20090327

Tokyo Tie Bag

After I got my sewing machine last year, I also got a basic sewing book called Sew Everything Workshop.

I have finally made something from the book, and it's the Tokyo Tie Bag!

Tokyo Tie Bag


Sorry for the horrible photo, but I was at home, alone, and rushing to take a photo during Nathan's nap. I was lucky that I didn't smack myself in the face with the camera accidentally. I spent about twenty minutes trying to figure out the timer function on my D50 before saying 'EFF this' and just hanging the bag up and snapping a photo.

It's a cute bag made of corduroy both on the inside and outside. The outside is a black and white polka-dot and the inside a bright red. Originally I had intended the opposite, but Paul suggested that the other way would be better. I have no trust in my own fashion sense and went with his suggestion.

I like it, but I do not love it. I think I would have been better to go with a more Amy Butler-ish fabric on the outside. I was expecting a larger bag, and this bag is teeny. It also has no pockets on the inside. I'll use it, but... not much.

I am glad I made the bag since it allowed me to, for the first time: draft my own pattern, clip along a curve, grade seams, and try something called a French seam. I don't believe that it actually was a French seam compared to others I've seen online, but it was something different, at least.

Next up? Either a skirt or more napkins.

Tokyo Tie Bag


I had to show just one more photo!

Teeth-brushing

Prior to month nine, my dearest Nathaniel, you started to brush your teeth.

Sir Drools-a-lot


Your tooth brush has duckies on it and your toothpaste smells like a bubble gummy fruit. It's fantastic and you're enthusiastic and you smack your toothbrush on the floor and hand it to me. How can one baby be so darned cute?

Hmm...

20090323

Knitting Podcast Update

Whoops. It's been a while, no? I thought I'd catch us all up on where my podcast listens now stand and what I've recently given a try.

First, I've given a try to a classic knitting podcast. It has over 90 episodes and it is a surprisingly mellow listen. It's almost always the same length, it comes out with astonishing regularity, and the podcaster's voice is a dream. It's Sticks and Strings! The man who does this podcast is an Australian high school teacher who also likes D&D! (You can never be too much of a geek for me, people.) I really do recommend this podcast. It's like the Snickers bar of knitting podcasts for me. I find it is satisfying to listen to, but it is also short, and it holds me over until my favorite podcasts release their latest episodes. Though, it's rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I haven't gone back to listen to all his old episodes, and I don't plan to, but I have listened to the last twenty or so. Be warned, the podcaster has an essay each week as well as music interspersed with his talking. I like both, but your mileage may vary.

I also gave a try to Destiknit. My experience with this podcast wasn't as great. I am probably not able to clearly indicate why that is, but let me try. I think the problem with Destiknits for me was that I was so hopeful about it. She started her first podcast with information about Custom Knits (my favorite knitting book to date, and one that I will review AFTER I knit something from it). However, after a while, I noticed that I didn't seem to love her content. There was just something about it that rang of advertising to me. The weird part is that she wasn't even advertising anything. I kept going with it until she announced that her husband's job with the military led them to the choice of either living in Italy or Japan and she pressured for Italy. Any person who chose Italy over Japan is probably not someone I should be listening to.

My third new podcast is Gives Good Knit. I know. It's not a great podcast title. Worse, she hasn't had a new podcast in a month. However, our tastes almost perfectly overlap. It is fairly rare this happens in podcasts, so when it does, I cling unless things go horribly wrong. Now, if you are reading my recommendations looking for something to try, I really have to warn you that this podcast is about fifty percent (or even sixty percent) content about literature. I love this, and her discussions of novels have even led me to add a few books to my reading list, but you might prefer pure knitting content, in which case you should give this podcast a skip. But... if you're a geek, you like video games, geek tv, literature, and knitting, it's a pretty good listen. She introduced me to the knit Spiderman blanket again (ravel it!), which I certainly plan to knit sometime in the future for the darling men in my life. I knew I was especially happy with her in the last podcast in which she discussed one of my favorite books ever (Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was), and she discussed one of my favorite current trashy television shows (Gossip Girl - The Complete First Season)!

For those who are new to these podcast reviews, other crafty I like include:

Knit Picks' Podcast
-- Informative and calming podcast from the owner(?) of Knit Picks.
The Manic Purl Podcast -- Friendly, casual podcast from a casual knitter/spinner. Very good, possibly my favorite.
Never Not Knitting -- Casual podcast with good sound effects/segments/intro song. The podcaster is a professional knitter, doing work for others and herself.
Sew Forth Now -- Only fashion sewing podcast I'm aware of that doesn't blow. The non-podcast blog of the podcaster is almost more interesting than the podcast, but the podcast has grown on me recently.
Stash and Burn -- Discussion podcast between two friends. Super popular, super on target, and super great. Love it.

Anyone have any recommendations for new podcasts for me to try? I'm going to give Knitmore Girls a whirl. If you're new to my blog, please do not recommend Lime and Violet or Cast On. I dislike both for various reasons even though they are probably two of the most popular knitting podcasts around.

Short Unsweet Update

Last week, Nathan ran his little walker over to my knitting area, picked up my Pomatomus socks in progress and yanked two of the needles out of them. Those socks has taken me like a month just to knit to that point and they were already fairly screwed up with some areas where I had clearly not increased at the right time or I had simple dropped a stitch and then picked it up incorrectly.

This was already after Paul told me that the yarn was so incredibly crazy that he could not see the pattern in them. Also, the socks looked like they would be incredibly tall and I hate incredibly tall socks. I got so depressed about the whole situation that I ripped the socks out.

I've already started a pair of plain stockinette anklets with the yarn, but the whole thing is super depressing. I don't think I like the incredibly variegated nature of most of the Socks That Rock collection. I still plan to do the Pomatomus socks one day, but with a different less variegated yarn.

Ugh, I'm off to be depressed now. Sewing success news on the morrow, hopefully.

20090320

Baby Hat

So, quite a while ago, I decided to knit Nathan a little ribbed hat that he could wear this year or next. Haha on the 'this year' thing since it is now Spring, but since I knit a two by two rib, it's definitely good for next year. It is adorable. Nathan doesn't find it amusing, however.

Knit Hat


After approximately one photo, he was all, "Seriously, Mom! I just want you to stop taking photos!"

No More Pictures, Mom!


Then he decided that he was too good for the hat I knit for him. Sad!

That's It


I think it will be adorable on him next year, when I put him in his little Kenneth Cole black suede jacket, and I will have to get him some cute little jeans and a shirt with a deep red animal on it. I might also have to knit him a red scarf.

Project: Nathan's Red Hat (ravel it!)
Pattern: Improvised 2 by 2 rib.
Yarn: Crazy cabled superwash mystery wool.
Needles: Size 5 bamboo DPNs

I am starting to feel a crafting urge every night. I'm also feeling a drawing urge. Should I start a third blog where I post drawings?! No!

20090319

Finished Object Post Coming Soon

I managed to actually finish a hat for Nathan last night. When he eventually sleeps tonight, I'll process and post the pictures of him wearing it.

In the meantime, as you all already know, I'm always willing to whore out my blog for gorgeous items. (I mean, if I'm willing to trade Nathan for a kitten, it's not like I'm not going to trade a blog entry for a chance to win something super cute!) Here's my latest link to a fantastic giveaway.



You can win yarn and a project bag! Go for it. This is one of the blogs that I subscribe to and I think her pictures are fantastic, so I'd even subscribe to her if I were you. She does both sewing and knitting, though I found her through a search for sewing blogs, not knitting blogs. Check out her other posts, such as this post detailing seams or this post detailing a gorgeous sewn shirt she made.

20090316

La Croix Brunch

Went to La Croix today for brunch upon the recommendation of Helen. Helen did double duty too. Not only did she recommend, but she watched Nathan. He normally loves "Aunt Helen", but I think he's getting used to being around me too much, because he apparently did not like being left for babysitting. Sorry, Helen. He can still be cute and sad, but he's a much more adorable happy baby. Hopefully she will babysit sometime again in the future, but I think he needs more exposure to her awesomeness in the meantime.

We went to celebrate E and Christy's engagement. E is Paul's brother and Christy is now my soon to be sister-in-law! I seldom take pictures of them as a couple for some reason, so I've got nothing to post of them together.

La Croix was wonderful. The service was attentive, yet not overwhelming. The food was delish and not something you can get just anywhere. Though I loved the novelty of the chocolate fountain, what I really adored was their hot area in the kitchen. Paul and I agreed that the pork belly was not to be believed, and we both had some. I also adored their lobster bread pudding and duck confit, while Paul admired their braised short ribs.

From the cold area, I liked the cavier (though I'm admittedly a sucker for some cavier), the grilled brie sandwiches, and the smoked duck croissants. I was sadly disappointed by their oysters, especially after having the ones that Helen got from her CSA last year. The worst, however, was the red beet gelee. I shall probably never get the horrible taste and texture of that gelee out of my head. I know for sure that it will be a damned long while before I have another gelee ever again. In fact, it might be years.

In any case, I highly recommend brunch at La Croix if you have some spare cash. Don't try their gelees unless you like gelees, but eat everything else you can. Paul also recommended their juice and smoked fish. I say try all their little desserts.

In other news, I played Paul in chess for the first time in almost ten years. For those of you not in the know, Paul and I stopped playing after he taught me years and years ago. One day, I was sitting to play my twentieth or so game, and I lost. HIDEOUSLY. I lost so bad that I cried. I sobbed and sobbed, and said, "I can't win in this game against you." Paul was upset and, rightly, angry. I was upset and angry at myself for being a moron who clearly couldn't master basic intellectual tactics. I refused to play chess again even though I bought him a nice little chess set.

Since we've gotten married, Paul has made several chess overtures to me. I don't understand why since Paul and I should not play games of intelligence and patience against each other. I hate waiting for my turn to come up, and Paul hates feeling rushed. Prior to dating, Paul and I would occasionally play Magic: The Gathering against each other. I distinctly remember him saying to me in a very annoyed voice, "Would you just calm down and let me complete my turn" when I was waiting for him to finish his move so I could crush him. Either way, last week, I took his chess bait.

We set up the game board, and sat down to play. In the first few moves of the game, Paul captured two of my pawns and my knight, while all I got was his stupid bishop. He also forced me into moving my king very early. I was getting very angry at myself internally, so I took a second and forced myself to relax and not wing my queen at Paul's head. I pushed back the tears, and continued on. I was pretty sure that I was fighting a losing game from that point on, but we kept going for a bit. At the end, we traded queens and I surrendered the game. He had two rooks, some pawns and a knight left, while all I had was a bishop and my pawns. He told me that I had definitely done well, which I was happy about.

I've come to realize that it is going to be a long long time before I win a game against Paul who has been playing most of his life. I have to be happy when I simply don't lose hideously to him. Lesson learned!

20090315

More Info From Month 9

I told you all that I was going to blog more, and I meant it. Took Mr. Chubby-Cheeks to his doctor appointment on the 10th of March for a nine month checkup.

Christmas Onesie


It appears that his cheeks and tummy truly are made of marshmallow fluff, as he is only 45% on the weight scale. He still hit 90% on the height scale, and, frankly, the nurse possibly measured him short since she tugged the measuring tape from my hand to below the tip of his head. He's about 25-50% for his head size. Teeny-headed Nathan.

This last month we introduced him to my old piano at my mother's house. He loves it and will bang across six octaves, leaning far in either direction to make noise. Sometimes he'll pound incessantly on the lower octaves, and sometimes he'll hit with both hands at once.

He's Got the Beat


I think this baby is getting cuter every damned day.

Cute Face

20090313

Sewing, I Did It

As many of you know, because you read my blog, last September I received my first sewing machine. My sewing skills were as follows: "I can cross-stitch, and whip stitch. If pushed to."

Well, I did my first pattern, folks. It is a gorgeous little "Easy to Sew" apron from Simplicity. Here is a shot of Paul modeling it.

Simplicity Pattern 5154


It was made with a lightweight denim, and it fits Paul very well. This is great except for the fact that it was made for my very short mother. It does not fit her well and she has requested alterations I do not know how to make. Sigh. Either way, I'm pretty proud of it. The ties for it were a complete and utter bitch since they required turning inside out. Paul helped me with the task and he can attest to the fact that it was an utter bitch.

If you'd like to see my Sewing Pattern review, I just put it up. Sewing Pattern Reviews is a nice enough site, but I'd like Ravelry to include sewing, ya know?

I also made some napkins for Spring this year. I was tired of my very autumnal napkins being used all the time.

Spring Napkins


I used a medium-weight cotton, and I made the binding tape myself. That's why they look so crappy. If I were smart, I would have:

1. Washed my material at least two or three times to prevent shrinking later.
2. Made the bias tape on the bias even though the pattern said I did not need to.

I think next time I'm just going to wait for a Joann sale and buy the binding tape in bulk.

What have you all been doing?

20090312

Murder Mystery


"ACT YOUR ROLE!"
Originally uploaded by sunhi
I'm trying to blog from Flickr again to see how it goes. This is simply a pic of our murder mystery dinner and everyone dressed in character. I love murder mystery dinners and can not wait until the next one. I'm sad that Paula and Tom won't be there though.

20090310

Months Seven, Eight, and Nine

Damn, Nathan, I'm so embarrassed. One day, you're going to read this, and you're going to ask me why I was so busy that I couldn't post for months seven, eight, and nine separately, and I'll answer, "I was reading blogs." You'll make this face at me.

Why, Mommy?


I won't have any defense EITHER! I'll just have to face up to that horribly sad face. We experienced Christmas, and I didn't say anything to you on this blog. Look at how cute you were!

Nathan at Christmas


There are baby kittens WEEPING out there because they know they'll never be as cute as you. Christmas was great. My mom got you a boatload of presents. We, and everyone else, got you another boatload. You had two boatloads, which I opened for you. Some of your presents were so big, you couldn't even see over them.

"Uh!"


You had your first major snow, which was terrific. You didn't really enjoy it, to tell you the truth. Hopefully next year will be more exciting for you, and you won't cry in the snow.

DADDY!  Pick Me Up!


I'm sad to say that you are still toothless and you still don't crawl. I'm wondering if I did something wrong, to tell you the truth. I put you on your stomach, and you are uninterested in crawling. I guess if someone would pick me up and carry me all the time, I'd be uninterested too. Also, you have your walker which is much more interesting to you since you can chase after me and Daddy and Grandmom when you're in it.

MUST KNOCK THINGS OVER


You've finally figured out how to drink from a sippy cup.

Yum!


You still prefer a bottle or someone else's 'real' cup. You like to eat solid food too. Our solid food. Solid food belonging to Mommy and Daddy. For instance, when Mommy has a nice bowl of soup, you like to "EH EH EH" at me until I give you your fair share. You consider your fair share the whole bowl.

You're making a lot of noises nowadays. You like to play with me and we say "DADADADADA" to each other a lot and then screech at each other. I think you're going to say Daddy for reals first. I can't blame you. Look at you two! You're twins!

The Exception Outfit Snuggles


What are we doing in our days? Well, we're not going to an endless series of classes like some babies. I wish I were that ambitious, but that might interrupt your naps. You love your naps.

Sleepy Time


You are not happy unless you, and I, and the cats, are all napping. When that occurs, you are the happiest baby ever. You giggle while I tickle you to sleep and make kissing noises and move my head back and forth like you. When you wake up, we roll over and go see Baby in the Mirror.

I promise to post more often, my darling. I want to blog more anyway. Helen has invigorated my blogging mojo with her crazy blog that is updated near hourly. Now, sometimes I'm sitting around and I have a thought, and I want to blog it. Why don't I? Because this was the all Baby blog. All about Nathan. But my life is a lot about Nathan so this blog can be about my life. That way, one day, when you wonder what I was doing instead of posting updates on you, I can say I was not reading blogs, but writing blog entries.

Can you do me a favor too, honey? Try crawling! Let's close this blog entry on a positive note between us. Look how cute you were these last few months!

RED!

No!  He Tries to Eat It!

Fruits Basket!


You are some cute baby. Keep giving us the cutes, Nathan. I love it!

20090303

Pretty Pretty Petable Yarn

Guess what came in the mail a few days ago?

Sundara Yarn


Is that some Sundara sock yarn you spy? It is! I took it out back, in the pretty snow, in the fading sunset, to get some not very color accurate photos. I white-balanced as best possible, but I'm not sure of the accuracy still.

Cranberry Mousse


That lovely little number above? That's Cranberry Mousse. I'm still working on a good picture of the Bittersweet Chocolate, so you'll have to do with the photo I'm posting for now.

Bittersweet Chocolate