Friday, February 27, 2015

Ridge Hat Crochet Pattern

I made this cute little ridged hat the other day and then decided to turn it into a tutorial. It's super easy to make, takes 160 yards of bulky weight yarn and a 5.0mm crochet hook. You can download the PDF on ravelry for free, and there is also a free video tutorial to go along with it that you can see here or just press play below.


I'm feeling quite uninspired lately over what to crochet next. I am entertaining the idea of making some totoro mitts or rainbow crochet arm warmers. Any ideas?


Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Very Orange Hat

I knit this awesome orange chevron hat for a knit-a-long on the Fringe Association blog. It seemed like such an easy knit, but the constant switching from knit to purl annoyed me, and I am happy to be done.


But I love love the hat! I didn't know this color could look good on me, but I think I pull it off quite well. It's slouchy and fun and I might make another one in blue.


Right now I'm working on my first mystery knit-a-long and it's exciting. Even through it uses lace weight yarn. I always forget why I dislike lace weight yarn until I start using it again. Then I'm like oh, annoying. But I'm going to finish! Because I really want a lace weight shawl.


Also, today is the day I find out the sex of our baby. You'll just have to wait until I decide to blog about it. Have a good day!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pregnancy, Miscarriages, and Elusive Joy

I think one of the things I've been having trouble with is being comfortable when my friends and family acknowledge and express joy over my pregnancy. This has nothing to do with unsolicited advice, but with people being excited about my baby. And it's a really hard and complicated emotional thing for me to explain. So bear with me as I attempt to show you what I mean.

I started to realize something was wrong when two weeks ago I started feeling the baby move. Instead of feeling happy, I mostly felt afraid. I texted my husband that I was feeling our baby move, knowing it would make him smile at work. But when he came home the first thing he asked was if the baby was still moving, and then he put his hand on my belly. He was smiling and he looked so happy. I was immediately upset and angry at him (I don't think he noticed) and I brushed him off and went to finish dinner. I was also annoyed because I couldn't understand why I was upset. My husband did nothing wrong. Why did it hurt me?

It took me two weeks to figure out where all these weird reactions are coming from. I started mulling over what I've been feeling and trying to analyze it. As some of you guys know, I've had three miscarriages. I finally realized I keep thinking I should ignore my pregnancy and try not to call attention to it or create memories about it because, just like all the others, it might not last. I hope this is the reason, because I really dislike not knowing why I feel a certain way. Experiencing emotions that are totally alien to the emotions I should (or that I think I should) be having during pregnancy.

I finally realized that I am having a hard time feeling much about the baby. I mean, I am happy to be pregnant. I am! I really want to meet this baby. But I can't shake the feeling that something is going to go wrong and that I need to protect myself in case it does. I noticed this at my first ultrasound. My mom was with me (because I had to get blood work, and I am terrified of blood work) and when the little bean came on the monitor she started squealing and talking excitedly. I, on the other hand, was trying not to cry in terror. And I felt nothing but fear. I remember feeling very alienated from the little swimming gummy bear on the screen and wondering if it was, in fact, actually inside me and there wasn't some mistake.


Not many of my emotions have been on what I would consider a "normal" trajectory. (like, happy) Now that I'm thinking about it, I can remember many times where I've either had no emotion or an opposite emotion from what is normal-- and I don't know why. When my mom bought some little blue and yellow baby clothes for me near the end of my first trimester, I also reacted in an odd way. I really liked what she bought--but I felt worried that she might have wasted her money. I mean, what if this pregnancy doesn't last like all the others?  I mentioned this to her, and she hugged me and stated that if that happened she would give the clothes to someone else who needed them. I felt relived that I wasn't going to cost her money for nothing. Then I went home and cried because none of my other babies had ever been around long enough to buy anything for.

I think part of me is afraid to feel because I'll feel to much. Hmm, I don't know. Mostly I've been reacting and living in these moments. Now that I know I am having this response I want to see if I can actively praise the time I have had with those babies and try not to fear for this one.

I'm trying now to live every day and cherish the baby I have. To celebrate his or her life in the moments that I've been given. Every day is a gift, and every moment is worth smiling over.  I just wish it came easier for me--that I could have a heart full of unshadowed joy like I didn't know the fear and heartache over losing something so desperately wanted. 

I know I can't be the only one who has felt this way. But these feelings sure are strange and difficult to work through.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Shawl

I finished my second shawl. I like this one because of the color changes! The pattern is Summer Flies and it's the second worsted weight shawl I've made this year. As it was 7 degrees outside during this photoshoot, I decided staying inside would be best.


Yesterday I listened to a great sermon about keeping your eyes on God and not being distracted with everything around you. It was great and very helpful to weed out all the comments from people I keep getting regarding parenthood. If I keep my eyes on God I don't have to worry about what they say or do. I just follow Him. It was a soothing sermon to listen to, one by John Macarthur, a pastor who I highly esteem and who had helped me understand the bible so much better as a new christian.


I really loved making summer flies. The pattern is very easy, simple to memorize and fun. If you want to see a few more pictures, you can check out the project page on Ravelry here! Today my plans include taking pictures of a orange hat I knit, and also filming a youtube video. I hope I can get everything done! What are you doing today?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Things I'm Tired of hearing, Already

Yesterday I was on the phone and I had to give the phone to my husband because I just broke down crying. Pregnancy hormones, yes. Also, spiteful, unhelpful comments directed at myself attack-style were, of course, exasperating the problem of my hormones, but still.

I'd like to think I have pretty thick skin. I've always been a competitive person, and I've always (mostly) been able to laugh off people who judge me. Like when someone told me I was an over sharer, and that my blog was sinful because I shouldn't air my dirty laundry for everyone to see. I had to literally stop myself from laughing right in that person's face, and instead I carefully attempted to explain why I love blogging and talking about issues I am facing. I'm not a perfect robot. I make mistakes, and I don't mind telling people about them. I'm only human. However, this person lives with the mindset that you should always place your best face forward and showing your flaws is somehow dirty and disrespectful. I mean, that just sounds like you are setting yourself up for a lot of disappointments. But I do agree I am an over sharer. I love writing. I love sharing. I like to think that things I go through may reach someone somehow, or make them laugh or smile or feel less alone. When I read people's stories and heartaches on their blogs that I can relate to, I feel less alone. Mostly it's just my story.

Ah, where was I going with this? Things I'm tired of hearing. Nothing has affected me more then spiteful people who attack my person over parenthood. Yesterday it just cumulated and I cried for a good 10 minutes. And I can't even hold my baby yet. For some reason, perhaps related to my fragile state as a walking gestating receptacle, these comments hurt. In the last four months I've heard the following from actual, real life people.

  • If you don't take folic acid, your baby will be born disfigured. (Uh, my prenatal has folate acid in it, but apparently this person didn't think it was good enough. Also, not my doctor. And they wouldn't stop telling me I was wrong.)
  • If you don't vaccinate your child, you are a child abuser. (me trying to research about vaccines. I mean, I am a new mom. I wasn't trying to make a freaking political statement, but I am having a baby. There is a million things I need to know about and I want to know about vaccines as well. Why do you assume that I don't want to do this when I am just trying to learn about it??)
  •  You can't eat chocolate during pregnancy! (way to judge. now I feel horrible and I don't even know why)
  • If you have a home birth your baby will die. Why would you want your baby to die? (I am not having a home birth. But thanks, anyway. It's not like I'm not already afraid of my baby dying.)
  • We home-school because we don't want the government raising our children. All good parents should home school. (I don't even have a baby I can talk to yet, and I'm also panicking over a million things I need to learn to do in the first year. Don't lecture me over something that is years away and I haven't really thought about yet)
  • If you end up homeschooling your kid they will have no social skills and be totally dependent on you. (Said by someone other then the person above. I mean, WHY do you bring this up?? This person asked me, and I said I was leaning more towards homeschooling. Not a decision I've made yet, but my decision over how to educate my kid is not a criticism of how you are choosing to educate yours.)
  • You can't cosleep! You are married, that would be wrong. Baby should always have their own room! (Because keeping a baby in my bedroom for ease of breastfeeding is somehow terrible because I'm married? What? This is our plan right now, if baby likes it. What does proximity to baby have to do with me being married?)
  • Please tell me that you will circumcise if you have a boy. Uncircumcised people hate their penises (yes someone actually said that to me...) 

I could go on, but listing these things out is just making me more depressed. I'm just tired of hearing all these judgmental things. Instead of telling me what you think I should do, why don't you tell me what you did and how it worked for you and then let me make my own decisions, with the help of my spouse and doctor? These comments not only hurt, they destroy my self esteem. Here I am, growing a baby that I am going to have to take care of 24/7, and instead of being helpful or uplifting you decided to say that?! If I wasn't already panicking, I am now.


I'm a new mother. I will say I don't know much. I'm researching and reading and praying like crazy preparing for this little one and I am so excited. I want to make the best choices for my kid. But these kinds of comments drain me. They make me not want to talk about my new bump or my plans. They make me not want to vocalize anything about my pregnancy! Honestly lately I feel like I've been fighting a battle. Parenting is not a war. If I send my children to school, that means nothing against people who home-school. If I home-school, it is not a political statement against public schools. It's just a choice I would make looking at my child's individual needs, and due to the fact that I don't work right now outside of my home. I can see pros and cons to each choice. And that is what I'm searching for. People who will be honest about the pros and cons of the choices they made. My husband was home-schooled and he was honest with the things he didn't like about it and the things he felt didn't help prepare him for life. He also knows a lot of the positives from homeschooling and he is thankful in many ways for the time he got to spend with his family. I went to a public school for many years and for high school attended a private school. I can see many pros to how my mom decided to raise me and also some cons as well. There isn't a "right" answer is what I am saying.

I never knew parenting was such a hot topic or that people could do a complete 50/50 when I happen to have different opinions about things then they do. It's a diverse world, people. You wouldn't want me trying to make decisions for your kid, would you? Then stop trying to make decisions for mine. Be helpful, kind, and share your story with me. Don't judge and don't ever make ultimatums. Lets all have a little respect.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 18

I'm almost halfway there! I've been dying to take some outfit photos but my motivation to go out in the 27 degree weather is nonexistent. Thus, today you have my kitchen.


Some days I feel skinny. Some days I feel like a whale. But little light baby kicks keep me gigging regardless!  I wore this outfit to church on Sunday and felt fabulous.


It is currently snowing outside. In nine days I find out the sex of my baby. In five months I will have a baby in my arms! I'm really excited, this is really happening. We have not bought anything for the baby. Every time I try I become paralyzed that I'll have a miscarriage and then have to go through the heartbreak of not only grieving for my baby but seeing baby things all around. Our plan right now is to wait until after the baby shower (in May) to buy. That way we will see what we have and see what we need. I like this idea. Gives me more time...


Lately we argue about baby names and laugh at each other. I am just excited to meet him or her. The name will come to us. I have a girls name...but what if we are having a boy? My husband has a boy's name. I hate it. Oh well.


How are you guys doing? Oh, the timer is going off. I baked pretzels from scratch because it's snowing and it always makes me want to bake. My husband will be very happy. See ya!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Knitter's Guide to Crochet Videos!

Last year I did a series of blog posts on how to learn crochet if you already know knitting. I've now made all these posts into videos!


I'm really excited to see how my videos can further help knitters learn to crochet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2nd Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

I'll be honest, I read a lot of pregnancy essential lists over the months. I usually laugh at the "first trimester" lists because I was so sick I literally couldn't do anything. The only "essential" I will be using in the future for the first trimester will be to stockpile crock-pot meals in my freezer so I can at least eat healthy and not rely on whatever my husband picks up after work.

The second trimester is different, and I do have a list of things I use almost every day. Mine is small, and of course what everyone needs is going to vary because what one person uses and loves may cause nausea in another. Yay, pregnancy hormones.

Well, I suppose I can start with saying there are things I thought I would need that I either do not currently use or perhaps will never use (I mean, I'm still baking this bun, so who knows). But I thought I would use them because everyone else included them on their list. One would be a pregnancy pillow. I've never tried to sleep or curl up with anything more uncomfortable. Maybe I am just not pregnant enough to appreciate this contraption yet.


Kitty Adventure's List of Second Trimester Pregnancy Essentials
  1. Organic Coconut Oil, unrefined and cold pressed. I smear this stuff all over my belly every day after I shower hoping and praying that I will not get stretch marks. So far it appears to be working. My younger sister who had a baby when she was 8 years younger then me never got any, so I'm also betting on good genetics. But then I'm 29, not 21.
  2. A two piece swimsuit - I swim a lot and as my belly grows my one piece just isn't cutting it. Well, actually it is cutting it if by "cutting" you mean my circulation. Anyway I have a cute tankini and my little belly is poking out of it and there is just a lot of room. I won't need to buy a maternity suit, at least in my second trimester. Also, it makes peeing a lot easier because I only have to remove one potion of my suit to use the toilet. And I pee a lot. 
  3. Nursing bras- as my boobs get bigger I am buying nursing bras. This way as my chest gets smaller when I am weening the baby I wont have to buy all new bras. I'll already have different sizes to choose from that are perfect for nursing as my breast size fluctuates.
  4. Thayers Witch Hazel Pads- these are for hemorrhoids. And I thought I'd left all the nasty surprises in the first trimester.  Just buy them. You will thank me later. I got mine at the wonderful world of Walmart at 11pm after a lot of internet research and frustrated, emotionally driven pregnancy sobbing.
  5. Heating pad. I don't know about you, but being cold is one of the worst things for me. Being pregnant and cold is worse. I love my heating pad and my husband has recently found out that I enjoy cuddling with it more then him sometimes. Mostly because he still smells like a human, but for some reason he keeps telling me that isn't his fault. Silly husband.
That is basically my list. What things did you cherish during your second trimester? What things should I look into buying for my third trimester? I left out the obvious "bigger clothing" part, but yeah. I have bought some clothes too. However maternity clothes haven't hit the "essential" mark for me yet as I can still wear about half of my regular dresses. I can't wear any of my pants except for leggings.

Things I am thinking of buying for the third trimester: A pregnancy ball and a birthing stool.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Knit With Me?

I've decided to do the Through the Seasons MKAL that starts on valentines day! This will be my second KAL (the one I tried to do with Kristin totally failed because I never finished my project, oops)

I plan on finishing this one. You hear me??!?!

I'm making it in teal, from knitpicks. I bought this yarn with the birthday money my friend Tori sent me!

teal
Anyway, you can download the pattern for free until the 14th, and it uses fingering yarn. I'm excited to make my first lace shawl! (Yes I know I started a lace shawl 2 years ago....uh, I'll get to that one eventually) 

*runs away*

Monday, February 9, 2015

Prenatal Tests I Refused (and why)

There are an inordinate amount of prenatal related tests from blood work to vaginal checks and beyond. I strongly believe that every women should be informed of the tests being performed, and thus with careful consideration and research these are the ones I decided were not for me.

  1. Any genetic testing. Most of the genetic testing is very invasive and carries a risk of miscarriage. I'm not talking about the basic blood work that your doctor schedules in your first trimester. I opted out of chorionic villus sampling, Tay-Sachs, the cystic fibrosis test, down syndrome, amniocentesis and sickle cell anemia. These tests were extra, and many just seemed unnecessary to me.
  2. Another test I will be opting out of (it hasn't been done yet, they do this one at or around 24 weeks, I'm at 16 weeks) is the Gestational Diabetes test. Now, I will take this test if my doctor allows me to drink or eat something other then the Glucola. I won't be consuming the Glucola because the ingredient list is basically corn syrup, 50 grams of sugar polymer and lots of food coloring. I do not eat corn or drink corn syrup (its GMO!) and I never eat anything with food coloring it. I can't imagine changing this--in fact, I watch what I eat more now that I am expecting. This is just a personal preference towards nutrition for me.
  3. The Tdap and flu shot. Personally, I don't think it is safe to administer a vaccine while pregnant. Since I've had previous seizures from vaccines, I will be avoiding this. This is personal to me because I know I have had serious reactions to vaccines in the past.
  4. I will be refusing the group B streptococcus screening. If you don't know, group B step is a common bacteria found in the intestines and sometimes vaginas of women. If you test positive for group B, you must get antibiotics during delivery. I really don't want a IV during labor and I don't feel worried that group B will harm my baby if I happen to test positive. Only 2% of babies born to group B positive women get sick from group B, and of those 2% only .6% have serious complications. Also, in my research I saw that even if antibodies are administered, a baby can still catch group B.  
  5. Any vaginal checks in the third trimester. I want to avoid introducing anything foreign into my vagina and I'm not worried about seeing if I'm dilated or not. When I dilate, I'm sure I'll eventually find out. 
Every expectant mother must make their own decision and do their own research about tests that their provider will be giving during pregnancy. These are the tests I felt were not safe for me.

What about you? Where there any tests you decided not to do? 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yarn Streacher

I finished my first short neckwarmer, sometimes called a wrap or a shawl. Only, mine turned out smaller because I didn't read all the directions because I was to excited to get started and thus used a needle two times smaller then recommended. Oh well. It still works and I really really love it!


I found this skein of yarn at my local yarn shop and was automatically drawn to it because of the earthy colors. This yarn gets me. It matches my hair and goes great with almost everything I wear. I loved the variations and chose the Quaker Yarn Stretcher patten to go with it because I thought it's simple design would show off the colors well. I was right! And I did also pay for this pattern, supporting a local designer.


In other news, I bought this lovely dress from the Ruche sale and my boobs are already refusing to fit into it only a few weeks later. The buttons gap at the top when I try to wear it. And it would totally work as a maternity dress because of the empire waist if only my now-larger boobs would just cooperate! (These pictures were taken when I was a budding size D, and things mostly fit. Sigh, now I'm pushing a DD. Not that I'm complaining. I mean, okay I am...but still. I want to wear this!) Anyway, I love the quality of the things I've purchased from Ruche. I've noticed that Modcloth, while mostly just as expensive as Ruche usually offers not the best quality. Everything I bought from Ruche is amazing quality and I know I will be shopping from them again--and forgoing the Modcloth splurge. While I love everything I see on Modcloth, I've been very disappointed recently when I've received things to find they are very cheaply made. Anyone else notice this?


You can check out my pattern page on Raverly here if you are interested in the specific type of yarn I used! (Also, I started this project in October of 2014 and just finished it last month. Yay, morning sickness)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Knit Totoro Hat Tutorial

I haven't created a knitting tutorial in a long time. I've missed it! Today I wrote a pattern for a cute adult totoro hat, made in worsted weight yarn. I love it!


You can download the PDF here or watch the video below!




Sunday, February 1, 2015

Closer

I think the hardest thing about this pregnancy has been letting go of my body. I don't mean "letting it go" I mean abandoning my desires and expectations and realizing that I need to lean on others.

I am a do-it-yourself girl. I hate bothering people and during my first trimester my husband did mostly everything. I'm saying he took care of himself, and me on top of going to work. I was a mess because my body was falling apart and I literally couldn't take care of myself many days. I didn't know what was going on and I just felt sick all the time. And I was frustrated over the way I felt. My husband had to do everything.

And I had to lean on God and I had to lean on my husband. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and just try to get through everything. Before my morning sickness I was used to a very full day of doing chores, taking care of the house, running errands and running my blog and YouTube channel. I'm a very compact and organized person, I know how to make a schedule and work through it. This is a very satisfying and very familiar routine for me.

this is my pregnancy motto
When pregnancy nausea hit that all went out the window. I was lucky if I got one thing done all day. And the doing of said one thing usually required multiple breaks due to trying not to throw up or recovering from throwing up (rare, but did happen) or laying down in an attempt to just feel like my insides were no longer moving at a rate faster then I was comfortable with. I had no energy. I had no appetite, and I suddenly had a list of food aversions longer then my arm.

I know I speak from a place of privilege: for one, I am having a baby. There are many people who go through this type of shock who are sick because of cancer or another serious illness. I also was very lucky that I didn't have to leave my house--I don't work. I cannot imagine holding a job when I could barely hold my head up.

But going through this really helped me rely on God and realize how blessed I was before. Before, and even now in my second trimester when I have a healthy body that obeys my commands, I was/am so blessed! I totally used to take it for granted. I didn't know how fast my health could change and how suddenly it would knock me off my feet. Now I know. And I want to be grateful for every day. I'm so blessed and thankful that I can fold a load of laundry and wash dishes and knit something without feeling like I'm in a tilt-a-whirl. I'm blessed that I can make my husband dinner every night and he doesn't have to come home and take care of me and make sure I eat something. I'm blessed because I can shower every day and wear clothes that aren't primary made of sweats. I'm so blessed.

And I hope I never forget it.

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