Sunday, October 23, 2011

Change of pace

We have had quite a whirlwind here at chez Tinks and Frogs this past week or so. I went back to work on Monday for the first time since Tadpole was born, starting an exciting (and sometimes scary and stressful) new job. And Mr. Tinks and Frogs switched from working a a job that required a certain amount of travel to being a full-time stay at home dad. One of those changes was expected.

We had hired a nanny to come care for Tadpole and had a transition week before I started work. Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on how you look at it - we discovered that the nanny was not working out as hoped and we had to figure out alternate child care just days before I was set to start my new job. All I can say is that I have an amazing husband and it was such a weight off my shoulders going in to work on Monday knowing that he was taking care of Tadpole.

But this is a knitting blog, I'm sure you're thinking. What does all this mean for knitting? Well, it means that I haven't really done a lot in the last week or so. Catkin progresses slowly but steadily. It's a relatively straightforward knit at this point but still takes concentration and energy that I didn't always have in the evenings. My newest project, a blanket for Tadpole, is moving a bit more quickly - at least in terms of number of rows completed. But it, too, grows slowly since it's worked in fingering weight yarn on tiny needles. A picture will probably have to wait until next weekend, although you won't notice much difference since it's just a garter stitch center square worked on the bias at this point. That garter stitch has come in handy this week when I was just too exhausted for anything else.

What else do these changes mean? They mean that I didn't get nearly as much done as I had planned in the week the nanny was here. I had whittled my to-do list down to a manageable level and was making great progress until we had a bit of a scare Wednesday night. So I spent Thursday keeping a close eye on what was going on in the apartment and agonizing over whether my anxiety had more to do with new job nerves or genuine concerns about the nanny. We let her go Friday morning. As you'll understand, that sapped any energy that I might have had for pattern writing and Tadpole's Purple Sweater is still unpublished.

But I did finish something that week!

Happy Early Birthday, Sis! I had asked my sister whether she minded if I posted her birthday present on the blog or if I should keep it a secret for another month and a half. Knowing I have a terrible time keeping gifts secret, especially ones I'm really excited about, she said to go ahead. Then, when I hadn't posted anything for a while, she cheekily asked if Tadpole's latest purple sweater was meant to be her gift and whether I had made a bit of a mistake with the sizing on that one. And since I forgot to respond to that email (sorry!), I'll answer now: nope, this is your gift.

And this is 500 yards of roughly worsted weight 2-ply 70/30 merino/silk blend. It's soft and bouncy and has that lovely little crunch that silk does. It'll make a perfect present, assuming I can pack it up and put it in the mail sometime between now and the end of next month.

The combed top was a beautiful blend of reds, greens, and golds that were given a muted sheen when spun up with the silk. I actually find merino/silk blends easier to spin than straight merino because the long staple length of the silk makes drafting a bit more manageable.

The yarn will come with a pattern or two. I have a couple of ideas but I'd love to hear suggestions.


Sel and Poivre said...

This is my second visit to this post after just scanning the first trip and assuming those skeins were yarn you'd bought I'm amazed to now read your spun it yourself! What kind of a fabulous gift is that? What a lucky sister indeed!

As for child care, what a nightmare to find and feel good about - how wonderful your husband has taken over!

kristenmakes said...

That yarn is sooo very lovely! I just want to squoosh it - your sister is one lucky gal! & I fully support your family changes, sometimes T & I think we might be nontraditional in that he would stay home and I work, so it is nice to see others do that too. Best of luck to you in your new job! xx

Jacey said...

That yarn is divine, Rue. Seriously. I covet it! And it's funny. I don't normally go for the muted yarns, but the sheen of this is just lovely.

I'm sorry again about the drama of last week, but I'm glad you can rest easier every day at work, knowing little Tadpole is in the best possible hands. I hope things go smoothly in the new arrangement. I bet they will. I know you still miss her, though!

Brendaknits said...

Oh- I do remember the days and sleepless nights of worrying about child care. I have to say that I am glad that part of my life is over - even though it means I don't get to hold babies much anymore.

Rachel said...

I'll reply more fully in email, but what a frightening problem to have with nanny care. I'm glad things worked out and I hope that this initial time back at work has gone smoothly both for you, for your husband, and for Tadpole!

And that yarn...oh that yarn! I love that at first glance it just seems tan, but there are all those beautiful colors mixed in throughout. Lucky sister! Please share what she decides to knit with it (didn't realize your sister was a knitter...very cool!).

Jodi said...

Oh, Rue, that sounds like quite the week. I'm sorry that things didn't work out as planned, but I'm really impressed that you guys were able to adjust so quickly and make it work! Best of luck to all of you as you settle in.

I'm amazed that you're getting any knitting done at all! The blanket sounds very cozy.

P.S. Your sister is *very* lucky! What a lovely batch of handspun yarn.

Kathy said...

Wow, what a stressful week. Kudos to you for making the tough choice and listening to your instincts. I'm so glad that you were able to make such a drastic transition - for all three of you!

Love the yarn. I would suggest wandering the moors, since I think it would make a refined, yet slightly rustic shawl. Another idea might be to do striped study, but with one color and see if you can still see the variation and allow the subtlety of the yarn to show.