Where ordinary people see sweet newborn feet, I see a blank canvas.
*Photo credit to B-Bear, grandpa extraordinaire.
...for a contraction.
Yep, Cathi guessed it, though I think she had a leg up considering our many discussions of television's hottest villains and my unabashed love for the bad boy (Spike, Sexy Mr. Sark, Marc Antony). They just don't design sweaters for the hunchbacked, do they? All it would take would be a few extra short-rows. Is that really too much to ask? But I loved all of your suggestions, and if I had the energy and time, I'd be over on Ravelry right now setting up a group for us Shakespeare knitters. A Comedy of Errors! (I think Jessica has this one covered already.) MacBeth! (Or should I say "The Scottish Sweater"?) Taming of the Shrew! (I maintain this would make a great felted cat toy.) And Titus Andronicus received SO many votes that I really think someone needs to capitalize on this right now and put the gore back in the gored skirt.
So here's what I did yesterday INSTEAD of having a baby:
Finished my book (upshot: food is scary, the FDA is wimpy, fish is death, lobbyists control everything, health claims are bogus, trust no one). Had an unraveling party that started with Juliet and then expanded to include two other sweaters and a wrap, and started a Drive-Thru for the Biscuit. At one point I asked Mr. Frick what he most wanted, and he said, "A beer." Then he asked me what I most wanted, and I said, "A pedicure." I was dispatched for both. Needless to say, the sight of a 40-weeks pregnant woman perusing the beer selection in a pair of those flimsy pedicure flops was enough to draw many a "look" at the local Safeway.
I know, I know. Many of you clicked here expecting a baby. Grand pronouncement: I will not post again until he's here, and that's final. Meanwhile, go check out Ruth's little lovely. We were due the same day. She has plump newborn, I have my fourth pumpkin pie. Sigh.
In college I had two professors of Shakespeare. Professor Savage taught the comedies and histories. Professor Ferenbach took the tragedies. Savage was a real character. He was about 7 feet tall, had a stutter, dressed in pastel plaids and stripes (he looked like a Munster with a country club membership on acid), and told us on the first day of class that none of us had any business even trying to decipher "Twelfth Night." And then proceeded to assign a paper on it.
As much of a character as he was, Ferenbach gave him a run for his money. He was your typical curmudgeon, with a broken wreath of white hair and opinions that were Ignored At Your Peril. Bring up any movie version of Shakespeare or use the term "The Bard" and you were instantly frozen out of his regard. He openly mocked other members of the English department and their little "pet projects." "Feminism in Joyce!" he would scoff. They called him Ferenbach 451.
He believed that "Romeo and Juliet" was a deeply flawed play. He found the notion of "star-crossed-ness" a cop-out in the genre where fatal flaws were supposed to hold sway. He thought the protagonists were whiney, undeserving, selfish, flighty teens. He also wanted to make damn sure we knew that "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" did NOT mean "Where are you, Romeo?" as we'd all been taught in high school, but "Why are you Romeo?" as in, "Why are you a Montague and not something more convenient, like a Smith?"
That was okay by me. I was never a huge R&J fan. We'd read "Othello" in high school instead. My favorite Shakespeare play is one NO one in their right mind would ever name a sweater after. (Guess it! Guess it!) And clearly, as this knit has proven to me, I have no business mucking about the the world of romance and empire waists.
Juliet, alas. But I should have seen it coming. Yes, I swatched, but no, I did not think about this enough before beginning it.
First of all, the empire waist . Beth and I have been getting a giggle out of this trend for a couple of years now, as all of our students are coming to school looking three months pregnant. This is still relatively cute on petite people, but have we learned nothing from the films? On Queen Elizabeth, whether Blanchett or Mirren, yes. The empire waist is a go. On Mary Queen of Scots, locked up in that tower with nothing to do, we presume, but eat game pies and plot murder, NO. (I exaggerate, of course. I am no Mary. I knit the medium size. Still, I think the empire fad is best left for the tiny amongst us.)
Secondly, I chose to knit this in Rowan Polar, which is lighter than the cotton blends used in the pattern, and therefore floats, much like the proverbial circus tent, around my middle, instead of hanging beguilingly. In short, I look like I'm wearing a giant woolen smock.
Thirdly, I'm very ready NOT to look the least bit pregnant anymore.
So Juliet? R.I.P. I am eyeing that Tree Jacket, though.
Biscuit keeps asking me to read Olivier Dunrea's Ollie these days. The Dunrea books are really cute, if completely formulaic. This one's about a gosling, Ollie, who "won't come out" of his egg. That is, until Gossie and Gertie, his buddies on the outside, finally give up asking him to come out and tell him NOT to come out. Reverse psychology for preschoolers.
Fricklet seems to be following suit, though it's not for lack of a lovely place to land. His room may just be the most fantastic spot in the house, full of crafty goodness. This post is for all you voyeurs out there.
This time around I was wiser to the ways of Etsy and avoided the lure of the mass-made "crib sets." I bought a bumper from Jesseca over at Quilt Baby. I think it looks just lovely there by the window, together with Fricklet's Blankie, now backed and tied by my lovely friend Doris, don't you?
Now, I apologize in advance for the many shades of green you may turn when you see this next photo. Steel yourselves:
Recognize it? Greening up yet? Check out the other angle:
People, I had no idea. Really. I wasn't being coy when I commented on that post that I'd stop reading her blog if she didn't take commissions. I wasn't trying to bribe her when I sent her that orange Cork yarn. The fact that I've nominated her for the MacArthur Genius Award and offered her my second-born child (she refused) is completely irrelevant. This was a completely random act of incredible generosity on Ashley's part. People, I cried when I opened it. Oh, how perfectly this quilt coordinates with Tulane, handmade by the lovely, the talented, Maritza. Oh, how happy it makes my heart.
Looky! It even makes a lovely backdrop for the artwork this little guy's inheriting from his big brother. These little animals were handpainted by a local artist. Hippo butt! Giraffe butt! Monkey...face! Well, they can't all be backsides.
And here we have a sizeable stack o' handknits. Lurking beneath the Haba toys (Chinese plastic is OUT, or have you heard) are two lovely bibs and one burp cloth all handknit by Amisha. Basking in the glow of the monkey lamp are two hats handknit by Haley (holy alliterative handknits, Batman!) and one skein of Artyarns sent by Heather for an as-yet-to-be-determined Frickletknit. Suggestions welcome! Hidden behind the handknits is a small CD player loaded up with this album sent by Kelly. There is a track on this album called "Your Attitude Towards Cuttlefish." What's yours?
And finally, grandpa came over and hung the artwork this weekend, which was also a gift from my *rightthismomentinlabor* friend Adri. Plenty of visual stimulation here for everyone.
So Fricklet? DON'T COME OUT!
Let's see if that works.
After all that fretting about the bag-packing, it's finally done.
Contents list: a baby for the Biscuit to take home from the hospital, four celebrity-news-free magazines unavailable in hospital gift shops, *knitting, my comfy "old man slippers," cell phone, camera, notebook and pen, accordion file for hospital paperwork and baby book page for visitors to sign, a going-home outfit for the Fricklet, a going-home outfit (read: maternity clothes) for me, black nightgown and cardigan (postpartum uniform), toiletries bag (the good moisturizer, lip gloss, Lansinoh), and a good nursing book (but not this one, which is for reference only, in my opinion, unless you like being made to feel inferior if breastfeeding doesn't put you in an immediate state of Nirvana).
So...what am I forgetting?
The knitting drove me a bit batty for a while until I finally settled on the perfect hospital project: Mim's baby socks. I've made them so many times I've lost count, because they almost always end up given away before I can record their existence. So I started a pair of rainbow-colored ones on Addi 1's with some STR "Fire on the Mountain," thinking: "These will be the socks I'm knitting when the baby comes!" And a couple of days passed, and off they were cast.
And so I stared another pair, same yarn, on Addi 0's. And a couple of days passed, and off they were cast. (Feet up, Fricklet!)
(Gratuitous belly shot.)
So I started a pair in Lorna's Laces "Flames" on Addi O's. You know what's coming, right?
So the pair peeking out of the bag is Lorna's Laces "Happy Valley," and I decided to just put them in the bag, partway knit, and go ahead with Juliet. Because the Happy Valley sounds like a nice place to go in your mind when your tender bits are being assaulted, no?
Unless Juliet- that most serendipitously cute, well-named, and bulky-to-boot knit for which I'm currently swatching- takes the prize, I think this might just be my final "big" FO Before Fricklet. (Baby socks don't count.)
As you all know, I'm a passionate devotee of the BSJ, but having made four, I may have suffered a bit of BSJ burnout. Enter Tomten- specifically, that purpley one on page 47 of The Opinionated Knitter. Seriously, how much of a rockstar is that kid? The long and tousled hair? (I maintain it's a boy, but you know how I am about shaggy-haired guys.) The purple? The vampirish collar? It's perfect! It's Tomten!
Thanks to your advice, combined with the Biscuit's clear preference for the bluesy tones, I decided to save the browns for the Fricklet. I knit along, randomly striping, and at some point decided I preferred the "wrong" side for the way the colors blended in lovely, gartery bumps and ridges as opposed to butting up neatly against each other, so wrong side became right and all was well with the world. The yarns are Cascade 220 scraps and Classic Elite Skye Tweed leftovers from Mr. Frick's Cobblestone, of which I had plenty thanks to Nova. I used 8's for everything except for the collar, for which I switched to 6's for stiffness. I've decided that a zipper is the way to go on this one, and Beth has generously agreed to put one in for me. Thanks, B! I tried Margaux's trick with the lollipop as bribery for a modeled shot, though I had to offer two and got very mixed results, as you can tell by the fact that this is the best shot:
But at least it justifies the title of this post! Then Mr. Frick obliged by going outside in the sweltering heat and clowning around in front of the window so that I could surreptitiously sneak this shot:
My little rockstar.
Thanks to those of you who have written wondering if the Fricklet is yet with us here on the Big Outside. Not yet, friends! However, the doc told me yesterday that he thinks I could "go at any time," which prompted the name of this post. (Thanks, Tim!) In case thinking about dilation and effacement and cervical softening gives you the heebie-jeebies (and if it does, I apologize for the beginning of this sentence), here's another way to interpret this post's title:
Mmmmm...Manos leftovers masquerading as Mountain of Melting Ice Cream. Now that's an eruption I could get behind. (Happy coincidence: this ice cream's name, Neapolitan, comes from the city closest to Vesuvius, Naples! I love it when a post comes together.)
The due date's the 23rd. The Biscuit was 8 days early. My days of pickles and ice cream draw to a close. Guess I'd better get 'em while the getting's good! Fiberlicious!