Digging In

Look what I found stuffed in a drawer!

IMG_6465
I am thrilled.

It’s an unfinished and long-forgotten Ella Top by Liola Patterns! I started this sometime last year. The fabric is a double gauze that frays like crazy and I had french-seamed everything like I like to do. French seams would normally be a prudent choice for a frays-like-crazy fabric, but in this case their use backfired. There was no possible way to tear the seam without tearing my fabric. I couldn’t even discern the seam from the fabric’s warp and weft. When I tried this on and it looked awful I just didn’t know what I could possibly do to try to salvage it.

If I hadn’t had an attachment to the fabric I may have chucked it. But this is the same print that I selected when I was inspired to make a tiny baby baby jumper from 1 Yard Wonders for my first baby years and years ago in a sewing-as-nesting jag that didn’t take hold.

IMG_9252.JPG
Exhibits 1 and 2

I don’t think I ever put her in it. I was intimated by buttonholes. I used to be embarrassed to admit that buttonholes intimidate me, but having recently used my mother’s borrowed Bernina with a programmable buttonhole function to finish Hubs’ shirt I challenge any of you to use a nearly-40-year-old machine to make manual buttonholes and tell me it isn’t intimidating. The gigantic snaps I sewed in (badly) as a substitute were bulky and awkward and it turns out that jumpers are simply not my go-to garment when it comes to dressing an infant.

You can also see that I made some curtains with that print. I made those for my last baby.

And it was a gift! I would hate to not use a gift. It makes sense that I would choose the same print myself, but in this case my mother-in-law chose it for me! Thus this print has turned into a bit of a theme just as dandelions have become a personal metaphor for accepting life’s small frustrations. I think that’s not typically the way people read meaning into dandelions, but I am my father’s daughter. His lawn preservation battle rages on.

I was able to eke out two sleeveless tops from the two yards of coordinating fabric she gave me. A Ruby top came together well enough:

IMG_8889

I’m not sure about that sagging in the front, but I don’t care enough to do anything about it, either. Is it a bust fit issue or did my fabric stretch? Dunno. Don’t care.

This Ella one, though. Nope. Not working. Tune in again to see if my hacking and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants alterations helped.

To the Left, To the Left

I have a lot of insomnia stories – I’m great at parties, let me tell you – and they’re mostly as incredibly boring as you would expect. Like when I was pregnant the second time? And I would wake up for the day at 3 in the morning? I did so much spinning! The end.

A few years ago my esteemed parents-in-law gave me a Hansen miniSpinner for Christmas. I was so surprised and so pleased and so spoiled (linking to Hansen’s site makes me feel both unworthy and grateful all over again) and when I sat down to play with my new toy I was so completely flummoxed. What a disaster. My mother in law arranged a short tête-à-tête with Beth, the miniSpinner’s purveyor (aren’t I lucky? I’m seriously lucky) who set me on my way.

My Precious:

IMG_7827
Trying to find light on a dark early fall morning

My spoils still on hand:

Yeah, I was doing a lot of not sleeping.

I had started a Baby Surprise Jacket because a BSJ in handspun is the absolute peak of knitting perfection and I’ve thought so since seeing Brooklyn Tweed’s version way back when. I’ll pause here to brag about my own successful handspun BSJs…

…because this skein didn’t turn out to be one of them. Not enough yarn. Womp womp.  I set the project aside and decided I would make a cowl someday and here it is. The left-learning stitches are a sign of an unbalanced yarn, but a handspun’s imperfections are part of a its charm.

IMG_7807
I’m sleeping much better, now, though you wouldn’t know it from any of the photos I took of myself.
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective by Alexa Ludeman, Tin Can Knits
Size: Smaller
Yarn: 2-ply handspun, Crown Mountain Farms, Awakening
IMG_7812
I’d originally titled this post “A Little to the Left,” but I’m too much of a prude to use it.

Insomnia is also a big part of why/when/how I started sewing. Like I said, great at parties.