Saturday, January 28, 2006

B is for Baby

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On Tuesday, I'll reach the 20 week mark, the halfway-there point. Amazing how quickly this pregnancy is progressing. Amazing.

I had the ultrasound a week or so ago and watched my baby roll and wiggle for a good 45 minutes while the technician tried his darnedest to measure all the important parts. This photo print seems a bit grainier than the actual monitor that we were watching, but we could definitely see that Little One is thumb sucking already and waving arms and legs around like nobody's business. And no, we will not find out the gender before Little One's birthday.

For the past 4 weeks I've been feeling movement and that has gradually changed from a strange fishlike fluttering feeling to definite kicks and taps. (Too bad it's still a show for one; no one else can feel these kicks on the outside yet.) And my belly really did pop out earlier this week. Now it's truly obvious, to everyone else, that I'm pregnant and not just overeating. I've noticed that when people say hello to me, they don't look at me anymore, they look at my belly. :)

B is also for (another Amazon) Box of Mystery:

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A week or two ago I got an Amazon Box of Mystery, and last night I was tricked again. When I got home and saw this box on my doorsteop, I immediately wondered what the heck my husband ordered this time. I guess I'm not a very quick learner, 'cause it was a box from Terby! She sent some great exercise videos. I'm glad because I've been checking out some from the library, but you always have to send those back after a little while. People are so very generous! She also included an interesting book titled What's Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, which totally piques this elementary school teacher's interest. Thank you, Terby! Yay! I'm off to check out Kathy Smith...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

J'adore le pourpre

Busy busy. That's me. I'm halfway done with a project I haven't even blogged about. I'm making the Adrienne Vittadini Shawl Collar Pullover from Vogue Knits Winter 04/05 (here are a couple of finished ones in blogland: Lesley's, Atouria's, and Diana's) with some lovely purple heathered Cascade Lana d'Oro. Image hosting by Photobucket
I bought a bag of it from WEBS when it was discontinued about a year and a half ago, with a different project in mind. I was a pretty new knitter and realized later that the project I was planning wasn't really meant for me. I've wanted to make this for a year and suddenly got the urge to start a week or so ago. Quick knit... I'm almost halfway done already.

Here's the front; just after I'd divided for the low placket opening:

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It feels like this sweater is just eating up the yarn, but it might simply be that it's one of the quickest sweaters I've ever knit. I wonder if it will be done in time for me to wear it while I'm still pregnant? Probably not. Even though other people say I'm not even showing (I am SO!), all of my old tops are too snug and too short to accommodate my changing figure. We'll see. Mostly I'm excited about having new stuff to wear next fall.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe title to this post is I love purple because the lovely Jade sent this pair of handmade earrings with purple crystals to me. She knew I like blue (I'm a little stuck in the cool side of the color wheel lately if you haven't noticed), and wasn't sure if I like purple. Do I like purple?! Oh boy. Yes, my new sweater is purple. But get this: my husband's truck is purple. My house is purple. Both are dark eggplant purple. What else... I have more purple yarn around here, too. So yes, Jade, I do like purple, and the earrings are so pretty!! (Especially with the bonus alpaca fiber in the picture. Ever notice that alpaca fibers and cat hairs look pretty similar?) I wore them to work today and love them. You're so kind. Thank you. :)

Tonight I went to the gym (for the first time in ages) and I listened to Cast On podcast #1 as I stationary bicycled. I downloaded several of these a while back and kind of forgot about them. This podcast was interesting (especially for the gym... I usually listen to something more upbeat like Outkast's Stankonia or Black Eyed Peas' Elephunk), and very soothing. I could imagine listening to Brenda Dayne's voice on a lazy Sunday afternoon while I knit on the couch in a quiet and peaceful house. Wow, what a fantasy life, eh? So for those of you who listen to Cast On and Knitcast, do you save each podcast or delete them as you listen to them?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Four Things

Thank you for all of your comments lately. I had a spurt of energy and was able to post a few finished projects within a few weeks' time. I'm really happy with all of them! By the way, I'm pretty sure the Lorna's Laces wasn't pilling already; rather, it was the flannel sheets trying to attach themselves to every single thing they could. You know how flannel is!

I was tagged by Estee and Jade!

Four jobs you have had in your life:

1. clerk at Hancock Fabrics
2. souvenier seller in Sea-Tac airport gift shops (people really do buy those fur coats and pieces of art in fancy schmancy [expensive] airport gift shops, can you believe it?)
3. client facilitator/manager of a dental practice
4. public school teacher

Four movies you could watch over and over

1. Indiana Jones 1 and 3 (2 was ruined by whiny Kate Capshaw)
2. The Princess Bride
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, circa 1971
4. Grease

Four places you have lived (I've always lived in Seattle!)

1. South Seattle
2. Burien (south of South Seattle)
3. North Seattle
4. West Seattle

Four TV shows you love to watch

1. 24
2. What Not to Wear
3. A Baby Story
4. Desperate Housewives & Grey's Anatomy double feature

Four places you have traveled

1. All over Europe, in a series of visits, including the tiny island town in Croatia from which my maternal great grandfather emigrated as a tiny tot
2. All over India
3. Big Island and Oahu, Hawaii
4. Various cities in the continental US (including New Orleans, NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta)

Four websites you visit daily.

1. pregnancy boards
2. Bloglines
3. Web Sudoku
4. Knitty Board and/or Craftster

Four of your favourite foods

1. Sushi
2. Saag Paneer with Pilau
3. watermelon. I could eat a whole one!
4. Right now, I'm almost 19 weeks pregnant and Taco Bell tacos are calling to me. Go figure.

Four places you would rather be right now

1. Taco Bell (see #4 in the last category)
2. Sitting on the beach in Komiza, Vis, Croatia
3. Snorkeling at Shark's Cove at Kalalua Point, Oahu
4. getting a full body massage at Ummelina Day Spa

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Conwy Socks

Yay! I finished my first pair of grown-up-sized socks!

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Conwy from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Georgetown
Two Addi Turbos, size US1

Pattern Modifications: I have this fear that I'll run out of yarn if I knit top down socks, so I shortened the leg a bit. (Completely unnecessary. I have plenty of yarn left over! I'm going to make some of those cute "Better Than Baby Booties" from Interweave Knits with the leftovers.) I also omitted the decreases and kept the socks at 72 stitches throughout. I did that because I thought I had wide feet, but I really could have lived with slightly skinnier socks. They turned out a bit roomy.

What did I learn? Well.... I learned that knitting on two Addi Turbos is much, much easier for me than using birch dpns. Someday I'd like to try two socks on two circs. That would be fun. I learned that heel flaps are kind of annoying to knit, but I hope that is just because these were my first adult sized socks. I'm already scheming my next pair(s).

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The yarn. I liked working with LL but I'm not as crazy about the colorway as I thought I would be when I picked it out this summer. I was probably wearing an aqua t-shirt the day I bought this yarn. Outside of summer, I'm not so much into pastelly colors. Ah, well, the coziness and warmth of the socks will override the color for me! I noticed that these socks are already starting to pill, and I've only worn them one evening (and to sleep in last night). I wonder if that's just from wearing them to sleep in flannel sheets?

Why didn't you guys tell me that handknit wooly socks are so much slipperier on hardwood floors than any other kind of sock? Ow. My knee doesn't appreciate that factor.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Is For Amazon Box of Mystery

The other day, I came home and there was this box sitting inside the door.

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Knowing that I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon lately, I ignored it and went about my evening. A few hours later, when Mr. Goodkarma and I were relaxing and watching a movie, I asked him, "Hey, what didya order from Amazon?" Of course, he says, "That's not mine, it's for you!" Puzzled, I picked up the box. As soon as I saw Moni's name as the sender, I knew just what it was!

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You see, last summer, I was having a pedi at my neighborhood nail place and a woman was there with a gorgeous silk embroidered messenger bag. Hers was red. I had to ask her where she got it, it was so beautiful. Do you know what she said? It was a DIAPER BAG. Get OUT! Shortly after that, Moni bought a similar, beautiful DIAPER BAG to use as a knitting bag. When I saw it on her blog, I was jealous. So pretty.

As it turns out, Moni didn't use it much (it looks absolutely brand new!) and decided to be a good fairy godmother and send it to me when she found out I was pregnant. Happy me! How lucky am I?! Oh joy! I love it. Apparently, so do my cats! They thought it was pretty and smelled good, too.

Thank you, Moni. You're such a good buddy. :) Mwah!!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Kyoto Corkscrew Scarf

Hellllooooo luxurious fiber!

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Corkscrew Scarf
Loop d Loop, Teva Durham
2 skeins Artfibers Kyoto: 69% silk, 25% super kid mohair, 6% extrafine wool, Color #23
Clover bamboo circular needle, size 10.5US/6.5mm

Super. As in super kid mohair. Extrafine. As in, hey, touch me, I know you want to. I already gushed about how lux this fiber is and how saturated the color is, but I cannot get over it. I keep touching it and staring at it. Oh my. I can't believe I was originally making this for someone else. It is so mine. Bwah ha ha haaaaaaa!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI followed the pattern as written except for two things: since the yarn I chose knit up at a slightly smaller gauge, I cast on 12 stitches instead of 10 so that it would still be nice and wide and floppy. More importantly, though, I changed the way the short rows were written... Teva Durham says, don't worry about knitting the wraps, the texture of the yarn will hide everything! I said phooey to that (the resulting enormous holes were icky) and knit the wraps anyway. I'm so happy with the end product.

I highly recommend this yarn. I want to knit something much bigger out of it. A bodysuit? Okay, maybe a sweater someday.

Everyone else in the knitting world is posting photos of where they knit. I'm so behind on that, I don't remember who started it. So if it was you, here ya go!

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This is my end of the futon. There's almost always some sort of knitting paraphernalia at this end of the couch; right now, I just finished my scarf (did you see how pretty it is?), so it looks a bit more bare than usual. The books are two of the most recent issues of Interweave, a baby name book, and a Sudoku game book that Mr. Goodkarma gave to me for Christmas. I have my wee IKEA spotlight on the arm of the futon because the aforementioned husband gets really picky about lighting when we're watching DVDs at night. He gets all squinty-eyed and pretends the regular room lights are about to burn holes in his eyes. Yeah, whatever. Yes, those are dumbbells. The bowl recently held a couple of scoops of caramel ice cream. Mmm. That was good. Kitties are Julian (on futon) and Lennon (on rug). Basket with lid holds (almost all) works in progress. Decor courtesy of summer 2003 spent in India. Coffee table in front of futon always always has even more knitting crap on it and something to drink.

Ta da!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Double the Fun!

Remember my friend Lisa's twins who were born last month, about a month early?

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Jacob and Sarah's Baby Raglan Sweaters
Erika Knight's Knitting For Two
Size 3 - 6 months
Cotton-Ease: Popsical Blue and Pistachio, about 1.3 skeins of each
Addi Turbos Size US8/5.0mm

This is such a simple and versatile pattern. The original pattern is called Embroidered Baby Raglan, which is very precious, but this time I was going for a more simple look. Like Kris, I wondered why I didn't knit these in the round. Duh. I spent too much time weaving in ends for such tiny sweaters. However, this pattern was just what the doctor ordered at the time; I did most of the work during my first trimester when I could barely keep my eyes open in the evenings and couldn't conjure up the brain cells to do anything other than exactly what the pattern called for. Of course, I saved button sewing and end weaving for trimester two when I am much more lively and alert!

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I love the garter stitch detail at the raglan and hems! And the buttons on the raglan seam will (I hope) make dressing those squirmy little ones easier.

This was the first time I'd used Cotton-Ease. I bought a bunch of it last summer when it was being discontinued and on sale everywhere cheap cheap cheap. (These two sweaters, including buttons, cost under $5 each). Having already knit with Rowan All Seasons Cotton when I made my Raspberry Jacke, I can definitely appreciate the different levels of quality in acrylic blends. That said, I think there is a place for this yarn, and that it is a great alternative for everyday clothing and kidwear. Machine washable, great colors, soft.

Which sweater is more girly and which is more boyish? I suppose I'll let their parents decide.