peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

the wonder weeks… November 19, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Knitting,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 10:21 pm

Just as I was allowing myself to think that I had this whole parenting business down, I was introduced to wonder week 19.

Wonder weeks, if you are unfamiliar with them, are weeks in the life of a baby where, alongside making significant developmental leaps, they become a right pain in the behind for the duration.

Shakey Shake

Right on time, a 19-week-old Phoebe learned to grab a toy and shake it, pick things up and put them in her mouth, sit supported and roll from her back onto her front. She also cried about nothing in particular, didn’t want to be put down, slept in chunks no longer than 2 hours at night, and totally refused to nap.

Yesterday she hit 20 weeks, and has begun to allow me the luxury of a morning nap again. A nap for her, that is. I’ve been knitting.
Self Striping

I finally found the perfect project for a couple of skeins of Rico Creative Poems Aran that I’ve had stashed. I saw a couple of great looking Baktuses (Bakti?) using it striped with a plain grey. So that’s what I did. Dead easy project, but I love love it! It’s so soft and squooshy and warm.


It’s going to look just the ticket with my new grey wool winter coat.



Hopefully it won’t be so long before my next update. I have a few projects which aren’t a million miles from completion, so all we need is for the elusive afternoon nap to click back into place, and I should have a whole bunch of stuff to show you!

Think sleepy thoughts for us…


hat’s the spirit… October 17, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Knitting,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 7:40 pm

This week, autumn has brought me 3 things:

1. Light so bad I have had to take my photos with the flash on (boo).

2. A three-and-a-half month old baby.


3. An obsession with crafting for the aforementioned baby. I’m on hats just now. After the disastrously small earflap hat from a few weeks ago (turns out it wasn’t me and my terrible gauge-measuring, it was me and my awful pattern-following!), I decided that actually a cheery little fair-isle hat was just what the knitdoctor ordered. I based it on the same pattern, with a fair amount of winging in there. Those elephants were based on the ones from the Ella Funt pattern, and the hearts, well, they’re just hearts.


Because old BigHead is on the 75th centile for head size (bang on 50th for height and weight now), I decided to make a toddler size, knowing my gauge is always a little tight, and other than being a bit long, it fits her well. And the little purple elephants go SO WELL with her little purple elephant t-shirt!

Not sure!

Don’t mind her expression, she does actually like it! She’s just the least photogenic baby in the history of the world. She can be all smiles and giggles, but the second you point a camera her way, the sullen face comes out. We’re going to have to change that, I think!

Before I go, I’d just like to thank people who comment on these entries. I’d like to take the time to reply to you all individually, but my spare time is kind of precious at the moment! I appreciate that you read, and I appreciate when you take the time to comment.



the craft has got his hat on… September 6, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Knitting,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 5:31 pm

Stripes!Crafting with a baby around takes a little getting used to. Gone are the days of hours devoted to yarn or fabric or words. Crafting with a baby is quick and dirty. You get your kicks where you can.


A stripe here, an earflap there. A two hour project stretches to fill four days. But I’m getting there!

An unprecedented decision on Phoebe’s part to actually try sleeping at bedtime has got me off to a flying start, and last night I wove in the final end on her very first hat. Unfortunately, poor gauge-measuring on my part means it’ll probably fit her for all of about ten seconds, but just for now I think she’s looking very dapper indeed!


Pattern is the Children’s Earflap Hat by SweetP Knits, knit in the round. 4.5mm needles, remnant of Rowan Pure Wool from Baby Granny Blanket.

Project Projects reaches 10!


things I have learned about motherhood… July 22, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Crochet,Photography,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 9:05 am

Thus far, I have learned that new motherhood involves the following:

Gifts. Flowers (see above), clothes, blankets with tiny zoo animals on, food! Very welcome.

Unsolicited advice regarding newborn care circa 1948/1979/1981/1992, generally followed by shock that laying your baby to sleep on their front/drinking a pint of stout a day while breastfeeding/utilising lead-based paints in your nursery is generally discouraged by healthcare professionals these days.

Poo. Lots and lots of poo. Ditto pee, sick, drool and milk (oh god, milk is EVERYWHERE).

Sleepless nights (obviously).

A great deal of one-handed 1am, 4am and 6.30am internetting.

An intense urge to craft for the baby, but a severe lack of time in which to do so. P.S. Ooh, finished sunburst blanket!

Pride at very simple actions on the part of your infant. She sneezed! Clever girl! The confidence that your child is supremely advanced. Obviously, as she was born with hair and can already fart AND hiccup AT THE SAME TIME. Wonder if Mensa has a minimum age?

Fear. Sometimes bordering on blind panic that the most simple of your actions, or inactions, will damage your child in some horrific way. The baby hasn’t slept all night, is she poorly? Or scared? Panic. The baby has slept soundly for 5 hours straight, is she dead? Panic. She is feeding too much, she is not feeding enough, is that a spot or a rash? Etc.

Did I already say sleepless nights?

Joy in simple pleasures. Such as breakfast. Or taking a shower.



completion… July 9, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 10:25 pm

But only just…

I finished the blanket in the very early stages of labour. Some 44 hours later (!) on 1st July, baby Phoebe was born by emergency c-section. She weighed 5lb 12oz and immediately set about wooing midwives with her eyelashes. Apparently they’re pretty long.

We’re home. We’re fine. But we may be absent from blogland for a little bit while we get to grips with this whole parenting business.

And by me, I obviously mean me. Phoebe’s already excellent at being a baby.


decisions… June 26, 2010

Filed under: Crochet,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 8:29 am

63 completed sunburst squares. 6 piles of carefully organised colourways. 5 days til baby p&p is due. It’s becoming a race against time.

Since these pictures were taken, I have begun sewing them up. This is my first time sewing granny squares. I used the join-as-you-go method with Baby Granny Blanket, but Sunburst doesn’t have the granny holes, so that was never going to look right. I’ve crocheted squares together before, too, but I don’t like the ridges along the back, particularly with smaller squares. So I did some googling and decided to go with a mattress stitch. I’m liking it, so far. It’s flat, and feels pretty secure. And I’m even quite enjoying the process of stitching.

There they are – all my squares, in their final layout. I took some time with this, making sure the pinks and deep purples were pretty evenly distributed, and that no two adjacent squares had the same colour in the same place. I also made sure, as I was hooking them up, that no two squares were identical. This is the most controlled of anything I’ve made. Maybe this is my version of nesting? Cause I know my house is not looking any amount of cleaner!

See? All my little piles, laid out in order, labelled by row, ready to be sewn up. I even tied them together so there was no possibility of them getting all messed up.

As of this morning, rows 1-5 are sewn up. 6 is by my side, about to be added, and 7, 8 and 9 are sitting on top of my yarn chest, waiting patiently. What do you reckon will come first? Completion or baby?


baby’s first monsters… June 5, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 8:39 pm

Carrying on my productivity, yesterday (while hiding from the heat!) I finished knitting Daphne and Delilah from Danger Crafts. I opted for felt/embroidered faces so they’d be baby-safe. Made from Kool Kotton in Aqua and Tomato – a bit copied off the original pattern, but I’m ok with it.

They’ll live on a shelf in little one’s nursery for the minute. The nursery, incidentally, which is coming together well! We’ve painted, we’ve acquired most of the furniture. Just need a few bits and some finishing touches and will be good to go.

That said, we went for our antenatal class/hospital tour today, and touches of the faintly terrified are beginning to edge in.

I shall distract myself with craft.