Rain, rain, go away!
I've got a bunch of sock updates to catch you up on, but first I'd like to give a big birthday (okay, it's a day late, but what're you gonna do?) shout out to my secret pal (or rather, the person to whom I was pal), who just got my reveal package. So I'm a not-so-secret pal, and the funny thing is she's a regular reader of my blog! She almost joined the sock-a-month knit-along, which would've been really funny. So hop on over and say "hi" to Tammy, who was also one of SP7's awesome hostesses. It was great fun being your pal! I'm so happy to finally be able to comment on your blog, although I am the world's worst commenter these days so don't expect too much!
My secret pal (the one who sent me all those great lace-related gifts) still hasn't revealed herself. If you're out there, I'm dying to know (hint, hint)!
Okay, where was I. Oh, yeah - socks. We've got a good crop here...
Crazy Basket Lady finished a pinky pair of Meilenweit Multiringel 5123's (say that five times fast) for her 2nd brownie point.
Dave finished some lovely blue-and-grey M socks (which I think he might like a little bit) and has some dreamy grey yarn picked out for April. I'll have to check out those Sherman short rows!
New knit-alonger Karen doesn't have any socks done yet, but my, oh, my, check out what she has on her needles! WOW!
Erica finished the most drool-inducing strawberry cheesecake ice-cream socks. Although the thought of eating socks is a little twisted...
Helene knit up some Blueberry Waffle socks for her M.
Choomon finished a pair of top-secret brownie point socks which I can't show to you because she's thinking of submitting for publication. Let me assure you, though, they are MUY caliente!
Quikeye finished a pair of baby cable rib socks for her M.
Roberta finished the coolest pair of tulip-heeled socks. So appropriate for March!
In other knitting news (I can't write a post without using that phrase, now, can I?), I got my Masters Level I stuff back, all evaluated! The bad news is that I didn't totally pass and have to resubmit two things. The good news is that all the swatches passed (and I even got a comment that my stockinette is amazingly even) and the resubmits involved a math error and the omission of the phrase "or size required to obtain gauge" from the needle size section of my cable pattern. Yes, they're that picky! I got some great suggestions, in particular that I need to be careful to pull my yarn forward/back more firmly when switching from knit to purl to avoid having enlarged knit stitches. She also gave me tips on how to improve my SSKs to avoid distortion of the first stitch. I need to practice that one... I sent my corrections off this morning and am anxiously awaiting my certificate. I'm itching to get started on Level 2 (in all that spare time).
I've started listening to Life of Pi (for Knit The Classics) in the car on the way to and from Sydney's school. I really didn't like the book when I was trying to read it (and I can see why as I'm listening to it), but I'm really enjoying it being read to me. The guy doing the reading has a soothing Indian accent and is really fun to listen to. I've got to go hit the library catalog and see what other books on CD they have for me to check out! Moll Flanders is the book for next month, and I downloaded it from Audible since the library doesn't have it on any kind of audio and I didn't want to buy the CD set from Border's for $35. I'm trying to get my iPod in order so I can see if it's easier to find time to listen to it that way instead of only in the car. My iPod, however, is from 2003 and is dying a slow, painful death. The battery lasts a couple of hours now, at the most, so I'm going to have to send it in for a replacement. Before you do that, they require you to measure the battery time in a specific manner. I'm finally at the point where I can play it until it dies (while timing it to see how long it takes), but in getting there, the battery completely died *again*. Stupid piece of #@(*#&!
I actually sat down and read a real book this afternoon for a little while. We're reading The Mother Trip by Ariel Gore for my Mama Discussion Group. It meets next weekend, so I figured I'd better get on it if I'm going to have anything to talk about. It's a really interesting book, although it's in essay form and some of them seem a little too abrupt. She reflects a lot on "mommy guilt" (my term, not hers) and how society is constantly telling you what a bad mother you are, no matter what you do. I also like her twist on the Gertrude Stein quote "It takes a heap of loafing to write a book." - "It takes a heap of loafing to raise a child." I'm all about that!
I really don't think it's necessary to be stimulating your child with activities at all times, or never yell at them, or keep the house perfectly clean. I tell myself that I'm doing just fine, although deep down I really question it. Especially when more than a few of the moms I hang around with have relatively clean houses, don't let their kids watch hour upon hour of television every afternoon so that they can knit or blog, feed their kids home-cooked organic meals while I get so tired of fighting with my daughter about food that I let her fend for herself with a box of Cheerios or (on occasions when I'm really about to lose it) animal crackers (okay, okay, chocolate chip cookies! And not the homemade kind, either - the kind that are loaded with dyes, and additives, and trans-fats).
I wish I could be that kind of mom, but I just don't have it in me. I need to knit. I need to design, to create, to do something that I enjoy. Selfishly. I admit it - I'm selfish. Perhaps I shouldn't have ever had children. On the other hand, part of me thinks that they're going to grow up just fine in spite of what I do to them. I don't abuse them, I hug them a lot (even if I do yell at them more than I should), I'm there for them when they need me (I think). I'm especially torn on the television issue. There are new studies coming out all the time that tell you what damage television, any television, will do to your kids. But I like television! We watch a lot of it in this house. It makes sense that Sydney would want to do the same. She plays plenty, does art projects, goes to preschool every morning, and gets read to for an hour or so before bed every night. She gets together with various little friends three or four afternoons a week. But she loves her television. Am I scarring her for life by not denying her this pleasure (which also gives me time to do my thing without constant pestering interruption)? And what about Owen? Children under the age of 2 aren't supposed to watch ANY television. How the heck is that going to happen? Am I condemning him to a life of poor reading skills and general idiocy because we refuse to give up our addiction to the idiot box? Sigh. The supply of "mother guilt" is truly inexhaustible.
And now I'm off to read a little more Ariel Gore and know that I'm not the only bad mother in the world.