28 February 2008

FO! Cast on!

So, I figured out a rule.

For every languishing project completed, I can do something new. But I have to finish the new something, and I'm not allowed to start ANOTHER new something until that new something has been finished AND another languishing something has been finished.

I still haven't come up with a concrete rule for buying yarn.

So, to keep you up to date:

Bartholomew's Tantilizing Socks -- DONE!

I first started these socks...oh, sometime before I stopped working at Borders, I think. October? November? Sometime in there. I finished one, it was way too small, I got disgusted and stopped knitting. I'd cast on for the top of the sock, but just never finished.


Of course, there is one small problem. Look at the heels of the two socks. The bottoms of the heels in particular. Look closely.

Yup. One's a reinforced heel. One's a plain heel.


I haven't yet noticed it when I wear them; if I do, I'll figure out some clever solution that doesn't involve me reknitting the sock. Again.

So, as my reward for finishing those, I cast on:

Cables & Corrugations, out of the same book. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill, Sockittome, in a color exclusive to my LYS, Snow Bowl.

Can I just say that I LOVE this yarn. It's a Merino/Nylon blend, and it's incredibly soft. I've no idea what is different, really, between this yarn and their supersock, but it's like all the same great colors, without the -- well, koigu-esque feeling of the supersock. It's unbelievable. I just might have to go get more.

B, stop looking at me like that. There are exclusive colors! I want them!

Oh, hush.

In cool developmental news, I saw Lucy getting excited about a toy for the first time today. She's previously really only been a people-baby, studying faces to the point that her pediatrician couldn't get her to track the little light, because Lucy was so busy staring at the doc's face. (Reason I found the right pediatrician -- the doc then bobbed and weaved until she was satisfied that Lucy was tracking just fine!).

And I'm going nuts for Ravelry. I got an invite months ago, but just couldn't get into it -- I didn't have time. Now that I do...I'm loving it.

And if any of you who read this subscribe to Audible.com -- let me know what you think of it, please?


27 February 2008

I thought progress went FORWARD, not BACK.

Two weeks ago, it was beautiful. Lucy was sleeping through the night. I know, I couldn't believe it either. She'd cry for about ten minutes around 7:30 or 8:00 pm, then fall asleep. She'd sleep like a rock until 11pm or so, when I got ready for bed. I'd get her changed, get her in PJs if I hadn't before she fell asleep at 8, let her nurse herself to sleep -- and wake up at 7am, rested and ready to actually live. Both of the mornings B was visiting, I actually was able to leave her in bed for another half hour to 45 minutes, and she could sleep without me there. It was astonishing.

And then, about a week ago, she started waking up in the middle of the night to feed again. For a few days it was two night feedings, and I thought I would just die. Granted, the beauty of breastfeeding and cosleeping is that the whole night feeding thing is dead simple. Realize baby is hungry. Pop out boob. Go back to sleep. Wake up periodically because her head control still isn't perfect, help her find the nipple again, go back to sleep. It doesn't take much. But still, twice means rolling over so she can get the other boob, and waking up more...so yeah, two days of it, and I was as dead as I was when I had an utterly new newborn and was on percoset. She's stopped that nonsense, but she's still waking up at 2am to eat, and then sort-of-waking-up at 5am. It's more like asleep fussing; she's kicking and whining and moving herself all around in bed. If we stay in bed, there is no solution. I can hold her and cuddle her and pat her back and play Glowworm and she just gets more stressed out. The first morning she did this (it feels like several months ago, but was probably just six weeks, since she's only, ya know, 10 weeks old) she worked herself into a screaming fit before I got the hint -- she didn't want to be in bed anymore. She'll sleep anywhere else -- the couch, her swing -- but the bed is outs. If I even try to bring her back in there, she spazzes out.

So here I am, reading blogs and Ravelry at 6am. About to commense the heel on these:

and continue listening to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. (Why did I resist the audio book thing for so long? You all are geniuses. GENIUSES!)

The socks, because I haven't posted about them in months, are the Bartholomew's Tantilizing Socks from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I read a fair amount of criticism on this book in the out-there because you have to flip around a bit sometimes for the patterns. Example -- in this sock pattern, the pattern is on page 27 -- but when you get to the heel, the book refers you to the "Master Reinforced Heel" which is on page 138 or something, and then the heel directions remind you to reexamine the cw and ssk/cw technique from page 14 or so. You go back to the pattern on page 27 for the foot, and then are directed off to page 140 or whatever for the toe construction. I get why this annoys people; it makes the sock less of a travel project, unless you have handy access to a photocopier just to copy those pages (because you, of course, own your own copy of the book). To me, it's awesome, though. If the fates are good, I may soon be embarking on a design project for a friend, and it's cool to have these "master" patterns out there, so that when I want to figure out how to do something, I don't have to remember which pattern the heel or the toe I liked was in, and then extract the heel info from the pattern.

It works for me. :)

24 February 2008

O Blessed Peace

For the first time in -- okay, well, just since this morning, but still -- Lucy is asleep. Completely, totally, 100% asleep.

I don't expect it to last, but I can hope.

She's ten weeks old today, and I may end up going back to work -- not the Bookstore'o'evil, but work all the same -- as soon as next week. So, for the benefit of those who might be taking care of her, I'm trying to get Miss Lucy onto some kind of schedule.

This is, so far, like herding chickens. But she slept 5 whole minutes unattended in her crib today. It's better than the zero minutes she'd done before that.

She's in our bed now, surrounded by pillows, with the Chant album playing. Monitor on. Mom having silent fits of worry every time there's a squeak. I'm sure you know how it goes.

So I'm here to tell you about knitting. :)

One of my best friends, B, (you may remember her from last April) came to visit for the weekend. We unpacked and (dear god, can I say it?) organized the stash. Seriously. All the sock yarn has its own bin, wherein it's been organized by color. By the way, B? You were right both about me being too chicken to put away the yarn we bought, and that I'd start the EZ Pie Are Square shawl (instructions in the most recent VK) as soon as you were out the door. Actually, no, I did finish both pairs of socks like I promised. But then?

Ah, the monster wakes. Back later!

11 February 2008

In the Spirit of the New Year

Ladies, I have seen something terrible.

It happened while I was moving. While my guard was down. I saw it.

All of it.

In one place.

My stash.

All of it.

Oh my.

And I know that I don't have anywhere NEAR as much yarn as some people who are reading this. I know I don't have anything LIKE the amount of yarn that I've seen in other people's houses...but I don't have a house. I have a two bedroom apartment, and a sudden influx of clothes that belong to someone much tinier than me, who, nevertheless, is occupying a surprising amount of area.

It gave me a case of -- you won't believe this -- finishitis.

I know.

I cleaned out the project basket. I didn't take pictures of all the things I took to the frog pond, but let's just say that I saved $50 in needles I don't need to buy after all. And, I found half a dozen things that I'm ashamed aren't done.

See this?

Just needed a picture taken and put here so that it could be officially considered done.

See this one?

Finished it last week, it just needed to be seamed and have the buttons (rescued from Grandma's button box) sewn on.

This one's the really shameful one.

Finished TWO SUMMERS AGO. Seamed up and everything. Just needed to sew on the buttons. And I'm not sure why the one front is longer than the other in this picture -- it doesn't look like that in real life. Oh well.

There's more. There's a sweater that just needs to be cut and finished STILL only now I need the yarn to finish it (and I have to make up an edging, but that's practically nothing, and I'm seriously considering binding tape, just to finish the cursed thing, it's been sitting in the basket since college). There's a scarf that's blocking on the floor so it can be drive-by'd to my doctor tomorrow morning (thanks for taking such good care of me and my uterus present). There's a pair of knit pants that I made for Lucy that just need to get seamed and have elastic sewn into the waistband.

I'm trying hard to finish some things before I start anything new. But there's some cascade lace that's just begging me to find it some Kid Silk Haze to play with...it might win, we'll see what happens.

Take care!

02 February 2008

Still alive

I remembered/rediscovered today that if I make sure music is playing, Lucy is a lot more content to be in her swing, giving me both time to unpack, and also time to knit.

I still haven't taken pictures of what I've been working on, though, so I won't bore you. Tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow.

Meantime, if you'd like to be able to see my photographs of her, comment with your email; Phanfare changed how they're doing things, so now you need to be "connected" to me in order to view my Lucy-and-knitting pictures on Phanfare. I'll still post things here, of course.

And, finally -- the beast is stirring, and she is hungry -- an offering for Silent Poetry Reading:

THESE were our children who died for our lands: they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their home-treasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, not another’s hereafter.
Neither the Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
But who shall return us the children ?

At the hour the Barbarian chose to disclose his pretences,
And raged against Man, they engaged, on the breasts that they bared for us,
The first felon-stroke of the sword he had long-time prepared for us—
Their bodies were all our defense while we wrought our defenses.

They bought us anew with their blood, forbearing to blame us,
Those hours which we had not made good when the judgment o'ercame us.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning
Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning
Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour—
Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her.

Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them.
The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption
Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption,
Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them.

That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given
To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven—
By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires—
To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes—to be cindered by fires—
To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation
From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation.
But who shall return us our children ?

--Rudyard Kipling

According to the story, this was written upon hearing of the Armistice between England and Germany in the First World War. Kipling's son died late in the war; especially awful because John was classified 4F, but Kipling pulled strings to get him in.