Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chris' brother and his wife surprised us on Saturday morning with their arrival. They had told us they were going to arrive on Sunday morning and Chris was going to go out to the airport to meet them. Well, guess who turned up at our doorstep bright and early! Had they been 30 seconds later, they would have missed Chris as he was about to go get his car washed. In fact, he was about 10m from the car when they pulled up!

They loooooove Alex, and you know what? Alex looooooooooooves the attention even more. He's been putting on a show of maximum cuteness to get even more attention.. ah my boy, the flirt :)

I have started a pair of pants for him. I decided to use up two odd balls of sky blue Zara merino wool that I have hanging around - knit from the stash, right? This time, I am knitting the pants top down. So far, so good. I am even going to attempt to knit the legs simultaneously on circular needles. Wish me luck!

I got half way down the top part and thought I didn't have enough yarn, so I added a navy blue stripe. Now I am thinking that maybe I didn't need to after all. I think I will have enough, but I am not going to rip back.. I'll just keep knitting. I am about to join the crotch and separate for the legs. Pictures as soon as I get around to taking them. My plan is to join the crotch bit using a three needle bind-off, totally eliminating any need to seam. Do you think it will work? Wait and see!

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Friday, March 23, 2007
My boy has pants!

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And here they are, modeled by the little man.

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As you can see they are still too large for him. That's deliberate. I didn't want him to grow out of them too quickly and seeing how quickly he is growing, I thought I should make the next size up - just in case, you know. I used a 63% cotton 37% acrylic yarn. As it will not shrink I didn't knit in extra length as indicated in the pattern. Oh, and the pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

On Wednesday, Alex and I visited one of his little friends, Bernice.

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From the picture, you'd never guess that the two were meant to have been born on the same day. Alex was 11 days early and Bernice was 10 days late and as a result, the two are now about 3 weeks apart. I guess a 3 week age gap is quite significant when we are still referring to their ages in terms of weeks. In a year or two it will be negligible, but something tells me Alex will always be a big boy and Bernice will always be a delicate little girl. At 6.5kg, Alex looks like a giant next to his petite 4.5kg little friend.

When Bernice's mum, Danielle, was taking the photo, I was afraid that Alex will elbow Bernice or worse still, lose his balance and flatten Bernice! I was trying to distract him with a rattle - that's my hand you can see in the picture.

Earlier in the week, while Alex was at daycare, I went shopping. I went a little nuts at Spotlight, and ended up with these cotton fabrics.

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The blue muslin at the bottom has already been turned into extra-large wraps for Alex. I love the green sheepy fabric. I have used 1.5m for an autumn wrap for Alex and the remainder is destined to be trousers for Alex. The cow and animal print fabrics will also be turned into trousers for Alex. As the weather becomes cooler, I think he will need more trousers for daycare and I think the home-made ones are so cute. I am not much of a seamstress but I think the pants will hold up for at least one season.

Chris' brother and sister-in-law will be arriving from Jersey on Sunday. I can't wait. The last time I saw Chris' brother was at our wedding last year. He's always good fun, and I do miss him. I think they have already got some fun and games planned for the time, including a poker challenge and a pictionary one.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
When I don't have a baby hanging off me

Alex had his first day at childcare on Monday, and it went well. I stayed with him for the first hour to make sure he was ok, and he was. By the time I picked him up in the afternoon, he had drunk both bottles of milk and had had two cat naps and two longer ones. All in all he was doing well. the carers seemed to like him enough. He is the youngest baby they have had in a long while, and aside from another baby (who is four months old now), the other children are all at least 6-9 months older.

When I went to pick him up, the other children were playing outside and I didn't see Alex. i was about to ask one of the carers where he was when I thought to look into the cot room, and there he was, fast asleep in the arms of a carer who was cradling him. It was really sweet of her. He was having a bit of a cry before that and since she wasn't too busy she thought she'd comfort him by rocking him. It worked too, as he was sound asleep.

They had put a pair of pants on him as they thought he might be cold in his romper and asked that I put a pair of pants in his bag next time just in case it's needed. All the pants I have for him are too big at the moment and so I have to buy/make him some before he goes in again.

When I arrived home, guess what was waiting for me at the door....

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Cynthia had knitted a pair of pants for him and sent it all the way from Boston. Thank you, Cyn! What a timely gift! As you can see, he's not going to grow out of them any time soon. I know they are meant to shrink, but I have hand-washed them twice (once in warm/hot water) and they are still very large. I will have to try machine-washing them to see if they shrink any more.

I thought the pants were so cute that I decided to start a pair of my own.

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I dug out some odd balls of a cotton/acrylic blend and started knitting. I am making them to fit Alex now, or at least I hope they will fit. I am about halfway up the second leg, so not much more to go before I finish. Hopefully it will be done by tonight. It can be, if Alex is good and gives me some knitting time, but otherwise I will just have to pop a pair of his too-long-and-too-big-pants into his bag tomorrow.

Like, Cynthia, I am using the pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It seems to be an easy enough pattern. As my yarn will not shrink, I am using the post-shrinkage finished measurements. Let's see if they can be done by tonight...

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See the toy beside Alex? That was given by a friend who is now living in UK. She's the one for whom I made these mittens and a hat last year using alpaca handspun. It's very sweet of her to have thought of us even though she's busy planning her own wedding now. Congratulations, CY!

On the weekend, I tried to 'wean' myself from ALex. I don't think he minds being away from me, but I missed him terribly when I left him with Chris for a few hours last week. This is where I went with Lara, her husband Mark and Sharlyn. I had a ball learning to play mahjong. On the way home, I sent Chris a text message to see how Alex was doing since I had not heard from him all afternoon. This is what he wrote back:
"Sound asleep! No feed yet"

He had a pretty good afternoon with Alex. Aside from some thirty or so minutes of crying, he had absolutely no trouble. I came home to find a sleeping baby. Why doesn't he sleep that well for me?! I am glad it went well, though. The less trouble he is, the easier it is to find willing baby-sitters*.

*Though I do think that when it's your own child, it should not be considered baby-sitting!

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Friday, March 09, 2007
Photobucket is back up and running

This is just a quickie post with all the piccies I didn't post last night.

I was so angry with myself when I discovered (some 2 1/2 inches into the knitting of it) that I had not been careful not to twist when I joined to knit in the round.

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So rip rip rip we went, and started again.

The results?
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I am wondering whether I should crochet a little flower to go on it. What do you think?

Oh, and I also forgot to mention that his came for me in the post yesterday:

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I have no idea who sent it but I think the idea is pretty novel. You can send handwritten notes to friends or strangers from this site. Okay, so own up - who among you sent it?

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Thursday, March 08, 2007
New Knitty is out

I like this, and this, and this.

Of course the Vestee is for the little guy and the other two are for me. As it comes in two sizes - 12 months and 18 months, I will make the larger one - just in case, you know, since he is growing so quickly. I have brand new photos of him to share, but photobucket is playing up at the moment.

Ribena will be ideal for wearing to work during the autumn and spring months. Well, if I expect to be able to wear it this coming autumn, I'd better get started. I am sure I have a few balls of a suitable DK weight yarn somewhere. After all, my stash is large enough!

As for Isabella, well.. I'd like to knit it, but it's too casual for work. It will be something I can wear on weekends. I guess I'd best make it in baby-vomit-proof colours! A 4 ply cotton yarn is easy enough to substitute. I am sure I'll find something in my stash as well.

Another thing I'd love to knit for myself this winter is a shrug. I need something warm that I can wear to the office.

Okay, it may sound like I am currently obsessed with clothes to wear to the office. It's true, I am. I am not quite back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet and there isn't much in my wardrobe that I can wear to work. I intend to go shopping some time in the next few weeks if I don't lose any weight before then. In the mean time, I am trying to scrape together a few presentable outfits that are not baggy (i.e. maternity wear) or obscenely tight.

As I mentioned, photobucket is acting up, so no pictures for now.

I have completed another project that never made it onto my sidebar. A friend of a friend was recently re-diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis isn't so great. She's undergoing chemotherapy at the moment and if it's anything like the last time, she will lose her hair. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose one's hair, in addition to everything else that a cancer patient has to go through.

I decided to make her a hat. I don't know whether she will ever wear it. I don't even know whether it's her colours, but I thought it would be a nice gesture. I was told she likes bright colours, so I chose a hand-dyed slubby yarn in bright pink and light green. It's turned out quite well. It's a cloche style hat. I'll call it "Barb's Hat" and the pattern is as below:

Using waste yarn, cast on 80 stitches on a circular needle or a set of dpns.
Round 1: using main yarn, knit around and join at the end
Round 2-26: knit around
Round 27: (knit 8, k2tog) repeat around
Round 28,30,32,34,36,38,40, 42: knit around
Round 29: (knit 7, k2tog) repeat around
Round 31: (knit 6, k2tog) repeat around
Round 33: (knit 5, k2tog) repeat around
Round 35: (knit 4, k2tog) repeat around
Round 37: (knit 3, k2tog) repeat around
Round 39: (knit 2, k2tog) repeat around
Round 41: (knit 1, k2tog) repeat around
Round 43: k2tog around
Cut yarn leaving an 8-10 inch tail. Thread tail through remaining stitches and pull tight to close. Weave tail in on the wrong side of the hat.

Unravel waste yarn and place all 80 stitches on the needles. Using main yarn, continue as below:
Round 1,3,4,6,7,9,11: Knit
Round 2: (Knit 3, knit into front and back of stitch), repeat around
Round 5: (Knit 4, knit into front and back of stitch), repeat around
Round 8,10,12: purl around
Cast off.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007
B1's mitts

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I suddenly remembered that it's B1's birthday on Wednesday and we were invited to her birthday party on Saturday - that's today. Now, if there's anyone who would wear hand-knit socks, hats and mittens, it's B1. She has started knitting recently and is knitting a garter stitch scarf for herself. I thought she'd like some fingerless mitts for the coming winter as she often has cold hands and feet.

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I chose a skein of 100% alpaca DK (8ply) yarn from my shop in the 'moody blues' colourway as B1 likes blue. It's quite an easy pattern with twisted stitch 'faux cables' going around and a ribbed thumb gusset for a comfortable fit. If you are interested in the pattern, send me an email or leave me a comment with your email address as I am looking for a couple of test knitters. It didn't take me long to knit each mitt. I cast on last weekend and the pair was done by midweek.

I also cast on a hat in the leftover yarn but by 10am this morning I gave up all hope of getting it done before the lunch party. I did manage to complete it this afternoon but by then it was too late. I'll just have to keep it somewhere *safe and give it to B1 the next time I see her.

This project was so quick that it didn't even make it onto my sidebar as it was completed between posts.

The Regia Banner socks, on the other hand, are still on the needles. It's coming along slowly - like reaaaaally reaaally slowly. I have turned the heel and am working on the foot of the second sock now, so they are closed to being completed.

Alex was pronounced healthy by both the early childhood health nurse and the paediatrician this week. That's such a relief to hear, not that we really doubted that he is a healthy little boy.

He also got his 2-month vaccinations on Friday. I approached it with some worry as the paperwork I had received from the hospital indicated that there's a fair chance that he'll have some sort of mild reaction to the vaccinations. Well, that and also that I thought I would have to deal with a crying fussy baby for the rest fo the day and I was not sure that I felt up to dealing with that. It was almost as if Alex knew that we weren't just 'going for a walk' in the stroller. He cried almost as soon as we left home. He cried all the way to the doctor's surgery, and while in the waiting room and while in the doctor's room waiting for the doctor to prepare his needles. The doctor got me to hold him while the needles went in - one on each thigh. Almost immediately after the needles were out, he stopped crying! So what was all that fuss about? What a little silly billy...

Oh, and I should add that aside from a slightly red patch on his thigh (where the needle went in), Alex is unscathed from the experience. He's well enough today to attend B1's birthday lunch!

*The last hat I made for her got lost under the mess that is my study table and was not given to her till nearly a year after it was completed!

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