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!

Monday, September 15, 2014

babies everywhere!

Somehow it seems like pregnancies come in groups, and this time I have a group of ladies I can sew for, but am not pregnant/with newborn myself! It's actually really exciting and I had a grand time figuring out what to make these growing families. I am just going to round up all the gifts I made for these two special families in one post since most are doubles anyway.

To begin with, each gets a quilt. One is the cat quilt which I already posted about, and the other is getting my cascade quilt since she mentioned loving it, so obviously that is the largest part of the gift. I then made each babe a rattle out of an awesome stripe jersey knit, a teething ring, and a hooded towel. The rattle is from simple sewing for baby, in case you were wondering, and my only issue with it is that it is not washable....and I strongly believe anything for a baby should be washable, particularly if it is to go in their mouth, but oh well. Also, I think hooded towels are my favorite to make. They are so cute and so useful and quite honestly, most of the ones in the stores stink. I know I love the ones I made my little and she is still using them.

One package got robot burp cloths (which go with their very loose theme) and an open wide zip pouch and matching key fob, which incidentally is the first thing I made for this friend and when I was going to get her address to mail it, found out she was expecting.

The other got the most awesome little baby vest! Seriously, almost makes me wish I'd had a boy. This vest is from the pattern parcel that I mentioned last week, and I think it will just fit their style perfectly. I made the 6-12 month size in gray corduroy with a voile lining and it is just the cutest. I decided against real pockets and the back tie since it is for such a little guy.

That wraps up the baby stuff I have been working on. I hope the parents and their little people love them and get a lot of use out of them. Isn't that what we all wish? To know our things are used and loved? Now I am just trying to get a bunch of things done before I start my next big project late next week. I am really hoping to finish my sweater, make good progress on the baby's first year book, start organizing and making my planner for next year, finish a quilt, cut a bunch of fabric, and maybe work on another quilt. I don't know how much will actually get done, but I guess it's better to dream big :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

tote or backpack??

Are you familiar with perfect pattern parcels that have been happening lately? Every couple of weeks there is a two week sale of 5 indie designer patterns and you choose your price. It is pretty awesome and a great way to get some really great patterns. This last one (the second one I've purchased) was actually geared towards sewing for boys, but there were a couple of patterns I just loved so much I had to get it. I have another item sewn from these patterns coming up soon, but for today, I wanted to share my Jet Pack bag by Betz White.

I know I mentioned not too long ago that I am always on the hunt for a bag. And I was all set to make myself a new super tote (which may still happen) when I spotted this bag. It has one very important feature that I have been looking for, and that is that it can be worn either as a messenger/tote bag or as a backpack. This seems brilliant when going out and about with little people, so I figured it would be a perfect bag for walks to the park. I had already worked out the super tote in my head, so I just transferred my ideas to this baby and it worked beautifully! Mostly this meant that I knew I was going to do some bright, summery patchwork, and use the wrong side of some denim for the accents, and use this amazing polka dot for the lining. I even had most of the hardware for this, which was perfect. Speaking of the hardware, I did tweak a little bit to accommodate the 1.5" hardware that I had instead of buying the 1.25" that the pattern calls for. An easy adjustment that worked out just fine.

My only complaint is that I had to hand stitch the lining, which I hate doing, but I admit it does look quite nice. I omitted the inside pockets since I never end up using them, and with two outer pockets, I felt like I would be fine, and used a magnetic snap instead of a twist lock on the front pocket since I had it. I quilted the patchwork to batting and some outdoor fabric and the lining is intefaced with some shapflex. The denim is actually a pair of old jeans that the hubs was getting rid of. I had just enough length for the strap pieces actually, and it felt like a great use of old fabric. Using the wrong side was an idea I got from someone on insagram, but I can't remember quite who. It looks pretty chambray-ish really, but is so sturdy. I love it, and didn't have to interface the denim at all. My machine even took it pretty well!

So now I am ready to start using this and I am pretty excited! I think it will still be a bit small for longer outings involving more diapers and food and such, but for some short trips I think it will be perfect, and will continue working as they grow. I hope to be back soon to show a whole lot of baby stuff for some dear friends/family that I can't wait to share!

Friday, September 5, 2014

fall wardrobe time

Alright, so it definitely does not feel like fall around here. In fact, we are having some pretty hot, humid days that make it seem impossible that fall is even on the way. Still, the beginning of the school year convinced me that a few new shirts were in order for the little.

These are all made using the flashback skinny tee pattern, which I love. I am using the 4T size at this point and it seems to fit well, although a bit of extra length doesn't hurt. Two of these are repurposed, one from my old shirt, one from my husbands, and she picked all the fabrics out. I went with short sleeves for the robot since it was short sleeved to begin with and I didn't have enough fabric, plus I wanted to reuse the sleeve hems.

I actually didn't bother to hem any of them, so the only one with a bottom hem is the black one where I used the existing hem. I may go do it later, but I kinda like the raw edge look on these. The gray stripe I made longer so it is more of a tunic to wear with leggings. I made quick work of these on the serger and had them done in a couple hours.

I think the baby needs some of these soon too. With these my problem is that I want to make tons of them but they don't need that many shirts haha! So hard to narrow down the cute fabric options! Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

transmute: a finished body!!

Well hello there, September! My goodness, with a holiday weekend and my little starting preschool, things feel nuts around here. I find myself always feeling a little behind these days, but I am working on it. I have been finishing quite a few things though, small ones mostly, but also this next pause on my sweater journey, which feels huge.

I am now done the body of my sweater, and more than that, it even fits!!! It is not without mistakes, of course, and I might end up wishing it were a bit longer, but it fits and it's beautiful!  It took me a month from start to finish, which I am actually really happy with, and now I have another 3 weeks or so to do the sleeves before the knit-along ends. I won't know until I start them if that is possible, but I'm hopeful.

One afternoon this week I am going to sit down and figure out how to pick up the sleeve stitches I need and how to use my double pointed needles and get to work. Also, I am kind of on a sewing tangent right now, since I got it into my head that I needed to make a bag. So I am doing that, plus I have a lot of non sewing/knitting projects that need some attention soon. I am feeling pulled in many directions right now, but nothing a few deep breaths and a little focus won't help :) Next up, some clothes for the kidlet to be shared!