Friday, September 12, 2014

That Whole Two-For-One Special - Starring the Family Reunion Pattern!


Do NOT look closely at the wacko ruffle stitching!!  I twinge looking at it!!  I might have to fix it.

I have to say this straight off - the Family Reunion is an easy cheese cream pie pattern!!!  I like that from Oliver and S, which can be soooo detailed sometimes (which is also great....otherwise, why would Camden's closet be full of their patterns??).  It's funny, now that I have more experience with sewing - and especially with sewing Oliver and S patterns - I'm noticing that there are so many directions I can totally ignore.

Now.

I SAY that, but really, I still take a peek, because I'm that person who misses things alllll the time, so, I like to be extra careful....when I'm actually thinking about it.  And speaking of....with this particular pattern, I certainly DID mess up, as I though the facing pattern pieces were INSIDE the dress, but that was alllll a lie, LOL.  I didn't even know the term "facing" could mean something is on the OUTSIDE. I should go look that up.  The point is that I totally wasted time, thread, fabric and facing by cutting out the facings on shot cotton....because if I'd known it was an outside piece (meaning, if I had even LOOKED at the picture, aha!), I would have used the main fabric, as I wanted these projects to have a pretty clean look.  Suffice to say I decided the shot cotton would work on the dress version - but NOT on the top version, so, I re-cut, etc.



Sometimes, with Oliver and S, I remember to look up errata for a pattern, but I didn't happen to check this time, and everything went together smoothly (minus the facing mis-hap).  Pintucks clearly take some energy, especially because there are NINE just on one garment...and I was doing TWO garments.  So, I assembly-lined that shiz, and all ended well.

I again (I say this alll the time, I know!) used stash fabric.  Well, let's not get hasty - I did that for the top (I just hadn't know for the LONGEST time what to do with the ONE yard!) - but I bought the flower fabric for the dress just last October, actually planning to use it for a coat.  Oops ;)  (And now that I'm thinking on it, wouldn't a VEST for the Art Museum pattern be cute with that???)  I had to purchase new buttons (seriously...I have soooo many great buttons; why does NOTHING ever work for a given project???  I guess y'all should refer to THIS post from last year) today on the cheap - coupons at
Jo-Ann Fabric Store.  Tiberius and Camden helped out, and a nice customer at the store chatted us up while we did picked them out.  (Side note:  I have a beef with Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Why'd you change up the button situation???  I swear they removed a line of buttons and replaced it with an even cheaper-looking line, which is a dreadful thing!)


The only modification I made to the top was to lengthen it by an inch, as I know how that story will end if I do NOT lengthen.  And, as seen in the pictures, I chose to use the button tab for the dress and the ruffle for the blouse.  You may have guessed by now, but I'm not super frilly and into ruffles, so, this was stretching it for me, and I think it works....???  Jazzes it up a teeny bit?



I did my most BANG-UP sewing job EVER on the snaps, too - check it out!  I have a weird thing about sewing on buttons.  I refuse to sew them on by machine, as I think I make a tougher anchor than a machine (I'm weirddddd), and I sort of like doing it, even though I'm straining my eyes and all hunched over (no, seriously, I was pretty sure I threw my back out for a split second while sewing those buttons).  I was super impressed, though, by my snaps.  When you have to use snaps as an anchor point, it can be tricky trying to finagle the sewing of them under a decorative button.  I'm not sure how any of y'all do it, but I want the snaps to be secure....yet not UGLY, right???  Check it out, though!
I am nit-picking over my finish/edge-stitching here, but whatevs, I guess

Size-wise, I did the 5 - at this point, I'm sadly just trying to get things SEWN for Camden, so, fun and fancy isn't in my vocabulary; I didn't want something difficult (I honestly felt bad for NOT using the main print as the facing....and then adding piping with the shot cotton, but I told myself to slow my roll), so, I'm sort of the pumping-things-out mode.  You can see the dress definitely looks big on her, which is obviously no fault of the pattern - but add to it that I used a heavier-weight fabric on the dress, which does that awkward thing where it looks stiff/doesn't quite fit right.  I like to think she'll grow into that.  The shirt fits beautifully, even if the photos on a COLD, WINDY morning don't capture that well.


All in all, a lovely pattern, and I'm glad I sewed two of them - bang for my buck and all ;)  Next up???  Likely the School Photo dress....in HEDGEHOG fabric - holla!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Now That Summer is Almost Over, Modkid Hannah, Step Right Up!


It is TRICKY to squeeze in sewing time.  I was thwarted by el bebe twice yesterday, and right after I try to put him down for a nap, I like to do something with Camden, though I've told her that if I don't actually SEW, she won't actually have ANY clothing.  So, there is that.

Anyway, I did 4 measley seams yesterday before dinner...and managed to finish the rest of the Modkid Hannah by 11 this morning.  This did involve staying up until 11 last night, naturally (and in case you're not aware, I'm off knitting for a week...also need to be off coloring, which Camden and I need to remember, to help my hands).


AND.  In order to write this blog post, I have a baby stomping away on the floor next to me, climbing rope in one hand, a jump rope in the other ;)

This was definitely a rushed project, as evidenced by the lousy photos and not-well-thought-out hand embroidery.  I wish I had consulted my Aneela Hoey book or something for inspiration (or simply as a reminder on different stitch types), but ah, well.  I guess Camden doesn't care.
I probably should have colored in the circles...



I've done this pattern once before - I call it the Disaster That Was Waiting to Happen (well, as of now, I do), as it was super cute, the capri version, hand embroidery an' all....then I WASHED it.  BAD IDEA.  the embroidery floss bled, and there was no fixing it.  And I'm sure the floss will bleed on her new version, but I don't like to learn my lesson, I guess, LOL.



The pattern goes together easily, and I made sure to just use fabric from my stash....I actually wanted to do this back in June, but time was not on my side before my Michigan trip, and I haven't sewn since, what with all the knitting, busy days and baby who hates naps over 20 minutes (how he pulled off a 2-hour nap today, I'll NEVER know!).  I lined the top with shot cotton, to sort of protect the embroidery, so, I made an effort THERE, but...when it came to the back pockets on the shorts, laziness won out.  I forgot to cut out four each of the pocket pieces, and I didn't feel like going back to do it, so, the pockets aren't nicely lined.  I feel I am lowering my standards, which is rough, but I wanted it done.

The only place I used contrast thread

And now...for some family photo fun!

Camden's REAL smile 
Aren't we fancy?? 
The wee chubbs!  And can you believe his dad FOUND his hat HERE....where I'd left it??

Friday, September 5, 2014

No Longer Just a Lete's Knits Lurker! or, Stop! Evaporate and Listen

Note how Matt doesn't get photos of the bottom point of the shawl....ever

That title makes NO sense, but I couldn't help ma'self.  I finished (and I'm SURE my hands are thanking me!) my third shawl - Evaporate by Justyna Lorkowska.  I have belonged to her Lete's Knits group on Ravelry for a year and a half and finally completed my first pattern.  I have favorited, by the way, several of her patterns - and own almost as many of them (and even have yarn for one or two!).... But as most of my favorites are sweater patterns, I wasn't going to get around to knitting any of them until well after Tiberius was born.  Here we are, almost 6 months into his out-of-womb existence on Planet Earth, and it'll still be quite a while before I dare knit myself a sweater, as my body isn't quite ready yet, LOL.



I used - get ready!!! - STASH yarn!  Not JUST stash yarn, but yarn I bought at the first-ever Sock Summit in Portland, OR, several years ago.  It is Crazy Monkey Creations Panda Toes in the colorway Purple Rain, and it's a merino/bamboo blend, which meant I didn't really want to use it for socks.  I figured it was just the right amount of variegation for this shawl, and I was right, thankfully.  (In searching for a good link, I'm thinking they are no longer dyeing yarn, FYI.)



Anywho, I decided to join the shawl KAL for this month, and I will have just barely made the cut-off....Well, by the time I hopefully have pictures tomorrow, I will have made it by 5 days.  I whipped through this KAL right after finishing the Owlet sweaters for both Tiberius and Camden (those will be featured later, hopefully next month, as they are part of a KAL, also, with a friend).  Ten days for this shawl - holla!  (Of course, my hand is broken as I write this, so, there is THAT.)
Don't judge these photos, LOL

As always, a classy outlet to gaze upon



The pattern is just as lovely as I'd expected it to be - written super well and in the right amount of detail.  Justyna adds helpful tips at the end, so, it's smart to read through the whole pattern - for good planning and all.  I can tell, as it's blocking, that it's larger than my last shawl, and the gauge was definitely looser.  I DO wish I'd been able to knit this one on Karbonz needles, as Addis are so slippery for shawl work with merino/bamboo blend yarn.  It all worked out well, though, and I didn't drop a stitch but once or twice - and I caught the issue and fixed it.
Camden LOVES shawls!



I'm definitely happy overall, and I can't wait to knit more of Justyna's patterns - she is SUCH a nice lady, and so are the moderators in her ravelry group!!

Good times???
In OTHER NEWS....hear ye, hear ye, I haven't sewn in two months!  :O  I will be laying off knitting for at least a week in order to give my hands a break and work on some projects for Camden.  Poor girl is up to 41.25 inches and will have NOTHING to wear this fall/winter if I don't get cracking!  So, expect the next blog post to have NO knitting ;)
My take on that fancy shawl pose....I TOTALLY pulled it off, no?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pacific Northwest Friends - and Two Hats!

My 4 year-old, Camden, is social, to say the least.  The girl loves her a good time, enjoys getting out with her friends, playing dress-up, lounging in a pool, all-around having some laughs and running around like a crazy person.

She has some great friends here in Bend.  We spend a bit of time with one friend in particular, Greta, because she and Camden attend Birding on Mondays and Story Time on Tuesdays - and they've been so lucky to take a couple of free classes at a local farm, which is great!  It also works out that I get on well with Greta's mom, as we have very similar lines of thinking on a few topics.
I believe this was Camden's FIRST birding trip!
A day at the farm
After said day at the farm, LOL
Another farm day

Paying soooo much attention to their birding instructor
Another local friend Camden loves is Elora!  She actually first met Elora when she was perhaps 1 and a half, as I met Elora's mom in an on-line group.  Camden loves to play dress-up with Elora, and they've been able to enjoy berry picking and go trick-or-treating.  And as with Greta's mom, I get along super well with Lisa and love to spend time with her - and she's been so nice since I've moved here to Bend!
Everyone needs a break, right???
Weeeeirdos!
Birthday party!
Dirt times!
A little river visit!
One of her sets of faraway friends includes Ben and George!  They are the boys of a mom I also met on-line way back when I was pregnant with Camden.  She and Ben are mere days apart in age, and our two families have managed to meet up a few times since her family's move from George to Seattle!
Hillside chats
LOL - cupcake time!
Smiles....of a sort!
Zoo times
Omsi!
Another faraway friend, also now in Seattle (transplanted from CA) is Stephen!  He, too, is the same age as Camden, and she has only had the chance to meet up with him once, though we hope to remedy that in a couple months!  Something I love about Camden is that she is easily able to pick up from where she left off with friends she rarely sees!
Hmmmm....LOL!!!
And hand-holding???

Camden also has friends from low places....the valley of Vancouver, LOL!  When I started working on my fitness back in the summer of 2012, I was going to the gym and taking classes, and somehow, the lovely Kim and I started chatting it up.  She has kids she was always checking into the gym daycare - twins the SAME age as Camden, yay! - so, it was clearly meant to be, as we were both stay-at-home-moms, and she is SUCH a great mom and fun to hang out with.  Camden got on well with Lizzie and Jack from the get-go.  Those two are hilarious, and the three of them together???  YIKES!  They get so loud and giggly, and they race about like nobody's business.  I was sad to discover, mere months after settling into a friendship, that we would be moving a few hours south, but we've managed to so far keep the friendship alive.  Camden, Lizzie and Jack still enjoy meeting up when we get up to Vancouver, and most recently, they made THEIR way down to Bend, which was awesome!  I sadly didn't have my camera on a couple of our outings, so, I missed photographic opportunities (and simply had fun, LOL).
Here in Bend, just a week ago!
Ahhh!  They look so YOUNG!  :O
One of their first story times together
Hot chocolate party!
They wear each other OUT
Adventure, LOL
Aww!
Other friends back in Vancouver include Piper, Bennett, Addy and Bella.  They are all older, and these four have always been great about taking care of Camden when she hangs out with them!  It always makes Camden happy when she has older kids with whom to giggle.
How'd they get up there??

Pumpkin patch time - 2012!

Oh, gosh - so long ago!

Lastly, this post DOES include some crafting ;)  Of my holiday knitting, I've so far managed to finish two hats - the Oaked pattern by Alicia Plummer (blog), which is just gorgeous!  I knew as soon as I saw this green Madelinetosh that Lizzie needed to have it (project page)!  I was behaving and pulling from yarn I'd used in my stash, and Jack's hat is an upsized version of the Otis baby hat, which includes fun cables and is knit out of Mosaic Moon's Maclir colorway on Gaia worsted.  Both hat patterns are wonderful/easy to understand.  I experienced some fiddly moments on the Oaked, but I got over it, and it worked out just fine!  I DO wish I'd gone down another needle size on the ribbing on Jack's, so, it'd fit slightly snugger, but whaddya gonna do?




All this to say... Camden has friends all over, and I'm sure I missed some in this post, but she truly enjoys the amigos in her life and values, I think, any time she is able to spend with them!

Stay tuned for the next post on family!