Thursday, January 8, 2009

Roly Poly, eatin' corn and taters

My granddaddy grew up in Texas in a houseful of women. His Aunt Allie and his mother, Bennie May, my mother's Mimi, doted on him by all accounts, and made him lots of little (or not so little) baby clothes. When we found out that we would be having a baby boy, my mom brought these precious clothes up to me to examine.
Two things stand out about these clothes. First, there's an awful lot of pink for a boy baby. I grew up with my mother and grandmother telling me that pink used to be for baby boys while blue was for girls. The colors got switched sometime in the intervening years, I guess.
The second thing about these clothes is that they're incredibly wide. W-I-D-E, almost as wide as they are tall. I can think of a couple of reasons for this, I guess. This was before the advent of stretch fabrics, so you would want things roomy for a wriggly baby. And also, people probably wanted really fat babies. Not that we don't *love* fat babies now, but I guess a fat baby would be a real advantage in the days before truly modern medical care. Maybe by making the clothes extra wide, these women were willing this roly-poly baby to be hale, hearty and healthy!

No matter when I try to take photos of these, the pictures always come out a little dark and grainy, so these will have to do. The embroidery is incredible for things that were meant for a spit-uppy baby.
Missing from my photos are a pair of green velvet overalls with the most amazing interlined pockets and a store-bought navy blue velvet cap with a wooden button and a jaunty grosgrain ribbon. That velvet just swallowed the light, making them very hard to photograph, but they're both incredibly cute. Click through on the photos for a little more information on each item and a couple more photos at flickr.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I haven't blogged about knitting in quite a while! In late October, I ordered several different colorways of Dream In Color Classy yarn with the intention of making some Christmas gifts. But knitting always takes longer than you think it will, doesn't it? Or am I the only one? Anyway, now most of this beautiful yarn will be made into other things. Mostly for me. Above, in the Dusky Aurora colorway, is the beginnings of the paneled Ribby Cardi. This is going to be a great sweater.This one actually was a Christmas gift for my husband. I just have about a million ends left to weave in. This is a really cool pattern. It's a Red Cross pattern published in December of 1941 for a "Man's 'V' Neck Sweater Sleeveless" that was distributed to the Red Cross' "Production Corps," a volunteer group that knitted for soldiers in the U.S. Army, Air Corps and Marine Corps. Their motto was "knit your bit". More information here. At the end of the pattern, bold letters state: "Do not start another garment with left-over yarn. Please return all unused yarn to Chapter." Every little bit counted.

The vest is knitted in one piece from the bottom of the back to the bottom of the front and then joined up the sides. I used Cascade 220 in color 8013 for the brown tweedy stripes and more Dream in Color Classy in color Good Luck Jade for the green stripes. This project took less than a skein of the Dream in Color and a little more than two skeins of the Cascade. Plenty left over and no finishing except for the side seams. Of course the original pattern didn't call for stripes, only for "sweater yarn, olive drab".

And the third recent project in Dream in Color Classy, this time in the Black Parade colorway. This is the February Lady sweater. After I made one for the little guy, I thought it would be nice to have one for myself. Plus it's a very pregnancy-friendly pattern. I wish I had a photo of it on my body, but on the tree will have to do for now.

More beautiful yarn-- this photo shows the color more clearly. It will be hard to resist buying more in the future!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! And the pregnancy ring

Happy New Year one and all! We ate the traditional New Year's day meal of black-eyed peas and greens last night when Brian was home from work. So yummy with some over-sweet cornbread and butter.

I'm really looking forward to the new year. I'm so incredibly excited to meet the newest member of our little family next month (or late this month!). I do have a couple of back-logged baby-related posts to put up later this week.

But today I bring you the pregnancy ring. Up until the holidays, I was doing pretty well with the symptoms of gestation. Good mobility, not a lot of weight gain, not a lot of tiredness and almost no swelling. Then came holiday travel and multiple Christmas dinners. My mom noticed that I had taken off my wedding and engagement rings at the table and invited me to wear this ring until the end of my pregnancy.

I love it. It was my great-great-grandmother's wedding ring. Inside, it's inscribed: "E.D. to L.W. Nov. 16, 1892". It's so comfortable and large, worn thin on the edges and beautifully patina-ed. Plus, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to think of this 116-year-old ring worn by that long-ago mother and grandmother now being worn by me, a soon-to-be mother.