Friday, June 26, 2015

Gifts for an Angel Baby

A year after my angel baby, granddaughter, Ember Ruby, was born, we celebrated her birthday with a family gathering, over the Winter Solstice weekend.
My DIL's family rented a seaside cottage and we gathered there.
The  living area was decorated with hearts and beautiful balloons, made by POP Balloons.


On the second night the family made a bonfire on the beach and launched heart lanterns that soared out to sea.

 Later there were fireworks. 

It was a very special time that warmed our hearts and created precious memories to help carry us foward in a positive way.

My personal project for the occasion, has been to make some gifts for other angel babies.
 I know how much we were comforted by the beautiful items provided at the hospital. Some lovely things  to dress and cherish our angel, and more, to make a  Memory Box to treasure.
I was deeply touched by the kindness of the people who provide these items.
Now I want to pay it foward.

I am making two sets, one pink and one blue.
I've learnt that soft colours are best for items that will dress the babies.

My items are sized for a baby of 18-20 weeks gestation.
First I made cocoons - these are practical for wrapping and holding such a tiny baby. 
Basic pattern, by Myshelle Cole, is here  

I made my own variations for trims and hoods.  I made the closures adjustable for size
There are more details on my Ravelry project pages

I made matching blankets for keepsakes.

Pattern by Maria Bittner, for the blue blanket, is here 

Each set will have two tiny teddies-one for the baby and one for a keepsake.

The Tiny Teddy pattern is by Lucy Ravenscar and can be found here

I hope my gifts bring comfort to a family with a new angel baby.

If you would like to make items for angel babies there are many organisations that will foward on your donations.
They are often local, so try an internet search for 'angel baby' to see what organisations there are in your country.

Photographs of balloons, lanterns, and fireworks by Hayley Munro Photography.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bonnet Measurements

I love bonnets for babies and little girls. I'm so pleased that they are making a comeback. I think that they are more feminine and practical than beanies. (They can't be pulled off quite as easily)
Bonnets have been the traditional hat for babies for many generations and in more than one culture. There are good reasons for that.

I collect old crochet patterns and made a traditional bonnet for my granddaughter when she was a tiny baby.

I made this Pixie Bonnet, too. Pattern by Crochetmylove Designs here:   Lace Pixie Bonnet

I  made a bonnet of my own design that looked very cute but didn't fit so well.

At the moment I'm making another bonnet as a gift for a friend's expected grandbaby. I'm modifying the pattern a bit, so I went in search of bonnet measurements on the net, to make sure that I get the fit right this time.
found a great chart at CharmedbyEwe,
but as is often the way with American instructions, there was no metric conversion. 

This is a bit of a gripe of mine because most of the world uses Metric measurements. America is one of only 3 countries that still use Imperial.
New Zealand changed to Metric measurements when I was a school girl. I had to learn how to use Metric measurement after having just mastered Imperial. 
The good thing about that was that I understand both, although my Imperial knowledge is rusty and I really only use it for the weight of newborn babies (which we all still seem to announce both ways) and sometimes if I'm too lazy to convert an American pattern to Metric.
 I own tape measures and scales with both types of measurement on them because that's how they were in the early years after conversion.
I notice that European books and websites often provide imperial conversions as a courtesy. I wish all American publications did the same.
End of grizzle. I've always thought that if somethhing bothers me enough I should stop complaining and do something about it.

I decided that it was very kind of Charmedbyewe to share her chart and if I wanted a conversion, I would do it myself. After all, not everyone learnt both systems and converting lots of measurements could be a daunting project if you aren't used to it, or don't have the time to spare.
Here is my chart. I hope that it is useful.