Friday, 27 August 2010

Why do batteries go flat at the wrong time?!

I finished three little baby sets (2 in size 3-6m for the on-time babies and 1 in 0-3 for the tiny premmie) for my mother's group babies to give them all at this week's catch up on Tuesday. The last one, for the premmie, was finished at around 1am on the tuesday morning, so the only photo op I had for them was just bere we were about to go. Unfortunately, this is not the best time for photos as Madelyn LOVES to go to "baby gwoop" and can't get out the door fast enough. Couple that with the light on my camera flashing to say the battery is low, and the result is some very average rushed shots of only 2 f the said outfits! My favourite - the little dinosaur themed set for the littlest baby missed out on getting captured s the camera switched off and we had to go. I wonder if I can get the proud mum to snap a shot for me of the cutie modelling them. Hmmmm... Please excuse the poor photo quality and colour.

Here is the girlie set for the first bub that arrived for our group's second generation of babies, Rosie. Madelyn loved this, and while it looks like a pair of shorts, they are light weight trousers in a very soft light denim. I had to lay this set out about three times before snapping this shot just in time for Madelyn to grab them again. She picked them up, held them against her and said "Madewyn's baby girl cwoves". I told her that they were too small for her, and for a tiny baby instead. She replied "Too small for Maddy. Madewyn grewed" Clever chook, isn't she? At 20 months she now indulges in many a conversation and is a fashionista. Today I had to pull out three sets of clothes because she couldn't make up her mind which set she wanted to wear, and the set I had put out for her was apparrently no good! Where on earth did this come from!? She doesn't get it from me, that's for sure.

Here is the second set for or biggest 2nd group baby, Archie. I made this set first, so the pocket is a little high (my own pattern being tested out as baby gifts).

As you probably know by now, Madelyn is a girlie girl at heart, and loves all things pretty. She now has enough hair for hair clips! And it's even getting a little curl to it which is soooo cute. I had bought a couple but when they kept getting lost and Madelyn kept insisting on wearing them, I decided to buy a bulk lot of supplies and make my own. Here are my first trial clips and I have since made several more. I plan on selling the excess along ith some sets like the ones pictured above either on etsy, or perhaps doing some market stalls. While I don't get a lot of sewing time for myself, the Dad in the house has promised to give me kid free time to sew or make clips if it's for markets, so we'll see how that goes! I'd like to also sell some of my Mei Tai's but they take a lot longer to make so I figured I needed some quick and easy items to make a good stall/online shop.

Of course, I am still plagued by the wool dyeing bug,and have another skein over the airer as I type. Here are the little test pieces all set and dried, and hopefully the h the colours will come out on the skein. I have decided to call the colourway "Climb up my apple tree" that cool kids' Target ad was on TV as I dyed it and I found myself singing along to it and realising that it fitted the colourway really well. This was supposed to be for a unisex newborn gift but I am not sure if I want to keep it for myself now. I really like it!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I'm still here... really...

So many cute little newborns have been showing up in my life recently, with the birth of 3 little second borns into Madelyn's mum and baby group, and a new little niece for us.

While I haven't had a lot of crafting time lately (things are just very busy with an active toddler, an exuberant boy, a house to keep and a job to hold down), I have managed a couple of little things. While our new niece Evie Rose was promised more handmade goodness when I eventually get to it, I did deliver this little outfit to the hospital. When Carina Spencer's baby rompers (both the Small Things romper and Gift Wrap romper) [rav link]started popping up all over ravely, I just NEEDED to knit one of them. It was a tough decision but I decided to go with "Small Things" for ease of putting on and off a tiny newborn, and I thought it looked a bit more girly (knowing my sister was having another little daughter). I dyed up the wool myself, using the colours that reminded me of sweet sugary cupcakes, with swirly butter frosting (there are hints of strawberry, vanilla, lemon, and some blue and green for sprinkles) served with a tasty cappuccino (hence the coffee colour). Madleyn has a serious thing for cupcake adorned clothing, and so for me, I think baby girl = cupcakes! I was going to embellish the back of the romper with a little cupcake embroidery but ran out of time and decided it was pretty cute as it was anyway. Instead of adding the embellishment, I cast on a matching little aviatrix hat [rav link] - a very clever and practical pattern for a newborn noggin! I just love this pattern and really should get one done for Madelyn as she insists on going out on the "wing wings" (swings) when I get home form work and the cool evening air is settling in for the night. Austy would look cute in one too, but DH has decided that he is too old for a beanie (given that it does not get super cold here in Adelaide like it does in other parts) and reminded me that it's a struggle to get him to even wear a jumper some days.

I loved working on the romper, and was really happy with the cupcake inspired wool, even though at first I thought there was too much cream in it. So when Madelyn asked for pyjamas for baby Stella I knew exactly what to do:

I made up the pattern as I went, and it could probably use a couple of short rows in the backside area, however it does the trick and I am quite pleased with myself for managing to develop my own knitting pattern, even if the design is rather plagiarised! The size and shaping is very different from a real baby, so I pretty much had to go alone, with the naked doll on my lap to try it on every now and then as I made shaping changes.

I also participated in another Ravelry swap, this time a colour swap. I was going to make a knitted hat in a semisolid blue, and then add blue things as that was my recipient's favourite colour, however she mentioned that she'd like to try a chocolate/pistachio colourway, so that set the theme. After dyeing up the wool (lovely squishy & soft woolganics 10ply) I scoured her favourites list and found a frog pattern that looked fun to create. Using the pretty green wool from The Dyepot that came as a sweetener for a lost parcel (much appreciated, although totally not necessary - I was extra spoilt there), I came up with Larry. And so the frog theme continued with a froggy appliqued drawstring bag to deliver it all in, and a few freddo frogs. Again, I was running behind my crafting schedule so didn't get a chance to snap any photographs before I hand delivered it to Mel's place. Lucky for me, Mel takes wonderful photographs so I can share.

The sewing machine has seen some action lately too, although I was a bit miffed with my sewing after making a pair of robot embroidered cords for Austy and finding them miles too big (note to self: Austy is certainly not a size 5 in pants!). They were a pain to put together with lots of piecing and curved sewing, but at least they are too big and not too small, so have been relegated to the WIP pile to finish next year (I just need to do the hems so will do that when I know how long his legs will be for next winter). To give me that push back into sewing that I needed, I made this little pinnie for Madelyn from Ottobre (nothing like sewing a pretty little dress to lift the sewing spirits). The pattern may look familiar - it's the same one used by Little Munchkins when she made us a newborn gift for our baby girl. Much simpler to make than those pants, and a pleasing result (although I still need to add a press stud to the ribbon area to line it all up - it closes with hidden resin snaps a little higher than the ribbon).

There has been other progress here too - if you check out the photo above you'll notice that our walls are whiter and the skirting is no longer unpainted wood! That's right - the 70's look (wood panelled walls) has totally gone from our family room (YAY!!!). Thanks to my wonderful DH who had decided I'd nagged him enough about the paint that had been picked, bought and sat in our shed for 2 years. I love it - so much fresher now. I'm still working on him to let me change the curtains (he's worried about the cost, even though I will do them myself).

Also, I have to share my latest dye up. I just love this colour which is slowly turning into a dress for my adorable little girl (who is now as chatty as her big brother - where did my little baby go?!)

And finally, I finished that cute little Ottobre top off with the buttonholes and buttons it was waiting on, and made my favourite "easy pants" for her with some cord that was on sale at Spotlight. Super snuggly and warm, and the size 2 is the perfect fit. This is a boys pattern that I have made several times before, but it seems to have more nappy room than any of my girl's patterns so I think she needs some more. Fantastic quick gratification, and very practical for my very own "Dirt Girl". Her little stockings all have worn patches in the knees - I think these pants are seriously Maddy proof with the double fabric in the knees, and more stainproof than baby pink!