Birthday Knitting and Sewing

October 13, 2010

I can’t believe that it has been a week since my last post. I never mean for that much time to go by, but lately I find myself reading my book just a bit longer than normal, drawing with the kids outside in the sunshine for most of an afternoon, or knitting something fun instead of turning on my computer or television. I love these times in life where I can use something, like a pregnancy, to indulge in true relaxation.

Having said that, I also love this space very much, so I am glad that you all have stuck around through these past few months of random posts and long absences. I promise to try and get to my old self here soon.

This past Friday we were so lucky to celebrate Elwood’s 5th birthday. Oh my baby bean, how he has grown and grown. I have to admit that as much as I would like to believe that I was able to peg his personality when he was first born, I am not sure that I could have been any more wrong about who he has become. We use to call him Buddha Baby because his first year he slept, ate and just sat and stared. I thought he would be shy, quiet and pensive.
Nope, none of those.
I thought he would be introverted and not interested in such things as sports and large groups.
Nope, could not be more wrong there either.

Elwood has grown into a spunky, life grabbing little human who is intensely protective of his mother, worships the ground his father walks on, and has a true best friend in his older brother. This will be his last birthday as the youngest, and we all cherished every moment.

A few months back I had seen a post from Stephinie of Gypsy Forest of a Pebble sweater vest that she had made for her 4 year old daughter. I loved the look of the vest so much on an older child, and I immediately knew that was what I wanted to make for Elwood and Jake (he turns 7 on Saturday. 7!) this year.

The pattern modifications can be found on Ravelry, and I have to say that the modifications are spot on for the 4 year old, and need minimal adjustments for even my 7 year old (pretty much just length and straps). This vest is so easy and so much fun to knit that I finished each vest in under two days (hey, this is football season, there is lots of time to knit), and have gone on to begin a vest for Thanksgiving, and for the winter holiday season ahead.

When my kiddos first came along, my husband and I decided that we would try and hand make their gifts as much as possible for birthdays and holidays, and that seems to have spawned the knitted sweater and handmade pajama pants tradition that the boys have come to expect.

This year Elwood picked out Halloween fabric for his pajamas, and I had a blast creating a french seam versionĀ  (pj’s are great to practice french seams with) with a cuff on the bottom (Tutorial Tuesday perhaps?). I included a spider shirt that I bought, and a freezer paper stenciled black shirt with a bat on the front, and the #5 on the back, to be worn on the days when the other shirt just smells too darn bad from over wear.

I am still in awe of the gratitude that children have for handmade gifts (both making and receiving), and I am grateful that even at 7 and 5, a sweater vest seems like a cool present to receive. Of course, we will have to wait and see how Jacob enjoys opening his on Saturday, but I can only hope that he has a similar reaction.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

ItsLily October 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Oh Heather, you just take all the time you need to enjoy this pregnancy. I think I speak for many in saying that we're simply delighted to stop by for a visit and find you've been here as well. You always have such wonderful posts. About this post, you could have described my grandson in your description of Elwood. I too pegged my grandson as quiet and pensive during that first year, but, oh boy, have I ever been proven wrong. He is so full of life and adventure and he is the most devoted of family members. He adores each of us and isn't the least bit hesitant to show us with a word or action. I figure he was just watching and learning that first year just as he watches and learns even now. Isn't it amazing to witness and experience each of their wonderful personalities? Thanks for the post on the sweater vest. It looks wonderful.

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Anna October 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I happily gobble up your posts whenever you feel moved to write them. I'm not terribly picky about the when or how often. I just love seeing what you have to say because it is always so lovely and insightful. I have no idea what french seams are, but I love those PJs. I am often surprised by how pleased my kids are to get homemade things. They love store bought stuff, but seem to beam at the idea that we've made something just for them.

Sending a big happy birthday to both of your darling boys.

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agambroult October 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm

oh, 5 and 7? It can't be. I have only been reading your blog for a year now, but still, it's hard to believe. That vest is way cute, and I think my girls might need some for the holidays. I love a good 2-day knitting project :) The pjs are almost as adorable as the boy wearing them, and YES! Tutorial Tuesday those babies.
A BIG Happy Birthday to your boys :)

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Meryl October 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I love that vest! I've made the tiny version, and I'm sure there will be modified, bigger ones in my future.

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Jennifer Tan October 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Homemade gifts are the best! You are a gifted knitter and sewer. Beautiful pictures. :)

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Andrea October 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Don't ever apologize for enjoying life rather than turning on the computer! It is nice to see you here once in a while, though, and your amazing creations. And truly wonderful that your boys value and appreciate what you make them…happy birthday to them both and happy mamaversary to you!

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Maeghan October 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

So sweet! I almost forgot that we were laboring for our 2 little men at the same time. Precious gifts Mama! Cameron will be 7 Sunday and I feel like it was yesterday!

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Tonya October 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Hi Heather,
so nice to catch a glimpse of what you have been up to – your boys sure are growing up!
Thank you so much for the link for the adjustments for that vest – it is my favorite to knit and I have requests from my six year old for a pink one:)
Happy Birthday!
Warm wishes, Tonya

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Kate October 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I love that vest as well, my boys each have one and it looks like we both eliminated the buttons, making it such an easy knit. Happy birthday celebrations.

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Kara Fleck October 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm

How lovely the vest looks! and, oh, such great photos! LOTS of personality there :-) Happy Birthday!

(off to go look at vests on Ravelry now LOL)

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emmalina73 October 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Lovely to see you! Any may I just vote 'yes' for the pj pants tutorial? Enjoy this blissful autumn and the special 'harvest' you are anticipating.

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Shayray October 13, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I am loving the brown sweater in the photos.

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brooke October 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I just get a smile on my face when I see you have a new post :)
Love the vest.. i have bookmarked and may be knitting in mexico later this month!

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Maria October 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Those pants are fabulous!! I was thinking of sewing up some winter pajamas for my little ones too. And I just knit a pebble vest for my 2 year old a couple of weeks ago! I love how it looks on him!!! It's so snuggly. http://dirtundermynails.com/2010/10/01/the-golden

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sandee October 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Thanks. This is the perfect project for Christmas gifts for my kids. I had just blogged two days ago, that I can't knit, after pulling out two sweaters. (My first sweater attempt) But this looks like something I might be able to do! Thank you. I also make "pants" pajama bottoms out of repurposing thrift store flannel sheets. I have some cute polar bear and some cute pink snowflake sheets I found!

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Sarah Jane October 13, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Happy birthday to you sweet boy. The vest looks great. That color is perfect.
What have you been reading?

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Stephinie October 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I love it! It looks perfect in chocolate brown doesn't it? He looks so grown up though! *sniff* my how fast they grow :)

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Joy October 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm

What an adorable vest! He looks so handsome and grown up. :) Love the pj pants too. They look like fun to keep cosy in during these fall nights!

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Kelly October 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I love the sweater vest, super cool! Happy Birthday!

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Nina - Tabiboo October 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Happy birthday to your very handsome young man – though five is more of a milestone then I thought it would be with my middle daughter turning it earlier in the year – how there personalities grow and change in such a short space.

Such beautiful words Heather and a wonderful post.

take care,

Nina x

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stacyZ October 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Oh Happy Birthday sweetness. I know you had a fabulous weekend I trust. I was wondering if you were around. Give our love to everyone!

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Courtney October 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm

heather – would you be open to sharing your ravelry name? I would love to keep tabs on your projects if you share them there. If you'd rather keep it on the down low – no worries

And

Happy birthday to the little guy. I love the vest and Halloween jammies – wish I had a pair for myself right now. He sure can pick fabric. We are working on Halloween pillow cases right now. Funny – I can still see the picture of your halloween mantle and post from last year in my mind – can time really go that fast!

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Annie October 14, 2010 at 12:16 am

Eek, those are my pattern modifications (it is exciting to see it being shared around on other blogs). I'm so glad so many people have found the notes helpful. The original pattern is so great and it was pretty easy to size it up for my little guy. I made his vest last year and he is still wearing it this fall, so we've gotten a lot of use out of it! A friend of mine made one with garter ridges that I just love: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/thelittlenest/peb

Happy Birthday to your little guy, he is so handsome in his sweater. I love earthy browns!

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Jennifer October 14, 2010 at 12:36 am

Happy 5th Birthday to Elwood! Such a lucky guy to have such a talented mama. I think homemade gifts are the best. They always make me feel special that someone took the time to create a gift with me in mind.
Oh, I hope you don't fret over not posting as much. I am so happy for you that you are taking the time to relax and enjoying your pregnancy.

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samthehamsmom October 14, 2010 at 12:47 am

WOW, what a STUD! What a sweet sweater~great job!

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heirloomseasons October 14, 2010 at 2:10 am

Happy birthday to you both Heather!
I did kind of the same thing with Chessa, I thought she was going to be this delicate, quiet little one. Well actually she is very quiet, but not always, and so tough!
Elwood looks looks so sweet and handsome in his beautiful vest. Handmade gifts are the best, my girls agree thank goodness!
xoxo

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mommarae October 14, 2010 at 2:40 am

love to hear that you are taking the time to enjoy this pregnancy and your beautiful family! cyberspace will still be here, it's true. love the sweater vest!! gorgeous photos, too. happy birthday to your little one and happy birth day to you, mama!

by the way, i did not hear back from you….did you have the address wrong or was there some sort of other problem? just curious! xoxoxo

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Earth Mama October 14, 2010 at 3:43 am

I almost just finished up my first pebble vest too! Mine is for the littlest mister, but I think it may just be a tad too small, although Im not completely sure yet. I too am not feeling the blogging pull so much anymore. I have a lot going on though and feel pulled in many many different directions right now…overstimulation I tell you! I hope you and your fam are doing well and enjoying the birthday boy bliss.

:)Lisa

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kerry October 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Oh 5, there's something special about it isn't there? I was a bit surprised to feel that on Henry's recent 5th birthday. The vest is gorgeous! He looks so very handsome in it. I love the idea of handmade gifts. It was hard not to have that this year, but circumstances prevented it. I have a head start on Christmas though. I might have to add that vest to my list! Beautiful Heather!

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Valarie October 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I can't get over how big Elwood has gotten. Happy Birthday to both of your boys. I love that sweater vest. I think I might have to knit a version of that myself. I had the same situation as you. My youngest was becoming the middle child except that I always think of myself as having two babies or youngest. Mimi was the youngest for so long that when Omi came I still thought of her as the youngest. We don't have middle child syndrome here and I think a lot of that has to do with having two youngest in the family. Enjoy.

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Angela October 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Glad you are taking moments to chill and enjoy. Happy Birth day to your and your babe! He is a doll and I have to say I am loving those pajamas! Be well, Angela

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April October 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Heather- I love how the vest turned out! I recently finished the Manly vest and love it. Next size up will definitely be the the Pebble vest.

I also love the darling Halloween pj's. When I was a kid I thought special holiday pajamas were so fun. I make Christmas pajamas to be worn to bed on Christmas eve, but I love the idea of extending the tradition out- maybe a special set each season?

Happy happy birthday to your beautiful boy!

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Adrie October 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Awesomely sweet, as always! Happy birthday to both your boys – joyful days to you all.

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Francesca October 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Happy birthday to Elwood! What a nice time for your family, filled with happy celebrations and big days!

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willowluna October 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I love handmade gifting traditions! We do PJ bottoms for yule, here, knitted sweaters for their birthdays every year, too. The older they get, the longer the knitting is taking! I've seen the baby version of Pebble, but hadn't seen it for an older child. I DO like it on an older one, it's perfect on him!

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Denise October 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Happy Birthday Season to you all x
Love that vest pattern too, yours is lovely .. would love to hear more about the pjs
xx

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a little crafty nest October 15, 2010 at 5:12 am

Happy Birthday Elwood and to you,too, mama! My son will also be 5 in a few weeks and I had made him a Pebble vest just like his baby brother (3 months) and little sister (2 years). I love it, too. Gosh, I wish I had known about the pattern you used because I fiddled with it and it is still very roomy! But it works, and I love this vest. (I posted about it in September). I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly and you cherish these moments today!
xo Jules

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Jenna October 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Yay for October babies! Mine turns one next week and I'm starting the handmade gifts tradition, too. She'll be receiving a quilt, a doll, a skirt, and a really sweet handmade chair. We're lucky that we can find lots of lovely handmade wooden things here in Egypt. I do love that sweater though, maybe I have time to make it and plan the party?? Or maybe that could be a Christmas gift : )

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Lacey October 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm

we are on a similar wave-length. delayed blog posts, kid birthdays with homemade pajamas…but, glad to see some beautiful fall birthday shots. the sweater with those leaves is amazing! Happy birthday Elwood!

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cathleen October 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Heather…that little vest is so sweet and fits him perfectly!!!

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Megan October 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

That vest is just dreamy….
And I can totally identify with your lack of posts lately. I too wake up with great intentions of posting and am having so much fun baking pumpkin treats and heading outdoors to enjoy this fleeting season.

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jessica October 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Jake and Elwood have birthdays like my sister and I–such a delight to have our birthdays close (now more than ever!)

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patty-jean October 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

Oh I love the look of the vest in that size! I made one also for my almost 6yr. daughter in a dark rose color (of course it's not entirely finished – my big weakness is having too many knitting projects at once) – looking at yours almost makes me wonder if my husband would wear one in his size?!

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themakinglife October 20, 2010 at 3:19 am

I'm just finishing up a Pebble for my new babe, and I had such fun knitting it. How great to know that I can continue to knit new ones as she grows! That one is gorgeous on your little guy.

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Shivayamama October 28, 2010 at 3:29 am

It is such a great pattern, I just love it. I actually have the third one of the season on the needles :).

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