Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I totally vegged out yesterday and didn't think twice about doing anything productive, let alone a blog post, so here you get a special New Year's eve edition. :)

My weekend was really great. Just what I needed! I hope you relaxed and enjoyed yours as well. Here are some pictures of our adventures, which were mainly geo-caching in the snow (not the greatest season for it, but still fun!) and watching movies cozied up on the couch in front of a warm fire.

I'll keep this one short and sweet. I wish you all the happiest and safest of New Years. Thank you for yet another fabulous year here at Bunnies and Bettas. I don't thank you enough for reading, commenting, and sharing your own thoughts. It all means so much to us to converse with you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We'll see you in 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Getaway

I hope you had a lovely, relaxing holiday! I did. :) Now it's time for New Year's! We're heading up to Island Park for the weekend. It used to be a bit of a tradition for us to go up to the mountains for the new year. I've missed not doing it the last few years. New Year's has been a difficult holiday for most of my life. It helps to lose myself in the beauty of the snow-capped Rockies and the silent forest. I can't wait to get back up there and snowshoe around, maybe try my hand at cross-country skiing, or just sit and knit beside a blazing fire, gazing out the window.

You might ask, "Knitting what?" Oh! Why, this, of course! I had the choice of two rather tedious, yet mindless knits to bring with me. The travelling, conversations, and tv-watching dictated that I choose something a little more simple than I normally do this time of year and suggested to me they might be finished with little tedium and less time. One was Boxy and the other was a Henry scarf for John, who insists his fingering scarf is too heavy for fall or spring (I've got some lace-weight Habu to make him happy). I couldn't find the needles for the scarf or it would have won (missing needles is becoming a problem...my WIP demolition kind of busted before it properly began, but will be back in earnest come January), but the miles of stockinette on this sweater will fit the bill nicely. I usually prefer to knit things i

n pieces, but the prospect of purling half of this oversized garment on tiny needles scared the life out of me, so I dug out my underused 47" needle cables and I'm hoping for the best. How many times do you think I'll twist my 68" cast on before I get it right? :P Will that much length fit on 47" cables? Gosh, I hope so....

I've got the yarn, needles, and patterns for a pair of socks if I start to lose my mind. I just can't decide between Narcissa or Herbology socks. What do you think?

Have a lovely weekend! I'd love to hear what you are up to this weekend and what fantastic plans you have for New Year's (we seldom do anything, so really any plans will sound fantastic to me)! I'll have some mountainy pics for you Monday.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Long time no post! School ran on without end this semester. I can't believe how busy I was even without any exams to take or papers to write myself. Friday was the last day of finals week and of course the final I had to grade wasn't until Thursday. :P So, finally, today I have made a mad dash home before Christmas and I'm settling in for a nice, relaxing visit with my family and hopefully my friends, too, some of whom I haven't seen for years!

Plane rides, of course, mean plenty of time for my last-minute Christmas knitting. The second I saw these kits I knew I had to make them for my aunt and uncle, who have a cozy cabin in the mountains (rumor has it I'll get to share some pictures of it with you next week, hopefully complete with hot water bottle cozies). I'm sure the fire keeps them plenty warm, but these will be cute decorations or great for cuddling after a long day in the snow. I can't believe how quickly they came from Scotland and how quickly this one has taken shape, but they are rather small. The second could be done by Christmas!

I'm going to skip Wednesday's post for Christmas, of course, but I'll try to be back with something Friday. I'm on break and there's no excuse for me not to get back into the blogging groove while I've got the chance!

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas or a very lovely few days off if you don't celebrate. Snuggle in with some cocoa (spiked, if you like!), a furry friend, and your knitting and I'll catch up with you Friday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I spent yesterday finishing my art project in a mad rush. For as little time as I had to do it and as long as it's been since I've drawn a damn thing, I'm pretty pleased with it. I'll probably tinker with it throughout the week, but it might get the job done as it is. Here's a study I worked on as I drew.

Colored pencils and I aren't friends, so I had to make extra sure I had finally figured them out before I put them in the final sketch. YouTube has taught me everything I didn't know about colored pencils (and desperately wish I had learned years ago!), so I think I'll try them again for a project to liven up our front bathroom. I'm kind of excited about it!

John's the hero of the whole thing, really. He alerted me to the call for submissions and dug my art supplies out of the closet (that was a chore and a half, I tell you!), and encouraged me every step of the way. I'm not even sure he's seen much of my art over the three and a half years we've been together, but he still believed in me. :)

Did you embark on any strange and new adventures over the weekend? Did you get snowed in? That's a hobby-helper. ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Something a Bit Different

I'm partaking in a different artistic medium today. As an undergraduate, I minored in studio art. As a kid who grew up drawing her favorite musical artists and anime characters, then doodling during lectures in the margins of my notes, I was incredibly happy and blessed to be able to learn to do what I had been doing all my life with skill and a mastery I had never imagined I could accomplish. It's an incredible moment to realize the limits of your talent are endless with a little bit of training.

These days, I don't have the time to spend hours sketching (and I'm a slow one...always have been), so I knit instead and try to learn more and more about my camera so that I can express my creativity in a quicker medium. Or, in the case of knitting, one that is well-suited to multitasking or a few minutes where I can find them.

An opportunity has arisen for me to drag the sketchbook out again, so I'm brainstorming some variations on a theme. I'm a super-realist normally, but I hope I can extend myself a bit and produce something different than I have before. A conference needs a face and I need an excuse to flex my artistic muscles. The trick will be getting it done in days without knowing where any of my art supplies are, but...necessity is the mother of invention? At the very least, I need to find my eraser!

I painted my nails, too! Probably the best job I've ever done (though I've done a cleaner right hand). I scrubbed the counters after I painted them and only two tiny smudges! I went a little crazy and bought four bottles of polish at Walmart Monday. :S I need to remember to get a buffer next time. My nails are crazy shapes.

What creative talents do you have besides knitting or crocheting? Do you have time to pursue those interests? I hope so. It makes me sad to look back at my drawings and know I don't have the time or space for that sort of work anymore. :/

Also, you'll notice (if you aren't on a reader) that the blog format is a little different. I'm hoping it will accommodate larger photos, since I'm making some headway learning how to take and edit them. The rest of the blog will get a face-lift little by little, too, probably when I have my brother within easy reach so he can help. :)

Have a fantastic weekend! If I get anything great drawn up, I'll show you next week. I'm preeeeeetty rusty.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2nd Annual WIP Demolition

About this time last year I got a bug in my bonnet about finishing my very many unfinished objects. I've got the same bug this year, so I will once again be demolishing that pile one project at a time!

I've decided to work on at least a project a week until I've finished a few. I have about ten. I'm hoping only working on it for a week will keep me from getting bored or going mad. I obviously put most of these down because I don't like to work on them for very long. :P

This week's lucky winner is my year-old Double Leaf Saroyan. It was a knit-along last fall and I'm not sure I even made it halfway through the scarf before the KAL was over. Now it gets it's big return. I doubt I'll finish it this week, but I should hit the 3/4 mark. I don't know why it's such slow going.

Actually, I have to finish some baby things for a shower this weekend, so the Saroyan won't be the only project getting attention this week, but it will get the most. A few buttons here and there and that will be one well-dressed baby!

Are you casting on lots of things or do you have an itch to finish everything hogging up your needles, too? If you would like to demolish the WIP pile with me, we can make it a party! Work on one WIP a week until that pile is small enough that you aren't crazy anymore. It's that simple. :) Then, we can parade our accomplishments proudly instead of shoving them in a dark corner.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Better Late...

I was doing so well updating last week! I'll try again. Wednesday and Friday will be great. :) Here's a late post in the meantime! The promised sweater. I didn't get photos on Thanksgiving day in the beautiful country scenery like I'd wanted. :P

No Cars Go

Pattern: Hayward by Julie Hoover
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed in Cocoa (discontinued)
Needles: US 5, 4
Project Page

This is my second Julie Hoover sweater in as many finished object posts (holy cow, a month ago!), but third in all. All three are in my top five favorite sweaters. I dare you to scroll through her designs and not find one or two that you can't live without! They are simple, stylish, and so classic. They might not be impressively complicated, but they are incredibly practical. These are garments so well designed and timeless that your granddaughters will be wearing them ages from now.

Two of my favorite Gap tops have these bat-wing sleeves. The ones on this sweater are much more exaggerated, but I'm totally hooked. There's just something so cozy and chic about bat wings. These sleeves are more like penguin wings and I wasn't quite sure I'd dig them in the long-run, but they are surprisingly functional. And the sweater doesn't ride up much at all when I raise my arms. Win! Oh, and that's not a demonstration of me raising my arms. I can go over my head without showing my gut.

I used some Rowan Felted Tweed I found cheap on eBay. It was a perfect choice. It's soft and drapes beautifully. I had to go down two needle sizes because the Felted Tweed is dk and the pattern calls for fingering. I hit the working and blocked gauges perfectly. Oh yes! Julie Hoover gives you a working gauge! So practical!

In short: love this sweater. I've had it done less than a week and I think I've worn it three days (and a whole night only half-seamed, even!). Now go find a Julie Hoover pattern you love and start making it! I've got my fourth waiting in the wings for a few WIPs to fall off the needles. Oh, and John's is number five.

Which designers do you really appreciate? What is it about them that you love so much? The pattern writing, the photos, the designs, the style, the colors...?

I almost forgot! It's named for The Arcade Fire song. It's kind of edgy and chill, like the song, I think.