Gaining Momentum

Best laid plans, am I right?

So it’s the third week of 2019 and I’m just now writing the second post of the year, a year for which I had planned to write one post a week. But, you know what? It’s ok. It takes a while to build the momentum.

I’m making much better progress on one of my other big goals for the year — read 150 books in 2019.

I know. I KNOW! it’s a ridiculous goal and far beyond anything I had thought I would shoot for. But here’s the thing. I already read 136 books in 2018. So building on the momentum that I’ve already built up (see where I’m going with this?) I should be able to hit that mark. Or at least come close.

When you break it down that’s about three books a week, which is about what I read anyway — one print book during the week, one on the weekend, and an audiobook a week. Does this sound absurd? Maybe. But just like with knitting, I’m finding ways to fit books into the pauses of my day (and it’s actually easier than with knitting). When the kids are playing, or eating a snack, or watching a tv show, I have a book close by. They are in a stage where as long as I sit right where they are they are generally happy, but if I get up to do anything — dishes, laundry, make food — they lose their minds.

I used to feel guilty about it, what kind of mother sits and reads all day instead of doing enriching activities with her children? But then I realized that they don’t necessarily want me to play with them all the time, and that time when I’m sitting quietly is much better spent reading than playing on the phone or watching tv. Children imitate what they see, and I want my kids to see that reading is a fun and important part of life.

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We’ll see if I can keep this momentum through the year, but right now I have high hopes. That might be because Chris took the boys to visit his parents over the weekend so I had the house to myself for three days, allowing me to do things like read and knit at the same time or read a book in a day!

Are you making any reading goals for yourself? What parts of your day do you use to squeeze in some extra reading, knitting, or other hobby?

This Thing Still On?

Holy accidental hiatus, Batman!

I can’t believe it has been so long since I sat down to chat with you. Life got to where it felt it was going out of control back at the end of Spring and I had to simplify life a bit.

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So let’s see, when last we met Chris was still home on Paternity Leave, Vanya was a wee thing, and I was a stay at home mom trying to find an identity outside of the house. Obviously Chris went back to work and then so did I! I started working for my local bookstore, Page 158 Books, doing our online event postings and some social media work over the summer. Then in the Fall I started working in the store itself on the weekends and hosting one of the book clubs.

This really is my perfect job right now. My origin story as a nerd is up a tree with a Narnia book and it feels so good to indulge that side of me again. I’m meeting authors, reading tons of books, and most importantly helping people find the books that speak to them. I love it!

Believe it or not Vanya is about to turn one next month. He’s the happiest baby I’ve ever met and into absolutely everything. We feel like we’re possibly days away from him starting to walk. He and Pasha are thick as thieves. There are some serious let’s drive mom crazy teamups happening around here. I can’t believe that I have two little boys running around. I never knew I wanted to be a boy mom, but it really is the best.

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I knit a few things, but not a lot. I read a ton, but more on that later. I spent soooooo much time with my kids and my family and absolutely loved it. All told, 2018 was a great year and I’m hoping for an even better 2019. Hopefully less stress, more writing, and the same amount of chaos. If you’ve stuck with me through the crazy I can’t thank you enough. I hope you enjoy what I have planned for us this year.


Note: all pictures in this post were taken by the amazing Nevada Marie Photography. And yes, all sweaters were knit by me. The boys are wearing Jones by Tin Can Knits in Leading Man Fiber Arts DK and mine is Big Sister by Kate Oats in Infinite Twist.

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.