Tuesday, May 26, 2009

few words

I'm not sure if I've ever been described as a woman of few words. I'd like to imagine so; a few fine words. But I worry that sometimes when I do open my mouth, the words spill out in a tangle of confusing and difficult-to-navigate verbage. And then, people stop listening. (I know in the case of the teenager, this is to be expected!) Often, I sit and listen quietly to conversation going on around me instead of risking uttering something that might hamper an otherwise lovely chat. So, today, not many words, but pictures to describe the time that has passed since my last post. Shhhhh...

Thanks for listening! ;-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's going to be a busy one! I wanted to stop here before the day gets off on its way to give an update on what's happening in the porch:

and in the yard:

In the porch, early this morning, I began embroidering a motif on linen which will become the backing of the potholders/hotpads that I am contributing to the Swap. The photo is of a pile of snippets from crocheted part of the potholers. Happy colors! So I hemmed + hawed about the embroidery, but since the deadline for the swap is quickly approaching, a choice needed to be made! Now that I've decided to go ahead with an embroidered fabric backing instead of another crocheted layer, I'm really glad I did. I've been waiting for an opportunity to try out Sublime Stitching, and this is a perfect chance. I own a notebook of transferable patterns that are an off-shoot of the book. I borrowed the book itself from the library to get Jenny Hart's tips, and I think I will invest in the book now for future reference and for the ton of transferable patterns in there! It is simple and fun to do (once one decides to go for it!) It often takes a bit of a push, a sniffing out of the territory if you will, before I begin a handwork project that is not in my usual comfort zone (i.e. something other than knitting). But once I take the leap, I almost always love it. I am loving this embroidering!

In the yard, yesterday, Hana was picking a bouquet of dandelions, trilling about springtime and bumble bees while I watered the garden and seedlings. It was not an uncommon scene. By the time I was done watering, she had moved on to the swing, and I asked her if she wanted a jar of water for her flowers. She quickly put the brakes on the swing by disengaging her bottom from the sling of the swing and dragging her feet (I love the way kids figure that out) and made a bee-line to the picnic table, waved her arm, and shouted, "Tah-Dah!!!"

My little Andy Goldsworthy! Here are the words to the bumble bee song:

"busy buzzy bumble bee; buzzing by busily; busy buzzy bumble bee; flying by!"

That'll be our theme song today, I hope you have a great one!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

escape home

Here's where I've been:

This is a Simple Yet Effective Shawl by cosmicpluto. A friend mentioned the project after seeing SouleMama's, and because I'm always game for knitting some Noro, I was immediately on board for a knitalong. Once I chose a colorway (S185) in Kureyon Sock at a LYS, the shawl practically knit itself. Watching the colors emerge and play together was very motivating. I'm already dreaming about another colorway, just imagining how the colors will play out is like great riddle I can't wait to figure out!

I also finished a pair of basic socks! I thought they would go directly to the sock drawer, but the weather had other plans, so I decided to turn the cold weather into an opportunity to take photos. How's that for looking on the bright side? More details here.

This is some yarntini merino sock yarn! It's a "last call" mystery color. It is so fun, it looks like one of those fancy blue cocktails with a lime twist in it! While I'm knitting the next pair of socks with it, I might pretend I'm at a lounge with some groovey music sitting in the corner booth... knitting! Hah! I'm excited to have some of this yarn because I've seen lots of socks knit in yarntini colors and always like the color combinations. I've lurked around the etsy shop waiting for just the right color, but when faced with all that gorgeousness, what is that right color? So when I saw that I could pick a mystery color (meaning I don't really have to pick!), that made it just so easy. I loved the not knowing, and am very happy with the result.

Speaking of mysteries... do you know about May Apples? It's like a hidden treasure under a canopy of big green umbrellas, a sweet blossom. We have a patch of them in our yard, and I've convinced Hana that the blossoms are big street lamps for the pixies who live in May Appleville. Really, how can there be such a cloaked almost subversive plant in the yard that doesn't become a hidden world, right?! In May Appleville, it is alway Christmas time, that's why they always have Jingle Bell Flowers (aka Lillies of the Valley) all over town! Hana came up with that part, so I know she buys the whole tale. Yes, and that buzzing sound coming from the Purple Cloud Bush? Helicopters, of course! Don't you love it?! I can't get enough.
So, there you go, you now know where I like to escape to: my knitting and my imagination (and Hana's). It could be worse, right? Where do you go?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! Be kind to yourself today (and all days). I'd like to spend some time in the yard today and then sit with my feet up with this knitting in hand. It'll be extra nice with some extra hugs + kisses. xoxo

Monday, May 4, 2009

knit night

For ten years, on Monday nights our knitting group had been gathering for knitting of course, but also for the comraderie. Some nights we'd just talk; the need to share our days trumping the need to knit. Most nights though, knitting & chatting went together accented by the occassional burst of laughter.
Some how over the last year our meetings have dropped from our calendars; family illness, returning to school, and plain old family life happened, and our gatherings have become a rare event. We check in with eachother via email or running into one another around town, but it's just not the same. We had a good run there for that decade! The occassions that we do still try to gather for are one another's birthdays; what better gift than to make time for a friend?I was out of town for the last birthday get-together, but tonight we had a plain old knit night, so I brought along the birthday gift in hopes that the birthday girl would be there. (She was!) The zipper pouch is made with a Etsuko Furuya echino fabric and is lined with some chambray (ala repurposed Ralph Lauren bed sheet). It is large enough for a 100g ball of sock yarn (or two 50g), needles, notions, and sock-in-progress (about 9x3x3). I put a handle on one end which can fit around a wrist for knitting on the go. I drafted the pattern for the bag myself after seeing similar bags at an on-line shop that was always sold out - I wanted one! I've made many of these bags as gifts for fellow knitters and have gotten nice feedback, so I'll keep making them! I'm kind of proud of their utility, and the geometry of the box/bag pleases me somehow. Hooray for DIY!

For this birthday girl (our knitting group's co-founder), I added a yummy ball of LanaGrossa Fun sock yarn which matches the bag! Yes, she wears handknit socks and she drives a Vespa! She's very cool.
Isn't my photo-stylist cute?!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May miscellany

The screen porch is officially open! All the furniture is washed off, the floor is mopped, and in the corner the seedlings are experiencing a gradual exposure to the outdoors. I'm discovering a new spot for picture-taking too! Morning coffee with a birdie serenade is lovely and cheerful, and the sun/shade combination is perfect even on the warmest days. Ahhh...

Here are the babygifts with buttons! I wonder why it the addition of the final touch takes me so long. The shell buttons on the booties are basic, but perfect. And the hand-painted wooden buttons on the cache coeur are so sweet. Peace Fleece offers natural cherry buttons and some beautiful painted ones too; I feel good about using materials from such a consciencious company. The baby is expected on Wednesday this week! I'm sure I'll be knitting more baby sweetness once I meet this sweet muse.

I'm flashing back to Easter here for a minute. The teeny tiny teddy bear and bunny were made for inside-the-eggs treats for my kids (I made two of each). The pattern is from Little Cotton Rabbits, a free pattern on her sidebar. They were so fun & quick to make! Both the teenager and the little one loved them, and they even provided in-flight entertainment on the way home. I highly recommend this project.

Ok, time to get outside! I hope you're having a beautiful weekend.

Friday, May 1, 2009

may day

What a beautiful day full of sunshine, music, song, dance, and friends. May Pole dancing at our son's school, a faire, quiet moments with a good friend; I will call this day the beginning of spring. The weather has been teetering on the verge of spring, but today the sun tipped the scale! I've felt on the edge of many situations in the last weeks, and peering over the edge has been scary and made me feel insecure. Today, I claim to stand firmly on this edge knowing I am strong enough to do what is needed of me for those I love, including myself. I will be sure.