Friday, September 29, 2006

more photos

Here are two photos of the Stitch Diva Newsboy cap. I love hats because they help camoflage bad hair days and add style to an otherwise lacklucter dressing day.

On other project related news, I'm happy to report that two Christmas gifts are finished, two others are started, and two more have materials purchased ( has great stuff on sale -- Noro, Debbie Bliss, Lorna's Laces, etc.).

The project I'm really working myself up for, though, is knitting Eliza's Christmas stocking. I told myself this is something I wanted to do for her, as a way to acknowledge her place in our family. I want to be able to hang her stocking every year, even just as a decoration. When our other children ask about the stocking, we'll be able to tell them that it belongs to their big sister, and even though she isn't here with us, she's still a part of our family and our traditions. I'm using the Aran Stocking pattern from Handknit Holidays, and after much searching, found a perfect off-white Van Dyck wool blend for the body and a dark green for the cuff. I've had the yarn for a couple of weeks now, but have yet to cast on. I think I'll probably wait until after her due date, which is fast approaching (Oct. 15).

The next few weeks are probably going to be tough emotionally, and I am just doing my best to take care of myself and Richard. We are going to persevere, and we will get pregnant again (cross fingers that we get sign off from doctors in the next couple of months), and we will bring a healthy baby into the world. Until then, I'm just knitting (and crocheting, and sewing, and probably knitting some more).

Thursday, September 28, 2006

actual photos of my projects

Yes, I have been busy. It has helped me immensely to have something tangible to focus on. Here are a couple of my actual photos, as opposed to the idealized photos from patterns.

This is the raglan sleeve sweater from the Fall 05 Knitscene. So easy, and it will be perfect comfy sweater for when it cools down here. The sleeves are a little too long (I forgot to take into account the fact that my row gauge was bigger than the pattern called for), but I figure that just adds to the comfy factorn (they are just long enough to reach the tips of my fingers, not clownishly long).

This is the Teva Durham ballet tee (the version with sleeves from Interweave Knits). Please note that this photo was taken late at a night, right after I finished the sweater. I added a crocheted picot edge to the bottom to keep it from rolling (also, I'm long-waisted, and the pattern ended right at my waist - not a good look).

And this is a purse of my own design (it's not lopsided, I promise - just not pulled up even in the photo). It's an off-white velvet with a navy lace panel. I liked the velvet purses shown in the current issue of In Style, and decided I needed one right now, so I made this Tuesday night. I just lined it in muslin, since all the lining fabrics I have are insanely slipperly, and take care not to end up all bunchy. I needed instant gratification.

So, not all my completed projects by a long shot, but a couple.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Knitting post

Over the last 12 weeks, knitting has been the one thing to keep me sane. For the first six weeks, I wasn't working, so I just sat at home and knit. Well, cried and knit. Anything to keep me from pulling my hair out. So, I've ended up burning through my stash (plus some new yarn purchases) and creating a whole new fall wardrobe. Some of the projects that have kept me busy (obviously, these are not my photos. Maybe someday, I'll get around to posting my actual project photos, but don't hold your breath):

Snowy Triangle Scarf from "Handknit Holidays"
2 (1 for me, 1 for a friend to be named later)
On the one for me, I used the lovely Artfibers Satori yarn that Mel gave me last year for my birthday

Stitch Diva's Crocheted Clogs
Christmas gift for a friend to be named later
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride

Stitch Diva's Crocheted Newsboy Cap for me (because who else do I know that actually wears hats?)
Stashbuster (Trendsetter random silk/acrylic/linen blend from Yarn Lady sale)

Interweave Knits Spring '05 Cable-Eight Top for me (finally used that Rowan Cork in Sour that I've been hanging on to for a year)

Knitscene Fall '05 Raglan sweater for me (stashbuster -- ivory Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece & grey blue Debbie Bliss Cashmerino)

Interweave Knits Summer '06 Seaberry Shell
for me (Cascade Pima Silk in fern)

Knitscene Spring '06 Matador Bolero
2 for me (stashbuster -- Classic Elite Gatsby in orange and Rio de la Plata in red/black/green)

Interweave Knits/Loop d Loop Ballerina tank 3 (1 3/4 length sleeve and 1 cap sleeve for me, 1 cap sleeve for Jenny)
Total stashbuster (Cotton fleece & RYC Cashcotton, random merino wool, Rowan Calmer & Tootsie P rayon tape ribbon)

Knitting (and a bit of crochet) has been very therapuetic for me through all of this. I guess I've felt that so much of my life has been out of control lately, and one thing I can control is what I produce with yarn and two sticks (or a hook).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ramble ramble ramble

Thank you to everyone who left the wonderfully kind and thoughtful comments on my last post. Sometimes it's easy to get tunnel vision and think that I'm the only person who thinks about what happened, but your comments helped to remind me that I have wonderful friends who really care.

As I mentioned in my last post, I really am seeing more doctors now than I ever thought possible. My primary care doc (to help get my blood pressure under control), a new high-risk OB, a psychiatrist (for the happy pills and the sleepy pills), a psychologist (for therapy), and, as of today, a nephrologist (to evaluate my kidney function and see if the PE and HELLP caused any lasting damage). Apparently, my echocardiogram came back ok, so no need (as of yet) to see a cardiologist. One less doctor.

All of this to get my body (and mind) back into a place where we can try again to have a baby. I'm hopeful that if today's tests come back ok, and we can get my blood pressure under control, that we can get the go ahead in a few months, but we could be asked to wait until this spring, which would be difficult. I know that the holidays are going to be hard this year, as we were supposed to be celebrating all of Eliza's firsts: first Christmas, first picture with Santa, etc., and I think they would be a bit easier to get through if we were already trying again. Of course, the primary goal is to have a healthy pregnancy and bring home a healthy baby, but I guess I would just prefer that goal was fulfilled sooner, rather than later.

Wanting to get pregnant again doesn't mean that I've "gotten over" Eliza's death -- I don't think that you ever "get over" the death of your child. But I was cheated out of being a mother to a healthy baby, which is now something I want more than ever. Eliza will always be my first born, and now I want to give her brothers & sisters.

Just because I didn't get to know Eliza outside of my body, it doesn't mean that she wasn't a person, a child, my baby. I knew her intimately, and I miss her every day. But somehow, over the last few months, I've learned how to function, despite that loss. I get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed, take my meds, record my blood pressure, go to work, eat, knit (oh boy, do I knit), see friends (occasionally -- I'm working up to that more), joke with my husband and generally try to keep going. I think that's what Eliza would want.

If you're still reading this, thank you. The more I talk/write about what happened, the better I am able to deal with it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Who am I?

I've been thinking a lot about this question lately. Who am I?

I am:
a wife
a daughter
a sister
a college graduate
a professional
a knitter
a crocheter
a mother who lost her baby
a preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome survivor
a woman who often feels like she's coming apart at the seams
a person who is trying to regain some semblance of normalcy after her life has been turned upside down
a patient who now sees more doctors than she ever thought possible
a mother who is desperately sad that her baby died, but is hopeful that, with knowledge and proactive medical care, she can bring home a healthy child someday

In loving memory of Eliza Pearl Manfredi, born/died July 4, 2006.