Saturday, December 30, 2006
On the ride, I managed to get a pair of cabled mittens beyond 50% complete. Knitting once it got dark was challenging and required the occasional use of the overhead light, but it was easier than I expected. I was working with Koigu KPPM, which was a good choice because it is tightly wound and not at all splitty. The slowest part was the cabled rows, but the progress I was able to make was good.
Since the cabled mittens were my grandmother's present, when we arrived I finished up the fingerless gloves that were almost done and I cast on for the bengal striped felted slippers and got through the heel before bed. During the day Saturday I continued on the cabled mittens while we drove around town and I finished the slippers so that they could be felted Sunday morning.
Despite not feeling well overnight (and not sleeping well) I managed to finish the cabled mittens in the morning and the 75% complete fair isle mittens in the evening. The last pair of fetching gloves for Christmas night didn't get started until we finished opening presents on Christmas morning. If I would have been feeling better on Christmas Eve, I would have started them sooner and wouldn't have cut things so close...
As it was, I spent the entire drive from Dayton to Johnstown knitting, and I was slowed down considerably when it got dark. By the time we got there, I had finished all but the thumbs. After my sister-in-law opened them (and loved them), I finished the thumbs. So, by the time Christmas came to an end, the Christmas knitting was done. :-)
I even managed to wash and block everything and photograph everything but SIL's gloves. Although a few things were still wet when they were opened. ;-)
Photos soon. I have things to paint and clean-up around here.
Friday, December 22, 2006
On the knitting front, I'm not done yet. Two projects are nearly done, two are not started and one is about 30% complete. The two not started are FuzzyFeet and Fetching (both from knitty). Both are patterns I've made before and both are for people that I won't see until it is time to gift them. So even though it is more stressful that I would like, I think I will make it. :-) I hope.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you and your families!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
My back hurts. Not constantly all day, but enough that it was hard to stay focused this morning. This afternoon has been better, but I've had more things to do up and about.
Must take photos of the baby's room tonight to show family this weekend. It's not done, but it is far enough along to show our progress.
Next week I hope to make more progress - finish the painting (including the "mural"), get the doors installed (with help from R) and probably buy some of the things that we haven't received yet.
We had our hospital tour on Tuesday night. Fewer unknowns are a good thing. The Labor and Delivery Rooms are pretty big and aren't too far from the main waiting room for when R needs to visit anyone who is waiting. The post-partum rooms seem nice, too, though they are not large. But I guess that keeps us from being overwhelmed with too many visitors at once.
Last night we took a private childbirth class. I'm confident that this was the right decision for us. Though I admit at being intrigued at the contents of a "regular" lamaze class and how it might differ, especially since it wouldn't have been tailored to our needs. The woman we took the class from has been a doula for over 20 years and was a wealth of knowledge. Even though I know there will be much of the process that is unexpected and unpredictable, having an understanding of an "average" labor is comforting. So is understanding out options and choices that we can make.
She had a very quiet day on Monday which was kind of freaky. There hasn't been a day when I've felt her moving all the time, but there have always been "active" periods. Monday, I had to sit with my hand pressed against my belly in order to have the reassurance of feeling her move. It was an unpleasant day and I'm glad she's back to her "normal" now.
We're taking an infant care class the first week of January and I have a book on the shelf to read about breastfeeding. I'm hoping that those two things will help us feel "ready". (I don't think we'll ever really be prepared for how things are going to happen or change, but a little understanding of the parameters should make us both feel better.)
I'm totally in maternity clothes now, with the exception of a few shirts I can wear under longer things. I'm happy that all of the maternity stuff still fits for the time being.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I finished the knitting on the big Christmas surprise last night. Tonight will be blocking and continued knitting on the 5 projects left. They're all small. It's going to be tight, but I should be able to knit most of Saturday and some of Sunday, the only trick will be not working on projects in front of people who are receiving them. :-) I was correct, I feel much better now that the big project is done. Despite the number of items not finished, I'm still convinced that I'm in better shape than last year. Also, except for one December birthday present (that I wasn't going to send until next week anyway), all of the shopping is done as of lunchtime today. The amazon.com items won't be here until tomorrow or Thursday, so wrapping will commence on Thursday night concurrent with packing.
An additional apology to those of you who don't care about my knitting, but except for our hospital tour this evening and childbirth class tomorrow night, all of my non-work time will be spent knitting and wrapping presents until all the presents are handed out. If you want something to look forward to, I have an idea for a long holiday-related post for next week as well as some nursery pictures. For the knitters, I'll try to post some pictures of finished knitted objects next week, too.
Monday, December 18, 2006
2) Saturday we became a 2-car family. We bought a 2006 Jetta in platinum. Tonight I'm taking it back to the dealer to have an iPod adaptor installed, so at least in the new car we won't have to suffer through the unpredictability of the FM transmitter anymore. Should make for pleasant holiday driving. The car also came with 3 free months of XM satellite radio, so we have options. Don't know yet if we will continue the subscription.
3) Saturday night R's aunt hosted a family holiday get together. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to join us, but those of us who attended had a very nice time. We haven't seen enough of R's family since his grandmother passed away a year ago August, and I'm very appreciative that his aunt and her partner have hosted two family get togethers this year for us all.
4) With all of this activity, I didn't have quite the extent of knitting time that I had been expecting. I had all evening Friday, a couple of hours in the middle of Saturday and a few hours in between laundry, errands and online shopping on Sunday. I made good progress, but the christmas knitting is still a little scary. But, I have all but three presents now purchased, and I picked up wrapping paper this morning, so I have faith I can pull through without losing too much sleep. I think once I get the big, secret project finished I will feel much more confident.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
A non-reader of the blog is getting these (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTcorazon.html) mittens from me for christmas in teal and brown cascade superwash. So far, I am loving them and think there will be a pair for me in the future. I really need to work more fair isle into my life.
I have an orange variegated and a black yarn for another non-reader that was going to become another pair of fetching gloves...but now I think they might become some sort of fair-isle fingerless gloves. We'll have to see if I can find a pattern or if I'll have to quickly make something up myself.
In addition to finishing the secret christmas knitting, I also have a variegated worsted yarn that was going to be fingerless gloves but might become mittens. The color repeat is pretty short, and I think it looks best in plain stockinette, which I don't think lends itself to something like fingerless gloves that wants to be stretchy and form-fitting. I also have a sport weight hand-painted yarn that also is destined for gloves. I have a cabled vogue pattern in mind, but I might need something simpler with the variegation. I'm tempted by the lace fingerless mitts in the most recent IK, but I fear that they won't be warm enough for the recipient.
Lastly, there are the bengals slippers. I've been putting these off because they need to be designed. I realize this is not the best strategy. And then there is the finding of presents for all of the people I'm not knitting for.
Lots to do with less than 2 weeks to go. The knitting is totally doable, especially since I've been weaving in ends and blocking as I finish projects instead of saving it all for the end as usual. It's the buying and wrapping I'm having concerns about. I think it's clear that no decorating of the house is going to occur this year.
And somehow I need to prevent myself from working on the baby's room or cleaning up my office until after christmas...
* IT stolen with love from the yarn harlot.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I feel like I don't have the time or the writing stamina at the moment to do the post that the weekend deserves.
Let me just say that my shower on Saturday was awesome. It was everything I wanted it to be and everyone who came was exceedingly generous. I feel a little more confident now that we have some of the things we need to have for Miss M's arrival, and more and more it is sinking in that this is really happening.
It was also fabulous to get to spend time with two of my friends that I have known the longest (it seems wrong to say oldest friends, since they are both younger than me). Rebecca (sadly blogless) came in on Friday night and Katie (Shades of K) drove in on Saturday a couple of hours before the shower. We do a reasonable job of keeping in touch via email, phone and blogs, but there is nothing like an in-person visit. I'm very grateful that they could come. The only thing that would have made the weekend better would have been more time to spend together, but R and I were so pooped yesterday that I don't know that we could have enjoyed their presence if they would have stayed longer. :-)
Now, the question is where do we put the things that don't belong in her room? Shall we just leave the car seat in the foyer until February...?
Friday, December 08, 2006
1 - My iPod has been playing holiday music all week. Love those Carols for a Cure CDs. (www.broadwaycares.org)
2 - I'm fighting a very strong urge to peek at the baby registries. I know I shouldn't, and I haven't really wanted to...until I thought about it yesterday. Maybe I could just delete internet explorer from my computer for the day to diffuse temptation. :-)
3 - I frogged the fetching gloves and started over on the bus this morning. The cables in pattern aren't the right size and length for what I was going for. I started again and I'm getting the look I want now. I expect I will make more cable changes on future pairs.
4 - I have stopped caring about disturbing the cats when they are sleeping in the bed at night. When I'm feeling generous, I pet them before turning over. But it is hard enough for me to turn myself over without worrying about the comfort of two furry creatures that can fall asleep anywhere, anytime.
5 - I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend and I'm ready for the workday to be over now.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I have a desire to post, but I can't think of much to say, really. Felt the same way yesterday. That should probably be my clue not to post, but I can't help myself.
I really want to write about the great progress I've made this week on the secret christmas knitting. But, alas, I can't.
Let me just say that the i-cord bind off is very attractive, but very time consuming. Also, I've surprised myself. I always thought I would want to poke my eyes out if I tried to duplicate the same pattern too many times for christmas presents. Turns out I just need to provide a variation for each one in order to keep myself entertained and I'm fine. Variegated yarn, 2-color knitting, add beads, change the cable pattern, change the length. One simple change each time seems to be enough to keep me happily knitting.
So far, at least.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Not a very exciting weekend to report on, overall, though it wasn't bad. It wasn't as relaxing as I had expected because I had to work on the hours I needed to make up from taking Monday off (I was out of sick days).
Friday night I started sketching on the wall area I plan to paint in the baby's room. Although when the furniture was delivered on Saturday, I discovered that the crib was wider than I had remembered...so my sketch needs some revision before I start painting. I'm now thinking that the painting won't occur until my week off between christmas and new years, because I need to spend the next few weeks getting ready for christmas without running myself ragged.
Saturday, after the furniture delivery, I reluctantly did a few hours of work. Then a friend picked me up for a knitterly meet-up. We met a new knitter at Jo-ann and helped her choose yarn for a log cabin blanket. Normally, I would think this would be too big of a project for someone who's only been knitting 3 weeks...but given her enthusiasm for the project and for knitting, I'm not concerned. She has until June to finish, and her practice knitting went on so long that she literally made three scarves...the woman clearly has stamina.
After yarn purchase, we had dinner, and then settled in at a coffee shop for the log cabin lesson and some knitting. I knitted some more when I got home, so good progress was made on the secret christmas knitting.
On Sunday, R and I went for our usual brunch and both reluctantly attempted the tasks we needed to accomplish. He ran errands. I did a few more hours of work and ran a little laundry. We went to the store and did other obligatory sunday tasks. I didn't get to work on cleaning my office at all and there is some cleaning that needs to be done before company comes this weekend. Not a deep cleaning, but the kitchen floor still hasn't been cleaned since Thanksgiving and the dusty shelves in the dining room were eyeing me while I was trying to work. :-)
Trying to get through the week is difficult when I'm so excited about saturday. I don't know if I'm more excited about seeing my OOT friends, having so many of my friends in one place or getting stuff for the baby! The presence of the nursery furniture is making it all feel more real, but the room is still pretty cold without any "stuff" sitting around (other than paint cans...), so I'm excited about beginning to fill it.
Friday, December 01, 2006
It seems like I've thought of a lot of things to post since Wednesday, but there isn't much coming to mind at the moment, other than knitting-related things. Maybe more will pop into my head as I write.
There was much knitting progress over the Thanksgiving weekend. Another pair of fetching gloves was started and completed. This time, I used two colors to accent the purl columns. I'm very happy with the results and might make one or two more pairs in the same style. Though it was a pain at first to change colors and change from knit to purl at the same time and so often, but after a bit I got the hang of it. It's still slower than just change color or just changing stitches, but not too bad.
I also wove in the ends and sewed together the maternity sweater. It now fits, thanks to my shortening operation. It just needs to be washed and blocked, and I need to put on the buttons. I will either wear it next week to work, or to my shower...or both. :-) The sleeves are a little long, but I prefer that over them being too short. (This will likely be the last thing I work on for me until December 26th...on second thought, I'll probably start knitting in earnest for the baby then, so this could be the last thing I knit for me until March. :-)
So this week I've returned to the secret christmas knitting. I got a lot of work done last night, and then found a critical error 2 long rows back. I managed to fix it without taking out those two rows...only to discover that the correct stitch pattern required more yarn than the incorrect one and with 10 stitches left to fix I was out of yarn. So I had to undo those two rows anyway. Between this morning's bus ride and a little lunchtime knitting, I'm now done with the row I was on when I found the error. When I see that we're leaving town for Christmas in 3 weeks, I get a little itchy about this project getting done...but I'm trying to have faith that it will all work out.
And I still have no idea what I'm buying for the people that I'm not knitting for...
In pregnancy news, the pain from Sunday has not returned, the doctor is not concerned since my tests were normal and the baby is fine, and I passed my 1-hour glucose test. Good news on all counts! I will be 29 weeks along tomorrow (aka 6 1/2 months or 11 weeks from the estimated due date) - crazy!