Tuesday, October 21, 2014

a big, boring list that doesn't even have pictures

I have spent the better part of the past day or two, considering the things I need to get done. I am overwhelmed, to say the least, and at this point I have no idea what is a realistic goal, which is killing me. Obviously, I thrive on lists, goals, order, and finishing things, so this spot I'm in, it's not great for me. I have so many big things that will take a while and not much that I can finish to propel myself forward, and the things that need doing span so many categories. It isn't even really a WIP post since most things aren't even in progress at this point. It is making me feel crazy and scatterbrained, so I am going to try to list things out and get a handle on them. There is always the possibility that this will make things worse, but I am going to have to face it all sooner or later, especially since I'd like most of it done by the end of the year.

economy block for the preschool teacher: I have all the center fussy cut squares, and have started the outer squares, but I need time to finish the cutting and get to sewing. I'd like to give it before winter break.
DWR: I am almost halfway done the arcs and I need to test out a block to make sure I can handle this. I have also had the low volume pile for the centers sitting around for months and I would like to be able to use them for other things....
scrappy pinwheel things: this may get rethought, I don't know yet, but I think it may end up on the babies bed when we convert it to a toddler bed

clothes (babe) {I just cut these out yesterday and hope to start sewing them up today maybe. Poor thing really needs some warmer clothes.}
flashback skinny tees

clothes (me)
julia cardigan: I have the pattern printed and I think I have some fabric to use
hudson pants x2: I have the fabric for a pj test pair and then I'd like a sweatpant pair
wrap top: I have fabric but need to order the pattern still
easy t-shirts: my next attempt in trying to find the perfect t-shirt
lane raglan: yes, I need another.

gifts {this is as far as I've gotten on this list but I'm sure it will grow}
duffle bag for the little: the plans are set, the zipper and straps are purchased, lining decided, need to get going
stuffed cat
stuffed dog

little's book: need to order more pictures and make it and pretty much everything
littlest's book: the pictures are all in the book! now for journaling and decorating and such.

drachenfels shawl: I am making good progress on this, and hopefully will have it done by the end of the month
fingerless mitts: pattern and yarn selected, this is coming next so I can wear them when it's cold
grace cardigan: this will be my long term winter knit I think, so whenever the mitts are done, this will begin.

And this is the realistic list with the things I know I am going to make, not even the wish list! I'm trying to convince myself it's really not that bad. And hopefully I will hit a productive streak and it will start going faster, but I still feel a little like I am drowning. I am going to take this week and try to finish up the baby clothes so she has more than one pair of pjs, and some shirts, and then decide what I can manage next. I also got a totally brilliant idea for how to make the t-shirt quilts for the girls out of their old baby clothes, but that has not even made it to the list yet. As ever, more ideas than time. Happily, I do feel better now that I've gotten all that out and have picked my starting point, and it is one that should produce some finishes pretty quickly, so hopefully I'll be back with those soon :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Baby books in progress

Hey friends! I just thought it was time to pop in and say hi. I have been doing so, so much but have very little to show for it. I have continued knitting up a storm and am still hopeful that I will have my shawl done by the end of the month.

A large portion of my efforts, however, have been poured into a scrapbook of the littlest babe throughout her first year. I have spent the last few weeks collecting pictures and scraps of paper with notes about her on it and am now putting it all together. I am a bit over halfway done putting the pictures in and then I have to go back and do the journaling.

I am doing it like a homemade smash book. I took 12x12 scrapbook paper, figured out how many pages I needed, glued them back to back to make single pages, got some chipboard for covers and had it bound at fedex. I love the binding, I just hope the paper will hold up and the pictures will stay on through the little people looking through them.  These are just a couple pages I love, out of the 30-something I've done so far...and there will be a total of 76.

It seems pretty impressive, what with her only being 14 months old at this point, but I still haven't made one for the first kid, so that's up next. I had a box of things for her but when I went through it I realized I still need more pictures printed. Soon I will get that all sorted out and eventually these will be done! I also have clothes to make, at least one quilt, a bag, and some holiday gifts. I think perhaps my next task will be to make and prioritize a list....hm...yep, I do believe that is how I will get next week started. For now, I will try to finish up all these pictures and hopefully enjoy a lovely fall weekend with my sweet little family and visiting brother-in-law. Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

drachenfels {part I}

Can't.stop.knitting! Last week, I cast on a drachenfels shawl, and now I am about halfway through. To be honest, halfway is an unfair assessment since it is the much smaller half, but still. I started at 6 stitches and am up to 136, and by the end will have 260.

This is the first section finished. I am in love with these awesome stripes, and now I get to switch to more traditional stripes and eventually add in my third color. This sea glass color is just amazing. And I love the way it goes together, starting at the corner and ending at the long edge.

These yarns are a dream to work with. I think I must have cashmere in all the things from now on haha! Soft and squishy and perfect. This project is so great for relaxing in the afternoon after school with the little and hearing about her day (when she cares to share) or snuggling up at night with a movie.

I still have some reservations as to whether I will wear these colors, but since it is so soft and will look great with my black jacket, I think it will be alright. I've never really worn a shawl much. Or at all. So it will be an experiment.

I am hoping to have it finished by the end of the month. If I don't slow down too much as the rows get longer. And then will come decision time and I will have to pick what is next, the sweater or the fingerless mitts. I have some time though, and whole lot of knitting to do before then. I am hopeful I will get some sewing in too, sometime soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

a tiny cowl

Happy Monday! Or something. I actually have that finish that I mentioned...done and photographed with a model! As I mentioned earlier, after making a whole sweater, I felt like I needed a nice small project that I could get done quickly. Since it has been on my list for a while, I decided to go ahead and make my little one a cowl, even though the likelihood of it being used in the near future is very low.

I let her pick the yarn and she picked this tweedy recycled yarn that I have had for a while that I used to make myself some leg warmers a while back. I was surprised since I thought she would pick something more colorful, but it is a very sensible choice haha. She surprises me a lot with things like that actually.

The pattern is the child version of the sophia cowl by green bee patterns. It is a nice simple pattern that makes a nice little cowl. I did get bored and make it about an inch shorter I think, but since she is only 4 I figured that would work, and it does. I know I'm biased, but I think she looks so darn cute! Love this girl.

So that's my recent finish. I am making good progress on my shawl, which I am totally loving, but will definitely take a while to get to a finish I think. As the rows get longer and longer I am definitely slowing down. I also do have a few sewing plans in the works, a travel bag for the little and some clothes for me, along with working on my DWR quilt, so hopefully I will get going on all that soon. It turns out I have a harder time focusing and sewing when the baby isn't sleeping....and since we've had 2 molars come in, in the past two weeks, with another one almost through, not to mention the walking and almost talking....yeah, not so much on the sleep. I just have to keep reminding myself, this is not a race or a contest, just something I do to make myself happy, and as long as I am happy with the things I do make, it's all good. Have a good week friends!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

yarnish things

The knitting continues! I want to do some more sewing, I really do, but quilts seem so overwhelming and until I can get myself to work on things already started, I am not letting myself start any new quilts. I did work on some DWR arcs this weekend, and will hopefully be working on more of them this week, but mostly I am finding myself obsessed with yarn. I want to knit all the things. It is much easier to pick up at night and do a bit, or snuggle with the little during nap time while knitting a bit. So while I do have some {rather large} quilty plans, right now I have just as many knitting ones.

After my sweater was finished, I decided I needed to do something {much} smaller and quicker, so I had the little pick some yarn and started making her a little cowl. I am using the sophia cowl pattern by green bee designs and it is cute and simple. I really want to see if it fits, but I shouldn't have long to wait, I only have a couple more inches to go!

Of course I was gathering these supplies and realized I didn't have any project bags for a smaller project (really?? how did that happen??) so some cats and stars later, we were good to go.

I also have some pretty combinations picked out for a few other things. I have this gorgeous purple  (I'm your huckleberry) from knitsomniac designs that I think is going to become a pair of fingerless mitts, for a gift I think if I can bear to part with them. Probably this adrift pattern, but I haven't committed yet.

And then I have this combination that strikes me as a bit strange, but makes me so happy. It is plucky primo fingering in miss manners, and knitsomniac designs plushy sock yarn in sea glass and stormy weather. This is destined to become a drachenfels shawl which I am hoping to start this week, once I figure out how to adjust it for fingering weight yarn. I am hoping it will be a good movie knit since starting October 1st, we kick off a halloween movie month around here, watching all kinds of old, and usually bad, halloween movies. I am so so so excited to work with these yarns and see how they knit up!

I also have had plans, the pattern and even the yarn for my next sweater for months and I am just working up the nerve to start it. I am hoping by december I will be ready and I can work on it while we are traveling.

So yeah, pretty grand yarn plans around here. As slow as it goes, I do feel like I am making progress. I have also been working on making a scrapbook for each of my girls about their first year. Like everything, it has gotten complicated and a bit out of control, but hopefully I'll get it all ironed out soon and get it done. I know they would love to have that to flip through, and if I'm honest, so would I. It would be much better then the piles of stuff in boxes, so I am really trying to get going on that. I am almost done ordering pictures and then I begin for serious. I keep telling myself that eventually things will start falling off the list, since right now I can only do small pieces of things at a time so it feels like I am constantly spinning my wheels and never really getting anywhere. I guess what I am saying is, I have no idea when I will have much of a finish to share (aside from the almost finished cowl), but I think I am going to try and keep up with some progress posts, and if nothing else it will remind me that progress is indeed being made, no matter how slowly. I suppose it is just the ebb and flow of my crafty life. Have a good week friends!

Friday, September 26, 2014

a very important first

Today, I am pleased to show you my little girls first quilt! Every once in a while, she has been asking if she could sew with me and help make something. She's 4 now and I thought she could handle it, so we set about making a small quilt together. It really is small, just baby size really, but she helped do so much of it!

It started with a charm pack of constellations that I got at sew south and have been saving. I knew I wanted to use it for a small quilt, I just needed a pattern that wouldn't need much more. Enter the modern disappearing 9 patch quilt. I actually had a couple of options for her to choose from and that is what she picked, so we used the charm pack plus a few extras, and some gray that I had enough of. I let her lay out all the 9 patches and help sew them together (sitting on my lap guiding them though) and then she did the layout of blocks after that. I did the cutting and ironing, but she picked out the back (a soft, light lawn fabric from my grandmother), helped baste, helped decide on quilting and then quilt it, pick binding, and sew the binding on. As a side note, it was a little hard for my inner control freak not to move things around or suggest alternates, but I am glad I managed it and let this design be hers.

It was actually a pretty long process since she got bored pretty easily so it sat around a lot between steps, but she is so proud and happy to have this little quilt to play with. At this point, I try to let her help when I can and she is interested and we will probably consider getting her a small machine in the fairly near future if she wants one. We'll see. In any case, happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Transmute: the finish (!!!!)

You guys, I made a sweater!! A whole sweater!! One that is soft and fits and is wearable!! And I did it within the time frame of the Summer Sweater Knit-Along (which ends today, in fact)! Honestly, I am still in a bit of shock. I love it!!

The sleeves went pretty quickly, although, I did not love the double pointed needles, and despite my best efforts the lines where the needles joined are pretty obvious. Still, I managed to finish the knitting part just a few weeks after finishing the body, which I didn't really see coming. I not only finished knitting, but wove in all my ends, fixed a pull from the cat, and blocked it. This baby is ready to wear! Just as soon as the weather cools down.... I just don't even know what else to say. I am just so amazed that I knit this. Although I have been knitting for quite a few years, it was never a craft where I was incredibly overwhelmed with love for the products until recently. I am really glad to have knit things that I am super proud of and look forward to wearing.

 Now I am already on to a new knit with the next couple planned. And if my internet cooperates, I will be back very soon with another very special finish!