Friday, November 1, 2013

Hello, November

It's autumn for real now, and I've had no problem packing up the sewing machine and moving happily back to knitting during all of my creative time. I finished one little mitt last night after the holiday festivities were over and kids in bed for the night.- only 3 more to go until the kids are fully mittened for this year. Then on to hat finishing, then sweater finishing...

It's safe to say that the finishing mood I rely on 3 or 4 times a year has arrived to save me from my piles of unfinished projects. I have Christmas gifts to knit, with only one of them begun but I can't in good conscience (and lack of spare needles) cast on anything else until I get some things OFF the needles.

Current In Progress:

Ellie's mittens (1 of 2 complete)
Ellie's striped cardi (a tiny bit of sleeve and the button band to go- so close!)
The Shapely Boyfriend sweater (down to just a little more sleeve and the button band!)
Exploding Socks
A hat for Halos of Hope

Must get moving on:

Ezra's mittens
Ezra's Winter Hat
Ender's Winter Hat
Ellie's Winter Hat
Ender's Christmas Sweater
Ezra's Christmas Sweater
Ellie's Christmas Knit (still deciding on a pattern.

I need to work a bit out of order- I can't just knit through the current "in progress" things because all the mittens must be done first (because COLD) and then I need to finish Ellie's cardi and then the hats and then at least get cast on for the boys' sweaters within the next two weeks if I'm going to have a real chance at finishing them before Christmas. There are cables you see, and I'm not the fastest at that particular technique quite yet since I don't cable often.

No longer in progress is the Cerus scarf- I pulled out the 5 rows I had knit (about 1500 stitches *sob*), but it was worth it because I started it without thinking about the fact that it would roll without a little garter or ribbing or something and that would make me unhappy later I think. Plus by taking that off the needles its on I now have free the cable I need to be able to do the button band on my Shapely Boyfriend Cardi. That took the sting our of the rip back. Now I can finally get that button band going.

I think the real solution here is that I need an additional set of cables and perhaps even another set of interchangeables... but not for awhile. Not until after I manage to save up for and acquire a spinning wheel. :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

KCW Wrap Up

kid's clothes week

I ended up with 2 dresses and a skirt for Ellie this week in about 8 hours of sewing. I know my newbie-ness is showing since I know a lot of people participating in KCW finished much more this week, but that's okay. We all start somewhere, right? I'm happy with my progress and Ellie has a few more things to wear in the coming months. The light colored polka dot dress above is Simplicity 5695, View A. I shortened the last ruffle since Ellie is on the more petite side, and even so this dress won't fit her for a bit- but it's a great spring dress, so that works out.

I shared this dress last week. I used this tutorial with some slight changes for the top. I've made 4 of these tops now and if they still fit through spring I'll probably cut the sleeves shorter.

I finally got the girl to let me get a picture! I promise she wears everything I make, she's just not doing well with the camera lately. I didn't plan to make this skirt before KCW but I had seen the tutorial for it and planned to make it when she was older. But then I saw this navy fabric and the little polka dots seemed to call out for a circle skirt. I know, I know- it's just furthering the polka dot issue I have.

I think part of leveling up to be "intermediate" level at something has to do with knowing how to fix many of your mistakes in the easiest way possible, and I'm definitely not there yet with my sewing. I had to go back and fix on a few things and that ate up some of that time. In fact on Wednesday I ended up setting one project aside because I just couldn't deal with the problem at hand that late at night. I have learned not to work on knitting problems too late in the evening because it often makes it worse- and I figure the same probably goes for sewing since I still have to think pretty hard (and often google) how to fix or change something.

What next? Well, honestly the sewing machine is probably going to be put away for a bit. I need to get fall hats and mittens knit up since fall weather is truly here, and I really need to get to work on organizing the area that I use for sewing. I'm really supposed to be sewing in the spare bedroom, but the closet doesn't really work for storage as it is currently set up (not really sure how it possibly stored anything, to be honest) so I need to take some time to pull that out and get organized toward future endeavors. I did start pinning a few things to sew for myself, but for now it's back to knitting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


{Knitting Along with Ginny, unless she has her sweet baby today- 
and then I'm just sharing my latest knitting and reading. Will you join?}

I knit all of these pieces last year, but they were tucked away waiting for these days when I need a little something around my neck to keep the chill away. I pulled everything out over the weekend to re-block.

Ignore the scattered debris in the background, would ya? I let the toddler run free during this particular blocking session- as long as she wasn't eating crayons or destroying property I was okay with whatever she wanted to do for the 20 minutes I spent blocking. Sometimes a mama *really* needs to block a shawl so that a sort of sour weekend doesn't devolve into despair. Yes. I said it. Blocking a shawl totally restores your perspective on life.

I sort of forget the magic that blocking works on lace until I block (or re-block) a finished piece. One minute it's a blob of yarn that looks fine if you sort of stretch it out with your hands and look at it with your head tilted, and the next minute it's wet and growing and you can really see the pattern that you put all your time and energy and muttered curses into. And love too, of course. It's really just like raising children.

This red was really hard to capture. The background fabric is jet black so you have an idea of how difficult it was to be accurate. It's actually a very rich variegated red sock weight that I really really love.

Blocking with an 18-month-old around is an adventure. She finds t-pins to be a delight. And shockingly, she doesn't poke herself. I never would have let the boys hold a pin at this age, but she's the third child and I might have finally relaxed a bit. What a blessing- to me and to my kids.

I'm reading Emma (Jane Austen!) and the boys and I finished up Farmer Boy yesterday. We have had so many great discussions over this book- I'm a little sad to see it go, though tomorrow we will start Jungle Book. I listened to a wonderful audio recording called Nurturing Competent Communicators from Andrew Pudewa (recommended by the wonderful Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things) and goodness- it certainly put my brain back on track about reading out loud to our boys! It's so easy to think that they don't need us to read to them anymore because they can read to themselves now, and that is simply not the case. We need to keep reading aloud, listening to books on CD, discussing and writing. I especially appreciated the connection he made to the method behind Suzuki violin study, as I am a Suzuki violin teacher myself (and a student since the age of 4). I'm looking forward to listening to more of his recordings.

For those of you waiting for my KCW results, I will get them posted tomorrow. My husband hurt his back over the weekend (he will be fine, but back to physical therapy) and working through that and the accompanying appointments changed everything around. Back to regular posts today, and KCW post tomorrow.
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