Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crochet Love {cute little pocket applique and how to crochet in stockinette stitch!}

Today, I thought I'd share a fun little technique that will allow you to crochet in stockinette stitch! 

If you aren't familiar with stockinette stitch, it is a basic stitch in knitting that creates rows of cute little "v" shapes. I have been trying my hand at knitting for about a year, and I still find it pretty tricky! I love the look of knit-wear much more than I do with crochet, so when I find a way to make my crochet work look like it was knit, I get pretty excited! It's like a little short-cut.

I made this crochet zipper clutch a while ago, but haven't shared it because it just didn't feel "done." Once I added this pocket applique on it, I like it a lot more!

I plan to share the pattern for the clutch eventually but for today, let's focus on the little stockinette stitch pocket!

To create the rows of "v's" similar to the knitted stockinette stitch, you will need to work in single crochets. With each single crochet, instead of working the hook into the top of the stitch, you will place the hook into the middle of the stitch (shown with my finger in step 4 below).

To make the pocket, follow these instructions:

1. Ch 16.
2. Sc into the 2nd ch from hook and in the next 5 sts.
3. Skip next 2 sts. Sc in last 7 sts.
4. Turn. Ch 1. Sc into middle of next st (as shown in step 4 of photo above).
5. Continue to sc in this manner in each st across.
6. Repeat until you have reached your desired pocket height.
7. Turn. Ch 2. Skip next st. Sc (in top of stitch now) in next st. *Ch 1. Skip next st. Sc in next st. Repeat from * until you reach the end of the row. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing pocket onto garment.
8. Sew pocket onto garment, making sure not to sew top edge...because well...then it wouldn't be a pocket, would it?

I think it would be pretty fun to use this technique to make a baby or child size blanket. I would use a smaller yarn like a worsted weight with a bigger than suggested crochet hook. When you use a smaller hook, this stitch is very tight and tends to curl up a bit on the edges, so I wonder if it would be a little more loose and less curly with a bigger hook!? What do you think?

I also used this pocket pattern to add a fun detail on my latest pattern for I'm Topsy Turvy! I made a fun crochet eyelet apron and the pocket is the perfect little edition! Make sure to stop by for the full free pattern!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Frinstagram {balloons and birthdays}

...this week's Instagram photos on Friday...

Ande got a lot of attention this week with his big birthday and all, so I tried to give the other boys some extra squeezes today. They all had a grand time playing at the park last night for Ande's birthday playdate. They probably would have played into the night if I had let them. 

Today was a great start to our holiday weekend. The boys slept in, and had a blast running around with the birthday balloons all day. Curtis got to stay home from work and he accomplished so much! He started sprouting some wheat, made granola, and fixed up my car. The boys love every second they get to spend with their dad (he's way more fun than me!).

It felt like Saturday all day, so now we get to wake up and enjoy another day just like this one! I'm excited to sit down with the kids and help them understand the true meaning of Easter a little better (there are some great videos that we are going to watch here) and to just be together as a family.

What are your Easter weekend plans? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ande turns 5

Today is Anderson's fifth birthday, so of course I'm feeling all nostalgic. I drove by the apartment that we lived in when he was born the other day. In my mind, I tried to put myself back in that time in place. I remember his first year of life, in our tiny but home-y apartment, so vividly and tenderly.

Anderson made me a mom. Being his mom has taught me so much about parenthood. He is our parenting guinea pig and he is so so patient with us in the process.

There are still trying moments, but for the most part I am loving this stage of his life so much! Anderson is my buddy. My best friend. My helper and my comforter. He has become the most amazing big brother. I trust him. He is aware of Milo and his needs and he loves to entertain and teach him. He has boundless energy and is always willing to jump up and grab a diaper or keep Milo from running into the street. He has this enormous thirst for learning and wants to know how everything in the world works. Literally everything.

The other day, I had the opportunity to run a few errands with just him and I realized how much I enjoy his company. He kept doing silly things to get me to laugh, and as we walked around the store he reached up to hold my hand.

I love this boy!

Happy birthday dear Ande!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Frinstagram {my favorite time of day}

...this week's instagram photos on Friday...

The boy's favorite time of day is when their daddy gets home from work. How can I tell? Well... they sit out in the driveway just waiting for that oh-so-familiar white pickup truck to turn the corner and come chugging down the street. When they finally see it, they squeal with delight and immediately start asking him for gum. Once they get inside, it's an all out wrestle fest on the living room floor. There's usually lots of laughing. The laughing almost inevitably turns into crying but yet, they still beg for more. 

Now, this doesn't mean they don't love wrestling with me. They definitely try to. If ever I sit or lay down on the floor, there's some magnetic force that draws them to me. They see me on their level and they immediately pounce. I just don't dish it back to them. I told them, "mommy doesn't wrestle, she snuggles."

Which brings me to my favorite time of day. There's something about a good long nap that makes a baby's skin so warm and soft. They smile as I walk into the room (and sometimes pull the covers over their noses saying, "i'm hidin' mom"). I pick them up and their little fuzzy heads rest on my shoulder. Sometimes their tiny hands wrap about my neck and I become a puddle on the floor. We come into my room and sit on the bed where Ande is waiting, eager to show off his latest lego creation. They sit with me, melting into my lap, and I smother them with whispers and kisses.

Those are the moments that happen every.single.day, no matter how cranky or crazy or fun the morning was. It's like a fresh start in the middle of the day. Those are my favorite moments. Those are the ones I cherish.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

my nursing story

I really wish someone had told me, back when I was a first time mom, that nursing doesn't necessarily come easy. I didn't think twice about it because it seemed so natural. If my body automatically knows how to product milk, then my baby will naturally know how to drink it, right!? I also got lucky with my first, dear Ande - my dream baby. He ate well, slept well, and hardly cried. 

When Owen came along, I thought I had this parenting thing in the bag, which is why I took it so hard when things didn't go as smoothly. Nursing with Owen was like trying to walk on water. It just wasn't happening. I still don't really know why it didn't work. It just didn't. And I was miserable. I thought I had failed him. And to be completely honest, it really did make the bonding process a little different. Slower even. It all turned out fine in the end. He is healthy, smart, happy, and we do have a close bond now. I just wish someone had warned me early on that it's not always easy. Maybe I would've had more perseverance to keep trying with Owen if I had been ready for the trial. 

And then came Milo. His birth was so easy and smooth. I don't really know why, but I felt so at ease throughout his newborn phase. Maybe that was the reason that he and I really got into a groove. He was my best nurser yet...maybe a little too good. I had planned to stop nursing when he was one and when the time came, I could tell he was ready. But boy was I not ready. Milo took the transition to no nursing with such ease. He didn't seem phased by it at all, but I was feeling all kinds of sad. What if he doesn't love me as much now? 

It has been about 2 months now since I weaned Milo and I still miss it on occasion. After seeing a friend nursing at church one week, I thought...maybe I could start up nursing again!? But then I realized that I was maybe a little bit crazy. 

Anyways...I guess I don't really have a point in all this rambling. I just wanted to record my feelings about it all. I have loved nursing my babies, but I also know first hand that it doesn't always go the way you've planned. It is hard. But either way, as long as you are loving them, they will have all they need.