Thursday, January 31, 2008

Very belated New Year's post

One of my New Year's resolutions (okay, my only New Year's resolution) this year was not to beat myself up about not getting things done because I'm spending so much time with the baby. I'm not doing so well with this goal unfortunately. I am spending tons of time with the baby, and that is a wonderful thing. I know that I won't ever regret all the time I spent with the baby, but still I get stressed out about the things I'm not doing, like for instance knitting and blogging.

Months ago, I knit a single Knuck, and kept copious notes about it so I could knit an identical matching Knuck. Alas, before I got to Knuck #2, I lost the index card on which I wrote the notes. So that project is on hold, and in the meantime I haven't managed to cast on for much else. I still have a backlog of projects and other things to write about, and someday I will hopefully get to it all.

I also need to just do things and worry less about perfection (which I never achieve anyway of course). Like I should be able to write a quick blog entry and just publish it instead of letting it stew for days or weeks and agonizing over every word and rewriting it several times. It's just a blog, after all! And knitting is just knitting! (Or so I hear anyway...)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gifts from Aunt Emma

Baby Helen received some amazing handmade gifts, before she was even born!

Emma crocheted not one, but two incredible afghans which now adorn the nursery. This beautiful hexagonal one she gave us a while back and we knew someday it would be well loved by our future child.

This super-soft Emma original was a fabulous shower gift. (Emma also hosted the surprise shower!)

Emma's afghans look so gorgeous in the nursery!

And then she knitted her a dress! Here is baby H modeling it (at 17 days old) while cuddling with the knitter herself:

The dress has silver lizard buttons!
(That's me holding her in that one.)

Baby H is so fortunate to have such a talented, generous, and loving Aunt Emma!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rhinebeck 2007

I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it to Rhinebeck this year, seeing as how I had a not-quite-6-week-old baby (this was way back on Oct. 20), but we went and it was a great time! Emma came up for the weekend, and the 4 of us packed into our trusty station wagon and drove up Route 9. Rhinebeck is much closer to where we live now than when we lived in Brooklyn. We didn't get there at the crack of dawn -- it was more like 10am -- but we lucked out and got an awesome parking spot. The day was warm and sunny, full of gorgeous yarn, adorable fiber animals, and decadent food.

Emma and I are overwhelmed by all the pretty yarn...

Baby Helen loves wool; she just doesn't know it yet.

The ever patient husband

Baby Helen hides from the obsessive knitters in her pumpkin hat.

This is pumpkin hat #2. It's a tad big, which is fine because it rolls up (in theory at least) and it will probably still fit her next autumn! (Pumpkin hat #1 I sent to Helen's cousin who was born in August, but ended up fitting the 3-year-old big sister instead! Not sure if it's my own gauge issues, or if the sizing in Itty Bitty Hats is a bit off.)

In the above picture, you can also kind of see the beautiful dress that Emma knit! I have better pictures of the dress, which I will post at a later date.

And here Emma and I are enjoying some of the aforementioned decadent food:

Here are some of my Rhinebeck purchases, which were pretty under control this year:

Two skeins of Brooks Farm Solana, which I'm thinking may become an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Sweater...

One skein of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Superwash Merino, which may be destined to become a baby hat...

Some cute buttons which would look lovely on a baby cardigan...(Getting a bit repetitive here, now that I think of it...)

And a beautiful wooden swift! (Ball winder too, but it's not as photogenic.)

And that's pretty much it, aside from a bottle of lavender Eucalan, which I didn't bother photographing.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Baby Helen's first sweater


Baby Helen's first sweater
Started: July 8, 2007
Finished: November, 2007 (actually I finished the knitting over the summer but finally finished the finishing in November, once I was able to try it on the baby and be sure it would fit)
Pattern: "One Piece, one button, child's seamless pullover," by Nina Shishkoff -- purchased at Knittingsmith
Modifications: Shortened the neck ribbing, put the stripes on both sleeves, made several other changes to make it fit a 20" chest, smaller than the smallest size offered in the pattern (but I didn't take very good notes)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, in Sunshine (less than 1 skein) and Blackberry (leftovers)
Needles: US 5 Denises, US 5 dpns



Monday, December 03, 2007

Gotta start somewhere...

I've been gone way too long. I've got a lot to blog about, so much in fact, that I'm not sure where to start! Which is probably why I've put it off so long. So finally I've decided to just dive in.

Baby Helen Rose was born on September 10, 2007. 6 lbs., 8 oz. at birth, much bigger now! She is an absolute joy, and I love every moment I spend with her (which is a lot of moments). She keeps me very busy, another reason why I've been such a bad blogger.

Also in the past few months: I went to Rhinebeck; joined Ravelry; knitted another pair and a half of Knucks, several baby hats, tiny baby mitts, and a baby sweater; and bought a fair amount of yarn. More details and pictures to come.



Thursday, July 19, 2007

Itty-bitty hats

My brother very kindly gave me the Itty-Bitty Hats book as a baby shower gift, and it really sparked the knitting resurgence I have been experiencing.

I started with the upside-down daisy hat, which I gave to the other couple in our childbirth education class. They were scheduled to have their baby Tuesday morning. I haven't heard from them yet, but I'm hoping everything went well! The hat came out really tiny. I meant to make the 0-6 month size but accidentally ended up making the "newborn" size -- silly me, thinking 0-6 months would be the smallest size! I'm hoping it will fit the baby for the first few weeks at least. I knitted the petals and did most of the finishing in the waiting room at my midwives' practice during my 3-hour gestational diabetes test, and it was a great distraction from the fasting and blood drawing. (It really wasn't that bad, and happily I passed the test!)

I used Cleckheaton Country 8-ply for most of the hat. It's a relatively inexpensive superwash wool from Australia. Not the softest yarn I've ever worked with, but it softens up quite a bit after washing. The petals are made of a velvety superwash merino also from Australia, called "Extra." For the stem I used leftover Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino from Courtney's placket sweater. It reminded me how much I loved working with that yarn. It's so soft and shiny and I love the subtle color variations that result from the kettle-dyeing. And it comes in such generous skeins! I haven't seen it anywhere but Brooklyn General, and now that I don't live in Brooklyn anymore, I'm not sure when I'll get back over there. The Tess folks won't be at Rhinebeck either, sadly. I asked the owner of my new LYS if she ever carries Tess yarns...apparently she used to, but "they make it difficult to do business with them." Not sure what that means exactly. They have a web site, but it's not a web store, and it doesn't have pictures of every colorway. At some point I may call them up and try to describe some colors I'm interested in and see what happens.

Upside-down daisy hat
Started: June 23, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007
Pattern: From Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8-ply (purple, yellow), Extra 100% Australian Merino (white), Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino (green)
Needles: US 6 dpns

I also made this pumpkin hat, recipient to be determined. This one actually is the 0-6 month size, and it's considerably larger. The leaf really wants to curl, but otherwise it's pretty cute.

Little pumpkin hat
Started: June 25, 2007
Finished: June 28, 2007
Pattern: From Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8-ply (orange, brown), Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino (green)
Needles: US 6 Denises, US 6 dpns

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

High-top booties

This pair of booties I started towards the end of my first trimester. While knitting the first bootie I had a little scare with the pregnancy and got superstitious and stopped, then lost my knitting momentum for a few months. These past few weeks I've been trying to make up for lost time. I finally finished the booties, knitted several little hats (not all for my baby), and there are a couple of baby sweaters in the works.

Not sure what to say about these booties. They came out mismatched (likely due to the time that elapsed between bootie #1 and bootie #2) and the pattern may be a little wonky on the eyelet round (it could just be me, though the same thing happened for both booties). But they're done, and time will tell if they are wearable by an actual baby.

John bought us a digital SLR on our one-year wedding anniversary, and this is the first picture I'll be posting that was taken with that camera (photo credit: John).

High-top baby booties
Started: Feb. 24, 2007
Finished: June, 2007
Pattern: From Knitting To Go
Yarn: RYC CashSoft Aran in Haze
Needles: US 8 dpns