Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A quest : Or what seems to be mission impossible!

Little Toddler Man with his faithful companion Froggy

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)

Froggy really does accompany us every where we go!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Slowly working on getting things done

So, the last time I was here I was talking about dying yarn. I thought I'd give you a quick update of what it is I did with that yarn!

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

In which I learn to properly dye yarn

Why do pictures never show the colour just right? The yarn is actually most like the skein picture!

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!