Happy Easter

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter preparations are in full swing at our house. Since my mom is here, she is going all out with traditional dishes. We are certainly spoiled this time around, and it feels fantastic!

While my mom is busy with these preparations, I have had some time to ponder what sort of crafty surprise I can make for the kids. My criteria is simple, it has to be fast, cute and inexpensive. 

Now that there are 4 kids in the family, my sister and I have worked hard to create traditions and lasting memories for them. We are having an Easter egg hunt (indoors because it's still cold out), they will be decorating easter eggs, but I wanted something new as well. And then it hit me!

Why not dye quail eggs for them? They are certainly healthier than their chicken counterpart, and just their size. Plus the fact that they are spotted, makes for a cute pattern when you are done. 

Here are some before and after shots. What do you think?

And that lovely candle you see in the background? Remember how I was talking about my uncle with the bee-hives? Well he makes these candles as well, and this one has an adorable bunny theme.

Stripes make me happy

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It has been a tough winter, so I guess it is no shock that one of the first things I wanted to knit for my little one, was a cozy blanket, something to cuddle her in. I wanted to make an heirloom piece, that she would be able to use throughout her childhood, but then tuck away, to give to her own children one day.

But how to choose? There are so many beautiful patterns out there. I had to find a way to narrow it down. I wondered, should I go with a more intricate pattern, or something simple? To me, in order to show off an interesting pattern or stitch you are better served with a solid colour yarn, whereas if you want to play with colour you are better served by a plain stockinette or garter stitch, maybe even cables. Once I looked at it this way, I decided that I wanted a colourful blanket.

I had always admired these blankets by the Purl Bee, so I started researching yarn and colourways. I can tell you, I splurged....BIG TIME. Six skeins of Madeline Tosh Merino DK will set you back a bit. None of my LYS carry the colours I was looking for, so I had to take a chance and order based on how they looked on my computer's screen. I was a little nervous opening the package, but once opened I absolutely loved my choices. The colours are incredibly bright and intense, and the yarn itself, oh, so soft. The colours I chose are Calligraphy, Fragrant and Candlewick.

I cast on 140 stitches and off I went. I needed a mindless project like this, while I sat in the NICU waiting for my little munchkin to grow and get healthy.You would not believe how many moms and nurses approached me to ask, and talk about my knitting. I became known as the "knitting mom", and they would come and check in on my progress. Many stopped to chat about their own crafting (mis)adventures, and to say that they would love to learn, or re-start, knitting themselves. 

I am always amazed at how this craft can so easily bring people together. It speaks to a side of us that is open, kind and loving. Being able to connect over knitting, changed my relationship with them, it made it more open and, well...kind. Once again, proof that knitting brings people together. I am sure I have recruited some new knitters.

I finished the blanket a few nights before she came home. It gives me such joy to cuddle her in it now, and to think of what the future may hold for this little, and incredibly strong (and cute!) baby.

New life

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I last updated this blog I had promised myself that I would not let too much time pass before updating it again. Alas, I have broken my promise again. As much as I wanted to keep it, life, once again, got in the way.

Let's recap. The holidays were busy, but great, our biggest challenge this year being the weather. The bitter cold started much earlier this year, so we were unable to do some of our traditional outings. The Christmas market is no fun at -20 degrees or closer, neither is a walk around town to admire Christmas decorations. We will make up for it next year. This lack of outings and dreary weather have also resulted in very few photos being taken.  Thank you polar vortex!

I certainly have some serious catching up to do.

And just as I thought that I'd get a fresh start in 2014, my baby daughter decided to make her appearance 3 months early! I spent my days by her side, at first struggling to keep positive, then cautiously optimistic as she started improving. We worked hard to keep a routine going, mostly for my son, but also for ourselves, to help us keep our sanity.

It has been an emotional roller-coaster, having felt panic, paralyzing worry, guilt, helplessness, but also euphoria and happiness. 

Through it all, one thing has helped me cope, and that is the wonderfully calming effect of my knitting needles. Well, ok, to be honest also the occasional glass of wine and massive amounts of chocolate.

She has now been home for 2 weeks and a new stage has begun. A new routine, getting to know each other and lots of cuddling. 

For today I wanted to share a glimpse of my precious baby girl. 

Soon, I will share some finished FO's.