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.