Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

preppy like that!

As mentioned last post, across the internetz many (mostly)lady-bloggers are sewing up a batch of boy patterns for a blog tour of the designs. The patterns are all PDF indie designs, have a wonderful size range of 3 months to size 16, and they are all featured on an extended sale until the first. I was honored to be asked to participate. The 25th I submitted my first entry. Today, I bring you: 

The Letterman Jacket!

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

So for today: I am The Letterman Jacket by Fairytale Pattern Design. I’ll be discussing them here and in my Flickr tagset.

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

The pattern: if you think about it, a Letterman jacket is a simple garment (certainly simpler than the last jacket I made). What makes it iconic and beautiful are the fabrics used, the details (the distinctive ribbing and collar or center back zip hood), and the patches. Almost any raglan jacket could be easily changed to a letterman jacket. That said, it is wonderful to have a simply-drafted pattern and it was easy for me to modify it for a facing and lining. This particular pattern comes in size 4T to size 16 (please please please let a client request a wee 4T) – a generous size range.

 I made a size 8 in girth and a size 12 in length for my lean green bean boy! I also hand-knit cuffs, hem band, and neckband:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

 

My welt pockets are perfect! Exactly no one is surprised. That said, some fabrics are far more lovely to work welt pockets in – and melton wool is definitely in that category:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

 

Finished with a wonderful gold slipper satin and antique brass snaps:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

And one of my favorite bits: a custom chenille patch:
Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

All in all, a successful venture with a very simple, trusty pattern.

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

You can learn more about the Bundle Up pattern package below – or visit all the blogs that are showcasing the different patterns. Y’all know I tend to draft my own stuff, but these patterns are pretty fabulous and most of them have a great size range. Enjoy!

 

i just can’t get enuf / i just can’t get enuf

Blooper Hoodie!

Soooooooo basically I’d like to make colorblocked hoodies all day long. The only thing that would make the experience more perfect, is to have a home screenprinting lab set up. But I’ll settle for how things are going now – a wonderful jersey fabric with just the right amount of recovery, and the ability to slash lines here or there and make up whatever kind of design I feels like!

Blooper Hoodie!

I also colorblocked the waistband to match the design lines of the garment. BOOM!

A white-lined hood, and a handknit drawstring. Notice the little “blooper” elements on the right arm – a Mama and three babies, all hand-cut and free-motioned darned.

Blooper Hoodie!

Blooper Hoodie!

With summertime approaching, what is more lovely than a super-soft custom-fit hoodie?

NOTHING

 

speechless, for once

A Gift

Our Christmas morning was full of a lot of laughter and wonderful, thoughtful gifts. A great many people in my life put a lot of thought, time, and money into wonderful gifts for one another. Me? I was up until 5 AM finishing the handsewn & hand-knit items for my loved ones.

But one gift in particular, today, bears a bit of mentioning: and that is, a little gift my husband gave me.

Halfway through present-opening I unwrapped a small package and pulled out some lovely, handmade socks. Wool. Wonderful! Anyone who knows me knows I love wool – and lately, my sock supply has been threadbare AF. These are a very pretty autumnal colorway and I can tell they will fit.

I ask Ralph, “Where did you get these?”

and he replies,

“I made them.”

So like…

since before Thanksgiving he has been teaching himself to knit – by meeting with a mentor, and by knitting every spare moment he is not in sight of me. He kept the whole thing hush-hush, and so did our children.

Most incredible to me, for his first project he made me socks. SOCKS! People told him that wasn’t something you could do your first time. But he stuck with it. They are amazing socks! He made every stitch himself!

Not only that but he tells me, “All of Grays Harbor knows about these socks,” because apparently he’s had to knit every second he could get it in. At the bus stop while he waits for our child’s bus. Weekend mornings before I get up. At work, he’s been meeting with a mentor on his lunch hour, sitting in her car and getting help. Knitting at holiday parties. Knitting while I’m out, furiously knitting, then throwing the socks aside to quickly finish up dishes or dinner before I get home.

More touching than all of this is sitting next to him on the couch after I put the socks on. My mind keeps going back to all the hours and effort spent and I blink back tears. Now that the secret is out, he is free to come out of the closet as a knitter. I watch pull out his current project, his second project – and I watch my husband knit. I always knew he would be skilled at knitting and he would enjoy it, but to see him doing it… it’s hard to explain how touching and incredible it is.

He made me cry. Damn it takes a lot to get this girl off-kilter but he did it.

I’m truly floored.

just a reminder this is a thing

Bitsie Boogie

MONSTER-ous booties available – be sure to check out the awesome papercraft Ralph and I designed to wrap them. Perfect for a newborn/0 – 3 month baby you know. But only a really, really fierce one.

Halloween approaches; after that, I’ll be making Christmas stuff. Suggestions are welcome – keeping in mind I prefer making items for babies and children.

A friend of Ralph’s suggested hobbit booties. What the hell are those? What does that mean? Like wee hobbit-feet looking things? I am intrigued. Because that is a pretty killer idea.

Currently: working on a Max costume. My best yet. I first overdyed cotton terry. I love simple dye projects:

Original Terry, White

Original…

Overdyed - Too Pink!

Oops! Too far (too pink)! – and then:

Corrected: Just Right

Just right. And super-soft.

Kind of, nothing is better than having custom sewing work. This was my first year listing Halloween offerings, and it’s been going well. [ she says, tentatively ]

slant rhyme

made some hats
need some scratch

Pom-Poms

buy this batch?

Also: if you are a local, I am looking for babies and kids as models, so I can photograph some of my creations. I have several items that are not being published in any way because I do not have children to model them. I am hoping especially for newborns in the zero to three months’ range; also kids up to three. AND of course any child model (and carer) gets a lovely Hoga-playdate plus a hand-sewn or hand-knit bit of loveliness from YOURS TRULY.

So. That’s it, for now.

From Russia With Love (1963)

“One of these days we must invent a faster-working venom.”

So first: today, I sent out a pair of Monstrer Booties, including a homemade card and gift wrap. Ralph and I plan on perfecting the monster boxes (three kinds of monster) and will post here for download. So much fun! Papercraft + knitting, w00t!

Second.

I was raised on the Bond movies. So live-tweeting a group viewing? Hey I like that, Johnny, I’m gonna use that!!! (0:49)

From Russia With Love (1963)Connery’s bond is modest with the towel length, less so with his shorts inseam.

Tomorrow night at 6 PM Pacific Standard Time, my friend @court_anonymous & I will be tweeting the second in the Bond film installments – last week we did #DrNo.  If you’d like to join in, Get your copy of From Russia With Love (1963)*, and queue it up. The moment the film fades from the lion-roaring MGM logo, pause it again. Precisely, at 6 PST according to this site, press play. You can join in under the hashtag #BondBFFs on Twitter (Ralph put together a streaming site page here at awesometi.me).

* (My advice? Buy a legal version, and download/torrent it to put the file on the computer through VLC or some such, so streaming internet doesn’t make viewing stutter.)

something I whipped up

7 1/2 Feet Long, 20 Inches Double-Thick

I was pretty casual the other day when I asked my brother’s lady J. if she still liked Harry Potter. I was hoping for “Yes” as I’d already embarked on the scarf back in the summer. I must admit I had a few people mock the largeness as I would work on this double-thick bewheemuth, but there was no turning back. I was only following a pattern afterall, and besides, watch the third movie (J.’s favorite at the time I hatched the idea to knit), and you’ll see they wear pretty big and inordinately jolly scarves. So I knit this while watching any movies and attending many meetings. Ralph made up the fringe, which was fabulous of him.

7 1/2 Feet Long, 20 Inches Double-Thick

I recorded details of the scarf on Ravelry. In case you have to make yourself one. Or you want to make me one (Slytherin colors, please). I have since moved onto some handwarmers – very small, will be finished soon…

Handwarmers For Q

(using the same pattern as these, a gift for a 5 year old child in my life – which were made from the tiniest scrap that Tammy gave me):

 

Mystery Yarn

I will not be posting the next handful of homemade items I’m putting together, at least not right away; I’ve been invited to participate in a spread for an upcoming publication. Variety of this and that, may I just say I’m peeing a little from excitement about it all.

Potteriffic! for J.

Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.

Today I visited my doctor, the one who months ago spoke to me in a way I was ready to understand about the possibility I might be an alcoholic. The next day I had gone to a recommended place and discovered this was a certainty, for me, personally.

The day I knew I was an alcoholic was one of the best days in my life.

So before I talk more about that, well, today – the doctor’s. We reviewed how I was doing. He asked me how the summer went, with all the barbecues and beer and booze flowing. I told him quite honestly it hadn’t been a problem. I talked to him about a few of my concerns. We straightened all that out then he said he didn’t need to see me for another year.

He shook my hand firmly and told me succinctly, “Good job.” I looked right at him and said simply, “Thank you. You can’t imagine how different my life is now.”

And since then I’ve been reflecting how much it means to me, that he thinks I could handily do a year on the track I’ve been on.

I only sat with him ten minutes today. I’ve had so little time with him over all this – the biggest change in my life, besides the birth of my children – and I suppose he’s just another person of many who has influenced me in such a deep-down amazing way – but I wonder if he realizes the gratitude I feel for his assistance, his intervention in my life (although, truth told, I did go see him for help because I wasn’t getting answers elsewhere… and I have followed suggestions every day since). After we said goodbye I walked out to the reception window, made that seemingly way-off followup appointment, then stepped out to the waiting room where my son waited. Then my boy and I went out to lunch together.

I write this out a bit because I am so incredibly grateful for my life today. I’ve come to know entirely new meanings of “help”, and love and care and wisdom. I’ve come to see the folly and death inherant in the myth of self-sufficiency. I’ve experienced serenity for the first time since I was a young child. I’m slowly growing up my emotions and shedding some of those horrible drives I’ve lived with since long before I took my first drink: shame, blame, guilt, remorse. Terror and anger.

I really didn’t know how much I lived with them until they started to slip away. As they say, this didn’t happen overnight, and I say that because if you’re suffering now I want you to know you won’t always be suffering.

I expect to keep growing.

Today was a good day. I went on a wonderful morning run in the fog, I took my son somewhere wonderful in the morning, I had time with both kids separately, I helped a few people and someone who needed support told me I made her day, I made her smile. I stand to have some hot tea with honey and a good rest.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

***

In other news, I CAN’T STOP MAKING BABY MITTENZ

Trivial Coloriffic Mittens

Fly-Dyed Softies

Made With Love

riding atop a muscular steed, looking all awesome

Friday links! A little intense, a little child/social wellbeing oriented. But also, some great world leader beefcake!

Criminally Confident In Our Kids at Free Range Kids. Lenore writes succinctly about a problem that needs remedying – and that far too many parents risk having experience with.

Unschoolers / life learners! You can participate in Dr. Peter Gray’s survey study of unschooling families (which has been vetted by people I trust, so feel free as far as I’m concerned). You can download the survey from http://www.patfarenga.com/.

Laurie Couture uses strong language about school and teachers but she also has the experience and passion to back that up. If you have a long comment/rebuttal please comment at the source: her recent piece: “What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers” – in response to a yucky article on CNN I won’t link to here (but you can find easily enough).

It’s Time To Reclaim The M-Word; so, I think I’m going to be reading the books this woman has written. From the article interview:

“There are books galore on how to “deal” with your children, how to control them, make them fit into a routine. There is even one, which has sold over half a million copies, that tells you how to physically punish your child. But understand them? Comfort them? Dirty words.”

Last Wednesday: the anniversary of John Holt’s death. Some great writings and teachings, there:

“…[John Holt believed that] unschooling and homeschooling are self-selecting and self-correcting activities that do not need central authorities to dictate content and standards… [John Holt’s] goal was not to create an insular education movement for children but rather ‘A life worth living and work worth doing—that is what I want for children (and all people), not just, or not even, something called ‘a better education.’” ~ Pat Farenga, Holt Associates

Make: My Magic Baby Mitts. I did! (pictures soon!)

I’ve had a run of people requesting my crumpets recipe, so here it is again in case you missed it.

A Day In The Life Of An Angry Transsexual at Tranarchism. If you’re unfamiliar witht he concept of Microagressions, here’s a good illustration.

Ladies (and, I guess, gentleman), prepare to get all hot and bothered for VLADIMIR PUTIN, ACTION MAN. Question, does Mr. Putin have a sexy bod, the answer is Yes, he’s sixty and looking great. But I am laughing my ass off at the photos like, he’s kind of just posed doing ALL THIS AWESOME SHIT with only slightly different expressions, adjusted slightly as if by claymation (I wish there was one of him DELIVERING THE HELL OUT OF A BABY!!1!). h/t to Marianne who made the comparison to Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things.

Wanda Wulz, cats / photography at All Things Amazing

Quote of the week: “Forgiveness isn’t something we do for others. We do it so we can get well and move on.”

Video of the week: our favorite MLP, Pinkie Pie, losing it juuuuuust a little:

Am I hard enough? Am I rough enough? Am I rich enough?

Today it was suddenly quite hot and I was so grateful to my friend K.; she just sent me a box of clothes she’d sized out of including a simple, light, short-sleeved black cotton dress. I would have wilted without it, truly; I was hardly ready for the heat wave and the footwork I had to make – the dress was so much nicer than jeans. The garment also showcased more cleavage than I’ve ever bared publicly; I got a lot of thank yous for this. I sunscreened properly, no worries.

Earlier in the day I sold some things for taco money (I’m serious), bought my husband lunch and horchata. We wrangled a bit of additional cash to keep us in groceries.* And I brought my working friend an ice-cold Mexican sugar Coke, and I grabbed up some free and luscious yarn for another friend (through Freecycle).

Later in the day: now, I admit I’ll be a bit blue until I have my own working car, but driving back from Aberdeen in my mom’s truck with the windows down, benefitting from sunglasses (my husbands’ that he’d generously loaned me) and big swinging earrings and listening to the Rolling Stones (a guilty pleasure because I find many of their lyrics objectionable) and there was finally a breeze, and I felt pretty good just then, going home to family. Then sitting with friends while they had burger and fries and ice cream and my children ran around on the waterfront, then I followed Ralph and the kids home. I was driving the truck, they were on Ralph’s bike. I got to see how joyful and mobile they are on the bike (I usually can’t see because they’re behind me, natch). And that was just something else.

It was the first day of Summer, far as I’m concerned.

The kids were outside most the day, including a lot of time in the big plastic pool we bought last summer – I’m so glad we stored it and kept it mold-free. I’m not kidding, those kidlets were marathoning it out there. Ralph made homemade pizza and roasted broccoli and cauliflower while they played; they barely ate before zooming out again. By the end of a very rowdy and many-child jamboree, one neighbor kid called another a “fatty” so I gotta talk to them about that tomorrow (we had a great discussion with our kids about this).

Currently, I’m putting my feet up and my face in a book – and Ralph’s pulling homemade bread out of the oven and soaking black beans for tomorrow.

Life is good.

*