The spring sewing itch.

sewing-patternsewing-polkadotssorbetto-testfabric
I have longed often to sew my own clothes. I’ve wasted I don’t know how much money on fabric from time to time to attempt one project or another without much luck. Either the item doesn’t work out, or it looks homemade and just… not good.

The husband was gone Friday and most of Saturday for an out of town conference, and I was left with two days to myself to do as I please (well, as much as one can with a baby to care for). I decided to try my hand at the Sorbetto tank – the pattern is just two pieces, with a cute pleat down the front, and some bias tape edging. Also, it’s a free pattern which makes it right in my price range for something that may or may not work out. It’s been quite cold here still, despite it being spring, but I’ve got an itch to trade my heavy winter knits for some light summer clothes, so I figured it was worth trying. Practice makes perfect, after all, and one of these days I might actually get the hang of sewing my own clothes, right?

My pattern printed wrong – my printer tried to scale the page so my 4″x4″ test square was coming up short by about 5/8s of an inch. I tried to accommodate that by cutting out a larger size, but I needed to go up one more (it fits, but it’s snug). I also didn’t think to account for the length being off, so it’s too short. I used some navy/white polka-dot fabric I had on hand, meant for a bag I never got around to, but quilting cotton isn’t great for garments. At least not that I’ve found. I never did the bias tape edging, though I might finish it just so I can get the practice.

I’ve re-printed the pattern today, and I’m going to try another test on some old sheets I bought since they’re also from a project I never got around to. Then? It’s onto sewing with these fabrics I picked up at Joann’s today. Well, 3 of them, at least. That bottom pink is that shirred dress material that you just sew up and hem. It was on clearance and I’m a sucker for maxi skirts with my cropped jean jacket for summer work outfits, so I’m going to make the world’s easiest dress out of it. Two of the fabrics were red tags, the other (the one in the middle) ended up being on sale after I fell in love with it and was already prepared to pay full price for it. Even with all the mistakes on the first try, I’m feeling really confident in my ability to make this tank work for me, which is a first. So we’ll see – if I get confident enough with this pattern, I’m going to move on and try the Wiksten tank! After I saw Soulemama make it I’ve been dreaming of having my own!

 

I haven’t been myself.

Spring is in sight – our neighborhood walk the other day verified as much, with daffodils starting to pop out of the ground and trees starting to push out buds. There’s a bit of sweetness in the air, though to many that’s probably just the damp smell of mud, and the sun is shifting. It’s the kind of thing I’ve been needing in my life, that exposure to nature and the great outdoors that has been kept from me all winter.

Today I’ve been pondering the garden, both the veggies and the flowers. The roses need trimmed, though I’m not sure yet if they even made it through the bitter cold winter (last year resulted in a lot of damage, so I don’t have high hopes for this year). We need to lay newspaper down in the walkways again of the veggie garden, and pile straw on top of that to combat weeds. I have seedlings starting in the basement finally, and I’m finally starting to get excited.

And that excitement has made me realize that I’ve not been myself. Not lately, at least. Last year the garden was half-assed because I was pregnant and not wanting to over-extend myself. Everything last year was focused on, rightfully, preparing for baby, having the baby, and adjusting to the baby. I’ve been missing myself, though. I can’t really explain it, and I know that motherhood has changed me as much as I hate to admit it. But I liked who I was before, and I miss me. These glimmers I get from time to time give me hope, though, that I’m not totally lost.

My postpartum depression is definitely going away, I can see that now. I’m getting urges to dig in the dirt, and bake, and make new things. All of which is something I’ve been lacking. Winter was hard enough without the depression. Now that spring is here I feel like I’m starting to crawl out from my own little hole and see the light.

I’ve been feeling a bit lost here with the blog. But I’m hoping now that the funk is leaving that I’ll be able to get back to what I used to. That I’ll be able to get back to pictures of the garden, that I’ll be able to get back to canning and baking and wine making and whatnot. Above all, I just want to get back to feeling like me and not whatever I’ve been these last few months.

Multitasking

knitting knitting1 reading1 reading2 reading3Yesterday the Mr had a late meeting, so the little one and I some time at home alone. I’ve been seriously lacking some knitting time with all the work I’ve been doing lately, so I took the opportunity to multitask and sit in the rocking chair while he played. I think I maybe knit 4 rows? Possibly 8? I don’t know. It wasn’t much, that’s for sure, though I suppose any progress is progress and that’s 4/8 less rows to knit. After he fell over (he’s still a bit wobbly, after all) and threw a fit about hitting the carpet I had to put things down and we tried reading. I don’t read to him enough, to be honest. After a long day, it’s usually the last thing on my mind. And, besides, he’s way more interested in eating the books than looking at them right now. Fabric books are my BFF right now and I wish I had more than two – I may have to find some interesting pieces of fabric and whip one up myself one night after he goes to bed. We’ve tried looking at this one before but he wasn’t really interested, but this time around he wanted to turn the pages a bit, open the flaps, and feel the different textures.

Tonight I’m getting a glorious night out for wine and watercolor painting. I’m not great at painting, though I’ve always wanted to learn/get better, but I’m going to guess I’m not going to care much about how my painting looks once I have a glass of wine or two. I think we’re painting flowers? I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention – I just heard wine and a kid-free night out with a girlfriend and I was all SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

 

Sunday Sock Knitting

dalekanium-sock

I should be working on my Featherweight cardigan, but I’m taking a break and, instead, working on a new sock project. Life has been complicated and stressful lately and socks are comfort knitting for me. Second nature, almost – just cast on and knit. Mindless but not. Fast knitting, but also not. The perfect project to pick up after a long day and work a few rows on without having to pay attention too much, providing the pattern you’re using isn’t overly complicated.

I’ve cast on with the yarn I dyed back in November on my annual knitting weekend. It’s so pretty in the skein, so I was excited to see how it turned out once wound and knit. It’s very… colorful. It’s fun seeing the before and after a bit, much in the way it is with spinning yarn. It’s always amazing to me how one item becomes another, and how one pattern of colors works up once spun and/or knit.

I’m happy to report that the winter weather appears to finally be breaking – the forecast shows 40s and 50s all week! Can you believe that?! There’s still snow on the ground, but it’s melting which is the important thing. My seedlings are started, though much later than I intended to get them going, and  so as long as I don’t forget to water them we’ll be set for the garden this year. Spring is officially making its way in, and with it a world of possibilities. There are so many exciting, wonderful things I’m looking forward to this spring – soccer games, gardening season, a trip to Chicago (I’ve never been, and I’m going to be on my own while the Mr is at a conference during the day. Do you have any suggestions on things I should go do? Yarn shop recommendations? I’m both excited and nervous about being in a big city I’ve never been to before!), getting back into running… so many happy things to come!

Cabin fever

snow littlemr-walker featherweight-progress

I honestly think winter will never end. I know that’s not true, but good grief am I tired of it. We’ve received several more inches over night, and even more as the day has gone. It wouldn’t be so bad if we could just bundle up and go for a walk, but the days it isn’t snowing it’s below zero and ridiculously cold. Too cold for a neighborhood walk. My cabin fever is far beyond peak at this point, and I think the only thing getting me through is knowing that the Pacific Northwest has trees and spring flowers blooming… it can’t possibly be much longer of this if they’re already getting spring, right??

This kid… oh my goodness. I can already tell the trouble I’m going to be having  in another week or so once he actually figures out crawling. I used to be able to lay him on a blanket on the floor and he’d play with his toys. Now that he’s figured out how to roll, he’s rolling everywhere. Yesterday he found one of the husband’s boots and proceeded to suck on it (just the thought of all that road salt and other gunk going in his mouth makes me want to throw up a little). He’s finding my knitting basket under the end table, too, which means I might end up having to move that. I’m going to have my hands full soon, and I’m torn between complete and utter dread and feeling like I need to start obsessively cleaning everything.

My Featherweight cardigan is knitting up fairly well, despite the lack of time I’ve had. I tried it on this morning and I think I can get away with one more chunk of the Archangel colorway and then do the edging, but we’ll have to see once I get there. I have plenty of yarn so I could probably do 5 chunks of the Archangel, though I’m starting to feel like if I have to do any more purling I’m going to poke myself in the eye with a knitting needle. I don’t want it to necessarily be a long cardigan, but too short won’t work, either. I’m fairly short, to finding that happy in-between is the key.