Cakes, Hanks, Socks and Lace

At the end of June, I was back to my thrifting ways and found a nice deal on what I thought was a couple skeins of point 5 (A thick/thin bulk weight) and some professionally dyed fiber so that I could compare to my current just washed fiber and see if that improved my spin, and a couple of skeins I was kind of ambivalent about.  Turns out it was 10 skeins of the point 5…. larger than my teapot!  So I am thinking based on the color I will make up some larger toss pillows for our living room.  I also spun a bit of the unlabeled extra fiber, and it definitely went smoother than my first  round with my own prep work.

Earlier this month I turned 40.  I celebrated by wearing a shirt proclaiming I was “Adult-ish” and drinking a blackberry hard cider while eating a chocolate cake… like the adult I am! It was also new license year for me so I’m kind of glad I lost weight this year.  Now just about 15 lbs to go and then maintain it.  Health-wise some things have gotten better, and some haven’t but overall I’m doing pretty good for 4 decades on this planet.

Naturally I took the occasion to buy myself some hanks of yarn.  There was a special on a weight I wanted to use with the handspun I got from a yarn swap, as well as a camel/silk blend which.  It should be arriving later today. (refreshes package tracking again)

I have finished my first non-wool socks pair, and the first of the Op-Art Socks KAL Anni which I made for Ben. I’ve got yarn picked out for Bora next month and I’m hoping to double down with the Alhambra if I can find a suitable combination. (I wonder if I can sneak in a bit more yarn when I go shopping for my latest swappee….)

I did start on my June KAL lace project, but had difficulty reading the pattern due not in small part to the printing side of things so I’ve put in more work on my Glocinella than I have on my alpaca lace shawl.  I’m down to the last 55 or so rows, which are fast approaching 1000 stitches per round, but its coming along.

I’ve also been attempting to get a couple rows of quilting in on the guest room quilt… but its slow going and like most things these days, it seems like the things to do are piling up faster than the things done.

Sock-u-pied and Stash Flash

A normal year of sock knitting for me, is Sock Madness of 5 or 6 pairs plus a few extra pairs spread throughout the year for until now 10 pair a year.  So I am rather pleased with myself to say that I am now at 11 pairs of socks already this year.

You’ll notice I finished the second of the test knit socks.  The pattern, called Runway Socks, is now available and there is a discount code on the pattern page for the next few days if you want to make a pair of your own.  The tetris-y looking socks were the semi-final round for this years Sock Madness, Pentoeminoes. Alas, my East Coast team rival managed to best me with a finish while I was part way up the 2nd leg (they were toe up)

61LbUCyI-UL._SX413_BO1,204,203,200_Now, I would understand if you concluded that I was done making socks for the year, but I mentioned to my teammates how I had committed to making several pairs of Ludwigs from the Op Art Socks book and would be looking to knit all the socks from the book since I received it for my birthday last July.  So now I am committed to KAL the rest of the book.  If you want to join us for a rather casual KAL, the details are over in this Ravelry thread in the Sock Madness group. There will be two pattern options open for knitting each month and you can knit both, one or neither as your heart desires.  There are no prizes other than the satisfaction of knitting 19 pairs of socks with a group of other people all doing the same thing.

I did get out to a few shops during the LYS Tour in May. And Ben even joined me apparently to pick out more yarn for more socks. (This winter seemed to have created a sock wearing monster!)

The Orange in the first photo was used in the Runway Socks above.  The brown and the CoBaSi left of it have patterns spoken for them already too. The three left side yarns in the right photo have been earmarked for Ben.  They join an Opal and another Hazel Knits already in the stash with his name on them.

In non-sock news I have been putting in the rounds on my Glocinella and am about half way through the 2nd set of long leaves now. I still have over 80 rounds to go and I am hoping to finish that AND the KAL lace shawl AND the OpArt Sock by the end of July.

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In non-knit news, my house is mostly reassembled.  The main living areas downstairs and the Master and one Guest bedroom are back together (sans the grandfather clock).  My sewing machine is back at the work table and the shelves are together in the library.  The yarn stash has returned to its stash space, but I’m still sorting out the solution to my plethora of fabric boxes… which is probably why I haven’t been quilting lately. I am thinking I may give this month’s upcoming Quilt Shop Hop a pass.

Sock it to me!

Ok so first up I am updating this from a jury selection room on my phone… But seeing as I couldn’t bring my knitting with me, what better time to blog about it?

 

Firstly, I have managed to squeak in my finish of the latest Sock Madness round just yesterday with a pair of Mosaic socks. (Again with a twist cuff) These are a second pair for Ben already this year.

The round before was a lovely twisted stitches and beads. And I managed to get both of the dark Ludwigs complete as well as one test knit in orange.

This brings my current sock total to 9.5 pairs! 10 has been my prior years maximum, do it’s looking like a good year for socks.

In other news I am about 75%ish of the way through my Glocinella lace, which seems to be the 500+ stitches per round, no longer get full thing spread out on the needle for photos point.

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But at least I have my sewing table and machine set up again do perhaps some quilting updates next time?

Colorwork and Woodwork

I swear that the woodworking does not refer to me picking up a new craft, but rather to refer to the last post I mentioned how we were updating our floors to hardwood in the midst of Sock Madness.  I am happy to report that the floors are installed!   And they are beautiful.

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So now its down to bringing all the belongings into the house again, which thankfully is not on such a swift timeframe.

Sock Madness has continued in a cavalcade of colorwork, combined with my first pair of dark ludwig socks.

Between rounds of socks we had a hotel stay due to the floor finishing, which I used to start tackling the KAL project, which was  colorwork mittens.  The cats were rather unhappy about the drive, but settled in to days of traffic and knitting supervision.

And while I did finish the striped sweater, I am not super sure I like it and how it fits, so photos of that coming eventually later.  (A portion of that is adjusting to how clothes fit now that I have lost ~80 lbs.)  But I will tease you with my finally conquering one of those knitting opuses… a Herbert Neibling lace pattern.

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Now I just need to get my crafting spaces back assembled!

Let the Madness begin (Plus a bigger dose of crazy)

The Madness I refer to is indeed Sock Madness.  I successfully navigated the qualification round with a pair of Twisted Madness Socks

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This put me on Team KP named for the toxic Pitohui bird.  I went from a Toxic Foxglove to a Toxic Pitohui… what are the mods saying about me?

First round was a dropped stitch pattern called Dropped Madness, and while its still only part way into the round I have finished my socks (I’m #2 for our team this round!), which since they fit Ben, are going to him. These did a different afterthought heel than I have done as well as a new increase style.   I do think making my drop stitch cowl designs last year helped me out this round!

And now onto the extra doses of Crazy.  We decided this would be our year for updating our carpet flooring which has truly seen better days to hardwood floors and refinishing our existing wood to make it looks like a seamless install. This means that the whole house has to get packed up and moved out (excluding cupboards and bathrooms basically).  My husband and I will openly admit that one of our failings is being at least a bit hoarder and packrat about various things (see also: fabric and yarn stashes)  So while I was hustling my knitting along into the qualifier, I was also being a crazy packing and moving planner.

The good news is that my activities have paid off and we are on track for our install!  Its going to look amazing once its done, but until then its a bit weird and out of sorts.

In the extra-extra dose of crazy…. I managed to work in a single Ludwig sock, and a bit of progress on both my Guest room quilt AND a striped summer weight (cotton/acrylic) sweater!

Technically I am on the green stripe after the 4th blue stripe of the sweater above… but who has time for taking more photos?!

Keep Busy and Keep Going

Sometimes the best you can do is to just keep moving in the general direction of where you want to end up.  Then the next thing you notice you are already well on your way to a pile of stuff that somehow managed to get done.

I attempted to start my latest finished shawl on our holiday road trip.  And while its well written its spread across a few charts and as someone that sometimes has eyes wander in a chart, it was put on hold.  But I’m happy to say my first project with Stellina (aka sparkles) is complete.

The pattern is called Weirwood Tree. I suppose a more dedicated knitter than I would have knit it up in white and then hand dye-painted each leaf that burgundy/magenta of its namesake.

Also on the knitting front, its approaching Sock Madness time, and yet I managed to plan out extra socks to make, and even finished a pair for Ben, who has since decided he actually likes hand knit socks.  And I churned out a brioche cowl for a KAL this month too.

And last but not least I said I wanted to make 5 quilts this year… so I managed to put together another quilt top (I have the backing and binding fabric for this already)

Yes, it is a Christmas Throw Quilt.  No, I don’t have plans for it other than to make it. The design is called a Four Patch Lattice and goes together rather quickly.

Next Up: Expect a bunch more socks, Maybe a sweater, and I should probably get around to quilting one of these quilts…..

And to top it off…

Its not even the official middle of January and I’ve already got my first top together!  Believe it or not, the majority of the fabric was purchased back in June of 2015 specifically for this quilt idea and then it only took about a week to actually assemble.

Guest Quilt Top

The idea was hatched from a quilt someone posted from I believe Quiltcon 2014, but the bookmarked link I had is now defunct and I can’t seem to find it again.   So if you think it was you and would like the credit you deserve (or just to tell me how unoriginal I am) then drop me a line!

On the knitting front I’ve put together a couple new variations on my market bags, one with a seamless handle design and one a mosaic style to use up some partial cotton balls from the stash.

And then I frogged and restarted a new lace shawl based on the Weirwood Tree pattern. I first started this on the holiday road trip but its a less simplistic lace design which needs a bit more attention.  After getting home with a proper knit companion, its been progressing along. I’m throwing in a few photos I took from the trip (I wasn’t driving at the time) too.

Hope your new year is also producing some good progress too!

2017 Craft Forecast

I know; I know; I don’t update for a couple months then BAM! three posts in a day.  As I’ve said before… this started out mostly for me, so I’m not even sorry.  Just as I am not sorry about all those extra holiday feasts, cookies and chocolate.  So just like last year I’m going to layout some ambitious goals for the year and let’s see how close or far we get!

In the quilting department my list of in progressed/planned/ideas is at 23.  I’m going to aim for finishing 5. In particular I’m declaring my Wedding Flowers, The Guestroom Quilt, Scrappy Snowflake, and a Contours Quilt (bought kit – paper pieced) with one wild card quilt option.

On the knitting front, I want to go for third Sock Madness, and a Double OtterBingo (which is a KAL year long project with the Reddit knitters group.  I’ve got a number of yarns stashed so I shall try to stash down a bit. (She said carelessly as she browsed more yarn for sale) I’d also like to spin up a bit more of my fiber I got last year.

House plans are kind of large this year as we want to redo our floors this year which may turn into one of those more major projects, but we shall see.  I’d also like to focus a bit more on my flower beds this year, including our community cul-de-sac which I revamped a bit last year, and get the room I sew in straightened up a bit, because let’s just admit that an orderly workspace can often be a more productive workspace.

Last year I put a big focus on improving my health and saw some success, so I want to keep that trend line going in the right direction.

2016 Round Up

Well its time to check in on our goals of 2016 and see how and what we did.

Of the seven proposed quilts, I finished two. (¬.¬ )  I did quite a bit of work on the wedding quilt top as well, but apparently my ambitions for quilting in January didn’t come to fruition.

I knitted a number of socks again thanks to Sock Madness, and not as much lace.  Which when after taking a longer break from I realized I really like knitting lace.

I tried a few new things this year, including felting and spinning. I progressed on a large cross stitch project, and tackled a massive double knit scarf… which isn’t one of my favorite things.

And so while I may have knit fewer yards this year, I still tried new things and that’s important too.

 

Perfectly Presented

Its finally that time of year past gift giving when I can reveal the gifts I made.  I rather like making many of my gifts, though its generally a stressful proposition of that line called “I hope they like it”

First up is a project that was actually a few years in the making for my Father and Stepmother… a movie themed quilt.

I also made one of my nephews a dinosaur sweater… which meant finally having a good use for one of my handknit labels. (He has a great giggle!)

I made up 3 pair of socks and a pair of felted slippers.  The bottom pair went to a friend in Germany.

I also gifted some handmade jellys, lemonade concentrates, rope bowls, hooked rug and starts off my african violet.  Though the subzero weather enroute to their destination was certainly less than ideal for the violets.

I hope your holidays were amazing too!