Friday, December 31, 2010

PHB: Day 4&5

After the trauma of having yet another heel-prick test done (my babies are pincushions!!) the new kid looks remarkably calm and so cosy in a merino handknitted vest which I scored for all of about $10 plus postage from someone on The Nappy Network forum.

PHB: Day 3

Day 3 was transfer day: from the big hospital in the city with loads of noisy alarm bells going off at the midwives' station right across from my room... to the maternity unit in the 'burbs where I had a lovely quiet room with a shared courtyard right outside (complete with garden, benches and the occasional leaf-blower keeping it beautiful).

Taking up loads of bedspace is the new kid, still sporting the cotton beanie that I knitted, and the lovely cream garter-stitch cardigan my mother knitted - originally for the wee guy but she's as bad as me (or is it the other way around??) at not finishing crafty projects.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

PHB Day 1&2 (6-7 December 2010)

Hmm, bit of a delay in getting the photos up. The New Kid's arrival into the world was a little dramatic and traumatic all round so it has taken a few weeks to get back to a tiny bit of normality.

SO! Here's Project Handmade Baby: Day 1 and Day 2

I had a well stocked bag of knitted and sewn goodies along with the staple onesies and gowns in neutral colours, but made sure I had a good selection. And hooray I managed to start right from Day 1!

The New Kid is sporting a natural cotton beanie which I knitted in a slightly generous premmie size, but it's super stretchy and still fits him (phew!). He's also wearing a darling cream wool cardigan knitted by my mum. I wasn't able to move much in the first couple of days so he did wear the same outfit both days.

And yes, it's another boy! Everyone was so sure it would be a girl... I tried not to listen to inklings so would be surprised either way. And I love him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Project Handmade Baby!

Yay! Launch time!

I have spent much time and effort getting things ready before the arrival of our second baby who will be the model/guineapig/subject for PHB: Project Handmade Baby.

On the occasional blog-hop I've been inspired by different little things. A design student who challenged herself to only wear clothing and shoes made by her for a year. Mothers who challenge themselves to make new things for their wee ones. Mothers who use their maternity leave time to have creative hobbies as their side project ... oh how I miss Mila's Daydreams!

SO! Here's the deal with PHB. Project Handmade Baby: A fun project with creative outlet for me, and also hopefully a chance to introduce you to some of my dear friends who also ride the geek wave and blog.

The Challenge:
Every day for his/her first year of life, my second child will wear at least one piece of handmade clothing.

The Rules:
  • 365 days duration, starting from day of birth
  • Photo to be taken of what is worn each day
  • Handmade clothing includes handknits, crocheted items and sewn garments
  • Clothing may be full-cover headwear, underwear (including nappies), tops, bottoms, dresses (if it’s a girl), overalls, footwear
  • Clothing may be made by me (bonus points), a family member, a friend, purchased (brand new or second-hand), gifted to us, handed down or on loan (bonus points)
  • Clothing from mass-produced origin with embellishment by hand is last resort only (eg. A bonds singlet with hand-embroidery, a onesie with appliqué etc.)
  • Items may be worn more than one day in a row – it is a baby after all!

Reasons for PHB:

  • Inspiration from a conversation: “A baby in (major baby retail label) looks like a little person, but a baby in knitwear looks like a baby.”
  • Save money
  • Increase my knitting repertoire and skills
  • Have another excuse to have some 'Me Time' at my sewing machine, and use up some of my fabric stash
  • Support local crafty types who make beautiful handmade goodness

So... that's the first project launched, I'm sure you can all guess what the other project I've been working on for the last few months is!


Friday, December 03, 2010

PHB Prep: Little Shoes

When I was younger I learnt how to knit. Just the one way: needle in, wool around, needle through, stitch off. Mum wrote those instructions on a little square of paper for me and I knitted my first peggy square at age 5. Sure, there were holes and added stitches, but boy was I proud!

Two decades later I'd barely done any knitting, but still retained the little square of paper as a memory.

I decided to try my hand at knitting again. I tried to learn to purl. Fail.

I learnt how to cast on, but was doing it wrong so my cast-ons were terribly loopy.

Thanks to the patient minds and clever hands of mum, my aunty and my cousin's wife, I relearnt how to knit, then I learnt how to purl, and started creating a bit more. Scarves were my staple creative diet.

Then motherhood came. Beanies were made, I even managed to make most of a 3-6mo sized cardigan (shock! horror!) which my mother-in-law finished off for me. Gotta love nimble fingers when I'm a verrrry slow knitter...

When I started thinking of PHB I remembered that my sister a) had told me that "anyone can knit booties" and b) owned the most delicious hard-cover spiral-bound book called 50 baby bootees to knit by Zoe Mellor. I'd marked half a dozen pages with little boots, slippers and funny footwear to put in my order for my the wee guy 2 years earlier but as my super-busy sister hadn't quite finished any I thought I might just try my hand at knitting booties. (I know the spelling's different... I like it my way!)

WELL I have since knitted at least half a dozen pairs, gifted two to friends' daughters and put some aside for PHB. Pictured is my favourite pattern - some simple contrast-edged slippers that I've made the most pairs of. I used some alpaca-virgin-blend wool and edged it with 12-ply felted lambswool. They're deliciously soft and are a beautiful deep brown, and although the wool sheds a bit it was sooo lovely to work with.

More soon.