Woolly.

I’ve quite the week for a knitter here in Maryland. Things have taken a turn for the colder, perfect handknit wearing weather that I love and we even managed to make a quick trip over to the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival.

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Alpacas are so soft! And their hum just slays me. I also got the kids to pause for a picture–it’s getting harder all the time. Neither of them like to be in pictures.

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For the first time, I participated a bit in the Get Your Yarn Wishes Granted fun on instagram. My wish was for some shetland or Norwegian wool to try out and a friend of mine came through in a big way! I can’t wait to swatch up these colors, I am digging the palate. This is all Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn.

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As if that wasn’t the woolliest Sunday one could imagine, I also decided to cast on a hat:

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This is the beginnings of Kobuk by Boyland Knitworks. The pattern calls for one strand of DK and one strand of mohair, but I just had to knit it in this gorgeous color. I’m holding fingering weight double, using Woolberry Fiber Co.‘s Berry Sock and Berry Mohair in the Hayride colorway. I just cannot stand it. This color is so out of my comfort zone, but I am quite drawn to it lately.

I couldn’t quite get the woollies out of my system, so I wound up rocking quite the outfit at work on Monday. It was my first time wearing my Marion out and I am pleased to say that the woolly-wool of Wool of the Andes didn’t irritate me at all.

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This is Canopy, Marion, and my Hollyburn skirt. I really like this outfit, but I want to get a couple of cropped sweaters going to wear with skirts like this. To that end, I have decided that I need a holiday sweater. A cropped, retro, and very green holiday sweater. So, of course, I ordered some yarn…

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This is Quince & Co. Lark in the Parsley colorway. I’m planning to knit Julgran by Andi Satterlund. My gauge on this swatch–and the one after it–is off, so I had to go down several needle sizes from the pattern. I’m actually planning to–gulp–cast it on on the plane this weekend. I’m flying down to Atlanta for a work trip and I’m hoping to snag some knitting time for this sweater.

Now that the time has changed, it gets harder and harder to take pictures during daylight hours. If only I could just bring all my WIPs and take pictures at work. Alas, I like my job. We’ll just have to make do with a few dark ones. The hat is coming along nicely, I am well into the bobbles. I hope to have this done and ready to wear for our Thanksgiving trip.

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And last but not least, I’ve been making progress on my new cardigan, but I am really not feeling it. It is coming out really big, even though my gauge is correct. I’m seriously considering ripping it out and using the yarn in another sweater.

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We had some really pretty snow yesterday, definitely the earliest snow I’ve seen since moving to Maryland. I think we’re shaping up for a woolly winter!

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Happy making!

Like bees.

We have been a wee bit busy around our household. Typically we don’t do much in September, leaving that time to get back in the swing of things with the new school year. Such has not been the case this September, though! We’ve had friends over to stay and have taken the first of two trips to Tennessee for the month.

With all of that, I haven’t had a terrible lot of time for making. Lets have a bit of a recap in pictures, shall we? That always helps me get up to speed and back in the swing of things, blog-wise.

First up, I wore my Hollyburn to work! I was a bit nervous, since this is not my usual style, but I loved it.

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Void progress, about halfway through the border.

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Joshua earned his red belt!

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Two weekends ago, some wonderful friends of ours came to stay over Labor Day weekend. It was also the first weekend of college football, so Kevin and I were up early and decked out:

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Of course, it was also September 1, so I cast on my next pair of rainbow socks:

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We headed over to Savage Mill to do a little walking and lunch before game time. We walked through an antique shop and I stumbled across this amazing quilt. Entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted, the craftmanship was excellent. I was tempted to take this beauty home with me, but resisted.

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On Sunday, we got up bright and early and headed down to D.C. for a museum day. We had a blast and even managed a picture of the whole group!

Labor day morning, I was up early for some quiet binding off time with my Void.

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It’s all finished now, but I still haven’t blocked it! That might show you just how we’ve been running around, I’m usually pretty quick on the turn around with blocking.

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School started for the kids, who were very excited to take pictures together in the yard at 7 a.m. Just kidding, there was a lot of groaning involved.

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We had several appointments that week, which afforded me some sock knitting time.

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And then, this last weekend, we took a road trip down to Knoxville to take the kids to their very first Vols game. Once again, we were up bright and early to get our orange on and head to campus for gameday festivities.

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We saw all the sights Kevin wanted to see and the kids even had fun at the game, lightning delay and all! A very good day, indeed.

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On Sunday, I finally slept in late. It was glorious. I resolutely parked my rear end on the couch to indulge in an entire day of football and sock knitting. The socks went better than the game did. I had to cast on a new pair, since I evidently can’t knit a heel while watching Roethlisberger throw a million interceptions.

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On the way home, I put heels in both socks before it was my turn to drive.

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Now we’re home, mostly recovered from all the fun, and I have one completed sock. This yarn, by the way, is Autumnal Equinox by Knitterly Things. The other sock, above, is Petal by Baerenwolle–sadly, she doesn’t dye yarn anymore so no link to be had.

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It’s been a fun month so far. We’re going to a concert and a wedding still yet, so the fun hasn’t stopped. In the meantime, I’m hoping to put some stitches down on my WIPs.

Happy making!

 

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!