True Knit

Knitting, Sewing, Crocheting. Mostly.

september inspiration September 8, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Dreamin',inspirations,Knitting and Crocheting — lalunaunita @ 7:36 pm

Throughout August, tons of new ideas and inspirations came my way.  There’s a long trail of one precious source leading to another, so perhaps I should start at the beginning and put them in order.

I got back into my podcast habit, which is easy to do with all the wonderful free podcasts available!  My commute is 30 minutes either way, and I really got tired of listening to the news after a while.  I first found the ever-intriguing Craftypod and followed up with Stash and Burn and Knitscience.  All are available for free through iTunes.

Listening to Sister Diane’s soothing, sultry voice just full of good information on Craftypod got me really fired up to create!  Also, her interviews and insights exposed me to several other awesome sources, the next being One Pretty Thing, a website that publishes round ups of crafts, blogs, tutorials, etc., by category.  It’s an amazing website, sort of a “best of the best” of crafts on the internet.   I’m now a junkie and must check it once a day to see the latest round ups.

One Pretty Thing gave me two more blogs to check out, both of which have inspired future projects. 

The first is called Plain Vest by Pickles.  Olivia will look so cute in this vest!  I have a cotton worsted yarn that I bought for another project, but couldn’t use.  It’s a variegated brown and orange, very mellow, and if I can gauge it right, this vest should be perfect for it.

The next is a free tutorial from Anissa at Two Little Bugs Clothing Co.  It’s for a small blankie to be carried around and loved on!  I have my Blankie from childhood and have passed it on to Olivia, but it’s a bit ratty and could stand to be spruced up/reworked into something presentable.  It’s still the softest and warmest thing I own (or rather, that she owns)!

Nicole and Jenny of Stash and Burn have become my constant car companions and have really rekindled my knitting fire.  I love that they are concerned with exactly the same things I am – namely, how to keep on track to finish things I start and the constant learning curve of how to make sure things fit after they’ve been knitted.  My results in the past with knitting for myself have a fair-to-middling success rate on whether I’ll actually wear the items made.  When you think about all the work that goes into something hand-knitted, it’s kind of sad if it doesn’t turn out just right.  However, listening to the two of them recall item after item and talk about sending things on to Goodwill or gifting people with them actually makes me feel a lot better about my own knitting.

*images are copyrighted by Pickles and Two Little Bugs Clothing Co., respectively.

 

influx of good ideas August 24, 2010

Filed under: Baby,House and Home — lalunaunita @ 11:38 am

This has been a good week for ideas!  I visit a lot of different websites, mostly craft- or baby-related.  When it comes to new ideas, I tend to be less efficiency-oriented and more interested in things that are fun or might interest Oli.  However, my husband did forward to me a chain email of “home remedies.”  You know the kind – each tidbit of advice is central on the screen with an accompanying picture, and there is usually the assertion “I saw this on TV and it really works!!!” thrown in for good measure.

Hokey format aside, there can be some solid wisdom in a list like that, for example, the notion of picking up small glass shards with a moistened cotton ball to make sure you get them all.  One in particular worked really well for me last night: a recipe to get rid of fruit flies.

We have until recently been keeping a small compost bin in the house, to be sent into the backyard bin when it gets full.  Neither of us keeps up with the rotation, so it naturally became the home to a hundred or so tiny fruit flies that have been clouding my kitchen for a couple of days (we decided to nix the bin after this last infestation).  The email suggested a small dish with about a half inch of apple cider vinegar and two drops of dish soap, mixed well.  I set one by the trash can and one on the kitchen window sill.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they each had a decent number of dead flies floating in the mix after about four hours.  Hey, it really does work!

Another fun idea that I gleaned from babycenter.com is for a toy “shower” that Oli can use in the tub.  Very simple – use an empty plastic yogurt or butter tub, poke holes in the top, then fill the tub with bath water and snap the lid on.  When Oli holds it upside down, she can see little rain drops fall out and splash into the bath.  I can’t wait to try it tonight!

The last idea was one I suddenly decided I needed last week – an online meal planner.  I hit up Food On The Table, which offers a free login.  It narrowed down three meals for me based on 1) my usual grocery store, 2) the things I checked off that we normally use as ingredients, and 3) what I felt like eating next week.  Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle and it came up with three dishes for me to try out, including a comprehensive grocery list for what I would need.  I just crossed off the items I already had and appended the rest of my grocery list to the bottom, and was able to hit the store with no fuss.  I’ve made two of the dinners so far; the recipes are really easy.  They are also new to me, so we’re branching out a little bit from the regular chicken and rice/pasta and meat sauce rut.

Has anyone else come across a few good ideas lately?  Just one or two little things can make such a difference in how much time we spend on the necessary versus the fun!

 

august inspirations July 30, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Dreamin',inspirations — lalunaunita @ 10:28 pm

A lot of beautiful and inspiring images and projects have crossed my path lately.  August is my birthday month, so my gift from Lyndon is that I’ll be able to finish out my sewing room and the nursery.  Right now I’m just trying to soak in images and ideas, ways to fill our lives and house with serenity and a semblance of order.  I think really that the word balance would be better than order – as linear as my mind tends to run, I’ve also come to accept that an orderly life is not in the cards for me!  I prefer to work towards keeping an even keel as life’s waves come and go, rather than trying to force a plateau into places where hills and valleys are supposed to be.

First of all are three nursery photos that I ran across while checking out punkymoms.com today.  I’ve been feeling a bit run down and isolated from working full time and caring for Oli… not to say that I don’t have support, because my family is 2 miles away and they and my husband are great!  However, I don’t feel that there are many people I can relate to right now, and those that are going through the same life challenges as I am are all too busy to meet up with me (and I’m too busy to meet up with them).

I’m not so sure that punkymoms is the place for me, but it’s a start.  I’d love to hash out some of the day-to-day questions I have with some other mothers who are either experiencing their first infant right now, or are near enough to the experience that they haven’t forgotten all the cool stuff they figured out!  Most of the moms in my life have kids 10 and up, so they aren’t very recently practiced at breastfeeding, teething, planning a nursery, etc.

While I know that I am a punkymom at heart, I don’t have some of the issues that I often listen to in the counter-cultural crowd.  Most common among them: I don’t assume that people are judging me based on how I look.  Sure, it can be likely depending on where I am or who I am talking to, but I’ve noticed that there is a pervasive perception among those who collect tattoos and piercings to assume that people won’t treat them like equals or that they are being scrutinized closely by a disapproving and prejudiced public everywhere they go.  Maybe this is too honest, but I find it tiresome.  I’m interested in collectives of moms who uplift each other and share mothering experiences without judgement, not forums in which women bitch and moan about a soccer mom turning up her nose at them in the grocery aisle.

For Oli’s nursery, I have so far found an old chair in the trash of my sister-in-law’s neighbor and a small wooden wall hutch.  The chair, which is child-sized, needs to be completely taken apart, sanded, glued back together, and then screwed back together.  It is probably made of oak, or something equally sturdy, and it obviously sat out in some inclement weather for a while, but it’s really fixable.  I’m going to paint it red – that slightly light red that’s very popular right now.  Not cherry red, not fire truck red, but just a shade bluer and whiter than regular old red.  The hutch will be perfect for a few small keepsakes and books, little treasures that Oli likes but that need to be kept out of the way.  I’m painting it a bright sunny yellow.  (Her nursery walls are pale green, by the way) 

Beyond that, I need to figure out what I want to decorate the walls with!  I tried to recreate the lovely birds on a wall from Curious Bird, but so far my little tweeties turned out kind of like blobby pincushions (I made my own pattern – not a good idea).  If you’re wondering why Olivia has gotten to be seven months old without a completely decorated nursery, the answer is that we moved in only three weeks before she was born.  I had to seriously stifle my nesting instinct while we bid, then closed, then paid up down payment for the house over the course of a month.  I feel pretty darn lucky that the walls are at least the color I wanted!

As another source of inspiration, I recently read the first half of a book titled Math and the Mona Lisa about the connections between science, art, and nature.  One crossroad of these three subjects that really fascinated me is the logarithmic spiral.

It is both a natural and mathematical phenomenon!  I decided to explore it using art and started a meditation piece for my brother-in-law’s birthday based on overlapping spirals.  The execution hasn’t been quite as profound for me as the concept, but it has been a stimulating exploration into being present.  Since it’s a drawing designed to aid meditation and calm, it seems only right to really take my time and be completely within each penstroke as I work on it.  That kind of quiet time is really good for me.

I am always thinking about making clothes for Oli, no matter what else I am up to.  I’ve been slow regarding the projects I already purchased patterns and fabric for.  This is mostly due to working during the week and then her lack of nappage on the weekends.  She’s stopped taking those lovely two hour naps that were so good for her and daytime sleep has devolved into 20-45 minute naps at a time, usually, about twice a day if we’re lucky.  She is one tired girl by bedtime!  I don’t get a lot of “me” time for projects, etc., but I will try to get on that stuff before she outgrows the patterns.  I saw a really cute bootie pattern today (I’m always scoping out cute booties):

They are easy to make, small, and she’ll still need them come winter.  She might walk early, but she likely won’t be walking well by the time cool/cold weather makes its way back to Texas.  Being functionally shod will not be an issue for a while yet.

Podcasts have also been great inspiration lately!  I have several mothering-themed ‘casts on my iPod, as well as the very cool Craftypod, which gave me some great blogging pointers and got me to thinking about organization for this thing.  That’s great, because it means I’ll probably update more frequently.

 

Gorgeous Saturday May 15, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Nature Overwhelms Me,Sewing — lalunaunita @ 4:35 pm

First of all, it’s a beautiful day here in Austin.  It rained all yesterday and last night, but today is clear and sunny.  The flowers in my front yard are blooming:

 

The calla lilies were a Mother’s Day gift and thank goodness I managed to get them in the ground before they wilted and died.  I want a garden, but don’t have much of a green thumb so far.  I also potted the moss rose just a few weeks ago and have so far managed to keep it alive. 

 

The lilies were put in by the previous owners and I don’t know that we would have really seen them for what they are except that we’ve had so much rain this year.  They have been amazing!

I got the chance to make new friends and purchase a ton of fabric for next to nothing today… I’m not sure what projects I’ll use everything for, but it’s all so useful!  Some gentlemen in town posted the fabric sale on craigslist, so my friend Mel and I went over (with Olivia and Ashton, our daughters, of course) and ransacked the fabric stock.  I ended up with some great patterns, buttons, and ribbon as well.  Benson, who was selling the fabric, even gave some of the buttons to me, since they were for Oli!  I’m determined to make a few things for her this summer, so now I’m feeling much more equipped.  I just need a couple of nice patterns to round everything out, and once my sewing machine is back from repairs, I’ll be able to get started.

I also received free fabric from Mel last night.  She brought it over for our first stitch n’ bitch, which went so well that we’re going to make it a weekly gig.  My sister in law Marcia joined us too.  She’s been working on an order of dream catchers for a lady she met at a craft fair.

       

Biscuit likes Mel’s taste in fabrics…

I’m feeling like the patterns have come back around again… I especially like the halter top in the first and the short dresses in the second.

And now to end this post … gratuitous naked baby!