Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cables for Jubilee

I've known it was happening for a while now but chose to ignore it.  I dismissed it.  I even managed to convince myself it wasn't happening at all - especially when I peeped into his room at night and caught a glimpse of his sleepy self in his little jammies.  But suddenly, there is no denying it anymore.  My Jubilee Bubilee is not a baby anymore!  He isn't even a toddler anymore.  He's, well, a kid!   

I came to this realisation recently as I flipped through my knitting books in search of a new sweater pattern to knit up for him.  None of the little knits who's page corners I had eagerly folded long ago would fit him anymore.  I have so many pattern books for babies and tots but only a handful are sized past that knitting critical (it seems) 24 month mark.  It's like a big knitting abyss for the 4 year old set and my Jubilee and I are totally stuck in it!

If it weren't for my Lolobean, who is also growing but still small enough to keep the dream of many of these little knits alive, I think I'd be completely heart broken over this.  I knit a lot.  I mean A LOT!  But I still didn't get it all in while I could and I have to say that the reality of it makes me really emotional.  

I'm so thankful that my husband and I somehow manage to make it work on one salary and that I get to stay home and enjoy every precious moment of their fleeting childhoods.  I'm also glad that I speak and read French and that I live in an area that doesn't lack in stockists for Phildar magazines!  It seems they're the only place for delectable knits for kids 4 and up.  That's where I found the pattern for this little cabled sweater. 

The pattern is 'Pull 004-T8-081' from Phildar Pitchoun magazine No. 004.  I knit the 4 year size using 5 balls of stash Valley Yarns Amherst in Regatta Blue.  The yarn is a workhorse - nothing fancy but it did the job, doesn't itch and hasn't shown any signs of pilling yet.  The pattern, as always with Phildar, was delicious to knit and is very well tailored.  I love this about their patterns.  They are always fully fashioned and don't cut corners even for baby garments.  

There are a few more patterns in this issue that I may have to knit for this kid of mine in between madly rushing to knit the 24-month size of all those patterns I've earmarked before my little Lolo outgrows them too!  Though even he is almost at that critical mark.  He's 21 months!

Here they are tearing up the lanes at Stephen's company's kid's Christmas party this weekend.  It was held at a local bowling centre (as Julian calls it ;0) and was a total blast!  Julian's been very eager to try bowling for a long time and so we were all thrilled to finally give it a go and it didn't disappoint! 

Santa even showed up with presents which totally freaked Julian out.  He thought Santa was just a Christmas decoration for our tree... not a real person.  Even the promise of a present was barely enough to get him in the same room with Santa!  In the end, he got the mini-golf set he'd asked for and was thrilled to bits.  I guess that Santa dude's not so bad after all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Santa Lucia!

So we're not Swedish.  Or Scandinavian.  But we do dig Ikea, swedish meatballs, lingonberries and a reason to this year, we decided to have ourselves a little Santa Lucia feast ;0)


I found a yummy sounding recipe for Santa Lucia bread and thought we'd give it a try this morning.  It was a real collective effort.  I measured all the ingredients and Julian helped me mix them together and then everyone had a hand at kneading the dough.

It didn't rise properly though so I think I may have killed the yeast when I unwittingly poured some scalding milk into the yeast mixture (don't do that).  But I baked it anyway and it still turned out pretty okay.  It certainly was pretty ;0)

Oh, and there was crafting too (thank you Kiddley archives)!  According to Santa Lucia tradition, the eldest daughter wears a crown of leaves and candles on her head while boys wear pointy hats with stars.  But since we have no daughters and the dunce-like boys caps just didn't have the right pizazz for our two, we decided to make ourselves some crowns anyway.  

I cut out leaves from sticky craft foam and everyone helped to stick them onto the crowns.  Then came some pompom berries, popsicle stick candles and feather flames.  What a glorious way to craft away a snowy December morning! 

We put it all together with a feast right out of Ikea's grocery section:  swedish meatballs, cream sauce, lingonberry jam and cider and some fries and salad to round it out.  Perfect!  The boys especially liked the little plastic wine glasses filled with apple and lingonberry cider.

Our bread wasn't ready in time for lunch (I was giving it more time to rise but it really didn't want to) so we had it picnic-style around our tree during our advent stocking celebration at the end of the day.  It was pretty good and the perfect sweet ending to a wonderful day feast day ;0)

Happy Santa Lucia!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A new charity pattern...

I wanted to do something special with my Jujube and Lolo for the holidays this year. Something that would bring a little meaning and humanity to our celebrations, especially in these difficult economic times and that would bring them a taste of the joy that comes from giving...

So when a blog-reader and friend told me about MOST's Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, I was on board from the get-go.  The program is now in its tenth year and has helped nearly 200 families and 1000 children in need.  The idea of families helping families just warms my heart and it's been a fun project for all of us to get involved in.  

I recruited daddy and the boys to pick out some toys and books for the baby triplets we 'adopted' and they were  so eager and proud to help.  Naturally, I contributed some fiber love and designed and knit little holiday sweaters for 'the babies' as they came to be known in our house these past few weeks (Julian is so invested in making them sweet). 

When I heard that MOST's Holiday Adopt-A-Family program had been underfunded for years and may not be able to continue to operate unless they succeed in raising $10, 000, I thought we knitters could do something about that ;0)

So I wrote up the pattern for these Buddy Sweaters and am making it available for free with any contribution to MOST's Holiday Adopt-A-Family program.  Find out more and download the pattern from Jujube & Lolo here.

The pattern includes instructions to knit the seamless yoked sweater and all three holiday-themed finger puppet buddies (elf, snowman and penguin) and pockets (north pole, gift box and ski slopes) in sizes 3 to 24 months. 

{Hint: the pockets and buddies are also the perfect size to adorn Buddy Bags if you need a quick knit for a special little one on your list}.  Thank you in advance for your support (as always)!  If you have a blog or knitting group, plese help me spread the word about this charity project.  I know we can make a big difference for this organisation and bring a little extra cheer to families in need.  

You can find out more about MOST here.  
Get the Buddy Sweater pattern here.