Feb 182016
 

Now that I have a six month old baby, work 40 hours a week, and still have to perform the basic tasks of keeping life in order and myself healthy, I don’t have much spare time.  And when I do have a few spare moments to relax, I like to REALLY relax, mind and body.  I used to love complex knitting but now I just don’t have the mental energy.  These days, I need a knitting project that I can just pick up and work a few stitches or rows here and there, without having to think about where I left off or what I have to do next.

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I recently whipped up two knit skirts that were simple and relaxing to knit, but that also had some lace detail and color effects to make them interesting to work.  I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport for the yarn, a modified Feather and Fan for the lace, and incorporated color shifts for interest.

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The skirts are fitted but also very stretchy, and I knat them in two different lengths.  Because I opted to continue the lace along the full length of the skirt, I prefer to wear them with a slip underneath, which also allows the fabric to drape better without bunching up.

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I am pleased with how they turned out.  They were enjoyable to knit and are enjoyable to wear.  As always, I intend to write a pattern for this, though with my lack of spare time and sleep deprivation, I cannot make any promises.

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And here is my happy boy, who turns 6 months in a few days.

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Feb 022016
 

I could write a lengthy diatribe about my frustration with baby clothing and accessories.  Not only does there seem to be little consistency in sizing standards across brands but most accessories (hats, mittens, socks) do not fit or stay on the baby at all.  With it being winter, we’ve been struggling to keep baby Milo’s head warm.  I have purchased so many different baby hats and none of them have adequately remained on his head.  I finally decided that I would just sew up a bunch of baby hats, using an old t-shirt of Josh’s for the fabric.

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I drafted the pattern size and basic shape based on the most well-fitting of his store-bought hats, and added some tweaks where I felt necessary.  The major innovation in my baby hat is to make the back longer than the front, with two darts at the back, and the sides swooping down.  I wanted a hat that would cover his ears without coming down over his eyes and cinching in at the back, and that would just stay on his head.

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I am VERY pleased with the result.  I was able to make four hats just like this one out of an XL size men’s t-shirt, using the bottom hem of the body and sleeves of the shirt as the hems for all four hats.  It took me about an hour to draft the pattern and make all four hats.

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The photos above were taken when Milo and I went to visit daddy at the new location for the bike shop he works at.  And below, was when we all went to he Zoo and had one of the better days of encountering animals.  The goats were very friendly (of course, I’m not sure what Milo thought of them).

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Nov 162015
 

I cannot believe that it has been 12 weeks since I last posted… 12 weeks since baby Milo was born.  12 weeks of maternity leave.  And 12 weeks since I cast on for this sweater.

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I was working on the colorwork chart for this sweater during the last days of my pregnancy, something to keep me occupied while I restlessly waited for baby’s arrival. After the birth, which didn’t go at all as planned, I found comfort in casting on for this project – – my fingers ticking away, in a manner most familiar, while I navigated the unfamiliar and sometimes stormy experience of adjusting to motherhood.  And even though I grieved over the birth experience, I was so grateful for modern medicine and so grateful that baby and I were well. Even though I grieved over the birth experience, I realized that I had so much to be grateful for and this sweater became my gratitude project, with each stitch reminding me of the goodness, beauty, and love in my life.

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The fit of this sweater is a bit off from what I had intended.  I knat this according to my pre-pregnancy measurements but my body is  different now.  I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy (arguably, a bit more than is recommended) and since welcoming my large baby boy, my shape and size are different.  I’ve actually read that breastfeeding hormones encourage a woman’s body to increase her fat reserves to ensure that baby may receive plenty of nutritious milk.  As a result, this sweater is tight across my belly and bust but fortunately is stretchy enough to accommodate my form.

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The yarn is Knit Picks Capretta (in cream) and Chroma (in Fossil) and I do intend to write up the pattern, though I cannot speak to when that might happen – – as my capacity for writing patterns revolves around baby’s naptimes, during which I also dash to complete other projects (such as laundry).

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I return to work tomorrow, after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  While I am excited to resume some of my ‘old life’ of talking with colleagues and the projects of my Day Job, I know that it will be hard for me to leave my baby at day care. I hope that he has fun with his new baby friends and I hope that our time together becomes even more special.

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Sep 012015
 

I am delighted to officially present my baby boy, Milo, who was born last Saturday August 22nd weighing 9 pounds and 22″ long.  I wrote about his birth experience and our first week together  on my personal blog.

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I am so in love with my baby and excited about all of the adventures we will have as a family.

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Aug 152015
 

In my last post, I wrote that I probably wouldn’t have another project to show you until after baby arrived… but that was incorrect.  In the last week, I saw this pattern on Ravlery, bought it, cast on, and finished knitting it.

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PatternRiemu by Suvi Simola

Yarn UsedNew Hue Handspuns BamHuey & Knit Picks Palette

Ravelry Project Page

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Garter stitch and stripes.

Seriously, there was something about these last weeks of pregnancy when garter stitch and stripes were exactly what I needed to whittle away the time.

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The Bam Huey yarn is something I picked up in 2011 at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival.  I’ve been so in love with the yarn that I have hesitated to knit with it, because the skein was so pretty.  This was a good project to showcase the yarn.

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I still have almost half a skein left of that yarn, so I’m thinking of making a stripey baby sweater

Speaking of baby, yesterday was my due date and I am waiting patiently for baby to arrive.  This is me as of this morning, waiting patiently.  Waiting patiently….

 

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Jul 242015
 

I’m on the final stretch of pregnancy and working hard to get everything ready.  My crafting is at an all time low these days – – I am knitting a sweater, but it is all stockinette and I probably work on it for maybe 10-20 minutes each day (usually, I can spend HOURS knitting everyday) – – because there is just so much to do and I have a significantly decreased capacity for how much I can accomplish in a day.  A guy at work is also expecting his first baby and we’ve been talking a lot about how there is just so much to do.  His baby is due two weeks after me so we’re at very similar stages in our to-do lists and we’ve been comparing notes on what we’ve got done and what still needs to be done.

Anyway, here are a few quick and easy things that I sewed.  Breast pads, wipes, and burp cloths.

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The breast pads were the most time consuming project of this bunch, but still very quick and easy.  I bought 2 yards of diaper flannel (which cost $1.50 per yard) and found a small bowl to trace circles approximately 4″ in diameter.  I cut out the circles and layered them six layers deep, sewed them together, and trimmed the edges.  Magically, I made 9 pairs of breast pads, 18 total.  MONTHS ago, I had written about how I thought that sewing reusable breast pads was probably one of the easiest things that I could do, and I think this was correct.  And it was actually a fun project, just listening to some music and working on these.  A friend gave me a box of disposable breast pads that she no longer needs and I’ve compared the size of these as well as compared how they fit when wearing, and I’m happy to report that they are very comparable.  These ones are actually softer, though I have not yet tested their absorbency.  There are free patterns available for breast pads, many of which include darts for better fit, but for my personal body type these fit just fine.

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Another project that I thought would be super easy to make was burp cloths, though I have since learned that many people just use cloth diapers (which I have a large stash of) so I’m not sure how necessary this project was.  However, I hear that babies are very messy, so having a large supply of wipes and cloths is probably a good idea.  These cloths I made from used receiving blankets that I found for super cheap and some random leftovers of quilting cotton that I had in my stash.  I made two different sizes because I started out using a tutorial (for the smaller size) and then wondered if I might like some larger ones as well.

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And finally, wipes.  As I was buying stuff for baby, I bought a package of reusable flannel wipes (the one at the right, with the castles and ponies) – – and when I received them, was sort of aghast at how they were simply a cut piece of flannel with serged edges, and cost about $1 per wipe.  The package only had 15 wipes and I realized that I would need a lot more wipes and that I could make them for a fraction of the cost.  So I bought some more flannel, in what I think are cuter prints, at $2.50 per yard, cut into squares, and zig-zagged the edges.  Easy peasy!

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So, here I am these days.  Today I am 37 weeks along and baby could come at any time, tonight or four weeks from tonight.  At this point, we’re pretty much ready for baby to arrive (I have an appointment tomorrow to have the car seat installation inspected) and then we’re totally ready.  However, I still have a lot to do at work before I’ll feel good about going on maternity leave, so I’m hoping baby stays put for another week or two.  Also, right now I’m considered “early term” so it would be nice for baby to wait two more weeks and be “full term” (though “early term” is just fine).

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And while I’m posting a blog, I’ll throw this pic in.  I finished knitting this sweater about a month ago and never got around to posting about it.  I have a pattern 95% written for this but I doubt if I will ever finish it.  My brain is 100% focused on baby and getting ready for baby that trying to write a knitting pattern is just not computing in my brain.  Oh well.  I love the finished sweater, however, and have been wearing it pretty much exclusive to all my other sweaters.

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Anyway, I doubt that I will have any crafting projects to show off until baby arrives.  As always, I’ve been posting updates over on my personal weblog so if you’re curious about what’s going on, there are way more details than anyone would want to know about over there.

Until later…

Jul 032015
 

I recently finished knitting several soakers for baby using some stashed Cascade 220.  This is the Curly Purly Soaker pattern and it comes highly recommended by many a soaker-using mama.  I knat 3 soakers in size small and 3 soakers in the size medium.  Oscar the Bear is modeling one of the small sizes, along with a prefold.  What with having never so much as changed a diaper on a baby, I did a bit of practice on Oscar to try and get the geometry figured out.  Obviously, I assume that it will be a bit different on a wiggly baby.

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Pattern:Curly Purly Soaker

Yarn: Cascade 220 (2 skeins teal, 1 skein fuscha, 0.5 skein pink)

Ravelry Project Page

All in all, these were very nice to knit.  Simple and straightforward knitting, which is perfect for an 8 month pregnant lady such as myself.

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Here I am two weeks ago.  Baby is in the process of “dropping” and it’s becoming more and more uncomfortable to sit down.  Also, I’m trying to stay active but we’re having a heat wave out West and if I don’t get outside in the morning, before the heat hits, I don’t get out.  The heat is really making me feel like I’m going to pass out and die, so I stay inside most of the day, which is giving me a bit of cabin fever.

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May 252015
 

I whipped up a maxi skirt this weekend.

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I drafted the pattern based off a store bought maternity maxi skirt that has been fitting me perfectly and this one, likewise, fits great.  The fabric is a medium weight knit that I had in my stash.

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There’s really not much about this being a maternity skirt… stretchy fabric and a high waistband.

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I hope to make many more of these.  Maxi skirts are the perfect pregnancy attire — they are flattering, fit over my belly, and are COMFORTABLE.  They are also a good pregnancy sewing project, as they are quick and easy to make…  I’m busy enough getting ready for baby and mentally preoccupied with childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep strategies, etc., that I appreciate my sewing straightforward – – nothing complicated or time consuming!

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Anyway, I’m just barely entering the third trimester and I cannot believe that I still have three months to go; it seems like an eternity.

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May 152015
 

For the past month, I’ve been enjoying some pure comfort knitting.  A simple pattern with beautiful yarn.

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This is a cardigan that I designed specifically to accommodate my growing belly but should also be nice when my belly returns to size.

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A-line shaping and pockets for a comfortable feel.

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An undulating leaf and vine motif to symbolize growth and thriving.

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It was a joy to knit and is a joy to wear.

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Even though I feel huge, this sweater makes me feel beautiful.

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May 102015
 

I had intended to make this for the #SHBsewalong during the month of April, but got sidetracked after I started the HUGE project of moving my craft room to the basement to convert it into a nursery.  Because I’m a little OCD when it comes to organization, I took that opportunity to completely reorganize and inventory my crafting supplies, which took the better part of a month.  At this juncture, most everything is moved down stairs, so I can now get some sewing in, even though the space isn’t finished being setup.

Anyway, I made this sleep sack from some very soft fleece I had in my stash and using the pattern for McCalls 4236.  I made View A in size Medium, hoping that it will fit baby when he’s 3-6 months next winter.

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This View has some attached mittens that I thought would be a must for cozy winter hibernation.

The creature on the front is an elephant, though I’m not sure if anyone but me can discern its elephant-ness.

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I decided to affix snaps up the front instead of a zipper, as per the pattern, because I thought it would be handy to be able to open the sleep sack from either end – – from below, to make diaper changes quick and easy, without having to take off the whole sack.

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In pregnancy news, I’ve made it to 26 weeks and I feel HUGE.  Below is my view looking down (taken at 25 weeks, so I’m even bigger now).  People at work say things to me, such as, “You’re tiny!” but I think they’re not being honest…. Josh is better at validating my feelings of hugeness.  I’ve gained about 20 pounds so far and it blows my mind that I still have about 14 weeks to go.   Another thing that blows my mind is that I was looking at preemie viability statistics and, if baby were born today, he would have an 80% chance of surviving outside of the womb.  That statistic actually gives me a lot of peace of mind… obviously, I want to carry him to full term.  Anyway, I’ve actually finished knitting a sweater that I’m working on a pattern for (!!!) and I’m hoping to get that nicely photographed soon, which will mean that I might have some nice photos of my pregnant self, rather than downward-looking selfies from my phonecamera in my cat-hair covered pajamas.

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