Month: January 2015

First sewing finish in 2015

My good friend is expecting a baby boy due in March so to honor her and her little one, I made her a bunch of goodies! Since her shower was today, I can now safely share her gift with you.

A jacket:

Reversible Zippy Hoodie

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I was originally going to buy her something cute from her registry, but I spotted these foxes while I was shopping for flannel for T and it called out her name! The jacket is the Reversible Zippy Hoodie from Kitschy Coo Patterns. I’m moderately pleased with the outcome. The pattern is relatively straight-forward, but it’s a little finicky especially in the smaller sizes. Most of my dissatisfaction comes from the fact that somewhere in the shuffle of switching between feet, I misplaced my edge-stitching foot so the top-stitching looks pretty crappy after I lost it. The pattern works for knits or wovens, but both versions require ribbing. Since I was working with a pretty heavy twill for the outer shell it meant switching needles a few times. When I installed the zipper, I should have switched from a jersey needle to a blue-jean needle at the seam, but instead I sewed the whole thing with the denim needle. This was a mistake since it split the ribbing. I mended it and gifted it. I’m not sure I’ll be making this as a woven jacket again anytime soon. As an extra-special touch I hand embroidered their last initials in a monogram style in stem-stitch. This way, if they have another baby someday, that kid can use it too.

A blanket:

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It’s nothing special just a 40″ x 40″  almost square, but I mitered the corners which I feel is a nice touch. It should be good for swaddling, dragging around, burping, and tummy time. I used the second part of this tutorial to do the corners.

And a little crinkle toy:

Crinkle Tag Toy

I had a rather large scrap of the fox fabric left after I cut the square for the blanket, so I decided to make a crinkle tag toy. Babies really like things that rustle and crinkle and rubbing different textures, so I think he’d like it. Heck, T was pretty wild to get at it and she’s well out of the gumming and drooling phase. If y’all are interested I can put together a tutorial on how to make one of these. They’re super easy and a big hit at baby showers.

I have a problem with color-work mittens.

I’m obsessed. First I made myself some.

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Project here, on Ravelry.

Then they weren’t enough and we were in the midst of a cold-snap, so I cast on to some darling ones for T.

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The bunny mittens are a free charted pattern put out by a Norwegian blogger. Unlike my mittens, these are relatively tight and don’t have a thumb gusset at all. Consequently, they allow for greater freedom of movement and stay on more than T’s other mittens. I think mine are more like Swedish mittens, since they’re looser, have a thumb gusset and the pattern was put out by Drops. My mittens are huge, like oven mitt huge, as in they’re big even on my husband. I think I might need to stalk some Scandinavian knitting blogs and discover other traditional mitten shapes.

T’s mittens are the envy of the playground. The last time I took her to play in the park, a little girl was so taken with them, she chased T around trying to grab one. Luckily, there’s nothing T loves more than a good game of chase and I connected the mittens by a crochet chain, so no harm, no foul.

Strict accountability

In my first post I wrote out my New Year’s resolutions which included “finish or frog all current works in progress” as well as “blog.” So to keep my word, I present you with my WIPs and unfinished objects (UFOs).

sock yarn crescent shawl

I started knitting this on the way up to visit my in-laws for Christmas. I started winding the ball on the New Jersey Turnpike. When I was about half-way though winding, T started demanding the bathroom. So, I tucked the ball in my pocket and with the skein round my neck, I escorted her in through the pouring rain into the most crowded rest stop looking like a lunatic. Someday, it’ll be a crescent shawl. The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne in Sauvie Island.

painted wyatt hat

This is going to be a Wyatt hat made of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Hand Paints in Mint Julep.

double crochet wash cloth

I’ve been trying to like crochet, thus the double crochet washcloth. I’ve been attempting to get my stitches more even. Part of me is leaning towards “frog” on this, but I can finish it anytime I want to. Want, keyword.

soon to be frogged philosopher's walk socks

Philosopher’s Walk Socks. I started these back in the spring and just lost steam after turning the heel. I think I’m gonna frog them and then make some plain striped socks with them.

almost two fair isle mittens

I’ll probably finish these mittens by the end of the week. I just put the thumb on hold this morning which means I’ve only got a little bit more to go. The pattern is by Drops, but I decided to sub the louse stitch for the vertical lines on the palm and thumb. I’m trying to mimic a self striping yarn with two shade of orange, yellow, and green with the brown as a background color.

more than two thirds of a sweater

The purple sweater from the first post, Beatnik by Norah Gaughan from Knitty Deep Fall 2010. The yarn is Bartlett Fisherman’s Yarn in Lupine. It’s super rustic and kind of hard on my hands, but it softens up really nicely after blocking and washing. I love the way it shows off the cables and moss stitch.

soon to be frogged top-down cardigan

This was going to be a top-down cardigan, but I’m not really digging the pattern anymore. So I’m frogging it to make a different cardigan.

arrow head lace shawl

This is my Arrowhead lace shawl. I put it on hold after I got a head injury and completely mucked it up for about a pattern repeat. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but I just keep getting distracted by other projects.

My baby girl loves my arms

Body Positivity is a battle. What helps me is to try and see my body through my daughter’s eyes. To her, I am the most beautiful, most wonderful person in the world. So she can’t understand that Mama doesn’t like her belly or arms. Worse, if she did understand, would she extrapolate that she is less than perfect too?

She loves my upper arms. The ones that fashion and the world at large would have me hide. They’re soft and flabby unlike my (relatively slim) forearms. Whenever I am wearing short sleeves or a sleeveless top, T creeps up silently to sit beside me and nuzzle my arms. She used to get quite rough with them which left me really sensitized, but she’s learned to be gentle with me and it’s really sweet. Her love of them makes me appreciate them more. They’re soft and comfortable, but also strong enough to hold her and carry her.

What has your body enabled you to do?

There’s this awful pressure on women to look a certain way and it’s especially hard on mothers. We’re supposed to give birth, keep a baby alive, and not just go back to our pre-baby body, but maybe even to something closer to that “ideal” body. I carried my weight in my belly and butt before T came and while she was gestating she ate my butt. Now, if I measure my hips under my belly, I’m proportionate, but once I measure over my belly it’s 5-6 inches bigger. I get really hard on myself about this. She’s two and a half and I’m still a size up from where I was pre-pregnancy and even if I were to go down to where I was I wouldn’t want to wear those old clothes anyway.

This year I want to try to make pants and fitted skirts. I’m tired of hiding under a full skirt or wearing ill-fitting RTW pants. I had this epiphany, that just like I choose my dress pattern size by my above bust measurement, I should choose my skirt or pants size from my waist. Now I just need to find the correct alteration…

Hello World!

My name is Sara, and I make stuff. I decided to start this blog to document the things I make more or less successfully. I started embroidering in 2006 and then quilting in 2011. Then I decided to relearn knitting after I had my daughter in 2012 so I’d have something to do during the day to promote a sense of progress. I started sewing garments for myself this summer after much dithering. I still find it quicker and easier to make things for my daughter– there’s no grading, minimal fitting, and smaller yardages to manage, though much less appreciated.

I am happily married to a very skinny, very nerdy man and I am very lucky. Our daughter T is a whirling dervish and gives all her love to the cat, who loves no one. I get to stay at home with her and attempt to parent in between Daniel Tiger episodes. I’m plus sized, body-positive, liberal, feminist, and nerdy.

My New Year’s Resolutions-

Blog.

Make 1 bed sized quilt. This will probably be for T’s big girl bed since she’s turning 3 in July.

Finish the %^&$# purple sweater

Finish or frog current works in progress

Crochet enough to decide whether or not I like it for real. Right now I hate it but I think I hate it for not coming to me as easily as knitting does, like how I hated the piano for not being singing.

Make more garments for myself.

Look in the stash before I go shopping for new fabric or yarn.

Invest in tools.

Be less wasteful. Specifically cut down on household food waste.