Chevron baby blanket

When I started to get really good at knitting, I imagined knitting my first born child all sorts of things- sweaters, booties, blankets, stuffed animals.  A very good friend of mine had a baby in 2011 and I kind of went crazy knitting things for him- she asked for socks, so I made a blanket, sleep sack and teddy bear before remembering she wanted socks (I whipped up a couple pairs at the last minute- phew!)

A few more friends have had babies since hers, and I’ve made blankets and sleep sacks for them.  Now that my child is about 3 weeks (!!) away from his due date…I’ve made him a sleep sack and a blanket.  Wop wop- there went my lofty goals!  In my defense, my back has not been happy this pregnancy and I tend to hunch over when I knit, making the problem worse.  And in the last couple of weeks, carpal tunnel has set in, making 2 of my right hand fingers completely numb (this is awesome by the way).  Pregnancy is NOT for the weak.  I’m definitely looking forward to having my old body back- or at least sensation in all of my fingers again.

I did at least knit a couple of things- and I also have been a sewing fiend, so I haven’t completely failed my unborn son yet (ha).  The blanket I made was another Pinterest inspired design:

chevron baby blanket by danamadeit (original pattern from purlbee)
Source– original pattern found here

I liked it because it was simple, colorful and reminded me of a blanket we have that was mine as a baby (chevron is making a come back, oh yeah!)  The pattern was easy to follow, but definitely not something I could just mindlessly knit because it requires you to count stitches- I can’t tell you how many times I messed up a row because I was talking and not counting.  I also used a smaller gauge than the pattern called for, so mine has thinner/more rows- but I loved how it turned out:

It’s bright and bold- but so soft and squishy.  This is going to be a good one for snuggling up in during a cold winter day.  It’s coming to the hospital with us, and I’m hoping we’ll get a few good photos of him wrapped up in it- it does photograph really nicely.  And of course, the yarn (Caron Simply Soft) is completely machine wash/dry friendly, and seems to get softer the more you wash it.  I knit all my baby gifts with this yarn and it definitely stands up to all the washing.

Happy first day of November everyone!!

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Pinterest challenge: fall 2012 edition. Nursery bookshelves

It’s been awhile since I participated in one of these challenges (see my previous attempts here and here), hosted by Sherry, Katie and 2 guest bloggers (this time around it’s Sarah and Carmel).  I figured it was about time to get back on the bandwagon, since I’m always pinning something- and I actually do re-create a lot of what I pin.

                                                     
You saw the nursery awhile back– one thing I mentioned wanting to add in there were some bookshelves, preferably in the dormer (the goal is for it to be a little reading nook one day).  I’m a huge reader, as is my entire family (T isn’t so much although I do catch him with his nose buried in a book every once in awhile), so I’m hoping that our little guy shares a love for books as well.  However, I didn’t want to just stick a freestanding bookshelf in there and call it a day.  I’ve had my eye on this style of shelf for quite awhile now:
Source– the link has super great instructions on how to make these yourself

This little project kept getting put on the back burner, as we had lots of other commitments keeping us busy.  I actually was going to break down and just buy similar shelves (you can find them at Ikea) but that meant driving to Ikea…which isn’t super close by.  I finally mentioned to T that I wanted to do this after we received a bunch of books at one of our baby showers- and being the super awesome husband that he is, he took on the entire project (and did a MUCH better job than I would have). 

I love this project because it wasn’t expensive (I believe I spent around $12 on the wood and we had everything else on hand) and we could customize them to our walls.  We ended up going with a 32″ length shelf, and did 3 of them.  It took T about a week to make them, as he was very slow and methodical about the whole process- he cut out all the boards one day, then glued/nailed each shelf together after work (one shelf per day), then spent a couple of days painting them- he did several thin coats so there are no drips.  I, of course, didn’t get any photos of the process (face palm), so you’ll just have to settle for the finished product (and of course, click this link to see how to make them because this is the tutorial we followed)

The lowest shelf is about 3ft off the ground- hopefully around toddler eye level.  And I could hang my entire body weight from these shelves and they wouldn’t come off the wall- they are anchored in there well, so I’m not worried about our little guy deciding to be an acrobat and ripping them off the wall one day.

A closer look at all the books and other stuff- some of the books are from our childhood- and the little dish on the very top was mine growing up (it’s Peter Rabbit).   

I know the book selection will change as he grows up- and hopefully it’ll grow as well!  What do you think??

Yum

My husband and I like to do a weekly meal plan- what this usually entails is us sitting down together either Friday night or Saturday morning and whining about how hard it is to come up with dinners each week discussing the week’s food choices.  It often seems like we’re in a rut- the same old tried and true recipes make their appearances weekly, and no matter how many times I pin some new recipe I keep coming back to the ones I know off the top of my head.   Last week I was browsing a blog and stumbled upon some great looking recipes- and most of the stuff in those recipes I already had at home.  So, I pinned a couple tasty looking ones and vowed to make some changes to our boring weekly rotation.

Over the weekend I made this recipe.

Oh my goodness it was amazing.  So creamy and delicious.  I substituted whole wheat pasta for regular, some home made turkey stock that we had in the freezer (from last year’s Thanksgiving) for the chicken stock and the spicy hot ro-tel tomatoes and chiles instead of mild.  That last decision might have made it hot hot hot my mouth is on fire a little spicier than intended, which I LOVED and left my husband sweating and exclaiming long after dinner was over how hot it was (and he loves spicy food).  I swear, there’s something about this pregnancy that makes me want spicy foods- the spicier the better.  I think once the heartburn kicks in that’ll come back to bite me, but for now I’m eating all I can get.  So if you’re going to make this, use the mild tomatoes/chiles.  Seriously.  It’ll be spicy enough, I promise.  But please make this- you won’t regret it.  And the awesome part (aside from all the flavor)?  There’s only 500 calories per serving– and this easily made 4 servings- almost 6 actually.  You can bet that this one will make it into our regular dinner rotations!!

Warm and cozy

There’s something about this time of year that makes me want to craft- I think it’s the colder weather and shorter days.  And it’s official- I’m addicted to making things that I’ve pinned!!  This weekend I decided to whip up a quick project- my parents come to visit starting tomorrow and I’ve been running around like a crazy lady trying to get things done before they show up.  Here’s my “pinspiration” this time around:

Original sourcePinterest source.
I have a pillow in the guest room that I’ve been wanting to cover for a long time, but it’s an odd size and I didn’t really want to buy a cover for it.  Then I stumbled upon this pin, and I knew I had what it took to whip one up at home!!
I started with an old sweater (I think it was a $3-5 target purchase) and my pillow
My apologies for the poor lighting- I was working on limited time/day light
I cut the arms off, turned it inside out, and sewed a quick line across the top and sides.  Then I put the pillow inside and sewed up the end.  All in all, it took me less than 20 minutes to make, and it turned out great (if I do say so myself…)
I hope everyone has a great week- I may be MIA with the family in town, but you can bet I’ll be back to take part in Kim’s Dare to DIY party