The Names We Didn’t Use

I have this theory I was telling my BFF yesterday that most people have names we think we will give our future children, and then those people divide into two basic categories once they actually have children: the people who use those names, and the people who use different names. (The latter group of course divides up into many other, smaller groups, depending on the reasons for not using those original names.)

For instance, I assumed for years that if Will and I had a boy and a girl their names would be Morgan and Katie. Obviously that is not the case (though if Sam had been a girl, her middle name would probably have been Katherine).

This is separate from the names we considered for each of them but didn’t end up using. At no time in either pregnancy was Morgan or Katherine a first name contender, and I don’t remember Morgan ever coming up at ALL!

So. Before you had kids (or, er, now if you don’t have kids), did you have names you thought you’d use? Did you use them?

To Knit

Let’s see, how crazy am I? This is a not-entirely complete list of the things I am planning to knit between now and the end of the year-ish.

Korrigan – cardigan for Grace (not started)
Clara – dress for Grace (not started)
Everett – pullover for Sam (my pattern, not yet released) (not started)
Huckleberry – tentative name for my hat pattern (swatched)
Xeriscape – Christmas gift (halfway done)
French Press Slippers – for me (not started)
Let It Be – for me (finished one mitt)
Kitefish – for me (not started)
Catkin – for me (not started, but wound yarn!)
Cobblestone – Will’s anniversary gift (not started, still trying to find a few more balls of discontinued yarn)
Knight’s Set – pattern samples (three of about eight completed)

Plus I want to do a few more gifties.

Obviously I will not be making the shawls for myself until I get the rest under control. I want to release the Knight’s Set in January–I’d originally thought pre-Christmas, but it’s just not going to happen. I will hold off on the slippers for me and Will’s sweater until after Christmas, most likely. Clara is only sized up to Grace’s current size but I think I am going to fudge it a little and make it after Corrigan, so she can have a sweater first.

Can I make both kids sweaters by Christmas, plus additional gifts, and get my pattern samples done, too? I typically knit something for myself between Christmas and New Year’s, so whichever shawl I haven’t sneaked in sooner could go there, or the slippers. Then January for Will’s sweater and all the other projects I’ll most likely start between now and then (like the other patterns I am expecting yarn for any day).

I think I might need to insure my wrists against repetitive stress injuries.

Very important question!

Last night I asked Twitter if “period drama” or “costume drama” is preferable.

I received exactly two responses, one in favor of each.

So I am opening up the floor, because I really need to know what everyone thinks about this CRITICALLY IMPORTANT ISSUE.

Thank you for your time.

I have to make this quick.

There is young man standing next to me making retching sounds. He’s doing this because he was asked not to keep demanding his balloon game, which he would like me to vacate the computer for him to play.

So here’s the news that’s fit to print:

Will’s mom is in town for the weekend. I still feel like crap. Today we climbed some rocks, flew a kite, ate sushi, and bought big girl underpants for a certain little girl.

Breaking Even

I often feel like I am struggling, treading water just below the surface instead of staying on top. It’s not depression–though I have a touch of that too at times–it’s more a feeling of being overwhelmed by everything I have to get done. I get it done, mostly, and I’m even reasonably competent, but I never feel like I am getting ahead (or, to keep the really stupid metaphor, getting any closer to shore). I have goals, but they’re kind of abstract and I feel that instead of working toward them, I am merely doing things that are vaguely related to them.

In all of the things that I do–parenting, wifery, knitting design, et cetera–there are very rarely tangible results; it is very rare that I can look at something I’ve done and say unequivocally that I’ve broken even, that my output has been met in some way. I know that in most cases I am more than breaking even in intangible ways, but sometimes that is not enough to make one feel satisfied.

This week I settled an invoice for knitting pattern sales (for paper patterns at a yarn shop), and as a result broke even on one of them. Tangibly, technically, actually broke even.

It is pretty damn satisfying.

One, Two, Pwee

Sam is obsessed with numbers. He can count up to five perfectly, and ten shakily. He can sort of tell time, but only certain times (e.g. 7:00 in the evening is the cut-off time for fighting, so swords have to be put away).

His speech therapist makes a plan with him each session. She numbers a paper 1-3 and draws each thing they will do together. Usually it’s something like 1. Legos (they “drill” certain sounds and she gives him Legos to build with), 2. game (more words), 3. bubbles.

We’ve started doing plans at home. He now draws his own numbers:

samnumbers

My sister drew this one. It’s Spongebob Squarepants, Sieger (we’ve been playing on the computer as well as building our own castles with Playmobil guys and knocking them down with our catapult), and Shaun the Sheep (for Grace).

A couple days ago, Sam asked to make a plan but he didn’t want to draw the numbers OR tell me what he wanted to do. He just kept saying “Mama do it.” SO I made the plan I wanted.

mamaplan

1. knitting, 2. knitting, 3. knitting, 4, knitting! When Sam complained, I added Spongebob.

spongebobknits

Yes, he is knitting. What of it?

The Design Process: Inspiration

A couple of my knitting friends have asked me what the design process looks like for me. The answer is, of course, that it’s different every time. But I’m about to start work on a new design, and so I thought I’d try blogging about it as I go.417752279_rfScxqAc_c

I spotted this beauty on Pinterest and was totally smitten. Among other things, I want that hat. It’s got some similarities to one I just knitted, Regina by Carina Spencer, but although I think Regina would be beautiful in orange and brown (and I might try knitting one that way), I couldn’t shake the idea of a different hat, one shaped with short rows.

I started browsing Etsy for ideas, and came across Huckleberry Knits. She had a plummy purple on BFL (blue-faced leicester, a type of sheep’s wool) that made me swoon, listed as a light worsted; I also saw a beautiful silvery-grey on Merino (another type of sheep), listed as worsted. I sent the dyer a note asking if she thought the two yarn weights would combine well. She wrote back advising against it, and offered to send me photos of some other yarns she hadn’t listed yet in the same color ranges. I decided on two skeins of BFL, the original Huckleberry and a much darker grey than I’d thought I wanted, Charcoal (it looks bluish here, but I think that’s just the lighting). It’s stunning yarn, and such a light worsted that it’s almost DK.

huckleberry

Up next, I’ll swatch and make some design notes. I’m working on other patterns at the same time, so I don’t know how often I’ll update about this one–please let me know if you’re interested!