Belly’s Primrose

While The Nathan Is Away

Some people go around buying yarn after they pick their project.  Those people are so amazing.  I attempt to be a part of their crew, but I’m normally not.  Here’s what happens when I go to a yarn store — “OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH.  Pretty and cheap!  Sold, sold, sold!  Give me a skein or two!”

Then that yarn just sits there, hating me.

Back in late 2012, I walked into Spinning Yarns.  I saw some Malabrigo Silky Merino in this gorgeous blueish shade.  Malabrigo Silky Merino is my favorite yarn ever, so far, so I just bought two skeins because it was so pretty and so soft.  I knew I would use it for Belly, but otherwise, had no plans.

Almost two years later, I thought to myself, “I have no babies who are awake all night any longer.  I bet I could participate in the Ravellenic Games this time and not fail horribly!”  I immediately hit up a search of sweaters and dresses using the yardage I had in a DK weight and the pattern Primrose won.

My gauge was slightly off (too few rows per inch), but otherwise perfect when I went down a needle size.   I was hoping to knit this in the called for needle, but, damn, does this yarn bloom and grow when it hits water.

Sweater Dress

I did not knit this all during the Ravellenic Games, but I started the games about a week late and finished about a week late, so I’m calling it good.  I mean, I knit a garment in two weeks.  I’m happy, you know?

Now, in case all the pictures of my darling daughter smiling while wearing this dress are fooling you, let me know let you know.  She hates it.  When I put it over her head, she screams as if her skin is melting.  I assure you that she has no wool allergies and that I always put it over other clothes, regardless.  She also screams like this when I put on her adorable neutral with white pom-pom shoes and when I put on her sweet Gap long sleeved tees.  As far as I can tell, she just has rotten taste in clothing.

Having said that, she does like one part of her dress.

Sweater Dress

She picked them out, can you tell?

For this dress, I picked out the option that gives you only one set of lace eyelets at the waist.  If I were to do this dress again, I’d start knitting the waistband before I cast off the sleeves because I prefer a more empire waisted dress.

Sweater Dress

This dress came together very easily and I can say it would be a great knit for someone who is still new to knitting but who wants to impress people with their skill.  It’s a very long pattern but I think that’s just because the pattern designer is a very thorough individual, which I prefer for my patterns!

Project:  Belly’s Primrose (ravel it!)
PatternPrimrose
Yarn:  Malabrigo Silky Merino
Needles:  Size 6 and Size 4

This dress is large enough and my daughter teensy enough that I think it’ll last several years as a dress and then tunic!

Picture Time!

Sweater Dress

DSC_4089While The Nathan Is Away

Stash Enhancement!

I do not normally have stash enhancement, but I clearly must have gone crazy with desire for fabric and yarn this year!  First up is this gorgeous yarn from Amanda of Sew Knitpicky/Knot a Podcast fame.  (I’ve only mentioned her eight billion times.)  We made a trade in which I gave her some linen cross-stitching fabric I knew I wasn’t going to use.  She offered sock yarn from her Ravelry trade section and I was all like, “Can’t you just dye me some pretty yarn in colors I want?!”

Yep, I’m greedy like that.  You would be too.

Beautious!

Beautious!The yarn line is called Lamby Toes and it’s a BFL/Nylon base.  The colorway is “Kitten’s Choice”.  Don’t you love it?  I have a super sick obsession over pink, aqua, red, and white mixed together and this is kind of hitting those notes.  (My second sick color combination obsession is aqua, white, grey, and bright orange.)  She also sent cute candies and stickers.  The cutest stickers.

True story — the day after I got this yarn, my son had a playdate with a little girl in his class.  Her mother and I were chatting away in the rec room and these two plus Belly told us they were going to have a show and decorate our living room for the show.  I said, “Sure.”  I didn’t think anything more of it.  We came out for the show later and N had gone through my sticker collection (I’m 12!) and they had put so many of my good stickers up all over my walls and windows and furniture.  My mouth dropped when I saw my precious Hello Kitty puffy stickers all over everything.  I had stopped them after they had gotten one of the pigs above onto the walls and three of the alpacas and I was like, “NO MORE!”

I saved most of my best stickers and I’m not sad about it now.  It’s just an excuse to buy more cute Japanese stickers, you know?  I’ve already started to knit this yarn and it is so swoonworthy.

Lambie Toes Yarn

Oh, what’s that?  Your into that bag in that last photo?  Yeah, me too.  ME TOO.  I know I’m usually all calm, cool, and collected, but, when Amanda talked about a cute bag made out of Japanese fabric on her podcast, I flipped out.  I went straight to FB and was like, “Where did you get that fabric because I must own it.  I must.”  And she let me down gently with the fact that it was a Japanese fabric that isn’t for sale anywhere.  I was so depressed.  Then, I feel like only a tiny bit later that week, I got this in the mail!

Those are, for serious, glittery cats doing things like drinking coffee, reading books, and holding balloons.  I don’t even…  This fabric was basically made with me in mind.  I squealed like a five year old girl when I saw this bag.  Even the zipper and its pull made me chitter-chatter excitedly to P about it.  Belly came over to attempt to claim it as she does most of my bags and items and I said no to her!  (You do not even know how much effort it takes for me to say no to her on things like this.)

Sew Knitpicky Made Project Bag

So in love with that bag.

After all this went down, I fell in love with another yarn I saw on Instagram, or, as I like to call it, the app where you go to die of craft envy.  I saw the yarn and rushed to the dyer’s website to attempt to purchase it.  When it wasn’t available, I asked on her IG feed if she would be selling more soon.  She found my feed, offered a Lego minifig trade.  I told her to hold off sending her part of the trade until I got my yarn and she sent me an invoice for the yarn that night!  I know, I got all excited over receiving an invoice.  I knew the yarn would be mine!

Eaden Yarn

Eaden yarns — go buy from her.  She’s the best and her yarn is so pretty!

Now, onto the cross-stitching notion I got.  You all know I’m obsessed with The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, right?  One of the companies they work with to offer the supplies for their cross-stitching patterns made up some adorable thread organizers and needle gauges.  I was all set to ignore this because I don’t need it, but I did need it.  The last year I’ve been cross-stitching, I’ve silently bitched about my thread organization.  I’ve slowly gotten it together, but I still had no way to neatly deal with threads that are actively being worked with.  Now, I do.  I love this.  Thank you, Cottage Needle!

Lastly, a not very well photographed meter of Nani Iro double gauze.  Luckily, the store Linnie Darling on Etsy, which I bought the fabric from, has nicer photos.  It’s so much more vibrant in real life — plus, look, sample sized Soak.  Everyone in the knitting world besides me has used Soak I think.

This is several month’s haul for me, but it is a LOT.  And I just realized that most of my haul is color coordinated.  At least I know what I like!  What did you guys get recently?  I’d love to see some yarn and fabric from you!

Wipocalypse — April 2014 Edition

First off, some honesty.  I totally failed last week’s Kid’s Clothes Week.  I’m so sad and embarrassed, but I had issues with taxes due to some fairly large changes in my lifestyle over the last year.  That equaled panic which equaled me just sitting there and knitting desperately to soothe myself.  I so swear that I will sew a ton soon for both myself and the kids.

Anyways, for people who are here for my cross-stitching.  It’s been awhile.  A long while.  Whoops!  Didn’t mean to miss posting in February and March but I took an unintended blog hiatus.  So, the last time I saw you all, I was working on the second house of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘s pattern Christmas on Gingerbread Lane.

Since that time, I’ve completed the second house!

And I started and completed the third house!

Gingerbread Lane

And now I’m done with the people in front of the house where they are having a snowball fight!  So, that leaves the ice skating scene, the snowman building scene, and the part at the very bottom where the original pattern has the numbers one to twenty-five.  I plan on having my family’s names instead, but that’s a while from now!

The Question for this month, by the way, is:

How do you keep your stash organized?

This is very easy for me to answer.  I have next to near no stash, so I just keep it all in a desk drawer.  I literally only have fabric that is being worked on (three in progress projects), floss for old or current projects, and notions that are in use now.

Have you all been cross-stitching like mad?  If so, what patterns?  I’ll try to visit all the participants this month, so be sure to say hi if you’re visiting from the Wipocalypse site!

wip_button3

Makes One And Two Of The Year

True fact, one of the best parts of taking an unintended hiatus from blogging is that when you come back, you’re dropping finished projects on your blog like you craft worth a damn.

Since my first project bag for knitting was actually a 2013 finish rather than a 2014 finish, these two items are my first and second makes for the year!  Like my Christmas knitting bag, they are reversible and have coordinating fabric on the inside or outside.

I love them, not least of all because they allow me to create those awesome type of Instagram images where people believe your life is super awesome and filled with good snacks and crafts and warm fires in the winter, when you’re really just waiting for your toddler to wake screaming over her molars coming in!

Also, you can ask your child to do what she does best and pose for you.

My Project Bags!

The fabrics are all from Jo-ann and were picked up at a whim.  I was walking past some FQs and I saw the sea/mermaid themed FQ pack and, boom, PROJECT BAG PLAN.  That happens to you all too, right?  Yes?  No?

I used the same pattern as last time, So Very Shannon’s free knitting bag tutorial.

My favorite of the bags is this mermaid packed bag, but it no longer resides in my house!

My Project Bags!When I originally saw the fabric, I thought of my friend Amanda of the Knot a Podcast.    She has mermaid hair, after all!  I was making a trade with her (and I must show off those results later) and along with my trade item, I packed this in too.  I need more people in my life to knit so I can give everyone all the project bags!  Next up for project bags, I’m going to try a zipped bag.  That’s a bit in the future though.

Anyone have any good recs for patterns for a zipped bag?  I’m willing to purchase a good bag pattern as well as try free tutorials!

Cutest Little Legwarmers

Costume Time!
I was going to start with some stupid cliched “Is this thing on?” type of line, but then decided against it.  Ugh, I’ve been gone.  I would say that I wasn’t planning on coming back, but I was always planning on posting again, I just lollygagged.  (That is my favorite word for my children when they don’t walk when I need them to.  “STOP LOLLYGAGGING!”  My son probably thinks this is a common everyday word by now.)

I was not posting because I’ve been doing things like caring for my children shown up above, crafting, and browsing the internet endlessly.  Oh, Instagram.  You’re the WORST.  And by that, I mean the best.

I would have taken even longer to return but I’ve forgotten which projects I’ve posted about and which I haven’t!  How has it been so long?  Since I last have been posting, I noticed that my list of projects done last year was FALSE.  It was set too low.  One, I totally found a dress/tunic/pinafore I made for Belly last year but never ever posted about.  It’s so cute that it is heart wrenching that I forgot about it.  I’ll get a pic of it this year in the nicer weather.  Also, the first pillowcase and project bag I made on my new machine were done in 2013!  Thus is last year’s project list went from five projects to eight.  Not much better, but still…

Now, I’m here to say in a voice quite opposed to Game of Thrones that Summer is Coming.  Yeah.  No more snow.  N and I already miss it, but I suppose if you want to wear flip flops and go swimming, you have to say goodbye to snow.

Fun With Hobbes

Goodbye, snow.  I think my son and I will be the only ones on the East Coast to miss you this year.  (God, remember how I made that Flyer’s Hat for my son almost two years ago and he hated it?  This year it was the only hat he would wear, refusing to put on his adorable raccoon or snowman hat.)

Luckily, just in time for warm weather to return, I finished my daughter’s legwarmers.  Quite technically, I finished them in January.  My good friend Shirley jokingly asked for a pair for her baby daughter and I just couldn’t resist sending on Belly’s pair since I knew I had the yarn for two pairs.  It took me four months to knit one pair and approximately three weeks to knit the next.  Knitting mojo, lovely to see you once again!

Now we get to the reason for this post!  This is my third (and fourth since I made two pairs) creation for the year!  I’ll make another post for creations one and two soon, I promise.

Legwarmies For Noelle

Project:  Belly’s Legwarmies (ravel it!)
PatternLegwarmies
YarnThree Irish Girls Westerly Sea Sock in the Summer Dreaming colorway (bought from a destash)
Needles:  Addi sock rockets size 1

I adore these, but they are a little tight and a little short to me.  In fact, I knitted beyond the recced length to make them an extra inch long.  I also increased my daughter’s set by about eight stitches, so nearly an extra inch in width.  Belly’s not very fond of these, but she suffers them as she does many of my odd clothing whims.

I’m going to try making a few pair that are looser and longer without the ribbing to see if I like that style better than this.  I definitely need to get better at making legwarmers faster, however.  I’ve seen my daughter’s future of cold legs on the girls in N’s kindergarten class this winter!

Now, on to the cute pictures!

Legwarmies For Noelle

Legwarmies For Noelle

Legwarmies For Noelle

Ravellenic Games

I will be competing this year, will you be?  So far, I’ve thrown my hat in with Team InstaRavLovers, a group of people on Ravelry AND Instagram who knit together.  If you’re a good friend though and you have your own team you are really into, please let me know.  I’m looking for someone to chat with on Instagram and Twitter and Ravelry during the events.

My hope is to make the Sadie Dress for Belly using some Malabrigo Silky Wool I have (in a soft blue with grey tones to it).  I’m not sure if I’ll succeed, but I’m going to do my damnedest.  This might be changed as we get closer to the event and I pour obsessively over the patterns I’d like to make her.  I was considering making her a laceweight sweater, but then I decided I was nuts to think it’d be done during the games.  I’m limited by the amount of yarn I have, but if this goes well (read that as quickly) I hope to knit her a few other things as well.

Let me know if you’ll compete and what team you will be on and what you’ll be making!

 

Sock Knitting Bag

So, right about the time that my old Bernette was going screwy with its tension, I was facing major sock knitting bag envy.  It’s totally a thing.  The Must Stash girls were flashing the cutest sock knitting bags.  My Instagram friend was showing off her Stitched by Sasha bag.  Everyone had the most adorable sock knitting bags.  It was hitting me over the head with a wish for a new sock knitting bag.  (I have one that I received years and years ago.  I still like it, but you know how it goes, right?)

Then, to make matters worse, I found the perfect simple no-hand sewing pattern to use to make a new bag.  What did I do?  I went and bought some Christmas fabric.  (I love love love seasonal accoutrements for my crafts!  I just did a real life little hand wave to indicate my feelings.  Jazz hands!)

Sock Sack

Then, my sewing machine went putt-putt-putt.  “I work, but not well.  I am making you sad.”  I cried sadly on my beautifully rotary cut fabric.

However, this is not a sad post.  This is not a post about pain and suffering like most of my posts are.  (False, my posts are not usually about pain and/or suffering.  I’m actually becoming a bit of an optimist.  An anxious, worried optimist.)  My beloved and loving husband got me a new sewing machine for Christmas.

The second we got the power cord for it (they forgot to include it) I went to work on my sewing.  And I made this.

Knitting Bag Made

In case you didn’t check out the pattern I linked, this bag from Luv in the Mommyhood is reversible.  I used this quirky fabric above because I’m big into aqua blues with red and white (and pink).  But then I made the other side this totally sweet ornament fabric.

Knitting Bag Made

It’s got some pretty top-stitching on it, no? I’m not going to lie, there is a pretty big effing mistake on this bag, but it’s on the bottom and no one can see it, so I won’t share it with you. I’m only telling you to keep myself honest.

Knitting Bag Made

And that is make number one for the year!

Kids Clothes Week Winter 2014

Guys, Kid’s Clothes Week is almost here.  It’s one hour a day of sewing (or prep work for sewing) for children’s clothing for a whole week.  That means you have to man or woman up and just work on it even when you want to be cleaning or sitting in a slump in front of your computer.  And there’s no breaks, people.  Less than a week after it ends, we go right to the Ravellenic Games.

What I’m trying to say is that all of you who live and breathe textile crafts had better get your head in the game.  What do you plan to do?!

Oh, what do I plan to do?  That’s a really good question.  I didn’t have many plans, to tell you the truth.  My husband wants me to do a fleece dress for my little Belly, but I have a pair of pajamas all cut out for N.  To tell the truth, I hate the fabric I used, but I’m doing these more as a muslin anyway.  Also, I don’t have a source of really great fleece yet — anyone know of a good online source?

Let’s face it, I’m going to do what I know how to do best if I get those pajamas done — make Belly a cotton dress.  Which dress?  That’s a tough call, but I have a lot of pretty fabric for her, so I know it’ll happen.  Wish me luck!

kid's clothes week

2014 Wipocalypse — January Edition

Oh my Lord, guys.  My blog for the month of January is just going to be plans, plans, and more plans.  I have no time to craft, only to plan my crafting!  I have to plan for Kid’s Clothes Week, Winter Edition.  I have to plan for the Ravellenic games.  I have so much to plan for.  Let’s start with the cross-stitching, you guys.  Let’s get this going on.  Measi’s post asks that we introduce ourselves first.

My name is Kitten.  It’s not my real name and my real name is fairly easy to find out, but let’s just call me Kitten for now.  It’s one of the names people call me in real life, but not a common one.  I’ve been trying though, you guys!  One of my aunts just changed her nickname to Bunny and then everyone called her Bunny.  I want to emulate her.

I have two children, both young, one boy and a girl.  I have an About Me page.  I’ve been called fickle and capricious and if no other words describe me, those do.  I am probably a borderline OCD individual, if not fully there.  I keep a clean house as my hobby, but my other hobbies are cross-stitching, sewing, and knitting.  And reading.  And video games.  And this blog!

I have three WIPs for cross-stitching right now.  The latest one and the one that is actively being worked on is Gingerbread Lane by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

cutesYou’ll notice a common theme to my plans and dreams soon.  And that is The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Their cuteness slays me.

I’ve also got their 2012 Dessert Sampler in progress.

My last WIP is from Mirabilia — Rose of Sharon.  I’ve been working on this for about nine years?  Yeah.  For reals!

Rose of SharonMy plans for the year include finishing the two patterns from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and making significant progress on the Mirabilia.  If I get those done, I’ll probably start more the FPS and maybe start Fairy Moon from Mirabilia.  I would like to get back to one WIP.

wip_button3

2014 Plans and Resolutions

I was going to call this post “Craft Plans” but I’ve seen a ton of blogs just list their plans, in general, for the upcoming year and I think that might be wise.

1.  Read more books.

Last year I read almost no books.  I think I read less than 20 new books for the year.  That was some weak sauce.  This year, my goal is at least two new books per month, and hopefully much more.  I haven’t read less than 20 new to me books in a year since I was about four years of age, people.  What happened?

2.  Stop snacking so much after ten at night.

This is one I really need to work on.  I’ve gained a bit of weight since having children and I can keep myself from snacking during the day, but show me a chocolate or tortilla chip after ten at night, and I can’t stop myself.

3.  Bicycle a bit in the nice weather.

This is going to be tricksy.  I need to fit Belly into my bicycling and I’m not sure I’m in shape enough to trail that trailer.  Also, I want to bike at the park so that means taking her, my bike, and the trailer over to Valley Forge park.  Can I do it?  I deserve to at least try.

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

There are the cross stitching pieces I’d like to finish.  Three of these are already in progress. If I can get this done, I’ll call it a GREAT year for cross-stitch.  I have more that I’d like to do, but let’s not get crazy, right?

5.  Finish blanket of dooooooom.

Note to self:  It can be done, and it will be done, but you need to work at it.  Put the cross-stitching down.

6.  Make N a pair of socks.

It can’t be all your daughter all the time, even if she wears cuter stuff.  Prove you love him.  Make him something.

7.  Make Belly a sweater.

Make her one of those cute tiny sweaters before those cute tiny sweaters won’t fit her.

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

Kid’s Cloth’s Week.  I’ve already signed up for the last January winter session.  I have done it twice so far and ended up with two sewn clothing pieces.  That’s a significant portion of my output from last year!

9.  Do a quilt.  For serious.

I want to learn how to make one of those cute, modern, bright, and colorful quilts that I’m seeing on Instagram all the time.  Plus, I get cold and want warm quilts.

10. Take better care of myself.

Get more sleep, get out more, stop feeling guilty constantly, try to make friends, try to be less anxious.  These are all things I need to work at.

11. Stuffies for the kids.

Again, before they get too old to appreciate what I make them.

Untitled-2