Friday, March 7, 2014

Hats and mittens and cowls! Oh my!

*Post title brought to you by our recent startling realization that O has not seen The Wizard of Oz.  This will be remedied soon.

I've been trying to look on the bright side with the whole polar vortex/longest, coldest winter in my lifetime thing and am mostly failing miserably (although it's actually a miraculous 33F right now -- woohoo!  I'm almost ready to break out the flip flops and sundresses).  I do, however, really like winter accessories, which are a bit of consolation.  And I really like being able to cover my badly-in-need-of-a-cut hair with a hat anytime I'm out in public and being able to act like it's because of the weather.

One pattern I have fallen in love with is the Kitschy Coo bibbed cowl.  Perfect for kids, and I have been known to swipe O's for myself also.  Here's his, which is made from the same camo fleece as his hat and convertible mitts.  The other side is black microfleece. I liked this so much that I actually handstitched the opening for turning so it would be reversible.  Shocking, I know!

He's actually not going spelunking; we were going for a walk and it was getting dark.

I was so happy with the cowl that I made one for E also, even though I'd already made her a mini version of my ruffled cowl.  I also made her another pair of Sew Baby Mitten Wraps from two layers of fleece.  I lengthened the cuff for more wrist coverage.  She has teeny wrists, so I really need to move the velcro over, but the cuff of her winter coat holds them in place okay for now.  This fleece is an exact color match of her coat; I should have taken a picture.

And, of course, she needed a new hat.  I had just enough yarn left from this soaker sack that never made it onto the blog to knit her an earflap hat with a crocheted flower.  I'm pretty terrible at following crochet patterns, so I was quite pleased that I managed that little embellishment.

More recently, I made myself a Vrida Cabled Slouch hat, after I realized that the last time I knitted myself something was in 2009.  Yikes.  One of my goals for the year is more sewing and knitting for myself.  I love to make things for the kids and to give as gifts, but I've been stockpiling patterns and fabric and yarn for myself for years, and I need to make a dent in that stash!  Plus I know I'll be a grateful recipient.  ;)

This was also made to match the awesome felted sweater mittens that my sister made me for my birthday.  I meant to photograph them together, but apparently never did.  So imagine teal and charcoal sweater mittens, okay?

I am very happy with how this turned out.  I was running out of yarn and had to cut down on the body a little, so I was worried it wouldn't be slouchy enough, but it blocked nicely.  If I know you IRL, you probably either have already seen me wearing this or will soon enough!  

I also made my dad a hat.  When I saw him before Christmas, he complimented Ray and me on our red hats (the aforementioned 2009 knit for myself) and mentioned that he recently lost the hat I'd knit for him before.  And by before, I mean before O was born, so he was due for a new one!  Since I'm currently obsessed with cables, I went with the MacDuff hat and totally love it.  I made the M/L because he has a biggish head, and it's little large on me, but you get the idea.

It's a darker red in real life, but I have a lot of trouble getting reds and purples right with my camera.  User error, I'm sure.

Man, I do love a good cable, especially now that I relearned how to cable without a cable needle.  So slick.

In other news, I finally got a smart phone and am on Instagram now!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sew Baby Travel High Chair

While E's sitting skills have improved dramatically in the past couple of years, she's still not reliable enough that she can sit at the table unrestrained.  I suspect that would be a head injury waiting to happen.  At home she uses a booster seat and at restaurants we usually just take her in her adaptive stroller.  Most people's houses, though, aren't handicapped-accessible (ours included so far), so we tend to run into issues when we're visiting people at mealtimes and forget to bring along the booster seat.  We're usually about an hour down the road before one of us realizes it's still strapped to her chair at the table.  We also run into space issues when we're taking longer trips.  We are continually putting off the purchase of a minivan, although that day is coming soon.  I saw a few tutorials for fabric high chairs and thought that would be the answer to our various seating and bulk issues, but I wasn't 100% sold on the design of any of them. 

Enter the Sew Baby Travel High Chair pattern, which I happened to see at Joann Fabrics a couple of weeks ago.  While it's more of a fabric-hog than some of the tutorials, I also thought it would work out better for E.  I dug out some ancient stash fabric --  I remember buying this when O. was a baby with the intention of making a pouch sling, but never got around to it.  (Believe me, there was no shortage of baby carriers around here, so that wasn't a big loss. I made at least three other pouches, not to mention mei tais and ring slings.  I was a bit of a babywearing hoarder.)  I think it's a stretch twill.

Cutting out the pattern piece, fabric, and batting may have taken longer than sewing it up.  The only change I made was to use 1.5" hook & loop left over from my cloth diaper making days instead of the recommended 3/4".

I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  It's sized for up to 2T, but E is skinny and can still wear 2T pants as capris, so I decided to just go with it as-is.  She has some growing room, but it would be quite easy to size up for a larger child who needs positioning help.

It folds up even smaller than I'd hoped and fits easily in the side pocket of the Thirty-one bag that we usually use for her things.

Something like this has been on my to-sew list for about a year, so I'm pretty psyched to finally be able to cross it off! 


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