The last 10 days in instagram pictures

Are we there yet?

I’m not on bed rest (thank goodness!) but I have been ordered by my doctor not to do anything more energetic than a walk. Maybe she knows me too well… she specifically told me I’m not allowed to clean the house or start emptying cupboards. So I’m all ironed up and feel like I should be bouncing off the walls. But at 37 weeks pregnant, I’m fighting a persistent head/ chest cold and playing the waiting game… I’m continually tired and carrying what feels like an energetic and very uncomfortable bundle of elbows and knees.

Munchkin is running out of room and I’m running out of patience with being pregnant. But we have managed to get some stuff done!

Munchkin's nursery (temporary)

We set up Munchkin’s temporary nursery. The rest of her furniture will arrive in a couple of months. But for now, we have everything she needs to start life. All of her clothes are washed and ready and she finally has her own space in the house which feels nice.

Munchkins bassinet in our room

The reason we’re not overly worried about her nursery is that she’ll be sleeping in with us for the first few months. We’ve her Leander cradle all ready and waiting for her arrival.

Munchkin shoes, cut out

On the days my brain works, and when I’ve not been trying to get all the paperwork etc together for Munchkin’s citizenship and passport or finding her a paediatrician, I’ve been playing with felt; making little shoes for Munchkin and for some friends who have recently had babies. I think I’m finally happy with the design. I love them in coral and grey! I now just have to work out the different sizings.

Munchkin shoes in progress

I can’t decide if I like the bows on the front or on the side. So I’m making Munchkin a pair of both!

Bassinet munchkin

We had a small get together with some of our friends on Sunday on the deck of my favourite gluten-free café in Cully. It wasn’t a baby shower in the traditional sense, but we really wanted to see our friends before we temporarily slip even further off the social scene after Munchkin arrives.

I wasn’t allowed to go all ‘Nicola’ on it. Frustratingly, all I was allowed to do was to book the space and to send out email/ Facebook invites. So it was a decidedly un-Nicola-like event, not a hot air balloon to be seen, but it was delightful nonetheless (DM soothed my ruffled feathers by reminding me that I have many, many future Munchkin birthdays and unbirthday parties to organise). And I have to admit, it was quite a novel experience not to have to worry about anything more than just turning up.

Present from our crafty friends, dalek, Dr Who, baby blanket

Munchkin received some seriously splendid gifts from our lovely and very generous friends. She already has a toy collection and wardrobe I’m envious of!

Some of our crafty friends had got together to create a gorgeous present for Munchkin. They each knit or crochet some panels and made them up into a beautiful baby blanket. They’d been sneaky enough to get DM to send them the colours I wanted for the nursery and in amongst the pretty patterns, they included a couple of sneaky geeky panels. One of a Dalek and the other of a storm trooper. It’s perfect and suits DM’s and my style exactly. I’m really looking forward to seeing Munchkin wrapped up in it.

Crochet aviator helmet for nephew

I spent yesterday with my feet above my heart trying to get my swollen feet back to a size that would fit inside my slip on shoes and worked out this little pattern for a crochet aviators hat/ helmet for the little nephew we’re expecting in a few weeks. I then made another one for DM’s cousin who just had a little baby boy. I’m waiting for Munchkin to arrive so that I can custom make her one that fits perfectly.

 

All photos from next to nicx instagram account

I ♥ iron

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet around here the last couple of weeks. Remember me saying just the other day that I’d been needing a lot more down time with being pregnant but that the doctor said it was normal?

The following day I received a phone call regarding some blood tests my doctor had taken. It turns out it wasn’t normal. I was anaemic (severely lacking in iron), not just ‘pregnancy tired’. Due to a series of unfortunate events (the European Summer, my doctor taking a month off, me seeing another doctor and no blood tests having been taken during this time) over 2 1/2 months my iron levels had plummeted.

 

 

Thankfully it was an easy fix, requiring a huge infusion of iron. I had mental images of a giant steak fixing the problem but it turns out the doctor meant what she said… an infusion. Oh how I hate needles!

The nurse giving me the infusion told me that an iron level of 10 for a pregnant woman is viewed as extremely low and I was well below 10, hence the need for about a bazillion steaks worth infused directly into my bloodstream ASAP.

With in 24 hours my brain started to de-fog. I didn’t even know it was fogged as it all comes on quite gradually! But it turns out I’ve been walking around like a zombie (with close to the same mental capacity) and I’ve now received a fabulous mental and physical energy boost! Even my eyesight has improved! Even better, they should continue to improve over the next few weeks!

So all the projects I’d been struggling to find the energy to do are getting done! I’m going to Lynne’s today to try and complete Munchkin’s quilt and I’ve put together a prototype for a pair of shoes; I’ll share the template and tutorial with you as soon as they’re done.

And I’m finally making a little headway with her birth announcements!

 

Quilt in progress

 

 

Crochet Cherry Pattern

 

Crochet Cherry

 

One of my all time favourite wardrobe items is a silk and cashmere cardigan by Alana Hill that I’ve owned for about 7 years (bought when Alana Hill still made luxurious garments and not the disappointing polyester items you find now). I’ve worn it until it’s almost falling apart. My favourite part of it? It’s covered in crochet cherries!

A few years ago I decided another of my cardigans needed cherries and so created a few crochet cherry brooches. I sold a few of them on Etsy and then started to teach myself letterpress, and so the brooches were put to the side.

But today I decided that one of Munchkin’s onesie/ bodysuit needed a little decoration and pulled out one of my brooches. I’ve re-worked the pattern and I’ve decided to share it with you. They’re quick to do and look fabulous as brooches, sewn onto clothing, glued onto cards… the options are endless.

Never crochet before? No problem, go to the end of this post for a list of video tutorials and links you can use to teach yourself the stitches you need to make this project. All that’s required is a 2.5 mm crochet hook and some thread.

 

Crochet Cherry

 

Crochet Cherry Pattern

In the colour you have selected for the Cherry (I used DMC 351 Embroidery thread as I needed such a little bit of thread for this project, I love the colour and it’s beautifully soft) and using a 2.5mm crochet hook create a ‘Magic Ring’.

ch 3 and tr 17 into the Magic Ring. Pull the Magic ring tight and join to third ch using the Invisible Fasten Off Method.

 

Crochet Cherry
Crochet Cherry

 

Repeat to create two cherries.

In the colour you have selected for the Stems and Leaves (I used DMC 966 Embroidery thread) and using a 2.5 mm crochet hook;

ch 17. hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, tr in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, hdc into next ch, sl st into next ch, hdc in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, tr in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, hdc into last ch, ch 2 and turn work to start work on reverse side of chain.

hdc in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, tr in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, hdc into next ch, sl st into next ch, hdc in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, tr in next ch, dc into next 2 ch, hdc into last ch, ch 1, join to 1st chain using the Invisible Fasten Off Method.

In the colour for the Stems and Leaves, join to cherry, ch 5, connect to sl st (the center of the leaves)  with a sl st and fasten off. Repeat with 2nd cherry. Use the remaining thread from the stems to stitch a center ‘vein’ through the chain in the middle of the leaves.

 

Crochet Cherry

 

Now you’re ready to sew it on to whatever garment you’d like. I used a single thread of the matching DMC Embroidery thread to stitch my cherries to this cute onesie/ bodysuit from The White Company

 

Crochet Cherry

 

New to crochet?

Here are a whole heap of tutorials and videos for you to use to create this project:

Magic Ring

hdc (half double crochet)

dc (double crochet)

sl st (slip stitch)

tr (treble or triple crochet)

Invisible Fasten Off Method

 

Crochet Cherry

 

 

Crochet Cherries Tutorial by Next to Nicx by Nicola Pravato is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

Knitting for Munchkin #3

 

Knitting for Munchkin #3

 

I’ve almost finished Munchkins heart cardigan! I’ve just to decide if I want to add a zipper or buttons to the front closure. I’m really quite happy with the results, what do you think? I’m tempted to go with a zip, if only because I found this gorgeous little teddy bear zipper tag made by Union Knopf that I’m itching to use.

I used a Phildar pattern from their catalogue No. 74 and adjusted the pattern a little as I didn’t like the peak being quite so high or the little floating hearts around the head once I’d knitted it. The hood was unravelled a couple of times more than I’d have liked. But that’s the benefit of working with tiny clothes; they go together so quickly!

The pattern book is all in French but all the patterns are written out in full and colour coordinated for sizes. So with a little knitting knowledge, a little French knowledge or/ and access to google translate, the patterns are not hard to follow at all.

 

Knitting for Munchkin #3

 

I also didn’t use the Phildar yarn as my yarn store didn’t stock it, instead I used a 100% merino wool that’s machine washable and so very soft, made by Lana Grossa (it’s their Bingo range).

Frustratingly, it seems that all of my favourite yarn stores in Lausanne have closed for a few weeks for Summer Vacation and I’m itching to start a new project. But due to the heat I’ve been unable to continue knitting large items. I’m very tempted to order the latest Phildar Catalog and some yarn online. There are just so many cute items! Just look at these gorgeous little mittens!

 

Phildar Mittens

 

Seriously cute

I’ve just backed this project on Kickstarter. It’s so very cute! I backed it for Munchkin. Seriously I did. Not for me. No. Not for me at all… I’m not dying to play with them and set up a series of them looking all gorgeous, cute and quirky in her nursery**.

The project is currently 92% funded and has 8 days to go.

 

**I’ve just discovered a side benefit of having kids! Being able to legitimately buy all the cool toys you really want.

 

 

Knitting for Munchkin #2

 

We’re really excited. I had a 21 week scan last week and we now know that Munchkin is a little girl! As far as they could tell she’s healthy. They counted her fingers and toes (as well as a whole heap of other things) and she has the appropriate number so all is going splendiferously well.

This has however thrown me into a bit of a spin. I now need to get my act in gear to get the nursery finished before I grow to whale-esk proportions. We’ve gone through the spare room (soon to be nursery) and have de-cluttered and culled. We sold the spare bed and we’ve ordered new wardrobes and bathroom cabinets; all to be delivered in a week. We’ve been living in this apartment for over three years but we’re finally ‘moving in’.

We have commenced serious research into all things baby and took our first trip to the baby store. We were the shell shocked and very lost ones wandering aimlessly. We did succeed in buying Munchkin’s first outfit. We’ve spent countless hours researching baby gizmo’s, gadgets and furniture since. Goodness all of it is elaborate and confusing!

I’m still trying to find the exact shades I want for the nursery. But the design is firming up and we’re planning expeditions into France to find furniture etc.

 

La Droguerie Alpaca Baby Cardigan

 

We do have some things though, one of which is this little cardigan I made from this kit available from La Droguerie. It’s made of gorgeous 100% alpaca yarn and is just so gloriously soft!

The kit came with everything I needed to put it together, including knitting needles! And as we bought it before we knew what flavour Munchkin was, it is a perfectly practical colour. I’m now looking for some cute little additions to add to make it a little more feminine.

If you’re new to knitting, it’s a perfect item to start with as it’s very easy.

 

La Droguerie Alpaca Baby Cardigan

 

It’s sized for a three to six month old, which is perfect as Munchkin will be 3 months in December and after visiting family in Australia for Christmas, will experiencing a very chilly Swiss winter!

You can order the kits from La Droguerie via telephone but you’ll need your best French. Otherwise you can head to one of the many stores they have dotted around France and Japan.

 

This post is unsponsored.

Fabulous finds for Munchkin #1

 
I’ve spent a fair amount of time browsing the interwebs of late. Looking for inspiration and ideas for Munchkins wardrobe and nursery (we hope to find out what flavour we’re having at the next big scan in a couple of weeks). I’ve found so many fabulous things! I just have to share a few of them with you!

lion handmade coat eco- friendly little goodall coaters europe
handmade animal coats eco friendly coaters little goodalls

I may have tried to convince DM that Munchkin needs one of these gorgeous wool felt coats now…

I failed. I did see his reasoning, but why shouldn’t a 3 month old (in December) have one? I did get a commitment to order one next year though!

I found these beautiful items on the Petit à Petit and family blog. They’re handmade in the United States and each one takes about 15 hours to put together. They’re available in the states from Little Goodall and from Coaters in Europe.
 

Precious Knit Blankies for Baby- Sheep blankie

From Precious Knit Blankies for Baby, this gorgeous blankie instantly made it’s way onto my ‘todo’ list. I’m going to need a knitting machine if I’ve any chance of getting through them all! Available from Amazon here.

 
 

A thousand words. Daniels Duvet cover DIY

Check out this amazing tutorial! I’d thought of using Spoonflower to create bedding. But this is genius! Jen from A Thousand Words traced her sons artwork onto his bedding. She’s created a tutorial here if you’d like to do it too. This is something I hope to use in future. I’ll just have to be patient and wait until Munchkin is old enough to be artistic.
 

Sarah Trumbauer Papercut artist Birth Announcement

Sarah Trumbauer is a paper cut artist who makes these wonderful creations. I think they’d make splendid baby announcements. You can buy prints of her work on Etsy or she does work on commission. I may have added a custom commission to my future wish list (once I work out just what I’m doing to Munchkins nursery).
 
There are a ton more wonderful items I’ve stumbled across. I’ll list more of them next week. But now I’ve got to get back to work to finish the tutorial I’ve been trying to put up on the blog for the last few days.

 

Knitting for Munchkin #1

I’ve found myself at a crossroads with the nursery. I just can’t go forward any further with my ideas until I know what we’re having. But hopefully that should be rectified in the next couple of weeks at our next scan. In the meantime I’m doing what I can. We’ve found someone to take the guest bed (as the guest bedroom is going to become the nursery), I’m looking for a wall of wardrobes and am mentally Spring cleaning the room. It’s accumulated a ton of clutter over the years!

I’ve a few other projects in progress. One of which is a baby blanket I’m knitting for the chilly Winter Munchkin will experience not long after it enters the world.

 

P1050204
La Droguerie Baby Blanket
La Droguerie Baby Blanket

 

Made out of the softest 100% alpaca yarn and with a gorgeous Liberty Print binding to go around the edge, I purchased the kit from La Drougerie last year when I was in Paris. I’ve been knitting it at the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch I go to on Wednesday evenings as it doesn’t require counting. I find I end up undoing most of the complicated work I do on Wednesdays as I’m too busy chatting and listening to focus properly. It comes in a gorgeous tin and it fits in my handbag. So it’s perfect!

I may change the binding if it turns out I’m having a little girl, for something that brings out more of the purples and pinks in the blanket. But otherwise it’s coming together perfectly and I love it!

You can order the kits from La Drougerie via telephone but you’ll need your best French. Otherwise you can head to one of the many stores they have dotted around France and Japan.