Lilith Ann Hutchinson

June 3, 2009 at 8:44 am (Uncategorized)

Text will come later, but here are the very first pics:

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Advanced Placement Knitting

May 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized)

First, an update.  The baby is ready, I am ready, but the womb is a fortress.  I have resigned myself to the fact that next Tuesday’s deadline will be reached.  I suppose it isn’t so bad, waiting a whopping 4 days for the kid.  Gives us this weekend to focus on Jack and such.  We have our last OB appointment before the big day this afternoon.

The Knitting

I finished the first Pembrokeshire Pathways sock in Knitpicks Verdant Heather.  I adore this pattern.  The simplicity and complexity mesh so well.  I love how the ribbing leads into the lac and cable patterns, I love the 4 round repeats are easy to complete in a short car ride or bus ride and in general I just love this pattern.

And, of course, my Jack modeling the sock:

Now as much as I love this pattern, I had to promise Jack I’d make him a pair of socks next.  I’ve been wanting to knit a fraternal pair of toddler socks trying the 2 socks on DPN technique described in a knitty article.  It is a double knitting technique and after all attempts yesterday I consider it advanced placement knitting.

Now I am not one to shy away from a challenge.  In fact, I seek them out when it comes to knitting.  I think it syems from the fact I am no longer a student and need to challenge my mind a bit.  Well, yesterday was a challenge.  I blew through my first 2 attempts with no success.  The third looked to be the charm until about half an inch in and discovered I’d crossed yarn when first joining in the round.  That would have given me socks attached at the cuff.

By this time I realized I understood the technique a bit and decided to try casting on differently.  Instead of doing a cable cast on and alternating colors, I did 2 separate long tail cast ons and alternated as I moved stitches to 3 needles.  Attempt 4 went well until I did the same silly thing and accidentally pulled a needle out.  Now it seems like a rookie mistake, but it was while knitting and the stitches were tight.  Needless to say it took a 5th try.  This time I did the long tail cast ons, put the stitches where they needed to go, checked my joins and found they were not crossed, and managed 2 rows of ribbing before bed.

So there is the beginning of the 2 socks at once on DPNs, stripe one.  I plan to change colors after the ribbing and periodically throughout, but for now I’m just happy to have a start.

And as this could be the last post before baby, wish me luck.  I promise many pictures and stories.  And more knitting tales.

J.

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Insert clever title here

May 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm (Uncategorized)

So it has been a while since my last post.  In my defense the living room was rearranged and the computer moved to an end table and the keyboard in an awkward position and being as big as a house and cranky I didn’t ever really feel like blogging from there.  But now the bedroom is clean and the laptop on the desk (which is now usable!)  and it is mighty nice to have a comfortable seat and computer to use.

So now I have Jack watching Pooh on the bed (i.e. bugging me as I sit at the desk and play with the computer) and I decided to sit back here with him.  Also helps that it is hotter than hell and the desktop has been overheating lately.  Worried?  Yes, but there are more important things to worry about.

Like the baby, for example.  Lilith is scheduled for June 2nd, but the increase in the cramps, contractions and the intensity of her movements makes us think she might be as impatient as I am.  Are we ready?  Sort of.  Nursery is a disaster (until Saturday) and the bag is half packed.  Clothes and snacks and cameras are in, laptop needs packed as does DVDs, music, toothbrushes, etc.

The knitting bag is ready to go.  I might add some more colors for Brett’s Dr. Who scarf, because I just might be too doped up to handle anything but garter stitch.  But I have made cheat sheets for my next three afghan squares and I have 2 socks on the needles, plus Lily’s lace.  All ready to go.

And speaking of ready to go…

Ready to pop

Ready to pop

Jack decorated the belly, and his nose:

IT was all fun and games until he rubbed finger paint in his eyes.  Then after a too short nap (did I mention it is friggin’ hot?) we took a walk, and we had to stop several times so I could smooch his eyes and nose and ears since he kept getting smacked by passing gnats.  Cute as hell, the way he cries and points and asks for a “mooch.”  And Mooches make it all better.

On to the knitting…

I finished Lily’s booties.  They had been done for a while, but I added the buttons.

And I knit her a hat this week, The Miss Dashwood hat.  I knit it in a cotton-wool blend so it would work as a sun hat this summer, and it is neat.  It has ear flaps that can button up into the hat on warm days or keep little ears warm on cool nights.

And of course, as with all my knitting, Jack had to model it:

I also managed to finish Mom’s sweater.  It has been done and buttons added last Friday.

And I have begun the Great American Aran Afghan, or GAAA.  I’m working on my third square.  Jack knows it will be a blanket so he has snatched the completed squares out of the knitting bag and laid them across his lap as a blanket.  Here they are:

Meredith Morioka Square

Meredith Morioka Square

Georgia Vincent square

Georgia Vincent square

We also need to introduce Isabelle Victoria Studebaker:

And, since I don’t think he has made an appearance yet, our first cat (pictured with Izzy), Petie Rodriguez Jones:

And now that you are all suitably bored, I will sign off for now.  Maybe next time we will have some baby pics to share :)

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Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl

March 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm (Uncategorized)

I finished my first lace project, the Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vernal-equinox-shawl-surprise).  I adored making it, I adore lace and I was able to block it yesterday.  Here is the story of my first blocking experience.

I knew as I was adding the cotton cord through the top edge that the color was going to bleed.  I had often gone to bed with slightly green fingers after a night of knitting.  I wasn’t worried though.  I filled the sink with room temp water and added a little sampler of wool wash in Grapefruit scent and added my mass of lace.

In the sink

In the sink

I went about my morning, playing Mom and such.  About 45 minutes later Jack wanted to watch TV on my bed.  OK, there goes the blocking space.  I went into the computer-soon-to-be-Jack’s room and laid out some towels (after kicking a bunch of junk aside).  I then retrieved my shawl and rolled it in a towel to get rid of most of the water.

The aftermath

The aftermath

Then I went about pinning the top down.  This is where I learned the lesson that washing and blocking a swatch is never a bad idea.  The top ended up with a 78 inch wingspan.  I pinned the rest and needed to re-pin the top as it stretched enough that the top edges would be cramped and need re-blocking if I didn’t.  I ended up with this:

The beast

The beast

The color is off because of the flash, I will take some better photos soon, but this does show the detail quite nicely.  It ended up about 78 inches in wingspan and 40 inches in radius.

I took it off the towels this morning and wore it for a bit, and I love it.  I also found that it is the prefect size for my couch, fitting across the top nicely.  I can’t stop petting it.  I am so proud, I can’t believe I knit this thing.  And it will always hold a special place in my heart as my first ever lace project.

The love affair continues…

I started the Rona Lace Shawl (several times) and found that I don’t like bamboo DPNs anymore.  I ended up doing the first few rows on my knitpicks size 3 nickel plated needles (pointier) before going with the bamboo 5s.  I also found that I dislike joining 6 stitches in the round.  It’s an ungodly small number.  But I did get it started.

Rona Lace Beginnings

Rona Lace Beginnings

Before bed I finished round 20 and I think I’ll switch to circulars and do magic loop until it’s big enough.  Bamboo is just too dull and sticky for me now.  Damn you knitpicks for spoiling me!

More pics to come, more frequent updates as well (and I promise that a lot, I know).  I’d like to leave you with some cuteness.  Jack saw me taking pics and grinned and said “cheese” so I snapped one of him.

My little monster, turning on the cute.

My little monster, turning on the cute.

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Beautiful Day

March 5, 2009 at 11:10 pm (Uncategorized)

It is sunny and 63 degrees in Iowa today,  a bit of a shock.  But being in Iowa I fully expect snow by the end of the weekend.  But until then I have come here to blog a non-private blog for once.

Today was a good day for a new turn.  With Brett thinking of taking a second job so I can remain with the kid, soon to be kids, I realized being tired and pregnant isn’t much of an excuse and I need to get off my butt and step up to the plate.  So today I turned off the heat, opened the windows and did some spring cleaning.  Then Jack and I went to the park, then more cleaning.  I finished the right front of the central park hoodie while he napped, then back to the park.  Dinner time is approaching, but in the mean time here I am.

So the scientist part of this blog is on hold.  Yes, I am a scientist, but my main role is now stay-at-home Mom.  Science can wait until the kids start school.  Why work when my whole paycheck would be needed for daycare?  So home I am.  The crafty part will be on a minimal basis compared to when I used the tired and pregnant excuse.  I will knit and such when Jack is asleep.  Mom duties otherwise.

But I plan to keep posting pics and updates on my WIPs, which now number 4.  Green is the color of the moment, the three I work on most are green, the fourth is a Dr. Who scarf and just thinking of the miles and miles of garter stitch brings tears to my eyes.  One sock, one sweater and one lace keep the creativity flowing and keep me sane and my hands busy.

So here is to the start of a beautiful new blog, a blog that has been in existence for way too long with no activity.  But what a beautiful day to get things done.

J.

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February 10, 2009 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized) ()

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