Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taking a Mini Sew-Cation!

Getting excited for my two-day sewcation next week! #sewing #maternitysewing #sewingforkids

Between one thing and another — work, pregnancy nausea followed by pregnancy exhaustion, chasing my four-year-old around Brooklyn, taking an intense hypnobirthing class,* cooking overly elaborate allergy-free meals from scratch, life, the universe, you know — there hasn't been a whole lot of actual sewing going on around here. Knitting, yes (because that's what subway commutes are for). And even darning:

Yes, I am that boring person who sits around on a Saturday night darning her wool socks, sweaters and tights. #makedoandmend (p.s. pictured are wooden darning egg and vintage and new mending wool). #darning #knitting

But not sewing.

And these summer and fall weekends have been too beautiful to justify making the kiddo stay inside and play Legos while I sew. I got myself a beautiful used Gazelle Dutch bike — that very serious type of 50-lb Dutch granny bike with the high handlebars, skirt guards, fenders, baskets, and so forth... and we got Ms. Z a Weehoo iGo Pro trailer bike to attach to my husband's bike now that she's outgrown her bike seat, and we've been taking family rides around the city:

Took our first family bike ride in a year (since Z outgrew her old bike seat) - I got a used Dutch Gazelle bike and we got Z a Weehoo trailer bike to attach to @whatmashekadid 's bike.

Z in her new Weehoo iGo Pro trailer bike

But you know I'm a sewing gal, and you know my sewing machine and I have been missing each other, and that is why I am taking the next two days off of work to sew while Z is at school.

Things I will be doing on my sewcation:

  • Tracing patterns.
  • Cutting fabric.
  • Sewing.
  • Eating tacos I did not make myself from scratch.
  • Drinking mocktails.
  • Taking excessive numbers of Instagram photos.

Things I will resist doing on my sewcation:

  • Reading blogs. (I know I need to catch up on all the amazing things you all are doing, but if I start diving into blog-land, no actual sewing will occur.)
  • Watching moving pictures on screens (unless done while paying half-attention at the sewing machine).
  • Cleaning, cooking, tidying, scrubbing, folding.

Things I hope to sew (or at least cut out or plan or SOMETHING—I doubt I'll get to all this in just two days):

  • 1 maternity dress (Simplicity 1360, pictured at top of post)
  • 1 pair maternity-ized Cake Espresso purple jeggings
  • 5-6 pairs maternity panties from my TNT pattern (see middle of this blog post).
  • A baby gift for a friend
  • A going-home outfit for my own baby — a matching knit kimono-style baby shirt and pants.
  • 1 nursing dress (Simplicity 1469, pictured at top of post)
  • 1 nursing top (Simplicity 1469, pictured at top of post)

So that's the plan. Ms. Z is only in school from 8:40 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, so we'll see how much I actually get done — but maybe it'll kickstart me back into finding a few sewing moments here and there going forward.

Wish me luck! It is also entirely possible I will end up napping the entire time and sewing a lone baby kimono shirt, but let's hope not.

*In case you're wondering why I am taking childbirth classes as a second-time mom, well, let's just say I had a rather long and challenging (as in 87 hours challenging) birthing time with my first child for which my basic childbirth education class left me completely unprepared. This time I am taking Hypnobabies and hiring a doula and I am quite positively set on hypnotizing myself into a much more comfortable — and less prolonged — birthing experience.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for polkadotoverload.com (quite likely to be spent on yarn or fabric).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hetty Cardigan Try-On For Your Amusement (Sweater Girl Showdown Progress)

Hetty cardigan progress

Yes, so I think it is pretty obvious that I started knitting this Hetty cardigan (winner of my most recent Sweater Girl Showdown bout of cardigan indecision and Raveled here) a few weeks before I got my positive pregnancy test. At that time, I actually had a waist...

Now at 19 weeks, I'm not so much with the waist (in the front anyway):

Hetty cardigan progress

I also have given up on my old "don't wear leggings as pants" rule, because, well, I have one single pair of maternity jeans and these eBay-acquired used maternity leggings are really, really comfy. (I'm finding eBay has been my best source for used maternity clothes to supplement the items I sewed last time, as many items go for cheap or in lots, and it can be hard to find the few decent maternity items at local thrift stores).

I realize the sweater looks ridiculously small in front, but I am still fairly confident it will fit post-pregnancy and post-blocking. My gauge swatches grew significantly when I blocked them, AND this is a lacy cardigan AND it is 100% merino wool AND I will be adding some button bands. (My normal bust size may even return at some point, though probably not for at least the first year of nursing if my previous experience is any guide).

AND the back fits just about right, even now:

Hetty cardigan progress

Plus the color is just lovely!

All that said, it is a bit hard to keep momentum on knitting a thing I will not really be able to wear properly for at least 5 months. I find myself itching to knit a big scarf or wrap and some mittens, plus lots of baby things. We'll see when these sleeves will actually happen!

What do you think so far?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finished: Handpainted Hugs and Kisses Baby Socks (Better Than Booties Baby Socks)

Hugs and kisses handpainted baby socks

19 weeks in, and I've finally finished my first project for little "Text Message" Wood (as my four-year-old daughter Z wants to call the baby) or "Torch Wood" (as my nerdy husband and I have been referring to him/her). The first sock took maybe a day or two, and then I got a case of the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome and it took me a month to finish the second.

It's partly because I got some really good "help" from Ms. Z winding the yarn, so somehow the inside of the second ball was completely tangled and needing days and days of untwisting and unpicking... (oh how I love my ball winder and swift, but they DO need to be operated in one direction at a time).

Helping me wind my sock yarn... #knitting

This is my third time making the free "Better Than Booties Baby Socks" pattern (this project and all details Raveled here) but somehow these came out gigantic, more of a two-year-old size.

I think my favorite part is that I FINALLY used up a small bit of some of the sock blanks I hand-painted with some talented knitting friends back in 2008:

Mikhaela makes a weird green, blue and ochre sock blank

Yes, that's all I have finished for the baby so far. What can I say? The second-trimester surge of energy I experienced last time around doesn't seem to be materializing, and I think it's due to all the chasing around after this one...

It was hard to persuade her to leave the beach and ride the Wonder Wheel...

Next up: I'm finishing a cardigan for myself (almost done with the Hetty by Andi Satterlund) and for baby, and a scarf for myself and a hat for baby. How are your fall knitting plans shaping up?


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