Wipocalypse — February 2015 Update

Hmm, I missed my December and January updates. Oh well, time to move on! Here’s where I was on my only WIP last time.

Here’s where I am now!

Since my last update, I’ve completely finished the arch, started the lady and got to her waist, and then went back to my background flowers.

Question for the month:  How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?

Hahaha!  I’ve been working on this for ten years or more.  I just keep going.  That’s my way of working through a rut.

2015 Resolutions. Maybe.

Well, my last post talked about how I either succeeded, failed, or stalled in my personal 2014 Resolutions. Though I had many a failure, I’ve decided to create a list of goals for 2015. These are mostly crafty (as I’m mostly a craft blogger) but not all are.

1. Knit my son a sweater.

I’ve knit Belly so many items now. It’s embarrassing that my son is enthused about my knitting, yet has none of it besides a well loved hat.

2. Knit my son a pair of socks.

See text under point 1. He’s such a good kid.

3. Knit my super secret project that I’ll tell you all about at a later time.

It’s secret. Super secret. I really really really need to work on it.

4. SEW THAT FIRST DAMNED QUILT. At least the quilt top. Please?

I know that once I get the top done, my friend Connie will help me with the quilting, so let’s get to it! I want to make many!

5. Knit my daughter and I matching socks.

I have the perfect yarn for it.

6. Go the the hair-dresser at least every two months for both a hair trim and a eyebrow waxing.

This is a very specific step in self-care and I think I need more specific steps instead of “treat yo self” which I fail on.

7. See the doctor for a check up before 2016.

Yeah, another specific step. I haven’t seen a doctor for a year and a half now.

8. Play with my children more. Seriously, at least an hour a day. Pure play. Imaginative play.

I tend to read to them or talk with them or let them play together but for some reason imaginative play tends to bore me at times even though I’m a very imaginative person.
I need to get on this.

9. Make my son at least three costumes. Make at least one for my daughter.

He turned to me recently and asked, “Why don’t you make me the stuff I ask you to make me?” DAGGER TO THE HEART, MOM.

10. Knit one stuffie. Sew one stuffie.

I can do this. It’s easy. I can do it.

11. Back my snowman blanket. Bind it.

Not going to lie, I’m dreading this one, but I know it’s something I’ll love when done.

12. Finish the Roses of Sharon. Do one Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery pattern.

This is my year to finish it. I can feel it!

13. Date night — once a month with my husband.

Treat yo self now that your children are getting older and less fearsome to leave with family or babysitters.

14. Get more decor for house.

Last year, while decorating the house for Halloween I turned to my husband and said, “I have completely failed to buy decorations or decor for our house as I once planned to do. I need to get on that.” I do.

15. More pictures.

Take more. Process more. More videos too.

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How Did 2014 Go?

How did I do on my 2014 resolutions?  I know you’re curious, right?  You totally are.  My post at the beginning of 2014 was not ambitious, but it wasn’t horribly easy either.

Let’s review.

1.  Read more books.

I couldn’t have done WORSE than 2013, which I’ll call the year of 20 books. I definitely did better. I think last year I hit more like 40 or 50 new books. I didn’t track, but I knew I went on several tears where I’d read two or three new books in a day or two, so I’m feeling comfortable in my estimate. I’m not yet at a place where I am tracking new books read, but I might get there in a year or two. Also, my rereads went down last year, as did my fanfiction reading. So, good all around. Let’s hope to see continuing progress here.

2.  Stop snacking so much after ten at night.

I have a hate/love relationship with sugar. This was a fail.

3.  Bicycle a bit in the nice weather.

I still have my daughter and a lack of a desire to cart her around in a bike trailer. This was also a fail.

4.  Finish the Dessert Sampler, Kawaii Winter, Gingerbread Lane, and Rose of Sharon.

This was not a complete fail. I finished the Dessert Sampler and Gingerbread Lane. I never even started the Kawaii Winter Sampler, but I made significant progress on the Rose of Sharon, and will post about that soon.

5.  Finish blanket of dooooooom.

It’s knitted. It needs backing, tacked down ends, and a binding.

6.  Make N a pair of socks.

I bought the yarn. That counts for something, right?

7.  Make Belly a sweater.

I TOTALLY DID.

8.  Join kcw at least two times, hopefully four times.

I did, but only really succeeded a tiny bit. I just didn’t focus. Still, pajamas and the world’s cutest shirt did get made.

9.  Do a quilt.  For serious.

I sewed half the pieces of a quilt to the other half and then my sewing machine spit on me for no reason. I decided to fall back in love with reading around then, so for the last month or so my crafting has been the worst.

10. Take better care of myself.

Ugh. WHAT A FAIL. I’m a failure. My new resolutions are going to be more specific.

11. Stuffies for the kids.

Another fail, but I will make a success of this one this year!

Come back this week, hopefully, for a new batch of resolutions.

Nani Iro Ice Cream Blouse

Noelle's Newest Blouse

This is not the first time I’ve made the Ice Cream Dress from Oliver + S.  As you might recall, I did a black with orange polka-dots blouse for her last year when she had little hair and a very clear need for (more) Halloween clothing.  After making it, I certainly put it on her several times and it’s look cute each time, but…  Well, how much need is there for a short sleeved Halloween colored woven cotton shirt?  Practically none.  Plus, we all know it but try to ignore it, quilting cotton can be less than ideal for clothing.  You’re meant to quilt with it, not make a shirt.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

When I fell in love last year with a bit of Nani Iro double gauze fabric, I held off on purchasing it.  I held off far longer than I expected to.  Then the pictures on several children’s clothing blogs started to get to me.  How cute they all looked, I thought, in their little double gauze outfits and how their mothers praised the fabric.  I weakened and bought a metre.  It came to me and I was certain that I’d make myself a shell out of it.

So certain.

Very certain.

Only, the image of Belly in a loose, swingy shirt made from it on top of her cute tight jeans stuck in my mind.  Then, as I wound my way through Joann one day, I spotted tiny bunny buttons.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

I went home with the buttons in a bag and a plan in my mind.  I was going to cut out fabric.  It took me over a month to cut it out, however.  The fabric was so precious.  I hated cutting into it.  Every bit of the leftovers of it is still sitting in my stash and I plan to use it for quilting since there isn’t enough for even a tiny bit of a shirt or skirt or pants.  But, cut, I did.  I even had a hard time sewing this since I was terrified I’d ruin it when I made it.  I’d ruin my plan and this fabric and my daughter would hate it and I’d be angry at myself.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

Well, miracles do happen, because the picture above this paragraph is basically the one I had in my head.  A swingy loose shirt that billows out over tight leggings.  It’s adorable on her.  It can be layered in the winter and worn by itself in the summer.  Better, unlike my knitted goods, she doesn’t act like the act of wearing this shirt will lead to her murder.

I cannot stress how beautifully this shirt hangs and the softness of the cotton is a dream.  I now know why all those sewing blog moms write beautiful odes to Nani Iro.  It looks and feels like the finest shirt.  It is both fluffy and drape-y.  It’s all the things.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

It even got the seal of approval from my two year old daughter who hates everything.  (Seriously, she’s a grump.  She gets it from me, so I understand.)  She is happy to pose in it and just to wear it as an every day item. I hope it becomes a preschool staple next year and that she wears it all winter and summer long.  She didn’t even get too angry about this photo shoot which is really rare.  The only time she yelled at all was when we put the pigtails in.  She has a hate/love relationship with her hair.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

I did eliminate the V at the neckline.  I never really cared for that feature in the first place and it was just added trouble to make.

Don’t mind her blue lips.  I bribed her with M&Ms for even bigger smiles and dancing.

Noelle's Newest Blouse

She totally can’t see the bunny button, but I know it is there.  That makes me happy.  Now, excuse me, I need to go buy a ton of Nani Iro fabric to make her more shirts.  I also need to go get more Oliver + S patterns!

Finished: The Fledgling Featherweight

Fledgling FeatherweightI guess that one of the really great things about being gone from a blog for a while is that you always come back to it filled with things you’ve been working on.  Since I tend to focus on much longer term projects (the cross-stitch that never ends, the blanket of doom, et cetera) that doesn’t really apply to me, BUT…

I don’t know what happened in August, but I went CRAZY GO NUTS.  I knit a sweater in a month. That’s right.  I did.  I started it at one of my knitting group’s meetups and finished it two meetings later!

It’s a Fledgling Featherweight from Knitbot.  It’s knit from a discontinued Schafer Yarns called Audrey that is a single ply lace weight made from equal parts silk and merino.  Or, as my daughter would tell you, made from a mix of thorns and poison ivy.

Every time I go near her with it she reacts with equal parts fear and disgust.  I literally had to wrestle her into it the first time she wore it and she managed to snag and stretch out many stitches.  I promised her she would only need to wear it for a photoshoot and she did not care.

Fledgling Featherweight

I love how her face in that picture is, “God, is my hair okay for this photo?”

Luckily, my husband was there to make her laugh a bit, so she cheered up for about four photos before losing it once again.

Fledgling Featherweight

Fledgling Featherweight

Fledgling Featherweight

I’ll admit that the orange Halloweenish shirt does not show this sweater off to it’s pastel baby unicorn color perfection, but as she had agreed to wear the sweater for five seconds, I dare not take it off of her to try a different, better matched shirt.  I had precious moments to take my photos so I did.  She fully supported the booty dance move to show off the back of the sweater.

I actually made some changes to the pattern, or used some of the supported changes.  First, I knit both the body and the arms to be two inches longer than the suggested length, on top of knitting a 4T for my 2 year old.  Why?  I want this to last.  I suspected she would not want to wear this sweater this year, but I’m hoping that when she’s 4, she’ll be a little more agreeable about hand knits.  Also, I don’t really care for the look of shrunken sweaters on toddlers or small children.  I also chose to do the buttonband/collar in a ribbing instead of the stockinette since I wanted it to lay flat instead of curl.

This was the first time I had ever picked up stitches for a buttonband/collar and I felt it went pretty well, surprisingly!  I think I’m finally “good” at this knitting thing.  It’s only taken roughly twenty years, folks!

Fledgling Featherweight

Fledgling Featherweight

Not the worst stitch pickup, right?! This is my one month to knit young child lace weight sweater! Please note, if I ever decide to do a sweater in a variegated yarn again, you have my full permission to talk me out of it. I think this would have been so much more beautiful in a tonal.

Belly thinks this would be so much more beautiful in the trash. No more knitting for this picky little child for a bit, I’m going to knit for my more accepting older son instead.

Wipocalypse — November 2014 Update

If you want to know how far in the past my brain is, I just had to revise the title of this from “August 2014 Update” to “November 2014 Update”.

So, hey there, to the people who haven’t visited me since August.  You’re probably wondering what I’ve been working on.  I’m working on my ten year old project.  How much have I gotten done since August?!  Not as much as I hoped, but more than I expected I would.  Here’s where we were in August.

Here’s where I am now.

I’m almost done the arch!  But I need to take a break soon to finish a little swap ornament I have planned.  It’s going to be super cute, guys.  I can’t wait to show you next month.

Question of the month: What are your favorite and least favorite materials to use in your stitching?

I don’t even know what that means?  I normally use an evenweave that is not Aida?  I really dislike Aida.  I kind of dislike the linen this piece is stitched on.  I drool over Lugana.  Do we mean different materials though?  I’m kind of an inexpert stitcher.  Sorry for my confusion!

wip_button3

Swap!

When I was much younger and much more optimistic about people, I used to participate in the occasional blog swap for knitting. I love the idea of meeting people with common interests via the internet and giving and getting stuff. I love to gift things to people and I also, conveniently, love to get stuff.

However, the last blog swap I was in went bad. The person who I gave roughly $40 of yarn to never even acknowledged me on her blog, which she had created during the blog swap signup. She stopped posting totally.

The person who was sending to me sent me very very budget items. She clearly kept way below the recommended amount to spend.

I was disappointed from both sides and it led to me giving up on the idea of swaps, until I fell in love with Instagram. People on Instagram are always doing cute little swaps and I really wanted to join one, so I did! I joined Donna’s Christmas swap which entails us sending a small handmade good, a few scraps of creative stuff, and some other Christmas-y items.

I hope everything goes well. So far, my swap recipient is not posting much on IG, which is worrisome. I have had fun gathering a few small items so far, though.  I also have two small handmade items I’m going to make!  I plan on making a cross-stitched ornament and, perhaps, a sewn cute little holder for putting on a coffee cup!

Anyone else want to do a regular swap with me?

Things That Make Me Balk

I got into a serious conversation with Helen several months ago about what I needed to do to make my blog a more serious one that received more traffic. She gave me great advice and then I ceased to blog. That sounds about right. I just don’t know my angle for blogging. I don’t understand if I’m a family blogger or a craft blogger or a mommy blogger with a craft heavy load. I don’t know what type of blogger I am at all.

I’m happy I took this break. I crafted a bit. I read a lot. I played video games like WOAH.

I don’t know if I’ll be back to blogging regularly soon. I miss it, so I hope so. I’ve done a few knits that have not made this blog yet because of lack of photos. I am freaking out because all of my photos are bad now. My camera is dying. My iPhone is dying. All my technology is dying.

I’m going to try to write once a day in November even if the posts are simple and photoless like this one. This is already an hour late for the first day, but I’m still awake. So, it counts.

I’ll be back to tell you about Instagram swaps, my plans for my crafts, and my children.

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A List Of Swappers in #craftychristmasswap

This is simply for my own reference. It is a linkable list of the people who are part of the IG swap for the Crafty Christmas Swap. The hashtag for that is the #craftychristmasswap.

DonnaQn
thelittlereddoor
ab6987
Givinghearts
AngMoulton
anke_s73
ariennerose
arblood89
beeh25
Littlexr
Bellanbooboo
beccalynn424
mummyonion
bakeonelooptwo
Xanandali
britchid
Carinaflorschuetz
carolinadrc
carrieactually
Hello_Cloe
Riznsun1
yarnfreak
gcc_mom
qtp2dee
neicybee
dobbyak
Neverendingstitch
emilyssnailmail
emmamoulton98
charmedgirl
jacki_nash
jamieannschmitz
JaymieNachole
sooo_charming
ActsofCraftiness
Halfwayhippie
jschival
maggiemay1405
earthcookiecreates
Jessica1290
jmelmomma
Jessjaynick
Jessicaleeperkins
firefliesart
Mojoeret4
jodiesky
jcmoriginals
karleyka_
pamperedknits
Kmacsgirl
kristinappel
ktstitches
got2bsvd
mrsandrewsiii
LauraMcJohnCraft
sewcutebylindsay
vintagevesta7
asjta
Loubelou76
louise_emandb
Princess_Koolaid
legomeg1988
coppertop97
mnnofziger
missymoo_creations
zombiemuffin66
Thennic
nikanne
R4CH3LJ
Raeshadrz
rebjwoo
gagirlrb
sfcaudle
SonnySplendor
shubbs
hoppityuk
Saskia253
shanoya212
Shelbybytheshore
shelleymariemay
susan_askey
DomesticDeficitDisorder
shes_my_alter_ego
traceyquilts
vanessakind

DARN IT!

I really, really, really meant to post more this summer.  And the beginning of September which is sort of like summer, but also sort of like autumn.  I mean, I really did.  However, two young children at home all summer was harder than I thought.  The start of school was harder than I thought.  It’s no excuse, I know.

I visit these blog pages of people with five kids, all under the age of eight, and they’ve sewn six shirts, two skirts, and knit an afghan in one week, and I just get sad.  What’s there secret?  It can’t be sleep, because they appear not to!  They all seem to love to wake up early to have some time to themselves.  Do they ignore both the internet and their children?  Not seemingly possible since they litter Instagram with pictures of their children doing crafts they lovingly devise.

Anyway, here I am. AGAIN.  I’ve got a lot to blog, peeps.  Since you last saw me I knit a sweater for Belly.  It’s laceweight and I knit it in a size 4, and it’s soft like clouds or dream.  It’s made of silk and merino and it’s softly pastel rainbowish.  According to my daughter’s two year old ability with language, it’s also “AHHHHHHHHHH!!  WAAAAAAA!  NONONONONO!”

I’ll post pictures someday.  Maybe.  It took me only four weeks to knit and it was a dream and I can’t get a decent shot of it.

Speaking of photos, my camera is dying.  It’s near death.  The clicker barely clicks anymore.  It’s seen forty thousand clicks, time for a new one!  Only, we also need money for: upcoming Christmas gifts, the eight billion activities our children are involved in, a bedroom set, a living room set, repainting our house, reflooring our upstairs, fixing our banged in dining room wall, getting new non-hideous light fixtures, new iPhones for both my husband and me, and saving up for vacations.  Sadly, the camera is important, you know?  I use it a ton.  I mean, forty thousand clicks!  I’m hoping my mom hits the Powerball and shares her winnings with me, but it’s not looking likely, you know?

Not only have I been knitting on that sweater, I’m finally back on the Snowman Blanket of Doom train, and I started a new pair of socks by Cookie A.

I’ll be posting my autumn crafting plans soon.  I’m just going to go over and start that post now, in fact, so I don’t forget.  I missed writing here.  I miss the feeling of not being stressed.  Do you miss summer?  I kind of miss summer.