Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Today was awesome.

Woke up at about 9; Clara was still sleeping. Got her up at 10:15 so we could get to the 11:00 exercise class. She beamed at me when I woke her, and giggled while I was changing her. Is she really my daughter? I'm usually grumpy as hell when someone wakes me.

Had a rush of endorphins about two-thirds of the way through the class and felt like I could go for at least another hour. Discovered after the class that in a roomful of babies, people gravitate toward Clara. Maybe it's the beaming.

Went to the Turkish deli owned by one of my former students, a wonderful, wonderful woman who radiates kindness and generosity. I hadn't seen Esme since before I was pregnant. Clara slept in her carrier on my chest for most our visit, but then woke up to beam at Esme as well. Esme nearly turned inside out.

Had lunch with K. at Il Fornello -- buffets are perfect when one is in FOOD NOW mode, as I am after exercising, and Il Fornello's food is yummy. Clara charmed the server and the entire next table, who already had a baby with them. (That baby was pretty darned cute, too.)

Got on the subway and went to Lettuce Knit, which I had not been to before. I love Kensington Market. I don't go there nearly enough. Lettuce Knit was full of people; Clara charmed several of them even while passed out cold. (When she woke up, of course she beamed.)

A few weeks ago I made her a raglan pullover (again from Debbie Bliss's The Baby Knits Book); I used Tahki Donegal Tweed in a discontinued colour, a lovely teal-turquoise that I got at the Wool Room in Kingston. (Hi Mabel!) I think the pattern was designed for a yarn with a very different hand, though, because the neckline is HUGE and looks unfinished. Yes I know babies have big heads, but this neck is about twice as big as Clara's little head. So today I was looking for a finer, softer yarn to use for a collar.

Had a very nice, long chat with another customer who was infinitely knowledgeable about the store's stock; we talked about babies (she wants one) and birth. Turns out she's a doctor who delivers babies sometimes, and yet she wants to give birth at home. I joked (as I often do) that Clara's being born at home means that she couldn't have gotten swapped at the hospital. This woman told me that she was switched at the hospital -- the nurses gave her mother the wrong baby. Fortunately her mother was with it enough to realize that this scrawny little thing she'd been given was not at all the nine-pound bruiser she'd squeezed out. Oops.

She helped me find a hank of Alchemy Yarn's Haiku, a gorgeous silk-mohair blend with a lovely halo, in a beautiful orange that picks up on the flecks of orange in the tweedy raglan. I held it out for Clara to touch. She stroked it a bit and her whole body vibrated with excitement. All righty then: I guess that's the one she wants. Kid's got good taste. There's enough yardage that there should be enough left over for a scarf after the collar is done. (Good, because it wasn't cheap.)

I also bought my first ball of Noro's Kureyon for a Lizard Ridge afghan. Dammit, I'm getting sucked in. (Has everyone made one of these already?) I have this cute little plan that I'm going to buy one ball and make one square each time I finish a project. Other knitters titter at this idea. Yes yes dear, that's nice. We all had plans like that once. Now we have afghans.

Then we came home on the streetcar and the bus, Clara cooing happily as we rode. The weather was gorgeous and the city's mood buoyant. When we got in, Clara had a satisfying diaper and a good meal, and then she went down for a very late nap. I picked up the needles again and plan to finish the right front of the baby kimono by the time I go to bed.

What a terrific day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Knitting again

New sweater
Originally uploaded by Spamily.
After her longest absence ever, the knitting muse seems to have returned to me with a vengeance. My sister says she knew I'd start knitting again when a baby arrived.

This little sweater is from Debbie Bliss's Nursery Knits; I made it out of Garnstudio's Silke Tweed. The sweater knitted up smaller than it would have in the yarn that the pattern called for, but hey, she has a sweater that fits her now.

I am now working on another Debbie Bliss pattern, this one from The Baby Knits Book; it's her kimono and trousers, in her official wool/cotton yarn, which I am sad to find has been discontinued. Romni Wools had a fair bit of it in their sale room, marked down to $6 a ball; with their 20% off sale, it was down to $4.80. So not only will Clara be getting the kimono and trousers and a matching pair of booties in fuchsia with a pale grey trim, she'll also be getting a Bliss-designed tank top (which actually looks more like a vest to me) in a dusty rose.

I am really liking this yarn. It tended to split a lot on the cast-on row, but once past that it's been knitting up beautifully. The 50% merino-50% cotton blend means that the fabric has a bit of stretch and a nice sheen.

Bliss's pattern calls for stair-step shoulders, but I am being rebellious and using a short-row shaping method that I found on the Intartubes. It'll make for a much more even shoulder seam. I'm even pushing myself to try a new (to me) way of doing the short rows, the Japanese style. What sold me on this style was Nona's mention that Lucy Neatby invented the pin trick -- I've been a Lucy Neatby fan since Mr. K and I met her long ago when we were in Nova Scotia. On hearing that a fellow knitter was having car trouble in her neck of the woods, she invited us to her house and fed us lunch while Rolf the Golf was being fixed.

Nona suggests that one advantage of short-row shoulders is that the stitches remain "live" and the shoulder can therefore be finished by way of the three-needle bind-off. This is true, but once again I am going to be rebellious and cast them off anyway once the short-rowing is done, because I like sewing shoulder seams. (There, I said it.)

I used to think I was hot stuff in the Internet knitting world because I had a great big site about knitting. The Internet did not wait for me while the knitting muse was away, though. I cannot believe how many knitting blogs there are now. I've spent the past few weeks trying to breathe life back into my own site (what I've done so far is still behind the scenes; I'm hoping to unveil it all early next month) and I'm just astonished by how the online knitting world has exploded since I put up my pages in 1994 (1994!).

Evidently knitting is hot. Who knew?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Yesterday's weigh-in: nine pounds, fifteen and a half ounces.

Clara is still the smallest mammal in the house. (Most other babies are at least twelve pounds by now.)

At the recommendation of her (mercifully non-interventionist) paediatrician, we'll be starting her on rice cereal at five months, not six. One more month until the really nasty baby shit starts.

She's been having a rough few weeks because her brain is wiring itself up for the nineteen-week developmental leap, and she's perceiving lots of stuff differently and is very confused. She spends a lot of time stroking textured surfaces and putting things (especially our fingers) into her mouth. I'm finding that life is a lot more manageable when I think about the baby not as an impediment to what I want to be doing (futzing with my website, knitting, going out to the gym, writing blog entries, etc.) but instead as What I Do, with the other stuff on the side. She's much happier that way, and therefore so am I.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My brain hurts

I've decided it's far past time for a major overhaul of one of the websites I've owned since 1994. I bounced a new design idea off Fedward, who shrieked "TABLES?!?"

Evidently web design standards have changed since 2000. Who knew?

So I'm trying to teach myself CSS, and my brain (which still has not recovered from the pregnancy) is leaking out my ears. As my friend Jenya wrote when we were in high school, "It's all going by in pretty colours and shapes."

Thank heaven we have finally figured out the finer points of Midday Naptime. Oy.