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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Just a Few Things

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Part 1 of 2

Hello. I havenít been here for a while. Ah. I thought as much. My nails are a little long for prolonged typing after all. ďI wonder if my nails are too long to typeĒ was going to be my next sentence you see. Well. Theyíre not that long so Iím just using the side or tip of some of them for a little. So. How have I been?
Same as always. Feeling reflective so blog. Iím not so reliant on keeping the blog for external memory, by which I mean memories written down somewhere, because IĎve been keeping a journal since sometime in March I think. I have a diary but itís just a small one in which I record upcoming events, briefly note what Iíve done in the day (if anything at all) and what Iíve eaten meal-wise but not including snacks. And letís face it, I havenít been blogging much in recent years, so my memories get fragmented by the time I do blog them, if ever. So journaling is very nice. I do it for a minimum of 10 minutes a day, usually right before bed. Actually always right before bed. It relaxes me. Itís good as an outlet for what Iím thinking/feeling and has the added bonus of me writing something every day lest I get rusty. And if I donít feel like writing then I can just doodle instead. It all counts. Iím currently drawing a large tree, in stages, taking up over half a page. Itís the biggest doodle yet but itís fun. I prefer to write in the journal but sometimes itís nice to mix it up a bit.

Iíve been reading Dracula. I want it to be my achievement for the monthÖ. Did I mention that before?
At the start of the year I decided to achieve at least one thing every month. The achievement can be anything but there are some stipulations. It canít be something Iíd do/have to do already. For example, making all of my birthday cards for the rest of the year would be a smart thing to do, rather than rushing a day or so before the birthday in question, but it doesnít count because Iíd make it anyway. Gardening, though I rarely do it, doesnít count because Iíd eventually do some of it anyway. Unless itís a very intense gardening that goes deeper than just cutting a few things back a little, like cutting everything back and/or removing things and planting new things and by things I mean pretty big and/or significant plants. Basically anything short of remodelling the garden wouldnít count as an achievement for the month. Donít get me wrong theyíd still be achievements but just not worthy of being named Achievement of the Month.
To begin with I used it to motivate me to finish projects that Iíve been working on, on and off, for a year or so. Like knitting the teddy bear baby outfits I was knitting when the first new babies came into the family. I was going to change it to a bunny outfit, just for fun, in blue for my baby cousin Chi and mum started a smaller one in pink just because, but then his little sister Usa was born and the timing fitted perfectly. If we could finish our knitting in time then they could have both. The blue one was for 1-2 and the pink one for 6months-1 and the children are a year apart. It seemed perfect. But I never finished it and mum barely even started hers. Iíve been doing my one off and on ever since to complete it.
Then, more recently, baby Simon was born and I decided to finish it for the Christmas just past. And as one of my second cousins was expecting his second baby and his first was about a year old then I could finish the pink one and present them at Christmas.
So I left it a bit late but then worked really hard to finish them. I was delayed by running out of blue wool and unable to get any more (itís a particular kind of fuzzy wool so it had to be that brand and only that brand) I had to get cream in the end and make the ears two toned. Yes. All I needed was just enough to do half of one ear. How frustrating. And that delay made me delay doing the pink one, which I shouldíve started once I got stuck on the blue bit Iím an idiot. If I hadnít had that delay I know I would have finished them in time. I was trying to sew the blue one together on the day we went to see the family but realised it was hopeless and gave up. We got there late, but everyone expects that of us now anyway, and I was generally disappointed with myself.
Strangely enough this was the first Christmas that the children werenít there which was a stark contrast to the previous year when I was prepared for two and a third was dropped into the mix. All I could think was thank goodness I brought shark puppets. I believe I already wrote about that Christmas somewhere, so I wonít repeat it, save to say that she was the only one there without a present so I slipped my cousin the shark puppet to give to her. The puppets were intended for the children anyway but I only had two. I have three dinosaur ones now *evil grin* so this Christmas could be fun.

They werenít there at Easter either. The other one was. My second cousin is now insanely outnumbered because the baby is another girl, so now he has three. I didnít know this oneís name but we already knew sheíd be a girl. I found a really lovely cloud patterned blanket design and I really wanted to make it so, again, the timing seemed perfect. I tend to do better with finishing baby blankets in time. This was my first proper go at what they call intarsia knitting. Knitting blocks of a different wool and, for ease, circular needles were recommended (another first). Usually I bunch the knitting up on the longest needles I can use or stretch it out over 4 needles. Usually 4mm as I have more of those. 2 long metal needles and 2 cheap plastic ones that came in a magazine. Theyíre lighter so Iíd have them in the middle.
I decided to make this blanket my achievement for the month and present it at Easter. So no excuses this time. Finish it or else.
First problem. I canít get a nice sky blue wool in the type of wool I need. Aran. Iíve only ever used DK or some unknown because I didnít pay that much attention to what I was using when I first started but itís mostly DK.
There were some blues but a kind of icky looking blue. No. It needs to be nice and bright. So I decided to use a DK wool instead.
Second problem. My eye keeps being drawn to a lovely self-patterning wool in what Iíd call a kind of rainbow sherbet-ish kind of colouring. And I want to make something with it but oh what would I do with it? *sigh*.

Then I have a crazy idea. Since I canít get the type of wool I want anyway, why not get a different colour too? Why not? Iím already deviating from the pattern anyway. And itís for a baby girl so it doesnít matter if itís not blue. It can be a kind of dream-like cloud scene. Canít it?
Well. It turns out heck yes it can. Itís kind of like a weird but beautiful kind of sunset look with white clouds. Actually I think I went with an off-white just because itís a baby blanket and white stains so easily an off-white made more sense. OH. I just had a crazy idea. What if next time I reversed it and had a pale blanket, maybe cream? But with different coloured clouds. Pastel. Oh that sounds adorable.
Back to the point. Her parents loved the blanket. Success. No I didnít take pictures. Sorry but I think imagining it would be nicer than seeing it, they you can imagine it as the most amazing thing ever.
It has some flaws. I was working very hard to get it done because I think I started half way through the month and I was tired and staying up so late to work on it. I was almost heartbroken to find that Iíd done a few stitches wrong on a row but it was maybe 7 rows down. Mum noticed it when she got up and told me when I finally got up. I say almost heartbroken because it faded quickly. Iím not undoing a whole nightís work just for maybe five stitches in a little row that were purled instead of knitted. Screw it. Little imperfections prove it was hand made and you canít buy that. Iím a perfectionist and I get annoyed when I havenít done something right but you need to have a little perspective. Itís still a lovely blanket and Iím only human so I just had to get over it.
I got to hold the baby. She was only a month or so and I now felt confident enough to hold a baby while standing.
You may recall I preferred to hold babies while sitting so that my legs could support them as I wasnít used to them. But at baby Simonís first birthday party I was holding one while standing for a little while and my arms ached a lot because they werenít used to it (that particular baby, a year old by this point was now sporting a little pink dress matching her big sister and crawling up and down the stairs). So for Easter, anticipating that I might possibly get to hold the new baby, I did a little practice now and then to strengthen my arms. And if I didnít get to hold the baby then never mind, I needed to correct my posture and strengthen my arms anyway. It was just a few minutes a few days a week or so before Easter of standing straight and holding my arms out in a cradling position and maybe adding a weight like a towel for example. Nothing serious.
When I got to hold her she was a little grizzly because she was tried but couldnít quite get back to sleep. I ended up dancing around the room with her going di di di do to the tune of a classical piece that I couldnít name, it was just in my head at the time. It was the beginning of Dance of the Hours but I know it as the bit in fantasia after the ostriches have woken up and start dancing but before they eat and/or where the other ostriches are trying to steal the grapes. Yes Iím watching a clip of it so I can accurately describe the part of the song that was stuck in my head.
At one point her sister climbed the main stairs but their big sister was watching and told the adults. As I was closest and the only one to respond I went to keep an eye on her. Not the best adult for the job. In fact any other adult would probably have been better than me because I had no confidence to pick her up. I had only seen this little 1 year old twice before. The first time as a Simonís birthday when she was just a few months old and I held her (while standing up. Yay me) and the following Christmas where she crawled along the floor and wanted to put my shoe laces in her mouth. Oh wait. There was one time between those two when she went to my uncleís in autumn. Actually I think it was late summer for a change that was out of the ordinary. When asked if she was crawling yet her grandmother answered no, she does skydiving. That image confused me because babies canít skydive. It must be a metaphor but for what? She was teething at the time and at one point projectile vomited while her grandfather was trying to calm her down. (her grandfather is my cousin, in case you were confused, heís 25 years older than me). Later on I saw her do something and immediately registered skydiving. Sheíd lay flat on her belly and tuck up her arms and legs, head up. Skydiving.
Back to Easter. She was upstairs and I didnít want to try and pick her up. So I just closed the doors upstairs so nothing would interest her and stood in her way until she got bored. Didnít take long, then encouraged her to go back downstairs. This is probably good for her. If she can get up then she can get down. Sheís been doing it on the smaller steps leading into the kitchen all evening and hasnít fallen once. The only danger is that these steps are higher so if she falls itíll be a harder landing. But if Iím right here to catch her then she wonít fall. This will be good exercise for her and might even teach her a lesson not to climb big stairs, because itís a long way up and down and thereís nothing interesting up there anyway. She shuffled down all by herself and I didnít have to help her or catch her once. She didnít go up again.
I fell down the stairs. I have conflicting stories regarding the subject because I had a dream when I was a child that was more dramatic so I remember that but I was a baby when it actually happened so I donít remember it at all. In my dream I was at the top of the stairs and I knew I wasnít supposed to crawl down the stairs but I did it anyway and fell all the way down (15 steps by the way, I always count) and split my head open. There was a lot of blood and I was put in my parentsí room while and ambulance was called, blood pouring out onto the green pillowcase. But I can distinguish it from a real event now for numerous reasons. Firstly I was able to see the blood from above so not an angle Iíd have in real life, I was old enough to understand what to and not to do and why would they take me upstairs and then call for an ambulance?
The actual story is my dad had just left for work and Iíd attempted to crawl up the stairs I guess. Only got 2-3 up and fell down. Mum was panicked and called my dad. I got checked out and was fine but a little while later there was a quick home visit by an official of some kind just to be satisfied it was an accident and not child abuse.
But whenever I think of children on the stairs I always remember that melodramatic dream as itís a worst case scenario kind of thing.

Part of a longer entry. Split here because it seemed as good a place as any.

Updated 07-24-2018 at 10:00 PM by Bluebiird

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