Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sling Shots

This babywearing picture is so wrong. Baby is in the sling wrong, sling is incorrectly slung on me, which would result in sore back/shoulder/neck. I was wearing it sitting, using it to take a little of his weight out of my arms while getting him to sleep. I love the little leg swinging out.

Bad BabyWearing

Then I put him down in the sling, among the fabrics. I MADE that sling, and I'm going to make a few for friends - gotta pick fabrics. (Yes, yes, after this picture, I moved him to a safe spot and covered him up more warmly)


We saw someone with a similar style, and though I thought it was a simple design, maybe easy to make, I knew we needed it NOW and figured it would be well worth the $20 or $30 to pick one up. Except it was SEVENTY DOLLARS at the store.

For SEVENTY DOLLARS, we agreed that we'd wait a couple of days. If I couldn't get new-tired-mumma together to make one in a few days, the store would still have it. If I could sew a tube of fabric with a curve in the join, I'd have seventy dollars more for chocolate. It was so crazy easy that I'm going to make a few more, for the wonderful friends who have been so tremendously helpful and have babes & babes-to-be of their own.

I think for sophisticated urban papas like this dude's dad, I could do one out of suiting fabric with either a very nice shirting or some sort of dark, dense, smooth washable fabric on the inside - perhaps like a suit lining, but a little sturdier than the standard. Even in all the fancy fabrics, it would beat the store price.

Project details, such as they are:
Fabric: Stash: some khaki cotton + a hand block -printed sheet made by a friend of a friend
Pattern: Found via Mamma's Milk - I used these directions at Jan Andrea.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Benedict, my little prizefighter.

Big Ben the Prizefighter

Two weeks old tomorrow.




Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two months of eye-rolling

And not a darned thing to show for it.

Contractors, late pregnancy, the dayjob, the maniacal devotion to finishing the one knitting project making me key-razy... two months of eye-rolling. Not one blog post. Not one interesting picture to put in this post. Really - I checked it out and it's all shots of "this is where we see item #37 that we will have to make contractor #2 correct..." I'll have to go take a picture of something for the bottom of this right now.

But I'm coming through it all, just as baby is due to arrive, oh, anytime he feels good and ready, because he's a fully cooked little nutter now.

House keys and materials have been collected from the dodged-out-in-the-middle-of-the-job contractor. House keys have been passed on to the rocking-and-rolling-says-he'll-be-done-tomorrow-and-I-believe-him contractor. Other contractors with outrageous bids and time schedules have been met and thanked. The other other contractor who is working in the building but not in my apartment but I am in charge of is also nearly done and I delegated the wrap-up on that to someone who is also pregnant, but less pregnant than I.

Pregnancy is pregnancy. I move slower. I am a comedy show when putting on my shoes. I bump into my husband a lot with my giant belly because I can't get used to how faaaar away it is from where my body used to stop. A few weeks ago, I thought these last few weeks were going to be really really killer, but then I started drinking at least 3 quarts, and usually a whole gallon of water every day, and it's actually totally fine. Well, the sleeping is tough. Tough to get comfy, tough to stay comfy, random insomnia... but I figure that's all a warm-up to the sleep and lack-of-sleep craziness just around the corner.

The dayjob? The dayjob is over. I can hardly believe it, and yet it's so easy to not get up and go to the office everyday. This is day four of no dayjob, and I'm already starting to lose track of the days of the week.

The knitting is happening. The frustrating project has been set aside (again!) to work on a less-frustrating but also highly requested items. For Kay's latest collect-a-thon of squares, I made about a dozen squares, and had the most fun laying them out, an adventure she detailed here. My very first fair-isle, a hat for a friend who never ever asks for anything but, when pressed, asked for this.

Fair Isle Hat In Progress

Monday, October 15, 2007

From Most Requested to More Requested

More, please:
1. Photos.
Of: more finished dishcloths, an almost finished dishtowel, finished knit pieces for Blu, and a barely begun "nursery" aka "disaster with ray of hope" as the closet is being redone and the carpet is half ripped out and I'm so excited to see the bits of potential, but in the meantime, all is enshrined in plastic.

2. Air.
BabyCake is making a classic New Yorker's real estate grab. He's currently negotiating with the ribs for expansion, but in the meantime, I find myself panting just a bit after meals, because there's limited space here, and when my stomach is full, there's less room for lungs. It almost literally means I'm holding my breath for the last 8-12 weeks of baby anticipation. It's funny - I keep almost writing "until baby arrival" but the baby has arrived. He's right here, practicing his dance moves and keeping me company. I'm just not sharing his dance moves in public for a few more weeks while he gets ready. He says he's ordered a special "birthday suit" for his debut.

3. Light.
Part of the lack of photos is due to lack of daylight during the hours in which I am home. On this count, I could add: less requested: day job. And also, more requested: naps.

4. Space.
Mostly in clothing, though I could always kick a few choice slow-walkers on the sidewalk as well. I think it's high-larious when people ask me "so do you think you'll actually get bigger?" Um... If the baby was fully grown now, he'd come out. Why would we leave him in for another 8-12 weeks? Because he needs to get bigger. How will he get bigger while I stay the same size? He won't, we won't, we'll both get bigger together. My pants and shirts, however, don't seem to be with the program of "growing together." They seem to be getting tighter, in part of the air-robbing conspiracy, see item #2 above.

5. Stuff.
Actually, this is a total drag. I have all the usual instincts to get rid of stuff, stuff, stuff, a household full of stuff. I think it comes with pregnancy, though I don't know if it's really nesting or just an attempt to make room for this giant belly I'm growing. Or to lighten the load somehow. And at the same time I have to clear out everything for belly and then baby - I have to acquire things for baby. I don't have to acquire things for the belly, unless you count ice cream. We registered on Amazon this weekend, and honestly, you would have thought Mr. Cake was asking me to eat tacks (nooooo, I don't want any more stuuuuuuuuff), but now I feel hugely relieved to have a list, at least. And if you're dying to get me something cute, precious, beautiful, lovely, overpriced, and completely unnecessary, you won't find this on the registry, but right here at the MoMA store online.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Most Requested Picture

Six Months

Six months. Picture taken last weekend in San Francisco. In case you're wondering where I found palm trees in Brooklyn.

Hadn't said anything because... uh, you may notice I don't post much at all - lack of time, not lack of interest.

And? I don't know what else to say about it. There's something horribly formulaic about being a craftblogger being a woman who is or will be home with small children. About women and where we've found we can find satisfying pursuits? About men and where they aren't free to tread?

Those questions are so vague, I'm sure they could invite all manner of comments interpreting and misinterpreting what I'm saying. But that's all I have to say. I don't have any answers or posit any theories, it's just... a funny thing. Blogging about craft stuff is cool and I started just in the hopes of playing a little with the community and to give maybe a little back to the craftbloggers I've gotten so much inspiration and really great information from. Now, somehow, it feels very funny to me to be even more a part of the MotherCraftBlogger gang. There are a LOT of craftbloggers who aren't mothers, who have grown children, who aren't women or childbearers. But, um, I think I'm joining a majority, significant in proportion, and significant in implication.

Now, don't fret - I'm totally excited to have a baby. I have the right partner, it's the right time for us. Of course, it's big and crazy and overwhelming, but the excitement and goodness outweigh that by far. I'm just finding it very strange in relation to craftblogging.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Aiming for the Mitzvah

Kay-n-A for a4A WIP

Once upon a time, Kay and I decided to make a blanket together for afghans for Afghans Mother's Day challenge. Maybe to them it was just a collection, but we made it a Challenge, and decided that we would both knit half a blanket, then put them together and have something to send in.

Kay wrote about how that worked out. I made a half, she made a half, she went to make them a whole and... it was not going to happen. So she made another half to go with my half, finished the blanket, and sent it along. Which left us with her half of the blanket needing a new half from me.

Last week was Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, and Kay was writing about afghans for Afghans and other charity knitting, and I was debating what knitting to take for a long plane ride that weekend. It occured to me that the only project I should take on the place was that blanket. I figured I could pick up Kay's half and finish the blanket before Yom Kippur, which is sort of the end of the old year in Jewish tradition. I have a tradition with friends to mark Yom Kippur by eating dinner together (after the fasting ends at sundown) and we all take turns talking about our old and new years, sort of clearing the slate. I've been trying to wrap my brain around all the things I want to make and all the things that I should finish and thought it would be both a good start to the new year and a good finish for the old year to finish this little charity knit.

So I picked it up on Rosh Hashana, started winding the skeins into balls that night after sundown when Rosh Hashana had really begun, and Yom Kippur ends tomorrow at sundown.

Picture above is as of yesterday morning. As of right now, all the knitting is finished, I'm 8" from the end of the last seam, and I've got ends to weave and a border to add.

I'm aiming for the Mitzvah, which Mr. Cake once explained to me as "brownie points with God."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

All that time I wasn't blogging, I was knitting.

Red Scarf

Indeed, I actually finally finished something for myself, essentially unheard of.
No really, I can't think of anything else I own that I knitted. Here's how it happened.

Step 1: Plan fabulous trip to Europe with Mr. Cake.
Step 2: Accept that there will need to be fabulous knitting for fabulous vacation.
Step 3: Realize that now is the time to finally buy some Koigu. You know you've always wanted to, and although it is expensive, it is small! lightweight! will travel well! And the fabulousness is only befitting for such an adventure. Buy three whole skeins so you're sure to have enough for your fabulous scarf.
Step 4: Copy selected stitch patterns from your Barbarba Walker (1st Treasury) for fabulous Koigu scarf, so you won't have to carry the whole book.
Step 5: During vacation, swatch almost an entire skein of Koigu in several of the patterns.
Step 6: Arrive home, and begin intending to wash and block and examine swatch and possibly swatch just a little bit more...
Step 7: Keep intending.
Step 8: Periodically run into giant swatch.
Step 9: Repeat steps 7 & 8 for 14 months.
Step 10: Run into free pattern online with a stitch pattern you hadn't swatched and realize that This Is It. Decide to forgo further swatching and cast on. (Rose of Sharon on MagKnits)
Step 11: Knit through awesome full-day poetry festival, knit through many many subway rides, lunch hours, movies, more subway rides, and get near the end of the second skein of Koigu.
Step 12: Pause. Consider length. Gaze out the window. Reconsider length. Wonder if it might be just about time to finish. Consider whether you might want to add edging? And what kind?
Step 13: Think of something else you've just got to make for someone else. Make that instead. And some other stuff for some other people.
Step 14: For 8 months, periodically consider edging? length? finishing? Ripping out the giant swatch so you can make the scarf longer? Blocking and photographing swatch first? But don't make a move.
Step 15: Pull the bugger out of the depths of the knitting storage and leave it lying about the house looking like the picture below, always being sure to leave it somewhere it's in the way.

Red Scarf in Progress

Step 16: Repeat Step 15 for three weeks (or more!), continually moving it out of the way into the way of something else every time. All the time. Until it's making you totally nuts.
Step 17: On a fine Saturday morning, spend 2 minutes on the internet looking up pattern, now that you've forgotten it, spend an hour knitting the last dozen rows, wash, rinse, block, dance. Let it brighten the rest of your day as you walk by it grumbling about all the other (non-knitting, general life) obligations you have and are working on that day.
Step 18: Photograph. Wonder if it isn't too short. Decide not to care.
Step 19: Wonder if you might give it to someone.
Step 20: Blog it to prevent yourself from giving it to someone, despite not-so-fab picture.

Check me out! 20 easy steps to make a scarf in only 28 months!

Next thing you know, I'll be starting and finishing handtowels in under 2 weeks!

Chevron Face Towel

Dishcloths in under 4 days!

BallBand Dishcloth

Felted boxes in under... oh wait, these aren't done quite yet. They're for me, of course. The others? Gifts.

Felted Boxes in Progress

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Laundry Quilt

Laundry Line Quilt

A clothesline quilt, hanging on my mother's clothesline. Made in 1976 by my Auntie M and my Unk J for my big brother.

Laundry Line Quilt Detail 1

I love the simple graphic quality of this thing. I think the design and execution are just brilliant. I don't know if they made up the whole thing or used a pattern or had an inspiration from somewhere, but it doesn't matter - they made it, and this quilt is sharp.

Laundry Line Quilt Detail 2

I realized yesterday that it belongs to a family of quilts that Hillary at Wee Wonderfuls has made: kid quilts with large representational graphics. Here's snippets of her cars & trucks quilt, a tree quilt, and a barn quilt.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Butterflies in Mom's Basket

This is a quilt my Mom finished on 7/7/07. It was partially inspired by a African stripe basketweave quilt by Kaffe Fassett in his book Passionate Patchwork (I think that's the right book).

Butterflies in My Basket

It's prettier than "Japanese Beetles In My Bucket," which is another composition of my mother's that I had a good laugh about. While I was at my mom's, just before we took these photos, we walked around her garden together on the daily "beetle walk." She has a sharp eye for them, and she holds whatever leaf they're on and tips them into her bucket of soapy water, where they drown. I suppose there's no way not to make it sound morbid, but they're a pest. It's a whole lot nicer than spraying a bunch of toxic chemicals on everything, and otherwise they ruin the trees and bushes and grapes.

One excellent feature of this quilt is that it becomes two sided. The backing is a light color, and my mother quilted all the stripes in colors that match the fabric of the stripes, so the pattern of the basket shows through on the back, even without this much sunlight streaming through.

Butterflies in My Basket (Back)

Nice job, Mom!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts

I actually have three quilts to post, but they are all so very deserving of their own posts, I'm going to spread out the love.

First things first: My First Completed Quilt. For real. For DollQuiltSwap II.

Doll Quilt

Mailed off a bit after the deadline, but the recipient should definitely have it by now.

Doll Quilt Back

I'm still waiting to receive my doll quilt, but she who sends late must not have impatience for the tardiness of others.

One more picture, just because I'm so pleased with myseslf. I hope Miss Rita likes it!

Doll Quilt on the line

With a big thanks to the organizers of the swap - it gave me the impetus I needed to start and finish a whole (tiny) quilt.

Doll Quilt Swap