Teenager.

My child, my sweet darlin’, my little sweetheart turned 13 yesterday. We celebrated over the weekend with family, he has a party with friends coming up on Saturday, and last night he had a cupcake:

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It’s hard to believe that thirteen years have gone by but it’s also difficult to remember life before my days were filled with Joshua.

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I could be corny and make some knitter joke about how children are our biggest works-in-progress, but I’ll spare you. I’m just happy that I get to call this amazing person my son and watch him grow up.

Happy making!

My favorite holiday – part two.

Yesterday, I indulged in a deliciously decadent day of all things sheepy and wooly. The kids and I spent the day at the Maryland Sheep & Festival, having a blast.

To kick things off, I overslept a bit. We managed to get out the door pretty quickly, but the kids were definitely not  sunshine ready when we left.IMG_20180505_080832.jpg

That picture cracks me up. We headed over to the festival and it only took us about 15 minutes to get over there, but once we did, whew! The traffic was pretty terrible. I took us nearly an hour to drive the mile from the interstate to the fairgrounds. Most of that time was spent stopped so I put a row or two on my sock while we waited.

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Once we got there, though, it was so much fun! We walked around and did a bit of shopping for a while, but then we took a nice tour through all the sheep barns.

 

 

We always try to find sheep who like to be petted, they’re so precious and wooly!

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That guy was amazingly soft and loved getting all the attention! Not to be outdone by the sheep, the angora bunnies were in full-on adorable mode and Joshua even got to hold a baby. I nearly fainted from all the cute.

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We walked through the open air barns, when we came across the booth for Sarafina Fiber Art. Truly amazing. There was a humongous felted giraffe:

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And a possum with a scarf:

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After all of that, it was lunch time. We visited the scouts and settled in on the grass for a picnic.

 

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We tooled around a bit more, there were a few vendors I wanted to go back to. Once I was finished with my yarn shopping, the kids were ready for a snack. Go figure, they love some festival food.

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With that, we made our way to the car. We always stop on the way out at the farmer’s market, and this year was no exception. We picked up some cheese to take home and I was thrilled to see a local coffee roaster selling iced coffee. It was really delicious, so I went back for a pound of beans. Can’t wait to dig in to that.

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We made it back to the car just as the rain started to come on. It’s been a quiet afternoon, I’ve been organizing yarn and queuing up all the projects I have planned.

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I am excited that I know exactly what each skein of yarn is going to be. I tried to remember two things, my color scheme and my word of the year–intentional. Those two thoughts helped me think about how the yarn I was looking at could become items that would fit into my wardrobe.

In case you’re curious, I knit about this much while waiting around for various things this weekend:

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I really like this month’s rainbow! I am dying to cast on something new, all of those pretty yarns are just whispering at me from the craft room. At the same time, I want to get a few things finished up. Either way, I’m ready to knit.

Happy making!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!

Spring Break

This past weekend, Joshua and I took a road trip back home to visit with our family for his spring break. Very little actual knitting occurred, but that’s ok. We had the loveliest long weekend. Fair warning, lots of gushing and fun pictures ahead.

Kevin and Astra were going to visit some of their family, so the plan was to leave as soon as we dropped them off at the airport. Before heading out, there was coffee and selfies–Joshua had to show that he’s taller than me.

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We got out the door by 4:30 a.m., dropped Kevin and Astra off at the airport and headed straight to my mom’s.

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We picked her up and whisked her away to my brother’s house. The day before, Mom had texted me asking if I could teach her to knit socks and if so, did I have any yarn. Well, we all know that I have some yarn, so I set out to make her a sock knitting kit.

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All the things needed to knit a pair of socks. If you’re curious, she wound up knitting with the HiyaHiya’s–a woman after my own heart. She’s already a knitter, so we were really learning sock construction and knitting magic loop.

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She’s now done with the ribbing, and after much discussion will be proceeding to knit a sock tube. The plan is that when I’m down for Joshua’s birthday in May, we’ll learn about cutting in a heel.

I did a wee bit of sock knitting, by the fire:

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Late at night, with Hendrix the kitty:

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And even on a mini road trip we took, more on that here:

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All in all, I managed to just knit the heel and gusset over the course of the trip:

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I’ll be honest, some mornings, the most fulfilling thing to do was wake up early for a fireside cup of coffee in my pj’s and a little chat with Judge and Crystal:

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Joshua spent a fair bit of his time learning and practicing guitar with Uncle Judge:

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Seeing that just squeezes my little heart. I found a bit of my own inspiration, in the form of seedlings:

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Judge and Crystal’s tomatoes sprouted while we were there. On our first night, this little hexie landscape was bare dirt and a few days later… plants! After a lot of brainstorming with Crystal, looking in their gardening books, and encouragement from Judge, I’ve decided to try a back porch herb garden once again. Maybe with some lettuce. And tomatoes…

We’re back home now, and I’m just teeming with ideas. As spring is springing, I’m thinking about my potential herb garden, canning, fermenting, and general “putting up.” Not to mention itching to get back to my knitting and cast on a new sweater.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. Other things of note included an impromptu Easter party and egg hunt and I even snuck out to Johnson City to see my best friends! Joshua and I had a great time on the drive there and back again, and it filled my heart to get to visit with friends and family. Joshua even brought a (borrowed) souvenir home for a bit more practice.

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Happy making {music}!

 

Intentional.

intentional (in-ˈtench-nəl) adj. done with intention or on purpose; deliberate.

I’ve been thinking about one little word for 2018. A little late to the party, perhaps, but here I am. I’ve been tossing around a few words over the last few weeks. From my new year’s blog postchallenge sprang to mind. But that’s not exactly what I want my whole year to be about. What about flourish? Closer to the mark, but still not quite there.

I want something that will encompass my whole life, not just my making and crafting. What do I want to focus on, holistically, for the entire upcoming year? I thought about the things I want for myself.

For my making, I’m interested in challenging myself, choosing projects that will nurture my craft in some way, and (for things I will wear) curating a style and color palate. At home, Kevin and I are working on a commitment to spending time with friends and with the kids each weekend. Personally, I want to renew my commitment to nourishing my body.

And so, with all of that in mind, I have settled on a word. Intentional. I want to spend this year being deliberate. Doing things on purpose. Being intentional.

At home and personally that means being intentional with my time and how I treat myself. Choosing to spend each Sunday morning with the kids, making brunch and playing games. Choosing to eat the foods that make me feel well. Choosing to get a good night’s sleep.

For my making, that means choosing projects that have a purpose. Perhaps that purpose is to grow my skill as a quilter and sewist. Maybe the purpose is to continue the wardrobe architect project. Maybe the purpose of a project is simply to fulfill my love of socks:

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Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I have spoken a great deal about my goals for a handmade wardrobe. The wardrobe architect project has already helped me a great deal to be more intentional with what I purchase and the projects I choose. I have worked on a few projects that fit those goals, and have more on deck. I’ve been working on one, however, that just isn’t ticking the boxes.

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Boho Blush by Andrea Mowry, photo copyright Andrea Mowry

The Boho Blush shawl is beautiful. The color, the drape, the coziness. However. I keep going back and forth on the style. I love the look, but I don’t think it fits in with my overall goals for my style. It’s the fringe. I don’t think I would wear it nearly enough with the fringe. But to me, the fringe makes it! It completes it. In thinking about being intentional, I don’t want to “accidentally” make something that just doesn’t fit in with the vision. My time and the yarn would be much better spent on another project that does check all the boxes.

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It hurts a bit to rip out something like this (especially when I was just talking about finishing it up), but it feels empowering as well. It also feels good to be decisive and free myself up from projects I am unsure about.

I am excited about my one little word. It really feels right and that feels great. I hope to look back at the end of 2018 and see how being intentional shaped my year.


Happy making!

Year of Making: 2017.

On the first day of this year, I decided to commit to one small thing: “put energy into a making project every day.”

At first, that meant a conscious decision to sit down with a project every day. Sometimes it meant sleepily knitting a few rows before bed so that I would keep my commitment. As I went on, it became easier and easier. As I got more in the habit of doing something everyday, I found myself reaching for my projects more and more.

I’ve kept track of what I’ve worked on in a spreadsheet. I’ve been more than a little curious to see how the numbers would shake out. It’s no surprise that I spent 342 of the last 365 days knitting. I tend to reach for my knitting more than anything else. On 266 of those days, I worked on socks. I love knitting socks so it’s not much of a surprise that three quarters of my knitting days involved socks.

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I finished my box of socks a few months ago, but that didn’t stop me from continuing on. I’ve finished five more pairs of socks for myself since then. I love the look of them all laid out. This last pair was knit on Christmas vacation, so it hasn’t made it home to meet it’s new sock drawer mates.

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When I wasn’t knitting on socks, I knit up shawls, hats, mitts, and even a tiny owl for my mom. I’ve spent a significant bit of time cross stitching, quilting and sewing. There were even a few days of canning, fermenting, and crochet thrown in. Looking back it feels like a productive year:

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There is something about looking at a year’s worth of creating, thinking about how my hands knit every stitch, cut all the fabric, pitted every cherry. More than just the products of my hands though, my makes all feel like teeny time capsules, moments of my life molded into something tangible. Knitting socks at the beach with my family, figuring out how to sew my very first garment, picking cherries with Joshua.

Writing about everything has really crystallized that notion that there is a story in each of my makes. I love thinking about that and having the blog to look back at all of it.

Now that my year of making is coming to a close, I don’t believe I’m finished with it. I’m not sure that I will keep track of things daily like I have been, but that idea of putting “energy into a making project every day” still rings true for me. It’s exciting to think about a future full of years of making.

At any rate, I’ll be right here tomorrow, the first day of the new year, spending a bit of my day creating something.


Happy making!

Home.

When we spoke last, I was about to head home from Denver to my sweet family for a trip south to see more sweet family. And that is exactly what I did.

Kevin and the kids picked me up from the airport and I came home and unpacked and repacked my suitcase. We got up the next morning and headed out. On the way, during Kevin’s driving turn, I worked on my hat.

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We met up with Kevin’s parents at a sweet little house on Watauga Lake in Tennessee. It was so much fun! We cooked and ate and fished and talked and Kevin’s amazing parents even invited my family to come hang out with us. It was wonderful.

Every morning and every night, I did a bunch of knitting. My very first order of business was to finish that hat, which is what I did on our first night of the trip.

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This is the Bray Cap by Jared Flood, knit out of Malabrigo Rios in the Pearl colorway. I love everything about this knit. The yarn is perfect, it knits like a dream and the color is everything. I want a sweater in this grey. The pattern is a whole other story. It’s so pretty and stunning, and such a pleasure to knit! I’m digging wearing either way, slouchy or folded up beanie style.

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This hat was one of my proposed wardrobe additions, from my wardrobe architect mini-project. I really wanted a nicer, neutral hat that would be appropriate for work. I’m happy to say that I’ve already rocked it on a few cold mornings to the office.

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Once the hat was done, I had nothing else with me to knit but my Christmas socks.

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I have, so far, thoroughly enjoyed knitting on the 9″ circulars. I’ve finished the first sock and I might be sold. I was skeptical about the heel, but it works like nothing doing. My only thing is that you have to switch back to DPNs or magic loop for the toe decreases, but I think it might be worth it. Final verdict to come.

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Mmm, that Christmas sock is just precious.

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I’ve started the second one, but I’m deep into holiday preparations so I’ve mostly been doing things I can’t show. I’ve got an itch to get to a few other projects, including my marled magic… I think it’s been quite a while since I’ve shown it–I finished section 7:

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And then nearly immediately picked up and knit section 8.

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It’s so squishy. My goodness, so squishy. With that, the shawl is nearly done! It’s definitely to the doesn’t-fit-on-needles-and-very-hard-to-photograph stage, but Cosi likes it just fine.

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I now have only to bind the thing off. I’m going to do that this weekend, come hell or high water. I’ve picked out a few pastel-y soft skeins for the bind off and I’m ready to go:

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I really want to knit all of the things. Sew everything, too! I’ve been feeling inspired lately, I have a lot of ideas for new projects.

All in all, it’s been a great week. Visiting all of our family warmed my heart and soothed my soul, and now I get to be home with my little pack of sweethearts.

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Happy holiday season, from my darlings to you and yours.


YoM day 326: Hat knitting – finished Bray Cap!

YoM day 327-334: Sock knitting plus secrets


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!