Obsessed? Me?

I see more boxy bags in my future.

I had to pick up some more zippers when I went into town a couple of days ago, and I have been busy, busy, busy ever since. Today, however, I have no plans, no appointments, no schedule. It’ll be me, my sewing machine and lots and lots of boxy bags.

Oh, and there is some knitting happening, too.

This is the February Fitted Pullover from stashknitrepeat.com in Schaefer Yarns Miss Priss. The colorway is called Mary Walker Phillips and is totally to die for.

This yarn is my new favorite yarn of all time. It is soft and squishy and luxurious. Knitting with it is like a special treat for my hands (especially after weeks of knitting that cotton/linen baby blanket). I love, love, love this yarn. (We will have to wait to see how it holds up.)

And the pattern is really great, too. It is easy to memorize – most of what you see there was accomplished yesterday while visiting with my new knitting buddy – and it showcases the yarn and the color amazingly.

Now, I know that I should be knitting baby things. There are so many babies on the way, which means fixed deadlines (aka: due-dates) and lots of little knitting. I will get to it. (I finished another of those tops a few days ago… ) But, for now, I just want to work with this heavenly worsted weight. Sigh. It is almost winning out over the boxy bags… but not quite.

And, now to get to some sewing…

Sewing Boxy Bags

As planned, yesterday I sewed up some little gifts, following this online tutorial. I made the first one exactly as instructed, and it looks like this:

It is kind of small and somewhat wonky. But, it was just the practice project (I picked colors I liked, because this one is for me). The instructions given left a little room for guessing, so I really just stumbled through that first bag.

After that, however, I had a better understanding of the thing, and so went into assembly-line-mode, and kicked out 3 more – a little bigger and a little better. (these are the gifts)

In case you are interested, the modifications that I made are thus: instead of a 12″x16″ piece of fabric, I used 16″x16″; instead of interfacing, I used a heavy canvas material for the lining (it was all I had, and it worked beautifully) –

and, lastly, I used this wonderful ruler to make the triangles all the same (this is how I solved the “wonky” bit) –

But, wait, there’s more. (And this is the best part.) When I turn on the sewing machine, my kids come running. They want to know what I am making and can I make one for them, too? So, I figured it was time for a sewing lesson. Once I had worked through the bugs of this pattern and successfully made a few, I turned to The Boy, The Dancing Queen, and The Princess for their turn. We picked out some fabric and I helped each of them make their own. The big kids got to use the rotary cutter (scary moment for Mama, but they did just fine), and they all got to work the pedal on the machine and lift the presser foot and cut threads.

The Boy even used the machine by himself for the first time!

It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon – sewing with my kiddos. Sigh. Does it get any better?

A Collection of Unrelated Thoughts

1. I have a difficult choice to make. Last night I finished the center square of the baby blanket. It is gorgeous. I love it.

This is an Estonian lace pattern in DK weight yarn on size 6 needles. (Ravelry project page link) It is supposed to have a lace border. I cast on for the lace border last night…. and then realized I was using the wrong needles. So, I pulled it out and then that little evil voice inside my head started whispering. “Who needs a lace border?” it said. And, it is right. This is a perfect size even without the border. But, I want to do it completely and I think I will be happier if I knit that border…. maybe later. I do have until June, you know.

2. I have created a Linus… somehow. New Baby hasn’t even gotten here, yet, but the Munchkin is already showing some signs of insecurity. Maybe it is because she made the switch from crib to big girl bed. Maybe it is because I have been so sick and tired and crabby (read: not a very good mom). Maybe it is just her age. Whatever the reason, she has taken to carrying her wool fleece (which she has slept on since birth) and sucking her thumb all day.

Oh, and also chanting, “Weeweee! Weeweee!” in sheer delight. (That is “wooly” for those of you who don’t speak Munchkin) I had to cut a piece off the wooly so that she could have a portable wooly during the day – we call it the “Wooly-Bit”. I am not worried about it. I just didn’t expect this until after the New Baby came along.

3. I finished the lace shawl for the Bookworm’s birthday ahead of schedule.

It is a shawlette, and will fit her little shoulders perfectly. I made a terrible mistake at my first go, and didn’t realize it till I got the the border! So, I had to frog it all the way back and re-knit. For that reason, it took me twice as long as it should have. This is an excellent pattern for a last minute gift – I think I could make it again in a solid day. (Ravelry Project Page Link) I will do a post on it after her birthday when I can have her model it. For now, it is going from the blocking board to a little hiding spot. I am so excited to give this to her – she is going to flip. 🙂

4. I have three gifts to make today (on top of school, laundry and cleaning…. sigh). I am thinking about making some of these pouches. I have tons of cute fabric that gets left out of all the fun that my yarn experiences every day. Time for the fabric to get some attention. I may even make one for me. Yippee!

5. I passed my six month mark last week and didn’t say a word. Oops. I am happy about it, really, I am. I just feel lousy because of a sneak attack from a sinus infection. But, pregnancy-wise I am doing excellent. Baby is growing steadily and moving a lot. All my vitals are excellent. I would give you a belly shot, but I am still in my jammies and I am not ready to get dressed, yet. (Must finish the first cup of coffee…) Only 16 weeks left… (wow, that almost sounds too soon!)

6. I cast on another project. But that isn’t really news, is it? I have not made much progress, so I will keep you in suspense until there is something to show for it. (ooh, I am so eeevil!)

Now I am off to get something done. Maybe I will even get dressed and make my bed…

Diapering Chloe

When I got pregnant with Chloe, I thought to myself, “Self, you really should make new diapers for this new baby. Emma’s diapers are old and used.” And, I agreed with myself. I even bought fabric for the new diapers. And, if I remember right, I did make newborn sized diapers. But, I got busy and Emma’s diapers really weren’t all that bad, so I put it off. Until now. Well, until last week, when I was hanging out those old diapers and I realized that there were more holes than diapers!

So, yesterday, I began cutting, assembling and sewing a new set of diapers for Chloe. I was pleased to find that I had some already cut out, and further pleased to find that most of the fabric was girly.

I had lots of help. From the kids who “helped use up the scraps” making wash cloths for their dolls, to the lap warmer who watched intently as I sewed.

She was so cute, I couldn’t bear to put her down, even though she made it really hard to sew!

Some thoughts on this project –

There is a reason I have chosen knitting as my hobby. Sewing is loud, messy and tons of work. It is also a commitment. I turn into some crazy sewing fiend once I get it all set up. “I must sew everything that needs to be sewn right now while I have the machine out!” Where as, when knitting, I can set it down and live normally when ever it is required of me to do so.

I used to balk at the high prices of cloth diapers. When I was buying them I spent between $6 and $12 per diaper, depending on brand and style. That seemed to me to be a high price to pay for something that absorbs urine. However, once I started making my own, I totally changed my mind.

Tons of work aside, I still love making and using cloth diapers. I love the way they look on the changing table. I love hanging them on the line to dry. I love knitting the little covers with beautiful wool yarns.

And, I love putting them on my little girl. I feel like a good mom, like I am doing something right.

Pathetic

One sleeve. That’s it. Sixty five (very short) rows are all that separate me from victory. Only ten inches of easy knitting would make the difference between, “See this sweater I am trying to make”, and, “Hey, look at the sweater I just made”. That isn’t much. Maybe an hour or two left and I am home free. The end is right there, nearly in my grasp. So, why does it still look like this?

Mermaid Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy, Dusky Aurora

I blame the weather. It’s hot and that is a big wool sweater! Also, I blame the lace. This is how I spent much of my weekend:

working on Gold Aeolian Shawlette in Madelinetosh Prairie, Nutmeg

(thanks to one of the kiddos for this flattering picture…) I know you can’t really see it, but I also got the machine out and did some sewing. The girls and I all got some new skirts. Very fun. Highlight of the weekend.

The lace is really whipping me good.