Sunday, December 15, 2013

The End Is Near

One year ago, everything was so different.  The things that seemed terribly important are now trivial matters.  Brushing teeth twice a day, wearing clean clothes, exciting weekend plans ... it's all gone wayside to this smiley little person in my life.  The love I have for her could shatter the universe.  Matching socks and smelling pretty can wait until tomorrow.

But we knew that already.  Life happens, things change, we adapt.  I spent the last 12 months nurturing and raising a baby.  It changed my life.  And now, she's more than ready for daycare, and my old job is beckoning to me.  But I'm not ready to give her up.  I still want to be there when she scrapes her knee, or smooshes food in her hair, or giggles when she sees a doggie.  There are still so many places to explore, subjects to talk about, things to experience for the first time.

Letting go is tough.  Even the thought of letting go makes my stomach hurt, but I know it is inevitable.  All I can do is enjoy the present, and prepare for what is yet to come.

No-Escape Fleece Baby Mittens

These are the no-thumb mittens for babies (0-18 mos) who don't like mittens, and know how to take them off.  These mittens aren't easily removed by their wearers because they go on inside their coats, and fit up to their elbows.  It's a hand-sewn hack of Smittens, and the right kind of project for when you're watching TV re-runs.  I cut up an old red scarf for my mittens, but in retrospect, I wish I had made them from light grey fleece and black coloured yarn.

What you'll need:

- 1 piece of fleece
- 8 yards of yarn or embroidery floss (I used worsted cotton yarn for size 4 mm needles)
- embroidery needle
- scissors
- measuring tape
- fabric chalk

Lay out the fleece fabric on a flat surface.  Measure, mark and cut out two rectangles measuring 6 x 3.5".  These will form the hand coverings (palm side).  Now measure the baby's wingspan, from fingertip to fingertip, and add 2 inches.  From your fleece fabric, mark and cut out a rectangle that is this length, and 3.5" in width.  This will form the main body of the mitten.

One of the short sides of each hand covering will need to be hemmed.  To do so, fold and pin about 1/2" to form the hem.  Thread the needle with the yarn, and hand sew using blanket stitch.  I found that it took a bit of practice to get the right tension so that the stitch holds nicely.

Lay the main piece on a flat surface, and pin each hand covering to each end of the body.  Make sure the stitched end is facing inwards.  Using the scissors, trim and round the edges of the mittens.

Thread your embroidery needle with a very long piece of yarn.  Starting from one end, blanket stitch the entire perimeter of the mittens.  Trim and tuck in any loose threads.

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