Thursday, April 18, 2013

duds happen - part 1: a hat for me. NOT.

i share so much of my finished knitting projects i don't want to give you the impression that duds don't happen. oh they do. 

i'm not a very careful knitter, you see. i cast on, hope it works out, and forge forward, hoping for the best. dud projects are inevitable.

i set out to knit myself a spring hat, just like the girl's: the adult version of the same day beret pattern. i used the most beautiful yarn: madelinetosh merino dk in the really delicious victorian gothic colourway. i mean, just look at it! 

i used the recommended needle sizes, got gauge, followed the pattern faithfully, and even blocked the beret on a plate. 


for all intents and purposes, i really was being more careful than usual.

does this look like a beret to you? 

this may have looked like a beret on the model. but it certainly sized a bit too small for me - even as a regular toque. had i shot myself facing forward, you'd see my early morning face and an unusually small head for a 37 year-old.

i should've knit for a bit more length and it would've been perfect. i was super bummed. i kept picking up the hat, putting it on, adjusting it on my head this way and that, taking pictures of myself, and then scowling at it. i very nearly wanted to fling the bloody thing up, over the fence, and into the garbage bin jut outside our yard. 

but the yarn was too pretty. i thought maybe i would frog the darn thing and start over.

then the wife rescued it by putting on the boy and sending me this picture. 

and lo, it fit him perfectly. and he was asking for a purple hat. it's so dark a purple it's nearly black. but he's wearing it and it is purple. so it would seem that i've fulfilled my knitterly-momma duty. 

but i still don't have a spring hat. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


we're working through what feels like big changes in a house with two littles and their working mommies. we're giving up our babysitter at the end of the month. the wife is working less but later hours. i will be working full-time just the same, only starting much earlier than i have been for most of my week. which means for 3 days a week, i have to find ways to entertain my little people all by myself. 

to practice, i took the kids to the river by myself this past sunday.

i passed the test, i think. 

we all had a moment of pure bliss - with the babes and their sand, me and my needles. it lasted all of 5 minutes before i was needed. but it happened. and those 5 minutes of knitting were awesome.

the changes we're making, however, is already taking its toll on a certain little girl and her moms. a whole lot of night-terror-separation-anxiety-ridden-sleepless-restless nights for three out of four of us. 

the boy - the only one of us getting any sleep these days - is going through his own brand of growing pains.

we're all doing our best, day-to-day. and everything's going to be all right.

but i'll be honest. i've been feeling frayed at the edges. raw. vulnerable. 

senseless tragedies abound in endless permutations. 

i'm thinking of course of the boston marathon explosions, war zones all over the world, and bullying victims like rehteah parsons. 

my heart is heavy.

and i know that all i can do is make my own concerted effort- 

: to be kind at every opportunity

: scatter hope to the wind

: stay grateful and look for beauty - especially in unexpected places

: hold on to everything near and dear

: forge forward with mindfully present intentions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

knit parade: for the girl's spring wardrobe

i've been working on the girl's spring wardrobe. the girl's wardrobe has been largely dependent (though not at all wanting) on hand-me-downs and gifts.

naturally, i've made her 3 sweaters she can wear all year long.

don't be too impressed. i finished knitting this first one last year. it just took me forever to finish off, extend the sleeves, and clean up the neckline. 

pattern: EZ's baby surprise jacket
yarn: fibre company canopy in laguna, noro kureyon, noro silk garden, and fibre company acadia (for the icord)

such a fun a satisfying knit: mindless yet interesting, an ingenius pattern that brings together colour and geometry. i really wanted a chance to knit this again.

the girl works it, too - crazy colours and all!

pattern: like sleeves
yarn: cascade 220 worsted

i love the way it turned out but i think next time, i'll try knitting this in the round and then working the front and back separately. i chose a heathered blue-gray to coordinate with most of her clothes - an extra layer to keep the chill out of her core throughout the seasons.

i think the buttons are the best part. 

it's a modification inspired by a dear friend. instead of working the neck entirely in the round, she added button holes to make it easier to put her babe's head through. and it works. i completely fudged the stitch counts though. 


pattern: in threes
yarn: knitpicks swish worsted

another clever and quick pattern that's fantastic for layering. i've been enamoured with the different versions that have been popping up in blogs, in my LYS, and in ravelry. so i finally broke down and bought the pattern. i already have yarn standing by to knit another one in time for fall.

i just can't stop knitting for her.

she's little enough that the projects don't take too long to finish. and she just loves to wear everything i make her. not to mention the fact that she looks fab in everything.

of course, i've got 2 other dresses and 3 other cardigans queued up for her in the next year (or two. which may be a bit much, considering i've set this goal of knitting a sweater for each of us this year.  (not to mentiont the socks that are constantly on the needles. don't worry. i only work on socks when i'm in transit or standing in line.) grand plans, i know.

on the needles now is something i'm test knitting for jane richmond. yes. you've read that right. i'm test knitting. that means i'm testing a pattern that's not out for release just yet - which means i can't even show you what it looks like. and i'm totally in over my head. it's a sweater, i'm knitting, you see. for me. which means it's rather large. and there's a deadline: may 31st. 1 skein down. 

only 7 skeins to go. and 4 of them are in the mail.

grand plans indeed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

these days

on sunny days bright
they play. i knit. we marvel: 
spring's steady progress.

it's my blog and i'll haiku if i want to.

i hope you're enjoying spring where you are.

Friday, April 5, 2013


it really is just such a short time.

9 months of pregnancy. that year of firsts: first touch, first smell, first kiss, first nurse, first smile, first stroller-ride, first outing, first carrots, first scoot, first crawl, first steps.

oh my first child. you turned four years old last week. and i had no idea i would take it this hard.

yesterday i saw a little boy who just learned how to walk. and all at once i remembered the bleary eyed moment when the dr. gupta lifted you up so i can see you for the first time. you were one little miraculous blur without my glasses on. i sobbed with joy, unadulterated happiness, and relief. we survived labour. you were here. really here. the next thing i knew, the weight i had carried and known and protected and loved so well, the very weight of you, was on my chest. i felt you before i  really saw you, this sweet red little anger ball of a boy: my centre, my strength, my hope. my son.

i always knew i'd have a son. i named you when i was 17. your first name appears many times over as doodles and little notes i wrote to myself when you were just my most cherished wish. i still have the notebooks to prove it.

it was a hard year for us, wasn't it, this journey from 3 to 4?

but can i say that for all the battles we have fought and the scars we've traded, i have so loved watching you develop your own interests, sense of humour,  courage, and conviction. we do our best to follow you on the journey of your interests (dead fish be damned). and i am always so proud of you when you fight back - even though what you see is in front of you is your momma the hulk.

you are our first born. and so you bear the brunt of the vast majority of mistakes that your mom and i will bear as parents. for the rest of your life, i'm afraid.  so thank you for your patience. thank you for being the kind of boy that still needs my hugs, even if it was me that caused you distress. i hope you know that it's because i am committed to raising you to be a respectful, considerate, open-minded, and kind person that i'm hard on you. you have such a good heart, it's hard for me not to get upset when you belie it - however young you are now.

you've grown so much this past year. you're longer and leaner, more co-ordinated. your voice is deeper. you know so many things. you tell epic stories that often begin with the word, "remember" - as if i - or whoever you're speaking with - never left your stream of consciousness. and, despite some of your instincts, you really are a good big brother to your sister. 

for your fourth birthday, i made you a rocket ship so your imagination can fly wherever your dreams take you.

and we took you and your sister to your first play. i sobbed like a baby when i saw just how well you and your sister enjoyed seeing live theatre for the first time. pathetic, i know. but you paid no notice. you loved every moment. we've been reading the cat and the hat ever since. 

i know the time is coming that you'll need me less and less. i know that very soon you'll be spending the majority of your day with classmates and friends, that our experiences will come to a great divide and it will be such harder work to look into your eyes and reach you well enough to know that you're really well. i know this. 

until then, i'll read to you and hug you and hold you every night until you fall asleep. for as long as you'll let me. and i'll tell you i love you everyday so you don't forget. 

but grow. grow the way you wish. dream. imagine. live.

i'll be right here. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

favourite things: nature walks with the wife

these photos represent a small selection of photos taken from our anniversary date.

i don't remember the last time the wife and i went on a nature walk, just the 2 of us. long before children, even. she let me snap as many photos as i wanted, bless her. 

when i look at these photos, all at once i feel as humbled, awed, inspired, surprised, irreversibly changed, and wholly content. 

all the reasons i love being with her.