September 2008


Well, the knitting is complete on my third Baby Surprise Jacket.  Good thing too, because the baby was born 2 days ago!  Here is the obligatory garter stitch blob shot.

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Then one side folded up..

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Then ta da!! A Baby Surprise Jacket! I never get tired of this presto change-o thing.

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So I seamed up the shoulders, unfortunately more than once. My 10-stitch pickup wasn’t super pretty on one side, especially the corner stitch, so I wanted that side to be hidden. Stupidly, I seamed it up so that was on the outside, but luckily I realized it after doing just one side. So I undid it and started over.

I had to review seaming horizontal to vertical garter stitch, and experimented with a few different ways. This is what worked best for me. On the horizontal side, I put my needle under each “v.”

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On the vertical side, I put the needle in the last garter bump on each ridge.

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I pulled it tight enough to be neat, but not puckered.  It turned out very nice, if I do say so myself!

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The other tip I have is to leave a long cast-on tail to use for seaming one of the shoulders, maybe 16 inches will do. That way, you have 2 fewer ends to weave in! I did this by accident – don’t ask me why it took 3 times to figure it out.

I have buttons that may work well with this sweater, but darn it I can’t find them. I will continue to search, but may need to have hubby drive me to the store to buy new ones (still not allowed to drive after my surgery). I hope I can finish by the time we go to visit the baby!

Thanks everyone for all the good wishes!  I am finally feeling well enough to knit again.  For my first project while recovering from appendectomy, I need a pattern that doesn’t require too much thought or needle gymnastics. The Baby Surprise Jacket is in garter stitch, and you do nothing but knit except at the markers. Plus I’ve done it twice already. Perfect for knitting while still a little high on painkillers!  I am still making good use of Dawn Adcock’s notes for the project.

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This is Seacoast Handpainted Yarns Panda, a merino, bamboo, nylon blend (bought at The Loopy Ewe).  I already had it wound up to use for socks on my CSM, but I’m not really in any shape to use my CSM yet, plus I thought it would be so nice for a BSJ. So it’s going to my nephew who is due to arrive around the end of September. I am impressed with the yarn so far, very soft. It has navy blue, green, purple, and a little brown, and the colors are blending beautifully. Here is what the sleeve will look like after it is folded up and seamed.

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I didn’t bother to swatch. I thought the yarn looked somewhat heavier than what I used for the last BSJ I did, which turned out a little small anyway. I meant to go up from a size 4 needle to a 5, but couldn’t find both needle tips in size 5 for my Denise set. So size 6 it is! I like the fabric it is producing, plus my husband’s family produces giganto babies anyway.  So I think it will all work out.

For those of you waiting for Tim updates, I have plenty of pictures coming!  A few weeks ago we went to A Day Out with Thomas, with Cousin Andy, and then right before my appendicitis we went to Kid City with Cousin Annabelle (big sister of the recipient of this BSJ).  I will get those photos up soon.

I have knitting and Tim pictures to post, I really do!  But things keep getting in the way.  Very shortly after the good news of Spin-Off Magazine coming out, I developed what I thought was heartburn and didn’t think much of it.  I had eaten Jamaican jerk chicken for lunch, and tamales for dinner, and I’ve had transient heartburn occasionally, so I just went to bed for the night.  The next morning, the pain was constant, worsening, and taking Tums didn’t help at all, so I took my very first trip to the Emergency Room.  They did a bunch of blood tests and an ultrasound, which were all normal, diagnosed me with gastritis, and gave me anti-reflux and nausea medication, along with IV fluids.  After a few hours there the pain was the same, so they gave me Dilaudid, which is pretty potent narcotic, and that helped.  So they sent me home with a prescription for more narcotics and anti-reflux medication.  Overnight the pain migrated to the right lower abdomen, which made me highly suspicious of my appendix.  So I went back to the ER, where they did a bunch more tests.  My white count jumped up, I developed a fever to 102 while I was there, and a CT scan showed there was definitely something wrong.  They weren’t sure if it was a perforated Meckel diverticulum or appendix.  So off I went to the operating room.  I only remember the OR nurse telling me of the anesthesiologist, “he’s going to give you some stuff,” and he said, “I already gave her the stuff.”  Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room.  Apparently the surgeon came to tell me that it was the appendix that was inflamed and that it wasn’t perforated, but I have no memory of the conversation at all.  So I found that out later.  I stayed overnight in the hospital and came home yesterday afternoon.  My surgeon told me I should stay out of work at least 2-3 weeks, can’t drive, and can’t lift anything heavier than 2 phone books.  I was shocked.  I guess it’s because it was an open incision rather than a laparoscopic procedure.  So I’m home on painkillers, which work fine as long as I don’t try to move.. and I still need Chris to help me get up and sit down.  I haven’t tried knitting yet, because I feel rather high and am afraid to make mistakes, plus I’m not really up to it yet anyway.  I feel bad that I can’t play with Tim.  He is a little perplexed by the whole thing.  It stinks!

I was very excited to receive the Fall 2008 Spin-Off Magazine today, because Tim’s Dinosaur Surprise Jacket is featured in the handspun gallery!  They chose my favorite picture, along with two others, and the layout looks great.  Tim got a kick out of seeing himself in a magazine.  Thanks to editor Amy Clarke Moore for choosing my project, and for a great magazine!