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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Not Enough Chocolate

Remember this?

Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool, shade 018 (chocolate). Apparently a popular color. I've gingerly placed dad's scarf in a protective ziplock baggie and I patiently wait for the folks at my local yarn shop to order my last skein.

In the meantime, I happily work on my Malabrigo Mama.

I'm alternately proud and deeply ashamed to say that I have not succumbed to the mitten-knitting temptation. Little hands are stuffed into coat pockets and big brown eyes look up at me, pleading.
This is not easy. But, I must stay focused on this one big thing. There will be time for little things later.

Little things: I'm thinking about truffles lately. We are considering making batches of them as Christmas gifts. My friend Carmela is a pastry chef and talks with mouth-watering eloquence about all things chocolate. She told me about Earl Grey truffles and bittersweet chocolate-dipped tangerines. Does anything sound more delicious?

A final shot: The little one has begun to climb onto the bathroom stool whenever he can (to taste the soap and try out his brother's toothbrush). I couldn't resist a picture.

Go now and steal a piece of chocolate from your child's trick-or-treat bag. You deserve it.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Last week we spent a completely perfect day at a Harvest Festival at our local CSA Farm. We wore cozy hats and roamed the pumpkin patch for the perfect jack-o-lantern. There were beautiful puppet shows in a theater filled with bushels of fresh lavender. We drank delicious, locally-brewed beer and ate brats and roasted corn. And we sat in an apple orchard in the warm sun listening to great live music while the kids danced around and did cartwheels.

No kidding. It really was that lovely.

We pick our vegetables up each week from this divine place.

I can't remember a time when I've more completely enjoyed Fall. I love the charming neighborhood festivals and fall carnivals. I love the way my kiddos are delirious over dressing up as bumble bees and super-heroes. I love the cold, thin air and the warm sun. I love my fireplace. I love sweaters and my knee-high argyle socks.

All this seasonal bliss provides most favorable conditions for knitting. Indeed. However, most of my creative energy this past week has been spent on the consuming renovation of this blog. You may be wondering if I'm familiar with the preview button. I just can't seem to stop changing things.

I'm still not done making changes, so don't get too attached.

Progress on Malabrigo Mama is steady. Half of the bottom strip is knitted and I'm adding side vents at the hem.

The bottom section will be knitted in reverse stockinette.

I spent a few happy minutes during naptime this week adding to this:

Cable lace scarf

I've had it on needles for over a year. It will be lovely one day, but it's simply not a priority so I do a row or two every few months.

The big kiddo's hands are chilly during the walk to school in the mornings and I feel an overwhelming impulse to make him little mittens. A knitting friend of mine who knows my tendency for distraction said: "You put that out of your mind and focus on your sweater! He can stick his hands in his pockets."

I shall persevere and his sweet little hands will have to wait for now, but the guilt is mounting.

Today, I leave you with this:

A peaceful corner. The spot I leer at with wanton desire, as I chase naked bottoms through the room.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006
A Fresh Look

Last night I dreamt that it was the early 70's and Bob Dylan knit my mom a red dress. It was fabulous. I wanted to wear it. Sadly it was too small, but I still took many pictures of myself in it.

When I woke up, I decided to reinvent my blog. The connection between the dream and the decision for a change is unclear. Does anyone have analysis for me?

Many more changes are in store for Baby Finds a Kazoo. Stay tuned and if you're visiting please tell me what you think of the big changes.

The holidays are on my mind and I'm thinking of making mr. dangly monkey for the big boy's stocking. I also have my eye on this:

Does it get any cuter?

more soon. xoxo

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

This morning the cold arrived. As I drank my coffee, I took a look at my list of things to make:

Someday I'll create a spiffy on-the-needles list on this very blog. Until then I sheepishly offer this to give you an idea of my current state-of-mind. Obviously, this is only a partial list. Many boxes remain unchecked. Many more items are scribbled on the following page.

Dad's scarf was my obsession last week. I carried it with me in the car many days and when the kiddos fell asleep, I pulled the car over and knit under a tree. I was so focused on finishing skein #2 that it never occured to me that when I finally did, the scarf might be too short. It was. This picture should have been my first clue. I had my husband try it on and it actually looked good on him as a shortish, handsome little scarf. But dad needs more than a fashionable accessory. The scarf must be long enough to be warm and more traditional than funky.

Naturally, Dad's scarf yarn was the only color out-of-stock at my LYS. So I wait until I can get more of Chocolate (shade 018), and I am secretly thrilled to have an excuse to begin my beautiful blue sweater without guilt.

Have faith and bundle up, dad. It is coming.

I have spent many hours considering how to do justice to my gorgeous blue yarn. Every knitting friend I have has been cornered and forced to consider and thoughtfully discuss the merits of each idea I have. My husband has begun to look panicked every time I walk into the room with a wild-eyed expression carrying another knitting book. "I just want to talk about the sweater one more time."

Yesterday, I had finally settled on the Hourglass sweater, but it still didn't feel quite right.

Then a trip to SnB last night inspired me. I sat near my dear friend Heather. Poor soul. She was just looking for a little time to knit Mr. Bunny and enjoy idle chat with other knitters. Instead, she allowed me to monopolize all her attention as I agonized over the best way to use my precious yarn. Thank you Heather for your sincerely interested expressions. You are very kind.

I realized that what naturally needs to be created is an entirely original Frankenstein sweater. I will steal components of several sweater patterns and create the perfect, ultra-cozy, but still-curvy-enough sweater.

My Frankenstein beauty will never again be referred to by that name. I'll call her Malabrigo Mama. This name partly honors my diffcult-to-feature-in-a-flattering-light midsection which has been earned, after all, by way of becoming a mama.
It will also feature:

1. a v-neck
2. sleeves and raglan shaping from the Hourglass Sweater
3. a section knitted sideways, as inspired by the ultra-funky cover sweater in Yarnplay, the lovely new book by Lisa Shobhana Mason.
4. silk velvet ribbon edging neckline and cuffs (or maybe not).

It's begun and is moving along so quickly. This is the best of knitting. Soft and luscious and very pretty.

And lastly, another pretty picture:

Some of my fellow New Mexican blogging friends live near the foothills of Sandia Mountain and regularly feature breathtaking photos from their view in the heights.

I feel compelled to share this very different view of the Rio Grande valley, near where I happily live. We walk along this bosque nearly every week with the kiddos. I cannot take credit for this beautiful photo. It was taken by Marble Street Studio.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Baby Surprise Beginnings and other Gems

There is nothing I like better than a really clean house. It gives me so much freedom. It happens so rarely that most things are in their spot and I'm gliding around feeling like a superwife. So rarely. It's sweet when it happens.

Because my house feels settled, there's more space in my mind for wooly stuff. I've looked so forward to finding time to show off my fancy new Malabrigo Merino,

of which I now own *giddy squeal* 6 hanks and I'm still searching for the perfect top-down pattern to modify and make delicious. I want it to be very simple and straightforward to make (hence, top-down). I want it to be v-neck or a broad scooping neck. I want it to be really comfy but not at all shapeless and frumpy. I love the sweater from Knit/Purl that I posted earlier this month, but something with a time consuming, all-over pattern is unlikely to get finished anytime soon. I also love the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, but I think it's a bit too body-skimming to be the super-cozy sweater I'm dreaming of...Ideas from lurkers would be most welcome. Anyone?

Dad's Scarf is truly in it's final week of production. I like it more and more and I am still enjoying knitting it - which surprises me, considering all the other things I have to look forward to. The enjoyment comes partly from loving my dad so much and visualizing him looking handsome and oh-so-cozy in it, as he wanders through galleries in Manhattan. Also, I love Silky Wool. It's a pleasure to knit with.

My early birthday present to myself has arrived! Nobody told me that The Opinionated Knitter was such a beautiful book. I knew it would be charming to read and densely packed with great knitting wisdom, but it's irresistably beautiful too.

Here is the exciting commencement of my long-awaited Baby Surprise Jacket:

Of course, now I will promptly set it down and finish dad's scarf.

One more little gem:

He's only four and he knits! I know. Exceptional. As he did it, he muttered, "in, over, through,, over, through, off...".
Monday, October 09, 2006
I was in Taos

How does one offer her regrets for being absent so long?

Can I offer you a delicious cupcake?

My creations in the past couple weeks have been restricted to birthday cupcakes and my continued work on the dad scarf.

My energy has been better spent thinking about new projects that I plan to begin before I finish even one of my seven (yes seven) works-in-progress. I know. It's an often heard bit of blog-whining, but it's troubling me, so I whine.
I've been finding great solace, during this drought of tangible things, in my impressive ability to daydream about all the things I wish I could make.

The good news is that this was an excellent state-of-mind to be in as I strolled through the Taos Wool Festival. I just harnassed that daydreaming energy and marched around tossing yarn into the stroller:

Yarn for big-boy mittens (largely purple, of course).

Thick, loosely handspun bright orange yarn for big-boy hat (with pompon, of course).

Holy cow-big hank of super-colorful yarn that I wound into a ball the size of a watermelon. No project in mind there. I just knew it had to be home with me.

A beautiful skein of pale lilac handspun for my mother-in-law.

The best find of all was at Taos Sunflower. The constant rain forced us inside for a time and I believe it was destiny, because that warm and lovely shop is where I found six skeins of Malabrigo Merino. Spectacular yarn. More like cashmere than merino. So lofty and light and so !#(%!%@ gorgeous.

I will use it to create the sweater I wrote about here.
I want to do a simple top-down (one piece) with a deep v-neck and with a few funky touches that will make it all mine.

To say I'm excited about this sweater is a gross understatement.

Taos was perfect. I was accompanied by my dear friend Kelena (who was sans kiddos, and consequently more giddy than usual) and my little kiddo, who is pictured here, at Embudo Station in a pair of little pants knitted by me. I think its perfect that he's wearing his denims as he leans casually against the Jeep.

Embudo was so stunning. Glowing yellow leaves, and a tranquil little river's edge, where people sat looking relaxed as only New Mexicans can. The views astonish me everytime I drive between Santa Fe and Taos. It's a drive I've taken many times and it always makes me feel grateful.

At the festival I saw many things that made swoon, but I had to capture this knitted biplane by Ellen of Ellen's Woolly Wonders. She had a whole flock of knitted critters all of which charmed me completely. She sells the patterns and I was tempted, but there is no time now for knitted biplanes.

Finally, here's a shot of our encounter with Chrissy the Alpaca.

Thank God for furry animals to make this trip worthwhile for the one year old.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
The Last Knit

My friend Karen sent me a message about a short film on YouTube called The Last Knit. I am compelled to share it here.

It's enchanting and weird and it might make you feel really anxious. It might also make you want to knit something important right now.
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