Saturday, November 9, 2013

eau de nil

I love the BBC series "Call the Midwife" beyond all reason. My absolutely favorite character is Chummy, a tall, awkward midwife played to perfection by actress Miranda Hart. When she first arrives at the convent, she is greeted by the taciturn Sister Evangeline, who takes an instant dislike to her:
Sister Evangelina: Ah, Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne?
Chummy Browne: I generally answer to "Chummy". My pa used to say "Long dogs need short names".
Sister Evangelina: Follow me. And mind your head. I understand you qualified by a whisker, Nurse Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne.
Chummy Browne: I *did* pass. It was a bit of a scrape. Before that I was nursing for five years.
Sister Evangelina: And are all your dresses pink?
Chummy Browne: I do have another - in eau-de-nil.
Sister Evangelina: [ironically] I bet you look a picture in *that* too.
I immediately had to look up the color (colour?) eau-de-nil, which I suspect is more of a British term. It turns out to be a lovely green, derived from the influence of Art Nouveau colors in the late 19th century.

So imagine my happiness two days ago when I pulled out some stash yarn, a mill end bought on clearance years ago, and realized that I was knitting a sprout baby hat in what can only be described as eau-de-nil!

I finished it up today, for the shower tonight of course. The shower request had been for diapers in size 1, 2 or 3—no registry details given. I also had two hemmed flannel swaddling blankets, one of my most popular baby shower gifts of all time. Super simple to make, too. Just purchase flannel in a length big enough to make a perfect square, usually 42" or whatever the width of the fabric is. Wash the fabric in a light detergent, then trim up the edges. A rolled hem finishes the sides nicely and produces a blanket big enough to make swaddling a snap when it is folded into a triangle. Sometimes I add a crocheted edge, but it isn't necessary. Plus, did I mention the shower was tonight?

I was unsure how to package everything aside from tossing it all into a large gift bag. Packaging is not my strong suit. Luckily my husband's stepmother was visiting, and she came up with a brilliant idea!

I wrapped the diaper packages in the blankets and secured them with safety pins. Diaper pins would have been even cuter but did I mention that the shower was tonight?

A bit of net ribbon I had purchased on clearance goodness-knows-when served to tie everything together. Ribbon stashes are almost as useful as yarn stashes.

Amazingly enough I had remembered to buy a card yesterday. Done, with the eau-de-nil hat proudly on display on the top, with minutes to spare. A bit of a scrape, but I *did* make it.

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