Sunny Day Shorts

I was at the fabric store with the kids this weekend, and to reward them for being good I let them each pick out fabric for an item of clothing of their choice. Audrey picked fabric for a Minnie Mouse dress. Elliot picked up some knit fabric for construction shorts.

I used the Sunny Day Shorts pattern by Oliver & S. It is a free pattern and is very basic. That was just perfect for the level of effort I was interested in.

I have a few projects ahead of Audrey’s dress, so I was feeling bad about that. Then I remembered the shirt I made in the spring that fits me funny and I was never going to wear. Sometimes it pays to be a large woman with small children.

I did change the pattern a little bit. The waistband seemed fiddly, so I just folded the band in half, sewed it mostly on to the pants, put elastic in it, and then sewed it up the rest of the way. That change allowed me to use 1 inch elastic instead of the 3/4 inch elastic called for in the pattern (yet sadly missing from my stash). Once the waistband was sewn up I pulled the elastic taught and did a zig zag stitch through the middle of the elastic around the shorts to keep the elastic from rolling. I think this will work fine, but if there is some reason I shouldn’t do this in the future please let me know.

I really liked how fast this project was. I can see letting the kids pick out fabric as a reward for good behavior again. I might try making shorts with pockets next time.

Do you have any pattern recommendations for kids?

The 100 Day Project Recap

I mentioned 101 days ago that I was going to do the 100 Day Project again this year. Last year I blogged every day for 100 days. This year I took it easy – I wrote down 3 things I was proud of every day.

It was nice on hard days to remember that I did things that were worth being proud of. It was nice on busy fun days to remember that I was doing things that I should be proud of. It wasn’t easy. Several days I wrote down that I ate vegetables, because there wasn’t much I could think of to be proud of that day.

In the end, writing down three things has made me feel better about myself, and more confident in the life I choose to lead. I am going to continue the practice of writing down three things I’m proud of every night. It has become a nice way to reflect at the end of the day.

In totally unrelated news: the kids both got haircuts today and now they look like big kids. Audrey no longer has hair long enough for a ponytail. Elliot has the hair of a high school boy. Their haircuts suit our outdoorsy lifestyle in the summer, but it is still hard to see them looking so grown up.

Now I’m off to quickly knit a camel hat to cover Elliot’s big kid hair….

WIP Wednesday

I said I needed a break from socks. I didn’t listen to myself.

Last weekend I caught up with my friend Jess. We decided during our Green Bay sock knitting adventures that we were going to start doing a small striped sock club of sorts. We take turns buying the yarn for the other person. When I met her for a walk she gave me the yarn she picked out. She picked it up in Berkeley when she was in California for work. The yarn is not superwash and it’s 100% wool. It’s wooly and I love it. I couldn’t wait to get started, so I cast on a vanilla sock to use as my park knitting project.

Last month when I went crazy at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival I bought a project bag, even though I have about 19,000 project bags around my house. I decided that I should justify buying the bag by continually having a project that uses yarn I purchased at the festival on the needles. I won’t rush through these projects, but they will be at the ready. As an added bonus, if I finish knitting all of the yarn I bought this year by the time the festival starts next year I can totally justify getting even more beautiful yarn.

Because I can be a little obsessive about things, I have decided that my current project will be knit only when watching the Tour de France. John and I spend hours and hours watching the Tour each July. I thought it would be fun to see how that watching correlates to knitting productivity. I’m making another pair of Rose City Rollers, as I’m using a 65 g skein. I wanted a project that I could knit even when there is an exciting mountain stage to pull all of my focus.

The yarn I’m using is a farm yarn from the festival. It’s a 65% Cormo/20% mohair/15% Tencel blend. I love the bright pink. Sadly John has to work tonight deploying code, so I won’t get to work on these until tomorrow night.

I was planning on picking up my shawl again this week, but instead I decided to make Elliot a hat. It is the middle of summer, so obviously I need to make a new winter hat for the three-year-old with so many hand me downs I don’t have the space to store them all. Last December John and I spent the day in Winterset, and while there I picked up some camel yarn for Elliot. Elliot loves camels. He sleeps with two camels every night. I felt a camel hat was in order. The yarn is Viking of Norway Camel (78% camel/22% nylon). The yarn is soft and looks very much like camel fur (skin? hide? I’m not sure what the right term is here. If you are a camelid expert please help me out in the comments).

I’m using the Tyson hat pattern in the child size. I’m contemplating adding camels to the hat using the chart from Bedouin using purls instead of a contrasting yarn. It all depends on how motivated I am this evening. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion.

I am only interested in knitting small projects at the moment. I would like to knit another sweater, but I don’t want to deal with a big project in the heat. Do you knit large projects all year long?


On Saturday I met up with a friend for a trip 30 minutes north to Ames, Iowa. It was an odd trip, mostly because it was taken for the sole purpose of visiting their quilt shop. I’m not a quilter, but I wanted to go check it out (no, there is absolutely no way I’m ever going to be a quilter).

While at the quilt store I looked at the kids fabric, and found some that I knew the kids would love. High on fabric fumes, I decided I would make them both pillowcases. They don’t need pillowcases. I have lots of other projects I should be doing. I ignored reason and bought the fabric.

John went out biking last night, so I took the opportunity to get some sewing done. I made Elliot a Thomas pillowcase. Elliot loves James from Thomas and Friends, so when I found fabric with James on it I knew it would be perfect. For the cuff I went with another Thomas fabric. He is very excited to try out his new pillowcase (perhaps this will get him to sleep more?).

For Audrey’s pillowcase I used My Little Pony fabric with the cuff in a Tula Pink stripe. She loves reading My Little Pony books and her favorite stuffed animal is Apple Jack (one of the ponies).

I returned my MILs serger a few months ago and I’m really regretting it now. I had forgotten how much I dislike French seams. I think I’ll make the kids holiday pillowcases throughout the year, and when I do I’m going to borrow a serger to finish the seams.

Have you been sewing lately?

June Reads and July Book Goals

I must admit I’ve been too tired to read at the end of the day. I’m worn out from playing in the sun all day. I read six books this month, but my actual to read list has not changed much.

What I would like to read this month.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have no idea how Taylor Jenkins Reid writes fiction that reads like an oral history, but she does. This book is a riveting novel about a band that has several hits in the 1970s. I kept having to remind myself that this was a novel and I could not listen to the songs on Spotify. I recommend checking this book out. I give this book four out of five stars.

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yenomi Park. This is a harrowing tail of a woman’s escape from North Korea to South Korea. Along the journey she was trafficked in China. This was a hard book to read, and I was left worrying about the lives of those stuck in North Korea. I give this book three out of five stars.

Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause. This is a book about a young woman with OCD and an elderly woman. This book is unremarkable. I give it two out of five stars.

Rock Needs River by Vanessa McGrady. This is a memoir about an open adoption. It is not well written or terribly interesting. I give this book one out of five stars.

Cold Hearted Boss by R.S. Grey. After reading two duds in a row I wanted a mindless romance novel. That is what this is. If you don’t want to think and you want a cute book this fits the bill. I give this book two out of five stars.

Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes. Oh, how I wanted to like this book. I really really wanted to enjoy it. It was good, until he started talking about religion and drugs and becoming one with God. It was really annoying as someone who majored in comparative religions to listen to someone gush about their guru. I give this book two out of five stars.

This month I decided not to pick up any books that come in for me at the library. I need to focus on reading the books on my nightstand first.

What are you reading?

WIP Wednesday

It is too hot to get much knitting done, and my WIP Wednesday shows that. I continue to only work on the socks for Mary-Claire.

The cuff on the first sock is longer than the second sock because I was really close to matching the socks and I do not have any wiggle room with yardage to pull out yarn until I started the repeat over. I could have made mismatched socks, but they would have only been off by about 5 rows, and that would make me twitchy. I think that they will look identical once I roll down the cuff of the first sock a little more.

I hope you are having a more productive week than me.