Tuesday, May 31, 2011

spring pants for Felix

By now it's pretty obvious that most of my current inspiration and ideas come from SouleMama. I just don't have the time to follow a lot of blogs or read a lot of books, and right now I happen to be reading both of hers almost exclusively.

Her fourth child Harper was born the same time of year as Felix, so when I read how she covered his legs that first spring and summer with handmade, lightweight pants made out of re-purposed sheets and shirts, I decided to try my hand at it.

I used the directions from The Creative Family as a guide with two shirts I got at the thrift store:

Gaining confidence, I decided I wanted to make two more pair with cuffs. I used some thrifted sheets for the main pants fabric. For the cuffs, I used more of that wonderful bird fabric for one pair, and something else I picked up at Stitch DC for the other.
Here are my favorite two pairs on Felix:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Prairie Home Companion: year twelve

Last night, we sat on the lawn for the live radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor for the 12th year in a row. Two of those years we attended the show at Ravinia while we were living in Chicago, but the rest have been here at Wolftrap. Sitting on the lawn with my beloved, a delicious picnic, and from time to time, a babe in arms, this is easily one of my favorite events of the entire year.
Chocolate-covered strawberries are an essential part of the picnic and an annual tradition.
Before the show goes live at 6 pm, Garrison Keillor performs for 15 minutes. He always walks up to the lawn and greets everyone while singing.
I had high hopes for the amount of knitting I would accomplish sitting on the grass for 4 hours...
but I forgot that babies who are out in the sun way past their bedimes need a little extra TLC.
Having him with us turned out to be a great opportunity to give him tons of snuggles and kisses we usually don't have time for because we're so busy with his big brothers. He was perfectly delightful and everyone around us loved having him there.
He eventually got tired and fell asleep while nursing...
and woke up five minutes later, not wanting to miss out on all the excitement.
He finally fell asleep for real at 7:55, five minutes before the show ended, but this allowed us to linger for a while longer and enjoy the post-broadcast performance.
As much as I enjoyed having him with us last night, I am really looking forward to leaving all the babes at home next year! Maybe then I can get more than 3 rows of knitting done, or cozy up to my man instead of entertaining a baby the whole time...

Friday, May 27, 2011

a pair of bluebird bibs

I am so pleased to share a project that I was able to start and finish in just a few hours (with a large break in the middle for dinner/baby baths & bedtimes/hide-and-seek with Henry). Actually it would have been finished before dinner except that I made a mistake with the first one which took a bit of time to fix after everyone was in bed.

I traced my favorite bib for the "pattern." The fabric on the front is from a sheet I got at the thrift store a few weeks ago, and the bird fabric I got at Stitch DC. It was one of those moments of "I don't know what I'm going to do with that yet, but I must have it!" I zigzag stitched a bird on the front of each bib before sewing the front and back together. I used leftover yarn from the baby sweater for the neck ties (just braided it before sewing it into the top of the fabric). They aren't without flaws, but I think they turned out pretty well for my first try at making bibs.

a typewriter for Henry

I am always looking for ways to encourage creative expression (and discourage the use of electronics!). A while back, I saw a post on SouleMama about her kids' typewriters and recently decided it was time to get one for Henry. Before I started looking at thrift stores, I called my mom to see if they had one. Turns out they did - and it's ours! Some of you may remember this typewriter...it was sitting on the back of the toilet in our house on Wylie Street in Philadelphia. We fancied it as a humorous kind of "guest book" and loved the little comments and poems people left us while they used our WC. When we moved, I guess we gave it to my parents for safekeeping and I completely forgot about it. Imagine my delight when I discovered I already had a typewriter!

When I presented it to Henry, he was really excited. When we headed to SOVA that day, he asked if he could take it with him (I think he said something about the way people work on their laptops at SOVA). Fortunately, it's really compact, has a good case, and fits right in the bottom of the stroller!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

my first baby sweater & booties!

Last week, I finished knitting my first sweater and baby booties! I made them knowing my cool spring days were numbered...and I really enjoyed the three days he got to wear them last week!

First, the sweater:

It was, as others promised, a quick and easy knit, even for a beginner like me. (ravelry notes here)

And now, the booties:

(in progress on our recent day trip to Annapolis)

These were so quick and easy to make. They turned out a little big, not because of the pattern, but the yarn I chose, but hopefully this means they will fit through the fall and winter. (ravelry link)

I am now obsessed with making baby booties. I'm almost done with a second pair, with many more in the works.

Even though he can't say so, I think Felix likes his first mama-made handknits!