Friday, June 14, 2013

This Week

This was a good week. I finished many of the projects I had on my list this week for around the house as well as getting to finish two knitting projects and the kids were pretty cooperative about the whole thing, even when it came down to doing the harder things like working on getting our school room in shape before we officially start our next school year. Next week I'll start working the summer session in the studio and that will change our summer days a little bit.

On the Needles...

I finished the purple socks Tuesday night and last night finally finished seaming a little purple February Baby Sweater I made for Ellie before she was born. It's still a bit large on her, but will be a good little cardi for when we're in places with AC that leave her a little chilly. I'll put up a proper FO post as soon as I can get some photos of it.

I also cast on a new cardigan for Ellie that I'm kind of making up on the fly. If it works out okay I'll share here- if you never hear about it again go ahead and assume that I'd rather not talk about it.

I read...

I'm a lot farther in Game of Thrones after a long read last night, and my brother sent me a book called Ready Player One to read next.

The boys finished their first challenge for the library's summer reading program- Ender has to read for 360 minutes to earn a reward, and Ezra has to listen to 24 books to earn a reward. The rewards are paperbacks for the first 2 times they finish their goal and on the third time through their goal they can earn another paperback or a science kit. Ender is desperately eyeing the geology kit for his end prize.

Ezra and I have been plowing through picture books together. He was right on the edge of being able to choose whether he had to read for minutes like Ender does or be read to and I felt like asking him to do all of the reading himself would just be too much. I do want him to read some on his own though, so we compromise and he reads a page or so, then I read some. Sometimes he'll read a whole book on his own and we'll count that too. He's still very much trying to gain fluency and making him read that much on his own would have been really hard this year after the initial excitement wore off. 

Just Keep Spinning…

I'm planning to spend some time with the spindle this weekend (hopefully even today) to get back in shape before Tour de Fleece kicks off June 30. My goal for the tour is just to spin every day and keep gaining consistency.

Learning all the time…

One of my projects this week was to really nail down our schooling needs for the next 6 months so that I can spend time putting together our plan and order materials. I like for most of our schooling budget to go towards art supplies and real books and not curriculum unless that curriculum 100% serves our purpose and fits our learning philosophy. Now that I think I've got a good list made I'm going to sit on it for a week or so before ordering.

In the Kitchen...

We're finishing up the last of much of last summer/fall's canning work. We're down to our last jar of blackberry jam, and the strawberry canning is almost gone too. We still have a lot of sliced pears from last year, but the boys have been going through at least a jar a day over the last few weeks.

Watching (Spoiler Free, of course...)

I finally got a chance to watch through Vikings on the DVR over the last few weeks and I just didn't get into it the way I usually do with historical dramas. Tonight we're planning a trip to the theater to see Man of Steel and I'm hoping it's as good as it looks.


Everything is looking good in the garden so far. We go out after breakfast to check on the state of our little plants and look forward to the product of our labor. My mom called me yesterday to beg me to take some of her strawberry plants off her hands so I may get a chance to do that tomorrow. We have just 3 of our own and she's hoping we'll take at least 10-15. I'm not sure I have the room for that but I'm going to go back out today to measure and see what we can do.

In Stitches...

With no baseball games this weekend I feel like all sorts of free time appeared! I'm planning to spend some time sewing tomorrow, hopefully a little skirt or two for Ellie. I'm also reading up on some tutorials about working with knits since that is one kind of sewing I'd love to do. I've always been a little afraid of it and I need to just get over it.

This weekend... 

Sewing time, birthday celebrating, and hopefully a whole lot of knitting!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FO: My Yearly 2013 Socks

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

YAY finished socks!

I included all the project details below, but the short version is that these are done, and I'm jumping back into my project basket to pick up something that isn't a sock for a bit. I'm trying to decide on what exactly to start next, but I'm going to work on finishing my Shapely Boyfriend Cardi for a bit first. It has been taking up room in my project basket long enough.

I'm still working on Game of Thrones in my reading. I was briefly distracted by Ashley English's A Year of Pies (so much beauty and yumminess on those pages!) but now I'm back to my fiction pursuits.



Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Sock Recipe from Knitting Rules! (I particularly love my kindle edition).


Kollage Yarns Sock-A-Licious in the grape colorway.


size 0 doublepoints.



Cast On to Cast Off: 

This is always fun on socks. I know it should only take like 2 weeks for a pair, but socks always lasts much longer for me (hence "yearly" socks) since I never seem to work very consistently on socks. I started this particular pair on December 29, 2012 and finished them yesterday, June 11, 2013, so about 5.5 months.


Aside from a dropped stitch that went crazy bad and having to rip back the second sock a long ways, everything went fine. I'm getting better at turning heels every time I do it, and I found myself thinking just the other day that maybe I'm ready to try a different heel in the near future.

Things I Learned: 

Nothing particularly new here, but I'm ridiculously proud of myself for not throwing this project into a time out basket when I found that giant mistake. Socks are notorious for ending up in long term hibernation around here when they misbehave.


I can proudly be done with one of my knitting goals for the year: finishing 1 pair of socks.

Monday, June 10, 2013

On Finding My Fit, Part 1

Can we talk about fit today?

My husband and I have long gone back and forth about the clothes that I wear. Not in a bad way, mind you- he's just always encouraging me to try something new. In fact, my sister tackled my closet not too long ago at his insistence. She made me get rid of several things and make a list of what I need- mostly because much of what I have is old (and worn) enough to make all the clothing lovers out there cry.

Fact: The last time I bought jeans was in 2008. And I only bought those because the last time I had bought jeans before that was in 2003.

I know. Some of you are still trying to get up off the ground after that one. At least that's what happened to my sister.

It's not that I hate clothes, I just have a terrible relationship with them. Part of it has to do with my upbringing, some with body image (especially after having this third baby), and the greatest factor of all: not being able to find exactly what I want for a reasonable price. I'm totally willing to put money into my wardrobe, but not for things that aren't exactly what I want... which leads to my sister excavating my closet and saying "you've had this since college- and you still wear it???"

I think this is part of why I've always been so attracted to the idea of making my own clothes. I thought maybe if I made clothing items myself they will actually fit me correctly. My naivete in this area became clear after making a few items that turned out wearable but nowhere close to an actual and proper fit. After all, in both sewing and knitting you are still following a pattern that someone who has never met you designed. While the design can be beautiful and flattering, it still isn't personalized to your exact measurements in every single aspect. This leads to the gorgeous sweater that fits perfectly in the bust, but then is a bit baggy through the body, arm scythe issues, or that slightly tight across the shoulders thing that happens on a lot of patterns for me.

I've been taught to find my size in a knitting pattern by going with the bust measurement. I figured out about a year ago (through great trial and error) that if a sweater is actually going to fit me well I almost always have to knit 1 size down from my bust measurement to get an accurate fit at the shoulder and arm scythe, but then knit a longer body and longer sleeves. My sad truth is that while I'm decent at crafty math, I'm just not mathy enough for some parts of knitting and would like to rectify that AND finally have some clothes that fit me well. Handmade is an incredible bonus.

Two books are serving as my guide right now: Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville and Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes (which I've had on my shelf for an unreasonably long time. I've set aside time this summer to specifically work through these books so that I can learn how to better fit my body as well as how to adjust the knitting patterns I adore to fit me better.

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