Monday, January 24, 2011

Pregnancy and Knitting, Part 2

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common side-effect of pregnancy as fluid retention increases and nerves are compressed. Repetitive hand-movements aggravate the problem. Guess what is characterized by repetitive hand-movements? Knitting!

And for me, specifically knitting with the shorter needle tips found on 16 inch circulars. I started a hat that my mother had requested on Saturday and knit on it all that day and part of yesterday. By halftime of the Packers-Bears game, I realized I couldn't go on. My wrists ached and the pain was starting to shoot up my arm. I did not knit at all during the Steelers game. (Superbowl, yeah!!!)

The pain is only marginally better this morning, and of course, I'm not helping matters by typing on the computer. I think this is the end of hat-mania for awhile.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Won!

I never win anything. I'm the person who sits at the prize drawings at Maryland Sheep and Wool, breathless with anticipation and then bitter at going home empty-handed. One year, Yvonne and I got so excited and then disappointed over a Lexie Barnes bag that we ended up bruising each other.

So imagine my surprise when I was one of the prize-winners for the 10 Shawls in 2010 group on Ravelry. I won my choice of Wolle's Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton. It's a three-ply, fingering weight, 100% cotton yarn. Looking at pictures on Ravelry, it blocks surprisingly well in lace patterns and looks fantastic in patterns like Citron. My choice was Desert Clay:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Steelers Fan in Training

When I found out I was pregnant, I had the same urge I imagine knitters all around the world have: CAST ON SOMETHING SMALL AND CUTE. But, having been through pregnancy loss, I was superstitious and cautious. I allowed myself to make one thing and one thing only, telling myself and my coworkers that it was a shop sample.

Who can resist booties? These adorable things are the classic pattern, Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties.  Knit on US size 1.5 Addi circulars, they took under half a skein of Lorna's Laces Steelers Pride, available exclusively at Natural Stitches

I indoctrinate the new members of the Steelers Nation at a very young age. I'm calling this the obligatory belly shot, at the halfway point of 20 weeks. Please note that Steelers gear comes in maternity sizes! We have our priorities straight in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No Knitting at Disney World

I took a short knitting hiatus to go here:

I packed two projects to work on while we were there, but they saw precious little light of day. I was pleased that I got through airport security with my Addis, but when I pulled out my sock to work on while waiting to board the plane, a man across from me started grumbling loudly about how he couldn't believe that was allowed. He also said unkind things about Kate Middleton, so I gave him the stinkeye, but put my knitting away and got out my shiny new Kindle.

One of the projects I brought, I can't talk about yet, but the other is the first in an attempt to deal with my almost-SABLE sized sock yard stash. I joined the Year of Stash Socks group on Ravelry: each month, they choose two patterns or the option to knit a plain vanilla sock. The only rule is that the yarn must be from stash; no running out and buying more. I chose the plain vanilla option, using the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe. The yarn is Autumn House Specks that I bought on our visit to the farm last year.

Again, I don't know how far I'll get with a newborn in the house, but I figure at even my most sleep-deprived, I can manage plain vanilla socks. I hope.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's time to sum up the year in knitting.

In 2010, I took part in Natural Stitches' "Expand Your Fiber Comfort Zone" and worked on these new skills: I knit a toe-up sock using Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints method.I successfully made a picot edging on a sock. In addition, I've learned, under Yvonne's watchful eye, how to block my own lace shawls. I also feel much more confident in reading my own knitting and correcting my own mistakes, particularly when it comes to lace. Finally, I took a Beginning Wheel Spinning class with Nora, which I would recommend to any knitter. Even if I never become adept at spinning, I have a much better understanding of how yarn is constructed.

I finished the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics and completed the 10 Shawls in 2010 Challenge. I came in second place in the employee Double Threat category of Summer of Socks and Lace at the store. Overall, I completed SIXTY projects!
  • Eighteen shawls
  • Seven hats
  • Sixteen pairs of socks and booties
  • Two pairs of felted slippers
  • Two scarves
  • Nine children's garments 
Whew! I have some resolutions about how I'd like to structure my 2011 knitting, but we'll see how things go with a newborn and a preschooler heading off to kindergarten!

Happy New Year!