Sunday, January 27, 2013

weeks 27 and 28

27 weeks

I made it to the third trimester! I've definitely been nervous about this trimester, worried that I'd feel as exhausted as I did during the first trimester. And when Week 27 hit, I did feel more tired, but I think a lot of that has to do with the constant to-do list running through my mind. I'm not sleeping as much as I should because I'm trying to cram a million things into the next three months. Up until now I've kept busy making plans, and it seems like I'm finally checking things off my list.

I feel much heavier than I did in the itty-bitty baby bump days. I know at some point I'll look back on Week 27 and think, "That was nothing!" But for now, my body feels enormous. Picking things up has become much harder and getting off the couch requires more maneuvering. Everything I do takes longer than it used to. 

K and I started our birth class this week, which focuses on having an empowered birth, no matter what type of birth you want. We're learning our options so we can make informed decisions about what is best for us and our baby.

28 weeks

This week we took a weekend getaway to Nashville, TN. While we were there we visited the full-size replica of the Parthenon and took a walk in sunny Centennial Park. We celebrated my birthday and our last out-of-town trip before the baby arrives. I can't believe I'm the age I'll be when I have my first baby. It's something I always wondered about when I was growing up, and now the time is finally here!

We also started interviewing doulas this week. It keeps my anxiety level in check to know we'll have someone with us throughout the entire labor and birth who can offer comfort and support. She can also help us remember all the things we're learning in our birth class that I'm certain we'll forget as soon as labor starts!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

lavender blue

I sewed some simple lavender sachets for Christmas, using a variety of blue fabrics from my stash and a heaping bag of lavender from the bulk herb store. I packaged them in sets of three and gave them away to scent the wardrobes of the recipients. Of course, I kept a set for myself. They're squirreled away in my hand-knitted sweater drawer to keep away moths. Each time I pull out a sweater to wear, I get to smell like lavender all day. It's my favorite.

I used this Purlbee tutorial until the final sewing step. Sometime on December 23rd I decided that I didn't have time to blind stitch all the sachets closed (or you know, time to learn how to blind stitch). So I machine-stitched the sachets closed, which looks less polished but serves the same purpose.

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I'm still knitting away on my blue Featherweight. I don't want to jinx it, but I'm getting ready to start the second sleeve. Lately I've been knitting in bed each night and listening to these lullabies. Lavender Blue is one of my favorites to sing along to. It's worth a listen, even for adults. 


I hope you're finding some calm moments this week.

Monday, January 21, 2013

my rocky coast

My Rocky Coast Cardigan is finally finished (only four and a half months later than I anticipated)! After I completed my Christmas knitting, I settled in for some quality time with that second sleeve. It didn't take long to knit up and gave me the momentum to knit the ribbed border around the front and collar.

Already I can tell this will be one of my most worn knitted items. I've worn it four times in the past week! It goes with every outfit, keeps me warm, and makes me feel cozy all day.

I took my new cardigan along on a weekend getaway to Nashville to celebrate the last birthday of my twenties. Of course I had to stop at a yarn shop (it was my birthday, after all), and the ladies at Bliss Yarns recognized my sweater as a Rocky Coast right away and gave it lots of compliments. It felt kind of like Cheers, only nerdier and knitting themed. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your sweater's name...

Knitty Gritty Details

Yarn: Quince and Co. Lark in Egret
More on Ravelry

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What are you making this week? Any finished objects?

Friday, January 18, 2013


This blue cardigan has been brewing in my mind ever since I sorted through my yarn stash a few weeks back. Most of my stash is single skeins, but I found a sweater's worth of blue fingering weight yarn that I bought a couple years ago. Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Cardigan seemed a perfect match for this sapphire blue.

Then last week, I knew I had to cast on. My hands needed to keep busy and my mind needed time to be away. I needed to knit a meditation. And so I surged through the yoke, placed the sleeve stitches on waste yarn, and am sailing through the stockinette body. It feels freeing to be patternless at this point, just knit a row, purl a row. I've found myself up late too many nights this past week, promising I'll knit only one more row, then one more, and maybe another.

My mom asked what it is about this sweater that makes me want to knit it all the time. I don't know. I think it's somehow just what I need, right at this moment. It makes me happy, and that's enough to warrant more late nights and many more rows.  

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I hope you're finding time this week to do whatever makes you happy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

weeks 25 and 26

Week 25

During Week 25, we visited K's hometown. We danced at our friends' wedding party and visited with K's parents. While we were there it snowed a few inches, which was a special treat because last year we didn't get any snow! We enjoyed the winter wonderland for a few hours before heading home to celebrate the new year.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve at home. K and I both fell asleep around 11:30, even though I was trying so hard to stay up! We woke up a few minutes after midnight to find Billy Joel singing on the TV and a baby dancing along in my belly. I couldn't believe our boy rang in the new year without us!

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Week 26

We spent Week 26 with my family. We said goodbye to my grandpa and spent the week surrounded by cousins, aunts, and uncles. We talked a lot about babies and how soon this one will be out in the world with us. I watched my cousin's 2-year-old son and three-year-old daughter play together at the funeral home. It felt really good to see them laugh; it was a great reminder of how joyful life is, even when things seem most somber.

This week the baby started stretching out so that I could feel him on both sides of my belly at once. He's getting so big! According to my online reading, he should be about two pounds now. What the what? K and I are really going to have to paint the nursery and pick out a name soon. I definitely feel the clock ticking now and am counting down the weeks until his due date, trying to figure out how I'm going to cram in all the things I want to make and do before he arrives. I need more time!

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Thank you for all your kind words yesterday. It helped me so much to share my thoughts about my grandpa and to have your support. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!


Monday, January 14, 2013

a goodbye

I said goodbye to my grandpa this week.

I thought I was ready. I knew it was his time. He'd been suffering from dementia for years and the physical effects left him unable to walk, talk, or eat without a feeding tube. It felt like he'd been leaving us for years and was just waiting for his body to finally let him go.

Even last Monday night when I visited him in the hospital and a nurse bluntly told us, "This is it," I felt OK. His breaths were short rasps at that point and he couldn't open his eyes; I felt relieved that he'd soon be able to rest.

But it has been much harder than I expected to let him go. The feeling of finality and sadness wallops me at unexpected moments. I could smile and make small talk at the funeral home, but trying to focus at work today seemed nearly impossible.

I'm grateful to that nurse who openly told us that we should say our goodbyes; the doctors had been unwilling to give such a timeline.

So, I told my grandpa goodbye. I love you. Thank you for everything.

He was an honest, hardworking man. A good man, dedicated to his family. He worked two (sometimes three) jobs to support his wife and three daughters. They did household chores as a family on Saturdays and went for drives together on Sundays.

He worked for L&N railroad for 44 years, starting when he was just a teenager. He served as a machinist in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.

He took my cousins and me camping every summer. He took us out for pancake breakfasts and old-fashioned cafeteria dinners, where his motto was, "Get what you want, but eat what you get." We had fun together, and I always knew he loved me.

He was stubborn (so stubborn!) and passed that trait along to many of us in the family. Maybe that's why he held on as long as he did.

Last Monday, as I said goodbye, I placed one hand on my grandpa's shoulder and one on my belly. My grandfather and my baby both seemed part of this world and part of another. Although they'll never meet in person, they were both there last week. I know my grandpa would have loved my son. He would have loved to hold this little boy of mine. And even though they'll never meet, I'll tell my son the stories and teach him the values that my grandpa taught my mom and my mom passed down to me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

resourceful: his and hers mitts

hers and his

Happy New Year! The past couple years, I've chosen a word to live by at the beginning of the year. 

For 2013, my word is resourceful

I hope to refashion items I have, buy more things used, make more things myself, and focus on needs instead of wants. 

I chose resourceful partly out of necessity. A new baby means a pared down craft budget (OK, a pared down budget, period), so I'll have to be more creative about the materials I use and be more thoughtful in my crafting purchases (and drop not-so-subtle hints that I want yarn for every gift-giving occasion). I started this goal to be resourceful a little early by sorting through my yarn stash, culling those skeins I know I'll never use (bright green acrylic--what was I thinking?), frogging projects I know I'm not going to finish, and matching stash yarn to projects I'd like to make in the future. 

In my stash organization, I found enough yarn to knit fingerless gloves for a newlywed friend and her husband. They live in Ireland and claim it's always cold, so I figured they'd get some use out of these mitts. I don't knit for just anyone, but this friend showed up at my wedding a few years back with a basket of sorrel and johnny jump ups she brought from a farm where she worked in Michigan. So yes, she's very worthy of handmade gifts.


For her husband's mitts, I used the Manly Mitts pattern and less than 100 yards of a charcoal wool (leftovers from another project), which I know because I got out my yardstick and measured 107 yards of yarn. I picked a masculine pattern that used the least amount of yarn possible. I really like the mitts, but they were so boring to knit! I just didn't enjoy working with such dark yarn. My stitches all seemed to blend together, which meant I had to keep checking the pattern to find out where I was. At least it's a quick pattern to knit!

For my friend's mitts, I used a modified pattern that closely resembles the Welted Fingerless Gloves and yarn from an unfinished hat I frogged. The buttons were a gift from a friend who sent me an envelope of buttons out of the blue a few months back. I was so happy to have these buttons on hand; they saved me a trip to the craft store during the Christmas rush. I think the buttons really make the gloves, and they look so fancy (perfect to wear while watching the new season of Downtown Abbey, perhaps?). The only part of making these that I didn't enjoy was weaving in 20 extra ends after sewing on the buttons. Grr... Otherwise, these were fast and fun to make.

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I hope you're having a wonderful 2013 so far! 

Did you make any resolutions?

P.S. K gave me the mug in the photo for Christmas. My pottery teacher made it!


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