Friday, June 29, 2007

Holding Pattern

I'm still here. The bun is still baking.

My frustration is getting to me. *sigh* I am chasing the carrot but someone keeps moving the stick. When we went to the hospital last weekend they told me to come back when my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and they were strong enough that I had to stop what I was doing until it was over. That occured last night so we went back. I had charted my contractions for 3 and a half hours before I decided to call Labor & Delivery. I gave them the run down and they told me to come on in. Hubby and I put Gwen to bed leaving one of my good friend's to hold down the fort and we hopped in the car. Neither of us had much hope that this trip would end with a baby but we had hit the milestone the hospital prescribed so we followed directions. End result of the trip: no baby. I am still 4 cm dilated but I am also now 50% effaced so that is some progress. They also "stripped my membranes" which isn't as bad as it sounds- it is a simple procedure that can release hormones to stimulate labor- we'll see if it has any effect, so far it has just made my contractions somewhat more painful. This time, when we left the hospital, they told us not to come back until I was having regular, close, white-knuckle contractions. So there you have it- the new carrot.

And in non-baby related news (yes! there is some!)

I finally finished the Knit Puffy for my Secret Pal:
Here it is in its natural habitat :) Pattern is from OneSkein. Knit per the instructions from Aloo yarn. I know I complained about knitting with the nettle yarn but in the end I was really pleeased with the results. I might even make another one. But not anytime soon. I sent the package off on Monday and my pal, AJ, received it yesterday. I really enjoyed Secret Pal 10 and will most likely do the next swap.

I have also been the lucky recipient of a couple of fun and fabulous packages in the last couple weeks.

First up, a prize from an SP10 group contest, courtesy of Robyn, my fantastic hostess!
This is a really cute cross-stitch kit. The balloon reads, "Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?" For those of you who don't know, cross-stitch was my first needle art love so I am looking forward to tackling this project. Thank you Robyn :)

Next I received a treat from Sasha of free wool as a prize for a contest she ran:
All sorts of good things. Three vintage knitting pattern booklets (I swear I think my grandmother made me one of the sweaters in one of the books- it looks so familiar!), a Japanese booklet of little animals (the correct term escapes my brain at the moment and I am too lazy to look it up) to needle felt, recent copies of BabyBug (Pooh Bear loves this!), mothering, ReadyMade and Bust- all of which is really more inspiration than I can handle right now. My crafting/knitting to do list is multiple pages long and I know that my time will be limited to non-existent soon. The bag included some whistle candy and a Fran's Macadamia Gold bar which was waaaaaaaayyyyy too tasty. Last, but certainly not least, is a really neat skein of Noro Sakura which is a really unique yarn. Fabulous bright colorway and it periodically has these sections where the yarn is wrapped around the base in a way that totally reminds me of the friendship bracelets I used to make with my friends from embroidery thread back in the day -So fun! Thanks Sasha!

Lastly, a big hug and thank you to everyone for the kind words and good wishes you've sent my way as I have been making my way way through the slowest labor ever recorded, I really appreciate it... you guys are keeping me (somewhat) sane.

Next time: Baby Knits - the longer BtB stays in, the more I get that is the bright side of this whole thing. BTW, generally a bad sign when the nurses at your doctor's office take a look at you and say, "Man, you are going to drop that baby any minute!"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Young man, this behavoir is unacceptable...

Where to start?

I finished objects to share.

I have fun prizes from blog contests I have won recently to show off.

I'm still pregnant. Barely. Annoyingly. Frustratingly. Painfully. Crazily. Still. Pregnant.

So much to cover, so little time and really, I want to skip the knitting stuff and go right to the baby kvetching.

So I'll compromise: a little knitting and then I get to bitch share my story.

So here's a shock, I have baby knits to show. Knock y'all over with a feather, right?
Ah, yes. Another rendition of the Bib O'Love (full size this time) and the Baby Genius Burp Cloth from the indispensable Mason-Dixon Knitting. I knit these from Lion Cotton (Lion Brand's version of kitchen cotton) in the Wedgewood colorway on size 6 Crystal Palace bamboo straights. It took me a little more than one ball to make both. I love the way the variegated yarn made a cool x pattern on the bib. Unfortunately, you can tell where I switched to the new ball of yarn on the burp cloth. I thought they were both the same dye lot but I had misplaced the ball band for the first skein so I couldn't be sure... In the end I figured it, screw it, it's just a burp cloth. These two cuties will be winging away to Rochester, NY as part of a gift for our good friends who had a little boy a couple weeks ago.

I swear, I am actually going to make some of these for my kiddos at some point- hopefully before they graduate from college.
OK. Enough knitting for now. I will share my fantastic blog contest prizes next time... I have to get the ridiculousness that is the last week of my pregnancy off my chest.

BtB, he is a troublemaker.

I may feel 500 times better at this point in my pregnancy than I did with my daughter but he is causing me grief nonetheless. As y'all know, I have been having contractions for over a week now, and at my doctor's appointment last Thursday I was 2 cm dilated so I was making progress. Thursday night the contractions went from 20-25 minutes apart to 10-12 minutes apart. Hooray! More progress.

Friday night arrives. Contractions are now 5-6 minutes apart. When they had been consistently at this pace for 3 hours we called into the hospital to check in and see what our next step should be. Come on in, they told us, but need to rush or hurry since the pain was still completely tolerable for me. So we call our sitter to come watch Pooh Bear and we finally arrive at the hospital around 1:30 in the morning. We are put in a triage room in the Labor & delivery wing, hooked up to all the fun monitors and then we wait for a doctor to come around to check on me. At 2:00 the doctor comes in, checks me and says that I am 3 cm dilated and she feels I am still in latent (early) labor. She goes off to check with her chief to figure out what to do with me. They decide not to send me home but to see if I can walk myself into active labor. Hubby and I are told to go walk the hospital and to come back at 4:00am to be checked again.

Walking at 2 in the morning. For two hours. fun. Did I mention I had slept maybe two hours the night before? But I will prevail. I will do what they ask and get to active labor. I have rarely met a physical challenge I couldn't overcome and this is no different. I am going to have a baby dammit.

A hospital is very boring between the hours of 2 and 4am.

At four we are back in labor & delivery and my contractions are now a) 2-3 minutes apart and b) more painful. Both good signs.

A quick cervical check shows that I am now 4 cm dilated. Yes! I have accomplished the tasks set before me. But wait, the refs throw a penalty flag and put the baby game on hold.

My cervix is not thinning like they would like, maybe I am not where I need to be. The doctor leaves to consult with her chief again.

Minutes drag on and finally at 4:30 am the doctor comes back with the good news that they have decided to admit me. Hallelujah! I am going to have a baby.

We are assigned a room for which Hubby is very grateful- even the horribly uncomfortable sofa/bed combo they have for family members in the labor rooms seems like a feather bed at this point- we are both exhausted.

I get my IV put in- the nurse chose a horrendous location- as soon as it was in I realized that it totally restricted my hand/wrist range of motion and that there would be NO KNITTING possible as long as it was there. At 5 am my fuzzy, sleep deprived brain thought this was a crisis and I almost asked her to move it but it was pretty painful the first time and I am not quite psychotic enough to go through that again (in retrospect it really was a bad location, I could barely change my clothes). They told me to try to get some sleep so I did.

Fast forward to 8:30am. The doctor comes in and wakes me up. My contractions have slowed down to 7-9 minutes apart so she wants to check me again to see what, if anything, is going on.

You know what's coming don't you?

Zero progress. Nothing. Zip. Nada.


They discharge me and send us home.

So disappointing. So close and yet so far.

Since Saturday morning my contractions have bounced all over the place. We have been walking everyday trying to to get to active labor. I can get close. Last night the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and they were pretty painful but clearly I am still here so....

I know I still have three weeks until my due date so everything is fine but it is just the frustration of being so close and going home empty handed. The constant contractions and everything else is just making me uncomfortable so I am Ready.

Seriously, the concept of walking around dilated to four cm while my insides play Twister for more than a few more days makes me crazy.

So listen to your mama little boy and come on out, we want to meet you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hey look! Knitting!

Another day done and BtB is still cooking :) It will be interesting to see what my OB says tomorrow afternoon- if things are progressing or if they have come to a standstill. Go baby, go! Mama is tired of being pregnant.

Tonight I actually have knitting to share... Here is my finished baby blanket.
This is the Baby Blanket from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. Knit from Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in Willow on my trusty Addi Turbos (Size 7 & 8). It matches the hat I knit a couple weeks ago. Here they are as a duo:
This blanket was a super fast knit- it has been done for well over a week (it is a small blanket, 18" x 24", good for car seats or use in a swing or bouncy seat). I cast on for it on a Tuesday night and wove in the ends on the following Saturday afternoon. I would definitely make this again and I think it would be a great gift item.

That's it for tonight. I need to put the finishing touches on a couple things and then I need to do a little housework before bed. Sleep is good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm pooped.

So excuse the lameness of this post. I have lots of goodies to share but it will have to wait for another day... I am just too tired tonight.

I have been plugging away on my two gifts. My bib and burp cloth are done except for the button that needs to be sewn on the bib. And I now have 21 of 29" complete on the bath scrubby. After I finish the tube I "just" need to do 19" of i-cord.

I have two baby projects that are eating away at me, crying out to be cast on but I am being good, holding them at bay until the gifts are done.

And speaking of the baby-to-be (BtB), he is certainly giving us a lot of hints that he will be putting in an early appearance (those of you who are only interested in knitting can turn away now, this post is taking sharp left into Babyville). I have been having consistent low-grade contractions since Saturday night with a journey into some pretty intense contractions Sunday night (as in I thought we were headed to full-on labor intense). As a result of Sunday's fun and games Hubby decided not to make his scheduled trip to San Fran this week. So of course, with that decision made the contractions let up and have been pretty mild and less frequent... Typical. You know that I would have gone into full blown labor the minute he stepped on that plane but now.... :)

And just to keep us on our toes, BtB decided to take a looooooooonnnnnnnngggg siesta today and not move or kick for hours, freaking us out. One trip to Labor & Delivery later everything is fine. As soon as the nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitors he "woke up" and his heart rate was everything it should be. I was grateful he was fine but somewhat chagrined at making a wholly unnecessary trip to the hospital. At least I found out that I am now 1.5 cm dilated (half a cm more than on Thursday) so things are making slow progress. My doctor has said she'll admit me when I hit 3 cm so I am halfway there (since I was induced last time we have no idea if I am a fast or slow laborer so they will admit me a little earlier than they would with some women just in case I am fast).

BtB will be 37 weeks (technically full term) on Saturday so he can feel free to put in an appearance anytime after that. I hope he doesn't dawdle. Stick a fork in me- I'm ready to be done.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The stash not flashed...

Well, I was going to snap some pictures of the yarn stash this evening after Pooh Bear went to bed but it isn't going to happen (sorry Robyn, I'm an SP10 Contest Slacker). Why not? Let's just say climbing up the two flights of stairs to my craft disaster room holds little to no appeal when your are sitting on your couch experiencing false (I hope) labor. Oh the joy! Oh the amusement! Oh wow, that hurt. Better now. Still not climbing any stairs until I have to...

I can tell you about my stash... A picture may be worth a thousand words but words, well, they are worth 1/1000 of a picture.

Seriously, my stash is not all that exciting even if it has enjoyed exponential growth since the beginning of the year. Kind of like my belly.... hmmm. Stash enhancement justification! Katie's First Law of Pregnant Yarn Acquisition: One's stash must grow in proportion to one's pregnant belly. Kind of like men gaining sympathetic pregnancy weight. Pregnant knitters of the world rejoice and unite! You really need that yarn. (I am nothing if not an enabler- don't say I never did anything for you) For those of you who aren't pregnant- sorry. But give me time, I'll be un-pregnant here shortly (please lord, let it be really shortly) and I'll have to come up with the Corollary for Non-Pregnant Stash Acquisition.

Actually, my stash is very easy to visualize: just imagine the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, Baby Cashmerino, and Cashmerino Aran displays at your lys. Yes, the whole thing. Good. Now to that add the RYC Cashsoft display. Toss in a few skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Hand Dyed Cotton and a few of their organic cotton skeins. Got it? Next add around 20 skeins of Rowan Handknit Cotton and 10-15 balls of various "kitchen" cottons. That's about it. Oh, well, you can toss in a dozen skeins of sock yarn: 3 STR, 1 Yarn Pirate, 1 Sea Wool, 5 Shibui, 2 Lorna's laces, 2 Claudia's Handpainted- ok, so that is more than a dozen, technically 14. That's really about it. I mean, I have other random stuff but really- lots and lots of Cashmerino and Cashsoft- I love the stuff.

OK, I need to dash, I have knitting to so and my post from earlier today did nothing to restore my mojo (I had kind of hoped whining would magically make knitting happen) so I need to get my fingers on the needles or the three pairs of booties I am imagining will remain a picture in Last Minute Knitted gifts and three skeins of baby cashmerino in my stash (off white, light blue and apple green in case you were wondering).

Ack! I've lost my mojo.

Yup, Austin Powers and I have that in common (I hope that is all that we have in common).

For a couple weeks there I was flying. The needles were flying and the yarn was sailing. And now? Um. Not quite a grinding halt but reeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyy slow.

Let me pose this question to you: What takes longer, a baby blanket or a burp cloth. Well, duh. The burp cloth should be a breeze and the blanket will take longer. Unless you are me. Last week I cast on for a baby blanket on Tuesday night and wove in the ends on Saturday afternoon. That's right, less than 5 full days start to finish- awesome! On Sunday I knit a Bib O'Love. Fantastic! On Monday I cast on for the Baby Genius Burp cloth. Figured it would be done on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. Today is Friday. The burp cloth is incomplete. Really incomplete. Halfway done and that's it. I just cannot get going on it. I think about it when I sit down. I have it next to me on the couch. I pull it out of the bag and I think I knit but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Here's the problem, or at least what I suspect is the problem. I have many little knits I want to make for my impending arrival. The burp cloth- not for #2. It is a gift for friends of ours who just had a baby. They live in Rochester, NY so I need to get it done so I can mail it, the bib, and a couple other things off. But I really want to work on things for my baby. And so, I procrastinate and I make no progress on anything while every day the clock ticks closer to my due date and piles of yarn languish, hoping that someday they will be adorable little booties.

I actually have one other project, the bath scrubby, that I need to finish and mail off. I'm about halfway done with that too and it is also more time consuming than I thought (how hard can a 29" tube of stockinette knit in the round be?).

Ugh. Just last week I felt like I could whip out anything in a miraculously short time frame and now I am lodged in a quagmire.

I'll post pictures of the baby blanket soon. I also need to Flash my Stash for SP10 before the end of today. But for now? Back to the grind. The booties may be singing my name like a siren but I will prevail (I hope).

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm a Lucky Girl!

Guess what has arrived?

My Secret Pal 10 package complete with the big Reveal Information!

Let me say, a big


Just like my first goodie box this one was full of lovely things:
Let's see...
-Chocolate (Lindt Milk Chocolate with Toffee bits & Toblerone), can't go wrong there, yum!

-A copy of Knit 2 Together (yippee! multiple projects from this book are on my "to knit wish list")

-An adorable needle felting kit (I have been ogling needle felting kits online and classes around town for months but had not done anything about it yet- now I just have to find the time)

-And lastly, a beautiful skein of Sea Wool with the dpn's and stitch markers to make the Bordello Socks on the label (I swear Karen was reading my mind, I have picked up and put done a skein of Sea Wool every single time I have gone into a yarn store of late. And this colorway is a perfect choice for me, a red with touches of pink that beautifully combines my two favorite colors)

Participating in SP10 has been a great experience, it has been so fun to receive fun gifts in the mail. I still have one more package to send to my spoilee (I opted to do three packages) but I need to finish up the bath scrubby I'm knitting before I can get it out the door. I'm about halfway done and hope to finish it by the end of the week so I can send it off and reveal myself. I keep putting off working on the scrubby because I don;t like the yarn... I know I could just scrap the thing and send a store bought scrubby but it isn't the same and, well, I'm stubborn. I will conquer the Aloo!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Same Knit Time, Same Knit Channel

I feel like I really am becoming the blog equivalent of a 24/7 all baby knits cable channel but I am in a rut rhythm and I am scared to go in another direction for fear I'll lose my BK mojo.

And so, here is today's humble offering:

And here is a close up to show the pattern and a better representation of the color (apologies for the sad indoor lighting).
This is the baby hat from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. I knit it in the called for Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in the Willow colorway (#85). This colorway is basically a blend of the Sage and Bone colorways and I picked so that it would blend with the Bolero I finished few days ago. (Cute baby sets!) I won't bore you again with my undying passion for this yarn. Knit on size 7 & 8 Addi Turbo circulars. I finished this Tuesday night so it took no time at all (cast on Monday night) and it would have been even quicker if I had not had to rip the first 12 rows out because I can't read.

That done, last night I cast on for the matching blanket:

I am about a quarter of the way done already. It is a small blanket only 18" x 24" but after the Albatross Experience small is good (my mother always told me that good thing come in small packages). This is the same yarn as the hat.

Both the hat and the blanket together only take 3 skeins of yarn so I'm going to keep this in mind for future gifts as it is (relatively) thrifty and quick. When I purchased the yarn I had it in my head that it was going to take four skeins so I will have leftovers... Anybody have a good bootie pattern that utilizes worsted weight yarn? Or another little baby garment that only takes 150 yards? If not, I'll hang onto the yarn for future use but I just thought I'd ask.

Lastly, here is something I rarely do. I tend not to flash pictures of my daughter all over this blog because I am slightly paranoid (hence the use of a pet name for her) but tonight I cannot resist. She was just being too adorable and I have to show off share.
Besides, I'm sure that #2 will have plenty of pictures here on the blog when he joins us so this way when my daughter is 16 and hates me she can't say I didn't give her equal time.

OK. That's it for tonight... I'm going to go knit so I can get this blanket done (figuring it will take about a week) because at some point I need to make a pair of socks for me.

Monday, June 04, 2007

More of the same

That's right! More baby knits! I swear, one day I will make something else. I have yarn on hand for a few "for ME" knits but they always seem to get back-burnered. I wonder why that is? :)

Here is my latest incarnation of the Baby Bolero from Oneskein.
I really like this pattern. The yarn is fabulous- Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton (I used the Sage colorway). Soft and squishy and oh-so-nice to knit with. I worked this sweater as the pattern was written but I chose not to do the little motif on the back. I did have to go down a needle size to get gauge however (Addi Turbo's in Size 7 and 8).

This is my second bolero and I have plans to make a third with short sleeves and contrast trim (I may go really crazy and make the trim seed stitch instead of ribbing *gasp*).

Tonight I cast on for a new baby project- the baby hat & matching blanket from Natural Knits for Babies & Moms. OK, I only cast on for the hat but the blanket will be next. The hat shouldn't take too long so I'll wait until it is done to post pictures (I'd be halfway through right now if I hadn't misread the directions through a white chocolate cheesecake induced haze at Purly Girls earlier... I had to rip back to the cast-on and start over).

Lest you think knitting for baby-boy-to-be is my sole focus I am making some (slow) progress on my other WIPS. The Bath Puffy is about halfway done. I can only work on it for short amounts of time because the yarn annoys me so much.

Also, to mitigate a teensy bit of mommy guilt (I'm not making anything for daughter- I am a horrible person) I have been slowly working on the socks I started for her. To be honest, I love working on her socks. I love the yarn (Cashsoft DK), like the pattern and adore! my fabulous little teeny rosewood Lantern Moon Sock Stix. If it weren't for the impending baby deadline these socks would definitely be at the front of the line.

That's it for now, the bun in the oven is telling me to eat something sweet and delicious but since I am on a modified low-sugar/carb diet (ahem, please ignore the cheesecake reference above) I think he'll have to make do with some sugar free jello or pudding *sigh* So unfair. Whatever happened to eating (cookies) for two?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Er, not so much. Although today is technically a tomorrow, just not the one I had in mind when I told you there would be finished object pictures "tomorrow." So sue me. You won't get much and you'll find my sock yarn stash underwhelming. It's hardly worth the effort.

But better late than never, eh?
These are my finished Baby Bottoms from Knitting Pure & Simple. The yarn in Rowan Handknit Cotton in Chime (3.5 skeins, I think). I knit these on the called for needle size of my Addi Turbos. My gauge is a bit big but babies grow so I wasn't stressing over it. The pattern has several options: elastic waist pants, Elastic waist pants with feet, footed overalls (high waisted), and the overalls without feet. These are obviously the high waisted overalls with feet. I think I will make another pair keeping the feet (fewer booties/socks to chase around) but trying the elastic waist. There is a matching cardigan pattern available for free on-line and I might have to add that to my ever-growing list of knits-to-do.

Here is a close up of the cute train buttons I found to complete the project.
My husband likes trains so I had him in mind when I was shopping, I guess.

In other knitting related news, I received my invitation to join Ravelry today. Yippee! I can't wait to get started although I fear this may cut into my already inadequate knitting/blogging/reading time.

Oh. Are you wondering what happened to the promised new WIP picture? No? I didn't really think so but I'll tell you anyway. It is now a FO. Pictures tomorrow. REALLY. I already took them. And uploaded them. No excuses. Tomorrow night...