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Today is my mom’s birthday!  I few months ago I was at Fabricland, because I like to torture myself every once in a while, when I spotted some Cape Breton tartan and knew that I had to buy it to make something for my mom who is all out obsessed with our home island. She has Cape Breton table cloths, napkins, wall hangings, photos and other island-themed paraphernalia all over her house. I initially wanted to make her something to wear to work so she could take her pride with her but I couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t be super Nardwuar-esque.  I finally decided on a simple quilt.

For the silhouette applique, I found an outline of Cape Breton online then used this site to enlarge it to print onto four pages. Then I used Steam-a-Seam 2 to adhere it to the backing and I zigzagged around the edges.

I was in a rush to get this to the post office (almost a month ago – I don’t deal well with procrastination) so I failed to get any photos of the back but it’s just more tartan so I’m sure you can imagine it.  Lining up the front and the back so that the quilting lines would be straight was tough and I failed pretty miserably but at least everyone will know it’s handmade and not from a souvenir shop.

I think she likes it but I’m also pretty sure she enjoyed her early morning Skype chat with Kate more.

*For all those wondering how the sleep training is going; I don’t want to talk about it.  These are dark days my friends. Quite literally because it is da-hark at 5 a.m. which is apparently a perfectly reasonable time to wake up according to local infants surveyed.  If I had a souped up Delorean I’d totally go back to three weeks ago when getting up at 8:30 was all the rage.

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By Sunday we were already going crazy from thinking about how to force a baby to sleep* so we popped her in the car and drove to Inwood (about one hour north of Winnipeg and one hour south of us) for Manitoba Open Farm Day at Sheeples Farm.

Kate wanted to pet the sheep and let them lick her face off the way Bowie does non-stop but Chris, ever-mindful of germs, kept her hands in her own mouth.  I did not display so much self-control.  I man handled the lambs and roving and the two skeins of non-fun fur (what the hell?) yarn they had left which is GORGEOUS.

The only farm stand yarn I have ever experienced has been pretty rustic with big pieces of vegetable manner and a suitability for only the scratchiest accessories.  This is so soft and I’m loving the natural sheepy colour.  There’s no yardage listed on it and I’m not used to working with just weight but I’m sure I have enough for a warm lacy shawl.

We remembered the camera but forgot the battery but I’m loving how these cell phone photos turned out, even without Hipstamatic or anything!

It was my idea of a perfect Sunday.

If you are, understandably, only here for the yarn then stop reading now. It was nice to see you.

*We are having mixed results on the sleep training front.  I think I was trying to feed Kate too often which led to a lot of frustration so I have her on more of a schedule with that.  She is going down for all naps and bedtime without nursing or her soother without much fuss.  Her naps are still pretty short but we’re experimenting with going into the nursery at the thirty minute mark to interrupt the 40 minute waking that is apparently part of a baby’s natural biorhythm and so far, after three naps, it’s been successful.  The nights were going well with only one or two wakings and longer stretches of sleep but that fell by the wayside two nights ago. It’s pretty much impossible to get her back to sleep in the middle of the night without nursing. My biggest complaint about the whole thing is that she is waking up progressively earlier in the morning.  She used to wake up at seven or eight but every day since we started this dog and pony show it’s been progressively earlier until today she woke up at five-fifteen.  That is not going to fly.  I may go back to nursing her in bed just to get a little sleep since that’s supposed to be what this is all about, after all, but I am open to suggestions.

It has been cold here lately.  The trees are already turning and yet I refuse to turn on the heat this early in the year.  Unfortunately, that means spending twenty minutes layering Kate every morning and it also requires more handknits.  I get a lot of satisfaction out of using up odds and ends to make baby cloths so I used up some Louet Gems Sport left over from mum’s birthday sweater last year to make her a little vest.

I couldn’t find a published pattern that used sport weight yarn in the amount I had on hand so I decided to design one. This was all well and good until the math involved with armholes and not disrupting the pattern at which point I ripped and reknit about a bajillion times.

I wanted a stretchy stitch pattern so that the vest would grow with her a little so I chose a lace and rib pattern from the first Treasury.  I thought it would be huge on her before I tried it on but it turns out she won’t be able to wear it through the winter. She’s only in the twenty-fifth percentile for weight so width isn’t the problem, it’s length – she’s in the ninety-seventh percentile for that! She obviously inherited Chris’s body type.

I finished the edges with single crochet made some fabric covered buttons for the shoulder openings. I only wish that I had made the tabs a little longer so that they would fall on the front of her shoulder rather than the top so that they’d be a little more visible and I could adjust them as she grows. I didn’t block it because I didn’t want to flatten and stretch out the ribbing.

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  • Friend and neighbour Michelle is now the proud owner of my old sewing machine and I’m happy to report that she is full on obsessed with her new hobby. She’s hoarding fabric and stitching away like a real champ.  I took her fabric shopping and helped her with her first real project and look at how great she did!
  • Michelle’s amazing sister in Edmonton made this incredible vanity area for herself.  Next time she’s on the rez I fully expect her to come over and redecorate my entire home.
  • This Black Pepper Tofu is so yummy.
  • I bought this waffle maker and it’s so awesome. The waffles are nice and thin and crispy.
  • We are trying to sleep train Kate and it is both sucky and wonderful. She only woke up once last night, and not even for a feed, but trying to put her back down when she has short naps, and then wake her back up again when it’s time to eat is awful.  She is so fed up with our shenanigans but I’m hoping the result with be glorious. Wish us luck.

For those of you keeping track, I haven’t finished a sweater for myself since February of last year. I know! High time, my friends.

It would have been so tragic to wait until after I was pregnant and work bit my bit for three months and end up with a dud but thankfully I am pretty in love with this sweater.

The thing that drew me to this project when it was first published was the yarn so I decided to splurge and go with the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted Blackberry as used in the pattern photos. Unfortunately, the yardage requirements are greatly overestimated in the pattern and I have three full (pricey!) skeins leftover. I guess Kate will be getting a matching sweater.

When I first bound off I was a little worried to find that it was a bit snug in the bust but some good blocking solved that issue. I also don’t need it to have a lot of positive ease because I will be wearing it longer than I will be breastfeeding, god willing.

I sewed some grosgrain ribbon onto the button band to stabilize it but it still does droop a little. If I were to do it over I would make the garter band five stitches wide instead of three.

I made lots of modifications and you can read all about them here on my Ravelry project page.

It’s been quite cool here lately and I definitely feel Fall coming on so I’m itching to cast on for another sweater.  We’ll just have to see if I guilt out and make one for Kate’s chilly arms first.