Monday, February 10, 2014

Almost forgot...

to post this little finish.  After finishing the stitching on "A Little Snow" I also stitched the bonus design included in the kit.

   Stitched with DMC on a scrap of amber linen as charted except I used the raspberry colored floss to stitch the little border at the bottom rather than the light pink.  I also gave my cardinal two tiny legs.

   As you can see, this little tag is tiny.  I always seem to forget how satisfying a little piece that only takes an hour (or less) to stitch can be.  

   I like to keep my floss stored on bobbins and like being able to 'kit' my colors together on a ring when I start a new project.  So I thought that this little piece would make a perfect floss tag.  Again, finishing things into something useful is so much better than leaving stitched pieces in a pile never to be seen again.  I used another one of the Twisted Stitcher's tutorials, this time for floss tags, and I am so glad I did.


Monday, February 3, 2014

An official finish

   I managed to actually do the finishing on my stitched "A Little Snow" piece.  I used the Twisted Stitcher's tutorial for creating a flat fold and although mine is certainly not perfect, I think it's pretty good for a first attempt.

A Little Snow

   Next time, I'll make sure to remove some of the bulk from the fabric at the corners before glueing everything together.

   I really loved this cute trim I found when out buying supplies.  I had to stop myself from buying it in every color!

   Wow, was this a lot of work to put together, but I think it is definitely worth the effort and much much better than letting stitched pieces languish in a pile indefinitely.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Excuse the dust

   I'm dusting off the blog after a hiatus that went on much longer than I expected. I guess that's what you can expect with the general chaos of the holidays on top of the general chaos of grad school.   Although I haven't been blogging much, that doesn't mean that I haven't been crafting. Knitting has taken over my (crafting) life which is no surprise. What has been surprising that I haven't been able to squeak in any time for other crafty endeavors. But let's change that.

   This weekend I stitched this little piece that I knew I had to have when I saw it pop up on the Lizzie*Kate blog recently. I used the recommended DMC colors and stitched 2 over 2 per the chart. Except for my freeform tree on the right (which means I miscounted and couldn't be bothered to fix it) I stitched as charted.

A Little Snow
DMC as charted

    I think I want to try my hand at finishing this piece as a flat fold.  I've never done anything but frame a finished stitched piece (and poorly at that), but I'm looking to branch out.  This weekend I'll venture out to the craft store and pick up some supplies to get finishing!  I'm going to try the Twisted Stitcher's flat fold tutorial that can be found here.  I'll report back hopefully with a success!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Vacation

   It's been quite a while since I've had anything to report on, but I have a very good excuse.  I spent the first two weeks of August in Europe and have finally gotten back into the swing of things back here in Nebraska... just in time to start another crazy semester in which I'll be teaching again... on top of all of my other time commitments.

   My first week, in Norway, was all about working.  But I did find some time to enjoy some of the gorgeous scenery.  Here's just a taste.

  Again, this week was supposed to be about working, but it was really hard to concentrate when I really just wanted to be outside the whole time.  I also met these guys, who wandered the island and hung out on the beaches like it's no big deal.

   Once the work was over, my visit took me south to Oslo and also to Sweden, where castles and palaces are all over the place.  So unlike plain old Nebraska... sigh.

   Not to give too much away, but Norway is amazing, pretty much anywhere you go and Old Stockholm is probably my favorite city ever.  If you get the chance to see either of these places... take it!

   As for crafty things, I did manage to finish something!  These are a pair of Cadence Socks knit in gorgeous Tosh Sock in Ink.   

   I'm really picky about sock patterns (and lace patterns for that matter).  I generally have two requirements.  First, they need to be enjoyable to knit (a fun lace pattern adds to this).  Second, they need to have a reasonable stitch count and a no-fuss heel construction (also adding to requirement #1).  

   This pattern is a winner in every way.  The lace repeats are simple enough to be easily memorized, while the pattern changes it up enough to stay interesting.  The heel and stitch count makes for a well fitting sock without any weird proportion problems like some patterns.  I made no changes to the pattern and got a great fitting pair of socks.  I'm sure I will use this pattern over and over again.

   Summer is quickly coming to a close.  Classes start up again next week so I will be spending some time this week planning my fall projects.  They might be ambitious. But hopefully not too ambitious. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


   It has been awfully quiet around the blog for a while, but that does not mean that no crafting has been happening.  Around this time last year, I was in a knitting funk, but not this year.  I have many plans and many of them are right on schedule.  I surprise myself sometimes with how much knitting I can do when I have my mind in the right place rather than scattered about.  Since work has settled down a bit (very busy, but only working during "normal" business hours for the last few weeks), I have time to knit on a regular schedule and plenty of daylight hours to get things knit up... fantastic things.

   Like my Apirka Socks.  I CO on May 2nd and finished weaving in the last end on July 7th.  This was a big project, but I'm happy to say that I was able to finish it in a reasonable amount of time - in between many other projects of course.

   These socks were a relatively easy knit, but there was a bit of uncertainty (which always seems to slow me down) about how successful they would be.  There was no way that I would be able to get the same gauge as specified by the pattern, not that the pattern as written would have fit anyway...  So I improvised.  I knit a swatch and used a total of 5 different needle sizes to get them to fit properly.  I also had to re-chart the toe and heel so the foot of the socks would fit.  In the end, however, I love the finished pair and I'm pretty sure I've finally mastered Kitchener stitch.  Cuff-down socks are still not my favorite method, but being able to successfully graft stitches opens up quite a few doors to new-to-me sock designers.  

   Speaking of socks, I discovered a new yarn shop in my town and felt I had to bulk up my yarn stash a bit.  So I brought a few lovelies home with me.  Including this amazingly pink skein of Mal sock

and also two pretty skeins of Mal lace.

   I still have not explored shawl knitting in any real depth, but I expect this new addition to my stash will solve that.  

Now I'll go back to plotting another big project for the fall.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday

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   Today I don't have any finishes to show you, so I guess it's time to introduce a couple of new WIPs.

   The first up is Windswept.  I anxiously waited for a couple of months before the pattern was released in late May.  Then I bought it immediately.

   I'm using another Mirasol yarn (these are seriously addicting to me), T'ika in this royal blue color.  The yarn is 100% cotton, so I'm hoping for this to be an easy to wear pullover for cool nights this fall.

   My next WIP is Gemini, which I'm knitting in another 100% cotton yarn that I ordered last week, Estelle South Pacific.  

   This one was CO simply because it finally got hot and humid here in Nebraska, making any knitting with wool (other than for socks) unbearable.  Nothing prompts summer knitting like summer. :)  

   I'm taking a bit of risk with my size choice for this top since I'm in between sizes and am not sure that I am able to get the full 4" of negative ease the pattern calls for.  I got gauge with a larger needle than the pattern calls for, but if I knit the closest size, I would only get about 2" of negative ease.  Not enough.  My easy solution is to go down a needle size and knit my closest size to eek out a bit more negative ease.  Hopefully this works out or well enough at least.  If not... well, we'll re-vist this possibility later. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hue Shift Part II

   Earlier in the year, I finished up one quadrant of my Hue Shift afghan,

and over the weekend, I finished up my second quadrant.  I planned on knitting one square per day, but got sidetracked once or twice and had to catch up.  Each square takes about 40 minutes to finish, assuming I don't get distracted.

   I have a love/hate relationship with garter stitch.  I love how squishy the finished fabric is, but I really hate knitting in garter (I love me some purling!).  It seems to be harder on my hands since I have to "open up" each stitch in order to knit, whereas for purling, I can just slip the needle in and wrap the stitch with very little effort.  It might just be my knitting style...

   Anyway, these two sections finish up all of the solid color squares.  Hopefully the color changes for the next two sections will be interesting enough to get them finished soon... and by soon I mean on this side of Christmas.

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