Tag Archives: lotta jansdotter

a newsflash and some makes

i feel i’ve got some explaining to do.  i’ve been neglecting my blog lately.  big style.  but for good reason.

we parked there legitimately.  oh my!  i’m 30 weeks and am still feeling somewhat dumbstruck by the fact that we are having a baby, particularly because i am now, ahem, forty (what?).  much of the last 30 weeks have been spent struggling through incessant nausea (hence, not much baking) and exhaustion (nix on the sewing, crocheting and writing).  despite the knocks, i am still overjoyed to be pregnant – what a trip it is!  fortunately, i’ve been feeling better over the last few months (thank you, diclectin), but my brain just hasn’t cooperated with trying to think creatively, so please forgive me if this post is a painful read.

because my blurry brain thinks it has come up with a baby-themed post, i thought i’d share a couple of baby gifts i’ve made recently.

this is a simple baby snuggler from the free pattern by lotta jansdotter (i think i want to be her – just peek at her website.  wow).  the exterior is chambray, the interior is flannel, and it closes up with velcro, making it a cosy and safe alternative to the now much-feared loose-blanket-in-the-crib.  plus, for those who are swaddle-challenged, it is a tad easier than swaddling a squirmy baby.  it turned out a bit larger than i expected, so i’m not sure it’s newborn-appropriate.  hopefully it will fit the handsome new-babe soon, and will live up to its promises of ensuring sweet-dreams and long sleeps.

next up is an ad-libbed blanket i made up sans-pattern, for another handsome baby-friend of ours.  i was quite pleased with what i came up with, though i do realize one hardly needs a pattern to explain how to construct something as simple as a blanket.  nevertheless, i did whip up some nice bound-edges and added a little appliqued initial to each side to make it a little more personal.  this was my first attempt at applique, so it is less than perfect in its sloppiness, but perhaps it will lend itself to the hand-made vibe of the gift.

a note on fabric – one side of this is a super-soft, fine-wale corduroy, the other a nice checked-flannel.  did you know there is a vast difference in the quality of flannels?  buyer beware!  i bought a great moose-print flannel at fabricland which, sadly, pilled dramatically when washed.  i washed it again, and it looked even worse, with streaks of pilling and it was see-through in places.  unacceptable!  apparently a heavier quilter’s-flannel is the way to go if you’re looking for durability.

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if you’re still reading, thanks for bearing with me and my poor writing and blurry photos.  i do have a few more makes and tasty recipes to share, plus a work-in-progress, so please do stay tuned!

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creative fuel

i love a trip to the city.  i mean the city.  toronto.

once or twice a year i have a work-related stay in TO.  when i’m there, my mission is to cram in as much walking, gawking and general city-imbibing as possible.  the chaos and crowds are both exhilarating and exhausting, and i find, for a short time anyways, that i am strangely soothed by the rhythm of urban life.  it couldn’t be more different from our home in the countryside, where trees outnumber people exponentially and heavy traffic means actually having to stop at the stop sign before turning.

one of the benefits of city excursions, apart from the fashion lessons, teashops and people-watching, is the improved access to all things crafty and the ability to refuel for my creative pursuits.  this trip allowed me to expand my stirandstitch stashes quite nicely (and to soothe IDS, who can get a little testy when left in the countryside for too long).

{crochet-fuel}     the yarn related highlight of this trip was my first ever visit to romni wools  – the epic toronto yarn store.  i don’t use the word epic flippantly here.  romni’s monstrous, bursting, teeming and towering collection of fibers is daunting to even the most yarn-starved shopper.  it was utterly overwhelming, but i managed to find some lovely, squishy goodies to take home, including some bright malabrigo sock and some nifty ‘braided’ cascade.


{sewing-fuel}     i discovered the workroom online and was instantly smitten.  they have a fabulous selection of contemporary fabrics and high quality notions, a friendly shop dog and a great calendar of sewing classes.  the timing of my trip worked out perfectly for me to take their three hour ‘serger essentials’ course – instruction i’ve been needing for years.  i came home with some new-found serger confidence and a set of rolled-hem napkins which we made in class.  i couldn’t resist a couple of pieces of lotta jansdotter fabric and three marvy patterns (including one for a sweet colette blouse) that i can’t wait to dig into.

{baking-fuel}     i have a cookbook addiction.  i could read cookbooks all day.  really.  this obsession has necessitated a moratorium on cookbook purchases (i also have a moratorium on tea mugs and flip-flops).  i had to allow myself an exception in toronto, though, for dorie greenspan’s ‘baking – from my home to yours’.  it’s been around for a while now, so it seemed less impulsive and more appropriate to add it to my collection (and really, what baker’s library is complete without it?).  i’ve been eagerly flipping the pages, wondering which recipe will be the first into my mixer.

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stirandstitch has refueled!  three days in toronto allowed me to absorb just enough urban sensibility to remain connected to city-life.  it also offered loads of tea, a little bit of chocolate and plenty of creative fuel for projects-to-be.  and it was just long enough, just windy enough and just lonely enough to make me (and even my testy IDS) feel happy to come home.

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