A Special Bear for Thomas

We have been given some gifts from several close friends and family, including this bear from Megan! Here are a couple of images of what he has been up to lately.

He is a special bear, his tag says his name is “Ellerslie”. I think he is around the same size Thomas is at the moment, maybe even a little bigger. We’re not allowed to put anything with Tom inside the humidicrib just yet. I did put the blue boy doll inside for a moment just to take a photo, but it wasn’t in there for long. Because Tom was born so early, he has to stay in a special crib where it is easy for him to breathe, and keep cosy and warm. We are allowed to take him out to feed him like you can see David doing here, but after that he goes back in his crib.

So Ellerslie has been hanging out with me to keep me company while I was in hospital, and he was excellent company too! <<< Here he is looking after my eye mask when I wasn’t wearing it. >>> Here is another photo of teddy with my comfy green neck pillow. I think he was “looking after it”, too! Ellerslie is wearing the special yellow beanie that Tom was wearing in his first photo, as it is just the right fit!

Thankyou to Megan for this special gift, Ellerslie the teddy bear is sure to be part of the action!

To catch a dream (three small things)

The last two weeks have been surreal to say the least, like a walking dream or day-mare. Some thoughtful soul gave this special beanie to David to give to me, it’s what Thomas was wearing in the photo that was taken on his first day. Someone even printed up the photo so I could have it in my room. I didn’t see Tom until the second day as I left the ICU to go to the maternity ward. I clung to this special little yellow beanie during my stay while I was away from my baby, I even imagined it smelled like him! I give thanks to the person who made and donated the beanie, and to the person who took the photos of Thomas wearing it, and also to the person who thought I might like to keep it when our baby went into the humidicrib and no longer needed to wear a beanie.

While we were in the maternity ward, on the meal tray was a paddle pop stick. We guessed they were meant to be for stirring tea and coffee, which we thought was a waste of wood. Imagine throwing all those not needed paddle pops away? What a waste of trees! So I collected a few and made some into dream catchers to pass the time. When we left the maternity ward and David went home to sleep, I told him to take the brown dream catcher to place above his bed. It is meant to be for good luck in catching your dreams so they can come true. I learnt how to make these from school, you just weave wool in and out, around the sticks.

Three Small Things – dishcloth, heart, face washer

>>> Here is a face cloth that I edged last night, I simply did one round of double crochet (US sc). This cloth came in a gift pack from the hospital where Tom is staying and it was perfect for a quick edge treatment! I nearly did the edge in blue but decided that would be too boring so did it in a contrasting green instead! The single row looks less frilly I think, so will go well in our growing stash of baby boy goodies. I vowed years ago never to edge face washers with crochet but I succumb to the urge this year while teaching myself crochet. So far I’ve edged a pair of white with purple, and a pair of pink with pink!

<<< I whipped up this variation of Suzetta’s small heart earlier this month. This one has a second round so you can have two colours like I have here. For this one I used my 1.75mm hook. I think this is my favourite heart pattern, thankyou Suzie! I first had a go at this pattern back in January when I was teaching myself how to read crochet patterns, and I’ve come back to this pattern several times so far.

>>> Here is a small ridged green cotton dishcloth that I did up earlier this month using a 4mm hook and the last of the cotton in this colour. I now have two dish cloths this colour, the other green dishcloth I made up last month.  The ridged stitch is at crochetspot.

Handmade Christmas Card 2010

In case anyone is wondering where I have been, I have been recovering from an emergency caesarean to deliver our baby boy, whom we have named Thomas!

All I can say right now is that this has been an incredibly humbling experience, and both David and I are still shell shocked. We are still coming to terms with the fact our baby is born. On Monday the 13th I went to my G.P. to get some abdominal pain checked out, which turned out to be pre-eclampsia. By midday the next day I was being wheeled into theatre for an urgent c-section. Thomas was born on Tuesday the 14th December at one minute to one weighing 1.250kg. I like the neatness of the numbers of his date – 14.12.10

The steroid injections they gave me to help his lungs develop worked very well, as he didn’t need any assistance breathing, despite being born at 31 weeks gestation. He is being fed formula, and just in case anyone is out there thinking I should have breast fed, believe me please I wanted to and tried very hard, but it wasn’t to be. He has started putting on weight every day and the nurses in the special care unit are very happy with him, telling us he is a sprightly little one with lots of spirit.

Here are two pictures of the lovely card they made for us, it’s so very special. An imprint of his feet in the card makes this a very thoughtful gift for us. The hospital also gave us a stocking of cute little toys and baby clothes, they are so kind.

I can’t help but wonder, when I think of the staff at the hospital that saved us (if they didn’t perform the operation we both would have died), that I was amongst angels. These people had what I like to call ‘Hudson River Pilot’ coolness and professionalism. Being part of it has been very humbling indeed.

Racey Rocket!

David and I are so very keen on our rocket this year! Last year we had just 6 plants from a nursery which seeded at the end of summer. We planted those seeds and are now starting to harvest our first crop! <<< Here is a photo of those very first 6 plants we bought from the shop. We didn’t get much harvest from these 6 little plants, but we did enjoy immensely what we did manage to get.

When they seeded I carefully harvested all the seeds and put them in a brown paper bag to wait for the next spring. We ended up planting them on Sunday 24th October. They astounded us by shooting up within three days of planting, the weather was very warm and humid at the time. Here are our rocket babies at 5 days old. >>>

<<< But alas! Grubs were eating our rocket by 3 weeks! We decided the safest, healthiest way to remove them was by hand. The rocket should be ready to eat in just a few short weeks and we really didn’t want to put poison on it! The grubs were a pretty green colour the same as the leaves so they were hard to spot. In the end we found them all but it took a few days, we guess we found about a dozen grubs.

>>> Here is our rocket at 4 weeks, you can lightly run your hand across the leaves and the smell of fresh rocket wafts up to you straight away. Its very fragrant and fresh. We made a chicken wire cage at week 4 in case any bigger predators like birds or lizards decided they wanted to eat our rocket. It’s sitting on our outdoor table at the moment, so we can keep an eye out for any more grubs!

<<< At 5 weeks our rocket looks good enough to eat, so we did! It’s best you don’t leave it too long, or the leaves get too bitter. But we like the peppery taste to the crisp leaves. It’s just so much nicer to pick a few leaves of greenery from the garden as you want them, better than buying a lettuce from the shop and having it wilt on you the very next day. I hate buying lettuce, it just seems like such a waste. Over the last 5 weeks, I think David fertilised a couple of times using an organic seaweed mixture.

>>> Here is our very first lunch with our first rocket of 2010! My sandwich is the one with the cucumber, David hates cucumber! What’s up with that? Who knows, but at least we both love rocket!
/nomnomnom

Pink and Purple Dolly Blankie

It’s my niece’s 4th birthday today, and on her wishlist was a ‘Barbie Doll Blanket’, so I hope this is what she had in mind!

The rug should be pink and purple, apparently. Luckily I had just enough of these colours in my scrap bag to make it. I used up the tiny bit of variated white wool left over from my flowers baby rug, and the bit left over purple dimples yarn which I also used for the purple baby jacket. For the pink flowers, I had a small bit of yarn left over from my childhood when my mum had taught me how to crochet, so that wool is very special, as I’ve been carrying it around with me for a very long time! For the jazzy edge I used a bit of fluffy yarn my mum gave me last year some time. All of these yarns are probably acrylic. If this rug needs a wash, it would need to be gentle or it might fall apart.  It would be best to spot clean it, or a gentle hand wash in cool water and gentle detergent, drying flat in shade should be ok.

It took me a couple of hours to do up the 24 tiny granny squares, then a couple of hours to stitch them all together. I find stitching granny squares together the most tedious, there doesn’t seem to be a quick enough way to do it. I used some cotton and a big needle and tried to get it done in an efficient time. Putting the cute fluffy edge on it only took a few minutes in comparison. I used a 3.5mm hook and the end result measures 18cm x 28cm, just big enough for a Barbie to be able to use as a blankie!

I hope my niece enjoys the things I’ve made for her this year, which includes everything I made for yesterday’s post, as well as the child’s cotton sun hat and the pretty pink and purple bag!
❤ ❤ ❤

How to make shoes for a flat-footed Barbie

My niece is turning 4 soon, and an order for new shoes for her flat footed Barbie has arrived so I set to work!

These are now the 3rd and 4th pair I’ve made for flat footed Barbie dolls. The shoes for these flat feet are very hard to find, and when you do find them, they are overpriced. So I make my own, and it’s very easy. The first pair of flat-footed shoes I made were these slip on pink shoes which went to Darwin with my niece. The second pair I made were these orange sandals with ankle strap, which were for a flat footed doll I picked up at an op shop for $1. I’m most happy with those ones, they worked out quite well.

To make these doll shoes, I use some recycled black vinyl, I can’t even remember where I picked it up from. You sometimes can find this on packaging or old things you might throw away, so keep an eye out for it, you don’t need much. Any kind of flexible plastic you can pierce with a needle will do. I trace around the soles of the doll’s feet to make a paper template, then trace that with white crayon onto the vinyl, and cut out the soles with sharp scissors. Then I pierce the plastic with the largest needle I have, pushing it all the way through, 3 times each side where the shoes strap will go.

I then use my 1.25mm crochet hook, and push that through the needle holes to make sure they are big enough. Then using fine crochet cotton, the first row is three single stitches (UK dc), then 4 rows of 2 ch 3 dc (UK trbl). The last row is some slip stitches and singles again to attach to the other side. Sometimes I’ll add an ankle strap of chain stitches like I did with these red ones. I always put the shoes on before finishing the final stitch to make sure they’ll fit. They don’t take long to do, especially as I chose not to spend too much time fiddling on these ones.

In the package I’m sending to Darwin, I’m also popping in some doll knickers which I made ages ago using a pattern I found at crochetville. I’m not happy with them, they have ties but I’ll pop them in the package none the less.

So I had a go at making my own Barbie doll knickers, they are ‘boyleg hipsters’ so very easy to make. They simply pull on and sit on the hips, which will be easier for my 4 year old niece to dress her doll.

My own pattern for Barbie doll ‘boyleg hipsters’
1. ch 28, sl st to form ring, treble into ea ch (US dc), sl st, do not turn, 28 stitches
2. ch 2, treble into ea treble (US dc), sl st, do not turn, 28 stitches
3. ch 2, treble ea into next 5 treble, turn
4. sl st into next treble, ch 2, treble into next 2 treble, turn
5. ch 2, treble ea in next 2 treble, sl st into 3 trebles on opposite side of ring to form two leg holes
fasten off and turn inside out to hide the seam at the crotch.

Then I just had to make a simple pull on party dress, didn’t I?
My own pattern for a pull-on dress for Barbie
* using 3.5mm hook, gauge depends on the yarn and how many stitches it takes to go around the chest, check every few rows to check fit.
1. ch enough ch to go around chest, sl st to form ring, pull on over hips up to chest to check fit, ch 2, trb in ea trb (US dc), sl st in 1st trb, 23 trb
2. ch 2, trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 23 trb
3 – 8 repeat row 2
9. ch 2, 2 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 46 trb
10. ch 2, 2 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 92 trb
11. ch 2, 1 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 92 trb
12. in bottom of row 1 using contrast yarn, ch 1, dc (US sc)  in bottom of ea trb, sl st in 1st ch, fasten off

 

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