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Catching Up, A List

1. Being pregnant is hard.
2. I want to sleep all of the time, but constant sleep is not conducive to the doing of the stuff.
3. Like gardening

We might get some zucchini!
We might get some zucchini!

4. Those blackberries tho

blackberries2016
Our blackberry bush has gotten massive this year, and look at all those potential future berries.

5. I’ve been dropping hints here and there about starting a soap company. I am ever so slowly building an inventory, but see #1 for more info. But here’s a sneak peak.

From left to right: french vanilla soap, sandalwood soap, piney-woodsy-manly soap, earl grey soap, and lavender bath salts
From left to right: french vanilla soap, sandalwood soap, piney-woodsy-manly soap, earl grey soap, and lavender bath salts

6. I’m hoping to launch the soap company before the baby comes (in 11ish weeks!), but if not, look for it before the holidays. (And if you’re interested in my pumpkin spice soap, let me know soon, so I know how much of it to make this summer!)

7. De-cluttering ground to a halt, because we had to do all of the things in April and May. We started tackling the two last big projects this past weekend: the big kid room and my studio. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

8. I am preparing a query to send to an agent for the book I wrote last year.

9. I realize I should probably try more than one agent, but baby steps.

10. While I didn’t set out to write a romance, my first book project turned out to be one. While thinking about a second project, I thought I might try to write a romance on purpose, so I found a book on romance novel writing.

11. As I’m reading this book, a lot of the advice felt familiar, and I remembered that I have a degree in creative writing, and you know, have apparently already written a romance novel, so I’m probably doing OK. (I read the whole thing anyway.)

12. It’s not a bad book if you’re just starting out though. Plus, she uses illustrations from a bunch of different books, and some are so intriguing I now have a whole new list of books to look up.

13. I am kind of excited to plan another novel project.

14. Except, I’m not so good at the planning part.

15. I love writing by the seat of my pants, but it’s not very efficient, so I am attempting to outline my next book before I start writing. It kind of sounds like torture.

16. In between being writerly, building a new business, and you know, growing a baby, I’ve been doing a little knitting.

Action shots once there's a baby to wrap in it, I promise.
Action shots once there’s a baby to wrap in it, I promise.

17. I wanted to make this new wee one a nice, heirloom quality baby blanket that didn’t use all of my brain power. Enter the twinkle blanket.

18. It’s knit out of 100% merino, undyed, and I am in love.

What have you been up to? (And what kind of soap do you want?)

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Snow Day

Like many folks across the midwest today, I am sitting inside my house, watching the snow pile on the ground fast and furious, and enjoying a quiet day off work. The longer it snows, the harder it seems to snow. It seemed like a good time to take stock of all of my works in progress.

Brocks Aran
Brock’s sweater has continued apace, but I set it aside about a week ago because I was jonesing for something with a little bit more color and a little bit less mental involvement.

garter stitch baby kimono
Insert the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono. I’ve been working on this sweater a stitch here and a stitch there for the last couple of months, but this past week I decided it was time to finish it. (This has nothing to do with feeling like my due date is suddenly much closer than it was two weeks ago.) This is my kind of dye job. Bold. Bright. A little garish, perhaps, but completely adorable at the same time. (Yarn is Vice Yarns Paradigm in Plain Jane.)

baby hat
The sweater used most of the skein of yarn, but I wanted to make matching accessories anyway, and I just happened to have an undyed skein of yarn that is, if not the same base, a very similar one. I cast on a little hat and am planning on making a pair of Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s Cutest Booties in the undyed yarn with the bright yarn as the ties and the pom poms…I should have just enough yarn left for that.

latest handspun
Last time, I showed you some singles on the bobbin of the yarn I was currently spinning. The photo above shows what those singles became. It’s a squishy worsted weight two-ply yarn that I think needs to become a great big, warm, squishy shawl.

shawl ingredients
Pairing it with this undyed skein of merino yarn should help stretch to make the handspun into a great big shawl. This will be my snow day project–seeing how much of it I can get done before the snow clears up.

wensleydale
And if I need a break from knitting, I’ve got this lovely little ball of Wensleydale that needs to be spun up as well.

Stripey Baby Blanket
Or I could try my hand and decorating some more fabrics.

Stay safe and warm everyone!

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Fabric Fridays

Remember how I mentioned on Sunday that I had a cold? Well, I have been home from work all week, sick as a dog. Thursday was the first morning I was able to forgo a nap after bathing, and even then, I laid down on the sofa for about 30 minutes. I haven’t been this sick in ages, and I’m certain it’s as bad as it is because I’m pregnant. My body’s number one priority is grow the baby, not to fight off a virus, so I have been making it my number one priority to rest so that there is energy to fight off the virus. I am beginning to feel much better, though still definitely in the recovery period. They baby seems perfectly happy and healthy, and likes to kick me when I cough like it’s a really fun game.

I’ve had all these grand plans of what I was going to get done this week, before I got sick, when I was still planning to work everyday, but now it has amounted to little more than sleeping or staring at the walls. I did manage to do some laundry at some point, and make a run to the craft store when I was also going to the pharmacy. (It’s not my fault the built the CVS right next to JoAnn.) So, I have a few things to show you this week.

First, my fabric order came in–and I pre-washed it.

osnaburg
This is the osnaburg for the ring slings I want to make. The photography is horrible, but you can see the woven texture to it. It’s sturdy, and still next to skin soft. The next step is to split it in half and decide how it’s going to be decorated, but don’t worry, I have all of the paints!

meadowlark muslin
I also bought some muslin that is mostly just for practicing my printing. I am very pleased with this muslin. It’s a nice tea towel muslin, not too gauzy, not to heavy. It should do equally well for baby blankets, scarves, or you know, tea towels.

cloth diapers
I also picked up a pack of cloth diapers for the purpose of making into burp clothes. I loved using cloth diapers for general baby clean up with Athrun, they’re just so handy. However, since I’m planning on using cloth diapers on this little one’s bum as well, I wanted it to be clear which ones were the bum diapers and which ones, well, weren’t. I found this sweet tutorial one of those times this week when I was mostly staring at the wall, but trying to be productive.

I was cognizant enough to pick up some fat quarters to give it a whirl, which you can see on my instagram, because for some reason, I haven’t figured out how to share photos from there yet.

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23 Weeks

A while ago I mentioned that I was pregnant, but since I haven’t said much more about it other than I’ve been working on a couple of baby sweaters, I thought maybe I’d take some time to answer some questions about my pregnancy, just so we can get it out there. I get asked the following questions just about every single day, so here goes.

1. When are you due?
Mid to late April, though I’m leaning more toward late. My actual due date is in there somewhere, but I try not to put too much stock in it. My son was a week late, so I’m expecting this little one to follow suit. Last time around, I remember getting a lot of “No baby yet!” type comments, which let me tell you, no one appreciates. So I’m already a little on the offensive about it. I apologize if I sound cranky, I don’t mean to.

2.Do you know what you’re having?
Nope. We decided not to find out this time. We’ll know when the little one is born.

3.Do you have any names picked out?
Yes, for both a boy and a girl, but we’re keeping them under wraps for just a little bit longer.

4. Cloth or Disposable?
Cloth, which will be a new adventure.

5. What hospital are you going to?
Fun story, I’m not going to one. We have an amazing free standing birthing center in our town. It’s where my son was born, and that’s the way we’re planning on doing it again. I had a great experience the first time around, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

capitol belly shot

Now, just for fun, what I wish people were asking me.

What are you knitting for the baby?

I’m so glad you asked!

Despite my showing you a couple of pictures of some sweaters in progress, I have only finished one project so far.

green stay on booties 2
Booties!

Which I think are just about the most adorable knitwear in the world.

green stay on booties

That other cloth you see in the background is the blanket I’m working on. It’s 2/3 of the way done, and I’m trying not to think about it. I do however, find it amusing that it is almost exactly the same shade of green as the booties, when I dyed the yarn for the booties, and the blanket is Cascade 220 superwash.

matching blanket and booties
I keep unconsciously choosing lime green to include in baby projects, though I will admit being partial to the color.

Here’s a better photo of the blanket, which I love, but would possibly love more if I woke up tomorrow and it was magically finished.
cable and lace baby blanket