Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Baby Blanket Focus

Many of you said a baby blanket may not be doable in 2 weeks. I think you're right but I'm trying all the same to finish this blanket by May 6th. If it's not done at least it will be close. I'm hoping to be more than halfway done by this weekend to take some pressure off next week.

This yarn was a find at Elann - a heavy worsted weight 100% superfine merino superwash at a discount. I love all those words! I'm knitting this basketweave blanket double-stranded which is why I have a fighting chance that it could be completed on time. I'm just a bit sad that I can't use the yarn for my own baby's blanket. Most of the current progress was courtesy of a day's knitting at Kirkwood Ski Resort this past Sunday. It was essentially the last day of ski season so Karl and I, along with my brother and his fiancee, went up for a last hurrah. It was a good knitting day for me.

Other than that, not so much happening on the knitting front. In a shameless attempt at promoting my other blog, I have more current news on Babe in the Wool.

This coming weekend the crew is (1) participating in a golf tournament - I'm driving one of the carts, yay! - and then (2) taking a quick trip to Yosemite country. We'll be spending the night in Sonora on Saturday and then most of us will drive into Yosemite and hike into the Hetch Hetchy reservoir area. I say "most" because I will instead meander along the quaint streets of Sonora and knit at By Hand Yarn. I'm thrilled at discovering yet another yarn store and hope to have a review for you next week.

Until then, happy knitting! Spring is finally here!

Friday, April 21, 2006

On My Front Porch

Me and my big mouth have put me in a mild state of knitting panic. I am not off the hook regarding my friend's baby blanket. Here I was, smugly confident about surprising her with a hand-knitted baby ski hat and matching booties when all along she has been expecting a blanket! The blanket!

"I know about your special skills," she said when I asked her if she wanted anything specific from the ubiquitous Babies R Us registry. "From you, I'd like a blanket." Oh. Shit. Pardon my Lebanese.

I frantically made a mental inventory of my stash. The only yarn that would work is my coveted Laines du Nord Baby Cover which I specifically bought to crochet my own baby blanket. Oh. Crap. Worse, the colorway is just right for her because the variegated yarn, despite being pastel, is yellow and green - Green Bay Packer colors, her favorite team.

Fortunately I have 2 weeks until her baby shower. Drat these shower things. Why is it that grown, mature, sophisticated women willingly subject themselves to games like...Poopy Diaper...Pins in Rice...? It must be the gifts. I, too, will have my own baby shower tomorrow.

No pictures of the Packers blanket yet. It's just a simple basketweave pattern anyway.

cym_pink Now, as for what's on my front porch. There was a dead lizard. I'm not going to show you a picture of that although at first I thought it was sleeping. Poor lizard. My cymbidium orchids are blooming wonderfully. These grow particularly well outside and like to be cramped in their containers. The more crowded the bulbs are, the better they bloom.

cym_yellow I bought these at Lowe's after the plants had already bloomed so I wasn't sure what color they were at first. The flowers stay open for weeks, sometimes months! The plants are extremely easy to maintain. The first year I watered them every week. Then I began to neglect them. It didn't matter - as long as they were fed every once in a while they were fine. They are extremely gratifying.

karalyn_tree You may wonder what's so special about a tree sapling that I had to take a picture of it. Well, imagine this plant with absolutely no leaves or even buds. Just a stick, literally. That's what it looked like when Karl gave it to me for Valentine's Day. Now the maple is positively lush and we will plant it when the baby is born. We call it the "Karalyn Tree".

Another week gone by. One of the highlights was having lunch and knitting with Cyndi at the office. I think it was Cyndi who first suspected we actually work for the same company. Now she's on the same campus too! To think I would've missed out getting to know such a cool chick if it weren't for knitting and blogging. Serendipity. I have to admit, though, I envy Cyndi's spacious cubicle with natural lighting.

How did your week go?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cutie Booties

Never mind food cravings during pregnancy. I've had crafty cravings instead - of the baby knits kind. I didn't look twice at baby stuff before, not even when friends started to pop out their bambinos. Nothing like having it happen to yourself, though. I've been on a Bootie Quest since I saw a cute pair in Melanie Falick's Knitting for Baby (thank you, Caitlyn!).

booties_blueThis is my "practice pair" because when I read through the directions I wasn't sure I liked them. Turns out this pattern is rather well-known, as bootie patterns go. While I used the book you could easily follow this version. Yarn: Rowan 4-Ply. Needles: Bryspun 5" DPNs size US 4. Modifications: I added a slipped stitch selvedge to the garter stitch sole for easier pick-up. Observatations: relatively easy but the directions to even out the number of stitches per DPN were awkward. Next time I will do this on smaller needles, say #2.

booties_kristy The "production pair" is from 50 Bootees to Knit by Zoe Moeller with the textured cuff. Note that this matches the baby ski hat from a couple of months ago. My friend will receive both as one of her shower gifts. I may even have enough yarn to make thumbless mittens but we'll see. This super cute bootie pair took next to no time to knit but I was not pleased to seam the sole. It is knit in one piece but seaming the sole and heel are required. Yarn: Filati Biberon. Needles: Addi Turbo size US 2. Modificatons: none. Observations: Next time I will knit the sole separately with a selvedge, pick up stitches on all sides (like a purse) and follow the directions in reverse.

scarf_bryanAnother FO for the month is another gift scarf, this time for my youngest brother. Not that he will be able to use it any time soon because it's almost 90 degrees in Atlanta but it's the thought that counts. And it's still cold here in Northern California. Just an excuse for him to visit. I love this yarn! It is heavenly soft; I bought a skein for myself in loden green to make the same scarf later. It might be in everyone's stocking at Christmas too. The pattern is free from Misti Alpaca, an easy slip stitch that could be used for socks. Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky. Needles: Addi Turbo size US 13. Modifications: none. Observations: this is a short scarf, skip the ruffles to make it a few inches longer.

gardenpathSpring is trying so hard to come to the part of the world I am. It's been another weird and wacky season weather-wise with lots of rain and cool temperatures. I wanna be in the 70's and 80's already so I can buy those cute maternity halters and tops! But I digress. There were brief respites from the rain this afternoon so I took a quick trip to the backyard for this photo of our garden path. Karl and I worked hard to finish this up last summer. At first the little plants were so skinny and lost-looking but the groundcover spread like weed. There are 4 different kinds. Wish I could tell you what they are but I only remember the creeping thyme and flea bean (the low shrub with white flowers which turn pink).

irisAbout 2 years ago I bought 3 iris plants, put them in the ground and promptly watched them wilt. I had faith they would come back, though, and they have for 2 years. I once kept iris bulbs in a basement for a year and planted them. They were fine. Other plants are blooming too. My outdoor orchids have been sensational. I'll show them next time. One of my indoor orchids, the dendrobium, is shooting up a flower stem. I whooped for joy when I discovered it because I've literally tried to kill this plant with no success. It hasn't bloomed in over 5 years.

The knitting is keeping me sane. I am slowly but surely getting the gestational diabetes under control but it's still hard to prick my finger 4 times a day. Actually it's more than that sometimes but I won't go into the goriness. Let's just say it's psychological torture for me because I'm such a wimp!

Hope ya'll have a good knittin' week.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way of Knitting

Hi everyone. This is quickie post to let you know I haven't forgotten how to knit or blog, I've just been monumentally distracted by a recent complication in the pregnancy. No I'm not on bedrest (wish I was, then I could knit more!) but I'm preoccupied all the same. And it doesn't help that things have been busy anyway with appointments and childbirth classes.

I have been knitting though! In fact, I really look forward to when I can sit on the couch and just knit. It takes my mind off things. I finished another gift scarf for my brother's' birthday and now I'm practicing on baby booties before I knit a gift pair for a friend - yes, the one who was supposed to have a blanket but not anymore. The booties will match the baby hat I've already finished so they will be a set.

Rebekah will be glad to know that, although I've been tempted, I haven't purchased any yarn since she first posted about the Yarn Focus Challenge. However that hasn't stopped me from buying the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules! or a couple of baby sock patterns like this one. Or, for that matter, yet another new knitting bag. If you haven't heard of the yahoo groups Knitswap or Knitting-For-Sale, you might want to join. Someone advertised her barely used Namaste Executive Bag for only $40 including shipping so I jumped on that right away. Should be here
any time now.

That's all the news for now. Like I said, my mind has been on other things so I apologize in advance if you haven't seen any comments from me lately on your own blogs. I hope all of you are happily knitting away and that Spring has already arrived wherever you are.