Projects and Thoughts

I’ve been a very bad blogger. Nothing for all of March. Tsk, tsk tsk. I am duly chastened.

Knitting

Flax Sweater

I decided to take part in Tin Can Knits 12 sweater challenge and then never blogged about it. I have completed a Flax for T and a vest for Hubs and I have Harvest on the needles for me. The purple monster is hibernating. I have yarn coming for I ❤ Rainbows, a baby sweater, and plans to knit my hubby a Flax in Wool of the Andes Opal. These will all be posts in the future, cross my heart.

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Acorn Hat

I had this pattern sitting in my Rav favorites literally since I started knitting. Before I knew what increases and decreases were and just working in the round was hard I wanted to knit this hat. So I did it last month. We’re having an epidemic of boy babies round these parts and caught up in the new baby furor, I decided to try my hand at it. The pattern calls for fingering, but I only had sport. It’s for a baby of non-knitters and I only have classic wool. Whatever, I’ma knit it. So I did. And the knitting gods laughed and laughed at me. It came out HUGE. As in fits my 2 year old with no stretching huge. And she loves it and wants it and so she gets it and looks like a member of the Acorn Guard. I want to knit another in n00b size color-blocked to look like a sweet pea.

Lace hat for Chelsea

My aunt died a few weeks ago. In grand Jewish tradition, this meant a mad-dash to the home of the deceased and panicked phone calls to friends and family to find a place to stay and discover what the plans were etc. This was complicated by several family members being out of the country at that moment. My lovely friend C agreed to host our family for the weekend of the funeral. We haven’t seen each other since before T was born and before her younger daughter S was born. We were absurdly excited to meet each other’s spawn. I cast on to a hat from Wanderlust on the car ride up intending to knit it and see if I liked it, but when I got there, Chelsea was wearing a black hat in almost the exact lace I was working on the new hat. So I am now knitting this for her as thanks for opening her home to us and as a make up for all those holidays and birthdays I’ve been missing. Four hours isn’t that long a drive when you think about it.

Marled hat for Sofy

We got a lot of time with Sofy last week, my designer friend. She was playing dress up with my knits and loving on a lot of the ones I don’t favor but wouldn’t take them because they weren’t her colors. She also has big head problems in that she can never find a hat to fit her comfortably and was particularly pleased that mine fit her comfortably. Having a computer handy I took her to Knit Picks where we discussed her love for neon red and slate gray. I’ve been dying to play with there new neon Stroll range but I’d never wear anything in those colors, nor would most of the people I knit for. So we picked up a ball of Hot Tamale and Ash. I’m planning on knitting something simple like Rikke, to let the neon tweed effect stand out, with a Hot Tamale pom pom.

Sewing

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Train dress is cut out and awaiting seams and pressing. I need to make a few Sadie Grace Night Gowns for T. She keeps pulling the fabric from storage and strewing it across the apartment. I am feeling woefully unmotivated toward my sewing machine. I’m beginning to think about sewing again since I was wearing my me-mades and thinking about how comfortable they are and how pretty they are… Maybe sewing is about the product not the process for me and I just need to understand that and embrace it because there is waaaay too much fabric round these parts to just not sew.

Spinning

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In other news I took a class on spindle spinning on Saturday. My resulting yarn has been improving rapidly. I didn’t realize how quickly I’d take to it. My first skein has every size yarn it’s possible to spin in it, places are as thin as thread and others as thick as rope. Some places are hard and overspun other places fluffy and barely twisted. On Sunday, I spun up the rest of my sample fiber, some fluffy white coopworth wool, and the results were much more even. Still over spun in places but only varying between a sport and a heavy chunky. Yesterday, I opened up my blue braid and started spinning. I think I spun about a quarter of it and the yarn is a thick-thin single of about heavy worsted weight. I’m very proud of myself.

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New web address!

Hi folks! I’ve been working with my best friend/web designer to get this place looking a little nicer and in the process we bought the domain name! I would like to invite you to join me over at needleworkreverie.com. We have some more tinkering to do, but the new site is much more in-line with what I want it to be. We’ve managed to move the posts over, but not the comments :(. If you know of a way to do that please let us know!

I’ll be posting my first sewn object of 2015 after I give it a wash and press later this week. Spoiler, it’s for a baby shower!

I have a problem with color-work mittens.

I’m obsessed. First I made myself some.

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Project here, on Ravelry.

Then they weren’t enough and we were in the midst of a cold-snap, so I cast on to some darling ones for T.

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The bunny mittens are a free charted pattern put out by a Norwegian blogger. Unlike my mittens, these are relatively tight and don’t have a thumb gusset at all. Consequently, they allow for greater freedom of movement and stay on more than T’s other mittens. I think mine are more like Swedish mittens, since they’re looser, have a thumb gusset and the pattern was put out by Drops. My mittens are huge, like oven mitt huge, as in they’re big even on my husband. I think I might need to stalk some Scandinavian knitting blogs and discover other traditional mitten shapes.

T’s mittens are the envy of the playground. The last time I took her to play in the park, a little girl was so taken with them, she chased T around trying to grab one. Luckily, there’s nothing T loves more than a good game of chase and I connected the mittens by a crochet chain, so no harm, no foul.

Strict accountability

In my first post I wrote out my New Year’s resolutions which included “finish or frog all current works in progress” as well as “blog.” So to keep my word, I present you with my WIPs and unfinished objects (UFOs).

sock yarn crescent shawl

I started knitting this on the way up to visit my in-laws for Christmas. I started winding the ball on the New Jersey Turnpike. When I was about half-way though winding, T started demanding the bathroom. So, I tucked the ball in my pocket and with the skein round my neck, I escorted her in through the pouring rain into the most crowded rest stop looking like a lunatic. Someday, it’ll be a crescent shawl. The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne in Sauvie Island.

painted wyatt hat

This is going to be a Wyatt hat made of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Hand Paints in Mint Julep.

double crochet wash cloth

I’ve been trying to like crochet, thus the double crochet washcloth. I’ve been attempting to get my stitches more even. Part of me is leaning towards “frog” on this, but I can finish it anytime I want to. Want, keyword.

soon to be frogged philosopher's walk socks

Philosopher’s Walk Socks. I started these back in the spring and just lost steam after turning the heel. I think I’m gonna frog them and then make some plain striped socks with them.

almost two fair isle mittens

I’ll probably finish these mittens by the end of the week. I just put the thumb on hold this morning which means I’ve only got a little bit more to go. The pattern is by Drops, but I decided to sub the louse stitch for the vertical lines on the palm and thumb. I’m trying to mimic a self striping yarn with two shade of orange, yellow, and green with the brown as a background color.

more than two thirds of a sweater

The purple sweater from the first post, Beatnik by Norah Gaughan from Knitty Deep Fall 2010. The yarn is Bartlett Fisherman’s Yarn in Lupine. It’s super rustic and kind of hard on my hands, but it softens up really nicely after blocking and washing. I love the way it shows off the cables and moss stitch.

soon to be frogged top-down cardigan

This was going to be a top-down cardigan, but I’m not really digging the pattern anymore. So I’m frogging it to make a different cardigan.

arrow head lace shawl

This is my Arrowhead lace shawl. I put it on hold after I got a head injury and completely mucked it up for about a pattern repeat. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but I just keep getting distracted by other projects.

My baby girl loves my arms

Body Positivity is a battle. What helps me is to try and see my body through my daughter’s eyes. To her, I am the most beautiful, most wonderful person in the world. So she can’t understand that Mama doesn’t like her belly or arms. Worse, if she did understand, would she extrapolate that she is less than perfect too?

She loves my upper arms. The ones that fashion and the world at large would have me hide. They’re soft and flabby unlike my (relatively slim) forearms. Whenever I am wearing short sleeves or a sleeveless top, T creeps up silently to sit beside me and nuzzle my arms. She used to get quite rough with them which left me really sensitized, but she’s learned to be gentle with me and it’s really sweet. Her love of them makes me appreciate them more. They’re soft and comfortable, but also strong enough to hold her and carry her.

What has your body enabled you to do?

There’s this awful pressure on women to look a certain way and it’s especially hard on mothers. We’re supposed to give birth, keep a baby alive, and not just go back to our pre-baby body, but maybe even to something closer to that “ideal” body. I carried my weight in my belly and butt before T came and while she was gestating she ate my butt. Now, if I measure my hips under my belly, I’m proportionate, but once I measure over my belly it’s 5-6 inches bigger. I get really hard on myself about this. She’s two and a half and I’m still a size up from where I was pre-pregnancy and even if I were to go down to where I was I wouldn’t want to wear those old clothes anyway.

This year I want to try to make pants and fitted skirts. I’m tired of hiding under a full skirt or wearing ill-fitting RTW pants. I had this epiphany, that just like I choose my dress pattern size by my above bust measurement, I should choose my skirt or pants size from my waist. Now I just need to find the correct alteration…

Hello World!

My name is Sara, and I make stuff. I decided to start this blog to document the things I make more or less successfully. I started embroidering in 2006 and then quilting in 2011. Then I decided to relearn knitting after I had my daughter in 2012 so I’d have something to do during the day to promote a sense of progress. I started sewing garments for myself this summer after much dithering. I still find it quicker and easier to make things for my daughter– there’s no grading, minimal fitting, and smaller yardages to manage, though much less appreciated.

I am happily married to a very skinny, very nerdy man and I am very lucky. Our daughter T is a whirling dervish and gives all her love to the cat, who loves no one. I get to stay at home with her and attempt to parent in between Daniel Tiger episodes. I’m plus sized, body-positive, liberal, feminist, and nerdy.

My New Year’s Resolutions-

Blog.

Make 1 bed sized quilt. This will probably be for T’s big girl bed since she’s turning 3 in July.

Finish the %^&$# purple sweater

Finish or frog current works in progress

Crochet enough to decide whether or not I like it for real. Right now I hate it but I think I hate it for not coming to me as easily as knitting does, like how I hated the piano for not being singing.

Make more garments for myself.

Look in the stash before I go shopping for new fabric or yarn.

Invest in tools.

Be less wasteful. Specifically cut down on household food waste.