Whatever I feel like.

What happened to August? It felt like a whirlwind and here we are, a whole week into September. The kids are back in school and I’m back to cooking in a way that makes me feel good. Something has switched with me this week and I’ve felt motivated to make. Let’s catch up.

I finally finished my Christmas socks! The yarn is Lattes and Lllamas BFL sock in Ugly Christmas Sweater. That’s one off the #wipwipeout list.

I decided to try needle turn applique on soem clambshells. I’m using the tutorial from over on the Sunny Day Supply blog. I still need practice, but they’re super cute.

I finihsed a quilt top! I cut it out and sewed up the rows over my birthday weekend and then finished sewing the rows together a couple of weeks later. I really liek this quilt top, the pattern is great. It’s Arthmetic by Jeni Baker, I did the 4″ square version.

Pretty much as soon as the Arthmetic top was done, I started sewing up some rainbow strips for a bargello quilt. It’s still in the sewing strips together phase at this point.

I did wind up casting on another pair of socks, but these are a gift so I won’t say much.

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in the sewing room and the stash shelves were starting to look pretty rough. That’s the before…

And this is the after! It’s pretty nice, if you ask me.

As I mentioned, the kids started back to school this week. This was at 6:30 right before Joshua walked off to his first day of high school. Astra was up early for breakfast with us, but her first day of fifth grade was hours away at this point.

Something made me want to pick up my No Frills and knit a row or two and now I’ve been obsessed. I’ve only got a couple of inchs to go till the ribbing now!

And last, but certainly not least, I have started an Everest of a project. This is the first block of my Granny’s Garden quilt, a fully appliqued monster of a quilt. I’m excited but this is definitley a long term project. I’ll have to ellaborate in another post, but let’s just say it took me about 18 hours to cut the thing out. Yeah.

Well, there you go. Not very much making for six-ish weeks but I’m trying to have peace with that. I do what I feel like doing and that’s ok. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t have some quota to meet every year.

Making feels a bit all over the place at the moment, but I’ve really been just picking up whatever feels fun at the moment. At any rate, I’ve got some enjoyable projects going on right now, and I’m digging it.


Happy making!

The wagon hath run me over.

I’ve really fallen off the wagon with lots of things that bring me joy and it’s time to climb back into the driver’s seat. We’ve got a bit going on over here in my house; work is busy, we’re right in the middle of the birthday gauntlet, and Joshua is finishing eighth grade. I think it’s high time I get back into some good habits.

One of the things I’ve been slacking on is taking care of my body – eating well and getting enough rest. That’s just going to take a whole lot of intention and remembering that the easy eay out (hello Chipotle) doesn’t mean the best result in the run (hello tummyache). My eating habits have left me feeling out of sorts, which makes me not want to sew very much. I was starting to get in a groove, time to get my groove back.

I’ve really noticed missing blogging and sharing my progress on my makes. This feels silly to type, but I’ve been slacking on taking pictures. I enjoy seeing my making documented over time, looking back over what I’ve done, so I want to get back to that.

With all of that said, this isn’t my first reboot-montage, and it’s probably not the last, but let’s take a look at the last month or so…

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I swatched for a new sweater. I swatched with a 3.25 mm (too big) and 2.75 mm (too small) before realizing that I had a 3.00 mm and it worked!

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Joshua turned 14! I made a lemon cake with blackberry buttercream frosting. Joshua declared it the best cake I’ve ever made.

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My brother and SIL came up for Joshua’s birthday and we went strawberry picking. I didn’t preserve a single one. We made strawberry shortcake that night and then flat out ate the rest. Worth it.

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I got obsessed with a book series (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas) and needed something to concentrate on while listening. I wound up binding this quilt (one of the things I need FO pics of)

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The obsession didn’t end after the first quilt, so I got started on another binding. This one’s not done yet, but at least it’s good and started.

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The garden is coming along nicely! See all that lettuce? That’s step one to taking care of my body a little more.

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We seriously have a million tomatoes coming on. I am getting uncontrolably excited.

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New sweater cast on! This will be a Beauty School Top by PoisonGrrls. The yarn is Backyard FiberWorks in Midnight – my sole MD Sheep & Wool purchase this year. In the interest of full disclosure, we were only there for an hour or so.

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The kraut is really getting there. I tasted it last weekend – three weeks in – when Kevin said it stank but it wasn’t funky enough for me. I can never smell it till my nose is in the jar, but Kevin can smell it from a mile away it would seem. He’s not a fan.

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A while back I cast on a pair of Rose City Rollers in some fantastic orange leftovers from Tempting Ewe Yarns, the colorway is Saftayy. Pretty stinking cute. 

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I did finish my Populuxe, but I haven’t taken pictures of it so I hadn’t worn it. I decided to just go ahead and wear it to work on Friday. It turns out I did a terrible job at sewing on the buttons – they’re all loose! – time for a fix and finally some FO pics.

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I got a wild hair and decided to swatch for a No Frills. I can’t wait to show you the swatch, it’s heaven. (top) Lichen & Lace Marsh Mohair in Natural, (bottom) Hue Loco Spun Sock in Pop Sugar

That might not be everything, but I think I hit the highlights. This little photo trail is giving me some inpiration for getting back on the wagons.


Happy making!

Me Made May

Well, I did it. I managed to fulfill my pledge to wear at least one me made item (not counting sweaters) each week in May. I really enjoyed it and it did what I had hoped: pushed me to wear my makes for more than just pictures! The only outfit I didn’t get a picture of was when I went strawberry picking. Here’s everything else:

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Hollyburn Skirt 2 with Populuxe and Colorfield

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Rita Blouse 2 + Hollyburn Skirt 2, with Crumb

I’ve just realized as I’m linking all of these posts that I never blogged about my second Rita Blouse! I’m planning a bit of a catch up post for the last month of making, so I’ll add the details in there.

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Rita Blouse 2 with Crumb

I have to say that this is not too shabby seeing as that is only 1 dress, 2 tops, 2 skirts, and a couple of cardigans. Pretty good little mix and match into ye ole wardrobe. Looking back at these pictures, I  think they really show my new, hopeful style. They don’t look awkward, out of place, or forced, which is what I worry about most often.

This really makes me want to sew some more! That’s a great outcome, so thanks Me Made May!


Happy making!

 

Ambition.

Sometimes I like to set myself some arbitrary goals. Most of the time, rather ambitious ones. Saturday night, I was laying in bed thinking about the coming day. I thought about making a bit of a ridiculous to-do list and seeing if I could do it. I came up with a somewhat realistic, but really quite ambitious list:

  • Repot plants
  • Hem skirt
  • Start sauerkraut
  • Bike shopping
  • Finish sleeve
  • Procure groceries

Not on the list were call my mom, spend a bit of time with the kids, and catch Game of Thrones with Kevin. Cosi and I were up pretty early to have some coffee.

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I got started with a bit of knitting and my mom called. We wished each other a mutual happy mother’s day and chit chatted about gardening and life and motherhood.

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This picture was from last summer when I visited her, but I just had to share. After we got off the phone I managed to finish the second sleeve of my Populuxe 2:

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Looking at my list, 2 of them required leaving the house with Joshua in tow. This was at about 8 in the morning, so I knew I had several hours before I’d see the whites of his eyes. The plants needed some rocks to arrive so that left the skirt and the kraut. Well, the skirt was daunting so kraut came up first.

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I made a batch of Ava’s Hot Pink Kraut from the book Ferment Your Vegetables. It’s my very favorite and I think I’m just going to have to start a batch once a month for the rest of my life. I need it always.

Finally, I braved the teenager’s room to wake him for his early birthday shopping. At 5’10” he has fully outgrown his old bike. We had been poking around on the web and really just needed to go in and give the thing a test but he loved it and now we’re the pround owners of a bike with 28″ tires. This should be the last bike I purchase for him while he lives at home. Fingers crossed. We hit the grocery store on the way home and bam! my rocks had arrived. I had three succulents to repot:

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Clockwise from top: Jenna the Jade (Crassula ovata), a brand new unnamed baby (Haworthiopsis attenuata), and George (Echeveria, maybe Perle von Numberg). I purchased George 2 years ago when I first moved to a window cubicle at work. Jenna was gifted to me shortly after as just a wee leaf poking out of some dirt. I purchased the haworthiopsis on Friday. After some very careful work, we’re looking a wee bit happier. img_20190512_150125

Everybody is now back at work, awaiting watering day tomorrow. The plants safely tucked away out of cat’s reach, I finally dragged myself down to the sewing room to hem the circle skirt. I marked it and serged the raw edge to trim off excess. I had hung it to allow any bias stretching to occur and it had certainly stretched out! There was 2-3″ of excess in places! After what seemed like forever – as a full circle, that hem is about 164″ – I finished the hem and my to-do list.

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I even managed to sit down to eat with the family and watch GoT with Kevin. All in all it was a pretty productive Sunday. It felt good to get all of that done. Mostly they were just lingering projects that I never seemed to want to start. Sometimes being a little ridiculous with your to-do list can pay off.

The motivation wave has been riding high. I haven’t had much time, but I’m almost finished with the second button band. A neckband is all that’s left and I’ll have a shiny new pink sweater!

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Happy {ambitious} making!

Confidence.

I’ve been thinking about my style, wardrobe, and making for quite a while now. I think back to the Wardrobe Architect project I did a few years ago.  It is hard to believe that was a few years ago but like with so many things, here we are. I’d like to revisit that project, evaluate and update to where I am now. At the core of all of this, has been a drive to move toward a new style.

I have been working, this year in particular, towards the beginnings of a new wardrobe. I have a few makes under my belt and I’m starting to feel more comfortable with knitting fitted sweaters and making skirts and dresses. My biggest hurdle now is wearing them.

You wouldn’t think that it would be so difficult, but I make excuses to myself and fall back to my old standard uniform nearly every day. Some of that is understandable, I don’t have enough me-made clothes to support wearing them all the time, but really it’s a comfort blanket. I’m used to seeing myself a certain way and while I have goals for how I want to look – that doesn’t mean I’m used to it by a long stretch.

Enter Me Made May. This is a personal challenge started by Zoe of the sewing blog “So Zo, What do you know?” – that is about encouraging sewists to wear their makes. Bam! That’s exactly what I need. I thought and thought and thought and came up with my pledge for Me Made May 2019:

I, Cortney, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each week during May 2019. Sweaters don’t count!

My hope is that by wearing a garment I’ve sewn at least once a week, it will help to normalize this new style to me. At the very least I hope it starts the process. Don’t get me wrong – I love my makes and really feel pretty incredible in them. It’s having the confidence to show that new and different side of me to the rest of the world. We’re starting out with baby steps. Once a week.

Last week, we traveled down to Tennessee for a wedding – more on that later – and after we arrived went out to dinner with Kevin’s parents and two best friends. I opted for my chambray Hollyburn and one of my Ritas:

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Sorry as these will likely all be awkward selfies. I actually loved this outfit. It was my first time wearing the Rita without a sweater over it and I was a little nervous as it’s quite fitted, but I really liked this look. Today, it was a bit nippier than the last few days here in Maryland so I took advantage of the oppprotunity to rock my Populuxe Cardigan again, paired with my navy Hollyburn:

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Oh and since it’s freezing in my office, I topped everything off with my Color Field Shawl. I do love this outfit. The navy skirt is proving pretty darn versatile, which is just perfect! Once I got home I took a proper outfit photo, which is nice since I never took real FO pictures of my Populuxe on my person.

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After hiding for years in business casual black slacks and cardigans, it feels like such a departure to wear such a figure hugging sweater. But I feel good in it, so the confidence may be starting to grow.


Happy making!

Sweets and my sweetheart.

I have to tell you, I am having the most lovely spring break with my son. Our trip to Denver was a work weekend for me–and a pretty stressful one, at that–but having Joshua along was the perfect spot of sunshine.

We flew out on Friday morning. This was Joshua’s first flight and he reports that while takeoff was really exciting, the other 3.5 hours was less so. He played Smash Bros. and I finished the first sweater sleeve before we landed.

Once we got on the ground, it was a bit of go, go, go. Joshua was a huge help, carrying and moving and lifting. Having a strong teenager around can be pretty nice. We had supper with my coworkers that evening and went to bed pretty early. As per usual, I was up early for some pre-conference coffee and knitting.

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After a morning of work, I took my lunch break to take Joshua to eat. It was such a treat all weekend to get to take my breaks with him.

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That evening, we took a walk and got some supper and found this little shop called Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. No surprise, Joshua wanted to check it out. It smelled amazing! We picked up a few Saturday evening treats and headed back to the hotel.

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Sunday was my big day, but I did manage to catch up with Joshua a few times. I had an evening event so a few of my coworkers took Joshua out for dinner and laser tag. From all accounts, they had a blast. I met up with them at the hotel restaurant afterward.

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The next morning Joshua and I got up early to pack and hit up VooDoo doughnuts for breakfast. I had gone to the original VooDoo a few years ago and Joshua is ever interested in sweets so it was a must. IMG_20190415_073423

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The doughnuts were pretty amazing. With that, we went down to the conference and helped out a bit and then got a ride out to the airport.

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I had, of course, not done very much knitting over the weekend. I wasn’t really thinking that I would be able to finish the sleeve before we landed, but somehow, I knit and knit and knit, and voila! I did it. I took a picture as we landed, but it’s pretty blurry so I will spare you. Once we got settled in, I wove in the ends and set to blocking her.

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I can’t wait for this sweater to dry. I really feel like it will fit into my wardrobe so nicely!

All in all, we had a great time. I got to spend a lot of time with Joshua, which doesn’t always happen these days. He starts high school this fall–gulp!–and time is really starting to feel short. I am so happy that I was able to bring him along with me. It was a pretty sweet trip, and I’m not just talking about the doughnuts.


Happy making!

Wrapping Up.

As one might imagine, a lot of things can happen in a month. Particularly if that month is December. I am sitting here at Kevin’s parents house on the last day of the year, having a cup of coffee in my bear mug and thinking over the last month and the last year. First, let’s do a quick (not so quick) photo montage of December.

At the beginning of the month, I went to California. On the plane ride, I finished this shawl. Color Field by Kemper Wray, knit in Primrose Yarn Co. Jasper DK in Hermione (light pink) and Maple Leaf (green).
I took Joshua out to a special breakfast as a congrats for working so hard and being recommended for honors classes for high school next year. Captain Crunch french toast is amazing, by the way.
I finished my last pair of Rainbow Socks. This is Fireside Hearth Song on Vesper Sparkle Sock by Knitterly Things.
With that, all 12 pairs of rainbow socks are complete! This is the 2017 Rainbow of the Month club by Knitterly Things. So rainbowy and stripey and wonderful.
And so, my 2018 box o’ sox is complete. 20 pairs of socks all ready to go for the new year.
Since we travel so long for the holidays, we celebrate Christmas a bit early at our house. This year, we made homemade hot chocolate that turned out amazing.
Every year, my brother and SIL send out a special card that they design and print. This year, we got to witness the entire process. So much work goes into them, but they are so beautiful.
We spent Christmas at mom’s cabin and we got some very rare and precious knitting time.
My mom knitted us all into little birds! They are ridiculously cute.
The birds: Me, Kevin, Judge, Crystal, Noah, and Madelyn
This was all of my holiday making for this year. I knit a Stillwater Cardigan for mom, Eureka Cowls for Crystal and Madelyn, socks for Noah and Kevin’s mom, and made a Strathcona Tee for Judge. I started back in July so it was pretty low pressure. I am very pleased with how it all came out. I have some super knitworthy people in my life.
In the holiday madness, I cast on a patterned sock! Whitethorn Socks by Lindsey Fowler.
Over the visit, we had a family D&D night complete with a cheese ball and a benevolent gold dragon. Many thanks to Kevin for DMing the madness!
Now we are all back in Tennessee and even managed to catch a UT basketball game. Go Vols!
A while back, Astra asked for an orange sweater – so I cast on an orange sweater.
And finally, because I had to have something mindless, I cast on a Spindrift Shawl.

These are just some of the highlights. Overall, it has been an amazing trip full of love and light. We head home tomorrow on the first day of a fresh new year. I am ready for 2019. There have been ups and downs this past year, but to be perfectly honest the downs were some of the hardest yet. I am ready to greet a new year tomorrow, full of possibility.

I hope that you all are finishing your year out with joy.

Happy making.