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!

Back to California.

I really like to visit California. For the most part. It’s generally lovely weather, the landscape is vastly different, and it’s dry enough that my hair looks pretty good all the time. On the negative side, I can’t really wear my knits, it’s so very far away, and that same dry weather plays havoc with my skin. So it’s one of those places that I love to visit and love to come home from.

This past week, I headed back across the country for another work trip. This one was a wee bit different, though, since my colleagues and I were attending a conference, rather than putting one on. I didn’t really know what to expect as far as time to myself went, so as any knitter does, I overpacked on knitting.

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In an unprecedented feat of reasonable-ness, I only took two of these projects in the end. I woke up early on Tuesday and headed to the airport, where I immediately procured an iced coffee and set in to work on my socks.

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I boarded the plane and knit until we could put our tray tables down, at which point I felt I could cut in the heel. I used to only do the straight knitting when I was anywhere other home. No heels, no cast ons, maybe maybe maybe a toe. But these days, I feel pretty comfortable with all of it.

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I finished the sock and wove in the last end as we touched down in California.

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In case you’re wondering, this yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in the Prisma colorway. It’s the July club colorway from the 2017 rainbow of the month club. Anyway, I called an uber for ~1 hour ride from L.A. to Pasadena, and got the sock cast on but forgot about my backseat carsickness and had to stop after that.

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That afternoon, I did some walking around Pasadena, took a nap, and went to a networking event. With the time change, I was pretty pooped after that so I went straight to bed. The next day I slept in a bit and headed to the conference for breakfast. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was a good day. I scored some fun swag, including a lei from the fine folks of Hawaii:

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In the afternoon, we toured the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses which, among many things, featured some amazing landscaping.

 

On Thursday, I made myself get up early enough for some early morning coffee, knitting, and reading. I finished my book and the cuff of the second sock.

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That day, two pretty cool things happened. The first was that I got to see Bill Nye, The Science Guy, speak. He was very funny and engaging.

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The second was that I found Mer-Pug. I love him. Evidently this is a thing in Norfolk, VA – which is pretty darned awesome.

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We had a closing celebration that night, which was a lot of fun. I don’t often get to dress up and go out on the town, and I enjoyed it a lot. The next morning, I was up at 3:15 a.m. and while waiting for the uber managed to get in some pre-4-am rows in on the sock.

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On the plane, I started a veritable coffee IV and a new book, all while plugging away on the socks.

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By the time the flight was over, I was nearly at the toe and ready to cut in the heel.

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It was still pretty early when I got home yesterday, so I cut in the heel alongside a little more coffee. The coffee was really just to at least keep me awake until it was time to go pick up Joshua.

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It was a great trip, I really liked Pasadena. Dry heat, great food, and roses everywhere. As a wannabe hermit, though, I am glad to be home. I’ve slept in, played games with Joshua and Kevin, gone grocery shopping, and now I’m ready to finish up those socks.

Happy {travel} making!