So, I have come to a bit of a... pause on Vivian. I started the second skein and it is darker than the first. As you can see, I went for about 10 rows in denial before confronting the situation, and I'm just not sure what to do.
I know it is common with hand-dyed yarns for there to be variation, but the skeins looked so well matched I completely forgot about the usual recommendation to alternate rows with different skeins.
1) Rip out the second skein and some of the first skein and reknit by alternating rows and do I alternate every 2 rows or every other row (the latter would require more attention as I'd be working from the WS for some RS rows and vice versa). But won't it just look stripy?
2) Rip out the second skein and some of the first skein and reknit with another lighter skein, also alternating rows (I still can't see a difference between skeins but if you compare strands of yarn at the start of each ball, there is a slight difference)
3) Leave as is but start alternating the other lighter skein in now and hope it will all generally blend in once you have the context and scale of the whole piece
On the one hand, ripping out is really annoying, especially with my precious little available knitting time. It would be even more annoying if I ripped out and it didn't look any better or, heaven forbid, even looked worse.
On the other hand, it would be really annoying if I didn't rip out and continued to be bothered by what to me is a fairly obvious transition.
I knew writing this out would help me decide though, because looking over my options spelled out, I'm thinking of going with option 2. Option 1 doesn't really make sense. It looks like I have possibly two slightly lighter skeins, the first of which I have already used, so it makes sense to put those two together and then gradually blend in the darker skeins.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated though! I'm probably going to mull this over a little longer.
One of the hardest things to give up with the baby has been knitting time... but I've been squeezing some in anyway. Vivian is coming along nicely - I finished the first of seven skeins earlier today in the park (good thing I spent precious sleep time in the middle of the night winding the other skeins!)
I'm loving how the MadTosh Worsted is knitting up - lovely and fluffy and soft! The pattern is as great as everyone says too, and easier than it looks, at least so far.
So, remember the maternity clothing I loved from Isabella Oliver? No, I am not being paid to say this, but I did receive an e-mail from them inviting me to an event here in New York on Monday (March 30th) to view the new "365" collection ie a non-maternity ready-to-wear collection for women. The event is 6.30-9.30pm in Chelsea, and you will receive 15% off anything you order that night, so if you're in New York and interested in going, there are a few spaces left, so send me an e-mail (feedbackATtracing.org) and I will get you the details!
Finally managed to cast-off by getting baby to sleep in stroller and heading to a local cafe for some knitting time. Hopefully it isn't too small already. Of course, now I'm kicking myself for not bringing a needle so I can do the finishing too!
I will definitely be doing this more often if it means more knitting time! I love knitting and it's so relaxing - I miss being able to do it more.
And of course, blog posting is way down too, but I am still around and things continue to go pretty well. You can follow me on Twitter (see blog sidebar) for more frequent updatelets...
So I never pulled the trigger and ordered the yarn for Girasole... I'm thinking maybe I start that late summer in preparation for next winter...
In the meantime, I have a fast developing new obsession - Vivian (ravelry, pattern). As is often the case, I love the color it's shown in, except that it's called olive and looks a lot more aqua on my screen so is probably not true to life. Also the specified yarn is not readily available in the US anyway. I'm thinking of using a worsted merino and knitting a size up... I love and am comfortable working with merino. I can't really find the right aqua so actually, I'm thinking,,, pink! Of course, I already have my pink Sundara FSM that I'm planning on making Tempest (ravelry, pattern) with. What is it about pink right now? I think I'm just longing for spring,
Of course, the question is, could I possibly finish this sweater before it's too warm to wear it at all? And is this a crazy pick for my first "real" sweater?
Ok so you probably want to know more than just "we had a baby"...
Our son L. was born just over two weeks ago via c-section - at 8lbs 7ozs he was too big to come out any other way! We did induce labor but after my water broke, there was not much progress and his heart rate started dipping slightly during contractions - nothing serious, but an indication that he would not be coming out that way. So c-section it was. Everyone was very apologetic about it but we were prepared for this likelihood, and actually, a friend of mine who had a c-section last summer had told us not to be scared if it ended up being a c-section because it's really not a big deal, and better than laboring for 24 hours like she did.
I think the concept of a c-section is in fact worse than the reality, and so is the recovery. After all, during the procedure you are completely numb from the waist down and don't feel anything! It is overall pretty weird and mindblowing but then, so is the entire concept and experience of pregnancy and childbirth, at least in my opinion. Even up until the day we were scheduled to go into the hospital, it was hard to believe that a baby was going to come out and after he did, it was hard to believe he was ever inside me!
Meeting our son for the first time was the most incredible thing ever, and so was holding him and feeding him for the first time. In fact, the whole hospital stay was fantastic - we had a great experience, the doctors and staff were all great, and of course we were on this ridiculous high from meeting our baby for the first time. Staying at the hospital was also strangely luxurious, what with the staff on hand 24/7 to look after you and your baby and the endless supplies of pretty much whatever was needed. It all served as a pretty good gradual introduction into our new life - after all, it's pretty much like starting a new job, new relationship and getting a new roommate, all at the same time as recovering from major surgery. It's a lot.
Transitioning home was... harder, but we're getting into the swing of things now, and instead of feeding every 2-3 hours as we were in the beginning, we're down to every 4 hours, which is a BIG difference. Probably I wouldn't have appreciated that if we'd started at every 4 hours but believe me, I appreciate it now!
Everyone always talks about the sleep deprivation, but for me it was the pain, on top of the sleep deprivation, that was/is hardest to handle (as an architect, I am no stranger to sleep deprivation!) Luckily, my c-section recovery went relatively smoothly and was pretty much over after a week. Harder has been back, neck and shoulder pain from my early bad breastfeeding posture - everyone is so focused on the baby's positioning that no one reminds you to make sure your shoulders aren't all tense and hunched over. That's been the biggest challenge really.
Otherwise I think we are incredibly lucky. My parents are here for a while and have been a HUGE help, as has my husband's family - I don't know how people do this without all this support. My husband is back at work now, but my parents watch the baby for a few hours a day, giving me invaluable time to myself to sleep, shower, go for a walk, do laundry, pick up around the house etc. Also, our baby is so cute and sweet and adorable and, at least right now, pretty easy going. He had a great latch right from the start, is gaining weight like a champ (after an initial loss that had us supplementing and pumping and feeding on the horrible every 2-3 hour schedule), and he sleeps well - we can put him down while he's still awake and he will fall asleep by himself, which I gather is a very good thing.
So yes, here we are, with a new person in our house and in our lives. It's still kind of hard to believe but here he is!
The baby's room is coming together. The sofa was delivered on Friday and a friend came over on Saturday to take some pregnancy self-portraits. However, she seemed rather more interested in photographing the giraffes than me... ok, just kidding, but only slightly!
I do so love the giraffes, even if I say so myself. They work perfectly in the room, and I love the room too.
Citrus Zinger captured my imagination from the start and for some reason lead me to... giraffes. Although I wasn't able to obtain other Sundara Sock for the contrast colors, the MadelineTosh worked out great. This was one of those projects that came together just how I imagined it, or possibly better. No, we didn't pick the paint color to match the giraffes but that worked out well too!
Now that I have more Sundara, I'm planning on 100% Sundara giraffes at some time in the future...
I'm not sure it's really possible to remain unspoiled about a Sundara Seasons shipment but anyway, here's some blank space if you are...
So yes, the latest Seasons shipment arrived at our house yesterday... and I did in fact manage to remain unspoiled up until then, although I did see the names of some of the yarns on the ISO/Destash list (yes, the trading frenzy has begun already). For those of you still unfamiliar with the whole Sundara thing, well, let's just say it's kinda hard to explain!
At first I thought my shipment was all wrong as many of the colors looked the same, until I examined the labels and saw that they were in fact different colors, all very dark though. Some people keep their yarn in the bags for better trading but, besides the fact that I don't do that, in this case unwrapping them was a necessity because it was only then that you could see the different colors.
The final verdict = love, of course. I am surprised that the colors are so dark and manly and similar this time around but they are beautiful and as usual look great together as well.
This photo shows the colors pretty true, at least on my monitor:
From left to right: bluebells (spring), aurora borealis (summer), brambleberry (autumn) and night blossom (winter).
I think the first three especially look gorgeous together. Night blossom has more of a reddish tint, although some people have described both their brambleberry and night blossom to be purple - not my skeins!
And of course, here are the obligatory more abstract shots... still loving my camera and the zoom lens. Colors here vary from relatively true to completely off (especially bluebells).
Girasole (ravelry, pattern) has captured my imagination! It feels like it's been a while since a pattern has done that... I did all of my baby boy knitting planning a few months ago and have been very focused on that. Many patterns have caught my eye of course, but I haven't really allowed myself to think about starting a non-baby project. Of course, I have enjoyed the baby knitting, and it's not going to be stopping any time soon, but I'm starting to think it might be a wise luxury to allow myself a project or two for myself as well, so it's not quite all baby all the time around here.
Plus, it's not entirely unrelated to the baby - we finally picked out a sofa bed for the baby's room (yes, the baby's room is huge and is in fact the largest room in the house, so it's more of a family/baby's room). Due to cost and availability, we ended up picking out something a little different to what I had been imagining - it's dark brown leather, but not expensive so it's kind of shiny and, basically, begging for a beautiful hand knit blanket to be draped over it. I think that Girasole would be a) perfect and b) amazing. I've yet to knit any of brooklyntweed's designs and by all accounts, everyone is raving about not just what a great project this is but what a great pattern it is.
The only thing is, what yarn? I know brooklyntweed chooses his yarns very carefully, and as this is a self-published pattern, no one else was involved in his selection for this pattern, so I'm tempted to go with the Cascade Pastaza he used. It comes in the perfect color too - a beautiful heathered blue (0085). The thing is, it's 50% wool, 50% llama, basically pretty much exactly the same as Classic Elite Montera which I used for the asymmetrical wrap and... didn't love it. It was a little hairy for my liking. The fact that it was dark brown probably didn't help. I'm thinking of giving it another chance and swatching with it to see what I think. But really I'm thinking I should probably go with something different... but what? Possibly Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggart Tweed in Big Sky Heather... but it's out of stock.
And colors are so hard online too... should I just order 1 skein to see if I like it?
Or do I give up on blue and go with a natural color of Cascade Eco Wool? (I don't really like any of the Eco+ colors.)