weekend rambling

Last night I had the worst case of insomnia I've experienced since pregnancy. I'm not sure what brought this on. Stress, maybe. I'm working on some difficult music right now and I'm enjoying everything about it, including the violinist who is my partner in the project, but I have no time to practice and it's starting to concern me.

Or maybe the moon was extra bright.

Or the insomnia could have come from the fact that the end of winter is, if not near, at least approaching, and my brain is on creative overdrive. Three babies are due in March, all of which I want to do some kind of hand made gift for. Baby #1 is due to a couple who live in our neighborhood. Both the mom and dad used to work with Stuart when he was a grad student, and he was invited to a baby shower for them at a local pub last weekend (because Madison is totally a place where people have baby showers at pubs - isn't that cool?), where he promised them, unbeknownst to me, that I would probably knit them something. Baby #2 is due to be adopted by a friend of mine in town, and she dropped some pretty strong hints about some knitted hats she saw on Etsy that would be easy as pie for me to knit up in an evening or two (after the Olympics, though.) I plan to use this yarn, which is certainly less blurry in real life:

Baby #3 is bound for a foster family where he will join his older biological brother, also neighbors of ours. I've got some ideas for quick projects, like flannel receiving blankets edged with oversized rickrack and stenciled onesies, a staple baby gift when I don't have time or inclination to knit a whole sweater.

I've also been trying to do some more sewing because at some point I would like to make myself some clothes. Back when I was the uncoolest middle schooler in the universe, I did several years of 4-H sewing, and I actually got pretty good at it. I think my final year I made a jumpsuit with trim on the collar and a zipper in the back and gathers in some odd places, and even though that outfit would be wildly unstylish now (think nautical themes and wide collars of the early '90s - yikes!!), I learned some serious skills making it...many of which I have forgotten. For now I'm practicing with little girls' clothes, which involves a whole new set of frustrations (tiny armholes, for one), but at least I can re-learn how to install a zipper and sew a facing without worrying about what will fit me. To that end, here's a little jumper I've almost finished:

I used some lightweight denim I snitched from my mom's scrap pile and striped red quilting fabric leftover from another project. The pattern is Simplicity, and I thought it would be a piece of cake, but it really wasn't. Maybe this is because I'm rusty on the sewing skills, but the whole top part was a pain in the butt. I did a lot of hand-stitching things into place, and I nearly gave up on those armholes with the bias tape edging.

All that's left, though, is the zipper:

It's basted into place and ready to be stitched down for good, but I don't have the courage yet (or the energy to dig up my zipper foot...). I've worked pretty hard to make this jumper look, if not great, at least not crappy and I am kind of afraid I'll screw up this last part. I don't know when I'll have time, either. Tomorrow afternoon I'll be away rehearsing, and I have to prepare for that (the only reason I'm blogging instead of practicing right now is that Anya is sleeping and the piano will wake her up.)

Yes, I've been knitting. I have a few rows left on the collar of that gray sweater, after which it just needs blocking and buttons. That gives me a whole week to do a pair of socks and a hat (and maybe mittens, but I didn't officially commit to that) and I'll have my knitting Olympics gold medal. Using thick yarn and plain patterns will make this totally doable.

It's clear that I've been neglecting all kinds of housework. Very selfish of me.


Mrs. Allroro said…
If you need one, I have some extra "arrrrrrrgggg"s. Looks like you have your share of noble causes right now. And your husband needs a spanking.
Steph said…
Yes, so very, very selfish, you.

I remember you in some pretty cute jumpers.
Jessi said…
Too cute! I hate sewing. With a passion. That said, I love zippers. I have been known to only buy patterns with zippers or at least patterns that I can put a zipper in instead of buttons. Oh, how I hate buttonholes.
Suze said…
Jessi, I hate both. Actually I wouldn't mind buttonholes so much except that my machine sucks at making them (yes I'm blaming the machine, mwa ha ha). So I'm avoiding buttonholes for now. I'm thinking snaps are a good sub...

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