Tuesday, February 27, 2007


hi folks, pictureless today. this is really just a request for some really positive energy. the last few days have been rough ones and i need some prayers, to me it matters not what faith they generate from. i have had some issues with my pregnancy with my twin boys and now i have a body in protest. i will be heading to the hospital, where it is likely they will keep me for a bit. i ask that if you have prayers to spare, you send them my way to help keep these little guys in. i appreciate any and all, knowing the knit community, i have a feeling these boys will be receiving energy from all walks,stages and places of life that exist. maybe i will get some more posts in to update...let's hope i get the time i need to finish projects, etc. thanks folks....never have i felt as supported and included as i have since i started blogging

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pants and more

i love these pants. they are too darn cute. i knitted the first pair (the darker of the two) months ago, i fell in love with the picture in the book last minute knitted gifts. i placed the second unwashed pair at its side to illustrate that denim yarn really does shrink in length, not really in width. the dark washed pair faded very little, but feels sturdy and durable, ready to take on the rigors of a rolling baby boy. it is a fun and quick pattern that literally flies of the needles. i did not modify the pattern, but used the magic loop method throughout in order to keep the stitches even with little pulling. i have rarely used multiple needles to knit smaller items, i just seem to lose stitches at the needle junctures.
yesterday was a beautiful day, just a bit crisp and cool with plenty of sunshine liberally dousing my lounge chair. i heave-ho'd myself out onto the lounger for a morning knit session while my mama gardened and meesh chased random airborne items, everything from busy bees to my mom's lavender clippings. i brought the print o' waves piece out with me and knit a bit of sunshine into its panel. in the previous post i abbr. the wip to read pow which seems kinda wrong so i will muster up a different moniker, one not so, um, disturbing.

i love this piece and find knitting it to be soothing and enjoyable. the lace has a good balance of repetition to variation of stitches and, once established, requires little reference to pattern. for those of you out there that think lace too challenging, i highly recommend you rethink your position. the first lace i tackled was at the hem of this piece. i remember staring at the pattern wondering what i was supposed to do. but once you cast on, away you go. lace reveals itself and takes a different type of patience. there is a great beginner project in LMKG (yes, my latest obsession but not my last). it is a pretty and quick piece to get one comfortable with the concept of yo (yarn overs) and decreases, which is really what lace is all about. also check out this tutorial by eunny (i miss eunny, does anyone know if she is out there?). i really recommend it for those of you that want or need a bit of meditation time in life, that is what it has developed into for me.

onto another subject, i had a bit of a discussion/rumination regarding whether i would be including the beans in my posting after their delivery. it did take a little bit of consideration, but i know how much i love to view the blogs from mommies that have their beautiful little ones sporting their handknits or the ones that post those moments of magic, and i decided i want to be a part of them. for the most part, knitting blogs seems like a fairly insulated society and a really appreciative one at that. we are lucky enough to receive a routine 4D ultrasound every four weeks to track the development of the beans. our most recent was about two weeks ago and we met our little boys for the first time. it is amazing (and a little weird) that we can now watch their world inside the womb, meeting them before they ever come breathe our air. here is a little collage of some ultrasound pictures, i love looking at them. it is amazing the fierce rush of maternal feelings that hit when i see them. They have already received their first mama instructions consisting of a firm "babies, stay in!", wish us luck in this endeavor. and thanks to all those who have sent their well wishes our way, we love and cherish them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Last night I ambushed T when he was freshly showered to get some shots of the shirt yoke sweater. He was a really good sport and he professed his genuine like of the sweater, stating "I would actually wear this..." which is gratifying considering what goes into a handknit. I think this is the most flattering of styles for any man, the shoulder area is really accented and enhanced by the lines of the sweater. The previous post raved about the simplicity of the design so I will not repeat myself. Sorry for the picture heavy post, but I just thought he looked so handsome in it. Am I right ladies? (Who here watches the Ellen show?). A few little facts: Knit on US 6 needles with the now discontinued Rowan Tweed in Charcoal (or some name like that, I tend to toss the ball bands.) Not wet blocked as the stitches were pretty even and the shoulder decreases came together well. I recommend paying attention to your decreases, pull them a little tighter to avoid gaping holes. Um, that is about it. Enjoy all those great EZ projects that are shaping up so nicely.

Just a little teaser...I finished the baby Denim Pants from LMKG, one pair is washed the other is not. I will post pictures of the pants soon because they are spectacularly adorable. I think they will be much cuter when donned by the beans but, alas, we will wait with bated breath until that time. Here is a bonus pic of daddy-to-be checking out my handiwork. He loves these pants and wants a pair himself. I think not. Making baby clothes is ten times better than playing doll dress up. I mean, I was not big on the doll thing as a girl (Stawberry Shortcake was my girl, though). Baby clothes are in a league of their own, with the proportions and ease of finishing. Much more to come...i promise. Now onward to Lace Completion as I have a deadline for the POW shawl.

Friday, February 16, 2007

i posted earlier regarding my progress on the 'hybrid' sweater. it is done and actually morphed from the planned hybrid to the 'shirt yoke' sweater when my husband closely studied the photos in the EZ knitting workshop. I must admit i had a bit of trepidation when reading the pattern as written in her book because it is really just a bit of a sketch. i understood the concept, but had some doubt regarding the execution. seeing the progress of others was encouraging and when the point of joining sleeves and body on one needle came, i felt prepared.

i have to say this was the most satisfying pattern i have ever knit. it is unbelievably intuitive with a flow to the saddles and the back, watching it unfold before my eyes was such a pleasure. and so quick. i knit the whole sweater in approximately 10 days. it really does not even need blocking. i pressed the shoulders with a steam iron and slightly steamed the sleeve ends to widen them, tim felt they fit a little close.

there was a little modification of the suggestions/formula from EZ. instead of casting on 33% of the body for the sleeves, i cast on 40% or so, i also increased the sleeve width at the top of said sleeves by approx. 6 or so stitches. that is the great thing about having direct access to the proposed recipient, tim tried on the pieces as they were knit. the yarn is discontinued, i snatched up a bag on ebay, but if rowan has something comparable, i would suggest the tweed. it has such beautiful depth with the flecks, really breaking up the monotonous stockinette. it knits up light enough to actually consider wearing it here in southern california. of course, in accordance with knitting tradition in our home, now that the project is complete, temperatures have steadily climbed into the high 70s.

i had hopes for a shot or two with the model in it, but alas, these will have to come later. he has been arriving home late and leaving early and i have not the heart to ask him to perform for a fashion shoot. weather people predict a cooling on sunday, so that may be the best day to try to wrangle him into it. it looks just amazing on, he actually did not stop smiling and checking it out in the mirror. this pleases me to no end as my man is really the jeans/tshirt type, so approval of the shirt yoke felt great. i promise to come back with some live shots soon. until then, have a great EZ filled weekend. cheers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Though I could be speaking of what the beans are up to (actually it is turning into more of a thump-ening, occasionally it feels like a down right jig), I actually refer to a completed knit. My Opa lives in Holland and recently mentioned to my papa that his wrists were hurting him significantly. It has been a bitter winter, so I thought he might like some hand apparel. I have been eyeballing the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts since I bought the book, just never tried to turn them out. Last night I sat down with some leftover Berocco and cast on, then cast off about 2 hours later (for the first mitt, the other was done this a.m.). What a satisfyingly simple pattern, basically just a cuff with thumb opening. But knits up so pretty. I sense this will become a fave knitted gift in the future. No real pattern notes, just that I used the magic loop needle method instead of 8 inch circulars. I have never tried to knit on small circs but cannot imagine it to be a pleasant experience. I do wish more books included it in technique sections, but hey, guess I am here to spread the word. Use magic loop, especially if you have those string together needle sets (mine is the Boye, yes, I know, aluminum is so cold, so clicky....I do live in southern California and claim no need for warm wood needles). Pay attention to the stitches at the split section and with practice you will not end up with a skewed line of stitches (this is probably nonsense jibber-jabber to my family/non-knit friends. Sorry).

I highly recommend these mitts to anyone with chilled hands as they do no interfere with dexterity while knitting, I wore the first while I made the second. Not a problem. Planned next from same said book are a pair of denim pants (the second pair as now we have to consider bean 2's needs) and 2 placket sweaters. I just love knitting and vow to take on a few small projects at a higher frequency just to feel the satisfaction I did today.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Around christmas time my husband and i attended a christmas party, given by his generous boss. we dined on lobster, steak and some giagantic shrimp and the spirits flowed freely. i could not resist a few sips of fine cham-pag-na (say it like christopher walken on snl) and got caught in the act. i included this picture because wrapped around my shoulders is my version of birch as modified by julia. i loved this knit and wear it often. these shots are in honor of this group on flickr. yeah...we wear what we knit. of course, those pictures are one of the last times i wore anything out. but i have plans, people. most of them involve baby stuff but i want to slip in something from a spring issue somewhere for post-baby body.

we also slipped a trip to yosemite in as a new year celebration. call it a hunch, but i thought i might end up flat during the course of the beans' stay, so we spent a lovely day wandering the valley floor and finding spots to photo (him) and knit (me). we celebrate one of our anniversaries on new years/new years day...i could not have asked for a better day. the light was incredible, we made it in early while frost still limned every branch, and i got to knit the essence, the majesty that is yosemite into my sweater. as other obssessed knitters with partners know, when doing anything, we stuff little projects (or whatever is on the needles) into any available space, whether knapsack or smallish jacket pockets, as our partner looks on us with fond exasperation, the look that says 'can't you go anywhere?...' our response look says 'no.....what if we were to venture forward and get trapped in some alternate reality without my knitting. no, not going anywhere without it'. all in a look or two, huh? anyway, digression. one shot i love of el cap came out as is. no touch up, i swear.

my husband took a similair shot with color film and got an even more intense odd blue sky. i thought it was an error in developing the film, but maybe it was just one of those shots. regardless, it is heartening to see the pictures and plan on future trips. getting to yosemite is always a priority and we shoot for mid-week off-season times when the chaos of the park is at its ebb. also highly recommended are rainy days. we have strolled the most popular mirror pond trail on a rainy day and seen only deer.

next post will address the completed EZ sweater, which gently rearranged itself from 'hybrid' to 'shirt yoke' per request of tim. he loves it, it fits like a glove and i cannot wait to get a few shots of him sporting it. he is, at best, a reluctant camera subject, much more comfortable behind the lens. i'll do my best.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Forgot

presenting mishka von yates
Originally uploaded by senorayatez.
I get to see her everyday too. This is our beautiful Mishka. We love her immensely. She hangs out by the door if the weather is fine or we lounge in the backyard together. Best dog ever. When the beans have arrived and we are all back to mobility, my first priority will be our daily walks. I look forward to this as much as the beans.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What I See

On a daily basis now I contemplate the same things. I think we take many things for granted in our lives today and we move through our days in quite a hurry, from task to obligation to chore. I have now the experience of slowing, of taking in my surroundings in ways I previously missed, mainly for lack of time. I have a bedroom where much of my time passes, the large glass doors frame a piece of the outdoors that I watch at times to see what is shifting in the garden. In my area, winter means some browning but some blooming, the mild climate allows things to stay alive and put forth some new bits. There are few colors to capture in picture but the sparse blooms bring hovering hummingbirds and the rosehips feed multitudes of tiny birds.

Opposite the glass is my wall of stash. As knitting and its accoutrements began to develop (read: dominate) in my life, I found the collection of yarn I had growing and growing, and as I am sure many of you know, it can become embarrassing at times. I had it under the bed in a rollaway clear container, I would pull it out and sort and dream of this and that. Then I found the wood boxes at Target for a clearance steal and promptly bought all I could find from the three Targets in my vicinity (three all within minutes of each other, sigh, suburban blight.) This was about a year ago and over time I have re-arranged, destashed, added, and schemed about all things knitting each time I look at this wall. My husband, being the virtue that he is, never complains of the presence of my knitting weakness being there on display and occasionally chuckles at my fascination with staring at the wall and its possibilities. It has helped me stay committed to certain projects, plan to use wool that I might otherwise neglect and in general aesthetically pleases me so very much.

This wall houses our small TV set with local programming only. And yes, rabbit ears. I joked with Tim that I would demand cable access if I did get to the bed rest stage, but a part of me just does not have the desire to plunge into that world. It rots your brain, you know? Do not get me wrong, at any time when I am near a set with all those channels I grab a remote, find TLC or the latest home reno show (or Little People, Big World, I love that show) and glaze over.
But for now an hour of Martha and an hour of Ellen seem to tide me just fine through the day. By the way, if you like the wall treatment behind the TV, instructions are here. It is literally a) brown paper b) wallpaper paste and c) this amazing sealer called Drawtite which can basically take any paper product and turn it into a wallpaper. I love it and it works wonderfully in bathrooms (more on that next post) and heavily abused surfaces.

The adjacent wall holds precious memories of the day we were married. It was a really, really good day and when I glance over that way I am flooded with feelings of joy and love. We were lucky enough to celebrate our own way, high in the Sierras with a handful of family and friends that came together in ways I thought not possible. My mama made flower arrangements, my friends made cakes and bbq and my brother married us. We all had cabins within walking distance of each other and we capped off the night with a rousing game of hide and seek, during which I hid in a closet and fell asleep from exhaustion (romantic, eh?). I was eventually found so as my newly made husband did not have to spend his nuptial night alone. All that from looking at a wall.

Behind our bed we hang a few prints from my husbands work. We discovered the joy of film photography during an extended stay in Oz.
At the time point and shoot digi was all I knew, but he was intrigued by a shot of his dad at our wedding and found a used Nikon slr. Our passion just grew and he has been shooting black & white film with his Pentax 6/7 ever since. My favorite is from Bodie, California. The town is preserved as is, no repairs, no cleaning up. It is an eerie place with a turbulent history. It was once the second largest city in California and is rumored to have one of the richest veins of gold still unmined, meandering through the hills surrounding the ruined town. The prints are his rejects, I guess it is always hard to see ones work as done. I mounted them pretty crudely but I still love them.

The next few months will likely bring multiple changes to this space as we make way for the beans. I will have to organize those scissors and pesky pins, clear space for a co-sleeper and other baby bits. For now this is my haven, my sanctuary. It feels like home and although it is rarely in complete order, it contains that which I need to be.

Friday, February 02, 2007


I started the book Knitting Sutra yesterday. My mother found it at the library and checked it out with me in mind. I have glanced at the cover in passing, thought it sounded interesting. Now I find it an engaging and easy read, bringing to mind much of my life at this present moment. Being pregnant has brought to me a new way, a new life that I am slowly adjusting to, bit by little bit. Currently I am pregnant with twins, an astounding thing to write, much less think. It has taken some time to wrap my mind around this as it was the least likely scenario I could have imagined in all those mind wanderings I had before trying to get pregnant. It never occurred to me that this could be our reality despite the fact that my husband has a family rife with both fraternal and identical. Today marks the beginning of my sixth month and I have a sneaking suspicion that things just get a bit harder from here on out.

I am also reading a twin book and as one patient put it to her doctor , "the hits just keep on coming". I have had an uneventful pregnancy until the last few weeks and even now I cannot say that there have been drastic complications, but I just cannot do anything. I cannot mop my floors, take my daily walks with my beautiful dog, prepare a decent meal or even stay upright very well. My doctor was very careful about preparing me for this, telling me from month 3 that by 6 months I would feel 8 and by 8, I shudder to even contemplate. He encouraged me to get all shopping, etc. done early as it may not be what I wanted to do around this time. I listened and believed him but cannot say I was prepared for it. I guess any independent, highly motivated and slightly hyperactive person would have some trouble adjusting. I guess that is why I am writing this.

Back to the book. She writes of knitting and spirituality, her re-connection to craft and developing her relationship with the source through the practice of fiber work. I am not deeply into the book yet but it resonates with me. I mentioned in my last post that knitting was lost to me for a period of time because of morning sickness. It had a profound affect on me, not being able to pick up my needles while unwinding with my husband during Seinfeld. Now it is back, my companion in bed while the hours of the day pass. One rarely thinks of the trial it is to stay still, we imagine escaping the work world to stay at home and do what we want. It can be a bit overrated. But my companion, whatever project that may be, has steadied me. I am alternating between the hybrid sweater and eunny's print o' the waves lace. Both present different experiences. The lace has a rhythm that brings contemplation of each row, each stitch and the relationship that develops between it all. I find lace easy, for lack of a better description. I fall into the rhythm with little worry of losing stitches or skewing the pattern, adding one back here or knitting two together there when the numbers are a bit off. Then there is the stockinette stitch of the hybrid sweater,
so soothing, round and round, watching the fabric reveal itself and build in length, the combination of nubby yarn and #6 needles so quick and satisfying. Both are carrying a deeper meaning now, they show that I can accomplish things. I did not anticipate this turn of events so soon, it is a bit difficult to gaze forward into the coming weeks. Instead I am gauging time in regards to sleeve finishing and contemplating what will follow these projects. I am carefully parceling out hours of daylight and looking forward to the hour my husband returns home to be my bedside companion. What a strange thing, what a different person. I count myself lucky among women in this situation, with a strong supportive family, parents that live with my spouse and I, people giving me back rubs and encouraging words. But still what a strange thing.

I saw our babies the other day in a quick ultrasound check. Technology today allows these glimpses inside ourselves. Fascinating, I find my boys. Always moving, hearts beating so fast. Bedrest is no big thing when it is for them. And just think of all the goodies I will get to knit in this passing time. Fresh air drifts into my room through wide open doors, the end of sleeve one beckons. I will have to write more later.. ..so many things to do.