Halloween, 2017

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So, remember how I posted about our Halloween plans back in the beginning of September? It took a lot of work, but I made them real!

Maddy as “Peg(+Cat)” and me as “Peg’s Mom”
M as Peg(+Cat) and me as “Peg’s Mom”

M’s green “Peg” cardigan turned out perfectly! It’s technically still not quite a finished object, because I haven’t sewn in flannel pocket linings, so the “side pockets” are really just slits:

It fits! (Still gotta make pocket linings, of course!)

Both the pocket openings and the front openings were created with steeks, which I’m getting more confident about doing!

Ready for steeking!
All ready for steeking!

I’m finding I have a strong preference for knitting the button bands before cutting the steek opening (I did this for my Fiddlehead Yoke cardigan, too) – I’m just less nervous about somehow making things unravel while picking up stitches when I do it before cutting.

Snip snip.
Snip Snip!

I used 1×1 rib for this buttonband, and bound off with a 2-stitch i-cord, which created a beautiful, firm, same-on-both-sides finish. I edged the pocket openings in i-cord, too, before I cut them open:

The pockets open up now! Still gotta sew in fabric pockets though.

Cat was more of a challenge – I’ve never actually created a stuffed animal like this before, but somehow it all worked out! I started out by looking at a picture of Cat and drawing it much larger on some of M’s easel paper:

Working on a pattern for Cat.

I totally surprised myself with how well I was able to capture Cat’s shape and features! Then, it was time to actually use my drawing as a pattern, and cut out shapes from blue and grey fleece – two identical body pieces (for front and back) and two identical tail pieces (to make a 3D tail). I stitched on the grey parts (eyes, mouth, and tail spots) by hand before sewing any of the body or tail pieces together:

Stitching the spot onto Cat’s tail at LEGO club storytime.
Stitching at the library

But my plans for sewing everything together with my sewing machine were thwarted by the fact that my machine just sucks (and I also don’t really know much about how to use it, but I do know how to read a manual and I just could NOT make it work without jamming constantly and breaking the thread!). So…handsewing to the rescue! I sewed the entire body together by hand over a couple of evenings:

Making progress on Cat (by hand). I need better progressive lenses (my close-vision is fading hard, so I end up looking over the tops of my glasses and holding things 3” from my face which ain’t good for my neck!!)
I really need better progressive lenses!

When I had it all stuffed and finished up, I almost cried – I couldn’t believe how well it had turned out! I made a Cat! And it really looks like Cat!

Cat!!!

Maddy was SO delighted with her Cat!

Happy Peg+Cat

She’s been carrying him everywhere with her, just like Peg would:

Peg+Cat on a walk around the neighborhood

Seriously, I still can’t believe I made a Cat that looks so much like Cat!

Peg+Cat!!

And a kid who looks so much like Peg! (Isn’t she adorable?? I’m really happy with how my pompom turned out for her hat, too!)

Oh, kiddo, your sweater, pompom, and Cat were a lot of work but you’re so stinking cute as Peg that it was totally worth it!

And if you want even more unbelievable cuteness, here’s a video (you’ll have to click the image to go through to Flickr) of M singing the “Peg+Cat” theme song in costume:

Singing the Peg+Cat theme song. I can’t get over the cuteness!

Peg+Cat were SO excited to go trick-or-treating with friends this evening!

Peg+Cat were SO excited about trick-or-treating!

I’d call Halloween 2017 a huge success! But I’m definitely a crazy person for committing to a costume that involved a handknit sweater, a pompom, and a hand-stitched, self-designed Cat…though the awesome thing is that every single piece of her costume is something she can wear or play with again and again! M and I agreed that next year, she will take the lead on costume-making; I’ll still help her, but I won’t be a 1-woman sweatshop again!

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween this year!

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Rhinebeck, 2017

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Long time, no posts! So far, Fall Semester has been pretty brutal on a whole lot of fronts, including a nasty respiratory bug (or series of them?) that started in late September and which I still haven’t fully kicked. But thankfully, I wasn’t TOO sick to go to Rhinebeck!

But before I jump ahead to the festival, I’ll start with the “traditional” photo of me and M on the Walkway over the Hudson:

Our traditional Walkway Over the Hudson mama+M photo. #latergram

We love the Walkway, and the past two years, we’ve driven down early enough in the day on Friday that we’ve been able to walk it in the early evening, and it’s just so beautiful!

Another Walkway photo from the real camera. I love this kid so much! #latergram

This year, we were able to ride the elevator down to the base of the bridge, which M *loved* – my little engineer was so excited to get to see the underside of the bridge!

She was fascinated by the elevator on the Walkway. She loved getting to see the support structure under the bridge. I love my little engineer!

I even got a rare photo of my husband and I!

Us.


Such a beautiful place!

The view from the Walkway over the Hudson

And ain’t my kid beautiful, too?

Beautiful girl in a beautiful place on a beautiful day. #latergram

(I know, I’m super biased!)

Now, for the festival. Here is the SIXTH photo of me and my girl on the benches on the hill (though this year, they had fenced off most of the fences, so we missed out on having the lovely wood background):

Our usual benches were fenced off, so this is as close as we could get to our “traditional” Rhinebeck photo this year! (OMG, M is getting so big!!)

Madrigal wore her red vest and the cowl she’s adopted as her own, and I wore my Fiddlehead Yoke cardigan. It was cool enough in the morning that it wasn’t TOO crazy to be wearing a Lettlopi sweater, but by midday, it was pretty darned warm! The very bright sunlight made it tricky to get good photos, too, which was a bummer because I was just so excited to be able to show off my pretty pretty sweater!

FIddlehead Yoke at Rhinebeck

I got a lot of compliments both on my cardigan and on M’s red vest, and it was pretty fun to be able to say, “I made it up!” when folks asked me what the patterns were. Someday, someday, maybe I’ll actually get my act together and write up those patterns for other people to knit, but for now, I’m happy with our “bespoke” handknits.

Maddy and the llamas

Madrigal was very excited about seeing llamas and alpacas this year, so our first stop was the “Camelids” area, where she said hello to the llamas. Our next stop was the Bartlettyarns booth, where M snuggled yarn…

Snuggling yarn in the Bartlettyarns booth.

…and picked out a llama friend of her very own, which she named “Ellie”:

Maddy + Ellie + pan flute band

(My lone purchase of the day also came at the Bartlettyarns booth – I got a cone of brown sportweight to use with the Swirls packs I’ve picked up in previous years.)

We didn’t actually make it into many of the vendor barns this year (which is fine, because I have so much yarn in my stash that bringing much more into our tiny home would be insane, though I wouldn’t have minded looking!), instead spending most of our time visiting the animal barns. Here are my favorite “sheep”:

My favorite sheep ;)

And here’s my favorite alpaca (or llama? I know they’re different but am not sure which this is!) – ain’t that the best hairdo?

Best hairdo on the one in the back!

Maddy really enjoyed snuggling all the wool she could – she even snuck herself in between sheepskins that were hanging on a rack! Isn’t she just the cutest?

PA210164

(That one’s totally gonna end up framed in our house, I think!)

I didn’t do a great job of taking photos of people this year, but I did get to hang out with my “knitternet” friends, and even got to meet a few new people in person for the first time, like Sonya Philip and Jenn Steingass (I, um, may have been an awkward yoke-design fangirl at Jenn, whoops!).

All in all, it was a lovely trip, though I’m back to feeling sicker again now that we’re home, so I’m afraid I may have overdone it. My car project was M’s “Peg” cardigan (for her Peg+Cat costume), which is all done except for the steeking and the insertion of fabric pockets, so expect a post about that soon!