01 July 2009


So, a few weeks ago I finally warped the new loom, wove almost 10 inches, and...got the first contraction. Four hours later, Papoose was born. She's huge, abundantly healthy, and we're all doing great. Birthday was June 13. No idea when I'm going to finish weaving that first scarf, but the prospects for knitting while breastfeeding look pretty good!

28 May 2009

Ready to pop

Hello all!! Thanks so much to every one of you for the lovely comments last time - so wonderful to know I'm not posting into a void here, despite my hiatus! I missed you all while I was gone!

My FO parade is definitely slowing...for which I blame both end-of-semester grading and my increasingly enormous girth and weight (I've gained 35 lbs and it's ALL in front!) But I did finish two more items recently:

The Little Sister Dress:

The Violet Sacque from Vintage Baby Knits:

This may be it for my pre-baby knitting, except maybe for another cap or toy and maybe some burp cloths. My mojo has nearly dropped again to first trimester levels, and I've been busy as a bee with last-minute errands, checkups, shopping plus the grading pile, which never seems to get any smaller no matter how much I work on it. But there's another reason. Next time I have a moment for crafting (after making the much-needed curtains and swaddle cloths) I'm going to WEAVE!!

See my new loom????

It's a Schacht Flip-n-Fold, from Beth's shop. I luuuurve it, though I haven't actually woven anything yet. In bits and pieces of time I've been educating myself and digging out some appropriate stash to experiment with, but I haven't yet had the time and space available to warp it, which is the first step and not something I want to interrupt, at least the first time I do it. I hope to be able to do that before the little one arrives!

Announcement: said little one will henceforth be known on this blog by one of the two nicknames she's going by most often right now: Papoose, or Junebug. So you know.

The Junebug is BIG and the midwives have told her she can come whenever she pleases as of now:

And now before I go...some EXTREMELY belated pictures from last August! Apologies for not posting these in an even remotely timely manner, but now that I've dug them up again, I didn't want to let them go unseen. We had such a wonderful time at the Allegan Fiber Festival and stash-building at Beth's shop in Howell! And I managed to talk my college friend K into coming with us to the fiber festival and guess what, she learned to spin while there! ha. She was a crocheter already from way back, so I knew she'd be "hooked" pretty easily, har har.

Here's me and Kari at the fiber festival, being awed by soft yummy fluff (was I ever that flat-bellied??!):

Then Hubbus drove me over to Howell for some serious stash-building at Beth's shop, the Spinning Loft. You may recall how I posted last time that Beth had to give me one of those gigantic ziplocs to hold it all? Ahem...

Here's Beth demonstrating that it really will fit in the suitcase:

I may have mentioned before that my friend Beth is a very dangerous temptress? I can't recommend her wonderful shop enough, but - beware! It's a dangerous place. Here she is with her bouquet of spindles.

Also, remember last time I showed the Maggie batts I had spun up, from batts made by Beth's daughter Maggie? Here's what they looked like originally:

Now take a closer look at those tags:

Too adorable to resist, even if the batts weren't beautiful in themselves, which they certainly are:

Through all this fiber diving, Hubbus waited more or less patiently, since Beth let him use her laptop to check the news (this was last August, during the Russian-Georgian conflict)

What a very sweet Hubbus! He attended the fiber festival, too, as he did the year before. Of course, he got promised a handspun sweater in return...that was August, and I still haven't started that spinning!

26 April 2009

Yes, I'm still alive!

Actually, I'm not only still alive, but I've gone and created Life! With some help from Hubbus. Yep, we're preggo:

Aaaaaand...that's not my only excuse for having let the blog hibernate for months and months! I also started my new job in the fall, and then over the winter break we moved to Queens! It's been a bit busy around here - so much so that there was more than a month when I didn't even login to Ravelry! !!! My keeping up with other blogs has also been decidedly spotty - I try to catch up every couple months or so. Not sure I can say what the future of this blog will be - frankly, once this kid comes, I have NO IDEA what will happen with ANYTHING. But if anyone is still out there reading (??) I thought you all deserved to know where I went.

Also, there's a possibility the blog may actually pick up in a whole new way in the fall. You see, I'm planning to teach a new course called "Women's Work" on the history of textiles. Mind you, this will not at all be a technical history of textiles themselves, or even very much about the making of textiles, but rather a standard upper-level undergrad discussion course incorporating gender, technology, and commerce over a huge range of time and the whole world, using women's textile work as the case study, sort of. Anyway, I'm very excited about it. If you know the wonderful book Women's Work by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, that will be one of our main texts and our starting point. I plan to teach the most basic rudiments of spinning, weaving, and knitting so that students can understand some of the technical details required to evaluate the literature we'll be reading, etc.

To that end, I need to learn to weave! Ha! Because you know I needed an excuse to finally take the final fiber arts plunge! So I'm shopping for a small, folding loom. I also want to try to teach myself naalbinding. I figure all that might very well bring me back to the blog pretty regularly - but we'll see.

In other news:

  • My new job is awesome and I love it.

  • It also takes up a crazy amount of time, so far.

  • This was not unexpected, but an adjustment all the same.

  • I got preggo rather soon after starting the new job.

  • The first trimester, on top of the first semester, totally kicked my ass.

  • I didn't knit.

  • Or spin.

  • Seriously.

  • I don't think I did anything but write lectures, sleep, deliver lectures, and sleep, for weeks and weeks.

  • I certainly didn't eat!

  • Once I finally made it to the second trimester and winter break (almost simultaneously) things improved drastically.

  • So, naturally, we promptly moved to Queens, a process which ate up every moment of time and every iota of energy from Christmas to after the first day of classes in the new semester.

  • We originally intended to buy, and spent weeks on that process before it all fell through at the last minute.

  • At that point, our lease was almost up so we started over with the rental market.

  • We almost got a really affordable 3BR 2 bath with a VIEW, but lost it at the last moment due to a stupid realtor. GRRRR.

  • We ended up in a nice 2BR, big enough (just) and in a nice neighborhood, for the same amount we were paying for a 1BR in a crappy building in a crappy neighborhood in Manhattan.

  • One month after moving in, rents plummeted. Sigh.

  • We're using our extra room as a guest room, aka "project room" where lives my stash, my knitting books, my spinning wheel, and Hubbus' various toys.

  • This room gets floods of morning light and we LURVE it.

  • The baby, if you're wondering, will live (for her first couple years at least) in our largeish and delightfully clutter-free bedroom.

  • She's going to be a she.

  • So far, so good with the pregnancy - no serious issues, no terrible complaints.

  • I can't get more than a few hours of sleep in a row, though, so I haven't been able to do much other than work and knit since we moved in (the moving took up all of that much-hyped 2nd trimester "energy spurt").

  • I'm at 33 weeks now - she's due in the middle of June.

  • In theory; babies in my family are always really late.

  • My knitting and spinning mojo came back with a vengeance as soon as the nausea and the 3-naps-a-day period ended along with the first trimester.

  • That said, all the projects I was working on before getting knocked up are still pretty much where they were in my last post of many moons ago (the first-handspun cardigan, the handspun vest for Hubbus, the seafoam scarf).

  • Instead, I've been popping out baby FOs like nobody's business. Here's hoping the kid comes out as easily! (ha!)

  • We can't say what the kid's name is going to be because of Russian superstition (that, and we haven't definitely decided between 2 good possibilities), so for the moment we're calling her, variously: Turkey, Princess Butterball, Papoose, Parasite, etc; my mom is calling her Pukala, which apparently means something like "little girl" or "doll" in Dutch.

  • Unfortunately, in Russian "Pukala" means "she farted."

  • No doubt, this will be appropriate too, and maybe already is, but we can't tell while she's still inside.

  • She kicks, wiggles, punches, stretches, and readjusts her position constantly.

  • In turn, our new hobby involves poking and prodding her constantly, just to watch her react.

  • I can now spend serious amounts of time just staring at my (gigantic) belly.

  • Who needs to see toes? Toes don't do anything interesting.

  • I probably wouldn't have even gotten around to posting this, or finally updating my projects on Ravelry, except that I overdid it walking around during these last two days of nice weather, and I pulled something, and/or aggravated my shin splints, which is so not fun while carrying around 22 extra pounds. So I'm spending the day prone with my feet up.

  • One of my awesome adventures before overdoing it was stopping by Purl Soho for a book signing by Kristen Rengren, aka Retroknit on Ravelry, author of Vintage Baby Knits which came out with SUCH perfect timing for me! It was a blast to meet Kristen and also sinsofthedove from Ravelry

  • Just a few weeks earlier, I went to Knitty City for Franklin Habit's visit. I couldn't make it in time for the main event, but I still got to meet Franklin and several other awesome RavFriends, like KnittingFiddler and Jesh and the TsockTsarina. We had ourselves a blast!

  • All this has made me SO anxious to finally get to Rhinebeck this year. Hoping, hoping, hoping.

  • With a 4-month-old, of course...

Parade of current FOs and WIPs (further details, if any, on the linked Ravelry project page):

Miss Dashwood:

Feather and Fan Bonnet:

Tomten jacket

Heart hat:

Brittany Jumper:

Garter baby blanket:


Topaz dress:

Little Sister Dress:

Violet Sacque (first of many projects in the queue from the new book, Vintage Baby Knits):

But don't worry - I haven't forgotten my spinning! There was a long break over the move when the wheel stayed packed up, and there have been some frustrating experiments, but some things I'm really proud of. Most notably:

Maggie batts (made by Beth's daughter Maggie, of The Spinning Loft in "Playtime" and "Berry Swirl":

Chamelon Colorworks BFL in "Peacock" (also from The Spinning Loft):

A colorway called "Beth's Curse" of I-forget-what, also from the Spinning Loft:

Noticing a pattern here?

Yes, I didn't even get a chance to blog about my last great fiber adventure, last August, before I immediately got sucked up into the abyss of the school year. I went to the Allegan Fiber Festival for the second time, and far more excitingly, I visited Beth's shop in Howell, MI for the second time. I went with a mission to get a bit of, well, practically every kind of fiber there is, to supply me for spinning adventures for many months to come. Many months later, I'm still doing really well. :-) Beth, and her shop, were as amazing as ever. She had to give me one of these GIANT XXL ziplocs to hold it all, and it took up a whole suitcase on the way home. And now Beth is doing all kinds of exciting things like writing articles and hobnobbing with famous people! Not at all surprising given that Beth is about the nicest, most generous, and most talented fiber person I know (and that's really saying something!) What had been becoming an annual pilgrimage to Allegan and the Spinning Loft may not happen this year because of the tiny new arrival in June, but I'm hoping we might make it in winter, at least. By then I'm sure I'll be working on my weaving stash!