Friday, January 23, 2009

Something for Me.

If you're a mother, you know that your children's needs and desires come before your own. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I've learned that it's nice to do things for yourself every now and then. ;)

My knitting bag was a jumbled mess of thread, markers, needles, scissors, measuring tapes and gawd knows what else. It was a huge pain in the butt to find things so I've been meaning to pick up one of those handy organizers you can find in the craft section. Alas... with my sewing machine birthday prezzie, why not make one?

I found a neat and versatile tutorial here http://multicrafty.blogspot.com/2007/09/knitting-needle-case-tutorial.html , so I gave it a try! I love how it turned out. I'm now looking forward to my next knitting project.


All rolled up with a white fleece outer...


And the inside.. lots of pockets and a neat marker holder...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Learning Lessons and Sewing Knickers

Today's naptime project was a hat for my son. I mimicked a pre-existing hat given to my daughter when she was an infant. A couple of things went wrong... I've learned a lesson in paying attention to the direction fabric stretches. This hat should have fit my son into toddlerhood, but I turned the fabric and therefore there's no stretch in the earflap/band section. It will go on his head but it's much too tight. It would fit a newborn.
My second problem involved my pattern. I thought I'd save some time by folding the fabric over when I cut but I confused the way I was folding and my hat ended up with an unsightly seam in the front. So here's the finished product, I'll have to try again and work out the kinks for next time!

"Mom, what the heck do you have on my head?"

Onto another project... my daughter is for the most part potty trained. She hasn't had an accident during the day in a long time, but every few nights she wakes up with a wet bed and I feel like it's disrupting her sleep. So I made some training pants for her. I used the Wee Weka Pull-on Trainers pattern found here: http://www.thenappynetwork.org.nz/diy.php . I added a layer of cotton terry covered with a bamboo/cotton fabric at the gusset to soak up accidents, and the outer part is made of fleece for it's water proof properties.
The front...
The inside of the back, showing the soaker.

She's sleeping now, so I hope it fits her! It was fun to sew. I recommend this pattern to anyone looking for a versatile pant/diaper cover/trainer pattern for about age 2.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today's Naptime Project

I had heard of several people making their own "Rita Rump Pocket" diapers featured here: http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html
It was a fun, quick (like 40 minutes) sewing project and in the end Gabriel has a brand new completely functional diaper. He has outgrown his infant size prefolds, so by making some of these diapers, I can use all of those prefolds as inserts. I'm betting this diaper cost me about $1.50 to make.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Gabey Baby Drool Catcher (knitting)

Gabey Baby Drool Catcher


My son is in the "drooling like a hound dog over a steak" phase. Those little terry bibs hold up for about 2 seconds before they become a wet limp towel around his neck... and does that make him mad! This basic knit bib lasts 10 times as long, plus it has a large stockinette face where you can place an adorable knitting chart. Above I've added a breastfeeding mommy and the phrase "Boob Man".


Abbreviations:
DPNs - double pointed needles
Co - cast on
K - knit
P - purl
BO - bind off
S - slip
K2tog - knit two together

Size baby (toddler)

Needed:
4.5mm straight knitting needles
4.5mm (or 4mm) DPNs
Tapestry needle
Sized with worsted weight yarn. Se whatever type/weight you like, just be aware that it will make it larger/smaller based on what you use.

Co - 40 (50) stitches
Row 1-5: knit (garter stitch)
Row 6: k7, p26(36), k7
Row7: knit
Row 8: k6, p28(38), k6
Row 9: knit
Row10: k5, p30(40), k5
Row11: knit
Repeat Row 10 & 11 until desired length.

Then:
Row 1: k6, p28(38), k6
Row 2: knit
Row 3: k7, p26(36), k7
Row 4-8: knit
Row 9: knit 15, place these 15 stitches on a holder, BO 10 (20), knit 15 to finish row.
Row 10: k15
Row 11: s1, k2tog, k9, k2tog, k1
Row 12: knit
Row 13: s1, k2tog, k7, k2tog, k1
Row 14: knit
Row 15: s1, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k1
Row 16: knit
Row 17: s1, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k1
Row 18: knit
Row 19: s1, k2tog, k1, knit2tog, k1
Row 20: knit
Row 21: s1, k2tog twice (3 stitches remain)
Row 22: knit
- finish this side of the bib with an I-cord using the 3 remaining stitches.
- Return to the 15 stitches on the holder, restart your yarn and repeat rows 10-22 and finish this side with another i-cord.

I-cord: Slip remaining stitches purl wise onto a DPN (same size or slightly smaller), *knit all stitches, slide to opposite end of needle without turning, knit all stitches*, continue ** until desired length is achieved (12“ will give you lots to make a bow). Cut yarn, and using a tapestry needle, thread the end into the 3 stitches, pull tight and weave in end.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recycled Longies with Feet (sewing)

Recycled Longies with Feet


What's better than a diaper cover that you don't have to match with socks? ;) I came up short when looking online for a tutorial on this, so I chronicled my own "winging it". Please let me know if anything is unclear.

You will need:

-A soft 100% wool sweater, lamb's wool or merino are nice. (you can find lots at used clothing stores!)
- a sewing machine (or a needle if your adventurous)
-some fabric of your choice for the feet
-elastic for the waist
- a measuring tape
- scissors
- matching thread
- straight pins
- a pencil

Credit is given to this lady for most of the instructions for the pants alone: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=227639 I'm just giving a recap with my materials.

*Hint* I did this by looking at the foot of a pre-existing sleeper. So grab a set and turn it insideout, it may help to have an example in front of you.


1. Measure your baby. Waist, inseam, rise and foot length.
2. Cut the sleeves off of your sweater like so...



3. Measure up from the cuff along the seam and mark the length of baby's inseam with a straight pin. (both legs)



4. Cut down the seam until you reach the straight pin. (on both legs)



5. Turn one leg inside out and tuck the right-side-out sleeve inside of the inside out sleeve. Line up the cut edges, pin and sew down both sides. I added an extra layer of sewing over the crotch. (the point of the V)








6. Turned out properly, they will look like this:





7. Measure your desired rise and pin down the top, all the way around for the waist. Sew it down, leaving a few inches open for your elastic.






8. Cut your elastic about an inch shorter than your baby's waist measurement. Thread it through the opening with whatever method you like. Some attach the end to a large safety pin, I used a crochet hook. Sew your elastic to complete the loop and finish sewing down the waist.


9. Now pick out your cutie fabric and freehand an oval, make it one inch longer than your baby's foot. The width is approximately one inch smaller than the length (i.e., my baby's foot is 4 inches, so my oval was 5x4)




10. Now make a matching half oval.






11. Fold your fabric over so you can cut out two ovals and two half ovals at once. Pin them together to hold the ovals while you cut.


12. They will look like this:



13. Unpin them and lay the half ovals over top of the full ovals, right side together and pin them. Like so:



14. Sew them together leaving the straight edge open. Also leave a little flap on either side (don't sew right up to the straight edge, leave about a half an inch free)



15. Turned right side out, they will look like this. (it's almost a foot!)




16. On the front portion of the cuff, cut an indent as pictured below. This is where the half-oval, (a.k.a. top of the foot) will attach to the pant leg.




17. Turn your pants inside out.

18. Pin the straight edge of your half oval to the indent you cut in the pant leg. Remember your pant leg is turned inside out, but you still want to pin your fabric to the right side of the wool. And to further complicate (lol), the wrong side of your fabric is facing out... like so:

19. Sew where you just pinned. (so you're sewing a straight line, connecting your half oval to the wool)


20. Now open the bottom of the "foot" so you're looking at the full oval, wrong side up.
21. Match the portion of your oval that's not sewed up with the remaining wool cuff, and pin the edges. Doing so should completely close in the foot.
23. Sew the two edges together.
22. It should look like the foot pictured below.

24. Once you turn the leg right side out, you have a foot! Repeat for the other leg.
It's a little hard to explain in spots. Please let me know if you can't follow a section!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What was old is new again

I made a spontaneous trip to a used clothing store today (crazy, I know.) to look for some wool sweaters. I've noticed that a lot of people sew longies from old sweaters so I wanted to give it a try.


I made these longies with feet this evening from a $2 lambs wool sweater, and I think they turned out pretty cute! It'll be nice to not have to search for a pair of socks when he's wearing them... heehee


I'll add action shots when they've been washed and lanolized. And since this was a trial pair, next time I'll take pictures and post a tutorial.
ETA: An action shot... and now that I've tried them on, I'll be adding some elastic to the back part of the ankle to keep his feet in place!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Embellishing a Prefold Picture Tutorial



Embellishing a Prefold: A Picture Tutorial

Is your diaper stash lacking a little sparkle? Is your baby adorable and you want to put adorable things on his or her butt? Do you lack the funds to blow hundreds of dollars on custom designs? Embellishing your prefolds may be the answer.


First, put your kids down for a well deserved nap and pluck your freshly washed prefolds from the dryer.
Find, and dust off that hot, metally thing with the nobs and long cord.... ahh... an iron, that's it... and shove aside your partner's wrinkly shirts.
Iron out all of those lovely quilty pillows in your prefolds so they're easier to measure and won't bunch up in your sewing machine.

Next, measure the thicker centre portion of your prefold and pick out your favourite adorable fabric. Here I use flannel because I like cotton. Later I might put some minky on a different one for a built in diaper cover. ;) Cut your fabric to fit the centre part of the diaper that you measured, adding a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.


Next, you fold in the edges of your rectangle of fabric and press them flat. (I do this right on top of the diaper so I know my fabric is the exact same size as the centre of the diaper).

Pin the edges of your fabric down to the diaper.



Now dust off that other necessary piece of machinery, the sewing machine. Also, now's your opportunity to use one of those fancy stitches your machine can do but you may know nothing about... lol







Run your stitch pretty close to the edge of the fabric, all the way around your rectangle. Double back a very short distance at the beginning and end of your sewing to prevent unravelling. (When I come to a corner, I stop with my needle still in the fabric, lift the foot, turn the fabric and continue along the new edge)



Cut any loose strings and voila! you have an adorable new diaper. And just in time... the baby's up from his nap and ready to wear his new custom.




Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mommy Dating

We moved to a new town at the end of November, so I've had to find new things to do with the kiddos. On Monday we went to a breastfeeding group and on Tuesday a pre-schooler play group.

I've never been one to easily make friends. I have had the same friends since my childhood... they are safe and I hope they never leave me because the world of Mommy Dating is a little scary.

I talked to the Moms at these new groups. They all seem very nice and some have children the exact same age as my children, but I can't help but think, "Is their place way bigger/nicer than mine?" "Will they think I'm too young to be a mom of two?" "Does she think I'm boring?" Uggg... at least when one is interested in a man you can fall back on a sexy outfit and some flirting... women are far more complicated.

I would love to have a Mommy friend with a toddler for Ella to play with and a baby for Gabriel to grow with but how does one go about courting a fellow Mom? Do you ask her over for coffee? Do you exchange phone numbers? e-mail addresses?

Why is this so difficult? lol

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gabey Baby Diaper Cover




Gabey Baby Diaper Cover

*This is my first attempt at writing a knitting pattern. Please direct any questions or suggestions my way so I can improve. Also, I have not physically created the large size, so the number of stitches cast on is a guess.*

Gauge:
22 stitches in 10cm

Needed:
3.25mm 40cm circular needles
4.5mm 40cm circular needles
4.5mm double pointed needles
Tapestry needle
Measuring tape to make rise and leg length the correct size

Abbreviations Used:
CO- cast on
cm - centimeters
YO - yarn over
2tog - 2 together
ss - stockinet stitch
M1L - make one left
M1R - make one right
DPN- double point needles
K - knit
P - purl

Size Small (Medium, Large) using Worsted 3 Ply 100% Merino Wool

CO 100 (112, 120) Stitches using size 3.25mm 40cm circular needles
Row 1-4 (1-5, 1-6) : Knit 2 Purl 2 ribbing (join to knit in the round before row 1)
Row 5 (6, 7): Eyelet row, Knit 2, YO, purl 2tog
Row 6-9 (7-11, 8-13): Knit 2 Purl 2 ribbing
Row 10-12 (12-14, 14-16): Switch to 4.5mm 40cm circular needles, work in ss.
Row 13 (15,17): Knit 42 (45, 49), place marker, knit 16 (22, 22) place marker, finish row.
Row 14 (16, 18) (1st short row): Knit, placing first short row between markers with wrapped short row method. May remove markers once complete.
Row 15 (17, 19): Knit 25 (28, 30), place marker, knit 50 (56, 60), place marker, finish row.
Row 16 (18, 20) to desired rise: SS placing 5 (7, 7) more short rows between markers at these locations: row 20, 26, 32, 38 and 44 (M - 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 71 L - 26, 34, 42, 50, 58, 66, 73). You may wish to move the markers in toward one another after each short row by one or two stitches. Once short rows are complete, remove markers.
-Once desired rise has been reached, *knit 49 (55, 59) stitches, place marker, knit 1, place marker*. Repeat ** once.
-Then *Knit to marker, slip marker, M1R, knit to marker, M1L, slip marker, knit to next marker. Slip marker, M1R, knit to marker, MIL, slip marker. Knit one row plain.* Repeat ** until 7 (13, 15) stitches are between the two sets of markers.-Knit to first marker, then knit next 7 (13, 15) stitches onto size 4.5mm DPN.
-Continue knitting to next marker, placing stitches onto additional set of 4.5mm DPNs or smaller length circular.
-Place next 7 (13, 15) stitches onto size 4.5mm DPN, break yarn leaving a 15 inch tail.
- Using the two DPNs, each with 7 (13, 15) stitches, graft the two of them together, right side out, using kitchener stitch, weave in end once complete.
- You’ve now created the gusset and on either side you have the beginnings of the cuffs or legs.
- Divide the stitches from one leg evenly onto 3, 4.5mm DPNs. Pick up approximately 4 stitches from the side of the gusset, and restart your yarn at the inside of the leg.
- You may work the cuff or leg in whatever method you like, listed below are a leg for longies and a ruffled cuff for a skirtie soaker. Any holes remaining beside gusset can be sewed together using tail from beginning of leg.

Longies/Shorties:
Work each leg separately in SS until the desired length is achieved. Finish with a seed stitch cuff of at least 2.5cm. Seed stitch is achieved by K1P1 and on the next row you do the opposite so that the knits and purls are staggered. Bind off and weave in all ends.
Ruffled Cuff:
Knit 2 rows. *Knit in front and back of every stitch for one row. Knit one row plain*. Repeat ** once.
Bind off and weave in all ends.
I-Cord:
Make an I-cord drawstring with 2 double point needles. CO 3 or 4 stitches, *knit all stitches, slide to opposite end of needle*. Repeat ** until cord is desired length. To end, break yard and thread through stitches with needle, pulling tight and weaving in both ends. Weave I-cord into eyelet row of waitband, and voila! You have an adorable diaper cover.
About this Pattern:
Please make these for personal use, donation or gifts (and send me pictures to r-ripley@hotmail.com!). You can even sell them if you want, just link back to here whenever possible. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A day in the life of my son's behind.

I took a picture of every diaper my son wore today, with a couple of extras. It was fun. ;)http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=202831&l=faa3a&id=847300480

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No reason video

Just because I think he's cute when he plays with his toys...
video

Calorimetry for a Doula


A quick fun knit. I hope it fits her and she likes it! I added the flower and feel like it's very "pin up girl in the winter". ;)


Here's a link to the pattern I used for those that are interested. I made one for myself a little bit ago and they really are comfy, cute and warm.




And here's the flower I added..