Sunday, November 23, 2008

Welcome to the World, Little Sprout!

One of my close friends has finally had her baby girl, who was born at home this morning. My friend's mother was there, and has posted a bit about it over on her blog. I completely agree that the new parents will soon be masters of dealing with a newborn, as they are really wonderful human beings and will be wonderful in this too! Congratulations!

I cannot wait to see pictures of the little one, but her father is having a hard time finding the camera cord. Perhaps Materfamilias will indulge us? Hint, hint... 

While I wait with an inordinate amount of excitement for any further news or pictures on the little sprout (who, incidentally, is the recipient of this hat), I can show you pictures of the second version of the little sprout's hat:

This one is heading to London tomorrow, now that I've found a card to enclose with it and received my cousin's address. 

In other knitting news, I've started a stealth knitting project for Mr. Ripley's Christmas stocking. The big challenge will be finding time to complete it, as Mr. Ripley is a homebody and is usually around the house when I am. Fortunately, the project is portable and I'm hopeful that I will be able to complete them on transit, etc. Mr. Ripley doesn't read the blog, so I think it's fairly safe to mention my secret knitting, but just in case he surprises me I just went back and took out the name of the actual project.

Speaking of knitting projects, I've cast on the second of the interminable Monkeys. And speaking of Christmas knitting, I bought some Malabrigo worsted in Olive to knit some items for my cousin (mother of Hadley of the orange hat pictured above), who is the recipient of Christmas largesse this year. I'll post a picture once I pick it up from the LYS- it's waiting to be wound. 

Two years ago, my family decided that we'd continue to buy for all the children in the family, but now we draw names, so that everyone only has to buy for one adult. It works really well for us. How does your family handle the holiday shopping? Do you buy for everyone? A select person? Only your immediate family? I'm always interested in finding out how other people handle the Christmas season, which can be so amazing and so commercial all at the same time. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

0%, 50%, 100%

Well, this weekend provided me with a brief respite from the November craziness that is part of my life as a grad student. I slept in, cleaned the house, and did some knitting:

100% done: 

This is for my friend's baby, subject of the shower a couple of weeks ago, and who is set to make his or her appearance at any time now!!! I can't wait to meet and snuggle this baby! 

The hat is made from Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky, which is a 50/50 alpaca wool blend, and is soft and squishy, yet firm. It's delightful to work with. Part way through knitting this one I had a panic that I wouldn't have enough yarn (I totally did), and this spurred me to knit faster and faster, as if somehow knitting quickly would use less wool? I know this is totally illogical, but I can't help myself!

50% done:

I'm sure any regular readers of this blog are sick of hearing about them. but too bad! I've finally, finally, finally finished my first Monkey. This is no fault of the pattern, which is truly a delight to knit. It's merely a side effect of a stupidly busy schedule. It fits perfectly, and I can't wait to finish the other one. Or cast on for it, which I guess is the logical first step. I'm not really thrilled with the Fleecy Nylon I've used to reinforce the toe and heel, but unfortunately my only colour choices were white or cream. Next time I try this technique, I'll buy a better match online. Or I'll just resolve to buy yarn with some nylon in it from now on. 

0% done:

This will be the second baby hat. It is also Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky. These suckers knit up in the matter of a couple of hours, which is perfect for my current available knitting time. I anticipate that I'll be finished this one soon, and then it'll be parceled off to a cute British baby born to my Canadian expat cousin. I have to wait until Christmas to snuggle that one, but snuggle him I will!

Anyhow, off to engage in some procrastiknitting, and cast on for the orange baby hat, and listen to the Beach Boys. For inexplicable reasons, I'm obsessed with their song God Only Knows. I love the sound of the jingle bells in the intro; it seems a fitting intro to the holiday season. Hmm. Perhaps it is explicable after all!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Procrastination is my nemesis

Ah, Procrastination, there you are again. It's been a little while since you came to visit. At least since my last paper was due. Lately it feels like you're my constant companion, paralyzing me with your whispers: "There's plenty of time for that later", or "You can definitely do that tomorrow". I haven't figured out how to banish you from my life, or even why you like to hang around here so much, but I will triumph! I always do, just usually at considerable personal stress. If anyone has any good suggestions for defeating this wily foe, please share! If you're lucky enough not to be plagued by him, know that I'm very jealous of you. 

This weekend has been spent in relative hermititude. I did some writing for one of my classes, but have a poster presentation and group presentation due this week, so I'll be busy with schoolwork for the next few days in a fairly intense way. I can't wait until December, when the semester will be over for me, and I'll only have to focus on work, and getting organized for my graduating paper. This fall has certainly been more intense, what with working while studying, than last fall was, when my only priority was studying. 

I did get out of the house for a few hours today to see a friend. I went to a couple of my LYSs to pick up some double pointed needles and bulky alpaca to knit some overdue baby hats. Well, one is overdue and one is due soon, so I need to shake a leg. I'll post some pictures once I have something to show you. I haven't touched my knitting all week though, so there's precious little Miss Ripley craftitude to show you. Crafting is one of my chief procrastination techniques you see, so I have to be on guard against nefarious crafting urges. 

Please cross your fingers for me, that I can buckle down and get some academic work done, so that I can have some time to knit! It's been pouring rain and miserable out. Perfect knitting weather! I haven't knit a stitch! Arrrrggggghhh! 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Back!

Today I got up, frantically cleaned my house, took out the recycling in the pouring rain,  and got ready to go pick up a friend from the seaplane. Then I sat down to my computer, and stared at the time. One hour earlier than what I was expecting. I am one of those people who forgot to turn their clocks back. It's all to the good though, as I had a bit of extra time to sip my cup of Earl Grey, and ease back on the pace of my Sunday. 

Yesterday was the baby shower for one of my good friends. My contribution to the shower included walking through the neighbourhood with a bunch of helium-filled balloons in fall colours like a one-woman clown caravan. Another good friend made a tremendous amount of delicious food for us to eat, including gingersnaps, homemade macaroni and cheese, tea sandwiches, lemon loaf, and the most delicious caramel-filled heart cookies. 

Shamefully, I didn't have a handknit present to give her. I found a few sweet outfits, and had to talk myself out of spending even more money but it was a challenge! There are a lot of cute baby things out there and it's easy to get carried away. I'm sad I didn't finish a knitted present for her yet though. The last few weeks have been so hectic that my knitting has really fallen by the wayside. I had hoped to finish my Monkeys for Socktober: I'm not even finished one. I'm at the toe, but haven't knit it yet. So, I'm off to the LYS to pick up some alpaca and a pattern I have in mind, then I'll get cracking. Tomorrow is Knit Night, and if I'm productive enough during the day I'll be able to go and spend a few hours knitting, which would be delightful. 

At any rate, this weekend has been rejuvenating. It was lovely to spend time with friends, catching up on each others' lives. The coming weeks are going to be busy with the increased pace of school, but I'm hoping I'll have some success balancing the various demands on my time a little bit better than I have of late. Fingers are crossed, as always. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It's November 1st, the start of NaBloPoMo. The idea of National Blog Posting Month is to post every day for the month of november. I had no idea it was happening until I read Ysolda's blog post today, and I've decided to give it a shot. I need to get in the habit of writing more frequently, and the idea of a blog post a day for the month of November seems like a good way to make myself write a little more frequently.

I'd love to try NaNoWriMo, the novel writing challenge, but I think given my current academic and work schedule the blogging goal is more achievable!