january wrap-up: first month of the love your library challenge

The grand total for my first month of the love your library challenge? Two projects complete, from two different publications in my library. Now to be fair, both were works-in-progress, so I had a major jump start on them!

My most recent finish was the grapevine crosshatch lace socks from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks book. I love this book. If you're looking for customizable sock patterns that let you choose your favorite leg pattern, toe, and heel along the way, then this is the book for you. Top down? Toe up? Every single pattern provides instructions for both. Awesome, huh? The book is divided into eleven sections based upon the number of stitches in each repeat of your chosen leg pattern (ranging from four-stitch to 12-stitch repeats!). There's everything from simple purl and knit combinations to complicated stranded patterns. The book provides detailed instructions regarding sock construction and all your options for customization along the way. This is one of those books that breaks it down so that beginners can understand, yet offers enough variety to keep the most skilled sock knitter happy. I counted at least 81 different leg patterns to choose from, and I probably missed some variations that would increase that count even further! By far one of my favorite sock books in my libary.

grapevine crosshatch lace socks
My other completed project was the #12 Mom's Vest pattern from the Fall 2011 issue of KnitSimple magazine. KnitSimple magazine most consistently publishes patterns I actually like. Many are very simple (as in their name), but most are just classic, good patterns with little twists to keep them interesting. I can't tell you how many projects I've flagged to knit "someday" in my stash of this magazine!
#12 mom's vest
So how did you do this month? If you participated in the love your library challenge, link to your blog below! Feel free to join in on the fun if you've just stumbled upon this challenge! It's a very relaxed challenge--you can participate as much or as little as you like. Feel free to grab the "official" challenge image from this post for your blog. Then come here on the last day of the month to link your wrap-up post for the month, and come back on the first day of the month to link your plans for the upcoming month!

grapevine crosshatch lace socks

Yippee--another finished project for my love your library challenge! This is the crosshatch lace pattern from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Socks book. I used size 2 needles and Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn (no colorway name on the ball band, unfortunately!). It's one of those colors that looks deep blue in some light, and dark blueish-purple in others. This is the second time I've knit this pattern--the first pair of socks was a gift for a dear friend. I loved the pattern so much that I vowed to make a pair for myself eventually--better late than never! Link to Ravelry project page.
P.S. For those of you who are playing along with the love your library challenge, don't forget to come back tomorrow to share your end of the month wrap-up! Plan to post about how well you did this first month on your blog, and start making plans for projects that will come out of your current craft/knit/sew library in February! 

victims of second sock syndrome

Oh my. The last time I posted about my crosshatch lace socks was last March and I had just turned the heel ... nearly a year later, I had completely forgotten that I had finished that first sock (all that remains is the kitchener-ing of the toes) and this pair had fallen victim to "second sock syndrome." I absolutely love this lace pattern (and Charlene's book!) so I don't know why this pair has languished in UFO territory for so long ... if I can stay focused, maybe I can finish the second sock this month (Ravelry link to project page).

I have to admit, it feels a bit like cheating to start off my love your library challenge with two WIPs that are thisclose to completion, but boy is it gratifying to start with some easy finishes!

malabrigo mom's vest

drum roll, please... My first finished object of 2013, my Malabrigo Mom's Vest!  To be fair, 95% of this was completed in December, but it still counts, right? :-D I am on cloud nine right now, as this is by far the nicest thing I've knit for myself to date. And it all came together with no hiccups or headaches, which was the icing on the cake! The shawl collar + buttery soft Malabrigo = super comfy coziness on my neck. I am seriously considering getting my hands on some more Malabrigo and finding another shawl collar vest pattern and casting on ASAP!

Pattern: Mom's Vest by Cheryl Murray (published in KnitSimple magazine, Fall 2011, my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted (colorway: jewel blue), used three full skeins and just dipped into a fourth
Needles: size 9 

This is also my first completed project in my love your library challenge for this year ... now I need to scour my library to choose my next project!

finished quilt top: no-waste subway tile quilt

Yes, it's mid-January. But I couldn't quit working on the Christmas quilt I started late November last year ... I have to admit, it's kind of nice having a little of the holidays still around the house. I'm a little sad when all the decorations gets packed up and put away--it makes the house seem so stark! 

I have some cute green with white polka dot flannel fabric for the backing ... now for the most intimidating part for me, the machine quilting. I've chickened out and just tied my last couple of quilts, and they've pulled apart at some seams a lot faster than I'd like. So I'm hoping that if I take the time to properly quilt it, I won't be seeing that kind of wear and tear as quickly ... we'll see!

I'm loving how cheerful this turned out! I'll post fabric requirements and the fabrics I used when I (hopefully soon!) post about the finished quilt.


My first project for the love your library challenge, the mom's vest, is starting to actually look like a vest! Hurrah! I've picked up the shawl collar edges and am in the middle of the short rows along the neck edge. I am sooo glad I'm using Malabrigo for this project ... it's going to feel dreamy on my neck when finished!
 a view from the back

 a better view of the cabled front

How are you progressing on your first love your library challenge projects? Don't forget to check out the other works in progress at TamisAmis and Yarnalong!

the love your library challenge

I mentioned this idea back in November, and there's nothing like the beginning of a new year to kick off a new challenge! To review, here's the backstory: when reorganizing, I came to the harsh realization that my knitting and crafting library is expanding at a rate that is much faster than my actual rate of making from said books. I don't even want to think about how few items I have created from my library of crafting-related magazines ... shudder ... I had heard about the craft book challenge, which calls for making one thing out of your craft book library each month. Unfortunately, I discovered that the craft book challenge was no longer active. So I am reviving it for myself, but with a few tweaks:
  • Knit/sew/craft at least one thing from your current library each month. (I include magazines and pdf patterns within my definition of "library," so don't limit yourself to just books).
  • I am setting the goal for myself of not purchasing any new knitting patterns this year, and trying to only knit from my current pattern library.
Want to join me? On the first of each month, post your plans of what you'll be working on that month as part of the "Love Your Library" challenge and post a link to your blog post in the comments of my "Love Your Library" challenge post. At the end of the month we'll post again to assess our progress and applaud our finished projects.
So what are my plans for January? I'm starting things off with a WIP from one of my KnitSimple magazines, the "Mom's Vest" by Cheryl Murray (so appropriate, since I am a mom, ha! but not frumpy at all!). I am sooo close on this one, and have been working on it here and there during the holidays. I have the back done, one side, and am 3/4s done with the second side. That leaves a shawl collar, button bands, and finishing! Definitely do-able for January. And the abnormally low temperatures we've been experiencing here in Mississippi are adding more fuel to my motivation--I want to wear this! Oh, and did I mention I'm using Malabrigo? 
 Let me know in the comments if you plan on joining me in the "Love Your Library" challenge this year! I may scrounge up some prizes if there is enough interest ...

2012 knit year in review

(top, then left to right)
1-3. Maddox
7. Bubby
8. Calsada


**not pictured: an additional five scarves knitted for charity.
2012 was definitely the year of the toy! Owls, dinosaurs, teddy bears, dolls, monsters ... oh my! That and baby knits, no big surprise with the arrival of baby boy in May. The grand total? 24 projects finished, and 7,446 yards knitted. Because I am a total nerd, I went back and tallied my knitting yardage in past years for comparison. Wow ... I thought I had knit a lot in 2012 (by my standards), and this verifies it! I essentially doubled my yards knit/projects completed rate in 2012.
Now for the real moment of truth ... did I fulfill my 2012 crafting resolutions? Sadly, that's a big fat negative for most of them ...
Goal #1: Knit 12 socks in 2012 ... I finished 1.5, 2.5 if I count the pair of snake socks ... oops! I really thought this would be do-able, since socks can be a really brainless fast project if you choose a basic pattern ... but then I realized I hardly wear socks around the house, and my motivation to make them decreased dramatically ... now I'm eyeballing scarf and shawlette patterns to use up my gorgeous sock yarn stash ...
Goal #2: Finish at least one sweater in 2012. Nope.
Goal #3: Make one project a month out of one of my current stash of craft books. I was the most successful here ... not quite one project a month, but several of my finished projects were patterns from my library of craft books (e.g. snake sockss, party on my head hat, petite facile pullover ...).
Goal #4: Make needlepoint pillows for my couch in my sitting room. Nope. Have yarn, have been collecting ideas, but nothing started.
Goal #5: Finish a paper-doll cross-stitch kit for my daughter's room. Nope!
Goal #6: Publish at least one new knitting pattern in 2012. Nope. I drafted a scarf pattern, but discovered it had an annoying tendency to roll in on itself. I didn't want to publish a pattern that people would curse!
This year I'm going to keep my goals more simple ...
My 2013 crafting resolutions:
  •  Goal #1: Learn a new knitting technique (I'm thinking brioche stitch, or mosaic knitting!).
  •  Goal #2: Try dyeing yarn (I have undyed wool, I have the dyes, I have a pot ready to designate as my "dye pot" ... I just need to do it!).
  •  Goal #3: Finish at least one sweater in 2013.
  •  Goal #4: Make one project a month out of my current library of craft books, magazines, and knitting patterns.
That's it! Check back in tomorrow, as I'm kicking of the "Love Your Library" challenge in order to satisfy Goal #4. If you're like me, your library of books, pdf patterns, and magazines has grown out of control and you haven't knit/made nearly enough as you'd like to have from your library. I'd love to invite everyone to join in with me in knitting more and making more from your current library! What are your crafting resolutions for 2013?

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...