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June, 2008:

Summer knitting

I’ve always struggled a little with knitting in the summer but I have projects stacked up:
I’m at about the 2/3 finished point with the baby blanket. That coincides with the “doneness” of the baby it’s being knitted for. So that project has precedence over the Leo sweater for my son, the due date of which may be moved from birthday in September to Christmas.
In addition to those two works in progress, I have committed to participate in the 2008 Knitting Olympics Group … find complete rules here.
The Knitting Olympic Trials are open to any knitter on Ravelry who wants to push themselves to complete a project within 17 days … basically, the challenge is to cast on a project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics (Aug. 8) and finish before the Olympic flame goes out (Aug. 24).
My project for that needs to be a second knitting to confirm the accuracy of a pattern I adapted from a vintage Christmas hearth stocking. I hope to post this up as a free pattern in time for people to actually knit it for Christmas. Stay tuned ….
And last but not least … we have Brad and Andrea’s baby, due in January. I haven’t decided on a project yet. This will be the first grandchild, so it has to be something pretty special! I’m open to suggestions ….

So… very… tired

I always thought I’d knit like crazy during pregnancy (I mean, what better excuse to knit??) but the reality is that I’ve been far too tired to knit. I have to get a baby sweater done by the end of July for a baby shower I’m going to and I haven’t even started it. Yikes. Gotta get on that.
So today I’m at 10 weeks, 2 days. The end of the first trimester is within sight and I’m glimpsing the hope that I’ll soon have that energy I hear so much about. The energy that will make it possible for me to knit and set up a nursery and do all those things I’m supposed to (and need to!) get done before I have a baby in my life.
Till then, I’m still just trying to get through each day.
There are moments it’s all worth it. Like this morning. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Our little Muppet’s heartbeat sounded strong and sure: BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM, racing along at 160 beats per minute. It was pretty amazing.

Happy Birthday, Andrea!

Making an angel food cake from a box mix is about as easy as it gets:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour mix into large bowl.
Add 1¼ c. cold water.
Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 1 minute.
Pour in angel food cake pan.
Bake for 43-47 minutes. (Do not underbake.)
Rest on neck of a bottle to cool.

Angel food flop

OMG! It’s amazing what gravity can do.
(The second cake was perfect.)

Our first baby photo

This picture is from last week, when we were eight weeks pregnant. I think he/she/it is already pretty cute. But then I’m supremely biased.

The dawning of a new era

It’s probably good that Mom posted the entry that she posted below. And if you haven’t read it yet, you probably should before you continue reading this entry. It’s funny.
Anyway, I seem to be running out of interesting way to share my news, so the news has gone unshared here. But Mom is forcing my hand. Well, played, Mom, well played.
Well, perhaps this will give you a hint. Or this.
Yes, a new era begins in the land of Pink Argyle (specifically, on or around January 19, 2009). And I think it’s safe to say this new era will include a lot more baby knits.

You can say a lot without saying a lot

Monday I was at a job location with some coworkers, all women. We’re all about the same age. We four were the advance crew, setting up for a project prior to the client’s arrival the next morning.
CR says something like, “I thought MG might come over and help set up … but I guess she’s just planning on showing up for lunch tomorrow, when the hard work is all done.” (Now understand that this was all in good fun and we’d have carried on the same babble if she were standing right there … and she’d be dishing it right back at us. She’s a stitch.)
“Oh, did you hear one of her girls is expecting, again?” asked SW.
CR said, “How many grandchildren does that make for her?”
“I don’t know but it’s a bunch,” said ML.
“About a hundred and twelve, I think,” chortled SW. She asked ML, “You have grandkids, don’t you?”
ML said, “Ya, from my husband’s side, not mine … but I still consider them mine. We have two.”
I’m saying nothing, nothing at all, just keeping quiet, staying on-task, doing what needs to get done through all of this idle chatter.
SW says, “You know, the three of us (referring to herself, CR and me) should have a contest to see which of us gets to be a grandma first.”
I stopped in mid-motion, turned around and looked from SW to CR to ML and back again. I could feel myself slowly turning color, on fire, exploding … and I blurted out, in spite of clamping my hands tightly over my mouth … “I WIN!!! I WIN!!!”
Andrea, your turn ….

Must post … must post!

I wish I had more knitting progress to report, but I’ve only put a few more inches on the baby blanket. It’s very pretty, though. And soft.

Starting baby blanket

I love Andrea’s flirty red skirt. She wore it today and it looks just as great as you’d think it would. Nice job, Andrea!
I have some pictures of hail that fell a couple of weeks ago. That was a little interesting. Storms are such a love-hate thing. Love the energy of them, but hate it when they punch holes in the hostas and cut the throats of the irises.

Pea to marble sized hail on my porch
Shredded leaves on my front walk

We’re getting along fine with Steph’s cats. Elliot likes to hide under things and Bo insists on being as high up as he can get. So it’s unusual to get them in the same photo.

Bo (high), Elliot (low)

Also, last weekend a very special niece, Ali (right), came to visit. And Steph (left) is home on vacation this week.

Steph (left), Ali (right)

So things are busy and good. The knitting will be there next week!

Wishing for summer…

It’s early June in Minnesota. One of my most favorite times of the year. Everything’s green and blooming, the humidity and mosquitoes haven’t started yet, and you can finally experience the feeling of sun and breezes on bare shoulders.
Well, at least that’s how early June in Minnesota is supposed to go.
I’m prepared! I’ve got my SPF 55, plants out in containers on the deck, and a definitely feeling of longing for the summer. And I’ve finished my Show-Off Ruffle Skirt!

Finished!

But so far it hasn’t seemed much like summer yet. We’ve had plenty of summer-like storms with thunder and hail and winds, but we haven’t really had a beautiful summer day yet. Well, I guess I’ll be ready for it when it arrives.

Show-Off Ruffle Skirt

Pattern: Show-Off Ruffle Skirt by Kat Coyle, from the book Lace Style. (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Cascade Cotton Rich DK (Ravelry Link). This is a cotton nylon blend, which is nice because it has the coolness of cotton, but the nylon adds a bit of elasticity to it. It’s soft and has a wonderful drape to it. I just hope it holds up well to wear, as I’ve never used this kind of yarn before.
Modifications: I didn’t knit quite as many bobble lace rows as the pattern called for, partly due to modesty and partly due to the arthritis-inducing nature of bobbles. I like how it turned out, though. I also haven’t added the ribbon the pattern calls for; I haven’t decided if I’m going to. I kind of like it the way it is. That’s pretty much it for modifications, though I’ll admit I did have to fudge the decreases because I ended up with a mysterious number of stitches that was different from what the pattern calls for. Operator error, I’m sure.
Overall thoughts: I can’t express how much I love this skirt. I can’t wait to wear it. The pattern was well-written and if you can stomach the bobbles, the rest of the project is easy and goes quite fast. And if we ever get a warm day, I’ll get a photo of me actually wearing the skirt.