Thursday, March 31, 2011

My New Favourite Picture


A Message From Piper


Mama says sorry for the radio silence - she went back to work this week and any free time has been spent holding me.


I like that!

She says she misses knitting, though.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Eyeglasses (And Bonus Piper Pics!)

Andrew says I have a sassy librarian thing going on...


I'm not nearsighted or farsighted - I have an astigmatism that is gradually making it difficult to focus on small print at medium distances. I started noticing about six months ago that I was having a hard time focusing on the tv listings on the television. I finally had my doctor's appointment this past week, and found out that my vision had degraded from 20/15 to 20/20. Why then I do I have to wear glasses? Well, I don't all the time - my doctor said I only need them when my eyes are tired - most likely only at night.

I have to say though - after taking this picture and studying it - I might actually have a child that looks like me! She may end up having blonde hair and blue eyes, but she looks like me! Some people say that Willow looks like me - but trust me, she and her Daddy are two peas in a pod. She has my eye colour and curly hair, but her colouring, body type, facial features all fall to the paternal side.

Speaking of eye colour, here is a close up of Piper's eyes:


Excuse the goggle-eyed bit - she was probably trying to figure out why Mommy kept taking close up pictures with the flash on. Seven weeks in and her eyes are still blue - and as you can see, quite light coloured around the pupil, which usually indicates that the eye colour will remain light. I have hazel eyes and Andrew brown - but there are plenty of blue and green eyed people on my side of the family, so maybe some recessive traits have snuck their way in.

I've mentioned before that Piper has her 'demon' period between 7 - 9pm. It doesn't seem to matter what I do - she won't nurse, won't cuddle - just flails her arms and arches her back and screams. And screams and screams and screams. Try and swaddle her? It only gets louder and more frantic. This was her during the demon time a few days ago:


Really, all I can do is hold her and let her get it out. She usually drops off within 30 minutes and then we have exhausted Piper:


She wakes up two hours later absolutely ravenous, but in a much better mood. People tell me this night-time colic goes away at around 3 months... I sure as hell hope so.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

False Advertising

The weather has finally warmed up enough around here for me to venture into my sunroom, and I was eager to start winding some yarn because I am coming to the end of the socks I am currently working on. I'm kind of lazy about socks - my sock stash is immense, but I will just grab whatever yarn is already wound when I want to start a new pair of socks. So, I pulled out a few skeins I wanted to knit with, and proceeded to wind them into cakes.

Exhibit A:


Pretty, isn't it? I won't say who the vendor is, but I bought this skein at MDSW last year. I had this picture in my head of how this self-striping sock yarn was going to knit up - alternating stripes of a cherry red and a red/orange/pink/yellow variegated. Imagine my surprise when I untwisted the skein and was presented with this:


This is not self-striping... Striping, perhaps with a lot of annoying work and weaving in of ends on my part. I'm a bit pissed here. I remember having a conversation with the vendor about how keen I was to see how this *SELF-STRIPING* yarn was going to knit up. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it now. I am not one to put extra effort into socks with multiple skeins. There is probably enough on each half-skein to make children's socks and that is probably my best option - but I guess this proves the adage 'caveat emptor.'

Remember how excited I was when I picked up my craft table (Ikea Nordren Gateleg, I believe) last year? Well, this is what it looks like in action with my swift and winder:


Yeah, ignore the fact that the Christmas tree and ornament box are still in the sunroom. I was too pregnant to help Andrew put it in the loft after Christmas, and as I mentioned above, it only just started being warm enough to not freeze off body parts whilst in the sunroom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Piper's Favourite Place To Be


I think we have mastered the Cradle Hold! She also likes the Lotus position (facing forward), but I find that one a bit awkward once she falls asleep because I worry about her head drooping down. Thank heavens for the Moby Wrap - I wish I had one of these 8+ years ago when Willow was little. I did make myself a ring sling, but never was comfortable carrying Willow in it.

And look what we found in our front garden yesterday:


There is so much yard work that needs to get done - Andrew mows the long, but I do the rest of the weeding, pruning, planting, etc. - and all that got sidelined from summer on last year because I was pregnant. I am not even sure where to begin right now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My head...


Once again, she looks peaceful, doesn't she? Today is apparently 'Mommy better hold me or I will scream at the highest decibel I can' day. She will nurse, cuddle, fall asleep, and as soon as I put her down, the screaming starts. Needless to say, there has been a lot of screaming today.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

No Longer WIP Wednesday: Finished Object Follow Up

Thank heavens for the magic of blocking!


Willow's Mi Escuelita sweater fits!

Here's a close up of the cables on the back of the sweater - I really like this detail (and Willow's rock star pose).


And her "I've been caught look" is good, too:


The Particulars:
Pattern: Mi Escuelita from Knitty Fall 2009.
Yarn: Valley Yarns Valley Superwash in Grape (bought at Stitches East a few years ago).
Needles: Knitpicks US Size 5 16" circulars and dpns
Modifications: The only modification was an unintentional one - the sleeves are slightly different because I wasn't paying attention. I was already a good 4-5 inches past the point when I noticed and I wasn't industrious enough to rip it back and start over. It's a design feature...

Would I make this pattern again? Honestly, I don't know. I don't care for the construction of the shawl collar or how it lies - maybe if I could figure out a dfferent collar I would be much happier with the pattern and end result.

And lastly, a cool accidental shot:


Willow was turning around and I hit the shoot button on the camera without meaning to - but with a fun result.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Forgotten Finished Object: Sandra's Hat

Well, it looks like Cristi gets a second shout out in a row! Last Friday she had posted some pretty yarn on her blog, and I thought the colourway looked familiar - I had made something out of the same colourway (although in a different Malabrigo yarn base) earlier this year.


I knit this hat for my friend, Sandra, who is undergoing chemotherapy right now. I wanted something pretty, simple, relatively thin, and exceptionally soft - and this hat fit the bill perfectly. Here's a close up of how the hat decreased:


The Particulars:

Pattern: Halfdome from Knitty Summer 2006.
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in the Archangel colourway
Needles: US Size 4 16" circulars and dpns
Modifications: I decided to go with a 2x2 ribbing on the brim rather than the rolled edge, thinking the ribbing made the hat look more feminine.

Would I make this pattern again? In a heartbeat - it's very easy, the decreases make for a great look, and it fits very well.


An obligatory Piper picture - would you believe she was a screaming, whirling dervish about 3 minutes before this picture was taken?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Okay, Cristi is going to wag her finger at me, but the actual knitting of this project was finished before Christmas. And I gave the sweater to Willow for Christmas...


... it just hadn't been washed and blocked yet. And then the sweater sat on the ironing board near my washing machine for the next 8 weeks, during which time my Mom said if I didn't block the sweater soon it wasn't even going to fit Willow. It wasn't until over a week after that (um, today) that I threw it in the wash with some other darks and had time to dig out the blocking panels and lay it out. If it doesn't fit her now I am going to kick myself. I didn't worry about blocking the sleeves since it was all stretchy 2x2 ribbing.

Anyway, other stuff has been going on here at Casa Crankypants - I think Lucky has finally made peace with Piper - or at least with Piper's things. This next photo I understand - the flowered blanket is very soft, and had been in the sunshine, so probably was nice and warm as well:


This photo, however, confounds me a little. I'm not sure what Lucky is getting out of sleeping in the donut hold of the Boppy.


Piper is doing well, too - we had her one month check up this week, and happily found out that she had gained a pound and a half from her initial appointment and grown two inches. She now sits at 8 pounds even and 20.5 inches. It's a little odd to think that it has taken her 4 weeks to achieve what Willow was at birth!


As you can see, Piper's right ear is taped down right now - that ear is very floppy and tends to fold closed when she nurses on my left side. Her pediatrician said that newborn's cartilage can still be guided (it hasn't solidified yet), so we are taping down her ear for the next while in hopes that the ear calms down.