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Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category

I don’t mean like perverted sick (well, maybe my hubby, but that’s not really appropriate here).  I mean coughing, sneezing, sniffing sick.  My poor, poor little girl has it the worst (although i think I’m running a close 2nd, since I’m sick and I have to take care of her at 4 in the AM).  Kesara has this horrible cough, that sounds like a 20 year smokers cough.  And it has been going on so long- and my main excuse for not posting more. Seems like every other night she is up between the precious hours of 2 and 4am- side note: there are  an awful lot of commercials for penis enlarging pills on at that hour; what does that mean exactly?

So I haven’t had much sleep.  And she is so unhappy about it all, that she won’t let me out of her sight.  I’ve had to the doctors, and now she has a puffer to help… Please, to all the fates that be, let her get better so I can get some sleep and so she can got back to being my happy little girl again.

My other daughter is much more determined- she doesn’t want to admit she is sick.  But she has always had an amazing constitution, despite her severe allergic (mental) reaction to vitamins and minerals found in vegetables.

I have managed to do a bit of knitting, but I don’t have a picture yet- I’ll have it tomorrow.  I’m making a double knit skull scarf for my teenage nephew.  He may not ever where it- he is a teenager, after all- but i think he’ll like it anyhow, and my sister will love borrowing it from him.

But I do have a picture- my husband happened upon a sweater I had started YEARS ago for a friends daughter, that I finished up about a year ago and hoped to give to Kes.  But she’s so chubby, it was torture to leave it on her- I’m so sad in some ways, because my friends daughter would have loved it.  It is the singular most expensive project I’ve ever done, since it has 3 different yarns in it- I don’t remember the brand, but one had a lot of stretch, and one was a metalic thread, so they were expensive to begin with.  So now I have this extravagant sweater and no one to give it to.  I made the pattern myself too, although I’ve since lost it (thats so typical of me!).  I hope you like it: 

skinny baby sweater

The thing in the middle is a heart- it looks better in person.

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Knit without Guilt

I have been taught to knit a dozen times, easy, by my patient mother over many, many years.  I think the first time I was about 7.  By the time I was 9, I must have forgotten, since I recall her explaining it again.  That went on for years, then I put down the needles in exchange for a boyfriend. Then in some bizarre example of my fragile sanity I decided to make a frog sweater for my 4 year old nephew- having never accomplished more than a scarf or two in my younger days. 

Not only was the project itself a tremendous leap forward in my knitting skill, I had forgotton how to do those magic little stitches, and my teacher (poor mom) was miles away, linked only by the telephone.  This was before the internet was such a magical land of information, and I was too poor (and cheap) to attend a knitting class.

Have you ever tried to give knitting instructions over the phone?  My mom has. 

Give me a glass of brandy and I can give you lots of complaints about my mom.  Like anyone, I can think of plenty of things to bitch about in regards to my upbringing.  But my mother deserves a olympic medal for patience!  (After raising 6 kids, she’d have to be veritable yogi of patience!) That poor woman must have spent 10 hours in total on the phone with me, trying to explain “to knit, go in from the left side.  Your left, not mine…”

Fortunately the relationship didn’t not suffer from that chaotic conversation.  The sweater, however, is a different story. The sleeves were different sizes, my tension was a nightmare, and there were gapping holes everywhere, since I never bothered to ask my mother how to put in a new color mid-row. 

My nephew welcomed the gift with the same response you’d expect from any kid- he asked for a cookie.  My sister mocked the sweater.  Mocked is a mild word. She teased relentlessly.  She put it on.  and it fit!  Well, fit her better than my nephew. 

But I was crushed.  I was angry, and proud.  I mean, my sister couldn’t thread a needle if her life depended on it, and here I had actually made a sweater!  Sure, it was a sweater that would only look good on a bumpy monster with arms of 2 different lengths, but goddammit, it looked like a sweater!  And I finished it… I didn’t stick it in a box half complete, I actually finished it!

I don’t pretend that I was suddenly smitten by the knitting bug right then and there, but it gave me encouragement.  The next year I made a hat for another nephew, which he did really appreciate (he called it his ‘jingle hat’, and wore it dillegently).  I also made my sister and her partner a pair of mittens… her comment was “I didn’t know you could knit!”, which was a big step up from the scorn borne of the sweater.

Many, many years passed, usually with a project or two a year- small stuff, like hats and scarves.  It wasn’t until I was pregnant that my urge to do a sweater was reborn.  And I did it- and I was really proud.  My very large baby only fit the 3 month-size sweater and hat for a week, but it is an heirloom none the less.  She is now 7 years old, but she keeps it in her special box, and tell the story to anyone who will listen. 

She has received a few sweaters since, and hats and scarves and a poncho.  Most are variation on a basic sweater pattern, and not all were completely successful: the hood to one is really just for esthetics- it didn’t fit her head at all.

But they all taught me something.  And now my mother comes to me for advice!  I love that!  I actually showed her how to add new colors to a row: thanks to the internet for teaching me.

But life is a struggle, and bills have to be paid and butts need to be wiped, and frankly I don’t knit as much as I want to.  I have another child now, who will be 2 in december, who has yet to receive anything knitted by her mom- I made one sweater, that I still think is beautiful, but she is such an adorable chubby baby, she looks like a frilly stuffed sausage in it- it took her sister and I some serious effort to get her out of it.  And it is a rule of sibling rivalry, I have since learned, that the older child will insist that every other knitted product must be for her, or else it is painfully obvious that you love the baby best.

Parenting is often a thankless job, and unfortunately it isn’t my only one- I also work as an editorial assistant for a science journal (gratefully, from home) and a book reviewer, and any other odd job I can find, and they all pay too little and every cent goes to pay for the daily needs of the children.  I find I am totally stressed of late, and I have acquired that horrible habit of most moms of putting everyone else before myself.

Well, as of now I’m changing all that.  Oh, I won’t neglect my girls, but I am giving something to myself too.  I want to be able to pursue my own passion- knitting- and so I’m giving myself permission to knit without guilt, whenever I bloody well want! 

In fact, I’ve decided to go for the Master Knitter’s program offered by the Knitting Guild Association.  Paying for it will be a bit of a challenge, so I haven’t purchased it yet, but I will soon enough.  Until then I will push forward and learn something new with each of my projects.

Which I should really be doing now, while no kid is pulling at my sleeve or screaming in my ear.  That would be somewhere between 5 and 6 am.

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