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.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Rockin' robots!

After warming Lolo's toesies with his puppy bootees, the time had come for a little Julian warming so I got right to work last week concocting the 'perfect' slippers for this eccentric 3 year old of mine. 

And here they are.  The quintessential rocking robot slipper boots for the boot wearing, rock and roll obsessed, robot loving, red favouring Jubilee Bubilee of mine ;0)  And how I loved making these for him, the whole time anticipating how much he would love everything about them.  This is one project that brings together all his (current) favourite things and for all of those things they mean to him (and to me) they just might be my favourite thing I ever made for him.

You see, my little guy is totally obsessed with his bright orange winter boots (a steal from Land's End overstocks which I got in the middle of summer).  Completely and utterly obsessed.  So obsessed that despite the high temperatures of July and August, my little guy would sneak on those squall boots anytime I wasn't looking.  

When I  insisted he took them off, he would carefully placed them in his little blue cart and take them for walks around the neighbourhood, to the park, out with friends and of course to bed. So when I started thinking about the perfect indoor slippers for him, I knew they would have to be boots!   

They also had to be red, his new new favourite colour (it sure beats his previous favourite colours, brown and black!), but since all I scavenged from the stash by way of feltable wool was but 8 yards of red yarn I decided to go in a different direction and add some embroidery of his two other favouritest things: robots and guitars (a nod to his favourite thing to do with his dada: watch him play guitar hero with the tv robot character, the red guitar, on the truck stage preferably playing "I want to rock and roll all night" or "Slow Ride")!

I used Knitting at Knoon Design's Family of slippers pattern and modified it by working 1 row stripes in gray and cream Lopi (I used about 2/3 of each ball), working the cuff for 30 rows , adding an i-cord for stability, knitting an afterthought heel and adding some embriodery.  Oh and I painted on some morse code with puff paint on the soles to make them less slippery.

When he first saw his new slipper boots, the first words out of his mouth were:  "They're perfect!"

Indeed ;0)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The leaves are raked, the tires are changed, the pool is winterized, the snow removal pickets have been picketted at the end of our driveway, and my little Lolo bean has some brand new puppy slippers.  Winter?  Bring it on mother nature...if you dare!

My little Lolo's been sniffly for a few days and it occured to me that his socks needed some knitterly reinforcement ;0)  So naturally, I raided the stash and found a ball and a quarter of Lett Lopi in a dark brown heather with which to knit and felt him some slippers!

The pattern is from a book called Baby Knits Heads & Toes which is filled with cute hats and booties but alas they're all too small for my 18 month old, 5.5 inch footed little dude so there were a bunch of mods which I pretty much faked thinking felting would hide a multitude of sins which it did!  Basically, I took the figures for the largest size and multiplied by 1.2 where it made sense and ignored the "you should now have" numbers since mine were seriously wonky.

I added little i-cord stump eyes and noses pre-felting (above) and improvised a little eye patch and off to the washer they went.  3 cycles later, they were just the right size!  I knit up the cuffs with stash Knit Picks shine in a light gray and am really impressed that these stay on.  Though until I get some puff-paint on the soles, these are sooooo not safe to wear.  He's like bambi on ice wearing these around our house.  Cute, but deadly! 

Ah winter!  How my knitterly heart loves thee ;0)  Now for some rocking felted boots for my Jubilee Bubilee...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Buddy Bags!

Trick or treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to knit!

With halloween at our doorstep, I couldn't resist knitting up a couple of spooky Buddy Bags for my little Jujube and Lolo to trick-or-treat with.   I used my original Buddy Bag pattern to knit up
 the drawstring backpacks.  

I knit Lolo's to spec, but made Julian's a little larger by casting on an extra 20 stitches and knitting for 10 inches before working the eyelet row.  I also made his I-cord a little longer so that it would fit well (and hold more candy of course)!

I came up with three new spooky pocket/buddy variations.  First there's the witch in her cauldron with optional logs and flames!

Then there's the glow-in-the dark one-eyed goblin in a jack-o-lantern.  If you haven't seen this glow in the dark yarn yet, head off to Michael's, Mary Maxim or Zellers right away!  It's the coolest thing ever.  Nasty to knit with to be sure but it really does glow quite brightly.  Julian's been sleeping with a ball of it waiting patiently for me to turn it into something funner.  It's made by Bernat and is simply too cool for school!

And then, perhaps spookiest of all is the ghost in a tombstone.  Boo-ooo-oo!  It doesn't have a face yet but I plan on getting some of that glossy fabric puff paint to 'paint it on'!  If it works, it will completely revolutionize my approach to eyes on knitted toys.   I'll let you know how it works out ;0)

As a special holiday treat (and thank you) to all my patrons, I'll be including the pattern for all 3 halloween variations with my Buddy Bag pattern at least until the end of the month. That's all 7 variations (4 original + 3 halloween) for the price of 1!  Ravelry downloads going forward will also include all 7 variations.

Already bought the pattern?  No problem.  Check your e-mail, it's on it's way to you too ;0)  I am sending the pdf pattern file with the halloween buddies to everyone who bought the original Buddy Bag pattern.  Due to quotas from my e-mail provider though, I can't send them all at once so you might need to be a little patient.  If you haven't received the new pattern by Sunday night, send me an e-mail at anny {at} jujubeandlolo {dot} com and I'll hook you up.

Happy {early} Halloween from Jujube & Lolo!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A L'illo for Lolo...

I think I cast on for L'illo the very day it was released on knitty.  It was one of those projects that just was meant to be.  I had just the yarn in the exact right quantity and just the boy to wear it too!  And so it was, a little L'illo...

...for my little Lolo ;0)

The sweater is super cute in a modern vintage kind of way:  the woven stitch and construction makes it feel vintage, but the assymetric ribbed placket and collar is cool modern.  Love it!  

Though I have to admit that the actual knitting on this one was less than pleasant.  I knit it from RYC Cashcotton which is deliciously soft and shows great crisp stitch definition but it's utter lack of give makes it really hard on the hands and wrists.  

So much so that knitting this sweater gave me my very first taste of carpel tunnel pain - loss of grip and strength in my right hand, sharp shooting pains to the elbow, cold hands and numbness in my thumb, ring finger and pinky.  Scary!

Thankfully, now that it's done, the pain is gone.  It's one of the many things I was thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.  Of course I was also thankful for my family, grandma's turkey, a delightful walk in the woods (above), my sister's ham and fiber...naturally!  

Happy Thansgiving to you and yours!  Oh, and if you're Canadian, don't forget to vote on Tuesday, eh?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A is for Apples...

...and for Abigail!  I had such fun knitting for Ceilli last week that I just couldn't resist knitting for the daughter of another one of Stephen's office buddies, Abigail, this week.  And that's how these cute little piggies charmed their way onto my needles ;0)

The pattern is Spilly Jane's Piggy mittens and the yarn is Knit Picks Shine Worsted.  I was worried about running out of yarn (I only had one ball of each shade) so knit the rolled cuffs in a lighter shade of pink which turned out to be a good thing because by the time I finished the second snout, there were just a few yards of the darker yarn left!  I used it to knit a striped I-cord to make sure these little piglets don't loose each other and by the time I was done, there was no yarn left, just cute little mittens.  Oh how I would have loved these when I was a wee one.  I hope Abby loves them too and that they keep her little hands nice and toasty in the cooler days ahead...

The days sure are getting shorter and cooler around these parts.  The tempertatures are a-dropping, the leaves are a-falling and the apples are ripe for the a-picking!  So we made the most of the season by taking the boys to a local orchard last weekend for an afternoon of ladder-climbing, crisp-apple eating, tractor-riding, farm-animal-petting and of course, just plain running amuck in an orchard.  And what fun it was.  

And then to top it all off, there was homemade apple and sugar pie!  A perfect end to a perfect weekend.  

Martha would have been proud ;0)