What about the yarn?

I have a yarn stash, it’s true. I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty serious stash. I love it and dig through it often. Sometimes looking for yarn for a particular project, sometimes sock yarn, sometimes just looking and petting. I also purchase yarn from time to time…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this little series, I’ve been a sucker for the shiny when it comes to yarn. I love a lot of dyers, I love color, and new and fun combinations always seduce me.  Once I narrowed down my color palette though, I wondered what that meant for the yarn.

I thought and thought.  I decided to pull out all of the yarn that fits the new color palate. It’s not that much, when compared to the whole.

IMG_20171016_171627.jpg

Once I separated all of that out, I had three categories for what was left:

  1. Yarn that just isn’t me anymore, for various reasons
  2. Sock yarn. This could be anything and everything, but all of it will wind up socks. Eventually.
  3. Yarn I like but doesn’t fit the color palette – there isn’t much of this

I put all of the yarn that just isn’t me for whatever reason up on Ravelry as de-stash. That was easy. The sock yarn was easy, too–it stays–I love to knit socks and will continue to wear any crazy pair.

The yarn I like but that doesn’t fit is more difficult. After a lot of thought, it’s going on Ravelry de-stash too. If someone else really wants it, they should have it. I may still knit with some of it if the mood strikes, that option will still be there.

One big realization for me in all of this is that I don’t intend to stop knitting fun and crazy color combinations. I enjoy those things and I think they can always squeeze into my wardrobe with the jeans and t-shirts, if nothing else. Knits like my Marled Magic or Love Ewe Baby, those are creative, process knits and I love them for reasons other than putting them into my curated wardrobe.

This has really helped with my yarn buying habits. As I mentioned, I feel a strong pull toward the “shiny!” This is evidenced in the overwhelming quantity of single skeins of sock yarn that I own. It’s really helped me think about what I want to purchase and why. I have tons of fun yarn to play with and knit with. But I don’t have very much that checks the boxes for my planned wardrobe.

One of the things I thought about when I was working on my core style, was where being a knitter and maker fits in. Part of that is pretty easy, I would prefer to sew the majority of my clothes. But as far as knitting, how does that fit in? I’ve thought a lot about that. I want to knit some feminine, cozy, simple, and/or classic items in my new found color palate. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how I’m working on making all of that making happen.


Happy making!

Advertisements

Speaking of catching up.

It seems like ages since I wrote a regular ol’ blog post. You know the kind, where I just chatter along about the things I’ve been working on? Well buckle up and grab a cup of something hot and tasty, this is going to be a long one.

Let’s start with the dresses. I made two dresses out of that dark grey cotton jersey, one for Astra and one for me. They actually came together pretty quickly and are adorable, if you ask me. Astra and I agree, they’re awfully comfy, too. Astra’s dress was the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop and mine is the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns.

 

I think I’ll have to make myself another dozen Monetas. It’s incredibly comfortable and figure-flattering. I’m a fan.

In the sock world, I’ve got a bit going on. Still working on Kevin’s socks, but I’ve got one nearly done. I tried a few things for a toe-up heel and then finally decided to stick with what I like, which is a cut-in afterthought heel. So, I have one sock tube done. I cast on the second toe so that I would be ready for football this weekend:

IMG_20171012_091020

On the road trip to the anniversary party, I was determined to finally finish my Hedgehog socks. They had been on the needles since August! I finished them in the car on the way down, but had left the mate at home.

Now that we’re home the pair is finally together. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway. I’ll say it again, I love this base! I can’t wait to knit up some more socks in this squishy BFL.

IMG_20171012_091255

img_20171012_091128.jpg

IMG_20171012_091238

Thankfully, I brought another skein of yarn on the trip. Back in August I subscribed to the Hedgehog Fibres sock club. I’ve been dreaming of subscribing for nearly forever and I finally just went ahead and signed up. I received my first shipment a few weeks ago:

IMG_20170921_172624.jpg

I’m absolutely dying over the lighter skein, Iceberg. That pale blue and speckles slays me. The darker skein, Flytrap, is waaaay out of my comfort zone. Something struck me about it though, it seems perfect for Halloween socks. So I skeined it up and took it with me, thinking it would be a great October cast on. I managed to knit the entire cuff of the sock during Kevin’s turn at driving:

IMG_20171009_130918_283

Since then, I’ve turned the heel and finished the gusset on the first sock. I think they are perfectly spooky and fun!

img_20171012_090856.jpg

In other news, I finished the big seed stitch section and started section 7 on my Marled Magic shawl. It’s gigantic and amazing.

img_20171012_090711.jpg

I’ve had some pretty itchy fingers lately, I want to cast on everything! I cast on the Fleesensee hat:

IMG_20171003_082838_085

I was really enjoying this one, and the yarn is heart-breakingly pretty. It’s Suburban Stitcher DK in the Underwater Princess colorway. However, it was too small by quite a bit, so I’ve ripped it out. The yarn is now going to go to an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, if my needles ever get here.

Since that certainly wasn’t enough, I also cast on the Love Ewe Baby shawl. This is my first foray into two-color brioche and I am completely besotted. It is so squishy and soft and pretty!

IMG_20171006_083131_049

Right side.

IMG_20171006_082434

Wrong side, even though nothing about this is wrong!

I’m using Swift Yarns in the Swift Simple base, a 100% Merino singles base.  My colorways are Princess Bride (soft pink) and Tropical Vintage (speckle). I’ll add in some Marilyn (hot pink) when the time comes.

I think that’s everything I’ve been working on. I have the knitting bug something awful. There have even been a few days crisp enough to break out some wool!

IMG_20170929_163122

I’ve also been on a major planning bender. I’ve got a fun, big project in the works. I’m considering doing a bit of a series on it for the blog but we’ll see if I can tear myself away from the knitting long enough to write it up. I’ve done a bit of organizing lately, but more about that another day. For now, I’ll just leave you with a picture of a cat who loves yarn.

img_20171012_093843.jpg


YoM day 272-285: Quilting; sewing; sock, hat, and shawl knitting – a bit of everything!


Happy making!

Box O’ Sox.

It’s here. It’s finished. It’s beautiful.

img_20170821_171832.jpg

Of course, I’m talking about my box of socks. I love the idea of knitting a dozen pair of socks a year and the Box O’ Sox KAL is the perfect motivation. I completed my box last year in October, I think. I didn’t consciously try to finish faster this year, but somehow I speed up on the sock output every year.

To celebrate, I thought I’d go back and talk about each pair in turn. Starting with pair #1: I knit these in 9 days at the beginning of the year, mostly while on a work trip. I have almost ordered this yarn again several times because I love it so much.

wp-1484797891986.jpg

“Goldfish” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #2: I love these so much. The yellow accents just work perfectly with the main color. The yellow is a little out of my usual comfort zone so that’s fun. These were my first cut in heel, which turned out to be an awesome technique

wp-1485986371129.jpg

“Day Drinking” – SuperCraftyGirl, contrast is “Zest” – Yarn Ink

Pair #3 were my Rainbowalong socks for 2017. I adore this colorway. It was gifted to me by my sweet friend Angela, who owns a yarn shop in the U.K. These make me think of her which is awesome.

wp-1487685418860.jpg

“Summer Skies, Rainbow Brite” – Moth and the Squid

Pair #4 were another fun deviation from my normal color palate. The skein didn’t look like it but these knit up into the prettiest autumnal rainbow. I like that little contrast toe, too.

wp-1488503213090.jpg

“Rainbow Brite” – Tempting Ewe Yarns, contrast is “Orange Fizz” – Countess Ablaze

Pair #5 is another pair that I could order the yarn again. I love this sweet pink! This base is one of my favorites. One thing I learned this year is that I highly prefer 80/20 Merino Nylon for socks. I’ve nearly quit using 75/25 blends for socks.

wp-1491160281539.jpg

“Sweet, Sweet Candy” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #6 were the first in my revival socks. I knit the first sock last year and it was incredibly small. So I knit myself a whole extra 2 socks. I find it awesome that I can get that much out of one skein. This neon is amazing.

IMG_20170420_155302_771-1

“Milky Way” – Knitty and Color

Pair #7 is my first pair with Baerenwolle yarn, but it won’t be my last. They almost feel like sport weight socks, the yarn is so plump and squishy. I love it.

IMG_20170502_135129

“Crush” – Baerenwolle

Pair #8 were my second revival socks pair. I started out not really into it, but wound up loving them. And that’s two pairs with yellow contrast! Who would have thought?

img_20170610_174045-e1497187890864.jpg

Unknown colorways – both by Marigold Jen

Pair #9 just sung to me. My favorite colors are grey and pink and this is the best combo of the two I’ve seen.

img_20170702_085633_638.jpg

“Purr” – Peepaloo Fields

Pair #10 were a pair I started in March for St. Patrick’s Day but got distracted from them They’re a Corriedale blend which is fun and different, it feels squishy and sturdy at the same time. I finished these up in July.

IMG_20170723_105649_361

“Experiment 078” – Lamby Toes

Pair #11 were knit from a skein of yarn I won. I had never heard of the dyer before I entered the contest, but I was instantly seduced by the speckles. I cast these on nearly immediately after receiving the yarn and they were my first pair of birthday socks.

IMG_20170803_152626_277

“Sprinkles on Top” – Wee Chickadee Woolery

Pair #12 were my second pair of birthday socks. I knit them on vacation and I love that that memory is knit into them. The colors are just so sweet that I can’t stand it.

img_20170817_183402.jpg

“Sprinkle” – Peepaloo Fields

IMG_20170821_171237

My Box O’ Sox has been quite the journey. I really learned what to look for in a sock yarn that I will enjoy and that will produce consistent results for my gauge. I learned how to cut in afterthought heels. I learned that I like my cuffs 5″ instead of 6″. I love that I figured out all of those things. I can’t wait to figure out what next year’s box brings.


YoM Day 237: Sock knitting. Of course.


Happy making!

Life and socks.

I keep thinking, I should write a blog post soon. And then something else happens and I just don’t write. It’s been nice to take a bit of a break, I’ve been a trifle inactive on social media as well. But I do miss writing and sharing. This blog has really helped me coalesce my thoughts and intentions through the simple act of writing things down. I like that.

All that has been happening has been lovely. Since we last spoke, we’ve done some celebrating with my family, had a weekend trip with some friends, and had my favorite newly engaged couple up to visit. Today, let’s look back in pictures and in socks, and I’ll resume regular posts soon. Probably.

While visiting my family we had cake for my birthday:

img_20170808_144506.jpg

They put all 34 candles on it.

I got to visit with my two best friends in the whole wide world for a few precious hours. We were so taken up with each other that we didn’t get a picture together!

We left from my hometown to take a trip with one of the aforementioned besties and another mutual friend. And all of our families. 6 grown-ups and 6 kids stuffed our cabin full, but it was so nice to spend time with everyone. One night, the kids and dads made supper so I stole a few moments of knitting on the back porch.

 

IMG_20170811_235858_122

Second sock with a view.

On our last day, we took all the kids to an adventure park. It was a fantastic idea! Kids had fun and we loved watching them.

DSCF0261

photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

DSCF0313

photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

 

DSCF0444

photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

If you’re noticing a trend, the photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com part, well we were lucky enough that one of our six adults is an excellent photographer!

DSCF0454

Our whole group! photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

After we made it home, I managed to finish up my second pair of birthday socks which also happened to be my vacation socks. They are pair 12 for the year! My Box O’ Sox is finished, but we can talk more about that on another day.

IMG_20170817_183153

Peepaloo Fields on Sensible Sock in the Sprinkle Colorway

img_20170817_183451.jpg

I cast on another pair almost immediately. I can’t really stand not to have socks on the needles. This is Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway:

IMG_20170819_083053_685

When I got back to work after vacation, my favorite intern of all time had gone back home. She really is awesome and I hope to connect with her in the future. She left me the coolest birthday present:

IMG_20170817_161212_432

Etched mirror, her artistic interpretation of quasicrystals. Physics is cool!

That weekend, my brother, his fiancé, and her little brother came to visit. P.S. He proposed to her and our family couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic that we get to keep her. While they were here we went for a nice walk and picnic at the bay. We had a blast.

IMG_20170819_122109

Chesapeake Bay

IMG_20170819_202540

Impromptu D&D game while supper was cooking

On Monday, as you may have heard, there was an eclipse. We only got 82% coverage here in Maryland, but we celebrated in style.

IMG_20170821_132222

Beyond that, I have continued to work on the secret projects. I’m almost done with them! I’ve kept my sanity by continuing to work on socks and the first one is coming along nicely.

IMG_20170825_165234

I think that’s it for the last couple of weeks. I’m getting excited to be done with the secret stuff and move on to new things. I feel a bout of startitis coming on–my Ravelry queue is teaming with ideas and my sewing room is bursting with potential!


YoM day 221-236: Sock knitting and secrets!


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:

IMG_20170804_153159_742

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.

IMG_20170805_101558

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.

20638846_10154797769466146_6041009376986954178_n

Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

20620861_10154797769481146_1989650466196645257_n

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:

img_20170807_110508.jpg

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.

IMG_20170807_110528

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.

IMG_20170802_185340_406

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.

IMG_20170803_152626_277

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.

IMG_20170722_165302

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!

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.

IMG_20170723_171403_391

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:

IMG_20170730_113533_854

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:

IMG_20170729_113131_863

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.

IMG_20170730_135238

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.

IMG_20170730_141805

IMG_20170730_144737

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.

 

img_20170730_201202.jpg

img_20170730_200752.jpg

IMG_20170730_200809

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!