Friday, December 10, 2010
Things have been going well on the crafting front! (I should add some sort of disclaimer here that by crafting I mean knitting... sewing is still really not happening much to my dismay!)
I feel like I've accomplished much this week between baking up a storm - Little Toddler Man loves to "help" - and finishing up another knitting project, and deciding once and for all to tackle the pattern that has been my nemesis for two and a half years. This year it will get done in time for Christmas and the recipient shall actually receive it this year! It won't sit another season in my knitting basket. I, did even get a very brief chance to sew. Granted it required Baby Boy to chill out in his swing for a bit and Little Toddler Man to nap and me to sew like a fiend before all went to heck in a hand basket, but I did finish the long overdue baby gift for a friend. Yes. Accomplishment, sweet accomplishment is MINE!!!!
As I said, LTM has shown a great interest in baking these days. So much so that the first thing he does upon waking in the morning and being "released" from his crib is to drag a chair from the dining room into the kitchen and demand to "HELP". It matters not too him that I, bleary-eyed, and in my pjs have no intention of starting anything more than the kettle for a pot of tea. No siree. He is a demanding little tryrant. Cracking the whip as early as 6:00am.
No - I do not give in to his commands, but come afternoon we can be usually found in the kitchen making something, whether he's helping me make pastry for tarts or dough for cut out cookies, or even just throwing the ingredients into the bread machine for the day's loaf. He's even helped make puppy treats (be forwarned if you think you'd like to try your hand at it - apparently it's very tasty dough to a toddler, but does contain flax (well my recipe does anyways), which apparently works similar to bran. Just sayin'). He has a funny little thought process about baking however. Instead of making dough and rolling it out and then cutting it, then baking it, he has simplified the whole process. He figures you should just make then dough, then "EAT THE DOUGH!!!!!" I suppose to him the rest is just a waste of time. Cut out the middle man (or oven as the case may be) and all.
Anyways - it has been fun preparing for Christmas with him, even though a bit trying sometimes! (Also be forwarned - do not assume because the dogs are contained when tarts are cooling on the counter that they'll be safe. No. I learned that lesson the hard way as my 17 month old scarfed down two from the cooling racks in record time.)
On the crafting front, I have made a pair of slippers as a gift for G. I used the French Press Felted Slippers pattern and let me tell you, it's an awesome, quick (as in you wouldn't believe how quick) pattern to whip up. I had initially knit them using Winter White Paton's Classic because quite frankly I have a tonne of it. But that seem a) boring and b) unwise with our sometimes not so pristine floors - hey! I have three dogs, and three cats and a toddler. What do you expect???? Anyways given reasons "a" and "b" I decided on a whim after knitting up all the pieces to throw them in the crockpot with some water, vinegar, and about 1/2 tsp rose and 1/2 tsp royal blue Wilton dyes.
I am most pleased with the outcome! Felting them took no time at all either! Two rounds in the washer and they are happily drying out now. Once dry I'll sew some fabulous, yet to be found and purchased buttons on the tabs they'll be done and ready to wrap up! I hope she likes them - I know I sure do! So much so that I am definitely planning to knit a pair for myself sometime in the next few weeks.
The other gift in question is the Clementine Shawlette, and I'm a mere 8 inches from being done. I figure if I knit at least an inch a day, I can be wrapping it up in time for Christmas too! It's been a thorn in my side for far too long. How can counting to four be so darned difficult? I stopped and started this bloomin' thing so many times it's ridiculous, and then there was the daunting 15" of four row repeat that did me in. But I'm on a roll now!
As mentioned, the baby gift is done! I think it turned out really well. Better than Baby Boy's cowboy jammies. I like the thinner bias trim that I used this time! If I make them again I'll definitely go that route.
Next on my list of things to do is to finish LTM's Sheldon the Turtle (I do believe I am the ONLY one confused as all get out on the I-cord attachement part!), and I plan to knit an orange for Baby Boy's stocking. I figure he's too young for an actual orange, but I could easily (I hope - touch wood) get one knitted up and put a little bell in it and Bob's your uncle fits the bill as orange and ball. Dual purpose in the stocking... gotta love that!
So until next time, happy crafting or baking or whatever it is you're up to these days!
Friday, December 03, 2010
Needless to say, not much is getting done in the way of crafty persuits. Although, I've had some chance between knitting in the car en route to the city a few times, and getting a few rows done here and there through out the day when the boys sometimes co-ordinate their naps and in the evening when Baby Boy has a bottle and snuggle with Daddy. I've even managed to finish a few things. Knitting seems to work out alright. Sewing is a horse of a different colour! I can't seem to get the time to get down to the sewing room so in desperation I did try bringing my machines upstairs to the kitchen table to work on a very late baby gift for a friend. What an ordeal that was. I should have realized that given Little Toddler Man's obsession with climbing and his incredible curiousity it would be a futile attempt, but sometimes I don't think things through with the utmost clarity before hand. Let's just say it's going to take a while to figure out the tension on my serger again - those dials just proved to be way too much fun for the little man!
But, as I said, I have finished a few things!
First up was Baby Boy's stocking. His matches Little Toddler Man's, but is slightly different colours. I'm really happy with how it turned out! It's a great little pattern from "Cute Knits for Baby Feet". Knits up in a jif - especially this time I did it in the round so no seaming except about two inches or less on the bottom of the stocking.
Feeling quite bold about being able to finish a project, I decided a pair of mittens were in order for Baby Boy. He refused to keep a blanket tucked in around him and his little fingers were always poking out of his jacket. Also a quick knit, I was able to finish his "Baby Nordic Mitts" in no time.
Of course he needed a new hat too. In a couple of hours (probably not even a couple of hours) of knitting time, his new hat was done. It's a fun little pattern from Amanda Keyes called the "Zozo Pixie Cables". Unfortunately I misjudged the size of Baby Boy's noggin and it turned out quite large on him. The way the hat is knit though, it worked out well to turn it around and pop it on his head with the neckband becoming the front edge of the hat and the front becoming the bottom of the hat. It now fits (will for ages, because as he outgrows it this way, I can just turn it around the proper way!) and I think it's pretty darned cute.
Last but certainly not least is mittens for Little Toddler Man. We've had a devil of a time finding mittens that fit and are easy to put on his pudgy little hands. And what is with baby/toddler mitten thumbs? They make them so tiny, I'm not sure how anyone is expected to put an actual thumb in it!! Especially a somewhat unco-operative thumb. Anyways, just a basic pair of mittens, but hopefully they'll do the trick!
As for sewing? Well - dreams of sewing Christmas gifts are now clearly just that... dreams. If the kimono pajamas for the baby gift are any indication, there is no way that I'll ever get such a lofty goal of a quilt finished in time. Maybe for next Christmas (or ten years from now...), but not this year. No. Just not going to happen. Unless by some miracle I'm able to figure out a way to get both boys to simultaneously nap for great long chunks of time...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Imagine that... being born on one's due date!
I went to bed on Wednesday night feeling pretty good - had oodles of plans for getting tons done on Thursday. I had an OB appointment in the city in the morning and then I was going to come home and tackle some much necessary housework and get things done. Ha ha ha...
I was woken up at 3:00am by what I assumed was a doozy of a braxton hicks contraction. I got up, went to the loo, came back to bed, crawled under the covers and had another. Feeling kind of annoyed that my sleep was being interupted I tossed and turned for a few minutes then had another contraction. Glancing at the clock I figured they were about 8 minutes apart. (BF)G was just getting up to go to work and asked if he should stay home. I figured why bother. I wasn't in labour... first off labour contractions would be stronger, closer together, and in another week's time or so.
About 40 minutes later I was calling him telling him to turn back, I was kind of sure it was "showtime". Contractions were now 3 1/2 minutes apart. He came back home, we got the dogs all sorted out, Little Toddler Man woke at about 5:00am, so we got him up and dressed, gave him breakfast and around 6:00am headed to the city. We dropped LTM off at his auntie's house, and then continued on to the hospital, where they admitted me. I was still not sure if it could really be labour given contractions were still 2 1/2 minutes apart and I could sort of talk through them. But according to the triage nurse I was 5, almost 6cm dilated and definitely in labour. Who am I to argue? They walked me over to one of their "luxury suites" in the Labour Delivery Recovery PostPartum ward - I've stayed in fancy expensive hotels that were not as nice as the room I had!
I hung out there for awhile without a care in the world. Contractions were down to about one every five minutes, baby's heart rate was good. The OB on call came into see me, of course there'd been no progression from where I'd been at in triage, (thankfully no regression either mind you!) and so she offered to break my water. I figured why not - let's get this show on the road.
So, the water was broken at 10:10am, then I stood up and woosh. Instant hard core labour!! Contractions were one on top of the other. Forget joking and laughing like I'd been doing only five minutes before, forget thinking that I'd kind of like a snack. Forget anything except focusing on getting through each contraction! Within half an hour the nurse checked again - I was a bit hesitant because the last thing I wanted to hear was that there was no change, but the nurse was fairly certain things were moving along. She was right. I was well into transition. A few more contractions and the OB was called back in, and I was instructed to push when I felt like it.
Push I did. Twice.
Then the OB told me very kindly, "Open your eyes, see what you've got" Somehow I managed in two pushes to give birth to my 9 lbs 3 oz, 22" long baby boy and not realize I was done. As I opened my eyes she was putting Thomas on my chest and I couldn't believe my little boy was already here!
It was an amazing birth experience! Like Little Toddler Man's only easier and better. (BF)G of course was as always amazingly strong and my rock that I clung to. He's pretty good at this "labour coach" thing... perhaps he should consider a sideline career. He always is so calm and reassuring and can keep me focused on things when need be. Well, not just with labour come to think of it. That's kind of our life full stop. I'm pretty lucky that way!
Only thing I wasn't happy with was that they put an IV in me in triage. I was worried that would make it far too easy for me to accept pain meds, but I told my nurses and the OB my goal was to make it without anything other than the gas at the most. The nurses never even offered anything else. I did tell my nurse at one point she could bring the gas in, but then it sat in the corner never used. With LTM I did use the gas a few times to get through contractions. With Thomas I didn't need anything at all. In the end the IV came in handy too, as I had to be given Oxcytocin(sp?) for some issues with bleeding. I guess that's common both with big babies and the fact that I've done this a few times before! I can easily tell you I was feeling incredibly pleased with myself about that, given one of the worries I had leading up to my due date was that I would have to have pain meds and somehow I'd be disappointed in myself.
So life as a mom of five begins for me and so far I'm loving every moment of it... although I could use a touch more sleep! ;)
Monday, September 13, 2010
As mentioned in my last posting, I used a tutorial from Habitual to make the Kimono top. It's a great tutorial - I highly recommend it! The bottoms are straight forward, nothing exciting and are from Simplicity pattern #3582. I've made both top and bottoms in a 3 month-ish size (which if baby boy follows suit with Little Toddler Man it should mean just about newborn in our house!)
I did make a few wee adjustments to the top, just because I figured a squirmy wormy of a baby (again assuming baby boy follows in big brother's footsteps) might come all undone without some extra reinforcements in the closure department.
First off I added an extra set of ties lower down on the front of the top - easy peasy, nothing to it. Just made a quick facing for the front instead of hemming it down the way the tutorial showed and added the opposite tie into the side seam same as the top tie.
That bottom tie should keep it all together!
I got to thinking though (thankfully before sewing the opposite side seam), that all would be well and good on the outside, but what about the inside? I had visions of things slip slidin' away and slight wardrobe malfunctions (or at least discomforts) occuring. So I decided to add some extra reinforcements there by way of some snaps. I sewed two (interfaced and folded over) strips of narrow bias tape into the side seam and added a snap on the end of each of them. I added their corresponding bits on the opposite front - the snap goes through just the top layer of fabric and interfacing on the front. That way I figured no cold metal bits would be touching baby's bare skin as the backs are covered by the facing.
Now it would take the skill of Houdini to extricate himself from the pjs! (I think!)
Did I mention I love these pjs???
Friday, September 10, 2010
Forever ago, when I was expecting Little Toddler Man, I stumbled across some flannel with cowboys printed on it. What a find it was! I couldn't believe my luck! Now, I suppose, before I go any further, I should explain my excitement over flannel.
When we found out we were expecting, (BF)G and I would talk and dream about our baby to be. (BF)G would often say, "If it's a boy, he can wear cowboy pajamas!" I thought this rather sweet and set to work trying to find baby cowboy jammies. My searches were futile. So then I switched to looking for the perfect fabric for a pair of jammies. I was having such a hard time finding what I wanted and then lo and behold, one day I spotted a new bolt of flannel at my local Fabricland. It was just the thing, so I grabbed it, high-tailed it to the cutting counter and got what seemed like a ridiculous amount of the fabric. I had suddenly decided that not only should baby have cowboy pjs, but so should Daddy!
My next step was to find a pattern for the pjs. I really, really had my heart set on traditional pjs. You know. The kind with the collar, buttons down the front and a little pocket. If a pattern exists for smaller than a toddler size, I never found it. But I did find a great Kwik Sew pattern that would fit the bill. (at least once baby was a bit bigger!).
I had such plans to have the matching pjs made for Christmas. I had the best of intentions, but we all know how those can go, so months passed and then it was getting warm and there seemed no point to flannel pjs at that point. So the fabric lay tucked away. Hidden from view. Then the weather turned cooler about a week ago and my mind went back to the cowboy flannel. The long weekend proved to be a great sewing weekend so when (BF)G went to deliver N to the city, and Little Toddler Man was down for a nap I swung into gear. By the time (BF)G was pulling in the driveway I had Little Toddler Man's pjs done except for the buttonholes and buttons. And the matching pj pants for Daddy were cut out and ready to go.
Sunday, (BF)G had to go to work, so as soon as Little Toddler Man went down for a nap, I scurried down to my machine, finished up the pjs, made the pj pants, and then cut out a pair of pjs from the left over flannel for baby boy. Baby boy's pjs are a combination of a Simplicity pattern for the bottoms and a modification of a fantastic kimono tutorial I found online from Habitual. I ran into some glitches with my machine, "Old Faithful" who, as it turns out is about as fickle as they get, and not faithful at all, so I'm a bit behind on baby boy's pjs. They're almost done now that "Old Fickle" is now on the floor under the sewing table in a time out and my other newer machine, who's always been very up front about being fickle has it's moment to shine up on the table. I hope to be able to show you a picture of my modified Kimono PJs soon!
In the meantime, I would like to leave you with a "still sleepy-eyed, just woke up" picture of Little Toddler Man in his new flannel pajamas...
Friday, September 03, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Little toddler man has a security blanket. It's a lovey that my good friend, Kristy bought for him before he was born. When she gave it to me, I thought "Aw... isn't that cute? Betcha it'll be a favourite." Little did I know that "Froggy" goes beyond favourite.
When he was five months old we attended a Christmas tea that G was dancing in. I'd taken Froggy along with us to amuse the baby with, then in a flurry of trying to get out of the place, get my errands done and get home before the day got too late I accidently left Froggy at the tea. I would never have guessed that at five months old, the baby would be aware that Froggy wasn't in his crib that night. It's not like he even snuggled the darned thing back then really.
The next morning I spent on the phone to the arena the tea was held at asking about lost and found to no avail. Then I started calling the organizers and someone had seen Froggy and figured there were only a few babies at the tea, and one of them would more than likely be missing their lovey. Thank heavens! Froggy was returned to us. Life was restored to it's normal state of bliss.
Fast forward to a few months later. Froggy would be clutched tight in Little Toddler Man's arms at night, but during the day he could stay in the crib. No problem. No worries about losing Froggy from the crib. Then there came the day a few weeks ago that when LTM got up he would not let go of Froggy for love or money. Froggy accompanied us to daycare that day and when I suggested that Froggy stay in the van for the way home the suggestion was greeted with a scowl and a tighter clutching of little chubby baby arms around it. Froggy and LTM have been inseparable since.
I'm now on a quest of sorts, out of fear of losing Froggy, to find a spare. Who could imagine that a little lovey bought at WalMart a year ago could be so terribly difficult to find. I've scoured the city, I've searched online, I'm just about willing to sell my soul for a spare Froggy. What is most heartwarming in all this is that my Ravelry Mommies group - of whom I've never met a single member in real life - are now all sharing my mission impossible to find just the right Froggy. We thought this morning, briefly, that we'd found a match on Ebay. Sadly, although it was close, it wasn't just the same. I'm thinking that Little Toddler Man is not likely to be fooled by some "reasonable facsimile" of his very faithful and ever present companion. Wish me luck in either finding a spare, or NEVER misplacing Froggy! Goodness knows washing him even is dicey! (Just ask the little man who moped about the house for a few hours the other day, searching high and low for Froggy because he didn't understand that Froggy was having a "bath" down in the laundry room)
Friday, August 20, 2010
I made soakers. DaisyHead Bloomers to be exact. Such a fun pattern. I think I may make it again if any of my friends or family turn out to be expecting baby girls! The pattern (although meant to go over cloth diapers) gives instructions on where to stop with the shaping should they be worn over disposables, so I figure no need to stick to making them just for the cloth diapering mommas!
This is a great pattern with really detailed instructions - which is what I felt I needed going into it given it was my first pair of soakers I've ever made and I had to do short row shaping (yikes - I've always been kind of afraid of short row shaping... not any more!). The size range is great too - from teeny weeny to toddler! Well worth the money spent on the pattern I'd say! And there is just something too cute about little girls in dresses and bloomers!
I've been wanting to get a lot of sewing done too lately, but alas, time seems, as always, to be in short supply and high demand. I did manage to make a fitted sheet for the playpen - something I'd been wanting to accomplish since I got the playpen when little toddler man was about two weeks old... Better late than never I figure and baby to be will definitely get use out of it. Toddler man consented to play in the play pen for a record five minutes the other day - funny how he used to LOVE being in there and now views it as a veritable prison - anyways - he was quite taken with the fabric and kept saying, "Oooooooooh" and pointing to all the different things in the print. Made me happy to see his reaction! It's the little things in life, you know?
I used a great tutorial I found online for the sheet - being math impaired such as I am, I didn't even want to attempt to figure out the measurements myself - I tried that last year with a sheet for the cradle mattress after having such success (using a tutorial) for the crib sheets and messed it up woefully. The cradle mattress all but folded itself end to end when I put the sheet on it. Maybe I'll revisit that idea again too - who knows. Maybe the gods of mathematics will smile favourably on me this time 'round!
That's been about it for finished crafty items for me - I'm working on a few things right now -- a little ruched cardi (for another friend expecting a baby girl) and of course my usual WIPs that have been hanging around forever. I'm collecting charm squares like a fiend - my mommies group is working on Charm Square Swap #3 now and I'm in hook, line and sinker. I plan to make on huge quilt eventually some day with all the squares I've amassed, but for now am satisfied to just go sort them, look at them and adore them.
Some day... seems to be a my life's motto these days...
Monday, August 09, 2010
I've been on the hunt. I sewed a little dress for a friend's baby and I desperately want to knit some little bloomers to go with it. I want pink bloomers to match. Problem was despite my hunt I could not find the right shade of pink yarn for love or money. Then a friend suggested that I dye my own yarn. I thought about it for a bit. I've done some before - but never been exactly thrilled with the result. I've always used the microwave/kool aid method. How would I mix kool aid flavours to get the right shade of pink. Then my friend had another suggestion. Wilton dyes. You know - the ones that come in little tubs in about a million different colours? I wasn't sure how to go about using Wilton dyes or how they differed from using kool aid and couldn't get back to my friend. In all fairness, I guess she has other things to do in life besides sit idly by her computer waiting to hold my hand through the whole process.
I started to search online figuring someone must have a tutorial somewhere and that's when I stumbled upon a Knitty article on dying your own yarn. I printed it off, stopped in a Michaels for a tub of colour, headed home and grabbed one of my dozens of balls of Patons Classic in Winter White that I have in my stash (thank you Kristy for your mom's yarn - it's come in handy again already!!!) wound it into a skein and set it to soak in water and vinegar. Yes folks! I do think that is a fun way to spend a Friday evening! Who wouldn't?!?!
Saturday morning was an early one. I can't remember why. Normally (BF)G gets up with little toddler man when he wakes up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday, but for some reason I had to get up too - and little toddler man was up at 4:45am! By 8:00am my lovely pink yarn was cooling in the crockpot waiting for it's bath! I did end up dying it a bit more in the afternoon though as I wasn't sure it was just right. There were a few spots that seemed to be naked of colour altogether and that just wasn't going to do! After it's second time in the dye bath, it seemed MUCH better!
I hung it initially on the shower head to dry, but the house is so hot and humid right now it wasn't really drying quickly enough for my liking, so yesterday morning I took it outside while the sun was out and there was a lovely breeze blowing. By mid-morning I was casting on the bloomers happy as a clam about my yarn. There are still a few spots in it that didn't get as much dye as the rest and I was a bit concerned about it at first, but it seems to be knitting up with just a slight, subtle varigated look to it. I keep hoping I don't come across a really pale spot - but so far almost 2" in to the knitting and nothing hideous yet!
Now I am afraid that I may have created a bit of a problem for myself. It would seem that I can't stop thinking about the possibilities of dying yarn... I do have, afterall, several balls of Winter White Patons Classic just sitting there begging to become something different!
Oh - and the dress? It's a from a Simplicity pattern and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Picture quality may be sadly lacking here... I took the picture in my slightly dark living room late last night!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Which would be the reason I signed up for a secret hat swap on my expectant momma's group on Ravelry. We are supposed to send our partner one baby hat, but in a moment of madness I made two and love them both so much that I'm sending both.
I fell in love with the Susan B. Anderson's Upside Down Daisy hat some time ago when I stumbled across the pattern on Ravelry. Little did I realize I'd had the Knit Simple magazine all along in my collection with just that pattern in it! Silly me. Since I only have one little girl, who's not so little anymore at 17 1/2 years old, I didn't think she'd appreciate a upside down daisy on her head - and since my wee man is, well, a wee man, I didn't think a daisy would be great for him either. Baby to be is a boy as well, so who could I knit this for? Then I got my swap partner and she's expecting a girl! Wheeee! Girly knitting. Finally!
So I made the little hat and love it!
But then I realized that I was supposed to be making a winter hat and since I made Upside Down Daisy out of cotton I thought maybe, although cute, it just wouldn't be warm enough to be called a winter hat. So I set to work making another hat. This time I did a simple little cap with an eyelet band. I used Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk for the yarn and it's so soft and snuggly. Hopefully it'll keep a wee girl warm in winter. I did a bit of a mistake in knitting the second hat. Hating seaming with a passion, I figured problem solved, I'd knit it in the round. How hard could that be? Not hard at all - unless you forget the fact that you should actually pay attention that you need to knit the purl rows instead of purling along them if they're meant to be the wrong side UNLESS you should be purling that row because in the pattern it tells you to knit on the wrong side. Ah well. I had good intentions and although it doesn't look as cute as the pattern, I'm still pretty happy with it. So I will send it as well!
I really hope my partner likes her new baby hats!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Anyways… in an effort of diversion from the ho hum I was busily checking my email a while ago scanning through the junk emails about to delete them all, when one caught my eye again. The subject line was something like, “You’ve Won our Monthly Draw” and I was about to check it for delete when something stopped me. I figured it would turn out to be just like the emails telling me about once a month that I’ve won some fabulous lottery prize if I’ll just send my credit card info for verification… You know the kind I mean… but what the heck. I was looking for a diversion, so hoping I wasn’t going to open something that would then crash my system with some plague of a virus I clicked on the email.
A while back my attention was drawn to Green Fairy Quilts and I signed up for their newsletter/notification. I also entered my name in their monthly drawings and did I mention yet?
I, who never ever win anything, have won the June monthly drawing! They’re going to send me the Garden Party Quilt Pattern, which is designed by the shop owner herself. It’s a really cute pattern and I’m super duper excited about it!!! I’m SILLY EXCITED about it actually!!!!!
In other crafty news, I have finished the quilting portion of the baby’s quilt. There are a few wonky spots in it, but I’m trying not to let that drive me crazy! I’ve learned a few things along the way I think and that’s what counts. Right? I hope to get the binding at least started tonight if not finished. We’ll see how tired I am come evening. My little man was up at 4:30am this morning and unfortunately I’d stayed up late last night – quilting the quilt thank you very much. I wasn’t banking on getting up so early when I through caution to the wind and stayed up till almost 11:00pm. Yawn! Hopefully in the next few days I can show you the finished quilt!
I also finished the baby socks I’ve been working on. I decided to use up some yarn for them and chose my Jawoll Jacquard from the first pair of socks I ever knit myself. Seemed like the perfect use for the tiny bit I had left over. I was ever so careful to match starting points in the self-patterning because I was determined to have an identical match. All was working according to plan until I ran into a join in the yarn about ½” from the finish line. No problem I figured. It looked like they had joined to keep the continuity of the pattern, so I figured I might be a touch off of a perfect match, but well within the limits I could live with, that is until I started knitting a dark blue stripe where a light blue stripe should have been. I hummed and hawed and finally decided after trying so hard to make it work out, and the fact I REALLY, REALLY wanted identical not fraternal twin socks, I frogged back and joined the yarn up where it should have been in the first place and continued happily on my way.
May I present to you my matching baby socks?!?
Also, I just have to send a big thank you out to my friend Andrea from my work knitting group who makes the nicest baby wash cloths ever to be had! Last year she gave me one for Douglas and I love it! That thing is the best for the bath cloth EVER!!! And despite it being washed over and over it’s never lost its softness which is awesome in my books! Well, at knitting on Wednesday she presented me with one for the new baby! I love the way she wraps it up on itself so it looks like a little flower. (Now – to save this for baby. Little toddler man cannot have it for his bath!)
Friday, July 02, 2010
Yesterday being Canada Day, and therefore a "no work for me" day, made for a great day to start getting prepared for his birthday party on Sunday afternoon. I decided that since there will be a total of seven little ones coming to help celebrate I would make some little kid friendly type goodie bags for them to take home with them. Trying to steer clear of sweets - because I'm kind of a stickler that way - I decided to make crayon rolls, and play dough and then I'll also include a cookie cutter for using with the play dough, a pad of paper to go along with the crayons and some bubble solution.
I also got a couple batches of play dough made. Took me a bit to remember the recipe from way back when I used to make it all the time for G, N and J, but it did come back and I am now excited to think that Bean is going to be old enough for play dough fun soon - maybe not just yet thought... he's still in the "let's try to eat everything in sight" phase (with one exception - the kid who will happily try to chow down on a fluff ball of dust and fur will NOT eat a hamburger for love or money. He apparently thinks they are not in the worthy of being eaten category.)
Here's my tried and true recipe for play dough:
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 TBSP Cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 TBSP oil
Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium sized saucepan. Combine water and oil in a measuring cup and pour into the saucepan - stir until smooth. Cook on medium heat stirring the whole time until you begin to get a globby looking mess in your pot. Keep stirring, but keep a close watch on your globby mess, because right away it's going to miraculously go from being a glob of goo to play dough! As soon as it forms a nice play doughy ball in the middle of your pot turn off the heat and turn ball of dough onto lightly floured board. Knead for a few minutes and then cool. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge when not being played with. There are a few options for making it fancy!
To colour it you can use a package of unsweetened kool aid mix (I used Cherry for the red!) and mix it in with the dry ingredients, or you can use regular food colouring (like I did for the yellow) - as many drops as you feel makes the colour the one you want - I am messy, so I tend to put the food colouring in my measuring cup along with the water and oil or I seem to have a talent for getting it on the countertop, myself and anything in between! For the red one I also added a bit of glitter in the mix just to make things sparkly!
Play dough was a absolute staple in my house when the kids were little. I've never been a fan of store bought play dough - the smell of it alone used to make me feel a wee bit nauseaus. And why go to the store when you can make your own great big ball of it in no time for next to no money!?!
Continuing on with my birthday party celebrations I decided to make Bean a crown to wear on his special day. He seemed pretty pleased with it when I tried it on him this morning when he woke up!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
First up is my Plath Cardigan. I originally started it back in May ’09 as a maternity cardi when I was still pregnant with Baby Bean. How I ever thought, knowing me and my procrastination, that I would finish a cardigan and have any chance of wearing it, when starting it in May and being due in July is beyond me! Of course it didn’t get finished!
I hauled it back out of hiding a few months ago (and literally it was hiding – couldn’t find it for the life of me for a bit – turned out it was in with my knitting stash of all places. Imagine that! Knitting hiding in with the knitting supplies… Go figure!) Anyways, it was looking dicey for finishing it in time for this pregnancy too with my lack of motivation to knit anything, but I persevered a bit at a time and lo and behold, finally finished it last week! The sizing isn’t great for me; it’s a touch big under the arms, but all things considered not too bad. I’m feeling a bit “meh” about it, not sure I really like it, heck I’m not sure I like it at all, but it’s done and maybe it’ll grow on me (or I'll grow into it) over the next couple months!
And seeing as how I’m now starting into my sixth month along in this pregnancy and had not yet knit a single stitch for this wee baby, I felt I really should do something! I’m going to make a Baby Shell (great little pattern from a mom I know in my mommies group on Rav), but can’t find my circ that I need and so far have been too busy to go actually buy a new one. So on Saturday I came to the conclusion that I needed something to start. Anything as a matter of fact!! So I grabbed a pattern, some needles and a ball of yarn as I headed out to the truck to go to the Manitoba Highland Gathering for G’s competition. In the time it took us to drive there and half way home I finished a sock! I don’t think I was ever at risk of succumbing to 2nd Sock Syndrome with this pair! They were just that quick and easy! Love a pattern like that! (by the way - the socks are actually a lovely pale blue - not gray... guess that's what happens when you take a picture when it's pouring down rain in the evening even using a flash didn't help.)
I also made a new skirt last week! Yes, I do realize I’m sort of addicted to the Florinda pattern, but it is a seriously easy and comfy skirt to make! I didn’t bother lining this one, so I think it took me less than an hour to make. This is from the $5.00/metre fabric I mentioned last time, so for maybe $10.00 (including fabric, the jersey knit for the panel and elastic), I have a new skirt. I think I’ll wear it to G’s high school graduation on Friday evening!
Speaking of G’s graduation – how on earth did she ever get old enough to graduate from high school??? – I need to make her clutch. I’m using this tutorial from U handbag.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
I know I've been extolling the virtues of Moda pre-cut fabrics lately, really I'm starting to feel like a bit of a walking advertisement for them, but I just can't seem to help myself.
Being new and therefore incredibly inexperienced in the world of quilting I like the thought of anything that makes it a bit easier for me to progress in my quilting abilities and these pre-cut goodies seem to be just the thing to help me along. I can't (or won't because it's a bit embarassing) tell you how much time I spend online these days oogling fabric and patterns. Plotting and planning projects. Too bad I don't get near as much time to actually sit down and sew! All in time though... all in time.
As you might notice I've added a few new things to my list of, well, "favourite things" and now because of one of those, I now have to go add another to my list. V and Co. has a giveaway on her blog right now sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts. Because that's all I need in my life... yet another website to go to for hours on end! ha ha! But I think I'm actually in love. I really like how their site is laid out - and the prices look great! I forsee some shopping in my very near future! Eeek! (I believe my credit card is now trembling away in fear...).
I am taking part right now in a charm square swap with my Mommies group over on Ravelry and because we've all been talking quilting and charm squares lately, we've lured a few more previously non-sewing mommies into the fold. We're going to have a second charm square swap coming up soon so they can partake as well and so I am going to completely justify any purchases in the near future as necessary for my swap participation. How's that sound?
On the sewing front at home, I ditched the cat pee batting - (BF)G raised a very good point when he said, "What if you can't smell the pee anymore after it's washed, but the cats can and keep peeing on it?" I near well died at the thought of that, so out it went. Good thing I got such a good deal on it or my thrifty (ok, cheap) side would have had a bit of coronary over tossing it out! I grabbed the spare batting out of the closet and set to work on making my Charm Squares Baby Quilt sandwich, pinned it all to death and have started machine quilting it. I am pretty happy so far with my efforts and hope to have a chance to do a bit more soon. I also finished sewing all my blocks together for the Oh Cherry Oh baby blanket. Only now I really, really like it and am contemplating getting another honey bun and making the whole thing bigger. To heck with baby blankets... I'm thinking picnics in the park type blankets instead. We'll see!
Oh and I fell victim to the siren call of some pretty black and white cotton the other day at the fabric store. It was $5.00/metre. I figured I couldn't go wrong. I think this momma's going to get yet another skirt!
On the knitting front - Plath is coming along. Slowly but surely. I'm working on the ribbing of the placket and bottom right now. It's taking forever. I may have had this little baby before I ever get it finished at this rate...
Now, off to go ponder what fabrics I really must have! :)
Friday, June 04, 2010
I lovingly draped the quilt tops in progress, along with the batting and backing for one over top the jolly jumper that currently resides in my sewing corner of the basement. I figured it was a good way to keep them nice and pretty and out of the reach of drooly dogs and shedding cats. It was working like a charm. Until yesterday that is.
I came home after a lovely afternoon and evening to find, much to my horror, that my whole neatly draped pile of fabric was in a heap on the floor underneath the jolly jumper. I was annoyed that it was heaped up like that, but figured all that would be needed would be a quick pressing of the tops and the backing and I'd be right back on track. Being late, I decided it would be prudent to just hang them back up and deal with them today instead.
As I picked them up it hit me. Like a tonne of bricks. That unmistakable odour of cat pee. I am out for kitty blood at the moment. (and a way to wash my batting prior to using). GRRRRRRRR.
In happier and more exciting news, I have baby to be's first photos in my possesion. I love this one in particular where baby is looking all snug as a bug in a rug!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Since I am becoming like a teenager who refuses to go to bed at night despite knowing I have to get up in the morning (ok - well, I'm in bed by 10:30 at the latest unlike a teen who would willy nilly stay up until the wee hours of the morning) I've also been able to get some work done on the second baby quilt I'm making. This is the "girl" quilt. I'm using Moda's Oh Cherry Oh honey bun to do the strips. I wanted something a little more fun and funky than classic for the quilt. I am considering doing a sort of aqua blue sashing fabric just to add to the fun. Not sure yet though - we'll see once my blocks are done.
Now, I have to say that a honey bun is fantastic. I can not even begin to imagine cutting out all those strips of fabric I would have needed. I'd still be cutting by the time baby to be was a parent to be at the rate I cut things (and at the rate of disasterous results with my cutting - I seem to have trouble with the straight lines!) I've got two 8 strip panels sewn so far - I think that will make 10 blocks. I've three more panels to go. They do take some time, but I'm learning to streamline the process as I go. Instead of sew, iron, sew, iron etc. I do sew, sew, iron, sew, sew, iron. It doesn't seem like it would make much difference, but it has! So here's my in progress shot.
A good use for the time being unused jolly jumper too don't you think? ;)
In knitting news - yes! There is knitting news these days! I've managed to finish one of the sleeves on the Plath Cardi and am underway on the second sleeve. They're 3/4 length. It shouldn't take me long. I hope. Although the last sleeve took me probably a month or more. But I'm motivated now. I really am.
Why the sudden motivation you ask? Simple. I'm dying to cast on for another project, and I won't allow myself the luxury until Plath is done. My good friend, K, messaged me the other day asking if I'd like some of her mom's yarn stash. Her mom, had sadly passed away suddenly recently and K and her brothers were trying to sort through things. I went on Saturday and let me say, K's mom's stash put my stash to shame. She had the most incredible yarns in that stash of hers - and what a knitter she was!! I have a Lopi sweater that I've always wanted to make since I got the pattern about 13 years ago, and thanks to K and her brothers, I have exactly the Lopi yarn for it. I also have accquired some Euroflax Linen, some Arucania Nature Wool, some Patons Classic, quite a bit of White Buffalo 6 ply, much more Lopi and some other lovely treats as well. (and to let you know the scope of the stash in question? I did not even make a dent. Not a dent!!)
So thank you to K and her brothers. Your generosity is greatly appreciated! I am honoured to have this legacy from such a incredible craftswoman as your mother was.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
It's a doozy of an assignment! We have to have her tethered to us at all times that we are awake and home. (I'm currently thinking of how practical it would be to leave home for the remainder of the assignment!). Needless to say, having a 60lb four legged furry barnacle attached to me at the hip has greatly decreased my time (not to mention energy) for much of anything.
However, I did get some sewing time in this week after everyone else had gone to bed. I paid the price for staying up late, but got at least a wee sense of satisfaction in accomplishment. I finished the "surprise" quilt top that I mentioned before. Now to back, quilt and bind the sucker. That'll be a whole other journey in madness I'm sure! I also got the top done for the first of the two baby quilts I'm planning on making.
I have high hopes (once again) that this weekend, being the long weekend, will bring me lots of time for enjoying my sewing and maybe some knitting as well! I think I've managed a total of four or five rows on my plath cardi, which, would actually be perfect for wearing right now. Must get some time to finish it!!!
So keep your fingers crossed for me please!
Monday, May 10, 2010
I had really hoped to get in loads of sewing time and maybe some knitting too this weekend. It didn't happen. Now it's Monday, back to the weekday grind which means I'll have to wait until next weekend to hopefully get to any crafty type stuff.
I did take a few minutes while the baby napped yesterday to cut out my squares and decide on a layout for baby quilt #1, which in my head I'm thinking of as the "boy quilt" - although (BF)G tells me he thinks it would be great for boy or girl. He just groaned and shook his head when I told him, "But honey! I've got more fabric and a different pattern coming for a "girl quilt!" I believe he's quickly realizing that he's fighting a losing battle here.
As I was saying, I laid out my squares and rectangles for the Charm Squares Baby Quilt. I'm quite tickled with the fabric I chose for it! It's busy, bright and cheery.
After doing my layout, I got N to come over to the table and take a look at it. I told him to see if there was any of the squares he felt should be switched around, and asked what colour I should get for the sashing. He was quick to take interest and told me he thought a light green like the background colour of one of the squares would be great for the sashing. I'm going to follow his advice (green is exactly what I was thinking too actually) and go on the hunt for the perfect fabric. I forgot to ask him what colour I should do the binding and backing in. Maybe I'll ask him tonight. For a 15 1/2 year old boy he's pretty good with this whole quilt planning business!
Quilt layout - minus the sashing in between of course
Monday, May 03, 2010
Let’s just say I’ve always had a bit of a thing for textiles. I grew up in a home where sewn and hand knit items were not just common place but kind of a way of life. In high school I took three years of Fashion Design Technology. I sewed like a fiend for the kids when they were little, worked in a fabric shop in the late 90’s (didn’t make much money at it, but worked there none the less and had a great stash to show for those long hours on my feet), and have done more than my fair share of dance costumes and odd “freelance” type jobs. A great fabric calls to me in the same manner that a great yarn calls to me. I’m weak in the presence of it.
I’ve collected quilting magazines and books over the years - what did I do with those books anyways? I had a great stash of them too, now I’ve no idea where they’ve gone. Did I get rid of them at some point? Seems unlikely but one never knows over the course of time. Despite collecting patterns and books though I’d never been quite brave enough to try it until last spring, that is, when I was expecting Baby Bean and I decided it was high time I should try making a quilt.
Well, the quilt turned out lovely and I was hooked. I’ve got a second quilt in the works, but Baby Bean is not one to let mama sit and sew for very long so it sits in one of the bins waiting for a good time to work on it. It’s also a bit of surprise for one of my teens, (won’t say which one just on the off chance they someday stumble upon these musings before the quilt is finished and presented) so it’s also got to be worked on only when the kid in question is not home.
In the meantime I have discovered something wonderful. Pre-cut quilt fabric bundles. Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns and Turnovers, OH MY!!!!!!!!!! In the last week alone I’ve succumbed to two different charm packs, a honey bun and a turnover. At this rate I sense I may have a bit of a problem. But they really couldn’t make quilting any easier could they?
Then I discovered my next problem the Moda Bakeshop. Well, now if the people over at the Moda fabric company aren’t just the smartest marketing strategists around I’m not sure who is. I went to the bakeshop for ideas of what to do with my newly acquired stash and what happens? Not only do I come up with a myriad of ideas for my stash, I come up with a myriad of ideas which now require stash.
Anyone know of a program I could get into? I think I need some professional help!
PS: New knitting to show as well! Here’s a picture of G’s “Championship Piggie”. The pig seems to somehow oddly be the championship mascot for her dance school, even their school tank tops and shorts has a little pig on them, so, and this year I thought I’d make her one to take with her for good luck. Piggie even has some "motivational" type charms strapped around his neck. I told her yesterday - "You have the Piggie - you have the power" and it seemed to keep her spirits up and motivate her into a 3rd runner up spot! Not too shabby considering lessons and practicing have greatly fallen by the wayside this year between illnesses, injuries, grade 12, and working. Way to go G!!
Focus, Strength, Discipline
Monday, April 19, 2010
So as it would turn out, I forgot about a few WIP that I have had languishing on the needles...
I forgot to mention two projects - really I hope there's only two more, because otherwise I've gone from the realm of the kind of having a problem to the realm of good grief I really should get help for this kind of madness!
I told you I succumb easily to the siren song of a new project - I was going to say cast on, but apparently I'm not just limited to knitting in this insanity. I just can't help myself (you'll see proof of this in a moment actually!)
Without further ado I present the forgotten two WIP:
Bristow - I was doing great on this one in the winter - didn't really like the colour, but thought it would grow on me. Have the back and half the right front done. The colour has not grown on me, but how do you completely abandon a project, even if you really don't like it, when so much time has gone into it? HOW?!?!
Pembroke Vest - What should have been a quick to finish knit sat lost and lonely wanting only a neckline and armholes done. I even bought the needles about a month ago that I would need to finish it because I was too lazy (ok this is kind of embarassing) to go down and search through my mess to find the needles that I'm almost positive I probably already had a set of.
So there you have it... another couple to add to the list.
And now the confession. Not two days after posting that I was going to finish up some WIP before starting something new I fell prey to Cafe au Lait mitts. Actually I fell prey to them several weeks ago, but didn't like the yarn I was using so after all but finishing one I gave up on them. But couldn't forget them. The pattern called to me (repeatedly - it was pretty pushy that way and refused to be ignored). So the other day I cast on... they took two days to knit and I love them. Of course the weather is now freakishly warm so instead of wearing them this spring (who needs mitts of any sort fingerless or not when it's +20C outside?) I'll save them lovingly for the fall.
Suffering from the guilt of my failed mission to finish the WIP first, I felt I should actually really do some honest to goodness work on one of them. Seeing as how Pembroke seemed to be the most likely to give me a sense of accomplishment I set to work yesterday. Took no time at all and it was done - seems kind of silly now that I didn't finish it ages ago.
Not sure how much I like my yarn choice. It's a nice enough colour, but perhaps Peace Fleece was a bit of an odd choice for a baby's vest. He's not likely to get much wear out of it regardless of washability (and the scratchy factor) though anyways given I procrastinated so long on it that it barely fits him now. Whatever the case may be - chalk one up for success in my dimishing the WIP list! That in itself is worth something.
I also made a skirt for myself yesterday - the Florinda skirt from Farmingwife on Etsy. Yes - I am expecting again (due in the fall) and figure sooner or later will have an actual need for something nice but comfortable to wear - I love the pattern! I've already got plans for a second one in different fabric with a slightly different waist band. Sorry no pictures yet of this project - I'll have to get that done one of these days!
So, no more promises on working on WIPs only. Turns out I need to know my limits and embrace them. I am just not a one (or six) project kind of gal. What can I say?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I feel very remiss in the fact that I last posted that my wee man was five months old and prior to that I think he was only a few months old. So much for my regular blogging. I am hoping that my return to work (and therefore return to regularly scheduled coffee and lunch breaks) will allow a bit more time in the day for jotting down a few thoughts once in a while.
I'd love to say I had oodles of projects to show you from my time away from the blog, but the sad truth is after a mad knitting run just before Christmas - four sock monkies, a couple of hats and five bunnies - I have not finished a blessed thing. No sewing been happening either unfortunately. I have plans though... Oh yes and good intentions to boot.
I have decided I should finish my current WIP that have been languishing in the deepest darkest reaches of my house. In fact three of them I'd actually managed to lose for a bit. Not sure what that says about my skills as a housekeeper, but none the less. They were lost. Nothing makes me want to knit something more than when I can't find it. Unfortunately once found, I knit for a bit, then my eye starts to wander to something else. It's a bit of a curse, really.
So without further ado, here is the list of projects I plan on working on over the next little while (and maybe if I'm lucky I'll actually finish a few of them too!) :
Plath Cardi - so close to being able to finish this one! Just need to do the sleeves and the trim then I could maybe actually get some wear out of it for the spring!
Clapotis - started this one as a KAL with my Ravelry Mommies group. Stalled out when I foolishly managed to grab the needle and pull it straight out of all the stitches. Really should get back at it - the KAL finished January 15th. I'm no where near done.
Clementine Shawlette - Really, if I could find some focus, then maybe, just maybe this old, old, old WIP could become and FO. I started it in 2007 on the trip to Peru, frogged it sometime later that year and restarted it. Got more than 3/4 of the way done and got bored. I have a mere 10 inches left to go - but it's the boring part - same four rows of pattern over and over and over.
Chevron Scarf - No where near done this one. About 5 or 6 inches into a very long scarf that I started last spring. You know the kind of project. You see a picture of it and you just have to have it? Life cannot continue until you knit it? Well - same sort of thing goes for this as for my darling Clementine. I got bored. And fast. But the yarn is really pretty (Knit Picks Imagination), so you never know. I may show it some love again some day.
Froot Loops Socks - halfway done sock number 1. It's a sad and sorry situation when you suffer from 1st sock syndrome, let alone 2nd sock syndrome. I think I may just frog these. The yarn (Panda Cotton) does not play well with me. It splits, it snags, it causes no end of grief.
So there you have it! We'll see how far I get on my mission to finish things up before I fall prey to my wandering eye and the lust for a new project. The siren call of the cast on is never far off you know.