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September 24, 2007

Sock it to me!

Just when I thought I could slow down a little on the knitting and maybe work on that dissertation, I hear that it's almost Socktoberfest! How fun is that?

And, the Yarnery, one of my LYS, is having a knitalong! Sign up here . Even if you don't live in the Twin Cities, you can participate, although to win the cool prizes your finished socks would have to find their way to the Yarnery somehow. Let's keep the excitement from Sockapalooza going!

And finally, check out this first day of school picture:

Jurgen first day of school.jpg

Doesn't he look both cute and mature? Admittedly, he IS on the old end of kindergarten. Most parents of a summer birthday boy can appreciate the question of when to send their precious little boy to school. We decided to wait, and so far, I think it was a good decision. You can see the confidence on his face, for sure. And, it was J's idea to hold his backpack like that. How GQ of him!

And yes, he IS wearing a school uniform. He goes to Yinghua Academy a local public school that is Chinese (Mandarin) immersion. So far, he's loving it!

Posted by chri1010 at 8:59 PM | Comments (1869)

September 19, 2007

No Baby This Time

It's been a long hard summer. Truth be told, we never thought that J would turn 6 and not have a sibling. Not that we haven't been working on it. For a long time. But, being doctoral students (or, I should say candidates, since we've both passed that milestone now) and working full-time and being the parent of one child has been a lot. Travel schedules aren't always compatible with ovulation schedules. We were starting to doubt things. And then it happened earlier this summer: two faint lines on a pregnancy test.

We were surprised. We were happy. We were in shock. I did all the things a good pregnant woman should do. I took my vitamins. I drank lots of water. I gave up caffeine. I got lots of rest.

But then, I started to get cramps. I started bleeding. A trip to the emergency room. And then, I entered into the last three weeks of hell. A cycle of not knowing anything. Blood tests regularly to see if my hormones are going up (they were). Ultrasounds to see if they could see a bay in there (they couldn't). Doctors who were generally not worried about the bleeding, even though I was. A lot of resting. A lot of not being able to focus on anything but my body. A lot of tentative optimism, but really knowing that things were about to not work out after all.

And then it happened. It became completely clear that there would be no baby this time. One more blood test to confirm what I already knew. There's not gonna be a baby this time.

At first it was a little easier to deal with. The hormones hadn't yet plunged dramatically, and I could stay philosophical about it all. Recognize that some things aren't meant to be. Know that early miscarriage is likely a sign of a genetic malfunction that isn't viable anyway. But now, with the hormones doing their thing and all, that philosophy stuff is a little more distant. It's hard to hear J ask in his innocent 6 year old way if the baby would have been a boy or a girl. Or, hear him demand, I just want you to be pregnant NOW, mama! Believe me, kiddo, I do too.

But instead, it's time to heal up the bumps and bruises and get back on my bicycle. Keep on working on this project, as we call it. Now we know one thing we had been starting to doubt: the parts REALLY do work. So, there should be a baby some day. Just not in April 2008.

Posted by chri1010 at 11:35 AM | Comments (3387)

September 16, 2007

I'm not a SockapaLOSER!

I was so worried I'd never finish my socks for my sock pal. Let's just say the last month or so has been not at all what I expected (details to come later, when I can say something more conclusive). Finally, a little over a week ago, I finished the second sock. I proudly blocked them, and delighted in my vision of me at the post office, sending them off to their waiting owner. But alas, there was a problem. One sock was about an inch longer than the other!

How could this happen?! I had been so careful with the second sock, measuring it up to the first over and over and over again. Now, if they were socks for my mother, she would wear them proudly, never minding that one sock was significantly longer than the other. My loving husband looked at them and said, "Oh, maybe she won't notice." Muggle! Of course a sock knitter would notice! And, I didn't go for his hopeful comment that maybe one leg is longer than the other, either.

After several long moment in the fetal position, I contemplated my choices. The way I saw it, I had three choices:

1. Knit a whole new pair of socks, this time much more carefully. This did not seem reasonable given it was already September and it had taken me all summer to knit one pair of socks. Chances are, no one would want their Sockapalooza socks to arrive in December.

2. Frog that long sock and start over. I had already been suffering a bit from Second Sock Syndrome, so the thought of knitting a whole other sock again did not sound like a good idea at all.

3. Give the socks to my mother, who would accept them graciously. Tell Alison I needed a sock savior. This option seemed the most reasonable, especially given the circumstances of the last month of so.

These choices did not seem so spectacular to me. How could I ever wear my socks from Nan--those gorgeous Monkeys in STR Downpour--if I did not send socks to my sock pal. And besides, I had two finished socks. It's not like I hadn't started yet, or something. I thought some more. I contemplated throwing my problem out here on the blogosphere, to see what suggestions I might get. Instead, it came to me in a flash--call my LYS! They would know what to do.

It turned out they had a free clinic that very day! I took my socks in, embarrassed to show them my mistake. Of course, I quickly lost that feeling when I saw that I was not alone and that there are other knitters out there with greater knitting problems than I. Plus, it didn't hurt that people admired my socks. The helpful knitter at the clinic observed that i had done an extra pattern repeat, and then she taught me how to do sock surgery. Yep, you guessed it (because you're much smarter than I am, and you already knew that I just needed to cut that extra pattern repeat right outta there). I would cut off the top and reknit the cuff.

Now, cutting one's knitting is not something to go into lightly. I practiced. And, I practiced. And, I worried too much about the fact that it was a lace pattern and what might happen if I cut the wrong row. In the end, it was all very simple (if you haven't had to take out several rows this way, I assure you, it IS very simple). The only minor issue is that the two cuffs look a little different, since one was a cast-on row and one ended up being a cast-off row. So, here they are, right before jumping into the package to go to my Sock Pal:


Sorry for the photo quality. You can't really see the subtle variegation of green and yellow. It's a very pretty color, in my opinion. We have a habit of losing our digital camera, so this was the best I could do under the circumstances. The socks didn't turn out quite as great as I wanted them to, but hopefully my sock pal won't mind. The yarn is Yarni, a locally dyed yarn. I included another colorway of Yarni in the care package to my sock pal, so she can make another pair of Yarni socks if she wants.

Now, I can move on to other knitting, guilt-free. Or nearly guilt-free. There IS that thing called a dissertation to work on too.

Stay tuned for first day of kindergarten pics!

Posted by chri1010 at 8:36 AM | Comments (1558)