03 February 2014

Occupy My Mind

Last week's purloining of the car plus a family walk on Saturday (temps of 25 degrees feel pretty warm after a month of -25 degrees), I was feeling a much-needed release from cabin fever. But it's amazing how quickly the walls start closing in again once that front door closes, so I decided to start arming myself with a few projects to keep myself distracted.

Last week I rearranged the furniture in Abigail's room to make space for the second crib, but it's still too early to start sorting through her old baby stuff. To be honest, it was even too early to rearrange the furniture, but we were desperate for a way to burn energy and the new arrangement made things feel new and exciting.

The best way to keep a hands-on person distracted is with a craft project. During the month of January, I made an afghan. It's a 4.5 feet x 4.5 feet.

After the craft fair and Christmas presents, I had a lot of random balls of yarn leftover - all too small to be their own project, so I decided to make a blanket with all the scrap yarn. As you can probably see, I still have a lot of loose ends to weave in, but as that is my least favorite part of blanket-making and this afghan is not on a deadline, I'm taking my sweet time.

So I needed a new project and my favorite brand of baby yarn has recently been discontinued, leaving me no desire to start working on a baby blanket for this baby. So I opted to start working on the Baptismal gown. After much searching, I found this pattern that Matt and I both love:

Click the photo to be directed to the Etsy shop where it was purchased.

The yarn used is so delicate that I was unable to find it at my local craft stores, so I ended up purchasing it online. It arrived on Saturday and I started crocheting that night.

The light and camera makes it look yellower than it really is - it's more of a cream in person. With each and every row, it is starting to look more and more like something my grandmother would give me and say, "My grandmother made this." The incredible tininess of the yarn will give it a very lace look. For those of you familiar with crocheting, this is crochet thread size 20 - standard crochet cotton is size 10. For those of you not big into the crochet scene, here is a picture of standard (size 4) yarn with one of the most popular size crochet hooks used in patterns (h) for comparison:

The seller of the pattern warns that this is for advanced crocheters, and she is not joking - my 15+ years of experience in crocheting is coming in handy. But I really love the challenge of this dress and I can't wait to get started on that intricate skirt! I am confident enough in my skills to know it will turn out like the picture, and this is totally the kind of thing people see and go, "you made that?!" Maybe someday I'll be that grandma whose granddaughter passes this down to her great-granddaughter.

The baptismal gown goes hand-in-hand with a baptismal party, and Matt and I are playing around with a way-fun idea. We had Abigail baptized very early as a precaution against her heart, but, for lots of reasons, we really liked completing this sacrament so early, so we'd like to repeat it with all of our kids. This baby is due 2 days after Abigail's birthday, so we're thinking of doing a joint Baby's Baptism & Abigail's 3rd birthday party. We don't want to make extended-family-wide bday parties a regular thing because that can be really draining for large families, like my husband's. But everyone is already going to be in one place for the Baptism. And I love planning things, especially girly things. And Matt thinks we should make the theme pink. So. Yeah. Who knows if it will happen - even a "close family, intimate event" wouldn't fit in our apartment and feeding people is expensive - but I decided to plan it anyway! I resurrected my old Pinterest account and started searching for DIY center pieces. We haven't even called the church yet, but I did up some invitations. Even if this party never happens, I enjoy planning things and I just need something to do when I need a break from crocheting.

The only thing about planning parties and crocheting dainty dresses is that it's hard to do them with one of these cuties running around:

And this little cutie starting saying, "no" on Thursday. Right now we're still in the adorable, "she doesn't know that she can say it to me yet" stage, and I love overhearing her tell her dolls, puzzle pieces, kitties, any other errant toy, "no, no, no" in her cute little voice that sounds more like, "new, new, new." I don't know how long I get before the "no" stage turns ugly, so for right now, we're just enjoying a new word. Anyway, I am planning to get her a new toy for Valentine's Day, something her therapists really recommend, and new toys always lead to more time spent occupied and less time torturing them:

so I'm looking forward to it.

Today is Monday, my friends. Do something today to make Monday awesome. And may the sun be with you.


Allison said...

Oh wow, that gown is amazing! I "hearted" it on etsy, but don't think I'd have the guts to do it, I only just learned crochet. My mom made my daughter's gown with pieces of her wedding lace, so if we have another child I'd love another special gown. I can't wait to see yours finished!

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful skill to have! My husband offers to buy me a sewing machine about once a month -he just doesn't understand that the shills I learned on my moms old Singer 17 years ago won't make a seamstress if a sewing machine appears. :-)

Our babies have been baptized within four days if their births, always with an accompanying large family party. I love it and think its incredibly important, but unless you have a major source of help on the actual day, it can be very hard and exhausting on a recovering Mommy. I've done it three times, and the last one was the hardest on me physically. I highly recommend enlisting an MIL or SIL (or godparents!) to assist, arrange, execute, pull out the extra napkins and pick up the cake, etc, so you really can sit back and put your feet up, because you may feel the need to.

Happy Monday to you!

Amelia@One Catholic Mama said...

Wow...that is a beautiful Baptismal gown!

My first three kids were baptized between 4-8 weeks after birth, but my 4th was baptized at only 2 weeks (would have been even closer, but she was born earlier than expected and we scheduled the Baptism before birth). We did have a small party afterwards, which was nice. I basically got all ready prepared foods, so it was easy and then we had lots of leftovers, which was great. Having soemone to help on the day of the party is really great, and we did have friends helping which made a huge difference.

I defintiely like doing the Baptism as early as possible, so when we have another one, we'll probably schedule the Baptism before birth again and see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this article on remembering and celebrating your baptismal day, and I thought you'd appreciate it:


St Louis deMontfort also recommended renewing your baptismal promises daily, which is an awesome idea! TB