Monday, July 28, 2008

hi, I'm new here

Sorry for not posting much. We're back from our wonderful trip, and have been updating photos like crazy at gusmonster. I've been meaning to do an update here too, but all of my internet time has been devoted to ravelry recently. I'm finally catching up with everyone else and I got my invite while we were out of town.

I love, love love this new toy, and I haven't had a chance to put up nearly as many photos of projects as I would like - and I haven't even started on the stash section. I've just been going through my completed projects and lining up new things in my queue. Once I get the rest of my photos up, regular posting will resume - I hope!

Monday, July 21, 2008

been busy

Seeing the sights, walking around - we been busy kids. More posts soon, we're flying home soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FO: Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Lanaloft sports weight in Precious Stones
Needles: Takumi Clover US 5 24" circular
Modifications: none
What a fun, quick knit. Most people know this pattern, and it deserves it's popularity. It's construction is so clever, the seaming is so easy, and the stripes are neat.

I loved the yarn I chose, though it wasn't what I originally had in mind. The color is a deep green, with stripes of gold and purple. I love the mismatched buttons I chose, but again, not what I originally had in mind.
The two main problems I had was that 1. I ran out of yarn 2 ridges from the end of the pattern. I thought about buying another skein, and I searched my stash for something that would make a nice complementing border. Nothing worked, and out of impatience I gave up and bound off. I think it works, but it compounds problem number 2: it's too small for August. Way too small. This maybe would have fit him a month and a half ago, but there's not a chance now.

That's actually good, though. I can go back and get the yarn I originally wanted for the project but that was too bulky. I can knit it up in time for fall, and he will have a perfect blue striped sweater just as the weather gets cold.
And this little beauty will come east with me, and will be a gift for our friends, Laura and Dave - who are expecting a little boy any day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

pupper of the week

My, my. How do you like that? The pupper is famous!


Presto! Change-o!
Baby Surprise Jacket knitting is done! More photos once the shoulders are sewn and the buttons are attached. The only that it doesn't fit my baby. I had no idea what size it would be and wasn't trying for gauge, so it's really my own fault. I'll try to put it on him tomorrow when he's awake, but for now I don't think there's any way this will fit him. Harumph.

Oh well - we have friends expecting a little boy any day. I hope he likes green!

Oh, and yay for Catherine! Her little girl arrived - can't wait to see more photos, happy birthday Ameila!

what I've been doing

I'm so sorry for the lack of posts. I think Dave is really my only regular reader, so he knows that we've been busy. For the 1 or 2 of the rest of you, I want you to know I have not been sitting on my butt, twiddling my thumbs. I've been

finishing up that BSJ
waiting (WAITing....WAITING) for Catherine to go ahead and have that little girl already!
preparing for our trip to the east coast this weekend
posting here
wrangling my little boy, who after nearly 6 weeks of sleeping through the night has thrown all schedules out the window.

I'm not sure if this is a growth spurt or teething, but the nights of going to bed at 8 and waking up at 6 are gone. He naps late in the day, stays up until midnight, and wakes up bright and early, sometimes before the sun. I'm sort of hoping 5 days in Virginia will shock him back into a sleep schedule, though I think it's more likely that it will screw him up even more. Bah, who needs sleep? I've got coffee!

Monday, July 7, 2008

pickle me beets

I used to hold an opinion about beets. Beets were the food that nobody really ate. They were there in the grocery store, but you never saw anyone buying them. Beets? Ick.
Three things changed my opinion:
1. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robins
2. Falafel at Abu Nader
3. Our friend Kristin - she made us a salad once with fresh steamed beets, and it was heavenly

Since changing my opinion and deciding that beets are indeed delicious, I was delighted when Dave planted a mess of them this year. They are beautiful plants, the greens are edible, and it would be our first foray into picking for the year.
We were terribly surprised to find them already to harvest, with the biggest beets being as big or bigger than a fist. We pulled them all up this weekend.
And got right down to pickling. We followed internet instructions here and here.
We started by chopping off the greens (and saving them for a big salad later). And boiling up the beets with skins on.

After the beets were cooked,
We peeled off the stems and skins.
And heated up the beets with onions and pickling solution - we used apple cider vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon - I'm not sure what else.
Dave spooned the beets and onions into our heated jars.

Then used a ladle to fill them with the liquid.

He put the lids on.
And them lowered them into the boiling water to seal them.
(we learned a little about water displacement when he did this).
After boiling for half an hour, he pulled them out,
And left them to cool!
I took off for the yarn store after the excited part was completed, so he heard the lids pop while I was gone. I was very jealous, next time I'll stick around.

We'll keep these beauties on the shelf for 6 weeks, and then we'll try them. It's a shame we didn't taste it before we put them up because the whole house smelled delicious. Beet-y and vinegar-y, it was intoxicating. I can't wait to see how they turned out! Dave did a fantastic job (and the lion's share of the work). I can't wait to pickle and put up more foods this year - we're definitely doing cucumber pickles, plus maybe picked beans and canned tomatoes and sauces. Fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

self portrait, with baby

It's funny how having a baby transforms you. You expect the change, see it coming, plan for it - and still - it sweeps you off your feet. You try to listen to people when they warn you what it's like, but most of what people say is crap.

"You'll never get to go out anymore."
"Conversations with your spouse will only be about the baby."
"You can kiss all of your free time goodbye."

Oh, please. We never liked going out anyway; we've been looking for a good excuse to stay home since the dog grew out of puppyhood.

The real change, the one that matters, is the one that comes when you say "momma wants you to go to sleep" instead of "I want you to go to sleep." I try to keep myself from doing it, but I slip up often. I'm in third person now, not just a person - a concept. I'm somebody's mom.

The biggest surprise is that I'm no longer the most important person in my life. Maybe there's a similar transformation when you find your life partner - but this one is different. This little human relies on me for everything - food, shelter, love - while Dave was really sick, he told me that at one point he and Gus were in a doctor's waiting room, and Gus was upset. He didn't want to be in the stroller or the sling or wherever he was, and Dave had to walk around to keep him quiet. For those 5 minutes it took to calm him down, he was able to almost forget how sick and awful he felt. The number one thing he wanted to do was make the baby feel okay - and he felt sorry for having to bring him to the doctor's office in the first place. That change, that ability to forgo your own needs - that change from "I" to "we" is the one of the most surprising things about the last few months.

We're connected, li'l Gus and me and Dave. We're a trio, a little family of three. And that's pretty neat.