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April 15, 2014 ~ Bumpy Blankets

Look!  A yarn cake! #ballwinder

Cake!

So, yeah. Life got busy – Birthdays, travel, work, kids.  So, instead of dealing with all that, (though I do promise a birthday post!), let’s talk about a yarn project.  It’s easier, for now, anyway.

The lovely friend who gave me this awesome yarn, also had a spare ball winder…  and gifted it to me.  This is the first yarn cake I ever made.  So much fun!  Cake!  I didn’t think I’d really enjoy the winder, but oh, I do.  It’s so lovely.  Watching the skeins quickly disappear is really a joy, much more than winding them yourself.  A swift would have been super helpful back then, but that’s food for another post…

The girls needed blankets for Stu’s car.  He takes them to day care at times in his car, and they complained to me a few times about being cold in it.  And with the spare Lumpy Bumpy yarn, I had more than enough yarn to make them each a blanket.  I decided to crochet one and knit the other

 

#knit #car #blanket in progress #lumpybumpy

Knit Lumpy Bumpy

The knit one is very similar to the Big Button Wrap, but with slightly different dimensions.  Still, fun to watch the color and texture variations appear.

First #lumpybumpy #car #blanket is done #crochet

Crochet Lumpy Bumpy

The crochet version looked a bit like cauliflower as it worked up.  I needed to start over, I was using a hook that was a bit too small, and the stitches were coming out a bit too tight.  Redoing it with a slightly larger hook gave it a bit more airy look.  There’s no big pattern for this at all, just a chain that was about 34 inches long, and I crocheted until it was about 24 inches long.  I did finish it off with a quick single crochet border, but nothing fancy.  The yarn really didn’t need it.

I may have used about twice as much yarn in the crochet version than the knit, for about the same dimensions, not that I was keeping track.  I do think the color and texture work a bit better with crochet…

 

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Crochet

Ashlin told me she likes the crochet one better than the knit… Teagan doesn’t seem to mind either…

I think I have another two hanks of this hiding downstairs…

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March 31, 2014 ~ Blocks

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Baby with Baby Blocks

This is Ashlin’s blanket!  I used a pattern from the Lion Brand site – Baby Blocks.  I picked yarn colors that would go with the bedding we had.  I stayed away from the browns and yellows, focusing instead on the bright colors from the flowers and leaves.

I had started working a different blanket – a sampler afghan. I wasn’t happy with the way the few squares turned out – I just couldn’t get the gauge right – so pulled them apart and started the Baby Blocks.   Eventually, I’ll do the sampler, it is very pretty.

I know I always say this, but I liked working this blanket up.  The small squares were very easy to bring around with me – to and from work, the salon, the car, wherever.

I started the blanket in May but didn’t get it done until November.  It hibernated for a lot of the summer.  There was no rush.  Ashlin wouldn’t be needing it soon, she wasn’t close to being moved out of her crib, although she was climbing out. It got put aside for other projects with sooner due dates.

There were some troubles, not enough of a discontinued yarn color – orange.  Some squares were done with the wrong color order – each color was used on each round five times.  To make the size we needed, I did 20 squares instead of 12, this worked better for the colors, though did make it difficult to decide on the final positioning.  Too many dark colors on a row made it look lopsided, so each needed to be balanced out.

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Stack of Squares

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Final Position

As always, this was a learning experience.  Other than learning I have less-than-stellar color choices, (at times), I learned to do an invisible seam.

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Almost mattress-stitch

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Invisible Join

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used instructions from this site to join all the squares.  It’s very similar to a mattress stitch used when joining knit pieces.  You sew up through the bar between the top loop of the stitch.  Then you pull the yarn tight.  You don’t even need to use a coordinating yarn color.  When you pull the yarn tight, you can hardly see the yarn used.  You just need to be sure not to pull too tight, or the squares pucker at the join.  There’s a tiny bit of a bump, but that could be due to the tightness of the yarn used to seam.

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Snuggling in

I’m sure Ashlin won’t ever notice.

Another change from the official pattern was to add a border.  I just think it pulls everything together and gives the blanket a finished look.  I used my copy of Around the Corner for the border.

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Corner

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Edge

 

I went around the joined squares twice with single crochet before using the border patterns from page 120 (blue round) and 59 (green crab stitch).  I do wish I had kept up the corner style of the squares when doing the border.  But that’s a small thing.  I am really happy with it.

And Ashlin is as well.  And that’s what really matters.

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March 28, 2014 ~ One Day Shy

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Brand New

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Deep Thoughts

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One

#goof in a #easter #bonnet

Two

At the party

Three

So fast!  How can she be three?  Well, one day shy of three.  Crazy.

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March 25, 2014 ~ Swift Sleep

Trying a #noodle to keep her from falling out. She also was excited to have her #crochet blanket. Not that you can tell. #lifehack #toddlers #fallingoutofbed #growingup Although Ashlin loves her converted bed, it doesn’t love her.  She’s been falling out at least once a night.  I go in and find her crying, half asleep, standing there unable to figure out how to get back in bed.  So, tonight we are trying a lifehack - a pool noodle!

I picked one up on the way home from work and cut it down a bit – she was having trouble crawling over it.  Hopefully it helps.  I’m sure she’s not enjoying falling out of bed.  It must be a bit shocking.

Even though you can’t tell, she’s very happy to get in bed, with her noodle bumper and her crocheted blanket.  I got her before she did the “I love you” sign she does every night.  Sweet girl.

Today was a good day, I got a new toy!  A co-worker’s husband made me an Amish Swift.  It’s awesome!  I couldn’t wait to get home to wind some yarn.  Heh.  I feel all official and serious now that I have both a swift and a ball winder.  Making cake is fun :D
I have a new toy! #swift #yarn #amishswift #baller

Yarn cake was fast on the new #swift #baller #amishswift
Now. What am I going to do with this yarn??

12 Comments »

March 22, 2014 ~ Sleep & Fun

nap time

Nap Time

So last night went pretty well.  She woke up once before midnight asking to color, but was persuaded easily enough to go back to bed.  She woke when I opened the door to check on her – the light from the hall shines on her face now.  We may need to rethink that.

She ended up sleeping through the night, until she fell out of bed around 4:30.  Not too bad for a first night.

She napped well this morning.  So well that we ended up being late for her friend’s birthday party because I didn’t want to wake her.  Ash is always a out of sorts when you do wake her, timid, clingy.

Although the ride down gave her some time, it wasn’t quite enough.  And there were a few people already there, so she was a bit shy at first, but soon enough warmed up.  They had a hippity-hop.

And cake.  Delicious cake.

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Happy!

By the time we had to leave, she was talking to just about everyone.  Not quite the social butterfly that Teagan can be, but definitely more outgoing than on arrival.

But the party tired her out.  I put her down for a second nap – yay! – and again, she slept hard.  I needed to wake her up.  Again.

It’s still a bit too early, but so far, she’s been happy about her grown-up room.

2 Comments »

March 21, 2014 ~ So Big

Someone’s Head is Going to Explode

Today we took the side off Ashlin’s crib.  She had been climbing out for months now, though without much frequency.  That is, until this week.  Also, she’s only just figured out how to open her door by herself.  Up until then, her sister would let her out so they could color in Teagan’s room.

There really isn’t a problem with her climbing out, other than that she doesn’t stay in her room.  If we’re lucky, she goes into Teagan’s room for a bit.  But this week, every morning, she was in our room.  She would climb in bed and snuggle, (which is nice!), sit on the floor and read, (there are still some books on the floor where she settled in), then endless demands for downstairs and bananas.

So, decided to take the side off before she broke her bed, or maybe hurt herself.  To make room for her to have better access to her books, we pushed the twin beds together and off to the side, blocking the second closet, and put the crib in the corner.  I also got a small table and chairs so she could color in her room if she wanted. Or invite her sister in.

Left Room for the Glider

I wanted to keep the  glider, she still likes being rocked before bed, if only for a few moments.  She needs to keep a little bit of the baby…  Just for a little bit longer.

We hadn’t told her we would be doing this today, all the pieces fell together for it to be done.  We took the girls out for a burger, told her there was a surprise waiting for her at home.  When she saw her new room, her face lit up, and she didn’t know where to look first, what to touch first.

As we were rocking before bed tonight, (gotta keep that glider!), she told me she really likes this new place.

She’s been quiet up there.

So far.

Fingers crossed she’s a good, big girl, in the morning!

Happy Big Girl

4 Comments »

March 19, 2014 ~ Love is Like [Crocheting] Ice Cream

Granny Stripe

This doesn’t exist any more.  I pulled out almost 1,700 yards of afghan worked in granny stripe, balled the yarn, and started over.  Yeah, crazy.  I know.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped liking how the Neapolitan yarn was looking with the granny stripe stitch.  I actually enjoy the stitch, and actually crocheting it.  Something about the stitch and the yarn, and the change of skeins.  I’m not even sure what it was.

So, I hunted for a new pattern to do, a different style.  Something that isn’t all clusters, but still had an interesting stitch combination.  And of course, nothing too intricate, any of the intracacy would be lost in the strawberry/chocolate/vanilla striping of the yarn.  Also, crocheting is usually very relaxing, and most often done at the end of the day when I’m tired.  I don’t count well when I’m tired.

I ended up starting this pattern instead.  I think I’m happy.  It’s been fun so far.

Do-Over

 

 

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March 18, 2014 ~ Runner

Star Runner

I finished the lace runner for Teagan’s dresser the other day.  It was much easier than I thought.  It was not as difficult or fiddly as I thought it would be!

Scared of the idea of a doily, lace, I had gotten some sock yarn – fingering – to use instead.  I hadn’t thought about the sock yarn would be a bit more stretchy than the cotton thread.  I just thought it would be a bit less daunting than the thread, and not as tiny to work with.   At least for a first attempt.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought!  Granted, the first two attempts to do the motif weren’t successful, it felt as if the pattern was written for someone that knew what they were doing.  Not me.  Those first attempts were wonky, with the wrong number of stitches, bad joins, too stretchy.  Eventually, I got it figured out though.

Even with the wrong yarn, I decided to go ahead and work it up anyway.  A decision that Teagan was very happy with when she found out the pink star thingy was going to be for her.

It didn’t take too long to work up, I could get two maybe three motifs done and connected a night.  A week and a bit to get it all done, with the border.  There’s just blocking to do.  I’m not sure how well it will block, stretchy sock yarn and all.  But it will be just fine.

Teagan will be happy with it, as is.  I’ll probably do this pattern again, with cotton thread, I enjoyed working it that much, and am than pleased with how it turned out.

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March 17, 2014 ~ Shamrocks!

Shiny Shamrocks

Last week Teagan brought me home some shiny shamrocks as a present, because I wasn’t feeling well.

Today, we sent the girls off to day care with shamrocks on their cheeks.  They were so excited! We had put them on before the St. Patrick’s day Shamrock run which NayNay and PopPop ran in.  The run was followed by a parade.  Yay!  Both girls were happy to cheer on the runners, and then settle in for the parade.  They are fans of firetrucks and bagpipes.  Lots of the floats and marchers threw candy and snacks at the onlookers.  That’s also a big draw.

Shamrocks

Stu didn’t get to stay around for the parade, unfortunately.  He had to get back home and work.  But the girls were mostly good, and LaLa, PopPop and NayNay were lots of help.

The girls missed him, and couldn’t wait to tell him about the race, the firetrucks and the bad man who threw half a cookie at them.  A crazy, drunk man dressed up as St. Patrick on a float for a bar.

Today, they got to wear their shamrock shirts – wear green day at day care! – and Teagan came home with a green derby.  And she found gold (chocolate) coins at the end of the rainbow!

Also, her bruise is turning a lovely shade of green.

Lucky Charm

Ashlin got some tomato sauce on her face, and looked like a back up singer for Adam Ant.  She had a good day, though didn’t get gold coins.  She said the leprechaun didn’t visit her room, though there was some talk of a rainbow…

Back-Up Singer

Ashlin got some tomato sauce on her face, and looked like a back up singer from Adam Ant

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March 12, 2014 ~ Booty by the Rainbow

It’s a Leprechaun!

This is Teagan’s Leprechaun.  She made it at day care the other day and couldn’t wait to show it to us – it still had a little wet glue at pick up.  She tried telling Stu what it was, even though she couldn’t remember the word “leprechaun.”  So much fun watching her brain try to make the connection.

She said:  “I made uh… uh… uh…  A person.  It’s a person who gives presents next to a rainbow!”
 
Oh, honey, do you mean a leprechaun?
Yes! A leper-corn!
 
Sweetie, it’s lepra-con.  Leper is not quite the same thing.

I think he’s kinda cute.  He’s already hanging on the wall.

 

She’s been a case of opposites lately.  Super adorable one minute, pint-sized demon the next.  And one that is bursting the seams of her clothes and shoes!  But I don’t want to really think about all the clothes I need to try to mend, all the shoes we’re going to need to get her.  How upset she made me when she said that we could simply buy her a new one.  I have no idea where she got that.

Let’s leave with another cute moment, shall we?

On the way to day care the other day, she told Stu that when she starts Kindergarten, she wants a backpack.  A very specific one.  It’ needs to be a fuchsia backpack, and inside she wants a Jake and the Neverland Pirates lunchbox. In the lunchbox she wants sandwiches, fruit snacks and a drink. Oh, and of course Booty.  She wants Pirate’s Booty.

She may be practicing her pirate signature

Signature

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