Hello all, Sarah here! I’m starting to re-emerge a little online and at work after some time off to have a little one six weeks ago. (Eek, how has it been that long already?!)
Before wee Alana arrived lots of crafting friends with children warned me that time to make things would be non-existent for a while, or extremely scare at least. Obviously, babies take up a lot of time and attention! Rather than give up though, I’ve changed the type of projects I work on, and um, changed my expectations about how much I can get done. I’ve got more organised too, by working on some gifts that I really want to make for family this year, but starting months in advance.
The first thing I reached for was a new crochet project. A kind friend suggested that with crochet being easier to do with one hand, it can be simpler to work on if you have a little person sleeping on your chest. I went for granny squares, because I love them, they’re little and really easy to pick up/put down and are great if you just have little snatches of time. Cal Patch’s awesome creativebug class was a great help in learning how to do them properly, rather than the rough guesswork I’ve used in the past. (And a hint to other mamas-with-babies – Cal has the most soothing, amazing accent ever, and I swear watching her class in the background has actually sent Alana off to sleep!)
It started small with just a few colours from my leftovers stash… Then I got a little obsessed.
The current tally is around 60 squares, to which I’ve now added a further outer round in cream and have started joining to motivate me to finish. The end result should be a blanket for Alana’s room, large enough to cover her bed when she gets a little bigger.
I haven’t forgotten how to knit though! My other main project started just before she was born, when I was very pregnant, overdue, and extremely keen to finally meet my baby. The house was clean and the freezer was full but nothing was tempting her out. Ysolda suggested starting a new project – something big and time-consuming that I wouldn’t want to be interrupted. It worked. I went for a walk with my little dog Penny to think about what to start, felt a little twinge, went home and cast on Stasis by Leila Raabe and ta-da! – half-way through the cast-on round the contractions started. I’m not claiming this approach will work for everyone!
A fingering weight sweater might not seem that sensible a plan, but after getting past the colourwork in the first few days when Alana slept a lot, it was perfect. Just round and round, and really easy to throw to the side whenever my hands were needed elsewhere. Last night I joined the sleeves to the body so after another few rounds it’ll get more time-consuming, but the gift deadline for this isn’t for a while, so there’s no rush.
Crafting with a newborn has one problem though. I seem to have created a person keen to get their hands on my yarn.
Do you struggle with tight bind offs? Whether you’re knitting a toe-up sock, a top-down sweater, or a lacy shawl, a bind off that’s too tight can really get in the way of enjoying your finished project! Here are 3 easy methods to work a stretchy bind-off without sewing.