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Archive for the ‘Baby Stuff’ Category

No announcement here.  The hat is for a friend to give to a friend.  I have a lovely friend, who loves all the knitted/sewing goodies I make for my girls, but also loves to tell me she doesn’t make anything (This of course isn’t true, but she doesn’t do the “domestic” crafts like knitting and sewing) has someone in her life who is having a baby, so she asked if I’d be willing to knit something for them.  I normally don’t knit for others, because I have too many things I want to knit for myself, so taking time away from that is usually not something I’m willing to do.  But I like her, and it’s a baby hat, afterall.  How long could that take (2 1/2 hours, is what it took).  Besides, I’m past the baby knitting stage in my life, but who doesn’t like to knit a little baby garment!

Here is the hat.  I went to pull the pattern off the internet, and it’s not available anymore. I had to paw through old pattern printouts in my craft room to find the hard copy I had.  It’s a little fiddlehead fern motif with the curls at the top.  I used some Malabrigo twist in “lovely autumn leaves in New England” colors.  Love it!

This is the same pattern I used for the hat that Istra wore home from the hospital, and probably every day there after for a few weeks. Here’s a little memory shared.

Not much cuter than a baby surrounded in knitted goodness.

The microgreens are taking off.  The book indicated the broccoli and radishes should take about the same amount of time, however the radishes are really moving much quicker than the broccoli.

Radish

Broccoli

 

 

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My Baby woke up this morning and barked at me…not pretending to be a dog, she seems to have croup.  I have been giving her the wonder cough syrup I made, which has many wonderful immune boosting and repiratory health boosting properties, and for the 2-3 hours after getting a dose she's fine, and can breathe.  Around the 2 1/2 – 3 hour mark she starts to get rasping and has a harder time breathing so she gets another dose and within 15-20 minutes is doing better again.  I'm pretty excited and I hope whatever it is continues to respond to the syrup.

Despite how well the syrup helped, she still wasn't herself, needed a lot of cuddling, a lot of monitoring so she wouldn't run and start wheezing, and a lot of nursing.  So I'm pretty tired and cranky myself.

But there was a bright spot in my day.  The mail brought me lemons!  Jennifer, a wonderful blog reader/cyber friend foraged some Meyer lemons for me!  She sent a big box of them, and I'm very excited to make some Lemon curd.  Now, I know these aren't local (to me), and I had them shipped from CA, but there are no local lemons in NH, and when you have a friend who can forage some from another friend's backyard tree, that coolness factor doesn't compare to a store bought lemon. 

Lemons
I have brussel sprouts and apples left to process and then, I do believe, all the food in my house has been frozen, canned, or eaten, save the stuff in the fridge that shall be eaten soon.  Phew.  I'm feeling good about that.  It has been a (seemingly) never ending stream of food into this house for the past 2 months. It was all worth it tonight when I made Spaghetti Sauce from a fresh onion and garlic, dried by me basil, oregano and parsley, canned by me crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, and frozen by me peppers, and some local Elk Sausage.  MMMM.  I love Spaghetti Sauce!

The house is cozy, and the wood stove is roaring.  I'm going to be asleep soon, and the baby has been asleep for 1 1/2 hours, with no coughing.

 

 

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I found a very bright yellow dresser at a second hand store, and after a little discussion, paid $22.00 and put it in my car. 

Paintedchestbefore

I'm bad at remember "before" pictures, as I always want to dive in to a new project, but the whole thing was the color of the drawers, and here it has been sanded, and partially primed.

One of the drawers was not an original, and was a poorly done attempt to match the original, so I decided to remove it and place a piece of wood, covered in my kitchen fabric, in it's place, to make a perfect spot for pint canning jars and a basket.

PaintedChest
I sanded, primed and then put a coat of green paint, followed by a coat of aqua.  While the aqua was drying I rubbed some paint off, to reveal the green undercoat.  I then sanded to remove more aqua, as well as getting down to bare wood, in a couple spots.  The drawer pulls were taken off a dresser that belonged to my Great Grandparents.  I love that the cool old, solid wood dresser, with glass knobs, had it's home in the shop, holding Great Grampa's screws, and such.  It's a beautiful piece of furniture and will find it's way into a home again, but for now it is still in the the old shop that has housed it for decades, and the knobs look great on their new dresser.

PaintedChestClose
This lovely piece of furniture has found a spot in the entry way.  It will hold the box for our keys, a drawer will be devoted to mittens and hats, and the rest will be a "junk drawer".  Yes, sad but true, I realized that I have 5-6 various junk drawers in this house.  Quite silly, as it causes much time spent searching when I need an elastic, thumbtack, or any other sort of doodad, that isn't valuable enough to really have it's own place, but should not be thrown away, for fear I will need it as soon as I do.  I'm hoping this central "junk drawer" will allow for better organization and less time spent searching.

My cousin is married to a lovely fellow, who has a beard.  Why do I tell you this?  Because for Halloween, she wants to dress her 16 month old son as his father.  She got the idea when she saw a bearded hat on Etsy.  She contacted me, back in July, to see if I thought I could make such a hat.  Sure, I can do that…then I promptly forgot. Well, earlier this week she checked in, so I pulled out some yarn and started to whip up a hat.  The hat pattern is Rib-A-Roni, and can be found on Ravelry

BeardedMini
The beard was something I just figured out as I went.  I started by picking up and knitting the beard, onto the hat.  After trying it on Mini who has a 19" head, and The Baby who has a 17" head, I decided that there needed to be flexibility in sizing, as Eli has an 18" head, and I have no idea how the proportions work out.  So I removed the finished beard, bound off, and then sewed buttons into the inside of the hat.  The seed stich for the beard is loose enough to just slip over the button, without the need of making button holes, so the beard is fully adjustable.  It is going to be mailed off tomorrow, and should be in PA in time for his Wednesday Party at Day Care.

BeardedBaby

The bearded ladies were amused with the hat modeling, and were a huge help in figuring out the sizing.  The hat is made of Galway 100% Worsted Wool, and the beard is Malabrigo Merino, so it's super soft.  If he doesn't mind wearing it, it should make a very warm winter hat/face gaurd.  But since the beard comes off, it could be a great winter hat for years to come.

 

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I was having a bit of a dry spell with my knitting.  I was still knitting, but not really doing so in an inspired and intentional manner.  But I'm having a grand ole time now!  I have three projects on my needles, which is not normal for me.  I tend to knit one project at a time, or maybe have one intricate project for when it's quiet and I'm alone, and then a simple project that can be done during a movie, while watching kids, at the Farmer's Market, in the car…I knit whenever and wherever I can!

In addition to the 3 projects I'm working on, I have 2 in the balance with yarn purchased, patterns printed, and ready to go!

UpNext

A shawl. I really love shawls.  They are so old fashioned and romantic, to me.  I have one that is very basic, simple, deep green, done in garter stitch.  It's very practical because you can tie it around yourself, to get the ends out of the way if you have to get something done, and need both hands…as this is when shawls become bothersome, and easily fall off.  While browsing Ravelry, trying to find a project that needed one skein of Cascade Eco Wool, I came across a very cool lace shawl.  The original pattern has it knit in fingering weight yarn, and it makes more of a shawlette.  But done in the eco wool it goes from dainty to practical!  I love the blue yarn, and the weight of the eco wool is nice, plus very cozy!

BlueShawl 

Mini is getting another sweater.  I considered the Tiny Tea Leaves, but was sold when Jennifer was knitting one for her little girl during the knitting night I go to once a month.  When asked what color she wanted, Mini promptly replied "YELLOW!".  This is what color she proclaims EVERYTIME I ask her what color she wants.  I found this really pretty soft yellow that has hints of green and peach.  She approves.  This is my simple knit that travels well.  I have about 1-2" left on the body, then the 3/4 arms, and the button bands.  If I worked on it exclusively it would be done in a couple days, but it will not be done that quickly, because I'm working on another project.

TinyTeaLeaves 

TinyTeaLeaves1

Elvira, is the pattern, and it's for The Baby.  I love the yarn, it's Claudia Knits, and was a new colorway that my LYS just got in.  The owner grabbed a couple for herself, and I cleaned the shelf of the remaining 4.  Perfect!  It's such a sweet little dress/tunic/top, depending on how long you make it, or how tall the little one grows.  I love making clothes that will last a couple years.  It's so satisfying!  As far as the pattern, I have a small list, that is growing, of garments I want to sew from this designer's patterns.  I love her style!

ElviraBaby

Now that you're caught up on the knitting, I'll let you know what I did today…

The rabbit housing needed the roofing.  I've been procrastinating because I needed to change the blade for the skill saw to a metal cutting blade, and actually cut metal!  I wasn't sure how that was going to go, so I was putting it off.  It went surprisingly well.  The blade changed out easily, and cut well.  I'm so proud of myself for thinking to buy two blades.  Metal blades get worn down very quickly, and I'm so glad that I had the second one to finish the last half of the last piece.  Yes, one blade did 4 1/2 of the 5 pieces I needed to cut in half!  grrr.  But I had blade two so all was well. 

After getting the pieces cut, the first side up, and one support brace for the second side, I noticed the mama duck and ALL her little ones went in the house.  I did notice this, but didn't think much of it.  I should have, however.  Less than 3 minutes later the sky opened up and dumped water on me.  I guess you could call it rain, but seriously, I don't know that there were any drops, just a big gush of water.  I scrambled to put a tarp (muddy, yucky tarp) on the roof to cover the exposed rabbits!  The tarp slowed the water down, but it had holes in it so it couldn't be the only solution…

With cordless screw gun in hand I went about trying to secure the remaining support braces, and slide the cut metal roofing sheets between the braces and the muddy, yucky, wet, tarp with holes in it.  The tarp kept catching the metal, slowing me down at every turn.  I wondered why I couldn't catch a single break!  Finally all the metal was up, held in place with one screw per sheet so it wouldn't fall off, tarp over the entire thing so that the rain wouldn't leak into all the holes that still need screws in the roofing.  In I go, dragging the power tools with me, all the while trying to judge just how far off that thunder could be…

I get into the garage, turn around, and out the door I see sunshine!  What?!?  It was sprinkling still, with sun peeking through clouds.  I won't even go into my thoughts on all that!

Soaked to the undies, I went in, showered, and gathered what I needed to go to the Farmer's Market.  I went to Northwood this time.  I really wanted to check that one out, as they've been doing a great job advertising, it's right around the corner from me and I knew they'd have strawberries!  It's a great little market. 

Warren Farm did have the Strawberries I wanted!  Healthy Home Harvest had a couple 6 packs of Broccoli, that I'll be adding to my badly eaten plants that are still doing their best to grow.  And Summer Squash at another farm!  Yes, Summer Squash.  I had Summer Squash for dinner on the 3rd of June.  It was so good, it actually made me pause for a minute when the first bite when in my mouth.  I wish I remembered the name of the farm.  Also, on my dinner plate, Cucumbers from Nippo Brook Farm, Asparagus from Warren Farm, Moose Steak from my friend Virginia.  Her Husband got one of the lottery Moose Licenses in Maine last year, so we traded chicken for Moose.  It was delicious.  I used a marinade of Grape seed oil, soy sauce, pepper, salt and wine.  It was broiled in my oven, and was cooked perfectly!  A couple strawberries eaten fresh and raw at the end…mmmm! 

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What a bad blogger I've been.  I haven't posted since the 13th, and frankly the posts before that have been a smidge rushed.  Life is getting a bit crazy around here.  Nothing major, just life…before Christmas, for a Mama who wants to make all the gifts, and all the food, and run the homestead…My camera has finally made nice with me and my computer, so I put pictures up again!  

The guineas are gone.  We have been having to corral them in at night, and at least a couple have stayed outside to roost a couple nights, and my guinea raising friends tell me that means they will keep roosting outside until a predator finds them.  That is not going to happen, for a couple reasons.  No matter what your view on killing animals, humans are the most humane of all the options.  Being eaten alive in the wild, is no way to go.  Then there is the matter of having fed and cared for these birds for months,so letting some wild animal come along and dine on my hard word seems counter productive.  With all that in mind, Tuesday the guineas were harvested. 

They are missed more than any of the other animals who have found their way to the freezer.  In part because there are no more like them.  We still have chickens, rabbits and ducks, but all the guineas went at once.  Also, the homestead is much quieter.  There is no guinea sqwacking, as they make their way around the property letting all who will listen know what they are finding.  Yes, the guineas were a very entertaining bird to have, and are missed.

Guineasgrown

I've done some sewing lately.  I made a dress for Mini from the book Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life).  I want to make another one in red cotton velvet, for Christmas, so I needed to make a test dress.  I don't like to make any pattern, for the first time, with special fabric.  I prefer make one with good fabric, but fabric that can be replaced easily.  This pattern was new to me, and it didn't have the seam allowance on the pattern, I had to add that, so I really needed to make a test.  It came out great, and fits her wonderfully.  I need to add buttons down the back of the bodice and on the front, but otherwise it's done.  The fabric is a cotton flannel, and oh, so, soft!  A great winter frock.  There are a lot of garments in the book I'm looking forward to making, it's a great book, with decent directions.  I do wish they included the seam allowance in the pattern and am never sure why patterns don't, but what I did worked well, and I now have the pattern, with the allowance, for the next dress.

Flanneldress

The baby needed a snow suit.  I didn't like the store options, so I decided to give it a try, on my own.  I used a pattern by Burda,  .  It worked up very easily.  I used a wool/cashmere blend for the outside and lined it with the same flannel I used for Mini's dress.  It's so cozy.  When we take her out she's nice a warm, so I'd say it is doing a good job, in addition to being adorable.  I'm trying to figure out a way to "girl it up" a little, as the neutral colors, and predominantly red lining makes it look a bit boyish.  Not a big deal, and for now, I think it's going to be the way it is, but after Christmas crafting is done, I'm going to try something like what I have in this pic, for the front.

Snowsuit

To go with the little snow suit I whipped up a pair of thumbless mittens.  They are together for the picture, but have not been together since.  I wanted to put a cord to attach them, and when I went to grab them to do so, only one remained.  I'm looking at possibly needing to make a third…happily I still have the yarn, but now is not the time of year that I really want to remake something!  Here is the pattern I used…I made it up, it's pretty basic, and simple.

Babymittens

Baby Mittens

Sport weight yarn

Needles: 40" Size 6 (knitting top down, in the round on one needle)

  • Cast on 16 stitches, 8 on each needle, using a "toe up" technique.
  • Round 1 and each alternating row: Knit
  • Round 2, 4, 6, 8: K1, M1, knit to last stitch on needle, M1, K last
    stitch on needle, K1, repeat for next needle. (Increase of 4 stitches)
    Note:  keep increasing until you have enough stitches to accommodate
    the width of the wearer's hand, for my baby, that was 16 on each
    needle, or 32 stitches total.)
  • Once you have 16 stitches on each needle, work even, knitting each
    row, until it's the length of the baby's hands, for my little one (9
    months) that was 23 rounds.
  • Switch to 2×2 rib, and work to desired cuff length.  I went long in
    the hopes it would help keep them on her little hands.  It should also
    help to keep her arms warm, too.  I went for 26 rounds, then bind off.
  • Make another.
  • I have a cord to attach them, inside her snow suit, hoping to keep
    from losing them…like when she does pull them off, in the car.
  • Note, you can really make mittens for any size baby or toddler,
    using this method, simply keep increasing until it's wide enough for
    the wearer, and then knit without increasing until they are long enough
    for the hand.  Since there is no thumb, this is really best for a
    little person, but if your baby is not the size of my baby, this will
    still get you there.

Advent Catchup:

Day 16

advent16

Luke 1:39-45

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the
town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted
Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped
within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed
you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored,
that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting,
the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you
believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

Day 17

advent17

Luke 1:57-66

When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to
a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had
been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.

When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision
ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But
Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”

“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that
name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to
name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise
he wrote, “His name is John.”  Instantly Zechariah could speak again,
and he began praising God.

Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had
happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about
it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out
to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

Isaiah 40:3-4

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.

The Isaiah verse talks about John the Baptist and his role in
preparing the hearts of men and women to be ready for the coming of
Jesus as the Messiah.

Day 18

advent18

Luke 2:1-5

At
that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be
taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own
ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a
descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s
ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in
Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously
pregnant.

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I'm still fighting with the Calvert Sweater, but I did manage to finish another pair of leg warmers for the girls.  This pattern is so simple, fast and easy.  It has become my go to "carry around" project of choice.  Soon to be interrupted by socks for Dad for Christmas.  Eeeek…did I admit to attempting Christmas Knitting starting at this late date?  I guess I did. 

Legwarmers

The socks will be carried around in a fabulous little project bag, that I also finished today. The pattern is free!  The bag is adorable, fast, easy and would make a great gift.  I'm definitely making more of them.

Projectbag

I cooked our first home grown chicken tonight.  I put it in a brine yesterday…1 gallon water, 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar.  Today I removed the bird, coated in olive oil, using a combo of salt, pepper, sage (Yellow House Farm) and rosemary (Nippo Brook Farm) for a rub, I covered the bird.  Then I poured about 1 1/2 cups of red wine in my Dutch oven, place the bird (my yard), surrounded it with potatoes (Meadows Mirth and Nippo Brook Farm) and mushrooms (David O'Connor).  The potatoes and mushrooms were sprinkled with remaining rub.  Covered and placed in the 325 degree oven, for 25 minutes per pound of bird, which worked out to be about 1.5 hours.  He weighed in a 4 pounds, not bad for a small egg laying breed.  I served the above with buttercup squash (Nippo Brook Farm).

Eating heritage poultry is definitely different than a supermarket bird, or even a "broiler" from a farm.  I'm amazed at how much more character and flavor the bird has.  Husband said the leg meat was more like eating steak than any chicken he's ever had before.  The bird was pretty good, but a bit too salty.  So foodie friends, did
I brine too long (almost 24 hours)?  Should I have just used the pepper
and herbs and no salt on the skin?  Are you supposed to rinse the brine
off before putting it in the pan? I was just following directions from a foodie friend, so I'm not sure what I did wrong.  It was still good, but I'd like it
less salty next time.

Day 2 of the Sprouting experiment:

Sproutingday2

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I still have not killed the chicken, Husband learned that today, but I did learn how to clean it.  Husband and I went to Yellow House Farm for a hands on slaughter lesson.  We worked on personal birds of a family member, which included chickens, guinea fowl and a Turkey.  The larger the bird the easier to clean, because the smaller birds are harder to get in where you need to.  I had never cleaned/butchered any animal before, except an occasional fish in my early teen years.  The process would certainly be no fun at all, if doing it alone, and while the term "fun" is being used loosely and with respect to the animals we were processing, working side by side with someone, chatting while we worked, made thing move along pleasantly.

I'm not going to go into detail on how it's all done, but it was far less mysterious and difficult than I had, at one point, thought it to be.  Once I received the bird, it had been dispatched, drained, scalded and plucked.  I took off pin feathers, removed the extra bits that we don't eat, and the internal bits.  Not bad for a girl that, only last year, learned how to quarter a whole bird.

The owner of the fowl sent us home with the turkey and a guinea.  I'm excited to try the guinea, and after it rests in the fridge for a couple days we'll slow cook it for a few hours in the crock pot. 

Husband did a great job with the actual dispatching and said that he felt confident to take care of our birds.  I'm glad to know we could do this ourselves, at this point.  Dad had agreed at the beginning of this experiment to handle that if we couldn't pull it off, but knowing we can is so empowering.

The knitting continues.  I put the finishing touches on the sweater for Mini.  She saw it before the embroidery was done and was very excited.  I love that she has always appreciated handmade clothing.  This was knit using Rowan Wool Cotton, which I love knitting with, and also think the finished garment, it creates, is wonderful to wear.  The Pattern is by Lucinda Guy from the adorable Rowan Book, Handknits for Kids: 25 Original Designs for Girls and Boys.  The pattern was easy to follow, and easy to make, the color work was fun, and not too complicated, but the finished sweater is a little boxy.  Not a bad thing, on such a skinny little person, as mini, but I wish that there wasn't so much unnecessary fabric hanging around.  It looks great on her and she loves it, so it all worked out fine.

Chickensweaterdone

I started a pair of longies for the baby.  I love a baby in woolie leggings.  So cozy and so cute.

RustEZlongies

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