Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wish You Were Here

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
Lord Byron
Thank you for all of your sympathies. Your kind words mean so much to my family. We needed a break from life and found reason to dance again while on vacation. I'll be back next week to share more beach scenes and knitting. I am deep into the body of Buttercup (rav) and I think this might be the first sweater I've knit that will get actual wear. Hopefully I didn't just jinx it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Farewell P-Cat

Last night we said goodbye to our dear kitty Palsamour. The last few weeks have seen her rapidly decline. When she stopped eating a week ago we knew she was ready to move on, as my husband lovingly joked, to her tenth life. The kids and I took her outside for the first time to enjoy the grass beneath her feet, the wind on her fur, and the sound of the birds twittering at the feeders. She was happy.

As my husband put her in the carrier, my daughter asked if she could write Palsamour a letter. She drew a picture of our precious black cat and wrote 'I will miss your meow'. We all will miss her singular meow, her sweet disposition, and the even the annoying habit she had of sleeping in the crook of our knees, twisting us like a pretzel all night. Love you bluppet; we are the better for having known you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A February Baby Sweater and Hat Tale

My town is awash in the rainy season. While I look forward to the lumpy tomatoes and plump peas this deluge will help produce later in the summer, I now have to deal with dark days and visitors that pop in to keep dry. Some are more welcome than others. Spiders are most unwelcome although this does not deter them; stubborn lot they are. One welcome guest is Mrs. Prudence Estonia Tinkenstitch, who resides at Third Pot From Left, Gardening Bench Shelf, Northeast Province, Pneuma Territories. She often calls on the Fairies whose door is located in my daughter's room. According to Aunty Pru, as she prefers to be called, the fairies have the finest quality threads (at the steepest prices too). She thinks the Fairies have a monopoly going.

" Not to mention," she adds in a surprisingly loud voice, " the dust is nigh impossible to remove. Sticks to everything, everyone, and everywhere. Even found it in the root cellar all sparkly in the dark. Who ever heard of sparkly potatoes? Tisk. "

Aunty Pru is the self appointed authority on all things stitched. She never fails to inspect and critique the needle work she sees, generously offering her services free because, according to her, it would be a disservice to her talent and skill if she did not try to better others through its use. Despite being impossibly farsighted, Aunty Pru maintains her assessments are the only salvation of a stitched piece from being immediately tossed in the donate bin by the recipient.

"Craftmanship, Quality, and Even Tension are the trinity to a proper stitcher," Aunty Pru instructs as she eyes the garment. I have noticed, and thankfully Aunty Pru has not, the person whose work is being inspected tends to look at her with a mixture of respect and annoyance, as one in a rush watches an arthritic old woman cross the road. For most of these people, the whole experience can't end soon enough.

" Hmmm, good tension, soft wool, and vintage buttons (nice touch). But oh dear, oh dear, look this button pulls a bit. Should have placed the hole farther from the increase. Pity that. And there, is that a drop stitch picked up twisted? Surely you should have seen that in time to fix it. Well, it is definitely not perfect, and I know since I have knit several of these with out error, but I am confident the baby won't mind. Let us hope the mother is as forgiving." Aunty Pru mumbled as she tugged at the hat's hang loop.

I am pleased to report that after Aunty Pru thoroughly inspected my FBS with matching hat, while not perfect, it is passable. Upon promising to practice my buttonhole technique and be more careful with dropped stitches, Aunty Pru brought her self up to her full 3 inches and in an authoritative voice bestowed upon me her rare and most precious seal of approval:

" It will do. "

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend Redux

click to embiggen

Fun had by all this weekend. First the kindergarten field trip to the zoo on Friday, my first off campus chaperon experience. I passed with flying colors, the children had a blast, and the one who wandered off while the other five were in the restrooms had no idea she was considered lost for a full 2 minutes when I retrieved her from the playground area. I call that success. Later we hid in the laundry room and took time lapse photos with flashlights.

Then it was an early morning cheering session for our best friend who scored a goal in the right net. Hooray! Straight from the ball fields to another park for a birthday bash that was definitely a good time as evidenced by the two sweaty, filthy, icing smeared, ketchup stained, children I stripped naked at the door and carried directly to the tub afterwards. The water turned so dark my son demanded I get him out and drain it because he was convinced his sister must have pooped in the water. She was not amused.

Later Saturday night, my dad and brother came into town and treated us to Mexican food and good conversation. Having them here makes me so happy. Having them here with chips and salsa makes me delirious. Sunday I cooked a big breakfast before they left. Love you guys!

The kids made me an awesome card which read, "we may be small but we love you best of all." They rock. Included was an Itunes gift card. Daughter came up with that gift idea herself. Good Job! Then we went for a drive to a nearby state park to tour the wildlife rehabilitation center on the mountain top where we were chased by bears of the stuffed variety. Spent awhile staring at the vibrant paddle boats and canoes until the lightening sent us sloshing back to the car. Off to a hot meal out and home again. I spent the rest of the rainy evening listening to an audio book, sipping lavender tea, and knitting a February Baby Sweater. Tonight my in-laws come for a long overdue visit. My life is full of friends and crazy happenings. I am more grateful than I can say, even if it means I do laundry every. single. day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Floating To The East

Surface tension. That is all a bubble is; water and soap strengthening each other's weak points. Spheres with swirling iridescent colors, like oil slicks, but purer, less distasteful.

One would be thought mad to stand and stare at a puddle of oil. But bubbles are made to be watched with breath-holding anticipation for the inevitable pop bursting open nostalgia in our hearts. There is happiness and sadness in equal measure when studying a bubble.

We will watch and wonder and let our mouths hang open. We will smile and clap and laugh out loud. We will cheer the bubble that makes it to the sky, hoping we too could hold the clouds inside ourselves to delight, to awe, to inspire. And we will sigh, looking down at our bare toes in the grass, wishing the magic was more than simple science floating on air.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Baktus Scarf

Pattern: Baktus Scarf (r) by Strikkelise
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in grey and ivory
Needles: US #4 circular

I love this pattern. The garter is soothing, and when using stripes, a great stash buster. I could have made this a bit bigger by knitting to 80 stitches before decreasing instead of 68, but I liked the smaller size which is similar to my cowls. Recommended for trip knitting.

This project was finished in time for the wrap up of Project Spectrum's 'North' months of March and April, but since 'East' incorporates yellows, whites, and grey, this is really a segue from one direction to the next. Which happens to suit my mood anyway. I have had a somber month and can feel the sun peaking out from clouds physically and metaphorically speaking. I have a bit of energy back and am ready to tackle some knitting and pictures inspired by air, sun, and wood. First up will be a baby sweater. I am having trouble narrowing down my options (there are so many cute patterns) and any suggestions are welcome. I will be using a DK weight wool.

Speaking of sun, this is a behind the scenes of my photo shoot this morning. I hopped out of the shower and tried to get a good picture before the sun woke up my Little Man, but as you can see, he snuck up behind me and giggled while rubbing his tummy on my wet hair. To mark the first day of PS 'East' I am spending the day snuggling with my sunshine guy. He makes me happy when skies are grey. Happy May Day!