Posts Tagged 'knitting'

Christmas Issues

Did you believe in Santa?  I never did.  I don’t remember my parents telling me one way or the other, but they didn’t emphasize it, and there were no gifts from “Santa” under the tree and no talk of not having presents if I was naughty, so I grouped Santa with Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse–fun, but imaginary.  David wants to do the same thing with Ruby, even though he believed in Santa as a child, but I am sort of conflicted.  I don’t feel like I missed out on anything, but what if I did?  On the other hand, it seems that telling your kid that Santa is real is taking a gamble–maybe she will gracefully grow out of it, or maybe she will believe until she’s 12 and have an embarrassing encounter at school and feel totally betrayed.  Thank goodness we have another year or two to decide. 

We did let Ruby sit on Santa’s lap last weekend.  Her sweet cousin wanted to tell him “what everyone should get” for Christmas (Toy Story toys, in case you were wondering), so we stuck Ruby on his other knee and snapped a picture before she had her “why did you give me away” meltdown. 

 

He was a nice looking Santa, I will give him that. 

Anyway, so it’s December now.  Last year, I decided to make an advent calendar by knitting 25 mini-mittens, which I would be able to stuff with treats or fun things to do printed on slips of paper.  I got to 13 and then quit.  That means I’ve only got 12 to go!  And listen to this: I was going to scrap the whole idea because I couldn’t remember which pattern I’d been using for the mittens and couldn’t bear to have 13 in one size/style and 12 in another, but then I felt something inside my stocking, which I was hanging (by the chimney) (with care) and LO! It was the pattern, written on an index card!  Oh 2010 Jillian, you were one smart cookie.

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Gimme gimme gimme

In the movie Bed of Roses, Christian Slater describes Christmas morning as an “0rgy of greed”.  I saw that movie when I was 14 or so (my sister had a weird thing for Bed of Roses, sort of like the thing I had for The Sound of Music, but less wholesome, I’m sure) and for some reason, even though I didn’t know what an 0rgy was at the time, that phrase continues to knock around in my head during the holidays.  So that is what I’m thinking all morning when we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ.  0rgy of greed 0rgy of greed 0rgy of greed.  I’m sure my mom is very proud right now. 

Anyway, here’s what I want for Christmas!

Clip-on Earrings!  Here is something you should know about me before we go any further.  One of my ears is normal.  The other is bionic.  I had my ears pierced when I was 6 and my left ear stayed pierced, but my right ear closed right back up again. This has happened about 4 times now.  A million years after I die, someone will probably stumble across a lone, pristine earlobe while walking across the Ohio Valley, because I’m pretty sure that my ear will never decompose.

So I want some clip-on earrings.

Lands End Cozy Fleece Coat.  Now that I will be running around outside with a child, I think it’s time for me to get a more….athletic coat.  This is athletic as I can get, though.  I mean, it has a zipper, so that’s about my limit. 

Tiny stork scissors.  I have always (for the last year) wanted these. 

African Baskets - African Bolga Baskets, Extra Large

Extra Large African Baskets. I have seen these all over the internet and passed one up this summer at a local festival.  I have major regrets about that decision.  Anyway, I think these are beautiful and would be a great way to tote all our stuff (toys, snacks, knitting projects, extra layers) in and out of the house–to the park, backyard or just to the next room.

Felt Coaster Set.  Yes, $88 is a bit much for coasters, which is why I haven’t bought them.  Which is why I want someone to GIVE them to me. 

Vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt.  My love for blankets of all kinds is boundless, but vintage quilts have a special place in my heart.  And Grandmother’s Flower Garden happens to be my favorite pattern.  As an aside: Who are the horrible people who sell these?  Listen, descendents, I do not spend hours making things just so they can be sold to STRANGERS on Ebay! 

  A sweater’s worth (5 skeins) of Malabrigo Rios (superwash merino worsted). I still haven’t knit myself a sweater.  Isn’t that sad?  I even have yarn for one that has been languishing away for nearly two years now.  I’m not giving up though, and I think that once I finish one, I will be on a roll.  This is my new favorite yarn, so maybe that will inspire me to get started?

A pair of Toms.

Meal planning notepad.  We already have the All Out Of checklist on our fridge for grocery shopping, which comes in super handy. Menu planning is one of the few organizational endeavors that I will keep up with, and this would make that even easier. 

…and World Peace.

Knits for the whole family (except David)

So, I have been secretly fretting over a rocking chair for the nursery for a number of reasons. First, I have heard that some babies do not like to rock or glide, so this purchase may be totally in vain, which brings me to the second worry, which is that comfortable rockers are super expensive (we will not discuss gliders because they are hideous), so I would feel a lot of pressure to use it regardless of the baby’s feelings about rocking, which could lead to many tortured hours of either rocking alone, or rocking with a screaming baby, niether of which are particularly good options. Third, it is hard to find one that will both go with the nursery color scheme (gray and yellow) and physically fit into the smallish space available for it.

So.

I was hoping to solve all of these problems by finding the perfect used rocker, this way, if it doesn’t work out, we can just get rid of it without feeling too guilty about the money. We went to my favorite place to buy used furniture: Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. I loooove it there, but I was not feeling confident that we would actually find a small, yellow rocker the first time out. But then, there it was! A SMALL YELLOW ROCKER!! So, for $55, we threw it in the back of the Prius (which can hold way more furniture than you might think, by the way), cleaned it up and put it in the nursery. I love it.

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Cute, huh?

Anyway, as the title of this post implies, I have been knitting.  I just completed my #1 absolute favorite thing I have made for this little girl and it’s funny because it’s such a plain and simple little top:

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Pattern: Seamless Baby Kimono

Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino

Modifications: Used buttons instead of ties and shortened the sleeves

First of all, the pattern was lovely.  Perfect car knitting because I could go for long stretches without referring to the pattern at all.  However, the real star of this pattern is definitely the yarn.  I have never used Malabrigo Silky Merino before and my oh my, the color and the drape and the softness is just a pleasure.  You know I’m biased toward this yarn anyway, but honestly, this was something special for me.

Second knit.  Don’t laugh, but it’s another pair of mitts.  I made this pattern for my sister for Christmas last year and liked them a lot and I had this festive red Malabrigo, so I made a pair FOR MYSELF, you guys!

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Pattern: Susie’s Reading Mitts

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Colorway: Vermillion

Modifications: this pattern is perfect as is. 

I love these.  I love that I can use my iPhone and change the radio station in the car (I am currently switching between Christmas music and NPR, so my car time has been sort of manic-depressive lately) and type and find my keys–all while maintaining hand warmth!  I know you know this, but isn’t it weird how uncomfortable frozen, chafed hands can be?  All swollen and numb, but somehow still ultra pain sensitive?  I hope to forget about that sensation over the next few seasons of glove wearing. 

Wish me luck.

Runaway (from the) Train

Ignore everything I wrote about the train last week. It was a mistake, you guys. First of all, I left my knitting in the car.  I know.  Secondly, it ended up taking us almost 19 hours to get from Maysville, KY to Philly, and that was after we DROVE for two hours from Lexington to Maysville.  And there was a crazy man across the aisle from us, who spend the first eight hours of the trip bathing his head and shoulders with cologne.  And the food? The food was an abomination. For dinner, we had pasta with marinara sauce mixed with corn.  This was how it came out.  Of the microwave, no doubt.

The moment I stepped off the train, my distended, pregnant body let me know in no uncertain terms that I would not be boarding again in two days.  Or ever.  So David’s parents graciously let us borrow their Suburban to drive home and driving was PURE PLEASURE.  I don’t know what I was thinking–David and I have been driving long distances together for almost 10 years now and we always have a good time.  Plus we had the added benefit of the in-laws XM radio, which has an all Broadway station.  I don’t think anymore needs to be said about that. 

So, I have no knitting to show you (see above), but we got a lot of very cute, handmade stuff at the baby shower (which was the point of the whole trip), but that will be for a separate, more light-hearted, post. 

In conclusion: I really hope no one booked train tickets as a result of my previous, stupidly optimistic post.  If you did, you have my sincere apology. 

This time FOR ME!

Happy belated Halloween!  Ever since David and I first got married and moved to our first apartment, I have wished for trick or treaters to come to the door by the dozen.  Unfortunately, things just never worked out for us.  When we lived in neighborhoods with lots of kids, it was not safe for said children to be out at night (we’ve lived in some rough areas), and when we lived in safer neighborhoods, there were very few children.  Well, I’m happy to report that our seventh home is a perfect blend of safe area and full of kids, so we had about 50 trick-or-treaters!  And, as an added bonus this year, Maxwell sat at the door watching these strangers approach us to take our candy and did not behave like a rabid killer!  There is hope for him, yet, people.

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 And look how cute we can make him look, when we put his head in a vice-grip and torture him with blindness!  And note also the presence of a very attractive human face on this blog!  All this anonymity just seems really silly to me at this point, so I’m ending it, starting with David.  This is what he looks like, Internet and he is not afraid of you or your spying ways. 

Anyhoo, the handsome man above and I are embarking on sort of an adventure this weekend–a train ride!  Yes, we will be taking a train from Kentucky to Philadelphia to visit the In-Laws and to attend our baby shower!  I’m not really sure how we decided to take the train–something to do with the expense of flying and the discomfort of driving 12 hours during one’s 3rd trimester (I can’t believe it, either).  There are only two major down-sides to travelling by train: 1. it leaves at 4:30am 2. it’s an 17 hour trip.  But the big positive?  Knitting time.  Also Dining Cart.  And Bathrooms.  So we shall see.  In preparation for this epic train ride, I have purchased yarn and plan to make a baby sweater–perhaps the February Baby Sweater, fitting since this little girl will most likely come a few days after her January 31st due date.  I was excited to see that Malabrigo is testing a superwash worsted weight yarn, but passed over it for the dk weight Silky Merino and it is beautiful. 

I smiled goofily while turning the hanks into cakes and kept saying to David, in the next room, “This is making me so happy!”  Weird, I know.  It’s like I have the opposite of pregnancy hormones.  I’m sure David would agree…RIGHT, DAVID?!  I also picked up a hank of regular Malabrigo Worsted in colorway Vermillion, because I was completely out after making those blue fingerless mitts. 

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And what did I make with the new yarn?  FIngerless mitts, natch. But these are different, because, unlike the last dozen pairs I’ve made, they are FOR ME! And while knitting them up, I couldn’t help but sing Rose’s song, the final anthem in Gypsy Rose Lee, which ends with Patti Lupone screaching several half-crazed repetitions of, “For me!” Pictures to follow.  Of the mitts, not my performance.

A couple things…

I made another pair of fingerless gloves.  This is only because I didn’t feel I had sufficiently proven my fingerlessgloveknitting prowess last fall, while preparing for the Christmas of Knitted Gifts.  And it is also because I have a special friend who I will be seeing soon at a certain baby shower (for me! OMG!) and I happened to have an extra hat from last year (it got a little crazy at the end, there), so I thought, what the heck, I’ll make some gloves and complete the set!  So I did.

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And, let me tell you, I am SO GOOD at making these now.  I think I can stop now.  Except that, somehow, I still don’t have any for myself. 

Pattern: Raspberry Mitts (Ravelry Link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Paris Night

Mods: I turned them inside out so that they are in reverse stockinet.  I just liked how they looked better that way. 

In other news, this fall has been disappointingly hot and dry–most days it hovers in the mid 70’s and just stays sunny.  Oh well, at least the dogwood tree is giving us a nice show, as always.

dogwood fall

Autumn Leaves, take 2

There’s a fear that’s been developing for the past two years, and now that I’m about to have a baby (in four months), it is rearing its ugly head.  I think my sister stole my good baby karma.

My parents tell me that my sister was a horrible infant.  She didn’t sleep, she didn’t eat, and basically behaved like those bad babies that hang out in the checkout lines at grocery stores.  Specifically Wal-Mart.  Anyway, she was so bad, they almost didn’t have me because they were apparently developing borderline personality disorders by the time she was two.  But have me, they did, God love them, and lo, my presence was a soothing balm to the household.  I was a Good Baby.

ERGO, the logic of the universe tells us that, when it came time to have our own kids, Sister Friend was doomed to have a hellion, while my biggest complaint would be that all the strangers complimenting my perfect children made me late for supper.

And here’s where things get worrisome: SHE had a Good Baby!!!  So now, I’m a little concerned.  At least, though, if I do end up with some screamy freak-out child, I will have someone to blame, and doesn’t that make things at least a little less unjust?

ANYWAY:

Yesterday was a great day for knitting! I finished up two projects which were languishing on the needles and even had time to knit a wee little plain baby cap.

I only have one picture to show you today, because the other stuff is downstairs, so obviously, that’s too far away.

But it’s a cute one:

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Does this look familiar?  It’s because I knitted one for my niece Ellie (soon to be known as “the good one”).  It’s the Autumn Leaves Cardigan from What to Knit when You’re Expecting, done in the (washable and cheap) Lion Brand Wool-Ease and with yellow buttons.  Awwww