Archive for June, 2010

A Little Shameless Advertising

Time is just zooming by.  I’m trying to get some yarn and rovings not only dyed ahead of baby-boos ( yes, we still don’t have a name yet) arrival, but pictures taken, and enough inventory put aside that I can continue to keep not only my Etsy store stocked but my two local yarn stores as well. I thought I had everything pretty much under control (this of course is the illusion that I have continued to bumble through life with).  So I spent Sunday hand painting a new type of yarn. I have to say I’m totally in love with it. It’s a superwash ultafine merino/ silk blend. It’s wonderfully soft and luminescent. Pure luxury without having to hand wash it. Does life get any better??

See what I mean?

It’s so wonderful I very seriously contemplated dying up the whole shebang for myself. The only thing that stopped me is I just don’t have time to knit it up now and my inventory is seriously low. Sales in the summer months are usually slower but for some reason June has been particularly busy. Not that I’m complaining mind you. It has been a real adjustment going from two full time incomes to just Craigs and my fiber/yarn sales.

Self Esteem

34 week bump

Sunday was  one of those days that I believe come along to keep your ego in check. I’m telling myself that because otherwise I may cry.  Father’s Day dawned sunny and warm,  we decided we  needed to do something different, fun, and close to home. Being 8 1/2 months pregnant and with baby giving every indication that she may want to make an early entrance into this wonderful world, the Dr has advised I stay close and limit my activity. So with those restrictions in mind and the weather being hot and beautiful we decided to borrow Craig’s’ bosses  pontoon boat. This is actually his “spare” boat.  Being mere weeks away from delivery I can’t for the life of me justify the purchase of a maternity swimsuit. Well that and my a fore mentioned dislike loathing of shopping. With swimsuit shopping I believe, is  its own particular brand of hell. So I was left with what I had on hand, that would actually fit.  A bikini-type top and swim shorts that when rolled down under my bump fit well enough to keep me from violating any laws. All covered by one of Craig’s  long tank tops. Good enough I felt for a private family outing.  My 12 yo daughter who sees nothing but absolute beauty in the pregnant form was insistent that the tank was unnecessary.  At this point I think I should mention that she has yet to witness the true “beauty” of  pregnancy  in a state of undress. All this was about to change, an end to innocence as they say. As I am hiking up my shorts but before I have managed to get my tank on in walks miss “pregnancy is beautiful” she takes one look at my rather large belly and calmly states that perhaps she was wrong I probably should wear the tank too. (Strike 1)

The swim top

All discreetly covered up by this

On we move to the actual boat ride which is relaxing, lovely and private.  But also getting hot. We decide to go for a swim, or in my case a float. The swim ladder is installed and down I climb. I hit the second step when crack the part that holds it out from the boat disintegrates. Craig assures me that it’s just old and certainly not the fact that a hugely pregnant women roughly half the size of a beached orca just put her full weight on it. Now on to the larger problem at hand. How to get back in the boat. While the ladder is still operational, the fact that a pontoon boat sits higher out of the water than a regular boat never occurred to me. There is no way to get my legs up high enough and past my belly to reach the rungs, and since this particular boat is not equipped with a wench the only option left is to swim to shore. (strike 2)

If all that wasn’t enough to make me run screaming to the nearest cave here’s the topper of the day. We finish my now exhausting ride and need to head into town to pick up my 16 yo who decided to take a summer class for extra credit. ( My head is still trying to get wrapped around that one). There is no way in two hell’s I’m going into town dressed like this. I brought a regular t-shirt and shorts so all I need to do is switch out the tank for my fully covering shirt. Now keep in mind we are parked on private property, bordered on 3  sides by trees, and the other side is the lake. Craig’s truck is one of those huge things with a door and a half . It’s parked right next to his sisters Cherokee with the super tinted windows. I’ll just open up the doors and wallah perfect changing area. I double-check to be extra sure I am fully protected from onlookers  and proceed to whip off my wet tank. All the while a vaguely familiar whine that I can’t quite place is slowly invading my senses. Just as my shirt comes off  I realize frantically what that noise is, from about 15 feet over the tree tops zooms my neighbors single engine Cessna. Now this is a sweet elderly gentleman whom I’m sure never imagined his day ending up with  image of his half-naked very pregnant neighbor seared in his brain for all eternity. The best he can hope for now may be a little dementia. (Strike 3)

Simplicity or Lack There of

I like to keep my life as simple as possible. This may be because I have a limited brain capacity or it may just be because I seem to hit overload pretty darn quick. I’m not sure which. I’ve never taken the time to actually figure it out. But,  it seems to me that the world in general is constantly conspiring against me.  I’ll give you some examples. Last year I bought a new (to me) car. This was my first car in about 15 years. With a large family we needed mini vans.  So I started test driving vehicles. I had 3 criteria, could seat my 3 remaining children at home, plus squish the fourth from college in when necessary, gets very good gas mileage, and was front wheel drive. I figured this would be a relatively easy quest. Not so.  Cars nowadays have GPS systems just in case you find yourself lost in downtown Wausau WI, a very complicated city if ever I’ve seen one. 90% of my driving is local, when it’s not I can look at a map. Vehicles can (get this) back themselves into a parking spot. Now seriously if you can’t back your own vehicle into a spot (and this is just me) but maybe you shouldn’t BE DRIVING!! You can hook your MP3 into your radio, excuse me, stereo. At least I think you can I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to actually do that. And the topper, your vehicle can now talk to you. Are you kidding me?!! I don’t want a car to talk to me, sometimes that’s the only time I get some peace and quite. All this for the bargain price of about$25,000 give or take. That’s half of what I paid for my first house.

Next, we have cell phones. I just want a cell to make a phone call. Occasionally I send a text. I have a basic flip phone. My 12-year-old daughter loves to “play” with my phone. She is constantly leaving me messages, changing ring tones and other things that I had no idea even existed on it. It’s a good thing she actually likes me because if she didn’t and decided to leave me a nasty message I’d be stuck with this thing on there forever. My step daughters can access the internet, get directions to, well anywhere. “Tweet” about absolutely nothing from their jobs, the toilet, and on vacation. They can download apps for just about any possible function they may think they need.  And they are constantly losing, or dropping these phones in said toilet, on vacation and other places.

Now to what actually prompted this post. We have decided to mostly cloth diaper our as yet unnamed, much-anticipated baby girl. This is partly a financial decision, partly an environmental decision, and partly as a knitter, dyer and designer I love to put handmade super cute items on my children’s bottoms. The older children are starting to balk at this, so I have only one victim recipient left. So I set out to purchase my diapers, feeling that this is a task that even my overloaded, underachieving pregnancy brain can handle. How very wrong I was.  When I searched for diaper sites, I couldn’t believe what I found. We have pocket diapers, all in one diapers, liners (some disposable), diapers made out of cotton, hemp, bamboo, and  fleece. Prefolds made in China, apparently these are very good.  Indian prefolds I don’t know about those because by that time my head was actually steaming there was so much information. The makers of all these various brands are of course touting their product and the “happy” factor for your offspring, to the point that if you chose the wrong type of diaper your poor childs IQ will drastically drop (forget Harvard, you’ll be lucky if you manage to get him a job at the local gas station),  he/she will never sleep through the night and you may possibly create a biohazard by not containing the diapers contents adequately.

I hope you’re sitting down when I tell you the price of said diapers. They range from $14-$19 per diaper. One size does not fit all. A cover for prefolds and flats costs $8-$14, again one size does not fit all.

Now to wash our diapers we can’t just go to the store pick out laundry detergent and wash.  Ohhh no, we have to special order detergent, with no enzymes, brighteners or bleach. If you happen to have a front loader well you should get yourself a back up washer. Yes, that was actually suggested. Because they don’t get the diapers clean enough. For the $800-$1000 they cost they better get everything clean!! Or am I asking too much? My mother, grandmother, aunt, and every other women from  generations past used cloth diapers, they had a pail with a little bit of bleach and lots of water, they threw the diapers in the pail.They  soaked them until they were ready to wash,  put the contents in the washer, spun it out, washed the load, than hung them to dry. Whale, clean diapers. There were no newborn, small, infant and toddler sizes available. You just folded than unfolded as the baby got bigger.

Long story short, I ordered 2 dozen 100% cotton prefolds, (the Gerber ones on any Walmart shelf  have polyester in them, so do not absorb as well)  1 cover,  and have knitted 3 soakers so far. I’m still perfecting the pattern. It would help if I could try it on something. The dog who has the smallest butt in the house is not cooperating. When my diapers arrived I received with them an 18 (that’s not an exaggeration) page booklet on cloth diapering. I just can’t win!!

Socks and Soakers!!

I realize That my posts have been few and far between lately. I have still been organizing like a maniac, and progress is being made. I’ve also been knitting, A lot.  I finished the Spaghetti socks,  with my lack of brain function lately I couldn’t come up with a better name. I’m really happy with the way these turned out. They fit really well and look more difficult than they are to make. I’ll be posting the pattern in a day or so. There was no one around when i went to take these pics so I used my own very pregnant foot. It’s not as easy as one might think to contort themselves into a position to get a reasonable sock picture when your 8 months pregnant. Just saying.

I’ve made a few soakers. For those of you who don’t know what these are, ( and I didn’t up until recently) they are used to cover cloth diapers. They are made out of 100% wool. Because wool is waterproof and has antibacterial properties it’s a perfect cover for diapers. It also has the added benefit of being breathable. Plus since I hand paint my own yarn, it gives me a legitimate excuse to keep some of the colorways I like best.

I have also almost finished the babies coming home outfit. The pants and body of the sweater are done. I finished one of the sleeves, but I didn’t like the way it fit, so I need to rip it back and reknit it.