Giant Family Road Trip, phase 1: Tennessee

We’re on a bit of a tour to see friends and family back home. Phase 1 included two destinations in Tennessee. Road trip day 1 was the longest car ride planned of the trip so we switched off driving duties. I knit during my time off:

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Birthday socks, pair 2: Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields

Our, first stop was to see Kevin’s best friends. They are the other 3/5 of our Dungeons and Dragons group, which we usually play online via Skype. Friday night, we got to stay with them and were up late playing in person! It was a great time and we woke up Saturday morning to play some more. If you’re curious, we defeated the necromancer.

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The next stop has been to see Kevin’s parents. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday, and Kevin’s mom suggested a hike up to some falls in the area.

She even took a picture of all four of us together, something that almost never happens.

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Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

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Other than that we’ve mostly been spending time together, talking and eating their good cooking. It’s been a great visit, I feel lucky that spending time with Kevin’s family feels like home to me too.

Of course, I’ve been knitting when I’m sitting. I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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I adore this color. It is so soft and sweet, just like sprinkles! I’ve also been using a newish project bag that I made, which went a teensy bit wrong.

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Nice and wrinkly from travel.

It looks a little funky because I boxed the bottom way too aggressively. Must remember to think more carefully about that the next time. The other issue with it is that it’s a wee bit too small. I wanted a little, single skein, sock sack. This one is a little snug on a wound up ball of yarn, though. It’s been tough to pull the yarn from the outside (which I do) until about now, when the second sock is done.

It’s super cute and still 100% usable, so I’m using it. Next time we’ll go up in width and box the bottom a bit more sensibly. Making is always a learning process.


YoM day 219: you guessed it, socks!


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!

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!

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:

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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:

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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.

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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!

The mini and the madness.

The binding has been vanquished. I revisited the quilt and was in a much better frame of mind. We apologized to each other and worked well together from there on out.

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I love it and it’s adorable mini-ness. It’s the Mini Charm Box Quilt, a free pattern from FQS. I used Grand Canal by Kate Spain mini charm packs and Kona Cotton for the top and Moda Bella Solids for the backing and binding.

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I’m particularly swoon-y over the quilting. I went along with the advice on organic wavy line quilting from Sew Fresh Quilts. I really like the look. I went with a solid orange back and solid binding, kind of a new thing for me. I’m generally a prints everywhere and anywhere kind of girl. But I do like how the orange shows off my fairly decent–in my eyes, at least–at wavy organic lines.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t share my current obsession:

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This shawl. I cannot stop knitting it. I love it so, and I’m constantly thinking of what colors I want to use in the next section or how much more mohair should go in. Hint–the answer is all the mohair. Look how fuzzy it is!

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Ok, to calm down and recap, this is the Marled Magic Mystery Shawl by Stephen West. I finished that first seed stitch section this past weekend and got started on the brioche. For the seed stitch I used a pretty random combo of about 20 different yarns, just with the general idea to try to keep it on the subtle side, colorwise. For the brioche, I used one strand of SuperCraftyGirl Beastie Sock in Day Drinking held together with one strand of Rowan KidSilk Haze in a light pink.

If you haven’t tried brioche yet, I highly recommend it. This was only one color, so I haven’t tried two color brioche, but it was dead easy. And the texture it makes! You can’t imagine the squish! I’ve now started on section 4, spoiler alert–more mohair! I haven’t taken any pictures of that yet though, so here’s a picture of a sock:

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Peepaloo Fields in Purr

I’m on the gusset of the second sock now, but I have a pretty hard time putting down my Marled Magic. It’s like a siren song of color and texture.


YoM day 176-177: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM day 178: Sock knitting and finished the mini quilt

YoM day 179-180: Sock and shawl knitting


Happy making!

 


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