Friday, March 26, 2010

nine patch

This quilt top was finished quite a while ago, but I wanted to see what it was like to get it quilted by someone else. I think you need space to be able to properly baste and quilt anything bigger than a chairpad. And space is something I'm very short on, not to mention time. So this top went home with my mom and she generously took it to a quilter she had used before.

Now, I have to admit I am a girl of simple tastes. But I often ignore my gut choice in an effort to branch out and try something new. In this case, I set aside my preference for quilting in the ditch (which I like because it allows for the fabric to be front and center) and requested a "meandering" pattern. I suppose "meandering" is open to interpretation and in the end my little quilt has more of a leafy pattern. And I'm sad to say that in my surprise, I didn't react well to it in front of my mom. I hope she believed me when I said I would get used to it, because now that the edges are bound (with continuous binding tape from this Etsy seller) I really like it, leafy quilting pattern and all. It's super cute and has plenty of uses (for example, right now it is folded up on the coffee table keeping Jay's feet comfy). And really, it's red, black and citron green with lots of polka dotted fabric - what's not to love?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

angora lady

I heart sale bin yarn, and it is so worth the trip to Romni's basement - especially when you get an extra 20% their already discounted prices. This yummy pink cotton/angora blend is Artful Yarns Serenade and it was dreamy to knit with. Sure, it leaves a bit of fuzz on Sadie's shirt but she seems pretty happy to wear angora and I would happily knit with it over and over again.

The pattern is Shellee Floyd's Cap Sleeved Spring Shirt and it is super simple. I made some minor modifications to the sleeve bind off, body shape and bottom band, but still it was an easy knit. I've already cast on for another - this time with long sleeves and chenille yarn I've had forever - because it's a guaranteed reward for the time invested. And I think the style really suits my girl (I mean, check out how she dressed with it, not to mention how she accessorized with hair ribbons and sunglasses). Also I love how it hugs her belly in the second photo, showing a small hint of her recent toddlerhood. So, plenty of reasons to knit it again.

Like I need any more reasons to knit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Or more appropriately, Soule-ution. Because a quick visit to Soulemama solved my most recent sewing disaster by offering the perfect project for my Anna Maria Horner voile fabric. The colours of the fabric are beautiful and it feels wonderful, but it is quite pricey so I only bought enough to make a little tank top. I tried a version of this top from Simple Sewing with a French Twist, but the gathers made my milk-filled chest look ridiculous and then anything I tried to essentially re-design the top failed miserably (surprisingly, I never once cursed). Enter Soulemama's timely post and voila! I had just enough fabric left to make a super cute little scarf. It took about 15 minutes to sew and made me feel so much better about the time spent.

And really, it's pretty bold fabric. I think a scarf is just enough for plain old me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

timing is everything

For any moms who work outside of the home, this excellent post is for you.

What a great reminder and exactly what I needed to hear. Because when I go back to work and start dropping Milo off at daycare every day, I know how I will feel. I've been through this before, and it is incredibly hard. But the author is so right: Sadie talks about my office like it's the coolest place she's ever been to and I know she understands that "work" is something that makes her Mommy happy. I hope to catch her playing "office" someday and more than anything, I hope she grows up believing that she can be and do anything. And for my littlest baby, I look forward to a couple years of TTC rides together at the end of every day. It was such a special time with Sadie and I can't wait to see what it's like with Milo. Can he top Sadie saying out loud, "I'm peeing right now!"? The possibilities are endless.

(And for a more literal link to the topic of timing, here's a little pic of an old GE school clock we recently got through Ebay. It's one of the finishing touches for the kitchen and although it arrived not working, my rather amazing husband fixed it. Awesome.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

thursday, 4:09pm

In a week where sleep is still elusive and I've consumed far too much junk food, there was a moment this afternoon when everything was still and it seemed like a good idea to document life as it was.  To start, I was sitting in my favourite spot by the kitchen window, looking at fabric on the internet and imagining what I could make with it. A crock pot on the counter was simmering an easy chickpea curry recipe found here this morning.

Next, the state of our living room. I think that's the best name for it since it's a play room, a tv room, a knitting room, a relaxing room. Other owners of this house probably used it as a dining room, but it's the only place our sofa would fit and it's nice and close to the "food" room, which is very important. So, "living" room it is. Note the baby gate and many, many toys on the floor. The whole main floor is now officially Milo-friendly so that we don't have to worry about tiny, swallowable toys meaning I can check on dinner in the "food" room without worrying so much about Milo's safety.

Speaking of Milo...when you pull out the camera to document these moments, he disappears. And heads for his favourite spot: the front door. Which is now a tight squeeze because I have to bring the stroller inside. Because when I left it outside yesterday, with a cozy fleece liner in it, a neighbourhood cat PEED on it. Yes, peed. Gross. But Glen Miller is happy to have it there as a nap location and Milo is happy to chew on all visible parts. So the main floor safety for Milo is questionable, obviously.

And finally, a reflection. Because I think that's what I was doing at 4:09 - reflecting on my life at this moment. Seeing that my house is untidy and full of too many things, but knowing I wouldn't have it any other way. Seeing that a quiet afternoon means daydreaming of what I could make and spending time with the little boy that is by far the best thing I've made this year (well, with a little help from a certain guy I know and a thing we'll call the miracle of life). And for a brief time I understood that I should enjoy the moments as they happen and not dwell on the changes that are coming.

Let's just say it was a very nice time of day.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

sleepless, but sunny

So far, March has been a beautiful month. The sun shines every day and the temperatures are almost spring-like. When the sun streams into the back window I don't want to leave the kitchen for even a second because it fills the room with warmth and light for only a short time before being hidden behind other rooftops. Which means it is just the right amount of time to wind a ball of yarn.

Perhaps the film canister trick is widely known, but it's one of those things I learned in my very first knitting class that I think is so smart (or maybe I just really needed a new use for the old canisters I had sitting around, because I certainly don't buy film anymore, sigh). Not so widely known would be my technique of using the backs of two kitchen chairs to hold the skein while I wind (and I often choose to stand on one, making pulling the yarn much easier). I've had yarn wound at shops on occasion, and each time as soon as I get home I remember that: 1) they never stay together as well as when I wind them myself because the tension inside seems too tight when fancy gadgets are used, and 2) I really enjoy winding yarn by hand. It's another meditative process in an already meditative craft. And a lovely ball of wool at the end is a very satisfying thing indeed.

The sun shining and wool winding are helping keep me sane too. Milo has been having terrible nights for a few weeks now and the sleeplessness is taking its toll. Waking six to seven times a night is draining, so I've pulled out the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" again to see if I can help Milo get more sleep. Because more sleep for him means more sleep for me, which means a much happier mommy. I may even get back to actually knitting when I'm rested...because right now, winding yarn is all I can manage.