Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's All in the Surprise

OK folks, we're down to one week and counting until we find out whether Baby #3 will be a boy or girl. And there's a lot of pressure, too ... heaven help this child if it has a penis. There are going to be lots of disappointed people who have been praying, divining and just plain hoping that we have a girl. I am, after all, the only female in this house -- even the beagle is a boy. But I'll be happy either way.

I get the questions and comments all the time -- "Are you feeling different with this one?" "Do you have an instinct one way or another?" "Oh, I'm holding out hopes that its a girl this time!" and my own personal, particularly stressful favorite from my husband, "This is the last shot for a girl, so I'm hoping for your sake it is. Personally, the thought of a girl scares me to death."

Seven days and counting.

But on to other surprises -- like some recent knitting. While there are multiple other projects on the sticks these days (including a sock and the Basil baby blanket from Courtney that I finally cracked the code on), last week I had to prepare a gift for my cousin, who had a baby shower on Sunday. (Of course she's having a BOY, which prompted even more discussion over the gender of Baby #3.)

So I knit up this:

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket never ceases to make me squeal in childish delight. It's an amazingly simply pattern that knits up in lightning speed and is just way too cute once you fold the knitting up and sew the seams. With the right buttons, it made a perfect gift for my cousin. She loved it. (Pay close attention to the gift bag at her feet -- I felt particularly clever wrapping the jacket for her "little monster" in a "little monster" bag -- and that made the the Yarn Sniffer squeal with delight because he was the gift bearer and everyone commented on how cute "his" bag was.)

But what else do you get at the baby shower for the daughter of Kniting Auntie of Aran fame? You get one hell of a baby blanket -- hand-designed, and hooded in the shape of a dragon, complete with spikes on the back and fire from the mouth. Lordy, I wish I had better pictures (and selfishly, I'm glad Cat opened mine first because it would have fallen flat after this one ...). I can picture her little boy playing with this blankie for years pretending to be a dragon and curling up on the floor sound asleep wrapped in "scaly" softness.

My aunt said the blanket was "the best gift she ever made for the best gift she ever got."
'Nuf said.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


When I last left you, I had grand plans to finish Parthenope. Alas, I haven't touched her since that post. I think that part of my subconscious has me waiting to find out the baby's gender before I move forward ... after all, the finishing will be all the sweeter if I can "name" the shawl as I cast off. You know, dedicate it in some way. Maybe that's a bit extreme.

In any event, I've been moving along on Basil, and I swear it's been tricky. I've cast on and ripped FOUR TIMES. Not all because of gauging issues (that was the first and second times), but also because I can't seem to get the yarn right. I went nearly all the way with the Baby Ull and then ripped when I had a problem with the edging. Since I didn't run any sort of lifeline, I just ripped it all out. Then I started again, this time with a different needle, and didn't like the end result. Back to the frog pond. Then for some reason totally unbeknownst to me, I cast on in cheap white acrylic (no comments, please) thinking that the care factor might matter and then ripped when I got tired of the yarn squeaking -- ugh. Now I'm working in a wool/acrylic blend (much quieter) in a pretty green and I'm moving along. I'm waiting for Courtney to get back to me with a clarification on the pattern, but this one is not getting ripped for any reason whatsoever. This version is for my cousin's babe (due the week of MS&W) so I must get it done so I can do one for my own little one. No pictures, because Knitting Auntie of Aran Fame (who is soon to be the proud grandmommy) reads this blog.

Next on the sticks after the second Basil is a Baby Surprise Jacket for our little one ... but I'm waiting to see if I should do it in a lovely heather green or a deep scarlet. We find out the gender in exactly three weeks ... and then I can finally start my shopping list for MS&W!