Quick Pic and a Question

My friend’s scarf is about 60% done. Her birthday is tomorrow. I knit on it on and off this weekend but for some reason it’s hurting my hands. I can’t even figure out why — it’s 100% alpaca, mistake rib (k2p2), done on US 10’s. The only thing I can think of it’s the US 10s. I don’t often knit with needles that big, but really…are they that big??? Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be done by tomorrow, but I’m taking her out for dinner next Friday so I still have time.
It definitely needs to be wet blocked. Right now it looks almost like Brioche stitch, right?
OK, time for the question.
First, I need to stress — THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME.
A very close friend just found out she’s pregnant. Never having been pregnant, nor really even planning on it, I’m very much out of my comfort zone (knowledge-wise). I wanted to get together a lilttle package/gift sort of thing and I thought I’d ask you all what would be good to give her (or the couple) for their first baby.
Is there a must-have book that comes to mind? Or a subscription of some sort? The due date is mid-summer (yeah it’s really early) so I’m not thinking baby items as much as I’m thinking pregnancy items. Have no fear though — the baby knitting will be coming!
So c’mon ladies — gimme your best advice. This is for a very special couple and I want to do something nice for them.

33 thoughts on “Quick Pic and a Question

  1. I’m in the same baby knowledge boat your in.. but every pregnant person I know reads “What to expect when your expecting”… they all say its really informative.

  2. A couple of things come to mind. First I’m thinking she is past the first trimester? If things go wrong usually it is at this point. So if it is a week or two I might get her a card and wait a little bit. As far as a gift. the nose maybe very sensative to fragrances. Buy something that is fragrance free. Clinique and Aveda have wonderful products. Other fun things, warm stocks, a baby book of names, a blank journal for thoughts and feelings might be something that will carry her through, you could also knit booties, blankets (washable) that are really cute. Debbie Bliss has a good selection.

  3. As a mom of 2 I HATED the What to expect books. (Sorry Michelle) They just seemed rather alarmist and especially with my first, I was freaked out enough, without the What to Expect people helping me. Sorry for the rant, I just feel really passion, not in a good way, for those books. On a positive note: two things that really saved my bacon were 1) a body pillow. Trust me, they rock. 2)The other item was what they call a bed chair. You know the thing that has a back and the small little arms and you sit on the bed and lean up against it. I got one at Bed Bath & Beyond and it was really firmly stuffed and weighs about 10 pounds. Anyhow- when the heartburn got so bad and I had to sleep sitting up, this thing was awesome. I also really liked it for nursing/bottle feeding. Okay, so neither of these fit in a basket. Find out if she has any cravings and make a basket out of those. It could be really fun and creative gift.

  4. I bet it is the US10 needles hurting your hands. If I work on anything larger than US7 I notice my hands start to ache and hurt.
    As for your friend, I’ve had 3 wee ones so I have a little input (I hope it helps). Any sort of luxurious cream—I noticed my skin was always terribly dry during pregnancy. Also, a gift certificate for a massage (you might want to verify that the place you choose does prenatal massage) and LOL don’t forget pedicures! I had a friend that bought me a couple of gift certs for pedis and I was so thankful since it was summer and I couldn’t quite maneuver to reach my feet and I lived in sandals.

  5. Hello, Jody. I just finished a pair of your Natalya gauntlets, and wanted to stop in and thank you for such a lovely design.
    The only change I made was to reverse the cable twist on the second gauntlet, giving me a mirror-imaged pair.
    This was my first expereince with cables, gussets and thumbs. I will be making more!

  6. ooh, i hated the what to expect books, too. sorry! i did, however, and still do, love the dr. sears baby book, and mothering magazine. very nurturing, affirming of becoming a mother. oh, and if she has nausea, candied ginger is the best! i practically lived on it. there is also a ‘mother-to-be’ tea that is really good. i forget who makes it, but it’s with all the other teas, particularly at a health food store.
    congrats to your friend!!!

  7. ooh, i hated the what to expect books, too. sorry! i did, however, and still do, love the dr. sears baby book, and mothering magazine. very nurturing, affirming of becoming a mother. oh, and if she has nausea, candied ginger is the best! i practically lived on it. there is also a ‘mother-to-be’ tea that is really good. i forget who makes it, but it’s with all the other teas, particularly at a health food store.
    congrats to your friend!!!

  8. Maybe at this early time something to pamper her or them would be a good idea. A gift certificate for dinner out or a good book or something.

  9. I second (or third) the motion to NOT get the what to expect when expecting book. I’d like to add to the do-not list — don’t get the book “your pregnancy week by week”. My sister and I nicknamed this book “what to worry about week by week”. I found my pregnancy went much better when I stopped reading these books — then I could pay attention to what was really happening rather than imagining that every little twinge was a sign of impending doom.
    First trimester gifts are tricky because a lot can still go wrong, and you’re not really sure if you *feel* pregnant yet. If she has nausea, candied ginger and preggie pops are nice finds. If there’s a local book about where to get baby stuff, get her that. (I live in san francisco, and wish I’d found out about “babies by the bay” and “lila’s guide” earlier than I did.)
    I think a great second trimester gift is a gift certificate to somewhere with nice maternity clothes. I bought a bunch of cheap maternity clothes, but actually ended up wearing my few nicer pieces *all* the time. (Japanese weekend was my fave.) You get to feeling so strange in your body, that clothes that look good in comfortable materials are an enormous treat!
    For third trimester gifts, I still believe in pampering the mother! Gift certificate for a prenatal massage can’t be beat. If you can arrange for a nice dinner out for your friend and her partner near her delivery date, that would be nice too. It can be a really nice way to mark passage to a new phase of your life/relationship. And for very late third trimester, if you can set it up with a cleaning service to get her house cleaned either right before she delivers, or ideally while she’s at the hospital and before she comes home… It can be a real treat to come home to a clean house.
    best wishes to your friend!

  10. Avoid aromas, food and any strong scent. Subltle scents may be ok. I lost 14# in the first trimester due to being ill, the slightest smell could send me over the edge. The only “what to expect” book that I really like (revealing my age) was The Over-35 Week by Week Pregnancy Guide. You read a chapter a week and it tells you what’s developing on the baby, etc but doesn’t get into much of that eat this, do that kind of thing. All the other books made me crazy and I swear that diet in the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book made me more sick than anything else!
    Someone collected a bunch of catalogs for baby stuff, crib sets, etc (i.e. Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, etc) and gave them to me in a little basket and I loved it. I got all excited looking at all the baby stuff. They also put in a little gender neutral outfit that I cherish… it was my first actual “baby gift”.

  11. Yeah, I hated the What to Expect books too. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy was a lot of fun though. But the best thing for a pregnant mom is a massage and pedicure!

  12. Yeah, I hated the What to Expect books too. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy was a lot of fun though. But the best thing for a pregnant mom is a massage and pedicure!

  13. Yeah, I hated the What to Expect books too. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy was a lot of fun though. But the best thing for a pregnant mom is a massage and pedicure!

  14. i dont have any little ones, but i know that this girl milotis78.blogspot.com always has really great stuff for kids and babies on her site. she might be a good one to consult. blankets for spit up are always a huge bonus, since they are spit up factories. also, huge needles make my hands cramp too.

  15. The Dr. Sears books are awesome… The pregnancy book, The birth book and the Breastfeeding book. wonderful resources. A massage or a pedi is a great gift too.

  16. When my best friend got pregnant, the one thing she really wanted was a nice dinner out with her husband and a new dress that wasn’t “maternity.” She was so stressed by all the baby planning, nursery painting and other things that she really missed her old freedom. I’d suggest giving your friend a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant with a lovely scarf or other delicate luxury. With so many baby things coming into your friend’s life, she might feel a little overwhelmed and welcome a “just for her” present.

  17. I have three children also. I didn’t mind the what to expect books, I liked seeing what was going on inside my body. I also loooved massages, but they can be quite pricey. With my last one we got a book and he gave us massages. This is not the book we had but it looks similar and is highly rated I know sometimes the guys feel frustrated, helpless, and left out of the process. As things progress, you might look for items that dad can use to help, and I know that there are what to expect when she’s expecting type help books out there. Good luck with the scarf. I can’t knit with anything much larger than an 8 or my hands cramp, so it’s likely that the combination of a less than stretchy yarn and bigger needles are what’s bothering you.

  18. You didn’t say you’d want to knit something, but when I was pregnant, and wearing the same handful of maternity t-shirts from Target day after day, I made a really neat summery scarf from some fancy Noro, and it made me feel “together”, so a nice knitted accessory, like a shawl, or scarf would be great. Otherwise, I agree with the pedicure idea, I got that as a gift from girlfriends and loved it. Especially if she’ll be having the baby in the summer.

  19. Frozen dinners to save her from cooking on those really tired days. Something fun that she can wear even after gaining those baby pounds. Yummy snacks that she probably shouldn’t have. And my favorite book: the girlfriends guide to pregnacy. (the series continues after the birth too).
    And it could be the size 10 needles hurting your hand. I’ve been having that problem with a scarf I’m making too. At least the bigger size makes it a quicker knit! 😉

  20. Wow..lots of great suggestions. A book I did like was “A Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” is was a real and comical approach to being pregnant with none of the alarmist mumbo jumbo. I got a kick out of it for both my pregnancies and I think your friend would like it.
    Other great gifts, a pedicure, some cozy socks, a scrapbook/baby book to chronicle her pregnancy journey. Maybe a gift certificate for a photographer, either for pictures for her or for her new baby when it comes. I had a girlfriend get me a couple hip “maternity” shirts and I swear I lived in those things! But maybe she’s not ready for that. Hope that helps a little.

  21. If she’s still early in the pregnancy, I think the best book is “A Child is Born” (Nilsson) – it’s a book that has beautiful in-utero photos of the baby as it develops. It is a wonderful book to track the development of the baby as time goes on…

  22. I know this sounds strange but an electric toothbrush is a must. The gums go when the bones get resorbed with pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is not stressed enough in pregnancy. Brush your teeth and floss like mad. An electric toothbrush will help when you’re too tired to care about your gums. This is from someone who has been there.

  23. Jody — you have to get her The Girlfriends Guide to Being Pregnant – the funniest, truest book ever written about pregnancy!! I laughed all the way through mine reading this and give to every new;y pregnant person I know!!

  24. Okay, well every pregnancy book my sisters told me was THE book has already been mentioned, but I did want to tell you that it probably is the size 10s that are making your hands hurt. They do that to me too.

  25. Please, do not get her the “Girlfriends Guide” books. They are horrible and Vicki Iovine already has made enough money on her books and tv show.
    The reason I wouldn’t buy the “What to Expect” books is that she’ll probably already get them or someone else will get them for her. They’re very popular, and I have mine after three kids and still use them as a reference.
    If your friend is at all interested in “attachment parenting” or being hands on with her baby, she might enjoy William Sears’ “The Baby Book”, with lots of suggestions on how to bond with your baby and be receptive to their needs.
    Besides books, I would get or make some 3 month or older baby clothes. The “newborn” ones barely last past the first couple of weeks because of size, and she might enjoy having some ready to go when the baby is. A friend of mine made my baby a sweater that I adore especially since it was handmade by her.
    If your friend is planning on breastfeeding, there are a lot of breastfeeding supplies at Target these days and it is much harder than it seems so some of the ointments, pads, etc. are welcome in the first few days.
    Another popular item are the “Baby Einstein” videos. They have them pretty much everywhere and the babies just love them.
    Good luck in choosing!

  26. For the mom, I would suggest something nice and pretty. Pregnancy can make you feel icky some days and having something nice to wear to make you feel beautiful _and_ comfortable makes a difference. Also it is something she can use after the pregnancy to think back on it. For the mom and baby, Land’s End (http://www.landsend.com) has the best diaper bags ever. I have a friend that I purchased one for almost 10 years ago and it still looks great. Not too babyish and is something they or she could use later for something else. Good luck!

  27. Sexy undies! At least, that is the most memorable of the gifts I received when I was expecting mumble mumble years ago. And olive oil and cocoa butter for the stretch marks.

  28. I liked the girlfriend’s guide. I think clothes in the 9-month to 2-year range are great. Then there are still some cute outfits to look forward to after the baby has outgrown most of the gifts. All other suggestions about creams, pedicures, and so on are great.

  29. Definitely skip “What to expect” and get “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy.” It’s hilarious. How about some beautiful classic kid’s books, like Goodnight Moon; Olivia; Curious George? I can give you a lo-o-o-ong list of kids’ books my kids and I love.

  30. Well, I enjoyed the “What to expect” books, but if there is this much controversy about books, maybe any book is not such a good idea! I agree with the pampering suggestions…it will be a LONG time after the baby comes until she feels like her “old self” so she should enjoy it now.

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