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Thursday, February 15, 2007

My beloved and beautiful friend Marcie sent me this picture the other day.

My goodness.
Are you breathless like me? Her precious new baby Julian just celebrated his 1 month birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY! This is the first time I've seen him in the hat I made and I am so touched.

His big sister Jasper is wearing a lavender cardigan sweater that I made for her on her last birthday. Marcie sent the picture so I could see my creations on her adorable children and she very generously gave me permission to share it here.


I'm yearning to live closer to them right now. I want to pick up that baby and smell his little head and gaze at his tiny, little fingers. I also wish that Marcie and I could share a perfect cup of coffee and laugh together about all the ridiculous parts of our day. We've been good friends since long before we were mommies, and we've always shared a keen appreciation for the absurd parts of life.

Now that we have children, the absurdities are more plentiful than ever.

Thank you Marcie.

Project spectrum has been on my mind a lot. It's making me notice all kinds of wonderful things. Here is my first official entry. Grey cashmere heart pillow. A Valentine made for my big boy. Lavender silk embroidery stitching 100% by him.

And for the little one, a white heart with orange flowers that also flips to grey cashmere.
The pillows now have a special home in the backseat of the car where they can be comforting nap companions.

Another white thing around these parts: the #*@!!%* snow. No photos, because I'm not celebrating that. I yearn for springtime and when it comes, so will many photos of blue skies filled with puffy white clouds.

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Monday, February 12, 2007
At last!

One of my Dad's finest qualities is his patience. When I was 11, he bought me my first sewing machine. I was overjoyed and as a thank you, I devised a plan to tailor him a fine men's shirt (a project
far outreaching my skill level).

I spent the better part of a day designing a questionnaire with my colored markers that allowed him to design his ideal shirt. It was a multiple-choice format and asked him questions like: Should your shirt be pinstriped, flowered, or solid? Should it be for a fancy dinner out or for a movie on the weekend? Should the buttons be blue, yellow, or black? Check a box to indicate your choice.

I think the reason that I remember that questionnaire so many years later is because for years it filled me with shame that, after making such a big production out of the questionnaire, I never even began my Dad's shirt. I never even went shopping for the fabric.

In the 9 months since I presented my Dad with an unfinished Birthday scarf and a lame promise to finish it
soon , I have remembered the shirt questionnaire often and with pain.

This glacial process is made so much more humiliating by the fact that I now knit
exposed! I invite my Dad and others to watch me putting the scarf aside month after month to knit other things. I even had the balls to begin a sweater for MYSELF (twice)! I would feel far less shame for all this if only everyone didn't know--particularly my Dad.

Lucky for me, my Dad is patient. He keeps a sense of humor. If he was irked by my conspicuous lack of attention to his scarf, he never showed it. Whatta guy!

Pattern: Quilted Lattice Scarf
Finished Dimensions: 70" long, 11" wide
Source: Naive Knitter made one similar and kindly included the pattern instructions
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 65% wool 35% silk, shade 18 (chocolate) 3.5 hanks
Needles: US 6 birch circulars
Knitting Time: 10 long months

You too can make a quilted Lattice scarf (in considerably less time than it took me).

Here's the pattern:

Using Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool, I cast on 63 stitches to get a scarf 11" wide. You could cast on a similar number if your yarn is also DK weight. If you're using worsted weight cast on fewer stitches. If you are really nuts, knit it with sport weight or finer and cast on more than 63 stitches.

Cast on multiple 6 + 3
Row 1 and all odd rows (WS): p
Row 2: k2, *sl5 with yarn in front (wyif), k1; rep from *, end k1
Row 4: k4, *insert right needle under strand from Row 2 and k next st bringing st under strand and out toward you, k5; rep from * ending last rep k4
Row 6: k1, sl3 wyif; rep from *, end k1, sl3 wyif, k1
Row 8: k1, *insert right needle under strand from Row 6 and k next st bringing st under strand and out toward you, k5; rep from * ending last rep k1

are you proud of me?


Saturday, February 10, 2007
Oh, happy day!

Our WANTED poster worked and Rufus and Bargy were recovered the same day it went up. I crocheted a string that very day and now they dangle from the coat.

How did the big kid feel about the reunion? He could hardly believe it. I had already prepared him to never see them again. I had even gone so far as to lay plans for their awesome successors, which, though they would never be the same as Rufus and Bargy, would have their own names and flip-back tips and, of course, button eyes. When I told the big boy about my plans, this was his reply: "I don't want other friends, Mommy. I need my Rufus and Bargy."

Oh, my aching heart.

(On the other hand, is there any more gratifying feeling for a knitting mommy than to have your handknits treasured so? How long will this last? I picture myself, when he's 14, desperately knitting an electric-guitar sweater that is inherently uncool and gets "lost" on the way to junior high.)

Thank you for all your sympathetic words. I realize it was a silly little crisis in the grand scheme, but it was our little crisis.

Last week I knitted the cutest little Calorimetry out of salmon-pink Manos for a precious little girl we know. So cute on a toddler! I was inspired by Scout's versions and took her advice about casting on fewer stitches than the pattern calls for. (Unfortunately, I haven't yet taken a picture of it to post here.)

All my other knitting projects are top secret and cannot be revealed here, as their recipients are regular readers. Stay tuned for pictures of a certain someone with a very warm neck. . . .

Until then, ciao!


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