Tuesday, May 31, 2011

36 Weeks in Ecuador

Hi everyone! I've missed you. I really haven't meant to stay away this long, but truly there has been nothing to report. And in a lot of ways, it's been nice to take a blog break. It's getting me ready for the inevitable one to come once baby Olivia gets here.
So here I am at 36 weeks - in one of the few photos I've allowed of myself this end of the pregnancy. As you've heard me complain before, I've been feeling a bit less than sexy so photo shoots are not something I find enjoyable. But I thought I owe you a belly shot and I needed to show off the project that's been occupying me this month.
This is a test knit I just completed for the talented designer Joji, and also my entry for the Madtosh May Sweater Knit-along. The pattern is called Ecuador and has just gone on sale, available on Ravelry. It's a circular design sweater with lots of drape using a loose fabric knit from a light fingering weight yarn. I used madelinetosh merino light for mine, in the Calligraphy color way. I'm not the fastest knitter in the world, and this one took many, many hours for me to complete so I'm very happy that I'm quite pleased with the way it came out. Right now it makes me look like a bit of an orbiting planet but I think I'll love it once I lose the tummy. I also took some photos of my cousin modeling it, if you'd like to see what it looks like on a non-gigantically-pregnant woman. My Ravelry project page is here.

Now is the part where I sit and wait in between big bursts of nesting energy. The first one hit last weekend and my house is nice and clean and organized but it completely wiped me out. I'm hoping for a few more before baby arrives so I can finish all her bedding, swaddling blankets, bibs and burp cloths. I'm just now hand-sewing the binding on her quilt so I'll have that to share with you this week, too.

It looks like she could come anytime after this week. I'm measuring almost two weeks ahead, and because Lucy was such a big girl (nine pounds two ounces and not exactly an easy birth experience!) my doctor is not intending on letting this baby get that big. And trust me when I tell you that every one around me would like her to make an appearance sooner rather than later. I'm afraid they are all a little sick of my bitchy mood and constant whining. But you know, when you can't even make it through a trip to the grocery store, you have constant body parts jabbing into your lungs making it painful to breathe and have a whole other list of unmentionable symptoms, who can blame a girl for wanting it to be over? I know a lot of you have been right there with me!

Much love to you all, and please keep posting all the lovely sewing eye candy for me to drool over while my own machine sits in nearly complete hibernation.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Spring Baby Quilt and some thoughts

This has got to be the fastest little quilt project I have ever completed. My very dear friend gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl last week and because she chose not to find out the sex of the baby beforehand I didn't have any handmade gifts for her. So after visiting the tiny little babe and exhausted mama in the hospital I went home, found a rare burst of energy and busted out this simple patchwork.

I am proud of myself for using only stash items, including pieced batting scraps and a Dream On print I had just lying around. I chose springy, girly hues of yellow, pink, green and blue from my stash, cut into five inch squares, free-motion quilted and hand bound with a sweet little Minny Muu print. I have to say,  I miss my basting spray more than ever these days, as is evident in the little pucker in the corner there. But that's luckily nothing a quick spin in the washer and dryer won't cure.

Now it's really time to get sewing something for my own baby girl on the way!

I never got a chance to share with you the finished Tiny Tea Leaves sweater I knitted for Lucy. This was such a fun, quick knit and I think it will get lots of wear. I'm almost finished with the grown-up sized one I'm knitting for my mom's Mother's Day gift, and already I'm plotting one for myself. Good thing my mom is much smaller than me or I'd have a hard time giving it up!

So, I really wasn't sure if I was going to address this subject here, and even though I don't have much more to add to than is beautifully stated by my lovely friends Katy, Amanda, Kaye and Monica, I feel as though I should make a statement of my own. I know some of you are saying "huh? what is she talking about?" and I don't really want to re-hash or go back and refer to the original sources. What I will say is that there has been way too much negativity and inane bickering floating around in this quilt-y blog land lately. There are real people out there with real feelings being very hurt by bloggers and commenters. I feel very strongly that this has absolutely no place in this creative crafting community, and it has me gnashing my teeth and my defensive claws coming out. My personal stance is from the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". This does not include solicited constructive criticism. Rachel wrote a great follow-up post here which I plan to incorporate into my own commenting etiquette. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir here, however, as I have never received anything but support, love and encouragement from all of you here.

Along the same lines was brought to my attention that many folks have strong feelings and are fed up with what they perceive as snobby bloggers who only want to present their perfect lives, bloggers who are driven only by sponsors and running up their numbers, bloggers who just post gluttonous pictures of fabric purchases and bloggers who can't even take the time to answer a comment. I was shocked and saddened by this sentiment. In my experience, every blogger just wants to share and present their work in the most inspiring way possible, and some are just trying to make a living. Maybe they don't show you every glitch in the process along the way because they sell their quilts! And I don't know about you, but I always enjoy seeing a beautiful new stack of fabric and seeing what new line one of my friends has fallen for. Perhaps a blogger doesn't ever tell you the mundane or painful or messy parts of their lives because their blog is the place where they get away from all of that. I know I edit out the piles of laundry and dirty dishes out of all my photos, not because I'm trying to paint a perfect picture of my life - which is far from perfect! - but because frankly I don't find that particularly inspiring! I really do try to answer as many comments as I can, but please know that if I don't always get to it, I still read every thoughtful response and truly treasure them all. You guys are what keeps me blogging!

I know it was mostly unnecessary to say this aloud to most of you, and that it's all coming out like the unintelligible ramblings of an exhausted pregnant lady. Let's just remember that we all love to create and share. I know I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for all the beautiful creations by others I see every day.There is too much sadness in this world, why don't we keep our little corner of the universe a happy, supportive, positive place we can go to get away from it all.