Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today's the Day

In just under two hours, DH, Baby M and I should find out if Little Sibling is a boy or a girl. Woo-hoo!

You know, I'm not one to open presents before Christmas or turn to the last page in a book to read the ending ahead of time or anything, but I just cannot wait for this, no matter how many people talk about the fun of "being surprised" and all. With Baby M it was more of an adjustment issue. I was sort of freaked out about becoming a parent anyway, so having the fewest amount of surprises in store seemed like the best way to go at the time. Now, I'm just plain excited. I want to pick a name and picture a little person instead of a featureless "it" inside me.

And, of course, I want to start knitting.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm a What, Now?

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.
You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Sock Machine Comes Through

So, months and months after getting my antique circular sock machine up and running, I've finally done something more than drop stitches, make "practice" tubes and glance guiltily at the machine as it sits gathering dust in a corner of my bedroom. I've actually made...well, not a sock, it's not that exciting...but a bath puff!

That's right, an actual finished something (even if it isn't an actual sock) from my csm, and I cannot tell you the absolute rush I got watching my little ol' machine crank out two feet of stockinette stitch tube in just a few minutes. I think it took me longer to do the finishing work than it did to knit the whole darn thing. Now all I can think about is figuring out how to make honest-to-goodness socks on the csm. Next project, here I come!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Annie Modesitt Needs Our Help

I feel like someone should be walking around with a wicker basket, a la "It's a Wonderful Life," collecting dollar bills and busting open the jukebox to help out someone in need -- in this case, Annie Modesitt, the uber-talented knitwear designer whose husband was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Annie is selling her Red Carpet Convertible pattern -- a stunning pattern for a super-sexy gown that can be anything from a floor-length formal to a hip-length corset -- as a way of raising money to help cover the expenses associated with her husband's illness. The pattern costs a minimum of $4.50; you can (but aren't obligated to) add any amount on top of that as an additional donation.

And believe it or not, the link to the .pdf is right there on Annie's blog, where anybody could just download it and not even make a donation. Free for the taking. Knitters are absolutely amazing to me -- that Annie would put the pattern up and trust knitters to donate anyway, and that knitters would (and do) just makes me feel good about people.

So take a minute and head over to Annie's blog and make a donation. Then, make yourself one helluva dress.

Now if only I could buy the body to go along with it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Butterfly Bog Jacket

The good news is that Baby M's bog jacket is finished! Months after I finished the lion's share of the work, leaving only the piddly little detail stuff to complete, I dug the jacket out of my work bag and just did it. I love how it looks. I love the frilly crocheted "butterfly wings" I added to the ends of the sleeves when I decided I didn't like how they looked plain. I love how the funky buttons add an unexpected splash of bold fuschia to the more earth-toned jacked itself. I love just about every darn thing about this jacket, in fact.

Which brings me to the not-so-good news: I think all those times my mother wished I would have a daughter just like me (and never because I'd done something good, mind you) have finally taken effect.

Baby M absolutely, positively refuses to wear her jacket. She won't even try it on.

DH tried to get me to see reason. "It's summer. It's hot out. Of course she doesn't want to wear a heavy wool jacket." But I know better.

When I was a kid, my mom sewed most of my clothes herself. I had cute little handmade pinafores, which she even took the time to get me to draw on in crayon and then iron the drawings in permanently -- a real mother/daughter project if ever there was one. I had handmade pants, handmade tops, even -- I kid you not -- a hand-crocheted bikini.

Mom made my clothes for many reasons. She was a trained seamstress. She loved playing dress-up with her sole little girl (when she was pregnant with me, she prayed for a girl because the clothes were so much cuter than for boys). Coming from a sewing family, she already had a large supply of fabric in the house. I'm sure it was cheaper to make my clothes (considering she only used fabric she already had) than to buy them new in the stores. But, underneath all of that, I'm sure she also made my clothes as a tangible expression of her love. What more loving thing is there than to clothe your child in a garment of your own making?

It was the zebra pants that did it.

I must have been in the fourth grade. I had worn the cute pinafores and crocheted bikini, but I had also worn the weird, 70's-era bell-bottoms made from gold flowered fabric that must have started its life as some sort of bizarre upholstery. The clothes that fit perfectly and never wore out but always stood out wherever I was and whatever I did. No one else in school wore clothes like I did. No. One. And when one day my mother produced a white pair of pants with great, big zebras printed all over them, I finally blurted out, "Can't I just wear jeans like everybody else?"

And that was how I got my first pair of jeans. And, I'm sure, broke my mother's heart, although I don't remember her showing any upset when I rebelled against the black-and-white bizarro-pants she'd made in all good faith and with all the good intentions in the world.

And now at age two -- two! -- my daughter is making my mother's fondest wish come true. She's refusing to wear the clothing I lovingly made for her with my own two hands.

She didn't even wait for the zebra pants.

Friday, June 15, 2007

You Know You're a Fiber Freak When....

The most use your hand mixer sees in a year is for making twisted cord.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Back on Track

Hooray! I finally did the piddly finishing on my Bubbly curtain -- weaving in the ends, blocking, making the hanging cord -- and now it's finishedfinishedfinished! Not five minutes ago did I hang it in my kitchen window, and boy am I pleased.

It looks like I've got my knitting mojo back. I've finally finished the sleeves on Baby M's bog jacket and now I just need to sew on the buttons and tack down the collar ends and that will be done, too. I've even been working on my blanket-of-a-thousand-ends. Soon I'm going to pick out some yummy yarn for Little Sibling and start on a MDK baby kimono. I'm all smiles -- so excited to be inspired again!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Back to Work

Well, my wonderful little week off is over -- it was back to work today, and back to aggravation from my immediate supervisor. *sigh* Oh, well. I've been aggravated about it all evening, and I just have to let it go now.

Instead I think I'll post a photo of my sweet little Baby M, looking adorable at "poolside" in her summer sun hat and slightly too-big bathing suit. This is how we spent much of my week off -- me reading "Jane Eyre" by the wading pool, her scooping sand in the sandbox and wandering around the garden barefoot. I can't wait for summer classes to be over so we can do some more of that!

Monday, June 04, 2007

New Toy

My charkha finally arrived! Just in time for Mother's Day, I might add, and I simply love it.

Here's how it looks after a freshly-applied coat of Wood Beams:

And here you can see the itty-bitty skein of 70% cotton/30% silk singles I spun up as my very first test project:

It's a little tricky to figure out at first. If you don't get it started just right, all the twist runs right up into your main fiber and you wind up with a thick, slubby mess. But when it does work...boy, it's just incredible. Right now I'm doing some more practice with 100% cotton roving my friend L gave me; once I feel like I can reliably make something that's actually worth keeping, I'll get to work on some of the more luxurious short fibers I've been hoarding for the past couple of years. There's a bag of buffalo fluff in my stash just begging to be spun up!