Chilly mornings just got cosier!

Well, for one small person anyway 😉

Big brother has been in need of a new dressing gown to keep him warm on chilly mornings. As in, he was still squeezing into one meant for a 1 year old… So ages ago we chose a lovely beach towel from IKEA (when it was in the sale, obviously 😉 ) and I intended to turn it into a new ‘big boy’ dressing gown.

But then the towel got put away and it slipped down the to do list. Until this week that is! I actually intended to start on Wednesday but I forgot I hadn’t prewashed the towel, so that had to come first. No point putting in all the effort of making something, just to have it shrink or warp in a strange way on the first wash.

So by Friday I finally had that magical combination of prepared fabric, the desire to sew, and little brother napping. Project dressing gown was a go!

I drafted a quick pattern based on big brother’s measurements, with some growing room to ensure it lasts him a while. I also used every shortcut I could think of to make it as quick and easy a project as possible.

For example:
* there are no side seams as I cut the whole body from the width of the towel with the arm holes cut out

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* the loops to hold the tie are the offcut pieces of the selvedge edge, just trimmed to the seam line.

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* I used the hemmed edges of the towel for the bottom hem and the sleeve ends so there was no hemming needed.

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So with minimal sewing we ended up with:

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One very grown up looking little man! And it must be comfy because he said “mummy, I really love my new dressing gown. I’m going to wear it all day till bedtime!” Which, I think, is about as big a compliment as you can get from a three year old 😀

Now, I haven’t included a copy of my pattern here, would you be interested in it? Comment below and let me know, and if you ask really nicely I’ll try to find the time to do it! 😉 haha

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New knitting pattern: falling leaves hat and scarf!

I’m excited to say that my first lace knitting pattern is now available to buy here on Ravelry and you can also buy it by clicking the link (no need to be a ravelry member):

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It’s a classy leaf lace pattern hat and scarf, knitted in beautifully soft DROPS Alpaca yarn which will appeal to experienced and new lace knitters alike. It is an excellent choice for a first lace knitting project as it only requires a few stitches to create a beautiful repeating leaf pattern. The pattern is also classy enough to take you from everyday wear to a night out, all while staying nice and cosy.

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The pattern includes instructions for two different hat sizes: S/M (teenage/small adult) and M/L (adult), and a one size fits all scarf, with both written instructions and a chart.

The hat has been designed so that the leaf pattern continues to the crown, so there is no break in the pattern and the leaves cover the whole hat. It is worked in the round on either a circular or double pointed needles.

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The 2 part set requires 150g (3 x 50g balls) of DROPS Alpaca yarn, using 50g for the hat, and 100g for the scarf. It is knitted on 3.75mm needles.

And you’ll be please to know it’s already been tested against the winds brought over by ‘Abigail’ and kept me nice and cosy 😉

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think 🙂

Cosy Seed Stitch knitting pattern set!

New knitting patterns!!!

I’m very pleased to announced that my new knitting patterns are now available in my Ravelry store! Not a member? No problem! You can also buy it by clicking on the links below:

Wrist warmers:

Headband:

Buttoned cowl:

It’s a beginner level 3 part set to create wrist warmers, a headband and a buttoned cowl. Autumn isn’t that far away (unfortunately!) and this cosy set will keep you warm on chilly days.

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It’s a perfect first knitting pattern set as it introduces both knit and purl stitches to create texture, using ribbing and seed stitch, which adds interest to the finished pieces. The head band and wrist warmers are knitted flat and seamed, for ease of construction.

More experienced knitters will also like the speed you can complete this set, thanks to the chunky yarn, which makes it a great choice for hand knitted gifts.

The pattern contains instructions for two sizes: S/M for teenagers and small adults, and M/L for adults.

And I currently have a special offer of all three patterns for just £5! Simply add all 3 to your cart on Ravelry and the discount will be applied automatically. Alternatively each piece can be bought individually for just £2.

Wrist warmers:

Headband:

Buttoned cowl:

I hope you like it! I’m looking forward to seeing some finished pieces made from it 🙂

Entrelac blanket pattern!

Summer here in Scotland has been somewhat absent recently, but I’m going to celebrate seeing the sunshine today by releasing my first knitting pattern! Woo!

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As I mentioned before this is a free knitting pattern for an entrelac blanket, with instructions on how to adapt it to any size you want. The blanket I made is 120cm x 84cm and is the perfect size for laying on a single bed or as a lap blanket.

I would say this was an intermediate level pattern as you need to be able to increase and decrease stitches and pick up stitches, but a confident beginner who was looking for a challenge would probably be able to follow the instructions too.

So, without further ado, here is the pattern!

Entrelac kids-lap blanket

I would love to see what you make with it! The pattern is also listed on Ravelry so if you complete something using this pattern, please do upload it to your ‘projects’ so we can all see!

 

Coming soon: entrelac knitting pattern!

If you follow me on instagram you might have seen that I will soon be releasing a knitting pattern for a lovely entrelac blanket!

If you’ve not come across entrelac before, it’s a very clever technique that creates rows of individual squares which are knitted at right angles to the row before. This means your final creation looks as though it has been woven!

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It is currently in the hands of my pattern testers and I was able to see one of the tests yesterday. It was looking good and I’m excited to see them all finished!

This is my first (hopefully of many!) knitting pattern to be released and it will be free! That’s right, free! Consider it a little present from me to you 🙂 It will be be available here on the blog and also on ravelry.

So, keep your eyes peeled, and tell your knitting friends. I look forward to seeing what you come up with from my pattern!

Real nappies and wool covers

You might not be surprised to know that along with breastfeeding, babywearing and co sleeping, we also use real, or cloth, nappies. And it’s not just for their green credentials, although not sending hundreds of disposables to landfill every year is a big part of it. They are much cheaper over the course of a baby’s time in nappies, less likely to leak (really this is my biggest plus point, I hate the poo up the back phenomenon in disposables), and they are so incredibly cute. I mean really, have you seen some of the designs?! Here’s a peak at some of my pretties:

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But I digress, what I actually wanted to tell you about was using wool covers instead of PUL. Doesn’t sound like it would work, does it? But a properly lanolised wool cover really doesn’t leak, and can actually leave baby’s bum drier as the wool can breathe more than a PUL cover.

In my experiment with wool I’ve been using a soaker at night time over a well boosted bamboo nappy, and we’ve not had a single leak!

Even better is the fact that you can easily knit, or crochet, your own woolies and you don’t need to buy them. Although if you don’t knit yourself there are lots of WAHMs out there who do, and who sell their creations on the likes of Facebook and Etsy. As I can knit, I’ve made 2 soakers using the Snapdragon Soaker pattern by Heather Fox, which is available for free on ravelry. I finished mine with ribbed leg cuffs and an i-cord drawstring.

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You can use different types of wool to make a soaker so long as it is not superwash treated and is 100% wool (although I believe you can get away with 80% wool I haven’t tried it myself). The reason the wool can’t be treated is that it won’t then hold the lanolin which is what makes these covers waterproof. I chose to use DROPS Alaska from Wool Warehouse as it comes in nice colours and is very reasonably priced (I paid £1.60/50g). Also it came in such beautiful packaging, I shall definitely be ordering from them again!

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As it’s 100% wool it does have to be washed by hand, or using the hand wash cycle on your machine (if you can trust it 😉 ), then re-lanolised before being dried flat, although they are small enough that they don’t take too long to dry or take up much space. However you don’t need to wash the covers unless they get dirty (poo!), start leaking or smell bad after use, simply hanging them up to air between uses is enough. And when you’re already doing all the extra loads of washing that comes with small children, one less thing to constantly wash has to be a good thing!

All in all I’m very pleased with the results of my wooly experiment. If you’ve been thinking of trying it yourself or are curious enough to give it a go then I can highly recommend it!

A special thank you present

I go to my local breastfeeding support group on a Tuesday morning and have always enjoyed the supportive community of mums we have there. We’ve helped each other through bad latch, thrush, mastitis, nursing strikes, cracks, you name it, someone’s asked about it. And a big part of that support has come from the lovely midwife who lead the group.

But, sadly for us, we found out that Gemma was leaving to work on her other venture teaching natal hypnotherapy through Positive Birth Scotland. Now I’ve not been to any of her classes, but I’ve used natal hypnotherapy myself in both my labours, and Gemma is so lovely that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend contacting her if you are in Edinburgh and interested in trying it for yourself. It helped me through two completely different births: the first in hospital where I had no control of anything and a distressed baby, and the second a calm (ish! It was still giving birth!) home water birth. And I even use the relaxation and breathing on a daily basis to help me keep my cool.

Anyway, I made Gemma a little thank you present to go along with the flowers and cakes we all chipped in for (I also made my raw date and cashew cookies), a little breastfeeding embroidery to remind her of her time with us:

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I’ll be honest I like this so much I might make one for myself!