Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thank you, The Management

At the Knitz household, things are getting wild. The baby wakes up, rubs her eyes, puts her index finger in the air and says, "Doggy!" Uncle Murphy wakes up more slowly, but pretty soon she's kissing his face and he's licking her belly. They chase the Oscar together. The cat teases them both by staying just out of reach. Norah is the only sensible creature. She stays close to me.

Baby is on the move, and it has reinvigorated the middle-aged dog. He previously spent most of his time lying on a dog bed and snoring, which was just about the perfect speed for me. Now, during dinner, he walks around the dinner table on his back legs and runs his nose along the edge of the table in hopes of finding a tidbit to swipe. He knows that this is not approved behavior and he does most of it on the opposite side of the table from me where I cannot see him. A friend told me this is called "table surfing." I call it "vexing." Baby thinks it is charming. Visitors cannot hide their amusement. Finally, I carry him off to his crate. We are both disgraced.

The problem is that I am The Man. This would be so much funnier if I weren't responsible for safety, cleanliness, and appropriate behavior. Instead I say "Uh-uh" to the dog and "No-no" to the baby and place them in situations where they can behave constructively. Being the protocol droid is a drag.

I really enjoy the times when all of us, dog, cats, and baby are sprawled on the floor in the living. We read, snooze, stack blocks, and snuggle. Knitting is out of the question. Any of the beloved culprits would steal the yarn if I show a moment of weakness, so we hang out and learn the intricacies of shape sorters and listen to Public Radio.

And before anyone gets a bright idea, please don't lick my food.

Thank you,
The Management

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

2010 was all about love. I am eager to see what 2011 holds.

1) Baby -- having a baby changed my life this year. Everyone says life will change when a baby arrives, but I was completely unprepared for the overwhelming love for this little person. Discovering that family and friends wanted to share the joy makes it even more special.

2) Norah Returns -- In 2009, Uncle Murphy (a.k.a. a dog) arrived, and Norah the cat retreated to a high, dusty shelf in an unfinished portion of the basement. In 2010 she rejoined us upstairs. Uncle Murphy was overjoyed to see her. Maybe next year she will let him touch her, but I'm not holding my breath.

3) Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches -- Quick, easy, yummy. This is what sustained me in 2010, while I figured out how to do things like cook and clean while holding a baby.

4) Audiobooks -- I will never have to decide whether to knit or read again. Lovely.

5) Facebook -- Even though Facebook's ever-changing security settings give me the creepy-crawlies, friends and family seem much closer than ever.

6) Pushing Daisies -- current favorite cancelled tv show. Refrigerator is called a "cheesebox." Need I say more?

7) Crusty Brussels Sprouts -- makes a delicious veggie even better.

8) Real Life Heroines -- three friends fought and won battles against breast cancer this year, and they did it with grace and strength

9) Knitting -- I've discovered no less than 5 half-knitted socks while cleaning. Is it a previously undocumented side-effect of pregnancy? One pair of baby booties was also knitted although they vanished somewhere between Wichita and Milwaukee.

10) Cheese, of course.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hobbies and Passions

My aunt and uncle returned from a trip to Cuzco. My uncle was struck by the how young the Peruvian children are when they begin spinning. I was struck by how much still I wanted to go to Cuzco and visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cuzco.

It was a momentary pang. Right now I'm hanging out with Miss Pip and enjoying cooing conversations and baby smiles. We read The Runaway Bunny and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. She gums my fingers and pulls off my glasses. I tickle her chin.

I'm ready for next spring when she will be a little hardier and able to wander in the backyard while I garden. My sister has already laughed at my plans, so please pretend that I will be able to return to the garden one day.

For now, I've found that Pip is quite happy to play with wooden blocks while I work at the spinning wheel. Sometimes a dishcloth gets knitted too. When I'm finished playing with string, we both love snuggling up for a nap.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Knitting

My knitting mojo has suffered lately, so I made a trip to Twist on Saturday. A survey of the shop showed people knitting yarn cozies, sweaters, lace shawls, and socks. It was all so lovely and complex, but I wanted something that I was sure to finish. I picked out green and pink dishcloth cotton for a ballband dishcloth. Or, maybe the Mason-Dixon description lured me in the same way it always does.

"Here's the classic dishcloth recipe that goes with Peaches & Creme the way champagne goes with truffles. Or a Diet Rite Cola with a Moon Pie, to be more exact."

Several hours later, I nearly have a finished dishcloth.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Knitz Girl

I'm pleased to announce a new addition to the Knitz household. Two weeks ago tomorrow, my daughter, Pip, was born. I'm completely enchanted, in love, in awe. My thoughts run strictly along the lines of mushy Hallmark cards. If there were an original way to say how much joy she brings, I would attempt it. As it is, I'll leave it to the imagination.

She took her first trip to Twist Yarn Shop earlier this week. Susan reminded me that she must have her first picture with knitting needles soon. I wonder if she is old enough to touch the Addi Turbos.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Closets and Cleaning

The Wamego Wool Fest is next weekend. Part of me really wants to go. Last year was the first year, and attendance was high. I bought some of the softest alpaca roving I've ever touched. (My sister got the yarn for Christmas.) Plus driving through the Flint Hills on a fleecy adventure is elating.

This year, I'm opting for comfort. I plan to stay inside and hide from the cold weather. My goal this week is to clean out the spare bedroom/office/cave, and Saturday will be a good day to finish that task.

Yesterday I began by excavating the closet. Odds and ends have been going in that closet for over five years. Some of the layers were fun to see -- birth announcements from my friends, long-lost books, a favorite set of sheets. The one treasure was several yards of a golden-tapestry fabric that can be sewn into valances for windows.

My old friend denial lingered everywhere. During the divorce, I must have tossed anything I didn't want to deal with in that closet. My wedding dress. Papers with his name on it? Closet. Ratty old t-shirts? Closet. Old photographs? Why not put them in the closet? Ten years of his family pictures were in there and so was old advertising material from a previous employer of his. It was like getting divorced again only the emotions were faded and distant. I had some forgiveness and understanding. Besides, he's visiting next weekend to help me move some furniture. It doesn't feel lonely like it did at first. I like to think we're both happier.

The most remarkable part of the closest was the volume it held. Since I wanted to wipe down the walls of the closet and vacuum, I started by tossing everything out in the middle of the room. (This violates one of Fly Lady's most practical bits of advice: "Don't pull out more than you can put back in an hour." My experience only underscores that she's right.) The debris that came out of the closet took up residence in the living room, dining room, and basement. I've been putting things where they belong, tossing trash, and taking bags of old things to the Salvation Army. One closet filled the entire house, which surely violates the laws of physics.

My goal is to have the closet contents dealt with by Saturday. The entryway closet is next on the list, but it may have to wait several months until I forget what it took to empty this one.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope it brings happiness and good health.

The New Year began with the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. This is my first EZ project, and I'm excited about it. It is cast on, and I'm knitting. It seems straight-forward in design, and I've seen several expert knitters create one quickly. However, this pattern is requiring a good amount of faith on my part. I'm mired the decreases and feeling uncertain about whether I'm knitting it properly.

The weather is very cold here and staying inside to knit is a wonderful luxury. Both cats and the dog piled on the recliner to doze with me this afternoon. I hope the truce lasts longer than the cold weather.

Garden catalogs are filling my mailbox too. Looking a pictures of peonies, iris, and foxglove give me hope for spring when fresh parsley and lettuce will be available in the backyard. Or, when I can knit lace shawls on the deck with the sun on my skin.

Until then, I feel very lucky to a have cozy home with such warm, little heat mooches for snuggling.