Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Preparing for the Baby

Here in the rural-end of Cleveland suburbia, we are in full preparation mode. This baby is coming in a month and a half and nothing seems ready, including the house. Demolition of the living/dining room and the second story above it commenced at the start of summer. However, due to the fact that the ten-year-old was home with the husband and needed chauffeured from swim practice to band to summer rec and then still required large amounts of "pay attention to me" time, not a lot of progress happened until recently, with back to school in the air (the school year here starts in the middle of August).

The house demo has resulted in numerous unexpected surprises, as is the case with old houses and this house in general. For one, the wall between the future dining room and living room, the one we are taking out to make one large great room? The husband sledgehammered through drywall to find a second wall beneath made of plaster and lathe and in that wall:

A large opening. The rooms used to be connected. This has happened twice before to us and has led me to the conclusion that we are not renovating the house. We are merely returning it to its original state.

In the upstairs, the husband found the original means of heating the second story in the form of a poorly plugged whole in the chimney, sealed behind layers of drywall and plaster and lathe. It was a bit of a sooty mess and plans are underway as to how to properly seal that hole. Also discovered: there is no insulation. Zero. We had planned to have insulation blown into the house after the polar vortexness of last winter, but the budget just wasn't there for it. In lieu of that, we (and by we I mean my husband) are in the midst of ripping out that whole part of the upstairs down to the studs, Then, it's insulate, redistribute wall and closet locations, fix the radiators, dry wall, and paint. Can it happen in a month and a half? Probably not. Hopefully enough of it so that the radiators function by winter. The baby will be in a bassinet in our room for the first few weeks or so anyway, right?

Because of house is a mess and I'm in serious nesting mode, I got out all the baby clothes and washed all the blankets, socks, hats, and clothes sized 0 up to 9 months. There's a little dresser now set up in our dining room to house the clothes and a garage-sale purchased changing table in the current living room. I also hosed down the car seats, port-a-crib, bassinet, and stroller and washed all the cloth parts separately. The bassinet went in our bedroom, the port-a-crib is back in its box for storage, and the rest is in the garage.

It made me feel a tiny bit better.

On the knitting front, it's pretty much all baby all the time. After much procrastination, I finally did the last of the finishing for the striped boatneck sweater, started so long ago I didn't know the gender of the baby yet and now done in two lovely shades of Cascade 220:

The Daphne baby cape I started and ran out of yarn for, requiring a hurried yarn purchase from a nice lady in Australia, that's done too. All it lacks is the buttons, which I'm waiting on because I'm still hoping to find the perfect buttons. I have some. They just aren't perfect.

Also finished: the baby's first Halloween costume (assuming it fits). The dress is the Mummy's Little Dalek pattern and the hat I created the pattern for myself because I just couldn't find one I liked in the right size. I'll have more on this in a later post.

And these mini baby motif mittens, done using the Totoro chart. The entire family loves Studio Ghibli and Totoro in particular so it only made sense to introduce it early.

I took the photo before blocking so the colorwork doesn't look as smooth in the photo as it actually is. The mitts are my first real attempt at stranded knitting and I found the whole experience thrilling. I know want to rush out and knit a complicated fair isle that requires steeking. I won't. But I want to.

Nothing feels ready but at least this baby will be awash in handknits. That's what really counts, isn't it?

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