Late to the party.

I think I am perpetually figuring out the fun of the hip stuff after the fact. I tend to get into the hip, trendy projects far after they are the talk of the town. Case in point, I’m just now coming around to the whole “make nine” craze.

This is really a new year’s planning type thing, so of course I’m getting around to it in February. The idea is that you choose nine projects–knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, or a combination–to make in the coming year. I wasn’t really going to join in, until I realized that my ravelry queue already had eight projects. Add in my sock plans and bam! a ready made #makenine was born.

Since I’m already a month into the year, I decided not to include anything other than socks that has been started already. Without further ado, my make nine:

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Photos copyright designers as linked below.

  1. Madewell — Joji Locatelli
  2. Dotted Rays — Stephen West
  3. Box O’ Sox
  4. Eureka Cowl — Jessica Gore
  5. Sunset Highway — Caitlin Hunter
  6. Void — Melanie Berg
  7. Selbu Mittens — Skeindeer Knits
  8. Windswept — A Homespun House
  9. Coastal Walk — Joji Locatelli

I even have all of the yarn lined up–all current stash except the mitten yarn:

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I’ll talk more about all the yarns and patterns as I start each project. I’m really excited about all of these projects. They all fulfill a bit of my wardrobe architect goals, all are within my new color palate–well, except the rainbow socks, but there can never be enough rainbow socks in my life.

I’m thinking about casting on something new today, I’m currently drowning in a sea of fingering weight stockinette. I won’t show the sweater again, as it largely looks the same no matter how many rows I put into it. My February rainbow socks are part of this stockinette jungle, though they are gorgeous and fun to knit:

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The most likely candidate for a Sunday afternoon cast-on-party is Coastal Walk by Joji Locatelli. DK weight with a bit of lace to keep things interesting sounds lovely at the moment. And the yarn is absolutely calling to me. I’ve been knitting quite a bit in the blue-green/mint family lately and this mauve-y pink is just a siren song:

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So, here’s to stockinette seas, Sunday starts, and suddenly succumbing. I may always be late to the party, but I sure am excited to be here.


Happy making!

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Intentional.

intentional (in-ˈtench-nəl) adj. done with intention or on purpose; deliberate.

I’ve been thinking about one little word for 2018. A little late to the party, perhaps, but here I am. I’ve been tossing around a few words over the last few weeks. From my new year’s blog postchallenge sprang to mind. But that’s not exactly what I want my whole year to be about. What about flourish? Closer to the mark, but still not quite there.

I want something that will encompass my whole life, not just my making and crafting. What do I want to focus on, holistically, for the entire upcoming year? I thought about the things I want for myself.

For my making, I’m interested in challenging myself, choosing projects that will nurture my craft in some way, and (for things I will wear) curating a style and color palate. At home, Kevin and I are working on a commitment to spending time with friends and with the kids each weekend. Personally, I want to renew my commitment to nourishing my body.

And so, with all of that in mind, I have settled on a word. Intentional. I want to spend this year being deliberate. Doing things on purpose. Being intentional.

At home and personally that means being intentional with my time and how I treat myself. Choosing to spend each Sunday morning with the kids, making brunch and playing games. Choosing to eat the foods that make me feel well. Choosing to get a good night’s sleep.

For my making, that means choosing projects that have a purpose. Perhaps that purpose is to grow my skill as a quilter and sewist. Maybe the purpose is to continue the wardrobe architect project. Maybe the purpose of a project is simply to fulfill my love of socks:

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Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I have spoken a great deal about my goals for a handmade wardrobe. The wardrobe architect project has already helped me a great deal to be more intentional with what I purchase and the projects I choose. I have worked on a few projects that fit those goals, and have more on deck. I’ve been working on one, however, that just isn’t ticking the boxes.

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Boho Blush by Andrea Mowry, photo copyright Andrea Mowry

The Boho Blush shawl is beautiful. The color, the drape, the coziness. However. I keep going back and forth on the style. I love the look, but I don’t think it fits in with my overall goals for my style. It’s the fringe. I don’t think I would wear it nearly enough with the fringe. But to me, the fringe makes it! It completes it. In thinking about being intentional, I don’t want to “accidentally” make something that just doesn’t fit in with the vision. My time and the yarn would be much better spent on another project that does check all the boxes.

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It hurts a bit to rip out something like this (especially when I was just talking about finishing it up), but it feels empowering as well. It also feels good to be decisive and free myself up from projects I am unsure about.

I am excited about my one little word. It really feels right and that feels great. I hope to look back at the end of 2018 and see how being intentional shaped my year.


Happy making!

New year, new challenge(s), new socks.

With 2018 fresh and new, I’ve been thinking about what the new year would mean to me. Last year, I embarked on a wonderful journey, my year of making, and I started this blog to chronicle that journey. Now that it’s over, I find that I don’t want to stop. I want to continue making every day. I find that I am wanting just a bit more.

I am intrigued more and more at the the idea of challenging myself in my making. I want to grow as a maker. Growth would certainly mean different things for my different crafts. For sewing, I want to learn simple things, like grading patterns or inserting zippers. Quilting is a bit more complicated, I’d like to take the next step with the longarm or get a bit more adventurous with my pattern choices. With sewing and quilting, I am still such a beginner that there is a lot of room to grow.

Knitting, however, is another story. I want to do everything! Garments, cables, colorwork, you name it and I am probably interested in it. I think I’m a good knitter, but a pretty vanilla knitter. I knit a lot of simple projects and I’m ready to change that. Perhaps not altogether–you’ll need to pry my vanilla socks from my cold and lifeless hands–but a bit.

In thinking about the best way to challenge myself, I thought about what made my year of making work. I think the big things were that it was a simple and easily definable challenge–and it was realistic.

To that end, I’ve come up with 6 challenges for myself for 2018. I’m not planning to put a timeline to any of these, I will most likely be working on a few of them at the same time. In no particular order–and with planned projects or inspiration pictures–my 6 challenges are:

A knit that incorporates fair isle

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Image courtesy Kemper Wray

A cabled shawl a la Winter Honey by Andrea Mowry

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Image courtesy Andrea Mowry

A knitted garment – finally

An English paper pieced mini quilt

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Image courtesy Sew and So

A whole cloth quilt for experimenting on the longarm

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Image courtesy A Few Scraps

A skirt with a zipper – it makes me smile how simple this one is

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Image courtesy Colette Designs

I would love to cross each of these challenges off by the end of the year. I do have a few other goals in mind as well. I want to continue on with my Wardrobe Architect project, and part of that means being intentional with my fabric, yarn, and pattern choices for the above projects. I’ve got a few languishing projects from before the gift-making extravaganza that I want to wrap up before any other big cast ons:

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Boho Blush, on hiatus since sometime in mid November

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Love Ewe Baby, barely started on and on hold since mid October

And if all of that isn’t enough to get me started, I have sock plans. I want to participate in the Box O’ Sox knitalong again, and knit myself 12 pairs of socks. This year, I want to have a specially curated box full of soft colors. I’ve been leaning more and more towards softer, less saturated colors recently and I think a light box o’ sox is just what’s in order. I pulled out all the yarns that I want to knit up into socks:

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That lineup slays me! I can’t wait to see that picture turned into a box of squishy socks. My birthday and halloween socks are even included in the list! I’m casting on my first pair today:

I’m enjoying a day off at home with Kevin and the kids and a little bit of making. A nice cozy start to 2018 with lots of looking forward to this fresh new year.

Happy making!

Year of Making: 2017.

On the first day of this year, I decided to commit to one small thing: “put energy into a making project every day.”

At first, that meant a conscious decision to sit down with a project every day. Sometimes it meant sleepily knitting a few rows before bed so that I would keep my commitment. As I went on, it became easier and easier. As I got more in the habit of doing something everyday, I found myself reaching for my projects more and more.

I’ve kept track of what I’ve worked on in a spreadsheet. I’ve been more than a little curious to see how the numbers would shake out. It’s no surprise that I spent 342 of the last 365 days knitting. I tend to reach for my knitting more than anything else. On 266 of those days, I worked on socks. I love knitting socks so it’s not much of a surprise that three quarters of my knitting days involved socks.

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I finished my box of socks a few months ago, but that didn’t stop me from continuing on. I’ve finished five more pairs of socks for myself since then. I love the look of them all laid out. This last pair was knit on Christmas vacation, so it hasn’t made it home to meet it’s new sock drawer mates.

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When I wasn’t knitting on socks, I knit up shawls, hats, mitts, and even a tiny owl for my mom. I’ve spent a significant bit of time cross stitching, quilting and sewing. There were even a few days of canning, fermenting, and crochet thrown in. Looking back it feels like a productive year:

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There is something about looking at a year’s worth of creating, thinking about how my hands knit every stitch, cut all the fabric, pitted every cherry. More than just the products of my hands though, my makes all feel like teeny time capsules, moments of my life molded into something tangible. Knitting socks at the beach with my family, figuring out how to sew my very first garment, picking cherries with Joshua.

Writing about everything has really crystallized that notion that there is a story in each of my makes. I love thinking about that and having the blog to look back at all of it.

Now that my year of making is coming to a close, I don’t believe I’m finished with it. I’m not sure that I will keep track of things daily like I have been, but that idea of putting “energy into a making project every day” still rings true for me. It’s exciting to think about a future full of years of making.

At any rate, I’ll be right here tomorrow, the first day of the new year, spending a bit of my day creating something.


Happy making!

A pincushion with no pins.

I have a finished cross stitch project! It is so sweet and I do love it so. I finished the stitching over the weekend and finished the cushion this evening after work. I trimmed the cross stitch to around 3/4″ outside the edge of stitching and cut a piece of yellow fabric to match:

I sewed the two together, right sides facing, with the sewing machine. Turned it inside out, stuffed it with Falkland wool, and ladder stitched the opening closed. Basted the pom pom edge on and voila!

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There is so much pleasure in creating such a purely fanciful, decorative item. I don’t plan on using it as a pincushion, but just as a pretty accessory for my sewing room. I just can’t stand to haphazardly stick pins my first finished cross stitch project. But gosh, is it precious! The pattern is one of the Spring Trifles by Shepherd’s Bush, stitched on 28 ct. linen.

I have also been knitting on my Snowmelt Mystery shawl and now that clue 2 is out, I can show it! This is such a fun knit, so easy and soothing but varied enough to be very interesting.

It would also seem that I am quite taken with cross stitching. After finishing the above, I immediately started a new project:

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This post is decidedly devoid of socks, mostly because the rainbow sock I have finished is too small and thus in timeout.


YoM day 38: Socks and cross stitch

YoM day 39: Socks and cross stitch

YoM day 40: Finished pin cushion and started shawl clue 2!


Happy Making!

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

The Long and Winding Road

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Yesterday, for New Year’s Day, my family participated in one of our time-honored traditions. We road tripped back from Tennessee. Now, Tennessee is not incredibly far from Maryland, but it is not that close either. Usually the 8 hour drive takes us somewhere between 10 and 12, since we are most often travelling on the worst days possible. I fully expected this to be the case on New Year’s Day, and had visions of long hours of knitting while Kevin (dear BF) drove and long hours of dream knitting while I drove.

It was a pleasant surprise, then, when we clocked the trip at just over eight and a half hours! Alas, I was only able to knit the gusset and half of the foot in Joshua’s (my son) sock. I did plan somewhere around 4352 projects while I was driving, though. With all of that extra time we had, I decided to try a new project that has been tempting me.

Year of Making, Day 1: Joshua’s second sock and a granny stripe blanket!

I have been itching to cast on a scrappy granny stripe blanket. However, I am not a crocheter. At all. Last Christmas, I crocheted two hexagons – but with BF’s mother (an expert crocheter) right there, answering every question. With my unexpected free time last night, I thought it was the perfect time to go for it. What have I got to lose? They do say crochet is easy to rip back if you mess up. So far, so good. I love this “blanket” already!

I am making my blanket according to the advice from Chelsea from the Legacy Knitz Podcast. I made three magic knot balls to start, all from mini skeins I have collected in one way or another over the past few years. I’m using a 3.5 mm hook and chained on 360+2. From there, I’m just following the granny stripe tutorial from Bella Coco.

Today, we are off but the kids are not, so it’s hot coffee, a lunch date, and some leisurely crocheting for me. Happy New Year and 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.