Saturday, March 31, 2007


Well, I'm hesitating to post this. I'm not sure why. Life is not always happy-go-lucky, but I don't want to be a whiner, complainer either. So it is with ambivalence that I'm posting about my current WIP: the toddler summer jumper from the April issue of Knit N Style. There is something about the name Knit N Style that rubs me the wrong way. But that's beside the point. This dress is cute, and I wanted to knit it. And apparently I'm just naive or not experienced enough, but when the pattern said to knit three ridges of garter stitch for the hem around the bottom, I just did that and went happily knitting on up the skirt to the waistband.
Nevermind that I kept smoothing down the hem of the skirt. "Oh, it's flipping up. Hmm. Well, look how cute the yarn is knitting up. Hmm, this hem is pesky..." Soooo. We all know how that goes.
Here's the cute waistband. Too bad this is going to be frogged tonight, entirely. I've decided to do a seed stitch hem to match the waistband, and make it longer so it doesn't flip up all the time. Harumph.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sticker Chart 101

This, my friends, is a sticker chart. It's the parental bribe to get a preschool child to do what you would like him to do. In this case, we are speaking of the child pictured here. Said child's sleeping habits have progressively deteriorated to the point where his father and I now will do just about anything to get him to go to sleep by himself, to sleep through the night and to stay in bed after 4 a.m. (All things he did before 3 weeks ago.) And to allow his sister to sleep until her regular wake-up time, which means not screaming and yelling when asked to return to bed because it's ridiculously early.
There is the opportunity to 'earn' 19 Matchbox cars. This, however, will take 138 days. Which is roughly 20 weeks. The first car comes after 2 days of good sleep behavior. The second car after three days, and so on, until we culminate at 9 days between car rewards.
Said child actually hates stickers. He is the only child I know who gets angry when he is offered stickers. (ex. A: At the doctor's office..."Why do they always give me stickers!?") So it was an easy thing to buy the requested Finding Nemo stickers. He does, however, ADORE cars.

We start tonight. Wish us luck.

ETA: As luck would have it, 4yo's first night to earn stickers toward cars was thwarted by sick younger sister last night. He did get two out of three of the requirements, though, and so was awarded a sticker. Can't blame him for being awoken by screaming, sick little sis.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


We literally gulped in the weather today. It was 75 and sunny. A perfect, perfect Sunday. We spent all day outside. Not a stitch has been knitted. We are tired.

I was struck, in a good way, by this poem I heard on "A Prairie Home Companion" this weekend. It's by Deborah Garrison and is from her book.

An Idle Thought

I'm never going to sleep
with Martin Amis
or anyone famous.
At twenty-one I scotched
my chance to be
one of the seductresses
of the century,
a vamp on the rise through the ranks
of literary Gods and military men,
who wouldn't stop at the President:
she'd take the Pentagon by storm
in halter dress and rhinestone extras,
letting fly the breasts that shatter
crystal -- then dump him, too,
and break his power-broker heart.

Such women are a breed apart.
I'm the type
who likes to cook -- no,
really likes it; does the bills;
buys towels and ties;
closes her eyes during kisses:
a true first wife.

The seductress when she's fifty
nobody misses, but a first wife
always knows she's first,
and the second (if he leaves me
when he's forty-five) won't forget me
either. The mention of my name,
the sight of our son -- his and mine --
will make her tense; despite
perfected bod, highlighted hair
and hip career, she'll always fear
that way back there
he loved me more
and better simply
for being first.

But ho:
the fantasy's unfair to him,
who picked me young and never tried
another. The only woman he's ever left
was his mother.

-Deborah Garrison

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Knitters Treat Exchange

I seem to always be one step behind stuff like this, so imagine my delight when I found Knitters Treat Exchange and it hasn't gotten underway yet! I'm very excited to receive the name/blog of the person to whom I will send some fun knitting stuff. In the meantime, the 'rules' are that I should post answers to this questionnaire on my blog, so here goes:

Knitters Treat Exchange Questionnaire

1. What's your favourite type of yarn? Wow, hard to pin down just one. I most enjoy knitting with natural fibers, but I like cotton blends, too. I like handpainted yarn, and while I haven't knit many socks, I like sock yarn, too. Unlike some people, I do like knitting with cotton and adore denim yarn.

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn? I know that novelty yarns like eyelash and tapes have their applications, but I never use 'em. I also never knit with 100% acrylic. I'm not a fan of most wool/acrylic blends, either. And superwash is not a favorite.

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop? Feel and smell the yarn yarn yarn. Then I look at the buttons. The buttons in yarn stores are always so interesting.

4. What other crafts would like to do? I think I'd like to learn how to solder jewelry one day and also learn pottery, but for now I am very satisfied with knitting.

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to? Interweave Knits & The New Yorker

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:
Knitting / Food / Home / Fashion / Garden / Celebrity Gossip /Crochet / Other Craft

7. What items do you like to knit? Kids' sweaters, adult sweaters, accessories like hats, mittens, bags and socks.

8. Are you allergic to anything? Not that I know of!

9. What do you like to* smell of? Linden blossom and honeysuckle.
(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)

10. What's your favourite way to relax? Knitting while watching movies, exercising.

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first? The Italian cafe. If my waistline would take it, I would eat cannoli every single day.

12. What do you come out with? Cannoli and a decaf hazelnut latte. Or something chocolate. Or hot chocolate.

13. Where do you go next? To the bookstore or knitting store.

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal? I have huge feet. I can only knit a pair of socks with 400 yards or more of yarn, unfortunately, which excludes out a lot of good sock yarn out there. Also, I am not into fulling/felting projects lately.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lil' Green, Objet Finis

The Lil' Green sweater is finished. Oh how I loved making her. Knit from the top down, with a lovely pattern and a light, airy yarn, she only took about two weeks to make. Just in time for spring. As you can see, she's a might too big for M, but that was intentional. M is not quite yet 2 (almost) and is still growing quickly, and I'd like for the sweater to fit her in the fall and winter, too.

Pattern: Children's Neckdown Cardigan by Knitting Pure Simple, size 4
Yarn: Cascade Cotton Rich, somewhere around 8 skeins
Modifications: longer arms, jacket collar option

The second photo is courtesy of N, who is 4.5 and has had several handknitted sweaters of his own, although only one has appeared on this blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Bartlettyarns changed hands this past week. I love this yarn. All indications are that the people who bought it love it, too. But seriously, think for a minute about owning a yarn mill. Not only a yarn mill, but the oldest in the country. Like winning the lottery, if you ask me. Oh I'm sure it comes with its own set of headaches, like any other business, including what sounds like incredibly old machinery. But still. I've allowed myself to revel in the thought for too long. I'll go back to lowly yarn end-user now, instead of dreaming of snagging hanks of lanolin-rich, color-bursting rugged yarn right off the line. Oh, the smell of it.

Ok really. Back to life, as they say.

Friday, March 16, 2007

10 Years

It has been almost 10 whole years since my husband and I got married. I don't feel that old (I turned 35 earlier this month). Go ahead, say some nice things in the comments. ;) We've had a great relationship, filled with ups and downs like any other, but we've been building this little family (not so little anymore!) on which we four can depend, always-- in any situation -- and I hope it stays like that forever.

It feels funny to post a "where are they now" for my knits because this blog hasn't been around very long. But nonetheless, M wears this hat and mittens almost every single day. And I love this photo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oh yeah, baby

Isn't it amazing when you find the *exact* right yarn for a project? It's spine-tingling. I know, I'm a dork. But I seriously felt that way when I opened a recent package and found this...
Wow. This is the intended yarn for the beautiful little girl dress from a few posts ago. I rescued it from someone else's stash. And it's actually the yarn prescribed in the pattern; Schaefer's Laurel, a mercerized 100% cotton. Amazing, as I tend to substitute due to the size of my stash and thriftiness.

However, there is one thing holding me up...
One sleeve, one collar and six buttons, that is. This is a neck-down cardigan for my daughter, made from Cascade Cotton Rich. Amazing stuff, seriously. I would not normally say this about a yarn, but this yarn has been frogged no less than 5 times (yes, five) and was still knittable and held together quite well most places. I think that deserves high marks. Lemme see, first this was a seed stitch cardi for her, and I even had the buttons sewn on, but then wanted to make a Tomten. Shoulda stuck with my first inkling there. I ripped out the Tomten three times, only to determine I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish it and didn't want to buy more (see aforementioned thriftiness). Then remembered adoring knitting from the neck-down and investigated how many yards were required for a small cardi--surprisingly few! So I started this about a week ago. Perfect for spring, that is...spring in the northwoods where 20" of snow has melted in the last three days, leaving us with a lagoon for a backyard.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hat Hat Hat!

As the Teletubbies might say. And can't forget a BIG HUG for Blue Eyed Daisy, who made this gorgeous hat for my son's classmate going through treatment for leukemia. Thanks so much for your generosity. It is difficult to see in the photo, but this very soft hat has reverse stockinette flowers around it. It's made of Rowan Calmer--absolutely perfect for a sensitive girly head.