Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blister In The Sun...

is how my finger feels. (Getchermind outta the gutter.) After a marathon session of snap setting, I am done with one gigantic set of diapers.

Eight pockets, fourteen fitteds, and six covers. All cut out by the magnificent blogless Cate and sewn by yours truly. Phew. Lesley, you can have your boys now. Their rear ends are covered.

Given the amount of flak I've been getting about me making diapers, even though no one in the family needs them anymore...I'll probably have to take a small hiatus from diaper making and work on the Viking outfits for awhile, as I need to earn some husbandly goodwill. It should be interesting, as it's the first time that I've ever made a costume for an adult. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Travelling Woman...

is the name of a shawl pattern. Observe.

It's not the best of photos. But it's a lovely knit FO. Madtosh in Clematis, and I cannot get the colour of this yarn to show up properly in photos. It's almost black-blue but then you get flashes of purple it. It's for me (SOMETHING for me, damnit!) to keep me warm on my own travels. (Of which I suspect that my knitting friends are sick of hearing me worry I won't talk of it here too.)

Along with this shawl, I was able to knock part of the ninja swap package off the To Do list last week.

Behold, the Dice Bag of DOOM! (No really, that's what the pattern's called.) I haven't figured out what to fill it with before sending it...need something appropriately ninja-tastic.

Also made progress on the diapers, but no photos today. Still waiting for the sun to come back. *sigh*

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dye Another Day.

Ok, let's recap.

To Do List as stated at the beginning of the month:

Jedi robe - done!
4 viking costumes
24 20 cloth diapers in small, 48 in medium and 48 in large
1 pair of man sized socks - done!
3 summer dresses for the girl - done!
2 pairs of shorts for the boy - done!
1 Travelling Woman shawl for me
1 Goodale sweater for me
2 summer dresses - one maxi and one knee length - for me


my package for the Ninja Swap that I'm currently modding.


So, I've ordered the pattern for Crepe, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival in my mailbox next week. That'll take care of the knee-length dress for myself.

The diapers are on hold for a bit, as I'm waiting for my Partner in Crime, Cate, to cut the pieces for me to sew.

Fabric's arrived for the Viking outfits, and it's in the process of being washed. I think that I'm doing to do a series of posts just for that project, as I'm betting that it'll be a fairly involved process.

Travelling Woman shawl is coming along nicely. What a nice and brainless project. Exactly what I need right about now. Terrific yarn (Madtosh Sock), easy pattern to follow = awesome shawl.

Which brings us to the ninja swap package. I spent all of yesterday experimenting with the dye pot. I was searching for the perfect colours. I wanted one skein to be soft orange and glowing yellows.


However, the red was not nearly as successful. After the inital bath, it was too pink. So into the bath again.

Too dark.

Boo. And that was the last of the merino/silk blend, so I restarted with some merino superwash.

Replicated the yellow/orange.

I'm going to call this colourway "Midas Touch". Love the result. And as for the red...

Bingo. I'm calling this one "Perfect Red". It's a mixture of several different reds, and it was just a matter of proportions when making the slurry.

And these are going to be made into a Skinny Skid. After Travelling Woman's cast off, of course. The timing was fortuitious...a packet of naked Skinny Bugga arrived yesterday, and I can't wait to dye some of it in Perfect Red.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Bandanna clothing, why do I love thee so?

Is it because you're fast to make?

Is it because you're cheap? ($2 a bandanna at the Dollarama!!!)

Is it because you're super cute?

No, none of these things.

It's because you let me knock off half of my crafting to-do list in one afternoon.

I think that this is the last year that I'll be able to make Mr. Munchkin bandanna pants, as he'll likely be too big for them next year. I can't even express how glum this makes me. I love seeing him in them - he gets compliments on his style everywhere he wears them.

The pink dress took about 10 minutes to make from start to finish. Used this tutorial and it turned out super cute. (On a side note, I need to find myself a better hanger for photos. The cheap ass white plastic just ain't cutting it anymore.)

The blue dress was a bit more of a mash-up. Used the bodice pattern from the Tiered Patchwork Twirler - which, if you have a little girl to sew for ... is one of the best girly dress patterns ever. I just wish I had more time to make another one for Miss E. The skirt is just two bandannas sewn together and then gathered to fit the bodice. The straps are attached to the front of the dress and then pass through buttonholes in the back. Cute maxi dress, eh?

Next time I'll hopefully have some knitting to show you.

Oh, and about the rant in the last post - I know that I posted something VERY similar last year around this time of year, but it seems that the Spring brings out the claws in all of the kittens.

Possibly I'm just feeling more and more depressed about the people that I have to interact with on a daily basis in this community. A few weeks ago, some kids at Mr. Munchkin's school were calling him "German boy". Which is a racial epithet, no matter how you slice it. It's really no different than calling someone "Chinaman" and in the end, it's harassment based on your ethnicity.

I called up the various parents of the kids and let them know what their little angels were doing on the schoolyard. Reactions ranged from horror to frankly nonchalance, which showed me where the kids were learning their behavior from. Also talked to Mr. Munchkin's teacher about it all - and found out that she's also got German heritage. So fortunately, she was even more indignant than I was...and she "talked" to the little miscreants about their behaviour.

I can't help but feel that I have to get the hell out of here for the sake of my kids. And possibly because I feel like unloading a can of whup-ass. And since you're not allowed to knit in prison, that's just not a good idea for anyone. Grrrr.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Return of the snubbles.

Did I tell you guys about the genius of this particular word? Y'know when little kids have a cold and then they sneeze...and it comes out in a bubble? (Yes, gross. I know.) Anyway, DH came up with the term "snubble" to help lessen the grossness by cutifying it.

Miss E has them. Oh yes, she has snubbles once again. Which means that I am crafting like a madwoman in an effort to keep my sanity. And to reduce my (self-imposed) workload. To that end, I present:

One Jedi robe. For a very lucky boy who will be receiving this at his birthday party this weekend. Improvised pattern. I sense that there will be another one of these in my future, so perhaps a tutorial is in the making there.

FIL socks. Totally fraternal, and I don't give a flying crap. Trekking XXL and the usual top down, short row heel recipe.

Another wee dress. Please excuse the clashing purple shirt, as it's still darn cold here. This dress started life as a possible maxi dress for me. But I forgot that when shirring fabric for a dress, one needs to make sure that there is PLENTY of excess fabric. Otherwise the shirring stretches tight and looks awful. Ahem. Also, note to self - your boobs are big. Deal with it.

So, I cropped the bodice short and added a wee skirt and a tieback. Voila, one small girl dress off the list.

I'm going to cheat a little and for the next wee dress, I'll be using three bandanas and Martha Stewart's halter dress tutorial. For the boy, I'm hoping to be able to make more Bandana pants - a perpetual favourite of the boy in summer weather.

The thing about crafting is that it puts my brain on auto-pilot. Which is good. It means that I actually have a chance to mentally roam once in awhile. And what I was thinking about yesterday while sewing was this article about Carole Middleton and how she's being criticized for not dressing her age.

As I was sewing a summery, lightweight and frankly, fun dress intended for myself...I paused and looked down at it.

I'm not as young as I used to be, of course. And I could stand to lose weight. But really? I like dressing in a feminine and stylish way. Doesn't mean that I don't have days that I slob around in yoga pants and t-shirts. But as of late, my favourite thing to wear has been a mid thigh length tunic, dark leggings and awesome calf-high biker boots with big buckles. (I call them my Resident Evil boots. In the event of a world wide apocalypse, not only do they look good, but they can also hold two daggers strapped to either boot.) This kind of outfit has earned me more than a few disapproving glances. And I can only imagine what the reaction will be once I start wearing funky dresses once the weather warms up.

What I'm trying to get at is ... what the hell does "dressing your age" mean? Just because I am in my mid-thirties, does that mean that I'm condemned to wear mom jeans and unflattering blouses? I sure as hell don't shop at Sears, but it seems that I'm supposed to be buying my "middle-aged doyenne" uniform there. Judging from the fashion magazines that I glance at while at the check-out, women my age need to have massive amounts of plastic surgery (what the hell is a mommy makeover?!!?), pile on the make-up, and either sport a mumu or squeeze into mini skirts/tube tops.

I think that Carole Middleton looks lovely. Honestly. This world baffles me.

In the end, I'm going to stick with the immortal words of Bender and the world can just bite my shiny metal ass. I'll wear what I want, and the haters gonna hate, yeah? Apologies for the rambling...I think I need another coffee.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You'd think that I've learned by now...

That if a month goes by without me posting, that I should just give up this blog.

But I don't think that'll ever happen. I'm not on twitter, and unless I have a need to be (i.e. develop myself as a brand), I won't be. But that's a whole 'nother post. The main reason that I'm keeping this blog alive is that it's handy for me to be able to look back over time and to see what I've really accomplished.

As a gamer, it's ALL too easy for me to play indefinitely and to forget to do anything else. (Don't worry, I only play video games when the kids are in bed, during my "me" time.) After I stopped playing WoW, I reviewed my blog. After looking at all the posts, I came to the realization that I while I did spend a lot of time in-game, I also made some awesome stuff. And now that I'm not playing any MMORPGS, I'm finding that I'm starting to overcommit myself in terms of crafting. Same goes for reading - I'll binge on five books at a time and then not touch any of the ones lingering on my shelf for months. Guess my unconscious motto is Go Hardcore or Go Home. Regardless of what I'm into at the time. It's a recipe for disaster, sometimes.

For example, in the next three months - I have committed myself to making one Jedi robe, four Viking outfits, and a bunch of diapers for a lovely and blogless friend's nephew and another friend's soon to debut twins. And somewhere in there I’d like to make myself a dress or two. I want a few summery dresses, and have been thinking of making this or this. Since I'm definitely top heavy as of late, I'm having a hell of a time finding dresses that fit correctly. I think I need to make myself a duct tape mannequin. Anyone want to volunteer to help? We could have an afternoon of cloning. (That sounds so wrong.)

And a little knitting. I was asked for a pair of socks - and since they’re for my FIL and it’s one of those BIG birthdays, they’re what gets done first. Then comes a Travelling Woman shawl for myself and hopefully a sweater as well.

Phew. Most of all of that is pipe dreams, as there are still the mundane tasks of day-to-day life to do...laundry, dishes, etc. But I'll do my best. And will document all the gory details of my nervous breakdown here.

So what have I made in the last month?

A Jayne Hat for the Mister.

(Isn't Mr. Munchkin a wonderful knitwear model?)

Some fingerless mitts for myself.

Modded from the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern, as I ran out of yarn. Knit from my own handdyed yarn.

And part of an emergency swap package.

Like the bag? It's another Keykalou pattern, this time the Sweetheart Shopper Bag. LOVE her patterns, I invariably end up learning a new technique every time I make one of her bags.

OH! And I made some new stitchmarkers!

The marble magnets are easy peasy. Not Martha's got a good tute for them. The stitch markers are even easier. Take some heavy wire, wind it around a dowel, snip off the resulting circles, stick on a bead, clamp the ring closed and then stick in some crazy glue in the hole. Done. Tremendous, yeah?

Oh, and diapers.

For a shower last weekend. My lovely blogless friend Cate cut out all of the pieces (THANK YOU), and I sewed them together in one frantic day.

Two diapers,

two covers,

matching appliqued onesies,

and three more t-shirts for the other kids. So when they go out on a family trip...they'll have a complete raiding party.

Yes, I insist on infecting everyone I know with geekiness.

P.S. I LOATHE flickr's new "share" methods. And I miss the days of raw HTML. Just sayin'.