Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Transmute: update time

After a long weekend of fun and celebration, I think that a sweater update is in order! I have to admit, I was a little worried that I would be bored with a stockinette stitch sweater, but it is actually great! I feel like it is going fairly quickly (until I remember that the sleeves are still coming) and I have made some really good progress on the body of this in the past almost 3 weeks. It even looks like a sweater!!!! It is also super relaxing to just knit away at this while hanging out with my littles or watching something with the hubs.

So here are a few pictures. I don't know if anyone can really tell aside from me, but I did mess up one stripe and do it two rows later than I was supposed to because it was right at the part where I made the sleeves and I was so focused on learning to do that properly that I forgot. I think it's okay though, I just have to remember to make the same mistake on the sleeves. So far this yarn is lovely to work with and is make a really nice, soft fabric. I still haven't tried it on since I am scared of messing it up when I go to put it on the waste yarn/holder, but it looks like it will fit, so I hope that's a good sign.

I think the next update will be when the body is done and I have tried it on and everything, which I am aiming to have done in the next 2 weeks. Then I will just have sleeves to tackle, which I have mixed feelings on. I don't love working with double pointed needles, but I really really want to get this done and try it on, so I hope that keeps me motivated! Anyway, now that all our guests are gone, I need to sit down and regroup and figure out what needs to be done and when. No small task, but a necessary one. As always, so much to do, so little time. Does life ever calm down?!?!?

Friday, August 15, 2014

get well gifts

We have now just about reached one of the deadlines I was up against. You see, my poor sister is having surgery on her hip, for the second time in as many years, trying to get rid of the pain that has been plaguing her. The surgery is next week, but I really wanted to have a little get well package ready to send back with my parents for her. This surgery will be much more intense than the last and will have a recovery period of at least a couple of months. Since she will have so much time lying around, I wanted her to have some little things to make her happy. I bought a few things to entertain her, and made some other things that she has been asking for. Sister, if you found and are read this, stop and don't spoil it!!

Mostly she has just been asking for a new wallet. This was the perfect opportunity to get and try the necessary clutch pattern that I have been wanting! Rest assured, there is a version for myself in the works. But anyway, she asked specifically for a black polkadot exterior and lime green inside. I only had one fat quarter of the green, so I had to use it pretty sparingly, and spent a great deal of time trying to decide on color placement. I hope she likes the additions I chose with the gray, purple, and zebra. I really like the setup of this wallet and it is very professional and spacious. I used a magnetic snap and I think it looks really nice. Adding the wrist strap was a little difficult and I ended up using a piece of ribbon and sneaking it into the top stitching on the side. I hope it holds up.

So that was the biggest thing I made her. I decided a matching key fob couldn't hurt and that one can always use another zip pouch, so those made their way in as well.

Finally, I made her a little knitting project bag. I use this tutorial and it is the perfect size for the hat I am sending her. See, she knits a little, but has been hesitating on making a hat since she things knitting in the round is scary, and has been asking me to make one for her boyfriend instead. To help her out I decided to start a hat for her and send it for her to finish. I actually love how this bag turned out and almost wish I could keep it for myself! I hope she likes it, otherwise I am stealing it back the next time I see her ;)

This is everything together, and hopefully it will make her feel a little better next week.

And now, I have a little person to continue celebrating! Happy weekend!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

birthday outfit time!

So, my baby turns one this week. One of the many bittersweet milestones of motherhood, I suppose. It is so hard to believe that a year ago, she was about to come into this world, a squidgy little blob and now I have a little being who is trying to talk, close to walking, and is just so darn aware and intelligent. I am so proud of what she is becoming, but I still miss her little baby self. Naturally, this called for a new mama-made outfit.

I decided against a dress since crawling is still our primary mode of transportation these days, and opted for a cute little shirt and shorts combo. The top is a shortened piece of cake dress, and the shorts are a pair of bubble shorts. I am actually kind of surprised both pieces were things I've made before, but I am happy with the choices.

The top is the 12 month size again, which fits fine in this style, and I just cut at the 0-3 month size to make it a shirt. I have had this AMH print for a while, knowing it would be part of the birthday ensemble, and I used some leftover bias binding to finish the neck. This is such a cute, easy pattern, I wish it went up to higher sizes so I could make more! Thankfully, this should be pretty wearable and will look just as cute with some leggings or jeans and a sweater when it cools off.

The shorts are an 18 month size, and despite the fact that she is wearing that size in a lot of things at this point, these are a bit big. Wearable, but big. Sadly, I doubt they will fit by next summer, so she'll just have to wear them near constantly for the next month or two until it gets cold. The fabric is actually an old curtain that someone was getting rid of. I have lots left and will probably make them each another pair next summer. The high contrast of the white thread was a little nerve-wracking since mistakes are so, so obvious, but I love it. The button is non-functional since it really didn't seem necessary, and I also made them a bit less bubbly by trimming off about an inch on each side and left off the pockets.

I think she'll look really super cute in this little outfit for her party. Both sets of grandparents will be here this weekend to shower her with love and play whatever her 1-year-old heart desires, which should be lovely. Next week, when all is quiet once again, it will be time to regroup and figure out what is left to be done; I am starting to feel a bit lost again. I got quite a few things off the list, some of which I will be showing soon, but it somehow still feels like there is an awfully long way to go.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

cascade in rainbow

Sometimes, it's the little things that make you realize how fast life is racing by. Sure, I am aware that my baby turns 1 in a week and that I have a kid starting preschool in a couple of weeks, but really it's when I look at a finished quilt that I feel like I just started a couple weeks ago and realize that it was started 2.5 months ago! How did that happen?? How did I let it sit around in my way for so long??  One of life's mysteries I suppose, but in any case, my cascade quilt, started so long ago, is finally finished!

I actually pieced this in a weekend and, get this, I even knew how I was going to quilt it, but I really really didn't feel like piecing a back. So I put it off, for quite a while it seems. Finally, I sucked it up and put something together. I don't really love piecing quilt backs, I much prefer if at least most of it is one piece, but I didn't have anything that would work for this. So I grabbed and shuffled things around and made it work. I am glad that it gave home to so many fabrics I've had sitting around for such a long time. I started with the rainbow stripe from ikea and went from there. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out in the end.

This quilting is something I've wanted to try for a while. I'm not so good at it, but it was kind of fun and I like the result which must be all that matters. The binding is a combination of pac man fabric and crosshatch.

In conclusion, I am glad this is done. I now need to figure out whether it is going to a new home or staying with me. I guess we'll see. This week I am hoping to really get going on a bunch of gifty things since quite frankly, I am running out of time. But really, all I want to do is knit! My sweater is coming together quite nicely and almost looks kind of like a sweater! Maybe I can use that as a reward for getting other things done.....I'll have to try that!

Friday, August 1, 2014

another for me

Ahhh, I can't believe it's August! In just a couple short weeks, my baby will be 1! I just can't even. I definitely need to get going on a few birthday things for her, along with a few other deadline things. But today, that is not the point. Today, I am going to share a bit more selfish sewing, as in, another shirt for me.

Ever since I saw it, I was in love with this lane raglan top. I knew I wanted to make it, I just wasn't in a hurry. I mean really, doesn't tank top weather last forever around here?? Then I was at joanns perusing the clearance as I tend to do, and I saw and fell in love with this polka dot knit. So light and soft! I considered making something for a child, but really I wanted it for me and so this was born (and there may be enough for a kid shirt too! The question is, can I stomach matching shirts?!).

I used some white baby ribbing or something that I already had for the contrast and it's a bit thick for it, but it works okay. I constructed the entire thing on the serger which was nice and quick, and made the sleeves 3/4 length. I decided against the waistband and instead just added some length when I cut it out and left the hem to roll. I kind of love that look on a light knit that rolls well, and it is so much easier. I probably need to pull the neckband a bit tighter next time, but overall, it came out really well and I can't wait to wear it. You'll have to excuse the bathroom picture, but otherwise there would be no picture of me wearing it, so it will do.

I am planning to make a few more of these lovelies in a few variations perhaps, but there is no rush. I will probably have to make a certain little preschooler some fall clothes first. And lots of baby gifts, and a few get well gifts and birthday gifts....not to mention the quilts, oh the quilts! Oh my, I need to go back to not trying to think about it all at once and doing one thing at a time. Next week, I should have a pretty quilt to show though! Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Transmute: the beginning

Today is the day, my friends! Today, the summer sweater knit along begins over at Very Shannon and I am taking this opportunity to jump in and start my very first {adult} sweater! I have been waiting for this moment all year. No lie. The kal runs from today until september 24, and while I am not sure I will have a finished sweater by then, I am going to give it my best shot and see what I can do. With any luck, I will at least end up with a garment that fits at some point.

After much deliberation, I have decided to make transmute, by melanie berg. I actually bought a plucky yarn kit for this a few months ago, but wanted to use the main color yarn for a different sweater. I would have started with that, but I thought I had better start out with some less fancy yarn in case I totally suck and can't do this. So a trial run it is! I am using knit picks capretta yarn, which is a cashmere blend and feels quite nice. I am using harbor as the main color, and platinum as the accent stripe.  As of right now, the only modification I am planning is 3/4 length sleeves since I know I will be more likely to wear that.

I already made and blocked my gauge swatch and have my needles ready to go. Now I just need those pesky kids to give me the time to work on it. I think until I really get going and get the hang of it, this is going to require some concentration, so I don't know how much time I will actually get to work on it. I am so nervous and excited! I keep telling myself that if I can make a sock, I can make a sweater, but really I have no idea what I am doing or how this is actually supposed to come together. So here's hoping that I get something to wear and this doesn't go terribly wrong! So you can expect some periodic updates, and if, in the end, I have a lovely sweater to wear, be warned that there will be no end to my excitement :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a few tiny things

I have rediscovered my love of sewing things for tiny people! I mainly sew for the bigger one since the little has the hand-me-downs, but recently I have been making more for the tiny one and it is so much fun! So rewarding and she can't have an opinion about it yet, so it's much easier :) I can't believe that she will be a year old in a few weeks! More than that, I can't believe I am making her 18 month clothes! Still, her strong opinions will be coming soon so I better enjoy it while it lasts.

Right before we went on vacation we decided to do family pictures with my entire family while we were there. And since we were the only ones traveling, we got to pick our outfits first. I am proud to say that we wore 3/4 mama made clothes! I wore my peasant dress, the bigger one wore her birthday dress and I decided to make the tiny one a shirt. I really would have made a dress, but they get in the way of her crawling so I went with a tunic length roller skate dress. I used a peppered cotton for the outer and a purple gingham for the lining. It's finished off with a little bit of pink ribbon for the button loop and a black button. I really love how it turned out, actually. I would have used the fabric for a shirt for me if I'd had enough, it's so soft, but I guess I'll just have to get more (oh darn...).

She also needed some jammies. She just outgrows the feety ones so quickly, and since she is now in my pattern sizes, I made her a pair of alex and annas winter pjs. I made her the 18 month size which is still a bit big, but I am sure she will grow into them soon enough. I used the serger for these almost entirely and it made quick work of them. It is a pretty simple pattern that comes together quickly. And man does she look cute in her mama made jammies!

Now that those are done, I am trying to convince myself to work on some other things that need attention. Of course, I am pretty easily distracted at the moment, but I do almost have a quilt quilted, so that's something. I really need to sit down and make a list and organize myself for what is to come, so hopefully I'll find some time for that soon.