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I’ve really been enjoying making things for baby with leftover balls of yarn. I actually can’t stand all the little half and quarter balls I’ve accumulated so this is very cathartic for me in a lame, type-a kind of way.
I was really hoping these newborn socks would suck up my sock scrap stash (say that five times fast!) but they used barely any yardage.
With that I think I’m done knitting for the baby for a while. I’ve grown paranoid that nothing I’ve made will fit for very long or at all so I’ve moved on to the fully developed humans in my life.
I’ve been hoarding food like there’s a natural disaster on the horizon. In this case the looming chaos is bringing home baby and I want to be prepared. I think the only cure for living on three hours sleep while caring for a screaming baby and hosting visitors is the possibility of having baked goods on hand.
In an attempt to not use up organic eggs like they’re going out of style I bought Veganomicon and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and the first recipe I tried from the latter, these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, were successful.
They have a different texture than your standard Oatmeal Raisin cookies, wetter and chewier, which I enjoy.
Right now I’ve got some Strawberry Banana Muffins baking and they smell great. I’m planning on making lots of muffins because they make a great breakfast, snack or dessert. If you’ve got some tried and true favourites, vegan or not, lay ’em on me.
Before I started mixing and freezing I did something I’ve dreamed about for months. In perhaps a sad example of how pathetic my life has become it wasn’t a trip to Maui or a spa day but a session of kitchen cupboard cleaning and organizing. I picked up a pack of Ball jars and a dozen mason jars in the city and I finally got rid of all those unmarked bags of bulk goods that all seem to look like cream of tartar.
So deeply satisfying and yet so economical!
I also have to give a shout out to our new favourite meal.
Wilted Kale and Roasted Winter Potato Salad may not look or sound like much but Chris literally cheered when I made it again this week. It tastes just as good reheated or eaten cold.
When we’re in Winnipeg, which is often these days since that’s where the doctor is, we’ve been frequenting Fresh Cafe. They have lots of tasty things on the menu but I can only bring myself to order their version of grilled cheese because it’s so dang good. I have mixed emotions about finding a better version of a much loved food. On the one hand it’s delicious but on the other you can never go back to your old, let’s say Kraft cheese slice and white bread, version again. But when it comes to grilled cheese there’s not that much you can do to make it a chore so I’ll never go back to the sorry excuse I grew up on. It’s so easy to reproduce at home!
For starters you need really good ingredients. I’ve recently been converted to Alicia’s Oatmeal Bread and it’s a big hit around these parts. It makes a great sandwich but it you want a quick fix sourdough is always great or Ace’s Organic White Oval (sadly, Ace products don’t seem to be available in this province). Then, I thinly slice a granny smith apple and place a single layer on my bread. Pear would probably be good too but I haven’t tried it yet. Next comes cheddar. I really think you should use a sharp, aged cheddar. The next and final layer is the most fussy. I had some carmelized onion left over from a pizza. I added a teeny tiny bit of dijon (I’m not a huge mustard fan) and a slight splash of cider vinegar and scooped that on. The restaurant uses a jarred onion preserve of some type so if you can find that instead you’re set. Then I just butter the bread and grill it on each side until it’s golden and the cheese is melted.
I think I might even like this version better than the cafe’s. Their sandwich is delicious but a bit heavy. I feel like I need a mouth shower when I’m done.
I’ve been eating this often with Amy’s ice tea concentrate made with standard Orange Pekoe. Although, I don’t follow her exact process. I usually boil the water first, pour if over the bags and leave it an hour or so instead of overnight. I was just too lazy to look up her actual instructions, not trying to improve her version. I can’t get enough but I try to since too much caffeine is a no-no right now. I’m not quite mature enough for an unsweetened version so I made some simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar, boil to dissolve) and use a little splash of that. I also add lemon slices to the concentrate. I’m planning on making some raspberry syrup soon since I spied a recipe in this month’s Martha Stewart Living and mixing that in. Yum.
I have defied all notions of how I thought I would approach a baby’s room and have actually chosen a Theme rather than throwing things in there at random. Really, it’s more of a pretty colour scheme ripped off of others with a much more artistic eye but it is something that requires forethought, not a strength of mine. I have fabrics and a wall painted and I can’t wait for it all to come together. It’s been fun to take a completely empty, stark white room and do whatever I want with it. There is still much to be done and bought but here’s a tiny peak inside:
The crib is displaying some cloth diapers jazzed up with fabric panels transforming them into super absorbent burp cloths. The middle fabric is a kind of hilarious print sent by Robyn (close up here) and the two on either side are flannel from Amy Butler’s Love collection. I have two in each print.
Then we have a few edged with sweet bias tape from Holland Fabric House on Etsy. The original plan was to encase all four edges of all twelve diapers with bias tape as suggested by Lotta but her instructions for mitred corners really failed me here. The illustrations didn’t even match her written steps. Plus the tape I ordered was half as wide as it should have been which made it a total bitch to sew on the edges.
Finally, and easiest of all a little iron-on dala horse, also from Holland House.
I think these would make great gifts being both practical and cute and having a little handmade touch. I ordered my diapers (and the Amy Butler prints) from here and made sure to wash them first (hence the wrinkles) without any detergent or fabric softeners. Many detergents are safe for babies but I haven’t picked any up yet so I washed them in hot just to get any manufacturing gunk off.
More on the nursery soon, I hope!
I’ve wanted to knit Trellis since it was first published in Knitty five years ago. I guess I just needed a really good excuse.
How can you not love it? A baby dressed up like a tiny Irish fisherman. Come on!
I used two skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, once again from Webs. I can’t recall the colour at the moment. The buttons are from Fabricland. I made the six month size thinking it would be perfect timing for an October baby photo op in a pumpkin patch or big pile of maple leaves. Not that there are maple trees or pumpkin patches around here but we’ll make it happen. Now the baby just has to grow exactly as designers and clothing manufacturers prescribe and we’ll be set.
That was a nutty week. Bowie is home and doing better than fine. Even the vet assistant said you would never tell he just had surgery. I almost fainted at the bill but then Chris’s mom informed us that we got a rock bottom discount compared to city prices. Bowie now has strict orders to stick to his bed while I’m sewing and he’s been pretty good with keeping to it. This was sewn without incident:
It’s a little travel change pad from Simple Sewing for Babies. The outer fabric is another Ikea print from the lovely Erin. I love how graphic and fun and gender neutral these prints are.
It’s pretty grey here today so the colour is off but the Ikea website is way off too so this will have to do.
This springy green inner fabric is from Mitchell fabrics in Winnipeg. It’s cotton with a bit of spandex which was not ideal for this project (note bunching on the long edges) but I loved the colour so I went with it. I probably have enough left over for a little pair of pants. The twill tape, velcro and batting are from a cranky trip to Fabricland. I apologize to all the patrons who had to witness me whining about the heat in the store and the lack of shopping carts. The ample staff who chose to totally ignore my sweating, waddling self as I ambled around searching for assistance, however, can all suck it.
This project didn’t have to be overly difficult but drama ensued when, just after I finished cutting out the pieces, Bowie decided to start chewing a pin and when I got upset and demanded he drop it he decided to swallow it instead. He had emergency surgery and it went well. I’m going to pick him up soon but I got a little glimpse of the years of parental guilt that await. I haven’t gotten the vet bill yet but I suspect this may be my most expensive project ever.
Pattern is another from Simple Sewing for Babies although it seems you can get the project free from the Craftzine blog. More Ikea fabric from Erin. I actually did think about the pattern placement on the print but it turned out to be nicely aligned on the back, which won’t be seen very often. Doi.
The micro fleece I ordered from Etsy for the lining turned out to be strangely narrow so I had to cut two pieces and sew them together instead of cutting on the fold.
I’m off to pick up the little daredevil. Let’s hope when I get home it won’t be necessary to put the baby to bed in a cardboard box (although my grandma swears I loved sleeping in one when I was a baby. Apparently I would scratch the sides until I fell asleep. Happy times).
I can’t quite believe that it is March already and I can say that I am due next month and it is totally true! Wacky!
Can you believe that I almost went out and bought a nursing pillow because I thought I couldn’t be bothered to make one. Forty-five minutes on a Saturday morning later…
Done and done. I used the instructions from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby. I’m all about that book right now. Although, you really don’t need a pattern to make one of these. The graphic fabric choices that Lotta favours really inspired me even though they are totally not the direction I would usually go in. Erin was kind enough to send me some pretty Ikea prints to scratch that itch. Thanks Erin!
I’m really shocked at how well the orange section centred up and how it flows really well into the back. I did not have the foresight to plan this at all so it was a happy accident.
More baby stuff awaits so if I’m totally boring you to tears already it’s all downhill from here!