Friday, September 14, 2007

Follow the yellow brick road...

OK. So I already live in the Emerald City and technically I will be leaving Seattle to go to a suburb but I really feel like I am off to see the Wizard...

Hmmmmmm... Maybe the Pied Piper would be a better analogy?

At any rate, this evening I am going to see Her.

The Harlot.

She of the books that have made me snarf my grande, non-fat, decaf, not too hot, two Splenda latte (why yes, I do live in Seattle) on several occasions when I was taken unawares by a particularly funny turn of phrase. Really, by the time I read the fourth book you would think I knew better. Put down the coffee when reading Harlotry.

So excited. I was decimated earlier this summer when I was too preggers to travel to Portland or Vancouver to see her.

Hmmmm? What's that? Melodramatic? Me? I don't think so though Hubby is prone to mumbling about drama queens and martyrdom sometimes... But, I think he must just have a secret soap opera fetish.

And the last time she was in the Seattle area I don't think I had started knitting yet. For sure I had not yet discovered the knitting blogosphere.

I know. Can you imagine? A time before knitting blogs. Boggles the mind.

So this evening I will tuck Matthew into his carseat and pick up Jen & her little one and the two of us will bravely make our way to Third Place Books with a newborn and a toddler in tow (Hubby will be watching Gwen).

Hope to see you there!

Click... Click... Click...

I knit FOUR WHOLE ROWS tonight!

It's the little things people.

And speaking of little things, check out these booties:

Yup, this is the orange pair of the Angora Booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts I wrote about the other day. I wish I could tell you about the yarn but Gwen made off with the ball band and several thorough searches of all possible resting places has yet to produce any evidence that it ever even existed. I can tell you that it is orange (mistress of the obvious) and that it is a wool/bamboo blend of some sort. DK weight. It was okay to work with, not something I would choose again which is unfortunate because I don't know what it is and with my luck some day I'll see it online and purchase a bag of it for something not realizing what it is. Oh, and the ball band was black. I'm sure that really narrows it down for you. I worked the booties on the next needle size up from what the pattern calls for and used a heavier weight yarn in order to get a larger size that might fit the weed for more than a day or two.

One thing you can't see in the above photo:

Uh huh. That would be me not paying attention when doing my three needle bind off. I was too lazy to pick it out and decided it was a design element.

I wanted Matthew to model the booties but as you see
he is sleeping. And Katie's First Law of Parenting? Never wake a sleeping baby. This, by the way is very closely related to Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In my experience, the reaction to breaking the 1st LOP is never pretty.

No picture of the second larger Simple Hat #1 from Itty Bitty Hats. As I mentioned in the other post, it looks just like the original only bigger so there is no point in photographing it without a cute little one wearing it. I have a limited (though valued) audience, no sense in boring you to death. Frankly, both hats look just like the one in the actual book (I used the same yarn and colorway for the smaller version) so I could have saved us all some time and eyestrain and directed you to check out the book's photo.
So those are my finished objects. But wait, there's more...
You know, I was reminded of the old Ginsu knife commercials earlier today while slicing a tomato... remember how the demonstrator would cut through a tin can and then a tomato? I think the 80's had much better ridiculous tv-only-product commercials. I mean, does the guy with the beard who pitches Oxy Clean really measure up to the Ginsu guy? I think not. And let's not forget the Clapper. That was a gold standard bad commercial.

Sorry. Tangent. Where was I? Right. Works in progress. Alright then without further ado...

My newest cast-on is the Border Wrap from Rowan Classic Nature. The yarn is the called for RYC Bamboo Soft in Beaver. Love the look and feel of the yarn. Hate that it is so damn splitty. Like knitting with DMC embroidery floss. Argh. The finished product better be worth it...
Here's a better picture of the color: I haven't done much yet as you can see... Well, in reality I have actually done at least twice this much, maybe even three times as much, because I cast-on, knit the garter border and then started the patterned section only to discover I had an error and my pattern didn't line up properly. I ripped and reknit the rows a couple times but couldn't make it work. I counted repeatedly and still couldn't figure it out. Frogged the whole thing and started over. There is still something funky (there is a missing stitch according to the way the pattern reads) but I can't figure out what it is (I have the required 121 stitches and I have worked the chart as it is written) so on the left hand side of my wrap the first row of the pattern touches the garter border instead of having a "blank" knit stitch there. Again, design element.
Next we have a pair of socks.
And I can say pair because I have managed to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome. This is the project I knit four rows on tonight. I know. Now that you see the project you're not nearly so impressed. Four rows on the border wrap would be something. Four increase rows near the cast-on edge of a toe up sock? Not so much.
The pattern is a ribbed toe up sock from Shibui Knits and the yarn is Shibui Sock in Orchid.
These socks are for me (gasp, knitting for myself?) and I cannot wait to finsih the second one!
My last WIP is the Geordie Striped Yoke Jacket from... guess where? Natural Knits for Babies & Moms. I know you guys think this is the only book I own... I really do have others, really.

Here's the back:
And the two front pieces:
Notice anything wrong with this picture?

Yup. They are two different lengths. Now one is not finished but that isn't the problem, I have them lined up at a common point, the beginning of the neck shaping.

How on earth did this happen? For those of you who don't know me "in person" and haven't seen me knit, I am a compulsive row counter. I own at least ten row counters. I count rows even if the pattern indicated to knit until a certain length and no counting is required! Serious OCD stuff here. How did I manage to get four rows off? Because I counted (duh) the rows as soon as I saw the mistake when I put the pieces side by side tonight and I am fours rows off. Unbelievable. I know the row counter said 34 when I switched to the striped pattern. Argh. Apparently even the compulsive turning or clicking of a row counter cannot save you from the inattention to detail occurring from the acquisition of young human. Stupid, lying, cheating row counter. I'll never click you again.

Who am I kidding. Of course I will. I'm probably physically incapable of knitting without it.

"You remember Katie? She as that knitter who forswore row counters and could never make a decent purl again..."

Oh well. There's nothing for it but to rip back and click again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Alanis Moment

So right now I am sitting on my couch (a baby free minute- hooray!), eating more than a couple Carr's Ginger Lemon Creams (my new favorite cookie - yum!), and - wait for it - watching the first episode of this season's The Biggest Loser.

Oh yeah. Cue music:

And isn't it...

One reason you should really think before getting that tattoo..

...because someday you might be a thirty-something soccer mom type complete with the "new mom bob"** wheeling your newborn around a local lake in your de rigeur Phil & Ted stroller in your perfectly matched workout outfit and that barbed wire bicep tat might just look really odd and some innocent person walking past you might just choke on her iced green tea as she does a quick double take...

**you know what I'm talking about- the seemingly vast majority of pregnant women/new moms are hit with the urge to chop off all their hair, heck, I just cut mine... but it is NOT the new mom bob... shoulder length with razored edges thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

(Insert standardized statement re: how long it has been since last post, how I've been so busy, where has time gone?, "bad blogger" guilt, blah, blah, blah... you know the drill)
Y'all didn't want to read all that crap anyway and I don't want to type it :)

So. What do you want to know about more? The little kiddo or the knitting?

Aw... that is so sweet, putting my baby ahead of the knitting... though you may simply surmise that there is not much knitting going on- not far from the truth- or you may REALLY want to see the knitting but you're sparing my feelings. For those of you not at all interested in seeing my little guy [heartless meanies ;) ] scroll down- I promise there is knitting.

Either way, allow me to present the obligatory baby photos:

Cute kid but how about that fabulous blanket he's lying on? Yes folks, that is the Albatross!

Does he look like he's appreciating the softness of his organic cotton hand knit blanket? Hmmmm...

Hooray! Mom's done making me model her knitting projects...

All joking aside, it is hard to believe Matthew is already two months old.

Yes. His name is Matthew... I just can't come up with a good nickname for him for the blog so I'll just use his name. And my daughter shall cease to be called Pooh Bear and will be referred to as Gwen from now on (she's a Gwendolyn... Pooh Bear arose from our calling her Gwennie and singing the Winnie the Pooh song to her as a wee baby: Gwennie the Pooh, Gwennie the Pooh, silly willy nilly little girl... yup. we were clearly sleep deprived!)

Anyway, Matthew is growing like a weed- Hubby and I are already placing bets on when Matthew will pass Gwen in terms of height and weight. At two months he already weighs what she weighed at six. Crazy. In his defense she is small for her age but still!

He is adorable and I love him like crazy even if I am counting the days until he sleeps through the night, I can wean him from breastfeeding, etc. It is so much harder to breast feed a second child- you just don't have the "free" time you had with the first to do nothing but sit on the couch and nurse- Gwen always chooses to do something potentially dangerous and/or extremely messy just as I have settled into nursing Matthew. *sigh* Hubby thinks I won't nurse Matt as long as I nursed Gwen because of the time/attention contraints. (I nursed Gwen at least part-time until she was eleven months old- then the double drain of being pregnant and nursing was just too my fo the ol' bod) I explained to him that mommy guilt requires me to nurse Matthew at least as long as I nursed Gwen.

And now Mommy guilt is making me share these:

Diva in training?

But Mom, I need the car to escape my paparazzi!


Onward to the knitting!

I am knitting but progress is veeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy slow. You just don't get much accomplished at a 2 row per day pace. I have a few things on the needles but I'll get to those in a day or two, right now I want to reveal the finished objects that have languished in my photo file, just waiting to be seen.

And yes, they are baby knits: two pairs of booties and two hats.

These are the Angora Booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Obviously not in angora. I made these using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Baby Blue (#202). Here they are in action:

Unfortunately, this blue pair is now too small for not-so-little Matthew. So I made another, slightly larger pair but no picutres yet so someday you might see those. Maybe. I actually like the second pair better because the toes are not quite so square looking. This problem wouldn't show up so badly if you used the called for fuzzy angora but I can't quite justify a non-washable yarn for a baby knit so I guess I have to deal with the square toe, don't I?

Next up, Simple Hat #1 from Itty Bitty Hats.

This was knit from Rowan Hand Knit Cotton in Linen. As you can see, Matthew's not terribly itty bitty head has already outgrown this hat. Not a problem though. I actually knit this hat twice. The original one was bigger- too big for a newborn, so I knit the second one. I'll try to get a picture of the larger version. It really won't be very exciting or different. I knit it in a different yarn (DB Baby Cashmerino) but the same basic tan color.

Big sister Gwen thinks the hat is hers...

And then I have another project from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms which I have decided is my favorite knitting book (at least for now)- I've knit five projects from it so far (I think, maybe I missed one), I have one more on the needles, and I have the yarn to make three more- I'm obsessed, it seems. But I digress...

The Beanie Hat and Boy's Booties! Knit from Louisa Harding's Nautical Cotton which I really liked. The braided quality of the yarn gives the finished knits a nubby texture that adds to the visual interest of the piece. The colors are Chocolate and Sand. Love 'em! So cute. If I had more knitting time I'd make several more pairs in different color combinations but alas, minimal knitting time at present so I'm moving on to other things.

This hat and the booties were my hospital knitting projects. I finished the hat while in labor (about half of the hat)- my doctors and nurses thought I was nuts. I figured it was the last free time I would have for a while. Besides, I had an epidural... I was just waiting to get to the magic 10 cm mark. The booties I knit while recovering. Since I had a c-section I was there for a couple days.

You know, I really need to get Matthew to model more of his knits... I got so used to photographing things sans baby before he was born I didn't even think about taking a picture of him in the hat and booties. Duh.

Oh, that reminds me. Remember the bonnet I knit for Gwen that she refused to wear? Now that it is summer and really too warm for a wool blend hat? On her head, every time she sees it. If it is in her line of sight? Much pointing and "Ha! Ha! Ha!" (she has issues with final consonants- what do you want from a nineteen month old?). I'll have to snap a picture sometime... it requires stealth right now. If she sees you with the camera she comes running over and points at it, wanting to play with it. Consequently I have many pictures of her index finger or thumb. It's a cute thumb, but still...