Top Nine for 2019 ... and a Few Extras to Share

All the things I love .... Sock Knitting, Sewing, Spinning and Vintage Machines

This is so amazing, especially since it’s over a very short time, and I want to thank you so much for liking my photos. 

For those of you who have known me for a while, I closed my original Instagram account earlier this year, and it was done for personal reasons and really done before I really thought about it.  I wanted to share with you on what I accomplished this year in spinning too!

I also made a few things out of my handspun too!

And added socks to my drawer!

I can’t wait to see what 2020 has to offer and I am so excited to share all my creative adventures with all of you!

Until next time, be creative!

Final Finish Of the Year!

Sometimes you have finished handspun in your stash that is just not quite enough yardage to make anything.  This was the case with my 105 yards of light worsted weight Frabjous Fibers that I finished last year ( a lovely silk blend).  I wanted to make a hat but knew that I would run out of yarn so I decided to pair it up with the remaining Quillin FiberArts.

I decided to make a tam and casted on 88 stitches, using a size US 7 circular needle 16” in length, and worked a 2 x 2 ribbing for 1 inch.  I changed to a size US 9 circular needle and increased my stitches evenly in the round to 110.  I work about 3” in the Frabjous fibers and then started to alternated my colors every 3 to 4 rounds.  I worked the body of the hat until it measured 5” and then started to decrease, k16, k2tog, pm, and repeated to the end.  I think I had two extra stitches that I ended up k3tog, but it all worked out as I started to decrease.  I didn’t keep track too much about my knitting, so there isn’t a formal pattern, but it follows the basic tam/beret design.

As I started to decrease for the top, I was beginning to panic and didn’t think I would have enough of my main color to finish, but I did!!!

I love how my handspun tam turned out and a great project to finish up at the end of 2019!

I have 17 grams ( .6 ounces ) of my beautiful Quillin Fiberarts spinning project finished in July - read post here and 8 grams ( .2 ounces ) of my finished Frabjous Fiber colorshift top.

My goal next year for spinning is to make sure I spin enough yardage for projects or plan colorwork projects.  If this means I buy more fiber for a project (even while doing a stash down) I will as It’s hard to have small amounts in handspun and not knowing what to do with it can be a challenge.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: New Year Goals

I love creating goals for the new year, especially when it comes to my creative endeavors.  I have many crafting loves but my heart still belongs to knitting and spinning.

Last year I made made the goal of spinning more, and I did but soon slowed down.  By August I wasn’t spinning and I simply had no desire to spin.  There were many underlying reasons I stopped but I will just say I was burned out because I over did it.  I will say though I love the skeins of yarn I created this year and have enjoyed knitting small accessory pieces with handspun!

I didn’t draw as much as I wanted too, but I am happy with what I did draw.  My favorite piece this year is a bird I drew in August.  I absolutely love it  and plan to make a similar one to have a pair.

I didn’t do much in the way of photography but I did get outside more and enjoyed my year of walks with our sweet boy in the park.  He is a great motivator to get me out walking because I simply do not want to disappoint him and not take home to his park.

So enough rambling, it’s time to talk about those 2020 goals .....

Goal #1:  Carrying forward  My 2019 Goal to 2020 for spinning and using my own handspun for projects.

Spin MoreMy wheels need to be used more and I definitely need to spin my stash down before buying more.  This coming year I have plans to spin for a shawls and maybe even a sweater. I will #spin15aday every day to maintain my consistency.
  • I want to spin my stash down
  • Rotate my wheels so I use them more
  • Spin with intention
  • Join SALs (spin alongs)
  • Learn new spinning techniques
I will be starting off January with a SAL hosted by SpinOff Magazine, SpinningI for mitts.  This SAL starts January 17, 2020 and ends March 20, 2020.  You can find the particulars here 

Why mittens? Besides keeping your hands warm at this time of year, they’re an achievable challenge for most spinners . . . but they do have a few hidden requirements, such as maintaining spinning consistency, choosing durable fibers and yarn structures, and using a pattern you like enough to make twice! - Anne Merrow

Goal #2:  I want to make 12 pairs of socks new year and think one pair a month is quite doable.

I work at home and I have a job that allows me to knit while working.  I may end up making more than a dozen pairs, but I want an achievable goal, so a dozen pairs sound good.  I have so much sock yarn in my stash that it’s almost ridiculous and it’s time for new socks.  

I also want to use new patterns and plan to pull out my Cookie A  books (I miss her designs), Socktopus  by Alice Yu, Op-Art Socks by Stephanie Van Der Linden  by and Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen.  I also have a ton of digital patterns to go through as well.  I do want to try color work this year as well, so will be looking through patterns I already own to see what might entice me to try something new, and different.

Goal #3:  I want to do more needlework, such as embroidery and wool appliqué.

I do not plan to go overboard in the needlework area, but I do have several holiday pieces I want to make for our home and for a few friends.  I have plenty of pattern, hoops and threads, so this will be a great way for me to use my stash instead of buying more.

Goal #4: I want to to sew more, which includes making my own clothes.

I think having more “me made” wardrobe is an inspiration goal and one I truly want to achieve above all my other goals.  I am still learning to sew but truly love what I made

this year and I am super excited about making more things this coming year.  My husband has even asked me to make him a few pairs of pajama bottoms!  This year I plan to make more tops and try my hand at pants, and maybe even lingerie.  I have a very inspiring friend on Instagram that keeps me motivated to learn and achieve new things.  

My second sewing goal is quilting.  I plan to start with small projects, such as mini quilts, and learn as much as I can o I can make a decent wall quilt.  Some day I even hope to make a quilt for our bed.


I also have personal and spiritual goals.  My husband and I have plans to do more fun things, take more road trips and to start planning our future of moving back home to Kentucky.  A new year, a fresh start and a new challenge!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis

While He Was Sleeping ... Saturday Morning Spinning

It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased.  ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday mornings are often quiet and I tend to get up earlier than my husband to enjoy a little time spinning before our day starts together.  This morning was perfection ! I FINALLY finished my beautiful Frabjous Merino in the  color Cactus that I started back in September.  I can’t believe it took me so long to finish spinning this lovely fiber, but things were busy and as people often say, “life got in the way”.

I love the colors in this fiber and it spun up so lovely that I may have to buy more in different colors.  I have no idea what my finished yarn will become, but I am hopeful I will have enough yardage for mitts, a hat or a cowl.

Bobbin Shots are the best!

For finishing my handspun, I have decided that I will create a center pull ball so that I can create a 2-ply yarn.  Hopefully I can get started plying tomorrow or next week when I’m off on a mini-vacation.

Now I’m concentrating on finishing my Funky Carolina BFL I started on our vacation the end of July .... wow, that long ago!!!!  I’ve been really bad this year when it comes to spinning.  My goal is to finish this bobbin this coming week, if I can do that, then I am all set to start off the year participating in the #spin15stashdown2020 event on Instagram hosted by Sherrill of the 1764 Shepherdess.

Bobbin Shot - Schacht Sidekick

I need to get myself refocused on spinning in the new year, and by participating in the #spin15adaystashdown2020 it will help me do just that.  

Spinning does my soul good.  It helps me to focus and become centered before I start my day, and besides, I love knitting with my own handspun, so it’s a win-win situation!

Until next time ~ be creative!  

Friday Finished Object .... A Barley Hat!

On Christmas Day I finished my Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits.  It’s a unique design but I love it because it is toasty warm and perfect for wearing with my Maize Mitts on morning walks.  Both of these patterns are very well written and super easy, making them perfect for beginner knitters or knitters wanting something quick.

Needles:  US 7 for ribbing and US 8 for hat
Yarn:  Fibra Natura Inca Tweed 
Color:  Navy

I frogged my cuff down Socks on A Plane socks. I am not sure if it’s the yarn, the DPNs or the stitch pattern, but I just wasn’t in love with what I knitting.  To top it off, I dropped a stitch several rows back that I didn’t catch. So right now I do not have a single thing on my needles!

Until next time, be creative!

Throwback Thursday .... A Handspun Scarf

When I spun this fiber up a few years ago I had no idea what it would become.  The original intent was fingerless mitts, but I just couldn’t feel the vibe for mitts.  Since  I loved the colors so much, which are very vibrant, I wanted something that would give a sense of the southwest.

My skein was just shy of 175 yards of light worsted, which meant I didn’t have to many options for using it.  So, I decided to make a keyhole scarf.  The design is my my own creation, which I made up and I went using a simple lace diamond stitch pattern and three silver beads.

Do you have a favorite  skein of handspun that you don’t know what to make out of it ?  If you do, be adventurous and create your own unique piece out of it.  My motto, let your handspun tell you what it wants to be.  Whether you knit or crochet,  handspun can be so beautiful for small accessory pieces.  

So be creative and let the yarn guide you into making the right piece to show it off!

Until next time, be creative!

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

A Knitter’s Christmas Eve

by Nancy Massaroni

`Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
`Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.

Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich –move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.

The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I espied a small label,
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.

He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"

I love this and share every year!

Until next time, be creative- Tina

Sunday Musings: Hot off the Needles!

I am so excited to have finished a pair of socks, along with a pair of mitts.   I honestly haven’t been knitting as much as I normally do, but I am also hopeful I will finish another pair of socks before the year ends, or at least the very beginning of the new year.

So off the needles today ....

A pair of Jeck Socks with an Afterthought Heel.  As a recap, I used  Mani Pedi yarn by Lion Brand , along with two 16” circular needles, size US 1 1/2.  They fit perfectly and the yarn is super soft.  

Working on my top down version of Socks on A Plane and 
hope to have another pair off the needles soon!


Also off my needles is a pair of Maize Mitts, pattern by Tin Can Knits.  I made this pair of mitts in two days.  For this project I used two 16” circular needles, size US 6 and Fibra Natura Inca Tweed in Navy.  I plan to cast on the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits later this evening and feel it will work up super quick too!

I have also been making my goals for next year and will be posting next Sunday with what I hope to achieve in the new year.  One thing I did not list as part of my goals was something quite personal that I am sharing today.

One thing I do not want to do next year is to allow others to influence the way I think or feel.  I have a tendency to “jump on board” before I think, which has caused much heartache this year.  In the new year I am embracing creativity
 and will not allow myself to get caught up in the moment to be swayed to easily to one side or other.  There are so many creative people in this world and I have learned so much from so many folks.

Until next time, be creative!

Handmade Holidays !

I have decided this year I would make gifts for Two of my dearest online friends.  Both share the love of the fiber-arts, and both are true kindred spirits.

I made a fun wool appliqué piece for one friend that is head over heels in love with wool and sheep.  The pattern is Merry Christmas to Ewe by Diane Knott. I accidentally reversed the pattern but I think it turned out ok.  I used wool for the appliqué portion, Sulky Petites 12 Wt. cotton thread for the appliqué stitching and embroidery, and a piece of Christmas themed fabric for the backing.  I had the hanger and mini clothes pins, which I used for hanging.  I love how it turned out!

If you enjoy appliqué, small embroidery or punch needle projects, be sure to check out Diane’s Etsy shop!

My other friend has two adorable pugs and is a Harry Potter fan.  I hand embroidered the pug using Valdani thread on a piece of batik fabric.  I trimmed the edge when finished and backed it with felt.  The original design is for machine embroidery and can be purchased here.  She is also an avid knitter, so I made two Harry Potter themed knitting bags for her (see this post).  My favorite of the two bags is the made from the Marauders Map fabric.

I enjoyed making these gifts and now planning what to make from them next year!

Until next time, be creative!

Throwback Thursday.... Handspun Happiness!

Throwback Thursday... I made this shawl a few years ago from my own handspun.  I didn’t use a pattern, kind of made it up as I went and it turned out perfect!  

I used a lovely fiber from a favorite dyer, Ginny of FatCatKnits.  I cannot remember the name of the color but this was a BFL that spun up beautifully.  I was very proud of this handspun and loved how it knitted up!

This was a bobbin shot before plying

When I wear my finished handspun pieces, it makes me smile.  I love spinning and have been pondering about my creative endeavors and goals for the new year.  I need to make spinning a priority in my daily life and stick to my #spin15aday mantra.  Spinning provides me with such peace and always starts my day off with a refreshed mind.

Until next time, be creative!

Wednesday WIPs... Socks and A New Cast On

Can you believe that this time next week is Christmas Day !  This year has flown and a new year is just around the corner.  
Winston Churchill .... "Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection."

I have finished knitting my Jeck socks and just need to do the Afterthought Heel to have a  new completed pair of socks.  I really love the Mani Pedi yarn by Lion Brand and hope it wears well.

I have turn the heel and finished the gusset to my cuff down version of Socks On A plane.  I am loving the cables and I am using Mani Pedi for this pair of socks too!

I also casted on a pair of Maize Mitts by Tin Can Knits using my stash of Fibra Natura Inca Tweed in Navy that I bought a few months ago from Tuesday Morning.  I have enough yarn in my stash of this color that I can also make the Barley Hat too!  I am also using my Knitters Pride Row Counter Ring and love it !

I frogged the scarf I was working on and have decided instead to make a hat.  I have been wearing hats a lot this month as my morning walks to the park with our baby boy has been quite chilly.  I am not sure what I will make yet, but Maria’s yarn is so scrumptious that I am leaning towards something with cables.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: An Exciting New Addition to My Singer Collection

A new addition to my vintage sewing machine collection!  A crinkle finish hand crank Singer Pinker.  I am beyond thrilled and hope to find the matching clamp for it too.

“The decoration on crinkle finished machines consists of just the Singer logos and a small decorative embellishment in the middle of the bed, but no decals around the edge of the bed. Because of the nature of the crinkle paint the decals are faint and not bright and shiny like normal Singer machines. All of the black crinkle models appear to have been manufactured with ‘normal’, shiny drive wheels, either spoked or solid, depending on the model, and whether it was a hand crank or an electric type.
It has often been speculated that the crinkle finish was somehow related to war shortages, or perhaps a military contract. However, there is no evidence to support this and it was most likely just a cosmetic variation that Singer produced for marketing reasons. In the case of the crinkle 221’s, they uniquely had a series of small grooves machined around the edge of the bedplate, and some also had a special black faceplate with matching grooves.” -  Singer Sewing Info

All in all she’s in pristine condition and just needed a bit of light cleaning and oiling.

Here’s a demo video showing how this works ⬇️

My husband and I bought a Singer machine in a locked bentwood case (had no idea what was inside) for $40 several months ago.  When we got home and opened the case up, we found a crinkle finish ( aka Godzilla finish) Singer inside.  

This machine was electric and with a pretty chewed up cords for both the foot pedal and plug. Let’s just say the wiring was not safe for electrical use.  We could have had some rewrite it, but we decided to turn it into a hand crank.  I am now on the hunt for a crank, which I have found but goodness they are pricey!

Serial#s AF- 289406 to  292405  Singer 99 ... 3000 manufactured on July 12 1939

The case had a nasty oil (or grease) stain that would not come out, so my husband sanded the case down and then stained it.  Yes, the case is a lovely gray and suites our treasured find quite nicely.

I don’t think I will ever tire of my vintage machines or the joy of finding new ones, or fun accessories, like my pinker above.

Until next time, be creative!

My Spinning Mojo Is Back !

I have been in a spinning funk lately and while I’m not quite sure why.  Like most creative souls, I tend to burn out easily when I focus on just one craft.  This has happened with my knitting, embroidery, sewing, and yes, spinning.  My husband often reminds me that I should “mix things up a bit” so I don’t burn out and lose the joy of what I love the most.  I think he is right about that, and I have decided to take his advice.

Over the last couple of months I put knitting and spinning aside to embark on new adventures, which included sewing, embroidery and bible journaling.  I found that by doing this, I have picked my knitting back up and have started to spin again.  Knitting has been wonderful and keeps my hands busy during calls I take throughout the day (I work from home).  Spinning centers me before I start work and helps to sooth my soul.


Still on my wheel and what I am currently finishing up is my yummy fiber by Frabjous Fiber’s called Cactus. This fiber is so beautiful and is spinning up nicely.  I don’t have much more to go and I will be ready to ply!

I have returned to spinning 15 minutes a day, which has been before I start my work day.  It is a wonderful way to get me focused for work and to calm me before the stress of the day sets in.  I am joining my friend Sherrill, aka The1764Shepherdess and the creator of #spin15aday, for her 2020 Stashdown on Instagram. My goal is to spin what I have before buying more.  We will see how that goes!! I will be spinning slowly, because after all it shouldn’t be a race, and I have will learn to savor the time spent reflecting while I spin.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings ... Catching Up!

I haven’t been to good about posting this past week but my work life has been extremely busy, and I have been focused on finishing a Christmas gift (photo after she receives it) for a very dear friend.  Today is misty and raining, reminding hubby and I a lot of Kentucky.  I miss Kentucky, especially at this time of year.  Christmas felt like Christmas back there, here in Arizona it’s quite hard to get into the spirit with nothing but cactus.  But, life could be much worse, right?

Morning walk in the park ... our baby gets so disappointed if we don’t take him.

So on my needles....

I am still working on my Cable Socks and really loving my Knitters Pride DPNs.

I am also working in my Jeck Socks and hope to finish this one soon so I can do the Afterthought Heel for the pair.

I also casted on the English Mesh Lace Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.  I’m using a lovely yarn by Maria of Tuskenknits, which is knitting up lquite nicely and really showing Sotheby’s lace pattern.  I omitted the beads from the pattern, I didn’t have the right color on hand, but think once blocked out, it won’t be a big deal.

I finally broke down and purchased the Knitters Pride Row Counter Ring  This has come in handy for my Cable Socks project and know it will get lots of use.  I am wearing it on my thumb, which is working well.

After these projects are all finished, I am planning to start sewing the Shirt No. 1s that I cut out over a month ago.  Sometimes I think I just have too much going on and just not enough time in the day for it all!

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings.... Memories and Accomplishments

My photo - January 2017, White Tank Mountains, Buckeye AZ

“December, being the last month of the year, cannot help but make us think of what is to come.”  ― Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life - Fennel's Journal - No. 1

My Mom - 2009
December has always been a month of contemplation for me, a time to think of what I accomplished throughout the year and what still remains to be done.  I am always in awe of how quickly this month arrives and ponder where the time has gone.  It is also a month of sadness as my Mom passed away in December, three days before her birthday (December 25th).  

I know that my Mom would not want me to be sad, but I really miss her and miss sharing all my crafting endeavors with her.  My Mom gave me her creative nature, the desire to explore and try new things.  I can’t think of a time when my Mom wasn’t painting, sewing, crocheting or trying something new. She was curious and always wanted to learn new things, which meant she went full steam ahead and purchased everything she needed for what she was trying...yes, I am so much like her in so many ways. I have so  many happy memories of time spent together learning new things. I wonder what she would think about all the things I’ve been learning and doing since she’s been gone.  It would be nice to share this with her today but I know she would be happy that I am able to share with all of you instead.

As I look back over the last eleven months I begin to realize I really did quite a lot in the way of creative endeavors and that makes me truly happy!

So what did I accomplish....

  • In the knitting and crochet realm,  I made seven pairs of socks, four sweaters, four shawls and two hats.  
  • In the spinning realm, I finished up 14 handspun skeins of yarn ... yep, I was on a spinning kick due to the motivation of Sherrill of the 1764 Shepherdess and her #spin15aday campaign.
  • In the sewing realm, I learned to make my own tops this year and made a total of 11 Shirt No. 1’s.  I also made a dress, a table runner, a small quilt top, a small winter quilt, and two project bags.
  • In the needlework realm, I finished one embroidery project, my fall leaf.
  • In the art realm, I finished several pieces that I absolutely love and that I had framed.  I also made a bag for a very dear friend.
Just a snippet of finished projects from this year!

A few finished art pieces!

I am truly proud of the many things I have accomplished this year and I am starting to plan what I want to do in the new year. One goal that will definitely on my list is to learn to sew on a few of my vintage machines.

Until next time , be creative!