Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mama Cloth

I took a (small) break from knitting and did some sewing. I'm probably the world's worst sewist: it was during this project that I learned my sewing machine has an overlock stitch. I wish I had known that before now!

I made 19 pads. The 20th has some troubles. I used this sew-along as my guide. I chose this pattern because drawing, cutting out, and sewing an oval is probably easier than making something more contoured. I needed to keep it simple. Plus I think it might give me more coverage and less leaks.
The biggest problem I had was the hook and loop fastener. I bought mine at the dollar store- and I didn't notice it was the kind that comes sticky on the back. The stickiness got stuck to the needle and caused so much frustration, I gave up with using the machine and sewed them on by hand even though it was thick and hurt to push the needle through.

With some innovation, I took some white duct tape and folded it up on itself as you can see below. I would use it as a pad to push down on as I pushed the needle through.

I also used it to grip the needle when pulling through on the other side.

The fabric included yellow flannel left over from another project for the layer against the skin.
The soaker part cut from Gerber prefolds received at one of my baby showers. Gerber prefolds are the worst cloth diapers out there, but they are pretty good as mama cloth. I've been using them as mama cloth since my second period post partum. I took some of the extremely stained ones and cut them up and put them in these. Some of the pads have more layers of prefold in them than others. This way I have some that are more like panty liners and some that are more like pads for variety.

Please note: if you are boycotting Nestle, don't buy Gerber. Nestle bought them a couple of years ago. If you want to use cheap-o prefolds, chances are you have some sitting around from a baby shower like I did. Our local dollar store even has some cheap Gerber-like prefolds. Or you could use some cheap terry cloth washcloths. I saw a pack of 12 for $2 at Kmart the other day. Or you could get all expensive and buy microfiber.

The outer layer was some fabric I bought on clearance last summer and I just had it sitting around. It's not waterproof, but I didn't feel like I needed to worry about that. Since using mama cloth, I've rarely had any leaks. If you change them often enough, it'll be ok. What's wonderful about that layer is that it has sparkles. My mama cloth sparkles. Yes, you are jealous.

For the quilting part, I pretty much just did zigzags, but also experimented with other "designs."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

FO: BSJ

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Schaefer's Elaine in Snoopy's Crayons
This sweater came about because (back in April) I wanted to knit a BSJ and I wanted yarn called "Snoopy's Crayons." Elaine is a bulky weight yarn, so I thought it would make my BSJ a good size for Margaret. The first time I started working it, I was using size 10 needles- and I ran out of yarn right before the short rows.
Well, go get more! Unfortunately, I bought the last skein the store had and in the small time where I wound the ball from the skein, I lost the tag which had the dye lot on. I was kind of stuck and still determined to get a BSJ out of this.

So I started again with size 6 needles. Yes, I knit this up: bulky weight yarn in size 6. The idea was to conserve yarn by knitting tighter. An oh boy, was it tight. I think I need to get a hand massage. Unfortunately, my circulars snapped at the base where the needle and nylon/plasticy part meet. So it was put on hold for a long time.
Last Saturday, I tried again with NEW circulars. And so I went, knitting along until on Monday the bamboo snapped. Lovely. I switched to some old metal straights- it was tight, but no more breaking. So I finished last night, seamed it up, put buttons on, all with 6 inches of yarn leftover.
And unfortunately Margaret is too chubby for it. Sigh. Maybe it'll fit a future child.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Faster than a Speeding Bullet

So I'm thinking of joining Hat Wars. McKay and I's chat:

12:11 PM McKay: hat wars?
me: Yes. it's a knitting game. Everyone signs up and sends a hat to someone else. If you get a hat before you finish yours, you die
12:12 PM Last person standing gets a $300 prize
overnight mail isn't allowed
and everyone uses the same pattern
to make it fair
sounds like fun!
McKay: but you'll be the first to die
me: but I'd have to pay $3 to sign up
no I won't!
12:13 PM McKay: I love you, but you can take a while to finish a project

It's reassuring I have his confidence behind me. But he's right- at the rate I'm posting FOs here, you'd think I'm the slowest knitter in the world. I'm actually NOT slow- I'm just very easily distracted. Plus this summer has been the Summer of Frogging Doom. So many projects are taking long because I've had to frog and re-knit them multiple times. Plus I've tried my hand a sewing a bit.

See? Cool Pillowcase for Margaret. She kept wanting McKay's pillow, so I thought she'd like a pillow of her own. This is actually my old pillow with a brand-new spanking pillowcase, obviously the pinnacle of difficult sewing.
Of course she still steals McKay's pillow when we go to bed.

The BSJ. So I frogged this a couple of times earlier this year. I have restarted it and there are 3 obvious errors in it, but I think they're only obvious to me. I've been working on this since Saturday. I've changed needle sizes in hopes it'll help me preserve yarn and not run out this time.

And I've been working on my fishnets. Yes, they look like hobo fishnets. Don't worry, they'll be so cool when they're done (or so I tell myself).

FO: Mrs. Beeton

This was for the Spoil Mum Swap. Years ago when I stashed the fuzzy yarn, I knew that some day it would be a Mrs. Beeton. I just needed the right contrasting yarn. Then when I joined the Spoil Mum Swap, my partner mentioned she liked green. Ok. So I pretty much had to make these.

So I bought some green yarn. It was PERFECT. Then I went to another store and bought a different green yarn- less perfect, but on clearance. So I started that project with the clearance yarn. And I knit a whole wristlet before discovering I didn't have enough of that green yarn and the store is all the way up in downtown Salt Lake. So I frogged it.

And I started again with the green I originally bought. I doubled up and knit the fuzzy yarn with two strands. I finished another wristlet to discover that the fuzzy part was too thick. So I frogged it again.

At this point I was running late on the swap deadline, so I pushed through and finished the wristlets without doubling up the fuzzy yarn, BUT doubling up the green yarn. Perfect.

I couldn't get a picture of both of the wristlets together because I needed my other hand for holding the camera, but there is a picture from my swappee here. I'm quite jealous of how they turned out and I'm thinking I'll make myself some. I still have a lot of that fuzzy yarn.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ruffle-butt Soaker

So I've been working all summer on this. And it's done! I've had to frog and knit this 3 times over. It's been crazy.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride in Creamsicle.
Pattern: Punk Knitter's Soaker (if you go there, ignore the adult content warning. The pattern page is SFW)

I've used this pattern before and liked it. The only thing I struggle with is the size of the leg openings. Margaret is a chunky toddler and the holes are kind of tight- this is why I didn't make any cuffs.

It took me a while to get the ruffles right. Lots of frogging there. I love that it's "frilly" with ruffles but it's in a non-frilly color.