Thursday, August 27, 2009

Making yarn myself...

As a sideline to make and make-do: homemade yarn. I haven't spun in a year, but with a borrowed wheel, 3 ounces of Karaoke (50% soysilk 50% merino wool) and 2 mornings before my daughter woke up - YARN! I'm relieved that I remembered what the hell I was doing. It was different spinning without being pregnant - surprisingly different. But I got the hang of it again. I only have the one bobbin, so I'm going to have to wind it off to ply it. I can't decide whether to Navajo ply or Andean ply as it already has really long color repeats. If I Navajo ply - really long repeats, 3 ply.. If I Andean ply - barber pole, 2 ply. Keeping in mind that it is just 3 ounces, i think it better be Andean - hmmmm.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Make and make-do: going slowly....

Well, I've finished the ribbing on Badger's hat. Man, I do not like 2x2 ribbing. Three inches of it, ugh. However, it's just 88 stitches around, so at least it's not a sweater. I think the pokyness of the project is more due to the fact that it is black yarn more than that it has a bunch of ribbing.
That being said, I feel a bit discouraged that a project that should take 2 days at the most is taking a week or so. Granted, Rose has been keeping me up until or past 4 in the morning. But looking at the list that I am trying to get accomplished this year, I am wondering if I was being over-ambitious. Me? Over-ambitious? When has that ever happened?

I really wonder how other crafty mamas get stuff done. It seems that I can only get anything done after every single person in the house is asleep - which means that I get very little sleep. Morning comes and there's breakfast, playing with children who do not like to play independently, lunch, errands, chores, dinner, showers, bed. Craft time? It makes me feel a little guilty trying to carve out craft-time by myself. DH Matt does so much of the housework, for which I am GRATEFUL. However, I spend my day and evening being crawled over, shat upon, covered in toys,nursing every 2 hours, being read LEGO facts to, and having bananas spat upon me by children who I love with all my heart. Full-time Mama-dom is tiring, frustrating and heart-rendingly lovely at the same time. It can also be stultifyingly lacking in the time to create for one's self. Would I change it? I might change the 4 a.m. bedtime.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Well, I am working on a hat for Badger. He wanted a black watch cap so that he could match his Lego guys. Ribbing, lots of ribbing. But it will be easy-peasy after that.

I also finished a new steering wheel cover that I crocheted from some suede-type chenille that was in my stash. So, stash used up and $20 or so saved for making the cover instead of buying it. And the yarn was gift yarn besides (rubbing little hands together.)

Broke my Camera!

Dang it! I broke my digital camera. Rats.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The totals are in: Make or Make-do project list

One might wonder why, besides the obvious economic climate, a person might choose to embark on a massive family clothing project. Well, I am the mother of two young children and haven't worked outside of the home since 2002. My lovely husband got laid off in January after 15 years in the industry because of the downturn in the economy. We have been living frugally since then, even before then. However, after 8 months of job-searching, things are still not looking up. I have started to teach knitting and crochet classes to a few private students - but much of the teaching has been volunteer work at the local library. My husband has been trying to get a small business together as well.

Thankfully, I come from a long tradition of DIYers. My mother and her grandmother sewed and cooked and knitted or crocheted. I am grateful that they taught me. I have always cooked and sewed for myself and my family to supplement what we bought. For the past 10 years or so I have been knitting and for the last year I have been crocheting. Now, the need is greater - so I'm stepping up with my skills. Besides - no sweat labor (besides my own) and no items left for the landfill.

I have decided to be a part of the make or make-do list myself and get some projects that I had planned or had supplies for made as well. After looking at my knitting and crochet list as well as the sewing list here are the totals for the year's worth of clothing:

  • 2 baby sweaters
  • 1 shawl
  • 14 hats (for 6 people - Rose, Badger, DH Matt, one of my brothers, his wife, and myself.)
  • 2 pairs of fingerless mitts
  • 1 pair of baby mittens
  • 3 pairs of socks (2 baby, 1 adult)
  • 2 purses (1 crocheted)
  • 1 top half of sundress
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of polarfleece pants
  • 3 coats (1 polarfleece, 1 brocade, 1 faux suede)
  • 9 1/2 dresses (bottom half of sundress included)
  • 7 skirts (3 baby, 4 adult)
  • 2 longsleeve shirts
  • 2-3 hats (1-2 sunhats, 1 polarfleece cap)
  • 1 pair of wrap pants
  • 1 gauze top
Upcycled or Reused items
  • 6 baby shirts
  • 2 of my tshirts
  • 1 tshirt for my brother
  • 6 baby pants

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make-do project continues

Here's the beginning of the great make-do project. This sweater is for Rose and uses a 50% wool, 50% acrylic yarn that was in my stash and is from a pattern that I had on hand. On Saturday, we found 2 pairs of boys' jeans for $5 each and a heavy parka for Badger for $7 from the local resale store. The parka needed a little repair - most of it being split seams on the sleeves - but it only took an hour to fix. We found Rose 3 pairs of leggings and one pair of sweatpants for $2 each resale. The only new things we are buying new are underpants, 2 pairs of sweatpants, and socks for Badger and 3 tshirts, 3 camisoles, and some socks for Rose. I found 5 fat quarters of fabric to embellish Badger's old shirts to repurpose those for Rose. She'll have 5 pairs of his pants that I had sewn for him as well. On to the next sweater.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The other big making project.

I have decided that, for economy's sake, I will be making all of my daughter's clothes for the fall, winter, and spring. I'll also be making a good bit of clothing for my son as well. Jeans, however, are easier and less expensive to buy resale than make. Besides - lessen the landfill burden, right? I already have some sweaters started or planned to knit for Rose, as well as hats, legwarmers, socks, and a blankie. I'll be sewing her dresses, some long-sleeve shirts, leggings, and a coat. Badger will be getting a pair of red polarfleece pants at the very least. He's also outgrown many of his knit hats, so he gets at least three more. I need a few patterns, but the goal is to recycle some of my tshirts as well as using fabric that I already have. Rose and Badger will both need regular socks, and Badger will need a new or resale coat and possibly some more jeans, but other than that everything else will be made. So the goal for the day is to take advantage of the 5 for $5 pattern sale at the local fabric store and possibly get some more elastic - but that should be all I need. I'll post as I finish things, but I'm going to have to make a list of all that I have to make because my knitting queue alone is long. Thankfully, I don't expect that it will get really cool until December, so I have a few months lead time.

Upcycled Cephalopod Shirt #1

Well, I'm progressing on my brother's upcycled shirt project. I found a tshirt with a nice, but moody, beach scene - perfect for his Cthulu Is Sleeping shirt. My mom and I went to the cloth store and found a lovely swirly green fat quarter of fabric for his head and body as well as a smale scale hawaiian print for his shirt. I will also have to put on some linen-weave fabric for sand. The tshirt has a large logo for the Vietnamese-American Aerospace Professional Assoc. on it and I'm covering that with a large oval of the green with Cthulu's face stitched over it. We also found a tropical drink themed Hawaiian shirt that I will be using for a margarita for the guy. Updates soon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Let the cephalopod project begin!

This is the squid hat that I made for my son's 4th birthday. It has inspired the great cephalopod project. I will be taking recycled vacation tshirts and art tshirts and changing the context of the pictures with the addition of appliqued octopus and squid. I already have two orders from my brother for Cthulu images.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Howdy from the ocean!

I have finally buckled to family and friend's pressure to start a blog - so here it is. I will be writing about and posting pictures (and patterns) of all the needlework that I do, much to my husband's relief. He will no longer have to hear me hash out plans for a floating man-of-war hat (the Cnidarian, not the ship.)

I will also write about fiber research and technology, because I can. There will be discussions of my family history of textiles.

So, check back for posts about all these and knitting, crochet, and sewing.