Make Nine 2018

Make Nine 2018

Yesterday, I saw this post from Gale which then took me to IG where I happily fell down a bit of a rabbit hole looking at #makenine2018 collages.

But, Gale was the starter of all this craziness and thanks to her I have also become a Ravelry Stalker of Kirsten Kapur’s pattern page watching for the release of not one, but two patterns: The September House Sweater and of course, her Mystery Socks which I hope will both be out soon.

I was going to “cheat” a bit and add my Treysta, but since I have less than 20 rows to go, I feel like it is already done (or it will be today!)

I have a little bit of sewing here, and lots of knitting.

Here is my Make Nine 2018:

  1. Ysolda’s Strokkur: I have the yarn, and am itching to cast on!
  2. Veronika Cardigan: I hope to spin some Romney to knit this.
  3. Merchant & Mills Curlew Dress
  4. Lotta Jansdottor’s Tunic from her Everyday Style book
  5. Through the Loops Mystery Socks
  6. Blaer: again, I already have the yarn for this
  7. Hygge, from Laine Magazine Issue 3: This is knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft, so I am going to try and spin a similar yarn.
  8. Stopover: this time as a pullover!
  9. Autumn Forest, again from Laine Magazine: This is the only project that I have already in progress, however I have a good bit to still knit with 15 pattern repeats to go!

In addition to this, I would like to find some kind of sock mojo this year and maybe knit a couple of pairs of socks in addition to this list. I am amazed by those who somehow manage to knit a pair of socks a month… I have plenty of single socks that are sadly waiting for a mate. Either I find some sock mojo, or perhaps I start a trend of wearing mismatched socks!

What about you? Are you joining the #makenine2018 challenge?

My Year of Stitching

My Year of Stitching

December 31st, I completed my last stitching, in the last month of my year long project. I have to confess, it was most bittersweet. I felt both an incredible sense of accomplishment coupled with an intense melancholy at the ending of this epic project.

Yesterday morning I began the process of steaming each sampler, readying them for assembly in their final destination of 3 separate wall-hangings.

I apologize in advance for this photo heavy post, but here is my Year of Stitching in review:

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Which brings me to this year’s project… I began this on the first day of winter, December 21, and my idea was to do a square each day. But, it was lacking… so much. In my review of last years pieces, I was reminded how much I like the puzzle-like quality of some of the pieces best of all. BUT, rather than take out the stitching I had started, my idea will be to work this in by stitching around it. The past two days have seen this addition, and what better than two days of crazy clear blue skies and sunshine! After yesterday’s running stitches, I felt a sense of ease and rightness come over me and I knew I was on the right path. The other thing I am going to give myself some leeway on this year will be the option to stitch for longer than 15-20 minutes. This also feels very good and really just makes sense to me. After all, I am much more comfortable with the stitching process than I was at this time last year. So, less fussing and more stitching.

As always, if you want to start your own year long stitching project, I would be happy to help you get started! Just leave a comment and I will help you begin!

May Stitches

May Stitches

May stitching brings the completion of five months of my daily stitching routine and to say that this has changed my life is an understatement! It has become the best part of my day, the thing I look most forward to, and I am still amazed at how this has sparked my creativity.

And, I really love that I can look at each day’s stitching and remember the inspiration.

The collage:

And, May complete – pale, lighter, awakening. All the good things that May brings!

June is off to an interesting start as well. I felt I was getting too comfortable in working circularly from the center out, so I am changing things up to a more linear approach this month. I love how uncomfortable it feels right now. That is a sure sign of good things!

Filling the Creative Well

Filling the Creative Well

“You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Last year I had high hopes of creating these incredible stitching projects – yet when it came right down to it, I was my own worst enemy. I did not like what I was creating. I had high expectations and, sadly, my own critique was just as high. I spent more time removing the previous days stitching and my internal criticism soon shut down any creativity and the stitching went in its box and was not opened again.

Enter 2017.

This year I decided on a new approach – I am giving myself permission to fail. Seems simple, but trust me it has not been. There have been many days that my stitching did not seem right. But, I ignored that voice and left the stitching in the piece. Sometimes the next day, the previous day’s stitches seemed a bit better to me, and sometimes they did not – but over the course of days and after adding more stitches something incredible began to happen. This awkward stitches now seem to fit. Or maybe that small quiet voice of creativity is gaining confidence and my “creative eye” is figuring out how to – well, be creative!

I have gotten many questions on Instagram about how I am doing this and what am I using. It is a challenge to give all the information there, so I thought it would be nice to share it here. I am not accomplished in stitchery – I have done some counted cross-stitch, and some quilting – neither of which were ever “free form.”

My inspiration came from Bonnie Sennott – who stitched last year and shared via Instagram. She is stitching again this year, but now is only sharing via a Patreon account if you want access to see her work. I was also greatly inspired by the Slow Stitch book by Claire Wellesley-Smith – and really, reading this book was the GREATEST inspiration. It has been out a while now – and I would check with your local library, but I recommend this book as an excellent addition to your library!

So, what am I using to my stitch work – really, the simplest of things. I got my fabric from Joann’s – it is linen (I got a remnant which I washed in the washing machine and then air dried) I divided this remnant into three sections – I will get more linen when I need it.

I have several embroidery hoops, but the one I like best for my daily stitching is a small 5″ hoop. The goal is to not stitch all day, but rather spend a few minutes each day and this small hoop keeps me mindful of that.

Now, let’s talk about thread – could you use embroidery floss? Yes, you absolutely can – you can use whatever you’d like! I am using DMC Perle Cotton size 12 – which I also got at Joann’s. The color choices are extremely limited in stores, but they have good basic colors – white, ecru, black, red, darker red, and navy. I had in my “stash” some Valdani threads – I do not remember where I got them but, as Mary shared with me, Amazon has a good selection and at very good prices! The Loopy Ewe is also carrying some Perle Cotton in size 8 and Valdani threads as well. As the season’s change, I will be adding in more colors.

I have a local stitching shop – but they are mainly focused on needlepoint and cross-stitch, however I have picked up a few bits of thread from them – they range in sizes from slightly smaller to slightly larger diameter than the Perle Cotton but I like that diversity in the stitching.

Needles – I am using DMC Chenille needles in size 22 and 24 depending on the thread I am using. I find a needle threader extremely useful as well.

Stitching has become something I look forward to each day and I will be sharing my journey as the year progresses.

I hope you find this helpful – here is to a year of un-stifled creativity!

Frosty Monday

Frosty Monday

The first really hard frosts happened here over the weekend, which was the abrupt end to all that was green in the yard.

Other than that, it was a non-weekend – you know, the kind that was over before it began.

There was some football, but it was not great football – Michigan lost.

Up next were my gauge issues that hounded me Saturday and Sunday – talk about fun times at Casa del KatKnits!

But, my inquiring mind wants to know — do you knit a gauge swatch when knitting mitts?

Yeah, me either.

Which led to frogging my Squad Mitt – not once, but four times thus far.

Of course, not having a 2.75mm needle is perhaps part of my problem. I have a 3mm or a 2.5 mm, but no 2.75mm needles could be found in my house! 3mm – WAY too big (even knitting the small mitt!), 2.5 – way too small (knitting the small mitt) and 2.5 mm in the larger mitt – also too big! Gah!

Okay, next step – remove stitches. 2.5mm + 44 stitches and I am hoping this will be the right combination. Yeah. It is a fingerless mitt, for heaven’s sake! But, it felt at times like rocket science! Way beyond my abilities however, I knit on in hope!

I did get to Indie Knit and Spin on Saturday – and I got a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn! (And a mitten kit!) Perhaps I need to just put the mitts down and give them a bit of a time out and knit some socks! These colors sure make me happy!

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And, here it is Monday, and I am hoping the weekend was not a preview of what the week is to be… (at least the ripping out and redoing portion – if it wants to be over and done with before I know it, that is fine by me!)

How was your weekend?

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