Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Almost There, Christmas Edition

Last year in December I blogged about finishing 2 placemats from a long-time work-in-progress. I wrote in that post about how the pattern is from 2013, the fabric 2014, and it took me until 2016 to finish 2 of the 4 placemats (and let's not even talk about the table runner). I'm happy to report that the set made it to 4 finished placemats this year, just in time for Christmas.

It was wonderful to use all four of these at once over the holidays, especially when we had family visiting. I particularly like how festive they are but that each is slightly different due to randomly mixing the patchwork fabrics.

My goal for next Christmas is to finally finish the table runner so that I will have a complete set. Not that my table is larger enough to fit the table runner and 4 placemats on it, but finishing is a goal in and of itself. As I've already machine-sewed the binding into place onto the table runner and now just need to handstitch it down, it's looking very likely that this long term project may finally get finished for Christmas 2018.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 In Review

I realized, in clearing the backlog of projects that I've yet to blog about (I have a few things still to show off), that I actually accomplished a lot of crafting in 2017. It probably had something to do with my new year's resolution to spend an hour per week crafting. So it seems (seams?) worthwhile to recap this amazing year, despite being well into the next.


I sewed a lot of clothing this year. Most of it was done on my trusted Janome, but I also played with my new/old Singer mechanical (see the Tiny Pocket Tank below) and purchased a serger (see the Lark Tee below).


Relatively little knitting happened this year, though I did create one large and stunning Pi Shawl and went on a tincanknits spree. Also, it seems like the 2017 knitting color of the year was grey.

Reflections on 2017

I'm continually amazed by how far my sewing skills have come. I'm feeling  very comfortable with my Janome and definitely want to refine my serging/sewing with knits skills going forward.

I sewed a lot of great clothes in 2017, but need to start focusing on basics in neutral colors to get the most out of my handiwork. There's a reason that my Pi Shawl has become my go-to shawl at work and it's because of the neutral color (though the beauty, size, and warmth are also major contributing factors).

I'm not entirely sure what crafting 2018 will bring but, based on the last year, I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Double Gradient Shawl

It's no secret among my knitting friends that I'm a fan of Fiber Optic's gradients. I've amassed a small pile of them over the years from stocking up at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool. Two in particular that I was sitting on and trying to figure out what to do with were Smoke on the Water and Ebony to Holly. I finally decided to jump in and use them together in a striped shawl.

The shawl pattern is Grain, another one from tincanknits' Simple Collection. It was perfect because I wanted to let the stripes shine and didn't want to use a complex pattern. Plus, a simple pattern was great for travel knitting during a big trip I took earlier in the fall.

The stripes were central to my plans for this yarn, as I love the way these two color progressions play against each other. You often only notice the change in one gradient at first glance and I love the added complexity from the second gradient.

Overall, I love how this shawl turned out. It's simple in execution but complex in color. And I think it makes these two gradients really shine.