Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby Boy Walking!

This weekend flew right past us. Sunday night I wasn't entirely certain where the time had really gone to. But one part I'm very sure of: Bobby is walking like a mad man now! He has been taking a few tentative steps with lots of pauses in between for about 3 weeks now, but on Saturday night something clicked, it all came together, and he started walking. When he wants to go somewhere fast he still drops to his knees and crawls, but in general he's willing to try walking first. And boy does he think he's so cool doing it! (Which he is, of course!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ode to My Sewing Table

In my second period class, my students are doing a pretty formal study of poetry, and to keep them from getting bogged down in the minutia and encourage their creativity I have them writing odes. We read Pablo Neruda's "Ode to Tomatoes" then I asked them to pick some thing or some place and sing its praises in such a way that made me want it in my life, too. I hate tomatoes, but reading Neruda's poem makes me want to sink my teeth in to one! They are going to get a wee bit of extra credit if they read theirs in front of the class, so I figured I would do one to to help break the ice. Great fun to write, though there is some tweaking I still might do. So, here it is!

Ode to My Sewing Table
Summer sun shines through the window
pouring light over the mess of possibility on my sewing table.
The shining, glimmering sides of my sewing machine encase
that beautifully crafted object, sitting silently now,
its needle poised and prepared,
the thread draped along its course, waiting to be used.
The machine sits nestled between piles of fabric.
A sunrise of color in reds of passion and greens of the trees,
thirsty blues of water and sky, yellows and oranges of the embracing sun,
breathing out vivid life,
colliding together to spill out their flowers, birds, and circles;
taunting the thread, daring
it to bind them together. Begging
to be used, sundered and spliced,
pulled into parts
to be made whole.
All of it singing in the afternoon sun
the siren song of creativity
and possibility.

The swishing rotary cutter
glides across and divides the fabric.
Yards become inches at the thrilling point when
there is no turning back.
The fabric explodes into hundreds of scraps and bits, slivers of color,
stray string shrapnel flies to stick in the carpet and cling to my clothes.
The smooth cuts bleed color
the hues and tones run together, swirl around each other
mingling, mixing, inspiring;
never losing their luster and identity
but blurring into each other;
building a horizon of new ideas.
The death of the cloth, but the birth of a hundred new things.

A flurry and symphony of rhythmic, thumping, humming themes and songs as the bits are joined.
The minutes marked by the steady click and fluid grace of needle and thread being drawn through fabric.
Time is bound into seams as the moments of the slowly fading afternoon are measured out
in quarter-inches.

The labor progresses slowly,
contractions of the bending ankle,
the squeezing pedal,
then more quickly pieces come together,
the end rushes near and
with almost unexpected immediacy
that child of inspiration is born
in a moment of awe and joy.
I clip the last thread tying it to the machine.
I clean off the stray bits of string and unused cloth still clinging to it
and to me.
There is that beautiful child
of time, patience, and care.

Out of this place, in the fading sunlight,
a new thing was born of fabric and thread.
I carry it away,
and the machine sits silent again.
Dreaming of the next moment of creation,
while it sleeps in the moonlight.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Skirt

Because this Saturday was the first day of Spring, because I am so over this winter, because I've been wanting to make skirts for a while, and because I had a free little bit of time, I made a skirt this weekend.

I gleefully cut and sewed for about an hour and half thinking of how warm the weather would be getting soon, how nice it felt sitting with our feet in the sun through the window, all the skirts I would make to wear in the coming warm weather, and how this skirt would be my first: my Spring Skirt.

"I'll even wear it to the concert tonight." I thought to myself. And I did. And both the skirt and the concert were great.

Then we got home and I was so irked by the irony of it all I made my husband take a picture of me in my spring skirt.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mr. Mobility

He scales the heights

of all shapes and sizes,

discovers new ways to crawl without tripping over his burp rag,
using his ninja skills,

romances the ladies,

and modestly cheers his own accomplishments.

He is Mr. Mobility and he is so cool.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slightly Obsessed

I had plans to blog frequently during Spring Break, but on Saturday night I met my match and have been obsessed since then. First, I finished the hat I had started (finally getting past the ribbing) and love the stranded pattern. I might knit one of these for myself eventually. After getting those hats finished and to their intended recipients, I started my Whisper Cardigan and love it. I started knitting for a large size, but the sleeve was enormous and rolled a lot more than I wanted.

So, I took it out and Sunday cast on a fewer number, put in a few rows of seed stitch and got up to the shoulder. I was loving how it looked so far and had to force myself to bed. I loved it, but could barely keep my eyes open to enjoy it as it knit up.

On Monday I knit like a woman obsessed and stopped 19 rows short of finishing the left sleeve. I was able to make great use of one of my Christmas gifts to count the rows so that the center gathering was actually in the middle of my back. It's a great row counter that goes up to 99 rows, and it's pretty!
Though I don't remember it, I had this conversation with my husband that night.
Me: Did you finish the back?
Bob: Huh?
Me: Did you finish the back?
Bob: The back of what?
Me: The back of the sweater.
Bob: Uhm, no.
Me: sleeping
I talk in my sleep and also, apparently, expect my husband to knit while I sleep. Though I told him that this can provide him reassurance that I don't dream of other men. I don't know how impressed he was that I dream of sweaters and him knitting them for me!

The next morning my hands were sore and stiff, but I persevered and finished the shrug section of the cardigan (up one sleeve, across the back and shoulders, then down the other arm) and picked up stitches that run around the waist and collar. It's 1X1 rib that kind of went on forever but only measured 3" when I was done.

That night I finally finished that section and bound off the stitches that make up the collar. I was super excited and tried it on. It worked pretty well, but the bound off edge was sort of tight, so I figured I should do it right. I took it out and re-knit it only to realize halfway through that I wasn't using the right stitch pattern and it was even tighter than my first attempt. To top it off I ended up popping the point guard off the end of the live stitches and had to frantically, and without much breathing, try to pick those stitches back up while wearing the sweater and the stitches were under my right arm. After that I gave up and went to bed.

Today I did some other things which included planning a trip with friends to Sock Summit 2009 in Portland, OR (ecstatic, crazy, happy dance!), and hanging out with my mom for a bit. But tonight I started knitting more of the lower part of the sweater. I put it on waste yarn to get a better idea of how it will fit.
I can't wait to have the finished object soon. I am looking forward to knitting another one as this one is a little heavier than the pattern calls for and a lighter one will flow a bit more. But I love the weight and coloring of this one!

So, that has been what I've been doing for the last several days. Bobby has been busy with lots of new tricks. He is working on his walking skills; he is braver every day and spends plenty of time each day standing free of any support. (His tendency to run straight for the camera every time he sees it means I haven't gotten a picture of him standing yet.) He also loves chasing, being chased, tickling, and pursing his lips for a kiss. He can also clap now and is making great progress at drinking through a straw. He is getting three teeth on top now to complement his two lower ones and doesn't choke nearly as often when he eats food that he has to gum a bit before swallowing. Overall he's being his happy, goofy self!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is This Thing On?

I wish I could blame my lack of posting, or really any sort of electronic contact with the world outside my home, on technical difficulties. No, I've just been reading and sleeping, and knitting, and thinking of way too many things I want to do, but probably won't find the time to get done. I have, though, been thinking of blogging. I thought of it often, just didn't sit down to do it. I was sick last weekend, and since then anytime I did sit down I promptly fell asleep. So, to catch up with everything I've been doing except blogging I'll begin with Bobby.

The little man has two teeth: two, very sharp, bottom, center teeth. They aren't all the way up, but boy can you feel those suckers when he gnaws on your finger. Which, incidentally, he won't be doing to much more of. I must admit I will miss seeing his gummy little smile, but I'm glad he has teeth. I hear they come in really handy later in life, and I was starting to get a little anxious that they were never going to break free of his gums.

He's been up to his usual shenanigans crawling, screeching, flirting with strange women behind me in the mall, finding little bits of fuzz on the carpet and putting them directly into his mouth when 5 minutes earlier he refused to try the food in his bowl, but instead threw it systematically on the floor, and being generally amazing. Last night during his bath he was getting such a kick out of splashing that we had to refill the tub a couple of times before we could actually bathe him. He also has been nurturing his affinity for dishes, and I'm hoping he keeps that interest well into his teenage years.

Here is a video (rather long so be comfortable) of one of his favorite games. He loves to dig through his drawers and pull out all of his clothes. He also (usually) plays peek-a-boo behind the curtain in front of his closet, but decided not to this time. If you watch at the bottom of the curtain you can see his path of destruction. It was pretty fun.

He is ecstatic when he discovers the stash of burp rags he so enjoys, and I think he is getting better at remembering which drawer they're in. At one point he was trying to shove about 4 of them in his mouth at once. Crazy little dude!

He is napping now though, so the whirlwind of activity that is him has settled down for a little while at least.

Sewing has taken a back seat for the last few weeks. Not by choice really, but because I haven't been able to get uninterrupted time at the machine (see whirlwind comment above). I have, however, been getting a good bit of knitting done!

I finished this hat for my sister. It was quite an adventure getting this hat finished. The row when you knit the lining into the hat gave me a lot of trouble. I ended up pulling it out once, quit knitting for about two weeks because of it, then finally got out of that funk when that particular row was done. Then I ecstatically flew threw about 16 more rows only to discover that 4 rows after the lining row I had made a ridiculous mistake. Not one that you could maybe get by without noticing. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about the star on the left is wrong, so wrong, and the one on the right is... right. So I ripped it out yet again. Then Bobby woke up from his nap as I was finishing the top (which looks way cool) and would not be satisfied until I let him try it on. Here it is on a full-size head:And this is the top! I love the design and so may get over my opposition to that one stinking row and make one for myself. But, I have many, many, many other things to finish first.

For example this sweater. I started this a bit ago and now am only one arm away from finishing it! It's exciting to know that I am actually going to finish a sweater! And riding that wave of excitement I have picked out two more sweaters I want to knit.

This #263Knitting Pure and Simple Wrap Cardigan Sweater is going to be knit out of this yarn. I already had 4 of the skeins in my stash, so for a mere $16 I was able to round out the yarn yardage and will have a cool stripey sweater for this fall. That's the plan, anyway. And I mean cool as in kind of hip; I'd rather my sweaters be warm.

And then this Whisper Cardigan. will be done with this yarn. The way it's knit the brown will be a strip that runs across the middle of the back then up around the collar. Kind of hard to explain, but I think it's going to be great! This yarn was also already in my stash, so I didn't have to buy more yarn (not that I would really be opposed to that), but I have swatched it many times trying to decide what I really wanted to do with it. I love the colors, but was never certain how I wanted to use it. Then that cardigan came along and I knew it was meant to be!

I just need to finish that wall of green stockinette sweater first. It's been fun, but, I don't think I'll ever knit with a solid color ever again. At least not for a full garment with nothing else interesting going on. Maybe if it has some cables, then I will...

Other than sweaters I have also been working on another hat, but am only on the bottom ribbing. It is another stranded hat with grey and pink. When I have pictures that show some meaningful progress I'll post those!

But, until then I think I'll go get some grading done, play with Bobby, and knit a bit. I'm very happy that Spring Break is upon us and am looking forward to maybe a bit of time to craft at will!

Looking out at the new snow, words cannot express how happy I will be when actual spring is here.