Tuesday, November 23, 2010

lost my mojo, got it back with gusto, am now freaking out

A few weeks ago I posted that I'd temporarily lost my knitting/sewing/crafting mojo, but felt it slowly returning. Well, shortly thereafter it came back with a BANG and now I'm swamped with projects I'd really, really love to get done in the next 30 days.

It's insanity. I will have to pare down. Here are a few things that are going pretty well so far:

AJ's holiday 2010 pants. Basic, pull-on pants in dark brown corduroy. Just a simple, size 2 pair of pants, made from a pajama pattern that I know will fit. Both of my kids are so tall and narrow - that's why the waist is so tiny, but he needs the room in the butt for his cloth diaper.

Daughter's Christmas 2010 dress. I wasn't going to bother because we're not really going anywhere significant for the holiday this year, but I like the kids to have something nice to wear, I like looking back at the holiday outfits I've made, and this will be a nice, warm, comfortable corduroy dress that she can wear for other occasions too.

The pattern is an old one: Simplicity 5830, out of production. But you can still find it on ebay and stuff. I highly, highly recommend this one. The pieces come together like a dream, it is not difficult at all, just slightly time-consuming because of the pleats in the front and back. My friend gave it to me years ago and I made two dresses just like this in size 2 for Daughter when she was wee. Some of the size 6 pieces were cut up or even missing (!) and I was able to actually re-draft them with some pattern ease and a little patience. I'm using the 6X sleeve and crossing my fingers it won't make that much difference. And still I am thrilled with how it is coming out. Maybe I can find some of those cute holiday tights with candy-canes or holly leaves? Super sweet!

Not as sweet is this jumper I made for Daughter to wear on Thanksgiving. What a shit-tay pattern this was!! I've decided that bias-tape bound armholes are the ultimate pattern-drafter copout. I much prefer either a facing that encompasses both neckline and armhole, or separate facings for the armholes. The bias tape never, ever looks nice to me. It's a Simplicity "It's So Easy" pattern, and frankly the reason it's so "easy" is because of this type of corner-cutting in the pattern. I really need to remember that and stop buying these sub-par patterns.

The camera accentuates all the problems horribly, and I promise it doesn't look so bad in real life and on her body, but the armholes do look lousy.

Oh well, the corduroy is adorable, it was on sale, and the jumper will look cute enough with a pink shirt and pink tights for the holiday.

And finally for today, some new mittens for Daughter. The last pair I made her turned out a bit small. (Holy moly, I am really misjudging her size lately and making things too little! I am thankful I made the red dress in a 6...I almost made a 5 because those things tend to run big but I believe the 6 will actually be almost perfect.)

Anyhoo, she has been leaving her outerwear on the bus lately (grrrr) but thankfully the busdrivers are really great about doing a sweep of the bus and have returned her hats and mittens. Still, she needs a few more pairs of mittens as backups. I let her choose a couple of yarns and this was her first pick. It's really more of a periwinkle in person. I'm using the basic mitten pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns in the second size, at 5 st to the inch.

I can make one per night while I watch the A-team and Magnum P.I. :)

On top of all that I now want to complete the following:
  • a red sweater for AJ to wear with the dark brown pants (may become a vest due to time constraints!)
  • a sweater for my nephew (6-9 month size) as the one I'd started turned out too small and had to be ripped
  • a 3-6 month size sweater for my cousin's brand new baby girl
  • knee socks for Daughter (one is 75% done)
  • socks for AJ (to put in his stocking)
  • hat for Hubs (per his request)
  • more mittens for Daughter
  • mittens for AJ (2 pair...but I would settle for 1!)
  • fingerless mitts for my sister
  • socks for Hubs (totally hopeless, it will never happen, but hey, I can dream)
  • the rest of the barbie wardrobe I've started
  • baby doll clothes for Daughter's 3 dollies
  • AJ's quilt (top 50% done...this will never happen either)
I broke down and asked people to get pajamas as gifts for my children - there is no way I can get them sewn up and the weather is turning quite cold now. And I harbor no illusions about that list. It is insane, I am aware of it. But at least it gives me a bit of a roadmap to work from.

And I've been trying so hard to balance housework/cooking/feeding children/nurturing others with finding time to do the activities that nurture me. It's been a real challenge lately. My mom has been utterly tied up caring for my dad after his recent knee replacement surgery, so I have no child care (don't know any teens in the neighborhood and can't afford a sitter anyway). My son is a whirlwind of activity and his stomach is a bottomless pit, so it's go-go-go from the time we get up in the morning until I collapse in a heap at night. And Daughter, when she was two, would hang around in the family room with me and I could knit peacefully, but not AJ. He is constantly climbing on me or the furniture or whatever, and there is no sitting down to relax when he is awake.

So, you know, my list is a silly pipe dream. I'll do my best.

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