holi festival socks

Finished object alert!

I finished up a pair of ankle socks! I spotted this yarn years ago on Purl Soho and wanted it for a long while. I would search it on Ravelry and see what people were making with it, trying to get ideas for that *perfect* project. I decided that whenever I got the yarn (I didn't even own it yet), I would make socks. The yarn is too fun to not showcase it well! Eventually, I got the yarn for Christmas, but I was too timid to start the socks.

I would not necessarily call myself a sock knitter. I have made them before, but they had been filled with frustration, counting, not really understanding heel turn instructions, and little holes. They were just so fussy and too many things could go wrong. Plus, they were hard to put on- the bind off is too tight and I had to really pullllll my socks on. 

All that changed when I discovered a couple things. First was the fish lips kiss heel. Second was Jeny's super stretchy bind off. I now understand why so many people think socks are easy. This pair was a breeze to knit up. The day I finished them, I found out that my LYS carries the Sock Ruler, so I purchased that and that made it easier to know when to start the heel turn and when to bind off so it would match the first sock. For the FLK heel, she has you make a cardboard cutout of your foot and you do some math to figure out where to start your heel. I just lined up my foot cutout with the Sock Ruler, and figured out that I needed to start my heel when the sock measured 8.5" from the toe. I like the Sock Ruler a lot and it'll def be less weird to use in public than my foot cutout ha! I have always wanted to be a Sock Knitter™️ and these tools and techniques are definitely making that feel more in reach than ever before. 

Specs:
Ravelry link
Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Holi Festival
Size 4 needle, magic loop
Judy's Magic Cast On- I cast on 16 stitches total
I increased every other round to 44 stitches total
Knit until sock measured 8.5", then started heel
Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Knit until sock measured about 3.25" from heel and then bound off
Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
Started Feb. 18, 2018
Finished Aug. 11, 2018
Had I really committed to these, they would've been done within a week- the DK means they knit up very fast and I was able to get from mid-foot to finish at a craft night in about 3 hours. Hopefully this will be just one of many pairs of completed socks!

simpatico wrap: a finished object

Y'all! Another finished object! It's been exciting times around here. 

So let's see, how to tell the story of this one? I don't remember exactly when I stumbled upon the Simpatico Wrap, but I know when I did, I was enchanted by its simplicity. I have an affinity for things that are basically wearable blankets and this one definitely fits into that category. I thought about it for a long while, knowing that I would need to find some truly perfect yarns for it, so I would just look at it on Ravelry every once in a while, dreaming of the day when I would find the perfect yarn match. 

Enter the 2017 DFW Fiber Fest in April. I went and explored and found a great solid Madeline Tosh and a speckled Hedgehog Fibres. The only problem? The vendor I bought the Hedgehog from didn't have the colorway I liked in a sock weight. I found 2 skeins of a DK weight and decided to just go with it and got 2 skeins of a DK Madeline Tosh as well. I almost immediately cast on. This was back in my injured arm days (I swear I really will post about this soon), so things were slow going, even though this is a super simple project.

My Hedgehog yarns, being hand-dyed, had some variations in the speckles and I had a hard time deciding which one to cast on with. I ended up ripping out and casting this one on several times! At one point I was alternating skeins but my stranded edge was getting too tight, so I ripped once more and in August I finally decided to just knit with one skein and then switch when I ran out. The variation in the speckling in noticeable only to me, I am sure. 

Soon after, I started treatment for my injury and was able to knit for long stretches again. I finished some other projects and then dedicated all of my energy to Simpatico! It is a very easy knit and it's so fun to see it increasing and then decreasing. This thing was quite the behemoth to block, but it definitely needed it. Mine ended up quite large- 48" square- but I love it and it is so cozy! I am so happy I decided to do DK weight. It's the perfect weight for me. My most-worn wrap is worsted weight, and while I love my sock-weight shawls and they are gorgeous, they just aren't the same as snuggling up in a swath of DK or worsted. This is the perfect project to use some of those special skeins of yarn that you love to look at and pet but aren't quite sure what to do with. It's an excellent showcase and use of a fave!

All the photos!

Specs!
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK in Monet, Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Uma's Thurman (obsessed with the name...unfortunately it's not on the Mad Tosh site), 2 skeins each
Pattern: Simpatico Wrap by Kristine Vejar 
Needle: size 9 Chiaogoo circulars, prob 40" length
I have no idea how many stitches I ended up with at the longest point...I knit with the Hedgehog first since it had less yardage than the Mad Tosh and I knit with it until I was no longer confident that I could get another row with it :) Prob a few hundred stitches. 
Ravelry link
Started April 9, 2017, ripped out several times, started for real in August 2017
Finished February 2, 2018. 

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

christmas quilt 2.0: a finished object

Last winter I started a second Christmas quilt. I was super enthusiastic about it because I managed to score some Cherry Christmas from Aneela Hoey herself. I had to have stalker-like behaviors to do so (you can read more about that and some specs on this quilt here), but it was totally worth it. I knew that it would be so great in a Christmas quilt and the top came together in no time at all. I bought the fabric for the backing and then...I pressed pause. I thought to myself, 'this is going to be super fast and easy, I have plenty of time.'

Y'all. It was December. Everyone knows that there is no such thing as 'plenty of time' in December. 

Christmas came and went and lo, I was stuck with one Christmas quilt from 2014 (or was it 2015?) (#firstworldprobs). 

And then a craft retreat happened! It was the perfect occasion for finishing my quilt! I was all excited and I packed my car with all the essentials- fabric, sewing box, sewing machine, IRONING BOARD (fun fact, an ironing board does in fact fit in a small car), and all the rest. I was thrilled to have a weekend in the country with friends, at a lakehouse, without wifi (ok, I resented the no wifi fact), and with all the crafts I could handle. 

We got there on a Friday evening. I had been at an eating disorders conference for 7 hours, went home to change clothes, packed some last-minute essentials, drove 3 hours to the house, and was ready to chill for the night. So I did. But bright and early the next morning, I busted out the Christmas quilt stuff...and realized I didn't have everything!!! In my haste, or optimism, I'm not sure which, I had left about half of the backing fabric at home. 

^I literally did that when I realized my mistake. 

^I literally did that when I realized my mistake. 

So I did what any good crafter does- I went to some itty bitty tiny country quilt shop. I will give it credit that there was A LOT of fabric, buuuuut modern fabric? Not so much. I couldn't find anything to fit my demands. I was resigned to working only on knitting and embroidery for the rest of the weekend. It was disappointing, but it also meant I could be lazier and sit in a recliner all weekend rather than at the kitchen table! Luckily my dear friend Katie made use of all my sewing equipment (and fell in love with my Janome, because hello, who doesn't?!), so it was not all for naught. 

So here we are, early December of this year. I would remember the quilt and how all the pieces were cut and ready to go...and then wouldn't work on it. Then I was scrolling through Insta one day and came across this post from artist extraordinaire Pam Garrison. It wasn't much but it was what I needed to get myself into gear and just finish the quilt. What good is a quilt if it's half finished, sitting in a gallon-size ziplock bag labeled "christmas quilt" with literally everything you need to finish it ready to go??? 

NO GOOD AT ALL. 

I proceeded to turn on Netflix, queue up Call the Midwife, and improv piece the back in like an hour. I, in a rare good decision of actual planning, had bought batting and pre-cut my binding when I first started the quilt, so I had NO EXCUSE to not finish it that weekend. AND I DID! 

So here she is, in all her glory. Some of these pics are bad, but you know what? The quilt is done, being used and loved (even now, a few weeks after Christmas), so this is a success story, people. 

December 16, 2016- laying out the pieces for the back. 

One hour-ish later, a finished back! I always forget how much I love improv piecing. I need to do more of it! 

December 18- y'all know I just HAD to take a ridiculous artsy photo with my turntable in the frame. 

Wearing a thimble bc poking the eye of the needle through your fingertip is a lot more painful than poking the point through your fingertip. 

Christmas night, Christmas quilt, and Christmas special of Call the Midwife! I think I watched ALL of season 5 while working on this quilt.

Top!

Back! Yeah, it was windy.

~aRtFuLlY thrown on the bed~

I only bought ONE FAT QUARTER of that Dear Stella Christmas bikes print and I'm so glad I could use it for the back! 

You may have noticed by now that I am obsessed with the Cotton and Steel Sprinkles prints. I've used them in several colors in quilts now. 

Lookin' cute on my bed, where it has stayed! 

So there you have it, my last FO of 2016! As usual I finished with hand ties bc I am lazy. I love the finished size and definitely want to make more quilts that are bigger than my go-to 50" by 60". I don't have any specs for it as far as specific prints or finished size this time around le sigh, but it's all pretty much Cherry Christmas or Cotton and Steel and I will one day get around to measuring :) 

Until next time! 

norwegian mittens!

Back in September, I went to Stitches Texas. It was magical and full of my people, that is, knitters and fiber enthusiasts! It was a blast. I took a class that was definitely out of my comfort zone- Norwegian mittens. Color work has always intimidated me. It looked so hard. So I knew a class was the way to go to learn this skill!

I knit up a mitten in the class which meant that I was then filled with the dreadful second sock/mitten syndrome. In the (very) rare times I have knitted socks, I have always done them 2 at a time because I know myself reeeeeal well and know that doing them one at a time means I will be left with only one warm foot. I was determined to have 2 warm hands this winter and gave myself pep talks like 'it only took one 6 hour class to knit one mitten, so just knit for an hour every day and you'll have a finished pair in no time!' Thanksgiving week came and it was the perfect time to do just that. 

So without further ado, here they are, my very first stranded color work mittens! 

Mitten tops!

Mitten backs!

One of each!

Shoutout to my kind mother who took these pics for me. She doesn't have Insta and needed A LOT of coaching, but she done good!

everly shawl: a finished object

It feels good to have a finished object to post on here!

I started this project all the way back in November of 2014. I had recently returned from a trip to Australia, where it was incredibly hot and humid, and I was itching to have some wool on the needles for the colder months. I came across the Everly Shawl pattern on Ravelry and immediately bought the pattern and the exact yarn that was used in the example. It soon arrived and then my Seed Stitch Wrap happened. I cast on for the Everly only for it to be abandoned until earlier this month. It came together very quickly and was such a satisfying and rewarding knit. I haven't done any lacework in a while so it took me a bit to get back into the swing of memorizing the pattern repeats and focusing only on knitting (even music or podcasts were too much of a distraction for me when working on the lace portion!) but once I did, it flew off the needles.

There are some projects that can be bound off and immediately worn, but this was not one of those projects. There was some serious blocking required...ahhh, yes, the smell of wet wool. But as usual, the blocking was totally worth the hassle. More and more I am realizing that I really love simple and classic knitting designs in neutral colors and this project definitely ticked all those boxes.  

Ravelry specs here

And now for some photos! 

January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016

October 9. (I only just realized how out of focus this pic is! I even had posted it on Insta eeeek)

October 11. 

October 23. 

October 24. Damn, I didn't realize how much progress I had made between the 23rd and 24th! 

October 26. 

October 27. Bath time!

I don't have blocking pins so I used regular old sewing pins 🙃

October 28. All dry and ready to wear! It even looks good with pjs!

marthe blouse

You know that moment when you write an entire blog post and it’s great and it has links and everything and then Safari QUITS?! Yeah, I know that feeling well because that happened with this post! The only thing that got saved was half of the title of this post! Booooo. Hopefully this second writing of the post will be just as good as the first writing :) 

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in a while- I sewed a garment! I spend all of Saturday on it and it was so satisfying and I am IN LOVE with the finished product! 

The Marthe Blouse has been on my to-make list for a while and it was only after being reminded that I have owned the pattern for quite a while (thanks Dropbox for keeping it safe for me!) that I decided to make it. I had been wanting to make a top with Anna Rifle Bond’s fun flamingo voile and this was the perfect top to make with it! 

The pattern is very easy to follow and comes together pretty quickly. It is appropriate for beginning sewists, however, be aware that many of the techniques are not fully explained (such as installing a zipper, gathering the fabric for the peplum, attaching the bias binding, etc.). These should pose no problem for a more experienced garment sewist, but if this is your first garment, make sure to have Google or a more experienced friend at the ready. 

Marthe is a French pattern that has been translated to English. I had no problem following the instructions. It does require that you add your own seam allowances, which I did by tracing my pattern pieces onto pattern tracing paper and then running it through my sewing machine with a bright thread (more detailed instructions can be found on #2 in this article). This pattern calls for 2 meters of 140 cm wide (55 inches) fabric. My fabric was the standard 44/45” and I was able to get away with using 2.5 yards. I made the size 36 with no length modifications (I am 5’7” for reference; I usually wear a size 2/4 or extra small or small and the size 36 was perfect), but had I made a bigger size or added length, I don’t think 2.5 yards would have been enough. Be aware! My only modification to the pattern was adding a ribbon tie to the back but that’s only because I am not the best at installing zips on garments and my attempts to add a silver metallic zip were thwarted! I like the tie a lot though and in future iterations I will do the tie again or omit a back closure altogether as there is plenty of room to fit my head in! This pattern fit perfectly with just the right amount of ease- it is breezy without being a tent woo hoo! 

This is how much fabric I had leftover!!! Be careful, friends!

Finished front!

Finished back!

Photo of it on because I hate when people don't post photos of them wearing something!!! I need to know how it lays and stuff, people! 

This photo is a big deal because I rarely properly finish my seams, but for this one I went all out. 

Is it really my blog if I don't post an artsy photo of me knitting while wearing my newest FO?

birthday weaving

My friend Sarah was celebrating her birthday recently so I thought I'd make her a cute little weaving for her. Her favorite colors are light/aqua blue buuuut I didn't have yarn that color so mint green it was! It took me about 2 hours total to make it and I watched counseling videos while I wove so I could count the time as work #genius

Aaaaand, the craftermath.

Happy birthday, Sarah!

weaving wednesday!

It's been a while since I've done a Weaving Wednesday, so here we go! 

If you recall, one of my looms is from the fabulous Austin-based Purl&Loop. My little Stash Blaster is perfect for quick weavings and it's super portable! 

A couple of weeks ago Purl&Loop started sharing photos on Instagram detailing how to finish a weave without any fringe. This is something I've been trying to figure out for MONTHS. I've wanted to make some woven bracelets and necklaces but all the leftover warp was causing me ~problems~. 

Annoyingly, Purl&Loop was sharing photos only ONCE PER DAY. I just couldn't be patient. They told me that they had a video tutorial on their website! Hooray! I watched it and got straight to business. 

A friend had tagged me in an Instagram photo, knowing I have been wanting to do jewelry, so this photo was my inspiration:

You rock, @wovenhippy!

I warped up my loom and got to work...

why are tiny weavings SO CUTE?! 

It was all going swimmingly until the end...

Things got a little...bunchy. It didn't look terrible exactly, but it didn't look great, either. So I tried again on a bigger piece. I made this one while watching the Olympics so obviously it had to have a few strands of gold in it.

yeah, this is edited and filtered because it was on Instagram. 

Then came the tricky part of pulling on the warp threads juuuuust so. It took a while but it came out alright!

Look at those perfectly looped ends!

Now that I had successfully tried out the tutorial, I moved on to finally perfecting a bracelet and necklace!

bracelet in progress on my stash blaster

finished bracelet! 

And now for my proud finale. Necklace exactly how I envisioned!!!

the very beginning

squeeee! 
"looks like a prehistoric preg test"- one of my friends
"is it a quarter cover?"- same friend

I proudly wore the little necklace to church the day after I finished it and got lots of compliments on it! I know what every girlfriend is getting for birthday/Christmas this year!

some sewing

Ok new look. I'm tired of adding spacers all the time and half of the time they somehow get linked together and then I get frustrated. SO. Away with the spacers!

Earlier this year, or possibly at the end of last year, Anna Rifle Bond and Cotton and Steel announced the most perfect collaboration in existence: Rifle Paper Company fabric for Cotton and Steel!!! It was to be called Les Fleurs which is the only appropriate name for such a fab collab. The countdown was on. 

The line was just released at the beginning of August so you know I bought some as soon as it hit my local fabric shop! I ended up exercising extreme self-restraint and bought just 2 fabrics. 

has a prettier selvedge existed? the answer is a definitive no!

This is one of those lines where you buy yardage and then hem and haw forever because it's too beautiful to cut up. So I knew what I had to do. Purl Bee Lap Duvet. Yes. 

hand-tied as I usually do with lap duvets!

Well there you have it, short and sweet. My friend Maria called it "floral granny cloud blankie" which is obviously the only appropriate description. I slept under it despite it being approximately one million degrees in Dallas and it was utter perfection! 

Materials:
-Crib size wool batting
-Rosa Navy Les Fleurs
-Birch Periwinkle Les Fleurs

weaving class

 

Some things in life happen serendipitously. That's what happened with the weaving class I took this past weekend. I was at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago and she had this great weaving hanging next to her front door. I asked her who made it and she told me it was by Laken from Woven Laine. I started following Laken on Instagram and about 5 days after I started following her, she posted that she had an opening for her weaving workshop that was coming up over the weekend. I saw the post about an hour after she had posted, though, and a few people had already said that they wanted the spot. I commented anyway and an hour later, to my surprise, Laken said that the spot was mine! I headed to her website and signed up for the class and proceeded to very impatiently wait for Sunday to come. 

Sunday finally came and I headed to the wonderful Akola Project for class. It was a small class which was perfect because it meant lots of one-on-one, hands on teaching. It was 3 and a half hours long, the perfect length of time for creating a mini weaving/ornament! We went home with a lap loom (that's 3 looms that I now own, for anyone keeping count!), shed stick, shuttle, tapestry needle, and fork. 

I have been practicing weaving on my mini loom for a few weeks now, so I feel pretty comfortable with the basic weave, but the class was still so helpful for me. We learned soumak, how to create a shape within a weaving, rya, and finishing techniques. The class was so fun and the kind staff at Akola gave each of us a necklace to take home as well! 

Soumak (the braided area) and my first woven triangle. 

Filling in the sides with a festive gold yarn. 

My finished weaving still on the loom, pre weaving in the ends. 

All ends woven in!

Ta da! My finished mini weaving! 

My weaving, looking super cute on the Christmas decorations at Akola Project. 

After class, I came home even more inspired to continue weaving. I've been using this blog to help me remember the skills I learned in class and to learn new techniques. Yay weaving! 

 

eleven months, 45,936 stitches

 

November 13, 2014- the yarn arrived. 

December 26, 2014- working on the third color.

January 1, 2015- working on the gorgeous light pink color. 

February 8, 2015

February 24, 2015- most of my photos look like this- pjs, knitting, and Gilmore Girls. Not many photos exist between this one and August because I was finishing up my Masters degree and had less time for knitting. 

August 9, 2015- I just HAD to include this. One of my favorite scenes in the whole series- Lorelai eating chocolate syrup-covered marshmallows!!

September 21, 2015- finally on the last color, a bright yellow green. 

September 27, 2015- the night I finished Gilmore Girls; wrap and tissues present

October 16, 2015- the morning I finished the wrap. 

November 22, 2015- wearing the wrap for the first time

Eleven months. That is how long it took me to knit and purl the 45,936 stitches in this wrap. I first spotted the Seed Stitch Wrap in Worsted Twist in September of 2013 on the Purl Bee blog. I fell in love with the colors of the wrap, the texture of the stitches, and the simplicity of the pattern. Just 99 stitches per row, alternating between knit and purl. I would visit the blog often to just admire the photos and dream of making my own wrap one day. 

Then, last November, the Purl Bee put up a crocheted baby blanket pattern. I don't crochet, but I was immediately struck by the yarn colors that were used in the blanket. I thought of the wrap once again and realized that if I ordered the blanket yarn kit and added one extra color, I could make the wrap. The decision was hard for me- Purl has amazing materials and they come with an amazing price tag. I remember exactly where I was when I justified it all- sitting in a Starbucks with my best friend, the holiday season just starting.  

A few days later, the yarn arrived. I started the wrap on or around November 15, 2014 (thanks Ravelry, for reminding me of such things). As I cast on the first row of stitches, I streamed the first episode of Gilmore Girls. The show had recently been added, in its entirety, to Netflix. Since this was going to be a very easy (read, boring) knit, I needed something to keep me entertained throughout the process. I watched so many hours of Gilmore Girls while making this wrap that the two are now eternally linked to one another. 

This October, on the 16th, I finished the wrap. I nearly cried. I poured many, many hours into this wrap and while at times it was boring, I loved the knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit combination. It turned out exactly as I envisioned.

 

october wips and fos

 

I'm not one of those crafters that does just one thing at a time. I aspire to that and I am getting close to that, but typically I have a few projects going on at the same time. I try to keep it to a minimum, though, and to have just one project from each genre, if you will, going at the same time. Here are some things I'm working on/recently finished these days:

Calligraphy: just some practicing. 

Drawing and painting- my sketchbook tends to be a conglomeration of all sorts of random stuff- sewing and quilting ideas, calligraphy practice, doodles, tons of flowery paintings, testing out new supplies. It's a fun place to play around and not care how anything turns out. 

some fall doodles in pen

and with some color

Knitting: Seed Stitch Wrap in Worsted Twist from the purl bee. I'm going to dedicate a whole post to this one eventually because it took nearly a year to complete! 

That's what I've got going on these days. I've got a knitting project and hand sewing project in the queue as well that I'm hoping to finish before Christmas, but I know better than to put deadlines on myself. 

 

lessons learned

 

I'll start this blog off with my most recent finished sewing project. One day on Pinterest, I found this fabulous quilt. It immediately was stuck in my head. A whole cloth quilt with straight line quilting and a fun binding. I would love to copy this version exactly: grey fabric, hand quilting, neon pink binding and all, but I know myself well enough to know that I would do approximately 2 lines of hand quilting and go running to the machine.

My sewing inspiration tends to hit rather dramatically and immediately. I don't stew over ideas or wait until I have just the right fabrics and just the right pattern to make something. I'll usually see something so inspiring that I run to the fabric store and start sketching and making immediately for fear that the idea will leave me and haunt me for all of my days (dramatic, like I said). With this quilt, that's exactly what happened. I was at lunch and all of a sudden, an idea for a polka-dotted whole cloth, straight line quilt popped into my head. As soon as I got home, I started sketching and figuring out how much fabric I would need for my preferred quilt size (which is 50" by 60"- perfect for reading, napping, and netflixing). I then drove straight to the fabric store and bought everything for it. It was a shock to the wallet, as all of my crafting tends to be, but I knew I had to start it that day.

I got home and pieced the top and back within minutes (the biggest plus to whole cloth quilts) and got straight to basting. I got to work on the quilting. 'It's fast and easy,' I thought, 'Just a bunch of straight lines.' Yeah, no. My first mistake was not using a walking foot. I know better. From the get go I knew I should've been using a walking foot. But I get annoyed with all the clunking it makes and how I can never get the screw in right the first time. Plus, I couldn't use my quilt guide with the walking foot (or so I thought). Quickly, I realized that straight line quilting was not going to be fast. After a few hours, I was about 60% finished with the quilting. I unloaded the quilt from the machine and there it was, the dreaded puckering and wavy edges that come from only one thing: not using a walking foot. I thought that I could live with the puckering and with chopping off a few inches from either edge of the quilt, but I decided that since I was frustrated, tired, and my arms hurt from holding the bulk of the quilt, I would put it away and re-assess the next day.

I looked at the quilt the next day and yeah...I was pretty mad at myself. There was no way I would be happy with puckering and cutting off multiple inches from the sides. But the alternative (ripping out quilting) seemed so much worse. I took a break from the quilt for several weeks. I gave the quilt a good look and decided that I needed to rip out about 50% of the quilting. OY VEY. Then one night, I told myself to suck it up and get to ripping. I fired up The Mindy Project on Hulu and started the arduous task of ripping out every 8th or so stitch on the top of the quilt. Then I would lift up the top and batting and rip all the stitches through the back of the quilt. I was able to rip out about 3 rows per episode of Mindy, which wasn't the worst, but it definitely was not the best.

After many, many episodes of The Mindy Project, I had ripped out everything that needed to go. Then I went back to the machine, walking foot in tow, and after googling it, I found out that my quilt guide does in fact attach to my walking foot, so I attached that and got to re-quilting. Immediately everything was feeding through evenly, but since the walking foot loosens the pressure on the top, things were getting a little wobbly. After several rows of straight-ish lines, I busted out the masking tape and started using it instead of the quilt guide. When the quilting was finally done, I squared up the quilt and got to work on my fun binding.

wobbly quilting, not my finest crafting moment

yes, I am one of those people who loves to hand sew the binding on the back

this photo shows exactly where I started using the masking tape to help me line up my quilting

And so here we are, about 2 months after the first burst of inspiration, and I am enjoying my new polka dot quilt. Never will I make the mistake of not using a walking foot again. Let this be my lesson to do things right the first time. 

all finished!