The last few months of pregnancy can make you crazy. Once your maternity leave starts and boredom sets in and your nesting instincts kick into high gear and you realize you are physically incapable of moving or assembling furniture or painting the nursery by yourself while all the cool kids get to carry on their normal lives as if nothing is happening, you might be ready to climb the walls. I know I was.

This is the perfect time to take up a nice, domestic craft. Like sewing, knitting or crochet.

I am partial to knitting, myself. It's like a puzzle to me. You have this yarn and your task is to turn it into something useful and beautiful. And you can do with while holding a conversation or watching old Buffy reruns. I started with cotton dish clothes. They are an easy way to practice your stitches have something functional right away, building your confidence and passion for the craft. These knitted clothes are superior to anything you can buy for both bathing or dish washing. Moving on from there, you can make warm blankets, clothes and toys for baby. The great thing about knitting baby stuff is that all your projects are small and quickly finished, so you don't get burned out too quickly.

I recommend books by Susan B Anderson. I personally learned most of my knitting skills from her book Itty Bitty Toys, including little knitted balls that my niece adores and some nesting blocks for my sister's nursery. My next project from that book is a baby doll for my niece's first birthday. I have also made some booties and mittens using patterns from Itty Bitty Nursery. My only complaint about that book is there's nothing in it for baby's little butt and legs. Would some diaper covers, longies or leg warmers have been too much to ask for? I've learned enough from these books to come up with my own new and exciting projects which I suppose if I ever get a camera I will have to share with you on the website.

Crochet is something I've never gotten into although many people find it to be easier and more flexible than knitting. To get started with crochet, try Cute & Easy Crochet. It's got lots of step by step projects for the house and for baby that will help you learn to crochet quickly.

My mother loves sewing. It is her craft of choice. She says she doesn't have the patience for knitting and lucky for me, she doesn't have the patience to watch me fumble over the sewing machine and will often finish my projects for me just to get me out of her house. I have trouble cutting and stitching in straight lines. I jam the machine and bunch up the fabric and I hate cutting beautiful fabric for fear I'm going to mess up my project and thus the fabric completely. At least with knitting I can unravel my project and reuse the same materials. So, while I can make simple square items, like diapers and washcloths, I am intimidated by anything more complicated.

I am, however, determined to learn how to sew and I'm starting with two great old school books. The first is Start to Sew. It's got instructions for making simple household items like curtains and napkins. Very basic stuff. I'm learning. But I'm also nesting, so I need baby stuff. For that we have Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby with basic interchangeable pattern pieces for just about everything you need for a basic baby layette with detailed instructions to get you started.

Learning to knit and sew really helped me through the boredom of the final months of my pregnancy. It made me feel like I was doing something useful, even while "resting" and it helped me stockpile items that would be useful when my baby was born. It also gave me a great sense of accomplishment and a new artistic outlet. So, if you're getting impatient waiting for the appearance of your little passenger, distract yourself by taking the time to learn a new craft and prepare for baby while you're at it.

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