Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beautiful Silver Falls, Oregon

Several people asked me what I did over the weekend, and when I said worked, they gave me that 'what? why?' look, and then said sorry.  But then I told them it was out at Silver Falls, drinking wine, eating yummy food, staying in adorable little cabins and hiking the falls, they asked me how they could get a job where I worked. I love that!

On Saturday I trekked out to an area in Oregon just east of Salem, up rolling hills to the Silver Falls Conference Center to hold a retreat for my hard-core volunteers that I head up to make plans for what they wanted to work on this year.  

In the dining hall we made plans for world domination by the fire in the huge fire place, drinking wine and eating yummy food.

The next day, after sleeping in and having a late breakfast, we took a hike down to the water falls.  So full right now because of recent snow, we enjoyed hiking behind one of the falls and feeling the spray hit us.

How awesome (in the true sense of the word) is that?

And, to top it off, I will be visiting the area again next week for another retreat for work.  Hard knock life for me.


Monday, March 19, 2012

My first knitting pattern... drumroll.... leg warmers!

So excited...whilst making these legwarmers I realized that I actually knew what I was doing...and that I had created my own pattern!  I feel like this means I have graduated to a real knitter!

These were fun and easy to make.  Here is how you can make these leg-warmers that can be worn any time of the year!

Ash's Comfy, Quick Leg Warmers


US 9 (aka 5.5mm) double pointed needles (set of 5)
2 skeins of worsted weight yarn (I used Vanna's Choice purple)


Pattern is made for a medium sized leg - calf size 14-15in
In parentheses you will find adjustments for small and large that will look like....
ex: (sm-56, lg-64)


DPN's- Double Pointed Needles
Kn- Knit
P- Purl
St- Stitches
Kn2tog- Knit two together

Le Pattern:

Cast on 60 (sm-56, lg-64) using 2 strand cast-on method (here is a vid for this method - I like this method because it allows for more give to fit over the foot)  and distribute evenly onto 4 of the  DPN's.

You are starting at the calf section of the leg-warmer.  The first pattern will be knit 2, purl 2 pattern for ribbed top.

1st Row: Beginning with Kn, and being careful not to twist the piece, join the ends and place marker.  This will start the Kn2, P2 ribbing pattern.  Continue ribbing until piece measures 3 inches. 

Variation - Something I might do in my next pair is either add a contrasting color strip or do the ribbing in a contrasting color.

Next row: Knit only.  Continue for next 6 rows.

Next row (decrease row):  After the above 6 rows of knit, you will have your first decrease row.  At the beginning of each of the needles on this row, kn2tog, giving you 56 (sm-52, lg-60) stitches left on needles.

Next 6 rows: Knit only

Next row: Decrease row as above, now 52 (sm-48, lg-56) stitches on needles.

Next 6 rows: Knit only

Next row: Decrease row as above, final time, to 48 (sm-44, lg-52) stitches on needles.

Next row: Continue in knit only patter for desired length, keeping in mind that we will add 3 inches of ribbing at the bottom.  (I made the knit only about 7 inches long)

Once you have reached the desired length of knit only, begin final ribbing by switching back to kn2, p2 until final ribbing reaches 3 inches.  Then loosely bind off (this is important...I have have many a time had things not fit because I bound off too tight.)

Finally, take a crochet hook and slip the string from the bind off through the first stitch of that last row to complete the row and tie off and weave in ends.

And viola!  

Wonderful leg warmers to show off over your fav jeans or with your going-out-on-the-town skirt!

Enjoy!  Let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Angry weather...

The weather here has been so strange....we got 3 days of gorgeous, spring weather where you could even wear a t-shirt, followed by a day of pounding rain, followed by a day of 45-60mph winds then followed by some snow.  Eugene's elevation is not much over 400ft...thus snow is a rare occurrence anyway, let alone with all this other fun weather.

So...I felt like this is what the clouds were feeling like....they must be angry...

Poor clouds....hope they get it all out of their system soon and let the sun come out and play!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2 Felt Tutorials for You!

Hi there!  I just love to play with felt when I want to make gifts for friends.  Felt gifts are quick to make, but always come out super cute!

I want to share 2 tutorials with you from my recent makings...


First...the flower pin....

1.  Start with making petals in the size you'd like. I cut out 6 petals, but then decided I liked the look of 5 better.

2. Cut out the same shape but slightly smaller of a contrasting color for the inner petals.

3. Take some embroidery floss (I used 3 strands) and begin sewing through both petals by adding a definition line down the petal combo.

4. Fold bottom of petal combo and sew through it to add shaping.

5. Repeat and start sewing together at shaped side of the petals.

7. Now that they are all sewn together....

8. Cut out the contrasting color for the center of the flower to a size that covers the rough spots of the petals.

9. Blanket stitch (Futuregirl has a nice tutorial for blanket stitch here) the center of the flower.

10. I found a while back a bunch of vintage buttons.  Find something you love to add as the 'pistol' of the flower.

11.  Add a pin sewn or glued onto the back, or add a barrette.  Use to embellish a hairband or your favorite outfit! the mini felt pouch....

This is super cute and super easy to make!

1.  Cut out a piece of felt about 3 inches wide by 8 inches long.

2. Fold to create pouch part....

3. And leave some at the top to eventually fold over to make the closing top of pouch.

3 1/2.  I sort of skipped this part in the pics...sorry!  But this is where you would embroider on your design to the pouch before sewing it up. 

4. Blanket stitch around folded pouch and around top of pouch.  Also cut a small slit the size of your button for the closure and blanket stitch around the button hole.

5.  Sew on your button and admire your work!  Great for cosmetics, could make a little smaller for biz cards (I am making one for just this purpose), or change the size for your sunglasses. 

Enjoy!  If you make some, share your creations by emailing me at!


UPDATE - Check out this tutorial and lots of other great tutes at A Law Student's Journey for their Tute Tuesday!  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sneaky gardening and sunny Sunday....

Yesterday was so sunny out!  It was a great day, filled with all kinds of good (and maybe not as good) let me tell....

First, my friend and I ran 14 miles!  We are prepping for the Eugene Marathon at the end of April, and boy was that a run!  Next weekend is 16 miles, and I am feeling a little wary of it.

Then, I got home and ate some yummy soup I'd made and showered and then ran out into the yard to hurry and get some sneaky gardening in.  I call it that because I didn't have much time and it was only sunny the cold front has moved back in.

For sneaky gardening, first I let the animals out to enjoy the yard and some of the early blooming flowers....

(I love little check butts!  So fluffy and cute!)

And then I jumped into the garden and turned over my first plot to be sowed...with peas (seen here), as well as kale, lettuce mix, spinach and arugula.  Yummy!  And I am just more and more proud of my overall situation in the garden...see the straw?  It is from the chicken coop, and I put it out in the winter to start breaking down with the fertilizer and now it will act as awesome mulch.  So happy!

But then....I seemed to forget my senses and left the gate open a little while cutting down brambles in the side yard...and the dog ran out!  Silly dog...he had been so good, but he seems to think it is a game when he gets out.

About 45 minutes later, my hubby and I caught up to him playing in a drainage ditch/canal thing in the water...

Look at that wet dog!  

Well, after that it was time to go get a beer and some food.  We met up with a friend at the Ninkasi Brewery (if you have yet to have Ninkasi, you are missing out!) Then we ended the evening watching the new Sherlock Holmes movie at our discount theater.

All in all, a pretty darn good day!

Hope you also had a great weekend!