Tag Archives: making things for babies

Things I made for babies in the last year

I don’t have photos of everything, but here are some of the things I made.

For Ellie

For Minna

For Eli

For Moe

I also made another dragon and two chambered nautiluses (nautili?) but didn’t get photos of those.

Test your knowledge!

I’m helping with a baby shower this weekend and the theme is ‘children’s books.’ I made two different quiz/game things for the shower, and had a pretty good time putting them together. Some twitter friends and some real-life friends took the quizzes for me today to help me gauge whether they were at about the right level of difficulty. So without further adieu, the (more difficult) Children’s Book Trivia Quiz. (If you want to try to answer, no fair googling!) How many can you answer?

What do you know about Children’s Books?
A Trivia Game in Three Acts

Act 1.

Provide the real titles to these alternative versions.

1. Evening salutation to a natural satellite

2. If a rodent is provided with a baked good.

3. A weather forecast involving Italian comestibles.

4. A diminutive heir to the throne.

5. Small dwelling in the vast expanse of grassland

Act 2. Multiple Choice

1. Which of the following children’s books has not been made into a feature film?
a) Jumanji
b) The Polar Express
c) Animalia
d) The Lorax
e) Where The Wild Things Are

2. Which of these celebrities has not published at least one children’s book?
a) Madonna
b) Kristi Yamaguchi
c) Julie Andrews
d) Steve Martin
e) Britney Spears

3. Which of the following well-known children’s book authors has also been published in Playboy Magazine?
a) Theodore Geisel (Dr Seuss)
b) Shel Silverstein
c) Maurice Sendak
d) Margaret Wise Brown
e) Beverly Cleary

Act 3: The tough stuff

1. Name the nine main characters in Winnie the Pooh.

2. What’s the difference between the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal for children’s books?

3. What’s Pippi Longstocking’s full name? (SUPER BONUS QUESTION)

4. In Tikki Tikki Tembo, there are two brothers. What is the second brother’s name?

5. What is the species of Mary Alice, Operator #9?

6. Name the four original babysitters from the Babysitters’ Club. For bonus points, name the three that joined later.

7. In SuperFudge, what was the name of Fudge’s pet bird, and what kind of bird was it? (For extra bonus points, what was the bird’s favorite saying?)

8. FOR ALL THE BONUS POINTS: On what street and in what city did Beezus and Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins live?

Today’s highlight

Today we got a thank-you note in the mail from some friends in the DC area who recently had a baby after over four years of infertility. She was born about two months ago, and I made her a multicolored chambered nautilus knitted toy. We were supposed to meet up with the friends when we went on our DC trip, but the day care crud our niece passed along while we were there was bad enough that we decided not to subject our friend’s month-old baby to it, and we skyped with them instead.

The thank-you note said, simply, ” Dear (me) and (Dan), Thank you for the toy you sent us for (daughter). I’m sure it will make a great toy once she discovers toys! Thanks again, (her) and (him)”

I laughed out loud for several minutes. I make a lot of knitted items for other people’s babies, and I don’t often get actual thank-you notes for them. Getting one for this gift made my day. And I do hope that once the baby discovers toys, she’ll love the nautilus. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

Arts and crafts

Here are some of the projects I’ve been working on recently.

Plum and white, cotton/poly blend

I made a blanket for the baby of some friends through whom we found our wedding photographer. Elspeth was born on her daddy’s (and great-grandma’s) birthday, which is also our anniversary. I was touched when, in writing her birth story, Elspeth’s mom chose to include a photo of the little on on the blanket I made.

Guess which one isn't mine?

This one is mine.

I had to lightly pencil in the vines in order to figure out where to put the white flowers

If you guessed this one, you were right! Ain't it a beaut.

On Wednesday, I biked over to Karen’s house and I made two more pysanky. I really like how both of them turned out, but neither holds a candle to Karen’s amazing handiwork. Gorgeous.

Waste not, want not. Or some shit like that.

We tore out two of the three palm trees in one of the side yards, and I didn’t want to waste all those palm fronds. I did some googling and learned how to make palm frond flowers. After an evening of stripping, fiddling, weaving, and fending off curious kitties, I ended up with a wee bouquet’s worth of flowers, which I brought to Leah at her bachelorette party. Traditionally, I guess, the stand-up girl makes a bouquet from the ribbons gleaned from wedding shower packaging and gives it to the bride to be used at the rehearsal. For this wedding, there’s no shower (that I know of) and probably not going to be a rehearsal, but I thought Leah might like a little bouquet anyhow.

A girl and her giant crotch mojito

And oh yeah. I planned a bachelorette party. True to Leah’s wishes, we had a zillion colors of nail polish and girly magazines, tasty food and beverages, with brownies made by Moose and this super-cute banner by Sara and cupcakes from Holly and champagne from Kristin. I made simple syrup and brought mint from the garden for mojitos. We wore comfy clothing, and my wild idea of changing up the movies we might watch at the party from BBC-style costume dramas to traditional sleepover 80s movies turned out to be the least surprising thing about the night. (No, the stripper was NOT my idea. But I haven’t laughed that hard since maybe my own bachelorette party, during which I got a lap dance from a large African-American man named Simone dressed as a French maid.) Alas, neither 80s movies nor popcorn were consumed, but I think a good time was had by all.

I stuck my dollars in her shoelaces, but he didn't remove them with his teeth.

New projects: Circular Baby Blankets

Stripes of leftover yarn bits from other projects

Two of my friends (hi, Nancy!) had babies in October, and I knitted similar blankets for both of them using the same pattern. I forgot to get any photos of the one that went to baby Patrick, since I finished and mailed it during our crazy moving time in September, but I finally finished, blocked, and mailed the one for baby Natalie in Seattle. (She came three weeks before her due date, and so it was only two weeks and not five weeks late, adjusted.)

Patrick’s blanket used the same multicolored speckled yarn, only there weren’t any stripes, and I crocheted a border in blue and green cotton yarn around the outside.


About 38 inches in diameter

I mailed the blanket for Natalie on Friday, and her parents received it today. Yay for the prompt service of the USPS!

(Thankfully, the next baby in line isn’t due until late March, so now it’s time for Giftmas knitting!)

Cheers/Jeers: The weekend

I’m totally stealing this from my pal JT

Cheers: I got to bake a birthday cake and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Cheers: The baking was for two different parties we were invited to over the weekend. Parties! I love parties. Steve’s birthday was nice and low-key on Friday, and Deb’s baby shower was fun. I freestyle-painted a onesie (a green dinosaur with purple spikes. Alas, I forgot to bring my camera, so no photos exist).
Cheers: People that I don’t actually know about read my blog. The proof was when we walked up to the house where the baby shower was yesterday and one of the hosts greeted me with, “Hey, I read your blog!” It was the first time anything like that had remotely happened to me. In the Swim, if you’re reading this, post a comment, lady! What a small world, that the friend of the person who teaches the classes I take at the gym is a blogger, reads my blog, and recognized us because sometimes I put up photos of us here. (She found me initally through the lovely Leah.)
Cheers: After a cold and crappy week, weather-wise, Colorado paid us back by a couple of exemplary fall days. They were warm and gorgeous. The one regret I have about the weekend is that we didn’t get up into the mountains to see any foliage at all, but we had a lot of other things going on. Like parties!
Cheers: Chu’s wax works just as well when I do it myself. Plus, we got an excuse to buy a new pot.
* * * * * * *
Jeers: The baby shower was for the person who teaches the classes I take at the gym, and today is her last class for at least 8 weeks, and I am trepidatious about who might be taking over for her! I generally only take classes from instructors I like.
Jeers: Target, while normally a place that has everything I need, did not have several things we were looking for on Saturday. Including canned pumpkin, which the grocery store did not have either. I guess there was a run on canned pumpkin all over Denver. Luckily, I still had some frozen processed pie pumpkin mush from last year in the freezer.
Jeers: Fame, the recently released version. I was so looking forward to this, even despite the presence of SYTYCD-alum Kherington Payne, who I disliked when she was on the show but was willing to keep an open mind about. I love movies that have dancing and singing and all manner of talented kids in them, but I think the movie tried too hard to straddle the balance between performance and plot, and didn’t have enough of either. It didn’t help that some of the actors cast as the main character kids were terrible, and what little plot there was about them didn’t give me any reason to care when bad things happened or whatever. If the movie had done more performance, it might have come close to awesome. If it had focused on one year rather than trying to get in all four, that might have helped. If they’d scrapped some of the performance and gone in for a really interesting plot, that would have been good as well. But as it was, the movie was just really disappointing. And a note to Kherington Payne: Stick with dancing. You can’t act your way out of a paper bag, even when you’re essentially playing yourself.

Heat makes knitting less than fun

Just for posterity’s sake: the finished blanket I made for the soon-to-be-appearing baby of the person who teaches some classes I take at the gym. I’ve been taking classes from her for nearly two years and we’re pretty friendly, so I thought I’d put together a simple blanket. She told me the nursery for her son was going to be bright colors, so I took that and ran with it.

The yarn is big and fat and soft, machine washable and dryable of course. Loki kindly provided some scale for me.

It would have been finished weeks ago, except it’s not especially fun to knit when it’s hot outside (and inside, since we don’t have A/C).

The week of stuff

Big stuff and little stuff happened this week.

Big stuff:

Scarlett moved to town! She and her boyfriend arrived with the u-haul on Tuesday, just in time for a seriously spectacular smoky sunset, courtesy the fires in LA and Utah and western Colorado. Her new apartment is wicked awesome and only a half block away from us.

We went on a hike on Saturday and reached the summit, though it was only 11,700 feet and not 14K+. I keep forgetting to upload the photos.

Little stuff:

We got amazing pears and peaches at the farmer’s market, and I baked some peach cupcakes (adapted from this recipe). I frosted them with browned butter icing, which is super-tasty but also very, very rich. I gave half the cupcakes to Scarlett.

Our contribution to dinner with friends on Wednesday (game night!) was chocolate chip cookies, which means I baked twice in one week.

I gave blood yesterday and got my 1-gallon pin! I know I’ve donated more than that over the years but have officially given blood 8 times with this particular blood bank.

We watched Milk last night on DVD and it was fantastically good. It made me wonder: had it been released in October last year instead of December, would it have had any effect on the passage of prop H8 in California?

I finished a baby blanket for the person who teaches my classes at the gym, who is now 8 months along. I’ll take some photos before I give it to her next week.

Here there be dragons (and blankets)

Since everyone I know appears to be spawning, I’ve been busy with some knitting projects recently. My cousin gave birth to Baby #3 last weekend, and named her something I actually don’t hate: Eliana. (Her first two children have kreeyative names using “k” sounds; my cousin and her husband both have K names as does their last name start with a K.)

Cousin’s first baby gender-determining ultrasound showed fetus to be a boy, so I bought yarn accordingly. (Generally I try to make blankets somewhat gender-neutral, but I found this yarn I really liked and, well.) Then gender-determining ultrasound #2, a few months later, determined that no, she was actually going to be a girl. Hm.

I went back to the store, but didn’t find any good “girly-colored” yarn that exactly matched the already-purchased stuff. So I found something else that would work (not nearly as soft, unfortunately) and came up with a design to use all three yarns – a blues/greens/purples (original), a whites/blue/green (original), and a light purple (new). If you look closely at the photos you can see my pattern – it’s actually basically the same pattern I used for my other cousin’s baby blanket I made a couple of months ago, except without side borders and with an outer edge of crocheted-on light purple. I like it a lot.

The other project is actually the second one I’ve made of its kind (or very similar). Back in December I made a green and yellow dinosaur for Wombat and it got sent out to California along with the other stuff we sent the Agirlandaboy family for Giftmas before I got a chance to take photos of him. Leah has been kind enough to do so here, along with a very cute baby who appears to enjoy how the dinosaur tastes. I wanted to do something similar for Spats, except in perhaps a more feminine vein, so instead of a dinosaur I made a dragon. She’s mostly yellow with two kinds of purple (some of the leftover light purple from Eliana’s blanket), and I’m sorry Jive Turkey I wanted to save it for a surprise, but you’ll be getting the dragon in the mail in a few days and I wanted to post photos.

I’ve got two more projects in various stages of completion for yet another friend due in May; a skater or snowboarder-style baby hat (finished!) and some matching booties (not finished!) that I’ll display before I mail them out. This baby will be a girl and her name will start with the letter E, because she’s going to be named after an ancestor and that’s how they roll in my friends’ family.

* * * * *

I’m thoroughly uninterested in food these days because our weather finally seems to be cooperating and giving us nice, warm spring days. I’m hoping the lack of interest in food will bring a lack of appetite, because it’s about time my body gives up the ghost of the winter layer and starts slimming down. It’s been more than six weeks since I gave up eating chocolate from the work candy jar (haven’t slipped up yet!) and I haven’t really seen any results. It’s really frustrating, and I am not sure what else to do. I’m already in the gym about 6-7 hours a week and have started walking or running some days after work as well. For example, I went running in the park on Tuesday after work (only 1.5 miles) and my legs have been killing me since. Today the left one only feels somewhat sore but the right is still bugging me. I hope it’s better by tomorrow, since that’s when our new work softball team has its first practice (!) I don’t know what convinced me to join such a thing, but I did, so there you have it. I haven’t played any softball since sometime in middle school and I have no idea if I have any ability to hit a ball with a bat, but I can run so that’s something at least.

Also, the instructor for my two favorite classes at the gym (the ones I have been going to for a year and a half) finally fessed up to being pregnant on Monday. Since she’s about a size zero, the little belly bump she’s got going on made it pretty obvious (Suck in your abs! she yells, and her belly doesn’t move). She is due in October. I am going to make her baby something as well.

Deaths, weddings, births, and ploofs – four life milestones

Things that are on my mind recently:

How I am far more bothered by people dying relatively young in accidents (Natasha Richardson, of course) than by people dying of old age or dying of diseases. Accidents are unpredicatable and scary, but there’s not much you can do to prevent them. I do my best to prevent illness and disease, but short of encasing myself in a bubble for the rest of my life and never being able to experience the world again, I’m just going to have to chance it. I’m really sorry for her family, though.

How even people who consider themselves to be nonconformist and easy-going can get all worked up about wedding planning, especially when looking at other people’s wedding porn (tm Ariel of Offbeat Bride). I confess to being this way myself to a small degree, but knowing the constraints of time, budget, and space, I never let myself get too worked up over stuff other people were doing for their different and/or unusual weddings. Ours, quite frankly, ended up being far more traditional than I expected but there were enough quirky touches to make it our own, I think. I remember posting on Hillary’s blog while she was still working out the last kinks of wedding planning, trying to reassure her that honestly, nobody will notice if the flowers aren’t exactly what you were hoping for. And you won’t notice, either. It’s hard to look back and think that reassurance from anyone who’s already gone through the whole wedding rigamarole would have helped matters for me, because you don’t really know until it’s all over. I hope my comment way back then helped Hillary, and I hope that in the hypothetical future when I am hypothetically doing things for weddings, I’m able to impart a bit of serenity.

That I know a whole lot of people who are currently in the last stages of gestation and will be giving birth soon. (JT, holla!) Am currently working on yet another blanket for an April arrival, and will probably do a hat and booties or something for a friend due in May because I just don’t think I’ll want to be doing blanket knitting once it really warms up.

That we just went through the warmest, dry-est winter I can remember since I moved to Denver. We’ve hardly had any snow at all and it’s been mostly in the 50s and 60s for all of February and March. What the hell, Colorado? Where’s all my snow? I only got to see ploofs ONE TIME this year. ONE TIME ploofspotting is not enough for my necessary ploof quotient. WHERE ARE MY PLOOFS? (I do realize that having written this, the universe will hear my hue and cry and we’ll get another March blizzard that dumps 2 feet of snow downtown or something.)

And tonight, we’re having an out-of-town friend over for dinner who we haven’t seen since New Year’s Eve of – 01 to 02 I think? Should be fun!