the grinch

The grinch lap quilt has been quilted! All I have left is hand sewing the binding, my favorite part! I was worried it was too small, but we've already been cuddling under it and I was happy to see the size is perfect for that. Ready for Christmas, and it's not even July yet!

FO Friday: fraternal twin socks!


It's pink socks with black stripes! No .... it's black socks with pink stripes! Wait a second ...

Yup, it's fraternal twin self-striping socks! Normally this level of mismatching would drive me crazy, but I love these. The yarn is SpinningFates Twisted Sister socks, in the colorway "Roller Derby." But I've dubbed these my "carpool derby" socks since they were mostly knit in my first experiences hurrying-up-and-waiting in the carpool pick up line at my daughter's elementary school. These socks are also my first time knitting socks without a pattern--I've finally knit enough pairs to know that all I need to do is cast on 64 stitches on my favorite 2.5 mm needles and away I go! Somehow that makes me feel even more like a "real" knitter. More details on my Ravelry project page.

I also finished the tiny LSU baby hat! This one I did use a pattern for, lol!

Pattern: Simple Baby Hat (free Ravelry download!), link to my Ravelry project page
Yarn: Mellowspun DK
Needles: Size 5
Mods: None! Knit two-row stripes alternating each color. Super fun and satisfying knit!

third time's the charm

Every once in awhile I swear I just turn my brain off and quit thinking ... and that's exactly what I had done with these socks. These are my Mont Royal socks that I'm test knitting for the lovely Brandy at Stitched up in Toronto. You're looking at the heel side of the socks right now. The part that required three attempts to get back on track for. Because my brain doesn't want to work in the summer, apparently. The pattern is flawless--intuitive, fun, easy to follow. I just got in the rhythm of knitting away with the lace pattern for the top of the foot, and completely forgot that there was a new lace chart to start for the back of the leg after finishing the heel. Duh! So I ripped back, picked up stitches to only realize I hadn't ripped back far enough and had to pull things apart again. But the third time was the charm, and I'm working on the ribbing and getting ready to cast off. Luckily this lace is fast and fun, and I was caught back up in no time. (I'm excited to note that the pattern is now available! And next week I'll have one copy to giveaway for free, so come back on Wednesday for your chance to win!)

fabric stashdowning, cont.

Do you remember how I went crazy and made 18 tote bags in May? Well, I'm back at whittling down the fabric stash! This is a quick throw quilt--I bought 1.5 yards of pre-printed Grinch themed squares, so that made the decisions about this quilt easy. Simple squares! Next I need to make the quilt "sandwhich" and begin quilting ... eep!

sock mania continues

You'd think I'd be tired of socks, right? Especially after knitting three pairs in rapid succession! Nope, sock mania continues here ... this month my daughter is in a summer half-day program at our local elementary school, and this is my first ever time experiencing the hurry-up-and-wait joys of the school carpool line. And hence, my first ever carpool knitting project! Plain vanilla socks here, but with super fun self-striping yarn.

And since I clearly cannot be a monogamous knitter, I'm test knitting the lovely Brandy's first sock pattern, Mont Royal Socks. They are stunning and the pattern is flawless. Addictive and fun lace knitting here!
 Yup, these are toe-up. My first adult-sized short row heel!

Last but not least, I'm working up a tiny LSU-themed striped baby hat for a co-worker's super-premie nephew who has battled it out in the NICU for months now and is in the homestretch to get to come home!

Today I'm linking up with Tammy's Stitch-Along Wednesday, Ginny for Yarn Along, and Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

Love Your Library, vol. 19

I should title this post summer slackin', because that's what's been going on here in terms of this challenge this month! I have not cast on for the felted oven mitt, nor any other project in that book despite the fact that I see a TON of projects I'm excited to make in it. I know I should cut myself a little slack, but still ..... hope you've been more productive than I have this month! (P.S. I'm experimenting with a new link-up style this week--let me know in the comments if it doesn't work for you!)

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road trippin' day 12 - 15

I laughed when I looked at the pictures I took for our travels back home--you can tell we were on a mission to make it back, because there are zero snapshots other than my sock progress! (that and I was running out of space on my memory card!)

Day 12: Yakima, Washington to Twin Falls, Idaho

Started the day off at this point on the second sock, and finished it in Oregon! Happy to say I finished this pair while in the three west coast states!

Day 13: Twin Falls, Idaho to Cheyenne, Wyoming


Started the day off with the beginning of my last pair of socks for the trip, wondering if I could finish one more pair in the remaining travel time ... 

Day 14: Cheyenne, Wyoming to Kansas City, Kansas

Started the day having turned the heel and gusset decreases, ended it with a finished sock!

Day 15: Kansas City, Kansas to Starkville, Mississippi

 Started the day with the cuff of the second sock done, and raced raced raced knitting the fastest sock of the entire trip ... and had everything but the toe decreases done when we pulled into the driveway!

 And now the finished socks!
Pattern: Make Your Heels Strong (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: String Theory Colorworks Resonance

Pattern: Chains Socks (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: White Birch Fiber Arts

Pattern: Mojo (a freebie: pattern page, my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock (colorway: Rocky Point)
Notes: These socks are inspired by Mojo--I used the ribbing patterns, but then chose my own sequencing. These socks are super squishy and cozy--they will be perfect in the winter!

Needless to say, this was an epic trip that we will remember for ages. And I can't believe I knit three pairs of socks in basically less than two weeks! That is equally epic for me. Now back to my regularly scheduled summer knitting and sewing projects, my friends!

road trippin' day 7 - 11

And on day seven we had a short (344 miles) drive to our final destination: Seaside, Oregon and my brother's house where the family convened at the beach! Wooooohoooooo! I can definitively say we were all ready to not be in the car for a few days by this point.

As usual, the pacific coast was cold, windy, and gray but beautiful. You sure don't want to swim in these freezing waters! We had a great time visiting with family, and my socks did creep along despite the little knitting time I had. 

road trippin' day 6


On day six we left the San Francisco Bay area and enjoyed another "short" day's drive to reach Medford, Oregon (approx. 346 miles). The highlight of this day's journey was a side trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California.

By pure luck we happened to be in the park the day before the centennial celebration of its eruption back in 1915. How cool is that?? As you can see above, this national park could be called "Little Yellowstone." In fact, it's the second largest area of geothermal/volcanic activity in the country (with Yellowstone being number one). 

 Despite this distinction, there is very little actual geothermal activity you can get up close and personal with in the park that is easily accessible. These two pictures of fumeroles and bubbling mud were from one road side stop. The rest of the park is winding roads that circle the main volcano, Mt. Lassen.

It's stunning and beautiful country, but basically a drive-thru park unless you like to backcountry hike. So a little disappointing in that aspect. But I'm still glad we managed to visit, especially on the centennial anniversary!

Finally, a photo of the second pair of socks! This is White Birch Fiber Arts self-striping yarn (colorway: what the puck?), and the pattern is called Chains by Simone Drager. I made a major modification to the pattern here to make it more easy (and brainless) for car knitting--normally you'd move the slipped stitches with a cable to make them spiral around your foot. I love the effect, but just wasn't in the mood to do so many tiny cables at that time.

road trippin' day 5

Day five was a short drive day (only 265 miles), as we had relatives to visit in San Francisco! The weather was gray and overcast with occasional sun breaks--in other words, classic San Fran weather.

 yup, that's Alcatraz

We had fun visiting and riding an old tram car (not the classic cable cars, but still cool) down to Pier 39 and looking out over the bay.

 our view of the Golden Gate Bridge

The harbor seals were fun to watch, despite being mean and a total nuisance to the local fishermen! And in all my excitement, I totally forgot to take a photo of my sock progress this day. I managed to finish the southwest "make your heel stronger" socks and started a new pair I'm calling my "west coast sun" socks. While I'm glad I can now say I've been to San Francisco, I didn't leave my heart there as the song goes ... it was nice, but didn't excite me like other major cities have (Chicago, I'm talking about you!). Shrug. The downtown itself was nice, but not that exciting. I just don't get the San Fran obsession I guess, lol.

road trippin' day 4

Day four, and we traveled 480 miles to make it to California! Flat, desert, bleak southern California that is. It's been so long since I traveled across the state border that I completely forgot about the agricultural checkpoints the state has at major entries to the state. Glad I had experienced one as a kid, otherwise we would have been totally perplexed as to what was going on! (California strongly protects its agricultural industry by prohibiting fruit from out of the state crossing the border. It may sound crazy, but that's how destructive and invasive pests spread by hitching a ride on your car, boat, etc. to new ecosystems).

We stopped at a tourist trap "ghost town" that was totally fake, but fun for the kids. Someday we'll make it to a real ghost town, which are pretty darn cool and eerie.


And I almost finished the second sock!!! I'm getting faster, I swear ...

road trippin' day 3

Day three finally brought us to some our first destination sight-seeing! First we stopped at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you are driving through Albuquerque I highly recommend a quick stop! It was easy to navigate to and took little time to take a very short nature trail that brings you up close and personal with some amazing petroglyphs!

a little taste of the Albuquerque scenery

And then we were off to our first national park of the trip, Petrified Forest National Park. I LOVED it! It's one of the national parks that gets very little traffic, but is a fun short detour that doesn't require driving miles out of the way, so definitely loop through it if you get the chance!

We took a short hike (.6 miles each way) to reach the Painted Desert Inn. Stunning. Classic southwestern adobe style building and views!

And then there was the "petrified" section of the park. I have never seen more petrified wood in my life--amazing!

Even with all the fun things we saw and hiked around today, I was able to finish one sock and make good progress on the second! Tucumcari, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona took us 7.5 hours and logged us 496 miles that day. Flagstaff marked the change from desert back to high elevation forest terrain.

road trippin' day 2

Day two, and we made it from Russellville, Arkansas to Tucumcari, New Mexico (that's 633 miles, or 9.5 hours of driving). This day was a lot of new territory for me--I'd never set foot in Oklahoma, the panhandle of Texas, or New Mexico! We stopped at the national Route 66 museum in Elk City, Oklahoma to let the kids run around and blow off some steam on the playground. I feel soooo slow, but I'm almost about to begin the decreases for the toe! Woot!

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 ...