Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A New Rhythm and Baby Bunnies

Ah hello my long lost friends! It feels like forever since I've been back in this place. I've been blissfully enjoying my newborn baby and soaking in all her sweet goodness. Maybe since she is my third baby and most likely our last, I finally realize how fleeting babyhood is? The newborn stage is so short and really one of my favorite stages- so it is so wonderful to sit back and cut out the rest of life's busyness. 

However really with three children now under five I am finding it is a bit impossible to really get a lot of rest. But I don't mind since my recovery has been fantastic and co-sleeping helps a lot with getting better sleep. While this labor was much longer than my others and Brynna's pregnancy had a lot of ups and downs (primarily my hyperemesis), it is so surprising just how great I feel. I mainly attribute my feeling so well to my lovely OB who really made sure I had a great delivery as well as the placenta encapsulation that I had done. I highly recommend placenta encapsulation and if you're interested in more information this site will answer all your questions. Also if you're local to Hampton Roads I can connect you with my encapsulation specialist- her site is here! Again I could go on and on about how great I think encapsulation but I guess it can be summed up for me by the simple fact that at four days postpartum I did not physically feel like I had a baby at all!

But on to the fun stuff :) Before and after delivery I have still been crafting and sewing. I finished with the help of my mother-in-law Brynna's Beatrix Potter quilt. I also completed knitting the oat fields and baby chicks for the knitted farm swap I am participating in! I also have a bunch of fun sewing projects lined up as well as the beginnings of a fairy garden. 

Baby Brynna continues to just amaze me. She is such a calm sweet baby. Really she is the perfect baby for a Momma with a two year old boy! Jonas and Deirdre are smitten with her and life goes on just as it did before with no jealousy issues that I can see. 

I am just so excited to get back into the swing of things but at the same time I am also happy to embrace a totally new family rhythm for my new family of five. I am so very blessed. 

Always, Nicole 

PS: the day Brynna was born, we woke up to find a litter of baby bunnies in our bunny hutch! Hoppy Peter and Brownie welcomed two babies into our growing home. I think it so neat that they share a birth day with Brynna and that her nursery is bunny themed to boot. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some of our day... (and a yarn along)

The lavender sachet and valentine gnome sleeping bag for Natural Suburbia's swap. I'm not done yet but these are a start! I got the idea of the sachet from my friend Stephanie from church. Thank you! 

A doll cardigan for Valentine's day that I am beginning today. I hope my pattern turns out well! For my next yarn along I plan of actually reading something else besides my own pattern as well ;) 

Deirdre's, my 4 year old, sky scarf. She is getting so good. I am proud at her effort.

Deirdre and I are joining in with Ginny again today for a Yarn Along over at her blog, Small Things. You should join in too! She is reading one of my favorite books, Organized Simplicity. You should check it out. It was a game changer for me. 

Well it has been a few days, hasn't it? Thankfully both my children have kicked their colds.  I love it when they have their first uphill day. I miss their laughs and happy spirits when they're sick. I think they miss them too! 

This week we also began our new Winter circulum. My co-op partner and I spent the month to December creating our own curriculum to follow Advent, St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Christmas, and Epiphany. It also allowed us to take a break without feeling guilty because we paid for 4 weeks of material and used maybe 2. This past Autumn we used Little Acorn for all three months and I liked it a lot. There was a lot of material in their package, so much so that I can use it next year and cover stories and crafts we just never got to- and trust me we did a lot! 

So for Winter and Spring we are trying a new circulum out from Wee Folk Art. Best of all it is free and a perfect mix of Waldorf for us. I plan on adding to it as I see fit for my kids and where they are at. I have lots of extra Waldorf resources and enrichment guides that I have gotten through Earthschooling and Little Acorn. That is the beauty of homeschooling for me. Through my education I have been given the tools to effectively teach my children and understand on a deep level where they are at developmentally. That peace gives me more freedom to add and subtract where I see fit, without second guessing myself. I feel immensely blessed to be able to teach them and to have found Waldorf education. If I had not, I think I would feel very lost or torn when it came to their schooling (which really at this point, since it is the preschool years, is not serious at all- as it should be). 

I really feel like a giddy child myself too when it comes to new material. I get really excited about the lessons plans and the upcoming days we will have with each other. I guess that is how it should be? 

At any rate, we are chugging right along. The new ciricuum went off well this week so far and the kids are having fun. I am enjoying watching Deirdre learn to knit and Jonas how to draw and paint. His forms are so cute and purposeful. 

In Nicole news, I submitted my article proposal for the Spring edition of Rhythm of the Home magazine. They accepted it, so now the writing and creating begins. If all goes well this will be my 3rd article with them. I feel so humbled and excited to share a bit of our world with others. I will be cmbing crafting, reading, and teaching in this article. My three great loves, not to mention the book I will be discussing is The Story of the Root Children! I love connecting with new and different people. I also am almost done with my craft swap for Valentines day. Deirdre and I even wet felted some heart ornaments today!  I can't wait to share all that we made. I hope my partner enjoys it! 

Until then!

Daily Quote or Verse:

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
-Psalm 119:111

Friday, January 6, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual birthed by SouleMama. A single photo - few words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . .

Her first row of knitting on her sky scarf!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Little Friend Doll Sweater Tutorial

I am joining Ginny from Small Things this Wednesday for a Yarn Along. Hop over there if you want to join in too! 

A while back we purchased this doll for Deirdre from Nova Natural. She was our first Waldorf doll and is quite well loved. So well loved that her arms began to fall off and she went out of commission for awhile. Amid my hyperemesis this Fall and a move this Summer, poor Vera stayed in my mending basket for far too long. When Christmas rolled around I was determined to mend her and also make her some new clothes. 

I adore Waldorf doll clothes. They are so cute and well made. However as much as I love them, I am not willing to pay $20-$30 for one outfit plus shipping. I have had a hard time sewing clothes for dolls as well so I decided I would try to knit some. 

Then enters this dolly sweater. I am by no means a talented knitter. I'd describe myself as passable, mainly because I am self-taught. I have lots to learn still and little time and patience...haha... so I need to work with what I got. 

So I devised a super simple, super easy pull over sweater for Vera. The head  and arm openings are extra wide so children can put the sweater on themselves. I also knitted with large needles and bulky yarn so that the sweater would give a little (again to make it easier for my daughter to pull it on). 

Vera is 11 inches tall. The pattern is designed for her and other "Little Friend" dolls or 11-12 inch Waldorf dolls. If you have a larger or smaller doll and want to make one for them as well, message me and I can do the math on how to adjust this pattern to fit your doll. 

-Size 10 Needles
-Bulky Yarn that knits up to 4=14 stitches on size 10 needles (I used alpine wool)
-Yarn Needle

1. Cast on 30 stitches 
2. Knit 10 rows 
3. Cast off 7 stitches
4. Knit 16 stitches
5. Cast off 7 stitches 
(At this point you should have 16 stitches in the middle still on your needle)
6. Knit another 20 rows. 
7. Bind off loosely at the end. 
8. Then knit another identical piece following the same steps from above. 

Once you have your two pieces...

1. Sew up your seams along the outside of the sweater, except for the bottom, the ends of the sleeves, and the neck portion. Make sure to leave the neck portion wide. (See photo below)

2. Turn your sweater inside out and weave in any loose ends. 
3. Viola, you should be done and ready to put the sweater on your Little Friend! 

Enjoy! And please let me know how it goes if you knit one ;) 

Daily Verse or Quote: 
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
– Proverbs 1:5-6 (NIV)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Works in progress (WIP) Wednesday

Please excuse my Casper white legs. I am Irish so I come about it honestly! 

Today was a good day. After a busy morning of running around to some public relations for the non-profit mothers group that I volunteer with, I was able to relax and knit this afternoon. Earlier this Spring I began knitting an Elizabeth Zimmermann Tomten sweater. However after knitting it to the sleeves, I got bored as well as frustrated and did not knit for three months! I was so sad. Not mention I was quite busy with school and then the move. 

So taking some of Elizabeth's advice, I just started a new project and gave up on the sweater for now. It was not worth the frustration and boredom I was experiencing. I cannot force myself to do something that I do not want to do, especially when I naturally love it! I want knitting to be fun and relaxing for me. True Nicole time, and well it was turning into another chore. No thank you!    

So today I casted on a little knit gnome or as I call him a tomten. I am using a free pattern from Plain and Joyful Living found here. This is just as good a sweater right? So far I only have his legs done but I think I might finish him by tomorrow. I also plan on knitting some play apples and a pumpkin! In addition I am also working on some reclaimed wood blocks. I need a saw though so they are tabled for a few days. 

Well I am off to bed. I also had a great music filled night. By happenstance I walked in on an old French class friend playing an open mic night at our local coffee shop this evening. Total surprise. I love life. Its so rich and endlessly rewarding. 

Watching Mary Poppins while I finished baking! Love it! (FYI we are down to 15 minutes of TV a day from 1 hour a year ago! ) 

Daily Quote or Verse: 
I like to be surrounded by harmonies and fullness and richness and vitality. 
-Al Jardine of the Beach Boys 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Homemade Easter!

Dressed Up!

Yes I know, its about a month and a half late! I have a good excuse though. We recently got a new computer (yay) but all my Easter photos we on the old one, thus the delay. It is not much fun to blog about homemade Easter baskets if -well- you have no pictures of them, right? 

OK so here are the finished results! 

Jonas' (Left) and Deirdre's (Right)

Deirdre's up close

Jonas' Up Close

So happy! 

Very Excited- He knew exactly what to do! 


Sharing the wealth

Ah so yes. Many hours of love were put into making these baskets. They both were old and ugly thrifted wicker baskets that needed a lot of TLC. I sanded and painted them yellow with a shimmer finish. Then I made matching peach and green Peter Rabbit basket liners. I stole the idea from the new pottery barn liners, which were a ridiculous $25 each, and made my own version! All together the baskets and liner cost me $15. Yes thats right $15. For the paint, fabric, baskets, and all! 

As for the contents the only things that I bought outright new were the chocolates, modeling wax, and crayons. So they are not 100% homemade, but I am sorry, I can't do that just yet and nor do I want to. I love Lindt chocolates and I am not interested in making crayons or wax. So there ;)

The books are all used that I got in a thrift store for 50 cents each. They were in brand new condition. I think my best finds were all three of the "Pat the Bunny" series books as well as two vintage Beatrix Potter hardback books. I know right, perfect for Easter time?

Now for my pride and joy, the knitted animals! For Easter I knitted 2 bunnies, 1 lamb, a chicken & chick, a duck & duckling, and a goose. I also sewed 2 tomatoes and two strawberries   It took me a few days to a week per animal to finish. I used The "Knitted Animals" book by Anne-Dorthe Grigaff. She is an awesome writer. Her instructions were clear and easy. As a beginner I really appreciated that. I also learned the rest of my basics from her gradually by using all the different patterns. Truly a must-have for knitting play animals for kids. 

So at any rate I feel it was a huge success and personal victory for me. I set out to have a handmade Easter, and I did it. My children watched me knitting all those weeks before and were so intrigued and excited. It warmed my heart to hear my daughter asking to learn to knit and requesting em to make her more "babies". All the oohs and ahhhs from her as they came alive on my needles were very encouraging! 

After the easter basket opening was all done she remarked, "Mommy, I love it when you knit things for us. They're soo "pree-cious"! 

Ah so that my friends if why I felt/feel it is important to have homemade holiday and gifts- when one can do it. They come from the heart and instill a sense of appreciation of effort as well as dissuasion of consumerism. A win-win in my book! 

Daily Verse: (Today it is a favorite quote!)
“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”-Pablo Cascals

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I love to knit. It is something I am not naturally gifted at either. So instead of giving up I decided to learn, mostly by myself, how to do it better. The only person I know whom knits is my husband's Grandmother, Oma. When she is here she is very helpful but sadly she lives in Connecticut and we only see them 2-3 times a year. She taught me last summer how to purl and to do a knitted cast on. Of course since I did not knit regularly then I had to relearn both methods, but now I think I can call myself a knitter. 

To date I have knitted 5 scarves, 2 ducks, 2 bunnies, 1 goose, and 1 sheep. My goal is to take a class at our Parks and Rec center which claims to teach sweater knitting to beginners as well as learn to crochet this summer. All of this adds to my long term goal of being able to knit the kids sweaters-hats- or gloves by next winter. I realize that this is a lofty goal but I am not wanting to learn anything super fancy. I know all the basics now, I just want to be able to knit more useful things for my family. 

Three books that have helped me learn solo are: 

All About Knitting by Martingale & Co

This awesome guide to everything knitting was a sweet gift given to me by my mother in law. It has patterns for all levels and is just a great guide to have around when you run into patterns that confuse you. It basically is a knitting encyclopedia. 

Knitted Animals by Anne-dorthe Grigaff

I LOVE this book. All the projects in here are for beginners and the patterns are not in shorthand, so it is good practice. Anyone can do these and if you work your way through all the animals in the book, then you will learn all the stitches. 

Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages by Melanie Falick

This book is a great beginners guide. I like their illustration on the different stitches. It is very clear and easy to understand.

Youtube stitches and methods

So enjoy and maybe one night instead of just TV, you can knit too! Its fun and relaxing, I promise : )

Daily verse: And God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:1-3 NIV