Our little dog-cat Abby Kitty took a walk on Friday morning and has not returned, as yet. It’s Sunday afternoon. We’re fielding questions from the kids whose eyes are growing bigger and rounder as time ticks by. Weather-wise it’s been a lovely weekend and I’ve been okay philosophizing that our Kitty has met her match out in the wild that surrounds our home. It just started raining though, and that makes my heart sink. It seems harder to bear while it rains.
I hope with all my heart little Abby Kitty comes back home.
Posted by Claire on June 16, 2013
Even a still picture of this boy conveys motion.
He’s always moving:
Jumping, falling, running,
at the same time he is:
Thinking, asking, questioning
More people have said to me “He’s so curious!”
I say, “He’s amazing!”
Posted by Claire on June 8, 2013
Out grown socks turned wrist warmers.
Pulling off multiple stripes, old socks on hands AND green nail polish.
Posted by Claire on May 31, 2013
Memorial Day burst out of the rain to offer us an almost perfect day. Low 70′s, steady breezes, and sun shining on every surface. Like everyone else around here, we ran out the door to soak up the sun and enjoy a break from all the rain. We gardened. Even the kids weeded and mulched. For hours. My walled garden is beginning to look respectable especially as Jay was good enough to dig up some plants that don’t belong there and move them to better spots.
I started work on the border on the side of the house and was happily weeding my way around spending some time in the shade of the cherry tree that holds our wine bottle wind chimes. At one point I thought I felt something fall on me but I quickly dismissed it when my attention was captured by a furry caterpillar crawling across my boots. Some time later Heather noticed a couple of the same caterpillars on the tree trunk, and then we saw 5, and 10, and then too many to count. I was completely grossed out – one or two of those things are cute, but clumps of them are creepy. I think it had been raining caterpillars on me while I was weeding under that tree. Yuck. I moved on quickly to the safer open skies.
Knitting. Ahhhhhh…isn’t that’s better? One of George’s teachers is having a baby girl so I made this gorgeous little cardigan. Easy and quick and I think quite sophisticated for a smart baby. This was one of the items I was knitting along with my Sibella sweater. When it was too hot to be knitting browns and golds I pulled this tiny pink article out and felt much cooler again. It’s all psychology.
This little cardi comes in one size – 3 months – but mine stretched a little during blocking so maybe it will last a little longer. My ravelry notes for the pattern and yarn are here.
I hope you all had a good Memorial Day!
Posted by Claire on May 29, 2013
Posted by Claire on May 28, 2013
The rain hasn’t let up and in fact Jay went to work last night in a snow storm! Yes, a snow storm. Thankfully it was gone by the time we were up this morning but it had been replaced by more rain. In the end I accepted that waiting for the sun to shine is a futile exercise and a picture or two in the dull rain would have to suffice. I forced Jay to pop outside with me and take some photos.
On the hot and sunny days of May I found this sweater a bit of a labor to knit because the color is not spring-like at all and I was sure I’d never have an opportunity to wear it before the Fall. The best part of knitting this sweet jumper was that I wasn’t knitting it alone but with my lovely friend, Stephanie. You know her! She’s amazing. And I am honored to call her a friend. So there I was knitting in the heat and sunshine when as I’m sure you appreciate by now, it started raining, and it got cold, and it became perfect sweater-wearing weather. I am loving it!
The sweater is Sibella by Carrie Bostick Hoge and I knit it with Madeline Tosh’s Sport. Ravelry notes are here.
Posted by Claire on May 26, 2013
Posted by Claire on May 25, 2013
Posted by Claire on May 9, 2013
Sometimes life gets too busy and too sidetracked. April was a blur, I was sick for a good week or so – all while my mum was visiting – and there was the “annual poster and diorama research project” to be done by our first grader smacked in the middle of it all. April vacation came and went in very cold and dull fashion, ballet rehearsals and performances were attended and the general running around resumed at breakneck speed. Needless to say, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for knitting but I am quite determined and good at squeezing in a row here or there. I found myself knitting while waiting for the teller at the bank’s drive-through yesterday!
Following the nasty bug I promptly put my back out and have once again been hobbling. No matter, a quick visit to my osteopath soon cracked me back in alignment and from there I wandered across the road to my favorite
dumpy yarn shop hidden pearl. I found the yarn there and at 20% off I was suitably impressed with my shopping prowess. I am in love with the greens and blues of my latest sock yarn purchase. It reminds me of socks knitted by the lovely New Zealander blogger at Crochet with Raymond. Then I show you a picture of my garden behind the sock yarn. Oi. Raking and dividing of plants is sorely needed but I can’t seem to find the energy for that. Oh Jayyyyyy?
The last picture shows my newly-acquired skill of knitting two sleeves at once on the circular needle. It’s going very well but of course is slower than knitting one at a time – until I’m finished and I don’t have to knit another blooming sleeve. It was a bit tricky getting started and keeping everything where it was supposed to be (but I remember learning to knit in the round was like that at first too) but I like doing it this way and will try knitting socks like this next time.
Hoping you are all well out there! I miss our chats and hope to be stopping by here more often again (and at your blogs too!). I also hope to be running again as soon as my back is better. Sheesh, things do fall apart quickly!
And how could I forget to mention…Spring has Sprung!!! Oh how wonderful it is to have the sun shining warmly on us.
Posted by Claire on May 3, 2013
Posted by Claire on April 20, 2013
Posted by Claire on April 18, 2013
…the fluffy kitty snuggling my side when she has eventually stopped playing with my yarn. The tulips brightening up our dining room table and my daughter alphabetizing the spice racks. My son helping make dinner and eating it with a dollop of ice-cream. And always, the knitting.
Last week was Easter and Jay had the weekend off call (for the first time in ages). We were supposed to celebrate George’s one year anniversary, our 19th wedding anniversary and Easter too, but everyone except Jay was sick. We had vomit on the kitchen floor, sore throats and runny noses, and I had a deep desire to stay in bed with the covers firmly overhead. We managed to pull together some sort of celebrations along with an Easter egg hunt, but it was subdued and we mostly just snuggled and blew our noses and refused to take medicine because “it tastes yucky”. The sickness trailed into the week but slowly we were all back on our feet.
Of course with it being a milestone anniversary for our family of four, I find myself thinking a lot about how George and I have managed this last year. It has been hard on us both. He has been through so much and all without his consent: a new family, a new continent, a new language, new food, new rules, new people that look different, and on and on. And before that he suffered loss. So much loss. For my part, George has pulled me off my self-appointed pedestal (you know, where the moms of well-behaved children hang out) and has pushed all the buttons that can tip a mom into Crazytown. I have been taught a lesson in faith and leaping and crashing and burning…and picking yourself up and getting on with it. We have a long way to go and patience is needed because the smaller the steps we take, the better. But with all that said, on this, our first anniversary, I can say there have been precious moments of connection which are deeply gratifying no matter how fleeting. He has been through so much. He is a true warrior. And we will get there.
Posted by Claire on April 8, 2013
Here is the only non-sock item I’ve knitted this year. And of course, it’s a shawl. I knitted this for a good friend who turned 40 recently. I want to wrap her in some knitterly love because she’s been having a very difficult time lately and has continued to get up and keep going in the face of it. I so admire her.
It was a simple and quick knit and apart from the dropped stitch I didn’t notice for several rows it gave me no problem at all. What I like most about this shawl has to be the yarn itself. It’s a delicate alpaca fingering that was soft to knit and then after blocking has become even softer and a little fluffy. I can only hope it brings her some comfort and joy.
The yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox made in Peru. The pattern is the Oaklet Shawl by Meg Goodacre. Ravelry notes here.
And may I add, Happy Easter to you all.
Posted by Claire on March 31, 2013
Posted by Claire on March 30, 2013
I’m popping in for a quick “howdo?” as my sissy always says.
I’ve been busy of late and there are always kids around, even more than usual, and at a higher head-count too! It’s all good but it doesn’t leave me much time for having a blether here. I managed to finish a shawl for a friend’s 40th and it’s blocking as we speak.
I’m giddy with excitement because I’ve committed myself to some colorwork in the form of a Kate Davies hat. I’ll not tell you more just yet, but let’s say I think it will be a good one to learn on (meaning only three colors to manage). I’ve also decided (perhaps against my better judgment) to knit it in the Jamieson’s Shetland wool she recommends. I’m afraid it might be too scratchy for the wee heid it’s being knitted for, but then if that’s the case, perhaps she’ll share it with her ole mama.
While I wait for the yarn to arrive I’ve started a pair of socks in a beautiful coffee-bean color. I’m calling them my Buna Socks because Buna means Coffee in Amharic. They are knit 3, purl 1 rib and I thought they’d drive me crazy, but my fingers have learned the rhythm and have kept on track so far. They are for Jay.
I hope to return here very soon to record our first year anniversary of George joining our family which happens to fall on our 19th wedding anniversary. Yikes, time does fly.
Posted by Claire on March 28, 2013
Posted by Claire on March 19, 2013
I love these socks. They were easy and without finicky traveling stitches or any other embellishments. I started them a little bit ago and then set them aside while I got on with running my home and falling into bed at night without picking up any needles.
For much of the day last Sunday, we only had George at home because Heather had gone for a sleepover at a friend’s house on Saturday. For the first time, I realized half of the craziness we now live with is purely because we have two lively kids, and it’s not all George. Wow! Revelation. Anyway, I had woken early before anyone else and sat quietly in front of the fire and knitted peacefully for an hour before Jay or George came to join me. From there, the one child thing became evident, as George played quietly for what seemed like hours while I sat with him knitting up my second sock. I finished the sock before I went to bed that night. What a glorious Sunday that was. Nowhere to be, no-one to cart around (Jay took charge of taking Heather to a swim-party later in the day) and George quiet and content. I think I shall name these socks my “Sunday socks”.
I knitted these socks from the Riff Sock pattern I used to knit Jay’s socks (my first ever socks). I just omitted the twisted stitches and knit everything plain. I used Cascade Yarns Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn which is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon. It’s quite a bit brighter than the pictures show. I particularly loved when the deep pink followed the dusky green, and it made me think of kale. It was fun to have those colors appear through my fingers when it was their turn to come around again.
Oh I do want to mention the extra stretchy bind-off used at the cuff. Do you all know about this? I’m sure you do, but in case you are new to sock knitting like me, you might like this tutorial on how to do Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off which adds extra yarn into each stitch as you bind-off giving your sock a lot of stretch to get around your ankle or calf, or cankle!
Ravelry notes here.
Posted by Claire on March 15, 2013
This picture was taken five years ago today.
Held in our hands are the hands of people we love in Ethiopia.
I love my daughter beyond measure.
She made me a mommy for the first time.
She took heartily of the love I didn’t even know was deep inside of me.
She drew it out and molded me.
For me, becoming a mother and immersing myself in Ethiopia will always be woven together.
Becoming a mother has changed my daily vocabulary and priorities,
I have kissed goodbye the person I was before motherhood
and in return
I witness my daughter growing and blooming
I feel the warmth of her body hugging into mine
She rests her head on my chest
She beams her smiles at me.
Five years of love, discovery, heart-ache, joy
and a connection with the world beyond my wildest dreams.
I love you, my beautiful daughter.
Posted by Claire on March 12, 2013