Friday, March 4, 2011

Res Completa: Geeky Baby Solar System Mobile

When Neill and I started telling people we were having a baby, a frequent inquiry from friends and family was about how we were going to decorate the nursery. Now, I really do enjoy arranging and decorating spaces, but I'm not very organized about it. I have a really hard time visualizing what I want a space look like, so I usually just start with colors and stuff that I like and that feel right and go from there (my mother and grandmother, both decorating GENIUSES, are cringing right now I know it!). So I had no idea what I wanted to do with the nursery. And Neill, usually quite opinionated about these sorts of things, was surprisingly neutral.

I started by thinking about how I would want to decorate my own nursery if I were a baby. All white, clean, and modern was the first idea. But there was no way we could pull that off -- it's just not us. Baseball-themed? Maybe. GIANTS themed? Oooh, now we're getting somewhere. But all that orange and black would look crazy. Animals? I did have some cute fabric... Then one day it hit me: space! Neill and I both work on a NASA program, I myself loved astronomy as a child (my own room growing up had a striking combo of floral wallpaper and a giant poster of the solar system), and it sounded like fun. So that's where we went. And we're not going crazy with the theme...just a few things here and there. Starting with this mobile...


(Sorry for the awful, dark photos!)

All the planets (plus sun) were created using the Stockinette Short-Row Sphere pattern by Brent Annable using various scraps of my favorite/most meaningful yarns and changing the stitch counts to create different sizes.

Please keep in mind that I took a little artistic license in both the sizing and coloring of the planets...


El Sol...out of doubled Kidsilk Haze. I thought the purl side looked a little more solar, so turned it inside out before stuffing and finishing.


Mercury...out of wool a co-worker's wife brought me from Sweden.


Venus...with leftovers from Peponi held with a strand of KSH.


Earth...with wool from my Bohus (continents really, really not to scale. You can't see it here, but Crete ended up the same size as Antarctica...oops!).


Mars...out of the red wool I used for Aundrey in Unst, which I think I may have purchased when I met Barefoot Rooster.


Jupiter...more from Peponi.


Saturn...the blue is not really special, though was left over from these hats. The ring(s) are Malabrigo Laceweight from Citron . I created the ring by doing a 9-stitch i-cord and not caring what it looked like in the back. This created a sorta flat tube which I then stitched around the planet.


Uranus...more from Citron and i-cord ring(s) out of the Wabi Sabi Lush Lace I used for my second Citron...one of my favorite yarns ever. I know Saturn is usually depicted as the ringed planet, but I just had to do Uranus' as well since I (am going to name drop right now) actually know two of the guys who discovered them.


Neptune...more of the Wabi Sabi.


And Pluto. Which isn't a planet anymore, but whatever. Dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt need love, too. And I wanted some purple in there to balance things out.

And, finally, the spokes are just balsa wood wrapped with some Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino (hmmm...I haven't shown you the project this is left over from yet...).

This was a ton of fun to make and I'm kind of in love with it. Hopefully it stimulates the baby sufficiently while he's in his crib, too (I keep reading about those special mobiles designed to make your child a genius and thinking I'm already failing as a parent by not buying one).

More to come on the nursery...there is some fabric involved that I am very excited about. And I'll see if I can get a semi-flattering photograph of my ever-increasing bump this weekend. As of tomorrow, we'll be inside the two week margin of error surrounding the due date. So, really, that bump could be a baby very soon!

21 comments:

barefootrooster said...

hilary -- i LOVE this. so perfect. can't wait to see more of your nursery plans. and, of course, that baby!!

orata said...

This is perfect! I love the little Earth! And good for you for keeping poor abandoned Pluto in there.

thea said...

How dammned cute is this!!! I love how each planet has its own yarn story....

French Press Knits said...

Ooohh...I can't tell you how excited I am that your date is quickly approaching. Don't worry...even though I can't seem to lose weight while breastfeeding, other people seem to whittle down to nothing- maybe you'll be one of those :)

The Paskins said...

Made me miss your planet poster! And made me miss you, too.

I've got the family here on "high alert" for me taking a flight up to see you and the little mister when he is born!

Rebecca said...

seriously. This is the BEST mobile EVER. I want one. I NEED one! Well done!!!!
When is baby due?

Jo @ a life in lists said...

What a cool mobile! Waaay more fun than those terribly-stimulating-and-educational ones. I am now trying to work out what kind of mobile I HAVE to make before the baby comes. In, ummmm, 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

I check your blog daily just in case the little guy decides to come early. Love the mobile Keep us updated!

Aline said...

I loved my trip around the solar system with you this morning! Cheered me up, thanks.
My fav is the planet earth. So clever that you added continents! I would have never thought of that. I think Space is such a cool theme for the nursery. Great job. A. xx

Kathleen said...

That is a fantastic mobile and will certainly lead to a much smarter child than those Baby Einstein ones. Plus it's filled with special memories. And yarn!
Now that I'm done having babies, I am very excited about everyone else's :)

artohline said...

This is amazing! Beyond adorable and so creative; I love it!! And way to represent for Pluto! I'm still so sad it's not a planet anymore. When I have kids, I will make sure to teach them about Pluto. :-)

Jeanie said...

Awesome!!

Fern Knits-a-lot said...

Oh My! It is amazing! Beautiful work!

Anonymous said...

Don't fall into that trap where you feel 'like a failure' as a mom because.... All you need is lots of love and some common sense. A little Latin probably doesn't hurt.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

This is such a clever and cute idea! I also think it will stimulate the baby's imagination and give him a connection to who his parents are ~ just perfect :)

PS I'm going to deliver before you ~ about to pop the package into the mail early next week!

Carolina said...

Cute! Your baby is going to love the mobile!

keri said...

what an amazing mobile! I love how special you made it with all your favorite yarn leftovers. The baby will love it, you'll start them at a early age to love the handmades. :) Abby's favorite toys are all handmades, it's so cute.

Jacey said...

The solar system you made is awesome! It's so much fun for a nursery.

CanarySanctuary said...

You and I have the same approach to decorating! I absolutely love your solar system mobile, and really dig that you included Pluto - I totally would too.
In fact, I think I need to make myself a mobile.
Can't wait to see what other wonderful things will be in your new nursery!

Eliza said...

I am impressed, and i love the mobile.

If it makes you feel any better about decorating, i didn't get round to hanging our mobile (a shower gift) until a few months ago. Bad mommy!!

I can't wait to see the rest of your designing, and the baby of course!

Cheri said...

So cute! Lucky baby!