Well, after much contemplation I've decided to knit up my SIL's Christmas scarf from a lace pattern I found in my Fitted Knits book. I'm using two strands of the lace weight cashmere. It's easier than my original plan. I tried out the lace pattern the ladies at the LYS gave me when I bought the yarn, but it would have taken too long on the recommended needle size and it looked crappy on bigger needles.

I've done 4 or 5 pattern repeats and it's going pretty fast, so I'm certain I'll have it done in time for the holidays. I spaced out a couple of times while knitting and made several ridiculous "I'm concentrating" faces while figuring out where I messed up. Luckily, I caught the extra stitch soon enough that I only had to tink back 10 stitches. Here's a progress shot from the front.

In other news... I finally wove in the ends and felted another bowl that I've had done since September. Here it is drying.

While the little one was napping I whipped up a little sample of duplicate-stitching on a swatch of cream wool to see how the color would felt and to measure the shrinkage. After stretching the swatch lost about half an inch each way.

I was happily surprised to see that the light color did felt quite nicely because...

I've got plans for tomorrow...
Before we moved here I'd never heard of a Nor'easter.

Now I'm in the middle of it. They say the water may rise up to 8 feet, which will mean we will be completely flooded out and have to evacuate. This is the downfall of living on the coast. By the time I was done taking photos this afternoon I was soaked to the bone and felt like a feather battling the wind. Needless to say, I skipped going to knitting group tonight - there was no way I was going to haul an infant into this mess.

Crossing my fingers that the power doesn't go out!
I feel like all I've done the last week is feed and tend to Lucas. He's going through a growth spurt and eating/fussing more than usual. The only upside to that is that he's going to bed between 7 and 8 p.m. Can't complain about that! I recently had a check-up for him and he weighed in at fourteen and half pounds and he's 24.5 inches long! My little boy is growing... it's hard to believe he'll be four months old on Friday. Before we know it he'll be on his feet and causing a ruckus around here.

You know what else has been growing? A few things. First: my Emerald Cardi is coming along nicely. I've been trying to knit at every opportune moment - there have been a few more of those moments since Lucas's bedtime has been earlier.

Second, my stash! After my husband went to work the 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. shift I wasn't looking forward to chilling at home with my fussy son, so I called my best knitting friend and luckily she was as excited about shopping for yarn as I was - probably even more so after I fed her delicious chocolate my Dad sent me from Germany! 30 minutes later we were in Williamsburg, a historical town I have yet to visit before today.

After I fondled the entire shop's collection of yarn like a newly wed on her honeymoon, Lucas "helped" me pick out a couple of beauties while sporting the first sweater I made for him while I was pregnant. I've coveted those gorgeous and pricey skeins of Noro for quite some time and today I said yes. Not only that, but I used my sister-in-law's Christmas present as an excuse to buy a decadent hank of cashmere. The ladies at Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg were nice enough to wind my cashmere into a ball for me, too. Talk about great service! I don't mind winding my bulky yarn into thumb balls, but the thin cashmere would have been a trying experience. Pictures!

A little fuzzy, but it's the best I can do after dark.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the Noro... I bought it under the pretext that I would make it into a hat for myself, but I think Noro doesn't need a reason. That's the ill yarn-hoarder in me speaking...
I forgot to mention that last night at knitting Bev graciously showed me how to wind a thumb ball after three of us tag teamed my tangled hank of wool. A ball winder is on my Christmas list though... and I might have to add a swift as well. Here's a progress shot of the Emerald Cardigan after a little more knitting today. I'm substituting KFBs for the YOs on the raglan increases, I don't like the holes on the original pattern.

It was a full day. I woke up early at 8 (yes, that's early for me) and threw on some ultra casual jeans, sneakers and a hoody. I even sported a ponytail. I almost never leave the house that casual unless I'm going for a walk or something. I was simply too tired to care. My friend Kristy was a godsend and let me drop off the little one while I dropped off the dogs at the groomer for an anti-flea bath and a haircut. I picked up breakfast on the way back to her house and I did a little knitting while we talked.

The dogs were squeaky clean and ready to be picked up at 12:30. After I checked and rechecked to make sure they were both flea-free, I made up for some of the petting they haven't been getting recently. Casper was so happy to be back in my good graces that he cozied up in my lap for the ride home and fell asleep belly-up in the crook of my arm. If I hadn't been using my right arm to steer I would have snapped a photo. My husband and I agreed we like him a lot better when he isn't a huge, stupid ball of fur.

Seriously. Look at that cuteness. Who can resist that? And, now that he's shaved down enough to catch a chill outside I have all the more reason to finally dress him in the sweaters I made him last year. The black turtleneck is very loose without his extra coat and it's a little worn out, but it still serves its purpose.

The book study went well. I love having a group of like-minded women with which I can discuss marriage in all its complexities. We'll be carpooling to Virginia Beach on Saturday to attend a private session about learning to hear God's voice among all the other voices circulating in our busy heads. I'm really looking forward to it. Honestly, I haven't thought about, nor have I had the privacy/time to really sit quietly and converse with The Man Upstairs. Life has become faster paced since we left Germany. I've also been a little disconnected and less motivated in all things spiritual since we left our church in Germany and the one we were attending here closed due to various factors. There are plenty of churches... but how does one choose from the dozens available?

My husband's work schedule has temporarily changed and he's at home around 5-ish in the evening. It's great to have more face time with him than usual. My days without him tend to be long, drawn-out and often lonely.

My goals for tomorrow include actually cooking a meal, knitting, housework and pumping enough breast-milk to get Lucas by on Saturday when I'm gone.

I caught a ride with a friend and her husband to knitting group tonight. She coerced me out of the house with this mini cupcake with delectable chocolate frosting. Thank goodness I don't believe in dieting!

It was fun wearing my sweater out for the first time. It's so comfy it almost made me forget about my headache. I woke up with my head feeling like it was crushed under a whale, it got a little better with a hot shower and then my husband decided to scare the bejesus out of me right after I got out of the shower... so it came back. Must be the weather. Thunder is crashing outside as I type and the lightening is beautiful.

Now that I've finally finished knitting up the tedious boucle sweater I swatched for and cast on for my Emerald Cardigan. Hopefully this will take me less time than the last. I bought Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel about a year and half ago while we were stationed in Germany. I'm not sure if there are too many other patterns in the book that I'm interested in knitting, but that may change if I can find some yarn that speaks my language.

I plan on making some adjustments to the pattern - I'm going to give it more length so it's not in any way cropped, knit full-length sleeves and may leave out some of the texture. I hope that the neck doesn't turn out too wide and semi-boat-neck-like. If it does I might have to add a collar of some kind.

Didn't I just post about selfish knitting? Yeah... I still have a list of Christmas gifts I should be knitting instead of another sweater for myself. Christmas is just around the corner in terms of knitting... I might have to come up with some other crafty ideas for gifts that don't include yarn.

The title is German, it means red-eggplant, which is exactly how the colors look in real life. Tonight after my son went to bed and my husband was zoning out in front of the tube I finished my sweater, wove in the ends and fixed my messed up waist shaping. I am soooo happy with the end result because it didn't result in disaster, it fits me and I love it! Unfortunately it's after midnight and I'm the only one awake so I used the self-timer on the camera. I started the sweater in August, so it took me about three months to finish. I'll get some better action shots when there's sunlight and another pair of hands.

I started knitting size L to accommodate my bust and decreased after the armpits - at least that's what I should have done. In reality I decreased too quickly at the waist and just sewed it/took it in after it was complete. I added a cowl neck because I hate boat neck tops, they don't do anything for my scoliosis-induced crooked shoulders and in the size L the boat neck was more like an off-the-shoulder top on me. There were other alterations to the pattern, but nothing dramatic worth mentioning.

I'm so happy this is finally done! Now I need to gauge swatch for my next sweater. Knitting group is tomorrow and I'm thinking about either starting the new sweater or starting on long-overdue Christmas presents... At heart I am a very selfish knitter.
Meh. The days are growing shorter and the sky is relentlessly full of dreariness. Wind and rain. I have yet to find the perfect climate in all my travels. It's either too hot, too cold, too humid, too windy, too snowy, too something. It's maddening. As much as I would like to be the outdoorsy-type, the weather holds me back in one way or another. I want to live somewhere that maintains a delightful room temperature feel, where the skies are always blue and smiling and there is never any snow. Alas, nature mocks my desires. For now, I'll just stay inside, thanks.

So about that sweater I'm knitting. It is 14 rounds to being finished. You know how much I knitted this last week? 6 rounds. That's it. And it's terribly pathetic. After I put my son to sleep I spend time with my husband, catch up on housework or watch a good show... but my knitting sits scrunched up in a basket unconvincingly beckoning to me. I've been knitting the same part of the sleeve for two weeks now and have made an inch of progress at the most. It makes me sad, but then I remember that I'm not knitting because I'm taking care of my home, my family and spending time with the people that supersede my crafty endeavors. Plus, I might just be a tad apprehensive to cast off because then I'd have to actually begin my next project(s) and maybe I'm not ready yet. Maybe I'm just now coming to terms with the fact that I can no longer knit 8 hours a day when I feel like it. Sometimes, I can't even squeeze in 14 rounds a week. I'm a mom to an infant. That's the reality.

Lately I've replaced my late-night knitting time with a book before bed. I forgot the feeling of simple pleasure that I find in reading. I've been up to my elbows in The Prince of Tides for the last week, turning page after page of family drama and clashing cultures. I can relate to much of what is written, though not to the word, my history is formed out of many events - as in the book, some of which are heart-crushingly painful to remember. The only downfalls of my reading this past week have been firstly staying up too late reading and paying for it in the morning and the absolute ridiculous wordiness of the novel at times. I consider myself well read to a degree. Granted, I haven't read all the classics, but in my 25 years I have put back a decent amount of books and millions of written words. There are words in this book that make me go cross-eyed with confusion. Were I more ambitious as I was back in school, I might actually write down and dictionary reference the words I'm unfamiliar with, but I'm really not feeling up to it because I just want to enjoy the story.