Friday, November 30, 2007

Distraction

During lunch, the topic of conversation moved from the usual "stop throwing that and sit down!" to Christmas decorations. Miss A and I have been putting out small items for the past few days, but as the fifteen feet tall Santa and robotic reindeer have begun to invade the neighbor's yard, we acknowledged the fact that the outside of our home sure is dark at night. The conversation was short and to the point. "If you don't put up the lights right now, I will scream forever." (Miss A is in a threat stage.)

So, to disengage the inevitable ugly scene that was sure to commence at any second, I sprang to action. I had purchased a box of Gingerbread Family cookies and icing a week ago. Distraction is my most reliable weapon against the preschool terror threat . I think I will design a Super Mom belt like Batman's except, you know, not so bulky.




We all resembled the cookies when the kids had finished. Smiling, covered in gel, sprinkles, and me, well, I always feel like I'm missing half my brain.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Juxtaposition



Here is the progress on my Cozy V-Neck. I love this yarn and happily knit away when I am not knitting Big Secret Gifts. This is what you see:

This is what I see. Little Man directs almost all of my indoor photos. He studiously arranged the yarn and became frustrated when the props wouldn't cooperate with his artistic vision. So he did what most would do. He speared it with a pencil and screamed. I was almost fired for that once.

I have also laughed aloud in hushed museums as I imagine an apprentice of da Vinci shooing away pigeons from a balcony, or Vermeer's wince at womens' shrieks when a toddler knocks over a chamber pot. Do you think there was a servant swatting at bees around Monet?

I finished listening to the LibriVox recording of Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. I cried at the end. Really, I always shed big tears for Archer and his old fashioned immobility. That guy just drives me mad; I respect and despise him. Great story every time I read it.

I am toying with the idea of downloading Dickens's A Christmas Carol to listen to while I knit at night, but I don't know. It's so ...Dickensian... I have to be in the right mood.

triumph

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kneadful Things

Hope your Thanksgiving was as delicious and filled with friends as mine was. The kids helped me bake bread. The recipe can be found here. I could knead and bake bread all day. The combo of labor, patience, and pay off is appealing to me. I really love how all of my senses are engaged. A thick slice with cold butter and coarse salt is my favorite breakfast.


I received a wonderful package from a wonderful friend. Marmee sent a box full of scrappy yarn, fabric, and Andes mints. Notice the candy missing from the picture. Sweets don't last long around here. Thank you to Marmee and her family, y'all made my day!
The yarn will be knit into some wee mittens and such after Christmas.


Does everyone feel like this? That life as we know it is on hold until After Christmas? I have to laugh because I am a January junkie. I love the holidays, don't get me wrong, but nothing calls my name like the blank page of January. I know one thing I am really looking forward to finding out after Christmas: the winner of The Lady Knits contest. I hope you all enter and I win. ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cabled Raglan

Miss A is a dramatic child. She is prone to making up long stories, jubilant dancing, and method acting. She loves to have her "scenes" videotaped and instantly replayed. Over and over and over. Dancing and singing for total strangers? Yes! Posing for a requested picture? No no no.

Despite chasing her down and bribing her to not make that face and put her tongue back in her mouth, I was able to snap a couple shots of her in the green sweater. The belly sticking out photo is her favorite by the way.


Miss A's Cabled Raglan
2 skeins Vanna's Choice in olive
#8 & 6 circulars and DPN's
based on the child's neck down pullover pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple
Mods:
I started with the ribbed collar rather than add it at the end. I also made a very wide neck since this will be passed down to brother and he has a big head. What is almost boat necked on Miss A will be crew neck on Little Man.

I also added an 8/10 cable to the front panel. This is an easy and quick sweater that can be modified so many ways.

I once used this pattern to make the 3 month size and I think it only took me 2 days to make it. Keep in mind for quick baby gifts.

Thanks to my Dad, brother , and Max the dog for visiting. We had a great time and hope to see you all again soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Acorn love


The transition from brown to gold on the top of an acorn is exactly the color of this yarn. Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes in 'amber heather'. I will knit this up into my Cozy V Neck sweater from Fitted Knits. Too bad I can't finish it before turkey day, the stretchy ribbing would come in handy after the feast.


Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Green

The leaves outside are blazing with color. A cold wind has arrived, setting those leaves free to dance and scatter. I knew this day would come, the day that I realize the leaves can't stay this lovely forever, but I am still a bit melancholy about it. I was delighted however to find the moss hasn't thought to sleep just yet.

The little green sweater only needs arms. I am hoping to finish this up over the weekend. If this wind keeps up, she'll need it sooner than I thought. Keep warm, friends.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunlight

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton

sunrise

reflections

chasing rays

sunset

Soak up the autumn light; you'll require its memory to warm the long winter's night.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Perspective


ever growing Inuksuk


I am pleased to hear I have gained a few readers as enchanted with literature as I am. My daily activities don't afford me any time to sit quietly long enough to read so I do more listening to books lately. I can be found curled up in a cozy chair, with iPod and knitting at hand, working late into the night.

I am drawn these days to classic novels, mostly written by women about women. I think in my solo days I would lose myself in a book. Now I actually find myself reflected in the heroines and their differing small lives. I appreciate the fact the authoresses wrote about the worlds from which they came, skillfully rendering an archive of the physical environs as well as the vernacular and subtle whims of those populating these places in time. I recently commented to my mother that I love to revisit a novel every few years. The impressions Austen's Pride and Prejudice left on my 15, 25, and now almost 35 year old self are so different I think one becomes sage not from counting the passing of years, but accepting we are constantly changing as much as we think we are staying the same.

Before I forget, congratulations to Harper Lee, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her Pulitzer Prize winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Ms. Lee encapsulated a point in American history as seen through the eyes of an innocent child, exploding a tradition of human ignorance. Very powerful and a definite must read.

Feel free to offer reading suggestions... I am always searching for new material.


The cabled raglan is knitting up nicely. These little sweaters don't take long and are fun to modify. I chose an 8/10 cable for the front of Miss A's. Basically, the cable is worked over 8 stitches (with two purl stitches on either side) and cabled every 10 rows. She likes it so mama is happy.



Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Windmills


Do you tilt towards windmills like Don Quixote? I do. Just had a wonderful date with my Little Man in the backyard. We live in a blustery valley and the wind was really whipping around the yard, sneaking up and racing off with my sun warmed cheeks. I could probably power my entire home with a little windmill placed just so to the right of the patio. I would even put a gnome there to keep watch for tilt prone interlopers. Somehow I don't think my Orwellian neighborhood association would go for it.

I am chugging along on the Big Secret Gifts (production knitting as Ashley so aptly puts it) and am going to start a simple sweater for Miss A. The pattern is a much loved one from Knitting Pure and Simple that can be found here. The yarn is Vanna's Choice in olive. I always knit the kiddos sweaters in acrylic so I am not hand washing daily. One of these days I will try out some merino super wash. Anyone tried this yet? I usually add cables to liven the miles of stockinette up.

Energy has been on my mind. I keep thinking about the projects I want to start...throw quilt, fingerless mitts, hats, and scarves...and then I remember my creative thinking far exceeds my energy output. I will get to these ideas eventually, but for today, I will share some other people's creative energy with you.



Check out:


Elliphantom Knits amazing (free) Herringbone Mitten pattern. Great gift idea.


House on Hill Road's cheerful mitts. I want to print a copy of her photo and hang it on my wall.


Ysolda's newest pattern for sale, Elijah the knit elephant. I want to cry he is so cute.

ducks under a truck

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Correspondence

We took a drive this weekend because I wanted a picture of the valley I live in from the top of the mountain. Unfortunately people seem to own this view and you can only see it while driving by at 40 mph. I did snap a pic of the view down the other side of the bluff. The creek generously affords me a more intimate view and the kids love to linger there as much as I do.

I listened to a segment on Studio 360 this morning about the novelist Yann Martel's ( Life of Pi )vow to send a novel and letter to Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, every 2 weeks through the duration of his Ministry. Martel's reasons for this, as well as the list of books and correspondence, can be found here.

I am enjoying Martel's selections, however I am most pleasurably taken by his letters. They are so unique, interesting, and poetic, I am envious of the Prime Minister. Most of you know how fond I am of written correspondence. A truly great letter will enthrall the reader yet leave them wanting a little more. A sense of mystery in the guise of wit and shared experiences is essential in letters. I think I have a little crush on Yann Martel now.

Speaking of mystery, this weekend marks the 7th anniversary of Hubby proposing to me. I am still clueless as to why he asked, but he did, and I thank him for that. Love you sweetie.


Another important anniversary passed on Saturday. Happy Wedding Anniversary, Sean and Susan. I know an ocean separates us, but I keep you both in my pocket and think of you often. Sean has the distinction of being the one person with whom I feel the highest compulsion to make laugh. If I succeed and am rewarded with his nodding chuckle, I feel like I have accomplished conversational greatness. He has also come dangerously close to figuring me out so I have to keep a step ahead of him at all times.

And just to drive Hubby nuts... my feet. Finished Cape Cod socks. Chowda, anyone?



Thursday, November 1, 2007

November Calling

The new American Gothic


The kids had a fun filled day with a school party, mom's group party ( thanks, Kathy!), and trick or treating. They both fell asleep with candy and glow sticks in hand. I have always loved Halloween, but when did it become an all month long event? I was a little over it by the time the actual day arrived.

Not to freak you out, but November just invited himself over for the next month or so. Has this year flown by for you too?

I finished the Cape Cod socks and will post a picture soon. I am patiently awaiting my yarn order so I can dive into gift knitting mode. I did cast on for the Cozy V neck sweater from Fitted Knits, but am unsure about my yarn choice. I'll let you see pics if I decide to keep the project going.

Finished listening to Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I highly recommend this book either in print or recording. Braddon's attention to detail was spot on without being overkill and the twists caught me by surprise once or twice.

I really appreciate a novel that solicits an audible reaction from me. That isn't easy to do and I find most (popular) books I have read are so flat I feel I haven't gained anything from reading them. These novels are the cheetos of the literary world. I think I am enjoying them but feel empty and a bit stupid after consuming them.