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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

christmas {cross stitch} in july

Alright, I am not usually into the whole, christmas in july thing, but this just ended up working out. I am entirely finished my Kawaii Winter Sampler cross stitch and I love it so much! It felt like it took forever to make those 10,369 stitches, but this end result is so worth it.

I bought this pattern almost 2 years ago, I think, and had every intention of starting it then; I even got all the supplies and was ready to go. However, I knew I wanted to use a linen, which I had no idea how to do, and got frustrated and we were moving, and it just kind of got shoved in a drawer. And stayed there. But no lie, I am on a ufo rampage and have it all just about cleared out (I still have to tackle the intentioned projects that I have everything for but haven't even gotten as far as any kind of start), so this had to get done. Not to mention it is freaking adorable and I really wanted to be able to enjoy it this upcoming holiday season. So I figured it would be best to just do it while the motivation was there and I am so glad that I did!

I started it about a week into June, I think and got it framed up yesterday, so I guess it didn't take all that much time, all things considered. The linen is tea dyed, with a strange combination of black and oolong tea that I had in the house, and it came out pretty well. The heat did shrink the fabric a bit so that made things a little wonky, but it seemed to work out anyway. As far as the actual pattern, I did use quite a bit of embroidery floss that I already had so the colors for some of them are a bit different (I have one of those inherited old lady floss stashes which a gazillion ancient colors), and I opted to change the one framing color to a slightly darker gray, just because I liked it. The only problem with that was that the penguin is a bit darker, but I like the higher contrast between frames. The white does get a bit lost, probably partly because it is one of those ancient colors I mentioned, and not the bright white called for. Oh, and I used a different metallic gold that is more champagne than gold.

I spent a lot of time debating the frame. That it needed to be square was obvious, so I found one I liked, but the basic color options were not working and bringing out the colors as I had hoped. White washed them out, black was too get the idea, so I bought a white one and spray painted it this lovely deep red. I must say, I think it is the perfect finishing touch. I very much look forward to getting this out every year and enjoying it for the holiday season.

I am so glad to have this one out of the drawer! Now I am just taking a reading break before I start my next long term project: a sweater! I also did get a bit of sewing done last week and am hopeful about finishing a couple more things this week. I really have some quilts that need attention, so we'll see if I can find the attention span to deal with them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

in action

Hey! It's been a while. Between traveling and sickness close behind, I have just not found the time to be in this space. I am hoping we are past the worst and will start getting better soon, but woah, mama and two little girls all sick at the same time, not so good. I am actually finished my cross stitch now and just need to get it all framed up and then I can share that, which means that pretty soon I will start knitting my sweater (!!!) and I am pretty excited. I also have a few smaller things to sew, some cut and others ready to be cut, so things should start picking up soon.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of action shots of the clothes I made for the girlies recently. Each of them wore their little dress on the big ones birthday and looked just fantastic. The baby had a bit of a problem crawling with it in the way, so I guess no more dresses until we've moved on to walking. Also, the babe is blurry because she is almost always blurry in pictures, what with always being on the move. Anyway, here they are!

With any luck, I'll be back soon with some pretty things :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

birthday things!

In this second installment of birthday things, we get down to the gifts! Naturally I had big plans and not much time, so I ended up making her two things.

First up was a messenger bag that is just her size. I found this pattern, and was all set to follow it to make a super cute bag, but when I printed out the pieces, I simply could not figure out how the flap would fit on the bottom. So I made some patchwork and instead of cutting it out, I left it larger and it worked pretty well. I still think the flap is too big, but that's okay. And an adjustable strap, that's just sweet! Hopefully it will help the bag grow with her.

She picked out the flap fabric and helped with the coordinates, and I just love it. I have been saving this fabric for just the right thing and this was totally it. So now she is all ready for a roadtrip.  We won't talk about the fact that it is so full that the flap barely covers it....

The other thing I made her was an alphabet pillow. She is totally in an alphabet phase and always points out letters and figures out sounds, and I saw a print somewhere that had the alphabet and then highlighted I and U and turned the O into a heart, so I incorporated that. I used felt and fused the letters and stitched them down with batting and a back to quilt it and give it a bit more body. The back is some argyle I have been saving for just the right thing and she has been asking me to make her something out of it. I used black piping around the edge and a zipper (with a flap) in the back. I couldn't help but be surprised how professional and perfect it came out! I serged all the seams inside to finish the edges too. I am happy to report she loves it!

And with that, happy long weekend! We will be traveling and celebrating and generally being super tired. Travel with little people is exhausting to say the least. Hopefully the baby holds up and we make it back in one piece!  And I am just going to go ahead and try not to think about how I have a 4 year old and that just blows my mind :)