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,