Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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I finally finished spinning the neverending cormo/alpaca! That little bit in the photo ended up taking closer to 6-8 hours to spin, rather than the "couple of hours" I had guessed. Oy vey. I plied a sample and am looking forward to seeing the rest of it plied up:

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca 2 ply sample

I can't guess how many yards it will be total, but it will be many hundreds. I've already spent 2 1/2 hours plying the main batch, with at least as much to go. I'm trying not to let it get to me, but I tell you, I'm getting really good at counting to 7.

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca 2 ply sample

This little bit is 35 yards and weighs... very little (my regular scale does not do well on the low end):

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca 2 ply sample

I think it will be nice stuff! Naturally, it will (eventually) become something lacy.

With the spinning done, I got the itch to start something else. All that birthday fiber I showed you? I didn't touch it. I wanted to practice spinning worsted weight, so I pulled out this merino I traded with Natasha back in January:

Luxe Merino in Earth and Sea
1 lb Luxe Fibre merino in Earth and Sea

I split it into 8 sections and then tore those into strips and arranged them to get good color distribution:

Luxe Merino in Earth and Sea

The last several months I've been very into fibers combining blues and browns. Something very organic/earthy about it. Then again, lately I've had a few cravings to spin hot pink, too...

I spun a sample and quickly realized that it's been a LONG time since I've spun anything heavier than sport weight. This will take some practice.

I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from startitis because after plying the sample, I promptly stopped and dug around for something else. This is Montadale roving from Christopher Hall that I purchased at last November's The Gathering:

Christopher Hall Montadale roving

I'm not used to spinning roving. Mostly I spin dyed top using a short forward or backward draw. With the Montadale I tried a longer point of contact draw; it was nice to play with a different (and faster) spinning style. This would make good social spinning.

Of course, after a while I got bored and wanted to spin something else. I don't know if I'm having that too-many-choices indecision (so many things I want to spin!), or if I'm having that post-major-project lull after the cormo/alpaca (though it still needs to be plied). I imagine that's more common with knitting. Have you felt it with spinning?

More happy news

I won a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn in Tandem!

Vesper Sock Yarn in Tandem

If you recognize it then you likely contributed to Claudia's MS Ride. Besides being a good cause, I won something last year, so I knew I would be contributing again. Woohoo!

Fall Anklets

Fall Anklets

Fall Anklets
Started:
6/23/07
Finished: 7/4/07
Pattern: basic toe up, same as the Summer Anklets
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino Sock in Origin (less than half a skein)
Needles: 2.5mm Addis
Notes: Me loves the Fleece Artist Merino Sock. Squishy soft, feels so good. Me loves quick anklets. Knit knit knit done!

Me slightly surprised by longer striping sequence in sock #2:

Fall Anklets

Me feet happy.

Fall Anklets

Beaucoup

I mentioned my burgening stash of beaucoup de sock yarn. More evidence:

Fleece Artist Merino Sock

Me loves the Fleece Artist Merino Sock! Origin, used in the anklets, is in the middle. Next pair, already started, uses Jester, second from left. Plain vanilla socks, good for mindless knitting.

How fast she grows!

For Bea:

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My Lily Bear

My birthday nearly coincided with a sale Miss Babs was having on her fibers (she's closing out her handdyed fibers to focus on handdyed yarns), so I went a bit nuts. Here are some of the goodies:

Miss Babs merino/silk in Rose Garden
80/20 Merino/Silk in Rose Garden

Miss Babs BFL in Rock Wall
Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) in Rock Wall

Miss Babs merino/silk in Soft Falling Leaves
80/20 Merino/Silk in Soft Falling Leaves

Miss Babs merino/silk in Deep Triad
50/50 Merino/Silk in Deep Triad

Miss Babs SW Merino batt in Sunrise!
Superwash Merino batt in Sunrise!

I keep thinking about gorgeous colors and spinning and get all excited! And then I look at the neverending white/brown cormo/alpaca on the wheel and sigh.

Must. Finish. Cormo/alpaca!

Thanks for the reassurances that things get easier sooner than 6 years from now. I needed to remember that last night. Over the last 2 weeks Baby Girl has gone from Easy Baby to "Fussy" Baby (which my sister reminds me is really Normal Baby). It's been a combination of gas / night light / overstimulation / overtiredness / heat. Boy, my troubleshooting skills really come into play here.

The night light we bought because the dark scared her, and she'd wake up and freak out. Turns out the night light meant poorer sleep (for all of us). She's been getting used to the dark and my reassurances, so it's become a non-issue.

The overstimulation was from too much fun. Now we know she can handle only so much playing before she is POOPED. (Lifting your head is hard work!)

The overtiredness was from being overstimulated! And when you're having fun, who thinks about sleep?? But then it hits you. And once overtired, man, it's tough to sleep. Now we keep an eagle eye out for signs of naptime.

Heat, well, not a lot we can do there. We're MELTing in this 90's heat. No A/C, either (casement windows). We always toughed it out before, but dealing with a baby in this weather is making us reconsider our options. Any suggestions on portable A/C's?

Gas, well, still working on that one. I've changed my burping technique and that helps. Also, a lot more belly massages and bicycling of legs going on. In fact, I spent a few hours doing that last night. And nursing. Between 11 pm and 3 am. Hence the need to remember that it does get easier!

Still, she's a relatively easy baby, and outside of those late night hours, I'd be quick to say it.

FBS

Much progress has been made on the Flower Basket Shawl:

FBS Redux - in progress

Ha! Bet you didn't expect to see it so grown!

The pattern uses a heavier weight yarn and only requires 6 repeats of the main chart. Naturally, as I neared the end of 6 repeats, I got kinda excited! Until I noticed the shawl was quite, well, tiny. When I checked my first FBS, I counted 12 repeats. 6 of 12 repeats put me at 30% complete. Ouch!

I've been chugging away, and while the rows feel quite long now (almost 300 stitches on the needles), I can feel the end is near. One more repeat and then an edging. Woohoo!

FBS Redux - in progress

Still loving the Sea Silk, but I'm worried the color will not suit my mom. I knit on anyway.

More Fleece Artist!

I needed mindless sock knitting, and I loved wearing my Summer Anklets, so I started another pair, this time in the Origin colorway:

Fleece Artist Sock yarn in Origin
Fleece Artist Merino Sock yarn in Origin

The color in the skein did not translate as expected when wound:

Fall Anklets - in progress

The contrasts between colors seems much sharper. And then the colors in the sock were unexpected as well. I definitely didn't expect striping, since Summer Anklet didn't much stripe:

Fall Anklets - in progress

However, the more I knit, the more I like it.

Sigh, I'm such a newb sock knitter, aren't I?

Spinning

The effort to empty bobbins has begun in earnest. The Spunky Eclectic merino/silk (Thunderstorm colorway) seemed the easiest to knock off. In a few days I spun the second 2 oz:

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm

and then plied:

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm - 2 ply

It needs a washing and whacking, but I am pleased with the results. 3.7 oz, 520 yards, enough for a small shawl. One bobbin freed!

This skein converted me to the treadle counting method of plying. I had always plied "by sight", meaning I'd watch the twist as I treadled and let it wind onto the bobbin when it "looked right". For bulkier and less barberpole-y yarn, this was not so bad. But for hard to see, endless yards laceweight, not so fun. Plus, I think the counting treadles method gives an overall more consistent yarn. I'm sold. (I still kept an eye on how it looked and adjusted my treadle count several times over the bobbin, though.)

Next up, the spun itsy bitsy Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca:

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca

I will really like this yarn (or so I keep telling myself) but the spinning of it is making. me. nuts. Besides pulling out little neppies, the itsy bitsy-ness makes this 4 oz feel neverending. This second bobbin is taking me hours and hours and I still have this much left:

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca

Which, granted, is not a lot, considering what I started with, but still, it probably represents another couple of hours of my life.

Scott said, Take a break, spin something else. But I'm persevering. If I don't finish it now, it may sit for many months more.

Anne was more than a little right (in the comments) when she said my mom took my sanity with her. The Friday after she left, I took Baby Girl to the Fabric Place Knit Club to meet my knit buds. One of the first questions asked: How old is she?

They got nothing but blank stares back. I honestly could not even begin to answer that question. How old is she? She's... What's today? What day is it? Hunh?

Fortunately, I was quickly asked when she was born, an answer I could rattle off without thought, and they made their own calculations. Clearly, my mind is gone, and one cannot have sanity without it...

It was really great to hang out with knitters and mothers. Being able to talk about nursing and motherhood was such a relief, I had no idea how much I was craving it. By the time I left I was exhausted (just going out of the house with baby wipes me out; trying to carry on a conversation while holding her and making sure she's okay? Poop-ed.). In an empty parking lot, trying to get her into the carseat and the carseat into the base, I wanted to cry. Knit Clubber Pauline drove by on her way out to see if I needed help. "Oh, I'm fine!" Automatic response. Followed by a joking (but sounding desperate in my ears), "It gets easier, right?" Pauline said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, much easier now, she's 6 and we just use the booster seat now," while nodding toward the backseat. Me, joking (and sounding ever more desperate), "Just six more years, eh?"

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On the spinning front

It would appear that I'm trying to make up for lost time with the spinning. After 2+ months of wanting to spin but not being able to, I've been slowly catching up. There's the Spunky Eclectic superwash merino plied up:

Spunky Eclectic Superwash Merino in Toronto - 2 ply

(yep, colorway Toronto)

Spunky Eclectic Superwash Merino in Toronto - 2 ply

Turns out that plying is easier to remember how to do than spinning. I think it's a simpler process. Either that, or the process of spinning brought back physical memories of plying and made it easier.

After plying, I decided to spin up some wool/nylon roving (bought from A Touch of Twist at Rhinebeck). For (what else) socks. I spun a small sample back in February at Spa, but wasn't in the mood for it back then. It's a roughly prepared roving with gradual color shifts that lends itself well to quick, textured spinning. Not worrying about "perfect singles" seemed the way to go.

The first oz or 2 went fairly quickly, but then I tired of it. I worried that the small irregularities would feel uncomfortable on the foot and spent too much time trying to minimize them. So much for not worrying.

Spinning for socks requires roughly 4 oz. About 3 1/4 oz in, I realized it would have been clever to start a second bobbin after the first 2 oz. I am now committed to spinning up the full 8 oz:

A Touch of Twist wool/nylon

I wanted to try my hand at worsted weight merino next, but full bobbins prevented me:

Bobbins

From left to right:

Foxhill Farm dyed cormo/alpaca, spun fine - a bit of felting and a touch neppy made for Not so much fun... should I Abandon?

A Touch of Twist rambouillet - some sections of roving feel soft and lovely, but some feel coarse and No Fun to spin; I have 3 pounds of it, what to do?

Foxhill Farm cormo/alpaca, spun fine - ~2/3 done, but requires me to pick out small neppies and generally Pay Attention

Spunky Eclectic merino/silk in Thunderstorm (pretty!), spun fairly fine - needs Some Attention and Time

Time to clear out the bobbins, eh?

With Retro Rib Socks out of the way, I had to cast on for another pair of socks.

I know. I said I wasn't a sock person. I wasn't. But then, the belly thing happened, with attendant unpredictable sweater knitting. And before I knew it, I was in possession of beaucoup de sock yarn. Since then, even more sock yarn has found its way here. From Yarn4Socks.com:

Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sport
various Lorna's Laces

Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Ebony
Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Ebony

Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Ebony
in its full glory

That's some of it. I don't want you to hyperventilate or think me too insane. I'll spread out the photos...

The new socks-in-progress are Waving Lace Socks (also from IK's Favorite Socks):

Waving Lace Socks - started

and the yarn

Handdyed by Sheila of Wool2dye4

was dyed by Sheila of Wool2Dye4. Sheila was my Dye-O-Rama angel, since my pal went AWOL. I wasn't much of a sock knitter back then, so I was considering knitting a shawl, and waited for inspiration. I've been wanting to do something with this yarn all this time!

I wore my Flower Basket Shawl to my birthday sushi dinner, and it was all I could do to convince my mom she could not leave with it. Scott threatened to do a luggage check. She set out to tell me:

  • all the reasons why it was perfect for her (size, color, drape; you know, all the reasons I love it)
  • how much she really really really in-no-uncertain-terms liked it

If I weren't so attached to it, I would have waved bye-bye to it. Alas for my mom, I am. But, the only way I could:

  • convince her not to abduct it
  • feel okay about keeping my shawl

was to show her this skein of Sea Silk:

Handmaiden Sea Silk in Lily Pond

and promise to send her a like shawl in a few weeks. Because, you know, I have all this knitting time now. (Ha!)

I cast on this weekend:

FBS Redux - started

and as before, am enjoying the lusciousness that is Sea Silk. Good thing, because I happened to order some more in an, ahem, recent sale. Ahem.

(It seems that buying yarn is a replacement for knitting when you're time-poor. Don't tell me you don't know what I mean.)

This weekend I also made time for spinning! It's been a couple of months and I was definitely rusty. But, like riding a bicycle, it slowly came back to me. I'm not quite in my old groove yet, but I'm sure I'll get back there eventually. I've got almost 4 oz of Amy's superwash merino spun:

Spunky Eclectic Superwash Merino in Toronto
(see the fiber)

Soon we'll see what I remember of plying.

Level 1 Human

Onesie from here.

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

I had my post-partum check-up yesterday -- everything checks out. What a relief.

We got there a little early. I sat across from a narrow window with a little sunshine. Is it weird that I pulled out a couple of projects to photograph? Is it weird that I brought them with me in case I would find sunlight and a few free minutes?

On the way home Scott pulled over to rescue a baby turtle crossing the road:

We brake for turtles

The Knits

Berry Socks (sock 1) using Artyarns Supermerino, on which I knit a few rows at the hospital post-delivery:

Berry Socks - in progress

I decided on a sewn bind-off for elasticity, but that requires finding instructions, so it's languishing. I should have added an extra couple of stitches to the width; that may also be affecting knit-desirability...

Retro Rib Socks (sock 1) in Koigu:

Retro Rib Socks - in progress

I really like how the yarn color and pattern texture come together on this one. I was stalled for a while because Scott had allergic reactions when I was working with the Koigu (oh the horror). But I snuck in a few rows here and there, especially the last week, and they're done!

This photo is from a while back, but it belongs. Jaywalkers in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Amethyst Stripe: 

Amethyst Stripe Jaywalkers - in progress

Cool striping.

I tried to knit Jaywalkers in the past with Socks That Rock, but it just didn't work for me. I gave up on the combo but not on the pattern. I'm glad I came back to it.

These were finished pre-labor. I initially thought the fit was a bit tight, but trying them on today for photos, they fit just fine.

Finally, 2/3 an alien head (Alien Scarf from Stitch n Bitch) for Scott:

Alien Scarf - in progress

Makes me think of X-Files. Spooky Mulder. Doo doo doo doo doo doo.

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:

IMG_3843

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:

IMG_3827

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?

IMG_3838

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

IMG_3830

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

Isn't my mom cute?

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Happy and sushi-sated:

IMG_3840
(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:

IMG_3764

Yayyyy!

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

IMG_3845

Ahhh. What a wonderful birthday.

We were overwhelmed and touched by your responses to Lily's arrival. Thank you so much.

I don't know that I can express anything approaching "life after baby". Certainly changed. Certainly amazing. Certainly happy. Lily's been wonderful and made the transition so much easier than we could have imagined. At her one week visit yesterday, she weighed in at 8 lb, having gained 5 oz from her birth weight! Needless to say, she's eating well.

IMG_3250
the power of the boob

The nipples, unfortunately, have paid the price, and the past couple of days have been really rough. I know it's short-lived and am soldiering on.

She's also sleeping well at night (don't hate me). She's been surprisingly alert during the day

IMG_3274

and entertains us with her ever changing expressions.

IMG_3198

We marvel at her calmness and seeming curiosity. She's a delight.

IMG_3307

And to keep the gods of irony from striking me down, I'll stop there.

During in-hospital labor, I was able to utilize my theatre training to ride the contractions and let my body do its thing. (Who knew it would come in so handy?) Labor definitely wasn't what I expected, despite being at my niece's birth, and seeing videos and whatnot. But I think it's the kind of thing you can only know by experiencing. (And, thank goodness for the body's chemical that inhibits memory.)

I knit 2, maybe 3 rounds on a sock at the hospital, and a few inches more since coming home; but I've got a few pre-labor knitting projects to show (soon): actual finished Jaywalkers, a Retro Rib sock and the starts of an Alien Scarf. Now that I'm able to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time, I hope to be back to some semblance of blogging. Scott's been home helping out, and when he goes back to work, my mom will be here for a few weeks. It frightens me to imagine what will happen after she goes home... but... I'm hoping that life then will be different than life now (can you say, human milk dispenser?) and that I'll have more mini-chunks of time strung together than I do now. One can hope, right?

New addition

New addition

Lily Sayaka
Born May 1, 2007 at 2:59 pm *
7 lb 11 oz, 21 inches

Mom and baby are happy and healthy, Dad is enthralled. More soon.

Family

* She must have wanted to be born in May; contractions started at 1 am!

Week 40   Week 40

Week 40

Today is my due date. 9:38 pm, I don't think she's gonna be on time. This, of course, is not only typical of first pregnancies, but also typical of me, especially pre-Scott. (My sense of time is... not so good.)

It's been 3 weeks of false alarms, achiness, cramps, general discomfort. And trying to squeeze in a full night's sleep, even in chunks of 2-3 hours, has been "challenging". Still, I'm torn between wanting her out RIGHT NOW, and being a bit afraid of actual labor and even more scared of becoming (gulp) a MOM. The reality is rather... sobering. The last week I've been thinking, "Uh... what?" and having moments of pause. Pre- and early-pregnancy, I figured that I was smart enough and emotionally capable of figuring things out, y'know, as they came up. Even if I didn't know how to be a mom, back then, I figured I would figure it out. Now that that time is practically upon me, I've forgotten the second half of my logic. Me? A mom? Ridiculous! Or if not ridiculous, crazy! Or if not crazy, then... inconceivable!

I suppose it's all opening night jitters. (And to extend the analogy, does she have stage fright?) I'll figure it out. Right? And it's not like I have to know everything right away. I won't need to know this week how to teach her to be a strong, independent thinking woman who can express herself and her emotions. Not right away. Right?

I'm ready to trade in scattered, awkward, uncomfortable sleep for more comfortable yet almost-nonexistent sleep,

Being able to feel her every move with seeing her every move,

Hours of knitting time without being able to knit sweaters with almost no knitting time and a less round belly,

And the worries and fears of labor and becoming a mom with the worries and fears inherent in being a mom.

I'm ready, little goober. Are you?

Still big and round here. And still gaining weight!

Ze Clapotis, she ees blocked:

Clapotis - blocking

Isn't the striping cool from afar?

Clapotis - blocking

The Artyarns Supermerino socks are in a baggy waiting for labor. (My sister helped me to realize that planning projects (plural) to take to the hospital really didn't make sense. But we did reason that taking one project was OK. Just in case.)

The Ribby Cardi I resurrected had the back done. In the last week I've added the two fronts and 2/3 of each sleeve to the pile. I'm making adjustments for row gauge, and I'm not sure how my modifications will work out. I may block what I have of the sleeves to see how the to-armpit length looks.

I'm getting really bored knitting it so monogamously, though. I sooooo want to start knitting a summer top! And all the tops I have in mind need this baby to pop so I have an idea of fit.

So I started another pair of socks, Grumperina's Jaywalkers with the Lorna's Laces Amethyst Stripe. And, color me clueless, but it never occurred to me that Amethyst Stripe would, like, totally stripe.

No photos of those projects, so...

The yarn, it is taunting me

Besides what I bought from Knit Happens' crazy sale, I partook in Yarnzilla's sale and got some goodies. Some Rowan Damask for the little wrappy-do in the lastest Rowan magazine:

Rowan Damask

More Calmer, in Garnet, enough for a top for me! Summer Tweed for something for Scott.

Claudia Handpainted sock yarn:

Claudia Handpainted

and a few skeins of Koigu:

Koigu KPPPM

Mmmmm, Koigu:

Koigu KPPPM

I've not bought so much sock yarn before. Or currently selling yarns for actual projects (never mind Rowan yarns). There are actual current patterns available for these yarns! I'm so used to buying rag-tag and willy-nilly from sales, or getting full bags from discontinued lines; and then casting about for patterns that might work with the yarns. Inevitably, buying yarns without project plans (or ideas, at the very least) leads to yarns sitting around, marinating, waiting for "inspiration" to hit. This is quite a new feeling. It's exciting!

And the sock yarn thing, also new. I've not been much of a sock knitter, especially for fingering weight sock yarns. Finishing the Fleece Artist Summer Anklets did something to me. I always thought knitting socks on #1's or #0's was a bit on the insane side, something that would drive me batty. The Fleece Artist anklets were knit on 2.5mm Addi's. Which, I didn't realize, are effectively #1's. I did it without realizing! So I'm a little less intimidated/daunted now.

(Not to mention, knitting socks SO does not depend on my belly.)

Here's more proof:

Artyarns Ultramerino 4

Artyarns Ultramerino 4 from a sale at Sarah's Yarns (sorry, she's all sold out). I LOVE the colors of the middle skeins. Can't wait.

And I'm officially all budget-monied out. For a while. Quite. A while.

Last week I stopped progress on Summer Anklets because I wanted to photograph the yarn in the skein.

The yarn: Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn, purchased in LK Yarns in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They had a basket of mini-skeins and I was hard-pressed to pick just one. I loved the colors, but it was just 1.8 oz, so I decided to knit anklets.

I knit most of sock 1 and then most of sock 2, and then alternated a few rows on each to maximize yarn usage:

Summer anklets - in progress

I had less than a yard left. Poifect.

In the process, the ball of yarn was unravelled from the inside and out. I was dazzled:

Fleece Artist yarn

Thought of log cabin squares:

Fleece Artist yarn

Marvelled at the unexpected arrangement of colors:

Fleece Artist yarn

Inspiration is wherever you find it.

 

Summer anklets

Summer Anklets
Started:
3/24/07
Finished: 4/14/07
Pattern: A mish mash: Toe up socks with figure 8 cast on (20 sts), increased to 56 sts; Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' short row heels from "Priscilla's Dream Socks" in Favorite Socks.
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn in ... Angelfish?
Needles: #1 (2.5mm)
Notes: These socks make me happy. The yarn feels wonderful and the colors make me smile. This was my first time trying Priscilla G-R's short row heels and while it's a bit fussier to work the turns, it minimizes holes better than my previous wrap method.

Well, here I am, still waiting, still big and round. Here's how I looked a couple of days ago:

At Almost Week 39

(though, to be honest, I haven't been looking quite so cheerful the last couple of days)

I've dropped some more, can you tell?

At Almost Week 39

Between not being comfortable sitting to spin (extra weight in front strains my back), insomnia, and the comforts of sitting with an electric heating pad against my back, I've done a lot of knitting:

  • Summer Anklets are done
  • Trellis is done
  • And now, the knitting on my Silk Garden Lite Clapotis is also done!

I knit a little more than half over the weekend. The final corner looked like this:

Clapotis - in progress

and I decided I wasn't crazy about so much grey and mustard, too dark. So I frogged back to the purple/grey and then worked some magic:

Clapotis - in progress

Less than a yard of the turquoise to spare. The back? Looks like this:

Clapotis - in progress

I got a little sloppy re-knitting the corner, I forgot to drop one of the stitches:

Clapotis - in progress

Oops.

You know I didn't frog back, right? You know I opted to cut and graft?

I took a closely matching length of yarn (has more mustard in it, which you can see below), duplicate stitched for about 7 stitches, cut the original yarn, and re-threaded the original to drop the stitch it should have dropped. Worked! And so much less painful than the last time I grafted.

Clapotis - in progress

Bring it on! I started a pair of plain socks with the Artyarns Supermerino I recently bought, and am tackling another UFO -- Ribby Cardi, started and stopped last October. My WIP count is down to 18; if I wash and block Clapotis, I'll be down to 17. If I ever get in the mood to sew again, finishing Fish Bag will bring me down to 16! I'm unstoppable!!! After Ribby Cardi, I've got another UFO lined up to knock out. Go ahead, Knitting Gods, smite me down! Send me into labor to teach me a lesson!

You may by now know that Scott is on the picky side when it comes to knits. Well, clothes. Well, a lot of things. He's very particular. About certain things. Not only is he allergic to wool, but being colorblind, there are some (ahem, many) color combinations that he just won't wear. What can he say, he likes what he likes. He doesn't ask for much, but when he does, it's a hunt. Or a bit of panic if it's something I need to knit.

During this pregnancy, he's been really wonderful. Picking up things, getting me water, fixing dinner, doing laundry, refusing to let me carry any groceries, shoveling the driveway and clearing off my car in the mornings after a snow storm, etc. And all with nary a grudge, grumble or complaint. So when he asked me to "fix" his slippers so he could wear them, I couldn't refuse.

He loves these slippers, but the bottom padding is so thin that his feet stay cold wearing them. I figured inserting some padding would help. (He also wanted to take these to the hospital, so time was tight and he had to pitch in to get them done.)

Step 1: Inspect slipper
There is just enough space between the bottom of the foot and the top padding to fit an insert.

Slippers Re-Pad

Step 2: Create template
Or, Have Scott create a template from the bottom of the foot. He did this sitting on the kitchen floor. I can't bend forward much anymore. Usually, I like to put knit swatches on the floor to measure the stitches and rows per inch. These days, not so much.

Slippers Re-Pad

Step 3: Cut 2 foam pieces from template
Scott did this too.

Step 4: Create 2nd template for fabric
The foam is 1" thick, so I figured an extra 1/2" around should do the trick. Scott did the work.

Slippers Re-Pad

Step 5: Cut 4 fabric pieces
Scott ironed the fabric. I traced the templates, pinned them out and cut them.

Step 6: Sew fabric pieces
It's been so long since I used my sewing machine, I couldn't remember how to thread it. Good thing I kept the manual.

My first attempt resulted in a lot of extra fabric, so I sewed a second line about 1/4" in and trimmed the excess fabric. Not perfect:

Slippers Re-Pad

but not bad:

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Step 7: Invert sewn fabric, stuff foam pieces in; admire handiwork

Slippers Re-Pad

Step 8: Procrastinate
I don't like hand-sewing...

Step 9: Sew openings closed
I did this during the early hours of last week's false labor. If this was it, and I could still function, I thought I had better get these slippers done so he could take them to the hospital.

False alarm yields finished inserts:

Slippers Re-Pad

Step 10: Stuff inserts into slippers; note happy expression on Scott's face

Slippers Re-Pad

And feet.