Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Plan for 2015 - The Year of 3s

2014 was a disappointing crafting year.

I gave up papercrafting and donated all of my supplies to a friend's mother and her crafting cronies.

I did a little bit of English paper piecing, but no major progress and I haven't touched it in 4 months.

I barely cross stitched. I had one finish at the beginning of February and nothing else is even close to being done.

I taught myself to knit in March and got terribly, horribly, irrevocably addicted. :)  My stash went from 0 to 60 in less than 9 months. I have finished 3 wash cloths, a doggie blanket, a cowl, and 2 hitchhiker shawlettes. Okay -- so this area of my crafting wasn't so disappointing after all.

I tried to get back into SALs and blog events this past year to encourage and motivate progress. It didn't work so well.

I've decided to try a new approach. Since I have a billion and one WIPs and am always itching to have even more starts, I need to find a way to concentrate and have a few finishes. So I proclaim 2015 to be


What this means is that I will only have 3 projects on the go in each of my crafty areas (cross stitching, knitting, and English paper piecing). Once I finish a project, then I can add in either a WIP or a new start in that crafty area.

Below are the projects I plan to work on and a pic of where they currently are at progress-wise.

My cross stitch projects for 2015 are:

Elizabeth (Mirabilia)
32 ct Silvery Skies lugana (Enchanting Lair), 2 over 2
DMC thread and Mill Hill beads
Started: Jan 9, 2012
Finished: ?

Stitchin' Pretty Waffles (Pattie Bennett)
18 ct eggshell monocanvas
DMC perle #5 in 311, 472, 3052, and Watercolours by Caron in 244 Olive Grove 
Started: Nov 2014
Finished: ?

Welcome (Kincavel Krosses)
18 ct white aida
Carrie's Creations in Pizzazz (silk) and DMC 3810
Started: Jan 14, 2012
Finished: ?

My knitting projects for 2015 are:

2x2 Ribbed for Pleasure Hat
Cascade Heritage Silk Paints in 9789 (green)
Needles: US size 2.5 (3.00 mm)
Started: September 14, 2014
Finished: ?

Toe-up stockinette sock with afterthought heel (no pattern)
String Theory Colorworks' Continuum (MCN) in Atom
Needles: US size 1 (2.25 mm)
Started: December 27, 2014
Finished: ?

Vortex Shawl
Knit Pick's Stroll Tonal in Summer Blooms
Needles: US size 6 (4.00 mm)
Started: December 12, 2014
Finished: ?

My English paper piecing projects for 2015 are:

Grandma's Garden Throw (variation)
Select fabrics from Batik Paradise collection by and 
random white and white-on-white fabric
Expected blanket size: 63" x 61"
hexie size: 1 1/4"
diamond size: 1 1/4"
triangle size: 1 1/4"
Started: June 14, 2013
Restarted: June 1, 2014
Finished: ?

6-point Stars Blanket
Fusions Mist by Robert Kaufman in Pear, Forest, Sable, & Ivory
Expected star size: 24" x 24"
Expected blanket size: 5' x 5'
 diamond size: 2"
Started: July 29, 2013
Finished: ?

Arrowtail Quilt
Indigo Patchwork collection by
Expected blanket size: 72" x 78"
45 degree diamond size: 4"
Started: (still cutting fabric)
Finished: ?

I'm planning to do a monthly review of Yo3 progress every month on the 20th. If you want to join in, let me know and I'll add a linky thingy on those posts, if not, I'll do it on my own.

I think a narrower focus will allow me to make more significant progress. Honestly though -- I freaking love my crafty time in whatever shape, size, or amount it comes in. Here's to a great crafty year in 2015!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Knitting Skills

I'm a novice knitter. I taught myself from YouTube videos last March, and have been horribly addicted ever since.

I started a lace shawl in September and have been struggling with (and ignoring) it for several months. I gave up, ripped it out, and tried another shawl. That one didn't wow me (it is pretty but it's just plain stockinette and reverse stockinette). I needed something with more ... pizzazz.

I finally decided on the Vortex Shawl. I love it, but it required me to develop a new skill: knitting on double-pointed needles (dpns). Add to that I needed to learn how to make i-cords and figure out the "belly button/umbiblical cord" cast-on.

A few tries very late at night (midnight - 3am), resulted in a decent umbiblical cord to start from:

After a few rounds of the pattern, I switched from 2 dpns to 4 dpns, and I started to really struggle. It was just too much for me to handle. Finally, it occurred to me that I could go back down to 3 dpns, and that was much more successful. More rounds have been done and progress is being made! The pattern is super easy but looks far more complicated when knit.

It is lace (kind of), so looks pretty terrible as it is being knit. It won't look amazing till after it is finished, washed, and blocked.

I love that I'm getting used to knitting with dpns. I'm going to need this skill when I start knitting socks (maybe Christmas Day?) and other little finicky projects.

However, I am very much looking forward to being able to transfer the Vortex Shawl to a circular needle -- progress will be MUCH faster.

I love knitting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Turtle Trot - The Final One

I can't believe it's Decemeber already. Where did 2014 go? I have been participating in the Turtle Trot all year and managed to post almost every month. (Okay, I missed July and August, but other than that I did pretty good.)

So, let's recap. Below are the ten projects I wanted to make progress on this year. Some I touched, others I didn't, and one even got finished. :)

Turtle Trot 2014

1. Baked Alaska (Glendon Place) - didn't touch

2. Catch a Falling Star (HAED) - got another page done

3. Ciara Blue (Blackwork Journey) - major progress

4. Damask Square (Ink Circles) - a little progress

5. Drama Queen (custom chart by Skitzzzzz)  - didn't touch

6. Elizabeth (Mirabilia) - felt like lots of progress, but doesn't lool like much

7. Home Sweet Home (HAED) - didn't touch

8. Lickle Bit Shy (DMC) - didn't touch

9. Welcome (Kincavel Krosses) - some progress

10. Wise Wisdom (Stoney Creek) - FINISHED!!

Wow -- I didn't even touch four of them, and my progress on the other six wasn't massive. 2014 was definitely a very slow stitching year for me. Here's hoping 2015 sees more stitches!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Stitching Class

So, way back in mid-October my LNS hosted an awesome specialty weekend class. They brought in the prolific blackwork designer Elizabeth Almond of Blackwork Journey to teach a 2-day class on blackwork.

While I have done a decent amount of blackwork in the past (mostly Elizabeth's design too) and currently have her Ciara Blue design on a frame, I decided it couldn't hurt to learn some tips, tricks, and pointers from one of the best.

We were given a choice of designs to work from, and I chose Floral Fantasy:

It's a neat design because it's customizable. You can choose to do all 16 squares or 9 squares or 4 squares or just 1 square. I decided to do 4 squares -- over 2 on 32 ct white evenweave. And over the course of the weekend, I got a decent amount of progress done:

I sadly haven't had the chance to pick it up again since the classes, but I do want to finish this piece. I've chosen some lovely green metallic and bronze beads to "bling it up."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Late Turtle Trot

I have been a particularly poor blogger lately. Sorry. :(  Life has been a bit nuts.

However, I do have progress to show on a few of the pieces from my Turtle Trot list. (For more info on Turtle Trot, go here.)

I've put in a few more stitches on Welcome by Kincavel Krosses.

And I have been busily working on Elizabeth by Mirabilia for the last 2 weeks (and loving every stitch).

I think there's a chance my stitching mojo is back. Yay!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Travel Knitting and Stitch Markers

I went away for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend to my brother's place. Prior to the visit, I was mostly knitting on my 2x2 Ribbed Hat:

But I took my 2nd Hitchhiker with me on my travels:

I must say, not only did I make good progress, but I reinvigorated my SIL's desire to knit. Yay!

Over the last month or so, I have begun using stitch markers on my projects and I am getting a feel for what I like (not the dangly ones).  I did a little browsing on Etsy and found some stitch markers that I adore in colours I adore at Such Gwenderful Stuff:

Micro stitch markers (up to 3.0 mm), regular stitch markers (up to 5.0 mm), and jumbo stitch markers (up to US 13) in the Peacock colour way!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I still stitch … really!

I have good intentions when it comes to blogging. I do! But since I have little time to craft, there isn't that much to post about right now.

I've only picked up my needle once in the past month, and that's only because I went to a stitchy night with my friends. I worked on one of the projects for the Turtle Trot (hosted by BAP Attack).

Welcome Sampler by Kincavel Krosses. It'll be done … one day. Maybe?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Restarting a restarted new start

I haven't had the time to block and take pics of my Hitchhiker yet, but it is finished. All 42 beautiful teeth of it!

Since then, I've started two new projects. (It's amazing that I kept it to only two new starts.) The first is a toque for my brother. I'm using a pattern by Tinksdarkerside called Ribbed for his pleasure… It's a free pattern, and while the name is funny and describes the pattern well, it's kinda weird to knit it for my brother. Anywho … it's a simple 2x2 ribbed hat in fingering weight yarn. I'm using Cascade Heritage Silk Paints (an 85% superwash merino, 15% silk blend) in green. I particularly like the crown design. It's so pretty! I've read that it makes a pointy tip right at the top, so I might try doing the decreases on 5 needles instead of 4. I'll let you know how that goes.

It's great travel knitting, though I find it very slow going. I'm not very proficient at purling and switching between knit and purl slows me down too. However, I think it looks great.

The other new start is another Hitchhiker. This time though, I'm doing it in a worsted weight yarn - Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in Iris Garden. It goes fast and is getting big quickly. I have 2 skeins, so I'll just keep going till I'm out of yarn.

Now the title of this post is a little cryptic. I started my first lace shawl (Haruni by Emily Ross) in mid-September at a mentoring session at my LYS. I brought it home and screwed it up almost immediately. Hence the restart. I made it much further this time, all the way to row 30, and I even put in a lifeline a few rows before that.

My lifeline didn't work (or I couldn't make it work might be more accurate), and so I had to rip out everything. All the way back to the beginning. I'm restarting my restart. At least I'm getting practice with doing garter tab cast ons:

Le sigh. I'll get the hang of lace someday.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Never Enough

That's right … you can never have enough stash. That's my motto! Seriously, I am bad, bad, bad. Etsy has become my new best friend and it isn't the best relationship I've ever been in. It's fun, but something is gonna go wrong eventually. I just know it!

Anywho, I've recently deveoped a desire to learn to knit socks. Nothing fancy, just plain stockinette toe-up stripey socks with an afterthought heel. I have the stripey yarn, now I just need to learn how to do the rest. That might have to wait, but at least I have the yarn!

I bought 4 skeins from String Theory Colorworks in their Continuum base (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon). It is wonderfully squishy and the colours are so bright and fun!

Solar Flare:



White Dwarf:

The company is not shy about tooting their own horn, and I have to agree with them!

I love buying from indie shops, they almost always add a little something extra into your package. Each skein had a coordinating stitch marker with it.

I also accidentally-on-purpose bought some more stitch markers. I found the dangly ones I was using on my lace project were a pain in the ass, so I got some non-dangly ones from Jennyanydotscrafts on Etsy. The stitch markers are so wee and adorable!! Omgooses! Each set had 10 markers in it, but some are in use already.

And another little "extra." Love it!

There have been other stash additions lately, but I still need to take pics of those.