I do like me some stripes

Is this the must knit of the year? I sure think so!

It's from the 2007/08 Winter Vogue Knitting. Oh my sainted aunt, I can't wait to get my paws on that magazine, just for this pattern alone. It's got stripes! AND puffed sleeves! It's totally bringing out the Anne Shirley in me. I'm actually heavy breathing, I want it that badly! Must.....get......Vo-hooooogue.....Knitting!

What's everybody else planning on knitting this season?

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Ow ow ow ow ow

Do you ever find yourself in one of those strange coincidental curses? For example, you tell a friend you've never been stung by a bee, then the next day one comes along and stings you?

Well, yesterday I had one of those, big time.

Grumbles and I have a little dishes arrangement, where I hand her the knives and forks that I've just dried, and she carefully puts them in the drawer for me. The big sharp knives, however, don't go anywhere near her. Instead, she points to the knife block and tells me to put them in there.

So, as we were doing this yesterday, we were having a natter about how she can help with the cooking when she gets a bit older, but she's not allowed to touch any of the big knives, because they are big! and sharp! and you could cut yourself! and you might bleed! and that would really hurt!

Fast forward to later that day. My best friend has come around for dinner so I'm manning the cutting board and gasbagging away. The cutting goes a little something like this: onion, onion, onion, finger, ow!

Best mate whisks me off to the bathroom, cleans up my finger (she's training to be a nurse, and a darn fine one she'll make, too!) and then Grumbles wanders in to watch. She looked at the mess, then calmly informed me to be "Careful with big knife, Mum!" before heading back to her trainset.

So there you have it. I completely and utterly cursed myself. And then I drank too much champagne to forget the pain in my finger (anything over, um, nothing is too much for me, old fart that I am), so now I have a sore finger and a sore head. I am such a duffer.

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Crazy and paisley

I've been beavering away, sewing up a pair of summer jimjams for Grumbles. Because that's how I roll: I knit her cardigans at the end of winter, then make her summer pjs at the end of summer. Pathetic!

Fingers crossed I'll get them finished today, if I don't make any more colossal stuff ups. I'm not even going to tell you what I did wrong, so elementary was it and therefore all the more shameful. Let's just say that, as always when rushing, I find myself falling into traps laid for young players. Sigh. Time to hunt out my quick-un-pick...

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Bald monks and dry beds

Three dry nights in a row! Go Grumbles! I followed Nichola's advice, and got her up for a twinkle before I retired each evening, and that seems to have done the trick. To celebrate, we headed out for lunch downtown today. Nori rolls all around (or worry-wolls, as Grumbles would say!)

Downtown. Such a cute word, but one I very rarely use. Once I had a lecturer ask a friend and I out for lunch "downtown". We laughed for weeks over it. "DOWNTOWN!", we'd snort. "How affected!" He also told us the graveyards were perfect places to make love, especially to red-haired young maidens. My friend (a natural redhead) and I (an obviously false one, back then) didn't quite know what to make of that, especially since he was our lecturer, he was old, and he had a bald patch/hairstyle just like a monk in a bad movie. Still, he was an affable enough sort of chap, really quite harmless. And he did have a lichen named after him. I was always quite impressed by that.

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The pegs are grumpy


We've just started night time toilet training for Grumbles. Oh my sainted aunt, the washing! It's never ending, at least two loads a day. The pegs (new chant: If we see one more doona, we'll go on strike sooner!) are making rumbles about calling in their union, claiming that it says in their contract that bedsheets will only be hung out once a week, max. Tough luck, my little wooden friends.

My personal favourite is when she manages to wet the sheets, the doona (all the way through), her pillow and various assorted stuffed animals. Thank heavens for mattress protectors.

On the plus side, two nights out of six have been dry. Is it bad to give chocolate as a reward?

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You're the voice, try and understand it

Well, hello dear neglected readers. Happy belated 2008 to you all!

I feel I should explain the post below. I've decided that, for me, 2008 is going to be the year of writing. In order to do this, I need to find my writing voice. Now, I already have a writing voice, but I feel I need to get to know it well. What makes it tick? What is it about this voice that makes it undeniably, unmistably mine? Does it prefer marmalade to nutella? Radio to silence? Downhill to cross-country? Does it even want to come out?

In order to answer these questions (and probably quite a few more), I'll be doing a lot more writing this year. I'm even going to bore you all, and put some of it on the blog, inbetween newly made dresses and blathering about knitting. Hopefully some will be a tad more cheery than the one below. Even I'll admit to being a little disturbed by that one.

Feel free to let me know what you think of it. Criticism*, even when it pinches hard like a bastard and leaves a bruise, is always thought-provoking, and probably just what I need to bang down walls and improve.

*Although don't be too mean - I am a sensitive soul, after all!

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Incidents involving blood during a 9 month gestation period: a true story.

(i)
I fumble my way into the bathroom, heading towards the sink, mentally trying to prepare myself for the morning hell that is cleaning my teeth. My body, once so well known, is now an alien place to me - I feel weak, with wobbly legs and aching joints, my head continually feeling like it’s about to split open, my stomach churning with a never ending nausea. The radio announcer gaily informs his listeners that it’s going to be a fine sunny day, with a top of 33. These facts no longer mean anything to me, when I can barely move from table to couch to chair to toilet without throwing up. I am two months pregnant.

I lean over the sink, and squeeze out some toothpaste onto the brush. I gingerly put it into my mouth, and gently begin to brush. Within seconds the act of opening my mouth just so combining with the peppermint taste of the toothpaste conspire to make me gag before throwing up what little breakfast I had managed to force down. With a light head, I notice the blood mixed in with the toothpaste mixed in with the vomit. The tiny part of my brain still functioning in a normal manner idly notes that I’d never had bleeding gums before falling pregnant. I lean down, wash the vomit from my toothbrush and splash my face with water, then lower my head further to cool down on the porcelain sink. I feel like death. This baby better be worth it.

(ii)
I’m in the shower, soaping my growing baby bump. It’s sometime in March. Reaching up, I squirt out some cleanser, then proceed to wash my face. Suddenly I feel a sharp pain in my nose. I open my eyes, and see blood pouring down my body, mixing with the hot water to produce torrents of red that flows quickly down the sink. I lose my head and begin screaming for my husband. He rushes into the bathroom and is confronted by me standing naked and horrified in the shower, blood everywhere, screaming “What have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE?”

(iii)
I am lying on the bed in the labour ward, legs still encased in the stirrups. My husband is holding our newborn baby girl, who hasn’t yet cried, but did make squeaking sounds, like a door without oil. A midwife is over me, pummelling my stomach in an effort to extract the placenta. Nobody is aware at this point that the placenta is actually embedded in the uterus. Unknowingly, we are dancing with the devil. After pummelling some more, the midwife gives up, and with a sigh, reaches in and pulls it out. In doing this act, she creates a gaping wound in the uterus, and within seconds the blood is pouring out, landing on bed, floor, legs, nurses. “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” mutters one, as the room suddenly becomes a hive of activity. I hear a code red being announced. In my dazed state, I only realise it’s for me when the room begins filling up with people, one warning another not to slip in all the blood that is amassing on the floor. They begin cutting off my singlet top, trying to transfer me to a trolley, organising the theatre for the five hours of emergency surgery ahead, not bothering to hide the panicked looks on their faces. All I can feel is the cold coming in. I am terrified of closing my eyes. Against my will I begin to die.

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