Yes, That is My Daughter

I have to brag on my daughter, Beka, yet again. The child who learned to knit the other day is making wonderful progress on her scarf.

Garter stitch scarf in Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky Pink Candy (I know, cheap and nasty acrylic. What can I say? The pretty colors are all that matters to my girl. We’ll get her some good yarn for her next project… ) I have knit maybe 25% of this and she has only lost one stitch, so far. (I don’t know where it went. We cast on 12 and now there are only 11. Hmmmm)

I, on the other hand, got a terrible case of startitis and have started this

Aeolian Shawl in Madelintosh Prairie Nutmeg (I hear you saying,”You barely made any progress on that”. But if you count all the stitches I frogged before I remembered to place a lifeline, you’d see that I have accomplished quite a lot!)

and this

Swatching for a new shawl design. I call it Hug. It is a new design I am working on in Dream in Color Classy Wisterious

and this

A sweater for “Jo-jo” in Knit Picks Cadena Cranberry (Emma picked out the button).

Fortunately, I also happened to finish that last one. Doll clothes are fun to design and fast to knit!


A Beginning and an End

Life has a beginning and an end. Only God knows how many days will be in between.

Sometimes, there are many. My great-grandmother died last month after ninety seven years. Her life was a blessing to so many and her passing was a cause for celebration. She had been waiting to trade in her old body for her new one. Widowed for ten years, Grandma longed to see Jesus and her husband. Though we will miss her, her ending brought joy.

Sometimes there are few. A long time friend of mine is carrying a dead child in her womb. A tiny baby that had never drawn a breath, already taken to heaven. An ending before a beginning. And we are overwhelmed with sorrow. It makes great sobs rise up into my throat just to think of it.

Cliches sound so hollow, but they carry meaning for me tonight. Count your blessings. Live each day as if it were your last.

And, I know that there are many wonderful women of God who visit my blog. Next time you pray, would you please remember my friend. May God comfort her through this ordeal.


My philosophy of education is that children will learn what they are curious about. I can spend all day pounding information into their heads in vain, just to have them memorize something random from a book they picked out at the library. I never sit a kid down and teach them to read, yet, so far, my kids have all learned to read at early ages. I don’t have any science text books, yet my kids know all about plants, animals, space, and how to make great cookies. My homeschooling style is very relaxed, natural and curiousity based. You want to know? Let’s find out together. I realize that this means I may get a kid who doesn’t read till he/she is 12 or doesn’t understand math concepts till in his/her teens. I am okay with that. My goal is to instill in my kids inquisitive minds and give them the tools they need to find the answers their many questions about the world around them. I teach them to live a life of learning, and to love it.

So, I don’t know what I was thinking last year when I decided the kids needed to learn how to knit. I had read lovely stories about teaching small children to knit. I had visions dancing in my head of sitting in the living room, each child busily knitting on some creative endeavor while I cast on some masterpiece of my own. We would be sipping something hot as snow lazily drifted to the ground outside the frosty window, listening quietly to a radio drama while my husband smoked a pipe by the roaring fire…. Yeah, I know. Crazy.

Before I could recover from my insanity, I had already bought needles, knitting bags and yarn, and made an excellent plan. Then the kids told me they didn’t want to learn how to knit. Weren’t interested in it at all. AT ALL. Weird. I don’t know how anyone could not be interested in knitting. But, okay. I told myself that I could live with that. And I have. Then, today, oh today. The angels sang!

Beka wants to learn to knit. She tells me knitting is going to be her hobby. She watches me raptly as I cast on and knit the first row. She sits in my lap, sweet angel that she is, and she repeats with me, “In, wrap, pull through, pull off.” (I can never remember the verse that is supposed to be used in such situations, and I didn’t want to let the moment pass while I looked it up!) After two rows she said, “Okay, Mama. I can do it. You can go knit your thing, now.” Taking the needles in her hands and moving to sit next to me, that child, that genius of a child, knit a row all by herself!

And then another.

She was having so much fun, Emma joined her.

Oh, happy day! (Emma just made knots and split the heck out of the yarn, but look at that smile!)

Working Magic

Whenever I feel dull or dim-witted all I have to do is knit a few cables. It makes me feel clever, even though it is easy. And I love to work my magic with sticks and string and feel so smart, even though a first grader could do it. Then, if I really need a pick-me-up, I cross the cables without a cable needle. Then I am a hero and a conquerer and I can take on the world. That is my cure. Cables. Observe:

Cable and Rib Cardigan in Knit Picks Cotlin Coffee

Back to Knitting

My burn is healing up fairly well, but I still have to be careful not to burst the blisters between my thumb and finger. Here is what I did when my super-power was returned to me:

My cousin gave birth to twins in March and she requested these little elf hats. They won’t fit the boys tiny little premie heads for a few months, but that should be about when it gets cold enough to wear them, so it should work out just fine. Chloe really didn’t want to model this for me, so that was the best I could do picture-wise. They really did turn out darling!

Babies are just too much fun to knit for!

A Knitting Break, Oh My!

Every once in a while, I fantasize about a really great injury. A broken toe, maybe, or a sprained ankle. Nothing serious, mind you. Just a great excuse to lay around and knit, knit, knit. This is not that dream.

Yesterday, I burned my hand pretty bad.

I can barely type, and the mouse is difficult to manuever, but I can still fold laundry and cook dinner. And, though it is difficult to accomplish, I can still change diapers. But, horror of horrors, I can’t knit!

Heaven help us all!

The Tooth Fairy is a Bum

When my eldest daughter lost her first tooth, we put it under her pillow full of anticipation and excitement. Then, I waited and watched. “Is she asleep, yet?” Finally, she fell asleep and I crept in stealthily to make the switch. In the morning, she woke early, like Christmas morning or her birthday. “Mama!” she cried, jumping on my still sleeping form. “I got a dollar!” And her toothless grin delighted me to no end. The second tooth was similar. And when my son started loosing his teeth, we went through all the drama again. I got to be the tooth fairy. Several times. Now she is ten. She knows it is me. She knows that after she falls asleep, I sneak in and take her nasty tooth, replacing it with a dollar. The magic is gone. Now, it is just a cash cow.

So, yesterday, Abby lost another tooth. “Let’s just put it on the counter to make it easier for the tooth fairy,” I suggested, laughing. She laughed too and shot me a knowing look. “Okay” And there the tooth sat. All night long. This morning, I even made breakfast, drank a cup of coffee and nursed the baby without seeing the wretched thing. Abby brought it to me, a sparkle in her eye. “We even made it easier on her, and she still forgot.” She said, as she handed me the tooth. “I’ll get you a dollar in a minute,” I said, winning the “Worst Mother of the Year” award. “I make a pretty lousy mom, don’t I?”

“No” replied Abby, sweetly, “Your the best mom in the world.”

But we agree that the tooth fairy is a bum.

The Year of the Sweater Continues….

So, a knitting update.

The goal:

Knit 7 me-sized sweaters before the end of next winter.

The sweaters:

Sweater #1 – “Pink” (Top-Down Vine Lace Cardigan in Malabrigo Chunky) status: DONE

Sweater #2- “Chai” (Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelintosh Tosh Merino) status: DONE

Sweater #3 – “Vera” (Shawl Collared Cardigan in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes) status:

This sweater has been bad. Though I counted twice, I have three extra stitches on the left front. Debate over what to do keeps me awake at night. What’s three stitches? I ask myself. Well, in this case, three stitches is about 3/4 of an inch. Does it matter? There is a huge shawl collar yet to knit that will cover a multitude of sins… To frog means tearing back too far to think about without a glass of wine. I want to continue, but I am paralyzed by this conundrum. So, there it sits, looking very color-coordinated in it’s bag, waiting on me to make up my mind and proceed.

In the meantime, there is…

Sweater #4 – “Mermaid” (Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy) status:

I am loving knitting this. (Bad grammar, I know. But I am loving knitting this so much that I don’t care!) The picture doesn’t fully capture the color. It is raining today, so the lighting is bad. There are six cable crossings down the front of each side and I am almost to the fourth one. My skeins of yarn seem slightly varied from each other, so I am knitting from two balls at a time, alternating every two rows to blend them. It is a new technique for me, so that makes it interesting. And, it is also beautifully color-coordintaed with the knitting bag. (I love when that happens!)

This is an excellent pattern, by the way. Very consice and not too wordy. I hate when patterns take up ten pages describing every row, so this was fun for me. You do have to pay attention, though. At one point there are three things going on in the row with only a line or two of instruction to guide you. A lovely challenge. And, knitting from the top down is always fun. I like trying it on as I go and wearing out my husband, “Look! Another inch! Isn’t it turning out wonderfully!?!?”

Sweaters numbered 5,6, and 7 – are, in any order, Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace, Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo, and Tissue Cardigan in Knit Picks Shimmer. status : don’t even think about casting on till you finish one of your other projects!

I wish this was a better picture. These “mondo cables” are really cool!

Open Letter to the Local Deer Population

Dear Deer,

I must inform you that, this year, the garden I have planted is intended for human consumption only. I know you have been looking forward to the garden buffet that you have enjoyed here in years past. Last years tomato smorgasborg was heavenly, I know. (Actually, I don’t know, since you left so little for me…) But, this year I am publicly asking you to stay away. Please let the gophers know that this goes for them, too.



And here is a kitten update:
Two kitties survived, are thriving, and have been welcomed into the family. Observe some cuteness below: