Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've got the blahs right now.

I'm doing a whole bunch of knit-knit-knit projects: two baby blankets and a stockinette sock. While that's pretty much all I'm capable of at the moment, it's kinda...boring. I have made a vow to finish everything on needles before (a) I can do some sewing projects that are calling to me and (b) I start anything new. Besides the above, there's also a cable scarf and a lace sock that need completion. I'd love to have them done BEFORE the Froggie shows up, but that might be unlikely.

I am going to my parents' house this weekend withOUT the family, and I plan to sit around and knit. And process my dad's bypass surgery as needed, of course. And sleep. I want to sleep a lot. It turns out I'm anemic, which may account for my bone-crushing lethargy of late. I can do what needs to be done, but everything else is falling by the wayside. Like returning phone calls and emails to friends.

Am I allowed to talk about non-knitting crafty stuff here? I've got fabric to make two pouches, and I'm now drooling over some fabric for a mei tai (my baby carrier of choice). Can you tell I'm going to have a baby in a couple of months? :) Oh my god. That's coming up!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Knitting Night

The town we moved to seems to have an actual small knitting culture. There's a real LYS, which seems lovely, and there's a twice-a-month knitting group at the library. I got myself together and went this week. I am *so* glad I did. There were 8 women total, age ranging from me (late 30s) to probably late 60s (maybe early 70s?). The women clearly all knew each other well, but also were very friendly and welcoming. They clearly also have lots of gossip knowledge about the town. There were socks, sweaters, scarves, and a crocheted vest in process. I got the toe finished on my 2nd green stripey sock and started the foot. It was so nice to have a chance just to sit and knit without worrying about someone needing something (I even forgot to bring my cell phone!!), and to be in the company of women (knitting). Sadly, one of the meetings is on the first Wednesday of the month, so until we're done with preschool, I can't make that one because I have board meetings. But I can do the Tuesdays and once we're done with the preschool, I can go to both, and I plan to.

It was definitely moving me out of my comfort zone. I'm pretty social, but it's always hard to walk into a new group. Building a new life in a new place is hard, but the wonderful thing is that I feel like there really is a big life here for me/us, it's just going to take time to build it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another FO!

Okay, so TECHNICALLY this isn't, you know, KNITTING, but whatever. I can be cognitively flexible if you can! No really, I can. NO REALLY. Stop laughing. Anyway, moving on.

I bought the fabric for this a couple of days ago, along with fabric for some other projects and today I busted out the sewing machine. The thing about me and crafting is that I sometimes have more enthusiasm than skill. Which is, as I think about, quite a preferable state in some ways to the reverse, right? I only get in trouble when my perfectionism kicks in, and I've spent years in therapy to work on that personality trait.

So this is a blanket for the new baby. The reason I had to get this panel was because when we were at our first u/s for this baby, we had DS2 with us. DH asked him "so, do you think it's going to be a baby sister or a baby brother?" DS2 answered with great authority, "I think it's going to be a FROG!" So, the froggie it is. I thought this panel was adorable without being to cloyingly cutsie (I like sweet, I loathe saccharine). The backing is some sort of plushy fabric (I'm sure it's totally polyester) with little raised hearts on it - borderline for me, but the color worked and it's so soft, so I went for it. The panel was ridiculously expensive, but I sort of had to splurge on it. It's from Joann, which had a surprisingly good selection of cute and not hideous (and not character) kids' fabrics. I feel the urge to sew some flannel blankets for donation. I wish I had serger!!! Maybe I'll save my pennies.

This blanket is definitely not perfect. When I wash and dried the panel, not all of the blocks in the quilting shrank/tightened up evenly, so it went from being flat to puckering. Oh well. Nothing I can do about that. Also, I won't use that same fabric as a backing again, I will definitely use flannel. This one had some stretch to it, and I'm just not an experienced enough sewer yet to do a really good job of backing a non-stretch fabric with a stretch one (or pairing to stretch fabrics, really). My top-stitching isn't perfectly straight, but I did an okay job in this, except I missed the part where I had to catch the edges for the hole I left to turn the work right-side out, so I had to hand-stitch an extra little seam there. It's almost invisible, and DH kept reminding me that the Froggie won't notice, or care. Whate matters is that I made it, and it's pretty cute. And it's done. In a day, no less!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another FO!

I guess it counts as an FO as I haven't decided if I'm actually going to block it or not. I finished the baby sweater that I talked about here. I ended up doing the cuffs and bands in the purple Tahki Cotton Classic, and I think it works really nicely. I wanted the buttons to contrast, and I think the pink and green are cute. I couldn't decide which ones I liked better, so I went with both!

It's *definitely* not perfect. I put the bottom button on a tad too low, and I am too tired to fix it at the moment, and honestly, I probably never will. The top button hole is really loose for some reason, and I have no idea how to fix it. I just went with simple yo/k2tog buttonholes since these buttons are really small. I am not sure if I picked up too many stitches for the button bads, but I think they're fine. Since I watched the video at knitting help, I found the actual picking up of stitches not so hard, but the whole "pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows" thing baffled me. There are some other imperfections but overall, I think it's cute, and hopefully this baby will actually turn out to be a girl, so she can wear it. At this point, I'll be honest and admit that I really just don't like knitting sweaters all that much. I am sure that makes me weird, but that's okay! I'm sorta used to it by now.

One other frustration is that my son spilled tea on the coffee table and a little got on the sweater, so I need to pour some boiling water on it and see if it comes out or not. I am not in the mood to do it tonight. Mostly I am just thrilled to have another project (particalrly this one since it was a distraction project anyway!) off needles!!

I really really need to do some NICU knitting, or do something for donation - my soul needs a boost.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A FO with a PICTURE!!

Can you believe it? I found the cord for the camera (it was actually already hooked up to my computer, I don' t know when DH did that!). So, here's at least ONE small sample of what I've been up to.

This was made as a donation for my son's preschool silent auction (this was last year's endeavor). These were knit using Tahki Cotton Classic, no pattern, I just sort of winged them. They were knit using my KnitPicks Options (what else) size 5 needles, magic loop. This is actually the second hat - the first I cast on 72 stitches, which gave me a hat circumference of 12" (I was getting 6 sts/inch), which will work on a very new baby, but not for long. So I redid it with a cast on of 80 sts. I can't remember the length I knit to, about 7"? Then I did decreases starting on 8, every round. I thought it was cute as is, so no i-cord. The socks are 32 stitches, 2x2 rib for the cuffs (about 3.5 inches in length), short-row heel, knit the foot to approx. 3 inches, then the decreases every other row (4/decrease row), and a grafted toe. Very simple and easy, and I had to squeal several times at the cuteness. Can you tell I have baby girls on the brain? :) I may have to bid on them myself.

In other news, because what I really need to be doing is starting a new project, I, um, started something new. DS2 has requested a "green blankie" so we went to Joann's and picked out some Lion Big Fat Chenille (that's not what it's called but I am too lazy at the moment to look it up). He picked the color "basil," which is really pretty. I'm not certain about the yarn, in terms of quality, and how well it will wash, but it was easily available and it's VERY soft and cuddly. At first I was going to crochet something, but I'm not a great crocheter and this yarn is so not a good yarn for a novice crocheter (too fluffy to see what you're doing). Then I just cast on a bunch of stitches and did a random pattern but I didn't like it. So I'm doing YET ANOTHER diagonal eyelet-edged blanket. I've only done a few rows, but I think I'm going to frog it and start over with a slip-stitch edge as I just like that better than the straight garter-stitch edge. I bought two skeins of the yarn, so we'll see how big the thing ends up. It's a snuggly blankie, not an actual "cover you you up and keep you warm while you sleep" blankie, so I don't think it truly matters. But yeah, another garter-stitch blanket. Ah well, they're good zoning out projects.

I also started the second Falling Leaves lace sock. I've not even got the toe done, so I don't feel like I'm in a groove with it. But, I'm in desperate need of socks.

I read somewhere of one knitter's plan to end 2008 without a stash. I so could not do this (my knitting time is so limited) but I think it's a cool idea to try! I can't afford anything right now ayway, and in about 3 months, my knitting time is going to be severely curtailed.

OH! I forgot to mention, I found out that there's an actual real-life yarn store in my new town! AND there's a knitting group at the library, twice a month! If this town had a coffee shop, I think it would be perfect.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh my god, it's been a MONTH.

I can't believe I've let so much time go by since updating! Sorry!!

I think it's because I actually have some pictures I want to post, but I haven't gotten them off the camera yet. So, this will be a quick update on the knitting (and life too) and I'll try and get pictures up soon, because really, a knitting blog without pictures is actually sort of boring. And, I've actually been doing a lot of knitting!

I finished something! I did a baby hat and socks for my son's nursery school silent auction fund raiser thing. They came out, IMO, so adorably that I had to squeal just a teeny, tiny bit.

I am closing in on the home stretch of a baby sweater too. This one was kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of project. I had about 1 1/3 skeins of Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale. In looking at the color card, I'm guessing I'm using 9490, which is a pink/aqua/blue-lavender/white multi. I was enamored of this yarn, but now that I've knit a whole sweater with it, I'm sort of over that. It's a bit splitty and rough. I did a top-down, raglan cardigan (this pattern, to be specific). In my usual way, I didn't swatch, and for some reason decided to knit the whole thing on 6s instead of 8s (to make it closer to newborn size? That might have been my rationale). It's pretty small! I was also fairly sure that I wasn't going to have enough yarn, but I just did it anyway. Yay me! I ended up having enough yarn for the body and sleeves. I was at Spark alone on Saturday (totally random moment to myself), and found some Tahki Cotton Classic in three different colors that I thought might work for a contrasting trim. I am not usually the most visual of people, so I was SHOCKED when ALL THREE coordinated beautifully! I picked out two teal/aquas (one lighter, one darker) and a blue-lavender that I thought might work. IT TOTALLY DID! I chose that one, as I'm less of an aqua fan, personally. So, I've done the bottom band, the cuffs, and the neck band so far, and it's quite cute. It's only going to fit this baby for about 30 seconds, but that's okay, I'm having fun. I still have the button band to pick up and knit, and I've got to find good buttons. I foresee a trip to Windsor Button in my near future, once I get the bands done.

Some thoughts. You might note that the Fantasy Naturale and the Cotton Classic are totally different weights. I also noted that, and just chose not to drop down the recommended 2 needle sizes, and I think it works. I don't really like knitting sweaters all that much. I think I prefer knitting things where the whole size pressure isn't so great. I can't imagine making a sweater for myself. Given that I swore I wouldn't do lace, and here I am planning to do a lace shawl, I'm not sure how much weight to give that statement, so take it for what it's worth. I also really really hate picking up stitches. In part this is because I don't *really* know how to do it, and I tend not to like things that make me feel, you know, incompetent. The knitting help video did help in this process. My next baby sweater is definitely going to have an integrated button band, like this one.

In other knitting news...well, I'm just plugging away on the blanket too. I really want to get a lot of stuff done soone, so I can get back to SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS. I've had to throw out three pairs of (machine made) socks recently, so I'm really getting low. I think I need to just do some basic stockinette socks, so I will have something to wear.

In non-knitting news, the new house is awesome (and feeling more like HOME and less like "the new house"), though I have no idea how I'm going to keep it clean. Our condo is on the market (*crosses fingers*). Commuting to Cambridge is a pain, but it's nice to have a chance to keep in touch with people. I have a feeling that once we're not going in for DS1's preschool anymore, we really won't be going in much. Pregnancy is progressing. I popped a couple of weeks ago, and all of a sudden I'm really looking pregnant. I also started seeing a chiropractor a couple of weeks ago, so I'm no longer in agony, limping all over the place. That's a good thing. I still need to find a dentist, a local pediatrician, a vet, etc., but at least my back doesn't hurt anymore.

Okay, I'm off to take a bath and go to bed. No knitting for me tonight.