ma cax macari duck and a dil

Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone, Kitty alone
Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone and I
Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Up at the top of a holly tree
Ma cax macari duck and a dil
Kitty alone and I
Lyrics from “Uncle Rat”, Altan’s version of “Kitty Alone And I”

I have had this bloody song in my head for days now. It’s a catchy little ditty, I tell you.

Anyway, thank you everyone for your concern. Apparently I scared a couple of people with that last post. Sorry! I’m just prepping myself for the worst. I sent in a pattern to a knitting magazine, and I’m all tense thinking I’ll get something worse than rejection. Like, you know, disgust that I even deigned to bother them.

Yes, I sometimes have self esteem issues.

Moving on. Here is my pick-me-up knitting project du jour:


A pair of socks for my sister. It has become apparent to me that I am psychic. See, I bought those two balls of Dancing back in, err, September(?) knowing that I’d need them later. Why? My sister just redid her kitchen in those same colours. She’s quite into yellow and orange and green and blue right now. And, notice!, I actually managed to cast on both socks (unbelievably) in the exact same spot within the colour repeat! They match. What are the odds?

So, that all made me feel better.

The tea, however, did not. I am usually a big fan of spice tea. That stuff was just vile. Even a clementine didn’t help it at all. Blech.

You could tell that I looked and felt like crap today. My mother even offered to buy me a “medicinal” cocktail (she who looks horrified whenever I talk about imbibing anything vaguely fermented) while we were out running errands today. And then the waiter at the cafe we stopped in offered to get the barista to put extra chocolate in my (non-alcoholic) drink. Damn.

A nap sorted it all out, thankfully.

Oh, and I did two miles today. I think. It was dark out (Dad actually broke the treadmill, blast it). I’ll have to put my teeny, tiny, number on the sidebar. Along with A’s socks. And my Tea Time Swap projects.

I have another knitting story to enter in tonight. This one is particularly special to me.

I had a sudden memory flash today, as we were driving home. I was exhausted and my Mum and I were talking about the fact that my sister wants me to teach her to knit when I visit. Mum laughed and suggested that I teach D to spin (she was likely thinking of the chaos I created when I taught my professors’ son to spin). I snickered and replied that I should teach him to knit, since he had been so fascinated by it.

And all of a sudden I was sitting in a dark room again, knitting to calm a small child while I listened to a cartoon and the night sounds of the suburbs.

I had gone down to the Bay Area 3 years ago to visit my sister and her family on my way to a international student leadership convention. For months, D (my sister’s stepson) had been incredibly wary of me. He wouldn’t sit next to me or even talk to me. He hid behind his mother or my sister. This was extremely disconcerting to me, since I’ve never met a child that didn’t climb into my lap after 5 minutes.

But, since he was so afraid of me, I kept my distance for his comfort. I had been sitting in the living room when my sister informed me that she and K were going for a quick walk, “D’s watching a movie, so he probably won’t notice we’re gone. We’ll be right back.”

About 5 minutes later I heard a tremulous, “Mommy??” I immediately went upstairs, D was half-hiding in the doorway of the master bedroom and he eyed me suspiciously, “Where’s Mom? Where’s A?”

Amazed that he even spoke to me, I replied “They went for a walk,” he looked even more scared, “would you like me to keep you company?”

He eyed me again and didn’t respond, watching me carefully as he climbed back onto the bed, the movie playing in the background and offering the only light in the room. I walked in slowly and sat down on the furthest corner of the bed from him. I sort of felt like I was trying to calm a feral animal. Don’t watch him. Don’t make eye contact. So, I picked my knitting back up (which I had quickly tucked under my elbow before I rushed upstairs).

The movie went on for another minute or two. It was The Jungle Book. I heard the coverlet shift as D sat up, I could almost hear him watching me. “What’s that?” He finally asked.

“I’m knitting a hat, would you like to see it?” He crawled over to me, and picked it up. He scrunched the woolly fabric and pulled at the needles and played with it, examining the ball of yarn attached to the hat. “How do you do it?” He asked finally, looking up at me curiously.

Alight with the fact that I had a curious student and the fact that he wasn’t hiding from me under the bed, I immediately scooted closer and showed him how one put the needle through the loop on the other needle and then pulled the yarn through. How I knit around and around to make a hat. He even tried it on his head for fun.

“That’s cool,” he finally said and grinned at me. I grinned back and said, “Yes it is.” He sat cuddled up next to me, alterately watching me knit and the movie. About half an hour later his parents got back. They were surprised to see us sitting together on the bed. D immediately grabbed my knitting to show to his mother and A.

I had a convert.

Remembering that, I grinned all the way home.

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