Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Use me up, Baby.

It's so so so cool that Netter is using me. I'm cheap. I'm a cheap yarn whore. Just call me yarn slut.

Did you see this cool yarn? I love the colors. Salivate.

See, I'm an all-black girl. Black pants and black turtle neck. Washington, D.C.? I fit right in. NYC? I fit in. Black outfit with a flair of kelly green pashmina at most. But every day? Black. Sounds chic, I know, but really, I'm just a color dork who hides in black clothing. I love black. It's so easy. And it goes SO well with my boy-short hair (my pic is now inaccurate; my hair is as short as DH's buzz cut).

But socks?

Well, socks have become the outlet for my alter ego. I LOVE the electric colors of Netter's yarn. The brighter the better. Put it on my butt? No way. Wear it in a scarf? Get outta here. A hat? Who wants hat-head??

But feet? Secret feet, covered up by black pants, peeking out like Monica's Lewinski's thong panties, luring Bill? Gimme color. Gimme splash. Gimme pizzaz. Gimme ... shock socks, baby. I eat it up.

Thanks Netter. I'm thrilled!

And on that news, I'm halfway done with the second lace sock. Thanks to the old job (TOJ) now requiring me to show up for work instead of working at home, I'm a slave to the train. Which means I make GREAT knitting progress. Me, my ipod, and my knitting will travel. Love to travel. We're making great feetway, er, headway.

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's Official!

I received a formal offer from the new job (TNJ) at 7:30 this morning! After a brief round of conversations about compensation, they met my requested salary!! I had the wind taken out of me when the HR rep gave the figure -- I was expecting less.

I accepted on the spot.

I start March 19. I've never given LESS than a month notice before, but they pushed hard. I also pushed hard for the salary, and they met it, so I felt good giving back. Let's get off on a positive foot, shall we!?!

As for knitting news, I completed 2.5 repeats on my sock last night. That's about 30 rows. I'm about 20-ish rows from where I was when I ripped -- I should surpass that tonight! Thanks TV. You do serve some purpose.

I'm still wiping the drool off of my keyboard after reading Amy's post about her new fibergasm. Thanks Amy. My keyboard needed a good cleaning. ;)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Horizons

New horizons approach.

Chez Rae is finally coming out of its spate of badness. The badness of 2007 is over for the year (I know I'm being optimistic) ... or at least for the spring.

On the horizon:

(1) I'm recovering well and should be 100% back to good physical functioning and health this week.

(2) I'm talking to the HR rep today for Job Prospect #2 (JP#2), probably for a job offer. JP#2 is my first pick after some hard discussions and DH's always reliable objectivity, and Job Prospect #1 is slow on the uptake anyway, so it's working out well. Now we're just in salary negotiations -- they're 10% below my ideal and initial asking price (but still 10% above my current salary). But I'm flexible.

(3) DD is recovering finally. After 6 days of fever, she's on day 2 of no fever. The new meds are working. Friends, teachers, and daycare, here we come!

Summing the past two months in the above three points really simplifies everything, but it's time for simplification. It's been too complicated for too long, and DH and I have weathered a lot. We weathered far more earth-shattering and relationship-killing events in the past, and this is a smidge of what we've plowed through. But it was still a royal pain to get through.

On the knitting front, New Horizons!

I did frog the 2nd sock and knit it more loosely. It matches the first sock in width and length, so I'm thrilled about that! Interestingly, I DON'T think I have big feet, but when I knit socks using the recommended needle size and yarn, the socks are often snug on my feet (really snug, as in noticeably tight). This is the second pair that have turned out that way. So I'm wondering if I need to go up a needle size to allow for "confident" knitting (you know, those beautifully formed st that are perfectly shaped and firm) that still fits.

Gauge swatch? I can hear Julie saying it now. ;)

My posts may become sporadic in the next few months as I transition into JP#2, and maybe even my knitting. JP#2 is a shorter train commute, IN STATE (fuck you, NY taxes), and more demanding than my present job.

Well, the fam-damly is up and I have to start the day. Off to parental duties.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Go Addi!!

Lace Circs!

From Grumperina

Quick, Advice!?!?!?

Dear friends,

Can you help me make a quick knitting decision --

I knit the LUVELY lace sock #1 and adore how it turned out. However, I realized when I was knitting it that my gauge was a little loose. I was daunted by the lace stitches with such fine yarn (OK, Julie, it's not nearly as fine as yours, but I'm not such a glutton for punishment) on such tiny needles (2.0mm). I kept plugging along, and really, the sock fits well. It's loose, but it fits well. The stitches say, "We're a little shy, but here we are. We're pretty in our own right, and look, we're finished!"

Now I'm knitting sock #2, and my gauge is much better. My stitches are more "confident" -- strong and firm (not too tight), well formed and pretty. They stand up in attention and say, "We're here! We deserve to be looked at!"

I tried on both socks, and sure enough #1 is looser. It actually fits well, but the stitches are flabby. Mind you, it looks good to me, but compared to #2, the stitches are definitely looser. #2 is possibly even a little too tight on my leg (at least in the top band), but I love how uniform and pretty the stitches are.

This is my project in which I decided to dedicate myself to getting it right. No short cuts.

So my question is --

Do I reknit #1 so it's tighter?
Do I reknit #2 so it's looser?
Do I simply knit #2 as is and try to stretch out the top a little bit?

What should I do, community?


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do I dare???

I so want to try this:

It's a toe-up sock (never done that before), that has a provisional CO (never done that before) and is knit flat to a certain point, joined and then worked in the round. I love the pattern and recently fell in love with cables, but I have a lot of trepidation about taking on this sock. Still, it's a challenge that's intriguing!


When I was pregnant a mere 4 weeks ago, and foolishly told my 2.5 YO Dear Daughter (DD) about it, I taught her that the baby was in mommy's uterus. I *didn't* explain that daddy's penis was invovled in the creation of the little critter, but she *does* know that mommy (and she) has a vagina and daddy has a penis.

When DD told her Nana that mommy had a baby "in her uterus," my MIL about died. The look on her face was better than Amy's witticisms. It spoke a million words all at once, some repeatable, some not. But all conveyed her sense that kids should not know such words.

DD also knows such words as death, odoscope (sp?, the "light" the dr uses to look in your ears), cylinder (not tube or pole or circle thingy), cube, sphere, martini shaker, etc. The point is, we don't use made up words at home. DD can say multisyllable words without missing a beat, and she can usually remember them pretty well. I'm not shy of words.

But it appears not everyone shares the same philosophy (including MIL):

In knitty news, I actually DO have REAL knitting content. BUT I HAVE NO GODDAMNED CAMERA TO SHOW OFF MY FOS! !@#$ %J#:@#J!@ !@#J#@Y!@# !@Y(#!PO$*$ #HY@!#I$

OK, so I don't always use the real words.

I finished MY FIRST SOCK FOR ME. It's from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, and I never thought I would love a sock so much. I used the Lorna's Laces that I had to unknot over 2 hours in my stuffy LYS, and I even made sure this sock had NO MISTAKES. I made sure so much that I did a similar operation as this: Yarn Harlot's Operation on June 23, 2006. Mine wasn't nearly so severe, only 5 stitches, but BECAUSE OF THIS POST, I knew I could take on my mistake. So, instead of ripping back about 28 rows of 64 stitches of lace knitting on size 2mm needles, I simply ripped out 5 stitches down 30 rows, fixed the two mistakes I made (forgotton sl 1, k2tog, psso, yo, p1), and went on my merry way. The tension isn't perfect, but I'm hoping after a good soak, it'll all work out. Besides, I did it. It's right and perfect and I'm proud I did it.

I also followed Julie's suggestion for the toe. I prefer a flatter toe instead of a pointy toe, so I stopped knitting with 16 st on ea needle and did the K-stitch (which I almost know by heart; I just have to look to get started). It turned out LOVELY -- flat and beautiful along my toes. It's truly an amazing sock, and I'm secretly glad that I waited until my fourth pair to keep as my own. I've had 3 pairs of socks for trial-and-error, neglected mistakes, and poor craftsmanship.

Someday I will have a pic to show. Someday....someday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Update #1: the family saga


Amy has her Top Sheep series to keep us entertained. I just have family guts to report on. Nothing made up here.

As if a week of health hell with Family Member #1 (me) wasn't enough, DD is now sick with the flu AND an ear infection. You know it's mother's insanity love when your child vomits ON YOUR FACE and you hold her gently while she calms down until she's well enough for you to move without her vomiting again. It was the one time I wish I had my OB/GYN's face mask that she wore during DD's delivery to keep any gut splatters off of her face. Did your OB have one, you know, the kind that's made of clear plastic and looks like an upside down lampshade on her head, tight around the neck and open at the top? DH and I laughed like hell when she wore it, but now we are searching all over hell and back for one. Or two, as we don't want to share with each other.

All of this came about, of course, on Monday, President's Day, when most places were closed. Luckily the doctor's office was open, and they took us at FIVE PM (thank you, Goddess, you do have some compassion). We're stocked up on meds (and now protective body armour).

Prior to being showered in vomit, here's how we spent our weekend. It's not nearly as entertaining an account as Coach Susan's, but it may offer some equally good ideas.

1. Watch Pixar's Cars 4 times in one day. It's 2 hours long, that's about 8 hours of quality time during which DD learns all about auto racing, talking cars, and complex conversations. Strangely, our DD cried through half the film the first few times she watched it. She thought it was so sad (she's a sensitive little girl, obviously not from my genes) for some reason, and in the end insisted we pull up "Mater's" picture to read him a story (or three or four) with her. Finally DH had to draw a picture of said Mater, "He's my friend, Mommy," for DD to put next to her bed with her. I tell you, it does a mother's heart good to see her daughter creating complex, loving relationships with cartoon characters who have buck teeth.

2. Cut DD's hair myself, using kitchen scissors that are more than twice her age. Do it without wetting the hair. Do it without a towel around her. Do it while she's squirming on DH's lap. Then hand her the scissors (she asked for them, after all), and calmly watch her as she proceeds to cut it herself (exclaiming while she does it, of course, that "I can do it myself!").

So then, sit her back down on the chair, grab said scissors, and chop another 4" off to even it up. Except note that you're not a hairdresser, you use your scissors to cut things like food packages and wrapping paper, and your child thinks, "Sit still" refers to the cats lounging on the floor looking at you like the idiot that you are. So instead of cutting 4", you cut about 2" on one side and about 5" from another. Then you get to try to even it up again.

I tell you, it's fun times in Chez Rae.

Unveiling some truly crapolicious photos of said cut. It's a good thing the girl has some inherent cuteness, and it's a good thing that my crappy cell phone camera takes such high quality photos. You can't detect the true horridness of this cut.

But you know what, it killed a good two hours from start to finish.

3. As Coach Susan so aptly describes, bundle DD up like the Michellin Tire Man and lug her to Palisaid's Park in NYC. This is one of those malls with a Ferris Wheel and a Merry Go Round in it, not to mention a slew of other shoppertainment venues. Thanks to Amy's suggestion of mall-trekking (DH and I abhor malls; we're weird that way), we sucked it up and went.

DD loved the Merry Go Round, and kind of got into the Ferris Wheel. When we were at the pinnacle of the FW and DD wanted to open the door to look down from our cart, I admit I thought about it for a moment. Presenting itself was yet another way to kill a few hours of the day: take child to hospital to fix her broken ___ (fill in the blank). But alas, I have a lovely DH who came to his senses and promptly stopped DD from opening the door.

To make the trip even more eventful, forget to feed DD. And then realize she has a fever probably of about 101 or 102 while finally trying to give her some food, which she refuses. DH and I, meanwhile, ordered Singapore Slings at 1:30 PM. DD got apple juice and a cheeseburger (along with a nice fiery fever).

Argue with DH about DD's sick signs. Back and forth, it can kill quite a bit of time (and block DD's screaming). Nice. Nice times. Thanks mall.

As you can see, we didn't have nearly the adventures that Coach Susan had this past weekend, but we tried. Thanks team, for all your suggestions. Keep them coming -- next weekend is only a few days away.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Calling All Knitters

Since my blog gets a deluge of visitors (YH has nothing on me, for sure), I thought I'd broadcast the word:

I'm a recluse knitter, happy and fully content to sit on the comfyness of my couch and knit every evening with a lovely DH by my side and an insanely delightful child slumbering in bed. But for this I will emerge, pull myself out of the yarn stash up to my neck, lug my growing sock with me to town, and pound down the door for my presence to be noticed. YH makes a great case for it, and I'm answering her call-to-arms.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Who said it would be easy?

I haven't posted too much about this because it's so NOT knitty, but when life decides to come at you, watch out.

In addition to my knitting adventures (oh they're so reckless), the last three weeks have brought a deluge of problems and complications. It's such a crazy mix of stressful events that by themselves are difficult and together are just a fiasco.

Enter stressor #1: As I mentioned awhile ago, I had a miscarriage that didn't expel naturally. This week I went in for a D&C. The procedure itself was uneventful -- I showed up at 10 AM, and I was home by 1. The surgery center was top class (thanks NJ millionaires who demand good service and are willing to let a few of us non-millionaires take advantage of those services), and all was well.

Enter stressor #2: Wednesday, not a mere 24-hours after the surgery, I was schlepping in full-out BLIZZARD to a JOB INTERVIEW. Yup. A job interview. Job interview #2 for job prospect #2 (prospect #1 is on vacation). [I won't even talk about the stressors of interviewing while knowing you're PG, as that's a moot point, but think about the complications of THAT for a sec.] Interview went well. Loved the team. Liked the boss. Liked the work A LOT. Good vibes all around. Not that stressful by itself, but combined with Stressor #1, slightly more stress than by itself.

Enter stressor #3: Thursday I woke up feeling wretched. Had a headache like none I've ever had before, and I kept thinking, "Gosh, I just feel weak. A weakling." Not thinking I could be sick or something but that I've turned into a blob of jelly with a skeleton and I need to take drastic fitness measures. Trekked into the city through the muck and crud and cold for a 30 min in-person meeting (no other reason), and felt just awful. Dragging, cold, chills, miserable. A headache to no end. I was in a fog.

I went home early because DH had to make a presentation last night and I needed the car to get DD. I went home at 3 to rest before picking up DD at 5:30, and spent 2 hours huddled under blankets and sweaters and even my coat (yes, my coat) trying to get warm. No avail. I shivered the entire 2.5 hours and had actual muscle cramps from shivering so much.

5:30 I leave to pick up DD, even stopping off to drop off the recycling. Pick her up, shake the entire way home, and once at home finally take my temp.

Well, what do you know! 102.3. Call the on-call OB/GYN. 15 min later, a temp of 103.2! Hm. Gotta go to the emergency room.

Now stop for a second and think.

Here I am with a 2.5 YO alone. No DH. No immediate neighbors to help out. And the dr saying, "How are you so lucid with a temp of 103.2?" Hello Doc, I have no choice, thank you very much. So, I gathered up DD, packed an overnight bag for her, called some friends across town, and dropped her off. Then I interrupted DH's presentation, drove and picked him up, and finally made it to the ER at 7:30.

But oh, wait, (if you've made it this far), while driving to the ER, the recruiter called me. What do I do? The career gal who values career almost as much as her child? I take the call of course! Standing in front of the ER entrance, with DH giving me looks that kill, I'm chatting with the recruiter about salaries, strategies, etc. Finally, "Oh, I don't mean to be rude, but I really do need to run. I'll call you tomorrow." I left out, "I'm checking myself into the ER right now as we speak, but as soon as I get settled, I'll give you a call back."

[Alert: Actual Knitting Content Follows]
While writhing in the ER bed, an IV in my right arm at the elbow point, facing being admitted to the hospital, I started giving DH a list of things to bring from home the next day. Clothes, a toothbrush, and fuck! This fucking IV is not in my hand but in my arm, and I can't bend my arm! No knitting! Fuckers. At least DH laughed and laughed and laughed. In fact, we laughed through most of the night, pain and all.

To wrap this long saga up, the stressors are waning. First they admitted me, then said I could go home if I wanted. I made it home by 3 AM. No infection (thank goodness), though there are some complications (non-threatening at the moment). The fever broke and now I'm simply bleeding buckets. The dr said this is normal and to keep an eye on it this weekend.

Dear friends dropped off DD at daycare after a fun, eventful sleepover with her friend. We'll pick her up normal time after getting some rest today. Hopefully she'll get some rest, too. She was up late (of course).

And I'm calling the HR rep and recruiter in an hour.

Life goes on.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you for all your good suggestions. These were great!

I did sew on the buttons. They did have a shank, and I used the sweater yarn (not floss). I left a long tail on the wrong side of the knitting (to weave in), went up and over a couple of stitches, through the shank hole, back down to the wrong side (making sure not to split the yarn), and then through it all once more. I ended with two long tails on the wrong side, knotted them, and then wove them in. The wrong side actually looks pretty clean and straight!

Now if someone could give me as detailed a tutorial on fixing cameras as on sewing buttons onto knitting, I could post pics. ;)

Now I'm on to knitting a beautifully lacy sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm using Lorna's Laces (that had the detested knots in it), which is OK. I think I'm partial to STR, both the weight, feel, and colors. LL is beautiful yarn, much like the Schaeffer yarn I used for my mom's socks, but I think I like STR best.

Still, this sock is lovely, and I can't wait to finish it. Delicate and beautiful.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How do you

sew on a button to a knitted garment?

I want to finish the baby sweater I knit for MIL's dear friend and ship it out before the little bugger is too big to wear it. I knit the baby kimono from MD knitting, adding button holes in a straight front panel (instead of the wrap-around, which seems too girly for a boy). So, the sweater is done. Seamed. Blocked. Perfect.

Except for the buttons.

How do you attach buttons? Do you knot the thread when you're done? How do you make sure the buttons don't pull the knitting?

I quick google search didn't turn up too much. I read a few tips --

- attach felt to the back of the button on the other side of the knitting
- attach another small button on the other side of the knitting to essentially sew two buttons together
- use regular thread and knot 3 times

All of this seems OK, but how do you actually sew it on? Do you go down, through, and around the knitting from front side to the wrong side, or do you use a sharper needle and sew through the yarn (as if you're weaving in thin, split yarn tails that ravel easily)? My ONE book -- Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques -- doesn't talk about sewing on the button. (I know, I know I need to catch Julie's lust for reading and researching so I can learn how to knit the right way, be it by borrowing books from our beloved library, purchasing my own, or a bit of both).

Thank you for any suggestions you have!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Work is slow today. I have a ton of it to do, but my computer came to a screeching halt and I can't get anything done. Except blogging. :) I honestly, sincerely don't know why I can surf and blog but my email is dead slow and I can't work on my files. Ugh.

In any case, I have a QUESTION that I would LOVE to have answered --

Why is some yarn shipped in hanks? Julie? Why hanks? Why not skeins? Is it to see the colorway better?

Since I don't have a swift and winder (sp?), I HATE hanks. What a pain. And we live in a teeny tiny apartment (that I actually like the size of), and I have no intention of getting a swift and winder. Maybe I should reconsider, but we just don't have the space (we have a total of 4 closets in our house and 3 occupants).

Anyway, why hanks?

Snarfled from Amy

Your Linguistic Profile:
65% General American English
25% Dixie
5% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Maybe, just maybe

Maybe, just maybe I'm .... LEARNING! And/or becoming less lazy of a knitter.

I had wanted to call this post "Pretty Feet" and show my first anklet sock that I made for myself using STR. Alas, it'll have to wait.

I knit this sock up in record time. The anklet was fast, but even the foot part went fast. I did a straight St st, so it flew. The gusset st look so beautiful -- even and aligned. The St st is pretty and straight, giving full due to the gorgeous colors. Even DH commented on how pretty the colors are. I tried it on many times, noting that it was a snug sock (foreshadowing) but still fit. I'd just chock it up to a snuggly footie. I kept knitting.

I made it to the toe, followed the decreases for a pointed toe, and tried the sock on a few rows before the end. It was Tight. My toes were squeezed. Squozed. Smushed. The sock too short. Hm, I thought, I want to *wear* these socks, and I want to cast off my lazy knitting ways. So, rip back to the beginning of the toe decreases, knit several more rows to lengthen the foot, and then redo the toe.

I honestly didn't think I'd get all that done in one day, but late last night while in the middle of a movie, I tried the sock on again and the length was much better.

But ...

The sock is just really snug. Just. REALLY. SNUG. And I don't like the pointed toe. I thought about this a lot while knitting the toe, but I didn't know what to do about it. My toes are broad, not pointy, and they have a natural, straight, graceful slant to them from big toe to little toe. This is what caused me to decrease prematurely before: the knitting instructions I have said "begin the toe shaping about 2" before the end of the sock." But where is 2" -- measured from my big toe or my pinky?? I took a guess and did it from about the middle of the two. And the first time around it was too short.

So, at 10:30 last night, I put it away. I did whip out my Knitting Vintage Socks book by Nancy Bush to look at the different kinds of toes. I may try (foreshadowing again) a rounded toe instead of a pointed toe. It looks much more like the shape of my foot.

And yes, you did read right -- I'm going to rip this sock and redo it, probably from the very start. I don't know how to adjust the st of the sock, as it's too tight around. I may go up a needle size (from 2.0 to 3.0 mm), but I also thought I could just adjust the st. The only real thinking part will be in the heel flap (should it be longer as well as broader? I think maybe not) and in the short rows (I have to follow the short row directions very closely -- they haven't "clicked" for me yet).

Kate Gilbert on Needles on Fire put out instructions for a generic sock that you plug in calculations and voila, you have a recipe. Er, um, a pattern. So I may check that out.

I also wonder if it's snug because its in St st. I hate ribbing, and this yarn is just so pretty that, well, I love the plain St st to let the colors show in all their glory.

So all this to say that I'm tempted to just let the sock be what it is because I spent so much time knitting it. But, it's not right, and I LOVE this yarn. In fact, I think it's the yarn that's making me knit it over and over again. If I were lukewarm on the yarn, I'd probably just give the pair to my mom (who has smaller feet). But these are MY socks, and I'm going to make them RIGHT.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Knitty gossip

This is a really gossipy post. Of course, even to knitters it'll probably be rather tame, but I don't usually talk about people per se, but this is one of those times I do.


Yesterday I went to my favorite LYS a few towns over from mine for the express purpose of picking up cute buttons for a baby sweater I knit awhile ago (and that, given the recent events, is past being delivered for the baby shower). When I walked in, I saw my old knitting instructor, who I hadn't seen for just about a year or so. We chatted, had a good time, and she proceeded to show me Lorna's Laces sock yarn, which just arrived.

Given Grumperina's resounding love of this yarn, I had to check it out. I LOVE STR, but I'm so curious about LL's. So, I took a look, took a look at the price, found two hanks of the same color and dye lot, and purchased.

They come in hanks, and I don't have a swif (swift?) and winder. My LYS graciously let me use theirs, and hank one wound up like a charm. But hank two had a very weird twist in it and couldn't be wound on the swif and winder. In fact, TWO HOURS LATER and SEVERAL HUGE TANGLED KNOTS later, I finally wound that !@#$%^ hank into a ball.

TWO HOURS. For an $11 hank! WFT?

All I can say is this yarn had better knock my socks off, make me look 10 lbs lighter, and make passionate luv to my feet, because I've spent two friggen hours on this shit already and all I have to show for it is a sloppy hand-wound ball of yarn.


HOWEVER, I did get a chance to get some good gossip in. I like my LYS, but as you can probably guess from past posts, I'm not a very homey, chit-chatty, sorority-girl type of gal. I'm direct, I negotiate fiercely for salaries in new jobs and in reviews, and I fight like I mean it. I'm kind of snotty albeit a bit dorky, not the world's greatest knitter by any means (and probably not the world's greatest anything, truth be told), but my favorite company is myself. I *DO* like other people and have dear dear lovely in-person and cyber friends who enrich my life, but, well, nothing compares to being in your own skin. I like mine.

So anyway, I had a nice 2 hour chat with the ladies there, soaking in gossip about other LYS owners (all whose shops I've been to), when the conversation turned to the blessed YH. Yup, our very own Stephanie Pearl-McPhee whose blog delights me to no end and whose skills make my jaw drop. My LYS pals discussed her latest books and decried what they deem as a true decline in the quality of her latest books.

"Knitting substance, not philosophy. Give me a darned good bible of knitting techniques and how-tos. That's what I want. Not some mopey dopey diatribe about the psychology and philosophy of knitting."

I have to admit I've NEVER read YH's books. I read her blog daily and check it twice-daily for that rare double post, but I've never read her books. Somewhere in this blog I've mentioned how I'm not a reader. True. True. I'm not a reader (though I majored in literature and I can usually devour a book in a night or two if it engrosses me).

But, all I could think in response to my YS friends was how I see book after book called "Knitting Techniques" and "Knitter's Bible" and "Everything You Need to Know about Knitting." OK, maybe not these EXACT titles, but surely, there must be some ungodly number of books out there that claim to be "IT" in knitting techniques.

But knitting philosophy? The spirit of knitting? The joy of it? Its pains and aches and splendor? Well why not? Technique books are technique books and have a very well-deserved place on the shelf. But art and philosophy? Those belong, too. And why not? Life is multi-dimensional, quite possibly in dimensions that our human minds can't comprehend. So why not delight in those dimensions?

Anyway, so I told you this would be a boring post, even though I tried to jazz it up with a juicy title including the word gossip. All the same, I raise my glass to technique books, history books, fiction books, non-fiction books, philosophy books, art books, and even food books that revolve around knitting. Cheers to you!

I am human

Well today I felt a tremendous saddness about the loss of this pregnancy. It's still not necessarily for this particular entity -- I still hold that I didn't have a relationship with this little guy. But this morning DD found out in a rather awful way, and I feel so horrible for her.

We had a rough morning at home -- DD woke up a good hour or so before her normal time. She was very cranky with DH, who graciously got up with her, read her books, etc. But when I got up DD fell apart and just wanted Mommy (even though I was happy to sleep by myself while DH coddled her). Anyway, it was a kicking and screaming and angry fit throughout the morning until we loaded up and went to daycare.

While a tired and grumpy DH waited in the car, I dropped off DD. When I walked into DD's daycare, I saw one of DD's favorite teachers. She immediately said, "Congratulations!" I shook my head and said, "No, not this time." She looked confused, and I simply said, "Well, it's gone" and walked to DD's class (I didn't want to be rude, but I was in a hurry feeling that passive-aggressive anger from DH who had an admittedly crappy morning with a cranky DD).

Then, in the classroom, DD's head teacher said, "You know, LL is going to be a big sister. And AM is going to be a big brother. Yesterday DD said she's going to be a big sister, too!" All the kids were around, the teacher and I were squatting next to the kids, me tugging DD's jacket off, trying to hurry to get a grouchy DH to work. And I said, "Well, not this time. It's gone." And DD looked at me, screamed, "NO! I *AM* going to be a Big Sister!" and started to cry.


In my typical fashion, I stopped, looked at DD, and calmly said, "Well sweetheart, sometimes these things just go away." I am happy to talk to DD about death, even using the word dead, but I know not everyone talks to their kids that way, and I was sensitive to the other kids around. Especially those with sisters or brothers gestating. They didn't need to think that their siblings would die, at least not for another 80 years or so. So, I shielded my words, gave DD a hug, told her she was a special girl but that, at least right now, she wasn't going to be a big sister. Not yet. And that's OK to not be a big sister.


About an hour later, waiting at the drs office for a blood test to measure the PG hormones, I had this overwhelming urge to get DD from daycare and spend the day with her. I felt the oddest sensation of wanting to apologize to her over and over again for not making her a big sister. And I wanted to give her a baby simply to make her a big sister. Not because I necessarily crave another child (although I do welcome it), but because I had taken something from her and wanted to give it back.

All in due time. Maybe.

Related to this I've been thinking about knitting. Cara at January One talked about her knitting project while her DH went through some major medical trauma. She talked about how the knitting was theraputic in the waiting room, helping her pass the time and get her frustration out via needles and yarn instead of people. But afterwards, her FO was tinged with a bit of that history, a bit of that frustration and pain and anxiety.

I re-started my first pair of socks, for me, using Socks That Rock yarn, which I've been wanting to knit up for almost 6 months now. I envisioned knitting with it in the drs office waiting for all this to start, knitting on the couch while resting afterwards, etc. And I wondered, would this be tainted?

Given who I am and how I feel (or don't feel) about so many things in life, I think not. I think they'll be my first pair of socks, knitted with a very beautiful STR yarn and color, and knit in a sock pattern of my own making.

Now I am knitting a snuggly, a snuggly for me, not the world. And it does make me feel better.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Blogger

I just updated to the new blogger -- I couldn't get into my old blogger account!

Email me at knittingtales(at)gmail(dot)com if you have problems!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I can't let that last post be *the* post staring me (and you) in the face for however long until my next post.

Today I ripped and re-cast for my very own pair of socks, knit with socks-that-rock no less. It's my own hybrid pattern, cobbled together from different places. I'm a bit nervous because, well, I've only knit 3 pairs of socks total! But, I figure I can pull various pieces from basic patterns and come out with a decent pair. I posted before, but I only have one hank (purchased before I knit a single pair of socks). I don't have enough for a nice, luvely pair that's half-calf. So, these will be anklets.

I have a picot edge, with the tips covering 2 st. So, I then have a 2x2 rib corresponding with the picot edges. From there I'll switch to St st. I'm hoping the rib will be enough to hold the sock up. This yarn is so beautiful that I want a plain st to show it off. Again, it's an experiment, and I'm way excited.

Also, on other exciting news (to me at least, since I'm a narcissist), I think the recent physical events have prompted me to be a little more introspective. I'm actually YEARNING to read. That's a long-forgotten feeling. I've devoured some books recently. Most are child-rearing books I read in just a few days. Another one I read in a few hours -- a 200 page book in a few hours (it was an easy read, and I loved it; wish I could remember the author and title). Anyway, I listed 5 books today that I want to read. Some fiction, some non-fiction. I see this as a good sign. Balance. Since DD I've abandoned books. Time to get some of "me" back (other than knitting).

A non-knitty, very gory, very potentially controversial post

I have a very personal, very controversial issue going on in my life right now. I haven't shared because, well, read on. You'll understand. Interestingly, now that it's all over, I'm sharing, and sharing not only the event but my very deep, personal, and raw feelings. But I don't keep a journal, and this is itching to get out of my system. It's a public blog, I know, and I risk a lot of backlash (not that I have many readers, but I am employed and we all know about the upset employers have felt about employee blogs). But it's my journal, my blog, my life, and here goes.

BTW, if you're fervently religious, don't believe in individual autonomy, and have very strong feelings about topics considered inappropriate for cocktail parties and the dinner table, please quit reading here. I'm not writing this to incite anger or controversy or anything like that. I'm just venting. A long, needed, exhaustive, and narcissistic vent.

I've been pregnant for about 9 weeks now. Of course, I've kept it under wraps because, well, these things are precarious. I have had a miscarriage before, so DH and I know a) not to broadcast these things, and b) not to get too attached, at least for awhile.

Well, sure enough, the embryo didn't make it. In fact, it died at 6 weeks (yes, you did read "9 weeks" correct above -- keep reading). My mom says that's so cold. So harsh to say DEAD. But as I tell DD about dead birds on the sidewalk or in the yard, dead cats or dogs in the street, etc, dead is dead. It's dead. And so is this.

Here's the potentially controversial part -- I'm not necessarily sad for losing this "child." In fact, this wasn't a child to me. It was the potential of a child, but it wasn't a child. I didn't have a personal, emotional relationship with this entity. I had a physical one, but one far removed from my emotions, my heart, my brain, even, at least at a conscious, interactive level.

I am sad that we aren't adding to our family ... yet. I am sad that DD doesn't have a sibling ... yet. I am sad that I won't give birth in September. But I'm not sad about this individual entity. And actually, I'm not sad to NOT be pregnant. I did not enjoy this pregnancy.

I don't take this event as a sign. I don't take it personally. I don't take it as a message that I should change my life -- take colder showers or eat less sushi or exercise more or less or stop working or quit picking my boogers (I don't really pick my boogers, but I did want to write it all the same).

No, I take this event as an event in life. Something that happens. It's just ... what it is. Nothing more, nothing less, and I am truly OK with it. My feelings aren't hurt. I'm not devastated. I'm not weeping uncontrollably. *IF* DH and I choose, we will try again and possibly add to our family. We may decide to try and it won't work. We may decide not to try. All the same, no matter the outcome, we love each other. We love our child. We're confident in ourselves, and we're not going to stop living because of this event.

(Now the gory and angry part)
What I AM upset about is that I have not passed the dead embryo. I've carried this thing for 9 weeks, and it died at 6 weeks development. My body is holding onto it for some reason, and it bothers me. It REALLY bothers me.

BUT, I don't necessarily want to intervene and remove it through medical science. I don't need to biopsy it (my dr wants to so he can identify the exact chromosomal defect). I don't need to know if there are genetic mutations in it that rendered it inviable (unviable?). I don't need to know the answers to every single event and mystery in life. And I don't believe in intervening unless it's truly an emergency. I'm skeptical of C-sections. I'm skeptical of supplements and nutritional additives. I'm skeptical of so many things in our lives that we're told we "need." I like simple. I like plain. I like natural.

But this, ugh. I'm waiting until the end of this week to see if anything will happen naturally, and then we'll consider the D&C. But I'm mad about it. Really really pissed off about it. Now I DO wonder if I were healthier -- exercised more, was leaner, was more fit, etc -- if it would pass on its own.

I'm just boiling, raging mad about it.

Next post will be happier. I promise.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A true FO

Not an almost-FO, or an FO-but-I-have-to-block-it-someday FO, or any other form of FO, but an ACTUAL Finished Object.

And of course, no pics because, well, DH hasn't sent our camera in to be fixed yet. Or purchased a new one because, well, we're on a budget.

But in any case, an FO: DH's first pair of socks. $20 socks, no less, using a very nice wool in navy blue with streaks of pale blue throughout. I knit him Gentleman's Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks book. They turned out really nicely, and the pattern was a breeze to follow. It took very little time for me to remember the repeats, and I threw out the stitch counter on the second sock all together.

Now onto a pair of socks for me. MY FIRST PAIR. They'll be my fourth pair, but first for me. I'm going to make up the pattern a bit -- I don't have enough yarn for a full pair, and I want a very simple sock. So, we'll see.

I do promise pics someday. Promises shmomises. I know, but I really do promise.

BTW, an all-out Hail Mary to Rabbitch for actually posting the phrase "handspun pubes of Jesus." Stopped me in my tracks with loud, buffooning cawing and cackling. Holy moly.