Busy weekend.

I’ve been working on a lot of things. Quilts, socks, shawls, dresses. I feel a little scattered again, but I’m really enjoying making progress on all of these projects.

Friday night, I started prepping my Moneta Dress. The fabric came in, so I washed that, and I printed out the pattern and put it together. That’s a lot of work, but it’s nice to have it done. I figured out that I have more fabric than I need, so I also purchased a pattern to make Astra a dress. I’ll be making her the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop. I took a picture of the fabric, and while very soft and the perfect dark grey, it’s incredibly uninteresting to photograph:

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When I posted last week, I had finished a quick quilt top in anticipation of my long arm reservation for Saturday. I woke up really early on Saturday morning to get ready for a full day of quilting. I was attempting to document the day:

Breakfast plus my super cute apron. Once I was all fueled up, I headed down to the iron for a major pressing session. It took me about an hour to press all three tops plus all the backs! I loaded all of the quilts up and headed to my LQS. I had up to 7 hours available for quilting. I honestly didn’t think I would get to the third quilt, but I managed to get all three done.

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I went pretty simple, I may try one day to do a whole cloth quilt just to practice different designs. It’s a little daunting to try new things on a top you’ve pieced. I do love the quilting and the backs. I can’t wait to get them bound and all finished!

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I also wanted to try to finish up my Rising Dawn shawl. It feels like it’s been on my needles forever. On Saturday night, I had about 7 rows left. That may not sound like too much, but the rows were over 700 stitches each. They were taking me about 40 minutes each to knit!

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I stayed up too late on Saturday and got up on Sunday and made it to the bind off. Of course, it’s a picot bind off. I love the look of a picot bind off, but it takes about three times as much time and yarn to do. I gamely got started right after lunch:

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So pretty! Well worth it, but it took me most of the day on Sunday. I didn’t knit non-stop, but I worked on it a lot. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night, this happened:

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I ran out of yarn. I knew it was going to happen, I had gotten nervous and started weighing my yarn a couple rows before the bind off. So, run out of yarn is exactly what I did. I frantically searched my stash and my scraps and came up with some grey Knitpicks yarn that matched quite well. I finished up the shawl that night. It’s blocking now but here it is in all of it’s unblocked glory:

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I really love it. I hated it a little bit on Sunday, but once I finished it and felt the squish and saw the gorgeous colors, I loved it.

Now I’m dying to cast on something else, but I have no idea what. I’m hoping to get the dresses cut out this week, maybe even start sewing Astra’s up. I’m really excited about learning to sew with the knit fabric.

All in all, it was a great weekend. It’s so fun to look back and feel like I got so much done.


YoM day 266: Shawl knitting

YoM day 267: Quilting and shawl knitting

YoM day 268: Shawl knitting – finished Rising Dawn Shawl!

YoM day 269: Sock knitting


Happy making!

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Scattered.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been dabbling. A little of this, a little of that. Some secrets, some projects that I can shout from the rooftops.

I’ve been working on my 13th pair of socks. They’re on the back burner for a few other things at the moment, but I’ve knit one and am nearly to the heel of the second. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock, in Down By the River. Twist is the BFL base, and I’m in love with it for socks.

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In a little over a month, we’ll travel to North Carolina for my little brother’s 10th anniversary party. I’m very excited and so of course, I’m knitting a shawl to wear. I’m also planning to make a dress to match, but more on that once the details are flushed out. The shawl is Rising Dawn by Stephen West and I am shamelessly copying someone’s else’s idea and using the Sunday Morning colorway by Gauge Dyeworks. I can’t wait to get to that clay color!

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I had a flurry on Saturday night where I decided to get all of my projects back in working condition. I had dropped a stitch in the above Rising Dawn shawl, decided to change out the mohair color on the next section of my Marled Magic, and had a couple of mini quilts on the brain but no idea where to start. I made a cup of coffee and ripped back to the offending stitch, pulled out the whole section with the mohair, and did a fabric pull for the minis.

It did the trick. I had been in a bit of a funk, not wanting to pick up any project where I wasn’t raring to go. Doing all the troubleshooting in one fell swoop made me feel free to pick up anything and everything on Sunday morning. I started with the Marled Magic, because it’s just too fun to put new yarns in. I’m now holding a strand of Hedgehog Fibres in Fly with a strand of Ito Sensai in Silver and striping in other colors.

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Last in knitting news, but certainly not least, I did something I’ve never done before. I cast on a sock for Kevin. I’m knitting it toe up so that I can try it on him as I go and I went up from my usual 2.0 mm needles to a 2.25 mm. The yarn is from The Lemonade Shop in the Tang colorway.

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I also got a teensy start on the new mystery stitch-a-long from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, The Black Hat Society. I love their patterns, so cute! I’ve never finished one, though I have several. This one came as a kit. The fabric is beautiful but not super easy to stitch on. I love the start of this pattern, can’t wait to get a little more stitched than hats. Maybe I could even finish this clue before the next one comes out on the 15th…

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I also worked on one of my mini quilts, but it’s for a swap so I can’t show it just yet. It’s nice to have projects that I enjoy working on so much. It feels a little scattered because I’m usually a bit more monogamous but, I’m having a good time with each of them in their own way.


YoM Day 238: Sock and shawl knitting and cross-stitching

YoM  Day 239- 246: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM Day 247: Sock knitting and sewing

YoM Day 248-249: Sock and shawl knitting


Happy making!

Birthday.

This year’s birthday has come and gone, but I’m still riding pretty high on the warm and fuzzies that it brought.

For the actual day of my birthday, Kevin and I both took the day off from work. I woke up early and had some knitting time with my coffee, my favorite way to start my day. Kevin gifted me a new chef’s knife and paring knife. I was incredibly surprised and touched by how thoughtful the knives were. He took me out to a special lunch and then gave me the quiet time to take a little birthday nap. That night, we ordered pizza and I knit and knit to my heart’s content.

 

All in all it was the perfect birthday. Lots of well wishes from friends and family, plus calls from both brothers and my mom. It really felt special and was so relaxed and just plain nice.

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I did not finish the birthday socks on my birthday. I knit them quite a ways, though, and got up early the next morning and finished them.

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The yarn is from Wee Chickadee Woolery and is called Sprinkles on Top. I won the skein in a giveaway on Andi’s blog, My Sister’s Knitter. The soft blue and pink background with violet and hot pink and orange and neon green speckles just calls to me. This yarn is speckled to perfection. I loved knitting these socks! They are pair number 11 for the year.

That next day we spent mostly in preparation for our Giant Family Road Trip. I did manage pick out the yarn for my second pair of birthday socks and get it wound up for the trip, an essential in the packing process.

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Sprinkle, Peepaloo Fields

I’ll say it again, it was a great day. I took some time to think about the turning of my own year to the next. At the beginning of 2017, I decided to start this blog and commit to a year of making. For my birthday, it felt like another beginning, another changing of the guard, my own year melding into the next. What do I want this year to look like? I don’t have a hard and fast answer, like I did at New Year’s. But I have been thinking about some changes that I’d like to make. Maybe they will surface in more clarity later, but right now things are just ruminating around. Do you think about things like that around your birthday? This is kind of a first for me.

Anyway, now we’re on vacation! More on that later–spoilers, it’s a lot of sock knitting.


YoM day 214-218: Birthday sock knitting.


Happy making!

Bubblegum Kisses and Sprinkles on Top.

After the sock frenzy to finish up the green socks, I didn’t know how much sock knitting I’d be up to. Turns out, quite a bit. I cast on my first pair of birthday socks early in the week, getting a bit of a head start.

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I knit on them most of the week and finished the first sock on Thursday night. I cast on the second and have now gotten through the ribbing:

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Sprinkles on Top, Wee Chickadee Woolery

I haven’t worked much on them this weekend–since, among the secrets I’m working on, I became a bit driven with the thought of finishing this:

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I got up yesterday morning and finished sewing together the quilt top. I have to say this pattern with these fabrics–Bee Basics by Lori Holt–is just so adorable. I spray basted the quilt this morning and got set to quilt it.

I spent some time thinking about how to quilt it, and decided on cross-hatching. I did the diagonal lines at a 45 degree angle to the top of the quilt and put the lines at about one and an eighth inches apart. I didn’t want them to echo the lines of the x’s, so I tried to have them a bit offset.

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Once I finished the first set of diagonal lines, I rather liked the way it looked. This was in no way influenced by not wanting to do another set of diagonal lines. Ok, maybe it was a bit. But I really do like the way the diagonal lines echo the direction the x’s are crossed. It probably wouldn’t look too busy with the lines the other way, but I’m satisfied with it.

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I sewed the binding on and hand sewed it to the back. I love it! I’m so happy with it. It’s so cute and sweet and fun. The pattern is Bubblegum Kisses by Lori Holt.

 

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Please ignore the cat hair. 😦

All the fabrics for the top and the binding came in the June Sew Sampler Box. This was far and away my favorite Sew Sampler ever. I love fabric and the pattern, and it was a lot of fun to make. I have a fair bit of the binding and background fabric left, plus a bunch of scraps leftover from the charm pack. I picked the cross stitch themed fabric for the back because, well, you know.

All in all, I’ll call it a good week. I’m still trying to finish the socks before my birthday so I can start a whole new pair of birthday socks. I’ve got a few more secrets to work on and then I’ll even start sharing a few of them! I can’t wait to share them with their recipients and you.


YoM day 204-210: Birthday sock knitting

YoM day 211-212: Quilting


Happy making!

Motivation

Once again, I’ve been obsessed with quite dedicated to the secret project. So much so that I didn’t touch knitting all week. All week, that is, until I was faced with a waiting room.

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Like many knitters, I  almost love a waiting room. On Friday afternoon, I knew I’d be spending my afternoon in a waiting room and thus, with a sock. I managed to finish the cuff while sitting there. That evening, during our Friday night D&D game, I managed to drop and turn the heel and pick up for the gusset. I was rather pleased with myself.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had the crazy thought that if I finished this pair this weekend or early in the coming week, I could reasonably go ahead and start my birthday socks. Birthday socks? Oh yes, birthday socks. I’ve been thinking I’d cast on a new pair of socks or two, for my birthday. I had a couple of skeins that were calling my name, particularly birthday themed to me. And then…

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This came in the mail yesterday. It’s Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields, and it’s heavenly. And it reminded me of this…

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This skein of Sprinkles on Top by Wee Chickadee Woolery had come earlier in the week. I won this gorgeous yarn–and that amazing looking tea–in a giveaway over on Andi’s blog, My Sister’s Knitter. Her blog is just beautiful and incredibly inspiring. I love her knitting aesthetic. So with all of these sprinkle skeins in mind, I dug into the stash and…

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(l-r) Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields, Sprinkles on Top by Wee Chickadeee Woolery, Birthday Cake by Baerenwolle, Cosmic Cake by Tilting Planet, and Courtney by Junkyarn

I pulled out all of my “birthday yarn” and became incredibly motivated to finish the green socks and get started on all of this loveliness. Now, I know that my best time is two pairs in a month, so 5 pairs in 5 weeks is not really what I’m aiming for. I’m going to at least knit two of these for my birthday month. Luckily, this kind of cake and sprinkles doesn’t spoil.

With all of that, I knit and knit and knit a little bit more yesterday. And, even with cooking three meals and not totally ignoring my family, I managed to finish the green socks.

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The yarn is a corriedale/nylon blend from Lamby Toes Yarn in the colorway Experiment 078. It has a lovely tough, yet squishy feel. I really like corriedale blends. These were supposed to be my St. Patrick’s Day socks, but we can see how well that went. I’m pleased to have them finished, the bright kelly green is a bit out of my usual color palate, but these are really pretty socks. They are pair 10 in my box o’ sox.

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Today, I’m casting on my first pair of birthday socks. I may do other things, but there’s a strong possibility that I’ll just knit these all afternoon.


YoM day 195-197: Sock knitting

YoM day 198-201: Secret making

YoM day 202-203: Sock knitting


Happy making!

All over the place.

Lately, I’ve finished a couple of things and worked on bunches of others. Today,  I thought I’d share a bit of the making mish-mash. There is a fairly large chunk of my time missing from this post, where all of the secret making would go. But it is there, and I am really and truly loving it.

I’ve actually been doing a lot of sewing over the last week and a half. I finally made a pillow out of the practice block I made:

Joshua picked out the fabrics for the block, so I sewed up a little Orioles back and made him a pillow. I also made myself a precious Petit Four basket:

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This little cutie was so fun and quick and easy, and is so useful! It’s sitting at my sewing machine, making things neater and prettier as we speak.

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I think I might make a whole bunch for all around the house. As for this one, I loved the color scheme so much that I started myself a project bag out of it. It’s all cut out and ready to sew up, except that I don’t have a coordinating zipper on hand. Definitely going to need to bite the bullet and stock up on some zippers. The other big sewing project I’ve been working on is the Bubblegum Kisses Quilt. It’s a mini quilt pattern that came with the amazing Sew Sampler Box for June.

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I loved this box. Everything in it is adorable and the fabric and pattern are just exactly my speed. I cut up the fabric in relatively short order:

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On the fourth of July I sewed up all the first step blocks:

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I love how they are a cute little rainbow!

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Fabric is from Lori Holt’s Bee Basics line

The other night, I finished sewing up the final blocks and laid them out:

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They are not sewn up yet, but I’m going to have this bad boy finished before my next box comes. We’re headed out of town for the weekend, but I think I’ll finish the top and quilt it on Sunday and Monday night.

I have, of course, been knitting, but not all that much to tell the truth. I started the next shawl in the Shawl Society, the Vila Wrap, it’s stripy with a bit of lace. I picked out my yarn for it, but I am not sold on adding the pink. I think it would be incredibly versatile in the two grays:

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Barenwolle Everyday Merino

And last but certainly not least, I finished another section of my Marled Magic. I’m on to section 6, now, but not sure about the hot pink mohair for this one yet.

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In all of this madness, I also taught Joshua to cross stitch. His stitches are pretty darned nice and he does a good job at crossing the same direction all the time.

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Whew! That’s a lot going on. And to think, there are two projects not even there. I feel a bit all over the place lately. I have a drive to start tons of new things which is a bit unlike me. My birthday is on the horizon though, and I’m giving myself free reign for the month of August. I plan to cast-on with abandon and start sewing projects at will.


YoM day 191: Quilting

YoM day 192-194: Sock and shawl knitting and secrets


Happy making!

I mean, they are my favorite.

Blackberries. I love them. Blackberry cobbler is my favorite dessert. Last year’s blackberry jelly is, in my opinion, the best thing I’ve ever canned.

Joshua and I went out first thing this morning to pick some blackberries. “How much are we aiming for?” he asked. My answer: a meager 5-6 pounds. Nothing strenuous, just enough for a batch of jelly and a cobbler, maybe some snacking for the afternoon. As we walked through the field, I worried that we might not find that much. And then we found them, bushes laden with plump, dark berries. We picked and picked, and when the box looked like it was full enough we headed back.

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As we walked back to weigh and pay, we wondered how much we had picked. Joshua guessed it was more like 7 or so pounds, and I said we could always freeze another cobbler’s worth if so. We plopped our box down on the scales… 11.54 pounds.

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“What are we going to do with all of those?” Joshua asked and I wondered. I was thinking how I’d inadvertently picked myself a whole day’s work. When we got home, I pulled out all the canning books, opening them to the blackberry pages, if they had them. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I made a mental plan and got out my scales.

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Turns out it was just enough for 2 batches of jelly, 2 cobblers, a batch of experimental syrup, and a teensy dish for snacking. I set out to work:

I followed the recipe for Old Fashioned Blackberry Jelly from the book Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. It really does make the best jelly and doesn’t use any added pectin. For the syrup, I made the Strawberry Syrup from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan, I just used blackberries in place of the strawberries. Hopefully that turns out!

While one of the batches of berries drained, I managed to finish a sock! I started this one way back in March and just never picked it up after finishing the gusset. I didn’t want this one to be a revival pair next year, so I’m working on finishing them up.

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Yarn by Lamby Toes on her corriedale base in an experimental colorway.

I froze enough blackberries to make myself a birthday cobbler next month and made a cobbler for tonight:

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7 jars of jelly, 3 jars of syrup, and a blackberry cobbler for good measure.

The cobbler just came out of the oven and I’m relaxing with a victory beer. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to trek out to pick berries. When I picked way too many berries, I wasn’t sure that I had it in me to process them all today. But now they’re done, and I’m glad it all worked out the way it did. They’re my favorite, after all.


YoM day 183-189: A ridiculous mix of sewing, quilting, sock and shawl knitting, and super secret making!

YoM day 190: Canning and sock knitting


Happy making!