Tuesday, December 30, 2014
What a lovely week. The house was clean, the ornaments sparkly, the cats sleepy. My parents came over for a few days. We went to see A Christmas Carol and over the course of the two hours, the world outside went from brown to white. Three unexpected inches of snow while we were in the theater!
I had enough time to finish my dad's scarf (original pattern here, my alterations here). I washed it by hand and it stretched out to enormous proportions! I threw it in the dryer and it shrank to pre-washing size. Whew!!
Since my company has left, I've had lots of time to knit. I'm almost finished with my Follow Your Arrow shawl. What a fun pattern...it's like a choose your own adventure story but with knitting! Sara from Knottygnome gave it to me for my birthday this year which was so sweet and thoughtful! I want to finish it up soon so I can wear it while knitting new projects...like the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along that starts on Sunday. I think I can do it, I'm on the last clue and I have a four day weekend coming up. Exciting!
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
6 woven scarves, one knit shawl, one knit scarf, one hand stitched Miss Juniper Kitty, 3 tiny dresses, one tiny tote bag, one tiny cowl and one tiny shawl. That's it, I've completed my "must finish by the holidays" to-do list.
Of course, I still have five woven scarves, one knit shawl and one quilt to finish up for gifts in January and February. It never ends. In the past I've felt frustrated by the never ending-ness of making gifts. Now, rather than feel that frustration and let it get me down, I prefer to think about how much I love giving gifts. No one is making me do this, it's my choice. So, now I embrace the busy times and feel a sense of satisfaction when I once again finish up a bunch of gifts at the last minute. And vow that next year will be different. Which it might be...I'm trying to change.
I'm also going to take some time to knit something just for me. Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along? Treat yo self!
Monday, December 15, 2014
December has been so very happy. And busy and foggy and bright and cozy. In between performances of A Christmas Carol and Bulgarian folk dances, Christmas Story musicals and holiday parties, I've been finishing up holiday gifts and decorating our little apartment.
I'm sewing Miss Juniper Kitty for Ian's niece Olivia. Alicia's patterns for these dolls are so amazing. I'm making an extra dress and a shawl for Miss Juniper Kitty to give to last year's Miss Maggie Rabbit. I'm so obsessed with these dolls. I do not normally enjoy making tiny dolls and things but for some reason, I LOVE making THESE tiny dolls and things. Alicia's creations are so beautiful and inspiring. I want to make more tiny things like crocheted blankets or patchwork quilts or knitted sweaters.
In other crafting news, I'm two thirds finished with the fisherman's rib scarf for my dad. My hands are tired but I must keep knitting. I'm going to knit until the night of December 22 and however far I get is however long the scarf will be. It'll stretch when it's blocked so that will have to do.
Just 10 days until my parents come into town for the holidays. I'm looking forward to making the apartment cozy and warm and baking cookies and thinking up fun snacks for us to eat while watching fun movies. It's going to be so nice.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
For the first time since I started knitting, I finally feel like a REAL knitter! I've finally finished my first Cladoina Shawl. I fell in love with this pattern at first sight and it was a complete joy to knit. I absolutely love those stripes and that lace and picot edge. I can't get enough of this pattern!
Blocking is amazing...it turned a rumpled blob of knitting into a beautiful spider web of shapes and colors. I tried my Inspinknity Blocking Wires for the first time and they were awesome! I bought the premium and ultra fine wires and I highly recommend both.
I knit this shawl for my sister in law and gave it to her over Thanksgiving. She's lovely and beautiful and tiny and the shawl was a perfect fit for her. I'm excited to make one for me someday...but I need to figure out how to make it a bit larger first.
Anyway, I love how knitting this shawl made me feel. I knit stripes and lace and a picot edging, even though I didn't know how to do any of that before I started. I used the softest, prettiest yarn, the very first hand-dyed yarn I ever bought, actually. (As you can see, I never did get around to making the handwarmers I was so excited about at the time). I made (what I feel is) a truly beautiful piece of clothing and I did it all with my own two hands!
I have a few other knitting/weaving projects to show you and I can't wait. I'm actually finishing things here people!
Thursday, November 13, 2014
It's winter! On Monday we had our first snow of the season. Over two days, it snowed a few inches, enough to tuck everything under a blanket of white. And we are all warm inside our tiny house!
This weekend Ian helped me put up my design wall. It has been leaning haphazardly against the wall and blocking the power outlet and tipping over a few times for the past year. But no more! Now it's nice and secure and very high and I love, love, love it! I can't believe how tidy and spacious the room feels now that it isn't leaning and taking up that extra 6" of floor space.
Lately, I've felt a strong desire to start quilting again. Rather than start something new like I usually do, I've been working on some half finished quilts. It's been so fun to pull out old projects and sew some new blocks for them. Some are still interesting to me while others aren't quite my style anymore. But that's okay. I'm working on a plan to make sure those quilts end up in a home where they are loved.
The quilt I worked on this weekend is a European inspired great granny...lots of Eiffel Towers, London Eyes, maps of Paris and Buckingham Palace guards. And also kerchief girls, calligraphy, old keys and black (I never use black!) and dots and everything wonderful. Just a few grannies to go and then I can start sashing the blocks. Such quick progress! I love an already started quilt...a lot of the work is done already and the rest goes together so quickly!
I'm quite enjoying the change to the world outside the house and inside myself. Fresh snow and fresh inspiration...it's a good time to be in the studio. More to come soon!
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
It goes so fast, I don't appreciate it while it's here. I think I do but I don't really. I can't truly appreciate the magic that is fall until it's gone and we're covered in snow. Which we are...and I will show you tomorrow...but for now, let's just enjoy this last moment of autumn.