Friday, September 29, 2006

Finished projects!

Since I have no one around to take my picture this morning,
the dress dummy will have to do

Well, really only one finished project. But progress on another!

I like it so far! Getting close!

I finished the last part of the back and closed up the shoulders. I started the sleeves, too. My math challenged brain may have created a sleeve unique to this sweater. We'll see how my calculations work out when I finish them. I had Big Brother's help, so we'll see if his much more advanced math skills pan out. If anything, I have taught him that you really DO use math on a daily basis in the real world. The times that poor kid rolls his eyes at me and tells me I really can't be asking him the answer to THAT. Oh well, I guess they all think they are smarter than their parents.

PeeWee decided she had to remove the center marker

There are definately times in life when you can't contain the bark of laughter. Big Brother asked me if I was all of a sudden knitting EVERYTHING I was wearing. I was confused and told him, uh, no? Why? Well, look closely at these sleeves. Yes, that's right, a bra. Bwahahahaha!! The inner workings of a 13 year old boy's brain may be more than I want to know about. But no one can tell me that kid doesn't have a sense of humor. He does know those are sleeves, he just couldn't resist pointing out the resemblance to women's undergarments. What am I in for the next few years...

Do you see it? Unfortunately I do...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Always something to finish

I just got back from dropping the hats off at the NICU with PeeWee. They really turned out cute. Once they were washed and dryed and bagged, it was over. Just a quick trip to the hospital and they now belong to the babies. PeeWee fell asleep in the car on the way over even though it was a little early for naptime. She looks so long and skinny that way. Her doctor was thrilled with how great she looks. Too bad he didn't get the floor show she put on for me when we got home. She was singing her favorite medley of Old MacDonald, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the ABC song while running up and down the hallway. She's never down for long.

Now I am at a loss as to what to work on. I have spent so many hours knitting for the NICU that I am feeling a bit guilty doing something else, like I am still supposed to be working on hats. I started a few projects last winter, early spring, that I have pulled out of the closet to finish. I checked and I literally have 8 rows left on some sleeves to finish one of these sweaters.

8 more rows and it's done.
Been sitting there for about 8 months now...

Procrastination at its finest. It probably says a lot about me on some deep psychological level that I can leave something that close to done for that long.

And nothing to mention that sweater for a certain little boy that I started back in February. Problem with that one is that I deliberately made it big so it would work this winter. I think I made it big enough for several winters from now, so there's no pressing need to get it done. And, he's got a little brother on the way, so less pressure still because if he grows out of it quickly, there's another one on his heels to fit into it. Actually, I'm looking forward to getting that one all finished and shipped off. It's cute, but I made the pattern and it has kicked my butt a few times. Lots of ripping row after row of sweater out. It was first in the round, then I split the top to make a front and back and now if I can just get those sleeves done... (recurring theme, I know)

I do want to get this finished,
looks like a few more rows then sleeves

His mom is a sweater-lover and he's got the cutest sweaters in his closet, so I know it will get lots of wear, especially since he's in New Jersey, so as soon as I get those last 8 rows done on my sweater, I'll do my best to knock his out quickly. I was glad when I pulled it out of its bag that there were not only 8 rows left on it.

Maybe I should not admit I also found a teddy bear that I thought I had a few more body parts to finish that is indeed all done. It just needs to be pieced and stuffed. Uh huh, I guess that's also about an hour's worth of work.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All those hats!

43 hats. Alright!

I managed to get them all done, all ends woven in, ready to go into the wash tonight. I have some ziplok bags they will go right into and I'll bring them into the hospital tomorrow sometime. I am so happy to get them delivered.

You can see there's a huge variety here, from fruits and veggies to crazy acrylic yarns, to stranded work. Some traditional Fair Isle designs thrown in there and even a bee. Stripes and cables and lace and tassels. Pretty much whatever I felt like when it was time to cast on a new one. They are pretty darn cute if I say so myself. Cottons, acrylics, even bamboo. I tried to keep them gender neutral, but there are a few that are certainly meant for either a little boy or a little girl, my favorites being the sailboat and the little pink number which turned itself into a crown with the little bobbles on top. There's one matching pair for some lucky twins. Hopefully something for everyone.

Believe it or not, I am going to miss the comfort I get looking through these hats. Sounds silly, huh? Well, I guess I am a little nostalgic for when PeeWee weighed only 2lb 15oz. Her second birthday is coming up, and I have the hardest time pairing the energetic crazy toddler I spend all day with, with the tiny baby girl who could only grasp the tip of my finger with her whole hand. Boy, she was small. Boy, she scared us half to death.

We're coming up on all sorts of PeeWee anniversaries in the next few weeks, when she will officially pass out of her preemie status and be "caught up" with those her actual age, instead of counting in her adjusted age. It sure seems like yesterday though!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Look! Look! Look!

Knitting while I type

Right now I am working on the ribbing for hat number 43! Yay!

That's the number of babies in the NICU right now! Yay!!

Last one. Phew! The last few I did were pretty fun, I have to admit, after dragging there for a while.

Now that I am done, I am pretty excited to drop them off. One day when we went to see PeeWee in the NICU, I remember coming in to find all the babies with little fleece blankets that a retired nurse had made on all the little baby bassinets and isolettes. Boy was that cute, all of them matching like that. They were different patterns but you could tell they were all gifts from the same person. It was happy and exciting, all at the same time. (We still have that blanket, and now PeeWee uses it to cover her baby doll.) That's the effect I am hoping for with these hats. Boy that sounds selfish. I guess I should clarify and add that the feeling I got is the feeling I want the parents who go in to see their babies to get.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


So, I signed up for a gouache painting class taught by a talented woman, Jean Cassels. I actually signed up for a botanical painting class with her last fall which was cancelled due to Katrina disruption and I had a credit with the school which called me to tell me I could sign up for this other class she was teaching now. Well, it's a total disappointment so far for me. Maybe my attention span is too short for this one, but I really feel like I am wasting the little PeeWee-free time I have. Oh I am torn. I want to keep going, hoping I'll learn something, and at the same time I want to just bail on the class and find something more mentally stimulating for my free time.

I need to knit three more hats, but the NICU said they will take whatever I have and not to worry about the last three beause they are hoping to send a few babies home this week. I am so happy to be so close to done with this project. It's been hard to keep going with it, even though I know it's all for the babies. I had a small panic attack when it occured to me that these babies have all different sized heads and not all the hats will work. Oh well, I guess I need to just not think about that. I think I made a variety of sizes so keeping my fingers crossed they will be able to use most of them.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I have 40 hats done. I can say it was a very busy weekend around here and even still I got 8 more hats in the pile.

I got some inspiration from a friend who pointed out that September is National Hat Month. Now I feel complete knowing there's really a month for everyone. I knocked out some matching hats for what's certain to be at least one pair of twins. And when I get my final count I may do that again. It was fun to know I was making a pair for a pair. So, when I hear from the hospital on the number for today, I'll either get washing or get knitting the final few. I have a feeling I'll probably be making another few before I get them there.

I am so excited to for the little munchkins to get their hats! I most likely won't see them in action, but I love knowing they are almost on their way!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Count down to finished

I am getting so close to done with the hats. I have 32 finished and one on the needles. I am waiting to hear back on the number of babies right now in the NICU so I can finish the right number this weekend, get them all washed and deliver Monday! I have enjoyed this, but I will be satisfied when I am done. And be glad to have the knitting guild here's help from now on. What great timing that they are looking for a charity to knit for!

The knitting guild had a meeting Monday night, but after a long and tiring weekend, I skipped joining for now. I meant to pre-Katrina, but for some reason (who knows at this point!) I was not able to get to the August meeting and was planning on joining at the September meeting. So, here I am a year later, and since knitters all seem to talk in yarn shops, I found where they had relocated. Turns out it is the church I grew up going to. Small world. The plan is to go next month, join, and have a monthly knitting time on the calendar. What a treat that will be!

Thanks to PeeWee waking up around 4:00 am the last week or so and jumping into our bed, I have been up early lately. Hard to get back to sleep with her little feet kicking you in the head. This morning the sky was the best shade of blue. I like the few minutes I get alone in the early hours before anyone else is awake, but I think this week I'd trade them for a leisurely morning sleeping in. And breakfast and coffee in bed. Hmmmm... maybe I'll request it this weekend. My One and Only has been so nice to me lately. Maybe breakfast and some selfish knitting.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Got it back

Something clicked and I got my motivation back. I'm almost done with the third hat I was hoping to finish this week! Yeah! I have to say, it came to me in a very strange place. I was riding along and got stuck behind the garbage truck. Usually a dreaded place to be. But, the weather was incredible and the stink was blowing the other way and I was facinated by what the garbage men were doing. Putting an entire shower enclosure into the garbage truck. Impressive. The kind of thing you just don't expect to see. It gave me the giggles in such a big way. Garbage here is just one of the things that's not quite back to normal and they are picking up everything under the sun. There's no recycling, even if you are willing to haul it to a facility- it got flooded though so no chance of that. Whatever landfill this stuff is going to is mighty full of weird little things. So, seeing those guys was like the ant and the rubbertree plant. Shouldn't be able to do it but nothing but sheer determination. So, there you go. I can finish these last few hats. There are babies with cold little heads to cover up!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I need a kick in the pants and some inspiration to get these hats finished. I like the new one I started yesterday when I was waiting to pick up Big Brother from football practice. It's very cheery.

I'm trying to think unisex now since I can't get a number for how many boys and how many girls. Even if I could, the number would probably be different by the time I brought them in. There's a big turnover in the NICU and that's a good thing for the most part. I have tried to make a few that would fit a full-term newborn because unfortunately some of those kiddos stay in there for 6 months, and their heads get pretty big!

This shouldn't be such a challenge, but for some reason it is. I think coming up with something cute and happy and different is where I am getting stuck. So- send me some creative vibes! I need them! That and time.

For some reason I always think with the kids in school I am gong to be able to get so many creative things done. It seems like when they are in school my days are booked and there's no time left for fun me-me-me time. Well, except that I did sneak in a trip to get my hair touched up. A few highlights to blend that grey in. And ding-dong me, I forgot to bring the bag, grrrr!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Slowed momentum

How is it that entire weeks can slip by without anything but dishes getting done? I've lost track of what I did last week. Holidays tend to add to the chaos. It wasn't just a long weekend, it was a long weekend.

PeeWee was home sick all week, a virus she just got knocked out by. She's finally over it and we've been out in the world again. Today she joined me for a meeting. When the meeting was over, she got up she decided to see just how many pickles she could eat off the sandwich buffet. I think it was four before she gave me the partially eaten mess and said no more. If I ate four pickles I would swell up like a sausage. She likes her salty snacks! One other child had to come with her mother. I think she's about 3. PeeWee is really pretty good coming with me just about everywhere. I'm going to keep taking advantage of that while it lasts.

Mmmm, pickles.
Huh, her pants are below her bottom.
Maybe I should go tell her to pull them up.

With a sick PeeWee, my knitting time was really limited last week. Needing to get something finished, I took a little break from the preemie hats to work on the kool-aid sweater. It turned out great! I have to find my stash of buttons for just the perfect ones and it'll be done. I even ran it through the wash to be sure it would hold up to the abuse PeeWee is sure to give it and it fluffed up just the right amount, while the moss stitch edgings softened up perfectly. I think it'll get a lot of wear this fall. Hard to imagine though when it's still in the upper 80's!

All ready for a cool front- maybe in November?

As for the preemie hat progress, I'm getting there. I have 27 finished and the last count I got from the NICU was 38. As I get closer to finished, I'll get another headcount. I've been slacking lately, though. I finished one yesterday and that got me excited to get them finished again. I've been eyeing Sheila McGregor's books so full of Fair Isle and Scandinavian patterns and I went ahead and splurged and got them. They have definately come in handy keeping me interested in finishing this project. Plus, when PeeWee was in the hospital after being born, we would go in and see a hat that someone had made on her and it was a great feeling. I wish I could do blankets, but with the time I would have to commit would be impossible right now.

They're getting there! I'm almost done...

This week my goal is three more hats. I think it's do-able. There have been evenings when I've managed three, so I am hoping that with the week I have I'll be able to squeeze them in. I have a full calendar the next few days. And how I would love an afternoon to just hang out with myself, watch a movie and work on some hats. Maybe it'll be a rainy weekend and I can send My One and Only off with the kids. We got a cool front last weekend (mid- 80's! and dry air) and it's got me all excited to get knitting. I have some UFO's that are calling to me from the closet. Sleeves. I have four sleeves to finish so I can write two sweaters off my list. And, yes, those would be the same two sweaters I was hoping to finish in August. Well, it is only the first week of September. And then there's the fuzzy sweater. But, well, I won't hold myself to finishing that one any time soon.