Sorry for the silence lately. Life got a little nuts there for a bit. Between OB appointments, a very emotional preschooler, seeing friends and family and seriously bad sunburns, we’ve been trying to enjoy our downtime as much as possible. I have a pregnancy post and a review coming up in the next while, so keep an eye out for that. In the mean time, here is a finished knitting project I’ve been dying to share with you:
I joined this project as part of a knit along with a great group of knitting moms here in Ottawa. Not knowing whether or not Jellybean was a boy or a girl, I wanted a neutral colour. I used left over Madeline Tosh Vintage from Liam’s Gramps, which ended up making the project that much more special to me.
The pattern itself is great. Easy to follow, a quick knit (especially in the newborn size) with a ton of sizing options. The details are lovely and I think it’ll work on either a boy or a girl. I had Liam help me pick the buttons, and we ended up choosing a light wood button with a cute little detail.
I have a few more projects in mind for my December baby. Hopefully they go just as quickly and as beautifully.
This year I decided to get an early head start on my holiday gifts. The idea was that I would be able to shop sales, budget better and have time for crafting. I think it really paid off. I managed to make several gifts for my loved ones and wanted to share how they turned out!
Embroidered Names for Friends
Embroidery is something that I stumbled into on my own several years ago and became absolutely smitten by it. I had a ton of floss, so I picked up some frames and linen and got to work. Most of these patterns are free hand with a couple of exceptions (like the foxes).
I have one more that has yet to be gifted, so I will share that later too :)
A Little Bit of Love Ornaments
I took an old sweater of my Mum’s that I loved (and she had loved), but I just couldn’t wear. I had never been able to donate it or give it away, so instead I decided to share a tiny bit of that memory and love and share it with family. I cut the sweater into pieces, and then using a cardboard template, cut hearts. I sewed the hearts together and Liam and I then stuffed the hearts.
Castiel Tree Topper
I came across this amazing post on Lattes and Llamas, which features a knit Castiel Tree Topper. As a huge Supernatural fan, I was completely amused by it and then remembered how Cass is basically my SILs Husband, so I texted her a picture. She nearly died with a desperate need, so I knew I had to get to work. I only had a little bit of time left before our holiday celebration, so I hunted down a crochet Amigurumi version of Castiel (available here) and altered it. Please see my Rav page for all details on my changes. SIL informed me her bestie NEEDED one, so I made two. One ended up being a bit fatter than the other, but overall, I am very happy with how they turned out. Took me about a week to make both using scrap yarn.
Some of you may remember my baby craft posts from when I was pregnant. I had these grand plans of knitting all of these adorable things for my little one. How is it that I always forget how slow I am as a knitter? And how flighty I am? Well, it took me 2.5 years to complete this one project. My first sweater for my baby boy.
I loved this project. Absolutely loved it. The pattern was well written and the tutorial on the Tincanknits blog made any issues I had completely disappear. This was my first in the round sweater, so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. It was nice to have the designer walk me through the steps.
MadTosh is the prettiest yarn I have ever had the privileged to work with. It is so soft and supple, while staying strong and solid. The colours are so rich and lovely. Seriously, I could marry this yarn. I never want to work with anything else ever again.
All I have left to do on this project is the buttons. Because it has taken me 2.5 years to complete, it’s actually a little snug on Liam (heartbreak!), so I don’t see him wearing it buttoned up, but I think it would still be a nice detail to add. Which do you prefer? I really like the look of the deer head buttons, but I worry about the light wood standing out too much. Thoughts?
I plan on officially giving this to Liam for Yule, though he has worn it and seen it already. I am so very happy with how this turned out. This project has reignited my love for the fiber arts. I have been knitting and crocheting not stop since!
Starting a conversation can be so hard sometimes. Finding the right ice breaker, the right way to start, can seem impossible. I find myself sitting quietly a lot these days rather than trying to find a way to talk about what’s been going on lately.
After my sister’s visit, I found myself slipping quietly into a funk. I’m not sure if it just started out as that down after a great time that happens to everyone, or if it was the time of year. Either way, I tried to manage it myself. I was diligently taking my meds. I got lots of sleep and ate well. Nothing seem to break the funk though, and eventually it grew into something more. My anxiety and depression reared their ugly heads. Thankfully, I have some amazing friends and family who encouraged me to talk to my doctor about it. My meds have been changed and I am being very careful around my triggers and am managing as best I can.
Unfortunately, the world keeps on spinning and doesn’t care what is already on one’s plate. Shortly after this, I received some news. I don’t want to get into too many details, because it wouldn’t be appropriate, but I am no longer doing any of the social media for Belly Laughs. I mention it only because I feel it is only right that you, my readers, know where to find me and I know that I have directed you there previously. There is a chance that I may do some blogging for them in the future, but that isn’t a sure thing. As of right now, I still work my regular monday night shift, but that’s it.
As you can imagine, the timing isn’t great with the holidays coming up. Thankfully, I did most of my shopping quite early and everything that is left on my Shopping list can be replaced with homemade items. Honestly, I prefer doing it that way anyway. It also so happens that one of my favourite self-care tasks is crafting, so it’s a win win.
The fun didn’t stop there, unfortunately. On my way to work on Monday, our one and only vehicle started making very unhappy sounds. I took it in yesterday (which ended up being a fun adventure for Liam and I, despite the early hour. He ended up having his first bus ride. A wrong bus choice on my part resulted in an unexpected trip to Starbucks and a windy but nice walk home).
Looks like our poor wheels are pretty much done. We are putting about $500 in and then will trade it in. This of course means a bad financial situation when things are tough already, and added strain because we will need to finance the next car. Which also means that we will not be able to continue house hunting for a while, at least until things vastly improve.
So, here we are, I am trying my best to be positive about it all, but it’s hard. I probably need to find more work to supplement the hours that I have lost. On the plus side, a close family friend has presented me with an opportunity which may fill that void. We were talking about replacing the car soon anyway (ideally after getting our new home), because it is killer on gas. This situation sort of expedited the whole process. I was feeling torn about the whole house situation anyway, and this forces us to wait until we are in a more stable situation. Which, if I am being honest, is fine with me. Things are tough. Really really tough. I’m not doing great, however I do see that maybe this is the Universe forcing us to do things we have put off and giving us opportunities we may not have taken otherwise. For instance, I am now thinking about focusing more on what I can do in the future to potentially start my own business.
Oh, and I am knitting and crocheting like crazy again. Check it out! I will do a post soon with more deets on these.
Hopefully I will have some good news to share soon. In the mean time, I will keep hoping and pushing along. Hopefully these bumps in the road are just new opportunities that we haven’t fully appreciated yet.
Man, 2014 has been a rollercoaster for us. The last month or so, I’ve really been struggling.
-. In a very short span of time, our laptop was broken, my wedding rings went missing and we realized that were were in a tight spot financially. Of course, the lap top was where I did the majority of my writing. It allowed me to be present for Liam, and to feel a little less like a cave dweller (ugh, basements). Having it break was harder on me than I expected. As much as I enjoy my new cellphone (LG G2, for those curious), I HATE typing on the damn thing. I swear to god, I’m like an 80 year old with broken thumbs. The bigger screen and the different keyboard has made my life hell. This has resulted in me shutting down a bit in terms of my communication. It’s just too much work to speak that way now. So, there I was, speaking less, bummed about a turn of bad luck, stressed over broken things and lost tokens of love, knowing that financially, we could never replace any of them.
-. My eyesight has gotten worse. I don’t know if its that I am finally admitting my poor eyesight OR that my dependency on my glasses has made my vision worse, but I have gone from never wearing my glasses (or owning a proper pair) in the fall to now wearing them all the time. Unfortunately, because of where I live, my drive to work involves driving directly into the setting sun and I didn’t have a pair of sunglasses that were prescription. We really didn’t have the money for me to get one, but I was getting more stressed about dangerous driving conditions every time I went to work. Finally, we buckled and got me a pair from clearly contacts, but we both felt the financial strain immediately. Hopefully we get some of that back through Pat’s benefits at work. It was a hard week though.
-. Liam is going through….something. I don’t know if its teeth, his cold, the terrible twos, a wonderweek type thing, or what. The kid has been up and down like a yoyo and it has been exhausting. Major tantrums, big feelings, screaming, hitting, refusing to sleep, eating nothing or eating everything. It’s been hard to deal with.
-. About a month ago, I found out that a good friend of mine was going through a really rough time. Her mother had been diagnosed with brain cancer and had been given a short life expectancy. It broke my heart to see her go through that. Meanwhile, one of our own (an auntie), had just been diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery coming up. Cancer has been terrible to me and mine, so I was pretty scared. Even with my friend’s mom, it triggered all sorts of emotions in me. I would really appreciate it if you kept both wonderful women in your thoughts.
-.I had two fillings break. Two. Finally found a dentist that would see me on a weekend and it ended up costing me almost 800. Yep. For two fillings. (Thanks to being a new patient, I needed xrays, a first time exam, etc.. etc…). Here’s hoping most of that is covered. Oh, and he says that I need a significant amount of work. Like, another 2000$ worth of work. Fuck.
-.I was dropped by our family GP (rather, she went away on sabbatical and decided not to come back), leaving me without a GP for myself or for Liam. Not a huge deal for most, but trying to find a GP that is cool with extended breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing and informed consent is harder than one might think. Further to that, I need someone who is ok with me having lots of questions and coming in for seemingly small things (without family to turn to and ask “Bwah? Is that normal?” I want to be able to turn to my doctor without feeling like an idiot). Of course, this also coincided with my prescription for antidepressants running out (as in, no more refills).
But! Nanny J recommended a Dr to us and I thought all was going to be fine…until that Dr and my pharmacist got into a pissing contest. You see, I can’t get in to meet her until April. After which time, she will decide if I “fit” her. She doesn’t consider me a patient until then. I went back and forth on the phone, between both offices, until finally the Dr sent a snarky fax to the pharmacist, which he then read to me. Thankfully, he saw my position and filled the prescription for me to cover me until I have this meeting with Dr. Pain in the Ass.
The fall out of this whole thing was that I ended up going 3 days without meds and I was completely overwhelmed with anxiety. On day three, I sat on my couch and cried silently, while Curious George kept Liam occupied. Thankfully, I had the right mind to reach out to my dear friend, Kaitlin. Just by being her awesome self and listening, I was able to calm down. I got myself out of the house, with Liam, to visit The Children’s Museum with Krista and her guy, Wes. It was AMAZING. I am definitely going back soon. Honestly, it was one of my favourite places I’ve been to with Liam.
And that leads me to…
-. I have amazing friends. No, seriously. These girls are there for me through thick, thin and crazy. They make me a better person.
-. WE FOUND MY WEDDING RINGS! WOOO! They were missing a month and a half, and were found in a pile of laundry (my guess is that Little Man took them on an adventure)
-.I am medicated again!! This makes all the difference in the world for me. I can cope now.
-.Auntie had her surgery this past week and it was a huge success! They think they got all of the cancer. Fingers and toes crossed!
-.My time away from electronics has led to some productivity with my hobbies:
I am finally making progress on Liam’s birthday sweater. I am on to the main part of the body now. Probably about 6-8 more inches before I switch to ribbing, and then do the sleeves, collar, pockets and elbow patches. Woo! That’s on hold for a little bit though while I plug away at my RRG 2014 Olympic project:
Say hello to my very first shawl, my RRG 2014 Gaybreak. It doesn’t look very gay right now, but I’m just about to finish up the solid colour portion before starting on the rainbow bits. SO EXCITED. In the end, it should look something like this:
Photo by Red Pepper Quilts of her own Daybreak shawl
-. One of my very best friends just had the most gorgeous twins, ever. I’m so so excited. Honestly, this family is made up of my favourite people. I can’t wait to see them :D I’m hoping to visit them tonight.
-.I finally got to visit my sister from another mister, Sarah and two of her boys (Her hubby was at work, and her daughter was at school). We baked cookies, chatted, and had a great day together. I got to snuggle both of my nephews and my heart grew two whole sizes. It was awesome.
-. It’s the long weekend, y’all!
-. After being so completely bummed, depressed and manic, I have decided to try to get myself to a healthier place. I’ve been living on chocolate, takeout and coffee for months and its just not doing good things for me anymore. I’m back on SparkPeople if you want to follow my journey there.
-. I’ve started working on my family tree again. I was very overwhelmed after my dad died and I inherited his giant collection of geneology stuff. I just couldn’t compare to his professional approach to it. So, I’ve stopped trying. Instead, I’m taking my own damn approach. It’s much more casual and I’m finally enjoying myself again! To check it out, here is our page.
It’s funny how the world really does work in a system of checks and balances. Hours after making my last post, L started puking. About a day later, I fell ill. The following day, Pat did. We all had a nasty stomach flu and we’re still on the mend. I have to say, every time one of us gets sick, even with something minor like a cold or a flu, I think about those people in my life who are or have been single parents, or who care for children with disabilities or long term illness. I am humbled.
There were points over the last few days where I sat and cried because I didn’t want to change another sick diaper, or because I couldn’t hold my baby and vomit at the same time. I had back up. My husband works for a company that values families, and allowed him to be home with us. When Pat was sick too, I was able to call on family and friends to drop off a care package. It only took days for us all to get better, and there I was, crying and moaning about how hard it was. Of course, it didn’t help that I had been off of my medication for the duration of my stomach bug.
I never felt that it was fair to play the “This is hard, but other people have it harder” game, but some times I need to remind myself that others have survived and I will too. Little man is now resting, and I am thankful that I still breastfeed, and was able to provide him with the best nutrition I could while he couldn’t keep anything else down. I am thankful for frozen french fries because they don’t upset my stomach and for Zoloft for making me mentally stable again.
I am in the process of the great “Post Illness Clean” ritual that I seem to fall into after every big sick that floats around. My house smells like fresh laundry and vinegar, I love it! I wish I knew more about illness, though. How long does it live on surfaces? Is vinegar the best to disinfect the non-porous surfaces? Will I put my friends at risk of falling ill if they come over in the next bit?
I’m thinking about joining a KAL that is being hosted by a local mom and baby knitting group. It’s a shawlette, which I would totally wear, but isn’t my normal project. I worry I won’t be able to keep up (I’m already quite a bit behind). It’s for this shawl:
I may even have the perfect yarn for it already that I had grabbed last year when I was planning on making myself a couple of these:
I suppose I could make one of each. It’s nice to feel the itch to knit again! I always take incredible comfort from the act of knitting. There’s something powerful in creating items of clothing or accessories out of yarn over a long duration. There is so much energy and intent that goes into it. It’s healing and beautiful to me.
And with that, I’m off to go spend some of my baby free time knitting, before little man wakes up from his nap.
There are some benefits to being home sick for a week. Not many, mind you, but one big one is that I’ve had a lot of time to think.
In the last couple of days, I’ve drafted our birth plan, our Before Baby Gets Here To Do List and our Hospital Bag Packing List. On top of that, I’ve started narrowing down what I’d like to craft before bambino L arrives. Seeing as how this blog started out with the intention of being somewhat craft related, I figured this would make for a great place and time to share my thoughts. Enjoy!
These Little Button Loafers are adorable. I love them. They are the perfect mix of Old Man and Function that I crave in my baby boy knits. My only concern is the little itty bitty buttons. I can’t help but hear my mother’s voice remind me “NO BUTTONS ON BABY WEAR!”. What do you think? Death trap, or adorable footwear?
Blue Steps is an adorable basic baby booties that some how reads a bit more boy to me than most basic patterns. Look pretty straight forward too. A good “Coming Home” Booties perhaps?
Pirate Bootees, another great find from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit. These ones are just nautical enough to tickle my fancy and to match a really cute onesie I got for L a few months ago (all anchors, adorable!). Definitely a must knit.
These Textured Cuff Baby Bootees are another 50 Baby Bootees to Knit find. Very versatile and really cute. Another simple pattern, but really sweet.
Hunter. I love this pattern. It’s so…perfect. The yarn, the colour, the baby. Everything. A must make for sure.
This Teddy Bear hat is pretty much the cutest thing ever. Unfortunately, it’s crocheted. That scares the crap out of me, considering I don’t crochet. At all. My mother tried to teach me a million times, but it never happened. Will my love for this hat overcome my fears and push me forward? Only time will tell.
Boo Hat may be a good option if I can’t figure out the crochet of the bear hat. Not quite as cute, but it may do the trick.
Hoot Hat is amazing. It’s perfect. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a lot of the projects attempted of this pattern haven’t turned out quite the same. I’m still going to give it a go, but for a 9.00$ pattern, especially for a baby hat, that’s quite the risk.
Baby Yoda Sweater is the first sweater I considered for Baby L, especially as a Coming Home sweater. It’s simple, it’s warm and I think it would be a really sweet first sweater.It’s not too fussy, which will be key in dressing a newborn.
Ribbed Baby Jacket is so handsome. I love how simple and clean it is. It’s really charming and looks like it would be another great 0-3 baby sweater. In fact, it’s slowly creeping into first place, past Yoda.
Tweedy Boy is gorgeous. I may even already have the perfect yarn for it. I do think, however, that it’s too heavy for April, and it would be a shame to make this in 0-3 sizing, only to have it never really be worn, so I’m thinking this will be something I knit in the 6-9 month range and save it for the fall. Definitely on the “Must Knit” list, however not as a priority.
Gramps is my favourite thing. Pretty much ever. This sweater is exactly what I want to make for my baby boy. It’s perfect, it’s sweet. I want it. I need it. Again though, like Tweedy Boy, I think it would get way more wear if I make it for the fall, rather than the newborn in the spring. Makes me sad, but I think in the long run, it’s for the best if I wait for something this awesome. (The other option is to make two…don’t even let me consider that one, because it sounds AWESOME)
Baby Yours is a perfect example of all the sweaters that I am typically a sucker for. Cabled. Interesting construction. Tweedy yarns. Is it too fussy for a baby? Or is it a perfect “Dress Up” sweater? Is it too much for a spring baby? Will he ever wear it, or should it wait too?
Before I get into this section, I’d like to say that I’m not really convinced that these will happen. I already know I have at least two gifted blankets on the way, on top of my own baby blanket which I still have. Having said that, these are the baby blankets that I adore and lust over.
Waffles is gorgeous. It’s rich and lovely, but looks like a slow pain to knit. Worth it, knowing that it will be abused and covered in vomit and poop? Hrm.
Tiramisu. I love this sweet blanket. Yes, it’s crocheted, but it is everything “Baby” to me. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it’s the right fit for our baby, right now. Next time?
Sunshine Day is another beautiful Alicia Paulson creation (again, crocheted) that I absolutely love. Again, it’s not quite right for Liam, so I’ll keep this in my queue for later.
Purl Dreams is another favourite. I love this blanket. It’s simple, sweet, and so cozy looking.
Baby Babar is just as wonderful as Purl Dreams. Lovely.
Miittens. This is a great Knitty pattern. I am planning on making these for Coming Home and general Keep Baby From Damaging Himself.
Kanoko Pants are gorgeous. I love these and Baby L shall have them. Perfect for keeping his chubby little legs warm before summer.
Vanilla is a great soaker pattern. We’re not sure about cloth diapering yet or not, but I really like the idea of keeping his little bum covered, cute and warm. I plan on making a few of these. Maybe. If I ever actually start knitting any of these things.
Well, that’s it for now. I will add other plans in a later post. Hope these have inspired you, or at least given you a look into my twisted mama brain :D