Monday, 22 December 2008

Just dropping in....

Once again the days and weeks have flown past and I have failed to keep my resolve to blog more regularly.

I have been busily making ready for the silly season, crafting, baking, wrapping, socialising and enjoying what remains of my time at home. I am now officially finished my maternity leave, and on rec leave until January 12th. I am sad, but trying not to dwell on it too much.

Tomorrow we head off down the highway to my parents' home, where we will celebrate Christmas. PJ is beside himself with excitement, both at the prospect of a visit from the man in the red suit, and a whole week of playtime with his Grandpa.

The Princess, well she's not so sure what all the fuss is about, and she's not too keen on that beard either.

The good news is that she has been putting on weight, 350g in 3-and-a-half weeks, and is no longer falling off the bottom of the charts. She's started "solids" and is vacuuming up all manner of mushy things. Especially yoghurt!

No, I do not feed her through the nose. It just looks that way.

But I really just wanted to drop by and wish everyone, near and far, a very Happy Christmas if you celebrate, and warmest Season's Greetings if you do something different. Travel safely (if you are travelling) and enjoy the time with your loved ones. You're in my thoughts and my heart.

G x

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

My best friend is a gentle giraffe

A couple of weeks ago, SweetP shared her list of what her three girls will get for Christmas. The list looked like this:

  • something to play with
  • something to share
  • something to read
  • something made by mum

Like many others, I am trying to not get caught up in the consumerism and pressure of the Silly Season. I love this list. Although I'm already a little beyond it (I've been stashing bits and pieces since the middle of the year), next year it will be game on.

In the spirit of the list, I have committed myself to making at least one thing for each of the kids. (Well, between you and me, I've been dying to make this for the Princess for ages, and christmas was just the justifcation for a blissful hour spent at my favourite fabric store buying the pattern and choosing fabric!)

Introducing Mrs Perkins*.

Doesnt she have the sweetest face?

She's made using this pattern from Melly & Me. They have lots of very lovely patterns for softies (and very funky bags - shame I can't muster the courage to finish the one I've got on the go!), but this one has always tugged at my heart-strings.

She was remarkably easy to make - about an hour to sew, then about the same to stuff! And a bit of fiddling to do the finishing. But I'm terribly pleased with her. PJ has been fascinated by the process, watching all the pieces come together, and has demanded a Mrs Perkins of his own. I have other plans for him though.

I hope the Princess likes her. They're about the same size! And if she doesn't well then I'm quite happy to give Mrs Perkins cuddles. When I'm not cuddling the Princess of course.

* Mrs Perkins is the name given to her by Melly & Me. I'd like her to be called something else but I'm not very good at thinking up witty or clever names - any suggestions??

Friday, 5 December 2008

Oh-no-Back-to-work Vest

I like to think that my internet diet has led to an increase in productivity in other areas of my life (efficiency dividend, anyone?), and I have a few FOs to post about to prove it.

Here's the first: my Oh-no-back-to-work Vest. Cos I don't wanna go back to work yet. Hopefully by the time its cool enough to wear it here I will be back in the swing of work.

Pattern: Back-to-school U-neck Vest from Fitted Knits. Easy to follow, logical construction (for me), and I even remembered to check the errata. There are a few for this pattern.

Yarn: Lincraft Balmoral Tweed, 5 balls. This is a weird yarn; the label has it at worsted weight, but it's quite thin. But it blooms really nicely when washed and blocked, and I made the correct tension with no worries. And the meterage is fabulous; I bought 10 balls thinking I'd need 8 and I used less than 5.

Needles: Knitpicks Options 4mm.

Size: 37" bust. I should probably have knit the next size up; I was a bit too hopeful about my potential for post-baby weight-loss. Possibly (hopefully!) by autumn next year both boobs and belly will be a little less....out there.

Mods: Just a couple: I added 5 cm (2") length to the bottom section. I like my tops quite long, and if I did it again I would add twice that. At least. I also did a three-needle cast off at the shoulders. Why seam them when I could do that?

Time taken: September 9th to November 18th 2008. There was a large break to knit the birthday jumper in there; all in all a fairly quick knit.

What I learned: how great knitting in the round is. Well, Miss M's birthday jumper was the first, but this has confirmed how easy and quick it is. This was my first use of bust darts, and they make such a difference to the finished garment.

What this really did for me was boost my knitting confidence. I'm becoming more intuitive in my knitting, I now have much a feel for how the garment goes together and what different parts of it do.

And I love the waffle stitch bodice!

Apart from the *ahem* firm fit, I am totally happy with this vest and I know I'll get lots of wear out of it.

Shame that's likely to be at the office. *sigh*