This Moment

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Have a lovely weekend!


The Problem With Me

The problem with me is that I cast on project after project. I have all these great intentions. I start this project for that person and those things for someone else, oh, and a few little (or big) things for me. And before I know it, I am surrounded by knitting works in progress. Actually, the road to that realization is walked when I want to cast on another really great thing, and can’t find the needles that I need because they are busy… still.

The other problem with me is that this year I was supposed to be knitting for me. I declared this the Year of the Sweater. I bought my dream yarn and had it all figured out. This year was going to be all about me. Only, I don’t get as much pleasure knitting for me. I love knitting for my kids (who wear my creations proudly and shout out to anyone with ears, “My mama made this for me!”) and Christmas gifts and baby shower gifts. So, while I have knit myself two sweaters and cast on two more, I keep getting distracted with making things for other people (mostly my kids, but whatever).

And finally, another problem with me is that I feel guilty about all of this. I feel guilty when I start a new project if I haven’t finished something else first. I feel guilty that I haven’t worked on anything for me in a while (okay, that one is weird, but maybe you can understand?), and I feel guilty for feeling guilty.

Because here is the bottom line. I knit for fun. Where do all these “I should”s come from? What is the deal with the self imposed deadlines and restrictions? Am I really that crazy that I turn my hobby, my passion, my art into something to feel guilty over? No! I am not that crazy. I knit for fun and if fun is casting on to every needle I own and surrounding myself with half finished works of art, then by golly, I will cast on!

In celebration of this new found freedom, I am going to find a new project to start. I am going to sit with all my knitting bags full of works in progress and I am going to knit a new something. Carefree. Enthusiastically. With all my great intentions of finishing it. Someday. Maybe….

The Lace Saga Continues….

Look what I got in the mail today.

I have been wanting this book for some time, now. It is full of lovely things for someone, like me, who is addicted to lace knitting. It may be a little premature of me to invest in such a treasure trove of lace patterns. I mean, really. You’d think that I tread a little more cautiously after the beating that I took recently. Alas, the bruises (to my ego) are fading and I am back in lala land. I love lace. I knit lace. I can’t prove it just yet, but that will come. Is there anything in this book that is not knit worthy? I think not. The real question is which of them would look the best in Rubies Playing

I also got Rudyard Kiplings “The Jungle Books”, which is next on our school reading list.

And this gem:

Whatever your politics, if you love America – read this book. All it is (apart from a short introduction) is Lincoln’s famous speech (which is surprisingly short) accompanied by actual pictures from the war. This is a must read and I am so glad I bought it.

It’s Official – Chloe Was Born

California has a one year period in which to do it. It took me 350 days to get it done. Actually, it only took a week, but I put it off very nicely for 343 days. Without a midwife, I was on my own on this one. (the only disadvantage I see in having an unassisted birth) I had Emma’s done in the first 10 days, but for Chloe I put it off till the last minute (or at least the last month…). But, now it isn’t hanging over my head anymore. I did it. Chloe has a birth certificate. It’s official. She was born.

I suspected as much.

A Glutton for Punishment

I just got a real treat. Claudia Handpainted Silk…. in lace weight. Check it out:

After that lace kicked my butt last week, I am sure you thought I was finished. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I am just persistent. I did get two more rows done on Gold without a hitch. Two rows and I am back to my cocky self.
So, if you had 1100 yards of red silk laceweight, what would you make? I am open to suggestions.
Now, I am going to finish Gold before my bravado wears off!
Happy Knitting!


See what I did this weekend? A shrug for Emma:

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Whirligig Shrug in Unique Sheep Pima Petite Iris

She hasn’t taken it off (except for a very brief bath) since she put it on this afternoon, and she just went to bed with it on. I guess that means she likes it. Success.

There is something so irrisistable about knitting for the little ones. I have on my needles three projects for me, one for my sister and a few I haven’t worked on in so long that they don’t even count as works in progress… but this? This is just so fun! I have four girls and now each of them wants one. (Well, Chloe would want one if she was old enough to ask…) Looks like my weeks knitting is all planned out!

And, this yarn is so beautiful! I used it to make my shawl recently and I wasn’t that impressed. I kept thinking that I could have saved a ton of money and got just as nice a shawl. Perhaps I was not using it to it’s best advantage. This shrug shows off its rich color, the shine gives lovely stitch definition and it is machine washable. I take back what I said about it not being worth the price. It so totally is. I will definitly be buying more. Especially since I don’t have enough to make Abby a shrug….

Making New Friends

Sometime ago, I read something by the Yarn Harlot that really made a lot of sense to me. I wish I could find it to link to it because I know that I can’t say it as well as she did, but I will try.

Knitting is a powerful common bond. If knitting is the only thing you have in common with someone, it is enough. I have learned this since I started this blog just a few months ago. I have made many wonderful friends in cyberspace. Friends who differ from me politically, religiously, professionally. Some of these people have nothing in common with me except a love of yarn. These are not people I would pick out in a room and say, “that one. I want to be friends with that one.” And, unless he/she whipped out a current WIP, I would never say more than a polite “hello”. But, here, on the web, where we all wave around our WIPs bravely and proudly, suddenly I am surrounded by fabolous people who enrich my life daily. I am challenged by our differences and encouraged by our similarities. I love these new friends. I love the debates that come up. I love the way they expose me to other points of view that I would never have otherwise been exposed to.

This weekend I updated the links on my sidebar to reflect the growing number of friends I have made. Please check some of them out. We all knit. Somehow, that seems to be enough to unite us. Enjoy!

Humbled by Lace

A few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I even went so far as to brag on this very blog about my cunning knitting skills. I said that knitting cables makes me feel smart and clever. I showed off a panel I had just magically produced with two sticks and some string.

Then, I tried lace. I had tried it before. At the bottom of my small stash there sits two very sad and forgotten projects. Their needles have been brutally ripped from their unsalvagable tangles and they have been left all alone to unravel as they please. Bad lace! Bad! But, I was feeling so cocky because of those cables. So, I pulled out a new skein of Madelinetosh Prairie (that I bought because it was a.) on sale, b.) a great color and c.) Madelinetosh) and cast on a shawlette I had been eyeing for some time.

I was trucking along, Jack. Feeling great. Row by gorgeous row, a shawlette was growing in my lap. I stopped often to stretch it out so I could see better how it would look after a good blocking. I rubbed it’s lucious merino-ness against my cheek from time to time just because. I mentioned it liberally on my blog. I was beginning to think of myself as a real lace knitter. Imagine that.

Then, last night, my lace struck back. They say pride goes before a fall, and boy! did I fall. Thank heavens I had a lifeline to catch me! In the space of two hours I accomplished two rows. Apparently, I can’t count to 17 very well. Or maybe the lace was playing an awful trick on me. I don’t know.

This isn’t the end. I will be back. I intend to finish that shawlette and wear it and know that I can knit lace. I intend to make many lacy projects and buy more lace-weight yarn. Lace, you haven’t heard the last of me!

But, maybe not today. Today is a good day for stockinette.

Election Day, a Mermaid, and a Sleeping Beauty

In trying to raise good citizens of this great country of ours, we like to do a few things with our kids when election day rolls around. Yesterday we had a primary election here. I usually keep up with canidates and issues, but have slacked off recently, so I spent a good part of the afternoon researching how to vote and for whom. In this stage of the game, the kids were outside playing. But, when Marc got home, the discussion began. I with my research, he with his wisdom and the kids with their little sponge-brains, soaking up every word. We openly discussed each item on the ballot, and the kids were willing listeners wandering in and out of the conversation. In the end, we had our sample ballots filled in and our minds made up. Even little Beka knew who she would vote for (that would be “Abraham Lincoln. I don’t care if he is dead!” she stated emphatically).

Off we headed to the polling place, my husband, five children and I. We marched into that place and split up, Marc with a few kids and me with a few. Beka watched me as I carefully filled in the little ovals. Noah inserted my ballot into the machine that whoosh! sucked it up like a vacuum. Very exciting. The kids were given stickers like this one:

and Emma tried to put hers on the toe cap of her shoe (she is nearly three years old. We can’t be expected to understand some things….). Off we headed for the really great part of our family voting tradition – a treat. Each kid is allowed to pick out any candy at the drug store on election day. (In our house, this comes very rarely, so it is a very special treat indeed.) In this way we hope to teach them that doing their civic duty is sweet. Ha!

These are the moments in a homeschooling mom’s life that make her feel like she might be doing an okay job after all.

And, so that I don’t loose all my knitting readers, here is Mermaid so far.

After frogging the lower edge, I knit until I had added one more complete repeat of the cable and then started the rib (which I am changing to a 4×2 instead of the 5×1 it called for. The 5×1 seemed to roll a bit on the first take, and though I would have been willing to try blocking it out, now that I have ripped and re-knit once, I just don’t think I could bear doing it again. Here’s hoping a 4×2 rib will be okay!) Just three more rows and then I can think about sleeves. Funny how this is always the time in a sweaters construction that I seriously start thinking to myself, “I could use a really thick, wool t-shirt…” Yeah right! I live in Central California for crying out loud! Either I’ve gotta move, or I need to change my attitude toward knitting sleeves!

I guess all that responsible citizen stuff can get pretty tiring.

A Few Thoughts, Randomly

Since I have a lot of ideas, but none of them interesting or long enough to blog about, I will just list them in no particular order.

1. Do you ever look at one of your kids and realize (in a sudden and jarring moment) that he/she is growing up too fast? I did that yesterday with my Beka. She just lost her first two teeth this week. Where did her baby cheeks go? When did her hair get so long and full? This mother-of-young-children thing is going waaaaaaaaay too fast.

2. I knit the collar onto Mermaid, tried it on and wanted to weep. Weep for happiness that this genius collar design looks so good. Weep for frustration when I realized that my torso is about 5 inches longer than I seemingly believed. Ripped back lower edge and resumed knitting. (At least this means I didn’t have to start the sleeves yet. I don’t know why, but I hate knitting sleeves.)

3. It is hard to find good, wholesome, interesting books for my enthusiastic readers. I found a gem recently that I just must share. “The Melendy Quartet” is a lovely four book series that we are enjoying very much. We read a chapter a night, and have been doing so for all the kids lives…. That is over 3000 nights! We have read the greats several times through – Little House on the Prairie books, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. This little series goes into that category. We will definitely be reading it through again.

4. Four years ago we moved into a barn on my grandparents land. Since then, we have been slowly turning it into a house. The big deal, so far, has been that the stairs to get to the second floor are outside. Inconvenient, you think? Well, yesterday, my wonderful, fabulous, awesome husband cut the hole in the ceiling where the inside stairs will be. I am a happy woman!

5. Because my husband has Mondays off, Tuesday is our Monday. So, I am about to start my week. Wish me luck. Hope yours is great too. 🙂