Enjoying Every Inch

When I started spinning my own yarn, I discovered a whole new way to enjoy my hobby. This latest project is an excellent case in point.

I took this fiber –

spun it into this yarn –

wound it into this ball –

and then knit it into this pair of capris for The Fraggle –

Every single stitch was incredibly thrilling. I am so in love with this yarn! So, here are some more pictures!

Three things about this knit –

1. The yarn – I already gushed quite a bit, I know. So here are the details. The fiber came from Dear Husband and is a superfine merino dyed in the Norway Girl colorway. It has more brown that was intended, so I got a great deal on it. I spun it on my new wheel (my first yarn on the Elizabeth I). I learned how to chain ply on this yarn and am so thrilled with the results.

2. The pattern – I totally wing baby pants and soakers, now. If you are interested in the details, I used my Ravelry project page to remind myself what I was doing, so it is all here.

3. The plan – I made this a bit larger than I needed. My hope is that they will still fit come winter, and then I will add legs to it with snaps. (More on that in the months to come, I am sure).

I literally enjoyed every inch of this project twice – first in the spinning and then in the knitting. It was an incredibly satisfying spin/knit.

And I have three feet of yarn left over!

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The Fraggle Turns One – A Retrospective On My Last Birth

This week marks one year since I gave birth to my last baby.

The Fraggle is amazing. God knew that I needed an easy baby this last time around. He blessed me with an eager nursing, long nap taking, not very needy, easy going baby. The Fraggle is responsible for many, many smiles and has caused so much joy in our home.

One Year. The Fraggle is one year. And she is lovely.

In our family we have a tradition. On your birthday, you hear your birth story. It always begins, “______ years ago today…” and what follows is the story of joyous birth. But when I start The Fraggle’s story, I can’t remember joy. I remember this.

One year ago this week, I was in the hospital. It was the last place I wanted or expected to be. Up until that week I had only known easy, peaceful, simple homebirths. But, as I laid in that hospital bed, strapped to monitors and totally exhausted, I was filled with fear, worry, homesickness, disappointment, and stress. With my blood pressure climbing daily and the worries about the baby’s heart and being separated from my five children for days and days, I was a total wreck. Her birth was great as far as hospital births go I suppose, but I wasn’t used to hospital births. Compared to my previous five birth experiences, it was horrible, terrible, awful. A memory that I’d rather not have. An experience not for reliving on special occassions.

But, then I look at this little girl, this amazing blessing, and I wonder if that really matters. Sure it began in turmoil, but the turmoil was temporary, and once she got the “all clear” from the cardiologist and my blood pressure came down, we began a year of bliss. I feel robbed of the blissful experience that I associate with birth, but better and more beautiful experiences followed – an entire year of them. Memories to cherish, documented with pictures, and remembered with joy.

The tears come to my eyes and the disappointment returns to me again as I relive the story of her birth, but The Fraggle is too young to understand what I whisper to her while I hold her tight. I am determined to have a better version to tell her when she can understand. I will find a way to tell the story from a better perspective, when the joys of the years of her life have dimmed the pain of her birth. Just as a mother forgets the pain of labor, so I hope to forget the pains of my heart.

How ungrateful am I to dwell on a painful moment instead of celebrating the weeks and months of bliss? No, I will not do so. I will find the good in her birth and remember that. And where is the good in her birth story? Here. The good is right here.

And today it is right here.

And between those two moments is an entire year of bliss.

Happy Birthday, Little Fraggle! I love you!

(For the full birth story click here)