Sharing is caring.

About a month ago, I signed up for the most recent round of Fibreshare. If you are unfamiliar, it’s an international swap for fiber-y crafters. Weaving, spinning, crocheting, and you guessed it… knitting. Sign ups opened up back in May after a particularly stressful week and I decided I could use a little extra joy in my life.

Once we received our partner details, I was off to the races. My partner is a fan of bright colors, stripey sock knitting, and chocolate. A woman after my own heart, in many ways. I had two skeins of yarn in my stash that seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and then I started scouring the internet for the perfect extras. In the end, I also wound up asking Kemper of Junkyarn to help me pick out a skein of her yarn for my partner. She picked the brightly speckled “Leslie” colorway. Perfect.

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After finding the yarn, the extras, the chocolate, the final touch was sewing up a special project bag. The Weebrawbag by Laura Zuckerkuss seemed the perfect thing for a fellow sock knitter. Big enough for a sock project but small enough to take anywhere, it even has pockets for notions! The hardest part was finding fabric. Once I saw this socks on a clothesline pattern, though, I knew.  I also knew that I wanted one too, and if I didn’t make them in tandem, I’d never get around to it. And so, I made two.

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Arne’t they adorable? They are pretty tiny, so I gave my partner’s bag a test run with a skein of yarn:

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Plenty of room! I really enjoyed this project and the finished object is just lovely. The only modification I made was to use fusible fleece instead of the interfacing called for–solely because I purchased the wrong interfacing. If I made this again, I might make the channels wider, they’re a bit tight. Once the bag was complete, I assembled the package.

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I wrapped everything up–tied with yarn, of course–and shipped it out. I’m pleased to report that my partner was happy. All in all, it was incredibly fun to put together a package for another knitter. I don’t really get to put together crafty gifts for others often, and I really enjoyed it.

All in all, I had so much fun putting the package together–including the cute bags. And I get to keep one!

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Happy making!

Prepared.

Today, I hop on a plane for Los Angeles. I’m heading to a conference my organization puts on and it’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for us. I’ve been preparing for this since sometime in July and I think I’m ready. I hope I’m ready, it’s certainly too late now.

In my crafting life, trip preparations haven’t been going on nearly so long. I did attempt to make myself a new notions pouch for the trip. I’m not sure what comes over me before a work trip, but this isn’t the first pre-trip bag I’ve worked on. I’ve made a project bag and a notions pouch on the eve (or day of) other flights! Life kept happening this week though, and I didn’t quite get it done.

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The pattern is the Quilted Notions Pouch by Retro Mama. It’s a paid for pattern, but it is so worth it. I love how it’s going and can’t wait to finish it.

I’m taking three projects for this trip. Socks, for the airplane, of course. On a long flight, I like something compact so that my elbows aren’t flapping around everywhere. I went ahead and cast on the first pair of socks. I always like to get the next sock’s ribbing done as soon as possible after I finish a sock, it helps me stay motivated. Though I rarely have a problem with second sock syndrome, I like to keep the sock train moving.

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This is Boombox, on Twist Sock by Hedgehog Fibres. I picked this one out of my light box o’ sox, since it felt appropriately Los Angeles colored to me. I meant to just cast on the ribbing, but we played DND last night and I just couldn’t put them down.

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Since I have 11 hours of flight time, not to mention airport time, cab time, waiting time, etc… I’m bringing the next pair of socks to cast on too, just in case. This is the March colorway in my Knitterly Things 2017 Rainbow Club, the colorway is called Rainbows After Rain. I can’t wait to get to that pink stripe!

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For a little flavor, and so that I hopefully won’t run out of knitting, I’m bringing along my Coastal Walk, too. I am just obsessed with knitting it, the lace was so intuitive and pretty! I’m with the body of the shawl and ready to move on to the border, so in my mind it’s practically finished.

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For tradition’s sake–and definitely not because I love seeing all my bags set out–here’s all the knitting I’m packing for the trip. Fingers crossed for at least one FO out of the lot.

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With that, I’m ready to head out to the airport. I feel prepared, work-wise and with my making, so let’s get to it! I hope your Saturday is lovely, I’ll just be knitting my way across the country.

Happy making!

 

Candygram

I’ve been feeling a little like I’m not getting anywhere on anything. I think this feeling comes from working so hard and so monogamously on one project that still isn’t finished.

That one project is my Puntilla. Sometimes I wonder at the wisdom of a fingering weight, over-sized sweater for a first sweater, but hey, it’s simple and I love it. When last we spoke, I believe I bemoaned the endless stockinette that seemed my fortress and prison. After I wrote that, I immediately cast on for a Coastal Walk shawl:

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And that’s how far I got before I thought, let’s at least try on the sweater:

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The novelty of actually trying on a knitted garment really got to me. I thought I could at least make a bit more progress and then I became utterly obsessed. I didn’t knit a single other thing until I bound off the ribbing:

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Oh my goodness, can you stand it? The color is divine and it’s so soft. I’ve cast on a sleeve and am slowly working on that now. This weekend I’ve been deep into rainbow sock territory. I’m past the heel point in the second sock now:

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Sunday afternoon, I was looking around the internet and stumbled across a couple of quilt patterns that I just couldn’t say no to. The first of these is the Candygram Mini Quilt by Heidi Staples:

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Now, when I say mini, I mean mini. This little cutie finished at 4″ x 12″. It took me a couple of hours–my kind of instant gratification. I can’t wait to get it up on my wall! I used scraps for the top and decided on a sort of incongruous lemur print for the back.

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The second in this bit of mini mania is the 4-Patch Heart Mini Quilt by Amanda Niederhauser. I have the fabric she used in stash and that pink and red and green seems just perfect. I’ve got it cut out, half square triangles made, four-patches done–we’re ready to assemble.

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I think this one will go together fairly quickly. The pattern calls for half a jelly roll, but I’m using a charm pack that I cut up. By the way, both of those patterns are free tutorials and really easy to make. I’m looking forward to freshening up my sewing corner wall with some new minis. It’s definitely been a while!

I’m ready to get the sweater and socks off the needles, but it’s nice to look back over the last week and see that I have been moving forward with my projects. Not to mention casting on/cutting up new ones!


Happy making!

No mercy.

Watch out around here. No quarter shall be given, no mercy to be had. If you aren’t doing it for me, your days are numbered.

I’ve been talking a fair bit about intention and planning, and my eye is becoming more and more critical. I mentioned that I plan on frogging my Boho Blush shawl a few weeks ago. Well, the wrath has extended to the wee beginnings of the Love Ewe Baby shawl that I cast on back in the fall:

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While I certainly love this combo, I felt the siren song of the project I had originally wanted to knit with this lovely yarn from Swift Yarns. I had wanted to knit an Oracle Shawl, but just wasn’t quite sold on a full pi shawl. Kristen, the designer, mentioned on her podcast that she was designing an a half-pi version, but I didn’t have the patience to wait. So I cast on something else.

But now, with my ever more critical eye, I knew that I would rather be knitting the Half Moon Oracle. My Snowmelt has made me warm up to half circle shawls and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. And so I got it on my needles:

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Yes, that’s brioche and lace. Need I say more? Since this wasn’t enough, I also decided this weekend was the time to try some colorwork. I wanted to cast on the Pixel Rise Cowl by Kemper Wray. I picked out some pretty pastel yarn:

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I cast on and started to find an ok rhythm. It definitely feels fiddly and unnatural, but I was able to knit through about half of the cowl with no problems. Until I took a closer look.

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And then, I took an even closer look.

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You can’t really see the colorwork. At least, I can’t. I mean, maybe you can a little, if you look really close and know what you’re looking for. But it seems that my pretty and soft speckled yarns are awfully close to each other. It’s mostly looking striped. And so, I’m going to frog it. No regrets, lesson learned, and a bit of practice gained with stranded knitting. At least it looks like the puckering got better as I went along.

I’m enjoying being ruthless with my projects. I’m trying not to fall into the trap of thinking about the lost time that I spent working on things, the sunken cost fallacy is a sticky trap. Knitting is never really lost time, it’s all enjoyable. But I do intend to spend my future knitting time on projects that I love.

Lest anyone think that I’m all hatefulness and frogging over here, I do have a few other things that I’m loving at the moment. I’m still working on my Puntilla. I’ve joined the two front pieces and I’m now knitting in the round! It’s going slowly, but that knit knit knit is so soothing.

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I also managed to finish up my second tiny dresden plate. I think I may quilt it and get it up on my wall in the next week or so. It’s so pretty, I want to look at it all the time!

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One last thing, a little spoiler for you. I finished a thing and I love it.

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More on that later. At any rate, I hope that your making is bringing you joy.

 

At least it’s a pretty rabbit hole.

Tiny things. Pretty things. Tiny, pretty things. I am a woman possessed by the small and the cute and the sweet at the moment. I don’t believe my sewing mojo has ever been quite so strong.

I happened upon a few new folks to follow on Instagram–check out bobbypinbandit and cloudtori but beware the amazinginess–and the rabbit hole of inspiration has turned out to be deep. It started with a simple sewing kit.

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Look at that ridiculous squirrel. I love him.

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This included my very first appliqué and very first attempt at fussy cutting:

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The pattern is Strippy Sewing Kit from the book Scrap Happy Sewing by Kim Kruzich of the Retro Mama blog. It turned out so cute! I love all the little details. I do not, apparently, love bias  binding–nor does it love me–but perhaps with practice we’ll come to an understanding.

Another foray on Instagram–I get bored waiting for the coffee pot to boil–led me to the #tinydresdenparty. I don’t like to use this phrase lightly, but I can’t even. So many variations, so many sweet makes! I had to get in on the fun. I wanted to make a really sweet, pastel dresden.

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This is my first effort. I appliquéd it down and then made the circle for the center. And then I discovered the circle is too small.

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It just won’t cover all the raw edges. This was a big disappointment, but not to worry, I’ve got more of this fabric on the way–there are so many cute little animals in this print! Undaunted, I set out to make another tiny dresden. I cut the blades from different strawberry fabrics:

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The start to this one looks better, I think, a bit more even. I also used a ring from a mason jar to cut the template and fabric, so I knew it would fit. I think this one is going to be a mug rug when it’s finished.

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I love it so. These are incredibly fun to make, and not nearly as fiddly as I expected. I used a great tutorial on making these tiny dresden plates, she explains everything and there are templates for cutting, as well. I’m not done yet, I have ideas to make tons more.

In other news, I haven’t exactly been neglecting my knitting. The sweater is coming along, I’m only a couple of inches from joining  the front and back and (finally) getting to the knit in the round part. Right now, it looks like a shapeless mass of fabric:

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I’m over halfway on my Canopy shawl now, and I adore how it’s turning out. I had doubts about the pattern and the yarn, but now I think the combination is a match made in heaven.

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And finally, I procured some new shelves and separated out the stashes. It’s so nice to have everything laid out and easy to see and reach.

It really is an inspiring space. Every day, I can’t wait to get in there and get a little sewing done before retiring to my knitting. I am riding this creative high as far as it will take me, and at least at the end I will have mug rug or two.


 

Happy making!

Goody Goody Binding Kit.

Last week, I found some sewing inspiration. It all started on Instagram and now I feel a wee bit of obsession coming on. Ideas seem to be popping inside my head like little fireworks. I’ve got lots of little projects on deck, I can’t wait to get started on them!

With all of this inspiration, the first thing I realized was what a mess my sewing corner had gotten to be. My fabric stash was a mish-mash and the whole area was kind of depressing, to be honest. Not the inviting space I am looking for:

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So over the weekend, I spent little bits of time organizing. I pulled out all of my fabric:

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I culled out anything that wasn’t quite my style any more, sorted everything into scraps and yardage, and then sorted by color. That’s all organized back on the shelves–now the yarn looks a mess, of course. I went on to organize my little desk, separate all the backing and batting scrap from my quilts, and get some bins to corral all of that. The current state is much, much better.

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I’ve still got a few things I want to do in there, but it’s pretty nice to work in now. Which led me to finally getting around to making binding and attaching it to some languishing quilts I’ve got hanging around:


Once those were attached, I thought about hauling all of my stuff for binding out and then I realized it was finally time. Time to make myself a Goody Goody Binding Kit. If you haven’t seen these, check out that link. It’s a free pattern and an excellent, step-by-step tutorial. The whole project was lovely from start to finish. The hardest part was picking out the fabric. I finally settled on something sweet and cute:

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It took me a couple of hours–I’m slow–to get all of the pieces done and ready for assembly:

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And then last night, I assembled the kit. I’m really proud of it. This was my first time installing snaps–I used a snap instead of the velcro–and that’s pretty cool. Definitely going to need to use more snaps. Overall I think it turned out nicely.

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I couldn’t think of what I would put in that last pocket and then last night as I was binding this kit, I realized. Reading glasses are a must!

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This is my first sewing finish of the year, and I love it! It’s so sweet and I think it will be very handy. Now to get those quilts finished up… or start a couple of those little projects that are swimming around my head.


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!