Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review

 This year has been wild ride and I'm really rather pleased with the amount of making that's happened in a mere 365 days.

I got some big projects done from start to finish. The Sheep of Unknown Provenance was one of my biggest spinning projects to date and I learned a lot about how to process fleece, dye wool, and spin with color.
 Some projects were abandoned entirely and I'm not a hundred percent sure why. It could be that they were too fiddly or that I was distracted by something shiny or that it just wasn't what I wanted to be doing.

 Simple, but well-made seems to make me happy. I loved the challenge of learning new things like matching plaids and incorporating that knowledge into something I could share.
I knit or crocheted over 7,600 yards this year, which is the most I've done since I started keeping track. I couldn't tell you how much I've spun, but I'd wager it's more than I've spun in the past. I feel productive... and warm.

My baby has gone from a toddler... a little girl. (Cue sentimental Mama sobbing).
And my big one...
A beautiful young woman. (Cue more sentimental Mama sobbing).
I've learned a lot, made a lot, been lots of places, worked hard, hung out with friends, and generally have had a lovely time of it. Parts of this year were difficult, but I'm surrounded by a lot of love. 
I've changed my mind and moved toward more compassion and more love. Just when you think there couldn't possibly be more room for that, more room is just there. 
Thank you for making me better.  
In 2016, I look forward to more challenges, more beauty, more making, more love, more focus. I look forward to the new shape of Project Make and to learning more about what I can do and what I can be: Faster, higher, more betterer. 

It's gonna be great. See you in 2016.

P.S. The Etsy shop is open now, if you want to take a look. 
P.P.S. Just a reminder that January will be the Month of Mending for the new and improved Project Make: a year long -along of -alongs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FO: Winter Jammies

A couple FO's that were actually finished last week before we left for Chicago.

Both are Simplicity 8488, D, in size 3 with no alterations to size or fit.

I did do a couple things to make them special, though. The Snow Jammies have a bit of ribbon at the front and hand-tatted snowflakes made by my very own sister specifically for these jammies. She did the hard work, I just sewed them on. You can kind of see them in the picture below and I love that they're subtle, but add dimension and puffy heart love from Aunt Erin.

Fairy Jammies have an added sparkly tulle netting over top of the top part of the bodice and a line of beads hand-sewn across the chest.

Both are comfy, easy to put on and take off, and should be sturdy enough to pass on to other certain little girls that may grow into them after Miss Bu has grown out of them. Both were made completely from stash, excepting the bias tape around the neckline.

Slow fashion is harder for little ones who are growing like weeds, but I can at least make something that can be passed on and used and loved by more than one kid. I'm most likely not going to be making all of her clothes and I have bought her a stack of much-needed new things, but a couple pair of Mama-made winter jammies is a nice addition to a little bitty's wardrobe.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

So. Awesome.

I am hanging out in the Windy City this week, visiting with Husband's family. It is a festive season of festivity and I have been kicking back with some festive knitting.  And it's been a busy week, but a fun one.

I've organized my stash and made sure everything is updated in Ravelry. It's now put away by color in the stash, which is how I often like to look at it in Ravelry, too. This here is my whole stash.

After some careful calculations, I figured that I had about 8 years, 3 months' worth of yarn. That's a respectable amoun of yarn for me and all of it is stuff I want to work with. I don't feel the burninating need to buy more yarn and I do feel the need to knit with the lovely yarns I have. That's a good place to be with your stash. I'd say it was a successful stash fluff.

And this happened:

I had the great pleasure this last weekend to have seen The Movie at a private showing with some serious cosplaying fellows from the 501st Legion. It was awesome. It was really, really, awesome. That's all I can say for now. So. Awesome.

I also made a lot of progress on some grinchy socks (I have a sock and a half, minus heels now) and finished a couple pair of jammies for a little Bu, which I will show you in a separate post. Blogging on the iPad is weird, I gotta say.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

This week in pictures

It's been a busy week 
As you can see
But I did start some socks
And I got some mending done
I even got to see the show after helping out backstage.
They were pretty great
We lit some candles (and had some chocolate)
We spent a little time together at the holiday party
And we got to see Santa 
It's been a good week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dance of the Moose Pants Fairy

Happy holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, if anything, I hope you have  a good one. It's getting festive here at the House of M.

It's also recital week this week and, for the first time, both girls are dancing. It's kinda neat that Bu's first recital is Nutcracker because it's a special thing at the dance school. Bu's part is pretty small because the littles have short attention spans and are pretty much there to be cute and experience being on stage, but she's super excited and will just randomly start doing parts of her dance.

Bu and some of the Nutcracker Corps dancers
 The littles wear Christmas-y pajamas for their costume, which is easy, inexpensive, and comfortable. I had some wintery fabrics on hand, so I thought I'd do up some pajamas for her instead of buying some. I had just enough of this fabric for some jammie pants and the shirt is one she already had. I'm missing some bias tape to finish the other two sets of jammies in the works, but these are delightful and perfect for her first dance on stage. I give you the first FO of this week: Moose Pants!

The moose are my favorite
The second FO this week is a pair of socks for Miss Iris. These are called Pronaia, which means "forethought." This is the Fork in the Road pattern by Lara Neel in  Sock it to Me Fair Isle in the Covered Bridge for the main part and Knit Picks Stroll Solid in Fedora for the heels, toes, and cuff.

I'm also doing a fair amount of stash fluffing, which includes washing and measuring some of the handspun, generally taking stock of what there is, and making sure everything is entered properly with pictures into the Ravelry stash. For a taxonomist, this is a walk in the park compared to obscure Andean butterflies, but I'm using many of the same skills. Sort by shared characteristics (in this case, color), label everything, take more notes than you think you need to. That is how you science.

 Finally, as part of the upcoming Project Make reboot: A year long along of alongs, I'm announcing the first few months' alongs.

January is for Mending: Visible mending is more than just fixing your clothes. You're applying functional art to garments that would otherwise be tossed in the trash bin or headed to the thrift store. Mending is fun, decorative, and good for the environment.

February is for Finishing: I'm certainly not the first to suggest this, but as a person with  DaVinci Disorder*, I always have unfinished projects to attend to and this is a good chance to take stock and give some attention to what might otherwise be abandoned to the depths of the WIP pile.

Weaving in ends
March is for Embroidery: Embroidery is one of my favorite crafts because it's like painting with thread. It's also one of the oldest crafts known to humankind and hasn't changed much since the dawn of time. If you're into socks, mittens, or other things that come in pairs, March will also be for Making Mates, but I'm going to be focusing on embroidery for the purposes of Project Make.

That's it for now! I'm looking forward to the beginning of the year. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015


Thanksgiving was nice. I rather enjoy "cooking" with my sister (by which I mean preparing most everything the few days before and making sure it's all warm by dinnertime) and we had plenty of chance to laugh together and hang out. It was pleasant. And then we had friendsgiving, which was just about perfect. We still have pie. 

I finished a tea cosy. Since I only finished it a few hours ago, I haven't yet updated the Ravelry page or anything like that, but there it is, keeping my teapot nice and warm. Bu has requested hot chocolate cosies, too, which I think is completely fair. We can't let the tea have all the fun, right?

 The bedscarf continues, poco a poco. Since it's in blocks, I'm not terribly worried about when it's finished. I just want to do a block when I feel like it and I'll eventually end up with a thing.

I don't really have that much other knitting or crochet going on. I've been a little scattered as far as crafting goes.
Rufus is settling in pretty well and there's no doubt that he's well-loved here. I'm getting used to being a dog owner and finding out that it's not so bad.

There aren't that many posts remaining until the end of the year and I've been rock-tumbling about what I want to do with Project Make (All the Things). I feel like I petered out in the middle of the year, but there's still something I can do with the idea. It seemed like most people were confused about what, exactly, I was trying to do and I think that I didn't do a very good job of defining it and/or that the scope was too broad.

Next year, I'm thinking of having a year long along of alongs, many of which will probably overlap with other alongs. If, say, I'm doing spinning in July (Tour de Fleece!), that's easier to along than "Umm... make some stuff." I might also steal from Bekah and start doing separate FO posts. This year, however, I've posted much more regularly than in previous years and that's a win. I've only missed a couple weeks and I'm darn proud of that. 

The year's not over yet, though. There's still a fair bit of making to be done in the next few weeks and hopefully plenty of finishing, too. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SAFF Sweater and an Unexpected Dog

 So, in the car on the way to SAFF, I finished my sweater just as we got to Asheville. I immediately put it on and wore it about the delightfully Southern/hippie/artist town. I felt very much at home. We stopped at the awesome Tupelo Honey Cafe when we got there and afterward I got to toodle around town in my new, though unblocked digs. Here it is in it's washed and blocked glory.

I love the saddle shoulders and though it's a bit shortish, I think I will keep it that way. This is the Seamless Saddle Shoulder Pullover by the legendary EZ. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in the Garnet Heather color, about 754yds.

The first batch of Delphi & Delos is done and I love how it turned out. The picture doesn't really do it justice. There's a richness to how the two colorways blend together that I can't quite capture. 

In other news, we have a new family member. This is Rufus, a sweet, chill, little pug. His former owner, Randy, was the person who introduced me to John. Randy passed away this week and this little snerfledog needed to go to a family who would love him and be his forever home.
It's a big adjustment for me, but the kids fell instantly in love and he seems to be settling in pretty well.

We also had a Nutcracker Tea this week. Bu dressed up for the occasion.
And so did Iris. (The lady to the right of Iris with the fascinator on is Bu's dance teacher.)

A good time was had by all. There were nutcracker-appropriate snacks and an abbreviated version of the ballet for the little dancers to watch. Iris did such a great job and Bu was totally into it once the dancing started.