Category Archives: La La


Last week, my husband came home from picking up my daughter from school and informed me that my lovely daughter had flushed another child’s mittens down the toilet.
So, I went to my daughter’s room and found the mittens I had made for her last year (and she had never worn) and informed her that she would be giving them to her friend at school, since she no longer had mittens. You would have thought I had ripped her hair out from the howling that followed. After a loooong night and morning, we brought her to school and I had her ask her teacher to put the mittens aside for when the other child arrived, and for her to ask my daughter to give them to the other child. She wasn’t happy about it, but she did it.
Now, for the past few days, it’s been in the 30F in the morning, which is pretty unusual around here, and my daughter has no mittens. I took her to the store and we picked out some fleece and put it in my studio and forgot about it for a few days while I thought about pyjamas and then the pretty dress from yesterday.
This morning, it was cold again, and as we got in the car for school, my daughter immediately removed her coat and then started howling again, this time because she wanted to wear gloves. She doesn’t have any gloves and we did the opera of “I wanted to wear gloves” “You don’t have any gloves, buckle your seat belt” back and forth until I got out of the car to insist. Once she calmed down, I reminded her of the fleece and told her I’d make her some mittens tonight after supper.
So I did.


Oh, and if you think I exaggerate about the nudist comments – on Saturday, my husband came back from his run in sweats and hat and gloves to find me in sweats and hoodie in our 60F house, and there was my daughter in a bikini. “What are you wearing?” my husband asked. “I’m a Bubble Guppy” (a nick jr. mermaid show). “I’m choosing my battles today”, I said. “OK, but if CPS shows up, you handle this” he said to me.

New Year, new dress.

I don’t know when I last posted, but it was a long time ago. Whatever.

I was planning to make some pajamas for LaLa and got the pattern all cut out and was about to cut the fabric when… yikes! I realized that the flannel I was planning to use has not been pre-washed. That could have been a big waste of time, money, and fabric. Instead, I threw the fabric in the wash and then was sulking a bit in need of instant gratification.

I looked through the book I was using for the pjs, and found a dress that looked cute, and I knew I had the fabric for it, and that it was pre-washed.

I had bought this fabric when LaLa was about 2, but never had a pattern for what I wanted, which was a floral bodice and the stripy skirt. I’m not confident enough in garment sewing to wing it, so I just stashed the fabric

So I found the pattern today. It’s from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross and its called the Flower Girl Dress. I had a lot of problems with the pattern, but I went from start to finish in 3 hours, including removing the bodice, redrafting it a bit larger, and remaking it. Not bad!


I did have LaLa try it on, and she wants to wear it tomorrow, even though its been in the 40s here. She’s a bit of a nudist, or at least loves to wear dresses if she wears anything at all.


Christmas making 2010 – Part 1 – La La


Since my layoff in October, I’ve been working on Christmas gifts for my daughter and her cousins.  This post is a roundup of what I made for La La. 

Since turning two this year, I’ve noticed, and her teachers at day care have also observed that she’s been enjoying being a little mommy to her baby dolls. Her teacher has sent photos of her giving her baby a bath with the other kids and here she is way back in March helping her baby to go to sleep. 


At home too, I’ve observed her putting her babies in my shoes like little cradles, putting her babies to sleep on pillows and patting them to sleep, and leaving the room with the white noise machine on and some music so they will fall asleep easily.  (This is her routine, white noise and nature sounds, although recently she switched to music instead). 


She then tells daddy and me to be quiet so her babies can sleep. Yia Yia gave her a bottle for the baby she gave her last Christmas, and she plays with that a lot too. 

Since she has been such the little mommy, I thought I’d give her some tools to help in her play. 

I found this great tutorial for making all kinds of pretend-play toys and this set was perfect:  a diaper bag, wipes, and diapers, sized for the baby doll she got for Christmas last year from Yia Yia.  I actually didn’t make the diapers exactly the same, but used her pattern as a guide for cutting the fabric.  I also didn’t make her doll bassinet and changing pad, because I already had a bassinet of my own in the works and I also made a quilt for the doll, and I didn’t want to go crazy with all the other stuff I was making. 

So, here’s the diaper bag.


And the wipes.  So clever, you can fold them so they pop up!  I used blue felt because all of our wipes come from Costco and come in blue packages, so it’s more realistic.


Here’s the quilt.  It looks like I pieced the whole thing, but it was actually a cheater with space between the 2.5" squares.  I had bought the fabric thinking it would be perfect for 1" hexagons, but I used a little bit for this quilt.  I used the method described here, but of course without the interfacing. 

DSC_4810 DSC_4812

Here’s the bassinet.  I started this back in July.  It’s all hand stitched and hand quilted.  I had to figure out how to make it curve at the ends, which I did by using hexagons, pentagons and diamonds.  It’s lined with white cotton over a piece of batting I got in a sampler at the quilt festival over the summer. 

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I really learned a lot while doing the hand quilting – though mainly I learned that it’s a slow process and you really can make better progress when you have the right tools.  I broke one embroidery hoop before I ended up buying a quilting hoop, and tried several different needles before settling on the smallest ones I could find, size 12. 

In addition to that stuff, the mom of one of her cousins asked for new clothes for the dolls I made them last Christmas because they really enjoy playing with the dolls.  So I made clothes for all the dolls, including La La’s. 

I made this top and skirt with fabric that has all these "T" words, describing two year olds.  I only have a year to use the fabric, so now’s the time. 


I also used that fabric to bind her quilt, since it matched the purple nicely.


I made this t-shirt, and a jumper out of corduroy.  I haven’t really sewn with knits before, and discovered that the right tools make all the difference again – mainly the right needle for knits really helped. 


Next up is a pair of pajamas made of flannel, with coordinating cuffs.


Also, I forgot to photograph them, but I made her baby some new shoes out of vinyl, so they look like brown leather shoes. 

Over all, I think La La really liked everything, but the things I see her playing with most are the wipes and the bassinet, which she seems to think is a changing pad.  That’s ok, as long as she has fun playing with it, that’s all that matters to me. 


She got the same baby this year from her Grammy, and was very excited to have two of the same baby – "Sisters!" she said.  So now she has two diapers to change whenever one of them ‘poops’ as she likes to tell me.  🙂

La La’s Birthday Quilt

So, a few months ago, I ordered this great stack of fabric from PurlSoho, which is local to me, even though the actual store is in NYC.  If you want to see more of the fabric, it’s page is here on the freespirit site.

California Dreamin' by Jenean Morrison for FreeSpirit

I also ordered this pattern from Carolina Patchworks.  It only calls for five fabrics (for the piecing).  I had 16.

{mini} Modern Rose Garden quilt pattern from Carolina Patchworks

I also have EQ7.

I mapped it out with my fabrics

So, I loaded up the fabric images from the FreeSpirit site and laid it out so I could get a good balance of color.  The scale is completely off and I didn’t bother to figure that out, I just wanted to get a harmonious layout, and I think I achieved that.

Ta Dot Lagoon by Michael Miller

I chose a fun polka dot binding that went well with the other colors on the fabric.   I found a shot cotton for the sashing – I think it’s Kaffe Fassett’s ‘Sprout’ color, but I forgot to check the label on that one.  Finally when we went on our field trip to Michael Levine, I found the backing – a turquoise Minky Dot.

La La relaxes with her new quilt.

It took me a while to find the right thread for the top and back, but I finally did find a good variegated top thread that went from orange to yellow to green.  And the bobbin thread was a perfect match for the minky, and I was on my way!

It's good for tumbling on.

I basted the heck out of it because I’d heard that the Minky stretches a lot. I didn’t actually have trouble with it stretching, but it sort of gripped my quilting table and it was hard to work with. Luckilly for me, I was at the LAMQG weekend sew and the Quilt Engineer was there with all of her tools and gadgets.  She loaned me her SewSlip II, which is a silicon pad that you put around the plate and over the quilt table to make a continuous slick surface.  This particular one has a rectangular hole so that the feed dogs can stay up for using the walking foot.   It was like night and day!  She also let me try her June Tailor Shape Cut ruler, and clued me into this binding foot.

Let me fluff it up a bit.

When I got home that night, I ordered the SewSlip II, a binding foot, a teflon foot, and a pintuck foot, because I hope I can finally make those last doll dresses where I got stuck on the pintucks.  Maybe.  I will probably buy the Shape Cut, because it took me about 3 minutes to cut my binding strips and they came out perfect.

I spent just over two days on the piecing and quilting, and a few hours on the basting and I am really happy with the result.

It's comfy.

More importantly, La La loves it, and calls it her Muno blanket, because she has a Muno made of Minky Dot.  I think it looks more like Toodee though.

You can almost see it all.

I put a label on the back that reads “For [La La] on her second birthday made with love by Mommy 2010”. I used printable fabric and my inkjet to print on the corner of a page, then sewed it into a corner of the binding. I even remembered to put it on before I sewed the binding! I did forget to attach it before I quilted it though.

I’ve been sucked into the cult of the hexagon and have been working away on a 3/4″ hexagon project that I hope will become a doll bed for La La.  When I started it was with some scraps that I got from a Japanese fabric shop, momen+. (They are on facebook, but don’t have their own website yet.)  I wanted to see how I like it, and I do, so next up will be a 1″ hexagon something, plus an 8″ hexagon throw.  I’ve used all the hexagons in the pack of 100 3/4″, and am still working out the geometry of making the flat surface into a moses-basket-shaped doll bed.  I think I might need some pentagons, so I might create those this weekend and try that out.

Other overdue post

I also promised a post of the sweaters I’ve made for La La in the past year.  I’ve made 3 and have started on a pair of mittens and a new hat but I have til next winter to finish those.  She actually picked out the yarn for the hat and mittens (and scarf if there is enough).  She picked purple Encore, which should work out OK since it’s washable and her favorite color is purple!

The first sweater I made for her is this one, in a marled Cotton Fleece in a Raspberry/Pink colorway. 

I was itching to do something with a crochet collar and so this is what I came up with. 


I didn’t have a pattern, and for everything but the sleeves, I think it worked out OK.  For the sleeves, I decided to pick up and knit down, and there are some areas where I don’t like the way the increases look.


But otherwise, I think it’s OK.  For the crochet part, I just measured around the opening and picked a motif out of a book that had a repeat that would fit in space I needed.  I then centered it and attached it to the inside edges.  I like the yarn, but I think the idea that I had would have worked better in wool than in cotton.  La La likes the sweater and often picks it when we ask her which sweater she wants to wear.


The next sweater I made is this one.


This was done a la Barbara Walker… from the top down.  It’s in KnitPicks Swish Bulky, a yarn that I really like.  I bought a few skeins that were on clearance and was bummed when I decided to make a sweater with it and the colors were all sold out.  I decided to call anyway and they were able to get me one more skein of the purple, so I went on with the sweater and used the purple for the cuffs and collar. 


I did make a swatch, and despite my measuring and working from the top down, the sweater is still to big for La La, so she will grow into it.  I thought that would happen, so I made the cuffs extra long so that they would roll up in the beginning, then could be unrolled as she got taller. 

I still need to put the buttons on.  La La picked them out at JoAnn’s.  I’m not kidding – she was only 10 months old but she picked out the buttons, in fact I didn’t even see them until she pointed them out.  They are little purple flowers. 


The final sweater I made was for her Halloween costume. 

For many, many months, her favorite animal has been the Lion, so it was a natural pick to make her a Lion sweater for Halloween. 



I started with a basic sweater pattern, added a hood, ears, tail, and foldover mittens that could be buttoned open since she’d be wearing it to school and would need to eat, color, etc with her hands. 


I had the hardest time trying to figure out the mane. I scoured my knitting books, knowing that I’d seen this stitch somewhere that left loops on the front of the work.  I couldn’t find it anywhere and was starting to think I was crazy.  I even looked through my harmony crochet guides, thinking maybe it was not a knitting pattern at all, but still nothing could be found. 


So then I turned to Google, and after much searching, I finally found something that looked perfect on Knitty.  There was a pattern for a knitted lion washcloth that was really cute and had a lion face in the middle with a mane all around.  This wasn’t the place I saw the original loopy stitch, but it worked perfectly for the mane and the end of the tail. 

Again, I used KnitPicks Swish, but this time in worsted weight.  This is a really good washable yarn and I’ve been happy with it for everything I’ve used it in. 

She wore the sweater to school and on Halloween, and seemed to love it.  She would put up her paws and RAWR!! and roar on cue.   She wouldn’t let me paint her face though, so she only got some semi-decent whiskers and nose. 

At school, they had a costume parade.  First they wheeled out cribs filled with the infants.  Next was the toddler room, which is where La La is.  Some kids walked out holding onto a rope, and the kids who wander were in wagons.  You can guess where La La was… she takes after her mother with the looking at everything she passes. 


When her wagon was facing where I was sitting at the perimeter of the play yard, she saw me and wanted to be with me and so she started crying.  This was only a few weeks after her transition to the toddler room, so she was still upset in the mornings when we dropped her off.  So, I picked her up and we sat and watched the rest of the parade, and then went to visit with her friend NickNick and his parents. 

After the parade, I took her back to her classroom and had a long tearful goodbye.  That’s always the hardest part of leaving her.  Most days she’s fine, but once in a whil
e, even now, she doesn’t want us to drop her off and she whines or actually cries.  


Here she is waiting for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, dressed in her PJs and her Lion sweater. 

For those of you interested….

I’ve made a blog just about La La, if you are interested in following her adventures, click here.
I’ve been doing well at posting over there weekly – or so – and would love to have you join us over there. I’ll try to keep this blog mostly about knitting and other life-stuff, while La La’s blog will be for those of you who don’t care about my knitting, and just want to see the baby!

Actual Crafty Content

I got the book Luxury One-Skein Wonders on Wednesday, and by Friday, I had a new hat for La La.  Crocheted, even. 
That tells you that the instructions were well written and correct, because I can’t crochet very well, and this hat came out really well. 

Hook: F


Universal Yarn’s dolce merino in Strawberry Ice and Whisper White.  There was no way I was going to touch Angora, so this nice merino/microfiber blend worked for me.

Pattern: Angora Baby Bunny Cap by Renee Barnes.  Strangely, on my copy of the book, the hat is on the cover, but on Amazon, it shows a different hat on the cover.

:  Love it!  I didn’t even block it, it was so cute I just had to put it on her and take some photos.  The pattern was easy, only  slip stiches, single, double and treble crochets were used throughout.   A beginner could do it easily, like I did.   


She seems to like it too.