Monthly Archives: August 2013

A sling, and a baby sweater, and funny-looking knooking stitches explained

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baby-cardiThis 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.

ring-slingThis 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!

first-day-of-school-dorothyAnd 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. ūüôā

*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!

Gardening at Night

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dress-frontI made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?

dress-backThis is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.

tote-bagThis project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.

 

Baby dresses

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green-dressThis week I’m making baby dresses. I got this book “Making Baby’s Clothes: 25 Fun and Practical Projects for 0 – 3 Year Olds” by Merrett from Amazon.com recently and was so happy when it came. The reviews had been pretty good, but I would never have purchased a sewing book without being able to see the list of patterns or at least a nice sampling of them if the book hadn’t cost less than $8.00. At that price I decided to buy it based on its 4.5 stars and hope for the best. It truly is such a great bargain; the patterns are very cute, the pattern pieces are reasonably easy to trace (they are full-sized, and although they overlap they are easier to see through the tracing paper than the patterns from other much more expensive sewing books on my shelf), and the instructions are clear. This little dress was my first project from this book. It’s 0-3 month size and it looks like it will actually fit a newborn, unlike many commercial patterns I have sewn that look like they’ll actually fit a nine-month-old. I made it for the new baby to wear with a sweet pair of blue longies knitted for newborn Worth by a friend of mine. I don’t have any problem putting girl babies in blue, but I thought that making a dress specifically to go with the longies would make them special all over again and thwart annoying people at the supermarket from calling my girl baby a “he” at the same time.

green-dress2This close-up shows how the neckline is constructed. The overlapping panels are the same on both sides, and will be cute and (I think) easy to get on and off over baby’s head. I stuck to the pattern instructions pretty faithfully, except I turned under satin ribbon to make the sleeve hem so they’d be soft on baby’s wrist and just a nice little detail.

bird-dress2This dress is from the same book. It’s intended as a summer dress, but I’m thinking my newbie will wear it over a plain white footie or maybe a long-sleeve onesie. The fabric is extras from her crib bedding, which I have yet to show-and-tell because I still need to finish the matching mobile, but it’s this along with some coordinating prints and it’s so sweet. I’m thinking this little dress will be cute around Christmastime (it’s 0-3 month also) without being overtly holiday-themed.

bird-dressHere’s a better photo of the fabric and the front placket. Can’t wait to see these in action!

A mei tai style baby carrier

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baby-carrier-1My weekend project was a whimsical new baby carrier. I don’t technically need a baby carrier this time around (ahem) but they aren’t hard to make, and I couldn’t resist a new one that was just for fun. This is a me tai-style carrier similar to the ones sold at BabyHawk.com.¬† They were my favorite type of carrier with each of my previous kids. I bought a neutral-colored one from that site with Dorothy, then my sister-in-law made me an extra for the car, and then when Worth was born I made a cute red one with an owl applique on the front. I still have all of them and plan on using them all one more time; I’ll keep one upstairs, one down, and one in each car. Baby carrier bliss!

baby-carrier-2This is the the reverse side of the new carrier. I used the quirky vintage dog print on one side, and this novelty “glamping” print by Moda on the other. It’ll be my “mama’s in a fun mood” carrier.

carry bagNext I made a little bag to carry the carrier when it’s not in use. This one will probably go in my car, so it’ll be my on-the-go carrier. I made the drawstring ribbon long enough to sling over my shoulder and sewed a little pocket to the front just in case my baby carrier and my keys are all I need for a little dash in somewhere. Right now, with my big old belly stuck firmly to the front of me, and approximately 68 days left to drag it around (but who’s counting?) I’m fantasizing about the sweetness of a little head poking out the top of this for me to sniff and snuggle and kiss, and then…the amazing feeling of lightness and freedom of being able to take the baby off and put her down. Wow.

Some yarn projects for Baby

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bootie-setI’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.

pumpkin-hatSince 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!).