Thursday, January 31, 2008

No More Nursling

Warning - this is a mommy post, no knitting, no Viking.

My 18-month old is officially weaned, and I was just sitting here crying and talking to my husband and laughing at myself and crying.

It was time. We were down to just once at bedtime and at once at naptime if we were home. It had become uncomfortable for me, and getting worse. My goal of one year was surpassed. He had fallen asleep a few times without nursing.

So why was I crying? Because I'll miss that smile looking up at me. Because it was so easy to do and nothing is easy with this kid. I thought I would just give it a try, not push it. We have joked that I would be lucky to get him weaned by the time he was three. And he just gave it up with really no fuss.For the curious, here's our history. After a rough start at the hospital, the little dear pretty much nursed every two hours, day and night, for a long time. He started solids early but that didn't stop him. At some point around a year we were down to a couple times a day, but still all night.

At about fifteen months I tapered him off the nighttime business to try to get him to stay asleep. I often gave in at 3:00 am because of the crying. That ended about a month ago. He still wakes up at night, and after 3:00 often rolls around having trouble sleeping for the rest of the night, and is up around 6:00. But I digress.

As I mentioned, the nursing was really uncomfortable for me, to the point that I dreaded bedtime, so I thought I would see how he reacted if we stopped. I was really nervous because he really loves to nurse and he is persistent as heck. We had a few things in our favor. We do lots of hugging and snuggling in general and at bedtime. We have a nighttime routine of bath with Dad; lotion and p.j.'s with Mom; nursing; reading books with one or both of us; some crying; sleep. Nap has it's own routine. I thought putting more emphasis on the books and glossing over the nursing might work, and it did. He patted at me a few times and told him they were night-night or all gone, and hugged him and said "Mommy loves you". He cried a bit, but he often cries when he goes to sleep anyway. By the second or third time it was no big deal.

So that's it. I've had no ill-effects, I guess because we tapered so slowly. I just can't believe that my baby isn't my baby anymore, he really is a little boy. I know I was lucky to be at home and able to nurse him without complications, and that I had absolutely no problems once we let the hospital. But it is a rite of passage that deserves a moment of pause.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fana Progress Report

I finished knitting my headband swatch, you can read about it on the knitalong blog.

In the meantime, I got permission from Annemor Sundbø to post this photo of the the Fana sweater I'm making. It is pictured on page 39 of "Everyday Knitting - Treasures From a Ragpile".

See the trim at the wrists? I'm going to do that and have trim along the placket edges and neck, instead of ribbing.

Meanwhile, in my correspondance with Annemor Sundbø she mentioned that she had a few of the book, "Fanatrøyer" available. I just found out about this collection of photos of Fana sweaters and haven't been able to find a copy in the U.S., so I ordered it as my birthday present.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The other day The Pioneer Woman posted a photo of herself in 1987. Well, that's the year I graduated, and I attended the Senior Prom in a beautiful pink silk Jessica McClintock dress. I kept a 2 x 3 in my wallet for years and years, it made me laugh. Of course, now that I want it I cannot find the thing!

Fortunately I found these photos also taken in 1987. I didn't like the way my senior photos turned out (one was formal the other with a hot pink boa), so I had these taken.

I vaguely remember the photo shoot. I'm pretty sure it was Sears at Tanforan in San Bruno. They had a couple little studios. Apparently this one had the rustic props.

I remember the photographer told me to smile and think about my boyfriend at some point. Was it this shot?

That was my favorite sweater. Back then I pretty much only wore pink. Now I only wear it 90% of the time.

This must have been my favorite photo from the shoot because I found a framed 16 x 20 in my grandmother's things. It is in the hall closet now.

The hair? Why yes, my bangs were tall and ratted and maybe purple in the '80's. But by this time I was growing them out. Unfortunately all that bang perming lightened it so much that I had to keep on lightening it for years. About 1992 I just streaked it using one of those bonnets with holes and a pick. Then slowly streaked it less and let it grow out brown.

Oh versatile Sears Photo Studio wooden post, you offer so many opportunities for me to demurely lean upon you.

I'm really glad I had this photos taken because this number really says High School Graduation:

Unlike this photo in the yearbook I disliked so much:

One thing I can't figure out. I had bangs from at least Sophomore year on. Why does it look like I don't have them in this photo? Ah, the mysteries of 1987.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The View from Up Here

We have a view of the ocean. See it there between between the wires and roofs?

No really. See, there's a ship out there.

We get some awesome sunsets. I only wish my photography could do them justice.

And that we had underground power lines.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kristin Lavransdatter

I first learned about "Kristin Lavransdatter" through the movie, directed by Liv Ullmann. It is in Norwegian with English subtitles. We watched it at a Daughters of Norway meeting, and I enjoyed it so much I rented it and watched it again a few months later.

I recently read the first two books in the trilogy by the Norwegian author and Nobel Laureate, Sigrid Unsdet, "The Wreath" and "The Wife" and plan to read "The Cross". The story is set in fourteenth century Norway and was inspired by Icelandic Sagas.

Like any book made into a movie, there are big differences between the two. First, the movie leaves off at the end of "The Wreath", while the books continue to tell the story of Kristin's whole life. The film is a beautiful, dramatic romance. The books have a different feeling, the background of Norway's history and every-day life have just as much presence as Kristin's life.

The trilogy is so detailed and gives a view into medieval Norwegian life, how people lived and thought. The movie is so rich and beautiful. I highly recommend both.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fana Swatch

Today's post is up at the Ethnic Knitting Discovery KAL Blog.

I should have a photo of a heart sachet I knit, but I was in such a rush to mail it I didn't take a photo. Doh! Well, I'm making another one. So I'll post all my foibles with the first when the second is finished.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Viking Costume

Here I am in my Viking costume. It is a work in progress. I really need a headscarf, a belt, and another layer. I made the apron using this pattern. It is based on the Birka style. There is very good information about Viking dress here, and a bunch of links here.

I've got brooches holding up the apron, a pin of the Norse god & goddess Frey & Freya, a key, and my newest addition, the necklace.

Our Daughters of Norway lodge made them, as well as earrings and bracelets, to sell at Norway Day. The member who led the project researched Viking jewelry, and the designs are based on a necklace found at Hon, Norway. There is a picture of it on the Viking Answer Lady's jewelry page.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tofutsies Socks

Remember the socks I was going to fix over Thanksgiving? I finally finished the second pair last week. I started to frog from the top, and this is how far I got before I gave up.

So I decided to pick up stitches at the point in the leg I wanted to start knitting back up to the top, and cut the yarn. Didn't work so well, I ended up frogging quite a bit more than I planned.

I knit without increases (they were decreases on the way down) back up and eyeballed where I should start the ribbing, cast off, and washed them. At least they are similar in size now.

I like them but I still need to work on getting the size right. The foot is pretty good but the legs are still too large. No biggie, I don't usually roll my pants up like this. Only when I'm standing in the bed of my pick-up in the park as people walk by staring at me taking photos of myself.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Big 2008 Project - Fana Cardigan

I'm finally going to design and knit my own Norwegian sweater. I have been working up to it over the past few years, learning how to do stranded colorwork and reading about Scandinavian knitting in general.

I've read "Knitting In the Old Way", "Knitting in the Nordic Tradition", "Traditional Scandinavian Knitting". And all three of Annemor Sundbø's books (available here): "Everyday Knitting: Treasures from a Ragpile", "Setesdal Sweaters: The History of the Norwegian Lice Pattern", and her latest, "Invisible Threads".

I had been hearing about "Ethnic Knitting Discovery" on the web and debated whether I needed another book about Norwegian knitting. I decided I needed all the info I cab find and ordered it for Christmas from my husband. At the same time I started spending time on Ravelry and saw that the author, Donna Druchunas, is doing a Norwegian sweater knit-a-long based on her book. It seemed like I was getting a message - "it's time to do your Norwegian sweater". By the way, I am really enjoying Donna's book and so glad I got it. She encourages you to do it yourself, but gives you several levels of help. It's kind of like "Knitting in the Old Way" with tutorials.

The KAL blog is here. We are starting out making headbands to test yarns and learn patterns. I was originally going to make a yoked pullover. I enjoyed making one for my son (I haven't posted yet because I can't get him to wear it and hold still, plus it is still too large). I like working in the round, and not having to seam. I was picturing a white sweater with shades of pink, kind of Bohus, or pink with white designs.

The KAL is for a drop-sleeved pullover. And I already have a (purchased) pink & white Norwegian sweater, albeit a cotton cardigan. I am really drawn to Fana sweaters, and one part of my family is from the western coast of Norway, so I decided on that. I especially like the old cardigans with plackets bound in trim. So I'm not exactly doing the same project, I'll be making a steek up the front, and trying to set the sleeves in a bit.

The yarn is on it's way, I can't wait to swatch. I've done some charting, but need to know my gauge to continue. I'll post more after I swatch.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Knit Norwegian Cap

This cap, started in April, is a UFO no more, woo-hoo!! The yarn is Lanett leftover from making Ann Norling fruit hats. The pattern is based on Vibeke Lind's "Cap with patterned border" from Knitting in the Nordic Tradition. The chart is from Annemor Sundbo's "Treasures from a Ragpile".

I picked it up about a week ago, and couldn't remember why it got sent to the never-to-be-finished pile. The color work was done, and I had started the crown. I wasn't sure if it would still fit my son, but it was a shame to let all that colorwork go to waste, so I decided to finish it and give it as a gift, if nothing else.

I looked to see if any decreases had been done and counted how many stitches were on the needles and compared that to my notes. It didn't quite match, so I decreased a bit and kept going. Then I remembered the last time I worked on it (Norway Day) and why I gave up. The number of stitches never matched what my notes said they should be after a decrease row. I tried to keep going, but wanted to give up again. Turns out it wasn't my knitting that was wrong, it was the math I did for the deceases.

I got back on track with a new decrease plan and just about finished. When I turned up the cuff over the crown, they were the same height. I never worked straight, just went right to the decreases. Drat. Well, there was a messy spot anyway in the ribbing, so I frogged it down to the ribbing. Big problem, I didn't have enough red yarn to add more than a couple rows. I decided to use white. It looks funny unfolded, but on the head the white doesn't show. I started over, working straight for a distance about equal to the height of the colorwork, then proceeded to the decreases with correct math.

Here it is pre-blocking:

And post-blocking:

And on the recipient's head:

It isn't really too small, just off. When I made my pattern, I wanted it to be about the size of this cap, which still fits the little man:

I guess the combination of out of proportion cuff, and a too short crown is why it doesn't look quite right. But I'm happy overall.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

It's a new year and I've made a crazy resolution: to Blog 365.

It's not as strict as NaBloPoMo, perhaps because there aren't prizes. You can write entries while on vacation and post them at a later date, for example.

I've started a new blog: Sunset Style which is mainly photos of architectural details I find interesting in my neighborhood.

Following a kind of odd Christmas, I had a kind of weird New Year's Eve. My husband went to an event that I wasn't interested in attending. I stayed home with the kid and was asleep by 11:30. Now, I'm getting older and have had my share of crazy New Years, however, not one drop of champagne or at least sparkling cider? Harumph.