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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pattern: Sahara by Wendy Bernard
Size: Large (bust 41")
Source: Stitch Diva Studios
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino, Oceanos (main color) Azul Profundo (trim)
Needles: US 6 birch circulars & metal circulars, US 5 for all trim
Knitting Time:2 months
Modifications: I shortened it by maybe 3 inches. I skipped the shirt-tail hem shaping. I used a vastly different yarn than recommended. My sweater is not drapey or slinky. It's thick, cushiony and mind-blowingly soft. I also lengthened the sleeves a bit, as the pattern designed them short to allow for the 'growing' factor of silk.

What a pleasure this was. I have never enjoyed knitting a sweater more and my experience was due in large part to the fact that I knew it would fit when I was done. There was none of the desperate praying that so often accompanies sweater knitting. Oh god, please don't let me waste $90 (or more) and 3 months of my precious time (or much longer) and invest tremendous hope in this only to have it look like hell. pleeeeease!

I tried it on at all the crucial times and was reassured that it would be fabulous. The only part that gave me some concern was the gaping hole in the middle. I was a bit unconvinced that my ample bosom would be sufficiently restrained. Some of that concern was well-founded. As it turns out, the boobies are really a focal point when I wear my Sahara. Check this out. The camisole helps keep it decent but detracts from the lovely feeling of Malabrigo right next to my skin and that hardly seems fair.

I decided to wear it sans cami to the home of some good friends for dinner the other night and they were good enough not to stare, unblinking (they did, however, rave about the sweater itself).
I thank them for their kindness and discretion.

My husband is in full support (no pun intended) of my cleavage and never discourages an appearance so it's impossible to get reasonable advice from him regarding the acceptable degree of exposure my sweater allows.

I've decided to wear it both ways. Most people will see me in the camisole version, but if I'm feeling a little sassy, or I'm having a party in my backyard with my closest friends, off comes the underlayer and HELLO!

More photos because I'm just so pleased with myself.

There you have it!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007
Life every 5 years

Ramona tagged me to do a "five year meme". Descriptive memories of your life in five year jumps working back from 2007. So every year that ends with a 2 and 7.

1972 - I was two. We lived in San Fransisco near golden gate park. I remember being terrified of a big stuffed beaver that loomed over my bed at night. I remember taking the bus with my mom and the bakery on the corner was warm and lovely. They fussed over me. Our backyard was big and green and I found a little bunny there once (or did I dream that?).

1977 - seven years old. Silent sustained reading in second grade was just an opportunity to hide behind my book and whisper with my friend Pamela. I spent my summer at La Casa Country Dayschool. We played make-believe princess all summer. There were two old ponies there named Cinderella and Snow White. My room was always a mess. Pamela had baby chicks and I held and snuggled one for the whole afternoon. It died from being held too much. I thought that if I just wished hard enough it would come back. I was an adult before I could forgive myself enough to tell that story.

1982 - Twelve years old. I felt lost. My best friend of 4 years suddenly found a new friend and stopped speaking to me. My dad found a girlfriend who I loved but simultaneously resented. I didn't know where I fit anymore. My school was tough. I spent most of my time with my cousin Crystal who was one year older and outrageous. She dressed in fishnet stockings and ripped-up shirts that exposed too much of her very curvy 13 year-old body. She cussed and got me drunk. But she loved me and she was fiercely loyal. She treated me like a sister.

1987- Seventeen. Like Ramona, my first car was a VW bug. I earned the money to buy it myself and my dad painted it candy-apple red, including the wheels. Also like Ramona, I was not a good driver. I wrecked that car 3 times. I fell in love for the first time with a boy who was pathologically shy and made my whole body tingle. I crept out of the house late at night with my best friend and went to parties featuring hot tubs and beer. The same friend and I stayed up all night on a regular basis talking and drinking pots of coffee at the Village Inn. We watched the Godfather movies dozens of times that year.
I was loving life.

1992 - Twenty-two. I was still working on my bachelor's degree (VERY slowly) and waiting tables at a 50's-theme diner. My name tag read "twinkles'. I had a long off-and-on relationship with a wonderful guy who was definately not my match but who I could not seem to stop dating. We played a lot of poker together and we drank a lot of beer and we camped all summer long. I knew that I needed an adventure. I began to fantasize about a sophisticated life in a much bigger city.

1997 - twenty seven. The year I found my first grey hair. I had been living in Seattle for 3 years. This was the year that I moved in with my now husband. Our apartment was tiny. He made me laugh everyday. This was the year that I FINALLY graduated with 2 degrees and a minor (that's what happens when you go to school for 8 years). We lived on Queen Anne Hill and we walked to coffee shops every chance we got. I spent a good deal of time at a divine fabric store down the street.

2002 - thirty two. The year my first baby was born. We lived in an apartment with a huge magnolia tree outside. When it bloomed our whole living room glowed with warm pink light. My darling boy was born at home. Every day was a honeymoon and a glorious gift. I watched him stare at the world with giant brown eyes and I couldn't believe life could be this good.

2007 - thirty six. The boys play now. They yell and scream and pull everything out and leave it in my path. I think they are stunning and beautiful. I had a date with my husband last night and he was extraordinarily insightful, as usual. He sees me clearly. He loves my flaws. He makes me laugh and when I do my heart is full. He's very cute too.

Thanks Ramona!

Now I tag whoever feels moved to remember their lives in this way. I'd love to read more of these.


Thursday, March 22, 2007
Pot Roast and little knitters


Where the heck have I been?

I have so missed my beloved blog. Things aren't quite as much fun when I'm not plotting to share them. There have been so many changes in our lives and they all seem to have directly impacted baby finds a kazoo. My tiny desk in the back of the kitchen has been replaced with a fabulous (and desperately necessary) new food pantry. Until we figure out how to enable our wireless network, the computer remains perched beside the rolled oats on the top of the new pantry. I am writing this as I stand on my tippy-toes.

Don't pity me. I am also drinking a glass of zinfandel as I write this. It's 3:45 pm. Not a typical time of day for me to dip into the stash, but I just put Red Wine Pot Roast with Porcini in the oven and the remainder of the wine begged not to be wasted.

I have completed many projects in recent weeks; most small, a few doozies. I've been sewing, decoupaging, knitting and doing a LOT of laundry. But disaster has struck. My camera appears to be broken. Very sad news for me. Luckily a loaner has been secured and I can begin sharing photos soon.

What else have I been up to? Sharing the knitting love for one.

Meet Ciera and Paloma. Both terrific kids and both gifted with considerable skill in artistic endeavors of all sorts. I was
amazed by the ease with which they picked up knitting. Is it their crafty genes (they also happen to be my little cousins)? Or is it their age (what with brain cells generating every minute)? Seriously, it was spooky how little I had to explain and how quickly they picked it up. I'm fond of these girls. Can you tell?
They have fabulous, super-colorful projects planned. Stay tuned for pictures of them modeling their results.

I have three other equally adorable and fantastic cousins -one of whom is a boy (boy knitters rock!) who I plan to bring into the fold as soon as I can bribe them to come over by offering sugary treats or some other really cool incentive.

Happy Spring!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

The left sleeve of my Sahara sweater is finished. You may have noticed that progress is slow.

I keep thinking that spring is here, which is silly since it's only the first day of March. I'm really ready for the sunshine and the heat and I miss my backyard. I even got a pedicure in the spirit of
willing the weather to warm up. It's not working. The very cold wind this week has quickened my knitting pace and gives me hope that I might actually wear my pretty blue sweater soon.

The right sleeve is coming along quickly. I've knit both sleeves with two circular needles instead of DPs. My first time trying this method and why didn't I do it years ago?? If you haven't had this experience, you really must. I found a nice tutorial here, but hardly necessary since it's a breeze. Far less cumbersome than dp needles, and with my healthy collection of needles, I could probably pull it off with any project.

I've been fantasizing about my sewing machine ever since it went to the shop for repairs. I want the instant gratification.

A few things I dream of making as soon as it comes home:
Also, I've had a request for a Spiderman necktie, but I'm dragging my feet on that one.

Another thing I'd LOVE to make is a king-sized quilt for our bed... (hysterical laughter)...maybe someday.

My mom bought my big boy and I matching buffalo socks.
This is the kind of treasure you can find when you live in the old west. Imagine the kiddo's excitement! He has insisted that we wear them everyday this week. It was his idea that I put this picture on the blog. He wants everyone to see them.

A bonus: the socks celebrate some of the Project Spectrum colors.
Also, here is a sweet spot in my house.
blue and white.

More soon.

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