Saturday, December 17, 2011

Not Doing Well

I restarted the mittens, but now they're too big and I'm beginning to feel burned out on knitting.  I may go back and finish the smaller ones after all and call it a day; if they don't fit I'll just promise to make new ones after Christmas; deadline-free.

My older siblings are going back to Chicago today unexpectedly, so I won't be spending Christmas/Chanukah with them after all and I guess I'll just have to mail their gifts.  All that time could have been spent on mittens, darn it.

Other than that, I'm quite miserable, thank you.  I'm beginning to wonder if this depression has a capital D.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An update or two

I lost my nerve with the French Press Slippers when I discovered that my row gauge was way, way off.  Maybe I'll endeavor to finish them, but they most likely will not be a Christmas gift this year.  Instead I'm going to make Mom a pair of ChezPlum's Babouches, to commemorate our granny square evening and also because I think they're adorable.  I have a pair started for myself, but I ran out of yarn after finishing the first half of the first slipper.  This is actually exactly where I am on Mom's pair now, so here is a picture of what hers look like, if they were teal and lime green instead of plum and blue.

Her fingerless gloves are finished, ends woven in and all.  They are sweet and dainty, and hopefully not too super-snug.

Jenn's mittens hit a snag (called gauge, surprise surprise), but before I realized that, I let Theo pose with the WIP.

In other news, I think my husband may be reading my journal.  That doesn't bother me; it's mostly musings about Gabriel and loneliness, and other than perhaps the real depth of my feeling of isolation, it's nothing he doesn't know about already.  I wrote last night about missing Gabriel, about my slow loss of sensitivity to not being around him (Ryan), missing being around Phillip, and my terror and sorrow about my Dad's declining health.  I didn't mention it to him or my diary, but writing about it sent me into an intense sobbing fit that scared the cats out of the room.  Perhaps it was childish of me, but why beat myself up about crying when there are so many other things to worry about?

At any rate, Ryan sent me a text today to tell me he misses me.  That may carry me through the night.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Snowing! (title unrelated to post)

I went to the Yarn Basket in Carroll today to look for Karen's Christmas present.  I couldn't decide on a color, much less a yarn, but I did espy many a thing I would like for myself.  Dream in Color has a beautiful colorway that looks exactly like a sunset cloud; all peach with delicate streaks of pink. I was good, however, and didn't buy anything for me.  I also didn't buy anything for Karen, because I am indecisive, especially when it comes to matters of other people's taste. 

My friend (pseudo-sister, bridesmaid) Jenn requested flip-top mittens for Christmas.  Why do I agree to knit things for other people?  Choosing the yarn for her was easy, though.  I didn't even have to leave Wal-Mart.  She wants red and dark purple.  I bought a skein of Dark Plum Simply Soft on my lunch break, and I have a skein of Autumn Red Simply Soft at home.  It was going to be roses on a shawl for my mom, but that project is on the back-burner for now (because I started it and hated it).  I already have a pattern for convertible mittens in Stitch and Bitch: Nation, and bless the designer, it's for bulky weight yarn.  I can knit very, very fast with two strands of yarn held together. 

Mom's mittens are aaaaalmost done - just two more rows on the thumb, cast off, weave in ends, block.  (Ha ha, I think I'm going to block something for once in my life).

I've been on a pretty steady emotional high since the ultrasound and the following appointment.  The midwife, in trying to find the top of my uterus, commented that it was difficult because of my tight abs.  I drily (if bemusedly) thanked her.  My secret, folks?  Spending all day trying to hold my stomach in because I think I look more fat than pregnant.  It doesn't do much in the way of actually trimming my waistline, but it's good for the muscles underneath.  Now if I could just be as diligent about Kegels. 

In trying to find the baby's heartbeat (which used to be my favorite part of the visit, and now I dread), she got another surprise - he kicked the doppler wand hard enough for her to feel it.  She made Ryan come over to feel it.  According to her, while it's normal for me to feel kicks around this time, it's really unusual for anyone else to do so (particularly, I imagine, given my thick layer of padding and sexy ab muscles).

Gabriel was a fierce kicker, too.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not very interesting without graphics...

I've raved about Ravelry before.  On Ravelry you keep a notebook of projects you've made, and part of the fun is putting up pictures.  This is mutually benefitial for all users, because it means that you can see how a pattern turned out when someone else made it.  Sometimes, however, there aren't pictures available.  For instance, you may have given the finished object to someone before you joined Ravelry and therefore didn't realize that you might want a picture of it some day.

Or it may be a gift in progress, and you don't want any snooping recipients-to-be spying it before you're finished.

Or, and this is really the heart of the matter, you may have knitted a nice, serviceable hat for someone you loved very dearly, and they left it at work the day they quit and never went back for it.  You might not have a picture of the hat, but you do have a picture of the man, and access to Microsoft Paint.

Sometimes you just feel the need to be clever.

On the topic of gift-knitting (two or three paragraphs ago), I am very nearly finished with Laura's hat.  Despite all my fears of it being small and unslouchy, it turned out huge and deliciously floppy.  It's going to overwhelm her head.  It's almost too cool for her, which is an uncharitable way of saying I want it for myself.  However, I'm going to resist, weave in the ends, consult Shirtless up there on which buttons to use for embellishment, and watch it eat Laura's head on Christmas morning.

Mom's fingerless mitts are coming along so quickly that I really have time to make her a hat, too, but this too I must resist and concentrate instead on what I'm going to do for everybody else. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all I'm knitting at the moment.  One hat, and one pair of gloves.  It's madness!  So I must turn to other sources of page fodder. 

I had the big ultrasound on Monday.  Tears were kept to a minimum.  It's another boy (currently kicking me in the cervix, it feels like).  Turns out I highlighted all of those girl names for naught.  A few boys' names that I like (in no particular order):

Isaac  (Hebrew for "He Laughs" or "Laughter")  For my grandpa Isadore
Levi  (Hebrew, "Attached")
Allan  (Breton, "Handsome" or possibly "Little Rock")  My dad's middle name
Elias  (Greek var. of the Hebrew name Elijah, "The Lord is my God")
Felix  (Latin, "Lucky" or "Successful")  My other grandfather's name.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1st . . .

The scarf, it is done.

Done, done, done.  Ends woven in and all.  On the right, you can see one of my cats, Theo, or at least as little of him as I could avoid photographing, despite lots of shoving and chastising.

Fine, I told him.  You want to be in the picture?  You're going to work for it.

All that work to get a modelling gig and the cat wouldn't even look at the camera.  Granted, my pretzels had just fallen on the floor, and nothing grabs my cats' attention like falling food.

So I started Laura's hat, and then ripped it out and started again with a larger hook, the result being a crown that was in no way visibly larger than its predecessor. 

I hate this job.

Mom's fingerless gloves are on needles.  Interestingly enough, the result of using too fine of a yarn and too large of needles is matching gauge exactly, and yet the darn things still look too small.  I think I may need a break, but it's December the First, and there are only 24 days left until Christmas. 

Needless to say, these are the only gifts I've made any progress on.  I have no idea what I'm getting for anyone else.

Oh, I made the perhaps foolish decision to stop worrying about felting the slippers and give them to my mom unfelted, as a gag, and then felt them with her there to make sure they come out right size (theoretically).  The only problem with this scenario is that she has a front-loading washing machine, which are notoriously unreliable for the felting process.  I think I shall turn it into a multi-layered gift.  As in, "With these crazy huge slippers comes the promise that you can visit me for a change (where there is a top-loader), without any hemming or hawing on my part (just lots of hectic cleaning)."  It will be a kick in the pants for me to actually clean my house, which I should do anyway seeing as there is a baby coming in four months or so.