Knit Pikachu

Obviously I am busy, having a baby does that to you, but I’m not too busy to whip up a knitting pattern for a pikachu…priorities. I promise a baby update soon, but until then please accept this offering of a knit, chibi pikachu!

IMG_20141010_213333

You will need:

size 4 DPNs

worsted weight yarns in yellow, aggressive nutmeg (light brown) and black. I used cascade 200 in gold, KnitPicks swish in squirrel, and caron simply soft in black

2 medium safety eyes

polyfil or wool to stuff

darning needle

Difficulty:

medium. It will help if you have a basic understanding of knitting in the round, and if you have made soft toys before.

Skills needed:

knit in the round

kfb -knit front and back to stitch to increase

increase

decrease

i-cord

grafting/three needle bind off

magic circle cast on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vkpqdea-6o

Gauge:

doesn’t really matter as long as you can knit comfortably and create a tight enough fabric that the stuffing can’t escape

PATTERN:

BODY (starts at pika’s bum, works toward face)

Cast on 9 stitches onto four DPNs. I used the “magic circle” cast on which removes the need to sew up pika’s bumoley. Place stitch marker at beg of round if you want

round 1: kfb into each stitch (18 st)

round 2: kfb into each stitch (32 st)

round 3-6: knit around

round 7: *kfb, k3* repeat from * to * around

knit straight for 2″

start decreasing for face:

at this point you should have your stitches evenly distributed onto three needles with the 1st needle having 14 stitches on it. You will work decreases on the 1st needle (this is the top of pika’s head/forhead) and knit the second and third needle you will just knit

round 1: k2tog, k4, k2tog, k5, ssk – knit to end of round

round 2: k2tog, k3, k2tog, k3, ssk- knit to end of round

round 3: k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1, ssk- knit to end of round

rearrange stitches:

now you will move some of the stitches from needle three and needle two onto needle one so all the stitches for the top of the head are on needle one, and the bottom of the head is on it’s own needle(s)

knit 6 st from 2nd needle onto 1st, move 6 st from third needle to to 1st

needle 1: knit (15 st)

needle 2:k2tog, knit to end(8 st)

needle 3: knit to last two stitches, ssk(8 st)

knit 4 rounds

Stuff and put in safety eyes as shown

20141009_200648

graft shut and use tail yarn to separate face into two cheeks

20141009_201318 20141009_201330

EARS (make 2):

CO 8 stitches onto three DPNs in yellow

knit 4 rounds

increase row: kfb, knit to last 2 stitches on first needle, kfb, kfb, knit to last two stitches on second needle, kfb

knit 4 rounds

repeat increase round

cut yellow yarn and switch to black

knit 4 rounds

decrease row: k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches on first needle, ssk, k2tog, knit to last two stitches on second needle, ssk

knit 4 rounds

repeat decrease round

cut yarn leaving a long tail and pull through remaining stitches

LEGS (make 4):

20141009_214355

cast on 6 stitches and work in 1 cord for 1.5″

cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches and then pull through CO end

20141009_214645

TAIL:

The tail is worked in small segments on three DPNs which you graft shut to create a smooth edge. Then you pick up stitches at a 90ish degree angle from the CO edge to create the zig zag tail.

CO 4 stitches onto three DPNS in brown

knit for 4 rounds

*knit one stitch in brown, knit one stitch in yellow* repeat form * to * to end of row and cut brown yarn. continue in yellow for rest of the tail.

knit 4 rounds.

graft end shut and pull yarn through open, cast on edge

20141010_201255

PU 8 stitches from top of first section

20141010_201521

knit 4 rows

graft end shut and pull yarn through open, cast on edge

20141010_202457

PU 10 stitches along top of second section

20141010_203045

knit five rows

*decrease round: k2tog, knit to last two stitches, ssk

knit 1 round*

repeat from * to * until 2 stitches remain. pull yarn through remaining stitch and out through CO edge

FINISHING:

used black to embroider nose

20141010_205648

evenly place legs on bottom of body and pull yarn tails all the way up through the top to keep them in place while stitching each leg down. trim loose yarn or pull into body. Do the same thing for ears on the top of the head

20141009_21504920141009_215044

20141010_112936

sew tail over the hole created by the magic circle cast on

using brown yarn make long stitches on top of body and tack down the center with a single loop so the yarn doesn’t catch on little hands and get pulled out

20141010_112941

if you want pika’s rosy cheeks you could apply red blush to create a subtle effect or paint circles with fabric paint. I opted out of doing this to make it more washable and kid friendly

ENJOY!

Busy baby!

six months

In the amount of time it has taken for me to get this up Oliva has gone from “drunk guy standing” to full on pulling herself up and cruising. Pair that with eating, making “words”, crawling and teething….and well….you don’t get a lot of time to blog.

BONUS: we moved! so trying to unpack AND baby-proof all at once has been interesting. Full blown update soon, but for now, PICTURES

The Love Dare

Like a lot of people Chris and I are doing the Love Dare

It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s a fun exercise that makes you think about your spouse, which is good since we, like most couples, spend the majority of our day apart. It’s also nice to have a theme or goal for the day outside of “make sure you don’t have spit up on your face the majority of the day” or “put on pants.”

Back to Chris and I spending the majority of the day apart I found that the easiest way for us to “check in” that the other person was doing their dare was to write it down. This stops me from annoyingly asking “did you do your book?” to Chris every day. I have found that we both have lapsed, missed days and eventually not wound up doing the same dare at the same time. Honestly I think that so far it’s working for us, especially since the main goal of this whole exercise is to spend more time thinking about your significant other and giving them a bit of grace, not harping on them and making sure they are following your schedule. THAT SAID making sure you are both on the same page as far as actually DOING this exercise is probably a good idea and will avoid hurt feelings and brewing resentment…so do check in.

 

LOVE DARECLICK HERE TO PRINT

The end of the “fourth trimester”

 

3 months

Like a lot of people I read the happiest baby on the block right after I had Liv. I actually started with Dr Karp’s sleep book first. I downloaded it on my tablet from my local library and read it while I was up nursing late at night. Once I chilled out and stopped staring at her every second she was in the bassinet I slept better, she slept better and everything was awesome. We found a rhythm and everyone was better off.

For Miss Olivia the trick was swaddling, shushing and sucking. I swaddled her up before I did her last feeding of the night (usually around 9 or 10) and played the baby white noise app on my phone. Once she was done nursing I did a fast kansas city shuffle with the paci and she was off to dream land. Figuring that out was monumental for us. I can’t say we struggled with sleep like a lot of families, and we were truly blessed by having a pretty chill baby, but having a system and a plan for those first three months was awesome.

Once we got her little system down I could actually keep my eyes open long enough to read the full “Happiest Baby…” book and it just got better from there. I would put it in my top ten newborn survival items. Everyone else has these lists, but here is mine:top ten NB1. Earth Mama Angel Baby – Natural Nipple Butter: best name ever, right?! I used a lot of EMAB products including their herbal soak, bottom spray and teas. They are all legit. Stock up well before hand.

2. Knit Sleep Sack: I knit one from an online pattern, but there are tons on etsy I’m sure. This one came up to her armpits with plenty of leg room, or could be pulled up to her neck like a little sleeping bag. Olivia LOVED THIS. Let’s be honest, putting pants on a newborn should be a rodeo event. It’s horrible There is a lot of crying involved from all parties, so cut the nonsense and put your baby in a little hot water bottle cozy.

3. Happiest Baby on the Block Book  Sleep Guide(and other books on my tablet. I was an E-reader hater until I realized I could download them from my library and read them one handed while I marathon nursed. Seriously legit.) I loved this book. I hate parenting books, but this book made sense of a lot of the newborn nonsense and spoke to the small remaining part of my rational brain. I was like this when I was pregnant too; I didn’t mind having nasty swollen veins in my knees if I could rationalize it. I knew that my body was doing SOMETHING it needed to do and there was just nasty side effects for me (i.e. acid reflux and heartburn? oh, that’s because of the hormone relaxin coursing through my veins, loosening all my joints, making me feel like a used up Stretch Armstrong…I feel better now)

4. Miracle Blanket The most aptly named baby product ever. I tried all of the hand-done swaddles with the sweet, sheer, organic muslin blankets, but let’s get real….It’s hard to do that when you are half asleep. We had the miracle blanket down to a science, and for the first few weeks I could even pull her little legs out through the slit in the front and CHANGE HER while she was swaddled. Genius. Eventually she used her little monkey-feet to grab said slit and push it down to free her arms, but the $30 dollar price tag was nothing compared to those priceless few weeks of swaddled bliss. We just phased our little houdini out of swaddles, but the runner ups for her third month were the large SwaddlMe and the gorgeous Aiden and Anais easy swaddle

5. Boppy (a lot of people like other nursing pillows more, but I used it a lot for other things like creating a little napping pod. I would throw the sheepskin on it and prop her in it on her side for her daytime nap. We called it her “wilderness nest.” NOTE: The boppy is NOT designed for sleeping and we only ever did this when she was in our sight the whole time. Usually on the floor by the couch where I was recouping from popping her out)

6. Bendy Straws “What?!” I hear you say. The doula that taught our birthing class (try to say that without sounding like an ass) recommended having them in our birthing bag and they were my number one favorite thing during labor…okay, that might be an over sell, but seriously it’s nice to be able to drink the million gallons of water your body needs without sitting up.

7.  Nursing Tank Tops They tell you after you have a kid you get really hot and it is so true. We had the heat in our apartment cranked to the temperature of the sun to warm our new little bundle and there I am with a nasty-new-mom flop sweat. Nothing makes you feel prettier when you pose for those newborn pictures. I have a few nursing bras, but I don’t wear them a fraction as much as my tank tops. I can throw a cardigan over it and call it an outfit, or lounge around the house without flashing my battle scars every time I feed the bub. They have pretty excellent ones at target and H&M for cheap, but these bad boys are my favorite.

8. Wicker Bassinet We tried a pack n’ play at the end of the bed, but every time I would sit up to grab her I pulled all of the sheets off of Chris. Hilarious? Yes, but not very functional. (I even tried sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed so I could look at her in my new-mom paranoid-ferver) Next we tried an in-bed cosleeper bassinet-thing, which didn’t fit in our bed, but did fit at the head of our bed on theheadboard/bookcase we have (thanks IKEA!) which worked great and came with a nightlight/noise machine/vibrating thing to clip onto it. This worked a dream. I could peek at her easily, the nightlight was perfect for late-night feeding, but the noise machine turned off in about 20 minutes and had one setting that i kept accidentally turning on that was the sound of really loud singing birds. Why?! We probably would have kept using this except a friend lent us a wicker bassinet that we absolutely adore.It fits right next to our bed, has wheels and storage underneath it. Bonus: it is not a huge eyesore. I’m in love and will probably invest in one for our future kids. (I can’t find the exact one, as it’s preloved, but it’s a bit like this one)

9. Dark Chocolate This was actually “prescribed” to me by the birth center. Dark chocolate is full of stuff that makes your brain happy, and when I hit that day four hormonal cliff snarfing all of the leftover christmas chocolate in the house made me extremely, extremely happy. You don’t need an excuse to make people bring you chocolates, but this is a darn fine one.

10. Depends Seriously. No shame in my game. I don’t know what I was thinking not getting any, but it’s a test of whether someone really loves you if they go to the store late at night to buy adult undergarments for you. For the record Chris was a big freaking hero. I slapped these sexy things on and threw a pair of men’s boxer briefs over them and it was perfect. Not saying it’s pretty, but neither is ruining all of your expensive undies.