Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gift Knitting

My hobby is exactly that, mine. I use it to deal with a lot of stuff in my life , a lot. I think this is why it's so hard for me to make gifts for people. Now, I know there are some out there who pretty much gift their projects exclusively. I applaud you for that, I really do. But for some reason, I just can't let mine go that often. Now last year I wanted to create a scarf that I thought was beautiful, the Forbe's Forrest from Scarf Style. It contained intricate detail but was masculine at the same time. "This would like nice on my brother," I thought. And therefore, he became my muse. As soon as I was done blocking I shipped it off to him and he loved it. And then a few years back there were these chunky chenille boas that I couldn't stop crocheting. They were soooooo easy, I thought that all of the ladies that I love should have one. They loved them. My step mother even kept making requests for me to make them for her friends. This got old. My mom called me the other day and asked me if I could make a scarf for her. "What kind of scarf?", I asked. "Oh, just something basic", she said. "You could probably go right over to Target to find something pretty basic for less time and expense", I replied. There's other examples that I could share, but I'm sure with these few you get the point.

Now, when I tell someone I'm going to make them something, I keep my word. But, I do not like people taking away from my crafting time for their own selfish gain. Or, like Little Man, and I think maybe my Mom just trying to take my crafting time, period even though you don't really want or need it. Little Man is notorious for this. I'll make him something and he'll rarely wear it claiming some strange imperfection when he really wants to say that he prefers store-bought. Then why the hell did you ask me to make it for you?! Just so you know, I did offer to make my mom something more unique and less basic. Her other suggestion was a mohair sweater with a flop in the front. I think she used to own something like this back in the day. Imagine her shock when I told her one big hand full of mohair was about $9. My mom is like a size 22/24.

So, maybe all this is why when I made a genuine attempt to knit up some socks to fulfill my secret Santa obligations it all went horribly wrong. Now, these socks were supposed to be for a man who I estimate must wear about a 10 1/2 shoe. I used the Universal Toe-Up formula and determined that the socks should be worked over 64 stitches with 12 unwrapped at the toe and heel. Why, pray tell, did I then get something like the following?
Yep, they're turning out nicely, but that is my foot people, and I don't ever wear anything larger than I woman's 8 1/2. I tried to knit some socks for someone else, and ended up with some for myself. Oooops. ;-) Maybe it was that shot of Remi in my coffee.

But then, after Christmas, I started feeling guilty. Of course, the new babies are getting bigger, and after reading Shameka's gifting progress. Ughhh! I really want to finish their sweaters by New Year's day, but then my one and only gift, the one from my from my secret Santa is the Stitch N' Bitch Happy Hookers book. Oh, a wonderful publication indeed. Those bunny slippers are looking soooooo good right now. And little man would probably enjoy that Jolly Roger sweater if I could convert that skull and cross bones to an Oakland Raider. What to do, what to do.

I must decide quickly. Teddy Bear has just excused herself from the queue by objecting to these adorable ballet slippers I thought would be perfect for running around the house in. "Mommy, can you please take these off me. I don't like them." Huh, then why am I waisting my knitting energy on you then? Hmmm, I think I'll use this yarn for my Fat Bottom Bag.
Any advice?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

FO's, FO's Everywhere

Ok, just a couple of FO's. First let me start off by saying that I must cherish every moment left of blogging with images as my camera is failing fast.

This is me giving it a good talking to on the way to Teddy Bear's Christmas program.

You'd better not piss out on me now. You better not.

Second, I've been finished with the Mini Anthropologie for a while now. When I finally got in the groove it only took like a day. I'm using a studded hair pin to hold in closed. I would have preferred a brooch, but I couldn't find one proportionate to Teddy Bear's size. This worked well too because I could pin it to the dress without poking through the fabric and therefore keep everything in place.

Teddy Bear was supposed to have a semi-solo (her and two other kids) but chickened out at the last milisecond. When she got up to the mic she just turned right back around and went to her teacher. Darn. She then played this game of hear no evil, see no evil. Oh well.

Oh, and I love my up do. I am well pleased, can't you tell? I've tried to capture every angle for your viewing pleasure. I know there may be naturalists out there who'd like to criticize my meticulously groomed locks. So sorry to disappoint. You WILL be seeing more of these creative endeavors.

The gathered pullover is a wrap. When I first saw it I thought that it would be perfect for a recycling project. I was right. It looks good on, but I must say that the sleeves look a little wonky when laying flat. Imagine my anguish when realizing that the sleeves may be too small for the sleeve holes (I know there's a technical name for this but I just can't think of it right now). The designer should have put a little note saying something like "Warning, the sleeves may look too small but they are not. You will have to work carefully with them but they will fit. We recommend crocheting them in with a slip stitch." I always crochet my sleeves in, but this method was especially useful this time. By the way, Banana Republic sews all their seams with a crochet slip stitch. Just a little interesting tid bit of knowledge. I just like the rolled edge look in general and it seems like everything store bought with this feature is a little pricey. I wonder why? I also like my sleeves long, so I didn't adjust them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Almost Done!

Listen while you read...

One more sleeve to go of the Gathered Pullover. I'm unraveling the body of the BR sweater to finish up. I thought that this piece would yield two large balls of yarn, but not so. Maybe I nicked the strands while unraveling. Darn it.
I like the way it fits so far.

And, since I'm ever so guilty of lurking on natural hair blogs but never posting about my natural hair, I thought that I should share. After realizing some time ago that the blogosphere had such a large collection of natural hair journey journals, I decided to jump right in. Because I never viewed my current hair style as a journey as much as I do a destination I think it's been hard for me to keep up with hair posts. I mean, how much can you talk about a hairstyle that rarely changes. It's probably just me. I'm posting now because on Friday I'll be getting my first professional up-do. A style that I found on Renaissance Hairtopia. I can't wait until I have enough hair for a wedding bun. Wish me luck!

Excuse my mess.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dum Heffa!

When I moved an hour and half away from my family, I knew it was the right thing to do. Having lived 10-15 minutes away from all of them for years without any visitors and the escalating housing market made it easier too. I looked for a house for 2 years without success. Finally when a seller tried to fadangle extra money out of me for a house in the hood (by hood I mean it was normal to see shrines and memorials set up on the corner honoring young individuals who'd been murdered) I gave up. I went as far away as possibly practical so that me and my son could have part of the American dream. My 3-year old son and I were living in a one bedroom apartment and paying about $1100 a month rent in San Leandro, California and my baby daddy had been married for a little over a year and was sure by now that he was going to be staying with his wife despite his periodic evening visits to us.

If I described my stay in this far away land as lonely, I wouldn't be giving you a fraction of what my experiences have been. I like to say a lot with only a few words, and that's impossible do here when discussing all that I've experienced. Needless to say, I don't get out much. That's why when I heard that Will Smith was coming out with another movie, I was determined to see it on opening night. Fully realizing that there is not a baby sitter any closer than 1.5 hours West, I mindlessly remarked to my girlfriend that "I'm going to have to scar their little minds this time with a PG-13 movie." Honestly not thinking that I'd be doing any harm.

Now, it could be just me, because I don't like horror movies AT ALL. I know that I Am Legend is probably being classified as a thriller, but damn! I myself had nightmares about living among infected individuals last night. In my dreams they had all been cured but still looked the same and expected to carry on as if there never was a problem in the first place. I didn't sleep well. For some reason Teddy Bear rarely gets affected by these images and Little Man said he only had a tiny nightmare. Nothing that was going to keep him from getting a good night's sleep.

Yes, I am that Dum Heffa in the theater who brought her kids to this un-kid-friendly movie and I'm ashamed of it. I'm normally the one who shakes my head at those mothers who don't care enough about the fragile mentality of their young ones and lets them engage in violent flicks for entertainment. My conscience told me to get up and walk out but the movie was much to enthralling to abandon. And besides, at $23 for the three of us, I knew it would be a long while before we'd be taking another movie adventure. It's just that I'm so tired of waiting the six months for the movie to come out and then another month for it to become available for me to rent on Netflix.

Case and point, I don't believe that I've turned into that Dum Heffa that I used to shake my head at. Damn!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Christian Walk Summed Up In One Doctor's Visit

Dr: "Well, since she's starting Kindergarten next year they're going to require her to have these four vaccinations. You could just do a couple now, but some schools want them ALL before enrolling a Kindergartener and you'll just have to make another appointment. He just needs a chicken pox booster"

Little Man: "Oh no, I have to get a shot. Aaaaaah. :("

Teddy Bear: "I'm not scared. Just say Hallelujah. I'm going first."

Nurse: "Let's do him first. Now count to ten. Oh, I beat you, are you done counting?"

Little Man: "That didn't even hurt that much. That's two times in a row I didn't cry for a shot now."

Teddy Bear: "Where are my shots?"

Nurse: "Just a minute honey. Nurse, B, I'm going to need your help in here...

When giving multiple injections they like to do two at a time. Teddy Bear rarely cries for shots. I remember her crying once when she was a baby. In walks Nurse B...

Teddy Bear begins to fidget uncontrollably.

Me: "Do you want her to sit in my lap?"

Nurse A: "Yes, and hold down her arms. Okay, now hold her feet between your legs." Nurse A to Nurse B, "Are you ready? 1, 2, ....

Teddy Bear: "NOOOOOOOOOO!"

Nurse A: "3!

Poke, Poke, Stick, Stick.

Teddy Bear: "Oh my God! Ahhhhhhhw. AhhhhhhhWWWW. Ohhhhhh, noooooooo!.

Me:"I'm soooo sorrry. It's ok, it's ok.

Se went on to scream like this for about 10 minutes.

Me: "Do you want to go to Chipotle?"

Teddy Bear: "Yes."

Me: "Well then you have to calm down because they don't want all that screaming in there."

Teddy Bear: "Ohhhh, my shooooots. Owwwwwww! Hallelujah, Hallelujah."

I was reminded that pain is pain. It's alright to enter the fire afraid. Go in there scared, knowing that God is with you. Keep your eyes on him and not the experiences of others. You may have to call out in agony sometimes, but after you go through it all, you will still come out with the victory. You can't avoid pain entirely. It's coming, but God is still with you you. Hallelujah.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Knitting A.D.D.

It's because of the stress. I've still been working on the gathered pullover. If anyone has ever wondered why Banana Republic's clothes cost so much....
Well, let's just say this is a lot of yarn from one sweater. The yarn is DK weight and so I'm using size 4 needles in order to get my gathered pullover's gather to closely resemble that of the original's. I'm pleased so far and it's fitting quite well.

I can't stop running my fingers across that bumpy thing.

I think I have about six projects on needles right now and this is so unlike me. I knited all day on Saturday and didn't make any progress. I must have tried to start the sleeves for the pullover about 4 times. All without success because I kept twisting the stitches when joining in the round. Sooooo, frustrating! My troubles wouldn't let me focus. I switched back and forth from that sleeve to starting a mini Anthropologie all day long. At the end of the day I had nothing. All this, while watching the whole third season of Heroes on Netflix (What do you want your special ability to be? I like the copy cat girl.). Today, all I have left of the Anthropologie is one cuff. Very much a quickie. It wasn't until I was done that I realized the reason that the "designer" worked the yarn-over increases on the purl side. I was certain she was just playing a sadistic little trick on us. This is what slowed me down. After I started increasing on the knit side, it just flew by.

I need this little shrug to go with Teddybear's xmas dress. I don't like my boo-boo to have bare arms. I know this dress doesn't look like all that in the picture, but it was really cute on her and works well with her chocolate skin. She really likes it too, and it's a decent price. There's a tiny bit of gold spark-ly striping, but you can barely see it in real life either. Now it's time to accesorize with some bling. She's going to need a butterfly broach for her shrug, maybe some rhinestone hair accessories. Would a necklace be too much? She wanted that little purse, but I don't like it. There were little glitter shoes too, but those were just as much as the dress. We're doing it big since she's going on stage for her first Christmas program.

Yes, this week has been so @#$%ed up that of course I resorted to dressing up my mini me. Didn't you know she's part of the hobby? She never minds, thank God. But, I hope I'm not creating some sort of twisted co-dependency. I can see her 12 years from now, "Oh, mommy's depressed and stressed. Let me go comfort her. I might get some boots out of it." I thought about just vegging out on Cinnabon and champagne, but for some reason I didn't think that was the right way to go. I was right, I conquered this week and claimed the victory, but there's still a lot of work ahead. This start-itis is over. Within the next two weeks or less, I promise one of these projects is leaving my needles.