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Belated Merry Ho!

I am glad Christmas is over.  Does that make me a Scrooge?  I like the season and all, but I’m so very, very tired, and so very, very poor…. And I still have a birthday to do on the 30th.  My eldest turns 10.  I’m too young to have a 10yo!  Okay, thats a lie.  I turn 40 on the 11th of January… so I guess I am old enough to have a 10yo…. but still, it just seems wrong.

I’m rambling, I know, but that’s what happens when the chaos wins.  I finally felt like things were about to settle down again, and then birthdays and new years came back at me.  We don’t usually (meaning never) do anything for New Year’s eve, but we’ve been invited to a friends house, along with the kids, and we kinda feel obligated to go.  I mean, I enjoy the friends, just not taking a 4yo home on the bus after midnight on New Year’s eve.  And frankly, I just want the world to disappear for awhile while I recuperate.  Sigh.

And the 10yo doesn’t understand that we don’t have enough money to do all the things she wants to do on her birthday.  In fact, I really shouldn’t be buying her a present, because I’m not sure the rent is all there.  But I will get her something.  Sigh.

2 sighs.  That’s enough to get me booted offline.

Did you know rats can purr?

Meet our new ward:

My daughter’s friend was moving and had to get rid of him.  My mother thinks its disgusting, but I don’t mind.  Its brought such joy to my little girl, it can’t possibly be bad. And I have to admit, I’ve gone into her room alone a few times and played with him.  At night she brings him out to the living room, and I started rubbing his head and he actually started to purr!  No, seriously!  I never knew that rats could purr!  It gave me a great status with my daughter for a couple days, then she made him purr so I don’t matter so much anymore, which, in this instance, is cool by me. 

The strange thing is that I think this has made my husband understand a little more about how much the girls and I want a cat.  We had one until last spring, but well.. I don’t want to talk about it.  Lets just say I really miss him.  I recently (before the rat) convinced him we should get a kitten in the spring, but then I didn’t speak of it much.  But now, with the rat around, he keeps making references to when the cat comes… I think he sees how happy it makes her and I, and knows a cat would make us even happier.

On to knitted things: completed the mad trapper’s hat for great grandad. My husband is the model.

Very soft, because its in alpaca.  And that’ll mean its plenty warm. I put a tassel instead of a pompom.  Mostly, I hate pompoms.  Notice I couldn’t get the husband off the phone to take the picture… And they say women are chatty!

Here is the potato chip scarf I made:

Never again.  Probably.  I actually like the way the scarf turned out, but my circular needle was too short, and the yarn… well, I would never recommend it.  My hands ached. Either way, its done.  It’ll make a perfect ‘oh shit, I forgot a present for her’ kinda scarf.

Now I’m onto a pillow for my sister and her husband- I drew their names for the family. I’m doing 2 pillows.  I chose to do a checker kinda pattern on it, but now I’m wishing I had just found a simple pattern, something in a nice chunky so it would knit up faster.  Ah well.

Off to do Christmas shopping today.  Kids are so freaking expensive.

Okay, I missed a few days, but they have been pretty interesting. First, on Saturday I took my daughter and her friend to see a presentation at the library from Black Creek pioneer village- a period park here in Toronto. The woman showed them how to cart wool into fleece, and how to use a drop spindle. I really just used them to get it- I really wanted to see it myself… it was very informative, and it makes me much more interested in spinning myself!

I also learned there that I’m very glad I have girls. There were quite a few boys there, that were mightly annoying. Asking silly questions, jumping up and down, interupting… I knw I would have loved a son, but girls are just easier.

Then on Sunday we went to the Santa Claus parade at my home town. Smaller and more traditional than the Toronto one, but also less crowded and more fun because of it.
Here’s my crew:
 The two on the ends are mine.  Aren’t they cute?

 

Below is the only shot that I took of the parade.  I love that the klingons come every year (I’m not a huge star trek fans, just its cool for such a small town).

 

So back to the real world today.  I went shopping, but I’ll write about that tomorrow

I want….

I want… a whole day to knit without a child or my husband asking me to to do something.

I want… to eat whatever I want and still lose weight.

I want… my kids to genuinely be happy and confident and be able to do their own laundry.

I want… to raise alpaca.. ooooo.. baby alpaca!!


(He’s cute, huh? I will call him George, and I will love him and pet him and feed him and …oh wait, George is my husband… can’t get yarn out of him, though…)

I want… enough money to spoil my kids for Christmas this year… and a whole bunch more so that I can get some stuff for me too… like Cashmere.

I want… to knit for a living, somehow.  And not have to live in a cardboard box while I do it (where the hell do you keep your yarn?)

I want… my husband to pick up after himself!!

I want… a nice, long, uninterupted night’s sleep…

Is that too much to ask?

Five kids, if you include my husband.  Oi!  What was I thinking? 

My friend is in the hospital, and I offered to take her 2 little girls to get there shots while I did mine.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we took a bus ride ($2.80 for the kids that weren’t mine, I might add)  and a subway ride, and a snack for the walk (another couple bucks) before we get there and find out they won’t let me do it.  I had a note from the friend and everything.  But alas, no go.  So instead, I had to drag the two extra little beings, along with my own 3yo who already had had her shot, through all the lines etc.  It didn’t take long- really, the  nurses and organizers do a pretty good job- but I suspect that the other people in the lines, mostly adults, didn’t enjoy our company.  Fortunately my husband was in a rare good humour, and made a few people laugh, so no one tried to kick us.

I bought them lunch afterwards- around $20.  There was only one fight, a big one, in the restaurant, so actually it went better than I thought.  Still, I’ll think twice before I do it again.

My eldest, 9yo, is an anxious child.  I don’t know if its just her age (I sure hope not, cuz someday I’ll have another 9yo) or her personality, but she gets worked up over everything.  Before she was able to get the shot, when they only allowed little kids to get it, she was Terrified that she’d catch the flu and die.  Terrified with a capital T.  Then when I said we would go get it, she was Terrified about the shot hurting.  Then after we got the shot, she was Terrified she would have some kind of bad reaction.  Oi!  She was sitting afterwards in the waiting room crying.  And then we get home last night and, of course, she’s crying because her arm is hurting, so something horrible must be happening.  I love my daughter so very much, I want to be sympathetic, but after awhile you just want to smack the kid in the back of the head and tell her to chill out!  (I have never hit my kids… I swear…)  She went to bed crying last night.  I went to bed wanting for a large glass of brandy!

So thats that.  I brought my knitting (a sock) but didn’t even pull it out.  And when I got home, I didn’t have much time to knit either.  Don’ t these rotten kids know that mommy needs to knit?  I managed to start the Mad trapper toque, but undid it because I screwed it up (tried doing 2×2 ribbing rather than 1×1, but stupidly didn’t do the math to see if it would work.) I ending up finishing only 2 rounds.

And now I have to do work-that-earns-money.  Sigh.

My Ill-gotten bootie…

Here it is:

Actually, there is one more sock yarn, but I’ve already got it on the needles.  The plan was to use the green alpaca for a hat for my husband’s grandfather, the sock yarns for socks for 2 female friends for xmas, and the lavender for some kinda cowl for another friend. The green is still a go, and one pair of socks, but now my daughter wants a hat out of the other sock yarn.  It won’t really be very warm, but its so hard to get her to wear a hat at all, that its better than nothing.  And it could look pretty funky… I made one for a baby once, out of sock yarn, and it was pretty cute.

The whole lot cost me way too much.  And in the end, you know all the recipiants think that I did it to save money.  I mean, you are looking at 3 presents for $100.  If I had bought gifts, I wouldn’t have paid more than $20 each, and frankly I can’t afford that much anyhow. 

But I was in the store, fondling all the yarn, and only the alpaca (okay, the cashmere too) was soft enough for my liking.  I used to use only acrylic, because I couldn’t see paying for wool, and then I started knitting with wool, and then alpaca, and I fell in love and can’t go back.  But wool, at least the stuff I should be buying, is scratchy, so what can I do?  I refuse to lower my standards!  (Not true, really- I still use wool once in awhile, for appropriate projects)

But I did learn something last night.  Something very important.  Yarn cannot cure all woes. 

I NEEDED to go out last night.  I had had a really rough week, and I wanted to be away from the demands of my children and husband.  But I came home feeling worse.  Just sibling-relative stuff- the filthy gunk that clogs us up from childhood on.  At my age, I shouldn’t care anymore, but I do.  And even a hour in a packed yarn store didn’t help.

Still, today I can knit. And knit I shall!  Because while yarn can’t help me get over my childhood issues, knitting can let me forget about them for awhile.

knitting in public (or KIP)

I have to say, learning to KIP (knit in public) was fairly hard for me. I wasn’t ashamed- I’m a very proud knitter. I just don’t like being looked at. Stared at. Oogled. Whichever.

Having once been an advocate of breastfeeding (I still am an avocate, I just don’t have a baby to feed anymore), it may be hard to believe I am that anxious about KIP. I nursed in public, (NIP) with blankets and such, but NIP doesn’t actually get many stares. Dirty looks, yes, but not stares- if someone stares at that, it makes them some kinda pervert, I think.
But KIP gets looks. At first, that made me really nervous- I started to be concious of how fast I was knitting, or if I looked like a newbie. I’d make mistakes because I was so caught up in doing it right.
But recently, I’ve noticed it doesn’t matter anymore. I just do it.  And I almost enjoy the looks.  Occassionally someone will ask something: mostly people that are a bit off, sometimes drunk or kinda crazy.  I no longer mind (if fact, if you have to have a conversation with a crazy person, it helps to have a harmless topic ready at your fingertips).

Mostly I knit socks- if I have to make a long bus trip, I’ll start a simple sock the night before to take with me. Sometimes its too crowded to pull out the knitting- if you start knitting on the bus with a bunch of people still standing up, I think it kinda makes them jealous. Which could be a good thing, if you’re that kinda person. I’m not.

But I have to tell you, one day I was punished for my bold KIP. I was on a bus that was semi-busy. You know, a handful of people still standing. I had a seat, of course (I dare anyone to knit while STANDING on a bus!) so I pulled out my sock. I’m happily knitting along, and come to the end of a dp needle. I go to switch needles, and ‘pling!’ the loose needle flies up in the air, above a few heads and lands at the feet of some of these poor souls that were standing. Beet red, I had to literally crawl on the bus floor and ask a few people to move. I got back to me seat and put the rest of the knitting away, and pretended to be asleep for the rest of the trip.
It didn’t scar me though, as is evidenced by my continued KIP. I’m just very, very careful now, and only do it on the bus when I have a couple seats to myself. And I’m currently reconsidering the whole idea of dp needles being the best projects for KIP.

Now for some finished projects. First, my elephant hat. 

Not as soft or warm as I’d like, and frankly I need to loosen up when I knit with color, but still, I’m happy.  I think it looks better on me than my daughter (but don’t tell her that, please).  I’m making myself a new one anyhow- I want something sinfully soft.

Next, the cowl and fingerless gloves i’ve made for my sister for xmas:

I’m very proud of these.  I LOVE the yarn, which is so soft, I can’t bear to throw out the meter or so I have left.  I hope she likes them too. 

Finally, the socks I made for my husbands stepgrandmother (how complicated family relations are now!).

Nothing fancy, but I’m proud of them.  I love toe up socks now, and the Knitty formula I’m using, so much so that I don’t want to use anything else.  Really, not a very productive attitude.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m off this afternoon for a yarn orgy! I’m going to Romni yarns, which has the most yarn I have ever seen!  I only have a $100 to spend (really, I shouldn’t spend it but its for xmas presents!) but I hope to come home with lots of goodies!  I’ll be dying to write about it… if I can pull myself away from actually knitting!

 

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