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Milwaukee Knit Chick

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I survived the move, and am now living in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin.I think I may change the blog name so that to reflect the move, and adhere to at least one of the necessary knit blog rules. Any ideas, oh 2 people on the internet that actually read this thing?

Its been difficult staying with the kids here, while Andy continues to work in Minnesota. But one of us has to have a job locally before that can change.  I may end up working in marketing if I can’t find any business analyst jobs in the area. It’d be a real change, that’s for sure!

Before the move we took the kids to the Como Zoo one last time, and I noticed some really cool handknits in the gift shop. I brazenly took some pictures, and I think I may try to figure out a pattern for a few of them.

I’d just love to make a llama hat for my friend Heidi’s twin girls. She’s nuts about llamas. Don’t ask.

A few monkeys followed us home from the zoo too, but they don’t eat much.

A lot has been going on in knitting news. I convinced my sister to try knitting and…she’s totally addicted. When I heard her say “just let me finish this row” the other day, I knew she was hooked. She picked it up really fast, and her first projects looked damn good for a beginner. She even got excited about buying kitchen cotton on sale at Michael’s yesterday. (FYI, its on sale for a $1!) It’s so exciting to have someone to talk about knitting with!

Also, I have had a lot more time to knit since quitting my job. The kids do take up a lot of my time, but I have had time to knit every day. I’m working really hard at finishing my socks I started back when dinosaurs walked the earth in December. I’m about 80% finished with the second one, and I know I will love wearing them, but sock knitting just takes so long! I would love nothing more than to have enough handknit socks to wear a different pair each day of the month, but at the rate I make them, it could take a decade to get to that point. I’m making myself finish them before I use  3 skeins of delicious Misti Alpaca worsted to make something for myself.

I did manage to hook up with some ladies in the Waukesha area of the Milwaukee burbs for a Stich N’ Bitch recently. I dragged my knitting-virgin sister along. (That’s how I convinced her to try knitting, that I couldn’t go alone, so she just had to at least know how to knit a washcloth. Mwuahahaha!) We went to a little bistro called Sprizzo’s and met a really nice group of knitters. I didn’t enjoy my sandwich, and the beer was kind of pricey, so I will try to eat before I go next time. Its not an established SNB, so everyone was either a stranger or casual acquaintance that had met through Ravelry. Got to see a bunch of interesting projects, but I didn’t really feel comfortable taking pictures for the ol’ blog, as I barely knew anyone. Maybe next time. It’d be nice to meet some knitters closer to where I live too.

One of the ladies agreed to bring some tools along to our next SNB and show us how to make stitch markers. I’ve always wanted to know how to make them, but I don’t want to go out and buy the wrong tools. It’ll be a lot of fun to see one made first-hand.


Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

June 20, 2009 at 12:32 am


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As you may remember, I recently made a blanket for my niece, Hattie, who was born a few weeks ago.  I washed it twice today with a little boost of bleach hoping to get the blue tint out of the white sections. It didn’t really do much good, and the yarn started to disintegrate!!!! It literally fell apart in my hands as I was examining it, so into the trash it went.

I guess I should be glad that it didn’t happen after I gave the blanket to them. Has anyone ever had an old acrylic yarn fall apart on them? It just gives me more incentive to use natural fibers.

We went to my niece Hattie’s christening today, and the other gift I made to replace the blanket went over very well.

Hattie’s Shrug
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Needles: US 5 circular

Notes: What an easy and fun knit! It was really interesting to see how this came together, row by row. I’ve heard horror stories of Bliss’ patterns running large, but I didn’t run into that problem. The shrug was exactly the size it should have been.

I did have a bit of difficulty seaming the sides because of the way the stitches morph along the seam. I’ll probably make another of these in the future, but in a cotton next time. My sister-in-law loves the color orange, not a color I would usually choose for an infant, but I like how it turned out. Gotta love how vivid Cascade yarns look in natural light. Delish!

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

February 9, 2009 at 1:04 am

Fall Colors

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Lots of fun things going on lately. Every autumn we have a tradition where we go and take family pictures when the fall colors are at their peak. I got the opportunity to take some pictures with our new camera and I am really happy with the quality of photos.

It was difficult to get good pictures what with the lack of cloud cover, and my very pale children and husband practically glowing in the sun…

Ok, so I’m not exactly tan myself. Anywho, even my husband volunteered to take a few pictures, which is unheard of. Its the reason I’m in hardly any of our family pictures from the past ten years. BUT, this year I set up the auto-timer and tripod and…..voila, family portrait! Sure, the lighting and shadows could be better, but for a first-time effort I’m happy.

Next time, current knit-projects and a copycat design for the mittens that Bella wears in Twilight! What a fangirl I am…Bella Swan Mittens? Kinda wierd when you start seeing the handknits in movies and just HAVE to have them.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

November 15, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Family, Minnesota

Family Gatherings

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We drove down to Milwaukee last weekend to attend my little sister’s engagement party, and took advantage of the trip to view the gorgeous fall colors. We drove down the river road from the Twin Cities down through Red Wing, and then cut across the border at La Crosse, Wisconsin. It’s absolutely breathtaking, and I did get a chance to take a few pictures.

We briefly stopped at a little park so I could feed Jamie, and I was really impressed with the quality of pictures the camera took.

I thought the colors were pretty on the way down, but Milwaukee was at full peak and took my breath away. We fell in love with a little area near a lake and are talking about moving down there in the summer. We had been planning to move closer to my family anyways, but it feels more real knowing there’s a special spot we both want to find a home in.

The engagement party was something else. My sister is marrying into a Greek family, and some of those funny things that make you laugh in My Big Fat Greek Wedding didn’t seem quite so exaggerated when we got to the party! Here’s one of my sister Chelsea and Jameson at the party.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone was wonderfully friendly and welcoming, I just didn’t expect such a colorful group of people. We’re used to being the “big” family at most gatherings, since there are six siblings in my family. But they were expecting 75 people at the engagement party, andat least 100 showed up. We only made about 10% of the crowd, the rest were all my future brother-in-law’s family. I feel a little bit jealous of the great in-laws my sister is getting. They really are great, and she’s lucky to get along so well with them.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

October 22, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Posted in Family

Woe is me

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Excuse me while I have my own private little tongue-in-cheek pity party. The summer is becoming a blur, and I feel like I can’t fit everything in.

5 Reasons I am not posting all the cool stuff I’ve finished/working on:

1. My poor boobs are decimated from nursing a squawking (but cute) piglet of a child. And everyone knows that you knit with your breasts. Duh.

Mommy says Im just big-boned.

"Mommy says I'm just big-boned."

2. The sleep deprivation from having a 6 week-old has gotten to the point where I’m not really sure if I’m awake or asleep. I’m not even sure if I’m really posting this right now.

3. The cats have revolted because the new baby is getting more snuggle time than they are, and have taken my laptop hostage.

Pet me or suffer the consequences!

"Pet me or suffer the consequences!"

4. My husband politely reminded me that it’s been quite a while (wink wink, nudge nudge), and promptly locked me in the bedroom with a gleam in his eye.

5. The camera is chock-full of “baby’s first…” pictures, and the memory card can’t hold another pixel. All I’m saying is if you hear rumors of “Baby’s First Stink Eye” pictures, I plead the fifth.

* * * *

But seriously, my maternity leave is winding down pretty quickly, and I’ll be going back to work in a couple weeks. I’m trying to squeeze as much quality family time in as I can before school/work start up again. We spent last week in Milwaukee visiting my parents and it was nice to see everyone and have so much help with the kids. Plus it’s always so much fun seeing my parents enjoy their grandkids.

I’m so proud of how Aidan has adjusted to being a big brother. He’s been nothing but happy and helpful since we came home from the hospital. He’s always offering to help, and asking questions about how babies learn things. Everyone kept saying how he’d have such a hard time adjusting, and I really resented the implication. He’s such a sweet-natured boy, and nearly 8. Sibling rivalry doesn’t really sting as much with that sort of age difference, in my opinion. Plus, we make a big effort to give him lots of one-on-one time with each of us. I’m really lucky to have such a great little boy! Sniffle sniffle…

Tomorrow Aidan and I are having a “Super Special Top-Secret Fun Mommy and Aidan Day”. We’re going to go to the zoo, the playground, school shopping, and have lunch together while Andy and Jamie snore away the day at home. I may even get some time to knit at the playground! Joy!

I’m currently working on the February Lady Sweater, and was sooo close to starting the lace pattern…when I realized that I screwed up my number of stitches at some point. I held it up to me, and it didn’t look like it was going to be roomy enough, so I ripped out the whole thing and started over.

Luckily I didn’t have any trouble staying at the correct gauge, which is rare for me. I tend to knit a bit loosely, but I’m getting better at adjusting my tension. This is my first knit sweater (baby sweaters don’t count!), so I’m using an acrylic so that I don’t spend a fortune on something I probably won’t master the first time around. I’m learning more and more as I go though, and I’m glad that I knit the baby sweaters that I did, first. They taught me all sorts of things that apply to an adult-sized sweater, but with less work involved. If I’m lucky, I may finish redoing the yoke again tomorrow.

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

August 25, 2008 at 2:27 am

Baby Love

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So I figure I’m waaaaaay overdue for a journal update. I am actually still alive, I was just so miserable and in pain at the end of my pregnancy that I didn’t do much of anything during May and June.

WARNING! Gratuitous baby photos ahead!

FINALLY had the baby! I swear to God it felt like I was pregnant for 10 years by the time my C-section rolled around. I try to make it a habit not to say scary or overly negative things about pregnancy around my friends who don’t have children, in an effort to not scare them off of it…..but I’m making an exception because this is my journal. These were some of the most miserable months of my entire life!!! My first pregnancy was a cake-walk, but this one sucked. Morning sickness for 5 months, awful pelvic pain that made it impossible for me to do just about anything physical, and for the last two months I had constant non-progressing contractions that my doctor said was because I had an “irritable uterus”. Yeah….I laughed pretty hard when he told me, thinking he was making a joke. It’s an actual condition! <insert numerous complaints and bitching here>

But it was all worth it in the end. Our son, Jameson Tennant <last name omitted>, was born at 7:57am on Wednesday, July 9.

I wasn’t conscious during the birth of my first child, since I had an emergency C-section and almost died, so I was really scared going into this one. But it was really a great experience. I was terrified of getting the spinal, but I didn’t even feel it go in because they numb you before putting the needle in. It wasn’t even so bad not feeling your lower body, because you can still move your arms and head. It WAS a little creepy that they restrained my arms before the surgery, but I can understand the reasoning behind it. I didn’t feel a thing during the surgery, and it all went really smoothly.

The moment I heard him cry for the first time, tears just welled-up in my eyes and I felt so relieved and happy at the same time. You spend 10 months carrying around another person inside of you, trying to connect with a stranger that you have never met, and worried that something will go wrong at any moment, and then BAM, there they are. You just can’t prepare yourself for how it feels to meet your own child for the first time.

He was BIG! It really surprised the doctors when it took 10 minutes to get him out via C-section because he had such a big Irish noggin (15 inches!!). He weighed 9lbs 4oz, was 21 inches long, and has strawberry blond hair. I’m just glad Ididn’t have to attempt to deliver the roly-poly twerp the old-fashioned way…

The hospital stay was pretty uneventful, but I ran out of pain meds over the weekend that they released me and I was in a lot of freaking pain. Thank goodness for vicodin. Then last week we took Jamie in for his one week checkup and found out that he had really bad jaundice, which landed him in the hospital for two nights under a billi-lamp. It’s this really creepy machine which pumps out blue light and looks like a tanning bed. They even put little foam goggles over his eyes so they wouldn’t get damaged by the rays.

But anywho, he’s better now and I’m just about at the point where I can finally start to function normally again. I get 10 weeks paid maternity leave from my work, so I don’t have to go back until around September 20. Kickass, no? I am soooo looking forward to running again, but I don’t dare try that for a while yet. Some easy-goes-it walks are definitely in my future though. I’m going nuts being cooped up inside! The good news is that I’ve already lost all of the weight from my pregnancy, plus 10 pounds more without any effort at all. I think I must just retain a shitload of water when I get pregnany, because to lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks is just insane. Not that I’m complaining!

And I leave you with Pirate Baby! Arrrrgh!


P.S. I’ve got loads of knitting stuff to update in future posts! Leave a comment to kick my ass into doing so. 😉

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

July 24, 2008 at 2:43 am

Posted in Family

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Spring Knitting Spree

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Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota, in a fashion. It’s quite brisk outside (low 50s), but there is actual evidence of greenery and sunshine. Don’t believe me?

We went to the park near our apartment, and it was quiet as can be. I guess going to the park is too tame for most people on Mother’s Day. For those of you who don’t know, Minnesota is called “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, but there are many many more than that. You can walk about 1/4 a mile in any direction and find water here. They are cratered across the state from when the glaciers scraped the land in the Ice Age.

I’m as big as a whale so I just sat in the shade and watched Andy and Aidan play soccer. Nice and peaceful way to spend an afternoon, watching the birds chase each other along the shoreline.

Knitwise I’ve got a ton of projects that I’ve finished in the past couple weeks.

Rose’s Wristwarmers (Doctor Who)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in Aqua
Needles: US 5 circular

Notes: This yarn was so delicious, that I’d like to roll around in it nekked…ok, probably TMI. This is the second time I’ve made this pattern, and it’s much lovelier on a solid color than a variegated yarn. If you’ve never used a chart before, the designer makes it super simple to follow so it’s a good learning opportunity. The only thing to keep in mind is that this yarn isn’t very elastic, so if you stretch it out it could be problematic.

Next, in my efforts to knit through all my yarn before buying more I used up the rest of the yarn from my floor pillow to make a layette for el baby-on-the-way.

Yoda Kimono
Pattern: Baby Kimono
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: Yes, yes, my son isn’t due to be born until the disgustingly sticky and sweltering days of early July, but I figure with the A/C he’ll still get some use out of them. The sweater is very quick and easy, and I ended up going with a shorter sleeve due to the time of year it will be worn. I also added a moss stitch border to the sleeves and hem so so that the stockinette wouldn’t roll. I used a crochet hook to do a single crochet border along the neckline too, to add a little color and contrast. The buttons were in my sewing basket, and while I thought they were a bit fussy at first, they kind of give it an heirloom look I like.

Baby Booties
Pattern: Saartje’s Booties
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: I altered the pattern since I was using a bulky yarn and newborn sized. I cast on 23 stitches on a size 5 needle, and did the math to subtract how much the pattern changed. They may be a little bit too big for my son when he is born, but we will see! I’ll post an action shot when the time comes. It’s really hard to capture the colors of this yarn accurately. It’s much prettier in real life than in the photos.

Doll Blanket
Pattern: Giant Granny Square Blanket
Yarn: Various wool and silk blends
Size G hook
This is a great project for stash-busting. I’ve made another in the past, but this one was just to use up some leftover yarn I had sitting around. It’s mostly wool blends, and I made it for my friend’s 3 year old niece. I added an improvised shell edging to make it a bit fancier. One tip I have is that you should definitely try to sew in the loose ends as you go, it makes your life a lot easier!

I’m having a hell of a time getting my next project off the ground. I bought 3 skeins of DreamBaby 4-ply by Plymouth Yarns to make another baby sweater, but it doesn’t seem to be working for the pattern. I may just knit too loosely, but it seems like there isn’t much elasticity to it. Since it is a ribbed pattern, that’s not good. One more attempt tomorrow, and if it doesn’t work I need to find another sweater pattern.

<—Ze pattern which will not cooperate. (Knit Simple Fall 2007)

Anyone have a suggestion for a simple baby sweater pattern that I can use this yarn for? I need a break from cables, and it has to be ok for all in cream colored yarn. Any ideas are welcome!

Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

May 11, 2008 at 11:50 pm