Thursday, August 28, 2008

FO: Spiral Striped Socks

I finished these on July 4th. They fit the boy, although they are beginning to be tight, and his tendency to pound his feet on the mattress has made them start to pill.

Sorry for the long delay. I'm sure many of you understand the difficulty of getting 15 minutes of time for yourself with a 3-month-old in the house. I'm just thankful there are some of you still out there reading.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

KIP - June 14, 2008

A bit delayed due to intermittent Internet access! International Knit In Public Day came, and we had no morning plans, so we joined the local knit guild at their informal knit-out. Here I am with the boy in my Moby wrap, knitting on a second spiral sock for him. Hopefully I'll finish before he outgrows it!

Motherhood has been a wonderful experience. The challenges mainly have to do with not getting frustrated about how little gets "done", especially when tired (and often hungry).

Another photo (a rare photo of my face for the blog, albeit masked by sunglasses and hat):

KIP - June 14, 2008

And the view from where I was sitting, just to prove I knit also:

KIP - June 14, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rhonda's socks

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Boy, this week has flown by. I've had this photo uploaded for a while, just waiting to be blogged.

So here are Rhonda's socks being modeled by the boy himself. I even managed to color coordinate them with his outfit! The tiny feet are so adorable!

Thank you again, Rhonda!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ridiculously Tiny Foot

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I managed to get my ridiculously tiny sock onto his foot. It was a tight fit, but it went on. It's tight enough that I'm opting NOT to make another one the same; this one can continue its life as a Christmas ornament or something. But I might make a pair with the same yarn on slightly bigger needles.

It's amazing how small his feet really are!

Friday, May 9, 2008

New FO for Cinco de Mayo

Our new baby was born on Monday, May 5. We're so happy to have him at home! He is a joy to both of us, every minute. Here he is at 50 minutes old. Will blog more when less tired....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spiral striped sock in progress

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Here is the spiral striped sock, as of Friday. I've since finished the heel flap and am now on to the foot, and it's evident that this sock (while lovely) will be too big for a newborn. That's okay - I'll save it. But I'm back to thinking that the "ridiculously tiny sock" might be pretty close to just-born size feet, and wishing I'd made the second one.

I think I'll finish this one, and then start on a second "ridiculously tiny" sock.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Random Wednesday

I have no new photos to show you, so this post is photoless. But I wanted to check in and let you know I'm still pregnant.

Today is my last day at work. It's surreal - I've always been a full-time something: student, worker. (With the exception of a couple of periods of unemployment / looking for a job. ) After today, I'll be off on leave for a bit, and then return to work part time, and working (mostly) from home.

I keep hoping this means I'll have more time to knit and maybe sew and quilt. Ha ha ha.... I'm hoping at least to keep up with laundry.

I'm working on spiral striped baby socks, which I think are turning out in a good size. But I haven't taken a picture of them, so I haven't blogged about them.

Blogging will continue to be spotty, as after today (when I don't have a work schedule) my computer time will be spotty. That's going to be weird also. I've been mostly attached to the Internet all day, every weekday for over a decade.

Blog reading will also likely be spotty. Sorry, y'all.

42 cloth diapers is a really tall stack of diapers. If I had a photo, I'd show you. (Bad blogger.)

Hopefully, I will show you some photos of socks tomorrow. If I manage to get computer time in. Tomorrow's #1 priority at the moment is sewing curtains. Curtains require much pinning.

Random enough for you?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Belly shot

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I don't know if this really qualifies as "eye candy" but I'm sure some of you are interested in seeing what I look like these days. Contrast to 2 months ago. Definitely arriving everywhere belly-first, and moving slowly.

I saw my OB this morning and everything is still going well; the due date, May 9, is 2 weeks from today, so any day could be the day. However, my OB was predicting that I'd still be pregnant for my next appointment on next Friday.

Today my work is going out to lunch in honor of my wandering off soon, and tonight The Sweetie and I have our "last" dinner-and-a-show date for quite a while.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ridiculously tiny sock

Ridiculously tiny sock
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Does it count as a FO? Not sure. It's about twice as big as the Wee Tiny Sock, but still not really big enough for even a tiny baby. Maybe a 3 pounder, but my baby is already 6 lbs. (according to my OB's estimate).

Pattern: Playful Pairs, from Babies & Toddlers: A Knitter's Dozen (also available as free pdf here).
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock mediumweight, colorway Undertoe.
Needles: Lantern Moon hardwood (dark colored - mahogony?), size 1/2.25mm.

The yarn weight indicated in the pattern is "2-3-4", which I took to mean 2 = fingering with 1 = laceweight, but in the back of the book, it does say they mean 1 = fingering and 2 = sportweight.

So I'm back to the drawing board. I started on Little 16 Newborn Socks last night with the same yarn and needles (size 1), but it was coming out ginormous. I frogged it this morning. I don't really like to knit with size 0 (it's probably because I have Brittany birch needles and they bend) so I wanted to stay in size 1.

I think maybe tonight I'll give another shot at the Playful Pairs pattern, but this time in sportweight. I'll try making spiral socks to match the Spiral Hat, only in size 3 needles.

In other news, the infant car seat is correctly installed in my car. The Sweetie read all of the instructions and installed it, and this morning a very nice CHP officer inspected it and approved it. Yay!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stash enhancement

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I decided I wanted to make another one of these, as our decorating theme for our little guy is sailboats. I think the yarn I made the first one was a cotton/acrylic blend (it was definitely washable) that is now discontinued, but I saw Knit Picks had a new Pima cotton/acrylic blend (Comfy), in lots of colors, I ordered it and even paid for shipping.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to have the main color be dark blue (as in my earlier version) or the lighter blue (as pictured in the pattern), so I got 2 balls of each. Then the natural for the sails, although I might change to the gold, and red for the flags.

The yarn is really, really soft. I usually shy away from acrylic (even small amounts in a blend) but I don't think I'm gonna mind this one. Now to quickly knit up some baby socks so I can cast on this hat!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FO: Moc-a-soc booties

Moc-a-soc booties
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Does two of something make a pair? Because while these appear to be two of the same, they actually are different sizes.

Pattern: Moc-a-Soc booties
Needles: Size 2, Addi turbo circular and Clover/Takumi dpns
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Willow, and Knit Picks Risata in navy.
Size: smallest (1-6 month)

They came out pretty large for a baby. Someone on Ravelry commented on them already and suggested going down to a size 1, which I might try if I have time to give these another shot. It's also possible that using the Addis with the Shine Sport was just too much slipperyness and made it loose.

The first bootie came out really big; the second one, I "thought tighter gauge" and it did come out a bit smaller. There you have it - two booties, not quite the same size.

Changes for next time: Since they come out so large, I would try and convert the pattern into knitting it in the round, rather than seaming up the bottom, at least for the first part of the bottom. Then painting on some rubber stuff to make them non-skid. Also try smaller needles, and maybe all wood needles instead of using the Addi turbos.

Here is a photo which shows the difference in size:

Moc-a-soc booties

Monday, April 21, 2008

FO: Spiral baby hat

Spiral baby hat
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I have been fascinated by Grumperina's statement about jogless joins via spiraling, rather than fixing up color changes, and I also wanted to make a quick baby hat for my baby to wear when he is born. Finally, I did it.

I got 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (I know I can machine wash and dry it) and started. It wasn't hard to start and the only thing I had to be careful of was whenever I changed color, I was careful about the tension - if I tugged on the yarn (like I usually do to avoid laddering), then it created a column of stiff fabric. Too loose, and it laddered (a little). But here it is, and I love it! This is a really easy hat over 56 stitches on size 5 needles.

Here is a close-up of the side where I changed yarns: no jogs! (Color here is more accurate than above, too.)

Spiral baby hat

Friday, April 18, 2008

ECF: Flower Friday

Succulents blooming
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
One thing that grows really well in our backyard with minimal attention is succulents. And this time of year, they bloom! I don't really enjoy succulents, but I do like it when they produce flowers. Then I feel that they are "real" plants, and not alien sculptures.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Still no news

Snap peas
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I neglected to take a picture of my almost-completed second bootie (but this time in a different size due to slightly tighter gauge), so all I have are some photos from the garden.

Here are my snap peas (the ones which the sun was shining on), slightly wilted because of the extreme heat this weekend.

Knitting outlook for this week is still bleak, but Friday evening might bring about finishing the #$%^ bootie and starting on a quick, instant gratification baby hat. Dare I even consider it might be finished that evening also? Oh, okay, then throw in a pair of baby socks to match.

Friday, April 11, 2008

ECF: Baby's room

Room - finished
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last weekend, The Sweetie finally got to assemble the crib. We have moved all of our stuff out of the baby's room (and into the hallway....) and it's really started to come together. It has a really nice outlook toward the ocean, and the late day sun lit it up perfectly last week. The daybed is staying there for mom (me) to sleep on in the first few weeks, while dad still has school. That way, baby and I can have nighttime feedings without disturbing the light sleeper dad, and dad will be able to function during the day. (Whoa - mom and dad! Still sounds strange!)

Every day, I make a point to visit the room and look around, imagining baby in the crib. I think The Sweetie does, too.

4 weeks until the due date!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wee Tiny Sock 2008 (received)

Amanda made this adorable red striped Wee Tiny Sock for the swap and mailed it to me. Her post office was ornery and insisted on an extra 17c postage, so it went back to her and she covered the envelope with 2c stamps - hilarious! (I should have taken a picture. Bad blogger!)

I love the colors and of course it's just plain adorable. I think I'll make a series of Christmas ornaments of my Wee Tiny Socks!

I asked at my local post office about it, and Mary (my postal worker extraordinaire) said that if it won't fit through a 1/4" slot, then it is a package and needs the extra postage. I think it depends on the envelope you use, whether you put the sock in card stock (say, in a greeting card or something), and the pickiness of the person who handles it, whether it gets a pass or not. Last year, I enclosed it in a notecard; this year, I put it in a business envelope. And we have super-friendly people at our post office (although probably the handler was in Santa Barbara, where all non-local mail gets sorted). (Or maybe the term is super-lax people? I mailed a Christmas card to Ireland this year with only domestic postage, and it got there!) Something to consider for next year....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

FO: Wee Tiny Sock 2008

Wee Tiny Sock 2008
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Here it is, in the same pose as last year's Wee Tiny Sock.

Pattern: The Official Wee Tiny Sock Pattern (pdf)
Needles: Brittany birch dpns, size 0 (which annoyingly warp....)
Yarn: STR mediumweight in Undertoe, left over from the Chevron Scarf.
Notes: I followed the pattern exactly. There was a hole on one side of the heel flap. Pah.

It seems mighty pathetic that the 3rd FO of 2008 is a Wee Tiny Sock, but there it is. It was fun to knit, and I finished it up in two sittings - started at knitting group on a Monday, then finished it on a Sunday night (the night before mailing) sitting in the living room with the Sweetie.

Thanks, Emily, for the great swap!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No news is good news

... or, there's worse things than boring. Still haven't found the time to upload photos, so blogging is languishing. I made a Wee Tiny Sock and mailed it. I'll show you later.

Just didn't want y'all to go thinking I had a baby or something. Because he's still kicking me in the ribs.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Si, se puede

Today, this blog is taking a vacation holiday for Cesar Chavez day.

Or maybe this weekend was too busy to upload any photos.

When I lived in Massachusetts, there were holidays all over the place: Patriot's Day, Columbus Day, President's Weekend (2 days off!). (I realize that these are nationally acknowledged holidays, but most places didn't observe them outside of Massachusetts.) In California there is really only one holiday that is not a federal holiday: Cesar Chavez day. And I (in the industrial world) don't have it, but The Sweetie does, because he works at a state university. It's really an extra breath before spring quarter begins, a kind extension to spring "break" for the faculty.

Read more about Cesar Chavez.

Friday, March 28, 2008

ECF: Lazy kitty

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Happy Friday! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Easter traditions

Lamb cake
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last year I made a butter lamb. But usually, The Sweetie's mom makes a lamb-shaped cake for Easter. She hasn't done it the past few years, and had already stopped frosting it, but it makes a nice centerpiece and then you eat it.

We had shopped for years looking for a lamb cake mold - it's a 2-piece mold; you bake it facedown and the cake is supposed to rise into the lid. We found one a few years ago, but hadn't had the opportunity to make a cake in it.

The Sweetie requested carrot cake (his favorite), iced with cream cheese frosting. I did some volume comparison of the cake mold with 8" cake pans, and figured a half recipe of his mom's carrot cake recipe would fill the pan. It came close - we could have used a bit more batter to really fill the back of the lamb out. We used the cream cheese frosting from (The New) Joy of Cooking. It was pretty magical to see the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla magically transform into frosting in the Cuisinart. It was pretty good, but in the future we'd cut down on the sugar and vanilla, to get a more cheesy flavor.

The lamb cake baked for a full hour (!) and then we let it sit in the pan for an hour. Some gentle scraping with a knife loosened it enough to have it come out in one piece! (Thank you, Baker's Joy.) I piped the frosting on with a star tip. You can see little bits of wooly detail where it worked; some places needed extra scraping so it's not as pretty as it could be. I think the frosting got a bit warm in my hands as I went on. The back I just spread with a knife. The hard part was getting it to stick. (I think the Baker's Joy made the surface of the cake kind of slippery - but it's a tradeoff. The BJ made it unmold so easily!) Two dried currants for eyes and a dried cranberry for a mouth, and voila!

As it set in the fridge, the head started flopping forward (remember, it was kind of missing its back) so I stuck a skewer through it and eventually shored it up with another piece of skewer to make it last until evening. We sliced it rump end first on Easter evening. Yum!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My first Easter basket

This year, for the first time in a long time, we didn't go to The Sweetie's parents' house for Easter. He had final exams on Friday and had to have them all graded and grades set by Tuesday, so we deemed it crazy to go up for the weekend in between. But I didn't want him to be completely without Easter traditions.

Usually, The Sweetie's mom buys a Bordeaux egg from See's candies for each person, and puts it in a family basket. Friday after work I snuck out to see if I could get a Bordeaux egg. I discovered they have other flavors of egg, so I got myself a Chocolate Butter with Walnuts egg. The Sweetie usually gets my Bordeaux egg because I find it too rich, but not this year! I also picked up some chocolate eggs - one bag dark, one bag milk.

Saturday while The Sweetie was grading final exams, I hard boiled eggs in the morning, and in the afternoon dyed them. I told The Sweetie I made red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and a try at purple. (The purple is always a controversial subject - mixing red and blue do not really make an attractive purple, you know.) He said it sounded like traditional family egg dying - right down to the "try at purple".

Sunday morning I told him to stay in bed while I hurriedly assembled the basket, candy, and eggs. He was completely surprised and delighted.

I feel oddly triumphant that I was able to produce an Easter basket that satisfied (my? his? whose?) requirements - dyed eggs, chocolate eggs, and the traditional Bordeaux egg, in a basket, with fake grass.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wee Tiny Sock Swap 2008!

Emily at Yarn Miracle has once again organized the Wee Tiny Sock Swap:

The Wee Tiny Sock Swap is the fastest, cheapest, cutest swap in blogland. Participants knit a single Wee Tiny Sock out of leftover sock yarn (the pattern is here) and mail it to their sock pal. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s the only swap that takes an hour and a half and the price of a postage stamp to participate!

More information is here! Everybody's doin' it....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random Wednesday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
The first thing that happened at Saturday's baby shower was everyone took a blank onesie or t-shirt and ironed on a freezer paper stencil, and went to town with the fabric paint. I know I saw this around on blogs a while back, and when Grace asked if there was anything in particular I'd like to have at the shower, I sent her some links. Grace was a dear and pre-cut all of the stencils, so all people had to do was pick one, iron it on, and paint! They turned out soooo cute! Everyone said it was lots of fun.

The random part of Wednesday is provided by the results from my drawing. I used to draw numbers, and after removing Kathy (who did it already) and Rachel (the one who Ped IF to me), I ended up with Marie, trek, and Kadiddly!

Congratulations! I'll be contacting you for mailing addresses. Expect to receive something handmade within 365 days. =)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Baby Shower stuff

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I took this picture with the macro lens, and I'm thrilled at how it turned out. These were the favors for the shower. As you can see, Grace filled baby food jars with Jelly Belly jelly beans and made stickers for the top, and labels which say "From Kim's Jelly Belly to yours!".

The Sweetie has been eating from the jar I brought home (I actually don't prefer jelly beans) and we've been commenting that the random mixture of Jelly Bellys give an experience not unlike Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans - you really don't know what you're gonna get, and while Jelly Belly probably doesn't make really awful, poopy flavors, some of them are not as good as others!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ahoy! It's a boy!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
My friend Grace hosted a baby shower for me this weekend, and the theme was sailboats. She created handmade cards for the invitations that said "Ahoy! It's a boy!", and everything else coordinated with it - the favors, the prizes, the cake, and even thank-you notes for me to use! Thank you so much, Grace, for throwing such a great party!

Today is the last day to enter the drawing for Pay It Forward.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reminder: Pay It Forward drawing

I forgot to include this reminder in yesterday's post. For all you weekend readers, don't forget to enter the random drawing for the next Pay It Forward. For details, click here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

ECF: Baby shower

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last weekend, my sisters-in-law threw a baby shower for me in the Bay Area, attended mostly by family friends from The Sweetie's side of the family. It was held at an English tea room and included sandwiches with the crusts cut off and scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. It was sooo cute!

The girls got me a wrist corsage to wear and a balloon bouquet (tied to my seat at the tea room). At the end, the waitstaff brought out this sweet little dessert - a petit four with a candle in it, with "Congratulations Kim" written around the plate in icing.

It was a really fun party - thanks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank you, Rhonda!

Gift from Rhonda
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I was bowled over the other day when I opened my mail. Hmm....something from MIT.... Now I am an alum and a volunteer, so it's not so unusual to get something from them, but in a padded envelope....mysterious.

Inside was the most beautiful card and the most awesome pair of baby socks from none other than Rhonda the Stitching Nut! It's such a special gift. Thank you, Rhonda! Thank you so much! She had blogged about them, but I had no idea they were destined for my little boy!

There's still time to enter the random drawing to be a Pay It Forward recipient. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Paying It Forward

Pay It Forward
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A long time ago, when Pay It Forward was relatively new, I jumped at the chance to be a PIF recipient. I really like the idea of just giving gifts for no special reason - just to make their day.

Rachel didn't promise to be speedy, but she was working hard! She made strips of fabric, and knit them into this beautiful rug! I don't want to put it on the floor! Right now, it's sitting on a chair in our living room, covering up ugly stained bits, as a sort of chair cushion.

Thank you, Rachel!

Now, the next step is to pay it forward again. I'll pick 3 random people who comments on this blog entry. I'll pick those people next week, on March 17. Then someday, you'll receive a handmade gift from me to brighten your day. I can tell you right now, the "handmade" part might be small, but accompanied by something good, like chocolate. There are no promises of promptness here - just within 365 days. When you get it, you must promise to do the same on your blog.

You can be anywhere in the world, but you must have a blog (or start one!)

Friday, March 7, 2008

ECF: Pond in Hancock, NH

Hancock - pond
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This is my favorite photo from our New England Foliage Trip of 2006. And I took it with my (apparently not-so) crappy phone camera. I'm pretty sure this is from my most recent phone camera. I can tell from looking at the various phone photos which of them came from the old (first phone camera) and which from the new. The old ones look kind of neon and overexposed. The new ones look pretty true to color.

If only I had a higher resolution version of this, I'd print it and frame it - it looks like one of those 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles.

And I'm not 100% sure it's a pond. Northeastern landscapes are funny - a big outcropping of water could be a pond or a lake, or just a place where a creek widened out and became a river or something. But it was so beautiful in the morning light.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Old photos, new random stuff

NH foliage
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This photo is from our New England Foliage trip, fall of 2006, during The Sweetie's sabbatical. We forgot to bring a real camera, so I took this with my cell phone. I just recently bothered to get all the photos off my cell phone and into Flickr, where they can live in perpetuity.

I have been working on seaming the second bootie - now confirmed to be smaller than #1, and probably close to the intended size. After that, the ankle sock portion to knit. This time, I took care to slip the first stitch of every row and knit the last stitch of every row through the back loop to assist in seaming. I had to add a couple of selvedge stitches to the ribbed cuff to make it work out, but it turned out nicely, I think.

Now I just have to decide whether to keep #1 around as an artifact of gauge lying, or whether to rip it out (potentially salvaging the ankle sock portion?) and re-knit it tighter.

I recently finished a book, A Year without "Made In China". It was a really easy and fun read - not heavy-handed. It chronicles an American family's attempt to not buy items made in China for a year - this family had 2 small children, too! They weren't always perfect - sometimes they accidentally bought stuff made in China (who knew that candy canes were made in China?). They had to decide about parts of items made in China, as well as whether certain areas such as Taiwan or Hong Kong counted. The author acknowledges that she has nothing against China as a country or its people; it was kind of an arbitrary choice to be more aware of where manufactured goods come from. It didn't have a whole lot in the way of fact-finding sidebars; it really was an account of their experiences. All in all, it was a thoughtful book and an entertaining read.

One interesting thing: even though they often spent more money on items to get them from some country other than China, they ended up spending less money overall, since they were prevented from buying junk that they could do without.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Happy Monday!

Sheep note cards
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This should have been Eye Candy, but I had more urgent matters on Friday. Instead, you get happy sheep note cards on a Monday. These are really cute and inexpensive. I bought them from Bezzie who blogs here. 3 cards for $3.75 including shipping! She's all out of the sets of 3 at the moment, but I'm sure she'll be making more. Speedy service, too!

I knit a bit more on my bootie #2 this weekend, in between marathon laundry and keeping The Sweetie sane by making him leave the house and enjoy the day. It is turning out significantly smaller than the first one. This is probably good, as it will probably fit a baby. The creepy part is it's the same yarn, same needle, and same knitter! Not really knitting tightly, just thinking "tighter gauge" thoughts.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Eye ca...wha?

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Sorry, I don't really have eye candy for you yet. But I do have more knitting!

This is the first boot of the Soc-a-Moc booties by Bekah Knits. I started and finished it (started weaving in the ends, but not all of them) at the lab while I was taking the gestational diabetes test.

The pattern calls for Knit Picks Shine Sport (my favorite baby yarn) on US 2 needles. I picked my Addi Turbo 32" circular, because it was available and I like slick metal needles. For some reason, the bootie seems to me to be kind of big. Given, I haven't actually put it up to a ruler, but it seems pretty big to me. I finished the sock portion last night while The Sweetie was grading midterm exams, and I noticed that on mine, the turndown of the boot reaches the floor, while on hers, the turned down part just sort of folds over.

I'm going to finish the other one and then throw them in the wash and see what happens, although in my experience Shine Sport doesn't shrink - in fact if you're not careful drying it, it'll stretch a lot.

I don't know if it's subliminal thinking or what, but so far the second one seems to be knitting up a bit tighter - and I can't decide whether I'd prefer the second one to turn out smaller (I'd then make a 3rd and hope it matched the second one) or the same as the first (because then I'd be consistent at least in my knitting tension!). Then I dreamed last night that the second bootie was coming out all small and cute just like Bekah's photos....

Thank you for all the suggestions on how to close my Paintbox sweater. I liked all of the suggestions - now just have to pick one. I think a crochet chain would be a lot finer than 3-stitch i-cord, RobinH. And, Trek, a separating zipper could be really cute! (But I'd have to gather my bravery for that one!) Lauren, I could do a loop over a big button, but I've been thinking about it, and the plackets were designed to meet, not overlap, so I'm liking these others ideas a little more.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

99% Done

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Here is the current state of the Paintbox sweater (Tulips, from Dream in Color). I ran out of the turquoise while finishing the neck. (I realized this after doing 4.5 inches of I-cord that it just wasn't going to make it. Actually, I suspected I wasn't going to make it, but started the I-cord anyway, just to see.) So I started applying the I-cord to see if I had enough to finish.

I should add that one of the problems (although it doesn't change the fact that there just isn't enough yarn) was that Monday night, while I was finishing up the second sleeve cuff, I discovered a knot in the yarn about 2 rows into the cuff. So I untied the knot, ripped the turqoicse out, picked up the purple stitches, and started the cuff over again. I didn't think that partway through a seed stitch cuff was a desirable place to start a new length of yarn. 'Twould have been better not to have it there at all, but....

So instead, I have new ends about 2" into the right side collar (if you click on the photo, it's that blobby bit on the collar - the two ends which thankfully I knit together as I went so all I have to do is tuck them in somewhere). That's how far the remaining yarn went in applied I-cord, and I finished the neck with 12 inches to spare (give or take).

I did consider making ties out of a small amount of turqoise, and finish it in purple or something. I suppose I could do the entire rainbow again. But I'm thinking I wasn't really fond of the I-cord ties anyway - they looked a little heavy to my eye. (Is there such thing as a 2-stitch I-cord? 3 in worsted just seems big.) So now I'm envisioning a pretty metal clasp instead. I suppose I could sew on ribbons or something. I could also make an I-cord button loop (I think I have enough for that) and sew on a big button.

The ends are for the most part woven in. There's just the neckline ends - the two sticking out of the collar, and the two ends of the applied I-cord. I didn't weave them in because I wanted to sit on the idea for a while. I only wish I knew this was going to happen, because I would have continued the applied I-cord from the plackets. I can try some kind of fancy grafting the I-cord together, and the transitions will likely be covered up by the clasp or whatever I use to close it at the top. But it would have been neater to just keep the applied I-cord going.

And as you can see, it could also use a good blocking. Can't wait to see it when it's finished for real.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deep sigh of relief

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
My OB's office called with news that the results of my 3-hour glucose tolerance test was normal. Yay! No diabetes! I'm still having a complication-free pregnancy. Never before did these varicose veins feel so good....

Go, pancreas, go!

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow morning I'll get to take some pictures of the progess I made while taking the 3-hour test.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My other heart

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I feel like my tummy has a heartbeat of its own. Could this be hiccups? I'm told it's common for the baby to have hiccups in utero - but I've never felt them before. It is really kind of cool.

No knitting this weekend - I've been enjoying resting while doing nothing else. The Sweetie and his dad had fun running electrical and other cables down through the walls from the attic, to put in new outlets, light switches, and the like. The Sweetie's mom and I went out to lunch with a friend of hers who recently moved to our area, and basically hung out at our leisure.

Today I went to knitting group and almost finished the second sleeve on the Tulips sweater. I also picked up my yarn from a pooled KnitPicks order - I'm ready for the Christmas stocking plus Baby Moc-a-Sock booties, plus Pea Pod Baby Sweater. I think I have enough knitting to keep me busy tomorrow during the 3-hour glucose tolerance test! It's probably optimistic to think I'll even finish the sweater in that time.

I'm thinking of slipping the booties to the front of the queue - they can't take too long, can they? And then I'll have a nice, quick FO.

Friday, February 22, 2008

ECF: Garden edition

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I know I'm making you New Englanders jealous, but I just couldn't resist taking a photo of my baby lettuces (and flat-leafed parsley) last weekend. They're now probably even bigger (and hopefully not bitter) - I plan a small harvest tonight for dinner with The Sweetie's parents. Local food, indeed!

Thanks for all the well wishes - I felt a lot better yesterday and today looks to be the same. Perhaps wearing Spanx for compression (maternity style - no pressure on the belly) was making things worse, not better. In any case, I'm taking a few days off from wearing them and seeing if I have improvement.

I've also come around to some pluses about failing the test: I get 3 hours of solid knitting time during the next test (this would be the "real" test). If it still comes out positive, then that's a bummer, but it might mean another ultrasound - which has always been a delight. And this time we'd try and get a 3D ultrasound - I've heard those are the coolest things ever. So I still don't want a positive test for gestational diabetes, but I'm trying to see the bright side.

Last night I had a delightful dinner with a women's group I'm in (Hi, Ali!) and went home to find The Sweetie working hard, writing a midterm. I folded laundry and generally tried to tidy up the house for the housecleaners and The Sweetie's folks. This was very satisfying work and I slept solidly. It still surprises me how quickly I get tired sometimes!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love Thursday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Yesterday was really hard. I haven't been talking much about my pregnancy as of yet, and it's been overall between "just fine" and "really good." But entering the 3rd trimester, I'm starting to experience discomfort. I have pain in my groin as a result of varicose veins. It makes me limp because every time I take a step with my right leg, I feel pain. Yesterday it was especially bad. Sitting with my feet up helps, but I still need to get up pretty often. Ironically, walking around is supposed to make it feel good, but I was past the line - getting up felt so awful, I didn't want to do it anymore. I went home after work and just laid down for a while, looked at the lunar eclipse, laid down some more, ate some dinner, and laid down (on my left side - to avoid reflux) in front of the TV until bedtime, took a warm bath (sorry, environment!) then laid down again. Didn't have the will to knit a stitch.

Today I feel a bit better, and I'm sitting on a bag of frozen edamame that have been in our freezer for too long, and it's oddly comfortable. So I'm hopeful for a better day, although I just found out I failed my glucose tolerance test, so I'll have to go back to do the 3-hour version. Bleh.

Sounds like a great time to have love thursday. Things I'm loving:

  • Primroses in bloom - in February. Gotta love living in this mild climate! Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my lettuces - I managed to only get mild-tasting ones this time.
  • That my pregnancy has been overall smooth and easy up until this point (and it still could be much, much worse in terms of discomfort than it really is).
  • That the stress level at my work life is best characterized as "none".
  • That my in-laws, The Sweetie's parents, are coming this weekend to help get the office moved into the closet to make room for the baby's room. We always feel relaxed after we see them.
  • That I have friends who have had babies coming out of the woodwork to lend an ear and give welcome advice. Edited to add: er....that is the friends are coming out of the woodwork, not the babies!
  • That tomorrow the housecleaner comes. Even if it means we have to get all of our clutter off the floor.
  • That our tour of the hospital's birth center left us with a sense of happiness about the facilities. We don't have much choice anyway, but we really felt comfortable after the visit.
  • That I have such a wonderful Sweetie.
  • That our lives will soon be blessed with a baby.

What are YOU loving?

PS- Emily had her baby!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Random Monday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Weekend report: I spent the weekend spackling and painting our walk-in closet, heretofore to be known as "mini study" or The Sweetie's workspace. We both found it ironic that in preparation for the baby, I was painting....the closet. Not the baby's room. I painted that room only 2 years ago. But the closet needed painting especially after The Sweetie tore out built-in shelves to make room for a built-in desk. Now my arms and wrists are sore - I wore braces all night and the wrists seem to have recovered. I brought the braces to work just in case. I thought it was the pressing of the paint roller against the walls (we have incredibly deep texturing) but after thinking about it, it was probably the hand brushwork applied to the corners and edges that really was repetitive. I'll be brush painting the (remaining) shelves and trim tonight, but it should be broad strokes, not little teensy wrist motions.

So, I didn't do any knitting this weekend. But I did take my glucose tolerance test this morning (nothing like starting your day with 8oz. of orange soda). It tasted like normal orange soda; I was worried it would be incredibly sweet and I'd have a hard time drinking it, but I had no problems at all. And I knitted in the waiting room for a whole hour. (And no, I didn't have any wrist problems while knitting - thank goodness!) It was a great way to begin a Monday!

I snapped this picture of Fred this weekend. Just a few minutes before, he was asleep with all 4 paws in the air. But I guess my getting the camera woke him up. Still, doesn't he look relaxed?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This one's for you, Liz!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
At the request of one of my readers and friend IRL, I'm posting this belly shot, taken this morning.

Last night, I did manage to finish sleeve #1 on the Tulips/Paintbox sweater. Boy, they don't call it sleeve island for nothing - it seemed to take forever, after the body was so fast! And of course, for each sleeve I have about 10 ends to weave in. I'm glad I already wove in the ends for the body!

Happy V-Day! The Sweetie and I are taking a low-key approach (as we usually do) and staying in. We'll have a 1-bone rib roast (we each get an end piece) and maybe some veggies to go with it. If I get organized I'll pick up a dessert, or else we'll just do without dessert. We had lots of sweets this week already.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Still here

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I knit on the right sleeve at knitting group on Monday. Other than that, no knitting news. Or other kind of news, for that matter. Still gestating. Still here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lots of boring yarn pictures

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
No knitting this weekend, but lots of reorganizing around the house! We're converting The Sweetie's study into the baby's room, and he's moving his workspace into our walk-in closet. We've been doing preparatory work such as getting a new dresser and thinning out our clothing, but this weekend we really attacked the task of shuffling things around so that we end up with an empty space in the study to fill with baby stuff.

We didn't quite get to that end part, but we made a lot of progress on the shuffling. The Sweetie put up a second closet bar in our other closet, and I moved my clothes out of the walk-in and into that section. The Sweetie and I went through about 500 lbs. of technical books sitting in the bottom of a closet in our garage (no, that's probably not an exaggeration) and sorted into "get rid of" and "keep" piles, and were able to store all our (rarely used) dressy clothes in that closet.

Then I booted yarn from bins in the garage, and put them into a mostly empty cedar chest that serves as our coffee table (yay! The yarn is nearer now!). It almost all fit. Ahem. I stored "souvenir" T-shirts (a quilt someday?) and pre-pregnancy clothes in the bins formerly used for yarn, and stored it in the garage, along with new bins for cold weather - hats, scarves, gloves, and purses I can't part with (mostly dressy purses - I did designate several past "everyday" purses for donation).

I also went through all my college and grad school class notes and recycled a vast majority of them. It filled the recycle bin! Which made room for the technical books to keep to live on a bookshelf (at least for the moment - The Sweetie has designs to make that space into an office space for me, for working from home).

The Sweetie then tore out most of the shelves in the walk-in, and after spackle and paint it will be ready for a new desk to be built in.

We can now get dressed without crossing paths and getting in each other's way - his clothes are in the walk-in and in a dresser on his side of the room, my clothes in a dresser and the other closet on my side of the room. This is overall a really good improvement. On the other hand, we need to figure out where to put dirty laundry, as that used to live in the walk-in closet too, and we're about out of floor space in our bedroom.

And, while I was tossing bags of yarn into my cedar chest, I took pictures and weighed the yarn. Hence, no new knitting, and no new yarn, but lots of boring pictures of yarn that I took to flesh out my stash on Ravelry. And today, after inputting them, I notice that there is still more yarn that hasn't been entered or photographed!

Pictured above: unknown purple-y / pinky / greeny yarn, bought or given at a friend's garage sale. It looks like worsted weight, but I have no guesses as to what its composition is.

Friday, February 8, 2008

ECF: Jellyfish

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last weekend, The Sweetie and I met up in Monterey with his family and extended family - his cousins were in town from Colorado, along with their family. It was a big reunion of sorts. One of the mandatory stops was the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I took lots of photos, mostly out of focus (no tripod) but a few of these jellyfish shots came out, even in focus! These are in a cylindrical tank and were actually pretty well lit. I don't remember what they're called; it might have been "Purple Spotted Jellies" - at least that's what I call them in my head.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I made Lynn's Day!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Lynn is a very talented, multi-craftual lady, and she said I was one of the bloggers who made her day!

Now, I'm passing on the love.

I nominate the following bloggers (some of whom have already been nominated) as blogs make my day:

  1. Rhonda the Stitching Nut

  2. trek

  3. Courtney of Yarn Tootin'

  4. Molecular Knitting

  5. Debby of She Knits by the Seashore

  6. Emily of Yarn Miracle

  7. She Knits Shizknits

  8. Aija over at Sock Pr0n

  9. Bezzie over at Random Meanderings

  10. Nova over at Nova Made

This isn't really a list of all the blogs I love, nor was it thoroughly researched, tabulated, and properly sorted. I purposely left off the really popular ones (Yarn Harlot, Wendy Knits, Mason-Dixon, etc.) in favor of some of the lesser-read ones, to spread around the love among us lesser read blogs. Happy clicking!

Oh, and BTW, if you're one of the blogs I nominated, you don't need to feel compelled to pass it on chain-letter style - I don't think anything bad happens to you. Just have a great day, knowing you made my day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

C'mon, CA voters!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Do your homework.

I'm referring to the outcome of Prop. 91. From the CA voter's guide under the PRO argument:

Prop. 91 is NO LONGER NEEDED. Please VOTE NO. Voters passed Proposition 1A in 2006, accomplishing what Prop. 91 set out to do. [...] VOTE NO.

So how come 41.9% voted YES?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stash Enhancement: Bear Christmas Stocking Kit

Last Monday, I was going along so fast on the baby sweater that I went ahead and ordered my next project: the Christmas stocking. Annie has a number of wonderful selections, but what with our family attachment to bears, it had to be the Bear stocking.

Here is the back of the kit:


Monday, February 4, 2008

WIP: Tulips sweater in progress

This is what a 1-week-old baby sweater looks like. This did happen to be a very productive week, but the sweater is a really fast knit! I finished the I-cord around the fronts and bottom during the Super Bowl, and started on one sleeve. Hopefully I can finish it by next weekend, and start on the Christmas stocking - the kit arrived already!

The I-cord seems tight - I hope I can block it out looser.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sewing FO: Baby bonnet

Baby bonnet
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I've been toying with the idea of making a christening gown for Skipper (that's my new nickname for the baby, just trying it out). I think with my track record of knitting under deadline, though, and my continual obsession with antique christening gowns done up in fine linen and silk, and with lace, that knitting is not really an option for me. So I did some searches for christening gown sewing patterns, and went down to the local sewing store last weekend.

I have a friend who works there, and she reassured me that the pattern I picked was not too elaborate and difficult, and she showed me some lovely fabrics (cottons, cotton batiste, and silk) that I could make it out of, and I started dreaming. Well, even more than that. I started thinking this dream could become a reality.

I bought the pattern (McCalls 4865) and some fine cotton (pima something), lace, and ribbon to make the bonnet. The bonnet and dress have some tucks and I wanted to practice, and make sure that I really do remember how to follow a pattern and sew things.

I'm really delighted with the bonnet! I made the size L, and other than I think it looks proportionally too tall for how deep it is (but what do I really know, anyway?), it's really beautiful. It will be even more so in cotton batiste! The depth problem could have been caused by using the 1" eyelet that I chose instead of the 3" wide lace the pattern called for - it would have given a much deeper appearance to the bonnet.

So now I think the dream is becoming more real - I really think I can make this little dress- outer dress, slip, and bonnet. I even worked out how to put tucks on the bodice instead of lace. All I need is to know when the baptism will be - so I can choose the right size. And a few weekends to make it.

Oh, yeah, and I need a baby too.