Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big Butt Baby Pants

Spring is so near.  Each day, the morning is a little more light, the bulbs push though those first few leaves and evening is a little bit longer.  We are all so ready. Today it rained.  That fact, in and of itself, is pretty insignificant, but for the last three months… the only kind of precipitation we have had has been some frozen variety.  What a welcome change.

Works in progress

This weekend was still a little cool.  We did venture out on a few walks, had lunch in the neighborhood, played a little in the yard.  I did get some time to get a few lingering projects finished as well.  I had cut out three different sizes of my favorite baby pants, and they have been waiting patiently for me to set the sewing machine up.  The pattern is called "Big Butt Baby Pants" and was designed and published by Rae Hoekstra.  You can find her online here.

An original pair… part three amigos,
part mariachi pant.  

The pattern is really, really simple.  Three pieces.  Easy to download.  Directions are written clearly and there are lots of photos accompanying each step.  And the finished product is pretty cute and - more importantly - really, really functional.  My favorite part about these little pants is the panel in the back that is reminiscent of a classic men's boxer short.  It is ideal for a diapered bottom.  I think I must have sewn no fewer than a dozen pairs of these pants in the last three years.

Three easy pieces.

Here is what we worked on this weekend.  The small fry was really pretty interested in the sewing, and the straight pins.  She lost interest as soon as Scooby Doo came on television, but that worked out too.  I was able to finish three of these little pants in a couple hours.


I made one pair for out littlest little.  They are probably going to fit for another week, she is growing so fast.  And two other pairs are going to be gifted and accompany a hand knit sweater each.  Now all I have to do is finish up that blue striped cardigan…  off to knit.

Almost there… just the sleeves
left to knit.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Warm Hands of Little People

The mittens I knit earlier this year inspired me to write a pattern for something similar. I started out with some stranded color work and a cuff and corded wrist which I loved and changed the thumb construction for an improved finished product.

In the works
The pattern is in work, it's a straightforward one, with a little customization option included for knitters who enjoy stranded color work.  I'm also planning to chart a little alphabet and provide that for people who want to customize things.

It's not too difficult and perfectly sized for toddler hands.  I hope to get the writing done and a tech editor to review and hopefully I will have a new pattern ready for the fall…  It seems like ages away, but I'm not the speediest writer of patterns.

Prototype Mittens front and back
Until then, here is a little sneak peak of what the finished product will look like.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Today marks the anniversary of the loss of one of my favorite people ever.  My grandmother or Noni, as we called her.  I was fortunate to have my grandparents as neighbors throughout my childhood, and although it's been seven years, she remains with me in the best possible way.

Since this blog is about making things, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that she was a maker of a great many things.  She was a quilter, a cook and a gardener.  And she was famous for turning anything I was working on to see the back side.  She reviewed my embroidery and the floats between stitches and my seams and the bottoms of the pie crust.  She took pride in doing things well.

Raising these two little girls, I find that I want them to learn things that I learned from her.  To take pride in what you have, regardless of how much it cost, to keep your feet off of the table, use egg yolks in your pasta dough and to be hardworking and strong.

So I'm going to scrub the ears of my girls to make sure no "cabbages" are growing back there, vigorously brush their hair into tight pig tails.  I'll teach them to grow flowers, make ravioli and feed family meals that reflect how much we love them.  We'll pick jelly bean rocks from the "beach," play UNO with conviction and do headstands in the middle of the living room.

And they will know that I love them because I demonstrate it.  Like Noni.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Finishing up...

A few weeks ago, I finally finished the knitting for my Ripple sweater (a mere three years after I cast on). I started weaving in ends and seaming the final garment together.  I blocked it and tried it on only to discover that I would really like an additional 3-4 inches of length in the body to be comfortable wearing it.  (sigh)  So, it turns out that it isn't quite over yet.  Stay tuned for more of this fascinating tale...

Ripple blocking

And I've also just picked out some other findings for nearly finished knits… buttons, clasps, etc. It feels good to make the final lap for these projects… I love these matte buttons on this green sweater.

February baby sweater – version 4

And the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Loki cardigan is also coming together.  I decided to create a hem around the steeked edges of the right and left fronts. It will match the hemmed body of the garment as well.  And I'm going to sew on some hooks and eyes to see how I feel about that type of closure.  The bulk of the steeked edges and the front and back of the hems is not insignificant (about three times the bulk of the sweater fabric in the stockinette areas naturally). I think would be too much to double them up with snaps or buttons.

Cross your fingers that this works out.  I'm hopeful.

Internal view of the Loki and steek hems

Hooks and Eyes coming soon.
In the meantime, stay warm.  It sounds like the snow is going to fly again soon.