Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Need A Nap and More Knitting Time

I'm suffering from an acute case of Weekend Whiplash. It wasn't a bad weekend. It was a busy weekend. So busy, when my father asked what we did on Friday ... I couldn't remember.

(We ran the food order table at the school Harvest/Halloween festival)

The good thing is, I managed to knit.

I finished Koffee Klatch Hat #3! And I think it's not bad, and I feel confident it will fit. Crazypants!

I picked up the diaper pants project again. I was sooo into the idea of this when I started. I got the appropriate needles, and finished the ribbing and eyelet and was making pace and now ... I need to start short rowing. Ugh. For some reason, the thrill is gone. My eyes are wandering to other patterns now. I mean there simply has to be something better than what I'm doing ...

So I put them in a corner and picked up Aidez.

I am so embarrassed about my inability to read a "simple pattern."

Okay so I'm trying to knit the left AND right fronts at the same time. There are specific instructions for the left front. For the right there is this:
Work to correspond to left front, reversing all shaping and placement of pat sts. Bind off for armholes on WS rows. Work armhole decs at end of RS rows as SSK, k2.
Yes, I understand that I must reverse the order of the Rows. The problem is the rows, reference ... other rows of pattern. Do I reverse these as well?

for example: Row 2 of the Seed Wishbone pattern is:
Rows 2, 4 and 6: K2, (p1, k1) 3 times, p2, k2.
Do I knit: k2,p2, k1,p1, (3x) K2? Am I making this too difficult? Do I knit as usual just in the reverse order?

I pinged a friend/co-worker knitter and tried to email her about it. She said she'd get to come by tomorrow. What she doesn't realize is I'm itching to knit today.

I may have to go back to baby pants eh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sorry I'm a Judgey Mean Girl

I feel like I should apologize for the previous post. I wish I was more like the other knitters I like to read. They include stories about their weekends and lives and are so much more positive than mine.

Even when they vent, they don't sound like a 15 year old who can't have new shoes and a candy bar.

I thought about deleting the post. But this is who I can sometimes be. And maybe it's a good reminder for myself to leave it here. I need to be kinder. I need to not be so defensive.

One can dislike, disagree and be respectful. (isn't this what I'm always lording over The Kid?)

So on that note. What can I say that is more positive about the world we live in and the people we share it with?

We keep trying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funny & Amazing Things (rambling story)

Today something pretty whack-a-doodle happened at lunch.

I took the F up to the Castro to procure some periodicals and new bedtime reading at Books Inc. (Love the store, helpful folks and they support our local schools) I bought some less than exciting pozole soup at Harvest and headed to the Market St. Island stop to take the F-line back to the office.

A train approaches as I cross to the stop.

A man approaches the stop.

He says something that sounds muffled because I've got my orange earbuds in and I'm rocking out to my Mom music.

I try to be polite and give people the benefit of the doubt, and take my earbuds out, "Just in time!" he says.

"Yeah, sure." I say, and he starts chattering. The old instincts are kind of kicking in and I think, hmm he's rather friendly, this feels like flirting?? But you know, I'm practical somewhere underneath this hot mess exterior, I rifle through my Mary Poppins bag looking for my Clipper Card/Bus pass. It's in hand just in time to see the approaching street car is labelled, "No Passengers -- Training Car".

"Oh well." I say. And -- honest, I swear he said, "that's okay I get to chat w/a cute girl."

I know!!

(And before you ask, no he wasn't cute. I wouldn't fix him up with a rebounding friend with a low batting average, if you know what I mean.)

Anyhow, I'm seasoned now. I am queen of the smile and nod. I can even do it without rolling my eyes or looking bored or thinking rude things. (scratch that last one)

He asks, "Do you get a lot of men flirting with you in this neighborhood?" -- dude you are killing me, but you are a braver man than I would have you pegged for. Can't kill a dude for trying, even if his taste is questionable. The Dear Manfriend is sufficiently brainwashed, it only took one kid and approximately 14 years to pull that off.

"Uh, no." I don't get hit on much anywhere, and really ... that's ok. (I need validation, but not that kind. It makes me ... uncomfortable.)

"Haha! I can't imagine why!" (dear readers this is sarcasm, because in case you aren't familiar, The Castro is one of the gayest neighborhoods in the global hood.)

I promise you I'm not inviting conversation at this point. I try to distract by helping out a lost City visitor at the stop. He persists.

"Oh man, I just came from downtown ... everybody is crazy for the Giants game!"  -- now if this was someone I was enjoying a chat with, I would tell them how I was super-cited as my little sister used to say, for the first game of the World Series. But such as it was not the case, I let him carry on ... "Geez, I was glad to get out there! People are crazy about sports. Some people act so stupid about it." - Another sign of my new maturity ... I didn't even quip, "Yeah, but people are stupid.". 

"You know, I loved sports when I was younger. But I liked to play, not watch. I'm a doer." -- Okay, I fall off the wagon here but bear with me. 

"Yeah, my kid is kind of like that." -- see dude? I gotta kid, I got responsibilities, so um you should yeah just go chat someone else up. I realize in hindsight that it's not uncommon for almost 40, disheveled women to have kids and be single. I realize I am often in my own little world.

"That's a good kid." -- yes he is, which is why I must apologize for comparing my sweet chip off a whackadoodle block to that ... man.

Wait there's more. "You know sports started off for the circus and the bread, like in the Roman times -- to appease the plebs and masses. No seriously, from ancient times. Before that, in Sparta it wasn't teams. They didn't have official armies (?) they would do sport so they could teach them to work as a team, so they would respond properly if they had to go to war ... blah blah blah ..."

Oh my. This guy really thinks I don't like sports. And thinks I'm unfamiliar w/the classics and is going to give me his bastardize version of history. It's been a while since I studied. But I don't remember it like THAT.

"Do you speak Spanish." Oh here we go. Ever are the trials of the Brown Unidentifiable Ethnic Girl -- I really should write a memoir (with a strong editor, yes HM, I know.)



"Yep, I took Latin for 4 years in high school, doesn't help as much." hint hint, I'm not a Classics idiot.


Oh here we go. If he says the word, "Oriental" or "Exotic" I might lose my maturity in a hot minute.


"Really? (insert some Spanish phrase here?? WTF) as the blessed street car approaches. Well, you know I'm from L.A. and pretty much everyone ..."

"Yeah, I can see that." Every *sshat ...

I climb into a single seat, and I think he understands that I am not inviting anymore conversation. Oh no, he wants to talk about how excited his kids are for Halloween. I let him prattle on for two stops when he gets off.

Okay let's deconstruct this before you tell me that I'm crazypants. (which I am.)

Dude came from downtown.

Dude got on the streetcar with me in the direction of downtown.

Dude stayed on the streetcar for what essentially is a 3.5 city block distance. (unimpressed on so many levels).

Dude smack talked sports AND the Giants fans/game tonight.

Let me show you what I looked like today (orange and black are the SF Giants colors). Let me remind you I just came from the bookstore:
Four Four Two is an English Soccer Magazine. Not that I like sports (sarcasm)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Click Clack Go The Needles

I would be lost without knitting. I try to work things out on my needles. It helps w/my anxiety.

My mantra these days is "Heal, heal, calm, calm." It really is effective with a K2P2 (knit 2, purl 2) ribbing combination. :)

I wish my father knitted. He could use some of that productive, calming methodology in his life. I think he's been bamboozled by retirement and his health. I think he's a little lost.

His best friend died at 55 years old after 7 year fight with cancer. He was at peace at the end. I think this helps my father grieve. He is giving a speech at the service today. I called him to let him know I was thinking of him and his BFF. I told my father I loved him and to stay strong. I could hear him fighting the tears. I quickly got off the phone.

Sometimes when I try to help I think I do more harm.

Click Clack go the needles. I can hear them now, "Heal, heal, calm, calm, knit, knit, purl, purl."

I had an appointment out in a part of town I am not usually by. I managed my anxiety with a little knitting while waiting around. I'm such a chicken. If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then I'm chicken of the life. ha! Anyways, I had to get strategic the night before about what to bring with me. Aidez requires too much thought. The diaper pants are in a weird place without the correct needles. And the Wonder Blanket aka The Monster is just too mighty to be towing about. Naturally this means a new project must be created.

Hence, Holiday Koffee Klatch Hat numero trois (yes, I see the contradiction).
 It's just the beginning. Yes, more ribbing :) But we're going places I tell you.

After my appointment, there is a little yarn shop Atelier around the corner.  Such a cute store, with lovely people and of course lovely yarn. 

I was just going for those US 6 16 inchers you know ... but look what I walked out with!
Venice Hand Painted -- gotta check the tags again.

Oh happy days!

I have some holiday knitting plans for these two. They gave me a pattern for a lovely cowl and the kind owner let me take a picture of the other colors, so I can decide what to make for myself down the line. 

The yarn makes me smile. I decided to ride that feeling so I picked up The Kid early for an afternoon feast. (I also hadn't eaten all day out of anxiety so win win) 

Root Beer Float & Library Books

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Weekend of Ribbing

Another weekend where I am at the whim of my 9 year old's social life. But really it was pretty awesome. Saturday was the LEAP sand castle building event. The first one I'd been too, and it was really well organized and lots of fun for everyone.

The kids were hard at work on their organized chaos. The adults from the construction and architecture firms were super kind and hard working with the kids. They even supplied a pizza lunch! Meanwhile, I was able to sneak off with my friend Mrs. B. to explore the food trucks that were there for the grown ups.

We ordered the weinerschnitzel from The Municher, a German food truck. I wish I had photos for you, but I was too busy stuffing face :) We sat on the beach wall and watched out over the ocean and the event below. We watched small children trudge through the sand and I had a lovely chat with a lovely woman.

The beach is not good for knitting on windy days. So the end of one of my Holiday hats stayed in it's project bag.

Fear not, I FO'd it later that evening during another sleepover. I act all put-out that the living room is taken over, but secretly I am tee-heeing in my room with Poirot reruns on and finishing off hats ha!

Tada! The pattern is from Purlbee. It has pleased me greatly. It knit quickly after failing miserably at the Big Rib hat ha!

So that left me Sunday to work on ... stuff. But what stuff? I was so unprepared for the next project I went to swimming lessons without knitting! I know! Catastrophe! I was forced to watch my poor son and another weak swimmer slip and slide over each other every few yards to the wall. It was like watching two otters in a kiddie pool.

So back at the homestead, I needed a project. Yes, I have Aidez on the needles and something must happen with this sweater. I love it so much and have such fear of murdering it. (Story of my life... the running theme paralyzed by fear, no?) So I picked it up and said, I gotta get through the 3" of ribbing for the front sides at least. I am not a speedy knitter, so I must make haste. Goal met. Reasonable progress my friends, reasonable.

Next goal, is to get through 3" of pattern, before I have to figure out how to mirror the right front decreasing to the left. (I realize this may seem obvious to most of you, but I'm not that smart.)

Well, I needed something else ... something new ... so I started some baby knitting pants. (I am not ready to face another round of dog sweater knitting and I actually feel OK with my Work Koffee Klatch Hat knitting progress --> 2 down 3 to go!)

So I did the ribbing for some diaper pants. From my ravelry project page:
It calls for worsted yarn. I thought I was using worsted yarn, but it seems more like DK, so I figured I’d try knitting a size large, because really … who can bother with getting gauge?

And because the needles are tiny and again I reiterate, I am s l o w, I was just shy of finishing the ribbing. Monday evening I managed to and stick in an eyelet row and switch to the larger needles. Alas, the needle part is too long for knitting in the round so I will have to go out and buy a pair of US6 16 inchers. Aww shucks, I have to go to a knitting/yarn store. ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Family Quotes: Bananas & What The Kid Says.

On the MUNI, on schedule, on time, on the way to school today, I look in my purse.

There is no banana in my bag.

Me: "Kid, there's no banana in my bag. I know you probably don't care. You don't even like bananas."

(I wait, expecting his spiel about how he does eat bananas, maybe one every 3 - 6 mos. ...)

The Kid: "Actually, I had a banana yesterday."

(Insert my Looney Tune bug eyes here)

Me: "The heck you say!"

The Kid: "I did. I ate one yesterday at Afterschool, only because I was hungry."

Me: "Well, I'm glad you ate a piece of fruit being hungry. You must've been hungry."


Me: "Wow, you ate a banana. I have to write it in my diary."

The Kid: Chuckle and snort: "Um, you don't really have a diary ... do you?"

Me: "No, I don't, but I have a blog..."

The Kid: "Really?"

Me: "Yeah."

The Kid twists his face in a way that says soo much.

Me: "Don't worry. I never use your real name."

The Kid: "Good."

This Could Be Going Better

Sort of the theme for the past few days... weeks?

I'll start you off with my mental state and keep it brief. I'm tired of talking myself into coping everyday.

Last weekend getaway/Camping: Equipped, but not fully ... We had no marshmallows and we had no firewood, and the Visitor Center/Ranger station had neither. These things were rectified the following day, when my Dearest ManFriend ventured out the State Park windy road to procure the camping experience. Oh and the first night, there was not enough air in the mattress, and it was too late to add any. We did okay that first night but the rest of the experience was pretty nice. We had one of those lovely long walks up and down hills in the woods. No one complained, everyone enjoyed, the weather was p e r f e c t.

Work: A sense of completion for small projects. Things should be done that aren't. I need to try harder.

Knitting: More on that sense of completion. Hats that are of questionable size. Dog Sweaters that are of every size but the right one. (Don't talk to me about gauge.)

I went with it and realized that I still cast on too much when the brim of the hat began to look like the body of a child's sweater, ha! ahh knitting joy. (This is with the brim folded, the other picture didn't turn out. I wish I had something for scale, but it's huge.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

She's Having a Baby

Goodness no! Not me!

Didn't you just read the last post? I'm a hot mess, I can barely handle what I have!

My friend HM is having a baby.  I'm so excited for her. On one hand I feel like we are having the baby, you know, like I got some kind of rights to it. (This is just a sentimental feeling people, don't worry I'm not going all Lifetime Channel Movie on her. I try hard not to boss anyone outside of my own home, unless it's my sister, because, well ... she's my sister.)

No, no, I get to coach from the sidelines this time, and I mean this loosely, because I can only cheer you on and give you some random opinions about moi (of course). To tell you I got this parenting thing down is bullhockey.

This means 2 things have consumed my thought process regarding baby:

1) Babies are magical creatures. Babies are the new unicorn for me.

I am nostalgic and sentimental for all things. ALL. I creep into my child's room more than the usual, "Are you sleeping ok?" check at night. I stroke his hair and give his soft head a kiss and am practically reduced to tears when I stare at any picture of him before the age of 7.

I read an article in the DailyMail about Orphans in the 1800s in NYC and I basically cried my eyes out, in public, at work, and then donated a little over $250 to the local foster care social worker non profit. (Worker's Childrens Fund)

I made my husband watch the entire Dirty Dancing movie with me ... on basic cable. Yes, I cried.

Having babies reminds me of being younger, maybe lost, but younger. I seem extremely sensitive to the passing of time right now and change. Change is making me loopy.

2) I am obsessing on knitting patterns for smaller people. It's a little out of control. I have a list that looks like I'm going to be knitting this kid a small dowry. I know. It probably won't all happen, but I'm counting on myself to deliver at least 2 - 3 pieces by the time she squeezes that thing out.

What's on the list? Why I'm glad you asked!!
  • Knickers - knit pants
  • Cardigan
  • Shorts or overall style dress
  • Booties
  • Hat
The patterns themselves are very fleeting. I love one, 1 minute, and then another one more 5 minutes later. I will have to ping some of the lovely bloggers out there for some opinions if I get my act together.

In the meantime like many people, before I start on baby ... I'll work on something for dog! ha!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wow I'm really screwing this up

I have been trying so hard to be nicer to my child. Does this mean I'm not disciplining him and just letting him roll around in a pile of his own filth? No.

It means I'm not barking at him every 5 minutes and reading him the riot act for doing or not doing things that are actually pretty common for a 9 year old. You know, leaving stuff on the floor, forgetting his flute, not unpacking his lunch, leaving his homework at school, making a mess when he eats, groaning when he has to go to bed, or wake up. The usual. The list makes me cringe.

It's hard. My desire for him to be better than us is going to make him neurotic and I am suffering from such bad anxiety and not showing him how to properly cope that I'm the one who is really at fault. I'm supposed to be the grown up.

Freaking out is just going to make an introvert like him shut down and withdraw more and then rage like southern hurricane. Same sh*t, different year.

Self-awareness is grand, but it's just lip service if I can't change things.

It's also hard for me to let go of something I feel right about. I'm trying to summarize things. I want him to just try hard, try harder.

I think this needs to apply to myself as well.