Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Baby Sweater

I've had this one earmarked since 2008--
Bought some silky fingerling merino from Sundara in the Poppy colorway:

Love this yarn!  I made one glove in it back when I got it a million years ago too
Still waiting on glove number two, and I think I even have enough yarn for it!

Elizabeth Zimmerman was a knitting guru and responsible for this adorable pattern from her book The Knitter's Almanac.

I first came across it on Brooklyn Tweed a really wonderful blog by a knitter/photographer in Brooklyn who knitted this:

Beautiful right?  And this is how I came to know Sundara yarn.  

I knit this in the round instead of on two needles, and I picked up the stitches under the arms so that it was entirely seamless.  

A very fun knit.  It was also the first time that I've tried to knit lace.  It was moderately successful.  There were definitely rows where I fell out of sync and may have shifted the pattern over a stitch or two, but I forgave myself and moved on.  
See-- if you look across the body right where the arms met you can see I messed with the lace a bit, but I bet when it's on an actual baby no one will notice :) 

Can't stop crafting

As long as she is hanging out in there, I guess I'll be crafting away and making more cute dresses.  After making the bolster for Rowan's reading nook, I had some of this fabric left over

So I made another one of these:

This is a really great and easy pattern. This time I had some pre-made bias tape, so the whole thing took me 30 minutes, from making/cutting the pattern to finishing.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reading Nook

I wasn't the only one nesting this week-- while I was sewing dresses (and napping extensively) Drake was working on a super secret project: converting the closet under the stairs into a reading nook for Rowan.  Guess where we got the idea?

 So that is the inspiration photo... Unfortunately I don't have any before pics of the closet but it was the final wallpaper frontier-- with the same wallpaper that was in most of the house when we moved in:

Drake removed all the wallpaper....
(Rowan starring as Vanna White)

 Guess what color was underneath?  Not just pink....

Then he painted it colors from our house. Sandstone from the Kitchen, Forest Green from the front room.
He built a frame for the upholstered bench and storage.

Then he upholstered a bench with an old extra-long twin memory foam mattress pad that we already had.

He installed it on the frame, added some fabric to hide the storage, trimmed out the front, added some shelves, and Voila!

 Happy reading family in a closet!
See that monster?  Remember when I won him?

I made the little square monster pillow next to him.  That was my contribution :)
The bolster in the corner will be covered in this fabric as soon as it arrives:

The other thing we ordered is an adorable set of robot decals:

So in a few days we'll have a final "after" picture for you, but thought I'd go ahead and share this project now in case I go into labor at any moment :) 


Happy last day of Winter Break, Oakland!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Other crafty things I'm working on

We are officially on Winter Break!  When we found out that the due date was right in the middle of the semester I decided to try to teach through the first half (6 weeks) which would take me right up to Winter Break.  It worked! I did it!  And now we have a week off-- assuming she decides to wait till her due date.  So I plan to spend the week crafting and we may or may not be working on a super awesome project for Rowan for his new playroom under the stairs.  It's kind of magical.

Let the crafting begin!!
I made some felt flowers from a tutorial I found on guess where:

I have to go to a craft store and get some wide band (very light and stretchy!) elastic to make some tiny baby headbands (I am having too much fun with this.)

I've also, as you might imagine, been knitting.  It's slow going because by the end of the day I just want to lie down and I can't knit during Rowan's waking hours-- he's just too curious. BUT here it is so far!

It's from Elizabeth Zimmerman's A Knitter's Almanac.  The "February Baby Sweater on Two Kneedles" except that I knit it on circular needles and also picked up the stitches under the arm so that it's totally seamless.  If that means something to you and you'd like to know more here it is on Ravelry

This is the first time that I've attempted to knit lace and I've enjoyed it quite a bit.  It is also the most sumptuous of yarns- Sundara fingerling merino.  So soft and she is an amazing colorist.  I bought this yarn in 2009 when we were living in NYC thinking that I would make gloves with it-- I did make one glove (which I may have to rip apart to finish this sweater :) I think it looks better as a baby sweater.

See you soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snappy Bunting baby dress/shirt

Very excited to be sewing more!  You've seen the dress above already. Rowan showed very little interest in it.

I did a lot of knitting for Rowan before he was born, and I am knitting a sweater for Vera, but dresses are just so cute and easy.  Very different from knitting, the ability to sit down and finish something during a naptime or two.

So again, I picked a dress from Pinterest that had a free pattern and tutorial:

Now you may also recall that I had bought a bunch of adorable fabric from

So the first decision was which to use!  The two big floral prints (4th and 5th down) are under consideration for this dress:

I narrowed it down to the bunting and the bicycles and went with the bunting:

It was a fun sew! -- I'm getting better at bias tape, even though if you look closely it's different sizes under the arms.  Oh well, I'm sure she won't notice.  I've never used snaps before and had no idea how easy they were.  I will use more snaps in the future, though I will probably get some decorative ones.  These were very utilitarian (as snaps are wont to be, I guess.)

A closeup, though the focus should've been on the pleats and snap!

I think the party dress is next, so we'll see you soon with that one!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Nursery Stuff!

A few more peeks at the baby's room:

Here's one of the bird prints all framed up!

The mobile that all the ladies at my baby shower made.  Sooo sweet!

 The rococo chalk board decal that Mom and I got in MA (I love decals!)

 The tiny dresser and changing pad:

The bedding 

And a little peek at the room!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I have been working away on the nursery, AND just received a new lens for my camera so I've been photographing the whole thing-- with a real camera and not an iphone!

But I can't find the cord that connects the camera to the computer, so until I do I'll post about something else.  Have I mentioned that I love Pinterest?

So I found this pin which linked to 25 free dress patterns/tutorials:

Chose this one: 

Found this fabric about a month ago:

Then made this today!

I took some pictures with my real camera too-- Rowan even made an appearance in the photo shoot eyeing the dress suspiciously and touching it with one finger (this is what we tell him to do with delicate things :)   

I have one more week of work before I'm home on maternity leave.  The chances are very strong that I'll be spending a bit more time blogging and doing crafty things (when I'm not napping). 
See you soon!

Radio Show: Let it Be

One of my students! :) There will be more of these soon....

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Even though I am very rarely here,  I think it is known that we are expecting a baby girl this month?  I assume that my dear readership consists of friends and family far and wide, but just in case...
It's a girl! and she'll be here this month!

With that in mind I took to Pinterest and started pinning all kinds of inspiration for girl rooms.

I also asked our Doctor to double check to make sure we were really having a girl, because I secretly have thought all along that it wouldn't be surprising if we were one of those families you hear about where they were told it was a girl, and then SURPRISE! it's a boy and everything is pink and I just couldn't risk it.  So I'm pleased to say that she remains a girl.  And my Doctor said he has never been wrong.  

I have been asked by many where she will live!  We have three bedrooms upstairs-- the front room

Rowan's room 

(I can't believe I don't have any "finished" photos of his room!  It's the most finished room in our house!)

And our room

For now, we decided that she'll stay in our room-- you can't see it from this vantage point, but if I were to walk down to the window and take a photo of the other end of the room-- there are two large arm chairs and a side table.  In the future, I hope this will be an enormous closet but for now it will be a mini-nursery.  

This summer we hope to convert the laundry room into an office/guest room and then we'll move her into the front bedroom.  That's the plan anyway...  In the meanwhile, here's what we've been up to nursery-wise.  

First I will share with you my major craft fail.  I saw this on Pinterest:

And I wanted to make it for the nursery, so I found this:

I made this collage with Mod Podge

I taped paper to my computer screen and traced the picture above (it's open source, so that's OK :)
Then I cut it out and traced it on top of the collage.  Here's where things went wrong and I ended up with this wrinkly mess:

wrinkly and awful.  

No amount of Mod Podge coats could save it.  I also tried glitter.  Even glitter couldn't save it.  I kept it around for a couple weeks thinking that I might be able to come up with some way to save it, but it was slowly destroying my self esteem so I threw it out and decided to try a new bird project.  

Inspired by these:

I went to the graphics fairy and found a vintage dictionary page, cut out some of the birds in photoshop and overlayed them.  I was then left with *not* a wrinkly mess!  Behold!

I showed them to Drake and he said "What's with the crowns?"  I said "they're cute" and he said "What about the newspaper" and I said "It's a vintage dictionary page, Drake. I don't have to explain my art to you." :)   

I framed them and they are only awaiting some picture hanging wire before they will go above the crib!