Sunday, October 31, 2004

Exciting News

My husband called late last night with fabulous news! He's been authorized leave to come home for the baby!!! He'll be here about 2-3 days before the due date, so maybe the little one will decide to stay put until then. I really hope so-I would love for him to actually witness the birth and to be my coach again. I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself. We thought that we were going to have to wait until after the birth to get word to him and then he could come home. This is so much better!

Onto knitting content.

As promised here are the pictures of some completed items. Reilly is showing off his new sweater. I made it a little big so that he can wear it for the rest of the year. The neck line is a bit wide, but with a turtleneck underneath it'll be perfect.

Next is the KoolAid Pink Sophie all ready for gift giving.

This is what I did last night:

These are the "Super Mittens" from Weekend Knitting. They're going to be a gift for my mom (hope she's not reading). She keeps telling me that mittens would be an awesome gift for XMas, since she lost the last two pairs I made for her. They only took about three hours start to finish and gave me a nice break from the diaper bag. Speaking of, this is one of the most boring projects I have ever done. It's just seed stitch rectangles. Only one more to go and then I can seam it and felt.

It's been cold here this weekend and I broke out the socks I made. Oh so warm and cozy! It made me think that I'd like to make some more. So, as I was perusing Knitters Review this morning I came across this great link. It's from the Sock Design Challenge and I found several patterns that I want to do. Feeling inspired, I dove into the stash and found the six balls of sock yarn I had bought for a steal with the plans to dye.

First is what I'm calling "Tropical" using Berry Blue and Lemon Lime. I love how these turned out. Second is "Purple Throwup". As you might guess from the name, I'm not happy. They turned out almost the same as another batch from before. I used Grape and was going for a light graduated purple, but it turned out very dark. Third is "I love this Green". With this I started out with a taupe yarn and used Wilton dye. Very, very pleased with the color on this one.

But I can't wait for them to dry to start knitting so I found some Regia stretch that I forgot about. And I'm ready to cast on-again.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Weww... What a busy week! So much to share, but no pictures-I'm too lazy to break out the camera. Maybe this weekend I'll get around to it. So, anyway, here's what I've been up to-broken up into nice little categories.

Knitting Blogger Meet-Up

Drove to Bamberg on Saturday and met up with Teresa. She's a very nice lady! We watched her son's football game and knit abit together. It was a perfect fall day to sit outside and enjoy the weather. I really wished I had brought the camera. I would have liked to gotten a pic. of us together and some shots of the beautiful scenery on the drive there. Alas, I tried to take some later this week, but the trees have suddenly lost most of their leaves! There's always next fall. It was great to meet you Teresa!

Lots of Knitting Done

  1. Remember the sweater I was swatching for Reilly? Well, it took me three days to finish it! Mind you, this was only doing it a bit at a time too. Very, very quick knits make my day!
  2. After three goes through the washer, Sophie is finally felted. I'm quite happy with how it turned out and am now contemplating one for myself. Just a bit of wisdom to share: if you felt in a lingerie bag, make sure that the load before was not blue furry towels. Thank goodness for sweater shavers!
  3. The matching baby blanket and bunting bag are complete and now have found a temporary home in my "hospital" bag.
  4. The diaper bag is stalled. I underestimated in my conversion of yards to meters and ran out of yarn. I need one more skein of the brown to do the bottom. And I don't have enough of the green. So, I'm thinking that I'll pick up some taupe of the same brand to do the contrasting color instead. While I'm at it, I need some dpns to do some "Super Mittens" from Weekend Knitting. There goes my promise to myself to not go to the yarn store this week.

Baby Stuff

The baby is now in position for birth. So it's just a matter of waiting for him to decide he's ready. Had an ultrasound done today too. It was the coolest one yet! I could really see his features and lots of details. I could see his eyes moving and he even stuck out his tongue. Needless to say, I'm getting very excited about his arrival. Only three weeks (supposedly) to go!

Complete Randomness

I discovered two great food finds this week and just had to share. First, Honey Crunch apples are so delicious. Never had them before and need to go to the store and get more. Second is "Cider Roasted Chicken" from the Oct. '04 Cooking Light magazine. You must try this! Not sure if you can get it from their site, they make you use passwords, but if it's still on the newstand-go get it. Basically it's a roaster brined overnight with cider and salt and the result is pure heaven. The past four months or so, I've been turned off by the smell of chicken cooking, but had to try this recipe. Plus I wanted leftovers for soup.

Well, I guess that's the bulk of it. I promise to get some pictures soon. I also wanted to give warning that if I haven't posted in a week, I've probably had the baby. And then there will be cute pictures!

Friday, October 22, 2004

LYS Friday!

Here's the bunting bag, almost finished. All I need to do now is sew on the buttons. Ick. I hate sewing.

So, how do you know when you have a yarn buying problem? Well, when you've only lived somewhere for six months and all the LYS employees know you. Granted, it's nice now that they all know that I'm slowly learning German and are quite helpful with helping me along. They also know that I usually don't need help in finding my yarn and let me browse without hovering.

Here's what I got:

Three skeins of the chocolate brown wool for my diaper bag. The green comes from my stash.

Six skeins of Rodels Nepal for a sweater for Reilly. I've had my eye on this yarn for awhile and have been waiting for something to do with it. In fact I'm liking it so much, I might have to go back and get the purple variegated for myself. I know it's hard to see the colors, but they're grey/brown and greenish.

And four skeins of this purple/charcoal grey yarn for a scarf for the babysitter.

Needless to say, I had a good time. Reilly on the other hand was not thrilled at all. Thankfully the ladies at the yarn stores like him and his antics. Including his desire to grab the balls of yarn and throw them! I'm just embarrassed. I'll be glad when Royd is home and I can go shopping while he watches the kids.

I'm suppose to meet up with Teresa tomorrow in Bamberg, but haven't heard back from her yet! I know she's been having issues with her internet connections, so I may not get to. Oh, well. There's always another time. On Sunday, my neighbor and I are going to drive down to Kitizigen to holiday shop at the Bazaar there. I really need to finish the Xmas shopping and am hoping that this one will have some good stuff. So I went to the ATM and withdrew a buttload of cash, so I don't have to hassle with checks. I'll be glad when all the holiday and birthday(6 of 'em) shopping is done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

First let me show a picture of my awesome new ball winder in action!

Next, is what I've been working on since yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, not much else has gotten done in my house.

This is going to be a baby bunting bag from The Yarn Girls Guide to Kids Knits. I was at the bookstore yesterday and happened to find this book. I had been looking for a pattern for this and immediately snatched it up. Once I got home, I sat down and looked at the rest of the patterns. I am so glad I bought it! It was exactly what I needed-quick, simple and fun knits for the kids. Alot of the other pattern books I have are too fussy or done in a gauge that I know will take forever to complete. BTW, I'm doing it in the extra yarn from the baby blanket(which just needs sewing up).

I've found at least 4 patterns that I really want to do NOW. I did a little stash diving and couldn't find any yarn that seems quite right. I guess a trip to the yarn stores is in order? I have to go anyway, I need some yarn to do the diaper bag. I did notice as I was rummaging through the stash that I have way too much yarn. And not yarn that I'll ever use either. I packed up one box to donate and will go back through to find some more. I figure that it'll make me feel good to pass it onto someone who can use it, and it'll clear the way for new yarn. Plus, Royd will be visiting in a month or two, and I'd hate for him to see how bad my habit has become. I mean, I can't even hide it anywhere! Seven huge plastic totes are kinda hard to hide in a three bedroom apartment.

Well, I'm off... I want to finish this project before Friday-yarn store day.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Check It Out!

Knitting Goddess
You appear to be a Knitting Goddess.
You are constantly giving and are unconcerned with
reward, you simply want others to love knitting
as much as you do. If someone wants to knit
miles of novelty yarns, you are there for them.
If someone wants to learn short row shaping,
you can help. There are no taboos in knitting,
only opportunities to grow. Everyone should
have friend like you around if they want to
learn to knit, and there's a good chance that
your passion has rubbed off on a few others.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ha Ha! I don't think of myself as a goddess, of any sort. I guess I just checked all the right answers. I'd like to think of myself as an intermediate knitter, having only been doing it for 2+ years. There's so much more that I'd like to learn, but hey, I can brag.

Slow is the word for the past few days. I've been jumping back and forth between projects and not really making progress on any of them. Well, three are almost done, I just need to crack down and finish them.

I'm trying my hand at designing my own sweater too. I have some beautiful thick and thin yarn that is screaming at me to knit with. After searching for the right pattern for three days, I've come to the conclusion, that it doesn't exist or is hiding from me. In actuality, it's a very simple pattern- a raglan with a cowl neck. The problem is in the detailing and gauge. So, I'm swatching and doing math like crazy. This is my first attempt at such a major project that I feel I may end up discarding it. Hopefully I won't, but don't be surprised if you never hear about it again.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

My SP Rocks!!!

I was really hoping that the package waiting for me at the PO was documents concerning my car purchase. Delightfully, it wasn't! Instead my SP surprised me with a ball winder!!! I'd love to show a picture, but I'm waiting for the batteries in the digital to charge and couldn't wait to post. Thank you, SP, you're awesome.

So what do you do when you're bored with all of your current projects? Why, you start a few more! Yes, I am crazy. I casted on for the Dazzle Ribbed Sweater using the Gedifra Dandy I purchased awhile back. I'm still not sold on the colors of this yarn. Don't get me wrong, they're beautiful, but I'm not sure if it's me. I've gotten into the second ball and am letting it sit there for me to mull over for a few more days. Then, I went stash diving and found some cranberry and mossy green yarn to make a hat, mitten and scarf set for Reilly. It's getting a bit chilly, and he'll need them soon.

I have made progress on other stuff too. Clapotis II is awaiting finishing and blocking. Sophie is waiting for me to dye some more yarn to finish the handles. Wouldn't you know it, I ran out again. Baby blanket is seeing the finish line, if I ever sit down and knit the last two squares.

Now, I have to find a pattern for a scarf that suits the 17 yo babysitter. I had a hard enough time figuring out what colors she likes since all she ever wears is black. Yeah, I could have done black, but the poor girl needs some color in her life! And I've thought of two more Xmas presents that I'd like to do. One I'm going to put in my hospital bag to work on after I deliver and waiting for them to let me go home. I remember that with Reilly, I was incredibly bored. I know some people try to nap, but I couldn't ever get comfortable enough. The other, I'm in search of yarn to do it.

Speaking of baby, I had an OB checkup on Tuesday. I've already started to drop and "soften". Next week I get to start the weekly trek to the Wurzburg hospital to see the real OB. I just hope that when I do go into labor, they don't tell me that they're full and I'll have to go to the local Krankenhaus(sp?). As wonderful I hear German doctors and nurses are, I really don't want to spent 7 whole days trapped with them. Yes, that's not a typo, 7 days. I mean, unless you have complications, why do you need to be there that long?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Another FO

Yup, that's right, the Harlot Poncho is at 100%! Talk about a quick knit! It only took three evening and a half afternoon. Unfortanetly I won't be wearing it anytime soon. I wanted to wear it through the rest of the pregnancy, but it turned out to be a little too body hugging for my taste. But, once the belly is back to "normal", it will be fabulous.

I dyed some more yarn today too. Once I start knitting it I'll post a picture of it. I'm very happy with how it turned out- a salmon pink with blotches of lighter pink. The blotches weren't intentional, I didn't stir well enough, but I think it's going to look cool.

My SP emailed me to say I should be on the lookout. Yay! I can't wait to see what she(I think) sent me this time. I love getting stuff in the mail, even when I know what it's going to be.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Clapotis Finished

Yeah! Isn't she beautiful? And look, another one already on the needles!!! I was looking for a variegated pink yarn, but couldn't find one that I felt suited the recipient, so a solid pink will have to do. I can't say who it is, it's a surprise.

A Very Harlot Poncho won out. I'm using TLC's Amore and I'm loving it. I'd show you a picture, but there's not much to see, except a burgundy blob. So far I've gotten about 8 inches done.

The baby blanket is showing progress too. Only 4 more squares (I think) and then I can put it all together. Still not sure about the sizing, I don't want it too big, but not too small. I guess that I can always add onto it, being that I ordered enough of the yarn to do a full size blanket. Or, I'm thinking that I could make a sweater and hat to go with it. Seriously, I need to stop thinking about more projects!

And yes, there's more knitting news! I started the Felted Diaper Bag. I was going to use my lonely skein of Noro for the large pocket, a green for the sides and handle, and dye some purple for the body. But, I'm not sure if I'm liking the combo all that much. Now, I have an idea to go ahead and order two more skeins of the Noro to do the other pockets and some coordinating blue for the body. I would just dye the blue, but koolaid isn't making a nice enough color for me. I'm going to have to think about this project some more.

So, what am I going to do with all that wool I do have? Well, I'm thinking of some Sophie bags for XMas. Ugh! Will I ever stop? Probably not, even though I need to.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Stalled Progress

Clapotis should have been finished last night. What happened? Well, I did one too many repeats and ran out of yarn! I only need to do three repeats on the decrease rows to be done. Yeah, I could tink out the rows, but that's too much work. So, I'll have to go back to the yarn store and get more. Do I have ulterior motives? YES! I've decided to do another Clapotis for someone else. This time I'll pick a yarn that works up at a larger gauge though, so it'll take less time.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what poncho to do. I'm torn between Loretta Lynn, FCEK's Turtleneck poncho or Yarn Harlot's. The problem is that I don't know if I want a turtleneck or not. Decisions, decisions...

Actually, not alot of knitting has been going on. The other night I woke up with severe cramping on my right side. After I got comfortable again, I was able to fall back asleep. But the next day my back hurt, it even hurt to breath. Figuring I might have pulled something, I took it easy. Yesterday, I felt better, but my left side was now bothering me. Today I feel like nothing ever happened. It's strange what being pregnant can do to you.

Now, I have this sinking feeling that the baby is coming sooner rather than later. I have this panicked feeling to get things done in preparation. So, I went to the Commissary and bought tons of diapers and baby supplies. Included in the trip was enough dry and canned food to last several months. My reasoning is that if the baby comes early, there will be enough food, so that no one has to go to the store for me, except for cold stuff. With Royd not being here, I'm getting panicked. I also worry that FIL won't be here when I go into labor. I can just see it now: me running up and down the stairwell, ringing doorbells at three in the morning. Actually, it kinda makes me laugh a little.

I guess I'm a little obsessed right now. I even picked up extra stuff for my next SP package, just in case. I just hope that this feeling subsides a bit, so I can concentrate on other things.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

My Brain Isn't Working

I have a few updates to make.

First, the "soap" my SP sent me, isn't that, but solid body cream. Duh, don't I feel silly. But, it's even better since my hands are always dry. Thanks again SP!

Second, I totally forgot to post about the wonderful gift Calissa gave me. She surprised me with a Layette set for the baby. There's a hat, washcloth, bib and two undershirts. It was so completely unexpected and thoughtful! Thank you again!

Reilly was running a fever after waking up from his early nap yesterday until after todays, so we never made it to the playground. He's feeling fine now, but I'm glad I kept him inside to rest. Was shame however, since it was gorgeous out all weekend. Hopefully it will stay this way for a few more days.

Well, lots of knitting going on this weekend. Managed to crank out 3 1/2 squares of the baby blanket. Haven't yet decided exactly how big it will be, will have to see as I get more done on it. Here's a picture of the colors. Aren't they great?

Clapotis is coming along nicely. I can't wait to finish it. I'm liking the pattern so much that I may even make a few for presents. I wasn't suppose to add anybody else to my XMas list, but I may just have to. Well, let me finish some other projects up first, and then I'll see what I have time for. I know my mom would love one, she so subtly hinted at it and all.

I found this at the thrift store last week for 1.50. I spent the better part of this morning ripping it out. So far, I've only managed to get one sleeve completely out. The wool itself is okay. It is not twisted, which is nice, but keeps breaking apart. Also, I don't know how it ever stayed together, the ends aren't weaved in. But it'll be perfect for felting.

The past few weeks I've managed to get my hands on a bunch of wool for felting and dyeing. Now, I just can't decide what to make. I was going to do a Booga Bag and still want to. Alas, I found another bag pattern I'd like to do. It's a diaper bag from "Knitting for Baby" and is too cool. Hmm... Maybe both? The diaper bag is larger and has pockets. Would definetly be more practical, considering the situation. Well, I've got alittle time to figure it out, but not much!

Talk about bad timing! I just found out that the Elementary school will be having a PTA Craft Show. It's Nov. 14th. Just a few days before baby boy is expected. Plus, I don't have enough time to get anything done for it. I would love to do something like this. I have a few basic bag and scarf patterns that I've come up with that have been waiting for they're chance to be put to use. When I worked at AC Moore I would just make up my own to showcase the yarn that we sold, since they didn't carry many that suited me. Do I have any made up? No. Just a few baby things that were never given away. Oh well, I guess there's always next year. I'm going to call the lady in charge anyway and find out about rental charges and plans for next year.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Cheap SEX

Isn't that a catchy title?

I finally got to meet Calissa yesterday. I had a great time and was very happy to meet someone new. I'd been visiting my MIL in Idar-Oberstein, and Calissa lives only 15 minutes from there. So, we went yarn shopping! Yeah!

Here's what I got myself. Two pairs of Addis that were only about US$8, a metric needle check, and 15 balls of Gedifra Flamme(on sale). I also picked up some goodies for my SP, but I can't show that. I will tell you that it's beautiful stuff.

It was so nice to finally meet someone with common interests. We had tons in common--it was almost scary! I have a hard time meeting people that I have things to talk about with, other than children. So, meeting her was very refreshing. It's a pity that we live so far from each other though, about a 3-4 hour drive. I really wish we'd had more time to hang out. She was a really cool person. If you want a complete detail on what we did, go check out her blog. She saved me the trouble of writing it all down! Thanks Calissa!

I also picked this up while there (thank you Karen). I've got two skeins of the grey wool to dye and felt, five of the red for a sweater for Reilly and enough of the blue and lime green for the baby. Karstadt was having a great sale and everything was less that US$2 each. Awesome!

All in all, Idar was great. I had a nice time visiting with my MIL--she's a really nice lady that I enjoy spending time with. The town was absolutely charming. Too bad I didn't bring my digital to show some pictures. I did get some on my regular camera and hope to get that developed soon. The town that I live in was destroyed in the war, so there aren't a lot of really old building to look at. So it was nice to be in a city that had that old world charm.

Finally, I got a letter from Royd today. He had written it for our anniversary and I loved it. It's funny, he has a hard time expressing what he feels in person, but can write the most beautiful things down on paper. I was in tears (sad and happy) as I read it. I needed it, especially after watching the news last night about all the fighting that's going on right now. Thanks hon, I love you--it was the best present you could have given me.

After having my mom last week and visiting others this week, it's nice to be alone with Reilly again. We needed a little quiet time to ourselves, especially him. As much as I love seeing people, it's always nice to have your own space too. I have planned this weekend to be spent on the couch and at the playground, with lots of knitting going on!