April 24, 2009

Turn phobia to jag

sewing jag
Sorry for the quality.  Cell phone doesn't make better picture.

I didn't like Home Economics class.  I hated it.  Why does this lady talks forever about these boring stuff which my mom could teach in 5 minutes/day?  Why do I have to make this bag (pajamas, skirt, or stupid origami for "children") ?  ... My thought was filled with blank "letmego letmego letmego" and "ring,chime,ring,chime,ring,chime..." whole 45 or 50 minutes.
Knit and crochet wasn't so exciting for me those days, neither.

When I was going to get a job, and got one and was on it, I wasn't satisfied.  I was paid well (not a fortune, but economy wasn't good then, and I was just a rookie technician who knows nothing about her job but too proud to admit it), my co-workers and boss were nice people, I was learning a lot from my job.  I couldn't hope more than I had then. Still, I felt like I was selling my time just for money, like I got dirty. I thought and thought why I wasn't satisfied, and found a rough conclusion.
I didn't want to work for "somebody I don't know".

I was so lucky that my then-boyfriend (now-husband) got a job soon after I got enough money to repay my student loan (scholarship? just a debt) and didn't need to work full time anymore.  I got a part-time job.  Really exciting job.  

But I got aware that nothing thrills me more than domestic, kinda old fashioned house works. Or some part of those.  I am not so excited to do laundry.  I am not a tidy homemaker.  I just love to cook, and of course, to knit for my family.  Sewing remained to be a fearful enemy for me.  I could fix buttons. Period.

This spring, before my daughter starts kindergarten, I decided to make her drawstring bags for bento box.  There was a little pressure for it.  There are kindergartens who demand mothers to make all children's "goods" by themselves, saying nothing is better than handmade (controversial, huh?).  My daughter's doesn't say like that, we can buy everything she needs.  But, I wanted to make some for her.  We chose fabric together, and little by little, I got confident.  My mom guided me through (she used to sew from her dad's underwear to our dress). I made a smaller bag for a plastic cup.  I made two smocks.  I made a bag with drawstring top for closure.

Now?  I am planning to make pajamas.  After one or two more smocks.

April 15, 2009

Drop off, pick up, put down

My daughter just started her first year in kindergarten (she'll be attending there for 2 years).  There's another child, a boy, who started this year, too, but everyone else in her class has been taking a 3-year course since last April.  We all talk that young children are more flexible in mind, easier to adjust to a new group than adults.. but at the same time, we know from our own experience that children can be very cruel and exclusive.  How much can a mother be worried?  

She is doing good so far.  I am sure the years (I almost wrote days.  No.  Nearly three years.) she spent at KinderCare Learning Center did very good for her and me.  I know I should just say goodbye and go as soon as she's in her teacher's hand.  There's no need to worry even if she doesn't look so happy at the school gate.  The teachers are professionals.  The class is small enough.  She's still on the way of catching up on Japanese language and everything ("common sense", so to say?), but has no problem communicating with others.  They are starting the curriculum slowly, by letting the children stay only for the morning this week.  She complains she wanted to play more, doesn't want to leave.  My morning, my precious time alone in the house just passes by doing laundry, talking with my husband (who's right now in the USA on business) on Skype, and fixing lunch.   Next week, they will stay longer and start having lunch at classroom.  She can't wait to bring her bento box. 

But anyway, she comes home tired every day.  Hungry and tired.  
After the lunch, we still have time to do everyday-before-kindergarten-days stuff, like going to grocery shopping together (and say hi to cashier lady) or playing at nearby playpark just by herself (while I'm on the bench, knitting) or watch her favorite TV show on HD recorder (while I'm on my MacBook, or knit), or even paint at balcony (for cleaning-up reasons.  I'm sitting beside her, knitting).  
Or, she needs a nap (usually, while I'm in the kitchen, fixing dinner.  She just collapses on the comfort chair).  
Or, she wants to work on her coloring book with me ("Please do not sew or knit, MOM!").
And when she goes to bed, it's our bed, not her own Dora-filled one.  She told me the other day, that she wants to sleep between Daddy and Mommy, every night.  (My husband groans.  4-yr old girl sleeping with her parents is not uncommon - it's our culture.   It's the sleep he is sure to lose, feeling too nervous if he might accidentally crush his little girl.  And think of those pain on the rib cage by the kicking that little girl makes in her shallow sleep.)

Although it looks my knitting time increases as my little girl grows up, I'm not making a lot of progress on my projects so far this week.  I'm constantly picking them up, and putting them down after a row or two when she talks to me.  And you know, finding miss-crossed cables 12 rows below (happened three times).
After she goes sleep?  I just collapse beside her.  When I find myself awake, I'm correcting that mistakes 12 rows below. Or like now, blogging/twittering.  I should knit instead.  Oh, yeah.

April 11, 2009

knit-to-fit gloves - fits!!

knit-to-fit gloves_fits!!
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

My daughter loves swings. She wants to grab the chains really well even on a cloudy, windy day because she now is hooked on standing up on a swing (unlike in the US, swings in Japanese playparks are made of hard plastics or woods, not a rubber piece. Standing up on it is pretty safe even for a 4-yr old.).
Thus, a pair of gloves.

Patterns; Graph 84 in Latvian MIttens by Lizbeth Upitis
Yarns; KnitPicks Essential (colorway; Blue Violet Multi and Gulfstream), La Primera Junmou Chu-boso (pink, colorway; 13) and Ski Yarn Fingering (colorway; 1002 - white and 1003 - black)
Needles; KnitPicks nickel plated circulars, US 0 (2.0 mm)

Latvian Mittens book is her favorite bedtime book now. She looks at every single picture in the centerfold (not folded, actually.... how can I describe it? ), talks about what to "make for mom" next, like, for my birthday or for Christmas. In her imagination, she can make a pair of mittens in five minutes or so. Or turn any pattern into "a jacket." I might be seeing a budding great knit designer.
Anyway. She wanted this pattern. In blue (original was white, with orange-ish red and green as contrast colors). I just gathered bits and pieces from my stash, making sure she likes this blue-violet variegated.

I wanted to make them fit well. I know. She will outgrow them in a flash. I'll have to fix (at least) the finger length before the first cold wind blows this autumn. Or make a new pair.

I made thumbs like fingerless mitts I made for my sister and my aunt this winter. Because it's the way I remember now by heart, and I can make them without left/right, to make it easier for my daughter to put on.

I finished them in the morning of the first warm day in this spring. It looks the weather is just getting warmer every day. My daughter wore them the day they're finished. Just one day, but it's the reward just enough for a knitting mom.

April 05, 2009

Sock sweater

This month's Sockdown! challenge is about "underappreciated" patterns. (And knee-highs.)  I can't help downloading patterns after patterns the members chose for their challenge. 

But at the same time, I know it's impossible to knit all of them and wear them.  I already have more than 150 sock patterns as pdf.  And the patterns in the books I have in my bookshelf.
I asked myself if I am OK with wearing mismatch socks.  That will half the work.  But still, it's far too much than I want to do.  Besides, I am not OK with wearing mismatch socks.

What if I knit just the legs?  Leg/arm warmers?  More than 150 pairs?  NO.

What if I knit just one leg?  Mismatched leg/arm warmers?  About 80 pairs-worth?  NO.

What if I connect them?  Sampler tube scarf?  Hm, not bad, except it takes forever.  Maybe as leftover sock yarn project #1.   

What if I knit a big tube, for a sweater?  Connecting panels of each sock?  I have tons of fingering yarns anyway. (If I have to, I'll stand corrected.  Not "tons".  "Pounds" just doesn't sound a lot.... or have I lost the sense already?)  Hm.  I can make a sock sampler sweater.  Sounds good.  Although I am not fond of lace socks on my feet,  I am completely OK with a panel or two on my sweater.  I am going to make a huge amount of planning, but, that's what I will need to do before starting a big project without buying any yarns, anyway.  
I can still knit socks, from the patterns which have to be socks.  Like Cat Bordhi's uniquely constructed ones

Well, first, I'll finish sweater WIPs.  ColetteLeavened Raglan, Watermelon Cardigan.  Big planner, I am.

April 03, 2009

I am not.

I took a quiz about knitting addiction.  Here's the result.

You scored only 47%. Either you are a beginning knitter, or you just don't have an addictive personality. If your family accuses you of addiction they are insane. In fact, you are so non-addicted, I'm surprised you took this test!

Ok.  I'm NOT addicted.  Still my husband will say I'm a patient of incurable disease.  I'd say incurable, but coexist-able.  Or chronic.  Yeah, I'm old enough to have one or two chronic diseases.

April 02, 2009

No knitting

I took my daughter to a local amusement park. I decided not to take any knitting project today. When I told so to her, my little knitter disagreed with me, saying "Just in case,mom." And put her coloring book and crayons in her bag. I finally put my glove project in my all-in bag but didn't reach for it all day (I'm in the train on the way home right now.)
I don't mean I never thought of knitting. Like gelato cone in the pic. Great design for socks, isn't it?