Good Morning

Good morning! It’s only 7am but TTB and I have been up for an hour officially, an hour and a half if you count the 30 minutes that he climbed on my head and I pretended to be asleep for. He’s having breakfast and I thought I would come and chat on here. I realised I haven’t really “chatted” on here for ages. It’s hard to find the time sometimes, and I worry that my chat is really boring as so much of my time is toddler-focussed. For example, most of the photos I am using in this post are of he and I walking together. Because that’s what we do at the moment! We are walking! He needs to walk more and by gaw he’s keen, always wants to walk and rarely accepts the pushchair now. Last week he walked all the way to Tesco and back and we had to stop and pick up all the dropped leaves that he found. I had to get him a carrier bag from Tesco in the end for him to carry them all in.

Of course he wanted to do the same thing again the next day, only he noticed the buses in the bus station on the way and we had to go and watch them for ages. Meh, why not? We had the time. The way I see it is that I am training him up to walk and behave properly in town and shops. To hold my hand when we walk, not to grab things off the shelves, not to pick up every single thing he sees. How to cross a road (he loves to tell me when the man goes green). That kind of thing. So we may as well take the time!

We got thoroughly caught out a week ago, thinking we’d caught a gap in the rainy weather to nip out and get bread. Of course, he refused the pushchair and it’s hard to “nip” when he’s walking and we got caught in the most torrential downpour. Everyone was hiding in shop doors and under the market stalls and I tried to do the same but he just shrieked that he wanted to walk. We were wet anyway so I thought we may as well just carry on. The rain was bouncing off the ground, which was swimming with water, and we got so wet that we both had to strip off in the hallway when we got in and have a full clothing change. It sounds awful, but you should have heard his laughter! His delight at the feel of the water on his (sandalled) feet and how it was rushing down the hill and around his toes. It’s hard to be frustrated about being soggy when it made him so happy.

Ironically when we went out later in the afternoon to splash in all the puddles that I was sure would be there, it was so hot and sunny that we only found a couple and were very hot in our wellyboots. Which I’d had to wear because my shoes were still full of water from the morning! Splashing in puddles is a top toddler activity and now we even have to go through them in the pushchair.

My father in law visited the other week and we went to the clay painting place in town to put TTB’s handprints on a mug for him. I’ve been training him up (TTB, not my father in law) for this moment for months, practising at home with paint and paper. He can now spread his fingers and place a handprint on command! Good lad. We were super fast: paint on hand and then SPLAT press it to the cup. Wipe hand quickly with babywipes, and repeat with other hand. I am planning a pre-Christmas trip to do something Christmassy too. I am also planning to consult Pinterest for ideas beforehand.

Thank you for all your Frozen Blanket love – it makes me so happy a) to get something finished and blog about it b) all your kind comments and c) seeing it pinned on Pinterest. I love that!

I like to use Pinterest when I haven’t had time to make things myself. It’s like being creative by proxy. I see lovely things and feel really inspired and satisfied despite not having made them myself. Quilts particularly make me feel like that! I like to have a quick browse on my ipad before I go to sleep so that my thoughts are filled with colourful, creative things. There are some awful things on there too though! Sometimes I see people pin things and think … really? You really like that/think that’s a good gift/ would eat that? Ok I admit, Pinterest makes me feel creative AND a little bit judgemental ;-)

I remember a time after having TTB that I realised I hadn’t laughed in such a long time. I can’t remember when it was … maybe a month, maybe two, maybe more? after having him. I’d been so tired, so unwell, so absorbed in the responsibility of caring for him, so tired, so exhausted (you get the picture) that I just hadn’t laughed. And I went onto Pinterest and I found “texts from dog” and “damn you autocorrect” and I just laughed and laughed for what felt like the whole evening (probably less than that as I imagine he woke up before long). It felt like the biggest release!

Admittedly this time of year is not inciting the same thoughts and fears and worries as it did last year (which I know I went on and on and on about at the time) but I have been thinking a lot about little Mr Newborn Tiny Tin Bird lately as in a few short weeks (5 and a half) he turns TWO YEARS OLD. I keep waiting for myself to be shocked by this revelation (that’s why I used capitals) but no, if someone was ever ready to turn two it’s he. Nearly all of his friends are six months older than him so we’ve done lots of second birthday parties already, which is really nice as it subtly prepares my mind in advance! He’s a wonderful little boy and I just delight in being his mum.

Sometimes when I think about blogging, or read other people’s blogs, I worry that I’m boring, not creative, don’t take enough beautiful photos, don’t make as much yarny output as I should. But not for long really, because I have always wanted to be a mum, and these young years just fly by, honestly, you don’t really believe it until it happens. I want to make the most of being a toddler-mum! I like taking him out on slow rambly walks, I like drawing round our hands and feet, I like blowing bubbles for him and chasing him in the playground or spotting him for endless goes on the slide. I like reading the books he brings me, over and over. And I think to worry about not doing enough crochet or knitting or blogging right now would be ridiculous. There is so much time for creating isn’t there! Sometimes I feel like I should apologise to you for not writing much very often here, but really, at the moment I do think the balance is about right.

I need to sign off here as aforementioned almost two year old needs me to get him dressed now. Nice to talk to you x

Frozen Inspired Crochet Blanket

Making blankety presents for friends is one of my favourite things to do, especially when the recipient is someone you know will appreciate it. You do have to work in stealth though, if they read your blog, which is why you haven’t seen hide nor hair of this blanket before.

I’d wanted to make a blanket for my friend Vic’s daughter Violet for a while but I hadn’t been able to settle on a colour scheme; nothing I came up with felt just right. Until she developed a love of the film “Frozen” that is … then it was easy! Once again, Stylecraft Special dk had all the colours I needed and it was fairly straightforward to match them up to the colours the characters wear in the film. I’ve only seen the first ten minutes or so of the film, I tried watching it with TTB but he just said “no no no!” and ran away. I have used one of the many pictures of the characters on the internet as the basis of the colour here.

The colours (all Stylecraft Special dk) are: Sherbet, Cloud Blue, Magenta, Aspen, Aster, Turquoise and Lavender. It’s worked on a 4mm hook using my Elmer Squares pattern, and joined with Sherbet yarn using this method. I’m sorry but I don’t know exactly how much yarn you’ll need to make it as I didn’t start with full balls of yarn and I haven’t weighed it, but if I had to guess I would say buy one ball of each but probably two of Aster.

I am particularly pleased with the way the border turned out. I did a few things differently this time and they worked out very well. For example, when you look at the back of the blanket and see the colourful seams, I think it needs to have a round of the same colour all the way round the edge to make that look complete. In order to achieve this I did a round of UK half treble (HTR) stitches into the top of every stitch.

Previously when I have worked over the join of two squares (you know what I mean? Like it shows above, the bit where the two squares are joined, and you’re working over it to do the border.), I have done a TR in the first corner hole, and then a decrease straddling both corner holes, and then a TR in the second corner hole. This was to stop it puckering and to try and pull it straight I suppose. This time, I did two HTRs in the first hole, chained two, and then did two HTRs in the second hole. You can see this above. I’m sorry it’s not a completely crystal clear explanation and I’m just including it here for my own reference really, but if you’ve edged blankets like this before then hopefully you’ll know what I mean.

For the next part of the border, I wanted “granny” edging (clusters of 3 TR stitches) but I worked them out of the top of every third stitch instead of out of the spaces. Can you see what I mean? I think it looks really neat and I like the way they line up. I used Aster for two of these rounds, and then Magenta for the third.

The final round of the border was a pointy edging which I stole from here, it’s basically “dc ch2 dc” in every third stitch, and slip stitch along the ones in between. (In the back loops only.) I like to think it looks like icicles!

Overall, I think the border is really pretty.

There we are … the finished blanket. I’m so pleased! I briefly considered crocheting snowflakes and sewing them onto it but I decided not to as the colours looked good on their own.

I gave Violet the blanket on Thursday and she loved it. That makes me very happy :-)

Rain and Shine

July has given us a glorious stretch of beautiful weather. It’s been hot, which brings its own problems but generally if you go out early and come home before the middle of the day it’s not been too bad. I’ve been filling up buckets of water in the yard and Tiny Tin Bird is happy driving his truck in them and tipping the water from one bucket to another with his toy teapot (saying, “soooop! soooop! pooooooour!” which in toddler speak is “scoop” of course). We’ve spent time in the park (of course) and with lovely friends. Oh how we love the days we spend with friends.

The rain we had didn’t bring any relief from the heat, it just made it muggy and uncomfortable. Stupidly I had left our raincoats at my mum’s house the previous week and I felt rather trapped while it was raining. But it was so warm, and TTB was fed up of being in the house so I just let him out into the yard anyway. He didn’t mind the rain in the slightest and just enjoyed scooping up the collected water with a big spoon and tipping it into buckets, plant pots, his truck, and down the drain. I stood in the kitchen doorway nice and dry! After that he had a warm bath and was perfectly happy with that. The next day we went for a welly walk and splashed in all the puddles. You should have seen the joy on his face!

The cooler weather today was most welcome and we made the most of it by going for a long (for a toddler) walk. I wonder what tomorrow will bring :)