I love spots and stripes! My feet seem to be getting further away, but they’ve not changed shape with pregnancy so I decided they needed a treat- hence these little darlings from Cath Kidston.
My new spotty shoes are certainly helping me to deal with galloping heartburn, house-sale hassles and a grumpy little boy, as are the stripes on my completed baby blanket. The Liberty print binding worked out fine; I machine stitched on one side, found a couple of tutorials on YouTube to help me with the corners and hand stitched the other side to finish. I’m really happy with the result- Liberty lawn is so soft, which means the edge should be fine tucked under the owner’s little chin and the loose garter stitch in aran-weight cotton has a really nice, breathable drape. I think I like the ‘wrong’ side as much as the ‘right’ but the way the binding looks I don’t see why it can’t be reversible. Now then, what next? Maybe that cardigan for me…
Lots of people seemed to say last week was a long one for some reason, and ours was no exception. The weekend then seemed to go really fast, but nevertheless there have been some chances to just breathe. I have mixed feelings about finishing the knitting part of the blanket I’m working on. Although I’m enjoying the challenge of edging it in some leftover Liberty print cotton (I’ve even managed mitred corners! Thank you, YouTube!) I miss the calming effect of chugging across those garter stitch rows- breathe in, breathe out.
The farm on Sunday was full of Springtime- daffodils, newly mown lawn for P to drive a re-found tractor (one very careful owner 20 something years ago apparently!) on and lambs all over! Things are looking more hopeful that our little boy will have more space to run in at home soon, but in the meantime, isn’t he lucky to have so much space when he goes to see Granny and Grandpa?
Okay, one chick than can be counted now! I was so happy to hear of the birth of my friend Liz’s son today. All is well, and he’s been given the same name as our boy, so obviously we approve of the choice! This means that I can assign two knitted projects to a safe arrival. The baby hat was from a pattern I improvised, having made similar over the years. The ball was made using this Ravelry pattern which was a lot easier than I expected, just lots of short rows over a couple of evenings. Both are made from Debbie Bliss Ecobaby which is a lovely soft cotton that’s a pleasure to knit with. I’m going to get them in the post tomorrow.
As fast as I finish one project, however, I add another to the list. I’m after knitting a new cardigan for myself, but can’t decide between this and this but as P has decided to develop an obsession with trains and only really wants to wear a pyjama top that has a train on it, I might have to think of an applique/embroidery idea to transform some of his plain t-shirts.
>Okay, you’ll have to excuse me a big pun on this one, but I couldn’t resist! You see, we treated ourselves to a lovely breakfast at Low Sizergh Barn this morning en route to Kendal (shoe shopping, yarn shopping and haircut!). We’ve still to get around to the Farm Trail, but had a little visit to the chickens on our way in.
Those chickens were, of course, fully hatched and ready for counting, but I do have a bit of a superstition about counting chicks of the human baby kind until they are safely here e.g. I don’t like making things for the new arrival until they have arrived. My way around it is to make stuff for ‘non specific babies who may just turn up’. Just now there are a couple of these imminent, not to mention our own, so I’ve been indulging in rather too much purchasing of Debbie Bliss Eco Aran and Eco Baby. I’m really enjoying knitting with soft but vibrant colours and yarn that feels gorgeous. Won’t say anymore about what and for whom, but keep your fingers crossed for those hatchings!
>Definitely, definitely much gratitude for sunshine and warmer weather. As well as lifting the spirits it’s also really opened up our ‘outdoor classroom’ (not that we’re exactly aiming on education with a nearly-two-year-old, but every day is learning when you’re that size!)
So we’ve had music…at Grizedale Forest, where he’s finally got the hang of banging on the different sized wood blocks to get different sounds…
Imaginative play and a bit of Botany as he and his little pal discover ‘treasure’ in the form of pine cones, dry leaves and sticks in their own den at Tarn Hows…where a certain amount of Science came in too (from a stream to sticky mud, where does liquid become solid? And what happens if you sit in it, or go in deeper than your wellies?)
Back home, another warm evening saw a little Horticulture- the home move is still up in the air, but wherever we are this summer there will surely be space for pots and tubs of tomatoes, courguettes and squash…
…and lastly some Cookery, as we had our first outdoor-cooked meal of the year- not our first meal eaten outdoors though! That honour must go to some slightly chilly picnics while on walks.
Yep, it’s Wednesday again and having to have a steroid injection this morning wasn’t exactly a good way to make me feel better about my least favourite day of the week. So I’m doing my best to concentrate on gratitude for the good stuff! This is part one, more later I hope. I don’t always find being a stay-at-home mum (I love my wee man, but I also love teaching and really miss it at the moment) the easiest but when you get to take time having a leisurely breakfast with your little boy, including having leaf tea from a proper teapot, and the sun streams through the window it has to be admitted that there are perks.
PS I’ve posted a pic of my quilt on the V&A’s ‘Quilt of Quilts’. Much gratitude coming to you if you go and rate it here!
Ta-da! It’s been worth all the careful cutting, pinning, machine and hand sewing. We haven’t started trying it to sleep under just yet, as I think that’ll have to wait until we’ve got a better bedroom set up for him (roll on that house move). He’s already making it his own though.
>I just have to say this…I finished P’s quilt! All that hand-stitching is done, all the ends tidied away and trimmed, tacking removed. Made with lots of love and rather less skill and experience, it’s by no means perfect, but there’s an argument for hand-made not being perfect, isn’t there? Plus, it’s my first attempt at quilting, so it will only get better. At the moment I haven’t got pictures to post. The camera on my phone, which I use for pretty much all the pictures I put on here, is pretty good considering. However, having spent so long on this project and with it being a bit big and therefore tricky to photgraph I’m going to use the proper SLR for this one. It’s just a question of finding time when P is asleep or otherwise occupied and there is enough daylight to do it justice. Probably tomorrow. He’s asleep now and sun is streaming in, but not wanting to waste a beautiful afternoon, we’re getting ready for a walk…
More poetic types than I could, and no doubt have, waxed lyrical about the simple beauty of eggs. This particular egg is beautiful to us though, as it came from our own lovely Penelope and was rather unexpected.
Poor Penelope has not had the easiest time in the last year or so. Her life partner and leader of the pack Beyonce passed away last Spring and due to the uncertainty of our housing situation, we’ve yet to replace her (soon though, we hope). Then she had to cope with not one, but two changes of location, ending up some 300 miles or so from where she began her egg-laying career. At three and a half, she’s not exactly elderly in chicken terms, but after a fairly sparse and unreliable egg-laying season last summer we had quite accepted that she would be pet rather than provider in future.
We were delighted then, when with total seasonal appropriateness on Easter weekend, she began to lay again! So far we’ve had four perfect pale brown and freckly eggs in four days and I can’t tell you how nice it was to make P’s lunch using just about the freshest egg possible. The yolk was a dazzling yellow. Maybe Penelope likes the new food we’ve got her, or maybe she’s appreciating the end of the long, cold winter as much as we are. Whatever the reason, it’s amazing how homely it feels to have eggs from the garden, not to mention giving a great excuse for cakes, meringues, custard, mayonnaise, lemond curd etc. etc!
>Here as promised is the reason for all those lovely, juicy coloured fabrics. Despite the temptations of all the scans I’m having for this baby, we still don’t want to know whether it’s a boy or a girl. This obviously means that I can’t start sewing or knitting in girly colours as there’s a 50:50 chance it’s a ‘he’. However, since borrowing a certain Kitty B’s feeding pillow back when I was feeding P, I’ve been meaning to acquire one, and was only really put off by the price, which always seemed a bit excessive for what it was. This pregnancy I had two thoughts- firstly, why the heck didn’t I make one as it would be cheaper and secondly, as I’m a girly, why can’t my feeding pillow be girly-coloured, even if the baby turns out to be the non-girly variety?
So here’s what I did:
Selected some of my favourite zingy coloured scraps and random fat quarters, then lined them up in an ‘artfully hotch-potch’ way, pinned, tacked, then sewed them together.
I’m very proud to report that by taxing my little grey cells I managed to set in a vintage zipper on the inner curve of the outer layer, before sewing the rest of the seams.
There followed a short wait for these to arrive in the post. I had originally hoped to stuff the pillow entirely in the spelt husks, but found that 500g made for a rather floppy pillow. By the way, as if jam funnels weren’t useful enough in their intended role, they also prove to be invaluable for feeding spelt husks into pillows! Anyway, to solve the floppy problem, I used a layer of natural wool from a fleece I acquired and washed last year to make a peg-loom rug. It’s created a nice effect in the end, with a bean-baggy, fit-to-your curves effect on one side of the pillow and smoother, sproingy softness on the other. At this point I would think that, when feeding, the bean bag side will be on my lap so that the baby is on the more stable and less rustling side. Until then, it’s going to be getting some use as a bed-time bump support.
Girly? Yes. Full of bright, summery loveliness? Definitely. Boy or girl, I don’t think the baby will mind. Although it does need an iron, when this tired pregnant lady can be bothered to!