Sunday, January 29, 2006


Since my last post I've finished the black gloves. Next time the wrist cuffs will be longer, I made them out of scrap sock yarn and was worried I wouldn't have enough.


made Bowen a long overdue scarf:


and have finally taken a picture of Morgan in his mittens (he is sick today and you can so see it in his eyes, and in the way he is prone on the sofa - Morgan is only prone when ill or asleep):

mogan's mittens

Bowen has requested gloves, so those are on the needles. He's having yellow fingers, and the body of the glove in Opal's brown Brasil pattern.

The Schoolhouse Press box came! The Icelandic laceweight is gorgeous, and the Highland wool is lovely as well. I'm very excited about the projects in Knitting with Meg Swansen - there's a hat and sweater I'm thinking about.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Knitting and books

On Wednesdays I go to Bowen's class and knit with them. Today we had a meeting and decided to do a blanket made of 18 stitch squares. The children felt a 12" square (approximately 36 stitches) would be too overwhelming. This way, if they are excited about the squares they can do a few, and if it feels too laborious one will probably suffice.

Here are their home-made needles:

thirdgrade needles

I didn't give them any guidance on the size of the balls on the end of the needles. I probably should have, but most of my other advice was met with, "I know, I know!" so I decided against it.

I finished the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd last night (well, this morning actually) at 12:45 am. At 11:30 pm I had tears streaming down my cheeks and thought, I'll never be able to sleep if I stop now anyway, so I went ahead and finished it. It has sad parts, but not Dorothy Allison, Bastard out of Carolina sad (that book left me wrung out emotionally). I recommend both of them, but if edgy books aren't your cup of tea, stay away from Bastard out of Carolina.

One of my Christmas presents was Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. I had the good fortune to see him when he came to Durham several years ago and enjoyed him very much. I've liked his two previous books, and have only just started Teacher Man, but am laughing already. The lovely thing about him is that he is completely untouched by pretention - he's humble, funny, gracious, and probably because he was older when he ascended into fame - he sees the trappings. Plus he was a teacher, how cool is that?

Right now, it's off to watch season two, disc four of the West Wing while I work on the fingers and thumb my second glove (yep, watched a movie, finished a glove, and a book last night - very productive).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And then I knit some more...

I ordered my yarn for my shawl - yea! And the lovely people at Schoolhouse Press said, "Would you like anything else?" Well, of course! How kind of you to ask! Three balls of you Highland wool so my children may knit garter stitch dolls, and also Handknitting with Meg Swansen. They are so accommodating and I really did want more and more yarn, but I stopped myself.

Here's the shawl (and, in the spirit of full-disclosure, this is not me):


I also started knitting I-cord gloves. I found the pattern on Nona's blog ( and they rock! I've got all the digits knit, and the four fingers attached. I am now knitting down toward the palm and am excited about adding on the thumb. She suggests knitting all ten digits and then proceeding, but at my house there would be sad, severed, knitted fingers strewn all over the place. I am using leftover sock yarn. The fingers are black and the "body" will be in self patterning Opal (I don't remember the pattern). Hopefully, there will be enough for two gloves. Here's the beginning bit:

i-cord glove

In bookland, I've finally started The Secret Life of Bees. I've had it on my shelf since October, and when my parents were here on care-taking duty my mom read it and loved it. I am really liking it so far. Right now I'm torn between working on the glove and reading...Maybe I'll do a couple rounds on the gloves and then read. Sounds like a plan...

Tomorrow I write the Yarn Harlot and say, "Count me in, Sister."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Knitting Olympics decision and Uni

I've decided on my Knitting Olympics event: a Meg Swenson shawl. It's in the fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. It's lovely, lacey, and long. I am ordering the yarn tomorrow.

Today was Becca's birthday. Becca is a great friend and co-worker. Funny, sweet, amazing with children and so left of center there's no way she can't be a kindred spirit. The current had patterns for alien creatures filled with rice and lavender sachets. It just said, "And ye shall make Uni for Becca" and I said, "Ok" because that's what I do when patterns and/or yarn speak to me.


Next week I hope to include pictures of Bowen's class knitting. I started teaching them to knit last quarter (they can all do it now) and we are beginning a new project next week. This week they made their own needles from dowels and Sculpey - they had a blast (so did I).

In addition to a sweater for Bowen (back is finished, am working on the front), I've also started mittens for Morgan, am working on a second sock, have started the Anne Modesitt pattern for Backyard Leaves, and unraveled the Cozy shawl I finished a month ago. See? There's always something to do. No need for boredom...Knit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Getting ready for the Olympics, the Knitting Olympics, that is

The Yarn Harlot has issued a call for the Knitting Olympics. As with many of her fancies, she is totally taken by surprise with the sheer volume of like-minded crazy fiber people. The challenge is to knit something during the opening ceremonies on February 10 and have it completed (sewn, blocked, whatever) on the 26th. The only real rule is that the item(s) be a challenge to each individual knitter on a personal level. I have had a couple different ideas, but haven't settled on any one in particular yet. Check out the banner on the right side at - enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Old projects morphing and brand new ones

After making Chicky's socks, I thought I would make a matching scarf for her from the leftover yarn. Being a creature in need of some excitement now and again, I decided I would figure out double-knitting on the project. I did and it really works! The sad part of the project is realizing that I don't have enough yarn to make it wrap around her wee neck. Sigh. Here is what it used to look like:


Now, it is back into it's pre-project state, a.k.a., a ball of yarn. I'm going to try a hat, or an earwarmer if it's not enough for a hat.

My other project is Anne Modesitt's Backyard Leaves scarf. I bought Scarf Style for that pattern and Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush. Backyard Leaves is complicated - but small (in comparison to Ene's Scarf). I'm working a swatch right now while thinking about possible yarns. I am really a fan of Anne's work. Her designs are amazing. If you want to check out luscious, go to - simply stunning.

Last night, I had a fun one-on-one knitting session with a friend, complete with wine (for her) and Guiness (for me). Today, all three of my children have been invited over to their friends' house to watch The Steelers (Bowen and his friend Dylan are the fans) and have dinner. Chicky is not so sure about this. I think it will be fine because she will have her brothers for security. She's trying to give me a guilt trip, "I've never been without you so long before."

I am going to a yarn shop, and a movie with a friend. I may even get Indian food for dinner. I'm livin' on the wild side, eh?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

More socks

I finished Morgan's orange socks - they're a little large, though. Chicky wanted to show off her socks again and get in the picture with Morgan.


Last night, everyone took showers and ready for bed and we snuggled down to watch Fiddler on the Roof, again - they really like it. The first time through there were a few pauses to talk about various aspects of life during that period of time. We also had to revisit the differences between Judaism and Christianity. Some people think it a personality flaw that I like musicals, but I do, and my children will either enjoy them or just go through life with the songs playing in their heads. I have a habit of breaking into song now and again and it may be a result of too many musicals in my life, but there's no real way to prove that. One of my favorite things about watching movies at home (other than the food is cheaper, and you get to pause the movie to go to the bathroom) is you can pause and talk about questions as they arise - this is fairly critical with children. During our recent viewing of The Chronicles of Narnia, I spent much time whispering in Chicky's ear (and reminding her to whisper back).

I am making my own chai syrup (yum!) and must go pay some attention to the stove. I took the children to their dad's house, so I get to clean, knit, and cook in a quiet house.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Flags and football

I was cleaning off the kids' art shelves the other day and found this picture:


Morgan drew this version of the American Flag a little while after the 1000 American soldier was killed (I know because the other side says, "quagmire" from our peace vigil attendance). All that was in his seven year old mind. Has a social commentary all its own, doesn't it?

I finished the first book to put on my book list this year, A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. The true story of the legal battle between parents of children that died of leukemia and the corporations of W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods. Rather depressing, but very good read. I'll freely admit - it took me most of December to read it. It was a busy month and I kept falling asleep while trying to read (not the author's fault). My other favorites of the 2005 include: The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Our Endangered values by Jimmy Carter, and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I managed to read twenty-three books this year - I can't believe it - with all the knitting I was afraid I was letting my reading slide, but I've still got it goin' on.

The boys got their final presents the other day: the back-ordered football gear. They are so psyched about it. Bowen put his on over his pajamas the first night - it's not cool, but it shows true dedication.


That is the most I'm doing for their love of football. I really don't care for the sport. If they want to talk football, they have other people in their lives to indulge them. This is why family and friends are important, to support your children in things you don't like.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"New" tattoo pictures

I got this tattoo in the beginning of November. A friend wanted company when she went to get her second and then said, "Why don't you get another one?" I gave it some thought and I came up with this one. I like labyrinths, their symbolic and meditative qualitites, and this one in particular just spoke to me. I wanted it up higher, on the back of my neck, but it made it distort in a very funky way.


Here's the close-up:


I love it.