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Archive for October, 2007

I have been working on my cousin’s wedding gift since August, to be mailed out in a day or so so that it can reach Arizona by November 5th, her big day. For her second anniversary, that is. Yes, this gift is two years late. Being so late, I had to put more energy into it than getting something from their registry (which I could have two years ago as I did for her shower). Without further ado I present the very late wedding gift. I hope they like it. And if they don’t, I hope they don’t tell me!

Tablerunner 2

Tablerunner 1

Tablerunner 3

Tablerunner Close-up

Pattern: Pom-Pom Awning from Greetings from the Knit Cafe

Yarn: ArtYarn Serenade by Reynolds, 70% Pima Cotton, 30% Angora

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Get the Cold Frame Habit

A picture story of getting the cold frame ready for the 2007-2008 winter in upstate NY.
Cold Frame Mosaic

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Thrifting

This is a portion of the treasure we found at Goodwill this past weekend. We brought three bags of goods over to donate and left with a bag of “new” stuff for us. I’m often disappointed by the thrifting experience around here compared to all of the wonders people seem to find out there in blogland, but this past trip was a hit. (more…)

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Quiet Evening

L4's Project

This past Friday L1 & L3 went to a special karate event at the UofR, leaving L4 & I home for the evening. We had a grand, though quiet, time. She spent the evening either constructing various play areas with her favorite things of the moment, “cooking”, or trying to do what mama was doing. The cooking made me laugh because she used her lego blocks and scrap fabrics as her “food.” She cooked zucchini bread, beans, and had syrup to pour on it all from her tea kettle. She had an entire meal of “beans” ready for me to eat with her. I eventually heated up some leftover black bean soup and cornbread scones from earlier in the week and ate them on the floor with her. (Recipes from a Moosewood cookbook, yum.) The culmination of the evening, for me, was sitting on the floor with L4, turning a blanket I had just sewn the first stages of to its right-side. I was trimming around the many scallops of its edge and L4 decided that she wanted to cut fabric, too. Using the scissors one of her old “teachers” at school gave her, she sat next to me doing just that. I don’t know that her scissors actually did any cutting, but she enjoyed herself nonetheless.

As an aside, I’ve been having quite the interesting time trying to teach L4 how to say fabric correctly. She just can’t seem to get it. Instead it comes out something like fag&*t, much to my chagrin. Doubly so when we are in a fabric store and she shouts it at the top of her lungs! And what 2.5 year-old is going to use a quieter voice in a store when Mama asks and said little one thinks it is soooo funny to be loud? *sigh* At least she likes being at the fabric store, most of the time.

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This tale begins with me trying to be uber-mom for L3, without him even asking. This is red-ribbon week in the schools, and at his school they do a different theme for clothing every day this week. Today’s theme was, “wear as much red as you can!” Okay, then. L3 has a red t-shirt, no problem. I kept thinking, “It’s too bad he doesn’t have red pants.” Then I looked at the bottom of my sewing desk at 8pm last night to notice that I have some red fleece cut out for a pants pattern for L3, purchased at the end of August. (We won’t even talk about that!) Of course I thought, “Hey, I’ll make those for him tonight to surprise him in the morning!” (more…)

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Yesterday was our whirlwind trip to Rhinebeck for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. The weather was beautiful, the children were good, and there were so many things to see, smell, touch, hear, and taste! To see some of the sensory goodness, check out our Flikr folder with pictures from the day.

Before going I experienced a variety of emotions. When we first decided to go, I was excited. As the date came closer, I became less excited because I started thinking about what I was going to do there, what was the purpose of the trip? When I was reading people talk about the festival on Ravelry, it seemed like it was supposed to be one big shopping fest. Hmmm… how is that going to help me try to live more simply, reduce my consumerism? I’m going to take the 4+ hour drive (one-way) to buy more stuff? Do I really need anything? And I don’t spin, and that is a big focus of this festival (or so it seemed). Between those thoughts and other things going on in my life (see my “Drowning” post) I was less than excited as the day drew near.

But once we got there, I was happy to be there even if I don’t ever go again. I did do a little buying, some yarn to make holiday gifts for my in-laws. Other than that, we bought some sweet treats (fudge, and some vegan tasties) and some naturally made soap samples.

The kids loved all of the things to see and do. L3 was fascinated by all the spinning wheels. I think he stopped and watched every single one on which someone was working everytime we passed one. Of course he wanted to touch all of them, too! L4 loved all of the rabbits. The other animals made her nervous, at first, but eventually she enjoyed them all.

For me, seeing the sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas in the flesh was inspiring. First, I knew there were different kinds of sheep, but I didn’t realize the range of variety! Observing the animals, seeing some of them get “haircuts” and then seeing the fibers, the spinning, the weaving and, of course, the knitting, gave me a new appreciation for the fiber arts. So much energy is put into the entire process! A skein or ball of yarn is so much more than the its tactile softness or visual brightness, it has such a history of creation. All the more so when it is a handpainted or handspun yarn (or both!).

As I knit the gift socks out of the yarn purchased from the small, independent farms/vendors at the show, I think I’ll be more contemplative than usual. I didn’t just buy “stuff” this time. I purchased a whole chain of energy for this product, and am going to continue to add to its energy history before it reaches its final destination. It would be far easier and “cheaper” to simply buy socks for the intended recipients. But my own energy and intent would be lost, as well as something greater. I can’t quite articulate what I mean here, but perhaps you understand what I mean?

If you’re reading, Amy, I’m glad were were able to make the trip together!

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Words of wisdom, laughter, kindness.  Support beyond anything material.  To all the women in my life, thank you.  You’ve turned the tide for me today.

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