30 December 2007

Oops, what happened to my life?

Okay, I'm being facetious. I know exactly where my life went. Here:

With my adorable, sweet, wonderful little girl. But it keeps shocking me, just how far gone I am in love with her. My house kinda smells, I should be packing (we found a new place and will be moving as early as the 4th or as late at the 7th of January), grandmas keep stopping by wanting to hold the baby...but I just kinda carry on. Loving her. With all my heart. And hoping and praying for the day she starts sleeping through the night. Although I got my first real dose of terror this morning when, for the first time since she was born she didn't wake up fussy at 4am. I woke up at 4:27 am convinced she must be dead and rolled over in a panic to see which of us had killed her to find that she was totally asleep -- or had been until I rolled over in a panic and woke her up. Sigh.

There's been very little knitting here at Chez Lucy, since knitting requires two hands, and she likes to be held quite a lot, thank you very much. I have one thing to share that I made as Christmas present for my little nephew at my father's family:

A snowman hat for Sam, out of Berocco's Love It. The yarn was the right color, the price was right, and I have enough left over for one hat for Lucy, if I stripe it right, or two hats for Lucy, if I buy another skein of coordinating yarn.

I already showed off the socks for Amy's little ones, Lily and Vinnie (Lily is only three months older than Lucy, and they are both destined to grow up at Poppy and Grandma's as "Lily-I mean Lucy-I mean STOP THAT!"), and I apparently did not take pictures of the hats I made for Molly (a bunny ear hat out of Berocco Chincilla) and Tessa (a plain hat with little crocheted rosettes on top out of some stash wool... Manos, I think).

This was actually a great stash busting holiday, as the only yarn I had to buy was for Sam's hat. Go me!

If you haven't gotten enough of Miss Lucy, check out my photosite, where it's practically-all-Lucy, nearly all of the time.

Much love.

P.S. -- Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 28 now. Go me!

20 December 2007

Dear World:

Dear World:

I am pleased to announce the arrival of Miss Lucy Joy Diana. She has Robb's last name, which you either, ya know, know or don't. It's all good.

Miss Lucy was born Sunday morning at 9:04am. Labor kicked in around 12:30 am with some wussy contractions (as much as contractions really ever count as wussy). By 1am I was thinking "No way after just starting that I'm having contractions 7 minutes apart." By 2am it was "4 minutes? Seriously?" Of course, there was a huge snowstorm starting, so I woke up Robb, we called my doctor, and were off to the hospital.

Side note: vomiting during a contraction is the worst thing ever. Ever. It beats vomiting with diharrea, vomiting with strep throat, any of that. Worst Thing Ever.

The labor, taking off so fast, was very intense. I lucked out and got the "Tub Room" at the hospital, and got to spend several hours in very warm water. It was super good. I was 4cm when I walked through the door, something that impressed the heck out of the nursing staff.

After about two hours, though my pressures started to jump up, and they started having trouble finding my little girl's heartbeat. When they could find it, it was irregular, going too fast during some contractions, too slow during others. By 7am, I think there were ten non-family people in my room, all trying to make us better so we could continue with our natural birth plan. But it was not meant to be. By about 8:30, they'd broken my water to get better fetal monitoring, both of her heartbeat and of the contractions, which meant I was on my back and in total agony. I'd've needed an epidural to continue to labor, but they realized her heartbeat was dropping AFTER every contraction, not DURING or BEFORE, and we were getting prepped for a c-section.

The surgery went beautifully, and Robb got to be there, and hold the baby for me while they stitched me up. As soon as I was stable, the put her right on my chest and covered us up so we could have some time together.

I hemorraged twice after the surgery, almost needed a transfusion (but didn't, in the end, because even though my crit was low, I was asymptomatic, so they decided it wasn't worth the risk of blood products, but I had to swear to take vitamins with iron), and got to go home yesterday morning. Miss Lucy is unbelievably healthy, and I'm doing surprisingly well -- both my nurses, one of the residents, and the lactation consultant commented that there are mothers who give vaginal births that don't recover as well as I have done.

I think the best part of all of this is watching Robb fall utterly in love with his little girl. She adores him, turns toward him when he talks, and he loves her back. I could not be happier. I am not even upset about the loss of the natural birth -- I bitch a lot about how c-sections are unnecessary a lot of the time, how they can hurt mothers and so on and so forth...but mine saved lives. Probably not mine, but hers for sure. My doc was pretty sure that what happened was that the dancing back and forth with preeclampsia damaged the placenta; it held up fine throughout the pregnancy, but during the stress of labor, couldn't supply my baby with enough oxygen. By the time they got her out, she was covered with meconium, and they had to suction out her lungs and stomach. If my doctor had dilly-dallied, if I'd fought to keep laboring -- I might not have had this beautiful little girl here with me.

All the good pictures were taken by the grammas, or are on my phone. I'll work on getting them up on the photosite, and let you know when they're there. In the meantime, please say hello to my little Lucy!

12 December 2007

Hello, blogland

I am still pregnant.

I get emails from various people asking on a regular basis. My mother is calling twice a day to find out if "anything's happening." It's all very gently entertaining. I'm trying not to be stressed.

My gut feeling is that it won't be too much longer, but I have no medical evidence to support this fact. We'll see what happens.

I've actually been knitting some! I have these to show you:

These are the Better Than Booties Baby Socks; the pattern is free on the Interweave Knits website, and mine are knit from the leftovers of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction that Tammy sent me many moons ago. I loves them, I do. The bindoff went a little haywire due to the cats suddenly deciding to slaughter each other and running away with my knitting, but if you can't see it from a galloping horse...

These two are for the other two little babies in my life; my step-sister just had twins back in October, and they should be just about sized right for now -- it's kinda scary that her twins are hitting newborn size just about as mine is likely to be born. Oh my goodness! Both of these patterns are as-written out of Cat Bordhi's New Pathways; I still love the book. Some people have expressed frustration with the way you have to flip around to find the bind off here and the cast on there and the heel construction here, but it works out for me; I figure once I get the hang of it, I won't even notice. And it certainly allowed her to condense a lot more information into the book, so I'll live with it.

The top pair are out of Frog Tree Alpaca; the bottom pair of Cashsoft DK, with Be Sweet boucle baby mohair for the "laces".

Other projects I need to finish by Christmas: three hats out of the Itty Bitty Hats book (yes, Karin, I know I protested that I'd never use that darned book again, and I still have some reservations, but the Bunny Ear hat is so adorable! And the Snowman hat! Oh my goodness!) And the cool thing is that I shouldn't have to buy any yarn for Christmas presents, other than for the snowman hat, because the other two hats I'm going to make -- well, one is almost done, and was knit from some stashed Chincilla, and the other will be knit from an as-yet-undisclosed stash yarn. Undisclosed because I haven't made up my mind yet. :)

Not giving to any of the grown-ups this year...still need to think of a couple of books to buy for my cousins...I'm officially *that person* in my family, and it would be easy, except that these three siblings have passed down all the books I've given them, so not only do I have to remember what I gave Emily and Erin last year, I also have to remember what I gave Connor when he was eight...five years ago...so I always try and get whatever just came out in paperback. I'm usually safe that way. :)

Finished my ridiculously expensive and impossible-to-wash Berocco baby blanket, the one that will (I hope) be heartlessly destroyed and loved within an inch of its life...I also received a gorgeous blanket that I haven't managed to take a good picture of (it needs sunlight, and the sun hides every time I take out my camera). But, I'll get a good picture when I can, and let me publicly say -- "B!! I love it! Did you knit it yourself? It's wonderful!"

I'm sorry to be so boring lately...life is just very...well. Calm, with an undertone of "Um. Now? Please? Anytime now would be fine." We're trying to find a new place to live, so we know whether or not we need to start packing, and everything else is kind of up in the air subjected to that. Frustrating, but there we are. And, as I started this post out by saying, I am so full of baby that, according to Robb, I even smell like baby.

Oh well. I suppose it could be worse. :)

Much love.

03 December 2007

Baby Shower Part II, Electric Boogaloo

So, yesterday was the laugh I needed. I've hit the part of my grief process where all I want to do is sleep, and Saturday, sleep I did. I think I napped two out of every four hours, and still went to sleep for another 6 at night. Crazy crazy crazy talk.

Sunday was the baby shower thrown by my step-mother and step-sisters-in-law. Mary Jane (my stepmom) had offered to postpone, but I asked her not to; I really needed the day out. It was great; lots of lovely gifts (aka phat l00tz) followed by laughing like crazy as the ladies ran through all the champagne in my father's house in the form of mimosas, and then, when the champagne ran out, they switched to screwdrivers. It was hysterical, and tremendously fun, and I feel a little more alive today.

There's snow on the ground and more falling from the sky. It's a beautiful day out. I'll take pictures when the sun comes up as much as it will in the middle of a snowfall like this. I'm glad Robb has the day off, so we can snuggle up against the cold and just enjoy the day. Or, ya know, play Guitar Hero 3, my early Christmas present. Whatever.

Not tons of knitting going on right now, partially because every time I sit down I fall asleep, and partially because I'm just getting impatient for the baby's arrival, and everything that makes me think of "It could still be a little while" just makes me irritable. I know, it makes no sense. But there we are.

I'll find a picture of something knit for tomorrow, I promise.

In the meantime, much love, and if there's snow where you are, enjoy it! Alison, it's too powdery right now for a snowball, but I promise I will as soon as I can.

01 December 2007

Saying goodbye

Yesterday afternoon, about 5pm, I got the call that my Aunt Diane had passed away in the respite house, after her five year battle with different kinds of cancer. Started with breast cancer in 2002, when they removed some lymph nodes and did some radiation. She seemed to be in recovery for a lot of years, but two years ago, she developed a kind of leukemia that just isn't very pleasant. Really, her survival for this long is a miracle in and of itself, and as much as I can truly ask of my deity of choice; we didn't think she'd make it through last Christmas, much less this one.

She went peacefully, in the end, with her children and her sisters there with her. She said her only regret was not getting to meet my baby, and I told her in no uncertain terms that I expected her to be there for my delivery, watching over me, regardless of what sort of body she had in order to get there. She'll take care of me, I know, I have no fear of that.

And I hope that, in the next life, she can find more peace than she had in this one.

28 November 2007

I don't like asking for good thoughts for myself, but...

went to the doc again today (oh the joys of late pregnancy and frequent office visits) and my blood pressure was high again, still protein in places there shouldn't be. I got to go to Labor and Delivery this time for non-stress test monitor, more pee tests, more blood tests. Everything looks fine, but...but...

They want me to stay pregnant until 39 weeks, which is only a week and a day from now, and then if my pressures stay high, they'll probably want to induce me. That's not the biggest deal. But still.

Any good thoughts you can spare would be appreciated.

Thanks muchly.

27 November 2007

Thank you to the universe

For that day when I got stubborn and made my mom and step-dad come over and put in railings on the basement stairs, rather than trying to force my landlord into it (a lost cause, regardless of the law. I also don't have storm windows, a hardwired CO2 detector, or proper insulation.

If I did not have railings, I'm pretty sure we'd be on our way to the ER right now.

At it is, my toes on my right foot hurt, I bruised a finger, and scraped my arm. This is a much, much better alternative.

Thanks, God. Thumbs up to you. :)



"Hey, 'Shell, I think I'm a housewife..."

Bonus points if you can identify that song. B, if this isn't a gimme for you, I'm ashamed of you.

So, finished work on Saturday. Hoorah! Bosslady still needs to learn about boundaries, as she was trying to talk work with me on Sunday, when I was in shopping for "employee appreciation" (i.e. please spend money! Have 40% off!). I dumped her on a customer and made a break for the door. She says she'll call me. We'll see if I answer the phone.

So, it's been an exciting week in knitting world, as I've finally managed to actually pick up my needles again after a long break. I have a few irons in the fire, but here's what I want to show off right now:

I got Cat Bordhi's new book.

Oh. My. Goodness. This is like sock knitter paradise. This is like having someone say "Yes, I know the sky is blue *most* days, but what about the days its gray? Or kind of steel? or that funny purple color around the edges? Don't those days count too?"

I'm in love with this book. I want to knit every pair of socks in here, especially the baby socks. Mom's already been pointing at a couple of different things and saying "Ooo. I like those. Oh, I really like those. Ooo, THOSE are really nice!"

So yesterday, skipping the class socks (I'm such a rebel), I cast on for these. Yarn is Fleece Artist Merino (I assume it's the 2/6, it's the stuff everyone sells as sock yarn, anyway, and I got mine at The Loopy Ewe before everyone in the world figured out how great the shop was and now I can't ever find the fun stuff in stock before crazy people with ten times as much stash as I have have already snapped it up (not that I can afford anything right now anyway). The colorway was listed as Renaissance. The needles are Addi Turbos, size...0, I believe. I default down a size in needles always. I probably could have gone down one more and gotten a slightly closer gauge on these, but I'll just make the foot a teeny bit short, and all will be well in the end. It's the exact opposite of how I knit socks for Alison, actually.

But truly. Cat Bordhi's never set my hair on fire before. Socks on two circs...okay. The yucky looking self-published books...okay. Great. Thanks. I'm off with Nancy Bush, thank you. Until that vogue knitting sock issue, with the sock knit from two strands of trekking. Those...wow. In love. So totally in love. And if I remember correctly, those socks had a strange architecture...you started toe up, and you knit the increases in a v on top of the foot. There's a similar pattern in the New Pathways book. And I was enchanted with them, and the fit, and way they were rethought.

And this entire book is like that.

So, the first socks are the Sky Architecture socks, the ones straight out of the first picture, I forget the name of the pattern and am too lazy to walk across the room today. They are for me me me and I'm knitting them because when visiting my Aunt Diane in the hospital last week, I remembered just how COLD hospitals tend to get, and I thought "socks will be nice." And then when I was cleaning the bedroom, a pair of suede slipper bottoms fell from the sky (or at least I don't recall buying them, EVER) and I thought -- how perfect. Now I can make myself lovely warm socks that won't slip on the yucky blucky linoleum. It's a good day.

For those tracking the personal news -- baby and I are still healthy. My blood pressure spiked up a little bit last week, and since it was the holiday and the docs were playing it conservative, I won an all expenses NOT paid trip to the lab to find out if I was developing preeclampsia. Answer: no. Good! It wouldn't be a huge deal at this point anyway, they'd just induce me rather than waiting for me to go into labor naturally, but still...scary. Meanwhile, my aunt is doing pretty poorly. She's been moved to the Respite House, since there's nothing more the doctors can think of to try. I didn't even know that leukemia can attack your skin, but she's covered in welts the size of blueberries that are apparently related to what the leukemia is doing to her blood. She says they don't hurt once they come up, just when they're starting to happen, they itch and burn and feel awful. She says she'd still like very much to be here to see my baby, and do I think I can see if I can make it happen this week?

I smiled and hugged her and tried not to cry. If she isn't physically here, I know she'll be watching over me while I labor, but that thought is both a comfort and a sadness that is unfathomable in both directions.

Much love.

14 November 2007

One more month.

To the more-or-less date.

We're not talking about the possibility of late babies around here. As far as I'm concerned, December 13th is a late baby, as I was originally promised that I would be due December 6th, and was therefore planning a late date of the 13th. So, um, yeah. Plus, this kid is totally a Sagitarius (the only thing that calms my stomach when it's in a rage is spicy food), so she has to be born before December 20th, right?

Despite the number of people commenting on how "cute" it would be to have a Christmas baby, I know better. I was born December 28th. I've never had a proper birthday in my life, and most everyone, if they remember my birthday in their Christmas haze at all, sends a joint Christmas-birthday present. Hmph. At least, if I can birth the kid in mid-December, she'll have a fighting chance of being remembered. I think you have to be better off in the ramp-up than in the let down.

7 more days of work. Then my leave begins. This means that I'm taking a hit with a couple of unpaid days but -- and you can say this with me if you want -- I. Don't. Care. I'm not concerned about the money, Robb and I still have a significant portion socked away, and I just can't survive the work of labor and newborn-ness if I'm running around frantically at work. Although, who knows, maybe I'll report my new-and-improved pelvic pain to my doc on Friday and she'll decide I need bedrest. I wouldn't complain about that. But even if she doesn't, that's a mere 42 hours left in that stupid building. My new boss is no better than the old one, and is possibly even worse.

So, November 25th, I'm free. I will curl up and knit tiny things and putter around the house and take walks and watch Planet Earth again. And again. And maybe again. And I'll be a little more rested for when it comes time to welcome my little one into the world.

I knit one pair of baby pants out of some Knitpicks Shine I had lying around, and then started a second pair that are more fun. I will fiddle around and show them to you tomorrow I suspect.

I posted more pics of stash and -- goddess help me -- some WIPs on the photosite.

I also found some really wonderful new tea -- Lipton's white tea with pomegranate and blueberry. I think it's funny that the box says something like "with real blueberries!" because it made me think "And fake pomegranate?"

I think that's all of my news.

Erm...yes. :)


08 November 2007

I don't want to hear one stinkin' word...

...about nesting.

Robb already said his fill while laughing at me.

The fact that I want the stash to be organized is nothing to comment on. I can't imagine why you would. Not at all.

If you want to see the newest level of insanity that I've hit, check out my photo site. And no, of course that isn't all of it. It's a start. I can see what I have (and I found two skeins of Lisa Souza's yarn that I was starting to suspect had somehow been lost). I need to figure out how it can go back into the closet and be organized there, as well. I'm really not sure how that's going to happen.

What will be really scary is if I start photographing WIPs. That would make me start being a bit more honest about where all my knitting needles are, huh?

Meantime, I'm off to knit Lenore. I want my second sock done, please. :)

There will possibly be more photoshoot later. I'm not terribly concerned about color authenticity, I don't really want to sell anything (that I've found so far), this is more for me to start being more aware of what I have so that I can a.) not feel guilty when I want something I really really don't possess already and b.) stop myself when I want something that is exactly like three things I already own.

It's a good theory, anyway.

Much love.

02 November 2007

Bad Knitter! Bad!

Red Sox socks: Finished.

They fit the recipient quite well (and it's a mark of how swollen my poor feets are that they also fit me perfectly). Plus, according to all, they played a significant role in the Red Sox winning their second championship this decade, so that particular someone had just better love them. :)

But, what did I do when these were done? Did I pick out another pair of half done socks from the basket that lives under the living room table? Did I leap immediately into a second sock, knowing that with my sock urge needing to be scratched, and that it was a perfect time to complete a pair that had been stymieing me for more than a year?

Just what blog do you think you're reading here?

Did I, in fact, cast on for Lenore with needles that were probably a titch too small, but were available, and when I realized that gauge just wasn't going to work, even for stretchy lacy socks, did I reach into the basket and rip the needles out of a second sock that has been on hiatus since last June or so?

Yep, that's the me you know and love. I'm showing enough restraint with all the things I've not done since I got pregnant. There is no need to add "knitting" to the restricted list.

I'm in love with this sock. The color shown above is pretty crap, but it's a rainy day outside, brightening the indoor lights just made the purple show up garishly, which it really really isn't. It's this subtle thread running through, breaking up the solid black of the sock, making it just that little bit of flirty goth, instead of emo-I-cut-myself-for-you-goth. There's some implication in the newsletter that came with the sock kit that this is a series of colors...if so, I can't wait to see the rest of them!

Let's see, life updates...second birthing class was much more useful. The first one was "why you want a natural birth," which I feel like I get, or else I wouldn't be there. The second was more "things you can do to get a natural birth," and that was much more useful. The yoga section focussed on things and positions your partner can help you be in to be comfortable while having contractions, and I know Robb appreciated that part a lot more. He also got kudos from the other guys because it was our turn to bring a snack and he put his foot down at the grocery store, insisting that we get some crazy jalapeno cheese that was a HUGE hit with the men-folk. So, all in all, success.

Baby is very healthy; she's more or less in position, head down, turned to the side, which is all good...I'm feeling cozy about all of this, because I feel like I'm ready, and she's acting like she's ready, so I'm not scared of the birth-part, and I know that's the most important thing. I don't know that it'll be fun, but I do hope it will be exhilarating and empowering. One really meaningful thing someone said to me early on in my pregnancy was birth was incredibly intense, but that the trick was not believing everyone else who told you that it was painful, because the intensity didn't have to translate into PAIN in the sense that you're going to rip apart, fall apart, or be torn apart. I've focussed on that difference between pain and intensity for awhile, meditating on it in my quiet way. I'll let ya know how it works out for me!

Now, the sad news...my Aunt Diane, briefly in remission, once more has leukemia cells circulating in her blood stream. This time, there's nothing they can do. So, we might have weeks, maybe a month...I feel broken hearted over this, I wanted so badly for her to see my baby, but for me to wish for that right now might be to wish my little girl into the world premature, and I know my aunt wouldn't want that of us. So we'll go visit this afternoon, and we'll trust in the wisdom of the universe, and if necessary, I'll remember that she'll have the best view of all the day my baby comes into the world.

Do me a favor today? Go love someone, okay?


29 October 2007

Two weeks? Again?

Seriously, how does so much time go by? I don't understand it at all.

In the past two weeks, I've become more and more convinced that I won't return to my current job after my leave is over, more and more convinced that I'm going to do okay at this mom thing, and more and more convinced that I need more sleep.

Especially the last one.

Robb & I went to our first childbirth class...I don't know that we exactly learned anything, but it's reassuring. Session #2 is tonight, with luck it will be more...I don't know, I'll think about it and be clearer later.

I got the prettiest thing in the mail today.

I've been a member of the Socks that Rock club for almost two years. It's one of the few things that I've joined impulsively that I haven't regretted. Other things (i.e. Ravelry) have bored my, well, socks off. The STR club has been...awesome. I've gotten great sock patterns, exposure to colors I'd never pick for myself. Good stuff.

Today's color though, takes the cake. The pie. The everything-but-the-girl. I have to tell you first that I opened the package and thought o...kay. Why do I have black yarn? And then I pulled the skein out of the package and realized it wasn't black, it was raven.

Don't believe me? See for yourself.

And yes, they put on the spiders.

Is that not gorgeous? I couldn't believe how lovely it was...I pet it for the longest time. I haven't knit many of the patterns this year, not through any malice, just because I've had other things on my mind. There are half finished socks EVERYWHERE but none that I can actually, ya know, put on my feet and WEAR.

But these. These will be cast on as soon as I can free up the needles.



Sorry if that got a little bit out of control just then. But really!

And what was I doing while the Red Sox were kicking Colorado's heiny? I was knitting. Socks, of course. I needed something to do with my hands during Game 1, and then they won, so if I'd tried to show up without the socks, I'd've been sent home again for them.

These are for Robb. I offered to reverse-stockinette an 07 into them, but he gave me a goofy look and said "Do you really think I wouldn't remember when you knit them for me?" Awww.... The yarn is Gendarme, by Lisa Souza, plain Sock! if memory serves. I bought this at the same time that I bought the skein Lisa dyed special for me in the same colors but slightly more superman-y proportions. Robb says these are just as superman-y, plus they are also now Red Sox socks. Just a plain vanilla sock, I don't even use a pattern anymore, cast on 72 stitches and go to town. Heel is eye-of-the-whichever-bird, kitchener'd toe.

You should have seen everyone when I finished the toe in the 5th inning. I had to not weave in the ends so as to avoid Red Sox superstitions.

Okay, it's our turn to bring snacks to class, so we have to go to the store now...see you later, when I will whine and fuss about not being able to find the pattern for the baby sweater I'm working on!

Much love.

14 October 2007

Taking a trip

Okay, not much of a trip, but my friend Melissa unknowingly decided to lift me out of my missing-Stitches funk by insisting that we were going to Waterbury, VT, to see the foliage and the Cabot cheese outlet and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. I managed to get a third Saturday in a row off (go me!) and we took off.

It was so gorgeous, I can't even tell you. People who visit VT always tell me "You live in such a beautiful place," but you're almost forced to be jaded by it if you live here. It's like some sort of secret club requirement. If you stop and stare at the changing foliage, you're not REALLY a Vermonter. And for someone who's family has lived here for generations, it's an important distinction, between us and the flatlanders who just got here a mere two or three generations ago.

So, for a day, I played tourist. I got the best apple cider donuts I've ever had in my life, enough fresh, local jam to last me this year and half of next (four jars, and I refuse to open the next one until I've finished the one I'm on, because otherwise I will literally starve while I debate raspberry vs strawberry), these unbelievable maple sugar candies, some fantastic cheese that I should have gotten more of, a bottle of Mac Jack hard cider for when I'm not pregnant anymore... and a fantastic day with a good friend.

And some awesome pictures. In the sense of, at least for me, inspiring awe.

Without comment (except to say that the one with the old, swaybacked barn perfectly describes what I feel Vermont is), because I think they speak for themselves.

12 October 2007

Yarn Snob

So, here's the thing.

I call myself a yarn snob frequently. I don't like the feel of Caron or Red Heart between my fingers. I like wool, cashmere, silk, hemp, linen. Fibers that grew somewhere on the earth, not just in the bones of dinosaurs. I'm okay with this about myself. It means that I have less yarn that some people I know, because the stuff I like is expensive (though not as expensive as it was when I started knitting a lot in college -- the options have expanded wildly since then), it means that I don't tend to knit adult sized sweaters or blankets, and instead have fallen in love with the intricacy of a cabled sock, the delicate nature of a fair isle glove.

But suddenly, this label has been turned against me by a couple of people I care about. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Because even though I'm a self-labeled yarn snob, I've always been very careful to specify that I'm a snob about what *I* knit. If you want to knit an entire house of sweaters out of Redheart, and that works for you, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, have a party! Please, for goodness sakes, don't let me get in your way. Knitting is about what we ENJOY, what we LOVE...and if you don't love it, then what the hell's the point? Alternatively, if you do love it, let no one in the world gainsay you -- least of all, little old me!

I've received no less than three hand knit gifts for the baby so far. Well, technically, the afghan that Joyce's mom made was for me, too, but we all know who that gigantic cabled beauty was REALLY for. So, acrylic afghan from Mary, acrylic yellow dress from Mary (picture is on the phanfare link from last post, I'll get a better picture as I put the clothes away and come across it again, promise!), and the sweet bootie and bonnet set that Ranee sent. If I were really a yarn snob, I'd detest Mary's presents and love Ranee's, right? (and Ranee, I'm sorry to use you as an example here, but you'll understand in a mo). But that's not the case. I LOVE EVERY ONE OF THESE THINGS without regard to the material they were made from. Why?

Because someone took time out of their busy day, their hectic world, to make something for me. For my little tiny person who doesn't officially all the way exist yet. Someone stopped and said, "I want to surround that little being with enough love and magic and miracles that they'll know how warm and precious and treasured they are from their very first moment on the earth." I don't give a crap what material you chose to express that sentiment with -- from the aunt who sent a Borders gift card, to the cashmere booties, I except and appreciate and adore every single expression of true love given to my baby. Even the frilly panted outfits that make my inner-quasi-feminist want to snarl (why oh why do women, even tiny women, still need ruffles on their ass? I don't understand it!) because they're not to my personal taste...the fact is that people thought of me, of Robb, of our little one, and they cared enough to try and help. What kind of a person would I be if I rejected those gifts?

So why am I ranting about this today? Because not once, but twice before the shower, I had someone that I love and adore approach me and say that they would have made me something, but I was such a snob about yarn that they didn't think it was worth it for them to waste their time, because I would hate what they would make. Because they wouldn't spend a lot on the yarn.

I was so flabbergasted both times something like this happened that I just couldn't defend myself. I don't think it would have done much good anyway. But it stung. It really stung. It has stung for a week. I keep going back to it, turning those moments over, wondering what, exactly, I did wrong to make my friends think that I loved their time and their effort so little. Or do they not value their time and their love enough, thinking that it's only the monetary value of the gift that's worthwhile, not understanding that the least of handmade gifts can transcend the most expensive of store bought ones? Is it their own lack of experience in this realm that makes them concerned?

I don't know, and it leaves me at a loss. I invite your thoughts. Tell your friends to come and tell me what they think. I don't get it. I really don't.

11 October 2007

The baby shower

Well, I survived the experience. Which somewhat surprised me. I'm not good at all-women events. I tend to say things that seem perfectly sensible to me, but leave everyone else staring at me...and it just...well.

For pictures, go here. I handed someone else my digital camera and let them go to town. I've got a few other pictures from other people I'll add as I get time.

I had more to say, but my brain just went bleeeeeergh and it's all gone now.

I'm bummed out...I was supposed to be in Washington DC this weekend, hanging out with Alison and B and going to Stitches. But we couldn't afford it, and I had to give up having the four day weekend, and...and...


Oh well. I'll manage. I always do. :)

Think good apartment thoughts for me...we really need a better place to live.

Much love!

06 October 2007


...yes, life, that's my ass. I see you've got your footballing boots on, so go ahead, give it a good kick.

The past two weeks...I don't know what it is about them. I think ultimately the problem is that insomnia plus raging hormones was a pretty poorly planned combination (are you listening to me, God? You reading this?) especially when you consider that there's a poor spouse who's just trying to hang on for dear life and surf the waves until the next two months or so have gone by.

Poor Robb. I am totally making up for having been relatively level for the first six months of this pregnancy. I am turning into a screeching, name-calling, flipping out kind of woman, for no reason at all. He's not in the most stable place himself, really, looking for a job, feeling guilty because he's not feeling like he's supporting his family (we're fine, really, it's just less fun than it's been for a long time, especially since I want to buy everything under the sun, first to make myself feel pretty and second to dress up my adorable little baby). We've had a lot of conversations about what we want, what we need, what we're going to do for my maternity leave and after, and we're financially solvent, even if he doesn't find a job until April or so. After that, things could get very hairy, but I have complete faith in him. He is not adding to my stress, no matter what every one else seems to think.

What is adding to my stress is my stupid, stupid job. The Boss left on that Thursday, and then my DM went on vacation. Um. Okay. Except for the part where he actively promised my co-manager and I that he would not leave us in exactly this situation -- where it's her and I trying to run the store and not go insane. We're both starting to eye the door in a spectacularly unhealthy fashion. I've been putting out applications at random, just to see what's out there...because I don't know if I can continue to hack this. I'm so damned tired, so ... ugh.

IN KNITTING NEWS! I unbound the edge of the blankie, did the blue stripe and found out...I didn't have enough yarn.

I thought about ripping back. I thought about buying more yarn (about $30 more, because I'd need another skein of each color). I thought about how unsatisfied I was with the narrow length v width of the blanket.

And then I remembered that I'm not one of those crazy perfectionist knitters. I let the blue stripe be a little less wide than all the other stripes. I proceeded on to the yellow and had exactly enough yarn. It's a sign. When I finish this thing, if someone catches the narrow blue stripe, seriously, I will give them a dollar.

Meantime, go check out my photo site. Tell me what you think. Phanfare is my favorite for just looking like a photo album; it's not trying to get me to join communities or post pictures in obscure contests...it's just "here's your pictures, ma'am." Thank you, Phanfare. :)

I'm going to go waddle off, find some breakfast, and wait for it to be time for my baby shower. I have to play silly games about tasting baby food in order to get the presents I was promised. I'm okay with that. :)



03 October 2007

I have no knitting.

I feel I have failed you in this, and I am sorry.

My job has gone completely insane since The Boss left. Don't misunderstand, it's better with him gone, better by a thousand fold, but I think Heather and I are being slowly crushed under a mountain of paperwork and stupidity that should be easier to just, well, avoid. And I had a stupid day full of vapid bubbleheads who wandered up to me and said "Um, I'm looking for a book?" And then waited.

Sorry, all out.

Actually, the best conversation went like this.

I answered the phone, "Thank you for calling Big Chain Bookstore in My Hometown, this is Kristine, how can I help you?" (Periodically, corporate tries to make me say "Thank you for calling Big Chain Bookstore where you can get our newest mass produced and completely uninteresting book release for 30% off, my name is Kristine, how can I provide you with excellent service today?" but if they ever really try to enforce that, my career with BCB will officially be done. Immediately. )

The voice on the other end said "I'm looking for a cookbook."

I waited, sure there was more. Then said, "Well, yes, I've got a whole section. Is there a particular cookbook you'd like?"

"One on crock pots."

Ah. One of these conversation. "Yes, I've got a whole cooking section on crockpots, with about fifty titles. Do you know the title of the book you're looking for?"

"It's about low fat crock pots."

I spent a humorous moment considering the possibilities of fatty crockpots -- crubby crockpots wandering around with a bag of potato chips in tow -- then said "Yes, most crockpot cooking is low fat these days. Is there a particular title I can find for you?" I'm trying to say this differently every time so that I'm not calling the woman an idiot.

"Oh dear. No, there isn't a name. Just...I need a cookbook. About crockpot cooking. The low fat kind."

Sigh. "Yes, well, as I said, we have several. Perhaps the best bet would be for you to come down to the store and look through the section so that you could find one that would suit your needs."

Huge angry sigh from her. "But I can't get there today."

I couldn't help myself. I tried, I really did. But I just couldn't not say, "I expect some of them will still be here tomorrow."

She said "Oh, all right then."

And hung up.

This is how I spend my days.

I'm going to go unbind an afghan edge and see if I have enough yarn to do a third repeat of these colors. It's not that the afghan isn't big enough, but it looks...unbalanced to me. And that annoys me. So I'll give it a shot. If I have to rip back and rebind off, you'll know all about it.

I think I'm going to go watch a whiny vampire while I do it.

Also, I'm browsing around for a good photo album site. I have lots of relatives in distant places, and rather than filling up my inboxes and theirs or spending a fortune on photo printing, I thought I'd get an album site set up and send out emails when new albums go up. My current favorite is Phanfare...what else do you know of? I'm not opposed to a small monthly fee, as it'll still be cheaper than sending my thirty-plus aunts the various pictures they all will want. Without even discussing Our Robb's family.

Much love,


01 October 2007

I'm a grumpy girl

And I don't know why.

I slept enough, I had a great morning, it was a good day, we went out for lunch, I played a little WoW -- and then, all of a sudden, the day just collapsed in on me, leaving me in a mean, grouchy, awful mood. Less than fun. My cats are making me insane. I think they're doing it on purpose. They're yelling and screaming and then getting mad when I yell back. No, it's not sane. I didn't say it was, why do you ask. :(


My aunt Karmen came to visit from Germany last Saturday, that was fantastically fun. We got the whole family together and ate lunch out at a restaurant I've always wanted to go to but never been able to go to. I got prezzies!

B, the onesie says "You never know how far you have to go to discover something new until you've found it." It's a classic Pooh onesie. There are matching white pants as well, and I'm worried about the fact that pants for someone who is 6 months old have pockets. That weirds me out. My friend who used to work at babyGap says that it's because people WON'T BUY pants that don't have pockets, because it stops babies looking like minipeople. Really weirds me out.

And I'm completely over the moon about the fact that there is someone coming into my world whose feet are that tiny. I mean, wow.

The baby blanket is probably done.

I've only done two repeats instead of three, but I might go ahead and do the third after all, if I have yarn enough. Which I won't know until I rip out the bind off and try. And if I have to rip back and bind off again because I don't have enough yarn, I might get irritable. We'll see how it goes. I'll decide when I feel less like a B-I-T-C-H.

Joan asked for the pattern -- it's free from Berocco here. The yarn is Berocco's Plush and Touche, five colors of each. If you decide to knit this, CHECK YOUR GAUGE or you will completely run out of yarn. I did get gauge (can you believe it??) but I may run out anyway. We'll see.

Incidentally, the colors in that picture on the website are ugly; the real colors of the yarn are much prettier. :)

My aunt is doing slightly better. After I got corrected on the blood count thing, I asked my mom what her doctors were considering normal, and what the info we were getting meant, just so we'd all be on the same page. Her doctor considers 2800 -- or 28 -- to be normal. My aunt has been around 2 -- or 200 -- for about a week now. Apparently, they climbed back up again, to about 5. It's a baby step, I guess. She's feeling well enough that she's bored and irritable about being in the hospital, which I personally consider to be the best sign of all of them. She's apparently really worked up about probably not being able to go to the baby shower this weekend, but Mom promised to talk to the nurses and find out when she'll be healthy enough for me to visit, and then I'll swing up and wear a mask and everything. Because even if she were well enough to come on Saturday, if she got sick again from being there, I'd feel so awful it just wouldn't be worth it.

And finally, everyone should go say hello to my friend Harriet who got suckered into blogging by all my nattering. She's a crocheter who's trying to get back to knitting -- currently, she needs sock tips. Go say hello!

Much love to you all,


27 September 2007

I'm so tired...

...but life should be getting better from here. My boss's last day was today. He stormed out at 3pm after the DM informed him that today was his last day. He told my co-manager "I know this screws you guys for tonight, but I don't really care." So much for leaving on good terms, but at least he's gone. The district manager promises us a new general manager in the next three weeks. We'll see. It will do a lot for my faith and loyalty if that happens. In the meantime, it's a survival game. Keep the store running, start the process of improving our situation, and don't burn out or go crazy in the meantime.

Entertaining short story -- went to the doctor last week, asked her about working less. She agrees that I need to work less. I ask for a doctor's note. Nope. There's no medical reason for me to work less. I just need to talk to my boss and "work it out." I say that I'm certain they will make any accommodations they need to...but they need some sort of documentation that says my doctor thinks I should work less. Again, she refuses, saying that I should just cut back my hours. I try to explain why this isn't possible (I'll lose my job, lose my health insurance, and these things are, ya know, bad?), and she says I shouldn't worry about those things. The money stuff, according to her, just "works itself out."

Um. Yeah. Sure it does, if you make a doctor's wage. When you live paycheck to paycheck on a retail job, the money stuff surely does not "work itself out."

But alas and alack, it's all well and good. We shall survive. We see a different doctor next appointment, and Robb will come with me for the next one as a physical presence to keep me from getting all gooshy and crying like I did this last time (anger=tears, when +hormones, it all goes awful)...and then I hope that it will all "work itself out."

Meantime, I've been sleeping a lot again, which seriously affects my knitting. I needed something even less complicated than the Peter Pan lace front cardi to distract me, and when I went to the LYS to get some cashsoft to make teeny weeny hats for my step-sister's twins, likely to appear at any moment, I was...well.

Let me 'splain. I don't knit rectangles. I hate rectangles. Blankets, afghans...they're boring. I love the AbFab kit because the yarn changes so often it keeps me entertained (I'm simple in the brain, I tell you), but regular rectangle things...I hate them. The only thing I dislike more is chevrons. I once saw an entire book of chevron afghans in various colors and patterns and iterations, and it almost made me...well. I just don't like chevrons, okay?

So how the hell did this end up on my needles?

I mean, really.

The yarn is impractical, the colorwork should please the simple mindedest among us...why am I knitting this? We're not even going to DISCUSS the cost of the yarn for this (thank god for the Berocco sale, that's all I'm sayin'), or the fact that technically this blankie should be DRY CLEANED.

I saw it, and I had to have it.

Simple minded. Only excuse I can think of.

And by the way, Alison? Just because I'm breaking my own rules and knitting myself a baby blanket does not in any way mean that you are off the hook. :P

Last but not least, I wanted to say thanks for your prayers...my aunt's platelet count is slowly rising. Up to 4 from 2 (normal is 15-40). It's obviously far too soon to say whether this slow improvement will continue, but for now, it's a step in the right direction. Maybe she will get to hold my little Lucy Joy Diana after all. Or my Charles Sebastian. Whichever way it goes (although the needle on a thread trick invariable says girl) I'll be thrilled.

Two months until there's a tiny new little person in my life. I can't wait!

12 September 2007

Emergency Sock Yarn to the rescue

First off, computer survived the fate of the power supply. Note to all of you out there; if your computer starts randomly rebooting and when you start poking at it, you notice that something feels really warm, don't do what I did the first time this happened a couple of years back; don't restart your system over and over trying to figure out where the harddrive error is occurring. If it's a random reboot, it's almost always a hardware problem; software problems tend to happen when you're doing the same thing.

Anyway, Staples came through for me. I called them Sunday morning to ask what power supplys they stock. The guy who answered the phone says "380, 430, 500." Those are wattages. I said "Antec?" (which is the brand I'm fond of). He says, "Uh- yeah." In his "as if there's another kind." voice. It was fantastic. I bought a bigger power supply than I did the last time I bought a power supply, because I am a novice in this world of computer building, and I consulted several friends who said that, while I don't run a system that technically *needs* 500 watts of power on a regular basis, I do run a system that consistently runs at the top end of it's load (I'm trying to use all the fun computer terms I've been learning with them so that then I hang out with them I fit it, this is like knitters who randomly drop the difference between Fair Isle and Norwegian stranding into conversation, don't mind me), so it's kind of like baking bread in a pan that's only just barely big enough. You're going to get some in the oven eventually. How this is a metaphor for blowing the fan on your power supply, I don't know. Let's just say it works.


New power supply. Computer is working well. Yay!

Now, Friday, before the world got all stupid, I had taken this picture:

This is a picture of every skein of Emergency Sock Yarn that I have gotten with all of my Socks That Rock kits over the past year and a half. It's cool stuff, just as soft and pretty and durable as their big skein cousins, but since I'm obsessive about having short legs on my socks, I never use up my whole skein of yarn, so I've never needed to break into my Emergency Yarn Stash. So they became a kind of artwork, decorating this really cool teapot that I got from a friend in California who I have since lost touch with.

Each little sock yarn came on a little key chain type holder, so that you could clip it wherever you personally might run into a need for Emergency yarn. I used it to hang off the lid of the teapot. I started with just one skein on there, and then hung another one off that same skein, again and again, for a year and a half. These are just dinky little key chain holder mabobs. I don't blame the original one for giving out.

I thought about just clicking a different key chain thingy on the teapot and going from there. But then the one skein where the dodad was shot would keep falling down. I thought of taking just that one teeny skein down, but that felt like cheating.

So I thought, and I thought, and then I thought ah-ha!

This is more-or-less the LisaKnits pattern for Baby's First Hat that was in the collection that Karin sent me last January when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. If I thought hard, i could probably tell you the progression of socks that rock colors, but I don't want to. I like the watercolor progression of the hat. I like that I have something to put on my little baby's head that was dyed with love and caring by some of the nicest women I've heard about.


Now, on the subject of nicest women I've heard about, I am still working away at the sweater from the Lisa Souza Sock! in Mulberry. This is the pattern I've been working on -- the small raglan cardigan at the bottom of the photo. I'm not showing you pictures because it still looks stupid due to the fact that the pattern wants me to knit each piece separately and then seam them all together, and I'm being stubborn. I hate seaming raglans. It could just be me, but it seems like it never ever works out right. The seams look messy and unpleasant, and I get all huffy, and that is not the experience I want with this sweater. So I'm knitting each piece up to where it says to start doing armhole shaping, and then I'm going to knit them all together in the round and work up to the neck. If it weren't for the lace pattern, I would be really obnoxious and reverse engineer the whole thing so that I was also knitting it from the neck down. So I'm not going to show this to you until I have gotten to the "in the round" part.

If you see a problem with this, please alert me quickly. I've thought that I should probably decrease an extra stitch on each front and two each on the sleeves and back to eliminate seaming stitches...anything else?

And finally, some of you have been diligently and desperately asking me for belly pictures as you've heard that there is a belly worth seeing now. There is, and I will, I promise. I'm not being self-conscious about my size (yet) but Robb is too busy with his digital life tonight to take a picture. Don't blame him, blame me, I didn't think of asking him until he was wrapped up in Heroic Shattered Halls. If you don't know what that means, thank your lucky stars. :)

Two last quick notes...one day back from vacation and I want to quit my job, plus I got word that my aunt is back in the hospital with pneumonia and a high fever that they just can't kick. They're not allowing visitors at this point, because she needs to rest too much. Prayers appreciated.

Much love.

08 September 2007

update, and not about knitting

got home tonight and discovered that the fan in my computer's power supply has bricked. Thankfully, as far as I can tell, this *fantastic* event occurred without damaging anything else in the computer; when this thing goes fooey, it can blow your motherboard, processor, hard drive...it's not really an unexpected thing to have happen to my computers, I push them hard, but it's still frustrating to find out that your computer is unusable half an hour before Best Buy closes.

with luck, tomorrow, I will get a new power supply, and all will be beautiful and gorgeous in the world.

If luck is not with me, I'll be ordering one to arrive sometime next week.

Either way, I'll be fairly quiet until then, as I'll only get computer time when I can pry Robb free. hahahaha.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my vacation. I'll try and sneak on in the morning and at least give you a pic free update.

Much love.

01 September 2007

Because every newborn needs a sweater that looks like my parents' retro 70s kitchen all knitted up.

So let's just get that out of the way right now, shall we?

I used up my skein of Rare Gems from the BMFA ladies to make a Babies and Bears sweaters for the new arrival in December. It's almost done; I think it needs rhinestone buttons, but i'm not quite sure where to acquire such things on the cheap, so it may have to wait a few weeks. Which is fine, because this is where my superstition exercises itself slightly; I won't really really really really finish any of the things that I'm making until Thanksgiving or so. I'll have a button sewing-on party.

It's a great way to procrastinate, don't you think?

The sweater came out a titch small, I think, but first babies run smallish in both my families and Robb's, so I'm hoping for the best.

I'm also starting in on what I hope will be the sweater to bring my little baby home in; I got seriously stressed about this for awhile -- it'll be December, this was an important decision! -- but I think I've made the right choice. The sweater itself will be a Peter Pan & Wendy design -- I'll scan the pattern in some day when there isn't crap on my scanner -- but what makes it really important is the yarn. I tore my house apart this past week trying to figure this one out, ten different kinds of strung out because I wanted something perfect for my wee one, but yarn buying is completely out of the question under the current budget restraints. I kept tearing apart the yarn shelves, and then putting them back together, and I kept moving the same skein over and over again, while lamenting the lack of a perfectly colored yarn, crafted with love and sincerity by a wonderful person.

And then I realized that the yarn in my hand was Mulberry colored Sock! by Lisa Souza.

And I felt something of an idiot.

The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, and it took me a full four hours to get the gauge right. Sock! is a fairly, well, sockish yarn, and I thought I remembered hearing that if you doubled a fingering weight yarn, you get a Dk weight yarn. Apparently, I miss remembered, because I was getting a gauge I associate with worsted weights -- 5 stitches to the inch, when the pattern wanted 6. Single stranded, the gauge was perfect, but too loose and lacy for a winter sweater. Eventually, I doubled the yarn and went from the suggested 4mm needles down to 2.5mms. The yarn isn't quite as drapey as it might be, but it has a denseness and solidness that makes me happy. It feels like Lisa's caring made solid and put close to the skin of someone who'll feel it, if she doesn't mind me saying so. I'll post a picture when there's more to show than just an inch of garter and an inch of stockinette.

And then, finally, I have to brag. I'm having one of those "I have this and you don't" moments, even though it isn't charitable, but look look look what Ranee sent me for my little one-on-the-way!

Angora and cashmere, she said, just perfect for a baby born in the dead of winter.

Thank you thank you thank you, Ranee!

In other news, my aunt has relapsed again; bone marrow tests haven't come back yet, so we're not sure how bad it is this time, but with this particular disease, it just kinda keeps getting worse every time. More chemo, for sure. So far, she's staying just ahead of the science curve, though; each time they battle her back into remission, they say "if it comes back, there's nothing more we can do," but by the time it does, they've come up with something.

Here's hoping for another something.

Much love.

23 August 2007

This post has sod all to do with knitting.

Just so we're clear from the forefront. I don't want to be blamed later.

Today, I got some of the most personally depressing news I've gotten in awhile. I was at work, and someone came in asking for Wood's Tea cds. For those of you not in the know, Wood's Tea Company is a folk band that started here in Vermont, and has been touring to an avid and rabid fan base for about half a million years. I first saw them in 1995 or so, with a boy I thought I loved. I've seen them three or four times since, hired them to play at Marlboro when I was Student Activities Director there. Robb fell in love with their music -- impressive for his 80s metal tastes -- and I always meant for us to go see them live, but it never worked out with his schedule or mine.

And then, today, a customer told me that Rusty, the co-founder of the band, had died of a heart attack at 56.

I've never had a personal conversation with Rusty, but I feel like my heart is breaking. I miss him, somehow, even though I only knew his music.

And I feel like someone is reminding to get my ass in gear and do what I want to do now, because maybe I don't have as long as I might think.

Much love.

21 August 2007

I'm here, I'm alive, I'm sorry!

It's all okay, I promise! I've been hit by early exhaustion, heartburn, and uncontrollable emotions. That turns out to be the 1-2-3- punch that ko'd this kiddo into a brief retirement. But the ref only got to the two count, I kicked out of it, and I'm swaying a bit, but I'm back on my feet.

Sorry. Robb's been playing his WWE game a lot on the playstation lately.

Just about 24 weeks now, which means this crazy ride is almost halfway over. So far, being pregnant is rough on my system; by no means as bad as some of my friends have had it, but nothing as calm and easy as some other friends. Heartburn, back pain, swollen feet. At my doctor's appointment yesterday, there was some talk of limiting my hours if I don't recover some from being so damn tired.

Work is stressful and insane. Various situations have contrived to turn my boss into something of a lame duck president, which leaves me divided. I don't think he can salvage the situation he's created, which makes me feel a little bad for him, but he created the situation, so there's also an aspect of "Well, then, take your medicine." He's back from his little vacation on Thursday; I'm not looking forward to it. The only thing that makes me like him at all right now is that he acknowledged that I worked so insanely much overtime in the last three months that he's letting me take a week's vacation without pulling it from my vacation time, which means that I will still have vacation time to spend at the beginning of my maternity leave.

I've hardly been knitting. I seriously need to cast on for the last sleeve of the ladybug sweater, but all that stranding is daunting in my current state. I finished the pretty yellow-and-blue sweater but it's not quite as charming as I'd hoped. When I have a bit more of the financial resources, I'm going to go find adorable buttons, and that should cheer it up some as well. I might just cast on for the star sweater in navy and yellow and let that cheery color brighten me up as well. It's worth a shot, right?

Oh, and they took another look at the ultrasound yesterday (they couldn't get a clear view of the umbilical cord last time, and sometimes the abdominal wall doesn't seal properly, and you get bowel poking into the cord, wanted to make sure that wasn't happening) and the child was being less modest, so they took another look at the business end, and are pretty sure we're having a girl. I wrote that in white on white, so if you want to know, highlight the word. Otherwise, you can wait and be surprised at the end. :)

I'll try and actually start posting pictures and things and being interesting again. You'll know how it goes; perhaps you can let me know!

Much love.

30 July 2007

There is a word.

I do not use it often.

I don't believe my friend J invented it, but I do know that I first heard it from him.

I don't use this word often, because it conveys such a depth of sarcastic hatred and complete defiance of authority that I would never want to cheapen this beautiful word by overusing it. By allowing it to apply to simple situations and regularly annoying people who would be sufficiently covered by "jerk" or "idiot" or one of the other, more common phrases circulating in the common slang.

But I use it today, to describe my boss.

Because my boss is, in fact, an asshat.

I'm trying to keep this from becoming a work-bitching blog, because those are boring, but I need to share just this one incident from today, because it was the first time I've actually been glad that I turned ratfink and told the DM about what's ACTUALLY going on in our store.

Today, Mr. Boss took one look at me and said, in a worried tone, "Are you okay?"

I thought, maybe I could be honest. "No, I'm not," I said.

"What's going on?" He asked, although he was pulling out his "sincere tone" and I should have known better than to answers:

"I'm exhausted. I'm tired out from all these 48 hour weeks, and I'm starting to be so tired that I'm worried about my health."

And his answer? Now, keep in mind, that this week, both my co-manager and I are scheduled for 45 hours, but thoroughly know that we'll need to put in almost 50 to even keep the store running at all, and he's grousing about being scheduled for 40, because his Friday isn't "really" a day off, since he has family stuff to do. His answer:

"Well, we don't really have 40 hour a week jobs, do we?"

Well, we don't, but you do. Asshat.

Anyway. Thank you for listening. Now, for pretty things.

First of all, my personal slice of heaven:

And second, the Minnowknits sweater in full progression.

I love the construction of this little guy. Knit the back, keep it on the needles, knit one front, three-needle-bind-off the shoulder. Knit the other front, repeat. Pick up stitches from one armhole to the other, knit down the sleeve. Cast off. This will leave me with two seams, and then just the collar to knit.

And, I think I'm going to buy the pattern for EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket when I get paid this week.

I love baby things.

Officially half way there.

Much love.

27 July 2007


I declare myself done with being overheated, miserable, and bitchy due to my pregnant status plus above 80 temps. I understand that air conditioning turns me into a gigantic wuss because I stop coping with warmth. I don't care. I understand that it's bad for my allergies. I don't care.

Hear me?


Robb and I are off to attempt to find an air conditioner that will fit in our tiny windows.

Wish us luck, please.

I will write later, from a (I hope) much cooler home.

24 July 2007

Two very quick notes:


Watching a cat lick wasabi is hysterical.


Heartburn bites.


One of you left a comment yesterday, about a particular color. Now, I would certainly never want to suggest that I discriminate against colors, or that I dislike green-lovers. I mean, I understand about green. I know it's like that boy you loved in high school, and you paid off the girl sitting next to you forty bucks so that you could partner with him on the social studies project, because you were sure you'd invite him over, make him cookies, and then you'd make out all night. I get it. What you need to realize is that green is all slick and sexy looking, but it's always going to call you at the last minute and tell you that it has a big date with the head cheerleader for the homecoming game, and by the way, you'll let him copy the homework, right?

I don't want to hurt you, but I want you to understand the truth. A little hurt now is better than a lot later, right?

Green is not to be trusted.

In this form:

or this one:

green is okay.

In this form, green is always suspect.

I've been up to some non-green things lately.

That bit of yellow-and-blue will turn into this eventually. The beigey yellow is Jaeger Matchmaker DK, one of my favorite Merino yarns of all time, and the blue is Cashsoft DK left over from the Welcome Sweater that I still haven't remember to take a picture of. The pattern is cake, which is good, because my brain is mush.

So much so that I just realized that the picture above was taken with the knitting upside down. Doh!

Baby pictures:

a hand:

and a face:

I'm in love already.

And, we've decided. Kid wants to stay modest, fine. The Kid will be officially known as such until December, when we will find out boy or girl the old fashioned way.

Now, I'm all worn out from the heat, so I think I'm going to close my eyes awhile, and try for some rest.

23 July 2007

just so you know

I'm okay. I'm exhausted and miserable for some hormonally based reason that I'm not understanding, but whatever. I'll have ultrasound pictures tomorrow, I'm too tired to fiddle with the scanner tonight.

Knitting a pretty little Minnowknits sweater (because I'm stubborn, the sweater was designed for cotton, and I'm knitting it out of Jaegerknits and DK wool -- just to be obnoxious.

Kid had its legs crossed, and its hand in the way, so no telling if it's a boy or a girl; the end decision by the Robb and myself was fine; if the kid wants to be a surprise, it can be a surprise.

Yellow and green (ew) it is. :)

Until tomorrow.

22 July 2007

A superfast, non-spoiler review on HP7, and a shawl update

For a review, and at risk of losing my PG rating:

The book is fucking brilliant.

I hate ends of series. They never, ever end up right. The only one I've ever really, really liked was the last episode of Quantum Leap.

Until today.

Brilliant, I tell you!

And, the shawl for the wedding.

I finished casting off Saturday morning, and had no time to wetblock it. I was planning on steam blocking it, but I thought to myself...I could spend an hour sobbing over how it won't look the way I want it to, or I could relax, read my book, and then have a shower and go to the wedding.

So I did.

Robb has promised to take me out to dinner next week, when both of our lives calm down, and I will have the shawl blocked and wear it then.

If I can figure out where in this apartment to block it out. I actually miss the wall-to-wall carpeting; the padding was so convenient for sticking pins in.

Accepting blocking suggestions.

21 July 2007

Harry Potter Fans.




The phone calls from my store about various crisis (crises? I can never tell) started around 10:30 yesterday morning, as I was driving all over town buying helium and food and prizes for raffles. The plumber came to fix something and (he denies it, of course) managed to shut off the filtered water for the whole cafe. One of my cafe staff who had been feeling sick all week but refusing to see a doctor chose today (yesterday) to lie and say that someone had said she could go home when she couldn't, leaving no one to cover breaks until 5pm.

At noon, someone was trying to get me to come to work. I lied, said I had too many errands to run. I'd worked three twelve hour days before yesterday, I agreed to come in at 4, I don't figure how I need to feel bad about this.

The party was insane. It was awesome. People were mostly friendly. I had one drunk from the Beerfest who eventually managed to sneak past me and got my boss so mad that he threated to call the police on him. I had one girl who got too warm and had a fainting spell into the arms of a certified First Responder (convenient, that). She's fine, don't worry. We tracked down her dad and called 911 at the same time. The EMT guys were pissed at how many people were in our store and I bet we'll hear from the fire marshall, but hey, it's not me who gets the fine.

We called people up in line in groups of 50, based on colors and letters written on their bracelets. I'd thought I'd be able to call which group when over the PA.


After ten minutes of hearing people say "What?" I just gave in and started shouting.

Yup, I yell louder than our PA system. Yeah. I haven't actually tried talking yet, because ironically, I woke up before either of the people I live with. /shrug.

I got my book, read about three chapters last night before it was 4:30am, and I was very nearly unconscious. I didn't want to fall asleep and bend the pages, so I decided to drop off until now.

I have 2.5 garter stitch rows still to go on the shawl. And the bind off. And figure out some way to block it before 5pm tonight. I hope silk steams!

17 July 2007

I am alive.

but Harry Potter releases on Friday, and I need that shawl for a wedding on Saturday. I have twenty-rows-and-change-plus-blocking to go. That doesn't sound like so much until you figure I have 300+ stitches on the needles now, and will have 700+ by the time I cast off.

I'll see you all next week. In the mean time, think good thoughts for me; there are some things at work that are not being done properly, and having done everything I could think of inside the store to try and make things better, I'm reaching outside the store for help. As I said to my mother, either things'll get better, or I'll get a hell of a lot of money out of the retribution lawsuit. Personally, I'm hoping for the former. I used to love my job.

Take care, and hug someone for me.

12 July 2007

I love polite people

After the ridiculously rude day I had (no, I don't want to talk about it, thanks for asking), it was so nice to come home and find a very polite email from Cornelia Granger at Martingale, saying that they were aware of the issue I'd found, and where to find the corrections in the future. Here is the link, if you're working on the shawl.

Here's the pic:

Um, so the colors are now more visible, but the pattern isn't. shrug. It's pretty. I don't know how you garden people get such good pictures. Is it because of the late afternoon sun? Stupid job.

My life is dramatic today; I'm tired; I'll talk to you all more tomorrow.

11 July 2007

Today is proof

That being pregnant has driven me completely batty. Off my rocker. Insane. Yes, you heard me.

This week, the cafe in the bookstore has FINALLY finished being remodelled, and, starting tomorrow, about eight of us in the store have to go through a week of training to be certified to work in the new cafe. It's a franchise thing, they make the rules, not us.

The training finishes Wednesday.

Do you know what book comes out on Friday?

Do you know who is in charge of running our release night party?

Yours truly.

I promised to be a slave to my boss for the entire week if he'd promise me that Saturday off so that I could go to a wedding about an hour south of us. Friends of Robb's, I've met them once, but still. It's a chance to dress up and feel good. And buy a new shirt.

So, do I use my common sense, realize that the week will be completely insane, and go out and buy something? Rather than become obsessed with a new project that will take up all my spare time this week?

Exactly whose blog do you think you're reading?

I couldn't help it. I lost control when I saw this. Robb and I had just gotten back from Essex, but I heaved myself back into the car and tore back through town to make it to the LYS before they closed. I got there with about ten minutes to spare, picked out my yarn (Blueberry Hill, and the only humiliating thing is that Kalen totally called it; I'm spending too much time there if they know what I'm going to chose before me) and headed home.


Don't even ask if I balled it up and started knitting. I have 11 days. Of course I did.

I took pictures of how it looked so far, but they came out horribly, so I'll take more tomorrow. There will be more lace to drape on the purple flowers outside that, as Alison points out, are trying so hard to be adorable.

Side note: I'm pretty sure I've found a relatively small error in the pattern; I've emailed Martingale about it, and I'll let you know what they say. I don't want to be a blabbermouth until then.

So, off to knit more rows (I'm currently on 15 out of 64). Cross your fingers for me, and know that I do my best knitting under stress. It's the blocking that tends to get me.

08 July 2007

To wordpress, or not to wordpress

Debating, debating.

I could take my blog to wordpress. It's better than blogger, it's more reliable than blogger, I could actually learn CSS and make my blog look like I WANT it to look, instead of the pale imitation of how I want it to look that I'm managing with blogger. I've been doing this for a year, clearly I like it, clearly it makes me happy.

I could import my old entries from blogger and Livejournal and actually have the whole blog in one place.

I would end up paying for the CSS upgrade and probably the space upgrade.

But I would like it.

Thoughts welcome.

06 July 2007

I went to the yarn store

and I didn't buy yarn.

My roommate asked "Are you feeling okay?"

The answer to that is, technically, no, but we'll leave that aside for now. The fact that I stubbed my toe on a 20 lb barbell because I'd forgotten that I'd used it to prop the bedroom door open isn't really anyone's fault. Except, ya know, mine. But whatever.

Look what I got at the yarn store:

Robb's instructions were to "look excited." He takes direction well.

Alison, it's beautiful. I've actually hugged one of your shawls, and I was still surprised at how gorgeous and soft and wonderful this book is. I want to make all of these shawls at once. I was only saved from actually casting on for about four of them by having given away most of my larger size needles in favor of my Denise set, and that's being used for my AbFab kit, and because I don't have the right sort of yarns in the right sorts of amounts to do them justice.

But soon. Soon. I haven't decided which one will be first...but I love the book. I love the stories. I love the pictures.


Here's the other thing I've been working on, in this stupid heat.

Baby socks are the most adorable things ever. The leg of that sock? 24 rows. The heel? Turned on 22 stitches. Holy canoli adorableness!

Photo taken in the anorexic garden planted on by my landlord's ex-wife. Don't get me started. Seriously, when I saw the collection of annuals she had planted, nicely spaced out about twelve perfect inches from one another (seriously, I saw her with a ruler), I thought of grabbing a shovel, claiming "the dog did it," and then offering to replant the garden myself.


Anyway. :)

More smiles, later.

04 July 2007


Some things I am still.

Still Healthy. Had another doc's appointment, and everything is still great. Heard the baby's heartbeat again (140, described as "great" by Dr. Amy). Found out I was allowed to take Claratin, so now I just have to cope with sinus headaches, instead of constant sneezing and exhaustion. It's a fair trade.

Still Frustrated at work. My boss is being a bad-word badditybadword, and I don't know what to do about it. No, it's not about me being preggers (although that isn't helping) and it's not about me being female (which I could shut him down over in about three seconds), it's more that...well, the biggest part of a general manager's job is to be a leader, right? Not a threatener, or a yeller, or a shover...a leader. The guy who stands out in front going "Come on, guys, we can get there!" My co-manager and I spent half our time running around doing damage control for this guy, and both of us are too damn busy for that kind of nonsense.

Still not knitting much. Yes, I am perfectly aware that this whole "birth thing" is like five months away. Yes, I know how much clothing that means I should have by then. Why do you ask? The allergies were awful, it was like hell with a runny nose, and all I could think to do was sleep. It's getting better now, but I can still feel my body being all off-kilter.

More still soon. :)