Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dear Harlot,

Do you remeber when I wrote you last year that I was pregnant? (See previous post). Baby Gabriella joined us this winter and is a happy, healthy baby.

Except that she was tongue-tied. Very painful for me when breastfeeding! But I rented a breast pump. persevered, and as it turned out, that was the least of our problems.

After some seemingly awful indigestion during my pregnancy and postpartum, I learned I actually had gallstones. This is commom in pregnant women, but no one told me! Surgery was when Gabby was 8 weeks. Good thing I had rented a breast pump!

On the day of my surgery, Mike came home from a business trip with a broken wrist. My mom moved in to help. The day after Mike had his cast removed, Gabby and I were in a car accident. Unbelivably, I broke my wrist. Thankfully, Gabby is fine.

Now all of that is bad -- stress producing, really. But the real kicker is the lack of knitting in my house. Since breaking my wrist 4 weeks ago, I have knit these things with one hand -- a modified continental stitch, if you will. There is a stripey dress for Lizzie's knitted babe (knitted, but not finished), another stripey dress cast on, and the beginnings of a garter stitch bib.

To make matters worse, my baby is out of hand knits to wear! The last sweater I knit her was made of superwash wool, but felted in the wash!

When I read your recent postings about the beautiful baby sweater you knitted, I was tempted to order a kit. But really, I can't imagine I could actually knit it! So dear Harlot, if you find yourself with more sweaters than babies, consider the hand-knit needs of Gabriella. She would apreciate the gift and make a terrific model!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Since you noticed . . .

Well, a couple of you have noticed my Birch shawl in lime Kid Seta. Doesn't take much to encourage me! I'll finish the story.

City Knitting and the capable Lorilee still had another ball of lime Kid Seta in stock. So while the Knitting Olympics were over, I was able to finish the shawl. I love it.

Last Sunday my friend Diane and I headed out to Ann Arbor to see the Harlot. I brought the shawl. The Harlot had recently been told that she could knit Birch in 2 skeins. I scoffed and showed her my four skein shawl. She noticed my "big" guage. Well fine.

Production knitting and summer don't go together. Especially when you're 41 and you just find out you're pregnant five years after your husband's vasectomy. (sob) But I picked up baby knitting materials in Ann Arbor and I have a few things on the needles.

The first is another shawl. This one is from the Vogue Knitting 2005. I'm knitting it in a purple handspun mohair blend and on much smaller needles. The pattern calls for size 9 needles and I'm using size 6 needles.

There are only four pattern rows, but I keep making mistakes! I think I'm having trouble focusing -- see paragraph 4. (sob)

Part of my reason for making this shawl is that I think it may be good for nursing in public, which I believe in as much as knitting in public.

Also on the needles is a Knitted Babe for my babe, Lizzie. I'm to the stuffing part, but haven't quite finished that up. The babe currently looks a little like a voodoo doll with the needle stuck in its neck.

Off to sit with Lizzie. I just took her temp and she's at 101. Oh boy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

So close and yet so far

The Olympics are over. Birch is not.

On Saturday afternoon I got to the last 100 stitches on the needles. Happiness!

But do I really have enough yarn?

I did a little measuring. I did a little figuring. And I estimated I would get to the sixth pattern repeat left on the needles before I ran out. I held my breath through Sunday. I got to the 5th pattern repeat.

Sigh. I considered binding off and saying "when the olympics are over, the shawl is over."

That's not going to work for me. I'm off to find some Kid Seta in lime.

Monday, February 20, 2006

1, 2, skip a few, 99, 100!

Birch is 100 stitches lighter!

While this doesn't seem like much, I roughly calculate that this is about 55% through the project. It's going to be a tight finish.

In other news, Friday night was the Daddy Daughter Dance at our local school. The Lockwood Daddy and Daughter team were signed up, but Lizzie succumbed to mom's cold early Friday morning. Bravely, or maybe just because she was excited to wear her new clothes, Lizzie donned her dancing apparel and waited for papa to get ready.

With hair curled and lipstick applied, Daddy emerged for a picture . . .

...and Lizzie decided to stay home. Ah, well.

The next night was Molly's turn. She and friend Roo dressed in their finest and dined at the local upscale eatery with 20 of their closest friends. Ah, homecoming.

The real travesty of the weekend was the loss of a trip to Chelsea on Saturday. Every year, 6 to 10 women pile in a van and motor across the State of Michigan to attend the Shepherd's Flock wool sale in the Chelsea middle school cafeteria. Afterward we head over to the Common Grill for the most delectable lunch! This is my absolute favorite day of the year.

But this year Lizzie was sick and Mike had to work, and I just didn't feel comfortable leaving a sick girl home with sleeping teenagers, so I skipped the fun. I'm still grieving. Ah, %#*motherhood.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I did manage a little knitting yesterday, but there doesn't appear to much difference in how the work appears.

So how about some pictures of past projects?

This project is Lizzie's gloves. After she rejected the felted mittens I made her because they don't bend enough, and then lost a pair of gloves, I boldly knitted her some gloves only slightly modified from the Weekend Knitting (Falick) book. I added some pink rings throughout the glove to add some interest. When I got to the fingers, it occurred to me to add one ring on the ring finger and toss in some beads. She loves them!

Here is Lizzie's knitting. I cast on 10 stitches for her and she is only at about 13 stitches. Not bad for a 7-year-old! I have to say, I'm quite proud.

For Christmas, Mike received the Beverly Galeskas knitted clogs. Unfelted. (I'm still stuck for a felting machine). When I finally did felt them, Mike wasn't with me, so I stretched and pulled, and they're a little big. But they're still nice looking, aren't they?

Shhh! Don't tell. This is my mom's Christmas present -- The B4 Bag. Unfinished. It was almost finished, but it didn't seem very big and I had almost half the yarn left, so I ripped it all out and started over. Twice. I still don't think it's tall enough. So I'm going to add another section after I buy more beads. That could take a while. I really don't like how the yarn is knitting up, but I'm forging ahead.

I'm still dreadfully sick. Hoping for a snow day tomorrow so I can recuperate one more day before getting back to my life responsibilities.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And we're off!

Picking up the challenge from the Yarn Harlot, I have taken on knitting up Birch from Rowan Magazine No. 34 in lime by February 26.

I have knit Birch once before. Last summer I had planned Birch as a June project and began knitting her in liqueur. I had some trouble. Thank goodness for other Birch knitting bloggers! I didn't have much success until I started using straight needles and, misguidedly, I knit Birch on size 6 needles rather than the called for size 8. As you can imagine, Birch was a little snug.

So I gave it away and vowed to pick up Birch again in a color better suited to my complexion.

On Friday after school, I hustled over to City Knitting to pick up some Kidcrack Haze in just any sort of purple color. No deal. No Kidsilk Haze and no purple.

They DID have Kid Seta in lime. Which works for me.

On Friday night I managed to cast on the 299 stitches and knit an entire pattern repeat. I think it took me two hours. My goal for the first five or six repeats is one a day. Which I was meeting . . . until last night. I have the worst cold ever. I couldn't even knit last night -- I just laid on the sofa, sleeping and waking, aching and sneezing. Ugh!

On Sunday I discovered I dropped a stitch. I tore into it and took out stitches, knitted them up again, until I fixed the dropped stitch to perfection. Monday night I discovered another dropped stitch, but simply laddered it back up and really, you can't tell. Frogging back is too risky for the Olympics.

So here we are at 3.5 pattern repeats:

Part of the challenge of Birch is knitting with the thread like, whispy yarn, in lace. So in preparation, I first knit a lace poncho with a DK weight handsput yarn:

Then, over Christmas, I acted on some summer inspiration, and knit the Vintage Capelet for Lizzie in Kid Seta Pink.

LeAnn's pony project was the inspiration. When Lizzie saw her version on the computer, she knew she had to have it! I knit it as written, however, but in that laceweight stuff. She is set for Easter.

My favorite tip for knitting Birch is to use stitch counters every 10 stitches. That way, if you find yourself short in stitches at the end of the row, it's easier to find where in the lace pattern to start looking for the mess up. One of my typical mistakes is in row 7. I sometimes fail to psso. When I know which set of stitches to look for, it helps me to make up the mistake later. My stitch counters are the cheapest thing ever -- they are orthodontic rubberbands I stole from my daughter. Her braces are off, she doesn't need them anymore. I don't know what I'm going to do when I run out. Maybe I'll have another kid ready for braces! Hmmm. I think it would be less expensive to buy something else.

The flame is burning and the knitting is waiting. I'm off!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Finished Felting

In my quest for a top-loading washer, I visited the laundromat. I plunked in my $2.25 and tossed my hat and soap in the washer. The laundromat does not offer hot water, nor does it offer heavy duty wash.

Nothing happened.

Sure, things were a little more fuzzy, but basically there was no change to the hat.

I enlisted the help of Kathy who sudsed it up, agitated it heavily, and used some hot water.

Presto, shrinko! The hat now fits Lizzie.

Figures. I'm knitting another hat. Where the pattern said to cast on 110 stitches, I cast on 150 stitches. As soon as I find another kind-hearted friend, I will show you the results.