Thursday, March 27, 2008

D is for...

Still playing Alphabet catch up, I haven't seen any G's yet, so I think I'm getting closer to the rest of the pack...anyway.

D is for Design...or Designer as the case maybe.

I'm starting to put designs down on paper. Or whatever the cyberspace equivalent of paper is, since so far I'm putting them down on Microsoft Word. I've even launched one of the little boogers out into cyberspace, and if I claimed that I didn't check Ravelry every day to see how many people had queued it, well then I would be lying. (4 projects, and in 35 queues...I can't even begin to tell you how twitter patted that makes me).

And I think I'm finally figuring it out a little bit. I've been knitting for about five years now, and I've been designing that whole time, since I knit the way I cook. "Hmm, what shall we make today? Let's look in the about a cheesecake? That sounds good. I like the shape of the cheese cake, but I'm not sure about the cheese part. I think I'll substitute radishes and see what happens." Manimal always stretches my knitability since he is very particular about his wardrobe. I've knit him several pairs of socks, none of which fit quite right, although they are all worn in an effort to demonstrate the fact that he is deserving of hand knit socks, many many hats most of which are worn out although again each was not quite as perfect as it could have been, and a sweater vest, which is too warm to wear.

Recently though, I managed to knit him a hat which meets his every criteria, and a sweater vest that he hasn't taken off since I finished it a week ago (both of which he is wearing in the picture above). What's particularly exciting to me is that the vest, the Arrrrgyle vest, was designed completely by me (Arrgyle was inspired by Julia over at Moth Heaven but I had a radically different stitch count than she did so I redrafted it) and that it worked out just the way I thought it would. Which is just down right crazy, and damn exciting. Now if you asked me to gradate it for different sizes I would look at you with my head cocked to one side and my tongue hanging out, but it's taken me five years to get here so in another five maybe I'll be able to create a real live pattern with multiple sizes and everything.

I know that this post sounds a little bit "Me me me meeeee, ain't I so great," but that's not the tone I'm trying to strike. I'm just excited that I've finally learned enough that I can start to make some of the things in my head come out into the yarn. It's sort of like taking French classes all through High School and then ordering a cup of coffee and a croissant at a cafe in Paris, and actually having them bring you one.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Letting the chips fall...

You'd think that since I don't do my New Years until March that I'd have all my goals and ambitions for the next year all figured out by now...but I don't. I am working on it though, and I should post a nice introspective "my thoughts on 2008" post sometime in the next...9 months or so.

Instead you'll just have to slog through another baby post. I'm sorry, but that's just how it goes, you all are my support group, so you're the ones I turn to when, let's just say for instance, I look up and the baby is picking paint chips off the wall and eating them! Seriously! This is taking the anti-evolution, suicidal baby thing to a whole new level. Big stinkin' lead containing, splintery paint chips. Damn baby.

And I looked up from reading blogs last night and what did I see?

The table has been breached! This picture was taken this morning after I cleaned off all the random bits of yarn, stitch markers, half knit sweaters, slips of paper with important phone numbers on them, magazines, library books, net-flicks envelopes, pencils, head phones and all the other detritus that has built up in my nursing nest. Admittedly I haven't done much nursing in the nest lately, since Ragnarson is only interested in eating when he is on the final verge of sleepiness, otherwise there are so many other things to do (paint chips!). The nest is the corner that I retreat to during naps to get a few minutes of knitting in before the baby starts to squirm again. I spent last night tracking down all of my knitiphinalia and putting it away. I finished Eli's Arrrgyle yesterday, and the latest stitch challenge square last night, and as a result there were a few moments when I had NOTHING on the needles. I took a picture of my needle case, full to bursting.

Or course that doesn't mean that every project I am working on is done. There are several partially knit sweaters around. In the interest of truth, I did dig down to the bottom of the "time out" bin after taking that photo, only to discover that the unfinishable free wool sweater has a #6 needle in it that is holding some stitches until I can decide if I'm going to frog the sleeves or technically speaking there was ONE lousy pair of needles that weren't in the case, but come on, you're not going to call me on that one are you?

As a start to the "new year of knitting" this is my current "in progress" list.

Super secret baby sweater: Pattern, Sue baby sweater from Elsebeth Lavold's Design Collection 6. Back finished. Front and sleeves, unstarted.

Ragnarson's bear: Pattern, Best Friend Bears, from Interweave knits Holiday 2006. Body finished. Arms partially stuffed. To finish: stuff arms, and sew to body, knit face and sew on. Why I haven't done this already? I have no idea. Technically speaking the bear is wearing a sweater, but I consider that a separate project, as yet unstarted.

The unfinishable free wool sweater: Pattern, loosely inspired by "Celtic Icon" from Inspired Cable knits. Body, finished. Sleeves, the cables on the sleeve caps aren't matching up, I think the simplest fix would be to frog both sleeves back to the armpit decreases, and reknit them simultaneously, which would only leave the hood. This is going to happen...uh...never.

Top Down Baby Sweater: Finished, but I think the neck and cuffs are too tight, I'm going to reknit them on a size 7 instead of a size 6. Thanks to last nights put-away-athon I now know where my #7 needle is.

All other unfinished projects have been tossed into the "FROGIT" pile. I can't even be bothered to frog them until I need the yarn for something else, since that would take up precious "nap" time that would better be spent knitting.

Ragnar....ruthless frogger of the high seas.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Sprang Sprat...

It is March 21st, the Vernal Equinox, Naw Ruz, and there is a bloody great "winter weather" advisory on, and we are set to get upwards of 8 inches of snow. I would go and take a picture of it, but it would be fucking depressing. Go and get a piece of blank paper out of your printer, hold it about five inches away from your nose and that's what it looks like outside right now.

So I'm going to stay here in "denial" for a bit, and pretend that it still feels like the first day of spring.
Ragnarson turned 7 months old last Sunday, and thus far I haven't sat on him, lost him, or drown him in the bathtub, so you can imagine that I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. He celebrated his 7 month birthday by mastering the right, left, right, left crawl, although he still goes back to the seal/inchworm belly flop method when he get's excited, like when I've forgotten to put the cat food bowl up on the counter while he is in the kitchen.
I looked across the livingroom the other day and he was sitting up by himself, which was shocking enough that it was a full five seconds before I realized that the reason he was sitting quietly was because he was happily munching on a piece of paper that he wasn't supposed to have. I was surprised because up to that point he had shown no interest in being sat up, and would protest by flipping over on his back. I am seeing a pattern though, that I know all too well. The "I will learn new things by myself, thank you, and don't try to give me any advice, or heaven forbid, teach me anything, because I'm only interested in things that I figure out for myself," pattern. He is my son afterall, so this should come as no surprise.

He is hauling himself up on things as well, and I spent a few days following him around trying to prevent the thumps and bumps, but eventually I realized that I was just making things worse. I do cringe when I hear the cranium/floor thunk, but I actually hear it a lot less often now that I am just letting him do his own thing. So far the fun game seems to be "take things out of the toybox."

So I guess that's what spring means for me this year. Not the tender little green things, but new growth, definitely.

Ragnar...not sleeping is sort of like being drunk, except not so restful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

C is for...

Well if it was T, it would be "T is for my tardy ass," since other ABCers have moved on the bigger and better letters like "F." I'll be playing a little ABCatch-up.
Anyway. I toyed with the idea of making every single letter of the Alphabet be something baby which case C would be for crawling, and T would be for terrifying, but I actually have a really good "C" with lots of pictures:
C is for Construction.

Siding is done. Now we just need wires, ducts, walls, drywall, cupboards and close and yet so far.

Ragnar...who doesn't play by the rules.