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Friday, June 29, 2007
The little Surplice Lace Top knit- along behind

It was my husband's idea that I rename the knit-along, a knit-behind. He thinks it's very amusing that I enthusiastically proposed the knit-along and then proceeded to make 6 other things.

My biggest mistake was that I got excited and announced the idea way too soon. I tell myself that in the process of it's very slow start, my Surplice Lace Top has evolved into something far better than it would have been had I jumped right into it. I also tell myself that my scattered focus would really have been annoying if hundreds of people were taking part in the KAL. As it stands, the three participants have remained cheerful in the face of my confusion.

I have to hand it to blogless Amy, who has practically completed her Surplice Lace Top in a lovely red Soysilk yarn. She, my friends, has focus.

She sent me photos of her progress along with a message of encouragement (thank you Amy!).
Here's a peek at her hard work:

As for me, I am proud to announce that I have finally cast on. Two hundred forty eight loops on my circular 4's are poised to become the lace section of the top. No small task, since I also had to unravel my peek-a-boob which was knit with a double strand of Euroflax. Unraveling and then unwinding two strands from one another. A mess, indeed.

And for a wonderful distraction from your next big project, can I recommend that, like me, you bake up a batch of Quinoa Muffins? I was inspired to take the picture above partly because these muffins (which can be found in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison) are so delicious.

I also wanted to share with everyone how sweet it is when a four-year old shares his muffin with Mickey Mouse.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Knee Highs for a Baby

I bought a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn that looks like this:

It was meant, at first, to become a little fine-gauge baby hat. Then I got a mental flash of hand-knitted knee high socks on a baby. That, I thought, would surely be the cutest thing I have
ever seen. They would remind me a little of the Baby Legs I adore, except with so much more old-fashioned charm.

Haven't I seen hand-knitted baby knee highs on a rerun of my beloved Little House on the Prairie?

I have a baby in mind to knit them for, but my busy schedule may prohibit the knitting of little socks just now.
We shall see.

A little detail of current knitting sweetness:

I love Berocco Touche. It's soft and plump and drapes nicely. The colors are pretty and it's affordable. I will have to withhold details for now, as the little gem you see here has not
quite been gifted.

Thinking about Seattle

I've been savoring summer in Albuquerque, but as I approach the anniversary of last summer's vacation, I find myself longing for Seattle.

Here's what I'm thinking about:

  • Walking along Ballard Avenue eating a hot deli sandwich from the Other Coast Cafe.
  • Strolling through Discovery Park and feeling like I'm deep in the woods, right in the middle of the city.
  • Eating breakfast at Le Pichet.
  • Going to Port Townsend and drinking beer on a deck by the water.
  • Spending long, leisurely hours wandering through the best yarn shop in any city anywhere.
It's easy to miss Seattle in the summer. Yesterday, as I drove my two sweaty, lethargic kids across town in our small, oven-like car, I passed a thermometer that read 104 degrees. It's days like this that make me remember lying on the velvety lawn of my Seattle backyard, staring at the pale blue sky through a canopy of flowering Magnolia trees.

My longing has been intensified recently by the discovery of Orangette. Molly, the site's proprietress, writes so beautifully about Seattle that she makes me wish I was there.

There are plenty of things that I love about our city. Really. But I'm not thinking about those this week.

Alas, this summer, we won't be taking any big trips.

Instead. Our limited time and money is going toward improving things around the house. Over the past 3 months we have constructed the slowest fence in the history of fence construction. It's almost done, however, and we are so gratified to have done it ourselves. (With considerable help from dad. Thanks dad!).

Now we're shifting our energy to laying flagstone in the backyard, crafting a functional sandbox cover, and hanging strings of globe lights for late night get-togethers under the arbor.

Stay cool.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Puppets are Magic

My oldest son is thoughtful and contemplative and he can be reticent when it comes to responding to questions like, "What did you do today?" or "How are you feeling?"

That is, unless he's talking to Guissepe the puppet (who is a sausage-maker from Naples).

When Guiseppe, in classic stereotypical Italian accent, asks my son, "What-a you do-a today-a my friend?" my son's eyes light up and he becomes animated and chatty. He can hardly wait to tell the puppet about his favorite toys and the details of his day-to-day life, like what his Batman toothpaste tastes like, how much he loves "puffy" pancakes, and how hard it can be to have a baby brother. He'll even open up about fears and disappointments we'd have to pry out of him if it weren't for our Neapolitan friend.

For nosy, chatty parents like me, a reserved child presents a special challenge: I will do almost anything to hear what's on his mind. Thank God for Guiseppe and his puppet friends.

You may remember that the puppet theater has been on the list since late last year. I finally made the time to do it.

I ask you, is there anything funnier than a puppet show by a 4-year-old?

The Surplice Lace Top has been s..l..o..w to start. The hunt for the perfect yarn has been a bit silly. I ordered what I thought was the perfect yarn from Elann, but alas, I wasn't paying attention and it was aran instead of DK
weight. My latest brainstorm: I am making a huge mess unraveling peek-a-boob so I can attempt to get gauge with the eggplant Euroflax linen. I'm hopeful. I do love that yarn and I long to see it in a sweater that is not a miserable failure. When I finish unraveling the massive knots, I'll let you know how it works.

Meanwhile, I was hunting around online yesterday and I happened upon this loveliness:

The Cable and Lace Kimono-Sleeve Wrap @ Sweaterbabe.

Don't worry, I remain devoted to the Surplice Lace Top, but it's hard to stay focused in the face of such a convoluted start...

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Monday, June 11, 2007
Anouk for Baby Skyler

Pattern: Anouk by Kate Gilbert
Source: Knitty - spring 2004
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel
: US 6 bamboo straights
Size: 12 months

This is for my newest friend, the perfect little baby Skyler.

I was honored to be present when Skyler was born and I've been trying to finish this little treasure for such a long while. Luckily the wee girl is only 3 months old and her pinafore will not fit for a few months yet.
This is the only time ever that I have used the exact yarn called for by the pattern--including the colors. That clever Kate Gilbert just got it right the first time.


Thursday, June 07, 2007
A little, tiny Knit-Along

Excitement for the Surplice Lace top KAL peaked sometime around 2 weeks ago, then I got distracted with facecloths and a few baby things. There is consensus around here that if we don't officially begin this thing, the moment may be lost forever.

Who is participating?

Well, so far the list looks like this:




Amanda, have you decided to join us?

Amy has already begun and I'm so excited to see her progress, but Amy, I can't reach you! If you have a blog, leave it in the comments or email me at I'd love to link to it here.

I love the idea of an official Surplice Lace Top blog, but I must confess that it's taking all my energy to keep Baby Finds a Kazoo afloat, finish all the laundry and occasionally get a row or two of knitting done.

So here's the plan:
Reply in the comments here if you are officially planning to take part in our little, tiny KAL. I will compile the official list and add a Surplice Lace Top side bar to Baby Finds a Kazoo. That way, people can easily link to you and watch your progress as you document it.

If, however, someone has the time and motivation to set up a blog so we can all post pictures
(even the blogless) I would be thrilled to help administrate said blog.

When does the knitting begin?

Let's start Monday, June 11.

Have a lacy day.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I love to knit in the car

Almost nothing makes me happier than knowing that the family is going on a road trip. It's so sweet to have both kids strapped (that is, restrained) in their seats, my husband driving, and me with nothing to do but knit. It's lovely. Now that so little of my time is my own, these moments of peace are rare and delicious.

Here's an example of how my standards have changed. A friend of mine was telling me about her honeymoon. She and her new husband took a trip to Hawaii, but on day one, after several hours of sunbathing, my friend was bitten by a spider. This alone sounds like a terrible way to begin one's honeymoon, but what followed was much worse. She developed giant hives over her whole body. She was rushed to a doctor, who instructed her to get daily adrenaline shots until the symptoms subsided. She was also told to stay out of the sun. The adrenaline caused her to tremble visibly and talk continuously and rapidly, much to the horror of her somewhat frightened new husband.

So while her husband enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, she spent each day stripped naked on the hotel bed with the fan on full blast, trembling and murmuring to herself. To pass the time, she read book after book after book.

When I heard her story, all I could think of was how nice it sounded to be in a hotel room, alone, reading books.

Speaking of small pleasures, I got a pretty new barrette.

It was crafted by Chris and sadly since this picture was taken it has fallen prey to dismantling little hands and sits on my kitchen windowsill in two pieces...nothing a little hot glue won't fix. Isn't it cool?

My sad inattention to the lovely Surplice Lace Top KAL is no doubt frustrating to a small handful of you. I have not forgotten and I do plan to begin soon. Part of the delay has been due to diligent gauge swatching being done by Heather in an attempt to find the perfect substitute yarn to replace the gorgeous (but ouch!) Nashua Ecologie Cotton. I have several balls of Tahki Cotton Classic in ivory that I'm seriously considering. Mostly because it's free. Does anyone have yarn suggestions? I'd love to hear your ideas.

We are thinking of officially beginning the sweater next week. I promise something more official soon.

Are you tempted Mona?

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