Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Year That Was...

2017: The Year That Was...

1) The start of a new tradition: knitting journals.

Gifted from a fellow knitter, I have spent the year chronicling every project I worked on and cannot wait to do it again in 2018.  I just wish I didn't have to retire this really nice journal.

2) An (almost) successful attempt at keeping my feet forever warm.

You can see all my projects here!

I am happy to report that I finished 11.25 pairs of socks.  The December pair is still on sock one, as I just cannot speed up those cables.  But I plan to finish them by the end of January, which was when I declared the goal to begin with, so that counts, right? 

3) A major inspiration in my painting world.

With these beauties being my most successful to date (although I am kinda sick of looking at them), I feel like my art is going in a new direction and cannot wait to see how 2018 goes!
(Also, I recently sold the Originals!)

4) The start of many new and exciting things.

I cannot believe I only started this dye journey in March! It feels like I have been doing it for so much longer.  But I guess when you find something you love, time seems to fly.  I have truly enjoyed this new endeavor and cannot wait to introduce my new colors (last 2 on right) and new ideas in 2018!

I have two shows coming up already! One in March and one in June.  I cannot wait, but that means more work for me...


What else can I say? I went through and re-read all of my posts from this year and am very impressed with myself on how consistent I was and my ability to share what was happening.  Thank you to everyone who read and commented this year, it always means so much to know someone is listening.

I'm leaving you all with this song, which is from a movie I saw last week.  The lyrics are stuck in my head and are very inspirational for me as an artist.

Bring on 2018!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We all know what time it is? Christmas....BREAK! Ok maybe I'm a little excited, but the knowledge of having the next two weeks off from school is a pretty nice feeling.  Even though I will be traveling home for part of it, it's still nice to have a little bit of time for myself before I go.

I have had a good amount of time lately to tackle some projects, and I wanted to do a quick post about all of them.  Many of them were started yesterday, my official day off for the holidays, but some have been ongoing.

The December socks are on the needles and taking their sweet time.  The pattern is Lowry Crossing by one of my LYS owners, Petra, and the yarn is from Kimerie's Knit Knacks that I purchased last month.  I love the way these look, but the cables are really tedious and thus slowing me down.  

This will be pair 12 for me and I gotta say, it's been a trip.  I'll do a recap at the end of this pair of each one I've done this year.  Safe to say, I'm worn out and definitely need a sock sabbatical. 

Handmade gifts are also happening again this year, in the form of these cute woven coasters.  I have been spinning mini-skeins on my drop spindle from a grab bag of fiber and then weaving those minis on my small wood loom to make the awesome coasters.  It's been really fun seeing the random stripes and designs my handspun is making!

With my day off yesterday I was able to start on a bunch of things, including a new colorway in my yarn.  Based off the painting "Early Snow Flowers", the colors on this are very warm, considering the name.  Why did I name that painting the way I did? Lol.  But seriously, this is a nice change for me, although the red dye is a little potent. 

On the subject of starts, I also managed to begin the 3rd painting in my triptych.  While I can't get all three in a row on my easel, I am able to at least get the two.  The one on the right - the new one - will be very pink.  I like that I could hang them all separate if I wanted, but that they are also a continuous work. Merging from red to pink, this has been a fun challenge. 

Playing with pink, I also have this "spa cloth" started yesterday that I am going to gift to my future sister-in-law for Christmas.  I'm planning to make two of these, each with Cascade Ultra Pima. I've had a couple of cloths made in pima cotton for a few years now and they hold up so well.  I highly recommend it!  For this gift I am planning to also gift her a bar of soap from my favorite soap maker - RAH soap. She does some amazing scents and varieties and I always have a very positive experience buying from here. 

And finally I decided to do some playing with my dyes.  I had a bunch of end pieces from winding skeins to sell and made some 10g minis.  I laid them all out, grabbed the squirt bottles that already had dye in them and just went to town.  While I'm not selling these (they're for something else), I am thinking of doing this again with larger skeins and calling it "paint water" - as in whatever dye is left in my bottles after a dye session.  Always changing and always fun.


I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday.  Whether traveling or staying home, make sure you give yourself time for yourself and your craft, as well as family.  Self care in today's world is really important, and sometimes we miss out on that during the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Spinning Stories

If you have followed my blog over the years, you'll know that, on top of everything else, I am also a spinner. I have a decent, handmade spinning wheel that was gifted to me a couple years back and when the the feeling is right I find myself sitting down at her to spin a yarn or two.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I finally sat down to finish a skein that had been waiting since the summer.  It's hard to have motivation when you have to reattach the treddle or put a new string on your tension.

Spun at about a DK weight, this yarn is 1 ply BFL dyed by The Fleece Artist, and 1 ply SW Merino solid lavender violet.  It comes in at just about 300 yards, which seems to be my norm with wheel spun yarn lately.  It's so luscious that I just had to name it "Cotton Candy Anyone?"

Finishing this skein is making me want to find a pattern to utilize all of my handspun yarn. I really do have a decent amount of 300yd+ skeins ever since I acquired the wheel.  

Violet Sparkle for example is a nice yarn that is 1 ply dyed alpaca, 1 ply SW merino held with sparkle. The pops of glitter really make me smile and would shine in a hat or scarf.

Springy Rainbows is another, being my first chain plyed yarn as to keep the rainbow color of the BFL.  I like the result, but it's a little too springy.  Maybe it'll become something fun someday.

Of finally, a very special yarn.  Friendship wool was spun on my spindle and has a story.  I bought two ball of roving and sent one to my friend.  She spun one ply, and I spun the other.  We then sent half our plys back to each other and plyed them together.  So we have a nice collaborative yarn :) <3 p="">

This year was 12 pairs of socks, maybe next year will be only Handspun,   Seems doable, but doubtful given the size of my stash.  But it may become a goal to use more of my handspun.... 

If anyone cares to peek, all of my handspun yarn is stashed over on Ravelry


Do you spin? Have you thought about it? Or even just bought a skein of handspun yarn?  Any pattern ideas would always be loved <3 p="">

Have a great week!