Hug Time

Good evening, friends!

This was the last week with just one of us working while both kids are at home. It’s been crazy, to say the least, while I got as much work done as possible. Next week, we embark on a whole new adventure: both of us will be back to full time work from home, and now we have two children to care for and teach something!

Our tentative plan is to divide and conquer. Since our youngest’s crib is still in our room (he will be 5 months this week), we have semi-converted his room into an office. Since baby boy is learning how to roll from front to back and how to reach for toys, he will be well occupied in his room with a parent supervising.

Daughter’s flower garden.

For my daughter, I am currently planning for lots of Circle Time with Ms Monica and activities making beaded necklaces and flower gardens. She received the necklace and flower kits from her aunt and uncle for Christmas, and they have been a big hit.

I have gotten almost no knitting done this week. I don’t think I even picked up my needles until Friday afternoon. I am currently working on a The Snuggle Is Real cowl. The pattern is my Maxim Cyr, and I’m using a mishmash of yarns: Western Sky Knits Simply DK in New York for the main color and Madelinetosh Vintage in Tybee Island Inn for the contrast color. For the lining, I am planning to use Shibui Knits Cima in Tar held double.

Yarn for my The Snuggle is Real cowl. From left: Madelinetosh Vintage in Tybee Island Inn, Shibui Knits Cima in Tar, Western Sky Knits Simply DK in New York.

The New York and Tybee Island Inn colorways were exclusives for my local yarn shop, Eat.Sleep.Knit., a couple of years ago, and I am knitting this project as part of their Q1 Mosaic Colorwork Craft-Along. It’s going to be so squishy and soft!

Progress on The Snuggle is Real cowl.

For this project, I swapped the main color and contrast color in the mosaic part of the cowl so that the gray would be more prominent, and I’m also staggering the contrast color purl bumps instead of having them lined up. I used a crochet provisional cast on at the start.

My daughter’s new favorite movie is Trolls. Every morning she is up before dawn asking me to play “Get Back Up Again” on the hallway speaker so she can dance.

Today, she asked me to make her a “Hug Time” bracelet like the one Princess Poppy wears. I’m afraid I’m not clever enough to make it close and open when it’s time for Hug Time, but I was able to make a cute little bangle bracelet with a flower closure. It took less than half an hour to knit and crochet this little project, and it is so adorable. The whole family is getting Hug Time bracelets at her request.

Hug Time Bracelet. Pattern by me, yarn by LolaBean Yarn Co.

I used some leftover yarns for this little Cold Sheep project: LolaBean Yarn Co Bean Sprout in Cast Off Castle (pink) and Felted Forest (red). I held the fingering weights yarn double to get a DK gauge and used just under 3 g total of yarn. I’m very pleased with how well it turned out! What do you think? Shall I write up the pattern for this?

Where Does the Time Go?

For real. It’s just been zooming by these days! Baby Jaina is now 9 months old, is crawling (super fast!), can pull up on the coffee table, and has three teeth! She is happy, laughs all the time, and sleeps very well at night. We are just delighted with her. ūüėÄ She has also started daycare since my last post, so we have pretty much had a constant cold in the house for the last two months. I think daycare has been harder on mommy than on Baby J, though. She loves playing, and as one of the oldest kids in the room, she has the run of the place to herself. She is very interested in music and anything that makes noise, all types of electronics (phones, printers, modems, xbox, computers, etc), her board books, and empty water bottles.

She loves crawling over and investigating things that mommy wants her to stay away from. Here she is exploring mommy’s computer tower (daddy’s is up off of the floor, so she can’t get to that one).

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Jaina & Daddy exploring Mommy’s computer

I’ve been working on a few knitting projects over the past few months, joined a guild in World of Warcraft (and am now raiding on Heroic level as a tank! go me!), transitioned back to being in the office at work (as opposed to working from home), and have generally been enjoying life.

I’ve fallen a bit behind on my Dreaming in Neon blanket, but I did manage to finish a couple of hexes. One of these days I’ll get caught up, but this is definitely a long haul kind of project. I switched to working the “pointless” charts for the hexes, and I get a lot less of the dome shape in the middle — they now lay almost perfectly flat. I’m thinking that for my next hex, I’ll use the gray main color and use a single color for contrast instead of going through all of the rainbow. For science. Then, if I love that even more, I can make blanket hexes with just two colors!

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Unblocked Pointless Hex

Eat.Sleep.Knit hosted a KAL of my Speckled Space Socks pattern, and now there are 500+ projects! What is life??? How cool is that?! It was a Flash KAL to finish the socks in a week. I got close, but then we had company over, and I fell behind. Anyway, I did manage to finish mine. I went with Madelinetosh Twist Light in Electric Rainbow, with Edison Bulb toes, Robin’s Egg Blue heels, and Hedgehog Fiberarts Sock in Harajuku for the cuffs. I love them so much. My husband chose the colors for these, and they turned out amazingly. I called them my “Speckled Easter Egg Socks.” I used a Fish Lips Kiss heel instead of the pattern’s toe-up gusset & heel flap in order to not interrupt the variegation/change the pooling.

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Speckled Easter Egg Socks — Original Pattern by Me! (Called “Speckled Space Socks”)

I also started four-ish projects, including a skirt, two more pairs of socks, and a hat. Eventually I will finish them. Eventually. The skirt, which is a pattern by Lauren Riker called “She’s Electric,” is coming along quite nicely, and I’m already to the waist decreases after only a week. It is fitting in the Q2 Summer Yarns KAL! I can’t wait to get the skirt finished so I can wear it!

And, of course, there’s no shortage of projects I would like to cast-on. I’m planning to participate in the Tour-de-Sock event later in the summer and the Q3 Rhinebeck Sweater KAL starting in July. I also am daydreaming of knitting “shortie” socks of the Rose City Rollers variety. Baby J needs some new booties and cute outfits too, so I need to get on those as well! You know, in my spare time.

Finally, I had a mini sock blocking/washing party this weekend. I’ve made lots of socks for myself, and I have yet to complete a pair of vanilla socks. My husband’s first pair made an appearance, too.

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Sock Blocking Party!

I don’t know how I did it, but my Senna socks turned out to fit me the best of all of the socks I’ve made so far. (I’m wearing them now!) I think I made them a little smaller than usual, so I’m going to have to count rows so I can make sure my future socks fit too! This weekend was the first time I blocked them since I made them…last year. LOL

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Senna in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, Esoteric

How many projects are you working on? Tons? Share them in the comments!

Knitting and Fishing

wowscrnshot_011317_220237The two go together pretty well, I think. Both require a lot of time and patience, and for fishing, at least the kind that I prefer, you don’t need to pay much attention.

For those of you who know me, you might be thinking, what in the world is she talking about? I am not exactly known for my love of the outdoors. I prefer climate-controlled, bug-free locations. And, as my husband reminds me, I once mused, “I like the outdoors in theory.” Beautiful landscapes, grass, trees, the oceans, all that jazz.

But there is one place that allows me to fish and knit and be comfortable. And that is in the World of Warcraft. Joel introduced me to WoW in 2013, not long after we started dating. I already had a penchant for video games: I grew up enjoying and playing a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and later a Wii, and I was quite adept at some mobile games. Shortly thereafter, he gifted me with my very first gaming PC, complete with a Haswell i5 processor, a GTX-660 Ti videocard, Razer Naga and, very importantly, a pink case and green LED fans. It was beautiful. Maybe a little tacky. It was the only pink case we could find, and I loved it.wp-1484797565458.jpg

Fast-forward to 2017, and I’m still an avid WoW player, but with a more powerful computer with a sleek black and green case and color-changing accessories (of course). We raced the clock with the birth of my daughter, who was due just 5 days after the launch of WoW’s most recent expansion,¬†Legion. She was born three days late, giving us about a week to experience the new content. We took a short hiatus, and recently our precious girl has blessed us with an earlier bedtime, allowing us to resubscribe to the game.

There’s a game mechanic that allows you to fish, and you can listen for your bobber to splash in the water. It’s quite relaxing and entertaining for me. And best of all, I can knit and fish at the same time.

I’ve just completed a pair of WoW-themed socks for my husband, at his request. I used madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Ink and Liquid Gold to represent Alliance colors. Early last year, I made him a WoW-themed hat with the Alliance crest on it, so now he has the set!

 

My next project is an afghan using fingering weight (sock) yarn (i.e. it’s going to take the whole year), and there’s an achievement for catching all the rare fish in WoW, so I will be doing a lot of fish/knitting in the next few months!

Staying Up Til Midnight

In college, I could stay up late with the best of them. Two a.m., the Acorn Cafe, and I were very good friends. On occasion, I even hung out with Great Oaks Hall and the elusive all-nighter.

Not so anymore. These days, my eyes are drooping by 10:00 p.m. Baby J is a good sleeper and will usually sleep all night, but in the last two weeks or so, her sleep time shifted from 10:00 to 11:00 to 11:30. After a discussion with our pediatrician, we are moving her bedtime up to 8:00, and so far this seems to be working.

I don’t need to go to bed as soon as Baby J is asleep! This has been great — I can stay up and knit, play a game, or watch a show with my husband. It’s a double-edged sword, though, as I get addicted to the time, and I end up staying up later than I should.

Last night is the perfect example. Baby J was asleep and in her crib at 8:00 p.m., my husband was playing Battlefield 1 with friends, and I had a date with a sock.

I am not typically a monogamous knitter. I love to cast on whatever project grabs my eye. Yes, sometimes this means that projects don’t get finished for a year or that they eventually get frogged (ripped out so the yarn can be reused). But for me, the joy of knitting comes from the process: finding a pattern, discovering a beautifully dyed skein of yarn, casting on, and knitting (not always in that order).

These socks, though, are for my husband, and he is patiently waiting for them to be ready. Because he is paying attention to what I’m knitting, he would notice if I switched projects. So I need to finish them. Because I want to KNIT ALL THE THINGS.

Thus midnight and met once again. One sock is completed, and yesterday at Knit Night, I made great progress on the cuff and had even started the heel increases. So after Baby J was asleep, I went to town on these socks. By the time 11:00 p.m. rolled around, I was so close to being ready to turn the heel that I had to keep going.

I should have stopped. The later I stayed up, the more mistakes I made. This row was off by one stitch. That pattern didn’t quite line up. You get the idea. I felt like Tina from Bob’s Burgers, but with the enthusiasm of her sister Louise.

Fortunately, I made it through without needing to frog any of the work and was able to drop down one or two stitches to fix my mistakes, but it takes longer to fix the mistakes than it does just to knit! I made it to about four rows before the heel turn, and in the process, I qualified for the Night Owl Knits badge for the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon Booster Club!

This morning during Baby J’s first nap, I was able to finish the heel turn! Now for the foot of the sock. I WILL finish these this weekend so I can knit all the other things!

Technicolor Mom: Living Life Without a Pattern – 2016

The year two thousand sixteen brought a myriad of new experiences to myself and my husband (Technicool Dad). From learning we would become parents to growing out of our mid-rise apartment in Midtown and purchasing a home to getting to play a new World of Warcraft Expansion and to meeting our new daughter, 2016 brought so many happy changes to our lives that we felt like we were in a whirlwind some of the time. During the course of 2016, the world changed around us as we ourselves changed and grew, and we made it through the whole time without a pattern or an instruction manual.

Our little girl is nearly four months old now, and we are so thankful to have been blessed with her. Every day we see her making new connections, learning new things, and growing and growing. This morning I introduced one of her Christmas gifts, a toy snail that plays music and lights up whenever it is moved. Within five minutes, she was hitting it to make it light up and sing. Over the course of the last several weeks, I watched her find her hands and gain some hand-eye coordination, and now she is beginning to discover her feet. She has even learned that if she cries in a certain way, mommy will pick her up just because she wants to be held. Every moment of her life has been an amazing miracle to me.

When I was preparing for maternity leave, I hoped to knit a ton and play a bit of Legion while my baby slept. (New moms, am I right?) As it turns out, there was time for none of that, and that’s even with two and sometimes three pairs of hands. It’s ok, of course — as I have settled into mommyhood, I have learned to knit while feeding the baby or while holding her as she sleeps or while sitting with her at her playmat, and phone games have taken the place of PC gaming for now.

In the new year, two thousand seventeen, I hope to continue my knitting, enjoying my family, playing games with my husband and daughter, and writing my own pattern to life. Join me this year as I learn, grow, write, and knit!