Category Archives: friday favorites

Friday Favorites: 2010

Tonight is the end of 2010.  I love New Years, but I find it to be bittersweet.  Another year down, as always, but sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. 2010 was one of the best years of my life.

On New Years Day last year, I was mother to a 7 week old baby.  I was surviving through colicky nights and frequent nursings. Then there was the unknown of my husband’s upcoming training/ career change and all the change that would accompany that.

This New Years Eve, I’m mother to a 13 1/2 month old toddler who now gets around by walking.  He still nurses, but not anything compared to what he used to.  Now we are settled after all the change that has accompanied my husband’s successfully completed training/ career change.

Here’s some stuff my family has done in the past year:

My husband graduated EOD school (that’s such a big deal!)

Made new friends and said goodbye to friends, both new and old

Our family has moved twice

Road Tripped approximately 3383 miles of United States highway

Made it through our first childs first year and ALL the milestones that have come with that

Celebrated our baby’s first birthday

Found our love of sewing

We bought 3 sewing machines

Changed approximately  2920 diapers

Washed approximately 2820 diapers

My husband got 2 new tattoos (now he has 2!)

I knit 9 hats, 8 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of soakers and longies, 3 toys, 5 headbands, 3 dishcloths, 3 bags, my shawlette, a colorwork holiday stocking,  one adult sweater, one toddler sweater with another currently on the needles.

And that’s just the big stuff! 

2010 was filled with so many adventures!  Most of my years are not this action-packed, but some have been.  Still, it’s definitely been the most eventful year of my life.  I’ve enjoyed it very much, even the not-so-great moments.  I’m so happy looking back at it.  Thank you, 2010 for bringing me a year of life that I will never forget. 

I am excitedly welcoming 2011 with open arms.  I have big plans and big dreams, and I hope I can pursue them and have another adventurous year.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, knitting, sewing

Friday Favorites: Mr. Crab

Today was a big day.  My husband graduated one of the longest, most difficult trainings the US Military has to offer.  This training has a 14% graduation rate, and he’s finished.  He did so well and I am so proud of him. 

It was emotional watching him get his crab pinned on. Not only has it been intense for him, but it has been for me too.  It’s finally over and our life will change forever.  I love him so much, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.  He is an amazing person and always does so well with what he sets his mind to. 

Congratulations to my Love!

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Friday Favorites: My Birthday Boy

Well, today’s the day; my baby’s now a toddler.  Today we’re celebrating his first year of life.  I’m very emotional about it but not in the way that I thought I would be.  Instead of mourning the fact that his babyhood is complete, I’m so happy that we have had the time together and that our family is so close and so happy.

A full year has come and gone since he was born.  We’ve now had a full year of breastfeeding, diaper changes, washing diapers, sleeping next to each other, toting him around on our bodies, trying to keep him happy while he cut teeth, and a full year of taking it one day at a time.  It’s been a year of lullabies, cuddles, open mouth kisses, and dancing.  We’ve gone through milestone after milestone and watched our son grow so much.  2 days ago he took his first steps and he has a very large vocabulary.

I’m looking forward to the next year, and every year after that, and every year after that.  Being a parent is an amazing thing, I can’t believe how it’s made me feel and how it’s changed me.

I still can’t believe that it’s been a full year since he was born.  After we were moved to our recovery room in the hospital, Grandma went home and Daddy went to sleep.  It was very late, but my adrenaline rush kicked in even though my body was so physically tired.  I lied there in the bed with my newborn on my chest, skin to skin.  He had just finished his second meal and we were both very content.  He looked up at me, and I looked down at him.  I felt a bond forming, one that had already been there but was now getting better.  Every day we have had these special moments and I love him so much.  I have to say, this past year has been my favorite year of  life.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting

Friday Favorites V: Soakers and Longies

Today I want to talk about my favorite soaker and longies patterns.

Woolies are my favorite type of diaper cover and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience with them.  We haven’t had issues with compression leaks, even in the carseat.  I have found that this is the most satisfying of projects- something so useful and functional.  Using them on such a constant basis is gratifying.

First I’ll talk about the soaker patterns I’ve made and been satisfied with.

The first is Adaptation by Connie Stults.  This has sentimental value to me because it was the first project I knit.  It’s knit flat and in garter stitch, so it was a fantastic beginner project.  It’s the best nighttime soaker ever, basically bullet proof.  The garter stitch makes it stretchy so it accomodates the doubled up prefolds underneath.

The Frantic Mama Knitted Soaker by Rebecca Krolikowski also has sentimental value to me.  After finishing 4 Adaptations, I was ready to move onto knitting in the round.  Frantic Mama is my favorite basic soaker pattern.

The next soaker I’ve made a few times is the Curly Purly pattern by Marnie Ann Joyce.  For those that loathe I-cord, this is a good choice.  Ribbing and a high rise make this soaker fit a baby well.  I like this pattern because it fits for a long period of time.  It’s also the first pattern I made with short rows and I like short rows on the backside of woolies very much.

I sort of wished I had a little girl to knit for so I can make some sweet skirties.  I don’t know if that will ever happen.

I have had rough luck with longies.  The first pair I made were for my newborn, but I made 2 sizes bigger so he could wear them for a long time.  I followed the pattern measurements for the elastic, and even though I made them too big, the elastic was so tight around his belly.  Not only that, but he has short legs so the longies were much too long.  It made me sad.  I didn’t like the pattern since they were knit from the legs up and then joined.  It was a very poor design.

Longies in general have not been well received by me.  Yes they are functional, but it took me a while before I thought they were cute.  I know why, it’s because just about everyone on Ravelry who makes longies makes them with the loudest, most obnoxious variegated yarn they can find (as did I, see above picture).  I have come to the conclusion that I strongly dislike the way variegated yarn knits up, but oh it looks so beautiful in a hank.  A very subtle variation in one color is beautiful, but I hate when it changes colors completely.  I wish I had known that before I bought so much of it.

While I have so far not really liked longies patterns, there is one that I adore.  It’s Leapfrog by Annika Barranti.  I love the cables, I love the short rows, and I love the pictures of her sweet baby in the longies.  They are gender neutral and the example was knit in a solid color that is visually appealing.  I will be making these.

Photo by Annika Barranti

I am currently working on the second pair of longies this season.  It’s my first time doing any sort of colorwork if you don’t count stripes.  I did a Fair Isle chart from a pattern in the book, Son of Stitch and Bitch.  They are nearly finished, but I got burned out working with the wool.  After one evening of working on a project with baby alpaca/slik  yarn, I’m ready to finish the longies.  They will be done soon.

A lot of knitters, including myself, don’t like knitting i-cord.  One day my husband and I were at Jo-Ann’s.  We saw a french knitter on clearance for $1.  He insisted that I try it, and if I didn’t like it I could throw it away since it was so cheap.  Knitting 40 inches of i-cord isn’t fun.  Knitting 40 inches of i-cord on this French Knitter was really fast and easy.  I was really happy with it, and thought I would share in case anyone else out there purposefully avoids knitting i-cord.

You may or may not have noticed, but all patterns I have talked about are free.  This leads me to a serious pet peeve I have, paying for woolie patterns.  Seriously, there are some on Ravelry for $12!  Just for the pattern!  The same day I put my Hootie Pants pattern on Ravelry, another person put a longies pattern up too.  The only thing that made it special was that it had a Jack O Lantern motif on the bum.  Cute yes, but seriously, people can’t just look at it and make it without buying the pattern?  The pattern is $8.  It claims to have some detailed instructions and tutorials but unless someone is fairly new to knitting, this stuff is generally already known.

I have come to a place in my soaker and longies knitting where I can look at the pattern and make it without looking at the instructions.  I know a lot of other knitters that do the same, so charging for woolie patterns is pointless unless there is something really special about it.  This is just my opinion, and I don’t mean any offense to anyone.  I will happily pay for patterns that are special and unique and willingly support designers.  But I have to say, I really appreciate when patterns are free.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, knitting

Friday Favorites IV

Today I’m going to talk about my latest obsession- shawls. 

In my opinion, shawls are so beautiful.  Usually knit with lace or sock weight yarn on larger needles with a lace sequence.  The larger needles and the lace create an airy, yet warm texture.  Here are a few of my favorite designs.

My most favorite is Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Photo By Ysolda Teague

This pattern even has a matching Beret

Photo by Ysolda Teague

Ysolda Teague, for now anyway, is my favorite designer.  She’s only 25 and her designs are absolutely amazing.  I was listening to some older episodes of Never Not Knitting, and she was talking about her almost unhealthy obsession with Ysolda’s designs.  I feel the exact same way!  They are just breathtaking!

Another Favorite: Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante.  This calls for Malabrigo Sock, which is my favorite sock weight yarn.

Photo by Feministy on Flikr

This week one of my friends, raelynne01 on Ravelry and blogger at Drip Drip Drop, finished her first Shawl.  I think it is simply amazing.  She did a wonderful job knitting it. 

 

Photo by Rae Lynne Chase

I have yet to knit my first shawl.  I am going to start it soon, I’ve chosen the pattern and have the yarn.  I’m very excited about it.  Shawls are so beautiful.  And, in my opinion, a test of knitting skills and patience. 

There are so many other shawl patterns I want to talk about, but these are my most favorite. 

This week my husband and I bought an album on Amazon.  It’s called Dragonfly Races by Ellis Paul.  Since having a baby, we’ve discovered children’s music and much to our surprise, we really enjoy it. 

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Friday Favorites III

Something has changed for me lately in the knitting area.  I am suffering from being over inspired.  Yes, I know you all feel so sorry for me. 

I want to make all the socks.  I want to make sweaters for the three of us.  Lately, I’ve been insanely obsessive with shawls.  The problem with feeling this way is that I get discouraged.  I knit so slow!  There’s no way I can knit everything I want to in my lifetime!  Damn my slow fingers! 

Today I’ll talk about the baby sweaters I want to make.  At a knitting group earlier this summer, a friend recommended the book, Vintage Baby Knits.  Most of the patterns are pretty girly, but there are a few really great boy sweaters.  I already made the Dewey Cabled Pullover, but I still have plans to make Rufus, and the Jasper Diamond Hoodie.

 

This week on Ravelry, I discovered a cardigan for toddlers.  It’s called a Cardigan for Merry.  I LOVE it!  The reversible cable border, the hood, the wooden toggle buttons, what’s not to love?

Photo by annypurls

The pattern is a smaller version of the Cardigan for Arwen.  Growing up, I lived in a home where fantasy books and movies were loved.  I never got into it, but I have seen all the Lord Of the Rings.  I knew Arwen was from that book/ movie series.  Well, I didn’t even think about the toddler sized cardigan’s name.  I thought it was for someone’s child named Merry.  A few days later it dawned on me.  Merry!  The Hobbit!  Ha!  That’s a clever name.  I can be such a blonde sometimes.

Aside from names and stuff, I love this little cardigan and I will be making it for my almost toddler.

As always, I watch movies while knitting.  Last night during a caffeine induced insomnia incedent, I watched Year of the Dog.  I had seen it when it was a new release in 2007, but I wasn’t who I am now and I didn’t understand it.  This time around, it was different.  I think it’s my favorite movie. 

I identify with Molly Shannon’s character so much, what with her being an animal lover like me.  I loved that moment when she found out her friend was vegan, she looked down at her chicken sandwich and she finally understood what she was eating, I’ve felt that.  I’ve had that moment, and it’s not a good feeling.  My moment wasn’t nearly that simple, but I wish it had been.

During the rest of the movie, no one understood why she wanted to be vegan or why she wanted to save all the animals. They just thought she was crazy.  I’m a really sensitive person and I’ve had moments where I’ve felt so useless, like there’s nothing that can be done to help them.  No one around seems to care, and I’m the crazy one for caring.  Unlike Peggy, I have an amazingly supportive husband, so my story was much different than hers. 

I’ve gone to the pound on so many occasions and wanted to adopt every single dog there.  Of course I never actually did it (unlike Peggy), but I would go home and sob because there was nothing I could do.

It ended really well.  I thought it was a wonderful movie and I loved it so much.  I think every animal lover should watch it.

Next week’s Favorites:  SHAWL OBSESSION!

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Friday Favorites II

My sock obsession continues, and perhaps is more extreme this week.  I’ve decided I’m in love with stockings.  Lacy knee highs are sexy, and they would be perfect lingerie and go well with a flirty skirt.  Today my stocking obsession is Bintje-Socks by Jatta Saukko.  I love the lacy pattern and the picot cuff is just icing on the cake.  Hmmm… now that I think of it, maybe I also have a thing for picot cuffs on socks.  Anyway, look how beautiful these are!  I MUST make them.  I don’t know when, but sometime.

Photo by Jatta Saukko

Speaking of socks, I made my husband’s last pair of socks with some wonderful yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.  This yarn is 50% wool, 20% Superfine Alpaca and 30% Nylon.  It’s oh so soft, sturdy, and it was perfect to cable with.  The colors are all beautiful, most of which are heathered.  It’s 430 yards at $10.50 a hank.  It takes a full hank to make a pair, and it’s about half the price as other comparable yarns.  The only problem was it was a bit splitty when ripped back, but it wasn’t bad.  Anyway, this yarn was fantastic and I will be using it again and again!

I go through phases with who my favorite designer is.  This week (and most of the time really), it’s Kirstin Kapur.  Her patterns are elegant, fun, and full of cables!  She was recently interviewed on the Petite Purls blog, and after reading it, I love her even more.  She has a group on Ravelry, and a great blog called Through the Loops.  She was the designer of the Make-up socks I made earlier this summer.

I talk about my own favorites too much.  All day we listen to music on Pandora via the Roku box.   This week Little D has a favorite song.  It’s Patrick and Eugene’s The Birds and the Bees.  When it comes on, he crawls to the TV as fast as he can, pulls himself up on the entertainment center, and shakes his little bum.  It’s the cutest thing in the world.  Should I be worried that his favorite song is called the Birds and the Bees?  Maybe it will save me from an awkward conversation in the future.   

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