Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ms. Austen

We have been going a mile a minute since the weather has turned.  Outside as much as possible and running, jumping and riding.  The Bug wore holes in shoes riding his rocket back and forth to the playground.  I've been feeling melancholy with the news from Japan and trying to keep focused on the here and now.  School is going so fast and offering so much information.  I am starting to wonder how much space is in my brain anyway.  I am feeling quite ambivalent about everything except crocheting and sewing.   At least with those things I know I really want to do things.  I even finished crocheting a tank top last night.

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One of the things I always go to when I am feeling lost or confused is Jane Austen.  Weirdly, I only started reading her books about three years ago.  I started with Pride and Prejudice.  I think that is how you determine which of her books is your favorite.  The one you start with is the most special to you.  Last night I watched the movie for about the millionth time while crocheting to clear my mind.  I know lots of people don't like this version and I am okay with that.  I love how beautiful it is, I love the music, I love the actors.  You don't have to, but you can't change my mind and I am not interested in the conversation.  Especially after last night.  I decided to watch it with the director's commentary.  I was a little worried he would spoil it in some way.  Instead, he put words to some of the things I have felt watching it and reassured me how devoted he was to the story.  And pointed out things I hadn't ever noticed.  It was very cool.  Today I still feel a little lost and overwhelmed but I am comforted too.

Finding Balance

Friday, March 4, 2011

A cardigan and some pants.

I can tell Spring is imminent when projects are just spilling out of my brain into reality without being able to stop them.  Yesterday I started thinking of a skirt I wanted to make and by the time I was in bed it was done.  No hesitation, no pattern, no fear of mistakes.  Not that there weren't any mistakes, just that I didn't let them stop me.
But, I don't have any pictures of that yet so let's look at the cardigan I finished a couple of weeks ago. 

Cardigan Crop

This was a very fast, satifying project that I had added to my que in ravelry in September 2009.  It took me all this time to work up the nerve to make it and it really only took two weeks of working to finish it (and I basically took a week off in the middle.) 

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So easy.  I am thinking of using the pattern and altering it into a dress.  Sounds cute right?

And then there are E's new pants.   I got the pattern from Dana.  It was the first thing she put up for Celebrate the Boy month.  Have you all checked out all that boy goodness?  So. Much. Fun.

I had to shorten her pants pattern and add a little extra room in the bum.  These are still too small for cloth diaper comfort really.  Next time I will add a couple more inches in the bum and bring the rise up a couple inches as well.  They are perfect train travel pants though.  The pockets I added are just right for the seat assignment tickets they gave E and they fit fine over a paper diaper.

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Have a great weekend!!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Bug's Quilt

I know you have all been waiting with baited breath.  So I thought I wouldn't keep you in suspense any more.

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Here it is!  I want to tell you about how it came to be- are you ready to listen to a convoluted history of how my brain works?  If not, just look at the pretty pictures.

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First- I love Alicia Paulson.  You all know her, right?  She makes all these beautiful things with little squares full of flowers and pink and purple.  I always want to do one of these projects when she shows them but let's face it: one- I am not so girly, two- I live with a grown (very wonderful and sensitive but still a) man and a little boy who is showing me each and every day how little boy he is.  Yesterday he bit into his first earthworm.  Today he wanted to go find more.  I did make that last quilt, which was very likely Alicia's fault.  I love it too.

Two- I then found this basic quilt style done for boys.  It was already sold when I found it and I didn't have the money anyway.  I also knew that I needed a spread about the size of a standard twin size to work with E's full size on the floor bed.   And that one lacked two major points for me: one- bugs and, two- orange.

Three- I knew that to get E to love this quilt it needed to be more than just quilting cottons.  Much to my chagrin the boy loves all things minky.  Like, adoringly loves them.  I already had all the fabric except the orange embossed minky.  E picked that out himself.  There is also the shaggy teal ombre minky and the gray which is like moleskin or faux suede.  My mother picked those and they had been made into something else that was never quite finished.  When I put the elephant fabric up to them I knew we were on the right track.

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Four- I cut out 300 4.5 x 4.5 squares.  If you know me at all, you know this means I really do love my child beyond all sense.  This is not my kind of project.  I don't like doing 20 of the same thing much less 300.

My mother did a lot of the sewing back in October when we visited.  I finished the strips slowly between school work and sewing orders.  Eventually it was far enough along that E kept coming over and pulling it down and handing it to me.  "Get to it Mama!" he seemed to be saying. 
Luckily we had a trip to Oma's house already scheduled.  We put it together and had half of it tied on the first nap.  I worked on it a little more after bed time and my mother was finishing it when I got up the next morning.  I know why people have quilt circles now.

I had intitially planned to do that line up the square thing but quickly realized it was a straight shot to sweary-land if I did.  The minky is stretchy and the woven is (mostly) not.  This it not a good combination for perfect corner work.  I decided to stagger the strips and still it ended up really crazy.  Sometimes even ending up matching perfect corners for a few blocks.  I am glad I saw this problem ahead as not catching it would have resulted in much gnashing of teeth.

Anyway.  He loves it.  I love it.  I am fairly sure Oma loves it.  I hope you love it too.

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