My favorite LYS

I had to drop some party paper goods and decorations off where Jessi's party will be. And I didn't mind making the trek across the river to MD. Guess why? My favorite LYS, Woolwinders, is 5 minutes away! And Jacqui, the owner, was there. She is the one who started it all - she taught me how to knit. I haven't been there since the week before I moved to buy the yarn for the Regia crazy stripes sock (June 5, not that I'm keeping track). I had much fun fondling the yarn today! She had almost all of the books that I wanted (Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Noro #2, Debbie Bliss The Cashmere Collection, Rowan #35, and 1000 Sweaters). The only book that I still really want to get is The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

Oh, and I brought the DB Classic Cardigan for baby #2 that I have on hold from my disastrous seam ripping incident and Jacqui said she knew someone who could fix it! She is wonderful, isn't she? Always encouraging and inspirational with patterns and samples around the store. And she blogs almost every day with store happenings and yarn shipments so I can feel like I'm right around the corner. And I can order right away when I see something that I must have!

I will have to go back at the end of August or sometime in September to scope out the yarn for some of my favorites: Audrey (Rowan #35), Shawl Collar Cardigan, Ruffle Egde Cardigan (which I like better than Rowan's Elfin; Rowan's Felted Tweed got caught on every dry crack in my hands/fingers ) both from DB The Cashmere Collection, and Klaralund (CTH's Noro #2). Of course my future knitting projects seem to change every month because I see something new that catches my eye. These are the future projects du jour. I don't know what I am thinking with this many adult sweaters on my future knitting since realistically I know that there will be little time for knitting with a newborn. I can be in denial if I want to though. And right now I am. And I'm happy.

Currently, I'm also tired. Last night I was able to get a total of probably 4 hours of non-consecutive sleep. It seems that 3 year old bad dream struck. And what does she dream of? The poor thing dreams that the dog is in her room eating her dolls. She was sitting up in bed screaming and pointing at one of the dolls on her floor (damn that Barney doll!) thinking it's the dog. Why would she think this? Because that's what our dog DOES! She goes into her room (during the day) and eats the plastic hands and fingers of her dolls. She used to do this to the Fisher Price Little People (which I hear is a favorite among the canine species, not just a unique craving to our dear Linky) and now has moved on to bigger things. This night waking occurred 3 separate times. And each time I was unable to get back to sleep in a timely manner due to baby kicks, baby hiccups, and baby extremities jabbed in my left rib. On the 3rd time we succumbed and heralded the little one into our bed so we could get *some* sleep. So where did I end up 45 minutes later after not being able to sleep (because she likes to sleep suctioned to me)? On the floor. Not exactly comfortable. But I took my pregnancy body pillow (or the thing we refer to as "the other person in our bed" - it always looks like there's a body there when it's under the covers - something that took us quite a long time to get used to) and the comforter from Jessi's room and laid on the floor right next to my bed in case she woke up and starting screaming because Mommy was gone. I'd be able to react sooner if I was right there rather than jumping into her bed. My only worry was that Mike would need to go to the restroom in the middle of the night and step on me. But, to my relief, this worry was unfounded.


Here's 16 inches of pure Grace. I'm loving it because I can't believe that I'm producing this. I am still in awe of what a few knits and purls can do. I've finished the back since this shot and have about 6" on the left front so far and let me say that I should have read the directions more carefully. Maybe I would have picked a different pattern. On the fronts you have to switch from US 7s to US 8s (or vice versa) in *EVERY ROW*. Yes, I'm not kidding. What a pain! Is this normal? I'm happy I have my Denise's or I'd be fiddling with circulars every row (because I prefer to use circulars and knit back and forth), now I just pop tips on and off. Still not a joy to do.

Today the birthday party weekend festivities begin.  My mom arrives this afternoon.  Mike's parents arrive this Saturday night.  We are very excited to have the grandparents in for Jessi's 3rd birthday.  My little baby is going to be 3!  I can't believe it.  She walks, talks, and definitely has a mind of her own.  She's not afraid to make her voice heard.  What a little powerhouse she is!  She is so excited about her birthday party on Sunday (and her Dora cake)... and so am I.  This will be the first bday party at a place other than our house and I couldn't be happier that there will be nothing for me to set up or clean!!  And I won't have to chase Linky around to make sure she isn't gnawing on any toys or toddlers food.  Halleluyah.

The ripping that went on last week was due to this snake of a cable error. Then I messed up again and decided not to document it in photo but suffice it to say I'm tired of ripping out cables one stitch at a time.


Sewing Project #2

As promised, but a little late... tada! This is the front of the maternity blouse I made in my beginner sewing class.

Here is the back of the blouse with that classic maternity shirt bow. You can see some of the cute lavender bias tape sticking out of the armhole area. The store didn't have much of a selection on the bias tape but this color matched the fabric perfectly.


My first sock is DONE! I'm so excited. I've already cast on for the second one and tried to match up the yarn as best as I could. I think it'll still be a little off though. But I love the way this fits. It's perfect for my foot! And double-pointed needles don't scare me anymore. I think that the 2x2 rib is too loose for my preference so I will wither do a 1x1 rib or use the same size needles as the rest of the sock (the pattern I had uses US 3s for the first 3 1/2 or so inches then switches to US 2s for the rest of the sock). There will definitely be more knitted socks in my future. They are the ultimate on-the-go project.


Feeling a bit like Tweek

Happy Birthday Mom!!  57 years ago the world was given the gift of...you!  And I'm so lucky to have you as my mom.  Can't wait to see you on Thursday.

Yesterday was pretty much a no knitting day.  I was feeling lousy most of the time with allergies and tried to spend the day in bed.  At about 5, though, I started having contractions that were 5-7 minutes apart... and had cramps in the lower abdomen accompanied by chills, so I called my doctor and it was off to the hospital again.  When I got there the contractions slowed so Mike, Jessi, and I were talking of a leisurely jaunt over to Clyde's for dinner.  Then the nurses did a culture and cervical check (everything in there was fine).  After they did this the contractions started up and were pretty continuous and regular for an hour so they hooked me up to IV to give me fluids (but not before making a pin cushion out of my left hand/wrist and then ultimately deciding to put the IV in my right hand).   The contractions still didn't slow so I had to get a shot of terbutaline in my leg, followed by another shot of terbutaline in my arm, followed by a terbutaline pill.  The ominous mag sulfate was mentioned if the contractions didn't respond and Mike and I gave each other a deer-in-car-headlights-look.  This might be a long night.  The good news was that I responded perfectly to the terbutaline.  The contractions completely stopped.  After the IV was in and Mike and Jessi went to get something to eat I picked up some knitting (my crazy stripes socks) and did only a few rounds before the terb kicked in and I was feeling like Tweek from South Park and I couldn't do any more.  This stuff makes you really jumpy and twitchy.  And I still feel this way this morning.  In fact, after getting released at 11:15 pm we drove home and got Jessi into bed and even though I was dead tired, I couldn't fall asleep because of the effects of the medicine.  I was supposed to take another terb pill at 1:15 but had fallen asleep.  And now I'm up early still feeling twitchy so I'm in my office (read: closet) blogging and then will be knitting Grace.  So the hospital diagnosis as to why I was getting the contractions in the first place and the chills was - a UTI, I had no idea (no symptoms at all to speak of).  At the hospital they gave me a dose of antibiotics and I have to go to the doctor's today to get a prescription for it.

Saturday night I ripped Grace back all the necessary rows to erase the cabling error and it's looking beautiful again.


Blog education

My book consumption has seriously declined since beginning knitting.  I only have so much time... but I have been reading knitting blogs.  I usually have been reading some daily favorites but I just started yesterday reading a blog from the beginning to the end.  I figure it's like reading a book with just some practical experience thrown in.  I'm starting with Kerstin's At My Knit's End and I'm on May 2003

Yesterday was my sewing class and after sewing the wrong sides together I was able to get back on track and finish my garment.  I still love the fabric but I don't like how the shirt fits in the armholes and it's so long that it could pass for a cute short dress.  So I will have to wear a tank under it so as to not offend anyone.  I did learn how to do darts (which normally isn't covered in the class, and also to put in edging tape (is that what you call it?  I have to check the package to see what it's really called) along the armholes and neckline. 

And, surprise, I bought a sewing machine today at the store!  I purchased a Bernina Activa 125S.  It's the same machine we used in class and the store was having a sale on all machines.  The one I bought was a newer 125S than the ones in the class and this one apparently has a needle threader.  With my purchase I get to attend a free 3 hour class on "Getting to Know My Machine" in late August.  Hopefully I will be able to make it (read: will still be pregnant).  I also perused the patterns and found a good pattern for pants for Jessica.  It seems a good place to start and it didn't look like there were too many complicated things.  Although I have no idea how to put in elastic.  It can't be that hard, can it?  The library just emailed to say that my Reader's Digest sewing book that I put on hold is in so I will try to go pick it up tomorrow.  A good reference book to the rescue!  

Last night I took a Benedryl before we put Jessi to bed and then immediately after we put her to bed I went to sleep... for about an hour... and then I was wide awake.  Luckily Mike was finishing up some laundry and trying to find some ESPN footage online (to put on his new Palm - it was big personal purchase week at our household) and so he was wide awake too. 

This is the last weekend day before the influx of bday party weekend guests so what's on the agenda?  Garage storage, carpet pad replacement for the leaky basement area, hanging up pictures (mostly of family) so it looks like people live in this house.


Knitting News & More

I've put the Fiesta Tea Party on temporary hold (I need to get another color to match the summer sorbet colors I already have).  I've been working mainly on the back of Grace.  I stopped last night on Grace after I discovered an error in one of the cables.  I was adamant about not going back and ripping.  But this morning I am convinced that I should rip back 12+ rows and do it right.  If I'm spending so much time knitting this (even though I consider it a quick knit since it is on US 8s) and I can notice it, I might as well fix it.  Although the errors I have on almost every odd numbered row on Charlotte are getting fudged and I'm losing no sleep over it.  It still looks beautiful (to me).  I'm up to row 52 and I'm in love with Koigu KPPPM.  I'm wondering if Kersti is like this too.  If so I will need to buy some and make something for myself with it.

I'm reconsidering what to do with my Rowan Felted Tweed Vest that's on hold.  Should I rip and use the yarn for something else?  I like Elfin but I'd need to find more balls of yarn from the same dye lot.  How hard is this to do?  Decision, decision.

Last weekend I knitted up another booties using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and this time it was too big.  I'll post pictures tomorrow.  Apparently I need a lesson in adapting gauge.  It might have been good to do this before I made a cardigan for myself.

Our cable modem was out yesterday in the area so the blogging I was hoping to get in during my preschool break didn't happen, instead I was on hold with the cable company.  When everything was up and working again I could only muster the energy (and the time) to post pictures.  It's better than nothing. 

Today I woke up early and was hoping for some time before everyone woke up to knit and blog but Jessi was up just as early and came in as I was turning on my computer.  I'm trying to distract her and buy myself some time.  I suggested taking off her Pull-up and going potty.   Not alluring enough for the toddler.  But picking out the day's clothes did the trick.  I made some additional suggestions to help with the matching of the shirt and top but Jessi wanted none of that.  So she won't match today.  The girl has her own sense of style, I tell ya.   We've already had breakfast now and we're onto Wiggles therapy.

I'm getting excited for my mom's visit this week.  She's coming in on Thursday and is staying until Sunday night.  Yeah!!   Hopefully I'll have a cool new maternity shirt to show her from my second (and last) beginner's sewing class.

Voila, Red, White and Blue Potato Salad.

Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad
Cooking Light, July 2004
2  cups fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)
2  cups small red potatoes, quartered (about 10 ounces)
2  cups small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)
1/4  cup finely chopped red onion
2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1  tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1  tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3  hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped
1/4  cup red wine vinegar
2  tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4  teaspoons salt
2  teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1  garlic clove, minced

Place fingerling and red potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl.

Place blue potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives, and eggs to bowl; toss gently.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 250 (27% from fat); FAT 7.5g (sat  1.5g,  mono 4.4g,  poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 6.9g;  CARB 39.6g;  FIBER 3.9g;  CHOL 106mg;  IRON 2.7mg;  SODIUM 576mg;  CALC 36mg; 

(Martha Rose Shulman Cooking Light, JULY 2004)

What to do with these colorful potatoes?

This is the delicious gazpacho we made a few weeks back. I'm a little behind on posting of pictures for our good eats. This is the biggest bowl I own and is good for a 3 year old to mix in. We still had some spills but that's part of the fun, right?!


The first teacup and saucer are finished. I haven't blocked this yet, though.

And here's the creamer. So cute.


Jumping for Joy

Jessi on her new trampoline (an early birthday present from my mom). She waited patiently for over a week and a half while Mike and I figured out how to put it together. It looks great and she had so much fun jumping all night long.

Second Sewing Project

This is the sewing pattern that I am attempting for my second (and final) beginner's sewing class. I'm going to be doing pattern D (Simplicity 9188). It's the simple top on the right side of the package in the middle.

Fabric Whimsy

This is the whimsical cotton fabric I chose. I love the swirls and blends of color here and there. And since most of my wardrobe (especially maternity) is full of conservative, solid colors, it's time to live a little on the wild side.


3rd and 4th times are the charm

I finally have my VA license.  I went early this morning and had it in hand at 12:20pm.  I had to go back home to get some more documentation but it's done and if I never have to go back there again it will be too soon.  Of course I will need to be back there within the next 30 days to get my VA tags but only after the emissions test and a state inspection.  If 3 hours and 15 minutes at the DMV aren't enough to inspire the necessity for goverment reform in someone, I don't know what will.  I brought my Crazy Stripes sock with me to knit and made some nice progress on it.

Charlotte update:  I finished row 42 last night.  I keep messing up in at least one lace pattern on each row.  I'm somehow ending up with 7 stitches instead of the 8 needed for the pattern so I'm fudging it.  I should be more anal but I'm not feeling up to it lately.  So I will start on row 43 only using color #2.  It's looking nice.  I have a feeling that it will take a loong time and much concentration to just finish a row when I get near to the middle and the end where there are 150+ stitches.  Am I the only one that is happy when I get to an even row where I can purl the whole thing.  At least that is hard to mess up.


Home Projects

New knob (left); old knob (right) in our kitchen.

Icky old mauve tile in the entryway. The perfect Pepto-Bismal color.

Here's the floors in their ripped up state.

Our beautiful new floors. Much better.


I can sew too!

This is the first sewing project I've attempted since 7th grade Home Ec class. We made a tote bag with 3 pockets in front. There still a little bit of tailor's chalk showing on the right strap. But other than that it's pretty cool, eh? I bet someone, somewhere has matching drapery. I am very happy with this and am off to research sewing machines.

I love Koigu KPPPM

Here are the last 2 hanks of KPPPM that I recently received from Patternworks that mad me say, "Aha! I have my colors for Charlotte."

Garden Berries

As promised here's a picture of the colors I'm using for Charlotte's Web. I call it Lisa's Garden Berries (P439, P446, P405, P837, P829).

Charlotte is on the needles!

Charlotte is officially on the needles! Here's proof.


The Exhaustion Factor

Yesterday was a frustrating knitting day.  I should preface all of this with the observation that I had a lousy night sleep.  I fell asleep at about 1 a.m. and got up at 6:15 and couldn't go back to sleep (and my sleep was fitful at best while I was in bed).  So I should have known better than attempt to anything new, or anything at all.  Mike and I joked in the morning that he should keep his cell phone on and nearby in case I need to call him regarding a sewing machine injury from lack of sleep and operation of new machinery (as it turns out the woman sitting next to me in the class had an injury and blood which I helped to remedy with, what else, a Pooh Band-aid, because that's all I had - but she was a pediatric oncologist so she was not offended by this).  After my sewing class I came home and was determined to start on some baby booties for baby #2 and I have a pattern from a book that I checked out from the library (Quick Knits for Generous Giving) and was ready to go with some leftover Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn.  I started and everything was going okay but I forgot to gauge it and it ended up being too small for all but a Barbie doll (or Ken doll since I was using baby blue for the color) or my old Cabbage Patch dolls (which my mom shipped to me in recent years during her downsizing mode and with which Jessi now plays).  So I ripped it.  After dinner and getting Jessi to bed, which was way too late in the evening for her bedtime... and about 2 hours after I had declared my exhaustion I decided to pick up Charlotte.  What was I thinking?  Why didn't I pick up the felted tote that I'm knitting on circulars where all I have to do is knit, knit, knit, repeat as often as desired?  I'm on row 15 and I tried to do the lace pattern and couldn't do it so I went back to the beginning of the row and tried again.  I didn't even make it right side lace pattern and had to undo it until the start of the row again.  I put it away and was discouraged that I didn't make any progress on it and felt like maybe I had picked the wrong project.  But this morning, after a very good night sleep - 8 hours!! only interrupted twice by trips to the restroom, I gave it another try.  And this time I was able to do not just row 15, but a few rows with no problem.  Sometimes you just get so tired that you don't even realize that you are tired (and shouldn't be doing anything except sleeping).  So my confidence is restored and I was able to touch my purply Koigu KPPPM that I'm using on for my first color in Charlotte this morning.  It's gorgeous. 
And today I'm starting on the booties again but using a different pattern (the Classic Cashmere Booties from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies).  Maybe this pattern won't be so annoying.  Yes, I'm avoid the oatmeal baby blanket another day.
Here is some Koigu that I received from Patternworks. Are these my Charlotte colors? Nope. Some of colors listed here made it in but some have been placed in my stash. The one in the middle is the first color I am using that I mentioned above - simply amazing.  When I opened my most recent package containing the last 2 colors I had on backorder at Patternworks, I knew that my Charlotte colorway was complete. Intrigued? I'll keep you in suspense until tomorrow.

Look at this beautiful Koigu that I won on eBay. I love these colors and was originally going to incorporate one of these into Charlotte but decided to put them aside for another project.


Here's the completed Summer Sorbet Tank on Jessica. It's a little big so it will get some use next summer too. It went perfectly with the colors of shorts I got her (orange and magenta) at the beginning of the summer from The Children's Place. It was getting a little stretched out from tumbling and handstands but she wouldn't let me take it off of her. I'm such a proud mama!

I'm a little teacup

Here's the first teacup without the i-cord handle. Isn't is cute?

I am more than halfway done with the creamer (in red) but I think I am going to rip it out and start over.  Maybe I'll do the sugar bowl first or some other piece.  The i-cord horizontal stripe has a hole in it where I started the stripe and where it ended.  I don't think it's supposed to be this way so I will try to find a piece that doesn't have this (options: another cup or the creamer since I just read that the pitcher has the i-cord stripe) until I can ask another Tea Party-er what went wrong. 


I went shopping for the Beginning Sewing I class supplies and here they are...

This is a close-up of the sturdy upholstery fabric I chose for my tote bag project. I mainly do not find upholstery appealing so I stayed away from the dark floral prints and chose something solid that looks like a dark slate grayish brown color with lots of texture (I love texture!) with brown straps to go with it. I liked many of the lighter weight fabrics much better but I will have to wait for another project since I wanted to stick to instructions. I know if I had chosen a light-weight fabric I would need to line it and that's not being covered in tomorrow's class.


Some Saving Grace

I still have no VA license. And I'm not going to try again any time soon. The lady at the DMV was extremely rude and I brought my valid passport, my MD driver's license, a current bank statement with my new address, my Social Security card, and my marriage license. The problem: my marriage license was not an original. Well, I think only the state of Florida has the original so I can't receive my license here until I can get either an original or a certified copy of an original. Why is this so difficult?

Today I'll be waiting at home for most of the morning for Stanley Steemer to come and perform water extraction on the carpeted area underneath the near-ending leak in the basement. So maybe we'll have another round of potty time with TV, board games, and reading, oh my!

But check out Grace after I finished the first 12-row cable pattern. Love it!

I love this Giranimals Jacket that Alison made for her boys - I will have to do for my little-boy-to-be and maybe even for Jessi since I think she would think this was an incredibly cute and silly jacket.


No Berry Limeade for me

Berry Limeade is on it's way to it's new home - and it's not mine. I tried to order it but someone else got it before me. So Charlotte will wait some more. That's okay, I have plenty of other projects to work on.

Sew good.

I signed up for a beginner's sewing class so I can learn the skills needed to make this and this, and especially this. Of course, I have no sewing machine with which to make these things but that's what anniversaries and the winter holidays are for, no? A little gift from myself (or maybe even my dh)?

The class I am taking is express version of the full class - 2 long weekend days instead of 6 short weekday nights. We'll be completing two projects by the end of class: the first day we'll be making a tote bag and the second class will be a sleeveless shirt (there were a bunch of pattern options listed but I couldn't find any of them on the web to take a look at). I don't think the instructor is planning on a very pregnant person such as myself to take this class (the patterns options include no maternity patterns). I don't want to make something that won't even fit. So I'll try to call to see if there's another project to make or a different sleeveless top pattern to make.

On a knitting note, I finished the first saucer yesterday for the first teacup in the same magenta color as is in the Summer Sorbet tank (my tea party with be a Summer Sorbet Tea Party from the leftovers that I still have and I will need to find some more colors that go with this so that it's not only 3 colors). I'm so excited that I am starting to have my own knitting stash. I love seeing the yarn in my closet when I go in there to do early morning knitting/blogging/surfing.

I didn't get much knitting done yesterday but spent tons of time at the pool. I started on the tea party Creamer at night and I have to say that the I-cord horizontal stripe was such a pain!! It took forever to do. I'm glad I have 12 rounds of knit stitches that I will do while waiting at my doctors appointment today.


How about some Berry Limeade? I love the new color combos posted at Black Dog.

Or this one? Posted at http://blackdog.threadbearfiberarts.com

Passion Berry. What do you think of this color combination for Charlotte?

Summer Sorbet Tank is completed. This was the first time I didn't use a pattern for a wearable item. I'm not totally thrilled with it but I'm happy that Jessi will be able to wear something that I made since most of the other things I've knitted for her are for this Fall/Winter (and aren't finished - they are waiting on buttons).


The Nike Triax 50 LX. Come to mama.

Tea Party and Gazpacho

I'm up at 5:30 this morning. Ugggh - pregnancy and allergies are a very tiring combination so I'm in my office (aka - the floor of my closet) blowing my nose and doing some business (online shopping and knitting) before my day really starts. Ahhh, privacy and silence.

My sports watch has been dead for the past few months so I ordered a new one finally. This is the watch that I will wear everyday because although my gold/silver watch looks nicer, I'm more the sporty type and like to be able to keep my watch on and never have to remember to take it off (shower, pool, etc.). My old watch is a Nike Triax and I loved the look of it and more importantly it does everything I want it to do so I ordered the updated version. Much styling has been done in the last 5 years or so since I last bought my previous one. The most important feature to me is the interval timer since I use this for running (I use Jeff Galloway's run/walk method for increased endurance - although I haven't run or done any formal exercise since finding out I was pregnant - doctor's orders this time around). Run/walking is the only way I am able to run more than 3 miles. I've used it in every race I've ever ran (5k, 8k, 10k, 10 miler, and the biggie - the marathon). Race is really a misnomer in my case since I don't run as fast as I can; I just run and have fun with the other early-risers and wear my race t-shirt with pride. I also judge races by the race food they have after (and if it's a big one, by the expo). I know that at some point I won't be pregnant and will be getting sleep after the little one arrives so I know that these watch features will come in handy again in the future. The other watch I always have considered is the Timex Ironman but they never look as nice and previously the features lagged behind Nike's.

I've decided to join Alison's Tea Party knitalong. I have leftover yarn from the Summer Sorbet tank in the same gauge needed as required for the tea party. I've only been at it sporadically today for a couple of hours and it's already starting to look like a cup and I'm ready for the bind off - imagine that! I can't figure out how to do the bind off, though. And did I mention that I ripped it out twice too (only the base part - first I was knitting into the front and the back of too many stitches and the second time I was forgetting to do all the even numbered rows)? Admittedly, I often have problems following directions. Sometimes I just need to s-l-o-w down and read.

I will try to concentrate more on the baby blanket now that Jessi's tank is finished but have I said that I don't like this at all? I'm using US 8s but think that something smaller would have been better. This blanket is just so big... I wanted something more to bundle the baby in, not to bundle the baby and 4 of its closest friends. I've been eyeing the Bad Ass Baby Blanket from the Stitch and Bitch book but cannot bring myself to spend $80 on Koigu (as much as I am love with this yarn and am building up quite the stash for the Charlotte shawl) and not be able to machine wash it. I know how much babies spit up and pee and poop so I'm not ready to knit this up and have it ruined... yet. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

I'm going to try the DMV yet again today although I can't find my valid passport or birth certificate. I have an expired passport. Will this work? Stay tuned. And it's haircut time for Linky. She hasn't had a bath since we moved. Ick, I know. But we don't have the same shower head (yet) as we did in our old house where you can take it down and use it close up to get the doggy dirt out. And now she needs a haircut so off to get groomed!!

Mike moved the baby glider from the nursery to our room temporarily so that I'd have a comfy place to knit (and he wanted the kitchen chair back at the kitchen table that I had taken hostage). He's so thoughtful sometimes! Plus our room is huge and we don't want to spend money on furniture for a cozy sitting area just yet.... because did I mention that the leak still isn't fixed? We thought it was but it's back and we noticed that there some leakage into the nearby bathroom (a crack in the floor tile). Is this one leak, two, or more? Who knows. The plumber was supposed to come Sunday 12-2. Then it was 2-4. Then at 5:30 they called to say they weren't coming. Yesterday someone came down but couldn't fix it because he was clueless and was told by dispatch that it was a clog. No, quite clearly, a leak is the opposite of a clog. So, supposedly a "master plumber" is coming on Wednesday.

Jessica helped me make gazpacho this week. We had a great time and she did most of the work. I cut the veggies into chunks and she put each vegetable into the food processor and turned it on. Then I poured it into our biggest bowl and she stirred it. She makes a great sous chef! This soup is so refreshing to eat on a hot summer day (like yesterday when I whipped some out when I got hungry at the pool). Lots of big flavor from delicious fresh vegetables. I've included my favorite recipe for it. Saturday I had it with a grilled cheese. I just love dipping the sandwich in the soup and taking a big bite. YUM!

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :Ina Garten
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:20
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 hothouse cucumber -- halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers -- cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves -- minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

"Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook"


Another FO (finished object). I love this shawl because it really does look like suede and I love the fringe. I'm a cowgirl in hiding and I didn't even know it - perhaps it's leftover genetic material from my mom's love for all things animal print.


Finished Object - This is the first felting project that I've done. And the advice I can give to beginners is not to use a lingerie bag but to use an old pillowcase instead. I used a bag that had holes and there was so much fuzz floating around and a mess to clean up after. But this bag was so fun to make... and QUICK. Less than 4 hours total I'd say, including the felting. But not including drying. That took days. I have yet to give it to Jessi, perhaps it will become another potty bribe, I mean present.



I went to the DMV with the intentions of getting a new driver's license since we're new to the state but apparently I didn't have proper identification with me even though I brought my other-state-issued driver's license, W-2 (for SSN), current bank statement with my new address. But of course I should have brought my passport or birth certificate. If I could only find those documents I'd be set. I had been prepared for a looong wait and brought 2 knitting projects with me (the tank that I named the Summer Sorbet Tank for Jessi and my crazy striped socks). Get this, I was actually looking forward going to wait at the DMV so that I could knit. But alas, no knitting until now - nap time. I just finished ripping out the straps of the tank top after slipping it over Jessi's head this morning to find that the straps were waaay wider than her shoulders so I needed to bind off a few more stitches on each side. And while I was at it I made the straps 7 stitches wide instead of the 5 I had done the first time around. I'm happy with it so far - the wider strap looks nicer. Let's hope it fits this time. I completed the first strap but still have the second one to do. And then it's off to lay down because today is... dah dah dah dah - 29 1/2 weeks. For those of you keeping track that's when I went into pre-term labor with Jessi (whoa, I just got a contraction while writing that - don't worry Mom, I'm okay). Mike and I were afraid to mention it to each other this morning but you could tell we were both thinking about it. So far so good, but I'm not going to say anything to jinx it.

After the useless trip to the DMV I went to Michael's and decided I needed to get some potty-training rewards. I got a bunch of things, mostly arts and crafts related and wrapped them in tissue paper so Jessi can have a grab-bag of surprises from which to choose. After nap time I think we will have some Dora and Blue's Clues POTTY TIME. Yes I will park a pull-up-less Jessi and the potty in front of the TV and hope for the best. Wish me luck!


I finished my first felting project. I used Lamb's Pride Worsted in Ruby Red and used Berroco Sizzle in color 1717 (Jessi requested something with red AND purple because those are our favorite colors; her - red; me - purple and low and behold I found some at the yarn store. It was fate). I only bought one skein of Lamb's Pride and was supposed to have bought 2 to follow the intended pattern (Fiber Trend's small Party Purses) so I had to modify. This is the before picture and I'm still waiting for the felted purse to dry. I had to run it through the washing machine agitation cycle 3 times and it's still not as small as I wanted it but it's good enough. And next time I'll know not to start the cycles at 11:15 at night! Y-A-W-N!


Here's the tank top I started for Jessi. This will be my top priority so she'll actually get some use out of it this summer. It's much longer now, hopefully not too long I need to add the stripes pronto!

Here's a closeup of the picot hem that I learned how to do for Jessica's tank top.

Me in my completed Vintage Poncho (covering up a 29 week belly).


Whatdya think of these for Charlotte from Threadbear? I'm not sure I like the last one and I'd prefer a variegated for the middle/solid one (even though I love the color). But since I've never done Charlotte or worked with Koigu these could be great and I wouldn't know until it's done. But I guess that's half the fun. I'll see if Matt sends me any other colors to look at.

Yummy. This is the fruit tart from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I could eat just the crust all day long!

Daddy and Jessi on 4th of July.

This is the Classic Cardigan that I totally messup and put on hold until I can seek professional help. Notice the threads coming out of the left shoulder (it'd be the baby's right but the one that's on the left in the pic). That's where I tried to tear out the shoulder seam and instead unraveled the bound of edge of the front. AHHHRGGGHHH! I have no idea how to repair this. And I still can't find the piece of yarn I used to seam the shoulder to the back and front. Better to leave it for now rather than mess it up any further.

The Vintage Poncho is complete!


My very own TV celeb

Mike was on CNN today! I was so nervous when his segment came on... in fact I am still sweating and I'm so excited for him. He was on The Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and the main topic was about Democratic VP candidates (he was the Republican pollster). He did great! Much better than I would have done. And since I don't usually wear makeup I get to joke with him that he is wearing more makeup than me today! I Tivo-ed the segment on both TVs so we can analyze it endlessly later tonight. YIPEE!

And Mike's parents called from their overseas vacation to say that they say him live on CNN International. Not only is Mike now a TV celeb, he's an international TV celeb! Perhaps I will have to get him a disguise when we go out so we are not mobbed by paparazzi and adoring fans. And Mike thought I would be the only one watching. ;-)

And on a knitting note, I finished my Oakley Shawl yesterday. Bed rest provided plenty of fringing time. I'll post pictures soon.

Happy Independence Day!


*False Alarm* Pre-term Labor

Yesterday at 3:30 I had 4 contractions in an hour (the warning sign for pre-term labor). So I called my new doctor's office and left a message. She called back and told me to drink 100 oz of water over the next 3-4 hours and park it on the couch. Luckily my awesome cousin Paula was visiting to see our new floors (more about that later) so she was able to entertain Jessica while I was resting (and she gave me water refills). I called Mike and asked him to come home early if he could and as it turned out he was already in car on his way. The next two hours the contractions were closer together. They were about 7-10 minutes apart for the better part of the third hour so I called my doctor and she said that she didn't think I was in labor but to go to the hospital just because of my history and to put our minds at ease. So Mike packs a bag because this is deja-vu and last time he ended up staying the night with me while I was hooked up to all sorts of IVs. We call our cousin, who had gone home after Mike arrived home from work and wait for them to come stay with Jessi (they are the best). So we get into the car and, I'm not kidding, the contractions stop. Yes, they stop. For the 40 minutes it took us to find the hospital I had not one contraction. So we go into the hospital because after drinking all of this water I need to visit the restroom quite frequently. After going to the bathroom we talk about our options and I decide to call the doctor and wait for her callback. I only get one contraction while we are waiting and we head up to the labor and delivery floor. I talk to the nurse and she calls the doctor and gets her on the phone and we decide to just go home. The doctor orders some bed rest for the weekend and lots of water. So we are not going to the pool this weekend as hoped. It's supposed to be super hot anyway so I guess it'll be nice to be comfy in bed (even though I really wanted to go to the pool and watch Jessi have fun and play in the water). So I guess it was dehydration (usually I'm very aware of being dehydrated since I'm always drinking tons of water) and that it takes my body 3 hours to begin to replenish lost water.

What knitting did I bring with me to the hospital? The Oakley Shawl since it requires no concentration and when I was having contractions at home I couldn't even focus long enough to read my newly arrived Cooking Light magazine and I was huuungry! It's just garter stitch the whole way, knitting into the front and the back of the last stitch on each row. I'm somewhere close to the end - 75% done I'd say. I need to find a way to get the progress bars that Leigh has over at her site but I don't think I'd be able to use those since I don't host my own domain and use Blogger instead. If anyone knows otherwise or how to do this, please let me know. I also want to have a photo album up here and don't think it's possible. Are there any other blog hosts that have these feature?

I'm up earlier than I want to be this morning because I'm intrigued by the Fiesta Tea Set in Interweave's Summer 2004 Issue. Check out The Tea Party. Alison has started a Tea Party Knitalong and here's her page about it. I don't have yarn in my stash for this so I won't be starting soon. But I love the idea of this to put out on the dining room table. It's not breakable and that's very important for a centerpiece in a house that also has a toddler! And it's cute.

This week I learned two new cast on methods and also how to make a hemmed picot edge. I used this for the new tank top that I started for Jessi, in what else, red! I plan to add in a bright, bold stripe of berry and two smaller stripes of orange above and below it. I'm making it in an A-line shape with two narrow straps no real pattern except some notes from the woman at my LYS.


Last Perinatologist Appt.

I had my glucose test this morning (had to drink an orange can of glucola, or yucky-ola) to test for gestational diabetes and will get the results back next week. Then it was off to the perinatologist for what appears to be my last cervical check via internal ultrasound. Everything's still long and closed and the doctor said based on my cervix length it looks like I will have a full-term pregnancy. Hey, that would be nice. From now on I won't have to go to 2 different doctors twice a week I will only need to go to my OB.

I'm doing some cooking from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook today, one of my favorites. I made the gazpacho recipe and had some with Jessi for lunch because Jessi refused to eat any lunch at camp. She even turned down an ice pop. But of course she had one at home after the soup. I think she wanted a red one and at camp they offered her a purple one. What were they thinking? They obviously don't know who they are dealing with. Not sure why she didn't speak up and demand her preferred color. She usually is very vocal. Well at home she ate up all the gazpacho (I stressed that it is red, her favorite color) - it makes me so happy to see her ingest so many vegetables! I am weird, I know but I get this way every time she eats veggies. Now I have the Turkey Meatloaf in the oven. And this weekend I'll be making a most delicious fruit tart. Homemade crust (the best), pastry cream, and fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries) - YUM.

It's beautiful outside today and I think a visit to the pool is in order after Jessi takes a nap.