Apr 30, 2012

April Hat Round-Up

My April hats challenge is done, and it couldn't have gone better! Thanks to some wonderful yarn donated from a fellow Raveler, I worked all month on bunches and bunches of Waffle Hats - in between all the other hats I was knitting, of course! Over the course of the month I managed to knit up 1294 yards of yarn - no small feat! I'm already super excited about next month's challenge, but before I get to that tomorrow, I'd love to know how you all did on your challenge! Link up in the comments to the charity hats you made this month!

Apr 27, 2012

hats on people // New Nostalgia!

A few weeks ago, I shared the turquoise hat I'd made for my friend Amy - what I didn't share was that her three girls had been stealing her hat from the moment she received it! I immediately got busy making a few more hats for Amy's amazing girls. And today over at New Nostalgia, Amy is showing off those finished hats!

green hat
pattern: Pasha, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in limelight
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and US 10 / 6.0 mm
I love the Pasha hat, but enjoy using thicker yarn and needles than the pattern calls for. So like with Amy's hat, I knit this one in worsted weight yarn. I made it a bit less slouchy, and it turns out it isn't slouchy at all ... I may have to send a second one to remedy that!

pink hat
pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: stash vintage yarn in pink, with some sparkle!
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and US 10 / 6.0 mm
I love to use the Jane Hat, and knit this one just how I've always knit every other one, minus the doubled-over brim.

orange hat (not pictured on a Bowman girl)
pattern: Boardwalk, by Elizabeth Pedersen
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in what I lovingly call traffic cone orange
needles: sizes US 7 / 4.5 mm and US 9 / 5.5 mm
I ended up making this hat with two extra pattern repeats before decreasing so it would be slouchy.

Apr 24, 2012

fool-proof baby shower gifts

In the coming two or three weeks I've got no less than three baby showers to attend - it would seem the stork is on his way to Omaha big time!

While everyone fills out a registry full of items they definitely want, I've formulated a short list of things to add in with each package - things new moms may not even know they want, but have been definite life-savers!

one. Long-sleeve onesies. No matter when the babe in question is being born, long-sleeve onesies are a hit. Grab them in a newborn size, but also in a few other sizes as well. 

two. Anais and Aden blankets These four-packs of blankets are the best things ever. Owen sleeps with his, snuggles them while he's playing, lays on them ... just about anything he can!

three. Dr. Brown's Formula Mixing Pitcher For mamas who are going to use formula, this pitcher makes it super simple! It mixes the powder into the water for you, and much better than you'll ever be able to. Trust me.

four. Itzbeen Baby Care Timer This genius device tracks last feeding, nap length, how long since the last diaper change, and even which breast you fed from last (for breastfeeding mamas). Perfect for the first month or two, when everything seems so hazy.

five. Summer Infant SwaddleMe You no longer have to swaddle your babes yourself, thanks to these bad boys! They wrap baby up tight in three simple steps - Owen loved sleeping in his for three months at least!

six. Aveeno baby lotion. We use both the daytime and the calming nighttime. I know folks swear by Johnson's baby lotion, but for babes with dry skin (which Owen inherited from me) you need a bit more than it can give.

P.S. Ten tips for new moms.

Apr 18, 2012

Week In The Life starts next week!

Every year when Ali Edwards gets her online community to participate in Week In The Life, I think I'll do it. Last year I finally caved and joined in, documenting my photos and words via the blog. It was July, and Owen was born just a month later - what a great set of memories to have!

Last year I was working, getting ready for babe. This year, he is here - and in a big way! And I am lucky to be staying home with him, which means I will have an entirely different documentation this year - how fun!

Week In The Life is a great way to get those little details of your everyday life documented so you'll remember them. Most of us snap at least a photo or two during bigger events (birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc), but so many of us forget that the little bits of our days are the things we most want to remember as the days and years go by. A Week In The Life is the perfect way to get all those little bits remembered so years from now you can look back and say, "Oh, yes!"

I am by no means a scrapbooker, but I love documenting bits of our daily life with my camera. Most of the time I just share it here, but I'm starting to look at Week In The Life as a way to take it a step further and share it with our family in a more permanent way.

How I'll Be Participating:

Once again I'll be documenting digitally. Between our big camera and Instagram, I'm hoping to get tons of shots next week of our full and amazing life. I'm also hoping to take both last year's documentation and this year's documentation and turn them into photo books - I love the idea of having a shelf lined with Week In The Life albums!

I'll be snapping photos from Sunday through Saturday this year - I'm attending two baby showers during that time, and I want to be sure to document this fun time in the lives of my friends and family! You can participate from Sunday to Saturday, Monday to Sunday, or any other combination of days that works for you!

For those of you new to the idea, here is a list of some of the things I hope to capture this year:

trips to the park
knitting, both in progress and done
two different baby showers!
our morning routine
our nighttime routine
what we're eating
where we go
how we play
what we're wearing
friends and family

Use this as a time to capture favorite toys, how your house is decorated, school routines, and more! Last year I captured gas prices and our trips to our birthing classes.

You can also (and I plan to) do a few "highlights" pages (idea from Nettio Designs). Highlights pages can include things that are popular in the world, your country, state, city or family; they can be the clothes you wore throughout the week or the food you ate. I'd love to get a "highlights" page for each family member, one for what's popular in entertainment right now, one for what I've worn that week (maybe) and one for Owen's food.

And if you're considering playing along, here's some links to help you get started:

My Week In The Life from 2011
Ali's post about her Week In The Life preparations for this year
Ali's post on The Basics Of Documenting A Week in your Life (from 2010)
Ali's downloadable daily sheets to help you keep track of your words (great post as well)

One last thing - take a look at an amazing digital book (created with Blurb, which I also plan to use) for A Week In The Life. Be sure to check out all her posts about documenting her WITL, actually - her thoughts on documenting a week when there's lots of sameness to her days was super helpful to me!

Apr 16, 2012

Spring Game 2012 and Hat Dreams

This past weekend, we followed our annual tradition of heading out to Lincoln for the Nebraska Huskers Spring Game. Most college football teams open one spring practice up a year to the general public - it's a way for hardcore fans to check out some of the incoming talent, for the press to get a look at what's going on with the team, and for high school recruits to see what the team is all about.

Most schools average 5,000 - 15,000 fans in attendance. Nebraska averages 70,000 to 80,000.

This year we were all set to bring Owen down; it's a family-friendly event, and while we knew we wouldn't do as much (any) drinking, and we probably wouldn't see the entire game, it would be the beginning of a fun family tradition.

And then the rains came.

Thankfully, we knew they'd be coming before we headed to Lincoln, so we didn't bring Owen along. But we still thought we might get a few plays in before they had to call the game - not so. The rains poured down, then the lightning hit, and finally the game was cancelled.

While we waited for a break in the weather, we drank.

Ah, Elk Creek - last year I couldn't partake, and while I'm not the biggest drinker, I love to have an Elk Creek or two before a game. The bartenders won't tell you what's in it, but there's something orange (juice? Tang?) and there's Seven-Up we think. And every alcohol they can think of.

Once our pitchers of "juice" were done, we headed off to have a few wings. Traditionally we head to the Watering Hole, and this weekend was no exception. The boys ordered 60 wings, Wendy and I each ordered our own thing, and we hunkered in to eat our sadness at no Spring Game away.

And then it happened.Ndamukong Suh walked into the bar.

Legendary Husker defensive lineman, 2nd draft pick in the 2010 draft, current Detroit Lion. Suh is an amazing football player, and one of the few folks that can make my husband get star struck.

Oh, and he's on my Hat Dreams list.

I have a list of folks I'd love to knit hats for, mostly famous people (famous for a variety of things) that I have almost no chance of meeting. Ever. And there was Suh, eating some wings with some friends. And I chickened out!

Granted, I'm sure he wouldn't have appreciated some random gal walking up and asking if she could knit him a hat. Still ... I'm betting if Colin Wright had been me, he'd have done it!

I did manage to send a tweet into the universe about it, mentioning Suh on the off-chance he'll see it and think it would be fun. Either way, it was a fun day - good food, good friends, and a football celebrity sighting!

Would you have walked up to him, handed him your card, and offered to knit him a hat if you were me? I'd love to know!

Apr 13, 2012

hats on people // holly

The lovely Holly rocks her Aesderina hat, no? Holly is a follower of She Makes Hats, my personal blog. A month or so ago, I posted about my son Owen’s favorite song, asking folks to guess what it was based on a rather nondescript photo. Holly guessed right, and won herself a hat! Picking the Aesderina hat seemed simple enough, and Holly gave me free reign over the hat color. I had just been gifted this gorgeous cranberry-colored yarn from a family member, and knew it would highlight the textured nature of the Aesderina hat perfectly!

life {with owen} lately

Always with one sock off, just like daddy.

You still hate tummy time. Other kids your age (almost 8 months!) are scooting themselves around by their hands, lovingly referred to as the army crawl, but you freak out whenever we try to put you on your tummy. Still. Ever since you were little, the screaming when on your tummy.

To make up for this however, you've decided instead to pull yourself up. To standing. On everything. While you most likely won't skip crawling, I'm not sure how you'll get there, what with your hatred of being on your tummy. 

You love to sit on the floor with your box of toys in front of you and pull it towards you, dumping everything out. Then you hang out for as long as can be, a huge pile of toys surrounding you while you pick through them one at a time and play away. 

The singing Easter Bunny? Every time we turn it on you fall over giggling. We've learned to have a pillow behind you!

You will no longer tolerate your bouncy seat - you pull yourself up and over the side of it, towards your feet to examine how it's being held together, or attempt to roll out of it. Seven months was a good run with that one.

Your newest trick is pooping every time we put you in your exersaucer. Within five minutes you're leaning forward, turning red in the face, and grunting away. We refer to it as your poop chair now!

You are singing to me as I type this. Looking right at me from your poop chair and singing away. One sock off, smile on your face, and poop (probably) in your diaper.

Oh how I love you, little man!

Apr 11, 2012

Jack's first birthday

Last Saturday we headed a few minutes away from home to attend Jack's first birthday. Owen is so lucky that he's got a friend just a few months older than he is! Jack and Owen already love having play dates, and I can't wait until they get big enough to actually play WITH each other instead of just next to one another.

I have so many ridiculously cute photos of Owen, Jack, and the two other little ones that were at the party - playing with balloons, playing with Jack's toys, trying to be corralled together for a group photo - I'll be passing many of them on to the other moms (I don't feel comfortable sharing other kids' photos in this space without permission) as fast as I can.

If this party was any hint at what Owen's first birthday party will be like in just a few short months, I already can't wait!

Apr 10, 2012

Hats On People // Corbett Barr

pattern: Jaques Cousteau, by Lalla Pohjanpalo (free pattern!)
yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Wool! in olive green (approximately 2/3 of the skein)
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm circular and dpns

Have you ever had one of those brain-fart moments with someone online? Where you say something wrong, start off on the wrong foot completely or worse ... call them the wrong name?! Well, that's how this hat partnership started - with me calling Corbett Barr by the wrong name!

After making hats for Colin, he sent me a short list of a few folks he thought might also want some hats and to be part of this project. Corbett was one of those folks, and so I fired off an e-mail, mentioning he was suggested to me by Colin. However, I didn't re-read the e-mail very well before I sent it, and ended up calling him Colin throughout. I was so embarrassed I may have actually crawled under the table.

Thankfully Corbett was a good sport, and I was able to send him a hat anyhow. He chose the Jaques Cousteau hat, one I've knit in the past and love, and wanted an olivey-grey color. I had just the yarn in my stash, and got to work. Based on the photos above, the hat looks perfect on Corbett, and I'm pretty sure it will come in handy in the upper California weather he experiences every day. Hooray!

Apr 9, 2012

a few from easter morning

And how was your Easter weekend? Ours was super full of family, friends and parties - the best kind of weekend!

Just a few shots tonight from Easter morning - Owen's basket was too small for all the goodies he got! No candy this year - next year I'm sure will make up for it.

We also didn't have any vinegar in the house, so our eggs all turned out varying shades of pastel yellow or bright pink. Ah, well.

Apr 6, 2012

at the park

Between super hot days and super cold days, Owen and I haven't made it out and about near as much in the last week or so as we'd have liked. So on Thursday, as soon as his morning nap was done, we put on an extra layer and a hat and headed down the street a few blocks to the park.

Knowing how much he loves the swing at Grandma Mimi's house, I knew the swings at the park would be a big hit. And despite his face in these photos, it truly was. He actually giggled and laughed for quite some time before settling in and just relaxing.

Mad face? Never! This is his about to fall asleep face, actually!

After about 30 minutes of swinging, we packed up and headed back home. Truly, Owen would have stayed in that swing for another hour or two ... I know we'll be spending many more hours this spring and summer on these same swings.

Apr 5, 2012

for the love of Instagram!

A few days ago, the iPhone-only app Instagram finally released for Android phones. Having been waiting for this day for approximately forever, I had signed up to receive e-mail notification when this happened, and set up my Instagram account as soon as I saw the note.

I've been snapping photos of everything and anything - above is a sample of some knitting shots, a cat shot and an Owen shot that have been taken in the last 72 hours.

I'm super excited for this new and super simple way to help me document my life. Folks who have been using the app with their iPhones for about a year now have used these photos to make Blurb books, coasters, scrapbook layouts, and so much more! It's going to be so much fun to see all the things I manage to do with it as well!

I already know I'll be documenting more in-process shots of my knitting and crochet projects, sneak-peeks at shop items (like both headbands shown above!) and tons of Owen shots!

Are any of you on Instagram? If so, share your "handle" in the comments so I can follow you! (mine's "robyndevine")

Apr 3, 2012

Hats On People // E & P

I love reading Elise Cripe's blog - it's one of the highlights of my day, actually. And so a month or two ago, when she shared she was getting into knitting for reals, I commented with an offer to help anytime she needed it. That comment blossomed into a sweet little e-mail acquaintance-ship formed - I helped her knit her first cowl, she called me her "knitting mentor" (which blew me away), and then I offered to knit both she and her husband Paul hats.

pattern: Bailey Hat, by Jane Richmond (heavily modified)  
yarn: Patons Classic wool in dark grey heather mix (around 3/4 of a skein)  
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and US 10 / 6.0 mm circs

For whatever reason, I struggled through knitting Bailey this time around. I've knit this hat before and didn't have near these problems, so I'm not quite sure what happened. Nevertheless I got the thing off the needles, satisfied with the results, and added it to an envelope.  

pattern: Christopher Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in natural and black (around 1/2 a skein of each)  
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm circs and DPNs

Paul's hat, in contrast, flew off the needles! While I didn't make the full liner hat (these two live in California after all!) I did make enough of a liner to give the hat plenty of ear warmth. I love that it fits over Paul's ears fully - I'm always afraid that I'll make a hat too short when I make them for men, so seeing this means I didn't do it! I had so much fun making these two hats, and while they're woolen hats for Cali dwellers, I'm hopeful they'll get at least a bit of use.

Apr 1, 2012

The April Hat: Waffles!

There are so many great hat patterns out there, I find myself overwhelmed by all the goodness! I've decided to focus on just one pattern each month and knit (or crochet!) as many of them as possible - mainly for charity. This way I'll get to knit at least a dozen fun patterns over the course of a year, make bunches of hats for charity, and let myself get obsessed for thirty days.

For April, I'm going to switch it up from the Jane Hat I've been knitting so much of, and dig into another fun hat pattern I've been loving on lately - the Waffles Hat! I've loved knitting this hat up in a variety of colors and with several different yarn weights, so for April I'm planning on making bunches of these Waffle Hats for sailors.

I'm casting on today with some lovely burnt orange yarn to kick things off - superwash wool that's perfect for those drafty and cold Naval ships! Hopefully you'll love this little challenge as much as I will, and you'll join in on the fun - at the end of the month I'll share the pile of hats I've made and invite you all to link up with me and share yours as well!