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!

Nothing to see here.

I am heading out today for a work trip. I’ll be gone until Tuesday–if you’re keeping score, that’s two days before Thanksgiving– and then we’ll leave Wednesday morning to go see family for the holiday.

So in the face of a six-day work trip followed by a five-day family road-trip, what did I do last night? Well, to be honest, a fair bit of laundry. But I also managed to stay up far too late making this:

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Gah, I just adore it. Let’s look at those animals a bit closer:

They are so cute. I can’t even stand it. Mom got me these two fat quarters when we went fabric shopping for my birthday. I had planned on making an autumny/wintery/holiday bag with them and I finally got around to it.

I used a kind of mash-up of Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler‘s two project bag tutorials: the Squishy Project Bag and the Drawstring Bag. I resized it a bit, to make it more of a sock sized bag. I wish I had written down the dimensions, it’s perfect! But at 1:30 a.m. that would have been a stretch. A single skein fits perfectly:

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That yarn, by the way, is my future Christmas socks. It’s wound up and ready to go to Denver, just in case I finish the other sock I’m taking. The yarn is a one of a kind colorway from Baernewolle. She calls these colorways One Of a Baer.

I love that yarn more and more every time I look at it. But back to the bag. I think this is my favorite project bag I’ve made so far. I just love the style and fabric and size. I can’t wait to make more!

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In other news of very important work trip preparations, I cast on a second sock.. I finished the first last weekend and added this sweet little brown toe:

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Wee Chicakadee Woolery, main color: Lost Coast, contrast: Golden Oak

I always try to cast on the next sock and get through the ribbing right after finishing a sock. It helps me stay motivated since the ribbing is my least favorite part. Last night before bag fever struck me, I got fairly well down the leg.

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My little bag collection is all ready to be packed. I’m taking four projects on this trip. Two of them aren’t cast on yet, and I’d love to finish the two WIPs I’m taking while I’m gone. I’m getting a bit of a thrill out of productivity these days. Well, creative productivity. I don’t find much thrilling about all that laundry.


YoM day 314-318: Socks and secrets

YoM day 319: Sock knitting and sewing


Happy making!

A few new things.

With the recent finishing party that’s been happening around here, I had to cast on some new things. Absolutely had to.

First thing, I cast on for a new shawl. It’s the next in my wardrobe architect knitting list: the Boho Blush by Andrea Mowry. It looks so big and squishy and cozy and romantic, I absolutely cannot stand it. When I thought about knitting this shawl, I knew that I wanted it to be the cozy and soft feel I’m looking for and a sweet, romantic blush. Since it takes about 1000 or more yards of a single color, I had to find the perfect yarn.

The resultant search led me to The Wool Barn. It’s a new to me yarn, but I took the plunge and ordered some for the shawl. Plus a few extra skeins, because I was already paying for the shipping, right?

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To me, this color is the definition of a nearly neutral blush. This is the cashmere sock base, and it is oh. so. very. soft. I’ve gotten started on it, and I’m through section 3 of 11. It’s going to be a serious shawl. Ugh, I just love it.

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My second cast on, is actually a re-cast on. But first, let’s talk about the yarn. For my birthday this year, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a box of home. They gave me beer, a bluegrass cd, soap, and yarn, all from somewhere around the mountains of North Carolina. There is an alpaca farm in the town I lived in before I moved to Maryland and that is where they got the yarn. It’s a worsted weight, un-dyed yarn. The fleece came from an alpaca named Frosty, who is apparently an elegant grey fellow.

Judge and Crystal didn’t know if I could make much with it, but thought I would enjoy it. After I got home I started squishing it and it seemed to say to me that it would make my hands oh so warm. So a few weeks ago, I cast on some Raw Honey mitts, in the medium size. I got about half way through the first mitt and tried it on. Too big. Way too big. I have a bit of an issue with picking the larger size even though I’m a loose knitter. Anyway, I ripped them out and this week re-cast on in the small size–for reference my wrist measures 6.25″ around.

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I love how rustic they are and I think the simple pattern works really well with the yarn. Since I took this picture this morning, I’ve picked up and finished the thumb and I love this mitt! I’ve never knit myself anything for my hands before, so I’m really excited for the finished object. A knitter with cold hands is a very sad thing, after all.

My last cast on is a pair of socks. No one should be surprised, but I just need a pair going all the time. I don’t care when they get finished, but I also really wanted to get using my new bag from Rosebud and Penny. This yarn is Wee Chickadee Woolery smooshy sock in the Lost Cove colorway. Seriously, y’all. The speckle game with the ladies at Wee Chickadee is on point.

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Once I finish the mitts, I’m going to cast on a hat for myself. I’ve also got to fire up the serger! There is only a wee bit of holiday making going on, since we’re trying to keep that reasonable. We’ll see if it works. For now, it’s fun to have a few new projects to talk about.


YoM day 303-305: Knitting socks and mitts!


Happy making!

Giant Family Road Trip, phase 1: Tennessee

We’re on a bit of a tour to see friends and family back home. Phase 1 included two destinations in Tennessee. Road trip day 1 was the longest car ride planned of the trip so we switched off driving duties. I knit during my time off:

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Birthday socks, pair 2: Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields

Our, first stop was to see Kevin’s best friends. They are the other 3/5 of our Dungeons and Dragons group, which we usually play online via Skype. Friday night, we got to stay with them and were up late playing in person! It was a great time and we woke up Saturday morning to play some more. If you’re curious, we defeated the necromancer.

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The next stop has been to see Kevin’s parents. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday, and Kevin’s mom suggested a hike up to some falls in the area.

She even took a picture of all four of us together, something that almost never happens.

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Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

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Other than that we’ve mostly been spending time together, talking and eating their good cooking. It’s been a great visit, I feel lucky that spending time with Kevin’s family feels like home to me too.

Of course, I’ve been knitting when I’m sitting. I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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I adore this color. It is so soft and sweet, just like sprinkles! I’ve also been using a newish project bag that I made, which went a teensy bit wrong.

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Nice and wrinkly from travel.

It looks a little funky because I boxed the bottom way too aggressively. Must remember to think more carefully about that the next time. The other issue with it is that it’s a wee bit too small. I wanted a little, single skein, sock sack. This one is a little snug on a wound up ball of yarn, though. It’s been tough to pull the yarn from the outside (which I do) until about now, when the second sock is done.

It’s super cute and still 100% usable, so I’m using it. Next time we’ll go up in width and box the bottom a bit more sensibly. Making is always a learning process.


YoM day 219: you guessed it, socks!


Happy making!

Half way.

Yesterday was the half way point in my year of making. It’s crazy to think I’ve been doing this for a solid six months! I am still really enjoying this project. I have found it easier and easier to be sure to set aside making time each day.

Let’s have a bit of a check in!

Year of Making 2017

182 days, 12 pairs of socks, 3 shawls, 2 pincushions, 3 bags, 2 hats, 2 quilt tops, a quilt,  a mini, a cat quilt, sauerkraut, and cherry preserves. I’ve cast on a sweater and have another shawl and socks in progress.

More important that the quantity of what I’ve done, the feeling these projects give me is so lovely. I’ve learned soooo much. What I love in shapes and color families, I feel that I am coming into my own. And I’m actually knitting something purely for the process of it! Kevin asked me the other day how often I’ll wear one of the items I’m knitting, and I was surprised to hear myself say that I don’t care. I’m loving the knit and that’s what’s important.

As for the halfway day itself? Well, I knit. I knit a lot. I put a whole section on my Marled Magic Mystery Shawl:

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The new minty section is a mini from Tempting Ewe Yarns held together with the pale pink Rowan Kidsilk Haze. 

I finished the gusset of my second sock:

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Evidently, I couldn’t go to bed without finishing the toe. And so, I finished my 9th pair of socks for my Box O’ Sox. I just love the subtle colors with the pops of neon green and purple. The yarn is Purr by Peepaloo Fields on her simple sock base.

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I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an ulterior motive for finishing those socks… I think Purr is the perfect color for the next section of my shawl. At this point, I’m pretty much constantly thinking about what yarn should go into my shawl next. That and, “What could I put mohair in?”

Here’s to the second half of the year!


YoM day 181: Sock knitting

YoM day 182: Shawl and sock knitting


Happy making!

Pack it up, pack it in.

At the end of my last post, I was wondering if I wanted to stay true to my Fairyhill shawl or if I wanted to cast on a million other things. It turns out sort of both and neither. I did not cast on anything new, but I cheated on the Fairyhill a bit anyway.

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First things first, the Fairyhill. It’s coming along beautifully. I’ve added the second color, Refresh by StressKnits, and I’m nearly at the 60% mark. It needs a touch more concentration now that I’m to the lacier section, but it’s still a really relaxing knit. I’m flying to California today, so I’m taking it on the plane. I would love to come home ready to block it.

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I’ve also been working on Joshua’s birthday socks. They are so fun and colorful, I can’t wait to give them to him. He picked the order of the colors but I haven’t let him see them after that. He wanted shortie socks, so I’m knitting a wee sock tube and I’ll cut in an afterthought heel later.

This week, I’ve been doing a little bit of sewing. And by a little bit I mean I’ve been making little things. I finally got some crushed walnut shells in, so I’ve been itching to make a new pincushion. I used some corner scraps from my Layer Cake Pop Quilt. They were little half-square triangles so I just sewed them together, trimmed them to 1.5″ squares and made a 9-patch. I quilted the little thing with straight, diagonal lines and used a random charm pack square for the back. I filled it with 50g of crushed walnut shells, but I think it could’ve use more.

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The side that I closed after filling it is wonky, but it’s super cute anyway. In more sewing news, last night I was looking at my Halloween notions pouch and decided it was time for something fresh on that front. I got started on it but decided to go to bed when I sewed the zipper in without bobbin thread. This morning I finished it before my coffee got cold.

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It’s so cute! I’m a complete novice with zippers, they give me a fit! But at least this guy turned out ok. I made my mom an identical little pouch for Christmas and I’m glad I finally made myself one. I used a tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl.

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Now I’m in the middle of packing for today’s trip. Of course, I had to throw in my next pair of socks… just in case. I tend to over-pack the knitting, but heaven forbid I ever ran out on the other side of the country. These are my second pair of revival socks. Both yarns are from Marigoldjen, but I’m going to have to do some research to figure out the colorway names.

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Well, here’s everything going to California today. This is a work trip, but I won’t have any coworkers there so I’m planning to put all of my free time into knitting. I’d love to come home with an FO or two, ready to cast on something else fun. Now to go get a shower and finish the suitcase. At least the important stuff is packed.


YoM day 129: Shawl knitting and sewed up a pincushion

YoM day 130: Shawl knitting

YoM day 131: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM day 132: Sock and shawl knitting


Happy making!