Monday, June 16, 2008

No crafting blues

I've got the no crafting blues in a bad way. Things have been chaotic with MIL's move. DH has spent virtually every non-working moment at her house since we got back from vacation. that means I have been a single parent. The 4 oldest kids are fine but my baby girl is high maintenance! I have come to really rely on the break I get when dh is home. I don't even see an end in sight because we finally realized that time is not on our side and dh rented a storage unit today. That means that we get the pleasure of paying $100 a month until we can deal with each and every box. I think I mentioned how slow MIL is at looking through stuff. DH is even worse! We went over there to pack yesterday and he kept bringing me stuff from his childhood to look at. He would look through every page of the photo albums and then show me and tell me about every relative. I love a walk down memory lane but not when it means that we don't have time to sort stuff...and then have to pay for a storage unit. I'm a quick processor. I've always been able to make quick decisions and the slow decision-making people drive me a little batty. lovely sewing pictures to share. I've been sorting through boxes. No knitting progress either. I've just got a big mess of a house that needs to be reaaranged and cleaned in prep for the new stuff we have inherited from MIL. wah wah wah I think I'm going to explode.

At the very least, I *will* be going to my LYS knit in this weekend. The thought of that just might tide me over a few more days...until I can get a 'hit' of creativeness.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Birthday Gift for a Special Boy

My oldest son's 8th birthday was yesterday and this was my gift to him...a pirates of the carribean costume. We are calling it a pirate costume but it really looks more like a captain. Anyhow, he LOVES it! The pattern was Simplicity 3844. I am shocked that the sizing worked out so well. I expected it to be huge since the smallest size was 7 and my son wears a 6...and I usually have a problem with the big 3 running way to big to start with. This pattern size seemed right least for the size 7.

I made the boots (covers over regular shoes,) pants and the jacket. The first picture is minus the black pants because they weren't finished until later in the day. I need to finish the shirt, too.


Boots - I used leftover red vinyl from my cube seat project. A brown leathery looking vinyl would probably be even better but these are fine.

Jacket - I used stretch velveteen from my stash that came from Joann's clearance section last year. I love the feel of this fabric and I had planned on matching sister jumpers but that didn't happen. I did have to buy $17 worth of buttons - 8 larger ones and I used 12 smaller ones instead of the 15 it called for. I didn't do the ones on the back. 1) to save a couple bucks and 2) because I messed up on the back flap. The directions were not clear to me and I sewed, ripped, sewed and ripped several times. By the time I figured it out, the damage had been done and my final result is a bit squinched up which bugs the heck out of me. If I had more fabric, I'd remake the back. I also had problems with the sleeves. The sleeves are oddly shapped with an upper and lower sleeve and cuffs that have a rounded edge. Of course, I have sewn sleeves on a hundred times so I didn't mark the dots...I just did the pyramids...and I sewed the sleeves on backwards. Then I sewed the trim on the wrong side of one of the cuffs. I really, really think the pattern markings were poorly done anyway. These sleeves had a definate right sleeve and left sleeve and they should have had the cuffs done after the sleeves were attached to the body. There were just too many variables to get wrong. I suppose it didn't help that I was working on this at 3:00 in the morning. The final sleeves are still not 100% right since the buttons should end up right over the top of the sleeve vs towards the front like they are. Oh well!

Pants - black fabric from my stash.

Shirt - I have cut a shirt out of a pale yellow top sheet that my MIL gave us...that I had no use for. (She gave mismatched sheets and pillows and I can't stand when things don't match.) The thing that appealed to me about using a sheet was that it was well used and thus super, duper soft. I placed the pattern pieces so that the sleeve edges were on the top edge of the I won't have to hem them. I did the shirt hem edges on the bottom edge...allowing for the hem and moving the pattern off the edge a bit. I hope i can sew it today. I watching a friend's dd in addition to my crew so I might not be able to.

And just for fun, his 'cake' was homemade cinnamon rolls based on his request.

The Red Tent

While working on this project, I started listening to a new audiobook...The Red Tent. I am really liking this story and all the details about sheep, wool, spinning and weaving are pretty neat.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home Again

It was a long, long car trip home but we made it. We attempted to stay at a Walmart but I just wasn't feeling safe so dh found us a campground close by that allowed us to get a good night's sleep before the final leg of our trip.

I don't know if I mentioned it before but we allowed my brother to stay in our house when we were gone. He is in between houses again so I'm sure he appreciated it. It also made it nice that we didn't have to take Mia's rats to her friend's house...because the mom wasn't too crazy about the idea. So, coming home after my brother was here was kind of funny. He had asked me if there were any things he could do while we were gone. I told him he could finish stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen. DH said he could do yardwork. Neither of those things were done. He did organize our DVDs and CDs in our cases...which means that my blockbuster dvds are not where I left them. And at 29 years of age he had no idea that it was a bad idea to put a half-used jar of spagetti sauce back in the pantry. He did that twice actually. And I found an opened bottle of barbeque sauce, too. He must get food poisoning on a regular basis.

As far as knitting, I started Greyson's Wonderful Wallaby on the final leg of our trip. I got a good start on it but didn't get as far as I would have thought.

So we got home Tuesday and the camper is mostly unpacked. DH cleaned out the van and he filled a LARGE trashcan with trash from under and around the kids' seats. I had kept our area fairly tidy and I did clean up the back area several times over the course of the trip so I was shocked at how much crap there was. My kids are just slobs! They would just drop stuff on the ground with no thought.

The next phase of our lives will be consumed with MIL moving into an assisted living apartment. She sold her house and the closing date is June 20th. She gets her keys today. DH is the only kid in town so he will be the primary mover. One of his sisters will be coming June 10th and she's bringing her son, Nathan the college grad, so they will be able to help a lot. And we will pay my brother for his moving help, too. I'm a bit bummed because this move means that I will basically not have dh's assistance at all over the next month. He will go to his mother's house (across town) every day after work and on weekends. She's moving from a large 4 bedroom house into a tiny 1 bedroom...and she can't make decisions quickly about what to keep and what can go.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Winding down

Our mega vacation is winding down now. Sometime this morning, we will start our journey home. We will need to stop one place along the way and we should be pulling into our driveway tomorrow afternoon. The kids, especially Ethan, are more then ready for the comforts of home. I'm looking forward to it, too. I grossly underestimated how much 'free time' I would have for my creative activities during our vacation. Yes, I got lots of knitting in during our driving days and even during our sitting around and visiting times but I'm really anxious to develop more consistancy with my spinning and I think 10-15 minutes a day at home is what's going to help. Our days here have been 'go, go, go!' and I think I'll have a bit of on of down time at home for spinning. I have a ton of yummy fiber to work with.

I finished Mia's first sock last night. Instead of casting on the 2nd one today, I'm going to cast on Greyson's wonderful wallaby. Mia's 2nd sock can be my take-along project once we are back home. Greyson's wallaby will be a larger project and it would be great to have a big dent made in the progress.

Well, my time is up. I gotta help dh pack us up. It'll be a long driving day for us today.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Graduation #2

We have been in Indiana for the past 2 nights. Friday night, we went to my nephew's grad party. Saturday we had lunch at my all-time-favorite pizza place...Pizza King. They don't have them in Florida and nothing is quite as good as Pizza King. I like to get barbeque sauce and pepperoni. Yum yum!

We drove up to Muncie to visit with my grandma who is in a rehab place after her back surgery. I brought her a couple gowns, socks and chapstick. She was really appreciative and that made me feel good. Then we drove out to aunt's house in Eaton We visited for a little while and then we went to the cemetery to visit my cousin's gravesite. We talked about Nolan and Jared and we both got teary. My mom met us there. My aunt had previous plans for dinner at Red Lobster so they went that way. They had invited us but I didn't think the kids were up to it (plus I needed to spend time with my mom and I didn't want to complicate my aun's dinner plans) so we made plans to go to Chuck E Cheese with the kids. Mia actually LOVES Red Lobster and we never take her so I asked my aunt if she minded letting Mia tag along. She didn't and it actually worked out very well because my aunt's 12 year old step-granddaughter was with them. Mia and she had a fabulous time.

The other kids had a blast at CEC, of course. I think my mom has wanted a reason to go there so she had fun, too. My aunt dropped Mia off at CEC as we were leaving and we drove back to my SIL's house.

In the midst of all these activities, I got to spin and ply Nate! I did the bulk of the spinning in the morning. When we got back, it was late but I wanted to finish so I plugged on. Greyson was awake when I was dealing with a tangled mess from a yarn cake plying attempt. He actually peddled for me while I stood WAY back, untangling the 2 plies and then feeding it onto the bobbin. Nate, as yarn, looks great! I still have thick and thin spots so I have no idea what I'll knit with it.

I've also come a long way on sock #1 for Mia. I'm 4-5 rows away from the first toe decrease.

Today is the actual graduation so things will be busy. I'm sure I'll get some sock knitting in but that might be the only thing I get done. Tomorrow, we start our long trek home.