Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

How could you not feel better with a face like that? I am getting better, still hacking phlegm, but definitely improving. Well enough to take Miss M. to Babies R Us yesterday for a little shopping trip. We came back with a mobile for her crib, a doorway hanging jumper -- which she is a little young to master, but loves nonetheless -- and this Bumbo sitter and tray. I figured since she keeps trying to sit up in her swing and bouncy chair, this would be good.

So, while we were hanging out, M. in the Bumbo, me on the floor, I decided to knit on Ragna for a bit. The yarn was sort of in my way so I threw it aside and... it stuck to the wall. Weird, eh? As you can not really see from the second picture, a really thin fiber caught on some tiny piece of the wall and it all hung until it moved too much when I knit. I just had to show you the yarn that tried to become wall art.

One of M.'s newer tricks is laughing. She started this while my parents were here, and she does it more and more. It is just too cute. She laughs when I blow raspberries on her belly or bounce her in her new jumper (pictures later). I am really very lucky because she is such a joy to be around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Two pictures of our little princess. One the left we have her at about 3 days old. On the right is a picture of her I just took. Somehow I thought there would be more of a difference when I saw the two side-by-side because she has grown up so much. She is awake and interactive now, and it's just wild. D. and I still haven't gotten over the fact that we have a baby!? A Bean who plays with her hands, watches me knit, and vocalizes like a tiny tyrannosaur. And when she smiles at me when I get her up in the morning? Best thing ever.

On the night of the 19th, while my parents were here, I decided to move M. from the portable crib next to my bed into her "big girl crib" in her own room. Partly because I think my restless sleep was disturbing her a bit, and partly because her sleep was disturbing me ... who knew a cute little girl could be so noisy while sleeping? Luckily (and knock on wood) she did just fine, and if she wakes up and I'm not there, she just hangs out making little cooing noises to herself.

Now, you are starting to wonder, "Laurel, why the title 'Sick'?" That's because it's what I am ... sick. M. is not sick, at least, that would make things so much worse (Yay! for antibodies from breastfeeding!). But last night, when I especially needed to get sleep, she wouldn't go down in her crib, or the floor for a second, or the changing table to get a new diaper. She just made her super sad face and started wailing. Normally I have her swaddled because when I started putting her in her portable crib instead of the bed next to me, she slept longer while swaddled, keeping her startle reflex from waking her up. Well, last night I tried a sleep sack instead, and while it didn't work immediately, D. was able to walk her for a little while, get her to sleep and brought her back up at 3, which was great because I needed the sleep. And after her 3am nursing, I kept her in the sleep sack and she slept great until the morning. Of course, I won't say she's grown out of needing her swaddle just yet, but we are certainly on the way to that.

In knitting news, I have decided to make a slightly modified Na Craga (in Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting) for my dad for his birthday. And, in my attempt to finish or frog hibernating projects, I have pulled out Ragna from Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting. I'm using a yarn that I got free back in New Jersey, a 100% wool tweed. It's a little rough, but the fabric is softer than the yarn and I am hoping with a wash or two it will be even better.

In addition, I'm working on Elephante for M. Only 3 active projects at once (and Na Craga doesn't count yet because I haven't even swatched)? It's pretty amazing. I am really working on this whole idea of working something from start to finish in a reasonable amount of time. And finishing up at least one old thing on the needles before starting something new. So far, so good.

Oh, and now I'm rambling more than usual, I know, but crap crap crap! Why? Because the lovely Nan's daughter is coming for a visit and will be at Friday Knitting and I don't think I can go because I don't want to get everyone sick. I really wanted to meet her. Grrrr.

Well, time to give the Bean another dose of those mommy antibodies.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I was born in the wrong decade

You Belong in 1958

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

What Year Do You Belong In?

I saw this on Sandy's blog, then on Dr. Mel's blog. D. has always said I am more 50s ...

Now I am going to complain, but there will be a picture of M. at the bottom :)

I feel like ass. I'm past the runny drippy part of being sick, I'm now in the stuffed head and chest, pain all over part. And my throat hurts. All I want to do is sleep.

In other M. news, she is going to break her swing... she keeps trying to sit up farther and it disrupts the swinging, dear child is going to strip the gears.

Grey, grey Monday

Mondays? Yuck.

We've been pretty busy here, my mom and dad came to visit last week and we had a great time. There was some shopping done and lots of the M. cuddling. I brought M. and my parents to Friday Knitting at Wool and Co. My mom sat and chatted and my dad and I picked out yarn so I could make him a sweater for his birthday -- it's not until August, but I'm starting early so I might finish this year. I'm making an Aran-type sweater, so we ended up getting the off-white Cascade 220.

Saturday we all smooshed into the car (getting four adults plus a baby in a car seat into an Outback is doable, just not ideal) to go into Chicago to the Art Institute. We bought tickets to see the Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper exhibits. They were fantastic. We saw a little of the rest of the place, but not much. It's rather overwhelming and there is only so much you can absorb at one time. I am already planning a return trip during the week. This February (which is almost over?) the museum has free admission, which is great, but oh my, it was getting really crowded by the time we left. I am glad we came a bit early, I don't do well with crowds. M. on the other hand was great, when she was awake she was quite, and mostly she slept. I carried her around in our Ergo carrier for quite a while, then D. carried her. I was more overwhelmed with all the people than she was.

So, anyway, our great week last week with grandparents and fun is why this Monday is especially sucky. And due to car issues, D. took "my" car to work today, so M. and I are without transportation. Not that I want to go anywhere or had plans to go, it's just that when I can't go anywhere, I feel like maybe I want to go. But I wouldn't want to today, it's supposed to snow 3-6 inches starting this afternoon.

The hat in both the pictures was finished last evening. It is a Sirdar pattern (not in Ravelry yet) that I've had for years. I made a store sample for Accents on Knits back when we lived in New Jersey and I pretty much lived at that shop. I started this hat with the left over Sirdar yarn and it's been sitting on a 12 inch size 3 needle with the ribbing done for years. Well, a week and a half ago, in my attempt to finish "lost" projects, I ripped and started over. I decided to do one of the bigger sizes and I didn't know how much yarn I had, so I did a provisional crochet cast-on and started with the pink above the ribbing. I knit the loops until I ran out of pink, which, as luck would have it, was at the start of the decreases. I had used a green cotton for the cast on and liked the color combination, and was lucky enough to find a green Cascade (Cherub Collection D.K.) of the right weight and fiber to finish it. I used a tubular bind off on the bottom of the ribbing. With the green and pink combination my mom thought it looked like a clover flower, and I agree.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

M. sends her Valentine wishes, as well. That's her posing with her first Valentine, a Heart from Jodee. She (Jodee, not the Bean) was making many of them last week at Friday Knitting. I really admired her perseverance, although they are really cute, so maybe I'd find it hard to stop, too. Plus, she says they are easy to do.

Since of course you could want nothing more than a parade of M. photos for Valentine's Day, here is a multitude of hats:
First up we have a hat from Monica and Polly. Polly knitted it from sock yarn and the seed stitch really shows off the yarn. It is nice and soft and warm.

Next is a tomato hat that I made long, long ago, well before I was pregnant. It is one of the Ann Norling Fruit Hats made from Cleckheaton's Country 8 Ply. I really like that yarn, it's pretty soft and knits up nicely. I used to have quite a bit of it.

Next up, we have another hat I made, this one just before M. was born. Made up the pattern out of Skacel's Vacation. It was a quick knit and I like the way it turned out.
And last, but certainly not least, we have a crazy Seussian hat by Julie. It's a Dream in Color yarn and is very soft. I love this hat and can't wait until it's not quite so big on her. I love the color combination and I want one of my own (although I would promise not to wear it at the same time M.'s wearing hers).

I am so close to being done with the Baby Bobbi Bear I'm making, however, I am no closer than I was Sunday evening when I ran out of yarn. Grrr. I had the 3 skeins the pattern said it would require, and yet, I still have left to do: the end of the second arm, the ears, and the duplicate stitching around the neck. So close, but even if I had left shorter tails at the end of skeins, I still wouldn't have quite enough. I'll pick up another skein at Wool and Co. tomorrow when I go for knitting. I'm sure I can convince someone to cuddle M. while I finish up the bear :)

In the meantime, I've been knitting a pair of booties... I used up a little sample skein of Mountain Color's Twizzle which I love, love, love and another yarn that was one of the first yarns I bought that wasn't box store acrylic, so of course, the label is long gone. What I find interesting about the yarns is that they are constructed the same way, 4-ply with three plies the same color and 1 contrast color, but the unidentified yarn is both spun and plied quite loosely. I started by following a pattern, but made some modifications. I would have made the cuff longer but I got bored with the K1,P1 ribbing.

I hope all of you have a great day!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Finished Project Frenzy Provided by Elizabeth Zimmerman

It's amazing what you can do when you stick to one project at a time. Here is Bean modeling my completed Pi Shawl. I made it from yarn I spun on my wheel Peggy. The yarn is my attempt at a consistent bulky weight; it's bulky and sort of consistent. 85% Coopworth wool and 15% mohair, it's not really soft, but it is very warm. With a diameter of about 90 centimeters it's not very big, but works well as a lap blanket. It's very exciting to knit a project with yarn I actually made. I have some alpaca/merino languishing on Peggy now, I need to pick up the spinning again, not just for finished yarn, but because it really is fun to do. And if I just work on one knitting project at a time, I should be able to finish them in a reasonable amount of time and still devote some time to spinning when M. sleeps.

And here on the right we have the finished February Sweater. And I think she might even be able to wear it for a few weeks. I have a button that I liked on it, a "pearl" dome with a shank, but I couldn't find any like it at Joann's, so when I went to Wool and Company for Friday Knitting, I got these buttons, which I really like with the sweater. Gives her a bit a sparkle and dresses up the sweater. Somehow the "pearl" button really made it look more like a 1940s bed jacket, but that look is diminished with these buttons.

Last, but not least in the finishing parade is actually the first started, another Zimmerman classic, the Baby Surprise Jacket. I finished the knitting on this well before M. was born and bought the buttons (again at Wool and Co.) a couple months ago, but didn't sew them on until this week. You can't see them too well in this picture, but the buttons are gold roses, very sweet and girly to counter-balance the somewhat more masculine colors. The sweater fits her well right now, but also gives her some room to grow.

And while I don't have pictures of it, my current project is the Baby Bobbi Bear out of Blue Sky Alpaca Sport in a periwinkle color. I like the way it is constructed, you knit the body in the round, split the front and back for the arms, pick up and knit the legs, knit the head up from the body, and then pick up and knit the arms. The only parts you have to sew on are the ears and then embroider the face. And it is a really cute bear. I am half-way through the head now. Since I don't have a picture of it to show you (and really, it wouldn't show you too much anyway), I will end with a rockin' picture of the Bean:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

M. says, "Don't forget to vote!"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day!

I know it is also The Feast of St. Brigid and is celebrated by bloggers with an annual Silent Poetry reading (I won't point out any specific one, but many of the blogs in my sidebar have poems up). I, however, am not doing the poetry thing... not because I think it is bad, in fact, I think it is a lovely idea... I just don't have the mental energy to go find a poem I like. Instead I will play the movie Groundhog Day in my head... we don't have it on DVD which I think is a great and mournful shame; I love Bill Murray.

Since I didn't go to knitting yesterday, I also didn't sew up the February Sweater. But, I did start a Pi Shawl with a bulky yarn that I spun on my wheel last year. I'm knitting it on size 13 needles; I started with size 10.5 but there wasn't enough drape. It's not going to be very lacy, I'm just doing the concentric circles of yarn overs, it will be a nice warm cozy shawl/lap blanket. I'll take a picture at some point. It is a perfect knit for me right now, easy to pick up and put down, not a lot of time is wasted figuring out where the heck I am.

And, as a celebration of Groundhog Day, I give you a sleeping Bean -- it means winter will be over soon, right?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Frak!!! +Edit

I was soooo looking forward to getting to Wool and Co. this morning, but it's snowed a ton and it's still snowing and the roads are crap. If it were just me, I'd go anyway, but I'm not about to drive Princess M. around in this.

And last night at 9pm one of our neighbors decided he needed to snowblow his frakking driveway (mind you, it was still coming down pretty good, then) and it took 45 minutes. I was trying to get the Bean to sleep and just as she finally got used to the racket and fell asleep, he stopped, which woke her up crying. THEN, after she calmed down, he started AGAIN and blew the sidewalks of our court for another 45 minutes!!! WTF!!!! I was close to going out and giving him a piece of my mind, but didn't want to A) leave the Bean alone, or B) bring her with me into the cold. Yes, I'm still livid. 6am would have been better (although still sucky), at least it's more reasonable to think lots of people are getting up for work.

Edited to add: Even if the roads were OK I still wouldn't be able to get out in time. I just spent a decent amount of time shoveling the driveway, and I only got a strip down and one back up shoveled, plus the extra build up at the bottom where they plowed (and only between the strips). I'm bushed. But I've got to at least get one side shoveled by the time D. gets back from the airport. Too bad I can't get the blower to start.