Sunday, December 30, 2012

23 and 24 weeks

Week 23 was an emotional one. It took all I had to muster up a smile for these photos. This was the week that 27 people were killed in Newtown, CT, including 20 little kids. I couldn't stop thinking about all those kids, all their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. The web of connections kept spinning in my head as I imagined all the lives touched by such a terrible tragedy. I imagined the parents excitedly preparing for the births of those children only a few short years ago. Parents who had so much love and so many hopes. 

I felt grateful this week that I'm still carrying my baby with me everywhere, all the time. I cradle my stomach and sing to him and hope that he will find happiness in a world that contains such craziness. I thought a lot about the poem "Song for Baby-O, Unborn" by Diane Di Prima. I first read it as a teenager, and it has remained with me ever since. It was a great comfort this week.

* * * 


During Week 24, we celebrated Christmas with family and friends. It was great to catch up with relatives and share our excitement about the baby. This baby already has so many people who love him and are ready to welcome him in April.

Unfortunately, the stress of the holidays (three family get togethers in two cities in two days! with food to prepare! and presents to get! and travel!) and pregnancy hormones finally caught up with me. I found myself crying suddenly, for no apparent reason, several times. And not just a few tears. I'd be fine one minute and the next minute I'd be sobbing. Luckily, K is supportive and great at comforting me. Neither of us quite understands these hormones, but I'm glad he's there to make me laugh and give me hugs until the tears stop.

Monday, December 24, 2012

cozy christmas

Merry Christmas to you all!

I hope you are happy, healthy, and spending the holiday with people you love!

* * *

I usually don't get too stressed about Christmas, but this year has felt overwhelming. I keep trying to slow down and enjoy the moments instead of going over my mental to-do list and rushing to the next get together. I'm thankful to have so many family and friends to visit; I just wish all those visits could be more spread out instead of squeezed into two days. 

I'll be back after the holiday to share many knitted presents, some pregnancy updates, and pottery.

In the meantime, I can share one gift I've already given: a cabled hot water bottle cozy for my dad. My dad never really bundles up in the winter, so I've never knitted anything for him before (a shame, I know!). I was really happy to come across this pattern. It's the perfect thing to warm up a bed in winter or snuggle with to ease aches and pains. The cable makes it look even cozier. Plus, you could make the project as easy or complicated as you want by leaving off the cable or substituting a more complex cable pattern.

I used Malabrigo Twist in the Sealing Wax colorway for this hot water bottle cozy. It's luxuriously soft and the color is bright and warm (not to mention, the color of Dad's favorite sports team). I made a few changes to account for the thicker yarn and so that I could make this project with only one skein. Dad seemed pleased with his gift, and I think he'll actually use it!

Find more details on my Ravelry page.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

22 weeks

Days are still growing shorter, as you can tell from the early evening light and shadows in this photo. It's finally turned cold in Kentucky, and I'm happy to have winter weather; it calls for many layers of knitted woolens!

This week K and I have been talking about baby things almost constantly. We still have lots of big things to figure out (a budget! a baby name!), but we aren't feeling desperately short on time yet. So, I've been leisurely flipping through a stack of baby name books instead of poring over them. We've made lists of things we need to do to prepare for the baby, but we haven't actually crossed anything off those lists.

I have, however, made some fun (if minor) decisions. I tried to imagine what a Moonrise Kingdom nursery would look like, so I picked out Sarah Watts' Timber and Leaf fabric in the Timber palette to kick off the design process. The combination of aqua, golden yellow, sassafras brown, and gray seemed just right for a modern, woodsy nursery. And somehow the woodland creatures on the fabric are adorable without being too cutesy or babyish. I ordered a stack of fat quarters to make a small patchwork quilt. I also bought some sassafras-colored yarn to knit a baby-sized Umaro, but I won't let myself cast on until after I finish my holiday knitting.

* * *

Baby boy is kicking up a storm these days and making his presence known. Over the weekend I was hanging out, just me, baby, and my knitting. He started kicking pretty hard, so I talked to him, and then he kicked so hard I saw him kick. I've been waiting to see him move for a while now because Casey commented that was one of her favorite things about pregnancy. To experience it for myself was amazing!


Monday, December 10, 2012


At first I was afraid to knit anything in a newborn size because babies grow in a flash. But then I read Amanda's post about a Pebble vest she had knit. She wrote: "But goodness, a little knit vest on the tiniest of babies? It's heart-melty stuff...." And with those words, I knew I had to cast on a vest for my little one. So I pulled out some tweedy green yarn and knit this in just a few days. I picked small wooden buttons so that this vest will look right at home in a cabin in the woods (the place of my daydreams). 

It took me some time to finally sew on the buttons, but once I did, I couldn't stop imagining just how cozy our baby will be all wrapped in wool. Even if this vest fits for only a few days.

* * *

The pattern is free if you're interested in trying it yourself. It knits up fast and the results are adorable. Plus, the buttons up the side mean it doesn't have to go over the baby's head.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

21 weeks

Each day I feel my little boy kicking more, which makes the impending birth and baby feel even more real. The other night I stayed up way too late knitting and reading, and just before midnight he started moving around like crazy. Doesn't he know we're a family of morning people? He moved so much that even K had a chance to feel him. That doesn't happen very often because it seems that as soon as I say, "K, he's kicking!" the baby gets shy and settles down for some quiet time.

This week we signed up for a birthing class that doesn't require us to adopt a new philosophy, which makes me happy. There are a wide variety of classes offered in our area, so choosing one felt overwhelming. We're planning for a natural birth and wanted a class that will give us the knowledge, skills, and confidence we need to face such an intense experience. I think we found one!

* * *

Thank you for allowing me to document this wonderful, crazy time in my life. It's fun to share my experiences with you and hear about your own (or your loved ones') pregnancies and babies.

I hope you're happy and well this week!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

yarn along: sleeves and socks

Whew...I feel like I've been in rush mode ever since Thanksgiving. That seems to happen this time of year, but I want to slow it down. Even though I've got a long list of knitted presents to finish (at last count I had three ready to wrap, three that just need to be sewn up, two on the needles, and one yet to be cast on), the making process itself forces me to slow down. I can sit and think while my hands work out all the stress I'm carrying around.

I cast on the first of a pair of pale gray socks for Korey over the weekend. I'd settled myself on the idea that he wouldn't receive a handmade Christmas gift from me this year, but Liesl's cozy socks for her brother inspired me. I'm using the Function Over Form pattern to make some simple ribbed socks. They're worked in worsted weight yarn, which is thick enough to make the knitting fly by, but I think still thin enough that he'll be able to wear these with shoes. I plan to use some darker gray scrap yarn for the heels and toes to make things a little more interesting (gray on gray = exciting!).

In the midst of my flurry of gift knitting, I also decided to pick up my Rocky Coast cardigan again. I'm a master of timing! This one-sleeved cardigan has been hibernating in a bag for months, but I deem the best time to work on it when I have the most knitting deadlines to meet. Anyway, I knit most of the second sleeve on a long car ride over the weekend. After the initial frustration of trying to decipher my cryptic pattern notes to myself (really just a series of numbers and tally marks that I still haven't made complete sense of), the sleeve knitting hasn't been too bad. I'm excited to finish this sweater so that I can wear it. It would be great for holiday gatherings, right? I should probably just add a December 25 deadline to this project too, in case I don't have enough to keep me busy.

* * *

Lately I've been reading Alice Munro's new collection of short stories, Dear Life (not DEA Life, as it appears in the photo, which would be a completely different story!). Alice Munro is my favorite author because she writes about how ordinary moments shape lives; heartbreak, loss, and love fill the stories, but Munro shows how the characters reach these dramatic emotions through seemingly mundane decisions. This collection seems to give me just what I want; time slows down when I read her words. Events stretch out over pages as I get to know the characters in each story. I'd highly recommend this collection of stories.

* * *

I hope you, too, are finding time to slow down (even if only for a moment). 

Join the yarn along today over at Small Things.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin