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Just what I need, right?

new sewing machine

This thing makes buttonholes ALL BY ITSELF. It is like magic. I love it. I made a dress for Nora to wear to a cousin’s wedding last month. She likes to eat, and so she is wrapped in napkins in every picture and the dress is so protected from getting dirty that it cannot be seen.

Nora's party dress

I found the pattern and fabric at Bolt, a fabric store in Portland. This is Heather Ross fabric, I don’t remember the names. I will pay make better notes for future projects.

party dress pattern

We have had visitors from New York and have visited Seattle. We are home for a week, then we go to the beach for a few days.  The garden is doing well, I think this year the vegetables are doing better than the weeds.

I have not yet finished the lace scarf. I have started a sweater for myself, and have 1/2 a pair of socks done. The garden is growing, baby chicks and ducks are growing, the kids are growing.

I made this outfit for a coworker’s daughter’s second birthday. Nora and I went to the party today, she really wants to be a big kid and run around.

Little Girl's Shrug

Little Girl’s Shrug, a Knitting Pure and Simple Pattern (Ravelry link). Size 7 and 5 needles, Berroco Comfort worsted weight yarn

For my far-away family, here are some recent pictures!

Nora by the pool

Leo on his birthday

With Grandma and Grandpa

Nora eats ribs

I’m off to bed to sleep with Twig. She hates fireworks.

Here they are…

The first and last brown socks I will ever knit.

brown socks

Manly Socks by Hannah Six (from Ravelry here) in Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed, color Timber, size 2.25mm needle

I think the pattern had an error and I had not knit enough socks to recognize the problem, but I was only decreasing 2 stitches every other round instead of 4 at first. Once I realized that the toe was going to be ridiculously long I did what I could but they look a little funny. I like the slipped rib pattern, they are springy and fit around his ankle fairly well.

We got a new woodstove, it is wonderful to be warm and this stove can burn one piece of wood for over an hour.

leo and stove

We had a few days of spring weather, the greenhouse was toasty and Nora experienced the Baby Jail for the first time while I planted some spinach, lettuce and radishes. Jax is an inquisitive sort of little dog.

nora and jax in greenhouse

I have returned to working on the lace scarf I started over a year ago. I have learned to read charts since starting this scarf, and it is so much easier for me to work from the chart, I can keep the picture in my head and work much more quickly across the row.

Christmas pictures

Not much knitting going on lately. I’ve been able to go outside more with Nora, the weather has been warmer and she is plumper. We have had an epidemic of broken water pipes to the outbuildings which are gradually being fixed today. Nora is getting so much better with her hands, and she will be rolling over soon. I am not in a hurry for her to grow up, but she is doing it anyway.

Christmas was in two parts, the 25th we had Grandma and Grandpa here. Leo knew Christmas would be exciting, he loves to go in to say good morning to Nora.

christmas morning

cars from Santa

nora and grandpa

nora and grandma

A new easel to play with…

thank you aunt lisa

We did presents with the whole family the weekend after New Year, Leo got to play with his cousin.

rocket at christmas

And Leo said “More presents?” all day long… He was a Christmas monster.

leo opens present

nora and miss lion

I have told myself that I will not cast on any new projects until the Christmas socks are done, but I am weary of knitting with tiny dark brown yarn. The next post will be about newly finished socks, my goal will be to come back here before the end of January!

happy hens

Praise Song for the Day

Each day we go about our business
Walking past each other, catching each others eyes.
Or not.
About to speak or speaking.
All about us is noise.
All about us is noise and bramble,
Thorn and din.
Each one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem,
darning a hole in a uniform,
patching a tire.
Repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello,  boombox, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, “Take out your pencils. Begin.”

We encounter each other in words.
Words spiny or smooth,
whispered or declaimed,
words to consider,
reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of some one and then others who said
“I need to see what’s on the other side.
I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.”
We walk into that into which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain.
That many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here.
Who laid the train tracks,
raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce,
built brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle.
Praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by “love thy neighbor as thyself,”
others by “first do no harm,” or
“take no more than you need.”
What if the mightiest word is “love.”
Love beyond marital, filial, national.
Love that casts a widening pool of light.
Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air.
Anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink,
on the brim,
on the cusp.
Praise song for walking forward in that light.

by Elizabeth Alexander

(transcibed by me, watching the Inaguration this morning and with the help of my TiVo)

Otherwise known as the items I remembered to photograph before I sent them off to their new homes.

I made a Darkside Cowl (free Ravelry download) for my sister’s birthday. I used Malabrigo worsted for this and it is lovely.

darkside cowl

Darkside Cowl by Sarah Fama in Malabrigo merino worsted (color Polar Morn), US size 8 16″ circular needle

Another Wonderful Wallaby went to my nephew. I made the children’s size 4 with extra-long arms and body.

wallaby 2

Wonderful Wallaby by Cottage Creations in Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester DK (color Polar Sea), US size 7 needle

And finally, a hat for my husband that may end up mine since it is a bit too big for him. I will make another on a smaller needle size, and start the decreases a bit sooner.

hat for dear

Turn A Square by Jared Flood in Cascade 220 (color 7822) and Noro Kureyon (color 55), US size 5 and 6 needles

And for Leo I made a little elf hat. The ear flaps are made with short rows, I love this pattern.

leo in hat and sweater

Ear Cozies pattern by Fiber Trends, yarn unknown (light worsted, wool/nylon blend), US size 5 needle

I have gone back to work 2-3 days a week, it is going well so far but I am torn.  I miss Nora, but it is nice to have some time to myself even if it is just the drive to and from work and a quick errand or two. Last week I had a slow day and went shopping on a long lunch, that was heavenly. Nora is hanging out with me now, growing as we speak.

Snowy Days

There was ice last weekend. We lost power for the day and night last Sunday. We packed up the van with all the living creatures in the house and went to my parents’ house for the night.

icy branches

Twig surveying the scene at our house.

snow and twig

leo and orange dump truck

We came home late Monday afternoon and were grateful for electricity. From the comfort of home, I love snow.

snow trees

The stockings are hung, the gifts wrapped, the house is clean (enough), and the snow is falling. Merry Christmas!