knit your library, vol. 20

I'm on an ornament roll! Snowflakes are something I've coveted and hoped to make for years now ... but it wasn't until this year that I finally believed my crochet skills were up to the task. This is my first snowflake ever, from the book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet. I like it, but I think it would look better in the recommended crochet thread (this is worsted weight acrylic yarn).

Christmas felt ornaments

In following with this year's theme of "follow through," I thought I'd make something I've been intending to make for years now: hand-sewn felt ornaments! I can't tell you how many of these projects I've pinned on Pinterest over the years. The peace sign and heart are my own free-hand designs, and the angel pattern is from the Bugs and Fishes blog. These were so much fun that I'm sure I'll be making more--which is good, since I have quite a bit of felt in my stash to burn through!

Christmas crochet

I'm counting down until I can break out the Christmas decorations (we wait until after Thanksgiving in this house), and this year I'm already ready for the Christmas season. I've been making these adorable crocheted Santa ornaments all year long in an international ornament swap (so fun!), and these are the last couple I'll be mailing out (and a few for myself!). I consider myself a newbie crocheter and found these really straightforward and fun to make.

Pattern: Santa by Debra Yorston (free pattern here!) Link to my Ravelry project page.
Hook: G (4.00 mm)
Yarn: Less than 5 yards of Caron Simply Soft in red and white, and Knit Picks Swish in Oyster
Mods: hdc instead of sc for hat, chain 6ish and hdc in each to finish hat.

sunday's stitches, vol. 3

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor 
whatever your stitching on
I finished stitching up the remainder of my stash of needlepoint ornaments! And of course, now I wish I had more to make ...

See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

FO Friday: Scrap-tober Version!

I've had this big sack of leftover scraps from my previous set of charity chunkeanies just waiting and begging to be made into some awesome scrappy hats! Three done, and at least one more and this sack will be depleted! Woohoo! I've knit so many charity hats this year that I no longer need a  pattern. For these I used Red Heart Reflective yarn leftovers, size 8 needles, and cast on 64 stitches. After about 6 inches of hat, start decreasing! Easy peasy! 

sunday's stitches, vol. 2

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor 
whatever your stitching on
So .... one of my goals for the year was to "clear out" an entire bin of needlework projects. HA! Oh well--I am itching to do some handwork again though, and still have four of these adorable ornament kits left to stitch up in my stash. So I'm starting "sunday's stitches" back up again in the hopes of restarting my needlepoint mojo!
See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

knit your library, vol. 19

So this is a project that has been hibernating since January ... because I realized my gauge was totally off. Looking at the pattern now, nine months later, I realized I was using a needle size that was larger than the pattern called for. Well, duh! So I ripped back and started over with the right needles. And then I got to the thumb gusset and couldn't deny that the whole thing was way too big. So I ripped again. Fingers crossed that third time will be the charm! I have to admit, I have high hopes for this pattern because I really like this idea as a way to show off the oodles of self-striping sock yarn I have and LOVE. And I've had this pattern in my library since Christmas last year, so it's high time I actually made it. It's a little big, but the pattern calls for a liner so I think it'll work out.

And in other, "picking up ancient WIPs" news, I decided to pick up this bad boy again. This is a simple, striped garter stitch cowl knit on the diagonal. I love patterns like this, and thought it would be a cute way to knit up some of my Malabrigo stash. This project I started in August, but had been intending to make since last winter. So not as bad as the mittens in terms of time on the needles, lol!

Christmas quilt DOS = DONE

Sooo ... this one took me longer than planned. I was looking back at old photos, and found photos of my progress piecing together this quilt top back in March. Oops. I know I finished the top later that spring. Labor Day weekend I finished quilting it .... and now more than a month later it has a binding! The one positive? This hands down is my best job machine quilting a binding. So I don't forget for later purposes: I cut 3" strips for my binding, attached with 1/4" seam allowance like I would if hand sewing, and then slowly topstitched as close to the "ditch" as possible around. Worked like a charm!

This quilt was also my first "pieced" backing. I was economical and used leftover scraps to extend my flat sheet I was using as my backing fabric. I am actively ignoring the imperfections. The places where I have puckers and folds. Next time I'm going to try using spray adhesive and some other tricks I've read about for avoiding those problems. A walking foot would probably help too. Until then, I'm reminding myself of all the cultures that purposely craft with mistakes in their work.

Ta da! Christmas come early in this bedroom! Next up ... a king-sized Christmas quilt for my bed???

what I knit this summer

Is it horrible to be catching up on summer knitting blogging in October?? Sigh. Between work, normal fall mayhem, and counting thousands of Box Tops as the "Box Tops Lady" for my daughter's school, the poor blog-o has been severely neglected. But it would be a crime to not show you this finished project--this is my finished Pure Joy shawl that I worked on while we trekked to Ship Island in July.  It didn't take long to finish--this one I wrapped up on August 2nd and was seriously a JOY to knit. I would make hundreds of these just for the joy of knitting them, but the only thing holding me back is my failure to really wear shawls/scarves. I'm more of a cowl kinda girl. 

Also finished this summer, but never blogged:

My first ever pair of toe-up socks with a heel flap! (definitely my new favorite way to knit socks! and a Love Your Library project too! double win!)

And a fun pair of fingerless gloves that I'll need to wait at least another three months to wear, lol.


Boo! Where did September go?? That's what's scaring me these days, not these adorable bats! I've had this bat pattern in my "must knit someday" list for at least four years. Now that we're well into October, we're in full-on Halloween fever in our household and I decided it was time to knit a pair of these cuties!

Pattern: Boo the Bat by Anna Hrachovec (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Parrot (12 grams for one bat), Caron Simply Soft in Black for wings (also approx. 12 grams for one bat)
Needles: size 5
Mods: NONE! I've always loved Anna's adorable patterns, and they work up sooo quickly. This may inspire another temporary toy-knitting craze for me!


In between first days of school, updating course syllabi, waiting in carpool, and in general "back to school" mania, I have been knitting despite the quiet on this page! I've been working on clearing the needles of some WIPs (which I'll post about later this week), and doing my own mini hat-a-thon for the month.

These hats will go to local homeless/temporarily displaced children in our local school district. Last year my knitting guild made 140 hats. We're sitting at about 30ish now, so it's time to get cracking! I've finished eight so far. Expect to see many, many more!

I'm mostly using my favorite pattern, chunkeanie, and also double stranding worsted weight yarn using my free double dutch hat pattern as well. Knitting with bulky weight makes it go soooo much faster!

With any luck, I'll quickly see the bottom of a storage tub I filled with acrylic yarns in my stash specifically for this project!

summer of spraypaint -- project dos

Okay, so I have been dying to try this new spraypaint since I read about in my magazines. Sea glass?!?! Yes please! When we finished a Pace salsa, I thought "hmmm ... that's not a bad vase shape." Perfect for my first trial!

And the verdict? LOVE! It really is the perfect amount of translucence. I will for sure be using this spraypaint again!

summer of spraypaint--project uno

Long time readers may vaguely recall this dresser ... we spray painted it "ballet pink" and attached cute wood animals on the drawers for one little girl's baby nursery a long time ago ... and after more than five years, it was looking shabby. Note the crayon, and missing felt from some of the poor animals' features ...

It was high time for a "big girl" makeover for this dresser. We wanted to keep the pink top and sides (and only paint the drawers), so I picked colors that coordinated. I found a very similar pink (ballet pink was no longer in stock at my local sources), a nice purple and pulled my old can of turquoise spraypaint leftover from this project out of storage.

This was a multiple day process, with nine drawers to update. I used a flat head screwdriver to loosen and "pop" the animals off each drawer, and then an exacto knife to remove glue and the bar code sticker I failed to remove prior to attaching each animal (lesson learned--the sticker stuck the most to the drawer!). Did half one day, then finished the rest on another. I tried using wood putty and sanding to even out the "holes" from the removed paint, but that was only moderately successful. The surfaces were still pretty bumpy if you looked close after painting.

What to do? Vinyl removable wall stickers from Walmart to the rescue! These are strategically placed to hide my flaws. Love, love, love how this turned out--and so does my big girl! This is the first of many spraypaint projects I've been working on this summer, so be prepared for more to come ...

knit your library, vol. 18 (roly poly edition)

Wait ... what is that thing ... it can't be .... it's a roly poly! A humongous, bigger than your head, pillow-sized roly poly! LOL. This is hands down the wackiest thing I have ever knitted. My daughter loves roly polies--and when we spotted the pattern for one in Huge and Huggable Mochimochi, it had  to be knit!

Pattern: Roland by Anna Hrachovec (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 8s
Yarn: "shell" is Queensland Collection Whitsunday held triple stranded, and the pink is Cascade 220 held doubled
Mods: My gauge for the shell and the stomach was not the same, so I did have to unravel and fudge it to make it work. I basically added more garter stitch rows in between yarn over rows. And using yarn doubled and tripled meant that this project ate up 822 yards from my stash (yes!).

first floral arrangement

I've had this book since May, and have been dying to try a "recipe" from it! I would describe The Flower Chef as a "modern beginner floral design book." It breaks down bouquets into easy instructions and teaches you the basic underpinnings that floral designers use. Having never taken any floral arranging classes before, this book was eye-opening. Now I understand why my basic "grab a bunch of flowers and shove them in a glass" never really quite looked ... right.

Materials: 2-3 hydrangea blooms, and two bunches of other flowers. Grand total? $20! (these are from my grocery store) Also opaque container and wet floral foam.

My pre-soaked foam, trimmed to fit my container.

You start with the hydrangeas. ... then weave your other flowers through the hydrangea blooms.

Ta da! Needs something taller to add more vertical interest, but I'm in love! My first real floral arrangement!

knit your library, vol. 17

Recognize this hat? Oh, it's only the seventh time I've knit a lowbrow hat. I can't help it--fast and fun to knit, fits perfect, and looks cute. This time I'm making an MSU Bulldawg appropriate version, which I'm honestly shocked that it's taken me this long to do! The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran weight in the garnet colorway (shhh! it's close enough to maroon!).

And to go with it, a maroon lacy cowl (this is pictured doubled up and drapes to my belly button when it's a single loop). The pattern, Palessie, was gifted to me for my birthday in 2014. Sad but true. Only two years to get to this one! It's the perfect pattern for one skein of sock yarn though, so I see a lot of these in my future! It's simple, brainless knitting too. And the lace when doubled will be plenty of warmth for our mild Mississippi winters. Win, win, and win.

Pattern: Palessie cowl
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Sock (unknown colorway), used one skein.
Needles: size 5
Mods: Only used K2tog throughout, instead of alternating with SSK sections. Just to make it even more of a brainless knit! 

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 ...