Friday, June 23, 2006

I Blame the Drugs

Yes, I was all morbid and depressed yesterday and I couldn't work out why. Then I went looking for a package insert for the heavy duty antibiotics I've been on for the last two weeks. The list of side effects are as long as my arm and feeling crap and down is in there SOMEWHERE.

I'm sure I'll start feeling better once the pneumonia and the medication to get rid of the pneumonia are BOTH out of my system.

The post that changed

Hi there. This was supposed to be a post about meeting Miriam for knitting and coffee and pancakes and the nice book I found in a second hand shop and Gerhard and his wool and the self help group and the socks and scarf I finished and how the socks went from "WOW thanks MOM" to "MOM I can't find one" in the space of a few moments. Thankfully the sock did not vanish into the black hole that is my lounge, it was under Michael's Magic file.

Then I went blog cruising and found THIS post at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog.

Boy that sent me off over the edge of the self-pity wagon. Doesn't help that the 29th of June, in addition to being Gina's birthday, is the 6th anniversary of my divorce. Doesn't help that I, maths geek that I am, does the sums and works out that I have now been divorced for 2/3 as long as I was married. Doesn't help that I KNOW that I am better off without him, happier without him, and much better than he deserved in the first place. I still remember getting dumped the day Jackie was due, because in all the years we'd been together I hadn't changed into the person HE wanted me to change into, going to pieces while he carried on with his life as if nothing had happened, finding out after he killed himself (November 2004 - just in time for Christmas - his timing was ALWAYS impeccable) just how little time it took him to replace me, and finding out that he'd probably been cheating on me all the time we were married, I was just too trusting and STUPID to notice.

Most of me is moving on. Hell, all of me was ready to go out and hit the dating game pretty much around the time he offed himself, which put paid to all that, at least till the kids move out of the house or the little one grows up enough to realise that not EVERY unattached male who walks through the door is her "New Daddy".

There's just a little bit of me that feels expendable and discarded and unwanted and that nobody ever wanted to be with me.

The rest of me will go buy it some wool and maybe a book or three and chocolate - LOTS OF CHOCOLATE.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I took my knitting to great heights today

After a suggestion by Miriam that we organise a suitable entry for the Knitty Calendar Contest I enlisted the services of Dave, assorted equipment and accessories, and took my (and Miriams) knitting to great heights. Assuming we get anywhere in the contest we'll point you to our picture. Otherwise we'll just wait until the closing date and post the pics.

Are you intrigued yet?

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Magic of Blocking

Today I blocked the shawl (Kiri) that I finished knitting yesterday. Here it is before blocking:

During blocking (the 6 year old has been added for scale):

And finally, after blocking:

Here's a close up of the shawl itself. I have to resist the urge to run into the street yelling "DAMN, I'm GOOD".
Blocking is quite stressful for me. This is only the second time I have done this and I live in fear of a stitch popping as I pull the lace to shape. Alternatively I worry about the whole thing crumpling back to its original size when I remove the pins. Also, I have to make sure that the blocking venue is secure as the blocking assistant

or cat thinks that my bed is actually her bed. You will notice that, in a sheer fit of knitterly brilliance, I acquired a cat who can shed on ANY colour and STILL have it show up. If anyone were to ask which fiber I include in ALL my projects I can honestly reply "Angel hair" as Angel is the cat's name.

Michael, 16YO son, learned to knit today. I tried to show him a few years ago without success. I think the planets were in the correct alignment tonight or something because I showed him how to knit and he just took to it. He knitted 3 whole rows by himself while I was in the bath. Even better - he noticed when he made mistakes and went back and fixed them. I am a VERY proud mom tonight. See - all this AND he knits too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I have finished some things

OK - I'm following up on some of the comments and posting some FO pictures. Gina wanted to see my progress on the Spiral Petal Shawl. Well, I finished it and here it is. I just needs ends darned in and it might actually go to Jackie. It is pretty small (just covers my shoulders) and as it is done in acrylic (what can I say - I wanted a quick finish so I grabbed what I had) blocking won't do much good. I'm thinking of doing it again in SUPER Bulky but we will see.

I finished one of the Kiri shawls that I have on the needles. This will be blocked tomorrow (it's a public holiday) and posted off to the birthday girl on Saturday, assuming I can find a padded envelope that it will fit into.

I was also asked how such a little snake could eat a WHOLE mouse. Well, you feed it a really small mouse, called a pinky because they are so little they haven't got fur yet. Once Crystal gets a bit bigger she will be fed fuzzies, so called because they are a little bigger and have baby fuzz, not fur. When she gets bigger she will be fed larger mice and, depending on how big she gets (corn snakes grow to about 1.5 m in length) she might graduate to small rats.

My daughter, despite her current love affair with all things pink, is not the typical little girl. She takes after her mother that way. Posted by Picasa

I have Pneumonia

Meant to post pictures yesterday, didn't get round to it. Didn't post pictures today either, mainly because I didn't take any. I have an excuse. I have pneumonia. Went to see the doctor yesterday morning. My back has been hurting for a week or so. The pain is in that particular spot in the vicinity of the bra strap that makes it well nigh impossible for you to poke your thumb in to see what the problem is. I KNEW it wasn't due to the weight of my breasts but was a little worried that it might be due to excessive knitting. I'd been applying the traditional remedy of taking pain pills and ignoring it under the assumption that if it was a strain it would be better by then.

Doctor made me pee in a bottle. Turns out your kidneys are up there. WOW - that was a learning curve for me. I always thought they were a lot lower down, closer to the bladder. Anyway - kidneys were fine so I got sent for chest X-rays. I had a cold about 2 weeks ago and most of the congestion was in my left lung. This, surprise, surprise, is about where the pain was. Radiologist, doctor, and another doctor looked at the pics and agree that I have pneumonia. I am, apparently, not the first person to have pneumonia with no cough. I have different antibiotics, 3 days off work, and pain pills. I don't know if this would have happened anyway but I have felt progressively worse since seeing the doctor.

It has not hampered my knitting. I am almost finished a shawl, have convinced the 16YO son that he should learn to knit, and have completed "At Knit's End". However, after reading page 86 and sniggering a bit I went home and did EXACTLY that. I didn't notice that I'd done a Russian join to the end of the cast on NOT the start of the new ball until I started to make the next stitch and realised how little wool there was to work with. I blame the drugs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I think I'm in love

I bought myself an omelette maker. A friend was raving about hers a while ago and I've been looking for one ever since. Yesterday I saw one and bought it. Jackie wanted a penguin waffle maker. Goodness knows WHY as she doesn't eat waffles. I insisted and took my new toy home.

This is the MOST AMAZING appliance I have ever owned. You just put it on to heat up, toss in some filling, cover it up with beaten eggs (I put them in a shaker and, well, shake), close the lid and wait. In a few minutes the lid starts to rise up (it reminds me of the Citroen a schoolmate's mom had - it had air suspension and did this whole WHOOSH thing as the system engaged) and before long you have an omelette a child.

I think I need more action in my life if I can get this excited over an appliance.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Yesterday was International KIP day

AND - we got together and knitted in public. As suggested by Gail we arrived at Gloria Jeans in Nelson Mandela Square (formerly Sandton Square) for knitting and goodies. Here's the picture I got the manager to take of us :

From left to right we are: Miriam, Carol, a waitress who wanted to be in the picture and was told to hold a sock and act like she was knitting, Gail, Ingrid and ME. Miriam and I (OK - just me) pointed out that, unless the other ladies were sporting hand knitted underwear or socks WE were the only participants wearing hand knitted items.

There is, however, a much better picture of us all (once we'd moved from the table to some couches) taken by Miriam's husband, Nico, at the Fiber Fever group home page. I look a lot less FAT in this one, so maybe that's why I like it more. HMMM - it would seem that husbands DO actually have some uses, after all. Maybe it's just that she hit the jackpot and got one of the good ones?

Gail suggested that we bring along any WIPs or UFO's of interest. I seem to have the biggest collection - 2 big shopping bags and a rucksack. I think I need to do a recon of what I have on the needles and see about finishing some things up.

I did, however, get Ingrid started on knitting socks. I think the poor woman is still in shock. In the space of an hour she learned how to knit a tension swatch in the round, do a provisional cast on, and how to do short rows. Eventually she claimed she had to rush off to feed her kittens but she DID promise to come visit me during lunch next week to get some more tips. At least this way she'll have some knitting skills to teach her mom the next time she visits.

Hope you all did some public knitting and had as much fun as we all did!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Snake has eaten

Crystal version 2 is NOT overstressed. She ate her mouse quite happily, Jackie is delighted, and all is currently good with the Wagner reptile.

I have an international KIP day meeting with friends tomorrow at 10:30. I meet the creche teacher on Sunday for feedback on the girl child. Other than that my weekend is MINE (and the kids, of course). I plan on knitting.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pictures for you

Hi Everybody
Just to keep everybody quiet, here's a picture of the wool I got on Saturday. The Opal was a gift from Miriam - Thanks Miriam - I'll get that on the needles ASAP.

Also, just so you know I do love my kitty, here's a pic of her snuggling up on my pillows, on my bed, under my covers. Doesn't she look adorable?

I was planning on posting these yesterday, but Blogger didn't agree. It's working again now so ENJOY!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What I did on my weekend

WOW - I have had one BUSY weekend. Time to shop but not to sort out pics. They will follow tomorrow.

Saturday morning was a mad run around of the monthly shop.

Then I met Ingrid at Arthur Bales (she doesn't have a blog or I'd link to her) where we did some shopping. I already have FAR too much yarn but bought enough nice chunky stuff to make 2 quick knit sweaters. I've been knitting mostly socks lately so this seems to go so quickly. Ingrid also got yarn for two scarves, yarn for a nice chunky sweater (I need to help her out a bit as she, poor thing, has left all her knitting needles with her mom and needs a push to knit without a commercial pattern for the sweater). Then to Mama Tembo's for a snack. Daughter liked the kids play centre and trampoline. We bribed her with a visit to Ingrid's kittens to get her away.

Then home to meet Miriam who said such nice things about me on her blog. It was fun to play with her wheel for a bit and even more fun to see what a good time she was having with the spinning. The cat really appreciated being kept all snuggly warm by her rear end. I usually just pull the "It's MY house" card, and sit on her until she moves and I get a nice warm seat.

Sunday was more shopping, visited Jane for tea and scones, saw how happy she was to get one of her basset hounds back from the vet, a bit of a nap with the daughter (we were both a bit tired after all the running round on Saturday), started on the first chunky sweater - I need to track down 15mm circular needles for the other one - and did some mom stuff.

All in all a pretty good weekend. Just wish it was a bit longer.

Will post pics tomorrow.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What I have been up to

First and foremost, a welcome to the newest member of the family. This is the first version of Jackie's pet snake. She got it a few weeks ago but I've just downloaded the pics from the camera. She now has a new version of Crystal. The first one visited the pet shop to see why it wasn't eating. Turns out Jackie had been playing with it too much and it was too stressed to eat. She now has a replacement and I assume that the original snake is now in a nice quiet cage taking lots of snakey Prozac.

Now on to the knitting. Here are the two pairs of socks that will have the ends darned in once I find my needle or purchase a replacement. The white one is from the Six Sox knitalong, the striped one I did as a practice run of a toe-up pattern I got from the sock pattern generator here. I wanted to use the same pattern for Pomatomus but was less concerned about ripping a plain stocking stitch sock if things didn't work out. This sock kept me sane on a particularly tedious course. I knitted the straight bits in the class, turned the heels while watching TV, and even did some knitting while at the movies. This is the fastest I have ever finished a pair of socks. All in all it must have taken me a little over a week.

Here's Pomatomus. I'm doing this one sock at a time as the pattern mentions the need to move stitches around and that's much easier to do on DPNs than one circular needle with two socks on it. This was the bluest yarn I could find in my stash, and I'm wondering if the striping doesn't detract too much from the pattern. Then again, it isn't THAT obvious and in a way I think it adds to the overall effect.

This is a little pink number that I'm making for Jackie (who had her first knitting lesson this evening) with the same basic principle as Glampyre's minisweater or boobholder. You might want to turn your sound down as this thing just SCREAMS "I'm 6, I love Barbie, I love pink, I love fluffy!" at the top of it's voice.

Finally, these are my Fisherman's socks from one of the MANY sock knitting groups I'm signed up for. Can't really remember which one right now but will post when I remember. This is my first use of cabling without a cable needle which I learned by looking here and here. It was a bit fiddly at first but it's getting easier all the time.

Hopefully that will satisfy Gina who moaned about the lack of photos in the comments.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I was going to post some pictures .....

BUT - it's almost 10:30 pm here and I really need to get some sleep before work tomorrow.

I was at my knitty group meeting and we kind of lost track of time. The place started switching the lights on and off and ostentatiously closing the doors so we got the hint.

We had 3 people there tonight - Miriam, Ingrid and me. Miriam and I knitted socks, I showed off my new skill - I've just learned to cable without a cable needle, and Ingrid sat there looking miserable and complaining about how much better our knitting looked than hers. As she didn't BRING any knitting with her we had no chance to do a real comparison so she might just have been moaning for no reason at all.

I MUST take photos as I have 2 almost completed pairs of socks to show off and two partial pairs. Will try to do that tomorrow. The almost completed socks just need ends darned in but my darning needles have gone AWOL. I have also managed to misplace a BRAND NEW 2.5mm circular needle. I'll go past the shops on the weekend and buy replacements. That is the best way to ensure that I'll find the first lot. I've also misplaced a tape measure, the only one I have that shows measurements in inches and centimetres. I'm hoping that it's hanging out with the assorted missing needles and will reappear along with them when they hear the siren call of their replacements. Am I the only person this happens to?

Miriam has just bought a wheel and will be visiting me on Saturday for a spinning session. Ingrid might come past for a sock knitting lesson, and maybe Jackie, who told me today that her friend's mom is STUPID as she doesn't know how to knit, will get back into the spinning thing and actually TRY her Pinkie wheel instead of using it as a little clothes horse.

Jackie does actually want me to teach her to knit so I'm going to try that tomorrow evening. She wanted to try tomorrow morning but I explained that I need to go to work.

I will post pictures tomorow, PROMISE!