my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Friday, January 30, 2009

monkey sew

My dryer works. Yay. We've now put enough money into it in the last two months to have bought a new one. Boo.

I did get a lot of sewing done on Wednesday. B went to daycare in the morning, when the weather was the worst. They called at like 10 to say they were going to close at 3. Since that was in the repair guy window, I picked B up just before noon. He ate his lunch at home and had a nice long nap.

I've got 2 birthday gifts for B nearly finished. I just need to clear coat the wooden X's and O's I bought for his tic tac toe game and I need to put the grommets into his new soccer backpack. Pictures next week. Hopefully, I'll get them finished in time for his birthday Monday.

I do have pictures of something I sewed up for myself. I mentioned that I have a friend whose birthday was yesterday. I decided to make the no cash wallet from Bend the Rules Sewing. I made one for myself first, as a test run. I used some of the left over fabric from my monkey tote.

I could have done a better job lining up the monkey on the outside, but then his head might have hit a weird spot with the button. The button is from the spare buttons pack you get with clothes. Now that I think about it; I think I actually removed all the buttons from this particular shirt before I tossed it due to the fabric completely wearing out. It was a particular favorite.

I think this little guy lined up well, but he's sort of upside down. I usually open it with the button on the right hand side. This has become my commuting wallet. Bus/rail pass in the clear pocket, metrocards in the monkey pocket.

My mods to the pattern were sizing (my printer at home only zooms in increments so closest I could get to 136% was 125%, so I just cut about 1/2" wider than pattern) and using clear plastic for the bottom pocket instead of more folded fabric. I tried to make one for my friend Jenn, but it was a complete bust. Too small to hold a metro card and the lining biased and was weird. I am going to try again (I brought the book into work and made a 136% copy). I'm thinking of some other mods, like putting a bill pocket in the side.

B's party is tomorrow. Sunday is the Super Bowl at home just the three of us, but I'll be baking cupcakes for school Monday and a cake for us to have after school with M-i-L and F-i-L (and more cake again in 2 weeks when my parents visit). Lots of gifties to wrap, too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I do still knit, so there

I brought Billy's laurie in to work on today so I thought I'd post a picture. Nothing was done last night. After B went to bed, I called my mom and dad and then I went to bed. So tired I couldn't stop yawning while on the phone. Of course, I slept like crap. How does one stay asleep the whole night?

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm nearly out of Christmas Fabric

The above fact probably makes my regular blog readers happy.

I bought this remnant when I was at Joann last weekend (1/18). Hubby didn't think it was terribly festive (and I'll be sure to use it for his gift next Christmas). I think the snowflake ribbons are a nice touch, don't you?

I sewed these up on Thursday watching CSI and flipping between Private Practice and ER. Pictures were taken Saturday afternoon.

Close-up shot of the lettering. I love fabrics with letters on them.

I have been knitting, Saturday morning watching Pingu with Billy and a bit yesterday afternoon, watching Pingu again. Billy's aran grew a lot this weekend. I actually plan to just work on it tonight watching TV with Hubby.

I do want to get some sewing done this week as well. I have a couple of Birthday gift ideas for Billy (drawstring felt tic-tac-toe game and soccer backpack) and a friend at work is having a birthday and I'd like to whip something up for her. Tomorrow and Weds should be sewing days.

I'm also getting an extra craft day this week. My dryer, which was so recently repaired, has developed a new ill. It gets hot, but it doesn't tumble. Repairman is supposed to come on Wednesday (btn 1 and 5 pm). Please don't let it snow so hard B has a snow day or that the repairman can't come.

In other news, Yaz and working out seem to be working for me, mood-wise. I get grumpy and frustrated and still yell a bit, but no crazy rages. I worked out 2 days the first 2 weeks of January and three days this past week. I've been exhausted since Saturday morning (going to bed by 10 Friday and Saturday and by 9 last night). I think it's something viral, since my sinuses are acting up. But, mood is good most of the time. There are some things about Yaz I don't like, my cycle's not great and it's not on the formulary for our new insurance, but I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

actual phone conversation

N: Hi, it's me. You have to take the 5:17 tonight.

H: Hi, why?

N: I bet if you check your pockets, you'll find two sets of keys.

H: Let me check. pause Lo and behold, I have two sets of keys.

N: I'll see you on the 5:17.

H: See you.

(In the mornings, Hubby starts the car when he takes Molly for her constitutional. He uses my keys to lock the front door while I get B in the car. Yesterday, he didn't give me back my keys. This morning he did.)

sewing again

My latest completed sewing. More Christmas gift bags. This batch has nine. I think that brings me to 16 total. Most of these have been mostly completed for a while, but I needed more ribbon. The red on the poinsettia bags just didn't look right with the plaid or the reindeer.These poinsettia bags are pretty large. The background is actually more cream, but flash photos, what are you going to do?I think these reindeer bags are cute. I especially like the short, wide one. Perhaps, because I, too, am short and wide?
These are my favorites, though. The lines don't match up 100%, but they sure made it easier to sew a more rectangular shape. I love the gold ribbon. I've got a smidge left.

I definitely won't be sewing tonight, not sure if I'll even knit. I may want 100% of my attention on LOST!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Thimbleberry 1 is getting it's heel. I realized yesterday it's a perfect match for the top I was wearing. This color way reminds me so much of teaberry gum. I used to chew it more for the color of the packaging than for the flavor (although I did like that).

I brought Laurie in for knitting today. I only did two rows. Too busy chatting (too many non-knitters and knitters without projects today). I did notice that the seed stitch inside the diamonds is off. I'm going to have to drop back and fix them all. (Easier to drop back 40 stitches or so than re-knit 8 rows.) Oddly, the color is more accurate in this flash photo. I did drop the brightness and up the contrast a bit.

Last night was more Christmas bag sewing. I've got about 7 more awaiting their ribbon handles. I'm going to go out Saturday after the dentist. B's going to spend Saturday with M-i-L and F-i-L. Hubby and I are heading into the city to see the Smithereens Saturday night. We'll pick B up after church. I need to pick up a few things Saturday:

green and/or gold ribbon
gray thread
cream thread
green thread
foam wreath form
plain t-shirts to make "5" shirts for B
maybe fabric for that jacket for my neighbor

I'm sure I'll pick up a lot more than that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I don't live up to my son's gender expecations

Billy has told me in the past that he loves my skirts when I wear a skirt or a dress. Last night I was folding a fabric remnant and he only caught a glimpse of me and told me he loved my skirt. Then last night he saw some finger nail polish on my dresser and asked if it was for my finger nails. This morning he asked me if I would paint my finger nails and seemed disappointed when I said no. I think he'll be very happy when it warms up around here and mom is back in skirts, sandals and painted toe nails!

We've lost Billy's scarf. He never really wore it, but has wanted one recently when he sees me putting on mine. We had it over the holidays but I couldn't find it yesterday morning.

So, I whipped out some fleece remnants and had a go (the remnant I was folding when Billy complimented my skirt).
The scarf's the only thing that really worked, and that didn't require any actual sewing! I will admit it was very hard to try to cut straight sides. The hat is way too small and the mittens are hard to get on. Apparently, I'm not good at improvised sewing of garments.

Billy was very happy and wore the scarf to school today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

nearly two weeks in

Well, we're nearly two weeks into the new year and I'm still sporadic with the posting. This is why I didn't resolve to post more.

I haven't been knitting much. My thimbleberry socks have been my commute knitting. I've started the toe decreases on sock one. I've put Billy's Laurie to the side; I'm not happy with the fabric. It's too drapey and holey. I washed and dried a swatch last night and will decide if I should change the needles. I barely knit at all over the weekend. Saturday was spent putting the Christmas stuff away.

Tonight's a sewing night. Hubby's out at a poker night, so it's me and my machine for the evening. I've nearly worked through my Christmas fabric. I've completed two more bags and have a few that need ribbons and top hems. I need to get to a store and get some appropriately green or gold ribbon. The red I have just doesn't work with these two prints. Tonight, I should be cutting into my favorite remnants. I should really take some pictures of it. I think it would have made a beautiful wrap if I'd had one piece. As it is, I'll probably give these bags away last.

I've got lots of garment sewing plans. More dresses for me (particularly a green dress like my red dress for St. Patty's day, again I should take a picture of the red dress) and maybe a jacket like the one I made B for our neigbor's little girl on her birthday (I have a great fabric in stash).

I'd like to stop buying fabric. I got a big package yesterday, 20 yards (enough for 4 dresses for me, a blouse, and 1 yd for toe bag/purse lining). Plus, I kind of ordered more yesterday; mostly Christmas 1/2 yards for more gift bags. I know sewing rut.

I did pretty well last year (compared to other years) with stashing yarn. A lot of what I bought, I at least cast on if I didn't finish the project (like my Manos vest). I only truly stashed 13 balls of Rowan Plaid, 9 skeins of Koigu Kersti, 7 balls of sirdar country style dk, 15 balls of merino for F-i-L's birthday sweater, sample pack of elann yarns (6 skeins) and 1 skein of sock yarn. Seemed like less before I spelled it out.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

pictures, but no FOs

Here is the array of gift bags I've completed. Seven so far (4 red, two white, one blue). I think I'll knit tonight and watch the bowl game with Hubby, but I plan to sew up some more before I start a new big sewing project.

This is the start of B's green sweater (Laurie from Heartland Knitting). The green is more acid grass than minty fresh in real life. My camera is not so good with the vibrant colors.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I owe you some pictures

No new knitting FOs, but I've been cozied up to my sewing machine on migraine-less evenings and I've whipped out nearly 5 gift bags for next Christmas. I showed them to hubby last night. He thought they were cute, but asked me where I was going to store them until next Christmas. With the wrapping paper, silly man.

I've got a bunch more to make. I'll take pics tonight of what's done so far and do the whole magilla when they're all finished.

I'm not going 100% cloth right away. I think small children should have the joy of destruction on Christmas morning. When there are the smaller, more expensive presents under the tree for B, we'll go all cloth.

The only problem wiht so much sewing is I get no knitting done.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

one and only

My one resolution for 2009: take more FO pictures.

I finished all of my holiday knitting and didn't take a single solitary picture.

In order of age I made the following:

1 slim felted black purse, with striped pink lining and zipper

1 pair of black felted mittens (1 of which had to be re-knitted from the thumb gore up on the 30th and then felted and dried and wrapped before we left on the 31st)

1 turquoise shawl

1 pair of green felted mittens

Also, I made 2 pairs of felted socks for my dad (one of which felted too small but will make a great handle cover for our grill pan). And I sewed a very pretty red dress for myself that I finished hemming in time to take a shower before Christmas eve services.

I've already started the above socks and a green cabled sweater for B.

My return to work went okay. The back at the computer screen after an extended break migraine aura waited until after I'd waded through my nearly 200 e-mails (kind of light since most of our authors and editors are academics and had extended breaks themselves). Fortunately, no pain, but still I was in bed at 9 last night.

Our office manager is getting me some blinds. Our office is an old factory in SoHo and we have walls of windows. Two of the four windows in my office do not have blinds. Even with northern exposure, I can still get some fierce glare.