No Spring Chicken

I tried to post yesterday, I really did. I had a whole post written and at the last minute before I published it, the electricity went out briefly, and it was lost, so I gave up entirely.

I took a dance class today, for the first time in about 3 years. I took a couple when M.M. was a new baby; I'd lay her on a blanket next to the mirror and she'd watch us pliéing and jetéing around the room. But of course that stage didn't last long and I haven't done any dancing since then. Meanwhile, my body has, um, gotten a lot more blobular, and I can really no longer blame it on baby weight, especially since I think I now weigh a fair bit more than I did back then after M.M. was just born. Sigh.

So I took this dance class, billed as 'adult ballet', today. It was actually me and a 12 year old and a 15 year old. And a teacher (sort of). It was just about exactly the right speed for me, which means that objectively it was a really easy class (and I'm sorry to say replete with technical errors). But great for me, today. And now, tonight I am kind of a mess. My lower back is really aching and various muscles throughout my body are shaky and sore. I'm lying on a hot pack and have been taking arnica all afternoon. I'm a bit nervous about how I'm going to feel tomorrow. I have high hopes of being able to keep taking this class and even of starting an at home workout routine. We'll see what happens. I don't want to put too much emphasis on it and set myself up for failure. But today was a good step.

Meanwhile, I have knit a mitten for M.M. and am working on a second. The Miss Priss yarn is lovely and she's excited about her mittens. I have no doubt that as soon as the second one is done she'll refuse to wear them, but never let it be said that I didn't knit her mittens with my own arthritic fingers.


Yarn Impulsivity

I'm posting purely to stick to my resolution of blogging everyday. I did of course miss yesterday, due to lack of sleep and surfeit of drama. Today was far calmer, but I am still in a fog and daze of sleep deprivation.

Exhibit A of fog and daze: I willy nilly started working on a new knitting project right in the middle of my socks. I couldn't wait another minute to wind the yarn and cast on for a pair of mittens for M.M. My logic was that the mittens would be a quick project and would hardly interrupt the socks. And that the yarn is just so darned pretty I couldn't help myself. And that it was kind of cold today for the first time this winter (!) and poor little M.M. needs some mittens.

I'm using some lovely blue, purple and kind of seafoamy green Miss Priss worsted yarn. It was pricey ($24 for one skein) but it's absolutely gorgeous and it was quite a big skein, so I'm hoping to get mittens, a hat, and possibly a scarf for M.M. out of it, and maybe even a hat for myself. By then I suppose I'll be sick of the colorway but for now it's lovely.

The problem with my impetuous start was that I don't have the right size needles. I need US 4 dpns, and of course I have 1s, 2s, 3s (several sets of 3s – I have no idea why so many), 5s, 7s… but no 4s. So I am brazenly swatching with 3s, on the bright hope (and with full awareness of the certainty of failure) that I'll get the right gauge. It's killing my fingers to use such small needles with this weight yarn, but I couldn't keep myself from knitting it. I will of course have to break down and find some 4s when I go out next, but I was hoping not to have to leave the house tomorrow, so it may wait until Friday.

The great thing about having a small child is that swatches can be used for doll blankets, so it feels like you're doing a project even when you're really just swatching.


Rainbow Socks

Yesterday I neglected to include one project in my successful knitting project gallery for the fall. I omitted M.M.'s rainbow socks because they were not a Christmas present, but I am rather proud of them. She chose the yarn (it can't be pretty if it's not rainbow). Believe it or not, the colors are fairly accurate in this photo. They're a little loose because I picked up too many stitches in the gussets in a frantic attempt to avoid the dreaded Gusset Hole Syndrome, and I did not decrease them fast enough.

Because of this, and because they are pretty thick, shoes don't really fit over them, though her snow boots do. Not that we've had any snow. Or frost. Or, really, even chilliness. In fact, it's been so warm the socks have been pretty much useless so far, but at least they're pretty and well constructed. See the cables? They're the Father and Son Socks from the fall issue of Interweave Knits, which is the same pattern as I used for the two pairs I made as presents. For M.M.'s rainbow socks, I did not use the yarn called for (Reynold's Whiskey) and instead used something I can't remember (I think it started with an A?), but something thicker. I made the smallest size, and ended up with socks approximately the size of M.M.'s foot.

I'm back at work on the Shetland Lace Rib Socks from Stitches of Violet, which I'd laid aside in the present frenzy. I finished the first one on my birthday, and despite having tried the thing on several times to test for length while knitting the foot, as soon as I finished the thing, there was somehow a dropped stitch and a run in the leg.

It was not there while I was knitting, it really wasn't! It was demoralizing. But I put aside thoughts of perfectionism, got out my crochet hook, and fixed it as best I could. It looks fine, I guess.

Anyway, I'm making slow progress on the second one.

Meanwhile, there are millions of projects swimming around in my head, vying to be next on the needles. I got a toe-up sock pattern and yarn for Christmas, so those are coming up (haven't done toe-up before). I have some nice worsted yarn with which to make mittens and maybe a hat for M.M. I'd really like to do a fancy, delicate lacy shawl thing, but I haven't gotten as far as choosing a pattern or yarn or anything, you know, concrete.

And here's just some cuteness:


Happy Birthday To Me

My internet seems to be back up and (fairly) reliable after nearly 3 months down. (I must remember to call Wild Blue and demand a credit for the time I was offline and they were jerking me around working hard to fix the problem.)

Meanwhile, we've had Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday. So, um, plenty to catch up on I guess, if I ever get out of the sleep deprivation/vague depression fog I seem to be perpetually wading through these days. I'd like to follow Heather's example and post every day, but it may be a bit much to expect.

Anyway, here are some pictures for fun:
Cutting holly on Christmas Eve. A more picturesque experience could not have been had. And we were following Moxie's advice concerning kids and holidays: "Go outside, go outside, go outside!" Happily, it was warm (creepy, but nice) enough to blow off lots of steam outdoors.

Christmas children, who also could not have been more picturesque. Sure, this looks like a fiery disaster waiting to happen, but it was the magical season of Christmas, when no danger is too great to outweigh a great photo op.

And, I have knitting to share. Such knitting. For me, a bonanza of knitting. For cooler, speedier knitters I'm sure this would represent a slow week, but for me it's a miracle wrought by Netflix. I succesfully knit 3 Christmas presents, and only one of them was not ready on Christmas morning. I wrapped it as it was and finished it a few days later. Tragically, it seems that one of the three projects escaped the camera's lens (or maybe I was just too dopey to take it's picture), so we only have evidence of two of them. Here y'are:

The colors, of course, are woefully inaccurate. The fingerless mitts are a lovely dusky greenish hue, not the stern, wartime grey they appear, and the little socks for my nephew are a warm rusty gold, not poopy brown.