Saturday, December 12, 2009

Circle of Important People - Wisdom from Grey

"At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing, where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, is usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them, the people that are still with you at the end of the day - those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need." ~Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pattern: Elf Baby Chrismas Hat

By: Laura Zalesak
Type: Crochet
Gauge: 4sts 4.5r = 2x2"
Hook: N/10mm
Yarn: 100g Lion Brand's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Pine
<10g Caron Simply Soft Eco in Wine Country

Notions: a yarn needle
1 large silver bell
14 9mm red bells (you might need more or less depending on your ribbon weave)

Please note this hat was made and sized for my son who will be 8 months this Christmas. It was inspired by a look of wonder that on occasion he gives us that prompted the nickname a week after his birth, "elf-man." I thought this would be such a cute idea and had to frog the hat three times until I got the hat the size I hope and think will fit him then. I used just over half a skein to make the hat. One skein might be enough for an adult's hat.


Ch 40
Row1: sc in each ch
Join with sc the ends to form a ring being careful not to twist. Leave a 6" tail to join the bottom of the ring together.

Rows 2-33: Unfortunately, I didn't write down how many decreases I did exactly in each row but I started with 5 decreases for each of the first 3 rows, then decreased 4 and 3 stitches each row for the rest of the body as long as the shaping was right. In the last 7 rows I decreased 1 or 2 stitches each row depending on shape till I had three stitches left.

Row 33: decrease joining the last three stitches into one stitch. Leave an 8" tail.

I found the wool-ease yarn to be too thick so to string the silver bell to the tip of the hat I used some of the simply soft yarn to pull the wool-ease yarn through like a needle threaded. Then I wrapped the yarn tightly around the top before weaving in the end (see below).

Hat Ribbon

Is simply 2 sc sts per row. Make the ribbon long enough to weave in and out of each sc st and to tie a bow with the ends.

Attaching the Red Bells

I just unraveled some yarn to tie the bells around an sc post. Here is what the knots look like on the inside of the hat:

Witch's Hat Version

You can use black yarn for the hat and orange for the ribbon to make a witches Halloween hat. Add a couple rows with a more than 5 decreases at the beginning for the rim.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pattern: Hollow Heart Bobble Square

By: Laura Zalesak
Type: Crochet
Gauge: 7st x 9rows or guage to make an 8"x8" square (a border can be added to make desired size as well)
Hook: I (5.5mm)
Yarn Weight: Worsted

Note: because this was an inch short length and height with the yarn I used, I added a border so I could submit it to Knit-a-Square. This pattern is only for the white part of the heart.

Special Abbreviation:

bobble (b)

  1. work 4dc in same st leaving 5 loops on the hook by omiting the last step in each dc (pulling yarn through last two loops)
  2. yo and draw yarn through all 5 loops.

Ch 28. Following chart, sc each white square and b each blue square. Each row is 27 sts. Ch1 and turn at the end of each row.

New Graph:

Origional Graph:

Key: white squares: sc | blue squares: b

Pattern: Full Heart Bobble Square

By: Laura Zalesak
Type: Crochet
Gauge: 7st x 9rows or guage to make an 8"x8" square (a border can be added to make desired size as well)
Hook: I (5.5mm)
Yarn Weight: Worsted

Special Abbreviation:

bobble (b)

  1. work 4dc in same st leaving 5 loops on the hook by omiting the last step in each dc (pulling yarn through last two loops)
  2. yo and draw yarn through all 5 loops.

Ch 28. Following chart, sc each white square and b each blue square. Each row is 27 sts. Ch1 and turn at the end of each row.

Key: white squares: sc | blue squares: b

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Baby Signing Book

I just found out that I could have started the baby signing from Tristan’s birth… a bit of a let down but he’s only two months so I’m still starting really young. Ever since I first saw little Jack in meet the Fockers use baby signs I’ve wanted to try it with my own and now that I have one, I’m looking forward to seeing his first sign.

The possibility of Tristan being able to sign 5-6 months earlier than he can start speaking is exciting. His signing vocabulary will be great by then and he would have been expressing needs and desires long before he starts speaking.

So “The Baby Signing book” by Sara Bingham (she has a facebook group as well) and are the resources I’m using so far. If you’ve tried this, what other resources have you used and how is it working for you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to have a child


How I did it: I found out I was pregnant early September. It was still early, so I called my mom to wish her a happy grandparent's day. I told my her I didn't want to say anything to anyone just yet but then she said that she had to tell my dad and brother which expanded to a few family friends. Then my dad went on a business trip and the rest of my family found out.

For names we chose Tristan James Alexander for a boy and Kaelyn Nicole for a girl. Because of too much or too little movement, we never really knew the gender until he was born.

One of Chris' fave things to do while I was preggers, was to poke my belly daily and say "bake."

Back in October we thought I was having a miscarriage. When we had the ultrasound we found out I was supposed to have twins but the other never took on. Our first time seeing him he did a flip and threw several good kicks. He was too small to feel.

The first few months I was really tired. I didn't get morning sickness but I did have problems with my back sometimes so painful I couldn't walk. It was worth it though.

Tristan was head down weeks before but at the last moment, he rotated. Chris had pulled an extra long shift and was just heading to sleep when we had to leave for the hospital around 8 am; some show had leaked. I was supposed to go in the next day to book the c-section but instead ended up having the surgery that day. One of the nurses joked: "it must be a boy... he already has a bad sense of direction!"

An operating room became available a couple hours earlier than expected so Chris had to rush back to the hospital from grabbing something to eat. I got prepped (I had to stay awake during the ordeal). He made it just in time for Tristan's birth at 2:13 pm. He was the only one allowed in and they screened the surgery so we couldn't see it as it happened. I only spent 3 days in the hospital and recovery was fast.

It's amazing how fast Tristan is growing and how strong he is getting each day. No regrets --- I love him dearly.

Lessons & tips:

  • Cesareans aren't as scary or bad as you think; I had to have one because Tristan was in breech. It was fast, painless and the recovery went smooth. Incisions are now cut low enough to be hidden by underwear.

  • Wraps take up less space than a stroller, are amazingly comfortable and less expensive. They also fit where strollers will not. Warning: it can get really warm. You might want to carry a spray bottle of water in your diaper bag to cool both you and your little one off.

  • People you think will be the most help might let you down but others you'd never think of tend to appear out of thin air. Some you expect to be helpful are but to a greater degree than you imagined possible.

  • Sometimes less expectations make the experience soooo much better.

  • Plans are made to be broken.

What to the book was awesome; this is the companion site. The book is one of the cheaper ones on the market and covers more than most. the group that pertains the the month you're due is probably the most useful thing available. Many other mom's from other places around the world post questions, comments and issues that you might go through. The support is amazing.

There are more community resources available to you than you think. If you're in BC, a public health nurse can answer (or get answers) for any question or concern you have and provide you with ongoing support and a list of local parent groups and activities.

It took me 9 months.

It made me see life differently

Friday, March 13, 2009

You know your pregnant when...

Posted on one of the pregnancy forums I frequent:

1. You cry cause....well, you don't know Dammit!

2. You turn to your husband and say Baby wants you to get her a Crunchy Cheesy Gordita from Taco Bell.

3. The definition for "bi-polar" disorder is suddenly describing you.

4. Your gas goes from 'mildly offensive' to 'toxic fumes of sulphuric death' in large enough quantities to peel wallpaper.

5. Your emotions switch from happy to snappy in .03 seconds.

6. Your seductive walk becomes a waddle.

7. Everyone makes you choose the restaurant because they have heard "" to their suggestions a few too many times.

8. You cough you pee - you sneeze you pee - you laugh you pee - you blink you pee.

9. People in the stores are trying to 'squeeze' past you. Um, we can't suck in and's a baby...I'm pregnant!

10. You see your husband naked and cry out of jealousy at how thin he is

11. You are protective of the food you are eating, like a dog that was starving all day guarding his bowl... "Can I have a bite Mommy?" "Um, you have your own food don't you?" "Can I have some Mommy?" "Hello Mommy needs to eat too!!" "WHO ATE the Last YOGURT?!?!?"

12. Having sex is as appealing as sticking your butt in a deep fat fryer.

13. Water gives you heartburn.

14. You run out of breath climbing 4 stairs.

15. You can suddenly smell EVERY scent in your house - AND some of your neighbors.

16. Your response to the typical daily question of "How are you feeling today, honey?" is, "DONE!"

17. When you buy a new treadmill to stay in shape and spend your evenings sitting next to it, watching TV and eating cake!

18. It takes three distinct movements to turn over in bed from one side to the other.

19. When your little brother says you "tend toward the fat" when you are 8 months pregnant and you obsess about it for weeks.

20. When most physical activity and small motions you attempt are preceded by a mumbled, "You've gotta be kidding me!"

21. When it takes you over a half and hour to get dressed because you try on everything you own but it all makes you look and feel fat. Then you put on the same outfit you wore yesterday...and the day before...and the day before that.

22. Your new best friend is the toilet in more than one way!!

23. Your stomach turns at the thought of eating, and you burst into tears at the thought of missing a meal

24. When you start crying because "nobody gives a damn about you" because they haven't called you in 2 days to see how you're doing.

25. You feel a sense of entitlement on the highway... "That's right, BETTER let me over into your lane. Don't you know I'm PREGNANT?"

26. Your husband is angry that the thermostat says 55 degrees and you are so comfortable.

27. Brushing your teeth makes you puke.

28. When you stash snacks under your pillow, so when you wake up famished in the middle of the night, you don't even have to get out of bed.

29. You love your husband one second and want to punch him in the face the next.

30. When you drop a spoon in the kitchen, stare at it for a bit, and then walk away knowing that it would have taken too much effort and energy to bend over and pick it up.

31. You pick your seat based on the proximity to the bathroom.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Baby Update

I'm at 32 weeks pregnant this Tuesday... still feels like there is sooo much to do. I've been getting things together slowly for the wee one. Still need cloth diapers and a baby basket. This little bugger is an active one. The first time DH and I saw the LO, s/he did a 360* turn and then threw a few good kicks. The running joke is that we've got the next star soccer player or kung fu master in my belly. Since I've actually been able to feel the kicking this little bugger has been kicking constantly and moving. The other day DH saw the LO rotate in my belly and pretty much reacted as if he had seen a scene in an alien movie.

The baby kimono that I've been working on is finally finished!!! Geeze... with slightly different yarn weights, it has been really hard getting the alternate pieces to measure the same but it's well worth it :D Here are the pics:


Kimono Parts Without Ties

Finished Baby Kimono

Kimono Frogging and Knit-a-Square

So I found this kimono pattern in a Lion Brand box kit and I'm so frustrated! There is a good chance that I'll be having a boy so purple and red just will not do so I thought that I'd use a pair of colors from my stash. Well, the two yarns I'm using although I love the colors... are slightly off in weight compared to each other which is making my project very hard to piece together. This is THE last panel for this wrap and it's taking FOREVER to get it right (perfectionist?) but must get back to it because when it's done -- it's going to feel awesome! I'll post pics when I'm done.

On a side note, the Knit-a-Square group I started on Ravelry is taking off (89 members in less than 24 hours) and I just finished my first crochet square . I'm so interested in seeing the different variations of squares people will make for the children in South Africa. 40 of them will make a blanket and the cool thing is that your squares will be paired with squares sent from all over. I want to try tapestry crochet, working with colors in general and learn a few new stitches (such as afghan stitch -- it's good for using as cross stitch fabric). Right now I seem to be leaning more towards crochet but this will be a perfect opportunity to learn some more knitting techniques as well.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I just stumbled across this site in one of my eZines. Learning to Crochet or Knit? Learning new stitches to advance your skills? Why not make 8x8" squares to practice stitches and then send them off to Africa where this group will sew them together to make warm blankets then destribute them to keep orphaned children warm. There are many areas that do reach below freezing over night and the number of orphaned children grows each day by the hundreds. Please make sure you read the specifications first to make sure that your submission will work.

Not someone who likes to knit or crochet? Want to help in other ways? Here's how you can still help:
  • pass this link along to family and friends who do
  • get stitching groups in on this
  • make an announcement at a local church
  • collect yarn donations made of wool or that have fire resistant properties
  • mail squares on someone elses behalf