November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day

September 1, 2008

An Actual Post With Actual FO's

What do you do when the Shout Gel (a nursery necessity) tends to live, unsafely, on the edge of the crib because it's close to the hamper there?

You knit it a little hammock, of course!

Problem solved.

Okay, well that's a fairly lame FO, but its creation was something of a revelation because I knit about half of it while nursing the baby.

It helped me realize that given the right type of project (small, mostly mindless, ideally on circulars) I could knit while feeding the babe. This got me all excited and itching to knit. But, alas, none of my current projects (I really need to do a wip post) fit the bill. Well, gee, I just had to start up a new project then, didn't I?

I cast on the Easy Baby Cardigan using some Misti International Pima Cotton/Silk. I'm really pleased with it. I used YO's to increase at the raglan lines. I also added an eyelet row on the cuffs and hem, which was an idea I completely ripped off from someone on Ravelry.

It's currently big on her, which is what I wanted. But not so big that she can't model it.

(Lying on my back on the floor holding the camera while Minnie is sitting on my tummy.)

Unfortunately, my knitting while nursing came to an end while working on this sweater. My poor girl has developed painful reflux. She's always been a big spitter upper, but now it really hurts her. To try to ease her discomfort, I've changed her feeding position and I'm no longer hands free while nursing. It's a no-brainer decision, of course, because the new position does help a bit. The meds (prevacid) and time will take care of the rest.

Take care until next time.

June 24, 2008


Just a quick post to say I'm still here and we're doing great. Minnie Purl is an angel. She's taking it really easy on her poor parents. Maybe she knows how terrified I was of this whole parenting thing and has taken it upon herself to show me just how much fun it can be.

We have a great time hanging out together, smiling, talking, playing games. I have so much fun with her that I haven't done much knitting or had much time on the computer, hence the lack of blogging. And while I probably haven't commented on your blog, I've been trying to more or less keep up with reading them.

Now, you may think it looks like Minnie is lying on a decent amount of knitting there. You're correct that this wip baby blanket is a bit over half finished. Thing is, I started it long before she was born (early March, I think). I just never got around to writing about it. I've only completed a few rows here and there in the past two months.

It's made with Suss Bomull in three colors: The pink border, a solid green and a variegated. It's a simple, stockinette square with garter edges. I'm using intarsia for the color changes. It's easy enough to pick up and drop at a moments notice, but the intarsia keeps things fun if I do work on it for a while.

Minnie even tried to work a few stitches.

April 22, 2008

Minnie Purl Is Here!

Born Saturday April 19th at 7:12am Pacific time. 7lbs, 12 oz and 21". We're back home now and everyone is doing great!Just minutes old.

Just after first bath at the hospital.

Sooo tired, but very happy.

Happy to be home.

April 15, 2008

Baby Stuff

Today is my due date. It's also tax day. We sent our taxes last week, but our little deduction has yet to make an appearance. Saw the doctor today and he says everything looks good and it won't be much longer now. God love him, he also said he thinks it'll be a pretty fast birth. Even if he's just saying that to make me feel better, I don't care, it was nice to hear.

Meanwhile, some unbelievably wonderful gifts have arrived for Minne Purl.

Christene sent this beautiful Baby Surprise Jacket. It is drop-dead gorgeous. The colors are perfect and the knitting is flawless. Minnie will be the best dressed baby around when she's wearing this.

Check out the adorable buttons!

She also sent a super cute, wee, tiny sock. I luurve it!

And Whitney sent some fantastic Saartje's Bootees. The green color she used is so up my ally. And I love the toggle buttons. Whitney is handier with a camera than I am and she has some excellent photos of these booties on her blog. I must admit, when I saw that post, I really hoped I was going to be the lucky recipient.

Thank you both so much! I am completely blown away by your thoughtfulness and generosity. It means so much to me to be able to wrap my little babe in hand-knit love.

In the great minds think alike department (?), I have also recently made some Saartje's Bootees. These are for my college roommate who just had a baby boy. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Sand Ridge colorway and US 2 needles.

That's all for now, I need to go put my feet up.

April 8, 2008

One Week

My official due date is one week from today.

I suspect this baby will come sometime after her due date, but the reality that it could actually happen at any moment is starting to sink in. I have such a weird mixture of feelings. I'm getting pretty uncomfortable and I'm tired darn near all the time. So in that respect, I'm really looking forward to once again being the sole occupant of this body. But at the same time, I feel like I've finally got pregnancy figured out. I've been doing pregnant for nine months, what's a few more weeks? Parenthood, however, there's a whole new challenge! Early in the pregnancy, I worried that I would somehow fail at being pregnant, that I wouldn't do a good enough job of growing the baby. After all this time, I finally feel pretty confident in my ability to take care of this child while she inside me. Now I'm worrying about my ability to take care of her in the big, scary, outside world.

A mom friend of mine said to me that the fear is a good sign. That if I wasn't afraid, then she'd be worried. I suppose you can't help but worry about the ones you love. And when they are tiny, innocent and helpless isn't it just magnified?

So what's a knitter to do? Knit!

I whipped up this little baby sweater on the fly. After making the baby zombies, I wanted more instant gratification baby knits. I hadn't yet made a sweater for Minnie and was gripped by the urge. I wanted it to be colorful and I wanted to use stash yarn. I dug out some left over Araucania Nature Cotton I'd used years ago and cast on. I knit it as a bottom up, seamless cardigan in about two days. The ties are crocheted chains.

Colorful, instant gratification mission accomplished.

April 6, 2008

Time Off for Good Behavior

As a thank you for using him on the sale and purchase of our houses, our real estate agent gave us a two night stay at the Montage in Laguna Beach. Holy crap, you guys, this place was sa-weeet!

Our balcony

The view from our balcony

We went down on Thursday and came back Saturday. It was a heavenly little getaway for Chris and me. We soaked up enjoying a last vacation as just a twosome.

It's about a one hour drive away. But we had these nightmare visions of me going into labor and us being stuck on the freeway in rush hour traffic for, like, four hours, trying to get back to our hospital here in LA. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

The service was absolutely outstanding. Every single hotel employee we ran into was extremely friendly and helpful. Upon check-in, they brought us complimentary champagne. When they saw that I'm pregnant, they came back with sparkling cider.

Of course, I was knitting. The Sock Madness round two pattern had been released on Monday. I had gotten in some good knitting time on Monday, but not as much on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the drive down to Laguna, I was working on the leg of the second sock. By the time we got there, I didn't have a whole lot of energy for much more than sitting on our balcony. So I knit while enjoying the view, the sound of the ocean, the smell of the sea air mixed with flowers... it was wonderful.

As the sun began to set, we saw little bunnies come out on the grass. There were tons of them. They're probably the scourge of the grounds keepers, but to us they were completely adorable.

After a delicious room service breakfast on Friday morning, Chris and I went out exploring the grounds and took a short walk on the beach. It was too chilly for our delicate SoCal constitutions to entertain going in the ocean or pool, though there were people doing just that. Instead, we walked around bundled in sweaters and enjoyed holding hands and hugging for warmth.

I did not bring the sock on our excursion. I didn't even think about it, we were having such a good time. Until lunch. While having a lovely meal at the pool side grill (even this place was pretty schmancy), curiosity began to creep in. Using Chris' iPhone, I checked the standings and saw there were only five slots still open in my division. A competitive fire was re-lit within me.

We returned to our room and I basically spent the rest of the day working on the sock. It was actually perfect, as my energy was quite low by then anyway. Plus, after the baby comes, long stretches of uninterrupted knitting time will be hard to come by.

When I finished the sock, Chris took a picture with his phone and e mailed it to me. I then went down the the hotel's business center and got the picture up on Flickr and sent off my finished e mail to the Sock Madness Mistresses. Phew!

It's quite a cool pair of socks. The pattern is called Reversai because the socks are completely reversible. (It's currently only available to participants of Sock Madness, but I believe the designer will be offering it for sale later.) We had been told the test knit sock was made using Socks That Rock Lightweight. I've never knit STR Lightweight, but I do have some in my stash and I was planning on using it. However, when I saw the pattern started "Cast On 72 stitches...," I knew the STR would make a sock too big for me. So I used some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Glenwood colorway) and size 0 needles, instead. Now, 72 stitches of Lorna's Laces on size 0 needles with a knit/purl pattern is slow going for me. But the effort paid off, because I'm quite happy with the results.

I doubt I'll ever make these socks exactly to pattern again, but I can definitely see a modified version in the future. I think the charted pattern in a solid or semi-solid darkish colorway would make very handsome man socks. I'd probably do a flap heel and stockinette foot instead of the garter stitch short row heel and foot. I will say, of the garter stitch short row heel, that it was the least troublesome short row heel I've ever worked. I usually get quite frustrated with holes in short row heels, but the garter stitch is very forgiving.

Working the garter stitch foot was kind of annoying, but I'm wearing the socks right now and I'm happy to report, they're very cushy and soft. This is one of the things I really like about Sock Madness. It forces you to knit patterns you might ordinarily pass right over. In doing so, you may find that you really like a technique or design element you wouldn't have considered appealing otherwise.

Plus, you get a new pair of socks in about five days.

March 26, 2008

Another Overdue Post - FO and Thank You

Man, I'm feeling inarticulate. I've just typed, like, seven different starts to this post - each one less sensible than the last. I think the solution is to fall back on some good ol' photos. Let's go with my Hemlock Ring Blanket, shall we?

Despite having received a funny and sweet comment on Ravelry from someone begging me not to block it - I did block it. Well, I already had blocked it by the time I got the comment, but even if I hadn't, I still would have. Am I making any sense? To the point, I love blocking! I didn't especially love crawling around on the floor in circles, attempting to get all the pins even, but I do love the transformative power of a good blocking.

Pinned on the floor, as even as I could manage. (That's an oilcloth table cloth on top of the carpet, btw.)

Center detail while blocking.

Now, it's just waiting for Minnie Purl, whose crib is all set up.

I really enjoyed making this blanket. It's has a wonderful combination of "interesting" rounds and "mindless" rounds with a really tremendous final result. I would definitely recommend it. There are, however, some errors in the pattern. It is my understanding, that there are several write-ups of the pattern. Depending on which one you're working from, the errors are in different places. Luckily there are online forums and knit-alongs where the mistakes are sorted out. Ravelry or Google can help you find them. I was using the pattern linked at Brooklyntweed and there was just one round where the directions were slightly askew. I think it was round 35.

On another topic, I'd like to thank La Fuji Mama for sending me a lovely care package all the way from Japan. She has a fantastic blog. You should check it out. I defy you to read her blog and not come away inspired by color, hungry or wanting to board a plane.

Anyway, back on Valentine's day, she ever-so-casually posted a picture of a Cherry Blossom Kit Kat. I was all, "Sweet, fancy Moses, there's such a thing as Cherry Blossom Kit Kats?" (Apparently, wildly flavored Kit Kats are common in Japan.) Well, Fuji Mama was unbelievably sweet and sent me some! Plus, she included some extra goodies.

Kit Kats and cute stickers from Japan.

She also sent me a gorgeous book of baby and child knitting patterns.

I can't read the Japanese, but the book is so beautiful and inspirational it doesn't even matter. I love just looking at it.

Soooo adorable!

Thank you, Fuji Mama! You are a sweetheart of the highest order!

March 22, 2008

When The Zombies Come

Sock Madness 2 has started and it's just as much fun as last year! The first pattern, Zombie Socks, was released Thursday 3/13 and the race was on.

I had told myself that I would not knit at the same all-out frantic pace of last year and I stuck to that - a bit. I allowed myself plenty of breaks but they wound up being only for the essentials (eating, showering, sleeping, walks, watching Lost on TiVo, a childbirth class and, of course, checking everybody else's progress). It's such a fun pattern, it really lends itself to long knitting sessions. Plus, it's easy for me to rationalize that I need to keep my feet up these days, so knitting on the couch for hours and hours is really the wisest thing for me to be doing. Right?

I finished the first sock Friday night (or was it Saturday morning? Wow, totally can't remember. Clearly, the Zombies have eaten what was left of my already diminished pregnancy brain.)

It felt like the second sock went even faster than the first. (I often feel that way, actually. I think it's why I don't much succumb to second sock syndrome.) I had the pair finished on Sunday. It was a fast enough finish that I have cleared round one.

I used Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in Nantucket Red and my trusty 2.25mm aluminum dpn's.

It was such a fun pattern that after finishing my adult sized pair, I made a baby pair.

Aaarrgghhh....the zombies are multiplying!

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to remain in the competition, but I sure am having fun right now. Gotta love the madness!

I also want to say I think it's really cool that this pattern (currently only available to those participating in Sock Madness) made it to the top five most active patterns on Ravelry. By the way, it appears that this will become a free pattern available to all sometime in May. So if you like the looks of it and you're not a sock madnesser, hang in there, it can be yours pretty soon.

I feel like I've been a bad blogger again. I've got lots of things to catch up on. I'll save them for other posts, but I'll try to be a little more frequent with posting, at least for the next few weeks. After the baby comes, though, I hope you'll understand things might get even more sporadic than they have been.

March 12, 2008

Overdue Post: FO - Oblique

My baby shower was this weekend. It was wonderful! I think it's safe to say that Minnie Purl now has more clothes than I do. Anyway, all the excitement and having family in town for five days has left me kind of exhausted. Sock Madness 2 starts tomorrow and I need to conserve energy. Therefore, I'm going to rely pretty exclusively on pictures for this post. I did get some buttons sewn on my Oblique and got some pictures of me wearing it, too. So without further ado, I present my finished Oblique. (My previous oblique posts and my Ravelry notes should cover all the specs and few modifications.)

dark brown mother of pearl buttons

all finished

8 months pregnant and it still fits.

I wear it open, too.

back view

I love it.