Category Archives: Family

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

Happy Mother’s Day

On Sunday, which was Mother’s Day here, husby and Connor went off to the shops in the morning, to buy “flowers for his mum”. Of course it was an excuse (although he did, in fact, buy flowers for his mum), and they came home with a lovely package for me, which Connor excitedly told me, in that way that 4yos do, that “it is a necklace!”, before I’d even opened it.

It was a lovely necklace, but not very practical for wearing with a small person with grabby hands. So with husby’s permission, I went back to the shop today and exchanged it for more practical bangles – these ones:

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Which I can wear together or separately, and which I plan to wear all the time. Maybe he might buy me the necklace again in a few years, when the little people will be a bit bigger and a bit less grabby handed!

I also decided to start a new project on Sunday. Something for meeeeee! With lush yarn, Debbie Bliss Andes:

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It is, of course, a honey cowl. I bought the yarn, four colours of the Andes, with this pattern in mind. I’m not entirely sure it is working out quite as I had pictured it in my mind, but I think I’m liking it. And I can’t seem to stop knitting it, so hopefully it will be finished soon. Since I really should be working on C’s stripey cardigan, which I started last year, and which only has half a sleeve plus buttons bands and bottom band to go:

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I know at least one of you will ask, so here he is, in all his glory, The Legend, as we have taken to calling him – sleeping through the night already!

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H is for Handsome, as the shop assistant in the jewellery store said today. Heh heh.

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Filed under Family, GoodGoodies

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

I miss my dad

One thing about parenthood that I never really anticipated was the emotional impact, and how it has heightened my ability to cry at what seems like the drop of a hat. Of course, being pregnant makes it even worse!

The other day I was driving Connor to day care and a song came on the radio and I teared up, as I always do now when I hear it. Cat’s in the Cradle, by Harry Chapin. So pathetic! But I can’t help it, especially at this time of year. The anniversary of hubby’s father’s death is at the end of January, and of course my Dad’s death happened 8 years ago today. And even though neither of us had dysfunctional relationships with our dads, this song just gets me every.single.time. I think because I also have sons (well, almost two), and because we both know there can be no other time to do things with our dads.

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I wish my dad could be here to meet his grandsons. I miss my dad.

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Filed under Family

Yes, yes, I did it!

Well, my friends, I am pleased to report I DID IT! With a day to spare (thank goodness it was a warm day to aid speedy drying of the last minute blocking). Phew!

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I have to admit, I really did not enjoy the seaming aspect of this project, but I am very happy with the finished product. And I think the bride and groom (my nephew) also appreciated it.

Details
Pattern: Behrens Colourblock Afghan by Leigh Radford, from the fabulous book Unexpected Afghans. I knew, of course, before I started this project, that it involved a lot of seaming, but I somehow convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad. Funny how we conveniently ignore the finer details for a project we otherwise really want to make! I thought this would be a good design for the recipients, a bit of a modern twist on the traditional crochet blanket.

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Yarn: I changed the colours from the original, and decided on Bendigo Woollen Mills Serenade, a very nice bamboo/wool blend in the perfect colours for the recipients – not bad that I could get all 6 desired colours from a limited edition yarn which only came in (from memory) 10-12 colours in total! I didn’t quite keep track of how much of each colour I used and I forgot to weigh the blanket once finished! Not much good, am I?! I do know I used less than I’d anticipated, so have lots of leftovers. Especially since the yarn comes in hefty 200g balls!
Hook: 4.5mm KnitPro hook with soft handle. Very nice hooks these, and extremely inexpensive. Shame they aren’t more widely available here.

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Time: 5 May 2013 – 26 September 2013. I had 414 squares to make so set myself the target of around 100 each month, leaving myself a month to seam and finish. And it worked pretty much according to plan, thankfully. I am glad I didn’t leave it any longer to start, that’s for sure!

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I also gave the Hexagons.Grey blanket to my brother to give to his daughter for her (very belated) wedding present – only about 3 years after the fact! (In my defence, it was a “surprise!” wedding). I hope she and her husband are happy with it.

I must be some sort of glutton for punishment when it comes to crochet blankets, because I have started another one…no seaming required on this one though!

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It’s another deadline project (OF COURSE!) but for the best kind of recipient:

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Yes, Connor is going to be a big brother! This little fellow is due to arrive mid February, and we couldn’t be happier.

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Filed under Crochet, Family, FO2013

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

Some amazing women

As I’ve been browsing blog posts and twitter this morning, I’ve been reminded that today is International Women’s Day.

And it seems like a good day to share this story, although this is not the post I was hoping to write about this subject.

For around five wonderful weeks I knew I was pregnant. I did the pee test (I did four!). I had the blood test. I booked in with my obstetrician. I booked the hospital. We even bought a new (bigger) car! (Well, we needed to do that anyway, we just did it a bit sooner). I was surprised and so happy. I never really thought I would have a sibling for Connor, but I always hoped. And just when I had really come to accept it wouldn’t happen, it did. Or at least, it seemed to.

But it was not to be. I had my first appointment and scan with my OB on Wednesday, and my little baby’s heart was not beating. It was late in the afternoon but she phoned around various specialist ultrasound clinics until she found one that could see me straight away, just to be sure. And it was sure.

So I had a trip to hospital yesterday morning and now I’m feeling a bit sore and sorry for myself, but I’m ok. Surprisingly so, really. I suppose a part of me always thought that a second miracle was too good to be true.

But you know, that’s not really what I wanted to focus on with this post. It was an awful thing and one that I wish no person had to experience, but which I know is so common. But if it has to happen, I feel so lucky and know I am so privileged to have it happen in the way I experienced it. Thanks to so many amazing women (and my amazing husband) who have helped and are helping me through it.

My lovely OB. Funny how so many people still assume a doctor must be a man. She felt she did a bad job telling me the result of the scan, but her slight awkwardness really demonstrated to me that she cared, that it was difficult for her too, and that she wasn’t treating me as a number. It must be a difficult balance, as a doctor, to be compassionate but also professional, to deal with the medical issues as well as the emotional ones.

The ultrasound technician, who must hate delivering such news, but who was very kind and gentle.

The registered nurse who did my hospital admission the next morning. I could not have asked for a gentler, more empathetic person.

The nurse who looked after me in the short stay ward, another fantastic caring kind person who is a credit to her profession.

(I must also mention the anaesthetist, even though he’s a man, heh heh. He was very kind too, although he lost points for basically telling me I was a wimp when he put the needle in my hand! I probably was, but he didn’t need to tease me!)

My mum, who was so devastated but who took on the task of telling all my brothers, and my mother in law, who looked after Connor for us and who cooked a mountain of food so we didn’t have to worry about cooking last night or possibly even tonight as well!

My wonderful friends. Thank you xx

So many amazing women, who made such a personally devastating experience so much easier to bear. Such excellent examples of how we, as people (not just women) should treat each other all the time.

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Filed under baby, Family, Uncategorized