I finished my son's latest sweater and am pleased to report he loves it, has already worn it and the neck worked out just fine and dandy. I can not remember the yarn I used but here is the link to the pattern: Children's Neck Down Pullover and I can tell you that the whole piece knit up in a few hours. It was so quick and fun to knit, the only adjustment I made was to knit the body a little longer to use up the last of the yarn and to hopefully add a year's worth of wear.
Some fun weekend links:
* Want to see what's going on above your head? Check out this fun website: flightradar24.com
* A beautiful fabric collection.
* I need to get going on my Project Life albums again and this site is so inspiring.
* We test drove one of these today. Like.
* The cutest cake.
* The best knitting ideas ever.
* Next on the needles.
*And if you are in the kitchen this weekend, you should probably make me one of these and drop it off. Sooner rather than later.
Back in 2011 we were living in Park Slope for a year while Andy was on fellowship. It was a difficult year for me. I didn't want to live in the city and I found it hard to be there with little kids. The days dragged because I was unhappy and I longed to be back home. Toward the end of our stay there we planned a trip to the UK to visit family and celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. The afternoon before we were due to leave, I was walking the kids back home, from some excursion or other, and as we passed the playground near our apartment they asked if they could go in and play. I said no because I had a sudden thought in my head that I did not want them to get hurt before flying. So we trooped back home, just a block away.
When I opened the door to the apartment we were all leaning on it trying to push it open. My daughter walked in the doorway and as I turned to let my son in she fell. She cracked her lip on the bottom step, a marble step, and stared crying. I had no idea what had just happened. There was blood everywhere and I didn't know where it was coming from. I rushed her upstairs to look at her. I was crying, my son was crying and I could not figure out what had just happened. At that moment Andy walked in the door. I was overwhelmed to see him, utterly relieved. My daughter's mouth stopped bleeding enough for me to see that she had knocked her teeth in. Actually knocked them into the gum.
We raced to the dentist. They were just about to close but they let us come in and they took x-rays and examined her. They were so nice to us. They said that her teeth had been pushed back up into her gums significantly but not completely and that there was nothing much they could do. We would have to just wait and see.
The next morning we flew to England after getting the all clear from the dentist. She was black and blue all along one side of her face and her poor little mouth was so swollen. She was so quiet and I was so very, very worried.
A few weeks later, back in our home town, I noticed an abscess on her gum and sure enough the dentist said those two front teeth had to come out. A few months later and there was a third one that had to be removed. All through it she was so good. She didn't cry, she didn't complain and she didn't worry. But I did. I worried she would feel different from her friends, that kids would tease her, that she would miss those teeth.
Two and a half years later, she still does not have those teeth. I knew it would be a long wait. We are slow to get our adult teeth in this family. But three nights ago, a little magic happened, she lost her first tooth or rather, she lost her first tooth naturally. She was so excited. She had been wibbling and wobbling it for weeks and then pop! Another gap to add to that adorable smile. So, a note to the tooth fairy was left and a mouse's pocket had some treasure waiting, a little prayer went up. And me, well, I will admit to feeling a little teary, remembering the time we all cried so hard and feeling the echo of those days through the years, as we wait and wait for teeth.
A birthday, Valentine's Day, winter Olympics, comic book making, word necklaces and cinquain poems. It's been a very full couple of weeks. Full and happy. We celebrated Andy's birthday with roast beef and a cake and lots of kid-made goodness. He got his very own Power Pup comic which is so awesome it deserves its' own post. And a word necklace! What! Who doesn't need their very own one of those. With helpful phrases like thank you, later ok, pow, trash juice, maybe, me and biddly bong you'd be a fool to be without one.
I've been bitten by the knitting bug again and have new finishes to show and tell later this week. Sweaters, cowls and cardigans are all flying off the needles.
Also, the winter Olympics, I love them. Maybe more than regular Olympics. I know I am a sucker but I almost always cry at one point or another; when someone falls, when someone wins, a P&G ad, that stuff always gets me weepy. It just seems like such a long journey to get to there and to be at the level to compete, that I want them all to win.
The kids had a most excellent week off school. My son went to science camp while mini me stayed home. I was hemming and hawing over signing him up because I do like to have them around together during the school breaks, but honestly this whole nine year old thing has been keeping me on my toes. Nine year olds, anyone else having some issues there? I read this useful advice and we seem to be on the other end of it now but there have been some big conversations around here. Like what is the purpose of art, how does pain relate to beauty, why are some people so much better off than others in life...tough stuff for a little man with a big heart. He is definitely becoming more aware of the world around him and some of the harder realizations that come with that. But anyway, science camp was a huge hit because he got to play around, make art and trade Pokemon cards with new friends. All good stuff.
Meanwhile, my daughter and I had a very good week of noodling. We went to knitting class together, made granola, went out for lunch, went snowshoeing in the park where we saw so many birds and a deer on the trail too. I took my camera only to find it needed recharging, so no nice photos of the snowy park.
And now back to school, back to a routine, back into the kitchen and back to knitting. (ha! I never stopped)
The house is filled with pink. Pink tulips, pink hershey's kisses, pink coffee filter wreath, pink table runner, pink flowers on shirts to celebrate a hundred days a school, pink puppet theatres, pink pompoms, pink muffins and pink hearts. And, oh, it feels good.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Such a busy week! But Friday finds me home, alone until the early evening. I woke up at 2am feeling so guilty about sending my kids to after school today because I have been wanting some time to catch up on housework and sewing and not have to drive around. Today is their first day ever staying late and I have been fretting about the decision. But at 6am I heard my daughter say to my son, "I am so excited. Are you?" He replies, "Oh my gosh I am soooo excited. This is going to be awesome." What were they talking about? Staying after school of course! They could not wait. Isn't it funny how we, as mothers, feel guilt at the smallest of things?
And so today, I have been sewing and cleaning and I got to talk to Claire for over an hour even though she has tonsillitis. I have finished my blue and brown quilt blocks, had some chai and some very random lunch (tofu in cilantro followed by chocolate almonds, a scone and half a banana) and now a blog post. The scones were dreamy cream scones but with half cream and half almond milk and I chucked in the almond pulp. They were good. Especially with some warm stewed peaches saved from last summer.
In the last post I forgot to mention the grey sweater is a lovely knit called Antler and Moss (pretty name, isn't it?) by Kyrie. I made it two years ago. It still fits and it is still one of my daughter's favorites.
I also failed to mention the name of the fabric for the triangles. It's Market Mix by Martha Negley and I bought nine fat quarters from The Workroom in Toronto. I think it should be enough to make a table runner.
My son has been taking a paper sculpture class. He loves it like a loony. He came home from it all excited, buzzed up to the art room and made a tiny toy theatre. The little wooden figure is Grimaldi and he gave it to his dad.
The family photo makes me laugh because my son is doing his caveman laugh again and my daughter is doing crazy face and it looks like they have borrowed each other's teeth.
Oh and Leonard all curled up! How I love it when he does that, makes himself into a perfect circle. I hurt my finger yesterday and howled, he came running in and tried to lick my face and trotted around me until I was ok. It was so cute except for his terrible breath, but I felt the love.
Have a lovely weekend friends.
Oh I swear I am not going to talk about the weather anymore. I won't mention the 6 inches of snow they are predicting tonight, the freezing temperatures, the grey days and gloomy evenings. I won't mention that all my photos seem to have a yellow tint from all the lights we need to have on during the day. I'll spare you because you know, this is February.
Instead I'll talk about the world's frothiest cup of chai. There should be a competition, I would definitely win. I'll tell you how the kids love the frother as much as I do because it does make the very best hot chocolate. And let's chat about knitting! There is so much to say about this new project; how it takes forever to knit one row but how I love it anyway; how time consuming it is to slip on each bead but how each one feels like a little reward; how good it feels to learn something new, something difficult and how that three inch section above took me six hours to knit. It is a good, good thing this is going to be a Christmas present.
I spent Sunday afternoon at the mending basket, sewing on missing buttons and de-pilling sweaters, this is the very best de-fuzzer and given the many hand knits in this house it gets a good work out. And I made a little wooden bead trivet with my daughter. We just used the wooden beads and leather cord on hand. I got the idea from here. I also taught myself how to sew triangles, inspired by Erin. Oh that was so hard! I sewed them into rows and then as I sewed the rows together, off came all the points of the triangles. I just couldn't figure it out and it was getting a little tense in the art room. I used this pyramid ruler and finally with the help of this tutorial figured out where I was going wrong. Now I love triangles and all is well once again.
Two more rays of sunshine are the lovely women who have returned to blogging! Kyrie (from Are So Happy) is back to blogging at Mead & Daughters and dear sweet little Claire is once again (though sporadically) posting at Pandora Pocket. What a treat to see pictures of my Godson, Stanley and the adorable, Polly.
Another sweet thing is my new blog banner. Cute, right? It was long overdue.
That's the thing about these long, cold and dark winters. It is easy to dismiss them but, really, there are so many good things that happen in these months and when I look out into the world I am always taken aback by the beauty to be found at this time of year.
Happy February friends,
Like much of the country, we've been experiencing some very cold weather. Whilst I don't like being out in it too much, I do like all the inside time it brings. The kids had another snow day this week so we crafted and cooked and chit chatted. They split the living room into two forts and had their own (peaceful, thankfully) tribe. Leonard was the lion that guarded my daughters' fort.
My son surprised his sister with a treasure hunt, complete with clues hidden all around the house. And guess what the prize at the end of it was? Him! It was super cute. He wrote out all these rhyming clues for her to go from place to place to find him. I do this on birthdays with their presents. I don't know how it started but they love it.
The kids have been journaling a lot. I read this super helpful post but didn't act on it. Then I read the post to the kids and they just took off on their own. They've been doing lots of cutting out and sticking in things, some story telling, a little painting and some diary entries too. All delightful stuff which can be done without any help from me.
In craft world, I've been knitting this sweater for my son. It has been so quick I am nearly finished, I just don't know if he will love the neck. We've been making awesome giant pom poms for Valentine's Day. They are huge and I love them. I've been pulling out stacks of brightly colored fabrics to start another quilt, this one for a friend. And I've been thinking about triangle quilts and wondering whether to jump in and try one. I am skittish, concerned it will be too difficult and none of my points will match. I've also been untangling yarn for a new project for which I am taking lessons. I do love going to lessons and realize I have not been doing enough of that.
I went to my yoga class today and now I am all out of sorts. It is the inversions that I do not like. They make me annoyed. I don't know why this should be, but they put me in a bad frame of mind. I really should just sit them out.
And the cookies up there are Oatmeal Buttercream Pies from Comfort of Cooking. They were good but they had to go because I would have eaten every last one so I sent them into school for all the teachers. I did manage to save four little ones for dessert though. The other round balls were date cakes from Nigel Slater's Real Fast Desserts. I have talked about this book before because I love it so. There are no pictures and the recipes are simple and delicious. It is the kind of cookbook I read before bed. Anyway, the date cakes were like little fried Lara Bars and the grown-ups in the house liked them but they got a thumbs down from the kiddos.
Tomorrow it is meant to be over 20 degrees. I am sure there will be people wearing shorts.
Our little art space is up and running and is now the second busiest room in the house after the kitchen. The kids love, love, love this room so much and spend crazy amounts of time creating in here. I didn't buy too many new things, just some new chairs and under the window storage both of which came from Target.
The big wooden storage (that holds all the crafty bits and pieces like coloring books, paints, stamps, pipe cleaners, google eyes and so much more) is a set of 1920's lockers that I bought in London long before I even met Andy. I think I dragged Claire with me to Upper Street in Islington to this shop After Noah and spent far too long trying to rationalize buying it while she waited patiently. Then I dragged it across the Atlantic and moved it into new homes, twice. It was in our dining room for the longest time until I made Andy heave it upstairs to the art room. I try not to get attached to things but this piece is hard to let go.
My sewing space is in the art room too, so the kids and I can hang out and chat. While I type this we are having a conversation about what months are the spring months....a hard call in this town. Definitely not January. Or February. Rarely March, sometimes April. Usually by May, although it has snowed on Mother's Day.
Can you please notice how much stash busting I have done? The white shelves used to be floor to ceiling fabric but through systematic donations, selling and actually using it I have whittled it down to two shelves, still way too much fabric but I am working on it. Ok and those baskets, they are filled with fabric scraps too but I am really trying. The problem is, that having not bought any fabric for about two years there is some really lovely fabric around right now and I admit to feeling a little wanty. My strategy is to come up to this room and see if I have something similar. I usually do.
I just have my Bernina out for sewing but the Pfaff lurks in the background should I ever complete a quilt. The thing is, I love the Pfaff so much more but it just does one stitch and if I am sewing clothes I do need a serging stitch from time to time.
For supplies we have lots of paper (scrap, colored, tissue, tracing, painting, construction, card), pens, yarn, stamping materials, diorama stuff, a big box of small cardboard boxes and bits and bobs for construction, tempura paints, watercolors, oh and honestly so much stuff I can't list it all. Lots of these things were given as gifts over the years, I buy things on sale when I see them and the kids get lots of my cast offs (yarn and fabric) but there is no getting around the fact that we are super lucky to have a room filled with so many resources.
There is a wall filled with the kids' own art which I guess we will change now and then and there are lots of lovely prints and the pretty Liberty bird wall hanging was made by my mum.
We keep the art books in here and the kids are free to look through whatever they want. The laptop and printer are in here too but they need help with them. There are rules in here, which are around the basic idea of cleaning up after yourself and respecting the fact that this is a shared space. The kids and I made them together and then they wrote them out and stuck them on the wall. So far it has worked out really well.
And that's it. We are all very happy in this little room and during the course typing this post, my son has made some photocopies, started a comic, cut out lots of squares to make his own Pokemon cards and my daughter has helped him while making her own gigantic pom pom. Leonard has come in (that big basket under the table is his bed) and tried to eat some tissues.
A quick little jaunt up to Toronto found us:
eating at a greasy spoon (Andy was so happy)
discovering The Paper Place which my daughter declared the best shop ever
having a night out with the thinest crust pizza
strolling (hurriedly dashing) around Queen West in freezing temperatures
hanging out at the hotel and staying up late watching t.v.
wishing there was a place like The Workroom in my home town
devouring macaroons from the delightful Nedege Patisserie.
On the way home we picked up Leonard from the kennels and he was so tired from playing with other dogs he came home, fell asleep on the sofa and only got up for meals for the next 48 hours.