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October 2007 Archives

October 5, 2007

Boys and Hats


I posted both of these at Flickr last week and got a few questions. Figured it's easier to answer here... So... these are rather impromptu shots of two new hats (both made over the summer). I figured I should get quick picks the first day they were worn... you never know what will happen to knitwear with little boys.

I talked about both of these hats on the CMP this summer. Matthew picked out a coat in Tahoe on Spring Break in April for the coming winter... and so when I saw this Koigu on a trip to Imagiknits with my Mom, I knew it was perfect... even though it's not normally a color I would have considered. (I wouldn't have picked the coat he picked either!)

The turquoise for Spencer's hat is Jitterbug by Collinette. It was my first time using Jitterbug, and I really liked it and loved watching the colors play out in this one, which I started on our vacation in Cannon Beach. The Jitterbug, ultimately, doesn't seem to have quite the stretch of the Koigu... so it didn't work out "exactly" as the Koigu does in this pattern. I was worried it was too short... but already he's tugged it so much... it's okay.

Some of the questions asked:

The pattern: it's mine... it's the Raphael Ropes or Ninja Ropes pattern available here. It's not a quick knit - but it's worth it. I'm going to do another (for me) and maybe slot in a different cable.

This is the second round of this same hat for each boy. (Original hats.)

As for Koigu... in SF... Imagiknits is a good source. I have a bit of a Koigu stash... I tend to pick it up wherever we go (home at the holidays, at Websters in Ashland, OR, etc.), and I've ordered my share over the years. In general... buying Koigu in person is best... you really have to see it in person.

October 6, 2007

A Chance Sighting


I've seen the goats before, of course.... in passing. And then last year, I was disappointed when I heard that they had been on a hill near the elementary school... but while we were in Tahoe over spring break. By the time we returned, they were gone.

The other day, as we drove home from our last "activity" of the day, we rounded the corner and there were goats all over this wooded area. I noticed... and drove on home. The next day, I thought about those goats being there... "After I pick up Spencer, we'll drive over and take a look," I told myself, thinking it was a perfect diversion for the 40 minutes of time we are left with between pick-ups.

And then I forgot.

But, somehow, I didn't forget. I was aimlessly driving Spencer around, and often we drive on up to the lookout... sometimes, I know, he'll doze off for a few minutes still... So, we were driving around and wound around a back way to head up the backside of Twin Peaks, and as I drove past the final stretch of the wooded area... I caught sight of a few goats... and remembered that they were there and that I'd wanted to come see them. How could I have forgotten!

Hoping there were still "more" goats at the bottom of the area, I circled around and went back... but there were no goats.

We stopped at the top, and I took some photos from the car. But Spencer wanted to get out and "get in there with them." That was worrisome. But we got out, and he did, immediately, try and get over the fence. But, ultimately, we just watched. They were amazing - and so beautiful. I was simply taken aback by the peacefullness of them... and by that chin hair! I took photos of several of them, but this one... he or she was just so serene... and just watched me... so cool.

As I drove by yesterday afternoon, I noticed they were all gone. No more goats on the hill. They've been loaded up and moved somewhere else.... for someone else to notice as they drive by.

October 7, 2007

In line...

I often shop for groceries on Sundays. That has not always been the case. But these days, it is. Sometimes I have one child with me. Sometimes I have two. Sometimes, increasingly, I have none. Today, I had one.

As we finished up our shopping, and got in line to check out, I noticed the woman in front of me. I was in the process of emptying the back of the cart, unloading all of the items that I'd stacked around the little one (who refuses to sit in the front of the cart).

I glanced up to see a beautiful boquet of sunflowers laid crossways in the front of her cart. And then I took in the rest of her items on the belt in front of me... six bottles of wine, four red, two white. A large bundle of asparagus. Several small packages wrapped in brown paper, carefully taped by the worker at the meat counter or the seafood counter. Two packs of unsalted butter.

There were other things, things I didn't consciously itemize as I took in the gist of her small, compact, exquisite shopping order. Longingly, I glanced at her sunflowers.

Her items... so clearly a hallmark of a point in life. A simple shop. A few items. Everything fresh. And the luxury of the flowers... the whimsy of them, the quiet insistence on something beautiful just because.

In contrast, I looked at my own mounting pile on the belt behind her. 6 half-gallons of milk, 15 Lean Cuisine Pizzas, bagels, English muffins, cheese sticks, yogurts, apples, strawberries, chicken nuggets, orange juice... everything in bulk.

As I waited behind her, I looked again at the bouquet of sunflowers lying there in the cart, a token of a certain moment in life... for some a moment "before," for some a moment "after."

Definitely not the moment I'm "in."

At the same time... definitely a moment of startling awareness.

October 8, 2007

In line again...

So, my observations in the grocery line caught your attention... and your imagination... Some of you seem to be worried about me, seem to fear that my longing look at a bouquet of sunflowers signals some personal slump, or, worse, a mothering slump. Not really! Really, I'm okay!

And, a few things all go together to form the foundation of that moment yesterday. In part, I think I noticed the moment even more strongly and poignantly because in the last two weeks I've both read and watched The Hours by Michael Cunningham, a book that has been on my shelf for many years, but that I hadn't read before.

So, the image of the flowers... of the moment and activity and act of buying those flowers... and of everything that might be going on inside one's head when one buys those flowers... which of course may be far more and far different from what the person standing in line behind you (buying an enormous stack of Lean Cuisine pizzas) may surmise from the presence of the flowers...

I left the moment yesterday ... half-finished... because the first moment was powerful. It wasn't meant to be sad. Just a moment of observation.

But there was a second moment...

We walked to the car and unloaded the groceries. But there was an issue of a cupcake that had been seen, and pushed aside with "we'll talk about it later." I forgot about it. He did not. And so, we went back in to see about the cupcake as a possible after-dinner treat. We ended up with a set of chocolate cupcakes (which later proved to be quite the head to toe chocolate experience and resulted in me having to lift and carry one child to the tub since even his feet were covered in chocolate) and a single bag with a chocolate croissant inside to take home. As we walked in to get those things, we walked past the flowers. I noticed the roses. I noticed a set of pinky orange ones, mini roses, just waiting to burst into bloom. We stood for a moment... looking.

But in the end, I "didn't."

We got the treats and headed back to the front to wait, again, in line.

Again, I noticed the woman in front of me.

She had a much larger order. In the front, two giant frozen pizzas... comfort food, not weight-conscious. In the back, blocking my view of most of her things, a gigantic red and white box of 90+ diapers.

I laughed. She, too, in a different moment.

All of us, in different moments. And the moments are constantly shifting and moving.

So, no, not sad to have seen those flowers. Not sad not to have bought some.

But, yes, very glad I no longer have to "also" buy that box of diapers!

On the way...


I am supposed to be recording this week's show... right now. And yet, since posting my subsequent "in line" story this morning, this photo has been in my head as "the" photo to post to accompany the set of stories. And so, here it is. These dahlias caught my eye on a walk from school (the long way around) the other day, and so two very quick photos of them.

In thinking about this week's show ... and reviewing just now the essay I'm going to read... I think many of you will feel all of these posts tie in with the essay... and maybe they do.

That I noticed these flowers though... perfect.

October 9, 2007

New show and a bit o' lace


This week's episode of the Creative Mom Podcast is live... as you'll see... I tend to take comments a bit too personally, I guess! (It's true.) But... the moment... and my response to that moment... did make me think a bit... and so, in EP 68, I share it will all of you. Too often, we think we are alone... and, often, we are not!

In pulling the link for the Center Square Hat (from Knitty), I noticed the new lace pattern on the cover of the current issue. It's called "Muir" -- and isn't is beautiful? I have not made a rectangular lace project (or stole). But this one is very nice - I'm so happy to have happened by it this morning! You should go and read her intro/description, too. Very beautifully written. The lace work is so open and airy here... she refers to it as mesh... I may have just the yarn... but... first... all those holiday things to finish up. I'd really like to just dump them all and just sit... and knit lace... at this point!

October 14, 2007

At the grocery...

Grocery day... there is a comfort in the regularity of certain things... the grocery on Sunday. And yet, today, no flowers. No time to ponder the contents of the order in front of me - although the couple in front of me did make a nice donation to breast cancer research as they checked out. They were also buying several cases of wine, and, in the end, I noticed they had several baguettes balanced in their cart as they wheeled away. A dinner party, clearly. I guess I just can't help but notice. But today... one of those irritating days where I end up bagging my own groceries.

Now, don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy the process of bagging groceries. There's an orderliness to it that's perfect. What bugs me is that the assumption that if there is no bagger there, you'll bag it yourself... and they never say thank you. It drives me totally crazy. And it's not like I go to a small neighborhood grocery. Actually, if I did, I'd probably never have to bag my groceries. I'd never have had to bag them while carrying a baby in a Bjorn. I'd never have had to bag them while dealing with a toddler in the cart.

Instead, I go to a large store of a major chain. I like the largeness. Excepting the pharmacy, there is wonderful anonymity in the largeness of the grocery. There is wonderful color... always so much individuality walking around in this particular grocery. Half of the people I pass are talking to someone on their cellphone with an earbud in place. A quarter of the people are with partners or roommates. Another eighth are listening to their ipods. I'm in the mix that makes up the final eighth, most likely.

There's a lot I like at the grocery... and at "this" grocery, and yet, today, what I really didn't want to do was bag my own groceries.

And then, at the end... they always ask... "Would you like help to your car?"

October 17, 2007



Well... Episode 69 is live. And, finally, last night, I freed my chair from the final knot which had proven trickier than it should have. I fiddled with it absently a few times over the last day or so as I sat at my desk. But finally, it was annoying enough to be tied to the knob of the cabinet that I gave in... and turned the chair on its side so I could get to the knot from there (since the knot on the knob had proven impossibly angled under the curve of the knob for me to get it free).

So, what happens? Well... three of the casters (wheels) fell off, of course, which is why I hadn't taken that approach at first.

It's one of "those" kind of chairs. You lift up one part to fix a wheel, and another wheel falls off. Funny - but annoying.

At any rate. The chair is (temporarily free). The show is live. And... another week goes by!

October 28, 2007

Good Sign


I take it as a good sign... a moment of luck... when you decide to splurge and have a bagel because you are really, really, really hungry... and you toast the bagel, stepping around your children who are occupied in the middle of the kitchen floor, to retrieve it from the toaster after you wait patiently for it to pop up... and, tossing it onto a plate (because it is hot), you move to the other side of the kitchen where the butter awaits... and you butter it... carefully... happily... and just as you finish buttering it, one half falls, flipping and twisting and turning as it heads to the floor... but lands... butter side up.

That strikes me as a good thing.

The photo above is one from last week's tea. This photo intrigues me because "that" was sitting right behind me and caught my eye as I turned to look around me at one point. Struck by it, I snapped a picture. But I didn't see the broken china until I uploaded the photos later.

October 29, 2007

Telling a Story




The above shots are process shots from the final days of my ATCs for the October exchange and then a shot of the finished ATC (of which I made three identical ones). My process varied a bit this month.... ultimately in response to my thoughts on the theme itself and my desire to give my recipient the whole story rather than a segment of the story.

In the end, I've come (over the last day or so) to realize that, for me, this ATC bears an unwritten subtitle: "Life Happens."

As I wrote to my recipient today in preparing to mail off the card, "Life Happens" - and yet in the process, something beautiful is created.

But, I know you all well... so...

Don't worry - I don't think the turtle has no free will.
Don't worry - I don't think the turtle really just sat around waiting.

And still... "Life Happens" - and when it does, look!

October 31, 2007

Light in the Woods


The above photo is one of several from a walk my mother and I took last week, briefly described in the opening notes of Episode 71 of the Creative Mom Podcast which is, of course, now live. It is a walk I am very glad we took. A special place.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween.... and much fun with their families.


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