Friday, February 12, 2010

Late night knitting

I'm not really one of life's completer-finishers in general- I tend to like to think stuff up, light the fuse then run away. The exception is when I'm making things, when I tend to be so desperate to see the end result the danger is I rush and bodge it. I think part of the appeal of crafting is therefore the exercise in slowing down and doing things properly. Even so, I can't shake the urge to finish things, sometimes to the extreme. This was true of P's top down sweater. For some reason I really, really wanted him to have it to wear today. So yesterday I spent a lot of the day finishing it. Wove the ends in, added the buttons, picked him up from the last day of nursery, popped it on him was about 2 inches too short in the body and arms. Luckily, it being top down, I was able to unpick the ribbing, reattach the needles and add those extra inches. I was so determined that those inches were going to be added, ends woven in etc. that I worked all evening, into the night and fell into bed at half past one! However, this morning he tried on version two (the eagle-eyed among you will spot that the first pic above is version one). It was hard to get a picture as action boy was not for sitting or standing still for a photo, but it now fits perfectly and I'm really pleased with the result. This afternoon both P and I lay down for a nap. P woke up a couple of hours later and was looked after by his Daddy while I slept on for just a wee bit (try two hours) later!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


There were two reasons for us making these gingerbread men together today. P has been spending a day and a half each week at nursery for the last couple of months as I was planning on getting some part time or supply work. Then of course we found out about little brother or sister being on the way and suddenly it didn't make sense for him to be there anymore. He has loved his time there though, so the gingerbread men are his way of saying thank you tomorrow, his last session.
The other reason was that this winter I've been finding Wednesday the hardest day of the week to deal with as an at-home mum. Our friends aren't available for various reasons, there don't seem to be any playgroups on...even the library is closed. If there is a day of the week when being stuck indoors in a place that's a long way from most of our friends and family spells a bad mood, it's Wednesday. As P and I are going to be at home together for the whole week again after tomorrow, I needed to prove that, even on a Wednesday, we can have happy, creative times together.
I thought through the process of making the gingerbread men beforehand, as I wanted P to feel he was involved in doing as much as possible, without getting into tantrum-provoking situations where he wanted to do stuff that I couldn't let him. So I made up the dough in the kitchen while he charged around the living room on his bike, wearing the crochet hat (mine!) that he seems to have adopted despite it making him look like a flower fairy. Once it had chilled, we repaired to the dining table, where he delighted in spreading out flour (I think we could have just done that and not bothered with the rest!), gave the dough a good squidge, brandished the rolling pin we've had to remove from his cookery set on safety grounds (think Conan the Barbarian), helped press the cutter down and carefully pushed the currants in for eyes and buttons- to his own unique designs of course. A little mess, lots of fun and no tantrums. We managed a Wednesday where we both smiled all day.

Especially when he realised that there was a really easy, and tasty, way to use up all those spare currants...

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Why

This recent blog post from Remedial Eating made me laugh, but also made me think a little bit about why I do all this crafting. There are so many reasons. Among them: it fulfills some sort of need in me that I don't always realise I have until for some reason I can't create anything for a while; it gives a very fidgety person something to do with her hands; it gives a very fidgety mind something to think about in quiet moments; nothing compares to the wonderful calm that is reached when you're in the knitting zone; the satisfaction of having or giving something you know is unique. There are probably many more I could come up with, but with motherhood one 'why' has become even more important.
I knitted the little bear pictured before P was born, one of the few things my superstitious mind would allow me to make before his safe arrival. It's from a Debbie Bliss pattern and a better picture and details are on my Ravelry projects page. Until recently P has not been fussed about soft toys, this one included. He's certainly not been bothered about having them in bed with him. But since the New Year we've moved forward from a not-very-satisfactory sort of co-sleeping by accident situation to him sleeping in his own bed all night every night, meaning much better nights of sleep for everyone. At the same time, he has suddenly decided that Edmund Bear (named by C) is the perfect sleeping partner. It makes my heart sing when I put our little boy down for the night, or go and check on him, and that bear, made when motherhood was still a future mystery, is clutched firmly under his arm. When we go to get him up in the morning, the first thing he'll do is point to Edmund and earnestly tell us all sorts of things about him, before dropping him firmly back into the cot- Edmund is definitely a bedtime bear, not for elsewhere. That's a big Why.
P will probably be less appreciative of the latest project on my needles- I'm using all the leftover Felted Tweed from my Fairisle to make him a top down raglan sweater. This is partly because I'm waiting for some more of the dark blue so I can finally finish off- just the collar and armholes to do, but I ran out of yarn. It's also partly because he needs a new sweater- and I'll really try not to felt this one. P is a little bit too young to be that fussed about what he wears yet, but I'll still be happy knowing that it's my work that's keeping him cosy.
Having been thinking about this post for a couple of days, it just happened that a couple of my favourite blogs to read: Soulemama and Sew Liberated posted today in a similar vein. Both are inspiring as ever and well worth a read.