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!

Me Made May

Well, I did it. I managed to fulfill my pledge to wear at least one me made item (not counting sweaters) each week in May. I really enjoyed it and it did what I had hoped: pushed me to wear my makes for more than just pictures! The only outfit I didn’t get a picture of was when I went strawberry picking. Here’s everything else:

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Hollyburn Skirt 2 with Populuxe and Colorfield

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Rita Blouse 2 + Hollyburn Skirt 2, with Crumb

I’ve just realized as I’m linking all of these posts that I never blogged about my second Rita Blouse! I’m planning a bit of a catch up post for the last month of making, so I’ll add the details in there.

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Rita Blouse 2 with Crumb

I have to say that this is not too shabby seeing as that is only 1 dress, 2 tops, 2 skirts, and a couple of cardigans. Pretty good little mix and match into ye ole wardrobe. Looking back at these pictures, I  think they really show my new, hopeful style. They don’t look awkward, out of place, or forced, which is what I worry about most often.

This really makes me want to sew some more! That’s a great outcome, so thanks Me Made May!


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!

Confidence.

I’ve been thinking about my style, wardrobe, and making for quite a while now. I think back to the Wardrobe Architect project I did a few years ago.  It is hard to believe that was a few years ago but like with so many things, here we are. I’d like to revisit that project, evaluate and update to where I am now. At the core of all of this, has been a drive to move toward a new style.

I have been working, this year in particular, towards the beginnings of a new wardrobe. I have a few makes under my belt and I’m starting to feel more comfortable with knitting fitted sweaters and making skirts and dresses. My biggest hurdle now is wearing them.

You wouldn’t think that it would be so difficult, but I make excuses to myself and fall back to my old standard uniform nearly every day. Some of that is understandable, I don’t have enough me-made clothes to support wearing them all the time, but really it’s a comfort blanket. I’m used to seeing myself a certain way and while I have goals for how I want to look – that doesn’t mean I’m used to it by a long stretch.

Enter Me Made May. This is a personal challenge started by Zoe of the sewing blog “So Zo, What do you know?” – that is about encouraging sewists to wear their makes. Bam! That’s exactly what I need. I thought and thought and thought and came up with my pledge for Me Made May 2019:

I, Cortney, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each week during May 2019. Sweaters don’t count!

My hope is that by wearing a garment I’ve sewn at least once a week, it will help to normalize this new style to me. At the very least I hope it starts the process. Don’t get me wrong – I love my makes and really feel pretty incredible in them. It’s having the confidence to show that new and different side of me to the rest of the world. We’re starting out with baby steps. Once a week.

Last week, we traveled down to Tennessee for a wedding – more on that later – and after we arrived went out to dinner with Kevin’s parents and two best friends. I opted for my chambray Hollyburn and one of my Ritas:

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Sorry as these will likely all be awkward selfies. I actually loved this outfit. It was my first time wearing the Rita without a sweater over it and I was a little nervous as it’s quite fitted, but I really liked this look. Today, it was a bit nippier than the last few days here in Maryland so I took advantage of the oppprotunity to rock my Populuxe Cardigan again, paired with my navy Hollyburn:

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Oh and since it’s freezing in my office, I topped everything off with my Color Field Shawl. I do love this outfit. The navy skirt is proving pretty darn versatile, which is just perfect! Once I got home I took a proper outfit photo, which is nice since I never took real FO pictures of my Populuxe on my person.

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After hiding for years in business casual black slacks and cardigans, it feels like such a departure to wear such a figure hugging sweater. But I feel good in it, so the confidence may be starting to grow.


Happy making!