Saturday.

I had a nice day today. I’m on a work trip to Denver, Colorado and while I had some work to do today, I also had a bit of time to myself.

I am terrible at adjusting to a different time zone, but sometimes that isn’t so bad. I woke up early this morning, went downstairs for some coffee. I came back to my room and watched the sky grow lighter while I sipped coffee and knit on my sock.

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I knit until I had turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches.

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After the sock heel, I felt like getting out a bit. One of the first things I do when I find out I have a work trip on the horizon is research local yarn shops and figure out if I’ll have time to visit them. As luck would have it, there is an amazing shop not to far from my hotel and I had the time to stop by. Today was nice and chilly so I got all bundled up and headed to Fancy Tiger Crafts.

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If you are ever in Denver, I highly recommend this shop. It’s like a wonderland.

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I only managed to get pictures of the yarn, but the opposite wall is filled with equally beautiful fabric and patterns. They had the cutest knit caterpillars:

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And even a whole giant stack of swatches of the yarns they carry:

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That pile makes me so happy. I could have spent a fortune at this shop. They had absolutely everything you could want. I settled on just a few things:

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I picked up two remnants of fabric. The green is chambray and the brown is a chambray-hemp blend. They are destined for a bit of secret make, more on that later. I purchased a set of Tulip Milliner’s needles. I’ve heard great things about those needles and since quilt binding is one of my favorite parts of quilting, I thought I could treat myself to nice needles. The chalk line pen came recommended from one of the staff members at the shop, I hope it helps in my pattern tracing–I’ve been struggling with that.

Now the yarn, oh the yarn. It took me ages to make a decision. I was looking for a couple of skeins of sport or DK weight, or maybe a pretty skein for a hat or something. I finally settled on two gorgeous skeins of Titus by baa ram ewe. I’ve never seen it in person before, but boy is it lovely. It’s a blend of 50% Wensleydale Longwool, 20% Bluefaced Leicester, and 30% UK Alpaca. The colorway is Bramley Baths. The color is a gorgeous watery, murky mint.

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I purchased this yarn to knit Canopy by Melody Hoffman. I’ve had my eye on that pattern for a while, but it’s hard to find the right blend of soft and rustic yarn that I had in mind for it. This fits the bill beautifully.

After I came back from my little shopping jaunt, I had a bit of time before work. I settled in for a bit of a knit and managed to finish the secret make that I brought with me.

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After I finished that project, it was time to head to the convention center. I didn’t take any pictures, but my booth is set up and ready for tomorrow. When I got back, I did take some fun shawl selfies, rocking my Whispering Pines.

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Now that the day is done, I’ve been curled up on the bed, knitting the gusset of my sock.

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It’s all done now, so I feel good about finishing it soon. I really want to cast on my Christmas socks. It would be so fun to finish two projects and cast on the other two while on my trip. I won’t have near the free time the next few days, though. It will be busy busy once the conference gets underway. I’ll definitely enjoy some knitting in the evenings though.

All in all, I’ve had a lovely Saturday.


YoM day 320-322: Sock knitting and secrets


Happy making!

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Nothing to see here.

I am heading out today for a work trip. I’ll be gone until Tuesday–if you’re keeping score, that’s two days before Thanksgiving– and then we’ll leave Wednesday morning to go see family for the holiday.

So in the face of a six-day work trip followed by a five-day family road-trip, what did I do last night? Well, to be honest, a fair bit of laundry. But I also managed to stay up far too late making this:

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Gah, I just adore it. Let’s look at those animals a bit closer:

They are so cute. I can’t even stand it. Mom got me these two fat quarters when we went fabric shopping for my birthday. I had planned on making an autumny/wintery/holiday bag with them and I finally got around to it.

I used a kind of mash-up of Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler‘s two project bag tutorials: the Squishy Project Bag and the Drawstring Bag. I resized it a bit, to make it more of a sock sized bag. I wish I had written down the dimensions, it’s perfect! But at 1:30 a.m. that would have been a stretch. A single skein fits perfectly:

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That yarn, by the way, is my future Christmas socks. It’s wound up and ready to go to Denver, just in case I finish the other sock I’m taking. The yarn is a one of a kind colorway from Baernewolle. She calls these colorways One Of a Baer.

I love that yarn more and more every time I look at it. But back to the bag. I think this is my favorite project bag I’ve made so far. I just love the style and fabric and size. I can’t wait to make more!

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In other news of very important work trip preparations, I cast on a second sock.. I finished the first last weekend and added this sweet little brown toe:

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Wee Chicakadee Woolery, main color: Lost Coast, contrast: Golden Oak

I always try to cast on the next sock and get through the ribbing right after finishing a sock. It helps me stay motivated since the ribbing is my least favorite part. Last night before bag fever struck me, I got fairly well down the leg.

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My little bag collection is all ready to be packed. I’m taking four projects on this trip. Two of them aren’t cast on yet, and I’d love to finish the two WIPs I’m taking while I’m gone. I’m getting a bit of a thrill out of productivity these days. Well, creative productivity. I don’t find much thrilling about all that laundry.


YoM day 314-318: Socks and secrets

YoM day 319: Sock knitting and sewing


Happy making!

Daunting.

Sometimes, a part of a project will make me take a step back. Sometimes it’s the part of the process I don’t like, such as cutting fabric. Sometimes, it’s a mistake I’ve made that means I’ve not only got to figure out what the mistake was–I’ve got to undo a bunch of work in order to fix it. Sometimes, it’s none of those things and yet, I feel daunted by the next steps.

Last week, my boho blush had me feeling daunted. For some reason, I had no desire to start the lace section. Now, the lace section is super short, with only 3 remotely lacey rows, and still. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Finally, armed with coffee, I broke down and got started. On the second repeat, I realized I’d made a mistake. This brought in another of those step-away-from-it feelings, and I just stuffed the thing in its bag.

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As I knit on other things, I felt a bit guilty that the boho blush was getting no love. I tend to knit mostly monogamously on larger projects, and I really like seeing them grow. And then I saw an Instagram-story by Jennie–tinypaperfoxes–talking about knitting to milestones. She was saying that she has more projects than usual on her needles and wanted to work on all of them while still feeling like she was making progress. That struck a cord with me. I decided to think about my projects in milestones.

I told myself that once I reached a certain point in one of my secret makes, I’d get the boho blush out and just work on it just until I finished the next two sections. That little bit of a mental game with myself certainly seemed to work. After putting some serious work into a secret, I got out the shawl and fixed/finished the lace and last night got through that next section, too. I’m happy to report that the shawl and I are back to the honeymoon stage. I’m head over heels.

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I’ve been wanting to get out the serger, but that had two things working against it. First, it’s brand new and I’ve never used one before. Second, I had to cut out fabric for the top I was going to sew up with it. Well, I finally cut out the fabric. I’m 99.9% sure I cut it in the wrong direction, but it still stretches so we’re not thinking about that right now. With my fabric ready to go, I fired up the serger, and did some test serging. The practice seemed to be going pretty well.

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It goes far faster than I ever expected, and I am really un-used to the foot pressure needed for slower stitching. So, I got out pattern pieces and started sewing. Everything seemed to be going pretty well. I serged the shoulders together, and started putting in the neckband. Disaster.

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Would you look at that? Now I get to learn how to unpick serger stitches and redo the neckband. I may use the sewing machine for it, just because controlling the stretch of the neckband, while not stretching the neckline, while trying to serge slower without stopping… maybe a bit much. My goal is to finish it off this weekend so I can wear it on an upcoming trip.

 

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In other news, I’m still working on socks. I’m trying to get more done on other things, so these are coming along slowly, but they’re always good for a nice comfort knit if you need it. Sometimes when all the other makes feel difficult, a little sock gusset can bring you around nicely.


YoM day 313: Shawl knitting, socks, and secrets


Happy making!

Better than flowers.

Friday night was date night. I got home and met Kevin before heading back out for supper. As we were heading out, I noticed a big box had arrived. Kevin asked me to bring it in and open it for him while he put his shoes on. I was curious and a bit confused but opened it up and…

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I’ve been going on and on about wanting a serger and he surprised me with one! I still can’t believe it. Besides making me feel ridiculously spoiled, this was so very sweet of Kevin to have thought of me and wanted to do something so nice for me. So sweet. I haven’t had the chance to play with it yet, but I’m planning on firing it up this week.

We had a lovely date night followed by a lazy weekend. I finished two secret making projects and then set my sites on an ongoing WiP: Kevin’s socks. The Saturday night football game was really stressful and that helped me finish the second of the sock tubes.

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After that, it only took me about the first half of Sunday night football to cut in the heels.

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The yarn is The Lemonade Shop Mighty Sock in Tang. I knit them toe up on 2.25 mm (US 1) needles. They were a bit of a trial and error process. I tried a toe up heel flap and gusset, but really really hated doing it, so I decided on my tried-and-true cut in heel. I’ve decided–again–that I hate knitting toe up socks, so now that I know a needle size and stitch count that works, I’ll knit the next pair top down. All the nitty gritty details are on my Ravelry project page.  These are the first pair of socks I’ve knit for Kevin and I’m happy to report they fit and he loves them.

 

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He says they feel great and are really warm, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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I love this guy.


YoM day 299-300: Shawl knitting

YoM day 301-302: Sock knitting and secrets


Happy making!

Making the making happen.

After all of this thought and consideration, I came to the realization that this is a ginormous project. It will certainly take me a long time to make an entire wardrobe, even though I’m not going to make things like jeans and shoes and purses. This will be multi-year at a minimum, but really since it’s also my hobby, I think it will be ongoing.

As a new sewist, I’m looking at sewing patterns that are on the easier end of the sewing spectrum. Things like simple dresses, skirts, and tops. I have a starter list of sewing patterns that fit the bill:

I’ve made the Moneta in a lovely dark grey, and purchased fabric for everything–except the Blackwood–in a neutral or nearly neutral from my palette:

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I’m hoping this will be a good start towards some basics in my wardrobe. I plan to make these 6 patterns several times, both for practice and to build up the wardrobe staples.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on Ravelry thinking about what sort of knitted staples I envision. A lacy cowl, a couple of really cozy, big shawls, a cabled hat, an easy wearing triangle shawl. That’s just a start, of course. Knitting is my first love and I could pick out a million patterns. The top of my knitting queue is currently

Ugh, I want to knit all of them right now. I did make a few yarn purchases… Now, if you know me and my stash, you’ll know that solids are really not my M.O. We’re talking wardrobe staples though, so solids and tonals it is. I got in my very first yarn from Quince and Co. this week. This is for the Slipstream Cowl and the Windswept Shawl:

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I was so excited when this package arrived, Kevin came in to see what the yarn looked like. “It’s solid…” was his reaction. It’s definitely a big departure for me! I couldn’t wait to get started so I’ve already cast on a new thing!

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With all of that, I feel like I have a fairly rounded out slate of sewing and knitting. I think it will be a nice little start to the wardrobe once all of this is finished. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s little mini-series about my wardrobe architect project. This has been a fun way to start this journey of thoughtfully planning my making.


Happy making!

Color story.

I love color. I don’t think that’s any secret. From my love of rainbow to my fascination with neon, I love it all.

This last year, though, I’ve noticed that my color choices have been slowly shifting.

Colorful, but much softer. I’ve really felt a strong draw to softer, subtle color.

This shift made me very excited for the next step in my Wardrobe Architect journey… color. After all, color was really what got me started thinking about all of this. I’ve been wondering what my shifting tastes in color mean, if anything. Well, I likely spent the most time of the whole process thinking about color.

The exercises direct you to look through your closet, your stash, and the internet for inspiration. Always keeping in mind my core words–feminine, cozy, simple, classic–I started looking around.

The first place I went is my stash. There are only about a trillion colors there. Most notably a lot of rainbow, minty blues, and pinks from hot to sweet. I looked in my wardrobe, but that’s where some of this whole issue started–nothing cohesive there. So, like I’ve done all along, I went to the internet:

This all just feels feminine and cozy to me. I love the feeling these colors evoke.

My next step would be to put together three palettes. Neutrals, nearly neutrals, and statement colors. For neutrals, I’m kind of across the board. Part of that is because I’ll probably stick to classic brown and black for accessories like shoes and bags. The greys and creams will go into my wardrobe for clothes and accessories.

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The idea of “nearly neutrals” is possibly the most interesting to me. These are colors that you plan to wear as neutrals. I’ve chosen 4 colors that I think I could make work in every season, which is fairly important to me. I plan to make a good number of items in these colors.

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As for my statement colors, I chose these for a few different reasons. I think these colors in different combinations with the nearly neutrals can really evoke different seasons. These are colors I like a lot and I think will give some nice variety and versatility to the neutrals above. I love hot pink and I’ve fallen hard for mint. I don’t wear much true red, but it can be effective in small doses. And on your nails.

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This was so much fun. I love my color palette and the story it creates for me. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what all of this has means for the yarn stash. This gives a whole new meaning to the question, what’s your favorite color?


Happy making!


P.S. mine’s grey

The shape of things.

The next steps in the Wardrobe Architecture series (read my intro to this series here) had me exploring a topic that I know quite well, but rarely follow through on. That topic is silhouette.

I know my silhouette.  No matter my weight, no matter my age, it’s one thing that really hasn’t changed in a good 20 years. I am definitely on the pear side of hourglass.

This causes a fair bit of trouble when shopping, since pants and skirts large enough to accommodate my hips will invariably be too large on my waist. Likewise, dresses can be difficult to find, I’m generally a different size on top and bottom. Add to that my general dislike of skinny jeans and I haven’t been clothes shopping in several years.

During the wardrobe architect process, I thought a lot about the shapes and silhouettes in clothes that make me feel best. I feel a bit of kinship with the a common silhouette from the 1950s. Those fitted tops and wide skirts are just everything.

For dresses, I love that shape. I have always liked wearing wrap dresses and dresses with a fitted bodice and wider skirt. I also like fitted pants and jeans with a trouser leg that helps de-emphasize my hips. With all of that in mind, I created a collage of silhouettes:

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Armed with these outfit shapes, I started combing the internet for patterns that fit these ideas. I mean, the whole idea is become a more informed and intentional maker, after all. I put together a list of patterns that would give me the following shapes:

  • Full or fullish skirt with tailored top
  • Knit, shirt, or wrap dresses – fitted on top with wider skirt
  • Casual t-shirt and jeans
  • Tailored top and slacks
  • Cardigans, both fitted and cozy/casual

I’ve created a Pinterest board of all of the sewing patterns I found. They are for various levels of expertise, so some will definitely come before others. Of course, I also plan to knit a cardigan or two, somewhere down the line.

I went ahead and sewed up the Moneta by Colette Patterns. I still haven’t gotten a picture of myself in it, but boy do I feel like a million bucks in the thing. It’s fitted on top and wider in the skirt and I just adore it. It makes me feel curvy in the best way possible.

And that’s a shape I can live with.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about my favorite subject in making.


Happy making!