new projects

Yesterday we got 19" of snow and today it's bitterly cold outside. The streets have been plowed, but they are covered with solid, slippery packed snow, so while it's finally possible to get out of the driveway today, there isn't much cause. We braved the slippery roads this morning anyway to go play at a friend's house and stop at the library for another Curious George DVD (which is currently playing so I have a minute to breathe), and I'm glad we did. Yesterday was a long day and I was pretty frazzled by the end of it.

There was about an hour yesterday morning when Anya slept. It wasn't a nap so much as catching up on sleep from getting up at 4:30, but you take what you can get, right? That hour was the only time Daniel behaved himself nicely all day, and I know it wasn't coincidence that it was also the only time he got my undivided attention. In any case, the two of us finished up a sewing project we started about a week ago:

It's a backpack, of sorts. I swear this was Daniel's idea. I try and find quiet projects for us to do together during Anya's naptime (when it happens), and he usually gets a choice of various activities that he is ready for but she is not, like cooking or painting or dyeing yarn. Sometimes he wants to sew. Mostly, he's fascinated by the machine and its parts and how they move. I let him do a few simple things like put the thread on the holder and turn on the power switch and lower the presser foot, and the rest of the time he's usually pretty good about sitting calmly on my lap or watching from the other side of the kitchen table. (And in case you're thinking "Oh, what an angelic, well-behaved child!" don't delude yourself. He makes up for this in other ways, trust me.) For this backpack, I let Daniel choose the fabric and the thread, biting my tongue when the green thread he wanted to use didn't match up with the fabric very well. He showed me how big he wanted it and told me he wanted one strap to go over his shoulder diagonally.

I even picked up some nylon strapping and a buckle-thing (I think it's called a "parachute clip" or something like that) at the craft store the other day to finish it up. For this I had to change the needle in the machine to something more heavy-duty than what was already in there. Changing the needle was, for Daniel, much more exciting than sewing the strap, or even having the finished backpack at the end. I know it doesn't matter, though. I don't even care if he doesn't use it much. It's all about the process anyway.

And because I feel compelled to make stuff all the time, even when it's definitely not the most convenient, I started some socks for the kids. Warm, thick boot socks from sport-weight yarn so widely variegated it's almost ugly. I kinda like it anyway.

Good thing these go fast!


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