Monday, March 23, 2015

it's all just a balancing act...



Sometimes I feel like my life is just a big balancing act. It's like I'm riding a unicycle on a tight rope while juggling, and I'm not doing so great at it. I'm wobbling all over the place and dropping balls like crazy.

I'm constantly trying to balance being a fully present, stay at home mom and wife, with various responsibilities, health issues, working on this blog, and keeping my shop up and running. 

It's obvious to me what the most important task in that list is and that's being the best mom that I can be. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to stay home with my kids. I want to experience all of their milestones with them, I want to be the one to teach them, and I want to be there to comfort them. I love them and I cherish them and I don't want my face to be permanently stuck behind a screen, or a ball of yarn, when I'm with them.

Unfortunately, I've found that it's just not that simple. 

Being a stay-at-home mom can be extremely rewarding, but I also have this need to make and create and write. The feeling of pride and joy I get when I ship out orders or make a pattern sale is also an extremely rewarding feeling. The loneliness that sometimes comes with spending my days with people under the age of 5 is often counteracted by the happiness that I feel when I knit up something beautiful.

So, it's obvious that all of these balls that I'm juggling work together to make my life wonderful, but the question is, how can I keep them all in the air?

I honestly have no idea how to answer that, but I do know that I want to do the absolute best I can at everything I love to do. It seems like an impossible task, but I guess the lessons learned and experiences had along the journey are the things that shape us into that amazing uni-cycling, tight rope riding, juggler that we want to be!




Have you found a work-life balance? What do you do to keep all of your juggling balls in check?



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunday Style {stripes for spring}

Sundays are usually the only day of the week that I put any real thought or planning into my outfits. I also have a love affair with dresses (I rarely wear jeans), and love wearing them and styling them each week. I thought I would start documenting some of my favorite Sunday dresses so I can have a log of the outfits I put together, and hopefully give any of you some dressing inspiration as well!





Dress: Old Navy
(old but similar here, here, and here)
Nude Pumps: old, Target
Old Belt

I originally bought this dress in the fall and had dedicated it to cold weather days. I had been pairing it with black tights and black boots as a casual, kinda punky, everyday outfit. 

When this past Sunday was so warm, I thought I'd see how it worked as a fun spring dress. I love a good black and white stripe/floral pairing so I added flowers to my braided crown and a touch of pink in the belt. It turned out to be sweet and subtle and a great way to start the warmer months!

And because I always have 3 little helpers wherever I go, here are the boys in their Sunday Style...


Monday, March 9, 2015

knitting love {Irish Moss Stitch Cowl}



So, I started knitting another scarf the other day because it seemed like the cold weather would never go away. It was finally March, but the frigid air and the freezing rain were still blasting us each time we headed out the door. 

I had some really soft wool roving in my stash, so I decided that knitting up a cozy cowl would help me embrace the cold and ease my anger towards it, just a little.





This knit cowl is made using the Irish Moss stitch, which I really love. It has such great texture! I'll give some direction on how to work this stitch below, but if you need a little extra encouragement, this video is a great source with great instructions!

To make this cowl, you will cast on as many stitches as you need to achieve the height that you want (must be a multiple of 2). Then the scarf will be knit straight until you've achieved the width that you want. The two short ends are then sewn together to form the "tube." I actually only sewed about 3/4 of the length together because I liked how it looked, but that is totally optional!


Supplies:
1 skein Bernat Roving Yarn Knit, Low Tide
Size 15 knitting needles
Large eye sewing needle
Scissors

Stitches/Abbreviations to know:
CO- cast on
K- knit
P- purl
BO- bind off

Pattern:
In Low Tide, CO 40 sts (or any multiple of 2).
Row 1: K1, P1
Row2: K1, P1
Row 3: P1, K1
Row 4: P1, K1
Repeat rows 1-4 until piece measures 20 inches long.
Switch to Squashed.
Continue following pattern until entire piece measures 28 inches, or desired length.
BO, leaving long tail for sewing.
Use long tail and large eye needle to sew two short edges together. Leave 6 inches not sewn at the bottom, if desired.


Another way to understand the Irish Moss stitch:

After working Row 1 (K1, P1), mark that side as your "Right Side." The other side will be the "Wrong Side."

On all "Wrong Side" rows you will knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

On all "Right Side" rows you will purl the knit stitches and knit the purl stitches.




This Irish Moss stitch cowl is so warm and so soft. I love working with this type of roving yarn because it has such great squish and it really brings the texture of the stitch to life!


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This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com, which I use often and love!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

loving lately



Making... As many pretty things as I can to prepare for the Raleigh Maker's Market this coming Saturday!




Watching... Flea Market Flip on Netflix. Over. And. Over.




Listening... to the new She Percolates podcast about creativity and success and feeling so inspired by it.




DIY-ing... a fun lighting fixture for our dining room. I can't wait to share it...if it turns out!




Wishing... my sewing machine wasn't broken because I have an awesomely ugly mumu in the closet ready to be reinvented!!!




Writing... a new knitting pattern (sneak peek above ^ ) that will hopefully be ready by Friday!


What are you doing, reading, loving lately?

Friday, February 27, 2015

saw it, loved it, made it {knitted & knotted turban headband}

knitted-and-knotted

I kind of obsessively pin to my "kid style" board on Pinterest. I don't know why I love stylish and different children's clothes so much, but looking through the photos I've curated brings me so much joy (and I'm totally laughing at myself for being such a geek as I'm typing)!

A couple weeks ago I saw and pinned this adorable picture to that board. I just love the way her knitted headband is tied up on her head and so I decided to make one and put my own little twist on it! I definitely think this headband would look way cuter on a little girl, so use your imagination...

knitted-turban-headband

knotted-turban-headband

knit-knotted-turban-headband

knitted-and-knotted-turban-headband-pattern

This knitted turban headband is so easy to make that you'll be able to whip out several in all different colors in no time at all!

Supplies:
1 skein worsted weight yarn (I used Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice in Honey which I also used in my knitted bandana fringe scarf pattern)
Size 11 straight knitting needles
Large eye needle for a seam
Scissors

Knitting stitches to know:
CO- cast on
K- knit stitch
BO- bind off

Instructions:
1. CO 16 stitches.
2. Slip first stitch, K each remaining stitch.
3. Repeat step 2 until piece measures approximately 30 inches.
4. BO but leave a 6 inch tail for sewing.
5. Fold over the short end that you just BO about 3 inches. Using your large eye needle and the 6 inch tail, sew in place.
6. To put headband together, fold over the non-sewn short end to make a loop. Scrunch up loop formed by the sewn end. Pull non-sewn loop through, but not all the way.

This knitted headband gives the illusion of an actual knot being tied, when it is really just a loop pulled up through the hole created by your folded over and sewn edge. 

Following this pattern will give you a turban that will fit a child up to an adult. If you wanted to make it for a baby/toddler, I would do a few less stitches when casting on and alter the length as well. 

turban-headband-how-to

diy-turban-headband

knotted-turban-headband-free-knitting-pattern

I really love the simplicity of this pattern. It would be a great project for a beginning knitter!

Please email me with any questions by clicking the "Contact Me" button on the sidebar and hashtag any finished projects with #LoveCityBlog or #LoveCityCrochet on Instagram! You can also share anything you've made to my facebook page, @Lovecitycrochet! I truly love to see how your projects turn out so please, share away!

See my last Saw It, Loved It, Made It post HERE.