Archive for September, 2007

Nine (Ten) Months of Knitting, Not Knitting, Crocheting, and Frogging

Pregnancy has done weird things to my knitting life. During my first trimester, I stopped knitting altogether, for long enough that Bob was worried that I might have decided to give up the knitting life permanently. I went totally nutso for crochet during the early part of my second trimester, then started buying up  used sweaters like there was no tomorrow. I’ve thought about crocheting since then, and I’ve thought about all the fun things I might do with my stash of recycled sweaters too, but that burning need to crochet and collect sweaters seems to have disappeared like any other pregnancy craving is eventually wont to do.

Pre-pregnancy, whenever I considered what might happen to my knitting if I were having a baby, I just assumed that I would be knitting even more than I did then, and that baby things would be flying off my needles left and right. Instead, my knitting production has plummeted, baby knitting barely happened at all, and I started crocheting instead! Pregnancy is full of surprises!

Now that I’m in the last month or so of this crazy gestation business, I’m going through a very serious case of knitting ADD. I can’t focus on anything. I cast on and frog, cast on and frog, over and over again. I can’t seem to get excited about any of my knitting, and even projects I like are languishing as I cast on more and more items, searching for something better. It’s so frustrating! I’m not getting anything done here! Nothing!

And the whole time I’m knitting things I know I’ll probably end up frogging, I keep thinking that I’m wasting all this great knitting time. In (hopefully) less than a month I’ll have a baby around the house, and I suspect it’s going to cut into my sitting around and obsessing about yarn time. I feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be enjoying this last month of freedom? But I can’t settle on anything long enough to enjoy it!

Maybe I would be having this problem even if I wasn’t expecting- I’ve had similar cases in the past (albeit not this severe) and I know most other crafty types struggle with some kind of project ennui from time to time. Pregnancy related or not, it’s driving me out of my mind. I’m thinking about taking a week off from knitting altogether, but for some reason I have a feeling it won’t help, and might make matters worse.

What do y’all think? What do you do for the worst case of knitting ADD ever? Set everything aside and come back when I’m feeling less ambiguous? Or keep trying to work on projects that you are less than enthused with? 

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Yarrrrrn!

Yarrr, it be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Once you’re done singing roaring sea shanties, pillaging villages, and polishing your peg leg, you should go check out this t-shirt for the fiber loving pirate in all of us. Or this one is nice too. Yarrr!

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WIP Roundup

Mflogcabin2
 

1. Log Cabin Thingy, from Mason Dixon Knitting. The yarn is Mission
Falls 1824 Wool
. I cast on in August with no particular goal in mind, and its
size will be determined by how long it takes me to get sick of it.
Could be a pillow, could be a baby blanket, could be a king size
afghan. Only time will tell! It’s a great project to pull out when I’m
in the mood for endless garter stitch, but if you’re waiting for it to
be finished anytime soon… well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Sheldon4
Sheldon3

2. Poor Sheldon. This little turtle started crawling around my needles this July, but I took these pictures sometime in August and haven’t made a stitch of progress since then. I love knitted toys… but I hate knitting all those tiny little pieces! He still needs his under-shell, four feet, and some beady little turtle eyes.

Closeup

3. The Minimalist Cardigan, which I already blogged about a little bit earlier. Have I mentioned that this Hollyberry color is impossible to photograph. I’ve tried every fancy camera trick I know (which doesn’t amount to much, but still). The actual color is much deeper than I can seem to capture. More like… well, a real hollyberry! I’m slogging along, slowly but surely. Fortunately, my cardigan knitting partner isn’t speeding ahead of me. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s just going to be one of those projects.

Whitepompom

4. Last but not least, a plain white hat. This hat started life as the Snowball Hat from the latest Interweave Knits. But after doing several repeats of the chart, I felt like my cables looked wonky. They looked even worse when spread out over my gigantic noggin. So I frogged it down to the 2×2 ribbing and decided that sometimes, it’s good to go back to basics. What initially drew me to the hat was the gigantic pompom on top of it, so I’ll be retaining that portion of the design. And as with my Purl Bee Beret, I’m envisioning a wee matching one for a certain baby girl.

I could lie and say that I’m going to work on this stuff until it’s finished with not so much as one diversionary cast on, but you and I both know that I’ve got project monogamy issues. Being only 5 weeks away from my due date (!!!), it’s evident that if I’m going to do any pre-baby knitting, it has to be now or never. I’ve been stymied by the sheer amount of cute things there are to be knit, but I’m going to have to bite the proverbial bullet and pick! First on the agenda- a baby kimono. I can finally see if they really are as useful as they appear!

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Vain? Who, Me?

Conventional wisdom about getting a haircut while pregnant is pretty simple: don’t. The theory goes that when you’re feeling puffy and unattractive, you might make a drastic change to your hair and live to regret it. Kind of like getting your hair cut after a big breakup.

I decided to fly in the face of all that advice, well intentioned though it may be, and get my hair cut anyway. I’ve been growing it out for several years now, with only occasional intervention in the form of trimming split ends. It was nice to be able to throw it back in a ponytail- too nice, actually, since that’s all I ever did with it. Boring!

For proof, here’s me last month at the Knit Nook baby shower. Don’t I look glamorous, with my pink bra strap hanging out of my shirt for the world to see?

Hairbefore_2

See above: dumb ponytail nub. Not cute. Not even a little cute! I can’t believe I’m even showing you this picture!

As of today, I am a new woman! (At least, as far as the haircut goes.) I may still look fat puffy and be totally miserable in my last month and a half or so of pregnancy but… danged if this isn’t the best hair I’ve ever had in my entire life!

Haircut_2
Haircut2_2

A drastic improvement! Haircut success! I’m going to need dozens of jaunty berets to show it off this winter (not that anyone will be looking at me anyway, since I’m likely to be accompanied by an adorable baby.)

If you live in the metro-Louisville area and you’re looking for a new stylist, you might check out Kim at Strandz in New Albany. But only on the days and times that she isn’t doing my hair. Don’t be a cute hair hog!

 

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Baby Name Contest

So, at the risk of turning my knitting blog into a pregnancy blog, I wanted to have a little chit chat about naming the baby.

Whenever I talk about my pregnancy, with friends, co-workers, or total strangers, I’m always asked if I know what I’m going to name the baby. The answer is that I do have a name in mind (as long as I’m correct in assuming it’s a girl, that is.) But, it’s a secret! Occasionally, someone acts like it’s a personal affront to them that I don’t want to share the name, but I think there are some practical reasons to keep it to myself. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? Don’t people want just a tiny bit of mystery int their lives?

Plus, keeping the name a secret has the side bonus of letting me have a little blog contest! See if you can guess the baby’s name before it gets here and I announce it to the world! Just leave me a comment here, or you can email me and knitonmycatATgmailDOTcom. The winner will get some yarn that is related to the name, probably of the sock variety. If more than one person guesses the correct name, I’ll put the correct guesses in a hat and draw a name. If no one guesses the correct name (and I’m guessing no one will), I’ll put all the guessers in a hat and have a random drawing. Either way, someone is getting some free yarn, and I promise you it will be nice stuff!

Hints (You only get two!):

1. It isn’t in the Top 100 Most Popular Baby Names List for 2006 according to BabyNames.com. In fact, it wasn’t in the Top 100 for 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, or 2001 either.
2. It starts with a vowel.

ETA: One guess per person please! Also, the contest is for guessing baby’s first name, but if you want to take a stab at the middle name for fun, feel free!

Oh, and it’s not a trick question! I’m not counting Y as a vowel! Finally, it is a "real" name, as in, other people besides this baby have had this name. I actually don’t think it’s that far out of the realm of normal, just not super popular right now.

Thanks for all the responses! Keep them coming! I’m having a great time with all your ideas!

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We’re Ready!

Last night was my final childbirth preparation class. The topic was newborn care, so we discussed diapering, bathing, and swaddling. I’ve become a little obsessed with swaddling. I broke out a receiving blanket today and practiced swaddling on everything in sight. (The cats did not appreciate this treatment as much as one would think.)

Swaddlepanda

Bob shows great promise as a father by demonstrating the correct way to cuddle a swaddled panda.

I’m pretty sure that the childbirth preparation classes are going to be utterly worthless in the grand scheme of things, and are a total misnomer anyway- how can you possibly prepare? Aside from gathering basic supplies and information, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prepare for total upheaval. But, at least I know how to swaddle. You have to do something with all that nervous pregnant energy!

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Finished: Purl Bee Beret

You know what is great? When you start and finish a project so fast that you never had time to blog about starting it in the first place!

Purlbeeberet1
Purlbeeberet2
Purlbeeberet3
Purlbeeberet4

Pattern: Purl Bee Beret, a free pattern from the Purl Bee blog

Yarn: Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino in an unknown variegated purple colorway. I ordered this yarn from Purl well over a year ago, curious about the popularity of the yarn. I always intended to make socks out of it, but after a few failed attempts I decided it was too pretty to go on my feet anyway. Ravelry led me to the perfect solution- a jaunty beret that only takes a single skein. (And for the record, Koigu is a really nice yarn.)

Needles: Addi Turbos US size 2, 16" length and Susan Bates Aluminum DPNs, also size 2

Modifications: The pattern says to knit about 3 inches of plain stockinette after you finish the inch of ribbing around the bottom of the hat, and mentions that if you want your beret to be floppier, you could knit 4 – 5 inches. Well, I don’t know that I really wanted a floppy beret, but I forgot to stop knitting and ended up doing about 4.5 inches. As a result, my beret took slightly more than one skein to complete, but I’m happy with the level of floppiness so I guess it’s okay.

Final Thoughts: I highly recommend this pattern if you, like me, have a lot of sock yarn but don’t necessarily want to use all of it for socks. Especially if you have single skeins of Koigu, Lorna’s Laces, Claudia Handpaints, or something like that. Don’t be scared off by knitting a whole adult size hat on size 2 – 3 needles. It goes surprisingly fast! I’m pretty sure there’s a matching baby sized version of this hat coming in the near future…

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