Monday, November 24, 2014

about the socks

You know what I am liking? The weekly progress pictures on the sock. Why? Because this week, I felt like I hardly knit at all. My arm has been hurting (which seems to be a combination of the ulnar nerve problem AND the tendonitis problem that I've had in the past. So my pinkie goes numb and my wrist hurts and my thumb feels weird.) Needless to say, it makes me not want to knit. I do think I have most of it figured out--I think the planks were aggravating my ulnar nerve and the brace I was wearing for that was making my wrist hurt. I'm switching from planks to boat pose, but I need to work up to a 30 second boat. I stopped planking a few days ago--stopped wearing my brace, and moved my pillows so I wasn't sleeping totally on my shoulder and I felt better so fast it wasn't even funny.

Are you curious about the steps? No? Well I'll tell you anyway. I still have my 10K streak going, but this week was HARD for that too. Wednesday I had to take my car in for service, AND I took a nap in the morning (it had been a rough rough night the night before). Then I didn't walk over to the school to get the girls (my daily walk!), so by 3:30 when we were all home I had 3000 steps. Usually I have 7000 by then. Let's just say I paced while dinner was cooking and barely made it. Yesterday was a similar thing--except we helped pack Thanksgiving baskets for the food pantry--and while it SEEMS like you'd be getting a lot of steps because you are walking along a line of food, picking up cans as you go, it turned out to only be 1500 steps for a 2 hour block. I probably have more to say bout what foods you should donate to food pantries based on this, and you can most likely find lots of articles that tell you the same thing, but I'm going to start with my big pet peeve: DON'T DONATE EXPIRED FOOD. And my "rule of thumb" If I won't eat it--I'm not donating it (exception: pumpkin pie filling stuff--I hate pumpkin, but some people love it--I haven't met anyone who likes canned potatoes though--if you do--give me a shout out). But on with the knitting!


As you can see--I'm getting closer to the end. If all goes well I may even finish it thins week.

Also on my list this week were to darn my Harry Potter socks. These are my favorite of my hand knit socks, and they are old, and Opal no longer makes the Harry Potter colorways. (note to self--I should have bought more of this yarn when I had the chance). I was distressed last year to note that one of these socks was getting thin on the bottom, and sad to say, I've been putting off fixing them for far too long. Every day this fall I'd look at them on the dresser and think--You should fix those! So I put it on the list (that coincidentally sits next to where the socks were--duh) and actually did it.


That's the Harry and Ron colorway BTW.

Also on the list--2 pairs of secret pjs (not done) and 2 pairs not secret PJs (done!). I am all set to get the secret ones done too--the problem is I got the elastic measured out for them on the weekend, so you can't really pull out the secret pairs while everyone is home. Joann's has flannel on super sale Wednesday and Friday this week, and I may pop over and pick up some more--for me. The girls are set I think after their Christmas pairs, but I would love another new pair.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I think I mentioned last week that I've been making a weekly to do list, to help focus my efforts. This week I think I went a bit overboard because there are 13 items on the list--I did add the 4 calendar items that I have this week--which is something I don't normally do, but we'll see how it goes. I think I jsut wanted to be sure I could cross something off every day. That's a real motivating thing for me to cross things off.

Last week I did EVERYTHING on the list except one item. The very last pair of planned pj pants for my panda girl still sit in the basement with no elastic because I was stupid and didn't cut a second length when I measured her for the frog PJs. I decided to do a pair for each of them for Christmas, and wasn't sure how to put those on the list because the list sits on my dresser. So I made them SCJ #1 and SCJ#2. And technically panda girl's only needs elastic--which when she decides she needs the plaid jammies that are still waiting on elastic--I'll cut two lengths. Puppy girl should be easier--her last jammies (a set of dogs with glasses) should get done this week. And she is always up for letting me measure out elastic.

This week I also finished a pair for me! Wore them and decided the elastic needed to be tighter--so I fixed them too: pants

Cute right! Sorry you can't see me modeling them, as I am very cute in them. But I'm sure as the winter goes on if you time it right, you'll see me walking (or driving) to school in them.

I never put knitting on the list--I just slog away at it every night as a form of relaxation. And this week I also hauled it to school conferences because it is set up like the DMV. Just what you want in a conference right? Sit in a chair and wait your 5 minute turn. We were there from 5pm when it started (ok we were there at 5:05 and it was already lines) until 6:45 when we saw the last teacher on the girl's team. I am so glad we put them on the same team of teachers! Otherwise we would have either had to split up or spend another hour waiting I'm sure. I'm so good at this sock pattern that I've done gobs of times that I actually turned the heel and set up the ribbing while I waited. I also got a ton of compliments on it. I still have about 3-4 inches of ribbing left. And I'm still trying to figure out how to not jump right back into the next pair of socks without hurting anyone's feelings.


Maybe I'll start the socks AND a cowl and alternate days? Maybe I'll find I don't like the cowl pattern. All these maybes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Socks, skirts, pj pants

You would think that in a week I would have gotten a lot done and have had a ton of pictures to show for it.

At this I laugh.
Seriously though, I did make progress on the second sock, despite the fact that I feel like I have already knit 2 socks and am a little tired of knitting socks. DSCN3950 I was told that it might be preferable if they didn't match, so they don't. If that bothers you--look away.

And yes, I am a little tired of knitting socks and I'm ready to knit something else. However, I still have 2.5 more socks to do. You see I have twin girls and they are very competitive for my attention/love/knitting. And I can't just knit socks for one of them ( these are for puppy girl) without knitting socks for both of them. So I have 2.5 more socks to knit before I can move on to something else. At least the next pair are a different colorway.

I did make some barbie skirts out of the pleather. (I made two!) And it appears that my panda girl LOVES this, as she's asked for a lot more skirts. Like one in every piece of fabric we have maybe. I did take a picture of the one doll I could find wearing the skirt. Which just happened to be the panda girl's doll.

My hand is there because this is the Barbie who rides a bike and so if I don't hold her I get this:

I also made pj pants for me (although I haven't done the waistband yet) and 2 pairs for panda girl (one is a Christmas surprise) --again no waists yet. And I cut out a third pair for her.

I sort of got on a kick while I was waiting for stuff. I should get on a kick about putting in the waistbands.

Planking, steps and decluttering are all proceeding like they always did.

Monday, November 03, 2014

October wrap up

Here we go--October wrap up. In October I wanted to accomplish:
Halloween costumes
Steps, planing, decluttering
Get on a regular schedule
Knit something

Obviously I finished the costumes. It felt last minute, but I think October 30 wasn't bad. The girls wore them to school and entered a costume contest (but didn't win). Panda girl was going for "most homemade"(she meant best homemade, but kept saying most homemade)--I felt like I should leave some thread hanging for her. The weather was NASTY, windy and cold and drizzly, but the girls desperately wanted to trick or treat. So we bundled up (long underwear. winter coat and boots for me, coat UNDER the poodle jacket, and coat OVER the superhero costume--a trench that she flashed open at every door--it was cute.

I'm sure people look at my nearly fully grown eleven year olds and think they are too old to trick or treat--but at least they are fully decked out costume wise. They took their best friend's little sister with them, and I think fun was had by everyone.

Steps! Did you know I've gotten at least 10K steps every day since May 1--except June 29 and August 6? I have! (Those two days were long driving vacation days).
Planks--ok not so great with the planks--but most days! And I really can tell the difference. I need to up either my reps or my time on each.
Decluttering is where I kind of fell off. I feel like when I look around the obvious clutter is not mine, but the girls'. And I feel like I bought too much fabric for all the costumes, and I don't want to pitch the extras, but I don't know what else to do with it. I tried though--and over the weekend, I made some strides in getting at least one girl to work on her clutter problem.

Getting on a regular schedule. Hmmm I'm not sure why I said that except maybe I was stressed at work because I wasn't putting in regular hours. I have kind of a routine going now, so we can call that good right?

Knit something! I planned socks for the girls, with my goal in my head of finishing one pair by the end of the month. And I kind of did--I finished 2 socks. They just happen to be the same sock re-done so it would fit!

The one on the left is the first one, that sadly did not fit. I ripped it out and got just past the heel and tried it on her again, and the foot part fit. So I picked it up again, gave it a wider heel--added 4 stitches to the leg, and did a lighter ribbing. I just bound it off last night, so we'll try it on her again and hope it fits.

I'm not doing goals for November. I know it is a month many people blog every day or write a novel, but I just want to relax. I have a weekly to do list--which is something I started a few weeks ago. It helps me remember what needs doing, and get them done. I'll check in here from time to time with projects, but probably not every day. Although yesterday I sewed a cute pair of PJs that poodle girl wore today for Pajama day (which I sewed quick because I heard her saying she thought her kitty jammies and her monkey jammies were "babyish" and she wanted these leopard print ones instead, and she was really saying--I don't want to wear pajamas to school. Oh well--that's one pair of jammies done--and quick--within an hour--so you know I can pull this stuff off. Perhaps I'll get a picture of them, perhaps not.

At any rate--Happy November!

Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween everyone!

You would think that given how crazy this month has felt to me--I'm sure it has come through here--that last night would have me in a sewing frenzy. But aside from adding velcro to panda girl's belt, I had no sewing after 8pm! Everyone was super pleased with their costumes. the puppy even mentioned that she thinks she wants to wear her "new jacket" on days besides halloween. They left this morning, decked out--worrying about if they would be the only ones dressed up. It is raining (and cold) I drove them today (something I rarely do) and we saw at least 2 other kids dressed up. You'd think that would help, but no--both were boys which--no matter how nice the boy--all boys are YUCKO (unless they aren't if you know what I mean).

here's the public picture so you can see the costumes.
Halloween 2014

So does someone care to explain to me how ALL of October was above average temperatures and less rainy than usual and today--the ONLY day that really counts for weather--it is cold rainy and going to snow? Is this just some cruel trick? Would it be sunny and 70 if I had not busted my butt on costumes?

Yesterday was all about the accessories. I had bought enough "fake shiny leather" to make boot covers, gauntlets, a mask and a belt. She ended up wearing her boots, and since she had on a black shirt (for panda arms duh) she didn't need the gauntlets. I did make the belt, choosing to rebel against the instructions and instead of fusing together the fake leather and some lining fabric (Oh the yards of back scraps I still have from last year's Harry Potter robe!), I chose two pieces of leather, sewn together and turned inside out. Um yeah--don't do that. And it looked funny, so I started to do it their way--and started ripping out my seam, when suddenly the point in the belt popped and wham-o--it looked like it was supposed to! Right as I needed to leave for work.

When I got home, I sewed it back up (Top stitched all the way around) and done! Then the mask. I did the mask the way the instructions said (sort of--I fused the webbing to the lining first instead of the leather first) and fused those together, and topstitched. I wasn't sure how my glasses wearing kid was going to wear it, but I thought--what if I make the eye openings as big as her lenses? So I did that--tracing around her glasses. She was thrilled because the mask fit right UNDER her glasses. So she could wear both and see!

I must confess that ever since puppy girl told me she needed "a headband with a bow and ears" I have been wondering how on earth we were going to pull it off. First, she hates headbands. Second, how do you attach ears to a headband? But in true rubber meets the road fashion--I had a brain spark. What if they were all on hair clips? The year panda girl was medusa, I had bought all these hair clips. Amazon calls them "duck bill clips" I called them something else. I had a whole sentence about it--then googled to get a picture, and lets just say I called them something that was slang for old lady porn. Don't go there.

ANYWAY, I couldn't find any of those around the house, and I was out for lunch around Michael's and decided to pop in to see if they had pink ribbon for the bow, and they had those duck clips! After I got home, I cut out some ears (I HATE that fabric can I be done with it NOW), and started playing with adhesives. Soon, I had two ears glue gunned to duck clips! The bow got wired on to a third and then we had puppy!


Halloween also brings us to the end of October, which means time for goal check in, and new November goals. But I don't really have big November goals and I'm thinking it will be boring to both write and read if every day I write--todays goals: get 10k steps, declutter, plank, hang out and read. Yesterday: I accomplished all that! Because I don't have big projects--I'm not knitting gifts this year, I thought I'd just write when I had things I was working on--hopefully more often than I did before September--but not every day.

I do have some projects though--I have some Christmas PJs I promised to help with (I haven't forgotten!), that I'm excited about. And I have some other sewing projects--a quilt one of the girls started, more pjs for us and all that Halloween fabric gave me ideas for barbie clothes! I mean, how crazy are you when you are sewing a costume and you think--would barbie look liek a hooker if I made her leather pants? Hey, you know who needs leather pants? KEN! Pretty crazy. Also--wouldn't barbie look gorgeous in a evening gown that had a leather bodice and a fun fur skirt? See, CRAZY!

Dont worry, I have no pattern for Ken clothes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30!

I see the light that is the end of the October tunnel. Tomorrow is Halloween,and kids are wearing their costumes to school. So theoretically by this time tomorrow--all will be done. Theoretically.

Yesterday I finished the tutu! Somehow, I had it in my head that I only needed 5 yards of tulle, so I bought 4 yards of pink, and a yard of a darker sparkly pink. I shoved them in a bag and dealt with other stuff. Then, I went researching no-sew tutus and many of them said--start with 10 yards of tulle. um TEN YARDS?! Well, I remembered I had 5, so buy 5 more right? So I went to Joann's and bought some (50% off--I got "shiny" tulle), I thought would be the same as the light pink. However, I didn't actually remember the light pink was light. So yep, I ended up with three different pinks for the tutu. BUT, that ended up being a really good thing--it added a depth that looks fabulous! Even in a blurry picture:

Oh and ten yards of tulle? WAY too much. But to be fair, 5 yards would have been a little skimpy. I do have enough to make a smaller tutu that will look just as fabulous.

Also yesterday, I finished the hooks for the panda girl cape, and started thinking about her belt. I did talk her into her winter boots, so that's one less thing to make.
In case you are keeping track, that means I need 1 belt, and 2 puppy ears.

Yesterday I was really bad about my big three. I didn't plank (went to yoga though and tried really hard to do the vinyasas correctly instead of my usual flop on my belly move), I didn't declutter (I have a PLAN for that tulle!) and just barely got my 10k steps (like pacing before bed for the last 200!).

Today, I will do better. Today I will get the halloween costumes DONE. Today I will get all three of the big three. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I will get halloween pictures BEFORE school.

One last thing, my husband often complains that halloween has become almost as stressful as Christmas, what with all the expectations. The costumes, the pumpkins, the decorating! All too much! And part I think of what feels stressful is the lack of advanced planning. I hate rushing to get costumes done. However, I was reminded of why I go through this every year.
We had dress rehearsal. We put on the costumes so we could make sure the parts are all fitting and working together (and get the cape hooked on straight). Both girls separately put on their costumes and said--OH WOW! I LOVE this! I look GREAT! The Awe in their voices, the joy in their expressions... that's worth it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29

Yesterday was the last day of the five days of black and white photos. It makes me a little sad because there were several things I liked about this challenge. First, it made me get the camera out and take more photos. I mean you can't find one good photo if you don't take at least one photo. Second, it made me think about contrast in ways I don't usually think. So, for example, the beautiful fall colored scene out my window looks not just muted in black and white, but monochrome. And last, I figured out that my camera has a setting to take black and white photos, so I didn't do much post processing. I'm a pretty SOOC (Straight out of the camera) person. I will crop, and sometimes brighten, but I hate fiddling with that stuff. I'd rather take 40 pictures and find one that looks decent. My style was made for digital cameras I think.

I also got all of my big three done, pulling in 11k steps, planking 3 sets--one of 35, and 2 of 30, and putting one string of bat lights in the donate bin. I hung two outside and realized that the outside outlet isn't working, so I may actually get rid of another string of bat lights--I have 4 and this is the first year I've hung them.

I didn't sew at all. I didn't start on the tutu either. I did vacuum up the fuzz in the sewing room (And a piece of fabric and maybe broke my basement vacuum). Oh wait, that's not right--I hand sewed. I got eyes for the cape sewn on the dress (or at least one shoulder--I need her to try it on to get the placement for the other--and hand sewed down the edges of the panda girl logo--because I'm terrible with fusibles.

Today, the tutu gets made. I have the elastic cut--all I need to do is cut and tie the tulle. Also the fitting for the panda girl costume, so I can finish the hooks and eyes for the cape.
I am skipping the last farmers market of the year, but going to yoga. I have a lunch date with my husband too! But the theme of the day is definitely tulle.