Family of Four

I’ve been scurrying around trying to cram three days of work into one. When we applied to be vendors at the Northwest Regional Spinner’s Association Annual conference we’d assumed that Wesley would be born well before the date and we’d have this week to fully get ready. I’d been printing books, copying dvds and preparing some fiber samples. But having Faith for most of the last five days put me behind in everything. The postmistress was surprised when I kept laying packages to be mailed on the counter, it’d been awhile since we’d mailed that many in one day. We’re heading into a long weekend starting tomorrow morning. The booths are to be opened from 8:30am – 11pm each day. It’ll be interesting to see how well we hold up, especially Ed who normally is in bed by 9pm. To add to that, he’s been off his feet since Saturday when allergies blew up into a severe sinus infection. There isn’t much that keeps him out of the shop for a few days but he’s been sleeping for the majority of time. Tonight he felt as though maybe he’s finally starting to kick it.

Oh, you want to know about the baby?

Wesley finally arrived late Sunday evening, only 12 days after he was predicted to come. Mom and baby are healthy and well. He weighed 8lbs, 8oz.

With daddy about an hour after birth:

Faith had been staying with us since Saturday as well as Friday. Since she and Ed were sound asleep when the phone call came, I left a note and dashed to town to see the newborn son.

The next morning about 10 we took Faith in to see her little brother. On the whole she mostly ignored him and only showed a brief bit of curiosity. She sat next to him only long enough for a couple pictures then scooted off the couch. She stayed with us until late yesterday.

About 12 hours old:


Still Waiting

Wesley is now 11 days past the date the doctor thought he’d come. Mandy’s been having regular contractions every six and a half minutes since last Tuesday. The doc told her they’d induce this evening at 5pm. The kids dropped Faith off here on their way to the hospital this afternoon.

The 48 bed local hospital has garnered a couple national awards including top 100 in the nation. They had so many people from all around the area come there to have their babies that the hospital built a birthing center about five years ago. Then more people traveled even further distances for the great facilities, excellent staff, and super food. They even pass up a major hospital in Salem to use this place. In a town with less than 10,000 people there were 1742 babies born last year. We’ve heard the pace it above that this year. Which means scheduling to induce can be a dicey situation.

About 6 Mandy called to let us know that there were more mothers having babies with three walking in this afternoon and so they don’t have room/staff to induce. Terrible news when you’re so ready and the baby is growing by leaps and bounds. We’ve kept Faith anyway so they can try to have a decent night sleep. They were told to come back at 7am and see if there is space.

This evening Faith played with heddles as I tried to thread the reed. I wasn’t too successful. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been meaning to share this lovely quilt which was made and gifted to me by a dear friend JB. I just love walking into the bedroom and seeing this quilt brightening our somewhat drab room.

The strings ensemble’s year end concert went quite well this afternoon. The program was filled withย  a good mix of lively pieces from Fiocco to Telemann, to Copeland’s Rodea Hoe-Down, with a couple of Bach duets in between. Playing in a string ensemble with various parts and voicings brings deep joy and satisfaction.

More Videos, More WIPS

I’ve posted two more videos: One of Ed making a Turkish Spindle shaft. It’s a silent film. For some reason the sound didn’t record and I still haven’t figured out how to add sound while editing. The second shows the setup of a hairpin loom and the start of making a strip.

Works in Progress?
How about some socks?

Sock Pattern: Brigid

Yarn: Ball and Skein Sock Yarn: Mountain Spring
75% merino / 25% nylon
450 yd. skein … 4 ply
Needles: DPN Brittany US3
The second sock leg part is almost done, the cables seem to make the rounds go by quickly. This is a wonderful introduction to knitting cables.

Want a quick gift idea? Hairpin lace bracelets. Fast and fun.

The first one was for an exchange. To personalize it even more I used some of my handspun silk. The clasp part still needs some refining, at this point I’m just crocheting a knotty ball.

Next I made one for myself with linen thread.

Hairpin Linen Bracelet

I could get addicted.

Linen warp was put on the loom last Thursday. We had Faith on Friday and she spent the night with us not much was accomplished those days but I’m hoping to make decent headway on the my first block rug. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around new concepts for tying up and block weaving.
Linen rug warp
Faith’s little brother was due to make his appearance last Tuesday, May 20th. He’s taking his merry time. I’ve been taking the phone to our bedroom at night, just in case. Faith will be staying with us while Mandy’s at the hospital. Any bets on when he’ll make his appearance?

Walk With Me Wednesday

Morning broke wet, grey and chilly but by noon the clouds were scuttling away. While walking with Ed to check out the state of the two houses being built a couple blocks over, I noticed a neighbor’s wisteria blooming. Back home to grab the camera and head out for a walk to the Maple Tree.

The tree is entangled by wisteria vines and during a very short week or so, the tree drips with blossoms. A show not to be missed. No flowers yet. Closer inspection reveals the buds.

On the way back home I can’t resist a short detour down a bit on embankment and through the tall grass and scattered wild camas bulbs sprouting their blue flowers on this damp hillside. Local Native Americans considered the bulbs a staple in their diet. Warning! Only the bulbs of the blue camas may be eaten, the white flowering camas are poisonous.

Heading back across the bridge I must stop to be mesmerized until a car interrupts the quiet contemplation.

Ed would rather have been down there casting a line in the water these past couple of days.

A Finished Short-Sleeved Pullover

Once again I’ve been struggling to get pictures uploaded to the blog. After stumbling in circles for umteen tries over several days, finally success.

Does anyone remember the cotton summery pullover/sweaters my friend MC and I decided to knit-along with a year ago spring? Somewhere along the way I’d finished the front side but then it drifted to the bottom of the project bag and rested. Until about a month ago I realized that a good friend’s May birthday was soon coming and it be perfect for her. If it was finished in time.

Other than the little baby sweater for Faith 19 months ago, and the Red Sweater KAL top-down raglan sweater finished last autumn, this is only my third sweater and the first time I’ve encountered decreasing on the shoulders and the eventually joining the shoulder seams after both sides were knit.

Pullover Blocked

The pattern writer assumed knitters would know that when she wrote “Working both sides at once, bind off 3 sts from each neck edge 6 times., AT SAME TIME (Pattern words in bold) after 1″ of neck shaping has been worked, bid off from each armhole edge 10 sts twice, 11 sts once.”

Now this make perfect sense to a seasoned knitter but very little to me. Deducing that I was to be binding off at the neck I blithely bound 3 sts both going out and coming back. It took fiddling around to come up with smooth bind-off when coming back to the neck side but, by George, I got it finished and all the loose ends on that side woven in before starting to knit the back side which was exactly the same.

This is when a lapse of at least nine months took place before digging the yarn, pattern and front from the bottom of the bag. In those nine-some months my knitting has finally sped up, a little. Hey, 20 stitches per minute is a vast improvement over the previous slug pace of 12 spm! You know what helped speed it up? (Other than a seemingly endless Red Sweater, a 242 stitch/row lace shawl and a few pairs of socks) I began knitting looser. Unconsciously. As without realizing the looser, faster knitting changed gauge. It was 2/3rds up the backside and laid it out over the front to measure and compare when I saw how different they were, not only in measure and gauge but in feel. The looser gauge makes for a softer feel. But with less than a week left in which to finish it and mail it off I continued upwards.

Remember the shoulder decreases? By this time I’d learned that one decreases only on the forward direction which meant that the front side has half as many rows as it should have, making a shallow neck line. Since both sides are the same the front became the back and the correctly decreased side is now the front.

Following the instructions the sweater was blocked before knitting in the ribbed neckband and sleeve-bands and sewing the seams. (Is this common?)

I diligently, and labouriously, picked up stitches and worked a 1″ neckband. It looked wonky so I tried it on (sorry about the blurry picture!):

This is a summery pullover but the ribbed neck looked heavy and simply too big. I ripped it out Sunday afternoon, crocheted a simple bind-off around the neck and did the same for the arms instead of the ribbed arm-bands pattern called for.

Doesn’t this look better? (Please ignore the fact that raising the arm to take the picture set the pullover off center.)

The picture still doesn’t capture the true jewel tones of the cotton yarn.

Last picture shows the colors.

Since it’s cotton and I wanted to be certain that my friend could toss it in the washer without worries, I washed it on a normal setting, cold water, regular soap. Then it was hung out to dry with the bottom gently tugged into shape.

Pattern: Short-Sleeved Ribbed Pullover by Katarina Ronnlund-Linden
Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer ’87


Yarn: Plymouth Cotton Fantasy Naturale
Needles: Jenkins wooden Circulars US7 & US5 24″L
Finished May 5,08
Overall I’m quite pleased with it. The cotton should get softer with each washing and yet stay durable and comfortable. It would be nice to knit another one someday – for myself. If so, I’d use something with a bit more drape and softer hand, maybe try a bamboo yarn or rayon/cotton blend.

After hanging from the branch and drying all morning it was wrapped in tissue and sent merrily on its way to my friend in Texas. Happy Birthday T!

Of course I had to celebrate – with a haircut. ๐Ÿ™‚

Before, with Faith who has a fistful of newly delivered hand-dyed silk. (That girl has refined taste.) And After haircut.

Three Sentences

A couple days ago John Carlton wrote an article titled: You, the Movie, tell your story in three sentences. This is a fun exercise which I plan to incorporate periodically in my blog.

Three Sentences: A story:
The plan was to spend predawn hours writing before the non-stop day with two young children sapped any creative energy. Quietly stealing into the kitchen for that wake-up cup of coffee, my heart fell at the sound of daughter’s cheerful voice heralding the day. A light sleeper with radar ears doesn’t bode well for early morning writing solitude… I took up running.

Hood to Coast ’85