The Thankful Mama

Little Flowers Skirt

Well, after a crafting hiatus, I am back with a completed project. I finished the Baby Jaquards Floral Skirt by Bernat Design Studio. This cute little pattern is written for the use of the Bernat Baby Jaquards Floral yarn. The free pattern is available on the ball band and here.

My hubby got a couple of skeins of this as a birthday gift for me and he picked well! I love the color, a bright and happy mix of oranges and cream. The self patterning flowers are so fun to see appearing as you knit. It’s very girly and perfect for my little girly girl! It’s an a acrylic/nylon blend, but it is soft and I haven’t noticed it irritating my daughter’s skin. I also had no problems working with it as far as it being overly rough or squeaky on the needles.

I had to do a little adjusting, since the sizing was too small. I just kind of winged it and made increases evenly until the skirt was the width I needed. Not the most intricate of designs, but it worked…and it’s a toddler skirt…no need to get too mathematical here.

The addition of elastic in the waistband it great and it worked better than I thought. It gives the skirt a much better fit. I found it easy to sew in the finished piece and well worth the extra time it takes to add this little detail.

Now that I have completed this pattern and fumbled my way through altering the size, I really want to knit more skirts for my little girl. The overall construction is simple enough to work on when I have the time and great for car rides. And because it’s a relatively small project, you get a completed item pretty quickly!

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Knit Girl’s Summer Suit

I finally finished a project! It seems like I knit and knit but can’t seem to complete anything lately. But here it is, a finished project! I have been wanting to make this particular garment since I was pregnant…well my little girl is almost 13 months. But, hey, it is summer!

This is the Girls’ Summer Suit from The Expectant Knitter by Marie Connoly. It’s a cute little pattern for a top and diaper cover. The top is open in the back and secured with a button at the neckline, allowing for an open swing design. It’s nice and cool, especially when worked up in cotton. I decided not to make the diaper cover for now, but I’m sure I’ll knit up another set with both pieces. It’s too cute not to! The top does, however, go great with shorts! The pattern is written well and pretty easy for a novice garment knitter, such as myself. I knit most of it on the go in the car. I made the 18 month size for my 12 month old and it’s a little snug. I definitely suggest going up a size, or two, but this is true for any baby clothing it seems! ๐Ÿ™‚ Room to grow is the idea!
The yarn is a new one for me, Lion Brand’s Baby’s First. It comes in 8 lovely colors and it’s oh so soft. My only critique is it separates a little too easy. I’m thinking I’ll start from the other end of the ball next time and see if that helps the unwinding of the ply situation. A very minor bother and it certainly won’t keep me from using this beautiful yarn again.I think I could have done a neater job on the finishing, but it’s secure and wearable…and it’s for a baby…not going to sweat it too much! I love the button attachment technique. A small crochet chain on one side completes the button closure…so cute and girly! This is a really fun and adorable little project and I’m glad I finally got around to making it. I think we’ll get a lot of wear out of this one!

Project Details:

Yarn: Lion Brand Baby’s First

Needles: Size 8

Colorway: Fairy Tale #103 & Sea Sprite #146

More info on my Ravlery page

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Kiddy Corner: Touch and Feel Books

I have a little girl and I am discovering a whole new world as a mommy. I have been on a learning adventure for everything from diapers to snacks to bath toys. And let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun and I love everything about it! I know there are some very experienced moms out there who’ve seen it all (my own mom included), but I’m sure there are some newbies, like me, who might enjoy some tips or tricks that I have come across. I would like to include a section on the blog for info like this, called Kiddy Corner. I hope to be able to provide some interesting ideas, reviews and whatnot.

For my first post I’d like to review something that I have found my little 10 month old girl loves…touch and feel books. I was given a few of these as gifts when she was born and they have sat patiently waiting on her bookshelf for little fingers to explore. She loves turning the pages and can spot the textured area in a snap! They are some of our favorite things to play with!

Now that she enjoys these I have gone out looking for more at yards sales and bookstores.Yard sales, by the way, are a great source for kids books. There are some touch and feel books that I have found are exceptional. “Touch and Feel” (appropriately named) from DK Publishing, is one of the better books I’ve come across. The pages are thick and easily turned by little hands. The photos are clear and full color and simple words describe each one. And, best of all, the areas of texture are large and easy to locate for the child. There are also many, many titles to choose from.

Another great set is the Little Hands Love and Little Feet Love from Piggy Toes Press. The layout of these is great. One side is a full page of just the item to touch and a nice large swatch too. The corresponding page is a picture of baby hands, (or feet depending on which book it is) touching the same thing your baby is feeling. The descriptive words are simple and minimal. It’s easy to say out loud the name of the picture before the page is quickly turned!

I hope these books make your little one happy to “read” as they do mine. We spend countless hours playing with them and they keep their interest. Happy reading!

Some other touch and feel titles:

Bright Baby

Pat the Bunny

Matthew Van Fleet

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Baby Aviatrix Hat

I finished another knitting project! I’m so pleased to finish anything… my knitting time is mostly squeezed in between baby’s naps, housework and everything else. To make it even better, this is a functional item.
I used the pattern Aviatrixย  Baby Hat by Justine Turner, a free pattern on Ravelry. I had some leftover Sensations Angel Hair yarn in my stash and it is so soft I thought it would be perfect against my baby’s delicate skin. It’s also pretty dense when knitted up on smaller needles than recommended.

Baby Aviatrix Hat

Yarn: Sensations Angel Hair

Color: # 647 Posey

Needles: Size US 4 & 6





This pattern is written well and is easy to follow. It’s divided into different sections according to what weight yarn your using. I love the design the garter rows make along the top of the hat. Adding a button closure helps it stay on, even when it’s being pulled and tugged at by the wearer! Being that this hat is so quick to knit and the pattern keeps your interest, I think I’ll make several more in different colors to match everthing in Baby’s closet! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Baby Cardigan

I just finished knitting my first real garment. A baby cardigan.

Baby Classic Cardigan

I wanted to try out the construction on something small and easy to handle. I also was making this item as a gift, so it had to be somewhat a quick knit.
I used the pattern Classic Cardigan from the book Natural Nursery Knits by Erika Knight. This is a relatively straight forward pattern that I found pretty easy to make. I was really pleased with how my finished cardigan turned out. It’s designed to be knit in one piece, which was great, very minimal seaming. It also uses snaps as closures. This I like…it’s a little easier to snap a sweater closed on a little wriggly baby. The snaps hide underneath the buttons quite nicely. There is also the option of pockets, but I found them to be too large for the newborn size that I knit.

This is such a cute little sweater that would look great for either a boy or girl by using different colors. Mine is made for a little boy and I wanted it to resemble a man’s cardigan. This is a great project, but what I’m really happy about is that I was able to actually start and finish a project in between taking care of my little 2 month old girl! I feel a sense of real accomplishment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Project Details:

Lion Brand Wool Ease in Grey Heather #151ย  Approx. 1 ball

Needles Size US size 5 (3.75mm) &6 (4.0mm)

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Baby Hiatus

It seems like a while since I last wrote anything here. I have been out of the loop on so many things it seems. I guess that is par for the course when having a baby.
My little girl was born on July 2, 2010 and her daddy and I couldn’t be happier! I had a pretty lengthy labor followed by what seemed an equally lengthy recovery. As I see it now, though, I realize I recovered quite quickly (6 weeks) and I’m starting to feel like myself again…myself with a sweet little baby girl that is! ๐Ÿ™‚
Some of the things that have put me back in the norm: Housekeeping, doing laundry, walking in the evenings, yoga, knitting, reading books and driving. Of course all of that on top of taking care of the baby 24/7. I feel like, now, I’m capable of setting some goalย  and working toward reaching them.

I want to:
Practice yoga everyday
Get back into bread baking
Finish 3 pairs of socks before Dec.

I’ll keep the list manageable for now. Putting it in print at least provides me with some accountability. I’ll be sure to post my accomplishments!
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” ~~ Napoleon Hill

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Mary-Janes for Tiny Feet

I just completed the finish up on two pairs of Mary Jane style baby booties for my little girl, who’s yet to arrive (three weeks and counting!) I’m so happy with how they turned out and with the new yarns I used.

Both are knit from the pattern Mary-Jane Style Booties by Grace Akhrem. I found this pattern at the Daily Fiber, my local yarn store, and my wonderfully generous mom bought me the pattern and yarn. The store had a finished version of the booties on display. After seeing those, we couldn’t resist! I found the pattern to be pretty easy to follow and they are knit in one piece, which is a plus!
The first pair is knitted up in Berroco Sox Metallic. This was my first time knitting with this particular yarn. I found it really easy to work with. The wool/nylon blend gives it a nice springiness that helps keep it’s shape and makes fixing mistakes or picking up stitches much easier. The colorway is a beautiful blend of denim blues, yellow and green, with a gentle metallic sparkle thread running throughout. It is quite soft, especially after washing, but I think I’ll always have baby wear the booties over socks. The wool is just a little too coarse for delicate baby skin.

Borroco Metallic Mary-Janes

My second pair was knitted with Premier Yarns Serenity Garden. This was also a new yarn for me. I bought it on impulse, mainly for the lovely color and it seemed the right weight for baby booties. This is a sport weight yarn, so it made a little bit bigger pair. The microfiber was pretty easy to work with and soft, but it did split a bit too often for my liking. Of course that’s not enough to keep me from using it again. I’m really pleased with these, also and can’t wait to pair them up with a cute pink dress!

Serenity Garden Mary-Janes

I’m looking forward to making more of these booties. They are such a quick knit, perfect for working on in the evening while watching TV. I was able to make a pair with minimal yarn in about two evenings. They also make a wonderful gift and, depending on the color yarn used, can be perfect for boy or girl. Thanks to Grace Akhrem for making this pattern available!

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Spring Fever with a Bit of Nesting

I have caught spring cleaning fever! The only thing keeping me from aggressively cleaning every corner of my house is I’m six months pregnant. In my mind I can do all of the cleaning, organizing, dusting…but my body isn’t quite up to the challenge. That’s ok though, I’m learning the art of asking others for help and graciously accepting it! ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve heard that nesting is a natural reaction for expectant mothers. I’m definitely in nesting mode! I want to go through every room in my house and clean, repair, and organize. That’s a lofty goal in any case, especially with a baby coming in three months! I’ve decided to think logically, in spite of the cloud of pregnancy hormones blurring my vision. Yes, a reasonable plan and lists are my best way of achieving my clutter clearing and cleaning goals.

Step one: Baby’s Room
I’m already half way complete on this one room. That includes new paint, shelves, lighting fixture, closet reorganization and every surface cleaned. I need to finish it before I leap into anything else distracting. I even had the forethought to take “before” pictures of the room for a later blog post.

Step two: My office
Why does my office, a room off of the master bedroom, need attention? It’s soon to be baby central! It’s large enough to have the bassinet and a chair for those lovely hours of feeding and cuddling with baby in the middle of the night. But this is only going to work if I do some serious clutter clearing and organizing. I’m even taking a look at my yarn stash and have been actively trying to knit it down. Thank goodness for quick baby projects that call for cotton!

Step three: Everything else
It’s funny how cleaning one room leads to another and pretty soon the whole house needs a redo. I have my eye on all the closets, they need an overhaul, and the garage..ugh! Not to forget painting all the doors and trim in the house. Hm, think I’ll go back up to step one and stop overwhelming myself. It’ll all get done and when our sweet little baby arrives, I certainly won’t be thinking about dusting! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bibs, Burp Cloths and a Blanket

A lot of baby stuff off the knitting needles recently! I have been busy working up miles of garter stitch on cottony accessories for my little one on the way. I have completed several projects recently and all from one of my favorite knitting books, Mason Dixon Knitting.
First up is an adorable pattern for baby bibs. These simple garter stitch bibs are quick to work up and great for knitting in front of the TV. They also are perfect for leftover cotton. The pattern suggests embellishing the bibs with buttons, patches, etc. I decided to use some vintage buttons and crocheted rosettes made by my grandma. I love how they turned out!

Project Details:

Pattern: Baby Bib O’ Love by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

Yarn : Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres and Stripes

Colors:ย  Swimming Pool & Pinky Stripes. Approx. 1.5 skeins for each set.

I’ve also made a few of the burp cloths from the same book. This is another pattern with all the same great qualities as the bibs; easy, great for TV knitting and using up leftovers.

Project Details:

Pattern: Baby Genius Burp Cloths by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres & Prints

Colors: Swimming Pool & Landscape (pictured). More colors on myย  Ravelry page. Approx. 1 ball for each cloth.

And now for the piece de resistance, the Moderne Baby Blanket! I finally finished it! It took about two months to complete and took about 11.5 balls of yarn, which translates to about 1,226 yards. I absolutely love how it turned out and I’m especially proud of my crochet border, considering my crochet skills are quite rudimentary. I chose colors that weren’t too babyish or boy/girl. I also went for an easy care cotton so it can be useful in warm or cool weather. This cotton blend turned out to be so soft and feels great against the skin! I can’t wait to see the baby all snuggled up in this blanket in my arms! As of these photos, I still need to wash and block the blanket, but I couldn’t wait to take pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Project Details:

Pattern: Moderne Baby Blanket by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight

Colors: Blackberry, Creme Brulee, Honey Dew & Pomegranate. Between 2.5 and 3 balls of each.

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It’s a Beautiful Morning

Today has been one of those mornings that is so inspirational. We are having some unseasonably gorgeous weather here in Southern California. I awoke this morning to warm sunshine. This kind of weather, so spring-like, is perfect for throwing open the doors and windows and letting in the fresh air after weeks of keeping out the cold.
I decided to take advantage of this early spring and grab my knitting, a pillow, my iPod, and a glass of iced tea and set up shop on the patio. I couldn’t believe how happy everything in my backyard was. The trees were full of little birds hopping around, busy with their morning routines. I even have some beautiful roses blooming in my completely overgrown flower beds.
All of this put a spring in my knitting needles as I got a great start on my latest project. I’m making the Moderne Baby Blanket, from the book Mason Dixon Knitting, for our little one due in July.

Blanket Beginnings

I’m knitting it in Knit Picks Comfy which, combined with their nickle plated circular needles, is a dream to work with . I love the way the cotton yarn just slides right off, easy as pie! It is making this project such a joy to work on.
Even if your weather isn’t exactly perfect right now, find a quiet place and load up on comforts you enjoy. Happiness can only follow!