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IMG_2069a portrait of my children, every week, once a week in 2013

Bridget: reveling in her mama’s hand knits

Piper: enjoying the outdoors and her new jacket

knitting friday

I said I would post my knitting once a week. This way I can show you if you’re interested. If you’re not, you only have to endure it once a week, and not EVERY DAY!

Here is some of my pre-Christmas knitting:

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1. baby booties!

2. girl version baby blanket (still need to finish my boy blanket)

3. leaf garland headband that I improvised (my husband is a good sport)

4. a mounted deer head given to one of my nephews

5. a commissioned hat I knit for a friend to give her husband for Christmas (my first paid work!)

I had put down my needles pretty much from Christmas till this week. It has been rough because I had volunteered for a test knit (so sorry Justyna!), have a a baby hat swap hat to make and mail out by the end of the month, 2 items still to knit for my niece and nephews (Andi, the gifts will arrive, I promise) and send, and a KAL (knit-a-long) project to finish by the end of the month. Phew! I feel like I have more knitting to do this month than I did for Christmas!

Not to mention that I have yet to take our New Years Photos and have those mailed out (so sorry family). 3 weeks of either being off your feet or taking care of others really puts you majorly behind!

Well I picked them up again this week, and knit a couple of things to get myself motivated to to fulfill my knitting obligations . I felt absolutely overwhelmed by the things that are left to do, and yes, I am going to try to get them all done in less than 2 weeks (I’m insane). Each project I tried to get back to, I had zero motivation. No inspiration for what patterns to pick for a special niece and nephew, no desire to pick up any already-started project (or WIP as we say in the knitting community). I needed to get my head in the game.

This usually means a bit of quick baby knitting. It did just the trick to get me back in the knitting groove.

IMG_1370My little Knit-a-Long group is hosting a mitten pattern donation KAL right now (Click here for details, there’s still time to join!), and I had started the project. So I picked up my half finished mitten and figured I’d better at least finish one of them!

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1. Camilla Babe Sweater

2. Dew Drops Mitts

That’s all till next week where I plan to have ALL of my required knitting DONE!!

drinking the knitter’s kool-aid

My mom knitted when I was little. She would knit hats and gloves for my siblings and me as children. I remember loathing those handmade items; itchy, hot, uncomfortable things. I realize in hindsight that she wasn’t exactly a knitting diva and couldn’t afford (or just didn’t know of) anything other than cheap acrylic yarn from a craft store or maybe she just used some rough itchy wool that was handed down to her. I also had an aversion to sweaters as a child. Cotton sweatshirts for me, please!

As a result of my childhood aversion to all things knit, I had absolutely no desire to learn to knit for myself. Why would I? Sweaters and knit caps would never become fashionable…

How wrong was I?!

In my 20’s I started wearing sweaters and hats and fingerless gloves – all bought at retail clothing stores.

Halfway through my 20’s I met the man who is now my husband. When we were dating, he was knitting himself a scarf, and then he began to teach me to knit.

About the same time I met Joe I started reading Soulemama‘s blog and through these posts I found out about a social community called Ravelry. At the time, Ravelry was by invitation only and I had to wait months to get mine! Oh the frustration! Now it seems like anyone who knits is on Ravelry, which I think is fantastic!

I took to knitting like a fish to water. My first project was the pixie hat like Soulemama’s and then I knit a WWII style hat for Joe (at the time he was just leaving reenacting).

Through Ravelry I have come to the knowledge that there is a whole knitting language and possibly subculture. Not just knit 1, purl 2. But I had never heard of blocking, and once I did find out what it was, I had no idea it was necessary (unless you knit with acrylic)! Blocking is the act of soaking your finished project in water, squeezing (not wringing) it out, laying it out flat (all the better if you have blocking matts) and pinning it into the proper shape/dimensions.

I am still (and may always be) intimidated by the ladies who work (live?) at lys-es (local yarn stores) and have their little knitting cliques at the tables in the back and who always have the perfect gauge, best blocking techniques, and design their own flawless patterns. They actually expect me to know what weight yarn and/or brand I’m looking for when I go in there. They don’t sell (or even talk about) anything by Red Heart, Lion, Bernat or Caron – heavens no! Is it my imagination or does this 4’11” woman looking down her nose at me? But I always walk out with the most beautiful yarn, a smaller bank account, and cold sweats! I think I should start shopping with a support group.

Anyway, I knit now and I absolutely love it.

Like my other hobbies, it comes and goes in phases. But once I start up it’s just so hard to stop. With baby #2 on the way, all these tiny little items are finished so quickly, and the back and forth rhythm of yarn over needles make every project both therapeutic and satisfying.

how do i get rid of stains!?

Yesterday I did laundry just like any other laundry day. I had diapers that needed washing, and a dress I wanted piper to wear for her aunt’s baby shower this weekend.

To my horror this is what I discovered upon pulling my lights/whites out of the dryer:

The only dark thing in the load was the bottom to the above shown dress. But I’ve washed the dress before and nothing ever affected previous loads.

I don’t even know if stains can be fixed after a garment has gone through the dryer.

I really have no clue how to get these stains out and I would hate to throw away the clothing. But let’s be honest, I’m not putting my daughter in these things to take her out if they are stained. UGH!

Does anyone out there in internet land have any helpful advice??

wardrobe revamp: intro

I need a new challenge. The posts on self-sustainability for everyone were really good for me to blog about because it gave my blog something substantial to write about. The baby food was definitely a worthwhile challenge. I just need…something.

Ever since I had Piper, nine months ago (has it really been nine whole months!?), I have felt…well…dumpy, to be quite honest. My body looks different than it did pre-pregnancy. And I’m ok with that. At first I didn’t think I was, but then I realized. It’s my wardrobe. I’m still wearing the clothes of a young, flat tummied, early twenty-someone.

Only I can’t justify dumping all my current clothing, and going out and buying a whole new wardrobe. Nor to I have the time to buy a new one one piece at a time. No, I need drastic action.

Last night I folded my family’s laundry and I was absolutely disgusted with the amount of clothing I had and the fact that I hated just about every piece of it. The only reason I wear any of it is because I have no choice. This is no way to live.

Then I had to ask myself…

What would Little Women do?

or

What would Laura Ingalls do?

They would reinvent their wardrobe! Dye a used/stained white garment in tea or coffee. Place a bow over an old stain. They would turn something old into something new again! Genius!

And so my lovelies, with the help of pinterest, books, and sewing patterns, I shall endeavor to overhaul and revamp my entire wardrobe one garment at a time. If it cannot be reused, it will be given to a new home!

Would it be gross to offer a giveaway of my used clothing on this blog? Maybe yes?

Anyway, I’m off to find THE thing to transform or create today. Wish me luck!

baby time!

Well…I switched back to cloth diapers.

I got really lazy about using cloth when I got some reoccurring blocked milk ducts a few months back.

I didn’t want to have to deal with
being sick
and doing laundry
and cleaning yellow mess

Then I got better…
and Hannaford (supermarket)’s catalina machine started spitting out $2 off the price of Seventh Generation no-chemical diapers coupons
and it was just so much easier.

I am still getting those coupons

but

We have the cloth, and could better use our money somewhere else rather than throwing it out with poo and pee on it.

*sigh*

So I am now on day 2 of being back on the cloth wagon, and let me tell you…

it’s not that bad!

Piper has switched to eating solids
and her stools are also solid!
So much easier!

I love this warm weather and how cute she looks in her shirt & cloth diapers.
Plus I now have a good excuse to knit those adorable knitted soakers!

This could end up to be a beautiful friendship after all.

spring knitting pattern giveaway

Happy Spring everyone! As a welcome to my very favorite season, my friend Alicia Plummer of twolittleplums‘ “Buy American” blog is hosting a pattern giveaway.

Today is the release of her pattern “Dancing in Puddles” boot liners and can be purchased on Ravelry.com

Alicia is a very talented knitter and designer. All of her patterns are so beautiful! You can check out the rest of her work here!

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Also, If you would be interested in future giveaways on this blog please leave a comment on this blog so that I can get an idea of how big of an interest there is and how large my readership is. Thanks!

Also if you have an online store or business that you would like to have advertised, please email me at: hipsterhomesteading{at}gmail{dot}com