10.26.2010

Upcoming

There are so very many projects to share with you all, but today I wanted to give you a little preview of what may be the biggest project I've ever undertaken.

Here's a little clue for you:

Yep, that's right - I'm pregnant! Today I'm 14 weeks along, and apparently the baby is the size of a lemon - at least that's what thebump.com tells me. Baby Bee, our nickname for the little person I'm growing, is due at the end of April and I cannot believe how much there is to do before then! (You know, like finding somewhere else to live!)

I hope this goes some way towards explaining my sporadic posting over the last few months. The first trimester went really well, my biggest symptom being exhaustion. (Probably nothing compared to when the baby actually comes, but still pretty intense.) If I was given the choice between posting and sleep/a nap, I went with the sleep. Also, it was really tough not to tell! This has been the most exciting news and totally taking up all of my mental space, and I couldn't say anything.

As I'm getting back on my feet, expect lots more posts around here. I'm currently trying to knit up a selection of cardigans to get me through the next few months. There will be maternity clothes to make, not to mention clothes for the baby and preparations for the nursery. (You know, the nursery in the apartment we don't live in...) In between: my birthday, which also happens to be the blog's first birthday, kicks off the holiday season. Ok, so Halloween comes first, but I don't really feel like the holidays have started 'till I get birthday cake!

Oh, and why "Baby Bee"? 'Cause "Melissa" is derived from the Greek for "honey bee!" Ryan has designated himself "Bumble Bee." I think he was inspired by my love for all of those fat, clumsily charming visitors to the garden this summer.

10.21.2010

Snuggly

Hello, Dear Ones! I'm stopping in with a really quick post on a recently completed project - one of many I will soon be sharing with you. Last week I put the finishing touches on this snuggly throw, which was started during the summer.

When I packed up my sweaters last spring, I pulled aside several for the purpose of turning them into a blanket. They were sweaters who had been in the collection for a long time, but were no longer flattering and didn't reflect the my current style choices. Also, they were all store-bought acrylic. I've been churning out so many handmade sweaters over the last few years that some just had to go. Even though I no longer wanted to wear these sweaters, I just couldn't part with them.

All summer long, the stack of sweaters would tumble out of the bottom of my closet each time I opened the door. Argh. Finally, I got out a pair of scissors and the serger and went to town. First, I cut along all of the seams. Next, I trimmed all of the resulting parts until they had relatively square edges. Third, I used the serger to join each piece to the next. It was a full an satisfying day. The sweater blanket then returned to the bottom of my closet, continuing to lunge at me each time the door was opened while waiting for me to buy fabric to back my work (and cover all of those seams) and some blanket binding.

Last Monday I FINALLY made it out to Fabric Depot, where I picked up this sweet lilac colored polka-dot fabric and matching binding. A couple of days later, with fabric washed and pressed, I sat down to sew it all together. I will confess, this is not an example of my best sewing. I probably should've basted the layers together before attaching the binding, instead of doing it all in one fell swoop. I also should've gotten the walking foot from my sister. Thick layers plus slippery binding meant tricky stitching.

I'm willing to leave with the flaws, though. And, as you can see, Emerson is absolutely delighted with the new throw. Since it's completion, you can almost always find him snuggled up with/on the blanket. The project was immensely satisfying. Quick and dirty, kinda. Sometimes that's just the thing. Oh, and the blanket is super duper snuggly. I've already had a couple of couch naps under it - heaven!

Currently, I'm working on another big sewing project. NOT the quick and dirty kind. I'm test sewing a pattern for someone and it's got rather a lot of tricky little steps. I'm learning lots of new techniques and can't wait to show & tell you more about it. But for now, back to the machine. It's due on Sunday and I am working very hard to meet my deadline. So, until next week, fair readers, when I'll be back with peeks at some of my other recent projects and doings, and peeks at what's ahead.

10.06.2010

Not a Total Loss


Something icky has been going around Ryan's office. Despite his best efforts, he brought it home and shared it with me. (Thanks, Ryan!) I had big plans for Monday. I've recently completed a lovely cardi that is just waiting for buttons, which I planned to get Monday. But as I tried desperately to get myself out the door to buy said buttons, I realized that I had come down with the ick. I promptly changed into pj's, grabbed a new knitting project, and headed for the couch. I've been there for 2 days now, and it's where you'll find me again today. Tomorrow I plan to rejoin the land of the living.


While main-lining orange juice and watching Mysteries (Inspector Lynley and Monk) on DVD, I worked through knitting myself a new pair of slippers. These are my Lil' Suede Ballet Slippers. You can find pattern and yarn details at my project page on Ravelry.

Ok, I'm tired again. Time to head back to the couch. The kitties have started their morning naps without me.

10.01.2010

Back-to-School


A little while back, I was chatting with my dear friend Jen about getting her children ready to go back-to-school. She had most everything ready, but the kids needed new lunch bags. After discussing the cost of buying new ones, I suggested that Jen make the lunch bags and rattled off how easily I believed they could be put together. As I finished, I found myself saying, "Oh, hell, why don't I just make them? Then I can blog about it!" And so, here they are.


All of my materials were purchased at Bolt, of course. Each bag takes a 1/2 yard of an interior and an exterior fabric and a package of bias tape. I also used 1/2 yard of thermal lining between the two bags and a couple of snippets of hook & loop tape. Ryan's current store-bought lunch bag gave me the measurements I needed to make my pattern.

The construction was pretty straight forward, the most challenging bit being the final assembly and application of the bias tape through so many layers and with such a narrow seam. But, they turned out quite cute, if I do say so myself. Oh, and the kids were delighted with them!

I was considering doing a free pattern and tutorial for the bags. Is anyone interested? (If so, leave a message in the comments.) Ryan has requested a replacement for his lunch bag, so I could use his to illustrate the process.