Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vidi, Knitti, Froggi (I saw, I knit, I frogged)

From the name of this post, you can probably guess what happened. As I mentioned in a previous post, my self imposed sock club task was to knit a pair of socks each month. For this month, I pulled the Skew sock pattern, and some very wonderful yarn that I bought for myself. I was excited about this project because it was different and a challenge (and for ME).

Whelp, it was a challenge. Knitting from the inside and the outside of the ball to knit both socks at the same time, I completed the socks to the bind off with more than a week left in the month. This was despite a road trip to Florida and back (during which I did surprisingly little knitting), a viewing and funeral, a sore wrist, a brief stint of sitting uselessly when the baby was napping, and the demands of an increasingly mobile baby. Look!

There's a reason that picture isn't of the socks on my feet, or even of both socks. I knew the biasing of the stitches would make the socks less stretchy, and I thought I'd accounted for that. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for it over the largest point of my foot, specifically the heel/ankle area. I bound off the first sock on Saturday. Before binding off the other one, I couldn't resist trying the first one on. It didn't fit. ::sigh:: So I tried a stretchier bind off, and it still didn't fit. ::double sigh:: I could give them to a friend, but as I mentioned before, this yarn is MINE. I don't want to share it. So I frogged the first sock down to the heel, thinking that maybe I could just rework the heel and make it bigger, and tried it on again. I didn't account for the biasing enough, apparently, as they simply don't fit at all. I could reknit the socks in a larger size, but that yarn on a larger needle won't look very good, and I don't want to do the math necessary to get this sock over my apparently giant foot.

I totally knit the socks for this month. I would have finished them before the end of the month! I would have, if the damn things had just fit. I think I'll use the yarn to make Jaywalkers. Maybe I'll even have them done before the end of the month...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Because life goes on.

As I mentioned before, my birthday was a few days ago. For years now, my birthday has been largely the same routine, at least in so far as the morning goes: I wake up at about 630 and shower. My father calls me at 7am and sings Happy Birthday to me, badly. I talk to him a few minutes, and then play Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday", loudly. Then I go on with my day. It's a wonderful, silly, happy way to start the day. I once asked my dad why he called so early in the morning. He told me he liked to set the tone for my whole day, and so he had to get his call in before I'd even spoken to anyone else. This year, I woke up and showered at 630, but there was no phone call at 7. I knew there would be no phone call at 7 because I'd buried my father only three days before.

He had some kind of episode just before Christmas and was non-responsive for a couple of days while they did testing. Then he had another episode (the doctors never called it a stroke, but it probably was) and was again non-responsive. He passed away peacefully on the 28th. My older brother, RD, was at the hospital. My younger brother, BC, was in Michigan working, and I was at home, with a cold. BC called me and said that dad had no pulse. I knew what that meant, because the decision to not resuscitate had already been made, but I think he was as reluctant to make that final statement as I was to hear it. So I told him to keep me posted and relayed the information to GF, who said my family was weird. "Why?" "Because you don't know, for sure, if your dad is dead or alive right now." Which was entirely fair, I suppose.

Anywho, GF and I packed the car, put NA into his car seat, and drove down to Florida for the funeral. While the occasion was not ideal (and I'm sad that my dad didn't get to meet my baby boy), everyone did get to love on the babies (BC and his wife have a daughter three weeks younger than NA, in addition to their two year old son). At one point, RD was holding NA and they made eye contact. NA smiled hugely and leaned into RD's shoulder, as if to hug him. In the limo, on our way to the cemetery, the babies started talking to each other and smiling and holding hands. It was adorable. Babies are a wonderful distraction, and I couldn't help but think how much joy they would have brought my dad, as they are his legacy in a way.

So my birthday this year was not so grand, at least in the beginning. It got better as the day went on, both because I can't stay sad with NA around and because I was overwhelmed by warm fuzzy loving wishes. By the next day, I was feeling much better and ready to face my new routine. Because life goes on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Dilemma

Lots of people make a New Year's resolution to lose weight and get healthy. I also tend to make one, but then I get derailed. It takes me much less time to get derailed than a lot of people, I feel, and it took me years to figure out why. My birthday is two weeks into the New Year. As in, on the 11th. While I could behave and work out and all that starting on the 1st, there seems to be no point to it, as I KNOW there will be cake and something wonderful to eat for dinner (and if I'm lucky for breakfast) and I. Will. Need. To. Eat. It. ALL. I will have dinner and then cake (GF is baking me a cake - last year's was strawberry). I will have cake for breakfast the day after my birthday (because cake o'clock is a family tradition), and again for dessert that night. I will get vaguely cranky about having to share my cake, and will have the cake until the cake is all gone, and then I will hope that my friend (you know who you are), will bake me ANOTHER cake because I lurves it and didn't get to have any in November. This happens every year. I have a sort of rebellion throughout the month of January because well dammit it's my birthday and a single day is not enough of a celebration, so I think I should have the whole week month to enjoy myself. I revel in the gluttony (I know it's a deadly sin, but it's my birthday!!!). This year has the added disadvantage of an unplanned road trip this weekend (where I will eat lots of road food), and a funeral at one end of it (with the requisite need for comfort food).

All of this to say that, for me, the holidays aren't over until the fat lady (that'd be ME) sings. This year, that means that I'll get back on the horse in February. I currently have a goal of approximately 50 pounds that I'd like to lose. I'm hoping to get through the month without adding to that total. I'm going to try to maintain my current state this month, but I'm also going to enjoy myself. Then, on February 1, I'll get started on a diet/exercise plan and behave...

Except that then there's Valentine's Day... :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Sorry for the silence. I have a six month old. He's crawling and has opinions... Ye, gods. I have time to blog right now in large part because I'm stuck in bed with a cold that I've been trying to ignore. I sure hope I'm not starting the year as I will be going on, because I have no interest in spending the whole damn year with a head cold thanks to my darling little germ factory. Although, it would mean a great deal of knitting time...

I have been knitting - but I don't really have so many pictures to share because I tend to forget to take pictures before I give the things away... BUT I do have something fun to show you! I've been inspired! I'm taking an idea from the Yarn Harlot, and making my own sock club out of yarns I have in my stash. As she suggested, I've taken the yarns, paired them with patterns, put them in Ziplocs, and (because I don't have an available shelf) stuffed them in a box. Here's the box:

There are socks for GF, socks I intend to gift, and socks for me. They are in no particular order and run the gamut from absolute vanilla socks to downright spicy fun. Then, I turned the box around and around and reached in with my eyes closed and pulled out a bag. This bag.

Amusingly, the socks for January are for me (since it's my birth month, this seems wholly reasonable), using a spicy pattern I'm very excited about. The pattern is called Skew, by Lana Holden. The yarn is from the Great Adirondack Company, a limited edition yarn I picked up this past fall.

Also, do you remember the socks I had to stop because I - ahem - ran out of yarn? Well I did finish them. I got a solid yarn and striped the toe. Because we're all about solutions here, once we work our way past the initial irritation. Happily, I was able to complete them in time to gift them to my darling fried J, who has had a LOT to do with my ability to remain sane this year.

I hope you all four had a wonderful (sigh) fall and holiday season, and I hope you're ready to begin 2011. I hope you're happy and healthy (unlike me ::sniffle::). I'll be starting my socks in bed...