10

Chameleon Off My Back


 
We’ve got ourselves the very first summer cold of the season :(
 

  • Sore throat – check!
  • Headache – check!
  • Achy muscles – check!
  • Post-nasal drip – check!
  • Boogies – check!
  • Sick baby, sick Mama – check!
  • Ancient 2-year old unfinished scarf, now finished – CHECK & CHECK!!

 

 

  • Pattern:  Chameleon Scarf by Lorilee Beltman (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Yardage is approximate here as I didn’t keep good track of exactly how much I used.  Something like 2 balls of Patons SWS in “Natural Green”, 2 balls of Patons SWS in “Natural Crimson”, and 1 ball of Patons SWS in “Natural Geranium”.
  • Needles:  Size 6 bamboo dpns
  • Mods:  Substituted a different striping yarn and only worked 10 large motifs and 9 small motifs (instead of 11 large and 10 small)

 

 
I’m calling this “That 70’s Scarf” because the colors remind me of retro-nasty appliances and tableware.  You know the ones.  All orange and avocado and yellow with crazy mushrooms and weird chickens strewn all over the place, and those creepy little kids with big heads and big eyes looking out from those “Happiness Is….” pictures.  I’m not usually diggin’ on that, but for some reason I kinda like how these colors look together.  This scarf makes me, well, happy.  I only wish I had knit the squares on bigger needles so that it was a bit lighter and airier.  Because this thing is frickin’ heavy & dense as all get out.  Good thing I shortened it a little too because it’s plenty long.  I don’t know why it took me so long to finish this.  It’s not like it was a difficult knit. Even the seaming, which I was dreading like the pox, wasn’t so bad.  I finished all of that in two quick sittings.  No, I think the real sticking point was my lack of imagination.  Because the Patons SWS ended up having much shorter color repeats than the Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Cotton that the pattern called for, I had to do a lot of planning ahead to make sure I got squares with enough variety to offset each other when sewn together.  After a while I just got tired of lugging them all out, laying them end to end, and trying to decide what colors needed to come next.  But eventually, the idea of having this fantastically old UFO just hanging about, became harder to deal with than just sitting down and planning some colors dammit.  So I got myself motivated and finally finished it.  And it feels so amazing to have finally completed this!  Now onto the next UFO….. my Jaywalkers!
 

An Outtake


 
And on a gorgeous sunny Saturday last weekend, my darling hubby and I took the baby for a walk in the warm sunshine and snapped some great pics.  No idea where we caught the sick-nasty cold bugs, but at least we got out to enjoy some fresh air before we had to be cooped up inside getting over the yucks. Hope you’re staying healthy!

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8

Knitting It Out

Knittymunchkin & Frog Are Friends


 
Wow.  This mom business is frickin’ HARD.  One of the suckiest things a new mom will ever have to experience has to be letting your child “cry it out”.  It’s heartbreaking really, especially for a soft-hearted pushover like me.  Knittymunchkin has a lot of trouble going to sleep on his own and staying asleep is an issue too.  We’ve been working on it but both R. Darling and I feel terrible just sitting there and letting him cry himself to sleep.  Because, man, do we have one tenacious little guy!  I swear he will keep bawling his eyes out for the better part of an hour betting that one of us will go and pick him up.  I can hardly take it.
 
This morning was no different.  I laid him down in his bed and he was drowsy, almost asleep.  Soon as I took my hands away – wham! – those eyes flew open and the pout was in full force.  By the time my shadow darkened the doorway on the way out of the bedroom, the tears and wailing had started up.  I gritted my teeth and walked to the living room, steeling myself to the wretched cries of my poor little baby.  Knitting saved me.
 
One of the things I love about knitting is its ability to calm the nerves.  Something about the click of needles and the swoosh of fiber over them can soothe my tension like no other.  When it comes to letting your little one cry themselves to sleep, knitting is the perfect diversion.  You can always lay down your work if your child really does need you that instant.  But if it’s a matter of giving them a chance to learn something on their own and dampening your own ability to interfere I say that a simple lace patterned hat or sock will do that like nobody’s business.  Because if you’re like me, you always want to get to the end of a lace repeat, or finish one row on the heel you’re turning, before stopping to do something else.  Perfect if you are battling with yourself over whether to go and pick up the baby.  Wait, just one more row and then I’ll go pick him up. By the time you get to the end of that row he might have quieted down and then you just keep knitting.  Mom – 1, Baby – 1.  Backsliding purposefully avoided.
 
So this morning I’m working on a baby hat for our neighbor who also happens to be one of R. Darling’s co-workers.  She had an incredibly stressful pregnancy and things are not necessarily o.k. now that she’s had her little girl.  I feel for her because I had a very stressful pregnancy too (something I didn’t really talk about here) and though things turned out great for us, the journey was really rough.  The kind gestures we received from our neighbors (who I had previously thought of as mere acquaintances) meant so much to us when we brought Knittymunchkin home and I want to make her a little gift so she’ll know that our little family is keeping her in our thoughts.  I think it was meant to be since the pattern I chose called for yarn already in my stash in girly pink, and the diversion was just what I needed this morning to “knit it out” while Knittymunchkin cried his way to sleep.

6

Blue

It’s 4:30 AM and I’m awake. In a hotel somewhere in the armpit of Washington, I draw open the curtain and look out.  The rumble of construction noise swirls up to greet me, a muffled pinging of sheet metal punctuating the background.  For some reason I’m surprised to find men already hard at work in the smudgy dawn light.  I know I shouldn’t be, but somehow I still am.  The ground looks wet and I feel sorry for them, that they have to work in the miserable damp air, sweating over the concrete and lumber dust.  The sky looks how I feel; leaden, brooding, downcast.  Why is it that when we are feeling a little low, we always say we feel blue?  Why not grey, or black?  Blue could never reflect the melancholy I feel this morning.
 
I’ve never been much of a blue-lover.  Maybe that’s because it really doesn’t suit me.  Imagine my surprise when I bought 3 hanks of this deep blue Artyarns Supermerino (shade #107) a couple summers ago.  For some reason I liked the color, but I think I ultimately bought it thinking I’d gift it to someone in a swap at some point.  Hey, it was on sale for 30% off and I was already going stone cold crazy buying yarn that day, so what damage would a couple more hanks really do?  It never really crossed my mind I might want them for myself until I pulled them out for Knittymunchkin’s BSJ and found myself inexplicably drawn to the color.  So attracted in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to use all 3 hanks of it on his BSJ and set about looking for something small I could make out of 2 hanks or less for myself.  Yes, selfish am I.
 
Behold the Breathe Deep Mittens, which I choose to call “Waiting to Exhale”, because I held my breath knitting the entire first mitten, hoping beyond hope I’d have enough yarn to knit the pair.  Lucky for me I did, and some to spare.
 

Breathe Deep Mittens


 

  • Pattern:  Breathe Deep by Kirsten Kapur (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  About 1.6 hanks of Artyarns Supermerino in shade #107
  • Needles:  Size 7 – 36 inch bamboo circs (for magic loop)
  • Mods:  Only worked 6 rounds in pattern for the cuff for the M/L size mittens, instead of 7 rounds; used magic loop instead of dpns

 

Waiting To Exhale


 
Oh how I love this pattern!  Clearly written & easy to follow, just detailed enough to keep it interesting, but simple enough that I could pick it up and put it down at the whim of my little boy’s naps.  These pictures just don’t do justice to the rich, deep blue of this yarn.  I wish I could have captured it better so you could see just what drew me to it, but alas, time for photo shoots is not what it used to be and I have to go with what we get when we have time to go out. Though it was a brilliant sunny day when we took these, the bright light just washed out the color.  You’ll have to take my word for it that these are gorgeous and deep like a briny tropical sea.  The best part?  I used up 1.6 hanks of stash yarn (about 167 yds) and the remaining 1.4 hanks will go into Knittymunchkin’s BSJ for a total of 3 hanks of yarn and 312 yds used up!  Yay me!  Soon I’ll have most, if not all, my stash accounted for and I’ll give you an update on how hard I’ll have to work to complete my 101 things in 1001 days goal of reducing my stash to half its current amount.
 

A Knittymunchkin Outtake


 

Until then, enjoy an outtake!

5

Teeth

Uh Oh.  I think Knittymunchkin just started teething.  Boy, are we in for it.  My little happy camper is absolutely miserable.  Won’t sleep during the day, wakes up every couple hours at night, chews on everything, and will not quit crying unless I am constantly rocking him or walking him around the house.  Poor baby.  We’re headed to the pediatrician this afternoon just to rule out anything else, though we were just there on Monday for his 4 month check up and everything looked fine.  Yeah, I’m doing the new mom freak out.
 
Speaking of teeth…..
 

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner


 
All you Twilight fans probably already know that “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” was released a few days ago.  I really don’t remember this chick from Eclipse, but I do enjoy Stephanie Meyer’s writing, so I’m going to give it a read.  And did you know that you can read it online for free until July 7, 2010?  Just go here and enjoy!  I’m normally a book purist in the sense that I would rather read a good 0ld-fashioned book than listen to an audio book or read it online, but lately I am all about the free stuff so I’m going to give it a go.  If you do decide to buy the hardcover, the added benefit is that one dollar of every book sold goes to the Red Cross.  Pretty cool!
 
Now, off to feed the baby and pack up and see if we can find a way to make him feel better!
 
Update: Knittymunchkin is apparently not teething. He just has……gas? The doctor isn’t sure, but I’m totally embarrassed.

12

On Blogging

Totally gratuitous, unrelated picture of Knittymunchkin

I heard something the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head ever since:  “Blogging is SO 5 years ago.”  Could this be true?  Do I care?  I got to thinking.

I started my own blog back in January of 2006 on Blogspot and moved to WordPress in February of 2007.  At first I was a casual blogger but something clicked when I moved to WordPress and I felt inspired.  I’ve had my ups and downs with this space, mostly related to big life changes and the occasional burnout, but that need to blog has always been there, bubbling under the surface.  I can’t wait to finish a knitting project and tell everyone here about it.  When I take a trip or see something novel, I want to take photos and share with you.  But I admit I’ve seen a decline.  Maybe about 2/3 of my blog friends are still blogging and some of those are only blogging infrequently (me included, but that’s because there’s something else that takes a lot of my time these days!).  I haven’t seen a meme in well over a year.  I know I don’t have time to read blogs like I used to and I know that mine isn’t getting read as much as it once was either.  Or at least the reduction in comments and traffic are telling me so.  But perhaps that’s due to lack of interesting content.  Believe me, I know I’m just a goldfish in a sea of exotic tropical fish when it comes to what I have to say or share.

I blame things like Twitter, Facebook, even Ravelry.  Much as I adore Ravelry and wouldn’t ever want to live without it, I think knitters have very little need to blog anymore when they can share their beautiful projects, modifications, and comments, with a giant community of other crafters all in one place.  Want new friends with similar interests?  Join one of the thousands of groups and there’s no need to surf blogs anymore.  Just log into one place and jump in the conversation.  I loves me some Ravelry, but it’s kinda rendering blogworld unnecessary for knitters.

Twitter and Facebook though?  I think these just reflect the growing tendency of our society to always be in a hurry.  Why take the time to write a full-fledged blog post when you can just tell people in 140 characters or less what you are doing at the moment? Maybe I’m a romantic, but this isn’t my way.  I tried it and hated it.  If you ask me a simple question that can be answered in just a few words, I will unfailingly begin to tell you the answer, why that’s the answer, how that relates to the world in general and why that’s important in my very own opinion.  Just ask my husband.  He finds it exasperating at times, but I can’t help it.  I’m not interested in telling you what I ate for lunch unless I can describe for you what it tasted like, what memories it brought back for me, what I saw out the window as I ate, and what that little slice of my life was like. It’s not worth it to me to share unless I can tell you a story.  That’s why I doubt I will ever give up this space, even if I take a year off someday and the cobwebs take over, both blog and mind.  That’s why I will keep blogging even if no one ever reads or cares about what I’m writing anymore.

So tell me this.  Is blogging “SO 5 years ago?”  And do you care if it is?