Fitness for August 2015

This month I have been working out using my P90X3 workout again.  I think this is my third time doing the program.  I am not actually doing the whole entire 13 week schedule like I did back in Jan to April 2014 but I am using P90X3 about four times a week and doing my own yoga routines a couple other days of the week.  I have found it to be a great schedule for August.

cat workout buddy using the bands

 

As you can see from the above photo my faithful workout buddy – my cat – is really into P90X3 and using the bands.

workout cat - loves weights

On another workout day he was into snuggling with my weights.  At one point he was actually laying over the top of them stretched out but he moved before I could get his picture.  He never misses a morning workout with me.

One of the things I love about P90X3 is that all the workouts are 30 minutes long and there is a lot of variety.  There is cardio, cardio with weights, weight training, isometric exercises, kickboxing, yoga and even pilates.  You do not get bored with these dvd’s.

The reason I chose to only do them four days a week instead of six like on the program is because I wanted to either ride my bike or do yoga on off days which is what i did.

I have also been making my own bread a lot lately.  One of my sons wanted me to make cinnamon rolls so I found a cinnamon bread recipe instead from my Make Ahead Bread book and it turned out really well.  My son really likes it too and I have made it two or three times now – it makes a large loaf.  cinnamon bread from make ahead bread book

As I mentioned in a previous post on baking homemade bread  this book has a neat concept that makes baking homemade bread very simple.  You make your dough ahead of time, like the night before, and refrigerate the loaf, get it out in the morning and bake it for like an hour and you have the best loaf of bread ever.  I have used many recipes from the book, a lot of them are whole grain types of recipes, and they have turned out well.  This cinnamon roll bread was another success.

water line redone, photos of trench

We had some homeowner issues this past month.  We discovered back at the end of July that we had a water line leak since we had a terribly high water bill.  We had to do a lot of investigating and my husband had to do a lot of digging around but we discovered two leaks in our front yard – one up by the house, the shut off box and one by the water main by the street.

Well, lots of money later we now have a whole new water line installed thanks to Legacy Plumbing.  It was about a four day process though to get the leak accessed and a temporary fix, get the permit, have a professional digging company come and hand dig the trench you see in the above photo and then another day for the plumber to come and do the whole line.

There was one day when this first happened that we did not have water for about 24 hours.  You don’t realize how much you need and use water.  I went to the store and bought gallon jugs for us to use to brush teeth, wash hands and dishes and we bought bottled drinking water.  It makes you really appreciate having running water in the house.

I will say that Legacy Plumbing was a great company to use and if you live in my area of Plano, Texas and need a plumber call them.  They are very fast to respond and do a very professional job and their plumbers are friendly and knowledgeable.  We also used them back in May to get a new hot water heater – lots of plumbing issues for us this year.

Well, my boys are back in school now -this was their first week so things are busy around here again – actually they are always busy but now there is more of a routine to things.  I was kind of sad to see their summer break end but it is nice to have the house be a little quieter during the day again.

I hope you are able to get some workouts in for the fall.  I am planning to use some of my workout books for the month of September.

Have a great weekend!

– Kimberlee

 

 

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Knitting Pattern Lacy Wrap

This knitting pattern is one of my new designs I recently completed.

knitting pattern lacy wrap

I actually designed this wrap after finding this pretty yarn in my oldest son’s school colors figuring I could wear it to some of the football games in the fall.   I bought the yarn at Tuesday Morning, of all places.  I didn’t even know they had yarn there until someone in my facebook knitting group posted a photo months ago of a bunch of yarn they bought there.  So, I had to go check it out and this was one of the yarns I found.  The yarn is by Rozetti and it is called Soft Payette.

knitting pattern lacy wrap back view

I originally had the idea to make this into a longer wrap but ran out of yarn.  When I went back to Tuesday Morning to see if they had more (it was a few months later) it was all gone.  So, I decided rather than frogging the project I could create this pretty tie front cape.  I think I actually like it better that way as it is just perfect for covering the back and shoulders – which is just what you need in the kind of climate I live in for the early fall.

knitting pattern lacy wrap with tie front

The other feature I really love about this wrap is the pretty scallop edges on each side.  The stitch pattern I used to knit this created the pretty edges.  This pattern is now available in my etsy shop, as well as on craftsy and ravelry if you are interested in knitting one click on one of the highlighted links to take you to the pattern.

I have also been crocheting a lot lately.  I will be sharing some of my crochet creations soon so check back.

Have a great day!

– KImberlee

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Sewing Summer Tops

Recently I have taken a little break from blogging.  One of the reasons being that I was gone for 10 days in July on a family vacation.   I have also been focusing on some other things during my break from blogging and one of them is sewing some new things for summer.  This summer I have made a couple of bathing suits, some lingerie  (posts to come on that later)  and some new summer tops.  In addition to sewing I have been doing a lot of crocheting and developing some new patterns.

One of the reasons I love to sew is that I enjoy being able to make something the way I want it to fit.  Another reason I prefer to sew my own clothing over buying it is because I can make something that will last a lot longer and wear better than many things you buy at the store.  I have some shirts in my wardrobe that I made probably 8 or 10 years ago that are classic styles that I still wear and they are still in good condition.  I don’t know if I have many articles of clothing that I have bought that I can say that about.

Summer Sewing Navy Top

The above top is one I made about a month ago and have already wore it several times.  It is perfect for our hot Texas weather in July and August.  This top is made from a pattern I have had since 2010.  The pattern is New Look 6965 and it has four or five different tops in the same pattern.  I have made a couple of the other versions in the pattern in the past.  This particular top features a tie shoulder strap that was suppose to be made with ribbon.  I decided to use my crochet skills and crochet the straps since I had the perfect color of navy blue cotton yarn to match the fabric.

Summer Sewing McCalls Top

The next top I made after the navy one was this light blue floral print button down shirt with a collar.  It is hard to see the tiny floral print on the fabric in the lighting I was in in the above photos.  I think I have had the fabric for four or five years and the pattern is very old – a classic from my pattern stash McCalls 2094 from 1999.  I like the style of this top with the front and back darts and the button front.  I have a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of skirts it will go with so lots of options for wearing this shirt.  I even discovered a crochet headband I made years ago that is the same color blue.

Summer Sewing Purple Top

The third top I made was this purple print one.  This is another fabric I have had in my stash for years.  This top was made using a newer pattern that I purchased on sale at Hancocks a few weeks ago.  The pattern is McCalls 6967 and included in the pattern with this cute little top is a couple of dresses and a skirt.  This was a really simple pattern to sew and I will probably go through my stash and make another one – it only takes one yard of fabric and a couple of hours to make this top.

Summer Sewing Cream Twist Top

The last top I recently finished sewing was this simple knit twisted shoulder top.  This pattern was actually my own creation using a pattern from My Label pattern software and figuring out how to do the twisted shoulder.  The whole top is made with a serger and super simple.  In my etsy shop I offer a tutorial on how to make a top like this using an old t shirt.  This particular one I actually used fabric and a pattern drafted to my measurements.

Wavy Ripple Crochet Shrug

The other thing I finished in the past week was this crochet shrug – which I thought looked good with my twisted tank top and a skirt that I made a few years ago.  The shrug is one I started a year ago and put it aside to work on other things.  I decided it was time to get it finished and completed it.  I love the way it turned out and wonder why I waited to long to get it done.  This shrug is crocheted using Patons Glam yarn and is black and glitter sliver.  The pattern features a ripple and pretty scalloped sleeve.  I will be offering the pattern in my etsy shop very soon as well as on craftsy and ravelry.

School is starting here soon for my boys and we have been busy with the back to school yearly things that go with that.  Even though there is another month or more left of summer it kind of feels like summer is ending once the kids start school – I am hoping that means the heat will end as well but I have a feeling it will be another month or more before that happens.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool.

-Kimberlee

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EOM Fitness for June 2015

The end of June is now here – I can hardly believe it!  I continued this past month with a four day a week workout schedule mainly doing cardio, weights and yoga – not all on the same day though.  The workouts I used were mainly Cathe Friedrich and yoga sequences from my Yoga Journal magazine that I mentioned in my May post.

Cathe Ripped With Hiit

weight lifting cat

As you can see in the above photo my cat is present as usual and ready to lift some heavy  weights.  He was actually laying on the 20 pound dumbbells just before I got my camera and took this photo.  I guess that is his version of lifting the weights – to lay on them.

I have also been able to ride my bike a couple of times this past month and do some swimming in our pool now that the rainy weather has subsided for us.  We still get a shower about once a week but nothing like we had in May.

kitchen aid ice cream attachment

I have been making my own ice cream for the past couple of months and really like this new attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer that makes awesome ice cream with just a few ingredients.  I basically mix together 2 cups of half and half, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, chill it for a couple hours, then add it to the freezer bowl attachment while it is running and in 20 minutes you have made ice cream – or actually the attachment has made it for you – you do have to put it in a container and put it in the freezer and let it sit for a couple more hours to firm up.  It is the best ice cream ever and all three of my sons love it.

I realize ice cream is not really a health food but in my opinion all things in moderation are fine.  I have been enjoying my new homemade ice cream – in small portions – about three times a week this summer.

cherries and cherry pitter

Another thing I have been enjoying this summer is fresh cherries.  I really like them but hate pitting them.  I was doing the pitting by hand so I could use the cherries in recipes and then read about a cherry pit removing tool.  I decided to get one last week and I am so glad I did – it removes the cherry pits quickly and leaves the cherries basically whole.  The other way I was doing it was more or less by cutting them in half to get the pits out so I had cherry halves.

I hope your June was a successful month for exercising and making healthy choices.

Take care,

-Kimberlee

 

 

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June Artyarns KAL

This month I decided to participate in the Artyarns group KAL on Ravelry.  KAL stands for Knit Along.  I think it has been at least six months or more since I did a KAL and decided that the Stepping Stones Shawl pattern was a great summer knitting project.

part 1 of Stepping Stones Shawl pattern for Artyarns KAL

The yarn used in this knitting project is called Merino Cloud from Artyarns.  I bought mine from Fabulous Yarns.  I actually bought 3 colors – the shawl takes one skein.  The color I am using for the shawl in the photos is called Antique Ivories.  I thought it was a good neutral and would go with a lot of things.  The yarn is super soft and a joy to knit with.

Artyarns Stepping Stone Shawl part 2

Above is my progress so far on part 2.  There are 3 parts to the pattern and when you complete one Iris, the designer of the pattern and the yarn, emails you the next part.  I will say that the pattern is fairly simple if you are familiar with knitting lace and are an intermediate knitter.  There is optional short row shaping, which I am doing, and that does require knowing how to wrap and turn.  The short row shaping was one part I kind of messed up on my first try so I had to start over again this past Sunday.   Now that I am doing that part correctly I am pleased with the shawl so far.

If you are interested in joining the KAL check out the Artyarns group on Ravelry.  There are lots of people knitting this shawl and it is fun to see the different colors of the yarn being used and everyone’s progress in the group.  Also, for me the KAL keeps me motivated to get the project done in a timely manner.

I have also recently completed a few other projects, crochet and knitting, but haven’t found time to post about them yet.  Hopefully I will get around to that in the next couple of weeks.  The kids are out of school for the summer and days are filled with summer activities and having friends over.  Also, one of my son’s had his wisdom teeth out this past week so we have been dealing with that and dental appointments.  Thankfully his recovery has gone well, much better than mine did when I had it done over 25 years ago.

What crochet or knitting projects are you currently working on?  Let me know in the comments.

Also, before I sign off I want to mention that Craftsy is having a big summer sale this weekend only, June 19-21. 2015.  Note – this is an affiliate link and I get a small commission from Craftsy if you go through the link below.  Now is the time to stock up on supplies or try a class while they are on sale!

Craftsy

Have a great weekend!

-Kimberlee

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EOM Fitness for May 2015

May 2015 has come to an end and June will be here in a couple of days.  I don’t know if it is because of all the end of school year stuff going on with my kids or what but this month flew by, in my opinion.  My workout schedule for the past month was down to four days per week instead of five or six.  I decided to dial it back a little and do like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday schedule this past month.  workout cat with band

 

yoga journal magazine with great yoga practices and other info

This past month I also decided to change things up by using my Core workout book along with a new Yoga Journal Magazine I bought back in April.  I did do a couple of my Cathe workouts from an older dvd set X-train.  I love my Cathe workouts and usually include at least a couple each month.

Core workout book

I think I bought the Core workout book many years ago either at Half Price Books or Sams.  I really like this book and how there are routines at the end to do like the one shown above, the Power Workout routine.  The book uses an exercise ball, medicine ball, some weights and an exercise band for some of the exercises.  I like that there is minimal equipment.  It was nice to do these routines and put on some good music to workout to while doing them.  As you can see by the top photo the cat likes the book and workouts in there as well.  He was usually sitting by the band or on the book when I had it opened up.

Core Strength Training book

The other book I used this month along with the Core book was the one above, Core Strength Training.  I checked this one out from my local library.  I like how this book is set up and explains the exercises and there are detailed color photos, too.  I was trying to do at least four of the exercises on the days I was using my Core book.  There are lots of great exercises to increase your mobility and strengthen your abs and back for everyday activities as well as sports like golf.  I pointed this out to my husband since he golfs a lot and he frequently gets out my weights or bands to do a few exercises the day before he goes golfing.

This past month I have also been using a couple of other new books I recently bought at Barnes and Noble.  The first book I bought a couple of months ago, it is called Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles.  I just stumbled across this book while actually trying to find another book and loved all the recipes in there.  Everything is made with healthy and wholesome ingredients and most of them are pretty simple to make.  The concept is that everything is made with raw natural ingredients and nothing is cooked at a high temperature so the food retains the natural occurring enzymes.  There are a few recipes that use a food dehydrator but nothing is cooked over 175 degrees.  This interested me since my husband bought a dehydrator about eight months ago to dehydrate the hot peppers we grow every year.  I wanted to be able to use the dehydrator for more than that and apples which is about all we had tried.

Raw Energy book by Stephanie Tourles

This book contains recipes for cereals, dips, fruit and vegetable juices, nut milks, smoothies and a variety of snacks.  I have already made several recipes from this book and they were all good.  At the front of the book she explains the raw concept in detail and lists the equipment and ingredients you will need to make things in the book.  The author, Stephanie Tourles, has also written a few aromatherapy and body care books and I own two of those as well.  I knew when I saw this book it would be good and I have not been disappointed with it.

Power Hungry book

The other book I just bought a few weeks ago is called Power Hungry by Camilla V. Saulsbury.  Again this was a book I just stumbled upon at Barnes and Noble while searching for another book that I never found.  This book is all about making your own Cereal, Energy and Protein Bars with lots of variations within each recipe to create a different type of bar.  So far I have tried a few and liked them.  There are some recipes that require cooking some of the ingredients on the stove top or even baking some of them in the oven for a few minutes but there are also some raw recipes that do not require baking or cooking.  I also like how she classifies some of them as knock off recipes for things like Fiber One bars, Kind Bars and Larabars.  I know I have found, and even tried, some of these types of recipes from pinterest but they have not been as good as the ones in this book.  This book is worth the money if you are interested in making your own good quality bars with natural ingredients.  Also, there are tips in the book on storing the bars and how long they keep or can be frozen for, etc.

Well, so far it has been very rainy here so I have not been able to get out and ride my bike or swim like I normally do in May.  Maybe June will bring some sunshine so I can start biking to the store again and start swimming some for some exercise.  As far as my planned activities go I will probably stay with a 4 day a week schedule and plan to do weight training and yoga for this coming month.  What are your workout plans for June?

Have a good weekend!

-Kimberlee

 

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Baking Homemade Bread

This past month I have been baking a lot of homemade bread.  While I have always made homemade breads I mainly used my bread machine with the dough cycle and then baked them in the oven.  After checking out a new book from the library, called Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie I have decided I like using my Kitchen Aid Mixer (which is 21 years old by the way and a wedding gift from my aunt) to create some really great homemade bread that my whole family seems to love.

Oatmeal Honey Date Bread

The first recipe I tried from the Make Ahead Bread book was this Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf.  This bread is so good toasted in the morning for breakfast, especially with a homemade walnut butter or almond butter.  I also used some of the leftover slices that were getting a few days old to make french toast that was another great breakfast.

Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf

The concept of this book, Make Ahead Bread, is really simple and makes baking homemade bread manageable for anyone, even those who have a busy schedule.  Basically you make up the bread in your mixer with a dough hook the day or evening before, let it rise once for about an hour, then shape it into your loaf or place in a bread pan.  After those steps you then refrigerate the bread where it continues to slowly rise some more, take it out the next morning or approximately 24 hours later and then bake according to the directions.

There are lots of great recipes in this bread book that go beyond a normal loaf of bread.  The book has recipes for buns and rolls as well as flatbreads, pizza crust and pastries.  There are also some recipes for what to use the leftover bread for and some spreads and nut butters, too.  So far I have made the loaf above as well as Sourdough Rye Bread, White Wheat Loaf and the Hamburger Buns recipes.  All of them have turned out great.  I like the book so much and the recipes that I have tried that I decided to buy it so I now have my own copy.

I have also discovered that using good quality flours and other ingredients is crucial to having the bread turn out well.   A few weeks ago I decided to break down and pay the extra couple of dollars for the Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour instead of the other bread flour I was buying at the grocery store.  I love this bread flour!  If you go to the Bob’s Red Mill site you can get a coupon for a dollar off.

Artisan Bread Flour from Bob's Red Mill

There was a recipe on the label of it that I also tried and have made twice now called the Amish Country Loaf.  This bread is a basic white bread recipe and it makes two loaves but I decided to make some of the dough into sandwich buns that turned out good.

Amish Country Loaf Bread

Amish Country Loaf

 

Recipe for Amish Country Bread from Artisan Bread package

Above is the recipe from the package of the Artisan Bread.  It is a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients and it tastes wonderful.

21 year old Kitchen Aid Mixer

The above photo is of my Kitchen Aid mixer.  This mixer was one of the best wedding gifts and I am so thankful to my aunt who bought it for us 21 years ago.  It is still a workhorse (with a few scratches) and it is trying some new things now that we have bought the meat grinder attachment and the ice cream attachment – both work well.  I have not bought ice cream in a few months now and it is very easy to make your own with the kitchen aid attachment – the key to it is to make sure you keep the mixer bowl for the ice cream in the freezer all the time and to make sure you add cold ingredients to it when making the ice cream.  I find that it is still soft, kind of like soft serve ice cream, after 20 minutes of churning but once you freeze it for couple of hours it firms up.

I have recently checked out another bread baking book out from the library called The Big Book of Bread from Betty Crocker.  I tried the french bread recipe from there today and we will be having it with dinner tonight.  This book has a lot of various yeast bread recipes as well as quick breads, coffee cakes and muffins and gluten free recipes, too.  I foresee another book purchase in my future since I really like a lot of the interesting recipes in this book.  There are also recipes for using your bread machine.

I am so glad I have gotten more use out of my Kitchen Aid dough hook.  I use the mixer all the time with the regular mixer attachment or the whisk attachment but have not used the dough hook much at all in the past 20 years.  The dough hook is now making up for lost time in the past few weeks.

Do you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer and if so what are your favorite things to make with it?  Also, if you have a good bread recipe let me know about it in the comments.

Have a great day!

-Kimberlee

 

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Asymmetrical Knit Wrap Pattern

This knit wrap is a fun and easy design I recently finished.  This is a free pattern that I am sharing on my blog.  It is the perfect project for an advanced beginner.

asymmetrical knit wrap pattern from Kimberlees Korner

Asymmetrical Knit Scarf or Wrap  – click on this highlighted link for the free pattern.

I originally saw a wrap like this on pinterest about a month ago.  The pattern was a free pattern on Ravelry but it was written in another language – there was an English version but I was not sure I understood the way it was written – even the person who wrote it said their English wording might not be so easy to understand.  So, I decided to create my own version using a worsted weight wool and acrylic yarn.

The yarn I knitted my wrap in was from Knit Picks – Chroma Worsted in the color Theatre.  I have had in in my stash for at least six months now.  If you decide to use that same yarn the pattern will take 2 1/2 skeins but you will need to buy three, obviously.  If you use another worsted weight you will need approximately 575 yards.  back of asymmetrical wrap from Kimberlees Korner

This accessory can also be worn as a scarf, doubled around the neck for warmth.

Asymmetrical scarf or wrap pattern from Kimberlees Korner

Click on the highlighted text of the pattern name above for the free pdf pattern.  You can also find the free version of this pdf pattern on Craftsy.

I hope you enjoy the pattern – happy knitting!

 -Kimberlee

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EOM Fitness for April 2015

This month certainly went by fast!  I cannot believe that tomorrow is the first of May.  As far as my workouts go I kept up with a schedule of working out five days a week, alternating cardio and weight workouts with yoga.

The workouts I used this month were from two different dvd sets I own.  The one is the newer Cathe Friedrich Ripped with Hiit and the other was an older Cathe workout series that I have had for a few years called Low Impact Series.  Both of these sets are great and if you are looking for low impact workouts that give you an excellent workout without too much jumping and impact I would check out her Low Impact Series.  It is a set of nine dvd’s and a couple of them are yoga workouts.cathe dvd's used for April 2015 workouts from KImberlees Korner

On days I did not do a cardio or weight workout I did yoga using my Shiva Rea dvd’s, Exhale Core Fusion, or Yoga Journal magazine sequences.  Did you know that you can get some workout and yoga dvd’s on netflix?  I recently checked out Shiva Rea’s Sun Salutations from netflix and used it for a few of my yoga workouts.  I think I own most of her other ones except that one.  Checking out a dvd from netflix or the library is a good way to try it out and see if you will like it and want to buy it.

I have also been reading some other health and dietary books this past month that I have checked out from the library.  One of them is an older book but still has useful information called the Prescription for Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A. Balch.  I really like the format of this book as well as the useful information on how to eat properly for optimal health.  There are lots of recipes in this book as well, that I have tried and liked.

Some of the other books I have checked out from the library are more about cleansing and dietary plans for your health to overcome health problems and feel great.  To be honest with you the more I read some of these books the more confused I get on how to eat or what to eat.  It seems that if you compare some of these “plans” that are out there they are somewhat conflicting in what they tell you you should or shouldn’t eat and drink for better health.  I am reading them but using my own judgement with things.

I have been making more smoothies lately and not really using my juicer too much this past month.  I think I got burned out on juicing so I am taking a break from that for a little while.  I also notice that smoothies fill me up more.  I have even gotten two of my three sons drinking some healthy smoothies for breakfast at least a few times a week.

maca mango and raspberry smoothie

The above photo is a smoothie I recently made and I thought it was really good – it is kind of thick and super creamy.

Maca Mango Raspberry Smoothie

1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (I used fresh)

3/4 c. frozen mango

1 container raspberry greek yogurt

2 bee pollen capsules opened

1 tsp manuka honey

1 tsp maca powder

1/2 c. vanilla soy milk

-Combine all the above ingredients in a high speed blender and blend 1 to 2 minutes.

For the month of May I will probably start out the month doing some Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s along with my exercise ball book and yoga.  I have decided to get some of my fitness books out and use them this coming month instead of just my dvd’s.  I will also be going to a 4 day workout week schedule since I am now getting outside more to do some gardening and plan to start riding my bike to the store again.

I hope you had a great month!

-Kimberlee

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Rib Knit Tunic Sweater

This is a project that I actually finished a month or so ago but have not gotten around to posting about it.  I don’t know where time goes these days but it sure does go by quickly.  brown rib knit tunic made by Kimberlee

This tunic style sweater was designed by me with a fun rib knit stitch.  Even though I finished it closer to spring than winter I have been able to wear it a couple of times since it has been a cooler spring so far.  Also, I plan to be able to wear it in the coming fall and winter since it is a classic style.

rib knit tunic style sweater knit by kimberlee

 

back of rib knit tunic style sweater

I am currently working out the final details for the pattern for this sweater and I will have it available soon in my etsy shop and on craftsy.

The weather is starting to get warmer lately so I will be breaking out the lace or cotton weight yarns and designing some new wraps and sweaters with them.  Currently I am working on finishing a worsted weight wrap pattern that I will be sharing on my blog soon and I also have a cardigan sweater pattern that I am designing in a worsted weight.

What knitting or crochet projects are you currently working on?   Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear about them.

Have a good weekend!

-Kimberlee

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