It all happened so fast.

Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to go ahead and cut up some strip sets I had sewed together ages ago. They have been ready to cut for… 2.5 months? Yep, time to cut them. Once I got started though, I couldn’t stop myself. In what felt like no time, I had sewn up all the blocks!

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This is another of The Fat Quarter Shop‘s amazing shortcut quilts. So, no surprise, as advertised the blocks came together lickety-split. I spent an inordinate amount of time arranging these on the sunroom floor, trying to get a nice distribution.

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I like the final arrangement. I went to the sewing machine to sew it up, thinking I would finish it that evening. I sewed the first couple of blocks together and was horrified to find that my seams didn’t match! And they didn’t match by a lot. I ripped out the seams, measured the blocks, and was baffled. The blocks are the right size, all pretty darned even, especially for a newbie piecer like me. I went back to the video and watched it again. It turns out that the seams aren’t supposed to match. Silly me.

The only seams you really need to match up in the whole quilt are when you sew up the rows, the seams between blocks need to match up. Which I was very careful to pin a million times and do my best with. There’s something so pleasing about seams that interesect. This week, I’ve put in teensy bits of time, sewing a row up and adding it on here and there. This evening, I decided to add the last few rows and get it done. And then this:

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My sewing machine has an offset needle position by default, but my quarter inch foot only has a teeny hole for the needle in the center. Normally I’m really good about turning on my machine and automatically moving the needle position, but not today! So, the end of the quilt got a nice, fresh needle and I was off and running. I finished it up!

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My second quilt top of the year is all done. This is the Jelly Roll Twist, available for free at The Fat Quarter Shop. I used a jelly roll from the Eden collection by Tula Pink and a Bella Solids charm pack in white. That’s all the top needed! It finished at about 51.5″ x 60″.

I have to say, I love these shortcut quilts. It’s very satisfying to finish a top, and the projects are very manageable. I feel like the two I’ve made have really been great ways to practice my piecing skills without biting off more than I can chew. I’m on a definite sewing kick at the moment!


YoM day 162-165: Quilting/sewing, sock knitting, sweater knitting

YoM day 166: Quilting/sewing


Happy making!

Grainbow Revival Socks

Pair 2 of the sock revival is off the needles! I will admit, I was getting a bit weary of these by the end. I just kept eyeing my stash and thinking of what socks I was going to cast on next. But when I slipped these on to check fit and take a picture… Well, let’s let them have their day in the sun.

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The yarn is by MarigoldJen in two colorways that I honestly can’t remember and can’t find the tags or names for. I reeeaaaalllly hate that, but I guess I’m going to need to accept it. The colors are beautifully variegated, a wonderful gloomy grey with the rainbow. I was a bit skeptical of my choice of yellow, but I think it complements the main yarn nicely.

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These socks feel and fit amazing. The yarn is her BFL/nylon, and the contrast is her merino/nylon. I think they work nicely together. The socks feel sturdy and squishy at the same time. I couldn’t be happier with the fit. Tried and true, the Kirbywirby method for cutting in heels comes through again!

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I was a bit of a cast-on addict last night, and started a new pair of socks. PS. If you haven’t tried Peepaloo Fields yet, I highly recommend her yarn. It is achingly pretty:

 

And finally, I started my Waterlily! I knit two more gauge swatches. The pattern calls for 4.0 mm/US 6 and that definitely didn’t work. I went down to 3.75 mm/US 5 and measured wrong, so I also knit a swatch on 3.5 mm/US 4. Bizarrely the 3.75 mm and the 3.5 mm swatch are remarkably similar. I went with the 3.75 mm and wound up my skeins.

I cast on and got halfway through the second row before I fell asleep. It’s not much to show, but I’m proud anyway.

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We are in serious birthday mode over here in our corner of Maryland. On Wednesday, it was dear boyfriend’s turn. I fixed steaks–truly my best go at steak to date–and made cake, and we had a little celebration, just the four of us. I think he had a great day. I’m currently up to 3 birthday cakes in the past 2 weeks, and I’ll bake 2 more before the next 2 weeks are out. Whew!


YoM day 156: Swatching!

YoM day 157: Swatching and socking

YoM day 158: Sock knitting

YoM day 159: Sock and Shawl knitting

YoM day 160: Sock knitting

YoM day 161: Sock and sweater knitting


Happy making!

I changed my mind.

My dad always told the story that when I was a very little girl, I ordered vanilla ice cream and then decided to switch to strawberry. He said I looked up at him in awe and said, “I  changed my mind!” as if I hadn’t realized I could. This past weekend, I changed my mind again.

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I stopped mid-tink-back.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to knit the Sprite’s Fen shawl. I cast on the second Shawl Society shawl on Thursday night, the day the pattern was released. I love the pattern. The shawl, as all of Helen Stewart’s designs, is beautiful. Soft and subtle, lovely and elegant. But something just isn’t clicking for me. I think it’s the shape, semicircular shawls are among the least wearable for me. I may come back to this project, but it’s going in the hibernation cave for now. I had planned to knit each of the 6 shawls in the month they were released, but I suppose we’ll be revising that policy.

Instead, I’ve started something else. I’ve been daydreaming about getting started on my Waterlily since I purchased yarn for it a few weeks ago. I want to have it to wear this summer to work and on vacation. Plus, for some reason I have sweaters on my mind. I want to get this one done and get started on more. I’ve never been overly interested in garment knitting, but something has recently fallen into place for me and I am ready. I think.

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To that end, I swatched a couple of little swatches. Spoiler alert, I did not get gauge. By a long shot. It was vaguely correct before blocking, but after a bath is nowhere close. I do know that I’m on the looser side of knitters, so I probably should have gone down a needle size to begin with. Learning experience, right? Tonight, I swatch again!

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They may be too big, but they’re awfully pretty. Yarn: O-Wool O-wash fingering in Watermill

Once I get my gauge figured out, I’m planning to cast on this week. First sweater jitters are making me a little hesitant, but I’m too excited to let that stop me. Plus, it’s a mile of stockinette in the round to start–pretty soft launch if you ask me. I’ve also been putting some stitches on my Magical Marled Mystery Shawl. I never thought I would like seed stitch, but it has a good rhythm. And the squish is undeniable!

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Lest anyone worry that I’ve not been knitting any socks, behold:

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My second pair of revival socks is off and running. I’ve fallen back in love with these. It’s great to start working on an old project and get that rush. That “oh, this is why I fell for this yarn” feeling is so fun.

In other news, I took the kids to the library yesterday afternoon.  They got something like 1000 books, which they are already tearing through at breakneck speed.

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Not pictured, 4 humongous reference books for a super secret design project that I’m getting started on. This one will be a long process so some of my making time will be off the books until I can share. I love surprises.  


YoM day 150-151: Sock knitting

YoM day 152: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM day 153: Sock knitting

YoM day 154: Sock knitting and sweater swatching

YoM day 155: Sock knitting and secrets


Happy making!

Birthday Socks.

Today is Joshua’s birthday. He is twelve years old and we have celebrated. I made him a pair of socks:

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Main yarn is from a mini skein set, Friendship is Magic, by Vivid Yarn Studio. Heels are in Candy by KnittyAndColor.

These came out beautifully. As always, Joshua’s design choices astound me. He picked the order of the stripes, but I decided how wide and how many repeats. He also wanted pink heels. Pink heels! I would have never thought to do pink heels, but they work perfectly! I love letting Joshua take creative control of the things I knit for him. We’ve had two amazing stripy hats in the past, all designed by Joshua.

While the finished product was definitely worth it, I’m not dying to knit any more mini skein striped socks. That was a lot of work and a ton of ends. By the end I think I wove in 56 ends! I cut the heels in and I was scared to death after all that joining and weaving.

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All in all they turned out beautifully. If you’re curious, I did a 15 row 2×2 ribbed cuff and then striped the minis every 11 rows. I was going to do 10 but because I can’t seem to count, 11 it is! I used the back join method to join and cut in the heels a la Kirbywirby. He loves them and I’m pretty sure he had a great birthday.

We went home to North Carolina and spent a relaxing weekend with family. One of my brothers made some homemade sausage that was delicious and may inspire me to try my hand at sausage seasoning. We ate a lot, played outside, and shot off fire crackers. My sister-in-law and I made a raspberry lemon birthday cake and we had a lot of fun with the trick candles I had brought. It honestly took Joshua forever to blow them out.

We’re back home to Maryland now, some of us enjoying our new presents, others of us continuing our car knitting:

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These are my second pair of revival socks and I’m about ready for the toe. It’s been a great weekend, wonderful to celebrate my not-so-little sweetheart.

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YoM day 146-149: Sock knitting


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!

Year of Making

A Year of Making

 

Last year around this time, I was inspired to choose a word to encapsulate a goal for myself for 2016. After a great deal of thought, I chose “make.” I chose make because that was what I wanted to do, I wanted to become more of a maker: to produce, to create. I feel that I achieved the goal I had in mind at the time. I finally knit 12 pairs of socks in a year, I canned something other than jam, and I made Christmas gifts for my siblings.

As 2016 draws to a close, I’ve been thinking about how to proceed. Whether to choose a new word or to continue with my word in a new way. I stumbled across an Instagram post tagged “yearofmaking” and that got me thinking. What would a year of making look like for me? I know that I would not be able to make something everyday, unless we start counting messes and spaghetti dinners. But can I work on a making project every day? I think so. I hope so.

Sweaters and shawls, quilts, canned goods, preserved goods, perhaps even bread. My goal is to put energy into a making project every day. Some days that will amount to a few rows on a sock, and that is ok. I plan to chronicle my progress here. I often see the sentiment that a year from now, you will wish you had started today. And so today, I will post this first post and knit on my sock and look forward to the promise of a new year.

2017 will be my year of making.