Thursday, August 30, 2007


Tonight at my son's first official soccer league practice, I had a spare moment to pull out some knitting (the Cobblestone pullover that I had to cast on the other night, even tho my pink Berlin sweater is nearly finished and I have been so diligent about not casting on any other projects). Not three stitches in, 2 very friendly women nearly pounced on me to see what I was knitting. So fun! We talked knitting the rest of the practice. As it turns out, the two are sisters from South Africa whose mother is an award-winning knitter of the most complex kind. One sister, Louise, loves Kaffe Fassett and has completed many of his patterns. The other, Caroline, is more of a beginner but was inspired by our conversation to sign up for the class I take at my LYS. They both love Rowan and fine yarns and said that their mother could stock a store with her yarn room. I am so excited about spending more time with these delightful women at future soccer practices and games (now that it's a league, we have soccer two days a week)

Thanks for the kind comments on the beaded bridal bag. I am so darn proud of that bag!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ta Da!

Finally, I am unveiling the beaded bridal bag that I knit for my sister-in-law. I am more proud of this bag than anything else I've made; although this was not the most-difficult project I've ever knit, it was the most laborious, enjoying, and completely dazzling thing I've ever done. The pictures cannot do it justice, but here they are.

First, the lining. What a royal pain this was! I had to do it twice because the first time, I used a nice trim that ended up making the lining to thick and the clasp wouldn't snap. So I did a simple machine stitch and it is just fine:

The handle was the only part I didn't do myself. I was going to use a chain but couldn't find one that matched the vintage look of the purse frame. I had an experienced beader do whatever she wanted, and she did a wonderful job:

Did I mention that my kid was the ring bearer? He did a great job and was absolutely adorable. I was sure that he'd cartwheel down the aisle or toss the ringbearer pillow up in the air. Instead, he walked nicely down with a great smile, not too fast and not too slow, and went straight to the groom to hand him the pillow. Precious. Halfway through the ceremony, he was heard by all as he asked, "Are they married yet?" He was perfect.

So here is the entire purse in various poses:

The frame is lovely. A replica of a vintage frame, I chose it for the hearts embossed in it:

By the end of the night, the ring bearer collapsed on the floor and put his pillow to good use:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oh Mexico

So Rob had to go to Mexico for work. Not anywhere exciting, just an industrial town near Mexico City. I asked him to please get me some yarn while he was there.

I never considered how difficult this might be. I did look online for yarn stores in Mexico and didn't find any. But I took that as more an indication of the Internet's inadequacies rather than an indication of how challenging it might be to find a yarn store in a small industrial Mexican town. I guess it didn't occur to me that most of his co-workers would be men and that they wouldn't also be knitters.

Diligent husband that he is, Rob asked around for a yarn store. It was probably as painful as if I had asked him to bring me home some Mexican tampons. He had to ask a lot of people, and none of them knew what he was talking about. Finally, the boss of the guy he was there to work with offered to send his wife to the market to see what she could come up with. Here's what she found:

I don't know how much it cost or what the yardage is. I am thrilled with this unique souvenir. It is soft and minimally-processed. It's still full of lanolin and has plenty of bits of straw and whatnot mixed in:

I'm not sure yet if I will dye it or felt it or just keep it in my Southern Living Gail Pittman bowl forever =) I do think I'll be sending a nice thank you gift of (maybe the Swallowtail Shawl!) something knitted to the woman who shopped for me.

(I really did cringe at how my husband relayed the painfulness of trying to find the yarn.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

A diversion

So the pink sweater is coming along, but after binding off one sleeve and seeing the mistake and knowing I had to rip out 6 inches, I decided to take a break. I came across a cute little burp cloth that I had started for a baby who's now old enough to hold down his breakfast, and decided to convert it into a dish towel. Then I made a matching wash cloth. (I really know how to avoid ripping out hard work!) The pattern is from the Mason-Dixon book, and the yarn is from a huge cone of Peaches & Cream:

After finishing these, I cast on the other sleeve, finished it, then ripped back the other sleeve and started making some progress. I just needed a little diversion!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What a difference a year makes!

One year ago today, my sweet little baby was not quite 7 months old. At 6 in the morning, Rob and I and handed off our precious little one to a very nice anesthesiologist with an English accent at the Mott's Children's Hospital of U-M. We spent the rest of the day anxiously waiting for reports from a pediatric neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon. By 5:00 that evening, our son was in the surgical recovery room receiving a pint of blood and IV morphine. He looked like this and I didn't recognize him at first:

A week later, we all came home from the hospital. The swelling gradually went down, the stitches dissolved, the hair grew back... and we recovered. It probably took this entire year for me to feel OK again. I still get a real sick feeling whenever he bonks his head on something, so maybe I'm not fully recovered. Still, I know that the experience of having a major surgery (a craniectomy - skull reconstruction - to repair a fused sagittal suture, a condition called craniosynostosis) on my babe traumatized me while simultaneously proving my good fortune. That his condition could be treated, that we had access to the best specialists in the world, that we had insurance to pay for much of it, that we all walked out of there with little more than a few months of night terrors... I cannot believe how lucky we are. And how awful that was to go through. And how much I love my kiddos.

My biggest complaint today is that I don't have enough time to knit. I've got nothing to complain about and so much more than so many others in this country and the world. I think I better go knit some hats for some preemies!

Here's what Jackson looks like today, with his older brother:

Someone please smack me the next time I bitch about how hard it is to take care of these two beautiful human beings who love me more than the air they breathe.