Thursday, October 06, 2016

Family influence

The new season of A Playful Day podcast is about family, and she asks how family influences making. Let's be honest: that is pretty much my favourite thing to talk about these days, judging from every single post since baby. The main theme right now is "family influences my crafting by taking away my time to do it."

As I have mentioned before, I spend a lot of time stuck in the disconnect between crafting plans / desires and actual crafting. My queue balloons with new ideas (many of them baby things) and my stash balloons with new materials... And then I spend my days taking care of my wee one, whose needs constantly change but get no less demanding as the weeks go by. The lack of actual crafting just feeds the queueing and stashing further. It's getting out of control!

Hoist the Sails sweater by Triona Murphy

To be fair, this has happened to me whenever I haven't had crafting time. My dreams get too big. It's not just because of the baby. The difference now is that I feel pressure to knit faster to make baby things before he grows out of them. It's doomed to fail!

It's not just time. My materials at different (all superwash all the time) and so are the projects I choose (stockinette and garter ftw!)

I managed to get some knitting done while nursing a while back, until the Bean learned that grabbing is super fun. So now I try and get a few rows in while he sleeps. After a couple of weeks of very frustrating naps, I have given in and decided to embrace the opportunity to knit while he sleeps on me, rather than just queuing and online shopping through it. I am still not making much progress, but for now I will take what I can get.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Accidental Heirlooms, pt 1

I have never made anything that could become an heirloom. (Possible exception - maybe my wedding shawl?) Generally, I make things so that I can use them in my everyday life. I'm not always super practical about it (see last post about superwash yarns...), but neither do I make tons of special occasion things that get used once and then put away. That's what I've always assumed one did with heirlooms, because how else would they last for generations? As it turns out, heirlooms don't have to be delicate fancy creations.

When my son was born I received some things that have turned out to be heirlooms, even if they were never intended as such.


Here's the Bean in a sweater my grandmother knitted for me when I was a baby, on a quilt that my other grandmother made for me. I wore the sweater (easy care acrylic, definitely washable) as a wee thing and I used the quilt on my bed throughout my childhood. He'll grow out of the sweater too quickly, I'm sure, but the quilt should last a while yet. Who knows if these things will pass down to another generation, but for now I'm glad to give them to my baby from his great-grandmothers.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Shifting priorities

When I was pregnant, I obsessed over knitting with machine washable yarn for baby things. Babies are messy, I reasoned, and life is too short to hand wash pee and puke out of things frequently. I was not wrong.

As it turns out, though, I neglected to think of my own clothes. I thought I would go back to knitting the sweaters from my queue once I regained some semblance of non-preggo shape, but I didn't consider that most of the yarn I have lined up for said queue is not machine washable. And I find myself covered in bodily fluids that are not my own sometimes multiple times a day.

DUH! I hear you shout. Of course the baby's mess is not confined to his own clothes! And yet I totally didn't consider this before the baby arrived for some reason.
Anyway. My priorities for my own making are shifting. I foresee much super wash in my future. On that note, I started knitting Cattails in some Rowan Creative Linen, which is a 50% cotton 50% linen blend. It's not advertised as machine washable, but washing and drying my swatch produced no ill effects, so I'm going with it. Bonus: lots of stockinette means that I can knit a few stitches and put it down without losing my place - necessary in these days of uncertain naps.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FO: Elijah

I finished the elephant!
Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Katia Cotton 100%

Notes:
All in all a pretty fun knit. I like that it was totally seamless. Picking up stitches from already-stuffed body parts is fiddly, but worth it in the end. Baby Bean isn't really interested in it yet, but I hope he'll find it fun once he is.

The yarn is soft yet sturdy, and washable, so I think it would be great for other baby knits. I will keep it in mind once I run through my current colourful cotton stash, which is mostly made up of Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK. (Also a nice soft cotton, but quite shiny, so it would be nice to have some matte cotton in the arsenal.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Level up

So this happened the other day. Achievement unlocked!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I made a thing

I managed to make a thing! It feels good to finish something.


Pattern: Just Hatched Baby Leggings by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae

I made these out of an old polo shirt of my husband's, so they aren't a super fun exciting print. Rae suggests using old tshirts for the fabric, and this is brilliant because if you line it up correctly you don't have to hem the bottoms. Win! They took me several naptimes to complete, though they would be a quick project if you have half an hour of uninterrupted time. The elastic casing is a bit wonky due to rushing and also not being super experienced at sewing knits. I've bought a few large stretchy tops from a charity shop to make a few more pairs, since stretchy trousers / leggings are turning out to be super useful for us. You can see they fit over his giant cloth nappy, which is awesome. I am going to try to adapt the pattern to make them a bit bigger so he'll have some to grow into.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Interesting times ; queueing as coping mechanism

The last week here in the UK has exemplified that old chestnut "cursed to live in interesting times." It is like watching a car crash - can't look away but watch in horror as normality implodes. I am angered and saddened by the way racism and xenophobia have been legitimised. I fear for my friends and neighbours who come from around the world. I fear for my friends and neighbours who were born here but still find themselves open to abuse due to colour or religion.

Attacks on immigrants hit close to home. I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner here, but I enjoy privilege being white, Western and with English as my first language. I am a so-called "good immigrant," so I don't fear for my safety. The fact that people make this distinction makes me sick.

I would normally try to do something crafty to regain control of my world even in a superficial way, but productivity is limited at present since all I do is feed, change, and jiggle the baby, spending far too long watching the world burn via social media on my phone during feeding sessions.

My ravelry favourites list grows ever longer, though, as I dream of all the beautiful new projects I wish I could start. That's my version of escapism these days.

If you want to escape into some particularly beautiful things, I urge you to check out the designs of Lucy Hague. I swear that each design she produces is even more stunning than the last. At the moment I am obsessed with Uncia and Iona. One day, maybe!