Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Duke, PharmD.

Big news in this branch of the royal family today. The Duke is officially a pharmacist. He recieved word today that he passed the dreaded NAPLEX. I never doubted him, but I am proud beyond words. His first day of work as a PharmD. is Monday, wish him well!

The Mysterious Island

I forgot to mention that Jules Vern also helped in keeping me occupied while confined to my bed for several days. I listened to The Mysterious Island on Librivox.
I have read nearly all of Jules Verne's works. Despite the fact that they are: impossible, have shallow characters who are far too knowledgeable on a wide variety of topics, and use the same words repeatedly (how many times can you use the word practicable?) I really enjoy them. I know, it goes against my typical disdain for ridiculous fiction (although they are classics,) but I think the fact that there is NO way that the story could ever really happen appeals to me. Vern had an imagination that few writers have ever rivaled, and you have to admire that.
There is a chapter in the first part of the book that goes into great detail about how the character, Cyrus Harding (the hero) uses raw materials found on the island to manufacture a wide variety of chemicals, including, nitroglycerin. I found this chapter especially hysterical and the Duke (who you may or may not know holds a degree in bio-chemistry) and I had a fun filled conversation about the 'practicable' nature of such an endeavor. It was great!

Why Bacteria Suck

I know, I know, the world would be in a world of hurt without them, but honestly, when they attacked my bladder, they just went too far.

That's the diagnosis. We were fairly certain of it when the doc pushed (from both sides mind you) on my bladder and I nearly passed out. I have a strep b. infection in my bladder. It's a problem that is fairly easily fixed (thanks, dad.) Unfortunately, I tend to expel all orally administered antibiotics, so we asked my doctor for an injectable and he obliged by sticking a needle in my butt. That's good with me. I go back in a few days to see if it's gone or if I need another dose.

This type of infection can cause pre-term labor (bad) so it's important to get rid of it (not to mention the fact that I AM IN PAIN.) However, it is a pretty easy bacteria to kill (good.) It also means that I will be administered preventative antibiotics when I go into labor for (hopefully) four hours prior to delivery, as strep b is bad bad bad for baby (bad and good - bad that I have to have an IV but good that we know about it so baby doesn't get sick.)

Deep breath, and OK, I can handle all of that.

The Doc (who I love by-the-way, if you live in Seattle and you get pregnant, email me for a referral, this guy is great) also gave me a slip for an ultrasound, but wants us to wait til I am 18 weeks. So, we thought we would make a week from this coming Friday an extra big day. The Duke is graduating from Pharmacy school, tons of our family will be here, and we'll get to see the little alien and hopefully discover if it's a boy alien or a girl alien.

Thank you all for your good vibes and wishes. I did attempt to knit away my anxiety. . .

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This is a the nearly finished Charlotte's Shawl. It's going to be BIG.

I also cast on the second Go With the Flo sock and knit several inches as well as knocked a few more items off my WIP list.

I finished the yellow and green baby sweater and ripped out the Duke's shadow scarf. That gets me down to 10 including the Shawl, progress, but still more work to do.

Again, thanks for all of the happy thoughts you've sent my way.

Monday, May 28, 2007


The Duke and I spent three hours in the ER tonight letting people poke and prod me with various unpleasant objects. They were trying to determine the source of the "abdominal pain" (which is not abdominal pain no matter how many times I tell them that) I am experiencing. The Result? More anxiety, no answers.
The doctor said that he could see nothing grossly wrong, which the Duke interpreted for me. "Gross" in medical terminology means you can't see it with the naked eye. I'm glad the Duke was there, the way the doc said it made me think that there was something wrong, but it wasn't terribly wrong.
Anyway, they took samples of pretty much anything you can collect from a human body and will let me know if anything looks weird. There was nothing that made them think there was any immediate danger, as my cervix (the source of the pain) is closed and the baby is not in distress. So the OB on call said we would just need to wait for lab results and an ultrasound, which I am slated for in the next week or two anyway.
They wanted to stick an IV in me to increase my fluids but I wouldn't let them, preferring to just drink a liter of gatoraid instead. They sent me home with orders to stay in bed until Tues when I have an appointment with my doctor.

Did I mention that I hate being pregnant?
Send good vibes my way and hope that I don't need them. My dad reminds me that it's nearly always nothing, or something simple to fix, but of course he also acknowledges that is cold comfort. Anxiety is a true "talent" of mine, few do it better.

Anywho, enjoy the new Yarn of Yarnnation. If you haven't left a comment, go ahead, I will choose a commenter next Friday evening, so let's say comment through Friday 5:00 pm pacific time.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Yarn of Yarnnation #3

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I had always known I was nothing special, even a little strange, a misfit if you will. I mean, what do you do with a bulky weight cotton/acrylic blend? Even I didn’t know. There were those brave knitter souls who would take a ball or two home, and the rest of us would wait with fear tinged hope to hear the review. It was always the same. “It’s just too heavy,” “It’s too bulky for a baby knit,” “I just don’t know what to do with it,” “It has no drape,” and the one that hurt the most “It splits terribly!” I knew it was all true. I wondered what the people who had made us had been thinking. Like the others, I tried to console myself with the fact that I had a beautiful color, a vibrant rich red, but deep down I knew that even the most stunning color could not compensate for a poorly conceived yarn.

I sat there for months, maybe even a year or more, I wasn’t really keeping track. My heavy strands didn’t stay put in my ball, and that added to a growing depression. I spent my days trying to retreat to the back of the shelf and succumb to that fitful sleep that depression seeks.

Naturally, they were always trying to pull me forward, straighten my strands, make me look pretty, but how does one look pretty when one doesn’t feel pretty? It was after being pulled forward and straightened yet again (adding to my despondent irritation) that I noticed something strange happen. A knitter, a youngish knitter, had pulled eight balls of my Lavender sister off the shelf. That had never happened before, EIGHT balls? The girl must not know what she was doing, but I was happy for Lavender, at least she would be able to rest from all the fixing and fussing that never did any good. I didn’t give it any further thought.

That is, no further thought until four days later when the same young knitter came again to stand before our lonely shelf. She studied all of us for long while, and we looked at her with curious skepticism. Then, to my great astonishment, she pulled me off the shelf, eight balls of me, EIGHT! Was this girl mad? For the first time in months my foggy mind began to churn with questions. Where was I going? Was I going to be knit? What on earth could she have in mind for me?

I didn’t have to wait long to discover what her plans for me were. She cast on that night. She knit quickly with a circular metal needle. I can not express the ecstasy that filled my strands as she pulled me from the restrictive balls I had been wound into for so long. I would have been in heaven, if it hadn’t been for the nagging thoughts that still haunted me. “What possible use could such an unforgiving yarn have?” “When would her needles begin to pierce through me forcing me to split?” “How would I cope when the dream finally ended?”

She continued to work in a slightly strange fashion, moving me, not the needle, with her left hand instead of her right, and her needle never once split me. She worked for several hours, knitting four balls of the eight she had brought home. By the time she put me down to rest, most of my fears had been calmed. This knitter was serious about me, and somehow, she was truly crafting me into something, although, what, I did not know.

That night I could not sleep. It was dark, and I couldn’t see what her work had produced. I tried to understand the stitches by feeling where my strands were, but they were not consistent. In some places my strands were free and open to the air, in other places they were snug and pulled tight against one another. I was forced to content myself with waiting, but sleep would not come, and I didn’t wish for it.

In the morning I wondered if she would pick me right back up, or if I my patience would be tried longer. I needn’t have worried. She was still in her pajamas when she came for me, and she settled down for another long stretch of knitting.

It didn’t take long, a few more hours, and I felt her binding off. She laid me carefully across her lap and looked at me for a moment with a look of obvious joy. I still hadn’t a clue what I was, I had no seams, I recognized some ribbing, but the other stitches were varied and unknown to me. Suddenly she gleefully grabbed me, ran to the man in the house, announcing she was finished. With a smile he told her to try it on. “It’s beautiful” he proclaimed after she slipped me over her head. I was a garment? With no seams? I thought my curiosity and impatience would kill me. She didn’t make me wait much longer.

She hurried to a mirror and for the first time I saw what she had done. I was, what I had heard called a capelette, only I didn’t open in the front. She had worked me into a combination of lace and cables, the cables taking advantage of my stiff structure and the lace keeping me from being too heavy. If I could have cried I would have.

I was. . . beautiful. Me.

The next day she wore me back to the shop. I saw my sisters and brothers, and still none of us could believe it. They had seen Lavender. She had been worked into the same beautiful garment, and returned to live in the yarn shop as a sample. She would help other knitters understand what her brothers and sisters could do! I also took every opportunity to show myself off to other knitters. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the joy I felt at seeing my sister Ecru and my brother Moss go home with knitters to become the same beautiful capelette was even greater than the joy I felt for myself.

I was taken home, carefully folded, and placed on a shelf with many other hand knits. There were sweaters knit from wool and alpaca, items crafted of soft cotton and even silk. I knew I wasn’t knit from fine fibers like most of them were, but I had become more than I ever thought I could be. My delight at just being me could not be dampened.

I was pulled down often and I went to church and other special events. She took me on vacation and she even wore me once to an event where she sung in front of hundreds of people. I was so nervous and excited! I knew I was one of her favorites and I loved her for it. I vowed to do all in my power to serve her the best I could. I was careful to avoid snags, I held my color to me with all my might when I was washed, and I did my best to always hold my shape.

I don’t know how it happened. I guess it is true that sometimes fait just gives you all you could dream of and more. I know it doesn’t always happen this way, I’m not so naive, but I do know that it can happen because it happened to me, and my joy is complete.


Naturally a random commenter will be sent a little Yarn of Yarnnation, but it will not be this yarn. I will be intrested to see if you can guess it though, it's not as easy as Cascade 220 was!


WIP Inventory

Duke's Aran Sweater (Sarah, it's Cascade 220- and you can't tell from the photo, but it's heathered)
Lil Bro Hat
Duke's Shadow Scarf
Red Felt Bag
Leg Warmer
Baby Surprise
M. Vest
Striped Felt Bag
Green Sweater
Japanese Lace (I just took it off the needles to be used later on as a swatch for something else.)
Go with the Flo Socks
Mitered Baby Blanket
Silk Rumple Wrap
JD Baby Sweater
JD Baby Sweater

I have crossed five of my WIP's off my list in one day, pretty good, no? I rewarded myself for surpassing my goal for the weekend before the weekend even started by - um breaking the moratorium. I know, I'm awful, but I needed something fairly mindless to knit in class and I didn't feel like any of my WIP's were the appropriate project.

So I cast on for Fiber Trend's (Lily Chin) Charlotte's Easy Lace Shawl. Just as the pattern claims, it is probably the easiest lace you can knit, just what I need. I have knit this before with DK weight yarn, and it went so fast I couldn't believe it (the whole shawl in two days- but I should mention it was for my 4'9'' MIL- ie small.)

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This time I am knitting it with my own hand dyed sock weight yarn. Even with all that finishing, I got this much done this evening.

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I also finished one of the "mystery" projects I was working on. It is a sweater for my soon to be born nephew, W., son of Princess P. I know it's a little plain. Maybe it's the 'practical mom' in me, but I though he could use a nice, plain, jacket. The yarn is Cascade 220.

The real charm of this sweater is in its buttons.

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Aren't they so vintage western cool? I just love them, and love that they are so unexpected on a baby's sweater. I think W. will love his chief and buffalo sweater.

This sweater was supposed to be size 6 months (the pattern is based off of Daisy on Knitty.) Even though my gauge is right on, this is actually the appropriate size for an 18 month old. I guess I should have checked the measurements first instead of trusting the sizes. Oh, well, he will eventually be 18 months old, and it will be winter about that time in Utah, so it works out OK.
Also, I won't recommend this pattern because I think it's stupid to piece together a raglan sweater, so I went looking for a different pattern after I finished this one.

And I found a great one. Here is the other "mystery" project, are you surprised? Another baby sweater.

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This one was also supposed to be for W., but the Duke loves it so much, if the alien is a boy, I'm afraid it's staying here.
This is a free pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple. I love their patterns and this is no exception. I knit the 6 month old size on this one too, but this time, it is the appropriate size. The yarn is Nashua's Creative Focus Worsted.

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Again, the buttons make this. What baby boy (and maybe even a girl?) wouldn't turn even more heads than normal in this cardi? Baby knits are so much FUN!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time for Another Moratorium on Cast Ons

Warning- lots and lots of photos ahead.

Some of you may remember last year when I had a moratorium on casting on until the WIP inventory was down. . . WAY down, like ZERO. Now how does one know when it is time for such drastic actions? Well it's kind of a feeling and then there are signs. . . you can never find the needle that you need even though all your needles are put away (except the ones being used,) you have three knitting bags and a project basket all overflowing, you find projects that you forgot you started.
I sensed it was coming and finally I could fight it no more. Here is an official Yarnnation WIP inventory. I've held nothing back.

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This is the Duke's aran sweater. I started it, well, I don't remember and I can't find it on my blog, but I think it was last fall, early. I only have most of one sleeve left to do, and of course the sewing and finishing. I'll try to finish it in time for our beach trip in July, where it will probably be cold enough to wear it.

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This is a hat for my little brother. This is the fifth attempt if you can believe it. It has been langushing because I am not sure he will like it. It isn't at all what he asked for (um 18 months ago,) but the pattern he wanted was a catastrophe. I tried to knit it three times, it was awful. Anyway, it's just a hat and if he doesn't like it he doesn't have to weat it and I'll even knit him something else if he chooses a better pattern.

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This is the headband portion of a scarf, mitt, headband set I knit myself from my own handspun last winter. I've worn the scarf and mitts a lot, but I never got around to sewing in two measly ends on the headband. I'll do that tonight.

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The Duke's shadow scarf. I think I have decided that the scarf is too skinny and the colors to contrasting for the Duke. I think I'm going to rip this out and use different yarn. I'm still deciding for sure.

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This is a felted red bag that just needs handles and a little shaping, maybe a lining. -Why, what every do you mean? No, no, I don't have a finishing problem.

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This is the second in a pair of leg warmers. It is my handspun and I ran out. I have more of the batt and can spin more, and that is what it is waiting for. I'm afraid this one will continue to wait for a while, as I am still not able to spin.

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You've seen the baby suprise jacket. It is waiting to be assigned a gender to receive buttons and an edging.

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Yes, yes, the Marcellian Vest. I just need a break for a while, it's a big ol' bunch of ribbing that I am in still in recovery over.

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Oh, yes, I have a problem. Another adorable felted bag that just need the bottom sewn up and the handles attached. Go figure. I'll add it to the top of my list.

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You know you have a finishing problem when you have a finished sweater that only needs ends woven in, two tiny underarm seams sewn and a little blocking to be done. I haven't been motivated because I can't wear it right now, but it's an easy one to get off the list.

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This is a shrug knit in japanese lace stitch. At this point it is nothing more than a swatch and I think I may bind it off and just use this portion as a swatch until I am more commited to the project.

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One finished GO WITH THE FLO sock, and another one coming soon, I hope.

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A nearly finished baby blanket that has stalled. Just need the last part of the boarder knit and a very few end secured. I actually still have two weeks on this one, as the goal was to have it done before we knew the sex of the baby, and that is two weeks away. I won't miss it though.

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This was started last summer. It's a wrap in Handmaidens silk rummple. I took it to class tonight and worked on it. It is actually very close to finished as well.

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I am half way through the crochet edge of the insanity scarf still. I need to pull this one out. I kind of forgot about it, not really needing scarfs right now, but it will make a great "conversation" project.

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Now here are the two projects I have been holding out and waiting to show you. The top one is waiting for buttons but other than that is completely done. The other, yellow, needs a zillion ends secured, but the knitting is finished.

SO, that makes 17 projects in all. SEVENTEEN! I must be insane. OK, I am going to get down to 12 by the end of the week. That is my goal, do you think I will make it? We'll see, it all depends on how naughty the alien is this weekend.

Tomorrow I will go for buttons, that will be at least one down, and something darling to look forward too.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Random Tagging

I've been tagged for a 7 random things tag by Prariegirl.

Here are the rules

List 7 random things about yourself on your blog.

Tag 7 others.

Leave a comment on their blog to direct them to your site to get the rules.

So, as my knitting content is not yet ready to share, and I am a generally willing victim, I will oblige.

1. I speak Tagalog (Filipino.) One of my favorite words in Tagalog is "Ahas." It means snake. I don't like snakes terribly well, and I don't really feel attatched to the English word, but I have a very random attachment to this word, just saying it makes me happy! Ahas, Ahas, Ahas!!!

2. I find the show SCRUBS ridiculously, out of control, insanly funny. I wish that real life was more like that.

3. I am obsessed with maps. Any map will keep me entertained for a good period of time. I have a US road atlas and a Seattle area Thomas Guide in my car that entertain me to no end while the Duke and I are traveling.

4. The Duke and I own dozens of clocks, one of them is even a very very large atomic clock. You would think this would mean that we are obsessed with being on time, but actually that would be an inaccurate assumption. Clocks,to us, are more like interesting looking art.

5. I don't like to drink out of a glass, I prefer a plastic cup. It's not like I won't drink out of a glass, I do at resturaunts, and even at my own house when there is company or if there aren't any clean cups, but the preference is strong enough that my husband knows about it and will always bring me a drink in a plastic cup.

6. I eat jelly beans through my nose. (I don't really, but this was what the Duke suggested when I asked him to help me think of intersting random facts about me, and I wanted to validate him.)

7. I can't think of another one, so I'll share one about the Duke. He wants me (like has begged and threatened) to have a sign at his funeral that reads "The End is Here." Shall we take bets on if that will happen or not? I suppose that would have to include my personal beliefs on the potential for retribution from the grave. I'm just going to die first, then I won't have to worry about it.

Now here are your tags

my mom, The Yarn Queen
my sister, Princess P.
Sonya- who I thought wasn't blogging at alll, but then realized I had somehow deleted her rss feed from my bloglines. Isn't that awful. So sorry Sonya, I'm blaming it on pregnancy brain.
Ruby's Daughter
Merry Purl

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Girl of the Limberlost

I've just finished listening to A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. It was wonderful. I was sad to have it come to an end, although it did end in an entirely appropriate place from my point of view. I have just discovered that she wrote another book about one of the lesser characters, Freckles, entitled the same. From my understanding, it takes place a generation before this book. I will add it to my list of books to read, but it isn't on Librivox. I don't know if that is because it isn't in the public domain or because it just hasn't been adopted as a project or completed yet.

I have been thinking that I may volunteer to read for a project while I am pregnant and not working or going to school. This is a much bigger decisions for me than you might think, as I am dyslexic and reading out loud is very difficult for me. I would have to have read the text several times first. Just thinking about it for now.
Here is a question for you all to ponder (and respond to if you so desire.) Is it better to serve in ways that utilize your natural talents, or is is more meaningful to serve in ways that are difficult for you?

Naturally, the Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:15-30) comes to mind. I have never really considered it in this way before. Of course, we should expand ourselves, increase our talents and use the ones we are blessed with, but in what capacity, in what way, and which carries more weight for those we serve and for us as individuals?

Knitting content coming soon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Women can be wonderful

Yesterday I received a package in the mail from my friend Heather. Heather is a doula, and it is a shame that she lives in Utah, because the Duke and I are seriously considering hiring a doula, and I would love Heather to be mine. Anywho, she is also a mentor for birthing classes using the "Birthing from Within" method. In the package was Pam England's book Birthing From Within that describes the method.
Now, you all have heard me declare to anyone who would listen that I HATE BEING PREGNANT! I'm no where near ready to rescind that claim, but I am only part way through the book and it has all ready given me a few ways to at least better cope, emotionally and psychologically with some of the most difficult aspects of pregnancy for me. The primary one being eating. I still dislike eating, as it still makes me sick, and my diet is very very very limited at the moment, but Pam suggests telling your baby what you are eating, describing it to the baby. I took this a little bit further, and being the jounaling fanatic that I am, I wrote to my baby about the food, why I was eating it, what good it would do for both of us, and why I did or didn't like the food. It has been helpful thinking of eating as feeding my baby, similar to the way you would feed new foods to a child.
One this is for sure, this kid is either going to LOVE or HATE plain white rice. It makes up the vast majority of our diet.

Anyway, one good thing that is coming from me being so sick that I can't leave my bed or couch is that there is much less of a chance now that I will kill some unthinking dunce that I inevitably come across when I leave the house.

So the last time I went out and had to interact with people was last Sunday. I went to church, despite being sick, to hear my hubby speak in church. Now, for those of you who don't know me or read my other blog, church attendance is very important to me. It has been one of the major sacrifices of this pregnancy that I have only been to church twice in the last nine or ten weeks.
Normally I have nothing but good feelings for the people that I go to church with, and I was happy to see many of them. There were others, however, that I just wanted to scream at. There was one, I'm sure well meaning man, who thoughtfully suggested that I eat a few soda crackers to help with the nausea. I was nice, I didn't even SCREAM even though I wanted too.


There were plenty of others assuring me that the nausea would end soon, that for them it only lasted 12 weeks or 14 weeks or 16 weeks or "just hold out for 20 weeks, it will all be over by then." Right.

There were plenty of other suggestions, eat smaller portions, eat more frequently, drink mint tea. By the end of it I felt like I should have a "failed therapy" sheet.

1. crackers - failed
2. tea- mint, raspberry leaf, anise, fennel, ginger, lemon, ect - failed and induced vomiting
3. eating smaller portions and less often - resulted in increased vomiting
4. sea bands - failed
5. vit b and unisom - I was so hopeful
5.5 (I forgot) expensive pink and black pill that I can't remember the name of - failed
6. promethazine - failed
7. ondanzatron (a very powerful anti-nausea drug) - failed
8. glycerin suppositories and fiber - well, this sort of worked, but not to stop the nausea and vomiting.

Other things I have tried include drinking Coke, which actually works a little bit, but as I am super sensitive to caffeine it has unpleasant side effects. Not eating at all - I thought you couldn't throw up if you didn't eat - I was wrong. Throwing up anything is better than throwing up stomach acid alone.

Now I mostly eat plain rice, sometimes with an egg, and I try to get some fruits and veggies in there if I can. I get even more sick every time I eat and the only thing that provides even a bit of relief is laying flat on my back. Sounds fun, no?

Here are a few things I am grateful for in my current state.
- my two rice cookers. I'm very picky about my rice and I'm so happy I don't have to cook it on the stove.
- Librivox- I can't knit, I can't spin, it hurts my arms to hold a book up for too long, so I am grateful that I can listen
- The Duke- he is as understanding and compassionate as any man could be. He tries to stay positive, which is good even if it makes me mad sometimes.
- my laptop- it is going to be very hard to finish out this school quarter laying on my back (here's hoping I won't have too) without my laptop such a proposition would be impossible. It also keeps me in touch with the outside world. No matter how much I love my dogs, they just aren't very good conversationalists.

Well typing is getting uncomfortable. This computer is great, but it gets very hot sitting on my legs.

Here's hoping that tomorrow is better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sweet Sunny Day

It was a beautiful day in Seattle today. I took my not so beautiful marketing reading out into my sunny backyard, rolled up my pants, and remedied the "I haven't seen the sun in nearly a year" look I had going on on my legs. Yes, I used sunscreen, I actually don't like to be very tan, I think my particular skin looks better a little on the pale side, but the color of my legs was more like what you might expect in a morgue.

I also indulged in a little knitting time, and convinced the Duke that we both needed a walk on the beach. We only live five min. from several beaches, it's a shame we don't remember to do this more often. I forgot my camera, but imagine:

fine sand between my toes
my sweetie, removed from all distractions
sun and a crisp sea breeze
and the entertainment of what we finally surmised must have been a beginning sail boating class, the instructor seemed terribly stressed, lots of fog horns sounding.

It was heaven for an hour, and we needed it.

The baby blanket edging is moving forward, but it is boring, so some socks have been started to keep the sanity flowing, if even a little bit.

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Go With the Flow socks from Interweaves Favorite Socks.

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less knitting but a more true representation of the color.

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This is yarn I dyed myself and I must say that I am love-love-loving how the color is knitting up. I think it might be the perfect semi-solid pink, which of course means I'll never be able to duplicate it! Such is life.

Note on the pattern: As the instructions read, the pattern on the upper part of the instep calls for 2 stitches fewer than the complete lace pattern, so I added two stitches to the upper part and will simply decrease an additional two stitches on the lower part.

Also, I wanted to mention that I listened to Willa Cather's O, Pioneers! as I knit the Baby Surprise Jacket. It was wonderful. It may be the model for the perfect book for me. Fiction, yes, but a classic, so it's mostly forgivable. Naturally it is beautifully written, descriptive without being over the top, and kept my interest throughout. The main characters are well developed and more or less 'real' although I did wonder about the lack of weakness in the main character, Alexandra. It is revealed, but only partially, and near the end. Some of the lesser characters are flat, but that is fine with me as I don't like lengthy descriptions and set ups. The end is what really made this book for me. It was real without being overly tragic or sappy. It didn't end with a shock, which I hate, as life never ends with the climax, there are always consequences and effects, this book lets you see that too. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Or not so happy Mother's Day, as the case may be.

I really do hope all of you had a wonderful day. Mine wasn't so hot. I was sick all night, and still sick all day, but the Duke was speaking in church, so I dragged myself out of bed to be there. I know he appreciated it. He gets so nervous. He did a great job.

(For those of you who are not familiar with Mormon clergy, we don't have paid ministers, so members of the congregation take turns giving the sermons. There are usually 2-3 per Sunday. A member speaks for 10-20 min. to a room full of 100-200 people. You might imagine, if public speaking isn't your thing, it can be a bit of a stressor.)

He was too focused on that and the stress of taking his board exams to consider that um, perhaps he should do something to mark this first Mother's Day for me. He did get me a card, but he lost it. I understand, I really do. It's kind of a hard patch right now, and besides, he is the everyday good kind of husband, and I wouldn't trade that for the once a year good kind of husband. (He is taking me on a picnic on Tues, too, so you see, everyday good, if not always once a year good.)

Actually, the hardest part of the day was talking to my family. I only had to make one phone call to talk to all the mothers in my family, both grandmothers, my mom, my sister, sister-in-law, and even one aunt.

They were all gathered at the Queen's house enjoying one another, having a delicious meal, and worst of all, eating Angle Food Cake with strawberries, my favorite. I was so happy that they were all enjoying their day as moms, but it was hard to hear about the day as I sat eating left over chicken noodle soup by myself. I wished so badly I was there, and (hint to the Queen) telling me it's my own fault for living in a different state did not help.

The Duke and I know without a doubt that we are where we are supposed to be. Washington is our home now and we love it here. We are doing our best to make our own traditions and surround ourselves with an extended family of friends and loved ones, but the truth is, that sometimes it's just hard to live far away from your family.

So, after a bit of cry, the Duke and I filled up the rest of our evening with dreams of the future. It was a refreshing way to end a difficult day.

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Beautiful isn't it? We think so. Enough room for a gaggle of children (the remainder of the gaggle to be adopted, of course) and even a MIL apartment, so that some day, perhaps a mother or two will celebrate here in our paradise.

One thing about those Wrights, you can't keep them down for long!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Be Honost

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Go ahead, raise your hands, who thought I would never actually sew this thing together. *Duchess is raising her hand.* I know, I don't know what has come over me, but I was determined!

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I have had an excellent couple of days. I haven't been very sick at all (quick, knock on wood.) I am still tired and a little nauseated, but not anything like what I've been going through the last three months and nothing that I can't "push" through. Although yesterday, I found that pushing a little too hard, as I am wont to do, leads to exhaustion such as I have never known. However, better that than sick.

I called my mom to thank her for the very sweet Mother's Day package she sent me, which, in addition to candy (including Smarties, my favorite, and the giant ones at that!) included

Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave

and and wonderful book by Jane Clayson Johnson

I Am a Mother

I read most of I am a Mother today. It is a charming treatise on the value and importance of Motherhood. There are also several socks I will likely knit from the Interweave book.

Don't I have the best Mom, well she is a queen, after all, what do you expect?

Anyway, she and the Queen Mother (my grandmother) were sewing. Well, actually they were making themselves crazy, but it involved a little sewing and that made me want to sew. The Duke and I are going to NYC later in the summer, and I have determined that the only way I will be comforatable is if I wear skirts the entire time. I have purchased some fabric for new skirts, but I had a skirt that had been languishing unfinished for months, so I decided to finish that before I started a new one.

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Isn't it lovely, and I can't even wear it. Oh well.

I also started a new knitting project, or at least swatched for it. I don't know if I will actually cast on for it until the blanket is done. I also have to cast on for the second half of the Marcellina Vest, but that isn't' appealing to me at the moment.

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-unblocked, but more true colors

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-blocked, but bad light.

It will be a rectangular shawl. I haven't decided on an edging for it yet, and I probably won't until it's well on its way to being finished.

So here's the math:

I want it to be 60 inches long without its boarder. The swatch is 7 inches, and is two repeats of the pattern. So 17 repeats of the pattern gets me 59.5 inches- close enough. There are 20 stitches, plus five to the pattern, so I will need to cast on 345 stitches, that sounds dreadful, doesn't it.

Now I would like it to be about 12 inches without its boarder and one repeat of the pattern is about 3.5 inches tall, so I will need to do 3.5 repeats, which actually works out fine, as the the half way point in the pattern works as a stopping point as well as end.

So, CO 345 sts, repeat pattern 3.5 times. The only question that remains is. . . will I have enough yarn?

So, the swatch is sacrificed, and we find that our swatch, which is 24.5 square inces (7 in width x 3.5 inch height) took 9 yards to knit

The shawl which is 12.25 inches high and 59.5 inches wide, has an area of 728.8 square inches. Let's round that too 729. So if 24.5 sq in takes 9 yards, 729 sq in takes [(729 x 9)/24.5] = 267.8 yds. I have 440 yards, so even if I am off by a bit, I should be fine, and still have plenty for a boarder.

YIPPEE, wasn't that fun?

Oh, and in case you were wondering the yarn is 50/50 Merino/Silk hand painted and purched from Merlin the Cat.

She has lovely stuff at very very reasonable prices. Yarn, fiber, and darling stitch markers. THANKS MERLIN!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Good, The Bad, The BIG

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The Good:
Progress continues on the baby blanket. This is the final layout, and the two blocks on the left are sewn together, or rather crocheted together, which is what I decided to go with.

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The Bad:
Doesn't look so bad does it? It's been a long time since I decided to rip out a finished object. I guess one sock is not really finished but I won't be knitting the other, and this one, which couldn't fit worse if it wanted too, is bound for the pond.

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And The BIG:
I have, at long last, finished the first half of the Marcellian Vest. I thought this would knit up very quickly, but pregnancy got in the way. It's been a month in the making. It looks HUGE doesn't it. I guess that is what you get when you are knitting a materninty top. Also, it goes over your hips, so hips + baby bump = a wide bottom top. This, BTW, this is not intended to be a maternity top. We (the Queen and I) just saw it and thought it would work well as one. It is a cute bell shaped vest for the non-baby-carrying among us. You can see it knit up here.

A Magical Day for the Royal Family

98 Days

Today I have been pregnant for 98 days and Princess P., my lil' sister, has 98 days left in her pregnancy.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

All Hail PBTP

All of you click right on over to Princess P.'s blog and see what her amazing husband (PBTB) has made, yes I said MADE. It's amazing!

A Riddle

It's Monday night, late, very late. You are in your PJ's but sleep is far from your mind. Knitting, instead seems to be on the agenda. And then it hits you. . .

You have, in your weakened state, left your knitting bag in your car. Your car which is parked out on the street.

You begin to get frantic as you realize your dilemma, and your instincts point you to the yarn closet.

Two skeins of Koigu?

Size US 3 needles?

A little bit of obsession?

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And two days later you end up with WHAT?

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SURPRISE! It's a Baby Surprise Jacket by the knitting genius Elizabeth Zimmermann. Who, by-the-way, is the only designer people trust enough to actually make it through this origami of a pattern. Isn't it fun?

I think the colors are pretty gender neutral, when I know if the alien is a boy or a girl I will add a brown edging for a boy or a cream edging for a girl, and maybe some embroidery.

The alien's first hand knit!

Oh yes, and there is plenty of yarn left for a matching hat and/or booties!

Monday, May 07, 2007


Well, I've finished the final two miters and just have to wait for the others to dry so that I have room (and pins) to block them. Then it's on to the dreaded seaming and weaving in of ends.

I listened to Sara Crewe or, What Happened at Miss Menchin's Boarding School by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was the name that The Little Princess was first published under. It is a sweet children's story (by the same author as The Secret Garden.)

A Little Bit of Knitting

As there has not been a whole lot of it going on here, but a little here and a little there can lead to quite a bit.

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14 down, 2 to go

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My goal is to finish the blanket before I find out the sex of the baby and the gender specific knitting begins. I have about 4 weeks. I think I might make it, but don't quote me on that.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Have I mentioned. . .

that I HATE being pregnant? OK, I know, no one really wants to hear about how much I hate being pregnant, but I don't care, it's my blog and you don't have to read it if you don't want.

It's awful that the only time during the entire day that I feel good is the 20 min. immediately after I wake up (and only then if I am allowed to sleep as long as I want, which is rare.) After about 20 min. I begin to get hungry, and not regular hungry, like I've not eaten in 100 years hungry.

It's awful that despite being so hungry, I have learned that the only thing I can eat is fairly bland cereal, and even this WILL make me sick, but I can (until this morning) keep it down.

It's awful that the smell of my kitchen, my garage, my dogs, their toys, most foods, and even my husband sometimes, brings on the sudden urge to impersonate Old Faithful.

It's awful that despite being exhausted at night, I can't sleep because I am so uncomfortable.

It's awful that every time I eat I get sick, and if that weren't bad enough, my stomach is so squished that I have to eat about 6 times daily.

It's awful that even though I have to spend so much time trying to figure out what I can eat and when I can eat, and just thinking about food (that I don't want to eat) in general, that a good portion of it doesn't even have the decency to stay in my stomach and do its job.

It's awful that wearing a bra makes me more sick, and that not wearing a bra in uncomfortable because my gals are so tender. (And yes, I've purchased and tried 6 different bras, it doesn't matter.)

It's awful that I have so little control over my emotions, and that the poor Duke has to tolerate me bursting into tears over NOTHING!

It's awful that even though I'm not eating anything I'm still getting fat, and no I don't look pregnant, just fat.

It's awful that I was taking solace in the fact that my feet hadn't swollen at all, until yesterday when I put on my most comfortable pair of dress shoes and they gave me blisters.

It's awful that my legs ache and ache and ache and make me want to scream.

It's awful that there are other things that are awful that are too personal to put on this blog.

It's awful that I want to kill anyone who tells me it will all be worth it, or that it will all be over before I know it, or any other such attempt at comfort.

It's awful that for the most part, I don't have the energy or focus to either knit or read.

It's awful that I am too proud to "allow" myself to be sick. I push myself too hard, and even then I am disappointed in how little I can accomplish in a day. I normally live my life just slightly south of manic, slow is not a good word for me. It's probably the hardest thing about all of this.

I know it could be worse, that doesn't make me feel better.

OK, I guess I'm done with my pitty party now. I guess I'll go back to bed.

ps- I'm turning off the comments for this post. I know ya'll love me and want me to feel better, this was more just for me to vent something that I feel more and more like I should keep to myself.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Can we say WINNERS?

The verdict???

We took SECOND, which comes along with a very nice prize, thank you very much!


I will sleep well tonight!

In my Neighborhood, In my Neigh-bor-hood

So the competition is over. I am currently sitting in my house, after a very long and much needed nights (and mid mornings) rest, impatiently waiting for it to be 3:00 so I can leave for the awards reception that begins at 4:00. Don't worry, I'll let you all know how we did later tonight.

I have done all sorts of things to keep myself busy and my mind occupied that I haven't done in about a month. . . I mentioned sleep, homework (what a novel idea,) I'm blogging, and I even took a short little walk and at Bells' prompting took along my camera. So as I have no knitting content to share (do I even remember how to knit at this point. . . checking. . . oh yes, we'll get to that in a few days) I thought I'd jump on the "Show me your neighborhood" train.

I happen to live (in my opinion) in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and while my immediate neighborhood might not be the VERY best example of this, there is still much that is lovely and of good report. (A little nod to my Mormon friends out there.)

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This is the front of my house, which is actually the back of my house- weird I know, but that's how it goes. I live in the middle one.

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You approach through the alley way.

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There is a beautiful pot full of pansies to greet you at my front door.

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There are also two Mini Japanese Maples growing on either side of the drive way. I just love these little trees. They are the most intense color and a still photograph does no justice to the dance they perform when the breeze passes through.

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When I first moved here, and even now, when I think of it, I am amazed at the height of the trees here. Yes, those are the roofs of houses you see near the bottom of the photograph. I can look out the window on the third story of my house and still have to strain my neck to see the tops of these giants.

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After all this plant life, it may surprise you to know that I do actually live right in the middle of a city. This is about a block and a half from my house.

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Despite the rumors, we do actually have blue skies in Seattle.

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But the plentiful rain is welcome as it makes all this beauty grow. This weed, which I believe is called something highly uninspired, like Yellow Bush, abounds here. If you are going to have weeds, these are the kind to have (just as long as they stay out of my yard!)

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Speaking of my yard, it is a small little postage stamp in the city that I am very grateful to have. It has been neglected, like everything else around here for a while, but the rain has coaxed the Hostas from the ground, ever amazing!

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And here are my seedlings, hardened and ready to go to the garden, but again, neglected like everything else. Tomorrow I hope.

Well, there you go, that's where I live. Jump on the train. Let's see what it's like in your neck of the woods.