Sunday, June 15, 2008

Forgotten objects

I actually finished these items ages ago, right after I said I was going to make them. I ended up with only one bib and burp cloth set. They were incredibly fiddly to make and I wasn't really happy with the results. The bib came out a little wonky because of the stretchy knit material. It was a pain to sew.

One finished item that turned out much better was this little oven mitt I sewed for Baby Girl. She got a plastic kitchen for her birthday and some accessories. The funniest was a little potholder that came with her pots and pans. She'd make everyone back away as she opened her oven door, shouted "Hot! Hot!", and carefully removed the pots with her potholder. I'd let her pick out this fat quarter at a fabric store a week or so earlier and didn't know what to do with it until I witnessed the above. I decided she needed an oven mitt so she wouldn't get "burned." I whipped this out in about 20 minutes from start to finish and it's even quilted! It was a lot of fun and Baby Girl loves it. You can't tell from the picture but it's about 6 inches long at the longest point, just right for Baby Girl's little hands with some extra room for growing.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Productivity... finally

I finally finished something! This has been the week of sewing. Baby Girl and Sweet Pea having been taking lovely, long, simultaneous naps this week and it's really boosted my productivity. While they've been snoozing the afternoons away, I've been hard at work down in the basement at my sewing machine. As a result, I made a travel tote and a floppy brim hat for Baby Girl and a floppy brim hat for Sweet Pea.

The tote bag was started last Sunday evening after bedtime. It took a while to finish because I did quite a bit of hand embroidery on it. Sometimes I find my joy in the details.

The floppy brimmed hats came about when I searched the stores in vain for a fun, stylish, yet functional hat for Baby Girl to wear to the beach in a few weeks. As much as I call her Baby Girl, she is no longer a baby and all her old hats have gotten too small. I found an online tutorial that was most helpful. This really was an excellent site. I think the hat turned out rather well, don't you?

It was a snap to make. The only modification I made was to create tucks where the crown meets the brim instead of trying to stretch it.

I liked the hat so much that I whipped one out for Sweet Pea during today's naptime.

I've also been working on a Christmas present for my mother. It's never too early to start planning for Christmas in my opinion, especially if you like to give homemade gifts as much as I do.

I'm making her the ubiquitous Irish Hiking Scarf using Dark Horse Yarn's Fantasy in Color 83. I'm knitting it with my impulse buy of Serendipity needles in size 8. I'm loving these needles. They're so lightweight. Yarn and needles were purchased at the closest thing I have to an LYS, Krazy Knitz.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Long time, no write...

It's been forever but time flies when you're having fun. My life must be going great because I don't remember the last month. I went back to work which has been... difficult. Juggling Baby Girl, Sweet Pea, teaching, Husband, laundry, house cleaning, graduate school and everything else I've dealt with has taken its' toll on me. I'm just hanging on until summer. I did finish some of my projects but I haven't downloaded pictures from my camera in over a month. For every project I finished, I've schemed up three more though so I'm not really making progress. Maybe this weekend will be different. So far, there are no plans just a blissfully open slate of a weekend upon which to write. Wish me luck and productivity. I need some of both right now to heal my soul.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One day many things to do

I accomplished something today. I finished the crocheted baby blanket. I can't go to the shower on Saturday because I have to go to my niece's birthday party. So today the kiddies and I ventured an hour north to my hometown to visit my parents and drop off the present. Mind you, the blanket wasn't done when we arrived. I worked on it yesterday like a madwoman every spare moment I could find. When I went to bed last night, an hour and a half past when I should have been in bed, I had just started adding a round of single crochet around the edge to use to build my ruffle.

All day long at my parents' house, I crocheted and crocheted. The problem with a ruffled edge is that your mind thinks each side should take as long as all the other rows, but it takes twice as long because you do two stitches in each single stitch. It's very discouraging. I toiled and toiled while my parents entertained Baby Girl and watched Sweet Pea sleep. My goal was to leave their house at 5:30. I finished weaving in the ends at 5:28. Needless to say, we left a little late but the blanket is done! Check one off the list.

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Finished size: 32" x 42"

Yarn: Caron Perfect Match, Lilac

Pattern: My own making of (many) rows of triple crochet with a round of single crochet followed by a round of triple crochet ruffle made by crocheting two triple crochet in each stitch with three stitches in each corner stitch. It's a plain, utilitarian blanket that will be warm and snuggly come next winter.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Busy, busy

It's been so busy around the house lately. To re-cap the last week:

1. Planned and executed one Elmo birthday party for my Baby Girl who's no longer a baby but a 2 year old little girl (Smashing good time was had by all!)

2. Spent countless hours at school doing things that I shouldn't have to do because I'm on maternity leave but there I was and at least they're done

3. Discovered that my project for graduate school was much larger and difficult than anticipated and spend many, many hours working on it

4. Stared longingly at my craft supplies as I sadly put them away in preparation for the party

5. Stressed over my broken refrigerator which went out last Thursday and remains broken even now (argh to Sears repair! you're most unhelpful)

6. Slept... oh, wait...not much

I feel very tired right now and a more than a little weary. The weight of the coming week or so is baring down upon me heavily. The rest of this week and next week are all that remain of my maternity leave and then things will become so much more hectic. I have this horrible feeling of disappointment like it's the end of the summer and I haven't accomplished anything. I knew that maternity leave wasn't going to be full of free time but I did have a few things I wanted to do and I haven't really done any of them. So, in the interest of making myself feel better, here's a list of my goals for the next 11.5 days:

1. Sew Baby Girl a cushion for her rocking chair

2. Make Sweet Pea a tote bag to take to the babysitter's house

3. Make Sweet Pea some new bibs and burp cloths

4. Catch up on laundry (I'm ashamed to say there are things in my laundry room that have been there for months because they're not essential to everyday life. I should work on those. It's embarrassing.)

5. Finish a sewing project that I started for a co-worker many moons ago when I had no children (note that Baby Girl just turned 2; it's a very neglected project)

6. Finish a crocheted baby blanket (uh oh... the shower is Saturday...I might want to work on that sooner rather than later in the week)

7. Make a couple of other tote bags I've got knocking around my brain.

8. Finish Sweet Pea's crocheted carrot rattle that was supposed to be for Easter (missed that one, didn't I?)

9. Pull out Baby Girl's old clothes and see what would work for Sweet Pea. Wash any that I think will be good for her and the season.

10. Plan meals for when I go back to work and do some prep work that can be frozen to help me out when I get home at five, two kiddies in tow, tired and behind on everything

11. Sew in the ends of my knit dishclothes that have been done for at least a year and never had the ends sewn in so we can actually use them (Side note: I love using handknit dishclothes. Have you ever tried one? They're amazingly good at scrubbing gunk. I knitted half a dishcloth while I was in labor with Sweet Pea. It helped me get through some of the stress of the day when my induction started to go wrong. Knitting dishclothes clears my mind and helps me focus.)

12. Just reminded myself, sew in the ends of dishcloth knitted during labor and send to midwife who thought that it was so great that I was knitting during labor

13. Finish up thank you notes and mail

14. Begin working on Mother's Day presents (Oh, I have the best idea for those. I'm taking the grandchildren's handprints and turning them into flowers using cloth. I'll explain the process more when I've actually started the bags.)

I think I better stop the list. It's getting out of control just like everything else in my life lately. There's more I could add but with two children, a husband, graduate school, and the end of maternity leave approaching, it's unlikely that I'll even finish what I've written so far.

To end, I leave you with an amusing story. Last Sunday morning at breakfast, Baby Girl is chattering on about her Happy To Day party. We're reminding her of all the things we did, the presents she received, etc. She says, : "Nata. 'Member? Elmo broken."
Yes, Baby Girl. Elmo is indeed broken, but wasn't it fun?

Monday, March 31, 2008


It's possible that I might be just the tiniest bit obsessed with a new project I have in mind. What is that project? Burp cloths. I know that doesn't sound terribly interesting but I can't get the idea of making burp cloths out of my head. It all started innocently enough one night as I surfed the Internet and ended up on Martha Stewart's website. I had seen a segment on making appliqued baby bibs on her DIY craft show and looked up the project details. That led to another search which led me to some interesting information on making bias tape and ways to use it. Fast forward to the middle of the night as I took my turn feeding Sweet Pea (my youngest daughter) and I found myself obsessing about making her some adorable custom bibs. By dawn, I was determined that my midnight musings would become reality! How did that lead to burp cloths? Well, every little girl needs matching bibs and burp cloths, right? That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

In the days since then, I've contemplated and planned and schemed. I finally decided on materials and a plan for making these custom items. Last Friday, I ventured to Hobby Lobby to buy materials and found myself sadly disappointed. While I did find some beautiful cotton prints to make bias tape to go around the edges, the heart and soul of my project was yanked from my grasp. The cotton jersey fabric that was to be the base of my burp cloths was ruined! As the employee unrolled the fabric, my hopes of starting the burp cloths that evening disappeared with each nasty stain that appeared on the bolt of fabric. To make this long story short, a storm two weeks before had caused leaks in the building that damaged some stock. Apparently, the white jersey was one of the damaged items and I had just discovered it. To make matters worse, the store didn't have the bias tape maker I needed to give rise to my project. I tempered my sad disappointment with the purchase of one or two or nine other fabrics that caught my eye.

Tomorrow... the saga continues as our brave seamstress-y heroine continues her quest for cotton jersey and we find out why burp cloths are the obsession now instead of bibs. Also, (if I can figure out how) pictures of the beautiful fabrics she found on her journeys.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Beginning...

Hello. This is the beginning of who knows what... a list of my thoughts, random crafty musings, a place to write down all the things I intend to do and hold myself accountable. The possibilities are really endless. So here it is and here I go... the beginning.

sweet pea crafting

The ramblings of a crafty soul...