Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom, superstar knitter and 1/2 of my reading public, celebrated a birthday last month.  She and Dad were visiting (and helping pack) last week, so I was able to give her a birthday present.  I love knitting for my mom because I know she'll appreciate it, whereas when I knit for almost everyone else, I'm afraid they'll think I'm giving them the equivalent of a giant 1970s-colored, acrylic, crocheted couch slipcover.  I mean, if you're not a knitter or crocheter, do you know the difference between Becky-homecky and really beautiful crafts-womanship?  I don't know.  Anyway, I know my mom knows the difference, so it's fun to knit for her.

With all the cray-cray around here, I only had time for a hat, but it's a gem of a little hat!  The pattern is Plover from Twist Collective, and I can't believe there aren't more projects on Ravelry.

I found some great yarn, St. Denis, which is on sale in Webs' discontinued section.  I love the color and wish I'd bought enough to make a hat for myself, too.  I love that the yarn is light and lofty.  The cables might have popped slightly better in a more tightly spun yarn, but I still think they look pretty good.

The cables were slightly annoying to knit--crossing one stitch across three, and then knitting the three in seed stitch.  Then there was a weird instruction about doing all the yarn overs backwards and knitting through the back loop of alternating first or second yarn overs.  Even with super pointy needles, knitting through the front loop of the first YO every time was frustrating.  But I love the way it looks.  I was definitely a product knitter on this one, and not as much enthralled with the process. 

I am horrible at actually wrapping presents (just getting a present is sometimes all the effort I can muster), so I thought it would be fun to make the wrapping a present in its own right.  A few months ago, I pinned this project to Pinterest.  It's a simple tutorial from So Chick.  I can't believe it, but this little boxy bag only took me about an hour to make!  I'll be making more. 

If only everyone in my life were as easy to knit for as my mom!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Packing + baby + packing + wrapping up work + packing + new house uncertainties + packing = headache. 

We're all a little on edge around here.  Poor Little A is being a trooper, but little things are setting her off into fits of tears, which is very unlike her.  Today when I picked her up from day care, she burst into tears because I hadn't brought her string cheese which she'd started eating at breakfast and had apparently left in Daddy's car.  She was looking forward to that string cheese all day, and when I showed up string cheese-less, it was more than she could take.  It's sad and sweet all at the same time. 

Thank goodness for beautiful yarn and an easy but non-boring pattern! 

This is Pink Label lace weight in colorway Moonmist from the Year in Colour Club, knit into a Fairy Mist.  I'm anxious to finish this project, but only because I'm going to keep knitting with the yarn!  I bought an extra skein so I can make an ethereal Girasole.  The colors are so dreamy and moon shiney, and not in the home brewed liquor kind of way.  Seriously, knitting is reducing my blood pressure and replacing the years to my life which moving is threatening to take away. 

In two weeks, we'll be in a new house in a new town, and I'll have a magical, airy cowl around my neck.  Ahhh. 

magic + wool + calm quiet + beauty + tiny bit of math = knitting

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FO: Vogue 8379

I love dresses in the summertime, and last year, I made several.  This year, I need nursing-friendly dresses, which are hard to come by.  I thought this would be the perfect time to try out the world renown Vogue 8379.

Per everyone else's comments, I lengthened the bodice by an inch.  This helps my torso look longer, but the narrowest part of my torso is actually a bit higher than my waist, especially right now.  That means the ties tend to ride up just a bit, as they're doing in these photos.  I'll just try to keep them in place, without constantly fidgeting with my clothes.  We'll see.

I also added two inches to the length, which was almost impossible in 3 yards of fabric.  Cutting this one out was a chore.  Since the house is full of moving boxes, I didn't have enough floor space to lay in all out at once, so I had to do it piecemeal on our table.  When it got to the last pattern piece, the skirt front, I couldn't fit it in without taking a tiny chunk out of the hem.  I patched it, and it's folded into the hem so no one will know, but I was sweating it!

This dress is great for nursing, and it feels nice on.  I didn't remove any fullness of the skirt, and I'm glad I didn't.  Right now, I need extra fullness!

I'll make another one of these this summer, if I can bring myself to cut it out.   

Meanwhile, I'm getting tired of knit dresses, both sewing them and wearing them.  I'm craving something more tailored and crisp.  But I think I need to be patient and give myself a few months before I start on that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

FO: McCalls 6073

I'm a teeny bit disappointed in this dress, but it's actually still comfortable to wear and exactly what I need.

I made two of these maxi dresses last summer, and I figured they would be breastfeeding-friendly dresses. 
I've had this fabric sitting around for too long, and it was bugging me.  Somehow, yarn sitting in my stash makes me happy.  Fabric sitting in a stash makes me antsy.  I only had two yards, though, so I was limited in what I could do with it.

That's right: I'm bring the French braid back.
My main disappointment with this dress is that I really need to wear a cami with it.  I'm not sure how this happened, as I used the same pattern pieces and same mods, but it doesn't fit the way my last version did.  I like the way it looks with a cami, and it actually works out very well for nursing, but it still feels like a bit of a misstep.  If I'm going to the trouble of making clothes, I ought to make them to fit.  If I wanted a dress that I had to wear a cami with, there are hundreds I can buy.  But because the bodice is too wide to wear on its own, it makes for a great nursing dress.  Maybe I should just starting telling myself I made it this way intentionally!

Oh well.  No time to worry about it!  I'll appreciate it for what it is--actually a very good summer nursing dress.  Or maybe I should see it as a success, since it started out sort of poorly.  On to the next!