Super Dog, Super Kid

Nine years ago today, Isabel and I flew home together from Guatemala and our adventure officially began. (The photo’s what went out with my announcements, taken about a week after we were back in Maryland. And because this is a knitting blog and someone is bound to ask, yes, I did make the sweater she’s wearing.)

I still feel the way I did on that day, like I won “baby lotto.” Can’t believe the universe brought this funny, sweet, firecracker of a kid to me. And while life as a single mother can be harder than I ever imagined, I wouldn’t trade a single moment. (Yes, even emergency room earache visits and tween tantrums.)

Recently, we were laughing about the small-but-mighty Violet, who has taken to ferociously barking whenever a large truck or semi drives along the road behind our house. One look at her in action, and it’s clear Violet believes she can take down a ton for each of her 11 pounds. From there, Izzy made the leap that Violet needed her own superhero cape, and set about designing and making one with the mini sewing machine she got for Christmas.

Yep, I’ve been blessed with quite the dynamic duo.

FO: Violet’s First Sweater

Pattern: Basic Knitted Dog Sweater from Dogs in Knits
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Taos (Hopi) and Nashua Handknits Julia (Velvet Moss)
Started: Nov 6, 2010
Finished: Nov 20, 2010

After making a sweater for a co-worker’s dog, how could I not make one for our little puppy? That’s the question Izzy recently posed. Then as if to drive home her point, the shaggy but not particularly furry Violet keeps shivering outside in the mornings. (Nice to see Izzy’s been sharing her dramatic skills.)

So I set about using leftover yarn in my stash, just in case Violet turned out to be sweater averse or decided it was as tasty as Izzy’s socks. I saved the leg cuffs for last, testing after I’d added one — and good thing, that band proved the tipping point for Violet’s tolerance. Off it came. Right now, Violet’s wearing her sweater without complaint. Izzy even swears she’s smiling about it.

FO: Deep Peace + New Project: Fresh Chaos

Let me begin with the knitting, for a change. After much ado (and I do mean much ado), I have survived my knitting kryptonite and completed Deep Peace. All told, I knit this wrap nearly three times. My problems had nothing to do with the pattern, which fulfills its promise of two straight-forward lace repeats, but had everything to do with being new to lace. And did I mention, irrationally afraid of lace?



When I first started knitting Deep Peace, I flashed back to those early knitting days — the half-holding your breath when working through a pattern for fear of making a mistake with no idea of how to correct it. I went in with the low, low goal of knitting something *close* to the pattern. Hey, this was a “lace experiment.” Even then, the center section is what nearly did me in. Each unmistakable mistake meant ripping it back to the garter-stitch divider. After a half-dozen starts, I got smart and hunted down some tips … and (cue choir of angels) discovered lifelines.



Once I knew that sustained perfection was no longer a requirement, I exhaled. And relaxed. Started feeling that deep peace. And then frogged the whole thing to start over. Because why not aim for something close to perfection when it’s within reach? (And being the knitter my grandmother raised, really there is no other choice.)


So, feeling all ridiculously “hear me roar,” I decided to tackle another aspiration.

Meet Violet, our 10-week-old puppy.