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Snow Day No. 2

We got 13 inches of snow yesterday. I didn’t take a picture, but you can’t even see our car, let alone where the drive way is. The street in front of our house, just a guess at where you should actually drive….

So we’re home again today! I’m not going to lie, this is exactly what I have been needing–a couple of extra days off work that aren’t full of weekend chores and errands and where I am not sick. Thank you, Snow.

I worked on my Snow Day Shawl all afternoon, and a good portion of the evening.

snowdayshawl

I got about 18 inches into it, so while it isn’t a shawl yet, it very well could be in a few days time. Aren’t the colors fantastic? I’m glad I decided to stripe it to make the handspun last longer. It really underplays the yarn nicely.

Speaking of stripes, I had so much fun printing stripes on to the baby blanket yesterday, that I got the paint back out today and did stripes on the fabric that’s going to become my ring sling.
stripey baby wrap fabric

The fabric took quite a bit longer than the blanket, as it’s about twice as big and I used 5 colors instead of 3, but I think it turned out fantastic, and I somehow managed to include all of my favorite colors.

fabric printing stations

Here’s some perspective on how large the fabric is. It’s set out on my six foot table I use for craft shows and the farmer’s market. The blanket is behind on the ironing board.I can’t wait until the fabric is dried and fixed so I can sew my ring sling with it. That will feel like such a grand accomplishment, even if it does turn out unusable.

But I better get busy, I am certain we won’t have a snow day tomorrow, and I have a shawl to finish.

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My Weekend in Pictures

It feels like I have a million different projects going on, but none of them are finished enough for a real post. I am still working on Brock’s sweater, and I am still working on various sewing projects for the baby. In the past few days I’ve knit my sister a pair of mittens and spun a skein of yarn off a gorgeous batt I made, and I’m still sick enough to not have a voice and to feel pretty crappy in the morning and the evening.

So today, I mostly just have pictures.
sheep on a blanket
Printing sheep on a baby blanket

baby blankets
Still need some practice. (That yellow in the background is another baby blanket that I dyed yesterday. First time dyeing plant fibers!)

half a ginat batt
A really horrible picture of half of my giant batt. I forgot I hadn’t taken any pcitures until I had half of it spun already. Yes, I was that anxious to spin it.

spinningfromabatt
The other half of the batt, already on the bobbin. I got about a 200 yard worsted-ish weight skein out of it that is currently drying.

What have you been up to?

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A Little Bit of Baby Sewing

I pulled out my sewing machine for the first time since the move. I put together a simple little baby project from a tutorial I came across on pinterest.

topstitched burp cloths

I purchased a bundle of fat quarters the other day, since I don’t really have a fabric stash–but this project would be perfect for some larger scraps.

Basically, I just top-stitched some pretty fabric onto some (washed) pre-fold diapers.

baby burp cloths

Adding the fabric will allow us to distinguish between the different cloths, which ones need to be washed, etc. Also, like I mentioned on Friday, these diapers will only be used for drools and spit up and general day-to-day baby clean up. Pretty fabric attached = not for poop.

It was really fun to work on such a simple project–and it makes me want to seek out some more to do. Maybe a couple of changing mats and diaper cases?

I have 14 weeks left until the baby gets here, that’s plenty of time, right?

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Fabric Fridays

Remember how I mentioned on Sunday that I had a cold? Well, I have been home from work all week, sick as a dog. Thursday was the first morning I was able to forgo a nap after bathing, and even then, I laid down on the sofa for about 30 minutes. I haven’t been this sick in ages, and I’m certain it’s as bad as it is because I’m pregnant. My body’s number one priority is grow the baby, not to fight off a virus, so I have been making it my number one priority to rest so that there is energy to fight off the virus. I am beginning to feel much better, though still definitely in the recovery period. They baby seems perfectly happy and healthy, and likes to kick me when I cough like it’s a really fun game.

I’ve had all these grand plans of what I was going to get done this week, before I got sick, when I was still planning to work everyday, but now it has amounted to little more than sleeping or staring at the walls. I did manage to do some laundry at some point, and make a run to the craft store when I was also going to the pharmacy. (It’s not my fault the built the CVS right next to JoAnn.) So, I have a few things to show you this week.

First, my fabric order came in–and I pre-washed it.

osnaburg
This is the osnaburg for the ring slings I want to make. The photography is horrible, but you can see the woven texture to it. It’s sturdy, and still next to skin soft. The next step is to split it in half and decide how it’s going to be decorated, but don’t worry, I have all of the paints!

meadowlark muslin
I also bought some muslin that is mostly just for practicing my printing. I am very pleased with this muslin. It’s a nice tea towel muslin, not too gauzy, not to heavy. It should do equally well for baby blankets, scarves, or you know, tea towels.

cloth diapers
I also picked up a pack of cloth diapers for the purpose of making into burp clothes. I loved using cloth diapers for general baby clean up with Athrun, they’re just so handy. However, since I’m planning on using cloth diapers on this little one’s bum as well, I wanted it to be clear which ones were the bum diapers and which ones, well, weren’t. I found this sweet tutorial one of those times this week when I was mostly staring at the wall, but trying to be productive.

I was cognizant enough to pick up some fat quarters to give it a whirl, which you can see on my instagram, because for some reason, I haven’t figured out how to share photos from there yet.

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Fabric Friday

Christmas ended, and I realized that I have less than four months until the baby gets here. For some reason, instead of unpacking the rest of the house and cleaning everything from top to bottom (though I am sure that will come), I am feeling compelled to sew everything for the baby we don’t have yet. When I can’t sleep at night, I browse sewing patterns online for babies: diapers, blankets, clothes.

While I have conceded that since I don’t really sew very often, it might be better for me to buy my cloth diapers. And while I might make a small garment or two for the babe, I really am not willing to put the time commitment in to sew everything a little one will need. But I have found a few projects I think I can tackle.

First, Brock and I really want a ring sling each. I had a Maya Wrap with Athrun that I really liked, but don’t have any more. Since those wraps run around $70 each, I figured it could tackle the project for the both of us. I happened across this pattern, put together by Maya Wrap. They even recommend where to buy the rings! I’m very excited to try this out. I found some osnaburg fabric from fabric.com, which I read is a good choice for this type of project, though to be honest, I know nothing about it.

I also bought some muslin, mostly to experiment with the printing I keep talking about doing. (I was thinking about making a light weight scarf for myself with hot pink sheep on it, actually.) Since my nesting instincts seems to require a lot of browsing on pinterest, I came across a baby blanket DIY the other night.

Gauzy Baby Blankets

So now I have something to do with the large swathes of fabric I was planning on covering with sheep prints, you know, for practice.

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

Last week, I was on vacation. The week before that I kind of took a vacation from the blog as well, and I have been kind of slow getting back to it. I have been thinking of you all, but things like farmers markets and Harry Potter movie marathon have got in the way. (Did I mention I made an Athrun-friendly version of Butterbeer?) Since we have no extra money to speak of, and I generally find travelling stressful enough to need a second vacation, I stayed home, slept in, probably drank too much wine, and made things.

catinasweater
Minerva in a baby Sweater

As mentioned in the previous post, I knit a baby sweater, and as promised, Brock put it on the cat. She is asleep in this picture, so deeply so that she allowed herself to be posed.

catinababysweater
I do think magenta and orange are her colors, don’t you?

While that was a fun little lark and it kept my hands busy in the evenings, in reality, I really spent the better part of three days sewing. The first project was the cute little tote bag in the previous post. The second was another handbag, for me to actually use.

reversiblebucketbag
The Reversible Bucket Bag

This is the second pattern in The Bag Making Bible and the bag featured on the cover–a big part of the reason I wanted to buy the book. I am very smug with myself that I finally managed to sew it. It’s not perfect. The seams are a little more crooked than I used to sew, and I pretty much made up how to attach the bias tape because the instructions in the book were too dense, but I really like how it came out. I especially like the fabric–the perfect mood and combination of patterns. I generally find pattern combinations (like the one on the cover-ay yi yi yi) in books like these to be a bit to bold for my taste, but I was able to find some patterns that I though complimented each other instead of fought for space. (They were all quilting cotton from JoAnn.)

insidethereversiblebucketbag

I am especially in love with the silver calico I chose for the lining. It’s so special, it’s only for me. (Yes, while the bag is technically reversible, I don’t plan to use it that way.)

Spending some time sewing this past week, I learned something important about myself. While knitting and spinning are productive, enjoyable ways to spend my time, I can perform them while doing other things: listening to an audio book, watching tv, socializing. Those fiber arts don’t take my full attention (most of the time). When I sew, however, I jump head first into a deep, dark tunnel from which I may not emerge hours, days, or weeks, and if anyone comes in looking to find me, they are likely to get bitten. Seriously, hours passed in what seemed like minutes, and I had no idea. As I shake the rust off my old sewing hinges, I think it unlikely that this mindset will change. Hopefully it will take me fewer hours overall, but I seem to be capable of sewing with a single-mindedness I seldom spare for any other activity–and it scares me enough that I realize I won’t be allowing myself to descend into that sort of madness too often. But don’t expect this handbag to the last sewing project you see on this blog.

And a teaser:

weddinginvitationenvelope
Wedding invitations have been produced, assembled, and mailed. Next time, what’s in the envelope and how we made them.

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Sewing as Literary Device

sweater6
I finished my Etherial last week. I think it looks pretty rockin.

Since then, I have finished, another sweater, my Tule which came out perfectly, but of which I have no photographs yet. They are coming, I promise.

Since I am still trying to keep up with my 12 sweaters in 2013 goal, and the Tule was Sweater #3, and the Etherial was Sweater #4, and it was already the end of May when I finished them both, I decided Sweater #5 would be adorably tiny. Yesterday I cast on the Newborn Vertebrae. Brock said this was cheating to keep up with my quota. I say, I never said all of the sweaters had to be full-size adult sweaters. And also, I have never knit a baby sweater before, so I am still learning something. Mostly I am learning that baby clothes go delightfully fast. I probably would have been done today, except I spent a very humid afternoon (I could have shut the windows and turned the AC, but I was concentrating too hard) making this!

totebag
I have not sewn in ages and ages. This some medium weight cotton I had sitting around to someday make project bags out of–and not necessarily what I would chose to make myself an everyday tote bag out of–but I do think it came out pretty cute. The pattern is form this book which I have had since I moved in to this apartment. (For those keeping score that was in July of 2010, so not quite three years ago). For some reason, I was afraid to work my way through the book–even after I bought a second sewing machin 2 1/2 years ago. And even though I use the second sewing machine mostly for mending (about once every six months), you would think that a person with two sewing machines might actually do some sewing….

Turns out, a person with two sewing machines mostly just fantasizes about sewing and then feels insecure about her abilities–even though ten years ago she had people offering to pay her to sew costumes….

That is what happens after allowing an interest lay dormant for a decade through a tumult of self-debt and the sort of feelings that are only ever realized in a Bildungsroman. But today, I sewed, and I am excited to do so again.

And finish my tiny baby sweater.