Sunday, January 27, 2008

A chance to do a little good

I love this picture. It looks like she just got done telling a joke, eh? And if you can't see it, her onesie has a goose and two ducks and they are labeled... duck, duck, goose!

She could also be saying, "Good on ya," for going to this site:

I found it through Rabbitch's blog and if you like yarn, you can give your name and get entered to win a prize. If you don't like yarn, you probably know someone who does and can still enter your name. And even if you don't know anyone who likes yarn (you probably do but don't know it), give anyway, even a dollar helps.

So, in my last post I began showing some of the beautiful things that have been knitted for my darling Bean. Yesterday, we were honored by a visit from Jodee (blogless, which is too bad for the rest of us because it would no doubt be a fun blog to read) and she brought these adorable booties. They are shaped like a duck's foot and knit from the softest prettiest yarn. I think there must be some angora in it, the fuzziness is not just my inability to get the Bean to be still for photos. In any case, they are pretty and warm.

And this beauty is Haiku and knit by the dear Nan. It is still a little big for M., but the way she's growing, it won't be for long. So, what do you think, is she about to land a knock-out punch (don't laugh, she's got a wicked right cross) or is she dancing the night away? She probably told me, I just can't understand her, yet.

In knitting that I've done for her, the knitting on the February Sweater is done! Yay! Really, a great knit, I highly recommend it. I now just have to block it, weave in the ends and seam the arms and get buttons for it. And I will get buttons tomorrow at Wool and Co., because unless the snow that we're supposed to get reaches to the top of the door, I'm bundling her up and we're going to Friday knitting because I've missed 2 Fridays in a row and goodness, that's just too many. And while she looks adorable in this coat (not that I'm biased or anything), it's not quite hardcore enough for this weather... don't worry, you will see neither hide nor hair of her while outside.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweatered baby

This is Miss M. in a cuddly warm sweater made for her by Monica. I love the hood on it, too cute. And it is so soft. It's a perfect sweater to wear when it is so cold. We keep the heat up in the house, but near the windows it gets colder... manufacturer grade windows don't really cut it. Some day we'll upgrade, but until then, we just keep her bundled. See, warm enough and cozy enough to fall asleep.

She's growing so quickly, I tried to put a three month size footie outfit on her and it was too small! She'll be three months on February 15. It's so fun to watch her grow, though. She's really transitioning from "newborn" to "baby". I have some other really beautiful knitted presents from friends that I will share when she grows into them, which could be tomorrow!

I've finished the sleeves on the Feb. Sweater and started down the body. It's looking good. I should finish it soon. After I'm done I think I'll work more on my laceweight Malabrigo shawl. And oh, here is a picture of the unfelted felted clogs for my dad:
If you are on Ravelry, you've seen them. I didn't put them up here before because the green inner sole was a surprize. My dad wanted grey or black slipper because he has grey sweats he wears around the house, but holy crap, that was boring, I thought... so, bright green sole, but only on the inside. I changed to black for the last couple rows of the inner sole and stitched the soles together in black so that no green would show on the outside. I'm interested in seeing how the black shows up inside when they're felted. My parents got their slippers this week and are planning on felting them today.

I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bears, bears and more bears!

Bear Power!

Sitting with Miss M. is George B. Pinkus Jr. I had Pink George when I was growing up, a pink (surprize!) bear that I loved and had forever until on my way back from college he fell in the mud and the attempt to clean him left him with a rust ring on his stomach (don't ask). My dad thought M. needed her own Pink George, so he searched high and low for a pink teddy bear and found one that I think fits the bill perfectly. And then he named the bear and sent it with it's own name tag.

George Jr. is not M.'s first bear, however. My dad got her her first bear last summer when he and my mom took their annual trip to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. When I talked to them, he told me that the Bean had it's first teddy bear. He found it at Jackson Lake Lodge; there was another bear there, too, that he didn't buy... he seemed to regret that decision for the next few months, so I'm guessing he might buy it for her during their trip this year (along with a park ranger outfit that they thought was adorable).

In the picture on the left, the first bear is in the back on the left. Next to it is Grey Bear... another of my bears growing up. Well, my dad thought that the baby should have it's own Grey Bear, too... that bear is the one behind the rock light on the right. My parents also got her the Border's polar bear in the center and the little bear carrying the littler bear in the back. The clothed bear came from the baby shower my mother-in-law gave me and the center bear in front came from one of my mom's friends. The bear at front right is a "boo bear" with a plastic ice cube in it from Monica and Polly. I think we're going to need a bigger shelf for all the bears.

In knitting news, I have finished one sleeve and started the second on the February sweater. I switched back to the yoke color for the garter stitch edging at the bottom and I like the way it ties it together. I am really enjoying the sweater. The pattern stitch is easy to memorize, knits up quickly and is nice looking, to boot. I should probably go knit it up instead of blogging here since she's sleeping for a bit.

I wish it would warm up; I'm going to miss Wool and Co. Friday morning knitting again because it's freaking cold out! :(

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I hate Mondays

That's how I feel this morning.

Silly girl spent most of the night "talking" and grunting in her sleep. I'm still trying to work on blocking out the non-essential noises since for now at least she sleeps in a crib next to the bed. Eventually, she'll sleep in her crib in the nursery (knock on wood), but for now, I hear everything. Not that I won't later... we bought a monitor that will stay with me everywhere.

The other reasons Mondays suck is that D. goes back to work for the week. I don't feel like I see him enough on the weekends, and then during the week I see him for an hour or two before I go up to bed to sleep while he takes the Bean for a few hours between feedings. But, then again, if he didn't work... well, none of this would be possible, so I can't really complain.

You can't tell in this picture (which over a month old) but the onesie she's wearing says, "Nothing's wrong, just testing you".

The other day I was talking to my mom and dad, telling them that I'm trying to be more loyal to my knitting projects, by which I mean, I'm trying to work on just one (maybe two) at a time. Since I don't get as much knitting time now, the way I jump around usually would mean nothing would ever get finished, so I am trying to focus more. I read on Dee's blog that she's doing the same thing. It feels good to get things done... like, my dad's felted clogs. My mom's and his clogs are going out to them in the mail today with felting instructions. Then, when they come visit next month, they'll bring them back nice and felted and ready for pictures!

One of my 2007 finished knits was the Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits for Moms and Babies.
I made the "boy" version because we didn't know if we were having a girl or boy, and I think she looks cute in it, but a boy would have looked silly in pink with a picot edge.

I also made a matching hat to go with it.

I might be a little biased, but I think she's just so cute. D. loves the hat on her; I have to agree.

The yarn is Lavold's Cotton Patine. It is soft, but made with many plies, so it is splitty. Also, it being cotton, does not hide woven in ends well. But, I think it looks pretty good.

No new pictures of the EZ February Sweater. There is progress, I'm working on the first sleeve, but it is not interesting looking, really. It is coming along pretty quickly, which is good, because if I don't finish it soon, the only thing it will fit is a large teddy bear.

Today is M.'s two-month appointment with the pediatrician. I'll be able to answer the "how much does she weight now" question. I wish I didn't have to take her out in this cold. I didn't even go to Wool and Company Friday because it was too cold to take her out. If the forecasts are correct, I don't even think I'll be able to go this Friday. I sure hope it warms up soon!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wool and Company, Buttons and a Picture

Friday morning knitting at Wool and Company is the main indulgence I have not given up since having The Princess. She seems pretty comfortable there, and after all, she's heard the sounds of the group since she was in the womb, which is good, because if she were unhappy and I couldn't go, the week would be so much longer. Neil and Lesley run such a nice shop and I've met such wonderful people there. And one thing that I really appreciate is that I can nurse Miss M. there without having to leave the group. Now, granted, I use a really cute nursing cover, so nothing is "out there", but it's still nice that no one gets weird about it, since it is a perfectly natural thing.

Stepping off the soapbox... I am going to step on the stage and brag a little. See those buttons over on the side? The ones below the Fearless, Ravelry and Blogging Without Obligation? I "made" them myself! Ok, so I didn't design the logos, but I did figure out how to put them onto my blog and link to the websites, and it wasn't even hard. I looked at the html of the first buttons and used it as my template for the others. I realize it's not a really big deal, but it made me feel good that I could figure it out, because computer things tend to intimidate me. I have a fear (probably a bit irrational) that I might do something that will blow up the computer or render it completely useless. How would I do that by trying to add a button to my blog? I don't know, and if I don't know, I don't know that what I'm doing wouldn't ruin it all.

In knitting, I finished up the inner sole of Dad's second clog and have started the upper portion. What I love about the Ergo carrier is that even when M. is strapped to the front of me, I can sit and knit and she's comfy.

And speaking of the Bean...

Goody M. is ready to churn butter.

Monday, January 7, 2008


These pants crack me up! I think that babies are the only people who should wear words across their bottoms.

So, I thought I was pretty proud of my two-color February Sweater idea... um, not so much. After showing you this blog, I actually scrolled down it's page and looked at some of the pictures and saw that, I am not actually very inventive. But, at least I saw that I was not wrong in my idea and it looked pretty cute when other people did it.

I like the way these colors look together, the yellow has a bit of the peach in it, so it flows nicely. I am also enjoying knitting with this yarn; the name Smooshy fits well. The yarn is soft and sproingy and slides along the needles nicely. And, there isn't a color they dye that I don't like. I should have enough to make another two-color sweater, just opposite. I saw some of these sweaters that people had modified with a raglan-increase stockinette stitch yoke, and I think I will try that option on the next one.

In other baby news, I ordered the Ergo Baby Carrier last Thursday evening and it came today. I love it! I was using a Baby Bjorn and it was killing my back (although it did help me get more done than if I hadn't used it). The Ergo straps around the waist in addition to the shoulders which really helps balance the weight. And her legs go out to the side more than hang down, so riding the exercise bike in the basement is easier... my legs don't hit hers as I pedal, now. I am looking forward to getting out and walking with her in this carrier, although we seemed to have missed the ridiculously warm weather. It did get up to 36 degrees today, but that's a little cold to be doing more than walking to and from a car with her. But the new carrier makes getting out with her more appealing.

And back to knitting... while riding the recumbent bike in the basement, I'm making progress on both my dad's second felted clog and a ribbed scarf I started years and years ago.

Now, books... one per post. One of the books I bought was The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes. It has so much information on yarn and how it's made and what from and how it all affects what it does. And there are patterns, too. She has designers like Teva Durham and Norah Gaughan (and many more), so you know there are some great projects, but I think I really truly decided to get the book when I came upon the felted Calla Lily Bag designed by the incomparable Cat Bordhi. I will post pictures when I make this bag... someday.

Last, but not least, I wanted to thank those of you who have left kind comments about my return to blogging. I missed keeping up with you all :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Baby fingers

Here we have Miss M. Bean's hand. I love the knuckle dimples. Her fingers are pretty long, I'm not sure where that comes from, it's not me, I know that. I've been trying to keep her nails short by filing them, but she is not fond of that process.

My life is now so baby-fied that apparently if I wear pants and a shirt (that aren't my usual black knit pants and old fraternity rush t-shirt of D.'s that I wear around the house) I am deemed "fancy" by D.

In yarn and knitting news, last Monday I went to Fringe to check out their going out of business sale. In addition two books, (I know I promised I'd talk about books, but that will have to wait) I bought some Dream in Color seconds. I bought four skeins of the sock yarn Smooshy -- one each of colors Giant Peach and Butter Peeps and two skeins of a teal that I don't see represented on their site (which I guess explains why they are seconds) -- and two skeins of the worsted Classy in a beautiful purple color. I just bought them because they were pretty, not because I had a plan for them... I've got to stop that.

Anyway, the peach and yellow would make a very pretty sweater for Miss M., but I didn't know what pattern to use -- I just knew I wanted something lacy. This is where Ravelry totally rocks. I was able to search for projects done in Smooshy and sort it to find the baby projects people had made, and by doing that, found the perfect sweater: Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Sweater from Knitter's Almanac. You can see a picture here. I think I might make the yoke a different color from the patterned section. The crazy part is that I've actually made a gauge swatch! I want to make sure I make something that the little girl can actually wear.

In other knitting news, I have finished the knitting on my dad's first felted clog; I just need to sew up the outer sole and stitch the two soles together. I have already started knitting the inner sole of the second clog.

Thanks for reading, when I get a bit more time (hahahaha) I'll write a bit about the books I got.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Baby toes

Here is Bean's perfect baby foot.
D. might allow pictures at some point; he is rather protective of both of us. When telling his college friends about Princess M. he asked for donations to a shotgun fund. We would have had a shotgun couriered to us from one of his friends if Illinois did not have such strict gun laws. All I have to say is any boy wanting to date the Bean better watch out.

Last Friday I had my six-week post-partum appointment with the midwife and I was given the go ahead to exercise. I had gotten back down to pre-baby weight, but since that was much higher than I was comfortable with already, I wanted to get moving. I discovered that if I put the Bean in the Baby Bjorn and ride the recumbent bike, I can get some knitting done at the same time. I'm a multi-tasking fiend!

Speaking of knitting...

Here are clogs I made for my mom, pre-felting. I will be sending them to her in this condition for her to felt. A front-loading washing machine came with our house, and because they are more gentle on clothes it makes felting more difficult; also, if she felts them, she can get them to the perfect size for her more easily than I can 2,000 miles away. Before I send them, I have to finish a pair for my dad, too. I'm interested to see how the Andean varigated yarn felts up -- I hope it doesn't get too muddy looking.

Thank you for your support of this new blog, up next, fingers... and an overview of some knitting books I have recently purchased.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Blog

Happy New Year!

Since this is my first post on this blog, let me introduce myself. I am Laurel, formerly of Laurel's Pirate Knitting. The last you might have heard from me, D. and I were about to buy our first house and I was a couple months away from giving birth to The Bean. We have now been in our house for a few months, and The Bean turned out to be a beautiful baby girl who is now almost 7 weeks old. Sorry, no pictures of her will be posted on this blog. However, if you would like to see one and I "know" you, leave a comment and I will email you one :).

So, 2007 had some really crappy parts, but it finished up quite nicely (to say the least) and 2008 looks to be even better.

As far as knitting goes, I am getting a little done, but not too much right now... Bean likes to be held a lot, and I have yet to figure out how to knit while holding her or nursing. So, I knit if she'll sit in her bouncy chair or D. is holding her. D. however, has to go back to work tomorrow, so that time will decrease by a lot.

I did, however, start and finish a pair of felted clogs in December. They are for my mom, and I'm letting her do the felting. I also started a pair for my dad.

On Ravelry, I am Oldbean, and have been sucked in and am finding way to many things I want to knit, and I want to knit all of them RIGHT NOW. But, before I start a ton of new things, my goal is to finish a lot of what I have on the needles. My knitting time being so precious these days, if anything is ever to get done, I need to be faithful to projects I start. This will not be easy, but I am nothing if not stubborn.

I promise pictures in my next post.