enduringplum: (Babydoll)
( Jul. 21st, 2008 11:33 am)
We met tiny, baby Jude yesterday, but we didn't stay long at JP and Catherine's place. Both of them looked pretty exhausted after their first night at home with Jude, but fortunately Catherine's mom and sister were there to help out. Jude looks just like a miniature JP, but he has reddish-brown hair and blue eyes; his mom has blue eyes and JP has pretty light eyes, too, so they may stay blue.

Afterwards we went over to Jodi and Germaine's place for a late lunch and then games. I only stayed for Cthulhu 500, because it was too hot and Carl was ready to go, anyway. I liked Cthulhu 500 and would like to actually play through an entire game, because I felt like I had just souped up my car the right way when we stopped playing!

Today I'm twenty-nine weeks pregnant and, other than feeling tired and somewhat sore, everything is going well. I think my second round of morning sickness is fading, because not everything seems disgusting to me anymore. I have an appointment with Esther on Wednesday and in a couple more weeks I should have another appointment with an ultrasound.

I think I'm going to cast on for the Ulysses the Unicorn dishcloth today!
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Jul. 20th, 2008 09:40 am)
I joined the "MonthlyDishcloths" knit-along group through Yahoo Groups last night. The owner of the group comes up with the dishcloth patterns herself using various stitch patterns and offers two different knit-alongs each month. The first knit-along begins on the first of the month and results in a dishcloth with an image of some sort on it; the second knit-along of the month, which begins around the sixteenth, is a dishcloth with an all over, repeating pattern.

I don't know when I'll actually begin knitting a long with the group, because they've done a lot of patterns that I'd like to try that are in the group archives now.

I think my love of dishcloths may be a little ridiculous, but I'm okay with that.
Pregnancy Chatter )

I finished the bib I was making for JP's baby (a boy who is due in August) and I'm preparing to begin a matching dishcloth/spit rag/washcloth to go with it, because I have plenty of yarn left over. I think it's very cute and I hope they'll like it.

I'm making good progress on the new bib I'm making, but I'm making it bigger than the pattern instructs, because it just seems like it would be too short to be useful at just three-and-a-half inches long. I like the pattern and the Garn Studios yarn is beautiful. I want to put a crochet edging on it with some of the pretty, red yarn Six_Bells_Chime sent me, so I'll have to dig up my copy of Beginner's Knitting or see if any of the Stitchin' Bitches can show me the technique. I'm going to have more than a ball and a half of this yarn left over, so I may also attempt to get some baby socks and a hat done before my due date.
enduringplum: (Blush)
( Jul. 5th, 2008 09:56 am)
I actually uploaded some images of my finished objects and my works-in-progress to Ravelry. The quality isn't great on the extreme close-ups, but it's mainly dishcloths anyway, not any intricate lace work or anything. :) However, the quality is better than the knitting pictures I've taken with my laptop's camera.

If you have a Ravelry account and would like to have a look, feel free to click the link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/JackieSixty
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( May. 27th, 2008 10:51 pm)
I finally dug up my yarn and needles to prepare to make a baby sweater, but I finished my little, yellow dishcloth first. I also need to make the tassels for the Dr. Who Scarf, because that's all I have to do to finish it, aside from weaving in the ends at the color joins.

I want to make the Baby Yoda Sweater, but I'm going to try a simpler baby sweater that knits up all in one piece first.

I don't really consider myself a yarn snob, but I am finding I don't like regular, old acrylics so much - in fact, I'm really starting to mind them. I still like the ultra brightly colored micro fibers, bucles, and novelty yarns, however.


My little sweetums, Sayuri, apparently does not want me to knit a sweater for the baby; while I had lunch she pulled my knitting halfway off the needle and severed the strand of yarn between the ball and the knitting, so I will have to start over and throw out the yarn she apparently wrestled with for twenty minutes in total silence.

I didn't like the feel of the acrylic baby yarn, so I switched to some Lion Brand Wool-Ease in "Goldenrod," which was left over from the Dr. Who scarf.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( May. 25th, 2008 07:56 pm)
I didn't have time to do any quilting this week, which was extremely irritating, but I just got caught up with everything else... you know how it goes. I did make it to my knitting group, however, and I'm looking forward to going this Wednesday, even if I just continue knitting my zigzag scarf; the meringue yarnis fun to work with.

I had started a baby blanket, but I can't find it since moving; I hadn't completed much of it at all, but it's still on the circular needles, which I really do want to find.

I also can't find my beginner's knitting book, which I want to find because I'd love to make a simple baby sweater or cardigan. I found a pattern on Ravelry that looks pretty simple, but I don't know how to make things like button holes, so I'd love to have the book handy to guide me through those techniques. There's no telling where it is at this point, though. It may be packed in a box somewhere, forgotten somewhere in our former closet at my parent's house, or buried in a stack of books in our office.

I would also like to knit some baby socks, but I think I'll need some devoted instruction from someone knowledgeable about socks. I could be worrying about it too much, but socks just seem tricky. Baby socks might be a project Bedstemor and I can work on while I'm in Denmark for a few weeks; a quilt isn't exactly an easy project to travel with, after all.

I know it's okay to fly in the U.S. with knitting needles, but I'm not so sure what the regulations are like abroad. If anyone has any idea or can point to a website where I can find out more, I would really appreciate it; I can't sleep on those long, international flights, so it would be wonderful to be able to knit while everyone else snores.

Baby Clothes )

Now I've got to put away the baby clothes I've sorted through, freeze my leftover red beans and sausage, and clean out the 'frige; there's a mysterious and slightly funky odor the origin of which I haven't been able to determine, so all the drawers and shelves are going to get a good washing down.
Aside from binging on Oreo cookies, I had a pretty good, quiet day. The Oreos binge was also quiet, but now I'm feeling disgustingly full of cookies; I don't often eat sugary, processed foods, especially since I began trying-to-conceive and then became pregnant, but I went a little bit crazy with it tonight.

I worked on my mom's sewing machine yesterday while I was at her house doing our laundry and that went well, aside from some difficulty I had with the bobbin; I was loading it incorrectly and trying to use the machine like that was tearing up my fabric and locking the machine up, but it was just a small piece of cloth and my mom showed me what I had done wrong.

I stopped by the Marigny Brasserie for the end of The Pfister Sisters' set and stood in for Debbie for the last half hour, so she could take off early and bring her kids to the mini festival at the park on Dauphine Street. I dropped her pay off to her afterwards and ran in to a lady I took Tai Ji after Hurricane Katrina, while I was living with the Hackett's and then while we were in the FEMA trailer. She was there selling her beautiful knitting and we talked about her work and Tai Ji, which she is still studying at the Liu Institute. She took up Tai Ji in an effort to save her hands from carpal tunnel syndrome, since she knits for a living, and she feels that it's helping a great deal and she's really enjoying it - in fact, she's also taking Kung Fu now! Her work is great and she's able to support herself solely on her knitting income, which I really admire. Check out Lauren Thomas' work if you have the chance! For her online catalog, you can e-mail her at handknitstyles (at) hotmail (dot) com, but you can also see her at the local New Orleans' art markets and exhibited at local galleries.
We haven't had a truly dark and stormy night in a while, but hoping for that sort of thing makes me worry that I might help a big, bad hurricane brew up; a little Cat 1 or 2, I can handle, but I worry about anything bigger, especially since some of our flood walls were "repaired" with newspaper... Thanks to the Corps of Engineers for that.

I finished another quilt block by hand this afternoon. It came out much more accurately than my last block, which was just slightly smaller than it should have been because I made (what I imagine) are typical beginner's mistakes. Today I sewed one of my Log Cabin block pieces on the wrong way, but that only took a few minutes with a seam ripper and my needle and thread to fix.

I was going to go to my knitting group (NOLA Stitch N Bitch), but I was just too tired after dinner to trust myself to drive; I miss seeing my group, so I really need to make the extra effort to see them next week. Since I'm staying in, I'm going to go ahead and scrub the ferrets' cage tonight instead of waiting 'til tomorrow, then cut out the rest of my quilt blocks. I may piece some more together, but if I'm too tired I'll just do them on my mom's machine when I pay her a visit tomorrow, then I can get to the sashing and I'll be nearly finished!

I'm going to make a tote bag as my second project, but I'm going to add a simple applique design to what I will consider the front of the bag, so that I can practice that technique. I plan to use three different batiks.

I feel guilty for staying indoors so much, because Conrad seems so bored. He really needs more exercise, but the heat and sunny weather has been extremely hard on me lately, so I haven't been able to walk him, even in the evenings. I don't feel comfortable walking around our neighborhood at night, although I don't necessarily feel like I would be in danger, so Conrad just hasn't had enough to do with himself. I have to vacuum the pool tomorrow and re-balance the chemicals (since it rained tonight), so we'll get to spend some time outdoors in the morning (Conrad won't stay outside without me for longer than twenty to forty minutes and follows me from room to room even when we're in the house together), but I will be in long sleeves, a baseball cap, and covered in sun block, and I'll only work on the pool for as long as it's in the shade; I've had a very bad case of red cheeks this week, including raised, flat bumps that are not acne and which have always been brought on by exposure to heat and/or bright sunlight since I was a teenager. I need to remember to clip his toe nails tomorrow, too.

The ferrets are having an excellent time playing in their new fortress in the hallway, which is the shipping box the crib bedding was in. They're all healthy and seem as happy as ever, but Orbit is having some thinning of the hair on the tip of his tail, so I need to bring him to the vet to have him checked out for adrenal gland disease. Because of his advanced age, I would not be surprised if he has developed it.
enduringplum: (Babydoll)
( May. 13th, 2008 08:26 pm)
I pieced together my first quilt block this afternoon. Even though I made mistakes and did my stitching by hand, it didn't take very long. I, naturally, managed to cut myself with my brand new, Olfa rotary cutter, which is so sharp that I didn't even notice the slice beneath my thumb until it began bleeding down my wrist; it works beautifully - I just have to remember to cut away from myself, not towards.

My quilt block isn't quite six-and-a-half inches by six-and-a-half, but it's extremely close, so I don't think it'll be a big deal when it comes time to add the sashing around all six quilt blocks. I love the floral fabric I bought for the sashing, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it will come together with the rest of the fabrics I chose. Really, I'm looking forward to seeing how all the different fabrics I chose will interact in one piece, so I'm glad it's a small quilt, because I'm very impatient!

I bought a little extra fabric just in case I make some mistakes, but the total for my fabric was still less than seven dollars. All my supplies came to about 170 dollars, but the majority of the items I bought will be one-time purchases, aside from items like replacement blades and additional thread colors.

I'm really anxious to move on to more creative and unique quilting projects, but I need to at least sort of learn the basics first; I'd like to try applique in my next project, because I know that's a technique I'll use frequently whenever I begin designing my own quilts; I found some n00b-friendly applique instructions here. In my dreams, I would make quilts like this, but I've got a little ways to go yet.

I think my particular drawing style will lend itself very well to quilting. The work of mine that I have most enjoyed creating and with which I've been the most satisfied are always pieces that are colorful, extremely detailed, utilize various types of line, and often include illustrated frames like one might see around the main illustrations of a children's book. It's been a long time since I've gotten truly excited about an artistic medium.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( May. 12th, 2008 10:21 am)
I've been obsessing about quilting lately, as you probably know, and while I was looking for tips about how to design a quilt myself (I have ideas, but I'm not getting ahead of myself! I am going to follow patterns before I try to dive right in to designing something that will undoubtedly be rather complicated) when I found a website of amazing quilts intended to be wall hangings. I'm sure there are plenty of other quilt designers out there who make quilting a fine art, but so far the quilts at Painted Rock Quilt Designs are the coolest I've come across online. Here is a link to the gallery, I think you should take a few minutes to check it out.

Calvin )
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( May. 9th, 2008 06:13 pm)
The baby gate someone from LJ community Carpet_Sharks recommended is working out great, although without the wall hardware it wouldn't be sturdy enough to resist being toppled over by a toddler. I want to install it in the arch between the kitchen and dining room and buy a second one for the doorway between the kitchen and the hall. They've been enjoying the extra time they've been getting out of their cage, as well as the hour or two early in the morning I give them on the patio; they're still in their cage and can't stay out once it begins to warm up, but they seem to enjoy sniffing the great outdoors.

Actual Crafting )

I hope the old adage "jack-of-all-trades, master of none" isn't true, because I can't pick just one creative pursuit - I love them all.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( May. 2nd, 2008 02:46 pm)
I'm feeling better after my two-day surge of intense emotions; now not every little thing seems like it heralds the end of the world and I was able to get some errands done around town. I forgot to do a couple things, but I blame that on my pregnancy-induced brain shrinkage, so it's no thing.

I asked for some recommendations from Carpet_Sharks, a LJ ferret lover's community, for baby gates that will be safe and effective for both a crawler/toddler and my ferrets. I got a good recommendation from a woman who has had personal experience with this particular problem, so I'm going to run out to Babies "R" Us to grab it this weekend (I meant to do it today, but forgot).

My biggest concern about having a baby and remaining the owner of three ferrets is providing the ferrets with enough out-of-cage play time, which is at least three hours a day. Once we have a baby, I won't have even remotely enough time to supervise them the entire time, which is mainly why I've been looking in to finding a new home for Trixie and Spook.

I also meant to stop by the craft store for some jars and paper craft supplies, but I was hungry at that point, so all I could focus on was getting home and getting fed. I want to make my own mustard, so I need some small glass jars that can be sterilized and I would also like some larger glass jars for the salt-, sugar-, and coffee-scrubs I like to make.
enduringplum: (Gush)
( Feb. 20th, 2008 03:18 pm)
If nothing else, bed rest has given me plenty of time to obsess over knitting patterns! I did a lot of searching, but I finally found a baby blanket project that seems appropriate to my skills and which will also help me really learn to do cables. I had planned to do the Irish Hiking Scarf, but I didn't get around to it because I was really pretty bored of scarves after my first two, but today I found the The Irish Hiking Baby Blanket. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, so if Dr. Lu gives me the clear to go off bed rest, I'll pick up some circular needles and my yarn tomorrow! If he doesn't, I'll make Carl go to the yarn store for me and present a list to the first employee who looks able to help him (he's a good husband and hasn't complained once about having to pretty much wait on me hand-and-foot since Monday).

If anyone has any recommendations for baby knitting patterns for a fairly new knitter, I'd be happy to hear them.

I also discovered that a po-boy is not easy to eat in bed. I don't recommend it.

The good news is that I haven't had any bleeding at all last night or today, so it looks like the bed rest really did help! I'm incredibly relieved. I do understand that this type of hemorrhage will have to be monitored throughout my pregnancy and may cause complications in the future, but now I feel like we might be able to get through them all right, while at first I was just so terrified that I was going to have a miscarriage at any moment.
We had our Road Home Program closing today and the money should be transferred in to our bank account in three weeks or less. I won't feel safe until we've bought a house with it, but progress is always encouraging.

My Follistim should arrive tomorrow and I take my first injection on the thirtieth, followed by additional injections on the following two days, then I go in for an ultrasound and blood work.

I tried learning crochet last night and I was pleased to see that the basics are very easy, although I'm not quite sure I was joining the links correctly after I moved on from creating the basic crochet chain.
The socks Six_Bells_Chime knitted for me arrived recently and I love them! They're completely adorable, they fit pretty much perfectly, and I love the colors she chose! I showed them to Carl and at first he said "cute," without even really looking at them, but then I told him they were knitted by hand and he was seriously impressed (as am I). I have already worn them a couple of times and now that it looks like we're going to have a stretch of cooler weather (I can't really call it cold), I should have more opportunities. When I dig up the digital camera I will post pics of the socks in action!

So, Shea, thank you! I love them! And thanks also for all the cotton yarn! I'm really going to have to get busy knitting and writing "thank you" notes for all the cool yarn I've been given lately.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Nov. 12th, 2007 02:52 am)
I'm in a lot less pain this week, so my mood has improved a lot and I can finally address the class work that built up when I was feeling so bad. I tried to contact my student advisor last week in regard to taking an "Incomplete" for this course so I can finish it later and still get a decent grade, but I had to leave a message for her and never did hear back (what great student services you offer, Art Institute of Pittsburgh!). I'm going to call again tomorrow until I am able to speak with a human being; I wasn't feeling well enough to deal with that before. My next class is going to begin soon, so I need to make arrangements to make sure this one gets wrapped up well and will not interfere with my next class too much.

I should have done some knitting while I was feeling so bad, because it woud have been cathartic, but I wasn't able to bring myself to do anything remotely satisfying, which isn't exactly healthy. Therapists in the past have advocated "activity therapy" for me in the past, but when I'm hurting and depressed, it's often difficult to recognize the value of engaging in soothing, fulfilling activities. If I hadn't been in classes, I think I would have been more willing to go through the trouble of making myself knit, journal, whatever, but because I was supposed to be doing school work, I felt too guilty about not being able to complete it to engage in something mindless and soothing, like knitting garter stitch. Now, of course, that way of thinking doesn't make very much sense to me, but I'm feeling better now and thinking clearly.

I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I got my Ravelry invitation! I'm JackieSixty on Ravelry and have an ever-growing queue that I'm not going to begin on until I get around to finishing Doug's Dr. Who Scarf. I think my very next project will not be the scarf I planned on making, but a dish rag or two, just because they are small and quick.

I still haven't gotten my period yet, so I'm going to take the Prometrium tomorrow after a pregnancy test. I don't think I'm pregnant, but my doctor recommended taking one before beginning the Prometrium if there is any chance whatsoever, and I suppose there is an extremely small one; some women who are generally anovulatory do spontaneously conceive (I just don't feel that I have). After taking the Prometrium I should begin my period in about a week and once that happens I'll begin the injectable drugs I wrote about before.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Oct. 8th, 2007 11:55 pm)
When I first started knitting I set it aside a lot, because at first I felt like I was never going to master garter stitch - the simplest of all stitches. Now, however, I produce beautiful garter stitch and very rarely drop or mysteriously add new stitches, so I feel ready to move on to something new! At the same time, I'm still hesitant to begin a knitting project that will require me to follow a pattern; so far the projects I've worked on have either had an extremely simple pattern or really no pattern at all, so I'm not sure how well I'll adapt or how big my mistakes will be if I lose my place. Still, I can't wait to move on to something a little more complex - I've just got to get this Dr. Who scarf done first.

Since I'm still learning pretty much everything there is to learn about knitting, I like to try to learn a new technique with each project. Slow and steady is a good pace for me when it comes to knitting, both because it's good to steadily build upon each skill I've learned and because it keeps me from becoming too obsessive and burning out on it; I often get so intensely in to a new hobby that for weeks or even months I will learn and excel at it quickly, but then set it aside after I begin to get tired of it.

My next project will be yet another scarf (my fourth one), but it will teach me how to do increases and decreases, which is a technique I'll need to master to knit pretty much anything beyond scarves. I'm going to use this pattern and I ordered this yarn in "Strawberry-Limes" for it. After that scarf I imagine I'll be totally sick of knitting scarves, but I still plan to try this pattern to learn cables. Originally I was planning to try the Cinnabar Scarf, but The Irish Hiking Scarf seems simpler and is more truly cabled and there's just something nice and fresh-seeming in that name... Although that opinion may be due to exposure too many Irish Spring commercials at a young age. Once I've done all that, I think I'm going to attempt a sweater or hoodie!
enduringplum: (Geisha)
( Oct. 6th, 2007 06:04 pm)
Because rose quartz are one of the semi-precious stones said to enhance fertility, I went by The Bead Shop on Magazine Street to buy some stones and beads to make myself some rose quartz jewelry. This afternoon I made myself a pair of fun, funky, sparkly chandelier earrings with faceted rose quartz, tiny round rose quartz beads, and Swarovski crystals in silver and black.

It's difficult to see the facets in the stones because of the picture quality, or to make out the spangly-ness of the silver beads, but they look great in person.

I have a lot of leftover beads, because I bought them by the strand rather than by the bead, so I imagine I will be making some rose quartz gifts for Yule. Unfortunately, not many of my friends are fans of the color pink. I could always make some additional pieces for myself, which I probably will, but giving can be so much fun! Especially hand made gifts.

I'm very interested to try combining beading with knitting, but I'm not really to the point where I could add beads to a very interesting knit pattern. For a beginning project I'm thinking of something like a slinky, black scarf with shiny black and silver beads included sporadically in the knitting; I think it would be very pretty and "witchy."

Herbs and Aromatherapy for Fertility )

Now I should probably get to my homework assignment...
Hello All,

I haven't been knitting long, but a friend of mine is having a birthday soon and he's always wanted a Dr. Who Scarf, so I decided to knit him one. It's all simple garter stitch and it's coming along pretty well, but I did make a few mistakes that I didn't notice in time to correct.

The yarns I'm using are Lion Brand's "Lion Wool" and "Wool-Ease," because that was the only brand available in my local knitting store that had the right colors and textures for my project. I'm using the season 12 pattern from www.doctorwhoscarf.com as my guide, but I didn't order the brand of yarn she recommends because of the price and because I wanted to get started right away.

Photo and Explanation )

Any help at all will be greatly appreciated!
Well, I don't seem to be able to download WoW through my dad's unreliable connection. The best estimated time I got on the download was thirty-six hours, but more often over fifty hours was estimated.

While I was out running errands I bought a knitting magazine because it contains a detailed, illustrated guide to knitting socks from the toe up, which is supposedly quicker than other techniques.

I did get started on the Dr. Who scarf and so far it's going well. Not long in to it I made a mistake that forced me to start over, but since then I haven't had any problems. My stitches are coming along evenly and it wasn't difficult to begin a row of a different color. The only problem with the Dr. Who scarf is that it is so long! I'm going to have to work on it every day to get it finished in time for my friend's birthday. Note to my other friends: don't tell him - it should be a surprise!

More on the Dr. Who Scarf Project )

I know Doug will love it. I just hope I can finish it in time!


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