Two Left Needles

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I'm trying not to be despondent about the contest guesses that are later than my due date. Actually, I'm trying not to be discouraged about any suggestions that it will be longer than this weekend. ;)

You know the whole nesting thing? Well, I haven't been immune. But strangely (or not so strangely), my form of nesting appears to be yarn and fiber related. Instead of cleaning bathrooms or folding and refolding baby clothes, I've been going through receipts:

Yarn receipts going back 12 years

Receipts that go back to 1995:

Yarn receipts going back 12 years

For practically every yarn and fiber purchase I made since then, every knitting needle and point protector, pattern, book and booklet. And I've been putting it into Excel. Into a very long spreadsheet.

Old Webs receipts don't give details on what yarn was purchased beyond "MILL END", "CLOSEOUT", "CONED YRN", etc. So there's a lot of guessing involved. There are some handwritten receipts from the Classic Elite Mill End store in Lowell, and Shuttles, Needles & Hooks in NC that are equally vague. It's a bit of a conundrum. There's also stuff I bought on eBay that arrived sans receipt. And there's probably plenty in the stash that is somehow not represented in any receipt. Gifts or trades, or pre-1995 yarn.

I've spent hours working on this spreadsheet. Hours. And hours. Over a span of many weeks. There's something comforting about it. Couldn't tell you why. Organization that I can't achieve in the yarn room? Having everything visible and sortable? Filterable? Being able to see what I have so that I have a better chance of using stash? It's a bit insane. Well, a lot. But really, not so surprising, is it?

The Eyelet Dress was moving right along until I got to the neckline. Puckered. Not so pretty:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

I figured I had 3 options:

  • Pick up fewer stitches
  • Use smaller needles
  • Cast off more tightly

I used all 3. The "cast off more tightly" I employed at the center live stitches and on the curves. Worked nicely:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

I did the same on the sleeves:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

Just need buttons and a wash! Not done, but the knitting's done. So I started another project:

Ribbed Cardi - in progress

These baby knits are addictive.

Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the carding 'speriment post!

Sunday night was the beginning of our first false alarm, complete with contractions and some pain. Not a lot of pain, not like I would expect with "real" contractions, but enough that they weren't fun. I went to the doctor Monday morning: I've started dilating. Maybe an hour after leaving the doctor's office, the contractions went away and it was back to "normal". After the contractions stopped, it was like when I get hiccups I can't get rid of that may have gone away -- I kept anticipating the next one and it didn't come. I felt that she dropped, though, and it's more obvious now (it feels different, people say it looks different, and my belly seems further away than it used to), even if I can't tell from the photo:

Week 37

Naturally, we rushed to buy anything we had been procrastinating on, including an outfit to take her home in. The car seat is in the car. Her clothes and cloths have been washed. I even bought a boppy and nursing bra. If she shows up early, we're set. I joke that, now that we're ready, she's gonna be late. Ha. It is, after all, 3 weeks to the due date.

When my sister was pregnant with her first, she convinced herself that she'd go early. Naturally, she went late. And the last couple of weeks were pure misery. (Well, very uncomfortable and frustrating at the least, heh.) I decided not to expect to go early, and anticipate going late. Just in case. So I haven't been "prepared" (because really, who is?) to go early.

Having a false alarm 3 1/2 weeks before my due date took me by surprise. But after it happened, we were definitely ready (and impatient) to welcome her early! It's been hard to go back to the previous mindset.

This weekend we went to a performance sponsored by Pilgrim Theatre, a group I've acted with in the past. It was an evening of piano-accompanied cabaret in languages ranging from English to French, German, Yiddish, and even Russian (I think). Besides being a lovely person, Belle has a wonderful mastery of her voice; her songs are very present and filled with life.

The delightful surprise of the evening (besides seeing old friends) was how the little one reacted to the music. There were a couple of songs that she really responded to, and my belly pulsed almost to the beat of the music. Literally! It blew my mind.

Yesterday, while ripping CD's (preparing my iPod for the delivery), I came across an Edith Piaf "best of" CD. The songs were in the same style as some of the cabaret performance, so I played it to see if the little goober would respond. She pulsed again! Throughout an entire song, and then some. I grabbed my camera to record it and though it's fuzzy, you can tell my belly is pulsing rhythmically. I don't know how she's moving that it would look that way -- could she be tapping her foot??? Anyone have a similar experience?

Anyway, now that we've had our first false alarm, it's time for a contest, before it's too late!

When do you think she'll show up? Leave your guess: date and time. Bonus points if you show preference for earlier than later, hehe.

One almost complete baby cardi:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Two new projects:

Eyelet Dress - in progress
for baby

Summer anklets - in progress
for me

One very round belly!

36 Weeks!

(The title should really read "Comedy of Dumbass Mistakes", but I figured I'd keep the post title clean.)

You know me too well. Of course I went for surgery! And it was a lot more trouble than I expected.

First, I separated the upper and lower portions at the point where the armholes should have begun:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Then I knit enough to catch up to the upper portion. But because of selvedge increases at the armholes and the decreases for the neck, I decided to graft a row or two higher.

I actually grafted on a row that had neck edge decreases in them, which was a little more interesting.

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

I got it into my head to graft the upper and lower portions together in such a way that it looked entirely invisible at the edges. I don't know why. Maybe because the rest of the project had been so simple and this would make it more interesting.

What actually happens to the yarn on the edge stitch is not straightforward. Have you examined it before? It twists and turns in unexpected ways and goes up or down into a row you don't expect it to. Not that it matters, since the edges typically end up hidden in the seams...

My first attempt looked like this:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Which is not a bad looking edge, but not invisible. My second attempt (on the other side; please, I wasn't about to re-graft what I had done) looked like this:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Pretty close, but not perfect.

Really, who cares? It's going into the seam and won't be seen! I can't explain it. There are a lot of things lately I can't explain. I'm going with "I'm pregnant" on this one.

The left and right fronts look roughly like this:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

You can see the grafted row; I'm expecting (hoping?) that blocking will blend it in.

As for the back, I somehow managed to have to graft on the opposite side (from the right edge instead of left) and I wasn't ready to start again on the "perfectly grafted edge" thing, so I left it and started knitting the sleeves instead:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Doesn't that look crazy?

And by the time I got the sleeves done and was ready to graft, I couldn't remember which row I was supposed to graft to. And (it seems) I have precious few brain cells firing these days. So, though the grafting went fine (and screw the edge thing), I ended up grafting too high up the upper portion. Which meant it was too short. And the fronts were actually too long because the original fronts were too long.

So I reknit the last few rows of the back a couple of times (you know, just for fun), and then frogged a few rows of the fronts and bound those off again as well.

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Phew. Frogging would have been easier, but then, it would have been just mindless knitting and a beginner pattern. Instead, I elevated it to Intermediate status! (I read "elevated" and think, "I do not think that word means what you think it means" - from The Princess Bride).

Ends are woven in and I just need to find some cute buttons and give it a bath.

Baby's First Quilt

In stark contrast to my dumbass mistakes, look what arrived in the mail last week:

Baby's First Quilt!

A beautiful quilt made by Erin! I love the colors and the fabrics she chose and I can't believe she made it for the little goober. I have zero quilting skills so I'm all the more impressed! What a lucky baby. Thank you so much, Erin!

Preggers Update

And while I'm on the subject, the little goober has been head down for a few weeks now. She's active and likes to shove her butt into my right rib. I'm sure I'll have a bruise there when all's said and done. 

When I'm leaning back to watch TV, I regularly interrupt Scott to show how deformed she's made my otherwise round belly.

I clipped my toenails last week for what I expect will be the last time in a while.

She gets hiccups at least once a day, though for only 10-20 minutes at a time. As she's been growing, the hiccups have been getting stronger, so that now, you can see my belly jump with each hiccup.

I'm still waiting to see if I'll become an outie. Scott's not convinced; he thinks I have no belly button now.

He's also impervious to my daily remarks of, "I think I'm bigger today!" Though he does, on at least a daily basis, tell me either, "Holy crap you're big," or "That's quite a belly you've got there!"

I've been really really tired most of the third trimester; hence, less posting, less blog reading and commenting, and much fewer email responses. Sorry! I do read comments, but I'm sorry I haven't been responding to them like I had been. I cut back my hours at work, which definitely helps. In addition to needing more sleep, I'm also not able to sleep very well. I know, I know, it's preparation for future sleeplessness. Ha, I don't buy it. I'd rather take the crash course. For a while I was getting up every 2.5 hours to empty my wee bladder, and that just saddened me in a way I can't express. Propping pillows helped for a few days and I got 6 hours of straight sleep a night or two! But now it's catch as catch can.

And we've been trying to clean out the computer room (aka the "I don't know, put it in the computer room for now" room) to make room for a baby room. We're finally making visible progress! But that's a subject for another time.

Last week was a good spinning week for me. In addition to finishing up the Lagoon singles and doing a small amount of sampling:

Lagoon 2-ply sample

I picked up the Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca that I started many months ago (but abandoned in frustration while I fidgeted with the Schacht) and even finished the first 2 of 4 oz:

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca

Well, that's not 2 oz, don't have a photo of that yet, but just imagine the bobbin a little more full. Here's a gratuitous close-up:

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca

I also had a little fun with the drumcarder:

carder 'speriment - merino/silk and tussah silk

The colors didn't work the way I hoped (yellow/green was the wrong color to go with charcoal, methinks), but the effect was interesting and the experiment fun.

The charcoal is 50/50 merino/silk JaggerSpun mill ends I bought from Diane at Pollywogs Yarn and Fiber, along with same in natural, and some Fiddlesticks patterns. Since the merino/silk is mill ends (mostly fluffy batts), it benefits from carding.

Dyed tussah silk from dbpg Spinning Wool, Fiber and Yarn

The yellow/green is handdyed tussah silk from Pamela at dbpg Spinning Wool, Fiber and Yarn. I got several colors from her, all gorgeous! Great experiences with both vendors, I highly recommend them.

Here's the finished yarn (well, only 1/4 oz, and not washed or set):

carder 'speriment - merino/silk and tussah silk

carder 'speriment - merino/silk and tussah silk

And now, if you have no interest in carding or fibers, you can skip down to the preggers pics below. :)

I wasn't sure how to go about blending to get the effect I wanted, so I started with 1/2 oz each of the charcoal and silk, and decided to do a layer of each. The charcoal was straightforward, just a little fluffing of fibers before carding. The silk was slightly more involved.

This was my first time carding with silk, and for some reason, I thought it would be difficult. I pulled off lengths similar to how I prepare to spin from the fold, fluffed them out and passed them into the carder. If I tried to put too much through at once, it did get a bit clumpy or want to stick to the smaller infeed drum.

One problem I ran into was static - the last of the silk didn't want to go onto the carder and I had to use the burnishing tool several times to push down the fiber on the drum to make room. I was really thinking of doing another layer of each, but 1 oz was all that would fit. I've read that spraying/spritzing some kind of water/water-oil/water-conditioner solution will help with the static, so I'll try that next time.

I was concerned that the different fiber lengths between the merino/silk and silk would cause problems carding or spinning. Because I carded them separately, it wasn't a problem, but I wonder if a second pass to blend them more might show problems? In the spinning, I occasionally found the silk getting picked up before the merino/silk, which is what I would have expected with the longer fiber length; but for the most part it was fine, and I adjusted my spinning style to "capture" more of the merino/silk (I think I used more of a point-of-contact spinning style towards the end).

While spinning I ended up feeling like there was too much silk in the mix. Next time I would either add less silk, maybe 75% charcoal and 25% silk, or maybe add in more non-silk charcoal as well. Next time I will probably also make the layers much thinner, throw in a bit of the charcoal followed by a bit of the silk, alternating small batches, rather than doing all of the charcoal and then all of the silk. I might also be more careful with the colors in the silk and try to preserve the color variations, which I feel were lost in this batch.

All in all a fun experiment and much learned. And that, to me, is success.

Preggers pics

Still growing. 33 weeks now! From the front, the flash point near my belly button hints at the contours:

Week 33

But my profile doesn't hint, it shouts "WOAH, PREGGERS!"

Week 33

Those 5-7 pounds had to go somewhere, eh?

Hands for scale:

Week 33

Thank goodness for yoga pants and an understanding workplace; I'm running out of clothes...

Your support was truly overwhelming and totally unexpected. The whole thing took me by surprise.

Just to clear up a few things:

  • I did read about the group back when and saw that several non-snark posts were unlocked. These tended to be "praise" type posts. Because the one linking to mine was locked, I guessed that mine was not such a one.
  • The group did not "leave a trail" on purpose. I would imagine that many people either do not have access to their website stats, do not understand them, or do not bother to check. I'm a geek, so I do check.

Okay, that out of the way:

I received comments from the folks who actually linked to me, and they unlocked the post. As it happens, it was a constructive discussion of the effects of different yarns on patterns in A Gathering of Lace and Folk Shawls. And, what was said about me:

Monica at Two Left Needles even made A Beginner's Triangle look exciting, but she hand-spun and dyed that yarn, so she's got an advantage.

Yeah. Not so snarky. Quite the opposite, in fact.

So, yeah, that spun my head a bit.

I truly appreciate everyone's support and the kind words that were said. (Also, it's been so nice to see people de-lurking recently! Hello!) You really cheered me up, enough that I finished knitting the shawl this weekend! (I know! Whoddathunk???) And, I appreciate the folks from the knitting_snark group for clearing up the misunderstanding. It did make me feel better, and I feel, well, almost foolish for all the wasted energy. I can't believe I stopped knitting the shawl over this!

Of course, it's all 20/20 hindsight. I hope, should something like this happen again, I'll just laugh it off.

But here's my suggestion to anyone in a secret snarky group:

If you're going to snark in secret, cover your tracks better. Instead of clicking links to people's websites, simply copy and paste the URL into your browser and hit enter. That way, no one will ever know! And what we don't know, won't hurt us.

And that's all I'm going to say about that. Onwards!

And now for something completely different

The little goober has switched from kicking and hopping, to wedging herself against some side or sides of me. I'll feel pressure and when I put my hand at the pressure point(s), I can feel what might be her head, her shoulders, her butt, just under the surface. She's favoring my right side, and I usually feel 3 pressure points: on the right side even with the belly button (my flattie), below and to the right of the flattie, and just to the left of the flattie.

It's not altogether comfortable.

She's also started hitting organs. Also not so comfortable.

I am officially entering the not-so-comfortable phase. I am finding that, with more sleep (and I do need more sleep), I am much more amused and much less irritated by the new phase.

It's hard to tell my size from this outfit:

Week 27

Don't mind the dorky smile. Scott says, "Smile" and silly me, I smile. Man, my hair is getting long.

I look really round from here, hunh:

Week 27

And I was worried she didn't have enough room in there. Seriously. I think she's fine.

I think the top line zags to my left because I always sleep on my left. Did you notice how clean my belly button is? Pristine clean.

And from this particular angle (and possibly only this angle and not if I've eaten too much), I look like an outie:

Week 27

Hands for perspective:

Week 27

Getting bigger.

Norwegian hat is done! For now. I'm not 100% sure on the lining, but I figure I'll wear it for a while and see how I feel. (I do like wearing it.) Photos when I can combine Scott, sunlight and me with hat.

I want to do a post but I'm not feeling very post-y. Know what I mean? I've been fighting off a cold the last several days and I'll be heading to bed early again today to ward it off.

The little goober gave me a scare last week. She's been very active throughout my workday for the last couple of weeks, and without warning, went into seeming hibernation for several days. That and a couple of other things panicked me so off to the doctor we went, Scott driving and consoling, me crying. Everything is fine, everything checks out, and naturally, as soon as I was back in the office, she started moving around again. I'm sure an ultrasound would have revealed an innocent look on her face. I'm back to trying not to worry about things I can't control, and she's back to bopping around to her own drummer.

There has been some spinning, but I'm not up to talking about it. Here's a peak, though:

Crosspatch Creations
Crosspatch Creations batts spun up

What I can show you without much talk is some fiber that's joined the flock in the last couple of months.

From The Fiber Denn, some lovely finn and merino (8 oz ea):

Fiber Denn finn in Blue Fescue Fiber Denn merino in Poppy
I want to eat up those blues

From Hello Yarn, gorgeous merino/silk (4 oz ea):

Hello Yarn merino/silk Plush and Lavish
my photos don't do the colors justice, though Adrian's photos are quite good

And from Alpaca Direct some Ashland Bay multi-colored merino (found them via Google Checkout promo) in Sandalwood (2 lbs) and Sapphire (4 oz):

Ashland Bay multi merino in Sandalwood Ashland Bay multi merino in Sapphire

All happy shopping experiences. Yum yum.

Happy New Year!!!

I don't even know where to start.

What's up with BSG being on break until late January???

Just kidding. (Though, seriously, what up??? I am not as happy with this season as last, but I'm seriously addicted. Seriously.)

I just got back from a weekend of family and good eats and New Year's celebration in NC and DC. It was a darned good time. I mentioned recently that we celebrate New Year's and not Christmas, but what I failed to mention was how Christmas and the weeks leading up to it tend to seriously bum me out. I won't go into the wherefor's now, but I'm sure it had a lot to do with my radio silence. I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade; maybe next year I'll actually talk about it.

For now, I'll share some highlights from New Year's.

My dad is more talkative with Scott around. We learned some things about him growing up in post-war Japan. After the war, much of his hometown was destroyed. They collected a large pile of debris in the field behind his house and set it on fire. The heat from the fire set off a bomb that had fallen but not detonated, probably hidden in the field. If the fire had not set off the bomb, who knows what would have. My dad playing in the field? There was a sobering moment as we all realized how close we had come to not being there together, or at all.

[Edited to add: Scott reminded me I remembered it wrong. The sobering moment was if the bomb had actually detonated on landing. Duh.]

Between eating out in DC and home cooked meals, we ate delicious Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian and Middle Eastern meals. It was truly a weekend of gluttony.

Baby girl had been relatively quiet for several days, but managed to kick everyone at one point or another. Bonding pre-birth. My family is so excited about the baby and, between not being allowed to lift heavy things, concern for my physical and stomach state and general belly rubbing, it was impossible for me to forget I was pregnant while I was there. It didn't take long to forget once I got home, however. Business as usual. Then, being startled looking in the mirror! Hey, look at THAT!

I'm so round. I'm almost an outie.

I'm sure I had another growth spurt since last week (I'm sure the gluttony had something to do with it). When I wash my hands at work, my belly touches the counter. I've got the beginnings of a waddle. I nearly fell over trying to fold my pant cuffs in the grocery store.

From the front there's not much to see:

Week 24

But from the side:

Week 24


Between the plane ride and car ride, I finished knitting the second Pink Panther sock and started another pair from Kona superwash I dyed back in August:

Pebble Sea - in progress

I'm realizing I'm not a big sock knitter. When it takes months to finish a pair, this becomes self-evident. However, I wanted to see how the yarn knit up. I think it's nifty.

Pebble Sea - in progress

I also spindled some, but I'll leave that for another day, hopefully soon. :)

Ironically, the winner of the contest voted girl because she was using reverse logic because she really thought it was a boy. I think. :)

TextileJunkie Michelle guessed:

uh boy, but I'm another one that has been 0-3 on my own, so if I'm saying boy that means it will be a girl. So if I say girl, that means it will most likely be a boy allowing me to be correct for once. So I'm going to say girl - which means boy :-)

This was also one of my favorite guesses.

Congratulations, Michelle! Let me know if you want the Sunfires superwash or the mystery yarn prize.

I was surprised by a few things. First, of 92 guesses, they were evenly split, 46-46, for girl and boy.

  • 5 people put a lot of weight on intuition, and 3 on the dream I had.
  • 3 people thought boy because of how I'm carrying.
  • 3 people saw a trend of girls and voted girl; 4 were seeing too many girls and voted boy for balance.
  • 2 people used statistics.
  • 2 people, including Michelle, used reverse logic.
  • And, 1 voted based on a 'best 2 out of 3' coin toss.

Fascinating stuff.

To Karen - thank you for the shawl compliment!

For Kim ("You did however get a blue button, so I am going to say a boy") - the blue buttons were used here:

The Project - buttons

on pink! But, it's a gift.

And for J a r e d ("i guess a boy. preferrably one who knits") - you can be sure that, girl or boy, this kid will be up to their ears in fiber, knitting, spinning, dyeing and whatever else I pick up along the way.

In the works

I'm reknitting Buttercup in a different yarn and with modifications so that I can write up the pattern:

Buttercup in red, in progress

Though I like the yarn (Cascade 220), I'm not sure I like the yarn in this pattern. The pattern worked really well in the original cashmere. Perhaps I'll dig around to find another yarn.

After that, I'll write up a quick pattern for the spin-dye-knit-a-scarf pattern.

Both are easy knits for the holidays.


The night after the ultrasound, I could really feel her moving around. Scott said he felt her move twice! Last night I felt a definite kick when I was lying in bed.

The first trimester was not so fun, between morning sickness, exhaustion, hormones and dealing with body issues and rapid changes. The latter was hardest.

I've always been about my size, about my weight. From high school to now (20 years), I've stayed within a 10 pound range. Not from dieting or conscious effort, but because... well, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I'd rather have an extra helping of mashed potatoes than eat dessert. I'll buy sweets or snacks, but have them sit around the house because I don't think to eat them. I can't eat more than a bite or two of milk chocolate before the sweetness overwhelms me. And if I do eat a bunch of sweets, I get painful bumps on my tongue that take days to go away. I guess my body naturally regulates and I try to pay attention.

(And, yes, I choose 12 grain instead of white bread. I have to believe that helps, too.)

Suddenly gaining weight spun my concept of me. Even knowing it was from the pregnancy (or hoping it was), I freaked out.

Do you know, in Japan, when I visit my relatives, one of the first things they will do and say when they see me, is to touch my cheeks and tell me, smiling, futtota. I don't know if something is lost in translation, but futoru means to get fat or to gain weight. Futtota is past tense. You've gained weight. You've gotten fatter. Me. Futtota. Yeah. Right. A tough body image to carry.

And don't get me started on the boobs! I got over my disappointment years ago at having, shall we say, modest boobs. Not only that, but I've enjoyed, over the years, not having to wear a bra or sports bra all the time. Boy, did the new boobs take getting used to. Looking like a woman, and not the girl I've gotten used to seeing. And, having to have some kind of support for them, all the time, cuz damn they're heavy.

And the exhaustion. No fun. Period.

But as the second trimester kicked in, the exhaustion abated; I got used to the new body and mourned the loss of the old one, and began to focus on the reason behind all these changes. The ultimate goal. A little goober. A little girl goober. Perspective. And letting go.

And now, after seeing the ultrasound and seeing her move, and with movement I can feel, both inside and out, it's exciting! And fun! Connection.

In my dream, she was holding my finger. Tiny fingers, reaching through my belly to hold my finger. And I knew she was a girl. That's what it's about, isn't it? A little life, holding on to yours, learning and growing and teaching you something about yourself.

What a fun contest! I enjoyed reading the entries, from pure guesses, intuition and wishful thinking, to logic, half-logic, and half-baked-logic -- I loved them all!

When I was a kid in Toronto there was a jump rope song we sang; I don't remember most of it, but the title refers to:

"Purl, purl, it's a girl and daddy's going cra-zy"

Of course, I'm sure they didn't mean "purl". ;)

It's a she! And she's healthy and checks out fine.

The ultrasound was wicked cool. We could see all four chambers of the heart, beating; bones, fingers (5 and 5!), brain, spine, feet, femurs, tibias, the works. I was lying back so my view was not the greatest, but Scott insisted she had my nose, and he had the doctor go back to show me. I think he's right. Isn't it amazing that you can tell such things at 20 weeks?

She's active, she's healthy, she's a girl. And we couldn't be happier.

We've been running around to 3 different libraries gathering materials for Scott's research paper so the contest results will wait 'til tomorrow. Thanks everyone for playing and for entertaining me throughout the day!

Tomorrow is our ultrasound. Can't wait!

For kicks, let's have a little contest. Let me know if you think it's a girl or a boy. I'll draw a winner randomly from those that are right! Prize will be 4 oz superwash merino in my Sunfires colorway if you're a spinner, or some yet to be determined yarn if you haven't caught the bug yet.

Contest closes Dec 7 at 6 pm. It's not that much time, so your chances are fabulous! I'll likely be at BASD tomorrow night so I won't be able to post until Thursday.

Should I tell you I've had 2 dreams that it's a girl? Would that sway your opinion?

Have my dreams been prophetic in the past? Well, since we don't see giant soda can monsters roaming cities and wreaking havoc, I'm going with no. I've also not been shot in the ear, and have yet to fly through department stores with a jet pack strapped to my back (boy, was that fun!). So, you'll have to interpret it as you will.

Thanks again for your kind words and condolences. The DC memorial ceremony was moved to Thanksgiving weekend, so this last week has been down time for me to just be, especially the weekend. I had Friday off and, despite the recent and sudden (pregnancy induced?) appearance of a strangely normal internal clock, I managed to sleep in until at least 11 am. Ahhhhh.

The weekend at The Gathering was mixed. I know I would have enjoyed it more under different circumstances: sometimes I really enjoyed the company of other spinners; other moments I just had to get away and cry.

Since I signed up a couple of months late, I didn't get most of my first choices. My backups were all spinning classes, since that's what I was most interested in learning. I shoulda known myself better. My first and third classes were Beginning Spinning and Hand Spindling, respectively. Now, before you start snickering, I'll admit... I guess I'm no longer a beginner spinner. And, I guess 4 months of spindling before I got my first wheel taught me a lot about spindling. Go ahead, you can laugh now.

In Beginning Spinning, I learned to Andean ply, which came in handy through the weekend. I spent most of the class practicing what I thought might be long draw with clouds of yak I had brought. In Hand Spindling, I took the opportunity to try out the myriad spindles she had on hand. (I really gotta get me a Golding spindle. Niiiiiiice.) And in both classes, I helped someone learn to spin. Which is always cool.

The second class was all I had hoped it would be. Building Your Spinning Repertoire with Bobbie Irwin. We covered a few short draws, point of contact, spinning from the fold, long draw, faux chenille novelty draft and tailspinning from locks. Turns out I had done many of these before without knowing specifically what it was called. And, turns out long draw is not what I thought it was. It was great to learn the specifics, see it in action, and learn tips for each. 

We used wools, including a really nice Finn top that made me love Finn and not hate inchworm true worsted short draw. We also used ramie, silk waste, cotton (for long draw), yak (with guard hairs), and a few others. What fun!

Friday and Saturday evening were Spin-Ins in the same room as the handful of vendors. I wasn't planning to buy anything, but then, well, you know how it happens. I'll just say it's Judy's fault. And Cindy's. I may as well have been following them around. I bought cashmere/silk from Foxfire, a pound of Montadale roving from Christopher Hall, and a light weight Forrester spindle that spins and spins.

The Spin-Ins were easily my favorite part of the weekend. Being in a room full of spinners and knitters, spinning and hanging out, was really lovely. I sat with Judy and got to meet a few of her RI spinning buddies: I sat next to Cindy and Muriel (see Cindy's photo); Marva was in two of my classes; and I picked Beth's brain about the Schacht Matchless. What a nice bunch.

I had zero signal on my cell phone and without it and Internet, I felt out of touch and far away. By Sunday I was ready to come home and get some hugs from Scott. And what a sweetie, he did some more cleaning while I was away. Clearly, spinning and fiber weekends are GOOD for me, aren't they?

It's been raining and grey since the weekend, dark when I leave work, and getting cold for green picnic table photo ops. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do. Mebbe just go back to nighttime flash photos?

In the meantime, PumpkinMama reminded me I owe another bump pic. Here's what I looked like today:


And this one was to prove I still have a waistline:

But it didn't work...

You lookin' at me???

Definitely trick. Tricks of the mind, that is.

I was so sure that today was my blogiversary. Until this afternoon, when I realized, gee, did I really start blogging on Halloween? Surely I woulda remembered that? Yep, I woulda. My blogiversary was actually 10/25, almost a week ago. Hahaha!

A lot has happened in the last year. A year ago, Scott and I were unemployed, just married, and just back from our honeymoon in Atlantic Canada where I learned to spin. (And yes, I did mean to do a spinnaversary post. Maybe tomorrow!). Today, we're employed minutes from home, still married and in love, and expecting:

14 weeks 5 days
14 weeks 5 days

(Woah, nelly, I look so much more pregnant from the outside than when I look down!)

It was easier to blog when I was jobless.

I started blogging to give back to the knitblogging community, to share my projects, and to share the love. I loved seeing what other people were working on, and learning from their tips, successes and mistakes. I found inspiration in their choice of projects and yarns, color combinations, pattern modifications; seeing them make things I never could, never would, never would have thought to, would have wished to. When teaching some coworkers to knit, I enjoyed bringing in my projects to inspire or encourage them, things they could knit with what they knew. I wanted to do the same for other knitters. Give back what I had been getting.

Of course, I didn't realize that spinning would quickly take center stage. I might have picked a different blog name if I did. :)

In the last year most of my fiber arts growth has been on the fiber end. Learning to spin, learning to dye, getting my first wheel, and then second (hehe), buying and processing my first fleece, getting my carder. In the next year I hope to play more with color and fiber blending in spinning. But with a child on the way, I suppose I'll be lucky to have the time and energy to keep doing what I've been doing. Life is changing.

I've met a lot of great people through this blog. And I'm so glad to have become part of a wonderful community. Thank you for reading, and celebrating, commiserating, encouraging and laughing with me.

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