I attended the baby shower yesterday, with baby sweater and two kitchen cotton bibs (in lovely Sugar 'N Cream culinary colors: Weathered Rose--which is a rather antiqued rosey, creamish tanish colorway--and something I think is called Urban Pastels-lilac, white, dusty jade green and a buttery sunshine yellow), which, in a show of my crap abilities as a knit blogger, I completely neglected to photograph. Oh, dear. Blogger will revoke my license!
At least I got a before-ribbons picture of the sweater:
The ribbon was a slender pinkish ribbon with hearts and flowers along it. Very pretty. And I'm proud of the fact that it only took me two weeks to figure out how to work the sash/bow bit. I loved the finished sweater, I think the pattern is actually probably pretty simple for those who've already worked a raglan sweater, but the instructions were not written for someone like me, ie, the mentally challenged, newbie sweater knitter. I had quite the time figuring out how to get the sleeves on (thankfully, my coven was there for me), and the instructions for installing the ribbon tie were also written at a higher than first grade level. But I managed, and I feel quite proud of myself.
Anyway, it was lovely. The shower, the mother to be and all the rest, that is. I had to leave before the gifts were opened, but that's the risk you run when you try to cram a shower into three hours in a restaurant. There will always be an hour or two that you're trying to just get drinks served, much less anyone's salad or lunch. At least no one had to clean up that wasn't getting paid to do so, so it was a good afternoon all around.
On the knitting front, I keep trying new patterns for the alpaca yarn I scored at St. Mary's of the Woods on my birthday. I find myself...stymied. I finally realized what my design issue is: Once I've designed and knit the yarn, it's done. It's knitted up for good or ill, and there you go. Oh, you can frog, soak and reuse, but, well, it's like marriage. Once you've chosen someone, how do you know there won't be something better coming along? Something better suited to the materials at hand, as it were? And if you do undo what you've done, how do you know the new thing you're moving on to isn't worse than what you had before? How do you know that what you've got isn't the best thing on earth ever? And whatever path you choose, there's a whole lot of hard work and uphill slog that you're never quite sure is completely worth it.
That paragraph, there, will tell you a lot about why I (and most of my generation, btw) are still single. Impossible standards coupled with an overwhelming lack of confidence in our ability to navigate ourselves out of a paper bag (the ugly downside to over-involved parenting--you produce adults who never emotionally evolve into adults; mostly because the parents never let them suffer the consequences of their actions and therefore learn how to be responsible adults. Not that it's just the last generation's fault; this is a pattern that plays and replays and replays over and over and over. The next generation upcoming will grow up parenting themselves, be over-responsible, raise responsible adults who will spoil their children in an effort to have the soft, sweet childhood legend says you should have, who will grow up thinking their children are gods like they were, and so on and so forth until we all evolve into lizards and realize it's ok to cannibalize the young.)
So, in an effort to just grow the hell up already, if only in my knitting, I actually sat down this morning and reworked my stitch pattern choices yet again, although this time I actually typed it up and figured out how many stitches I will need to cast on and how the whole thing should go. I'll start up a test knit later, after my nap when I'm fresh and awake, and we'll see if I've got it right. I've decided to keep it simpler rather than more ornate (at one point, there was a serious contemplation of intarsia. God help me), doing long chunks of color over a geometric lace/knit pattern combo that evokes both the music and the orderly life of the convent and isn't so distracting that you don't get involved and wrapped up in the absolute fabulosity of the yarn itself. Then I'm going to try to find the instructions for an openwork woven fringe that I've seen somewhere, although Goddess help me recall where, and use that to continue the geometry beyond the knitted bits. It's still going to be narrow, still going to be long, it's just going to be...more about the yarn than the pattern, since the yarn is luscious and I enjoy it just wound up into the cakes as is.
So, now I've got a pattern. I think I've decided on a needle size (going down a few sizes, to keep the knit parts solid). I've got the yarn. Now I'm going to take my Sunday morning/afternoon nap and then cast on. Pray for me that my maths are correct, my pattern is as wonderful as I think it will be and that this time, I'll just take it as it comes and knit the darn scarf already!