Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Developments

I set up the Jumperoo for Eleni today, so that she can tire herself out. She's working on it...
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It seems to be a success. I'm hoping that it will lead to a lot of this kind of activity:
(En route home from Salmon Arm. Did I show you this already? I just love how asleep she is.)
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That's all... supper time!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Currently On The Needles

Soooo... I don't even want to think about how many hours we've logged in a car this month, but we've been to Regina & back, & Salmon Arm & back. Below is a shot of the "necessary" bags... (ie: they need to be within arm's reach)
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There is the snack bag, my purse (which contains the toddler-sensitive items - markers, smarties, lip balm, cel phone), diaper bag, entertainment bag (dvd player, dvds, coloring books, books, newspaper, knitting), & miscellaneous project bags that spilled out of the entertainment bag. The man drives & I'm in charge of babes, knitting, & napping.
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This is the mobius from the New Year's post. This project lives in my purse; it's small & not so prone to dropping stitches. Plus, I can totally remember the stitch pattern & it's a very short repeat. Perfect for waiting in lines. (I just looked at my old post & sighed in relief. I am making progress.)
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This snuck it's way into the queue - Eleni's head is growing (along with everything else), and she needs a new bonnet.
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This is the Colonnade that I'm finishing for Mom - I've got one green skein about finished & one skein to go. Lovely to knit; the yarn is verra nice. I think that once this one is done, I'll do one in some Malabrigo - possibly my plane knitting.
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This was the project that got packed - and has been packed a couple times - and never got touched. It's for a hat; I overdyed this, & I'm not quite sold on it. I also screwed up & knit the ribbing with the wrong needle - derr - and I'm just aggravated enough about the stupid factor that I can't quite bring myself to frog it. On the other hand, I did (heartlessly) yank the needles for the bonnet, so...
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I've got finished objects too - but while I'll toss up an iffy photo of a WIP, if something merits a FO badge, then it should have a nice picture too. More later!




Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts...

Well, not green gopher guts. This is one of the current ongoing projects; it's gobs of a wool/cotton/nylon blend that I over dyed in a semisolid grey.
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(Wild sea creature, waiting to be tamed.)
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I'm quite pleased with how it turned out; the photos are all either too green or too grey.
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(Taming the savage yarn blob.)
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I invested* in a 16 qt stockpot, and it seems to have paid off; all of the yarn is the same color! (If you've ever dyed a sweater-quantity of yarn an unintentional gradated color, you'll be just as excited as I am.)
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(Mmm, yarn cakes. I think of them more like loafs, but whatevs.)
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(A brief relapse into a wild state - this time, sea anemone...)
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(Closer examination of the sea creature.)
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After a weekend in the car (Salmon Arm & back), I'm almost ready to separate the arms from the body. Huzzah! That always seems like the longest slog in the all-in-one top-down raglans. It's also exciting because my current favorite cardigan is getting worn & nubbly enough that it needs to be retired to house-duty only. Now the only challenge will be fighting the temptation to keep bombing along on the knitting, and ignore the housework & the books**...
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*Not a big investment - I got the cheapest one I could find. Turns out Can Tire has a cheaper option than Wally world.
**Accounting, this time. Sadly not a time traveller to be found.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We Now Return To Our Regularily Scheduled...

I'm done the books. Anyone care to discuss the latest cliffhanger?
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In other news, Eleni is thriving & going longer between feeds. This gives me some much-needed freedom (& sleep), but it also means that she's really hungry when she wakes, and we get this sort of face...
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No worries, some milk soon transforms her into this:
(She's a happy drunk.)
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Amoryn is very well too; she's not so keen on having her picture taken these days - she's in the middle of saying "No do that mommy!" here.
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But I can occasionally sneak a picture.
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She's sure grown some since she was first a bumbo girl!
(Eleni bumbo shots & knitting updates another day. Rest assured, we practice the bumbo every day, and I've knit every day too.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Oh Dear.

It was just what I was afraid it would be. No wonder she wasn't sleeping.
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I'm off for a bit of therapy knitting. Say what you want about most jobs, at least shitty days at work were never like that....

An Abrupt Change Of Plans

I've been mentally composing a blog post all about Amoryn, and how very funny & sweet she is these days.... It's nap time right now, & she's been happily singing for quite a little while.
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But. I just heard her say "Poopy on the bed, no poopy on the bed". I hope that she's playing pretend with her dolly, but. But. I'm going to go & check it out.
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Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blame It On That Scotsman.

I feel a bit like I've dropped off the face of the planet. I sort of have, actually. It's all my fault though. You see, before Xmas, I was chatting with Mom, and she asked if there was anything I needed to bring. This is a recreation of that moment... that moment that should have had some kind of menacing 'dun-dun-DUN' music attached to it.
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Me: "No, no that I can think of."
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Mom: "Are you sure?"
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Me: "Hey, actually... can I borrow the Outlander books? I was going to read the new one, but I figured that I should maybe refresh my memory on what's going on." (By Diana Gabaldon. If you've read them, you know how enjoyable they are. If you haven't, they're about a time-traveling nurse & a Highlander.)
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Doesn't sound like a bad idea, eh? Until you take into account how very many words are in those books, and how well written & engaging they are. Even allowing for how quickly I read, it's still quite a time commitment. So I've been, erm, reading. A lot. The blogging & the housework have been the ones to suffer, although as Claire so brilliantly pointed out in one book - if woman's work is never done, why rush to it?
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I'm almost starting to resent Claire & Jamie though. I miss having time that wasn't tied to a book. Thank heavens, I've only got the last one left... I should be back to my regular self shortly.
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Gotta go read. (I just came to the basement to grab the last book, and noticed my laptop sulking over here in the corner.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'Twas The Night After Travelling...

You hear that noise? It's the sound of snoring. Baby snores, toddler snores, big daddy snores.
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I'm going to go & join them. More about the recent trip & the projects accomplished later. (Also, some stinkin' cute pictures, too.)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My, Oh My

On Monday, I looked at my girls & was amazed.
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Eleni is cooing & smiling & making full eye contact - she's out of the newborn stage, and is working on "baby". (Neck control is still wobbly, but coming along well.)
The young paduan. (Don't you think she looks like a little Jedi?)
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And Amoryn! She's got molars cutting right now, but more importantly, she is in touch with her girly side. Her inner princess. Her outer fairy. Her optional ballerina dancer.
Here she is, wearing plastic high heels, admiring her plastic tiara, with the discarded plastic sceptre to the side. (Xmas gift from friends of the family.) As she was walking across the kitchen, I got a sudden vision of her as a teenager. Followed by a pang... my little girl won't be little some day.
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(Arguably, she's not that little now, but you know what I mean.)
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My mobius & new years, erm, model? are coming along well. I haven't had to frog anything on that lately. (Unlike Am's sweater - I'm just working on the ribbing at the hip, and I'll be jiggered if I can keep it straight in my head. Oh well. Even if I have to do it two or three times to get it right, at least it's a SMALL thing that I keep re-knitting - worsted yarn for a toddler. And Amoryn is so excited about it - I'd like to have it done for tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe... and if not, I've got plenty 'o' time in the car.
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Back to the couch, the nursing, & the knitting. Wish me luck on the whole ribbing business!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I Think It's Odd.

I don't know about you, but I kind of enjoy tv commercials. (The first couple times I see them, anyways.) I'm always interested in how they're trying to sell whatever they're selling. Lately, commercials seem to be getting cheekier. On the whole, I approve; the odd one makes me laugh. (The commercials that offend me are usually all too earnest.)
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I just noticed one that puzzled me. It's for crackers, & it's the soundtrack that has me thinking. It opens with "lonely, I am so lonely, I have nobody, to call my own..." Before it gets to the "oooOOoooooo" part, it cuts to "Raise a little hell, raise a little hell, raise a little hell..."
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Crackers don't really inspire me to raise hell. After some thought, the only cracker-related hell I can think of is the noise that Am makes when we deny her crackers. Even when I imagine myself as a bowl of soup*, my idea of raising hell isn't about crackers. Crackers make me think of snacks, content toddlers, or either (as a bowl of soup) a partner to be desired or a terrible harbinger of doom. (Depends how the soup feels about it's eventual fate to be consumed.)
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I'd be curious to know if the commercial is working; if the marketing team will be fired; if there will be a sudden spike in downloads of Trooper OR Bobby Vinton.
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*Not something I normally do.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Oh Good, A Metaphor.

Ah, the new year. Time for looking back...
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(Hairstyle courtesy of Gran.)
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And time for looking forward, too.
(Or, in El's case, ahead & slightly to the right. Stuffies styled by Am.)
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Yesterday, as I was reflecting on the past year, and the upcoming year, I was knitting. I've been scheming about a pooling* mobius**, and after much thought, I decided to stop thinking, knit a swatch, then jump right in. I think that it won't work in the way that's in my head - for neat pooling you need to have very consistent tension from row to row. The first round worked in a mobius is awkward - at the very least - and I can't see how a person could keep the tension even enough. (I've got a couple last ideas to work on though...)
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This is the mobius I'm working on now. It's a nifty little stitch pattern that's not quite exactly the same to both sides, but it's close. Despite my plots, the pooling isn't what I expected. I'm letting the colors do what they want; I think it's pretty enough that I'm going to finish it.
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As I was reflecting, and knitting, I got a little niggling feeling... a feeling that I'd done something wrong. I looked at it, and thought "No, it's fine." I knit another round, and realized that there was something wrong. I wasn't sure what, but it wasn't right. Hours later, I realized what I'd done wrong... or at least, I had a darn good theory. I got home, spent some time looking at it, tinked for about 3 inches, then decided to be bold, pull the needle, and frog my mobius back about 3 rows. Or so. I still wasn't quite sure that my theory was right. I figured that if I was wrong, well. I'd have a fresh start at the whole thing.
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After about 2 rows, I laughed. The yarn made an abrupt change from clockwise to widdershins, and I realized that yes, I'd switched direction in the middle of my circular knitting. I'm going to claim that the mobius had me a little confused, and the nature of the pattern. Whatever. It was a little fiddly to pick up all the stitches, but far less confusing than I thought it might be, and less fussy than knitting the first row. (The photo is after all the frogging, and picking up, and whatnot.)
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I'd been mulling my New Year's theme - I don't make resolutions, but occasionally I'll observe some kind of theme, or concept, or something. And I've decided to use the mobius mistake as a metaphor model for the New Year. (Unintentional alliteration.)
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Soooo... I need to:
1) Be bold - try new things & pursue new ideas.
2) If things don't turn out the way you expect; stay positive, and look at the actual results, not the difference between what I expected & reality.
3) Listen to that little niggling observer's voice. It notices things.***
4) Be brave & confront mistakes, and them work to fix them. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away.
5) Have confidence in my skills. I can do more than I think I can, and although I've proven that to myself before, it's a lesson that bears repeating.
6) Remember to laugh at mistakes that are genuinely funny.
7) It's both more efficient & more effective to move forward than to spend needless time browbeating myself over simple errors. (Also, much easier on myself.)
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And as always, I'll try stay aware of how very lucky I am!
(Heart melts.)
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*So the colors in a handpainted yarn all stack up & look a little like an ikat fabric. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, that's okay.
**A mobius is fascinating, knitted or otherwise. I was quite hung up on them in Grade 7, and now that I've learnt to knit them, I'm again enamored.
***Yesterday, the man came up from downstairs. He sighed, and asked me if I could try a little harder. I blinked, and looked confused. "The dryer vent hosing fell off the vent to the outside." I blinked. "That's why it's so... fluffy downstairs." I blinked again. "You didn't notice the dust bunnies?" Nooooo. The last three times I'd done laundry, I kept hearing that little voice suggesting that something was missing. 'Nope,' I thought, 'I've got laundry & water & soap & a little bleach. All in the right order.' I scooped the cat box to be on the safe side, even. Turns out, my subconscious noticed the lack of vent hosing snaking our from behind the washer. Darn. The man vaccuumed up all the dustbunnies. I blushed.