Saturday, May 26, 2012

FO and Baby Pics




The New York Cardi was completed in time for the trip to Cape Cod! I just love it. I decided to just pick up stitches for a garter border rather than knitting the lace panels and seaming them on.

We are in Cape Cod right now. The wedding was yesterday night and went well. Arthur was a little champ and slept the ENTIRE time and the loud music and everything didn't even phase him. No one could believe at how good of a baby he is. We really are lucky parents to have such a great little man. Here are pictures my sister-in-law took when she and my brother came to visit (Arthur was 1 week old):



(I really wanted this one to work out, but he didn't really appreciate being stuffed into a pocket!)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FO


Photosynthesis is finally complete! It took me nearly a week to get the final 18 rows finished... way too long, but Arthur has kept me busy!


Beads on the final chart to give it a little something extra.


Alternating the skeins was a good idea... I really love how the color came out.


I'm totally in love with this.

For an Arthur update... his levels have gone down, but are still high enough to warrant weekly testing. He's doing great and is growing so much! This week's appointment had him at 9lb 5oz and 21.25 inches, and increase of 11oz and 1 full inch in just 7 days! I'm so glad that we're down to weekly testing; it was getting tiresome going to the hospital  and heartbreaking to see my baby cry from getting his heel stuck everyday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Whoa


My birthday was Tuesday and I can't say that it was the best one I've ever had. I ended up cutting the grass (but I actually enjoy this chore) and spending the rest of the day either at the doctor, at the hospital, or helping Charlie pack so that he could spend the 9th-24th away from home.

Arthur had a check-up and it went well. He gained a pound and a half in the 13 days since the appointment before, weighing in at 8lb 10oz! Everything else seemed normal, but I brought up his jaundice and the doc ordered a bilirubin test to see his level. We got it done, then went home without thinking much about it. The doc called that evening.

We had to take our poor babe to the hospital for another check. It was an emergency test and we were so worried! His bili level was 19.7... the 20s are permanent skin and liver damage and 30 is permanent brain damage. They said that they were probably going to admit him that night and he'd be hospitalized for 5-6 days. Talk about one scared momma! Thankfully, his level showed 18.3... still dangerously high, but ok to go home.

Wednesday I had to take Charlie to his unit so he could leave for Ft McCoy, Wisconsin. He'll be there until the 23rd or 24th (meaning that he'll be home in time for the wedding, which we are now most likely going to). It was sad for me to see him go, but sadder for him to leave his little boy. Later that day I had to take Arthur in for another test... the same at 18.3. Today's test was better, at 17.4

If tomorrow's test has him under 17 he won't have to be tested again until Monday. I'm really hoping that's the case... it means my boy is getting better and his poor little heels will get a break. It's so hard to see him scream when them stick him... he got stuck twice Tuesday and once daily since them. My poor little baby boy. Good thing, though, is that he is completely unaware of his little problem and is still my happy and hungry little man.

Anyway, not the happiest birthday ever, but I am grateful that Charlie's mission didn't start until the following day, that Arthur didn't have to be hospitalized, and that my mom is here to help out.

Knitting update... I'm one chart away from completing the Photosynthesis Shawl and I hope to have it off the needles tonight. I'll be picking up my New York Cardi after in hopes of having it ready to wear to the wedding.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Casting On


I've cast on for yet another project... OpArt, a really neat blanket, using my new Knit Picks Brava Sport. I've already made a mistake, but am not going back to fix it. The stripes should increase by 2 rounds every second repeat, but I didn't check the pattern first and jumped to 8 rounds per color after 1 repeat of 4-round stripes. Oops, I doubled the numbers, rather than added 2. Oh well. I started doing the pattern correctly after realizing my mistake.

The yarn is amazing! I am no real yarn snob, but have come to prefer natural fibers/blends, but this acrylic is top-notch and is now my go-to for when I need something soft, washable, durable, etc. It's very soft without squeakiness and I really love the colors it comes in.

Non-knitting news... Charlie and I have decided that, depending on job availability, we will be going active duty Army as soon as possible. There's some work to be done first (paperwork, etc) and there's no guarantee that it'll happen, but we're going to try. Charlie's current Reserve unit up here isn't that great and he wants to make the military his career, not to mention it would make our financial situation much better --- housing, medical insurance, and all that would be taken care of 100% and I would for sure be able to stay home with Arthur (daycare is something that we would like to avoid). We are really hoping that it works out for us, and sooner rather than later. Ideally, we'd like to be on our way to his first real duty station by this fall. The biggest downside is location; we have no idea where we'd end up. I really don't want to go overseas because taking the dogs and cats would be very expensive and we would be so far from family.

Remember when I wrote about Uncle Randy's wedding in Cape Cod? The plan was to leave the 22nd and the wedding is on the 25th. I got my dress, shoes, and Arthur's outfit (the Pembroke Vest I knitted while pregnant with him), but have decided that it's best that we don't go. It was a difficult decision since everyone is so excited about meeting him and I'd love to visit Cape Cod and Boston, but I really think that it'll be too much for an infant. We would be travelling by car and would stop by Albany, NY, first before heading down to Massachusetts. Arthur would be in his carseat for about 12 hours straight, only getting out of it to feed and for a quick diaper change. That's a lot of sitting for anyone, especially an infant in a diaper (I don't even want to think what it would do toward giving him diaper rash). Plus, we'd have to stop about every 2 hours for me to breastfeed... that will add quite a bit of time to the trip, not to mention be a pain to everyone else. Charlie isn't able to go due to military duty and it would be that much harder without him. Plus, this is a 4-day affair of a wedding with rehearsal dinners, the wedding, a long reception, a golf tournament, a clam bake, etc. I don't think that I would really be able to enjoy it with Arthur being so young... it would make for a very long 4 days for both of us. Charlie's family is going to be so disappointed because they are dying to meet my sweet babe, but I really have to think about him (and me) and feel that it's too much for us right now.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kicks


Remember the kicking bag I knitted a while back, before Arthur was born? I love it! I will be making a few more for sure now that we have baby here to use it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eye of the Partridge (and a passed test)


Some Ravelers have asked me to post pictures and explain how I work Eye of the Partridge during a heel turn when I use the stitch on an entire sole and the toe. I was working the heel of my Oak Barrel socks so it was the perfect opportunity to get the pictures. I posted them on the KnitPicks Socks forum on Rav, but thought I'd put the pics on here as well.


This is using EotP on short rows. I work the pattern on the right side, then purl on the wrong side, fudging as needed. It's pretty straightforward once you start.


Completed heel turn.


The wrong side showing the slipped stitches.

Once the heel turn is complete and you start knitting in the round again, remember to knit every other row to make up for the purl rows. Again, some fudging will have to be done as stitches are increased/decreased. The toe is very similar.

In Arthur news, he had his make-up hearing test this morning and passed! His left ear had failed the hearing test twice before and he got referred to an audiologist. The previous tests were both in the hospital before we went home and the audiologist thinks that he still had fluid in his ear and it was skewing the test results. We are so relieved that he has normal hearing in both ears... we don't think deafness in one or even both ears is a major disability, but it's always good that everything is as it should be. I guess it's time that I stop whispering all my secrets in his left ear, lol.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Michigan Resident

sigh

I did it. I got a Michigan driver's license.

I really didn't want to, but my Georgia license expires on the 8th and it was a real pain gathering all the paperwork needed to prove that I am in Michigan for military reasons (Charlie's unit is here) and that my unit is still in Georgia. Not only do they need a ton of stuff from my commander (who is very difficult to get a hold of), but they also need a ton of documentation from me, including a written letter stating that I'm a legal US citizen. Um, doesn't my birth certificate take care of that? What does a letter that I write prove? Couldn't someone just, um, I don't know, lie? Anyway, too much trouble, so I went ahead and made myself a Michigan resident. Switching my car tag will come on Monday.

I'm a little bummed about it, but they let me keep my Georgia license, so it's like a little souvenir.



This is Arthur right before our walk today. I'm going to try to take him for a walk everyday that weather permits. Charlie has been running with Partner to practice for his upcoming PT test, my mom has been walking Barrett everyday she's been here, so I took Gideon on our walk today so he doesn't get left out. Charlie and Partner came along today as a cool down from their run.

It is so muggy today and really warmed up as the day got longer. We don't have AC in the house and the open windows really aren't cutting it! We're going to die this summer!

On the knitting front, I got the leg of the first Oak Barrel sock finished while waiting on my mom at the doctor today (she's had some back pain from a pinched nerve) and have started on the heel flap. Still working on that long 4th chart of the Photosynthesis Shawl; the rows are getting quite long now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shopping

My shopping style goes one of two ways...

Style one would be in and out and done within 15 minutes. I buy clothes this way. I can find what I like quickly, try it on, then buy it. Charlie loves that I'm quick since he loathes shopping for clothes (or, shopping in general, really).

Style two would be going through the entire store, grabbing everything that I want, then slowly putting things back after considering the contents of my buggy. It's a very long process that usually involves me grabbing, then replacing, the same things several times. This is how I shop for craft things. Charlie knows not to go with me on trips to Michaels, JoAnns, and yarn stores. I prefer it that way; when he comes with me to those places, I feel stressed and rushed and that's just no way to craft shop.

Style two is how I shopped today.

My wonderful inlaws gave me a very generous gift card to Knit Picks for my upcoming birthday. Such a treat! Such a precious treat that requires much thought and consideration in how it's spent. I added and subtracted from my online cart for about 2 hours before finally placing my order. I know that I wanted to get some yarn for me as well as for Arthur, but it's so difficult for me to pick exactly what I want. Here's what I ended up with:

* 10 balls of Wool of the Andes (worsted weight wool) in Papaya (1100 yards) - The plan is to knit a Lila's Cardigan for me

* 4 balls of Wool of the Andes Tonal (worsted weight wool) in Golden Glow (880 yards) - Not sure what to use this for yet, but it's enough yardage for a sweater or several smaller projects

* 3 balls each of Brava Sport (sport weight acrylic) in Alfalfa and Rouge (1638 yards total) - I really just wanted to try out this relatively new yarn... I hear it's incredibly soft! I think I'll combine these two colors into either a small blanket, a pillow cover, or something else for the home.

* 2 balls each of Felici Sport (sport weight merino/nylon) in Dockside and Groovy (656 yards total) - The Dockside is for Arthur (I'm thinking some sort of lightweight sweater or cardi) and the Groovy is for me (not sure what pattern though).

* 2 balls of Comfy Worsted (worsted weight cotton/acrylic) in Hawk (218 yards) - This will probably become Owlet for Arthur.

* 2 balls of Stroll (fingering weight merino/nylon) in Green Tea Heather (462 yards) - Socks or a shawlette of some sort for me.

* 1 ball each of Comfy Sport (sport weight cotton/acrylic) in Ivory and Sea Foam (272 yards total) - I have a ball of each color in the stash already, so these 2 will be added to them to make things for Arthur.

* Cable connectors for my Harmony Interchangeable needle set.

* Size 9 Zephyr (acrylic) needle tips for my interchangeable set.

It took me forever, but I'm pleased with my final order. I'm getting yarn for me in larger quantities (something I'm trying to do now... more options when choosing projects that way), a variety of yarn for making things for Arthur, yarn that I haven't tried yet (Brava, Felici Sport, and Comfy), and some notions that I was lacking. I can't wait for it all to arrive!


What's a blog post these days without mentioning or showing off baby Arthur? Here he is a few days ago getting a bottle from his daddy. I waited a long time to offer a bottle since I was so scared of nipple confusion and plain laziness when it came to breastfeeding, but the doctor said that it really isn't a huge concern and that it's best to get him used to the occasional bottle now (her daughter was never offered one and all of a sudden she was 7 months old and refusing to do anything but nurse). I didn't want him to become completely dependent on me for food, so now Charlie feeds him once every other day or so. It's kind of nice for me to get a break and it's nice for Charlie to get the chance to do more to care for baby.