Thursday, January 5, 2017

What 2017 Brings. . .

I'm not sure what will be in store for me this year. 2016 was full of changes and surprises and I expect that 2017 will bring more of the same.

We are still homeschooling both kiddos. They seem to be thriving and enjoying the journey so far. Danger asked last night if we could homeschool him for college. My husband told him that probably wouldn't be an option but that he could live at home for college if he wanted. I love that at 6 he's already thinking that far ahead!! On the other hand, Chickadee is over thinking college. She's only 12 and yet manages to stress herself out trying to decide not only which college she will go to, but exactly what she plans to study when she gets there. We need to help her find a balance somewhere between sloth and panic.

Work-wise, I'm still a Realtor in my local area. It's been keeping me extra busy in my "spare" time. I even managed to get a few knitting commissions! People at work saw me knitting at my desk, wanted Christmas gifts, and were willing to pay a fair amount for the work. Working and knitting? Heaven!

My YOTH (year of the hat) 2016 is over. I made 10 hats and 2 pairs of mittens before Christmas. In between I made another Lady Eleanor and a split brim hat for Danger. Not bad for this busy Mama.

In 2017 my plan is to use up the sock yarn I have hoarded over the years. You know, the "good" stuff. There's some "just okay" yarn in there too, I'm sure. Obviously my first choice is to knit socks. Any leftovers will make preemie hats. And leftovers after that are going to make some linen stitch scarves. I really love the way linen stitch looks.

I have some sewing goals as well. Unfortunately my time to sew is limited. Having a "real" job is eating my days! I'm sure I'll manage to make some room in the schedule somewhere though. I'll keep you updated. . .


Friday, October 28, 2016


So, my last post was awhile ago.  That's about all I'm going to say about that.

Anyhow, last year I had a great time making a list of all the small projects I can make to use up the bits of yarn I'm not so secretly hoarding.  There are still a ton of things on my list that I haven't gotten to yet and that I still want to knit.  So here goes Year of the Hat #2.  I cast on my first hat last night and finished it up this morning.

Here it is:

The yarn is The Fibre Company Tundra (Alpine) and the pattern is "Betsy" by Jane Richmond.  I love the way it turned out.  It looks so ready for fall!   My plan it to make another hat using the same pattern and yarn but in a different color, Glacier this time.

Both hats will be adorned with faux fur pom-poms for that extra chic look.  And because I hear it's cool these days. Even if I am not.

This is my list for YOTH 2016:

Fallberry Mitts 
Close cables hat / Tett i flett-lue 
Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters
KitKat Hat by Andre Sue
Cable Rouge by Marisa Hernandez
Pome by Agata Smektala
Spring Beret by Natalie Larson
Claudia by MJ Kim
Lina by Johanna of Joko Knits
Double Rib Toddler Hat by Torunn Espe
Foliage by Emilee Mooney
Zig Zag Chevron Hat by Ashlee Schleicher
Noro spiral one-skein hat by Manuel Ducret
mont-royal by tshep
Herriot Hat by Nicole Montgomery
Sitka Spruce by tincanknits
Wintered Wheat Mitts by Melissa Schaschwary
Beeswax hat by Amy van de Laar

Looks like I better get knitting!!


Thursday, September 10, 2015


Lately I've been in a clearing out mood.  Too much stuff, not enough storage, you know how it is.  So I made a decision, any yarn or fabric left in my possession after Christmas of 2016 is to be destashed by February of 2017, anything left after that will be donated.

This timeline gives me plenty of time to make the things I really truly want to make and the opportunity to clear out the things I haven't and won't use.  As I type I can see fabric that I've had in my stash for at least 10 years.  If I haven't used it by now, chances are I'm probably not going to. No matter how much I "love" it.

At first, I was going to limit my purge to fabric, but I was looking for a baby hat pattern on Ravelry the other day and I saw so many delightful hat patterns.  Most of them were free too!  It was one of those "Aha!" moments.  I started queuing all of the hat (and some mitt) patterns I liked. My plan is to start with the first one in my queue and work my way down. My rules are: go in order, make at least one hat per week, and only use yarn from my stash. I'm calling it "Year of the Hat" or YOTH for short. And Yoth is fun to say. Try it, you'll see. Yoth.

What will I do with 1,000,000 hats?  Good question! Chickadee has already claimed several. But since she only needs so many hats, I'm going to let the kids "shop" in the forthcoming hat bin for Christmas gifts (surprise relatives and friends!). The rest will go to a local charity.

My first hat is already done!

"Barley" was a swift little beauty.  Of course I made the mistake of not reading the whole pattern, so there's a rather large mistake. I ended up with a purl section instead of a garter section, but the hat is still attractive, so I'm going with it. Next up, Antler hat. Time for some stash diving. . .

Anyone else up for some major hat making for YOTH? 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Orange Binding

I must really like orange binding.  I finally finished my Cheer quilt from {insert random mumbling here} with orange binding and I bought this orange fabric to finish another Cheer quilt.  

It feels good to finally have a completely finished quilt to send off.  I'm looking forward to getting the others done very, very soon, so that I can move on to other projects, guilt free. What other projects you say?  One out of necessity, and one out of desperation. Desperation on so many levels.  

First, I pulled this fabric to make myself a new wallet.

 It's classic, summery, patriotic, and perfect.  My old wallet, which I loved, literally fell apart last week.  I was in denial about the sad shape it was in and I'm still in a little bit of denial that it's actually gone.

Second, I'm jumping on the bandwagon with Blue Elephant Stitches, and quilting through Simply Retro.  I was going to go with her first choice, Sunday Morning Quilts, which I already own, and my first choice, but I checked Simply Retro out at the library and fell in love.  My only rule is that I cannot buy any new fabric.  Not even when it's "necessary" to finish a quilt.  I HAVE to work from my stash only.  Even if it means that my quilt will not be "perfect".  I have so many lovely, and not so lovely, fabrics that I need to use up. I know that it will feel good to purge in such a delightful way.  I pulled these fabrics for the first quilt in the book, Swell:

I bought this set from a quilt shop that was going out of business a few years back. At the time, I "loved" this fabric. Now, not so much.  It's just too dark and not my style.  Of course I bought yards, and yards, and yards of it.  I'm hoping that one quilt will be sufficient to eat up all the yardage.  It might be a large quilt. . .

With all of this sewing going on, I'm starting to feel a wee bit better.  Let's hope I can keep it up, orange binding and all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Living Joyfully

Live joyfully.  That's my mantra lately.  It's hard to actually do though.  Especially when everyone else seems so, not joyful.  Miserable actually.  Mama is unhappy living with us, the kids are stressed, and I feel like all the eggs keep falling out of my basket.  I'm barely holding it together here people. I am not naturally exuberant.  And yet. I'm trying to stay calm and cheerful.  I'm falling dreadfully short of the "joyful" that I'd like to be, but I feel like I have to balance the gloomy, spiteful, melancholy, self-pitying beast that comes out at our house sometimes.  

Wow, I'm such a downer today.  Sorry about that.  It feels good to vent just a little bit though.  Let's move on to actual joyful things, shall we?  First, THE LIST.  I'm feeling great about that.  The Wizard of Oz is over!!! Yay!! We all survived and nobody had to go on stage nekked, so it's basically win-win.  The difference between naked and nekked, you ask?  (You didn't but I'll tell you anyway.) Naked = no clothes.  Nekked = no clothes and you're up to something.  Yes, I do need a cup of coffee right now. Back to the list, revised of course.

1. February Bee Blocks  
2. March Bee Blocks  
3. Star quilt (just need to finish binding)  
4. Green quilt (top is done!)
 5. Shirts for my boys
6. Plus quilt (top is done!)
 7. Renae's quilt (needs to be quilted and bound)
8. April blocks and quilt
9. May blocks

I have about a zillion things to add, but I want to get through this particular list first.  Then, maybe Jolene over at Blue Elephant Stitches will be ready to start that quilt along. . .

Friday, April 10, 2015

Forward Progress

Phew!  I'm finally feeling like I'm on track again.  I managed to squeeze at least half a year's worth of sewing into a day.  It was so very therapeutic.  I still have a long way to go but at least I'm on the right road again :-).  Here's my updated list.

1. February Bee Blocks
2. March Bee Blocks
3. Star quilt (just need to finish binding)
4. Green quilt (top is done!)
5. Shirts for my boys
6. Poppy skirts (Wizard of Oz play)
7. Glenda dress (Wizard of Oz)
8. Munchkin shorts (Wizard of Oz)
9. Munchkin shirts (Wizard of Oz)
10. Plus quilt (top is done!)
11. Renae's quilt (needs to be quilted and bound)
12. April blocks and quilt

My February and March blocks are not only finished but actually in the mail and on their way!!  Look

Beautiful March blocks for Cheer!  I think I need these on my mantle permanently!

April Blocks
+ & X Quilt from last year

Plus quilt from October

 Oh, how I needed that day.  It was grey and rainy and the kids were busy cleaning their room.  CLEANING THEIR ROOM. Together.  Not fighting. Mama was napping, I think.  More likely she was watching T.V. in her room. It was blissful.  Spending a whole day sewing again.  Avoiding the chores that still need to be done.  Which I need to go and do now before our company comes in tonight.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Upheaved.  That's how I feel today.  I was already so busy and then Mama asked to move in.  How could I say no?  I think I underestimated how time consuming it would be to have her here.  And how demanding she would be.  She needs to have everything done RIGHT NOW.  It's getting better.  We're settling into our routines and getting used to living with each other.  Still.  It's been a more difficult adjustment than I expected.

 I have learned some things about myself so far in this new adventure: 1) I am (slightly) OCD, 2) I truly value my time alone, 3) I crave making things, 4) It is possible to (slightly) resent one of your favorite people. I'm sure that there are other lessons for me to learn here too.  Like patience and understanding, that I'm in desperate need of but that's a story for another day.

It hit me while browsing through some quilting magazines at the local bookstore.  It was like a wave of nostalgia from out of nowhere.  I realized that I missed sewing.  I miss the colors and creativity.  I miss it because my time to sew has been limited to absolutely zero lately.  Every spare minute is dedicated to keeping the house running, the bills paid, the kids clean, clothed, fed and schooled, and Mama.  I do manage to knit a tiny bit while the kids have their swim lessons or waiting at doctors' appointments but it's not enough to soothe my soul.  And boy, do I need some of that these days.

I realized in the past few weeks that to keep my sanity, I need to sew.  So, this week I am reclaiming some time for myself.  Mostly I'll be catching up on projects that have been marinating way too long and my bee blocks for the Cheer Circle.  So that I can (hopefully) stay on track, here is my master list of projects in order of priority.

1. February Bee Blocks
2. March Bee Blocks
3. Star quilt (just need to finish binding)
4. Green quilt
5. Shirts for my boys
6. Poppy skirts (Wizard of Oz play)
7. Glenda dress (Wizard of Oz)
8. Munchkin shorts (Wizard of Oz)
9. Munchkin shirts (Wizard of Oz)
10. Plus quilt
11. Renae's quilt (needs to be quilted and bound)
12. April blocks and quilt

That should at least get me caught up and feeling good again.  I'm hoping to get a great big chunk done this week.  Barring any other intrusions in my already overflowing schedule of course.