Baby Boots

I’ve been experimenting a bit with drafting some of my own patterns. This is a little pair of socks (or are they booties?) that I did. I knitted the sole first, and then picked up the stitches to knit the rest. It could use some refining, but I think they’re kind of cute!

Baby Socks

The almost luminescent yarn is Madeline Tosh DK. It’s thicker than most DKs and really knits up as a worsted or aran weight, at least it did for me. I made a baby (toddler?) sweater out of it too, which is currently blocking.

I also want to make some dinosaur slippers and I may even felt them. With short rows you can make some really fun creative shapes with knitting – check out this stegosaurus spine in Cascade 220 sport.

Knitted Ridges


I knit this cowl a couple of weeks ago in Malabrigo Rasta and I’ve been wearing it ever since.

Super quick knit, so I think that at least one person will be getting one for a Christmas present. The pattern is Marian.


Also, we went to Knit City this weekend, which was such a blast. So much yarn in one place! I loved it.

Cool Weather Round-Up

It’s been cool weather again, so all the sweet summer shorts and dresses are being put away. But that’s okay… time for wool! Here’s my most recent project, Lush. It’s wee bit big I think — the 3/4 length sleeves are almost full length and the collar’s wide. But that’s okay — this girl is growing like a weed.


And here’s my Owlet. I finished it in the spring while on bed rest, but with our warm weather it wasn’t getting worn much. Now it’s back in action, so I’m glad I made the sleeves longer than required. I think it will see this little man through the winter.


And here it is being worn out and about. This photo was taken on P’s birthday at a heritage farm where they have two sheep named Sock and Sweater!


Last but not least – an O+S Forest Cape, made with blue wool suiting and a lining from the Liberty of London lifestyle collection (i.e. their quilting cotton.) Also some adorable ceramic buttons I got on Etsy – the top is a duck and the others are raindrops. This pattern is quite quick, and is perfect for this in-between fall weather.

Forest Cape

Here’s M actually modelling it. She insisted that C be in the picture too.

Forest Cape

More Gemini

Here are some more pictures of the summer Gemini sweater I knitted.  The Gemini can be worn either backwards or forwards, hence the name. Given the “twin” thing I thought it would be fun to pose with each of the twins.  Pardon the messy hair!

Gemini - One View

(with Cora)

Gemini - Other View

(with Bea)

I think I’ll wear it almost exclusively in the second (“Bea”) view, though I’ll have to think about what to wear underneath. A pretty camisole would work.  I love this pattern and love the fit too. I’m also sort of inspired to do a long sleeved wool version for winter, as it’s such a versatile pattern.

I’m also trying to knit one little sweater for each child this year. P has his Owlet – need to blog that soon as it’s been finished for months. I’m about a quarter of the way through knitting Lush for M, which has a lovely lace detail. And I’ll probably just do one simple pull-over and one that’s a bit more fancy for the twins, and they can trade off wearing each.  Then again, maybe I’ll skip baby sweaters and do baby pants.  Decisions, decisions.

Ode to Joy

I love finding random child-eye view pictures on my camera.

Child-Eye View

I finally finished my linen Gemini, (a free pattern) just in time to enjoy it for summer. 100% linen is not that much fun to knit with – it has no give, and slips off the needles constantly, which was especially annoying when I was doing the sleeves on double-pointed needles.  It’s sort of like knitting with a piece of twine.  Since I’m never able to knit for more than a few minutes at a time due to constant interruptions, I was constantly putting it down and losing stitches and having to pick them up. I also wish I’d use a stretchier cast-off at the bottom.  It’s also very hard to get the gauge consistent when you’re knitting with something that has no give at all, although I’ve decided that lends it a “rustic” air.  Ultimately, I think the pain and suffering made me a better knitter, and I love the end result.  I will knit with linen again… some day!

Blocking the Gemini

I had a few trying moments this week. For one thing, leaving the house with two seems like a monumental task. Neither loves being on their back, which means that whoever is in the stroller is always crying, or considering it. Even a trip to the coffee shop three blocks away requires significant planning and several tours around the block until whoever’s in the stroller falls asleep. Once there, I have about 7 minutes to order and scarf it down before she wakes again. On the other hand, strapping one to my chest is super-easy as they both love it. So last night after a day of being house-bound, three children and I went for a long, lingering walk around the neighbourhood, Peter wearing his Parsley Pants.

I’m constantly on the hunt for a very easy, basic pant pattern. The Sandbox Pants Pattern is pretty good. And the Field Trip Cargo Pants are a big hit here, but highly involved. Japanese pattern books have some great easy pants patterns too. How do the Parsley Pants compare? Well, I do like the infinite number of options all of which are explained in some detail in the 55 (!!) page pattern. Also, the shape is quite a universally appealing one. I was surprised at how small they were. I cut out a size 6 for my not-quite-six year old, and they weren’t quite as flared as I expected. I also wrongly assumed that I’d have quite a big margin on the hem, given that P is of pretty average height, but there was zero room to spare. I’ll cut out a size up next time.

I opted for the knee patches in a fun Michael Miller print.  I cut out a slightly smaller size knee pad and left the edges raw as I thought that would be cute after a few washings.  I also did the flat front option, and French seams for extra sturdiness.  (Not sure if she covers French seams in the pattern – that was just me.)

Parsley Pants

And in between the insanity and stolen crafty moments, there are moments of joy. Cora started smiling. Not just a little smile too, but a big giant series of smiles. She’s about six weeks from her due date, so it was right on cue, but when you’ve been waiting four months for a real smile, it’s pretty dramatic. I could almost here that enormous swell of Ode to Joy playing in the background as she thought about it, and slowly, slowly built up to this enormous grin. (At about 5:06 in that link, though the whole scene is worth watching!)


I’m itching to sew a bit again. It’s kind of tough though, as sewing itself would be fine, but sitting and cutting requires a lot of movement. Still, I did spend some time cutting out a girl’s dress this week which was only four pattern pieces.

And I had some works-in-progress that had been languishing in my closet since we moved, even though all that needed done was sewing on the waistband and buttons. I tackled these Oliver+S Sleepover Pajamas last week. After all, April is a good time to make flannel pajamas, right??

Unfortunately my model was not cooperative and kept running or walking.

Sleepover Pajamas

When I finally convinced her to pose, she insisted it be in the darkest spot in the house.

Sleepover Pajamas

My second model was a bit more cooperative, but he refused to smile. Or to let me comb his hair.

Second Sleepover Pajamas

And the youngest members of the family were not be left out – they got a knitted baby blanket. Some day I will tell them how half this blanket was knitted while I waited in the hospital for monitoring.

Chevron Baby Blanket

Oh and just for fun, here’s an oldie but a goodie – a smock I made a couple of years ago has been refound and reclaimed by a child who is a much more enthusiastic painter.


And that folks, is whole lot of crafting for one week. Although that’s because 97% of it occurred in other weeks…

P.S. Why is Flickr so annoying at times? You preview the entry – the photo is there. Then it’s gone. Then you put it back. Then it’s gone again. ARGH!

Spruce Forest

This shawl was definitely my most ambitious project to date, and I think it would have taken me about a year if I hadn’t been on modified bedrest (took a quick break for some photos in the yard!) As it was, I finished it in a couple of weeks. Like my Levenwick and my Rockaway, this was a pattern put out by Brooklyn Tweed and has the evocative name of Spruce Forest. I tried this pattern about a year ago, but I didn’t have the skill level at the time, so it ended up frogged. Looking at the acres of fingering weight yarn I’ve accumulated, especially the spruce green one, I decided to give it another shot. I think the Lacy Socks were good preparation, because once I got through the first bit of it, I got the hang of it quickly, learned to “read” my stitches, and made relatively few mistakes. I put in lifelines every 20 rows or so but only had to frog back to them once.

Spruce Forest Shawl

I LOVE this garment! Why aren’t shawls more popular? I think I’m going to need at least one more… although I will do a slightly smaller, heavier-weight one. But this is going to be perfect for summer evenings, or for nursing in the summer time. (Ravelry project link here.)

And just for you guys, a nice big 28 and a half week belly shot! Everyone’s still hanging in there, and we’re trying to make every day count. I had a little scare earlier this week with one of my non-stress tests. Baby B had a long deceleration which alarmed the nurse, so I hung out in labour and delivery at the hospital for five hours while they did some monitoring. All seemed reasonably well, so they sent me home again. I think the stress kicked up a bunch of contractions (or maybe the contractions kicked up the decelerations), but I was very strict with my bedrest yesterday and things seemed to settle down again.

Spruce Forest Shawl

Labour and delivery is such a fascinating place – there are little tragedies and miracles happening all the time. The woman next to me was told her baby had intrauterine growth restriction – which is usually a sign the placenta is not working well and the babe will need to come early. Like me, she’d had a bad non-stress test so she was there for longer monitoring, and they urged her to come back the next day so they could keep an eye on things. Another woman came in laughing and smiling announcing she was in labour then stood there for ten minutes chatting with someone she’d run into. Listening, I wanted to pull back the curtain and say “Girl, you are NOT in labour! Go home because this baby is not coming until at least tomorrow.” I resisted the urge, but I think someone else eventually sent her home. There was another twin mom there too, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on with her. And then there’s me, applying more ultrasound gel to my belly, and quietly adjusting the settings on the monitor while untangling a big ball of yarn for my next project… a baby blanket.

Knitting Therapy

Someone asked if I was engaging in knitting therapy and I most certainly am. And proving that crafters are some of the most generous people, my knitting instructor even came over to give me an at home lesson since I had to drop out of the class I was taking.

I’ve finished all my works in progress – the main one being Levenwick, which I cast on back in August before the crazy part of 2012 – selling our house, moving twice, P starting school, getting pregnant – descended on us. Of course I couldn’t remember the needles I’d used, and my knitting gauge and consistency has changed considerably. The top part is a little imperfect but I love it, and it works very well as a maternity sweater even though I can only get the top couple of buttons done up.


Knitting is soothing and keeps the mind from being too active. Also, it can be done while reclining, which I am supposed to be doing nine hours a day. Even typing is hard to when lying down.

The day I found out about the rupture my blood pressure rose up through the roof. The nurse kept saying “That can’t be right!” Then I pulled P’s unfinished Owlet out of my bag and started a row of stockinette. She wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my arm again a few minutes later and my pressure was back within normal range.

I say “found out” because I’d been ruptured a week at that point, but they couldn’t confirm it. After two trips to labour and delivery, they scheduled a follow-up ultrasound to confirm all was well. Instead, they could see there was water pooling between the two babies. The doctor who’d seen me at L&D when I initially went in came in to give me the news. She has this incredibly calm manner and so I took a deep breath and headed off to my appointment.

First they sent in the resident who started telling me there was no rupture again. “No it’s been confirmed now” I said. He insisted it wasn’t and told me women were mistaken about this all the time. “You’d be surprised!” he said. “I have two children and I don’t get surprised” I said. Turns out he hadn’t seen the ultrasound report yet. Soon, another doctor came in. She had that warm reassuring manner like the first doctor, so I cried. She got me a sandwich since I’d been waiting to see her for so long.

That was a month ago and now we’re now at 26 and a half weeks. We’re entering 80 to 90% territory in terms of survival which is always reassuring. Although 10-20% is still kind of scary especially because there are mitigating factors that make things riskier for these two, especially Twin B. A is the most active baby I’ve ever had. She’s constantly kicking and squirming and twisting. She’s breech and she butts her little head up against my belly. B, my little ruptured B, is my quiet one. I imagine this is as much a function of having less room in there as it is of her personality, but I still think of her as the subdued type. Last night I felt her hiccups for the first time. I always loved that feeling with P. But instead of just enjoying it, it starts a cascade of thoughts – She’s drinking which means there must be fluid around her right now. She needs fluid to keep exercising her lungs and kidneys so she’ll have the best shot on the outside. But don’t bump around too much in there B, or the leak will get worse.

And time ticks on – M and P go to the park, or go on bike rides and playdates. J buys groceries and run errands. And I move from upstairs to down, or take my occasional field trip to the hospital. I get anxious when the kids are away from me, which is strange because when I’m at work I never worry about them. But at home in bed or lying on the sofa all I have is time to think. I try to stay away from the PPROM websites, of which there are many, but I can’t always resist. Many are positive, many are not. The ones that scare me most are the ones who make it weeks like I have and then still go wrong, but I have to just rely on the fact that I can’t control that, and take comfort every day when the nurse comes and finds their heartbeats galloping away.

P took a music camp over spring break and came home singing about Mozart and Vivaldi. He even painstakingly copied out some sheet music. Of course he chose to do this while we were all eating dinner, but who wants to stop genius for a meal?