fragment scarf: a finished object

Yes, you're reading that correctly...another finished object! I told you I was hoping to have one very soon. 

A few weeks ago I was perusing Instagram (doesn't it feel like most of my stories start off this way?) and I saw this post. I loved the little bandana scarf in the photo and I thought it would make a great Christmas present for one of my best friends. 

Here's a thing about me: I rarely ever knit for other people. It just doesn't happen. Do you know how much knitting costs?! Or how much time a project takes?! I make things for only the people that I know will truly appreciate and use what I make for them (and who will properly take care of it!). All of that is to say that this friend is a good one and she is deserving of a hand knit :) 

The Fragment Scarf knit up super quickly and towards the end I was able to do the 10-row repeat a few times in one sitting because the decreases made everything faster and faster every single row. The only modification I made was that I did not do the last 4 rows because I 1. hate picking up stitches, and 2. was really worried I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish. The pattern calls for 163 yds and my skein had...163 yds!!! I used Plymouth Cuzco Cashmere yarn and it was suuuuuuuch a pleasure to work with. It's 40% silk, 40% alpaca, and 20% cashmere and is an absolute dream. I would absolutely knit with it again for a small project (it's pretty expensive per gram). I recently bought some unscented Eucalan for washing and blocking my knits and this was the first project I used that on. It worked great! 

I knit up this project so quickly that I only took 1 in-progress photo of it! That is really saying something about how quick and easy it is! I really want to make it in a worsted weight yarn on slightly bigger needles to make an extra cozy version. 

Specs:
Fragment Scarf pattern
Plymouth Yarn Cuzco Cashmere bought at Fleece 
Size 6 needle
Ravelry link.
Started on December 9, 2017.
Finished on December 25, 2017.

daybreak: a finished object

I am so excited to be able to share a finished object with you guys! I believe the last knitted FO I had was all the way back in February and was the cutest little baby sweater. As I have moaned and groaned about many times on this blog, I was injured for most of the year with a pretty nasty combo of radial tunnel syndrome and lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow). I was in pain nearly everyday for the better part of 10 months and knitting was the number 1 aggravator of the pain, so this project was on hold for most of the year. 

I started this bad boy in January. It had originally began life as The Doodler by Stephen West but it just wasn't working for me. Stephen West is known for his out there designs and if you know me, you know I'm not a very out there person. The Doodler was way out of my comfort zone and I'm sure it would've looked rad, but I wanted something that I knew I would wear. Insert Daybreak by Stephen West. This is one of Stephen's earlier patterns and is not quite so zany. Very wearable and very striped, which is exactly what I wanted for these yarns.

Speaking of the yarns, I purchased them in September of 2016 at Stitches Texas from Steven Be. I knew they'd be perfect as stripes and boy was I right! 

In October I started physical therapy and saw results so quickly and was able to start knitting quite a bit again. I went from barely being able to complete a row on a small project to being able to knit for 2 hours at a time within just a few weeks!!! It has literally been life changing and I will write a (very) long post about my injury progress soon. About half of this project was completed from January to March and the rest of it was done in October and November. So let's just say it took 4 months and not 11 :) 

Without further ado, my Daybreak!

Specs:
Daybreak Shawl I made the large size. 
Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colors Fly, Zephyr, and Skinny Dip.
Size 4 needle
Pattern was very easy (suitable for a beginner with experience with increases, slipping stitches, and color changes at the beginning of a row). 
Yarn is gorgeously dyed but loosely plied- if you have to rip anything out, you will have to be careful to not split the strands when re-knitting. 
Ravelry link.
Towards the end of this project, 1 row was taking about 30 minutes to complete and it took me nearly an entire hour to bind off. I have been told I am a pretty fast knitter, so keep that in mind when gauging your own time commitments! 

Special thanks to my sweet friend Ana from Ana Eloise Photography for showing me the life changing magic of using a gallery to upload photos! This will make my blogging life so much easier! 

I hope to have another knitted FO for you all very soon!

log cabin quilt! a finished object!

I've got an FO for you! I made this beauty back in April and May. It came together, as usual, in the span of a weekend.

One Friday I was just babysitting and my sister called me and said she had the day off and wanted to see if she could come hang out with me and the babe. Obviously I said yes. We had a great time playing and eating and hanging out. Then it was time for those two glorious hours: naptime. My sister has been working on her very first quilt and we started talking about how she was going to come spend the weekend at my house and wanted to work on her quilt. And then I got that all-too familiar itch...to also be working on a quilt. How was I supposed to watch her quilt all weekend and not have one to work on myself?! We both got our phones out and started scrolling through instagram and pinterest for ideas. I of course have a whole pinterest board dedicated to sewing and so every five seconds I would click a photo of a quilt I liked and show my sister. I went through all my screenshots as well (because who doesn't have a camera roll filled up with screenshots of quilts they like?!) and kept coming back to this photo:

The Log Cabin quilt block is such a classic design in quilting (and knitting!) and I have consistently been drawn to it. There are so many contemporary interpretations of it today that I love and it has long been on my list of things to do. I loved the simplicity of the log cabin design with the solid colors of that pillow and it really inspired me to do something similar in a quilt. I'm kinda weird about shapes, though, and knew I wanted a rectangular quilt and not a square quilt, so the math doesn't work out as perfectly as it does with a classic square log cabin quilt. That didn't stop me from making the quilt, though! 

Measurements!

Measurements!

I bought all my fabric and decided on a somewhat risky move- using regular old quilting cotton for most of the quilt and then a yarn dyed cotton. The potential problem here was shrinkage- the yarn dyed cotton will shrink much more than the quilting cotton. It's also a rougher texture but I just couldn't resist the way the yarn dyed cotton looks- the colors have more variation than a classic quilting cotton and that provided a depth that a fully-solid quilt really needs. 

'grammed this, obvs

'grammed this, obvs

The top came together super quickly- from ironing board to full quilt top in about 5 hours. The actual quilting is always my least favorite part and I really really really considered tying it like I do for most of my quilts, but I loved the diagonal lines that the pillow had so I sucked it up and did real machine quilting. And you know what? It really wasn't bad at all! I loved seeing it come together into exactly what I envisioned. 

Every quilter has taken pics from above to see how the colors look from a distance. It's just a part of the quilting process. My sister had to stand on the counter to properly look at hers! #beentheredonethat

Every quilter has taken pics from above to see how the colors look from a distance. It's just a part of the quilting process. My sister had to stand on the counter to properly look at hers! #beentheredonethat

Sewing with my sister! So fun. We both sew on  Janomes  because they are THE BEST. I sew on a DC2012 and Lauren sews on a DC2015. 

Sewing with my sister! So fun. We both sew on Janomes because they are THE BEST. I sew on a DC2012 and Lauren sews on a DC2015. 

Usually I power through the binding but this project happened at the height of my arm/hand pain so I was taking it a little slower with the hand binding. It eventually got finished and the quilt now lives on my bed! This quilt finished up at a little less than 60"x80" which is larger than my usual 50"x60" and I don't think I am looking back from this new size. I had wanted it to finish right at 60"x80" but silly ol' me forgot to add in seam allowances #wecantallbeperfect. And yet, seam allowances forgotten, it perfectly fits on my bed and is still a great throw size quilt. I have washed it a few times and the yarn dyed cotton has softened and is perfectly wrinkly. I love the looks of the different textures of fabrics and the diagonal quilting. It is definitely a winner and one of my favorite quilts! 

I have yet to take photos of the quilt with the binding fully attached, but you get the idea with these :) 

A giant storm was rolling through right as I finished the top so a lot of my photos look like this. 

A giant storm was rolling through right as I finished the top so a lot of my photos look like this. 

Yay! Finished top. 

Yay! Finished top. 

Quilt sandwich time. 

Quilt sandwich time. 

Basting away. 

Basting away. 

Look at that quilting!!

Look at that quilting!!

Binding

Binding

On my bed. Don't judge the total un-glamourousness of this photo. 

On my bed. Don't judge the total un-glamourousness of this photo. 

Hanging out under my new quilt even though it still had clips. 

Hanging out under my new quilt even though it still had clips. 

Specs (I used up nearly every single inch of fabric, so beware if you are following my measurements that there is little to no wiggle room):
Bella Solids in White Bleached, 1 and 2/3 yards
Some sort of cotton (Kona, Bella, or possibly Cotton Couture) in a light peach color (I'm really bad about keeping receipts or writing these things down...twas the purpose of this blog but obviously I'm not doing that part well!), 3 and 2/3 yards (tiny 10" square used for the front, all the rest for the back)
Essex Yarn Dyed in Flax, 2 yards
Cotton and Steel Sprinkles in Anna Blue (surprise, surprise...I've used Sprinkles in nearly every quilt I have made in the last 2 years), 1/2 yard
Batting, 2 yards? It was 90" wide batting, so 2 yards seems right :) 
Completed in 1 weekend as usual (minus hand binding)

busy baby boy sweater: a finished object

You read that right. The words "sweater" and "finished object". IT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED!

Remember a few months ago when I suddenly had the itch to knit a sweater? And I thought it would be best to start with a baby sweater? Well, I committed to it and did it. 

One of my sweet friends had a precious baby boy last year and his first birthday was January 22. I knew this would be the perfect deadline for my first sweater. So I did TONS of ravelry research (the best kind of research) and hemmed and hawed for months about what sweater to do. I wanted something with raglan sleeves because it would be easiest. I wanted something in separate pieces since I am more confident sewing sleeves on than picking up stitches. I wanted worsted weight so it would be quick...basically, I had lots of preferences. But then I thought to myself...why let picking up stitches stop me? It's a necessary part of knitting and while I don't have a ton of experience with it, the only way I can improve is to just do it. And my mittens turned out really well and they involved picking up stitches. 

I found the Busy Baby Boy Sweater pattern on Ravelry and was obsessed with how cute the shawl collar looked. I knew it was the sweater. I picked out some yarn (Berocco Vintage) and got to work. I was pretty terrified of messing it up or the size being wrong, so I reassured myself a lot through the process. It was going really well and quickly. I did my first ever 3-needle bind off! 

January 9

January 9 again- finished with the ribbing

January 12

January 13

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 19

Look at that 3 needle bind off!!!! Also note the perfectly matching nails. 

And then it was time to pick up stitches. I was terrified. YouTube to the rescue! ***An aside- can we please talk about this youtube video real quick. I died laughing when I saw the opening sequence. It is incredible.*** The video was super helpful and I was now confident that I could do this whole picking up stitches around the armhole thing. AND I DID! It looked great!! I picked up more stitches for the second sleeve and for the collar. I took many, many breaks to squeal in delight and to have cute aggression moments. 

January 19- cute tiny sleeve!!!

THOSE PICKED UP STITCHES THO

January 20- a sleeve!

Commence the dramatic fake crying.

At this point I just fell over and died. 

January 21- Am I me if I don't post a pic of my knitting with tea??? Collar stitches have been picked up.

Continue the dramatic fake crying. 

I gifted it to the sweetest bebe boy and it fit him perfectly!! He looks SO CUTE in it and now I wanna make allllll the sweaters. Between this project and my Norwegian mittens last year, I am gaining all sorts of knitting confidence that I haven't had before and that's super exciting. Who knows what I'll knit next!

January 22- Inside out view of the back. 

Inside out view of the front. 

THAT'S IT, I'M DED

So there you have it, my very first sweater. It was seriously easy (even the picking up of stitches) and I feel inspired to try anything!! I am totally obsessed with the way it turned out! 

Specs: I used about a skein and a half of Berocco Vintage yarn. I used size 6 needles on everything. Instead of the motif, I used plain old stockinette stitch (which means I just knit and knit and knit in the round!). I wanted some texture in the the shawl collar, so I did seed stitch instead of 1x1 rib. This sweater took me 11 days start to finish and that's including a couple of days that I didn't work on it :) It came together super quickly and I am so proud!! Rav link

beading dreams

It started how it usually does. I was scrolling through instagram, probably the explore tab, and I saw something that caught my eye. Bright and colorful and cheerful. I've been seeing various colorful necklaces around lately and have been wanting to make some, but painting beads seemed so tedious. But behold, this wasn't painted beads, it was clay beads! 

I fell into the vortex that is instagram and couldn't stop looking at Ena & Albert's page. So cheerful! So colorful! So fun and easy! I got on YouTube and watched lots of polymer clay videos. I had a few things planned for the morning but I secretly couldn't wait until I could make it to the craft store to get polymer clay. Such is my life, thinking about crafting when I am somewhere else. 

After the morning plans were over, I headed to the craft store and picked up several Sculpey III polymer clays. I came home and for literally HOURS, I just sat and mixed colors and rolled and poked. Next thing I knew, I had tons of beads! I put them in the oven to bake and marveled at my handiwork. 

Here's what it all looked like. 

I started off pretty boring and then got more adventurous. 

Ready for the oven. 

I made 80 beads!!! 

This more accurately portrays the colors. 

A favorite combo! 

I haven't worn any of the beads yet, but I will soon! I also want to incorporate them into weaving! I really enjoyed making them A LOT and it's definitely something everyone can do, regardless of skill level. I'll be watching more YouTube videos for sure and hopefully having more fun with clay soon!