Monday, October 30, 2006

Inward Focus

As I approach my due date my attention span for anything is shortening, my focus is turning inward and I find myself slowly running out of the desire or the energy to do anything but the necessary - taking care of the little day-to-day tasks that make up life, being present and engaged with PumpkinBoy, going to work, etc.

We have had a very busy past two weeks: having a new furnace installed, heading down to the Cape this past weekend to see our new newphew baptised, getting baby things out of storage and cleaned up, and of course tomorrow is Halloween so costume prep and pumpkin carving have been put on the front burner as well. I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a couple quiet weeks of "normal" days pre-baby.

I am still knitting. The Po-Mo Shawl, socks and Mariah, but all in little tiny spurts. Still spinning too. I got double drive working on little Mary Jane and am ready to put some real fiber to the test on it (as opposed to the junk I'd been playing with). I have some divine Bunny Crack from Kim that I couldn't resist purchasing a month ago that I think will be a nice first try for this wheel. I do hope to find the energy to make it to what will most likely be my last spin-night before baby this week (Goddess help me if I'm still pregnant for the next one!) so I actually might make progress on that.

Expect a bit of quiet from me for the next little while as I indulge in my baby-waiting instincts. I will still be reading, and perhaps commenting elsewhere, just not taking time to post here as often.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I May Not be at Rhinebeck

But that doesn't mean I can't enhance my spinning accoutrement.

Meet my second wheel. Its a Kromski Mazurka - I stumbled across a Craiglist post for it, bought it for a song. She is in near perfect condition (one little ding on the drive wheel and the piece that holds the distaff needs to have a crack glued up) came with all her accessories plus two extra bobbins and a tensioned lazy kate.

Her one major drawback is that she positively reeks like pot. Perhaps thats why the seller didn't realize how much he could have charged? Who knows, but he had certainly just smoked up when husband, PumpkinBoy and I drove into the city last night to get her. I think I'll name her MaryJane in his honor.

I've already spun a little bit on her (scotch tension set-up - I haven't a clue how to get double-drive working) and I like her. Not positive she'll stay with me forever, she might get resold for a profit to fund some other second wheel, but for now she's perfect - inexpensive, small, and really just an opportunity I could not pass up.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Things are slowly converging. It has finally dawned on me that:

a. We will have a new baby in this house in perhaps as little as 3 weeks, or as many as 7. Either way - that is not a whole lot of time.
b. New babies mean lots of hard work and a good amount of chaos. Watching my brother and his wife do the newborn thing has brought back some rather, shall we say vivid, memories.
c. I should probably not be spending the bulk of my remaining free time knitting or spinning or starting new projects, thinking that somehow all of the "prepare for the baby" work will just happen while I'm not looking. Perhaps I am thinking someone else will sort through the bins in the attic and pull out the baby clothes we can use this time around. Or maybe (heh - I wrote "baby" the 1st time I typed that), maybe someone else will launder all of those clothes, and then go shopping to fill in any gaps in outfitting we may have. I'm sure that my fairy godmother will drag down the box of infant toys and breast pump and bottles and clean and sort them all too.
d. Despite having outgrown much of my maternity wardrobe, it is probably a waste of time/money to buy more of them at this point. (Do not be fooled by Cheryl's recent photo of me, she must have the only camera in existence that removes bulk from the subject). Proof:

Anyway... I owe you some Po-Mo Shawl. I had it stuck in my head that I wanted a semi-circular shawl, and I finally came across what I hope will be the perfect one:

Its the Half-Pi Shawl from Rosie's Yarn Cellar. It is simple enough to let the colors of the yarn speak, and it is a decent size, despite only using about 600yards of yarn. My version (big blob) so far:

And here is a better photo of all the yarn, so you can see what the color progrssion will do:

I am very pleased, although still a tiny smidge doubtful about the size - I may need to rip and go up a needles size, I can't really tell yet though. For now I am trucking along in denial, just like I am about the baby coming!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Long Weekend

EDIT TO ADD: Got a call from my little brother and just found out that the impending niecephew is no longer impending! My gorgeous (I haven't seen photos yet, but he must be, really) nephew arrived today after a marathon labor that started on Tuesday. Congrats to M&M and new baby boy A. I'm so happy for them!

Headed out tomorrow for one last long-weekend of R&R as a family of three. Next time we are there, we will be four! Hoping for much knitting and quiet time.

Had a very fun spin-night at the Topsfield Fair last night in the Sheep Barn. A surprise (to me anyway) Spinning Bee competition. I'm proud to report that both Cheryl and I won ribbons, although she might need her own weekend of R&R to recover from the stress. I don't think I've laughed so much in a long time. I'm so glad I dragged my snotty/coughy/tired ass down there, it was well worth it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Moving On

The knitting on this little cutie has been done for weeks, so I finally took the time to assemble it this weekend.

Project Specs:
Pattern: PeaPod Baby Sweater(PDF), by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Valley Yarns Amhers (100% Merino), "sweatpea"
Needles: #6 Denise
Notes: A pretty quick knit, the lace panel up the front keeps it interesting, and as most of you already know, knit a sleeve first and use it as your swatch - they're only 7 inches tall the long way and take but a moment. What you can't see in my photo is that each sleeve also has the same leaf/rib edging as the bottom and neck.

I now have three completely new projects on the needles.
  • A new pair of socks (yarn dyed by me in an "experimental" manner)
  • Mariah, sleeve #1 seen below. Hopefully a sensible answer to my sweater craving, as it is a cardi (good for nursing, as Beth so cleverly pointed out) and I'm knitting it in a large enough size that fit hopefully won't be a problem later. Oh, and its stash yarn, so no cash outlay (or at least the outlay happened a year+ ago)

  • Shawl with my Black Magic polwarth/mohair (can I call it Po-Mo?) singles. I have chosen a pattern and it is on the needles. I will keep you in suspense a little while longer, as I am only 98% sure this is the right pattern, I need to knit a little more before I decide for sure.
Should be an interesting week here - I have a cold from hell, with sore throat, racking cough, stuffy head (and of course I can't take much for it) and sound like a corpse when I speak. Of course I managed to infect PumpkinBoy with the same. So far, it is not bad enough too keep him out of school or me out of work, but dog help us if we both end up home together on sick day, as I don't think it will be pretty. For now, I am using my Magic Monday to grocery shop and then lay low and knit and spin all day to get my rest.