Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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When I found out a few weeks ago that my parents would be visiting Lily during my birthday, I immediately decided we were going to Minado for All You Can Eat Sushi to celebrate. It's been MONTHS since I've had sushi. Maybe even a YEAR. What better way to celebrate a birthday than with family and sushi???

Baby girl and I dressed up for the occasion. For months I've been stuck wearing yoga pants and stretchy/roomy t-shirts, and even post-delivery most of my pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit. My hips have grown an irrecoverable 1-2". BUT. While showering (space of creativity) I remembered a skirt that sat on the hips, which now comfortably sits at the waist:

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and a summery button-down shirt that seemed nursing-friendly and color-coordinated. I can't tell you how happy it made me to wear regular clothes. (AND to be showered AND have blowdried hair! Woohoo!)

Baby girl wore Tangerine Cardi and man did it look cute on her:

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I love this pic:

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I had forgotten all about the cardi, thinking it would be weeks before she'd be able to wear it. Newborns grow fast.

The ladybug buttons are too cute. Seeing her in the cardi makes me want to knit another, this time out of lighter weight yarn. (Still no knitting-while-nursing, but I've read more in the last couple of weeks than in the last year!)

What's that on her feet, you ask?

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Pink Converse Chuck Taylors. Of course. From The Gap. Scott saw them and had to have them. They make her feet look huge:

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But there's plenty of room in them to grow into.

Isn't my mom cute?

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Happy and sushi-sated:

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(my brother was able to fly up at the last minute)

Adding to my smile:

My sister and her 2 kids flew up the weekend before. AND she made her fabulous ice cream roll cake. My nephew's birthday is 2 days after mine (turning 2!) and he was so excited when that cake came out! He didn't know it had anything to do with him; I think he found the lit candles exciting. Once he heard his name in the Happy Birthday song, his face lit up even more, and he was thrilled to blow out the candles with me:

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Yayyyy!

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2 weekends, 2 celebrations, the entire family, plus the new family:

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Ahhh. What a wonderful birthday.

Tangerine Cardi

Tangerine Cardi
Started:
3/12/07
Finished: 4/8/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "v-neck cardigan with contrast ribs" from Baby Knits for Beginners, size 3-6 months
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Tangerine Orange, 4 balls
Needles: #6; #5 for neckband
Notes: The main modification I made was to knit the body in one piece to the armholes, which had its complications. I wasn't crazy about how the armpits seamed:

Tangerine Cardi

but in retrospect, I think it looks fine. Scott helped me pick out the buttons:

Tangerine Cardi

Cute, eh?

Overall, a quick and easy knit, if you don't massively screw up like I did.

 

Eyelet Dress
color not accurate

Eyelet Dress
Started:
3/26/07
Finished: 4/7/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "Dress with Eyelets" from Baby Knits for Beginners, size 3-6 months
Yarn: Crystal Palace Cotton Biwa in Magenta (on cone), ~6 oz
Needles: #4; #3 for neck- and armbands
Notes: I didn't quite get gauge (24 sts x 33 rows, vs pattern gauge of 25 sts x 34 rows), so I knew it would come out a little wider than the pattern. To compensate, I added an extra row or two to the bodice length.

Also, the pattern calls for DB Cotton/Wool, which is a drapier yarn. On top of that, I knit the Cotton Biwa on smaller needles than the ballband recommended. Result: a sturdier fabric with less drape. Certainly not cardboard, and perhaps washing will soften it up some. If I were to knit this again, I'd choose a yarn/needle combo that would create a drapier fabric. (I do, however, like the sheen of this cotton.)

Quick and easy knit. I had some problems with the neckband, most likely due to my yarn substitution, but I was very satisfied with my fix. Also, I found the buttonhole placement for the back is too far to the right; I would move it left by a stitch if I knit this again.

Eyelet Dress

I still have to find some ribbon to thread through the eyelets!

 

Ribbed Jacket

Ribbed Jacket
Started:
4/4/07
Finished: 4/7/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "Ribbed Jacket" from Special Knits, size 0-3 months
Yarn: GGH Java in peach (2 skeins) and light peach (1 skein)
Needles: #7; #6 for ribbed collar
Notes: What a quick knit! Since the main body is knit in one piece, there is very little finishing to worry about. My stitch gauge was spot on, but my row gauge was off (27 rows vs pattern 24 rows), so I had to add a few rows here and there to compensate.

The GGH Java feels light and springy and I liked knitting with it. It's not tightly spun, so I am a little worried about strands getting caught on things. I knit this after seeing Elinor's cute version here.

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
front

Tangerine Cardi - in progress
back

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.

Baby's first handknit is gorgeous:

Baby's First Handknit!
Look, Scott, no wool!

and knit by Cheryl! The colors are richer than pictured (she has a better picture here) and the sweater is oh-so-soft in pima cotton/tencel. And I love that it's a non-traditional baby girl color, too. Not that there's anything wrong with pink. :) I can't wait until the little goober shows up so she can wear it. I think that's the point when it will really sink in: Baby wearing handknit knit with love by a fellow handknitter! Thanks so much, Cheryl!

I finally got my butt in gear and started knitting a baby cardi. I made good progress at first:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

I decided to knit the body in one piece to minimize seaming, and made the appropriate adjustment of selvedge stitches. And once I got to the armholes and neck decreases, I added back in the selvedge stitches and even knit the separate pieces all at the same time, so they'd match and be the same length.

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

And that's when the warning bells went off. See those armholes? Don't they look kinda small to you?

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Yeah, even for a baby. I checked the pattern and checked my knit, and had my A-Ha moment, followed swiftly by my Oh No moment. You ready for it?

I began the armholes at the same time I began the neck decreases.

I should have started them sooner. About an inch sooner. About where the stitch markers are. The pattern makes no mention of armholes because, knit in pieces, the side seams are flat, straight edges; and, however wide the sleeves are, they get sewn in, and however much seam that's left gets sewn up for the sides.

Totally rookie mistake.

I could blame it on pregnancy brain and third trimester exhaustion (both valid excuses, of course). Oh hell, I will. I'm almost 35 weeks preggers, for crying out loud!

My two options at this point are to rip and reknit, or do some surgery. Guess which route I took?