Sunday, February 24, 2013


I have a long list of things I want to sew and knit before the baby comes (in just over six weeks!).  I've been very methodical about these things.  Things like getting out the car seat and cleaning the bassinette and washing all the newborn onesies?  Yeah, not yet.  Sewing not one, but two dresses and knitting not one, but two cardigans for the big-sister-to-be?  All over it.  Hmm. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

bag beginnings

I've started a new project!  I'm going to make a diaper bag using Joel Dewberry's newest line, Notting Hill.

After scouring the internet for the perfect diaper bag pattern, I settled on a Joel Dewberry pattern, too: the Pockets Aplenty Diaper Bag.  It's not exactly perfect.  I wanted something a little bigger and with more inside pockets.  But this one looks really good and I'm sure it will work.

I've never made a bag before, and it's a little intimidating.  I completely love this fabric, though, and the satisfaction of carrying something I love every day is plenty of motivation to make me face the challenge! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ugly baby blanket

This blanket is not working.  I was in denial for a few days, but I've accepted it.  It's just ugly.

I haven't completely given up on the pattern.  I think the problem is my color choice.  So I'm going to rip it out and switch out some colors.  I think I'll get rid of the green and yellow, and swap in white and coral.

Blah.  I hate when things don't work out as planned.  I'll concede poor color choices, but I'm not going to give up yet! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FO: Maternity Nanook sweater

Are you ready for pictures of the tiredest pregnant woman ever?  I could hardly summon the energy to open my eyes.  It's getting to that point in the pregnancy where I wish someone would just order me on bed rest.  And I still have eight weeks to go.  Wah, wah, wah.  

So I may be feeling a little sorry for myself, but my whiny state has provided an excellent opportunity for wool to display its magical, healing properties.  When I put it on for the first time, I think I actually, physically, felt better.  It was so comforting and squishy and welcoming.

I'm not sure I would have knit this one if it weren't for a baby belly the size of Pluto.  I've liked this design for a while, but I usually knit things with a little more structure.  I'm glad I did, though, because it's incredibly comforting, and I think it will be fun once my girth is less ... girthy. 

As we were taking these pictures, I realized my husband hadn't said anything about whether or not he liked it, and he usually is quick to volunteer compliments on my makes.  So I asked him what he thought, and he said, "It's a little floppy at the top.  I'm not sure what it's supposed to be doing."  I'm not sure either, but right now I don't care.  I just like that I can wrap it around myself and snuggle up. 

Laughing at my "floppy top" sweater.

Pattern: Nanook by Heidi Kirrmaire.  Super well-written and clear.  I still need to add a button, but I might wait until I'm not pregnant anymore and add it then. 

Process: Once I got past the arms, it was a bit boring.  Despite feeling like this knit was unending, it actually took me less than two weeks, a sweater record by a long shot.  I think it felt like forever because it just got so heavy and bulky on the needles. 

Yarn: Northampton by Valley Yarns.  A worsted weight wool.  Very comparable to Cascade 220 or Wool of the Andes.  Not a luxury yarn, but still very nice.  I'd happily use it again, especially if I can get it on sale.  I think I paid $4.19 a ball, so at 5 balls, this sweater cost $21.  You can't beat that. 

New techniques: The pattern called for lifted increases, which were new to me.  I loved them!  The left and right versions were easier for me to remember than the typical M1L and M1R.  I can never remember which one is which. 

Instead of binding off the sleeves in the K1, P1 ribbing, I used the Kitchner stitch.  I put the knit stitches on one needle, the purl stitches on another level, and then grafted them together.  This makes for a very neat edge where the stitches look like they just curl around to the other side.  Binding off in binding can sometimes fan out, and I wanted a tighter, neater look.  

Monday, February 4, 2013


When I was 25, I hiked Half Dome in Yosemite with a friend.  He was on a crusade to make the hike 50 times before his 50th birthday, and he always needed willing hiking companions.  My sister and my dad had both done it, so I signed up, too.

Unless you are crazy wilderness survival person, the hike is pretty intense.  It's 16 miles round trip, and you gain almost a mile in elevation.  And here's the crazy part: the last 500 feet or so are straight up the back of the granite dome, with iron hand cables and wood planks bolted to the rock for foot holds.

The hike was pretty gruelling on the way up, but it was during those last 500 feet when I suddenly realized that my life, my actual life, depended on the strength in my arms.  This is when I realized that I am a regular person who enjoys walks in the outdoors, not crazy wilderness survival person.  But what was I going to do?  I kept going, did not under any circumstances look around and definitely not down, and told myself my arms were in great shape.

We had lunch at the top, and then headed back down for an eight mile hike home.  After going down a lot, the last two miles are nice and flat, but they're also very sandy.  FYI, hiking in sand after your muscles already feel like rubber bands is not enjoyable.  I think the 15 miles I'd already hiked, the mile up and down I'd gone, and the fact that I'd confronted death really hit me during this sandy stretch, and I knew there was no way I was going to make it.  My friend was going to have to call Yosemite search and rescue, and I'd be on the news, and I might never see my mother again.  Why had I done this to myself?  What was I trying to prove?  I lost all sense of decorum, and my friend, who had done this about 47 times already, was getting a little impatient with me, and I'm sure my hysterics weren't helping.

I did make it, without calling search and rescue, but the slog through that flat, sandy part remains in my memory as bad as clinging to the side of a granite mountain a mile in the air.

Something about my current knitting project reminds me of that sandy two mile stretch.

I'm over the fun part, I'm done with the tricky part, and now it just feels the garter stitch will never end.