Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm back... and so soon!

Baking cookies
Originally uploaded by Highlanddancemom
Wow! Look at me go! Two blog posts in seven days! Amazing!

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.

It seems to me I've done other things too - but I can't really recall at this moment in time what they might have been. Oh yes - I repaired a mitten that apparently was chewed by one of the dogs, ahem, Bella, not too mention any names!

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

Busy days!

Quite some time has passed again since I last had the chance to blog at all. I so rarely get a chance to be on the computer now that I'm home with Baby Boy and Little Toddler Man. Our days are busy and interesting to say the least. Moments like the day I could not find Little Toddler Man's sippy cup of milk anywhere, yet I knew he'd just had it moments before. Upon asking him where his cup was, he scurried over to the fish tank and opened the lid of the canopy. On close inspection, sure enough I spotted the sippy cup in question, merrily bobbing along the surface of the water at the back of the tank, slowly pouring its contents down towards the fish. (The fish have also been the recipients of puppy food and a fur trimmed slipper as well). I don't think they appreciate the gifts as much as Little Toddler Man must assume they do. Thankfully the fascination with the tank seems to be dwindling, as is the fascination with letting our Newf/Pyrenese out of her kennel when she needs to be in it. He's also stopped trying to feed the dogs every waking moment of the day (ok - that one I was able to stop by putting a gate up across the closet doors where the food is kept!). His latest obsession that I hope ends before a trip to the emergency is necessary, is climbing on everything. The table being his favourite it would seem! Baby Boy keeps me hopping too - he's a content little fellow, just very, very hungry all the time it would seem! I can't believe early next week he'll be two months old. Life is good though! The boys have really bonded with each other and seem to enjoy each other's company already!

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...