Off the list, one way or another.

Do you ever notice how life just seems to get slowly, inexorably busier all the time? At least that’s how it seems. Somehow, I am making progress on projects. I have crossed some more things off my list–four!–all in the last few days. Last week, I wanted to finish my 4-patch heart mini quilt and get my No Frills Sweater past the split for the sleeves. I knew that I was headed on a work trip and that the sweater would provide all of the endless, mindless knitting I would need.

First, I started quilting the mini quilt. I decided to try something new, and not do all over quilting. It was really all going well until I thought I would try a bit of free motion quilting around the hearts. Hard nope. It took me about 2 hours to pick it all out, but I finally did. I wound up going with a very nice grid instead.

On Sunday last, I finally gave up the dream of finishing the mini and got back to the sweater. The rows had gotten long and felt like they took forever so I tried to just plow through. I finally got to the split on Sunday night. I wound up more yarn to take with me on the trip and… decided not to take the sweater. It was just too much bulk with the extra yarn. I had to carry on my luggage–which I hate–and it seemed like I should just take something else.

Enter the Divi Divi Shawlette. This is one on the list that I have been hemming and hawing about. I thought this would give me a chance to really put a dent in it and try to just get it off the needles, even though I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to knit it. I don’t think I did really want to knit it, I was trying to slog through, but it was a struggle.

And then, about 2 minutes after this picture, the lady in front of me dropped something behind her and proceeded to swat around and spill this cup of coffee all over me and the shawl. Decision made. The yarn got soaked pretty good with coffee and we were early in the day of travel, so it dried on. I will try to save the yarn but I’m done with the shawl. Cross it off the list, it’s out of my mental space now. Thank goodness that wasn’t my sweater! I’d probably have cried.

With the rest of my plane trip there and back again, I worked on socks. I’ve not had much sock mojo, as we know, but it was good to just kick back with a good book and put some rows down on a vanilla sock. I finished that first sock and pulled out my rose city rollers. I knit and knit on them and… ran out of yarn.

On the plane, I cast on the second sock for the other pair. When I got home that night, I pulled out a mini and knit the last threeish rows in pink and finished up my shortie socks.

These are Rose City Rollers, a free pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner. I used the last of some Tempting Ewe Yarns in the colorway Saftayy. The mini is from Miss Babs, in the color Hot Shot. I didn’t bring scissors or neeedles on the flight, so I also kitchenered the toe of the holiday socks once I was home.

Once the socks were in order, I went straight back to binding that mini quilt and managed to finish it up. This is the 4-Patch Hearts Mini Quilt by Jedi Craft Girl . I used the same fabric as the pattern, but I had a charm pack instead of a jelly roll. It worked out, although I didn’t have as much red in my quilt.

I love it so much! I am pretty proud of this one. It’s been tucked away in a box for about a year and half because the first block I made came out super wonky. Now my blocks and points are much better. I used some yardage of the same fabric line for the backing. I just can’t get enough of this print.

I also really went out of my comfort zone for the quilting. I really like the effect. I even washed this one to make the quilting stand out. I usually don’t wash minis, but this one was just begging to crinkle up!

Once on the binding train, I couldn’t really get off. I pulled out my bunny mini dresden and finally got it all bound and finished off. This was my first try at binding a circle. It’s a wee bit poofy but overall pretty good. I think it is adorable.

I had made the whole thing strawberry themed, inspired by how much the bunny loves his strawberry. I think this one will be a mug rug for my desk at work. I just love seeing this bunny hanging out. The back is a pretty little strawberry print.

I think that’s it for now. I’m working on my sweater and contemplating a few new sewing projects. I’m down to 8 WIPs and I have been feeling pretty diligent so I’m ready for a bit of freshness.


One other thing, in completely un-crafty news, I saw the pacific ocean! I worked a lot on this trip, but did manage to walk out to the water a couple of times. I’m a mountain girl at heart, but the ocean is just so peaceful.


Happy making!

Sewjo.

I really feel like assessing all of my works in progress has energized me. We are only a few weeks into my #wipwipeout and I’ve completed 6/19 projects. Pretty darned good.

I will freely admit that I have tackled many of the easiest and/or quickest to finish. The two quilts that needed binding, a mini quilt. The shawl was a fairly big undertaking as it wasn’t even to the halfway mark when I picked it back up. Anyway, I’ve still been picking up partially completed projects and knocking them off the list, and that feels good.

I finally dyed that Mathilde top that’s been sitting around for nearly a year. I was hoping for a blue I liked, and that isn’t really what I got.

This blue just isn’t me. It’s either not dark enough or not light enough and the hue just isn’t something I usually go for. As if that wasn’t enough, the dye did some wierd things, mostly due to user error I think.

Oh well, chalk it up to a learning experience and mark it off the list. Next up, I cast on a new sweater. I hope I can get my sweater mojo back with something oversized. That way if the fit is off by a couple of inches, it won’t be so noticeable.

This is my No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit. It’s knit with one strand of fingering weight yarn and one strand of mohair silk held double and the floof is just to die for. This part before separating sleeves is a bit of a slog but the speckles and texture are keeping me going.

I am currently on day 2 of a 4 day weekend. Yesterday was the 4th of July and thanks to a whole lot of rain, we didn’t really do anything. Which meant that I did lots of things.

First up, I made this lovely bag for my friend Hannah. She’s my bestest knitting buddy and when she texted me to ask if I would sew up this bag if she sent me the kit, I couldn’t resist. This is the Take Along Tote by Never Not Knitting–the kit is from them, as well.

The pattern is well written and clear. I didn’t find anything confusing and the whole project came together in less than 4 hours. That’s pretty good for me on a first time bag. There’s a lot of interfacing (every fabric piece) so cutting and ironing takes up quite a bit of that time. I will definitely be making one of these for myself. This is the large size and the bag part is about a foot tall. It would easily hold a large sweater project.

Once my sewjo was rolling yesterday, I couldn’t be stopped. I pulled out my 4-patch hearts mini quilt and thought I’d just see if my blocks would turn out bettern now. The first one was a vast improvement over the old wonky block. Take a look: the old block is on top and the new one is on the bottom.

Still not perfect, but much better. I think know my cutting and piecing of the half-square triangles was not exactly up to snuff. But I am really trying to take to heart that finished is better than perfect. It’s really all practice, in the end. And I was certainly not wanting to scrap all this fabric! I forged ahead and managed to compete the top last night.

I just love it. I don’t knwo what I’m going to do for quilting, but I think I’ll go for it this weekend. After all of that time at the machine, I was ready for a bit of curling up on the counch with some hand sewing. Enter Quilted Notions Pouch.

This little guy has been sitting waiting for binding and a zipper for about eighteen months. I finally finished him off this morning. This pattern is by Retro Mama and this one is the larger size. It’s still only about 5″ tall, so large is kind of an exaggeration. I used a fat quarter of this pretty cloud print and couldn’t throq out the quote on the selvege. It took some doing to squeeze it on and not obscure the clouds but I’m glad I used it.

I added this cute pink and yellow zipper that’s been hanging out in a drawer for forever and I think it takes the whimsy up a step. And I just love that giant pull ring.

This pouch requires a lot of hand finishing. The zipper is all hand sewn and you have to finish the sides and inside all by hand. It’s very worth it in the end, though. It comes out very nice and neat. I will make more, but probably not until I forget a little about how much work they take.

That angry cloud! I love that one. So far my long weekend has been quite productive. I love finishing up these projects but my head is really starting to buzz with all the ideas I’m getting. I’m feeling the quilting bug coming on strong. We’ll just have to see how long I can hold out. I’ve got 13 more WIPs left!


Happy making!

Yarn chicken.

Yarn chicken is not a game I play often. I had a rousing match with a skein of yarn recently — and lost. I didn’t realize we were even playing until I was almost out of wool.

The project that served for the playing field was my Lumen. I recently was quite inspired to pick it up again and moved fairly quickly. One evening, I became quite excited that I was on the last lace repeat before the border. For some reason, wool knows, I decided to weigh my yarn.

I had worked out how much of the shawl I had left to knit–thanks to this handy, dandy triangle shawl calculater–and discovered that having 30% of the shawl left, not including bind off, and 28% of the yarn left was just probably not going to work. Anything could happen, but I was spooked. I just knew I’d run out on the bind off or some madness.

So, I did what any knitter might do, I pulled the needles out and ripped back the last lace repeat. I figured that I could omit the last repeat and just go straight to the border. But the shawl looked teeny and I do not want a teeny triangle shawl. I put it away and decided to do a bit of sewing.

I thought about the shawl though, not wishing to have another stalled and failed project. I decided to go through my yarn stash and see if anything matched or would coordinate. No luck. I went online to see if I could purchase another skein of the yarn. No luck. And then, I happend to see my color cards. I went through all of them before landing on the Quince and Co. wool line.

Shell looked pretty darn good. Not perfect, but pretty close. I ordered a skein and went back to knitting Lumen. When the yarn arrived, it seemed about as close as I was going to get to a dupe.

And so, I knit Lumen until I had one gram of yarn left and then added in the Quince. I wound up using 10 grams of the Quince, so I certainly needed something it. It is, of course, not a perfect match, but I’m at a “finished is better than perfect point” with my knitting these days.

It’s all finished now, and really quite lovely. I wanted a soft pinky mauve triangle shawl and I got exactly that. Just for a recap, this is Lumen by Sivia Harding for Brooklyn Tweed. The yarn is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk Light in Powder Puff, finished off with Quince and Co. Finch in Shell. My only modification was to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead of the recommended method. Turns out when a Brooklyn Tweed pattern says something is tedious, they aren’t messing around.

I do like it very much. I think it will be a lovely addition to my cool weather wardrobe. I am also very glad that I didn’t give in to the yarn chicken loss and rip the whole thing back. I suppose that while I lost the match, I won the game in the end.


Happy making!

We were on a break.

I am definitely not batting 1000 over here. Sweaters are just not doing me any favors these days. I spent most of last week knitting on the body of my Damejakka Lopa. I knit a solid five inches more and decided to try it on.

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Womp womp. Too big, again! I know what happened this time: I made two mistakes. First, I swatched the colorwork and got gauge. I did not swatch the body, with it’s significatly lower colorwork ratio. Turns out my gauge is a smidge tighter on the dense colorwork. That makes a difference.

My second problem was in my size selection and subsequent decision to not incorporate any decreases. I chose a size with about 3 inches of positive ease in the bust. I think that’s probably too much but it’s definitely compounded by not including any waist shaping. Lesson learned, hopefully.

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Ugh, it’s so pretty. I’m working on figuring what to do, more on that later. In the aftermath of realizing this sweater is just too big, I sat down and just flat out finished up that Jelly Roll Twist quilt.

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PS. isn’t it just so green outside? Anyway, I only had half of the binding left to sew down and this lovely little quilt was complete. This is Jelly Roll Twist, a free shortcut quilt pattern by Fat Quarter Shop. The fabric is the Eden line by Tula Pink and I quilted it on a long-arm at my local quilt shop. That’s my first finish off of my to-do list!

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In thinking about what to tackle next, I was drawn to knitting something where the size would not be an issue. I wound up picking up my Lumen Shawl. I am over the halfway mark and really love this texture of the lace and garter stitches.

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I am really enjoying knitting this shawl at the moment. I know I put it down because I got obsessed with sweaters, but I don’t feel we’re in danger of that at the moment. Sweaters and I need to take a break so that neither of us says something we don’t mean.


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!

Brought to you by the letter F.

Finishing a project is such a satisfying feeling. Putting the final finishing touches on any make always get’s me a little giddy.

Last night, I was feeling a twinge of that excitement as a I bound off the body on my Beauty School. I broke the yarn and hurriedly slipped the sweater over my head. Womp womp. My goal of a fitted, cropped sweater was certainly not coming to fruition. But I was sleepy and in pj pants, so I decided to try it on again today with something that would go with the finished sweater. Womp womp.

 

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And it’s just as bad, maybe worse, from the back.

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Way too much ease, way too much fabric. Definitely not fitted. Not all that cropped, either. I considered just going with it and leaving it to be a bit ovesized. But that really wasn’t my vision for this top. I also keep reminding myself that this is unblocked. Superwash yarn certainly doesn’t shrink, in my experience.

I think my swatch lied. The swatch says 6.5 stitches per inch, but the sweater says 6.  I had kind of thought that I could rip back 6ish inches and just decrease more, but I really think I just need to go down a needle size. And so I shall frog this sweater and reknit the entire body. Hurray.

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In slightly happier sweater news, I finished my Populuxe. I finished it quite a while ago, buttons and all. I hadn’t worn it yet until last Friday. However, as I wore it throughout the day, I realized I had done a pretty shoddy job at sewing on the buttons. I think my knots were all tied incorrectly. I’ve fixed it now, and I am over the moon.

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This is Populuxe by Andi Satterlund. The yarn is Lavender Lune Yarn Co. in the DK Merino/Cashemere/Nylon base in the colorway Granny Panties. First thing’s first, this yarn is dream. It is so plump and round and soft, and that color is my absolute perfect blush pink. Holy grail color, there.

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This is my second Populuxe and I don’t think I’d hesitate to knit another. The pattern is great and the fit and style are right up my alley.

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And finally, I finished a quilt. This is the Jelly Roll Slice quilt by Fat Quarter Shop. It’s one of their shortcut quilt patterns and way back in 2017 when I made the top, it definitely went fast. I quilted it on a long arm that fall, attached the binding and then… Well, then I let it sit for nearly two years!

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Hard to beleive, I actually really enjoy hand sewing bindings, but I just kept want to do other things, I suppose. Better late than never, I think. I’ve really enjoyed snuggling under it lately.

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Honestly, I’m still pretty mad at the Beauty School. It’s just sitting on my desk mocking me at the moment. But I’ll get it in the end. Frogging and fixing are just part of the finishing process, after all.


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!