Thursday, July 24, 2008

Month One



First meal
courtesy of Mom
First cry
it wasn't as strong as it is now, but I remember it as if it were the loudest noise I've ever heard


First lunch out
with Aunt Tracy and Grandma, and then with Dad and Mom at Raja Rani (they catered our wedding, too)
First smile
they're not just gas anymore
First car ride
home from the hospital
First diaper blowout
all over Dad!
First trip to a friend's house
to Keenan and Carrie's
First party in her honor
to meet Mom's family
First neighborhood stroll
warm summer evenings
First prescription
silly tear ducts

First baby

Dad and Viv

First time parents

Friday, July 18, 2008

FO and pattern: Goldie Dress

Dress for Viv

a dress or tunic for sweet babies aged 3-6 months (give or take)


Joann Sensations Kashmira, one skein (284 yards)- sample is dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring. You may need another skein, depending on length- the dress shown is knee length on a 1 month old baby


size 4 US circular and/or double point needles, or size needed to obtain gauge


6 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch

Abbreviations/Skills Necessary

k- knit

p- purl

k2tog- knit two together

kfb- knit front and back of stitch

CO- cast on

BO- bind off

pm- place marker

slm- slip marker

garter st- k every row (k 1 row, p 1 row in the round)

Finished Measurements

9.5” across at underarm

7.25” from underarm to hem

(measurements are approximate, but remember- it will fit the baby at some point!)

Dress for Viv


Starting for collar, CO 54 st. Starting with a RS row, work in garter st for 1”, ending in RS row.

Row 1: K4, P6 (front), pm, P9 (sleeve), pm, P16 (back), pm, P9 (sleeve), pm, P6 (front), K4.

Row 2: *K to 1 st before marker, kfb, slm, kfb* and repeat from * to * till end of row.

Row 3: K4, P till 4 st before end, K4.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 till back has 44 st or desired width.

At the same time and after about 8 repeats of row 2 and 3, increase for the puffed sleeves (you can leave this part out if you don’t want puffy sleeves)

RS row: slm for sleeve, kfb, *k4, kfb*, repeat from * to * till last stitch before marker (don’t worry if it’s not totally even, just k remaining stitches), kfb, slm. Repeat this for both sleeve sections.

WS row: follow row 3 above

Repeat this till desired puffiness is achieved (I did three inc rows), or till back has 44 st.

Join fronts and back: on a RS row, K across front to first marker, remove marker, CO 4 st, pm, CO 4 st, slip sleeve st onto a piece of scrap yarn, remove marker, K back st, , remove marker, CO 4 st, pm, CO 4 st, slip sleeve st onto a piece of scrap yarn, remove marker, K to end. The markers are the sides of the dress and are where you will increase to create the A-line skirt.

Join to work in the round (don’t twist your knitting!) and continue in stockinette st. You will keep the four stitches on either side of the join in garter st (p a round, k a round) for 10 rounds or so, and k all the rest of the st. After that, k those 8 st every round (like the rest of the st).

At the same time, increase for the skirt. Every seventh round, increase as follows: k to one st before marker, kfb, slm, kfb. Repeat at the other marker. Repeat this one round every seventh round (or more if you want a more flared skirt, less if you want less flare). Knit till you want to stop- the dress shown extends past the baby’s bottom, but not quite to her knees.

For the border, k in garter st for 1” or so, and bind off in pattern. I would recommend starting and ending the border and bindoff at one of the markers, rather than in the front center of the dress.

Dress for Viv

For the sleeves, pick up 8-9 st where you CO at the armpit, and k the st around the arm. Join your work (don’t twist it) and k 3 rows in stockinette. To decrease the puffy sleeves:

Row 1: *k4, k2tog* and repeat from * to * around

Row 2: K

Repeat this till there are fewer than 40 st remaining (it will depend on how much you increased). Knit in garter st for ¾” and bind off loosely. I used EZ’s sewn bindoff for extra stretch- infants are wriggly!

Weave in your ends and have a fashion show.

Size Considerations and Variations

In order to make this dress larger, you have a couple of options:

CO more stitches, 1-2 more per section, increase the armhole depth (do more increases), and lengthen the skirt.


Knit out of thicker yarn at a larger gauge.

If you wanted, you could leave off the puffed sleeve increases and side increases. You could then knit it to a shorter length for a cute knitted t-shirt. To make the skirt flare out more, increase more frequently.

version 1.0- July 18, 2008

© 2008 Veronica Machak

Please don’t sell this pattern or things you make from this pattern.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Think good thoughts.

Viking had another seizure this morning. We're weighing our options- to medicate or not. We want her to have the highest possible quality of life, so it's hard to choose. On one hand, the seizures are, well, seizures, but on the other hand, the medication could have a (permanent) sedative effect and could also tax her liver. She seemed to have a pretty good day, though- about an hour was spent being nervous and aggressive, but then she mellowed out and was back to her old self.

But the fun didn't stop there. Oh no. I went to the dentist today. And then I worked a full day with a screaming infant on my lap. Ergh, it was not the best day, all around.

But I did finish Viv's dress, and I'm almost done drafting a pattern. Hooray.

And there's a new Venture Bros. to watch. And last night we laughed our way through Wizard People, Dear Reader (seriously- you NEED to watch this thing, even if you don't care about Harry Potter, which I certainly don't). Well, I made it half way, and then fell asleep in a pile of blankets with my darling Viking (Vandal was nearby). And I redesigned the blog and changed around the comment system so I can finally reply to folks. So there's that.

And then there's these photos, which make the stress melt away. I am so glad that when I get to the end of my life, I'll be able to look back and remember how beautiful and tiny and precious and soft my daughter was at the beginning of hers.


Little rolls

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's been emotional.

Terror...and elation

Special needs=especially needy?
special needs = especially needy?

So, Viking had a seizure. It was the scariest moment of my life, rivaled only by Dan's first panic attack (the 'heart attack'). We heard her scrambling in her crate, and when she wouldn't respond to our voices, we thought something was in there, biting her. Dan opened the crate, and she wouldn't come out. We panicked, he tore the top off the crate, and there she was- wild-eyed, twitching, and drooling so much she was foaming at the mouth. After an eternity, she snapped out of it, but she was so disoriented and scared (probably from Mom and Dad screaming and crying...shoot) that she limped around the room as fast as her front legs could take her, peeing on the rugs and barking at Dan.

A trip to the doggie ER and $200 worth of tests concludes... she's epileptic. Huh.

Then, five days later, she stops eating and starts vomiting, which, for this dog, is utterly out of character. We get more panicked- was she poisoned? Is it an obstruction? Are the problems related? Another trip to the vet, another $200 (x-rays, more bloodwork, stool, so broke) and... nothing. It's not an intestinal blockage, as far was we know, it's not an endocrine disease (she had other symptoms that could have just been incidental?)'s maybe something she ate, but she was vomiting so much, there wasn't anything in her tummy to examine, poor girl. She got some medication for nausea, and three days later, she's on the mend. I spend a lot of time these days thinking about poop, and I'm pleased to report my dog's is getting back to normal. Yipes. I am grateful for our (new, less-expensive-than-the-old-one) vet, though- he called three days in a row to check that she was improving. He seemed to really care, and even more importantly, he seemed to take into consideration that even though we're broke college kids with a newborn, we love our dogs like family and want to keep them healthy. He was methodical in his approach and was willing to go one test at a time to rule out problems. He's a keeper.


Bib rainbow
everything is more interesting with babies!

I have actually been doing quite a bit of knitting! I've got nine bibs done (ends woven in and everything!). They just need velcro and embellishment before I can start strapping them to Viv. But because I procrastinate when it comes to finishing, I cast on for another project. I have a single ball of yarn I dyed with Kool-aid, and I looked and looked for the perfect pattern to use it. When I came up with nothing, I thought what the hell and decided to write my own. I will have details in the next day or so- I am almost done! If you need a pattern for a cute baby dress, watch this space.


I am back to work (as we speak!). It's not easy getting back to the grind, but the vet bills blindsided us, and we're already taking a hit from the time off for the baby. I just got an email; apparently I've been at this job for two years now. Huh. I am not one for hanging on to jobs (I have no career yet, so they're all just jobs), and I normally would have gotten the wanderlust by now. Maybe it's because I'm not waiting tables? Not dealing with the public does wonders for my job satisfaction, apparently.


Songs I listen to if I want to have a good, healthy cry:
  • Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
  • Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
  • Ben Folds - The Luckiest
  • Suzanne Vega - World Before Columbus
  • Bjork - Joga
  • Aimee Mann - Wise Up
  • Belle and Sebastian - The State I Am In
  • Catatonia - Valerian
  • David Bowie - Conversation Piece
  • Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place
I'm kind of shocked that I have been feeling so good. I was a prime candidate for post-partum depression, and I'm still waiting for the shoe to drop. So far, though, I have been feeling great, despite some frustration and adjustment. I still feel like I have a lot of emotions to process, though, and so some cathartic tears have been in order. It's kind of hard to explain to friends and family why I would listen to things that make me cry, especially songs that make me cry so. damn. hard. But they're good tears, they're cleansing tears, they're tears of joy.


Viv's 0th birthday is in a week (we decided to have a meet-and-greet party rather than entertain the 40+ family members on my dad's side individually). We're going to Gencon this August (nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!). And there are two people in this house who are really looking forward to the end of pelvic rest (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more).

Also: Batman. And Hellboy. And X-Files.

My Life in Pictures
Veronica M's items Go to Veronica M's photostream

About Me

My photo
I love language. I love knitting. I love photography. I love my husband. I love my daughter. I love my puppies. Reach me at vmachak at gmail dot com.

Following Me

She Has Arrived

Vivienne Beatrix

June 20, 2008
12:00 pm
7 pounds, 15 ounces
20.25 inches


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