Tuesday, April 29, 2008


In preparation for Igor's appearance, I've been getting my babywearing gears together. Amy, for whom I made those STR Monkeys earlier in the year, made me a sling in exchange for them:

I think the sling is going to have a fairly steep learning curve, but that it'll be worth it once I do get it figured out. Coincidentally, Amy's most recent blog post is about babywearing!

I also spent a couple of afternoons last week making myself a Mei Tai-type carrier, which I think will be much easier to figure out - well, once I figure out the logistics of actually getting a baby into it without dropping her!

Filling the carriers is my teddy bear, who has been with me since my burst appendix eleven years ago. I think it's very cool that you can use these even while round almost to bursting with another baby - pictures of that tomorrow! I've just exploded in the last week or two.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monkeys Without Borders

I know. I suck. There she was, the Yarn Harlot in all her brilliant and hysterically funny glory, and this is the best picture I got of her. I didn't even get a picture of her holding the baby whose birth I attended six weeks ago (and whose kind mum is how I got to go). On the other hand, when said mum mentioned that I'd been her doula, Madame Pearl-Mcphee shook my hand, with enthusiastic words of praise about how important we are. It was enough to fluster anyone.

The fabulous folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts had cooked up a special colorway of Socks That Rock Lightweight for the occasion called "Knitters Without Borders". In order to not finish my mother's Monkey (see below) too soon, I wound my skein... and still ended up knitting Mom's sock halfway down the foot. Anyway, I took my precious ball home and promptly cast on for one pattern... then decided that not only did I not have enough yarn in the one skein to complete that pattern, but that the white/black/rust-red/gray/mauve variegations really didn't suit the lace. So I frogged that start, and started another Monkey, this one for me. You can't really see it in the above pic, but I'm several rows into the heel - this pattern knits ridiculously fast for me! I'm thinking that I'm going to wear these for my labor - just seems appropriate in so many ways I can't count.

So yeah, Mom's Monkeys. Mom had been working on this sock (well, not *this* one, she was doing a plain stockinette sock) for a couple of years now. She was taking so long not because she hates the yarn or anything (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway is Lorikeet) - quite the contrary. But in her life, she's used her hands enough that she's got some arthritis in them, and can't knit so much anymore, and this sock just fell to the bottom of the pile, one way and another. When she was visiting for my brother's wedding a few weeks ago, we were talking about knitting (naturally), and doing a bit of show and tell, and she pulled her version of this sock out - barely longer than the last time I saw it, over a year ago. So I said, "Mom, I need more things to knit, my stash is low and not likely to be replenished for a good long time, why don't you leave that with me and I'll do something fun with it." Well, that was the gist, anyway. She agreed, and left the incipient sock (now frogged to a happy little ball) with me... I started this Monday morning on the way to a prenatal appointment, and got this far between that travel and listening to the Harlot Tuesday evening... and now I'm waiting for the first of the month and payday so Mom can send the second ball and I can finish the pair. Did I mention this pattern goes super fast for me? I mean, it's just ridiculous. The leg of the Monkey Without Borders above I knitted almost entirely in about 4 hours last evening.

I feel the desire to comment here about how I knit Monkeys. When I made my first pair last summer, I fiddled a few false starts (alliteration not entirely intended), and found that for me, I really do need to use US 2s on the leg, because the pattern just doesn't have the stretchiness of the ribs and lace patterns I frequently use. On the other hand, I sincerely dislike the feel underfoot of stockinette from 2s (not to mention I think the gauge I get doesn't wear as well as a tighter one), so for the heel to toe portions, I switch to US 1s, and decrease a few stitches less in the gussets. This modification, of course, is for fingering weights; anything heavier, like the STR Mediumweight I used for the Monkeys I knit my fellow doula Amy, and I use the larger needles throughout.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Snow in April?!

Last weekend sun and near-record highs, this weekend snow. I can't think of any explanation other than global warming, honestly.

But this morning I woke up to the most beautiful sight: snow falling in the lilac outside our bedroom window! So I had to go out and take pictures before doing anything else.

Here are those same tulips that were so glorious in the sun last Sunday:

And this is I think a peony? Anyway, see the falling snow?

Sadly, as I post, the snow has turned to a light rain that's melting everything, so I'm glad I got out and got these pictures when I did.

And there has been knitting! I finished the knitting on my Mommy Snug early last week (finally!), and then in the middle of the week I heard this cold snap was coming, so I decided that was the best encouragement I could have for seaming the darn thing instanter. I'm not entirely sure about the strength of the underarm seams; I did the whole thing in half the plies of the base yarn (KnitPicks Wool of the Andes), and I think the underarms might need more reinforcement than that. Well, I don't expect this sweater to get very heavy use, at least any time soon... I do think it looks good, though, even though the front shot is really blurry!

I will say I didn't expect it to be so long, even on me; if I ever make it again, I'll save myself some trouble and only work one set of short rows! (this one has two)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I done borked my intarnetz posting these pics. They're being stubborn about being reordered and such, probably because I'm putting them in an edit (long story), so here are they are, as I promised, but in no particular order.

First up are a few garden pics. In the first, you can see the lovely show of bulbs that has popped up in the last weeks. I claim credit for none of them.

Here you may see some of the highly ambitious grape hyacinths (they're trying to take over the yard!!!!) as well as the partial hoeing job I did on the one bed the other day. Note also the incipient raspberry canes that I need a shovel-like thing to cope with; I think I can borrow one from a neighbor until we can get our own.

This is a BSJ I have all but finished. I still need to join the shoulder seams and weave in the ends, but I really like how it's turning out. I'm making it (and a few other things when my queue is clearer) out of two pairs of Koigu socks I loved dearly, and so they got holes in the heels, and since I hate the way darns feel under my feet, I'm recycling the yarn for the next generation. :)

Speaking of the next generation... here's mah belleh at 32 and a half (or so) weeks. Igor has been making her/his presence most emphatically known lately, and although nothing *hurts* yet, I would not be at all surprised if I came out of this with a cracked rib or two.

Below is a shot purely for the cute of it. When Peppar is just-woken-up sleepy, she puts up with the most remarkable array of nonsense. In this case, Josh arranged my teddy bear on her. I should submit the shot to http://www.stuffonmycat.com/

I'm not sure why this shot got doubled. It's my rose, the one I've been nursing for two whole years now(!!!!!!), being very happy in today's sunshine.

This is a nearly finished (needs buttons) BSJ my mom made for Igor; it's probably 6 month or so sized, which is good, because the ones I make all turn out 0-3 month sized. :/ It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted (I forget the exact name, so sue me!); we both love how the varigations pooled in deliberate-seeming sections in the over-the-bum section.

This doubled, too, but I think that one was a user error. Yet another BSJ, this time in Dalegarn Baby Ull. I'm very fond of how the rainbow striping turned out. Again, I need to weave in the ends and seam the shoulders. Sense a pattern? I sure do!

Aaaand the Igor belleh, this time from the front. I really need to apply the nice lotion more often to my poor appendix scar down the bottom front there. :/

Friday, April 11, 2008

Has it really been a month?!

...I guess it has. sheesh.

I'd love to post some up-to-date pics of the house and my 32-week belly, but honestly, I don't have any. I was out in the yard a little bit ago, doing a bit of work on one of the raised beds that was already in place, and exhausted my (feeble) store pulling the top layer of greens off the bed and then hoeing about half of it before my body declared me done. This is the smaller of the beds, mind you, at about 4' x 5'. I was going to take my camera out with my lunch for digital proof of my efforts... but I forgot, and now I'm too limp to want to go back out. Soon, my friends... I promise. Probably.

This is not me this week. This is me two weeks ago, at my brother's wedding, where I was a witness - if it had been larger and/or less casual, I would have been Best Woman, but meh. It was still lovely. I would post more pictures, but I don't have the permission of the people involved, so I won't. This is as close to a belly shot as I've taken in the last month!

There has been knitting, but again, I'm too limp at the moment to want to fish it out and have it meet the camera. So I'll post it another time.

For now, this is proof I'm alive! As if my novel-length comments on everyone's blogs aren't enough. ;P