2021 Project Round-up

Because it’s fun to see everything in ONE BIG POST!

January: Was busy with the kids returning to in-person hybrid school. Which meant I sewed up A LOT of face masks.

We had a power outage, and during that time I crocheted some little hearts to go on my Christmas tree, which I decided to keep up through February as a Valentine’s Tree because it is so freaking’ dark here in January and February that I’ve decided to keep up all the white Christmas lights for the extra light.

I also started knitting a sweater for myself at the end of the month.

February: I finished up a Kindness KAL shawl for Em, and I got through both sleeves of my sweater. I also sewed up a few more face masks.

March: I finally finished my Echo Flowers Shawl!

Denise and I decided to do a “Bestie Sewing Challenge,” where we both bought yardage of the same fabric and made stuff from it, just because we were bored out of our skulls with the dragging on of the pandemic and needed something to be excited about. I made myself a skirt from McCall’s 1369.

I picked the Peacock Feathers Stole back up and started working a few rows a day.

We also finally did some Pysanky, which was the real creative highlight of the month for my kids.

April: I made a pencil skirt for Em (McCall’s 5523) out of the leftover Bestie Challenge fabric, and I started working on my McCall’s 6696 (M6696) Birthday Dress for myself. Worked some more rows of the Peacock Feathers Stole.

May: I finished my Lavender Birthday Dress. There wasn’t a lot of crafting going on because I was super busy in the garden, and M6696 is a surprisingly hand-stitching heavy garment. Kept chugging away on the Peacock Feathers Stole.

June: I made a big, swirly skirt for Rachel because she was suddenly obsessed with big, swirly skirts. I also started working on my Violet Chambray M6696. Very busy in the garden, and we started doing a lot of cooking from scratch, which took up a lot of our time. I also kept putting in time on the Peacock Feathers Stole.

July: So much gardening. So much cooking zucchini. I embroidered the lavender wreath wall hanging and started on the “Un Alfabeto a Fiori” wreath. I started stitching an EPP couch cushion, which still isn’t complete because I don’t know how I want to do the borders. I also started working on the Mini Charm Chiffon Baby Quilt for Fat Quarter Shop. FINISHED the Peacock Feathers Stole!

August: I got a parasite after forgetting to wash my hands after cleaning bird feeders, and spent most of August being excruciatingly ill. My foot was also a big, painful mess and it was decided we’d do surgery on it in September.

September: Finished up the Mini Charm Chiffon Baby Quilt top and my corded petticoat right before my surgery. Spent the rest of the month working on the Un Alfabeto a Fiori wreath embroidery.

October: Finished embroidering the wreath, started embroidering my historical pocket. Started work on my flounced petticoat. Also appliqued pumpkins to a purchased black circle skirt for Renaissance’s “1950s Witch” Halloween costume.

November: Cheered by the excellent healing progress in my foot, I kind of went nuts with the idea that I’d do some epic Christmas crafting prep. I finished Nathaniel’s Fresh Cut Pines quilt and Em’s Yuletide Botanica Orange Peel quilt. I also finished Rachel’s Ombre Heart Mitts. I started quilting the Hipster Christmas Trees quilt.

December: The Great December Sickness hit and took. me. out. I did, however, squeak through with finishing the Hipster Christmas Tree quilt. All other projects saw virtually no time put in on them, but I did do some really great thinking about crafty organization and the like, and came up with an excellent game plan for 2022, which I will share with you tomorrow!

Are you one of those people who just always thinks they aren’t doing enough? I am. That’s why I do these round-up posts and crafty goals things–they make me aware of how much I do actually do, which makes that Perfectionistic Taskmaster Voice in my head quiet down a bit and give me a little peace. It was a busy year; it had a lot of weirdness going on with the pandemic and trying for some semblance of normalcy, and I had a lot going on with injuries and illnesses, but still managed to get a decent amount of projects finished. I like that.

And yes, I have way too much planned for 2022. ‘Cuz that’s how I roll….

Thanks for cheering me on this year, I’ve appreciated it very much. Hopefully you’re all sitting back and thinking through your own 2021s and realizing that you did good, too. And hopefully you’ve got some exciting plans for 2022. Because we have all definitely earned some of that. Good job making it through 2021, y’all. Here’s to a better 2022…

Purple and Pink

It’s all I see right now:

Lavender Baby Hat–finished and gifted away.

Junebug’s Cardigan–pretty near completion, just waiting for me to locate my 16-inch circulars
so I can decrease the neck.
Then it’ll be a quick steek and some button bands, and we’ll be done.

Echo Flower Shawl for ME–This grows here a little, there a little.

Hat for Bluebird–Because I wanted to make a cabled hat.
Waiting for me to purchase 10.5 DPNs so I can finish decreasing.

Fingerless Mittens for Denise–Because she asked, and she had already bought the yarn,
originally intending it to be a beret.
However, the beret pattern and I did not get along.
It’s looking like the fingerless mitt pattern and I do not get along either.
Somewhat ironic, considering I get along with Denise better than almost anyone else in the world.

You know how you just get tired of every single one of your projects en masse?  I am totally there.  Everything is either waiting for new needles or I just kind of don’t want to look at them anymore. 

What’s the opposite of pink and purpleGreenYellowYellow-green?  🙂

I have some yellow-green yarn…but need the aforementioned 10.5 DPNs in order to finish the project I have planned for the yarn.  🙂


Finished: The Wedding Shawl

PatternEcho Flower Shawl, by Jenny Johnson Johnen

Yarn:  JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18, less than one skein

Needles: AddiTurbo Lace US 4 (3.5 mm) 24″

Oh, the magic of blocking.  In the previous post I showed how teeny tiny this was when it came off the needles…it barely covered Bluebird’s shoulders.  But, after blocking, it easily covers her armspan.  Lace is so weird that way.

So now I will wrap this little beauty up and send it on its merry way up north to the bride-to-be.  (This seems rather anti-climatic, given the amount of energy and thought that has been wrapped up in this project over the past few months!)

I’m so badly bitten by the lace bug.  Nothing else seems remotely interesting besides lace!  I like knitting nupps (the little balls) a lot…I think they’re rather pretty in the design.

I’m very happy with how this turned out!  I hope Carly is pleased with it as well and that, should the weather require its use, it looks beautiful with her wedding dress.  It makes me so happy to have rendered this little bit of knitting service to my future sister-in-law!  Wear it often, wear it boldly!

There were requests for a post about blocking…I don’t know when I’ll have time for that, so here’s a post from the Yarn Harlot that covers blocking in-depth.  (She used string for the straight edge, I used blocking wires.)

"The Wedding Shawl" Part Two: Choosing the Yarn

After days of mulling over which pattern to choose, Carly finally decided to go with the Echo Flowers Shawl.  I enjoyed the moment of decision but briefly, as I was now face with a new matter to decide:  Which yarn?

Now, to all you non-knitters out there, your choice in yarn dramatically affects how your project will turn out.  It’s more than just choosing a color, it’s also choosing what type of fiber is in your yarn.  After asking Carly a few questions about how she wanted the finished product to look and feel (she wanted glossy and smooth), I made the decision to go with a blend of wool and silk–wool for warmth, silk for shine and smooth strength.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going full-out luxurious with a blend of cashmere and silk (ooh la la), but the $65 price tag per skein doused that fire very quickly.  (Sorry Carls, but my babies have got to eat.)

It wasn’t hard to decide on Jaggerspun’s Zephyr Wool-Silk, a lovely yarn that contains 50% merino wool and 50% tussah silk.  I had bought some a couple of years ago to use in my granny’s Peacock Feathers Stole and absolutely loved knitting with it.  (And no, the Peacock Stole is not finished…or even technically started.)

Alright, you ready for the drama?  (‘Cuz there’s drama!)

Carly made her pattern decision on Saturday morning, and I quickly headed off to the closest yarn shop to me, Heindselman’s, to go looking for the yarn.  Not surprisingly, Heindselman’s did not have it, because they rarely carry any kind of yarn that I want.  (I was, however, surprised that their lace-weight selection has increased since my last visit.  Yay!  But I was not looking for mohair, so it was of no help at this time.)

I went to the internet on Monday.  Zephyr is available in a lot of places in the $11-14 range, but I stumbled across a site that was offering it for only $9.25 per skein with free shipping.  I was out of money until Thursday, but when Thursday rolled around and my new allotment of cash was automatically deposited into my account I fired up the ol’ computer and click, click, ordered!  Woo hoo!  It was going to take a week to arrive, but I figured it was worth it for the awesome price of only $18.50.

As luck would have it, I fulfilled a weight loss goal that rewarded me with a trip to my favorite yarn store, Blazing Needles, up in Salt Lake City that Saturday.  I oohed and aahed at all the lovely yarn offerings, and stopped in my tracks when I came face-to-face with shelves of Zephyr for $11.75 per skein.  AUGH!  I resisted the urge to just buy what I needed then because I had already ordered the yarn from the online store.  I departed with some other yarn for a different project and a lovely book of mitten patterns.

The suspense was killing me.  I raided my yarn stash for some lace-weight yarn and cast on for a Percy Shawl in order to satisfy my urge to knit lace.  Whenever I’d start getting worked up over how long it was taking for the Zephyr to arrive, I’d pull out my Pink Percy and start knitting.  It helped immensely.

That Tuesday, I received an email after the children went to bed.  It informed me that the online store was out of stock of the black Zephyr and that it would take two weeks for them to receive it and then another two weeks for them to ship it to me.  Yeah, count that, it would take a whole month until I’d receive my yarn.

I phoned Michael and vented all my frustrations over this yarn and asked him for a logical, rational decision as how to pursue because I knew I was starting to become a little nutty over this whole yarn situation.  He suggested that I call the shop, cancel the order and then phone my beloved Blazing Needles and ask if they could ship some of their Zephyr to me.  So I followed his advice and happily found out that, for only $5 in shipping, Blazing Needles could indeed ship yarn to me.  With tax and shipping, their yarn ended up costing around $30.  Ouch. 

The pain was significantly lessened when the yarn arrived just two days later on Thursday.  I was all smiles as I walked back to my house, and some neighbors who were taking a walk noticed my happy demeanor and asked why I was so cheerful, to which I responded with, “I’VE GOT YARN!”  I don’t think they understood the significance of my declaration, due to the puzzled looks they displayed.  I didn’t care; I just skipped up the sidewalk to my front door and enthusiasticaly exclaimed, “IT’S HERE!” when I walked into my house.  Husband and children came running to view my glee.

I updated my Facebook status with “They yarn has finally arrived!” and then hurriedly re-posted with “Too excited, can’t type correctly. THE yarn has finally arrived! Cost twice as much this way, but totally worth it!

It was suggested that I bring the coveted skeins to Knitting Night that night, but after taking so much effort to get it into my house, I was literally afraid to take it outside of my house.  So the yarn stayed home, patiently waiting for me start working with it.

Twenty four hours later my Facebook status read “A moment of silence, please. I’m about to cast on for Carly’s Wedding Shawl.

Stay tuned for Part Three of “The Wedding Shawl”: Knitting Chart #1.

"The Wedding Shawl": A new drama series Part One: Picking the Pattern

So, my brother got engaged to his girlfriend, Carly.

And I was very happy for the two of them.

But a little sad.

Because I am a bit selfish and wished I could help with the wedding, but I can’t because I don’t live in New Zealand or Canada.  (Boo.)

So I had the brilliant idea of how to weasle my way into the wedding…I would knit.

See, Carly’s planning on wearing a strapless dress, and the knitter in me automatically screamed, “Cold shoulders!”  True, it will be summer, but summer evenings can get a little chilly.  Sometimes.

So I talked to Carly and pathetically grovelled for the honor set forth my intention to knit a shawl for her wedding day.  (I stifled the urge to skip about the room when she enthusiastically accepted my offer.)

I spent a few hours looking up shawl after shawl, and compiled a list of eight different patterns that I thought she’d maybe like:

  1. Swallowtail: http://yulianknits.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/why-a-bunch-of-beads-looks-pretty-but-is-essentially-unuseful-at-least-for-me/
  2. Luna Moth Shawl: http://marinoie.blogspot.com/2010/01/luna-moth-shawl.html
  3. Birch: http://susancrowe.co.uk/2010/04/16/it-made-me-the-ksh-junkie-i-am-today/
  4. Echo Flower Shawl: http://www.pepperknit.com/2010/11/echo-flower-shawl/
  5. Queen Silvia Shawl: http://rogue-knits.blogspot.com/2009/06/queen-silvia.html
  6. Summer Shawl: http://osbornfiber.com/2011/01/07/a-joy-forever/ (detail shots)
    http://deserthomemaker.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-so-excited.html (shape) 
  7. Forest Path Stole: http://thingssoolikes.blogspot.com/2008/02/end-of-path.html
  8. Myrtle Leaf Shawl: http://segasummasuvila.blogspot.com/2008/07/must-ilma-punaseta.html

Then I emailed another two choices a day or two later because they were too pretty to leave off of the list:

  1. Purityhttp://dagi35.blox.pl/2009/06/Plan-wykonany.html
  2. Citron: http://j-essaieonverrabien.over-blog.com/article-citron-au-coeur-d-artichaud-64202817.html

Carly narrowed it down to two designs (Purity and Forest Path Stole), but was having trouble deciding on which one to go with.  Being the inpatient knitter that I can be, I gave her 37 hours to make up her mind.  (Yeah, I really did!  But only after she told me that she was terribly indecisive and needed a “cutt-throat” deadline.)

Thirty seven hours passed…and no email from Carly.

I posted a mocking Facebook status update: “Dost my eyes deceive me? No lace decision? Oh, now I’m sad.”  (Reading that now makes me think I should have used “mine” instead of “my.”)
She replied, two hours later, with: “I”M SORRY!!!!!! (If you are talking about me lol) Decision being made NOW!

I had an email within that hour to tell me that her choice was something completely different from what she had previously narrowed her choices down to.  I laughed out loud.

Michael asked why I was laughing and I told him that Carly chose a pattern that wasn’t one of the two she was previously considering.  Michael laughed too.

The pattern that Carly ended up choosing, drum roll please….is the Echo Flowers Shawl!

Tune in next week for Part Two: “The Yarn” of the Brooketopian drama “The Wedding Shawl.”