Category Archives: baby

A little bit dotty

So I am now a Great Aunt. My niece had her first baby, a girl, this morning. A lovely healthy tall baby with the chubbiest cheeks ever. There’s nothing like being a Great Aunt to make you feel old! Lucky I have my own baby to remind me I’m not that old. Yet. Heh heh.

She didn’t find out the sex of the baby beforehand, which makes the pre-birth crafting slightly more challenging. I had decided on making her a small blanket, crochet for quickness and cotton for ease of use and because it will be a summer baby. But what colours? I pondered this for a while, and then an invitation for her baby shower arrived, using soft grey, yellow and white. Ta dah! Perfect. And even better, I had those colours in stash! So this is what I came up with:

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Details:
Pattern: Dotty Dots afghan by Teresa Chorzepa, from Lion Brand – a nice easy freebie, which lends itself to lots of variety just by changing the colours and/or size (as I did).
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply/DK cotton, in glacier (grey), daffodil (yelllow) and parchment (cream). I used just over 200g (one ball!) of the grey, and much less of the other two colours – I think about 65g of the yellow and maybe 5g of the cream. It blocked out beautifully. Very light and drapey.

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Hook: 4mm KnitPro wooden hook.
Time: 16 August – 25 September 2014 – finished just in time to block it before the baby shower! A month and a bit – not bad for a small blanket! My crafting time is not what it used to be!

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Modifications: I made my version 5×5 squares – mostly because that’s all I had time to do. I would have liked to add an extra row but time beat me. But it will still be a good size for use in the pram or bassinette, I hope – it ended up being 70cm x 65cm (which made me laugh, as it should be square, but anyway!). I also did the edging slightly differently – a round of treble and then a round of dc, all in grey.

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Here it is with a stunt baby for scale!

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Filed under baby, Crochet, Family, FO2014, stashbuster

Happy half-birthday

Would you believe this little moppet was six months old yesterday?!

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And almost grown out of his third set of clothes! I had to get out the next size up yesterday, and buy a few more things (the downsides of having opposite season babies, although the growth should slow down within the next six months, so I’ll have correct season clothes and won’t have to buy hardly anything!)
He is now rolling, eating, sleeping through the night (LEGEND!) and (I think) cutting his first tooth – not sure, as I keep thinking I see flashes of white in the gum, and he is chewing on everything but nothing has quite appeared yet!
Fortunately, I managed to finish his latest knitwear while it is still cold enough for him to wear it – even if it means wearing it almost every day until summer hits!
Details
Pattern: Kurt, by Sarah Hatton from Rowan Studio 30, a lovely pattern book for kids. Nice range of sizes, this goes up to size 5, so I could have made it for Connor, but I thought a nice little 9mo size would be so much quicker to knit. And the recipient can’t tell me he’ll wear it “another day”, like his big brother does when I suggest he wear a handknit (sigh).

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Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara in shade 1912 (red – duh!), just under 4 x 50g balls. I do so love Zara. So soft, so nice to knit with, shows up a textured pattern like this one so well. One of my favourite yarns.

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Sticks: 3.25mm and 4mm KnitPro Karbonz interchangeables, from Suzy Hausfrau. Love these needles! I know a lot of people have problems with KnitPro/KnitPicks cables breaking, but in my (I think) 8 years of using them, I’ve never had an issue. I love the Karbonz, feel really nice in my ands and the metal tips give a satisfying click clack when using them.

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Time: 1 April 2014 – 9 August 2014. I had a big gap where I put this aside to finish other things, so it was maybe a months worth of knitting – during the Tour de France in particular, when I did much of this knitting. And (as usual) it took a week before I sewed the buttons on.
Modifications: I made the body a little longer (as I always do with baby garments) and I changed te ribbing so that the pattern flows nicely out of the ribbing – it was a bit of a hassle – I think I started both front pieces at least two or three times each before I got it right – ugh! But definitely worth it.

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(This is pre-blocking so harder to see, you’ll have to trust me on this one!)
I also learned that when a pattern has a shawl collar, made with short rows, then you really do need to pick up the numbers of stitches specified for the buttonband/collar. Usually I’m a bit fast and loose with the numbers, as it doesn’t matter for a standard buttonband. But in this case, it really does matter. Fortunately, I had tried to stick to the numbers, and was only two off at the end, which is not noticeable. I didn’t block it again after knitting the collar, so it doesn’t roll over like a shawl collar should, but that’s ok – a stand up collar helps keep the back of the neck warm, right?

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Harry seems to approve! Happy half-birthday my little legend!

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Filed under baby, Family, FO2014, red, stashbuster

Baby surprise jacket (#2) for my surprise baby (#2)

Longtime readers might recall I made the famous Baby Surprise Jacket for my first surprise baby. And I loved making it. Garter stitch, cool construction, magic putting it together. I was so pleased to have a second surprise baby who could wear it, and I thought he deserved his own Baby Surprise Jacket too.

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(Sorry the photo is a bit washed out, the colours – and the baby – are more vibrant in real life!)
Details:
Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous Baby Surprise Jacket, with thanks also to the great wiki on Ravelry. Such a good resource.
Yarn: I happened to be in a yarn store not too far from here (that I don’t get to very often) and I fell in love with this yarn – I thought it would be perfect for a BSJ. Sadly it doesn’t photograph as well as it looks in real life (probably because I used the iPad for the photos!). Anyway, it is sadly discontinued, as it is a lovely yarn to knit with. Touch Yarns Merino 8ply. I used about 120g, I think.

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Sticks: 4.5 mm KnitPro Karbonz – first time using these needles – I really like them. Lucky, since I bought a set. Normally I would use 4mm for this yarn, but I wanted the BSJ to be a bit bigger than newborn size, since Harry would be wearing it between the ages of about 4-7 months.

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(Even the close up doesn’t show the colours very well! Much richer in real life)
Time: 3 April – 28 June 2014. I think I actually finished the knitting at the end of May, but (as usual) it takes me a while to get the buttons sewn on. Lucky we had a fairly mild winter until this month!

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I sort of wish the sleeves were a little longer – I could add length, I know, but equally I don’t mind them a little shorter, as he is at the stage where he sucks on his hands and fingers a lot, so the shorter sleeve length means he doesn’t also suck on his cardigan. Not a bad thing, really.

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Another very satisfying knit for my lovely lovely surprise baby.

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Filed under baby, FO2014

Seeing stars

I had been waiting until I actually block this FO before posting about it, but as it’s been two months since I finished it, and I still haven’t blocked it, despite the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having, I thought I might as well show it off. Especially since it was a long time coming, or at least, it seemed that way!

TA-Dah! It’s my Starburst Afghan! Or, should I say, it’s Harry’s Starburst Afghan!

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(Connor just had to be in the shot too!). I took these photos at the start of this month – it’s amazing how much he’s grown since then, in such a (relatively) short period of time.

Details:
Pattern: Starburst Entrelac Afghan by Magan Granholm, from the book Unexpected Afghans by Robyn Chacula. A deceptively tricky looking pattern, it’s actually quite easy, although the joining instructions for some of the diamonds could perhaps be a little clearer. It is made in the round, one colour at a time, and each diamond builds on the previous. No need to cut the yarn until you finish the round.

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Yarn: I was originally planning on doing it in the same colours as the original, which I really liked, using Wollmeise DK. Which I would have had to buy. So then I came to my senses and decided to use stash yarn, Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton, instead. Much better idea! Yay me for stash busting, heh! So I used under 2 balls (they are big balls, 200g each!) of each colour, pomegranate, French navy, sky, glacier and parchment.

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Hook: 5.5mm KnitPro interchangeable hook – these are regular crochet hooks with a screw on the end enabling a cable to be added for wide Tunisian projects – as the diamonds use a maximum of 12-13 stitches at any one time, a regular straight hook is enough. These are really nice hooks, very smooth and easy to use.
Time: 20 August 2013 – 1 April 2014. I had a bit of a break in the latter part of last year, but from late December I pretty much just worked on this project, in an attempt to finish it before Harry arrived. Which of course, didn’t happen! But it’s been too warm to need it anyway, and I finished it in plenty of time for the cooler weather. Whereupon we immediately had a late autumn record-breaking heat wave! As soon as I finished this, I went on a new project starting spree! More about those projects another time!

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Modifications: I didn’t modify the pattern at all, but I did have a bit of a messy centre – I’m pretty sure it was not meant to have a huge hole in the centre, and my joining method at the end of this round was a bit messy, but once I got the hang f the pattern and the joins in particular, it was much neater! And that hole at the centre was easily fixed once the blanket was finished.

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I have to admit that towards the end of this project I was a bit over it, it was taking forever. But I remember when I started it how much I loved it, and once it was done the love returned.

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It is pretty nice, if I do say so myself!

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Filed under baby, Crochet, FO2014, stashbuster

Of course

There has been a bit of a chill in the air lately, in the early mornings and the evening – time to get out the winter woollies. I managed to locate the spot where I’d packed away Connor’s baby knitwear (no mean feat, I have baby and toddler clothes stashed all over my house – almost, but not quite, rivalling my yarn stash, heh!).

I thought I’d better freshen them all up with a wash, so that was done over the last few days. It was lovely to get them out and remember Connor wearing them, and to remember making them or receiving them from friends.

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And I think most, if not all, of these lovely handknits will fit Harry as well.

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I do so love that they will be worn again by another child of mine.

It also got me in the mood for starting something new for Harry. Of course!

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Ok, two somethings new! (Of course!)

It did get me wondering what to do with the handknits once Harry has grown out of them. Do I keep them for potential grandchildren (!!), or give them to other family members or friends having babies? What have you done with things you’ve knitted for your kids (or yourself) when they no longer fit?

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Filed under baby

12 on 12

My lovely blog buddy Sarah has been doing these monthly picture posts, 12 photos of your day, the day being the 12th of that particular month. I thought I’d play along, since new motherhood is so exciting and glamourous!

My day begins the same as every other day – breakfast of two pieces of toast – one with vegemite, one with peanut butter – and a cup of tea. Eaten while I feed Harry. Or while I express. I’m having terrible trouble feeding H the usual way, so every few hours I have a date with my Medela Swing (I’m not sure what’s so swingy about it, but I suppose they had to name it something. “Pump” being perhaps too obvious. Perhaps it was named by the same people who do tampon ads, “swing” being much more evocative of swanning around having fun with your girlfriends than the reality of actually using the machine). Anyway!

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And of course my day wouldn’t be complete without a large dose of ABC for Kids tv. The next best thing to a babysitter.

Then a couple of loads of washing go on, and I help Connor make a duplo train track. Later, when daddy gets home from work, the duplo track is replaced with a wooden Thomas track.

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I have an appointment with my lactation consultant in the afternoon, and I get a puff finished on my way home – yes, I am still knitting puffs! I have about 500 or so still to knit. At my current rate of around 5/month, it will only take me another NINE years to finish all the puffs…heh heh.

I also (somewhat amazingly) find some time to work on Harry’s blanket, which is still not finished. Lucky it’s still mostly warm here at the moment. I am on the last main round of it, once this round is done I have only two quick rounds of double (single) crochet and then it’s done done done!

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After my appointment I picked up some “nursing tea” – a herbal tea which is supposed to help increase supply. I am not a fan of herbal teas, but i figure its worth a try, and I have a cup after dinner. It’s ok, slightly aniseedy, but drinkable. And it seems to have some effect the next day, so yay!

The observant among you may have noticed that’s only 9 photos…sad to say that’s really it for my day. You can look at the photo of the Swing three more times if you like, since I see it at least that many times, if not more, each day.

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Or you can look at this picture of Harry, I hope that the cute babby will count as three more photos, since I probably stop and look at him at least that many times each day every time he is asleep!

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Filed under A Day in My Life, baby, Family

Here’s Harry!

Sorry to keep you all in suspense! I wasn’t able to post from hospital, and to be perfectly honest, I was too tired! We had some challenges with feeding and sleeping, and let’s be honest, I’m not as young as I was the first time around (and I wasn’t even young then!).

But the important thing is that our new son, our little Harry William, is lovely:

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All the fingers and toes, present and correct (ok, you’ll have to trust me on the fingers and the other foot!)

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His going home vest fitted perfectly, and despite all appearances, he wore it happily all day!

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(He just didn’t like being changed while he was asleep! Who can blame him!)

But once he was home and snuggled under his lovely Pashmina blanket, he was content!

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As are we, of course! Our little family is complete and we are all besotted with our new addition. Even Connor, who adores his little brother and loves to “pat” his head, to watch him sleep, and to marvel at his “little fingers”. He has even offered to give his little brother “all his old cars” to play with when he is bigger!

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Filed under baby, Family

Almost ready, nearly there

So very soon I’m going to be having a baby. Our family of three is going to be a family of four! Exciting (and maybe a wee bit scary!).

But before that happens, I wanted to share some lovely gifts I have, yet again, received from my knitterly friends (who must be just about the best friends ever, heh heh!)

First of all, this most fantastic bunting:

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Yes, knitted bunting! So cool! A group effort, which I love!

A lovely cotton cardi and clever clever knitted ball (with a bell in it) courtesy of (respectively) DrK and Margaret:

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Some new clothes and singlets and muslin wraps – so good, as even though this will be boy #2, they are opposite season babies, so there will be some cross over with Connor’s hand-me-downs, I’ve had to stock up on some extras (mostly via hand-me-downs from friends, hurrah!). I love hand-me-downs, but it’s also nice for baby to have some new clothes too. Especially the hand-embroidered outfit from Mexico, thanks to LynS (who gave me an outfit from France for Connor! Heh heh)

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A very special quilt from DrK, MissFee and Zena – those little red squares are Liberty, from each of their fabric stashes – I love that special extra touch!

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And finally, all the way from Americky, a gorgeous pram/basinette blanket in lush lush MadTosh Pashmina, from MadMad:

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And look how well everything co-ordinates with the blanket I am (still!) making for the baby:

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You might be forgiven for thinking the gifts (especially the bunting) were planned that way, ha!

I am so lucky. Not just for these lovely gifts, and for the time spent in making and choosing them, but for this baby I am shortly to meet. Five years ago I thought my chances of having one child were slim. Slim to none, really. And now here I am with almost two. Can’t wait to meet him, and introduce him to you!

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Filed under baby, Family, GoodGoodies, quilting

Are we there yet?

Four more weeks. Four more weeks. Oh my dog.
Four more weeks!
Lucky I got this finished in time, so Humphrey (not his real name!) will have something to wear home from hospital:

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(Do you think it will fit?!)

Details:
Pattern: Viggo vest by Drops – a freebie pattern with the detail I was looking for – fingering yarn, stripes (although that’s an easy modification!) and button shoulders. I did convert it to knit in the round to the armholes, and added a purl faux seam on the sides, to hide the colour change:

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Even so, I still ended up with 32 ends to sew in – yes, you read right, THIRTY-TWO ends!! How can something so small have so many ends?!

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(This photo was taken after I had sewn in some of the ends while waiting at the OB’s office!)

Yarn: As Humphrey will be a summer baby, I have used cotton for the vest rather than the called for alpaca/silk. I used 33g of Rowan 4ply cotton in natural and about 22g of a red hand-dyed Cleckheaton natural cotton that I was given in a yarn swap. A whole garment in only 55g of yarn! Even so, I hope it won’t be a boiling hot day in February when we bring him home from hospital. But I couldn’t not have a hand-knit to dress him in!

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Sticks: 3.5mm for the body and 3mm for the ribbing – the pattern uses smaller sticks, but I didn’t want it to be too firm – hopefully it will fit him for more than 5 minutes!

Time: oof, I started this on 18 August 2013!! I have had a few deadline projects in between, heh! Finished yesterday, 18 January 2014.

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Four weeks to go. Plenty of time!

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Filed under baby, FO2014, stashbuster

Things I have learnt this week

Things I have learnt today (apologies in advance; skip to the end if you like!)

1. Connor doesn’t ever vomit just once
2. If your child vomits in the middle of the night, put a towel down in your bed before you try to go back to sleep with them
3. Because you didn’t know about #2, expect to change your sheets about 15 minutes later (but thank goodness you have a spare bed)
4. If you’ve already got the washing machine going, and it’s a front loader, the second set of bed linen that won’t be washed until the morning really needs to have the vomit scraped off it BEFORE washing (I pretty much knew that, but I was being strangely optimistic and/or lazy, mostly because of #5 below)
5. You don’t tend to make great decisions on not much sleep
6. It is heartbreaking when your toddler says to you in a sad voice “give me something to make me better” and there isn’t really anything you can give beyond water and cuddles, and #7
7. Vegemite toast is the best thing at helping an upset tummy, apart from water and cuddles
8. Tea, and lush knitting (Happy Mink yarn from Suzy Hausfrau) really does help with all of the above.

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He’s sleeping now, so I’m on my third cup of tea and am doing some knitting, after hanging out two loads of washing and putting on the third.

I also learned the following this week:

TIME REALLY DOES FLY!

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(Sorry it’s a bit blurry and dark, the iPad isn’t the best photo option early in the morning!)
Yes, Connor turned three this week! I can hardly believe it. He both amazes and frustrates me every single day! And makes me want to be a better person (I wish I was better at being better!). He’s wearing big boy undies now, loves to “help”, and is quite the conversationalist. He is generous with kisses and regularly says “I love you, mummy”, even when he’s not angling for a biscuit (or bissick, as he calls them).

To make up for the vomit story (SORRY!), I’ll share something he said yesterday. He saw the Queen (Queen Elizabeth II, in case you were thinking Freddie Mercury or similar) on tv, and he turned to me and said “Look! Nanna’s on the TV!”. I laughed and laughed! My mum (who looks NOTHING like the Queen) is going to love this.

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Filed under baby, Family, home