28 April 2008

It's good to be a survivor

Today was my first day back at work. I think I'm going to like the job, and I was much happier to see my baby at the end of the day...but mid-day, I opened my purse and found one tiny shoe...I'll admit to getting a bit weepy.

Seeing the Harlot in Noho was pretty awesome, but the number of people in WEBS was insane. It was good for curbing my stashing tendencies, as I rapidly got sick of using Lucy like a 13lb battering ram. I am not coping to the stash that I purchased, I loved everything I got, and that's enough for today. :) You'll see it as I knit it.

I did get to meet Karin, which was pretty incredibly awesome. Karin has been taking care of my stash for a couple of years now, and she's one of the sweetest, kindest people you'll ever meet. I'm glad I got to finally MEET her, because the shining light around her brightened my whole day.

Apparently, the Bjorn is Lucy's favorite chew toy. I looked like a dork, but then, I always do.

I also met two wonderful ladies with adorable babies...of course, I've completely forgotten their names, but I'm sure they'll show up on the YH blog, and then I'll find them.

So, one of the ways that you know I'm a gigantic geek? I'm actually excited, because my new job involves a 35-40 minute bus commute twice a day. Do you know how much sock knitting you can get done in that much time?

The cuff, and about half of the brown got done at the Calvin Theatre, listening to Stephanie; the rest is bus knitting. And a little bit of get-me-through-the-post-lunch-snooze knitting. Yeah, you heard me. They let me knit. At work.


So, there will be plain, or slightly exciting, socks for bus knitting...and there will be at home knitting. I need to finish the socks for my step-father's birthday (Sunday) and then I have a project to embark on for a friend of a friend -- and some gorgeous handspun to do it with.

And I'm going to spend a ton of my "economic stimulus" check on yarn. Hooray! Is it sick that I'm already deciding on what I want? Sure, Mr. President, I'll stimulate the economy...at Blue Moon Fiber Arts...and Handmaiden...and Cherry Tree Hill...

27 April 2008


it was awesome!

I've been trying to get to a Harlot signing since...well, for a while now. This year was the first time the stars aligned. It was also an awesome outing for Lucy and I; I go back to work tomorrow, and I was le ball de stress over it...today felt like some kind of bonding thing, even though my daughter won't be able to remember it...I like that I'll be able to say "Yes, I had to go back to work, but we took the coolest trip, just before I did..."

And of course, I had to add to the sock yarn stash. Hey, I'm going to be riding a bus for thirty minutes twice a day until Kingdom Come. I needs me some sock yarn!

Pictures some time when there's light. Not of Stephanie; the ladies I was hanging with and I decided to head up to the balcony, so my pictures were far away and dim and blurry. And then I completely meant to ask for a picture of her holding Lucy, meant to ask her to do it for Alison (hi!) but I got so addle-pated that I just plain forgot, and then I didn't want to cut the line TWICE. I did remember to tell her about my first pair of socks, that I knit, what, 10 years ago, and I just...skipped the heel flap. Oops. It worked...but they were very "interesting" socks.


so, I've been frantically trying to finish the Bi-Color Cabled Sweater (by Annie Modesitt, from a practically ancient IK), hence the lack of words here, but it didn't get finished in time, so Scheherazade is out and ready, with the pin that I forgot to wear in Vegas...and so I want to (quickly) say...


21 April 2008

Another one with no pictures.

Sorry about that. But knitting is a two handed task, as is baby cuddling, so picture taking has been right out. Isn't 4 months old a little early for separation anxiety? It's the best I can figure out for what's going on, though -- or else, my little trooper is finally actually teething. People have been predicting it for three months now, so I guess we might finally be getting there.

Project updates: the crumped lace, aka Kay's Diamonds, is on the final border. I've finished 3 rows out of 30, and it's going to take some time to get those last 27 rows done, a.) because I've got 400 stitches on a 24" needle (oy!) and b.) because my step-father's birthday is on Sunday, plus mother's day is coming up, and I'd like to knit my mom a pair of socks for then. If I survive. :)

I'm driving myself and Lucy down to Northampton, MA, on Sunday to see the Yarn Harlot! We will have a very good time; is it tacky to wear the shawl I made myself for Suzi's wedding last year? Am I showing off? Or just being comfy, in case it's cold?

Seriously, was that a year ago? Didn't even know I was pregnant. Wow.


Other than that, it's just been one of those crappy days where no one can shake their bad mood -- not me, not Robb, not Lucy. Unfortunately, the only way that Lucy will sleep (or even stop crying at all) today is in Mama's arms. It's not that I resent it, I'm glad that my daughter and I have bonded that well...but it'd be nice to take a shower without listening for the screams. Knowing that they'll start right...about...there it is.

Ah, well. This, too, shall pass. Tomorrow, she'll be using my showers to sneak my car keys out of my purse and head for the hills with some boyfriend her father and I disapprove of. I'll enjoy her while she's here.

Much love.

19 April 2008

Denial; it's not just a river in Egypt.

So, about a week ago, I frogged a sock. I noticed that there seemed to be odd breaks in the yarn, but I refused to think about it.

I saw a little bug flying around the house, but no. He wasn't the right color to scare me.

But today. I went into the stash to find a dyelot for someone on ravelry. And there it was. A little, light brown guy, hanging out in the back of the closet. And in the bag that had held the frogged sock, a little white larvae.

Crap. Crap crap crapity crap on a crap cracker.

All the yarn that hasn't been stored in the plastic bins is on its way to my mom's, to go into deep freeze. What else can I even do? With a baby and a cat, I'm not using chemicals or fumigating. Suggestions? I've heard lavendar helps?

Crap crap crap crapity crap.

16 April 2008

Happy 1/3rd of a Year Birthday, Lucy!

Happy Birthday to you!

My little girl is 4 months old today! She doesn't go to the doctor until next Tuesday, so I can only give you approximate ideas of her stats -- she's about 24" long, I think, and about 13 lbs (based on the very elegant and scientifically accurate method of weighing myself and then weighing myself holding her). I'll let ya know after Tuesday (and three more shots -- almost as painful for me as her, I think!)

B, before you go nuts, the shirt doesn't say anything -- well, it says the letters a-z, but the o is changed into a heart, and it's lined up so it says i (heart) u down one side.

I promised you a pic of the purple/multi yarn, and I have fallen down on the job there; but here is the single of the yellow/turquoise/black merino.

I'll get the twist set tomorrow, and then I'll show you a pic of the yarn in person. I'm thinking of digging some grey out of the stash and trying out some two-ended knitting or some quasi-Norwegian otherness for a winter hat. We'll see. I messed up and plyed the yarn z-ways, so it would be ideal for two-ended knitting...but I don't wanna, because I'd have to spin another z-ways skein to match it and it's just not ever going to happen. Honesty in poker, and all that.

I would show you more of the lace shawl, but honestly, it looks the same. It's crumpled lace. Except that now the newest skein attached has a lot of crimp in it, having just been salvaged from a sweater that was cast on in 2005, if memory serves. Possibly earlier. Oh my. :)

Actually, that's a pic of the shawl that's only from yesterday.

And mentioning crimp reminds me that I discovered two pounds of romney roving in the closet. I can spin this stuff into something very close to thread (at least in my humble world) because of the staple length and immense crimp (don't I sound knowledgeable??). I'll try to remember to post pics of that tomorrow, too.

Big news on the home front: we've set an approximate date for the wedding! (Did I mention here that Robb proposed just before Thanksgiving?) Mom and I go to tour my preferred site for the wedding and reception tomorrow -- Robb's been at that location a lot, so he's just saying "If you like it, I like it."

Keep your fingers crossed that it's only crazy expensive, not insane expensive.

15 April 2008

Wherein Knitting Fails To Hypnotise My Daughter

A quick "still alive" post. Lucy has discovered that elbows are for more than just jabbing Mama in the boobs, and that it is possible to progress from one's stomach to one's back, even if not in a stately manner. She can't actually get to her hands and knees yet -- she can either leave her belly on the ground and get her shoulders up, or leave her shoulders down and get her knees under her -- but she's trying.

And, in what I've been given to understand is proper baby fashion, this new expansion of skills has been met with a sudden burst of clingy, whiny behavior (four months old and the kid knows that whiny gets under my skin WAY faster than screaming) that I am doing my best to meet in my quasi-AP style -- which means I'm spending a lot of time baby wearing, and when that's not enough, just plain old cuddling my little girl. I don't think any knitter would ever be heartless enough to say such a thing, but just so we're clear, this wouldn't be a great time to tell me "just let her cry." I would have to go all mama-lion on anyone foolish enough to say such wretched things.

It wouldn't be so bad if the list of acceptable positions for holding weren't so small. Seriously, I get it wrong by a fraction of an inch, and you would think I just invaded a soverign country for no reason other than my own political and economic gain. Whoops, sorry, friends got me talking politics again. I'll be quiet. :)

However, the new comfy spot that has just been discovered is lying face down on my lap with her head hanging off my leg. What's that about? Weird baby.

Pictures when the pouty lip isn't hanging out, because I can't handle the lip long enough to hit the button.

Oh -- and something to tempt you to come back -- I found a length of merino fiber that I had dyed in spots of yellow, black, and turquoise. I spun it up -- made a surprisingly fine single, if I do say so myself -- and plied it with the purple. Want to see how it turns out? Come back soon!

09 April 2008

This is one of those weeks.

You know the sort. In the moment, you think "Dear God, will this ever end?" And after the fact, you go and lie down with a damp cloth over your eyes and a very large tumbler of vodka or screetch or your poison of choice.

I'm still upright. I'm nursing. This keeps me good. :)

Here's what I've been doing while Lucy naps. When she naps. Which, this week, is hardly ever.

I'm so impressed with me. A year and a half ago, I think, I bought the high speed adaptor for my Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel. The process of getting it was such a huge annoyance (it's the reason I now refuse to shop at the other LYS) that I became disgusted with all things spinning. And then, I couldn't see my feet because of the baby in the way. But this week...I really wanted to spin. So I brought out the wheel and listened to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell while spinning away. And, once I realized that the complete lack of treddling was due to the thingamabobbie (you know, the do-dad that actually sets your ratio, the bobbin sits in it?) being brand new, a judicious application of a little bit of olive oil (it was all I had!) set it all to rights, and I set about spinning a really fine single, if I do say so myself. :) It's not thread, and it's still slubby and inconsistent, but it's a damn sight better than anything I've ever spun before in my life. I'm in love.

The fleece is Romney, I think, and I dyed it my very own self.

Crumpled lace picture. I'm on a third repeat of the body pattern, and haven't found a single mistake in this section at all! Hooray. The lace is that wonderful sort of pattern -- easily memorized, so that after I check to see how to do the edges, I'm off and running all the way across the body -- I don't have to check the pattern a zillion times to see what to do next.

I think I'm going to do five repeats...we'll see. I think I'm also going to need blocking wires. Since I can't afford real blocking wires, I might be "making my own." We'll see how it goes.

Finally, I bought Lucy a dress for St. Patrick's Day, then got horribly sick on the day itself. So, after a few weeks of recovery, Lucy got her Irish on.

I think the last one is my favorite, and the one that frightens Robb the most.

03 April 2008

I am the coolest cool kid in Coolsville.

Know why? Huh, huh, know why?

Because Wendy (link fixed, thanks for the tip, Karin!) just finished designing a new shawl and I get to test knit it. In a DK weight yarn, no less. (I don't know why that makes it so much cooler, don't ask me. :) )

It's funny -- I wonder if she thinks it's a chore, and I think it's -- well, a sacred responsibility.

I went through agonies deciding on a yarn.

First choice was the mohair that Karin had sent me.

I love the color, but for some reason, the mohair just seemed to devour this pattern. I could make it work, I wanted to make it work, but it just wasn't working for me. Maybe a bigger needle...but I didn't want to reswatch, knowing the halo was still going to annoy me, in this pattern.

Next, I brought out some Jaeger Roma that had been frogged out of the Dollar And A Half Cardigan that was in VK or IK summer before last.

Again, love the color, now LOVE the stitch definition -- but there's no give to this. No drape. And what's a shawl without drape?

So I turned to a third yarn -- some Cashsoft DK that I've also had kicking around in a TOAD sweater that I've been working on since well before I met Robb two and a half years ago (sigh). I needed acres of stockinette to finish it, and it wasn't the right size anymore -- screw it.

Beautiful. I'm off to the races, and I finally get to move beyond the set-up charts. Hurrah!

Now, this one apparently has a huge issue that needs to be dealt with THIS SECOND so while I go figure out what the heck that is, go gaze at the girl who finally started sleeping without Mama there sleeping right next to her (it only took an hour! -- we'll see what happens tonight.)