I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

late summer

We planted a whole row of sunflower seedlings this year, but so far we have only one fully grown flower.

So. Many. Flowers.
It has been an emotional week. After an initial feeling of tremendous accomplishment, it is now slowly but surely sinking in that my child lives 230 miles away from us. Meal preparation and mealtimes get me the most, it's that mom thing kicking in where you just want to take care of your young.
He is going through some homesickness too, but all in all is doing well, getting settled and meeting new friends. Classes start on Tuesday.
While we were taking our son to college, I kept thinking this week of the wee one that was given up for adoption and who has found a most loving home with my friends. I couldn't help but think about the birth mother...who I know absolutely nothing about, but who is a mother nonetheless even though the circumstances in her life prompted her to give up her baby. How much trust she must have placed into my friends.
I know Tall Son is in the right place; he will make new friends, play music, study new subjects.
But it is new territory for all of us, and we are learning how to care for each other in new ways.
Tomorrow, I am embarking on what is possibly the biggest knitting project ever, or the craziest, whichever way you want to look at it. September 1st is the beginning of a month-long quest to knit up 10,000 yards of yarn. I am hoping it will help me through the back-to-school-blues.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

delivery confirmation

This was before we went out to dinner together one more time, after which we brought him back to his room, and ALL cried in a big family hug.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Crafty Girl never got a birthday party when it was her birthday on February 21st this year.
We fixed that by celebrating her half birthday yesterday.
The weather has been gorgeous all week, and we lucked out again for the party.

First, we had a delicious lunch with this salad made from fresh spinach, locally grown tomatoes, our own basil, and some chevre.

The party's theme was Hawaiian, and everyone came wearing flipflops. Leis were mandatory.

We played a lot of games, one of them being flip-flop walk; due to the uneven number of guests, Tall Son was a good sport and got in on the act. It was a relay race where you had to put seashells on top of your feet and walk to a certain point and run back!

The half-birthday girl had a lot of fun, and I am so glad we had this party for her. I did her a lot of good to have all the attention on her for a day.

Tomorrow morning, we leave for Rochester, NY at 6 am.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I've owed you some pictures.

Here is the tote bag we made when I showed Crafty Girl how to sew the other day.
It's holding my Kearsarge project. That's part of a sleeve.

This is the back. The true color is somewhere between what you see above and below.

This is the smaller totebag Crafty Girl made. It's been in use quite a bit!

Here are the 3 rovings from the natural dye class 2 weeks ago; the middle one was supposed to get overdyed with indigo. As you can see on the right, the indigo dyebath did not co-operate.

These are 2 ounces each of merino superwash. Not sure when I'll have the time to spin those up.

Lest you are sick and tired of hearing about Tall Son going to college, here's someone who could care even less.

Last week, I made this hat for a young man that Tall Son went to elementary school with; he's off to Plattsburgh in northern NY and will surely need a warm hat.

I used: one skein or about 66 yards of superbulky yarn, Nashua Equinox. Size 15 needles, 16 inch circulars and dpns.

I do not claim this pattern as my own. It's sort of a hybrid.

Cast on 42 sts. Working in the round, work 3 rds in k1, p1 rib.
Work stockinette st until hat measures 7 inches from beginning.

Crown decreases - switch to dpns.
Rnd. 1: Knit 5, k2tog, repeat all around.
Rnd. 2: Knit 4, k2tog, repeat all around
Rnd.3: Knit 3, k2tog, wash, rinse, repeat.
Rnd 4: Knit 2, k2tog, ditto.
Rnd 5: Knit 1, k2tog. etc.
Last round: k2tog around.
Break yarn and thread through all remaining sts. Weave in all ends.
Give to your neighborhood college freshman.

Tall Son served as the fit model, but assured me he does not want me to make him a hat.

EDITED (Sat. 10 am) to fix spelling errors and to say that the bulky hat was well received.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm in trouble.

According to a google search, Tall Son's college town, Rochester, NY, has 9 (nine!) yarn shops.

In other news, Crafty Girl and I take turns being really emotional. I knew she would be very sad that her brother is leaving. We keep reminding ourselves that he can indeed be a pain in the neck, that there are never any leftovers of mac and cheese (or anything else, for that matter) because he eats it all, and, and, and then we can't think of anything worse at the moment and then we miss him again already.
Completely irrational. I know.

Meanwhile, I am knitting away on my "olympic" sweater -- Kearsarge from a fine fleece.
I may not make it by the closing ceremonies, but I can say that I gave it my best shot.
I hope to have the front finished tomorrow. Then I will block both the back and the front and hopefully take a picture.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

a tale of two hats

Here's a quick follow up to the previous post.

Thank you everyone for your input about the baby hat. I was ready to mail it out, but my friends are telling me to please wait until the beginning of September. That's when they will return home with the baby, after the adoption has been completed.

I am sure that the hat will be too small by then! I have decided to give the little hat to Chicks with Sticks. I know it will go to a good cause. My friends will measure their baby's head in a couple of weeks and tell me which size hat they need.

Tall Son, on the other hand, has requested I do not knit anything for him. Especially not an afghan. That's why I said ,"I am trying very hard not to knit for him." (Though I think it would make ME feel better if I could knit him something, he would just not wear/use anything made by me right now. I think he's trying to be independent or something.)

I am totally fine with that, as he has a comforter and a fleece blanket already that he wants to take with him to college, and he has a fleece hat, too. He just prefers that right now...while in 8th grade, he had waited and waited for me to make him a winter hat, and I just didn't get around to it. I still had my yarn store at the time, and, you know, the cobbler's children, etc.

One day he finally was done waiting and said, just give me the yarn and needles, I'll make the hat myself. And he did. His math brain was fascinated by the crown decreases.

We still have the hat, I wear it occasionally in the wintertime.
I might do so again this year.

Friday, August 15, 2008

a shower of babies

...or: the week in pictures.

On Tuesday, I made a little hat for a new little guy. Below is the hat next to the picture in the book natural knits by Louisa Harding. I figured, newborn size for a two-week-old ought to be just about right.

Was I ever wrong.

That little guy not only was too big for his hat already (good for him!!) -- he also did not appreciate us trying to even have him try it on for one minute. I have never met a baby with such a distaste for hats at such an early age. Right after we took the hat off, he calmed right down and kept on sleeping.

The yarn I used was Nashua Cilantro and size 8 needles.

Meanwhile, on the very same day that we were visiting this new baby, another baby was brought into the world to some dear friends of ours who are adopting. A little boy who weighed almost 1.5 lbs less that the one I made the hat for.

Would you agree with me that it is OK for me to send the hat to the baby who was born exactly during the time that the hat turned out to be too small for the first baby?

I will make more things for each little guy as they get older, like when they hit the ripe old age of a month or two.

In other news, I took a natural dye class at Wool n Word last Saturday. Unbelievably, the weather held up.

The colors I used were called: osage, logwood purple, cochineal, turmeric, and brazilwood.

This is one batch from the whole class.

My rovings are back in the garage, trying to dry. It has been raining so much that my backyard is once again a swamp and I can't even traverse the lawn to try and retrieve the wool.

We are promised two dry days this coming weekend.

Last week, Crafty Girl wanted to learn how to sew on a sewing machine.

I pulled out my trusty old Kenmore and away we went. She picked it up like that and we made two gusseted totebags.

Here she is making purse tissue holders all by herself.

There are no proper pictures of the projects yet, she has been going to camp this week and I am working besides trying to be an Olympic knitter.

I am sorry I have been very lame in the emailing department...I have had the nicest, most wonderful missives in my inbox and I apologize for not getting back to you.

College move-in day is a week from Monday. I am trying very hard not to knit anything for him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

simple things

I've finished two simple shawls, both using orphan/leftover/partial skeins of wool, or wool blends (mohair, alpaca, angora).

This one is one of my all-time favorite shawls, the top down, increase 4 sts every other row kind of shawl...I have made about a dozen of these, over the years, in all different variations. Most I've given away, sold one or two, and what the fate of this one is I do not know yet. I simply started it about a week and a half ago, and it gave me time to mull over some new and more exciting knitting projects. It's my think-about-other-projects projects.

I kid myself that it reminds me of a Hanne Falkenberg design. Or this one.

(One of these days I will save my pennies and get a Mermaid kit...)

I made this on size 8 circulars with worsted weight yarns. It measures 60" across, and 30" long. I think I used about 650 yards of yarn, but don't quote me.)

This next one took me a wee bit longer to make. I started it last fall, called it my commitment shawl. I was committed to not feeling guilty any more about unfinished projects from various stages of my life, and about yarn that no longer fulfilled its original purpose. I put together a huge bag of orphans and cast onto a long circular needle until it wouldn't hold any more stitches.

Size 10.5, and mostly heavy worsted weight yarns, or combinations of 2 to 3 strands held together to achieve that same thickness.

At first I had the lofty goal of making myself a blanket for the winter. I was bravely plugging along, making sure I was working on it nightly.

Then spring came, and the thing became heavier and heavier. I had finally counted the stitches, there were 180 of them.

I finally decided to bind this thing off and call it finished when I got an email from Afghans for Afghans that said their latest campaign is --- collecting shawls. I gasped and said: Perfect!

The shawl was within the dimensions required. I wove in the ends at Jody's house during charity knit night, and off it went.

I know it will be hand delivered and will keep an Afghan girl warm this winter.