December is for Dabbling

For Christmas, I gave Mr. Cleaver a skein of sock yarn. 

"I am supposed to learn to knit?" He asked, eyebrow raised.

"No," I replied, "This gift is two-fold. 1) Sometime this year you'll get a new pair of socks and 2) I didn't try to knit them before Christmas."

As creatives and makers, it's easy to get overwhelmed with a desire to try to make our holidays as handmade as possible. I've definitely stayed up far too late many a December trying to finish a gift or two before that deadline on the 24th. 

In 2016, my creative life was ruled by deadlines more than ever before, and it was incredibly stressful. So when I had a month of no deadlines and over two weeks of vacation from my day job planned, I decided that I wasn't going to give myself any new deadlines. 

So I gave my husband a skein of yarn for Christmas and I didn't make my daughter a thing. And I'm okay with that. 

Instead, I decided to play. 

I spun yarn for the first time since LMC was born. I baked my way through a 5 pound bag of flour with whatever inspiration struck my fancy. I needle-felted, and needle-felted some more. I wet-felted a pair of slippers for the first time. I was able to sew for the first time in months. I crocheted snowflakes and learned how to steek. I picked out yarn for a sweater, for me, from someone else's pattern and have knit most of it. I made snowmen and ice skated and took naps with my daughter. 

It was like summer camp in the winter and it was glorious. 

I want to make this a new holiday tradition for myself. December is for dabbling. It's the best gift I could receive. 

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Reveal # 1

Straw Cloche - Side View

So here's the first of those projects I teased in the last post. As Leigh guessed, I was crocheting in raffia - specifically, the leftovers from the Carmel Clutch.

Straw Cloche

I've been toying with the idea of crocheting a a straw hat for a while and  it really kicked in when I discovered this hat on Ravelry. I decided I really needed a straw cloche.

Straw Cloche

Crochet isn't particularly my strong suit, but the whole thing came together in about a week, and I only had to redo the brim three times!! (For construction details, see my Ravelry project page.)

Whipstitch on Brim

I finished it off with a wide striped grosgrain ribbon and a whip-stitched brim.

Straw Cloche

Now if it would only get sunny enough to require a sun hat!!

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Sneak Peaks

It was cold and rainy all weekend, which meant I didn't get to go hiking like I wanted to, but it did mean I got a lot of indoor crafting done. I'm soooooo close to finishing up two projects (including my first sew weekly challenge!) and hopefully I'll tie up the loose ends and get them both posted this week. In the meantime, here's some sneak peaks!



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Small Knits (and Crochets!)

I finally got around to photographing a few items I'd made a while back, so I figured I'd do a brief FO Roundup (In chronological order, from first completed to most recent):

IMGP0339.JPG My first full crochet project: Medium Stash Basket in Lily's Sugar and Cream (leftovers from another project)

Finished it in a day back in August.


My second crochet project: Filigree Bowl.

It's essentially a doily that you stiffen over a bowl shape. I have to say that I found doily making quite fun. Finished in two days in August.


Easy Peasy Newborn Hat.

For a co-worker's baby shower last week, made from leftovers from a pair of socks. Took an evening to complete.


Saartje's Booties. These kill me, they are so tiny and cute. It has a fun construction as well (Although a surprisingly large amount of seaming). Also for my co-worker.


French Press Slippers. I need to find a way to felt them, but they're all knitted up.

Which is lucky. Because I made this of out leftover's from Mr. Cleaver's sweater from last Christmas (sensing a leftover-theme?) and I had two balls of it, but by the time I ran out of ball one, I had lost the second ball. So to finish the straps I had to spit-splice a LOT of ends to make it work, and even then I had to use the purple to make it double thick like the rest of the slipper.

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Share and Share Alike

Yesterday I joined my knitting friends over at Maggie's for an afternoon of knowledge sharing and enabling each other's crafting addictions. Maggie taught Bristol & I crochet:

Working on Crochet

My Crochet

and I taught them embroidery:

Bristol Embroiders

Maggie Stitches

Lynn taught Karen punchneedle technique:

Karen's Punchneedle

Lynn's Punch Needle

Maria (who's trying to finish 12 knitting stash projects before Rhinebeck!) provided the locally made gelato:

Maria Knits


And Chase, Jackson, Hobbes* and Cocoa Bean* provided fur and company (*not pictured):



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