Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hospital Stays and Sock Knitting

First and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who left me kind words here and on Instagram, regarding our recent trip to Calgary for the boys' G Tube surgeries. Your support meant the world to us.

The boys did great, although they hated the pre- and post-op fasting (poor hungry monkeys), and their sleeping schedule was torn to pieces (but I think we have things figured back out now).


Here they are, hating the towels wrapped around their arms to keep them from getting at their IVs, but otherwise fine, and thrilled not to have tubes in their noses.

As for hospital knitting, I did the third lace section on my Find Your Fade, and cast on a sock.


Ooooh the sock. Word for the wise, don't try to knit a heel when you are badly sleep deprived and trying to knit most of a sock in two days. This will happen.


My beautiful sock (my own hand dyed yarn, pattern is Hermione's Everyday Socks), complete with heel flap and gusset decreases....but no heel turn. I realized this while trying to re-Ferberize the boys at 3 am.... since patting and rocking them back to sleep every hour is fine for hospital stays but not for real life.

Even with the rip back and re-knit, I did manage to finish the pair in time for them to be my January socks. (2.5 hours to spare... I may still need to weave in some ends tho).


We'll be back tomorrow to discuss how many shawls is too many to be knitting at once, and show off my Cozy Shlanket.



Oh and yes... I stress bought yarn.... in person and online... I won't tell you how much tho.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hospital Knitting

We are driving to Calgary tonight, and this time it is with mixed feelings


We are driving there for our little peanuts, pictured here looking perfect in knitted goodness.

You may have noticed in these and all other pictures of my boys, they have tubes in their noses. Those tubes feed my babies 95% of their daily needs. Those tubes have been a form of emotional torture for this mommy for the past four months.

My boys obviously needed them, for a number of reasons we know, and likely some we don't, these goofy little munchkins would rather starve themselves than swallow from their bottles.

I shared quite a bit of the story of us getting the tubes put in in this video here.


So the tube feeding has been a blessing, allowing my boys to thrive and develop, and getting them off the horrible white space below the curve on growth curve charts, and fully back into the 5th percentile.

But the tube feeding has been hard, for them and for us, Sparing you the details, but nasalgastric tubes often solve the growing problem while worsening the oral aversion problem. And my little boys need to learn how to eat, and so these tubes need to be out of the picture.

However that means accepting the alternative. And so tomorrow, with mixed feelings, we're taking our boys for surgery to have G-tubes put in. Its the right call, and it is necessary, but it hurts, because they don't understand.

And because the Universe is not fair.

And because unfortunately this is our story, and we aren't even close to the end yet.

So today I need to snuggle my babies. Tidy my house, and pack some hospital knitting for the next few days.



And if you want to celebrate how amazing my little monkeys are, you can watch this video of clips from over their first 6 months.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Fin! on to the next project!

Last night I cast off the Boreal Forrest Cowl.



Here it is literally surrounded by yarn, my stash is a mess right now, I know.

I also put my babies in a laundry basket.


Because how could you not.

Anyways, I like this prioritizing one project. I've got about ten WIPs right now, and some of them have deadlines. I'm doing this little thing called Winter Camp. Sarah, of the Canadian Knitter Podcast fame, dreamed it up last year and I missed out. Naturally this year, as a camper, I am over compensating by trying to knit all the things. Bassically you knit, and you get points, get enough points and your chances for prizes goes up, up, up. You can get bonus points for completing certain project types each month.

For instance, in January you get 20 bonus points for knitting a hat.


I knit this one. Also a Pussy Hat.

So anyways, I had to finish this cowl, to get my points for blue.

Like the colours? I dyed the yarn with Wilton's Food Colouring.


Next I have to finish a sock. Well really a pair of socks. but for today we'll settle for one.


I need to finish it so I can start knitting mitered squares like a mad woman over the weekend, for Winter Camp's Snowball Fight (a race to knit as many of your mini's project squares/bits/etc as you can, with a team, in a weekend). More on that tomorrow.

Bye the way, although I'm not really supposed to be buying yarn, I managed to snag a skein in Voolenvine's most recent update. It turns out the strategy is just to click and hope. Also it was a scary expensive skein after the exchange and shipping..... so here's hoping I love it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Progress... I've made some

So we made it back to Medicine Hat, and are getting settled back into our home and into our life. We did 200 dollars of groceries so we can start eating more home cooked meals and less take out. And I'm pretty sure I've been running the washer and dryer around the clock since Monday morning. Unpacking will be a process, as both Kevin and I are in the mood for a purge (our little town house is just so full of stuff, but with 7 month old twins, that's just life I suppose).

Canada Post delivered something pretty while we were away.


Stray Cat Socks MCN in the 'are we there yet' colour way. My first self striping yarn! This loverly little ball came in its own little cat box, all of the way from New Zealand. I won it on Instagram back in the fall, and because Canada Post is just horrendous sometime, it didn't arrive until after Christmas. But upon opening the package, it's prettiness was sufficient to make me not care about how long it took to arrive.

It went into my Box of Socks.


Well at this point they're only future socks. I'm going to try and complete 12 pairs (one pair each month) this year. There are of course a half dozen or so knitalongs for this, so I'll just direct you to Yarngasm and the Grocery Girls.

Today I've been knitting on two projects. My January socks, Hermione's Everyday Socks knit from some of my own hand dyed sock yarn. Everyone and their sister has knit these bad boys (pattern is a free Rav download), everyone except me. Plus their good for all the Harry Potter themed knit alongs.


I was knitting this bad boys on the a nifty little pair of 9inch circular needles. I thought I'd give them a try, since some people rave about them. And I did give them a solid try, I made it midway down the foot before switching over to DPNs.

Pros: perfect for socks that would live in your purse, no tangley cables or loose dpns to worry about.

So far that's it for pros.

Cons: Slow! but maybe just plain stockinette would be faster? Weird in your hands, had to switch to DPNs for the heal anyways. Slow!

So DPNs it is for me. I'll probably cast on a different pair of just vanilla socks on these to live in the glove compartment of the SUV, for knitting on the go.


The Boreal Forrest Cowl. I honestly thought I'd be done by now, but we've cut the boys cold turkey on napping (or having) in their swings. So naps have been very short the past two days and the boys have been extra cranky when awake. I did finish the second blue section, which leaves me with two more before the ribbing.

Oh and I lied, I also started on Clue 3 of Mina's Cozy Shlanket MKAL... but I didn't take a picture.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My little boys are little men now. Feat. Tin Can Knits Playdate

I had one of those ridiculously happy mommy moments yesterday as I wrangled my stinky little boys into their cardigans. My boys are messy, poopy, pukey, food everywhere babies, so to be honest I don't put them into 'outfits' often. Usually were more of a grab whatever is closest and cleanest kind of household, sleepers that zip up the front being our favourite for ease of access.

But when I do dress them up. Be still my heart, they are sooo stinking cute.


I mean come on! ok, of course every mom thinks her kid is adorable, but lets all just admit that mine are perfection. That's Alex in the blue, and Dom in the green. My two perfect little gentlemen.

The sweaters fit perfectly, I knit the 6 month size and the boys are 6 and a half months (adjusted age, they're really 7.5, but were born exactly one month early),  so sizing is spot on. Not bad for a girl who doesn't bother to check her gauge. Mind you, my peanuts are also small for their size... like we only just made it back onto the growth curve this week, thanks to 4 months of feeding tubes. So maybe knit a bigger size if you have your average chunky monkey baby.

The pattern is great, and like most (all?) Tin Can Knit patterns, is sized from baby through adult. So of course I envision a family photo one day where all four of us have playdate caridgans on. (because you are supposed to have pictures like this, to embarrass your kids with at their weddings one day).


The yarn is by Hue Loco, in her Tweed Sock base, the blue is Mineral and the green is Mint. I've knit four projects with Hue Loco assorted fingering yarns now, and apart from being on the lighter end of the fingering weight spectrum, they are lovely yarns to work with.

In other news I did not sew the buttons onto Jack's cardigan yesterday, but rather packed them up to do when we get back to Medicine Hat.... have I mentioned this cardigan is a Christmas gift that needs to be mailed to Ontario with a box of other hand knit gifts.... yeah I'm the worst like that apparently.

Next up, I've decided that my Boreal Forrest Cowl, by Renee Callahan is priority number one to be finished.


I just passed the halfway point, I dyed the yarn myself (video tutorial here) and its the Knit Picks SW Wool of the Andes Worsted base. I'd like to think I'd finish another pattern repeat today (I love knitting Faire Isle, it flies off my needles) but today is moving day. We're packing up the Calgary place we've spent the past four weeks in, and heading home to Medicine Hat.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've survived four weeks, with twins, in a house with no dishwasher. I deserve some sort of prize, probably yarn.... good thing an order I put in from ipurl.us shipped the other day.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

I am pretty much the worst at writing blogs ever.... also sewing in buttons

Alex is sitting on my lap while I write this... and while I can no longer knit with babies in my lap (the boys love grabbing the yarn and needles too much) apparently I can type. So I guess I should get back to writing things.

Also I've decided that one of my knitting goals of 2017 is to read the Yarn Harlot's blog in its entirety. Which is both inspirational and good for a laugh. I decided this yesterday when I had caught up on all of the two dozen or so knitting podcasts I watch and didn't want to start any new ones. (here's to being a stay at home mom in winter. Sure my house is a mess... but this house is only ours until tomorrow, so why clean today?)

Anyways, my point is, between Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and babies who want to sit on mommies lap all of the time, I think I'll aim to hit 4 posts a week here. Plus I need the outlet as my brain keeps coming up with ideas that I don't have time to film edit and upload to YouTube.

As for today's post, I finally got around to sewing on buttons to Dominic's Christmas cardigan. Which means that later today I am going to wrangle the boys into their matching Playdate Cardigans (pattern by Tin Can Knits).



After seeing one knit up in blue on Nicole (of Hue Loco) 's podcast, I knew I needed to knit two of them for my, at the time, unborn twin boys. I finished one while pregnant, and worked up the second this fall. The Yarn is Hue Loco Tweed Sock in Mint and Mineral.

The are the 6 month size, and since my boys are small and came one month early, they should be just about ready to fit them now. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.



Oh and as for the buttons, well even counting my ribs, using stitch markers to mark and test placement, and bragging about it on instagram, well I still managed to screw it up and had to pull out one. Oh well, all done now.

I guess I should go ahead and sew on the buttons for Jack's Christmas Cardigan too then.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

How to steam block acrylic knits.

I have to say it.

I'm a sucker for exciting acrylic yarns.

You know the ones you see at Walmart or Micheals, that either have a unique texture, or fabulous colours. And you can still buy a whole project's worth for less than $20.

But sometimes, the finished knit needs a little extra help. And you can't just wet block it the way you could with a wool knit.

Red Heart has a newish line of 'Boutique' yarns, and although I was able to resist grabbing a couple balls of the Unforgettable the first 4 or 5 times I saw them. I eventually caved and came home with enough to knit the Lafayette Shawl (designed by Julie Farmer) featured on the ball bands.



And I went with the Dragonfly colour way, cause I just couldn't say no to those blues and purples. (See all of the Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable colours here).


It took about 1 and a half balls to knit, but the finished shawl looked great. Problem was, it definitely needed to be blocked, all that stockinette just doesn't want to lie flat.

So I got out my handy dandy clothing steamer, and went to town.

Check out how I did it!