R2D2 fingerless mitten

   
 
I used a duplicate stitch to do this. It took me all day. Excepting lunch, dinner, dishes, and a frenzied attempt to find the power cord of my friend’s sewing machine in a loaded closet. (It was behind a stack of tubs by the very back wall.) I’m so glad I found it. Whew!

I only got one done. This is sure going to take a long time. 

Cabled Santa Hat

   
 
The last time I talked to my dad in person, he said he wanted to come to the big Christmas gathering as Santa Claus. He has a long white beard now and would definitely be the part – excepting the huge belly. So I thought for his present I would make him a Santa hat.  

It was an original pattern, gathering two cable patterns from my knit stitch book and composing one of my own. I made a white Pom Pom to put on the top. I hope he likes it. I’m going to make him some Christmas colored knitted driving fingerless gloves too, if I have time. 

Patching Queen

  

My husband was fixing the garage door and his jeans got the raw end of the deal. He wanted me to fix them, so I put the iron on patches upside down below the rip. Then I ironed the top. I’m glad I didn’t try to iron the inside of the leg. 😆

Binge watching and knitting

I was going to watch the season finale of Once Upon A Time last night, but when it started I realized that I had missed something. Two episodes, in fact, so I went to Hulu and finished watching those. Then I watched the finale. I went to bed after 11 last night. I am shocked, happy for Regina, and excited for the new characters coming to the show. After all Merlin has got to be awesome and I can’t wait for their stories concerning King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. After all, you can’t have Merlin without Arthur. 

  I’m knitting this dress for my eldest daughter. The one I had knit before was coming to her mid – thigh, which is just too short. So it became a hand me down. This dress is improvised with a basic pattern and I’m inserting rows of fair isle with rows of variegated yarn. I tried to use fair isle on all the rows, but it is really difficult to keep track of where you’re at when the contrast yarn is the same color at some points as the background color, so I just scrapped the fair isle with the variegated yarn. 

Patches

  

I’ve had two pairs of jeans laying around waiting for me to mend them. I finally got around to it today.

      

In addition to ironing them on, I sewed the outside of the patch with contrasting thread, pink and bright blue, according to the choices of my daughters.

  

Who knew that a 4 year old girl would tear up her jeans so fast? I would expect this of boys, but geez, I have a little active one. 🙂 I used green thread on these.

Finished: Toddler Apron

IMG_0848

 

Isn’t this how every craft session starts? When I started sewing, the was trying to catch my hand as it fed the fabric through the machine.

IMG_0849

 

 

I put the right sides of the ruffle and the bottom of the apron together. I also put the draw strings next to them as well. I ironed the seam after I was done, and sewed on the pocket.

IMG_0850

 

IMG_0854IMG_0853

 

Trying to get a picture was difficult.

IMG_0858

This was as good as it was going to get. It’s a bit big, but she’ll use it for a long time.

 

 

Progress: Toddler apron

 

Mostly ironing was what I did today. I folded the waist and neck strings right sides together and ironed them. I seamed two  sides together, and cut the square edge off diagonally.

IMG_0704

IMG_0705 Then I turned them right side out.

IMG_0706 And ironed them again.

IMG_0708I worked on the pocket, ironing the sides back and hemming the top of the pocket.

IMG_0707I also hemmed the bottom ruffle – after ironing a double fold. I was able to sew a baste stitch to gather it.

Then I heard a two year old whimpering down the stairs. So I picked her up and she’s now sleeping on my lap.

 

Sewing: Toddler Apron

IMG_0698

 

My kids love to be in the kitchen and being my sous chefs. I only have one apron that I bought for my eldest daughter, while my youngest was still an infant. Let’s just say there are fights over the one apron, which is bright pink. I bought it from Hobby Lobby.

During the last part of “nap time” today I cut out these pieces. I traced the main part of the apron onto a newspaper for a template. Then I guesstimated a straight piece for a ruffle, two draw strings to tie together, and a piece to hold it onto the neck (I have no idea if that has a special name or not).

Next I plan to iron all the pieces and hems. I suppose we’ll see how far I’ll get during the next nap time…. which will probably be Monday.

Books in 2014

Now that Christmas is done, I have less knitting projects to post. I still have two projects I’m working on. Flip-flap fair isle mittens for my mom, and a scarf for my husband.

I have read more books this year than I have in a long time. I read 27 books (11774 pages) this past year. Most of that is probably due to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I am so very hooked on that series. I binged on that. It is so good. After I finished that series, I decided that I should read more.

The one that started it all!

Here’s a list of books that I read this year and some of my thoughts on them.

1.The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas by Laura Fuentes

There were so many good ideas in this book. I need to buy it. It has a list of all the recipes in the back of the book, you can mark whether or not the kids liked it, what you need to change in the recipe, etc. Pretty awesome.

2.The Joy of Hobby Farming: Grow Food, Raise Animals, and Enjoy a Sustainable Life by Michael Levatino

The more I read about farming, the more I want to do it and I figure the more I read about it, the better educated I will be when it comes time to purchase some land and animals.

3. Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell

I’d say this is a good resource book to have on the shelf if you can’t figure out why your compost pile isn’t working like you want it to. I think the biggest struggle for me and my compost pile right now is putting enough brown materials in it. I have bunches of vegetable scraps, but not so much of anything else.

4. Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food by Wendell Berry

Reading this book is enough to make anyone who has the smallest interest in farming or food production want to run off and purchase a farm.

5. The Call of the Farm by Rochelle Bilow

This book started off really good, but it kind of turned into a love story, not that that’s bad, but I wanted more farm details in it. I did read it rather quickly. I think the author is a good writer.

6. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8) by Diana Gabaldon*

I waited for over a month on my library’s wait list for this book. It was well worth the wait. I think that during that wait I thought about what was going to be resolved from the previous book almost every day.

7. The Guru, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis

This book is by far the best Orthodox book I have read in a long time. It was in a very conversational style, and was more like a biography than anything else. I read it very quickly, I’m very interested in the topic here. It deals with demonic possession, hinduism, witchcraft, and how to escape those things.

8. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7) by Diana Gabaldon*

This novel is set during the beginnings of the American Revolution. Both sides are represented. So good and definitely a cliffhanger ending.

9. Harvest: Field Notes from a Far-Flung Pursuit of Real Food by Max Watman

This book was interesting because it dealt with food in a more realistic manner than the idealistic organic typical foodie. He shared failures and successes.

10. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6) by Diana Gabaldon*

You just have to read it.

11. Family Life (Spiritual Counsels, #4) by Paisios of Mount Athos

I highly recommend reading this book and re-reading it. I need to buy it. Elder Paisios goes through young people figuring out what they’re going to do with their life (going to college, what to study, etc.) and getting married, raising children, and taking care of elderly parents. It will cause you to question the way you do things. It has changed my life.

12. The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5) by Diana Gabaldon*

On the eve of the American Revolution

13. The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade by Philip Jenkins

I believe I wrote about this book in a previous post. But suffice it to say that you can tell Mr. Jenkins has a protestant paradigm that taints the way he sees and writes about Catholic and Orthodox Christians (though I’ll have to give him kudos for even mentioning Orthodoxy).

14.  Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4) by Diana Gabaldon*

Read it.

15. Voyager (Outlander, #3) by Diana Gabaldon*

This was was a bit harder to get through than the others, but it’s worth it.

16. Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline

Has some really good ideas, but somewhat hard to implement with toddlers who can’t converse with you.

17. Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) by Diana Gabaldon*

Gasp!

18. Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon*

I got hooked on this series by listening to a podcast from craftsy that they had with Diana Gabaldon because evidently Jamie Fraser knows how to knit. Little did I know that it would become a series that I couldn’t put down.

19. The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski

This is a history of fashion, mostly it’s practical and functional uses and how clothes were made. It’s made me think a lot more about what I wear. In the past year, I have worn more skirts. I only have one pair of jeans and the rest are skirts, though I bought myself a pair of leggings so I could wear skirts in the winter and not freeze.

20. The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin

I took notes on this one. I’m just starting to sell my hand knits. I don’t think it will turn into a full-time income, but it helps a little. By the way, if you want something knitted, I will happily quote you a price.

21. United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties, and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement by Kurt B. Reighley*

This book went through various new movements within american agriculture and pop culture. It was rather informative and I hadn’t heard of some of them. Entertaining.

22. Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh*

I found some things that I would like to implement in this book, but somehow I think that maybe the culture outside of us will have more influence than we would like.

23. 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil

I took notes on this one too. Some of the things he mentions are not hard to do, others are like ‘yeah, right’. One thing he recommended was to have a news fast. Don’t let all the negativity of the news and/or social media get to you. Just turn it off. I already do a version of that.

24. A Man is His Faith: Ivan Kireyevsky and Orthodox Christianity by Alexey Young

My husband got this book on interlibrary loan from the University. It was a short book, but really good. Ivan Kireyevsky was a lay person who had a very wide influence in Russia. Good person to know about.

25. Organic Gardening For The 21st Century by John Fedor

Good resource and inspiration for things to think about.

26. To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan

This was an entertaining read. Some things I could relate to, others I could not, but if you want a light read, try it.

27. Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit : the lives and counsels of contemporary elders of Greece by Middleton, Herman

This book is a compilation of the lives of Elders and their selected writings. We read it in the Women’s Faith and Growth meetings at my Church. I loved it and the conversations it inspired. I started reading more books about and by Elder Paisios. That information has changed my life.

I love the printed book. The smell and feel of the pages. It’s wonderful. I love libraries. Thank God for libraries!

My goal is to read 50 books in 2015. Here’s hoping I don’t fall off the bandwagon. You can follow me on goodreads.