How Not To Sew, Part II

Step 1. You must be lazy about finishing things and frequently set aside projects in mid-assembly. For instance, if you were to make your son a quilt for his bed, you should not actually finish it for at least a year and a half, preferably two.

Step 2. You must somehow, inexplicably, run out of white thread. You are permitted to have as many odd shades of green as you wish, as long as you don’t have anything that can be used for 95% of your projects.

Step 3. While you are out of thread, you should decide to cut out and pin together as many of your backlogged projects as possible, so that they will be ready to go when you get around to buying thread.

Step 4. You will now run out of pins.

Step 5. (This one is absolutely essential!) You should consider, briefly, running to the store to buy more pins. You know, the store where they sell pins. AND ALSO THREAD.

This Pregnancy Has Turned Me Into A Hermit.

It’s not that I never leave the house, it’s just that I’m so focused on my family these days that I forget to make plans with my friends (unless it is plans for the three of us to visit with someone). On the plus side, I think I am being a better mom. But I worry that I am going to burn out. So, like, if we’re friends and haven’t seen much of each other in forever, could you maybe initiate the plan-making? I swear I want to, I just have a mental block.

In other news, I’ve been busy!


One nephew down. (Please hold your hermit crab jokes.) Still trying to think of something to make for the little guy, who is turning one on Boxing Day. Suggestions?



This picture is awful but it’s the only one I have so far. Obviously I need to block it and sew on button eyes. But first I have to buy buttons. I am most of the way finished with the yoke of my owl sweater as well, so I’m going to need a lot of buttons.

In other other news, I gave up on making Sam an octopus costume because it was stressing me out too much and he has not shown any real attachment to the idea. Instead I am going to offer him a choice between being a Jedi and wearing his sweet little Chinese pajamas to be a tiny Emperor or something. I assume he’ll choose Jedi but you just never know with this kid.

Oh, and! I have decided what to make him for Christmas! Katherine sent me this neat pattern, which I am using for inspiration. Sam has been ‘reading’ Cowboy and Octopus, moving his finger along the words as Daddy reads or bringing the book over to me and saying the words he knows are on the page. He’s also been very interested in counting the buttons on my shirt. So I’m going to make a complete alphabet wall hanging for him. It’s a semi-big project, but most of the work will be cutting out the letters (and numbers if I can find a good font to use–help?). Two seams on the background felt, insert dowels, tie ribbon to hang, and then sew on a gazillion (36) buttons. Pretty easy. I just need to decide on felt colors and buy the supplies.

OMG no wonder I never see anyone. I have made myself too busy! I didn’t even mention all the pattern designs I’m working on. Getting paid for Babs has really made me want to keep going, and I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

The longer you don’t blog…

Man, it is pretty hard to follow up a post that took three days to write. (Not, like, three whole days. But still.)

I’m making a playmat floor quilt thingy for the baby. I bought a fat quarter of brown fabric that I thought would make good bias binding but I eyeballed the color and, well, that wasn’t a good idea. Dumbass. On the plus side, it will go nicely with some embroidery I am doing that needed more fabric in order to be anything other than a piece of muslin with the Acorn Fairy on it. Since I’m doing the stitching all in the same shade of brown as the fat quarter, it is actually quite fortuitous. Except for the annoyance of still not having any binding for the quilt. If I do not finish it pretty much immediately I can’t count on ever finishing it.

Speaking of the baby, we have started calling it Otter because it seems to be playing just like an otter and that image makes me almost unbearably happy. Also, I have a theory: Otter is a brunette. Now, the chances are actually ridiculously high, what with all the brunettes in our families and the fact that it’s a dominant gene, so you may be wondering what the hell I am talking about. I mean, what’s next? Will I predict blue eyes? Here’s the actual theory: when I was pregnant with Sam I became obsessed with the color orange and he has ginger-colored hair; this time I am really, really into brown. Case closed.

In other news, Sam and I are housesitting for Cassie and Will came down for the weekend. He has gone home now and I miss him. While he was here, we watched Indiana Jones and the Impossibly Long Name Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I have to tell you, I went in expecting to hate it but determined to at least have fun watching it. And, um. I LOVED IT. I have almost zero issues with it as a movie, as part of the Indiana Jones franchise, as anything. I thought it was AWESOME and I think I might watch it again. Like, tomorrow. Or maybe even tonight. So there. (I am considering poking around the internet to try to figure out why everyone hated it so much, but it is possible that I’d rather not know.)

Have I mentioned how nice it is to have all this space to sew? I’ve taken over the entire dining table with my supplies. There is room to cut fabric! And I can set up my machine AND my computer! At the same time!

Also, Sam loves the pool again. He has refused to go in it the last couple of times we’ve visited, and he was very resistant yesterday, but by today he was refusing to get out even when he could not stop shivering. He climbs out onto the edge, then jumps to one of us and has us swim across the pool with him, then climbs out onto the edge and repeats process. It is awesome. We are trying to get him to practice kicking, but he likes to cling to us like a monkey when he is not jumping like a daredevil.

A message from Sam: kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk kkkkkkkkklllllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllll kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Those are his two favorite letters on the keyboard, as you may have already guessed if we are Twitter friends. I think he is trying to spell his last name.

I’m sure I have lots of other things I could write about, but this should do it for now. I will be the pregnant one with the embroidery. Sam will be the small one who is STILL wide awake.

When Sam really annoys me, I make stuff for him.

Sam and I don’t really get along on Mondays. I think it’s because neither of us likes Will being at work. Whatever the reason, it’s usually a pretty miserable day, made worse by the fact that Will doesn’t get home until after Sam goes to bed. So I go straight from the weekend, when we’re a two-parent household and Will takes the brunt of the parenting duties, to single-momming it all day. (I know it could be much worse. That’s not the point.)

Sam was really driving me up the wall earlier, so I started making him some Easter treats. I suppose it seems backwards, making presents for someone you’re mad at, but it served two purposes (in addition to the actual purpose, which is having stuff to give him on Easter): I got to kind of ignore him for a few minutes, and I was forced to remember that I like him.

A lot of people think there’s some rule that moms can’t say they don’t like their kids all the time, or don’t enjoy being a mom all the time. I think that rule is fucking ridiculous, and I am out to break it as often as necessary. The fact is that I like my kid most of the time. He is really great. But I don’t always love parenting, and sometimes he is pretty annoying.

I made a little basket out of a recycled sweater and a jelly bean bag out of some orange craft felt I found in my fabric cabinet. I want to make some eggs to go in the basket, and I need to buy a little candy, and then? I am done. I can hardly believe it.

Now if I can just make it through the rest of this Monday.

Fact: Bandannas are Awesome.

(Alternate title: And Speaking of Pants…)


Last summer I made Sam a little pair of pants out of two bandannas. Every time he wears them someone freaks out about how cute they are and where did I get them and really, I made them?

So last week I made him two more pairs (pictures to come) and I made another four pairs to sell. Three of them are listed on etsy right now, as you can see on my lefthand sidebar. The fourth pair will be listed as soon as I get it photographed — my camera battery died. Also anyone who can figure out why the etsy widget is screwing up my pretty sidebar gets a cookie.

Blog friends who would like to buy bandanna pants can get $5 off (except the pair that is already marked down) in March by mentioning this offer at the time of purchase.

EDIT: Wow, sold out! Thanks, guys! I will restock soon.


I tell people that my earliest memory is of my sister’s birth, but that’s not really true; there is one memory that I know is earlier, of my father (or possibly my mother) asking if I wanted a little sister. The question, of course, is whether the memory is real. For one thing, what if I’d said no? And for another, they had no way of knowing they were having another girl. But they did, and we were best friends for years before spending years barely knowing each other and now being pretty much best friends again.

My earliest memory that I know for certain is real is of my sister’s birth on March 8, 1981. She was born at home and my father and I walked to the corner and bought the newspaper. I told the man at the shop about the placenta. I was a little bit younger than Sam is now.

My sister will be 28 years old tomorrow.

Years ago we’d IM on the MSN Messenger, and close our chats with the umbrella symbol, which is made by typing (um). We’ve since moved to iChat/AIM and now Skype, but still close our chats with (um).

So for her birthday I made this for my sister:


March is for UFOs

OK you guys. I spent the whole day cleaning and organizing my craft stuff. I have just a few more baskets to go through. I am feeling GOOD! But also crazy, because wow did I unearth a lot of abandoned projects (UnFinished Objects). I made a list and it took up both sides of a piece of paper. A small piece of paper, but still. And OK, there are a few projects that probably shouldn’t be classified as UFOs, like I have the pattern and fabric but have not cut anything out yet. But still, it’s crazy.

So I am going to try to get it under control in March. I’m not going to say anything crazy like, “I will not cast on any new knitting projects,” because that would be a lie and lying is bad. I am absolutely going to cast on at least one new knitting project. But I am going to mainly focus on finishing my hibernating knitting and even more than that on sewing projects.

Who’s with me?


(Combining this post’s title with my last post’s title gets you ‘Blanket Pants’ — anyone else think that sounds like a Slanket for your legs? Anyone else want one?)

So I had these two t-shirts I kind of hated wearing, but forced myself to because they are perfectly good shirts even if they are too light and get stained across the boobs and whine, whine, whine.

But then I remembered that The Creative Family had instructions for turning adult shirts into kids’ lounge pants. By remarkable coincidence, Sam needs lounge pants. (Well, he would if he ever wore pants. But that’s another story.) So I grabbed the book and marked the page.

Then I went to cut out the pants and couldn’t find the book anywhere. So I winged it. I already know how pants are constructed from making his bandanna pants (and come to think of it, for those I glanced at a picture and then winged it — hmmmm), so I did just fine.


The waistband on the yellow pair is all womlu, because I tried to get fancy. Oops.

Valentines + hat

I made some stuff! That I actually finished! IT’S A MIRACLE!


I made little Valentine pockets out of wool felt, based on this idea, and used a sheet of printable business cards for little handwritten notes to my sweethearts.

(You can see the other pocket here.)

And I made a hat! It’s been rainy and cold and I doubt I will finish my Sunrise Circle Jacket before next winter so I decided I needed a hat. (OK, fine, Castonitis struck again.)


It needs to be blocked and my god the mirror is filthy but isn’t it sweet? Also pictured: my Christmas Sweater (by which I mean the sweater I made with Christmas yarn).

(By the way, you shouldn’t pretend that isn’t a mirror shot at all because I flipped the image so the button would be on the correct side.)