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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Lists of lists

I’m not kidding. I have a list of lists that I need to make…general unpacking/moving-in, baby prep (divided into “baby’s room prep” and “other baby prep”), furniture we need, groceries and other stuff we need, errands to run…

And some of them overlap. In order to install the car seat in the van, we have to put at least one seat back in. In order to do that, we have to vacuum the van out first (which is on the general unpacking/moving-in list); it’s just easier that way. But before we vacuum the van, we should move the dresser(s) for the baby’s room and probably our room (the dresser for the baby’s room is on the baby’s room prep list, and the dresser for our room is on the furniture list). And that won’t happen until probably Sunday night, so it looks like we won’t be putting the car seat in this weekend. But that’s okay; the baby’s still pretty active, and decreased movement is one of the signs that she’s getting ready to be born, so it will probably still be a little while.

Tomorrow marks the end of week 37, and as of then I am considered full term. Given my family history (as far as I know it) and that this is my first baby, chances are good that she’ll be late rather than early.

I have a list of things I might spend my birthday money on (thanks, Mom and Grandma!) but it consists of only one thing: yarn. Brigitte (the owner of Klose Knit) has some colors of my favorite yarn in the whole wide world that I love but don’t have yet. What will I make with it? I don’t know, but it will be soft and gorgeous! And there are a few other yarns I would love to have…I’d like a skein or two of solid-color sock yarn for lacy socks from the sock book I have. I also need to find a nice shawl pattern for one of the yarns that C’s family has given me — I may make the Adamas shawl with it.

Course, that first requires that I finish my current shawl, Kiri (.pdf), and I figure I’m about 1/4 of the way done with it…maybe. Hard to tell on triangular shawls, but I know I’m not anywhere near halfway done. And it requires concentration, so if I don’t finish it before the baby comes (which I won’t), I’m not sure I’ll have the brainpower to work on it for months afterward.

But we’ll see. I do love that shawl and I miss working on it (I haven’t had time lately to knit anything that complicated). I’m going to try and work on it for a few hours this weekend.

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Well, either I got my period almost a full week early, which I doubt because I think my cycle was longer than 28 days when I was not on the pill, or this is implantation bleeding. It’s just a little so far, about the same as spotting, but I don’t know if my period would go back to normal so soon after stopping the pill.

However, this comes the same day I learned something that makes me very sad. A fellow knitter and friend of mine who manages the local Stitch N Bitch, mother of a baby and a toddler, about 40 years old and a truly awesome person, just found out that she has breast cancer. She’s the kind of person who has tons of friends, total extrovert, sweet and interesting and I always look forward to seeing her on Sundays because we knit, talk, and laugh the whole time. I just love her.

I am upset. Of course now I’m all awkward because I have no idea what to say…

I do hope she makes it to SNB on Sunday.

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Knitting for babies

I have three baby blankets to be done for babies that are definitely on the way and at least two to be made for my own future child (Charles and I have decided to start trying for our first). Each baby will get a blanket made of Cascade Superwash 128 (ours will also get a cotton/cashmere one which will be pretty expensive and smaller, but beautiful), which claims to be machine washable but I learned that you’d better make sure that your joins are well done and have long tails to be woven in, because when my mother-in-law washed it on gentle for the shortest time possible (4 minutes) and then tumble dried it (as you’re supposed to be able to), taking it out before it was fully dry, she found holes! Lots of them! In fact, almost all of the joins had come apart.

I took it to Brigitte at Klose Knit (my MIL could have fixed the holes, but I wanted to show Brigitte since she’d just started carrying the yarn recently), and we worked on it for a while and managed to fix the holes to where they’re not terribly noticeable. But they are still too noticeable for a gift. So she offered a deal: she’d give me another six skeins of the yarn in exchange for the blanket, which she would display in her store as an example project for that yarn.

Hmm, two weeks of work (probably about 20 hours in total) for probably about a full skein of free yarn (if in sections), not even including the swatch I did for the blanket (which I need to wash, and it can probably be used as a towel, or a doll blanket if I have a girl)? And the next one I make will be better since I already know how it’s going to wash up? And it’ll only take about two weeks to remake? Hell yeah! It didn’t take long to make that decision, and I think Brigitte was a little surprised at how quickly I agreed. (Maybe I should have bartered for another skein? I wouldn’t have felt right doing that.)

Such is the advantage of being a primarily rational person. I was sad to let go of the blanket — still am — but it’s a good deal, since the blanket can’t be machine washed and therefore isn’t suitable for use with a baby (even mine — I don’t hand wash anything now; there’s no way I’m going to do it when I have a baby). I comfort myself with the thought that lots of people will see my work, and the actual gift will be better than it would have been had I done the joins right in the first place.

So I learned a lot from this project:

  1. Always wash a project before you give it away. I did it because I was paranoid and figured that I’d rather it fall apart before I gave it to them than the first time they washed it, and I’m so glad I did.
  2. Do your joins well! Knot the strands together, leaving nice long tails, and knit with them a few stitches before and after the knot. Weave in the ends later. An inch is nowhere near enough tail.
  3. Always wash your swatch before you go using it to make measurements of stitches per inch! The blanket changed shape pretty drastically when it was washed — it stretched three inches across and shrank three inches top to bottom, so instead of being 37×35 inches, it became 40×32.

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Day 17

Spent entirely too much money at Twisted, one of the yarn stores in Portland, yesterday when my aunt took me there. Very pleasant store, making it very easy to spend money, though I did continue to resist buying the lace shawls book that I’ve been wanting forever but am not yet ready to actually use. My current project is the largest one I’ve attempted yet and since there’s a time limit on it, I’m working on it almost exclusively. But I have a million other projects I want to do….I need more knitting needles.

We never did get to that hike in the Columbia River Gorge, but we’re going through it today on the way home and depending on how things are labeled (and how willing C is to stop) we may end up at a waterfall or two. If we were to drive 12 hours a day we’d get home in the evening on Saturday, so I’m not worried about the time, but I guess we should get going being that it’s already 11:30 local time…

But first, I’m going to try and upload a couple of photos to my facebook.

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Did I not say there would be a lot of these?

Seeing as I can’t keep my interest on one thing for very long at all, I’m making this into just a personal blog. Currently knitting is kind of taking over the bicycling, and strength training is sitting idly in the background, only to come out once a day. Not much to say on that topic, except I now have muscles starting to show through my fat and damn, do I have some nice calves. Seriously. I like watching the muscles twitch when working them on the inclined leg press machine.

Speaking of which, two days ago I put three 45s on each side of that machine, 20 pounds more than I’ve ever done. Check me out! I’m now up to 110 or 120 on lateral pulldowns (I can’t quite get 120 all the way down; my muscles just won’t do it), 85 on bench press (won’t be long till I can say “suck it, skinny bitches, I CAN BENCH YOU” without them having to be 4’8″ and anorexic) and 30 pounds each side for dumbbell chest press (though I think I could have done more), 25 on bicep curls, 115 on squats, and 2 20-pound dumbbells for lunges (I am rapidly moving from “hate lunges” to “loathe lunges”). C signed up at the gym last week and the other day discovered that his muscles have been lying to him about the amount of weight he can lift. I like watching him. 🙂

I haven’t lost a single pound, but since I gained a few (up to 175) in the first two weeks when I was at a client site for work and eating out every meal, I haven’t gained more. That’s gotta mean something, right? >_>

It’s so weird how I feel almost sexy now when I’m not in the gym, but I set foot in there and suddenly I feel like a fat slob. Might be the clothes, though, because my workout clothes are not exactly flattering. At least, that’s the thought I’m comforting myself with. That, and if anybody smirks at me, I can say “hey, at least I’m here.”

If I could just get rid of my stomach fat… God I hate doing abs (note: just exercising abs does not get rid of the fat on them, though fat on well-worked muscle looks slightly better than fat on unused muscle — depending on how much fat there is). Except for that one exercise where you lay flat on a bench, hold onto it by your head for leverage, hold your legs out horizontally, raise them to vertical, and then try to touch the ceiling with your toes. To work the obliques, twist your legs during the last part. I like that exercise.

Gear switch! Knitting! I have a few projects on the needles, some of which I’ve taken off (putting them onto a piece of yarn to hold the stitches) to use for the project that I have finished. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I designed it, but I didn’t use a pattern, just cast on the number of stitches I thought I’d need and started knitting. It turned out cute, and now I have a little chenille drawstring bag to put my wallet, phone, and keys in during the wedding so they’re all in one (fuzzy, soft, pretty) place.

Other projects I have started:

  • What was supposed to be a scarf for C but is way too wide (I wanted it wide, but not that wide!). I’m going to find a complimentary color or two, knit several of these way-too-wide scarves, and stitch them together into a blanket. In the meantime, I’ll start a new scarf for him which will actually be a scarf.
  • The first attempt at the chenille handbag, which ended up way too big (I suspect a pattern here, no pun intended) and will need to be partially frogged in order to become anything useful — when I went to the next skein of yarn, suddenly my gauge went to shit and it’s completely fucked now. I’ll probably try to make it a knitting bag, but I may just give it away if somebody says they like it. I’m irritated with it.
  • A second garter stitch scarf with purple so-called “homespun” yarn (it’s from Meijer so I seriously doubt it was actually home-spun, it’s just made to look like homespun). This is on big needles (size 13 for the curious) and I’m knitting it loosely so it’s holey. I really like how it’s turned out, but I don’t know if I’m going to hold onto it.

Future projects:

  • Little gifts for everybody helping out with the wedding. I’d like to try and make more of the drawstring bag that I finished, but I’m not sure if I can make it the way I want to with the needles I have. Anyway, they’d probably just end up in people’s closets. I’d like to try my hand at soap sacks. There are other things I have in mind too but I can’t remember exactly what at the moment.
  • A dice bag for a friend who commented on the color of my 2nd garter stitch scarf (the “homespun” purple one). Apparently that yarn is the same color as some dice that he has. I asked him if he wanted a dice bag and he ducked his head a little and said yes. I’m not sure how I’m going to make a dice bag out of that yarn, because I don’t know how well it’ll work with the small needles I’ll need to use to make it hold dice, but we’ll see.
  • A dice bag for C.
  • There’s a stitch in my new stitch dictionary that’s a star of David. I’d like to make a scarf with that stitch pattern for a “holiday” gift for a Jewish friend.
  • Other Christmas gifts for friends and family. I need to find out favorite colors and such.
  • Catnip mice for my cat.
  • A lace “overskirt” for my white skirt which I don’t wear much because I’m afraid of getting it dirty.
  • Other lace skirts, maybe.
  • A lace shawl. I have some crochet thread for this, and I might do it as a learn-crochet project if I get adventurous.
  • More drawstring bags like the one I completed, only more like what I intended.
  • Hats with the same pattern as the drawstring bag, only with increases instead of decreases so that it, y’know, is a hat instead of a bag.

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