Judge and Crystal.

My little brother married the woman that nobody can imagine him being without ten years ago. We were all much younger then and a lot has happened since. In some ways, I think we all finished growing up together. Sometimes it seems bizarre that it’s been ten whole years that they’ve been married. At the same time, I can’t really remember a time when Crystal wasn’t a part of our family.

I love them both dearly. Judge was my very first partner in crime and Crystal has come to be a sister to me. They are incredible people and have a beautiful relationship. The two of them have done so much for so many, and I can never thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me and mine over the years. Judge and Crystal are special in a way that is hard to put down in words, but if you met them, you’d understand.

I wanted to make them something special for their anniversary and so I decided to stitch an anniversary sampler for them. Of course, I had a difficult time finding the right pattern. I found one pattern that I really liked, but of course it had nothing to do with love or anniversaries:

30737

Photo courtesy everythingcrossstich.com

This is the Autumn Band Sampler, from Little House Needleworks. I love the colors and the squirrels and everything about it. I decided to hack the pattern and personalize it for Judge and Crystal. I went to the library got a giant stack of cross stitch pattern references and printed out some graph paper. It took a surprising amount of time to come up with a final layout that I really liked, but I drew out the pattern substitutions and got to work.

IMG_20170708_185759

I started stitching it up in early July. I kept having problems with miscounting my threads and was having trouble focusing on my work. I followed Kevin’s mom’s advice and got myself an Ott light, which is a daylight LED crafting lamp. That helped a lot, but I still couldn’t really focus well on the work. I wound up going to see an eye doctor, and two retina specialists. The uptake is that I have reading glasses for crafting now and can see tiny cross stitch a lot better.

IMG_20170707_170255

With my light and my reading glasses, I really got moving on the project.

I am a very slow stitcher, so it took me the better part of six weeks to finish. During that time, the only other things I worked on were socks and mom’s birthday present. I made mistakes and had to pull out stitches more than once or twice. There’s an acorn that I stitched four times before it was all done! But done it is and I took it to get it framed at my local cross stitch shop.

IMG_20170826_141546.jpg

I am so pleased with how it came out. I’m a little scared to really look at it, lest I discover something that is misspelled, but I think it’s pretty great. It really pushed my creativity, which is a great feeling. I’ve never designed anything, much less a cross stitch pattern. It’s also my second cross stitch finish… Kevin always says I jump in feet first with my projects.

IMG_20170922_172739

We celebrated Judge and Crystal yesterday with countless family and friends. It was a great day and my heart is truly full.


Happy making!

Advertisements

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.

IMG_20170829_082028_448

IMG_20170903_100045

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!

IMG_20170826_192624_643

img_20170907_174556.jpg

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.

IMG_20170904_130520_743

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.

IMG_20170906_201905_441

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…

IMG_20170903_100258

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!

Our little shishi.

The first maker I ever knew was my mom. When I was a little girl, she made me dresses, sewed up costumes and curtains, made quilts, and cross stitched samplers that I can still picture in my head. Fast forward more years than either of us care to tell and she is still a maker. Today, she makes journals and art and generally beautifies her surroundings. She also knits the cutest little woodland creatures:

screen-shot-2017-08-07-at-4-35-06-pm.png

Darwin

Her woodland creatures inspired me to knit one for her for her birthday, his name is Seamus.

IMG_20170803_180459

He’s awfully chubby and cute, which meant he needed a basket, obviously:

Another maker was inspired this year, the very person who made her a shishi. Joshua has gotten into cross stitch so he stitched up a little owl for her:

IMG_20170803_180646

I glued the work to a teeny canvas and attached fabric to the back, but the stitching is all Joshua. His stitches are probably better than mine. The owl is 1.5″ x 2″ and the whole canvas and stand comes to about 5″ tall. It’s precious. All together, I’m proud of our birdy present.

IMG_20170803_180539

We weren’t able to be there for her birthday, so we wanted to make this extra special little package up for her. Today we got to see her and celebrate both of our birthdays and several other family milestones.

My mom is one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. She taught me the basics of sewing, quilting, and cross-stitching as a little girl. As I’ve grown up, she’s been a big part of the inspiration to become the kind of maker that I am today.

IMG_20160729_184026

Happy birthday to my mom, the maker and the shishi.


YoM day 220: 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:

IMG_20170702_172826_767

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.

IMG_20170702_172046

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.

IMG_20170627_100922

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:

IMG_20170702_215414

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

IMG_20170704_144230

I love how they are a cute little rainbow!

IMG_20170704_145106_724

Fabric is from Lori Holt’s Bee Basics line

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

IMG_20170710_231602

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:

img_20170706_180540.jpg

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.

IMG_20170713_213407_883

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.

IMG_20170704_125458_293

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!

Half way.

Yesterday was the half way point in my year of making. It’s crazy to think I’ve been doing this for a solid six months! I am still really enjoying this project. I have found it easier and easier to be sure to set aside making time each day.

Let’s have a bit of a check in!

Year of Making 2017

182 days, 12 pairs of socks, 3 shawls, 2 pincushions, 3 bags, 2 hats, 2 quilt tops, a quilt,  a mini, a cat quilt, sauerkraut, and cherry preserves. I’ve cast on a sweater and have another shawl and socks in progress.

More important that the quantity of what I’ve done, the feeling these projects give me is so lovely. I’ve learned soooo much. What I love in shapes and color families, I feel that I am coming into my own. And I’m actually knitting something purely for the process of it! Kevin asked me the other day how often I’ll wear one of the items I’m knitting, and I was surprised to hear myself say that I don’t care. I’m loving the knit and that’s what’s important.

As for the halfway day itself? Well, I knit. I knit a lot. I put a whole section on my Marled Magic Mystery Shawl:

IMG_20170701_155930_759

The new minty section is a mini from Tempting Ewe Yarns held together with the pale pink Rowan Kidsilk Haze. 

I finished the gusset of my second sock:

IMG_20170701_190530_600

Evidently, I couldn’t go to bed without finishing the toe. And so, I finished my 9th pair of socks for my Box O’ Sox. I just love the subtle colors with the pops of neon green and purple. The yarn is Purr by Peepaloo Fields on her simple sock base.

IMG_20170702_085633_638

img_20170702_084853.jpg

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an ulterior motive for finishing those socks… I think Purr is the perfect color for the next section of my shawl. At this point, I’m pretty much constantly thinking about what yarn should go into my shawl next. That and, “What could I put mohair in?”

Here’s to the second half of the year!


YoM day 181: Sock knitting

YoM day 182: Shawl and sock knitting


Happy making!

100 days of making.

On each of the last one hundred days, I have put time into making. Some days, it’s been hours and hours of knitting or sewing and others it’s been just a few rows on a sock before I fall asleep. All in all, it’s been a great experience so far. I’ve become much more mindful of my time and it’s become easier to squirrel away a few minutes to myself no matter where I am.

I keep track of what I do each day in a little spreadsheet. According to the spreadsheet, I have knit on 88 of the last 100 days. 88! That’s a lot of knitting. I think it’s easy to see where my passion lies. 77 of those included sock knitting. If you’ve read this blog before, you probably aren’t surprised—I do love my socks. There was a bit of shawl and hat knitting thrown in there as well. The rest of my days were spent sewing, quilting, and cross stitching, with one evening of kraut mixed in.

first100daysfos.png

This is my first 100 days worth of finished objects. It’s a pretty happy lot to look at, if you ask me. I am by no means prolific, but I’m happy with my progress. In the first one hundred days of last year, I had made three pairs of socks, a shawl, and a hat. This year, I’m up to 16 FO’s! That’s quite the increase.

I always think of myself as a product maker. I want the thing—the shawl, the quilt, the jam—so I make it. It makes my heart soar to see all of the projects I’ve finished, to use them and love them. But one thing I’ve learned over the last 100 days is that the process is equally as heartwarming. Making de-stresses me and stokes my creativity. Writing this blog has helped me see all of the stories that are woven into every project I make and that has been a wonderful discovery.

I can’t wait to see what the next 100 days has in store for me. We’ll be well up into July at that point so I hope there is a fair bit of canning alongside the socks in my next collage.


Year of Making Day 100: Sock knitting, what else?


Happy making!

Long weekend.

Throughout the year we take advantage of long weekends to do things. We go see family, go on weekend trips, I work, or we just try to get things done. Not on president’s day weekend. I make it a point to not plan anything or go anywhere. So you can imagine how I was daydreaming about all the crafting I would get done while hanging out at the house.

After my last blog post, I was inspired to rip out that toe and get my rainbow socks finished. So for Friday night D&D and all of my free time on Saturday, I worked on my socks. I cut a stitch in the kitchener of the toe, and pulled back the whole toe. I wound up needing to knit nearly another inch… not sure what I was thinking the first go round.

Late Saturday night, I was knitting away on my socks. The second sock was done and I wanted to finish up the re-knit of that first toe. And then I felt a twinge in my left wrist, with a side of serious pain. I wish I could say that I followed Kevin’s advice and stopped right that minute, but I knit a couple more rounds before another twinge made me stop.

The next morning, I got up and finished the rainbow socks. My wrist was hurting by the time I was done so I knew it was time to put away the knitting needles and figure out something else to do. Enter cross stitching. Since I’m right-handed, that’s where the sewing motion comes from. I have to say I was pretty bummed about the rest of my weekend containing no knitting.

wp-1487685418860.jpg

Rainbowalong Socks, yarn by Mothy and the Squid, colorway: Summer Skies, Rainbow Brite

Luckily, taking it easy seems to have done the trick. It felt much better on Monday morning and I knit my day away in bliss. I finished the second clue of my Snowmelt mystery shawl. I’ve been wavering back and forth about the low contrast with my color choices, but I’m digging it for sure now. So soft and sweet.

Last night, I realized that it had been a full 36 hours since I finished my rainbow socks. That meant, of course, that it was time to cast on another pair:

wp-1487684097205.jpg

Tempting Ewe Yarns, colorway: Rainbow Brite

Well, that’s a lot of pictures but I guess it turns out that I did get a bunch of crafting done this weekend. I enjoy seeing so many projects get a lot of love.


YoM day 48: Sock knitting

YoM day 49: Sock knitting

YoM day 50: Finished my rainbowalong socks and cross stitch

YoM day 51: Snowmelt mystery shawl and new socks cast on


Happy making!


Linking up to Finish it Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.