I am the first one!
I wish I could spin...that yarn is beautiful.
All gorgeous! Of course, hobbies can take us "too far" - that's what a hobby is for! It takes us out of the everyday into a nice relaxing....somewhere else :)
Wow! Those yarns are amazing! Good work. Thanks for sharing.
Your spinning is gorgeous. We want baby news!!
That's why you keep your friends around - to tell you the truth.
That Denny. So funny.
BTW, you rocked on Tues night. I brought my non-knitting friend and she almost wet herself. You're proven right again - the humour isn't just for knitters.
Lovely spinning, and somehow, I know you're going to do it -- you're too competitive not too!
how did the tank turn out? did it turn out?
Having spun exactly once in my life, I have nothing to go by except your gloomy predictions. (I have no clue how much my 45 minute's worth of newbie spinning even weighs. I should check.)
But you have fooled me before. You rise to challenges, especially those you assign yourself, like good bread, well-kneaded.
Just don't give yourself irreparable shin splints in the process, OK?
I love friends who give it to you straight like that (including the oohing and aahing over the better points.)
I'm not sure which category it puts me in if I say my reaction to the first picture was that it reminded me of a gorilla being cute in a zoo, doing a The Thinker pose.
But that's almost 1,000g spun - and that's a LOT of spinning! Woohoo! (And your work on the Grafton batt is lovely, btw.)
I'm hung up on the fact that you* call it "yardage" even though it's measured in meters. Why is that, I wonder?
* Not you in particular, just, you know, in general. I've never, ever heard it called "meterage." Yes, I find this sort of thing interesting.
PS Pretty, pretty yarn. And did you give yourself a shin splint?
I am sorry about your injury. Sounds like it was a "repetitive motion" injury. They crop up anytime you make the same motion over and over. I was warned about them when I started learning the hammer dulcimer. "Luckily" I don't do it enough to cause pain. However I do sometimes get what I call "knitter's elbow".
And, honestly, there aren't many out there who can pull off yellow. I won't touch it after an unfortunate middle school photo I felt made me look particularly canary-like.
Oh, and I know exactly the muscle of which you speak. I encountered it doing rehab for a torn ankle tendon. I had to lift weights by curling my toes up (dorsiflexing my feet for those that are minded that way). It's this weird but intense burn up the fronts of your shins. I hated that machine the worst of all of them.
And even though I know nothing about spinning -- skipping the laceweight silky stuff would seem like a good strategy. Kind of like drafting (unintentional biking/spinning pun there, soooorry!). Bulky = more weight for the spinning time! Not cheating, just prioritizing!
At least your started and gave it your best shot. I thought about starting and then realized on July 7 that July 5 had come and gone and I hadn't even looked at the wheel, much less determine what I wanted to accomplish. And regardless of your place in the competition, you've still go some very pretty yarn!
I really can't resist this one:
Sorry to hear that your spinning hobby turned into a spinning hobble.
Oh and that Grafton yarn looks like a cup of coffee as you gradually add cream. In other words, it's my kind of yarn :)
We all loved the scarf you came up with on the last Grafton Batt (best scarf to teach a newbie ever!), what are you going to do with this one - it's beautiful!
Your spinning is pretty gorgeous, but I want to know about the "Flow"! Did you manage to fix it? or is it at the bottom of the sink covered in zucchini and cheese? telltelltell!
That yarn is beautiful. You've really been spinning up some very impressive skeins these days!
I have really enjoyed all the spinning stories and the pictures. I have to get to Rhinebeck one of these years! The highlight of your tour de fleece has to be Denny's comment. HA!
Oooh, it's gorgeous. Sorry about the limp!
Denny has a way with words.
You have to stretch quite a bit after a long day of sitting in front of the spinning wheel (or sewing machine, which was my instrument of calf/shin torture).
I'm sure we are all enjoying your yarn enormously, but please don't hurt yourself for our own blogging statisfaction!
Says she, who's been known to knit with an elastic bandage around her wais, hiding a small pebble in there so that she could apply pressure to a swollen tendon.
Whereas my favorite color is red. And a damned good thing, under the circumstances.
I love the graduating yarn. That is going to look really good on whatever you decide to use it on. Be careful with the spinning.
That's still a lot of yarn finished, no matter how many meters! What will you do with it all? Does it become stash for the next decade? I have that problem, unfortunately, and I've yet to make myself a handspun sweater. Do you have a handspun sweater?
This is one of those times when an electric spinner would come in handy. :D The yarns are utterly fabulous, and thanks for sharing them!
Uh-oh...that injury sounds like my old case of tendonitis. I used to get the same thing in my legs. They would switch off every two months or so and I'd get stabbing pains up and down my shins for a few days. I used to wrap my legs up with Ace bandages so I looked like a racehorse, and that helped a lot. I'd take a couple of Ibuprofen and wrap 'em up. Also, ice 'em. Good luck, don't injure yourself too badly.
Tibialis anterior. Chronic condition is also known as shin splints. Need to raise your leg and put ice on it (and perhaps apply a cold beer to your interior as well). Keep it up and then it's compartmentalism and that you really don't want.
Strengthening exercise is put a towel on the floor and with your bare toes scrunch it up from one end to the other. Also much better with a cold beer applied your interior.
what is the prize for this contest
rehab for the winner
Ok, that's it. I TOTALLY can't wait until Reinbeck now. Yumm, yum, yummy.
Spin Harlot Spin! You can do it!!
Denny is right about 'that yellow shirt' for the Tour de France - in that shade of yellow - however I think you look delightful in a different shade of yellow - a bit more brown or autumnal tone and I think it is really 'you'.
Metre, as in poetry is metre (or I guess 'meter' if you cross the border from Canada to the States), according to my mother - commander of many questions of grammer/English etc, and when NZ went metric somehow the 'mileage' didn't change to 'kilometre' - I think it is just a mindset that we haven't accepted it as reasonable/justifiable/common parlance, although there is already a good word, we just don't use it.
Anterior tibialis, which is used to draw your toes towards your shin and which many people strain during running too much. You can stretch it out by putting the top of your foot on the floor and leaning gently downward (Not until it hurts - that's too far!).
Actually, that pain ends up being really good for your shins. (as long as you don't overdo it, of course) Exercising that muscle builds it up and prevents shin splints! YAY! lol.
Oh and gorgeous spinning, btw.
Denny is hilarious. And the yarn is lovely, lovely, lovely. Ice that pain!!
Have you considered a pinch hitter? If your leg injury flares up again, just send the rest of your fiber to me and I'll spin it up for ya!
Yeah...I didn't think that would work.
Maryk, Brie and others have said it well, I'll just add to it:
*******ICE THAT INJURY!!!********
Unbelievable that you can mitigate pain, swelling and inflammation with the application of a free, over-the-counter-substance, yet it is true.
I'm sure that all those peleton riders will tell you they train, stretch, ice, repeat.
All the best to you!
Darn those fiber injuries. I think there is a medal somewhere for injuring yourself in the selfless pursuit of a fiber goal...I hope so, because I got a pain in the neck from knitting for hours on end on a BSJ last night - it was just too fascinating to stop.
ps - When I grow up, I want to be able to spin like you.
I, on the other hand, still have probably 50+ grams to do on my first braid (you may or may not recall that my challenge was to spin up both). I bow before you.
Also, your yarn looks great. (The one GF batt I have spun from has the occasional pill/slub/nep/whatever-you-call-it in it. Not that I'm complaining, it's lovely fiber, but it doesn't quite spin itself. Perhaps the lack is in me.)
MMMMM on all the colours you're showing today.
I vote for spinning something bulky for the rest of the Tour...it'll still take a while but it could be doable and you'd have lots of material for "unoriginal" hats for Christmas gifts. Oops, I said the C word.
You don't need to win. Look at all the terrific yarn you've gotten!
Shhhh! If you keep telling people about how lovely the batts from Grafton Fibres are then there won't be any left by the time I get to their Rhinebeck stall!
An interesting injury to have coincide with a sporting event! Quite often associated with running and cycling. The yarn is gorgeous, have only just found your blog and am working my way through the archives backwards so I get to read the more recent things first. The yarn you spin is delectable and I am having trouble with the speed you are able to knit at. Three little ones under my feet has somehow slowed my hands! Good luck with the rest of the tour, looking forward to the updates on the baby, the "Flow" and the spinning.
Just to add to the foregoing advice on injuries, remember the word RICE--rest, ice, compression, elevation--for any muscle injury. Spoken by someone who injures herself on a shockingly regular basis, it really helps. Will you ever be able to look at your newly spun yarn without remembering the pain? Hope so, because it's gorgeous!
And we all want to know--what about the flow tank????
oh, dear, spinner's limp! i can relate... i did a bunch of spray painting yesterday - imagine my dismay when i discovered afterward that i could no longer grasp anything, and that my index fingers and thumbs would almost not move at all any more!
no knitting all day yesterday... it was awful... but i am now on the mend. i hope the limp clears up soon.
Its absolutely stunning. I give many many kudos to those of you who have the patience for spinning. I don't think I have it in me.
The "injury" sure sounds like what everyone is saying...shin splints..or the beginning of them...just a tip to prevent that from happening the next time...before you start to spin for an extended period of time...tie a can of soup (full not empty) on a string, sit somewhere that your foot is hanging, put can on loop on your foot and do lifts to strengthen the muscle...this really works..I love the work you've done so far...just beautiful...
Do you think that the term 'lanterne rouge' might come from railroad lingo? La lanterne rouge au bout du Train Bleu?
that curled up roving looked like a sticky bun, so yummy. and the resulting yarn is gorgeous. i'm thinking scarf for my dad...
So what happened with the Flow tank?
heh. Spinners Limp. Sounds like Shin Splints to me (at least that's what I got when I ran)....definitely Ice. And NSAID. and rest ;) and maybe beer too.
:D love all the lovely yarns!
I gave myself a herniated cervical disk knitting. I know how you feel.
I moved 20 mins from Grafton (I actually live on Grafton Road; as in, the road to Grafton) and immediately went to find the Grafton Fiber. It moved too. To the farm. And only sells at "events", and maybe on the web.
Was it something I said?
Ooooooh - gorgeous yarn - I look at the first one & think it is more gorgeous & then at the 2nd & think it is more gorgeous until I go back to look at the first one again. And, if you are going to take NSAIS (especially if you mix them with beer), be sure to cushion your stomach with a goodly amount of food.
I've never had the urge to spin. But your spinning blogs and picks of wool turned into pretty yarn is making me want to learn!
Watch out for the leg muscles. Let 'em rest, ice them, put those feet up while you knit. Then go find a copy of the Trigger Point Manual by Claire Davies. It has everything you need to know about how to make your legs feel better fast, and stay that way! I'm a professional massage therapist, specializing in pain therapy, and that's the book I recommend to all my clients. It should be in the first aid kit of anyone who wants to treat aches and pain on their own without drugs.
Enthesopathies, secondary to radiculopathy. Stretch those legs girl, the way you would if you woke up with a cramp in the middle of the night. Lots. Stretch lots. All those small repetitive movements while spinning may be causing muscle cramping, a bit like RSI - yes - in the legs.
Love your blog. Loani. P.S. That's RADiculopathy as oposed to REdiculopathy.
You still win. You have beautiful yarn and a concerned family.
P.P.S Who needs the medical profession when you have all your fans to diagnose and treat. :- )
So sorry to hear you were limited to *just knitting* for a few days. Your spinning is just beautiful though, and I am wondering, what are you going to do with all this gorgeous yarn? Is it destined for holiday gifts? KWB giveaways? I can't imagine it all going into the stash. Really, it is too lovely.
Haha!!! Gotta love Denny! I love the yarn - it is gorgeous! But seriously, you don't need any sleep over the next 4 days right?? So what's the problem with finishing up?
I wanna be friends with Denny, too!
Spinner's shin splints--try saying THAT 3 times in a row, quickly!
Shin splints can be awful painful. You might want to try wrapping your calf with an ace bandage to keep it from splinting anymore.
If you don't mind me saying .. and I really don't know the first thing about spinning so take it for what it's worth.. from the pictures it looks like the Tour de Fleece has had an impact on your spinning. The yarn you're getting these days, I think already shows that you've improved technique since the beginning. Even though you won't be in yellow - congrats on the improvements you've made. It's amazing what some concentrated practice can do to a skill! (and boy do I wish I could say that I'd been practicing anything with as much zeal!)
Yes--absolutely. Yellow is NOT your color, and walking IS your means of transportation. I'd say it's a fair trade-off. But I've got to tell you that I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with all this handspun. Wow. You could blog forEVER off this event! (yipee!!!!!;0)
Ok, with all due respect; I thought the Grafton Batts looked a bit like a turd in it's pre-spun state. Post spinning. Well, I eat my words. Really quite lovely. Good luck with the Tour de Fleece. Remember to pace yourself!
Buck up, Stephanie!
You are producing some BEAUTIFUL yarn! And lots of it!
The general idea of the Tour de Fleece is to CHALLENGE yourself. Just like the Knitting Olympics.
I over-challenged myself during the Knitting Olympics, and was still knitting when it ended, so I didn't win. But I have a beautiful blue coat because of it.
I think I've over-compensated for my lose during the Olympics with a really easy goal for the Tour de Fleece, but I wanted it to be easy this time because what I REALLY want out of it is to re-establish the habit of spinning every day or nearly every day. I have some beautiful fibers in my stash and they might as well become first yarn, and then finished objects.
And I am regaining my enthusiasm for spinning. Partly with the encouragement of all the amazing yarns you're spinning.
So, whether you win or lose, you'll have a lot of amazingly beautiful yarn to knit with when you're done.
And maybe you'll inspire some other spinners, the way you're inspiring me.
Thanks for the inspiration, by the way!
Sounds like some shin spints...and that you were perhaps overextending the foot while spinning, maybe laying back in your chair too far and peddling more with the front of the foot than the flat or heel...body mechanics...not from too much spinning just needing to correct some position you are using..that's my two cents...I am always looking for a way to spin for hours and not hurt myself...ageing is not for sissies...says bette davis
Hmmm... I thought the first picture looked like a monkey's ear. Not that I know what one looks like. Anyway, got to say that a personal challenge isn't something you really ought to ratch yourself up over, but still, if you're going to spin some more anyway - try changing the position of your foot when you treadle. Put the whole foot on the treadle (and rest your weight on it) or if you already do that, try resting your heel on the floor and just pushing with your toe. Or elevate your heel by putting it on a book. Switch positions every once in a while and this won't happen so much.
So if Bextoronto is right ... will the new g****y yarn match the old g****y yarn?
Can I just say, I can't wait for Rhinebeck? As much as the days growing shorter messes with my sense of well-being, I'm wishing away summer just to be the smarter prepared wool shopper that I know I'm going to be this time around because I actually spin now! Your photos have me ... drooling. There's no other word. How did I miss that roving, that top, those vendors last fall? How?
From this wrist-impaired knitter to you, shin-impaired spinner, go easy.
Blurg! I have been trying to avoid the Spinning Bug... but these posts are making it hard and harder to resist!
Since your leg is hurting and spinning hurts it and you look icky in yellow(that is a hard color to wear unless you are a baby) how about full pictures of the baby sweaters ???? Is there still no baby--if the full moon didn't bring it what will?? Have her read "The Birth House". It is set in Nova Scosia and is a fascinating tale of the turn of the century in Canada and how it changes giving birth for some women. It also has a long list of herbal potions to bring on labor etc. I have no idea if they work, but it was fascinating reading. Made me want to have lived back then.
Pictures of sweaters for stubborn baby ,we hope, will be accompanied by news of when pattern will be ready(we'll pay top dollar for you, you know).
Your spinning is very beautiful too-your talents astound us-I know families don't get it,but we do.
I know I spelled it wrong-sorry. No dictionary by computer-also no pens-paper----Hmmm, I must have an 8 year old granddaughter living with me for the summer!
Your yarn is beautiful, although it does not make me want to spin my own. I will leave that to those who can spin (and want to). BTW, did I miss the baby news?? Where is the baby? I can't wait to see which sweater wins! Take care of your leg.
Drop spindle in the bathroom?
You have spinning shin splints? Wow, that must have taken alot of spinning. Or your shins were in wicked awful shape to start. (Which I doubt). I have spinning neck pain. Not sure how thats happening. I must be sitting wrong (and my neck is in poor shape too)
I am in complete and utter awe of you. I just purchased my very first drop spindle and fiber and am getting ready to dive into spinning. I'm not sure if anyone will find me ever again but I figure if my husband fishes--I can spin (and knit).
sacrifice the damn toe and keep on spinning! Knit more socks to cover up the fact that the toe fell off and make sure they are a color that appropriately matches the yellow jersey.
I don't even spin but seeing you work towards your goal is getting me all worked up. Don't have me standing on the side of the road cheering you on for nothing! SPIN!
Hey! I thought you were supposed to be at Retreat 3.0. Franklin will miss you. I attended 2.75 and had a blast. Take care of yourself, and let us know about the baby.
Steph...I've had had the same type of injury..I called them "spin splints", fits our craft so much nicer than shin splints, don't you think? Your yarn is, as always, lovely. I haven't spun in awhile...I'm ready to begin once again thanks to you.
Keep on spinning, you'll make it!
Gorgeousness is right on. I have now come to the realization that I am totally addicted to yarn. good luck .
I had this totally radical and crazy thought about your limping type woes. Now, this is radical, like I say... but have you heard of spindles? You can totally spin on them without using your feet! I only mention this because I know your heart is totally broken and secretly you just LOVE yellow.
(I'm sorry. You know I couldn't help it. I swear I'll always defend your honour about this regardless. I still couldn't help it. You can punch me. )
Okay, this is way off today's topic but I belatedly wanted to tell you that I loved your Canada Day musings. I'm a bloody Yank who fortunately lives near the border and just visited Vancouver and so loved how Canadians can't resist helping befuddled strangers! It is such a great country you live in that you should be proud!! Anyway, I'm a crap knitter but I think you are way cool!
glad to know the limp is better. ah yes we who must go toooo far to be certain it is actually far enough. hm. beautiful spinning. and where is the baby news?
Considering how full your life is, you should be proud of how much you've spun (and knit) during this whole experience. The yarns look beautiful, almost makes me want to learn how to spin...almost (I live in a 3rd floor, one room apt with lots of yarn, another person and a cat. No room for other fiber)
The muscle is the anterior tibialis muscle. The same muscle that weekend warriors get all strained and often torn from too much running too much too soon, or for spinners, too much spinning :) (It's not called Tour de Fleece for nothing).
Here's a link that shows how to massage that muscle...it goes into much detail about the muscle itself in the beginning but towards the end, you'll see techniques on how to work it. It does feel much better when someone else works the muscle for you though...
So did you finish the silly green top??????????
i swear.. denny makes everything better; does she not?
your spinning looks fantastic, i love it!
If that graduated yarn vanishes, you won't find it in my stash. Nor on my needles. Nope. Nuh uh.
Beautiful work. I can't wait to see what you decide to do with that lovely graduated stuff. It's just stunning. I want to cuddle it.
Maybe you could go for the King of the Mountain. You are conquering a mountain of fleece. Plus, polka dots are very stylish this season.
Spinning as cross-training for my next marathon- such a brilliant idea you've given me. I've always wanted to learn to spin and now I have a perfect reason. Excellent *said in Mr Burns voice*
With hindsight, we should have told you what we tell new runners: in your first race look to finish, not to set a time (or total weight spun, in your case).
Hope you recover quickly and are back on the spinning again soon.
I second the polka dot jersey comment. You're climbing huge mountains of fleece at a great pace! Or think of yourself as a Schleck brother helping out the overall team effort. Who wouldn't want to be one of them? (I just want to adopt little Andy. He's so adorable)
ok so thats all good about the spinning and im glad your shin split is gone (ice the leg baby)
however what about finished pics of the flow tank?
and maybe you could be the red lantern now... or we could give you an honorary title of the green lantern or the green knitter... In brightest day in blackest night, no yarn shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power -- KnitLite needles Light!
ok maybe not but its fun to think about:)
Denny- is a true friend- and she CRACKS ME UP.
What will you make with all that yarn? It is beautiful.
oh my, you've got shin splints! Celebrate my dear...they are the mark of an athlete!
A part of you is tempted, right? Tempted to rent some boxed set of a television show you haven't seen and sit up and spin the daylights out of every piece of roving you have! (I knit to CSI when I'm on a binge because I don't have to pay attention so I guess I just assume that everyone knits or spins to tv) No one looks that bad in yellow and really- It will be a new, clean piece of clothing! (I recall you saying that that is a great thing)
I couldn't help but notice the mostly subtle colorways you are buying for spinning.
Usually your knitting is a bit more on the bold side.
How come you seem to pick quieter colors in batts/rovings/rolags etc.?
I am SO CLOSE! I had a very modest goal of spinning and plying my last two ounces of bamboo on the drop spindle and I'm almost halfway done with the plying. Considering that I moved in the middle of this and am still mightily engaged in the preparation of butterfly butts (you should see the pictures I have now!), I think I'm doing pretty well. There's the added bonus that my 6-year-old wants to learn to spin and did some of the plying this morning all by herself with a little verbal direction from me.
I think my favorite of this batch is the Grafton. I'm not sure how accurately the color is coming through on my monitor, but it reminds me of red wine and roses and other very pleasant things. Good luck, dear Harlot, and remember to stretch.
The colorways are beautiful! Spinning is something I would love to do. . . but first I must get past my J-O-B.
Your yarn is lovely! If your end product is turning out better isn't that better than actually meeting the goal?
I WISH I had your talent for spinning. Considering that the quality of my spinning is still somewhat lacking, I'm still trying and getting better. I have until Sunday to make some yarn that won't make me cringe.
Hey, I'm knitting that scarf right now with sock yarn. I love it.
The Fiber Factory! I miss that place so very much now that I'm in VA. It was the biggest and most well stocked shop I have ever seen. And it has the most awesome and helpful staff to boot. By the way, it's in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, not Phoenix itself. However did you find it?
"I figured that trying to explain to the my family that I was crippled up and unable to do stuff with them on account of a "hobby...."
Am I the only one remembering the injury that Joe did to HIS foot while camping? Is camping not a "hobby"? It is in my book. If it helps, tell 'em it's a sports injury (it IS Le Tour, after all...)
...who knew...shin splints from spinning...
It's fairly common for serious injuries to happen in the Tour, last year one rider was knocked off his bike by a dog, another time Lance Armstrong was pulled over by a string on a kids lunchbag, so I think this injury just puts you up there with the greats ;-)
"Spinner's limp" -- oh, I sympathize. I had "knitting finger" a few months ago, pain in my left pinkie. It's always something undignified, isn't it?
When I am casting on I always use stitch markers: 20 sts, pm, 20 sts, pm, etc. May sound lame but I only have to decide how many groups of 20 sts I have cast on. Works for me, especially considering I am so easily distracted.
I have an entire tank top front & back that I need to frog & re-knit cuz I 'm smaller than I think & the pattern was negative ease. That color is one of my favorites BTW. Hope you get it done.
I think you are doing great. I started spinning 6 mos ago, and you've spun more in the last week than I've spun in my lifetime. AND your spinning is absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy it, don't worry about winning.
What beautiful yarn. It makes me want to spin too. Seriously. I'm ... I have a stinking drop spindle though and it isn't working for me. I'm sure it's a sign that I shouldn't pick up spinning.
Now the real question: what are you going to use all this fabulous yarn for?
I must repeat this mantra to myself - need to learn Navajo plying! Wonderful spinner and spun stuff!
I don´t know if it counts for the maillot jaune, but the "objective" of "spreading the spinning disease" has certainly be reached. Therefore you deserve that maillot jaune, or at least jaune-ish. I´ve been learning a lot and although it doesn´t really make it for your muscle pain, it has certainly been positive for me (and us readers?).
By the way, how is the flow tank top?
Wow! Your Navajo plying looks fabulous. My first experiment with it on a wheel produced some rather interesting novelty yarn. Heh. Who knew it would be easier to Navajo ply on a drop spindle?!
What are you going to make? It's yummy.
You can knit your own maillot jaune!
OMG!!! Proof that you know where Arizona is and may possibly been here before. What do I have to do to get you to come back?!?! Beg, plead...stalk? Whatever it is, I'll do it!
If I could, I'd open my own yarn shop so you could come to my grand opening. But that will just have to remain a dream for a while longer at least.
Your spinning is beautiful, as usual. I really love that Grafton Batt. Thanks to you, I now have a few spindles and will be attempting spinning again in the near future.
My guess is a boy, I have three of that type myself and they are wonderful. Boys keep you on your toes. I would suggest the name Colton. I have a Colton and he is a delight. Best wishes to mom and baby.
I think it is a boy.
Henry is a good name and an old fashion name used in my days when growing up.
It is beautiful whether a boy or girl by the way.
Pauline in Alaska
What a lovely baby! Guessing it is a girl. Name suggestion: Esmeralda Rose
I think its a girl and alaska is a good name.
At first I thought the sweetie was a boy and then looking at his/her fingers, now I think she is a girl. Lily would be a wonderful name for her.