Archive for August, 2007

Our Tuesday check-up was cancelled because our ob/gyn had an emergency in theatre, but we did get to see him yesterday.

Everything looks good, the off-spring currently weighs about 2.5 kgs (5.5 pounds) and is still head down.

My blood pressure is a little low 105/60. This would account for the dizzy spells/feeling. The doctor isn’t too concerned, though he did say that it’s about this time in the pregnancy that we would expect to see blood pressure rising rather than dropping, but my blood pressure has been on the low side for the duration of the pregnancy. We’ve got another appointment in 2 weeks, so he’ll check it again then.

I’ve now seen two of the three companies that I phoned for quotes for our big move. One company never called back and I figure if they don’t want our business why should I chase them and force it upon them. I’m now waiting for the other two companies to fax me their prices.

My house looks like a bomb has hit it, I’m just too tired after work to tidy and Gorgeous Man is completely snowed under at work he’s been great with the cooking. We gratefully accepted the offer of his mother to do some cleaning for us. She’s there as we speak (or rather as I type), so I’m going to arrive home to no dishes in the sink and a clean bathroom 🙂

We have our birthing class again tonight. Gorgeous Man has a work function that he has to be at so I’m going by myself. There are usually one or two women alone each time – so I won’t stand out too much.  and this one isn’t the big labour class.

I’ve got 11 working days left, and I am incredibly tired. I just want to put my head down on my desk and sleep most of the time. Unfortunately, there’s a window that looks into my office…so that option is out.

There’s not much quilty stuff happening. By the time I get home from work I need to put my feet up (to reduce the very swollen ankles) and this prevents me from standing at the cutting table and sewing on the machine. I’m hoping to pick up some batting Friday afternoon and get the quilt basted sometime over the weekend, hopefully in the morning before the swelling hits. I’m hope I’m not complaining too much. It always used to annoy me when pregnant women complained about the complaints of pregnancy because I would have given anything to have those complaints…

Quilting guild is having a ‘spring clean bring and sell your stash’ day on Monday. I don’t have much of a stash to sell, but last year I picked up most of the fabrics that went into the African Animal quilt quite cheaply so I’m excited about that. Hopefully I’ll find some bargains and have a haul to show next week.

There is an ultrasound picture from this week – but I’ll have to wait until it’s been digitalised before I can post it here.

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Guess what I did this morning. I bet you can’t…

I rang around to organise removalists to come to my house and give me quotes on moving house. Yes, I realise I’m 34+ weeks pregnant, and yes, we will be moving before the offspring arrives.

It’s just a small local move this time, from one suburb to another. There are several distinct advantages to the move. The main one being that I will be less isolated in the new house than where we are currently.

I will not be packing. The removal company will do that. As for the unpacking, I’ll ask my MIL to do the kitchen and the rest we will do gradually (it’s mostly books anyway).

We have a great view from the living room of our new place. I’ll post some pictures once we are in.

In other news, I now have the border washed for the quilt (but not cut yet – the dvd rental shop had the next lot of Prison Break dvds in so I watched 4 episodes of that instead – there was knitting). I also found the perfect backing fabric. My job for this week is to add on the borders, get batting from the woman who runs a quilt store out of her house – this means making an appointment, and get the thing basted ready for hand quilting.

I went to a new mums’ support group this weekend organised by one of my friends. Most of the mums came from her pre-natal classes or her Mums and Babies class. So all the babies were between 4 and 5 months. It was fun, and helpful to talk to the mothers.

One thing struck me as odd though (and I raise this with great fear and trepidation because the last time I commented on language I was vilified in the comments). The girl hosting the morning is Canadian – she, like me speaks no Afrikaans. There were women there who spoke Afrikaans exclusively the whole morning. I know that they can speak English because one spoke perfect English to us both before the others arrived.

Now I don’t object to speaking Afrikaans in my presence, I understand that it is the mother tongue for many people, but if you are a guest in someone’s house, and you know that your hostess doesn’t understand what you are saying then surely that’s a little exclusionary?

Moving right along – tomorrow we have our 34 week check up with the ob/gyn and then we are down to fortnightly appointments.

I’m very reliant on Gorgeous Man for transport at the moment. Actually I haven’t driven a car since April. My licence expired and the first set of documents necessary for renewal got lost in the postal system and by the time I finally received my licence my belly had grown so large that it currently prevents my feet from reaching the pedals. It’s not as funny as it sounds. Today I hit a new low. I had to be assisted out of the hair-washing chair in the hairdressers.

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I realised yesterday that I missed my one year blogging anniversary on August 13th. I have to say that I never expected to find such a warm and welcoming community when I started my little blog. It’s been great getting to know so many of you who pause to read and comment.

Blogging has also enabled me to keep a more accurate record of what I’ve produced over the last year and, I think it’s made me more productive. You can’t have a craft-centred blog without some actual crafting going on. So what is the tally for the last year? I went through my old posts and this is what I found:

Some of the items have been for me, others have been gifts and still others have gone to charity.

9 knitted baby sweaters or cardigans

2 quilts – one for my Mum, she’s going to be collecting it in January when she comes to visit, and one for a friend in hospital in Australia who passed away a day or two after the quilt arrived.

1 crocheted blanket

2 knitted blankets – one for the cat and one for a baby.

1 fabric bag – really need to make some more of these.

1 set of placemats – I’ve got fabric to make 3 more sets waiting…and I’ve sewn a needle holder – I need to make another one with some modifications.

5 pairs of adult socks

2 pairs of baby socks

1 knitted scarf

10 knitted baby hats

4 pairs of knitted booties.

Not a bad tally for a year’s work really, though I would like to see more finished quilts on the list for next year.

Some of you who read regularly may remember that I have divided my time so that I work on a particular project on specific days of the week, unless there’s a dead-line or something urgent. This is working well, with one exception. Charity knitting is on Thursday nights, this is also the night that we have our birthing classes. By the time I get home from that I’m often too tired to do much knitting so it’s a bit stalled at the moment.

Speaking of birthing classes, tonight is the big labour class. We have to bring ‘clean feet and 2 pillows.’ To say I’m approaching this one with fear and trepidation is an understatement…

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We had gorgeous weather this weekend, so good in fact that I parked myself on the front lawn on a camping chair and worked on this.

The top measures 40 inches by 40 inches at present. The centre elephant still needs a tusk and a tail and then it’s ready to have the borders added. I have the material, but it still needs washing. Since the weather has reverted to wet, cold and rainy, that’s going to have to wait (because I need to get the tumble drier fixed, but am never home to have a service person come – one of my jobs for when I stop work).

We also took advantage of the good weather to wash all of the cloth nappies that we bought – apparently they need about 3 washes to make them nice and fluffy.

I have finally gotten over my fear of visiting the quilting shops in someone’s house (that’s how most good quality fabric is sold here) because their stuff is so good, but I still feel really awkward ringing up to make an appointment to come around and buy fabric – like I’m intruding somehow. Gorgeous Man has pointed out that I am giving them my money and so shouldn’t feel awkward at all.

I’m having a little trouble getting comfortable sleeping (we are currently at 33 1/2 weeks) and so have taken to resting the belly on a pillow. This morning I woke up at some ungodly hour to realise that Prince Fat Boy had pushed me off my belly pillow and commandeered it for himself. This is a big no-no as he has a folded sheet at the bottom of the bed that he is supposed to sleep on. Most of the time he’s pretty good about staying on it too. Needless to say Fat Boy was unceremoniously dumped onto the floor.

There was also some reading this weekend.

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007 –

44. The Dust Diaries – by Owen Sheers. This was a great book. Part biography, part novel and part autobiography. Sheers stumbles across a reference to a distant relative (great-uncle) Arthur Cripps, who was a missionary in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the first half of the 20th century. The book traces the journeys of both Cripps (how he came to be in Rhodesia and the legacy he left) and Sheers (his search for his uncle’s memory in modern Zimbabwe). Well worth the read.

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Since I spent last night plugging away at the last applique on the African animal quilt and it’s still not done (think enormous Elephant over 6 blocks) I thought I’d present you with this meme that I found on Kate’s blog.

4 jobs I’ve had

  • Selling lollies (candy) door to door in high school on a commission basis, the rest of the money supported a charitable organisation. I actually did quite well with this.
  • Toilet cleaner. In my first semester of college I cleaned the toilets in the girls dormitory to help pay my tuition fees – this lasted until I got a much more pleasant job sorting and shelving books in the library. The accusations that I hid books I wanted to borrow at a later date are totally unfounded – really!
  • History/English teacher in various high schools in Australia.
  • TESOL teacher (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Most people who make the move from high school to TESOL prefer TESOL, I miss teaching high school kids.

4 films I would watch over and over:

  • This is really hard for me since I don’t tend to watch movies more than once so I’m going to wimp out and skip it.

4 places I have lived:

  • South Africa (current)
  • Australia (SA, WA, NSW, Victoria and QLD – I’ve been a bit nomadic)
  • People’s Republic of China (mainland China – mid-1990s)
  • Germany (as a toddler for 6 months).

4 favourite TV shows:

  • ER – can’t get it here on free to air tv though – missing it like crazy
  • The Amazing Race
  • CSI Miami – also haven’t seen it on TV here
  • Prison Break – but watching it on DVD since we don’t get it here. Waiting with great anticipation for the next dvd to be released. No spoilers please.

4 favourite foods :

  • cheese
  • really good crusty bread
  • dark chocolate – it is so a food
  • potatoes

4 websites I visit every day

  • my blog
  • AltaVista – Babel Fish Translation for work, when I get letters written entirely in a foreign language
  • Babygadget – to torment myself with all the cool European stuff that isn’t available here, and given the exchange rate of Rand to Euro, completely out of my price range. How did Europe’s stuff for kids get so cool?
  • The Yarn Harlot for my daily fix of knitting related humour

4 places I love to be

  • on the couch with my knitting or quilting and the cat next to me
  • sitting in the rocking chair on my FIL’s veranda with a cup of coffee watching the kangaroos and wallabies grazing on the grass
  • anywhere with Gorgeous Man
  • a nice coffee shop with friends

4 favourite colours

  • purple
  • black (for clothes in particular)
  • green
  • brown

4 names I love but wouldn’t use for my children – you know this is a particular issue for us right now…

  • Noah – Gorgeous Man exercised his right to veto
  • Sean- Gorgeous Man vetoed, and good friends of ours just used it
  • Morgan – for a boy, though it sounds a bit like a horse – hence why we won’t be using it, sorry if you called your kid Morgan, it’s just my opinion
  • Sebastian
  • There are many more that I used to love before I taught some @#%$& with that name and they ruined it forever…

Feel free to play along if you wish. I’m not going to tag anyone. If you do play along though let me know so I can check out your answers.

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One of the lovely things about Gorgeous Man is that he has a very good eye. Often when I go clothes shopping he will hand me a garment that I would never ordinarily look at twice. Invariably it’s those clothes that look fabulous (or as good as they are going to…) This talent also applies to fabric and yarn, he is invaluable with quilting layouts.

Anyway, on his trip to the USA in April he visited Stitch DC (where they were very helpful and didn’t make him feel like a freak for being a man in a yarn store – he’s mostly ignored if he comes into yarn stores with me here) and he brought home some lovely yarn. Some of it jumped on the needles recently.

This is the front left of a cardigan for the offspring. Gorgeous Man looked at it last night and commented that he was very impressed with himself. I have to admit I’m pretty impressed too. The yarn is Online – Beach Colour.

Just before Gorgeous Man went to the States I asked here on the blog for yarn store recommendations. I received a rather snarky comment (from a South African) saying that they couldn’t understand why I would send my husband all the way to the USA to get yarn (that wasn’t the purpose of the trip, I just thought it’d be an awesome souvenir). Well, this yarn is why. I haven’t seen anything as nice here.

There has been a growth in knitting since I arrived. Several of the local stores now stock self-striping sock yarn. When I got here I could only find black, dark blue and grey on the shelves, and while a lot of people are knitting with unfun fur there is a wider selection of quality yarns now available on the shelves. But the knitting scene here still has a long way to go.

I was thinking today, as I was searching for an explanation of some knitting instructions on the web, about how life has changed since the advent of the internet. What I can find in 30 seconds of searching now would have meant a trip to an older more experienced knitter just a few years ago. Given my current situation (I am the person that the people I know bring their knitting oopses to) I wouldn’t have been able to make this pattern. It’s a whole new world.

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Why is it that the first day back at work after a long weekend is always insanely busy? It must be some law of the universe revenging itself upon us for having time off.

But I digress, the long weekend was lovely. I pottered around the house, not doing much of anything really. Gorgeous Man went to work for most of the days off – his class schedule this semester is keeping him busy with lecture preparations and stuff.

I made lists of what I still need to buy, pack and who to call when due date arrives, and I did a little knitting.

Friday I felt lousy so I spent some quality time in bed – think my blood pressure took a dip, it’s been very low throughout the pregnancy. Friday afternoon we took the lists and went shopping. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a button down nightgown that looks halfway decent and doesn’t look like something my grandmother would wear? Let’s just say I gave up and ended up with pyjamas that look like sweats.

The case is now packed with all of the things that can be packed now and the list of things to add at the last minute is ready. We are only 7 1/2 weeks away from the big week. I’m not sticking to a due date, if the offspring makes an appearance any time in the first week of October I’ll be happy. I will not be happy giving birth on my birthday, which is in the second week of October lol.

I finished the sock, remember this is try 3:

and it’s still not right, a little too tight and a little too short. I’m going to let it mature for a while. I’m trying to decide whether to knit a partner for it or whether to knit the next sock making the modifications I know I need to and then frog that one and redo it. My first 3 pairs of socks went off perfectly, I guess I’m getting my ‘first sock syndrome’ a little late.

I also got this sewn up and the ends woven in – that was tedious.

It’s very wide, but for a first attempt at intarsia I’m pleased with it. There’s enough yarn left over to knit a matching hat and booties. I did have buttons to sew on it.

We went to the fabric store on Sunday – that also has good buttons and chose some really cute silver ones with an anchor on them. I was looking for fabric to use as a border on my African animal quilt. When I got home I couldn’t find the buttons, so it will be another trip to the store to get some more, if I can get away from work sometime this week before the store closes.

I didn’t find border fabric, but Gorgeous Man found 2 lots of material that will make fabulous placemats and they came home with us. Yes, he is an enabler. I’m going to have to make an appointment with the lady that runs a quilt store out of her house and go and look at the (expensive) imported fabric to get something to match. I really miss Spotlight and Lincraft stores…

Something new has jumped onto the needles, using some of the beautiful yarn Gorgeous Man brought back from his trip to the US in April. There’ll be a picture when there is a little more than 2 inches worth of knitting to show you.

I’m currently fighting with the cat who thinks my belly (which is now very large) is a perch. He has taken to climbing up and then head-butting my chin out of the way (if I’m looking down) so that he can climb even higher. This would not be a problem except he uses his claws and I don’t really need scratch marks in addition to the stretch marks, so we are trying to establish some boundaries. Not working too well.

There was also some reading this weekend.

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007 –

42. The World According to Clarkson vol. 2 – and Another Thing by Jeremy Clarkson. This was another of Gorgeous Man’s books that he won. Not something I’d ordinarily read. J. Clarkson is a columnist for the UK Sunday Times. It was mildly amusing in places.

43. Red Carpet and other banana skins: The Autobiography by Rupert Everett. (He is the voice of the Prince in Shrek II) Another of Gorgeous Man’s winnings, not something I’d normally read. Quite engagingly written, but let’s just say I remember now why I don’t read too many autobiographies of famous people. Lots of name dropping which got kind of tedious towards the end.

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Still no progress on the intarsia jumper *sigh,* but I do have a four day weekend starting tomorrow, so hopefully there will be lots of finished objects to show on Monday.

We tried a new Thai restaurant last night, it was very nice. A little bit dear, so will have to be reserved for special occasions.

In lieu of actual craft pictures I’m going to play along with this that I found at Bella Knitting

1. I have no interest; complete lack of creativity in this area.

  • Needlepoint
  • Macramé
  • Shibori
  • Painting or Drawing – really no skill.
  • Cartooning
  • Candle Making – did it as a kid, but too much mess now.
  • Entertaining – like doing it, but it’s very simple, not like Martha Stewart or anything.
  • Flower Arranging – I really suck at this.
  • Gift Wrapping
  • Decorating
  • Graphic Design
  • Inventing

2. Would love to try it.

  • Spinning
  • Dyeing
  • Sewing
  • Scrap Booking
  • Photography
  • Other fun stuff – I’ll try anything that looks interesting.

3. I do or have dabbled in it.

  • Crochet
  • Cross-stitch – I enjoy hand work, but don’t know what to do with it when it’s done. I’m not a real frilly kind of person.
  • Stamping
  • Beading
  • Jewelry Making
  • Paper Making
  • Calligraphy
  • Other Crafts – I can tat, but haven’t done it for ages
  • Cooking
  • Gardening – I like looking at the things Gorgeous Man plants, does that count?
  • Writing – I really should get back into this.
  • Poetry – I used to write very, very bad poetry. My brother is really good, he’s had his stuff published and done readings at poetry festivals. I figure one poet in the family is enough.
  • Story Telling, Acting, Stage work – The acting part
  • Video / Film Making – Had to make a very short film for part of my under-grad degree, but haven’t done anything since then.
  • Doll or Toy Making – I handmade the world’s ugliest bear – but will try again, maybe.

4. Love it! This is my thing.

  • Knitting
  • Quilting
  • Music

Have a great weekend. I will, 4 days off work! woo hooo! It’s Women’s Day tomorrow, and because we have learnt that students don’t come to Friday classes after a Thursday public holiday, Friday is a holiday for us too.

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We had our 31 week check-up with the ob/gyn today. Everything looks fine, blood pressure is still low 110/70 and the offspring currently weighs 1.667 kilos (3.6 pounds). The doctor says that if the offspring continues its current growth rate we can expect a baby of about 3.4 kilos (7.48 pounds).

I was hoping to sneak a peak at the screen today to see if I could tell if we have to panic about not having a boy’s name, but the good doctor turned the screen away for that part of the scan, and it turned out that the offspring was uncooperative anyway. That’s twice now it’s shielded the important bits from view. Maybe it’s modest 🙂

The next appointment is in 3 weeks and then we go down to fortnightly visits.

I’m hoping to get the intarsia jumper finished tonight, but it is MIL’s birthday and we are taking her out for dinner so I’ll see how tired I am when I get home. I was a little foolish last night and stayed up too late watching Oprah.

She had a boy on there with a very cool name, unfortunately it’s also our ob/gyn’s surname and that would be just a little weird.

Last night I got my current sock to the point where I could try it on, and have started the toe decreases. It fits, but is a little tight around the ankle, hopefully that won’t be a problem once the pregnancy is over and the swelling goes down…I also could have made it a little longer in the leg.

Another boring photo-less post I’m afraid.

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Firstly I have to tell you that I spelt Abelard wrong in my last post, I hope I got it right this time.

On Friday afternoon Gorgeous Man and I drove down to Cape Town to attend the SABC Baby Indaba. Indaba, as far as I can determine, means meeting or gathering (any South African readers are welcome to correct me if this is wrong) and is like an expo. We just went to look (and get free samples of stuff) but came home with this very cool high chair. The chair adapts as the child grows so that they are always at the right height for the table until they can fit on a normal chair, so we are expecting quite a few years use out of this. I was quite excited to see it at the fair, as I’ve been admiring similar pieces on line, and we got an excellent show discount.

I also came home with a very nice nappy bag and change mat, but haven’t taken pictures of them yet.

We took the tour of the birthing rooms at the hospital this weekend, they are very nice – though Gorgeous Man said he expected them to be a bit swisher for a private hospital. Two of the rooms have jacuzzis in them. The only problem is there are about 15 of us due that week, so I’m hoping I get one of those rooms as it’s first come first served.

We had fantastic weather this weekend and managed to get 3/4 of the baby clothes washed and dried, so they are ready to go. Today we are back to howling wind and driving rain.

MIL returned from Australia on Friday bearing gifts from SIL and herself, she also acted as courier for stuff that we had ordered.

On the food side we received Cherry Ripes, liquorice allsorts, some Marmite (which Gorgeous Man refuses to touch)  they do make Marmite in South Africa but the recipe is different to the Australian one, and some Star Burst jellybeans.

Best of all SIL sent me 2mm dpns. I’ve asked 3 LYSs here to order them in and have been told that they were simply not available. So I was very happy to see them.

We also received some new baby clothes, and some hand-me down clothes from SIL kids. Which are very cute. We also got lots of books. The off-spring has quite a library already.

While I was making my first quilt in blue, SIL was making blue and white cotton cot sheets. She gave me the scraps and I put them in the quilt. She sent the sheets over with MIL and so now I have the sheets as well, which I think is very cool.

We went and saw The Simpsons Movie this weekend too. It was our first viewing of The Simpsons in 18 months (they only screen on pay tv here.) I didn’t realise how much I missed the irrevrant sense of humour until I saw the movie. It’s worth seeing if you are a fan.

The quilt top is pieced and I’m currently appliquing the large elephant to the centre six squares. I’ll have a picture in a day or two and I’m going to need some advice on a border.

The sock is coming along well, the heel has been turned (looks a bit wide) and the decreases for the foot are happening. I think it’s actually going to fit this time :), and I haven’t done any more on the intarsia baby jumper. That’s my job for Tuesday.

I’ve got choir tonight, so the sock will come and be worked on during spare moments.

There’s lots of work in progress, but nothing at a point worth taking a picture of. Hopefully that will change in a day or two, or three or four…

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