Happy spring! I am writing from my hotel room in New York City, I’ve got some downtime during my work trip and thought I’d better write before I finish all my trip knitting in one go.
You may recall that I cast on a new pair of socks for my trip to Charlotte back in February. I’ve kept them solidly to travel knitting since, but they are coming along. I just adore that color – Sunflower by Stress Knits Yarn.
After I finished my Habitation Throw, I had a craving for more knitting. I decided to just pick out something happy and speckly and here we are. This is Sugared Sweeties by A Homespun House. I powered through that first sock before I decided it was time to pick back up on one of my year of wips projects. Since the last two were pretty easy wins, it felt like the right time to go back to a project that’s a bit bigger and more challenging.
That’s right, I’m back to hand quilting. I’ve finally started to get my rhythm going with hand quilting on this full size quilt. It’s been a real struggle in the past, I’ve tried a bunch of different techniques and none have really felt right. It is definitely not perfect, not even particularly neat, but it’s coming along and that’s what counts in my book. I do want to try to get the stitches a bit smaller but no bother. I’ve got a fair chunk done now!
Isn’t it great? Speaking of quilting, I have a sneak peek for you! Just before I left for this trip, I got my Granny’s Garden quilt back from the long armer – it’s so amazing!
That’s pretty much it for today. I’ve made a good bit of sock progress since I took those pictures last weekend so how about one more update before we go?
One thing I’ve learned in quilting is that I like a pretty specific size when it comes to throw size. Some patterns come in quite small and some quite large. I’d go large if I had to, but for me, the perfect size is around my wingspan wide and around my height long. Just right for snuggling under. My latest finished object is not exactly that big.
This is the Habitation Throw – a pattern by Helen Steward of Curious Handmade. Now, please don’t get me wrong – I knew going in that this would be small and let’s be honest, I have no interest in knitting a blanket that’s any bigger. I really enjoyed this project but I did have a bit of an existential crisis somewhere around the halfway point. I started thinking about my blanket preferences and contemplated making it double size to get to full on throw blanket status.
But then I thought about how chilly my shoulders get sometimes when I’m snuggled up with a quilt but working on something with my hands – and there was the answer. It’s a Throw (around your shoulders) Blanket. Do you have these internal battles with yourself? Sometimes I wind up scrapping a project like this when it’s not meeting my expectations, but sometimes I can reframe and get to a happy place.
I’m glad we made it to a happy place because this guy is pretty sweet. I used the Stress Knits Yarns 2021 advent calendar minis and the Christmas day full skein. I weighed each mini before I attached it and used about 10g before ending with a wrong side row and switching colors. I used a bit extra of the last skien of yarn but I had planned it that way.
This completes another Year of WIPs finish! I’m feeling well on track with this goal and really loving getting things completed. Finishing things really is just as fun as starting them… almost.
My Dad always used to tell a story about me as a very small child, ordering ice cream. I switched my order while we were waiting in line and then was all surprised – “I changed my mind!” – as though it hadn’t occurred to me that I could do such a thing. Many years later and I’ve just had a similar experience. I changed my mind.
I’ve been stitching away on my first cross stitch project for the year of WIPs. As I’ve gotten closer to finishing one, of course I started thinking about the others. Of the four projects, two happen to be Halloween themed. I used to just love Halloween but I’ve moved away from that these days. I’ve been worrying quite a lot about what I’d do with two sizeable Halloween cross stitch pieces that are hardly started.
And then it dawned on me… I can change my mind! Thinking back a few years ago, I challenged myself to a WIP wipeout – I made a big list of projects and either finished or frogged them all. Things change and you fall out of love and that’s ok. I’ve decided to frog the Halloween cross-stitches. I can reclaim the fabric for another project down the line and devote that time to something I do love.
I’ve been worrying about what this means for the year of WIPs but it’s my year, right? Crossing off is crossing off. These guys won’t be taking up brain or drawer space anymore. Speaking of crossing off…
I finished it! This was much faster than expected, especially after I got started. I felt like it was going so slowly. It only took 11 days of working on this in the evenings and we’re all done. This pattern is from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I purchased this kit back in 2017-ish and started it soon after purchase. It’s hard to see in pictures, but the linen is actually sparkly – so sweet.
I stitched in hand back in the day, so I finished this one in the same fashion. I don’t know how I feel about that method, I think I’ll try my next project with a hoop. It was all crinkly so I gave it a good press today and voila! ready to go the framer.
I encourage you to put your energy into projects that you love. It’s ok to frog something, reclaim the materials for yourself or a friend or even to donate. Sometimes it feels great to change your mind!
Hi friends, it’s been a while. February felt like a bit of a blur – I always feel like I’m going to hunker down and get a lot done in February, but it doesn’t always pan out. This year, I’ve been making slow and steady progress on lots of things (most of them WIPs). Once I finished the Granny’s Garden quilt – it felt like a whole new world had opened up! First off, I didn’t have much to go so I just powered through the socks I had on the needles.
They turned out pretty cute! These socks are plain old vanilla, my regular go to. The yarn is Opal in the Juniper Height (9851) colorway. They’re cute and comfy. I cast these on back in October so it’s nice to have them finished. They are WIP 5/20 for my year of wips.
I finished those right before I took a quick flight down to NC to go to a concert with my brother and sister-in-law. I was only there for about 22 hours, but I knew the flights would need a sock. I wasn’t really ready to take a blanket or cross stitch, so I just hadto pick out yarn for a new sock cast on.
I picked Stress Knits yarn in the Sunflower colorway because the yarn was wound up (can’t remember why) and I thought socks in this color will just be amazing. I spent that day with the sibs in Charlotte where we wound up checking out the NASCAR museum first…
and then hit the concert at the end of the day…
I had such a good time just escaping for a day to hang out with these two. I was up the next morning at 5 to catch the plane home, so I didn’t knit quite so much as usual. This sock is tucked back away waiting for next weekend – my first work trip in two years!
After all of this, I was tooling around my sewing room, putting away some scraps when I suddenly came across a plastic baggie labled, you guesed it, “projects.” Luckily there was just one in there, but still…
This isn’t too bad, just a wee clamshell panel. I fancy I’ll do a bit better on it now that I’ve got so much more applique experience under my belt, but needle turn is still a bit of magic to me. I started this project back in 2019 and this makes 21 total projects on the list. I really really think that’s it.
With this project added, I saw I have 10 hand projects (hand-sewing, knitting, and crochet) on the list and 10 months left. Not too bad, just need to finish one a month and I’ll be golden. I decided to pull out a cross stitch project for March.
And this is my progress to date. I’ve added the sheep, barn, and grass so far. It’s slower going than I expected, but that’s the way it goes. This is a pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I started this back in 2017 – I spent a solid 6 or 7 months enamoured with cross stitch and then never picked it up again. I’m not in love with the process, but I’m finding my rhythm.
At the sewing machine, I’ve been working on catching up with my Avonlea quilt. I’ve completed January and am working on February now. These four blocks are the very center of the quilt. I just love how log cabin blocks come together.
And then… I saw some quilters on instagram talking about pulling out their Betsy stashes and so I just had to pull mine…
It’s so pretty. Y’all know I have a love affair with the Betsy pattern by Liberty. Last year, I made a Betsy mini quilt last year and so when Bec of Sew.Be put out the idea of a Betsy nine patch quilt, I just haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Going through my stash, I pulled out a few solid pink fabrics that I thought might work for the background.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I went with the middle color here. The sewalong aims to make four blocks a week. I’m starting with two blocks from each fabric and the results are pretty snazzy.
Well that’s it for now. How long do you think it will be before I discover another latent WIP? Start another project? Inspiration seems to be everywhere, year in and year out, so I’m not mad.
Is this my Everest? Perhaps. It feels like I’ve slayed the beast.
Cosi feels the same way, we’ve been revelling in our victory. My Granny’s Garden quilt top is finished.
Can you believe it? Two and a half years in the making, a solid 60 hours of prep, and probably around 150 hours of hand sewing – this was a lot of work but the so very worth it. I just love it.
This was an insta-love pattern for me. The pattern and all the fabrics are by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet. This is called Granny’s Garden and I used the full quilt kit with all fabrics from Lori’s Granny Chic line. I hand appliqued all the flowers and the scalloped border. I used Lori’s suggested interfaced applique technique – you can read all her advice on her blog. I had never never never appliqued a thing when I started this project. I learned a lot and this method really did work well. My one gripe is that prep took a long long time – but sometimes that’s just the way.
The execution took some time, but once I buckled down and focused primarily on prepping in the mornings before work and appliquing in the evenings after supper it just started to flow. It took the better part of six weeks once I got rolling again this year. It’s finish 4/20 for my year of WIPs and what a finish it is! I’m shipping it off for quilting this week. I had toyed around with thoughts of machine or hand quilting it myself, but y’all – this sucker is heavy.
Greetings! January was a bit of a blur with some big work stuff, so I’m rather pleased to see February come around. I’ve been working hard at work and appliqué, I’m rather pleased to share.
One thing that really held me back on my progress with this quilt has been prepping the blocks. It actually takes quite a lot get all the pieces ready and basted for appliqué. I’ve started committing my early mornings to this prep work each day. I get up with the kids, but they are pretty much self sufficient at this point so I really just make coffee for myself and give hugs as they leave. Since they’re up so early, I have a good hour each morning to myself, which has just been amazing.
Bit by bit, I’m making progress. I just love this little teeny flower. Up this close, you can tell that there is nothing perfect about my work here. But I’m letting it be and taking my flowers as they come. Let me tell you, though – the overall affect is pretty spectacular! I started sewing up the rows as I planned to, and now that we’re over half way there, I’m more motivated than ever.
Ugh, it’s so good! I’m up to block 34 now I think – there’s another row to sew on and then I’ve only got 9 more blocks. And then the border… but I’ll think about that another day. As work really ramped up towards the end of January, I fell off with appliqué just a bit and focused on another project instead.
These socks had been my “hands too tired for sewing but not for knitting” project for a while, so I finally buckled down and finished them. These are my scrappy advent socks from the holidays, all made from the Stress Knits 2021 advent calendar. I knit 5 rows from each mini, and slipped every 4th stitch in an alternating pattern on the first row of each color. I wish I hadn’t done the slipped stitch pattern, it’s so subtle it almost makes the stripes look a bit messy. I finished off with the 25th day skein for the last bit of the foot and the toe. They are sweet and scrappy, and super squishy.
That’s WIP 3 of 18 done! I think that’s pretty good for the first month of the #yearofwips, but I have some confessions to make. The first is a planned project start – this year’s block of the month from DuckaDilly.
Can’t you just?! It’s another log cabin quilt and I’ve just started but my goodness. It’s a beautiful pattern called Avonlea, and you guessed it – all in Liberty. This doesn’t go on the WIP list, but I do want to keep up with it this year.
Now for the real confession – I found another WIP. I had kind of forgotten about them, but starting the Avonlea quilt reminded me of an old log cabin project I had buried in my mind and in the move, apparently. I did some digging, had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find it, and dug some more before…
I found it. We can talk about the full story when I start working on this, but let’s just say there are 8 completed HAND PIECED log cabin blocks there and a million 1.5 inch strips. Let that sink in and we’ll get to the real kicker. When I found this project in ziploc bags under a bunch of batting scraps in a box in the back of the closet, there were other ziploc bags underneath…
Yeah. That’s another quilt, cut out and waiting. There are approximately 1000 squares. The practice blocks aren’t actually the right pattern, but more on that when we get there. Let me repeat – 1000 squares.
If you’re keeping track – that’s an additional 2 more WIPs that we didn’t account for. These both date back more than a decade, so they definitely count towards the #yearofwips. 3 of 20 is still pretty good, right?
In all of this hubbub, my sister-in-law had a birthday so I made her a thing.
This is the Take Along Tote by Sometimes Sewing made up in some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. canvas. This is the fourth one I’ve made and they just get easier. Sewing these up is a snap and I can say that I jut love mine – the finished product is a great piece. I used a soft pinky cream print, also from Rifle Paper Co., for the lining and some oatmeal cotton webbing for the handles.
After making up that bag, I gave myself permission to start new projects. One major criteria for new ideas making the cut in the #yearofwips will be gifts. I’m not planning to start anything new in a category I already have going – I’m looking at you, pink socks – but gifts are an exception.
With that, Cosi and I hd a wee fabric pull for a new quilt for mom. He loves our choices very much. You won’t see much on this one for a long while, of course, but it will be quietly in the background.
Well, that’s it. I’ve made a whole lot of progress and piled a bit more on my plate. I don’t imagine that anyone is surprised. I’m enjoying everything that I’m giving time to, and that’s the most important thing.
I don’t want to speak too soon, but my year of WIPs has certainly lit a fire around here. The first ten days have been great! I know from experience that my mojo ebbs and flows throughout the year, so I definitely take advantage of it when it’s running high.
I knew out of the gate that Kevin’s hat would be the first item on the docket. He had waited so patiently while I knit advent socks that he deserved his hat finished next. I love how it turned out.
This is Kennecott by Caitlin Hunter. I’ve had this pattern for ages, it was great to get to try it out. It’s actually a very intuitive cable pattern and easy to do. I knit it without a cable needle as usual. The yarn makes me this pattern just soar. I used Sweet Sparrow yarns – bottom is the Chickadee base, suri alpaca and silk, in the On Softest Wings colorway; top is the Phoebe base, tweed DK, in the Blanketry colorway. I held them together to create the most luxurious texture and lovely soft grey-blue color. Kevin reports it as wonderful.
Next up, I finished off my shawl. The pattern is by Susan B Anderson, the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 3. Fun pattern to knit, tons of garter until you get to the boarder and then that’s even quick and meditative. I used Miss Babs Yowza, as called for in the pattern, in the colorway, Sugar Sugar. All in all, it’s soft, simple, and cozy. Just what I’ve needed on the last few cold nights.
After finishing two quick projects I was sorely tempted to plow right on ahead and keep finishing fast. Thinking about that though, I imagined being frustrated by the summer with only long or barely started projects to work on. So I am, in my own way, eating the frog first. I dug out my Granny’s Garden quilt.
One of my side goals this year is to talk more about projects in progress, so lucky you – let’s dive in. A brief history of the progress, starts and stops so far:
August 2021 – 14 blocks total, getting cozy with applique. I finished two more, one of my faves:
The project then basically snoozed until this week. I had the goal last year to finish the quilt, but we know how that went. I pulled out some blocks and made the shapes but then that was it. Found out we were moving or something, you know? And so this week, I pulled out those shapes and basted them and stitched them and voila! More blocks!
My goal is to finish 3 blocks per week because that amounts to finishing a row every other week. I like to build quilts as I go, when possible. I think that will be helpful to have the main part of the top complete when I start on the border. Because of course, it’s more applique.
I’ve really enjoyed stitching lately, I like hand sewing a lot. It does make my hands more tired than knitting, so I’ve been taking breaks and switching to knitting when I need to. The hard part of this project for me is making the shapes. It’s a great method for getting a really nice finished piece, but boy does it take some time. Cosi helped me yesterday morning before work. He’s very supportive.
Well, that’s where we stand. I don’t know that I really have the right mix of projects to balance them throughout the year like this, but I like this so far. I do have a block of the month to catch up on, but I’m doing my best to stay firmly on the applique train.
In typical style, I’ve been brainstorming lately about what my new year should be. My 2021 year of minis got a bit derailed by moving and all and I still have those big projects I wanted to finish. I was chatting with my SILs about it the other day and we went down to take a tour of the craft room and some of my WIPs. I wound up having a bit of a moon over all the bits and pieces laying around so yesterday afternoon, I made a list.
That, friends, is the current list of all my works in progress, plus my upcoming block of the month or club projects. Take a deep breath with me. Some things are very close to finished – quilt binding or a hat, for example. Some, not so much – I’m looking at you, applique. Let’s take a look at the list in another way…
Wowzers. Thats a big pile. That is a total of 18 current projects: 6 quilts, 1 crochet blanket, 7 knitting projects, and 4 cross stitches. Oh that’s right, I said cross stitch. My oldest unfinished project dates back to pre-blog times in 2015.
I think I’ll pull out the old project pictures and their history as I get to each project, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing this throw back. That’s my sweet old Twiggy, she was such a good kitty.
Perhaps you’ve guessed by now, but my 2022 goal is to turn that big ole pile of WIPs into a pile of FOs. Let’s take a quick look at what that would look like: Quilts: The finished tops I want to turn into quilts, bound and finished. The quilt tops that are still in progress, I just want to finish the top and have it ready to go out for long-arm quilting. Knitting/Crochet: Finished, ends woven in, blocked as needed and done. Cross Stitch: Completed and ready for framing.
A wee stretch goal would be to finish the year with only projects that need outside help for finishing (quilting or framing), which means keeping up with the two club / block-of-the-months projects I have planned. Since this is a tall, tall order I’m trying to not start anything new for quite a while (except socks, of course). I’m really excited.
Well here we go friends, my Year of WIPs starts today. I’ve got a lasagna in the oven and some cozy knitting just waiting. The supervisor even told me that he’s ready to get to work in the sewing room.
Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you are all ringing in the next trip around the sun in a way that makes you smile. We had a joyous (and intensely packed) trip home to see family and then my brothers and their wives (and our dog nephews) came home with us. I’ve had my siblings here most of the week and that has been filling my cup to the top.
This is going to be a big wrap up – I’ve finally gifted a bunch of socks that I knit over the pandemic – and I’ve got my advent knitting FOs and WIPs to share. Just like 2022, let’s dive right in.
First up, a pair of socks for my mom: This is the Woodland Walk pattern by This Handmade Life. I used Stress Knits yarn in the Mountain Mama colorway.
Next, Judge’s socks: This is Paton’s Kroy sock – a favorite for brother socks – in the Dads Jacquard colorway. I knit a simple 3×1 rib for these.
Noah’s socks: Another pair of Paton’s Kroy in the Blue Grey Marl colorway.
Madelyn’s socks: The pattern is Heather by This Handmade Life but I messed it up and did the cables a bit wonky. The socks turned out lovely, so I’m not mad. I used Brooklyn Tweed Peerie in the Butte colorway for these.
Crystal’s Socks: Another pattern from This Handmade Life, this is Sixpence. This is also Brooklyn Tweed Peerie in the Klimt colorway.
More socks for mom: This is the Coast Range pattern by Lindsey Fowler. Once again, I used Stress Knits yarn in the Eucalyptus colorway.
Bridging the gap between gifts and advent – more socks for mom! If you recall, I was knitting two pairs of socks out of my Cozy Knitter Advent Stripe 2021 skein. I finished these early Christmas morning. I managed to get all the stripes on both pairs! I love them.
I finished all four socks on the evening of Christmas and wore my pair the day I gifted them to her. I’m a bit ridiculously excited to have a pair of socks that match my mom’s.
I got a bit burned out on the other advent projects so they’ve been put in a little basket until I feel like picking them up again – more on that soon. Kevin decided he wanted a toasty warm hat so…
I wound up these beauties and cast on a Kennecott hat on the car ride down south. The yarn is from Sweet Sparrow Knits – top is the Chickadee base, suri alpaca and silk, in the On Softest Wings colorway; bottom is the Phoebe base, tweed DK, in the Blanketry colorway.
In small time news, this is also the fifth anniversary of the blog! I started off five years ago today, with a picture of – you guessed it – socks and the idea to have a year of making. I’ve been doing years of things or a word – and I’ve been throwing ideas around all month long. I think I’ve finally got something that has stuck, more on that to come.
We’re here again! It’s the holiday season and I’m pleased as punch. This year, once again, I’m diving into advent knitting with gusto. Last year, I knit two pairs of advent socks and started a wrap that didn’t get finished. I finished the wrap back in July, right before we moved, and pulled it out and wove in all the ends and blocked it a couple of weeks ago.
This is Dust of Snow by Curious Handmade. I knit mine using the Stress Knits 2020 advent calendar minis held double with un-dyed mohair/silk. The result is a dreamy cloud of a wrap in a beautiful variety of colors. I do think I could have gone up a needle size, the wrap is a bit narrower than expected, but oh well. Live and learn for next time.
In other news, a few weeks ago, we went home for Thanksgiving! It’s been so long, it was magical and exhausting to be traveling again! We saw bunches of family and it was just wonderful. Of course, as one does, I packed tons of knitting. My first order of business was to cast on the cuffs for my advent socks:
More on those in a moment. I also brought along that pair of socks I’d been working on:
However, as a I was packing, I felt the oddest sensation! I thought about casting on something that wasn’t socks… it had been quite a while, but I went with the tug and wound up an enormous skein of Miss Babs Yowza. I cast on my third Yowza Weigh It Shawl 3, finally one for me.
Of course, the socks and shawl have now been cast to the wayside to make room for advent knitting. If you’re unfamiliar, advent knitting is that magical time where you cast on a million projects that will use just a bit of yarn each day. I easily convinced myself that I could handle a “few stripes” each day. Psh.
The first projects are my The Cozy Knitter 2021 Advent Stripe socks. Yes, I said project(s). Last year, I didn’t use a contrast color and wound up with a good bit of yarn leftover. The advent skeins come with 4 full repeats of the 24 stripe pattern, so I decided to knit 2 pairs of socks out of it.
Fun right? Now, if you’re thinking why stop at 2 pairs of socks – I’m right there with you. I also cast on a pair of scrappy socks with this year’s Stress Knits advent calendar. These are super simple, I’m knitting 5 stripe repeats with a very simple slip stitch pattern on the color change rows.
Since those socks use approximately 2 grams fo yarn in total from each mini, I also cast on the Habitation Throw, another design by Curious Handmade. I’m a bit behind on this one – putting the heels in the other socks really set me back – but I’m almost done with day 11.
I’m really starting to think this is coming out far smaller than intended. It’s supposed to finish at 40 inches square, but I’m far short of that. I think I’m going to bolster the yarn needed at the end with the day 25 colorway – this calendar has a Christmas day full skein of yarn. That will be how I finish the blanket and the socks.
Well, there you have it. Lots and lots of fun stripy, scrappy knitting. I do really enjoy this process, but my mind is also turning toward the new year. I’ve got a few projects ongoing that I want to wrap up and then what? I’ve got some ideas churning and I look forward to sharing them here!