Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On the needles update

Here's a look at what's on my needles.
I mentioned that I was working on a Halcyon. It hasn't gotten very far, as you can imagine if you're familiar with the pattern, but I am making progress. This is my first time cabling without a cable needle, and I love it. It goes so much faster without the extra hardware, and once you get the hang of it, it's much easier than juggling a third needle. If you're interested, here's a good tutorial.

While cable knit sweaters are wonderful, what with the weather taking a turn for the cooler (yay), I'm not always in a position to knit while looking at charts these days. Plus, there are some days when I just need a wind down, and cable charts are not relaxing to me. The A Nice Ribbed Sock pattern by Glenna C fits the bill perfectly. It's simple, requires only a small amount of brain power, and can be put down at any moment. Even better, I have size 10.5 feet, and she wrote this pattern for her feet, which are size 11, so I don't have to do any conversions!!!

Added to that, it fits wonderfully in my brand spanking new Namaste Hipster. While I spent the bulk of the last year carrying (and loving) my huge Namaste Hermosa bag, I needed to scale back the amount of stuff I carried with me. I've become the pack horse for another person who needs a lot of crap and can't be bothered to carry any of it. I wanted something the right size to carry a small project and my essentials. I knew I would love this bag when I heard about it a little while back, but when I saw this blog post about it, I knew I had to have it. Handily, my LYS ordered some, so I had one on reserve. I lurves this bag! The main pocket fits my sock project and pattern, my cell phone, iPod and headphones, keys, tiny wallet, and sunglasses (and I'm pretty sure I could jam a spare diaper in there if I needed to). In the smaller front pocket, I can put extra needles (I use the tiny circulars for socks), spare stitch markers, a row counter, and tapestry needle (and there's still room). It's utilitarian but attractive, and has a great long strap, so I can carry it cross body. I really like the fabric, and the whole thing feels sturdy and durable. All of this, and it's small enough to fit inside NA's diaper bag, when necessary. Yay!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Motherhood.

My stepmother asked me today how Motherhood was going. My answer to her, with some edits:

Amazing and hard and amazing and exhausting and amazing and frustrating and amazing. :-D It's a wonderful blessing and a tremendous burden. I've never doubted my every step and decision more while loving what I was doing. Bar none, this is the hardest and best thing I've ever done.

He's huge - 13lbs, 15oz at today's check up,  and 25 inches long. He's starting to look around and pay attention and smile at us. He likes it when I sing to him, and I can put him in the highchair and cook and he seems interested. He still sleeps a lot and he doesn't like being put down when he's drowsy, but we're working on it. I'm blessed to have GF as a partner in this whole thing. He wants to be involved as much as possible, and that makes me a very lucky woman.

I'm lovin' it.™ ::end of answer::

I will add to that the following: I feel buried under diapers, wipes, and dirty laundry some days. There are days when I forget to brush my teeth or hair. I've been wearing the same sweatpants for a few days now (not all the time - I change into jeans to go outside, and I have been showering). I am no longer (not that I ever believed I was) glamorous or even particularly cute most of the time. I don't care. Things that I care about: his smile; his laugh (or funny little change in breathing that seems as though it's a laughter precursor); his babbling at 2 am (he's his father's night-owl baby); his crying jags, which now feature tears (pathetic, really); his many facial expressions; his safety and sanity; his budding relationship with his father. It's not that I'm completely disinterested in taking care of myself - it's that my needs have taken a back seat to my fascination with him. He's every inch ours, and we're responsible for him. That's a huge thing.

Also? He's a great science experiment:

What happens when you bounce a full baby up and down really vigorously?  Those of you who are parents know the answer to that - we discovered it when GF was trying to burp the baby.

Why does he have that reflex, and how can we manipulate it for our own amusement? Babies are just chock-full of reflexes. Read up and find ways to amuse yourself.

How many different ways are there to make him stop crying? No, I don't mean rocking him or singing to him - it turns out that annoying a baby can be an effective stop-crying method as well. Next time your baby is screaming his lungs out, try wiggling your finger over his lips to make his cry vibrate. If it doesn't make him stop and look at you like "WTF?!", it will at least amuse the hell out of you and your friends.

When will he be useful? I mean, really - we don't have time to do chores anymore. When will this kid be able to mow the lawn and vacuum?!

In sum: I'm good. NA's good (or at least healthy). GF's good. Babies = huge responsibility and wonderful blessing. Bouncing the full baby = yick. Baby reflexes = fun for the whole family. Annoying the baby = quiet. Having a baby = overgrown lawn and furry floors.

So...knitting. I've got the ribbing on that Halcyon halfway done. I'll take a picture one day. :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grumble...

I've been working on a pair of socks in my "free time", that is, time not spent changing the baby's diapers or burping the baby or cuddling the baby or snuggling the baby or playing with the baby or taking pictures of the baby or running errands with the baby. Note that I did not say when I was feeding the baby, as I'm entirely capable of knitting socks while nursing (because I'm hard core, y'all). I've been very pleased with my progress so far, and finished the feet on both socks this morning. I was all ready to begin the toes when I noticed this:


These are the Whirlpool Socks pattern by Laura Nelkin. They are featured in the book, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. I'm using Koigu KPPPM, which is neither cheap nor easily available where I live. In case you're having trouble seeing the problem(s), here's a closer look.


Yep, I'm almost out of yarn. Not only am I almost out of yarn, I used the skeins unevenly as well. I have no idea why. I'm peeved, and I have no idea what to do with this problem. I'm taking a break while I contemplate solutions, which include binding them off here and making them pedicure socks or ordering another skein of the yarn just for the toes or using some other yarn to make the toes...

In the meantime, I've begun another project. This time, I'm working on the Halcyon sweater from A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd. I'm currently swatching, which is not at all photo-worthy. I'll share when there's something to share, which might be a long long long time from now...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm sorry, did you say something?

I was probably sleeping, nursing, bathing, changing, or otherwise occupied with NA. My bad.

I did complete a project (of course, I had it mostly finished before NA arrived)! I made this blanket for my baby brother's second child. If you've been reading for awhile, you might recall the trauma I went through selecting the perfect pattern and yarn for his first child.  This was way easier, largely because they were expecting a girl this time. In case you've missed it, I'm not really a pastel pink fussy foo-foo kind of person, and I couldn't bear the thought of making a pastel pink fussy foo-foo kind of blanket. So I didn't. I used the Tweed Baby Blanket pattern by Jared Flood, and Frog Tree Meriboo (they have a machine washable version) in a red and taupe. The red is more of a pinkish, and the color combination is really pretty wonderful. I'm in love with this pattern, and will have to make it again at some point. While I forgot to take photos of the blanket before mailing it to my brother and sister-in-law, she very kindly sent me a picture (it's from her cell phone - she now has a newborn and a 19 month old boy, so I'm excited she had time to do it at all) so I could share.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Holy carp!

I've barely knit since the 12th. I'm behind in all my blog following. I've forgotten my name more than once, and rarely remember the date or day of the week. I'm sleepy, sore, and overwhelmed. In other words, I'm a mommy!

NA is lovely. He has GF's hands and feet, my bad attitude, our love of the car (so far), and his own personality. We're complete goners. The dogs don't hate him, and might even like him when it's all said and done. He looks like a tiny old man, drinks like a fish, and bellows like an off-key pterodactyl.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Preparation, Part 2

This is where we left our intrepid baby clothes in the last post...

Here we are, all tied up and nowhere to go...

Something about the Gerber baby here screams "WTF?"
I won't babble overmuch, since I know you're all (three of you) saying: "Just show us the pictures, Ringed!"

Okie dokie.



Here's a couple of action shots and the final product.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Preparation, Part 1


Today marks the point of no return. I am 37 weeks along, and there's just no turning back from having a baby and those crazy medical personnel sending it home with us. I wouldn't say that we're terrified. We're cautiously concerned, and we're quite certain that we shouldn't be allowed to have a tiny person to shape and form. But, since we can't seem to talk anyone out of it, we needed to find something to bring the little critter home in. 
GF having more fun than is wise...

I found quite a number of pieces that I was fond of at Carters.com. GF didn't like any of them. Of the puppy ones, he observed that they were too predictable and expected. Of the others, they largely fell into the category of too cutesy and therefore kind of dumb. Our kid needs something more...sophisticated to come home in. Maybe...a turtle shirt. Tragically, the available turtle shirts are (a) ugly, (b) too large, or (c) both.
I felt like a mad scientist...

After an unreasonable amount of discussion and contemplation, I finally (joking) suggested that we look for a tie dye tshirt for Baby. He loved that idea (figures), so I started looking. And quickly realized that tiny tie dye clothes are no less expensive (and sometimes more expensive) than adult tie dye clothes. "Screw that," I said. "We'll make our own and have a BUNCH of tiny tie dye clothing to show for it."

So I pulled out two tiny onesies, two tiny side snap tshirts, and two tiny over the head tshirts. I bought a tie dye kit from one of the big box craft stores. I verified with an experienced dyer that the stuff I had purchased would last for at least a few washes. Then I set up our area and we tied dyed. This may become a thing, it was that much fun. Hopefully, our kid will want to tie dye stuff at some point for a few years.

Part 2 to come after the dye sets and the pieces are washed and dried...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sorry for the disappearance

There's been some STUFF going on for me personally that just isn't really bloggable. BUT, I did finally finish the blanket I started in that last post. It actually went very quickly, right up until the knitted on edging. Then, I had to (gasp) start another project because I just couldn't do it without a break.

Anywho, now it's done and off the needles and washed and blocked and ready to give to my friend for her wedding. Conveniently, her wedding was in Jamaica two weeks ago (my first real chance to go to Jamaica, and I can't go because I'm 8 months pregnant...so not right), so there's a local reception today. I'm going to deliver it and hope she and her husband like it.

There's always a little angst involved in giving a handmade gift to someone you've never given one to before. Or, at least, there is for me, which is kind of bizarre since I really only ever knit for other people. I don't give handmade gifts away without seriously considering the person it's going to and whether they will appreciate it and care for it properly. But even having considered all of that, there's still a worry, in the back of my brain, that they'll say, "Oh, that's lovely. Thanks," and then stick it in a box, on a shelf, to become moth eaten and never see the light of the sun again. But enough of my angst issues - here's a pic. One caveat - don't judge the slightly less than perfect blocking - I'm 36 weeks pregnant and this was large, circular, and had to be blocked on the damn floor. When I started panting with the effort, I stopped trying for perfection.

Jamaica Blanket: Completed 5.19.2010, Girasole pattern by Jared Flood, knit in Cascade 220

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I got my mojo workin'


Sometime in the last month, I seem to have gotten my knitting mojo back. I'm really glad, because I like to knit, and I have a lot of stuff I want to get done.

Because I'm a one project kind of woman (I know, I know, I'm a freak), I can only start one project at a time. I try to prioritize my projects based on birthdays/ special events/ promises made, etc. Now I'm starting to catch up on the backlog of stuff to do, which is really pleasing.

I finished the project I gave a sneak peak of in the last post (pictures to come later), and started something new today. My new project (pictured above, charts A and B completed) has been planned since last year, and I'm hoping to get it done pretty quickly. It's the Girasole pattern by Jared Flood, and I'm already completely obsessed with it. I cast it on this afternoon, and promptly got sucked in. I have a few days of sitting still and doing nothing in particular ahead of me (also known as lots of time to knit), so I figure to make some pretty decent headway on it. I'll keep you posted...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Greetings, 2010!

On this day last year, GF and I sat in the Olive Garden, at the little table next to the fireplace, and discussed our hopes for the year. We'd hoped for a lot of things, but only set ourselves what we saw as three practical goals. Two of those goals have been achieved in full force. Much to our chagrin, goal three barely got off the blocks. While we'd prefer to have accomplished all of the goals we set for ourselves, two out of three isn't bad.

Today, we sat at the Famous Dave's, in a big old booth next to a fireplace, and discussed our hopes for this year. This year's single goal is the as yet uncompleted goal with a determination to see it achieved. We're going to make it happen, barring issues outside of our control.

So, today is a day for rest and rejuvenation. Take appreciation of the end of old things and balance it with an excitement for the beginning of new things. Don't be ashamed to carry over some old stuff - that's what prepares you for what's to come. Be excited, people. Make goals for yourselves. If you make them with a plan in place and a belief they can be accomplished!