Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FO: Cable Car Hat

One last FO for the year:

FO: Cable Car Hat

I cast on for this hat at the airport in Dallas on a Saturday, and finished the following Wednesday in San Francisco. I've dubbed it the Cable Car Hat. The pattern is Relm by Brooklyn Tweed, from the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Knit1. I used less than a skein of Malabrigo in the lovely Sealing Wax colorway. I made some modifications, mostly to conserve yarn and to make the hat less slouchy.

I used a size 7 circular throughout, instead of switching needles after the brim.

Then, at the decrease section, I did the following:
Worked Row 1
Skipped rows 2 and 3
Worked rows 4-7
Skipped rows 8 and 9
Worked rows 10-11
(p2, ssk) repeat to end
(p2tog, k1) repeat to end
k2tog repeat to end
k next row
k2tog, k1 repeat to end
k next row
k2tog repeat to end
Seam 10 remaining stitches

FO: Cable Car Hat

Although it's pretty cute on me (modest, I know!), I gifted it to Beth, Elliott's sister (and mother of the adorable Oliver) this weekend. She'll get better wear out of it in DC this winter. And besides, I can always make another hat. That's the beauty of being a knitter, right?

Raveled here

By the way, it's my birthday today! I'm 29, for the first time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revisiting 2010 Goals

Here are the goals I established for myself for the past year and my success (or lack thereof):

Knitting Goals
-10 shawls in 2010
50% complete. 5 shawls done. 2 others started (one destroyed by Olias, one stalled out)
-finish my CPH
Fail. I picked it up earlier in the year, and all I lack is the button band/seaming
-knit more socks
Half-fail. I finished a pair for my sister, knit one half a pair, and started a second new sock.
-a colorwork project
Half-fail. I started Opus Spicatum in October. I'm not very good at colorwork, so it takes forever.

Sewing Goals
-make a quilt
So, so close. Quilt top is done. Got scared of quilting, as I had never done it before. I'm currently finishing up a table runner (my practice round before I tackle the quilt top).
-sew some skirts
sort of a win. Even though I didn't finish any skirts, I made a dress, which I think counts.

Misc. Crafting Goals
-buy a spinning wheel
Nope. I've shelved this idea so I can focus on the crafts at hand.
-practice more spinning
Again, nope
Big fat fail

Cooking Goals
-make ice cream
Half-win. I made frozen yogurt once.
-make bread
Half-win. I've made pizza crust countless times this year. It's so freaking good.
-make caramels
uh-uh. Nope. Sure didn't complete this one.

If you judge this list by the cover, I didn't finish much in 2010. I disagree, though. I tried lots of new techniques, and improved some skills. Next up, I'll post my 2011 goals (and one more FO for 2010!).
Did you accomplish any of your 2010 goals?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

San Francisco: Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is definitely a national landmark. There's a good reason for that.

Golden Gate
From Muir Beach

It's breathtaking. Considering there were no computers when bridges like this were built, it's an astounding feat of human logic.

Golden Gate at Sunset

Top of the Mark

We had drinks at the Top of the Mark, on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel while enjoying this view. We also ate a cheese plate. Super delicious and so fancy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 Favorites

I thought a little retrospective of annual favorites would be a nice reference point. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Favorite new(to me) music artist:
Tie: the Avett Brothers and the Black Keys

Favorite new fabric line:

Joel Dewberry fabric

Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow

Secret Crush Fabric

Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush

Favorite new movie: Zombieland

Favorite new knit design: Beatnik, by Norah Gaughan

Most played album: The Swell Season

Most played TV show: Tie: Gilmore Girls and It's Always Sunny

Favorite Bella Picture:

Bella Cat

Favorite Olias picture:


Favorite meal:Tie: Cheese plate at Top of the Mark in San Francisco AND Harry Potter Feast at the Alamo Draft House

Favorite crafting moment:

Progress: Grellow + Pink Quilt

Finishing my quilt top

Favorite new (to me) blog: Three-way tie:
Life on Laffer
Knitted Bliss,
A Life of Photographoe

What are your favorites from 2010?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I've been running crazy this week. I'm sure most of you have as well, trying to get it all done. I'm looking forward to a few days off work, enjoying the company of family and friends.

Besides the previously mentioned Betty for my grandmother, I managed to do a little more holiday crafting.

Holiday potholders

I finished four potholders. It was a very good practice for me, especially since I've never done binding, and this is part of what has prevented me from finishing my quilt (but that's on my 2011 goal list!).

I know I'm not alone in this, but I often read/review/follow a craft for so long before trying it, that when I finally get down to business, I find I'm not as skilled as I am in my brain. As in, I had read so many blog entries about quilting, purchased books, sewed (but not actually quilted), that when I actually quilted (on the table runner I started months ago), it wasn't perfect, and I was shocked.

I sometimes forget there is a difference between believing you can do something and actually doing it.

Potholders - Christmas Tree

Like I said, though, I've learned a lot about quilting since then, and my quilting has gotten much better. I'm going to tackle the table runner first and then complete my quilt.

I got a little off topic there, but I've been meaning to say that.

In other Christmas news, there was much baking this past weekend. My friends Julie and Rhonda met me at my mom's (she's got a double oven and a much bigger kitchen) for an afternoon of baking.

We made the following delicious things:
Texas Trash

Texas Trash (Chex Mix, but with a few extra delicious additions, such as french fried onions and Louisiana hot sauce)
Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans (recipe here)

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies (no picture available because they were eaten so fast, and I'm only slightly exaggerating)(You should make these immediately. They taste like thin mints or Andes mints. Delicious.)
Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies - If anyone wants this recipe, let me know. I've got it on an index card from several years back. They're sort of like snickerdoodles with a cinnamon-sugar coating, but with a strong almond flavor.

Enjoy the end of this year with your loved ones.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Progress: Mourning Marlene

As previously mentioned, I started a sock several weeks ago using some Madeline Tosh sock yarn in the Mourning Dove colorway. I haven't had much time to work on it lately, but I did manage to snap a progress photo.

Progress: Mourning Marlene

I'm hoping to work on it over the holiday weekend. The only mod I've made is to decrease a few border stitches. The sock seemed like it was going to be a little too loose on me, but that will mean a heel modification as well, since those extra stitches are needed. I'll figure it out as I go along, I suppose.

Progress: Gray Skies Cardigan

In other progress news, I managed to finish the back of my Gray Skies Cardigan and I've started a sleeve. The sleeve seems very wide to me, but I'm going to check my gauge and trust the pattern. I can always give it a wider seam if it's not to my liking.

I've also been working on some holiday potholders for coworker gifts (and a few extra). I just need to finish the quilting and bind them. Pictures to follow soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Francisco: Muir Woods

Have you ever been to San Francisco?
Jill and I visited six years ago to celebrate her 21st birthday. For this trip with Elliott, there were some new-to-me sites, and some revisited favorites. Muir Woods was a new attraction, and I'm so glad we went.

Muir Woods

Muir Woods is incredible, and we were lucky enough to have good weather for our early morning visit. Instead of renting a car and dealing with parking, we chose to go with a small tour group (there were only five people in our van), care of Extranomical Tours. We had about two hours to spend in the woods, and I made good use of my time and camera.

What struck me the most about the woods is that certain trees were positively glowing. I'm guessing it was a combination of the moss and sunlight.

Mossy moss

Muir Woods Fungi

Postively beautiful. Elliott and I walked along the trail for almost two hours, pausing to take pictures (pretty frequently) and enjoying existence.

Muir Woods

It's a very magical place. I definitely want to go back someday, just to make sure the magic of these giant trees still exists.

Rays of Light

I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed.

Muir Woods

Monday, December 13, 2010

FO: Betty

I've been slightly incommunicado lately. The main reason is that I hopped over to San Francisco for a few days last week. It was a much needed break with the boy, and I honestly didn't want to come back to work. We had a great time, and I'll be sharing pictures with you soon.

In the meantime, I finished my grandmother's shawl this weekend.

FO: Betty

This worsted-weight shawl was made using Chrissy Prange's Followill pattern. It was really intuitive and well-written. I appreciated that Chrissy included the symbol legend on each page of charts; it was much easier than flipping back and forth.

I used Valley Yarns Northampton, a 100% Peruvian wool.

FO: Betty

I'm really pleased with how it turned out (and please excuse the end that needs to be woven!). My sister was kind enough to take pictures for me yesterday.

FO: Betty

She's really good about capturing silly moments like this one! If I haven't mentioned, she's working on her photography as more than just a hobby, and you can check her out here if you're interested.

FO: Betty

I made no mods to the shawl, and I used approximately 520 yards of yarn. I'm hoping it will keep my grandmother warm. This is my fifth completed shawl of 2010. 50% of the goal isn't bad, but it's not great, either. Oh well.

Side note: my grandparents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary early next year.



Friday, December 3, 2010

Proctor Pics

A few glimpses of my Thanksgiving weekend:




And my personal favorites, meet Duke, my grandparent's llama:


Duke loves:
-when we visit
-kitchen scraps
-and most especially, tortillas.


I promise I'll have some actual knitting content soon. I'm just a few rows from the finish line on the shawl for my grandmother, and I started a pair of Marlene socks. It's my first Cookie A pattern, and I'm using this lovely skein of MadelineTosh Sock:

MadelineTosh Mourning Dove

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy turkey day

I wish you and yours a happy thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to family, fun and food. My grandmother has been ill, but is getting better every day. We've convinced her to stay out of the kitchen and let everyone else in this year. My contributions will be a green bean casserole (using Pioneer Woman's recipe) and my favorite garlic smashed potatoes.

I'm looking forward to a few days off of work, and some knitting time as well. Lately, I've been plugging away at this shawl for my grandmother.

Progress: Followill

Please excuse the poor picture. As you all know, daylight ends so early, and I've been struggling to take satisfactory pictures once I get home from work. The pattern is Followill, and I'm using the same Valley Yarns Northampton I used for my Muddy Maroon Cardigan earlier this year.

I hope you can enjoy some family time, and if you're traveling, be safe.

Tree shadows

Friday, November 19, 2010

FO: More Quick Sewing

Needing yet another quick FO, I sewed up two pillowcases the other night. In under an hour, I had two finished standard-size pillowcases, giving me the perfect punch of color I'm craving these days.

New pillowcases

Laura Gunn's Poppy fabric has long been on my list, and I snagged a few yards at the quilt show. Each of these pillowcases takes just less than a yard (1/4 yard for the opening, less than 3/4 yard for the body). I only had one yard of each fabric, hence the non-matching cases. I may have to buy some more of the "Big Poppy" type, as I just love it. You can't see in the picture, but the blue background looks painted on, and has great texture (after looking at her website, that's probably because she paints, and the fabrics she creates are based on those paintings.).

These go perfectly in my room, but I'm left wanting some sort of artwork to hang behind me bed.
Any suggestions on DIY or frugal choices for that?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



The winner of the three-year giveaway is... Knottygnome! Congrats, Sara! I've been reading Knottygnome's blog for about a year now. Sara spins, sews and knits. She is a very productive crafter, and I've enjoyed getting to know her virtually. I can say the same about most of you that entered, and I was happy to see some new names as well. Thanks to you all.

I will definitely be having another giveaway next month. It's fun to share crafty goods.

Sara, please send me your address and I'll get your package ready to send.

Monday, November 15, 2010

FO: Pick Me Up Pouch

A case of the Mondays. That was me today. I found a remedy, though.

Pick me up Pouch

This quick pouch, sewn from a few pieces of lovely vibrant fabric. As you can see, it coordinates with the bag I sewed for myself earlier this year. I've been using it as a purse for a few weeks, and needed a pouch for lip smackers and miscellany. Ah, to finish something. It's been a while.

One more day to enter the giveaway!

Friday, November 12, 2010


For the first time this year, I went to the Quilt Show here in Houston. I went twice, once on preview night with Rhonda and Julie, and then Saturday, Julie and I went for round two. I was astounded by the beautiful quilts on display (I took a few pictures, but most of them were not to be photographed), but let's be honest. I was mainly there to buy more fabric.

Hello, my name is Jacey, and I have a fabric addiction. Here's (most) of what I bought this weekend:

Quilt Show Fat Quarters

Quilt Show Fat Quarters

Tula Pink Ladybugs
I scored more Tula Pink Ladybugs! These are hard to come by.

Fat quarters from the Quilt Show

Quilt Show Finds

/end fabric addition transmission

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Giveaway: 3 years of blogging

Three years of blogging

When I started this blog three years ago, I never dreamed how much joy it would bring me. I've loved being a part of the crafting community, and I have big goals for the upcoming year.

To celebrate, I'm assembling a package of goodies for one reader.


The package is still in the works, but it will definitely include this skein of indie sock yarn, by the Family Pendragon, with a generous 560 yards of soft 100% superwash merino wool. The colorway is Fezzik, and it is perfect for fall. The package will also include this HiYa HiYa sock needle (it's a US size 1, 9" needle, perfect for sock knitting!). Some fabric and/or notions may creep into the box as well.

To enter, just leave a comment. Simple. Please enter by Tuesday, November 16th, 6:00 PM CST.

P.S. I've felt a little pressure (self-induced) in pulling this giveaway together. And since I like having giveaways every so often, I may do another one with better planning, sometime at the end of the year (maybe to celebrate my golden birthday next month!).

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's in the box?

A blogibirthday post is still forthcoming, but in the meantime, I have something to show you.

Olias wants to know, what's in the box?

Olias is very curious about what this box has inside. He respectfully requests that I remove the contents quickly, so he and Bella can conquer the box.

Janome DC2010

I obliged. Meet my new sewing machine, a Janome DC 2010. It sews like a dream.


I felt like it was time for a step up in my sewing tools, and I'm glad I made the investment. I was out of town part of the weekend for a family funeral, but I worked a few hours yesterday to finish the top of my table runner.

Progress: Table Runner

I've got a plan for the back, and hope to work on it some this week.

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