Saturday, March 31, 2007

Watch this.

This will fill you with joy and cure all your springtime allergies.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I am a gratuitous ballerina

I made this! And it doesn't suck!

Pink Spring Dress

Admittedly this is much more complicated and fitted than I'd intended my first* dress to be. I should have started with a skirt. This was hard. But I love it. I love it so much that it makes me want spin around and get all dizzy.

Pink Spring Dress

Pink Spring Dress

I know. I'm silly.

*Okay, okay. I made a dress with my mom's help when I was 13. And the thrill I got from that tiny bit of bust shaping should have been my first clue that I'd grow up to be a fiber addict.

Friday, March 16, 2007

They're not Tagalongs, but...

...speaking of Cookies. Have you seen Cookie's new sock collection?

Holy God! Look at them. LOOK AT THEM!

I'll just add a little vacant space here to breath while we both wait for our pulse rates to come down.

And by the way, did you know that Eunny Jang of See Eunny Knit is the new editor of Interweave Knits magazine? This is fantastic news! Eunny is just the person to give IK the young, brilliant, talented kick in the pants it so desperately needs. Not that I don't love it now. Actually I don't. I think most of their patterns are sort of "meh," but I am making two things from the current issue (the Tea Rose halter and the Petunia bag). And while we're weighing in on Interweave, can I just let it be known that I PREFER THE NEW LAYOUT. I also do not enjoy the boxy, boring cardigans you seem so hell-bent on publishing, so please. Stop being so safe. Do you really want to be the Woman's World of knitting mags? You're better than that, IK.

Also, today is my brother Dan's birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAN! I hope you were wishing for a new pair of handknit socks!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hello, Samoas

I was going to write something smart today and tell you things. And show you stuff. And be interesting.

Instead, I'm going to probably eat my weight in Girl Scout cookies.

Would it shock you to learn I'm not a fan of Thin Mints? But put a Tagalong in my hand and I'm quickly ask you for another.

I deserve this. I took the dog rollerblading yesterday, and a neighbor laughed at me. Though admittedly, he did look pretty silly with those skates strapped to his paws.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Skirts and 'blades

Matilda and I went up to school last night to pick up her straight-A's report card and gaze admiringly at a few of her paintings hanging around school in the school art show.

After the requisite gazing time, I announced, "Come on, sister. Let's go buy you an "A" Present!"

The "A" Present in our house is a little educational incentive that is sometimes paid out in cash per A, or plunked down as a lump purchase on a toy or gizmo. PS, I know there's debate about whether paying for grades is correct parenting or not, but when you have a child who happily does homework on Saturday mornings and busily works ahead through all her extra challenge work, you've really got to show your approval of that somehow.

For us, last night, that meant rollerblades.

And as Matilda was trying on every single pair in the local Sports Authority, she told me she thought it was funny that I called her "sister."

Because, she went on, the other day her teacher had asked Matilda if I was her mother... or her sister.

And so that is why I spontaneously purchased a pair of youthful, though somewhat unreasonably expensive, roller blades for myself, as well.

And it also explains why I went out at lunch today and brought home an armload of youthful, ivory cotton gauze with which I will sew myself breezy, youthful skirts and sundresses.

I might just rollerblade past you in a gauzy sundress! Because that makes no sense!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday morning trainer ride

Dad set Gert up on a trainer next to his this morning.

Dad adjusts Cycling Gert's bike

She immediately began taunting him.

Cycling Gert taunts dad

She then slipped these on, kicked into her biggest chain ring, and called out, "See you later, sucker!"

Cycling Gert announces "later, sucker!"

Friday, March 02, 2007

Recipe for a Friend

The other day, Matilda and Gert walked past me, each carrying a teaspoon of something white and granular.

"What, are we freebasing now?" I said.

Matilda explained, "It's sugar. I'm going to help Gert make an imaginary friend."

So this intrigued me, and I followed them to the hall bathroom where Gert's older sister told her to stand in the corner and pay attention.

Matilda began the demonstration.

"The first thing you have to do," she said in her teacher voice, "is stand in front of the mirror and close your eyes, and imagine what you want your friend to look like." She squeezed her own eyes shut and imagined for a moment. "Really see her, what color her eyes are, what color hair she has, what she's wearing."

I glanced over at Gert in the corner, holding her spoon tightly and grinning excitedly, her eyes glued to her sister.

"Then," said Matilda, her eyes popping open, "you cast your sugar into the sink!" She sprinkled the contents of the spoon into the basin. "Then you spin around three times and say your friend's name to summon her!"

Too much Harry Potter in my house? Never.

"Then," said Matilda when she'd finished whirling, "turn on the water, and when the sugar's all washed away, you look into the mirror, and there you'll see her! But only you can see her. And only if you believe."

"OH!" shouted Gert with profound delight. "My turn!" She all but shoved Matilda away from the sink, scattering sugar over the bathroom tile.

Some time later, I looked up from my knitting to see Gert parading past, clearly leading an army of the imaginary behind her.

"We're going to go play school," Gert told me.

"Oh, okay," I said. "Who is?"

"Me and Emily and Mylie."

If this was Matilda's way of shrugging off her little five-year-old shadow for a few hours and having some personal Gameboy time, that girl is freaking brilliant.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Antique chic

Every month the knitting forums at Craftster have a "knitting challenge," and February's was What Would Marple Knit - vintage knitting patterns in a modern context.

If you were to click over there out of curiosity, you'd see a whole board full of mindblowing, original designs people have submitted. These are the kinds of projects that started cropped up mid-month, and I quickly realized I had not a shot in hell of winning this challenge.

But I did actually kind of want to knit some antique lace. That's just the kind of girl I am.

Kendal lace

This is a lace pattern from a book published in 1891 called "Home Work: A Choice Collection of Useful Designs for the Crochet and Knitting Needle: Also, Valuable Recipes for the Toilet".

Note that I did not make any of the toilet recipes. I don't even know where to go with that.

The pattern I used is the Kendal Insertion.

Kendal lace

Kendal lace

You can also wear it as a hat, a brooch, a pteradactyl...