Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Puerperium Cardigan - Finished Last week

A close friend of mine knit this sweater for Marlowe before she was born. The Puerperium Cardigan It is named after the six week period after a baby was born. With the support of Jason this was my favourite time post partum.

The Puerperium period. Click the link for pronunciation, I had to. It is beautiful and totally inspiring and so I knit one myself for a soon to be born baby.

I love the colours of Noro Silk Garden and the way it plays with the Cascade 220 contrast colour. I had so much yarn left over that I was able to make a little baby hat to match.

This particular outfit was made for a friend who I have known since first year university. I wanted to add some additional and beautiful handmade love so I added an Owl from my friend Debra's shop.

I have a whole draft post about how the fewer dollars we have at our disposal the more local we shop. By spending our money with local shops and artists we know that each dollar will have more of a spread. It's an idea I'm still trying to work on.

Anyway, we have a couple of these toys and love them; pigs, puppies, owls. Debra does them all.
She makes beautiful toys. If you need one, I think you should contact her.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pieces of Love

Back in May or June of 2011, Fenner came home from daycare to request a new blanket. She had outgrown all of her hand knit baby blankets and was in need of a big girl blanket. Handmade, thankyouverymuch.

Smart kid, appealing to the ego of a knitter who is in it it for the process. So I started the Mitred Crosses Blanket. I knit squares at the cottage, I knit squares at home, I knit squares on the TTC, I took a break.

Then Marlowe started to go very late and some loving friends suggested that perhaps Marlowe was waiting for me to finish Fenner's big sister blanket. Sweet baby jesus. Since I hadn't even finished knitting the 12 squares. I started to go hard.
As it turns out she was just waiting until she was well done. So I continued to knit squares in bed while I recovered and everywhere else I travelled.

Until finally the pieces of blanket were done. Noro really does have colour down pat.
As I finished sets of three squares, Fenner gave them a gentle bath and I laid them out to block. It was the first time Fenner was engaged for a task and she took the job very seriously, bathing them tenderly and rolling them out not so much with the tenderness.
It figured heavily into my New Years resolutions as I was getting deeply bored so I set myself weekly goals to ensure that I finished the beast in January.

The joining of the squares took almost 2 weeks.
The I-Cord edging took 1 week and a whole season of The Wire.

The blocking took 1 day. I don't have a picture of Fenner rolled in it because she sleeps in it at night. She filled my knitter's heart with mush when she saw it she squealed like only a 4 year old girl can and said that it was as beautiful as all of the trees in Monarch Park (that's a lot, just so you know).

Can you guess which is her favourite square?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Week 2 Knitting

One of my New Year's resolutions is to write a list of things to do every week and stick to it as much as possible. I prioritize household tasks like finances, food and education obviously but I also make note of knitting priorities as well.

I want to see if I can keep on top of things if I note them and stay focussed. I like to start something new every week, finish something and maintain progress (like on a blanket) so that I feel like everything is moving forward.

Last week I started and finished a Dark Side Cowl out of some left over Manos Del Uruaguay that I'd used to rug hook a wedding gift a few years back. It was a super satisfying pattern and since I'm ironically very low on winter woollies I got myself some heat.
I started and finished one of a pair of socks for Fenner. I know that her feet are small so this wasn't all that and a bag of crisps but I love that I STARTED AND FINISHED something in a week. It really reminded me of the true portability of simple socks. Expect to see more boring socks!

The colour isn't very visible here but I expect to finish these this week and will post better pictures next week.
In my progress bucket, I've finished the neverending applied I-Cord edging to Fenner's Mitred Crossing blanket. I'm looking forward to seeing the end product which at the rate I'm going should be next week! I finished this while nursing and watching The Big C.

I'm so satisfied with this blanket I can't wait to finish it.
Since I'm almost done the blanket of 2011 I had to pick up the yarn for the next long overdue blanket. In the picture below you'll see a painting in the background. It is a spectacular painting given to me in exchange for a handknit blanket...a year ago. It's time to get that party started. I hope to finish it in less than 6 months...
It was a great week. I finished Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and started The Virgin Cure by Ami MacKay. Reading, writing and knitting are passions I've had a really hard time enjoying in the past few years. I am energized and inspired that appetite has reappeared. Progress is slow and interrupted by the will is strong.

"The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voicess and visions come through and onto the page."

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The world around us.

Last weekend we had our two nieces in the city. Our original plan was to do afternoon High Tea at the Park Hyatt or King Eddy but due to life schedules we opted for the Ontario Science Centre instead.

They arrived on Saturday afternoon after a drive from Barrie. There wasn't much time to do much so we went for a walk in my neighbourhood to stretch our legs.

The ravine in my neighbourhood is the perfect spot to run off energy. It's a small offshoot of the Taylor Creek Valley. This ravine seems to be magic to all children who enter it.
There is a perfectly sized creek that runs through across which trees have fallen. The creek is big enough to seem enormous to anyone under 20 and small enough that adults don't have to be afraid of hypothermia and drowning.

They scaled the bridge across river! I love it. The girls took a giant bite of challenge and succeeded and Fenner was so chuffed that she could have exploded.
Joy of joys. There was also a dead, rotting and frozen raccoon in the woods. While I spent the time gagging in the background, my brother in law played paleontologist with Fenner and Claire.

Fenner and Claire have a love that knows no bounds. Claire lives to care for and love people and Fenner lives to love Claire. It's very hard not to eat them both up.

My sister is fully in her second trimester. You can probably feel the glow from your screen right now. We are so excited for who she's brewing that we can hardly stand it. Judging by how spectacular she is looking this person is going to add a whole lot of love to our lives.
My 11 year old niece too Fenner to the moon on a jet pack. She is such a smart, charming and independant person to be with. She turned the hands of time using strength and determination and a series of cogs and wheels.Claire, an artistic soul, was rightly suspicious of our plan to spend the day doing 'science' but was quickly inspired by the Kids Park and declared in the end that she thought science was more fun than expected.

We had a ball. These kids can really change the way we view the world around us if we let them. It's inspiring.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week 1 - Big Sister Blanket Seaming.

It is well known that myself and my children are and have been well cherished by my knitting communities. I was lucky enough to have been pregnant with Fenner with two close knitting friends and our community knit her some beautiful blankets which we have used on many adventures. Jason hand washes them monthly and Fenner uses them as napping blankets at day care and as capes at home.

Our community Blanket from Lettuce Knit is made from the sadly discontinued Mission Falls line. Everyone knit a square and the Lettuce Knit ladies (Laura, Megan and Denny) finished the odious work of putting it together. It has stood the test of time beautifully.

Her summer blanket is a beautiful Mission Falls cotton blanket from Miko at The Purple Purl. This blanket still holds that timeless summer smell of sunscreen and baby head.

Couldn't you just melt?

Fenner used this as her summer nap blanket. When Marlowe joined us Fenner generously suggested that perhaps Marlowe could use it because it didn't fit Fenner any more.
At the end of the summer we were washing and hanging her blankets and she turned to me and asked for a bigger blanket. Given how well loved blankets are in my heart and our lives I could not say no.

I chose the Mitred Crossing blanket out of Noro Kureyon and Galway as Fenner's Big Sister Blanket. I finished knitting the squares during my puerperium period in bed with Marlowe but it has been languishing since then.

My goal was to put it together last week. No small feat given that the blocks are knitted together and then attached with a 3 needle bind off. It looks pretty great. The applied I-Cord border is getting put on as we speak (this week's goal).

I loved this blanket because the Noro Colourways enabled me to use all the colours that a 4 year old yearns for with some additions so I don't throw up on myself.
Today's Christmas moment that slays me. Girl in Green Dress Lounging.

Week 1 Tomten Completion

In order to fully embrace the impossible temptation to start a million knitting projects in January, I made it a priority to take serious steps to finishing some never ending but beautiful projects. It gives me the added satisfaction of starting the year right.

Having finally finished a Tomten Jacket for Miss F. My goal was to add an I-Cord edging so that I could use sew on snaps as closures. It is beautiful.
Made out of Cascade bulky that I was 2 skeins short on, an especially challenging issue given that I bought the yarn over a year ago and none of my yarn shops carried it any more. It seems I have horsehoes up my trunk because Romni can always hook me up when I need it.

My goal this week is to buy the sew on snaps so I can put this beast to bed. I hope Mac Fab can help me with this.
I give you our Christmas Eve.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First week of 2012

We had fantastic, food filled chilled out relaxed Christmas and holiday this year and I think it was all because Jason and I had a to do list every week and every day. We planned everything down tot the serving platters and attacked Christmas like mercenaries.

The Italian Job - but with more naps.

I started 2012 with a weekly knitters list in part to manage the terrible startitis I was experiencing but in an effort to track different projects.

Here's my Week 1 Knitter's List - There is a blog post for each.

1. Finish seaming the rows of Fenner's Blanket: Done
2. Finish Jason's sock - Done
3. Add edging to Fenners sweater - Done
4. Purchased next blanket yarn: Done

I have been knitting socks for Jason since January of 2011 and I had to finish them. This guy keeps me grounded and makes things so nice for me that it is easier to cluster nurse his young all night long. Hold on to your panties ladies. This picture is a bit pornographic.

I don't think I could knit socks for any other man. He loves the way they feel on his very large feet and he handwashes all of our woolies. He may be my favourite person to knit socks for which is too bad because his feet are humongous.

It felt great to get these off the needles. 2011 was a year of knitting false starts and slow inspiration so to finish these after such a long time was freeing.

When I cast off the socks I revisited the sock blanket I've been 'knitting' and restarted it. His sock yarn has been added to the blanket. I'd like to see if I can end this year more of this blanket done.

I already love this blanket and this is just a corner of what's been done on it. This will be for Jason and I.

I recognize I have posted nothing about our Christmas holidays. There is just so much that was great about it. Here is one of my favourite moments. Fenner wearing a smocked dress my grandmother made for me, singing at her first Christmas pageant.