Monday, December 12, 2011

Due Date #2...and more waiting!

I know, I know, you can't rush perfection...she will get here when she's ready...only a small percentage of babies are born on their due date-BUT SERIOUSLY. I AM READY. Ready, and anxious to meet her. I finally quit working, just called my boss this morning to leave him a message that I was officially beginning my maternity leave as of today (actually Friday, since I was too tired to go to work then, too) but today is different, because I can't actually drive myself to work since my legs/hips are numb. Yesterday, I had my first "is this labor?" moment, and had my mom take me to the hospital since my body was meeting 2 of the 5 reasons to go- #3: decreased movement by baby, and #5: increased pain not lessened by changing positions. What I found out, aside from the fact that I had three more medical personnel say "wow, thats a BIG baby", is that my daughter has moved down to about a -2 (-5 is the high up in the cervix, 5 is delivery)and is pushing on my nerves, which is causing the numbness and general pain everywhere. One of the nurses also said that she is in position but playing possum, sleeping in her warm womb with a view until the last possible moment (hence the decreased movement).... In any case, mom and I had done LOTS of walking on Saturday, even got up at 445 am to see the lunar eclipse-which obviously didn't send me into labor-and I found a good indoor walking spot since the weather was wet and cold-Home Depot. Long aisles, not alot of crazed Christmas shoppers, no salespeople following you around because they are so understaffed, plenty of noxious chemicals to sniff (just kidding). We did some laps, only had to deflect 2 offers for help, and I visually created my dream home as I sashayed through the store-God bless warehouse sized stores! Speaking of walking, I also realized something funny about my body- I have always been pigeon toed, walking with my toes in and my heels out, until now. I don't waddle like most very pregnant people whose spreading hips forces their toes out and allows the trademark duck-walk to emerge-I now can walk straight! My toes point forward! Okay, aside from this long ramble about my weekend, I am impatiently awaiting my afternoon doctors appointment because the nurses yesterday informed me that as soon as I schedule an induction I will go into labor, and todays the day I get to turn in that paperwork-my doctors are looking at next week for induction if she hasn't arrived on her own.
Now, onto more knitterly things: I received an awesome package in the mail on Friday from my favorite yarn-dying shop owner in the whole wide world- Myra Garcia at Fancy Image Yarn. She sent me a lovely surprise, an envelope that was hiding one of her Cutest Baby Hat kits, and a skein of her handdyed yarn accompanied by a Mom and Me sock pattern! The hat is already done, and it is absolutely adorable-love it, and I couldn't have asked for a better baby/Christmas gift because it is something to keep me occupied while I wait for my little angel.

(Sorry Jenn, more doll)
I also finished a pair of baby socks using Patons Stretch Sock in the Spumoni Stripes colorway

...and I will just continue knitting single socks out of the skein until I get a pair that actually matches!
As for sewing, I made a few more diapers this week before finally calling it quits because I want to try the different styles on Sureya to figure out which ones work best. I LOVE the green/owl diaper, but my ever-clever sister Debbie pointed out that it was the perfect colors for hiding baby poop and now I keep imagining it filled with crap...

The animal and stripe print diapers are actually made out of oversized dishclothes from the IKEA as-is department: I paid a whopping 60 cents for three of them, and had enough fabric to make two diapers, which makes these two cloth diapers CHEAPER than two disposable diapers! Yay for thrifty shopping!

Okay, now I'm done. Apologies for the ramble, but I have nothing else to do but wait....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Due Date #1 {and still waiting............}

Today, December 5th, was one of my two due dates. Apparently it was not the due date that Sureya agreed with. She has been shifting lower and lower, my hips feel like they've moved out about 12 inches, and even walking miles on the treadmill does nothing to speed things up. In any case, all of this waiting has not been in vain. For starters, underneath the sinks in my house there is such precise organization that even the different types of dental floss have their own individual spots and the plastic bags are seperated by store that they came from. I have nearly perfected the art of mass diaper making, and have been using online patterns to make different types so that I can try them out with Sureya once she arrives and figure which ones I need to make more of. (by the way, diaper sewing comes with casualties, such as my thumb) I finally put buttons on the sweaters, and added a clever fold over hem to the sleeves of the Baby Surprise Jacket. I also made another hat to match the BSJ, complete with a flower that looks NOTHING like the pattern that I started with- maybe I am not so much of a flower-knitting person. In any case, here is the past week or so in pictures... (Jenn, hopefully this is the last post that will include the doll)

Here's all the patterns that I used to make the things you see in these pictures....
Multi-colored sweaters- Maile, and Baby Surprise Jacket
Turqoise diaper- Little Green Bear Fitted Diaper, size M
Purple hat-Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Hat (mods: I used garter stitch instead of seed stitch)

Now, everyone cross your fingers that this is the last post that I have time to do before my little ball of yarn unravels herself from my insides and makes her debut!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thank You Jenn!!!

Dear USPS: I love coming home from Thanksgiving to find that the darling mailman has left a cardboard box on the edge of the porch in the pouring rain, instead of sticking it under the porch bench, or in the carport, or anywhere underneath the 2 foot eaves overhang that is in front of my house. Thanks!

None the less, under that soggy, finger-blackening outer layer of cardboard, I found an awesome gift. Nay, make that some awesome GIFTS for my little darling. And ME! My obviously very talented cousin sent Sureya some adorable burp cloths, leggings, and a slightly-phallic rattle PLUS sent me some excellent leather earrings! Seriously. She knits, sews, and makes her own jewelry despite a debilitating fear of ugly dolls.
(not a real baby, I was hiding the ugly doll. I am not THAT bad of a parent.)

As for me, myself, and I, I have been slightly less productive but did finally manage to finish sewing my first set of tri-fold diapers. I used a flannel top sheet that was taking up space in the linen closet ( I personally hate top sheets on my bed, so they are generally cut up into other, better things...)and a flea-market purchased Indian cotton tapestry. Because this was the first go of things, I cut up my least favorite but softest tapestry, and made six 4x6x4 trifolds, plus the four flannel with soaker trifolds. The soaker was a bath towel I cut up because the pattern recommended using terry cloth for superb absorbency-BUT-if you are at all irritable I would NEVER recommend cutting a terry cloth towel and then shaking it inside of your house-I still have fluffy green towel bits all over my house a week later.
I did also manage to finish the little socks made from the left over Maile yarn, and I probably still have enough for a cute hat...

AND- this photo was actually taken last month while I was still knitting the Maile sweater, and my baby bump was significantly less-pronounced than it is right now (at 38.5 weeks)
Isn't my bestie an incredibly talented photographer? If we are really truly friends (as in you are one of the 200 people on my Facebook account), you can see some more of the pictures on my profile!

This last little pic is a fantastic example of why you should pay attention to the yarn requirements for a pattern before you start knitting. I was so gung-ho as I knit this wrap/kimono sweater that I wasn't paying attention to the rapidly-dwindling ball inside my knitting bag, and I completely finished the sweater body, knit an entire sleeve, and then realized I only had about 10 yards of yarn left for the second sleeve. Hence, stripes. With furry yarn. Now my daughter has a flamenco-esque bolero kimono to sport for as long as it will fit!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Add another one to the Sureya stack

Here is yet another example of what happens when I get bored with a pattern- it becomes something different ENTIRELY! I started out making the adorable Baby Onesie, got tired of stockinette stitch just past the armpits, decided to add a couple of stitches and turn it into a pullover version of the Helena Baby Cardigan. I think it was a successful morph, just need to add some buttons or snaps to close the neckline. The colors of the sweater are closest to the pictures without the doll, but a post wouldn't be complete without an opportunity to show Jenn my ugly doll again. I used a little more than one 50 gram skein of Inti Alpaca Alpaca Soft, the super luxurious stuff I picked up in Miraflores on my last trip to Peru.
As soon as the sweater was done I cast on for some toe up socks for Sureya using the leftover Maile sweater yarn...I never finish the socks that I start in a small amount of time, so we'll see how this goes. I am leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to a three day conference in Portland, so hopefully I will have time to get the socks, and maybe another project done.

Friday, November 4, 2011

beware the doll!

I finally finished the Maile sweater, it looks absolutely adorable and now I just need to find the perfect buttons. When I make this sweater again (which I know I will) I will figure out how to do it from the top down because the joining the sleeves at the underarms made me INSANE. And pregnant women can't afford to be any more off kilter than they already are. Seriously. This tiny little sweater took weeks, because after joining the underarms I was so irritated I couldn't look at the sweater. BUT, finally, it is finished, and now I have about a month to find the buttons!

Friday, October 28, 2011

those baby bloomers!

I don't know why it is that I love these utterly impractical things so much, but I finally finished the ruffled baby bloomers last night. While sitting in my soon-to-be-new-mothers breastfeeding class. Which of course caused all sorts of interuptions as I sewed up the side seams and people started to realize what they were looking at...
I used the Baby Abby Ruffled Bloomers pattern from the Lion Brand website, but with modifications (of course). Since my own baby will wear cloth diapers, I figured she need more room underneath so I eliminated the drastic waist shaping and made it more straight up and down from the waistband to the leg openings. I also added a few short rows after the ruffles on the backside, to accomodate said cloth diapers. I am still debating on whether or not to add ribbing or ruffles to the leg openings (the pattern has directions for either option) but overall a quick cute knit. I used Online Solo color 12 for the ruffles, and Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) Yarn in color Grey(ish) for the body.

p.s. for Jenn: I purposely avoided including the dolls' face in these pictures, I didn't want to upset you as we head into the weekend! :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

AMAZING Ryanne hat!

This is Ryanne,the hat I designed for a friend by the same name.
I looked for cable knit hat patterns, tried out a few of them, and then realized that I needed to make one up that had enough stockinette stitch to show off the yarn, but a little something to break up the monotony of stockinette.

1 skein Lion Brand Amazing (53% Wool, 47% Acrylic; 147 yards/50grams) #201 Ruby
1 16" circular needle, size US 8 (5.0 mm) AND 5 Double Point needles, size US 8 (5.0 mm)
Cable needle or stitch holder (or just use one of the 5 dpns)
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Markers (at least 8)

Gauge: 20 sts to 4 ins in Stockinette

Finished Size: 19 inch circumference-to fit head circumference up to 24 ins.

Pattern Stitch: adapted for knitting in the round from Lace Diamond and Cable Waves (The Stitch Collection, Book 4, Cables)

The Pattern: (panel of 12)
Round 1 and all odd numbered rounds: Knit.
Round 2: {k2tog, yo}3 times, K6.
Round 4: K1, {k2tog, yo}twice, K1,CB3, K3.
Round 6: K2, k2tog,yo,K1,CB3, K4.
Round 8: K4, CB3, K1,yo,ssk,K2.
Round 10: K3, CB3, K1, {yo,ssk} twice, K1
Round 12: K6, {yo, ssk}3 times
Round 14: K3, CF3, K1, {yo, ssk} twice, K1
Round 16: K4, CF3, k1, yo, ssk, K2
Round 18: K2, k2tog, yo, K1, CF3, K4
Round 20: K1, {k2tog,yo}twice, K1, CF3, K3

CB3: slip 1 st to cable needle, hold to the back, Knit 2 sts, then K1 from cable needle
CF3: slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold to front, Knit 1 st, then K2 from cable needle

Main Hat:
With circular needle, CO 96 sts. PM. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. *K2, P2; repeat around for 10 rounds (approx 1.5 inches)
Next round: *K12, PM: repeat around (8 sections)
Now begin the pattern, alternating one section of stockinette with one section of pattern stitches (this is why you needed so many stitch markers!)
Work Rounds 1-20 once, then Rounds 1-11 once
Crown Shaping:
Continuing the pattern (for Rounds 12-17) as indicated, begin decreasing stockinette stitches on even numbered rounds by beginning and ending those sections with K2tog.
At Round 18, the pattern sections adjust as follows:
Round 18 Pattern Sections: K2tog twice, yo, k1, CF3, K2, K2tog
Stockinette section: K2tog,K4,K2tog
Round 19: Knit
Round 20 Pattern Sections: {K2tog, yo}twice,k1, CF3, K2tog
Stockinette section: K2tog,K2,K2tog
Round 1: Knit
Round 2 Pattern Sections: {K2tog,yo}twice, CB3, K2tog
Stockinette section: {K2tog}twice

Round 3: K2tog around
Round 4: {K1, K2tog}3 times, K1
Break yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail. Thread tail through remaining 7 stitches, close up top of hat by weaving in tail. Sew in all heads, and gift to someone who needs to keep their head warm!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

re-knitting the Sula Infinity

okay, so after blocking and then looking at the infinity scarf for awhile, I decided I didn't like it enough to give it away. So, I unknit it, and then created a new one...the infinity zigzag!

As soon as I find the paper I wrote the pattern on, I can share it with you. It was very simple, a little less than two balls of the Red Heart Boutique Midnight yarn, and the chevron pattern is easy to remember. Give me a few days, I'll make it happen!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Sureya Stack, thus far

A sweet sweater, some matching sweats, diaper cover/soaker, and the leggings. Two months to go!

hot off the needles

I know, it has been awhile since I showed you any pictures of things I am making. After my last post, I needed some time to answer the dozens of holy-snap-what-the-eff-I-didnt-know comments that my far flung friends and family members were maybe I shouldn't have waited until 7 months to let everyone know! Not that I was trying to, but after the fourth month and nobody (except those already in the know)mentioning anything, I figured it was sort of like a new game for me, how long can I hide A BABY under my clothing before someone braves up and mentions that I look a little more rotund than usual! Then I started to get worried, because in September my darling best friend wants to start arranging a baby shower, but how awkward would that be for my Aunts to get an invite to a shower for a baby they didn't know I was having? Well, now everyone knows. I have to still call a few people that were caught off guard by the online announcement, but I AM A BUSY LADY. Working, creatively putting away money for maternity leave and knitting as much as humanly possible between naps takes up a lot of my days.
One of my coworkers requested a knit Infinity scarf for her daughter, which I gladly made because I had seen this yarn at Michaels and wanted to try it out-I must say that Red Heart has come along way since I first inherited that garbage bag of lime,pumpkin,saffron,and brown acrylic from my grandma. This chain yarn has a bit of sparkle and some soft fuzziness, but no knots, weird color blotches, or cheesy texture to give away it's humble brand name.

I also finally sewed up the legs and waistband of the bloomers I knit following Stefanie Japel's pattern, and also knit a semi coordinating pair of baby leggings to go with them-really just tubes with varying amounts of ribbing on the ends...

By the way...
I will love my child no matter who she looks like
but I really REALLY REALLY hope she looks nothing like this doll!

(my bff loaned the doll to me so I could knit baby size clothing without patterns, but she kind of creeps me out)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Suprise, it's a .....

I finished the BSJ-minus the buttons-this past weekend! The body knitting was the easy part, and I left off the button placket and decided to use an i-cord edge all the way around the body. This proved to be slightly more difficult than I had anticipated, or maybe I was more tense when I started the edging, but it started to pucker and then I had to take it out and re-knit the front right edge. I used kitchener stitch to join the pieces, since it was in an obvious spot right on the front, and I think once I add the buttons it will be invisible. I love the way the colors turned out, still contemplating whether or not to lengthen the sleeves-I stuck the sweater on a newborn size doll, and it is too short (I think the arms on the doll are pretty comparable to real baby arms).
In other news (Jenn, sit down), it only seems fair to share that all of this baby knitting is actually for me and the baby girl I am expecting in December! Life doesn't always play out like we plan, but I am VERY excited and super grateful for all of the family and friends that have been immensely supportive as I transition back to being single at the same time I am preparing to meet the little lady that has been practicing her soccer moves on my ribcage. Aside from anticipating her winter arrival (good news for our family, we have too many Spring birthdays as it is), I am also super excited because there are so many more adorable winter knits!
There you have it, the fifteenth member of the Thetford cousins clan is expected to arrive December 12, 2011 (although the date changes depending on the doctor-she's a big girl already!)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On to the BSJ!

I finally picked up some Eucalan to soak my Holden Shawlette yesterday (HAD to get rid of that lingering campfire smell!) and got it all laid out and pinned to the floor in the spare room. I had ordered blocking wires, but then they emailed me that were out of stock, and the local yarn store Canvas Works does not carry blocking wires- I had to settle for regular old stainless straight pins. I can't wait to unpin it and wear it, though, because I think it looks absolutely gorgeous. As usual, the picture does not do justice to the finished project, and the colors are really off because the lighting was not good, but here she is:
I also am trekking right through this cute little Baby Surprise Jacket using Deborah Norville Serenity Sock and size 4 needles. It should be the perfect size for a newborn, and with the yarn left over I will maybe try out some baby leggings or tights (suggestions, please!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Owen's hat, and the Holden Shawlette

Isn't he the cutest? This is my newest nephew Owen, modeling his "Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Hat" from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.
I also finished the Holden Shawlette this past weekend, and am now anxiously awaiting the arrival of my blocking wires so that I can get this gorgeous (yet currently very smallish) shawlette stretched to the right proportions. . .

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holden - so far....

I made it through all of the stockinette portion, and began the lace pattern sometime on Saturday. The knitting is fairly easygoing, I only really need to pay attention at the beginning and ending lace sections that magically grow every sixth row (or so)! This picture was taken at about round 20 of the written lace pattern, and this will be done by next weekend, no doubt about that. (note to self: this is not a challenge to complete this project by a certain date)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Holden Shawlette Knit-Along

Yes, I've done it, gone and joined a virtual group of knitters working on the same project. I saw the project first on Stefanie Japel's Craftsy blog, checked out some finished versions on Ravelry, and then grabbed the first skein of Malabrigo Sock that caught my eyes during the Yorkshire Yarns sale last weekend.
I wound the yarn myself at the shop, and as soon as I finished the cardigan (Sunday night) I used the same pair of size 6 needles and cast on for the Shawlette first thing Monday morning. Every Friday Stefanie J. will be posting her progress, and her goal is to be through the stockinette portion by Friday. I will be camping- for my 31st birthday!- this weekend, so I anticipate a little bit of extra knitting time around the campfire...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

someone smack me, please.

ok, I took my own challenge too seriously. I wanted to finish this cardigan so badly that I stayed up until 1130 on Sunday night just to be able to say I finished it this weekend. Now, it's a quarter to midnight and I am posting one pick (just one, wearing the cardigan over my pajamas)
As you can see, I went with the arrow lace pattern around the front bottom edges, picot bind-off on the turned front, and absolutely no blocking has happened at this point. BUT IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
good night

Friday, August 5, 2011

really still here!

Okay, so this is not necessarily the most flattering photo of any of us, but that is me, my cousin Jenn, and my sister Jenni knitting (and crocheting) together at Mom's house last weekend. I am working on my self-designed cardigan, Jenn was knitting a headband (she already finished it) and Jenni was crocheting a hat (she already finished 4 of them). My project is definitely more labor intensive, but it has been about the only thing I have worked on in the last 3 months with any regularity. Well, the cardigan and my new found need to make a quilt out of all of my scrap's some pictures of my progress:

This has been a true labor of indecision, because I wasn't sure of how I wanted the cardigan to look, exactly, and spent some deciding on the pattern, the lace, and the lace placement. It's almost done, my goal is to finish by next weekend. Cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

hey there hi there

this is not the only thing I have knit in the last month, I promise. It has been busy, busy, busy, and I am slowly knitting my way through a sweater I recently began. This Thursday my sister and I will be going to a Tacoma Rainiers Stitch N' Pitch event, which will actually be my second baseball game this week...I went to the Mariners/Atlanta game last night, and juggled my knitting along with my friends' excited one year old daughter.
My younger sister is getting married next month, my older sister delivered her lovely 5th child Micah last month, and my younger brother is expecting a boy in August-lots of baby knitting going on, but not always enough time to take a picture before I give it away, and just plain busy in between!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

as the family grows

This year, I will gain three new nephews/nieces. In the world of me, that means lots and lots of knitting requests for the previously knit gifts that fit the previous nieces and nephews so well....and that's what I've been working on. There have been other changes in my little life, but this morning as I was catching up on some of my favorite other bloggers(Wendy Bernard, Jared Flood, Stefanie Japel) I realized it had been well over a month since I had posted ANYTHING! And my Ravelry notebook does not reflect any of my newest projects, because I have literally been giving them away as fast as I have been knitting them. So, here's to two more resolutions: Take pictures BEFORE giving knits away, and keep track of projects!
As I write this I am sitting in my newly reclaimed spare room/office space/yarn & craft catchall, and imagining all the great projects to be. I am knitting up another one of those adorable kimono style sweaters using some of the alpaca yarn I picked up in Peru, and debating which sibling to gift it to because it will require some special washing care. I am trying to take inventory of what projects I have on the needles, which ones I will realistically finish, and how much of which yarns I have at my disposal. Now I just need to come up with the perfect storage solution for my yarn, because the wine-crate tower is now overflowing, and I have bags of yarn sitting on the floor, hanging on the wall, and crammed in the closet.....any suggestions??

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blame it on the rain?

I think my exhaustion may also be partially due to returning from an extended vacation and overbooking myself working two jobs, but really I am still here, knitting. I think I may join another Monday night knitting group, provided they don't crap out on me like the last bunch of wishy-washy-weather-afflicted knitters and crocheters that called themselves a fiber group.
Whoa, tone down the negativity, self!
Maybe it is the rain. I feel as if every pair of shoes I own is made of wet sponges, and I can't seem to wear enough pairs of socks to cut down on the damp wrinkly toes that keep showing up. Not that it rains all day long, but it rains long enough to build up squishy yards and substantial puddles, then stops not quite long enough for the feeble sun to make an attempt at drying things out.
sorry, this entire post was more of a tantrum than anything. I'll try harder next time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

north to here.

I made it back, obviously alive and with a yarn stash twice the size of the bags I had taken down with me. I purchased another backpack in Ecuador after our trip to Otavalo, because I had purchased another two giant skeins of yarn and had left behind ten more in Peru that still had to be accomodated in my return luggage. I realized that no matter how much I look at other colors, I always choose blue and green.

While I was in Ecuador I had the opportunity to share and show off my knitting skills, managed to finish knitting that pair of socks and start on another cowl for myself, using moms pattern and some Malabrigo Worsted that was in my carry on luggage.

While traveling in northern Ecuador with my friends Gabi and Jesse, I also visited a village called Pijal, where I met this lovely weaver named Bolivia (yes, just like the country). She took us to her house to show us her loom and wheel, and if I had been thinking I would have written down their Qichwa names when she shared them with us.