Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Mazie’s wearing a dress that her G’ma Japel gave her…that SHE wore as a little girl! How neat is that?! It fits her perfectly. I wasn’t sure whether I should get Mazie an Easter Basket this year, since she’s too little to have any idea what’s going on. As you can tell, we decided to go ahead. It’s her first Easter!

On another note…Oh Man! I love spring break!

I taught on Wednesday last week, and then we had Friday off. Wednesday was their mid-term exam, so I’ve got LOTS of grading to do, but nothing to prepare for a few days. School doesn’t start again until the 31st.

I’m hoping to finalize all of my class materials for Knitting in the Heartland, get the exams all graded, and finish up my SWTC patterns. Lofty goals, I know, but Mom will (hopefully) help me with Mazie so that I can have a few hours every day to accomplish stuff.

Yesterday, my friends Becky and Marjorie came over for a yarn-winding party.

Becky and Marjorie winding yarn

It really does make a tedious job more tolerable to have other people around. They’re both working on Vivian Hoxbro shadow knitting kits. Marjorie’s making the shawl and Becky’s doing the vest. *I* want to shadow knit!

Did I tell you that I finished my Sanpoku? I’ve worn it a few times to teach, and I really like it. It’s a nice thing to grab when it’s a little cool, but I don’t need a whole sweater. It’s pretty much fronts and sleeves, with a little strip across the back. I’ll see if I can get a pic. I feel like I’ve already written this, but the Comfort is a great yarn! (I made the largest size and went up to a 9 for the needle.)

I want to get a new camera. I’ve got the Canon PowerShot SD 600, and I’d like to move up to a 35 mm digital. Any suggestions? Ideally, I’d like a gently used one to start out with.

We go for walks

almost smiling

Lately, we’ve been doing a LOT of walking. We get up, change diaper, eat, get dressed, get the stroller out, and go for a walk. We usually go for about an hour at a time. Some days we go out in the morning, then when Grandma comes over in the afternoon, we go out again.

On days that I teach, we walk down to the coffee shop for lunch after my class.

at the coffee shop

It’s only a few blocks, so we’ve figured out a very round-about route through the neighborhood to get there and back. We also found a back way to the fabric store!

Yesterday we walked all the way to the used bookstore to find Mazie some books. I’ve been telling her stories at bedtime, but I can’t remember how they all end. I know generally how The Three Bears goes…I need to refresh my memory on some other ones.

I found a couple of really interesting Fairy Tale books. I liked to read Fairy Tales well into my 20s…Maybe Mazie will enjoy them, too. Here’s the older one, from the 20s:

Fairy Tales

We had quite the evening with Miss Mazie.

She’s been really colicky some nights starting at around 6 and going to 10 or sometimes even 12. It’s not every night, but once in a while she’s SO TIRED but just won’t let go. She’s also having some pretty bad gas. Sometimes when she passes a bubble, she screams. Again, not every time, but often enough that it just must be really hard for her. She’s just so new that she’s still getting used to her body. It does some weird stuff!

We’re well on our way out of Mazie’s newborn days. She’s smiling, crossing her eyes as she tries to focus on farther and farther objects, she chatters and has
little bla-bla conversations with us, and is starting to be more alert during the day. She still takes a lot of naps, though. I think this colic stuff is on its way out. In the meantime, though, she has a couple of things that soothe her. One is a vibrating chair that she got from Olin’s mom and dad. Tonight she was crying and crying and Nate put her on that and she immediately stopped. Like someone flipped a switch. I bet Aaron and Margi are going to want this one back!

She also likes her swing. swinging
She didn’t like the chair or swing at first, because she really preferred to be held all the time. But now being held all the time is too boring…so she wants to go to one or the other. She laughs and chatters away in her swing. It’s really cute.

One other thing she really likes is her stretchy sling. ring sling
It’s made out of the kind of fabric that you can buy in the fabric store to ring t-shirts or to use as cuffs on something made out of t-shirt material. It’s heavier than t-shirt. ANYWAY…it’s almost guaranteed that she’ll fall asleep if I put her in there and start a load of laundry. I’ve got several variations on this…pouches, ring sling, wraps, hybrids of those…it’s almost as addictive as sewing diapers. The different ones are good for different moods and situations. It’s easy to make your own and there are tons of web forums about it. My favorite is thebabywearer.com.

Speaking of diapers, I just finished a batch of 4. It’s not a lot compared to what I had time to sew pre-Mazer, but I really like how these came out:
Chloe Toes

Some of the fabrics are directional the wrong way, but I got more cuts out of them this way.

Chloe Toes

They’re so soft inside!

They’re made using the Chloe Toes sewing pattern.

The outers are DIY (do-it-yourself)cotton woven PUL(polyurethane laminate), the inners are dyed velour, and I dyed the FOE(fold-over elastic). They all have 2 hidden layers of cotton sherpa and the soakers are 2 layers of microfiber towel.

I got some excellent advice from Chloe Toes owner/designer, Catharine Decker:

*make sure you use 100% polyester thread

*polyester pul wicks less than cotton, but many use
cotton with success

*keep the soaker layer out of contact with the edges
of the diaper and binding within the crotch area;
wicking occurs by contact, with wetness travelling
along the adjacent fibers, so your soaker should be
narrower than the full crotch width (the pattern is
designed this way) to minimize wicking contact

*make sure your inner layer wicks fast if you have a
wicking layer against baby’s skin

*consider using a very fast-absorbing fabric for the
layer of soaker closest to baby’s skin (so wetness
absorbs quickly and doesn’t have time to pool and soak
at the crotch) I like microfiber, but others prefer
other fabrics

*include at least one layer of something that really
distributes wetness well in your soaker (so that
wetness spreads out through the whole diaper instead
of being wet just in the “wet zones” and dry
elsewhere) Again I like microfiber for this

*include at least one layer of something that really
locks in wetness well and doesn’t tend to experience
“compression leaking” (where it holds a lot of wetness
but the wetness easily squeezes out when baby sits or
moves) I like hemp for this

*if you have a very heavy wetter or need a
long-holding diaper for overnights, etc, consider
using a waterproofing spray applied in several light
coats to the outside of the diaper (information on
this is included in the pattern)

Having all this spelled out for m was so helpful. Like when starting to knit, I knew there were certain things to do…like using wicking layers, don’t let the soaker touch the edge, etc., but understanding WHY is really helpful.

…and I love how my diapers came out!

Thanks to Joy’s suggestion, I’m trying to get some shots of Mazie’s sweaters as she wears them…
babyset.jpg(click to see them)

Also…thanks to Ainsley for the note today!