Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ready for January

No, I'm not ready for January because I finished all the gifts I wanted to make. Complete opposite. I haven't finished the ones I wanted/ needed to make. We opened gifts at our house this morning and none of my kids received a completed sweater/cardigan from me. I really wanted that to be a new tradition but life definitely got in the way. So many things suck away my time and energy that it just didn't happen. I know many crafters say next year will be different and that they're going to start making things for next Christmas in January. I really want to say it because I hate how I feel right now. I feel really disappointed in myself and dreading Christmas because what is under the tree isn't what I had planned. Every time I gave up a little of the make-it list and had to go shopping for presents instead broke my heart a little. I really wanted to make gifts and not just to save money but to show I cared for and loved my family enough to use my spare time to make something for them. So, in the new year I hope to change the Handmade holidays page at the top of the blog into a place for me to keep track of gifts I make during 2014 for that Christmas. I really want to be proud of the gifts I give and not just hope I found the right thing at the store. 

Anyway, here's the progress I've made the past couple weeks. I have a couple more items I'd like to complete before  the big day ( I have a whole stocking I'm supposed to knit that I haven't started yet. Yarn, needles and pattern are waiting for me to find some time to do it).
Baby in his sweater. 18 month width, 12 month length for a 7 month old baby. Good thing I took measurements.

Enjoying his stocking.

Side A.

Side B. 

Every time I showed him this fabric he smiled so I knew he'd love his stocking. I used my sister's tutorial which you can find here. I, however, just cut out the pieces and didn't follow the tutorial, thinking I was smart, and had to rip it out twice. Finally got it right the third time. You'd think a stocking wouldn't be that hard to figure out. Tutorial's great  - if you read it!

Ornaments for our families.

Daughter's cardigan. Body done. I have started a sleeve but still need to do the other sleeve, button bands and collar.

Other son's sweater. Same pattern as the baby's, different size. Turned out to be too big and had to be frogged so it doesn't look like this anymore. Yeah, it's been a great couple weeks.

First sleeve started on the baby's sweater. It is now complete, as is the hood. One sleeve left!

Started a hat for the baby because I've lost my mind and need more projects to work on to feel guilty about not finishing.

3 finished potholders. 2 of these went to my friend's parents who are always very nice to us (they let us stay at their cottage on Lake Michigan for free). The other is for a family member (basket block).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Elves are Busy

Tis the season for making gifts. Kids have been helping this year. Daughter working on some safety pin beaded bracelets for her cousins while watching "Ghostbusters".

She then helped sew part of the Advent quilt we're working on for next year.

The little guy supervised.

Another picture of her sewing. We used red thread so we'd know which ones we had picked for the top. This project will take us a while to finish.

Crocheted a bell garland for a gift.

Have enough to make a second one and bought bells to make one for us, too.

Little guy helping.

Working on a special ornament for our families.

Older's son sweater. Knit like crazy on it last night and am now ready to divide the body and sleeves (this picture was taken yesterday afternoon about 15 rows from where I am now).

Cardigan for my daughter. This is Sedum. I got the pattern when Jane Richmond offered the one size up for free when it was released a few years ago. It wasn't my size but I thought I could either alter the pattern or perhaps make it for someone else. I love it and wish it was for me. I might have to buy the new pattern for this which comes in multiple sizes (and support a great Canadian designer). I need to have this done for the 21st, which is when we are opening gifts here. Plans are to go buy buttons with her after that so she can help pick them out. I love how quickly the bulky yarn knits up.

Son helping to cut out some felt hands.

I've started to make lists that span 2-3 days of what I need to get done in that time. The list for yesterday and today has 17 things on it. By the time I went to bed last night I only had one thing crossed off. Luckily for me this blog post was on the list of things to do.  Making progress. Looking forward to January.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday Mayheim

Since I was able to come from behind and write over 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo last month, I thought I deserved some fun time, so yesterday I did something I haven't done in a long time. Got out fabric and played with it! I've been thinking about some quilts I'd like to make so I thought I should take a look to see what I had. The baby enjoyed the chaos.

Wondering where he's going to play in all the mess.

This is pretty much what I did all day. Took everything out of the fabric bin. Organized and even got rid of some to be donated and threw out some teeny tiny scraps.  The little guy is napping on the couch, fabric all around. Got to love it!

Up from his nap and happy I still had all that fun stuff around to play with. 

So, here's what I decided. Some is for next year, some is for this year:

I bought these jelly rolls a couple years ago and planned on making a log cabin quilt. I even made a sketch. So that is what they will become. Next year. I might cut them and start piecing them if I can get other projects done this year.

Went through my Christmas fabrics and pulled most of them out for a quilt. Tomorrow my daughter has a half day so we're going to make ourselves an advent quilt for next year. We got a lego advent calendar this year for her and her brother to share and she's not very impressed with it. Next year we'll have three kids wanting to take part and this way we can cater it to their likes. I plan to fill the days with little toys, candy and family activities to do. I told my daughter my plan and she approves. Now I need to iron that fabric and cut some of it so it is ready for us tomorrow. Using this pattern as a guide.

Fabrics to make the little guy some cloth books. Looked at buying some new but they are a crazy price so I decided to make my own. Should be interesting.

Fabric to make the little guy a stocking. Using my sister's tutorial, found here.

Picked some orphan blocks to make some gifts for Christmas this year.

Looked over the fabrics I had cut for the Made-In-Cherry QAL from 2012 (!). Have most of the fabrics cut - just need to do the big background pieces from the the yellow. This is another project for next year but I might work on it if I have some spare time this year - or trying to procrastinate. More info here.

Got out my Cloud 9 fabrics that I still love. Found another QAL that is going on now that I think I am going to make with them. The brown at the top is a solid (I don't remember where I got it from), that seems to go with them. However, I don't have enough for the the whole quilt so I'll be piecing and cutting a little differently than recommended. The green might be a border if I think it needs one at the end.

Going to use this tutorial for pumpkin blocks to make a pumpkin quilt for next Halloween. 

A bunch of pretty fabric that I hope to play with once the weather gets really cold. Who wouldn't be happy to be stuck inside with these fabrics? Still looking for a pattern though. Most of them are fat quarters, some scraps and half yards. The pink dots in the background is 2 yards (I think). Any one have any ideas? I'm willing to buy yardage of a solid if necessary.

Oh, and I didn't forget knitting. I need to turn this pile of yarn into gifts for my kids.  Sweaters for my two sons - black and grey is for 7 year old, browns is for the little guy. Both will be this pattern. The multi-coloured yarn is for a cardigan for my daughter. She picked it out. It's bulky weight yarn so I'm hoping it will knit up fast. I've already tried one pattern and didn't like it and had to frog it. Cast on a second one last night and so far, so good. Hope to have some progress pictures to show at the end of the week.

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