Half Moon Oracle

It's been a long time since I've had an FO for me to share with you

or at least one that's not socks. Last week I was cleaning out some nooks and crannies around the house and I stumbled across a project bag with a fully completed shawl inside. I cannot for the life of me remember when I finished my Half Moon Oracle but I feel pretty confident it was right before Vanya was born. All it needed was the ends woven in and a good blocking. That's it! It was like I left myself a little surprise hiding out in my bedroom.

 Color A:  Gracelynn Wool , Happee Birthday  Color B: random stash I can't remember  Color C:  Spun Right Round , Fairies Wear Big Boots

Color A: Gracelynn Wool, Happee Birthday

Color B: random stash I can't remember

Color C: Spun Right Round, Fairies Wear Big Boots

I love the way this shawl turned out so much. I'll be 100% honest, when I added in the Spun Right Round I was suddenly certain I'd made a huge mistake but at the same time I was not interested in ripping back so I just decided to press on and see where things ended up. The end result is so springy and happy that I cannot believe I almost changed it.

The only thing holding me back from knitting another is the monstrous stitch count at the end. I already have one giant shawl on the needles so I think I need to wait until I finish. At the same time, I love shawls over my tshirts and tank tops when I'm outside playing with the boys, so maybe I'll put one together to cast on next.

More Littles

This weekend we got to celebrate another little joining our family

at my sister's baby shower. I cannot tell you how excited I am that my boys will have a cousin their age and that my sister and I will be doing this mom of boys thing together. Of course it isn't a baby shower without a cute handmade gift.

Months and months ago Eva asked me if I would be willing to make her son's going home outfit. I said yes, of course, and then immediately started freaking out. Do you know how much pressure that is? At the same time I was honored and completely psyched that she trusted me with it. And then I put it off for way way too long.

Luckily baby knitting/sewing can be pretty quick. The Wee Short Notice turned out so sweet that I'm desperate to make one for Vanya. The directions are very clear and the whole knitted outfit, sweater and socks, only took one skein of Knit Picks stroll. 

This is the second time I've sewn a Harem Romper (Brindille and Twig), and it went much more smoothly this time. The whole construction is very straightforward and now that I have the idea down I'll probably sew up some more. As I was finishing the sewing (the day before the shower) my sewing machine jammed on the last seam. Ugh! I think I have the whole thing sorted now but I had to fudge a little bit and made her promise to let me fix it after the baby wears it home. Maybe this is a sign that I need to bite the bullet and get a serger?

I'm so excited for babies and I cannot wait to get started on some more kid projects. After all, I've got three boys to outfit now!

Sewing For Boys

Today is Vanya's 2 month birthday.

I can't believe it. On the one hand I'm all "look how quickly time passes" and on the other I'm barely holding it together as it feels like we've been in the newborn stage since the dawn of time. Maybe it's because we only just got Pasha to toddlerhood before we started over with another baby.

When Pasha was born I wasn't sewing yet but I made him a ton of handknit items that made their debut (surprise!) for his monthly photo. But as happens with so many things the second time around, I have hardly knit anything for Vanya. I have started sewing again, though, which means I have a few new pieces I can parcel out as the months go by.

This is the Harem Romper by Brindille & Twig out of some knit fabric purchased from Hawthorn Threads. I discovered a love for knit fabric in the Fall (though I have yet to sew any for myself) and found Brindille & Twig a few months ago. Their pieces for babies and toddlers are great and most are perfectly gender neutral.

I still have a lot of work to do regarding the quality of my sewing. In case you forgot I am completely self-taught and have only been sewing for a year. I say in case you forgot, but really I am repeating this for my own sake because I often find that I berate myself when my sewing goes horribly awry. But it's already improved greatly from the Harem Romper I completed the week before.

I've really enjoyed sewing for my boys, but I find the lack of practical boy toddler wear to be frustrating. I don't want anything frilly or overly "cute", but prefer basics like the Puperita shorts I made Pasha last summer or these Maxaloones I cranked out before Vanya was born.

Just like I found that if I want to knit for the boys there are a few pattern designers I always turn to it seems like there are only a few sewing designers who fit the bill for what I want. If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them. I'd love to support designers who recognize that crafty mamas have boys too. In the meantime I'm going to be chasing Pasha around trying to take his measurements. May the odds be ever in our favor.

Still Cold

Originally I planned to hold off on telling you about these FOs until Autumn,

but the weather here has taken a turn back to the OMGIMSOCOLD, so they are coming in handy once again (seriously, it's supposed to snow again this week. I live in North Carolina and we've already had 80 degree weather this month. It's getting insane).

Right before Vanya was born I finished up two more projects using yarn from SAFF 2017. I never made it an official goal to knit all of my SAFF yarn before the 2018 festival, but I think that's going to be a thing now.

  All Points South  by Casapinka in  A Hundred Ravens  IACHOS 

All Points South by Casapinka in A Hundred Ravens IACHOS 

I never thought I was a poncho girl. It just wasn't something I gravitated towards, but then this piece came across my radar back when I was doing pattern roundups (I promise those will be a thing again once we get a little more settled in our new family life). In her pattern description Casapinka writes about how it's really a pullover shawl, not a poncho, and I can totally relate. 

The motivation behind knitting this was to wear as a nursing cover while out and about with Vanya, but he's a very active nurser, so it hasn't gotten a lot of wear yet.

I love the way these colors came together. I did not notice until I started winding the yarn that I basically picked more saturated shades of the yarn used in the pattern. Oops! The A Hundred Ravens yarn was so much fun to work with and held color really well. I will definitely be hitting them up again next festival.

 Pebble Skipping Hat by Jessica Gore in Deep Dyed Yarn Good Juju Sock

Pebble Skipping Hat by Jessica Gore in Deep Dyed Yarn Good Juju Sock

The other FO is one of my impulse purchases. I had never heard of Deep Dyed Yarn, but her Good Juju line intrigued me and the colors in her booth were stunning. I only got this one skein (actually it was a birthday present from mom), but I immediately wound it and cast on the next day.

This has been my most worn hat during this weird bit of winter. The yarn is nice and warm, but because it is sock weight it is not too heavy on my head. The pompom is from FFFabuknits, who has become my go-to source for all things pompom.

 Ok, now that I've talked all about how much I love these winter FOs it's going to be more spring-like, right?

Is It A Mom Thing?

There's been a lot of hashtag mom life around here,

but not so much on the blog. Maybe because I think you'll be bored? In any case, today I wanted to talk about one of the accidental benefits I have found in having a baby -- I am reading SO MUCH. Seriously. I'm writing this on a Wednesday night (spoiler alert -- I don't get a lot of writing time, so I'm writing out as many posts as I can in advance) and I've already read one book start to finish since Monday and completed five books last week. It's awesome. When I had Pasha I did not read this much.

I was really confused by this until I really took the time to think about it. Before it was just me and him, so I could watch whatever tv I wanted because I didn't have to worry about young impressionable toddler ears and he was easily kept facing away from the screen. But now I have someone running around who picks up on every word and visual, so we've had to restrict our tv watching to Sesame Street and Thomas the Tank Engine (with some forays into Blackish). And after you've watched through all the Sesame Street Hulu has to offer your kidlet is probably quite content to start over, but I'm finding it a little harder to enjoy. So books it is.

Books Read February.png

I Instagrammed this picture last week and realized that I have not done any kind of blog post about my reading since Summer. What? That can't be right. Reading is usually the geeky in Faithfully Geeky, but I've been remiss in sharing. I need to catch you up. But how? I've already read over books in 2018 and I don't really think you want to read a post detailing them all. But what about a list? With the most memorable titles highlighted? Yeah, a list might work. 

Books Read in 2018 (so far)

  • The Dry, Jane Harper -- I read this one in a day and was so excited to know that the second book was already published and would be available in February
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire
  • Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey -- My friend Jenny is helping me get back into Fantasy with some really great titles that are not as problematic as some of the ones I read in high school. This is an excellent book, the first in a trilogy, and a great look at how the sexual themes that are so often found in fantasy can be handled in a conscious and feminist manner. 
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle (reread)
  • I Know How She Does It, Laura Vanderkam
  • The Music Shop, Rachel Joyce
  • The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes
  • The Emotional LIfe of the Toddler, Alicia F Lieberman -- I'm so glad I finished this before we had Vanya specifically for the section that deals with transitions/special issues. Pasha loves his brother, but it was a struggle for the first few weeks, and having an understanding of how toddlers process and deal with big changes was immensely helpful. This is the updated version that was just published and the first in my personal goal of reading one parenting book a month.
  • The Woman at the Window, A.J. Finn
  • The Spider and the Fly, Claudia Rowe
  • Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L. Sanchez
  • My Life with Bob, Pamela Paul
  • The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin -- I wasn't sure I'd want to read something that dealt with darker themes and family dynamics right after giving birth, but I could not put this book down. Because the story is broken down into multiple parts, one per sibling, every time I reached the end of a section I had to walk away. I kept thinking I'd go find something else to read, but I always came right back.
  • Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett
  • The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett -- I'm on a bit of an Ann Patchett bender. I've read three of her novels and two of her non-fiction books since Summer and I am on the hunt for more. My biggest difficulty is deciding which one to read next. This one came up as a Kindle deal in February so I read it largely in the middle of the night. Like each of the books I've read so far, this one went places I was not expecting when I started. I love that her books read like a journey, but also are very grounded in reality. She looks at human nature in a way that I find continually fascinating.
  • Force of Nature, Jane Harper -- Book two totally lived up to the hype!
  • How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, Dana K White
  • Instructions for a Heatwave, Maggie O'Farrell -- Another novel that deals with ordinary people and family life but goes to unexpected places. Only this time set in Scotland. I seem to have a type right now.

Ok, so that's only January and February's reading. But thanks to ebooks, audio books, and just being stuck in a chair for hours on end, I've managed to accrue quite a list. You can find links and the latest updates on my Goodreads 2018 shelf.

What have you been reading this year? Anything from your list I should consider? Please tell me! I'm always looking for more books (even when I shouldn't).