Monday, March 31, 2008

Is it Monday again?

This was a big weekend for Miss M. She got a convertible car seat since she's now too big for her infant seat and she also got a high chair. No solid foods yet (we're waiting until 6 mo.), but this way she can hang with me in the kitchen and see what's going on up higher. We got the bead and wire maze from a shop through Amazon and she really likes it. It has four suction cups on the bottom of it that really work (I've read reviews of toys with one suction cup that say the toy is great but the suction cup, not so much), so she can play with it without pushing it off the tray. She really likes playing with the beads. The other toy is a Haba frog that we got from Assembly Line Toys in Geneva. It is a really cool store, and they are going to expand the line of Haba toys they carry, which is cool, because I think I want them all... for M., of course. Two other Haba toys came today that we ordered though Amazon, as well. Pretty fun stuff, if you ask me.

I've finished up a secret project, can't show it yet, but soon. I've also made some progress on my dad's birthday sweater. Did I discuss this already? Modified drop shoulder and v-neck. And I am making a smaller size so it won't be so baggy. I hope it looks alright. If not, I'll rip it and start over. What's the point of a present if he won't wear it, right?

Got to go to knitting at Wool and Co. Friday. Fun as always.

When going out for walks with M., I bundle her according to the weather, but since I don't take her out in the stroller when it's below freezing, I put a cotton hat on her so she doesn't get too hot. The hat I made to match the Harvey sweater is perfect for this, and she's grown enough that I don't have to fold the brim up. What we get is Brunhilda... our little champion German swimmer.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sleeping off that Easter end of Lent bender? Yeah, M.'s a wild one, but not that wild :)

I've been reading the Knitting Daily blog since it started, and at some point, Sandi asked people what they were afraid of, knitting-wise. She then suggested this be the year of knitting fearlessly. I thought there was nothing I was afraid of, I did cables, lace, Fair Isle, entrelac, intarsia... it's all just the same stitches in different combinations, of what should I be afraid? Then, I read the introduction to Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti and I realized, that like a great many people, many of us knitters, I am afraid of failure. This really shouldn't have been a surprise. Growing up I was a perfectionist, and though I had convinced myself that I've outgrown that, I know that instead of doing something and taking forever making it perfect, I either stop partway through or don't start at all, or do "research" on the project forever, eventually stalling out. This, of course, is its own type of failure.

What is the point? I have a swatch, and now measurements and I am ready to start my dad's birthday sweater. I just have to measure the gauge and start. Am I nervous? Yes, but I'm hoping that it will turn out ok.

Having said all that, why am I having such issues with a little secret project? I've done the first part, and the second is the same, so why the issues? Good thing the yarn is pretty forgiving of the ripping and re-knitting.

Friday, March 21, 2008


That smile shows how M. feels about comments. I would like to thank everyone who has commented, and ask a favor of those using Blogger. How do I reply to their comments in email? With my old blog, I just had to reply to the email I got telling me about their comment, but that doesn't work here. And when I click on their name, I get their Blogger About Me page, but that doesn't necessarily give me their email. Thank you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sleeping Beauty's Brambles

That's my sweet pea. At her four month peds. appointment she weighed 15 lbs 9 oz and was 25.5 inches. I can't believe how big she's getting and how much she is growing up!

On Tuesday, the stroller we ordered for her arrived! I pushed her around the house and she really enjoyed it. Yesterday, I bundled her up and we went for a walk outside with our lovely neighbor. It was a little chilly, but M. grinned the whole time. She really had a great time getting to see everything. The carrier I have is great for shopping and getting stuff done around the house, but she loves to see what's going on around her, so for walks, it's the stroller. The only reason she's not smiling in this picture is because it was after the walk was over and she was worn out. Today I'll actually take the camera with us to try to capture a bit of her enthusiasm.

I've done almost four repeats of the pattern on the second Evangeline. There are 10 total in the mitt.

Now, on to the frightening portion of our programming. If you have children, they should look away. On Tuesday, I decided to do an itty-bitty (Hi, Holly!) bit of landscaping: cutting back the rose bushes. I took the garden shears outside into the mist to begin. I had obviously not taken a close look at these bushes before. On the left is the bush that I mostly left alone. The two bushes I attacked were that size. Now they are much smaller, but not before they ripped up my hands and the back of my leg. I've never seen roses with so many deadly thorns. They caught on my clothes and other branches, making the branches I cut difficult to separate from the bushes. Granted, it might have been easier if I had been wearing some gloves, but still, I felt as though I were doing battle with the deadly brambles that grew around Sleeping Beauty's castle. So, the roses have to go. They are just off the back deck, and when M. starts playing out there, I don't want her to trip and fall into their wicked branches. I'm thinking that lilacs would be really pretty, and would be a nice way to make the deck a bit more private. And then I'll get a rosebush that doesn't have so many thorns everywhere, and plant it under my kitchen window where it will get great western exposure.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

M. turned 4 months on Saturday, and picked that day to roll over from her back to her front! We also had a reunion with our Bradley class that day. It was so much fun to see the other babies and hear how birth went! The only downside was that it was in Naperville, just after the St. Paddy's Day parade... a drive that should have taken 15 minutes took an hour. Ugh. But it was worth it.

Friday, since it was beautiful outside, after knitting M. and I went on a little hunt for sunglasses in Geneva.

In knitting, I'm working on the sock for my friend. It's coming along, slowly but surely. I'm using Cat Bordhi's new book and making the Master Upstream sock. Since you get to choose your toes and heels separately from the sock architecture, I've chosen the pontoon toe just for something a little different. I'll choose the heel when I get to it. I'm using the Magic Loop method and am pretty happy with it. I tried once before, but I was trying to do two socks at once with it, and it was so freaking fiddly that I quit. Just doing one sock, though is working out quite nicely. When my friend was here I did the measuring I needed, then I swatched. Then, with a pad of paper, a pen and the book, I plugged in the info and checked the tables to get the "master" numbers for the sock I was making. D. accused me of writing a dissertation, guess I looked pretty serious about it all. After all this, I hope they fit.

I have to remember to get my mom to measure my dad for his sweater so I can start that, but I should finish the Evangeline mitts before I start. Something to wear next winter, as I am hopeful that it is almost done here.Oh, and a little bragging... I was asked by one of the volunteers editors on Ravelry if they could use my picture as the main one for the Cable Braid hat from Vickie Square's Folk Hats book! Granted, I think 2 or 3 people have it listed in projects, so it's not like there are a lot to chose from, but still, I felt a little proud.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Schedule? We don't need no stinking schedule

Progress on the knitting front! Obviously some ends need to be woven in, but other than that, the first Evangeline is done! The second one has even been started. It's the kind of pattern that keeps me going... just one more round, just one more round, so the second should go pretty quickly, as well.

We had a couple of college friends (who are married -- I introduced them! go me!) stay over this weekend and we all had lots of fun, including M. who was quite entertained. Anyway, I've got to hurry up and finish the Evangeline because I promised S. that I would make her a pair of socks. I know I don't like to make socks that much, but she has circulation issues in her feet, and really, what's better than a nice pair of handmade socks? I had promised her mittens years ago, but I think socks will be better. I've even swatched some Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport for the pair. Seriously, two swatches recently? What could be coming to this world of mine?

In M. news, she's getting better and better with her tummy time, lasting longer and longer without getting cranky. And now that we have a good routine down -- nursing about every three hours, last one at 8:30pm and then once in the night -- we hit the 4 month craziness. Last night she nursed twice and then wanted to nurse first thing in the morning, which is also not what's been up. According to the reading I've done, around 4 months there is a bundle of development happening all at once and it takes your nice schedules and throws them in the air, just like 52-card pickup. She is, however, the same cute, sweet girl, so I can't really complain too much.

I ordered a stroller the other week, I'm still waiting for it to ship. I'm not fond of strollers in stores, but I got a jogging one for taking walks around the neighborhood. I'm really hoping it ships soon because it's been absolutely beautiful the past three days! I'm sure once the stroller comes we'll have a blizzard or five. Although, I'm not waiting for the stroller, today it's so nice I'm going to strap her on me and get out there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rings 'n things

From early on, M. would grab my hair, and even on our ride home from the hospital she held my finger. However, in the last week, she is reaching out more and grabbing things, like the rings in the video. In the last couple days she has started shoving these things into her mouth to chomp on. It's wild, one day she's half-heartedly playing with the rings, the next she's actively playing with them and putting them in her mouth. It is so much fun watching her figure things out.

In knitting, I'm working on Evangeline, and have almost finished the first one. Dream in Color Classy in a beautiful purple. I am making the long pair. Pictures later.

In the meantime, I should go to bed since the Bean is asleep ... a sleeping update later.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Quizzes and Washcloths?

I saw this on Dr. Mel's site and of course, had to take the quiz. I could take more if I were willing to go all out against them, but, call me a sucker, I will only fight as hard as I have to to win.

Now, if there were a zombie apocalypse... some quizzes give me a fifty percent survival rate, but some give me higher. I've watched enough "documentaries" to know that it's a double-tap to the head and if your friend gets bit, they've got to go, sorry.

So, by now you are saying, "Laurel, what's going on? Where is the Bean picture? What did you mean by washcloth? Should I start worrying about the end of the world with zombies and roaming packs of rabid 5 year olds? " Don't fret. The picture to your left explains about the washcloths, at least. Except, that it is not a washcloth... it's a gauge swatch! "What!?!" you exclaim, "A gauge swatch? But you don't knit those! That's weirder than you knitting a washcloth!" It's okay, you can calm down. Since I am knitting my dad a sweater for his birthday this year, I thought it would behoove me to make sure it actually fits, and therefore, I am pulling out all the stops: not only knitting a gauge swatch, but I will even be measuring it before and after washing and blocking it. Try not to faint. And I would just like to express my love of Cascade 220. It is such a workhorse yarn and felt nice and soft while I was knitting it. So versatile, I love it.

And lest you think I forgot... the Bean. She's really paying attention to everything around her, and starting to use her hands more to examine it all. She was really interested in this penguin today. It's an Eric Carle penguin that was a gift from her grandmother for Christmas, the wings make crinkly noises, the feet are perfect to chew on, and the fish in the mouth wiggles back up when you pull on it, and there is a bell inside... it's pretty awesome. Anyway, today, M. started batting it around on purpose and noticing that it made noise when she did. And she's got the cutest little mouth :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An F.O. Ripped from the Pile of Hibernating Projects

Up first we have M. "pumping up". Or, rather, just practicing grabbing things that aren't my hair. This is something I can very much get behind.
Then we have the Bean looking adorable in a turtleneck hanging out in her doorway jumper. She really gets a kick out of this thing, and she gets a work out keeping her torso upright. She's even better at it today than she was yesterday. She's not jumping yet, but she does pivot and turn (when I even think the word pivot, I think of the Friends episode).

And in knitting, last night I finally finished this hat on the left. It's the Cable Braid hat from Folk Hats, just done in multiple colors. I had it mostly done for a long time, but was afraid I'd somehow screw it up when sewing it together, so I let it sit forever. Finally, last night I finished it. It may not be the perfect sewing job (there is a reason I'm not showing you the inside), but it works and I'm glad it's done. It's a warm and comfy hat to wear, and I don't care that I look more than a bit silly wearing it. Next in my pile of almost F.O.s is a bag that needs its handles sewn on. After that, I think most of the hibernating projects require quite a bit of actual knitting, so those will have to wait until I finish Ragna or Na Craga (for which I still have to swatch).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Birthday D.!

M. calls a meeting of the board to wish her daddy a very Happy Birthday!
I second her motion.