Merry Christmas Eve! Here is what my knitting projects are looking like right now...
Socks for my dad (Mission Falls 1824 Wool: almost four skeins, Sockulator II used for the pattern). I was hoping my to make my mom a pair in maroon, but never got there. These need the ends woven in and need a little clean up (get the dog hair, etc, off of them)
Mittens for my neice who turns four on Thursday. She lives in West Hollywood and really has no need for wool mittens but requested them nonetheless. (Mission Falls 1824 Wool in several colors although I probably used less than a skein all told. I made up the pattern as I went along after reading several mitten patterns.) I need to knit the thumbs and weave in all of the ends by Tuesday since she and her family will be going home then.
Slippers for my dad - his birthday is two days after Christmas. (Cascade 220 - two skeins of the brown, one skein and a smidge from the second of the orange. Fiber Trends wonderful felted clog slipper pattern in men's medium.) I need to finish the second sole for the second slipper (each slipper has a double thick sole), weave in all the many ends, felt and dry them by Wednesday.
In addition to knitting I just finished my last batch of candy and stuck it in the freezer so I can distribute it later today. I've got a little bit of wrapping left to do (including finding a present I bought for my husband and hid too well). Jason's Mom is in town with us until very early tomorrow morning so we'll have Christmas with her later today, before going to my family's big, annual Christmas Eve gathering. Oh, and it might be nice if I showered and ate at some point today.
I missed my weekly Random Thoughts post on Thursday, so I'll give you a few now.
I'm done with work.
Christmas is tomorrow.
My sister finished her quarter and got an A in both of her classes (she's a grad student, single mom and hard working case manager at a non-profit that does more good for the world than I could ever hope to do). We're all very proud of her - good job Jess! She's frantically knitting a beautiful version of the Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls for our mom for Christmas.
My belly is dancing right now.
My due date is forty-four days away.
I'm going to have the best baby ever.
I'm so very blessed.
The day after Christmas a number of years ago, I was driving down a country road in Texas. And it was a bitter cold, cold morning. And walking ahead of me on the gravel road was a little bare-footed boy ...
"Mister, we had the wonderfulest Christmas in the United States down to our place. Lordy, it was the first one we ever had had there....
And, Mister, I wish you could have seen what was in that wagon. It's bags of stripety candy and apples and oranges and sacks of flour and some real coffee, you know, and just all tinselly and pretty and we couldn't say nothing. Just kind of held our breath and looked at it, you know. ...
And all of a sudden, papa, he broke out in a big grin again. He said, "Dad-blame-it, Sam Jackson, it's a sure a good thing you come by here. Lord have mercy, I liked to forgot. Old Santa Claus would have me in court if he heared about this. The last thing he asked me if I lived out here near you. Said he hadn't seen you around and said he wanted me to bring part of this out here to you and your family, your woman and your children."...
And us young'uns started playing Christmastime. And it's a lot of fun, you know. We'd just play Christmas Gift with one another and run around and around the house and just roll in the dirt, you know, and then we started playing Go Up To The Kitchen Door And Smell. And we'd run up and smell inside that kitchen door where mama and Sister Jackson was a-cooking at, and then we'd just die laughing and roll in the dirt, you know, and go chasing around and playing Christmas Gift.
And we played Christmastime till we just wore ourselves out....
Like I say, Mister, I believe that was the wonderfulest Christmas in the United States of America.
I pulled a groin muscle on Saturday while putting Christmas lights up in my kitchen. It still hurts and seems to be getting worse.
'Babel' drew nods for best drama, best director for Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, supporting actor for Brad Pitt and best supporting actress for both Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi, among its nominees." (from Reuters UK).
This is one of the posts I've been meaning to write for a long, long time but somehow never seem to have the time to begin. Part of the reason this post has become such a daunting tast is that I took about fifty pictures of these socks from cast-on to finished project. At the time I took those pictures, of course, I planned on writing all of these little work-in-progress posts. But they never happened. So, here goes.
I started these socks near the end of October when I had a few days of swelling in my ankles and found that all of my socks were too constricting to wear. I decided I needed at least one pair of hand-knit socks as a little treat for the days when I really needed toasty toes and comfortable ankles.
I used The Knitting Fiend's Sock-u-lator II again (I used it for the first pair of socks I ever knit too...the never ending Cascade Fixation Socks). I used Hello Yarn's wonderful figure eight cast on tutorial rather than the backward loop method. The yarn is Knitpick's Memories in Fly Fishing. I started out with two skeins and still have some from each ball left over.
These socks knitted up pretty quickly - I spent one very enjoyable evening watching Good Will Hunting while wearing one sock and working on the other.
Then, I decided that the first sock was too short and decided to rip back, knit a few more inches of stockinette, re-knit the ribbing and cast-off again. Except. I had already woven in my end and wound up performing sock butchery:
And to make sure these socks wouldn't cause me any ankle grief during my pregnancy, I used the Knitting Fiend's tutorial for binding off loosely in rib to get a nice stretchy edge.
And since I had leftover yarn, wanted to try two socks on two circulars and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my firstborn, I decided a matching pair for the babe was just the thing. Only I found out that with socks this tiny, it's easier just to do both socks on one circular.
And they took practically no time at all--great for that sometimes necessary finished-project-fix. And I know they're soooo tiny, but they are also super stretchy (the tops of the feet and the entire leg are k1, p1 rib) and they are for when this baby is just a wee little* newborn.
Oy vey! I can't believe it's almost 11:30 and I'm still up! Work tomorrow is going to be not so much fun.
* Granted, my baby might not be such a "wee little" one. I was my mom's biggest at nine-three and twenty-one and a half inches long. But that's nothing compared to my husband; he was ten-two and twenty-three and five-eighths inches long. Yes. He was two feet tall when he was born. He practically walked out.
Here are abbreviated versions of two conversations I've had with Fletcher recently:
I'm sitting on the couch working away on the Airplane sweater when he sits down next to me:
"Why do you always just knit on that?"
"Because I like to. I want to make you a sweater."
"A green one."
"Yes, a warm green sweater with an orange airplane."
"Just stop it."
I set my yarn down and take a breath. I must go slowly here lest I loose all control of my mean-mommy voice.
We have been having lots of ISSUES lately with Fletcher ordering me around.
"I'm not going to stop, I want to finish this for you."
"I hate it. I hate orange."
At this point I am trying not to crack up. From his point of view I am making him something he never REALLY wanted and I have been working on it for what must seem like eternity to him. Also he did pick out this yarn in April and probably doesn't even remember it.
Later that night with Jim:
"Fletcher told me he hates this sweater and demanded I quite working on it."
Jim almost spits out is water:
"He said what?"
I repeat myself and go on:
"...... What should I do? I've made so many mistakes that I don't want to try to go back and fix. I don't love the sweater, and think he may never wear it. BUT, I was getting really excited about finishing my first sweater. BUT, I have so many other things I want to finish for Christmas. Should I just finish it and give it to him or rip it all out?"
"Don't rip it out. Just put it away and someday you'll pull it out and be excited about it again."
Here I cry - with relief. Thank-you genius husband, you made my day.
Fletch and I have just sat down to dinner, Jim is still at work. I made a pasta dish with cannellini beans, greens, kalamata olives, and garlic chips. It's fabulous and Jim loves it. Fletcher loves pasta.:
"I hate this stuff."
"What do you hate?"
"All this stuff. I want dry pasta."
"How do you know you hate it? You've never had it."
Age old parental intelect in action.
"I hate it."
"Just try it. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it."
He takes a hesitant bite
"I love it!"
big smile, another big bite.
"I have never even ever had this before!"
I'm not saying much, just sitting there with my mouth hanging open in shock. This particular big of wisdom has never worked with my child.
"Will this help my poop come out better?"
Sorry folks, I could have left this out, but what the heck. We had recently had a conversation while Fletch was on the toilet constipated about the fact that if he ate more fruits and vegatables, particularly green ones his poop would come out easier.
"Yes, this will help your poop come out better."
more quiet eating, he is still picking out some of the larger tomato pieces, and while looking down at his plate tending to this task he says under his breath:
"You make the best dinners."
This is were I cried, literally. Thanks, Fletch, you just made my day. He even let me take a picture to remind myself of this moment:
This is Christmas Project #2 and it's DONE!!!!
I have so many left to do, I don't even want to know
how many more days I have left.
This thing was knit with Knit Picks Panache. It should be called Luscious or Luxuriant or , well, you get the picture. I adore this yarn. It is 40% Baby Alpaca, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk, and 20% Extrafine Merino. I many not want to knit with any other yarn, ever again.
This was my first experience, aside from drooling over the catalog, with ordering from and using Knit Picks. I will be ordering again - as soon as I possibly can.
I'm worried that I might have Listeriosis.
I want to make this gnome, but probably never will.
I still haven't done any Christmas shopping.
I haven't been doing my midwife-mandated walking or prenatal yoga for almost two weeks.
I've stopped talking to anyone I work with, unless they talk to me first or I am absolutely required to. I've only got eleven and a half more days here, so I think I'm slowly starting to shut down. My mind is already elsewhere.
I'm breaking my "no knitting Christmas gifts rule" - because, hey, I have so much free time between now and Christmas. I can't say what I'm working on, however, because the recepient(s) might read this.
My mom likes my blogged Christmas list.
I'm more tired than thoughtful today.
This year I was just going to e-mail my Christmas List to my mom. But, I couldn't. I generally try to make up a creative way to relay my Christmas list. I would be embarrassed by it if I weren't too busy having fun with it. A few of the highlights from the past ten or so years are...
Diaper Pail (or two? check out diapersafari -
their medium size would be great)
Le Creuset 2-Quart Multi 2-in-1 Pan with 8-Inch Omelet Cover, Red
or Le Creuset small saucepan and/or small skillet in red
And Jason hasn't written his list yet but these count for his too:
(It reall sucks when your own blog won't let you comment and you have no idea why)
I've tried to comment on your post three times in the last two days, but to no avail.
Thank you, thank you! I love your post, it makes me cry in the best way possible. It is wonderful. Thank you, thank you.
I love you,
Time is flying by. I can't really believe your belly will no longer be a baby belly so soon, Barb.
Memories of my life in the last four years with Fletch are flooding back:
His birth - so amazing, huge, full, wonderous, hard, and joyous. I am honored to be able to return the favor of taking pictures at your child's birth.
This is one of my FAVORITE pictures of Fletcher,
which Barbara took about 20 minutes after he was born:
If I have one picture of him sleeping, I've got one-hundred:
Our favorite diaper cover on our favorite boy:
Me and my little man, 1 month.
At my baby shower, my SIL, Briana gave me a journal to keep for Fletcher. Here a bit of the last entry before he was born - right after my blessing way, from a song Harvest played for me called:
"I Want a World" by Betsy Rose:
I am a fierce and wild storm, no longer pleasing, soft and gentle.
Too much at stake now that you are born.
So I am a mama lion, And I will do what I must do.
'Cause I want a world for you.
And I never broke so hard, never broke so sweet
'Til my heart broke open at your feet
Spilling dreams so sweet and wild for you my child .
And a bit from the first entry I made in the book after he was born:
"On Monday you will be 11 weeks old! You are amazing and wonderful.
We are laying out on the front lawn, Zeke is near you and you are napping.
Barbara came to visit - she and Aunt Harvest sat out with us for a while.
Aunt Harvest loves to tickle you with her hair and blow rasberries on your tummy.
Barbara can't ge enough of you and so wants a baby of her own. You talk and laugh,
smile and entertain yourself quite a bit now. Your Dad and I are constantly in awe of you."
Barb, 10 things you can look forward to as a mom:
1. The world disapears when you first see your baby's eyes.
2. The first cold or fever when you will cherish staying up all night walking your tired crying baby, and you will walk and you will love every minute of if, because your little sweetheart will only sleep if you keep moving.
3. Laughing at ridiculous stuff, because your little one is laughing too.
4. Breastfeeding, and sleeping curled around a warm little body.
5. The ability to recall where every picture was taken, and what was going on because each of those moments is special and wonderful and full of your child.
6. Learning how to sing in a really high and squeaky voice and a really low and dramatic voice to keep your sleepy one awake on the ride home, because if he falls asleep now, he'll nap late and be awake all night.
7. At 7 months waking four nights a week at 2 a.m to PLAY!!!!!
8. Trying to be patient when your almost 4 year old stops every stranger that walks by to say,"My dogs name is Turbo and he had razor sharp teeth and razor sharp claws.", and before said stranger can respond (whether or not he/she understood your almost 4 year olds speech) "My favorite football team is the Denver Broncos." It goes on from there.......
9. Sitting in an airport 3 hours after your flight was supposed to take off, trying to knit a bit, after your fourth walk to the shop that sells toy airplanes "just to look mommy" (because Dad already gave in and bought two on his 2nd and 3rd trip to the same shop).
When your now 3 year old tells the nice family across the ailse, "Sometimes my Dad has trouble starting the fire in our wooden stove."
Nice stranger, "Oh, but he figures it out, doesn't he?"
Funny little child sitting next to you, "No, my Mommy has to do it for him."
At least Dad wasn't around to hear it!
10. Standing in front of the mirror in a clothing store (not in a dressing room because your only trying on a jacket) when your, well we're not even sure what to call him any more, child says, "I think that looks sexy Mom." Wishing you'd used the dressing room.