Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free Pattern: Fortuny Baby Leggings

Fortuny Baby Leggings Pattern

A simple and pretty pair of leggings for any baby girl.

The leggings feature a traveling twisted stitch that spirals up the leg. Increases are worked in such a way that the traveling stitches gradually grow further apart as you knit up the leg. There are 15 rows of twisted stitch rib on either end of the leggings.

Fits a 3-6 month sized girl.

Knit using fingering weight yarn on 2.75mm needles. Gauge 7 sts = 1".

k1tbl: knit on through back loop
cn1tbl: slip on st onto cable needle and hold in front. Knit one st. Knit st on cable needle through the back loop.
m1: make one st. I used the KLL increase found here.


CO 42 sts
Work in twisted rib (k1tbl, p1) for 15 rows (1 1/2").

SET UP ROW: * k5, cn1tbl. Repeat from * to end.

ROW 1: knit all knit sts and ktbl all of the twisted sts.
ROW 2: * knit until you reach a twisted st, cn1tbl. Repeat from * to end.

Work rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 2 1/2", ending with row 1. Work an increase row.

INCREASE ROW: * knit until you reach a twisted st, cn1tbl, m1. Repeat from * to end.

Work rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 3 1/2", ending with row 1. Work increase row.

Continue on in such a fashion, working increase rows at 4 1/2", 5 1/2" and 6 1/2". Then work rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 7 1/2". Work 15 rows of twisted rib and bind off loosely in rib.

While you are working the leggings, you will eventually find that as your twisted stitches travel up the leg, there will come a point when a twisted st reaches the end of a round. When this happens and you have to cn1tbl, do so in such a manner so that you always have the same number of stitches on each needle. In other words, move the twisted st (the last st on the last needle) so that it becomes the first st on your first needle and the k st that used to be the first st on the first needle will now become the last st on the last needle.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Out With Dad

Yesterday Nialle took the day off of work to nurse a sore foot. It was a real treat for the kids to have dad around for the whole day and they decided to take him to C.H.I.P.S. (an indoor playground). We actually haven't been to CHIPS that often, but we should try to make it a habit because Liam just loves it and I find it's a fun excuse to get out of the house.

Liam really likes this motorbike... Nialle is teaching Liam how to pedal. He can go backwards really well, but has yet to pedal forwards!

Liam demonstrates one of the many ways children strengthen their immune systems - by sucking on germ infested steering wheels.

Making me a batch of chocolate chip cookies. My kid knows me well!
Spinning in the saucer. Seeing him wobble around after he got out was pretty hilarious!

There was lots for Ada to do as well...
She loves to play with balls!
She likes to goof off for the camera too!

Such a pretty little red head!

After CHIPS it was off to the library for some new books. The rest of my day was wonderful because Nialle helped me with the kids cooked a fabulous dinner: perhaps the best chicken I've had in quite some time - he cooked the spices under the skin! Along with the chicken was Nialle's famous twice baked potatoes stuffed with Berkshire bacon and cheese. Yum!

Who knew sick days could be so much fun?

Nialle also made me a great dinner on Saturday night. We had some Berkshire tenderloin in our freezer (a Christmas gift from my parents) that Nialle butterflied, stuffed and served with a Dijon reduction. Amazing. Here's the recipe for the Stuffed and Rolled Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Pan Jus.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Look, Ma, No More Paper Towels!

It's official: the Travnik household used up their last roll of paper towels six weeks ago and haven't bought another roll since.

There wasn't really any particular reason why we stopped using paper towels. Well, Ok, maybe there was. Being the frugal zealot that I am, it's always thrill to save a buck here or there....Anyways, we ran out and I didn't really feel like buying more, so I thought we'd give a paper-towel-free lifestyle a try.

In place of the paper towels, we're using old receiving blankets. Some receiving blankets were quartered while others were cut into sixteen smaller squares. I then zig zagged around the raw edges.

The larger squares are used for cleaning the bathroom and the smaller pieces are used for spills or wiping out our cast iron pans after they are seasoned.

I use newspapers and a vinegar/water solution to clean our glass and mirrors at home. I've always done this because newspapers give the best streak free shine!

You know what? At the end of these six weeks, I haven't missed the paper towels once. I'll be making a trip to the second hand store sometime soon to pick up used receiving blankets to make into more wipes for the bathroom. Thanks to a potty-training, I have learned you can never have too many rags for bathroom cleaning.

I know that Kindra has also cut up old receiving blankets to use as baby wipes.

Now, I just have to convince Nialle that it would be really cool to make up our own reusable "toilet paper" out of receiving blankets! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Growing Triumphs and Pains

We haven't been up to much lately other than the regular routine, but, regardless, life just seems to be passing by at breakneck speed. Both kids are growing up before my eyes and seem to learn something new skill each day. There's new challenges to be had and with each challenge there is the opportunity for a new triumph.

Ada is developing at a ferocious rate. Since last Wednesday, she has learned to clap her hands and is now officially mobile, doing the commando crawl around the house. At 7 1/2 months she is even (heaven help me) trying to pull herself up. It just feels too sudden and too fast for her to be doing these things! Where's my baby girl going?

Here Ada proves that diamonds are a girl's best friend as she crawls for my ring.

Ada is also proving to be quite the party animal, preferring to socialize rather than take naps. Liam, at this age, had two naps a day lasting anywhere from 2 -3 hours. Ada, on the other hand, has only one nap a day that lasts 2 or 3 hours (yesterday her nap was only 1 1/2 hours long!!) This leaves me wondering if she might cut out her naps even earlier than Liam did. If that's the case, you can bet we won't be having any more kids for a long, long time. I'm exhausted from trying to keep up with the two I have.

Ada is now a seasoned pro at sitting up. Her favourite pastime is to sit in front of our toy bin, taking toys out one by one, looking them over and then tasting them before finally moving on to the next toy.

Here she looking pretty in the midst of the toys that have been strewn all over the floor.

I've wryly concluded that I would be a much better mother if Liam would only nap...and not get up before 7 in the morning. The combination of early risings and long days without naps can be miserable. Most mornings go well, but around 3pm, things kind of get crazy around here. At that time of the day, Liam frequently bursts into tears over the smallest of things and often becomes very defiant. More often than not, I find it hard to keep my cool and miss my opportunity to gently train Liam in a godly fashion.

Thankfully, I recently read a copy of Dr. Kevin Leman's book Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down which has really helped to calm things down around the house. It's given me some strategies to use with Liam so that we aren't constantly in a battle of wills. Dr. Leman is refreshingly practical and simple in his approach to child rearing and his book is one that I'm sure I'll read again and again.

Sometimes motherhood feels like a broken record because you're doing the same things day after day. Other days motherhood feels like a marathon race; you just hope to have the endurance to make it to the end. Some days you feel like a failure and other days like the best mom in the world. At any rate, I'm glad I have two snugamuffins like Liam and Ada and a great dad like Nialle along for the ride with me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Kinda Valentine

This Valentine's, I had to laugh at how much Nialle and I have changed since we have had kids. Back in the 'old days' we would have thought it a disappointment to stay home on Valentine's Day - as though we weren't having a meaningful celebration if we weren't out at some interesting restaurant.

But times have changed and, thankfully, so have our attitudes. Since I'm still nursing Ada and she's only had the times (and I'm too much of a wimp to leave her), Nialle and I rarely get out alone these days. But, I'm a homebody by nature, so I really don't mind staying in. I think both Nialle and I are grateful for any uninterrupted time alone, no matter where it happens.

Needless to say, we decided to have supper at home this Valentine's Day and splurge a bit on some ingredients for a tasty dish. Both Nialle and I were excited for our "just for mommy and daddy meal". We made Liam a simple supper of eggs and toast and then put both kids to bed early. Nialle started on dinner, I lit some candles and then we sat down to our own romantic dinner without children.

You know, with the quiet house and the candlelit dinner, our meal reminded me of one we had before we were married. Nialle took me to a little place called Hemingways on 109 ave in Edmonton. The restaurant was an old house that had been converted into a restaurant. The whole place only had about 10 or 15 tables which made for a really cozy atmosphere. I remember the food being really great too...I think I had pork.

Nialle's a wonderful cook and this meal was just as good as the one at Hemingways. We had a pasta dish with roasted red peppers and onions topped with sausage and fresh parmesan cheese. Simple and delicious.

We had some of my mom's homemade herbed butter on a french roll.

Egads, can my mom make good butter!

The wine was really interesting, if not for the taste, but for the bottle. It had been made to look like an old dusty bottle from a pirate ship - very cool.

We don't get out as much as we used to, but having our special Valentine's dinner gave us the idea to try and make such a dinner a regular weekly occurance. Sort of like a mini-date night at home!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009