Monday, March 31, 2008


So my knits have been boring me lately. It's not so much that they're boring (I shouldn't say that because they're patterns I'm designing!) but because I'm trying to figure things out and design as I go along, they require the kind of attention I just can't give them with the little ones giggling about, being cute and impossible to resist ;0)

I find myself constantly looking for something to do rather than pick up my knitting needles: playing tag with Julian, going for expeditions across our snow banks, planning a vegetable garden, raid the classifieds for a nice used piano, make a budget, shovel (!), search epinions for the bike trailer reviews, do taxes...heck I even caught up on all the laundry. I knew it was bad when I seriously considered tackling our ironing pile while watching Dancing With the Stars tonight!

But then I came across the coolest thing ever: hyperbolic baby pants (last pic at the top of the page)!!! I sooooo have to cast on for a pair of those straight away. And since all that stockinette will likely loose its excitement after a couple of hours, I'll need to make up a couple of grrrr's for the boys too. Oh, and a mochi mochi felted backpack for Julian's library books - how cute would that be? And then of course, I'll have to raid the stash to knit the chicken AND the egg ;0)

Oh, and then I'll have to see if I have anything to make the lace ribbon scarf from knitty. Oh, and how about some super cool perpendicular sidewinder socks?

Oh, yeah...I've got a bad case of startitis bay-bee! And it's all happening tomorrow as soon I find all my size 4 needles ;0)


Monday, March 24, 2008

One year already!

I know! It didn't seem right to us either. But we checked the dates and it's true: our little Lolo is 1 year old...already!

Here he is enjoying the yarn cupcake I knit for him from bits of the Bernat Satin leftover from my original Buddy Bags. The cupcake pattern was a happy Ravelry find and is available for free from Ava's blog here. It was so much fun to knit and everyone who's seen it wants one. Dada's might look a little strange with 30 candles sticking out of it though!

I made a few mods: worked 2 extra increase rows for the base (I thought my gauge was off and that it looked small otherwise...but now that it's done and is huge I realise I should have just stuck with Ava's instructions!), I also improvised an i-cord candle instead of the cherry and added a generous sprinkling of sprinkles! Finally, I filled a clean Heinz baby food tub with rice and used it to shape the bottom of the cupcake before stuffing which weighs it down nicely and serves as a fun rattle for 1 year olds!

Julian and I also baked a birthday cake for our little lemondrop. Behold our bee and hive cakes above. We cheated with the cake batter (as we always do) by using Betty Crocker's German Chocolate mix which is by far the closest to homemade I've tried (and I've tried many).

I baked the cakes in metal bowls to get the dome shapes and iced them generously with homemade butter cream and chocolate icings (using this Martha Stewart recipe). The bee also got super cute Sweet Tart candy features with a licorice mouth and host wings and was a total hit with the birthday boy! We just gave him the bee and let him have at it while the rest of us shared the hive.

Julian was a terrific helper leading up to Lolo's big day. In addition to helping bake the cake, he helped us pick out Lolo's gift and even decorated the wrapping paper with a little paint and some potato stamps we made using letter-shaped cookie cutters.

He really enjoyed helping out and getting creative and I think he even discovered along the way that doing something nice for someone else can be a reward in itself. He had such a great time helping us celebrate that I really don't think he felt left out or short-changed despite all the attention Lolo was getting and I felt really good about that ;0)

And Lolo? Well he basked in celebrations all week long long. And we basked in his delight and all the joy and wonder he has brought to our family since the day he joined us just one year ago...

Happy Birthday Lolo bean! We love you beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup ;0)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Nobody's house

There is so much to write about since my last post (my official last day at the office, Lolo's first birthday, a new pattern for Jujube & Lolo, and the insane snow accumulation in my part of the world) and I was going to write about Lolo's birthday, but got sidetracked by this morning's episode of Sesame Street ;0)

You see, my construction obsessed toddler was completely entranced by a little segment of a father building a green dog house with his daughter. Completely. Entranced. So naturally, I put Lolo down for a nap, raided the garage for packaging materials, found my glue gun in the basement and set up our kitchen for a dog house building/painting session for two!

And it was so much fun! We custom-built the house for his toy pup who had been referred to simply as "dog" ever since he joined our family way back in the fall. While we were painting, I tried my darnedest to explain that dog is what he is, and that his name is what you call him (ever notice how the simplest concepts are the most difficult to explain?!).

Well, Julian still didn't have any ideas and every name I offered just wasn't quite right for "dog". So we painted quietly for a bit and let it steep. Then suddenly, eureka!

"I know," he whispers, "we should name him, Nobody! My dog, Nobody!" LOL!!! It was all I could do to keep from rolling around the floor laughing. That boy just cracks me up! I bet mine is the only toddler on the block who's toy pup is experiencing an existential crisis!

Though I must say that I was amused but skeptical at first about Nobody's name, but after playing with him all day, I totally agree with Julian, "Nobody" is just right ;0)

Happy St-Paddy's day!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Open for business!

Hubby and I have been hard at work designing and programming my new site for several weeks now and are thrilled to report that it's {finally} ready and open for business! Be sure to check it out at

Isn't it pretty? I'm really proud of how it turned out and hope you'll like it too. The whole thing was completely home grown. I created the look and content and roped my dear husband into translating all my ideas into something a computer would understand! We made a great team and really put everything we had into it. And of course, the kidlets were heavily involved also as the inspiration, yarn enablers, and models ;0)

Hickory Dickory Dot
The mouse went up the...sweater?
All toasty and warm
In his polka dot hom
His mousy heart was aflutter ;0)

The site will be the new home of all my original knitting patterns going forward: premium patterns for sale, benefit patterns for a cause and free patterns just because! There are ten patterns up now including my favourite so far, Hickory Dickory Dot.

This cute little sweater is available in sizes from 3 to 24 months and features a lap-shouldered construction (they are so wonderful and practical for onesies I figured why not a sweater?) and a pocket mouse to play with. Because what can be better than a warm woolly with a built-in toy?

The pattern also includes step-by-step photo tutorials on knitting a hem closed, making i-cord, and sewing i-cord to neckline. More pattern info here.

If you are interested in obtaining a kit complete with the pattern, the delightful Karabella Aurora 8 (the same yarn I used), and even a squeaker for the mouse, check out Bella Knitting where you can also get complete kits including pattern yarn and notions for the Peace Baby sweater and Buddy Bags.

Happy knitting!