Friday, October 24, 2014

And Sew On

Hi everyone! I hope this has been a great week for all.  I've had a pretty good one myself. There is always so much to do and so little time it seems like.  However, when I reflect back on the week, I feel like I've accomplished a good bit.

I finished one of my works in progress (WIP) and it looks even better than I hoped. Yay!  I also knitted some on my Happy Street shawl this week, which makes me happy as well.  Making progress.

But the thing I think I'm the most excited about is my sewing.  Awhile back, I ran across some Christmas themed fat quarters at Hobby Lobby.  Now, I have to admit, I've acquired some fabric stash over the years.  Not a lot because well, let's face it, I'm not a great sewer. But I do love a nice looking piece of fabric.  So when I came upon the Christmas fabric, I bought it.

That fabric has been in sitting in my fabric bin for almost a year.  Awhile back I made an attempt at sewing some project bags for my knitting projects with "meh" success. They were not awful, but certainly not what I would call good, quality bags.  And I really wanted to sew a nice bag.

So, I after my first attempt at sewing some bags I did what many other in my shoes would have done, I turned to social media.  I jumped on the Pinterest train and starting seeking out project bag patterns.

There were many.  Some more difficult than others. Some just right out of my novice comfort zone.  But all superduper cutearific!

As much as I loved all the bags I saw, the patterns to create those bags seemed a little bit, who am I kidding, a whole lot overwhelming.  Kind of like the first time I looked at a knitting pattern.  So I kind of just put my bags on the back burner again. With all my super cute fabric wasting away.  Which is a pretty sad thought, right?

Luckily, I found fresh mojo when I saw the super cool fabric and images via Instagram that Jasmine from the Knitmore Girls podcast was making for her projects.  I was compelled to follow the link she provided to this super neato tutorial on the In Color Order blog.

After reading through the steps, I hopped right to it.  I already had my precut fat quarters and since I'm in the middle of knitting Christmas goodies and Christmas socks, I decided they needed a perfectly cute Christmas project bag to nestle in.  So I got to work.

As I mentioned, I'm not a good sewer, but I do think there's hope of me becoming a better sewer with practice.  And since I am in love with these project bags, I can see myself practicing a lot in my near future.

This is my first finished bag. It is quite roomy.  I have two one skein projects down in there. I'm loving it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Year From Stash

When this year started, I told myself that I was going to spend most of the year knitting projects from my yarn stash as opposed to going out and buying more yarn.  In other words, I took stock of the yarn I already owned and then looked for projects that excited me based on that yarn instead of finding a gorgeous pattern and then running out to find the perfect yarn for the project.

By focusing on finding the perfect project for yarn I already owned, I've greatly reduced my stash this year.  I am very proud of myself for doing this.  Now that's not to say I have not bought yarn this year.  But I have bought more wisely and mostly with a specific project in mind.

Another perk to knitting from my stash this year is I have used up a lot of left over and partial skeins. Bonus!

I've actually finished nine projects using stash yarn this year.  One is a pattern design that I'm working on and hope to release soon.  In addition to these nine projects, I have four more WIP's using stash yarn! Whoop-Whoop!

One thing that makes me pretty happy about this whole knitting from stash this year thing is that I actually used my very oldest skein of yarn.

Nummy Bunny was a huge hit with my daughter who now wants me to knit her all the animals. She loves Nummy.

Nummy Bunny is a free pattern from Red Heart Yarn.

Although, I used Cottontots by Bernat in the Dollhouse colorway. You can mix it up and use all kinds of fun colors to knit her up.  She is so lovely and fun.

I can't wait to knit my next stuffy. Who will it be?

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Bucket List Thing

Well howdy out there!  I know.  I know. It's been awhile. Again.  Sorry. I will strive for better posting.  In fact, I'm making a date with myself to at least get out a biweekly post.  I have a lot of things to say; so even if I just say them to myself, they will at least get said. Right?

I have been so very busy, and I know that's not a real excuse because everyone is busy.  However, when you get caught up in life, time slips by so fast that you hardly even realize how much time has past since your last post. That's kind of where I am.  It's not that I don't want to post.  It's more like, I think I just posted last week and it was actually months ago. YIKES!

So I am truly sorry.  Like I said, I've actually decided to add a calendar reminder to write blog post. Yes indeed.  I think that will make things much more routine and regular.

Speaking of routine and regular, I also think having a more regular blog posting will push me along in my journey of marking off an item from my Bucket List.  For you see, I have wanted to do a podcast for some time now.  I start making progress towards actually doing one and something always gets in the way.  Well, I think now that I'm actually putting it out there that I want to do this, I will be much more likely to make it happen.  What do you think?

Now, the podcast will be a knitting/craft related podcast.  Because that's where my hobbies lie mostly. Even though I love to cook, and I want to spend more time honing my photography skills. Those might be good topics to keep to this blog.  We'll see how that goes.  In the meantime, I've been batting around a few names for the podcast.  I've looked and I can't see where any of these titles have been taken so that's good.  I just need to decide on one.

Then again, That Tess Girl: Just Chatting it Up, has been a thought as well.  By that I mean I have also thought about turning this blog into a Vlog. So many options to ponder.

However, for now, I am going to post this to the blog so I can say that I have successfully posted a post.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A New First

I have a new first!  My very first handspun skein of yarn!

Can you believe it?!  It's not perfect but I love it. Very thin and then chunky in places!  Still, it's my first!

I'm already thinking of what projects I want to use for this

The roving was 1 oz of an 80% Merino 20% Tussah Silk.  It spun up nice and quick.  And I think I was starting to get the feel for the process there at the end. I spun using the drop spindle I purchased from LaTeaDa Designs a few years ago.

I'm really excited to use this now.  But first it's in the finishing process (wash and dry to set the spin {I'm learning so much!}).  Even though it's not ready for knitting yet, I can start contemplating what I want to use it with.  I only got roughly 45 yards.  For my first try, I was impressed I got that much.  So do I make a small critter like the Bluebird of Happiness, or use it as an accent on a hat or shawl? Decisions...

Monday, April 7, 2014

From the Stash

So this year started off as a stash down, sort of, kind of year.  I made a deal with hubster that since he agreed to take me to the Carolina FiberFest (which was this  past!) that until we go I would not buy new yarn.  Instead, I would work out of my stash and then stock up at the festival. 

I'm proud to say that with a few minor exceptions, yarn for a few hats (two of which will be for him), I have done that.

Below are photos are each project I've worked or am working that have all been knit from my stash so far this year.

First: I'm currently knitting a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks.  I modified them to knit toe up and used a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  I love this pattern and the heel. This will be a very favorite heel, I can already tell after one heel.  I'm knitting these using Happy Feet yarn.  I'm not sure of the colorway but it is very lovely! I know I'm going to call them my crushed gingerbread house socks.  I got this my head one day while looking at the yarn and it's stayed with me ever since.

I also knit Tin Can Knit's Barley hat for myself.  I love this hat.  It is their Simple Collection of patterns.  This is an ebook of eight fantastic, beginner patterns but there really is nothing beginner about the look of the patterns.  They are awesome. Fast and easy and they look great.  I knit this using some Impeccable yarn I'd picked up last year for my daughter's pumpkin hat.
I also purchased the ebook Summer Memories by Georgie Hallam.  This ebook contains four patterns of mother-daughter matching cardigans. I love them and plan on knitting all four. For the first two, Carousel and Summer Carnival, I'm using Knit Picks' Simply Cotton sport weight.  I purchased this yarn quite a while back when they discontinued the colorway. But I do love it.  This one is my daughter's sweater.  Mine is still on the needles and I'm hoping for a matching set by Mother's Day.  I was originally aiming for Easter but I still have a way to go on mine.

So next, is a matchy-matchy pair of socks for me and my daugher.  I love these stripped socks.  This is a basic toe-up sock using Paton's Kroy Sock yarn in the blue stripe ragg colorway. They are so awesome.  I love them.

Whew, are we done yet?  Well, almost.

I have also cast on using stash yarn the Follow Your Arrow lace shawl by Isolda Teague.  I have not made very good progress on this shawl because I am one of those types of knitters who has to be in the right frame of mind to knit lace.  And apparently I wasn't when I started this one the first five times. So, yeah, not that far along.  I will work on it here and there as I want a lace fix. Still, I am knitting this from stash yarn, Cascade 220 Fingering weight in a red and teal.  It is very pretty so far.

And finally! I cast on a tunic style sweater for my daughter.  This one is called Strimma by Yarn-Madness (aka Madeliene Nilsson). I'm using some Knit Picks Dishie in a red and eggshell.

So, that about sums up what I've knit from or am knitting from stash this year.  I think. As I knit along I will post more of my stash down 2014 progress.

However, in my next post, I'll most likely talk about about the Carolina FiberFest and what enhancements to the stash were made there. :)