Posts Tagged ‘Handmade


Hand Knit Love: The Baby’s Blanket

I finished knitting a blanket for the bambino a while back. I absolutely adore Amish quilts, and I had this blanket planned in my head before I was even pregnant with the little guy. I kept wondering if I could knit the broken bars pattern without seaming, and I kept thinking that it just had to be possible. The knitting, of course, took me a long time. We probably ought to call baby blankets at our house toddler blankets because by the time I finish them our babies are usually walking.

I based the colors in the blanket on my very favorite chair, the puff rocker we have in the nursery. I loved this chair before we had the boys, but now that I’ve spent hour upon hour snuggled up with baby boys here, it’s about the sweetest place for a mama to sit. The blanket came together with the chair, and I couldn’t be happier about how they look together.

I love how each of our boys’ hand knit blankets reflects their personalities. This little guy is possibly the most happy and affectionate toddler I’ve known. He loves to give hugs and kisses, and he gives us “squeeze hugs” that feel as if they’ll never end. The colors in this blanket mirror his happy, fun, yet intense personality, and the super soft, hollow core, cotton yarn feels a bit like one of his amazing hugs. The edge on this blanket also reminds me of dinosaur or dragon dorsal plates (spikes?) cementing the little boy-ness of it for me.

It is just now starting to cool off enough for him to be able to use his new blanket, and you can bet that it will become a mainstay in his bed this winter. I’m hopeful that he’ll want to use it for years to come. We are still tucking in one of his older brothers with a mama knit blanket each night; that blanket was knit in Blue Sky’s Organic Cotton and is so cozy it’s got me thinking I need to knit one for me too. There must just be nothing like curling up for the night under hand knit.


Turning 6 in Narnia

The biggest Schmitzlet turned 6 recently. His birthday was welcomed with all of our traditions, including a mama made birthday shirt and the wearing of his birthday crown. The celebration also included a Narnia themed party; at his request we donned pajamas and ate breakfast for dinner in Narnia. We converted the house with a simple painting hung on the inside of our storm door to look like a wardrobe door (This was probably the least effective of our decorations, but the boys helped with the painting and their inclusion was much more important than the end result.) and a simple hanging rod holding coats on hangers just inside the door. The coats gave way to Christmas trees, fabric “snow” on the floor, and a lamp post. The boys also helped me make a banner with stenciled lions, and I crafted Cair Paravel, based on the illustration in the original book, out of cake.

We created another butterfly net similar to the one he gave his brother for him, and I also made him an apron and chef hat. Our friends and family stitched up some handmade love for him as well. He was thrilled to get a dinosaur tail just like one the middle boy received for his birthday in May, and one of his aunts made him the worlds most adorable stuffed lion. The boys have spent much time playing a game they call “whack with dinosaur tails”, and the lion was instantly adopted as his nighttime companion.

Party goers were invited to make a crown and given a naturally hand dyed play scarf as a favor. They dined on scrambled eggs with toppings like grated cheese, avocado, and salsa, bacon, homemade carrot muffins and fruit; each item specially selected by the birthday boy.

The big guy’s 6th birthday was magical. I really enjoyed getting ready for a party in Narnia, and I hope I get to do it again sometime in the future! For now, I want my 6 year old to know that he is even more magical. He is intense, creative, dramatic, persistent and vibrant, and he challenges me to be the best parent I possible can each and every day. It is truly an adventure to live with this boy; his imagination is bigger than our home. It is not possible to keep up with him these days, and I resign myself to the sidelines much of the time, left to watch him explore, discover, create and learn. I am amazed every day as I observe him encounter this world, and I pray, pray, pray for him without ceasing.


The Chicken Birthday

A certain boy around here turned 4 on May 2. He donned his crown (briefly) and celebrated with his shirt and chickens. Chickens? Yep, we threw a chicken themed birthday party for him complete with a chicken cake, a mama made wool felt stuffed chicken, wooden eggs (that he insists on sleeping with every night) from his uncle in California, and a wool felt “crack-able” egg from some friends. His big brother helped me make him a butterfly net, and while the basement flooded the day of his party (which ended with a tornado warning), he had a fabulous time. We made wool felt chicken masks as a craft and favor in one. I really wish I had both more and better pictures, but the day was so hairy I didn’t even know where my camera was!

Did you know that 4 year old boys can have crushes? I didn’t. I was SO wrong; this one is completely smitten with a particular young lady, a bit younger than he is, at our church. I can’t blame him; she’s adorable. I don’t envy him the future battle, though; she has two big brothers! He was over the moon that she and part of her family were able to attend his big celebration. He even made a special chicken mask just for her and had me tie a bow on it to present it to her. Now, everything he makes is for her. Wasn’t that all supposed to be for his mama still? 😉



Holiday Handmades: For the baby

The bigger boys really went all out for their baby brother for Christmas. The eldest insisted on making him a mobile; it was only after much deliberation that we decided to do animals. We spent an afternoon cutting the chosen beasts out of wool felt; then there was a bit of machine sewing, some hand sewing, and some stripes to draw. His favorite part of the project was the afternoon we spent assembling this and playing with/learning about balance. I can’t tell you enough that you should make some sort of kinetic, hanging art with your kids. The best part? Not only did the big guy have a blast and learn a ton making this gift, but the baby LOVES it!

The middle brother and I worked hard together to make a large, soft, stuffed, chimed ball for the little guy. We used this pattern from the Purl Bee, and I stashed a chime I already had inside when we stuffed it. The 3 year old picked all the fabrics and helped me stuff this. This has become a steady favorite choice for baby play!

I built the little guy a small wood box with a hole in it. With the addition of a silk scarf, it’s a little like the ultimate tissue box for him. He loves to pull the scarf out over and over again. I also have a collection of cotton hankies I used for some dye tests for a previous art show that I plan to load up for him at some point. He also likes to put other things in his box, including some of the smaller tree blocks we made him.


Another 1!

A certain baby boy turned 1 this past Christmas around here. We celebrated his big day a couple of weeks later with a small party of family, and we gave him some fun handmade gifts he’s really enjoyed. He also got his birthday crown and birthday shirt, but his mama didn’t get a decent picture of him in his shirt.

On Christmas afternoon we gave him some tree blocks we’d made for him. His older brothers both helped me sand these, and they have become a popular item for building around here.

Decorations for his shin dig were simple; I made him a name bunting to later hang in his room that we hung for his party.

We also spread the table with a simple piece of fabric, some leaf fleece place mats that doubled as our party favor, and a lion cake that he loved destroying the top of.

At his party he received a quilt I made for him. I started on this when I was just a few weeks pregnant with him, and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It is made entirely from hand dyed fabrics from my stash.

At one, this little determined guy of ours was walking and using about 10 words. He is a happy, content, persistent little boy who continues to surprise us with how quickly he is doing things. He looks up to his big brothers and wants so badly to be a part of everything going on around here. We are blessed to have him, and have all eaten up every day of his first year (and nearly 2 more months…).