You can’t have Easter without a carrot cake bunny for dessert. We’ve been out of town most of this weekend, and I’m still working on going through the bazillion photos we took on our little adventure, but we were up bright and early this morning to bake for lunch at Nana’s this afternoon. With help from “Chef Declan,” as he called himself.
Just a quick post to show you how I intended to wear my Mount Pleasant tee – which was over my handmade Hinterland dress! Which means today my outfit – outside of shoes – is completely handmade 🙂
I did, in fact, bind off too tightly on the sleeves and neck so but not so much that’s it’s unbearable so I’m just going to go with it. I’ll make adjustments on my next knit of this pattern, including a few rows of garter stitch before starting the lace edging so it doesn’t curl up quite so easily with wear.
I’m supposed to be doing homework right now, but the lighting in the craft room is too nice to ignore taking photos of my latest finished knit: the Mount Pleasant tee.
I used 2 skeins of Tilting Planet’s Gazelle Sock in the “Tea with Sybil” colorway, which I picked up at a new-to-me LYS, Yarn It & Haberdashery, on my annual yarn shopping weekend with my friends. I didn’t gauge swatch because I like to live dangerously, and I knit the medium (also dangerous, given my measurements are on the edge between medium and large most days). Based on how it fits on my dress form, however, it’ll do just fine.
I did knit extra length on the body, as I worried the cropped shape would sit too close to my boobs and not be a good look on me. That’s about the only modification I made, however.
Knitting this pattern was a complete breeze up until I did the ribbing on the arms and neck. I had trouble getting the right number of stitches picked up for each side and by the time I got to the neckline I just kind of winged it. I also did not bind off those portions as loose as I probably should have so I may have to redo them, but we’ll see once it’s fully dry and I try it on.
I had intentions of wearing this with my olive green Hinterland dress I made a few weeks ago, but the colors of the yarn also look pretty fabulous with a skirt I made out of some Cotton + Steel/Rifle Paper Co fabric so hooray for knits that will coordinate well with some other handmade pieces. I will definitely have to wear it with a tank underneath, if I wear it with the skirt, just because the finished fabric is more see-through than I wanted. I’m OK with it, though – it’ll be perfect for spring/summer.
I definitely have plans to make more of these in some other colors. Maybe even one out of some handspun, though the colors would have to be more muted than I typically spin for socks or scarves. I probably won’t alternate skeins every two rows, either, because it was just a huge hassle and I’m not sure the effect of blending the two together was even that big of a deal with the speckled yarn.
For a while now, wood turning has been something the husband has expressed an interest in, but has never really taken the leap to try. Honestly, we don’t really know anyone locally that does it that could show him, and the equipment can be kind of pricey to buy when you’re not sure it’s even a hobby you want to stick with.
A few weeks ago, we ventured to Columbus and made a stop at Woodcraft just to check it out and see what all they had. I was hoping he’d get some ideas to maybe strike some excitement or inspiration or something in him. But while there, we discovered they offer the COOLEST thing: date night wood turning classes! And not just any kind of wood turning – HARRY POTTER WAND TURNING!
Obviously signing up was a no-brainer. An excuse to get out of the house without the kid? While also learning a new skill together? While also making something super fun? SOLD!
The class format was super relaxing and fun. We went over some basic safety and instructions on how to approach the spinning wood with the tools first before we started, and the rest of the class went along swimmingly. We worked our handles first, then worked on carving down the wand portion after, then moved on to sanding. THEN we did this super cool trick of taking guitar wire to wrap in the grooves I made to create burn lines to add some extra flair to the wands, using the friction of the spinning piece to gently burn and create those dark lines (literal magic, if you ask me).
A little mineral oil finished the wands out, which turned mine this gorgeous darker shade and the husband’s turned out the lighter shade. They were both made of hard maple, and it’s so interesting how the same type of wood will come out a different shade once the oil gets applied!
The only thing I wish I had done differently was to get the wand portion at the top thinner. I was worried about chunking away too much of it and ruining the whole thing if I had managed to get it too thin, but after it was all said and done I think I probably could have made it work going little by little with the rouging gouge.
Ah well, there’s always the next time. And there WILL be a next
(That shirt? Bought it just for the class. Because of course I did. )
I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing. I really am. Yep, I’m not at all going to fall off the wagon with this like I have everything else I attempt to do on a regular basis.
For real, though. Self-care is something I lack. My own needs get ignored a lot of times, which I imagine is the same for women everywhere. I used to be better about it, and it’s time I try to reclaim some time back for myself.
It isn’t all buying myself flowers or some retail therapy because I’ve certainly been pulling that retail therapy excuse an awful lot for someone who actually recognizes how unhelpful it really is. It isn’t about drowning my stresses with a bottle of wine, and besides, I’ve actually made a point to try to significantly decrease my alcohol intake. It isn’t mindlessly scrolling through my phone to zone out, because all of that social media intake consistently makes me feel like crap.
It’s doing the things I need to do to actually care for myself so I can care for others. Eating real food. Exercising and stretching. Keeping the clutter around the house down to a level that doesn’t trigger my anxiety.
So, today I am doing just that. My gym bag is packed for the week. My lunches are being prepped. Yoga is on tap for after Declan goes to bed. It’s not
Today I’m breaking out another me-made item. It’s an Everyday Skirt and I made it out of some of that $2 clearance fabric I picked up at Hobby Lobby earlier this year.
I made the large, based on my measurements, but this morning as I put it on to wear I ended up taking out one of the seams on the elastic waist and tightening up the elastic. The pattern is supposed to sit on your low waist, I believe, but skirts that sit that low drive my bonkers! I like them to sit on my natural waist, which is higher up on me and far more comfortable so i’m not fidgeting with the skirt every time it shifts its way up.
Next time I might make the medium given that I had to take it in a bit. We’ll see, though. I do like that this skirt has elastic so I don’t have to worry as much about weight/ size fluctuations.
Fresh off the sewing machine, I have a new me-made dress! I turned that olive green linen blend from this post into a Hinterland dress for summer, and I think I’m in love.
I used Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen and kept the skirt portion to the shorter length so it hits just above the knee. I purchased some olive colored buttons at JOANN yesterday to match the fabric, but
Every time I sew I learn something new. This time around, for example, I learned what
Also, shout out to Sara Johansen and her Hinterland sew-a-long videos on Instagram. The button placket baffled me for some reason, and seeing her vids made a world of difference!
If I make this again – and let’s face it, I probably will
Now to figure out what my next sewing project will be… I might actually have enough of this linen left to make an Ogden cami or a Wiksten tank to coordinate with the skirts I’m planning to make, but I feel like I need to actually MAKE those items first before I decide to add another project to my to-do list.
Years ago, when my knit group girlfriends and I discovered we all had Presidents Day off of work, we conspired to spend the day getting brunch and then yarn shopping. I’m not quite sure when, exactly, this happened, but I know it was many years ago as we’ve been going on our weekends away for about 7 or 8 years now and this has been happening longer than that. Time, really, is just a blur at this point. It’s just tradition. Sometimes we switch it up with MLK Day, but most years there’s this wonderful February Monday where we fill up on delicious food and then go touch all the pretty, squishy wool we can.
Some years I buy nothing because nothing jumps out at me. Other years, I just buy a skein of sock yarn because I fall in love with it. And some years, like this year, I happen across a few things I just have to have. Can’t possibly bear to walk out of the store without.
And, for once, I actually have plans for all of it. No yarn was purchased without a plan in mind. Well, I mean, as much as one can. That pretty purple/pink? A Crumb cardigan to layer with the cute
And that Tilting planet sock yarn? A Mount Pleasant tee to layer over my olive green Hinterland dress I’m very nearly done with. I’m very excited about that knit, in particular, because I had these daydreams of a layering piece to go over this dress but couldn’t settle on a color. Mustard-y yellow looks wonderful with the green but it’s not my color. Red felt too Christmasy for something I intended to wear in the summer. And a neutral grey/brown just felt too… boring, especially after the Rosemont Cardigan I’m just about to finish up in the same colorway. So, natural white/cream with splashes of olive green and pinky-peach and maybe a bit of a blue hue just sounded perfect, and I’m excited to report that I immediately held the yarn up against the almost-completed dress and it’s just PERFECT.
I am, obviously, being way over-ambitious with my time. I still struggle to wrap my brain around how little time and energy I have to knit these days, still believing that I have hours upon hours that I can sit and while away my weekends knitting as I binge my favorite shows.
But I have plans. I just need to start taking my knitting everywhere with me again. Knitting a few minutes before work. Knitting a few minutes at lunch. Knitting while I wait for dinner to cook, or while I wait for Declan to fall asleep after his book instead of burying myself in my phone, or a few rows here and there before bed. Knitting, knitting, everywhere I go. Totally doable.
Winter has finally arrived here in Ohio. Well, I mean, it kind of arrived last weekend… but today? We’re supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had this level of snow here in my part of Ohio. I’m not complaining one bit, though. Declan’s gymnastics was canceled today so that meant sleeping in and a lazy Saturday morning, which is the best kind of Saturday morning.
I’d be lying if I said I was having a quiet afternoon here. I came upstairs to my craft room to start prepping the fabric I washed yesterday, and Declan followed me and has been complaining about boredom and how we won’t let him watch anything on TV or play video games. We’re such mean parents, apparently, letting him watch TV this morning and then cutting him off once his attitude took a turn when we decided we wanted to watch something other than cartoons. sigh
Do you see those fabrics, though? swoon! I have managed to coordinate my spring sewing projects unintentionally. I’ve had that olive fabric since October when I originally wanted to sew a Hinterland, and then ordered that pink, light blue, and matching floral a few weeks ago with intentions of making a skirt and coordinating solid shirts out. That bright floral on top I found at Hobby Lobby for $2/yard. I know quilting
I’m still trying to settle on patterns for these, though. I was originally going to make another Zinnia skirt, but now I’m thinking an Everyday Skirt. I love the Zinnia I made for Christmas, but I discovered the Everyday Skirt and the fact that it has elastic along the back instead of a zipper means it can fit me when I’m between sizes, which is a huge plus. I’d hate to go through all the trouble to make something fit to a specific size and then have to find some way to take the whole thing in (or, worse, give it away) if I were to lose or gain weight. It’s just a lot of time and love going into a piece of clothing and then not be able to wear it anymore. I’m undecided on the tops, too, to match the skirts. Ogden cami? More Wiksten tanks? Something with sleeves? I’ve got quite a few Seamwork patterns hanging around that I haven’t put to use yet, so I might need to peruse them and see if anything jumps out to me as perfect projects to go with these skirts.
College classes started back up on the 7th. After months and MONTHS of spending every weekend – nearly all weekend, mind you – glued to my computer in my craft room trying to find some peace and quiet to study… I had a normal weekend.
Yes, there was homework. But was it the overwhelming, unbearable variety that meant me spending 20 hours out of my weekend studying? Not even close. In fact, I had SO much “extra” time that I was able to knit! And sew! And clean! And cook! And, more importantly, not feeling like I was ignoring my child (which, honestly, always felt the worst. “Sorry, sweetie, mommy can’t play with you because I have this homework to do” is the worst. You know it. I know it. #terriblemomoftheyear)
I struggled a LOT with whether I should drop the accelerated classes I had been taking. I am 4 classes away from graduating but would have to take all 4 in one semester if I wanted to graduate by May 2019. That was my goal, originally.
And then last semester was such a cluster. Self-care was thrown to the wayside despite knowing how vital it is for me. I agonized over the decision – if I pushed through it, I’d be done in 16 weeks. Does backing off mean I’ve failed somehow? I struggled with putting my goals first and ignoring reality. Declan is 4. I’m not getting this time back. Is a piece of paper worth missing out on all those weekends with him? Is it worth me being a stressed out
The reward for my decision lies in that first weekend of classes. On Saturday, I did some homework. I wound up a ball of yarn by hand and watched it snow. I started working on a Hinterland Dress test muslin. I knit on my Rosemont
I made the right choice. I know that now.