Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Recently Made: Warm and Fuzzy

Recently I've made some things with a bulky weight alpaca nylon yarn called "Wonderfluff", with which I'm having a love affair. The projects were super quick and the results were super rewarding. They certainly made for some warm and fuzzy projects. 

Perhaps my greatest accomplishment was this bear trophy head from the book Animal Heads: Trophy Heads to Crochet. The crochet charts were bonkers and the written instructions were even crazier. It was by far the most difficult thing I've ever crocheted, but I love him. He hangs in our bedroom, in the eve of our wooden roof, with pride. I'm tempted to do another animal from the book, but I just don't know if I have the guts (or the yarn) to complete it.

I've been making lots of these little vests lately. It's the perfect weekend project, so quick to complete with great details, too. I love the finished edges, the pompoms or buttonhole. I'm stock piling them for upcoming birthdays of kids I know. I think they're a great Fall layer. The pattern is Lil Shepherd by Julie Partie, and my Ravelry link is HERE.

Finally, I knitted myself a sweater! Though, this is not me wearing my sweater, of course. My friend Hannah generously modeled it for me. The pattern is "Walking on the Moon" by Heidi Kirrimaier (Ravelry link HERE) and I completed it in two weeks, on size 15 needles. It was a revelation. Who can beat bulky yarn for a quick fix? A large gauge sweater is the way to go, I've learned. Done and done.

Lately, I've been back to the sewing machine, though what I have left of this bulky weight yarn is still calling my name (as is my long to-do list of so many uncrafty related things). Boo!

P.S. I've finally decided to get a little social. I've joined Instagram! I'm @hollyunfurled. Come over and say hi. I'd love hear from you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Of the Season

Fall is upon us. It's been raining on and off, and we've been skipping through the raindrops to have fun outside. We've been tasting apples, painting pumpkins, and exploring neighborhood decorations. The pumpkin patch is soon to come, if we can make it through the rain. The costumes are sewn. There is much talk about Halloween.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Unicorns, Pockets, and Rainy Day Magic

I made the girls some unicorn hats, and not even for Halloween! They're for everyday wear this winter, when the dreary weather (and we've already had a lot of it) gets our mood down. Penny already loves hers, and Lulu is, as usual, unsure and a bit harder to please. The free pattern for the hat is here, my Ravelry details are here, and if you've got a multicolored stash and a young person in your life, you may want to whip one (or more) of these up. 

Speaking of unicorns, I used some unicorn fabric (it's here) and some cloud fabric left over from this dress so long ago, to make a dress from a pattern I've used a few times now. It's called Sweet and Sassy and it makes the cutest oversized pocket dress. I'm sure the girls will be filling them up with, er, treasures in the spring. I made these dresses in the next sizes up, for warmer weather.

I became so obsessed with pockets that I've made myself a dress with big ones. I just have to hem it, and I can't wait to show you. The sewing machine has been roaring lately, with winter coats and more toddler dresses waiting to be constructed. Maybe there is something good about these rainy, rainy days.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sliding Swiftly

If you live in Portland, you've probably spent an evening at Wallace Park/Chapman School for "Swift Watch". Each night of early fall, thousands of birds circle the sky and swoop into the school's chimney to roost during their migration. We thought this year that the girls might love to watch the birds, so we headed over there, had some playground time, dinner at a local cafe and some ice cream afterward, and headed to the back of the school around dusk. What we found was an atmosphere so energetic that Penny and Lulu were almost overwhelmed. There were spontaneous soccer games, jump rope and tug of war competitions, and a giant slide of cardboard boxes, brought and left by kids each night. Penny just kept shouting, "This is the best day ever! I never want this day to end! Can we come and watch the condors every night?" That's right, the condors. It's an understandable mistake because I think they only glanced at the birds for one minute total, anyway. Everything else was just too much fun.

We used to live in this neighborhood, renting a small apartment that we loved so much it was hard to leave. Returning here is filled with Mr. Jones telling the girls about the places we loved, the hospital where they were born, and the home where we first lived as a family.

At one point, Penny turned to me and asked, "Mama, did you like it better when it was just you and Daddy, or when it's all of us as a family?" and it broke my heart, her emotional intelligence to sense there was a different life before her, and that it might have been fun, too. Of course, I assured her everything now was better. Especially on nights like this.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer's End

We say good-bye to summer today. I can hardly stand it. It was over 100 degrees for so many days, and I honestly didn't mind it at all. I'll trade winter colds and months of rain for endless heat any day. This was the first summer that my girls really played together! It felt so good. They spent their days in so many parks, swam in pools constantly, gardened and ran around in the back yard, napped at the same time, and played everything from princesses to superheroes to trains together. I'm not sure what future summers will bring, but this one was particularly amazing. It ended with Lulu joining Penny at preschool, so the playing together hasn't ended. Last night Penny asked us, "Did you know that fairies gather up the fluffy clouds, give them to other people, and they make Lovies from them?" Oh gad, how I love these ages.

I leave you (and summer) with a serenade from Penny, who is also playing piano as her own accompaniment, in case you were wondering about the hands:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Picking Apples (and Pears)!

Apple season has come early in Oregon, so this past weekend we headed out in the drizzle to one of our favorite fruit farms. There wasn't too many good apples or pears left on the trees, but we didn't mind! There were wagons to ride in and animals to feed, after all.


We even found an apple with teeth! These photos are looking kind of autumnal to me and truly, I'm not ready for Fall quite yet! We've had a great summer, and I'm clinging to the fact that the official end of summer is not for a few weeks, so I can force us to be in the parks, eating dinner outside, and in swimming pool as much as we possibly can before the rain really begins.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Oaks Park

Are you tired of seeing photos of Penny and Lulu on rides? I tell you, we have gone on some rides this summer. From Enchanted Forest, to Drayton Manor in England, to the county fair, to Oaks Park this past weekend, my kids are so used to rides that they are even patient waiting for the rides, which I highly appreciate. This amusement park visit was very sweet in that it was sponsored by Mr. Jones' work. We not only got to ride the rides for four hours straight, but saw lots of friends on the midway!




When I look back at last year's photos from our day at Oaks Park, and I see the girls riding the same rides, it makes me really wistful. It makes me think about these old rides, and how many children grow up on them, and how they wait in the rain all winter to make the kids happy. There's the stage, where Penny and Lulu pretended to put on their own show, with friends they had just met behind the plastic curtain. I hope they hold on to the memory of places like this for a very long time. I know I will. There was 2014 and 2013 here, too.

PS. I made their dresses. The pattern is vintage Simplicity 5241 from 1963, which I just happened to have in size 2 and 5, from a large stash I scored at the goodwill, years and years ago. It was a fussy pattern, but I like the result, especially in seersucker.