This is the first ever proper knitted item of clothing that I have ever made (not counting baby socks/bootees), from the book Essential Baby by Debbie Bliss. It's for my friend's baby that is due in August. Had I known beforehand how many stitches needed picking up and how tricky a business knitting on a round needle was, I may never have attempted it, but I'm pleased now that it's done. The book does give easy to follow, illustrated instructions for all of the knitting techniques used but I still needed to consult my mum. Anyway, this is the front...
...and the back.
Essential Baby has some really great patterns in it, particularly the duffel coat which is just beautiful and a must-try if I have another baby. Another plus from making this tank top is that it's provided a good general idea of how to go about making the tank tops for my teddy bears.
A couple of years back a duck layed her eggs in my mother-in-law's back garden. Sadly, as the nest was very obvious, despite the duck's best efforts, all of the eggs were taken by magpies. We were all upset for Mrs Duck although a 'Lassie went to live on a farm' style white-lie was told to the grandchildren to spare their feelings. It was all very stressful for my mother-in-law who was witness to it all.
Then last year Mrs Duck returned - she'd learnt a harsh lesson the previous year and had got wise to the nasty magpies and the first clue we had to her return was 13 ducklings running about on the lawn. All 13 survived and spent their early weeks in the lap of luxury with a paddling pool and duck feed aplenty. Despite the 100% survival rate it was still a pretty stressful time, their guardianship was a heavy weight for my mum-in-law and so this year she asked would I scour the garden for any sign of a nest. Every border and nook was studied and I confidently reported that all was clear.
It was a bit of a surprise then last week to see this...
I think somebody else will be asked to do the search next year.
Yes that is a baking tin they're bathing in temporarily, a paddling pool is on the shopping list for the weekend. 15 ducklings hatched, sadly 2 have been taken but hopefully the remaining 13 will make it. Aidan is loving watching them through the patio window and doesn't seem to mind not being able to use his slide in the garden at the moment.
I have a lot to thank my mum for but most recently, it's for this little beaute!
The school at which she works were getting rid of it and asked did she know of anyone that would want it and so here it is. It was missing a part that my mum managed to get hold of and it's now in full tickety-boo working order. I do have a machine already, work very kindly allowed me to keep my industrial one when my job ended, but whilst it is a great super-fast machine it only does straight stitch.
Plus, as you may be able to see, the industrial machine is housed in the shedquarters in the garden and so the little one will be perfect for not just zig-zagging but cold, dark night sewing too! Ta Mum x
I'm sticking to what I know at the minute and have designed a bear that I'm going to try and sell. It's nice to be able to make something without having to consider the cost implications of the design and whether the features are suited to mass production. Rarely, if ever, could I add some detailing to a design because it 'looked good' as it would always be cheaper without and that was almost always more important to the client. I've always worked within these perimeters and am not convinced I'm completely free of them yet, I think this bear needs a bit more of an edge but will see if it evolves over time.
This chap is my reference version, my control sample for facial detailing and for experimenting on. The task this week is to make a fewmore and take them to a couple of shops to see whether selling them locally or via the internet is an option. Not sure how cost-effective they'll be but it'd be nice to make a bit of cash to help out.
It's strange not having a job and I'm never quite sure how to answer when people ask what I do. I can't really say I'm a stay-at-home mum as my dad looks after my son a few afternoons a week still and I don't work as such not having made a penny since being made redundant.
Big news on the home-front is Aidan spent his first night in his big-boys bed. We were all set for a night of shepherding him back to bed but no, he stayed put. Don't think he's twigged fully that he can just get out of bed if he wants as he asked me to pass him a book that was on the floor next to him. Tonight maybe a bit different.
We're off for a long weekend of Easter egg hunts and building sandcastles whilst wearing anoraks, with the family. Hopefully after the egg painting competition travesty of '08, we shall triumph in the Easter bonnet competition this year. Taking it all far too seriously? Well yes possibly.
The pitter-patter of tiny feet has become a deafening stampede over recent months as so many of my friends are pregnant - meaning that I'm in almost constant need of a baby gift. Whilst money is tight I've decided to make some bootees to give as presents, always trying to have a pair for each gender ready to go as each baby arrives (that's the theory, don't know if I can pull off that level of organisation). This pair are about to be wrapped up to go to a little boy who is 10 days old today.
The bootee pattern is from the book 'Baby Knits for Beginners' by Debbie Bliss and to add a bit more detail I hand-stitched a couple of felt stars on at the end. I'm quite pleased with them but I'm never very comfortable with giving things I've made a gifts, find it a bit embarrassing really but needs must! I'm a bit of a Debbie Bliss fan as it was through one of her books that I got back into knitting, having not done any since childhood. My next project aside from the bootee conveyor belt, is a baby tank top in an attempt to prove a friend wrong in her belief that all hand-knit baby clothes are naff!
Never underestimate a toddlers capacity for destruction.
I have neglected this golden rule twice in the past week. Firstly by not thinking my son could unscrew the lid of a bronzing powder jar, my cream bedroom carpet coming off worst in that instance. Then yesterday, by putting a bag of Easter eggs next to his car seat, well even if he did know what they were it's not as if he could get through the packaging... ...thank goodness for baby wipes.