Lilypie - Maternity

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shades of lavender

I was struggling for a title for this one, but for some reason the project I'm currently working on and the next one up are both in shades of lavender so I figured I would throw that on there.  Little known fact, I'm allergic to lavender (the flower not the color lol).  We've had a good couple of weeks since I last blogged and there are definite signs of spring.  We are having a true March that swings back and forth though.  I am really enjoying the ferocity of the seasons...I know, I know, people think I'm crazy.  I love bundling up in the handknits and I love the soft springy weather that still has some crispness to the air.  Autumn and spring are my favorite seasons and often spring around here is far too short.  It's like winter just becomes summer with no reprieve.  I think the gentle temps where one can have the windows open and smell the lilac bushes (we have a few outside our living room window) and have coolness for sleeping are just magical and wonderful.

I'm really looking forward to being off with the family at the tail end of spring and early summer.  It will be so nice to go outside instead of being shut up with a newborn.  I think we will have a lot of fun-hoping to do some zoo trips, walks, maybe a bit of flower gardening.  We are scaling back the veggie garden this year just knowing we will have a new baby.  I think probably just cover cropping most of the beds and buying a few tomato plants, potatoes, and onions.  Those are the things we eat the most and I can't let a whole season go by without growing any food-it just seems irresponsible since we have all that space and it does save us money.  We shall see how it goes, but those are all pretty low maintenance crops.

In the crafting world, I've been pretty busy!  I am working on a secret project for someone so I can't share that but I'm about 50% of the way there and I love how it is turning out so far.  I hope they like it as well.  I finished a pair of socks out of the Patons Kroy Blue Ragg sock yarn I've seen everybody using lately.  Nothing special, it's just from JoAnns but I really loved the stripes.

I finished these super early in the morning on a day it was still super cold and was lamenting that all my socks were in the wash and then remembered I had a brand new pair.  I popped them on as soon as I got out of the shower.  I got more of this to make sleeves for a sweater for the new baby.  I was thinking stripey sleeves with a solid navy body and maybe some fun buttons that match with the stripes...might even use the fun science buttons that I got in a swap from my Itty Bitty Knits group.  They make me think of the Big Bang Theory show-which if you haven't seen it you really should.  It's hilarious!
Yesterday, we made some new bunny crayons.  We did this two years ago I believe and I've been saving all of Maegwin's broken crayon bits when I find them on the dining room floor.  It was to the point where I had a quart size bag of them so as part of the cleaning process we did yesterday I decided it was time to make those into something useful.  We peeled and sorted so we had mostly tonal or single color ones and there were a few rainbow ones that she wanted to make.  Popped them into the oven at 225 for 15 minutes and bam we had new crayons.  She colored a picture or two but had a lot of fun just stacking and arranging them.
She was talking about making a mousetrap and was using some playdough, some appetizer toothpicks (for a clothes stick for them to hang their clothes on, she said), and these bunny crayons arranged in a circle.
Some sort of druidic mouse ritual?  Who knows?  She might just be building a better mousetrap.

Note the princess dress-she pretty much alternates between the two that we have until we make her peel it off.  She goes exploring in them with jeans underneath.  We were keeping them down in the basement to make her wear other clothes but then I thought "Hey, she's only going to be this age once and who am I to keep her from being a princess if she wants to be?" so we just let it be and let her have fun.  She literally asks to change out of her pajamas as soon as she gets up and finds some shoes to put on.  She LOVES shoes.  Not sure where that came from.  I have some shoes and I certainly appreciate a good pair of shoes but I also repair mine until they can't be worn anymore.  I have some shoes that are 10-12 years old.  She likes to put on my shoes or her little mary janes, or boots, you get the idea.

Recently I've also won a few prizes on Ravelry!  It's been so fun since I don't often win things.  I participated in a worsted sock knit along and won a really pretty bag and mug for finishing and having my name randomly picked.
The yarn inside wasn't part of the prize but it fit five skeins in there so it's a nice little box bag.  That is one of the lavender yarns that I was talking about that I'm going to use to knit Cinnamon for Maegwin.  I think it will be a pretty transitional sweater for spring.  (I hope you all can see the link-Ravelry says no account needed to see pattern pages).

I also won a prize package for finishing up the slippers I shared that were for Josh's mom for her birthday.  It came all the way from New Zealand!
Two skeins of yarn I have never knit with, a little ruler bookmark, a silk notions pouch, and a sheepy luggage tag.  Maegwin has her eye on that luggage tag so it might go on her backpack for a bit.

Finally, I won a copy of the ebook Head to Toe: Kids Knit Accessories from Cooperative Press.  This was a prize from the Homespun podcast which is one of my favorites.  I was so excited about this one because it has such beautiful stuff in it and I can make things for Maegwin and for next winter for both kids.  Really looking forward to working some things out of this book.  I think my first project might be one of the pair of handwarmers because Maegwin almost wore hers out wearing them constantly when she went out to explore in the yard and they are too small for her now.  She definitely needs some new ones.  I love when she goes rummaging through our warm things basket to find stuff to gear up for going outside.

That's really all the news that I have.  We are heading out to Mom's today for her birthday lunch.  I made a pistachio bundt cake which Maegwin is referring to as the big green donut cake.  She says she wants one just like it for her birthday but it needs to be pink...and rainbow...and have ponies.  So really nothing like it.  lol

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Making it up to you March

Sorry I totally missed posting in February...not sure how the month got away from me.  Well, I do know and I will just blame it on pregnancy and choosing to spend time with family and crafting instead of blogging.  We have had sooo much snow this winter, as I am sure you are all aware.  I think it will make for a gorgeous spring with tons of flowers since we've had a lovely protective snow blanket on everything for most of the winter.  I actually don't mind snow and am enjoying having a real winter like the ones I remember from childhood.  You know, when snowsuits were a good investment?  This year I even contemplated getting one for Maegwin but of course by that time the stores already had spring clothes.  Seriously people, stock the season...none of us are wearing shorts anytime soon.  But I digress.  Josh made a sledding ramp on the far side of the house for Maegwin and she loved it.
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We also went on multiple "snow hikes" where we'd put her in the sled and just walk around the yard looking at various tracks and guessing at which animals made them.  Squirrels, groundhogs, bunnies, and deer are the usual denizens of our yard.  Probably mice too since we've caught several this winter when the polar vortex got quite bad and it was super cold.

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Here she is also wearing an earflap hat and the fox cowl that I made for her.  It's a hood/cowl combo.  With those frigid temps we really bundled up.

We have got tons of use out of our handknits this year.  It makes me glad to be a knitter because honestly you can't beat good ol' wool for warmth.  I made a pair of mittens for Maegwin and she never complains about her hands being cold.  One day Josh took her out and put a pair of store bought cotton mittens on her hands thinking they were handknit and that is the one day that she said her fingers were too cold about 15 minutes into playing.  I need to whip up another pair though for layering or for when her others are wet and she wants to go back outside.  Her hands are so tiny that I can usually use scraps from my projects so she gets some pretty luxurious stuff.  hehe

I finished knitting another pair of socks and these are my favorites so far that I have knit this year.  I listen to a podcast called Just One More Row and the ladies on there started what is called the Clean Slate Challenge for the first few months of the year.  The idea was to knit all from yarn that had been in stash for more than six months and to clean off the needles of anything that had been sitting on them.  The yarn I used for these socks was from a yarn shop that closed at least a few years ago-A Tangled Tale.  It's Pagewood Farms Elias in the Forest Camo colorway.  I used the My Cup of Tea pattern which is free on Ravelry.
It is handwash only and my first time knitting with Blue Faced Leicester wool.  I have to say I'm totally smitten.  They are so warm and soft!  Even sticking my feet in the snow like this for the photo (hey, I suffer for my art) they kept my feet very warm.  I am wearing them at least once a week.

A friend on Ravelry had asked me how I organized my sock drawer so for those who follow my Flickr and wondered why the heck this picture was on there, now you know.
I got the honeycomb divider from a sale on Zulily and I really love it.  This isn't all my handknit socks but it's a lot of them.  I don't ever wear store-bought socks anymore.  The yellow ones in the lower left corner were a Christmas gift from my mom.  They are the first handknit socks I've received as a gift.  So fun!

I'm working on a hood/scarf combo for Josh that has this fun basketweave pattern but I've run into issues on the hood so it's in a bit of a time out.  The scarf is about 50" long and has a neat leather clasp closure so it makes it like a cowl that can be double wrapped to cover the neck and face then the hood goes up.  He wanted the hood to come down low over his forehead which I didn't understand when I started knitting it so I need to rip back and modify to add increases.  Still noodling that one over so I haven't done it yet.  It's almost done though.

I also finished up these fun slippers for my mother-in-law in California.  I promised them for her birthday and finally got over to Mom's to get them felted.  I had to wait on the yarn because I stupidly ordered it around Christmas and it took a bit.  I like how they turned out and hope they fit her.  I can't try them on because my feet are bigger than hers.  One didn't felt quite as much as the other so I'm hoping if that one is a little too big she can throw them in the wash for a few and get it to a good size.  I want a pair for me now!

I'm working on a pair of stripey socks now so I will share those once they are done.  I'm finished with the first sock and on the leg of the second.  Just making up a plain sock pattern.  I figure I've knit enough pair that I should be able to knit a simple no frills pattern.  Going well so far!

Finally I'm working on the Once Upon a Time sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  I get a square a month and they are all fairy tale themed.  I'm going to hang it in Maegwin's bedroom when I'm done.  It's been fun doing some cross-stitch again.  I tend to do it in the morning when she's not up yet or at work during lunch.  Bonus, the little thread labels make great witch nails!
She loves the picture so far and said the other day "Mommy, how bout we hang it up right now.  I don't mind that it isn't all done"  So sweet!

Here is Maegwin's latest creation.  She built a house for her animals and people.  I love how intricate it is.
She made an area for vehicles, some towers, in the back there's a bedroom with beds and a little star blanket.  There's a tiny rabbit hutch in the front.  I enjoy seeing her being so creative and this was all her own ideas.  We didn't prompt or help at all.
The bedroom is the back area with the two clock towers.  Those are alarm clocks according to her so they know when to wake up.  There's also a snack table for them if they get hungry and a domino to play with. Thanks to everyone who got her Duplos for her birthday and Christmas.  She literally plays with them every day.  They are the most used toy in the entire house.  Only the play kitchen comes close-that one is a daily item as well.

Things are going well at work-trying to wrap up loose ends before I'm out on maternity leave but honestly my team is great and very self sufficient.  I'm more worried about accomplishing goals for the year prior to being out.  I want a good review!  The pregnancy is also going well though I feel way bigger this time around than with Maegwin.  The doctor says it is all just second pregnancy-stomach muscles being looser and all that.  I am measuring essentially the same.  Only about two months to go.  We are very excited to meet the little guy.  I really haven't done any knitting for him.  Since he will be a summer baby I am pretty sure he is going to live in onesies and diapers.  Once I have a better idea of size for him I will knit some sweaters and stuff for fall and winter.  I might make him one outfit for the hospital photo shoot-not sure on that yet.

We got our new bed (a king size-yay!) which I intended to use Christmas money for but somehow I miscalculated how many exemptions I could take on my W-9 so we owe taxes this year.  I'm kind of kicking myself about that one since we've had a very expensive couple of months of 2014 so far (pipes freezing/bursting, ice in the dishwasher, Honda needing repairs, blah blah blah).  I had really hoped to have a nice bit of savings put aside for hospital bills and such but we will just have to make it work.  grr!

That's about it-we are all healthy and doing well.  It's snowing outside right now and we are expected to get 3-5 more inches of snow.  I'm glad it melted for a bit and yesterday it was almost 60 degrees so we let Maegwin go out and explore the yard.  I wanted to get pictures but I was having Braxton Hicks contractions so I basically just sat in my chair trying to breathe through them.  She brought me a dried hydrangea flower from the back of the yard though which was so sweet.  I leave you with a picture of the snuggling buddies.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Finishing madness and insomniac dog

Cordova has taken to getting up at 4 am to go potty and then ask to eat breakfast.  It annoys me to no end but I've stopped fighting it.  I'd rather that than she have an accident in the house.  I am a light sleeper and once I'm up I usually can't get back to sleep.  I have just started accepting this on the weekend and once she is up I go brew some coffee and sit down for about five hours of knitting time before the rest of the family is stirring.  I watch podcasts, snuggle with Planck on my lap (who does not enjoy getting up that early), and knit away.  On the bright side I get to enjoy hot coffee and relative quiet and I can concentrate on charted or more complicated items.  So far this year I've finished the second sock of two pair that had been sitting mateless for about three years.

First up-Impressionnisme socks knit out of some lovely Patons Stretch Socks gifted to me by my friend Gwen back in 2011.  I promptly knit up the first sock and then I don't know what happened.  Maegwin became more mobile?  I got bored with the pattern?  Who knows, but I love them now.


Second-a test knit pair by my friend Gwen.  She dyed the yarn and I think it was meant to be a different color but turned out pastel blue, pink, and white.  I still have a skein and a half and might make something for the new baby with it.  Not sure yet.  I liked the socks, although I laid them down long enough that I think I worked the second heel differently.  I had lost my notes.  These are shorter socks, more like 3-4" cuff.


I'm now working on another pair of socks with some yarn I've had in my stash for a few years.  Sense a theme?  I'm part of a challenge on Ravelry to work on some of the beautiful stash yarn (nothing newer than 6 months old) and knit it up as well as clean out old works-in-progress that have been languishing.  I still have to knit some slippers for CA Mom (I didn't forget!) but they will only take a few hours and I need to felt them which I can't do until I go to my mom's house, probably in a few weeks.  I'm also doing a sweater, just a cardigan that buttons at the top and is short sleeved, using some bulky yarn.  I figure it can fit now with the belly sticking out and then after the baby comes also.

That's about it, just a quick update.  We are trying to stay warm.  Maegwin has been enjoying sledding down the little hill we have next to our house.  I will try to put up some video we took later this week.  Til then, here's a pic of when we gave her some flour to "bake with".  Ignore the Duplo mess in the background-we've given up trying to keep them put away but for those who gave some to her for Christmas, she LOVES them and plays with them everyday.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy Wooliversary to me!

So this year we are celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary and I am cranking out the knitting projects!  I just finished a hat with yarn that I bought the year that we got married.  It was a gorgeous skein of Blue Sky Alpacas suri merino in Cranberry and I loved and petted it but had no idea what it wanted to be.  Finally I found the pattern for Forest Floor calling for exactly this yarn and knew that is what it was destined for.  Now, I won't promise to look as sophisticated as the model in it but I think I do look nice in berets. (Yes, Josh, I think I do muhahaha).  I  started knitting it on Jan 9th and I cast off today and gave it a good soak.  It is now blocking on a soccer ball so hopefully it will be nice and slouchy.  I admit to being a bit worried when I was knitting it.  Pre-block it looked like it would fit Maegwin, but I had to keep reminding myself that alpaca stretches so it was going to be fine.

The other lately finished object was a set of fingerless mitts in some also old stash yarn, Madelinetosh sock in Tart.  I bought this in 2012, so not as old, but still happy to find the right thing for it.  I love the mitts and they are just the right amount of warmth.  The color is a bear to photograph properly but they are gorgeous.

Not sure what is going on with Blogger and Flickr but the html is not behaving so for now the pictures are kinda small and irritating.  Technical difficulties-I really hate the new Flickr.  I'm sure it was designed to work on a phone or tablet but that is not how I do my stuff so it is just too streamlined for me.  Anywho, I digress.

I also finished a fun little shawlette for Josh's grandma.  I got it done on Christmas eve but wanted to make sure it was dry before I bundled it off to California.  I did get a picture of it blocking though!

I also made a pair of super soft fingerless gloves for my youngest sister-in-law Laura with some yummy alpaca/merino blend yarn.  I had only one skein and again had been struggling to find a pattern.  I really love how they turned out.

The last Christmas knit I did was a striped cowl and hat in neon colors for my niece, Sarah.  I'm trying to just do knits for a select group of people for holidays.  Less stress that way and I think people will get better stuff.  Fear not, other family members, at some point you will be the alternate recipient!
The orange on that literally hurt my eyes to knit.  They were watering like crazy!  It was nice and warm though.  I think I didn't get a pic of the hat but it was a basic beanie with matching stripes.

Next up is the second of a pair of socks that have been a single plus a leg for a really long time.  I think the picture I have of the first is when Maegwin was two!

Things are going well with the pregnancy although I've had some very weird symptoms this time around.  The little guy doesn't make me break out like Maegwin did so I'm happy about that.  On the flip side I am way more tired, feel more crampy, and I had a really odd rash on my stomach for several days.  I'm ready to meet the little guy and be done having another human dependent on what is going on with my own body.  lol!

I leave you with Maegwin's "ghost hair".  Scary isn't it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013-the year in review

Whew, what a year it was!  We are now expecting baby 2, a boy!  Both of us are thrilled that we will have one of each, though Maegwin was holding out for a sister.  She seems to be warming to the idea though.  I also got my promotion at work in June and that has been going very well.  I now have a fully staffed team as of December and all the confidence in the world that they will be just fine while I am out on maternity leave.  Maegwin has grown like a little weed but is still petite (it is increasingly likely she will be small like me).  My sister graduated from nursing school and has her first job as an RN as of December.  Yay, Missy!

In sadder news, we lost our little Einstein in October.  He was 15 years old and we still talk about him a lot.  He was Maegwin's favorite but she took it well.  We miss you, Booboo.



So to start off, I thought I'd do a year of pictures in review because I always like seeing them.

January



February



March





April



May



June





July



August



September



October



November



December







Happy new year to all of you and may 2014 be more wonderful and filled with family, friends, and fun than 2013 was!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving-NOT grey Thursday

Let me first say that the whole concept of having stores open on Thanksgiving makes me sad, disheartened and just a wee bit sick to my stomach.  If it is truly a national holiday, then we should all have the day to be able to celebrate and spend time with our families.  We shouldn't be out expecting to find the next best bargain.

Anyway, not time for too long of a post since Maegwin is wanting me to play blocks with her but I promise I'm not gone for good.  Most of you know the reason for my many months of absence, but for those who don't it is all thanks to this little being:

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We find out next week the gender of the little thing and then we can stop referring to it as "it" which to me is terribly dehumanizing.  All is good otherwise though this pregnancy has been much more physically challenging.  Knitting has started to happen again.  My first trimester I literally had no strength to knit and for those who know me, that should impart the gravity of it.  I did read some books, lots of books, and slept a lot.

Maegwin is excited to be a big sister!
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's like a heatwave!

I am always shocked when I realize how long it has been since I posted.  I don't mean to stay away so long, I really don't.  For those who wait with bated breath for my posts (who am I kidding...there really isn't anyone who does-LOL), I sincerely apologize.  Things are going fairly well at work.  We wound down the fiscal year and I had to put in some extra hours since my team isn't fully staffed up yet but still nothing like in my old department so I am happy.  If I didn't live so darned far away it wouldn't matter as much.  Sometimes the prospect of a 35-40 minute commute after working late just adds that extra touch of soul sucking doom to a day.  I know, I've gone soft.  I used to commute that long everyday but I rode BART.  I could knit...and knitting as you all know is really what keeps me from flipping out.  It is my anchor to calm. On that note, I have a few things to share!

I whipped up this wee strawberry hat for my friend Angie who is due any day now.  She was thrilled!  Her first baby I made a hat but missed getting it to her by mere days.  By the time I saw her, baby Jack's noggin was already too large.  This time around I wisely made a 0-6 month size so I hope she gets more use out of it than as a nursery decoration.

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Next up, not necessarily a knitted thing but a knitting friend.  Jessica, the lovely Monkeybuttbabies on Ravelry and designer of the Go Bananas hoodie and tons of other cute stuff, came out to TNNA and I got the chance to meet her after years of knowing her from Ravelry.  She was just as sweet in person and we had a lovely time.

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Mom and Maegwin went with me and Maegwin called it "ladies who lunch" and kept asking "Is this ladies who lunch?"  It was so cute!  She had tons of energy and pretended to be a bunny while we waited for our table.  We made it there just in time before the Pride parade finished up and the restaurants got inundated.  Our wait would have been crazy long!

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This fabulous Dalek washcloth went to my friend Mel in Australia.  She can use it to EX-FOLI-ATE.  hehehe  Sorry, nerd humor

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We had a spring flowers theme swap on my Itty Bitty Knitters board on Ravelry and I sent out this little package with a hand knit grape hyacinth and one of my cards I made.  I was rather proud of how the flower turned out though it was a huge pain in the rear.  I hate bobbles.  Let me repeat that-I HATE BOBBLES.  They hurt my hands and are always a bit askew which rankles my perfectionist sensibilities.  I did think the result here was pretty fabulous though.

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I think that's about it.  The knitting on my stripey sweater continues though I ripped it ALL out and restarted with a new pattern because the one I was using was only written in one size and that size was not mine.  I tried to do some math but it just wasn't working out so I took the easy way out and found one with better sizing.  It is Georgia for those so inclined to go look.  Just imagine it in cream colored angora and lovely self striping yarn of this color.  I'm down past the sleeves again but doing a row takes me 15 minutes or so.  To those who have seen me knit you know this means there are a ton of stitches across.  Darn you fingering weight sweaters!  If you didn't look so good I would swear you off forever.

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet since I've been up for several hours now and it's only six a.m.  I can't say that my brain is functioning at its height of verbosity.

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