Try Something New Every Month: Double Knitting

What’s that old saying? “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…”

Well, I tried something new this month. And tried. And tried. And tried. I actually lost track of how many times I cast-on for this Longcat Scarf (Ravelry link).

This was my first time attempting double knitting and I made the mistake of just skimming a few Youtube videos because it looked easy enough. Well, it’s not. I continually ended up with purl wraps on the wrong side of whichever side I was working. That doesn’t look good…



Then all of a sudden I had a lightbulb moment and it all made sense and I was doing it! It was working! And then I couldn’t keep track of the chart because I was distracted and counting wrong and it was all terrible and I had to frog it again.


I decided this was going to have to be a quiet at-home project, at least for the start, and I took an evening and tried. Again. A few more times. And  for seemingly no special reason it worked! I made a cat butt!

Sure, there’s an oops-stitch there, but I think it looks like a heart on the cat’s knee so I’m okay with that…

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Are you doing a TSNEM project for February? You can find the link-up here!


Try Something New Every Month: Free-motion quilting

And so it began…IMG_4718

On a whim, just before Christmas, I set out to my local quilt shop and decided I was going to DO THIS. There were a lot of options of feet to buy, ranging from this $17 one to a fancier $55 option, so I opted for the entry level price for my entry level skills.

Oddly, this first experiment was probably the best one for my first evening…


Quickly it all went to hell with tension/speed/OMGWHATAMIDOING…


“Eyelashing” sounds so cute…not when you’re free-motion quilting though…


Yeah, still wonky. COME ON.


I sped up my machine speed a bunch and started using my pedal so I could start/stop as needed since using the on/off button isn’t in my muscle memory yet…


And since that was a “success” I got the idea that I could trace a spiral. LOL NOPE.


Here’s the first night’s stack of discarded attempts…


I put my normal foot back on my machine and called it quits for a few days.

I also went to the library and stocked up on the following titles:

Then I set out to try again, this time with something I would have otherwise never touched again–my May TSNEM first attempt at foundation paper piecing…funny purple hedgehog!


This went moderately better than previous attempts. And gave me some courage to try out free-motion quilting on a bigger project…my Under the Stars camping quilt!

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One problem though: everything went south pretty quickly while attempt free motion quilting today. 

Eyelashing like woah…

I don’t even know. Ugh. 


The sad best results from today…

So, no. I am not touching my beautiful quilt top with free-motion quilting. Not without a LOT more practice anyway. 

Try Something New Every Month 2016!

In 2015 Stephanie from Swoodson Says proposed the idea of TSNEM – Try Something New Every Month. She had hoped to get lots of bloggers to participate but in the end there were only three of us that did it every month, Stephanie and Rebecca and me.

I had a lot of fun thinking up techniques and projects to fit in with trying new things every month of 2015. Some things I would absolutely never revisit, while others I’m really glad to have under my belt 🙂 You can see what I tried each month here.

2016 is shaping up to be a little different. There is a Facebook group for support from other TSNEM folks, and there are also some loose categories to work within, too. I’m looking forward to another year of experimenting with new skills!

January – Quilting (I’ll try free-motion quilting!)
February – Tactile Craft: paper mache, clay, soap, candle making (perhaps I’ll attempt paper mache)
March – Painting
April – Edible Crafts (ooo, adorable bento lunches maybe?)
May – Hand Sewing
June– Heavy Craft; leather, wood burning, glass etching (wood burning!)
July – Yarn Craft; knitting, crochet, weaving (I’d still like to attempt leno weaving)
August – Printmaking: fabric or paper
September – Machine Sewing
October – Needlework: embroidery, cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint
November – Papercraft: origami, scrapbook, calligraphy (yes! origami!)
December – Choose your own!

Try Something New Every Month: Tatting

Let me start by saying: OMG TATTING IS HARD.

I received an amazing hand-me-down of tatting supplies from a friend. Inside of these vintage tins were oodles of threads and shuttles and shuttles with bobbins and all sorts of weird things I had no idea how to use. Also inside the tins were some amazing little tatted and lacy pieces…

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I started with a one-on-one lesson with my slightly tipsy aunt after a Thanksgiving dinner. While this gave me the basic idea of how to hold the thread, and how my hands should move, I didn’t actually successfully do anything during this session.

Sitting at home alone on my couch with these tutorials from Tatted Treasures I got going…a little…

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Getting to this point took me about AN HOUR. Yeesh.

In all honestly I had to put this project idea down. ‘Tis the season for having too much to do and not enough hours in the day to commit properly to such a fiddly little craft. It is definitely something I intend to pick up again in the future.

I am proud that I did complete this monthly challenge of trying something new throughout 2015!

January: Entrelac knitting

February: Knit Latvian braid

March: Calligraphy

April: Embroidery stitches

May: Foundation paper piecing

June: SELLING/BUYING A HOUSE OMG (I know this doesn’t really count, haha!)

July: Drunkard’s path quilt blocks

August: Mitre saw

September: Orange peel quilt block

October: Finish a BIG quilt

November: Drafting an EPP pattern

December: Tatting


See what other bloggers made this month:

Try Something New Every Month: Drafting an EPP pattern

I’ve been on an English paper piecing kick lately, largely working on my huge ferris wheel circles lap quilt, but throwing in the occasional hexagon as well. We were heading out of town for a long trip and I knew I wanted something fun and new and portable, so I set out to draft my own EPP pattern.

It started with a trip to one of my favorite local quilt stores, where it turns out they now know me by both my first and last name. I’ll take that as a good thing 😉

Then I sat down with All Points Patchwork from my local library and got to drafting. It was fun to pull out a ruler and protractor and compass! I haven’t done that since high school.

  And here’s what I came up with after some doodling and a lot of erasing…

It was far from perfect, but I had hoped that I could fudge its imperfections a bit, and overall I’ve accomplished that…

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It’s not perfectly flat, but I’m hoping with some pressing, and perhaps some forgiving hand quilting, it’ll soon look great as a throw pillow for our sofa 🙂

Edit 11/4: All done!

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See what other bloggers tried!

Try Something New Every Month: BIG QUILT

I got the idea for this blue and white half square triangle quilt about 6 months ago and immediately set out collecting fabrics and making a ton of HST blocks. I ended up playing with different layouts and scouring the internet for inspiration on what I wanted the final top to look like, and finally settle on a big ol’ star.



I finished the top and wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to do for quilting. I’ve never quilted anything quite this large before. I’ve done Lily’s full-sized quilt, but the way her bed is it’s really much smaller than a real full-sized…there’s only a very tiny drop on all sides of the mattress.

I looked around for local quilting services but it appeared that hiring out would be quite cost prohibitive, especially with how many quilt top ideas and projects I’ve got bouncing around. So I set out to quilt it myself on my little Janome Magnolia…such a far cry for a long arm!

I stuffed and fluffed and stuffed and fluffed and rolled and stuffed and made my whole body pretty darn sore on multiple occasions of quilting this huge thing.

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After a final marathon of a Saturday I powered through the final quilting and finished the edges (I just turned them under instead of traditional binding). It was so late at night by the time I finished that I made it through a quick wash and into the dryer and was able to wake up to my new pretty scrunchy quilt!



I LOVE IT. I’m not exactly eager to quilt something of that size again, so I’m reconsidering future and planned quilt tops…perhaps they should finish up smaller than 80×80, or I should really budget for a quilting service.

See what other bloggers tried this month: