Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Lucy and Olivia Bunny Project (aka Bunnywatch 2017)

In December 2016 I met up with Amy Jo at a church function.  Amy Jo is Olivia Jo's mom. Olivia Jo is my granddaughter Lucy's best friend in the whole world.  Amy Jo remarked that she loved the knitted toys I made for Lucy.

And then I Had An IDEA!

I could make a little bunny for each little girl, and dress them in winter-themed dresses.  Then, in February, I would send them each a February-themed dress, and in March a March-themed dress . . .

You get the picture.

So I dug out my Little Cotton Rabbits bunny pattern by Julie Williams and made two bunnies:  one white for Lucy, and one pink for Olivia (pink is her favorite color).

January 2017: bunnies, dresses, and sweaters

Since Balance Time Day (Valentine's Day) is in February, the next dresses were definitely pink and red.
Lucy and her bunny, Charlotte, in her February dress
St. Patrick's Day decided the theme for March's dresses:
The dress on the right was my first attempt.  I thought the shamrocks looked like broccoli, so I did not make another like it.

April brings Easter and flowers and beautiful bright colors:

Lucy and Olivia and their bunnies had a double play date.

 In May, Lucy was going to a wedding in Colorado, so the bunnies benefited from some wedding finery.
These dresses were knit with lace and beads, and tulle was added for the petticoat and veil.
Each dress weighs a TON!

When I made these dresses, I knew I was crazy.  All this for a bunny?
Here's a detail of the lace and beads.
 June makes me think of watermelons, so the dresses reflected that theme.
The seeds were added afterward with duplicate stitch.
 Of course, July's outfits had to be red, white, and blue.

 But then, Something Horrible Happened.

Lucy's bunny, Charlotte, went missing!

Lucy, aided by her mom, searched high and low for Charlotte.  She asked for help finding Charlotte in her nightly prayers, but to no avail.  Charlotte was gone, and she stayed gone.  I took pity on her, and made another bunny, whom I thought was much cuter, even though she was the same color as Charlotte.

Since she had gone missing with her July outfit on, I made a new July outfit just for the new bunny.  (I couldn't just send a nearly-naked bunny to my little granddaughter, could I?)
Bunny 2.0 was sent out with the August dress, and was well-received!

 The August dresses were a little different:  bright yellow for the hot Utah sun, and fastened on the side with brightly-colored buttons.

Then, in late August, Charlotte was found at Great Grampa's house!  After some discussion with Lucy's mom, and Lucy herself, Lucy was allowed to keep both bunnies, but was advised that she would only get one dress each month, and the bunnies would have to share.  Lucy was fine with that.

September reminds me of sunflowers and blue, blue sky.

October, of course, means Halloween and pumpkins and brown fallow fields.  I love the orange ribbon belt!

The November dresses are my favorite, probably because they are so many different shades of turquoise!
December dresses, modeled after the final dresses from White Christmas.

Of course, bunnies outside in winter will need a cape, and hood.

And they will need stockings to hang on the mantle on Christmas Eve.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Beautiful Daughter Blanket

Beautiful Daughter Blanket

I am too nice.  People keep telling me this, but I carry on being too nice.  This often gets me into trouble.

For example. . .

I made a Twinkle, Twinkle baby blanket (by Helen Stewart) for my new grandson, Grant.

This is Grant.

 I lined it with Minky cloth, and it is soft and warm and washable, and he loves it.

This is Grant falling asleep snuggled in his Twinkle Twinkle blanket
His mother (my daughter) loves it, too.  One winter evening (February) while she was snuggling under a blanket on her couch, she wished for a big blanket lined with Minky cloth just for her.

Her birthday was a few weeks later, so on the day, I promised her a blanket of her own, lined with Minky cloth.

I found a great pattern that's mostly a bastetweave (what she likes) called A Beautiful Daughter Blanket by Cheryl Brunette, and I found a bunch of bulky yarn in medium gray, and cast on.  I planned to make it 3'x5', with a border of stabilizing stitches all around, about 1.5" wide.

Beautiful Daughter blanket, early in its construction
It was very easy to memorize the pattern, but Holy Cow is it heavy!  It wears my wrists out holding it up to knit on it.  I have about 4' knit so far.

The second thing is that it is a Cat Magnet.   As soon as I get comfy in my chair with the blanket spread out around me, cats appear out of nowhere and lie down on it.  They are not amused when I have to turn the whole thing over at the end of each row, dislodging them from their comfort and relaxation.

Let me finally say that I really, really need to get this finished before summer starts, because it is REALLY warm.

And I would like to be working on something teensy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What With One Thing And Another, Two Years Passed

Life as a Grandmother

My previous conception of being a grandmother was that the mother did most of the work.  My mom did, but that was probably because we lived 1500 miles away from my mother's mother.  We got to see her during the summer some years.

I, however, live only a few miles away from my daughter and her husband and their daughter Lucy. It's amazing and delightful how often I get to enjoy Lucy's company.  When her mother works a shift,to give  mom and dad a night out, holidays, shopping trips, gardening . . .  or even to let mom take a shower.  It's wonderful to re-discover the world through the eyes of your tiny granddaughter!

Oh.  And by the way, I am not "grama" or "granny" or "grandmother" or "nana" or even "oma".  I am MUNGA.  Munga Wose. This is a title that Lucy has pulled out of her little brain and stuck to me, and I am PROUD TO WEAR IT!

Mostly, my Grama made cookies or sewed or knitted.  She was cheerful and plump, and hugged us a lot.  She told us stories, or recorded or wrote stories and sent them to us.  She reserved one entire drawer in her kitchen near the floor for treats for grandchildren.  Mostly what I remember being in that drawer were Vanilla Fingers and graham crackers.  In fact, for years and years I called them "Grama Crackers", simply because Grama gave them to me.

Green Dress/Tunic
White Blessing Blanket
I have had lots of opportunities to knit for Lucy.  Her mom asked me to make a white baby blanket for her.
Pink Kitty Bolero
Pumpkin Hat and Mittens
 I've made little sweaters and cardigans and boleros, tiny hats and mittens and socks, a pink-and-white striped cat, and even a miniature sweater for her doll.
Miss Fox
Knitting for babies goes so quickly, because the projects are so small. Yarn choices are different, and often cheaper, because they need to be thrown in the wash so often.  Colors can be vibrant. Patterns can be functional or whimsical, or a combination of both.  In fact, whimsy often makes a garment more desirable in the child's eyes.  One toddler would only wear a hat if it was shaped like a fish eating his head.  One small girl's favorite sweater had bug buttons down the front. In short (hehe), you can go hog wild!

On the other hand, kids grow out of clothes so fast that you have to knit them with cuffs, or in a larger size, or plan to remake them in bigger sizes later on.

Also, accidents can happen:
Celtic Cable Cardi (RIP)

This is a little Celtic Cable hoodie that I made for Lucy last year out of baby alpaca (bought on deep discount).  It was accidentally washed in the machine.  Her mom loved this sweater; it is was beautifully soft, so I am making it again, out of baby alpaca in a different color, and in a slightly larger size.

Lucy called me at work today, to tell me about her lunch (french fries and ketchup, I think). She has figured out how to get into her mom's phone, find the picture of Munga Wose and push the button.  She'll be two years old next month.  What a smart kid!  I couldn't call somebody on a telephone until I was 7!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lucy's Stocking

There is some necessary equipment for being a member of our family.  One is the last name. Another is a pair of wool socks. And finally, everybody needs a Christmas stocking.

Now that we have a new member of the family, I turned my head in the direction of making some stockings for little Lucy, now 4 months old.  I decided to knit her regular socks first.  I had some soft, pink and cream Merino in fingering weight (pretty thin) that I had purchased to repair a friend's hat.  I only used about 5 feet, so I had lots left over. I made Lucy a tiny pair of pink socks with two cream stripes at the top. I have enough to make her a tiny pair of cream socks, with two pink stripes at the top.  

Then I thought about her Christmas stocking.  My eyes not being what they used to be, I thought I'd try to knit her a Christmas stocking. I found a colorful pattern, got some yarn, and set to work.  Of course it was colorwork. I made it about 3/4 of the way down the leg before I stopped and realized it just wasn't going to work.

All the rest of the family has cross-stitch stockings . . . even our dear Son-In-Law.  I couldn't make Lucy's different from everybody else's! I just couldn't.

Just about that time, a cross-stitch and needlepoint catalog came in the mail.  There at the back was a pattern for the cutest Christmas stocking, with leafless poplar trees on the leg, harboring 5 cardinals, and 2 polar bear cubs rolling in the snow on the ankle and toe.

It was done on light blue hardanger cloth, and everything else was mostly white.  I showed it to my daughter, who promptly fell in love with it, too, and said she would do half of it.  It was only August. We could surely get it done.

So far, here is what we have done I have done.  It is September 17th.  Luckily, the trees and top banner went quickly, as they were all half-cross. 

Hopefully, the cubs will also go quickly, as they are white and take up about a quarter of the stocking.

Here's hoping and stitching.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Double Needle Stitching!

Sometimes my husband comes up with actual winners.

This time, he sent me an email with a link to a step by step process to make leggings for little people.


I jumped at the chance to make something for Lucy, and made her two pair of leggings.

Purple with butterflies. . .

Take a look at that double-needle stitching!
Here are the brown ones.

I can't believe you are writing that, Mom!
Then I had fabric left over, so I made her two matching tops to go with them. Here she is proofing her Mama's report, wearing the top to the purple and butterflies leggings. Kinda big, but then, that's better than kinda small.

Wow! She's getting big!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I've Been Knitting For: 5/23/13

I had been waiting for The Call since the 10th of May . . . The Call in the middle of the night, urgent or panic-stricken, from my pregnant daughter, advising that she was in labor and please come quickly.  Thursday morning, 0555, my cell phone rang . . . my cell phone whose earphones I have sleeping with in my ears.  It was my daughter.

"I think we're in labor," she calmly said.

"How exciting!" for lack of anything better to say at 0555.  "What are you going to do: wait til contractions are 3 minutes apart and then go to the hospital? Do you want me to meet you there?"

 "They are about 5 minutes apart," she said.  "Why don't you come up here and we'll wait together until they are closer together."

I showered and dressed, and called in to work that I would not be in today.  I put in vacation for 4/23 instead of 5/23 and got dinged for it later, but they understood. Then I drove up to their little apartment at the University of Utah.

Nothing much happened for a bit.  I started noticing what sort of body language signs she made when a contraction was happening, and applying pressure to her lower back during each one.  She ate canteloupe, and promptly threw it up.
9 am on 5/23/13. Contractions 3.5 minutes apart.

About 8:30, Jeff went to turn in his request for FMLA, and Cat asked me to start timing the contractions as they were getting closer together.  They were averaging 3:30. When Jeff got back, we loaded up the car with a bag for everybody ( including one for the baby),  the boppy, the car seat, and a bowl for Cat to throw up in.

After the Very Annoyingly Long Check in (0900), Cat got decked out in the indecent robes they give you at hospitals, and a nurse came in and checked her cervix.


"What?!" said Cat, who had been at 3 for several weeks.

All haste was made to get her to a laboring room, and as we progressed up there on foot at her request, we had to stop several times to do Contraction Support.

Enter Midwife Christi Elmore. She showed me how to press in on Cat's hips during contractions, and other massage techniques between contractions to make labor more tolerable.

At 1115, Cat, standing on the side of the bed, her head resting on the mattress, exclaimed, "I feel her! I feel her!" and her water broke. It was tinted green from mecconium. Christi very quietly paged the pediatrics team, as Lucy might have swallowed or breathed in some of the mecconium, and she wanted the team ready to clear her lungs when she was born.  Christi checked Cat again, and there was a tiny bit of cervix left, so she was not given the approval to push.  She puffed through about an hour of contractions and was checked again, and given the OK to push. This was about 12:30 pm.  We used up 3 sets of towels cleaning up after all the fluid throughout the day.

The lights were dimmed, and Cat pushed. And pushed. And pushed. She tried more positions. We could see about an inch of Lucy's hair, then 2", then 3". We could see the curve of her head, but progress was very slow. Cat was running out of strength. Christi was very diplomatic when Cat asked for an epidural, and later when she weakly said, "I can't do this any more."  I nearly cried at that point. My poor little girl!

We could see a goodly portion of Lucy's head by this point.  It looked like a lumpy, rotten cabbage. Difficult to believe it belonged to a human being!

Christi felt around Lucy's head, and felt what she thought were fingers alongside her head. She manipulated them down, so Cat didn't have to push out the arm AND the head.  They also did an episeotomy (several, actually) and with a final push, Lucy's head was out, and her body (all purply and covered in vernix) followed immediately after that.

She was held face down for a few seconds while the cord was clamped and cut.  She was crying, but I could hardly hear her. She seemed to have a lot of gunk in her throat.  They rushed her over to the baby station in the corner of the room and the 7 members of the pediatric team who had been standing patiently for 2 hours hovered around her and cleaned her out and siphoned out her throat and lungs, etc.
She was diapered and wrapped in a blanket and given to her proud father to hold while mom got stitched up.
Lucy, a few minutes old
Proud Papa

There was also the matter of the placenta.  They never tell you, when the talk turns to birth stories, that after you push that huge baby out, you have to push out the placenta.  It's much, MUCH smaller, of course, but you are very sore by this point, and tired, and don't feel like pushing any more.  Which was the case for Cat.

However, not all of Cat's placenta came out in one piece, which meant she had an internal open bleeding sore. The towel under her bum quickly FILLED up with blood.  Later rumors indicated that there was as much as 1300 cc of blood before they finally got enough Pitocin and other drugs into her to contract her uterus to stop the bleeding. She was very pale, and light-headed,
Cat, pale but happy, gets her first look at Lucy.
but did not require a transfusion.
The new little family:
Here's the Birthing Team:
L to R:  Christi Elmore, Chief Nurse Sue, Cat, Jeff and Lucy

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Waiting for Baby

My daughter is expecting a new baby any minute now, and that baby is causing all sorts of physical and emotional turmoil!  She is engaged far down in her mother's pelvic girdle. The cervix is dilated to 3 (last I heard) and 60% effaced. Braxton-Hicks contractions are happening, mostly in the evening. But no actual baby is forthcoming.

I have finished the Blessing Blanket for her, in white acrylic.
I made tiny booties that look like strawberries.
I am working on a cloche hat in the same yarn as her blessing blanket.

But still no baby.

My step daughter, Em, due a week ago, had her baby on May the 4th.  She had a little Jedi ("May the fourth be with you.") I got a little hoodie
and matching booties
off to her, as well as a sewn nursing cover-up with boning in the top to keep air circulating and maintain eye contact between mother and baby.
(This is commonly known as an Udder Cover, and I found the instructions to make it here, at Freshlypicked.com.)

Still no new baby in our family.

Guess I'll start on some tiny Mary Janes. . .