posts tagged with 'crafting'

first Easter with three

Every year I sew my children suits for Easter. I have great commitment to traditions I completely make up, you see. Especially if they make me look good. I gave up on the hippy ideal of sewing all my children's clothing myself, but if I make Easter suits and Christmas sweaters that's two major photo opportunities which make me look like a much more dedicated crafter than I am.

Harvey in his Easter suit atop a hay bale, holding PowPow

working hard to project my well-crafted image

With the brain-drain of a new baby this year I wanted to pick a pattern that I'd be sure not to muck up with mistakes. I used the pants pattern I've used for the past three years (from this book), and happily I dashed off two of them without having to rip out a pocket seem or anything major. I drafted new vest patterns since they don't come from a book, but having done the construction of these vests three years in a row I felt like it would be difficult for me to do anything stupid. In the end it turned out I was right. Suits went off without a hitch (if a little booringly) and I made it work in 30-minute increments when the baby slept.

Elijah also got a matching outfit, though I didn't want to mess with a 6-week old by forcing him into a vest. Instead I sewed a tie to the front of a onesie, and I made a coordinating pair of easy pants, also from Sewing for Boys, without pockets or too much fuss.

Leah holding LyeLye, who is sporting an orange tie

dapper baby

Oh, and both PowPows got new suits, with a simplified pants pattern this year. The pants were made in one piece as opposed to three, but I made up for it with complicated ties. The ties took me longer than the pants together, and I have ideas next year to simplify the process, if I can remember sewing lessons from one year to another, which is questionable.

I was pretty pleased with my ability to get stuff done, and I went to bed on Saturday night bursting with my own hubris. The suits were done, the house was clean, and I had fancy organic chocolate bunnies on the table in their hand-woven Easter baskets.

Zion in his Easter suit holding his basket

ready for egg hunt action

On Sunday morning however I learned that no amount of prep-work can make my life okay if my children, like, don't behave.

Zion woke up on the wrong side of several beds. He wouldn't eat, he ripped Harvey's artwork off the wall, he threw a decorated easter egg on the ground smashing it to pieces, and he refused to put his suit on screaming, "I DON'T LIKE YOU EASTER! GO AWAY EASTER!"

Meanwhile Harvey radiated gladness, cackling when he saw the bunny and begging me to button up his vest. That's why I have multiple children, I guess. One to tell me that the things I care about matter, and the other to assure me that I'll NEVER earn his love, NEVER EVER, so I shouldn't even bother trying.

And a third to make me so distracted with poop and puke that I can't get emotionally invested in the reactions of the older two. Altogether we make quite a family.

the five of us in our Easter finery, kind of looking at the camera and kind of smiling

family portrait: the best we're going to do for now

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6 weeks

Today I am six weeks postpartum. I had a goal of losing all 35lbs of baby weight in six weeks, because my life is built on setting impossible goals and then beating myself up when I'm not a superhero. Suffice it to say I didn't lose 35lbs. But I got within a ten pound range that at least allows me to wear some of my old clothes. Fugly clothes, mom clothes, but not clothes that say MIMI MATERNITY proudly across the tag. Yesterday I put on jeans for the museum, and it was the first time I didn't put on my pants and immediately scream MUFFIN TOP!!!

6 weeks postpartum at the discovery museum

How does one go from maternity sizes to rockin the mom jeans in a matter of weeks? I would like to say something hippy and loving like "Breastfeeding! And holding my babies! And walking outside to take in the presence of the sun!" But the truer story is that losing weight takes real work. Like exercise. Hard sweaty exercise. The kind you can't do pushing a stroller. Here's me in my running clothes yesterday before I forced Dan to watch the kids so I could log a quick two miles.

living the dream

Also it takes going to bed hungry. A lot of going to bed hungry. Because if I go to bed hungry I will post a weight loss the next day, but if I lie in bed thinking about something OTHER than food because my willpower died and I am pleasantly full, God help me in the morning there will be a weight gain on the scale and I will rain down curses on myself and my body and the possibility of having more children ever again.

So whatever. Six weeks. Sarcastic hurray.

Getting in the way of my exercise time, I am working hard on preperations for Easter. In the past month I have spent at least ten hours sewing suits, and that's just for Harvey and Zion; Elijah doesn't have ANYTHING to wear yet. Three days away I'm down to baby's outfit and ties all around, so I can probably acquit myself in five hours or so. That's not including the time it takes to clean the entire house for a massive party and make food for 20 people. That should be a cinch.

still need ties

All this leads me to the inevitable question: What is important? I don't mean generally like "Family is important" because no shit, I spend like EVERY FRIGGIN SECOND with them. But within the scope of housewifery, what is important? Do handmade Easter suits really matter? Do handmade DOLL SUITS really matter? Does it matter if it matters to me? If seeing my children in matching suits gives meaning to my life, and seeing them match their dolls brings us all joy in the way that two hours of sleep does not?

I was reading a book about surviving baby stress, and it was all like: See what you can stop doing! Can you order out more for dinner? Can you pay a housecleaner? Can you get other people to watch your children so you can sleep?

The truth is that as soon as I think of a suggestion I immediately shoot it down. We can't order out because eating healthy food is important. We can't have someone else clean the house because that's part of our hospitality and hospitality is important. I can't sleep because sleeping time is sewing time. EVERYTHING IS SO IMPOSSIBLY IMPORTANT!

I can't think of anything except keep being a superhero.

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twin sock monkeys

My family left me alone in the house all day so I could sit quietly and heal a sprained rib that's aggravated by talking and moving. So here I am in my house, alone, with the inability to pick stuff up and move it to a different location. Which is, let's be clear, pretty much what I'm either doing every second or THINKING ABOUT doing every second that I'm in the house. I mean, without cleaning, organizing, or reading books to children, what do people DO all day? I'm having a bit of an identity crisis.

Then I remembered I wanted to finish some sock monkeys.

hello hello

This is what happens when I get two pairs of Christmas socks that are too small. My feet aren't as petite as they were before I had my babies and started spending long periods of time picking up heavy things and moving them to different locations.

I've written about making a sock monkey before. They're not at all hard, though more time consuming than you think for something that necessarily comes out looking "homespun." The only downside to making sock monkeys is you really need a new pair of socks to pull one off. In a used pair of socks it's the heels that go first, and it's precisely the heels that you need to create the shape of a monkey (two to be precise: one for the butt and one for the nose). You can make a bunny form a worn pair of socks but it looks even MORE homespun, even on the verge of venturing into the "trash" category. So unless you have a new pair of socks that just ain't working for you, a sock monkey isn't really upcycling in any way.

On the other hand, maybe the upcycling obsession is a little much in this case. Maybe you can show your friends enough respect to not give their kids trash toys made out of your old dirty socks.

bye bye

I don't really know who these monkeys are destined for. The next pair of siblings to have a birthday, perhaps? The next two one-year-olds who invite us to parties? The couple at church who I barely know but I know are having twins? All possibilities, now that they're in the "finished" drawer. Oh how I love that finished gifts drawer.

Of course, Harvey and Zion were eyeing the first monkey as it came together, each of them fighting for their turn to hug it. So if I run out of steam next month maybe these could serve as impromptu Easter gifts for my boys. On the other hand, they act like that with EVERYTHING I sew. They pretty much want every toy they have ever seen or heard of, ever. And Harvey already has two sock creations that he never plays with. Except to throw at me when he's angry. So maybe no more monkey business for that one...

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pregnancy baskets

The nice thing about baskets is that they come together rather quickly. It's an intense coming together, yes, with a focus-filled half hour of needing to get the bottom finished before all the wet bits get dry and you start yelling at your family that you can never get anything DONE around here. Then it's smooth sailing to add more weavers whenever you want, but I usually put them in all in one go because of the set-up cost of filling the sink weighs heavily on my mind. Also because that's the fun part. Then I let the thing dry overnight before doing a final pack and lashing the rim. All in all, each basket takes about 2-3 hours spread over the course of two days. It's a VERY satisfying hobby.

But it's precisely the kind of project that'll be difficult with a new baby, what with the wet things and the specific time constraints and the mess making. So I've been planning ahead to get done all the "important" baskets I need in the next few months before this baby makes an appearance.

First up, I made new easter baskets for the boys.

ready to be filled with... oh crap I guess I have to make presents too

These are the first baskets I made with round bottoms, and the process was surprisingly easy, perhaps even easier than setting up a square basket. My only complaint is that the handle I used stretched the baskets out a bit, making the finished product more oval than circular. Of course, I could have bought the right size handle, as opposed to just using some reed from my stash, but I hate buying stuff. I'd rather dummy something up, even if it's the wrong thing. Anyway, it made the boys excited for Easter.

Gosh, should I make an easter basket for the baby? I didn't even think! Does a two-month-old have anything to put in a basket? (Dan says, No, give it a rest.)

I also make gift baskets for each of my three midwives.

ready to go, alongside the rest of the birth supplies

I filled the baskets with preserves Dan made, and then I stashed the them inside this baby basket in a corner of my bedroom. The baby basket I didn't make... what do you think I am, a genie? But I did get pretty quick at putting together these things.

how can one ever really say thank you for the gift of life?

At one point I posted on facebook: "Does seagrass or flat oval reed better say 'Thank you for encapsulating my placenta?'" In the end, I went with the flat oval reed. Makes the basekt more sturdy that way.

I also made a new basket to hold the boys' trains, since the non-homemade train basket was juuuust a bit too small. I tried a new technique on the bottom to make the thing a bit stronger.

diagonal weave to hold in Thomas

Here's the basket in its new digs, holding trains. It goes next to the big basket I made last summer to hold the tracks.

ignore the stereo cable and the scotch tape on the wall... i do

With the train basket off my list I'm feeling a little complete with making baskets for the moment. If this baby delays longer I'll have to do some sewing or knitting or, i dunno, whittling or something. But I could be persuaded to try a seagrass baby easter basket. Just to see. You never know...

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quick baby gifts

Even as I await for this baby to emerge and suck all the crafting time out of my life (in addition to most of the sleeping, eating, and showering time I've grown so accustomed to), other friends keep having babies or announcing they'll be having babies in the near future. So I find myself on this perilous tightrope: on one hand wanting to make beautiful baby gifts for my friend, on the other hand needing every project to be small and easily completable within a couple of hours.

Right now I'm relying heavily on my favorite quick baby patterns. Here, let me share my secrets with you. If you're a pregnant overachiever who handmakes gifts months in advance, or if you're just lazy and need a gift tomorrow without leaving your house, this is a blog post for you.

First of all, here's the quickest baby gift I know. Sewn baby booties.

sew cute

The pattern for these comes free from the burl bee, and they're intended to be sewn out of felt, though I always use a felted sweater. (In the picture above I actually used a sweater that I cut up raw and felted in the washer after the booties were sewn.) I guess you could use regular felt, if you're not like a magnet for everyone's unwanted wool sweaters. But one wool sweater will get you several pairs of booties, so its worth stashing the old things away instead of trashing them. It helps if your husband himself is a magnet for old mason jars and toilet paper rolls; in that case he can't say anything to you.

I've given these booties at least five times now, and I always get a good response from the mom-to-be, especially if she's a hippy and appreciates the up-cycled street-cred. But as I was making a pair for a friend last month, I realized I should probably do my diligence and TRY THEM ON A BABY. Because seriously, I've always taken the pattern at face value and never really tested if they fit on a newborn or stay on for more than two minutes. So the pair above is for baby Archibald as a tester. The pair below was a gift. I added an elastic around the ankle as an afterthought, just incase my doubts about the pattern functionality are correct.

gift basket of hippy

For this gift I paired the booties with a feed-bag bib, which is my second go-to quick baby present. Looking back at our archives, it appears I never actually blogged about these feed bag bibs. I should rectify that some day, with a tutorial or whatever. For now I'll just throw up a really old picture and give you the one-sentence instruction. Cut two bibs out out of a feed bag and sew em together with bias tape. If that's not self-explanatory, a pattern and tutorial for such a thing (albeit with vinyl as opposed to plastic) can be found in the Oliver & S pattern book.

zion when he was little and let me put a bib on him

That's a 30 minute project if there's bias tape and velcro in the house. If you have to make your own bias tape it will take much longer and you may want to kill yourself. Then again, if you have to run to JoAnnes for bias tape you may want to kill yourself after sitting in the Burlington traffic. The moral of the story may be ALWAYS BUY BIAS TAPE. At least there are always empty feed bags in this house, THAT I can be sure of.

But if the woman having a baby is not just an acquaintance but a friend? The kind of friend who comes over your house once a week and listens to you complain about your fat uterus and your acid reflux and your unborn child kicking you in the vag? Well, for that friend you should really knit something. Even if it takes a few hours longer, suck it up and get out the needles.

knit with love

I've written about these booties here and here. They're from this book, and they're a quick knit as compared with anything else you might think about knitting. These I HAVE used on my own babies, and I'm pleased to report they stay on VERY well. So they hit all my good gift button points: they're a gift I'd like to get myself, they're pretty enjoyable to make, and I can use up materials I already have in the house (in this case scrap yarn.) Here I am yesterday, knitting another pair that happened to be the exact same yarn as the sweater I was wearing.

black is not so slimming in this picture

Those are for a friend, of course. I made a fresh pair for baby Archibald in white, and I tucked them into the drawer next to the sewn test booties and a bunch of hand-me-down knits and onesies I hope to use VERY SOON.

pink and blue both well represented

So I guess we're ready to go, then. My baby has its drawer all set, and there are gifts for the next few months quickly filling up the drawer in my closet I reserve for homemade presents. It's good to get some things neat and finished. Especially when what looms in the future is labor and delivery and RAISING ANOTHER CHILD.

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my favorite waldorf dolls yet

I made these dolls a month ago for a birthday party that was supposed to be in January. But the party got pushed back to next weekend, and while the dolls are still in my closet waiting for their big debut I thought I'd better blog about them now just in case I go into labor before I get another chance. I fear the details of my latest sewing project may pale in comparison with photos of a newborn child, and that would just be sad.

Because you might need to know for future reference what to make for the 4-year-old Little House on the Prairie fanatic and her 1-year-old younger brother.

Waldorf pillow doll and grown-up doll in pioneer clothes

Waldorf pillow doll and grown-up doll in pioneer clothes

According to the one book I've read on the subject, the Waldorf method has one-year-olds playing with "pillow dolls," dolls where the body is a square pillow with hands and head sticking out. This is an easy doll to make in some respects. There are fewer pieces to cut out and sew together than a full nude, and the hair is just a bit of embroidery that peaks out from under the (permanently sewed on) cap. Plus the colored body counts as clothes, so there's no set of clothes to make just when it feels like you're getting finished. On the other hand, the shirt pattern is designed to gather around the neck and sleeves, and it's rather tricky to get the gathering perfect if you're prone to OCD. And there's also a bit of gathering that happens naturally with the neck of this doll. That irks me to no end, even though I see it happening on the text book examples (just add more stuffing, my butt!). Still, the end result pillow doll is very cute and cuddly, and it's a good way to use up soft wool scraps. This one's body came from someone's unwanted sweater - either Jake's or Andrew's. Whoever it was, thanks!

baby carrie close up

Yes, I am always accepting unwanted sweaters for up-cycling. But your used jeans you should just throw away.

The Laura doll was more interesting to me for several reasons. I set out to create a Laura Ingalls Wilder doll, and I like the choices that this forced me to make. First of all I love the way the hair turned out, even though it had to be "boring brown." I managed to use four different colors of brown yarn and that wasn't even all the options in my scrap bin. If you have infinite options of scrap brown yarn you know you knit for a house of boys.

laura's hair

and she wished it could have been blond

The other fun thing about this doll was making the clothing. I'm always trying to make doll clothing as easily cuttable as possible, and I think this dress is the easiest construction yet. The skirt and top are each perfect rectangles, hemmed, with the skirt part pleated as it's sewn to the top. I left the back of the top open to be secured with a button. And since I hade my buttonhole maker out already, I stitched some buttonholes to neaten up arms. All in all you can sew everything flat if you do it in this order: hem the bottom of the skirt rectangle, hem 3 sides of the top rectangle, sew 2 buttonholes for the arms and one for the button, pleat the skirt rectangle against the top rectangle and sew (still flat), then connect the skirt to itself. Booya.

the back of laura's dress

easy piecing!

From this picture you can also see the back of the bonnet, which is similarly a rectangle hemmed on all sides. It's gathered on one side with a ribbon tied tight, and un-gathered on the other side with a ribbon sewed to the edges. Together with the dress, I think it makes a big impression for such incredibly simple sewing.

complete laura doll

ready to play in the creek. No, not really.

To my great delight Harvey and Zion stole the dolls off my desk and immediately identified them as Laura and Baby Carrie. I don't know if the sunbonnet tipped him off, but I feel like Harvey understands subtle cues of color and costuming.

Harvey with Laura and Suzanna

You do realize these are gifts for our friends? I said about a million times over three days.

Zion with Suzanna and Carrie and a barrette in his hair

Then I made sunbonnets for the Suzannas and "going to town" hats for the PowPows, and that was a sufficient distraction to let me get the presents away from my children and packed into the closet.

Are there more Little House waldorf dolls in my future? Not before the baby comes. But after that, you never know. If I get the right invitation from the right little girl I can always be convinced.

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Lazy project

Here's a project that's easy to make, if your kids are already pounding at each other with homemade swords about the width of pipe insulation. Make sword holders! I mean.. sword belts? Er... sheaths? What's the proper term for this piece of mediaval kit? LARP nerds help a girl out here...

By the power of Grey Skull!

Instructions:
- Cut a piece of fleece a little bigger than your kids mid-section.
- Sew some velcro on each side to make it close (by machine so it's faster)
- Sew a paper toilet paper roll on one side (by hand otherwise it's impossible)
- Do it again for your other kid
- Don't clean your bedroom before taking pictures. That would spoil the laziness.

on guard!

If your kids only use these for ten minutes, well, that's longer than it takes to make them. Sit back and watch the fighting, or close your eyes and take an ill-deserved nap.

Just don't let them get any ideas into their heads about helmets or shields.

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stuff i made: hats and sentences

Today I have a guest post on the new blog Composting Faith. I write about making soap. Mostly it's me complaining about how much of pain in the ass it is to make soap. But then I try to turn it around and say something deep and spiritual at the end . So pretty much my normal schtick. Go and read it if you like, and check out better articles while you're there.

That reminds me I have to make soap again before this baby is born. Ugh.

Meanwhile, here's something I made which wasn't a total pain in the ass. In fact, I knit it in under a week, mostly during two trips to the Discovery Museum. I wrote about Harvey's bear hat here. Zion has been asking for a bear hat of his own, so I thought I'd whip one up for him before the baby comes and the winter ends. I had the yarn scraps on hand already, which helped get me over the hump of not wanting three wollen hats per child in an already crowded closet.

Zion is happy to match his big brother

Getting dressed for the outdoors is a big production in my house these days. I thought having multiple hats and pairs of mittens would make life easier. Instead, the raft of choices is near paralyzing for my toddler, a toddler who looks up to his big brother as if he's a combination of Michael Jordan and Clinton Kelly from What Not to Wear.

Dressing goes something like this these days:

Me: "Do you want to wear your Christmas hat?"
Zion: "Harvey wear his Christmas hat?"
Me: "Yes, Harvey is wearing his Christmas hat."
Zion: "I wear MY Christmas hat!"
Me: "Great! Here are your snow mittens."
Zion: "Harvey wear his snow mittens?"
Me: "Yes, Harvey is wearing his snow mittens."
Zion: "I wear my snow mittens."
Me: "Okay, just the coat and we're ready go."
Zion: "Harvey wear his red coat?"
Me: "Yes, Harvey is wearing his red coat."
Zion: "I want a red coat!!!"
Me: "Well, your warm coat is blue. It's the same as Harvey's, but his is red and yours is blue."
Zion: "I WANT A RED COAT!"
Me: "I know, but when grandma bought you the coat your favorite color was blue..."
Zion: "I like red AND blue!"
Me: "Okay, so next time you get a coat you can choose, but right now your coat is blue..."
Zion: "I WANT GRANDMA BUY ME A RED COAT!!!!!"

Etc. Etc. until one of us gives up. This is why I have photos of my toddler eating snow in his cotton undershirt like a catalogue model for casual winter attire.

pride over warmth

I don't know when Zion switched from wanting everything blue to wanting everything the same as Harvey. I don't think I should humor the impulse (I'm certainly not buying new winter coats) but I don't know what we'll do come spring when we need to buy new clothes. All in all, I fear the days of easy red/blue sorting may be coming to an end.

Though who knows - he may be just looking for things to fight about. Today he stomped and screamed for 20 minutes because I wouldn't pour water on his socks before putting them on his feet. (Originally he wanted his wet socks back on, so pouring water on his clean pair of socks was actually a concession, one he was greatly surprised I did not accept.)

Despite these normal frustrations that come with parenting a toddler, I am happy to knit hats on demand and I am so very grateful for Zion's love for Harvey. It makes life pleasant having a house with so much love in it. Plus I can't think of a 4-year-old who's more caring or considerate or deserving of admiration.

I want to be like you

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What I'm good at

Dan owns a beautiful book called The Homemade Pantry which he takes off the shelf every time he needs to make marshmallows. Alana Chernila, the book's author, includes a little story with each recipe about how she started replacing some pantry staple with her own homemade version, and what that has meant for her family. My favorite vignette in the book is the one titled "Marshmallows, or what we're good at." In this section Alana describes her family's first camping trip:

I brought home-made marshmallows and graham crackers for our little fire. The marshmallows charred and smooshed, the chocolate melted just right, the graham crackers crunched, and we were all happy....

The next morning, as we started to break down our tent, the sky opened up with the most torrential and driving rain I have ever experienced. I had to face the truth: I had carefully packed my misshapen homemade marshmallows and cinnamon graham crackers, but had neglected to bring a single raincoat.

I was thinking of this story this evening, though I'm not making marshmallows. That's not what I'M good at! Instead, I'm happy to report that the felt-board advent calendar is all freshened up and ready for next year. I repaired the Magi's star and replaced Gabriel's halo. Then after reprinting all the scriptural readings (some got lost over the course of December) I sewed three new pieces to excite the boys imaginations. I made a crown to go on Mary's tummy during her pregnancy, a second owl to sit atop the stable, and a sheep dog to guard the sheep while the shepherds run to find the Christ child.

When I go into labor some time in the next few weeks, there won't be any frozen dinners to bring up from the freezer downstairs. I hate eating frozen food, plus my husband is an excellent cook. I don't have play-date distractions lined up for the boys either; I figure I can parent on the fly with a baby in my lap, and there are always chapter books to read if worse comes to worse. But I DO have a drawer ready packed with knitted baby clothes, including a fresh set of booties which I just completed — 3 to a set is my new moto for booties. I also have two new Waldorf dolls ready for the birthday party we're invited to mid-February, and a set of feed-bag baby blocks wrapped and in the closet just in case there's a baby shower I forget about in the next few months. And now there's the advent calendar zipped up in its bag, all ready to go on December 1st just in case I'm a little tired by then.

Dan vetoed me starting the kids' Easter suits before the baby arrived (how can we guess their sizes 4 months out, and shouldn't you wait until you know whether you need a third suit or a dress?) so I'll have to allocate a few hours to sewing after the baby comes. But it's still nice to know some things are done ahead of time. I'm starting baskets tomorrow for the midwives, and if I can knock out three in one week I figure I can get some new Easter baskets for my kids done too while I'm at it.

As long as we have homemade baskets, I have no worries about the spring.

I don't know if this is how normal nesting mothers act, but whatever. At least I know what I'm good at.

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Christmas making 2013, part 2

a grown-up doll for my grown-up niece

My Waldorf doll technique is improving, as demonstrated by this doll I made for my niece, complete with a cute little button nose. Dan says all the dolls I make in the future should have cute button noses. I also seem to be getting a bit faster sewing on the hair. All this bodes well for any girls who might invite us to birthday parties in the future. Unless it's a baby's party, in which case I might have to make blocks.

Yes that's a full bag of feed in the background. For ambiance and also because we didn't put it in the basement yet.

These blocks are part of an ongoing investigation of mine titled: What Can I Make from Chicken Feed Bags? So far it's just been bibs, tote bags, and now blocks, but I have some more ideas if I get really creative in the new year. Meanwhile, these blocks were super fun to make, because I got to use the serger on plastic which makes a VERY. LOUD. SOUND. If you have feed bags of your own (or vinyl from another source) here are the instructions: cut 6 equal size squares, serge all the edges, sew it on the regular machine in the shape of a block. Leave one side open, stuff with stuffing, sew up the last side. I know, right? Rocket science.

fun to stack and to topple

Last but not least (especially not least in terms of time spent) were the hand woven dish towels.

better than regular rags

These were supposed to be my crowning glory this Christmas, but I'm not totally in love with the way they turned out. Because I tried to make them as thick as possible, and because I'm limited by the number of heddles on my loom, each dish towel turned out a bit narrower than standard dish towel size. Also the cotton shrunk a bit in the wash, so the length now leaves something to be desired as well. Still Dan assures me they are the loveliest hand woven dish towels he's ever seen, and I have more cotton to string the loom again. Just as soon as I get new years cleaning out of the way.

There is a part of me that is glad Christmas is over for another year. I have a list of things I was putting off until after Christmas, (switch health insurance plan, clean laundry room, sort and wash the baby clothes) and now I can use my free moments to tackle these life-organization projects head-on. Not that I like de-cluttering any better than I like making things, it's just that TOO MUCH making things swings the pendulum in one direction and awakens the cleaning monster within. And now that the beast is fully awakened I cannot imagine crafting one more thing until the house is perfectly livable again, down to a freshly sorted drawer of newborn onesies. Sorted onesies, stacked tupperware, and then maybe we can get to weaving again. It's going to be a busy January.

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