Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Our high chair has seen use for our kids as well as their cousins.  It's looking a little worse for wear, and the gigantic gash down the seat cover means that food spills aren't as easily wiped up as the manufacturer intended.  Somehow, this seems more important to me with a little girl in the house than it did with boys.  I'm not sure why, but I'm a bit more precious with the Newbie.  Maybe its a girl thing, maybe that she's always going to be the youngest, or maybe its that when the boys were young I didn't spend any time looking at craft projects on the internet!  Whatever the reason, I decided that before I started her on solids I was going to make a couple of washable covers for the high chair (no matter how washable the original cover is, its a pill to wipe right into the corners, and something I can throw in the machine would be far more practical).  Here's the first:

I'm rather chuffed.  The fabric came from my stash, as did the navy ribbing I used as binding, curtain lining as backing and leftover quilt wadding as padding.  I'm hoping that the curtain lining will be at least moisture resistant.  The plan is to make another the same, and reduce my fabric stash at the same time as extending the useful life of the high chair.  I've left the original cover underneath as its more padded than mine, but used it to make a pattern for the new cover, which just sits on top.  Sorry.  Will stop gushing now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meandering through Paris (?)

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but my Schoolboy has a fascination with 'Le Tour Eiffel'.  He also barracks for the Magpies (I find myself wanting to type all sorts of jokes in defence of his IQ and number of front teeth, but a fair number of Melbournians would be offended by the stereotype, his aunt and cousins included!).  Last year, when he requested a more grown-up quilt, we combined the two and came up with this design:

I finally finished the quilt top on Friday, and here's a section of it hanging on the line:

Not sure if its just me or not, but the red squares draw my attention more on the finished product than I was expecting.  I think it is more interesting than the original 'just black and white' request.  The main fabric is Map of Paris, and the strapping is Kona Cotton in Snow and Charcoal.  The red I got from Spotlight (Jester Red quilting cotton).

Now I have a dilemma - I have always quilted my quilts myself.  Usually I do it by machine, although I've hand quilted from time to time.  I'm not a huge fan of either to be honest (I'm too impatient, and find it difficult to manoeuvre larger quilts under my machine), and I thought that I'd investigate having this one professionally done.  The problem is that now I'm finished the top I'm reluctant to hand it over to someone else.  I was going to quilt along the ditch on either side of all of the sashes and then do some sort of meandering along the streets through the main squares, but now I look at it I'm not at all confident on that either.  Help!

In the meantime, I've had a first-shot at some stipple quilting, making a cover for the high-chair for the Newbie, the original being rather the worse for wear:

I liked the process more than I expected, and could almost see myself using this on the squares of the 'Map of Paris' quilt.  I just don't want to lose heart half way through.

Have any of you Melbournians had quilts professionally quilted?  How did you find the process?  What sort of time-frame did you have to part with your quilt for, and (if its not too personal) what was the price like?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The White Rabbit

We have an Easter Sunday tradition of an Easter egg hunt in our yard with the boys.  Each year the Easter Bunny leaves not only eggs, but one Lindt bunny for each person who is present.  The bunnies are labelled, and the Easter Bunny is clued on enough to know that most of the family likes milk chocolate, but mum is happiest with dark!

I recently saw this bunny, and knew that I needed to make the Newbie a white rabbit (from some faux fur I had in my stash) for her first Easter.  Here she is:

I have to confess that she's been manufactured quickly whilst the small male members of the household are out, so that the Easter bunny's true identity remains a secret.  As a result, these photos have been taken before her belly's been sewn up!  I used this tutorial, which is for a faux chenille bunny.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Knitted baby cloche

I have to confess to spending way too much time gazing at Pinterest.  A while ago I pinned this lovely hat:

Source: pickles.no via Jackie on Pinterest

You can download the pattern for the hat and matching cardigan from the link (the 3-6 month size is free, and you can pay for 1yo and 2yo sizes).  I was a bit confused about the stated tension when compared with the size of the hat and the number of stitches, and wanted to knit it on straight needles using 8 ply (DK yarn if you're in the US), so I modified it accordingly.

Here's my version, which should fit a 3-6 month old (its a bit roomy on my 3.5 month old Newbie's largish head).  I used less than one ball from my stash of leftovers - I think it might be Patons Alpaca Classique from the late 1980s:

Using 4mm needles, cast on 89 stitches

Knit 7 rows, then Purl 1 row (this forms the basic stripe pattern, I've separated the pattern below into this grouping to make it easier to read)

Knit 7 rows
Purl 1 row

Knit 5 rows
Knit 45 stitches, then wrap your wool around the knitting between the needles about 10 times.  You should wrap it firmly enough to gather up the knitting you've already done (see photographs of finished hat).  Knit to the end of the row.
Knit 1 row
Purl 1 row

Knit 7 rows
P5, *P2tog, P5, repeat from * to end of row (77 sts)

Knit 7 rows
P4, *P2tog, P4, repeat from * to last stitch, P1 (65 sts)

Knit 4 rows
K3, *K2tog, K3, repeat from * to last two stitches, K2tog (52 sts)
Knit 2 rows
Purl 1 row

K2, *K2tog, K2, repeat from * to last two stitches, K2tog (39 sts)
Knit 3 rows
K1, *K2 tog, repeat from * to end (20 sts)
Knit 2 rows
Purl 1 row

K2 rows
*K2tog, repeat from * to end,  (10 sts)
Knit 1 row
*K2tog, repeat from * to end,  (5 sts)
Fasten off

Sew up centre back seam.


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