January 21, 2009

Down But Not Out

This week, my little shining rainbows, has really gotten on top of me. I apologize for the radio silence, and I'm really fine, but I found getting to the blog a little hard these last several days. Luckily, I have prepared a list of excuses.

Excuse the first:

I am still in a brace, using a cane. It has gotten super old- super fast, and I'm beyond annoyed and actually filled with rage much of the time. (This morning's rage incident was trying to carry both a coffee and a plate.) This injury makes everything that there is to do way more work, and twice as slow. For a while I tried staying upstairs, but I'm alone for much of the day and there was no access to food, tea, coffee, most of the stash and all of my work stuff. After trying - for about the 15th time in as many minutes- to move something from the downstairs office to my upstairs bedroom with the power of my mind... I gave up and moved downstairs. Once downstairs I discovered that while I had almost everything I needed down there, the only bathroom is upstairs. It turns out that some up and down is just necessary, and so much time and will to go on is lost on lurching up and down the stairs. (If you make a suggestion involving some other sort of personal hygiene system that does not involve using my brand new soil stack and renewed love for running water, I shall mock you. You won't know it, because I'll be here and you'll be- well. Wherever you are, but I will mock you. The bathroom is the only option. Period.)

Excuse the Second:

This is the time of year that Joe works out of town, sound editing student films... and so I'm flying solo. I would be frustrated by the crappy timing, but am too afraid that Joe will bring up how I left on a book tour right after he broke his foot, so I have said nothing.

Excuse the Third:

Megan has been applying to Universities. If you're a parent who's been through this, you know what it's like. She chose U of T, Ryerson, York, Queen's and Memorial. (If she goes to Memorial Joe will be thrilled, and I shall be a complete wreck. I can't imagine her going to a school so far away, it just seems like a huge slice of crazy pie. I imagine that this will fade when I realize that she's taking her laundry with her and that her departure will leave me with only one child still at home, but for now... crazy pie.) The paperwork is a nightmare.

Excuse the Fourth:

Barack Obama. I swear, the man is riveting. While he and I are not in complete agreement on some of the issues (for example, I oppose the death penalty in every case, and believe in the same rights to marriage for all) I have to say that no matter what his politics (or yours, I suppose) he has certainly raised the level of discourse about politics. Nice big words, speaks to people like they are responsible, capable and intelligent citizens.. .and, while it's hardly a qualifier for the job, and matters not a whit, I think it's nice that he can dance. Canadian Prime Ministers are sworn in privately, and there are no parades, no speeches, no televised balls... I spent a whole day yesterday watching the new President, and as I had no cultural frame of reference, it was gripping. Just gripping. In any case to my American friends, congratulations on your new President. He seems both smart and spiffy.

Excuse the Fifth:

It is cold. The only time I am warm is when I am in the bath. Near constant bathing is taking a lot of time.

Excuse the Sixth:

Battlestar Galactica. (Seriously? That's the final cylon? I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen it, but for those of you that watched, don't you think there just has to be another twist coming? )


I did indeed finish my Eye of Jupiter socks, and I will be wearing them for every episode and the finale. Yes. I am that big a dork- and no- I don't care who knows it.


Pattern: Leyburn, Yarn: the really cool colourway "Eye of Jupiter" from Sereknity. Needles, 2.25mm Signature Dpn's (Still feeling the love.)

Excuse the Seventh:

Sam was cold. She asked me for a set of hat and mittens, and asked for them to be handknit, very grown up, elegant and "not too knitty". The "not too knitty" confused me, because really, that seemed like a lot to ask of a handknit, but when pressed as to what "not too knitty" might mean, the child told me that she has noticed something about knitters. She says that she can spot them in a crowd because their hats, mittens and scarves don't match. They might have a fabulous hat, and a fantastic scarf, and a really impressive pair of mittens, but since they were all separate knitting adventures (and they might even match in a colour way) they aren't part of a set. "Real people..." she said (and we're letting the "real" comment go - she's young) "Real people have matching stuff because they bought it." I looked around and dudes.. she's right. This season I'm using a Noro beanie, some Latvian mittens and a scarf Denny made me. Hadn't even occurred to me that they weren't a set, but then again, I'm a woman who considers a bra an accessory. I may not be a fashion role model. I decided that if Sam wanted a set, Sam could have a set. After all, what sort of a knitterly mother turns down any request for her art? I had some leftover LSS in "Winter Solstice", and I did a little rooting around and came up with this.


The mittens are Elizabeth Zimmermann's classic Mitred Mittens from The Knitters Almanac. (Scroll down.) The hat (I just love the hat) is a knock off of the Robin's Egg Blue Hat, which is completely charming, but the yarn I had was the wrong gauge, so I winged it. (My apologies to Rachel, who wrote a great pattern that I largely ignored.) I used the leftover little bit of the LSS to knit a band. I started at one end, casting on 16 stitches, then knit until it measured around Sam's head, then tapered it off. I sewed that together, then picked up stitches and knit up (using the leftover Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted from Hank's sweater) then decreased down sharply for the round top. I decided then that I wanted a little black at the bottom so it would look like the band was attached to a black hat, so I picked up stitches (through the back, so it would leave a little ridge on the right side - which is something I now wish I had thought of when I picked up for the top...)


increased a little (one stitch for each four) so that it wouldn't be tight, then knit a purl ridge and cast off knitwise. Taking a page out of Rachel's book, I dug around my Gramy's old button bin for one big vintage button, sewed it on...


and it's perfect, and Sam's already worn it in public once, so it must have passed inspection. I'm wondering though, does your winter wear match?

Posted by Stephanie at January 21, 2009 1:24 PM