Archive for December, 2006

First, my cell phone has completely died. I’m not particularly attached to the thing (in fact, some would argue that I’ve never been attached enough to it) and we aren’t having anything like winter weather here for me to worry much about getting caught in a blizzard. So my phone dies, once and for all. No biggie.

As I’ve mentioned, the digital camera has had some (bunny) issues with the power cord. Motivated off my lazy butt by holiday shopping, I’ve been to no less than three stores looking for a replacement. Sadly, the nice lady at the Kodak help line has informed me that my camera dock is no longer being manufactured, though there is something that will kinda work. (At least, I think that’s what she said, the growing one inside me has made me a bit daft when it comes to accents.) So, we have something that kinda charges the battery for now, enough to take a few quick pictures of knitting (if there was such a thing) and growing bellies. We can deal, right?

Saturday, I came home from my day at the library to find Mr. CygKnit rather upset. It seems that while I was at work the hard drive on his Dell keeled over. This was not good, but we could deal. Someone had the foresight to buy the three year warranty with the laptop (knowing that law school would suck all our available cash for three years), and a new FREE hard drive was winging its way to us. So, we use one computer, my MacBook, for a few days. Easy peasy, right?

I can take a lot. A dead phone, a chewed up battery, my sweet husband’s twitching over the (temporary) loss of his computer. Except…the MacBook. The MacBook that I love, that holds lots of pictures and highly important data (like our list of baby names), that brings light and joy into my life, now lives in the land of Noworky. I don’t think I cried, but I’ve been tempted to.

On the (very) bright side, the good man at Mac I spoke to was pleasant, cheerful, and amazingly helpful. He walked me through some things that might keep it from randomly turning off, and didn’t seem at all ruffled when they didn’t work. Apparently, heat sink issues are common, but instead of me feeling bad for purchasing a bum one, he made me feel better that it wasn’t me who screwed up the computer. When I get home tonight, there will be a prepaid Express box on my doorstep, and I’ll pop my baby off to Mac Docs central, and in about a week all will be right with the world.Right?

In knitting news…well, there’s none. I’m itching to start a new project, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what. I feeling the urge to Fair Isle, but in small quantities. I have a second sock to complete, though, which is like a bucket of cold water on my knitterly desires.

I’ve even given my wheel a few longing glances and a whispered promise.

I’ll keep you posted.


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Has anyone else seen this?

Maybe it’s just because I’m grumpy I’m at work today, or all the grey sky is getting to me, but this just made me all kinds of happy:

Happy Holiday of Choice to you from Mr. & Mrs. CygKnit, Olive, Misfit and Juniper. And baby CygKnit, too 🙂

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Readership? What readership?

I was told once that if I didn’t post regularly then no one would be interested in hanging around to read what I write. Though I was absent for 18 days or so (not that I’m counting) the thought has been very much on my mind. I worry, though that starting each post with an apology isn’t a good idea, as it will most likley get annoying after a while. Rather than apologize yet again for the embarrassingly long time between posts, I would like to thank you for sticking by and still reading me. Thank you.

(right now, I can hear only the sound of metaphoric crickets chirping. I hope there are still people reading… )

There’s quite a lot to catch up on, I hardly know where to start. Except, the contents of my brain pretty much look like this:

babybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybaby[patron question]babybabybabybabybabybabybabybaby[email]babybabybabybabybabybaby[patron question]babybabybaby…ad nauseam.

I suppose this is normal, this obsession with what’s going on in, around and beneath my belly. And of course, what I’m obsessing about changes constantly. First, it was AmIShowing?AmIShowing?AmIShowing? and now it’s HolyCrapI’mShowing!HolyCrapI’mShowing! I wish I could say that my mind was busy on wonderful intellectual pursuits (or even knitting) but sadly, this is what I’ve got. Now, my reason for not posting becomes clear, doesn’t it?

Last baby thing, I promise?

Look at that! Something’s going on in there! (Experienced mothers will recognize this as the stage when, unless you squish your shirt under your boobs and belly, no one else thinks you’re pregnant, just hitting the buffet a little hard.)

But y’all came for the knitting, didn’t you?

This is a bed sock for my grandmother. Most of what you see was done the day before Thanksgiving, as these are a really fast knit on size 7 needles. I know it is cheating, but oh! So nice to have a sock fly to the toe! (Let’s not discuss the state of the second sock, ok? It seems to be, well, a bit stalled.)

And an action shot:

It’s a simple baby cable, designed to look like I’m a far more clever knitter than I am. My grandmother is a champion crocheter (well, she’s very good and very fast) but not a knitter. I was hoping to impress her with as little effort as possible, but since these won’t show up until after 12/25, I’m thinking the impression factor is going to go down.

I’ve been doing other knitting, too. Back in November, I mentioned a wee project I was working on, but never followed up (be careful clicking on that link, that’s the story of yaking on the cat). Here’s what it was:

Now, this wee sockie is just a prototype. See, for some reason I still have a weird fear about knitting for the baby. What I was really trying to do here was fudge a pattern for a set of baby socks for Kristi and her boys. Sadly, I had no pattern at home (quite embarrassing, really) and was avoiding the computer (I was still working on papers for school). I decided to try out the first sock in Sensational Knitted Socks, the demo, to see how that would work out. Following the pattern, this is regular worsted weight *ahem*acrylic*ahem* on maybe size 5’s. (It’s just a template! I promise!)

The problem came when I finished and wove in the ends. I’d made a sock (a scratchy one, yes), but who would it fit? Is it too big for an infant? Too small? I have no experience with this.

Since then, I’ve checked out two baby knits books from the library, but haven’t really looked at the sock patterns yet (which makes me feel like a complete chump, just so you know). Now that finals are over, and I’m in my second trimester, I have no excuse for not ripping myself out of the couch’s gravitational pull. I’m just not sure why I haven’t, yet.

Before I go (read: before my boss comes back from lunch) I want to thank everyone for their comments and emails about my Hanukkah bush crisis. Reading everyone’s thoughts helped me put mine into place and into perspective, and basically stop freaking out over it. For the most part, I’ve become comfortable again with celebrating Hanukkah as Hanukkah, and exchanging gifts on Winter Consumer Holiday, aka Capitalist Gift-Giving Day, aka December 25 like most other Americans. The bush didn’t get put up this year, but this had more to do with Juniper’s obsessive chewing habit (the branches would reach into his cage, which isn’t a good idea at all) than with either of our feelings. We did buy a little 2′ table top model, but since neither of us has made it up into the attic for ornaments, it sits naked on our table. But we’re ok with that.

While neither of us have really had the energy to do much (Mr. Cygknit is still in finals, and I’m, well, sleeping on the couch more often than not) in our own home, we have noticed a different perspective on others’ decorations. We’ve found ourselves commenting on the merits of one neighbor’s ostentatious display of inflatable elves over another’s snowmen, and the tacky quotient of white lights vs. Colored vs. Blinking. While we’re not going to be moving into the Christmas camp in the future, at least I’m not as afraid of it as I was. And that is a good thing.

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But, sadly, all I’ve finished in the last 6 weeks has been said washrag. I am not terribly proud, well, only a little, that I finished something. It was started last Thursday during a quiet morning of jury duty, and the finishing–mostly just binding off and weaving in ends–was done on my lunch break today. It has since been gifted, along with some locally made goat’s milk soap, to a friend and co-worker who was just a few hours away from being offered the perfect job for her family. I hoped something pretty and sweet-smelling might ease her anxiety for those hours. The camera is juiceless, so just imagine a feather and fan washcloth knit in white and pale green and brown cotton.

Although I have no knitting, I do want to quote a small book. It was recommended to me several years ago by a dear friend, but I haven’t been able to find it in print anywhere. The other day I found it on Half.com and ordered it right away. Mr. Cygknit brought it in with the mail last night, and I sat down and read it while he told me about his day.

There has been some discussion in this house about Hanukkah bushes, which Mr. Cygknit was raised with, Christmas trees, which I was raised with, and the absence of either, which our religion would prefer, I think. Our discussions on this topic weave through the holiday days each year, finally dying with New Year’s. Each Thanksgiving I dread the inevitable gentle disagreements we have, until we find a balance between what we can’t live with and refuse to give up. This year, my perspective is all wonky as I struggle with my hormones. I don’t really know what I want, except to have some definitive idea of what a family tradition is for us.

I read this excerpt from There’s No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush, Sandy Goldstein tonight, and wanted to share this little bit. As I have said before, I am taken with knitting content in books. This time, the subject matter applies, as well.

Mom went to the sofa and began knitting. The apartment was very quiet. I moved the candle around on the table trying to find six colors I liked. Red, white, blue, red, white, blue. White, white, white, red, red, red. They all looked terrible!

“Can we have a Chanukah bush?” I asked softly. I felt warm tears float up into my eyes.

“There is no such thing,” she said. Her knitting needles clicked quickly. I pushed the candles around some more. I decided to try again.

“But Sandy Goldstein has…”

“What Sandy Goldstein has is a Christmas tree. And you know Jews do not believe in Christmas.”

My tears were the large kind that creep slowly down the cheek. They rested on the corners of my mouth.

“Sandy’s Jewish,” I said. My nose was all stuffy. Mom didn’t seem to notice.

Her knitting needles were really clicking fast. Then, suddenly, they stopped. Mom sighed a very deep sigh.

“You’re right, Robin,” she said. “Sandy is Jewish. But there are many ways of being Jewish. In our own family there are men who wear hats, always, to show their respect for God.”

“Like Uncle Bob?”

“Yes. And there are men who worship in synagogues where the men pray bare-headed.”

“Uncle Marshall?”

“Yes. And your father prefers to cover his head during prayer. All three have found their own way to be Jewish. If Sandy Goldstein’s parents feel they can live with a Christmas tree, then that is their business. But I will not have one in my home.”

I stuck white candles into the menorah. I hate white candles.

This excerpt in the third of nine chapters, and is not intended to be a spoiler. The story as a whole is very nice, and I even found myself exclaiming aloud at one point. For adults, it is really no more than a 20 minute read. I found both the subject and the knitting fascinating, how Mom shows her anxiety through her knitting, and how Robin perceives this. I wonder what my own child with think as my needles click away?

If only I could decide about the “bush” this year.

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Bunny update

I have been a bad bunny mommy. Not only did I let the little man eat the camera’s power cord (oh, and the cable cord, too), but I haven’t posted about him in weeks. Leigh’s comment the other day asking if he was well has stuck with me for days, and I’ve known I need to show him here. While *I* may know he’s fine, I’m depriving bunny lovers of some confirmation of that. (And looking like I’m spending all my time asleep on my couch. Which I am, but that’s beside the point).

So, I present to you, one contented Juniper:

Doesn’t he look happy? And OMG, aren’t those feet adorable?!

In the interest of full disclosure, this pic was taken a few weeks ago, back before he was given the run of the house (I mentioned I’d be digging into the archives).

The brightly colored backdrop was once a tool for taming the wild Olive. When she was a kitten, one of her more favorite games (besides licking my nostrils at 4 in the morning) was whacking the blinds (at 4 in the morning). The apartment we were living in at the time had those huge honkin’ metal blinds, which can be a bit jarring when repeatedly whacked into the metal window frame. It did not take long for this to get real old, prompting Mr. C to make some room dividers and pull the blinds all the way open until she was old enough to know better. We’ll let you know when that is.

For the first few weeks of Juniper’s out-of-cage experience, we unscrewed the dividers (which seem to always move with us) and laid them on their sides to protect heavily corded areas. Unfortunately, we left off this practice for a few weeks, since he wasn’t being chewy (and the cats were knocking over the dividers), and we’ve paid for it. Now, instead of blocking off rooms or large parts of rooms, we’re placing these dividers in front of the cords so he can’t get them. The cats respect this, so we just need to worry about the clumsy humans in the house.

In other Juniper news, guess who’s still molting?

Sexy bunny

Somebunny does NOT like to be brushed, so we’ve had to do short installments of grooming to de-dreadlock him (this is also an archived photo, and those dreads are quite gone, now). Some behavior modification has been started, and he’ll now sit still for a whopping five minutes with the promise of a green leafy treat. Still, he’s not keen on his lower sides or his bunny tush being brushed, and I haven’t seen his tummy yet. I could use some lessons on being a better bunny mommy.

In other news, this is my last week of the semester, so I hope to be back to blogging with more regularity than I have had. I’ve complained a bit about these classes, but the real problem (of course) has been me and my attitude. One of the classes I signed up for was a bit of a stretch for me–the subject matter was one I had little familiarity with, and has the tendency to confuse me as much as any higher math does. I took it anyway, really wanting a challenge, and have barely kept my head above the material (and cursing myself for wanting a challenge). Because of this, I’ve not been giving my other class enough attention, and my grades aren’t what I’d normally want them to be. I’m learning a lot about perspective, time management, and, well priorities. And it has been a hard lesson that neither knitting nor blogging are truly priorities if I want to finish this degree. Which I do. I just want to knit, too. And spin. In the words of a co-worker, “This, too, shall pass.” I hope she’s right.

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