Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Busy busy busy

(Warning: If you are planning to read the following [long] list of accomplishments in the hope that the pièce de résistance will be a baby being born, you are going to be disappointed. The baby is still in the belly.)

So I've been doing just about everything but blogging lately, and (except for the dearth of blog entries), I am really quite proud of myself. (Best of all, I'm no longer freaking out.) All the necessary baby items are washed and ready, the extra items we needed have been bought or made, the seats are installed in the car for two children, the house is very clean, all the birth supplies are verrrry organized, the backup plan if DD freaks out and needs to bail can be implemented at a moment's notice, everything is hand-off-able at work - we're ready! Admittedly, it'd be nice if I could have the new curtains I want sewn and mounted downstairs, but this is hardly vital to the health and safety of the baby, so I shan't quibble.

For instance, we have...

A very small sampling of the whack of new doublers and wipes I sewed

A whole drawer full of newly-sewn prefold diapers and a baby wrap

Some postpartum cloth pads and inserts (ignore the fraying, that's just the bits that didn't get bound by the zigzag stitch I ran along the outer edges)

And that's just the sewing! There has also been lots of knitting-related stuff going on. As proof I show you...

The Yarn Harlot's latest book, read within 24 hours of receipt (unsurprisingly, I liked it)

The rest of the yarn haul from Yarn Forward, which arrived a few weeks ago

Here's a closeup of the yarn - I think it's pretty cool

And then there's the actual knitting...

Elizabethan Jacket for MIL
Knitting is DONE. Finished that a few weeks ago, I think. I now have a completely knitted body and two sleeves:

And the best news is that I actually had enough red to finish all that. Waaaay more than enough, actually, there's a fair bit left. I knew that I was completely in the clear and could breathe a sigh of relief when I had this much done on sleeve #2:

and the rest of the red weighed this much:

Because before I'd started both sleeves, there was about 167g left of the red. To have used up less than half of that and have a few inches of sleeve #2 already started was EXTREMELY good news.

So, next up: blocking! The weird thing is that the pattern never tells you when to block. In fact, it tells me that my next step should be the cutting of the steeks. But I think that the blocking should happen before the cutting. There was a 'Today's Sweater' segment on the Cast On podcast a while back where one woman tells the tale of her first sweater - a full-on Norwegian sweater - which was blocked before steeking and sewing, and so that is what I'm going to do for this baby. It really does need a good soak and stretch. I'm actually counting rather heavily on the blocking to get rid of all the laddering ripples on the sleeves and to relax the fibres out so that the pieces can be the size I'm going for. Stay tuned - this could still turn ugly.

And then, faced with the prospect of having to block two rather large items whilst dealing with a ponderous, energy-sapping pregnant belly (yeah, the Peacock Feathers shawl is still unblocked), I became afflicted with startitis...

Snuggly romper for Eleven
Schedule? What Schedule? To heck with that...I wanted to make something small and cute for the baby and I wanted it super-fast. I chose an ever-reliable baby romper pattern in garter stitch, and did a bit of stash-diving. I decided to go with DH's favourite colours. So far, I have this:

Mendicino jacket for DD
Once the novelty of doing ten inches in garter stitch on the baby romper project started to lose its appeal, I turned my attention to the fact that DD has pretty much outgrown all her will-keep-her-warm-on-the-cold-days-of-spring-and-autumn jackets and ponchos. (Well, except for the raincoat...but that's for rainy days, it doesn't count.) Clearly, she needed a new one. So I went pattern-diving and stash-diving and came up with Alice Starmore's "Mendocino" cardigan. For the yarn, I decided to dip into the ever-decreasing mound of New Zealand wool that I bought several years ago off of eBay. It's pretty coarse stuff, but this is outer wear. I decided to combine two colours for a little more depth and interest. The thicker strand is of a slightly yellowy green that I used for my herald's tabard and the Catherine Parr sweater I made one year for my MIL. It's a bit too yellowy to truly mesh with DD's summer colouring, so I paired it with a very thin strand (laceweight, really) of a kind of greyish/sagey colour. The result is more flattering on DD than just the green by itself, and I think the resulting knitted fabric looks more exciting, too:

I'm not sure exactly when I started this - sometime around last Thursday. So far I've got both fronts done:

and am now working my way up the back:

(apologies for the extra view of my foot - the thing curls like a sonofab*, I had to step on the bottom while taking the shot.)

Feather/fan blanket for DD
As if two new projects were not enough, I suddenly found myself with something else. While on one of my hunting-and-gathering-for-the-baby shopping trips (during which I foolishly forgot that I was 38 weeks pregnant and that perhaps walking around for two hours without any food close to lunchtime was a super dumbass idea), I spotted this yarn:

Cute, funky, fun. Great colours for DD. Had to have it. Bought a ball (140g). Brought it home, asked DD if she liked it (she did), asked her what she wanted me to make with it. The answer? A blanket.


So back we went to the store yesterday and bought the store out of the remaining three balls that they had. (This caused DD some concern - she wanted to know what would happen if someone else came to the store wanting that yarn and discovered it was all gone. Fortunately, I restrained myself from answering, "Too damn bad for them," and instead mumbled something about first come first serve and how the store would probably bring in more of the same yarn later.) While she was napping yesterday, I pulled out all the blanket patterns I had that I figured would work well with the variegation. This morning at breakfast, we went over it all and she chose a pattern: a really cute feather/fan thing that I've made before - it's very sweet and I think it will work out well.

Bayerische socks
So then, I was reading through the Yarn Harlot's blog about a week and a half ago and came upon the story of Meredith, whose first sock (pictured on the blog) was absolutely INCREDIBLE, and which inspired instant thoughts of, "It must be mine!". I tracked it down and it turns out the pattern is Eunny Jang's Bayerische, and I must make it. MUST. I will be using the new blue yarn that just came in from Yarn Forward. I'm not sure whom it will be for - I think I'd like it to be for DH, but if the sizing turns out to be too small for him (I haven't really read through the pattern in any detail yet to know what the deal is with that) I will totally be snarfing them for my own damn self.

And that about wraps it up for what I've been doing lately! I figure the next big thing is to actually have the baby. Today is the due date, so - as my buddy Jenn said in the comments - it shouldn't be long now. Thanks also to Emer (I'm sooo glad you found me, I almost squealed when I saw your comment :) for her good wishes about 'Eleven', as well as her compliments about my knitting. Sadly, Mel's dad's birthday of April 3rd has already passed, so I can't oblige her by popping then as she suggested. Any date soon would be great, though. I am really looking forward to saying good-bye to the more annoying pregnancy symptoms like constant nasal congestion, painfully dry knuckles that split open if you look at them funny...you know...stuff like that. And finally, Carrie K's reaction to DD's name suggestions gave me a good chuckle (and congratulations on the book acquisition).


Aven said...

Good luck! I hope it all goes incredibly smoothly and well. I'll be thinking of you!

Tanya said...

Congratulations!!!! I just got The Call from Hector. Much love to all of you!

Carrie K said...

Now I just need to knit something from the book.

Wow, that sweater looks glorious! Glad to hear you had enough red yarn. You sound like you've been a wee bit busy.

So. Having a baby anytime soon?