Craft, sewing

New Sheets

D-Day for Bump’s arrival is getting ever closer. We’ve confirmed with the consultants that I shall be induced a few days before the due date. This is due to my age. Even though all of the growth scans look perfect and Bump is wriggling around like a mad thing statistics support the routine inducement of women over 40 years at or just before term. It seems that going over the chances of something going drastically wrong rises sharply. From my perspective, we get to meet Bump earlier and hopefully she’ll be a few grams lighter and thus easier.

Anyway, this week appears to be nesting week. We’ve started with setting up the crib. In the end we went for a simple swinging crib. When ordering the crib I naturally looked to order some sheets for it as well. Seems the going rate is £15 for two fitted sheets. Meanwhile the going rate for a doona (duvet) cover and pillowcase cover for Katja is about £30. It’s utter madness and there’s no way I’m spending more on sheets for the girls than I do on sheets for myself.

Aldi was selling sheets last weekend, so I popped in and grabbed a single set for £8. (I also spent £2 on elastic) Yesterday I got to work on them. I laid the doona cover on the floor and Katja’s existing one over the top, matching up one of the corners. I then cut out the size leaving about 1 inch on the side and two inches along the top as seam allowances.

Next I sewed up the side seam, just a simple straight seam and overedged with zigzag. I folded over the end and sewed that with a straight stitch and then sewed it together leaving a gap of about 40cm in the middle to allow for the doona to be placed inside. At this point I could have added a couple of buttonholes and then buttons but so far I haven’t bothered (yes I know, I’m lazy). Toddler doona cover done.

The pillow case was easier. I lined the edge up with the open end of the pillowcase – this meant that I could take advantage of the folded over bit in the original. I then cut to size, sewed up with straight stitches and overedged. Fits her mini pillow perfectly.

Next I moved on to the crib sheets. Using the left overs from the single doona cover I cut out two pieces the same size as the crib mattress according to the instructions on Cintia’s blog MyPoppet. It was incredibly simple and took less than an hour to make up both sheets.

So all in all, £10 spent and £35 saved – and even better I’ve got much much prettier sheets than any I’ve seen at those silly prices. I call this a win, in fact I’m dead chuffed with myself for this project.

Crochet, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

February 2014 Round Up

General Pics

We started the month with a quick belly shot – interesting to compare the Katja bump on the left with the new bump on the right. Especially since I feel a lot bigger. My hair is a lot longer too, and has been looking good since Tegan straightened it for me back in April last year – only problem is now that my roots have started to grow I look like I have a frizz mullet!

Katja has finally started to expand her eating and every now and then will even have a sandwich for lunch. One evening she managed to eat all of her own dinner and polish off mine as well – granted it was fish fingers with mashed potato, but I was delighted.

We had an exciting afternoon when two firetrucks turned up, sirens going full blast and about 20 guys jumped out. There was that anxious moment of “OMG what do I need to pack to evacuate” but then I noticed that they were all heading for the block next door.

Towards the end of the month an errand filled morning saw me attempting to use the ergobaby to bring Katja home from nursery. This is no mean feat with the belly but we managed it and the girl thought it was great fun. I paid for it later on!

Also this month Mark visited us, but I was too slack to take any pictures. I’m so useless at that!

Crafty Pics

On the crafty front I ended up with some extra stitches in my cable here but twitter knitters soon put me right 🙂

I also blocked Damask – and found out that my cast on is far too tight to get a good scalloped edge. Must work on loosening up. Still, I’m delighted with it 🙂

I also started a hat for me, but it turned out far too big so I’m scrapped that. I then found an old crochet project to scrap and I’ll use that yarn to make a little hat for WeeBump.

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 2014.01 – Farm Animals and a Finished Object

Something I’ve been meaning to do for so long – visit the Gorgie City Farm. It’s only a 10 minute walk down the road from us so there’s really no excuse. Finally last week we did so.

Most of the animals were hiding away, especially the ducks and bunnies. That was a shame. We also didn’t get to see the horse. However Katja was rather impressed with the Moo and the Ba-aa-aa as well as the pigs, chickens and goats. And she adored the dog! The tractor was also a big hit. We’ll definitely head back once the weather starts to warm up again.

Also on display is my first finished object for the year. The pattern is Starboard by Alicia Plummer. The yarn is Adriafil Knitcol in colour 046. I really love the colour and I’m quite pleased with how I got the pockets to kinda match, but I’m not so happy with the result in general. The neckband is too tight and the whole thing is a bit on the small side, and given that I was knitting the 2 year old size and have a skinny kid plus that the pattern should be slouchy, I’m disappointed. Hopefully it’ll block out a bit but worst case scenario is that it is put away for Bump.

Speaking of Bump, we’re now at 28 weeks, so into the third trimester with only 12 weeks to go. The back/hip pain is getting really quite bad now and it’s really nasty when I try to move in bed. C has been a great help picking up the wee one while he’s been off work but it’s now back to normality and doing the heavy (she’s almost 11kg now) lifting myself, not to mention the constant bending over to pick up whatever she’s thrown on the floor. Pregnancy the second time around is proving a little more uncomfortable than the first time!

 

Craft, Katja, My Week in Pictures, Stuff, Tatting

Christmas Failures

First decoration on our real tree #tattinglace

It’s been a crazy few weeks here, but I guess that’s the same for everyone in the Christmas countries. As a result I have totally failed to send cards to anyone, presents have made it only by the skin of their teeth and because I bypassed the wrapping and went straight from store to Mum (thanks Mum!). I also failed to procure baubles for the Christmas tree – shops are out of red ones, I don’t understand!

However, we did survive gastrogeddon which Katja generously brought home from nursery to share. Speaking of nursery, she is loving it now. Gets excited when we arrive and tries to beat the door down while I get her pram sorted. Last Monday was the nursery Christmas party, she was delighted when we went in on an off day and thought Santa was the bees’ knees 🙂

Bump is doing well – very very active which is lovely. We’re booked in for an additional 3 ultrasounds before we meet her – huge bonus! Pelvic pain is getting a bit out of hand at the moment which is the only downer on the pregnancy front.

And the win? I procured some metallic thread and yesterday churned out the snowflake above. It’s needle tatted and took 4 hrs to finish. About the size of a saucer, looks great on the tree.

PS. I was meant to post this on Thursday and failed to do that too! Christian managed to find baubles and I made another snowflake.

Stuff

Introducing…

aaa07ad625c211e3901622000a1fa7fb_7

We are so very excited to be able to introduce you to Bump version 2.

Yes, we finally got to see our second Bump and are pleased to say that this little one is quite a wriggler. It kept stretching out and rolling over and was clearly wide awake during the scan. Such an amazing thing to see. We haven’t found out what flavour yet – that’s not until the next scan. This one is to do a few medical tests and to figure out the official due date which is 31st March 2014.

Craft, Finished Projects, Shopping

A Baby Rainbow

In amongst the great long list of “essential” items for a newborn child that you will see these days is muslins. When I first came across it I was confused – isn’t muslin the cotton cloth that you use to strain jellies in the kitchen? What on earth would I need those for? Apparently they make great burp cloths – but how is strained baby chuck on your shoulder any better than non-strained? Why can’t I use cloth nappy squares like we did for my sisters when they were babies?

Well, it turns out that cloth nappy squares are nolonger in fashion and as such aren’t that easy to find. Muslins are all the rage at the moment, and apparently I will need anything between “more than I have” and “about 100 should do”. Fair enough, they can’t be too expensive I think, after all they’re just hemmed pieces of lightweight fairly open weave pure cotton. A quick search shows that you can buy unbleached muslin fabric at 125cm wide for about £2 per metre. So imagine my surprise when I came across this on the John Lewis website:

Yep, that’s £28.95 for 7 squares of cotton, 60x60cm each. It’s not hard to do the math and see how much you are paying for some cheap dye!

Now anyone who knows me knows that I love colour, bright and happy colours being the best. I would absolutely LOVE to be able to afford to kit out the nursery with these gorgeous cloths, but £30??? And if I wanted a modest amount of them, say 28-30, that would cost £120. I can’t do it – the difference in price would pay for Christian, Bump and I to go to Dublin to see friends, MUCH more important!

But then Aldi had a babywear sale. I picked up £30 worth of muslin cloths – 30 of them! Some were patterned, but most were simple white cloths, 68×68 (yes, bigger than the fancy JL ones) and I had a brainwave. A search on eBay, another £30 and very soon a nice selection of machine dyes arrived in the post. Cue evil laughter….

Now each pack of dye will do 600g of cotton cloth, which is more than I had, so I gathered up some of the towelling nappies I had also purchased as well as some of the small white baby clothes that we’d found thanks to similar issues as the cloths, the coloured ones being ludicrously priced. I washed it all and I got started with my plan.

I divided up all the cloths, nappies and clothes into six piles, weighed each and then it was a simple matter of following the instructions on the dye packet. (you also need salt, but don’t worry about the brand salt from the dye company – I had a couple of packets of that but also used normal table salt for the rest at 46p for 750g!). Each colour took two runs through the machine, followed by a short run to wash the machine afterwards. After a few days I had finished and this is the result:

The end result, for the price of 14 muslin squares from John Lewis, I have 30 in a rainbow of happy colours. I have also transformed 12 towelling nappies and an assortment of boring white baby clothes to match. I call that a win!

Craft, Craftree, Knitting, News & Updates, Tatting

WIP Wednesday Roundup

I’ve not been posting too much of late and it’s not because I’ve nothing to talk about, it’s mainly cos I’ve been so busy. I seem to have an awful lot of irons in the fire.

On the knitting front, there’s Christian’s scarf which has lain dormant since Christmas and which I really should get to work on, especially given the crappy weather we’ve been having of late. There’s also Bump’s dress which just needs the ends sewn in and then some blocking and it’s all finished. Oh and I’ve started a pair of socks, mainly cos I’ve never done socks before and wanted a small project for carrying around. That was a nightmare actually, figuring out the toe. Then there’s the wedding shawl which has been started and frogged twice. (plus plans are underway for some cushion covers, a hat and a jumper for me plus a little cardigan and blanket for Bump)

On the crochet front there’s Bump’s bear which seemed to grind to a halt fairly quickly.

Beading saw me making a mass of stitch markers and then stopping with about 10 to go to finish off the selection of beads I’ve got. I’d also like to make a shambala bracelet, but that requires getting to the bead shop. Really must do that…

Tatting sees a necklace which I got a fair way on a couple of weeks ago but then didn’t finish – I must pull out some findings and get that sorted. I also have plans to write up a couple of patterns, although part of me thinks it may be worth keeping them aside for when Craftree is ready.

Craftree is my big project of the moment. I’m not going to say a lot about it cos it’s still such early days, but it’s going to complement InTatters and be a fabulous website. I’m working with a great developer/designer team on that one and also with a great group of members from InTatters who are probably unaware of just how much their feedback is helping me out. I’m *really* excited about it and can’t wait to be in a position to share more.

I did however manage to finally pot the two plants that I brought over from Ireland with me. Poor things had been sitting in water on the window sill for 6 months and starting to look somewhat pale. Hopefully they’ll enjoy their new compost.

On the job front, I finally managed to get the Job Centre people recognising my Irish contributions, which means I can get some financial help. Still getting the old “you’re overqualified” or “we really need someone for 6 months” run around, but we’re getting there. Soon I’ll be able to get some maternity benefits and be able to relax a little more.

On the wedding front, we’ve booked flights for mum and dad, C and I to go to Germany. Couldn’t book for Bump yet – need a name before we can do that! Apparently we can add her in later.

Then there’s Bump. We’re getting slowly closer on names, we’ve decided on parameters for a cot (ie how wide it can be and still fit) and we’re also getting closer on prams. Meanwhile, we’ve started ante-natal classes and she’s moving around a LOT, she’s getting rather distracting actually. The vicious heart-burn I’ve been suffering has been alleviated thanks to some new drugs so I can stop having Gaviscon for dessert too!

So that’s been me lately. So much for my resolution to not start projects until other projects are finished.