Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sweater for The Youngest

Last week The Hubby and I went on a vacation by ourselves. For the first time since 2010. Pictures to follow in a separate post (for the family, you know).
We spent a week in Manhattan and it was tons of fun.
We hit the usual sights: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Purl Soho.
OK, that last one was just for me, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit one of my favorite online haunts.
I had to snag a little Liberty of London and a couple of balls of Tosh Merino to make some back to school items.
Since we spent so much time on buses, ubers, trains and just walking around, I got a really good start on a sweater for The Youngest.
By Saturday morning I finally took a photo of my lovely purchases,

and by yesterday evening I had a sweet little sweater.

The pattern is Cascade from a 2010 issue of Petite Purls. I loved the leaf design, but I am not loving th gap at the bottom edge. I think I will make a little patch for that tonight.
What's on your needles lately?

Friday, August 12, 2016

My Motto

I have a problem, it is of a deep and personal nature.
I am a procrastinator.
Usually my procrastination comes in the form of finding some big project to do in lieu of my actual tasks.
Sometimes it is as simple as winding a ball of yarn instead of folding the laundry

Other times it gets real big real fast like the way I was going to clear off my sewing table for a small thing and ended up organizing the pantry, clearing out 4 garbage bags of crap from my sewing room and making an entire outfit for The Youngest's first day of school (more on that later) rather than get ready for the trip we are taking soon.

 The dress is the Birthday Party dress from Oliver + S and I made some matching shorts his morning.
Choosing buttons was a bit of a challenge. I didn't have just the right tone of aqua to match the dress, but I did have a rabbit and it seemed like the perfect choice.
Going through my button collection I found a bunch of lovely molded plastic buttons. The back of the dress has six buttons and I alternated plain and fancy all the way down.

My motto has always been - 
Time spent creatively is never wasted.

However, it does put a cramp in trying to pack.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Quick Sweater (and Maybe One More)

The hubby and I are going on a long-awaited vacation in a bit and so, of course, I needed some traveling clothes.
At the world's best fabric shop I grabbed up some Nani Iro double knit in a fantastic blue. I traced a pattern from a tank top I like to wear, and since it was the Democratic National Convention and I didn't want to miss any of the speeches, I sewed it by hand on the couch.
Then I remembered the need in my wardrobe for a cardigan.
Last fall I went a little nuts and bought a bunch of wrap sari skirts from Darn Good Yarn. The colors of these skirts are wonderful and you can wear them in lots of ways, including a few different dress styles. The only downside is that they are a little revealing of the upper back as a dress and as I burn easily in the sun I wanted to have a cardigan I could throw on over top.
I dug through my library of knitting books (dramatically reduced since our pre-move cull) and found this beauty I had been thinking about for years.

As I can't just follow a pattern, and since I was teaching a sewing camp all week anyway and couldn't be bothered with bringing along the book, I made a modification here and there. The end result was just as I had envisioned.

I knew it had to have pockets, so I made a couple of squares and added the leaf motif from the sleeves.
(Try saying "sleeve leaf motif" three times fast)
I am happy I finally found a project for these lovely buttons from Jennie the Potter, which justifies their purchase 4-5 years ago.
The yarn is Nashua Creative Focus Linen, a cotton/linen blend I got on sale a couple years ago at the local yarn emporium.
I enjoyed using it in general, though I am not completely happy with the floppy nature of the pocket bind off. I should have used a smaller needle. I didn't really notice it until I had sewed them on to the sweater, so I may follow up with a crochet edge to give it some stability or just leave it and remember it's not going to be judged at the state fair or anything.
This sweater used up much less yarn than I anticipated, and I may start in on a second one using this pile of excitement.
I didn't think I had enough here for a sweater given the amplitude of my bosom, but I may yet.
In closing, and on a completely unrelated note, thank you to the Rio Olympics for reminding me to listen to my favorite album of Antonio Carlos Jobim's: Elis and Tom. Please just listen to Águas de Março. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Friday, July 15, 2016

To the Woods

A quick trip to the riverside this afternoon, before the mosquitoes took away too much of our vital essence. 

 These three human people are my best.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

an unthinkable week

In the last 6 days we have seen the bloody evidence of our racist history and present culture play out live on our phones and televisions.
Inevitably there come the voices saying "well..."
If he hadn't moved suddenly, if he hadn't been carrying a weapon, if he hadn't been selling loose cigarettes or cds, if he had been more respectful, if, if, if.
People, and mostly white people if the truth be known, seem to look for any excuse to justify these killings because it makes them uncomfortable to think that it is about race.
I don't have any magic words of healing, but I do know that I can send my child out to play with the neighbor kids without fear.
I can let him walk to the grocery store in our neighborhood and my biggest worry is the traffic as he crosses the street.
There are millions of American mothers and fathers who live with a constant dread of harassment, violence and possibly death for themselves and their children for no other reason than the skin they're in.
The contrast between my life and the lives of these countless others is unfair.
It is tragic.
It is cruel.
I grieve for these men.
I grieve for their families.
I weep when I think of the 4-year-old baby girl and her mother who watched a good man killed in his own car, still wearing his seatbelt.
I weep when I think of the wife and children of a man who will never come home because instead of getting a ticket for an unlawful act he was publicly executed.
I weep for the the lives of 5 police officers taken as they did their duty to protect and serve the people who rose up to say no more.
My tears are not enough.
We need to work, those of us who are given this unearned privilege of safety and comfort.
We need to work to stop racist behavior when we see it.
We need to work to stop discrimination.
We need to work to stop the violence.
We need to speak the names of the dead (this link is 2 years old and since then we have had more senseless killing, more and more lives destroyed) with reverence and a hope that more will not join this list.
We need to show up.

Philando Castile lived in my hometown.
He worked at the elementary school I attended as a child.
My neighbors and the children of my friends knew and loved him.
He made the lives of people around him better.
He is America. He is all of us. He is gone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


I have about 3 and a half squares left on this blanket and then a border. Tomorrow and Thursday I will spend most of my time riding a bus to and from Chicago (I live in Saint Paul, so that's a good 12-14 hours of bus time) and I want to get the squares finished today so I can knit the border while I am riding. Sewing tiny squares and weaving ends are not activities that lend themselves to sitting in a bus seat.
If you're in the Chicago area come to Ravinia tomorrow and hear the stunning Rachmaninoff Vespers. I'll be in the front row singing away.
What's on your agenda this week?
Joining Nicole for KCCO.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Bon Bon Day

First of all, thank you for your kind comments about the teensy sweater and hat!
You all know the stereotype of the stay at home mom: Sitting on the couch, watching trashy tv and eating bonbons.
Well, today was a bit of a bon bon day, if I do say so.
I burned through two bbc miniseries: Arthur and George and The Widower, ate chips and drank cherry coke.

I did have an ultimate goal, which was to organize (to some extent) my collection of fingering yarn stash.

As there is still one more baby brewing in my extended circle, I thought I would make another sweater, but the colors weren't working for me and I ripped it out.
Time to take stock. I found so many bits of old favorite projects and projects half-begun and projects never begun.
 What I realized was that I had the makings of a sweet little blanket here.
I sorted out the ones I liked best and dove in.
Now, here I am, on my third square and feeling great about ripping out the sweater.
I may add in a square or two with the bee motif just because I think it's charming.
Just goes to show that if you have been knitting long enough the stash will provide.