Friday, May 22, 2015

My love has conditions

I finished the socks I started making as Cody's Christmas present...for 2013.

Yes, one has a longer foot than the other.  I was knitting during a meeting that ran long and realized what was happening far too late.  I didn't want to rip back all those tiny stitches and that dark yarn.  Cody didn't seem to realize that the heel on some handknit socks shouldn't bunch up quite so much.

I told him that I would never make him socks out of sock yarn ever again--he wears a Size 12 wide, and there are some lovely worsted weight options.  I do not care for long projects.  I don't mind putting a lot of time into something for someone important--sometimes--but I just like faster projects better.  I was so excited after finishing Cody's socks that I made Evelyn a pair of tube socks.  As in, I started them that day and finished them that night.

I held Evelyn's socks up to Cody's and just laughed and laughed.  It's like folding clothes and putting a pair of her shorts (12-18 months) next to his.  She's just so tiny and he's just so ... not.


I told Cody that if we ever broke up, I was taking the socks back.  He said he understood and he loved me.  And that he loved the socks.  I don't know why I think about this as much as I do, except maybe it's because I have a lot of time to think when I'm knitting thousands of stitches, but there are a few projects I would want back if we weren't together.  People have let me know this is a terrible way to approach gift-giving and marriage, but to his credit Cody has always said he would return the granny square afghan I made him when he was 20, the quilt I sewed him when he was 25 (he might be lying there, though), or the hat I crocheted for him this past Christmas because I love the yarn so much.

And now the socks.

Unlike a relationship, a handmade good is this super-tangible thing letting everyone know just how much time and effort you put into it.  Taking it back from someone doesn't get you back any hours, but it feels like getting back something.  And I'm not sure why I place these conditions on my gifts to the person I share a child and lots of paperwork with, but I do it even when it's not over something worth fussing over in the future.  None of what I've made him is super impressive, aside from the time spent, and I'm acting like it's prenup-worthy.

I still can't finish toes on socks worth a flip.  I'm hoping to get the hang of grafting the stitches together some time before Evelyn learns to knit and spots all my weaknesses.  But we had a nice time crocheting together tonight, so my days of looking impressive to either her or her dad are probably coming to a close.  Maybe I should just spend what little time I have left as this family's sole knitter  making what I want for the people who accept my gifts, even with their figurative and literal strings attached, so gratefully and with such excitement.

Maybe they need matching hats. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

The weekend

Ellis can say "cheese" now.

And then he has to see his picture on the back of the camera.  Even when he pretended to take our pictures with a pair of binoculars--and would have us pretend to take a picture with them--we still had to check the pictures.

Evelyn and Ellis were pretty silly together.

For some reason he was awfully serious when Granddad was taking pictures (or maybe he was just really tired).


We went to church on Sunday and it was pretty nondisastrous.  Evelyn and Ellis sang nicely.  Ellis snuggled with Chad afterward and I took a quick picture because I usually forget to take pictures of Chad.

Look, here's Laine graciously letting me take her picture!  The best time to take pictures is right after you eat Mexican food.  (I probably couldn't have gotten a picture when we were hungry, though.)  But here she is, nearly halfway along and all radiant.

Here are a couple of the most beautiful cousins anyone has ever seen.  They're just gorgeous.  And yelling "cheese" in this picture.

 And here's Ellis wanting to see himself on my camera.  If he stays this cute I may let him start using my camera even earlier than I let Evelyn.  Sheesh.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dishcloth of the week: This is my very favorite pattern

I made a dishcloth!  Or nine!

This is the Granny Border pattern from Dishcloth.  I don't know why it's called that.  It's a single crochet stitch border.  This square might not even qualify as a granny square.  But.  This is one of my favorite dishcloths to make and use.

So I made it a lot and I think I'm going to keep the yellow and white one on the bottom right, the big one on the bottom left, and that red, brown, and yellow one because I just like it so much.  And the one in the center has already been used several times and is one of the first ones I made.

I don't remember if I mentioned this earlier or not, but I started making dishcloths a few weeks ago because I thought we needed more.  So I started making some for us, mostly with this pattern and the garter stitch dishcloth pattern.  I used colors I was interested in using for our home and then I just kept going.  More colors.  More yarns.  More patterns.  I kept going until there were just way too many dishcloths but now I have over 20 dishcloths and a few coasters at my disposal and just a little bit of dishcloth yarn left.  I feel free!

I'm actually really looking forward to buying more yarn and trying out some different patterns. 

But just not any time particularly soon.

Pattern: Granny Border from Dishcloths
Yarn: yes
Hook: J (I've decided I wanted looser dishcloths that will absorb more and dry out faster.  So that what I used on most of these, especially the more recent ones.)

(No affiliate links because I can't be bothered to log into another account and search for things and blah blah blah.  But if you want to buy the pattern booklet and give me a dollar or something.....well, that would be kind of weird.  Huh.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book list for April 2015

Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed.*

I finished a book!!  It was a collection of essays/advice columns, which made it easy to pick up and put down at will.  I'm not sure I was quite ready for all that sadness and radical empathy, but I read it and liked it.  So there you go.

Currently reading: Beowulf.  I'm getting close to the end and it's bumming me out.  Beowulf is dead.  The dragon is dead.  It's the end of an era.  I may read it again.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday morning

Argenta Arts Festival.
We looked around cool paintings and wind chimes and jewelry.  I took a lot of business cards for a time when I maybe have more money.  Evelyn enjoyed the kids' activities.

We went to the farmers market!

Not pictured: strawberries, the semi-wilted kale I got for free, and the tea pots that Evelyn and I bought for $5 at a garage sale where people asked if she was the baby who had a tree fall on her house.  Surprise!  Evelyn didn't know a tree had fallen on her house when she was a baby, but she was busy looking at rings and maybe didn't hear.  Somebody gave her one for free and she put it on her index finger and walked around with her fist out, like the ring was leading her.

She's eating lasagna and I'm going to spend her naptime doing laundry and looking up ways to sew an octopus.  She saw one in a booth and thought she needed one.  She's been interested in octopus stuffed animals for a while now.  I think I could crochet one, but only a sewn one is good enough for her.  She's all about the sewing these days.  She even made this pillow for me last night! 

We used a leg off some pajama pants, and I assisted with threading the needle and tying knots.  Still, she sat still for a long time to make this and she's picked out the fabric for an octopus.  I'll see what I can do.