Saturday, November 17, 2007

Forget NaBloPoMo

(This post was actually published on December 4, 2004, but I don't know how to correct the date. Oh well!)

As if I were a candidate for NaBloPoMo. I posted once in November. A good portion of this post was saved as a draft on November 17th. And, I don't think my life is even that interesting. I spend half my day in the bathroom helping my (semi-? partly? mostly?) toilet-trained boys (they generally can get themselves in but need varying degrees of help wrapping up), or asking them who needs to go. Can you post from a bathroom? How about having at least one boy who needs to check out the bathroom at every place we visit? And, if we're not in the bathroom, I'm traveling to various doctors for various issues.

By the way, if you're looking for anything remotely related to knitting, skip the next 8 paragraphs, please.

So here's how my week of November 12 began. I was basking in the joy of my completed Halloween socks (don't even ask for pictures, not a chance). They turned out really well, if I do say so myself, thanks to Caroline Schurch and that little tidbit from Lucy Neatby about making the sock length approximately 1/2 inch less than the length of your foot. I'm thinking: boys will be in school from 9-3 on Monday, Baby Girl will be in school from 9-11:15. I can take a few photographs then, no problem.

And then Monday rolls around, Boy M's cough is really not better (he'd been to the pulmonologist twice already and had a course of steroids), so Monday morning, I drive him the the pulmonologist, who's about 30 minutes away. He doesn't like the way Boy M sounds, so he sends us for x-rays. I fight with the insurance company over referrals to the pulmologist and radiologist (don't even ask about my problem, I used to represent insurance companies who were sued by policy holders, and yet, this problem cannot get sorted out despite the involvement of various representatives from my husband's employer, both doctors and the employer's insurance broker), and I'm totally stressing about what's wrong with Boy M. Which turns out to be nothing more than some asthma (what a relief our radiologist is our friend).

Tuesday, I got to take everyone to the pediatrician because I HAVE HAD IT with all this sickness (Boy M wass just along for the ride because he'd already been seen and was on antibiotics). Four children under four years old at the pediatrician is not my favorite way to go. Boy E had a sinus infection. Boy J was holding is own and was able to avoid antibiotics. Baby Girl was being felled by allergies, not illness, so she got antihistamine. I created a major chart to track all medications.

Wednesday actually began as a quiet day, because I was able to drop the boys at school and actually go to my gastro appointment, which is the only appointment I ever refuse to cancel, especially because I have had several flare-ups with my GI issues in the past month. Of course, the antibiotics for my upper respiratory infection did me no favor except to nearly cure me of the upper respiratory thing and make me otherwise so sick that my GI miracle drug no longer works. I rationalize taking care of myself by reminding myself that if I'm sick, I can't take care of the children. After school, I take the boys to my so-generous parents. After a few hours of quiet play, Boy M complains of pain in his right arm when I incidentally touch it gently. There are no marks, no swelling, no memorable incidents, no crying, so we let it go. Until after bath, when Boy M gets hysterical when we put his pajama top on and take it off again to examine the arm (the thing is practically skin-tight due to fire-safety regulations for children's sleepwear). Again, no marks or swelling. I call my should-be-sainted parents, who have whatever upper respiratory thing we all have, to come over and check out the boy, and we make a joint decision to skip an all-nighter in the ER in favor of a trip to the pediatrician in the morning. Forget about any thought of the discovery that my babysitter, the daughter of one of my husband's clients, regularly visits my bedroom when I am not home and the dawning realization that she has stolen a number of items, the most significant being the earrings I inherited from my grandmother. But back to Boy M.

The next morning, in response to his pain on palpation of the arm, the doctor forestalls further examination in favor of an x-ray. Of course, our friend (and anyone else we know there) is away, so we don't get the results until we return to the pediatrician. He tells us it's broken. What??!! When I broke my leg at 14, the pain kept me up all night. The kid doesn't even cry unless you touch a certain spot. I'm killing myself with guilt. I shook that arm to get the pajama top off and the arm was BROKEN! At this point, after spending about six hours between doctors, we get an orthopedics appointment for the next morning and head off to the drug store for a sling that will fit a three-year-old.

Now, understand, I live in the small town I grew up in. I have been getting prescriptions at this pharmacy all my life. I'm in at least two times a week for the children. I know them and they know me. So we go, and everyone is so kind and helpful, but they have to bring in the sling from somewhere else. Boy M is fried, uncomfortable to a certain degree, and finally throws a full-out tantrum, on the floor, kicking, screaming. I'm shot myself, exhausted and nearly overcome by guilt because I don't even know what happened to him and his arm is broken. Then this woman standing there looks at me and says, condescendingly, "I think he's tired." I didn't even have it in me to say something, I just gave her this 'are you effing kidding me?!' look, and bless the pharmacists, they gave her a dirty look and say that he's had a hard day. Sometimes, people really surprise me. Like the woman who saw me out with two boys and asked me if they were twins. When I replied that they were triplets and one was home, she gave me a dirty look and stalked off. Did she think I was being smart with her? I mean, I didn't even tell her about Baby Girl!

But back to Boy M's arm. Of course, I'm so wound up, I don't sleep well. We go to the orthopedist first thing, and guess what? The arm is NOT broken. In fact, it's FINE. He's not even favoring it! What looked like a fracture on the x-ray was a combination of Boy M's anatomy and the angle of the x-ray. The conclusion is that Boy M's elbow popped out and at some point, popped back in (perhaps during the fateful tantrum). Go figure.

Since then, everyone's been ok, except for a minor adult medical scare that occasioned a morning in the ER, gave everyone terrible anxiety, but apparently has turned out to be nothing. The kids are working through colds, and our big cold snap has triggered Boy M's asthma cough again, but I'm on him like a hawk.

And knitting. I am finding my projects unsatisfying. As much as I love my Woolgirl sock club, which is the best yarn club I've been in, I'm struggling with the project. The pattern calls for gauge on 2.50 mm needles. Unfortunately I need 2.00 mm (US 0) to get gauge. Apparently, I'm knitting more tightly then usual (is it any wonder?). On top of that, I had defective US 0's (nicks in the finish) and had to wait for the replacement set to arrive. I've knit maybe 7 rows of k1 p1 rib using the new needles and already one is starting to warp. I don't mind small needles, but I think I'd rather not knit with US 0's. And I always find the ribbing at the beginning of a sock to take too long. I think I'm just impatient and want to jump into the pattern stitch. But I'm giving it a go, sort of.

My Blue Sky Alpaca sweater? Well, I screwed up the ribbing and since I hadn't knit more than six rows, I ripped it out. Except when I tried to slide the yarn off my needles--my brand new needles from Knit Picks Harmony Options set, received as a gift--the needle came out of the join. Not the join separating from the cable, but the wood coming out of the metal that gets screwed into the cable; I saw the glue and everything. I stuffed the needle back into the join and haven't touched it since. I haven't even gotten to call Knit Picks, because it was a Sunday when it happened, and I put it aside.

I did pick up the "Clap" and enjoy it when I get going, but my hands are so dry, they spontaneously crack and bleed, and then catch the yarn. I'm not in the mood to bleed all over yarn, especially a silk and wool blend.

I have apparently lost my Summer Solstice socks. Tell me how a whole project bag disappears. Just tell me. And it's my first and much-loved Piddleloop bag. I'm sure it's around somewhere. Maybe my ex-babysitter took it when she took the earrings I inherited from my grandmother. Again, that's another story for another time; suffice it to say this was all going down while we were dealing with Boy M's asthma and arm injury, and now I don't have a babysitter. But back to knitting.

I decided to swatch my Lanas Puras Melosa yarn for the "Cabo Hoodie Sweater which I bought, I think, last spring. First, I actually had trouble winding the yarn with my swift and winder because the yarn was, well, sticky. Then, I didn't have the right needles, as if that's possible. I've been knitting for twelve years. I have tons of needles. But it's a top-down sweater, and I need 16-inch circulars to knit the neck/collar and then you join and knit in the round, and I don't have the two or three sizes I possibly need to get gauge. I just haven't been able to sit down and figure out what I need to order or raid from my mother's needle cache. Ridiculous!

What else? I realized that my mother and I were both delinquent in knitting winter hats for the children. So about two weeks ago, she gave me one of Jacey's monster hat kits (they were custom-made for my mom), told me not to bother with gauge and use whatever size needle to knit whatever hat size she told me. Suffice it to say, I've ripped it out three times for being too big, and don't have the heart to swatch just yet, even though the yarn is fun and fast to knit, and the felted monsters (or pirate-ish faces in our case) are totally awesome! (Yes, I'm a child of the '80's, and I slip sometimes).

I haven't been in the mood to start up again with my Rosie's Popover Mitts. Baby Girl's doll languishes too. It's clearly not going to be a holiday gift--maybe I'll finish it for her birthday in August? I never even cast on for the projects I bought to knit for holiday gifts, and Hanukkah is upon us. That's kind of pathetic, since I planned some of the gifts almost a year ago, and had all I needed to make the gifts purchased by June. In fact, I should be clearing off my dining room table for tomorrow night's holiday dinner. Which takes place just after we get back from NYC for Boy J's surgical consult for the hernia we thought we saw six weeks ago and have never seen since. And even the Hanukkah gifts I ordered may not arrive before the end of Hanukkah. And I have to pack for our first family trip before my nanny takes her 2-1/2 week vacation. Ugh. I think I need to go upstairs, go through my stash and find something to wind and swatch. You think?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just in time for the Fall chill...

The Lobster Claws are done! Here are my usual bad photos:

Pattern: Mac & Me Lobster Claws
Yarn: Lobster Pot Cashmere in Salt Rose
Needles: 4.0 mm (short) and 4.25 mm (long) --you need two sets of needles (as the pattern is written) and that's how my US 6's converted
Buttons: Moving Mud

The mitts are fun to knit, although there were a zillion ends to weave in because you have to pick up stitches for each finger. The next time I make these, I would pick up two extra stitches at the base of each finger and then decrease on the next round in order to avoid holes that I stitched when weaving in ends.

Also, I spent a lot of time working and re-working the fingers. The pattern calls for the last three rows of each finger to be knit as follows: rnd 1: k1p1 to end; rnds 2 and 3: knit; rnd 4: bo.

Initially, I couldn't get the fingers to roll down to the k1p1 row like shown in the picture with the pattern, plus the k1p1 row made my knuckles look deformed. So, I knocked myself out with all sorts of variations which were not appealing, but the final judgment (thanks to the knitting committee) was to stick with the pattern and roll the ends down myself.

Oh, I also finished one Halloween sock and have cast on the second. (I know, Halloween's over, but I'll be ready for next year. And I have never made sock orphans, and am afraid to go down that path). I'll take bad pictures another time.

And here's the best news: I'm an aunt! My niece was born last night! Yay!