I Only Blog on New Years Day

Time for my annual New Years post, it's the one day a year you can count on me to write a blog entry. Good or bad, everyone I know seems to have a strong opinion on 2014, but for me it was pretty mixed. Emotionally I hit some major lows this year, but they brought about a few life changes that resulted in me wandering outside of my comfort zone and having some pretty amazing experiences. I don't want to relive 2014, but I don't regret the year either. Anyway, on with the resolutions.

My 2014 goals and what I actually did...
1. Finish what I start.
I am ending the year with one project on the needles (the dreaded Lappland Sweater if you are interested,) so I am going to consider this one a success. In reality 2014 was the year I let myself get so overwhelmed that I had to learn to say no and stop taking on projects that I just couldn't finish. 
2. Don't be afraid to do the things that make me happy.
I did get better about putting myself first and doing the things that make me genuinely happy in 2014, of course I had to hit my breaking point to get there but whatever. I took a few small trips by myself and a proper vacation with some friends, I definitely need to travel more.
3. Take more pictures- with my camera, not my phone.
I did this, not as much as I would have liked, but way more than in previous years.
4. Bring my Ravelry project page up to date (I have 80+ undocumented projects.)
I managed to get some old projects up and I documented all of the 2014 projects, at least I think I did.
5. Pay off all my debt (unless I buy a house in which case all debt that is not the mortgage.)
I still owe a bit on my car, but I am almost there.
6. Take at least two classes and attend at least one workshop.
Done and done.
7. Start dyeing again and reopen etsy shop.
Oops, I started this one pretty late in the year so I will extend the etsy stuff until the end of January.

Now for 2015...
1. Eat better, way more whole foods and less processed junk.
2. Schedule one afternoon (four hours) a week of quiet time and don't let it get interrupted by people or work.
3. Get ahead and stay ahead of seasonal shop tasks.
4. Finish and frame twelve pieces for the shop xstitch project.
5. Travel more.
6. Ride my bike more.
7. Have more fun.


A Very Redshirt Christmas

I created this Star Trek themed crossstitch as a Christmas present for my brother-in-law a few years ago. Afterwards, I wrote the chart up for an issue of the Anticraft that never happened and lost all motivation to publish it. Anyway, the holidays are here again so now seems as good of a time as any. The finished crossstitch will fit into an 8x10" frame when stitched on 14ct aida. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the thread color list, but I can tell you that I added one strand of silver thread to the wings and one strand of gold thread to the bells for sparkle. Enjoy!!
For the printable chart, click here.


Summer Flies

I love knitting lacey shawls and I love knitting with cotton, but usually the two don't go well together. We needed a new Ultra Pima sample for the shop and the popular Summer Flies shawl looked like the perfect project to show off this yarn. This was my first time knitting with the Ultra Pima and it was absolutely delightful, plus this pattern was a quick and easy knit, perfect for spring and summer.

Finished Summer Flies shawl, perfect for a summer evening.



Here's the second pattern in the crossstitch series that I am working on- the vagicon. Mostly a joke in my knitting group, but with real-life applications. Uses less than a skein of a single color, I used three strands of a hot pink on black 14ct aida cloth, but if you use a white background you can get away with two strands. Finished piece measures 3"x4" and can easily fit in a standard 3.5"x5" frame. The printable pattern can be found here.
Pattern PDF available here.
Also, if anyone is interested, for crossstitch and embroidery I really love using the Q-Snap frames. I first heard about these pvc frames on Jenny Hart's site a few years ago and since I have never been very comfortable using embroidery hoops I decided to try them out. I started with a 6" set and immediately added an 8" and 11" set to my collection. I like that the pieces can be mixed and matched to create the frame size you need (I do almost everything on a 6"x8" frame,) but I mostly love these frames because of how comfortable they are to use.


A Little Kentucky Love

I am working on a huge crossstitch project for the shop bathroom, ultimately I want to completely cover the walls with crossstitched images in gilded frames. I am using mostly designs I find online, but a few of the things I want are going to require me to create my own patterns so I thought I would share those charts as they happen.
First up is my Kentucky love piece. In my mind this one seemed simple enough that a pattern should have been available online, but the few Kentucky charts I found were the wrong size for the frame I wanted to use so I created my own. I placed my heart in Central Kentucky, but you non-Lexingtonians can easily move it to your favorite part of the state. The sample is stitched with 2 strands on 14-count aida cloth to make a version that fits in an 5"x7" frame, but you can use 3 strands on an 11-count cloth if you want a larger version that fits an 8"x10" frame. The outline version in both sizes will use less than a skein of floss in both colors and the filled versions use 2-4 in the main color depending on the size you choose. The PDF can be downloaded here. Enjoy!!
Pattern PDF available here.


Just Another New Year Post

It's that time again, resolution time. 2013 was a pretty boring year for me, there were highs and lows, some firsts and some lasts, but overall nothing too terribly exciting. I can't say I am sad to see it go, here's hoping 2014 is a bit more exciting!!

Here are 2013's goals and how I did. 
1. Obligatory goals- read 50 books, see 50 bands
Check and check. This has become a pretty easy goal to achieve so I am going to remove it in 2014.
2. Finish the first level of the Master Knitter Program
Ha!! I did write TKGA to get the updated materials, but as per usual I lost motivation a few weeks in.
3. Take two marketing courses (including the one I am already enrolled in)
I finished the one I was enrolled in and then took a break from classes that lasted through the end of the year, oops.
4. Organize the physical spaces around me so that I can more easily organize my mental space
This is still a bit of a work in progress, but I did manage to inbox zero (and keep it relatively low through the end of the year,) organize my living area and my studio space, and I organized most of my digital space.
5. Spin more, at least 2 hours per week
I was spinning more in 2013, though it went in phases so there were several weeks with no spinning. I will try again in 2014.
6. Spend more time with friends, regular outings and phone calls
As usual I was pretty bad at the phone thing, but I did keep up with the social outings until November when I became a hermit. 

Now for 2014
1. Finish what I start.
2. Don't be afraid to do the things that make me happy.
3. Take more pictures- with my camera, not my phone.
4. Bring my Ravelry project page up to date (I have 80+ undocumented projects.)
5.  Pay off all my debt (unless I buy a house in which case all debt that is not the mortgage.)
6. Take at least two classes and attend at least one workshop.
7. Start dyeing again and reopen etsy shop.


30 Days of Creativity: Week 3, 4 and beyond

Here is the roundup of the rest of the days for the 30 Days of Creativity Challenge. I thought blogging once a week would be a breeze, but by the middle of the month I was completely overwhelmed by the challenge so blogging was put on the back burner. Also, towards the end I started taking pictures with my phone instead of a proper camera. Sorry about that, the appeal of directly uploading to fb and twitter was difficult to resist.

Day Fifteen: Holden shawl.
I finished knitting and most importantly blocked my Holden shawl. I used two colorways of Koigu at the bottom and added an extra repeat to use up most of the yarn.
Day Sixteen: dyed yarn with carrot tops.
The yarn in the middle is the carrot top dye on alum mordanted yarn, on the left is carrot tops with a copper modifier and on the right is carrot tops with an iron modifier. Needless to say we were pretty disappointed in the results, probably why no one talks about dyeing with carrot tops.
Day Seventeen: started crocheting a swarm of bees.
My friend Jessi and I are making a million bees for a yarn bombing later in the summer.
Day Eighteen: more crocheted bees, this time tiny ones.

Day Nineteen: woven bowl from some less than perfect handspun.

Day Twenty: yarn bombed a table.

Day Twenty-one: sewed a simple summer skirt from thrifted fabric.
I've had this fabric for years and wanted a new summer skirt so this was the perfect craftdown project.
Day twenty-two: wing prototype for the small bees.

Day twenty-three: started a crossstitch project for a friend.

Day twenty-four: completed and framed the crossstitch.

Day twenty-five: wrote 800+ words toward a future project. I was trying to stick to visual projects, but this one took a large chunk of my day so I decided it counted.

Day twenty-six: learned to weave on a pin loom.

Day twenty-seven: embellished a poster at the coffeeshop.

Day twenty-eight: started the crocheted cacti for the shop.

Day twenty-nine: carded a sparkly rainbow batt.

Day thirty: dyed with logwood.