Startitis

Having been working on rather big, long-term projects lately, I started longing for something more along the lines of instant gratification. So last night at knit night I casted on for a “textured shawl.” I’m using some handspun and it’s incredibly soft!

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Of course, now the rows are getting long and it’s not quite as fast, but it’s speedy and gratifying anyway.

Quilt photo shoot

Today I was blessed with a long-napping kid and copious free time to photograph my quilt!

I had to stand on a table and hold my phone all the way up to the ceiling to get a full shot.  I’m pleased that the imperfections I could see so well while sewing it up are less noticeable now.

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Here you can see a bit of stitch detail.  At the last minute, I researched whether or not I could do all the binding by machine, and the internets said yes, so I did.  I didn’t do it invisibly… I don’t think we’ll be scrutinizing this quilt up close for perfection, and I really wanted it to be sturdy so I can let my kids use it without me freaking out.

Le quilt.

Le quilt.

The back is something we can giggle about; how I oddly assumed that my large pieces were cut straight, and how I just went with it….  Or it was artistic license?  Or that I meant it to be a scrappy quilt and I didn’t need it to be perfect, so this funny result is A-ok with me??  Yes, the last one.

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A little closer look at the details.

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I took these photos on my bed, because it’s the only large space I had available that I wouldn’t have to vacuum, but this quilt really belongs on the sofa.  I imagine it will spend most of its life like this:

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But if the kids have their way, it will be on the floor as a picnic blanket, hanging off the bunk beds for a tent, draped over their bodies as they pretend to be monsters…. and that’s fine, too.  As long as it gets used and enjoyed!

Quilt FO!

Today’s crafting started slowly… I cut the binding for my quilt, trimmed the quilt and batting, and got a second wind to sew it all together!!

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And now I’m relaxing under a new quilt, watching Star Trek. It’s a 5-star day! I’ll take some daytime photos tomorrow.

Handspun, swatching, blocking, and Halloween!

Good news, my swatches for my NaKniSweMo cardigan look good.  The lace one is the one that really concerned me, but it looks to be the right size!  Yay!

Swatches!

Swatches!

I have four freshly blocked blanket squares, and this skein of handspun is almost out!

Blocking squares.

Blocking squares.

Luckily this one is ready to step in.

Wonderland Dyeworks

Wonderland Dyeworks

We attended some Halloween festivities today, and I whipped up a Totoro outfit so I wouldn’t be left out of the costume-y fun!  I already had the hat and soot sprites, I just made the tummy out of leftover white fleece and gray felt I had around.  Easy!

Impromptu Totoro costume!

Impromptu Totoro costume!

And I couldn’t BELIEVE that I found someone dressed up as Cat Bus!!!!!!!

NEKOBASU!!!!

NEKOBASU!!!!

The Wee Boy found Woody and Mr. Potato Head, and I thought his head would explode from joy.

The Wee Boy geeks out.

The Wee Boy geeks out.

I think I can officially declare Halloween as my favorite holiday!!!

Go, Giants!

Confession: I grew up in a state with a pretty good football team, and now I live in a city with both an excellent baseball AND football team.  Pretty cool, right?  Except that… I’m not a sports fan.  I’m just not!  I even tried to conjure up some team spirit the last time the Giants were in the World Series, but I couldn’t.  I’d much rather watch Firefly, Dr. Who, Downton Abbey, or old episodes of Friends.

However, the Wee Girl likes the idea of being a Giants or Niners fan, and her school had a Giants Day in support of the Giants being in the World Series again.  For this, they were encouraged to wear black and orange Giants gear instead of their usual uniforms.  Conundrum! We have no Giants gear!  I even went to Target at the last minute, but they’d been cleared out, due to the Giants qualifying for the World Series!  So I did what any crafty mom would do, I improvised a Giants headband out of yarn I had on hand, so she’d have something to wear.

Cheaper than a jersey!

Cheaper than a jersey!

Using size 9 needles, I casted on about 12 stitches, and knit garter stitch until it was long enough.  Then I knitted the flower from the headband in Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation, and sewed it on.  Voila, instant fan gear!

Very happy with her "Giants gear."

Very happy with her “Giants gear.”

Her teacher gushed over it, so I decided to make one for her as well.  She’s a San Francisco native, so she’s really into the Giants!

Because I had a little more time to think it over, I doubled the yarn and used bigger needles.  I finished the headband during one soccer practice (with interruptions), and the flower in less than one movie (with interruptions).  I hope she likes it!

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NaKniSweMo

A knitting friend is participating in NaKniSweMo, which is a self-challenge to knit up a sweater in a month. After some thought, I decided to join in and finally knit the Honeybee Cardigan I’ve wanted for quite some time. Food thing I’m swatching early- I need two swatches and some side decisions to make before officially casting on November 1!

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My swatches so far, in Madeleine Tosh Merino Light, in the Tart color way.

2 FOs, 2 happy campers!

First FO: In case you missed it, late last week, my brother in law asked me to knit him a Jayne hat for Halloween.  Long story short, I was passed an almost completed one, and made short work of it.  Before I sent it to him, I added a letter.

You've got mail!

You’ve got mail!

If you’ve seen the Firefly episode in which the Jayne hat makes an appearance, you might know what the letter reads!  If not, here’s a peek.

Aw, a letter from Ma!

Aw, a letter from Ma (hubby thought brother and sister would be a nicer touch, so I went along with it).

I was super excited about my idea, but wanted him to receive it before I wrote a post about it, in case he’s reading this blog!  Well, today I received a text with this photo:

One happy Jayne hat recipient!

One happy Jayne hat recipient!

He’s super happy with the hat, and as you can see (if you’ve paid attention to the show), the t-shirt is also from Firefly.  And if you haven’t watched Firefly, get thee to Netflix and watch away!  You will not be disappointed!

By the way, if you like sci-fi, my brother-in-law has a really interesting sci-fi blog!  It’s communications written in the first person, describing the antagonist’s space-travelling adventures… Check it out! http://iwasborninspace.com/

Second FO:  I (pretty much) finished the German-style dress I’ve been sewing for the wee girl’s school’s Cultural Heritage celebration this weekend.  My ancestry is 50/50 Norwegian/German, while my husband’s is more varied, Norwegian/Irish/Italian/Portuguese, but as I’m the Maker around here, I went with German.  Getting a Norwegian Bunad together was out of the question, but a little dirndl-type dress, no problem!

Finish up those ties!

Finish up those ties, Mom!

We experimented with a Heidi-style braids, but her hair is still a bit short, and obviously I lack the right hair accessories to pull it off attractively.  Loopy braids might be the answer.

Back view.

Back view.

I’m so pleased that it’s roomy enough to last for years of Cultural Heritage celebrations!!!

Side view.

Side view.

I’d read that small girls’ dirndls can be made of non-traditional fabric, and can be more whimsical so I went with that feel.  Also, this was the best ribbon I found at JoAnn’s, so I chose the fabric to match the ribbon, and this was my favorite combo.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Oh, she is so pleased with it!  Sometimes it can be hard to get a photo shoot out of her, but she sped right outside to take pictures.  Ja!  Das ist gut!

This one pretty much says it all!

This one pretty much says it all!