Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bewildered and Bemused, For Now

It's pretty typical of me to skip the New Years blog entry thing. I know a lot of people do it. But then I am contrary in general so it's not a surprise really that I resist resolutions and recaps.
We did go out for New Years' Eve this year, for the first time ever. We went to First Night Northampton which was, frankly, a total, utter bust. But we had good company -
Newlyweds (how long can we call them that?) Brendon and Selina and their adopted and troublesome Balloon Baby. Brendon does not like Balloon Baby. I am not sure if it was the baby part, or the part where it just was not behaving well at times.
We had a good time with them in spite of the lame (sorry Northampton, but really. Lame. Sad and lame.) First Night "celebration". I think I was expecting more - maybe some shops open, maybe some street vendors selling cocoa and street food; that sort of thing. We are told that Boston is better. Maybe next year. We came home early, which was fine with me. At least I got to stay awake until midnight - 2 am actually. Someone had to keep an eye on these two.
Brendon and Meg and Gene and I played Mario Party 8 on the Wii. Selina went to sleep, although how she slept through these two and their, shall we say, 'youthful celebrating', I don't know. Brendon tried to find the ball drop on the laptop. Gene and I kissed in the New Year while watching him surf for it. I also beat everyone at Mario Party, which should give you an idea of just how celebratory they were. The next morning there were some long faces, and I don't think it was losing the game that did it to them. Ahh, youth!
Meg was given (yes, GIVEN!) a Majacraft Susie Pro yesterday. I brought it home for her and really felt that, as her mother, it was my moral obligation to oil it up and - of course - take it for a test drive. It's a tough job, taking bullets like this for my kids, but that's what motherhood is al about. I'd love to convince her that it's too much wheel for her, buy myself a pound of something awesome, and spin the rest of winter away. I have always been an Ashford girl, but I feel my head being turned by this wheel. We have a "no new wheel" policy in effect here, and technically this one coming in means one should leave. So far gene hasn't noticed, so maybe we're safe.
It spins like a dream. A little rattly and loud which I think is the platic bobbins, but that's more than compensated for by the smoothness and the wide ratios. A little oil here and there and it quieted down some. I may be in love. There may be jealousy. But I will get over it, in time!
I've been trying to work on this sweater in my spare time. This is Gene's Dale sweater that I started...oh...a little while ago. The yarn is Dale of Norway Hauk which I am not loving. I am finding that it is biasing in stockinette, overspun out of the skein, which is frustrating. Maybe I just got a bad bag, but there it is. In fact, the Jo Sharp DK Wool I am using for the contrast? I wish the whole sweater was made of it.
This sweater has a story, but it's a pretty embarrassing one. Once upon a time in a December past we were at Epcot Center at Disney World in the Norway pavilion. Norway has this really silly but essential ride called Maelstrom (there are trolls, waterfalls, and a movie called "Spirit of Norway" that I always sit through. I also always cry when the kid touches the boat. If you have been, you know what I mean, and I bet you sniffle, too). After the movie you are dumped into a string of little shops featuring noxious Norwegian perfumes, delicious Norwegian candy, Dale of Norway Learn to Knit kits, and a large selection of Helly Hansen and Dale of Norway garments. Gene pointed at a black men's henley and said "I like that. I'd wear that." He didn't say "Will you knit that for me?". He didn't have to.
I bought the yarn after Christmas that year, and I cast on. Ten or twelve inches into the body something didn't seem quite right (can you say "gauge"?). And I didn't like the yarn I'd chosen. (Classic Elite Wings - it just did not have the rugged stability I wanted for this garment). Back to Webs I went in search of a new yarn - the Wings was ripped out and eventually knit into something completely different. What December, you ask? Well. The notes here indicate that I cast on in this year:
I bought the yarn in January. Which means he saw the sweater in December 2004. Which is embarrassing given that this is 2011, and I knit "for a living" so to speak. And the sweater is still not done. In fact, up until a couple of weeks ago it was just a lower body. Today it has a finished back and the beginnings of a front. If I had a resolution for the new year, this would be it: finish the Dale sweater by February 2nd. Of THIS year.
As you can see, there's been some frustration along the way. The thing has languished in it's own basket with it's pattern and pen and yarn labels and such since 2005. In an attempt to end the bad juju I made some changes.
First, it has a Lexie Barnes bag of it's own. Second, it is next to my chair and may not move until it's blocked. Third, I got a different color pen. And fourth? I actually pick it up and knit on it once in a while. There's hope. But then... but then this arrived in my mail box and now I have a problem. Not only am I distracted from work and knitting only things I want to knit without any sort of guilt or shame, now there's cashmere and silk in my house, in my line of vision, and al of a sudden "Poor Gene" and his "poor sweater" seem pale and not worthy of my energy.
Throw a little Spirit Trail Neith in the colorway Brown Eyed Girl and I am just all kinds of distracted. What could it be... something just for me, after all, since my eyes are brown...
Last week Army Boy married Army Fiancee (now Army Wife) in a typically hasty civil ceremony arranged on nearly the last day of his Christmas leave. Paperwork was filed and the words spoken over them by the best optometrist (six years running) in Brattleboro, Vermont, Dr. Peter Duff. In a few short weeks he went from unemployed single father to married man with a career and seemingly unlimited prospects.
The wedding reminds me a little of my dad saying that you could get married in the town hall, and put your baby to bed in a dresser drawer (on the floor, mind you, not in the dresser!) and have a blissful, wonderful life. He's right. What do we need, really, in the end? Money? Fancy dress? A cake bigger than the flower girl? A $500 crib and an infant-sized wardrobe to rival that of a Hollywood baby? No, really, we don't need any of that. Love is what we need. That's it.
It's a crazy world we live in and a crazy life we lead. I gave birth to that boy just a few short years ago, and now he's all old, and even married.
Go forth, new Army Family, into the big wide world and make a life for yourselves. What you are to be you are now becoming. Make it good, guys, because there are no dress rehearsals. You get one shot. You have it in you to make it count. And I know you can.


booksNyarn said...

Well, now I am glad we didn't go to First Night. Of course, that would have required me being awake or something.

I think I may have a scarf from Knitting II class that is in a similar state to your sweater. *cough*

Yay for family! You have an awesome one.

Cynthia said...

Congrats to the newlyweds and best wishes for the New Year!