In other news

When I was a little girl, my mom was a cross stitcher. She had samplers and other pieces she had done hanging in the house, she had patterns and thread and fabric and beads in a drawer in her sewing room, and she taught me the basics. The only thing I really remember making was a bookmark, and that was decades ago.

A few years ago, Kevin sent me a teeny little stocking stuffer-ish cross stitch kit. I had so much fun trying it out again! Eventually I found my way to The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and fell in love with their patterns. I purchased this one and went out and got my supplies. I worked on it some, but was honestly a little discouraged at how slow of a process it was. I have had this issue a few times, I keep thinking about how much faster and easier knitting is for me and then I get frustrated. So when we moved, the cross stitch got packed up and that was that.

Fast forward to last week, when by hook or crook I found myself in a real cross stitch shop. It’s local to me—yay!—and is patently amazing. So many patterns, beautiful fabric and thread, and all the notions you could dream of. I decided to give it one more try—on something small. They had a lovely selection of pincushion patterns and that seemed like a great way to go.

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I got home and got started that weekend but as a I worked on the first few bits…  I couldn’t really see them. I was straining my eyes and giving myself a headache just trying to see where to place the next stitch. On Kevin’s mom’s recommendation, enter my shiny new Ott Lite. It lights my desk up like daylight and I was able to proceed with my stitching.

The shop was missing one color, so at the moment I only lack the brown for the roof and the sheep, the bottom border, and the backstitching.  It’s a wee bit wrinkly since I’m trying the in-hand technique. I have it in a hoop here so it’s easier to see, but I’ve been stitching without a hoop. I like working that way a lot.  On a side note, washi tape does not work well on the edges of linen. Not at all.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed this project so far. I am trying to let go and not be frustrated by the fact that I could knit a whole sock in the time that it takes me to cross stitch half of a pincushion. It is a very different style of making, and I am enjoying flexing my creativity in other ways.


YoM day 25: Sock knitting

YoM day 26: Sock and hat knitting, with the teeniest bit of cross stitch to finish the grass


Happy making to you!

Sock-Monogamous

After I finished my goldfish socks, I was debating what to start next. I want to knit—several—rainbow socks for the rainbowalong next month, but I don’t want to cast them on until after Feb. 1st to qualify for the Grocery Girls sock bash. I waffled over starting a new sock, wondering if I could finish it before the end of the month. I don’t have to, of course, but I think my preference is to be sock-monogamous. So, I pulled out a project bag from the shelf of forgotten project bags. Inside was a ball of yarn, a 3.25 mm circular needle, and this:

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Well, there you go, I thought, I’ll cast on the second sock and that will give me something to satisfy the sock craving for the rest of the month. And then, the next day, this happened:

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I couldn’t help it. I felt compelled like a madwoman to finish it. It took nearly no time, being knit out of DK weight, but boy did I love watching it fall off the needles. The pattern is the Spree Socks by Kemper Wray and I highly recommend it. I used Date Night on sparkle DK by The Lemonade Shop.

Finishing this sock made me feel like a sock powerhouse, so I cast on another pair for January. I am in love with them. The yellow contrast makes me smile every time I look at it. I’m planning to do afterthought heels, so I’m up to one tube plus the second cuff.

I also started a cross stitch project, but that’s a whole other post in the making.


YoM day 19: Sock

YoM day 20: Cross stitching and sock – finished Spree Socks!

YoM day 21: Cross stitching and sock

YoM day 22: Cross stitch

YoM day 23: Cross stitch

YoM day 24: Sock


Happy Making!

Sometimes you finish things.

Sometimes you don’t.

I finished my January socks! I knit them mostly on the plane from Baltimore to L.A. and back. I felt very good about the progress, but I have a teensy secret. They are 56 stitch socks… Normally I knit 64, but I was curious. Joshua’s socks fit me very well at 56 stitches so I thought I’d give it a try with my socks. I like them. The stitches pull a little so I need to wear the socks and see how they do over the course of a day. But, boy did they fly—literally.

The yarn is The Lemonade Shop‘s Simple Sock in the Goldfish colorway. I would knit a thousand things out of this colorway. Once I started knitting it up I could really see how varied and deep the color is, even though it is so subtle.

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I started two kinds of sauerkraut. The recipes are from Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Feifer and are very easy to follow. I’ve tried to make sauerkraut before and it did not go well. I think my problem was weighting. I invested in some pickle pebbles for this venture, so fingers crossed that this batch works. It will be 2-6 weeks before I can report back on how the kraut has fared.

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I started—and will not be finishing—two projects. I love the pattern for the Jelly Rolls, but these are too small and I’ve lost a little bit of my gusto for them at the moment. I just love a vanilla sock and my mind keeps drifting off and wanting to start a pair. I also started the Infinito Cowl, but I’m second guessing my color choices. I believe I’ll rip it back and change the teal out for another color.

I’m in a rather impatient, frantic making mood. Things that aren’t bringing me joy aren’t getting worked on, which is just fine by me.  It’s my hobby and I’ll frog if I want to.


YoM day 17: Finished Goldfish socks, cast on Infinito and Jelly Rolls, started kraut

YoM day 18: Worked on 4ish knitting projects—I’m telling you: frantic.


Happy making to you!

Work Weekend

One of my motivations for participating in a year of making is to remind myself to take a moment every day, to make and think. I often listen to music as I sew, listen to an audio-book while I knit, or talk to the kids while I cook. But sometimes I find myself making in the quiet of my thoughts and those moments can be so calming and centering.

And so, for my first work weekend of the year, I made sure to take a moment to myself each day. That isn’t always easy and a 13-hour conference day certainly makes it difficult, but I took my socks on the trip—and I knit on them.

I had—perhaps too much—fun taking pictures of my progress with various beverages that I enjoyed on the trip. On the plane out, I managed to knit nearly a whole sock! Thanks, strong head winds: you made my hind end sore but gave me lovely sock time.

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At the hotel, I woke up a wee bit early to get some coffee and knitting time in and finished the first sock in short order:

And then, when the conference was over, I enjoyed an adult beverage or two and cast on the second sock:

The plane ride home was much shorter, but I managed to get a fair bit of knitting in—and earned the silver marathoner badge on Audible for listening for 5 hours straight!

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I did see another lady knitting, which is a pretty rare sight for me. I didn’t get the chance to ask her about it, but it was white and lacy and quite pretty. I love seeing folks making in public!

I am off today and have a lot of plans to make lots of things: finish these socks, start some kraut, maybe even a new notions pouch… We’ll see how productive I can be after a big travel day.


YoM day 13: Sock knitting

YoM day 14: Sock knitting

YoM day 15: Sock knitting—finshed the first sock!

YoM day 16: Sock knitting


Happy making to you!

The Four Year Hat

At the end of January, it will have been four years that Kevin and I have known each other. I have known how to knit the entire time. He has patiently watched—he’s a saint sometimes—as I knit countless objects. Things for me, the kids, his mom, my mom, other family and friends. He’s never said a word.

This fall, he asked if I would knit him a new hat for the winter. I instantly said yes, of course. He picked out a pattern, the Antler Hat, and I thought that was an excellent choice. So excellent, in fact, that I made each of my brothers one—first.

I know, I know. And so now, four years into our relationship, I have finally finished a hat for Kevin. He loves it. He said so. He even wore it yesterday when it was 50ish degrees in our part of Maryland.

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Neptune, Tempting Ewe Yarns.

He’s a good guy who totally deserved a hat.


YoM day 12: A wee bit o’ sock knitting (have to get packed for a trip)


Happy making!

I sure do love a knitalong.

I have underestimated the difficulty in taking nice pictures of my making on a daily basis. We have instituted a new morning schedule in our house, which means I leave before the sun is truly up and shining bright. And since it’s winter here in Maryland, I am also not really home before dark.

This is a temporary and small problem. But it has been a stumbling block to my drive to post this week. And so, in lieu of WIP pictures today, I thought I’d take a look back at a couple of fun knitalongs that I participated in last year and plan to do again.

Box O’ Sox KAL

I had hoped in 2015 to knit a dozen pair of socks and made it to 7. That was up from 1 pair in 2014, so I was happy with that progress. Last January, Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast hosted a Box O’ Sox knitalong. The goal was to knit a dozen pairs and put them in a box. I finished my box in October, much to my great surprise and excitement.

I knit another 2 pairs after that, one for my mom and one for my Christmas Eve cast on. 14 total pairs of socks! I learned so much about fit and what I like in a sock. I am definitely going to knit another box o’ sox this year!

Note: if you hover over and/or click on the images you can see captions detailing the yarn colorway and dyer. I did manage to snap a few pictures of my first two pairs of socks for the year:

They were tiny starts this weekend, but hey, cuffs are my least favorite part.

Rainbowalong

When she was little(r), my partner’s daughter used to say that her favorite color was rainbow. I have always agreed with her that rainbow is one of the more superior colors out there. To brighten the dreary winter, Dianne of the Suburban Stitcher Podcast hosts an annual knitalong in February, called the Rainbowalong. The only requirement is to knit something rainbow. Last year I knit rainbow socks, or rather, martian rainbow socks:

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Martian Rainbow, Must Stash Yarns

This year I have 2 pairs of socks planned… I do love to knit a rainbow.


YoM day 6: Cast on two-at-a-time socks

YoM day 7: Cast on new socks and hat progress

YoM day 8: Hat progress

YoM day 9: Ripped back and fixed days 7 and 8’s hat progress

YoM day 10: Finished Kevin’s hat!

YoM day 11: Sock knitting


Happy making!

In Fits and Starts

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This week has been a struggle to keep the commitment to making. And yes, I realize I’m talking about days 2-5. I have quite nicely sick, in the nobody hug me and I don’t even feel like making a sandwich kind of way. On the first day, I knew it was coming and was in denial so I cast on a hat I promised to Kevin months ago. Thank goodness it was beautiful yarn (and soft, such lovely silk content), that helped keep me going for the ribbing and a repeat.
On the second day, I finished Joshua’s second sock. To be fair, it only lacked a toe and weaving in of ends, but I did finish it. They fit him quite nicely and I’m happy to report that when he grows out of them, likely sometime at the end of the month, they will fit me as well. Right now he can’t wear things out before he grows out of them, which is great for those of us whose sizes he’s passing through.
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Nearly man-sized socks – Knit Picks Felici in “Beyond the Wall”

By the third day, I had to make myself work on something. Two blanket rows, that’s it, but I felt good about it. As I was zooming along, I discovered an error or three in the first row and decided to push through. It’s my first crochet, I thought, of course there are mistakes. It’s ok, I thought, nothing is perfect. It’s hardly noticeable, I thought, no one but me will know. And so this morning I decided that, of course, I’ll just frog the thing.

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Well, that’s just not right.

I spent last night working on Kevin’s hat and today I am going to cast on my January socks. I feel my making mojo coming back, along with my ability to breathe. Usually, when I lose my drive or don’t feel particularly well, I don’t knit or make for days at a time. It’s heartening to look back on this week and see some progress as a result.
Tonight, at least one of the next two pairs of socks are going on my needles, one with my traditional recipe and one toe up and two-at-a-time:

 


Year of Making (YoM) day 2: Cast on hat for Kevin

YoM day 3: Finished Joshua’s sock! (pictures to come)

YoM day 4: Worked on granny stripe blanket

YoM day 5: Hat progress


Happy weekend and happy making!