Well, hello there.

Wagon rides are awesome.

Wagon rides are super fun.

It’s been awhile! This poor blog has been neglected for months, mostly because I haven’t figured out how to post quickly and efficiently. Whenever I post, I write drafts and find suitable photos and think and come back to the post.  I’m hoping to find a way to be a little more free and easy with blog posting because I miss it. :)

Charlie is now almost 14 months old and he is so much fun! He’s walking now – not all the time, as he’s still much faster when he’s crawling – but he’s starting to do it more and more. It still blows my mind to see him toddling around the house. His favorite things these days are hanging out with his dad while he cooks dinner, walking around with his train, and being outside. He LOVES outside.

Since the last time I posted, we also welcomed a new family member – my adorable nephew, Jack! He and Charlie are about 8 months apart in age and we can’t wait until they’re old enough to play together.

Cousins!

Cousins!

I was inspired to post today because the fabulous Jenn of nipperknits posted about her new website, and I designed her new site! I’m so excited that her website is live and looking shiny and new. She also posted a fabulous hat pattern and is having a giveaway, so you should check it out.

I’ve also been knitting! I’m always on the lookout for new baby patterns, and I think I might’ve found a new favorite: Elefante (Ravelry link)!

elefante! now with eyes.

elefante!

This pattern was super fast and fun to make. The ears as written are crochet, but very doable for a beginning crocheter (like myself) and I think they are adorable. Charlie was super interested in this little guy, so I might have to make another one for him, but really, I want to make an army of them! They are the perfect size for chubby baby/toddler/kid hands to squeeze. The pattern calls for poly-pellets in the trunk and feet but I left this out since it’s for a baby and just used polyfill.

Happy Solitude Cowl.

Happy Solitude Cowl

I also recently finished a cowl for my dear friend Carolyn, who has a very cold neck. The Happy Solitude cowl (Rav link) was another fast and fun knit – I used Malabrigo worsted held doubled and it’s so soft. The pattern is reversible cables and can be worn a bunch of different ways. The weather here changed from wintery to spring while I was knitting this, so  I felt funny knitting a super warm cowl while sitting in 80 degree weather. HA. Georgia’s springs are pretty short-lived – we’ll be in 90 degree weather here in no time.

Anyways, things are great around here! Work is busy, Charlie is growing like a weed, and we’re loving being parents. I can’t wait for summer and lots more outdoor time.  I’ve just cast on for a summery top – Vesper – and I can’t wait to find more warm weather knits.

Hope you’re having a lovely March!

Rhinebeck 2010

well hello! I finally got my RSS feed forwarding, so hopefully if you’ve been subscribed to this blog, you’re seeing this update in your RSS reader. O HAI.

We’ve been busy busy around here! Charlie is eight and a half months old and really wanting to stand. and play. and stand some more. and maybe use his Bumbo chair for a walker and walk around some. eek! It’s so crazy how much he’s changed from five months old – he’s totally on the go now. It’s amazing and terrifying all at the same time. ha. He’s also started saying “dada” and “mama” – I’m not sure he knows what it means, but it’s still pretty nice to hear.

This slide whistle is awesome!

hi mama and dada!

And our most recent adventure was a trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, better known as Rhinebeck! It was Charlie’s first flight and our first trip together. Jacob just started an awesome new job so he couldn’t take any time off to join us (and I’m not sure I could’ve convinced him that he would have fun at a fiber festival anyways), so it was just me and C. I was a little nervous about flying to NY, renting a car and driving up to Rhinebeck with Charlie, but we did it and it was really, really great.  It was way easier than I thought it would be to travel with an infant. Stroller + infant = head of the security line and pre-boarding on the plane.  and he was so interested in all the new things to see!

Looking out.

Charlie loved to look out the plane window.

We stayed at a quirky rental house with some of the best roomies ever, and had so so much fun. We spent all day Saturday at the festival, and it was definitely a different experience that I’ve had in the past – I carried Charlie the entire day in our Ergo, and I was TIRED by the end of the day.  Charlie seemed a little overwhelmed by all the activity, but I think he had a good time – there was so much to look at! I didn’t actually get to do very much shopping (I bought one skein of sock yarn and some buttons) but the real reason I went is to see friends, so that’s okay. and of course Jacob was happy about my lack of shopping, hahaha.

Carrie and Charlie

photo by fig and plum Jess.Charlie's hat by Stacey, and sweater by Mai!

I was really overwhelmed, in a good way, by all the help I got with C. My roommates were particularly understanding about his one big meltdown at 3am on Sunday morning. I had a couple of moments where I thought, wow, am I a bad mom for bringing my poor 8 month old son to this crazy festival? But I think it’s good to introduce Charlie to things that I love, and I lovelovelove fiber festivals and awesome friends that I never get to see. It was so much fun to see old friends, and meet old friends for the first time, and to introduce my son to everyone. yay!

The Zardozians

Housemates, L to R: Lolly, me and C, Kate, Emily, Mai, Anne, Kelly borrowed from Anne's photostream. hee.

Of course I tried to finish a sweater in time for the festival and totally failed. But I’m almost finished with it now! It’s a Garter Yoke Cardigan in some yummy Brooks Farm Mas Acero. I’m about a sleeve and a half away from finishing! I also have some Quince and Co. Osprey on its way to me. My housemate Emily made a beautiful Idlewood with some, and I am so copying her. hee. I’m also test-knitting a lovely shawl for Kirsten Kapur and it’s going super fast.

So hooray for old and new friends, and adventures with Charlie!

Change is good.

Hi! Things look a little different – I’m moved my blog from Movable Type 3.31 (omg so old) to WordPress, and I’ll be sprucing things up in the next few weeks. Hopefully if you use an RSS reader, you’ll see this update. You should be able to access the blog using the same URL as before – www.carrieoke.net.

Also, Charlie says hi!! He’s seven months old, can you believe it? I sure can’t.

Seven months old.

I’ll be back soon!

hi there.

hello!
I keep starting a new post and then something happens and I have to stop writing and then it’s a month later and I still haven’t finished. I guess that’s how it goes when you have a super energetic 4.5 month old, right?


Four months old.

hi! I’m four months old.

Charlie looks a bit older than the last time I posted here, right? Somehow he’s turned into a little boy, and it’s so much fun. He’s super smiley, loves to laugh at his dad, and put EVERYTHING in his mouth (yay for teething). I’m back at work now, and he’s transitioned really well into our awesome daycare. It’s been a super busy time, but a really, really awesome time too. And it just keeps getting better! It’s so fun to watch him play and try new things and see the little wheels in his brain turning when he figures out that he can roll over, or grab a toy, or pull mama’s glasses off. ha.
Maternity leave was wonderful – lots of sleeping late with Charlie and going to new mom’s group and mama-baby yoga. I feel really really lucky that I had three months of vacation time saved up and was able to use it. Now it’s back to reality, and working, but that’s been okay too. There was definitely a transition from the newborn haze to the working world, but we’re doing pretty well.

365.3.117 jammie time

Jammie time!

I’ve even found some time for crafting! I joined my first ever quilting bee, and I’m SO excited about it. I’ve been sewing a lot, and this bee is going to give me a chance to try some new quilt techniques. It’s an awesomely talented group of women, and I can’t wait to sew some blocks up.
I sewed up some wet bags too, and a local baby/parenting store commissioned me to make some for them! Apparently they’ve been selling pretty well and I’m so glad. We don’t cloth diaper, but I use my wet bag for dirty disposables when we’re out and about, and I also have one for bringing my breastpump parts to and from work.

Wet bag, trial #2.

wet bag!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to – working, crafting, being a mama. What have you been up to?

Charlie.

Hi there! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, but I promise I have a really good excuse: his name is Charlie.


Charlie.

My mama is already using me as an excuse.

Charlie was born on February 9, two days before his due date, and he is a complete joy. My contractions started to be regular on Monday morning, they got really painful Monday evening around 9pm, we headed to the hospital about 3:30am on Tuesday, and Charlie was born at 10:40am on Tuesday. (and let me tell you I was SHOCKED when they told me what time it was, because it felt like I had been in labor for like 24 hours.)
I had a freaking amazing group of people with me who helped me through every contraction and pushing – ack – and helped me bring Charlie into the world healthy and alert. Jacob, Cathy, our two doulas, and an amazing midwife and nurse were totally there for me the whole time, and boy did I need them. :) It was such an intense and amazing experience.

365.3.29 family.
My family. Minus Bella, of course.

And now we’re home! We’re still in a bit of a newborn haze, and I’m slowly trying to emerge to get into a normal routine, but I’m also trying not to rush – it’s only been about two weeks. I have lots of beautiful handknits to show you – people have been so amazingly generous to us and Charlie and he’s got the best wardrobe of knits I’ve ever seen, and some beautiful quilts as well. He’s a lucky baby.

hi Charlie!
Hi Charlie!

We are extremely tired but so, so happy, and very much in love with our little guy. I still can’t believe he’s here and that we have a SON. We are parents!
I’ll hopefully be back online on a regular basis soon, but I wanted to post and let you know that Charlie is here, he’s a healthy and adorable schmoo, and that we’re all doing great. Even Bella has been adjusting really well – she’s a good dogger. :) so things are good!!
Yayayayay, Charlie is here!

Happy New Year.

It’s 2010! I can’t even believe it. 2009 was a great year for me in so many ways – and we are so looking forward to 2010, for obvious reasons:


33 weeks, 5 days.
o hai, I am super pregnant. 33 weeks, 5 days.

As I’m posting this, I’m 34 weeks and 1 day – which means that my due date is less than 6 weeks away. !!! It feels like this time has flown by, although as we get closer, it moves a little slower. ha. I’m also moving a little more slowly – my energy level is down a bit and it’s just a little harder for me to get around and get comfortable. But overall, I’m doing great! I still feel good, and the littlest schmoo is jumping around like a crazy boy. We can’t wait to meet him!
The start of the new year always makes me (and other knitters) want to look back at our knits for the past year. So here are mine:

2009 knits.
2009 finished knits. and one crochet project. ;)

Lots of hats in there, baby and adult sized, and a couple of sweaters and shawls, and of course tons of baby knits! I have a few more projects in mind for the littlest schmoo – I hopefully still have some time to knit, and I certainly plan to take advantage of it. I have yarn for this adorable vest
and also this little sweater from Phildar Tricotez Calin Fall-Winter 2009. (so many cute things in that magazine – I had to order the French version from Phildar, but my French is good enough to translate. I think.) I’ll probably make a few more hats, too, just because they are fun and fast and useful and also adorable.
I realize that I might not finish everything I want to knit before the baby arrives, and that’s okay. I also realize that my knitting time might be limited after he is born, and that’s okay too! I like to line things up just in case. hahahahaha.
So, things here are good. We’ve got all the necessary items to bring the littlest schmoo home, so now we’re focusing on the part where he’s born! We’ve taken a tour of our hospital, and we’re working with a great doula and an awesome midwifery practice, and I’m getting more and more excited about things every day. I’m also practicing lots of meditation and positive thinking – I’m a super anxious person by nature, and so it’s helped me a lot in this pregnancy to breathe, and focus on the good, positive things that can happen (instead of dwelling on what-ifs, which is my normal way of doing things.) It’s really helped to calm down my anxieties (or most of them, anyways.)
On a super sad note – those of you who follow me on Flickr or Twitter or Facebook already know that my father passed away unexpectedly on December 15th. My dad had a stroke 8 years ago and wasn’t in perfect health, but he’d been doing really, really well, so it was a pretty big shock to our whole family. There isn’t ever a good time for someone to pass away – it always feels so completely unfair – but it was especially hard for us since the baby is due so soon, and my dad was so looking forward to meeting him. But I’m so grateful that he got to see me super pregnant and share this pregnancy with me and Jacob for the time that he did.

The twins with Dad.
Me, Dad and Cat in 2006.

We set up a memorial page for my dad at the American Stroke Association website. Our family has been spending lots of time together and dealing with things as best we can; but really, it just sucks, and we miss him lots. Thank you so much for all the kind emails and cards and messages – the support has helped so much, and just shows me, once again, what an incredible online community we have. Y’all are awesome. :)
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year’s. We have so much to look forward to in this coming year, and I hope the new year brings hope and happiness and joy to all of you, too!

o hai.

o hi there! remember me? I’m still here! It’s been a pretty busy two and a half months, as you can probably imagine. I’ve been feeling great – yay second trimester! – and if you can believe it, this week marks the start of my third trimester. holy crap.


27 weeks, 4 days.
my belly at 27 weeks, 4 days.

yep, I’m definitely pregnant. hee.
I’ve been sewing and knitting a lot. The sewing has been in preparation for a craft fair that I’ll hopefully be at in early December, and the knitting has been mostly baby oriented (surprise!) — some for our baby, some for baby swaps, some for the awesome tiny teamie Hayes.

My creation
1. Tiny Schmoo Sophisticate for our little guy., 2. Doodie. , 3. Garter Stitch Kimono Baby Sweater for my doula’s son Judah., 4. Buzzbee for Hayes!, 5. Elfin for our little guy., 6. Tubey for a baby hat swap.

Baby stuff is so fun and fast to knit! I’m sure I’ll be making a few more sweaters for the littlest schmoo before I’m done.
You can see some of the stuff that me and my friend JoAnna have been sewing here in this Flickr set. If all goes as planned, we’ll have a little booth at the 2009 Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa Holiday Market in December under the name “teamie & schmoo“, and we’re really excited! We’ve been making lots of cute baby stuff and some box bags and bags as well. I’ve also had a few people commission me to make some diaper bags / messenger bags for them, and it’s been super fun to work on those. Like I said before, I’m trying to take advantage of my energy while I’ve got it. :)
I also received some amazing handknits from my awesome friend Sarah. I got this package in the mail last week on a particularly crappy morning, and man, did it cheer me up!

amazing.
amazing knits! and so wee! and adorable!

I don’t think it’s possible to be grouchy when you are holding teeny tiny handknit baby socks. The littlest schmoo is going to be so well-dressed! thanks again, Sarah, for this beautiful teeny tiny wardrobe. OMG baby knits are CUTE. and Sarah is made of awesome.
In addition to the crafting, we’ve been working on getting our house ready for our newest family member. There’s been painting and carpet ripping and furniture assembling (mostly by Jacob) and we’ve still got more to do, but we’ve definitely made some progress. I feel so lucky – we’ve had so many people give us baby things that they are no longer using, and our kitchen is totally full of baby awesomeness right now – toys, clothes, chairs, etc – and maternity stuff too! We have really generous people in our lives, and we are lucky, lucky schmoos. Hopefully we can return the favor someday!
Anyways, that’s the story around here. Lots of things going on, but I’m trying to relax and rest some too – although I *do* like being busy. :) It’s been really nice to get things done at home and spend time with Jacob and Bella.

365.2.282 me and Bella, again.

It’s almost the holidays! I hope this post finds you staying warm and feeling great and not too stressed about holiday crafting. :)

sewing bug

I’ve been sewing. a lot. I’ve been knitting too – I’m *this* close to finishing my Smock – but I’ve just been feeling the urge to sew lately! (It’s a nice change from my first trimester, when I didn’t feel like doing anything, especially sewing.)
First up: a yoga mat bag! I’m going to prenatal yoga twice a week, and I almost bought a little bag for my mat at REI, and then I realized that I could make one with some stash fabric.


Yoga mat bag.
Amy Butler fabric + yoga mat bag = hooray.
I used this tutorial from Bored & Crafty, and borrowed the measurements from Jess’s blog post. I just used some ribbon for the drawstring, although I might end up trimming it or using something else later. I lined it with some heavy linen that I had laying around, and it fits perfectly. This was a super quick and easy project!
Next: placemats! We’ve been eating dinner with friends at our house a lot lately, and we have a nice new-old dining room table from Jacob’s parents, but no placemats. I have no idea why – they’re probably packed up in our crawlspace upstairs somewhere. BUT! why not just make some?

I made some placemats.
New placemats make the table look better.

For these I used an Orla Kiely tablecloth half that I’d been saving for the perfect project, some solids from my scrap bin, and some super heavy interfacing. I’m really happy with the way they turned out – even Jacob approved. I used this tutorial to make them. She actually does binding around the edges, and I’d planned on doing a binding with the Orla Kiely fabric but I didn’t have enough left over. So, I just decided to sew the right sides together, leave a hole, turn them inside out, and then top stitch. easy peasy!
and finally: my first baby-related project! a diaper bag!

365.2.246 I made a diaper bag.
I’m so proud – can you tell?

I love love this bag. It’s completely lined in vinyl, has pockets galore, including a back zipper pocket, and is super sturdy.

Diaper bag front flap (with magnetic snaps)

I used this fantastic tutorial over at A Mingled Yarn, and seriously, I can’t say enough about how great it is. I’m not a new sewist, but I’m not advanced AT ALL – I’ve learned everything from books and the Internets, and friends who are nice enough to help me. The tutorial for this bag is so clear, with great instructions and pictures, and gave me confidence that I could actually make the bag, even when I was scared of all the fabric and vinyl that I was cutting out. hee.

P1050560
like this moment, when I was like, WHAT AM I DOING.

It’s a great tutorial! and it would make a great bag for anything, not just diapers. I mean, who wouldn’t want all these pockets in their bag?

Diaper bag, inside pockets
pockets!

I was so happy and excited when I finished – I kept parading around the house with my bag, and Jacob was nice enough to keep exclaiming over it. Har.
So yay for sewing! I think I’ve probably got some more patterns to try out soon…do you have any favorite sewing tutorials?

moving right along.

hi there! It’s been about a month since I last posted, and it has flown by. I’m feeling a lot better energy wise, although I’m still not sleeping very well. I guess it’s good practice for actually having a baby in the house, right? or that’s what I keep telling myself…
Otherwise, I feel great! I’ve been doing prenatal yoga twice a week, and it’s been such a good experience. I’ve never taken any yoga classes before, and this has been an awesome introduction. I’m actually thinking about picking up another class because I just love the way it makes me feel – I’m feeling strong, and more relaxed about things, which is a big deal because o hai I am so anxious normally.
I’m 16 weeks now – we’ll be getting our 20 week ultrasound in about a month, and then we find out if it’s a boy or a girl! We definitely want to know, and man, I am excited about the ultrasound. We’ve had two this whole time – one at 5 weeks and one at 7 weeks – and we still haven’t had one where the baby looked like, well, a BABY. so we’re both really looking forward to seeing the tiny schmoo.


365.2.233 comfy shirt.
yep, I’ve got a belly now.

What else is new? I’ve been knitting a bunch on my Smock , and I’m getting there! I need to take a picture – I’ve almost finished the back and it looks like it will fit me, even as my belly gets bigger.
I’ve also been sewing here and there – I’ve started a few quilting projects. One is a string quilt, using the fabulous tutorial by film in the fridge and two jelly rolls of the Hello Betty fabric line from Moda:

Bit by bit.
string quilts are so. fun.

The squares are about 4.5 inches, which means I’ll need approximately eleventy million to make an actual quilt, but I’m having a blast with them.
I’ve also started some log cabin squares:

Wonky log cabin squares.
Wonky log cabins!

These are also so fun. It was hard for me to pick fabrics at first, but I’m trying to just relax and see what looks good and not stress too hard about it. Both of these projects have potential as baby quilts, or wall hangings – who knows? I’m really enjoying making the squares right now.
ooh! I want to tell you about our new rug too. So I got an email way earlier this year from someone at csnrugs.com, saying they were interested in sending me a free rug of my choice if I would do a review on my blog. I was kinda thinking about, but then I mentioned it in passing to Jacob, who was all, UM YES DO THAT PLEASE, we need a freaking rug for the front hall. So! we agreed, and we picked out this rug.
It came almost right away, and it’s actually pretty awesome. It’s not the softest rug (it’s made from cactus fibers), but since it’s in the front hall, I think it’s okay.

rug1
new rug.

It got dirty after about one week due to a sick doggy (poor Bella), and we were able to clean it super easily with water – you can’t even tell anything was wrong with it. Our hall is a pretty high traffic area, and it’s holding up very nicely after a month. And as a bonus, Bella absolutely freaking LOVES this rug. She lays on it constantly – it’s kind of like her home base in the den.

bellarug
o hai, this is MY rug

So, we’re super happy with this rug. Thanks to csnrugs for sending it our way!
I’m off to knitknitknit and maybe sew some more. Hope you’re having a great weekend!