Monday, July 21, 2014

Baby Cocoon

Special K, resting at home, modeling her condom*, sleeve**, cocoon. Sissy sent me this photo, which was good of her because all the pictures I have of me holding the baby while she wore it have her looking rather upset.

My sainted aunt was disappointed with the "Baby R" nickname. I read her message to the Dude. "Sweet Baby Rea," he said, "No, Sugar Rea." So Sugar Rea it is. She was getting there with her bottle feeding--six in a row and then, she fell asleep when daddy was feeding her. But she is very close to coming home.Probably the end of the week. Which gives me a chance to fix the dropped stitches in her sock.***

(******There have been a number of descriptors for this project. I was trying to describe what it would be to someone when I was first starting; I came up with "condom" which was greeted with delight at Sunday dinner. My sister keeps calling it a "sleeve" which to me likens the baby to a tablet or a phone. My admin kept calling it a sock when I showed her this photo. Whatever you call it, it's precious.) (Yes, it's supposed to be a form of swaddling, but Special K doesn't like to feel pinned down. Where have I heard that before?)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Twin Knits

I finished the baby cocoons just in time. Special K has gone home from the NICU. Poor Baby R is there by her lonesome. K had some trouble sleeping; you just know she misses her big sister. But R hasn't made her way through an entire bottle yet, so they just can't let her go home. Mom, Dad, and little sister will be really happy when she joins them. 

This cocoon, which looks really blah without a baby inside, was made following Laurel Love's Cocoon free pattern. One came out better than the other mostly because it took me a while to get used to knitting on four needles again. (The pattern is written for magic loop, but I don't know it and didn't have time to learn. Never fear, I shall!) Anyway, once the babies were here, I somehow found my knitting mojo.

IRL, the yarn is a soft baby pink!

Monday, July 14, 2014

More Sad News

Dear Friends, we have lost another old lady from library stitching. My liberal friend whose cancer returned lost her battle on Friday.

She brought in her broken toy for diagnosis. She reunited the Dos Passos USA Trilogy volumes at the library book sale and gave Louise Erdrich and Michael Doris a good home. She would tell the funniest self-deprecating stories. And she was definitely one of the women who taught me about dealing with the nemesis:
no one is unkind to her (surprisingly) and they let her dish out her "advice" (it's not really advice when you are telling people how they should do things as if you were the only one who knows the absolutely correct approach to all things), sometimes even going so far as soliciting her ideas. Really, I'm simply amazed. I think the other ladies are teaching me valuable lessons in friendship. 
I'll never forget when the nemesis was going on about the Obama birth certificate (seriously), my friend had the most amazing way of derailing the conversation with good grace and good humor. (I think she said something about a tinfoil hat, but that may be my imagination.)

I am privileged to have known her. When I was told she had been moved to hospice, I got off my ass (for once!) and wrote to her. I am so glad I did. I hope she will rest in peace.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Weekend Surprise

I emerged from the garden (still weeding and mulching) to go visit babies today. When I opened the passenger door, lo! the missing floss. I never would have looked there (but I have taken everything out of my stitching bag four separate times).  Thanks to those who offered to replace it. It's wonderful to have such reliable stitching friends, the sort of friends who know how important such offers are. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Halfway There

And so we are halfway through 2014. Some of my goals are being accomplished. I just worry that not many of them are related to this blog. Earlier this year, I laid out some of my creative goals:

  • Stitch more smalls--I've done two. Not as successful as last year's ornaments.
  • Finish-finish 12 stitched pieces--None, but I have six more months!
  • Keep the craft room tidy--I wish it were in my nature! LOL
  • Make cards in advance of needing them--Some. I could use more sympathy notes, unfortunately.
  • Plan Craft Month, and work ahead--Oh, so sad. I don't think I could have planned for how sick I got in March. 
  • Stitch two threads each night--Started off well, tapered off. I plan to get back to it.
  • Complete stitching eight pieces (in addition to the smalls)--A lack of stitching leads to a lack of finishing, unfortunately.
Wow, we're not doing well. I do have to keep focused on the big picture, though. I have six months to achieve some of these things, I have goals and am not floundering around trying to find direction in my life, I am being successful in other areas, and well, no one will die if these things don't get done.

In fact, let's look at the goals the dude and I put together in January:
  • Volunteer--this was really for the dude; and he is teaching ESL and serving on the library's board. (I volunteer with an animal rescue and the library.)
  • Attend more cheese tastings--went to one at DiBruno Brother's recently. 
  • Weekend walks (some with Stella)--The dude has been great about this, bringing Stella to Ridley State Park and Valley Forge. Over Memorial Day we did another with the dog at Ridley again. The heat and humidity might curtail such activities temporarily.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables--We joined the CSA and are up to our eyeballs in vegetables. The fruit share is coming in slowly, but we're eating it!
  • Take quarterly weekend trips--Yes
  • Unusual Tours--Have you heard of Sidetour? They do some unique things and we had meant to do one for my cousin's husband's birthday but his schedule is hectic. Anyway, still opportunities for tours in NY and Philadelphia.
  • Union Game--on the docket
  • More dinners with friends--we have been pretty successful at this. Everyone has to eat!
  • Go to -----'s party (We get invited to a specific one every year and never go. This year!)--Haven't been invited yet. 
  • See more movies, especially at BMFI--define "more." LOL. We have gone a few times. We could step this up.
  • Write a will--we have a couple of lawyers, now to choose.
  • Write to Maggie, Rita and Edith monthly--very good at this one!
  • Paint trim (the whole house)--nada
  • Clean out the basement--tis the season. It's unfinished, so summer is the perfect time.
  • Declutter--we've been working on it, but could step it up.
  • Use elliptical trainer regularly--again, could do more.
  • Enter Maryland State Fair--Better remind the dude about this one! The deadline is coming.
  • Dude, see dentist and doctor--Better remind the dude about this one; soon he won't be able to get appointments until next year. ;)
  • Build a house with Habitat--We had pegged this for fall.
  • Visit more gardens--We've been to Longwood and Chanticleer so far.
  • Plan trip abroad--Working on it.
  • Try new restaurants--We've done so well, I've crossed it off the list!
  • Find another group like cookbook club--We were going to the Read Around group but it conflicts with the dude's tutoring. But the point is, we are trying!
I like having this opportunity to reflect and see where I've been successful, and where I need to concentrate my efforts more.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Christmas in July...The Wish

June Goals
  • Small SAL --I started this when I was on our trip to the Hudson Valley but really messed up. I cut the fabric to stitch over one, and our "gloomy room of doom" was not conducive to over-one stitching.
  • Anniversary project (due July in Pennsylvania)--I did make some progress, but I seem to have lost a skein of Anchor, which is hard to find around these parts.
  • Thistle (due August in England)--did not stitch on this at all
July Goals
Usually I have a "Christmas in July" theme to my stitching, but I have got to get those projects done from last month.
  • Small SAL
  • Anniversary project 
  • Thistle 
You know what I did do? I found a housekeeper. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Baby Dresses, Continued

I had my last baby dress knitting class last night. Things haven't been going well, neither for me nor our mother-to-be. I think the latter definitely has had an impact on the former.

We had to cancel the shower because mama was on bedrest and we just couldn't move the shower to her house. Instead, she had a small gathering of family. With cake. My cousin made that. Isn't she amazing?

Since then she's been in and out of the hospital and to-ing and fro-ing with regular and unexpected doctor appointments. (Obstetrician. Pulmonologist! Cardiologist!) She is back in the hospital and won't be leaving again until the babies are on this side of the womb. I'll keep you up to date.

 As you can imagine, I have been very worried. I've made so many flippin' mistakes on these dresses! I've been wearing a path to the knitting shop so the instructor can help me undo what I've done. Last week in class, I was finally motoring along and suddenly, I noticed that the pattern wasn't lining up. I handed it off to the instructor. I had been knitting inside out for like 10 rows. INSIDE OUT! How could I not notice? Seriously, people, a-n-x-i-o-u-s.

Still, I did choose to knit the 12-month size. So I've got that going for me. (That one that looks pink is really coral. And the purple is more orchid.)

Edited: Well, they were born! And now I can tell you that these are my nieces born to my sister this morning, two months early. But they seem pink and in good form at this juncture. Mom and dad happy and well.