Wipocalype, August Update

I totally forgot about Wipocalypse posting. Blah. I hate when I do that. To be fair to myself, after my last posting about it, I took a crafting break. Sort of. I read a lot (about ten new books last month) and just kind of sulked a bit. It was a bad month, is what I’m saying. Mid-summer is often like that for me. I just can’t stand it, and I mentally avoid it by doing things like reading and daydreaming. It’s a bit better in recent years since I have my darlings around to hold and play with, but the heat and humidity and bugs and life just gets me down.

DOWNER POST.

Anyway, last we talked, I had actually completed the stitching on a project and announced I’d be moving back to Mirabilia’s Rose of Sharon.  The last time I showed it to you was in June of 2013.

So, here it is now!

I’ve finished the right side column and extended the flowers a tiny bit, and I’ve started working down the column on the left side.  Not much change, but it’s hard to get excited about it after watching all the new projects available from the Pumpkins.

This month’s prompt is:

Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.

You’re looking at it, bub.  I’ve been working on it since 2004.  This sucker will soon be old enough to drive.  It should be in middle school.  Of course, at this point, it’s also my newest WIP.  You all know how I hate having WIPs laying about.

I need to go check out the other posts now!  I love Wipocalypse!

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Second Summer Socks

Last November, I got a skein of Lollipop Yarn in destash. I was ecstatic. I pretty much resigned myself to knitting it in 2020 or something and shoved it into my little plastic bin of fabric and yarn. (No lie, I have one bin. That’s my bin. It’s stuffed full, but it’s about six inches deep at most. I have a sad stash.)

Stripey-Socks

But after powering through my last pair of socks for SITS2014, I knew I had a chance of finishing another pair. I immediately cast on using my precious Lollipop Yarn. (I didn’t have the heart to use my most precious sock yarn of all, my Eaden.) I decided to go for a very slightly longer sock, and not my usual anklet.

Stripey-Socks

I feel like my poses are horrible when I model socks for photos. I wish I had sock blockers. At least I didn’t have to photograph my own feet. My little man took these photos and did a good job. I described what I needed him to do and he listened. “Make sure my feet nearly fill the frame. Try different angles. You should be on level with me feet.” He’d get confused but then try again. Luckily, his willingness to wear out the clicker worked for me this time.

Stripey-Socks

Project: Pinkie Promise Socks (Ravel it!)
Pattern:  Afterthought Heels
Yarn:  Lollipop Yarn 75/25 4 Ply
Needles:  Size 1

I didn’t really super care for afterthought heels but I just couldn’t bring myself to break up the stripe pattern. Next non-striping yarn, it’s back to short rows!

Hey, I missed you, what’ve you been crafting?

Kid’s Clothes Week, Days 2, 3, and part of 4

Nathan's Pajamas

Lord, I’ve been working on N’s pajamas for roughly half my life. Okay, that’s exaggerating, but, really, the previous two Kid’s Clothes Week were all about these pajamas. I’d start work on them, get a bit into it, and then just get exhausted at the very idea of working on them. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to be smart between seasons and just do the buttons then. That gave me the impetus to complete these pajamas, I think!

Nathan's Pajamas

On day 2, I sewed the cuffs to the legs. I also sewed the two legs together and got the waistband to the pants. I then dug through my elastic collection for the 3/4″ elastic I knew I had. I had 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 1/2″ elastic, but no 3/4″. I cursed and gave up for the night.

On day 3, I went to a knitting meetup with a new friend and we chatted and I forgot to get the elastic. This led to me coming home to try to figure out what I should work on for an hour. What did I do for Kid’s Clothes Week? Um, I spent an hour looking at my patterns to try to figure out what I should do for the rest of the week. What a waste of a day.

Nathan's Pajamas

Today, while out this afternoon, I grabbed some 3/4″ elastic, and I quickly finished the pants and made N change into them so I could see how they fit. They looked great, but N wanted to make all funny faces while I took pictures. After I told him to STOP IT, he started to make bored and angry faces while I took pictures, and kept trying to pluck the pajamas off his back.

Nathan's Pajamas

Things I loved about this pattern were the contrast cuffs and neckband. Things I hated? Trying to get the arms into the armholes and the curving of the neckband. Oh, that neckband. So nice looking and so hated.

Nathan's Pajamas

See the above? I decided to put in a little bias tape bit to show him where the back was so he could put on the pajamas himself. The nice part about this is that the bias tape is part of my great-grandmother’s collection of sewing tidbits I inherited. She had some pinking shears, zippers, and bias tape, and I have them now and use them occasionally.

Kids Clothes Week

Tonight, I plan to cut out some more patterns and I’ve already washed and dried some fabric I plan to use!

Kid’s Clothes Week, Day 1

Kid's Clothes Week

I was prepared to fail at Kid’s Clothes Week. Is that depressing? It’s kind of depressing, right?  Don’t mind me too much, though.  It’s just that I’ve failed at about three in a row now, stuck on N’s horribly depressing pajamas.  See, I just hated them.  I hated the color of them.  I hated the fact that I was not doing my best work on them.  I hated that I had to sew buttons and buttonholes with a machine that was either not doing its best or which I didn’t know well enough.

So, this time, between seasons, I finished up the buttonholes on his pajamas shirt, so I wouldn’t have to face them during KCW.

I know that you’re probably prepared to laugh at this, but it worked.  I also had a head start on some projects.  My super awesome friend, Helen, lent me some toddler girl clothes for 2 year olds, but her own twins were starting to need those clothes.  That meant I had to give them all over including a bunch of some super cute, super comfy, super-summery little halter tops that were all handmade.

Before she came for them, however, I took the one I liked best and measured it out and started to draft the pattern.  This was really brave of me since, normally, the idea of even cutting out patterns makes me a little overwhelmed.

Kid's Clothes Week

Since I was about 100% sure it was going to come out kind of horribly, I decided to not waste my cute fabric on it.  I cut up an old crib mattress that my mom’s friend gave to her.  It had some adorably sweet sheep and bunnies printed on it and it’s so faded you can barely see them.

Kid's Clothes Week

As with all things that I make for her, my daughter is severely unimpressed and a bit angry with me.

Contrary-wise, my son was super pumped that I turned a pair of his pants into shorts. This was a particularly funny story. These pants were a super lightweight pair I got for him for early autumn and late spring. I thought they were cute and he needed a pair of tan pants. Approximately five wears in, he tore a gigantic horrible hole in the knee. This wasn’t entirely unexpected. He’s ripped the knees of ALL of his pants that he’s had in the last three years or so. At one point, about two years ago, I was a knee-mending EXPERT. Hell, I still even pre-patch knees. I was just rather sad at the idea of a pair I had rather liked being used only five times.

Well, I said to myself, “It’s not like you can make these worse. Just turn them into a pair of shorts.” I barely had room to do that! He had torn the knees at half an inch below the pockets. That’s right, these things have one-fourth inch hems.

Kid's Clothes Week

After I had photographed his sister, I threw these at him and told him to put them on and come out. Five seconds later, he was out the door, and I was yelling at him, “I thought I told you to put those shorts on!” He looked at me, confused, and said, “I DID!” I paused, looked at the shorts, and realized he was correct. I apologized a few times and took some photos of him. He turned to me before going in and asked, “Are these the pants I tored?” I nodded at him and he hugged me and said, “Thanks for saving them by making them into shorts. I’m going to wear these today!”

Kid's Clothes Week

How’s your week going? Are you participating? I hope so!

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Wipocalypse July Post

Dessert of the Month!

Hey, guys, guess what I finished?! I finished stitching it, that is! It’s the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s Dessert of the Month Sampler. Woot woot! I just threw my arms up into the air for myself. It took a while (a year) and I was ready to murder over the number of different DMC colors it required, but I’m done.

Dessert of the Month!

This picture above shows one of my favorite rows. The cupcake is adorbs. However, my husband just eyes the June bubble tea picture suspiciously while pointing out that technically strawberries ripen in June and he was cheated of having the strawberry shortcake for his month. He even helpfully added that they could have given a raspberry dessert to July to console it. (Raspberries being my favorite, I think that would have made July better, but I kept silent on that point.)

Dessert of the Month!

The flan above is an evil flan. Do not second guess that. One time, right after college, one of my friends asked me to travel to visit him in Corning, NY. I agreed and when I got there, he told me we needed to make a flan for a party we were going to. I hated all cooking at the time, but he was a good friend, so I sucked it up and started helping. About halfway through the cooking of the flan’s sugary caramel layer, I wondered if the sugar was hot at all and I decided to touch it to test it.

If you just winced and cried a little for me, thank you. That was the worst burn of my damned life, and I full on put my hand down on an electric stove burner when I was ten. This burn put that burn to SHAME. I have hated flan fully and horribly since that time. I refuse to taste it even. I had it prior and did not like it and now it just inspires me to curse at it. Sorry, May, but your flan is making me angry. Flan did teach me an important lesson about sugar and how not to test food you are cooking.

Dessert of the Month!

Okay, anger for flans aside, do you see the strawberry shortcake? I get my husband’s anger over it. It’s so cute I want it to be September’s dessert! Nom nom nom, little shortcake.

Well, the question for the month is It’s halfway to Christmas. Do you start your holiday stitching this early? If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

I did not know people did Christmas stitching? I guess it makes sense. I don’t do it though. Question does not apply to me, sorry.

As for you reader, do you think I should finish that Mirabilia piece I’ve had lying about for the last ten years or so? I think I’m ready for it, right?!

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Socks For Me!

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Sometimes, after I finish a pair of socks, I put them aside and say things like, “I guess they’re okay.”  I think you know what I mean!  The ones where the colorway didn’t come out exactly as you expected, or the pattern wasn’t perfect for the yarn, or where you just have bad feelings about knitting them.

But, then, occasionally, are the ones you love.  For instance, I had a peachy-pinky pair of socks that I never would have said were my color, but I loved them after I finished them.  So bright and cheery!  The pair I knit while I was pregnant with N and which I wore to pieces at the hospital and at home with him every day.  They were green and pink but the color was done so well that they looked more like a semi-solid in my mind!

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These socks are the latter type of sock.  The mix of crazy and fun pinks and teals mixed so well with the peacock blue of the toes and heels.

I learned a bit with this sock pattern.  I’ve never done socks with an alternate color for the heels and toes so I was really happy I had done it this time.

It was also my first time using the afterthought heel and I definitely liked it and will most likely use it for stripe-y socks, though I think I’ll stick with the short row for my normal non-striped socks.

Mostly what I’ve learned is I need a pair of sock blockers for cuter photos!

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Project: LambyToes Anklets! (ravel it)
Yarn: LambyToes BFL in the Kitten’s Choice colorway and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Douglas Fir
Needles: Size 1
Pattern: Afterthought Heel

While I loved knitting this, it’s definitely time to cast on for my next project in a new yarn!  Are you guys still sock knitting or are you quitting the knitting for the summer?

Update On A Past Success

Wow, it’s been quiet around here, just when I was picking up steam on posting!  But, I’m still making stuff, just so close to the end of several things that I’m waiting on posting about my WIPs because most of them are going to be real FO posts soon!  Also, the crafting is slower in the summer, especially with the addition of Project Life to my crafting life.

I did manage to wrestle (like, literally wrestle) my daughter into a dress I had made her in the past, and she looks so adorable in it now.  I wiped her tears away first.  This is her wearing it last year after I had made it.   Oh my God, baby!  She has no hair.  She’s teensy.

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This is her now!

She wore this dress for a visit to Whole Foods and Starbucks.  And she picked flowers and played with rockets in it, so it’s very versatile.  Good for buying organic, being 100% dreamy, and engineering!  (Hey, her father does all three of those things well too, so perhaps she takes after him!)

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At Starbucks, the cashier smiled at her holding her milk box and said, “Her dress is awesome.  I love it.”  Like all people who make their own stuff, I got that immediate gratification hit!  I was all, “I made it!  Thank you!”

Then, I was like, “Did she just compliment it because it looked so homemade and she wanted a tip?”  My insecurity, folks!

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I think half the reason I’m posting this is because I’m working myself up to some enthusiasm for the next Kid’s Clothes Week.  I mean, I have just failed the last few times, you know?  I want to succeed at this!  Look what last spring’s week got for me!  She’s gorgeous in this.

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How do you encourage yourself to craft when you are reluctant for no good reason, reader?  Do you doubt compliments about your hand made goods?!

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

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Did you just think of Gilmore Girls when you read the post title?  You probably did, right?  Ugh, that episode.  I just kept wanting to shake Rory.  Up until that point in the whole series, I tended to like Rory the most and wonder if Lorelei was the worst.  After that episode, I was like, “Rory, you’re the worst.”

Anyway, how’s your summer been so far?  Lazy?  Crazy?  Hazy?  It’s been all three here!

We’ve all been waking late (well, not P who, unfairly, still has to work) and playing hard and going to the pool and taking naps and reading books and thinking of ways to celebrate summer.

042It’s been the kind of life that I vaguely and distantly remember from  my own youth, and one I’m happy to pass onto my children.  As I’ve said to P over the last few weeks, “Summer is always summer, but when one has a kid in grade school, it really feels like summer.”  I’ve never noticed how structured school had made us until we broke out of its routine.

I always feel like I should be crafting but I’m not because I’m either trying to be super focused on my children or I’m winding down from being super focused on my children.

I continue to read articles about how quickly children grow and then can’t resist my babies when they ask me to read them more books or play with them more.

Also, N has reached that weird but glorious age where I can crash on the couch for half an hour while he safely cuddles up next to me with Minecraft or a sticker book.

021My daughter continues to find new ways to confound me.  Her love of Brussels sprouts and salmon leave me bewildered.  Her speech is highly developed, she knows and reads off letters and numbers to me all the time, and she makes leaps of logic I never expect from her.  She argues with N and I all the time, but in a way that is rational for her age.  For instance, hearing me tease N about a new toy he just received, she latched onto me saying, “I think it’s my toy, N!”  She immediately dove for it and hugged it to herself.  When N tried to grab it back, she started screaming mightily, “MINE!”  He rightfully argued that it was his and he had just received it.  She looked at me hopefully and said, “Mommy’s?”  She knows that I tend to give her what she wants and she had hoped that by conferring ownership of the toy to me, she could play with it.  Now, I have to be extra careful when I tease her brother!

N is quickly gaining his normal toasted marshmallow tan that he gets regardless of incredibly high levels of SPF.  He tans and tans and tans and becomes more of a all-over golden shade every day.  Belly is turning pinker and pinker.  In fact, we held off on the pool yesterday because I’ve noticed her pinkness is getting a bit too pink.  N finds this annoying as his friends are all at the local swim club jumping as quickly as possible into the pool.  Does anyone have recommendations for a teensy girl who turns pink after half an hour in the sun while wearing SPF 50?  I don’t want to put her into long sleeved swimsuits, but maybe I need to?

I know all of the blogs and social media is all, “I can’t believe we’re half done this year” but I’m not that way.  I love autumn and the rush towards it only thrills me.  I will say, though, that this summer has been so old-school summery to me that I’m loving it more than I used to.  I think what I’m really thinking is “How can this summer be a third over already?!”  September, I love you, you know it, but let’s just drift lazily along now, okay?

Readers, I do have more crafting stuff coming.  Believe it or not, I picked up sewing on N’s old abandoned pajamas and I’m almost to the two of my socks and I’m cross-stitching.  I’m just taking my time on it all!

I Am Making Bags

Remember I showed you that fabric I had cut to make a somewhat patchwork open-wide pouch?  It’s okay if you didn’t, that wasn’t my best post.  Anyway, I whipped up that bag, finally!  Here’s my cute little mermaid bag!

There were so many things wrong with that bag.  The pattern I used to make it (Noodle-head’s) was a great starting point, but I immediately realized there were things I did wrong and other things I wanted to change to either improve or make it easier to make (for me).

I did like the little tab at the end of the zipper and fussy cutted a fish out for that!

Cute, no?  This is actually a great picture for showing you how I messed up the zipper, though.  My zipper foot is wonky (they gave me the wrong foot with my machine and gave me the wrong foot when I went in to trade in the original wrong zipper foot) so I’m just using my normal standard foot.  Apparently, I can’t sew with a quarter inch seam unless I have a zipper foot?

I basically, immediately after making this, did an order to Zipit, and got a ton of zipper so I could practice bag making much more at a reduced cost per bag.  Ignore the wonky slightly turned view below, this is a properly shaped bag, I promise.

Sewn Toy Bag

When the zippers arrive, I set about making N’s new Angry Birds bag.  I used a different type of interfacing for this bag (nicer because it’s stiffer and stands up much better, worse because it has bubbling, can you see it?), I cut out the fabric so it was no longer a rectangle, but oddly shaped with shaping for the bottom, but which made for an easier time sewing and a nicer result, and I got rid of the tab to see if it balanced the bag more (it did not).
Sewn Toy Bag

I made some vast improvements in the sewing of the zipper in this one, though.  I did not pin or baste the zipper at all.  I simply held all three layers together and got a perfect zipper installation.  So, I saved time and made my product better.  Win-win, right?

I also improved some of my top-stitching.  I think if I bought proper top-stitching thread, I’d do even better for looks, but I’m pleased enough with the results here.

I’m planning on making more of these bags, but now I want to change their size, see about improving the lining (how to finish it super neatly?) and possibly improving zipper yet again!  I’m considering going back to the tab because I do like how it allows the bags to open more, but I think the more closed option is nice too.

Also, expect to see some boxed bags sometime, and perhaps some pencil cases and/or notions bags.  I don’t want to waste too much of my zippers, so you might see a quick glimpse before they get disassembled by P.  I told him I couldn’t take apart something I made and didn’t hate, so he offered to rip out zips for me.

Do you guys sew bags?  Do you like the ones I’ve sewn?

Friday Links #6

What?  It’s been six years since I did one of these?  So what!  Let the linking begin.

This is a great and thoughtful post about discussing the #yesallwomen Twitter movement with your children.  I find it interesting that she discusses how she felt she had nothing to add to the hashtag before she realized that she had a ton of big and small things that she just forgot because they’re so commonplace in the life of a woman.  I also had felt that when I started reviewing the hashtag.  Then I distinctly remember being at a gas station and being harassed by some guy who felt the need to talk to me at length about my legs before I finally shut him down by telling him I was going to go meet my very tall, very good looking, and very smart boyfriend who would not appreciate his remarks.  That’s what made him give up.  He left cursing me.  I’ve also had the experience of plenty of guys at a younger time of my life cursing me for being “too good” to respond to their catcalls.  But, you know, that happens to all women so you just let it fade into the background.  I think that is what the hashtag is trying to point out.  We live in a world where that type of harassment is so omnipresent that society as a whole doesn’t much notice it and, thus, silently condones it.  I hate the idea of Belly going through this at some point in the future.  Bonus points to the linked article for her discussion with her children about a mildly annoying plane ride she takes in which a man won’t leave her alone. I think it neatly points out how people believe women should just deflect attention rather than shutting it down.

My friend Amanda is opening a shop on Etsy called Lambytoes!  If you’re the type of person who likes to buy yarn, please buy yarn from her.  If it’s not already open, she has a forum post on Ravelry with a sneak peak!  (I love supporting people by buying on Etsy AND I plan to open an Etsy store sometime this year.)  Vive le confetti yarn!

I’m pretty sure I’m going to make Nathan a tooth fairy pillow.  How about a star shaped one?

Ready for the weekend, readers? My son is having his school party for his sixth birthday!  We’re ready to party around here.