holiday wrapup part 3

I still have a few more gifts to get through on my 2008 holiday recap.

On December 22nd I finished up my father-in-law’s Christmas socks.  These photos are very boring because, let’s be honest, they are boring, all-brown, all-stockinette stitch socks.


Pattern:  N/A  I used a basic sock “recipe” from a booklet I got from my LYS many years ago.  2×2 rib for the cuff, stockinette leg and foot, flap-style reinforced heel with gusset, and regular (wedge?) toe.

Size:  64 sts around, and his foot is 9″ around and 10.5″ long.

Yarn:  Regia 4ply in color # 1231 (brown), 2 50g balls

Needles: 2.5mm dpns


Dates:  October 27 – December 22 2008 (but only took so long because I waited for my in-laws to get back from Florida to try on the first socks for size).

Modifications:  None.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.


A quick wrap in a care label and one yarn baggie later, and this gift was ready to go too!  Once this was done it meant I was finally able to start my sister-in-law’s mittens.  I finished these socks around 11:30pm on the 22nd, so the Christmas gift mittens were only started on December 23rd.  No pressure!


productivity- not!

One more gift to go before Christmas.  (You know- Thursday).  I cast last night with the required needle size, after getting a dead-on gauge swatch.  I finished the cuff, tried it on and whoa- it was huge!  Looking back, I should have possibly waited a bit longer before ripping, as maybe off the needles it would have worked out, but as it was I couldn’t risk time I didn’t have to knit something that wouldn’t fit.  I frogged the cuff and restarted on a smaller needle.

The new cuff was perfect.  I kept going, and since I have a tracing of my sister-in-law’s hand, I was able to hold the knitting against the tracing to see that I would have to add extra repeats before the waste yarn for the afterthought thumb.  I finished the rest of the mitten, closed the top, then tried it on myself.

Too small.  As in, my fingers were cramped like toes in triangle-pointed high heels, and I couldn’t even straighten out my hand.  I traced my own hand in another color over my sister-in-law’s to see how our hands compare, and while they are the same length, hers is about 0.25-0.5″ wider.  If the mitten didn’t fit me…there was no way it would fit her.

I ripped back to before the shaping and added another repeat and a half.  I redid the shaping and closed the top.  I tried it on again.

It still felt tight.  At this point I knew I couldn’t mess around any longer.


This is where the mitten is now.  So much for a day’s knitting!  I kept the cuff from the smaller needle size, but have reinserted the larger needle size so I can work up the pattern with a little more breathing room.  I’m going to follow the same changes for the thumb hole, and try it on as I go to make sure the length is good.  I will then hopefully have a mitten that fits…so I can knit its mate.  You know, by Thursday afternoon, when we get together to exchange gifts.

No time to share photos of the other gift knits, but I delivered Jakob’s 3 teachers’ gifts this morning as it was his last day of daycare before the holidays, and I also finished my father-in-law’s socks last night.

And tonight Jakob is spending his first night in his new, big boy room!


for a good reason

Sorry for having been incommunicado the last few days.  My in-laws have been coming in every Thursday and staying the weekend to help us do the necessary renovations to get the house ready for baby.  They sleep in our current office/spare bedroom, which is where the computer is.  We turned the computer off for them Thursday, and I only turned it back on last night.  I still use “real” email (as opposed to web-based email, like Hotmail or Google) and prefer to not check it online, so I haven’t been able to reply to any emails over the weekend.

But boy did we get a lot accomplished!  On Thursday Yannick’s sister also came by and his mom and sister painted our living room.  That wasn’t strictly for the baby, but we all hated the Crayola Flesh color that the previous owners painted this entire house in an attempt to “freshen” it up to sell, as well as the hideous brown plaid curtains on the picture windows at both ends of the living room and dining room.  While they were in Florida his parents bought us new curtains and rather than wait until Christmas to give them to us, they decided it was time to fix up the room and put up the curtains.  We painted the two rooms (really one long room) a soft shade of gray which sounds strange when you think of it against a dark brown and tapestry Louis-the-something reproduction living room set and cream curtains, but it looks so soft and peaceful in there now!  Really inviting and cozy, almost like a country house, if that makes sense outside of my head. 

While that was being done upstairs, Yannick and his dad were busy working downstairs.  It’s not quite ready yet, but my future office now has the framing built, insulation, vapour barrier and firenze (sp?  The wood you put over the vapour barrier to attach the gyprock to) put up, most of the gyprock on the walls and ceiling put up, and all lights, plugs and cable installed.  I’m so happy with the speed it is coming together!  This coming weekend we’ll finish the rest and plaster it, and next weekend paint it and move the furniture down.  Woo hoo!

I couldn’t do much to help them with painting or renos, so Saturday night I emptied the dresser I will be putting into the baby’s room.  I then brought down ALL of the clothes Jakob has grown out of, folded them and put them into bags by size.  While doing so I took out any unisex clothes in the 0-3 months range.  I emptied my big metal chest (you might remember it from my old office, if you’ve been reading long, it’s a blue metal army trunk-type chest) of all the yarn and put that yarn into storage buckets with the rest, and put the bags of baby clothes into the trunk for storage.  I then washed all the unisex clothes I’d pulled out, and on Sunday I folded them all and put them into the dresser.  Now once we’re able to switch kids’ rooms all we need to do is move the furniture…at least the contents are already ready.

I was on such a roll that I started getting everything ready for my hospital bag as well.  I can’t find the bag I’d used with Jakob, which is really bugging me, but I did pull out the baby clothes I want to bring, as well as my toiletries and such.  I will be picking up a pack of newborn diapers today and by tonight my hospital bag will be fully packed and ready to wait by the door.  My due date is in 5 weeks from this coming Friday…so no matter what happens with the baby turning or having a c-section, no matter what I’ll be having a baby by the latest 5 weeks from now.


Because of all the work going on and catching up on sleep when not working, I didn’t get to knit much.  Since I’d finished the Eye Lash chemo cap on Tuesday, Wednesday night I cast on for another hat for my cousin.  I managed 1 repeat (10 rows) before bed.  Thursday night I had my last prenatal aquafitness class and I did another repeat before getting to bed early.  Friday I did the same, leaving me with 1 repeat left to go on Saturday night.  Sunday I worked the crown decreases as per the pattern but realized after gathering the final sts together that it was way too short- when I tried it on it didn’t even reach the top of my ears.  The actual pattern calls for an aran weight yarn and I am using a sport/light worsted.  Doubled the hat would have been too big, used singly the width is perfect but the height wasn’t enough to follow the pattern as written. 

I ended up undoing the crown section and working another 2 repeats before redoing the decreases.  Flat on a table the hat looks long and funny, but now it is long enough to cover my ears and down to the nape of my neck, and I think that my cousin will prefer it with the extra length.  If not, it can always be folded up at the bottom.


Pattern:  Lacy Slant Hat by Anastasia Roeszler (Ravelry link and Non-Ravelry link). 

Size:  As written – fits 21″ to 23″ head without being too snug.

Yarn:  Bernat Natural Blends Soy – in a soft blue shade whose name I forget right now.  My ball had been started already so I had to dip into another for the crown decreases, but I’m pretty sure that 1 full ball would be enough.  Don’t forget- I also added 2 repeats so it is a bit too long.

Needles: 4mm

Dates:  December 3 – 7 2008


Modifications:  See the details above.  I also used a much smaller needle than required, omitted the final non-decrease round of the crown shaping, and modified the pattern to be worked in the round as opposed to flat then seaming.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.

Oh- and while they were here I had my in-laws each try on their 1 completed sock (while blindfolded so it wouldn’t technically ruin the surprise).  Both claimed the socks fit perfectly, so once I finish the last Flower Scarf neckwarmer (to be cast on today once I get around to winding the yarn) I will complete their pairs of socks.


back with a finished object and an 18 month old!

See, even when away, I still get knitting done!  Of course…in keeping with the way things have been lately, especially with my “why bother?” post…the first of 3 neckwarmers for Jakob’s daycare teachers that I complete is pink.  The pink one is for a specific teacher (we’d found out their favorite colors).  I got a call on Monday that she would be leaving his class for another class, and a replacement teacher would be starting this week.  I sure hope this new girl likes pink!


Pattern:  Flower Scarf by Robyn Diliberto (Ravelry link and direct link)

Size:  one size. 


Yarn:  Dream in Color Smooshy, in the colorway Cool Fire.  Exactly 150 yards.

Needles: 3.75mm needle and crochet hook


Dates:  November 20 – 23 2008

Modifications:  None!  I used the garter variation from the pattern itself, and did everything else as written.


As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here

I wanted to thank everyone for the comments over the weekend, and to explain a few reasons behind what I’d said.  When we had found out that Jakob was breech (I think it was early, like 28 weeks) we were repeatedly told that there was plenty of time for him to turn. 

I had been really hearbroken back then about getting “cheated” (my opinion only) out of a natural birth, and looked up all the different ways to turn a breech baby around.  We found many websites, including the Spinning Babies one.  With Yannick’s help I tried most of the non-invasive ones, including, but not limited to: ice packs, music, standing on my head, lying on a board at a 45 degree angle head-down, visualization, talking to the baby, lights and a few more.  We didn’t try acupuncture or moxibustion (is that what it’s called?) and after consulting with my OB-GYN we decided against attempting the version technique.  I know it can be successful but it can also lead to an emergency c-section, and because I had a number of extra pounds on my belly to begin with and was hard to “feel” the baby, my doctor was really doubtful it would be successful with me.  Plus the baby could still reverse afterwards, making it have been for nothing.

Despite our efforts, nothing worked.  They kept doing ultrasounds, right up until 5 minutes before the c-section, just to make sure.   Obviously, he never turned.  When my doctor was doing the surgery she told me that while his body was small (he weighed 8lbs 0 oz) his head was large, and was wedged into my ribs.  She actually had a slightly hard time getting him out because he’d made himself such a home in there.  Also, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.  It was loose and not life-threatening, but I still wonder if he HAD turned, would the cord’s placement have resulted in a possible tragedy?

My c-section went very well, I was awake the whole time and saw Jakob the moment he came out.  Once he was cleaned up and weighed he was given to Yannick who held him at my face and let me kiss him and nuzzle him until they left for our room and I went to recovery.  My actual recovery was relatively painless for my first-ever surgery, and my scar is small, neat and tidy.

So what does this mean for this child?  I won’t be trying any turning techniques.  My desire to have a “natural” delivery (as opposed to surgery) is a desire, but not an all-consuming one that would trump a baby’s safety.  I know there are many mostly risk-free ways to attempt a turn, but after the experience with Jakob, Yannick and I both agreed it wasn’t worth the possible risk to the baby.  I know many babies have the cords wrapped around them and it doesn’t always pose a danger, but I don’t want to know that any risk was caused by my intervention.  As well, I know for a fact that a version won’t work on me.  I have only gained 8 lbs with this pregnancy (so far) and there simply isn’t room for the baby to be turned manually without force, which I am not willing to subject myself or the baby to. 

I know the options are there and I really appreciate that some of you would write to me with suggestions, but I have come to a sort of peace with the fact that I will most likely end up having a second c-section.  My doctor is going to keep checking, though, just in case.

Oh, and about future VBACs…I don’t know if it is an official practice here, but after 2 c-sections, my hospital won’t allow a VBAC attempt.  Could I switch hospitals, find a midwife or other practitioner who would allow it (or who would even allow a breech delivery)?  Possibly.  But my doctor is a high-risk specialist who I trust with mine and my babies’ lives.  If I didn’t trust her opinion I would have switched a long time ago, and I’m not going to run to someone else because she gave me information I don’t like.

That being said…I still have 7 weeks for this baby to possibly turn.  Either way, I’ll still end up starting the new year with a new, wonderful addition to our family, the support of my friends and loved ones, and a year to stay home and get to know the new person in the world.  Things really aren’t as bad as they had seemed last week.

I’ll end this post with one of the shots we took during Jakob’s 18 month chair photo (forgotten about those?) last weekend.  He was getting over the residual fever and had broken out in roseola from it, was tired and a little cranky, but is still as cute as ever!  Enjoy!



who knew?

Who knew – that 105.3 F fever in an 18 month old isn’t a big deal?  Not me, that’s for sure.  The fever and yellow eye gunk (we’d already had the Green Boogers of Doom, and now we have the Yellow Shmutz of Suffering) led to Jakob staying home from daycare on Wednesday.  He came to work with me in the morning and slept in my arms for 2 hours until my mom came to get him at lunch time.  His fever was still rising so she brought him to the doctor for me, and they said he had an eye infection and prescribed antibiotic drops.  They also warned that it could lead to an ear infection, so if he still had fever in 48 hrs we should bring him back so they could check his ears.  Ok. I can handle that.  He’s not eating, and when we put him to bed that night he was burning up, so I took his temperature again.  104.5. 

At midnight he woke up crying and when I went to soothe him I almost burned myself on his skin.  105.3.  I’ve never seen the thermometer go that high!  When it hit 105 I started crying, then shaking as it rose higher.  Jakob was nearly comatose; instead of crying and pushing to get away from the thermometer he just…lay there…like he wasn’t fully present.  My mind started flashing- what are we taught about fevers while growning up?  High fever=bad, cool baths, brain inflamation, seizures, warning, danger!  I immediately called the Children’s Hospital emergency room and asked who I could speak to to find out if I should bring him in.  They said to call 811 (the InfoSante hotline).  Anyone physically there that I could speak to?  No, call 811.  Fine.  I call 811. 

InfoSante can’t get me off the phone fast enough, warning danger DANGER go to the hospital, do not pass go, he could go into convulsions, he needs to be rehydrated, why am I still on the phone?  So we go to the hospital.  After a 4 hour wait we get lectured for bringing in a child who doesn’t need to be seen.  “Never call InfoSante,” they say, “They’re alarmists and will tell you to come to the hospital for anything.”  “You told me to call them.”  “Well, it’s ‘cus we can’t give info over the phone.”  So basically I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.  I also don’t consider a rediculously high fever “nothing”, but apparently that’s just me.

To recap the rest of the Jakob saga…yesterday I kept him home with me.  In the morning his temperature was only 100 F and I thought maybe it had broken.  He still was barely eating.  At bedtime the temp was up to 103.4 F.  At midnight I snuck in and gave him another dose of Tempra.  This morning it was 104.5 F at 6:45 am and I noticed welts all over his legs.  So I booked him an appointment with his doctor (as they’d asked) and cancelled the appointment he was supposed to have at a photo studio at noon.  I had my 32 week ultrasound this morning so I couldn’t stay with him, so Yannick brought him to my mom and she’s been watching him all day.  She also took him to the doctor for me.  He still has fluid in his ears but not enough to warrant meds yet, and the welts will probably spread over his whole body before leaving, as they are a side-effect of the fever.  Again, if there is still fever in 48 hours we should go back, but we have his 18 month checkup on Monday anyways, so I will just wait until then.  So in the end there’s nothing seriously wrong, but the poor little guy is sick and looks so pitiful just lying there.  The snuggle time is great if you can stand the heat coming off of him.  Luckily he’s drinking just enough to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Who knew – that there would be enough time during Jakob’s nap on Thursday to finish the first Queen of Cups sock?  (Ok, I had a feeling about this one).  I didn’t weave in any ends because if the final verdict is “good fit, slightly too long” I want to be able to change it without too many headaches.

Please ignore my homebrew sock blocker- I didn’t have any pliers handy and my bare hands couldn’t smooth the hanger the way I wanted it to go.  It is clearly not “blocking” the sock, but hopefully making it look more attractive than just lying on the table.


Here are the first each Queen of Cups and Boring Brown sock.  Neither is my size, so please ignore the fit (and the cat hair).  My inlaws should be back next weekend to help Yannick watch Jakob while my mom, sister and I spend a 4 day weekend in New York City, so I will get them to try them on (blindfolded) and let me know if the sizes are good.


I was feeling kinda crappy last night so I skipped prenatal aquafitness and instead started the first of 3 Christmas gifts for Jakob’s daycare teachers.  The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, in Cool Fire, and the pattern is the Flower Scarf (Ravelry link, non-Ravelry link).  I’m going to have a ton of leftover yarn, which means I can most probably eke a pair of short toe-up socks from the remnants.  Yay!


One last “who knew” – who knew that this stitch pattern is NOT ribbing??


It’s garter stitch!  How awesome is that?  The pattern is written as Fisherman’s Rib which is based on 1×1 rib.  But below that the designer offered a garter adaptation that was supposed to look nearly identical.  I really didn’t feel like working ribbing so I tried the garter version – holy crap it IS nearly identical!  I spend almost as much time knitting it as I do stopping to look at the resulting fabric and trying to identify how it does what it does.  Tres cool.  It’s a nice, cushy, thick, stretchy faux-rib, and I think I’d like to try it on a garment edge one day.


public service announcement

Folks, I’m here to tell you about a serious problem that can affect (almost) all knitters.  It can make the seemingly most innocent, obvious of tasks the hardest, and can guarantee that even simple jobs fail. 

Knitting while pregnant.

I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like much.  “A fetus sucking the life and energy out of me?  How on earth can that affect my knitting?  Pshaw!”  you say.  Nope, it’s true. 


I used to joke that when I got pregnant with Jakob, I got dumb.  Them smarts never came back after delivery, and this blog has shown ample evidence (see: the waste-basket incident of ’07).  Well, getting pregnant again has made it worse.  I’m at the point where I have to literally say things out loud to someone else for confirmation in order to make sure I’ve “got it” (two plus two is four, right?) and have been laughed at repeatedly by friends and family…Yannick mostly.

Remember how I said I spent the guild meeting Tuesday night swatching for the Queen of Cups socks?  And how the gauge was spot-on, for both the stockinette and lace portions?  Yeah.  About that.

The pattern is written in two sizes: narrower and wider.  The narrower is supposed to stretch to an 8″ foot; the wider to a 9″ foot.  I had my trusty tracing of my mother-in-law’s foot with me, glanced at it, saw 9.5″ and thought perfect, I’ll knit the wider size and the lace will stretch open beautifully, as if it were blocked.  And so I did.  I cast on last night, did the ribbing and got halfway through the first lace repeat when it dawned on me…the sock looked kinda big.  Like…fitting Yannick, kinda big.


See the problem?  Can I admit here, among friends, that it took me half an hour!!! of staring at the pattern, remeasuring my gauge and stretching the wip in my hands before it occurred to me WHY my spot-on gauge, perfect knitting would, in fact, be too freaking big for my mother-in-law?  I actually turned around to Yannick and said, quite dejectedly, “I’m an idiot”.

(For those who might be pregnant I’ll spell it out- her foot is only 8.5″ wide.  It is 9.5″ long.  Ergo I should be knitting the smaller size).

I’ll restart tonight after I decide if I’ll end up going to prenatal aqua.  The baby is getting heavy and pulling uncomfortably, and walking isn’t so much fun.  I know I’ll feel lighter in the pool, but am not sure if I’ll manage to bring myself to actually go.

While I had the camera out last night, (for the sole purpose of embarassing myself publicly with the above photo), I squeezed out a photo of the big, brown, plain sock.  Enjoy:


Boring, eh?


and so the gift knits begin

I’ve finally begun my gift knitting for this year.  The first project I wanted to tackle was Kayla’s Lace Cardigan, and I spent most of last week using my free time to translate the pattern.  I’ve sent it off to a Swedish knitting group member who promised to verify my translation, and am just waiting for her to get back to me before I can start knitting. 

In the meantime I have started my father-in-law’s Christmas socks.  Plain old boring stockinette stitch socks, heel flap and gussets, nothing fancy, in solid brown.  Do they keep my attention, or what?  I’m just kidding, I actually like the simplicity of them and have been fantasizing about having the time to knit another pair of socks for myself.


This photo was taken earlier in the week.  I’ve since worked through past the gusset and have decreased to have my original stitch count on the needles.  On to the foot!