Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Real Simple: Scarf Knitting Pattern

Thanks to a comment from Anon on an old post, I'm featuring the knitting pattern from Real Simple magazine that first started me knitting .... I don't even know how long ago it was. I was living in Dayton at the time, in my first apartment .... so I think it must have been the fall/winter of 2001. Wow. Longer than I realized!

I was going to just link to their website for the pattern, and avoid any issues of posting someone else's content on my site. However, I just tried to find the pattern there and apparently their archives only go back a couple years, so I don't think this is available. So here it is, in a very abbreviated format. I didn't include any of the actual knitting instructions, but if you watch the YouTube video above, you'll be all set!

Real Simple Scarf Pattern
  1. Purchase Size 8 (5 mm) needles and six 50-gram (1.75 oz) balls of yarn. The original scarf had two color stripes, so you might want to do the same.
  2. Cast on 35 loops.
  3. Knit 25 rows per color.
  4. To change color, cut the yarn from the old color, leaving a 6-inch tail. Then add the new color in your next row.
  5. When you're done, cast off! No fancy fringe or anything with this scarf.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cloth Diapers

So far, so good!

We really like our cloth diapers. After many recommendations from friends, and good online reviews, we went with the Bum Genius 3.0 diapers, purchased at Cotton Babies.

For the first few weeks, we went with disposables just because we weren't yet willing to commit to the time and effort of washing and assembling the cloth diapers on a daily basis. And the disposable diapers were convenient .... but I hated having an overflowing trash can all the time. And we thought they smelled strange in a chemical sort of way—maybe from the super-absorbent filling materials? We were probably influenced by the fact that we were already planning on cloth diapering anyway, but overall I just wasn't a fan of the disposable diaper experience. It's expensive and wasteful ... and Eleanor started getting a diaper rash, which cleared right up when we made the switch.

On the other hand, we started with the cloth diapers about week 3 or so. We made sure to start when my Mom was visiting, so we still had plenty of help around the house:) The diapers come in a variety of colors, as shown, and are pretty attractive. They're very easy to put on—just as easy as disposables.

On the downside, the washing process does take a while, since you need to run the washer 3 times and then the dryer. So it requires some advance planning when you get low. Also, at this point in time, the diapers are significantly more bulky on Eleanor than the disposables. This is because we got the "one-size" diapers that adjust to fit your baby through potty training (35 pounds). So they may give Little E some "junk in the trunk" at the moment, but that effect will lessen as she gets bigger and we expand the diapers.

Overall, we really like the cloth diapers and are very happy about our decision to go with them. Since we've started using them about 2 months ago, we've been on the same jumbo pack of disposables for outings and the occasional lapse when the diapers are being washed. For us, disposable diapers are useful in certain situations, mostly when we're out and about, but cloth diapers are definitely our first choice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to What Passes for Normal

Finally, after a bit of upheaval, it's just another day in the life. A hectic, unpredictable day. But at least one without specific appointments and errands.

The trip to Cincinnati went really well. I was shocked and impressed by how well Eleanor did being handed amongst 30 or more of Keith's relatives and friends. We had some good friends stop by too, so it was really nice to have some time to sit and chat while Eleanor roamed from one aunt to the next.

Plus, there was an unexpected benefit to the trip: previously, Eleanor had cried when Keith held her, and only really calmed down for me. But it would appear that after she's realized just how many people there are in the great wide world, Keith doesn't look so bad anymore. As he puts it: 2 out of 2 isn't very good, but 2 out of 30 is a lot better. So now she's daddy's little girl!

As always, the worst part of the trip was the driving. But this time was even more brutal than it had been. Friday night, for the trip down, we left at 10 o'clock in the evening so she would sleep the whole way. Which she did, and we were grateful. But once we arrived, she awoke to eat, get her diaper changed, etc., so we didn't actually get to sleep until about 4 o'clock in the morning. And when she awoke at 7 or 8, demanding our attention, it was rough.

In contrast, on the way back she was awake for at least 10-20 minutes of crying every time we strapped her back into the car seat. Which happened a lot, because we stopped several times to feed her along the way. It's not that long of drive, but we went to his aunt's picnic first, and then stopped at friends' in Columbus .... anyway, the drive back just dragged on forever.

But being in Cincinnati was good, and I think she managed to charm all of Keith's relatives. (Jan, would you agree?;) And the ensuing chaos for the rest of the week was due to the fabulous news of Gavin's arrival. Finally, Keith and I had our first big outing this weekend, sans Eleanor: a wedding on the west side of town. We showed up late and left early, but we still made it!

However, I'm very happy that we have no big plans for this week. We're not going anywhere or doing anything. That will probably change by this afternoon, but for now it sounds very nice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ruff! It's a Tough Life

Ruff! Beckett here. Megan's been very busy again lately, so I told her I'd write a few blog entries, in exchange for people food. Mmmmm, lasagna ....

I still haven't decided how I feel about the baby human. She's not all bad, but she really does take up a lot of our owners' time and attention. Where are my walks?!? I used to get two a day. Now I'm lucky if I get two a week!

On the other hand, at least things have improved from the beginning where she was always waking me up in the middle of the night with her crying. Now she sleeps much longer, and sleeps in her own room, which is even better.

I think I'll let her stay. The cat really likes the crib and the rocking chair in the baby human's room, though. So if she has any say in the matter, she'd give the baby human away to the first interested party. Maybe I should check Craig's list just to make sure she hasn't put an ad in ....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cousin Gavin Has Arrived!

Apparently, when we former Williams girls go into labor, we mean business!

My labor lasted less than 6 hours, from waking up with contractions at 3:30am to Eleanor's birth at 9:14am.

Likewise, my sister Erin went for her weekly Ob-Gyn check-up at 1:00pm on Monday afternoon, where she was told that she was already in labor! Gavin was born at 9:46pm on Monday evening. She spent several hours in-between the appointment and his birth trying to relax at home. After he was born, she was warned that next time she'd better get to the hospital pronto.

Eleanor was quite interested in her cousin. Once she realizes he will be competition for Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Amy's affections, she might not be so happy to have him around.

Congratulations, Erin and Josh!

Gavin Joseph
Birth day: Monday, September 29, 9:46pm
Weight: 7 pounds, 7 ounces
Length: 19.5 inches