A nurse who knits…

March 29, 2009

A never ending blanket…

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 10:37 pm

I started this blanket way back on January 10, 2009. It was a few days after my first prenatal appointment and I wanted to have a receiving blanket for my little one. I bought 4 skeins of gray Berroco Comfort and used the pithy instructions of Elizabeth Zimmermann to start this blanket. It ended up much larger than I anticipated. It’s a full 50 inches square. Much too large to use as a receiving blanket or car blanket for the baby. I’ll use it to tuck my little one into his or her crib. I encountered a problem with the blanket as I was nearing completion of the first square.

I was running out of yarn!!! OMG… I used 3 of my 4 skeins on the first square. In a panic I ran back to Yarning for You and found that they did not have anymore gray in the dye lot I bought previously. So I high tailed it to Common Threads in Encinitas. They didn’t have the dye lot either so I decided that the other squares needed to be different colors. I picked jewel tones of dark red, blue, and royal purple. It is my opinion that these colors will work for either sex. Although, I have this feeling that I am going to have a girl.

The knitting went on for months. Miles and miles of garter stitch. But all in all, I think the blanket came out beautifully.
Here it is full size on my patio table.
Up close view of the garter stitch.
A close up of the color transition.

I am actually quite proud of this project.  Although I think of garter stitch as incredibly boring, it is also incredibly complex looking.  This project took a lot of stamina for me.  Normally a project this long would have resulted in me putting it away and working on something else.  Also, I think I finished the blanket well.  The seams barely are noticable.  EZ calls for a provisional cast on with a 3 needle bind off at the end so the knitter only has to weave in ends.  I missed that whole provisional cast on bit and decided that I would just seam it using a whip stitch.  And it still came out well.

I am almost sorry that this project is done.  I said almost.  As I knit this blanket, I kept thinking that each stitch in this blanket represents love for my unborn child.  And at my last stitch, I thought “Wow, I must love my baby a lot.  There must be thousands of stitches in this blanket.”  So… for my future baby.  I love you.  So much already that I can hardly wait until you get here.  I have many hopes and dreams for you and look forward to sharing the love I have for your daddy with you.  You are so wanted as this blanket can attest to.

I do plan on knitting or crocheting another baby blanket.  But one much smaller.  The next baby project is “Lillie’s Little Sweater”.  I’ve made two for other babies and want to knit one for my own.  I still have other projects waiting and I am going to finish those up this week so you’ll see them in a later post.


March 17, 2009

18 weeks + 5 days!

Filed under: Life in general — yarnnut @ 2:40 am

Matt and I went to the doc today for our mid-pregnancy ultrasound. He figured out that my baby scans well and we might as well do it now. Here are a few pics to see. They are in 4D and we were able to see the baby move real time. How cool is that!

Of course the original pictures look much better than these scanned images. I’ll be bringing them to the next meetup for all my knitting buddies to see.

The baby is measuring 3 days bigger than originally estimated. I only gained 1 lb but my doc isn’t concerned as long as both me and the baby are doing well. I don’t understand though. I feel so much bigger. Oh well. The baby weighs 254 grams and as my doc said “It measures spot on”. I go in for my next appointment in 4 weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be bigger and have more of a belly then. I just feel bloated.

March 8, 2009

S.E.X… (among other things) at Stitches West

Filed under: Dogs,Knitting,Life in general — yarnnut @ 11:24 pm

Stash Enhancement Expedition. Come on, people… get your mind out of the gutter. I attended Stitches West sans hubby.

I had a really good time at Stitches West. It was my first time and although I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I think I would have had more fun with a few knitting buds. Every knitter I knew here in San Diego couldn’t make it. So… I just started talking to other knitters and had a great time talking yarn and projects.

I forgot my camera at home so you won’t see any pictures from me of the actual event. Oh well, I’m sure you’re seeing other people’s pics all over the blog world. I got in on Thursday morning at 11 am and had lunch with my old college roomie Michelle. She is a non-knitter who learned how to knit before I left. She works in Santa Clara, literally 1 mile down the road from the Santa Clara Convention Center. The convention center had free parking. Yeah!!! and I pulled into the garage at 3 pm to get registered. I wanted to see if there were any spots in other classes that I was hoping to take. But alas, nothing tickled my fancy among the open classes. There was a market session class that I wanted to take but the ladies at registration told me that I would have to wait until the market preview to register for those classes. The market session classes were 1 hour workshops that were held on the market floor. They offered instruction in Toe Up Sock cast on (which is what I ended up taking on Friday), Seaming, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t recall at the moment.

The market preview started at 5 pm on Thursday and I wanted to make sure that I made it to that. It was an absolute zoo. There was one booth that sold discounted yarn in packs of 10. That was the most frenzied I’d seen knitters get. Granted, there were some deals to be had. On some bags, it was 60-70% off. Women and men were digging frantically into 3 huge bins filled with bags of yarn. Customer service was not the name of the game at this booth. Scoring big deals was. So… I found 3 bags of yarn that I almost bought. Almost because I stood in line for 30 minutes without any movement. Then my friends started calling at 6 pm to go out for dinner. I decided that if this yarn was here tomorrow, it was meant to be. I mean, I had only gone thru 10% of the market at this point. How could use my budget to buy this when something else spectacular could be calling my name. So. I threw the bags back into the sea of yarn and knitters and headed out for dinner. I would be back bright and early in the morning to check out the market before class.

My friends took me out for dinner at this Mediterranean restaurant in Mountain View. Very good food although I couldn’t remember the name of it for all the money in the world right now. Pregnancy forgetfulness has taken over at this point. My friends want to go out and have drinks and I have to tell them that I would rather pass out on the floor or couch at one of their houses. So we head back to my friend Ben’s house for a movie. Unfortunately we end up watching “Don’t mess with the Zohan”. This is a politically incorrect movie that was probably funny but I passed out before Zohan made it out of Israel. My friends tell me he ends up in the US. Don’t know how far into the movie I fell asleep but apparently it was very close to the beginning. Oh well.

The next day, I set out at the bright and early hour of 10 am for Stitches. I was staying over at my friend Michelle’s house for the weekend and she lives in Mountain View. About a 15 minute drive especially at the non traffic hour that was was up. So… I wandered around the market for 2 hours until my market session. I found the Webs booth and found their yarns on closeout to be a much better deal than the Zoo booth. So I bought some Rowan CashCotton DK and some Malabrigo Sock yarn. It was my first time ever buying Malabrigo Sock and I found it yummy soft. I fell in love with a brown color, Cordovan, that I was thinking would be a very smart Clapotis but I am not sure whether I could take another turn at Clapotis. It was brutal knitting it the first 2 times around. Here’s a looksie.

My market session was highly successful and I conquered the toe up cast on. We learned the figure 8 cast on and the Turkish cast on. We also tried the Judy Becker Magic Cast on but that was way too complicated for me. This class enabled me to finish my first toe up sock which is going to be for my baby. I used some left over Happy Feet from my Monkey sock. I have one Monkey and one baby sock to complete.
Baby sock
Here’s a pic of my Monkey and baby sock together so you can see the size difference. Isn’t the baby sock absolutely adorable??? I just used a figure 8 cast on with a short row heel and ribbed the foot and cuff.
Monkey and baby

My next class was “Stuck on Steeks”. I had tons of trouble following along and after the class I remained “Stuck on Steeks”. I did manage to cut a steek but I’ve come to the conclusion that steeking isn’t for me. I don’t know if it was the way the instructor taught the class or if pregnancy brain was to blame but it was an exercise in futility. The instructor didn’t demo the skills before hand. She described the skill and then went around and corrected people. After she described the skill, I had no idea what to do and had to wait until she came around. The whole thing didn’t want to make me try a complicated fair isle sweater then cut it to make a cardigan. No siree… I’ll stay the course and knit flat.

After the class was over, I was exhausted and went home to rest for a bit. My friends wanted dinner out again so we went to a Cuban restaurant. Sooo good. I had black beans and rice and a tamale. It came with fried plantains. Yummm…. I ate too much though and had horrible heartburn the rest of the night.

On Saturday, I took a break from Stitches since I didn’t have any classes scheduled. My friends and I just hung out and watched Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. Good movie. Very un-PC. Set in Michigan with a look at immigrant gang life and what it does to middle America.

Sunday was my last day and I had an 8 am Hairpin lace class. I checked my class confirmation and realized it was with the same instructor I had in my steeking class. Ugh… but I’m glad I gave it because I was actually successful with hairpin lace. I’m not sure if I’ll use the technique for projects but it was fun learning the basics. After the class, I hung around the market to find out if I won the $1000 grand prize. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win. But I participated in more S.E.X. My husband was not pleased. Here is a picture of the damage.
Stitches West Yarn
In addition to the Malabrigo Sock and the Rowan Cash Cotton, I have some Rowan Silk Cotton in a light blue, a skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight, 1 skein of MadelineTosh sock, Colinette Jitterbug, a shawl pin, and another set of Addi Turbos Size 1. I did get to play with the Addi Turbo interchangeables and was extremely tempted to buy them but I might wait until next year. This is the first year they are out and are probably still working out any bugs. I didn’t particularly like the cord as it isn’t like the fixed Addi’s but the click feature was down right cool.

I also bought a pattern for a stole and skein of 100% silk in a natural shade. I got this from the Yarn Barn. Who knows when I’ll find time to knit it…

And for you Waldo lovers out there, here he is looking as snug as a bug in a rug.