I just want to do a myspace-style survey, okay?

three items you will always find in my bag:
journal, book, some odd little token of Grady’s like a toy or rock or sock or something.

my favorite guilty-pleasure is:
I’m not too embarrassed about any of my pleasures. Oh, here’s one: I like to inspect my face/neck up close with a magnifying mirror and tweeze to my heart’s content while watching action movies.

if i could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
Grady! Honestly.

my favorite song lyric is:
Lately I’m really into the lyrics of “Forest Gump” by Frank Ocean but they don’t really work without the music. That song seems really sweet and young and nostalgic to me but the lyrics alone don’t carry it.

the piece of clothing in my closet that i have had forever is:
I have some coats I’ve been wearing since jr. high.

my favorite children’s book is:
I’m currently reading His Dark Materials and it is just so fantastic.

i am currently reading:
whoops. Man I forgot how disappointing these surveys always were.

my favorite place to be is:
I just really like my house. A lot. And my garden, specifically. But I also sort of like ABG’s and Capitol Reef.

one thing on my bucket list i haven’t done is:
the first thing, write a bucket list.

my bringing-down-the-house karaoke go-to song is:
Anything by fleetwood mac. Drunk people love fleetwood mac.

i am afraid of:
Conversations, dreaming, putting my face under water.

hats hats hats!

Hello my dwindling handful of readers! I’m sorry I’ve been so absent, but I was thinking about this upcoming winter and how much I want your dear heads to be safe and warm. So I’m having a hat sale! Hand knitted (or crocheted) hats for a very reasonable price. Any size, any color, any style, any fiber content.

If you’re interested in a custom hat, send me a comment here or an e-mail at melsundquist (at) gmail (dot) com. Now for the details!

Because I’m so excited to get knitting for you, the first five orders will get free shipping*. This sale is only open until October 15.

Prices will vary depending on yarn choice and pattern complexity, but here are by baseline** prices by size:

  • BABY: (newborn – 1y) $8
  • TODDLER: (2y-4y) 10$
  • CHILD: (5y-12y) $12
  • SMALL ADULT: (teens and most women) $14
  • LARGE ADULT: $16

Specific prices will be determined on a custom basis after discussing with you what exactly you desire from the hat. Features that may raise the price include:

  • Style: Earflaps or berets, for example, will cost more. Winter headbands will cost less.
  • Design features: Cables, lace, colorwork like stripes or fair isle, and embellishments will raise the price slightly.
  • Yarn choice: Thinner yarns (resulting in a finer fabric) will cost more, thicker will cost less. Also, fiber content will effect the price.

So holler at me if you’d like something to keep your top toasty! I can’t wait to talk to you.

*Only applicable in the continental US. If any of the first five orders are international, the shipping will be discounted by $5.

**This basically indicates a plain beanie with no fancy design features in a worsted-weight yarn with a fiber content of 100% acrylic or 80% acrylic and 20% wool.

slow and steady

My life has been pretty blissfully uneventful the last few months. What “blissfully uneventful” looks like:

1. Snuggling with Grady at the boyfriend’s house; she’s such a snuggler at other people’s houses. I love it.

2. Going to Cassie’s awesome birthday party. Some day I’ll get better at instagramming social stuff.

3. I’ve almost finished this needlepoint (if dmc floss on evenweave even counts as needlepoint) self-portrait; I just need some more 3799 (one of the few dmc floss numbers I have memorized) for the pants. I fudged up on the elbow shading, but otherwise I think it looks pretty good.

4. Grady fell asleep in the most ridiculous possible place. Her butt is on the sidetable, which is about five inches away from the bed, she’s wearing mismatched boots, she started out wearing a bucket hat but lost it by the time I got the camera, and her face is smooshed into the pillow. I moved her up onto the bed only after taking photos, because I know I’m going to treasure this image for years.

5. I had a pretty epic dye day with Eliza this week; she dyed strips of cotton for a quilt top and I dyed a random assortment of fibers. Clothing, hankerchiefs, and 16 skeins of yarn. Summer dying is so much more enjoyable, but I need to figure out how to marry it with the techniques of indoor winter dying. That cold hose-water did not work as well as I’d hoped.

6. Snuggling Grady to sleep every night is my favorite thing.

7. In the backyard, I was laying on my stomach and Grady was laying on my back. I asked her what a spider says and she said “AAAAAAAAH.” She also took her hat off after I told her I was going to take pictures, which I find adorable.

8. Cat embroidery! I’m nearing the point of using too many cats in the decoration of my bedroom. Or does this point even exist? Probably not.



That’s how many cross-stitches are in this thing. And every cross-stitch is technically two stitches, so it took 22,798 stitches to complete. Needle traveling through fabric 45,596 times.

Anyway, photorealistic cross-stitch is really hard and really rewarding. This is my first time doing it in full-color, but the image is abstract so it’s easier to hide mistakes than if I were aiming for something truly realistic. And I only made one noticeable mistake: I fudged counting the space between creamy-yellow sections on the rose on the far left, and to compensate had to put three stitches instead of two between the second and third lines of text. Not super noticeable, but it’s still there.


I used MacStitch‘s photo import tool to create the pattern, then cropped it to a circle and adjusted the colors a bit to make it prettier (MacStitch’s color pallete isn’t identical to DMC’s) and simplify the pattern. The finished product wound up about 9″ in diameter. I love the idea of superimposing negative-space text over an image, and now I’m planning on doing something similar with an image of the rosette nebula.

I have been planning on stitching these words for quite a while, in hopes that one day Grady would look at them and feel some calm and happiness. I’d originally planned on doing something simple and folk sampler-y, but then for some reason chose to make this behemoth instead.


I love the wrong side of this piece. It reminds me of that one episode of Star Trek Voyager about chaotic space. Anyone? Anyone?


The back side when backlit is especially cool, I think. If I could do this again, the only thing I’d change would be to allow the program to use more colors. There are 29 colors in this piece, and though it would be much more difficult, it’d be cool to see what it looks like with 70 or 80 colors.

Also: If you fancy the pattern you can totally have it; I’ve got a lovely tidy pdf version, but I don’t want to sell it because the execution is just too much work. I don’t think it would sell well. So anyway, if you want it tell me in the comments and I’ll send it straight over.



So, I haven’t really blogged in a while. But this is what I’ve been up to lately; snuggling with Grady & backyard cat (possible permanent name: Catterhorn) stitching, and occasionally leaving the house. If you want you should follow me on instagram, where my username is thrifted.



I actually did it! I completed the stupid task of knitting an adult-sized blanket in garter stitch! I’m actually pretty impressed with myself – I finished it in two and a half months, but during those months I also finished about a dozen embroideries. Looking back at my working speed of, say, three years ago and comparing it to what it is now makes me feel great.

(Full disclosure: It doesn’t hurt that I committed myself to basically watching every episode of every series of Star Trek before the end of the semester. Convincing my English teacher to let me write all of my papers on Star Trek wasn’t the wisest move. So I have a lot of knitting time between note-taking.)


Anyway, the blanket itself is better than I thought it’d be. It’s incredibly heavy and warm for its size. And I actually kind of like the colors; though as I look at these pictures I realize how horribly the colors clash with my living room decor. So it’s going to be a bedroom-only piece, I believe.

Also: All of those borders between squares? Pieced with kitchener. Sooooooooooo much kitchener in this piece.

I had a bit of yarn left after finishing this blanket, so I’m making a mini blanket for Grady’s doll. I just took the pattern and divided every stitch number by 6, and only made 12 squares. It’s a pretty perfect doll size, but I’m realizing how stupid I was to prolong my commitment to all this garter and acrylic and kitchener. I can’t wait to make something -anything – else!

1. IMG_4089, 2. IMG_4098, 3. IMG_4101, 4. IMG_4106

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems like almost every blogger, myself included, in the northern hemisphere has fallen victim to the winter doldrums. Seems like every other post I read these days starts with an apology for not blogging in so long. Anyway, it bugs me when blogs blog about blogging so I’ll quit it and just show you what I’ve been up to lately. If you follow me on Instagram (my username is thrifted) you’re not going to see anything new here.

My best friend from high school got married, so I made him a batch of dishcloths with a Doctor Who theme. Dishcloths are pretty depressing to knit, no?

1. I printed and hung a couple big photos of dead pets that I miss. They’re right in my line of sight when I wake up and I love it.

2. Favorite cardigan.

3. Sleeping Grady is seriously the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

4. I finished this embroidery based on a design based on a NMH lyric for Jennie. Teeny weenie split stitches.

1. Occasionally browsing this insane book written by a friend’s parents. Did you know that the entire purpose of woman is to please man?!?!

2. Killer lace dress, ombre-dyed by yours truly.

3. Very first pigtails!

4. Knitted a ripple blanket for an old friend’s baby shower. Great excuse to get rid of some old stashed LB Homespun.

1. Singing while eating pizza as a reward for reading the word “pizza.”

2. Sketched a wee self-portrait.

4. She’s getting so good with utensils.

5. Playing in front of the camera.

1. Finally warm enough to venture outside! Wearing one of the two birthday cardigans I knit for her last year.

2. Outdoor snuggles.

3. Picking blues for a commission.

4. Curating a collection of rocks.

1. Backyard Cat has been so sweet and snuggly lately.

2. Super hippie dress, which I love.

3. Displaying more photos in the living room.

4. Finishing up another commission.

1. Her fancy dress caught in the wind.

2. I’m so close to finishing this afghan.

4. Family meeting outside.

5. My hair’s finally long enough that I can let it dry naturally without looking like Oliver Twist!