Let’s just all blame the brutal Upstate winter for my lack of posting and move right along, shall we?
After I learned nephew #2 (Mr. Caleb) would arrive last year, I found myself trying to assess everything I’d made for nephew #1 (Mr. David) to make sure I didn’t shortchange the new guy (you know, since he’s keeping track). While I’m still a little behind in keeping them on the same page, Mr. David is definitely reaping the benefits of my continued crafting/improved skills.
First on the list was the knit blanket for their respective baby showers. But this time around it was time for a quilt! This time around I bought the fabric from Fabric.com, and I’m so glad I did. There’s something comforting about touching the fabric before purchasing it, but really nothing beats the selection you can get online. By the time I ordered the fabric, I’d already decided I wanted to make this gorgeous Quilt Bars pattern.
While the pattern is beautiful, it’s also super simple, with very few pieces to quilt. In no time at all, the top was complete! As with most projects, the top sat untouched for months. But ultimately, the fear of approaching holidays got the best of me, and I managed to complete the quilt in plenty of time to give it to Mr. Caleb (okay, his mom) for Christmas.
Coming up on ten months in my “new” place, and aside from the holiday spirit taking up a bit of space, I’ve been staring at a blank wall from my permanent knitting/reading/netflix marathoning perch that is my couch. That’s not to say wheels haven’t been in motion forever, though.
In early November, flathillfarmer and I decided this sad excuse for a wall needed something enormous. A suggestion was made for a giant DIY canvas, and moments later the internet served its purpose and showed us it can be done (even if it’s with a giant octopus). And we were off. Except for the 8 week wait time from Dot & Bo for the shower curtain I absolutely had to have for this project.
Finally the curtain was delivered, the almost-correct materials were purchased, and a Sunday devoid of plans presented itself. Clocking in just under three hours, “we” sawed, drilled, hammered and streeeeeeeeeeetched until we had a finished piece. And lights, of course.
Although many of the craft updates will have to wait until after the holidays, I did finish the scarf for JP I gave a preview of earlier this fall, and since he doesn’t make his way to the blogosphere, it’s safe to share with you. Double-added bonus is he loaned me his fancypants camera, so the completed project looks way better than usual. Huzzah!
The pattern is the Men’s Mini Herringbone Scarf from the The Purl Bee. It was a really fun project because while it was relatively easy to complete, it took enough brain power to not mess it up (which, sadly, I did once with about 6 inches left in the scarf), but challenging enough to keep your interest. And the stitch pattern makes it so it’s a nice thick scarf. Super cozy.
Of course, it also gave me a reason to do more project labeling. A very satisfying end to projects, as I’m learning.
As I’ve done several years in a row now, I’ve spent the time since Thanksgiving convincing myself I don’t need to decorate my apartment for Christmas since I don’t actually spend Christmas there. But in recent days the snow has begun to settle in for the long winter here in Upstate, and there is nothing better than lights and glitter to make the snow seem a little less cold.
A year or so ago I saw this idea on Pinterest of stringing up lights in a pattern on the wall and hanging photographs along the string. I’d considered doing it in at least one iteration of my post-farm living, but hadn’t ever found a place for it. In coming across it as I was looking for an inexpensive way to make my place feel Christmas-y, I realized I could use that idea, replacing the photographs with Christmas bulbs. Twelve dollars and minutes later, my living room feels like a cozy little winter wonderland.
Come on out, Father Christmas, I’m ready for you (aside from the gift crafting, of course).
In the midst of making my year-end mix, it’s fun to take a break and listen to other mixes and playlists and anything other than the 12 tracks I’ve played 87,000 times to make sure they’re right. Found this one today and my is it lovely.
Over the last few years as I’ve increased my handmade gift-output, I’ve toyed with the idea of putting my own labels on them, just to give them that little extra something. I suppose I’ve put it on the backburner because I never knew quite what to do (nor did I really have the skills to do so). Thankfully, I’ve surrounded myself with super talented people, and dear Ms. K kindly offered to help me put something together (read: do it for me with some amount of direction, but not much if you ask her).
I don’t want to give away the final design before the first handmade gifts are delivered, but here are some drafts that have come up so far. (Also, found a Seinfeld reference. Surprise!)
It’s coming to that time of year where the apartment becomes a sweatshop and the crafting reaches maximum capacity. While several projects are in-process, most must be kept secret from those who (I think) read the blog. So for now I can just share the beginning of a scarf for JP.
Pattern from The Purl Bee. The example looks daintier, using a finer yarn, but I had this yarn from a trip to New Hampshire earlier this year and the color is perfection for him.