Diapering Chloe

When I got pregnant with Chloe, I thought to myself, “Self, you really should make new diapers for this new baby. Emma’s diapers are old and used.” And, I agreed with myself. I even bought fabric for the new diapers. And, if I remember right, I did make newborn sized diapers. But, I got busy and Emma’s diapers really weren’t all that bad, so I put it off. Until now. Well, until last week, when I was hanging out those old diapers and I realized that there were more holes than diapers!

So, yesterday, I began cutting, assembling and sewing a new set of diapers for Chloe. I was pleased to find that I had some already cut out, and further pleased to find that most of the fabric was girly.

I had lots of help. From the kids who “helped use up the scraps” making wash cloths for their dolls, to the lap warmer who watched intently as I sewed.

She was so cute, I couldn’t bear to put her down, even though she made it really hard to sew!

Some thoughts on this project –

There is a reason I have chosen knitting as my hobby. Sewing is loud, messy and tons of work. It is also a commitment. I turn into some crazy sewing fiend once I get it all set up. “I must sew everything that needs to be sewn right now while I have the machine out!” Where as, when knitting, I can set it down and live normally when ever it is required of me to do so.

I used to balk at the high prices of cloth diapers. When I was buying them I spent between $6 and $12 per diaper, depending on brand and style. That seemed to me to be a high price to pay for something that absorbs urine. However, once I started making my own, I totally changed my mind.

Tons of work aside, I still love making and using cloth diapers. I love the way they look on the changing table. I love hanging them on the line to dry. I love knitting the little covers with beautiful wool yarns.

And, I love putting them on my little girl. I feel like a good mom, like I am doing something right.

Plan the UnSchool

I was happily knitting away on my Wispy Cardi yesterday (a knitting project to which I am feeling strangely monogamous), with kids running hither and thither, when, out of the blue, Marc asks me, “When are you going to start school?”

Oh, shoot! I had forgotten about school! Well, not forgotten really. But, is it just me, or did the summer just fly by? So, last night, I did some serious thinking and planning…. and internet shopping. Now I am really excited to get started!  (which won’t be until the second week of September….)

As you know, I claim to be an unschooler, which is mostly true. But, unlike the media reports about crazy unschoolers you may have heard, I actually plan out my unschooling and take a very thoughtful approach. This is how I intend to operate this little unschool in the foothills:

amblesideonline.org – We are on year four of this incredibly wonderful curriculum. Being unschoolers, we don’t follow the 36 week schedule, but we read nearly every book on the reading list throughout the year. I cannot reccomend this reading list enough. We have read most of the books for years 1, 2 and 3 and have loved 98% of them!

Making Math Meaningful – this is a fairly new addition to our program. Last year, I saw some gaps in our education when it came to mathematics. Some of the older kids had hit a plateau and it was time to get help. I picked Making Math Meaningful after reading their website and downloading some sample pages. I love the philosophy behind the books, which is, in short, that math shouldn’t be a memorization thing, but rather a concept thing. If a child understands why 2+2=4, then they won’t have to memorize it. The lessons are short, the concepts are well presented and we spent last year enjoying math. (I really thought that was impossible, but I was wrong!) I am excited to get the books for the other kids, now that I know that we will use them.

Foreign Language – Last year we started learning American Sign Language as our “foreign language”. I can’t believe how fast the kids picked it up and how much we all have enjoyed learning and using it. We used “Signing Time” videos last year, and have exhausted our library’s meager inventory of them. The complete set from the website is a little out of budget, so this is one thing I am not sure on. I really want to keep the kids going on this, but don’t know which direction to go. I know that I want to continue to use videos. I will have to pray about this one.

Of course we also have knitting, crocheting, cooking, living, playing and loving on the schedule. Plus, Noah is dismantling an old motor, Abby and Beka are taking piano lessons and Emma is learning her ABC’s. Then there is chess group at the library, taking care of the farm, helping Papa with home improvement projects, drawing, painting, clay, beads…..

There. Settled. I feel better. Now, for a little respite with my current passion –

The Attention Span of a …. Ooo, Chocolate!

So, after trying all weekend to get my wips under submission, I have come to realize something:

I lost a pregnancy and a grandparent in the last month, plus,

I have a really hard time focussing on any one project in the best of times, let alone in a difficult time (such as this), plus,

I am more than halfway done with my checklist. Therefore,

I think that I have done pretty well with this little challenge and I hereby declare myself free to cast on something new! (insert crowd cheering sound effect here)

While, I didn’t quite complete the entire challenge, I did cut down from nine wips to five and made great progress (at least one ball) on most of those five. Besides, when the stash starts sending SOS signals, you know it is time to cast on a new project! But, not before I revel for a moment in the satisfaction of finishing some of those goals.

1. Work one skein of yarn on each of the three large projects – I worked two skeins on one, one skein on the second, and didn’t even look at the third (which ended up being put into hibernation on Ravelry to make me feel better. I don’t know if it is working…).

2. Frog the junk – check. I even found and frogged two other projects that I hadn’t even counted!

3. Finish the little gifts – Oh, I have plenty of time.

4. Decide whether or not to finish Icarus frogged. See #2

5. And, finally, get Celandine to mundane mode – I did three more medalions. Not quite there, but some progress was made. Plus, I sewed together the medalions that were finished and blocked.

And now, the Malabrigo Lace (that I totally adore by the way) is destined to become a Wispy Cardigan, and by golly, that is what it will be!

Ahhhhhh. That feels better.

PS I love you

While recently looking through my stash (I was just looking, mind you! I will finish my checklist! I haven’t made any progress since I last wrote about it, but I haven’t cheated, either….yet), I came upon a crumpled love letter addressed to me. This is what it said:

Darling Shelly,

Hi. Remember me? I haven’t seen you around in awhile and so I decided to write and tell you how I miss you.

I was so excited when you chose me to come home to live in your stash. You fondled my soft, merino strands and gazed at me with such adoring eyes. You thrilled me with promises of all that I would become in your able hands. When you placed me at the top of the stash, I knew it was temporary. I sat there and reveled in your stolen glances and the way you would come pet me from time to time. I understood then that you had to finish a few things before we could be together. I was willing to be patient and I knew that you would be back for me soon.

But, I am starting to wonder if those dreams we shared were nothing more than empty infatuation. Have I done something to offend? Did you replace me with some other yarn? Do you even remember my name?

Come back to me, Knitter, dear! Come back and let us find the project that will fulfill us both. I want to glide through your fingers and experience my destiny with you. Put down all those sad wips that drag you down and bore you to tears. I can make you happy, I know I can.

Love Always

Malabrigo Lace

PS – I love you

Now, Friends, tell me truly – how can I resist any longer?