Saturday, September 25, 2010

Knits, birthdays and other quick musings

So I suppose since I titled this blog "She's the mom who's always knitting" that I should tell you about my current knits. But I am lacking enthusiasm for both projects, so your eyes will likely glaze over.

Project number 1 - I am closing in on finishing what seems to be an interminable knit. It is Kiama from Berroco. I really like this pattern - it has a sophisticated type of line to it and although I really am not terrifically sophisticated, it's nice to have something that you can pretend in. But this thing is dragging on forever - the final few inches after the increases has me knitting 337 stitches per row. And it is slippery yarn, so it is easy to say, knit two stitches together and only discover that when you are knitting back on the next row. (Just ask me how I know this). Mind you, that is an easy fix - if it is a knit and purl together, you can figure that out because the pattern will not work out. (The pattern is K1, P1 on one row and purl across all stitches on the next. Repeat.) For some reason, however, the other night I was merrily working on the purl row, then was distracted by some minor household crisis. When I next picked it up, I started to K1 P1 - and only discovered that at about stitch 295 on the next row. Sigh. So it is boring and because summer never really arrived, my enthusiasm for this project left in about mid-August. I could just leave it until next summer - but the yarn is slippery and the few times that I have left it alone for longer than 3 or 4 days, about 40 stitches jumped off (and unravelled down several rows) and had to be picked up. I think the sweater is demanding my time and attention, so I am soldiering on - and I will likely be done just in time to pack it away for some more season-appropriate fibres.

I am also knitting socks - it is from last year's Blue Moon Fiber Sock Club - July package. And no, I haven't done any of this year's socks - why would you ask that? Most times the second sock just sails along - not this time, although I suppose if I worked on them longer than 60 minutes in a week, they would be done faster.

See? Told you the knitting was boring.

On other matters - our oldest son turned 15 yesterday. He was the sweetest baby - and he is a pretty sweet teenager (all things considered). He has just moved from the small private school that he has attended for 9 years, to a much larger public school. I worried (and worry ) about it - but so far, he is successfully navigating his way. I suppose what I don't like about it is that I have lost control of a very large piece of his life (about 8 hours of the day). I know no teachers, very few students and it's not like I can just waltz in and get an audience - which I could do at his previous school. I recognize that this loss of control is not really a bad thing - just different and I need to get used to it. And very much to his credit, he is taking care of business - every day (OK, apologies to Bachman Turner Overdrive for that one.)

Other musings?

I have my last long run tomorrow before I start tapering towards my marathon. Tomorrow's run is 240 minutes (we run time instead of distance) and I had a breakthrough on my last long run. On that day, we ran for 220 minutes and I covered 28 kilometres in that time - and doing the math means only 14 more kilometres - which I realized at the end was entirely do-able. According to the sports psychologist that spoke to our class last week, humans have between 40,000 and 60,000 thoughts in a day and over 80% of them are negative. So my positive "I can easily do 14 more kilometres" was a breakthrough for me. But then again, I'll see after tomorrow's run (negative thought - see how easy it is!!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside....

So this was the summer when we chose not to go away. We typically go east for some family time, some cottage time and some sun. This year for very many reasons, we chose not to. My husband was (and is) up to his neck in a special project at work. Our daughter was working (for real money) and could not afford the time away. Our oldest son was working (for no money) at a camp. I was training for a marathon. Add to that several weddings and some family committments and Calgary seemed to be the place to be.

Now, summer in Calgary can be quite lovely - long evenings where it is light until 10:00, early mornings where it is light by 5:00 a.m., nowhere to be after work except the balcony with my knitting and a cup of tea - this could be a good time. Except this is the summer that never was - there was one (I repeat one) day in August where the temperature rose above 30 degrees C. Most days were grey and overcast, it rained just about every day and I swear I have rust instead of a tan. Meanwhile, Ontario had a hot sweaty summer, which sounds awful if you're in it, but from here, it sounded like a great place to be. Actually, just about anywhere except Calgary (or San Francisco apparently) were great places to be.

It rained every day this week. Today (so far) it has not. But the thermometer is hovering somewhere around 5 degrees Celsius. There was frost on the roofs when I got up this morning. I hauled my tomatoes into the garage last night for the 5th time in the last 2 weeks. But the worst part of it all? There is snow predicted for this weekend. There has already been snow in the mountains.

I have tried my level best to stay positive. I remind everyone that fall does not start until September 22. I wore capris and shoes with no socks for most of this week, for heavens sake. I ran in shorts Wednesday.

But now I give up. To hell with optimism and thinking that surely to goodness, it will be a nice October because we deserve it. Of course we do - but the inevitable reality is that winter is coming - and sooner rather than later. So the flannelette sheets are on the bed, I have turned on the furnace and I am going to dig out wool socks to wear to work. I am surrendering to the inevitable - winter is coming and I am going to be prepared.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

All about me (since it is the beginning of the school year)

OK – so for a while I have been reading knitting blogs – and my youngest suggested I write one – so here I am. Who am I? I am on the other side of 50 – three children, a great marriage and life that generally makes me happy. I am a runner in training for my first marathon, a science grad turned librarian tech (technically not really a tech, since I lack the credentials to call myself a tech – but I do techie things), a slightly book-obsessed reader and the woman who can’t go anywhere without some knitting close at hand – just in case I get a few moments to do a few rows.

I love my husband, my kids, my family, a good book, a new knitting project, a hard run, good music and a day when I feel I have done something that counts. I always have: a knitting work in progress, several books on the go, too many things to get done in a day, far too much laundry, a messy house and a need to be right. I dislike (in no particular order) sloth, waste, not trying hard enough, needless bureaucracy, living this far away from my extended family, rainy days when summer won't come and sewing my knits together.

I have knit for over 30 years, since I first saw a sweater I had to have and couldn’t find anywhere. Of course, the self that I was thought I could just whip it up in no time. It was a lovely hunter-green cardigan, falling almost to my knees and made out of that yarn found in grocery stores. I knit on it all through Grade 12 – but wore it proudly all through Grade 13 and university. It pilled so badly but felt like home – and I was hooked. (I did hear my aunt say to my mother that it looked a little like the sweater Charlie Farquharson wore – but I loved it - mostly because I built it myself.)

I'm on Ravelry (user name momwhoknits) and although it's great for the organization it brings to my stash and the sense of completion as I finish another new thing, I am amazed at the number of people who go on and stay on, because if that were me, I would never get any knitting done. So I tend to my own page and I lurk occasionally when I am having a problem - but that's it. I figure that life is just a little too short to spend all that time on a web site devoted to knitting.

Did I also mention that I run? (Oh yes, I see that I did - well, maybe it bears repeating) And that I have run for many years - really since a long-ago boyfriend started running. And not to be outdone (because you know, in addition to having to be right, I also hate being left out.) So I bought the same shoes he did (bright blue and green Adidas) and I was hooked. The boyfriend went away, but the need to run has never really left and I have continued running for 30 years. But I never really felt the urge to run a marathon - until this spring. The only thing that appears to have triggered this is that my oldest has gone away to university - last week, as a matter of fact. She is a great kid – caring and loving, witty and bright, all those things you hope your child becomes when you are handed the small warm bundle at birth. She has reached this stage without a lot of stress and hand wringing on our part (she might debate otherwise…). I will miss her a great deal – that bittersweet moment – after all this is what we work for, us parents. And she will leave a void – not that I think running a marathon will fill that hole, but it will give me something to focus on now that her room is empty and she is all the way across Canada, in Nova Scotia. Yes I know it's a very long way from home (many, MANY people have told me that)- but it's a good stage for all of us.

OK - that's enough for now - now all I have to do is figure out how this get's posted and then I am away!!