Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sewing Project!

So it was really easy. All I had to do was a little cutting, a little hemming, and a little measuring and stitching. And here we have Mr Kiwi modeling the sling with the sleeping Juniper curled up inside.

I have enough different fabrics to make at least 3 more, and possibly add some pockets to the tails.

I Have A Good Excuse!!

Like anyone still reads this because of my more and more infrequent posting, but this time, I have a really good excuse for not posting in over a week. Really, I do!

That excuse is little Juniper.

She was born on July 21st (16 days before due date) at 12:04am (or 00:04), and weighed 6lbs 1oz. The morning of the 20th if you had told me that the next time I went to sleep it would be with a baby in my arms, I would have laughed at you. Actually, you could have told me at 9:30pm that night and I still would have laughed. It was a very fast labor (1hr 45mins!!) and we made it to the birth center just in time. Any later, and she would have been born in the car.
She is a trooper little baby and I am so proud to have her. We are all doing fine, although my knitting time has suffered a bit. I did however get one crafty project in yesterday, and that was to make our own sling! I had previously (in April, even, I think) purchased fabric I would need as well as the rings, and had anticipated working on them a little later. Well, schedules change, and I made my first sling yesterday. It's a big hit with the baby who loves to be carried and cries when the carrier stops walking... even if it is 3am... and it's just as much a hit to the Mr. who is now glad to be able to carry the baby while still having the ability to use his hands for other things. He's much happier taking her for a walk around the neighborhood this way instead of full in his arms.
We'll be taking pictures tonight and they will be posted shortly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Backyard Garden

I can't believe I haven't posted about this! One of the draws to the new house was that I had free reign over the yard. I had big plans to make my first garden full of flowers and veggies and was really excited. The problem? I was starting out with dirt that's worse than clay. This ground had not be watered in over a year, aside only from the rain California had in the winter. So this is what I had to start with:This was what it looked like the morning of June 22. I had already planned and prepared for my garden to be, so I had planted sprouts that were waiting to have a more permanent home. For example, these pumpkins that I started from seeds.
We had bought sand, top soil, bricks, and tools and dug up the rock hard dirt in the corner of the yard. It took all day (on the first 100°F+ day of the summer) and half of the next before we were done. At the end, this is what it looked like, and I was quite proud of my new baby.
Each day I walk outside to pay attention to and water the garden, I am completely surprised at how amazing it is doing. Nearly a month after we set out to make a garden, this is what we have:

So, my first garden is looking like it's a success. Bees are visiting, and flowers are getting pollinated. Vines are sprouting, and I already have the start of my first yellow bell pepper! It's only about the size of a quarter, but it keeps getting bigger every day.
So this garden is yet another reason why I am slow to update and not being as productive in my knitting as I should be. Speaking of which.. progress really has been made. I'll post tomorrow instead of having one huge disjointed post tonight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Soaker Mania!

I've done as much cooking ahead as I can do at this point due to a way too small freezer, where almost half of it is consumed by an icemaker (which of course is a waste of space since it doesn't even work). I have 8 bags of dinners frozen which should be 8 dinners for 3 people. Assuming my mom is out here at the time, being the third person of course. I'm pretty proud of myself for the planning ahead, and hope that a week of meals is enough.

When I'm not cooking, I'm working on knitting soakers. They're pretty quick, even if my knitting productivity has slowed way down. By the time I take pictures of the last 2 I have finished, I have 2 more that need to have pictures taken. I've started my 6th soaker. Woo hoo! I've gotten pretty good at the Curly Purly pattern, so 5 of the 6 are the same pattern, just various sizes, colors, and yarns. I had wondered for a long time what I was going to do with the remaining yarn from the Frog Purse that I knit 2 years ago. Because of the red and green, it looks like I have Christmas soakers in my stash, however I have not knit a red and green soaker. One was red and white, however...

Once I finish the soaker I started yesterday, I think I am going to work on a cover-up for nursing during the colder months. While at Stitches West in February, I picked up this booklet, and some of the tops would be excellent. I'm thinking the Sanpoku would be excellent. I just have to make sure I have enough yarn for it. It will also be nice to have a break from soaker knitting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Large scale cooking

Today is my second day on maternity leave. I have had plans of things to do to keep from going insane being cooped up in the house all day. Over the weekend, Mr Kiwi and I went to Costco to buy some ingredients for me to do some massive cooking for freezing and having on hand when I'm too exhausted to even think about what to eat. I bought ingredients for Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, and Beef stew. Today (after a mid morning nap) I set on to cooking the lasagna. I cooked everything to the point of assembling it, then instead of in the oven, it went into the freezer for a few hours to thicken up. I then cut it into thirds and each third went into a freezer bag with the cooking time and temperature written on it.

While waiting for the lasagna to freeze, I started the eggplant parm. I had to wait until I transferred the lasagna before I could assemble the eggplants, since 1. My freezer is small and 1/2 of it is absorbed by an ice maker that does NOT work, and 2. I wanted to reuse the same pan since I was making enough mess with dishes anyhow.

I had plans to also do the beef stew today, but because of the freezer size (I want everything to cool flat as long as possible before I tilt them at funky angles) and the fact that my feet and lower back are pretty sore, I think that will be saved for Thursday.

I feel pretty good knowing that no matter when the baby comes, I won't have to worry about what to eat. I'll have at least 3 meals ready to go and all I'll have to think about is what sides to make. I feel pretty accomplished knowing that I'll have a couple of weeks' worth of meals already ready to go.

I've also finished another soaker since the last post, and am half way through another one.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Owed Pictures

Man, I used to be so good at posting in a timely manner! Now, I really stink at doing any sort of updating, let alone a good picture post.

But here we go!
I have everything that I talked about in this post; 3 quick soakers and a baby sweater that I had just started at the time, but have just finished* today!

*Yes, I still have to add buttons to the back. I didn't realize I needed buttons when I started.

I made 2 soakers from the Curly Purly Pattern that seems to be quite popular.
The first soaker I decided to knit in the newborn size since, well.. I'm going to be having a newborn, not a toddler. Makes sense to me. Having never had a newborn before, I am *still* unsure of their size. it looked pretty small to me when i completed it, but it seems as though it might be the perfect teeny size for the first few weeks.

The other Curly Purly soaker I made was in the next size up. I also decided to try some color work! I made a row of three little white hearts in the background of red. These are really excellent stash busting projects, since I was wondering when and how I was going to use up my remaining Cascade220 from various felting projects that I had previously done. I think this one I am most pleased with, not just because of the hearts, but I like the size. This of course may change once I actually find out what size a real baby is.

This last one is from Ms Crafty Galore. I liked doing this pattern because it was slightly different from the Curly Purly, (and gave me excellent practice on kitchner stitch) but I am not sure how pleased I am going to be when actually putting it to the test. Where I picked up around the leg holes are slightly bigger and floppier than I would like, leading me to suspect that it would be enough for leaking. I'm going to have to figure out what I want to do with those; maybe undoing them and changing to smaller needles or doing a rolled cuff instead. This one ended up being the largest of the three soakers and was made with Crystal Palace Fjord, instead of Cascade.

Finally, I have the Sirdar #3170 sweater I had made (and realized I massively messed up on KIP day). The mess up wasn't a big deal, and I certainly like it better now that I have it knit up correctly. Just today I finished seaming and weaving in the ends. That counts for something on timeliness, right?! Seaming really was a pain, but I stuck through it knowing that if I didn't get it all done today I wasn't going to want to touch it or any other knitting for a little while. I am very happy with the final result and can't wait to stick a baby in it! Planning ahead, I made the 3-6 month size, since well... I can't think of anyone who would want to be stuck in this thing during the whole month of August, and by the time winter hits, look at that! The Little Bit will be ~3-4 months old, falling in the age-size thing that baby patterns seem to go by. Hopefully my plan works. This was also knit using Plymouth Yarn's DreamBaby DK.

So there ya go! The knitting I have been working on as of late. Tonight, I think I may start another soaker and bust through more Cascade. I'm going to have to buy more wool for this purpose. Hmm.. what should I use?