Monday, September 28, 2009

knitting for sanity, part 1

If it is possible to delay labor simply by ignoring contractions and focusing on yarn overs, then that's exactly what I've been doing.  I figure that if I'm supposed to be on bed rest, I may as well knit my little heart out since that's pretty much the only productive thing you can do in a semi-recumbent position (crying and bossing people around being less than productive).  So that's how I've spent the past two weeks:  knitting through every scrap of yarn in the house. 

This baby cardigan was a very fast and easy knit.  It was brainless enough to complete during the initial fog of medicine and panic.  My only issue is that my gauge must have been even weirder than usual because the sweater looks like it would fit a very robust two year old, which is a bit bigger than I had anticipated.  

I'm enjoying how the (very basic) lace pattern makes this cardigan look a bit like my Liesl.

The pattern is available free here, which I would totally recommend to any beginning/intermediate knitter. 
The yarn is comfy worsted from knitpicks, which washes so damn well I couldn't be happier with it.

Next up, more baby sweaters!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

what I did at the hospital

So me and the fetuses have had a bit of a wild ride over the past few days.  First a pig flu scare, then a rapidly vanishing cervix, and then contractions that were coming too frequently.  The result (of the latter two events, at least) was a day and a half at the hospital.  Right now I'm on bed rest and I have pills to stop the contractions, and I have every reason to believe that the babies are going to stay put for several weeks longer.  But...I've never been in the hospital overnight before, so this was a bit of an experience. 

I'm in the midst of writing a 12,000 page disquisition on the importance of wearing your own underwear at the hospital (something about maintaining the integrity of the self in a bureaucratic/institutional setting, blah blah), but in the meantime I thought I would share my observations about life on the inside:
  • In the hospital there is something called "shower privileges," which I apparently did not have.  My solution was simply to stand in the middle of the bathroom and dump water over myself until I felt clean.  This made me feel all dark and rebellious, and also clean. 
  • On a related note, you are not going to get arrested for unplugging your IV and other tubes.  I'm all about going to the bathroom by myself and I was not letting seventeen wires stand in my way.
  • Because of pig flu hysteria, kids under age 5 are currently not allowed to visit patients at any hospitals in Jacksonville.  I pretty much lost my marbles when I discovered this.   
  • The nurses automatically offer you Ambien.  At least, they automatically offered me Ambien.  Whether they were motivated by the fact that I had just spent three hours openly weeping about not being able to see my son, I could not tell you. 
  • If you keep asking the same question to different people ("when can I go home?" "when is the doctor coming?" "is this medicine actually actually reducing the contractions and if not why do I have to stay here?" "what happens to my babies if they're born right this minute [hysterical sobbing]") you will never get the same answer twice.  It's kind of fantastic, in a zen-mindfulness way: you can keep asking, but you will never be answered. 
  • The next time I have to stay at the hospital (which depends on whether my uterus freaks out again) I am bringing DVDs.  If you do not enjoy judge shows, the 700 Club, or PBS pledge drives, hospital television does not have much to offer.
To be fair, absolutely everybody I encountered in the hospital was amazingly nice.   And patient.  And very skilled at dealing with hysterical patients.  I have zero complaints on that front.   It's just the institutional setting that gets me kooky.  On an intellectual level, I realize that the maternity ward is not the same as a Soviet work camp, and that obstetrics is not entirely an evil cartel, but certain parts of my brain beg to differ.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

crayon wallet, take two...

 ...or, what your kid is getting if you invite us to a birthday party.

I've been really determined to get this right because crayon wallets/rolls/cases are such a great go-to gift for toddlers and preschoolers.  I especially like the wallet concept because you can stuff the pouch with stickers, which seems to make everything right in the world of a toddler (and if stickers don't work, try a glycerin suppository--for the toddler). 

My first effort at a crayon wallet was too floppy; serviceable, but a little flimsy.  This time I made the wallet bigger--three panels instead of two--in order to fit the sixteen-pack of big toddler-friendly crayons.  The extra panel seems to have solved some of the flimsiness/floppiness problems of the earlier version. Another factor is that the blue twill I used here is a lot heavier than what I used last time.  

Do you think I'm every going to run out of that fish fabric (originally a Target sheet)?  If so, it isn't happening any time soon.

I feel like I'm on the road to crayon wallet perfection, or at least adequacy. Perfection would require interfacing (instead of a layer of batting), which I will have no part of.  Interfacing just gives me the heebee jeebees, I can't even attempt to explain why.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

play sushi

At long last:  nine sets of knit sushi for a playfood swap I'm doing with some crafty local mothers. 

Salmon rolls, California rolls, and pickled ginger.  Wasabi seemed like a choking hazard, so I didn't make any.  Soy sauce and chop sticks also not included.

 I used this pattern and scraps of wool and cotton yarn.  The pattern is really an excellent stash-buster--it calls for fingering weight yarn but you can swap in heavier or lighter yarn as long as you accomodate by increasing or decreasing stitches accordingly.

Next time I attempt a project like this I need to make something simpler (pancakes?) because this took way too freaking long.  This project lasted at least eight netflix (a legitimate unit of time in my world).