Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sixteenth Month

This post is coming up a few days late. It has been a hellacious week here. A harsh late summer sick has taken hold, along with constant teething and the latent effects of their recent MMR....well, my boys are beat down. As is their Mama. And their Papa. But I was proofing the following and it made me realize, the rough times always have an end...even if another comes along eventually.

I was thinking about dropping the monthly updates after you turned one. I thought I had chronicled enough time, that I would not need to remember as acutely. But I find that I now cherish these moments I sit and think about the last few weeks.
How much changes in four weeks, in your lives and in ours. These changes are not always perceptible until I take the time to reflect and recall. And so I will go on, as I need to and when I can. Because it continues to whirl by and I continue to hope these will help me remember.

These month was the true start of a lead-follow routine that continues to snowball, for lack of better description. You have always had some type of interest in each other, a curious glance or two, a pause during play to check out the brother and what he was doing. But early this month I watched as Mason began practicing toe walking, an activity that seems to provide you much delight, Mace. I watched as Owen stood to the side, silently observing. Then trying our a few heel lifts, in place, nothing too drastic, you know. Then finally a few days later, showing off his own toe walk. It goes on, the list of lead-follow. From movements, to voicing, to facial expressions. What one of you discovers, the other observes and assimilates.
so off limits
This includes chair climbing, table hopping and window sill streaking, all of which we try to discourage, which then encourages you to team up and go at with double the effort. But that doubled effort can be lovely too. When you are 'helping' pick fresh tomatoes or watering the yard or carrying flagstones here to there in an effort to reorganize the yard.

There have been a few instances of true affection and developing empathy, which soothed my soul a bit. It is not that I worried that you did not like each other, just that you might never acknowledge that you love each other. Lately kissing is all the rage and we kiss babies in books, toys and Mishka. And finally, one cool morning after waking and looking for birdies out you bedroom window, I asked you to kiss each other. And you did. Looked in each others eyes, kissed and giggled. And I think my heart cracked a little from the overwhelming flow of sweetness. No matter that a few minutes later you both were in full take down mode. In that moment, you were loving. And so very loved.

I love our new rituals and the evolution of our routine. You both still wake early, but drift in and out of sleep, or tolerate your cribs until 7. Then I go in and open the drapes and say a bright good morning (bright if I slept some, bleary if not, lately it has been bright). And we open the drapes, get out of cribs and jostle for room at the window to find any birds on the GPs patio. Owen, you always blurt...Dada, Dada...testing to see if it is one of those mornings when he pops into the room to play with us.
Dress Up
After a few minutes we get to rearranging the dresser, picking out shoes from the bottom drawer, clothes from the others, folding our blankies (in the vain hope this will pay off in the form of bed making) and out of the room to 1) search for dada 2) tune into sesame street 3)wreak havoc. In that order.

We were on a walk the other day, strolling to the park nearby. We were on a familiar route, all the streets are. It made me think of last year at this time. The somewhat desperate way I used to walk with you in stroller daily. Passing all the same houses, no matter which route we took. It was all so similar and I recall feeling trapped, longing for anywhere but here, to do anything but the routine that was slowly driving me a little more than nuts. I know now what a fragile place I was in then and I can think a bit more kindly on that Woman/Mama that I was a year ago. I was so different in some ways.
On the swing

Now, as we walked, I breathed and chattered with you about the sounds birds make, dogs make, cats make. We enjoyed the relative cool of the morning and had our fun at the park. We played until I looked at my phone a realized the morning had slipped away and we were due to go home to have a snack and a nap.
Kewpie Doll
So totally different that a year ago when some minutes seemed frozen in place. And I want to say, I do not know how many other twin mamas read here, and what point you are at in your Mama life and if you have/had some of the difficulty I had at the start. I just want to say to you, if you are there in the early months, it gets better. I desperately needed to hear that at the beginning, desperately wanted to believe it. And now I can pass it on.

Today, my favorite things are you. Your joy and discovery, your embraces and kisses, your direct challenges of my authority (okay, not something I love but an be a little funny. Because you do not win.)
I love the memory of you, Owen, on a particular morning that we slept in and the GPs were doing the morning wake up with you. After about 30 minutes I heard you bellow from the front room, heard your feet run down the hallway, then our slightly open door went flying open and you marched indignantly into our front with a 'Arggg", smiled when you saw us in bed and climbed right in. Ahhhh. that felt good. Or the way you, Mason, have developed this odd monkey like cling at times, wrapping your arms around our necks, it feels like they circle a hundred times and like you could not go on unless you did this. Another Ahhhhh.

It has been far from an easy month, what with constant teething, late summer colds, the newly acquired habit of screeching, the tug of war of my needs versus our needs, versus what we do because your needs come first. But it has been a wonderful month to put things into perspective.
I do it myself
As I listen to you chatter, watch you feed each other at the dinner table, or steal food from each others' plates...well, from this is amazing.

Your Mama loves you, boys. So very much.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy 5th, Babe


Five years ago today we started down the road we now walk together. I do not discount all the years before, those years laid a foundation and created the space to learn and let our marriage thrive. But these years, the 5 that have passed in the blink of an eye, I can truly say have been special and solid in a way that nothing has before.

I know that it is not always romantic, there are many nights were we slump on the couch or bed, weary and finding few words to say. But those nights are not the norm. They are the exception. We have those nights and then they are redeemed by a night when we share all of our dreams, for them and for ourselves, we imagine a future and discuss the present. We give opinions and somehow, always still make each other laugh. The good kind of laugh, you know, the kind when your side aches a bit from the effort.

We have done a lot in five years. Made a life that includes these little people, expressions from us, but not us.
Holding them
Shaping them with our selves and our love. I caught Owen watching us as we were kissing the other day. He was fascinated and I felt warm, thinking how wonderful it is that he gets to be a part of something, a partnership that is rooted in love.

There is no one that makes me feel the way you do. When I see you holding your sons, kissing them tenderly, swooping them out of danger, or reasoning with them at the dinner table, I pause and think this could not possibly be the 17 year old that started this thing with me so many many years ago.
And you are not. Because you are now a husband and a father of extraordinary caliber. You have always been of extraordinary caliber, but I do not think either of us knew how deep.

So now, for the tradition:

You are sacrificed bike rides so that I can have a break.
You are the rock of support that holds us, gives us a foundation so strong and safe and unwavering.
You are shared dead of night wake-ups, disgruntled but willing.
You are scratchy kisses and quiet embraces in the dark of their room as we listen to them sleep breath.

You are so much more. You are a strong man, always learning, giving, striving to find your place, crafting our home, mowing the lawn with a push mower, and somehow, always still having the generosity of spirit to give a little bit more of yourself.

You still make me excited. You have always made me happy. And I will love you for 5 more years, 50 more years, 500 more long as they give us.
Family together

Kisses, MCD.

Your O.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Ambitions

Something has come over me. I cannot stop knitting. And it feels really good.

I was on a walk with then boys, a time that alternately requires loud singing and pointing, and then lapses into silence as they get comfortable. I had a few minutes to reflect. I started thinking about all the houses we were passing, all the houses I know so well. I was thinking about when we would see this one put up its awesome Halloween scenes, when that one would take out their Nightmare Before Christmas craziness. It led me to think about last year at this time, the desperate walks I took just to get out and have time when the babies were not in my arms, did not have to be. It made me think about how sad I was, how I wanted to escape and leave and get out. And how just about this time last year knitting came back into my life and helped save me.

Sounds dramatic, huh? But knitting is my meditation. And I need it. There is a book by Coelho where a character cannot formally meditate so she knits. I have learned to calm myself when I am not knitting, it is not like I carry yarn and needles all the time, (um, yeah, I do, but I am not always knitting. Okay?). But I am a different me when I am involved in this simple act of fiber-wrap-pull-drop.

I have to admit to sitting in their room at nap time last year, shushing rustling babies, knitting in the dark. I have to confess to dreaming about it, and thinking about it when falling asleep. And I am okay with that. Because it saves me.

I am not a calm person by nature. I have battled panic disorder, I have never felt settled, I contemplate some fairly dark and twisty things at times. I have always yearned for something. But when I knit, I feel centered. And so I have to knit. And knit. And knit. And I have found it wonderful. It sure as hell beats hard drugs or therapy.

I have two discrete projects to share. The wedding shawl (Rav) came together nicely.
I loved the feel of the yarn and the pattern was simple with stretches of st-st, easily memorized lace panels and just big enough needles to get this thing finished in a few days. I have a few issues with myself on this one. Some of my decreases paired with an adjacent YO look wonky.
wonky but loved
I shall block it more aggressively a second time as this is for my lovely Kate. Not a knitter but a bride. And that deserves a little more attention to detail. So it will be gently folded and await a second warm day when I can wash and shape it a bit better.

I recommend this pattern whole heartedly. It is so pretty. I felt lovely during my self styled photo shoot. Even though I had to wrestle with the 20 pound Manfrotto tripod and try to keep the boys from pulling it onto their heads. I still felt pretty. A special someone will be getting a second one of these for Xmas. More on that later.

The second one took itself off the needles in a knitting nanosecond. I love the Turn a Square hat (Rav) by Brooklyntweed.
Every man in my life is getting one for Xmas. It uses stash yarn and looks just right. It takes a few hours and requires almost no attention once you establish the rows. I am not kidding, I have 4 or 5 more planned. So go and use your stash yarn. But make sure you check gauge. Because if you assume gauge then realize you are knitting at 4.5st=inch and try on the hat after 5 inches of knitting...well, you realize you just made a hat to fit a Sasquatch and have to frog it all.
in profile
And I loved this hat so much I did the math and immediately cast on again. That Jared is wonderful. When is he getting his book deal, I ask?

Which brings me back to knitting and my love for it. I started to get back to my knitting about this time last year. And then I started my Christmas knits and I actually made many more gifts than I thought possible. And so this year the list has been started and it looks like this...
Christmas Knitting

And I could not be happier. And that is just the first page. There is another. We are quite committed to non-commercial holidays, but quite obsessed with giving in this huge family. So, there it is. I am ready and willing to give myself over to it. With a few sewn projects here and there. When I glance at the list I feel excited, not intimidated. Not yet, anyway. I am going to try to be better about Rav'ing everything because I am finally realizing what a great resource it is and I want to add to it. So feel free to click on my Rav link to find out more about each project.

Anyway, here is to knitting. My saving grace, my current obsession (current...past and hopefully future). And my holiday gifting strategy. Wish me luck. I think I just embarked on my real Olympic knitting experience.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our Tuesday Morning

I planned on posting about knitting today, but the morning took a different turn. We were having a great one, the cool morning allowed us to play in the backyard, the boys in the dirt, me in the chair with a new project. No obligations to meet, just home. As we were winding things down for nap, I heard Owen crying and found him on the ground, holding his foot next to a bee. I found the stinger in his big toe and kinda' freaked out. I am not a jumpy Mama, I usually find kisses and a hug work great for even the bigger injuries. But, for some reason, this made me really nervous. Tim has a 'reaction' to bee stings, not deemed an allergy, but he never does well after a sting.

I pulled out the stinger and called Dr. L's office. The irony is we were in for our well baby visit yesterday and I commented to my Mom that we have never been there unless it was for a well check-up. Ah, Murphy, you love to visit after these type of comments, do you not? Anyway, I described his reaction (foot swelling and redness) and they asked me to come in to have him checked out. I grabbed a few things, handed Mace off to my Dad and drove to the office, feeling really scared. Owen was fine, but fell asleep in his seat on the way there, I kept glancing back to make sure he looked fine. It is only about 10 minutes to the office and he really was fine. By the time we got there, his foot was barely red and not even swollen.

I went in anyway, feeling a little silly at being the over-reactive Mama. We checked in and sat for a few minutes, maybe 10. And that is when I realized that I have never been alone with Owen out in public. I had taken Mace a few times in the early days, but never O. And here we were, sitting in the office (the very same one he tried to tear apart yesterday) watching the fish in the tank and the bubbles that periodically rose out of a sunken ship . He pointed and talked a bit, he cuddled most of the time, was fine to stand on the scale by himself and let Dr. L check his breathing with reluctance, and the whole time I just was there, watching him and it felt so weird.

Not too long ago there was a post on playing the twin card over at HDYDI. I commented that I don't because I just don't. And as they get older there is less of the card to play. But in the office I mentioned about 4 times that Owen was one of a set, that I had twins, and I felt like something was missing the whole time. The opposite of the twin card, I was putting it out there that there was another, he just was not here.

Sure it was easy to manage, I have never felt leaving the house has been as easy as it was during this impromptu (and unwelcome) visit. I had more than enough hands and I got to concentrate on O in a way that I never have while out. And I realized what a good Mama I am with the whole twin thing and how much I really, really like it. And for that, I am appreciative.

But I felt like I was a little empty and that people were seeing me with the one and not the other. And that I did not like. I know in the future we will likely do things with each boy, as an individual. But not yet, I am not ready for that yet. And I am so very glad I was blessed with these two people. Because they are so entwined in my heart. Hmmmm, I did not realize that the word entwined contains the very thing that resides in mine. My twins.

P.S. O is, of course, fine and they are both down for their nap with little rift in the daily routine. How abut that for a way to keep a good day going? So, I will get to the knitting stuff tomorrow. Right after I open my new package or yarn. Ahhhh.

Friday, August 15, 2008


As the summer rolls along and the days fly by, I have found we are moving towards using our summer crop of vegetables from the backyard and the market more often. I have been trying to cook on a daily basis, fresh and easy cooking. I finished the book The Omnivore's Dilemma and I am currently waiting on my library hold for his follow up In Defense of Food. It really changed and challenged the way I think about what will enter my mouth and the mouths of my babes. They both classify as toddlers now, you know, the ones who love something one day then despise the sight of it on their divided plate the next afternoon. A true challenge, but one I feel up to as I explore cooking, not only for them but for Tim and I. I remembered an old favorite that uses fresh tomatoes and green beans, if you have a glut or want a fresh dinner, this is great.
summer tomatoes and beans
It can be a bit labor intensive but the results are awesome. I am terrible at recipe giving because I never measure, I just add what I think is needed, but try this recipe. It embodies summer to me.

So, gather 3-4 large fresh tomatoes, score the end in a cross pattern and drop in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. This will allow you to peel the skin off easily. Just let them cool for awhile after removing them from the water or you shall burn your little fingers. Ouch. (You can use the water for cooking the pasta to accompany the dish.)

Chop coarsely and add to a largish pan with plenty of chopped fresh garlic (I use a whole head) and a splash of olive oil and let cook down until liquid evaporates and the tomatoes look cooked (maybe 15 minutes, medium flame). Add a splash of balsamic vinegar about 5 minutes in.

Meanwhile clean green beans and cut in half or so. When the tomatoes are cooked down add the green beans and about 1/2 cup olive oil, then add more balsamic vinegar to taste. You must use the balsamic, it allows a rich tangy flavor to develop. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. And another key component is a bunch of fresh chopped basil, add this and let wilt (I add almost a whole cup, but whatever you have) (Must be fresh). If you chose you can add chopped roasted almonds at the end and a handful of grated Asiago or Parmesan gives a lovely finish.

Last night I served it with whole wheat pasta that we salt and peppered, added a little olive oil and balsamic to, then dished up next to the veg. My husband believes strongly in carbs filling the plate (the bread was for both of us, or so he says).
husband's plate
But then he usually only eats one meal a day. Bread is good with this dish because you will have a lovely emulsion of olive oil on the plate and it must not go to waste.
view from my seat
Bon Appetito.

I have actually finished the Wedding Shawl but, though exceedingly lovely to touch, it is not very impressive unblocked. A task I shall try to endeavor this weekend. The little vest is on its way to stealing my heart. I love vest knitting. Simple to design/modify.
Vest for Mason
No nonsense and wearable in California. Makes the recipient look even cuter than he was before donning the vest. What is not to love? This one will receive a garter neck/armhole edge and then be done.
It is snug but I think the cotton will stretch as needed. Next up, another one for Owen (slightly larger, I think) and another one for a little one coming this way in Autumn. The second vest will use stash yarn (yay, Frog Tree) and be considerably warmer, I think. We shall see.

This fabric has been intriguing me, peeking from the stash box.
coral reef modified
I decided to make it a purse and embellish it a bit with a few knots and beads. No real progress, just a little play.

Hope the weekend shapes up to be a celebration of Summer for all. We are off to a jaunt at the beach, escaping the temperatures in our Valley area for respite by the sea. Enjoy and try that recipe if you can.

Here is what we see when we eat in the backyard on the patio.
dinner guests
They are truly boy through and through, dirty and diaperless and loving every moment of it.

too dirty for dinner

Sunday, August 10, 2008

24 hours and a Weekend

The weekend has flown by with a stunning alacrity. It started with a wedding on Friday night, followed by a birthday party on Saturday and then our 24 hour time away in Palm Springs that came to a close this afternoon at 445 p.m. Exactly 24 hours, as we left at the same time yesterday. Feels like it was a moment and an eon ago.

Friday was great, it was a late wedding and the evening was cool and lovely.
her dress
Friends of ours from the early days, we were actually witness to the beginning of their relationship, 12 or so years ago. There was much talk of the fact that they finally made it to the alter themselves. Karen has been a bridesmaid 10 times, for real, people. She also works as a manager of a beautiful place called Etiwanda Gardens that specializes in weddings.
her day
So for her to finally get her day, well, we were all super happy for her. And my fellow Multiples Mom (of triplets, no less) made it our with her husband.
MOMs out
Our hubbies finally met (well, since their grade school days) and hit it off (you should have heard them talk shop, it was highly entertaining) and received much ribbing about when they were going for the, ahem, surgery to ensure our family size stayed at its current number. Poor guys. But all in all, a really nice night.

Saturday we visited friends again to celebrate their little girl's 2nd birthday. when we arrived it was a 'woah' moment for me because I recall last year bringing our tiny boys in for London's 1st birthday, their little persons residing in the seats for the most of the party. This year they ran from kiddie pool to sand box to fruit cup/snow cone station. The little birthday girl received a Kimono of her own,
I had such fun picking out the fabrics for a girl-ish version.
I added a bit of detail on the front. I was very pleased with the finished product and look forward to making a few more.
After some fun (unphotgraphed play, due to near constant running after them to save them from themselves) we packed up the kiddos and headed home, where we dropped them off with the gPs, threw in a few sparsely packed bags and headed out.

Tim and I have a fairly long history with Palm Springs. I spent time there when I was finishing PT school, three months, to be exact. Those three months were July to September, pretty much the hottest time of the year there. It was not the most pleasant time, but there is something about the desert and that town that I really love. Tim used to be out there a lot for a job he once had.
So, going out, we were reminiscing a bit and marveling at how short the drive now seemed....especially as it was done in relative peace without to squawking babblers in car seats bringing up the rear. We were meeting friends at their family condo for one night, and we anticipated the pool, a few drinks and sleeping in.

All of which we got. In the coolest place ever. The condo was very retro Palm Springs, but modern somehow.
the desert
It felt how I would imagine PS to have been in the 50s, in the Frank days. The pool was steps away, complete with shuffleboard for the boys. It was hot as hell, but by 9 it had cooled down enough to sit without sweating and the pool felt refreshing.

The night was not a romantic one, it actually felt a bit like camp. Our room was shared with our really close friends, each couple with a twin bed to squeeze into. My husband and our friend Katie could not stop bantering as we went to bed, likely due to some inebriation on their part.
Tim kept asking for scary stories and saying "Tell 'em large Marge sent you...." which made me laugh the first time, but not the second, third or fourth. Katie got up to use the bathroom and almost ended up climbing into bed with Tim and I, disoriented by the pitch dark. All in all, it was laughable. All that really mattered was that I passed out and slept from 11 until 830....the first time in over two years that I have gotten that much sleep in a single setting.
morning in Palm Springs

I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt.

I was wondering how I would feel, this first time away from the boys. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of guilt or worry that we experienced. We knew they were in wonderful hands with their Omi and Opa, two that know them and have always been with them in some way since their birth. Tim and I settled into our 'alone' time just fine. There were actually a few moments when I kinda' forgot we had kids. The freedom to just sit and talk with our friends, to relax the ever vigilance...well, it was much needed and much appreciated. A 24 hour break, such a treat. Especially when the late wake up (I know, 830 is not late for you, but for me it is sleeping in three hours) was followed by a Mocha (Starbucks is a rarity for us) and then some Mimosas.
proper Sunday morning
Then lunch out, pool time (in 110 degree heat...but dry heat people, dry heat), a little bit of cleaning and almost no need to repack.

I got very little knitting done, especially because my hubs lost his contacts in the pool and I had to drive home. But even that was okay, a little Sunday afternoon NPR as he napped a bit was just right.

And getting home and having the boys run to us and give us hugs. Well, that felt great too. They looked different. Isn't that weird? In only 24 hours they seemed to change. Or maybe it was the new perspective, that little bit of distance.

We are thinking that we have to do a night away every three-four months, just to recharge. I highly recommend it. And in a few more months PS will be lovely, temps hovering in the low 70s right around Christmas time. Perfect.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


So, I have disqualified myself from the Ravelympics. I am that one that they discovered doping before the Opening Ceremony.

I meant to swatch last night. Just to make sure I got gauge. I even put down the swatch and made a few stitch markers that the pattern called for. But I could not leave it. I am on Row 26 of a 68 row pattern. I just cannot stop. But I had to come here and confess.
I have a few excuses lined up to provide explanation. First, the yarn. Oh this yarn is a luxury, smooth and almost silky. Just about the nicest thing I have knit with in quite some time. Then there is the pattern' it is way too addictive. Little yarnover holes magically lining up, growing so quickly, pretty pretty pretty. Third, I have never been good with rules. Even ones I set arbitrarily on myself. I just cannot play along well.

The redeeming factor in this all is one I stated above. I am on Row 26 of 68 rows (minus an ending border). So I would have been through the piece before the Tuesday premiere of gymnastic competition. Not the best choice for a knit that was meant to challenge one to finish in 12 days...not if this one is going to take 3 or 4. I thought because it was lace and so very pretty in these pictures of Carrieoke on her wedding day, well, I just thought it would take a little bit more time.

Now, I gotta go. Finale of SYTYCD is on and my knitting is calling. There is a chance WEBS will deliver this by Monday and I could cast on for the most popular knit in the world. But, you know WEBS. If it does some I think that is the next project up. I think I will love the Cascade Venezia as much as the RCY.

Thanks for hearing my confession. Now, back to the knit.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Approach of the Olympics

So, I spoke of a fever of gifting giving/making. In said fever I forgot to take photographic evidence of one of the gifts. I am going to have to go mug the 8 year old sweetie that received a child sized version of the Charming Handbag in order to get a shot. Not really, but she is off to Hawaii this week, so pictures will wait.

What is up with my gifts jetting around the world (much more than I am)? Jealous. I do love the bag I assembled. It has a bit of sweet embroidery and is just the right size for a little bit of whatever an 8 year old would carry around. The best part was when she ran to her Mama and told her I had made her gift....from scratch. That is such a nice feeling.

The next gift for another little one, turning 2, is sitting in a state of almost finished-ness. An awesome sewing session while listening to Mason Jennings last night produced another kimono...this one for a girl. I love the sewing for girls. No pictures yet, but it will not escape the house without leaving an impression in my digital camera. Promise.

So what do I have some photos of, you might ask? Well, I have been gearing up to cast on for the Knitting Olympics. Yeah, I know, I am participating in an activity that can be seen as slightly crazy by any outside eye. But it is sooo exciting. To have the challenge and the possibility of Knitting Gold.

And it is the perfect way to justify all the hours of television I will be immersed in come 8-8-08. I actually am a little nervous as I have decided to try to accomplish completion in two events: one wedding shawl and one knitted cap (respectively for the bride and groom). This yarn is for Jared's Turn A Square hat.
turn a square yarn
Watch out, this girl thinks she can be all over the Games.

So, as practice for the non-stop knitting coming up, well, I had to cast on for a totally unrelated project. This bright little number is on its way to becoming another vest, heavily modified from the same Oz Vest pattern, using stash yarns. I am in love already.
The green yarn is from Sarah at Blue Garter, I won a prize from her last year and it languished in the stash, calling, but I could not find the right use. Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere, lovely stuff. The blue is leftover denim yarn. Methinks there may be some color bleeding with washing, so I just will not wash them. It is not like the boys are going to get them dirty or spill/wipe anything on them. Ever. I do have enough for two, so I plan on getting as far as possible and putting it down on Friday.

I am taking this opportunity to practice the jog-less jog that Jared recommends. It did not go so well initially. This may be in part because I am practicing the jog-less jog from memory, despite having the instructions on my laptop. I was knitting fiendishly during their nap today and felt I could not stop to look it up. Because who knows when one will wake and need me?
jogless jog?
So, I tried this and that, left the wonky attempts and knit on, folks, power knit on. And, of course, they slept for three hours. I actually put down the knitting and went to eat. This never ever happens. So, I totally could have looked up the proper way. But at least I am getting practise. And no one really looks at seams except other knitters. So, I am not worried.

Anyway, back to the three hour nap. Yay for that. Except they woke up a bit happy for a spell, then not really very happy at all after a spell. My changeling children are going through something. With O I know it is his bottom molar. Macie...well, I think he is a bit wild. That is the best description I have for my brilliant and occasionally feral child. Who I think is teething again despite having all four molars in. (Gallic shoulder shrug). What are you gonna' do?

Knit. Knit, I say. And looks at some cute pictures of the boys at play with their awesome Humboldt Redwood Blocks.



And Macie in his waay too big Chuck Taylors that he would not take off.
I love these kids.
Loving his Chuck Taylors

I almost forgot to mention. Tim and I are going to be away for a night this weekend. Off to Palm Desert with friends, sans babies. First time. Excited and a little nervous. And looking forward to knitting all Sunday morning.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Addicted to Avery

I seem to gravitate towards Veronik Avery. Her designs grace my needles more than any other designer out there in the knit world. The first lace project I ever attempted was of her design.
perfect pie shawl
This is the Perfect Pie Shawl. I loved knitting the piece once I understood the construction, it took some figuring out as it was full of yarn overs and what I now understand are short rows. But it was unique and lovely to knit. The end result was not really my favorite, due more to the yarn than the pattern. The yarn is a hairy mohair, scratchy and rough and not so drapey. But I think I would do this project again with some lovely lace weight or hand-dyed sock yarn to see what the result of knitted joined triangles would be. I just giggled a little when I recall reading the pattern in Weekend Knitting and wondering what the hell ‘Koigu’ was. Ah, those days of novice knitting.

Anyway, she dominants in my finished object pile and today is not exception with two new objects to show and tell. The first is also from Weekend Knitting,
Petticoat Socks.
Petticoat Socks
I love these socks, have coveted them from the time I opened the book. I just love the look of the lace panel and the cuff, and the….oh, you get it.
I decided to convert it to a bootie and it should have taken mere days. I cast on a long time ago and enjoyed the knit. Only mistake I made was to keep repeating the foot pattern until the sock was waaaay too big for my foot. I basically sport smallish hobbit like feet requiring about 4.5 inches of knitting once the heel is turned and gusseted.
So, what to do? I put it aside. Like ripping was an impossible thing to do. But I pulled out 1st sock few weeks ago because it occurred to me that my almost sister in law would love a wool pair to take to South America on their upcoming trip. Once the decision to gift was made, those sockettes flew off the needles. They are stunning on her elegantly shaped feet. And they are currently strolling around Buenos Aires. I told her she must capture a photo of them at Machu Pichu if they make it. (And they are knit out of Koigu. I like that symmetry).
Petticoat Socks
And I am in a fever of gift knitting because it feels so good.

The second project began long ago but I just did bits here and there. It is the Lace Ribbon Scarf, free from Knitty.
Lace Ribbon Scarf
Kat Coyle knit this (in like a day because she is the most proficient knitter I have ever seen (yeah, I totally got to knit in public with her. Totally bragging right now)). I knew I had to. I used a lovely hand dye from this shop, only one skein.
It is a bit short, but I live in California and like my scarves just barely there. The pattern is simple and satisfying and easy to remember. Once I established the pattern I never had to go back to re-read it, I could just pick up and knit a few repeats then put it away.

That I one of the reasons I love her designs so much. There is a pleasing simplicity to her knitting, the construction is usually quite innovative and intriguing, but the knitting is simple.
I find I choose the pattern before I realize she is the designer, which also speaks to the fact that she has some type of consistency to her designs. And they just seem so classy and classical. The ironic thing is I do not yet own her book. Good to note for the upcoming gift giving season. I will likely order it from Amazon and tell Tim he gave it to me. So bad.
This picture was my attempt to turn Tim into a knitwear photographer. I told him to focus on the scarf. But I do like my smile here.

If you are fairly new to knitting, Google her or look at her Ravelry profile for some really lovely project ideas. I just saw Carrieoke’s Cardigan that looks spectacular on her. Not that I need any more inspiration for new projects. But you never know, cardigans can almost be justified here in California.

The last thing I wanted to mention…if you do not read Earthchick (yet), she is a fellow Mama of twins/knitter/sewer/Flickr aficionado that almost lost one of her twin sons last year to a bizarre (but more common than you think) accident at the beach. She is holding a Raffle with unbelievably spectacular prizes. Please go and check it out of you want to support a good cause and get in to win some amazing yarn/fabric goodness. And I am talking amazing, most prizes are worth 70$ and up. Now that is worth a 5$ ticket, eh?