In general, I don’t tend to do many projects at a time.  I like to finish things, and that doesn’t happen if I have too much going on at once.  SO, I don’t often have UFOs hanging around, but because of my spring/summer flare-up of carpal tunnel, I had put aside a few projects that had hurt my hands.  WELL!  It turned out that one of the projects only needed a little bit of work to be completed, and last night I wrapped it up.

This is a babydoll top for my great-niece.

I made the 12-month size for Caroline, who is only 3 months old, but she’s a healthy, chubby baby, so I hope it will at least fit for the Fall weather in Wisconsin, if not for the whole winter.   It’s only about 9″ long, which I suppose is good so it won’t impede movement when she starts rolling and crawling.

I made this in machine-washable wool, instead of cotton, because I imagine it as more of a winter layer than summer top.

Here’s the Ravelry link:  http://www.ravelry.com/projects/mhenry/cotton-baby-doll-top

I’m still surprised and delighted that I happened to have the same~ish yarn in my stash, because I think this color combo is super cute.  I hope my niece thinks so too!

Stash, stash-busting 

During my first few years of knitting, my stash was totally tiny. I had leftover balls and a few skeins I’d impulse buy at Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley, back when they still sold yarn.   Eventually I graduated to an IKEA basket that could hold quite a lot. That was still ok.

But when I bought a spinning wheel and fiber, the storage space in the hall closet started to feel cramped. Then I bought a sewing machine, patterns, and fabric, and the space became more and more cramped.

I eventually realized that I don’t like or want a big stash for any hobby, especially living in an apartment with not a lot of storage space.  So for several months I’ve been on a use-the-stash mission. I don’t want to have more than my 4 boxes of yarn, 1 box of bear yarn, 1 box of fiber plus misc, and one box of fabric.

12-inch ruler for scale.  Look at that top box!  So much space available!  

It’s going ok- I’ve been using up far more stash than I’ve been adding, and the boxes have plenty of space. Yay!

With the sewing that I did when I couldn’t knit, my fabric stash went down A LOT and its box is spacious these days, in spite of a knitting friend destashing to me a few yards of lovely fabric.  The bibs and skirts that I recently sewed were surprisingly good for stash-busting!

My hall closet is much happier with less stuff. Oh- aside from knitting, sewing, and spinning, there are also also beading, stationary, and misc kids’ craft supplies here.

Here’s the bottom view:


Here you see my yarn stash, my ball winder, swift, spinning wheel,  white box full of bear yarn, and a tiny bit of the spinning fiber box.


Here you see my white box of fabric, a white folder file of patterns, my sewing machine, basket of knitting and spinning things, plastic drawers of kids’ craft items, cardboard boxes of random crafts, stationary, and beading supplies, and a few plastic bead boxes.

I don’t think it’s an overwhelming stash for someone with so many hobbies, right? I know some people feel guilt about having a big stash, especially if it’s really big, but for me it’s more of an inconvenience if the stash is too big to store easily in a small apartment.  Also, I really like finishing things, so I don’t like to have lots of leftover yarns lying around.  Enter bear knitting…..

My most recent stash-busting project: V bear. I aim to use every last bit of these pinks, then tackle other wee balls in the stash and make them disappear as well.
How do you organize your crafts? How do you stash-bust??

Beach day + whales!

Lately I’ve been reading about a large number of whales in Half Moon Bay (just a hop, skip, and a jump from San Francisco), enjoying something of a feeding frenzy.   I always think it would be nice to go and see them, but other things come up. This morning I was listening to NPR and something came up about the whales and how amazing they were over the weekend, and I realized that we were free today. So I packed up our swim gear and some snacks and the kids and I drove down to HMB for the afternoon. We were not disappointed.

It was pretty windy, but the kids played nicely together, it was sunny and warm, and the whales put on a great show.  I’m so glad we went for it! 

another day, another skirt

Tonight while the kids watched three episodes of Clone Wars, I whipped up another Robert Kauffman simple skirt. 

I had to shorten it slightly due to my yard being just not enough. I also added pockets- I just took the pocket from the Washi dress and taped it onto this pattern.  I forgot though, how much the waistband folds down! Next time I’d position it lower. Overall the fit is good, I love the pockets, and I think it’ll go nicely with the handknit top I want to pair it with, if I ever get around to casting on… 😜

Pretty perfect

Today I shopped for linings for a few skirts I’ve been wanting to sew. From our trip to the Lost Coast, I have some purple flowery souvenir fabric from the shop Stitch in Ferndale, and I also have some cool “wonderland” fabric recently destashed to me by a knitting friend.

The pattern is the Robert Kauffman free skirt pattern, but I thought I’d try making it less wide this time, as I’m pretty petite and don’t need tons of fabric bunched up around my waist.  I started with the wonderland fabric, because I have a lot of it. It came out perfect for me.

The length is just as I like my skirts- it hits above the knee.  The circumference is not as generous as the Tardis skirt ended up, and I think this less fluffy/bunchy effect looks better on me.  Plus, you can see the cute print more easily. I am so happy with the pattern placement! I’m sure I will omit the 4 inches or so that I took off from the circumference every time I make this pattern in the future. The only thing I regret is that I forgot to add the pockets I had prepared.  I love skirts with pockets!

Oh! By the way, I forgot to show you my souvenirs from the lost Coast.

Knitting book, fabric, and wine. Pretty perfect!

Hi there!

Ok, readers, I’m back!  My carpal tunnel has gotten loads better, due to rest, acupuncture, and very helpful Occupational Therapy with exercises/stretches/massage as homework.  Since I last wrote two months ago (!), I’ve managed to make lots of things, so this will be something of a photo dump.  I hope you don’t mind!

In sewing news: I made myself a Tardis skirt!  It’s this simple lined skirt by Robert Kauffman: http://www.robertkaufman.com/quilting/quilts_patterns/simple_skirt/  It’s great!  Easy, quick, free pattern!  I’ll totally make it again, but with pockets next time.

Baby sewing!  I made these rompers for my great niece (the awesomely chubby thighed baby) and for my cousin’s granddaughter, whose daddy is a big Batman fan, and I happened to have the right amount of Batman fabric for a romper and a reversible bib!


Bibs: http://www.joann.com/baby-bib-with-pocket/P268109.html#prefn1=isProject&q=bib%2Bwith%2Bpocket&prefv1=true&start=2

Then I made some eye masks for the Girl’s best friend and family, who just moved home to the UK.  http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/2015/07/how-to-make-eye-mask-free-pattern.html


In knitting news, I’ve made two hats for the Leethalknits mystery hat club.  These are Vanguard and Omnia.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vanguard   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/omnia  The special increases on Omnia hurt my hands, so I switched to regular old kfb, and it was much better.  I also like the ridge that kfb made, as opposed to  the sloppy eyelets I was getting with the center double increases.

In bear knitting news, I’ve finished several new bears.  Last night I finished one more, which I haven’t been photographed yet.  I’ve finished up to the letter R (Rugen)and have started S (Saruman).

And I’ve had several bear sightings in Africa!  I might be missing a few since I haven’t been keeping up on here, but here are a few!  Kylo, Henrietta, Buttercup, and Gandalf.  You might notice that most are from my current journey through the alphabet, where I’m naming them for characters from my favorite movies, so I have to get more sent out!  I sent a box to Minneapolis last week, so I’m doing well with these.  It helps that the stockinette doesn’t irritate my hands/wrists.

I’ve also swatched for a new top, but haven’t started it yet due to a trip and my fallback knitting of bears.   This is a Berroco booklet I found at Imagiknit after falling in love with the knitted sample on display.13643714_1148590665192987_495343036_n

And of course, we’ve had lots of local adventures, mostly centered around getting the kids out in the trees.  We’ve played at Stow Lake, in the Presidio, many parks and playgrounds, the Exploratorium, and we’ve done lots of swimming at the pool….  Yesterday the kids and I came back from 3.5 days on the Lost Coast, which was gorgeous (all the pics below except the line of children at the SF Botanical Gardens).


Yep, we’ve been having some pretty good summer adventures.  Mostly our days are unstructured, aside from Thursdays and Saturdays, when the Girl has been playing baseball with the Junior Giants.   Yay, summer!  And yay for being recovered enough from Carpal Tunnel to be able to craft and blog again.  It’s nice to be back!