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El

On of the most embarrassing aspects of my bogging hiatus was not posting the birth of my second child. I had lots of reasons at the time, but still. You blog a baby.

A very newborn Elliot J. R. C. Yes, he has two middle names, like his brother and his father.

Elliot was born on his due date, June 21. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy that he was born on Midsummer. As a side note, Tamara won my due date contest. Must get yarn for her.

I’ve said for a while that Emerson is my heart. I think most mothers feel like their hearts have been taken out of their chests, and placed in their children. I love Em with everything I have in me. But, Elliot. What about him? Elliot is my soul. He was a big surprise, a crying-in-the-shower kind of surprise, but he’s the soul in me I thought had died.  Look at his face and tell me you can’t see it.

My sweet Elliot, 9 months, in hand-me-down longies

I was surprised with Elliot at how very different two children of the same parents can be, especially from birth. Em was a big, solid baby. Never more than 50th to 70th percentile, but just a solid core.  Elliot, on the other hand, is a tiny thing.  At his nine month appointment a few weeks ago I literally danced when he reached the 12th percentile. He’s just a long skinny thing.  And when I say long, I mean long.  Em wore these longies to Rhinebeck ’08, at 15 months old.

Although the length is spot-on, the waists was drastically too big. El “helped” me crochet a chain for a drawstring.

I thought I blogged about these when I knit them for Em, but I can’t seem to find a post. Here’s Em in them at around 15 months:

Blurry again, this time due to a hyper-moving toddler. I dont' think I got a single focused shot for six months

And here they are on El at NINE months. At seven months he was taller than Em was at 12.

Hard to see, but they reach to a hair's breath of the same length as they did on Em.

So, there you have him. My smallest man, both in and out of handknits. Never fear, you’ll see him again soon, I’m sure, as the poor child needs a blanket from mama.

Pink scarf

Somehow I got sucked into a really great deal. When my friend Lisa came to visit after Elliot’s birth we did the usual yarn crawl. At this avalanche-prone yarn store, The Yarn Barn, she surfaced with something like six balls of the Jo Sharp Rare Comfort.  Her deal? She buys the yarn and gives half to me. Her half becomes whatever lacy thing I want, my half becomes an Ice Queen for her. Who wouldn’t take that deal??

Em modeling my scarf from Lisa. Clearly, no detail can be seen, but it is quite fetching, regardless.

and more

An attempt at some pattern detail.

As far as I know, it’s a simple Feather and Fan stitch. “Simple” here translates to “gorgeous.”  I HAD to put Ice Queen at the top of my queue and knit it up fast. The mohair-related guilt would just be too much, otherwise.

PS My laptop is now in working condition AND I have internet access. Real pictures to come in the near future!

Pink

With two boys I see very little pink. Orange, yes. Brown, certainly. Blue, in profusion. Pink? Notsomuch. It’s no wonder I’ve been choosing pink yarns and fibers the last few years.

My current (and only) WIP is Ice Queen from the Winter 07 Knitty. I’m doing the 60 bead version, instead of the insane 300 bead one. I picked up the beads from the Twisted Sisters booth at Stitches back in October, without having the yarn on hand. I’m pretty happy with the way the pink foil-y insides work with the yarn.

Somewhere around row 40 of chart A. Again, forgive the camera phone pic

The yarn is Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Infusion Kid Mohair in #617 Rosehip (I’m pretty sure.) I’m fascinated with watching the stripes appear, as I never expected that to happen. The three colors are about 18-20″ long each (23-26 stitches?) so they may lay just right with the gauge to make happy little stripes. It IS mohair, though, which renders it utterly evil, regardless of it’s looks. I, of course, forgot that mohair will only frog if frozen first, and cursed it mightily during a failed cast on. We’ve mended our ways since, and seem to be getting on nicely.

A bit of detail. The beads in the top corner are my stitch markers, not part of the knitting.

Yes, it IS an early spring and too warm already for cowls and neckwarmers, especially when the recipient lives in Florida.  That is the way of knitting, isn’t it?

Ping…

Ping…are you out there? Am I?

I went to a Spin-In at Jessalu’s on Saturday, childless, which is a rare and wonderful thing. I’d been thinking of picking up blogging again (on a small scale) and I had ample time on my drive home to think about it again. 

Things have been 10 kinds of chaos in my world for the last year, and blogging fell to the bottom of the list. I can’t guarantee it will move up much, but since I *can* take pictures and write posts on my phone, I hardly have much of an excuse anymore.

Some pictures of the fibery things in my life:

Some unknown wool, gifted to me years ago, and finally plied off the wheel in anticipation of the Spin-In

I have no idea the yardage of it, though, as I had to wind it to my mom’s dresser knobs from the bobbin, as my swift and ball winder are in storage.

[The babies and I are living with my mom. That's one bit of what's going on]

The morning of the S-I I sat with two fibers in front of me. The first was some gorgeous 100% bamboo I picked up at Rhinebeck a few years ago. I’d spun half a bobbin of it already, though the cat broke that bobbin and I’d have to start another. The second was some lovely pink merino/silk I’d picked up from an unknown vendor at an unknown show. I just knew it was pink and I get precious little of that with two boys.

[I think I neglected to blog that I have a second little boy. Baby Elliot was born last June, on the Solstice.]

I chose the bamboo. I chose unwisely.

Bamboo is lovely to spin, and tricky enough to keep things interesting, I have a list somewhere of 8 or 10 tips to spinning it without going insane. It has no scale, and no desire to hold onto itself. Fine for home, not at all fine for spinning outside in a breeze.  I foolishly started anyway, at Jess’, only find my drive band snapped a few minutes in. 

Jess patiently provided cotton twine (as I left my poly band at home, assuming I wouldn’t need it) and a little snark, and I was off again. Several guests suggested I ask Jess if she was willing to part with something from her stash. As time went on, it seemed like a better and better idea. She parted with the below for an incredibly low price.

8 oz of frabjous fibers BFL in "Cottage Garden" colorway.

About five minutes into spinning this gorgeous stuff, the leather thong on one of my footmen snapped. *sigh* After several tries at knots I was going again. My yardage spun for the day was pretty small, but the conversation more than made up for it.

cell phone cameras cann't ever do hand dyed fiber justice.

A new bag

I’ve been knitting wee things like crazy the last few weeks, but nothing has really moved me to blog.  How things have changed from a few years ago!  Anyway, it wasn’t until I got my mail today that I thought “I MUST blog this!”

Isn’t it lovely?  It is a box bag from Stitched By Jessalu, the etsy store of my friend Jess.  I have admired her bags for a while now, but have been good at talking myself out of them.  Recently, she posted this bag, but it sold before I could get to it.  I commented an innocent remark on her blog…only to find she’d ordered more of the fabric and was getting it in a few days later.  I had no choice.  I HAD to get it.  Lucky me, though, I was sale number fifty (50!) and got an extra little bit of joy in my package:

I suspect that the zipper bag will become a home to all the notions that wander about my bag.  Not a bad future for it.  Between the two, I’m in a much better spot for small projects.  Consider what I was using for this sock before:

It was a good bag–bought in Honduras from a women’s collective–but it just didn’t work for socks.  Especially with a toddler fond of pulling needles out of live stitches and poking them wherever they may fit (no joke, I’ve found these sock needles in heating vents, cookbooks and the cat food container).  I think the sock is safer (and more likely to get finished) when it is safely secured.

And because I *really* like this bag and couldn’t photograph it enough, the end:

So much going on…

so little to say.  I’m in one of those odd sort-it-out places where nothing quite makes sense–yet.  I’m telling myself that my subconscious is busy at work on things and will let me know when they are sorted out.  Surely I can’t be the only one that tells myself things like that?

I have a number of things in the works to blog about, but each is a step or two away from being ready.  Since it is a Wednesday and so many do a WIP flash today, here’s what IS ready to be shown:

noah's longies

Yep, that’s another pair of longies.  These are a newborn sized pair for a friend’s soon-to-be-here little guy. The color is off, it is somewhere between that and the picture below.  The first was taken with no light (we haven’t seen sun for three days) and the second with too much light.  I think I need to master the photo editing software I just bought.

ravelry

Oh, and I should disclose this is another foray into the world of acrylic.  Lest you worry I’ve lost all love for wool, know that I’ll be back next post with a ton of newly-dyed wool.  I promise.

Greenleaf

Would you like to see what I’ve been knitting?

leaf detail

leaf detail

Pattern: Greenleaf

Size knit: Newborn.  Ish.  I made it a smidge bigger so an August baby could wear it in the winter.

Yarn: Don’t throw things at me, please. I was working and leaving for South Carolina and needed yarn fast.  I bought ::blush:: Vanna’s Choice something or other.  From Wal-Mart.  I know. For the record, it is surprisingly soft for acrylic. Just sayin’.

Needles: size 7 / 4.5mm

Started: February 7

Finished: February 19

Modifications: I knit a a bit past the recommended 5″ as the receiving baby will be 4ish months old during winter. Or possibly because I was at SnB with no tape measure.

Knit it again? Most likely, it was a super-easy knit.

Notes: This is seriously a 1-2 day knit. Had I not left it home when I went off to SC I would have finished it the day after I started. I highly recommend it as a last-minute shower gift or a crap-I-have-nothing-to-bring-to-the-hospital gift. Worsted + 7s/4.5mms + baby hat = fastfastfast

Greenleaf baby hat

Greenleaf baby hat

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