Monday, June 30, 2014

2014 Goals Update: June


1: one self portrait (per week)
Success! This month's pictures started out slow (aka boring to me/not much effort/ones I'm not proud of), then got a little interesting, I think.
week twenty-two | week twenty-three | week twenty-four | week twenty-five | week twenty-six

2: compose photos (every day)
Fail! Yes, really. It seems that I missed a day somewhere, but I don't know I've got to get that figured out. Then, like, last Thursday or something I forgot. I'll figure something out to even it up, though. 
154 | 155 | 157 | 158 | 160 | 161 | 165 | 167 | 168 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 178 | 179 | 181 - which is at the top of this post

3: read the Bible (every day)

4: journal (daily)
Fail. Another thing I'm going to start doing again in July, but possibly with more of a Princess Diaries style. 

5: blog (daily)

6: walk

7: bike

8: 52 projects
I am so behind. Ugh. It doesn't help that I've ripped out two hats in the last week. Boo. But whatever. I'm in a reading mood and I LOVE IT. 
project 16 | project 17 | project 18 | project 19

9: 52 books
Success! Like, hardcore! I haven't posted the list yet (...because I was really busy the day I should have done it and completely yes I will be starting a calendar), but I read 14 books this month! Yes, really! I'll post the blog tomorrow with the full list and link it later. 
what I read this month

10: experiment with photography
Success! I did three separate photobooth-style "shoots" for my mom's work. I included one picture as my 25th self portrait, which gives you the general idea. 

11: make six new meals for the family
Fail. Kind of. I decided I wanted to try quinoa, pinned some recipes, but it was my mom who bought the stuff and made the actual dinner. So.

12: learn to play the keyboard

13: at least one photo book

14: travel
Fail. The lack of this has seriously been bumming me out, then I remind myself that I'm moving to Chicago in, like, 51 days.

- rl

Previous 2014 Goals Posts:
Original List
January Update
February Update
March Update
April Update
May Update

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Self Portrait (26/52)

First, I am halfway through this project! Is that crazy or what?! I hate that so many have been boring, and I know the reason I didn't try harder with those is because I just expect the second half of these to be epic, because a good amount of them will take place in another city! Yes, I am already thinking of what my first self portrait in Chicago will be. I plan ahead, ok?

Second, this afternoon I spent a few hours organizing + editing photos from last night's photobooth at the banquet/graduation ceremony for a program at my mom's work. It was a tad exhausting, which is just confirmation to me that I'm not meant to be a photographer. Given, I'm sure very few photographers feel energized when they edit pictures, but I'm sure they feel a little bit of excitement at least, right? Maybe I'm rambling a little here, but whatever. I'm tired.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Excitement Builds


This is the view from 16 floors up in north Dallas. I totally flipped out when I saw it, making me even more excited  (is that even possible??) for move-in day! Only 53 days to go...

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Business Cards


I finally had some business cards made! I really wanted them to be a combo of from the Maker and my blog, but you could say that I've temporarily put from the Maker on hold, seeing as I just don't know where to even start with it and don't feel the urge to figure it out anytime soon. So instead I made them about my blog/contact info/custom knits. And I'm happy with my decision.

I used advice from Dream A Little Bigger on where to buy, then the design was inspired by Elise's. I ordered 500 cards, and they are b&w on the front, then color on the back. Hello, saving money by not paying to have a side that was already black and white to be printed in color. I will definitely stick with that for now on. I didn't check what the price would have been to do color on both sides, but I'm sure it wouldn't have been that much more.

I'm really happy with them, considering I designed them with Photofiltre (freeee!) and then only paid $20 or so, including shipping. The only part, design-wise, that bothers me is that the bottom picture on the card is totally an uneven distance from the edge when compared to the image on top. Oh well.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lesson Learned

A few weeks ago, one of my mom's coworkers asked if I could knit baby booties + hats. I said yes. I hadn't ever knit booties or hats that small, but I figured it wouldn't be too difficult, right? And it really wasn't, except I was slightly determined to not buy anymore needles (I have an interchangeable set plus a couple pairs of DPNs for the tops of hats, ya know), but ended up having to, and you can see why in this picture.

The bootie on the left was done with a US3 needle, which is two sizes smaller then the US5 I used on the bootie on the right. The right one was done first, and, when I saw the gigantic size - definitely not fit for a newborn! - I had to go to JoAnn's and buy US3 straight needles. Right now the final bootie is on the needles, and will be completed shortly. As much as I hate that I wasted the yarn on the first bootie, I think it will serve as a nice reminder that needle size is very important and maybe, just maybe, I should try a gauge swatch one of these days...

- rl

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I've done a lot of knitting this week, including 1.5 pairs of baby booties & a hat. Whew! The baby hat shown in the last picture will be finished tonight as I finish reading the Harry Potter books, and then I'll start the last bootie. I also got a little bit of cross stitching in! I'm not really excited to finish the text of the project and be forced to move on to the actual cross stitching. Sigh.

- rl

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Project 19/52: Basic Baby Hat

This was my first project using magic loop the whole time. For those who don't knit, magic loop is when you use a needle length much longer than you need, so that you can fold it (not really, but that's the best way to describe it) to use only a small portion of the needle. A very helpful technique to keep from buying 1.3 million cord lengths.

This hat was done pretty quickly. I did the 8 rows of ribbing, 24 rows of stockinette, then the crown and I was done! Super simple. I'm excited to (one day) use this pattern with the bigger and smaller sizes it gives. For now I just used the newborn size.

The yarn is the same as the baby booties, and I think the softness will be good on a little baby's head too.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Project 18/52: Oh Baby! Baby Booties

The bottom, where everything is seamed up! All the little knots from weaving in the ends are on the inside of the booties.
The "leg" part of the bootie folded up. Definitely cuter folded down, no?

Don't even try to tell me that these aren't the cutest things ever! I'm so in love with the (tiny) products of this pattern. It was the first pattern I paid for, because buying it includes the rights to sell the products you make! That's worth it to me. Especially since the only reason I knit these was because I was being paid to do so.

These are pretty quick to knit up. They took me a week, but if I had focused on them I could have finished the pair within two evenings. Booyah!

The yarn is from Bernat and pretty stinkin' soft. I think they will be comfortable enough for little babies.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Self Portrait (25/52)

This week's self portrait was brought to you by my mom's work! I'm the "photobooth photographer" for them for a few events in June, so tonight I put the timer on and hopped in front of it myself to use for this week's self portrait!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014



I have no knowledge of ZhongShan, China, except that they make embroidery hoops there, apparently. While working on my cross stitch tonight I realized it was the first time my stitches were being covered by the hoop, then when I went to take a picture I found that this was the most interesting picture.

Yes, I am still making crazy progress on the Princess Diaries books. No, I'm not making such good progress on the knitting. I'm going to work on that now, though, before bed! I'm going to challenge myself to get this first hat done before I go to bed tomorrow, so I better get working on it!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Princesses & Magic Loop


I live a productive life, of sorts. This evening I knit one of those booties you see to the left, then began a newborn-sized (baby) hat using the magic loop method, while getting a solid 150 pages read of the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. I'm on the fourth volume already, so that's a little nutty. I'm completely obsessed. I just put the next four books on reserve at the library to pick up tomorrow. While I was looking up the books to reserve on the online catalog I found another 20 books I had put in a list so now I'm feeling even more pressured to get these read! Can I just say how great it is to finally be back in a reading mood, especially now that I can (pretty much) knit and read at the same time? Oh, man, I think I've hit the sweet spot in this lifestyle of mine.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trying New Things: Quinoa


We tried something new for dinner tonight: quinoa! It's a grain I've seen mentioned around the web a good amount, and when I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to give it a try, she was on board with it and we began looking up recipes on Pinterest. We eventually decided on this one. We had a little bit of difficulty figuring out how much dry quinoa we needed to make cooked quinoa to use for the dish, and we accidentally added an extra 1/2 cup of it to the meal, but I don't think it altered it too much. Overall it was fine, but was just kind of boring. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that quinoa is a grain, just like rice, so it tasted pretty much the same as rice, which is practically tasteless, right? Or is that just me?

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I don't feel like I made a lot of progress this week on my projects. I'm especially bummed that I didn't get any cross stitching done. Lame.

- rl

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Night Knitting Marathons


Tonight I watched a few episodes of 7th Heaven to get this baby bootie knocked out. I cast on for it forever ago (meaning like Friday). It's kinda part of a deadline that is just ASAP, but I'm having trouble feeling motivated working on them. It turned out pretty cute, though, so maybe I'll be able to move through these two pairs of booties + two hats quickly. And then there are too many library books with too soon due dates. Ugh, the struggle. Also, only 64 days until I move to Chicago! Woo!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Taking a Break


Right now I am taking a break from reading Harry Potter. I only have 400 or so pages left, yet I can't stand the thought of reading anymore. It's not that I'm bored with it, but there is just so much going on that I've had to set it aside and I'm working on this library book that's due this week - The Princess Diaries. It's already insanely different from the movie, so I'll be curious to see how difficult it is for me, if at all, to finish this long series.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Self Portrait (24/52)

This week my "Forever" bracelet - the geekiest, fangirliest thing I've bought - arrived in the mail. In case you're not a huge Christy Miller freak like me, it's a bracelet from a book. A boy gives her a bracelet similar to this, and you can buy this in the Robin Jones Gunn's online shop (she's the author). I ordered it when I preordered the newest Christy book and have been wearing it as much as I can since it arrived on Wednesday. We can't wear bracelets at work, but I have little sister put it on my practically every day after I get off. I love it.

Today I wore one of my favorite skirts. I mean, I only have two skirts to begin with, but I love this one. It's long, flowy, and colorful. It's epic. The only "downside" is that my super long hair + this skirt make me look super earthy, which I guess I kind of am with my knitting??

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, June 14, 2014



Tonight I witnessed little sister, as well as ten or so other young teens, commit themselves to the Lord - heart, mind, and body. Love you, Bri.

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Project 17/52: You Cowlin' Me Crazy?!

(photo by little sister) 
(photos by little sister) 

I am so in love with this project. It was the perfect, quick project to do after that large blanket. I finished it in three days, and tried it on immediately after casting off and weaving in the ends.

I really love the simplicity of the pattern. I read where a lot of knitters talk about how much they hate stockinette stitch, but I couldn't disagree more! I was able to get lots of reading done while knitting this up in the evenings. I'd never buy a cowl myself, but I love that I have a handknit one. I definitely plan on making more, in different weights and colors. I love the curl that this one has. It makes it feel like something I can wad up in my purse and it makes it easy to slip over my head. I just know that's really going to come in handy in the walks between classes when I get to school. In one of the pictures that I'm modeling the cowl you can see that I gave it a little twist before slipping it over my head. It's a tad looser than necessary, but that's probably because I cast on 65 stitches instead of 60 because I thought my head was bigger. Nope.

I really love the yarn. I mentioned it here. I knew I wanted to do a pattern with mostly stockinette because I wasn't sure how the "barber pole" effect would look on anything else. I love it, though. I would definitely buy more and knit 100 of these if the yarn wasn't way out of my (nonexistent) yarn budget. Sigh. I'm so glad I bought it, though. Nearly everyone I've showed it to has commented on the color, which is why I chose this particular color, so I'm glad my gut instinct turned out alright!

Now I'm onto slightly more complicated projects, but nothing as dull as that baby blanket...

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Project 16/52: Diagonal Comfort Blanket

I finally finished this blanket!!!! Can you believe it?? I cast on May 4, and didn't cast off until June 10. The second half of the blanket went much faster than the first half, mainly because I was SO READY to move on. I believe the blanket is about 31"x31". A pretty good size!

Don't get me wrong - I like the pattern. It's very simple. It's cute. I would love to try it with a thicker yarn so I don't have to deal with two skeins. I definitely will use the pattern again, but just not for fun. It definitely needs to be blocked, but it won't be used for a long while, so I'm not worried about that any time soon. It will take someone very special to me to be pregnant with a boy for me to part with this blanket.

The yarn was fine. I did get insanely close to having to start another skein, but I knit tightly the last ten or so rows and used every bit of yarn (even cutting and adding the yarn from the cast on!) to make it work. When I knit it again I'll do better math about the yardage, and possibly only go to 159 rows instead of 160...

And, of course, thank you to little sister for changing out of comfy clothes to take these pictures tonight.

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday

THREE CHEERS FOR NEW PROJECTS!! This is seriously awesome. I'm actually about to cast on for a second knitting project that will put the blue cowl on hold, but only because I've got to finish two pairs of baby booties and two baby hats by Friday. Oi. I should be able to do it, though.

This is the first time something besides knitting has made it into a post! That's because I'm finally doing something besides knitting! I'm doing some cross stitching only when little sister & I watch White Collar. No knitting, only cross stitching. I like that style. It will be fun to see how much progress I'm able to make this next week! I'm really loving it so far. I had done a word or two too far over by just one square, so I had to undo it, but I'm so glad I did. You were right, mom.

- rl

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Simple Indulgences


Right now knitting + reading at the same is my routine, which is obvious because that was yesterday's picture as well. I can't help it though - I've got at least ten knitting projects I want to do (and have the yarn for!!), but I also have about 20 books I want to read. It's a rough life, y'all. I guess you could say I'm indulging in this somewhat unproductive lifestyle now, because Lord knows I won't be able to once I move to Chicago and start school. I may allow myself a few minutes of knitting each day, but I'm going to have to try really hard to stay focused on school, which has never been something I'm good at.

Tonight I got to see a lot of my favorite people - my mom's coworkers - which was awesome. Then I came home and JUST BARELY finished the baby blanket I've been working on for over a month. I FINISHED!! I can't even begin to describe how little yarn I had left. I could have started with a new skein, but I just couldn't stand the thought of that, so I knit very tight for the last few rows and it was insanely hard to bind off. Never again! But I'll talk more about that when I post pictures of the completed blanket...

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, June 09, 2014

Light at the End of the Tunnel


Tonight I am so incredible close to finishing up this month long knitting project. I have *maybe* 20, short, rows to go, yet I'm too exhausted now to complete them. I'm afraid I'm going to run out of yarn, so we'll see. For now, though, I'm going to sleep after 20 hours of being up.

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Self Portrait (23/52)

My first self portrait of the year that features another person! I thought about taking today's self portrait in the afternoon during my knitting/reading-then-7th-Heaven-watching time, but just never got around to it. So instead I set up the tripod and got the lighting, angle, etc. right while finishing up the pilot of White Collar with little sister. You can't tell, but I'm super stoked to be cross stitching after glancing at it sitting in my room all day, then little sister is braiding her hair. We're a multitasking generation, obviously.

Today was pretty cool for multiple reasons. One year ago today I graduated high school, then, at my graduation party, was given an iPad from some of my Horizons Church family. They said they hoped I would be able to use it to use it in class when I didn't want to bring my laptop. While I haven't been able to use it for that purpose yet, it has been a great iPod/TV for me this past year. (Fun fact: I actually typed out this blog post on it.) Then I slept ten hours last night, which rocked (but sounds a lot less awesome in comparison to last's the little things though!)

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Summer Nights

I think my summer will look a lot like this:

taking pictures of random things during the Golden Hour,
then working on various cross stitch projects, but only... (158/365)
when watching a nightly show with little sister.
I'll make some cool progress,
then play Mexican Train with my family + the couple my dad married one year ago today!

In case you were wondering, yesterday I said that little sister and I were going to watch an episode of Breaking Bad together each night before bed. That was, of course, before we saw the first episode, which showed some nudity that we weren't comfortable with. We looked at the parent's guide on IMDB and made a mutual decision to choose another show. Our decision: White Collar. I've gotten about three seasons in before, but I'd rather just start over, especially considering the final season is in production (or at least as far as I know). 

- rl

 (p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, June 06, 2014



Despite the fact that I have a solid ten skeins waiting to be used, I still bought this cute little cross stitch kit tonight. Tonight marks the first night of summer for little sister, so we counted the days until we go to school, thought about a few shows, and decided we would watch an episode of Breaking Bad together each day. We have about 12 days that we can miss, so that will be good. I say all that because I think I'll dedicate that time to this cross stitch. It will be fun to see exactly how many hours it ends up taking me. Just looking at the chart for this tonight was quite intimidating, but then again, I've never been one to start simple when it comes to new craft ventures.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Trying New Things: Yarn Cakes (by Hand)


I finally made a center-pull ball of yarn, with my hands! Well, the three glue-sticks taped together helped as well. I've wanted to have center-pull balls of yarn instead of the store-bought skeins, but never really had the motivation to until Haute Knit Yarn posted on instagram about a flash sale.

"Hold up," I thought to myself. "I need this yarn. At $6.50 less than usual, why not?? Isn't being a knitter all about trying new yarns?" So, with that, I made my first Etsy purchase. It arrived within a few days, and has been sitting in my room ever since. I finally got pictures of it today for my stash on ravelry, which meant I could finally get it wound up. I haven't decided which pattern I'm using this with quite yet, but I've got a pretty good idea. I'm definitely thinking a cowl or infinity scarf.

My first experience winding my own yarn cake: I will do it again. As much as I would love to buy that $18 wool winder on Amazon (hint, birthday is in a few months...just saying...), I can't bring myself to do it. I definitely think I will start winding all my yarn up like this, just for a fresh look.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)