Awkwardness, Social and Otherwise

So I did indeed make it to the Guild meeting tonight and I saw several nice people that I was glad to run into again. It’s been so long since I’ve been a regular at the Guild, though, that I feel like a bit of a stranger walking into the room. And then there are the familiar old faces that come and talk to me and I strain to remember names – sometimes grabbing the correct one out of the ether and sometimes not. I am the world’s worst when it comes to remembering names, and it is not for lack of trying, honest!

Sometimes, and in some ways, I can be really good with social stuff. I can appear to be outgoing and extroverted, but really it doesn’t come naturally for me. It’s something that I’ve worked hard on my whole life and have developed what skill I do have. I have always had a knack for saying awkward things, though.

Anyway, I took along my stockinette sock that was just past the heel turning and ready for some good, mindless public-situation knitting, and I at least accomplished several new inches of that during the evening.

Amy spoke, and she was great – she was funny and smart and I learned a few new things. I am such a wool lover, and my experience with plant fibers in the past has been painful as cotton and linen fibers don’t usually have much give and therefore aggravate my repetitive-stress injuries in my hands. But Amy mentioned Rowan Calmer as a good blend with stretch, and now I am tempted to try some. Also, I took another look at her book and went ahead and bought one. Even if I never knit one of the designs in the original yarn, they are all classy and beautiful, and great inspiration for wool projects since I have such a hard time stepping away from the animal fiber. And it was pretty cute how she kept pointing at the Powerpoint slides on her laptop screen instead of on the projector screen – something she was aware of and pointed out that Yarn Harlot Stephanie had made fun of her for.

So then the speech was over and there was a line for the signing and instead of standing in line right away I sat around and chatted with some people and it was good for a while. And then, not long before I was going to go up and stand in line, someone came up and asked me when I’m expecting my third baby. Gah! That’s the third time in less than two months that someone has assumed that I’m pregnant. I have to admit, I do look a little pregnant with my pot belly. I’ve always had relatively weak abdominal muscles, and being pregnant, a c-section and being pregnant a second time haven’t done anything for them. The extra 30 pounds that I’m still carrying around don’t help the situation any either.

I’m kind of working on it, but not all that seriously. I mean, I love my dark chocolate, and I indulge in treats on a regular basis. I’m not looking for advice on how to lose weight (so PLEASE keep the advice to yourself! REALLY!) I know what I need to do if I want to get into shape. But to be honest, food treats are a coping mechanism that I’m not sure I’m ready to give up at the moment. There are stressful things about my life that I don’t share with you. Things that are somewhat ameliorated by a few strategically-timed bites of dark chocolate or a bowl of Cocoa Puffs at the end of the day. Yes, there are other ways I could be coping, but for now I’m consciously choosing my poison.

Argh! I’m okay with looking a little bit ambiguously pregnant for now. Hell, I even empathize with the people who stumble over themselves asking me when the baby’s due. They’re obviously embarrassed. And that’s the thing – I’m not embarrassed for me, I’m embarrassed for them, but I’m still embarrassed and it takes up emotional energy. And that’s the key right there.

So moving on, I got in line and asked Amy to sign my book and she recognized me from the blog (Hi, Amy!) and told me that I have cute kids (Thanks!) and then she signed my book really cute, see?

I love it when authors do little drawings with their signatures. And then – I’m not sure what happened then, but I know that it ended with a random fangirl verbal diarrhea on my part and something about how she’s one of my knitting idols or some weird crap like that. See – now THAT’s the kind of thing I can get embarrassed about so much more than the tubby tummy thing.

Oh, and I mentioned to Amy, all excited-like, that I’m going to teach a class on the two patterns from her magazine, both designed by the marvelous Cookie A. and Amy looked up and asked if I had checked with Cookie about this. And that was the moment when I realized that no, I did not check with the designer of these two marvelous socks whether it was okay for me to have people pay me (via the store) to help them knit them up. It simply hadn’t occurred to me that I needed to – they’re published patterns, and the students will be obtaining copies of the pattern legally by downloading and printing them from the magazine. But maybe it’s not okay for me to use them this way without permission. I’m still freaked out about it, but I’ve sent an apologetic e-mail off to Cookie, and I will totally respect her wishes on the matter.

In the mean time, here’s where I am with that second Baudelaire sock.

This pattern knits up really quickly, and is very easy to memorize, especially the second time around. It’s beautiful, and I only wish I had picked a slightly more solid color to show off the lace better.

Now, I think I need to go spend a little quality time with the blankie and gather my nerves a bit before bed.

14 Responses to “Awkwardness, Social and Otherwise”

  1. Mary Lou says:

    Hey Shelley, don’t worry – Maura discussed it with Cookie at TNNA and she was very ok with it.

  2. Laura says:

    I have been asked a few times about being pregnant. Pointing out the asking person that I am indeed not having a baby usually embarasses them far more than it does me, but you’re right it still takes a blow at the self esteem a little. I really do believe this is one of those questions that should never be asked. If someone wants to share the joy of their expected baby with you they will. I know you are not seeking compliments, but I really do think you are lovely and I would be proud to have your body it brought two beautiful little girls into the world!

  3. Becca says:

    Dave Barry recommends that you never assume a woman is pregnant unless you can actually see a baby emerging.

    I don’t have a flat belly either (thanks, mom and grandma and great-greatma and….)and I don’t love this new trend of shirts that have the empire waist. After a certain age, a mock maternity top is not cute. It’s troublesome.

    I love your Baudelaires. Very pretty.

    And as far as verbal blathering to famous knitters? Read this:

    You’ll feel much better.

  4. Becca says:

    Never mind, I’m screwing up your comments! Sorry! Go ahead and delete me!

  5. Emily says:

    I do the little treats thing too. My toddler has hit a whiney period and sometimes chocolate is just necessary.

  6. Lindsey says:

    I really enjoyed your post today. Its true – pregnancy, c section, coping with a preschooler, toddler and an infant – you just don’t snap back to your ‘normal’ pre mom form. For me its those lattes and bites of dark chocolate – and there is no way I am giving those up anytime soon.

    I too have to work at the whole social thing. And I always feel like I came across a bit like a dork, but my husband has assured me its all in my mind. I think thats true for most people – you just think about the event more – and pick it apart. Oh wait thats what I do. My hubby doesn’t relive his past mentally, maybe thats the norm!
    Wonderful socks – and I love the weekly posts of your blankie. It is going to be quite the heirloom – your girls will find something new to spy in that blanket for years!
    Happy Knitting!

  7. Lindsey says:

    I forgot – I had wanted to ask you a question about dying wool. I have a preschooler and a toddler that I am thinking of entertaining with this activity. (chuckling) Or maybe I just want to see what we can make with color and a handful of mud. Has your daughter shown any interest in helping you dye yarn? And what is your experience with using kool aid dyes- can the mess be contained? (I know that in one of your posts you mentioned that you were using walton food dyes as well.)

    Thank you!

  8. Debra says:

    I believed you– I did!

    Don’t you think it’s a bit rude to ask if someone’s pregnant– when they really might not be? (I didn’t think you looked pregnant AT ALL last night!)

    How large is the blanket going to get? Do you have an end-point– or are you just going to keep going and going?

  9. SwissKnits! says:

    Shelly, you are refreshingly honest…
    I too have my coping foods… SweetTarts… which are HORRIBLE for me I know… I think that Mothering is incredibly draining… I wouldn’t trade my three kids for anything.. but I am drained by 7pm…
    Your socks look great. I am gearing up to begin lace type socks… though I am apprehensive… maybe once summer is over and the house is quiet.. LOL I have few brain cells lately.

  10. SwissKnits! says:

    May I ask what color-way is your stockinette sock? Is it your own creation?

    Also is the short row heel your favorite? And do you find that it wears well?

    I’m a new sock knitter, so I’m full or questions… sorry…


  11. ruth says:

    Dark chocolate is medicinal: it has flavonoids, is high in fiber (no kidding; read a label from a dark choc. bar). It might even have

    REad this:

  12. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe a woman asked you that question. I have told my husband and my children that you NEVER EVER EVER ask a woman when she is due. NEVER EVER EVER.

  13. Jools says:

    My sister and I agree that when you have a just-walking baby, it’s impossible to have good posture, so all that slumping inviting the preggie question. It’s happened to both of us a lot of times.

    I posted something very much like this post a year or so ago… I’m still overweight (but less so), but haven’t had the preggie question since I got the youngest off my hip most of the time!

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