Saturday, December 31, 2016

D is for December

Today is the last day of 2016. It seems it was the last day of 2015 just the other day. Time seems to fly, no matter what.

I've had fun making projects this year. Here's the last of the Loopy's Monthly Mixer projects I finished this year.

Pattern: Declan's Hat
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Camel
Comments: For the December Mixer project, the prompt was to make something whose pattern name or yarn brand, name or colorway starts with the letter D. 

I really like texture. I think hats are a good way to play with patterns. A body can go to town with cables, ribs, twisted stitches, twisted cables...whatever strikes the fancy.  And a small(ish) project sweetens the deal with instant gratification.

I wish everyone much health and happiness in the coming year. 

MK out.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I've Made a Decision

I finished all my Loopy Academy knitting projects! I've only made one of the sewing projects (a set of box bags) and I don't think I will finish the other two in time. I've been dragging my feet with the wallhanging/table topper because I don't need another one, and I couldn't identify a gift recipient. AND I took forever to decide what to make for the garment with embroidery project. TLE sells lots of quilting cotton - not the best choice for garments - but they have some beautiful double gauze chambray. I planned on making a skirt and I was going to embroider some flowers on the waist band. Well, I ran out of time and other shiny and sparkly projects are calling my name. Yada yada yada, I am just full of excuses.

In light of all that, I will likely use the fabric I bought for the wallhanging/table topper to make other things - mug rugs, coasters, project bags...the possibilities are endless. I plan to make the skirt too, just in a more relaxed and (hopefully) enjoyable way.

I'm not waiting for Friday to show off the knitting FOs.

Pattern: Lacy Sweater by Zoe Mellor
Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima in Teal
Comments: This project is a double dip for Loopy Academy and Loopy's Monthly Mixer. For Loopy Academy, the assignment was to make something with bobbles, nupps or popcorn stitches.  Since I've never done any of that, it was also my "something scary" project for October's Mixer. 

After reading project notes on several projects, I decided to go with the 6-12 month size to shoot for 18-24 months size. I'm glad I did, because it turned out closer to at least a 2T. (I don't like baby sizing.) I nixed the lacy bottom part because while it looks adorable laying flat for a picture, it looking good on a person was a crap shoot. I converted the pattern to in the round up to the armholes. I picked up stitches around the armholes for the sleeves to knit them in the round and didn't do all those eyelet rounds either. They did not appeal to me. The end.

Pattern: Knotty Gloves by Julia Mueller
Yarn:  Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Miami Red.
Comments: The final Loopy Academy for me to complete was a pair of gloves. 

I've never made gloves before and I'm not altogether sure I'll make them again. It's only because I don't think I did a good job closing the gaps at the base of the fingers, but I'm not ruling them out completely. 

I followed the pattern as written and it was nicely written. I loved the yarn too.

So, that's it for now.

MK out.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!!!

Ho, ho, ho and fa-la-la-la-la!

We are having a nice time at Chez Merry Karma. Family has come and gone. Presents have been opened, dinner has been eaten and things are back in their places.

This week was busy, but not in a preparing-for-Christmas kind of way. I had finished the Christmas sewing a while back. Now that they've been distributed, I can show you the official 2016 Christmas Gift.

Everyone got Christmas themed pillowcases.

Even Bitty Baby got one.

I'm wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Serene Solstice and Joyous Kwanzaa!!!

MK out.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Stash Enhancements

I've been watching a few knitting podcasts lately. It seems that the podcasting community is rather close knit. They all know each other and watch each other. I like to watch them for the yarn and project porn. They all seem to like to knit socks. I like to knit socks. I've made lots of socks in my day.  

They like the Fish Kiss Lips Heel, Hermione's Everyday Socks and the Blueberry Waffle Socks. I've made Hermione's Everyday Socks twice and most recently, I've made a pair of Blueberry Waffle Socks with a Fish Kiss Lips Heel. 

These girls are into contrasting toes and heels (and sometimes cuffs too). I decided I'd like to make some socks with contrasting heels, toes and possibly cuffs.

I bought this skein of yarn at TLE in 2014. 

I think it has a vintage Christmas vibe. I'm too busy to knit it up into a pair of socks for this Christmas, but I high-tailed it over to Knitting Fairy yesterday bought a couple of contrasting minis.

I like the way they all look together!

I bought this skein of yarn at the DFW Fiber Fest last spring.

At the time, the girls in the Tumbleweed Yarn booth asked me if I wanted some contrasting yarn for toes and heels. I said no, because that was B.P. (before podcasts). While I was at Knitting Fairy yesterday, I found these minis:

Look how nice they look with the yarn:

I was on the hunt for progress keepers, because podcasts. I found this cute set of stitch markers I had to have, since I am a big Wizard of Oz fan.

There was a progress keeper in the set. That sealed the deal.

Another thing these podcasters like is tea. They drink lots of tea. Now, I was never much of a tea or coffee drinker growing up. I don't really know when the switch flipped, but I've been known to drink both now.

I have had this tea for a while. It's my precious. 

I like this Tazo Passion tea hot or cold.

The podcasters like all kinds of different flavors of tea, and they have opened up a whole new world. First, I found this tea in a local tea shop.

Then, I bought these in Fort Collins when I visited The Kid last month.

Oh my - that Almond tea is awesome. It smells so good. The Rose Petal tea does too. Loose leaf teas are pretty interesting.

Finally, Trader Joe's has a couple of seasonal teas out. There's this one

...and this one.

I've tried them and highly recommend both of them.

I'm not a podcaster, but should one knock on my door someday, I'm ready.

MK out.

Friday, December 16, 2016

FO Friday - 12/16/16

I know I mentioned that I was going to work on the September Monthly Mixer projects next, but the yarn and fabric fumes got to me.

I actually finished this hat in three days last month. I worked on it when I had about 8 WIPs. (Ask me how many I have now.) They were kind of stalled and I needed some instant gratification.

Pattern:  Conversationalist
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash. I used leftovers from a shawl and a blue pillow.
Comments:  The prompt for the November knitting project is to use worsted weight or bulky yarn to make something to keep a body warm and toasty. I like this pattern and have been wanting to make it for a while. 

The November fabric project took less than a day.

Pattern: I squared a yard of fabric and hemmed it.
Fabric: Riley Blake Flannel in Chatworth Cream Bloom
Comments: Sewists had to make something out of flannel that would keep someone warm and toasty. I figured this nice, soft and warm receiving blanket would fit the bill. 

I did a decorative stitch on the edge.

I had some fabric left and made a matching burp cloth.

Despite these finishes, I have five more projects to complete for Monthly Mixer and Loopy Academy.  

MK out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday - 12/14/2016

I've been working on my gloves assignment for Loopy Academy for the last week. I got a lot done today while binge-watching The Gilmore Girls and the Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas movies I've recorded. I'm in season two of The Gilmore Girls.

The jury is still out on whether or not I'll ever make another pair of gloves.

MK out.

Friday, December 9, 2016

FO Friday - 12/9/2016

I finished these socks almost three weeks ago. I didn't get around to posting them because issues.

Pattern: Blueberry Waffle Socks with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock (nice yarn!) in the Aurora Borealis colorway. 
Comments: I like the yarn, I like the pattern and I like the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. 

I've mentioned before that this yarn was from my first ever order from The Loopy Ewe in 2012. I've now used all three skeins

and I have three pretty pairs of socks.

MK out.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Remember Rio?

For the August Loopy's Monthly Mixer, the prompt was to make something Olympics-related or using the colors of the Rio Countryside. For the knitted project, I designed an Olympics-related washcloth.

I finally made my sewing project.

Patterns: Charm Square Fabric Tray and Hexagon Fabric Tray
Fabric: I used leftovers from my very first Camp Loopy fabric project from the summer of 2015.
Comments: I love the colors in these batiks, and they do remind me of the Rio countryside we got to see during the Olympics this year. 

The tutorials are clearly written and easy to follow.

If you are keeping score, I have completed the Mixer projects through August now. Next up is September. I haven't touched the Liesl cardigan in a while. I need to finish the Loopy Academy bobbles/popcorn/nupps project first and then I will get back to The Liesl. I am finished with all the secret Christmas sewing; so I am ready to make a little something for the September fabric project.

MK out.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Well my pretties, I haven't been feeling the blogging lately. Of course, all the rules and parameters and expectations are ones I put on myself. I do have things to write about and show, but it seems that these posts don't get written on the days they are "supposed" to be written. Then, I start feeling badly, because I feel like I am letting the three of you down, and then I start feeling like I am letting myself down and it all becomes a vicious cycle of inertia.

Inertia is my biggest challenge in life, and always has been. 

So, I thought that maybe for the rest of this crazy, busy, fun, frenzied, holiday-celebrating, family and friend time spending kind of month, I will post in a non-structured kind of way. If I finish a project, I'll post about it. If I watch a movie, I'll post about it. If I have a thought, I'll post about it.

Let's talk about yarn chicken. You know that game, right? Here you are, casting off your project and hoping that you have enough yarn to finish because for whatever reason, you don't have another skein of said yarn?

Well, it applies to sewing too, and it's called thread chicken. Last night in the work shop, I had one line of stitching I had to complete and one partial spool of red thread.

I hoped, and hoped and sewed and sewed.

Yep, I was FIVE inches short. Luckily, I had some more red thread, and though it wasn't the exact color, it worked. The good thing is that it's easier to go to the fabric store and buy more thread, than it is to get more yarn. A spool of thread to finish five inches won't break the bank like a another skein of hand-dyed yarn for just five inches or twenty stitches or whatever will.

But technically, Thread 1, MK zero.

And then, today, I needed to use green thread but didn't have a bobbin wound with any green. I didn't need much; so, I wound some on an empty bobbin hoping that I had wound just enough. I don't like having colors of thread I don't use often taking up space on my bobbins, but that's just me.

The Karma is balanced.

MK out.