Friday, March 30, 2007


You make me feel so young
You make me feel like spring has sprung
Every time I see you grin
I'm such a happy individual

The moment that you speak
I want to go and play hide-and-seek
I want to go and bounce the moon
Just like a toy balloon

You and i, are just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots of forget-me-nots

You make me feel so young
You make me feel there are songs to be sung
Bells to be rung, and a wonderful fling to be flung

And even when Im old and gray
Im gonna feel the way I do today
cause you make me feel so young

Unable to resist the lure of the blooms and promises of the season, I took a little backyard stroll. The pink trumpets burst forth in the last 2 weeks, the bulbs put forth their precious gems, fleeting but so cherished. The large columns hold the roots of heirloom tomatoes-to-be, instead of cages my mum thought to let them hang off the sides as they fruit. The varieties she chose include the zebra stripe and one that is purported to be black/purple in color. Our peach tree has multiple flower clusters despite having received a severe pruning to reshape unruly branches, all is well in the garden. We have scads of future work to do to establish the hardscaping that will lend itself to decades of backyard celebrations, but for the time,the green will do. I hope to get a few raised beds of other bits of veg, some beans, and the obligatory herb garden going before true heat settles in to the area. Ahhh, short here, but sweet in its own right, no matter the zone one lives in. .I caught a glimpse of myself in the very dirty glass of our white does accent the tummy, does it not? The very degree of protrusion...shocking to me. I think because I so rarely take to my feet. And there are few full length mirrors around. And my top is white. Jeez. Well, by the time all the lovely garden bits come to bear, I too will likely have brought my own Spring beans forth....starting to fantasize about, the black thumb of the family. Shows you how I am really feeling it, the preggers thing. In knitting news, I am working on a teeny Tomten jacket a la EZ. Should be done soon because of the teeny-ness. Pics to come. Have I mentioned I love EZ. I am thinking of ordering the DVD of her Knitting Workshop to have her witty presence grace my home. I have the book but would delight in hearing it in her own words and delivery. What a gift to the world of knit. I also supplemented my library with the Mason Dixon book, and this book to get my Ripple on. Guess I better get back to my needles (though my usual Ellen hour has been bumped to feature the inane coverage of a 'raging' foothill fire in HW)(I frickin' hate the news here)(Idiots). Have a lovely weekend, folks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hoods, Hooks, and Choc-choc

So, knitting rules most of my time. It is that thing that makes me sane, it brightens my day, it alleviates the pain of bad local programming, and it distracts me from the various aspects of my life that are starting to grate on me. I finished a lovely piece for a bean…little hoodie. It is sized up. I am not sure of the ‘when’ it will fit, but it will eventually fit. I loved working with this yarn, it is cotton and lacking any stretch, which can be a bit rough on the fingers, but it has some synthetic in it which seems to soften its hand. It has a great sheen, little bit glossy, just that little bit of special. Initially I intended to use it for an adorable knit in The Knit Café book, but the pattern looks a bit femme to me, and neither of the beans are female, so I used this great pattern from Knitty. I did not embellish it yet; I am contemplating some embroidered animal…stick figure in nature. We will see. I do recommend this pattern as it is simple and fun. As with all little items, it knits up quickly and provides that rush of satisfaction that accompanies completion. It is currently modeled by Clyde, my orangutan. He is a bit scruffy, but beloved. I inherited him from my little brother about 13 years ago. Clyde was intended as a gift for Ricky, then 4 years old. Except when he pulled him out of the wrapping paper, he ended up screaming in fright and throwing him across the room. The primate has been mine ever since and followed me cross country and up and down the West Coast. He cuddled with me on long solitary nights in NY and weathered a few bouts of storage. Now I plan on gracing the beans’ room with his watchful presence…hope he does not frighten them. Hoodie #2 will be of the same yarn, but a lovely greeny sagey color…I am not really keen on dressing them identical, just dressing them well.

Another development in the Command Central area is picking up the hook again. I have been over at this site a bit and find endless inspiration in her projects, colors, and overall lifestyle. I found these posts and links exciting, to say the least, and gathered stash/scrap yarn, a crochet hook, and quickly downloaded instructions
from Google…and I was off. I actually started with crochet, in high school/college I made beanies and flowers and scarves…gifting my buddies with warm items. Until that day I picked up knitting needles…I abandoned my hook and rarely looked back. That was about 3 years ago. My magnum opus was a crocheted afghan that covers a full/queen. I love it but am too lazy to go photo it right now. Anyway, after seeing this post, and needing a bit of a break from the needles after all that cotton I cast on for a granny square. A little later I cast off…then on…then off. I really couldn’t stop. It is so great, little unfolding gems of color and shape, endless possibilities of color and combination. Scraps of yarn I have had forever: that green cashmerino from my first knit beanie, that cherished purple ball of fuzz inherited from my grandma when she passed, all those bits…weaving together to be a coherent piece of work. I decided to hook up 9 and sew them into a square for a
decorative pillow, tackling a blanket is not my intention right now. Especially not when the next blanket I have to make is this one. And I have to make it. Once pattern, hook and yarn do arrive (and this is many steps away) I plan on making it my next magnum opus….it will be great for post-bean times because, unlike knitting, crochet of this nature can be mindlessly picked up with ease, one stitch to recall, one stitch to put on hold when not in play, lots of color variation, lots of fun. I think I will aim to have the new blanket for next fall….to replace the ubiquitous faux quilt you see in the background of most of my pictures. Seems like a long time from now, but bed rest has taught me an important thing. Even when you think time is still, even when it feels a bit stalled, it is flowing forward faster than realized.

All is fairly quiet on the pregnancy front. Maybe better described as fairly unchanging. Days can be good, with a quiet calm uterus that remains relaxed and comfortable. Other days it has a life of its own and clutches so tightly around these boys I worry for them. Those are the days when the husband brings me things to distract/comfort me. I have had few strong cravings and since I cannot go procure the desired treats when the longing strikes, they usually pass unfulfilled. Last week I wanted cake, called T begging him to get cake from Trader Joe’s; he was so busy getting regular grocery (usually my realm) he forgot the cake. A few days ago he walked in to Command Central with a dozen of these…procured at Vons…but
absolutely delicious. They are just the right size, the butter cream delightful. Mmmmm, that made the day look (and taste) a lot better. I did not eat the dozen alone, we distributed them throughout the household, but I had more than one. Heehee. Only thing is chocolate gives me heartburn, but then, everything gives me heartburn, so whatever. I also relocated my wedding ring to my favorite necklace…I still have little edema, but I do not want to wake up one morning and I find myself unable to remove it from my finger. I have entered countdown mode, that world where calendars gain profound significance and marking off days bring rushes of excitement and the dawn of each new day brings joy. I see my doc weekly now, discussion has yet to turn to an exact ‘when’’ though I would love a concrete date. You know, just to have a goal. I have set one for myself, I think it coincides with the doc’s plan…maybe we will discuss that today. We will see. Until then. I, the incubator, will hang in there.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ode to New York

I, like so many others, love the world of blog. With my endlessly available and fairly idle hours, I click and bounce from fave to fave, seeking the next photo, inspiration, or glimpse. I love feeling the walls fall away and knowing that the gap between my bedroom walls and (let’s say) Ohio, is instantly dissolved. It is not even subtly addictive and there is a joke about my computer usage running rampant in our household.

I have a special place in my heart for the Spiders, this lovely ring situated in New York. You may wonder why a California girl would be so fascinated…I actually lived in New York City for five years during my college education. I got a bee in my bonnet at 17 and decided it was NY or bust, moved there after high school and attended NYU. It was a slight digression from my initial plan which involved Stanford and med school, but I have never once regretted it. New York was unbelievably foreign, I can still remember the smell of the pavement when I arrived in late August 93’. Steamy and dirty, undercurrents of sweat and diesel, not a breeze in the air. I remember thinking the city impenetrable. I was more than a little scared, but I like to think I did fairly well with my adjustment from suburbia to bustling city. Never did I assimilate, not once was I taken for a New Yorker. I just couldn’t achieve that nonchalant NY woman appearance. NYU did very little to insulate students from the City, in fact, it was part of the City, college classes felt more like a job. The years went faster than I could imagine….the last year was the hardest as I just wanted to be done. My now husband and I maintained a long distance relationship for 3 1/2 years…the last 6 months he moved out to NY. I remember this vividly because I was at a breaking point, living in the ever-evolving LES, overwhelmed by school/work/lack of funds, taking it out on him during our long distance calls. I think I said something about being done, the next day he called and informed me he was moving to NY that week, packing up the yellow Toyota truck and he’d be there in a few days…I would finish school in July and he would drive me home.

I’m glad he did, it connected him to a life I lived separate from my family and childhood friends. He met the people that shaped my life there, he saw the places I loved to frequent and became acquainted with the city that had held me in its sway for years. And because he brought a vehicle with him, we experienced upstate and Maine and other places I had no real access to without him and transportation. He did not really like the City; much more comfortable on a trail riding his mountain bike, his forays on bike were harrowing at times in NY (We were both in bike accidents in the time we spent together. Me with a car, him with the Brooklyn Bridge…long story). We spent our last month living in Brooklyn, it made me realize we might actually have stayed longer if we had moved out to Brooklyn earlier.

I wish knitting had been then what it is now. I love the community it seems to foster wherever it springs up. I was sorely lacking in companionship during my time in NY. I had a few wonderful (but mixed up) friends and my love who was inaccessible until the closure of my time in the East. I had my one companion in my P.T. program who was a little quirky, like me. She involved me in the world of bike messengers…now there is an interesting mix of folks (I used to drink with those guys every Thursday at St Marks Bar. Ah, college.). But they were acquaintances, drinking buddies really. I do wish my crafting and fiber addiction existed then, I was heavily into jewelling at the time, but knitting had yet to enter my life. It seems that the world of fiber had not exploded into its current incarnation, no blogs, no trendy and talked about shops and very little public knit groups. Ah, to be in New York today. To have access to Morehouse Farms, the concentration of knit shops, Rhinebeck…it all sounds so delicious. The pics of the city and its streets are so nostalgic to me.

At times my “NY’ life feels like a faded photo, so much happened to me there, so much of my formation/creation of Self occurred in those years, and yet it is so distant. I have not been back in 10 years, I remember my last glance out the small window of our truck, my buddy, Damien, waving goodbye on the street in Brooklyn. That was July 98’ I knew my life was moving on, forward, towards its current manifestation. Without those years, lost as they seem, I know I would not be the Me that I am. But I sure do wish the Point existed back then.

Picture Notes: All pictures are taken off of film pictures. (Obviously.) Even though it was 5 years of my life, I find very little photographic evidence of my NY exploits. It was pre-digital (waaaay back in 97-98'). I debated including the picture of Tim and I, we were 18 and 20 in that pic (his first time in the city, still had his locks back then). That is the 'balcony' outside our apartment on Ridge Street, I googled it and found that our real estate there rents for about 3400/month (when i moved there it was 975$ in 1995...I think.) The two friends pictured are the folks I forged lifetime bonds with, both made it out to our wedding in I love them. Looking at these pictures brings such a rush of emotions back...we have not visited at all. Maybe we will have to introduce the beans to the Big Apple sooner than later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Knitting Deities

The knitting deities like me…they really like me. A few days ago I started a project after receiving inspiration from one of my favorites, Julia. Many of my early projects were a direct result of her site and knitting acumen, she was actually the first blog I lurked at heavily until I finally realized what that little comment link meant…aha, you mean I can tell these women how much I like/admire/respect them and their knitting? Wow. Who would have thunk it? Anyway, I bought the yarn she suggested in her modifications of the pattern, I ordered the IK that carried the pattern and then it sat for a bit, precisely until last Tuesday when I cast on. I have to say the yarn is brilliant, it can only be described as squooshy. It is a neutral color (my lord, my boys are going to blend into the very neutral walls of our home) but it was a steal as a closeout at WEBS.

I bought 4. You can guess where this is going, eh? I did swatch, I swear. I got gauge, I got the show on the road.

Were there moments when I intuitively thought, “Hmmm, seems a little big? Lots of stitches, is this measuring up correctly?”. Did I click back to Julia’s mods a few times just to kinda’ see if hers looked like it was about the same size as mine? (You see the flawed logic, yes, as her picture is impossible to compare to the piece in front of me.) Did I stop? Oh no. I just blithely knit on. I figured it would work itself out. I came to ball 4 of my delicious squoosh, knit up the back, paused, (maybe panicked a little) grabbed the yarn label and started to surf Google, because you know I did not have enough. But I did I find the yarn, trying to match dye lot initially then acknowledging the futility of this action as a) I bought the yarn ages ago and b) it was on closeout at the time. Kpixie had the color, at least, so I ordered a ball. Smooth transaction via Paypal, (everyone should take Paypal ) and, lo and behold, it arrived today. Thanks ladies of Kpixie because,
the labels…they match. This lovely ball of squoosh that entered my home today has the same dye lot as my initial purchase. And that is why the knitting deities like, maybe even love, me.

Now I will finish the piece and at some point in the life of some little person, it will surround them in squoosh and I will look at said little person and think….”Always buy one extra ball of yarn”. Hee hee.

Quick shot of growing belly on Command Central (that is what we call our bed now). I have another project nearing completion as I had to cast on something while waiting for my squoosh. I'll get that on here at some point.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

another lil' hat

i have had a ball of donated yarn sitting on my stash shelf forever. yesterday i
swatched a bit, it is of the baubly variety of yarn and made a nice soft i cast on for a lil' hat. no real pattern, i thought to experiment a bit. i used a carter's beanie for rough measurement, cast on a multiple of 6 to ease the crown decreases and made a row of yarn overs (K1, YO, K2TOG) for the ribbon trim. i like it and lacking the model, placed the finished product on the yarn ball. have you ever seen the Dark Crystal, a puppetish movie. my stand-in model resembles the funny little creatures enslaved by the evil sketsies. anyone feeling me on that one? sorry, digression. now the challenge comes with duplicating it for bean 2. the second one is shaping up so far. i am hoping they fit...though twins are usually a little premature, our boys have heads measuring about 2 weeks larger than EGA. i can thank my husband for that one. if they are instantly outgrown i will donate them to the NICU at our hospital. 31 weeks and counting.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Spring has Sprung (and gone here in Southern California)

I write my best at 2 a.m. lately. Thing is, I am not really writing, composing would be more accurate. Lying on my left side, mind racing, desperately trying to self-soothe to sleep, I start to mentally write my next post. The night has no sanctuary for me now, this late in the pregnancy. I sleep, at best, 2 hour stretches, usually waking to the call, you know, the one requiring a bathroom jaunt. The call triggers my tightening, which then needs to settle down so I can relax, which then triggers the thought process. And once the thought process is back in play, sleep sits at a sideline. I used to be an excellent sleeper and anticipate that someday I will return to a modicum of my old ways. For now I think of it as training. Who knows what sleep will come once these little people arrive.

Pregnancy has been interesting for me, what with the twins and all the others bits. It has not been terrible…just so very different. My life looks so different, but that I anticipated. I love the changes that have happened, the belly that I have access to all day long. Nothing beats rubbing concentric circles around and around when I need some soothing. I cannot complain of edemetatous ankles, my ring fits, my nails are strong and skin clear…yes, there are definite points towards positive pregnancy views. The heartburn sucks, and I mean sucks…this from a girl who never had a day of GERD in my life. First Tums I ever bought was when I was 4 months gravid. The meds I am on exacerbate the already present heartburn, but this too shall pass. Do I wish I could get up and take a walk? Yes. Do I wish that the days consisted of something other than reclining in various horizontal positions? Oh yes. But again, this too shall pass.

The reality of two little people is starting to sink in, the whole gamut of changes and things that will need to be done and learned…having the invaluable support of my parents who have courageously brought 8 children into this world and (key) raised them well is so appreciated. My mom and I talk, she tells me about one child vs. another, what she tried, learned and abandoned. I do not want to raise our boys by a rule book or method, I just want to raise them well.

It took awhile for me to come around to the idea of children of our own. I have always loved little ones and have extensive experience in the realm of child/baby from work and life. There was a period of time when I was adamantly against having our own. My husband and I have been together since our late teens, stretching and shaping our adulthoods together along the way. We are approaching 12 years of sharing our lives, so despite being relatively young, we consciously chose not to have children for all that time.
What changed? First, I read a book called Ishmael. Then my husband read it. The book itself helped to solidify an idea, a concept I had forming in my mind as I matured, a way of looking at and interpreting our current world. It clarified certain things I needed clear, it energized my belief system in this place as an interconnected space where we all have an amazing potential and effect on said space. The book did not convince me we were meant to follow the path of parenthood. It was something my husband said at a time when I was deeply questioning the idea of bringing forth more into a strained world. He said to me “We can bring a soldier for Ishmael to the world.” Please do not be off-put by the word ‘soldier’. It is not meant literally, if you have read the book, it would make sense. I mulled over the statement he made for some time and it changed something in me, something shifted, clicked, quieted…hard to explain, it just did. And we tried, succeeded, and discovered there would be not one, but two little people to bring forth, to ‘soldier’ on. We have long discussion of late, talking about the future, our hopes and dreams for our children, ourselves. We talk of goals and things that we have already achieved. We reminisce about our travels and laugh about how limited our scope is at this current time. All this is helping us shift our focus and it feels wonderful. I ask him, “How are the beans today?” and with the most confident smile he replies “Just fine.” Without him I would be lost, afraid. Instead, I feel empowered and beautiful. It sure does help to have the best partner at my side at this time. And I sure do love him.

Anyway, I wanted to write a bit about this pregnancy, it is something I reflect on a lot. I know each woman has a different experience and a different lens that they view pregnancy through. I want to say that it is truly transformative, literally and figuratively. It is a time of surging, changing, recreating oneself and preparing for a new role, and it is so intimate. I will always cherish this time, despite the challenges. Bed rest has given me the opportunity to stop and reflect. I know my boys so well already, the way one likes to run his knuckles along my ribs, the way the other gets regular hiccups that vibrate my pelvic floor (yeah, weird), the bumps, jabs, and rolls. It will be so interesting to meet them on this side of the womb. And yes, despite our recent 90 degree temps, I am still knitting them little ensembles inspired heavily by this blog and others past projects. My fellow knitting friend Ana said we will just crank up the a/c and then do dress up with them. That should be fun, eh? ‘Til then.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why Knitters get Pregnant

Who wouldn't want to make a pair of these. i inherited some regia sock yarn from my spectacular friend jess and found this pattern via another post. i used #2 addis for lack of 1s (my 0s are 'holding' a jaywalker sock with serious seconditis) and they came together great. i wanted to make daddy camo socks to match, but he said he would prefer a beanie and i know my man, he will never put on a pair of handknit socks, though it was a nice momentary fantasy. now i will cast on for pair #2 for bean #2. they are so quick and fun i am glad i have to make 2 pairs.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This weekend was really nice…I actually made it to my baby shower (considering it was in my living room, I had not far to go.) My beautiful sisters came down from waaaay up North and spent Friday night baking and preparing for the event. Then the morning of the shower my sister gave me a luxurious 90 minute pedicure with massage and everything while we caught up. My lil’ sis made the cutest favors with chocolate wrapped in handmade labels enclosed in adorable handmade packages. We have a slight obsession in my family for making thing by hand, I do not know if it is craftiness or that perverse sense of thriftiness/‘I can do that attitude‘. I made all of my wedding favors, place markers, wine glass décor, etc…it was actually really fun, though time was consumed by it. I guess we figure what else is the time for?

Anyway, they pulled together a lovely event attended by my most lovely ladies with plenty of food and the required shower games. I did recline the whole time on my decorated lounge chair, anyone who wanted any convo had to hunker down next to my low lounger, perching on the edge. Everyone was super accommodating, I was terribly excited to see people after weeks of relative seclusion and our friends/family were very generous with both practical and whimsical gifts overflowing our living room. Funny anecdote…when we first found out about the twins I called every family member, getting my lil’ sis first on the phone. She was so excited and in her freaking out kept repeating ‘Oh my god (good socal girls that we are, this statement is as ingrained as ‘sir’ and ma’am’ in Southerners), Oh my god, you are going to need two of everything!’ This she repeated until I begged her to stop as I was feeling a little short of breath contemplating that particular fact. This struck me as I opened gifts, all containing two, if not more, of everything. There are times when the reality of two babies strikes, I still get a little breathless, but also overwhelmingly excited.

I usually take lots of pictures, but with the excitement and trying to stay relatively inactive, I missed many photo opportunities. No pictures of the delicious cupcakes slathered in homemade raspberry mousse. None of the hilarious faces made while ladies sniffed, and yes, tasted the contents of baby diapers filled with unrecognizable chocolates. Or of my Princess Mishka taking center stage during activities, snuggled up on various ladies shoes/feet for quick naps. All together, it was an amazingly fun day, though it left me feeling more drained than I thought possible. And I did very little.

One more special story. My Oma (paternal grandma) passed 2 years ago, she lived in Holland and though my father and mother were there, the rest of us (my 7 siblings and I) were unable to be there. She did not get to meet any great-grandchildren as mine will be her first. My Oma was raised in Indonesia and had the sight, many different occurrences throughout her life and mine have made me truly believe this. Saturday, at my shower, my father’s cousin (in her 70s) attended. She grew up with my Oma and was also there when she passed. Her gift was really special, it is the bear pictured here. Now, I am not much of a stuffed bear person, preferring monkeys over all other animals, but this story is precious. This particular bear was from my Oma’s collection, upon passing my Opa was urging all family members to take pieces that they wanted. My Tanta Daycha took this bear at the time, bringing it home to La Verne in her suitcase 2 years ago. When she learned of the twins she wrapped up this bear and brought it to me, telling me my Oma wanted me to have it for me and my babies. I have felt my Oma close by lately, since the start of my bedrest. Though I am not religious per se I have been praying the rosary for centering and comfort, keeping her close to mind as she practiced the rosary daily herself. It has gained in significance in the last few days, now I snuggle with the bear in the relative peace of the morning, dedicate my prayers to us and others and feel calm settle over me. It is a nice way to start the day.

Well, that was my weekend. Pretty nice. Tomorrow we have scheduled our routine 4D to check up on the beans, I look forward to these intimate glimpses inside. I have found an interesting balance developing in myself. I work in medicine, I am a physical therapist that worked for many years in high level trauma centers, always witness to the aftermath of trauma. Not always a good way to establish trust in western medicine. But I have to say, I have been nothing but grateful for the level of care that is available if needed. Yes, I believe pregnancy is natural, normal and has been done for eons without C-sections and 4Ds, but I am glad it is available to myself and the beans if and when we need it. That’s all, folks.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Heartfelt Gratitude

I wanted to post with an update. I asked Tuesday for positive thoughts/prayers on my pregnancy issues and all that was sent our way really, really helped. I was well taken care of and, with some medication, able to keep at bay the pre-term labor. I know the key component to this success was the waves of support I felt from this amazing community. I have great love and gratitude in my heart for the response my request generated from people I have yet to meet in our world…it is a statement to the caliber of people who knitblog. What a wonderful thing, that the simple act of creating can bring us into contact. I have very positive feelings regarding the progress of this pregnancy and the eventual safe delivery of the beans…knowing there are kind souls out there; mothers, grandmas, sisters, women (and maybe even a man/daddy) pulling for us makes 7 weeks seem like a truly ‘do-able’ task. Once again, thank you from the heart. I do actually have some knitting to show, for the last few days have yielding countless knitting hours.

I did learn some invaluable lessons this past week. 1) Always bring your packed knitting project bag when pre-term labor insures you a trip home! (murphy's law). 2) Some meds they give to stop labor make you shake like a crackhead so do some nice easy stockinette at that moment, avoid lace. 3) Keep knitting through it because it really does center and calm. 4) Bedrest ain't that bad when you have other knitbloggers, knit projects, and endless amounts of sites/posts with beautiful inspiring projects to ogle and covet. Baby soakers anyone?

The projects pictured are the LMKG Placket Neck Sweater knit in 100% baby alpaca on 7s and the EZ BSJ in Koigu on 5s. Technically the BSJ is not a FO as it needs some type of edging to clean up its appearance (hence the clever folding). I know not where my stash of crochet hooks has got to so it might be awhile before unfolding. Love the BSJ all over Zimmermania and I think a fuller yarn would suit the pattern better. Hey, I have plenty of time to try another. Once again. Huge thanks for the well wishes. Knit on.