Finished Projects · sewing · WIP

Project bags

Memorial Day weekend was very nice for us this year. We took the top off the Jeep and drove to Eureka Springs on Saturday and stayed home the rest of the weekend. Sunday I worked quite a bit on my Bigger on the Inside shawl. I am hoping to be done with the first section completely by this coming weekend. It would be really nice to be able to cast on the next part. I tried to knit on the way to Eureka but forgot my sea bands at home so I only got one row finished before I called it quits.

I had many plans for what all I was going to accomplish over the long weekend, most of which did not happen. I did make myself sit down and sew. I had a heck of a time with my sewing machine most of the day so it took a very long time and was extremely frustrating. It was worth the headache and I am glad that my perseverance paid off. I sewed a project bag for me and one for Emma using this pattern from In Color Order. I was going to make about 2 more but I ran out of time and steam. The octopus bag is mine and the Hufflepuff bag belongs to Emma. I am very pleased with how hers turned out. Mine is ok. I see lots of things that I could have done better but I am still using it with a smile on my face. I can’t wait to sew some more.

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I had purchased the Hufflepuff fabric a while back. Emma has been learning how to knit and I felt that she needed a project bag for her knitting. I used a black fat quarter for the exterior contrast and some yellow and white fabric for the interior and another for the ties. I did use some fusible interfacing for hers. I am happy with the results.

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The octopus fabric I instantly fell in love with when I saw it. I was lacking another fabric that I liked with it so I used a solid gray for the exterior and a gray with white anchors for the interior. I used some leftover sock yarn doubled for the ties. I didn’t have any other fabric that would have matched and I kind of like the yarn. If nothing else it is super soft.

Overall I enjoyed this pattern. It was cutting it a bit close for me on the size of the squares. I am glad that a good bit gets cut off with the subcuts because otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough fabric in the fat quarters.

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We stopped at the dam on the way into Eureka Springs and on the way home. The sunset was beautiful over the water. I am ready for some time spent at the lake!

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The boys look thrilled. For the record I don’t think any of the kids knew I was taking a picture. I couldn’t get Emma in the frame. She is directly behind me. I was trying to beat the stoplight while taking it or else I would have made everyone at least look at the camera.

knitting · WIP

Knitting and stress

I think my favorite thing about knitting is turning a simple piece of yarn into something that looks so beautiful and different from its original state. My second favorite thing is the stress relief aspect. That is where I have been at this past few weeks. We have worked mandatory overtime since April and I am tired. I have less time to spend with my family, mostly my little guy since he goes to bed early and I have been struggling with keeping in a good mood. This week in particular has been rough because my boyfriend has had to work even more over time than I have. I have been forcing myself to knit. I know that sounds silly because I love to knit, but when I am tired and grumpy, I don’t really want to do anything. I have accomplished a lot in the last few weeks though.

A lot has happened since my last blog post. We took a trip to Colorado for spring break. I fell in love! I will be making another blog post later in the week with some pictures and highlights. Before we left I cast on Tiye so that I would have something with lots of stockinette for the car trip. I got quite a bit done on it during that time but more so in the last two weeks or so. It has been my knitting that I take to events to work on because I can knit on it without looking for the most part. Last Friday, I took it with me to a baseball game. My boyfriend’s company did a family night so we had one of the suites to watch the game. It was a blast. It has gone to two concerts with me as well. I am about a third of the way through the body now. I have mixed feelings about the colors and yarn choice but I am hoping for the best.IMG_20180511_210854_547.jpg

I ended up messing up somewhere on my Bigger on the Inside shawl so it got frogged. I finally restarted it last week and have made quite a bit of progress on it. I have to think about it quite a bit so it isn’t the best knitting when I have other things going on. It is currently my “outdoor” knitting because I need more light to see it. I can also sit on the bed and knit because the bedroom has brighter lighting. I will be to the middle section by next weekend, I hope.IMG_20180510_211459_506.jpg

I also cast on for a brioche cowl. Since I have never knit brioche before I was more just trying out to see how to do it. I have figured out what I am doing but since I wasn’t real sure what I was doing, I didn’t do a very good job on it so I frogged it. I have a couple of other projects that I want to work on before I start over on it, but I can already tell that I am going to love this cowl. It is going to be soft and squishy. I will probably start working on it in the fall so it will be done before it gets cold and is needed.

I have started on a weighted blanket for my son, but I haven’t spent much time working on it. I don’t have a dedicated space to put my sewing machine and it is very awkward and fiddly with the little beads. With working overtime and having family stuff, I just haven’t had it in me to drag everything out and work on it. I would rather knit than get my sewing machine out until work settles down a bit. I really want to sew another project bag for myself very soon too. I already have the fabric picked out. I have a handful of other things I want to sew too, but I want to get the project bags and blanket done first.

Hank is getting big! He is a good pup.

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Also a thing happened. We traded the Jeep for a new one.

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knitting · WIP

Bigger on the Inside

The last few weeks have been a bit on the rough side as far as migraines are concerned, so crafting has not been as often as I would like, but it has not been a total dry spell. I have set aside my shawl for now because I keep messing up. After much debate, I ripped back to the lifeline. I got another row or two done and realized I was off a stitch again, so its in time out until it can learn to behave itself. My yarn order came in, but I had to wait until I could purchase a set of needles. I went through every single needle in my house and not one was a size 4. Every single project that I have lined up uses a size 4 except for socks. This called for a trip to my LYS. It ended up being a girls day because I have created a monster. The best kind of monster. I have been teaching my boyfriend’s daughter to knit. She is doing very well and has pretty much mastered casting on. She got a ball of pretty yarn and I got some yarn and needles.

After our shopping trip, I cast on my Bigger on the Inside. I realized that I have a problem. Naturally I turned on Doctor Who to watch while I was knitting, but then I looked down and noticed that I was also wearing a Doctor Who shirt. Like my monster, it is a good problem to have so I am not complaining. I am enjoying this knit so far. I read ahead and realized that there will be a ton of stitches picked up. I am not a fan of picking up stitches but it isn’t enough to deter me from knitting this. I probably should cast on a “mindless” knitting project as well for days like today when my head hurts pretty bad. I just can’t thing real well like this. Charts and migraines or extreme ice pick headaches (like today) are not friends.

Besides knitting, I decided to finally sew a weighted blanket for my son. My boyfriend was watching tv in bed the other night and his pillows were on my legs. The weight made me fall asleep almost instantly so I think it would help my kiddo. The front will be Star Wars and the back will be Batman. His choice. I purchased the beads and got started on it. I was so excited. I had it all planned out but when I started sewing, my machine wouldn’t quit breaking the thread. I made adjustments but it still wasn’t right. It was either too loose or it was so tight that it would snap after about a quarter inch. I got frustrated and put it away. I am not strong enough at sewing to be able to fix it without doing a lot of brushing up on skills but its not a good time to mess with it when I am already mad and cussing my machine. I have about 4 project bags that I want to make as well. I found some Hufflepuff fabric for my newest knitter and I need to make it.

One other bit of news, we got a new family member! His name is Hank. He is a golden retriever Saint Bernard mix. Hank is the sweetest, fluffiest, snuggly pup ever. He is an excellent addition to our family. He is so soft, sweet, and cute. I have my work cut out for me as far as socializing and walking on a leash are concerned. He is a timid pup, but since he may end up outweighing me someday, he has to learn to do well and be able to be controlled. We all love Hank. Except Rosie. She tolerates him.

Finished Projects · knitting · sewing · WIP

Knitting therapy

Although I have decided that I will do no gift knitting this year, I have decided to immerse myself in knitting, spinning, sewing, and writing. My hubby and I were talking earlier and I think we agreed that while this year has been wonderful, there have been quite a few extremely rough moments as well. Our move here was very difficult on me. I love it here, but my heavy school load and spending so much time actually packing and moving all the while being so far away from my husband and I did not make it a habit of allowing myself the time to do anything to help relieve my stress. That doesn’t work well for me so now that I have a little more time on my hands and am even more in need of stress relief, I am making stress relief a priority in my life. What does that mean? Finished projects and lots of plans for hand-made items in the near future!

I drove up to Northwest Arkansas last weekend to spend a little time with my dad and I got a lot of knitting done. I finished one of the vanilla socks I am knitting for me and knit about a half-inch of the ribbing for the second sock. I also finished the Darkside Cowl, and worked a good bit on the second Gentleman’s sock for hubby.

The Darkside Cowl was different to knit. I am in love with the finished product, however the actual knitting was not exactly as loved. It wasn’t overly difficult, it was just not autopilot knitting for me because it isn’t exactly linear. I used some yarn that I spun and dyed a long time ago. I believe that it is BFL and bamboo, but I honestly can’t remember right now. I am very disappointed to see that I didn’t blog the dying of the yarn, but I did do a couple of little posts here and here, about the spinning. The squish of the yarn with this pattern is heavenly. The pattern is done in repeats of 16 rows. I omitted the first row (accidentally) which was a purl row and therefore left out the final row as well. I don’t know how different it would have made it look, but I am perfectly happy without it. I didn’t notice that I had messed up until I was a couple rows in and wasn’t willing to rip back.

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I had purchased some sock yarn with the intentions of knitting socks for my hubby for his birthday in *ahem* May. I have had a lot going on so we are going to leave it at that. I decided on Gentleman Socks by Kristi Schueler. This is a free pattern with multiple sizing. It is done in a 4 row pattern repeat and then a separate pattern on the instep. I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel as that is my current favorite. I like the ease of the knitting and I feel they fit well. I am using this heel for my Knitmore Girls Vanilla socks for me as well. I can’t remember what the yarn is that I am using for the KG Vanilla sock, but I used Patons Kroy for the Gentleman socks. I am pleased with both.

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My hubby tried to fix my wheel last week and while he made a very good effort, it just isn’t cutting the mustard. Basically there is a rod that connects the treadles to the base and as I spin, the rod tends to walk out. I am going to look into some different options. I think that I am going to save up and buy a new wheel in the next year or two. I love my Babe, but I want something sturdier. Let’s face it I want several wheels. I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of my Babe and I will probably never get rid of it. It isn’t a great wheel but it is a good wheel and it is my first.

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I purchased some Wizard of Oz fabric a few weeks back that will be turned into a new project back sometime soon. This makes me so happy. I may try to get that done tonight, or at least the cutting done, but I think I am going to go back up to see my dad again tomorrow so I may not have time to get much done. Just in case you were wondering, cancer sucks.

Uncategorized

Being crafty is a fine art

In the last few weeks, I have really been trying to make more time for the things that I love most. It has been a little hit and miss. I love spinning, I love knitting, I really enjoy sewing, but more importantly I love my little boy. I am still trying to find the best balance between doing the normal chores around the house, raising my son, and enjoying my passions. I haven’t touched my knitting in days, but we have gone to the splash pad and celebrated my hubby’s birthday, so I am calling this a victory. I have also cut out a rough pattern for my next sewing project. It isn’t super secret or anything, but I don’t want to reveal too much until it is done. Mostly just in case I decide to do something different with the fabric. I am still trying to hammer out the details of my design so it will be a while before it is finished. I may end up picking up another fabric for the contrast, too.

The thing that I enjoy more about sewing than knitting or spinning is that, while I know how to sew from a regular pattern, I prefer to do my own designs. I am basing this one off of a bought pattern, only for the basic shape, but then there will be many modifications to it so it is loosely based on it. My friend Bethany pinned a pattern on Pinterest the other day that I fell in love with and will be making at some point in the near future. She made one and it came out adorable. I am afraid that the fabric that I bought may end up being used for this bag instead. You should check out Bethany’s blog, Pretty Little Fiber Co. She is an amazing knitter, spinner, photographer, and is a pretty awesome person in general. I am thankful to have friends like her in my life. We have a wonderful group that gets together every other week to knit, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. I love that I get to see my best friend, Jessica, every other week, and recently her newest addition to the family, Mae, as well. Without Jessica especially, and the other ladies in the group, I don’t know where I would be right now.

Progress may be slow on everything I am doing, but I will have more updates coming! Have a wonderfully yarny day!

Finished Projects

Almost counts in spinning, right

Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, but I think it counts in spinning too. I started plying up the singles that I’ve been working on forever. I forgot that my sweet little boy threw my bobbin I use for plying and broke it the other day. It’s plastic and just the end broke off where the two pieces were joined. I’m pretty sure that the super glue that I have will do the trick. I stuck it back together and am going to let it sit overnight to be on the safe side. I only got about 3/4 of the bobbin filled when the bobbin started popping apart so I went ahead and washed it so it is hanging to dry now. I first did a few yards as a sample to see how it’d come out and I knit it up. I am in love. So the entire amount that I have is not done, but because I can see what it’s going to look like and I will finish tomorrow, I’m calling it almost finished and that makes me happy.
I did complete my sewing project during nap time today. Jonathan is the proud owner of two toddler pillows! Now I understand that he is 19 months old and is not really supposed to have a lot in his crib with him, but we started putting small baby blankets in with him since he was about 14 or 15 months old. I’m a scardy at when it comes to my baby. Some things are not worth the risk, but I feel confident in the pillow that I have made for him. They are one inch thick and are foam so they shouldn’t be all fluffed on his little face. I had so much fun with this little project. It made two pillows. I am barely more than a beginner in front if a sewing machine, but these turned out well. There are things I would change for next time, but I am very pleased with how they turned out. I did a hem around the open end edge and they matched up perfectly. You can’t tell where the seam started and ended. I have a few more sewing projects planned, but they will have to wait until I can get more fabric.

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WIP

Sewing, knitting, and spinning, oh my!

Ok, maybe not so much crochet, but I do have some knitting and sewing projects in the works.
I really wanted to have my Queen Anne’s Lace shawl finished before our next knit night, but I don’t see that happening. I haven’t been making enough time to knit on lace lately. Despite the fact that I feel as though this is an easy lace pattern, it just requires more attention than I have been able to devote to it during the day. Since I can’t give it my undivided attention all the time, I decided to work on some other things for a while so I went to my storage unit the other day to pick up some fiber and yarn. I found 2 nice skeins of sock yarn hanging out in there so I decided a nice, simple pair of socks were the right project to cast on for when Jonathan is playing by himself. Unfortunately I realized that I didn’t have circular needles in a good size for sock knitting. I did find a set of US #3 DPNs. Let me tell you, I hate DPNs. So far, I have 4 inches of one sock done and have had two incidents of needles coming out of my knitting. Luckily for the DPNs, I enjoy fixing issues in my knitting. One time was my fault. I thought I was grabbing the free needle out if my bag and it wasn’t. The second time, I left my knitting alone for a minute to run in the other room and my sweet, adorable, darling, precious, cute toddler, decided to “knit”. Yup. Thankfully I like my little fella and I was able to pick everything back up. Only a couple of stitches dropped down a few rows so it wasn’t a big problem. Note to self, pick up some new circs in smaller sizes in the not too distant future. So now I have some “social” knitting and lace. I won’t finish my spiral shawl by next knit night, but it won’t be too far off.
I said I had to pick up my fiber as well because I have been super fired up about spinning the last week or two. I have finished 2 bobbins of the peacock fiber that I died that I now look at and think Mardi Gras. I still don’t know how I am going to ply it yet, but I will work on it on Thursday while I watch the series finale of The Office. I am seriously thinking about spinning up another color and plying them together, but I’m going to do some playing with it. One of my sweet friends who also spins and knits let me borrow a book/DVD that I have been wanting to watch, Spin Art by Jacey Boggs. It is amazing. It made me realize some things that I haven’t really figured out yet in spinning. I don’t claim to an advanced spinner, but I do feel comfortable in front of a wheel. The techniques in this book are not beginner techniques but I think I could pull them off with enough practice. In the first few minutes of the video, I realized how very limited my spinning really is. I simply do what works for me. I don’t know very well how to manipulate what I am making. I don’t really know how to spin with the final product in mind. This is a spinning goal I have. I want to upgrade my skills and be able to make just about any kind of yarn I want. I mean that should be what I am doing. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this. So I am going to be trying out some new techniques and really start learning the craft. I feel as though I am close, I just don’t know everything that I need to know yet. I want to be able to confidently spin beautiful yarns, including texture yarns. Lots of practice will be happening over the next few weeks.
Speaking of brushing up on skills, I have decided to do some small sewing projects and really work on my sewing skills. I am making a small pillow for my son. He loves laying his head on blankets and stuff and honestly since he is only 19 months old, it makes me a little nervous still so I decided to make a real light pillow for him and start to transition his room from baby mismatched stuff to a big boy pirate room. I’m not doing it all at once, but a little here and there. The pillow is the fist step. Also I might make me a little bag out of it.

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