One Decade

Today marks 10 years to the day that Isabel and I flew home together from Guatemala. My life has been infinitely more colorful since… So I knew this mosaic chair would make the perfect photo when we saw it yesterday at the ABQ BioPark (her choice for our Family Day celebration). Can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store for us.

Monsters and Scarves and UFOs, Oh My!

There’s been lots of knitting lately — between Izzy’s skating lessons and her twice-weekly OT/Brain Training sessions, I’ve managed to squeeze in a remarkable amount of  “out and about” needle time. Concentrated, at-home finishing time? Seemingly impossible to find. Evidence:

A. Woodsmoke Scarf that only needs a half-dozen kitchener stitches (yes, I still fear them) and blocking
B. Tweedy Cowl that needs, geez, four ends woven in and blocking
C. Two Penelope Monsters that have been blocked and stuffed and only need assembling
D. Most shameful of all, a Transverse Cardigan that needs 1-1/2 side seams and buttons sewn on (and that’s been at this state for nearly a year)

To motivate myself this weekend to finish up at least the monsters (one of which is now an overdue birthday present), I’ve set that finishing as a hurdle for casting on a Chadwick with the two skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts I splurged and ordered recently (Mallard and Chestnut). Seriously, folks, the colors of this yarn are even more stunning in person.

My plan has one major flaw, though. I have 1-1/2 hours of lobby time tomorrow evening during Izzy’s OT session. And no way, no how can I sit there without any knitting. Looks like I have a Scarflette to cast on… Make that re-cast on. (But that’s a story for another day.)

PSA, Fellow Knitters: Tanis just launched a line of Merino-Cashmere-Silk yarn, and she’s giving away a skein with a pattern she designed. Enter before Halloween! (And any family looking for Christmas ideas, consider this a big-ole-hint! 😉

For the Love of Pete (aka First FO)

Thanks to Julie at Knitted Bliss, I discovered Pinterest a few months back —and have since spent many hours on my new “online happy place.” The site is an endless source of inspiration for leisurely browsing and a quick way to reset the writing/editing mind (sort of a visual sorbet course).

Yet of the many delightful things I’ve stumbled upon there, this is my hands-down favorite. Those ’70s head scarves? Straight from the Learn to Knit book my grandmother bought me back in grade school. And the item I most wanted to knit. While I labored on my practice swatches of knit and purl, I pondered the flowers vs. stripes question.








But Grandma Doris had other ideas… And the yarn money. She showed up with two denim-y skeins of acrylic and insisted that I make the pair of slippers in the book. It would teach me increasing and decreasing. And, yes, I did argue that both were needed to make the head scarf, but in vain. Grandma D. was one tough cookie. So I knit the first slipper.

And looking back at it now these 35-odd years later (have I mentioned my pack rat tendencies?), my first reaction  borrows Grandma D’s favorite exclamation, “For the love of Pete! Her fixation on my finger-threaded tension really paid off.” I mean, seriously. Just look at those stitches. Amazingly even for a 10-year-old’s first project.

Given the clearly unworn slipper shown above, you can probably guess that I never knit the second one. In my mind, I’d proved I could make an FO, and I wanted yarn for that head scarf. To Grandma D., the job was half done — and not to be rewarded. And so the impasse began. (Did I mention that we’re both Tauruses? In fact, if I’d had the decency to wait another 3 hours, we would have shared a birthday.)

I didn’t pick up knitting needles again another 12 years. Yet since then, I’ve never really put them down. Thanks, Grandma!

Happy Harry Potter Friday!

Here’s a quick post I’ve been meaning to write all week… We’re big Harry Potter fans in this house. While I read the first book not so long after it came out — and saw the first movie with some friends, including Brenda and her kids, the oldest of which is now a sophomore in college — I decided to wait to read the series with Izzy.

We started when Izzy was in kindergarten, and had just finished Sorcerer’s Stone when we set off to visit my sister in England over Thanksgiving. Karen, for those who don’t know her, is the biggest HP fan I know. She actually did all the paperwork and jumped through all the hoops so she could be selected to take a group of her college art students to Oxford for a semester. So there was no need for us to hire a tour guide, we had the best one all to ourselves. Here she is with Izzy in the Christ Church dining hall that inspired the Great Hall.

Izzy and I finished the Harry Potter series, starting Deathly Hallows just weeks after it was published. But the love affair hardly ended there. At this point, I’ve lost count of the number of times Izzy has checked out the books and audio books. As for the movies, let’s just say our DVR queue holds space for little else…

Two summers ago, right after we’d moved to ABQ, we went to Chicago to see the Harry Potter exhibit, meeting up with Karen and her husband, Dean. Luckily the Weasley’s car was located outside of the exhibit, giving us at least one good photo op from the visit. And tucked under Izzy’s arm is the Hermione poster that’s now the focal point of her room.

Given this history, it seemed absolutely necessary to take today as a vacation day from work. Izzy and I are now headed out for a celebratory breakfast, then off to the theater early to wait in line with our pre-purchased tickets. And (I buried the lead), I’ve packed a knitting project along for the wait outside and inside the theater. Dumbledore, himself, said it best, “I do love knitting patterns!”