playing around

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{A pile of FOs: (from the top down) this hat, this hat, this lace scarf.}

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{The two WIPs I’m focusing on. At least until I get distracted by something else…}

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{I have watercolors now. It is lots of fun.}

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{I really like how this turned out. It’s inspired by one of my favorite shows, Akatsuki no Yona. And I painted it without drawing the outline first.}

I’ve been experimenting with several different mediums lately, including ones I’m not comfortable with. Drawing has never been one of my strong suits. But I drew something and painted it and was actually happy with the way it turned out. Letting go of perfectionism isn’t easy but it can be fun. Playing is fun. Just deciding, “oh, today I’m going to try drawing that thing I really like” is fun.

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quick and easy

Can I just say how much I love bulky yarn and big needles? Because that lovely combo means I can knit up a baby hat in an afternoon! And it’s the sweetest thing ever.

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I know a few lovely ladies who will be having babies in the next few months, so baby knits are hopping on my needles. This little hat is for another knitter. I hope she likes it!

2 on, 2 off

Le sigh.

What can I say. I cannot stop the casting on. I’m just going to accept that in my life, I will always have several projects on the needles. As long as projects are coming off the needles, I suppose that’s fine.

So, here’s what came off the needles yesterday, the last projects of 2015.

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A Totally Biased! cowl, knit with Cascade Casablanca (a wool, silk, mohair blend). I’ve knit one of these before and love, love, LOVE the pattern. It’s simple without being boring. My first one I knit on size 7s with 36 stitches. This one I knit on size 10s with 40 stitches. It made it much wider, which was what I was going for. The colors are great and there’s green on both ends that you can’t see in the picture. I’ll try to take a better one once this is done blocking and I’ve stitched the seam.

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A belated Christmas present that didn’t get finished in time due to my aversion to picking up stitches. Yes. I hate picking up stitches and will put it off and off and off until I go, what am I doing? I could be done with this by now! The pattern is Toddler Snappy Shoulder Vest knit in Cascade 220 superwash. It really was easy and would’ve been faster had I not toodled around because I don’t enjoy picking up stitches.

And now for what jumped on my needles, one last night, one today.

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This is a Hurricane Hat in Noro Kureyon. I like green. I really like green. And I also like self-striping yarns that look and feel a little like handspun. Also, can you tell I got a ball winder for Christmas?? And that I love it so, so much??

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And lastly, a pair of Berkshires socks in Felici, the Rainbow colorway. The yarn is so bright and happy and stripy! I’m excited to knit these. Also, there’s my book, Colleen Houck’s newest Reawakened. I’m only a few pages into it and already I can tell it’s very different than her first series, the Tiger’s Curse books. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe it’s not? Who knows. I finished Airman by Eoin Colfer last night. Oh, I’d forgotten how good that story was. Mm, so good.

Also, I’ve been listening to this song for days on repeat. It’s also very good: I’ll Be Good by Jaymes Young.

Joining Ginny for YarnAlong!

2015 in fib-review

So, 2015! How is it already almost over? I feel as if the year just started. How can it be over? Oh well, there’s always next year.

Yarn/Fiber/Crafting of any sort

2015 was a big fibery year for me. In January, I purchased my first spinning wheel and started learning how to use it. In August, I purchased another one. After some fits and starts and a spinning lesson gifted to me by my wonderful parents, I’m finally feeling more comfortable using it and my yarn is turning out more consistent.

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{What is probably the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve ever touched}

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of wanting to knit 15 pairs of socks. I only completed 12, four pairs of which were for other people. But hey, that’s eight pairs I didn’t have when I started the year!

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{Only the first and second were for me}

Also in 2015, I completed 49 projects. 14 I gifted for various birthdays and for Christmas. I knit 10 shawls (10?!), 12 pairs of socks, 4 hats, and a few other random projects. My sweater is not done and at the moment, I have, gulp15 projects still in progress. Wow. That’s a lot… To be fair, 7 of them are socks either almost done, still needing the match knit, or I just haven’t picked up in a while. I also have two or three long term projects that aren’t going to be done for a few years…

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{Belated Christmas toddler vest I’m almost done with}

So yeah, 2015 was a productive knitting year.

Oh, and then there’s this.

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I’m…gonna go that way… (And yes, every single skein is fingering weight yarn.)

Books/Media

Blogging: Oh the blogging. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very consistent blogger. You know, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m sporadic at best. Which brings my blog post count this year to a grand total of 63 (after I publish this.) I’ll try to be better at documenting things in 2016, but I really can’t make any promises.

Books: I haven’t done a lot of reading this year. Knowing me, that’s a little scary. I have a hard time finding good books that will keep my interest. The books I did read were all pretty good. I started the Selection series and enjoyed the first one immensely. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are also on my list of ‘this was really, really good’. I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor/English royal novels and, being the history lover I am, pounced on them.

I also started reading manga for the first time! I’ve read a handful of Fairy Tail, the first three volumes of Fruits Basket, and I think that’s about it. The two libraries in my area don’t have the best selection but I was able to find some titles I recognized.

I feel as if I’m turning a bit into this…

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I know a lot of people think anime and manga are stupid, but I personally enjoy them very much. Yes, it’s different but not really if you think about it. It has its own genres just like other books and shows: horror, crime, romcom, drama, fantasy, action/adventure, everything really. It was just in a different language originally. And it’s GREAT! 🙂

Random

Remember this bookshelf? Yes, it is now this:

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but it is a lovely, light purple color. It holds all my handknits with plenty of room for more. Ahem.

(Time to get knitting, darling.)

And the Alice dress! I never showed you a picture!!

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Okay, crummy picture, yes, but oh this dress. I love this dress. After I quit being a baby about it and started sewing, it came together easily, I set my first zipper and it’s the best fitting dress I’ve ever made. Well, I’ve only made one dress before this. But this one I’m in love with.

I’ve also started attending the Knit Night at my LYS on Tuesdays. I’m so glad I do, because it’s nice to go spend time with fibery people. And all the ladies are really nice.

Now for 2016.

I’m not going to go overboard and plan out my entire year. I’ve found if I make smaller goals, I’m more likely of meeting them. But there is one BIG one I’m going to try my very, very hardest to keep.

Knit only from the stash and do not purchase any new yarn.

Oh yes, I’m going cold sheep this year. My yarn stash has gotten a little out of control and it really needs to be pared down. It will be a serious exercise in self control, since as I said, the Knit Night I attend is at my LYS.

Aside from that, in 2016 I’d like to:

  • Read more manga
  • Finish my sweater and possibly start another one
  • Read through all of the new-to-me books I’ve purchased and knock that number down pretty far
  • Knit along with Andi’s Sock Yarn-a-Long, possibly do the mystery bit
  • Finish the three pairs of socks that are missing their match (oops)
  • Sew new project bags with the pretty fabric I purchased
  • Organize my stash and crafting storage so I can actually find things and I’m not scratching my head wondering where my tools have gone…
  • Work on Christmas/birthday presents throughout the year
  • Actually finish projects instead of just casting more on (HA! as if)
  • Knit myself more hats

I think those are all pretty decent goals. Let’s see how I do this coming year!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and you have a wonderful, joy and peace filled New Year. See you in 2016!!

Yarn along

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Just the beginning of a Christmas present for a special little person today. Not much else to say on this snowy, cold Wednesday. Some much needed knitting, quiet music, and a cup of hot chocolate makes for a lovely afternoon. (I’m avoiding thinking about the other Christmas presents I need to finish. {so close to being done!}) I hope y’all have a lovely day today.

thrifted TIE-fighter

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I’ve had to take a bit of a break from knitting due to aching hands. It’s incredibly frustrating since I’m used to knitting while I do pretty much everything. I’m still knitting a row here and there when my hands aren’t hurting too badly but not near on the scale I normally do. Also, Christmas knitting. Wahhhhh… I was bemoaning the fact I probably won’t be able to knit the rest of the gifts I have planned when I went, wait a second. You can sew, you dummy. Duh.

So, in lieu of knitting, I did a bit of stitching today. I’m sure you know by now that I love Star Wars. This pretty little thing is a TIE fighter and I’m totally in love with it.

I found a silhouette image on the interwebs, traced it onto a piece of paper, and after a few fits and starts, got stitching. At first I was going to sew over some tissue paper but the fabric is so thick, it was shredding the paper. I found some dressmaker’s chalk and used that, which worked nicely.

Materials wise, I used an old, black felted wool sweater I picked up from the thrift store and white embroidery thread I thrifted as well. It’s nothing fancy, just a backstitched outline and some French knot stars but for being semi-freehand and stitched up in an afternoon, it turned out really well. I’m going to look for a 8×10 frame next time I pop into the thrift store. That way, it’s 100% thrifted!

sock washing day

Last week, I washed all my socks. I had been down to one pair. One. Pair. Since I live in my handknit socks, this was unacceptable. Socks needed to be washed. Normally I just throw them in the wash with the rest of my clothes, since most of them are knit out of Regia or another hard wearing yarn, but I decided to just use Euclan this time around.

I normally wash my socks when they’ve gotten all stretched out at the top and they don’t stay up as well anymore. I think throwing them in the wash helps shrink them back down, but Euclan seems easier on them. It was pretty amusing having a bathtub full of socks.

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To dry them, I laid them out on my blocking boards and turned the fan on high. I think I need a new method, since it took two days for all of them to dry. Two days of stepping over the boards in the middle of the floor. Maybe a drying rack would work better?

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{Look at all the socks! I do need some new colors, like purple and yellow. And lighter blues. And orange. Good thing I have lots of sock yarn!}

I think the green heavier socks with the pink toes are some of my favorites. After 2015 is over, I’ll try to do a post of all the 15 in 2015 socks I tried to knit. 7 of them have been for me and I think the rest are presents? I don’t know for sure, there might be a few unaccounted for. Plus I have like three unfinished pairs that are missing a sole mate. Christmas knitting comes first though. Then the selfish knitting. Ha.

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Now my socks are all clean and back where they should be; on my feet. 😀