Harry Potter and the Unfinished Object

I have the day off today {built in weather day} and I intend to knit and crochet as much as possible! Perhaps, I’ll work on my yarn closet as well.

This week I ripped out a hat, revived an old WIP, and relished in Scrappy Sunday. I review the cleaning products I made last week, discuss movie morality, and learn even more about introversion. It’s a word-heavy week- so take it in bits. Thanks for reading!

(Un)Finished Objects

I don’t have any FO’s this week, but I did frog a hat instead of letting it linger in project purgatory- which brings on a sense of completion, right? The “Infinity Crochet Whirl Slouchy” hat that was challenging me so much a few weeks ago has been terminated… indefinitely.

The promise of a fresh skein of yarn and pom poms.

First, let me say that the problem is me and not the designer or the pattern {although she could have made it a little easier, huh? I kid.} I think I chose the wrong yarn. My yarn was a beautiful lavender alpaca that my loving husband bought for me on a trip two summers ago. The yarn is great, but not right for this tricky pattern. It’s to flimsy and fuzzy to work cable stitches on a 5.0mm hook.

Second, I’m still pretty new to crochet. Having to work cables AND go into the row below AND link double crochets… it was all just too much! Some day I might get back to this project, but I don’t want to make any promises, especially not to myself. I don’t have any picture evidence of this project except the swatch I worked in a different yarn.

See I can infinity crochet!

WIP’s- Focus Projects

“Half Moon Oracle” by Kristin Lehrer with a pup in the background.

I’ve revived my Half Moon Oracle shawl. I started this shawl on January 13th of this year, and I’m not quite sure what made me put it aside. Perhaps it was the desire to get all my 2017 WIP’s out of way first. Now I wish I hadn’t stopped!

I’m using all three of the sock yarn skeins I received in Gracelynn Wool’s Harry Potter Club last October/November/December. The pink is called “Yule Ball”, the purple “Pensieve Memory #21” and the neutral speckle “Happee Birthday Harry Potter”. They create such an interesting combination, and not one I would normally seek out. I really wanted to use these Harry Potter-themed skeins together and I’m loving the result.

The beginning of my scrappy “Granny Stripes” blanket.

Another WIP I’ve thoroughly been enjoying is my scrappy “Granny Stripes” by Lucy of Attic24. I went through quite of bit of swatching to get this blanket just right. I ended up using a size E hook to chain 302, then switched a D hook to work one row of sc through the back loop only. I followed the rest of the pattern with my D hook. {Full details on my project page.}

I’m mostly using leftovers, but I purchased some Diagon Alley-themed minis {more Harry Potter} from Teeny Button Studios at Fiber Fest and love the way they look in the blanket. Kent says that using new yarn goes “against the spirit of #scrappysunday,” but alas, I used them anyway.

Something New

Last week I shared that I’m trying out my own household cleaners. I’ve been using them for nearly two weeks now and I’m happy with them. I do find myself a little worried about if they are working to kill germs- I never worried if my store-bought cleaners did their job, but I probably should have! So I did a little research.

All my new cleaners lined up and ready for action.

Vinegar uses its acidic properties to kill germs. The all-purpose cleaner I keep in the kitchen has vinegar, water, and lemon essential oil. At first, I was afraid to spray this concoction openly and only sprayed it on my cloth. Why the fear? I was openly spraying 409 on counter tops without a care where it was landing- yikes! So now I’m bolder with my spritzes and it’s working very nicely.

I also use this granite counter top cleaner that combines water, rubbing alcohol, and lemon essential oil to clean granite exclusively. I’ve read that vinegar can wear down stone, so I try not to use the all-purpose cleaner above every time I wipe down the counters. I definitely DO NOT spray this openly because rubbing alcohol is highly flammable. I spray it directly onto a cloth and never use it when my gas stove is burning. I also hide it under the sink instead of out on the counter {wear my pretty amber bottle of all-purpose spray sits} in case my husband tries to clean.

I love having the recipe right on the label.

For the bathroom, I chose a combination of castile soap, water, and tea tree oil. Castile soap is so gently effective that it can be used to clean open wound (ick!), but was it properly cleaning my toilet? I chose this formula because my bathroom counters look like marble; I learned vinegar can etch marble– better not risk it. Tea tree oil is naturally anti-microbial and has lots of other great uses too!

I realized that the toilet needed something a bit stronger than castile soap and tea tree oil when I noticed that our toilets were a little… ahem… smelly. They never smelled when I cleaned with Clorox wipes {and I only did that once a week}. The good news is that vinegar cuts odors in addition to killing germs; so I decided to whip up tea tree oil, water, and vinegar spray for the outside parts of the toilet. I’ve been using baking soda along with a few sprays of the castile cleaner on the toilet bowl. {I’m trying these toilet bombs next!} Now all is fresh and lovely on the porcelain throne!

So many cheese shakers, so many possibilities.

Remember how I ordered TWELVE cheese shakers for my baking soda… well now I’ve found spots in the house for four of them. I’ve got one in each of the bathrooms we use every day {for the toilet bowls}. The third is sitting next to my kitchen sink- any time I have a pot or pan with some extra stuck-on food, I sprinkle a little baking soda from my shaker and scrub away. The fourth I have on stand by for my couches because…

Next up is figuring out a way to eliminate dog odors from the upolstry- ugh!

What God’s Teaching Me

While I thought I’d be writing more about financial margin this week, the devotional I’m reading through the YouVersion Bible app took a hard left on two wheels into sexual sin. Whoa, weren’t prepared for that one were you? Me either. At this time I’m not going to dive any further into sexual sin than I have in my testimony. This is because I have far too much to write for this section and I can’t say it without sacrificing the privacy of others. {Quick note: If you’re in any type of relationship I highly recommend the “Guardrails” series by Andy Stanley.}

However, I’d love to touch on another point of morality, and one I faced this weekis that movie okay for me to watch? Let me first back up. Something happened to me in my first year of being a Christian, a change that I didn’t have a conscious effort making. See, God was waging war against the sinful part of me that loved watching “Scandal”* and adding colorful words to my sentences. Suddenly the violent show lost its appeal and curse words felt prickly on my tongue. I know this was God’s doing because I didn’t set out to purify my consumer habits, it just happened for me.

Nowadays, most movies or shows {or people} that include a lot of crude language, unnecessary sexual content (y’all know what I mean, it’s often laughable!), or disturbing crimes cause me to turn away instantly. There was even a moment last year that I nearly walked out of the theater because there were so many uncalled for sexual innuendos that did not add to the plot whatsoever. I know this is not an experience that happens to most people, but the things we surround ourselves with have a way of seeping deep into our souls.

So how can we make sure we’re protecting ourselves from the overly sexual and violent media in our theaters and Netflix feeds? When I find myself wondering if I should view a movie, I go to Plugged In. This site is awesome for screening movies for yourself or your kids. A movie rating (R, PG-13, etc.) only gives us so much information. Plugged In gives you a wealth of knowledge about the positive elements, spiritual content, sexual content, violent content, crude or profane language, drug and alcohol content, and other negative elements for all the Blockbusters. It also gives movies a content rating for kids, teens, and adult; this ranges from light to heavy.

For example, “Black Panther” {great movie!} is heavy for kids, medium for teens, and light for adults. It has a long section of positive elements and a small section for sexual content. Violence is the biggest reason that this movie is heavier for the kids and teens than it is for adults.

Image result for amy schumer i feel pretty

And now, the movie I’ve been debating is… “I Feel Pretty.” While you can’t review movies until the day they get released, I’ve felt God tugging at me on the decision to see this movie all week. The box office gives it a PG-13 rating, which is usually a-okay for me, but the Amy Schumer movies that I’ve seen before have been highly sexual.

After looking over the Plugged In review, I decided that the movie should be okay for me. They have it as a medium for adults- as expected, most of the negative content is sexual. The good news is that we have MoviePass; so if the movie becomes too inappropriate at any time, it doesn’t feel like a waste of money to walk out.

*Don’t worry, just because you watch “Scandal” does not make you a sinner. This show was a problem for me.

What We’re Cooking

Saturday night we enjoyed “Texas Toast Garlic Bread Pizza“- a super easy recipe that’s a little healthier than delivery pizza. All I’ve ever known is Pepperidge Farm frozen Texas Toast, but my husband {a native Texan} says that this is not true Texas Toast. Hmm, what do you think?

Sunday we had another delicious frozen meal from New Leaf Wellness. {We only have five more so I’ll have to plan another freezer prep session in about a month!} This meal was probably my favorite so far- Chinese Pepper Steak. Now it was the meal that took the longest to prep since it takes three bell peppers and two pounds of top sirloin- chopped, but it was well worth it. On Sunday, all I had to do was dump the contents of the bag in the crockpot; then four hours later, put some jasmine rice in the rice maker. God bless modern cooking technology.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken- be careful not to pour in too much oil like I did here. Oops!

Tuesday we had easy Tuscan Garlic Chicken. I love this recipe because it’s quick to prep and requires only a casserole dish and a cutting board. And let’s be honest, I could eat sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts all day long- yum!

For my work lunches this week I went heavy on the veggies with this “Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables” recipe. I didn’t mind all the chopping because there were only a couple of each type of vegetable. While the vegetables are in the oven, the recipe instructs you to make the quinoa AND they actually get finished about the same time. I love when recipes tell you exactly how to multi-task. The meal turned out great and I was able to get four lunches from it.


What I’m Reading

I’m still listening to “Quiet” by Susan Cain and I’ve had so many moments where I’ve been thought, “YES! That’s me!” If you are an introvert and you need validation, just read this book- you will no longer feel alone.

Here’s a quick test to see if you are mostly introverted: Do you often let your calls go to voice mail? Does the forced greeting of your pew-mates at the beginning of a church service make you cringe? When you’re away from home, do you fantasize about the things you will do once you’re back in your safe place? Do you often hold deep conversation with individuals at parties while your friend/spouse is gabbing in a group and having a “good time”? Do you prefer to take your lunch at work accompanied solely by YouTube and knitting? Welcome to the land of introversion.

I often feel guilty about the amount of time I need away from the busyness of the world. I don’t necessarily want to be alone I just want to be allowed to do my own thing {namely knit}. Then I want to get back out into the world again- go to work, go to a class at my gym, see my friends, and then cozy up back at home with my dog, husband, and my yarn. I thought this was a crime… that I’m “missing out”. But perhaps not.

Susan talks about building niches into your day that allow you to be your true self. For both introverts and extroverts there are aspects of their lives that require them to act like the other. So taking care to have moments alone or more time to talk with friends is not only appropriate, it’s necessary.

From the knowledge I’ve reaped in this book, I can say very confidently that my decision to go from a classroom teacher {of 25 kids} to an interventionist {only 3-5 students at one time} was a matter of staying true to myself. I could perform as a classroom teacher, but it exhausted me. I’m so much happier as an introvert in my current role when I’m able to be my authentic self with scholars- and they respond better to it.

I think that introverts can reach people in a way that extroverts cannot. In most situations you can trust that you’re getting a genuine emotion from an introvert {sorry, we really don’t want to shake your hand at church, stranger!} whether negative or positively-received. That allows introverts to connect deeply in the relationships that they choose to foster, keeping a few close friends.

This book has been absolutely fascinating  and has changed my perspective of myself and others. I highly recommend it to anyone who is an introvert or is married to one.

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

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty

3 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Unfinished Object

  1. Ever read the Mitford series by Jan Karon…She was told she would never be published because of no sex and not a single curse word in nine books! She’s sold millions 🙂

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