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).

 

More Socks

I told you, 

it's sock city over here.

Obliviate.png

Pair #2 is the only complete pair of adult socks that I finished during the Ravellenics. And they are also not for me.

Pattern:  Obliviate  by Sarah Stevens  Yarn:  Nox Yarn Co , Faunus Sock, Beautiful Monster

Pattern: Obliviate by Sarah Stevens

Yarn: Nox Yarn Co, Faunus Sock, Beautiful Monster

This pair is for my mom (sorry to spoil the surprise, Mom). You might remember that she dropped some heavy-handed hints a few months ago that she would like more socks, so this is the second pair of "just because" socks I have knit for her. I loved knitting this pattern so much that I've started a second pair for myself, and I think I'll knit them just as tall. Usually by now I'm looking to knit shorties for the next six months or so, but it's still freezing here, meaning tall socks are a must.

Not only was this pattern a joy to knit, but the yarn is a dream. I love my super soft socks for sure, but I have really been drawn to the more hearty BFL/nylon blends. There's something about the textured feel on my needles that I really enjoy. Mom also wears her handknit socks with birkenstocks (as those who live in and around Ashville are wont to do -- never change, Mom!), so I feel like the extra toothiness of a BFL makes them a little more hardwearing than they would be otherwise.

And yes, it is not lost on me that this is the second pair of socks I have knit for her that is Hermoine-themed. No, it's not intentional, but it is highly amusing.

Obliviate v 2.png