• under construction •
pardon the mess—I'll have this cleaned up & looking all spiffy and new again in no time...
I’ve been quiet for the last few days because I was hard at work spiffing up my new home on the Web & getting it ready for guests. It’s not quite there yet but nothing ever is perfect, is it? So come on over, pull up a chair, join me for a cuppa. Don’t mind those boxes over there; I’ll have them cleared out of the way soon enough…
Adirondack Mama is taking a break, so there’s no Sewing Bee at her blog today. But I’ve been enjoying posting about the things I’ve been making, so I’m going to keep on doing it in her absence. Hopefully she’ll be back soon & then I can join her there again.
On my sewing table…
As soon as we got back from our trip to Buffalo I pulled out the Salvation Army dress I bought a few months ago, intending to make it over into something for one of the kids. Summery pants for Asher, maybe, or a tunic top for Julia—I hadn’t decided. And right before we left, I picked up a copy of Absolutely A-Line and spent a few evenings while we were away thumbing through it. The Salvation Army dress? Perfect for a cute little summery A-line play dress—with pockets, of course— for Julia.
I wish I’d taken a picture of the dress before I started cutting it apart. I was cutting one of the sleeves off when I realized I hadn’t, but it was too late to do anything about it at that point. To make up for it, I took a few snaps of the pattern (mid-tracing) and the fabric (mid-cutting)—
I can’t even begin to tell you how easy this pattern is—although I think I messed up cutting the front facing; either I cut the wrong size (or combined two sizes) or it doesn’t match up even remotely close to where it should. But either way, I was able to make it work fine, and since I only paid $1 for the fabric I’m not going to be too upset that it isn’t absolutely perfect.
I traced the pattern & cut everything on Tuesday while the kids were napping, during yesterday’s nap time I sewed, and here is where we are right now—
I still have to do the hemming and do the button in the back, and of course put on the pockets. I probably won’t get to that until tomorrow. But Julia loves it—when I tried it on her to see how it fit, she didn’t want me to take it off—and for a first go at sewing clothes for my kids, I’m pretty pleased with the result.
The book has a ton of projects based off the one A-line pattern, so now I am on the lookout for more inexpensive fabric so I can try some of them. I have my eye on an adorable pinafore & now I have to find just the right fabric to make it…
As ever, joining Ginny at small things this week—
On the needles…
I feel like I will be working on this tunic for the rest of my life! I haven’t had nearly as much time as I hoped to knit this week, and I still have about four and a half inches to go before it’s done. It goes really quickly—when I have time to sit and work on it—but the last three times I’ve picked it up I haven’t even managed to finish a single round. I’ve decided that finished or not, at some point this week I’ll be casting on another project. Poor Asher has been waiting far too long for the vest I want to make for him, so I really should get started on it. (Ravelry details here.)
On the nightstand…
I also haven’t had as much time to read this week as I would have liked. I am still reading Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter and I am far enough along now to say, unequivocally, that I love this book. I’ve added Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog to my regular morning reading. It really is that good; if you knit, and for some reason you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on a hilarious read.
The other book I’ve been thumbing through is Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan. I love all the gorgeous hand-dyed yarn I see around, but I can rarely afford to buy any—so I’m going to try my hand at making my own. I imagine my kids will be wearing some really ugly hats while I’m getting the hang of it, but I’d like to see if I can come close to the sorts of beautiful yarns I covet. And—lucky you!—I’ll be sharing my adventures and misadventures right in this very space.
The downside to a week’s visit to Buffalo is that I’m reminded exactly how much I miss living in Buffalo. And also—a week away anywhere never feels nearly as long as even the most hectic week in everyday life.
It was a wonderful week. We visited with friends, and saw almost everyone we’d hoped to see. We took the kids to the last two hockey games of the regular season—including a phenomenal fan appreciation celebration with more than eighty former Sabres players in attendance—and cheered as the team clinched a spot in the playoffs. I also had the chance to see all the changes the people who bought our house have made—it really looks lovely; much of what they’ve done is work we simply never got around to doing, but in many ways it is so different from how we would have done it that it seems like a completely different house. They’re really making it their own & it’s turning out truly gorgeous.
And just like that—the week is over. We are back in Connecticut; real life begins again today. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little—(okay…a lot)—sad to be back; this time of year has always been my favourite time in Buffalo, when the city seems to come alive again after the long, bitterly cold winter.
But there is much to do here—and much to be done, as well—and before we know it, it’ll be time for our next visit home.
Joining Ginny at small things again this week—
On the needles…
Julia’s Elvira tunic is coming together really nicely now. For such a small project it seems like it is taking forever, but really the first big chunk of time I had to work on it was during the drive up here, although I didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked because for some reason knitting this made me a little car sick. At any rate, I have the front and back joined now & I’m about four rounds into that part of it. Seven hours in the car back to Connecticut on Saturday & I should have it finished. Which is really good, because Julia keeps asking me to put it on her! (Ravelry details here.)
On the nightstand…
Two books this week! At the suggestion of…someone, and I really wish I could remember who it was mentioned Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s books last week (or was it the week before?), so I could give credit where credit is due—I’m just starting Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter. I am not far enough into it to offer any meaningful critique or insight, but I can say I’m enjoying it immensely so far. If you’re reading this because you are also a knitter and you clicked over from Ginny’s page (and really, why else would you be here?) and you haven’t read this book, go immediately to your nearest library and check it out.
The other book is one I actually purchased, if you can believe it. I had that $20-for-$10 Barnes and Noble Groupon burning a hole in my pocket—I wanted to use it before it expired, so I stopped in with the kids on our way to story hour at the library last week. (There is a Barnes and Noble store right outside the public library in West Hartford. I haven’t decided if this is an incredibly brilliant or incredibly stupid place for a book store.) I was poking around in the crafts section trying to decide what to buy when Absolutely A-Line caught my eye. In short, it starts with a basic A-line pattern (in girls’ sizes 3–8—or, in my universe, “the size Julia wears right now–the size she will wear approximately five years from now”) and features 25 adaptations, along with the author’s encouragement to run with whatever inspiration you find & make your own creations out of it. I’ve been thumbing through the book while we are away and planning out some projects, and I’m quite certain I’ll be mentioning this book again in the future. (Quite probably the very near future, in fact.)