Author Archives: Melanie

Morning sock knitting

Just wanted to post an update on my current morning sock knitting and the progress I’m making.

Here’s a link to this project on Ravelry. You’ll find more details there but the yarn is Zauberball and the pattern is Taffy Toes by Tabetha Hedrick. This is one that I kitted up a long time ago. I have no idea when. I know I didn’t kit it up for last year so it might have been in 2018 when I put this together. Who knows…

Anyway, I don’t like the yarn. Nothing wrong with Zauberball. It’s all personal preference. It’s single ply and a little inconsistent. Some parts are thicker than other parts. But the color is knitting up amazing and I love the rainbow. I haven’t done cuff down in a long while as I prefer toe up but the pattern is written cuff down and I didn’t have the brain power to switch it. So I stuck with what was written.

I usually knit 15 min/day but the pattern is not too complex and I’m allowing myself 4 rounds per day which is a bit more than 15 minutes. I don’t really keep track unless I’ve got a meeting to attend so I am enjoying my morning knit. I’ve got about 20 more rounds to do before I start the heel which will make the leg a bit longer. It’s currently way longer than I normally knit the leg but I want the full rainbow to be visible so I’m okay with it.

~ Knit on my friends

Melanie

Sunday Stash Report – Week 4, 2021

Of course, as soon as I finished Kayla’s masks the dog chewed up my husband’s favorite mask. And while he has other masks he could wear, they just didn’t fit right. So I am back to the drawing board to make him a mask that fits. But I’m not done yet because there’s no rush and my plan is to finish them tonight.

All this to say, I’ve got nothing used and nothing added. Although the whole mask thing with the hubby made me want to go to the LQS to buy some fabric more appropriate for manly masks. Luckily, the thought of getting appropriately dressed and out of the house, was too much effort so I went through a few bins and found black fabric for the outfacing layer and browns and grays for the inner layer. The plan today is to make one to determine the right measurements and then make a handful more for him and my son. With luck, I’ll be able to claim a yard used next week.

In other good news, I added the leaves to my Q20 and put the quilt “staycation” under the needle. My progress is not great and I plan to take more pictures and post them for you over the next week. I only did about an hour yesterday and my plan is to take 15 minutes every day to quilt a bit. I’m learning how to use a ruler and the result is awful. But I’m getting better as I go on and that’s all that matters. So soon, this quilt will be done and I can finally add this to the usage numbers.

Go to more stash reports at QuiltPaintCreate who now hosts the Sunday Stash. I’ll be linking up there this morning.

The fabric stash:  

  • Used since last time: 0 yards
  • Used year to date: 1 yards
  • Added since last time: 0 yards
  • Added year to Date: 7 yards
  • Net added for 2021: 6 yards

For yarn:

Last week, I said that I had some finished socks finished but hadn’t taken pictures so I didn’t include them in my used numbers.

Geeky Girl Knits 5th year anniversary sock collection from many years ago
Sock it to me socks

That’s 2 skeins used. I was very close to buying yarn as I received an email from my favorite dyer, Voolenvine, with her weekly update email and the itch to click over to buy was very strong. Luckily, she has a very dedicated following and her shop is generally out of stock 15 minutes after her weekly update. So I have to set an alarm, know exactly what I want and be ready when her update opens. And, I didn’t set that alarm so the update past me by. In addition, I’ve been watching a new to me podcast, The Bearded Purl, and the last few episodes have them going on and on about this yarn that is more natural or rustic than I’m used to buying or wanting to buy. Which is probably why I want it. I don’t have a lot of that rustic stuff and I like to buy things I don’t already have a lot of. But in both cases, I was able to restrain myself. I have a lot of yarn and I do not nearly knit as quickly as some of my friends. So, I need to make a huge dent before I can even think about buying. Just writing this depresses me so I think I’m setting myself up for failure on this end as there is no way I can’t buy yarn. I’ll have to think of a way to make it so that I can still buy yarn but be using more than adding.

The yarn stash:

  • Used since last time: 2 skeins
  • Used year to date: 2 skeins
  • Added since last time: 0 skeins
  • Added year to date: 0 skeins
  • Net used for 2021: 2 skeins

~Happy Sunday!

~happy crafting!

~Have a quilty week!

Melanie

2021 cross stitch Plans

  1. 3rd row of Gamer. I’m working on finishing the 2nd row. I calculated it and I will need to do close to 100 stitches every day to finish the 3rd row of Gamer. Or I can stitch 700 stitches per week. Either is a lot of stitches and I’m not sure I have the mental wherewithal to stitch that much on one project. I am going to make a solid attempt and we’ll see where I’m at at the end of the month. 🙂

The rest of the projects pictured below are fun projects that I rotate through. My plan is to do a diagonal at a time and then when one diagonal is complete, to use my tiny decision app to pick the next project. Because I’m working on Gamer mostly this year, I don’t foresee getting much done on these projects and that’s okay.

A Stitch in Time HAED
Shades of Rose – Northern Expressions
Autumn Owls – HAED
Mirabilia – Titania
Tsuru Kame – 25 count – HAED
Unicorn – GeckoRouge

I know I have a bunch more that I failed to take pictures of at their current state. But I’m sure they will get posted as I work on them over this year.

Have a good stitchy day!

~Melanie

Mask making in my house

Last Sunday I posted that I really don’t enjoy making masks. Early on I tried a bunch of different kinds. I can’t tell you what they were called but some had 4 different templates to cut out and took forever just to make 1 mask. I don’t have a lot of crafting time and I was very against using my little bit of precious time doing something I didn’t enjoy doing. Later on I saw this mask tutorial on Facebook and while not perfect was much quicker to make than others. And my daughter likes this mask than any of the other masks I made. My husband will use what I make him as long as he could find them. But he really likes the ones that we got for free from various places. My son doesn’t like the ones I make and that’s why I don’t make him much of anything. He doesn’t mean to be mean. He’s a teenage boy. Enough said.

My daughter is leaving for Boston in a few days so I spent the last few days making masks for her. It’s been several months since I made the last set and I had forgotten some of the tips and tricks that I knew when I was making masks more regularly. I decided to make this post so I had a place to look and remind myself when next I make masks.

I bought some of these fabrics for my nieces and nephews and my daughter will get to enjoy some of them even though she’s 19! But her mask recipe is… 11″ x 6.3″ rectangles. If you looked at the tutorial you would know what these mean. The diagonal she prefers, and actually fits me and my son is 2″ down and 2.75″ at the top (from right to left). Here’s where I have to be careful, the crease in the middle, needs to be .5-.75″ from the center. The tutorial is .75″ but I feel that makes too big of a crease. The .5 might be a bit small so somewhere between would be just right. For my daughter, if I do a quarter inch seam for the top and the bottom, it’s a perfect fit. But I feel like it’s too bulky with all the fabric. I like to sew an eighth inch seam as that helps reduce the bulk inside. But the problem is that the end result makes a slightly bigger mask. It tends to cover her eyes. So, I need to do the quarter inch seam despite the bulk. If I am making it for me I want to do something between the quarter and the 8th inch. If I am making it for my son, the 8th inch seam seems to be fine.

The next issue is the elastic. My daughter likes the elastic at 6.5″ for each ear. This works for me too. This is too small for my son and I really need to figure out how long it needs to be for him. I will get a chance to figure it out since I will need to make my son some plain black ones at some point. He keeps misplacing the free ones he gets from various places.

Happy mask masking, if you are still making masks.

~Melanie

2021 Knitting Plans

Morning Sock Knitting. I will continue to knit socks every morning. This is part of my morning ritual and I enjoy it.

My Weasley Sweater – Finally! it’s my turn to knit my Weasley Sweater. I admit I wasn’t looking forward to knitting this. But I am using a different yarn, Manos del Uruguay, and it’s so luscious! But I didn’t like how Ricky’s sweater came out. I followed the pattern exactly and what I found was that the sweater to pattern was cutest on my daughter Kayla as that was a small size. But as I went up sizes first for Jacob and then Ricky, the sweater didn’t come out right. Now for Jacob I admit I made many errors on his. But when I did Ricky’s I was certain that I didn’t make any errors and it came out weird. It works but it wouldn’t be something he or I would ever wear out in public. So I wasn’t looking forward to doing mine. I even considered doing a different sweater and then just sticking an M on it to call it Weasley. But I felt like that was cheating. What I ended up deciding to do was to take this opportunity to start learning how to customize sweaters according to my size. So that’s what I’m going to do. Now I’m excited to about this project again.

24 days of Christmas Shawl from Jimmy Bean- This is the shawl I started last December (2019) with my Advent Calendar I purchased from Jimmy Bean. It’s not done yet but I’m very close. Based on what I have left to do, I imagine this will be done in February. I love this shawl and this is my priority project right now.

Jimmy Bean Advent Calendar Shawl – 2019 Status as of 12/20/2020

Water Lily

Water Lily Back 12/20/2020
Water Lily Front 12/20/2020

Beanie for Kayla – My plan for 2020 was to alternate every row to finish off a skein of yarn with a new skein of yarn. But I totally forgot about this project. I have the yarn in my bin waiting for me to work on this project. And it’s not high on my list for 2021.

Tranquil Mist – started when I finished the Mix Wave cowl twice before this one. The first yarn was a bit variegated but a teal/black and it didn’t look nice with the lace. So I ripped it back and started again with a new yarn. The second yarn was a silk and was so thin it didn’t look right. I got to chart 2 and then messed up. Finally I just ripped it all back and started again with a third yarn. I am loving how this is coming together now.

Tranquil Mist Finished Chart 1 2-3 rows into Chart 2 12/20/2020

Future knitting

Once the Advent Shawl is done I plan to start the Orient Express. And as I finish projects here is what I will work on in this order:

A blue hat that I started in 2020 and still need to complete. It is almost done.

Soldotna

Selbu Mittens

Purple Sweater that I have the yarn for but not a patter

Another Shawl

Hat #150 // Kayla’s Beanie…

Anyway, my plan is that every time I finish something is to start another something.

~Happy Knitting!

~Melanie

Sunday Stash Report – Week 3, 2021

I had a 40% off coupon for one cut of fabric from my LQS that I received when I participated in the 12 days of Christmas event last Fall.  It would have expired last Tuesday, 1/12/2021, if I had not used it. So I did. Whenever there are these great deals, I generally like to buy backing with it. So I bought 7 yards of fabric. I really wanted 10 yards but thought that would be excessive.  

I spent the last couple of days making masks for my daughter as she is leaving in a few days to go back to Boston. I don’t like making masks, it’s really no fun but it’s a great use of fabric and once I figured out how she likes them I was able to make 9 masks at once. It’s a little under a yard used so I’m just going to round up to 1 yard. I’ll go into detail on a separate post about these masks.

Go to more stash reports at QuiltPaintCreate who now hosts the Sunday Stash. I’ll be linking up there this morning.

The fabric stash:  

  • Used since last time: 1 yards
  • Used year to date: 1 yards
  • Added since last time: 7 yards
  • Added year to Date: 7 yards
  • Net added for 2021: 6 yards

For yarn:

I also haven’t used or added anything. I have socks that I finished and another pair I started but I still need to take pictures so I won’t mark them here until I’ve done that. I’m still working on my other projects. Work has been very busy so I’ve not been able to knit as much as I’d like during the week. Oh well, things will slow down in a bit and I’m grateful for the work.

The yarn stash:

  • Used since last time: 0 skeins
  • Used year to date: 0 skeins
  • Added since last time: 0 skeins
  • Added year to date: 0 skeins
  • Net used for 2021: 0 skeins

~Happy Sunday!

~happy crafting!

~Have a quilty week!

Melanie

2021 Quilty plans

In a previous post, I listed all the quilts that I plan to quilt this year. There are 7 of them. In this post, I will list the quilts I’m working on and my plans to get them to the to be quilted stage…. 

Jan Krentz Quick Star 01/01/2021

Jan Krentz – Diamond Star quilt. I’m not sure what this one is called but I started this in December (yup, just this past December 2020) in a workshop and I’ve got the inner top finished. I still need to do the border and I’m planning on putting some appliqued pieces in the center to make it pop. 

Grassy Creek Clue 3 – finished 12/26/2020

Bonnie Hunter’s 2020 Mystery Quilt, Grassy Creek – I’m currently working on Clue 4.

Scrappy Stars Around the Corner 3/6/2020

I need to figure out where I left on this project. I’m pretty sure I have a bunch of rows pieced together but I’m not sure if this top is done or not. I don’t think so but who knows… It’s been several months since I’ve pulled this project to look at.

Dancing with the Stars Linda Ballard 8/2020

Dancing with the Stars by Linda Ballard – I’m also not sure where I’m at here. I know I ran out of fabrics and I can’t make it a queen size quilt so I need to make a decision on what to do to move forward on this quilt.

Radiant Jewel Quilt by Kimberly Einmo – all the blocks are done and my plan was to get this up oh a design wall at a quilt retreat to figure out where the blocks will go and move forward on it. It looks like that quilt retreat will probably not be happening anytime soon so… we’ll see where we are at when this comes up in queue.

Gardenvale by Moda 7/12/2020

Gardenvale – started in 2020. I need to make a decision as to how I want to move forward on this. It’s been percolating and one of the ideas I’ve been playing with is doing traditional blocks around the new round in these fabrics. I need to do the math to figure out how big I want them to be and how many I will need to fill the round. I love these fabrics. 🙂

Allietare –  Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2015 – I pulled this out in 2020 to start working on this but I had such difficulty figuring out where I was in clue 1 that I set it aside. I need to put my big girl panties on and just move forward on this one. I did not do too many of these so if I have to start all over, I’m okay with that.

Area Three Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilters Run – I actually pulled this out in 2020 to start working on as well but something about it wasn’t sitting well with me. I had a kit of beautiful batiks and about 10-12 instructions and every time I tried to get started, I just couldn’t. So I scrapped it. I pulled the fabric out and it’s now in my basket to pre-wash my fabrics. When that basket gets full it will all go in the wash.

Civil War Diary Quilt – started in 2017 – I’m putting this on the list.

~Happy Quilting!

~Melanie

2021 – Tops to be quilted

Here are all the quilt tops I have ready to be quilted.

Staycation 9/22/18

I still need to prepare backing and the batting.

Good Fortune 1/6/2020

Part of the hold up (other than being scared of the Q20, and moving, and 2020) was that I didn’t know what design I wanted to use with the Q20. So I dillied and dallied.

Glam Clam Finished Top 1/13/2020

Back in the summer, I was given the opportunity to purchase some used quilting rulers. And they’ve been sitting here unused. After some thought and consternation, I decided to eff it all and stop thinking too hard on this. These are not show quilts nor are they the perfect quilts. I enjoyed working on them and love how they turned out. But I don’t need to have the perfect quilting motif.

SoCal Quilt Run 2012 Area 4 Mystery Quilt Kind of June 22, 2020

So the plan for 2021 is to take each ruler and use it on these quilts. I’ll put some effort in that I’ll match what I feel is a good design with the quilt. But that’s it. I don’t want another year to go by before I get theses quilted.

Goal #1- Use the Q20 and get comfortable quilting with it.

Goal #2- Learn how to quilt with a ruler especially the rulers I have. I’d like to take a ruler class when we can do those again and learn tricks and techniques. Until then, I’ll check out YouTube for the tutorials.

SoCal Quilt Run 2012 Area 4 Mystery Quilt Kind of Sept, 2020

So now that that’s been decided, I’m ready to move on to the next step. Prepare the backing.

Provence ~ BOM at my LS – top finished in 2019 (I think)

And then prepare the batting. I have a roll of batt so I will do these all at once. Somewhere I have measurements on all these quilts. But rather than look for those measurements I’m just going to re-measure. And then add the necessary inches to all the sides and cut the batting. I like big quilts so this is not an easy thing to do. But necessary.

There is one extra quilt top not pictured here. I didn’t even piece this quilt. At one of the August treasure hunts my Quilt guild hosts, I purchased a finished top for something like $5. My intention at the time was to use the quilt to practice Free Motion Quilting. Life just got in the way and it sat. That quilt will be finished this year. 🙂

Goal #3- Basting – Settle in a technique that works for me. I haven’t had to baste in years. We’ll really baste. I basted Celtic Solstice some how. I don’t remember. But I’m sure I was on the floor pinning and so don’t want to do that anymore. I had been renting time in a long arm which meant I didn’t have to baste and other than Celtic Solstice all the other quilts ready to be quilted have been waiting. I tried spray basting a long time. And I saw some great YouTube tutorials. I’ll try it out and if I love how it turns out I’ll share the tutorial with you. Until then,

~Happy Quilting!

Melanie

Sunday Stash Report – Week 2, 2021

I received a bag of fabric from a friend who is destashing. She’s been destashing for a few years and I’ve been the recipient for a lot of fabric.  Recently – within the last year, one of my knitting friends has expressed desire to learn to quilt. So now whenever I get free fabric I send them her way to help her build her stash.

All of that to say that I have a bag of fabric. One of those pieces is 7 yards so you can imagine how that will impact my stash report.  The good news, I haven’t decided what will stay with me and what I’ll gift on.  So, for now, I’m not adding it to my stash. I hope to get to that this week for next week’s report.

I’m very busy with work so far (as I generally am this time of year) so we’ll see how much I get done.

And at last week’s post, Susan was able to point me to QuiltPaintCreate who now hosts the Sunday Stash. I’ll be linking up there this morning.

The fabric stash:  

  • Used since last time: 0 yards
  • Used year to date: 0 yards
  • Added since last time: 0 yards
  • Added year to Date: 0 yards
  • Net used for 2021: 0 yards

For yarn:

I also haven’t used or added anything.

The yarn stash:

  • Used since last time: 0 skeins
  • Used year to date: 0 skeins
  • Added since last time: 0 skeins
  • Added year to date: 0 skeins
  • Net used for 2021: 0 skeins

~Happy Sunday!

~happy crafting!

~Have a quilty week!

Melanie

2021 Crafty Plans

I love my lists and my plans and planning in general. I used to have very specific plans for my quilts every week and I did the Monthly OMG, and the weekly short lists, etc. etc. But at some point, my to do’s weren’t getting done and my lists were simply a repeat of things I didn’t do each week. So I stopped. It was partly because I started doing multiple crafts and there’s only so much time one has dedicated to crafts. Last year (2020), I started allocating time for each craft and each thing.

In 2020, my time for Quilting was on the weekends. For knitting, I did my morning sock knitting every morning. Ricky’s Weasley Sweater every evening and on Thursdays, I knit on everything else during knit night. I cross stitched every day about 100 stitches depending on the project and the amount of time I had available to stitch. That’s about all the crafting I could do. It really put things into perspective, when I know I want to do all the things but I don’t have time to do it. It sounds so simple and easy now. I’m sure I realized it before but never to the degree I KNOW now. And, it makes it easier to not buy yarn or fabric just because. Don’t get me wrong I still buy the stuff and I try to make rules to prevent me from buying extravagantly. But I still fall down the rabbit hole of buying for the sake of buying. I’m trying to not do this as much this year.

So what does this mean for 2021? Right now I am seeing and hearing a lot about planning and goal setting, etc. etc. And I want to jump right in with every one else. But I know that I can make all the goals and it won’t make a difference because I only have so much time to do the things I want to do. So, it’s a matter of reviewing my current schedule, evaluating how effective it is, and updating it for the coming year. Don’t get me wrong I still make lofty goals and lots of lists. it’s just formatted a little different and my focus is more on allocating the time to the craft as it works.

Having a schedule in 2020 worked. And I think I’m going to keep the schedule as is. I do want to add quilting more during the week and so I need to figure out how that will happen. Here’s my schedule as I’m planning right now:

Morning sock knitting. I used to do 5 rounds every day but depending on the complexity of the pattern, that may or may not happen. My minimum is 15 minutes. I have to knit 15 minutes and to finish up whatever round I’m at when my timer goes off.

In the evenings, I do my 100 stitches on whatever cross stitch I’m working on. And generally, that’s all I can do on a day to day basis. I also have my Weasley Sweater to work on each evening as well. And the plan is to do two rows each evening and 10 rows on Thursday’s knit night.

On the first Mondays, third Tuesdays, and Sundays, I meet via zoom with members of my mini groups and quilt guildies. I usually do any quilty handwork during that time. Right now, that’s my Hawaiian block that I started many years ago. I’m almost done with it and as with everything else, I’ve got a list of things to take it’s place when I get there.

Knit night is on Thursdays and I basically work on the following: Weasley Sweater (10 rows), Jimmy Bean advent shawl (2 rows), Water Lily (2 rows), Tranquil Mist (2 rows). Depending on when I’m able to join, I may or may not even get to Tranquil Mist but as one project is finished then the other projects move up the line and I get to add more to this list.

So each time block/craft has a list of things for me to work on and I try to start with whatever is at the top of the list as that is usually the priory project. But depending on how I feel and whatever the circumstances are I allow myself to switch around. I’ll be going through the lists as they currently stand over the next few weeks.

With my craft schedule laid out it’s clear that my days are pretty full and I just don’t know how to add anything else unless I remove something. And I’m not ready to remove anything. I’d be happy to remove work but I need that so I can buy all the fabric and yarn!

Happy goal planning…

Melanie