Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thermal Stitch Afghans

So far November has made itself known with strong winds and cooler temperatures, a great reminder that we didn't fix all the drafts that we discovered last year and swore we’d fix before cooler temperatures came again.  The temperatures outside feel more like we're deep in the throes of winter rather than barely in mid-November, and quite frankly I'm none too thrilled with it all.

It isn't that I hate Winter, really it isn't.  It's simply just that I look forward to Autumn all year long and I feel a bit like Mother Nature has decided to skip it all together.  I want crisp cool mornings, sunny and warm afternoons, and evenings perfect for sitting around a camp fire with loved ones.  I'm not ready for Winter.  Not at all.

I'm determined to hold on to the last bits of Autumn, though I feel it will likely be an uphill battle.  It's hard to get excited about collecting leaves when the temperatures are more in tune with that of building snowmen.  I fully expect to look out my window and see a reindeer fly by at any moment.

It is, however, the perfect excuse to snuggle up with our newly finished afghans.  Thank goodness I finished them in time as the girls have declared them a necessary accessory for the current weather.

The girls each picked out their own yarns for these blankets (last year when I actually started them) and I used the same stitch pattern on both of the afghans.  The pattern is from the Thermal Stitch Preemie Afghan that I've used for tons of blankets over the years, I simply made my beginning chain much longer.  It makes such a lovely stitch and is perfect for a heavy winter afghan.  In fact, I'm finishing up two more blankets using the same pattern right now.

I started these as projects to work on when sitting at the dance studio while I was waiting, so they didn't really get my full attention and so took ages longer to complete than necessary.  In fact, they had both been sitting with only a few ends to weave in or a few rows to finish so completing them wasn't really a time consuming task at all.

Why is it that those final finishing steps seem to be the hardest to complete?  Surely it isn't just me?

Kait's Afghan 5

Kait's Afghan 2

Kait's Afghan 3

Kinsley's Afghan 1

Kinsley's Afghan 3

Kinsley's Afghan 2


Thankfully they seemed to be worth the wait, and have gotten plenty of use to make up for it.  The cooler temperatures coupled with the recent time change, that has thrown us all for a bit of a loop honestly, means that if you stop by you're likely to see a scene very similar to this one.


Sleeping Kinsley 1

Slowly, very slowly, we are finding our new rhythm for this new season approaching.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Cade Cap

Last night I found myself in a rare situation where I didn't have a single work in progress project that I could work on.  What?!  How does that even happen?  I've been making a conscious effort to complete some of the projects I've had sitting around and I actually managed to get them all finished.  My hooks were completely empty and it was a really weird feeling.

I took advantage of this rare moment of crochet freedom to work up a quick hat for my little hat loving girl.  There is no such thing as too many hats for this one, and I'm happy to add another to her collection.

I chose The Cade Cap pattern from The Velvet Acorn.  Have you seen her patterns?  My goodness I want to make them all.  They're so much fun, especially the animal cowls.  I love those.  I went with the Cade Cap because I knew I had a bit of wool leftover from the acorn pots I made earlier this fall that would be the perfect color.


Cade Cap 3

Cade Cap 2


These pictures really don't do the hat justice at all.  Especially the second picture, the hat really drapes very nicely when it's pushed up a bit higher on the head (as designed) but that simply doesn't work for Kait.  If I was to make it again, which I think I will, I would add more rows to the body of the hat to allow it to drape while still being pulled down low.

It's really a cute little hat, but it was also pretty chilly and extremely windy outside so my model only cooperated for about 38 seconds before she was absolutely finished with the photo shoot.  The picture below is the reaction I got when I suggested she let me fix the hat and take a few more photos.  Yeah.  I'll try again another day.


Cade Cap 1

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

M - I - C - K - E - Y

A sweet friend of mine was planning a first birthday for her twins and contacted me about making Mickey themed hats for them to wear.  What a fun request!  They were also going to be used as part of their Halloween costumes after.  I used the Mickey and Minnie Earflap pattern by Jennifer Pionk on Ravelry to make the hats.  Oh Ravelry...while I'm still awful about remembering to add my own finished projects, I love to search around for patterns and have a list of things I want to make that's about a mile long.  I'm RusticOkie on Ravelry if anyone wants to follow along.

I love that this pattern used a double strand because she lives in a much colder part of the country than I do, and I wanted to make sure those little heads stayed nice and toasty.  She wanted simple solid black, but I love the original colors on the pattern and would love to make another one as written.  The pattern was super easy to follow and in the end had a really nice texture to it.


Mickey Hats 2


Aren't they absolutely adorable?  Especially if you ignore my makeshift displays.  Ha!  I was just about to head to the post office to ship them out when I remembered that I hadn't taken any pictures, so this was the best I could do and still make it to town before the post office closed.  I think the cuteness of the hats makes up for it though.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Seven

Star Wars Birthday 3

This oldest girl of mine, the one that introduced me to motherhood, turned seven two weekends ago. Each birthday that comes and goes is such a bittersweet moment for me as a mama. I so much enjoy getting to watch my girls as they grow into the people that they are becoming, it's an absolute treat to get to see.

 However, I suspect there will always be that part of me that feels as though time is simply slipping by much too quickly and a longing desire to turn back time, just a bit, to enjoy it all over again.  I think that especially rings true of this particular birthday as she seems just a bit too old for me to wrap my sentimental mama brain around.  How can she possibly be seven already?  And yet, watching her every day I realize it's true.  Wise beyond her years this one is.  With a gentle spirit and a confidence surrounding her that astonishes me on a regular basis.  I am anxious to see what this next year will hold for this love of mine as the possibilities are nearly endless.

I realized while uploading these photos that I didn't capture a single one of her birthday table this year.  A good indication of the fact that we seemed to be quite busy in the days leading up to her special day.  Perhaps I should pull everything out again and stage the birthday table once more?  I don't think I will.  I think I will let this serve as a reminder that the days are short and often move quickly.

While we are beyond thankful for the family and friends that make time in their busy lives to celebrate with us, I have to admit I much prefer the years when the larger celebration doesn't fall on the actual birthday.  I love the slower pace of our special birthday traditions and the quiet mornings of snuggling up with the birthday girl.  I'm a bit selfish that way and want to hold on to all of those special moments for myself.  I know that isn't quite fair but I simply can't help myself sometimes.

But we did have an absolutely lovely celebration with family and all of her favorite things.  True to her nature she planned out each aspect of her day and at the end declared it to be a wonderful day.


Star Wars Birthday 1

Star Wars Birthday 2

Star Wars Birthday 5

Star Wars Birthday 6

Star Wars Birthday 7

Star Wars Birthday 8

Star Wars Birthday 9

Friday, October 31, 2014

I put a spell on you...

Witches 1

Witches 2

Witches 3

Witches 4

Witches 6

Witches 5


These girls mastered the swish and flick, and cast a spell on everyone around them tonight.  They were so proud of all the hard work they each put into their costumes this year.  Designing, sewing, and even making their very own magic wands, each costume turned out exactly as they wanted it because of their involvement.  Watching them beam with pride as they told everyone how hard they worked on their costumes was the best part of the night for me. 

Well, that and raiding the candy stash after bedtime but we're keeping that our little secret...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

KCW Day 4: Star Wars Dress

Typically only the birthday girl gets a new outfit, but since it happens to be Kid's Clothes Week and both girls are big Star Wars fans it seemed only fitting that little sister should get a new outfit too.  She insisted that she needed a "Dark Bader" dress and mama was happy to oblige.

I used a pattern I picked up at Hobby Lobby over the summer while they were on sale, McCall's 6017.  Sometimes I get so frustrated with these types of patterns because they seem to do things in such a weird way and over complicate things.  This pattern was pretty straight forward and it was nice to just cut and sew and not worry about it.  It's a very simple sundress pattern but worked perfectly for Kaitlyn.  She loves this style of dress so I knew it would be a hit, she's not quite as particular about her clothing choices.


Star Wars Dress 1


I followed the pattern only making it a full size larger than I thought she probably needed.  For one, because I cut the pieces out while she was sleeping last night and didn't want to end up too small. Also because I knew that for at least the next six months or so it would be worn layered over a long sleeve shirt and I wanted to make sure she had plenty of room.  Bonus that she'll hopefully be able to still wear it for another year too.


Star Wars Dress 7

Star Wars Dress 5

Star Wars Dress 6


The best part of this dress?  The extra fullness of the skirt made this an instant hit.  "It twirls so good when I spin!"  Yes, yes it does.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KCW Day 3: Star Wars Birthday Skirt

It's hard to believe that we're only four days away from miss Kinsley turning 7 years old, but here we are.  A few years back, without realizing it, I managed to start the tradition of the birthday girl getting a new outfit to wear on her birthday or at her birthday party.  The girls love to have a new outfit that matches their birthday theme, and I'm just happy that they still want mama to sew clothes for them so everyone wins.  It works out nicely that this week is also Kid's Clothes Week so I'm killing two birds with one stone so to speak.  Hopefully I can knock out a few more projects for the girls before the week is over.

This year Kinsley has decided on a Star Wars Lego themed birthday to celebrate turning 7, heavy emphasis on the Star Wars side of things.  Instead of the typical birthday dress she requested a tiered skirt for her outfit.  It's been a wild experience trying to shop and create clothing for this girl lately as her tastes seem to change by the minute, and she knows exactly what she wants.  (and it's rarely what I thought it would be) So it didn't surprise me when she knew exactly what she wanted her birthday skirt to look like...right down to the placement of each fabric and the size of each tier.  Particular much?  I'm not sure where she could have inherited that trait from.  Ahem.

So under her watchful eye I whipped up this super fun little skirt for her this afternoon.  It might very well be a record of the earliest I've actually created a birthday outfit since normally I find myself working until the wee hours of the actual birthday itself.  I'm so happy to have it completed ahead of time and that it was exactly what she wanted.  Whew.


Star Wars Skirt 2

Star Wars Skirt 7

Star Wars Skirt 8


It's so nice when a project comes together easily and turns out exactly how you planned it too.  But the best part about this skirt is definitely the fabric.  Not only does it please my Star Wars loving girl, but it has the added bonus of glowing in the dark!  All the designs in white actually glow!  How fun is that?  I'm going to attempt to get a good picture of it glowing once it gets dark tonight, it's really very very cool.