Wednesday, September 23, 2009

fall comes...

...every year! My favorite season. The colors, the smells, the food, the sounds, the wool... ahhh! And yes, cozy socks! I finished these on Monday night, at our resuscitated knitting night gathering. :)Now, I must confess, these have been a long time coming; nearly a year! They are from Through The Loop's Mystery Sock Knitalong of Socktober 2008. The plan was that the participants would receive a clue each week in October, knit each clue, and be ready for the next clue when it was revealed. Fun, right?! I was so on-board with the whole project. I even started both socks, I was that into it. Well, clue 1 - the cuff, no problem. Clue 2 - the leg, no problem (oooh, lace!). Clue 3 - the heel flap, stall. I completely stopped. Clues 4 + 5 sat undone for months. I'm not sure why, really. I could not get fired up about these again, until about ten days ago. Something about feeling Soctober 2009 coming around the corner, urged (read: shamed) me to finish these. I'm so glad I did, because they're really nice! They feel great on, and even though they're lace, they feel substantial, not wimpy at all. Yippee!

The yarn is some stashed and highly coveted Sundara Sock Yarn. I drool over the colorways at the site regularly. Sundara has a way with color that really amazes me; layers of gorgeous harmonious shades. The yarn over there sells out fast, so it's kind of a safe place for a sock yarn junkie to hang out and not get into much trouble; I get totally dazed out by the beauty and wait too long to beat out the clear-headed knitters. One day, last summer I stayed alert enough to nab a few skeins including this beauty, Raspberry. When the yarn arrived, I displayed it on the kitchen counter, just so I could look at it all the time. (No comments from the peanut gallery who is familiar with how my kitchen counter looks much of the time!) It is definitely worth the few seconds it takes to get on her emailing list, because it helps one to know when to begin the prowl, if you know what I mean. This yarn is so delicious! Knitting with it was dreamy. I have another color squirreled away, thank goodness!
And, speaking of compulsions, check out these bees, making late-summer rounds. They were so "loud" in the garden this past weekend.
I hope you're enjoying these crisp early days of fall. Wasn't it beautiful today?! XOXO

Thursday, September 17, 2009


He brings home the bacon.
I fry it up in the pan.
And never, never let him forget he's a man!
He does the laundry. My laundry man!

I mean that "he's a man" in the infuriating sense that he repeatedly manages to man-handle some of the wool items in the house, in the laundry machine! I know that I sound ungrateful. I'm not, really. I'm so glad he helps with the laundry. But I do wish that he would learn not to launder the HANDKNIT woolens. So when I was switching some clothes to the dryer yesterday, I discovered another victim. Internally, I screamed, "Not again!" I marched upstairs and waved the poor littler object before his nose. This last time he said, "That's pretty." He did not recognize that it was the cute hat that I was photographing right in front of him the day before. He didn't notice that it had shrunk to about half the size it was!!! UGH. This is not the first time, it won't be the last, but I do believe we have broken a speed record for Off-the-needles-into-the-washer. I'm really close to uttering, "Only a man!" But instead, I bite my tongue, take a deep breath and go to my yarn corner to mutter to myself.

The cute elf hat.

It's felt now.

It is so sad.

Too sad for pictures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

scratch the itch

Gotta' love a quick project that soothes the I must finish something! itch, right? Right!

Thursday morning, I started this:
And here's the Lyalya Hoodie that was my watched-pot knitting for the end of last week, done and blocking by Saturday night! What a great knit it was! Yummy yarn + super clear pattern + expectant recipient = happy knitter. :) Knitty gritty:

yarn: Malabrigo worsted, colorway Cuarenta 237
needles: size 6 + 8 16" circulars (I am a loose knitter, but left caution to the wind and knit without a swatch safety net - naughty, naughty!)
size: C (child)

I highly recommend the pattern. It has a geometry and construction that is simple but achieves an end that is intriguing to wonder at. The ribs run into each other perpendicularly and then form a point which is so quirky and fun! When worn, it hugs the head but only just the gentlest hug. (The super soft yarn helps with the hugging.) I thought about a pom-pon, but the recipient said it wouldn't be so cute if the point didn't point. Point taken. (!)
There will be more of these...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

there, that's better

I woke up in a funk this morning. So, I took a hold of the situation, and after a bit of pot-banging while making breakfast, I made myself some cookies. World Peace Cookies. If I had some toffee on hand, I might have tried Alison's recipe, but that'll have to wait until the next trip to the grocery. Now I feel much better! One of my regular gripes around here is, "No one makes me cookies." It is only a half-hearted complaint, as I love to bake. But sometimes, when I haven't had the chance to, and I really could go for a treat, those words escape my mouth (unto deaf ears usually).

So, here I sit in the porch, Saturday afternoon, kitty in lap (achoo!), coffee steaming, cookies waiting, and some knitting looking for some attention. I hope your weekend is as beautiful as mine is turning out to be! Here, have a cookie!

Friday, September 11, 2009

watched-pot knit

Tonight's dinner: rice with every veggie that is in the house! Cauliflower, kale, red pepper, corn, onion, garlic, potatoes.... Onion sauteed first in olive oil and butter, then add taters and about a cup of chicken stock, cover and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add minced garlic, cauliflower, red pepper, and corn, cover again until cauliflower starts to become tender. Add pepper and salt, stir. At the last minute put the kale over everything, cover it again and let the kale wilt. Yum! I wouldn't mind some red cabbage, zuchinni or other squash, maybe even a sweet potato... next time! The watched-pot knit is a Lyalya Hoodie ABC in the child size. Over the years at a local art sale, I've seen a friend modeling one for sale, she is a friend of the designer who is a local. I admired the style every time I saw it, and then last week Waldorfmama displayed a beautiful rainbow version! I recognized the style and, quick as a bunny, followed the link to Etsy (again!) to purchase a pattern. It is going to be the cutest, elfiest, coziest hat/hood ever! I'm using Malabrigo worsted in the Cuarenta colorway that I had stashed from the LYS. It feels so buttery soft!
I mentioned in my last post a finished object. I was hoping to show you my baktus scarf, but I could not achieve what I consider a pleasing modeled photo of the Baktus itself. Soooo, I will try taking some pictures of it laying beautifully in the yard somewhere over the weekend and then share. OK? Thanks, I knew you'd understand!

Here are some flowers from Hana. She created this beautiful display during some happy solo play time the other day. It had been raining, but stopped for a few minutes. I was otherwise occupied, but sensed her donning some gear to go out. "Shhh..." I told myself, "let's see what happens." She came back in, then I heard some water running. A little clatter in the cupboards. Then she came into the sewing room, looked over at me, but went to her table quietly. "Shhh..." I told myself again. Then she went out into the other rooms, singing Rain Rain Go Away. After a few minutes, she called me, and when I got to the living room, this is what I saw! "All set for lunch!" she said so proudly. A girl with vision, that what she is!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

that's weird

I posted "look:" tonight, but it's showing up after "original inspiration". I think it has to do with starting both posts yesterday, and publishing them out of the order in which I began them? Anyway, there's a new post here. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

original inspiration

My mother is, for me, a source of original inspiration. So many of the beautiful objects I choose to keep around me stem in some way from my mother. I appreciate the sweet detail in an ornate ceramic vessel that I keep my rings in because such items were a treasure when I was a child in my mother's home. Eyelet cotton will always hold a special category in my fabric stash because my mother used it lovingly to trim the under-dresses of my childhood wardrobe. The plants in the garden, I chose some of them because I spotted them first in my mother's garden - some of the actual plants at my house, came from hers. Even the children's favorite pj pants came from the hands of my mother. The apron which hangs in Hana's kitchen, I think I dreamed of it as I passed the fabric to my mother, not knowing what surprise she had in mind to sew for her granddaughter gift. The list is long; I mean it when I say that she is at the stem of so much of what I hold dear.It is not only the spirit of her taste that surrounds us here. Like the pj's and Hana's apron, many parts of our home include my mother's handiwork. Last week, Theresa posted pictures of a celebratory give-away: a bag made from a primative rug-hooked bag which she made (I think she can make anything!) The photos of the bag and the design elements reminded me of the rugs my mother has hooked for our home. She hooked the star rug for Koji; it lays beside his bed. Santa and his sheep graces our front door come winter. I gifted my mother the kit to hook the bouquet rug (designed by Margaret Shaw), and she turned around and returned it to me, completed! It graces Hana's play kitchen. The sheep visiting a bluebird was a gift to me. And the little girl, well that's Hana rendered in wool from a drawing my mother's friend drew onto a burlap canvas for my mother to hook!

Now, I'm sure I would love and treasure these rugs just because they were made by my mother, but I'm also certain that I love them for how they fit in our home, as I choose to fill it. The way they agree with me/us is so complex: aesthetically, the materials, their handmaded-ness (!), their longevity, the love in every stitch. It all makes perfect sense to me: my mother is in these rugs, my mother is in me, therefore I love these rugs. It is a continual back and forth of inspiration and love, and I am so grateful for it.

Thank you, Mom! I love you.


Knitting! Through all the company, road trips and train trips, quiet evenings on the porch, and beautiful bonfires I have been knitting, really, I have. These are my newest pair of hand-knit socks, Hedera by Cookie A.I am very happy with them in the end. I started them in the spring, and the knitting was only in fits and spurts initially. At first, I was a bit concerned that they would languish with some other slow-to-the-finish socks. But then the lace pattern and my brain got in sync and then the knitting was steady and fairly quick! Then I faltered at the heel; thinking 24 repeats of the heel flap rows would be too long I opted to do my usual 16 repeats. wrong. So, I ripped the heel flap back all the way. If I hadn't gotten in the groove w/the pattern, this discovery could have been the end of the line for these socks, but I was smitten by then. I'm so glad I persevered. ;) The yarn is from Yarntini. The colorway is what she calls a "last-call", and I got a great deal on it on the Yarntini Etsy site (love that Etsy!). Fiber is 100% wool, and it felt great to knit. The blue is very brilliant and the green sparkles in little spots all around! I was initially worried about the bright color and how it would translate into socks, but now that they done, I really like my bright blue socks! (Upon examination, the green porch floor may not be the best backdrop. Note to self: consider background colors.) So, rest assured, you can still read about knitting here!

Check out this guy we spotted in the garden! Hana first thought it was the green center of the flower, and she inched closer. When she realized it was a frog, she stiffened up and whispered, "Mom, I can't believe I didn't scream!"

High school for Koji is off to a happy start, thank you for all the well-wishes and votes of confidence! Tomorrow, Hana gets to start a dance class, she is so twitter-pated! Pretty soon, autumn will find a nice rhythm, but for now we're off to a good start!

Another finished object tomorrow, if the sun comes out to play for photos...

Monday, September 7, 2009


In my last post, I did not mention a very important pending item: the beginning of high school for our son! It is certainly not because it's not been on my mind, but I feel it has more to do with the expanse of the suspense. I've been trying to live in the moment right here and now, and I believe I have accomplished that for the most part this summer. So when I posted about the pending items, high school was a future item, namely to be fretted over in the future. It is not only the start of high school, but the wondering (ok, worrying!) that accompanies the long view of parenting. "Set it aside, it is for another day," my inner voice reminds me to practice.

Well, tomorrow, it is the item of the day! All of the worrying has to do with the future, but tomorrow is simply the first day of high school, right?! (You see, I'm getting very adept at focusing on each moment.) So tonight, before I fall asleep, in my heart's eye, I'll see Koji in high school. And there will be no suspense, no worry.

Hooray for you, Dear One! I love you endlessly.

Posted by Picasa