19 April 2007

Out With A Whimper

Still no pictures....sorry.....but at least I'm posting.

Happy belated birthday to Carlin & Toni!

If you know me then you know what my schedule is like. Between the overtime at work and all the stuff for school some weeks I don’t have the time to do laundry or buy food. You also probably know that my brother’s wife is expecting their first child in early May. You can imagine my surprise when I received my invitation to the Co-Ed Baby Shower scheduled on the weekend of March 24th…. Seven weeks prior to the due date. Is it me, or is this a little bit early?

Well, it turns out that this is the date that worked best for my brother’s sister-in-law. One weekend later and I would have been able to finish up the things I’d planned to do AND attend the shower. One month later and the father’s mother—who is flying in from St. Croix, USVI—would have been able to attend. But I digress. I was still searching for the perfect yarn to make a nice new baby blanket for them, but now the race was on to find decent yarn that I could fit into the budget that matched the chosen color scheme. Luckily A Mano was having a sale! Whoo hoo! This is one yarn store I don’t mind battling the traffic to get to! They are over in Mar Vista/Culver City and a trip there involves the 405…but, remember Cherry Tree Hill for 40% off. I get a chill just thinking about it. Anywho. I decided to trudge over to A Mano to look and see if they had the Blue Sky Alpaca I had in mind on sale and in the right colors.

Joseline and I hurried over after work on the first day of the sale and got there about an hour before closing despite a slight mis-turn in the South LA area. They did not have the BSA in the right colors and I’d resigned myself to a $90 blanket with supplies purchased at Unwind because I didn’t have time to wait for mail deliveries of yarn because the shower was in three weeks! I was thinking I would make a Big Bad Baby Blanket (BBBB) with the two pinks and brown as the border. So I asked if they had the SnB book but they didn’t and wanted to know what pattern I had in mind. I told her the BBBB. She, one of the owners of A Mano—not Shannita—said, “the Big Bad Baby Blanket is made of Koigu,” as she headed towards the Koigu display. I stayed where I was near the sale table and said, “Yeah, this little one isn’t getting any blanket made of Koigu.” And then I went back to my browsing under her raised eyebrow of what felt like disapproval. I’m sorry. Koigu, for a baby blanket is insanity….it’s beautiful soft yarn, but WAAAAY out of my price range even with the sale.

I kept looking around for the right colors, and I wasn’t even thinking fiber content at that point. I found them in one of the sale bins! It was GGH Samoa (mostly, I think there was another name on some of the skeins but they all looked the same). It was two pinks and one brown. The pinks were a hot pink and a bubble gummy sort of pink. It really is a pretty combination. The yarn is a cotton acrylic mix I believe. There has been an uproar on the SnB LA board lately about the acceptable fibers for a baby blanket. I don’t really have any thoughts on that except that it seems insane to me to make things that will have to be washed over and over again in some fiber that can’t really stand up to that sort of abuse. Also, I want the blanket to be used, and I think the parents might be reluctant to toss a wool blanket around the way they would one made from Red Heart. I bought nine balls of it and it cost about $40 in the end. I’ve got some left over and am thinking maybe I’ll make a sweater or booties and a hat. I started the blanket that very night. I had to call Joseline to get the instructions for the BBBB. I made it through the first 20 rows and then went to bed thinking “I’m off to a good start!”

The next day was the Burbank gathering of the SnB. I asked about intarsia and joining the yarn and everything seemed crystal clear. I had four balls of yarn going, two brown, one hot pink and one bubble gummy pink. I worked on it the entire time at the SnB and everyone oohed and aaaahed over it. Then I got it home and the cold light of truth shined (shone?) on that piece of work. Yes, the colors worked well together. Yes, in theory the blanket would have been adorable. NO, my intarsia work –such that it was—did not look good! Argh! So, I ripped it out and thought It would be simpler to make four big squares, stitch them together and add the border. Argh! No, still a problem with the seams. Deep breath. Pinwheel it is. There was a polka-dot sheet on the registry. This would be the perfect blanket to use with that sheet! Off I went. I ordered the sheet and the blanket went every where with me for those three weeks. The production of that piece was so down to the wire that I didn’t have a chance to wash it OR weave in the ends.

I wrapped it up with the sheet, thinking it would be a spectacular presentation at the shower. And I delivered everything to the expectant parent’s apartment, while they were out, at midnight on a school night. I was happy and satisfied that I had basically gotten everything done. I would worry about the shower the next day.

So I went to school the next day and sweet-talked my teacher into letting me leave the lab an hour early so I could at least make an appearance at the shower and see them open at least my gifts. I rushed from Beverly Hills down the 10 to the 110 and got to South Pasadena in no time. They were all surprised to see me. I said all my hellos and helped a bit with the setting up. I was only able to stay for about an hour, and I caught hell for that….what kind of auntie was I going to be if I couldn’t skip school for this one occasion? I wanted to say a gainfully employed one, but I held my tongue.

Okay, so can we open my gifts? Silence. A look exchanged. She says: “Oh, were we supposed to bring them?” What the fuck?????? I rushed all the way over here from Beverly Hills and you didn’t even bring the gifts? Why the fuck do you think I stayed up late on a school night to get them to you if I didn’t want to you bring them to the shower???? I don’t say any of that. I take a deep breath. He can see that I’m pissed about this. He says: “I had to leave the house early in a hurry. I forgot.” I won’t even bother with the rest of the excuses. He did offer to go pick them up, but there was no way for me to wait around that long. Someone that I told this story to said: She doesn’t like you much, does she? And they don’t even know the history.

Anyway, they got home from the shower shortly after I got home from school and sent my other brother’s stepson down to get me so we can open gifts. They were non-plussed by the blanket. They didn’t “get” that the circular motif of the blanket was chosen because of the dots on the sheet. She is more excited about the crib-side MP3 player speakers. Why the fuck do I even try?

I take another deep breath and I tell him to wash it and bring it back to me so I can weave in the ends. I explain that some shrinkage will occur and that if I’d woven them in before the ends would have popped out. I also explain that the crunchy spots are where someone spilled protein drink on them at one of the support group meetings……so, my blanket went over like wet bread despite my best effort. I’ll tell you about the support group later…

3 Comments:

Anonymous Dixie said...

There's always a chance the kid will grow up decent. After all, (s)he has a nice father, right? ;)

19 April, 2007 10:32  
Anonymous daniella said...

She is weird, just weird. Everything she does, makes my eyes roll back into head.
That was the prettiest baby blanket ever.

19 April, 2007 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That SIL of yours is a major Pill! Just remember, karma is a bitch (o:

Toni

02 May, 2007 10:02  

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