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MMM14 Week 3 Round Up

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Week three ended up being much cooler than expected so I broke out some hand knitted sweaters. Of course, my love affair with the Colette Mabel pattern hasn’t cooled so I stitched up yet another!

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 Thursday, May 15: Colette Mabel skirt, review here

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Friday, May 16: Anna Maria Horner embroidered shirt, review here

Saturday, May 17: I worked all day so wore the same as yesterday!

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Sunday, May 18: Shalom sweater, Ravelry notes here

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Monday, May 19: Juliet sweater, Ravelry notes here

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Tuesday, May 20: In House Patterns Cool Cowl Tank, review here

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Wednesday, May 21: Colette Laurel dress, review here

 

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Winter Olympics & A Giveaway!

Hope everyone is ready to cheer for their favorites athletes in Sochi. I have never been an athlete (unless you count braving the stores on Black Friday!) but love watching the contestants go for the gold.

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I am taking part in the Ravellenic Games 2014 on Ravelry. For the non-knitters out there, the games are a way for knitters to compete in Olympic themed knitting events while watching the actual Olympics. There are even “medals” for completing your items in the stated timeline.

For this year’s games I plan to take part in two events. The first, WIP Dancing, requires me to finish a work-in-process and I actually have two in the category. I’m participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool and also finishing up my first color work sweater, the Top Down Lopi.

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My second event is Sweaterboard Cross which requires an entire sweater to be knit from cast on to bind off during the Sochi games. Both events are helping me meet my 2014 resolutions by expanding my skills and using stash yarn!

As a way to share my excitement I am giving away 8 skeins of Gedifra St Tropez yarn in bright red. Each skein is 50g so there is plenty to knit a full size project. Leave a comment by midnight on Wednesday, February 12 and tell me what projects you are working on (they don’t have to be knitting specific). I will randomly pick a winner next Thursday!

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Top 5 of 2013: Next Year’s Goals

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Goals: My goals for 2014 are probably similar to many sewists and crafters out there but it never hurts to list them!

  1. Work from my stash! I have only been knitting and sewing since 2011 but the stash is TOO big. I would like to be able to enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed with clutter so this year I plan to get honest with myself. If I  truly don’t think the fabric or yarn will get used, then it is going to charity. Otherwise, there will be a concrete plan to use it up in 2014!
  2. Complete a quilt. I finished a Christmas tree skirt and loved the process. This may also be a good way to use my stash.
  3. Get my “startitis” under control. I have a bad habit of starting too many projects and never finishing them.
  4.  Learn how to knit cables. I love the fisherman style sweaters but have not ever attempted cables.
  5.  Learn how to line a garment correctly and learn some new sewing techniques. I have a couple of UFOs that need lining so it would be great to learn AND complete them!

Top 5 Reflections and Inspirations of 2013

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Continuing from yesterday’s post, today I have my reflections and inspirations.

Reflections: 2013 was a good year for expanding my skills. I not only completed my first quilted item, I took part in many sewing challenges. For me the challenges provided an outlet for learning how to correctly install an invisible zipper, sew a hem by hand, successfully draft a pattern, and even how to sew a swimsuit!

Inspirations: My biggest inspirations in 2013 were other bloggers! I learned so much from reading everyone’s blogs and seeing everyone’s finished garments often led me to try patterns I would have overlooked otherwise. My top five blogging inspirations:

  1. Roisin from Dolly Clackett. Her sheer number of dresses is inspiring and her sense of humor is wonderful. I think Roisin’s fabric choices pushed me to buy patterns that make me happy instead of always worrying whether the garment could be worn all the time. Sometimes wearing less often is a good thing because it becomes more special!
  2. Abbey from Sew Charleston. She is a relatively new blogger but her photos are charming and her fabric and pattern choices closely mirror mine. Perhaps it is because we are both from South Carolina but “great minds think alike”.
  3. Alicia from Posie Gets Cozy. I have been following Alicia for years and the glimpses inside her home and life are wonderful. She often shows knitting and embroidery projects and certainly provides lots of home decor inspiration.
  4. Lauren from Lladybird. Most sewists are familiar with Lauren and her mad skills. Her honest personality comes across in her blog and her feisty attitude is fun to read!
  5. Lizzy from Sew Busy Lizzy. Lizzy is both a knitter and sewist which makes her blog double inspiring to me. I especially loved her many versions of the Anna dress. It was her blog that pushed me to buy the pattern and discover the By Hand London company. Though my first Anna dress ended up as a miss, the inspiration is still there!

Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2013

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Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow had a great idea about posting top five hits, misses, reflections, inspirations and goals of 2013. Since I think that is a great way to sum up my crafting activity, here goes…

Hits: I discovered a new (to me) indie pattern company, Kate and Rose, early in 2013 and went on to make three tops using the Roza pattern. This pattern brought my love of embroidery together with garment sewing and resulted in three of my top five hits for 2013!

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Also making the top 5 hit list was my Sewing Cake Cabarita top. This was the first time I had sewed anything from Steph’s company but would definitely not be the last. Her original take on sizing is refreshing and significantly reduces the amount of modifications required.

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I also took part in Colette Patterns Laurel contest and ended up wearing this version all summer! This was my most fun challenge all year and resulted in many cool versions of this rather simple pattern.Summer Version Colette Laurel

Misses:  There weren’t many but unfortunately I have to put my Pantone Anna Dress from By Hand London in the “miss” category. I have never worn it and it is a shame. I think the biggest issue was my fabric choice. The bodice flops out a bit which makes the cleavage a bit too pronounced. I haven’t given up on giving this pattern another go since I do think the overall shape is super flattering!

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Another FO making the “miss” list is my Monthly Stitch It’s Elementary My Dear Watson cape. There is nothing “wrong” with it but living in South Carolina doesn’t lend itself to wearing capes often. Perhaps I need to start a new trend…

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Probably my worst fail of the year was the Maria Mexican Folk Dress. I had such high hopes for this dress. I wanted to marry my love of embroidery with sewing but it was NOT to be. Better luck next year!

Maria Mexican Folk DressTomorrow I will continue the list with reflections and inspirations from 2013!

 

A Merry Christmas To All!

If your holiday season has been like mine, there has been absolutely NO time amid the hustle and bustle to simply sit and enjoy the season. That changed in the last 24 hours. All my traveling was complete and I had time to attend a Christmas Eve service with my husband and two of the kids. It is always nice to enjoy evening services and I especially love a candlelit church. Nothing like the beautiful music and Christmas story to remind us of the reason for the season!

Before last night however, I was rushing to complete all my handmade gifts and decor. I got them finished just under the wire and thought I would share.

First up is my Thanksgiving table runner. I got the idea via Lauren’s post and will definitely try this again for other holidays. For my runner I used some leftover burlap and cotton from my son Brett’s Halloween outfit. Nothing like using up scraps instead of letting them languish forever!

Thanksgiving Table Runner

Next up is my first completed quilting project…a Christmas tree skirt! I love decorating for Christmas and have enough ornaments for several trees but never had a tree skirt until now! I followed this tutorial from  Brown Paper Packages and am super happy with the end result. The total cost was around $30 bucks so my DIY version was much less expensive than many I have seen in catalogs. I also learned a lot and am already planning more quilting projects.

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I promise not all my recent projects were for me. I actually did complete a few gifts this season too. My next door neighbor, Shannon, loves to bake and can always be counted on for yummy apple pies. While working on my tree skirt, the middle circle got cut out so there is room for the tree trunk. Instead of throwing away the center, I finished it with bias tape and gave it to Shannon for Christmas. This “pot holder” is pie sized so she can sit pies on the counter to cool without ruining her counter tops.

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In addition to sewing, I also managed to complete a few knitted gifts. I finished a drop ribbon scarf for my Mom’s friend Janet and a silk and wool sweater for my Mom. Forgive the less than stellar photo below but this was after a few glasses of wine. I should get bonus points for matching the gift wrap ribbons and sweater color though!

Mom 2I hope your holiday season was full of family, friends, and handcrafted gifts!

 

I’m Baaaccck!!

Sorry for being gone so long but I promise I was up to something worthwhile…mostly watching lots of high school and college football but I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sewing and knitting. First up is my third version of the Roza blouse. This time I embroidered a South Carolina Gamecock and used college specific fabric. I made the same modifications as my previous two by omitting the band around the sleeve but other than that it was straight from the pattern.

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I even managed to wear it over a long sleeve black tee to the USC vs Kentucky game a few weeks back and cheered my team to victory!

USC VS KENTUCKY

This month has also brought a ton of knitting. I finished my Patterns and Notions Swap jacket for the The Monthly Stitch Vintage Pattern Challenge a few days late but was able to wear it once already and can tell it will get a lot of rotation in my wardrobe. The Charlotte Yarn Crawl was from September 27-October 6 and I was able to visit 11 of the 13 participating shops. Of course I couldn’t visit without getting some yarn so I’m now set for about a year! I have almost finished one sweater and cast on for a circle vest. Since it is starting to get chilly here in South Carolina, I am motivated to complete these projects quickly!

Vintage Sweater

I’m going to the Stitch Craft Create Live convention here in Charlotte this weekend with some friends so I fully expect to blow both October and November’s fabric budget before Sunday. I also need to finish my dress for the Monthly Stitch Frocktober Challenge so my next few weeks are certainly filling up with stuff to create!

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