The teensy swatch from my last post has grown up to be this:
No, it isn’t a pair of handknit granny panties (I love wool, but I don’t love wool THAT much!)…it’s a diaper cover for Maddy, minus the leg and waist ribbing. I decided I wanted to knit her a pair of wool shorts that were mostly garter stitch, because I love the squishy soft feeling of garter stitch and it’s got quite a bit of inherent stretch, which is handy when you’ve got a bulky cloth-diapered bottom to cover.
I started out by drawing up a little schematic with Google Drawings:
As you might be able to read (the font size is awfully tiny, sorry!) in the schematic, the idea is to start out knitting the front, do some rapid (every row) decreasing at the crotch, and then some less rapid (every other row) increasing out to a wider back piece. Then I joined the front to the back as I knit, which let me have a “seamless” garter stitch short without the pain of doing garter in the round. (Which isn’t ACTUALLY painful, but I’ll do a fair amount of weird construction to avoid large amounts of purling!)
Mmm, squishy garter goodness! I’m using two fairly close shades of blue, in an organic yarn sent to me by a swap partner. 4 rows (so 2 garter ridges) per color, with the yarn carried up the side. I love it.
(Apparently I thought it would be helpful to have my foot in the picture, for a sense of scale? I don’t know, I blame sleep deprivation for my odd photo-styling choices!) I’ll be picking up (with much smaller needles) around the leg holes for leg ribbing, and then again around the top of the shorts for waist ribbing. I’ve actually already started the leg ribbing:
In fact, last night I finished the first leg, and it’s perfect! I picked up stitches around the leghole in 2×2 ribbing, knit for 10 rows, did a purled turning row, and then reversed the rib for 10 more rows before picking up the back sides of the picked up stitches and knitting them together with the stitches I was binding off. I’m not sure if that sentence actually makes sense, but anyway, the end result was a nice doubled ribbed leg cuff.
My plan for the waistband is to knit the first (outside) half of the ribbing flat, then join and knit a turning row in the round and continue in the round until I bind off. This will make a little “hole” in the ribbing at the side, into which I plan to stitch a button or two, and insert buttonhole elastic to enable some adjustability.
We’ll see how it all turns out, but so far I’m pretty happy with how my initial plan is working out.
I did a bit of swatching this weekend:
Just good old garter stitch. I have an idea for how make a pair of wool “shorts” somewhat like the storebought ones that I love (Disana Wool Soakers) with minimal seams, and am trying it out with some organic wool that was sent to me by a friend in a swap. If my idea pans out, I might put together a tutorial of some sort, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, enjoy this photo of my dear Madrigal teaching her blue monster who’s boss:
My girl is ferocious!
But this time, I sewed them instead of knitting them. That’s right, I sewed!
My friend Kris came over yesterday to walk me through the process of sewing a pair of Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. Since my girl is a giant (no, seriously: she’s over 21 pounds and almost 30″ long at just over 6 months!), we made the 18 month size for her. This was my first time sewing since before I was pregnant with Maddy; I’d been taking part in a newbie quilting bee at that time and learning quite a bit, but then injured my back, and it healed just in time for the first trimester yuckiness to make me feel like not doing anything at all. So, I was a bit rusty on the sewing front. Good thing Kris is a great teacher!
The first seam I sewed was that crazy butt-gusset seam. Eeek! But I did ok. Isn’t it cute?
The main fabric is some Essex cotton-linen blend, and the print is a Kokka cotton-linen blend with robots and cars on it!
Here’s a picture of the less-exciting front side of the pants, for good measure:
And here they are, modeled by Miss Maddypants herself:
I had so much fun putting these together. I’m really excited about the prospect of being able to make clothes for my girl. I don’t like a lot of what’s out there in terms of baby clothes (especially when it comes to issues relating to gender), and these pants aren’t like anything I could buy for her, you know?
I’m really enjoying the “secular sabbath” approach I’ve been taking. I think the day offline is good for me – I feel calmer and more present, not just on the day I’m offline, but all the days.
I’m not sure if I’ll make a habit of it, but this particular “secular sabbath” I decided I’d take some pictures. So here are some scenes from my Sunday:
Hope y’all had a lovely Sunday, too.
One benefit of reclaiming a little bit of my evening time with the floor-bed system I wrote about a couple posts back is that I can have a teensy bit of knitting time every night. While there’s a part of me that wants to do nothing but knit more Maddypants (and Maddysweaters, and Maddyhats, and so on), I thought it’d be nice to knit for myself again. Mamas need to take care of themselves, too, after all!
In case you can’t recognize it from the artsy-fartsy picture, that’s the sleeve for the second Garter Rib cardigan, the one I was obsessively knitting while I was pregnant with M. I never did finish it, so I’ve picked back up where I left off…partway through sleeve #1:
The repetitive simplicity of the garter rib is pretty much exactly what I need right now. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish this sweater (I *do* plan to finish up the pattern for it, and publish it, too), but seeing as it’s about to be summer, I don’t much care how long it takes. I know I’m going to love it once it’s done – the squishy garter rib and the glorious heathered blue color of the Eco Wool are just perfection in my book.
In other news, I’ve been offline most of today (because our Internet connection’s been down), and I have to say, I kind of liked it, and I think I might do it again next week (but on purpose, and for all of the day). I’ve been thinking for a long time about having one “unplugged” day a week, and Sundays make sense to me, since they’re the day we do most of our bread-baking and soup-making and such in preparation for the week’s meals. So I might start having a sort of “secular sabbath”. I’d like to work on my Internet habits a bit, and I’d especially like to do so now that Madrigal’s in the picture. We’ll see how it goes.
Maddy turned 5 months old last week! I can’t believe that in just one month, she’ll have her half-birthday. Time flies!
I promised a post about cloth diapering, and here it is!
Before Maddy was born, we decided we would rent newborn-sized diapers for her. This is because all of the “one-size” cloth diapers (the type with snaps that adjust the height of the rise) are pretty dang huge on a newborn, so we wanted diapers that would actually fit her, and buying them seemed kinda silly since she wouldn’t be in them long and where would we put them once we were done and all that. What we ended up renting were the BumGenius AIO (that stands for “all in one”, by the way, as in, no separate insert – they function just like a disposable, except you don’t throw them away) in size XS. While we loved having newborn-sized diapers at first, we didn’t actually love those particular diapers.
Your mileage may vary, but I had two issues with the AIO-style diapers. One was that I find them more of a pain to wash and dry. You want to dry them hot enough to make sure the inner absorbent part doesn’t take a million years to dry, but you don’t want to fry the outer waterproof part, and that’s always going to be a tricky balance when the two parts are attached to each other. And the inner absorbent part on these was microfiber, which I just don’t like as much as cotton for a whole bunch of reasons, some of which have to do with washing/drying.
The other problem that we had was leaks. Maybe this just has to do with Maddy’s shape/size, but boy did we have leaks. Crazy leaks. I swear, those leg gussets didn’t hold anything in for us. I mean, leaks are gonna happen no matter WHAT kind of diapers you use and no matter HOW perfectly you put them on (accepting this before you have the baby will save you some angst), but this was beyond that.
We also ended up having to transition away from the BumGenius XS much earlier than we expected, once Maddy started outpacing the growth charts. We didn’t have a ton of time to research and play around with various options, so we opted for the most inexpensive investment we could make: Small Prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers (we got two dozen, which was plenty given an every-other-day laundry cycle), plus Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap in Size 1 (we got 6 of these, also plenty). Here are our prefolds all pretty in our drawer:
We use a Snappi to fasten the prefold:
It’s that Y-shaped light blue thing in the picture – it has little plastic teeth like the ones you use to secure an ace bandage, and it just sort of holds everything in place (without pins).
Then we put a Thirsties cover over it for water-proofness:
I like these covers because they have a “double gusset” – an extra little inner gusset inside the leg opening that really holds stuff in. There are other brands that have similar double gussets, too, and I highly recommend them if you’re going the insert + cover route. You don’t always change the cover when you change a diaper, only if it gets really soiled.
I know prefolds sound like a pain in the butt, but (with a major caveat that I’ll get to in a second), I still think they’re a great option for the early stages of cloth diapering. For one, they’re cheap (seriously, you can get a dozen for what you’d spend on like, two AIOs). And for two, they’re super duper easy to wash and dry: you can dry these suckers as hot as you like without worries, since you air-dry the waterproof covers separately. The covers air dry in like, 5 minutes on the drying rack we’ve got. It’s a pretty foolproof system once you get the hang of the Snappis.
But here comes my caveat: Once your baby gets to where they start wiggling and rolling like mad on the changing pad, for the love of all that is good, you don’t want to be trying to Snappi their diaper on. OMG, no. I have no idea how people Snappi toddlers without, like, drugging them first or something. This is where we made a mistake. See, we needed to size up Maddy’s diapers, because she outgrew the Small prefolds and covers pretty quickly (as I’ve said, she’s a giant!), and so we ordered size 2 Thirsties covers and the hilariously-named “Wide Baby” sized prefolds. And then she promptly started rolling around, making it nearly impossible to put a diaper on her. I’ve actually gouged my fingers deep enough to draw blood with the little plastic Snappi teeth because she was moving around so much and I missed the mark. More than once. So much for Snappis being better than pins on that front!
GroVia diapers are what’s called a “Hybrid” or “All in Two” diaper. It’s actually not that different, conceptually, from a prefold+cover, except for one thing: the insert part snaps into the cover, so you can treat it like an all-in-one in terms of how you put it on (but you can also swap out the insert without changing the cover, like you can with prefolds + covers). GroVia in particular have a neat design: the inserts (which are organic cotton – I’ve found I have a strong preference for natural fibers like cotton or hemp as opposed to microfiber against M’s skin) have built-in gussets, and then the shell provides an outer gusset. Anyway, the benefit here is that you can snap the insert into the cover, and then put the whole thing on in one piece like a conventional diaper. Still has all the benefits of having a cotton-based insert with an air-dryable cover, but So. Much. Easier. These are what we are transitioning to now. They’re not super cheap, but we’ve been able to get some covers on huge discount so it’s mostly the inserts that we’re paying out the nose for (they’re about 3x as expensive as prefolds). We’re aiming for 8 covers and 18 inserts which should be plenty (for us, at least!).
Based on our experience, if I had it to do over again, here’s what I’d do: I’d get sized prefolds (Newborn and Small) right from the start from Green Mountain Diapers, because their prefolds are pretty awesome and absorbent, and using prefolds isn’t so hard when baby isn’t so wiggly yet, plus the laundry is fool-proof and that’s nice when you’ve got a new baby. I wouldn’t have rented the AIOs in newborn size because I just plain don’t like AIOs; buying the prefolds doesn’t seem so crazy since they’re just flat pieces of cotton fabric and could be used for other stuff (burp cloths, etc) later. And then once baby gets big enough not to be swamped by a one-size diaper, I’d switch to GroVia right away rather than going any bigger with the prefolds plus covers.
I’m not entirely sad that we got bigger Thirsties covers, though, because they’re useful over the Kissaluvs Fitteds that we use at nighttime (along with a Babykicks Hemp Doubler – our girl is a SERIOUSLY heavy wetter at night). Ideally I’d like to switch to wool soakers for nighttime diapering, because I’ve read that the breathability of wool is good on that front, but I’m ok with using the Thirsties for now.
Ok, so enough about the diapers we use. That’s only part of the cloth diapering story. Here’s some other parts of the story:
Dirty diapers gotta go somewhere, and we (partly due to space limitations) ended up forgoing a diaper pail, and using a Hanging Wet-Dry Bag instead. This hangs off a (sturdy!) Command hook from the side of the dresser. We use two of them, actually, since the one full of dirties goes in the laundry with the diapers, and with two we can always have one in rotation. We’ve also got a medium size wet-dry bag of the same type that we use when we’re out and about – a few clean diapers in the outer “dry” pocket, and dirties go in the “wet” pocket just like the big bag at home.
Dirty bottoms gotta get clean, and we use cloth rather than disposable here, too. We like our GroVia cloth wipes – they’re nice little terrycloth squares that can serve as a washcloth in a pinch, too. We’ve tried various approaches here in terms of getting them moistened, but our preferred method is what you see above. I fill that Lock ‘n Lock container with water and a little squirt of Witch Hazel, then soak a dozen wipes in it, then dump the container, roll each wipe up into a log and wring the water out, and then seal them up in the container once I’m done. It sounds like a lot of work, but it takes me just a couple of minutes before bed each night to prep the next dozen, and it’s just so nice to have a just-the-right-dampness wipe ready instead of having to spray one with a spray bottle (which is what we did before arriving at this solution). We don’t use a wipe-warmer; Maddy’s never had a warm wipe on her bottom and doesn’t know what she’s missing, anyway!
To make all of this easier now that we’re changing her on the floor, I’ve put together a little “kit” in a fabric basket:
Right now it’s got a prefold and a Thirsties cover, as well as a fully-prepped GroVia diaper (in the future, there’ll be extra GroVia inserts in there as well), along with a folded up changing pad and a very small wet bag (to allow for outside of the room changes, if I bring the basket with me – I throw the wipes container in too if I do this). Before I put this together, I was always having to run back and forth between the changing pad (on the floor) and the drawers and shelves where we keep the bulk of the diapering supplies and it was just annoying! So now I just restock the kit while Maddy plays around under her mobile after a change. Much easier!
So that’s how we cloth diaper!
There hasn’t been any knitting since I finished the second pair of Maddypants, but I figure that doesn’t mean I can’t blog! So, how about a baby-related post? Y’all remember this post about our nursery? Well, as is bound to happen when babies are involved, we’ve made some changes that seem to work better for all of us since I made that post, so I thought I might write about them. I always found the “this is what works for us” posts really helpful when reading about nurseries and cloth diapers and whatnot before M was born, so why not add one to the bunch?
Here’s our nursery now:
The big difference? No more crib.
Maddy wasn’t sleeping in it. We planned on our little munchkin spending the first few months in the co-sleeper next to our bed, anyway, so we anticipated that she wouldn’t sleep in it right away. But it turned out even the co-sleeper wasn’t close enough to mama (for a variety of reasons – I couldn’t even lift her out of it given my injuries after her birth so it was easier to just nurse her in bed next to me and not bother putting her back. Plus, starting in week 3, she’d only sleep touching me, anyway), and so now we’re full-on bedsharers. We didn’t plan it that way, but it’s just what works for us. But it doesn’t QUITE work for us.
Well, here’s the thing: when your wee baby will only sleep next you, but also goes to bed around 7pm, guess what that means? That means mama goes to bed at 7pm, too. And believe me, I’m exhausted enough most days that I probably ought to go to bed that early, but what I realized is that I was getting depressed by being shut off in the darkened bedroom within about an hour of when my husband got home from work. And going to bed earlier than I was ready to sleep was setting me up for a nighttime of insomnia. So even when Maddy slept well, I basically didn’t sleep at all for awhile. It wasn’t pretty.
Enter: the crib mattress on the floor.
In brainstorming some possible solutions, I remembered reading about the Montessori philosophy regarding baby rooms. The general idea is to have a room centered around the needs and abilities of the child, and one of the things that characterizes such a nursery is having the bed on the floor. This allows the child, once they’re ready, to get in and out of bed themselves. There are many aspects of this philosophy that I like (and in fact, if we can swing it, financially, I’d love for M to go to Montessori school), but there are other reasons to prefer a crib mattress on the floor to an actual crib. Such as:
1. Now I can lay next to M and nurse her to sleep before rolling off the mattress and leaving her there for her first block of sleep of the night. Once she wakes up wanting to nurse, I just bring her into bed and we go back to being bed-sharers. Down the road we may end up transitioning to her staying on the crib mattress the whole night and me getting up and nursing her there when necessary, if it turns out that one or both of us sleeps better that way. We’re still figuring it out. (Please don’t give me crap about nursing her to sleep. It’s what works for us. I know about the “sleep associations” stuff, but I’m not interested in hard-core “sleep training”, for a variety of reasons. So just…don’t. Thank you.) But in any case, no WAY could I lay with her at all if she were in a crib! (Of course, this would all be even nicer if we could fit a regular twin-sized mattress on the floor, but for one thing, there’s not room in the closet-turned-nursery for one, and for two, we lost the twin-sized bed we were saving when our basement flooded last summer).
2. This is very specific to my own situation, but if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know I have some back/joint problems. I’m quite frankly shocked that I can still wear Maddy as much as I do (she’s pushing 20 pounds at this point, my little giant!), but it honestly doesn’t hurt my back (it helps that I have crazy-strong core muscles). But what DOES hurt my back is trying to bend over something like a crib railing while carrying her weight. I just can’t do it. My back seizes up and I just can’t. The crib mattress on the floor lets me squat/kneel with her (which I can do) if I’m putting her down. They always say, “bend with your legs, not your back!” but crib railing makes bending with your legs impossible!
3. It makes a great changing-station spot. You’ll also note in the above picture that there’s no more changing pad on the dresser. Once baby gets wiggly (and our dear Maddy got wiggly really early on), you DO NOT want to be doing diaper changes up high. Or at least, I did not. The mattress on the floor gives me a convenient, soft place to lay down a wipe-clean change mat and changer her diaper. She can’t really get hurt if she rolls off. We’ve got a soft (but not overly “fluffy”) rug (which we picked because it brought the bright greens that used to be in the crib back into the room) next to her mattress, and it’s a very shallow drop, so I’m not worried about her safety.
On the diaper-front, stay tuned – I’m also working on a “what has worked (or not) for us” post regarding cloth diapering!
Now that the dresser is free, we’re using it for Maddy’s books:
The Very Busy Spider has become our “nighttime ritual” book for now. Maddy loves to “help” us turn the pages – it’s so adorable. We also keep her sound machine (thank goodness for white noise!) there. A tip for anyone embarking on the baby thing: in terms of white-noise, don’t even bother with the Sleep Sheep (which we do have, it was a gift from her great-grandparents, and it IS cute), for two reasons: it’s WAY too quiet, and it’s got a timed shut-off. Guess what happens when the (too quiet) white noise shuts off? Baby wakes up! Why on earth the makers of the Sleep Sheep think the timer is a good idea is beyond me. Perhaps none of them have babies. Anyway, you want your white noise LOUD and CONTINUOUS. I use a white noise app on my iPhone when she’s in bed with us, but didn’t want to leave my phone with her for that first sleep of the night, so we got one of these, which we like, though we don’t really use the “projector” feature at all.
Another lifesaver in the nursery: blackout shades!
The curtains I made for our windows back when we first moved in just don’t keep light out very well at all. So we ordered some blackout roller shades to hang behind our regular curtains. This works great – the roller shades are kind of ugly but you never actually see them, anyway!
So that’s our nursery. She still only sleeps in it a fraction of the time, but it works for us, and that’s all that really matters.
I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted last, but it was long enough ago that I’d forgotten what my last post was about – how funny that I’ve got two posts in a row (but almost 2 months apart) about the same pattern! I ended up going up two sizes with the (modified) Vanilla pattern in hopes of being able to finish before Maddy outgrew them, and it worked:
I used the brown shade of Lion Brand Fishermens Wool this time around, and I’m really happy with that choice! I also added a little detail that I didn’t use with the first pair of Maddypants:
See that little mini-cable running up the side “seams”? I figured that since I crossed the stitches when I joined to knit the main part of the soaker in the round, I’d just keep crossing them this time, every other row. The purl columns on either side of the mini-cable are just carried along from the sl1-p1 edge I used along the part of the pattern that’s knit flat. I like how “fancy” this little soaker looks, just from one really simple modification. All of the other changes I made for these Maddypants are the same as the ones I made the first time I knit the pattern.
The fit is great – there’s still some room and stretch for her to grow into them a bit, but they’re not baggy on her. Right now I’m using these less as a true soaker, and more as a sort of soft pair of shorts over her Thirsties covers (which in turn are over a cotton prefold). Right now we don’t have a good set-up for drying wool soakers if we used them that way, so I don’t particularly want this one to get “soaked” until we figure something out on that front!
I’d like to say I’ll be posting more frequently than every 2 months or so, but I have no idea – life is just crazy right now! Maddy and I just spent 10 days traveling to Minnesota and then Kansas to visit family, and now that we’re back, I’m trying to make progress on my dissertation, prep next year’s class that I’ll be teaching, and most importantly of all, get me and Maddy sleeping better, because I’m so sleep-deprived I can barely function! This week I celebrated my 29th birthday. I took a picture with my girl to mark the first day of the last year of my twenties:
Just for good measure, I’ll close this post with a picture of my dear girl that includes her lovely face and not just her bottom or the back of her head:
4.5 months old and so very big already! I still can’t believe that tiny little me produced such a giant baby. She’s developing in leaps and bounds, and it’s so exciting (if exhausting) to watch her grow into the intense little person she’s becoming.
(Maddy-pants is one of the nicknames I use with my dear girl. I have no idea why I think appending “pants” to a name is funny, but I do.)
I knit a diaper cover for my little Madrigal!
Unfortunately, this kid is growing like a weed (already over 15 pounds at 3 months old!), and I chose a too-small size. C’est la vie. I can always knit bigger ones.
Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Vanilla (but with some modifications)
Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool
Needles: Size 5 and Size 3 Knitpicks Harmony dpns
Time to knit: Exactly a week (wow, that’s surprisingly fast given current circumstances!)
I’ve been wanting to make Maddy some knit “shorts” to wear over her big cloth diaper butt once it gets a little warmer and she’s no longer wearing sleepers all day long, and the Vanilla pattern seemed like a great place to start. It’s a really well-put-together pattern, with multiple size options in multiple gauges, but of course, me being me, I had to go and change things up. I just can’t follow a pattern to the letter, I don’t have it in me.
The primary change that I made was switching the ribbing at the legs and waist to 1×1 rib, rather than 2×2 rib. I did this just so that I could use a tubular bind off, because I’m just never happy with the stretchiness or appearance of bind-offs done in 2×2 rib.
The other change I made was pretty minor: I simply substituted a s1, p1 edge when knitting the flat part of the diaper (if you have the pattern, you’ll know what I’m talking about), so that I’d have a nice edge to pick up stitches from when I did the leg ribbing (I just have this thing about the sl1, p1 edge, you see).
I switched to smaller needles when I picked up for the ribbing, and this created a nice, neat looking ribbed cuff. I also used smaller needles for the ribbing at the waist.
I love the yarn I used, by the way. It’s nice and wooly but not scratchy, and I know it’ll take a lanolin treatment like a pro (which will give it some added water-resistance). I’ve got a few skeins of it in this shade, plus a few in a dark brown shade, that I picked up several years ago when it was my habit to use the 50% off coupons for this particular yarn at JoAnn. I think the next pair I make for her will be dark brown. Because yes, there WILL be a next pair. And probably more after that.
My dear girl is 3 months old today! These 3 months have felt both like forever and like no time at all. So strange, what babies do to time.
We had such gorgeous light coming through our upstairs window this morning, and with my husband working from home today, I figured we had the perfect opportunity for a babyStripes! photoshoot. Taking (clear) pictures of Maddy is definitely a 2-person job right now! For extra fun, I threw on my Stripes! sweater:
babyStripes! is still a tiny bit big on my dear Maddy (who is on the large side for a nearly 3-month old, which tells me that my sizing scheme for the pattern might be slightly off, since this is *supposed* to be 3 month sized!), and it still lacks a zipper (though I did buy a bright acid green one in the correct size, so it’s really a matter of finding the time). But it’s awesome nonetheless.
And I do love that I’ve now got photos of Maddy and I wearing both of our matching sweaters :)
I fully intend to knit another one of these for Maddy before Rhinebeck, in a larger size. I’ve also got ideas brewing for a baby-sized Vahtralehed cardigan…we’ll see!
We managed to get some still shots of Madrigal wearing her new Aviatrix hat before we took off on a walk yesterday afternoon. Sleeping baby = perfect photo opportunity!
I knit it a little big for her, since she’s growing so fast I figured it might last a bit longer that way. I just adore the way it looks on her!
Those ridges! The earflaps! Goodness, I love this pattern. I’m so going to knit Maddy more of them as she grows.
Y’all already got a sneak peek at this hat in the last photo of my last post, but since it’s my first FO post-baby, I wanted to give it a dedicated FO post of its own.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my baby girl’s noggin had outgrown the hats I knit for her before she was born, and since I like to take her with me everywhere I go, she definitely needed a new hat so that we could leave the house! I’d seen several of these Aviatrix hats on various knitting blogs and thought they were so cute, so decided that I’d make one for Maddy.
The button came in a package that a friend of mine sent to me shortly after Maddy was born, after she’d heard that I had no button stash of my own. I love the look of the turquoise against that green! You can also see in that picture that I used the tubular cast-on instead of what was called for in the pattern. I just don’t see the point in using anything other than the tubular cast-on for 1×1 rib. It looks SO nice.
My poor sleep-deprived new mama brain couldn’t quite get things right, though…I miscounted and knit the chinstrap too short, and also forgot to knit any buttonholes. I solved that problem by taking the length of yarn left after I bound off, and crocheting a little button loop at the end. I figure if she outgrows that length, I can always crochet extra loops as needed on the end of that loop. I’m actually pretty happy with how that detail worked out, even though it was purely the result of inattention!
I’d love to show you a photo of it on my dear Maddy. She’s worn it a lot already, but my girl, she does not really do “still”. Perhaps this weekend, when I have my husband home to help me out, I can get a modeled shot. But for now, just trust me: it’s adorable.
(I’ve been reading bits of Winnie-The-Pooh to Maddy, and have grown enamored of the “In which…” openings for each chapter)
Y’all, I have become a die-hard baby wearer. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t pop my girl in the carrier while I go about my daily business, and the idea of pushing her around in a stroller or leaving her to sit in an infant seat (which she wouldn’t do anyway…my girl needs mama contact, and HOW) is utterly foreign to me. Look at all the things you can do while wearing a baby:
And if you combine those last two, and knit during nursing-in-the-carrier time, you can knit your baby a new hat in just two days! I’ll be giving Maddy’s new Aviatrix a post of its own later today, but seriously, a good 80% of it was knit while nursing her in the carrier. You just can’t beat that sort of multitasking. And while I can only speak for my own experience, the day I started being able to wear Maddy is the day she stopped being so fussy and cranky. Babies love touch!
The carrier we use the most (which you see in every photo above) is the Beco Gemini. It can be snapped to be narrower at the base, perfect for the wee ones (though my girl isn’t so wee anymore – she’s 95th percentile for weight and height!), and is really well proportioned for petite mamas like me (I’m sure it’d work great for the less-petite, too, but a problem I’ve had with other soft-structured carriers is that they’re just cut too wide to be comfortable for me). We’ve also experimented with the Sleepy Wrap, but I find it super awkward to get on and off (as a short, scrawny mama, I’m just SWAMPED by the amount of fabric!), so don’t use it that much. It’s hard to know what will work for you without trying a bunch of things, which can unfortunately get pretty expensive (speaking of which, I’m thinking of selling off the other soft-structured carrier we have, a Boba 3G, because it just doesn’t seem to work for us), but once it works, it’s like magic. I’d go completely bonkers if I couldn’t carry Maddy around with me all the time and nurse her whenever she wants without being stuck sitting down. Such freedom! And wonderful bonding time with my baby girl.
(I promise, I’ll post about the Aviatrix hat later!)
Before I get to the crafty stuff (and there isn’t actually much of that), how about a totally hilarious photo of my kid?
The finger gun just kills me. Totally serendipitous, but I love it.
So, Madrigal is 8 weeks old now. Wow, these first 8 weeks have been crazy and wonderful and so very difficult! There’s not been much time at all for crafty business, but I did manage to sneak a tiny bit of time yesterday to knit the ribbing for an Aviatrix hat for my darling daughter, whose giant noggin has already outgrown the hats I knit for her before she was born. (I feel like I should take a moment to sing some praise for the GoodReader app on the iPhone, which gives me access to my Ravelry pattern library. I use my iPhone so much when I’m taking care of Maddy, and it is wonderful to have portable access to my knitting patterns (including Aviatrix)).
Since we can’t have a bare-headed baby in the sort of temperatures we get here in the winter, a new hat is a priority item! Of course, I’m now worrying that this hat won’t be warm enough for my baby girl, and am plotting a double-thick hat (much like my own) too. And since my baby girl doesn’t have any mittens at all (which simply won’t do!), I’d like to knit her a double-thick pair of those, too…and of course my designer brain is spinning with ideas to make them fit multiple sizes by having a row of eyelets to cinch the mittens around the wrist, but at different heights in the inner vs. outer layer (I’m not sure if that sentence I just wrote makes any sense to anyone but me, but I suppose I’m the only one who needs it to make sense, anyway!).
I’ve got other knits planned, too – a pair of fingerless gloves for a dear friend of mine being first and foremost among them. We’ll see how much time I can steal away for knitting in the foreseeable future; I doubt there will be many sweaters coming off my needles for the next few months, since wrangling something as large as a sweater body (or even sleeve) while wearing Maddy in the carrier is a bit beyond my current skillset!
I thought it might be nice to sort of recap 2011 in terms of my crafty endeavors. This past year certainly wasn’t my most prolific, knitting-wise, but considering that I also made a baby this year, I can’t really complain!
My first finished project of 2011 was the Garter Rib Cardigan:
That sweater has seen SO much wear in the last year! It’s pretty much the perfect sweater. I started another one, but haven’t yet finished it, nor have I finished the pattern I’m writing for it. But I’ve not forgotten about it!
Next, there was Sullivan. I don’t have a photo of my own, since I finished the sample on the last possible day I could in order to get it to Jared in time for photography. Designing and knitting a sweater during my first trimester turned out to be pretty darn difficult, but I’m so proud of the pattern. It’s done really well, and I’ve gotten great feedback from the people who’ve knit it, and overall I’m just really delighted with the whole experience of working with the Brooklyn Tweed folks and being part of Wool People and would love to be able to work with them again.
Other than those two projects, everything else I made this year was for my baby. Two projects were sweaters based off ones I’d designed in my own size: babyStripes!, and the baby version of the Garter Rib cardigan. babyStripes! ended up being a bit bigger than I’d intended, so I’ve not put it on Maddy just yet, but the baby Garter Rib was perfectly newborn-sized. In fact, I bet it wouldn’t even fit my chunky little girl anymore!
I also made hats. Three of them: A modified sweet baby cap, intended to match babyStripes!, a plain 2×2 ribbed cap, and a pumpkin hat, which we used when we brought her home from the hospital two days after Thanksgiving.
So, what does 2012 have in store? I have no idea. I plan to finish a few patterns (and maybe create some totally new ones), and I’d like to knit a couple more cardigans for myself (since cardigans are all I can wear right now, what with having become Madrigal’s sole food source!), as well as some more things for Maddy. I’m hoping to make it to Rhinebeck this year, and even if *I* don’t have a spiffy new Rhinebeck sweater, I’d really like for my baby girl to have one! But I’m not going to set any real goals or expectations for myself on the crafty front. It’s just too hard to predict how things will go now that I’m a mother. And expectations just set you up for frustration and disappointment. I just want to enjoy this year, and especially my baby girl, as much as possible. If I get a lot of crafting done, great, and if I don’t, so be it.