Stayin’ Cool, Playin’ Hookey

I wish I could use a little bit of my superpowers to keep this blog up more regularly.  Just sayin’.  No regrets and no apologies.  And I’m not giving up.  It is what it is for the summer.  In the fall, Zander will go to preschool and I might have five minutes of quiet strung together.  I’ve started writing my journal again (right before submitting to unconsciousness at night) – always a good sign.  After fourteen years of fairly regular journaling, it is a stable point in my universe.

The Zauberball socks are done and lovely although I was too sleep-deprived to take a picture and Daye made them disappear FAST when they were finally presented.  There will be a photo shoot and FO show off here in the near future.  I have the yarn for socks for her husband and my friend, Pete, who has been taking my ill-behaved puppy for runs (he tells me her nickname is “anchor”).

I started a baby knit for Jenny, who is due to have her first baby in just two more weeks.  Well.  I didn’t have enough yarn.  More is on the way except it’s a different color so I have to restart.  Baby Chloe, don’t wait for me!  I can knit fast when I need to.

My sister Sarah wanted to do a knit-a-long with me and so bought me some Malabrigo lace yarn for my birthday from Busy Hands.  I threw together a simple stole pattern using the hourglass lace pattern from Barbara Walker vol. 1.  I am not a frilly girly-girl but I like to knit lace.  It’s like a dance.  (I like dancing too.)  The stole is yummy and is creeping along.  Sarah’s birthday is in a few weeks and she says we should start another knit-a-long… does she think we’ll be done with the lace?  I’m not sure if she is liking knitting lace.  She is impatient with knitting but she is a wicked fast crocheter.  Maybe it will be a crochet-a-long and I will get my just desserts.

From the Dept of Distractions – Elinor started rolling over for real today.  She is a happy baby, adores her big brother who has decided that he is five years old and not four because he wants badly to go to school.  Only a month and a half until preschool!  I am booked on freelance work through at least March next year which is good news for the freelancer but hard on the mother and on the human being who is waiting waiting waiting for her turn, a vacation, a quiet moment.  Not that I’m complaining.  I’m just going to go lay on the couch for a wee moment….

Life is what happens

volunteers

I cannot believe it has been nearly a month.  That word, “nearly,” is an important distinction, like I am making it in before some unwritten deadline.  A month.

Anyway.

I am typing one handed while the baby coos and ogles some red and yellow fish on one of her blankets.  Zander is playing with a keychain that makes fart noises.  Rinse and repeat over the past month.

Good news:  Zander successfully survived to age four.  Elinor is learning how to roll over.  And while we’re thinking positively, the Zauberball socks are three-quarters done and the Urban Aran Cardi only has the top half of the fronts to go.  (Cup half-full, remember–not, omigod whole weeks of no knitting have gone by and I’m ready to do something else with my needles because it’s almost summer!)

My garden, my other passionate (obsessive) hobby, is doing well.  Most things are in — although it’s June and the tomatoes and basil have yet to be planted.  Oy.  I will NOT have the earliest tomato in the county this year, no siree.

See, I added a new vegetable bed this year for asparagus and the tomatoes are supposed to be planted in front of the asparagus because they are good companions and do not need to be rotated like the other veggies.  Well.  Getting the trench dug for asparagus took a writ of Congress, ie, “oh shit it’s Mother’s Day and I haven’t bought you a gift.”  Now the asparagus is coming up despite near drowning by torrential rains, which did kill my raspberry canes and most of my black-eyed susans, but the rest of the bed hasn’t been prepared for tomatoes.

I have one bed still unplanted in my vegetable garden.  I am thinking of either skipping cucumbers this year or putting them, for one year only, in the asparagus bed.  The tomatoes are more important.  And I didn’t plant cucumbers until very late last year, early July I think, and they did awesome!  I missed whatever evil thing killed my other curcubits and the vines did not wear out until October, just before first frost.  I may not have had the earliest cucumber but I probably had the last.

That decides it then.

I haven’t even thought about summer knitting, sadly.  Once upon a time in winter, when I was pregnant, I might have dreamed about knitting a Norah Gaughan short sleeved top to wear over my un-pregnant body but I dare not knit a stitch for myself until Matt’s birthday sweater is done.  Only six months late and out of season… so far.

Most important, I promised myself I would skate through this first year of the baby’s life without guilt or unreasonable deadlines and projects.  I love to make grandiose plans but I have no time or energy for the occassional downswing of happiness that goes with said plans.  I might be panicking a bit about the tomatoes but for the most part I am doing quite well at enjoying things that are working out and letting go of what doesn’t.  There might be something to the whole “living in the moment” idea.

Rains and pours

First it was the weather, raining raining raining last month, drowning my yard.

Then it was work, of which I shall not complain, but I went from nothing to three jobs (more really, but only three are paid) in a week.  Work is good, I keep telling myself.  Work is money.

Unfortunately, there is nothing interesting to write here about my job, which is freelance writing and editing and even if I would, I can’t because of the contracts, but trust me.  I work on reference volumes and they serve a purpose but it is not to entertain.

The rain kept me from doing much gardening, although it did not stop me altogether because at some point, turns out, even I am desperate enough to garden in a light drizzle.

The baby has kept me from doing much knitting but the good news is that I finished the first Zauberball sock, started the second and, according to the kitchen scale, I have enough yarn to finish the pair.  Fingers crossed for no more knots!

But nothing stays the same forever.  I am writing here today in the middle of a beautiful spring morning – having watered the young plants and taken photos of all the marvelous things that are growing this year – because Baby Elinor has learned, is learning, how to sleep on her own finally.  For more than six weeks, we have held her while she napped because she would get cold and/or move her arms, startling herself awake.  She has now doubled her birth weight and learned some coping/self-soothing mechanisms so nap time is more restful for us all.

Meanwhile, I have lots of work to do so of course all this blogging, knitting, and gardening is on borrowed time.

Matt is bugging me for his Urban Aran Cardigan, aka the birthday sweater.  Since it’s spring in Michigan that means our hot and humid summer will start any moment now.  I swear he’s jealous every time he sees me knitting something other than his sweater.  I tried to explain that the sweater is a lot of yarn to haul around and I still need the chart to check my progress… and I right now I only knit when we go out because then other people are playing with the baby while I knit furiously on the sidelines (at home, I am working while Matt watches baby)… he says he understands but… boys.

And the older child?  He wants me to knit something for him too.  I should grow a third arm.

Another meatless blog post

Wow!  How cool is it that — by the powers of the internets (He-Man anyone?) — Rhichard of the family behind Koigu yarn found me and commented on my last post?!  He even mentions his Oma and that’s gotta be good luck or something. You should go read the comment.  I’ll wait…

Thanks for stopping by Rhichard!  And hello as well to new reader/commenter JessaLu who recently had a Tax Day contest over at her blog which I totally LOST but that’s okay because this means the universe still believes I have enough yarn in my house (which I why I just bought some half-off orphan skeins of Reynolds Soft Sea Wool and Louet Gems sportweight.  I know!  I just went to the yarn store to buy a birthday present but these were on clearance and I could justify them.  I promise, I had pangs of conscience the entire time.  On the upside, I have spent enough money at this yarn store to qualify for their buyers’ program discount twice over.  Who knew?)

If you haven’t tried it, by the way, Reynolds Soft Sea Wool is awesome for making comfy socks.  Sproing!  Sportweight so you know they knit up twice as fast and something about the yarn and the twist make these extra cushy.  I made these socks for Matt with SSW and it is the only yarn for which he has asked for a repeat.  Downside to SSW for socks – they are not superwash so regular wool rules apply and therefore this is not a good yarn for gift socks to people who are not fiber enthusiasts.

Of Louet Gems, let me wax rhapsodic.  Thy smooth texture, thy rainbow of SOLID colors, thy superwashedness, thy affordable price point…!  O!

Ahem.

Things continue to grow over here, slowly, inexorably…

Urban Aran Cardi…

Garden…

The onions got a haircut a few days ago to encourage stronger root development.  I think I will transplant them soon.  If by “soon”, you mean “before July.”  Life with a newborn moves in slow motion.

Baby…

Zauberball sock…

Surgery complete.  I cut the yarn at the knot and took out the errant chunk of purple so that the pattern would continue back to orange like it is supposed to.  Maybe the knot was the universe looking out for me?  Because if you look back at the photo in the previous post about this sock, I forgot to turn my heel!  Yep, I went straight from the heel flap to the gussets.  How many times have I done this since I took up sock knitting?  I refuse to admit.  This would have necessitated ripping anyway so in a perverse sort of way, I solved two problems at once.

My union break is over and the slavering hordes descend upon me for attention.  ‘Til next time!

Sleepy

Zauberball handknit socks

Baby Talk

Three weeks on and Elinor is still a new baby every day.

Sleeping baby

Our latest struggle is that she doesn’t like to go to sleep.  She fights it.  She is very active, alert; she wants to hang out, not miss a thing.  Once she is asleep, she is fine, so long as she is clean and her arms are covered so she doesn’t startle herself awake.  It’s the journey to the Land of La that she resists.

This is tiresome to deal with all the live-long day but at night…. Well.

Knit on

The two front halves of the Urban Aran Cardigan are underway.  I’m on the home stretch!  (Of the knitting!  The sewing up shall kick my butt later.)

Urban Aran Cardigan in progress

The Zauberball sock hit a knot in the road today:

Zauberball socks

Can you see in the photo above where the working yarn suddenly changes from fuschia to purple?  Yeah, there’s no “suddenly” about this yarn.  I’m really irritated – this skein should not have left the mill! – granted, I have a short fuse these days thanks to sleep deprivation.  If they were my own socks, I’d throw them in a corner and ignore them for 6 months.  No, actually, I’d sigh, cut out the knot, and keep knitting.  But for my friend, who has been an immense help to our family recently, I will problem solve, see if I can resplice with the correct color change.

Also on my plate, almost entirely ignored:

knit dishcloth

A dishcloth.  The first in a series.  I’ve ordered some awesome colors from Peaches & Creme (their online prices are good; they have ALL the colors; and they ship fast).  This was supposed to be my brainless postpartum knitting but then I didn’t finish my nearly brainless prenatal knitting so here we are.  The eventual plan is to release my notes (one might say “patterns”) on the various dishcloths I’ve been churning out and giving away these past seven years.  Meanwhile, I really need some new dishcloths; mine are falling apart.

Then there was this bit of pretty, started on a whim two days ago.

knit design in progress

Just a bit more and it will be finished, whereupon I will reveal to you what it is.

Gardenwatch

I planted peas…. Then came the squirrels, the rain, and the snow.  I think I will be replanting those peas.  I also still need to plant spinach, lettuce, and other spring crops.  Inside, things look a little more promising:

starting seeds indoors

Onions!  Also parsley, monarda, cutting celery, and peppers!  (Shh, the kale and broccoli raab got leggy and need a do-over, oops.)