Monday, August 29, 2011

Test Knit: Union Suit

2011 Aug Union Suit 7

My second test-knit for Megan Grewal, I love this little suit! The pattern is now available for sale on Ravelry and also on Megan's Blog. I can't wait to make another, and because the pattern is sized newborn through 3 years old I will be able to make them in all sizes!  It is knitted in one piece from the top down and features the same adorable back-flap as the Little Johns I knit up earlier this year.

2011 Aug Union Suit 6

Clare is learning what it is like to have a knitting-mama during her first finished project photo shoot.

2011 Aug Union Suit 4

I knit the 6 month size to hopefully use as jammies this winter.  I did have some issues with dye lot - that is what I get for using a skein from my stash and then having to buy more yarn of a different lot number.

2011 Aug Union Suit 11

The pink buttons are from my Aunt Tillie's endless collection. More photos of this project are on my Ravelry Page.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Knit: Helen's First Day

2011 Aug BTS Sweater 8

Today I sewed the buttons on Helen's fall sweater: Audrey's First Day from Petite Purls. Here is the Ravelry Link to my project page. I made this sweater as a part of the August Knit Along with the Knit While They Nap group on Ravelry. Luckily, I completed the majority of the project before the birth of sweet Clare, otherwise I may never have finished!

2011 Aug BTS Sweater 3

I really loved this pattern.  The construction is simple and seamless. I can really appreciate a project that requires very little sewing up once you have finished knitting. The eyelet detail in the raglan shaping really adds that special something to this basic sweater.

2011 Aug BTS Sweater 5

Helen seems to be taken with it herself and happily modeled the finished product for me! I call that a big success!

2011 Aug BTS Sweater 6

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clare is Born

Clare 1
Photo by: Auntie Amee
Welcome little one. We have been waiting for you...

There were very few things in common with the births of my two precious little girls. What took practically thirty hours with sweet Helen, took only four and a half with tiny Clare. She made us wait until almost 41 weeks to meet her, but when finally deciding to enter the world she did so in a hurry!

Looking back the funniest thing both had in common was dinner the evening labor began.  Both times we ate out at Italian restaurants with three piece Jazz ensembles.  Watch out for that walking bass!

Photo by: Auntie Amee
With Clare, we were beginning to wonder if I would ever go into labor.  We had finally agreed to setting up a time with the hospital to have my water broken. Little did I know, Clare had her own plans.

We met my parents for dinner the night before the appointment so that they could take Helen.  We enjoyed dinner and then went home to relax.  At 10pm I had my first contraction and mentioned to David that it felt real but didn't think much about it. By 10:30 the contractions were eight minutes apart... and they hurt. I called my sister and during the course of the conversation they sped up and intensified. By 11:40 I was convinced we had to go to hospital and we checked in a little after midnight... I was already more than half-way ready to go.

We discussed our birth preferences with our nurse and she brought in the birth ball for me to sit on. We discussed some light and late pain management. Clare was still sitting quite high, so it seemed there would be some time.  At 1:30am the nurse checked again I was already to an eight. The contractions were  intense and I told her that I was ready for that pain management since singing "Sally the Camel" and "These are the People in Your Neighborhood" wasn't really working for me anymore.

The anesthesiologist was called, though in the minutes it took him to arrive two mega contractions locked and loaded Clare and brought me to a 10.  I wasn't going to get my epidural.  Really? Really.

David and my nurse were wonderful. Our doctor was wonderful, and I guess I was pretty wonderful too.  The whole situation felt crazy to me, and I let everyone know that - repeatedly.


At 2:24am, Clare was born. It was amazing. She was beautiful.

Miracles are real.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Word about Knitting Bags and Supplies

2011 Aug Knitting Bag

Every knitter needs at least one good knitting bag.  In my case, I need many. I have bags for individual projects, bags for traveling, bags for everyday knitting, and bags within bags to help organize all that knitting.  Bags are important.

One thing I didn't have up until last week was a bag to keep all of my essential supplies.  After meeting several months with my newbie knitting friends, and they began collecting their own knitting bags, supplies, and paraphernalia I noticed something... They were much more organized than I was!  While I was digging around in the bottom of my knitting bag in search of a yarn needle they would just pull out their handy little knitting supply cases in seconds and produce one for me to borrow!

I decided this was a problem to be solved easily, and so it was! $1.99 bought me a cute little zippered pencil case that I brought home and after dumping the contents of various knitting bags was able to fill with all of my knitting necessities. It is amazing how much more productive you can be when what you need is easily found! I should have thought of this years ago!

2011 Aug Knitting Supplies

Here are my basic knitting supply essentials that I now always have ready:
  • Measuring tape
  • Small scissors
  • Yarn needles
  • US4 double pointed needles
  • G crochet hook
  • Various stitch holders
  • Various stitch markers
  • Gauge & needle measurer
  • Pen & notepad 
So, if you don't have your supplies organized run out to the store right now while school supplies are cheap and plentiful and get yourself a little knitting supply bag. You won't regret it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Planning a Home Preschool for Your Toddler


One of the many things on my mind this summer has been gathering resources for setting up a basic preschool structure for my two-year old this fall.  A part of this planning has included brainstorming my goals for the endeavor.

What I hope to achieve:
  • A basic structure for our days to follow
  • Planned activities that engage my daughter and introduce her to new concepts
  • Time spent together
What this isn't:
  • An attempt to turn my two-year old into a genius
  • Preparation for Kindergarten 
  • Something I want to bring added stress into my life!


I hope to keep our days simple and balanced.  I have decided to follow the weekly and monthly themes from a preschool curriculum book found at a used bookstore and add in or subtract themes as I see fit.

I want to incorporate the following activities with each theme:
  • Reading
  • Music and Poetry
  • Play
  • Crafts
  • Activity
For example one of my first themes is Color Days... on Blue Day we will:
  • Read - Blueberries for Sal
  • Sing - Little Boy Blue
  • Play - Have a Scavenger Hunt for blue toys
  • Craft - Color a picture of things that are blue, play with blue play-dough, make a collage of different shades of blue paper. 
  • Activity - Take a walk, talk about the blue sky and anything else we see in the neighborhood that is blue.

Each activity requires minimal time and resources.  They can be done in any order and are flexible to be fit in throughout the day or left out all together.  I hope that with a little planning and realistic thinking, Helen and I will find a good balance of learning, play, and time together - even with a new baby sister thrown into the mix!

I hope to share the following with you over the next few weeks:
  • Internet resources for home preschools
  • Books and Music I recommend
  • Our daily schedule and the implementation of that schedule
  • More activities, experiences, and concepts to share with your toddler 

Please share with me any ideas and resources you may know of! 
Please, do not reproduce any content from this site without my written permission. You can reach me directly at lonestar(dot)knits(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thank you.