Friday, July 31, 2015

The Blue Pram Moon


It's very fitting that tonight is a Blue Moon as I've managed another epic absence from blogging, and with so much happening that's worth writing about!  What will wee Josephine think of her Nan once she's old enough to read all this?

This post is devoted to the vintage Swan pram I bought off Kijiji last October, shortly after Elly announced her pregnancy.  It started off looking pretty good, but I dolled it up while I was waiting for the snow to melt this past spring.

The hood was originally navy, but it had faded quite badly (no snapshot of that), so I refreshed it with a coat of teal coloured fabric dye.  I sponged it on, then hosed it down in the back garden - it needed a few coats, but came out looking much better .

Unfortunately, the trim along the inside edge became I hand stitched a layer of white eyelet and teal grosgrain ribbon...

I made some turquoise chevron and polka dot bedding...

added a friend...

and a blanket...

and a few vinyl decal polka dots to the outside!

Josephine didn't care for her first ride in the pram (she's a small child with big opinions), but perhaps I'll win her over yet!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Sweet wee Josephine, born April 27th, 2015.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Highchair

Here's the fabulous vintage highchair I bought for "Granny's House" (I'm putting that in quotation marks because I haven't decided if I want to be called Granny).

I bought the chair from Frank over at Avenue Antiques.  The wee bunny on the back of the chair is still mostly intact, which is impressive, but what's more impressive than that?

Well, the chair folds down into a play table!  Fabulous! 

The oval beads on the side of the play table were originally pink and blue and, most likely, painted with lead paint.  So, I carefully sanded them down and primed them and re-painted them with a bright red.  Pretty swish, yes?

Here's a shot of the tray turned round to the back...(this shot is a giveaway as to when I finished this project - there's still snow on the ground, which has been gone for weeks)...

and look at this adorable little adjustable foot rest..., no... just look at it!  It's fantastic!

Since these chairs don't have any safety straps - it was made in a simpler time when children weren't the crazed daredevils they are now - I made a seat cushion to tie the baby down.

It's got elastic around the waist...

...and ties to the arms of the chair with big fat grosgrain ribbons in teal.  Please also notice the vintage turquoise buttons I used to secure the quilt batt padding.

This doll is quite a bit smaller than a highchair-sized baby, but you get the idea.

And, with the tray down. 

Nigel finds this doll a bit creepy, so I made sure to place the highchair just behind where his chair is at the kitchen table.

She's watching you, Sweetie!

Also finished recently...

...a bib!  I purchased one of those pre-made bibs that you embroider, but I didn't care for the pattern it came with (dancing elephants),

so I bought a pattern off etsy that I knew would appeal to Elly, and used that instead.

The pattern wasn't quite big enough for the bib so I added the hearts on either side and the "om nom nom" across the bottom.  Very Elly!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Elly's Peter Rabbit Shower

Let's take a step back in time, shall we?  Say to March 21st of this year, when we hosted a baby shower for Elly - who requested a Peter Rabbit theme.

Before the party got underway, I snapped a few photos of the d├ęcor that I'd spent ages putting together.  We had specially decorated water bottles - I do believe Ian took leftovers of these to University with him, and Nigel carted the odd one off to the gym.  I wonder what people thought!

Here's a link if you want to purchase this PDF for yourself.

I strung up a clothesline of doll clothes across the hutch in the dining-room.  Nigel remarked that it looked like a tenement.  He's such a charmer!

Also in the dining-room, dangling from the chandelier, were small cut-outs from a book of Peter Rabbit.  Now, I don't generally approve of cutting up books, but this was a somewhat battered thrift store find, a Peter Rabbit Pop-Up book that had lost quite a lot of it's pop.

The grand centerpiece of the book was a giant pop-up Mr. McGregor, who (after a good deal of cutting/pasting/reinforcing), became a grand centerpiece to watch over the trays of nibblies.

Big poufy tissue paper flowers, along with a fabulous thrifted chenille bedspread in hot pink roses thrown over the sofa.

An old bassinet to hold gifts.

Peter rabbit picture frame...

... Beatrix Potter books along the mantle, along with Jemima Puddleduck and Peter Rabbit knitted for Elly by my Mum a while back - quite a while back!

Another shot of the gift bassinet...


... family portraits...

and the rest of the Beatrix Potter books (mixed in with the Graham Greene).

in all the excitement of the day, I failed to take pictures of the actual guests.  So, documenting the party - fail, decorating the party - success!

Friday, February 20, 2015


Isn't he just adorable?  This is a relatively new acquisition from a local thrift shop - a vintage Ken doll from the early 60s. 

He was laying in a bin, on top of a bunch of tired looking Barbie dolls.  He was like a shining piece of doll history - looking perfectly unplayed with in his pristine original sweater.  His one flaw?  He was pantless!

I won't show photos of the state I found him in.

I quickly remedied his predicament by knitting him up a pair of cream coloured short shorts - very much in keeping with the look of the early 60s.

Are you happy to be fully clothed, Ken?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Knittings of a Neon Granny

Check out those Neon Granny socks!  I doubt I'll ever lose these in the wash.  The pattern is the Vanilla Toe-Up Sock by Carle' Dehning.  I like this pattern a lot, the heel is done afterwards (that's what the row of purple yarn is in the middle of the unfinished one in the snap).  I've never finished a pair of socks so quickly - just 9 days start to finish.  I'd definitely make these again.

Also off the needles recently is this very quick to knit child's shrug:

Designed by Schneckenstrick it's called Mini Ballerina.  I knit this up in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK in the Silver colour.  I chose the soft silver to co-ordinate with an Olivia Rose tutu I found on sale after Christmas at Chapter's.  I bought the size 1-3, so made two shrugs, one in a size 18 mos.-2 years, and one in a 3-4.

I hope this child likes big frou-frou tutus!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Bassinet

More bassinet snaps!

I bought this bassinet a few years back, and it's been sitting in the basement ever since.  I must have thought it might make a good display for dolls (who knows?!) but it's going to work just fine for an infant.

Elly announced she was expecting in the early autumn, so I pulled the bassinet out of storage and scrubbed it with Murphy's Oil Soap and a bit of bleach out on the deck, hosing it down afterward and letting it dry in the sun.

I made two sheets, one in the little foxes pattern I showed you in the last post, and one in this yellow and grey chevron pattern.

Both equally adorable.  I had a terrible time making the sheets.  I'd originally thought I could make them just like regular sheets, but the mattress is too fine, and starts to curl when you have elastic under the flannel, so instead, I made them like pillowslips (same fabric on both sides) - worked much better!

And the first item I knit for the new little stranger (before I started the shawl), was a pair of booties and a Leti hat by designer Irina Poludnenko.  I made the hat and booties back in October, the same week as my 50th birthday.

Aren't baby projects fun?!    

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Very White Winter and Some Very Big News

Though this winter hasn't been especially white outside (far less snow than usual around these parts), all things on the needles were very much shades of white.  Back in November I started the White Caps Cowl by Purl Soho, and it went on, and on, and on...

I purchased the fancy yarn called for in the pattern, which was a fine silk ribbon and a delicate cotton slub, both in the natural colourway.

It's knit in the round, starting at the bottom, 12 rows slub, 4 rows ribbon, for what seems like an endless amount of time.  In fact, the pattern called for 9 repeats of the 16 rows, but I opted for a mere 7 - I'd had enough by that time and it looked sufficiently slouchy at that point.

The overall effect is very pretty, but I found that the first cone of the cotton slub broke far too often for my liking.  The second cone didn't break at all - shame I didn't start with that one!

But now, what could the big news be?  Well, I'm due to be a Grandmother in May!

In honour of the big event I knit a circular Shetland baby shawl (also started in November).  This is an old pattern by Martin Cavendish from the 1970's book "All You Can Knit for Babies".  It's an interesting pattern, first you knit the circular edging which has  two garter stitch cables and a lace panel (see in the photo above).

Then, you pick up stitches and knit into the center, decreasing as you go.  It came out very well, my only regret is that I used an acrylic baby yarn instead of a superwash wool - no idea what I was thinking there!

Isn't it sweet in the vintage bassinet?  I made the sheets for the bassinet out of flannel with little foxes all over (click on the photo to get a better look).  Adorable!

After those two very big projects I didn't want to look at any more colourless yarn this winter, so...

I made a Baby Sacque out of bright apple green Cascade 128 Superwash.  A very quick knit, this took an evening or two, worked over 9mm needles.  I added the long tail on the end and sewed it into a little fiddlehead.  Too much!

And for myself, I bought this yarn to make a pair of socks:

and yes, it really is that eye-blindingly bright.  Neon Grandma!