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:

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Darwin

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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


YoM day 220: Sock knitting!


Happy making!

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!

Pineapple!

My friend Holly loves pineapples. Like, she really loves pineapples. So when her birthday was rolling around, I knew exactly what to do. I pulled and cut out some scraps…

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I arranged them in that ever so cute shape…

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And then I sewed it up!

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At this point, I was in love with it. And then I got to looking closer. Thinking, something seems off. After a bit of thought and comparison with the progress pics, I realized I sewed the second row upside down. I was so upset! Once my blood pressure calmed down, I broke out the seam ripper and pulled off the borders and the top two rows and fixed them. Much better.

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I quilted up the little cutie and bound it in no time. The pattern is from Sassafras Lane Designs. The mini finished at about 8.5″ x 11″ and is pretty darned cute, if I do say so.

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The hardest part of this quilt was waiting to gift it to Holly. I got to gift it to her today and I’m pretty sure she liked it a lot. This is one of my secret projects I’ve been working on, so it’s fun to finally get to share it, too!


YoM day 212-213: Birthday sock knitting – spoiler, I haven’t finished them


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 theΒ 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 Β 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, Β 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!