. And Justin is making his own list without looking at mine. So it'll be fun to compare and see how similar our tastes are!

24 weeks

So there you have it. That's been our main source of excitement this summer. I've got lots more to say about what we've been doing but I figure that I'll save all that for later posts. For now though, if you have kids what did you name them and did you have a hard time narrowing things down like I am? Tell me what names you love! There's always room for a few more on my list! ;-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Maple Syrup Weekend 2015

The title says it all, really. It was a gorgeous weekend in mid Indiana at my uncle's cabin. Plenty of mud and muck to be found but so much fun. Boiling sap, hikes in the woods, gun shooting, and piles of delicious food. It really doesn't get much better than that. Our day of labor netted us 1 3/4 gallons of maple syrup; just enough for every family to take home a pint or so.

This was our third year attending and it was the warmest by far. It was in the 60s both days and by Sunday afternoon the sun was so hot that I stripped down to a sleeveless shirt. Frankly, the whole weekend was just basically perfection. But then I've thought that about the last two years too. What can I say? I love Maple Syrup Weekend :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015


There are eight color samples in this room. Oof.

Most of my supplies.

Woot! It's that time people. I'm starting painting today. The east bedroom/guest room is first up in the docket. Hopefully I'll have progress photos next week. But the next two days will just involve putting fresh coats of white on the ceiling, trim, windows, and the inside of the closet. Aka, the boring stuff. But it needs to be done and it'll be so worth it once it's all put together.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Couch Shelf DIY

Fun stuff is still happening all over our house. I'm not sure that I'll ever actually declare my house "done". I'm having too much fun working on things!

A few months ago one of my projects was to put a shelf up behind our couch and I'm a huge fan. This idea came to me ages ago when we put our couch in front of the window but I didn't get around to it until this fall. But now that it's done I can't believe that I waited this long.

This was a pretty simple, and inexpensive, project in the grand scheme of things but fairly time consuming. There's lots of quick steps with downtime between them so it's good for a weekend at home. It made a big impact in the room though and I love having it there to hold my water bottle. And, let's be honest, lots of other things too.

I threw together a semi tutorial for you. Nothing very detailed but here's what I ended up doing.

For this project I used:

1x6x8 pine board
3 shelf brackets
2 shelf screw sets
paint brushes

A couple of general notes: 
Always make sure that you wipe down the board before priming or painting it. That gets rid of any dust or hairs that might land on it while you're not working on it.

And always make sure to read the directions on the cans before starting this project. Different materials have different dry and re-coat times and you want to make sure your project always gets as much drying time as the manufacturer says is necessary! I find it helpful to take notes on what time I finish a coat so that I know when I can start the next one.

Step 1: Sand and prime shelf.

This step was definitely the fastest for me. Because I wanted a shelf for behind my couch I didn't cut my board. But if you wanted a shorter shelf or two you could certainly cut this down to size. I've heard that some hardware stores will cut them for you when you buy them but I've never tested that out myself. Make sure that you have enough brackets for your project. If you're doing multiple shelves then you'll need at least two per shelf.

Once your board is the right length, sand the shelf lightly with fine grit sandpaper and then put a thin coat of primer on the shelf. I primed, and painted, all sides/edges of the shelf because I knew they were going to be visible. But if you're planning on hanging the shelf somewhere where no one will see the bottom then you can just do the parts that will be seen.

Step 2: Paint board with 1-2 coats of desired color

I used what was left of a paint sample container in a smokey blue. It was a basic flat latex paint and I diluted it very slightly with water to help make the brush strokes less visible. I'm not sure that was really necessary but it turned out well. I put two coats of paint on my shelf because one coat didn't give very good coverage. Maybe if I had not diluted the paint it would have worked better. I really don't know.

 Step 3: Coat shelf with polycrylic

Once again how many coats of sealant you choose to do it totally up to you. I went with three on the tops and sides and one on the bottom. I wanted all surfaces of the shelf to be sealed because I planned to put drinks and food on the shelf. If you're using it for decoration only you might not even need the polycrylic at all!

Step 3: Hang your shelf!

I don't have a lot of particular guidance about hanging your shelf. Most of it's up to you: where you want it, what it's function is going to be, etc. For me, I wanted it under the windowsill but not touching the couch top. I knew I'd be using it to hold all kinds of things: books, mugs, my knitting, and snacks for sure. And because I wanted it by the couch I knew that it had the potential to be climbed on by child visitors so I wanted it to be very strong. We ended up going with three shelf brackets, each of which is mounted into a stud. A pair is rated at 100lbs so the shelf should be able to hold any sized kid who might want to perch on it! (Or some some adults for that matter!)

Also, make very, very sure to get all your marks level. I wouldn't just eyeball this since you're putting weight on it. You wouldn't want anything to fall on your head while you were napping!

Step 4: Enjoy!

All in all, this was as easy as I hoped it would be! I worked on it off and on over the course of a week or so while I was home and it came together just like I envisioned. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments and I'll answer what I can. Happy projecting!

My cozy corner

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Run 2015: January

Alright, peeps. Welcome to Run 2015 January edition. I'll be keeping my running posts sweet and simple this year. One per month with additional race posts as desired. I don't actually have any races planned at this point but I'm hoping to maintain my half marathon base throughout the year as much as possible. Who knows? That might come back to bite me in the ass but for now I'm loving the freedom of not running much/at all! Because seriously, I'm not up for going out and running in 16 inches of snow right now!

January was a light month with only three runs and a little bit of weight training. I predict that February will be light as well but I plan to be back at it in March. Here's what my running looked like in January though.

January 17
     3.11 in 31:41, average 10:11
     Why yes, we really did take four weeks off after the Huff. It wasn't really intentional. We meant to take off one week and somehow it slipped into four. But really. It was pretty awesome. And this was a short easy run to get us loosened back up.

January 24
     5.24 in 56:57, average 10:52
     This run has a really funny looking map. We went to our favourite bike trail for a six mile run and the trails were so icy that we didn't quite make it a mile before we gave up. So we loaded up and drove to a different park and ran paved, and plowed, trails instead. This was a nice comfortable run. Our times weren't really that slow. The first icy mile worked out to be a 13 minute mile and that kind of threw off our average!

January 31 - Winter Night Trail Half Marathon!
     13.1 in 2:51:09.9, average 13.04
     Third run of the year as a half marathon? Yes please! You all, this was an awesome race. Like seriously, seriously awesome. As the name of the race suggests we ran a half marathon, on snowy/muddy trails, in the dark, in the middle of winter. And I would do it again in a heart beat. The race took place down in Indy in Eagle Creek Park and started at 6pm as the light; just as the light was almost gone.

We had never run any of the trails so they were completely new to us (although I had been to the park a few times as a child and was entertaining Justin with stories of field trips) but the route was fairly level, only a few minor hills and small stream crossings. It was well marked in most places and we ran two 6.75 mile loops. Endomondo clocked me in at 13.6 miles so it was a little longer than advertised but not enough to make a difference.

Who doesn't want to finish under a disco ball?

And yeah, that was about it. We put on our headlights, hit the trail around 6pm and finished up a few hours later. It started snowing about an hour into our run and snowed the rest of the time. It was actually the beginning of the storm that ended up dumping a foot of snow at our house. The snow was gorgeous blowing across our headlight beams and piling up on the trail. 

The best way to describe it is just fun. It was easy and comfortable and we had beautiful weather and beautiful scenery. I actually wish that we had signed up for the full marathon because I would have loved to have gone around a few more times. Of course, that would have meant that I would have needed to keep up with my running after the Huff but it would have been worth it!

After the race!

There's a sister race coming up in June. The Summer Night Trail Marathon (and half and quarter) that sounds like it'll be just as fantastic as the winter one was. I think we may do it. What could possibly be better than a run on a dark night in a gorgeous park with a couple hundred of my closest friends?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Welcome February!

Clean snow

We got 12 inches of fresh snow on February 1st and it was the perfect thing to get my month off to a good start. I'm not much of one for new years resolutions. I need time to think these things through and that one week between christmas and new years isn't near enough time to get my priorities straightened out. But February 1st? That I can rock. I came up with four main areas that I want to focus on this year: finish the interior of the house, grow a vegetable garden, increase/maintain my physical health, and continue my personal education. These are all a little vague on purpose. That way I can pick one or two things that fit within each category and work on them each month.

So without further ado, here's February's list of goals:

Paint the guest room
     I think we've finally picked a color for this room (yay!) so I'll be able to work on it soon. This will involve painting the ceiling, trim, and the inside of the closet as well as the walls so I may not get this finished this month. We don't have any furniture for this room but painting is definitely the first step!

Exercise 3 times a week
     We slacked a little with the running since the Huff and I'd love to get back into that but with all the snow and ice that might not happen much. But even if I can't run, I can still do other things. We have a set of dumbbells in the basement and there are lots of fantastic yoga videos on youtube. Plus I tend to count things like shoveling snow and hauling dirt as exercise. So this should be doable.

Install pegboard in kitchen
     This will go a long way toward giving us more storage for our pots and pans and it should be pretty simple. It is a project that Justin and I will work on together though soo we'll see when we get it done.

Research seed starting
   Fairly self explanatory. I don't think that I need to start any of my seedlings in February but I don't actually know! So I need research and come up with a game plan for how and when that needs to happen. Probably next month's goal will be to actually start them!

Blog twice per week (Tue & Thur)
     This is actually one of the goals that I anticipate being more challenging for me. I love writing but I get distracted by my responsibilities inside and outside of the home. But I really love going back and rereading my old posts. Especially the series that I've maintained such as Run 2014. I want to have a record of what we've been doing and our lives. But that means that I need to write more often! This goal is my start at making that happen.

Well, there you have it folks. My five main February 2015 goals. Did you make any resolutions this year and if so how are they going?