05 February, 2015

We're having a baby!

Yessss!!! Laugh at me, do.  Of course I'll not be the one to give birth. I'll be the wicked step-grandmother; I've been practicing for the role for well over half of my SD's lives, as their wicked stepmom.  So I'll be a very good evil (ok, maybe not totally evil), wicked old granny, mwahahahah!  I'm already dusting off my copy of the Brothers Grimm, as a refresher of the frightening magic and very pc-uncorrect tricks that ugly old hags are expected to perform on all the yummy, delicious, trusting, naive youth who happen to stumble into their clutches. The best and most complete version is "Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm", which has all 200 tales and 10 legends. You can read these delightfully wicked little pieces online.  Trust me, there's not a whiff of boring old saccharine Disney in any of them! And when you finish the Grimm offering, you can move on to peruse the remaining 45,999 books at the Gutenberg Project, (https://www.gutenberg.org/).  If you could read just one book per day, it'll take you only 126 years to get through the entire collection. But that's only if you're able to read in every language on offer; if you're limited, like most of us, to only three or four languages, you may be able to whittle the time to oh, maybe just a little over 100 years.

The other great thing about the Gutenberg Project? it has a small collection of sheet music. Once you've browsed through that, move on to the Petrucci Music Library:  300,000 scores!  Now that's just the thing to soothe the savage beast after the all wickedness awoken by those German fairy tales.

I'm feeling very sentimental about this little impending arrival.  My youngest is the last of a large gaggle of kids and cousins of his generation, a Benjamin of our extended family in the truest sense of the Old Testament allusion.  It seems in no time flat he's gone from a squiggly little moppet to an independent young man who turns wheelies on snowpack and likes to discuss physics - today, heat transfer equations - with his mother (I kid you not).  What's 16 years?  An eyeblink.  The Voyager spacecraft - both of them - have been out there, telling us ever more about the outer solar system and beyond, for nearly 40 years. And they're still talking. The New Horizons spaceship has been flying towards Pluto for 9 years, just so it can take better pictures of it, our last, littlest, demoted to dwarf status itty bitty planet, than can the Hubble with its ultra expensive corrective specs. After 9 years, it's almost there:  what's 200 million kilometers between friends?! Poor little Pluto will reveal its pouting face to the cameras in July, right around the same time that the new little one we're anticipating will face the lens and flash of our own.

Being a practical sort of wicked grandma to be, I already made the little tyke a blankie. Well, actually, I made two.  I like making these for the new arrivals - and have been ever since my own kids became more than just a twinkle in their father's eyes. I'm persuaded that this is a form of practice towards a quilt that keeps hinting at its existence somewhere in  my retirement (if I ever get there...).

Here are  two of my youngsters with one of the smaller blankets I made.  The blanket reflects my love of things tartan, being a Nova Scotia tartan in cotton flannel, and my other love of strong contrasts, here the surprising association of blue and red - hence the red poly fleece.  I bound it in shiny satin ribbon to offer some tactile and visual stimulation to my tiny boy.

Did you know that Canada and each of its provinces and territories has a tartan pattern?  It's the heritage of our early Scottish immigration!   I made several tartan-inspired blankets and sheets for him around that time.  The largest of the lot, at 1 x 1.5m, in a nice New Brunswick tartan, remains the topper on his bed to this day.

I went with conventional baby-themed colours this time, because that's what was available - I don't stash baby stuff supplies.  Both blankets are a sandwich of soft poly fleece on one side and a cotton or cotton blend flannel on the other, prewashed/predried in hot water/hot dryer before assembly.  I decided not to bind the blankets, but sewed the layers together right sides together, flipped them out through a small opening, and then topstitched around the edge with a small, tight zigzag to flatten it, favouring the stretchier fleece a little towards the cotton side.

The smaller blanket is a meter square, with one corner cut away and used to create a hood at the opposite end.  For a very little tyke, that makes for a nice warm swaddling configuration, with the infant's head under the little hoodie:

But, you know, they don't stay swaddled for long!  Within a year or so, they begin to run around and make us believe they're Superbaby, or a Magician, and then such a blanket becomes the perfect no-hands, no potentially lethal ties, magical cape:  

He's pouting because I told him he'll have to give it back. Such a bad mom I am.
The second blanket, at 1.5 x 1.5 m, is more of a  play area/picnic rug/big bed item.

Because of its larger area, I quilted the two layers together to prevent sliding and bunching. I also added a bunch of scrap fabrics and ribbons to one edge to encourage the developing youngster to explore the limits of his blankie-verse. Today, a ribbon;  tomorrow, who knows, a new galaxy? And why not?  The Andromeda is only a couple million light years away.


  1. Wonderful news, congratulations and you will the coolest wicked step-grandmother around!

  2. Congratulations! How exciting :)