Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quarter of a Century

For my birthday on Friday Mr Kiwi asked me what I wanted to do for the day. He is very big on the importance of birthdays, so I got to choose whatever I wanted to do all day. I had some things I wanted to do that were pretty important. Such as taking 5 more minutes in the shower, taking my time putting on make-up, actually putting on lotion for the first time in a month, doing my hair, and getting out of the house. And I got them all accomplished, thanks to Mr Kiwi's help in watching after Little Kiwi while I indulged.

The first thing we did while getting out of the house was to go to Article Pract. I had never been to this yarn store before, and had been meaning to since very many of the people I knit with love this place. Finally, I have a chance to go. I must have looked at every ball of yarn they had in the entire store, and I'm sure I spent a good 15 minutes in front of the books section. I had a "birthday budget" that I got to spend, and I was looking for some good knitting books since I already have enough stash to last me a while. My stash will certainly also last longer now that I am knitting much slower than I used to. I picked up the recent issue of knitscene, Knit So Fine, and Fitted Knits. I had considered picking a project from one of the books and buying the yarn then, but I was pushing my budget, we were running out of time for an appointment, and I needed some time to plan, so I skipped the yarn and off we went to a nearby cafe for a quick lunch. Since then, I have also found a number of patterns I am excited to start and are queued up in Ravelry, since I surprisingly have enough yarn in my stash to work on 3 sweaters out of the books.

After lunch at 3pm, we arrived at Brushstrokes Sudio. One thing I knew I wanted for Little Kiwi was imprints of her hands and feet so we can always look back and have something physical to show how small she used to be. We decided to get some extra pieces and give them to grandparents for Christmas gifts. Little Kiwi was not thrilled to have her hands and feet smushed into the clay and screamed almost the whole time. She did well with the first hand print, but she was also so kind to spit up on that clay piece the moment we pressed her hand on it. Lucky for Mr Kiwi, he was filming. Not so lucky for Little Kiwi, he was filming. I'll post pictures of this event (not the spitting up) when we go back in 3 weeks to paint the fired pieces.

Before dinner, we stopped at OSH to pick up 2 containers of ladybugs. I'll write a second post for them because it may get long.
We had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant in Berkeley (where strangely one of the bussers recognized us from the cafe I knit at on Wednesdays, where he also works). Little Kiwi was pleasantly quiet the whole time, and while she cried in the car all the way home, it was very nice to have a peaceful dinner away from home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our Garden

I didn't want to make 2 posts in one day, especially since I have acquired such a great reputation for long periods in between posts, so here is what else happened yesterday morning!

If you remember from here, I had made a cute little vegetable garden that we weren't sure was going to be a success or not. First of all, let's see what the whole thing looks like as of yesterday morning. This is the left side, which is melons, tomatoes, and lemon cucumbers (that you can see from this angle).

This is the right side which is still some cucumbers, mostly pumpkins, and then tall sunflowers.

In the morning, I was poking around, looking at all the plants and checking out the flowers when I saw something really exciting... PUMPKINS!!!

These are about the size of spools of thread. It's really neat to see our first attempt at a garden actually show success! I was too excited taking pictures of the pumpkins that I forgot to take a picture of the tiny watermelon that is (no kidding) the size of a pea. I'll have to do that later today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Soakers and a Wrap

I have finally taken some pictures of a few soakers that I finished... almost a month ago? Wow, has it been that long...
Well, here we go. These are all the Curly Purly pattern, and are in the order that I finished them. I knit them almost one right after another until I couldn't bring myself to knit another soaker (or had a baby.. you know.. one of those).

This one is actually more recent than the others; I just "finished" it on August 9th. It is not entirely complete, because when i went to buy the velcro to actually hold it together, I bought the wrong kind. One side has a sticky backing while the other is sew on. The sticky backing will not work for this project, and I must get the correct ones. Sighh.. Other than that, I think it looks really cute!
The pattern is the WHW Plain Wrap, and it's pretty easy to make! We'll see how it works out, although (yet again) the smallest size they had is still too big. I'm currently making an even smaller one using my own numbers, and hopefully that one will fit soon.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Size Does Matter

One of the problems with having a baby that weighs only 6lbs (at 2 weeks old) is that none of her clothes fit. At all. She looks so silly in just about everything we have (except for 2 kimono shirts), including all the soakers I knit for her that I thought were going to be "too small". She would fit into preemie clothes, but at ~$30 for a single preemie outfit... Everything she has is huge on her teeny little body. Except for one thing.

FunSize First made and gave me a cute little pair of baby socks for her, and tonight I was finally able to get them on her wiggly feet. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much) it was infinitely easier to get the socks on her feet than it was to actually take pictures of said socks on her feet.

These socks are the only thing we have for her that fit perfectly. And they are so cute!!

So thank you, funsize for gifting something we can use now. :o)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thank Yous

I decided that I wanted to knit a Thank You gift for my two midwives for their help and support with the birth of my daughter. What could be a more fitting gift than Womb? I had some pink yarn that was the perfect weight, and after a little digging, I found US8 DPNs. Actually, I found 9 US8 DPNs, and I think I know where the last one is...
Anyhow, knitting womb was pretty fun and quick, which is just what is needed when a constantly hungry baby is in competition with the knitting for attention. Since I had 2 midwives, I made 2 wombs.

Tonight I had a visit at the birth center, so I brought along the little gifts. It is so easy to please them. Unfortunately we forgot our camera, so we didn't get a picture of the glee on their faces when I pulled them out of the bag. I think these were some of the best received gifts I have ever given, and they certainly were fun. I would never have any personal use for them, so I probably won't knit them again, but this was definitely the perfect gift for my midwives and the parts they played in one of the most important days of lives of the Kiwi Family.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

We Goofed

So yesterday Mr Kiwi and I decided we needed to wash baby laundry. We have a bin dedicated to burp cloths, clothes, receiving blankets, etc that is separate from the cloth diapers. Pretty self explanatory, right? Well, through some miscommunication between Mr Kiwi and I as to what is a "soaker" (things I knit) and what is a "diaper cover" (non-knit things), the little white soaker managed to make it into this laundry bin. I knew it had been placed in there (I think I asked 10 times where it was before doing the laundry) but for some reason it kept escaping me to take it out before washing the clothes. I didn't remember it was in there until everything was thrown in the dryer. Of course this wasn't helped by the fact that almost all baby clothes we have are white. Why do they do that? Babies are messy; why is white, the color that just about every stain will show up on, the most prevalent in baby outfits? So of course, the white soaker blended in with all the other white clothing.

All knitters should be cringing about now. Soakers are made from 100% wool to give them the high absorbency that they are used for. 100% wool when stuck in a washer which has heat + agitation and then in a dryer that also has heat + agitation, and yes, even in a front loading HE washer... will felt. I figured the damage was done, and I might as well fish it out at the end of the cycle.
Sure enough, it had felted. Not nearly as bad as I had expected it to, but the fabric was denser and it was a bit smaller than it had been before going in. I brought it into the house to show Mr Kiwi what had happened and to explain the difference in terminology and where things belong. Covers get washed with the diapers. Soakers are knit and get washed by hand. They don't go in the bin with clothes or diapers, and must have a designated area somewhere else. This is what happens to machine washed soakers.

We looked at the soaker for a minute, and looked at the 6lb baby, then back at the soaker. One of us got the bright idea to see if it still fits, since everything we have is huge on her. We pick her up, go to the changing table, and stuff her (gently of course) into the newly felted soaker. Surprise, surprise, it fits better now than it did before. Previously, it was huge and bulky, but now it fits like it should. This of course won't last long, but it is nice to know that A. we now have at least 1 thing that fits her properly, and B. the soaker is not a complete loss.