Sunday, February 26, 2006
Then she received a visitor when the cat-dog jumped up to say hello. She attempted to be all euro chic by giving him a kiss on the cheek....
but some people have NO sense of class or humor, and she was rudely rebuffed. Since then I've been cuddling her in earnest so she does not feel saddened by the rejection of Mister Mel-evolent Mel-icious, the Mel-odrama Queen.
Rogue Hog is so named because she was made of the same yarn (something from the warehouse on a cone, nameless worsted stuff) I used in my Rogue sweater, and she used quite a bit. Fiber Trends 228x, Huggable Hedgehogs is the pattern, and the finished size should be 7-10 inches when felted. Lil Ro here is about a foot tall...a giant amoung hogs.
Baby showers, toddlers, premature birthdays, regular birthdays, a sick cat (my mothers, not my own), disease and pestilence, hospital visits, shopping trips for tiny garb so mom and dad can rest a little more...yeah, sure, I got time...
But, as my kids say, "S'all good." Done, fini, completed, and I do like it, thought will change much next time.
Last night I finished the bits and laid them out and steamed them with Scunci, my buddy. I'd been running in threads as I went, and needed only to put the sleeves in and hem it. And have a nice finger or two of Sheep Dip. I had made a nice leg of lamb for the snow storm, so made stew from that. I totally love lamb, in about any form. Chop, stew, leg, roast...I bought a whole lamb once, local and grass fed. This was a mistake and I've reverted to buying grassfed bits as I want them. No one else in the fam eats lamb, because it gives them all indigestion (shows how far they've fallen from their roots.) Today I finished my hem and put my sleeves in. In spite of my totally screwing up the sleeve incs, I love the sleeve. I actually like the fit probably better than if I had done it correctly. I may do it right the next time and see what I think. I like the fitted look in the lower arm. I love the hood, though my grafting could be better. The cables show up well in the lighter oaten color, but if I were making it again I'd choose differently as I look better in stronger colors. It is the perfect Ren Fest (unless garbed correctly, in which case it would probably not look well with the blouse and vest and big skirt), sheep and wool, craft fair sweater. I just got back from grocery shopping and found it very comfortable for street wear. Warm and snuggly, and it's 20-something here with snow on the ground (ick, kind of tired of the whole cold and snow thing and really would like some of that 50-60 degree sunny stuff.)So it's done. Now I go back to the detritus of life, the knitty gritty, the grind, the preemie sweaters since everything for the baby was bigggger and put off till after the big O...the lavendar sweater for the store can take center stage back from the Rogue and gastroenteritis. But...I DID it. I thought I could, then was conviinced I'd failed, but I DID it, and it feels GOOD.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Girl's Hooded Poncho (Also called "Boo-Boo's Mancho")This is a simple hooded (yes there's a hood, but have you ever tried to get a Bernese Mountain Dog to wear a hood?) pullover poncho for girls in sizes 2-4, 6-8 and 10-12. Knits up very fast in bulky yarn at 3 sts per inch, could even be made of the dreaded fun fur (but then, kids can legitimately wear fun fur I am told)
Have at it!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Also ginger ale, crackers, the unleavened kind, and, more recently some applesauce and a banana.
It all began simply enough at about 10pm Monday. It felt so good to relax after the Saturday baby shower, and Monday spent nurturing a sick toddler. Sick with what you ask? A viral stomach bug, of course. Because he is walking typhus, and in the last two years I have been sicker in that in the previous twelve. Monday we also had a very exciting tour of the Birthing Center locally in preparation for the baby who was due March 18th. What's that you say? "waaaas due??" I was relaxing, reclining...and the phone rang. Girl answered it, and suddenly I heard loud screaming - "K's in LABOR! She's in LABOR!!!" I got out of the tub and got on the phone with M, father to be. Sure enough....felt sick at dinner Monday and water broke at 9pm. Four weeks early. I stuck some essentials in my Lady B bag (knitting, herbal tea, and my design notebook), assuming this could be a long ordeal, but knowing that with ruptured membranes there would be a baby, one way or the other, sometime within the next 24 hours. The triage room is great - two beds, a big chair, so we all were relatively comfy overnight. It was a fitful night. There was no organization of her labor. At 6am we got up, walked, moved into a birthing room, and prepared for the long haul. Mom took a shower, Dad went to feed dogs. Dad retuned just after we started the pitocin at about 9:40am. At about 11:30am mom asked me for drugs. We discussed it and decided that something to take the edge off would be a good plan. The midwife came in and checked her cervix and said "I have good news and bad news...." from the bed mom cried "You're gonna tell me it's too late for drugs aren't you??" Short version - she managed to go from 1cm to nine cm in two hours on pitocin, which may be some kind of record, and was astonishing to myself (who was thinking 4-5pm) and the midwife (who was thinking 5-6pm) and the nurse who was also assuming it'd be an evening birth. At 12:44pm on February 21 (my dad's birthday) Miss EJ was born, weighing a whopping 5lb, 14ounces, 18 inches long, and loaded to the gills with brown hair. She's so tiny. A button of a girl child, and beautiful to boot. (sorry, no pics, not my kid!). I can provide pics of the sweater I finished while waiting for pushing to begin, however...this is a size 1, in Kiss, and very sweet and cute. Of course, she probably won't wear it till she's 2. We spent a mild afternoon, moved into a much bigger room with a double bed for mom and dad to sleep in overnight. Miss EJ was checked and rechecked, eventually showing no more difficulty adjusting to life on the outside than a little low temperature, which was fixed by placing her on mom's chest with a heat lamp. Early babies can have problems with lung development, but EJ seems fine. She may yet develop some jaundice, and will have trouble with simple things like nursing, as she was not planning on learning that skill for a month, and has to become a quick study. And K? The mountain biker, tough girl, not sure if she can be somebody's mom? She's turned into a mushball. A blearly eyed, soft voiced, "that's my baby", breast feeding, worrying mommy.
So, my doping issue...well, I came home at about 5pm, had some supper and a bath and went to bed. At 1:30 I woke up and remember why we call the grandchild 'Typhoid A'. This is where the toilet comes in. I spent the next bundle of hours with the porcelain god. I spent most of today sleeping. My beloved husband brought home from work bananas, applesauce, ginger ale, and a desire to do laundry. I've been running a fever a bit, and got a whole two rows done on Rogue! TWO ROWS!! WOO-HOO!!! This is where the doping comes in....and I hope the IOKC can forgive me...I did it. I confess. I took....tylenol (sniff)
Feeling somewhat better right now, but heading back to bed shortly. I just want to sleep. The banana has been a big help, I think I really needed the potassium. I think my Olympic Careeer it at an end. We'll see...but the remained of the hood, the sleeves, steaming and seaming? I know I'm fast but...at two rows a day?? Oh well. I fought the good fight. I did my best. And now I am going back to bed before I fall off my chair!
Monday, February 20, 2006
Now, about the duck - after our disaster of Friday, I hestitated to decorate. BJ's Wholesale Club cakes were sounding pretty good. I re-baked the sheet cake, then mixed the frosting. First I frosted the base cake (this is going to be a VERY exciting post, folks). Then I spent 30 minutes trying to smooth the icing perfectly, becoming grumpier and grumpier with every attempt, until Girl threatened to take away my smoothing blade. "But it's not peeerrrfffeeect...." I whined. Next, we moved onto the placing of the duck - this is dicey. If placed to far to one side or the other, or too far front or back, there would be room to write something, like "Congratulations" or "Welcome Baby", or (my fave) ">SUCKAAHHHHS!!!!!!!!!" and the last thing I want to do is write on a cake. I assembled my toys for the next level of cake insanity. Icing bag...tips.. and the...the...where's my small coupler??? A coupler is a pretty important gadget in the world of cake decorating. Think of is as equal to... the metal gauge measure thingy. You can forge ahead without it, but you'll wish you hadn't. I searched high and low, and then I did what every big grown girl does when disaster strikes twice in one day. I called my mommy. Twenty minutes later my son (who lives with my mother, he's 19 and trying to be 'independent') arrived at my doorstep with my mother's cake decorating kit. In the end, our duckie emerged, complete with fondant baby bonnet. Some icing to make a ruffle and a bow, and he's done. He was a hit, being adorable and having under him a not too shabby french vanilla cake. Anyway - the mother-to-be was 35 minutes late...we're probably lucky she came at all, as she was nervous as a cat about being the center of attention. Games were played, prizes given. Gifts were opened - all those tiny baby things that make you go "AWWWWW......" Well, they used to make me go "awwww...", now I sit back, smirk and go "Ahhaah!!!!!!!" and gaze lovingly on my soon to be 18 year old youngest child with the smug satisfaction of a race well run, knowing you're in the home stretch, glancing back and seeing nothing (like an additional bundle of questionable joy) coming up from behind to ruin your planned freedom.
I forgot that Saturday was my birthday (39). Would not have remembered but then my son called in the morning, and to warn me that my mother would be calling to wish me happy birthday (this is the way of the young male - "Uhh. An angry little bat just told me that today's your birthday. I thought I'd warn you that she's going to call...") I thanked him. I love boys. They're so...weird. I forgot again, till I got to K's house to set up for the shower - there was a bouquet of flowers from her with a Happy Birthday note. Then my husband came to fetch me from the shower saying we had reservations for my fave place...EXCELLENT dinner, slow waitress but good margarita...then home, and cribbage (which I lost, but considering my gifts I really did not care) and a glass of wine and let me tell you...on Saturday night it was good to be me:PARFAIT LADY B BAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beloved Dear Daughter strikes again. This is her second home run in a year. Great thanks are due to the staff of Webs who managed to assist Girl in pulling this off, including, but not limited to Jenni who managed to disguise it SO well that when I loaded groceries into the car on top of it, I did not have a clue, Cirilia who I am told had plans for how to confuse me (which worked), and Pixie, who blew the surprise in the first place and then assisted in the big cover up. Christmas was my Elizabeth R DVD's, and then the bag, my bag, my bag!!! DH also had a home run with A History of Britain on DVD, which I started yesterday and love. The wine and flowers are from K. The wine is a nice pinot grigio with a floral taste and an apple finish. Really nice, and I am not a fan of sweet wine, I prefer dry, smoky things. This is a good wine.Today (Monday) we had our exciting Birthplace Tour. It was very odd to walk around and think things like "C was born in that room, and E also I think..." and "D was born there and M there, and T was born in this room...." All these births are greater than ten years ago, yet nothing has changed - or it has, but not in essentials. Can't wait. We're getting close, March 18th is the due date. And the woman who I thought would never adjust to the idea of diapers and baby spit up now dreams, every night, of holding a soft wrapped bundle and rubbing it's back. It's amazing what impending motherhood does to you. This is a little hopeful v neck cardigan in Kiss, pink #3, because I want a girl. I will be happy either way, but if I had a vote, I'd vote girl. If she's not a she, some other small female will be wearing a cute little pink vareigated cardigan this fall!
Friday, February 17, 2006
The day was all planned out. Bake cakes. Knit while baking. Cool cakes. Knit while cooling. Run to Target. Finish last minute baby shower shopping. Return home and prepare gallons of buttercream icing, color icing in appropriate duckie colors, knit more, and frost the cake early tomorrow morning. Leave at 11:15 Saturday morning for shower location set up. I had not counted on this:
Something is pouring out of the front of my oven within seconds of the pans going in...what is that? Why..it's SMOKE, of course! And not a little bit either. A ton. A whooooole bunch! I tested the pan - TWICE. I've been baking for as long as I can remember, longer than I've been crocheting but slightly less than I've been able to read. It appears that Mister Duckie is leaking around his eyeball area. Shoot the duck. It is reminiscent of a previous smoke incident...all was in readiness: Melissaknits (who was then just plain old Melissa-works-at-a-nursing-home-homeschools-her-kids-sews-crochets-cans-bakes-and-makes-dolls) would enter the Homemaker of the Year contest at the local county fair. Just a friendly little competition between people who bake, can, craft and sew. I'd even taken a day off from work to focus. Baking completed, all was in readiness but for some lace on a nightie. I was attaching it when I smelled it. Smoke. And not just a little smoke. A LOT of smoke, like a house fire, or...or...like a hay barn fire. A huge, monstrous hay barn fire, practically in my back yard. So close, in fact, that by the time I registered what was going on and began to plot my escape with dog, kids, and fair-bound items in my Subaru, I was trapped by fire trucks. Smoke poured into the house, over the cooling baked goods, the sewn goods, the crafted items...smoke everywhere. The desolation I felt...well...that's about how I feel right now. Burnt Duck. No one wants to eat a charcoal flavored french vanilla sheet cake topped by a charcoal flavored devil's food duck. Back to the drawing board. A trip to the store, more cake mixes (no scratch, I am busy knitting), more baking...time table thrown off by hours. Babies Suck.
I need something knitterly to improve my day. OK, here's a good one - I gave this to my friend S for Christmas and she loves it. She carries it everywhere containing a current knitting project, a small Bible, and a wallet - the essentials of life in one bag. This makes me feel better. Also my Rogue Hog - here he is before felting, still not done and not felted nearly as much as I would have liked, but I adore him all the same. AND last night in BJ's I saw a woman I thought I recognized, and knew I knew but was not sure how I knew her (this happens a lot, and I've told all my students - I will never remember your name, but I will remember your project, so if I look clueless, HELP ME, and tell me what you were knitting), and she called out "Knitter Lady! Melissa, my sock teacher!!" (thank you thank you thank you, now I know exactly who you are, one of my compulsive students who showed up at the second class with six cuffs done desperate to learn heels). She thanked me again for teaching her how to make socks, and told me she's made 32 pair. THIRTY TWO PAIR OF SOCKS since late fall. Very gratifying. I need things like this today. I need reminders that I do not totally suck as a human being. The smoke is clearing. Finally. It did not reach the smokes (which are not the kind you can just smack down with a broom, they're the hard wired, super loud, go on forever kind) thankfully. So we adjust the day and move on. I vented here instead of knitting. I could not even stay in the kitchen, I had to walk away. I've got 7 inches of the lace cardigan done, and can't wait to see it finished. It's still in a place where I love it. A few more inches and I will begin to be disatisfied and by the time it's on a dummy in the store I will hate it. I still can't walk past the shawl collared cardigan without getting queasy, to say nothing of the v-neck blue pullover and the felted bag. It's as if, once done, they distress me like adolescent kids who've join the dark side.
I am going to go do what I love. I am going to take a knitting break before running off to buy more cake mixes, Baby Price Is Right game items, a baby book, and six Target gift cards. I am going to sit and knit and for a minute pretend that's all in life there is for me to do.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
|Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"|
You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.
You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.
Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)
Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic
What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays
Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get
Wow. Totally true.
Some knitting news later today, maybe...there's a Rogue-Hog in my life now, and I don't mean the pullover...and he's sucking my time from me, but worth it!
Monday, February 13, 2006
1.) I do love this pattern.
2.) I will however make the next one slightly shorter in the body to accomodate my petite but..umm..shall we say "robust"?..self. Or perhaps buxom? Yes, buxom would be the preferred word. After all, if the wedding site had not burned to the ground, I would have promised to be "bonny and buxom at bed and at board" in my vows.
3.) I really really love this pattern. I knew I would when I saw the hat Katie did. KatyDid. Sorry. I believed that the simplicity of the celtic cables would add interest without being overwhelming. Creating subtle shaping while imparting a smidge of drama. I had to have it and am eternally glad I bought it.
4.) This movie sucks. If I had less knowledge of the era and the heroine, it would have been perhaps tolerable. If you are seeking fictitous nonsense, total alteration of documented historic fact, and romantic modern values superimposed over a historical figure, watch this film. If you are truly interested in the period and the woman, watch this one instead, but with the historical commentary overlay.
5.) Time this week is not my beloved friend. It is, instead, my mortal enemy. Aidan will be here at 11am today and Thursday. The baby shower is Saturday. I have a plan involving some muslin and a doll pattern kicking around here someplace, but more on that later. I have too much on my plate, as usual. Pattern for the store took much longer than expected to write because of lace pattern needing to fit neatly into all five sizes, lots of math which I despise. And I now lack motivation for the project being distracted by baby showers, Olympics (although at the current rate of Olympic progress I will probably stop for a while and dedicate all knitting time this week to the store sweater), and the red socks. Speaking of which...FINALLY!...they look adorable on, and will someday show up here as a free pattern. Valentine Cabled Socks. From the woman who refuses to celebrate most holidays, and sees St. Valentine's Day as another example of shameless, compulsive American consumerism...makes perfect sense, doesn't it?? It's like my Disney World problem. Doesn't fit...or does it?? Really I am still sucking up from December when I forgot my wedding anniversary. "See, honey I DO love you, I even designed socks with hearts just for you".....better pic tonight of them on his feet once they are dry!!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
a stretching break.
This is a fun garment, and I am really enjoying it, this Rogue thing. This was a good idea, and all for me, and I am glad I chose it. It is rare that I make more than an occasional sock for myself. I started at about 4:00pm Friday , and have got the kangaroo pocket done, and am working up the sides, about ten rows from attaching the pocket back to the front.
The trouble is that I really have to start work on this sweater for store demo. I finished the math calculations for all sizes this morning and am all ready to go. Rogue is distracting me. I must put it aside shortly and forgo the spirit of Olympic competition for the spirit of "Kathy needs her new garment". It helps that I don't have cable. I can forget about the whole Olympic thing if I have to. I know what I need. What I really need is a Martha Stewart type staff...someone to clean the house and walk the dogs so I can just knit!
Friday, February 10, 2006
And it breaks my heart. Because I really really really wanted them done by tonight, so I could start the Olympics with a nice clean plate. Instead I can add "special socks" to the list of stuff hanging over me. (whinnnneee.) I could have gotten them done today, were it not for the Blog Gallery, and my falling asleep while knitting. Must be some sort of Pre-Olympic Rest Period? They're just never going to be done. But the heels are turned. Whatever happened to a sock a day? Am I aging? Can I no longer keep up?? Am I...losing it???
The Knitting Olympics Athletes Pledge
I, a knitter of able hands and quick wits, do hereby swear that over the course of these Olympics I will uphold the highest standard of knitterly excellence.
I will be deft of hand and sure of pattern, I will overcome troubles of yarn overs and misplaced decreases. I will use the gifts of intelligence and persistence (as well as caffeine and chocolate) and I will execute my art to the highest form, carrying with me the hope for excellence known to every knitter.
I strive to win. To do my best, and to approach the needles with my own best effort in mind, without comparing myself to my fellow knitters, for they have challenges unique to them.
While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:
That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I'm supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success....
but on my trying.
Let the games begin!
Thursday, February 09, 2006
THE BEST PART….while driving to Ikea we stopped in N’Hamp at Webs for a little visit, to drop something off and pick something is up….I bought 2 hanks of Silk Rhapsody, one for myself and one for mother in law. I almost wish the Olympics were behind me, and the sweater I’m designing for the store as well, so I could get my dirty little mitts on this stuff. It’s SO lovely to look at, it doubles as living room decor!! The put-up is great at 260 yards per skein, that’s a LOTTA yarn, $39 retail but well worth it for silk and kid mohair.
The another wonderful thing happened yesterday…my husband put my new slick tire on my bike on the trainer. It is amazing how much difference a tire can make. The treads on the MB tire were causing the bike to bounce around on the trainer. Now it is smooth and slick and no vibration in my poor little tush, so I can sit up straight, pedal and knit to my heart's content. With my new girlie seat and slick smooth tire, I am very excited, and can’t wait till morning to test it out more. I love my husband!! (and Performance Bike)