Monday, September 24, 2007


All kids like it, right? Well, just as with macaroni and cheese, my kids didn't, though they'll happily eat sushi, tilapia, tofu stir fry, or dirty rice. The good news is that I've managed to convert Washington, at least into enjoying homemade applesauce.

We had a wonderful time apple-picking, and, though a certain little boy was more interested in eating than picking, we came home with plenty of apples. Coco was able to take in 23 for snack to her first grade calss, and when she sorted through, she found a few with bruises. So, on Tuesday, instead of knitting, I peeled and chopped and stirred until I had some delicious applesauce. I've even been able to make one of my favorite breakfasts, shredded wheat with applesauce and milk poured over it (though I can't get anyone else to try that).

This sweater seems to be going amazingly fast, to me. I brought three balls of yarn (including the one I'd cast on with), and I'd practically finished the first by the time we got to Connecticut. I finished the second at knitting circle Thursday, and now the third is getting skinny. To be able to go around and around, always looking at the right side and knowing exactly what comes next--my kind of sweater. The only problem is that now I'm convinced I must have Knitting from the Top to move along my knitting growth. It was the Knitty interview with Cat Bordhi that convinced me. I also really appreciated her talking about her ten-year (!) knitting slump.

Finally, the first tablemat is so close to done, yet I have not been motivated to finishe the last TWO rows. I guess I really need another movie to watch.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Did I say this would be done in a week? I think I also mentioned, however, my reluctance to weave in ends. On the inside, there are still eight or so threads that need to be put in their place.

It's a miracle that I managed to get out my pom-pom maker to top this hat. Honestly, I actually needed the motivation of meeting the recipient, one Baby Sylvester, and seeing just how cute he is. He'll receive the hat tomorrow, in plenty of time for the nippy fall weather that the last rain brought in.
Truth be told, ever since I finished the book club book, (Like) Water for Elephants, and a very good read it was, too, I've been a little more into reading than knitting. Also finished in September: the Miss Marple classic A Caribbean Mystery, and a couple of very different nonfiction books that both deal with the adolescent struggles of minority girls in America. Once Upon a Quincenera, by Julia Alvarez, had a very sociological bent, with a side of woman's empowerment and a lot of self-reflection. Happy Birthday or Whatever dealt with Annie Choi's travails growing up as the youngest child of Korean immigrants. It is intensely personal and, in places, uproariously funny. I can identify with many of the experiences she describes, but the vignette that really made me think described how her mother decided to deal with Annie's out-of-control stuffed animal collection. What parent doesn't struggle with this? And, while I will probably never tell my daughter outright "You crazy. They no live," I do wish there were some way to thin their numbers. The final book I've just put down was a thin but fairly satisfying John Mortimer, Rumpole and the Reign of Terror.
Tomorrow we're heading to Connecticut to see the grandparents and to harvest apples, which should be fantastic, and my brilliant father-in-law pointed out that since there are so many of us, it might make sense to rent a van. So tomorrow, as Ian pilots us to his childhood home and the kids sing along to Dan Zanes, I will be in the passenger seat knitting away on Ian's long-awaited cardigan, which I just started today.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wrong on all counts

I flew down to Houston sure that I would have little or no knitting time and that my nephews would have no interest in my knitting. In fact, when we took our short hiatus to Austin, I only brought the gauge-swatch hat, the Easter egg sweater, and some odd balls. Turns out I grossly underestimated drive time and also failed to take into account the enormous, netted trampoline, which occupied vast swaths of kids' time, while I could sit quietly on the gliding porch swing watching. I actually ran out of projects and had to come up with another:

It's a tiny baby raglan from odds and ends of merino style that I happened to have, but I'm thinking I can duplicate stitch or crochet some fish under the water (blue part) and a sailboat on top (white portion). Of course, I'll have to order more yarn for the sleeves and find a really tiny, nautical-minded baby, but it's also perhaps a pattern I could (enlarge and) use again.

The gauge-swatch hat turned out very nicely, also sized for a tiny baby, but after my two-year-old nephew was kind enough to try it on, he became fascinated by it and wanted to put it on again and again. I promised him one more his size for Christmas, but when I took out the measuring tape to check his head circumference he became enchanted with that and carried it around for the rest of the day (to be fair, it is shaped like a dinosaur).
Meanwhile, as my two-year-old nephew was angling for hat and supplies, my six-year-old nephew took some time off from jumping to come sit with me and gently hold the ball of yarn I had just finished with. What is Sam doing in this photo?

Knitting a hat for Batman.

Of course, when I say I've finished the Easter egg sweater that really means it's off the needles. Boy do I have a lot of weaving in to do. Somehow, all my tapestry needles were conveniently forgotten. But that did enable me to start one more project:

It's another baby sweater from the Knitter's Almanac, but this time in merino, so I don't have to feel as if I'm betraying EZ's trust. The color is called cornflower, but is much more lavender in person, and I seem to have internalized the simple lace pattern.
As for the V-neck, we've had a beautiful reunion, both armholes are done, and the neck is halfway to completion. A few ends to sew-in, and I think it will be waiting for the next 65-degree day.