Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lyalya Hoodie

It's been colder than usual this year so I've been trying to make somethings to keep April warm on our outings.  As much as I love the Aviatrix hat, it is a bit small and doesn't really cover the back of her neck so I found this pattern and thought it would be a great solution. The pattern says that the baby size should fit 6 months-24 months so that's what I made. It is a bit small and doesn't fully cover her neck but I still love it. I also love the yarn I used. It is Misti Alpaca in Purplicious. It is so soft and the colorway is beautiful. I think I will be making this hat again only in the child size.
In the pictures you will notice April standing at her Montessori standing bar. She is also very interested in magnets so we've hung a little magnet board above the bar. She just showed me today she can stand alone without the bar and she is getting really good at walking with her walker wagon, she is even starting to walk with just one hand on the bar. She is getting so independent.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Contest

No I'm not hosting this contest, I'm simply spreading the word.

My friend Robbin has started a great new business. Abernathy Naturals is an online store that offers a great selection of babywearing products such as Storchenweige wraps and Suse's Kindergear, clothing diapering products and other great handmade items.
Robbin is really talented. We have a couple of items from her that we've used with April including legwarmers and a fantastic cloth diaper (both that she sewed herself). She is also the one person that has really given me the help and motivation to improve my knitting skills. She has made some beautiful things for her daughters and she's shown me how to do the same for my girl.
I'm really loving her store. It supports green living and she's stocking many of the items that parents who are planning to pursue attachment parenting will need and when you shop with her you are helping to support a home-based business for a stay-at-home mom. Isn't that the dream for most of us moms out there?
Anyways, the contest! She is offering a giveaway of 30% of a Storchenweige wrap of your choice plus free shipping up to $10. For contest rules and how to enter visit here. Also check out her store. The contest runs until November 30th. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Stocking for April

This will be April's first Christmas so naturally she needs a stocking. I refuse to buy one from the stores so I set out to make her one myself. I found this very Christmasy wool in the remnants bin at the local fabric store in the summer and bought it with the intention to use it for the stocking. Then I found the stocking pattern in Alicia Paulson's book Stitched in Time and I knew it was perfect.
Now Alicia does mention that this is a smaller stocking but I was ok with that since we have a minimalist view on Christmas anyways. But man is it small. It is so narrow I had trouble reaching the toe. I guess it will work for a kiddo though.
This stocking was just such a pain. Not the pattern's fault though. I had problems with my blanket stitch, sewed the buttons are crooked so I had to re-sew them, the heel and toe patches did not line up and I already ripped it a little bit while turning it right-side out.
So after much time, a few patch jobs and a lot of swear words, it is finished. The end result is pretty cute. I have some of the fabric left so I might make her a slightly bigger one that she can keep forever. For now, it works.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Sewing

It was a drizzly and blustery weekend which was perfect for sewing. It was nice to have Jon around to help keep April entertained. She is pulling on everything and I just can't do much sewing with her trying to climb into my lap. So this weekend was busy for me.

I made April a new pair of the quick change trouser's from Anna Maria Horner's book. I chose more muted colors this time but still fun (the subtle sage color and the grey polka-dots are perfect together). Last time didn't do they reverse fabric on the butt panel but I did this time and it is so cute. Sorry no pictures of April wearing the pants, right now she doesn't really want to get dressed at all.

I also made April a couple bibs using the Liberty Bibs template. April tends to drink water faster than she can swallow so it all drips down her chin. I wanted some new more absorbent bibs so these were made with some double sided terry to add to the absorbency. I also used some heavy snaps since April tends to pull off bibs with velcro.
I started work on April's stocking as well this weekend. It is turning out to be a real pain and I'm not sure that I'm going to be happy with the final product. I'll keep plugging away at it though (you never know, it could get better with time).
Hope you all had a productive and fun long weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Let it go...

In motherhood there seems to be this pressure to do it all. Feed baby, bathe baby, change baby, entertain baby, put baby to sleep, do dishes, make meals, do laundry, wash the floors, tend the garden....the list goes on. I tried to keep to this list and be the model mother and wife. I found myself getting really run down and a little sad. I wasn't really enjoying the time with my daughter, it became just something on the to-do list and if something like bathing her or putting her to sleep took longer than I planned I would be behind on something else on my list. I also neglected to put any time on that list for myself. I even forgot to put down "Shower".
The list was impossible to maintain on a daily basis and I really beat myself up about the things that didn't get done instead of feeling joy in the things that were accomplished. What kind of mother was I becoming? In a strange way I felt I was implementing the routine and rhythm that so many books say is vital for children but the reality was that I was becoming overly scheduled and forgetting to acknowledge and go with the natural rhythm of life. I was so stressed about this role I felt I needed to fill that my health suffered. I got the worst stomach flu I've had in years. I become so dehydrated I couldn't even nurse my child. I had to put down the list and rest.
An amazing thing happened. I just never picked that list up again. I got over my flu and felt renewed. Yes, I had a fever of 103 but I slept, read books and drank tons of fluids and healed.
Before having kids I was pretty strict about the cleanliness of my home. I just can't function in a chaotic environment. But I made a commitment to myself and to April to not let the little messes come between us and happiness. I will tidy but I tell myself to let most of it go. I don't need to dust, sweep and vacuum all the time. Simply putting away the toys or cleaning off the table is enough to keep things tidy enough that we can play and work well. Sometimes if it is really bothering me, I just close the door to that room and we go somewhere else. Or better yet, we go outside.
It is a constant mantra for me but a good one. Just let it go. Focus on April. She is growing up and every minute is special. Sparkling clean floors are not the memories you want. No one is perfect so let it go. Who would have thought that I could be a better mother if I just dropped my to-do list.
See Mom, no need to fold, laundry is for fun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Keeping April Warm

Something about colder weather just makes me want to knit. I've been making a couple things for Christmas but I managed to pump these out in a couple of evenings.

I want to keep April warm this year in yummy natural, homemade wool things. So I made her the Aviatrix hat out of unbleached merino wool. It is so lovely and soft. It's almost too small but for the moment it works really well. I love this pattern. I think it is one that I will use over and over again.

The mittens are made from alpaca wool. They are a little rougher but this wool doesn't pill as easily as the merino so I thought it would work better for the mitts. The pattern is simple and cute. The sizing fits small in my opinion (sorry for the terrible picture, I was having trouble getting the focus and color right).

I think this little set looks so cute on and the colors work well together. I have a couple more wooley things are on the go to keep April warm with so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Plain Vest

A little while ago I made April this Plain Vest. It was a really easy and quick knit and it actually looked really cute when finished. It was however way too small. I made the 12 month size but it seems more like a 6 month size. I did squish her into it just because it was so cute. I might try again and make some modifications so it will fit better.
I do love the yarn I used. I used Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and Punta Merino Lace. They feel lovely together and I'm really happy with the color.