Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Margaret's Hope Chest

I was connected to Margaret's Hope Chest through Amanda Jean's retreat last summer. I am so impressed with the mission of the organization and the two women who run it. Carin and Carol are just the sweetest people ever and it is so inspiring to see how they have turned a family tragedy into an organization that helps so many people in need.
Alexia's Birthday Quilt
Here are the two quilts that I've donated. This is the second year of their Wrapped in Hope campaign, which gives personalized birthday quilts to children who have parents who are in prison. I made this quilt for Alexia who likes black, white, blue, purple and music. I used this pattern from a quilt I made a few years ago in the color scheme she requested and added some Alexander Henry music fabric for the binding.
binding detail
I finished up this quilt in November after having completed the top at the summer retreat. The pattern I used is the Fair and Square pattern that Amanda Jean designed for Margaret's Hope Chest.

Fair and Square
If you're looking for a great charity to donate to and have extra time to make a quilt, please consider making a quilt for MHC. You can find a list of children who have requested birthday quilts here.

Icelandic Knitting

I went on a bit of an Icelandic colorwork knitting kick last year. I am now a huge fan of fair isle colorwork because it combines the ease of the knit stitch with the excitement of watching a pattern emerge every row.

I made these two cardigans before we left for Iceland so that we would have them along for photo ops, of course!
Jon's sweater in progress
(ah, the joy of steeking!)

Sólheimajökull Glacier
Jon's cardigan is pretty much my most favorite knit project ever. He picked out the yarn and pattern when we were in Toronto last spring for our anniversary. I love the chunky yoke pattern and the extra detail of the cables on the arms and body. Jon wears this cardigan all the time, so it warms my heart to see my knitting project getting lots of use. It has also insured that I will make him lots more knit sweaters because he is so appreciative! (ravelry link: craftr's Stapi)

Seljalandsfoss

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
I really like the yarn and pattern I chose for my cardigan...but I am so mad at myself for putting a white zipper in instead of a black zipper. Hopefully, one day, I will get up the nerve to rip out the white zipper and sew in a black one. (ravelry link: craftr's Hela cardigan)

I made these two sweaters with the yarn that I bought while we were in Iceland.
Hela Cardigan
This vest more than makes up with my disappointment with the Hela cardigan. I wear this all the time now. Because it is short-sleeved, I never overheat while wearing it. And, I bought a brown turtleneck to wear with it to reduce the neck itchiness (Lopi is so itchy for wool to skin contact). (ravelry link: craftr's Vormorgun Vest)

Riddari
Jon picked out the yarn for this pullover and it's another sweater that he wears frequently. (I guess wool really helps now that we've been turning down the heat this winter to save money). I'm so glad that Jon likes wearing sweaters that are interesting to knit and is somewhat brave with his color choices and patterns, too. Lopi patterns are so easy and enjoyable to knit! (ravelry link: craftr's Riddari)

2010 Projects in Review

2010 Projects: Part 1 2010 Projects: Part 2 2010 Projects: Part 3
Umm...I really don't think I can top 2010's productivity ever again (nor do I want to). This is definitely proof that shopping for craft supplies and engrossing myself in projects are major stress relievers for me. I'm hoping to remedy this by working with only my stash (for real!) this year.

So, here's to a 2011 filled with relaxation, great books, and a handful of knitting and quilting projects!

For other year end recaps see: 2007 2008 2009

Sunday, January 9, 2011

career change!

New Job!
I've been quiet on this blog lately because of a big change in my life. In November, I started my first official paid(!) job as a librarian. For the first time in my post-college working career, I can say that I actually love going to work! Every day at the library is new and different and my job really keeps me on my toes. I'm surrounded by books and people all day and it's the perfect combination of interests for me.

To top it off, I got a job at my childhood library, which is the library that inspired me to become a librarian in the first place. I'm so honored to have been chosen for the position at such a great library in the area!

Three years ago around this time, I was just starting my library school journey. I stuck with my unfulfilling day job long enough to get my master's degree (debt free!) and make a career change. While the last few years at my job were grueling and stressful, I'm glad that I made a new goal for myself and accomplished what I set out to do. Yay for much needed life changes!