At the very core.

I’ve been doing some thinking.

I feel as if I am a “SQUIRREL!” maker. I generally purchase yarn that fits my mood at the moment. I generally make patterns that are new and shiny or just fit a skein of yarn I want to use. I feel myself going that direction with sewing garments, as well.

Recently, I’ve been very inspired by several makers. Maria at Stitched in Sweden has a cohesive style, and the things she makes always seem to fit that vision. Jennie, tinypaperfoxes on Instagram, is working on a project to have a handmade wardrobe in 4 years and she’s another person whose makes just seem to shout that she made them. Now that I’m moving into some garment making, I’ve been thinking a lot about that sense of a cohesive style, especially as it relates to my making. I certainly don’t think I have a style beyond the fact that I wear black pants to work everyday, so I took to the internet.

Enter the Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette Blog. It’s a series of blog posts with activities designed to help you define, guess what? Your own core style! I’ve gone through the whole process, and boy! was it ever eye opening. I found it fun and inspirational.

After a fair bit of thought and reflection on things like your history, body image, and style icons, you’re asked to list words that you associate with your answers to the questions and reflections. I really like word association type activities, I think it helps crystallize your thoughts. After you create that big list, you are asked to condense it down into 3-5 words to describe yourself and your core style. Mine are:

Feminine, cozy, simple, classic

Armed with those words, the next step is to create a visual inspiration board to represent those words.

It makes me happy just to look at these images, and my entire inspiration board on Pinterest. These first steps in learning and crafting my own core style gave me a great deal of inspiration for the next steps. Tomorrow, we’ll explore a little about silhouettes.


Happy making!

Speaking of catching up.

It seems like ages since I wrote a regular ol’ blog post. You know the kind, where I just chatter along about the things I’ve been working on? Well buckle up and grab a cup of something hot and tasty, this is going to be a long one.

Let’s start with the dresses. I made two dresses out of that dark grey cotton jersey, one for Astra and one for me. They actually came together pretty quickly and are adorable, if you ask me. Astra and I agree, they’re awfully comfy, too. Astra’s dress was the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop and mine is the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns.

 

I think I’ll have to make myself another dozen Monetas. It’s incredibly comfortable and figure-flattering. I’m a fan.

In the sock world, I’ve got a bit going on. Still working on Kevin’s socks, but I’ve got one nearly done. I tried a few things for a toe-up heel and then finally decided to stick with what I like, which is a cut-in afterthought heel. So, I have one sock tube done. I cast on the second toe so that I would be ready for football this weekend:

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On the road trip to the anniversary party, I was determined to finally finish my Hedgehog socks. They had been on the needles since August! I finished them in the car on the way down, but had left the mate at home.

Now that we’re home the pair is finally together. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway. I’ll say it again, I love this base! I can’t wait to knit up some more socks in this squishy BFL.

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Thankfully, I brought another skein of yarn on the trip. Back in August I subscribed to the Hedgehog Fibres sock club. I’ve been dreaming of subscribing for nearly forever and I finally just went ahead and signed up. I received my first shipment a few weeks ago:

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I’m absolutely dying over the lighter skein, Iceberg. That pale blue and speckles slays me. The darker skein, Flytrap, is waaaay out of my comfort zone. Something struck me about it though, it seems perfect for Halloween socks. So I skeined it up and took it with me, thinking it would be a great October cast on. I managed to knit the entire cuff of the sock during Kevin’s turn at driving:

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Since then, I’ve turned the heel and finished the gusset on the first sock. I think they are perfectly spooky and fun!

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In other news, I finished the big seed stitch section and started section 7 on my Marled Magic shawl. It’s gigantic and amazing.

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I’ve had some pretty itchy fingers lately, I want to cast on everything! I cast on the Fleesensee hat:

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I was really enjoying this one, and the yarn is heart-breakingly pretty. It’s Suburban Stitcher DK in the Underwater Princess colorway. However, it was too small by quite a bit, so I’ve ripped it out. The yarn is now going to go to an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, if my needles ever get here.

Since that certainly wasn’t enough, I also cast on the Love Ewe Baby shawl. This is my first foray into two-color brioche and I am completely besotted. It is so squishy and soft and pretty!

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Right side.

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Wrong side, even though nothing about this is wrong!

I’m using Swift Yarns in the Swift Simple base, a 100% Merino singles base.  My colorways are Princess Bride (soft pink) and Tropical Vintage (speckle). I’ll add in some Marilyn (hot pink) when the time comes.

I think that’s everything I’ve been working on. I have the knitting bug something awful. There have even been a few days crisp enough to break out some wool!

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I’ve also been on a major planning bender. I’ve got a fun, big project in the works. I’m considering doing a bit of a series on it for the blog but we’ll see if I can tear myself away from the knitting long enough to write it up. I’ve done a bit of organizing lately, but more about that another day. For now, I’ll just leave you with a picture of a cat who loves yarn.

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YoM day 272-285: Quilting; sewing; sock, hat, and shawl knitting – a bit of everything!


Happy making!

Catching up.

Visiting home often means catching up on things. Always it’s catching up with loved ones–updates on life, work, family, and news great and small. This year, I’ve also been playing catch up on birthdays. Partly I can’t get my act together to finish things in time to mail them and partly I like to give gifts in person. That might be selfish, but it’s the truth.

On our visit home for Judge and Crystal’s anniversary party, I was able to see sweet Madelyn for the first time since her birthday. I got to hang out with her a teensy bit and chat, and finally gift her a mini I made, mostly just because I thought she would enjoy it.

The design just struck me as something she would find sweet. As I got the pieces laid out, I was really struck at how clever the design is. The pattern is the Patchwork Apple Mini Quilt by Sassafras Lane Designs. It’s a free pattern and I highly recommend it.

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I sewed one leaf wrong, but luckily fixed the other one. I think I only had to unpick one row and resew it — that’s a lot of teeny pieces and seams!

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I just love the scrappy, patchworky look of those apples. And the apple core slays me! So cute. I added a yellowy-mustdardy backing because that’s Madelyn’s favorite color and some soft yellow polka dotted binding. I think the finished product is pretty stinkin’ precious. Madelyn is also pretty stinkin’ precious, so it works.

I did do one new thing on this little guy. I added corner pockets to the back to make it easier to hang. This one fits a ruler pretty nicely, so hopefully that works well for Madelyn.

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It was great to see Madelyn on Sunday and get to catch up with her, even if it was just for a little while. I always love talking with her. Happy birthday, Madelyn!


Happy making!

Judge and Crystal.

My little brother married the woman that nobody can imagine him being without ten years ago. We were all much younger then and a lot has happened since. In some ways, I think we all finished growing up together. Sometimes it seems bizarre that it’s been ten whole years that they’ve been married. At the same time, I can’t really remember a time when Crystal wasn’t a part of our family.

I love them both dearly. Judge was my very first partner in crime and Crystal has come to be a sister to me. They are incredible people and have a beautiful relationship. The two of them have done so much for so many, and I can never thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me and mine over the years. Judge and Crystal are special in a way that is hard to put down in words, but if you met them, you’d understand.

I wanted to make them something special for their anniversary and so I decided to stitch an anniversary sampler for them. Of course, I had a difficult time finding the right pattern. I found one pattern that I really liked, but of course it had nothing to do with love or anniversaries:

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Photo courtesy everythingcrossstich.com

This is the Autumn Band Sampler, from Little House Needleworks. I love the colors and the squirrels and everything about it. I decided to hack the pattern and personalize it for Judge and Crystal. I went to the library got a giant stack of cross stitch pattern references and printed out some graph paper. It took a surprising amount of time to come up with a final layout that I really liked, but I drew out the pattern substitutions and got to work.

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I started stitching it up in early July. I kept having problems with miscounting my threads and was having trouble focusing on my work. I followed Kevin’s mom’s advice and got myself an Ott light, which is a daylight LED crafting lamp. That helped a lot, but I still couldn’t really focus well on the work. I wound up going to see an eye doctor, and two retina specialists. The uptake is that I have reading glasses for crafting now and can see tiny cross stitch a lot better.

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With my light and my reading glasses, I really got moving on the project.

I am a very slow stitcher, so it took me the better part of six weeks to finish. During that time, the only other things I worked on were socks and mom’s birthday present. I made mistakes and had to pull out stitches more than once or twice. There’s an acorn that I stitched four times before it was all done! But done it is and I took it to get it framed at my local cross stitch shop.

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I am so pleased with how it came out. I’m a little scared to really look at it, lest I discover something that is misspelled, but I think it’s pretty great. It really pushed my creativity, which is a great feeling. I’ve never designed anything, much less a cross stitch pattern. It’s also my second cross stitch finish… Kevin always says I jump in feet first with my projects.

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We celebrated Judge and Crystal yesterday with countless family and friends. It was a great day and my heart is truly full.


Happy making!