Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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It's been a while, I'm not sure I remember how to do this, hehe.

Hope you had a Happy Halloween:

Happy Halloween!

No trick or treating for us this year; I think next year will be our first. Scott's been a "turn the lights off and hide" kinda person, but Lily's softened him up, heh.

Speaking of Lily, here's a pic from September, at 16 months:

Sept 2008

and in October, when she insisted on trying on my sweater (Wicked in Koigu Kersti) with me:

Oct 2008 - Trying on mama's sweater

(She now regularly asks to take off her shirt when she sees my WIP's on the sofa.) 'Course, it took mere seconds for the yarn to be wrapped around her once:

Oct 2008: Trying on mama's sweater

so I reminded myself to breathe and took it off her casually. Dropped stitches? Pshaw, I may forget this when I see them, but they don't intimidate me. (I'm thinking a similar sweater fit to her size would be wicked cute on her, no?)

We made it to Rhinebeck this year! (I had high hopes of finishing Wicked, but it was not to be.) I nearly went a day early and took a carding class, but I wimped out. To make myself feel better, I took the day off work anyway and carded up some washed Romney from a fleece I picked up at MDSW earlier this year (pictured here):

Drumcarded Romney with silk

One pass on my SuperCarder made a nice prep; from R to L, pure Romney; 20% white Tussah Silk; 20% dyed Tussah Silk.

I spun a small sample:

Sample skein; drumcarded Romney with silk

Overplied; but I think it will make a nice sweater yarn. Definitely like the 3 ply on this one.

I digress.

I had a wonderful time at Rhinebeck. On Friday, we went to the Culinary Institute of America and dined in their cafe. We remembered why we don't eat out any more. Having a VERY active toddler makes it much harder to enjoy a meal. But it was worth it.

We only took 1 photo at the festival; we were too busy running around or dealing with crowds or taking care of Lily to pull the camera out. But Friday was more relaxed. After lunch at the CIA, we hung around a bit and took a few pics:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

That's Scott's new toy. Mega wagon. It worked out well at the CIA, but was too large to navigate the crowded barns at the festival (holy crowds, Batman!). Lily did get to nap on it the first day of the festival, though, so that worked out well.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Yes, those are technically capri's. It was on the chillier side, but Lily is always warmer than we are. She's still at 90th percentile for height, but down to 50th for weight. We don't know where she gets it from. It's a mystery. Yeah, the capri's - she goes through clothes shockingly fast. At 18 months now, she's just outgrown her 18 month clothes.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She loves to run away from me:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She hasn't figured out how to climb stairs yet:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Or else she just has way too much fun leaning.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Running down the hill!

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Spinning! It's a bit blurry, but I love my off-centeredness in this one:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Later that afternoon, we discovered the car tire had a slow leak. While we had it fixed, Scott showed Lily a cricket:

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

and she did a good job of being "gentle, gentle" with it.

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

The only Rhinebeck picture:

Rhinebeck 2008: Asleep at last

Ahhh, asleep at last.

The best part of Rhinebeck was getting to hang out with my fiber friends. I've been so out of the blog world and generally out of touch and isolated. It was good to feel welcomed and be part of the community, even for a short while. Thank You!!!

We have yarn!

Handspun by Stefania (but handspun by me) Corriedale/Silk in osage and indigo:

Handspun by Stefania Corriedale/Silk

398 yards, 5.25 oz. Not yet washed and set, but still, yarn. Yay!

Handspun by Stefania Corriedale/Silk

And spun singles:

These are the two bobbins of A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk:

A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk

Some parts were a breeze to spin, and some were rougher roving bits (coarser fiber that was more fuzzed up) that took more work to keep relatively even. There are little slubby bits throughout which will give the finished yarn charm.

About 8 oz and I don't want to think about how many yards of plying ahead of me...

Buoyed by that success and cheered by your comments, I pushed on to finish the second bobbin of Lorna's Laces Sheperd Top in Glenwood:

Lorna's Laces Sheperd Top in Glenwood

The previous bobbin on top, the latest on bottom.

After spinning so much roving, especially the somewhat slubby Rambouillet/Silk, it was comforting to be able to spin nice even singles. It was like, hey, I can spin! Cool! I also had to move my back hand much further back to accommodate the longer fiber length.

One weird thing about the Lorna's Laces Sheperd Top is the ends: they are cut off with scissors, instead of pulled apart. To avoid any short, cut fibers, I pulled out the shorter end bits and chucked them.

The fiber itself is a nice, smooth spin. I have a few more colorways, and like the Glenwood, they all have sequential color series, instead of being randomly or spotchily dyed. I can see myself getitng tired of spinning the colors "in order", spinning to chain-ply, and chain-plying, so I will have to get creative with how I spin the other rovings.

With only the Foxfire Fiber Camel/Silk and Hello Yarn Shetland left, I reluctantly chose the Foxfire Fiber. While gorgeous and luscious, I knew it would take longer and be a trickier spin. The Hello Yarn would be a good carrot to keep me going.

Or so I thought.

When I pulled out my sample card, I realized I was really spinning laceweight on this. Fine. The stuff that takes for-e-vah. Here's bobbin 1:

Foxfire Farms Camel/Silk in Honeysuckle

And I wish this were bobbin 2, but it's just bobbin 1 again, cuz it's so pretty I can't resist:

Foxfire Farms Camel/Silk in Honeysuckle

Again, it felt nice to spin smooth, even singles. Ahhhh. I can spin evenly!

The prep is delish. No felting, very loose. I slowly remembered how I had spun the first bobbin (I make it sound so long ago but it was April). I pre-drafted to a manageable thickness, which was time consuming but, well, manageable. Because of the short and long fibers, I balanced between controlling longer fibers with my pinky and ring finger, and the shorter fibers with my thumb and index finger.

But the spinning felt like cycling uphill into the wind: lots of peddling but little visible progress. Every inch of roving pre-drafted out to at least a foot, which, at laceweight, took a long, long time to spin.

The first 1/3 took over 2.5 hours. Ick. At least 5 more hours to go. Just spinning time! Very disheartening. Very, very disheartening.

In desperation, I tried spinning without pre-drafting. It took some getting used to, but I got the hang of it. Somehow, the next 1/6 took .5 hours, and the following 1/4 took 1.25 hours. Woohoo! Now that's progress I can live with! Another 1.25 hours or so should finish it off! Totally do-able by this weekend.

Please don't mention plying.

The lesson: pre-drafting is not always the best thing, or even necessary. I try to minimize pre-drafting anyway, because it takes so long and, frankly, I'd rather be spinning. Not to say it doesn't have its uses.

Three different projects, three different spinning styles, and what will be three different types of handspun. A good workout!

Like the Yarn Harlot, I may have bit off more than I can chew.

After much internal wrestling, I decided to join the Tour de Fleece. Between the heat and the Mobile One,

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spinning time has been non-existent of late, and the TdF was a good excuse to get back to it.

For my challenge, I wanted to choose something that would push me (ergo, challenge), but something do-able, and useful.

I considered spinning a sweater's worth of yarn out of a beautiful colored Corriedale fleece I had washed, which is high on my list of spinning dreams right now:

Colored Corriedale Fleece

But when I considered:

  • the fleece was only partially washed, and
  • I had not sampled, and
  • I did not have time to sample or wash more fleece AND spin; and furthermore,
  • I didn't know which sweater from A Fine Fleece I would spin for (because that much was a certainty) and sweater choice would affect the type of yarn I would need to spin,

I nixed that idea.

I nixed several other ideas, but finally settled on:

Clearing the bobbins. The Schacht bobbins. All 8 of them.

Certainly challenging, but most likely do-able, and very useful. Besides, one bobbin was clear, 2 bobbins were full and ready to be plied, and one had a very small amount of fiber on it. Totally do-able, right?

I also decided to add a second challenge:

Spin every day, for at least 15 minutes, but shoot for an hour.

That would get me in the right mindset, and perhaps back on track with this whole spinning business.

So. Crazy? Do-able?

The ready-to-be-plied bobbins are 5.4 oz Handspun by Stefania Corriedale/Silk roving in osage and indigo, purchased at MDSW this year. It's difficult to capture the blue/greens and gold tones:

Handspun by Stefania Corriedale/Silk

So much fiber sits around waiting it's turn so I put this on the wheel almost as soon as we got home.

Handspun by Stefania Corriedale/Silk

It's mostly plied already.

Next, 8 oz of A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk roving that I bought at Rhinebeck last Fall:

A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk

A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk

and started spinning at Spa in February:

A Touch of Twist Rambouillet/Silk

I finished spinning it tonight! Only about 1.5 oz of it was previously spun at fingering weight, so it was quite a bit of work. There's still the plying, though...

And here's where it starts to get a bit hairy.

5 oz of Lorna's Laces Sheperd Top in Glenwood, to be chain-plied for self-striping socks:

Lorna's Laces Sheperd Top in Glenwood

Half is done, so 2.5 oz to spin. Thin.

Foxfire Fiber & Designs Camel/Silk in gorgeous Honeysuckle. So soft and yummy, but a tough spin with the long silk fibers and short camel fibers.

Foxfire Farms Camel/Silk

2 oz already spun, 2 oz to be spun. Thin. Lace weight. Hmmm.

And perhaps the home stretch:

9 oz of Hello Yarn Shetland:

Hello Yarn Shetland

Half already spun:

Hello Yarn Shetland

to match 4 oz of this Hello Yarn Shetland:

Hello Yarn Shetland

that you previously saw as this 2-ply (my latest favorite skein):

Hello Yarn shetland - 2-ply

...

Two weeks to go...

...

Crazy, right?

...

Dare I tell you... the final bobbin, the one I laughingly said had only a small bit on it... it's 4 oz Susan's Spinning Bunny Merino/Tencel in Tamarack & Spruce:

Susan's Spinning Bunny Merino/Tencel in Tamarack & Spruce

Beautiful, isn't it? There's only a very small amount spun up. Technically, it could just be "spinning a sample". (Right?)

Susan's Spinning Bunny Merino/Tencel in Tamarack & Spruce

Or...

Maybe it will be my TdF "Bonus Round"...

Susan's Spinning Bunny Merino/Tencel in Tamarack & Spruce

A couple of days ago, despite the heat, Lily wanted to wear my shirt. From some angles, it looks like a long denim dress on her.

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But from other angles... definitely big.

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Dancing! Always dancing!

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Squatting (teehee):

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She's walking so much faster now, especially when she's somewhere she shouldn't be (or heading there). She toted these empty water bottles like suitcases. Girl on a mission.

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Uh oh!

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She wouldn't let go to get up:

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Back on the go!

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And then she wanted to wear the cardigan I knit for her on top of it all. Very cute ensemble, but she was definitely roasting.

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Scott says she wanted to wear my shirt because it was mine. Such a foreign concept to me. I suppose a one year old doesn't worry about fit, eh?

All that running around makes me thirsty, too.

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PS  We're good! Lots of colds and flus and bugs, travel, visitors, more travel, and a computer that keeps crashing on me (which reminds me -- save file now!). Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon.

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.

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7 days

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7 months

Enjoy your weekend!

Remember this handspun?

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm. Last seen unwashed back in June. What a difference a wash and a whack makes.

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

One thing Ravelry is giving me an itching to do is knit up more of my handspun. I want to knit this:

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

into something yummy. I have 2 ideas:

  • Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style
  • the lacy Skater's Top that is designed to go over the Skater's Undertop I'm knitting now (though I don't want to wear them together)

Speaking of the Skater's Undertop, Ravelry also helped me find photos. Veronik Avery has some in her flickr set (Undertop and Lacy Top).

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

I have 520 yards in 3.7 oz. I made a reasonably-sized Flower Basket Shawl out of one skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk (440 yards in 3.5 oz), so I think the shawl would be fine yardage-wise. I'm not sure how the striping nature of handspun would work out, but it's a simple pattern.

The Skater's Top uses 2 skeins of Rowan Kid Silk Haze, which is 458 yards in 1.75 oz. I have more yardage, but I find it hard to believe that my little skein will be enough for a top, even a lacy one.

What do you think? Which would you start?

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

Sunfires

Shortly before Rhinebeck, I took Laurie's "challenge" to heart and thought hard about what Rhinebeck knitting I might bring. I don't knit socks enough to stalk indie-dyer websites. What did I have that was unique? And then it hit me: handdyed handspun self-striping chain-plied yarn in fiery colors. What could be more fitting?

Navajo-plied Sunfires

Naturally, I was too preoccupied with Lily to knit a single stitch.

Navajo-plied Sunfires

The yarn stayed in my bag until 2 nights ago. And started to become socks:

Sunfires Fantastic - in progress

The pattern is Welt Fantastic from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm not sure if the pattern interferes with seeing the color gradations from light to dark and back again. Here's the other side:

Sunfires Fantastic - in progress

What do you think? Patterned? Plain?

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?

Thanks for your kind words about Gram. They were virtual hugs, understanding pats, sympathetic looks and squeezed hands that shored my spirits. I'm glad that so many of you mentioned you could feel my affection for Gram through my previous posts. Somehow that makes me feel better. And you're right, when I have this to enjoy:

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there are more smiles in my day.

I feel so behind -- Rhinebeck (where I had a wonderful time and wished I could have spent more time with people but was so glad just to be there), Rhinebeck goodies (3 fleeces!), knitting (That Cute Flirty Skirt is done! and I was so crazy about the cabled Layered Skater's Undertop from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style that I immediately bought the book -- we're reading it above -- raided the stash, swatched, and cast on), spinning (many squishy skeins to share), and even a little fleece washing (um, did I mention the 3 Rhinebeck fleeces?) and drumcarding! Maybe this long weekend is a good time to catch up?

On sleep. Hahaha.

Here's a teaser of things to come:

Drumcarding fun

The 3 rovings in front are white 100's merino and dbpg silk in blues. Would you believe it's the same blue silk as this carder 'speriment???

Darker roving in back is charcoal merino/silk, dbpg silk in reds, white alpaca fleece washed by moi, and white cashmere! Sooooooft.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a while and there's been a lot going on. But the reason I'm back today is one of the reasons I've been away.

Gram died. October 31. She was getting worse over the summer, bounced back for a short time, caught pneumonia one day and gone the next. It's been a heart-wrenching 3 year journey with the Alzheimer's, and I'm glad she is now at peace.

Lily met her twice, at 3.5 weeks and then a couple of weeks before Gram passed away. At the last meeting they really hit it off. Lily wanted to jump on Gram and play. They held hands and made faces at each other. The memory still makes me smile.

I was afraid I would totally freak out when I saw her at the wake, but I didn't. I thought I would totally fall apart at the funeral but I didn't. When I cried after the funeral, Lily tried to cheer me up by smiling and reaching for my face. Inside I still feel screaming and writhing agony that comes and goes. I've been mourning her for a couple of years as she's been slowly fading away. I'm glad I knew her before the Alzheimer's.

She has enriched my life, been the grandmother I couldn't have, and I've been able to do for her as I couldn't for my own grandparents. She will be very much missed, and her memory will live on through us.

Me n Gram, Thanksgiving 2006
Thanksgiving 2006

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!

Jaywalkers in LL Amethyst Stripe

Amethyst Stripe Jaywalkers
Started:
4/24/07
Finished: 4/27/07
Pattern: Grumperina's Jaywalker Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Amethyst Stripe
Needles: 2.5mm Addis
Notes: These were finished 4 days before Lily was born, photographed a month later, and then left to languish. I wanted to write a short something with the photos and it's been more than I could handle, organizing these simple thoughts. (My notes say I knit these in 4 days. I find that hard to believe. Then again, it was 4 days before Lily was born, and she was a week late...)

The first time I attempted Jaywalkers, it didn't end well. Funky pooling and the wrong needles. I've wanted to knit a pair since then, and these Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Amethyst Stripe were just the ticket.

Jaywalkers in LL Amethyst Stripe

I mentioned before that I didn't realize the Amethyst Stripe would, uh, stripe. We'll conveniently blame that one on the pregnancy. (Nevermind that I bought the first skein a year ago.) Speaking of which, the skeins were bought a year apart, different dyelots, but they match quite well:

Jaywalkers in LL Amethyst Stripe

I screwed up the double decreases and didn't realize until I had knit several inches:

Jaywalkers in LL Amethyst Stripe

I left it. It's fine. I'm lazy.

I'm pleased with the striping. The fit is tighter at the heel, requiring a few seconds longer to pull on; but snug and comfortable when worn.

Jaywalkers in LL Amethyst Stripe

Happy socks ready for fall!

I don't think my brain can put together too many words today, but I'll give it a try.

Had fun at Fiber Revival! Glad I went! Good to see fiber friends! Nice weather, though windy. Scott went and watched Lily, yay! Lily enjoyed wind; sun, not so much. Got some alpaca fleece, reddish-brown, soft. Cheryl enabled. Will blend with merino and silk. Yum. Looking forward to Rhinebeck and more fiber fun!

Phew.

Here are some pics:

At Fiber Revival

At Fiber Revival

At Fiber Revival
Lily wearing the sweater Cheryl made for her

Seriously, I wasn't sure I'd make it. Lily has been sticking to her new 5 a.m. bedtime. Which would be fine (um, really?), except she doesn't want to go to bed at 5 a.m. She wants to go to bed at 8 p.m. Or 9 p.m. Or 10 p.m. Or, well, you get the picture. But she can't. sleep. (We suspect early teething.) She's become quite vocal about it too, whining and fussing. You'd need earplugs if you were in my head, I'm screaming, "SERENITY NOW!!! SERENITY NOW!!!" And trying to remember that, this too shall pass. And that she's not doing this to me. Oy. I'm thinking, This whining has got to go. But hey, I should get used to it, right? It ain't going anywhere for a while, eh? ("Serenity Now!!!") She was up til 7 a.m. Saturday morning. And if I hadn't missed every last fiber event this year, I would have been sorely tempted to stay home, sleep, and cry. But I knew that I would feel defeated and sunk down and cry anyway if I didn't go. I needed to go. I needed to be "among my peoples". Even if my braincells were only firing every other minute. Even if I wasn't sure I remembered how to carry on a conversation with adults. Even if I'd only be there for a few hours. And I'm so glad I went! It was a beautiful day, a lovely location, and it was so good to see fiber friends, hang out, talk the fiber. The wheel with its half dozen spinning/plying options, as well as two knitting projects, stayed in the car. Seriously, me spinning or knitting and carrying on a conversation? Ha! The alpaca fiber, seriously wonderful. Darker than I was planning, but I couldn't walk away without some. I felt so good on the drive home. Refreshed. You know those blurbs at the beginning of some shows, parodied by Sesame Street? "Brought to you by the letter 'E'"? Well, the day was brought to me by Scott. Couldn't have done it without him.

At Fiber Revival
flying Lily

At Fiber Revival
at the end of the day

At Fiber Revival
even superheros need a nap

At Fiber Revival
er, power nap

Three weeks seems to be my manageable post-interim. How sad.

With empty bobbins comes the need to fill them:

Miss Babs BFL in Rock Wall - singles
Miss Babs BFL in Rock Wall - for 3-ply

All of them:

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in The New Black - singles
Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in The New Black

Every last one:

Miss Babs SW Merino batt in Sunrise! - singles
Miss Babs superwash batt in Sunrise! (color SO not accurate)

Big projects require more brain cells (and time) than I have to spare, so socks in plain:

Jester socks - in progress
plain sock in Fleece Artist Merino Sock yarn in Jester

and fancy:

Embossed Leaves Socks - in progress
Embossed Leaves Socks in Koigu KPPPM in P323

With limited time for creative outlet, I've been at least trying to match sock yarns to patterns as well as I can. The Fleece Artist in Jester is too busy for patterning, so that was an easy decision. For Embossed Leaves, I thought the "leafy" Koigu colors would be a nice complement. But I'm not sure if the darker colors obscure the leaves; and perhaps it's too literal, too:

Embossed Leaves Socks - in progress

Ah well. Sock one was finished at the Yarn Harlot signing in Burlington, MA a couple of weeks ago, and sock 2 is almost done. I think I like 'em anyway.

I do have one bigger project on the needles. Needed something after finishing FBS. More soon.

It's been an eventful almost-3 weeks. (Of course, any almost-3 weeks with a baby is bound to be eventful.)

First, she had her 2 month appointment. My, has she grown! I mean, you can kinda tell in the photos, but... She was 12 lb 1 oz and 25" long! 90th+ percentile. She got some shots and boy, did she scream! It was kind of refreshing in a way. She's been such a quiet baby, not crying too much, so it was good to know that she could belt it out if she needed to. Scott was totally unnerved, poor guy. Me, I laughed and joked with the nurse. Because, well, it was an unavoidable situation, and there was nothing I could do, and if I didn't see the humor in the situation and stay objective, I'd probably be crying too.

The next couple of days Lily didn't feel so great, low grade fever, etc. Poor kid. Didn't sleep so well at night. And then there was the heat. She stayed up until 6 am several nights in a row, and drank often. Then we got a cool night and she slept through it, thank goodness. But it was all downhill from there.

After a couple of good nights it started up again, only this time, it was 8 am and nursing every 1.5-2 hours (I joked that she was getting ready for college, pulling all-nighters and drinking too much... but really, not so funny), sleeping no more than 30-60 minutes at a time and not falling asleep after nursing. The power of the boob was no more. She slept during the day, but that didn't help me at night. Nor was it enough for her, and she started getting baggy eyes. Babies should not have baggy eyes! Finally, after almost a week and no signs of improvement (and in fact, signs of it getting worse), I took her to the doctor to rule out any physical issues. She checked out perfectly healthy (and weighed 12 lb 12 oz!): her circadian rhythms are out of whack. So we stayed up a few hours more before crashing and by then she was so exhausted (as was I) that she (drumroll!) slept through the night! And she's been sleeping through the night since then (knock on wood).

But now, she's not napping during the day. And everything that used to work to get her to sleep before, not only does not work, it upsets her! Oy vey. I'm beginning to understand that, with babies, and probably children in general, you don't fix one problem without gaining a new one. That is, you trade in one set of trials for another, and it goes on, and on, and on... I don't quite have a working knowledge of this yet, as I believe that, once I do figure out how to get her to take more than one 60 minute nap between 8 am and 5 pm, I'll breathe a sigh of relief, pat myself on the back, and think I'll have some kind of respite. Newb.

Still, she's healthy, and pretty happy when she's not exhausted from the not napping (and when I'm not using the old going to sleep methods - so "last week"); I'm just shy of exhausted and mentally kaput; in short, welcome to motherhood!

(Oh yeah, did I mention I've been working from home part-time the last month? One word: challenging. Good bye, weekend, nice knowing ya.)

She's been getting good at batting the dangling toys on her bouncy seat:

IMG_4330

IMG_4332

and one day she started to grab them, too. Now she regularly holds "red bird" with one hand while knocking around "blue fish". She reached for her dolly, too:

IMG_4321

It's amazing how they can suddenly do new things, isn't it?

Oh oh oh! And she laughed for the first time yesterday!

Supposedly this is a fiber blog, and there has been fiber activities going on. But I'm pooped. So I'll show you a glimpse of the finished cormo/alpaca and save the rest for "tomorrow": 

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca 2 ply

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