Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Christmas Dresses

I felt a little crazy last November when I decided to knit my sweet girls matching dresses for Christmas. But, after shopping around a little bit, I just couldn't find anything that felt special enough (and for the right price!) for my girls first Christmas together.

I searched all over Ravelry for the perfect pattern and really found exactly what I was looking for in the Principessa Dress Pattern from Alligator Knits. I loved that it was simple, seamless, and customizable! I had the  perfect light green yarn - the Cascade Sierra I ripped from my first attempt at making myself a sweater.

Helen's Dress

I started the larger dress in the van on the way to Iowa for Thanksgiving, and cast it off my needles in the van on our way to Houston the week before Christmas (Don't you just love travel-knitting!). The baby's dress had to be completed pronto, so every extra moment I had that week before Christmas was put into that sweet little dress. I finished with a whole day to spare!

Clare's Dress

I loved knitting with the Cascade Sierra and I will definitely be using it again. The combination of cotton and wool makes for a lovely knitted piece and it is perfect for Texas! The girls looked lovely (and comfortable - one of my top priorities from children's wear) and wore the dresses all Christmas Day first to morning Mass, through nap time, and then to Nana and Pa's house for Christmas dinner. I even let my two-year-old EAT in her hand-knit Christmas Dress. Oh, My!

Helen demonstrates her dress in action!

No worries though, I threw those dresses in the washer with the rest of those sweet kiddos clothes and they washed up beautifully! However, the next time I knit with this yarn, I will remember to add an inch or so for every twelve because they did shrink in length a bit in the wash.


I am so happy to be able to share these dresses, and soon I will be sharing #1 of my 12 sweaters I am busy knitting... that long awaited sweater (actually a vest) for which my dear husband has been patiently waiting for over six years.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Choosing Quality Library Books in a Hurry

Go with an Author you Know and Love.

For me that is Margaret Wise Brown. You may know her from Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, but check out your library for some of her other fabulous children's books like The Wonderful House and The Friendly Book.


Choose a Familiar Title.

You can rarely go wrong with a book based off a children's song, rhyme, or poem you remember from your own childhood. We recently picked up Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale, and it has been an instant hit!

Look for Colorful Pictures and Minimal Text.

When it comes to toddlers and books, a few words goes a long way. Look for simple books with great illustrations versus books with complicated and detailed stories. Books by Lois Ehlert are a great place to start such as Feathers for Lunch or Mole's Hill.


Don't Shy Away from the Basics.

You may think that it is best to check out "special" books from the library... ones that wouldn't likely end up in your own library, but the basics are ones your children ask for again and again. So, pick up a couple of Dr. Suess Bright and Early readers like Old Hat New Hat along with those fancy picture books. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year and New Goals!

This year I am taking on my most ambitious knitting goal yet. I am going to knit 12 sweaters this year! I already have the preliminary plans in the works and have purchased some of the required yarn. After reviewing the number of projects I completed last year, I really think I can do this. But, in the mean time, I have knitted a bonnet! Isn't it cute?!

Baby Bonnet

So, watch out... many sweaters (vests count too!) on the way.
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