Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thank you, magic song!

My mother put me onto a great tip when she visited us last week: the magic song. Dancing to this song calms Tadpole down like a charm. It didn't give me time to finish replying to all of your comments from the last post (they're coming, I promise). But the magic song + the moby wrap led to this (and dinner!):

Monday, March 28, 2011

Option 3 it is

Mr. Tinks and Frogs went back to work today so this is my first day home alone with Tadpole. She's napping at the moment and I know this means I should be napping, too, but I couldn't pass up a chance to engage in an adult activity that didn't involve eating solid foods. I've got about half an hour before she's going to wake up again so this is going to be pretty random. Don't say I didn't warn you. Hmm, maybe less than half an hour but it looks like the moby wrap is going to buy me a few more minutes, especially if I bounce while I type. This should be interesting.

On the knitting front, or rather the yarn acquisition front, my stash diet has taken a bit of a beating these past couple of weeks. In my defense, I will say that the exceptions were very, very good.

Exception #1: being in labor. I'd been having regular but still rather mild contractions for several hours when my LYS posted on ravelry that they now had tosh sock available. The store had had worsted and lace weight Madelinetosh offerings for a few weeks but I had really been looking forward to the sock. I was ready to take another walk, we had already gone to the good coffee shop in the neighborhood earlier in the day, and the LYS might be sold out of all the good colors before I had another chance to get there (or so I told myself). All very good reasons to head in that direction. Living within walking distance of a lovely yarn store is a dangerous thing, and I came home with a skein of Jade tosh sock.

Exception #2: we (Tadpole) needed something that screamed "I'm a girl." Apparently my sophisticated, relatively gender-neutral color palette of handknits (not to mention the little notation next to her name on the chart) makes it too difficult for the nurses at the pediatrician's office to notice that Tadpole is a girl.

She looks like a girl, right?

We're switching pediatricians (there are other reasons, too) but I thought a little something extra was in order to avoid this sort of thing in the future. Hence the need for another trip to the LYS.

That should help. Assuming I ever get them knit up into something, of course. Each skein is slated to be a hat plus something else (the something else will probably be a sweater, but that has yet to be determined).

On the knitting front, Laminaria is done. Or rather, the knitting is done and the ends are woven in but I still need to block the piece and that's not really something that I can do while wearing a baby. Although I just might be able to do it if I put the blocking mats on the island instead of the floor so I don't have to be on my hands and knees the whole time. Certainly something to think about. Or I could just wait for Mr. Tinks and Frogs to come home and put him on tadpole duty for half an hour.

More importantly, how did I manage to actually finish this piece? I knit the bulk of it while I was waiting for a certain little someone to make her appearance so I only had one repeat of the flower chart and then the edging charts left to do once we got home from the hospital. I knit a row here and a row there while Tadpole was napping. And then I managed the bind off like this:

Now you're never going to believe this next bit. I've been spinning! After breakfast, I popped Tadpole in the wrap and sat down at the wheel after she had fallen asleep. I managed to finish up a bobbin of BFL that I've been working on for a couple of months now.

The second bobbin of what is destined to be a (hopefully) lovely 2-ply yarn is about half done and needs only another couple of hours worth of work to complete.

I hadn't really enjoyed spinning the last few times I had sat down at the wheel during the final months of pregnancy. I was worried that I was either falling out of love with spinning or maybe just falling out of love with my wheel. But then a friend of mine suggested option 3: perhaps I just couldn't sit comfortably in my spinning chair. After spinning several times in the past week, I can happily report that the correct answer is option 3.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thirteen Days

That's right, Tadpole will be two weeks old tomorrow. I have no idea where the time has gone. Mr. Tinks and Frogs and I have been having a blast getting to know our little girl. Even Nayyir seems pretty pleased (ok, exceedingly tolerant) of the new addition to our household.

We're all getting used to some new routines around here. For instance, I don't think I've typed with both hands for thirteen days now. (I'm holding Rowan with one hand and typing with the other at the moment.) So, for the sake of expediency, I'm going to skip my usual individual responses - if that's ok - and say a mass thank you for all of your comments on my last post. I really enjoyed reading your kind words and they were great company during 2 a.m. feedings.

Moving on . . . this is ostensibly a knitting blog and I even have a bit of knitting to share. Perhaps those Nancy Bush socks that I was so careful to save for the hospital? Nope. I didn't knit a stitch while I was there. I've been working on it (and Laminaria) in fits and spurts, but my couple of rows a day pace doesn't make for very fast progress.

What I have been working on is hats. Baby hats. The little pink cap from the hospital was discarded pretty quickly in favor of a handknit and I figured she should have a couple more options.

First, I cast on with leftover BFL handspun from Coraline but quickly discarded that plan when I realized how blue the hat looked. I've said "she's a she" enough times in the past almost two weeks to want to avoid blues for the time being.

Then I whipped up this one out of the cashmere left over after I lined my Thorpe.

She only wore it long enough for me to snap that picture. It's a bit small, to say the least. I was extremely confident going into this project because I finally had her head circumference to use in calculating how many stitches I would need. But what I had was her head circumference immediately after birth and, as my mother gently reminded me, babies' heads compress quite a bit on the way out. We measured again and her head is an inch bigger.

On to hat #2.

(Yes, I took a quick break from burping her to snap this pic.) It's a cable and rib pattern that I made up for some leftover malabrigo. It's still based on the too-small head figures but between the elastic fabric and a little soak in some wool wash, it fits pretty well.

Hat #3 finally used the right numbers and fits her very well. It's a basic stockinette cap with twisted stitch 1x1 ribbing knit up out of some leftover merino/tencel handspun.

 I'm looking forward to the time when it won't take me three days to finish a simple little baby cap.

But for now, there are plenty of other finished handknits around here to enjoy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

FO: Tadpole

Rowan Mackenzie was born at 8:12 yesterday morning and is already sporting her first handknit. I've made Mr. Tinks and Frogs something for his birthday every year we've been together but I think this present takes the cake.