More baby stuff show and tell! If you thought you were sick of my trailer a couple years ago you’ll really get tired of my relentless baby posts. This picture shows the pretty Boppy pillow cover I made out of the Love & Joy birds fabric.
I made this bag earlier in the summer but never posted about it. Now, as I was putting it away in favor of a bigger bag that is more fall-colored and has room for diaper change stuff, I thought to photograph it. I used the Folklore Bag pattern from the book One-Yard Wonders. I’ve made this pattern a couple times before and have probably blogged about it. It’s a great pattern–the bag is a very nice size and shape. I used indoor/outdoor fabric left over from another project.
This project is for the new little one. I was looking through the baby clothes a couple weeks ago, wondering what I would pack to bring her home from the hospital. I chose an adorable little turquoise and red one-piece outfit I’d bought from Sweet Peanut early in my pregnancy. Then I realized that in early October it might be chilly, and–oh no!!–the baby had no hats or booties to precisely match this particular outfit. I could hardly sleep that night, because, you know, when something like that gets into a pregnant woman’s mind there is only one way to get it out. I became completely convinced that she has to wear that outfit home from the hospital, and I had to make a hat and booties to match, immediately. Fortunately I had this revelation on a Friday night, so I had a nice free day the next day to knit (knook) a red baby hat and crochet some red booties to match before I had to try and sleep again. It was also fortunate that I had some red wool on hand. It was only a part-skein, but I finished the job with a few feet left over (close!) and it was just the shade of bright red I needed. I even found a velvet-covered button in my button jar to finish off the flower. Serendipity! I didn’t use any particular pattern, just a basic baby-sized beanie, a crocheted flower I eyeballed, and booties based around the free pattern from Lion Brand I use frequently. These ended up a wee bit itchy for a newborn, so I put a little hair conditioner in with my wool wash when I blocked these. Now they are soft and ready to go. 26 more days, but 3rd babies sometimes let their mamas off the hook a wee bit early, don’t they? I can dream…
Ahh, a nice head-only photograph that shows my tired eyes but not my enormous belly…38 days to go. Will my patience and/or my poor hips hold out? At least I have a cute new hat! I bought this pretty yarn at a local yarn store on a whim last year and now I have no idea what it was. It’s a little self-striping, a little variegated, just pretty and soft and nice, with this perfect blend of fall colors.
A side view. I got this pattern from a Leisure Arts knooking booklet, but it appears to be very close to this pattern on Ravelry.
When I was knitting this neckwarmer/cowl thingy for myself last winter I worked on it one afternoon sitting on my grandparents’ couch. My Mamaw loved the idea of a neckwarmer–an indoor/outdoor accessory that fits in with today’s scarf fashion trends and is warm and pretty and all that. I got the idea that day that I should make one for her in a silvery gray that would set off her light blue eyes and silvery hair. So I started this Honeycomb Neckwarmer from the book Crochet So Fine in Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend yarn in Gray Pearl. Then, before I could finish it, I was sitting next to my Mamaw somewhere else and she mentioned that she liked the idea of a neckwarmer so much that she immediately knitted herself one in a silvery gray. Ha! Great minds clearly think alike. Or apples don’t fall too far from trees, or something. So then I wasn’t in such a hurry to finish mine anymore, since the surprise of a second silvery gray neckwarmer just doesn’t seem as exciting as the surprise of a first. But I’m sure mine looks different, and after all, it was such a good idea that she can probably handle having more than one, so here before chilly weather starts again I did manage to finish this one. It drew up a little and lost some stitch definition when I laundered it, but the yarn feels so soft I think it will be nice up against the skin.
This is a knitted sweater for Miss Baby. I used a baby kimono pattern from the Lion Brand website for the body, but didn’t want to fuss with the sleeves their way (they did them separate and then seamed them on) so I just added mine directly to the seamed up sweater then embellished them with a crocheted border. I used Knitpicks’ Gloss DK Yarn in the color peapod. I think it’ll look very cute over the dresses I’ve made recently, and would look cute over a plain red creeper at Christmas. My only irritation with this project is that sometimes my knooking* seems to look different on the sections I’ve done by knitting/purling opposite rows than it does on sections where I knit in stockinette stitch in the round. I finally figured out why that is when I stumbled on this YouTube video recently. You can see what she’s talking about on this project; the stitches on the body make little X shapes, and the stitches in the arm make little Vs. It doesn’t bother me enough to redo the project, but now that I’ve figured it out I’m going to start purl stitches from the left of the stitch instead of from the right. I just implemented this on another project and I’m so pleased to see all the neat little rows of Vs. It’s kind of a simple thing; I’m surprised it wasn’t addressed in any of the knooking stuff I’ve seen before. I think purling from the right, which is the same direction I do the knit stitches, is a bit easier, and if I’m just doing ribbing on a hat when the rest of the project will be knitted in the round I think I’ll continue purling from the right, but for things like this I’ll purl from the left for the neater V look. I feel happy to have that knooking mystery solved.
This weekend I sewed a ring sling to use with the new baby. The fabric is a lightweight but sturdy seersucker. It’s more or less modeled after the Maya Wrap ring sling. My daughter lived in slings like this until she was a year old; my son really only liked being in one for the first few weeks. I figured it would be nice to have a new one whatever this kid’s preferences, and I can always gift it or sell it if it doesn’t get used. My son felt like he needed to tell me, as I was taking this photo, that the IKEA dog modeling the project “isn’t a weal baby. If it was the weal baby we’d have to put clothes on it.” Um, yes, kid. And we’d be a little worried because it looks like a plush dog from IKEA, but whatever!
And we’re back into homeschool around here! This is our third year and we’re off to a good start. With a couple years experience under my belt it was nothing but fun to buy our new books and supplies this year. People keep asking me what I’m going to do about school when the baby comes, but it seems like a funny question to me. We’re managing our calendar such that we’ll have a week’s fall break when she comes, but after that I feel like it’ll be much easier to homeschool with a baby than to schlep my kids to different schools across town with a baby. I sit on the sofa and knit while I homeschool now–after the baby comes I’ll just sit there and nurse instead. Actually sounds like a pretty good life to me.
*What’s she talking about, knooking? It’s real knitting with a crochet hook. Nice for people like me who love yarn crafts but are afraid of pointy sticks. Click here to see other knooking projects I’ve blogged about, or google it to learn how!
I’ve had yarn projects laid out for this baby since spring, and enjoyed a yarn purchasing spree and pattern shopping extravaganza right after we found out the newbie would be a girl. Then I did nothing with the yarn and patterns all summer because, you know, it was summer, and it’s not that fun to knit or crochet in the summer. I spent my down time reading novels like a proper pregnant woman in the hottest months. Things have cooled off in the last week, however, and my nesting instincts have driven me to the hook (and knook) to make some of these little projects reality. I made these wee booties from this Flower Slippers pattern, paired with a basic crocheted beanie, to complete the new baby’s hospital meet-and-greet outfit, along with her name onesie from a few posts back. It was hard for me to put aside my usual bootie pattern and try something new, but I remembered that Worth’s first day booties kind of squished up against his hospital ankle bracelet so I wanted to make a low-cut pair this time. My reward for trying a new pattern is that I loved this one, too, and I’m sure to make more in the future.
Since this little pumpkin should be born two or three weeks before Halloween, of course she needs a pumpkin hat. I used a pattern from this Baby Beanies book that is specific to knooking, which I bought because of the lovely knitting-to-knooking stitch translations in the back, not knowing if I’d ever actually use the patterns themselvest. The pattern was nice up until the decreasing started, at which point either I or it became a little off, but the hat still turned out cute. I added the little stem and leaf. Then I thought she’d need booties to go with this hat too (I never say “no” to more booties), so I used this pattern, which I bought from the Knit Picks website. They seem more like baby socks to me than proper booties, but I like the pattern.
I’ve got more projects I’m excited to share soon, as soon as I do some blocking and finishing and a little house-cleaning (yeah right!).
Three gifts projects today. This was a purse for my niece’s sixth birthday last week. I was inspired by a project I saw on Ravelry. I crocheted circles from this book of crochet motifs, then added eyes, a beak, and some edging that resembles ears, and made a little strap. The birthday girl seemed to like it.
These are the same basic booties I often use as a baby gift, from this free pattern online. These are for a gender-unknown baby, so I made them out of a natural-toned washable wool and tied them with brown suede lace. My recent improvement on this baby gift is that I bought a package of cupcake boxes and am now tucking a small handmade card and the booties (stuffed with tissue paper to fill them out) down into the box, which comes together to make a very cute little gift. These got mailed so I especially liked the way the box made a tidy little parcel that I could mail without squishing the booties.
These are Granddad’s new mittens.
Modeled here by Granddad himself. I knitted (knooked) these using this vintage pattern that I used once before on mittens for Dorothy, out of this tweed yarn from Knitpicks. This is the same Granddad who last appeared here as one of my camper elves last spring. He totally deserved mittens, and much more too, but he got mittens. He likes them and looks forward to warm fingers.
I have a beautiful cranberry-colored cowl that a friend made me. I wear it with all my fall-hued clothes to dress up the long-sleeves-and-jeans look that is a staple in my mama wardrobe. I love it so much that I decided I needed one to match my primary color shirts too. I bought this Chroma yarn in Lollipop, which is soft and lovely. I decided against using a pattern, since this yarn colorway makes one by itself. I just measured the dimensions of the one I love and knitted (knooked) this one in the round to those measurements (9 inches tall by 12 inches wide), with about an inch of ribbing at each end. This is definitely one of those projects where everyone who sees me asks if I made my scarf–because they don’t exactly sell rainbow things for grown-ups at Target–but I’ll take it as a compliment because I love it! It’s warm and cozy and cheerful too, perfect for February.
Welcome to Yarn Project Week! All three of my posts this week are going to be about recently-completed knit or crochet projects. This is a scarf and earwarmer set I made for Dorothy and me to share. I purchased fantastic yellow polka-dot rain boots at Costco last fall, but somehow I never know quite what to wear with fantastic yellow polka-dot rain boots. I decided I needed a scarf that would tie in some of my more sedately-hued shirts with the bright boots. This wool-acrylic blend yarn fit the bill perfectly. I began knitting a scarf using a rather fussy wave pattern, then realized I was totally wasting my time with such detail when the focus would be on the colorway–and the boots–anyway. So I unraveled it and crocheted the whole scarf on a great big size K hook in the time it took to knit about four wavy inches. (I crocheted in front loops only, which gives a sort of ribbed look.) When the scarf was done and it was clear that Dorothy was even more into than I was I decided to add an earwarmer to make it a set she could wear. I didn’t use a pattern, just knitted (knooked) each row until I had a head-sized band, sewed it up, and added a crocheted flower. It’s a soft, warm, happy set. We’ve each worn it and enjoyed it, me just the scarf with my now-coordinated boots, and she the complete set.
…and new hat from the back. I knitted (knooked) this same basic hat last year, this pattern, in this yarn. I really liked it but it was just too big. When I finished it I think I pretended I would wear it anyway but it flopped in my face. So I gave it so someone with a bigger head and I started over. Sigh. Finally I finished this second one and sewed the little faux fur pom-pom (sliced off an inexpensive trinket from Claire’s purchased just for this purpose) just as I’d dreamed of…over a year ago. But good things take time, right? I love this color because it goes with everything.
It’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged. I’m sort of getting out of the habit of remembering to photograph projects when I finish them. I don’t think I’m ready to quit this blog thing yet because I enjoy keeping this little record for myself, but I do need to put a note or something on my crafty table so I don’t completely get out of the habit. In any case, here’s a little bit of what”s been going on at my house this past month. Dorothy and I made hair bows. I made a few for her (including this one I glued to a headband) and she made some for her cousins. We used a Bowdabra, which is simple and gives good results. It makes puffy bows–not the tidy little twisted kind you can make with templates.
I’ve used the season as an excuse to try a bunch of gluten-free cookie recipes I’d been wondering about. I’m not gluten-free but my mother is, so I’ve been enjoying experimenting with gluten-free baking on her behalf. These sugar cookies were from Carol Fenster’s 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes and they were terrific. I don’t think anyone would have noticed they were gluten-free if I hadn’t said something. I rolled them out between sheets of plastic wrap as suggested, but I found the dough just as easy to work with as regular cookie dough.
These gluten-free jam cookies were from The Wheat-Free Cook by Jacqueline Mallorca. I don’t care for this book overall as well as the one above, but these cookies were tasty. They were really great just-baked and were nice but crumbly once they had been sandwiched with the jam. The drawback to them came the next day, when they’d apparently soaked up all the moisture from the jam and almost fell apart when I touched them, so they really want to be eaten only on the day they are made. Still, they are tasty and light with a nice flavor and don’t scream “gluten free alternative!” when you taste them.
I finished knitting (knooking) myself this sweater a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the freakishly warm weather has prevented me from wearing it much. I ran into the difficulty once again of trying to get a decent photo of a project made for myself but this one will have to do. I’d like to show the neckline, which I particularly like, but I didn’t think to take off my scarf for the photo when I came in today from shopping. I used this Oatmeal Pullover pattern and the Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn the pattern suggests, but in the color Eggplant. I like the sweater and it didn’t take that long to knook since the yarn is so chunky, but if this warm-weather trend continues I may never get to wear it since it is such a bulky, warm garment. I made the pattern in size medium, but since the knitter controls the length and the sleeve length I think I could have gone down a size and cut down on some of the bulk.
Finally, this is what my kids made their instructors/nursery care providers/extracurricular teachers as holiday gifts this year. Last year we did jars of homemade granola and I was going to do that again, but when my kids got snotty and sick it felt like homemade gifts from my kitchen stirred by their germy little hands might not be the most appropriate displays of our affection. Instead I cut strips of cardstock and cut the recipients’ names out with paper punches, then let the kids paint their own designs on the strips. Each kid needed to make about five. After they were dry we wrote the children’s names on the back and laminated them to make sturdy personalized bookmarks.
Hope you have a very merry, crafty Christmas!