Wednesday, February 27, 2013

He's Here!

So happy to be able to post the hat in action! After a quick and relatively painless labor and delivery (wow, aren't epidurals the best invention ever?) baby Nico joined our family. I love him to pieces, right down to his baby Alfred Hitchcock profile. He has easily blended into our family and I find myself wondering how we were ever without him.

Ben is a fabulous big brother, singing to Nico when he cries and and rubbing his tiny arm and saying "It's ok, I won't let anyone hurt you.". He's not so happy about having to share my attention, but we're working through it.

I'm feeling good, happy to be almost recovered and ready to "get back to normal", whatever that means. I hope it means some sock knitting!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's (Going to Be) a Boy!

It's been a long time since I have posted...9 months in fact! After struggling with fertility issues for a year, we were overjoyed to find out we were going to have another baby. I like to think about that day when first the home test and then the blood tests came back positive. It's been a long road since then.

My first pregnancy was a relative breeze. This one has been a challenge. I won't go into all the gory details, but the first trimester was by far the easiest. Yes, three-ish months of constant nausea and exhaustion would be preferred to the past 6 months of pre-term labor scares, bed rest and chronic pain.

I'm in the home stretch now, four weeks from my EDD and out of the early preemie danger zone. Now the big joke going around my friends and family is that I will end up going past due and need an induction.

 Despite everything, I have managed to knit a hat for Little Bug (big brother came up with that one) to wear home from the hospital and with the left over yarn I crocheted a matching cowl for myself.
They are both made from Alpaca Lace by Cascade. I held it double for the hat and quadrupled for the cowl.

The hat pattern is from the Purl Bee - Heirloom Hats for Newborns. I can't say I recommend it. It's really fiddly and no matter what I did, I ended up with some laddering. Overall it's cute and I am probably the only person who will notice or care about the flaws.

The cowl is just double crochet. I made a long chain, twisted it when I joined it into a circle, and then double crocheted around until I ran out of yarn. I love this yarn, it's super soft and the colors are beautiful.
And here is a gratuitous belly shot! 36 weeks down!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scrappy Crochet Bear Pattern

Scrappy Crochet Bear

Approximately 9 grams of worsted weight scrap yarn
size G/ 4.25 mm crochet hook
notions to make the face
yarn needle

Start with the body, since it is the largest piece.
Ch 60 in body color, work flat in sc until the piece measures about 3.5 inches. This will be the face. Switch to the scraps and continue to sc until the total piece measures 9 inches, changing colors and striping as you wish. Finished piece will measure approx. 14" x 9".

Ch 20 using the same color as the face. Join into a ring with a slip st and work in sc for half an inch. Switch to using scraps, changing colors and striping s you wish, until the arm measures 3 inches. Make 2.
Ch 25 (at this point, you may be out of face color. I used the same color to start each leg to give the impression of shoes) Join into a ring with a slip st and work in sc for 1 inch. Switch to your scraps, striping as you wish, until the leg measures 4.5 inches.
Using whatever colors you have left, Ch 2.
Round 1 - 6 dc into 2nd chain from hook. Join with a slip st into 1st dc.
Round 2 - switch colors, 1 ch, 2 dc into same stitch as chain, {2 dc into next dc} 5 times. Sl st into 1st dc.
Round 3 - switch colors, 1 ch, 2 dc into same stitch as chain, {2 dc into next dc} 10 times. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Finishing and Assembly
For the arms and legs, turn inside out and center the color jogs (think of this as a back seam) Tie off or weave in the ends, press flat and then stitch the end that is the hand or foot closed. Leave the other end open. Lightly stuff the arms and legs.

Add the Face

For the body, find the center of the rectangle and add the face. You can use safety eyes, felt, embroidery floss, whatever you have handy.

Add the Arms

Then fold the edges to the center and mark where the sides are. Lay it out flat again and stitch the arms on (arms should be lightly stuffed).

Add the Legs

Fold right sides together and sew the back seam closed. Center the back seam and then tuck the legs inside the body (legs should already be stuffed), aligning the open edge of the leg with the bottom edge of the body. Pin in place and sew closed.
Turn right side out.

Add Ears and Close
Stuff the body to the desired firmness. Sandwich the first ear between the front and back sides and stitch closed, being careful to pass through all three layers of fabric. Stitch the top middle of the head closed and then add the second ear as the first.

Enjoy your new toy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Something Pretty

I'm working away at my Loulouthi Tiles quilt. It is the largest thing I have ever made. I'm pretty excited about that. Hopefully it will be pieced by next week. It is a happy way to spend a Friday nap time. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At Last - the Clapotis

Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Berroco Weekend in icy blue
Needles: size 8

I have wanted to make this pattern for six years. How insane is that? I actually attempted it once, with some ridiculously awful novelty yarn. It was glittery and ribbony and just really not good. I was a new knitter though. We all go through that phase. Anyway, it was a disaster.

This Clapotis has been a long time coming. I made it for my mom, originally for her birthday, but it ended up being Mother's Day before I finished it up. This pattern is teeedious. There are a million repeats of what is pretty much just stockinette. I had to put it down several times.

But then came the wonderful day it was done. I threw it over my shoulders and suddenly did not want to part with it. It's so perfectly sized and delightfully drape-y. It's like having a warm towel to put around your shoulders after getting out of a cold pool. I want my own. I now understand why people slog though several of these. It might take me another six years to get around to it, but there most likely will be another one of these in my future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mothers, grandmothers, and the women hoping to become mothers, have a wonderful day. To all the women in my life who have ever mothered me in some way, thank you! And an even bigger thank you to my own mom, who has always been there for me and who I love dearly!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Letter Discovery Activity

We've had several glorious rainy days. Multiple inches in single hours. Thunder, cloud-to-ground lightening, the works. It makes my little drought shriveled heart happy. But OMG, does it get stir-crazy in here with a toddler.

So we've been painting. To add an element of surprise and education to the mix, I devised this little activity. Super easy, fun, and educational.

The only supplies you need are watercolors, paintbrushes, paper, and a white crayon. Write out the alphabet in white crayon on white paper. I found that it helps to press firmly and go over the lines a couple of times.

Then let the little one paint away! Ben was so excited to watch the letters emerge from the paint. He'd shout them out and dance around. (Dancing with a wet paintbrush is a hazard, fair warning.)
This is also an easy way to observe what your kiddo knows without pressuring them. Just through observation of his unsolicited responses, I could see what he understood and where we might need to spend some time practicing.

Ben was particularity excited to discover "his" letter.

Another great thing about this activity is that you can you it for multiple subjects - we've done numbers, shapes, and his full name.

You can even use it to make nice homemade cards.

What do you do to survive those stir-crazy afternoons?