Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A triumph of will

Well, I've been doing a bit of knitting lately, although not as much as I'd like. Baby N. will be having his first birthday this Saturday, and I've been stockpiling party necessities. For me, that includes baking cake layers and two dozen cupcakes, and freezing them for decorating the night before. Buttercream has been made and set aside, waiting to be colored and piped, and hats and noisemakers sit next to balloons that still need air.

I didn't knit at all on Monday, and I think my sanity suffered for it. I was tired to begin with, and I threw a couple of novels in my bag along with my shawl, because I'd missed breakfast and can't actually knit and butter a bagel in the cafeteria at the same time. I ended up reading one novel and starting the second, but didn't knit a stitch. And, I went home more exhausted, more scattered, than I was all day.

I did get one and a half rounds done on the shawl at lunch today, while chatting with Hubby, but it's not capturing me this week. I think part of the reason is that I swatched for my central park hoodie and I need to swatch again; plus, I'm not sure what size to make, and I'm having a crisis over it*. But, I'll keep plugging away, because I love a challenge, and the feeling of triumph is so 'lishiss.

(I have a friend with a two year old. "How's your supper Lily?" "It's 'LISHISS!" She's the one who's delicious ;-) )

So. Yes. Triumphs. I ran into a grad student a week ago, who was knitting while waiting for the bus; I know of her, but haven't met her, so I decided to ask her about her knitting. We chatted for a few minutes, and in mentioning my shipwreck, she said, "Circular shawls are fun. That last row will be a triumph of the will."

So, I'm pushing toward that. I think, by my calculations, I'm about a third of the way through the openwork border. I'm hoping to be done by winter ;-)

In the meantime, I'll be having a birthday party for my best boy, then maybe a little lunch out for my own birthday... I don't need any more presents - last year I got a baby for my birthday, and it's really tough to top that.


*The CPH is driving me nuts, though, truly. I like a snug sweater, and although some people say it runs small, others seem to have had no trouble. I'm at the top end of one size, but I don't want to go up a size and end up with a sweater that I'm swimming in, but I also don't like the pressure of needing to lose five more pounds to fit comfortably into a piece of clothing. Gah.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

100 Truths meme

1. last beverage -> caffeine-free diet pepsi
2. last phone call --> Hubby
3. last text message → Hubby
4. last song you listened to → Nightblindness
5. last time you cried → three days ago

HAVE YOU EVER:
6. dropped your phone in the toilet → nope
7. depended on someone → yes
8. dated someone twice → yes
9. been cheated on → yes
10. kissed someone & regretted it → yes
11. lost someone special --> yes
12. been depressed → yes
13. been dumped → yes

LIST FOUR FAVORITE COLORS:
14. pink
15. yellow
16. green
17. pink

THIS past 6 months HAVE YOU:
18. Made new friends → yes
20. Laughed until you cried → yes
21. Met someone who changed you → no
22. Found out who your true friends were → no
23. Found out someone was talking about you → no
24. Kissed anyone on your tag list → ?
25. How many people on your tag list do you know in real life → ?
26. How many kids do you want to have → total of 2 or 3
27. Do you have any pets → no
28. Do you want to change your name → no
29. What did you do for your last birthday → had a baby
30. what time did you wake up today → 6:15
31. What were you doing at midnight last night: sleeping
32. Name something you CANNOT wait for → moving!
34. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life → live closer to home
35. What are you listening to right now → Silver Lining
36. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom → yes
37. What's getting on your nerves right now → the too-cold temp in lab
38. Most visited webpage → flickr


FIRSTS :
56. First love → Mike
57. First piercing → ears
58. First best friends → Gina
59. First sport you joined → none
60. First pet → Muffin
61. First vacation → Halifax
62. First concert → Bryan Adams
63. First crush → Toby

RIGHT NOW:
64. Eating → nothing
65. Drinking → nothing
66. I'm about to → go eat lunch
67. Listening to → still Silver Lining
68. Waiting for → my brain to wake up

YOUR FUTURE :
69. Want kids → have one, want more
70. Want to get married → already did
71. Careers in mind → anything at HOME

WHICH IS BETTER WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX? :
72. Lips or eyes: eyes
73. Hugs or kisses → both
74. Shorter or taller → taller
75. Older or Younger → older
76. Romantic or spontaneous →romantic
77. Nice stomach or nice arms → arms
78. Sensitive or loud → sensitive
79. Hook-up or relationship → relationship
80. Trouble maker or hesitant → hesitant

HAVE YOU EVER :
81. Kissed a stranger → no
82. Dined & Dashed → no
83. Lost glasses/contacts → no
84. Sex on first date? no
85. Broken someone's heart : yes
86. Had your own heart broken → yes
87. Been arrested ? no
88. Turned someone down → yes
89. Cried when someone died → yes
90. Liked a friend? → yes

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
91. Yourself → yes
92. Miracles → yes
93. Love at first sight → not really
94. Heaven → yes
95. Santa Clause → no
96. Kiss on the first date → yes
97. Angels → yes

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:
98. Is there one person you want to be with right now → two - Hubby and N.
99. Had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend at one time → no
100. Posting this as 100 Truths → yes

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sending my knitting vibes out into the universe

I had another knitting-in-public encounter yesterday, and it was probably the cutest one yet... although it's been happening more and more lately, so I have a lot to choose from.

These days, I still have Mondays and Fridays off for the most part, but I don't like to take N. out of daycare those days because it makes his transition harder. So, I have two choices - go home and get stuff done around the apartment (and knit), or stay on campus and get errands done (and knit). I'd like to stay home for the day, even if just to keep on top of the laundry, and it would mean I have access to food and all-day coffee that won't cost an arm and a leg. The problem is - I can't seem to bring myself to leave N. on campus and go home without him; I feel like I'm abandoning him if I don't stay within a few minutes walk of the daycare center.

As a result, my Mondays and Fridays go something like this:
8:30am - catch bus to campus
9:00am - drop N. off at daycare, check in with teachers, kiss chubby kid cheeks
9:20am - buy coffee/bagel, hunker down at hospital caf (attached to my lab building), read while eating breakfast.
9:50am - commence knitting
11:45am - meet Hubby for lunch
12:10pm - recommence knitting
12:40pm - run errands, go to Walgreens, buy stamps, check on lab experiment
1:30pm - buy coffee, recommence knitting
3:30pm - visit Hubby at his lab to check email
3:40pm - recommence knitting
4:50pm - pack up knitting
5:00pm - pick up N.
5:20pm - on the bus back home.

It sounds very eventful, I know ;-) and I love having the time to put on my knitting and reading (I was an avid reader until N. was born, then lost the extra time to do it in). The problem is, I don't have a functional iPod right now (actually, I just don't know where it is) and the hours alone in the caf can get quite lonely. I really like it when people come up to me to ask me about what I'm doing.

Oftentimes, it's a group of two or three ladies that are there to eat lunch, and on their way out, they ask me what I'm making. When it involves a baby sweater, there are often comments on the "lovely colors", and those make me feel a little guilty. I don't feel like I deserve to be complimented on picking out the gorgeous hand-dyed yarns I use - those compliments should all go to the talented color artists like Tina Newton at BMFA and the talented people at Dream in Color. Sometimes I get the whole, "Gosh, that's so complicated - you're so patient and skilled" etc etc., and that one also makes me uncomfortable; I can follow directions when they're well written, and I'm selfish in knitting - it relaxes me. (And, these people are neurosurgeons and researchers half the time - if they don't have the skill and patience to knit, I'm thinking I don't want them poking about in my brain.)

Yesterday, though, was one of those "send out vibes and they'll come back to you" days. I ended up sitting in the middle of the caf, directly behind the cash, because it was really crowded and I couldn't get my usual quiet corner. But, I took out my Shipwreck Shawl anyway, since I really want to keep moving forward. I got to the point where I had to shift hundreds of beads down the yarn to be able to keep going, and as I was doing that I noticed one of the hospital volunteers watching me over her empty tray. She was the cutest little old lady, but made no effort to hide her staring. I smiled, and she came over to me to ask me what I was making, so I showed her the photo on the pattern, rather than taking an amoeba and trying to insist it would flatten out to a lace shawl.

She admired my handiwork, then started asking me about how I found time to do it, if I worked, if I was a mother, etc. I always love hearing people say things like, "You young people, I don't know how you find the time to do it all!" but it was nice to hear her add, "Sometimes you don't get to do it all, but the things that you should let slide are the cluttered house and the unfolded laundry - enjoy your kids and enjoy your hobbies, the house will always be there." She was amazed at the affordability of the yarn (she thought it was much more expensive, especially after hearing it was a silk blend), and that was kind of fun to talk to her about internet ordering.

It turns out she used to knit years ago, but has put it down lately in favour of painting and quilting due to macular degeneration. The wonderful thing, though, was when she spent a few minutes looking at the pattern, and at my knitting on the needles. She lit up and said, "I can see that! I can see the pattern and I can see what you're doing!" She told me she had a half-finished fisherman's sweater at home, and that she was going to see if she could pick it up again. There's nothing quite like hearing, "Dear, I'm so happy I stopped to talk to you. You've inspired me to knit again, I'm so thankful!"

(She was so excited that she left without taking her empty tray and garbage, and came running back two minutes later)

I told my mom about it last night, and then of course she and I got into a whole different discussion about knitters and knitting philosophy. I know in some ways it's just a dorky hobby, but I really feel like I belong to a wonderful, diverse community of talented people, and if I make someone's day a bit brighter, it's all worth it.

And, I get to look at pretty things like this ;-)