Monday, 30 March 2015

Oma's Booties

With size 3mm needles (set of five) cast on 28 (so working on 4 needles you should have 7 sts on each needle). pattern is 4 rows purl, 4 rows knit. Work pattern 3 times for cuff. Working on one needle only, work ridges. But since it's worked flat, the pattern will be purl row, knit row, purl row, knit row, then work another four alternating rows, starting with knit. (If you want, slip the first stitch of each row to make picking up easier) - you will do a total of 32 rows. Pick up 11 stitches along each side for a total of 50 stitches. (So the two small needles should have 7 each and the larger needles have 18 each). Work4 rows purl, 4 rows knit, 4 rows purl. Divide for sole (6, 18, 8, 18) with smaller needles being at the toe and heel. k2tog at the beginning and end of each needle, knitting the rest. Naturally, the smaller needles will disappear but just keep working on the other two. Work 6 rows, turn inside out and seam closed.

I am currently testing this pattern and would love feedback!
EDIT: Thanks to Lise for pointing out I'd repeated myself in saying to divide onto four needles. I also re-wrote the top portion to be ridged instead of flat, for extra stretch and to stay true to my Oma's originals.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2280

Simplicity 2280 is a button-blouse pajama top with pants. Honestly, I've never made any style blouse before and I can honestly say this was a great pattern to start with. The pattern and instructions were very straight-forward except (being a complete newbie at facings) the instructions regarding the final step for the facing could've been more clear or shown another illustration about what the final product should look like after the final sewing step. I ended up trimming excessively because I felt the facing was too floppy/unfinished around the neck, when I should've left well enough alone.

That being said, it still came out great. One change I made was to use ribbed knit on the arms instead of the fabric band.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Pattern Review: Butterick 4222

Although this nightgown appears identical (on the package) to the last one I made, it is infinitely better in construction and clarity of instructions. The neckline was also much tighter than the last one, although I did wander from the instructions in making the yoke reversible rather than with interfacing. And I did not use lace. I thought they overdid it. My daughter loves the nightgown and it is very comfy. Plus, the pattern works up large, so even though my daughter cannot wear a commercial size 6, the pattern size 6 is still roomy.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Pattern Review: Simplicity 8127

This pattern was quite a challenge, perhaps because I'm sleep-deprived, but it required complete ripping-out and re-sewing several times. I was ready to throw it out the window or relegate it to the this-pattern-sucks-so-bad-I-will-not-even-finish-it pile. It barely received a 2/10 score in my books. If the finished product weren't so cute, it would've gotten a zero. The instructions could've been more detailed, the yoke could've been more beginner-friendly by having more markings for attachment instead of just vague suggestions in the instructions about placement. The piecemeal gathering was time-consuming, and the single button-and-loop in the back has never appealed to me.

As you can see, I didn't do the elasticized sleeves, but instead just left them loose. It was a perfect length for my little girl, but that's only because I had shortened it during the cutting stage by about 4 inches. The neckline did not turn out like the pattern picture - it was humungously gaping. Overall (as you can tell) this pattern did not impress me and I will not be making it again.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Pattern Review: Burda 9782

My husband recently bought me Burda #9782 (sleeper with feet or without, and a sleep sack). It goes from 3 months to size 2 and opens along the neck/side with snaps. It has ribbed knit for the neck and cuffs. My daughter can't sleep without something on her feet, and it seems everything in Walmart stops having feet after size 18 months, because they assume they're walking by then. But what if you have a bigger child in that size who is not even close to walking? Well, make your own! I did purchase some of the grippy-fabric though, just to be safe. I made a size 2 for the future (and for fair submission this summer) and a size 6 months.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this pattern. It was very quick to make! However, if a person was an inexperienced sewer, they might be confused at some of the unclear directions. Also, I had to tweak the snap-band a bit. It goes continuously in one piece, but the opposite side has a bit of a corner. So I angled the band at the same place to avoid a bit of waving. Babyville Boutique snaps were used - 9 in total seemed about right.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Staying Sane While Breastfeeding

A lot of women have trouble with breastfeeding, even second- or third-time moms because each baby is different. My first daughter would open her mouth wide, had a perfect latch, and would drain the breast completely. No problems. My second is a different story! Here is a list of what has worked for me to get better sleep and make sure she gets the nutrition she needs.

1) Sore nipples? Yah, mine were covered in scabs and there was a time when I literally pulled off a chunk of skin after she was done nursing. When she would latch on, my toes would curl and I would cry. The solution was to talk to my midwife AND public health nurse, both of which showed me better latching techniques and holds that wouldn't leave my back stiff. When you are comfy and have a proper latch, there should be no pain. However, if you still have scabs, it may hurt for a bit until they're better, but you should notice a definite improvement within a couple feedings. Make sure baby has fish-lips!
2) No sleep? Baby was waking every 45 minutes at night. Everyone said to switch to formula, but I knew my milk was not the problem because I was "block-feeding", meaning feeding on the same breast multiple times, so she was guaranteed to get hind-milk. Instead of switching to formula, I switched everything else! I switched diaper brands, sleeping arrangements (husband got to sleep in the basement - sorry, honey!), and warmth levels. What works for us may not work for everybody, but for my baby Pampers, bed-sharing and a warm blanket without swaddling worked like a charm. At only 6 days old, she was having 2-hour stretches and even one 3.5-hour stretch!
3) Overall breast soreness - I have rather large breasts, so I find going bra-less makes them even more sore. This is just something you have to experiment with. But if you find the perfect nursing bra, wear is out! Wear it every day because sore boobies are no fun. They will distract you from everything else you need/want to do. And make sure it's not too tight.
4) Shower with super-hot water to help settle engorgement. It won't last long, I promise! And give them vigorous massages to get rid of any internal milk-lumps. Prevent mastitis - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Hopefully all these tips will help you out. And if you need in-person help, don't hesitate to contact a Lactation Consultant - that's what they're there for!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Quick Methods of Preservation

I recently published an article in the local paper about the quickest methods to preserve all our garden veggies, out of necessity. I'm heavily-pregnant and don't want my vegetables to spoil while I'm busy with a new baby! Naturally the fastest methods of preserving are:
1) Freezing without blanching (veggies can last 6 months like this)
2) Freezing after blanching (a bit more time, but they'll last longer in the freezer)
3) Pack in sand in a root cellar (if you have one, and this option isn't available for all veggies)
4) Slice and dehydrate (only fast if you have a slicer and a dehydrator)

Since I'll be relying on the above methods after baby is born, I decided to invest my time in the more time-consuming methods of preservation while I was still able, namely canning. Some canning recipes take up more time than others, too. For example, making a relish takes longer than simply packing in brine. I learned that last year when I overtaxed myself making hundreds of "fancy" recipes instead of just making sure things were preserved. On the plus side, I ended up with more pie fillings than you can shake a stick at!
So what are your favourite methods of preserving the harvest when you're short on time? Fave quick recipes? Comment!