Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A couple of tiny hats!

Baby hats are awesome! They take next to no time at all, use very little yarn and are super cute and fun to make.

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

The Quilt!

I'm done baby's quilt! I'm really quite pleased with it even though there are a few wonky bits here and there. I've decided that I'm new enough to quilting that I don't need to get all crazy perfectionist about things. Once the quilt has been spit up on, chewed on by the dog (yes - that happened to the Bean's quilt - nothing a wee bit of tears, and then several months of hiding in a closet (the quilt - not me), and some patching couldn't fix), and washed a million times I figure no one will notice the bits that aren't exactly the way they should be.

So here in all it's glory, fresh from the drier is my version of the Charm Squares Baby Quilt. I used a charm pack of Moda's Animal Alphabet for the blocks, some generic lime green cotton from my local fabric store for the sashing and backing and some red alphabet print (again from the Animal Alphabet collection) for the binding. It's a bit smaller than I pictured - why I don't check these kinds of things out ahead of time is beyond me, but I figure that just leaves the door wide open. Sort of like a movie with a loose ending that you just know means a sequel to come, this is a good reason to make a sequel quilt for when baby is a toddler. I like nothing more than an excuse to ponder more patterns and buy more fabric! ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010


Mondays are always kind of ho hum at the office. Ok I’ll admit it. Pretty much every day feels ho hum when I’m at work these days. Only because I’d much rather be home with my little toddler man. Plus add to that the fact that I sit day dreaming most of my day away lately. (Can we blame pregnancy hormones for that???). So many other things to think about besides work.

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.

I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Preparing for a Party!!

Baby Bean will be one on Monday - I think this means he's no longer a "baby" but Toddler Bean just doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it?

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.

The crayon rolls are done! I'm so pleased with how they've turned out! I used a tutorial from V and Co.'s blog and they were pretty quick and easy to do!

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!