Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One more down

There has been no progress on the SKB, but I did manage to finish my first pair of longies for the Bean and I'm hoping to finish one of the two outstanding socks tonight as well.

Maybe I'll get the sweater done for Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pumpkin Hat in Action!

Modeled by the exceedingly adorable HJ. Thanks for letting me use the pic!

Must drop everything...

and make this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!

Just surfed the FO's for this at Ravelry and I MUST make one.

Crafts Update

In which we have - count them - TWO finished objects!

Michael's Felted Bag




There is a bit more stitch definition than I would like, but for a completely off-the-cuff project, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The strap is a belt from a pair of shorts he got this past summer and the lining is some recycled denim from an old pair of jeans. The only thing left to do really is to do a single crochet over the white elastic closure so it blends better with the rest of the bag.

Pumpkin Hat


This is an adaptation of Crazy Aunt Purl's Reversible Knit Halloweenie Beanie that I adapted for a newborn. I used Dale of Norway's Baby Ull (superwash wool) for the hat and some superwash fingering-weight for the stem with US size 4 (3.5mm) needles. I started with a CO of 80 sts, worked the 4x4 rib for 8 rounds (about 1 inch) before switching to the k7 p1 pattern. I worked the pattern stitch until the hat measured 5" from the bottom and then started the crown decreases - k6, p2tog etc every other round until only 10 sts remained, broke the yarn and drew it through the stitches and secured it. I did up two corkscrews with the green yarn on size 6 needles and a CO of 15 sts using the instructions from the original pattern and then about 2.5" of 3st I-cord for the stem and secured everything to the crown. It took me an unconscionably long time to complete it (the same for the felted bag), but I can claim the whole pregnancy thing.

I started this month with such high hopes - but my pregnant body had other ideas. I did finally settle on The Simple Knitted Bodice done up in the HPY Colonia 140 in Persefone that I ordered. Here's what's doing from my Ravelry Project Page:
  • 11/12 - Cast-on last night and just finished my first ball of yarn. Doing the pattern mods for the deeper neckline as per the Stitch Diva Studios website. Counting down the minutes until I can start knitting in the round. Love the yarn - not quite as soft as Malabrigo but definitely softer than Manos, very thick and thin like the Manos though. The color is beautiful - a charcoal gray/black that looks as if it's been overdyed with dark purple.

  • 11/18 - Still wading through endless stockinette. The babe has been sucking up all of my energy, so there hasn't been a ton of progress although there are only 6 more rows to the sleeves. Hope to get pics up tomorrow.

  • 11/21 - Tried it on last night and realized that working the HPY at the required gauge for the pattern was not going to work - the resulting fabric is way too tight and I have a sneaky suspicion that it will hug me in all the wrong places. With a heavy heart, I swatched it on some size 8's and did the math and figured I can use the directions for the XL without having to do a whole bunch of rewrites.

Here was the progress I had made by 11/20...

...and here is what it looked like on 11/21

Thankfully, I'm almost back to the same spot I was on 11/20 and the drape of the fabric is so much nicer. I'd love to have this finished by the weekend, and if I wasn't pregnant, I could probably pull it off. We'll see what happens. I only have another 14 rows of stockinette before I can remove the sleeve stitches and then just a bit more before I can start knitting in the round. Once I don't have to purl anymore, it really should fly. Writing long, picture and HTML heavy posts is taking away from precious knitting time, so it's back to work I go. TTFN!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I figure I may as well come clean...

...and announce that I am having a repeat c-section for the Bean.

I'm not quite sure who I am writing this for - to assuage my own grief over not persuing a vaginal birth, a response to the faceless participants on on-line message boards who seem to have all the answers, or to my unborn son who I want to know that I did the best I could with what I had.

We've put a lot of thought (and tears) into our decision, and yes I do mean "we" since my husband had a part in creating this life and therefore should have some input on how he arrives. The climate for VBAC in this country is very hostile and given that so much of obstetrics as we currently know it has very little to do with evidence-based medicine, it would seem to be a miracle that any VBAC's happen at all.

My first strike is the fact that I am morbidly obese - not just overweight, but the kind of fat that I am damn lucky my care provider hasn't been ordering monthly GTT's and doing any number of the horrific fat-phobic things that do still really happen out there. I count myself lucky that my OB doesn't seem to have a fat-phobic bone in his body, and not dealing with that stress is a very important thing to me. Yes, this is the OB who pushed me into a section with Michael for suspected (and confirmed) macrosomia, but not dreading stepping on that scale every month and praying that I don't get a lecture about weight gain has been worth it. My current weight (only up 16lbs from pre-pregnancy - woo-hoo!), Michael's size at birth, and the fact that this babe seems to be following in his brother's footsteps are enough for a care provider to decide at the last minute to pull the rug out from under me. I've read of many similar situations arising for VBAC moms, and it's something I choose not to expose myself and my family to ('cause like it or not, something this big affects them too).

I could have interviewed a dozen midwives to find one who didn't have a fat-bias, but that segues into my second reason - time. As many of you know, my son is Autistic and I do not have a car. Interviewing care providers takes a lot of time and travel to accomplish - something that I again chose not to put myself or my son through. Yes, I've heard fantastic things about two midwifery practices out there, but both require a good 1-2 hours commuting time to get to their offices and the hospital they both deliver at is also a good 45 minute drive or commute. My current OB and hospital is a 15 minute bus or cab ride. Am I selling myself short for not even looking? Perhaps. Given the amount of life that has happened these past seven months, and it's been a lot, the time and stress involved with tracking down a VBAC is energy that I didn't really have to spend in the first place.

Then there is, what seem to be, the answer to everything birth-related - unassisted child birth. I am very attracted to the to idea of UC and even day-dreamed a bit about it. There are two big obstacles in my way. Firstly, as much as I might desire that lovely UC birth, I know I don't have the faith and trust in my body in order to accomplish it. I've come a very long way in my growth as a woman and mother since Michael was conceived, but I'm still not there yet. I have tremendous admiration for women who are able to take that plunge, but I know that I am not one of them. The second obstacle is my husband's unwavering fear of UC. To many, this would be a non-issue and maybe they are right, but for me it is a deal breaker. I do believe my partner should have some input on how our child comes into this world, not veto power mind, but input. I can't say for sure, not having experienced labor, but my gut says that I would want and need his support at that time. I am confident he could give it to me in a hospital setting, but at home his mind would be forever divided between supporting me and worrying about worst-case scenarios. Birthing in an atmosphere of coerced support is not something I want to experience.

All of that said, Michael's birth was no walk in the park for me. I did have quite a bit of trauma and we've already started discussing these issues with my OB. I've done a lot more reading and I'm also better equipped to stand up for myself this time 'round. We will be presenting a cesarean birth plan with some very specific instructions for the birth itself. I'll also be having an actual consult with anesthesia this time so we can have a good discussion about what type of anesthetic I want and the fact that a resident is to come nowhere near my back with a large needle. I am praying that the chiropractic care I've been getting will prevent that horrible nerve pain I had for three months postpartum with Michael, or at least that the chiro will be able to do something to get rid of it so I don't suffer as long.

The surgery itself is scheduled for first case on a Monday so I don't have to deal with the 2nd shift Friday-night nursing staff who felt it was easier to just leave me in bed than to help me start moving. I will have a breastfeeding kit with me - my Isis pump all clean and ready, one of those extra-long boppy pillows (or more likely one that I've made myself), and a nipple shield in a container of sterile water ready to go if we can't get him to latch even after drawing my nipples out with the pump. I got so much conflicting information from the nurses and the three IBCLC's I saw (oh no, your nipples aren't flat - my ass!). When we went to see an LC one week postpartum, that's when I got confirmation of what I pretty much already knew - I had inverted nipples, and I was finally given a nipple shield which allowed me to nurse my son well for the first time ONE WEEK POST-PARTUM! (still a little angry about that)

There's also going to be none of that waiting for someone to help out thing this time. We'll be sending off a time chart for the first week to family, telling them when we need help and asking for them to fill in the blanks for what works for them. I'm not going to care about nursing in front of visitors of having the babe snuggled up against me as much as possible - there will be plenty of time for them to hold the babe and besides, his older brother could definitely use some more lovin'. I actually have friends who have children of their own - knowing that I have the support and love of those very special women in my life is going to make a world of difference - it's not just going to be the three of us alone this time.

I think that last bit is the most important one. We had a ton of visitors while I was in the hospital, but once we got home we were pretty much on our own. I still have to have "the talk" with my mother about that last bit since I have a lot of unresolved anger about it (don't worry - it'll be happening next week). This birth, while it's almost definitely a surgical one, will be much different than my first. Even if I have all the same pain and even heartbreak that I had with Michael's or a completely new set of issues to cope with, the fact that I am taking ownership of the birth makes a huge difference in my feelings about it. Yes, I've read the statistics and I know how much riskier a repeat surgical birth is than a VBAC. I also know that I'll probably be having another pelvic laparoscopy down the road to remove adhesions if last summer's pelvic-lap was any indication. To others, my reasons for a repeat section my seem selfish and uninformed, but they are my own and, to use what some of the faceless masses consider a cop-out, what is best for me and my family.

I sit here, reading over my missive to the internet, feeling the Bean kick me in the pubic symphysis (which *really* hurts, by the way) and day dream about getting to meet him in eight weeks. I'm sure there will be many upsets and twists and turns, but such be life and for one of the first times in this pregnancy I am truly at peace with my decisions.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

All the Michael you can stand...

Michael asleep with book




He is truly a three year-old now. We've started the, "Why?" phase. I'll need all the good wishes you can spare - seven months pregnant and incessant "Why's" are not a pretty picture.

Getting ready for the home stretch....

Only eight and a half weeks until we get to meet him...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I am loved

I had my Mother Blessing this afternoon. It is very hard for me to let others do for me, but when I can manage it it's a truly wonderful feeling to be surrounded by that much love and peace. Thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wife of the year

My mind is nowhere to be found. I actually just remembered that my eighth wedding anniversary was this past Tuesday. In my defense, I did already make the dinner reservations for next week when we'll actually be celebrating it.

Becoming a hermit is looking better all the time.

John forgot too, so it's not just me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pay it Forward

I just found out about this over on the ever lovely Flapjack's blog and thought I'd participate.

From the original blog post over on SnB London:

  • The first three people to leave a comment on the Pay it Forward post here will receive a knitted item from the blogger (in this case me) within 6 months

  • The people who comment then put Pay it Forward on their own blog for three people to comment on and knits those three an item within 6 months

  • Those people then put it on their blog

  • Then the next three put it on theirs

  • You get the idea

Come on and comment - you know you want to...


...funk, funkity, funk, funk!

Can you see the pattern? I just have a ton of stuff to do, but my energy level is the pits so much of it is going un-done and gnawing at my brain. Oh, but to have a vertex babe and a car - life would be so much easier.

The whine is over, you may now return to your non-exhausted, spd-free day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mini Crafts Update

aka - Damn You, Biological Need for Sleep!

So many things I want to make, but the body is also baking a babe so there is only so much energy to go around...

Mystery Projects
Are progressing. I have to give a huge apology to one of the recipients (you'll find out who soon enough) that I've been sitting on your items for a good week now, but every time I have to time to fiddle with it, something else comes up. The others are taking top priority as they must be finished soon.

After much consideration, I've decided that my body shape is the one least suited to the styling of the Tilted Duster. I've decided instead to branch out and try 2 different sweaters this month. The first is the Origami Cardi from Interweave Knits. I just cast-on for it using some charcoal gray Caron Simply Soft and have a couple of inches done already. It's not the super yummy bamboo-wool I'd love to be using, but it's nice enough and only cost me $15 for the yarn so I can't complain too much. For my second undertaking, I'll be doing Tubey from Knitty in the HPY I ordered last month. I would love to get the Origami Cardi done for Saturday, but I have come to the realization that I do in fact have other things that need doing this week that are more important. I'm aiming for it to be done for Philcon. I'm hoping to have Tubey done for Christmas.

Baby Knits
Too many other things to finish right now. I'll pick back up after I get the Origami Cardi out of my system.

Still in the same place as last week, although I'm aiming to have the second Green Scaly Sock done so I can wear them this weekend. I'm going to wear a hand knit that I made myself, darn it.

Felted Messenger Bag
Is just waiting for a lining and a shoulder strap at this point. I'm hoping to get both done tomorrow during nap.

That's about it for now - I'll get pics up eventually. 'night All!

Friday, November 02, 2007


I just got done with a slew of on-line orders. We had to buy Michael a new car seat since he's too tall for our current convertible and not old/mature enough to use a belt-positioning booster. We settled on a Fisher Price Safe Voyage, which is a Britax Marathon in different clothing. Last month I could find them everywhere, now only one place carries it and it's on clearance. Figures - they make a seat that has a high height and weight limit and doesn't cost a small fortune and it gets discontinued. Since it's more than likely that the Bean will follow in his brother's footsteps in terms of size, we'll be getting a Radian 65 come tax-return time. I'm probably going to put Michael in the Radian and the put the Bean in the FP when he outgrows the bucket that S is lending us. I was joking with John the other day that we could have a few more kids and have our self a rugby team - who knew that my Eastern European/Irish stock mixed with his Western European stock would create a race of super men? Now that I've said this, I'm probably guaranteeing that the Bean is going to be very petite (*shush* I can dream).

The next thing on the shopping list splurge is a new pair of shoes for me. Last spring I finally came to the realization that I need to spend money on good shoes for myself, especially since I was averaging a good 10 miles of walking a week back then. I closed my eyes and bought a pair of Keen sandals and man, what a difference they have made. I did have some arch pain the first few weeks I wore them as my feet adjusted to actually having adequate support, it has been heavenly. Even now, my pelvis may feel like it's going to split but my feet could go on all day. The shoes have held up remarkably well and I'm sure I can get at least another half-season's wear out of them.

Of course, now it's starting to get cold and I'm going to need closed shoes pretty soon. I've been vacillating all week about what shoes I want to get. I have large, wide feet and a very high instep. This means finding women's shoes that fit is nearly impossible. In fact when I bought the Keens, I didn't even bother trying on any of the women's styles and went right for men's. I've been searching all week and even though I know spending the money on good shoes is completely worth it, I was still balking at the cost. Most of all, I really want a pair of cute Mary Janes to show off my new hand-knit socks. I talked about my shoe dilemma with K this afternoon and finally decided to just go with the Keen pull-ons. They are not the most feminine of shoes, but I know they work on my feet and switching to something else in the middle of my pregnancy would probably not be a good thing. Once spring comes, I'm thinking of getting a pair of Earth Shoe Mary Janes - K told me that they fit her wide/high-instep feet very nicely although the heels take a bit of getting used to.

The last thing in the shopping extravaganza was a cell phone for John. We've only had one for a year now and while it's not that much of an issue generally, with me being pregnant and a second on the way, we both feel a bit more secure with him having one too. The only thing left is for me to replace my own - something that has to happen soon seeing as the "4" button no longer works. I just have to do some comparison shopping and pick one out that doesn't cost a small fortune - the downfall of hybrid plans, none of those sweet deals on phones apply when you aren't signing a two-year contract.

'evening all - have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

ELO Therapy

I have found that listening to Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra on a continuous loop almost never fails to improve my mood. John left me his i-Pod this morning for just this purpose. After I got Michael on the bus and did my morning surfing, I took myself, some socks and the i-Pod up to Starbucks. I had a lovely cup of coffee and a very yummy bacon avocado wrap. After I finished eating, I lucked out and the comfy chairs became available, so I pulled out the second Green Scaly Sock, turned the volume up on the i-Pod and listed to Mr. Blue Sky for at least half a pattern repeat and then my regular mix until I was done the repeat.

I don't know if it was the music or my regular knitting speed, but I'm pretty impressed that I got 22 rounds of sock done in an hour. Right now I'm about 4 rounds away from starting the gusset and I only have a few rounds left before I start the 2x2 rib on the second Step Sock. By the end of the weekend, I may have two new pairs of socks! Of course, I have no shoes to wear with said socks, but I'm ordering myself another pair of Keen's this weekend so hopefully I'll be able to walk about in my ultra-cool socks. Frankly, I'm trying to get these done so I can use the Colinette Jitterbug I got last weekend. I'm still not sure what it's going to be yet - either Cookie A.'s Monkey or a pattern of my own design.

As per usual, I have a ton of stuff to wade through the next few days so I really have no business even thinking about sock knitting. I'll get some pics up tomorrow for a real Crafts Update. Thanks for reading and TTFN!