Box O’ Sox.

It’s here. It’s finished. It’s beautiful.

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Of course, I’m talking about my box of socks. I love the idea of knitting a dozen pair of socks a year and the Box O’ Sox KAL is the perfect motivation. I completed my box last year in October, I think. I didn’t consciously try to finish faster this year, but somehow I speed up on the sock output every year.

To celebrate, I thought I’d go back and talk about each pair in turn. Starting with pair #1: I knit these in 9 days at the beginning of the year, mostly while on a work trip. I have almost ordered this yarn again several times because I love it so much.

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“Goldfish” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #2: I love these so much. The yellow accents just work perfectly with the main color. The yellow is a little out of my usual comfort zone so that’s fun. These were my first cut in heel, which turned out to be an awesome technique

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“Day Drinking” – SuperCraftyGirl, contrast is “Zest” – Yarn Ink

Pair #3 were my Rainbowalong socks for 2017. I adore this colorway. It was gifted to me by my sweet friend Angela, who owns a yarn shop in the U.K. These make me think of her which is awesome.

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“Summer Skies, Rainbow Brite” – Moth and the Squid

Pair #4 were another fun deviation from my normal color palate. The skein didn’t look like it but these knit up into the prettiest autumnal rainbow. I like that little contrast toe, too.

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“Rainbow Brite” – Tempting Ewe Yarns, contrast is “Orange Fizz” – Countess Ablaze

Pair #5 is another pair that I could order the yarn again. I love this sweet pink! This base is one of my favorites. One thing I learned this year is that I highly prefer 80/20 Merino Nylon for socks. I’ve nearly quit using 75/25 blends for socks.

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“Sweet, Sweet Candy” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #6 were the first in my revival socks. I knit the first sock last year and it was incredibly small. So I knit myself a whole extra 2 socks. I find it awesome that I can get that much out of one skein. This neon is amazing.

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“Milky Way” – Knitty and Color

Pair #7 is my first pair with Baerenwolle yarn, but it won’t be my last. They almost feel like sport weight socks, the yarn is so plump and squishy. I love it.

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“Crush” – Baerenwolle

Pair #8 were my second revival socks pair. I started out not really into it, but wound up loving them. And that’s two pairs with yellow contrast! Who would have thought?

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Unknown colorways – both by Marigold Jen

Pair #9 just sung to me. My favorite colors are grey and pink and this is the best combo of the two I’ve seen.

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“Purr” – Peepaloo Fields

Pair #10 were a pair I started in March for St. Patrick’s Day but got distracted from them They’re a Corriedale blend which is fun and different, it feels squishy and sturdy at the same time. I finished these up in July.

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“Experiment 078” – Lamby Toes

Pair #11 were knit from a skein of yarn I won. I had never heard of the dyer before I entered the contest, but I was instantly seduced by the speckles. I cast these on nearly immediately after receiving the yarn and they were my first pair of birthday socks.

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“Sprinkles on Top” – Wee Chickadee Woolery

Pair #12 were my second pair of birthday socks. I knit them on vacation and I love that that memory is knit into them. The colors are just so sweet that I can’t stand it.

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“Sprinkle” – Peepaloo Fields

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My Box O’ Sox has been quite the journey. I really learned what to look for in a sock yarn that I will enjoy and that will produce consistent results for my gauge. I learned how to cut in afterthought heels. I learned that I like my cuffs 5″ instead of 6″. I love that I figured out all of those things. I can’t wait to figure out what next year’s box brings.


YoM Day 237: Sock knitting. Of course.


Happy making!

Life and socks.

I keep thinking, I should write a blog post soon. And then something else happens and I just don’t write. It’s been nice to take a bit of a break, I’ve been a trifle inactive on social media as well. But I do miss writing and sharing. This blog has really helped me coalesce my thoughts and intentions through the simple act of writing things down. I like that.

All that has been happening has been lovely. Since we last spoke, we’ve done some celebrating with my family, had a weekend trip with some friends, and had my favorite newly engaged couple up to visit. Today, let’s look back in pictures and in socks, and I’ll resume regular posts soon. Probably.

While visiting my family we had cake for my birthday:

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They put all 34 candles on it.

I got to visit with my two best friends in the whole wide world for a few precious hours. We were so taken up with each other that we didn’t get a picture together!

We left from my hometown to take a trip with one of the aforementioned besties and another mutual friend. And all of our families. 6 grown-ups and 6 kids stuffed our cabin full, but it was so nice to spend time with everyone. One night, the kids and dads made supper so I stole a few moments of knitting on the back porch.

 

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Second sock with a view.

On our last day, we took all the kids to an adventure park. It was a fantastic idea! Kids had fun and we loved watching them.

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

 

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

If you’re noticing a trend, the photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com part, well we were lucky enough that one of our six adults is an excellent photographer!

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Our whole group! photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

After we made it home, I managed to finish up my second pair of birthday socks which also happened to be my vacation socks. They are pair 12 for the year! My Box O’ Sox is finished, but we can talk more about that on another day.

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Peepaloo Fields on Sensible Sock in the Sprinkle Colorway

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I cast on another pair almost immediately. I can’t really stand not to have socks on the needles. This is Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway:

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When I got back to work after vacation, my favorite intern of all time had gone back home. She really is awesome and I hope to connect with her in the future. She left me the coolest birthday present:

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Etched mirror, her artistic interpretation of quasicrystals. Physics is cool!

That weekend, my brother, his fiancé, and her little brother came to visit. P.S. He proposed to her and our family couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic that we get to keep her. While they were here we went for a nice walk and picnic at the bay. We had a blast.

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Chesapeake Bay

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Impromptu D&D game while supper was cooking

On Monday, as you may have heard, there was an eclipse. We only got 82% coverage here in Maryland, but we celebrated in style.

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Beyond that, I have continued to work on the secret projects. I’m almost done with them! I’ve kept my sanity by continuing to work on socks and the first one is coming along nicely.

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I think that’s it for the last couple of weeks. I’m getting excited to be done with the secret stuff and move on to new things. I feel a bout of startitis coming on–my Ravelry queue is teaming with ideas and my sewing room is bursting with potential!


YoM day 221-236: Sock knitting and secrets!


Happy making!

Our little shishi.

The first maker I ever knew was my mom. When I was a little girl, she made me dresses, sewed up costumes and curtains, made quilts, and cross stitched samplers that I can still picture in my head. Fast forward more years than either of us care to tell and she is still a maker. Today, she makes journals and art and generally beautifies her surroundings. She also knits the cutest little woodland creatures:

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Darwin

Her woodland creatures inspired me to knit one for her for her birthday, his name is Seamus.

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He’s awfully chubby and cute, which meant he needed a basket, obviously:

Another maker was inspired this year, the very person who made her a shishi. Joshua has gotten into cross stitch so he stitched up a little owl for her:

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I glued the work to a teeny canvas and attached fabric to the back, but the stitching is all Joshua. His stitches are probably better than mine. The owl is 1.5″ x 2″ and the whole canvas and stand comes to about 5″ tall. It’s precious. All together, I’m proud of our birdy present.

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We weren’t able to be there for her birthday, so we wanted to make this extra special little package up for her. Today we got to see her and celebrate both of our birthdays and several other family milestones.

My mom is one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. She taught me the basics of sewing, quilting, and cross-stitching as a little girl. As I’ve grown up, she’s been a big part of the inspiration to become the kind of maker that I am today.

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Happy birthday to my mom, the maker and the shishi.


YoM day 220: Sock knitting!


Happy making!

Giant Family Road Trip, phase 1: Tennessee

We’re on a bit of a tour to see friends and family back home. Phase 1 included two destinations in Tennessee. Road trip day 1 was the longest car ride planned of the trip so we switched off driving duties. I knit during my time off:

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Birthday socks, pair 2: Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields

Our, first stop was to see Kevin’s best friends. They are the other 3/5 of our Dungeons and Dragons group, which we usually play online via Skype. Friday night, we got to stay with them and were up late playing in person! It was a great time and we woke up Saturday morning to play some more. If you’re curious, we defeated the necromancer.

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The next stop has been to see Kevin’s parents. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday, and Kevin’s mom suggested a hike up to some falls in the area.

She even took a picture of all four of us together, something that almost never happens.

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Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

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Other than that we’ve mostly been spending time together, talking and eating their good cooking. It’s been a great visit, I feel lucky that spending time with Kevin’s family feels like home to me too.

Of course, I’ve been knitting when I’m sitting. I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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I adore this color. It is so soft and sweet, just like sprinkles! I’ve also been using a newish project bag that I made, which went a teensy bit wrong.

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Nice and wrinkly from travel.

It looks a little funky because I boxed the bottom way too aggressively. Must remember to think more carefully about that the next time. The other issue with it is that it’s a wee bit too small. I wanted a little, single skein, sock sack. This one is a little snug on a wound up ball of yarn, though. It’s been tough to pull the yarn from the outside (which I do) until about now, when the second sock is done.

It’s super cute and still 100% usable, so I’m using it. Next time we’ll go up in width and box the bottom a bit more sensibly. Making is always a learning process.


YoM day 219: you guessed it, socks!


Happy making!

Birthday.

This year’s birthday has come and gone, but I’m still riding pretty high on the warm and fuzzies that it brought.

For the actual day of my birthday, Kevin and I both took the day off from work. I woke up early and had some knitting time with my coffee, my favorite way to start my day. Kevin gifted me a new chef’s knife and paring knife. I was incredibly surprised and touched by how thoughtful the knives were. He took me out to a special lunch and then gave me the quiet time to take a little birthday nap. That night, we ordered pizza and I knit and knit to my heart’s content.

 

All in all it was the perfect birthday. Lots of well wishes from friends and family, plus calls from both brothers and my mom. It really felt special and was so relaxed and just plain nice.

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I did not finish the birthday socks on my birthday. I knit them quite a ways, though, and got up early the next morning and finished them.

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The yarn is from Wee Chickadee Woolery and is called Sprinkles on Top. I won the skein in a giveaway on Andi’s blog, My Sister’s Knitter. The soft blue and pink background with violet and hot pink and orange and neon green speckles just calls to me. This yarn is speckled to perfection. I loved knitting these socks! They are pair number 11 for the year.

That next day we spent mostly in preparation for our Giant Family Road Trip. I did manage pick out the yarn for my second pair of birthday socks and get it wound up for the trip, an essential in the packing process.

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Sprinkle, Peepaloo Fields

I’ll say it again, it was a great day. I took some time to think about the turning of my own year to the next. At the beginning of 2017, I decided to start this blog and commit to a year of making. For my birthday, it felt like another beginning, another changing of the guard, my own year melding into the next. What do I want this year to look like? I don’t have a hard and fast answer, like I did at New Year’s. But I have been thinking about some changes that I’d like to make. Maybe they will surface in more clarity later, but right now things are just ruminating around. Do you think about things like that around your birthday? This is kind of a first for me.

Anyway, now we’re on vacation! More on that later–spoilers, it’s a lot of sock knitting.


YoM day 214-218: Birthday sock knitting.


Happy making!

Pineapple!

My friend Holly loves pineapples. Like, she really loves pineapples. So when her birthday was rolling around, I knew exactly what to do. I pulled and cut out some scraps…

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I arranged them in that ever so cute shape…

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And then I sewed it up!

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At this point, I was in love with it. And then I got to looking closer. Thinking, something seems off. After a bit of thought and comparison with the progress pics, I realized I sewed the second row upside down. I was so upset! Once my blood pressure calmed down, I broke out the seam ripper and pulled off the borders and the top two rows and fixed them. Much better.

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I quilted up the little cutie and bound it in no time. The pattern is from Sassafras Lane Designs. The mini finished at about 8.5″ x 11″ and is pretty darned cute, if I do say so.

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The hardest part of this quilt was waiting to gift it to Holly. I got to gift it to her today and I’m pretty sure she liked it a lot. This is one of my secret projects I’ve been working on, so it’s fun to finally get to share it, too!


YoM day 212-213: Birthday sock knitting – spoiler, I haven’t finished them


Happy making!