Three chemo caps, medium size

I finished the medium size pink cap on Thursday, after finally working out a size that might fit a 9 year old. I made a small size, and then an adult size, before doing that though!

These caps are intended for a 9 year old girl who has started chemotherapy. How awful for her, I hope she likes at least one of my caps enough to wear and help her through this time (as little comfort as that may well be).

The light and airy, pretty pink cap has 7 increasing rows. Then there is the shell pattern to the end, finished off with a scallop edge. The pattern is 2 ch sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1 (1 dc, sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1) repeated to end, sl st. The scallop edge is 5 dc into every middle of 3 dc, with a sl st into the single dc.

I used a 4mm hook for this one, just like the other two pink caps I made. Without stretching it, the cap measures 23.5cm across the base (so 47cm circumference), the height is 19cm. There are 7 increasing rows, then 11 rows of shell pattern, then one round of scallops.

I hope I get to find out if any of these fit!

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Matching Pair of Pink Mother Daughter Caps

So after I made the  light and airy pretty pink cap for a small child, I had a go at making another one except larger. But I ended up making it too large, so now I have a matching pair of pretty pink mother daughter caps.

This large cap has 9 increasing rows, 11 rows of shell pattern and one round of scallops at the edge. It’s a bit on the large side, it probably should have 8 increasing rows, not 9. I used the same silky soft pink yarn for both caps, and the 4mm hook, and the same pretty shell pattern I like, inspired by the doll’s dress my grandmother made. The shell pattern is 2 ch sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1 (1 dc, sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1) repeated to end, sl st. I finished the adult size pink cap on Thursday.

I’m not sure who might like this mother daughter pair, but I have some ideas!

My Ten Essential Baby Items

We’re not planning on having another child, but if we change our minds it won’t be before 2 more years as I don’t want 2 in nappies at the same time. So I’m selling my baby things now because I don’t have room to store things we probably don’t need.  If we change our minds I will just buy the few essential things we need. At least now we know what to buy, and what not to buy!

There are lots of pages on the net that list the ‘essential baby items’ you need as new parents. On all the ones I saw they always listed many more items than you actually need, it’s almost as if these sites are sponsored by these products and just want you to buy extra stuff! Having a baby is worse than a wedding in this way, they see you coming and try and sell you all sorts of junk you do not need. I want to list here the things we think we do need, just in case we change our minds about another baby.

1. convertible car seat
This of course is a no brainer, they say they won’t let you leave the hospital without one in your car. Although no one checked our car when we left the hospital with our son! The question is, do you get a convertible or one with a detachable baby carrier? We got a convertible so it will last us for 4 years, these things are pretty expensive! The detachable baby carrier would be really nice but you can only use it for about 6 months so its very expensive, although you can hire them for a lot cheaper.

2. bassinet on wheels
I just loved my love n care bassinet (sorry for the free advertising there). I got white so it’s nice for both a baby boy or girl. It had wheels so I could move it easily around the house as I needed, you can also detach the bassinet from the stand which I rarely did as I didn’t want to wake the sleeping baby while I did it. You only use this for a few months though, until they can sit up or roll over. Our son was premmie, so we got to use ours for a few extra months than usual. It makes it so much easier to put your baby down and pick him up, if he is in a little bassinet. If I have to buy another one, I’ll just get it second hand from ebay.

3. convertible cot
Again we got white, which is good for a boy or girl, we got the 3 way kind which can not only be used as a toddler bed, but also as a little sofa. We will get years use out of this cot even if we only have the one child.

4. high chair with wheels
You don’t need a high chair until they are 6 months old, but I must remember the next one we buy has to have wheels! If we have to buy another one, it will be a good one as you use this for quite a while.  I’m always moving Thomas around in his high chair, but the one we have now is a cheap plastic one from Big W without wheels, so I have to lift it to move him around. Also this one is not easy to clean even though it said it would be, but I think all high chairs are probably hard to clean. A baby eating is a very messy affair!

5. reversible, light weight pram
I had a romantic vision of carrying my baby around in a sling all the time, so we bought 3 slings. We weren’t sure we even needed a pram and waited until after he arrived to see. But our son was premmie and too tiny for the slings as it turned out. I still remember the relief I felt the day we finally bought a pram and were able to go shopping without carrying him around. We got a wonderful reversible pram where you can choose to have your baby rear facing or front facing. We had him rear facing for most of the first 12 months, it was so nice to be able to see him sleeping happily in it while we had some time out at the shops. I practised folding it up and putting it up many, many times in the shop before we left so I was sure  I could do it. It’s not too big to be too clumsy, just big enough to do the job. The only difference I would make would be to have more room underneath for my bags, and a drink holder in the handle.

6. a wooden rocking chair
I was lucky enough to borrow an old fashioned, wooden rocking chair from a neighbour. This turned out to be a god send as it was the only thing that would help my baby to sleep for many months. Surprisingly, I found you don’t need one with padding, so you can rule out the expensive upholstered breastfeeding chairs with stools. I was rarely in the chair for very long, as my baby nodded off so quickly, it worked so well. An old, second hand one would work just fine.

7. baby bag or similar
I resisted buying one of these for a lot longer than I should have, using a simple bag crammed full of the stuff you need to carry around with you when you have a baby. I thought they were unnessecary. Reality taught me that this is a very handy thing to have, and I love the cheap one I picked up from K-Mart. It has a little change mat that folds out, but I have only used that once or twice. It has compartments that make finding things easier, so a similar bag would be fine, just a one compartment bag was not good enough. Also, it has a good handle with extra padding which is important because it can get heavy and sometimes you are carrying it, but thankfully not too often.

8. portacot and portable highchair
Thankfully these things have been borrowed, and were useful when we had to do the obligatory visiting rounds of the extended family at Christmas. The portacot is also now getting used in the office as an extra playpen. I can pop him in there if I don’t want him crawling around in the pc wires.

9. pull apart play pen
This has also been borrowed, and is useful pulled apart and set up in different places in the loungeroom to keep Mr Crawler away from the TV. Also, we use it to close off the loungeroom area when I don’t want him in the kitchen.

10. safety gates
We are just using these now as my son is big enough to crawl around and explore the whole house. These are especially important because we live in a townhouse with stairs, so we have them set up to stop him from escaping up them without us being right there.

And I’ll tell you what you don’t need, you don’t need a change table, nor expensive matching furniture. I just use a $20 plastic change mat on top of what will become Tom’s study desk. We’re keeping one sling for when we go to the markets which is a place you do not want to take a pram, despite some people insisting on it. The other two slings I’m trying to sell as we’ve never used them. You don’t need fancy baby shelves or baby drawers and you certainly don’t need to paint your nursery! How ridiculous is that, painting a room especially for a baby. Paint your walls off-white once a decade or two, save your time and money, and it goes with everything! I bought some small and cheap $2 baskets to keep his clothes in, which I can move around to his change table, laundry and some old shelves I have in his room. I also keep some toys in these baskets as I got half a dozen and they’ve been really handy.

A bouncinette was handy, but only usable for a few short months. When he flipped it over it was time to put it away. And when they can’t crawl you can just put them on the floor. I don’t think we really needed the play mats either, certainly not two, you can just use any rug or pillow. Although the a-frame was used for several months before he could crawl so maybe another one of those would be good. We were given so many clothes, it was unbelievable, we didn’t buy any clothes for months and months, and when we finally did we didn’t really need to, we just wanted to. And the same was for toys. Whenever possible I choose unisex colours, so the clothes and toys can be recycled for any baby. I think that’s much better for the environment, it increases the chance of things getting used by another baby. Maybe it will be ours!

The Wooden Blocks Pa Murphy made

Here are some simply delightful wooden blocks, and a special red and green wooden train made by Pa Murphy as a gift for Thomas!

Isn’t this collection of wooden toys just lovely? Its so much nicer than the mass produced blocks you buy from the store. All the more special are these toys because they were made for Thomas by his grandfather. These are something you would want to keep and treasure, and hopefully pass on one day, because no one has anything quite the same as these wooden toys. I’m not sure where the wood came from originally, but I think these are at least some what environmentally friendly because they were made from scraps of wood from Pa Murphy’s workshop. For something like this you really shouldn’t buy any wood especially, as any tiny bits of left over scrap wood of any shape will do. These were lightly coated with vegetable oil so a very nice, environmentally friendly toy for Thomas!

Another reason why I like these toys is because they are a classic and timeless toy that doesn’t have the branding you see everywhere nowadays. As much as possible, I’d like to help Thomas learn the true value of things, and not according to if they have some recognisable logo or image on them, as hard as I know that is going to be!

Definitely an addition to my collection of hand crafted family heirlooms! Thankyou Pa Murphy ❤

The Silver Candle-stick Holders my father made

This pair of candle-stick holders are so very special, they were made by my father around the time my parents were married in 1969.

My father was a jeweller’s apprentice so knew how to make these from brass and then coat them in chrome. One looks a little tarnished now, and I’m not sure how I can clean them and polish them up. Dad suggested I could get them re-chromed, which sounds very complicated to me! I’d rather they stay the way he made them.

These have been passed around between our family members for a while, and now have come back to me for safe keeping. I intend on keeping a small collection of precious items that have been hand crafted by family members. These items are family heirlooms as far as I’m concerned and I will be teaching my son to treasure them. It’s much more precious to have things hand made by your ancestors than other things that have been simply bought mass produced. I hope the collection will demonstrate to my son that its possible to make these things ourselves, that one day he can also choose to make things. So far we have a wide selection of handicrafts in the collection, including carpentry, embroidery, jewellery and of course heaps of crochet. These things are made by family members as far back as my great-grandparents! I also hope the collection will be compact. When passing heirlooms along I do think it’s important that the items are not too cumbersome to keep, that they don’t become a burden and don’t take up too much room.

Check out other items in my collection of family heirlooms if you’re interested! There is more to come …

Pink Butterfly

I was thinking to crochet a butterfly to go with the small pink cap, so tried this one. It’s not quite right for the hat though so I will have to think of somewhere else for this butterfly.

I googled images of crochet butterflies and found one I liked. I followed the chart, except the largest stitch I used was  a triple treble. That’s when you yo (yarn over hook) 4 times. There is a larger stitch in the chart which looks like yo 5 x, after some research I couldn’t find the name for that stitch. I decided I would just do triple trebles instead. The result is the two top wings look quite large, I don’t think the photo on that site matches the chart. Maybe I will try a variation of this butterfly again with thicker yarn so it is a bit firmer, and with some of the stitches smaller than in the chart.There was another butterfly I liked I might also try one day.

This butterfly is too floppy for a brooch, maybe I can stitch it onto a bag or something one day?

Light and Airy Pretty Pink Cap for a small child

This cap was originally intended for a 9 year old, but its turned out too small for her. This one will fit a 1 to 3 year old, so I will make another one that is larger.

My friend knows a 9 year old girl who is loosing her hair due to chemotherapy. Just imagine being 9 and having to go through that. I’m hoping to make her a nice cap, I chose this yarn because it’s nice and soft with a silky feel. She would need an especially soft yarn, and because its still summer and quite hot, I don’t want to make anything too warm. I’m not sure what the blend is but my guess is that it’s acrylic. I started this on Thursday afternoon and finished it on Friday, using a 4mm hook.

There are 6 increasing rows, then the non-increasing rounds have a pretty lacey pattern. The pattern is 2 ch sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1 (1 dc, sk 1, 3 dc, sk 1) repeated to end, sl st. I thought it would be big enough but I had nearly finished when I realised it would only fit a small child, not a 9 year old, after checking a site that lists head sizes for crochet hats.

But I finished the hat anyway, because I know some 1 year old girls. Maybe one of them would like it?

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