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Archive for July, 2008

Here We Go Again. . .

Looks like months beginning in “A” are good for this!

Buy Nothing Challenge - August 2008

L1 and I have been talking about doing this for ourselves again because we feel like we’ve been decadent (for us) of late. My birthday is this month, but it’s not like I’ll be buying anything for myself. I’ll post about what I’ve spent money on for the month of August rather than getting lost in the Sunday Confessionals at Crunchy Chicken’s blog. I already know we’ll probably have to buy some new shoes for the kids for fall, though maybe that we can wait, and some school supplies, too. Anything else we get besides the essentails will be used or made by me/us.

How many of you are going to try it this time? Come on, you know you want to do it!! Click on over and sign up!

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I haven’t done much sewing lately, though there are plans in the works for it. But with my kiddos around 24-7, it’s much easier to knit. Portable, easy to pick up and put down, and I can even do it while playing Sorry with L3. The most sewing I’m up to is hemming pants for my grandfather. Maybe I’ll sew during quiet time this week. Anyway, I wanted to show the knitterly among you (or even those who are knitter wannabes  among you (um, Inkwench?)) what I have been up to lately. There was a bit of a sneak peak of one project from the vacation post. I currently have 4 WIPs going on. Here they are:

  1. Apres Surf Hoodie (I’m calling it my yoga hoodie) from IK Summer 2008
  2. Emma’s Unmentionables from Knitty Spring 2008 for L4 (someday I’ll make the adult version for me!)
  3. Snicket Socks for KABs (her yarn, reknitting because she wasn’t digging the stockinette stitch sock she made for herself out of it. The yarn is delish!)
  4. February Lady Sweater as a KAL with KAB.

And the pictures of it all:
Summer 08 Knitting Mosaic

I know some people like to focus on one project at a time, but I like to be able to switch. Some are better for trips ’round town then others, and some are good for reading and knitting or talking and knitting and some just aren’t. The one most suitable for taking with me to book club this evening, L4’s Unmentionables, have a broken needle, courtesy of L1. He sat on it or something like that and it is cracked. We’re going to try and fix it, but if we can’t, I’ll need a new set of US 5s. Drat. While I knit I am daydreaming about when I’m going to wear the items for me, or watching L4 prance around in her little pants. Daydreaming–one of the little moments of bliss in a day filled with parenting and self challenges.

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First Tomatoes 2008 and more
Peas, zucchini, rapsberries, tomatoes–our garden is beginning to burgeon. The peas are on their last burst of production, but we’ll take them while we can. They’re a favorite of L4’s. She loves them from the vine, and she’ll even wander out to the garden on her own to pick some.

As I walk the garden paths, I am able to ignore the overgrown grass and focus on the sense of peace that comes over me when I am amongst all of that life. The insects, the soil, bird song, fruit on the vine — all surround me and fill my senses. It’s the one place that I want to weed. I get lost in the moments of watching it all change, sometimes daily, and then I also find myself thinking to the future, to next year’s garden and what I’d like to change or add or take away. It’s a balancing act between mindfulness and looking ahead. I find contentment in the fact that I am helping my family eat more locally and become a tiny bit more sustainable. I have grandiose thoughts of greenhouses and sharing or selling surpluses and all of the things that we’ll make and eat from my place of refuge.

In my head I have a kind of fantasy place to which I can escape, my special place, but I am also lucky enough to be able to walk into my backyard and find a sacred space as well. Time can be suspended as I search for a ripe strawberry or watch the bees dance over the borage and dip into a zucchini blossom. Do you have a place like this, real or imagined? If so, what is it like, what does it do for you?

All sensuality is one, though it takes many forms; all purity is one.

–from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

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This afternoon I was lucky enough to meet two new babies, including getting to hold them. I was also able to take them, via their lovely mothers, gifts to celebrate their lives. I thought I’d share them with you now!

First up is Mya’s bundle. Mya just came home from Vietnam last week with her mom Amy. We’ve been waiting over a year now for this wonderful event. Mya is happy and healthy and such a sweetie. She and Amy are a perfect match. IMG_5967 Amy’s family are big proponents of wind energy. To honor that I did a freezer paper stencil like those I did for my babes for a onesie for Mya as well as embroidering a wind turbine on a patchwork blanket for her. IMG_5966 I also did some other embroidery on the blanket inspired by Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray. The embroidered bits are my favorite parts of it, and the back, which is a vintage sheet with daisies, Miss Amy’s favorite flowers.
IMG_5961 IMG_5965 IMG_5959 IMG_5957
Sarah was the other baby I had the privilege of meeting today. Sarah is only a few weeks old, but was very calm and good natured and her mom, Kristen, also calm and laid back about being a new mom. IMG_5971Sarah’s bundle included a pair of baby booties knit from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristen Nicholas,IMG_5595 3 bibs from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Carole, IMG_5593 IMG_5594 and a bag inspired by a project in The Crafter’s Companion. IMG_5596

One last project–Don’t look Tara and Declan!!

My friend Tara’s little boy shares a birthday with L3. I worked my hands to the point of cracking to get the gift done in time to mail out for Dec’s first birthday… and then didn’t mail it. I’m a loser. But it will be mailed before the month is out!! Anyway, I have a tradition of making sweaters for baby’s first birthdays and despite the fact that Dec lives in South Carolina now, he’s getting one. I figure he’ll be able to wear it sometime in the fall and winter. Here is it:
Dec's Birthday Cardy
Cardigan Folded

Sweater Stats:

Pattern: Garter Cardigan from the above mentioned book, Knitting for Babies. As an aside, this was the first knitting book I ever purchased, way back when, and I still think it is a good book. I looked at it forever in the store before I’d let myself spend over $20 for a knitting book! Makes me chuckle now.

Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy in Fedora. This yarn is very soft, nice for knitting. I made L3’s birthday sweater out of it, too, in the exact same color. I figured the boys could share the yarn for their sweaters, though not the pattern. I’m using this yarn for one other project, in a different color. I’ll share all of the projects on the needles currently (yes, plural) later.

I made the sweater big, as I always do, in hopes that Dec will be able to wear it more than one time. I hope that works out–not I just have to mail it to him!

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With a long drive, summer 08 006 summer 08 008 summer 08 009

knitting, summer 08 007
and a stop at our favorite watering hole summer 08 013 summer 08 010
before heading to our friends’ home. Beach, berries, and more later!

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Lookie what I made for me:

Retro Ribs View 2 Retro Ribs View 1

This is the first pair of socks I have ever knit for myself. I’ve knit many pairs for other people, evidenced at our knitting flickr folder. It’s silly, really, because I have knit sweaters for myself (yes, plural) but not socks. Really now, socks take less yarn, time, and are much more portable for knitting on the go.

Stats on the Socks:

Pattern: Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn A. Clark

Yarn: Lornas Laces One of A Kind colorway (as in, can’t buy it!) gifted by Katy, read about it here.

Needles: US 2s

I like the way the pattern looks, but I probably wouldn’t make it again because it was boring. And I’m not a huge fan of having to knit through the back of the loop over and over again. That’s probably why my Cables and Os sweater has been on hold for so very long, despite how much I have done on it.

Other random life bits:

  • I bought two t-shirts for myself last night at Target. I haven’t purchased clothing for myself since last August.
  • I finally have harvested carrots that are proper carrots and not carrot-wannabes. The evidence:

First Carrot Harvest 2008

Aren’t they lovely?

  • We’re leaving for NH tomorrow. Visiting with good friends, the ocean, blueberries, UNO, a little bit of alcohol, lots of good eating, garden ogling, nostalgia for where we used to live… All of this is in store for us over the next few days. I’m sure we’ll get pictures, I just might not blog about it for a few days. Which, I suppose, isn’t that different from how I’ve been lately, which is a sporadic blogger. Our days fly past and before I know it, it’s been several and I haven’t done anything on here.
  • L3 got a zip line for his birthday. Oh, do I have some great pictures to share! Kim, can I post the pics of you?!?

Bumble in the Lavender

I love summer.

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Our Star Has Arrived….

That’s what L3’s birth announcement said 7 years ago. We called our baby “star” because we didn’t know if baby was a girl or boy. Star interfered with Mama’s plans for a pedicure before birth (it was a shower gift) by breaking the birth waters right after the prenatal massage (also part of the same shower gift–Thanks Mrs. R!) Despite that, Mama explained to Star how excited she was. Thirty-four hours later we met face to face and the world was changed for me forever. We have a Brian Andreas piece that was given to us when L3 was born just as we were given one for L4. L3’s picture says:

The first time his laughter unfurled its wings in the wind, we knew the world would never be the same.

L3 Mosaic

Our little star has shown himself to be dramatic, creative, wonderfully imaginative and smart. He is excited about so much and I love seeing the little details to which he pays attention and the ideas he tries to put into action. Though slow to talk as a baby, you wouldn’t know it now. Ask anyone who knows him!

This past winter Star was diagnosed with ADHD. We had suspected it for several years, but didn’t feel he was old enough to warrant too much concern. But now so much is explained and knowing this helps us help Star continue to shine, so far without medication. As he put it to me recently, “Mama, I want to be wild. I don’t want something that changes me.” We don’t want that either. Keep twinkling, my little star. Happy 7th Birthday.

***This post is late (though written on L3’s big day) due to the fact that L3 was a baby when we didn’t have a digital camera and therefore we had to scan pictures of his sweet little face. ***

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