February 24, 2015

Sharing the Gifts

Last night, my friend's eight-year-old daughter made her brother a blanket for his stuffed owl. 

I taught this little munchkin to crochet a few years ago, but as soon as I left town, she promptly forgot. I gave her a quick refresher this week, and now she can't stop crocheting. 

In other news, my friend scrounged up this fleece outfit I sewed for her son a decade ago. 

These fleece suits and hat were my go-to baby gifts before I really learned to knit or crochet. She's passing it back to me for the Peanut, just in time since he's rapidly outgrowing his outdoor outfits. 

Now both the Peanut and the owl will stay warm this winter. And we all get to share the gifts. 

February 15, 2015

Baby, It's COLD Outside

We moved south for several reasons: one of which was to escape the gloom and frigid temps of the north. Imagine my surprise when I saw the single digits and snowstorm predicted for this week. 

I've said before that I once interviewed a 102-year-old British lady (she went on to live to be 104) and she used to say she didn't mind the weather, as long as she was dressed for it. 

I tend to agree, but I'm still looking forward to warmer temps. In the meantime, I've been using up the leftover yarn from my own warm cardigan

(Have no fear, Peanut. Mama is frantically trying to finish another sweater for you before you outgrow it.)

Pattern is from Love Knitting for Baby February/March 2014. There's no photo, but it's a basic baby cardi with ribbing. This one, Little Coffee Bean, is very similar, only with stripes. You can see mine here.

Stay warm everyone and if you're snowbound, I hope you've stocked up on yarn!

February 7, 2015

The Week in Pics

While perusing my past few posts, I realize I've been excessively wordy and very light on the photos. 

So, here's a little view of my week in pics. 

I kept the plants alive. 

I watched the Peanut grow. 

I crocheted a hat for a friend's little girl. 

I looked up basket patterns to go with this yarn. 
(I feel like I need more baskets to contain the Peanut's stuff...) 

I put the Peanut's stuff into baskets. 
(I'm trying to teach him to put his stuff back after he's done playing with it, but he hasn't gotten the hint yet.)

I read from each of the four books I have going, both traditional and on the nook. 

And sometimes in between, I daydreamed about stories I have yet to write... 

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

January 31, 2015

Making Way for the Capsule Wardrobe

Lately I've been so, so tired of my clothes. I'm sure it's just a phase, prompted perhaps by the fact that I can't fit into a lot of my stuff at the moment. Forget that I am tired of my clothes... my clothes also look tired. I held up a denim skirt that I must have had for over a decade (thrifted, I'm sure) and the Sailor took one look at it and said: 'That looks OLD. Give it away.'

It reminded me of when I first left Africa. I had a backpack full of tie-dye dresses and wrap skirts and even (shudder) capris. I thought they looked cute and then I returned to London en route back to America and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. 

Oh MY.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for people having their own style. Tie-dye skirts worked for me in the heat of West Africa, but they weren't doing a thing for me anywhere else. Someone else could maybe get away with them in London, but not me.

I knew I needed to do something about my current state of dress, so I started reading about capsule wardrobes. Don't ask me how I stumbled on it... lots of surfing on my iPhone and nook in the wee hours when feeding the little guy. 

Regardless of how I got there, I started looking at all of these images of capsule wardrobes and I thought: why doesn't my closet look this trim? Why do I have so many clothes? (Just Google 'capsule wardrobes' and look under images... you may go nuts, too.) I'm turning 40 this year and I'm now a mother. There were clothes in my wardrobe that were better suited for a college student. And the Sailor was right. I'm hard on my clothes, so a lot of stuff looked tired. 

I already look tired most days. I don't need clothing that validates this.

I grew up bargain hunting. Twenty dollars could buy a shirt at a department store (or half a shirt, depending on where you shopped), or a whole giant bag of clothing at Goodwill. I usually chose the latter. More was more, in my book. 

During my pregnancy I only had a few outfits that served as my maternity 'uniform' if you will. Laundry several times a week and I had a whole wardrobe. I didn't need eight pairs of jeans. One or two well-fitting ones, a few tops and two long cardigans did the trick just fine. 

I've talked about cleaning out closets here, and even though I started the process back in late 2014, I finally got serious about it more recently.

I meticulously went through EVERYTHING in my closet and got rid of the stuff that I didn't like anymore or just didn't feel great in. Even if I had my pre-pregnancy body back right now, there was a lot of stuff that I just kept, well because. It didn't look great, I didn't feel great wearing it, and it mainly sat there staring at me from a hanger, willing me to actually like it. 

I still didn't. 

Sometimes less is far more.
So I offloaded a trunk full of the stuff at a local thrift store (bonus, it's tax deductible). 

I'm not saying to get rid of all of your clothes. And of course my situation is vastly different from someone with an office job. I still have workout wear and goodness knows, enough lounge wear to choke a horse these days since I'm usually covered in something that came out of a baby. But as far as the clothes I wear in public? I don't need much. And that's really freeing. Because nowadays, it takes long enough to get out the door with a baby. I don't need those extra minutes staring at clothes in my closet trying to figure out what to wear. 

I have a ways to go... there are few items I'm on the hunt for (quality over quantity) and some days I feel like I'm still trying to find my style. But I'm getting there. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I think there's a load of laundry calling my name.

January 23, 2015

Matching Cardigans (well, almost)

Last week during our little getaway, I feverishly worked on a cardigan for the Peanut. I tend to get a little car sick when knitting, but since I hardly get any knitting in these days, and I knew this was my chance, I kept telling myself it was all in my head and I persevered. (And thankfully didn't feel sick!

I had one gray skein and a bit leftover from my own cardigan I started around this time last year, when I was pregnant. The Peanut never got to wear his Newborn Vertebrae sweater (August babies don't really need cozy cardies...) but lately he's been wearing his Ouma's white sweater nearly ever day to ward off the chill. 

And I know he's going to quickly outgrow that thing. 

So I'm making him a new gray cardigan. It will almost match mine, but not quite.

I'm thinking of keeping it in the car so that the next time we drive two miles up the road, I can get a few rows done. 

Oh and that granny square blanket? My own grandma made that many, many moons ago. I found it in my box of treasures this week and I decided it was useless sitting there under cover. Treasures should be used and loved — especially granny square crochet blankets. Not many kids can say that have something handmade from their great grandma, can they?