Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The best laid plans

I had every intention of having a nice Finished Object post tonight but, I don't.

The Object is finished, I just didn't get around to taking a picture and now I am too lazy to go take one. I blame sun exposure. After all, we don't often have 85 degree days in May here in Seattle (everyone who lives here knows summer doesn't start until July 5th). My whole being is thrown off by the flaming orb in the sky.

I'll have it for you tomorrow. Maybe I'll even take a picture of my new WIP. It isn't anything exciting since it is my second time around with the pattern (Baby Bolero from OneSkein) but hey, it's knitting and this is a knitting blog :)

Which brings up an interesting conundrum: The more time I spend knitting, the less time I have to blog. So then I feel like I am neglecting something but it is a knitting blog (technically) and so there needs to knitting content so I need to knit... such a catch 22. Oh well. I'm trying to keep the knitting part of this blog pretty steady now since I pretty much know that once #2 is born this will probably become an "all baby all the time" forum- at least for a while. It seems to be a trend in the blogosphere. Consider yourself warned.

Off to work on the teeny bolero.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Well, I am glad to hear that I am not alone in my bewilderment over clueless women birthing babes for fun and entertainment, I was beginning to wonder.... hmmmm. Maybe I should cut down on my cable tv consumption.

And to address a couple comments- I know the birth of my daughter was an anomaly- there was nothing normal about it and most women never even see a 24th of of labor, let alone twice that, thank goodness. A brief (as possible) explanation: I had pre-eclampsia and had to be induced at 37 and a half weeks. Inductions are not the fastest things ever and mine was no exception. I had two rounds of cervadil (12 hrs each) followed by pitocin. While the cervadil caused contractions I really made no progress dilation-wise until I got the pitocin so I got to experience all the fun of contractions with none of the results for a full day- yippee. My water broke naturally around 32 or so hours (not really sure, it is all a little hazy) and I finally dilated fully and got to push around 40 hours- and then I just kept pushing... I pushed for at least 7 hours which is unheard of but I had really good stamina and there was a complex emergency c-section down the hall that robbed me of my doctor for a while so the nurse and I just kept going (I'm a bit stubborn). It finally became apparent the Pooh Bear was stuck and I was delirious so it was c-section time. I keep saying I could write a book about the labor experience because I literally experienced almost every aspect possible.

This time will be better because I cannot be induced again due to the c-sec (the contractions induction causes are really hard on the uterus and can be too much for one that has been cut open previously). So it is either a naturally occurring labor or another c-section for me. I'm hoping to skip the c-section this time but I'll be happy with whatever method is the safest for #2.

One last comment before I move on to knitting (which is why most of you read this blog, not to hear my ridiculous life moments), so if you're bored hang tight... yarn is coming.

Despite the hours of labor and the exhaustion I experienced, the actual physical pain was not at all what I expected. Yes, I had an epidural but not until I was almost 9 cm so I felt my fair share of contractions... Honestly, and women everywhere are going to want to kill me for saying this, but it was a lot more painful when I blew out my ankle several years ago dancing. It was not as excruciating as I feared, for me anyway. Maybe I am just used to "playing through the pain" from dancing for so long (you know, if it ain't gushing blood or falling off, you're fine, keep pirouette-ing). Or maybe I had so freaked myself out to think it was going to be horribly painful that the actual experience was a "let down." Or maybe I'm just weird...


I am actually making progress on those WIPs I posted about last week- hooray! I'll be ready for another round of cast-on-itis in no time :)

I finished these three days ago but didn't get around to taking a photo until tonight.
These are the downsized booties from the Royal Baby set I made earlier. I'm just pleased my math worked out and they still look like the intended product. Here's a picture for size comparison's sake.
I also have been working on my baby bottoms.
I'm really pleased that I figured out how to do the foot on the first leg with a minimum of brow crinkling and swearing... not having made socks before this was my first experience with a seamless, sock-like structure. I'd like to complete these over the weekend so I can get to work on the other 200 baby knits I have in mind. Nine months is simply not a long enough gestational period to get all the requisite baby knitting in... I'm ready to be done being pregnant and mentally/physically wouldn't mind if he comes early but at the same time, every day he's in there = more rows completed!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Labor is not a Spectator Sport

So one of my obsessions, pregnancy-wise, is watching the myriad of reality shows on tv dealing with birthing babies. You know the genre: A Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby, Runway Moms (although seeing fabulous looking pregnant women always makes me feel inadequate, I still watch the show- glutton for punishment, I guess), Babies: Special Delivery, et cetera. The premise is the same, follow a mom/couple through the last bit of her pregnancy and her labor/delivery, followed by a brief stint of the life at home post-birth.

With the exception of Bringing Home Baby the focal point of all these shows is the labor scene with all the requisite shots of the mom huffing, puffing, grunting and screaming through the pain. Why do I watch? I'm not sure. But I do... I can't help it.

I enjoy watching but two things do bother me.

Does no one take the pre-natal classes I had to take? Some of the couples are sooooooooooooo clueless. They don't know what to expect other than the general notion that a baby will somehow appear at the end of the day. Now I know that not everyone has access to all the resources I did but seriously folks. Last week I watched one episode where the woman was a mere six hours into labor and was freaking out because (insert extremely whiny, pitiful sounding, sob inflected voice) "nobody told her it was going to take so long."

So long? Puh-lease. You got an epidural at 2 cm- how bad can it be? You just said you can't feel your feet- are you really in pain or are you just bored? We all know that those of us who grew up in the MTV era supposedly have no attention span.

As the woman who had a 48 hour labor episode before they wheeled me in for a c-section, peddle your sad little pity party elsewhere. Really. You have had nine months (give or take) to prepare for this moment- could you not have read a book, a pamphlet, or a website? Asked your mom, hell, asked any woman who has kids- somewhere along the line someone would have disabused you of the notion that labor is a relatively rapid experience (and yes I know that some women have miraculously quick births but thinking about them just makes me jealous and bitter so I try not to think about them).

My second issue? This is probably just quirk of my personality but I do not understand the women who have a bajillion people in the birthing room with them. Yes, birth is a wonderful, magical thing- but folks, no matter how you look at it, it ain't pretty. And call me crazy but the last thing in the world I would ever want would be my in-laws in the room with me. And do you really think your five year old son/daughter needs or wants to watch you give birth? Seeing mommy crying and screaming for multiple hours? My daughter freaks out if I lay down on the couch, thinking something is wrong- seeing me give birth would no doubt result in my paying for years of therapy for her. Sorry, but the only person not in the medical profession who is allowed in the room with me is my husband. He sees me every morning with bed-head and all those other not so glamorous moments we all experience. I think he has a realistic view of me and the vigors of labor won't disillusion him at this point in our relationship. Besides, he had a hand in this process and should be there so I can wring his neck and call him names when the pain kicks in for the miracle that is birth.

I've spent a great deal of my life on stage but ladies, birth is not performance art.

I promise no ranting in my next post, I have knitting content to share.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Bag Overfloweth

Last week I received an email from my lovely & talented SP10 Hostess Robyn with our next contest "assignment": photo and blog all your WIPs. Now had this e-mail arrived 24 hours earlier this would have been a piece of cake. I was being very productive, slowly whittling away at the projects I had on the needles until I only had two left (can you believe?).

But alas. The email landed in my inbox mere hours after a cast-on crisis (four new projects in an afternoon). And so I have a much longer list... and my knits barely fit into the ol' knitting bag.

First up is my oldest UFO, the Razor Shell Lace Scarf (pattern by Hilltop Yarn, an lys) started early last December.
The end product is beautiful and I love the yarn (BSA Royal Alpaca) but it is dull to knit. The lace pattern is only a two row repeat so it doesn't require a lot of brain power. The whole thing is supposed to be 109" long but I will shorten it (I'm only 60" tall so I hardly need a scarf that long). This picture is old but I haven't picked up the scarf in moths so it is, unfortunately, still accurate.

Next up are the Baby Bottoms (scroll down) from Knitting Pure and Simple.
I'm knitting these from Rowan Handknit Cotton in Chime (#204). My gauge is a little big but I went with it because babies grow and I'm guessing #2 will get more use out of these in the fall than he will in the summer. I took this picture 2 days ago so I am actually a little further along now, I just finished turning the heel on the first leg.

And now we get to the results on my cast-on mania from last week.

Booties from the Royal Baby Set, v. 2.0.
You might recognize these... I recently finished up the whole set but decided the booties were way too big for a newborn so I employed some math and came up with this, reduced size version. All the details (yarn, etc.) are the same as the original project.

And then there is the Knitted Puffy from OneSkein.
This is knit from Aloo (nettle) yarn. Let me just say that this is a great idea for a project and I have wanted to make it ever since I got the book. My intention was to make several of these puffies and use them as gifts at Christmas combined with some yummy bath products. This first puffy is intended for my Secret Pal and it may very well be my LAST one. Allow me to make a public service announcement: If you do not like knitting with cotton, do not try aloo. I love knitting with cotton- I don't have any issues with it not being springy or having no give, etc. Aloo is another beast entirely. I can knit about ten rows in a sitting before I have to move on to something else. The yarn is stiff, sticky, twisty and generally a pain in the ass to work with. I knew it was going to be a different experience, it being a very "natural" fiber, but, ugh. And to think I had a really hard time finding the yarn. Must be lots of folks like me out there thinking "Hey, cool. Nettle Yarn." Maybe next time I should give a bit more thought to what Nettles are? Since I am a glutton for punishment and I already own the yarn, I probably will make more of these puffies- it just won't be in the very near future.

And now we arrive at my favorite WIP- little socks for my Pooh Bear!!
With everything I've been knitting for #2 I had to cast-on something for my darling daughter (oh, the mommy guilt!). This pattern is from Blue Sky Alpacas and matches the bonnet I made a while ago. The yarn is the same Rowan Cashsoft DK in Bella Donna. This is my first pair of "real" socks, even if they are little (all my previous booties for babies have been seamed) and I am so excited! I have a couple more inches complete now (the picture was taken a couple days ago). I am having a blast knitting these...

The last WIP is this:
What is it? I'm not saying just yet, this is my "Secret Squirrel Project, Part 1a" and it will be revealed sometime later in the summer, assuming all goes according to plan. The color in the above photo is off, the color is really a rose pink.

And that's it. Six projects. But my fingers are itching and the yarn for another one has somehow made it's way from my craft room to my knitting bag so keep your eyes on the list to the right it could be expanding (again), soon.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm feeling lazy...

So I will jump on this bandwagon. Actually it was kind of interesting to take inventory of all that I have accomplished in the last year. And there is always another challenge ahead, I guess that is what keeps knitting exciting and fun!

Bold for stuff you've done, Italics for stuff you plan to do one day,
and Normal for stuff you're not planning on doing.



Garter Stitch

Knitting with Metal Wire


Stockinette Stitch

Socks: top-down (working on my first pair right now!)

Socks: toe-up

Knitting with Camel Yarn

Mittens: cuff-up

Mittens: tip-down


Knitting with Silk

Moebius Band Knitting

Participating in a KAL


Drop Stitch Patterns

Knitting with Recycled / Second Hand Yarn

Slip Stitch Patterns

Knitting with Bamboo Yarn

Two End Knitting

Charity Knitting

Knitting with Soy Yarn


Toy/Doll Clothing

Knitting with Circular Needles

Baby Items

Knitting with Your Own Handspun Yarn


Graffitti Knitting

Designing Knitted Garments

Cable Stitch Patterns

Lace Patterns

Publishing a Knitting Book


Teaching a Child to Knit

American/English Knitting

Knitting to Make Money

Button Holes

Knitting with Alpaca (Scarf in progress)

Fair Isle Knitting

Norwegian Knitting

Dying with Plant Colours

Knitting Items for a Wedding

Household Items (Dishcloths, Washcloths, Tea Cosies...)

Knitting Socks (or other small tubular items) on Two Circulars

Olympic Knitting

Knitting with Someone Else's Handspun Yarn

Knitting with dpns

Holiday Related Knitting

Teaching a Male How To Knit


Knitting for a Living - if only...

Knitting with Cotton

Knitting Smocking

Dying Yarn


Knitting Art

Knitting Two Socks (or other small tubular items) on Two Circulars Simultaneously


Knitting With Wool

Textured Knitting

Kitchener BO


Knitting with Beads


Long Tail CO

Entrelac Knitting

Machine Knitting

Knitting with SelfPatterning/SelfStriping/Variegating Yarn

Stuffed Toys

Knitting with Cashmere



Knitting with Synthetic Yarn

Writing a Pattern



Knitting with Linen

Knitting for Preemies

Tubular CO

Freeform Knitting

Short Rows

Cuffs/Fingerless Mitts/ArmWarmers


Knitting a Pattern from an On-Line Knitting Magazine


Knitting on a Loom

Thrummed Knitting

Knitting a Gift

Knitting for Pets

Shrug/Bolero/Poncho (I’ve made a baby one but not a real size)

Knitting with Dog/Cat Hair (ick.)

Hair Accessories

Knitting in Public

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey look! Baby Knits!

Surprise, surprise.

Baby knits on my blog.

Here are a couple of finished objects that I will be gifting to my friend who had a little one a week and a half ago.

A mini Bib O'Love and a Baby Genius Burp Cloth from the fabulous Mason-Dixon Knitting.

These things are so popular I probably don't need to give you the details but I knit them out of Sugar & Cream on size 7 Crystal Palace bamboo straights.

I enjoyed making these and I plan on making several more for my little ones.

In case you are wondering, these are for my friend to whom I gave the lilac Baby Bolero & hat at her baby shower. She DID have a little girl so it worked out colorwise... all's well that knits well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

you want a knitting post?

then you have come to the wrong place- sorry. I know I said I would post yesterday and (obviously) I didn't. And I doubt this will count either.

The knitting is going slowly (I have cast-on-itis so there are quite a few projects but not much progress on anything). As soon as I take some pictures I'll do a full recap.

No really, I will.

It has been added to the spreadsheet. And if it is on the spreadsheet, it gets done, dammit.

I mean just today I finished off purchasing all the gifts I need for events & holidays between now and my due date (eight events!!! made quite a dent in my wallet, ugh.). I also got yarn for my sock pal and the last of the goodies for my Secret Pal (both for the shipment I am going to send in the next few days and for my grand finale package next month).

Hey, that was almost knitting content.

Check, check and check. Keep moving down the list...

Monday, May 14, 2007


...a week since my last post *sigh* I am a bad blogger (that was just for you Jessica). I have things to blog and post topics in mind but I just don't have the patience to sit down and write anything coherent. I am a woman possessed. the baby-boy-to-be has taken over my brain and it seems he has no intention of returning it anytime soon. Suffice to say I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get stuff done pre-baby.

And I am aware that I have eight and half weeks to go, plenty of time, I know.

And I know that whatever doesn't get done is not a big deal... this is my second time doing this, I remember that the world didn't unravel at the seams when I had Pooh Bear and everything wasn't perfect and my to do list was completely checked off.

I know, I know.

And yet. And yet.

I simply have to do this stuff. And it is all stuff: getting my husband's birthday presents, getting father's day gifts taken care of for my dad and my husband, making sure I have my mom and my sister's gifts purchased for their birthdays-all these events take place before my scheduled due date and you just never know, I don't want to be caught out... and there are other things too: picking paint for my daughter's room and the nursery, going through the clothes from my daughter and pulling out the things that are appropriate for a boy and getting them ready (yes, I am one of those moms, I am not going to put my son in pink even though he'll never know and it might build character or something- I just can't do it) for instance- nothing critical but it feels important to me to GET IT DONE. now. if not sooner.

It makes no sense and I feel a bit crazy but...

Anyway. Hopefully tomorrow when I have some things checked off my list (I created a spreadsheet - this is how sick I am right now) I will feel better able to write about knitting. There is definitely knitting going on, it is all a part of the same psychosis.

Until tomorrow, then. I have to update my spreadsheet.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Could it Be?

I feel like I should have some big, majestic movie-esque music to go along with this post (Rocky theme? theme from 2000/2010? Anything by John Williams?) but, alas, I am not that technically savvy so just imagine the appropriate soundtrack...

The Albatross. Is. Done. Finis. Finito. Fait Accompli.

Whew. I finished weaving in the ends a few hours ago.

If the baby comes now, I will not feel like I have failed.

Here it is in all its glory:

And a close up picture for the pattern.

The Gory Details:
Pattern: Ruffled Ridges Baby Blanket from Fiber Trends
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas hand Dyed Cotton in Indigo (7.5 skeins)
Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars, US Size 8
Finished Size: 45" x 37"

In the end I decided not to add any stripes and I stuck to the pattern as written. My blanket ended up a bit larger than the pattern said it would be but that doesn't surprise me since I started the blanket a year and a half ago and I used to knit tighter so when I picked it up again this year I'm sure my gauge was off. I'm enormously pleased to be finished and while it is not perfect (there is one mistake in the border but you'd really have to look to find it) it is a really nice blanket. I cannot express how much I love this yarn. It is totally delicious which was good because I otherwise I would have given up long ago.

I would have finished last Thursday but I ran out of yarn with 5 rows to go. No, I didn't panic. I knew I had another skein but I had to find it and my craft room is in a total state of disarray. It is the one room that has yet to be unpacked so every time I go in there to get something it is an adventure. I knew the skein existed but I couldn't remember where I saw it last :) Two days, many boxes and a few plastic drawers later - success!

But then I needed to wind it into a ball... Now where did I put my winder and swift (relatively recent purchases - yippee!). Found them and wound the yarn yesterday. Finished knitting last night and wove in the ends this afternoon during Pooh Bear's nap. Snapped some
photos and voila! Finished.

Thank goodness because I have so many things I want to knit and now I have this behind me and I can move on to other fun things :) Like maybe another (much smaller) blanket? Um, not just yet but it is on the list. I am crazy. I plead pregnancy.

On the baby front, I apologize for being cryptic in my last post and then leaving you hanging but all the excitement led to nothing. Last Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning I had a series of contractions for about an hour. They were really painful (definitely not Braxton-Hicks) and were about 8 minutes apart which isn't too close together if you are close to your due date but can be a little anxiety inducing when you still have 10 weeks to go. I saw my doctor and everything is still ok. I'm a teensy-weensy bit dilated but that could be due to the contractions or it could just be that is where body is since I already had one child. So no biggie. If it happens again... well, that could be a different story. And I will cross that bridge when & if I come to it. I will not worry about it. Not. worrying. (Positive self-talk y'all!) Although, I have thought all along that #2 is going to be early, like at least 2-3 weeks. So we'll see. Two weeks to my next appointment.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Getting Closer....

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting!

Only 30 rows to go on the Albabtross- So close. So close. soclose. Must keep going. All else is ignored.

Slightly (hah, understatement) freaking out in my non-knitting life but that will have to wait for a longer post, let's just say that having really painful contractions at 3 in the morning 10 weeks before your due date is not a calming experience.

Back to knitting, knitting, knitting.

The Albatross calls and it wants to be finished. Now. (no comments about "nesting" from the peanut gallery)