29 February 2016

winter blooms

I lucked out when I brought two geranium plants in from my window boxes this past fall. I was able to keep them alive and get them to bloom again. There's nothing like the splash of bright color in late February to remind you that spring is coming and to keep your hopes up.

I love geraniums. I love how they smell - zesty and alive. I will replant them outside once the weather is tolerable, but I need to be careful to introduce them to the outdoor light slowly. One year I brought my geraniums out and they lost all their leaves and died because the sun zapped them. They weren't ready.

That's how Minnesotans are with spring sun too :)

Flowers on the Windowsill by Carl Larsson
This is a painting by Carl Larsson that always comes to mind when I think about winter time and indoor plants. I would love to have a space in my house to really grow some plants when the snow falls. (Right now my geraniums are tucked away on a north window upstairs where they thrive, but this is not a room that we regularly sit in.) Dreams for someday. See the knitting on the table? Such a cozy image.

The project is a pair of mittens that I started last winter. Then I found out that I was pregnant with Logan and I hijacked some of the yarn to knit a baby sweater. Then I knit a lot of other sweaters and baby things and now I'm just getting back to them as I wrap up those projects and the baby mania subsides. I'm using my mother's yarn again. It's interesting to see how the same yarn knits up differently in other projects. I used the same yarn for the yoke of the first baby sweater Logan wore.

Hope I have enough to still finish the mittens.

I talk about the mittens here and here. It amazing how life can change in a year - how your entire dreams for the future can transform with a baby.

We have been so blessed!

xo Jill

P.S. Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm and Keep Crafting On.

26 February 2016

sweater love

My flax sweater for the little guy is done and I loved knitting every minute of it. I soaked it in some cold water with lavender scented soap yesterday afternoon and then blocked it. This morning is was waiting for me on the bed up stairs. The light was perfect so I started to snap some photos.

Then I remembered all of the other sweaters I've knit so far for baby. There are a lot of them and I'm sure the pile will continue to grow :) :)

Hope the little guy likes wool.

One of the things that I love about this post today is that all of these sweaters are made from fiber from my parents' sheep. The fiber has been processed in different ways to get different results. The top three sweaters in the final picture of this post feature our mill-spun yarn in two different weights - fingering and worsted that we hand painted. The green/yellow sweater at the bottom is handspun from our combed top and triple plied in worsted weight yarn. The bottom sweater is our undyed wool that I hand spun and double plied in chunky weight yarn.

A lot of loving work and countless relaxing hours creating something for my baby to wear that comes from my parents' farm.

And the quilt in the background comes from the creative mind of my sister - some of the pieces of fabric come from pieces of clothing we wore and shared (haha! fought over) in our early twenties. Lots of memories!

Sending warm woolly baby hugs your way!

xo Jill

P.S. Joining Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

24 February 2016

his story

Only the cat will sleep in the baby's crib at the moment, while baby is content to sleep in his little bassinet in the middle of the living room. Morning, noon and night he drifts off to sleep and we walk around him, picking him up when he starts to stir and coo. (The cat likes to lay beneath this bassinet and paw at his diapered butt through the layers of cloth when she thinks it's time that he should wake up. I'm constantly shooing her away. Strange kitty.) The dog is always at the edges of everything. Nosing her furry face and paws into every photo.

I put together a shutterfly book about our journey to Logan, my pregnancy and his birth. It was a fun exercise and I got a lot of closure from it. It's like I couldn't relax until I knew that part of our life was documented and put somewhere where we can look through it and remember. We intend to read the book to Logan as he grows. I've already flipped through it what seems like a hundred times.

We've also been reading other books. Right now Logan seems to scan the pictures on the pages, but I think he's reacting more to the tone and cadence of my voice than anything else. I so want him to love stories and reading.

Lots of projects in the works, but some are nearing completion. I've got the baby sweater out today and I'm knitting the final length of sleeve. Then I only have to block it, photograph it and put it away for future use. I'm going to have some yarn leftover and I can't decide if I should make some mitts or a hat. If I make the mitts I can look at the color turnovers and contrasts all the time when I'm wearing them. That may be the way to go.

I laid out my star quilt in the middle of our living room last week and basted it together following these instructions on Amanda Jean's blog. Her tutorials are so helpful. I had a lot of fun with the back of the quilt - it's in the background of the photo with all of the baby books. I grabbed a bunch of random squares and sewed them in a strip up the back. I'm going to machine quilt this blanket in a spiral starting in the center. I just need to go out and buy a walking foot for my machine. Hope this goes okay. I can picture exactly how I want it to look in my head and I really want it to turn out that way. I intend to bind it with bright magenta fabric.

 I've also got to finish my tweed baby blanket because the baby shower for my friend is coming up soon. I'm excited to clear my crafting plate so I can start and/or finish other projects.

Happy Wednesday!


23 February 2016

day of blessing

A thirty-three year old baptism gown that my aunt Janet made for my brother and now my son is wearing it. My mom pulled it out of her drawer about a month ago when we started planning Logan's baptism. There were some thirty-three year old spit up stains on the front of it that I couldn't get out, so I turned the whole gown around and sewed the buttons on the back and he wore it like that.

Did I snap thousands of photos? Yup :) :)

Little babies are sure slippery in satin and lace. We're lucky no one dropped him over the course of the day. I am just sappy over these photos. Never again will I get to dress him up this way - not in puffed sleeves and lace. I can't believe that he didn't fight the bonnet, but he just laid there cooing up at me as I snapped these photos.

Our little house was filled to the brim with family and friends this past Sunday and I have never been happier. Our moms and sisters pitched in to bring dishes of food and the little cousins darted around the adults trying to find a space to play. (Logan is so little that we don't have many toys for them to play with here, but I kept finding his stuffed animals around the house a few days after the event, wherever a niece or nephew dropped one.) Logan has a lot of stuffed lambs.

Here is a poem that my mom put in his baptism card:

God sent you the best He had
The blessing of baby hands
And ten small toes
that came in rows
imported from Angel lands!
God blessed 
the little darling
and to earth
sent us this pearl;
He has won 
our hearts already
Your blessed baby boy
I send you the best I have
A wish that is big and true;
that God will bless 
with tenderness
His dear little gift and you!

It was printed in Italy, that's all I know about the source. I already have it stuck on the fridge and my heart gives a little bump bump when I read it. It is so true.

My oriental lily is blooming. The house smells wonderful.  

Wishing you many blessings,



Linking up with Nicole.

11 February 2016

banana bread days

All good things must come to an end. I only have one more month left of maternity leave.

I know it's going to be hard going back to work, so I'm starting to emotionally prepare myself now. I spoke to work yesterday and started the process of reintegrating myself. Somehow, talking to the woman in HR really stuck in my head. Usually I'm able to brush off that I'll have to go back to work mid-March and not think about it, but after hearing her voice yesterday it's a done deal.

Reality is coming.

No more days like today where I wore my flannel pajama bottoms until lunch time, sang goofy songs to the baby (also in his PJs) over our "lunch break" and baked a loaf of banana bread just because I was "in the mood" and had the time (and lots of frozen bananas in the freezer.)

I like my job, so I know that I'm going to be happy once I get back into the swing of things. We've found a good daycare to watch Logan, so I feel good about that too. I think the best way that I can prepare myself for not being able to spend all day long with the baby is to not take any of these moments that I have with him for granted - now or in the future.

If you worked outside of the home, how did you handle it? I love to hear tips, anecdotes and advice. I think I'm gonna need it :) :)

I'm also going to get organized and wrap up as many projects as I can, clean the house and prepare some freezer dinners for my first month back at work. I'm almost done with my flax sweater.

One sleeve to go!


10 February 2016

handspun hat

The baby is sleeping in his little monkey bed as I write this. We ran some errands today, to the grocery store and to the fabric shop. I found a background for the star quilt that I'm working on. Now I have to sew it all together. I hope it goes well, quilting isn't my forte, but I really love doing it. Some of my blocks for this quilt are misaligned, but I think only an experienced quilter would notice that sort of thing, so I'm not going to worry about it too much.

As long as there are no large holes we're good.

Logan's wearing a hat that I spun and knit for him this past July, when he was just a little flutter in my belly. I can't believe his head has grown enough for him to fit into it. I pulled it out of the drawer today as we were getting ready to dash out to the store, I didn't think it would fit, but it was almost a little too tight.

Is this how fast a baby grows? Faster than their mamas think they should? Too fast.

I finished two books this week and already started another. I wrapped up "A Curious Beginning" which I wrote about last week. Then I sped through "Red Queen" which reminded me of "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." The book I'm reading now has already had me laughing out loud. I know a lot of people who have liked it. It's fun because part of it is set in my home state and it's about home grown food and cooking. I'm already craving fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Have a good week everyone.


03 February 2016

yarn along (02)

I think we got about 8 to 10 inches of snow through the afternoon yesterday and into the evening. It's been blowing around, eluding the shovel of my husband and our friendly neighbors who have all put an effort into digging the neighborhood out.

It's fun to see snow of the rooftops as I snuggle in the house with our little one, but one cannot always stay indoors in February. I had an appointment at the clinic this morning, so I had to dash out of the house quickly this morning to clear the snow off the car (even though my husband did so at 6 am) it was covered with snow again.

Our baby has been such an exciting blessing that I haven't even mentioned some of the hard parts about being a mom. (Like having a c-section after 59 hours of labor and then having a blood clot in my leg a few days after being released from the hospital.) All of these things are seem really minor and very manageable after struggling with infertility. Other people deal with and have to overcome a lot more, so my husband and I have been very grateful that my recovery from my c-section has been good and that my blood clot is responding to treatment. I'm on blood thinners for the rest of February, thus my appointment at the clinic this morning - to make sure my blood is in the right range. Modern medicine is a miracle.

I am loving every moment of knitting this little sweater. The pattern is "Flax" by Tin Can Knits. The yarn I'm using has such a spread of color and color combinations that each new row makes an interesting contrast to the one before it. I couldn't stop taking pictures :) :) :)

What am I reading? I started this book last night. I saw it on Julie's blog this summer. I really liked the cover (I'm a bit of sucker for those things) so I decided to give it a try. I'm about 20% into it and I'm still now sure how the plot is going to develop, but it is a curious beginning indeed. I'm also thinking about finishing this quilt that I started a few years ago, so I have a stack of quilting books beside my piles of yarn. Jenny's star quilt has inspired me. I'm also eyeing the Freckles quilt out of Scrap Republic, could this be the next quilt that I make (that takes me three years to complete)?

Only time will tell.

Lots of doing and dreaming this week.

xo Jill

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...