Friday, May 30, 2014

Charlotte's New Pixie Hat

My all-time favorite baby/child hat is the Pixie Hat.

It's a Vintage Pattern.  It has an old-timey, old-fashioned feeling to it, yet is modern too.

My first one was a success, and it was worn absolutely everywhere.  It grew with my little one from about 4 months of age, and after some adjusting, until she was almost 3.

After about 12 months of age I discovered that I didn't like the button band at all, picked it off, and threaded some I-cord through the bottom.

Voila - now it fit her much longer.  And in subsequent versions of this hat, I've knitted in eyelet holes along the bottom edge.

I had so many people comment on this hat over the years.  One older gentlemen stopped me in the grocery store, saying he loved the hat and it reminded him of something from older times.

I missed her 'fairy hat' so much that it was time for a new one.  Truth is though, I always seem to be a bit behind on knitting for myself or my own kids, especially this year, as I've had lots of babies to knit for this year.  I got lucky this time though, since this new hat was one I intended for my newborn neice,  but ended up about 5 sizes too large!!  Yep, that still happens.  It was a perfect fit for my three-year-old though, and will fit her for a long time to come.

On the needles now:  A teeny matching version of her hat, for her stuffed kitty and her dolls.  Hopefully I'll finish it soon along with my crazy long list of things to knit right now.  Hats for this fall for my boys, baby layette items and toys for the new baby, a shawl for me......

Sharing With:
Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On
Ginny's Small Things Yarn Along

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Neutral Baby Sweater and Experimental Hat

While each baby sweater I knit is a work of love, some are more straightforward than others.  This one knitted up just fine, I'd knit one before and have adored this pattern ever since.  The only problem was when it came to buttons.

The Afterthought Button

In the past I've crocheted a loop on one side and toggled it over to a button.  I had intended to do this again, but once I compared the toggle button with our homemade branch buttons, well, I knew the toggle wasn't the right one.

Problem was, this sweater was never designed for these buttons, and button-holes aren't a part of the pattern.  I remembered reading in my lovely Elizabeth Zimmerman book, Knitting Without Tears about the afterthought button method. I went looking on YouTube thinking someone out there would walk me through this.  I found no such instructions, so I cracked open the book on the table with my pile of tools, and I very, very bravely, CUT TWO HOLES IN MY SWEATER!!!

Yep, I unraveled two or three stitches, and followed the sewing instructions carefully to create a secure (I hope) hole.  I pulled on it to test the hole after and it seemed to hold up pretty well, so I will for now, call it a success!  If the recipient of this gift is reading my blog, and wonders later why the sweater fell apart- well now she'll know!! (And so sorry if that happens.)

That was my first time trying the very scary afterthought button technique, but It's a good thing to know about in case any of you get into a similar muddle with buttons.

I was of course, much happier with the branch buttons than the toggle one, so there you go. There was something about the natural wood tones against the charcoal-grey wool.  Loved it!

The next phase of the baby gift was a completely experimental hat.  I will put some rough notes on Ravelry for that soon, but in chunky 100% baby alpaca it was a dream to knit with, and took about 30 minutes to finish.  I don' t know how it will do for daily wear, but I had hoped it would make a great newborn photo prop hat.  If anyone wants me to write up a full pattern for this, just let me know, and I'll get it onto Ravelry.

Also, included with this baby gift was our first attempt at wood-burning baby hangers.  My husband is the artist around here, so I gave him the tools and let him go.  I love the way it turned out, and I'm pretty sure there's more of these baby hangers coming in our future.

Sharing with Ginny today at Small Things Yarn Along
And Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Love Will Come

I haven't washed the washing machine yet...

But as the busy weeks go by I know I am getting closer.

And as another Mother's Day passes me by....

Those same anxious thoughts are going through my mind that have every pregnancy.

How will I handle another little one?
Will I love this one just as much?
How could I love anything as much as my other kids?

And then, If I do love the baby, will it be some horrible trade-off, where I won't care about my other kids anymore?

Meanwhile, I have my sweet Charlotte climbing up onto what's left of my lap.
Wrapping her arms around my neck, nuzzling into me, with that sweet white skin of hers, and that silky dark hair saying,

'Mama, I just want YOU right now.'

And suddenly I remember.
The way she posed as a beauty queen in her baby sleep.
The feel of her soft head on my breast.
The way her eyes lit up when I put something 'pretty' on her head.

How adored she was, not just by me, but by all of her siblings, who never missed a moment of it all,
"Mom, did you see what she just did?  Mom, did you hear what she just said?"

Then I remember even more.

I remember my boys:  one with his chubby sweet cheeks and his gooey-soft baby body that would melt into you.
That boy of mine with the killer charm and precociousness.
And the one of my boys with those strawberry blonde curls that I couldn't get enough of.
My baby boys, with all their softness and their sweetness.

And my oldest, my daughter, who was my teacher in the first place.

She taught me how to be a baby mama.  I would just tune in and listen as she taught me lesson after lesson about how to throw away all the books and advice and do what felt right to both of us and just live in every possible, wonderful, moment of it all.

There's always this part of me during pregnancy that wonders, and worries just a little, that there's no way I can love more.  This fierce way that I already love my kids.  Because I love them with every part of my whole soul already.

Until the moment comes, when I hold this new person in my arms for the first time.


That I GROW.

The love comes.  Sometimes all in one rush, sometimes gradually, a little at a time until it overflows into this truly powerful miracle.

But always, it comes.

Both LOVE for the new little person in my life, AND increased love for all the other kids that are a part of my now even-bigger mother-heart.

I never expect this, and it always comes as a surprise to me, to feel so much love. Enough joy to instantly quell any silliness I had fretted about before.  

So for now, I must remind myself not to worry, Mama.

The Love will come.