Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm moving!

Hey everyone!  This is just a quick note to say I've moved the blog to  Please update your readers and bookmarks.  See you there!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sock Addiction

Can you believe I've been knitting almost a year?  I can't.  I picked it up last September: two skeins of Madtosh DK in Calligraphy were all it took to reel me in.  Now it's a full-blown obsession, and I spend more time on Ravelry than is probably healthy.

I've tried to dabble and make different projects so I don't get stuck.  I also like to learn with each project, because otherwise I'm going to get bored and toss it aside.  I've realized that I love making just about anything; my current project is my most favorite.  I really enjoy making sweaters, because I just like sweaters, and I like shawls because they're always so pretty and feminine, even if they aren't the most practical.  I think my most favorite projects, though, are socks.  A lot of knitters would agree, and an equal number would probably say socks are too scary.  That's cool; I always thought that too.  But once I made my first pair, I was hooked, and suddenly had a justification for buying all those single skeins of variegated yarns.

I'm an amazing photo stylist.  Look at those props!
The first two pairs of socks I made were for Nick.  I'm not ashamed to admit he was the push for me to get into socks.  The man loves a good wool sock throughout the year, and he loves it even more if his wife spends a month of her life working on it.  I chose Lorna's Laces Solemate for his first pair because they have Outlast in them, and he was always complaining that his feet were still cold at work.  No more complaints with these babies!  I'd like to buy more Solemate to make him more socks, but that's not really a priority.  Selfish knitter over here.

Both of his socks were made with the book Socks From the Toe Up, which is an invaluable resource.  I followed the gusset-heel sock pattern from start to end for his socks and felt comfortable after those to move onto more challenging patterns.  PS, his second pair was made with Miss Babs Cosmic in Coffee Break, chosen solely because my Nicholas loves coffee.  It worked out well.

Of course, after finishing up Nick's socks, I realized I needed to build up my own sock drawer, especially after I bought a new dresser and had an actual drawer available to devoted just to hand-knit socks.  I didn't just want plain socks, though, because endless stockinette gets boring and I was already avoiding a cardigan due to the stockinette, so I found some Louise Tillbrook patterns on Ravelry and chose those for myself.

These are the Bleaberry Tarn socks made with Skein Merino Cashmere in Sci-Fi.  I originally bought this colorway for Nick but then saw a project on Ravelry made in this color and decided I wanted it for myself, dammit.  I love how the slight variegation worked with the cables.  And the socks fit so well!

I made these out of the Louise Tillbrook Seed Pods pattern and Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Pod--partnered solely because of their names.  Obviously the color pooling doesn't help the pattern, but who cares?  I love the colors and honestly the socks fit so well because the pattern is great.

I also started a new vanilla sock this past week, made without a pattern and mostly just a plan.  I wanted some socks to work on between my 16" of stockinette on my latest sweater, and I'm feeling extra fall-y lately (I'm always a pretty high level of fall, but it gets fullblown around this time of year), so I'm using some GnomeAcres Halloween House Gnome in Witches' Brew.  I'm not sure if this was a 2013-only color or not, but I bought it last year.  I love these.  They're so ridiculously Halloween, they're perfect.  I'm much further along than the picture above, and let me tell you--I won't take them off once October hits.  And then I can wear Christmas socks!

Do you knit socks?  What's your favorite sock yarn?  My favorite is all of them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Two New Mini Quilts

I recently moved into an office from my cubicle and immediately set out on a decorating adventure.  I don't love blank walls--especially blank walls that are painted a cement color, bleh--so I knew I'd make mini quilts to cover the boringness.  And let's not mention the 16-pack of dry erase markers that found their way into my Amazon cart, along with a pair of gingham-print scissors and a coffee mug with Lucy Van Pelt on it.

I had time last weekend to start on my mini-making adventure.  It's been a long time since I was able to make something for me, especially a quilt.  I've been so busy prepping for the Indie Craft Parade that I've only focused on project bags for the last two months.  My WIPs are gathering dust.  It felt so good just to crank something out for me.

First is Carolyn Friedlander's Shirts pattern, which is entirely paper-pieced.  I've been wary of paper-piecing--so fussy, so exact--but I'm taking a class at QuiltCon all about it, so I should probably get some practice in, right? turns out I love paper-piecing.  Seriously.

I used Denyse Schmidt prints and Moda Bella solids for this mini quilt.  The solids were a bundle from FQS in 2012--they're QuiltCon colors, which go surprisingly well with Denyse Schmidt.  I'm sure that's no coincidence.

The other quilt I made is another Modern Maples quilt.  I've done these before--a full-size and a mini--but decided to mix up the layout so I'd have some varied sizes and shapes on my new walls.

I was able to cut into a lot of my stash for this mini, including my newly-acquired Cotton + Steel and 1canoe2 fabric.

The back is a Martha Negley print with gingham to help lengthen it.  Doesn't it make you want fall right now?  It's been overcast and rainy here for weeks, yet very hot.  It's so deceiving.  It helps to be in air conditioning all day, so I can still comfortably drink hot tea.

I bought two other Carolyn Friedlander patterns, so I'm hoping to get those on my walls soon.  What have you been up to?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sparkly Yarn!

I added some sparkly yarn to the Honeycomb Yarns shop this past weekend.  And can I say?  I am in love.

Terrible Love

I tend to be a glitter girl as it is.  I've owned more than one pair of shoes covered in sequins or glitter.  For our new home, much to Nick's chagrin, I'm seriously considering using the glitter paint I recently found at Lowe's.  (Nick is really dreading this.  I still haven't worked out the details yet.)  I just love sparkles.

Terrible Love
So it was only natural that I dyed some yarn with Stellina in it.  This is sock yarn with a bit of nylon, and the silvery Stellina bits are woven into the fibers.  They're subtle, but when I had everything drying outside (yay for living in the South), the sun caught every little bit of sparkle and my heart soared.

Heart of Glass
I was playing around with the colorways for this one, too.  It's tempting to go dark with these, dyeing them all black or navy (which is fine!  I love me some navy and charcoal gray), but I felt like it was time to go big or go home.  Out came the hot pink.

Heart of Glass
It's definitely girly.  It's a little in your face.  But sometimes you need to go all in.  That's my motto--we're here to go all in.  (I saw that on an Emily McDowell poster, which I need to buy for my new craft room.)

Dilworth II
I did some planning and experimenting with these skeins.  Some turned out exactly how I planned; others, not so much...but that's not a bad thing.  I do like the outcomes, though, no matter how they turned out!

Looking for Astronauts
Can I also say how important it is to have iTunes open when you're naming skeins?  I'm absolutely terrible at naming things.  My mom is better, but she's also safe, so I think some of these colors kinda took her by surprise.  Again, not a problem!  Someone will love how crazy they are, or I'll get to keep them!

So go check them out in the store!  As an update, we're moving in T-19 days.  We have about seven boxes packed.  Better than nothing, right?!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Finished: Wrapped in Leaves Shawl

Some projects just put themselves together.  You buy the yarn with a pattern in mind (or vice versa), you breeze through the knitting or sewing, and before you know it, you have a finished project to show off in real life.  It doesn't linger in your WIP pile, it doesn't come with a million unforeseen issues.  This is one of those projects.

Ravelry notes here.  The pattern is Wrapped in Leaves, found in Alana Dakos' Botanical Knits.  It's a really pretty pattern, but I tend to like streamlined, simple designs (which is why I'm not a lace knitter!).  However, when I found the yarn--which is Miss Babs' Yowza! in Crawdad--I just knew it had to be this shawl.  Whatever that feeling is (kismet?), it happened, and I cast on almost as soon as I received the yarn in the mail.

The pattern is wonderfully written.  It's not too detailed and assumes you know the basics, but it doesn't leave you scratching your head anywhere either.  I will say adding the leaf edging had me a bit confused, but it was one of those things where you had to just do it to understand it.  Stop reading and thinking about it; just pick up the needles and do it.

The yarn is ridiculously wonderful too.  The colors are gorgeous and deep without being too dark for me, and the masculine palette brings down the feminine leaves a bit.  I haven't worked with Yowza! before, but I should've known it would be amazing--every skein of Miss Babs I've ever knit with (or even touched!) has been my most favorite skein yet.  It's a good thing I have a stash of her yarn!

Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to fall so I can wear this?  Yes, it is.  It's finally warm, I should enjoy it!

What have you knit lately?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finally Finished: Lucky Quilt!

Okay, brace yourselves, folks: I have two finished projects to show you this week!

Things have been so crazy lately.  We bought a house and close in less than a month!  Kelby visited this weekend!  Nick's dad is visiting next week!  My mom and I started a yarn dyeing business!  Oh, and we're still going to our day jobs everyday!  Needless to say, time is at a premium, but everyone is busy so I have very little right to complain.  How are you?

Let's talk about my first finished project, my Thimble Blossoms Lucky quilt.  I don't think I ever blogged about these blocks, but I know I posted some pictures on Instagram and Flickr.  Basically, I won a one-yard bundle from Leah Duncan, celebrating the release of her first collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, Tule.  (She's about to debut her third, so it's about damn time that I finish this.)  I had also purchased a FQ bundle of the collection, and I knew I wanted to use it somehow in our home.  The colors are a bit saturated for Nick, as he is a wimp when it comes to color, so I decided to focus on the guest room instead of our bedroom.  I had also bought the Thimble Blossoms Lucky pattern and it was just sitting in my Google Drive, waiting for a match.  Thus, a quilt baby was born.

Did you know Nick hasn't touched either of his guitars in over four years?  Yet we're about to move them for the third time?  Now you know.

Again, I started this quilt last September.  Really.  It's all HSTs with sashing, so it isn't like the piecing is super intricate.  I just moved onto other things for some reason.  I started knitting, I focused on Christmas presents, and Lucky got tossed to the back of my sewing closet.

Let's not focus on the negative, though, okay?  It's a really pretty quilt and the colors are so happy.  I used all Art Gallery solids with the blocks.  I think I bought them all from Hawthorne Threads, but I'd be happy to figure out the names if anyone wants them!  I backed the quilt with a plain white sheet from Target: not only is this thrifty ($13.99 vs. five yards of quilting cotton) but it also makes the quilt super soft and luxe.  Because this quilt is for a bed and won't be stored in a cabinet or on a quilt ladder, I needed to make sure the quilt will withstand the use but also will drape right.  I think it looks pretty good for a sheet!

I quilted with the orange thread from the Thimble Blossoms Aurifil set--I can find out that number as well, if anyone wants it.  It matched the peach in Tule perfectly!  Again, this is a bed quilt, so I wanted it to be soft and snuggly.  I quilted about 2.5" on either side of one diagonal throughout the quilt.  I know my quilting is boring but it served a purpose and also went really fast!  I quilted and bound this in about three hours.  

My main reason for suddenly rushing on this was because Kelby visited this weekend!  I wanted the guest room to be as done as it's going to be, until we move and make a new guest room.  We had a blast--we visited the Mint museums, walked through the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, ate everywhere (including Tupelo Honey--my favorite!) and had so much fun together.  She got to meet Nick and the animals, who all loved her, especially the cats!  Schnoz loved her too, despite freaking her out by licking her knee.  He's kind of a weirdo.

Part of finishing the guest room was hanging new art--the "Yay Summer" print is by Emily McDowell and the other two prints are by Nan Lawson.   I have some of their prints picked out for our new house too.  When is it too soon to start buying things?!

Finally!  I just wanted to mention Kelby made beautiful yarn labels for us:

I took all new pictures of the yarn today, trying out a new background and showing off the labels.  Check it out!

So that's it!  Lucky quilt: Check!  Come back later this week for a new knitting project!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

So Much News!

It's been forever since I've blogged!  I'd apologize, but no one really cares about that, right?  Let's just jump right in...

Something I haven't been doing in the last month or so is sewing.  I've made a little progress on my current quilt (saving the details for the big reveal--such a cliffhanger!), mostly because, while I have a ton of motivation to sew, I just don't have the time.  I mean, who does?  I remember when I used to, and I really miss those days.  I sew little bits here and there, but I can't even tell you the number of projects I have on my to-do list that will never get done.

One of the reasons I don't have time to sew is because we bought a house!  Well, we signed a contract.  We still have to get through the appraisal and the inspections, but I'm really optimistic and so happy.  It's the house of our dreams and we love it so much.  I've been pinning like a mad woman--I have so many ideas for decorating and painting.  I've never cared about interior decorating before but now I'm obsessed.  It's all I think about!

Just a selection of my "New House" Pinterest board

We won't close until this summer, but we're so excited.  I'm also hopeful that, while it's only six miles from our current house, the internet will be much better.  It died twice just while writing this blog post.

Something else I've been doing is dyeing yarn!  My mom and I have been going crazy with our yarn--we started with Kool-Aid and food dye and then we went head-on into acid dyes.  It's so fun!  While we both have a lot of hobbies, none of them are unabashedly creative--everything involves a pattern and accuracy.  Not so with dyeing!  You just mix the colors and splatter them on.  I love seeing how everything interacts!

In true Emily fashion, I went all in and bought sixty (yes--6-0) blank skeins.  Not that I needed 60, or even 30, more skeins of yarn.  My mom and I have had so much fun doing this that we decided to open up shop!  You can find us on Etsy and on Instagram--and if you follow us on Instagram, you'll get discount codes!  I'd look out for those if I were you.  I'm adding 10 more skeins to the shop this weekend!

So in addition to the house, and the sewing, and the dyeing, I'm also working full-time (same job), discipling a one-year-old Schnauzer (yeah, I can't believe it's been almost a year either) and trying to keep up with life!  I'll try not to let so much time go in between updates.  I don't like being away!

What have you been up to in the last month?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

WIP Weekend

I wish I had a completed project to show you guys this weekend!  I'm in the middle of three very different, all fun projects I'm working on right now, and while they're all great, not a single one is complete.

First, I've been working on my Grace cardigan since the snow came a couple weeks ago.  I know, I never blogged about it, but we got about nine inches of snow the week of Valentine's Day and I had a lot of time to putt around the house!

The pattern is by Jane Richmond and the yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts in Grape Bubblegum, a OOAK color from her Boxing Day Etsy update.  I know you're not supposed to do variegated yarns with lace but the lace isn't super intricate and the colors go so well together!  I don't think it loses anything.  I really like how this is turning out and I love the feel of the fabric--fingering on size 4 needles makes a great drape!

Also in the realm of knitting, I'm on my second pair of socks for Nick!  I know, second--I didn't blog the first ones (I'm getting to be really awful at this, sorry!) but you can see my Ravelry notes here.  The pattern is the basic gusset heel socks from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up (best sock book ever!) and the yarn is Miss Babs Cosmic sock in Coffee Break.  Nick loves coffee and he loves hand-knit socks, so really it was like worlds colliding.  I tend to fly through these while watching Six Feet Under every night with him (I'm re-watching, he's watching for the first time).  I'm trying to make as many pairs for him right off the bat so I can focus on socks for me after and not feel bad!

Finally, I was asked to make a quilt for a friend.  She fell in love with Sarah Jane's Wee Wander collection and asked me to make the quilt Sarah Jane featured on her blog.  She also asked for some open-wide pouches, which are just the most fun things ever.  I've been piecing everything together for it, but here's a little sneak:

Isn't rental carpeting the best?
I'd like to finish it this weekend, but after spending like two hours at Ikea earlier today, things are looking iffy.  Fingers crossed!

What are you working on?  Also, what do you think of the recent rash of bloggers calling it quits in favor of other social media?  I like this space and feel that I need to visit more.  What do you think?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Finished: Owls Sweater

A second sweater!

I feel like an old pro at this sweater knitting thing now!  And before you correct me, no, I haven't made a cardigan or altered a pattern or done anything really awesome, so you can save yourself the trouble.  I know I'm nowhere near even intermediate-level knitting!

This is the Owls sweater by Kate Davies and it is a really fun sweater.  I'm sure you've seen it a million times, because I think everyone has made it.  It uses bulky yarn and cabling, two new facets of knitting I encountered.  From this, I've learned that I dislike bulky yarn but enjoy cables.  Who knew!

I knit a straight 38 (Ravelry notes here) and used Dream in Color Groovy in Gold Experience from Eat Sleep Knit.  I wasn't too sure about the color at first--it's a bit '70s I think--but it grew on me as I kept knitting.  Of course, now that it's mid-February, I realize that it's a much better fall sweater.  I'll probably end up packing it away until October for that reason!

I decided on shorter sleeves, because I always roll them up anyway.  I can't stand long sleeves--too constricting!  I also didn't alternate skeins, and found that I didn't have a problem with the colors because of it.  I was worried it would be striped but thankfully the knitting gods were looking out for me.

The only downside of this sweater is that I blocked it way too rigorously.  If you look at the modeled pictures above, you can see there's a lot of fabric on my sides.  When I tried it on before blocking, it was tight--much tighter than I like my clothes and sweaters.  Now there's a lot of room!  I might try blocking it again, but I don't want to exhaust the fiber, if that is a thing.  Has anyone re-blocked to achieve a different size?

I finished this last week, and also finished my Rae shawl, which I haven't photographed yet.  Until spring, my photography time is pretty limited to weekends between errands, so I find myself constantly trying to catch up.  It's really annoying.  Come on, warm weather!

I swatched for a Grace cardigan this week and also am making progress on Nick's socks!  I started the gusset on the socks last night, and Nick only asks me a million times a day if they're ready yet.  Good lord, boy, I don't even have one done!  

My sewing machine is still at the shop getting cleaned--it's been two weeks and I'm super antsy to get it back.  I started cutting out a Catnap quilt this morning just so I'll be ready when it gets here!

What have you made lately?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stash Flash

I dropped my Bernina off to be professionally cleaned this morning.  I bought it about 13 months ago and haven't had it serviced or cleaned yet, despite all the projects I've completed in that time.  I had a few things I absolutely had to finish--a baby quilt, a t-shirt quilt, Christmas gifts--but told myself it was now or never, especially because a length of thread was lodged inside of it from Eleanor eating Aurifil off the spool.  It was time.  So I took it in this morning, they gave me a receipt and told me they'd call when it's done, probably in two weeks.

Sigh.  Two weeks.

That means, despite the half-yard bundles of both Catnap and Sweet as Honey I just purchased, no sewing for me until mid-February.  Which is really sort of a bummer, because I'm ready to start on another selfish project, given all the gifts and commissions I've made lately.  But I guess that just means I have more room for knitting, right?

I've been working on an Owls sweater too, and just started the first sleeve, but I didn't want to blog about that just yet.  I'll wait until it's finished (though you can see my Ravelry notes here).  I thought, instead of my typical Completed Project posts, I would share my knitting stash with you!

I started knitting in September, and true to my retail therapy tendencies, have had no problem buying supplies to keep me going!  So many hand-dyes, so little time, is how I see it.

Miss Babs, from left: Perfectly Wreckless, Berlin, Fall in the Park, Vineyard, Deep Sea Jellyfish, and Funny Papers

I love Miss Babs yarn.  Have you tried it?  Her Babettes and hand-dyed yarns just suck me in.  I'm powerless.  I just think of all the amazing socks I could make and then turn over my credit card, no questions asked.

From left: Cakewalk, Podcast Junkie

I managed to score two skeins of Cakewalk Footsie through a Ravelry destash earlier this month.  Part of me wants to knit them up immediately; the other part wants to put them under glass until Cakewalk starts being sold again.

From left: three skeins of Grape Bubblegum, Tartan, Canyon

I got these Tanis Fiber Arts One-of-a-Kind skeins through Tanis's Etsy Boxing Day sale.  I was in the middle of Mary Jo's (a fabric emporium near Charlotte), cruising Etsy on my phone.  The colors are amazing and the yarn is so soft.  My only complaint is that mail takes forever when it has to get from Canada to Charlotte!  I have some Tanis Aran-weight yarn I bought from Eat Sleep Knit on Black Friday that is hanging around my stash.  I love this yarn!

Colinette Jitterbug in Dark Umber

Fleece Artist 2/6 Merino in Brew

Malvin, Locuro Fluro
Manos del Uruguay Alegria gets me every time.  I bought this during the ESK Black Friday sale too, because I just couldn't resist the crazy colors.  It's also really soft.  And the label is adorable.  What more do you want?

Vanilla Bean
It's safe to say Madelinetosh is my favorite yarn brand.  I have all different weights and all different colors and I love each and every one.  This is tosh sock in Vanilla Bean, but I also have sock in Whiskey Barrel and Charcoal (socks for Nick someday).  I have tosh DK, tosh merino light, tosh Vintage, tosh everything!  I can't quit it.

This skein just arrived as I was typing this post!  I found Spun Right Round yarn through the Pretty Little Fiber Company.  This fun skein might be Valentine's Day socks?  Or maybe something else?  I'm not sure just yet but it's awfully pretty!

This is by all means not my entire stash, which is both sad (for my bank account) and awesome (because there's no such thing as too much yarn or fabric).  Thanks for indulging me and reading this.  I want to see your stash now!  Because I obviously need to find more yarn to buy.
Images by Freepik