Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Post-Thanksgiving Daze

Not only did I survive Thanksgiving, it was, for the most part, a lovely long weekend in which I got to do a substantial amount of knitting! I got motivated to finish (FINALLY) a couple of things that have been languishing while I got sidetracked by my baby hats.

So, here's the recent work:
I finished the first of these socks back in July, while we were on vacation in the Adirondacks. I started the second a few weeks ago, knit an inch, and got distracted. I was determined to finish them! I used the Magic Loop Winter Sock pattern, which worked wonderfully, and I really like them! They're quite warm and cozy. I amused by the difference in striping, even though the two balls of yarn are from the same dye-lot. You can see on the left sock that I got distracted and added an extra knit row in the pattern. Ooops, that's what happens sometimes when you are knitting while taking care of your rambunctious children! As I mentioned before, knitting helps me tackle my perfectionism. Especially since I'm not really very good at ripping out partially, and starting over. It's mostly an all-or-nothing proposition for me. I also finished the little sock I made for DS2. It's terrible - I don't like the yarn at all, the toe is ALL WRONG (waaay too long), and it doesn't fit his wide, chubby ankles and foot at all. Luckily, it's little. I have about 14,034,214 yards of this yarn, and I just don't like it. Oh well.

I knit this hat from this Ann Norling pattern. I knit this for a friend's new baby boy, but it was just a tad too small, so I'm going to have to redo it, and this one'll get donated to the NICU. I did this in Sugar'n'Cream, which is a heavier cotton, and I think I'm going to head out to my favorite yarn store tomorrow and get some more red Tahki Cotton, and redo it in that.

Then, two more NICU hats:
This one is so soft and warm! It's not a stretchy yarn, since it's chenille, and I think I need to figure out a looser cast-on, but OH it's so cute!!

This one is another Sugar'n'Cream creation. I am not thrilled with it - mainly it's the leaves I don't like. I'd like them set in a bit more (I just need to snip them off and resew them), and one of them turned out kind of funny looking, but overall it's pretty cute.

So that's what I did on my vacation!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pictures to follow.

I just finished another hat, and OH the cuteness! It's enough to make you blind, really. One of the coolest things about this hat is that I did it without a pattern. Going off-script is atypical for me, I really like having directions. But really, how hard is a roll-brim hat, you know? I didn't even really do a gague swatch (I know, I know), I just winged it. And it's too cute! Since it's my own "design", do I get to sell it? I mean, how unique does it have to be to be your own design?

I also did the hat for the LYS hat drive. I did Homespun in Metropolis. It's almost a B&W camo look, it was sort of cool. It's not the nicest yarn out there, though I'm not a yarn-snob. I've done many a project in Lion brand. As long as the yarn itself isn't too bad, I don't mind it. I also discovered that doing children's stuff in Really Nice Yarn is not the best idea, since a lot of that isn't machine-washable, and they outgrow the darn things so quickly. Homespun isn't my favorite, but this should wear well, wash nicely, and won't show too much dirt. I've got some more, left over from a kid cardigan, so I might try and knit up another one before the end of the weekend. I've got some Lion Suede to do also, who knows if I'll get that done. i was glad to get that dropped off though, so at least I got one hat to her by her deadline! She's going for 20 hats.

I'm having a dilemma. I've got about 4 skeins of Lion Microspun, and now only am I not loving knitting with it, I'm not all that happy with how it looks like it's going to wear. I did a red and white spiral hat (to look like a peppermint), and I didn't realize that carrying the colors so much would pull in the hat, so it was way too small, so I kept it. It's been kicking around as a doll hat (Walter is enchanted with it), and it's looking really fuzzy. It's too bad, the yarn does have a nice soft feel to it, but I think I may not do any more knitting for donation with it. I don't know. I did donate that one fun-fur hat. Maybe I'll just knit up a simple hat and run it through the wash and see what I think. I hate to waste yarn and I can't imaging anything else that I'll use it for, but if it's not going to look nice, I'd rather just spend a bit more and get more of the Tahki Cotton Classic which is so nice!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A non-knitting, parenting post.

So, DS1 had an incident at preschool today that involved him clocking another kid with a toy boat. I can totally see him doing this, and I'm not shocked or even particularly worried about, it's pretty developmentally normal. The thing I am struggling with is what DS1 reported to me as the precipitating event...that he wanted this boy to be his friend and this boy said that DS1 was NOT his friend and that another boy was his friend.

Oh man. I know preschool friendships are changeable and ephemeral, but when DS1 says to me that no one likes him, or he has know friends, things like that...it just *hurts* to hear. It's not that I want him to be popular...it's just that I don't want him to be unliked. He's still so unselfconscious, and I know that can't last, but I want it to.

I saw a woman with a two-week old baby today (her first). She seemed a tad less overwhelmed than I recall being at that time, but still, it's such a shock to the system. Everything is different. Everything has changed, and in a way that you can't even fathom until you make that leap. I remember thinking that I couldn't possibly love DS1 anymore than I did at that moment, but I do. I love him more and more every day. Why is it, that when speaking of love, it always sounds clich├ęd or shallow, somehow? Maybe it's that words cannot convey the depth of feeling I have for my sons. I couldn't imagine loving another child as much as I do DS1, but I do. I love DS2 completely and utterly.

The thing about parenting, at least for me, is that it exposes me to how truly vulnerable I am in giving my heart this way. There's so much that I cannot control in their lives, and this only becomes more obvious to me as they get older. Since DS1 is now in school, off in the world, starting to build his own separate life, it's become very present to me that I cannot protect him from these sorts of things. I cannot protect him from having his heart broken, and in fact, I know that I shouldn't protect him from this, but yet, I still want to.

The topper tonight was when he was playing with the dishwasher, and he let the lower rack roll into the machine too quickly and it crashed loudly and both DH and I yelled NO! and STOP! He froze, and immediately ran over to me and buried his face in my legs. I sat on the kitchen floor and just held him. He didn't cry; it was almost worse because he didn't. He just did this fast breathing like he was trying really hard not to cry, and it just broke my heart. He's definitely having a rough day. His spirit is pretty tough, and he's perked back up, but it just makes me realize, yet again, how much I feel for this little being. It's so scary.

And so, completely worth it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

DW Dishcloth

Yay, I got it to work!
The latest dishcloth. Not my favorite colors, but it's pretty and I think it'll work. I've got some pink variagated and blue variagated cotton that I'll do next. I tried a hat out of the blue and I didn't like the way it clumped.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh man.

I'd forgotten how much I adore my Addi Turbos. I have them in 12" which I used to use for baby hats until I got wise and started using the Magic Loop technique. (Note: I SO want to try this but I'm too caught in hats right now). I have some bamboo Addis which I've been pretty happy with, but SOMEBODY chewed on them (I'll give a hint, it wasn't the four-legged members of the family). So, I treated myself to a pair of Turbos in 40" today, and MAN, I just loooove them. They are so fast! I got most of the body of my apple hat done today. I, of course, want to run out and buy them in every size I might possibly need, but (a) I can't afford that and (b) I really want this set. I have the Denise set (hand-me-down from my mom, which I love), but they work less well for my hats. Since the Addis I got today are a size 3, this kit would do the rest for me quite well. Considering that at my LYS, the Addis are about $15, this would obviously make more sense, $$-wise. And I do have a birthday coming up!

So, I mentioned already that I finished the purple sweetheart hat. I'm not sure how well you can see the heart detailing in this picture. It's subtle, but nice.

I've finished a double-weave hat of my own invention, which is actually pretty cute! This is surprising to me, since typically the stuff I invent doesn't work well. These colors remind me of pastel mints; I just want to eat this hat up.

I also finished another DW dish cloth. Not my favorite colors, but I hope someone will like it. Okay, I wanted to load a picture of it but Blogger is not allowing that. Well, it thinks I've uploaded it, but nothing is showing up.

All in all, I've been pretty productive! I am wanting to get back to some of my own projects, and the woman who owns my LYS asked me if I'd consider making some adult hats for her hat drive for a local shelter (especially hats for men), so I'm thinking of hitting Michaels or AC Moore tomorrow and getting some bulky, not-too-expensive, manly yarn and knitting up a couple of hats for her.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Moving Forward

I really like weekends. It's not that what we do is so different, it's just nice having DH (or maybe I should call him BH - my "better half") home! We had a lovely date last night, and it was such a pleasure to just sit and be together.

I finished another hat! This one is a purple with a heart pattern. I'll take pictures later (and definitely make them smaller than the last round!). It's quite cute, in the Sugar'n'Cream yarn. Even though it's more of a worsted weight, I like it for the hats. Well, in part, the price is nice too. I just splurged on YET MORE yarn. There's no way I can knit all of this stuff up! I bought some more red, so once I finish the current hat (my own design), I'll do an apple hat. I've decided not to do more with micro-spun, I don't love it. I'll use up what I've got, I think, and see how it goes. It's really soft, though a pain to knit with, and I'm not convinced it's going to hold up nicely like the cotton does. I also can't find my pink fuzzy yarn, I suppose one of the kids made off with it. Or it's under the sofa, like so many other things!

I feel like focusing on this project is really helping me. First, it's giving me a focus for my creative energy (BH and I had a really interesting conversation about art last night, and whether crafting is art or not). It also gives me a nice reminder of all the wonderful things in my life for which I have gratitude. Yeah, I get frustrated, but hey, I don't have a kid in the NICU anymore! And, it's reminding me that I get to have a life outside of my children.

To that end, I sent off my application for the CBE program today! I'm really excited! It does mean spending a chunk of money - both on the program and on the required books (ooo so sad, I have to buy books). But, I think it'll be worth it. I'm looking forward to focusing on something for me!