Thursday, July 26, 2007

The good one ;0)

We were sitting on the bottom step together yesterday, hurrying to put our shoes on so we wouldn't miss daddy's train when Julian totally blew me away. This two year old of mine was doing up the velcro on his runners and said, "mommy, I put on my left shoe". And it was! So I asked him what his other foot was? "The good one," he replied. "You mean, the right one?" I asked. "No mommy, it's the good one!"

Stephen was on vacation last week so we were busy little bees, soaking in the sun, visiting the sites and of course running some errands! We took the boys to the Montreal Biodome with grandma and grandpa and it was a lots of fun. Julian got to see penguins, and porcupines, and a moose, and a cougar, and giant jungle birds, and even an alligator! He was very impressed. Logan on the other hand was most smitten with the fish. I was carrying him in the bjorn and could literally feel his breathing patterns change as the aquariums soothed him. Magic!

We also got to do something a little strange...we went to a Stanley Cup parade in our little suburban town! The goaltender for the Ducks is from our little town and brought the celebrated cup over for an impromptu Monday afternoon parade.

It was strange to go for a neighbourhood walk in the deeps of suburbia to participate in a Stanley cup parade when our home team didn't even make the playoffs! It was great fun nonetheless. Giguere (the hometown hero) rode on an old fashioned fire engine with the cup, preceded by the local kiddy teams and followed by what seemed like all the kids in town on their bikes cheering and waving. It was a really cool suburban moment.

Julian was trying really hard to keep up with the parade on his little tricycle. He was so focused and determined, trying to go really really fast... despite his best efforts though, he was the very last kid in the parade. Here he is being tailed by the police escort. So cute ;0)

I did get a little knitting done, too. I started knitting a trellis of my own for Lolo and honestly it's such a fabulous little quick knit that I really don't know why I didn't knit it before. I've got half a front and sleeves left to go before I can consider this one an FO. I just hope it fits Lolo when it's done... I knit the 6 month size but it looks a little small.

The story of the week though...Buddy Bags! The response has been so heart-warming. Knitters are so wonderful ;0) For those of you who have purchased a pattern, you may want to go download it again using the same link you were sent. A few knitters send some minor errata which I have reflected in a new update (any new buyers will receive the revised file).

Here's the errata:

  • The row numbers in the 'Birdy wing' section should be even-numbered starting with row 2...(all odd-numbered rows should be as indicated in row 1) - thanks Renee!
  • In the basket instructions, Row 20 should read (P5, K3) - thanks Jessica and Renee!
  • I added needle size info throughout to make it clearer
  • I added a note up front about how the pattern is for your personal use only and should not be sold or distributed. I also ask that you not sell any Buddy Bags you make, though you can knit and give away as many as you like ;0)
Next time, some Q&A for anyone interested in self-publishing a pattern. I'll share my research and experiences with software and online tools...

Happy knitting!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Everywhere Buddy Bags!

It took a wee bit longer than I had planned {doesn't everything?} but I did it! I created the perfect quick'n'easy and full o'whimsy gift for those tricky-to-knit for toddlers and pre-schoolers (though older kids might like them too, heck I want one ;0). Introducing an annypurls original: Buddy Bags!

Meet Buggy, Bunny, Bear-y and Birdy, the adorable finger puppet buddies that adorn these sweet little backpacks. The inspiration came to me as my little neighbourette's 4th birthday drew near... I didn't have much time left to knit her something special and was also confined by the stash. Plus, let's face it, it's really hard to tell what size one should knit for a toddler or pre-schooler unless they're your own ;0) I can't tell you how many times babies have outgrown knitted gifts and garments before I finished making them!

This is where the beauty of these little treasures lies - they really are one size fits all, and with all the variations, I'd say they'd be cherished by little girls and boys. After all, every child has a little treasure they like to carry around ;0)

1. Birdy Buddy Bag, 2. Bear-y Buddy Bag Lining, 3. Bunny in a basket, 4. Buggy finger puppet, 5. Buddy bag linings, 6. Buggy Buddy Bag - detail, 7. Bear-y in a sailboat, 8. Birdy finger puppet, 9. Birdy Buddy Bag - detail, 10. All 4 Buddy Bags, 11. Bunny finger puppet, 12. Bear-y Buddy Bag - Stuffed!, 13. Bear-y finger puppet, 14. Bunny Buddy Bag - Stuffed!, 15. Birdy Buddy Bag - Lining, 16. Buggy Buddy Bag

These are perfect to tuck a little book, toy and snack in for busy kiddies on the go. And anywhere they can go too - the mall, restaurant, church or even just to play with around the house! Just pull on the strings to draw it closed and wear it as a backpack. Can you tell I'm loving these?

Extra bonus, you probably already have everything you need to make one in your stash right now! Knit from acrylic or washable cotton, they are easy to care for and will take some loving wear. I had enough odds and ends of worsted weight acrylic in the stash to knit all four!

I'm just pleased as punch with how they all turned out and hope you'll love them too. I plan to knit more as gift wrap for those gifted baby sweaters (a gift for now and another for later - who doesn't love that?) The pockets and buddies would be great on their own to adorn a simple sweater or baby blanket. Ahh, the possibilities...

The 6-page pattern includes detailed instructions for the 7x9 inch bag, all four finger puppets (buggy, birdy, beary and bunny) and all four pockets (leaf, nest, sailboat and basket). It also includes lots of photos and tutorials and even instructions for lining the bag. (Actually, I'm almost as proud of the presentation of the pattern as I am of the bags!)

The pattern is available for $6.50 as an instant pdf download (payment is through PayPal).

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ahhh, meditative knitting!

See this? Nice, eh? I'm still fiddling with my buddy bags but took some time to do some needed meditative knitting. You now, while I sort out my ideas for the buddies.

It's the Noro Striped Scarf from Brookly Tweed. Though I'm knitting it in Kureyon (rather than Silk Garden) which may have been a mistake because it's a little scratchy against the neck. It's a little, whats-the-word, rustic! But it's fun watching the colours play out against one another and it's nice to knit something you don't have to think about whatsoever!

I'm still chugging along on my Buddy Bags though and your positive response so far has been very encouraging! I'd say I'm about 85% done and my new goal is to make the pattern available this weekend. In the meantime though, here's a preview (above) of the Birdie Buddy Bag.

It's my new favourite! Actually, I put the finishing touches on the Buggy Buddy Bag since my last post: embroidering eyes, dots and adding antennae. And it's my favourite, too ;0) Actually that's what's slowing me down a bit. I want to include 4 alternatives with the pattern but want each to be the cutest ever and live up to the other ones and I think I set the bar really high with the Buggy Bag. I can't tell you how often I've ripped appliqué's this week. It's a good thing this yarn can take the abuse ;0)

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Big week!

I had planned to finish my mystery project, write up the pattern and make it available yesterday but I keep getting better and better ideas for it and can't stop knitting them (plus it's been a really eventful week for my children, more on that later)! They're so much fun to make if I do say so myself. Here's the first one almost done (I need to finish the ladybug embroidery and line the bag):

It's an annypurls original and the pattern for it and 3 other variations will be available in my etsy shop just as soon as I get them done and pdf the pattern. I call it the Buddy Bag. It's a simple drawstring knapsack perfectly sized to hold a child's treasures like a board book and a friend or a snack or even as packaging for a knitted baby sweater to be gifted to a lucky baby or toddler.

Each one will have a different whimsical pocket buddy. Pictured above is the Buggy Buddy Bag with it's leaf pocket and ladybug finger puppet buddy. I just love how it turned out. Love, love, LOVE it!!! I'm still working out the other buddy/pocket combinations (I'm making 4 variations for the pattern). One of these will be gifted to my neighbourette and the other 3 (if I can part with them once their done) will go up in my etsy shop as well ;0)

Here's a preview of the Birdie Buddy Bag (there will also be a Bunny Buddy Bag and a Bear-y Buddy Bag):

Aren't they charming? I'm so stoked and am looking forward to see what kind of response these get. I'm so proud of them!

But not nearly as proud as I am of my two year old delight who yesterday went potty for the first time! We bought it a few weeks ago and started including Mo Willem's "Time to pee" in our bedtime story rotation and doing the same with the Bear in the Big Blue House "Potty Time with Bear" video. We haven't actually tried to get him to use it yet nor have we gone with big boy underwear. He's still little and we're still trying to figure out how we want to do this.

Anyhow, yesterday he came to get me and asked me to take off his diaper so I humoured him. He went to sit on his potty and I gave him a few books to look at and continued tidying up the house. Next thing I know, he's walking around naked in the living room and there was a nice big peepee in his potty! Seriously, my proudest day ever! I mean I was already super impressed with his colouring earlier in the day:

Clearly he was trying to colour in the lines. Until this morning he had been mostly scribbling lines and zigzags on every page with his favouritest crayon - the brown one! Weird, eh? That his favourite crayon is brown? Shouldn't it be red? or Blue? Incidently my favourite is the orange one ;0)

Plus, this week, he started falling asleep on his own in his big boy bed. Same routine as usual except after stories and nursing (yes, I'm still tandem nursing and I don't know how to stop without making him feel less loved than!) I say night night and leave instead of laying with him until he falls asleep. Worked the first time! Not a peep. And yes, I know I'm blessed ;0) Double plus: Lolo started smiling...lots! And cooing too!

So you can see why even super cool knitting took a back seat this week!

More on my buddy bags next time...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jazzy good time!

Daddy had the day off yesterday in honour of Canada Day (which technically was on Sunday, yay Canada!) so we packed the kids and drove into the city to partake in Montreal International Jazz Festival fun! It's our favourite of the gazillion festivals in these parts and it was really cool to introduce our little ones to our favourite sites and sounds...

Julian had a blast. Lolo enjoyed the stroll. And Stephen and I reminisced about our festival dates over the past 10 years. It's such a wonderful event. It was our first time with a toddler and we were so impressed with just how many activites there were for wee ones. From face painting to art class (making musical instruments) and a huge parc with music themed slides and activites... heck there was even a fruit stand for snack time!

Of course there were the usual great bands and friendly people. And the best hot dogs in town! We met a lovely retired couple on vacation from Virginia and practically convinced them to move here. We even passed along some real estate sites so they can continue to scheme. It started to rain so we covered the stroller and made a run for our car. It's a two week long festival and we'll definately try to go again before it wraps up to catch some more tunes. Such fun ;0)

I also got a bunch of knitting in while watching movies with my honey. One of my little neighbourettes turned 4 this weekend and I wanted to knit her a little something. I flipped through my knitting library and didn't find anything suitable so gave it some serious thought and came up a super easy and super cute little something something (sneak preview above). Stay tuned for the grand unveiling and details on how to get the pattern later this week.

Can't wait to see what you think ;0)