Off the list, one way or another.

Do you ever notice how life just seems to get slowly, inexorably busier all the time? At least that’s how it seems. Somehow, I am making progress on projects. I have crossed some more things off my list–four!–all in the last few days. Last week, I wanted to finish my 4-patch heart mini quilt and get my No Frills Sweater past the split for the sleeves. I knew that I was headed on a work trip and that the sweater would provide all of the endless, mindless knitting I would need.

First, I started quilting the mini quilt. I decided to try something new, and not do all over quilting. It was really all going well until I thought I would try a bit of free motion quilting around the hearts. Hard nope. It took me about 2 hours to pick it all out, but I finally did. I wound up going with a very nice grid instead.

On Sunday last, I finally gave up the dream of finishing the mini and got back to the sweater. The rows had gotten long and felt like they took forever so I tried to just plow through. I finally got to the split on Sunday night. I wound up more yarn to take with me on the trip and… decided not to take the sweater. It was just too much bulk with the extra yarn. I had to carry on my luggage–which I hate–and it seemed like I should just take something else.

Enter the Divi Divi Shawlette. This is one on the list that I have been hemming and hawing about. I thought this would give me a chance to really put a dent in it and try to just get it off the needles, even though I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to knit it. I don’t think I did really want to knit it, I was trying to slog through, but it was a struggle.

And then, about 2 minutes after this picture, the lady in front of me dropped something behind her and proceeded to swat around and spill this cup of coffee all over me and the shawl. Decision made. The yarn got soaked pretty good with coffee and we were early in the day of travel, so it dried on. I will try to save the yarn but I’m done with the shawl. Cross it off the list, it’s out of my mental space now. Thank goodness that wasn’t my sweater! I’d probably have cried.

With the rest of my plane trip there and back again, I worked on socks. I’ve not had much sock mojo, as we know, but it was good to just kick back with a good book and put some rows down on a vanilla sock. I finished that first sock and pulled out my rose city rollers. I knit and knit on them and… ran out of yarn.

On the plane, I cast on the second sock for the other pair. When I got home that night, I pulled out a mini and knit the last threeish rows in pink and finished up my shortie socks.

These are Rose City Rollers, a free pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner. I used the last of some Tempting Ewe Yarns in the colorway Saftayy. The mini is from Miss Babs, in the color Hot Shot. I didn’t bring scissors or neeedles on the flight, so I also kitchenered the toe of the holiday socks once I was home.

Once the socks were in order, I went straight back to binding that mini quilt and managed to finish it up. This is the 4-Patch Hearts Mini Quilt by Jedi Craft Girl . I used the same fabric as the pattern, but I had a charm pack instead of a jelly roll. It worked out, although I didn’t have as much red in my quilt.

I love it so much! I am pretty proud of this one. It’s been tucked away in a box for about a year and half because the first block I made came out super wonky. Now my blocks and points are much better. I used some yardage of the same fabric line for the backing. I just can’t get enough of this print.

I also really went out of my comfort zone for the quilting. I really like the effect. I even washed this one to make the quilting stand out. I usually don’t wash minis, but this one was just begging to crinkle up!

Once on the binding train, I couldn’t really get off. I pulled out my bunny mini dresden and finally got it all bound and finished off. This was my first try at binding a circle. It’s a wee bit poofy but overall pretty good. I think it is adorable.

I had made the whole thing strawberry themed, inspired by how much the bunny loves his strawberry. I think this one will be a mug rug for my desk at work. I just love seeing this bunny hanging out. The back is a pretty little strawberry print.

I think that’s it for now. I’m working on my sweater and contemplating a few new sewing projects. I’m down to 8 WIPs and I have been feeling pretty diligent so I’m ready for a bit of freshness.


One other thing, in completely un-crafty news, I saw the pacific ocean! I worked a lot on this trip, but did manage to walk out to the water a couple of times. I’m a mountain girl at heart, but the ocean is just so peaceful.


Happy making!

Sewjo.

I really feel like assessing all of my works in progress has energized me. We are only a few weeks into my #wipwipeout and I’ve completed 6/19 projects. Pretty darned good.

I will freely admit that I have tackled many of the easiest and/or quickest to finish. The two quilts that needed binding, a mini quilt. The shawl was a fairly big undertaking as it wasn’t even to the halfway mark when I picked it back up. Anyway, I’ve still been picking up partially completed projects and knocking them off the list, and that feels good.

I finally dyed that Mathilde top that’s been sitting around for nearly a year. I was hoping for a blue I liked, and that isn’t really what I got.

This blue just isn’t me. It’s either not dark enough or not light enough and the hue just isn’t something I usually go for. As if that wasn’t enough, the dye did some wierd things, mostly due to user error I think.

Oh well, chalk it up to a learning experience and mark it off the list. Next up, I cast on a new sweater. I hope I can get my sweater mojo back with something oversized. That way if the fit is off by a couple of inches, it won’t be so noticeable.

This is my No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit. It’s knit with one strand of fingering weight yarn and one strand of mohair silk held double and the floof is just to die for. This part before separating sleeves is a bit of a slog but the speckles and texture are keeping me going.

I am currently on day 2 of a 4 day weekend. Yesterday was the 4th of July and thanks to a whole lot of rain, we didn’t really do anything. Which meant that I did lots of things.

First up, I made this lovely bag for my friend Hannah. She’s my bestest knitting buddy and when she texted me to ask if I would sew up this bag if she sent me the kit, I couldn’t resist. This is the Take Along Tote by Never Not Knitting–the kit is from them, as well.

The pattern is well written and clear. I didn’t find anything confusing and the whole project came together in less than 4 hours. That’s pretty good for me on a first time bag. There’s a lot of interfacing (every fabric piece) so cutting and ironing takes up quite a bit of that time. I will definitely be making one of these for myself. This is the large size and the bag part is about a foot tall. It would easily hold a large sweater project.

Once my sewjo was rolling yesterday, I couldn’t be stopped. I pulled out my 4-patch hearts mini quilt and thought I’d just see if my blocks would turn out bettern now. The first one was a vast improvement over the old wonky block. Take a look: the old block is on top and the new one is on the bottom.

Still not perfect, but much better. I think know my cutting and piecing of the half-square triangles was not exactly up to snuff. But I am really trying to take to heart that finished is better than perfect. It’s really all practice, in the end. And I was certainly not wanting to scrap all this fabric! I forged ahead and managed to compete the top last night.

I just love it. I don’t knwo what I’m going to do for quilting, but I think I’ll go for it this weekend. After all of that time at the machine, I was ready for a bit of curling up on the counch with some hand sewing. Enter Quilted Notions Pouch.

This little guy has been sitting waiting for binding and a zipper for about eighteen months. I finally finished him off this morning. This pattern is by Retro Mama and this one is the larger size. It’s still only about 5″ tall, so large is kind of an exaggeration. I used a fat quarter of this pretty cloud print and couldn’t throq out the quote on the selvege. It took some doing to squeeze it on and not obscure the clouds but I’m glad I used it.

I added this cute pink and yellow zipper that’s been hanging out in a drawer for forever and I think it takes the whimsy up a step. And I just love that giant pull ring.

This pouch requires a lot of hand finishing. The zipper is all hand sewn and you have to finish the sides and inside all by hand. It’s very worth it in the end, though. It comes out very nice and neat. I will make more, but probably not until I forget a little about how much work they take.

That angry cloud! I love that one. So far my long weekend has been quite productive. I love finishing up these projects but my head is really starting to buzz with all the ideas I’m getting. I’m feeling the quilting bug coming on strong. We’ll just have to see how long I can hold out. I’ve got 13 more WIPs left!


Happy making!

Yarn chicken.

Yarn chicken is not a game I play often. I had a rousing match with a skein of yarn recently — and lost. I didn’t realize we were even playing until I was almost out of wool.

The project that served for the playing field was my Lumen. I recently was quite inspired to pick it up again and moved fairly quickly. One evening, I became quite excited that I was on the last lace repeat before the border. For some reason, wool knows, I decided to weigh my yarn.

I had worked out how much of the shawl I had left to knit–thanks to this handy, dandy triangle shawl calculater–and discovered that having 30% of the shawl left, not including bind off, and 28% of the yarn left was just probably not going to work. Anything could happen, but I was spooked. I just knew I’d run out on the bind off or some madness.

So, I did what any knitter might do, I pulled the needles out and ripped back the last lace repeat. I figured that I could omit the last repeat and just go straight to the border. But the shawl looked teeny and I do not want a teeny triangle shawl. I put it away and decided to do a bit of sewing.

I thought about the shawl though, not wishing to have another stalled and failed project. I decided to go through my yarn stash and see if anything matched or would coordinate. No luck. I went online to see if I could purchase another skein of the yarn. No luck. And then, I happend to see my color cards. I went through all of them before landing on the Quince and Co. wool line.

Shell looked pretty darn good. Not perfect, but pretty close. I ordered a skein and went back to knitting Lumen. When the yarn arrived, it seemed about as close as I was going to get to a dupe.

And so, I knit Lumen until I had one gram of yarn left and then added in the Quince. I wound up using 10 grams of the Quince, so I certainly needed something it. It is, of course, not a perfect match, but I’m at a “finished is better than perfect point” with my knitting these days.

It’s all finished now, and really quite lovely. I wanted a soft pinky mauve triangle shawl and I got exactly that. Just for a recap, this is Lumen by Sivia Harding for Brooklyn Tweed. The yarn is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk Light in Powder Puff, finished off with Quince and Co. Finch in Shell. My only modification was to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead of the recommended method. Turns out when a Brooklyn Tweed pattern says something is tedious, they aren’t messing around.

I do like it very much. I think it will be a lovely addition to my cool weather wardrobe. I am also very glad that I didn’t give in to the yarn chicken loss and rip the whole thing back. I suppose that while I lost the match, I won the game in the end.


Happy making!