Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finish-A-Long 2013: Quarter 4

she can quilt
Phew, getting this last one in just under the wire! Now it's time to hunker down and get serious about the last quarter. I have a major sewing/quilting project planned for each month, plus some non-sewing ones, and of course others that I haven't even thought of yet but I'm sure will crop up to steal some of my valuable sewing/quilting/knitting time. This list is a bit ambitious, but it's the end of the year, so go big or go home, right?

1) Mom's Chuppah

This is my main project for October. My mother is getting married on Halloween and she and her husband expect to be standing under my creation. I have more to do than I would like... [Don't worry Mom, I'll finish!]

2) Secret Quilt

Can't say much about this one or show the fabric, but here's the pattern (from the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of Quilty). I don't think the recipient reads my blog, but just in case. Must be finished by the end of November.

3) Snowballs in Helsinki

This is my December project. I think I'm going to be de-friended if I don't get it done soon.

4) Index Blocks

No progress on these all year. Maybe this is the quarter...

5) Wiksten tanks

Still to make. Now that it's colder, I'm less motivated to make a tank top, but we'll see what happens. I also want to get this pattern and make a top, so maybe that will be the replacement...

Finished knitting in February, finally blocked last quarter. Now only the buttons left. Maybe I'll actually finish it in time to wear this winter.

7) Slade
That was poor (or brilliant) positioning of the balls of yarn. Kind of looks like boobs!
I have the back and fronts complete. Just have to finish up the last bit of the sleeves, block, seam, add the collar/button band, potentially block again, and add the buttons. Not sure if that sounds like a lot or a little...

8) Herringbone Cowl

So unmotivated to finish this. I love the yarn - it's so soft! - and I really want to wear it this winter, but, as neat as the final product is, this pattern is very slow going and takes concentration and a little bit of muscle, so I get tired with it easily. But I've told myself that I have to finish the Slade and this cowl before casting on a new knitting project.

9) Lucky Stars Blocks

I've completed the first four blocks: practice through March. Nine more to go. I would like to have a finished quilt for myself by the end of the year.

10) Autumn Sampler!

I've never cross stitched before and have no idea how to do it, but this pattern was just too cute to pass up so I'm learning a new craft! (Better photo here).

The below either don't count because they're not started, or I know they won't be done by the end of the quarter, but I'm still listing for motivational purposes:

11) Spectrum socks - I really want to make these. I've also purchased a few more skeins of sock yarn that I'm itching to use, so I really need to finish my current knitting projects so I can cast these on again.
12) Riley Blake challenge - I'm getting my fabric Saturday. I've got an idea, but not really sure if it will work. Technically have until February 17 to do this, but I'd like to give it as a holiday gift, so we'll see.
13) Georgetown shawl - Found the perfect pattern for this delicious skein and anxious to cast on.

That's probably enough. Not sure how I'm going to finish even half of this, but I have a lot of PTO days stored up so I may be taking a little crafting staycation this holiday season!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New hobby, hopefully

Just a quick pop in to tell you I bought this last night before the sale ended. I love Amanda's blog and I've been oogling these cross stitch designs for a year now, but I don't actually know how to cross stitch so I've resisted. Until last night. When I caved. And now rather than doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm googling cross stitch tutorials and comparing brands and prices of floss and dreaming about sitting on my couch exploring a new craft. Is it 5 o'clock yet??

Monday, October 7, 2013

Finish-A-Long 2013: Quarter 3 Recap

she can quilt
So, this quarter went pretty well. Definitely more knitting-focused than sewing, but oh well. Actually, it's really just that most of the sewing projects I did over the past three months were small, last minute projects.

1) Outdoor Pillows

COMPLETE! (And exchanged for delicious cake pops, which are also finished).

2) Index Blocks

Untouched. Carried over, yet again.

3) Wiksten tanks

Untouched. Moved to next quarter. I also think I might get this pattern to make a few sleeved tops.

4) Staple Dress

COMPLETE! And already well worn.

5) Snowballs in Helsinki

Still untouched. Really feeling guilty about this one.

5) Drawstring pouches


6) Boyfriend Sweater
Finally blocked. Just need to add the buttons. Proud I accomplished at least one step! Still didn't take a new photo, though...

7) Knit Tie

8) Gemini 

The below either don't count because they're not started, or I know they won't be done by the end of the quarter, but I'm still listing for motivational purposes:

9) Spectrum socks - Untouched. 
10) Herringbone Cowl - Untouched
11) Lucky Stars Blocks - I made two more. Now I'm up to March. Only 7 months behind!
12) Chuppah for my mother's wedding - Fabric is purchased and cut! Now just to sew it together. I have three more weeks to the wedding...

5.5 out of 9 (not counting the extra 4) complete. That's not too shabby! Especially considering my poor performance in Q1 and Q2. I'm feeling good about the end of the year!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Some knitterly finishes

I blocked things! And since I've started, I can't seem to stop. I even took out an old hat from the closet and blocked it. And I was supposed to give it to a friend but then I forgot to bring it when I saw her. Oops. Anyway, back to the finishes! These projects have both been done for a while, but motivated by the Finish-A-Long, I finally took my Eucalan out of the closet and gave both of these items a good wash. Then I locked them away in the bathroom because it's the only space I can prevent the cats from entering.

First up is my Gemini top. I started this one back in May as part of the Tops, Tanks, and Tees Knit-A-Long hosted by Shannon from luvinthemommyhood. I was excited to be able to use some yarn from my stash, too.

Rushed cell phone photos snapped this morning.
I made a size medium and I think it fits pretty well. I have wide hips so I added a few more increases at the bottom. I also prefer longer shirts so I added a bit of length - though looking at it now I think it also stretched out a bit during blocking so I might have lengthened it a bit too much. Oh well.  The one part I don't like are the sleeves. I don't not like them enough to not wear it, but if I made it again I would definitely make them tighter. It's not so bad with my arms out, but when I put them down by my sides it gets a bit bunchy under the armpits. I have to admit that I haven't worn this yet for two reasons. First, I tried it on a few times for work, but it just felt a bit schlumpy. And second the weather hasn't been quite right yet. Haha, maybe I should stop making excuses and just wear it already!

Next up is Mr. T's knit tie! This was definitely a labor of love. It took forever to make! So long in fact that Mr. T kept threatening to buy one if I didn't hurry up and finish. I used this pattern from Purl Bee and two Quince and Co. yarns - I'm pretty sure the blue is chickadee and the grey is finch, not sure of the colorways.

I tapered the tie so that it would be skinnier around the neck, but it's still really thick - the back of his collar won't even cover it, which is clearly a fashion faux pas. I need to spend some time stretching it, but I'm worried that might make it too long. Either way, knit tie: CHECK!

Mr. T might be displeased with me for posting this one, but he's wearing the tie to work so I had to! It's the first time he's worn it out of the house! Also, in my defense I asked for a better photo and he didn't send one, so...

Both of these count towards FAL 2013 Q3! It ends Monday. Thus the rushed post with bad photos.