Quickly.

Sometimes, I become enamored. A particular skein of yarn, a swatch of fabric, even a pattern, sometimes I get the thing in my head. When that happens, other projects can fall by the wayside in my quest to make something with the object of my affection. My most recent love affair has been with this yarn:

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This is Underwater Princess on Merino DK by Suburban Stitcher. I purchased this yarn for a brioche project, but I love it so much that I didn’t want another yarn to compete with it.

I thought a hat would be a good project for it. You may recall, I had recently cast on the Fleesensee Hat by Verena Cohrs. I knit almost all of the rib and was looking through some of the project pages for the hat and noticed that a fair number of people were saying the hat knit up too small. I am generally a loose knitter but I have a big head, so I was curious. I pulled some waste yarn through the stitches and tried it on. Too small. Definitely too small.

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I was discouraged about having to rip out inches and inches of twisted rib but I did it. And then I tried to figure out what on earth to do with the yarn. I noticed that the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief only takes one skein of DK weight yarn to make a cute little shawlette. Sold! I had to order needles though, since I couldn’t wait until I finished my Marled Magic to free up my 6 mm needles.

The needles came last Friday night and I had had a really rough evening. To cheer myself up, I cast on the shawl. Since it’s DK and a fairly simple pattern, it started showing progress pretty quickly that night:

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The next morning I knit a few rows on it and then came back to it that Saturday night. I knit and knit, and then woke up and knit on it with my Sunday morning coffee and…

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I bound the thing off before I made lunch. It absolutely flew. I gave the shawl a bath and blocked it fairly aggressively and it came out beautifully.

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It’s a great size for a small shawl. Enough to put over your shoulders or throw around your neck, but not so small that it falls off all the time.

A quick FO like that can be so gratifying, not to mention a great way to satisfy that drive to work with a particular material. It is so fun to go from loving a yarn to wearing a finished piece knit with it.

I’m in a weird place of wanting to cast on a million things–still!–and getting completely addicted to my knits and wanting to finish things. A weekend knit like this shawlette was just the ticket.


YoM Day 286-288: Shawl and sock knitting

YoM Day 289-292: Cowl knitting


Happy making!

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

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

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

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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!

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Right side.

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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!

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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.

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


Happy making!

Catching up.

Visiting home often means catching up on things. Always it’s catching up with loved ones–updates on life, work, family, and news great and small. This year, I’ve also been playing catch up on birthdays. Partly I can’t get my act together to finish things in time to mail them and partly I like to give gifts in person. That might be selfish, but it’s the truth.

On our visit home for Judge and Crystal’s anniversary party, I was able to see sweet Madelyn for the first time since her birthday. I got to hang out with her a teensy bit and chat, and finally gift her a mini I made, mostly just because I thought she would enjoy it.

The design just struck me as something she would find sweet. As I got the pieces laid out, I was really struck at how clever the design is. The pattern is the Patchwork Apple Mini Quilt by Sassafras Lane Designs. It’s a free pattern and I highly recommend it.

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I sewed one leaf wrong, but luckily fixed the other one. I think I only had to unpick one row and resew it — that’s a lot of teeny pieces and seams!

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I just love the scrappy, patchworky look of those apples. And the apple core slays me! So cute. I added a yellowy-mustdardy backing because that’s Madelyn’s favorite color and some soft yellow polka dotted binding. I think the finished product is pretty stinkin’ precious. Madelyn is also pretty stinkin’ precious, so it works.

I did do one new thing on this little guy. I added corner pockets to the back to make it easier to hang. This one fits a ruler pretty nicely, so hopefully that works well for Madelyn.

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It was great to see Madelyn on Sunday and get to catch up with her, even if it was just for a little while. I always love talking with her. Happy birthday, Madelyn!


Happy making!

Judge and Crystal.

My little brother married the woman that nobody can imagine him being without ten years ago. We were all much younger then and a lot has happened since. In some ways, I think we all finished growing up together. Sometimes it seems bizarre that it’s been ten whole years that they’ve been married. At the same time, I can’t really remember a time when Crystal wasn’t a part of our family.

I love them both dearly. Judge was my very first partner in crime and Crystal has come to be a sister to me. They are incredible people and have a beautiful relationship. The two of them have done so much for so many, and I can never thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me and mine over the years. Judge and Crystal are special in a way that is hard to put down in words, but if you met them, you’d understand.

I wanted to make them something special for their anniversary and so I decided to stitch an anniversary sampler for them. Of course, I had a difficult time finding the right pattern. I found one pattern that I really liked, but of course it had nothing to do with love or anniversaries:

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Photo courtesy everythingcrossstich.com

This is the Autumn Band Sampler, from Little House Needleworks. I love the colors and the squirrels and everything about it. I decided to hack the pattern and personalize it for Judge and Crystal. I went to the library got a giant stack of cross stitch pattern references and printed out some graph paper. It took a surprising amount of time to come up with a final layout that I really liked, but I drew out the pattern substitutions and got to work.

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I started stitching it up in early July. I kept having problems with miscounting my threads and was having trouble focusing on my work. I followed Kevin’s mom’s advice and got myself an Ott light, which is a daylight LED crafting lamp. That helped a lot, but I still couldn’t really focus well on the work. I wound up going to see an eye doctor, and two retina specialists. The uptake is that I have reading glasses for crafting now and can see tiny cross stitch a lot better.

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With my light and my reading glasses, I really got moving on the project.

I am a very slow stitcher, so it took me the better part of six weeks to finish. During that time, the only other things I worked on were socks and mom’s birthday present. I made mistakes and had to pull out stitches more than once or twice. There’s an acorn that I stitched four times before it was all done! But done it is and I took it to get it framed at my local cross stitch shop.

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I am so pleased with how it came out. I’m a little scared to really look at it, lest I discover something that is misspelled, but I think it’s pretty great. It really pushed my creativity, which is a great feeling. I’ve never designed anything, much less a cross stitch pattern. It’s also my second cross stitch finish… Kevin always says I jump in feet first with my projects.

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We celebrated Judge and Crystal yesterday with countless family and friends. It was a great day and my heart is truly full.


Happy making!

Rising Dawn Shawl

This shawl is blocked and big and beautiful. It felt like a monumental task to finish this one and I am so happy with it.

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The pattern is Rising Dawn, by Stephen West. It’s my first ever finished #westknit! It’s a really well written, clever pattern. I used a kit dyed especially for this shawl from Gauge Dye Works. The yarn is on her merino/cashmere/nylon base in the Sunday Morning colorway. The shawl wound up using every gram plus 3 grams of some emergency grey that I called in to finish the bind off.

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The yarn is so soft and combined with this stitch pattern, this is the squishiest shawl I own. It knit up like a dream.

I could gush about it on and on, it’s a really great size and shape. I do love those crescent shawls. I’ve been having fun playing around with styling it, I think it’s very wearable. I always go back to one of my favorite ways to wear the deep crescent style shawls, sort of cardigan fashion, draped over my shoulders:

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I adore it.


YoM day 270: Quilting and shawl knitting

YoM day 271: Shawl and sock knitting


Happy making!

Busy weekend.

I’ve been working on a lot of things. Quilts, socks, shawls, dresses. I feel a little scattered again, but I’m really enjoying making progress on all of these projects.

Friday night, I started prepping my Moneta Dress. The fabric came in, so I washed that, and I printed out the pattern and put it together. That’s a lot of work, but it’s nice to have it done. I figured out that I have more fabric than I need, so I also purchased a pattern to make Astra a dress. I’ll be making her the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop. I took a picture of the fabric, and while very soft and the perfect dark grey, it’s incredibly uninteresting to photograph:

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When I posted last week, I had finished a quick quilt top in anticipation of my long arm reservation for Saturday. I woke up really early on Saturday morning to get ready for a full day of quilting. I was attempting to document the day:

Breakfast plus my super cute apron. Once I was all fueled up, I headed down to the iron for a major pressing session. It took me about an hour to press all three tops plus all the backs! I loaded all of the quilts up and headed to my LQS. I had up to 7 hours available for quilting. I honestly didn’t think I would get to the third quilt, but I managed to get all three done.

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I went pretty simple, I may try one day to do a whole cloth quilt just to practice different designs. It’s a little daunting to try new things on a top you’ve pieced. I do love the quilting and the backs. I can’t wait to get them bound and all finished!

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I also wanted to try to finish up my Rising Dawn shawl. It feels like it’s been on my needles forever. On Saturday night, I had about 7 rows left. That may not sound like too much, but the rows were over 700 stitches each. They were taking me about 40 minutes each to knit!

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I stayed up too late on Saturday and got up on Sunday and made it to the bind off. Of course, it’s a picot bind off. I love the look of a picot bind off, but it takes about three times as much time and yarn to do. I gamely got started right after lunch:

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So pretty! Well worth it, but it took me most of the day on Sunday. I didn’t knit non-stop, but I worked on it a lot. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night, this happened:

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I ran out of yarn. I knew it was going to happen, I had gotten nervous and started weighing my yarn a couple rows before the bind off. So, run out of yarn is exactly what I did. I frantically searched my stash and my scraps and came up with some grey Knitpicks yarn that matched quite well. I finished up the shawl that night. It’s blocking now but here it is in all of it’s unblocked glory:

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I really love it. I hated it a little bit on Sunday, but once I finished it and felt the squish and saw the gorgeous colors, I loved it.

Now I’m dying to cast on something else, but I have no idea what. I’m hoping to get the dresses cut out this week, maybe even start sewing Astra’s up. I’m really excited about learning to sew with the knit fabric.

All in all, it was a great weekend. It’s so fun to look back and feel like I got so much done.


YoM day 266: Shawl knitting

YoM day 267: Quilting and shawl knitting

YoM day 268: Shawl knitting – finished Rising Dawn Shawl!

YoM day 269: Sock knitting


Happy making!

Jelly Roll Slice Quilt Top

I finally bit the bullet and did it. I reserved a day on the long arm at my LQS.

I have two quilts ready to go, just laying on top of the yarn stash judging me. They are the Layer Cake Pop and Jelly Roll Twist from back in the spring. I’m really excited to get them finally turned into quilts I can snuggle under this fall!

I got to thinking that there is a chance that I will finish both of them that day with time to spare. Now, I certainly may not, I am not exactly a practiced and speedy long-arm-quilter. But… I don’t want to finish early in the day when I could enjoy more quilting. It’s one of my favorite parts, after all.

And so, I started thinking about patterns that I could make in a jiffy.  Of course, I turned to FQS’s shortcut quilt collection–I don’t have much piecing patience, really. I selected the Jelly Roll Slice quilt and chose a sushi roll from Lecien in the La Conner collection. The blocks were a snap to make.

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I finished sewing the rows together last night. It’s a little out of my usual comfort zone, but it’s still really pretty. This is a really easy pattern. I think my piecing is getting better, I’m trying my best to practice and just keep at it.

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I’m on the long-arm on Saturday. I may not get this one quilted that day, but at least quilt tops don’t go bad.


YoM day 258-264: Quilting and shawl knitting


Happy making!