Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Hooboy, it's been so long I don't know where to begin. Let's keep it short and manageable, shall we?

We're alive and well!

Lily is thriving and a real trip to watch. She's got such personality!

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Though most people don't see it because she's become very reserved with strangers. She's learning and growing so fast; loves to dance,

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tells stories, crazy curious about everything, and just started walking across the room.

Walking!
wearing papa's hat

It still amazes me that we all started this way, that we all had to learn to crawl, and walk, and eat.

Motherhood is really hard, harder than I expected (and I expected hard). I think the hardest part has to do with having another person around all the time, someone who needs constant interaction and care. Scott and I are both introverts, and cherish our quiet time. We need downtime to recharge from the day. Learning to be around and interact with someone (almost) 24/7 was exhausting. We're getting used to it, and she doesn't need the same constant interaction now, so it's getting better. But when she goes to sleep, man, do I need my knitting/spinning time!

I wouldn't trade it for anything, though.

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sock shenanigans

There has been a good bit of spinning

Hello Yarn shetland - 2-ply
Hello Yarn Shetland in browns and greens, spun 2-ply

Indigo Moon Merino/Alpaca/Silk - 2-ply
Indigo Moon Merino/Alpaca/Silk, spun 2-ply

and knitting going on (and the usual stash enhancing),

November socks - in progress
November Socks; yarn is Zen String Serendipity Fingering in November

Monkey socks - in progress
Monkey socks; yarn is Shibui Knits Socks in Orchid

even a bit of drum carding.

Drumcarded merino/silk
carded merino and silk

I finished my Skater's Undertop (and wore it to Spa!),

Skater's Undertop - in progress
last pic I took

and Scott's Cobblestone (the week before it got too warm to wear), and I'm in the midst of the ZephyrStyle Tree Jacket in Tess' Designer Yarns Cultivated Silk & Wool.

Tree Trunk: in progress

After seeing Julia's finished sweater, I immediately cast on. The yarn is softalicious, but catches on any scruffy bits on my hands. Now that it's too warm to wear, I'm not as motivated to finish...

I'd like to have some gorgeous finished object photos like Cheryl, but I tell you, finding an afternoon with Scott and I both free and me freshly showered and baby okay on her own is not so frequent. Nevermind the fact that I am in serious need of a haircut. (Lily gets almost twice as many baths as I do showers. I'm beginning to envy her.)

We're heading to MDSW next week, can't wait! I'll be volunteering at the Fleece Show again (guess how many fleeces I'll walk away with?). Lily turns 1 the day we leave. She doesn't know it yet, but she'll finally get to eat some of that ice cream she keeps seeing us eat (I've been able to eat a lot of ice cream while nursing, it will be a hard habit to break).

Hmm, not so short or manageable, but good to be back.

I'm still super-motivated to knit the Skater's Undertop. The yarn is Debbie Bliss wool/cotton that I bought at Webs two years ago. Only slightly marinated (I have things much older in the stash). It feels very cotton-y, but at 50% wool, it's the most wool I've been knitting with lately, so it feels like r-e-l-i-e-f to my hands.

I'm to the armpits on the body:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

and have started sleeve one:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

I love the simple cable detail, and how it carries up over the shoulder to the neck. I also appreciate the in-the-round construction. I like the shape/fit and know this is something that will become part of my wardrobe, even with the wool content (I just won't wear it at home). And the mostly-stockinette knitting is perfect for my current state-of-mind. Ah yes, and the anticipation of the first sweater post-pregnancy. All these keep me going at a good clip.

I know I won't be comfortable with a belly-baring top or 3/4 sleeves so I'm adding length to the body and the sleeves. I've been trying it on as I go, too. I really want this to fit well.

I must be desperate for contact with wool because I picked up Trellis this weekend and doubled my progress:

Trellis - in progress

Sorry for the crappy photo.

I'm getting used to the 7-into-5 stitches, which require knitting the same 7 stitches together 3 times. Addi Lace needles come in handy for these manoevers. But I'm not digging the short rows (I took out a repeat because of my limited yardage. Who buys only 1 ounce of laceweight? Who??). It's hard to get into a rhythm before the row ends and then I have to figure out how to start the next one. Somehow I can't memorize the first few stitches of each row, but I'm golden after that. I feel like this is a project I'm finishing to finish, because I want to use the yarn. Which is fine. It will be beautiful. I just wish I could enjoy the process more.

I've made some progress on Scott's Cobblestone. This is an older picture:

Cobblestone - in progress

I'm almost to the armpits now. The cotton/silk is hard on my hands so I work on it in spurts. Wanting to get this done for Scott keeps me going. Also, occasionally, guilt.

I started Honeymoon Cami in April 2006, lost steam, then got pregnant and wasn't sure I'd be able to wear it afterwards, so it sat. After I got a question on it on Ravelry, I pulled it out to check gauge. I realized I didn't have that much more to go, and that it seemed like it not only would still fit, but would also be flattering. And the colors are great. But perhaps most importantly, I'd be able to quickly reduce my WIP count to squeeze in another project. So I finished it. More non-wool: SWTC Bamboo. Everything is sewn up, just needs a quick block.

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

That Cute Flirty Skirt is knit, washed and blocked. Before:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

After:

That Cute Flirty Skirt

Look how much darker it got!

Just kidding. I almost wore this at Rhinebeck. In the hotel room, with Scott's help, I cable-plied some yarn to make the waist-tie. I even remembered to bring a slip. The only problem was... shoes. Picture the above with slip-on cloggy mocs and handknit ankle socks. Dor-kay.

I finished it to have something handknit to wear to Rhinebeck, and to show Anne. But after I realized I couldn't wear it, I forgot to even mention it to her.  :(

And Cheeky never got a "started" or "in progress" post before all the pieces were knitted up:

Cheeky - in progress

My first time working with Mission Falls 1824 cotton and I find it quite nice. For cotton. This is the 12 month size so I hope Lily will be able to wear it for more than a month or two. Motivation: something cute for her to wear. Lack of motivation (for sewing it up): knowing it's too big for her anyway.

Different projects, different motivations. What motivates you?

Oh my, it's been almost a month, how did that happen? No, wait, you don't need me to tell you. It must be because of She Who Thinks Bedtime Is 5 am. Or, as I like to call her between 1 and 5 am, Miss Fussypants. Sadly, the sleep thing is still an issue. It's not always 5 am, but it ain't good. We're working on it. Meanwhile, she's learning to sit on her own, which I hear will be a nice little break for me for minutes at a time!

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gorilla stance

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She's getting bigger, still 90+ percentile for weight and height. Which continues to confuse me, seeing as Scott and I are not exactly 90+ percentile people ourselves. When I'm at the doctor's office, and I see other little babies that are probably close to Lily's age, or older, I think in my head, "my baby could take your baby." Hehe. Not that I encourage that sort of thing. But it cracks me up. 

You know what else is perplexing? I'm decidedly Asian looking. Right? Dark straight hair, brown eyes, etc. Lily is decidedly not Asian looking. At least, not to me. (Unless you look at her upside down. But that could be said for a lot of people.) I mean, she's got fair, curly hair, with hints of honey. Curly hair, people! She's got long lashes that also curl, not short, stubby and straight ones like mine (lucky girl). She's got funky-colored eyes, which are still deciding whether they're blue, green or hazel. Her skin tone is lighter. I thought dark hair and dark eyes were dominant, so I always assumed my babies would have them. It is still strange to me to see her curly hair and fair skin. (And man, I so do not know what to do with curly hair.) I'm sure I'll get used to it.

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She was 15 lb 11 oz at 4 months. And 26" long. She's wearing 6 month clothes, and she no longer fits into "6-12 month" socks anymore. Hahaha. So not the shrimp I expected.

I probably won't have the time I'd like to write up posts about the odds and ends I'm working on, so let's try a fly-by update.

I frogged and restarted That Cute Flirty Skirt (aka Anne's Sangria; and holy cow, if you follow the first link and scroll way down, my hair is So Long!). It was too tight, and I was embarassed when I realized that my gauge swatch was way off. I begin to wonder if I even measured it, or if I was on crack when I did. A few weeks ago it looked like this:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

and now it's closer to this:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I'm on the last stitch pattern and then I'm home free! I made a few simple mods which I can talk about later.

I also started a sweater for Scott. Second one I've started for him, hopefully first one that is completed (and worn/wearable):

Cobblestone - in progress

That is the beginnings of Cobblestone in Rowan Summer Tweed. Color more accurate here, against the black of That Cute Flirty Skirt:

Projects in progress

Between the Classic Silk of That Cute Flirty Skirt, and the Summer Tweed (both cotton/silk blends), my hands have been getting a workout (and I've been totally craving the wool). Which would be fine, but my right wrist has been giving me problems the last month or so. My doctor suspects tendonitis. I can't even sign my name or write without pain. Typing is easier, but no good at the supermarket. Hopefully it heals soon.

Let's see, what else? I started Trellis using Judy's Ball and Skein silk/merino laceweight. #4 Addi lace needles (I like) and one less repeat because I only bought the one skein. I don't like the 5 into 7 stitch, or 7 into 5, whatever. I don't like it, so progress is slow. But, of course, the colors are gorgeous.

Trellis (scarf) - in progress

Embossed Leaves Socks are done! That will be it's own post. Overall, I like. Not crazy about the toe.

I got my Ravelry invite! I admit that I was one of those people that has been checking the "antsy" page every couple of days and adding my status into an excel spreadsheet so I could project when I might get my invite. (Does that surprise you?) Because of their server move, it came 1.5 weeks early! Not that I have time to do anything with it. Not that that's going to stop me.

There has been some spinning and plying and washing of things spun and plied (and what a difference washing makes). "Tomorrow"!

PS  Thanks for the lovely comments about Lily and the socks! I'm sorry that I can't respond to comments these days. :(  Also, I'm trying to make peace with the fact that I just can't post as often as I used to. When I started the blog, I was between jobs and posted every day. I was doing fibery things every day. When I started working, that went down; and when I was pregnant, more so. Now, with Lily, I'm lucky if I can keep up the every-three-weeks thing. At heart I'm a more-frequently-than-twice-a-month poster. More like twice-or-three-times-a-week poster. It's hard to accept, but I'm working on it. Thanks for your support.

PPS  I gave her Tylenol before her 4 month shots and that seemed to help, as she only cried for maybe 10-20 seconds, and my blood did not curdle. Thanks for the suggestion!

PPPS  I've been working on the BASD website. Check out the meeting dates! First meeting is October 3, second is October 17. We're looking at a couple of cool workshops, so think about joining us!