I Love Yarn

I like to think I’ve come a long way in the two years since I’ve taught myself to knit. When I first started I didn’t know anything about yarn, I didn’t know there was a difference in the type of yarn used, and I didn’t have a preference. My “collection” (if it could be called that) was mostly harsh acrylic stuff sold at Michaels or Wal-Mart because that’s what I could afford. As time went on and as I began knitting more, I discovered other sites. One I’ve used for a very long time has been Knit Picks. I love some of their yarns, but they also cater to the low budget crowd. Unfortunately I’ve found that over the years the quality has started to lack, or maybe it’s just that I become more and more in love with smaller dye companies.

In any case, once a year Knit Picks has an amazing sale, around the time of Black Friday in the US. I have only bought a small amount of yarn this year, so I saved up for it eagerly.

Turns out, I didn’t actually want that much. I did pick up a set of size 1 metal knitting needles so I can keep making my Christmas ornaments, and I picked up a size 1 set of wooden knitting needles to replace the two that I’ve snapped. I also picked up two skeins of hawthorne that were marked down to $5.50 because I absolutely love that yarn for socks, I’ve already knit a pair in the past, and I picked up two skeins of felici in a colour that I can’t remember. Neutral tones I think. I already have quite a bit of felici in my stash, but why not.

I love yarn. It brings me to a very happy place. I also participated in a yarn exchange on Instagram where you got to grant wishes for people and have one (or many, depending) of your own granted. I found a woman looking for some fiber so I sent her a few ounces of that, and for my wish I requested indie dyed yarn, which another kind soul offered to fulfill. Some companies even offered free shipping if you purchased yarn from them and specified that it was for the gifting which I thought was fantastic and a great way to promote your business. Sometimes, social media can be pretty neat.

I found a cute little sweater with whales I want to make for llama bean this winter before we move to the prairies, and of course I myself could use some mittens, and socks. A never ending supply of knit socks. Right now I haven’t had the time because llama bean has been going through a bit of a stage (I say as I type this one handed) but that won’t always be the case.

All in all I’m happy with my purchase and can’t wait for it to get here!

IntPiPoMo 2017 29-30/50

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Evenings with the Priest

Even with my limited game play, I’m still able to log into World of Warcraft and feel like I’ve actually accomplished something, which is nice. Being Tuesday, raids re-set, so I queued for some that were looking for healers, and for the first time ever LFR dropped a hidden shadow priest appearance weapon skin for me! It looks awesome. I didn’t even know I could get one that way.

I also managed to complete all my of world quest dailies, which is something I try to do but don’t always manage. Along the way I got my second ever legendary, a wrist piece. At the time that it dropped I could only wear one legendary, but I managed to earn the 5k resources required to unlock the ability to wear a second one. My ilevel is still below 900 at a measly 885, but that’s leaps and bounds above what I was sitting at earlier on in the day.

Oh right, I went back to playing my priest over with the Crimson Cross guild. Why? No real reason except that as much as I enjoy my paladin (and I truly do) I wasn’t in the mood to level, I wanted to do some end game stuff. Plus my priest is still a ‘newer’ character, and doesn’t have max level professions, which means I always have lots to do.

All in all it was a pretty productive evening. I also looked up things to see where I sit as far as flying in Legion goes. I’m not quite there yet, but it doesn’t look like an impossible task. Maybe I can slowly keep chipping away at it.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Did I mention? Affiliate!

I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think I ever mentioned here on the blog that I finally made affiliate on Twitch a few weeks ago! That means people can subscribe to my channel for a fee and receive some extra perks. If you happen to have Amazon Prime you get a free Twitch subscription with it, which comes in handy.

Right now the perks are far and few between aside from helping support my love of streaming, but I’m hoping to create a few custom emotes and all that good stuff with time. Again it depends entirely on life and llama bean who has been fairly reluctant to give me any alone time these days.

You can also donate bits towards my stream, or forego Twitch as the middle man all together (they get 50% of all donations) and donate through my streamlabs page (it’s linked in my Twitch profile). I’m incredibly excited that I was also able to raise the funds needed to purchase a new gaming chair, so that should be arriving before too long. All in all the community has been incredibly supportive of my endevours, and I appreciate it more than you can ever know.

If you don’t happen to catch my streams when they’re live you can watch them after the fact on twitch as a highlight, or you can watch them on my YouTube channel. I tend to update them later in the evenings, or the next day.

Once again, it wouldn’t have happened without the help and support of all of my viewers / readers / friends here and across all social media platforms that I tend to frequent, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is nice to feel like I can succeed at being more than just a parent when parenting makes up 99.99% of every single day. Streaming is one of the few things I get to do that’s a bit selfish and just for me (even if I do have llama bean sitting on my lap or bouncing around me screaming into the mic the entire time). Once again, thank you. <3

IntPiPoMo 2017 27-28/50

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Star Wars Christmas Ball

I made a lovely practice ball first before attempting what I really wanted which was a Star Wars themed tree ornament. The pattern (found on Ravelry) called for fingering yarn, but I did it with sport, and size 1 double pointed needles. The problem is during the construction of the trial one I snapped my dpn when it came to closing up the ball. Doing those ktog were really difficult on the needles and involved a lot of bending.

I started a second one in fingering – and realized my gauge was way off. There was no way I was going to be able to close the ball up with that size, so I scrapped the entire project and started over, this time using red and green sport yarn. It went much better, but once again I snapped one of my wooden dpn.

If I want to continue to make these adorable little Christmas balls I’m going to either have to replace my wooden dpn with metal ones (and hope I don’t warp them too much) or start using magic loop (I know how to magic loop but I don’t enjoy it, my stitches seem to have long runs that way). I have 21 of the styrofoam balls, enough for a really nice collection of hand knit tree ornaments, themed or otherwise. This year I’m trying to have all my ornaments be hand made as a surprise for my husband when he comes home from depot for Christmas. Me and llama bean are going to be making some salt dough cookie ornaments for the tree this weekend. I haven’t made those since I was in elementary school so I hope they turn out.

I have been taking a bit of a break from knitting my shawl, I worked on it pretty regularly until I got to the feather / fan portion and then set it aside. That will be something I need to pick back up before too long. I just haven’t really felt like dealing with a pattern that I have to follow along with, and I needed a bit of a break. The yarn is an absolute dream to work with so I’m sure I’ll get back to it before too long.

Meal Prep Sunday

Sunday. A day I really just don’t like. I spend most of it cleaning and cooking, doing groceries and other chores that need to get done. By the time Monday rolls around though I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve gotten all of my meal cooking done on Sunday, even if it does make that one day stressful.

This week was pretty easy. I spent about $50 CAD total on groceries for me for the week (not including things that llama bean also eats / needed). The menu was simple, this time of year simple comfort food is what works best for me.

I made turkey meat pies with mashed potatoes and gravy (potato recipe, cooked in my instant pot). That would be dinner for the week.

Roast beef sandwich meat was on sale, one of my absolute favourites. I don’t normally like sandwiches, but combine it with buns (also on sale), chipotle mayo, some aged cheddar, and lettuce – and now we’re talking. Lunch is a roast beef sandwich with chipotle mayo, and egg bites (for lack of a better word). The instant pot crowd had been going absolutely bonkers for these egg bite things that you can buy at Starbucks, it’s apparently much cheaper to make them. I used this recipe. I did it wrong, but they still turned out, just not exactly as I expected. You’re supposed to blend everything up in a blender to make all the pieces tiny and the mixture light and fluffy. I did none of that, so I still have egg bites with ham and cheese but texture wise they’re not airy. No big deal, I only made enough for a few days to start so I’ll make sure I blend the second batch.

Snacks are another easy comfort food, smoked oysters were on sale, so I got a few packages of those along with some black bean garlic crackers that are just delicious. Honestly, there was very little actual cooking involved this week, and I think that’s OK. Meals are portioned out, and I know it’s food I won’t get bored of eating.

Health wise, I’m down to 191 pounds. My goal was to reach 190 before my husband came home last week but I was two pounds off. My next goal is to reach 180 by his graduation, January 29th. I’m hoping I can do this even with the holidays just around the corner. Still, 248 to 191 in a year is not too shabby.

For weight loss the key for me has really been all about pre-planning my meals, taking the stress out of what I’m going to eat, and portion control. I eat whatever I have a desire to eat, sometimes that’s pizza, sometimes it’s sandwhiches, other times it’s tacos. I don’t deny myself food, but I do go in knowing what I’m going to eat from Sunday-Saturday and I stick with it. Removing the stress from cooking a different meal every single day and having to decide what I’m going to eat every single day has helped my frame of mind when it comes to food and knowing that food is not bad. For me, it works. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I’ve been doing this for 17 weeks now and I’ve gone from 215 to 191 in that 17 week period. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out what works for you.

IntPiPoMo 23-26/50

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Oh Look, SQUIRREL!

I was just talking about how I had logged my hunter in, played her a bunch, got her ready for the first tier of raids, and how I was hoping she would become my new main.

NOPE.

I had no desire to log her in over the weekend, so I took a look at one of my paladins. I have two. One horde, one alliance. I prefer horde and I always have even though a majority of my friends play alliance. I’ve faction changed so many times it makes me dizzy. Anyway, I logged my horde paladin in and blew the cobwebs off of her armour, eager to get her first artifact weapon.

I decided to stray from the norm a little bit. I knew my priest played better (ie: easier) when I went discipline due to the heals even though it was less DPS than going shadow. I decided I would stick to my protection stance and get my shield / sword artifact, opting for better survivability over faster kills.

So far, I’m incredibly impressed. Mobs were melting like butter and my paladin is wearing pretty shoddy gear. A handful of heirloom for the experience bonus, and some blues back when the invasions to level up to 100 were a thing. Her artifact was also the easiest one I’ve gotten to date (I have priest, druid, and monk artifacts so far) and it sort of left me scratching my head wondering if that’s all there was to it. NOT that I am complaining!

I picked a zone to start in, and set out to reach level 101. It took me about an hour which made the leveling process seem much more appealing to me. I’ve got 700 blacksmithing but only 200 mining, so my professions are a mixture of odds and ends. So far I’m enjoying playing the character a ton, but the true test of whether or not this will be the character for me is who I’ll be playing next week. If I could just settle down with one character and not 800 I know I would feel so much better about my gaming experiences.

We’ll just have to see! As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

IntPiPoMo 21-22/50

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