sex selection, anyone?

And no, not that kind of sex. Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a knitting blog, after all…

I really should stop drinking Diet Coke when watching the news. My nose still hurts this morning after snorting a big mouthful out last evening after seeing a certain news item (don’t you hate it when that happens?)

Long story short: do you want to conceive a boy? Then eat…

That’s right. (And JJ was right chuffed, as you can imagine…).
You see, some people got together and did yet another study (this time in the UK).

740 pregnant first-time mothers were asked about their eating habits before and during early-stage pregnancy:

The study found that 56 per cent of the women in the group with the highest caloric intake at conception had boys, compared to 45 per cent in the group with the lowest energy intake.

Hmm – does this mean that boy children have more fat in their brains? That would make some sense…

The women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a wider variety of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.

But this begs the question: how about Vitamin B?

I guess I’ll have to read the whole study to find out, as the rest of the sound byte was lacking in some detail, saying only:

Women who ate breakfast cereals were also more likely to have sons.

Now, if I hadn’t been paying attention I would have just assumed that this was a snippet from some conversation that a bunch of Greek grandmothers were having with a young woman. You know, old wives’ tales time honoured traditions as to how to keep the family name going.

However, the Greek yiayiadhes wouldn’t be using such high-falutin’ language to describe the theory:

Our results support hypotheses predicting investment in costly male offspring when resources are plentiful. Dietary changes may therefore explain the falling proportion of male births in industrialized countries.

And here I thought this trend was simply proof of social Darwinism – or did I just read that in some other study?!?

Well, you know what? I can write some pretty fancy language, too, when I so choose. So now I’m off to write a funding proposal to Health Canada for a study of my very own:

Can knitters influence the gender of their children based on what colour of yarn they are knitting with when they try to conceive?

I mean, imagine how business would soar at the yarn shops! This could bring down yarn prices for the rest of us…

So, what gender of child do you think would result if knitting with, for example, this:

Or would the seacell content skew the results (because this is, of course, Handmaiden Sea Silk)? I’m so confused…

Good thing I’m not planning to conceive any time soon. With all the oatmeal in the house, all the mystery would be taken out of the process.

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Don’ts for Wives

It’s 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday
and I do not have to work
so here I sit, smoking cigs and s**t,
and fig’ring what duties to shirk…
(apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

So, what can I do instead of getting out my steamshovel and clearing away all the crap currently filling my apartment? I promised myself I wouldn’t knit anything until at least the living room and spare room were done…

I know – I could read. That’s educational, anyway.

This should be fun. Let’s have a look:

From the intro:

Art is a hard mistress, and there is no art quite so hard as being a wife.


Damn tootin’!

Moving along to the main text:

Don’t worry about little faults in your husband which merely amused you in your lover. If they were not important then, they are not important now…

Faults? Hmm… such as bugging me to comb my hair all the time? Wanting to be given a medal for washing the dishes? Never throwing out an empty toilet paper roll? who says those aren’t important?!?!?

…besides, how about yours?


Mine?!? My faults? I don’t have any faults!!


Hmm… on second thought… hey, how do you like my loud hawaiian-style elephant shirt, anyway?


Scored it in Thrift Villa in Parkdale some time back for $5! Not really something a housewife in 1913 would have worn, though, I guess…

But I digress. Back to my reading.

Don’t live on top of a spiritual mountain. Try to be “a creature/not too bright and good/for human nature’s daily food”.

What?!? That doesn’t even rhyme? What the hell is this supposed to mean? I’m confused. But then I don’t live on top of a spiritual mountain, so I guess I don’t have to worry about it.

Let him be as messy as he likes in his own home…

Sure… that is, until I get tired of it and throw away all of his “important paperwork” that he keeps hoarding (junk mail, old newspapers, etc.) later today.

Don’t spend half the morning in bed because “there is not enough to get up for”. The day is not long enough to do all of the things you might do if you liked.

Oh – such as cleaning up after your husband?!


Anyway, the only reason I sleep in half the morning is that I’m suffering from a bit of the Tenant Advocate cheer the night before. But I guess that wasn’t the housewifely done thing in 1913, either. Good thing the list of tips doesn’t say: “Go out with the Tenant Advocates for several beer and Irish nachos every Friday after work.” I don’t think I could stick to that one.

Don’t greet him at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day.

No fear of that. This is the only servant in the house:

Or is that “helpmeet”?

(Don’t feel too sorry for me, though. I think I may have mentioned before that I don’t even know how to operate this iron…and I’ve never quite mastered putting up the ironing board, either. Anyway, substitute “clients” or “boss” [in past!] for “servants” and that is probably a tip I could learn from.)


Don’t object to your husband getting a motor-bicycle; merely insist that he shall buy a sidecar for you at the same time.

Hmm – I wonder how JJ would look in a sidecar? What do you think?


JJ – King of the Household.

Don’t buy expensive food, and have it ruined in the cooking. If your cook isn’t up to French dishes, be satisfied with English ones cooked to perfection.

Well, since I had to let the cook go, the Husband will just have to content himself with this:

At least it fits the “not too expensive” category!

Don’t permit yourself for a single instant that nothing is more annoying to a tired man that the sight of half-finished laundry work. The remotest hint in your home of a “washing day” is like a red rag to a bull.

Bull, indeed. Two answers for that guy:
(a) do it yourself, then; or
(b) drop it off at the Wash n Fold!

Anyway, I think I’ve read enough. Time to get off my lazy @$$ and clean the damn house. I guess I’ve learned something from the book, eh?