November 2007 Archive
table and centerpiece
(click in images to make bigger as usual)
I have been worried all week about hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I guess I had nothing to worry about: I didn't drop, spill or break anything, no one went home wearing their dinner, nothing was burned or undercooked, no one has called to tell me they have food poisoning. All in all a pretty good day I think!
Mike carves the turkey
The food turned out great! We did end up eating a little later than planned as the turkey didn't get done when I thought it would, but we had enough food for an army so no one went without!
I would never have been able to pull it off without all of the help from my family. My mom made relish trays and came over in the morning to help me cook, Brad helped a ton, and Susie, my MIL brought sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie which also helped me out a ton! I was pretty worn out as I hadn't been able to sleep the night before but everyone jumped in to clear the table and clean up the leftovers so I could relax, that was truly something to be thankful for!
Enough food for an army!
Today the dishes have been done, leftovers
have been are being eaten and I'm going to have a little relaxation time before we hit the road again. Tomorrow we're off to Sioux City for B's cousin's wedding so we'll get to spend time with the fam again. Hopefully I'll have recovered by Monday and can be back in knitting order. Christmas will be here before we know it and probably before I have all my knitting done!
Hope everyone in blog land had a great Thanksgiving too!
I hate thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving even arrives, but I am determined this year to get some hand knits into the gift stash before December 24th! Last year I was knitting frantically right up until midnight on the 24th and I will not do that this year!
One way I'm working to prevent the last minute Christmas knitting dash (and resulting repetitive stress injuries) is knitting small projects. No sweaters and Fair Isle vests for me this year. Don't know what I was thinking last year. Not that the gifts weren't warmly received and well loved, but I was a mess by Christmas. This year, it's all about the mittens…
This is Elizabeth Zimmermann's Norwegian Mitten pattern from Knitting Around. I used the spruce pattern for the back and just alternated colors for the palm. The colors in these pictures are so far from true, so here's an indoor shot that is not great but shows the color a little better.
(click on thumbnails to enlarge as usual)
The yarn I used, as so many others have also used for these mittens, is Knit Picks Telemark in the colors Poppy and Pesto (check out their site if you want to see what the colors really look like). I struggled with the pattern at first, and in fact knitted a 3rd (well, actually a 1st–these are the 2nd and 3rd mittens) mitten with a different palm pattern before deciding that I wanted something easier just to get thru the first pair and get the technique down (the first mitten was too small anyway so needed to be frogged regardless of what I thought of the pattern). I have also discovered that I am a very tight knitter in stranded knitting. Most people, it seems, who've knitted these mittens have managed the proper gauge of 6st/in using size 3 needles. I, on the otherhand, had to jump up to a size 5 and the right mitten is still snug! I think my gauge was more like 6 1/2sts to the inch rather than 6. The left and final mitten was a bit looser. I tried to concentrate on relaxing my gauge, but I do have a pair of sz 6 dpn's on order for the next pair, just in case.
Overall, it took me about 3 weeks of knitting off and on and about 15 hours to finish these. But that has not detered me from starting yet another pair:
I'm trying out the magic loop method with there. I'm not sure how I like it yet and may go back to dpns. We'll see. I've designed my own cuff for this one but will use an EZ pattern for the main back pattern. It will be interesting to see how much faster I can whip these puppies out compared to the first pair. Hopefully I won't end up hating mittens by the time this is all said and done!
I have been totally neglecting the blog lately. I have been doing a little knitting but I have no pictures to show for it. It's getting to be that time of year when all of the knitting pictures are going to suck because of the grey weather and necessity of indoor shots due to too much wind and cold. I would call it a Bleak Midwinter but winter isn't even here yet so I better suck it up!
In my list of projects to photograph are a baby hat, and baby socks (well sock right now, I'll finish the 2nd one soon. How pathetic would I be if I got 2nd sock syndrome on a baby sock that took like an hour to knit???), and if you can believe it, a pair of ADULT size mittens! I'm nearly finished with my first pair of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Norwegian mittens. If you haven't seen them before you can see some great examples here or if you are a Ravelry member (which I am I just haven't put anything on there yet) you can do a search for Norwegian mittens and come up with some great examples. I'm knitting mine, as so many before have, in Knit Picks Telemark. It takes about 2 balls each of main color and contrast color, which means about $8 a pair. Whoot! I nearly had a heartattack last night as I found myself just beginning to decrease for the tip of the hand on mitten #2 and I only had a yard of main color left. What the hell??? Then as I resigned myself to having an unfinished mitten I reached for my bag of Telemark (I have several other colors ready to be knitted into mittens as well) and low and behold, there was another ball of each of the 2 colors I'd been using. I hadn't even tapped into the 2nd ball yet for either color! I'm finding I am a rather tight knitter in stranded knitting. Most people can knit to gauge (6st/in) in this yarn on size 3 needles but I've had to jump up to sz 5 and the finished product is still a bit snug at about 61/2-7sts/in. I've ordered a set of size 6 dpn's for the next pair. I don't recall ever having knit so tightly on anything else before, and I've even made a conscious effort to relax, but oh well.
In baby news…This is the last day of my 22nd week. I had a dr.'s appointment last Friday and I'm measuring a bit big (28cm) which has me a little worried. My dr. said not to worry, I'm a relatively short person with a short torso so there probably isn't much room for the baby to go lenghtwise. But even though she said not to worry, my dr. still ordered a 2nd ultrasound to check things out. Ugh. Not that I didn't love seeing the baby in our first u/s but it does hit us in the pocketbook as our insurance doesn't pay for it. I suppose I'd rather know that the baby was healthy and everything was ok, but it's hard to pay for everything. So in a month I'll be having u/s #2 and my glucose tolerance test as well as an antibody screen as I'm Rh negative. I feel a little like the subject of a science experiment. The Rh negative thing I can't do anything about, I just hope that the screen will be negative for antibodies and I can just get a shot of RhoGam and be done with it. And I suppose the glucose screen is also necessary, I've had a couple of friends who had gestational diabetes so best to check for it. Plus since I already have high blood pressure, better to be safe than sorry.
Aside from the medical mumbo jumbo, the baby (a.k.a. Spike) is really jumping now. Just a few weeks ago I was lucky if I felt a little barely recognizeable squirm or flutter. Now there are some definite kicks going on! I usually can feel some kicking after I eat breakfast, a few in the afternoon and then again after dinner. Then he gets some good ones in at bedtime when I'm lying in bed reading. That's usually when it's easiest for Brad to feel them. He can't always feel movement but sometimes Spike will give a good kick and B can feel it. Sometimes it's easier to see the movement, as my belly will twitch and bounch when Spike does his acrobatics. That's pretty wild. He also likes to do a little dance after my 5am trip to the bathroom. Hope he learns to sleep a little later!
It's been very cool getting to finally feel the baby in a way that I don't have to question. Before it was so hard to tell and I had so many people asking me if I'd felt him move yet. I felt like an idiot having to say "not that I can tell." I know he was moving, we saw that on my 18week ultrasound, but i just couldn't feel anything more than an occasional flutter that I could only assume was him. Now to honestly know he's moving is weird and creepy and exciting and reassuring all at once.
Ok, hope this post hasn't been totally lame and boring since there were no pictures and no real knitting content to speak of, but hey, I'm trying to get out of my blogging rut so that's how it goes. Hopefully I can get some pics up soon.