Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter Hat for Kat, Part 3

Kat's winter hat has been stalled for the past several weeks.  I was able to extend the hat successfully.  But once I figured that out, the hat has sat on the end table neglected.  Which is just plain sad, 'cause the only thing I had left to do was weave in the ends.

I researched quite a bit to figure out how to extend the hat.  I read lots of suggestions about ripping out the bottom row(s) of stitches (like this), but I wasn't a big fan of this method.  First of all, it looked really tedious (and I'm lazy).  Also, Kat's hat was knit from the bottom up, with ribbing at the bottom, and most sites that I read cautioned that adding on to ribbing would result in a half-stitch jump between old and new stitches.   Finally, and probably most importantly, the thought of cutting into the work and having the whole thing unravel scares me!

Instead, I chose to use a contrasting color and basically sew a cast-on row to the bottom of the hat in the new color.  I threaded a yarn needle with the new color (gray).  I put the needle between the stitches on the original cast on row, looped around my knitting needle, and back through the hat in between the next stitch.  The biggest trick was just making sure to cast-on the same number of stitches that I had in the original cast-on row.  Once I had a new cast-on row, I continued the same rib pattern top-down.  And because I looped my new cast-on stitches between the old stitches, I didn't really notice any jumping, mostly just that the ribbing isn't exactly smooth (but I expected that).

So, what do you think?  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think Kat is too!  (What a ham, eh?!)

This project is listed on my Ravelry profile.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hi Ho Hi Ho! It's off to work I go!

Please excuse my absence as I have been settling back into my routine at work and trying to figure out my new life as working mom of TWO!  And for added fun, this past week included: preparing for Christmas, an overnight visit of one of NerdDad's friends, one kid with pink eye, and both kids with ear infections...  And you have one very crazy week!  

Now that I'm back at work, my mother-in-law (MIL) watches Buddy and Kat twice a week.  (And at the end of the month, Buddy will join Kat at daycare for the other three days.)  Unfortunately, with Buddy's ear infection, he has been a lot fussier than usual (the sign that indicated an ear infection in the first place) and hasn't been napping well.  I know that it's because his ear hurts, and I had lots of ear infections as a kid, so I understand his pain.  But his fussiness really tests my patience.  Fortunately, I am able to hand him off to NerdDad when I've had enough, but my poor MIL has been struggling while watching both kids on her own.  Hopefully, the antibiotics will do their thing, and he'll be back to his old self again soon.

So far, the work-family balance hasn't been too hard, but I am also working from home half the week, at least until the end of December.  So the back-to-work adjustment is spread out over the month.  On one hand, adjusting to this new routine has been fairly easy, so spreading out the adjustment period has been nice.  But on the other hand, I know that another new routine is just around the corner, and I almost just wish I could get it all over with at once.  For now though, I'm trying to enjoy my workdays at home with my Buddy.

Yesterday, we started off the weekend with a little mid-morning Christmas shopping.  NerdDad and I each took one kid and off we went.  Thankfully the crowds weren't too heavy yet (probably because of the non-stop rain).  Between just a couple of shopping trips and a decent amount of online shopping, we have made a decent dent in our Christmas lists already.  Considering our usual procrastination, we're feeling pretty proud of ourselves!

After the busy week, I'm spending today getting into the Christmas spirit and recharging for the week ahead.  I spent the morning sipping peppermint mocha coffee and listening to Christmas music while making cookies with Kat.  It's been sooo nice!  A big thank you to NerdDad for holding Buddy all morning so that I could bake.  :)  He'll be rewarded with lots of cookies!