2 steps forward and 1 step back.

Greetings! January was a bit of a blur with some big work stuff, so I’m rather pleased to see February come around. I’ve been working hard at work and appliqué, I’m rather pleased to share.

One thing that really held me back on my progress with this quilt has been prepping the blocks. It actually takes quite a lot get all the pieces ready and basted for appliqué. I’ve started committing my early mornings to this prep work each day. I get up with the kids, but they are pretty much self sufficient at this point so I really just make coffee for myself and give hugs as they leave. Since they’re up so early, I have a good hour each morning to myself, which has just been amazing.

Bit by bit, I’m making progress. I just love this little teeny flower. Up this close, you can tell that there is nothing perfect about my work here. But I’m letting it be and taking my flowers as they come. Let me tell you, though – the overall affect is pretty spectacular! I started sewing up the rows as I planned to, and now that we’re over half way there, I’m more motivated than ever.

Ugh, it’s so good! I’m up to block 34 now I think – there’s another row to sew on and then I’ve only got 9 more blocks. And then the border… but I’ll think about that another day. As work really ramped up towards the end of January, I fell off with appliqué just a bit and focused on another project instead.

These socks had been my “hands too tired for sewing but not for knitting” project for a while, so I finally buckled down and finished them. These are my scrappy advent socks from the holidays, all made from the Stress Knits 2021 advent calendar. I knit 5 rows from each mini, and slipped every 4th stitch in an alternating pattern on the first row of each color. I wish I hadn’t done the slipped stitch pattern, it’s so subtle it almost makes the stripes look a bit messy. I finished off with the 25th day skein for the last bit of the foot and the toe. They are sweet and scrappy, and super squishy.

That’s WIP 3 of 18 done! I think that’s pretty good for the first month of the #yearofwips, but I have some confessions to make. The first is a planned project start – this year’s block of the month from DuckaDilly.

Can’t you just?! It’s another log cabin quilt and I’ve just started but my goodness. It’s a beautiful pattern called Avonlea, and you guessed it – all in Liberty. This doesn’t go on the WIP list, but I do want to keep up with it this year.

Now for the real confession – I found another WIP. I had kind of forgotten about them, but starting the Avonlea quilt reminded me of an old log cabin project I had buried in my mind and in the move, apparently. I did some digging, had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find it, and dug some more before…

I found it. We can talk about the full story when I start working on this, but let’s just say there are 8 completed HAND PIECED log cabin blocks there and a million 1.5 inch strips. Let that sink in and we’ll get to the real kicker. When I found this project in ziploc bags under a bunch of batting scraps in a box in the back of the closet, there were other ziploc bags underneath…

Yeah. That’s another quilt, cut out and waiting. There are approximately 1000 squares. The practice blocks aren’t actually the right pattern, but more on that when we get there. Let me repeat – 1000 squares.

If you’re keeping track – that’s an additional 2 more WIPs that we didn’t account for. These both date back more than a decade, so they definitely count towards the #yearofwips. 3 of 20 is still pretty good, right?

In all of this hubbub, my sister-in-law had a birthday so I made her a thing.

This is the Take Along Tote by Sometimes Sewing made up in some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. canvas. This is the fourth one I’ve made and they just get easier. Sewing these up is a snap and I can say that I jut love mine – the finished product is a great piece. I used a soft pinky cream print, also from Rifle Paper Co., for the lining and some oatmeal cotton webbing for the handles.

After making up that bag, I gave myself permission to start new projects. One major criteria for new ideas making the cut in the #yearofwips will be gifts. I’m not planning to start anything new in a category I already have going – I’m looking at you, pink socks – but gifts are an exception.

With that, Cosi and I hd a wee fabric pull for a new quilt for mom. He loves our choices very much. You won’t see much on this one for a long while, of course, but it will be quietly in the background.

Well, that’s it. I’ve made a whole lot of progress and piled a bit more on my plate. I don’t imagine that anyone is surprised. I’m enjoying everything that I’m giving time to, and that’s the most important thing.


#yearofwips projects finished: 3 of 20


Happy making!

Happy Year of WIPs!

In typical style, I’ve been brainstorming lately about what my new year should be. My 2021 year of minis got a bit derailed by moving and all and I still have those big projects I wanted to finish. I was chatting with my SILs about it the other day and we went down to take a tour of the craft room and some of my WIPs. I wound up having a bit of a moon over all the bits and pieces laying around so yesterday afternoon, I made a list.

That, friends, is the current list of all my works in progress, plus my upcoming block of the month or club projects. Take a deep breath with me. Some things are very close to finished – quilt binding or a hat, for example. Some, not so much – I’m looking at you, applique. Let’s take a look at the list in another way…

Wowzers. Thats a big pile. That is a total of 18 current projects: 6 quilts, 1 crochet blanket, 7 knitting projects, and 4 cross stitches. Oh that’s right, I said cross stitch. My oldest unfinished project dates back to pre-blog times in 2015.

I think I’ll pull out the old project pictures and their history as I get to each project, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing this throw back. That’s my sweet old Twiggy, she was such a good kitty.

Perhaps you’ve guessed by now, but my 2022 goal is to turn that big ole pile of WIPs into a pile of FOs. Let’s take a quick look at what that would look like:
Quilts: The finished tops I want to turn into quilts, bound and finished. The quilt tops that are still in progress, I just want to finish the top and have it ready to go out for long-arm quilting.
Knitting/Crochet: Finished, ends woven in, blocked as needed and done.
Cross Stitch: Completed and ready for framing.

A wee stretch goal would be to finish the year with only projects that need outside help for finishing (quilting or framing), which means keeping up with the two club / block-of-the-months projects I have planned. Since this is a tall, tall order I’m trying to not start anything new for quite a while (except socks, of course). I’m really excited.

Well here we go friends, my Year of WIPs starts today. I’ve got a lasagna in the oven and some cozy knitting just waiting. The supervisor even told me that he’s ready to get to work in the sewing room.


Happy making!

A stripe a day keeps other projects away.

We’re here again! It’s the holiday season and I’m pleased as punch. This year, once again, I’m diving into advent knitting with gusto. Last year, I knit two pairs of advent socks and started a wrap that didn’t get finished. I finished the wrap back in July, right before we moved, and pulled it out and wove in all the ends and blocked it a couple of weeks ago.

This is Dust of Snow by Curious Handmade. I knit mine using the Stress Knits 2020 advent calendar minis held double with un-dyed mohair/silk. The result is a dreamy cloud of a wrap in a beautiful variety of colors. I do think I could have gone up a needle size, the wrap is a bit narrower than expected, but oh well. Live and learn for next time.

In other news, a few weeks ago, we went home for Thanksgiving! It’s been so long, it was magical and exhausting to be traveling again! We saw bunches of family and it was just wonderful. Of course, as one does, I packed tons of knitting. My first order of business was to cast on the cuffs for my advent socks:

More on those in a moment. I also brought along that pair of socks I’d been working on:

However, as a I was packing, I felt the oddest sensation! I thought about casting on something that wasn’t socks… it had been quite a while, but I went with the tug and wound up an enormous skein of Miss Babs Yowza. I cast on my third Yowza Weigh It Shawl 3, finally one for me.

Of course, the socks and shawl have now been cast to the wayside to make room for advent knitting. If you’re unfamiliar, advent knitting is that magical time where you cast on a million projects that will use just a bit of yarn each day. I easily convinced myself that I could handle a “few stripes” each day. Psh.

The first projects are my The Cozy Knitter 2021 Advent Stripe socks. Yes, I said project(s). Last year, I didn’t use a contrast color and wound up with a good bit of yarn leftover. The advent skeins come with 4 full repeats of the 24 stripe pattern, so I decided to knit 2 pairs of socks out of it.

Fun right? Now, if you’re thinking why stop at 2 pairs of socks – I’m right there with you. I also cast on a pair of scrappy socks with this year’s Stress Knits advent calendar. These are super simple, I’m knitting 5 stripe repeats with a very simple slip stitch pattern on the color change rows.

Since those socks use approximately 2 grams fo yarn in total from each mini, I also cast on the Habitation Throw, another design by Curious Handmade. I’m a bit behind on this one – putting the heels in the other socks really set me back – but I’m almost done with day 11.

I’m really starting to think this is coming out far smaller than intended. It’s supposed to finish at 40 inches square, but I’m far short of that. I think I’m going to bolster the yarn needed at the end with the day 25 colorway – this calendar has a Christmas day full skein of yarn. That will be how I finish the blanket and the socks.

Well, there you have it. Lots and lots of fun stripy, scrappy knitting. I do really enjoy this process, but my mind is also turning toward the new year. I’ve got a few projects ongoing that I want to wrap up and then what? I’ve got some ideas churning and I look forward to sharing them here!


Happy making!

Finding a new spot.

We did it – we moved! We’ve been in the new house for about six weeks. It’s wonderful be here and things are slowly coming along. We are definitely not settled in completely, but we’re to a comfy livable point. My craft room is pretty much done but there’s not been any sewing going on. Kevin and I purchased a few pieces of unfinished furniture and that has taken up a lot of our time. Plus the usual moving in stuff: hanging curtains, fixing bathtub caulk, and did I mention finishing furniture?

In the off hours or downtime, I have been consistently turning to socks. I’ve told you time and time again that they are like comfort food, and it still holds true. As the last bit has gone by, I’ve slowly piled up a few finished pairs when it occurred to me that I don’t have a spot! In the old house, I had a definite spot where I took most of my finished and work in progress pictures. It was great; the floor in one room was this very light color and right by the patio doors there was great light, and (usually) a lot of space. Many a project sat there on the floor.

That’s a pretty good WIP shot, if you ask me. I’ve worked on taking better pictures over the years, check out my progress from a few years ago in this post. I’ve been inspired by others to try out different things, but I come back to the floor more often than not.

Now, our new house doesn’t have any similar spot, so I’ve been scoping out the place. One afternoon last week after work, I was struck by the light coming in the craft room’s patio doors.

So I did a little experimenting.

These socks were the first finish after moving, knit out of The Cozy Knitter’s Tequila Sunrise colorway. The colors of this yarn are just heaven. So what do you think about the two pictures? Definitely quite different! The first is out on the old table on the patio and the second is on the floor in front of the door. After probably too much time spent looking at these pictures, I think I like the feeling of the second one better – it feels cozier. It’s definitely much warmer overall than what I’m used to, but maybe I’m ready for that.

Now that we’ve found a spot, I suppose we carry on with a bit of sock spam. I knit these for Kevin. I had gotten to about 5.5″ on the leg when I asked him how long he wanted them. He told me he wanted shorties and after some measuring and checking, he decided on a 3″ leg. I ripped back, knit them up, and when I was finished he decided that these are fine, but next time 5″ or so would be better. Le sigh. Anyway, these are knit out of Opal Yarn True Love in 9864. I really like this color + white for self patterning socks, super cute.

My next cast on was these crazy socks. This yarn was a sweet gift from my mom a few years ago. Everyone else in the family has a pair of socks in their stockings – I had a ball of yarn. I’ll take that any day. This is Wisdom Yarns Pix in Succulent. After these straight up sock pictures, I had a bit of a play with another WIP – you know I like including candles and cups of coffee everywhere in my life.

I think we’re starting to get somewhere now. This gives me all the cozy vibes for sure. Speaking of cozy vibes, I’m not the only one who’s been trying to find the perfect spot. Cosi now has access to the craft room and my work space, so he’s got a couple of places he frequents. This stack of unfinished and finished quilts is pretty high on the list.

It’s good to be back on the blog, I’ve missed this over the summer. Stay tuned here for more socks on the floor, a craft room tour, and dare I say it? maybe even some furniture finishing!


Happy Making!

Bait and switch: 2021 Year of …

So here we are, 2020 is in the books and we have a fresh and shiny new year ready for the taking. After I wrapped up my Year of Christmas last week, my thoughts turned to my next “year.” I’ve been mulling over ideas for a while, looking at stash and around the house for inspiration. I took stock of my current works in progress, and a few stood out to me.

I don’t usually have projects that languish around for very long. A couple of years at most and I will either finish or frog. I work on socks continuously, and my other projects–both quilts and bigger kntting projects–tend to just get finished up when I decide to really put the time in and concentrate on them. Recently though, in the last couple of years, I’ve started some bigger, longer projects.

These three projects are quite a bit more time consuming than my usual project choice. Let’s have a quick tour of these and talk about where they are and what they need.

My Granny’s Garden Quilt (whew my old phone took bad pictures!) has been going since 2019 and is my oldest WIP. I have about 16 blocks completed at this point, so we need another 26 blocks plus all the border applique before we can put this quilt top together.

Next up is my Granny Stripe afghan. This beauty was cast on last January and I’m over halfway done the stripes, then it will just be the border. Though, I guess “just the border” is a bit misleading since the thing is so darned big.

Finally, my Norah Quilt. Ugh, I love it everytime I look at it. I made the quilt top in pretty short order last spring, but stalled on the hand quilting. We need to quilt and bind this one.

I adore all three of these projects and really want to give myself the space to show them the love they deserve. Are you ready for the twist? Ok, so if you’re like Kevin you might be thinking that I’m gearing up to tell you that my goal this year is to finish these projects. But no! Well, sort of. One of my dilemnas with these projects is that the bulk of the creative energy is already spent. The idea has been had, the project commenced, much of the learning curve surmounted. They are all fully at the process stage, which is a bit of a challenge for me.

I love to finish things. If we’re really honest, a lot of my making comes in smaller or faster projects. Socks are a big part of that but also mug rugs and short cut quilts. I love the start and the finish, but that in-between part sometimes gets me hung up. So I started thinking of my “year of” in these terms – how do I keep the creative energy going with some finishes to keep me satisfied, but still have the time to work on the big guys?

Well, this year at least, the answer is mini quilts! In my ideal state of home decor, there are quilts everywhere–including the walls! I think this year will be the perfect time to boost the quilt to wall space ratio around here. My thinking is these smaller projects will provide the variety and gratification I know I need while also giving me the opportunity to try new ideas and new techniques. The bite size, low investment nature of minis can also leave time to put effort into the big 3.

Think about it – a whole year of minis! Mini quilts here, there, and everywhere! So here we go, a Year of Minis: 12 mini quilts in 2021. I’m not going to worry about monthly goals, that always goes awry for me. The only rule here is size – mug rugs don’t count and neither does anything I can cuddle under.

For a little nostalgic reference point, here’s a throwback to my very first mini quilt back in 2017! I’ve come a long way since and I am looking forward to seeing where this year takes me. This idea has me pretty excited and inspired. I know it was a little bit of a convuluted thought process to get here so thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking forward to sharing my progress on the long-term projects as well as all of the fun for the upcoming Year of Minis!


Happy {mini} making!

The final score: WIP Wipeout 2019

Way back in June, I took a long hard look at all of my works in progress. I pulled them all out, posted them on the blog, and challenged myself to finish them off by the end of the year. Well, friends, the end of the year is here. How’d I do?

Completely, totally, all finished:

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Jelly Roll Twist Quilt

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Dresden Mini #1

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Layer Cake Pop Quilt

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Lumen

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Quilted Notions Pouch

Overdyed Mathilde

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Dresden Mini #2

4-Patch Hearts Mini Quilt

Rose City Rollers

Ugly Christmas Sweater Socks

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No Frills Sweater

Circular Sock Machine Socks #2

Circular Sock Machine Socks #3

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Divi Divi Shawlette – after a coffee incident on a plane, this baby got frogged

Kinda finished:  (Off my mental list, but something still needs to be done with them in the physical world, i.e. these need to be frogged)

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Dammejaka Lopa – The verdict is in, we’re going to frog this one. It’s way too big for me and I even sent it to a knitty friend and it wasn’t right for her either. I don’t know if I’ll knit the same thing with the same colors, but I do need to reclaim the yarn.

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Circular Sock Machine Socks #4 – The orange/yellow/black/green tube is very, very wonky. Not sure what happened, but I’m going to try to reclaim the yarn.

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Swirl Dress – This version is just going to have to be scrapped. I’m going to toile the bodice but haven’t. I had thought I could salvage this version, but I don’t think that will work. The fabric can be used for something else, but probably not just to redo this dress.

Axed projects – yep, I still didn’t frog this yarn. One day, probably.

Unfinished, not touched, not no how, not no way:

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Julgran – To be quite honest, I have not been taking great care of myself and the result of that is a definite lack of enthusiasm for knitting a fitted sweater.

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Beauty School Top – ditto to the Julgran. The yarn is frogged and ready to go, but I haven’t cast it back on for the same reason.


Ok, so all in total, thats 14 out of 20 finished. If I were in school, I’d be passing, but barely. Add in the “not frogged” items and that get’s me up to a respectable 18 of 20. Not too shabby. I also started 16 new projects and finished 9 of them. That makes my net progress for the second half of the year 27/36 = 75%. Not too shabby.

I listened to a podcast recently about embracing your WIPs as creative opportunities. One thing I learned over the course of this challenge is that starting something new can be daunting. I don’t love the mental clutter of having tons of stuff hanging around, but it’s also fun to be able to pick among things to work on. As they say, balance is key.

With that, we’ll wrap up the year. Happy New Year’s Eve to you all!  I can’t wait to see what creativity blossoms in 2020.


Happy making!

WIP it good.

I’ve been thinking how nice it was to finish up my Jelly Roll Slice quilt. Having unfinished projects laying around has been weighing me down lately and that’s got me thinking. I started all of my WIPs for a reason. Some of those reasons are compelling, some less so. Some of the WIPs are sooo close to done it’s silly, some less so.

I am in need of a major WIP round up  — and not just current projects. I’m talking about all of the unfinished business I’ve got hanging around. Unfinished projects, sweater swatches, frogged projects, the lot. Everything is getting a decision and a plan. Grab a cup of something delicious – this is a long one.

Unfinished projects:

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Layer Cake Pop Quilt – languishing since September 2017 – This one needs a binding attached and sewn down. Easy peasy.

 

Mini Dresdens – languishing since January 2018 – I’m mostly afraid to mess these up, and not sure what to do with them. Realistically I just need to quilt them and put them on the wall or something. They’re too cute to be in a pile of junk!

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4-Patch Mini Heart Quilt – languishing since February 2018 – The last time I wrote about this one, I mentioned how quickly it would come together. Hah! My first block was a bit wonky, so I’m going to rip it out and assess how salvageable this project is.

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Quilted Notions Pouch – languishing since March 2018  – This cutie needs a binding and a zipper and any other embellishments added. I think I was stuck on design direction for binding and zipper colors. Maybe I can make a decision now?

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Mathilde – languishing since September 2018 – I made some mistakes with using a marking pencil on sheer fabric, so I would like to over dye this top and get to wearing it.

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Lumen – languishing since January 2019 – I’m not sure what happened. I just stopped. I cast this on because I get so much wear out of triangle shawls that I felt I needed one in pink. I still feel that way, so I want to finish this. It’s nowhere near done though, so it will take some serious knitting.

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Divi Divi Shawlette – languishing since April 2019 – I cast this on because I didn’t want to work on anything else and immediately got distracted. I’m completely on the fence. This might be the one thing that I don’t want to make a decision about right now. That said, I’m not casting on another shawl until this one gets a frog or finish.

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Swirl Dress – languishing since April 2019 – I’m going to need to toile that bodice and likely detach the skirt and completely redo with new bodice plus old skirt. Definitely going to do it, it’s too pretty to scrap.

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Rose City Rollers – active – I’m not reaching for socks much these days, but these are my go to for sock knitting when I’m home.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Socks – active – These are in my car for any sitting I need to do and I’m pretty content for them to stay there for a bit.

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Jelly Roll Twist Quilt – active – I’ve already gotten started sewing the binding on, just need to finish up.

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Damejakka Lopa – active – I picked this beauty up the other night and have been making progress on it. This was part of the inspiration for evaluating WIPs, I’m in love with this sweater and want to stop putting it down!

Frogged projects, swatches, and other mental weight:

img_20180604_184523Sock Snake – I’ve finished one pair but I do want to get the rest of them done. They’re a bit too tight so likely will all be gifts. Maybe a good holiday goal?

 

 

Axed Projects – The decision has been made, these aren’t happening. Now I just need to rip them out and wash the yarn and get it back in stash for something else.

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Julgran – swatched in November 2019 – I didn’t get gauge on this swatch but have since knit a sweater in the same yarn at the same gauge, so I think I’m ready to try again.

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No Frills – swatched in June 2019 – I’ve got a fabric I like and a size picked out.

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Beauty School – frogged in June 2019 – Going to reknit the body on smaller needles.


think this is it. I certainly hope so, that’s a long list! If you total it up that’s

  • 2 quilts
  • 2 garments
  • 4 small sewing/quilting projects
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 2 shawls
  • 4 sweaters

for a total of 19 projects. Darn it! I wasn’t expecting such a mammoth number. If you add in the frogging, we’ll say that’s 20 items on the to-do list. It kind of feels like a challenge… you know how I feel about arbitrary goals. I think I could finish it all this year. Let’s try! Some things are quick finishes, others definitely aren’t, but I feel like it’s doable. I’m not going to make any crazy promises like not starting anything else, but I think I’ll try to wipe out these WIPs.

So here we go, I am officially challenging myself to complete my 20 item to-do list by the end of 2019. Operation WIP-Wipe is officially engaged!


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!

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!

Two out of three ain’t bad.

At the beginning of the week, I set out to try to finish three projects. Well, I’m here to tell you that it didn’t happen. On the bright side though, I finished two, I swatched for a new sweater, and I can knit sleeves on the plane.

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My first finish of the week was the Audra Wrap. She’s not had her ends woven in or been blocked, and only partly because I’ve got to figure out exactly where to block a shawl that’s biggger than me. I got Astra to take a picture of it as soon as I finished it – she had to stand quite a ways away.

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My second finish (on the same night, no less) is my first but definitely not last Rita Blouse. Rita is a pattern by Gertie of Charm Patterns. I made it from the scraps of a top I made a few years ago. Looking at that post, I definitely feel like my sewing skills have improved!

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This adorable pattern was extraordinarily well written. I was really intimidated but Gertie’s instructions really guide you through the process. The top is gathered and the lower bodice quite fitted. I cut a straight 6c and I think that was mostly the right call. When I first tried it on, I felt that the arms and shoulders were quite tight. I wound up adding abut 3 inches of elastic to the neckline and 1.5 inches to the armholes. That made a big difference.

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I still think it might pull a little bit under the side bust and up to the armpit, but I’m not really sure what to do about that. This was my very first invisible zipper and I think it was mostly successful. Like I said, Gertie’s instructions are very helpful.

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The back is a tad puffy in the gathered part, so I may shorten it a bit in the next version. And if you’re wondering, there will definitely be a next version. I am in love with this little top! Overall it took me a bit over one evening to make. That was with several mistakes and looking up youtube tutorials on invisible zippers, so not bad at all.

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The unfinished sweater I was working on has definitely seen progress. It now has both button bands and a neck band, and a sleeve well on it’s way.

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For the button holes, I was inspired by Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast to try out one row button holes. I think they look so neat and tidy! I folled Amy Beth’s tutorial and it worked perfectly. I’m only taking this sweater on the plane today, so I’m hoping this baby will be finished by the time Joshua and I are back home.

The other night, after finishing the wrap and the top, my hands were pretty tired but my mind was a buzzing with motivation. I decided to pull down some of my fabric and some yarn and gauge how I’m doing on the whole wardrobe potential thing. I kind of had this sinking feeling that I had a bunch of fabric that wouldn’t pair with any of the sweaters I want to knit. I was pleasantly surprised.

This is what I came up with. Some of these will be mix and match but these were the standout pairings in my mind. This also helped me figure out which are going to be cardigans and which are going to be pullovers. I’ll talk about the yarns and fabrics as I plan to use them, but first up is this set:

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The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway and the fabric is a rayon challis Rifle Paper Co. from Cotton + Steel. The fabric is destined to become a circle skirt and the yarn will be a Beauty School from Poison Grrls. It is just the cutest little retro fitted top and I can’t wait to knit it up. I swatched this week in the hopes that I’ll be coming home with a finished sweater ready to cast on this one.

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I think that’s it for now. Joshua and I are about to hop on the plane to Denver – he’s travelling with me for a work trip to kick off his spring break. It’s just a weekend trip, but I’m excited to have him along. He’s fantastic company even if he will cost me a fortune in food. Now, to get to this sweater sleeve!


Happy making!