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.Β 

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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!

Birthday.

Today is my birthday. Oddly enough, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more into my birthday. I used to not set much stock in my own birthday, but now I think I’ve learned the value in taking a day for yourself and letting it be special.

Kevin treated me to chocolate this morning with my coffee and I started the day by casting on my birthday socks.

I finished the ribbing before it was time to get Joshua out the door:

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This yarn is Tilting Planet in the Cosmic Cake colorway. I’ve been saving it for about a year for my birthday socks, and I just love it. The yarn is dreamy and squishy and the pastel pink and lavendar wtih hot pink and neon orange pops just slays.

For my birthday, Kevin graced me with a gift card to Quince & Co. I’ve been mooning on about their yarn since I knit my Windwept in Chickadee. That yarn is amazing. Thanks to sweet boyfriend, I’ll be knitting up a cardigan in it as soon as possible.

In even more happy day news, my Zweig is dry! I finally got to try it on with two sleeves and everything!

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Pardon the house, it’s raining so no pretty outside pictures today. I am so pleased with the fit of this sweater! I love how it is relaxed but not oversized, just perfect.

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I didn’t really modify this sweater at all, except to knit the body 1″ shorter than called for. That seems to be fairly standard for me, and I think it worked well here.

This is Zweig, by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. I used Skein Yarn Top Draw Sock in the Japanese Slipper for the main color, and Nice & Knit Sock in Old Bay. The Old Bay was a special colorway that the Nice & Knit ladies dyed up for MDSW trunk show at The Knot House this year. Both of these yarns are luxurious and soft, they make a lovely, cozy sweater. I was skeptical of my color pairing abilities, but I think these worked perfectly.

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All in all, I’m incredibly pleased with this sweater. It is definitely my favorite sweater, and one of my favorite knits ever. I sort of wish my birthday was in October or something so that I could wear it out. But August is always nice and humid, so no sweater wearing for me.

We’re headed out tonight for some sushi and a low key family evening. It’s been a great day to just relax and enjoy time with Kevin and Joshua, and take the time to indulge in some lovely knitting. Nothing crazy, just special.

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Happy {birthday} making!

 

The Bear and the ShiShi: a birthday gift.

About a year ago, I had an idea. For the sarcastic among you, yes, I’ve had ideas before and since, but today we’re talking about this one in particular. The idea centered around the cute woodland animals that my mom knits:

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Darwin the Bear

I thought that the story of how they came to live with my mom would make a cute children’s book. The idea sort of came and was dismissed–I don’t write children’s stories–but it stuck with me for a while. I daydreamed about it, ruminated about it, and finally gave it enough traction to wonder what would happen if I did write this story. What would I do with it? I finally settled on the thought that I could write it for mom…

Last summer when we visited my family, I–very nervously–posed the idea to my sister-in-law, Crystal. Crystal is an amazing and very talented artist (links to her work at the end of the post)Β and I was hopeful that she would be interested in collaborating with me. Crystal was excited about the idea, so I went home and wrote my story. I sent it off–again, very nervously–to Crystal and she got to illustrating. We worked–she drew, painted, scanned, I edited and edited and edited–and finally got the book printed up in book form.

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The story follows Darwin the Bear as he takes a journey to find himself and become a real bear. Darwin travels through many lands, from Connetet and Merryland, all the way to Nor Caroline. Along the way, he meets people who try to help him and they eventually tell him to find the ShiShi.

Eventually Darwin makes his way to the ShiShi, and she teaches him that all he needs is love and that he is just right the way he is.

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A little bit of behind the scenes: The people that Darwin the Bear meets are my family: Noah and Madelyn in Connecticut; Kevin, the kids, and me in Maryland; Judge and Crystal in North Carolina. The ShiShi is, of course, my mom.

ShiShi’s birthday was last week so Joshua and I drove down to celebrate. We took the book and Crystal and I gifted it to her, Saturday night.

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I’m happy to report that she was very suprised and loved the book. This has been such a magical experience, collaborating with Crystal on such a special gift. I’m lucky to have a mom that is so inspiring.

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The next morning, I went and picked mom up for a little birthday breakfast (which turned into birthday lunch) and some much needed mother-daughter time.

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It was a happy trip, a happy birthday, and I think we left her a happy ShiShi.

Happy making!


I’d like to take a moment to credit the amazing work of Crystal Hurt. Beyond being an amazing sister-in-law and friend, she is a talented artist. She has been comissioned to create artwork for albulm covers and other fun works. She focuses on the natural beauty of our home, the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can see more of her work on her instagram, @artbycrystalhurt, or her website, crystalhurt.com.