I'd been going a little bit crazy for a while at home, looking for a pile of baby sweaters & knits. With the remodeling and other changes at home, they were moved... someone moved my cheese! (I'm sure it was me!) I even ran across them not too very long ago and thought to myself, Aha! Remember this location!!
Also among them were the baby knits that I'd made/began before I even knew there was a baby on the way (the ones not given at the baby shower): Fiddlehead, Puerperium, Boy-O-Boy, Hug Me, Demne, Vintage Baby Cardigan, along with some hats, a bib.
Not an insignificant number of handknits!!
I finally spotted the bin last weekend and pulled out a few items for Junah -- Aviatrix and Puerperium, for sure, because they're perfect for a newborn!
Big bonus for this knitting grandma is the opportunity to update Ravelry project pages! So far, Parcheesi, Soakers, Aviatrix, and Puerperium! Some of these knits -- years old -- have never been worn by a baby!!
Oh, how things change: There were two photos of Junah & me to choose from, he looked good in one and I looked good in the other... heh. LOVE!
Twenty-nine years ago today, in our little house near the beach at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR, we got married!
A year ago today, I was standing atop Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, with a stop at the Hippie Fair later in the day!
There's another polar vortex bearing down on us, they say, and 84F in Rio sure sounds nice right now.
The little man marked a week on this earth yesterday, modeling with the little bear that Ali made for him and also rocking the handknits! There's plenty of room to grow into even the smallest of the Wool Soakers that I made!
About 12 hours before Junah Michael Lee was born, I had a teary little pow-wow with Kate before she began her long journey back to Edinburgh. I'd had a few days off when she first arrived and we all spent a lot of time together. It was a great visit.
My first message was to Katie and, with only about 5 minutes to spare, I was able to relay the message, "It's a boy!" before boarding began in Chicago. I wasn't able to respond to any of her messages before departure, but at least she knew that the baby arrived and could relax a bit on the ride over the pond!
I was originally going to take the week off of work to help Ali, but I went back on Thursday at noon.
I'll get some cuddle time tonight, and will probably take some "good" photos sometime over the weekend.
5 Days old already!
Ali had felt the first pangs of labor on Friday morning. I started sewing the Alabama Chanin baby blanket on Friday night and worked on it quite a bit over the weekend. I also knit my first stitches (not very many) (on Pepita) of 2014 while Ali labored! But I sewed instead of knit at Knit Night last night (the first one I've been to in AGES) and I'm almost half-way with the applique part. I sort of dove right into this project, so now I'm starting to think about the edges and how to finish them.
Oh, there's a Craftsy Flash Sale This Weekend - 1/18-1/19 with up to 50% off -- perhaps you'd like to hear Natalie Chanin talk about the physics of sewing, and why and how you should love your thread... I could listen to her all day long! And I could, if I wanted, because I bought that class and it's mine forever, to listen & watch on a loop 24/7 or just when I want a refresher on a specific technique. I'm not sure whether Natalie Chanin's Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Applique, Beading, and Embroidery will actually be on sale, but it will be eventually. It's a great learning platform.
I'm so tired I can't even see straight.
I know now that I will never want to work professionally as a doula, but I will gladly and wholeheartedly help to guide any of my daughters through the process again... and again and again and again.
So, yes! Ali gave birth at home to a 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy on Sunday, June January 12th at 8:31 p.m.
I am so proud of her!
Maddy was there to help and witness the birth -- amazing!! Katie helped along the way with labor but, unfortunately, missed the birth by about 10 hours. I was able to get the word to her, though, before she left the country and I'm very happy about that.
More details to follow, and probably a photo or two or maybe I really will blow up Instagram with photos of my grandson.
Grandson. Grand. Son. GRAND!
It is now 1 a.m. on Monday, June January 13th and I've had approx. 5 hours of sleep since Friday and it might be showing, so I think I'll go to bed now.
* * * * *
What can I say about writing June instead of January... I WAS TIRED! While Alison certainly did more physical work than I in delivering her baby, I can report that assisting through almost an entire (long) labor and delivery is mentally exhausting if not as physically demanding (but, damn, my legs ache today).
Also adding to my befuddlement is the bairn's name...
...as I mean to go on.
I don't think I did a single thing that I *had* to do yesterday. I took the "holiday" part of New Year's Day to heart and did only things that I *wanted* to do. That is something that I will strive for more this year: occasionally, a day off can be just that!
I had done some sewing just before Christmas, finally sewing up some burp cloths for the baby -- the materials for which I bought in JULY! They're made from a variety of fat quarters, cut and pieced, cotton terrycloth backing, stitched and turned, with some simple "stitch in the ditch" to join the pieces together.
I wasn't too terribly particular because, um, BURPING! It was fun to use my mother's old Singer Slant-O-Matic -- the ROCKETEER... it pretty much sews at the speed of light.
Yesterday's sewing was quite different, and has also been in the wings for quite some time -- ever since I purchased and watched Natalie Chanin's Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Applique, Beading, and Embroidery last MARCH on Craftsy.
Since then, I bought the fabric & supplies to make the coat featured in the class, and recently fell hard for the Onesie & Baby Blanket because... well, for a lot of reasons, but the main one being ZIM!
Officially, 10 days. Unofficially, IT COULD BE TODAY! Probably not, but... waiting for Ali's labor to begin may be worse than waiting for my own! Haha. Not really. (That was a long time ago... I can hardly remember that part.)
Thanks to my fairly recent birthday and also Christmas, my collection of Alabama Chanin books is now complete (new books are in the works, but for now I'm up to date). I am well read on the subject and recently reviewed pertinent parts of the Craftsy class (one of the greatest things about it), but I still didn't want the coat -- or even the onesie or baby blanket -- to be my very first hand-sewing project. There's a whole page of free downloadable resources at Alabama Chanin, including a pattern for a baby bib (general assembly instructions here). I finally cut up some clothing items that I'd set aside for just this type of thing.
The printed fabric is from a pair of yoga-lounge pants -- the print is the "right side" of the fabric but was hidden on the inside of the pants! The black fabric is from a knit cardigan that's too big. I didn't realize 'til I was cutting that the cardigan was actually a ribbed knit fabric, but again... BURPING, ETC.! I also have a gigantic dress from J. Jill (oh, it's the background in the photo above) in the "cut pile," but I didn't like the gray with the brown of the pants.
I think it turned out great! I couldn't be happier. And I did the whole thing, start-to-finish, while watching the Wisconsin Badgers lose their bowl game -- cutting up the pants/cardigan, marking & cutting the pattern pieces and pulls, loving my thread, needling my thread, and sewing up!
I knew I wasn't going to cut this piece in the signature Alabama Chanin style, but that print was screaming to be embroidered, so pulled out my floss (it's been ages!) and did a bit of embellishing in the evening.
So flippin' fun. I have another already cut and ready to sew... and it will be cut! Practice makes perfect. I love that I can make tiny useful things from clothing I'd otherwise discard while practicing my stitches and other techniques. From now on, cleaning out the closet will be done with a completely different eye!
2013. It was the best of times, it was the worst.
2014. Will undoubtedly be the same. Hopefully not worser; most certainly BETTER!
In case you've forgotten, January 12th is the official due date... which pretty much means any day in January! Zim could be born on the 1st, share my nephew Daniel's birthday on the 16th, our wedding anniversary on the 20th, sister Annie's birthday on the 23rd, or even my mom's on the 31st!
I was delighted to take some for-the-record photos for Ali & Rod over the weekend. She bought that (perfect) striped dress very early in her pregnancy and we talked about taking monthly photos, as people do; other than a phone pic here & there, that never happened. This is good.
We took all of the photos in Zim's nursery. The bookshelf is already well-stocked with reading material, thanks to the "bring a book instead of a card" idea for the baby shower. (Click for big!)
Teddy says, "We're ready!!"
Happy New Year!!
I went over to Ali's on Sunday to see Zim's room! There's been a lot of work in the past couple of months getting this once very dark room in shape for a new baby.
Things that can't be seen, such as insulation and heat, have been added, along with some new windows, flooring, and lighting.
In a pinch for nursery wall decor? Frame a gift bag. Seriously. This one and the one next to it (above) are gift bags from the baby shower. "Poppies" is an original painting by Aunt Maddy!
She had a cute arrangement on one of the window ledges, but it's since been replaced by this:
A wonderful stained glass window that was Sharon's. It's been hanging at the coffee shop, but now it'll warm the morning light for Zim. Lovely!
When I was there on Sunday, the crib was in pieces on the living room floor, but my busy-bee daughter went to work and here are the photos she shared on Monday:
Um, yeah. READY!!
While I could have drowned Ali with the handknits at her baby shower, I decided to include only the projects I've started *and* finished since learning about Zim!
Not the ones I've knit & stashed over the years.
Not the ones I started years ago and finished in the last 6 months.
Not the ones I've started in the last 6 months but haven't finished.
(There's an alarming number of all!)
There was a minor panic when I couldn't find all of the items that I wanted to include in the shower gift -- with all of the shuffling and rearranging around here, I put them someplace "safe." I knew they were somewhere and persevered, finding them all together in the yarn cupboard. So, meeting the criteria, there was this:
I chuckled to myself as I finished the bonnet and sewed the buttons on the hoodie the other night, Kay's recent comment on an Instagram post echoing in my head while I added them to the stack.
"I'm worried this child will not have empathy for those who wear ordinary clothes."
And I must admit, even I began to wonder whether having a grandmother who likes to knit is really such a good thing!!
I've given it some thought over the past few days and have concluded that until Zim can voice his/her opinion and/or make his/her own wardrobe choices, IT DEFINITELY IS A GOOD THING!!
I will take full advantage of my woolly window of opportunity.
The shower was so much fun! I've only ever been to two and barely had one, myself, so I just winged it with input from Ali and inspiration from Pinterest. Maddy helped me with putting together favors and prizes, decorations and decorating, and it all turned out quite nice.
I really do have fun planning things... whether it's a trip to Vegas or Scotland, a wedding or a baby shower... find a theme, set some guidelines, and GO!
Here's one photo of Ali from the shower. She's holding a little knit cap that Katie sent from... why, Scotland, of course!! In her lap is an ADORABLE one-piece with the ABCs all over it. Katie wrote that she couldn't resist, and that it reminded her of the sort of thing their Nana would buy for them. So true. My mother always found the cutest clothes for her grands.
Consider this a head start on tomorrow's Ten on Tuesday topic...
I've been wanting to get a handle on the state of things in the baby knitting department, and finally gathered up all that I could find.
These items are sized from newborn to about 3 years, maybe even 4. I knit Opptuna, Baby A, and both Wallaby sweaters for my nephews... I think Mack was still wearing his custom-ordered Wallaby when he was 4.
I believe I can scare up a couple of mislaid hats and probably some booties & socks, too, before January.
All of the above are in need of major work... seaming and other finishing! Two pullovers (one of them -- a preppy v-neck with pockets! -- is VERY well marinated), two cardis, Miss Dashwood (the earflaps were never secured), and a pair of just-finished baby pants.
I just remembered Le P'tit Mousse, awaiting sewing-up, stuffed in the bottom of my tote.
There's another cardigan on the needles (nearly finished with the knitting)...
Another "Vintage," too, on some other needles (not in love with it)...
And another hat in need of finishing somewhere, too.
And a blanket.
More on all of those soon before long, I hope!
I saw a cartoon the other day about how a knitter prepares for travel. I can't find it right now, but I think I can easily summarize.
I daresay that baby knitting works just like that! I plan to knit a Chevron Baby Blanket inspired by the always lovely and inspiring Purl Bee... so many adorable projects! (There are some adorable PB sewing projects for baby that I'd like to make, too!) A blanket gets big and unwieldy to tote around, so, of course, there must be smaller, portable project(s) underway at all times. Pictured above is Little Heaume, the baby hat that I started on Saturday morning at the farmer market for just that purpose.
And (you may already know this), I finished the hat last night, except for the button, before I even cast on the first stitch of the blanket!!
Tired as I was, I stayed up to get started on that blanket, casting on and knitting two rows!
I don't have a portable project going at the moment, though.
It may take some practice to get my rhythm going!
Baby jumps in! Haha.
It was Mother's Day when Ali told me that she'd taken three pregnancy tests and they'd all said the same thing... and that she had a few more test sticks, just in case, but was pretty sure they'd all have the same -- positive -- result! That was pretty awesome news to hear on Mother's Day... and I especially loved that it was mine-all-mine for a while. Delicious.
As you may recall, we had wedding planning quite heavy in the rotation at the time, so the baby news sort of took a back seat.
I HEARD MY GRANDBABY'S HEARTBEAT!!
The estimate is that Little Zim is around 16 weeks old, and the due date is early to mid January.
This is pretty much the frosting on my cake right now! I try not to hyperventilate when I think about all.the.things.to.knit... a blanket? a bonnet? a sweater? a hat? a toy? Fourteen of each? Because that's not even the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many super amazingly beautiful patterns there are for each of those things.
I just smile when I ask Ali how she's feeling and she says, "I am HUGE," and... oh my, isn't she CUTE? Heheh.
I simply cannot wait.