Jelly Rolls and Margin

Tonight I head off to DFW Fiber Fest to hear Franklin Habit speak and take a class from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!

Next week’s post will be full of stash enhancements and new tips from the experts, but this is a robust week as well. I finished a shawl and started another pair of socks. We tested out one of last week’s freezer meals. I swatched for a sweater- this is the #yearofthegarment after all. Enjoy!


Finished Objects

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“Sugarplum Shawl” by Rachel Roden

I’ve finally finished my 2017 advent knitting- the Sugarplum Shawl by Rachel Roden. It was not my favorite knit… although I did enjoy working on it while avoiding my Christmas gift knitting. I think it was the border that tripped me up. No matter how many repeats of that border I did, I could not get it memorized.

Now it is done. There’s someone on my 2018 Christmas list that will really love the colors in this shawl. So one more gift knit can be crossed off the list!


WIP’s- Focus Projects

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Modified “Jelly Rolls” by Mara Catherine Bryner

I’m in love with my April Socks. I’ll make at least two pairs of these shorties- one for myself and one as a Christmas gift. There’s a good chance that I’ll still have enough of the main color {Lolodidit’s Every Day Socks in the Honeydukes colorway) to make one more pair of Jelly Rolls. I’ve got to finish up all the yarn since it’s my April #slaythestash2018 declaration.

I’ve only changed the heel so far. The pattern calls for a super cute two-color slip-stitch heel flap. I did the first two rows and thought, “nah!” So I subbed in my go-to “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” instead.


Something New

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I got a new Sucre Sucre Miniatures progress keeper in the mail this week- Harry Potter’s birthday cake from the first book and movie. Poor Hagrid just can’t spell a thing can he?

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Circular gauge swatch for “So Faded” by Andrea Mowry

One of my favorite new-to-me techniques is for swatching in the round. I used to knit all my stockinette stitch gauge swatches flat. This doesn’t give you an accurate measurement for a sweater that will then be knit in the round. But, like heck I was going to double the size of my swatch to knit it as a tube.

I think I owe it to the Grocery Girls for introducing me to this technique. Instead of casting on twice as many stitches to swatch in the round, just cast on your normal amount {for me, between 20-30} onto circular needles and SLIDE your stitches back to the right side after every knit row. You just carry your yarn loosely across the back! And when it’s time to block it you soak it and snip the threads you carried so your swatch can lay flat. Brilliant!

Here’s a quick video from Webs on this technique.


What God’s Teaching Me

I continued my daily devotional on margin this week. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was Day 6’s video sermon on scheduling margin- times of rest and time for God. Schedule? Well, “schedule” is my middle name!

I’m in a period of my life where my time is still my time. We don’t have any kids, I have a job where work is finished at work, and I have fewer weeknight commitments since we’ve moved away from the city. So why do I feel busier than ever? I think my problem is over-scheduling the “stuff” to do on my list and leaving no space for the valuable things in my daily life. I feel quite accomplished when it comes to meeting knitting, cleaning, and health goals… but what about spending quality moments with my husband or time spent in God’s word?

I know there is already margin in my day for the things I want to do. Every morning I get to work just a little bit early so I can eat my breakfast, knit, and watch Instagram stories or knitting podcasts. Why not exchange this time for my daily devotional? This wasn’t a hard switch for me this week as I already had that time blocked out. Now my 15 minutes each morning is spent framing my day for God. This is a habit I want to continue.

I thought I was doing a good job scheduling times of rest… really I was just making rigid goals for my day that allowed no wiggle room for new fun plans or to stop in the middle of a chore/row and talk with my husband. See, I am good at scheduling rest for myself, but with no consideration for how my husband seeks rest. My idea of rest is an evening at home with no responsibilities except to knit and watch Netflix. But Kent is filled up by spending time out of the house with friends doing something. We have a conflict of rest.

Hmm… how to combat this tendency? I think for me that this is a mental space issue not a physical time problem. How do I literally learn to “let it go” and be flexible with my times of rest?

These next couple of weeks I’ve just decided to start saying “yes” to things that build up my relationship and “let it go” to {some} things that are self-serving. When Kent asked to go rent a movie from the video store and wanted me to ride in the car too INSTEAD OF STAYING HOME TO COMPLETE CHORES??! Okay, yes! This builds my relationship. When he wanted my attention for a few minutes even thought I just settled down with my brand new sweater cast-on… yes, I can make time to find rest in my relationship.

I feel confident I’m not the only one who struggles to find rest. Whether it’s demands on your time or just differences in how you rest with your spouse, God tells us that it’s important to schedule rest in our lives. Without margin, we will have no space to appreciate the beautiful people and circumstances God gives us. I don’t want to be so busy that I neglect what is truly valuable. Thank you, Lord, for being the best example of margin.


What We’re Cooking

Mmmm! I made a family recipe of chocolate pies to celebrate my husband’s birthday. This is not a measured and true recipe- therefore I was so happy when they turned out perfect! I’ve had so many failed attempts at these. You know, trying to get them to taste just like your mother-in-law’s, it hardly ever happens.

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We had our first of the big freezer prep from last Sunday- Mushroom and Spinach Crockpot Stroganoff from New Leaf Wellness It was delicious and so easy! I defrosted it in hot water for about 45 minutes {because I forgot to place it in the fridge the night before} and then let it cook for about 7 hours. We had some steamable veggies and frozen meatballs on the side.

It did look a little gritty, but it didn’t taste gritty at all. Kent loved it too! This recipe was easy from freezer prep all the way to cooking it in the crockpot, so we will definitely enjoy it again. We cooked a 16 oz bag of egg noodles so we were able to eat it for two nights!

My lunches this week were on the hearty/healthful side- meet the Green Goddess Glow Bowl from The Glowing Fridge. I’m not so sure how I feel about Tahini… but now I have a whole lot of it to use up! You might see more recipes with Tahini in the future.

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Now how about something tried, true, and comforting- Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole. I just love casseroles because you can clean up your kitchen while they cook AND they typically feed us for 3 nights. Something I really liked about this recipe was using raw chicken- this saves me a whole 35-ish minutes to cook and chop chicken before the casserole-making even begins! I would suggest adding some salt and pepper to the mix. Other than that, it was tasty!


What I’m Reading

Can I say that I’m sort of ready to be finished with “A Wrinkle in Time”? I just need to put in one good afternoon of reading and knock it out. Perhaps paired with some knitting and Plum Deluxe tea?

My reading time is currently the five minutes between crawling in bed and falling asleep with the light on. This is not conducive to much reading. I used to read so much more when I walked on the treadmill several times a week. Now I walk outside so that my dog can get some exercise too, so I can’t prop up a Kindle anymore. It might be time to make use of my local library’s audio-loan function. {Just placed a hold on “A Wrinkle in Time”/ #520 on 36 audio copies / *sigh*)

HP Socks
“The Boy Who Lived” colorway by Must Stash Yarns follows the Harry Potter series book jackets!

Next up for me, a re-read of the Harry Potter series. I’ve been saying that I’ll do this every summer for the past five years, so it’s time! I already have the audiobooks downloaded on Audible and my husband and I together have many physical copies. This way I can read the physical copy at night and continue with the audio copy on a walk or while I’m knitting. I can’t wait to reread my favorite books. Maybe I’ll knit another pair of Harry Potter socks while I’m at it!


Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty

 

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