Category Archives: baby things

an everything post….

Kind of like an everything bagel, only without the garlic.  I save the garlic for other posts.  Otherwise we’ve got it all; the 52 project, knitting, sewing, the weather, a tree…

I’m having issues with the auto-focus on my camera.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Seraphina’s new Baby Bubble Bloomeralls!  Ack!  Don’t you just want to kiss her cheeks?!? I modified the pattern to include a button closure between the legs for easier diaper changes/potty using.  The yarn is Capra DK in ‘Velveteen’.  I’ve been itching for an excuse to make her something in this color for ages now.

Ok and now the weather, because she’s out in that, in the middle of December!  It’s so crazy.  There’s green grass in these pictures!  We were out getting our Christmas tree in sweaters.  With no snow boots.  This all feels very strange and kind of wrong.  I’m not sure what to make of it.  But it was rather nice not to have our fingers and toes going numb while waiting for everyone to decide exactly which tree was the right tree.

Books- I finished The Princess and the Goblin and passed it on to Galen.  I misplaced my birthday book (this happens far more often then I care to admit) and have picked up this instead.

After cleaning out her drawers it turns out that Mairi Rose basically had the two pairs of velour pants I made her last year left to cover the lower half of her body- daytime or night time.  This did not seem to be enough, so in between quilt sewing (did I mention I’m actually working on two quilts now?) I’ve been making leggings.  Pretty much all the same pattern in different fabrics.  I haven’t really been keeping track of them all.  Let’s see, there was another pair of velour ones in a tan color, these stripped ones that I mentioned before and a pink and purple stripped pair…  Basically just assume that I made any pants you see her in from here on out!  I thought the last two weren’t really warm enough for winter wear (as it turns out I may have been wrong!  It’s got to hit sometime, right?).  As I was out of really thick stretchy fabric, I jumped at a sale and got a yard each of a handful of things.  She picked out some bubble gum pink cotton fleece with roses on it.  There was enough to make an attached skirt as well.  She liked that idea and I figured two layers of fleece would be warmer than one.

Tomorrow we are baking cookies.  I have some last minute knitting to do and if I get the chance, I’d like to do it alongside a nice period piece (tv show, mini-series or movie), because that’s just the kind of mood I’m in, any suggestions?


in moss…

Goodness, I can’t decide if it’s ridiculously cute or just plain ridiculous!  That collar looked much smaller all scrunched up on my needles.  And the hair!  I don’t even know what happened there.  There were kids egging me on.  She absolutely hates the sweater.  Though it seems to be growing on her.  The first time I tried it on her she screamed and cried and ripped it off.  She kept trying to convince me it was Mairi’s hoping that she could be rid of it that way.  The second time we tricked her into it by being terribly amusing (distracting) while she was getting dressed and every time after when she thought about it and started pulling at it.  I’m not sure what her issue is with it?  The yarn is very soft.  I think it must be the crazy collar.  Whatever her qualms, she seems to be mellowing.  Which is a very good thing because she’s in need of warm clothes.  Last week she even brought it to me asking to wear it.


delicate lace

That’s the name of the paint color that we are oh, so slowly covering most of our first floor in.  I like to think that I’m above being influenced by the names of colors.  Surely I can’t be swayed by something so superficial?  The wildly disproportionate number of colors we’ve used with textile related names seems to indicate otherwise!Every morning two pajama clad little girls hide in my curtains giggling.

I never shared Seraphina’s toddler blanket, though it’s been done for six months or so now.  I meant to get very official photos of it laid out to block or hung up in the sunshine or most especially, me carrying her all bundled up in it.  But of course I never did any of that.  All I have are a few pictures that happen to include her shawl.  Including the two that I just happened to snap while admiring it one day.

Usually I’m not the least bit conceited about my knitting projects.  I enjoy making them and I enjoy using them, but I don’t think that makes me anything special exactly.  I’m just so tickled by this particular knit, completely smitten really, that I feel as though perhaps just a bit of it’s glory is reflected back on me and sometimes when I look at it, I confess that I may be just a wee bit pleased with myself.  

It’s huge.  I made the large version.  I used an adult sized sleeping bag, unzipped, to block it and the blanket stretched to it’s full width and length.

It was worked in soft and squishy Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Yarn. The undyed yarn is a beautiful warm cream color and using it meant that I could make a mostly merino blanket for a very reasonable price.

Her shawl- for a shawl it truly is, knit in the traditional Shetland Hap Shawl style, is much beloved.  She always sleeps under it.  She’s carried down from her naps wrapped in her creamy woolen cocoon.  It’s understood that she’s not really awake and ready to join in life again until she’s willing to shed her shawl.  Mairi is rather jealous and has asked me to make her one.  I can’t blame her really.  I dream of having one of my own as well.

I’m now reading Why Can’t I Get Better?  all the way through and it’s fabulous.  I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from chronic illness.



comfort knitting

More simple baby knits in soul soothing baby colors.  As mindless as mindless can be.  And even so I noticed a mistake in my first row of ribbing.  Ribbing for goodness sake!  Can you imagine?  And I also decided I was too beat to care enough to fix it.

I’m just barely reading Anne of the Island from the Anne of Green Gables series.  I picked it up at random in the bathroom one day.  Are other people’s houses like this?  We have books everywhere, but they seem to kind of funnel here.  Especially in the upstairs one where Galen thinks he’s being clever and sly by hiding out in there to read after lights out time.  Once a week or so, usually over Sunday dinner, I’ll mention that I counted, say, 11 books in there earlier and as there aren’t 11 people in this house that can read, it seems like maybe some of them could be returned to shelves?  I don’t even know who was responsible for the appearance of this one, but no one has complained about it going missing yet.  I could be reading any one of my more serious books, but I’m so tired that I wouldn’t remember a bit of them anyway and so the balm of good, old, reliable, steadfast Anne with an “E” it is.

Wee Miss Seraphina Violet Juliette, usually the very picture of glowing, roly-poly, rose cheeked health, who never gets any more than a touch of what may be going around, has developed the worst case of croup that I’ve ever borne witness to, resulting in several scary, sleepless nights for the both of us.  Thankfully it has just about run its course.  It’s been such a relief to hear her singing to herself again, even if her voice is still just barely more than a little squeak.  Things seem to be improving, but it’s been another very long week, in a streak of long weeks.


Halloween and 44/52

I had what I thought was an adorable idea for a costume for Seraphina and others.  As of 3:30 on October 30th, all that I’d managed of it was her little hat.  And I couldn’t have cared less.  In fact, I was quite ready to throw in the towel with Halloween across the board.  Try again next year.  Maybe.  Maybe not even that.  But Elijah, who obviously puts great stock in creative Halloween costumes, and probably equally pressing was looking to get out of washing dishes, laid the old sheet I was planning on using out on the table and started piecing together a pattern.  And so, with a good deal of help, I rallied and there were costumes all around.

I wanted Mairi Rose to be a Matryoshka with us, but no, she wanted to be Tink to his Pan.  Mommy and daughters matching costume?  Totally cute.  Controlling mommy who insists you wear the costume she wants you to wear?  Not so cute.  So I did not push even though it really would have been kind of perfect since she is just the right in between size.  Side note: All three boys and I just recently watched the Milwaukee Ballet’s production of Peter Pan.  It was magical.  And inspiring for a certain young, male, ballet dancer.

Sewing notes: I used this pattern for Seraphina’s bonnet and a pattern similar to this one for my kerchief- which was very comfortable and stayed on perfectly and I want to make a bunch more for everyday wear.  Seraphina’s dress is this one.  Details on the sweater to come.  I just made my dress up as I went along.  It didn’t balloon out as nicely as it could have.  Also, for the record, I’m not actually shaped like Humptey-Dumptey.  Or at least not any more so than you would expect a woman who has given birth to five children to be.  It’s the costume, honest! (well, mostly anyway)  Mairi’s leggings in the first picture were made from this pattern.


Finally ready….

Two years ago….

Last year.

And this year…

Finally ready from some leaf jumping fun with her big siblings in her new High Waisted Overalls!  And oh, is she ever so pleased about it.  The autumn season has been one of magical discovery for her, from the very first leaves drifting perplexingly down from the trees while she stood pointing skyward calling, “uh-oh! uh-oh! fell!” to the leaves placed in her hands that were so brightly colored and lovely that she kept calling them flowers, and now on to crispy-crunchy leaf jumping fun.

I worked on these overalls late in the summer, just as the goldenrod was starting to go over.  We would be on our way somewhere and I would be knitting away as we passed field upon field reflecting the colors in my hands.  It was such a lovely feeling to be tuned into the natural world in that way that I started to think I should knit from nature, taking my cues from the season all the time.  Of course winter might get a bit monotonous.  And easily stained.

These photos were taken on one of our forest days, when the three littlest ones and I were sheltering under some trees at the edge of the woods, near our fire pit, during a light rain.  We roasted apples and baked potatoes and made a small impromptu pile of leaves for playing.  They have a monstrous heap now.  One that all five of them could hide in without detection.


white sands and grey sands

     This post is all interrelated, but only from my perspective.  It’s all curled around and into itself like that shell.  I could try to explain it, but I don’t think it would make much of a difference to you.

Do you know that song?  We used to sing it as a round in the family folk chorus we attended years ago.  I often found myself humming it or singing softly to myself as I worked on this little dress, while sitting on a beach back in June.  That Rabbit Heather Tweed yarn with it’s little flecks of rich brown and delicate beige reminds me so much of the sand on the shores of a particular pristine kettle pond, one of my very favorite spots in the world.  It’s peaceful there.  This entire dress was knit while we were away, but I only recently worked in the ends and added the button.  I thought it was so of that place that I needed to work some part of it in somehow.  I brought home a little pouch of trinkets that I thought might work: small shells, smooth pebbles.  This sea snail shell seemed to make the best button.

Reading, reading, reading; thinking and researching and reading some more.  I’m reading Why Can’t I Get Better: Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease in bits and pieces, whatever sections seem most relevant.

     Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Coinfections by Stephen Buhner came highly recommended to me, and is rather heavy as you might imagine.  It’s a very valuable resource, full to the brim with important information.  Yet, I’ve been struggling to get through it.  In the beginning it was because vision problems were causing me difficulties, but also because it was freaking me out and I could only assimilate the info in small doses.  Even so it still made me feel like there were ticks all over me and tiny worms corkscrewing themselves into my eyeballs and brain.  I’m towards the end now, where I thought I would feel hopeful and I suppose I do to a degree, but the protocol is vast and over-whelming, so there is that as well.

Then there is Out of the Woods: Healing Lyme Disease for Mind, Body and Spirit, also difficult for me to read, but for entirely different reasons.  While the other books come from a more technical place, this one is mostly a memoir.  One that I can relate to so intimately.  For most of the book she is struggling- desperate and suffering.  When she describes how she feels physically it conjures up such a strong and acute sense memories for me of the way that I felt or the way I still feel.  All the same it is inspiring and very much worth reading.


moss and sky

I’m almost finished with Mairi Rose’s birthday dress.  Is it wrong that I already have her birthday sweater for next year (technically the year after since it will be 5 days into 2017) picked out?  Is it wrong that the same can be said for four out of my five children?

I’m using up the last of the yarn my friend gave me to make Seraphina a little pullover.  It has a crazy big collar.  I’m in the midst of something of a collar obsession, but this is the first time that I’m actually acting on it.  The yarn is the mossiest of moss colors!  When she wears it I believe we will be at risk of losing her in the woods.

We are solidly into woolens season now.  My Sweet Wild Violet is outgrowing most of her bonnets, placing a collection of sweet toddler hats on my must-knit list.  I’m secretly pleased to have such an excuse.  Little bonnets are one of my very favorite things to knit!

I just started reading Kim John Payne’s latest book.  I actually bought it for myself.  I very rarely buy myself books, preferring to avail myself of our local library system.  But I felt certain that I would want to revisit this one often, delving deeper with each return.

Steve brought home a crate of clemetines yesterday.  The house smells like Christmas.  I’m starting to get serious about making plans for the coming holiday/birthday season.  What about you?


Autumnal Blooms

This week Steve and I have pushed the concept of lack of sleep to new limits.  I left Seraphina in the care of someone else for the first time ever.  And also the second time ever.  I spent a spell in the hospital.  We said goodbye to an old friend, much, much too soon.  We accomplished almost nothing in the way of homeschooling.  I’ve given grave and serious consideration to some of our commitments and have come to some conclusions that will alter our day to day life.  It feels like there are more to come.  I don’t really know why I’m sharing this here.  I think I’m just so desperately tired that I’m no longer capable of filtering.  I’m like a sieve.  It has been a very long week.

These flowers are mostly passed over now, though the zinnias and calundula remain.  All of the petals have dropped from the black-eyed susans.  The asters are ragged.  The sunflowers in all their glory were beaten down by a storm.  After a painfully slow start, our morning glories have decided now, when the garden has already been touched by frost in places, is the time to cloak themselves in buds and scattered blooms.

I’m knitting.  I don’t seem to be managing much else, but I’ll knit quietly through illness, through car rides, around a sleeping toddler.  She needs clothes for the cold weather to come.  Miles of yarn has passed through my fingers in the making of clothes for my baby.  It’s comforting in it’s rhythm and simplicity.  I’m the queen of basic patterns right now.  The birthday sweaters in my knitting bag are a pleasantly challenging lot, but my daytime mindless knitting is all as straightforward as knitting gets.  The little sweater above is an In Threes, with lots of room to grow.

I’m re-reading Simplicity Parenting.  I pick it up from time to time.  As my children grow, different aspects speak to me.