Monday, September 2, 2013

Projects Goals: September

I'm a day late posting this and have an overnight guest coming shortly, so this will be quick and to the point.

To start off, I want to recap how I did with my goals for August. For sure, I am still trying to do to much, but this really doesn't bother me as I just keep creating. That's really what matters.

Goals Met:

1. Alluvia - finished within a week. I will be posting about my Camp Loopy projects this month as a recap.

Alluvia Tote

2. Altocumulus - I did finished the knitting but still have to block it.

Knitting to Block

3. Dessert of the Month - I easily got through June and am starting on August.

Dessert of the Month WIP

4. Garden Tote - it's actually embarrassing how little time it took to finish the embroidery on this. I was pretty mad at myself the day I finished it because I was letting a little thing stall this project. In addition to finishing the stitching, I also have cut out all the tote bag pieces.

Garden Tote WIP

5. East Gable Shawl - finished but not blocked yet.

Goals Not Met:

1. Irene Adler - I didn't start and am probably going to put this one off for awhile. I have another large lace weight shawl on my needles and can't work on two at the same time.

2. Ennoble - I didn't start it.

3. Allis - another I didn't start.

4. Moulin Rouge - ditto.

5. Ranrike - no progress.

6. Driftwood - no progress.

7. Sugar Block Club - no progress.

8. Forest QAL - I didn't make anything for the link up as I couldn't decide on a small project. I really just have my heart set on my original quilt and will be working on that.

9. Road to Round Rock quilt - no progress.

10. Handstitched Mini - no progress.

11. Art quilt - no progress.

12. Dog dish mat - I decided that this project is just not going to happen. It's one of those things that sounds good in theory, but I don't love the idea of it in my reality.

13. Honeycomb mini - no progress.

Now onto my goals for September.

1. Dreambird - get through four of the six skeins of the gradient.

2. Southern Skies - this is a three skein shawl that I want to finish by the end of October. This month, I would like to finish one skein.

3. Camptown Races - I want to start and finish this cowl.

4. Allis - I want to start and finish.

5. Ranrike - finish edging.

6. Driftwood - finish one of two skeins.

7. Ennoble - start and finish.

8. Sugar Block Club - catch up.

9. Road to Round Rock - finish top.

10. Handstitched mini - finish two blocks.

11. Garden Tote - finish.

12. Forest Quilt - finish four blocks.

13. Art Quilt - start.

14. Woodland Sampler - finish frames.

15. Christmas Ornaments - finish one.

16. Dessert of the Month - finish.

What do you have planned for September?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreambird Progress

I was planning on starting this knit next week, but couldn't resist the pull of the yarn anymore. The fact that so many find this pattern to be troublesome was also making me curious to start. I'm off and running and finished these two feathers between last night and this morning. Very easy, breezy, I think. I love creating items that look challenging but really aren't.

Dreambird WIP

I'm on the first day of my four day weekend and looking forward to getting lots done around the house. Happy Labor Day weekend to my fellow Americans!

Linking up with Patchwork Times for her On the Needles linky.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Drunkard's Path Quilt Top

So, I finished this top last December. Yep, I am so terribly behind in sharing the projects I have been working on and have a huge pile of others to come.

DP Top

This quilt was started as a part of a QAL last year (I think?). I wanted to create something to celebrate my favorite season: fall. I used an old charm pack in typical fall colors and paired it with a bold purple, which is another color present in fall where I live.

DP Top

DP Top

Chad also loves this top but doesn't like the backing fabric I bought for it. I picked it out a year ago and don't feel as strongly about using it, so I've been looking for another option. In addition to that, I'm still not sure how I want to quilt it, so finishing this will wait until I decide on that. I am content just being a 'topper' this year and will hit it hard quilting the tops I'm accumulating in the new year.

Possible DP Backing?

I'm linking up with Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday and will be back soon with more projects to share.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Two Upcoming Projects

I do have more that two new projects planned to start soon, but want to share some yarn and a prepared background for some art.

I'm using this yarn to knit a Dreambird shawl. The yarn is from The Unique Sheep. I picked a base with some silk for the feathers and 100% wool for the background. I'm hoping this brings out the feathers from the background.

Yarn for Dreambird

Here's an example of this shawl. I've had this in my queue to knit since it came out, but it took me a long time to decide on colors.

There is a KAL going on for this pattern at Patchwork Times, if you are interested in joining in.

My other project is of the mixed media persuasion. I prepped a background intending to create a specific piece of art, but after I saw how the tissue paper went down, I changed my mind. I've been working on it and have a little more tweaking to do before I will share the finished piece. I've missed getting messy in this way and will be spending more time making art.


Short and sweet today. I did take some photos of a quilt top I finished back in December and will be sharing that this week. Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Project Setbacks

While it happens from time to time, I don't usually post about project failures. This one is a bit different for me because of all the time I have spend working on it so far. Many projects that I have to start over or readjust are in early stages.

If you have been following my (few, lately) posts, you may have noticed I have switched cross stitch projects. I'm now working on the Dessert of the Month pattern instead of the Woodland Sampler. I wasn't planning on this but got to a point where I have to start over with the Woodland Sampler.

Woodland Sampler WIP

Yep. Completely fresh. That means many stitches to cut out if I want to reuse the linen I have been stitching on, or just start fresh with a different base fabric. The latter option came to light when I realized how much I will have left of the base fabric I'm using for the Desserts. If it works, I will just stitch Woodland on new fabric and probably throw the other away. That's how pissed I am about it (no fault of the pattern designers though!).

Ok, so now that I have rambled on, shall I show you why this project has to be started over?

Woodland Sampler WIP

You can see where my stitches will end up; right at the edge of the linen. It's a little close for comfort, but could have worked if it wasn't for the fabric being cut at an angle. This is sort of visible on the righthand side of the photo, but it gets worse. The top line of green thread is where I feel comfortable with the margins.

I spent time marking out the space the design would take and it would be tight if I still used this linen.

Woodland Sampler WIP

How about some beauty shots of my progress on it?

Woodland Sampler WIP

Woodland Sampler WIP

Woodland Sampler WIP

Woodland Sampler WIP

On a positive note, I am happily stitching away on the Desserts. I am glad to have a different project to work on so I can have some time away from my frustation. I'm hoping to pick the Woodland Sampler up again in September, fresh and ready to finish before the end of the year!

Have you ever needed some time away from a frustrating project?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

To Do First: August

After taking a couple months off of posting a to-do list, I am back with a more defined version. July was a very introspective month for me, and one of the things I determined was that I needed concrete goals. It's all good that I list projects to focus on, but it can be a bit overwhelming if I go into the month with the mindset to finish all of them. It's obvious by now that I don't make short lists.

I do have a bit to catch up on with posting. Once the routine is gone, it's hard for me to get back. But I have photos that need words and drafts written that need photos. Of course, those items don't align with each other. I also have enough FOs to last me at least a month, if I posted one a day. I haven't decided how to tackle them as far as sharing, but by the end of the year I will be current.

So without further rambling, I present my goals for this month.

1. Alluvia - this is a felted tote that I'm knitting for the last project of Camp Loopy. This is the only must finish this month.

Alluvia WIP

2. Irene Adler - a large lace-weight shawl that I just want to start.

3. Altocumulus - a worsted-weight shawl that I would like to finish. I have a good start already.

Altocumulus WIP

4. Ennoble - a beaded scarf that I would like to start and finish.

5. Allis - another shawl that I want to start. It's for a KAL that doesn't start until mid-month.

6. Moulin Rouge - a single skein shawl that I want to start and finish.

7. Ranrike - a shawl I started last year. I want to get about halfway, which would be finishing the border.

8. Driftwood - another shawl that I started last year. I would also like to get halfway with this one, which means finishing up one of two skeins.

9. Sugar Block Club - I have blocks done through March and would like to catch up.

10. Forest QAL - my original plan for the link up will not get finished. I will still be sewing it up, but want to finish a smaller project to submit.

11. Road to Round Rock - I have some of the blocks done on this one. I would like to finish them.

12. Handstitched mini - another project from last year. I have one block done and want to finish two more.

13. Art quilt - I just want to start so I can see my vision come to life.

14. Dog dish mat - a short project that I just keep putting off. I want to start and finish it this month.

15. Honeycomb mini - I would like to finish the top and transfer the embroidery design.

16. Dessert of the Month - this is my new lunchtime project. I finished January over a few days in July and would like to get through June.


17. Garden tote - I want to finally finish the embroidery.

18. East Gable Shawl - I'm about halfway and would like to finish.

East Gable Shawl WIP

What do you have planned for the month of August?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I'm hitting it hard on my WIPs, either by trying to finish or scrapping them altogether. More will come on the latter soon, but for today I have some progress to share on two projects.

First, I'm in the home stretch on my second sock. It's hard to want to knit this now with how warm it is outside, but I'm determined to get this off the needles. This will hopefully be finished by the end of the month.

Love Letters WIP

I have come to a setback with this mitt, however. I was knitting the large size, based on the measurements in the pattern, and it is too big. I was so close to getting this one finished but instead, ripped it out this morning. I will start over with the small size and even if it's a little tight, I know when I wash them they will grow a bit. The yarn I'm using is known for that.

Sourwood Mountain WIP

Despite having to start over, I'm going to try to finish these this month too.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Knitting WIPs

One week I will actually post this on Wednesday, like I used to. Since I'm still on a making bender, my blogging schedule was thrown out the window. As such, I decided to do away with my monthly to-do list for the time being. I just keep adding projects and not really sharing progress. I am working on getting my in-progress projects finished before starting new things (with a few exceptions) and really need to get FO photos taken. It's been so hot and humid lately that the throught of modeling wool items is not at the top of my list, however.


Camp Loopy is on it's second month. I'm knitting a cute little cardigan called Hey, Teach! out of Madelinetosh Vintage. The colorway is called Badlands and I picked it as an homage to western North Dakota. So far, I have finished the back and one sleeve (not pictured) I have the other sleeve on the needles and am hoping to finish it and the two fronts over the weekend.

Hey, Teach! WIP

I also started a laceweight shawl for a KAL on Ravelry. This is a pattern called Tiong Bahru and is knit with Sundara Silk Lace. It's an intermediate pattern and I'm not sure how fast it will progress.

Tiong Bahru WIP

Lastly, I've been chipping away at this sock. With the heat, I hate the idea of socks in general, but really want this off the needles. The pair will just have to get tucked away until fall.

Sock WIP

What are you working on?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer of Color: Week Four

The colors for this week are charcoal gray and pale pink. Perfect for my obsession with working with charcoal, and made for an obvious approach for me.

Summer of Color: Week 4

I started out this one by toning my paper with a pink watercolor wash. Like last week, I smeared vine charcoal over it to give it a little depth. Then I drew the portrait on top. I debated adding more to this but decided to stop here. It's simple and gave me hope that I can still draw people, even if there is room to improve.

Warm washes

And because I had my watercolors out, I played a little bit more. I was going to draw on top of them but didn't like what I was doing. After taking off my drawing, I am going to leave this until I know what it will become. I may end up using it as a background for something else, or I might cut it up to use in some other manner. It was fun to just lay color down with no purpose.

Linking up with Twinkle, Twinkle.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer of Color: Week 3

Once the colors were annouced for this week I knew exactly what I wanted to create. Purple and green just brought to mind eggplant and so all I needed was the time to bring my vision to life.

Summer of Color: Week 3

Charcoal is my favorite drawing material and had to make an appearance. I also used watercolor, water soluble crayons, and colored pencils. This week was a lot of fun and I'm eager to see what the colors will be for next week!

Linking up with Twinkle, Twinkle.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Summer of Color: Week 2

Sorry for the radio silence this week. I am working very hard to finish my June project for Camp Loopy and nearly all of my free time is devoted to it. I'm still not certain I will finish by the end of the month as the rows are veeeery long now.

I did take a break during the week to play with the colors for this week. The winning combo was orange and hot pink. Totally not anything I would normally pair together, but since that is the idea here, I ran with it. Again, going in without a plan seems to have worked. I gathered up all of my orange and pink art supplies and just played. The hot pink paint was mixed by me as I don't keep anything like that around. I did happen to have some washi tape though, so of course I had to throw it in.

Summer of Color: Week 2

As an aside, I am only allowing myself the addition of any of anything on the gray scale (that would be white to black, and anything in between).

This little bit of play has a very graffiti-like quality to it. Again, not a style that I like to produce, though I do admire it when others do it.

Not sure if I could do this all the time, but I did have similar results in a play piece I did for an art class. I don't think I have shared that one here.

Linking up at Twinkle, Twinkle. I'm going back to knitting and should find some time before the end of the month to take photos of my Finish-a-Long FOs...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Summer of Color: Week 1

I stumbled upon The Summer of Color a little over a week ago. I intended to share about it here, just in case there were others who didn't know, but time got away from me. In the link up this week, it seems to be paint heavy, but a person could link up a fiber related project that uses the colors for that week.

Summer of Color: Week 1

The timing of finding this was perfect. It's been too long since I have sat down with my art supplies and I will be using this link up as a push to get back to them. The colors this week were cirton green and turquoise. I grabbed my favorite watercolor set and some paper and just put color down. I didn't have a plan and in the end, decided to journal a bit over it. I'm not entirely happy with it but it's a start.

In other news, my new obsession is to perfect the art of taking photographs in that glow that comes with sunset. My model wasn't very cooperative today so I only managed the one. He was more interested in getting Angus to chase him around the yard.

Jay at Sunset

I still have so much to share with you and will have more after next weekend. I will be going on a bit of a road trip to Chad's hometown and my trusty camera will be coming along for the ride.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mad May Recap

If someone had told me I could finish 16 knits in one month, I would have laughed hysterically. Granted, one was nearly finished already (and was the only non-Tosh project) but that is still a lot for me.

I will be sharing more about these as I take modeled FO photos but here is a photograph of the Madelinetosh projects piled up. In this pile are seven hats, five cowls, one shawl, one pair of mittens, and a pair of boot cuffs.

Mad May FOs

The other project I finished is the Canyonlands shawl. I still need to block it and then I will do my FO post. This was on my FAL list and felt really good to get off the needles.

Canyonlands FO

In addition to the projects I finished, I did also add five projects to my WIP pile. There is the start of two sweaters, two cowls, and a shawl here. I'm hoping to finish some of them this month as my yarn WIPs has grown to 18 now.

New WIPs from May

Now hopefully the rain will subside so I can take FO photos and share them with you. My pile is turning into a leaning tower and really needs to be addressed post haste.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Some Business and Some Cuteness

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

While I finally get around to exploring other blog reader options, I'm starting with claiming my blog on Bloglovin. Have you settled on a new reader?

I also realized it's been a very long time since I've shared a photo of the cutest dogs in my neighborhood (not that I'm biased or anything). Angus has since been groomed so please excuse his shagginess here.

My Boys <3

To Do First: June

I'm back! Now that my obsession that is Mad May is over, I want to spend more time in this space. Not only do I have lots of projects to blog about, I have even more planned for the future. To start off, I'm going to share my list for this month. June is going to be mostly about finishing up WIPs and to make this short, I will only list those projects that I'm going to concentrate on the most.


1. Language of Roses - Camp Loopy has started as of today and this going to be my first project. We are to make a single skein (lace or fingering weight) project that has to be at least 375 yards. The only catch is the yarn base has to be one you've never used. I'm knitting this with Madelinetosh Prairie in the Afternoon colorway. I've already completed the first chart and hope to make it through the second over the weekend.

Language of Roses WIP

2. Pull Me Over - a sweater I started in May. I didn't make much progress but this one should be a quick finish once I get back to it.

3. Love Letters - this is my first pair of socks. I have one done and have the cuff of the second done. Another one that should fly once I start it again.

4. Temptress - a laceweight shawl with beads that was a mystery KAL from earlier this year.

5. Sourwood Mountain - mitts that I started last year (!) and really want to crank out. This is on my FAL list for this quarter as well.

6. Ranrike - my oldest knit WIP and one that I would love to get off the books.

7. Gemini - another sweater, this one started in April. I'm almost to the sleeve split and I think this should be quick to finish as well.

8. Driftwood - a shawl from last year that is also on my FAL list.

9. Hitchhiker - another WIP from Mad May. This was my project for lunch breaks at work and may continue to be so.


1. Road to Round Rock quilt - my goal is to finish the top this month. It will be wonderful to get back to sewing this month.

2. Art quilt - this one has been in my sketchbook from the beginning of the year. I want to keep it under wraps until I start experimenting but will share my progress as I go along.

3. Handstitched mini - another FAL project.

4. Sugar Block Club - I'm behind on the monthly blocks but should be able to crank these out quickly.

5. Forest QAL - I really want to submit my intended project to the link up. Sewing one or two of these blocks a week should get me there.

6. Notebook cover - this involves turning a piece of embroidery into a sewn item.


1. Woodland Sampler - I have April to finish as well as May and June to start.

2. Garden Tote - once I finish the embroidery this can move to the sewing list.

3. Nesting Place - an old WIP that deserves to be finished (also a FAL project).

4. Dessert of the Month - last's years monthly cross stitch from The Frosted Pumpkin that I haven't started yet.

I also need to organize my studio space this month and have some other art ideas that are screaming to become reality.

Tomorrow I will share a little bit about the craziness that was Mad May for me. See you then!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What's Going On

I've been largely absent here lately. My shift change has taken longer to get used to than I thought but I think I'm starting to get into a routine I can thrive in. My free time has been spent knitting. Last time I shared the projects I have planned for Mad May and I'm working on checking off that list. As a bonus, there is a contest to go along with the KALs for the most FOs. So far, I have finished nine things and am in various stages of more. I started the month with a goal of finishing ten knits, which will be easily met. Now I'm shooting for fifteen. FO posts will have to wait until June for these, and the ever-growing stack of knits that have been waiting all year.

In addition to my knitting, spring has finally came to the Red River Valley. Getting off work while the sun is still up makes it hard to want to be inside. Of course we are on a rush into summer, where everyone here will soon be complaining about the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes (versus snow, bitter cold, and wind).

May FOs so far

This month will also bring a bit of travel. I have to go to Minneapolis for a few days for work again and this time I will be going alone. I need to drive down on a Sunday so I will have an extra day to visit old and new places in the area. For all the time I have spent in the Twin Cities, there are still things I haven't seen, so I'm taking advantage of this. I'm staying by the Mall of America and will be skipping going there (for the millionth time) though. Rain is in the forecast the entire time I will be visiting, but I still hope to get some photographs to share.

Waiting to be blocked

The other trip I have planned is to head into Canada to visit Winnipeg, Manitoba. Again, this is a city I have visited many times in my lifetime, but it has been awhile since my last visit. In addition to seeing the city, I have some side trips in mind that are off the interstate.

To be honest, I have plans for many exploratory trips this summer. It seems my over-planning has moved from projects to travel. I do still have many projects in the great queue in my head and can't wait to get to them starting in June. As much as I love to knit, I miss creating in other ways.

Another post may come in May, but more likely won't be until June. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcoming Knit-a-longs

The next month or so is going to be knitting heavy in my world. There are two KALs I am participating in and some double dipping between the two.

This comes along with a change in the shift I'm working, so who knows how my productivity will be. Back when I was going to school, the early morning hours were ideal for getting things done.
I thought I would share my goals for knitting through the end of may and tell you about the KALs in case you want to join in.

The first is the Spring Tanks, Tops, and Tees KAL hosted by Shannon of luvinthemommyhood. Basically any top without long sleeves. I have three (!) projects planned. Don't worry too much about my sanity. Two of them qualify for the other KAL as well.

The KAL runs from April 24th to May 22nd. The project I am casting on first, and hope to finish in a week, is the Gemini tee. I am knitting it out of a single ply made from merino wool, alpaca, and silk from The Woolen Rabbit. It feels like heaven to touch. The colorway is called Plum Island.

Yarn for Gemini

Before talking about the other garments, I will tell you about the madness that is Mad May. This is a KAL that runs in the MadelineTosh Lovers group on Ravelry. It runs for all of May and projects have to use MadelineTosh yarn.

I have ten projects planned, with another possible one. Those ten would be two garments, four (maybe five) hats, three cowls, and a pair of fingerless gloves. Completely nuts? Yes... but I'm going for it. I will probably have to not knit for a few days after the madness is over.

This winey purple will be a cardigan called Low Tide.

Yarn for Low Tide

This brown/blue/black combo is going to be a sweater called Window to My Soul.

Yarn for Window for My Soul

The next photo has the yarn for the hats I have planned. From left to right they will become Drizzle, For Good Hat, Chelsea Market Hat, and Rosebud.

Yarn for hats

Finally, this photograph shows the yarn for the cowls and mittens. From left to right they wll become a Honey Cowl (pink and green), Heart on a String, Cowboy Cowl, and Goldilocks Mittens (two on the right, held together as one).

Yarn for cowls and mittens

I don't have the yarn yet for the other hat I'm considering knitting. I traded the second skein of the bright blue above for an iris (blue-violet) skein and it's currently on its way to me.

Care to join in? No need to go as crazy as I am. There are seperate categories for whatever you would want to knit or crochet for Mad May.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday and a UFO Plan

I realized it's been a few weeks since I posted about my WIPs. I only have a couple to share as the other things I've been working on are finished. However, it is still snowing here so FO photos are going to be delayed.

I've made a little progress on my Woodland Sampler.

April WIP

My most exciting WIP is this sock. It's my first ever and was easier than I thought it would be. Just a lesson in following the pattern and working each stitch as I come to them. I'm taking a hiatis from casting on the second sock to finish up a couple other things but should have it done by the end of the month.

One Finished Sock

Over this upcoming weekend my goal is to catalog all of my UFOs (WIPs are included). Judy of Patchwork Times is hosting a UFO Parade through the end of the year. It's a goal of mine (and many others it seems) to cut down on the number of projects in limbo. I've been setting rules for myself, like having to finish two projects in order to start a new one. That hasn't worked longer than the first finish.

So I've been wondering to myself why I don't finish everything I start. And how can I change that? I spent some time at the end of last year throwing some UFOs into my scrap bin for use in other projects. With those fabric based projects, it was simply that I fell out of love with the idea. It was easy to move on. The ones I have more trouble with is my knitting projects. I still love all of the unfinished projects. I just only have the two hands so I can only work on one at a time.

All of this boils down to my ideas. When I am on a roll with ideas, it just spurts out, usually to the point of being out of control. I also think I have more time to do things than I actually do, so there is that factor of not taking into account reality. I desperately need a plan. Some way to have my cake and eat it too. My life is full with work, Chad, friends, my dogs, taking care of a home, and the other activities I enjoy outside of creating with fabric and yarn. Sometimes there is a lack of balance.

While I don't have a complete plan, I know I need to focus, find balance, and follow through. An ambitious goal would be to end 2013 with no unfinished projects. I'm not sticking to that (yet). We'll see once I list all of those lingering items.

How about you? Do you have a plan to finish your UFOs? Or, do you not have any at all? (If so, please share your tips for keeping them under control.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finish-a-Long Quarter Two

Quarter one was a complete failure as far as finishing any of my goals went. I've been trying to be conservative with the projects I pick for this and think I need to widen my scope of what I include. This might not work as May is looking to be full of new starts, but I'm always game to take a stab at something.

Without further adieu, here are my goals (and current state of said projects) for this quarter.

1. Handstitched mini

Hand Pieced QAL
2. Sourwood Mountain

Sourwood Mountain WIP
3. Cora

Cora WIP
4. Driftwood

Driftwood WIP
5. Nesting Place

Nesting Place
6. Temptress

Temptress WIP
7. Hand quilting practice mini

Ready to Hand Quilt
8. Notebook cover

Embroidery WIP
9. Ranrike

Shawl in Progress
10. Canyonlands

Canyonlands WIP

I decided this quarter to leave off the quilt tops that need to be quilted and bound. I have so much fabric set aside for different quilts that I would rather accumulate tops to clear some of the clutter. Another rule I have set for myself is to not have any knitting WIPs older than a year. Eventually, I would like that to be six months.

Linking up Leanne for the FAL goals linky party.