Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monkey on my back

So, here, Chez Wool, we are running a little behind schedule. Just a bit. Honestly.

Monday night, Caleb and I finally had a moment to sit down and perform that perennial rite of spring, dyeing Easter eggs. Nothing like being a month behind the times to put oneself back in the running for America's Crappiest Mother of the Year Award.

All was well and good. We dyed eggs in single colors, we dyed eggs in multiple colors, we used the stupid clear crayon provided (quickly realizing that one of our own colored crayons would be a bit better for identifying our artistry what we were attempting). It was lovely.

Until Caleb attempted to use the crayon on the very last hard-boiled egg and it slipped out of his hand and crashed to the floor. Tears erupted and a grand mal tantrum ensued.

Cool, calm reasoning along the lines of "I know you are upset that the egg fell on the floor, but we can't dye it now because the shell is broken" only made him more morose. It was as if he was unable to wring any pleasure from the evening because of this blip.

This pattern of pouting and sulking until he is coddled and cajoled into a better mood is grating and I am at a loss as how to rectify it. I understand that at 5 he doesn't have great control of his emotions and the tempest in a teapot analogy is apt. But, the lack of proportion in his responses is stupefying. I'm unable to tell if a given situation is truly bad or if he is manipulating me to get the cuddles that he wants. I have no problem with kisses and hugs, but he throws his body around like a marionette with the jitters and it just plain pisses me off. I am at a loss for how to help him express appropriately the negative emotions he is feeling without all of the unwarranted melodrama.

Luckily, I do retain some mastery over wool. I can manipulate string and tiny sticks and end up with something approximating the desired result. The first of the monkey socks are done and while I am not 100% thrilled with the modifications I made, they are passable. I did end up decreasing the extra stitches out for the foot so it wouldn't be too loose.


1. I added 1 extra stitch on either side of the pattern for a total of 18 stitches per repeat. This resulted in an extra 2 rows per repeat. Because of this, I did 5 repeats instead of 6 which works out to about the same number of rows.

2. The heel flap was done over 36 stitches and 36 rows to accommodate my cankles. The stitch count was reduced to 32 after all of the gusset decrease were done.

3. I did the eye of partridge stitch on the heel flap. Love the look of this stitch pattern in hand painted yarn, it looks like I did some sort of fancy stranded fair-isle technique. Pure genius! It is a bit fiddly, but it looks fantastic.

4. The extra stitches on the foot were reduced on the first pattern repeat after picking up the gusset stitches. The 3rd row of the pattern doesn't call for decreases and this is where I snuck them in. While I'm not thrilled with how it looks, you can't see the difference from 10 feet away, so I am assuring my inner critic that it will be fine.

Overall I love the sock and have already started the second one. Actually, I'm thinking that I may have to knit another pair with the picot edging that is so popular, if for no other reason that a) I haven't tried that technique yet and b) I am still not tired of the pattern.


Shea said...

I'm going through the exact same kind of trauma with my two year old. Granted, there's three years worth of difference. But, dang does it make you grind your teeth together! You have my sympathies. At least yours just lost it for a little while. I've fought with mine all day long.

The socks look great!

Jenn said...

Love the sock! And I love that you've extended Easter into the month it seems to belong in :)

Ragan Knits etc... said...

Hurray for fixing the monkeys (and for finally getting the eggs out of the way).