A smile in my heart

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Cafe Du Monde opened today for the first time since Katrina. I found myself dancing in my kitchen with a smile in my heart while listing to the NPR story.
Duncan is doing much better at school. That is a photo of the two of us on his first day, last week. That expression is his “Say Cheese Face”. While making the face he says “CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE”. If you so much as pick up a camera, he makes the face.
Today I got there a bit early and saw his class on the playground lining up to go back to the classroom. I had never seen him stand in line before. So sweet, so simple. I, of course, burst into tears. I have turned into a total mush. Not bad, just a mush.
And I have been making stuff. New kitchen valances, new lampshades for the kitchen chandelier and a new slip cover for the side chair also, you guessed it, in the kitchen. The quilt is coming along nicely and I will post a photo tommorrow. And there has been much knitting and plotting for the Halloween decor.
So for this first time in 5 years I get a little bit of time to myself everyday. Everyday, people. A shower without helicopters and firetrucks and without small hollering boys. Time to use my sewing machine. Time to do nothing if I want, though at this point, I wouldn’t dare. Before I had children I thought I was busy and had no time. Must have been the crack. Now, I know better and treasure every moment with the kids and without them.

Need Some Help Blogosphere, Can You Hear Me?

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Yesterday was Duncan’s very first day of school. Ever. We made a big deal out of it, Mom, Dad and big brother all took him into his classroom. He looked at me and waved, while saying “Bye, Mom-Mom!”.
About 2 hours later the school called that Duncan was upset. He had been crying and picking up his back pack saying “Home, Home”. Duncan has always been the most laid back child. So I was surprised to hear this. By the time I got there about 45 minutes later, he was sound asleep in a classroom full of toddlers. All the emotion has tuckered him out, my poor little Duncan. When I picked him up his eyes were RED and he was hoarse. Okay, so this was not just upset, this was a huge, huge event. For another kid, it might just be upset but I have never ever seen Duncan so thrashed by emotion.
I know it will all work out. I know that for his first day, he did well. It seems that he would work, play and realize that I wasn’t there and then begin to cry. And I have never dropped him off and left before, ever. So his teacher and I worked out a system that when she thinks he is about to hit the wall, she will call and I can come pick him up. I really appreciate her willingness to work through this with us. She even offered to come in and work with him on the weekend to get him through this. How cool is that?
So, I am Mom on call (a bit more than normal) for however long this takes. I was supposed to go to Texas next week to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for 200 soldiers who are deploying on or around Thanksgiving, one of whom is one of my favorite cousins. I really wanted to go. Not only to see my family- they are flying in from all over the country to put this thing on-but to get out of the house, if you know what I mean.. I know that by staying home, it will go perfectly for Duncan at school and if I went it would be a disaster.
Is there anybody out there in the Killeen, Belton, Temple, Fort Hood area who has a couple of hours next Saturday the 22nd of October to put up some decorations? Just asking as you never know what comes out of the blogosphere! Leave me a comment or mail me at kt AT theeislers DOT com
I am so dissappointed to not be able to go but I know it is the right choice. Sometimes the right choice is not the fun choice. My goal is to have my little boy love school and keeping him as comfortable in this transition will give us the best chance of success.
Thanks! KT

The Reluctant Model

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Yesterday I finished the winter white scarf. This is Log Cabin Goodness. I L-O-V-E it. I am not going to block it, I adore the undulating shape too much. Really, this was such a fun and speedy knit- and the yarn showed off the pattern beautifully. The scarf is big, soft, squishy a simple knit. It was not boring at all, in a sitting I could get a repeat or two done.
It took 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky in Color 16001. The pattern is from Harmony Stitch Guides #4 Pattern 1.14.
In a previous post I had complained that there were tie offs in 2 of the balls I used. Jane, of Yarnstorm fame, left a comment that the indutry standard was three-3- knots per ball. Wow! I had no idea. I guess I have been lucky as I rarely come across this. Or maybe I am just not knitting enough!
I tried to get Angus to actually wear this scarf, but he would have none of it. He did agree to hold it up, all the while asking me: “Are we done yet?”

Working it out

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I having been on a bit if a fabric binge, ahem, as I showed you a small portion of last week.(Cia’s Pallette and Hankcock’s of Paducah arrive tomorrow) I hadn’t a pattern in mind when I bought that fabric from here, so I began thumbing through some newly acquired, ahem, quilt books.
I picked a the Crosses Quilt from Quilt Road but I didn’t like the randomness of the color placement. I also wasn’t too fond of some of the fabrics for this quilt and I wanted some sort of color repeat. So I set out to chart a new color pattern, with the fabrics I had on hand. I tried to hand draw a giant graph as to better chart it out. Wrong. Between small hollering boys who wanted to use my crayons and a muttering at the computer husband and the garbage eating dog it was not happening.
Then my knitting, quilting and generally crafty friends- I found it!(Cue ephiphany music…) Praise God and pass the collection plate! I found this site.
Free, completely customizable GRAPH PAPER. Like twelve types, hex, trapeziod, regular. You can choose line weight and color and and and , oh it just gets me so excited. I know. It is graph paper. But come on folks, how cool is it that you can specify the size of the square, etc and in 2 seconds it is there for you. And it is free and you don’t have to register and ooh the tumbling blocks graph paper makes me happy.
So, the muttering husband took the hollering boys out and I ignored Earl, the garbage eating dog long enough to rechart the pattern, which you see above. Wonky, yes. Effective, very. I already have all the squares cut, and I just need to pick a binding, backing and border. But tonight I am going to start sewing the squares after the boys are off to bed.

Creativity

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I used to have such interesting standards (read: I was a total snob and idiot) about creativity. This is art, that is trash. What does it mean? How could they make that. Well, there is art and then there is craft. I spent years trying to change the way I painted or made sculpture, collage, or knit. Yes, I tried to be better at those things but I am talking about trying to change the style or essence of these things. I could no more change my painting style than I could change my eye color with the power of my mind. I truly think that everybody has their own creative style.
Penmanship is a good example of what I am talking about. Each person has their own personal handwriting, and you can make it neater, but I say it is nearly impossible to change it. It is yours.
I mean I make stuff to express myself, so why would I work so hard to change what that expression is. I would see something somebody made and be jealous that they had done it and I hadn’t. What I didn’t realize is that I could never had made that particular that. Someone else made it and even if I did my best to duplicate it, more than likely it would look like I did it. I used to hate that, I used to not understand that this is the gift of creativity. Yours is yours and mine is mine. Seeing this, I am freed up. Somehow in my mind it had been a competition against the maker of the cool object. Now, it is a drive to just do the best I can and learn something new with each project I undertake. A competition to best myself every time I see a chance.
Now, looking back the competing with another person (oh, and, this was a completely internal competition- the others had no idea) about creativity seems so very counterproductive, like wasted time. And like with so many things, I see it was necessary to get to where I am now about creativity and things that I make. I see creativity everywhere and might not love it all but I really strive to appreciate it all. And I am having a lot more fun making stuff. Sure, sometimes the process drives me crazy but at the end of the day I am so happy to have something that is all mine.
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Oh and the painting is one I made about 3 years ago, it is 4×6 ft. This is a great example of my having fun, experimenting. I am completely fascinated with anatomy and gesture.

The Haunting is Coming

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October is my favorite month. Halloween is my most creative and most favorite time of year. The crows have moved into the house and soon the Goblins and Witches will appear.
Autumn is barely on the radar here but no matter, it is time to get ready for Pumpkins, Chill and of course Sweaters.
But first I have to check the house for Ghouls and Ghosts.
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On a knitting note: You know what really scrapes my plate? When you pay $16 for a ball of SuperChunky Cashmerino (If your initials are D.B., listen up!)and there is a broken strand of yarn that has been tied off. I have worked through 3 balls of the stuff and 2 of the 3 have had tie offs. This is just Bad Form and really is aggravating. I am happy to pay for well made yarn and well balled yarns, but this does not get my vote. I mean, if you want me to pay your prices, can’t you at least treat me nicely?

More like Lookie What I Got!

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&otWe are feeling kinda Kaffe over here at LWIM. Maybe we are just multi-Fassetted. (Groan. Sorry, couldn’t help it.)

There is nothing like a visit from the Postman to cheer a girl right up!
Look at these beautiful Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I ordered them from Glorious Color on Friday and they arrived today. Fantastic. Now I just have to wait a few days till Duncan goes off to school and I will have 4 hours a day to make something with this fabric.
And really what could be better than these:

A pair of Kaffe Fassett Pyjamas. And they even came in a matching fabric bag. I am thinking that wearing them to pick Angus up from school is probably a no go, even if is a Montessori. Damn.
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Thanks to all who have been leaving comments (Hi Mom!), I really appreciate it and it just plain makes me happy.
Oh, and Kay, steal the scarf and let me know how yours turns out.

Order

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While away this summer I did some stash enhancement. It was the willy nilly kind, no pattern in mind kind. The candy store version that I feel pretty fortunate to do every once in a while. It was a frenzy, who the hell am I kidding? It was wonderful and embarrassing and I felt like I needed a Zantac afterward. I mean, really. I need more yarn without a purpose in mind like I need a hole in the head.
So I had been hearing for a long time about the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino-Super Bulky-Extra Crunchy-Now with More!- Yarn. I resisted. I wasn’t willing to spring for a yarn with “Cash” in the name with a mere 12% “Cash”. I wanted more “Cash” (and who doesn’t?) Especially with the yardage/price ratio. Long story short- I caved and bought 5 balls of it. In a Winter white color. I mean if we are going on a bit of a frenzy, there should be no practicality involved right? Right.
Then next step was what to make? If I were truly impractical I would have made a garment for one of the small hollering boys. Or a pair of underwear for the dog. I cast on for a scarf- totally ignoring gauge and got about 3 inches into it and it looked like crud. Riiiiiiiip. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. With all the craziness of this household (it gets less crazy a week from Tuesday! Yippee!) knitting, never mind completing a complex project is out of the question right now. So I broke out my Harmony Stitch Guides and just thumbed through. I wanted fun, easy and something that would lie flat. I picked a simple but interesting knit and purl pattern and cast on for a single repeat. Pattern 1.14 in Book Volume 4 on Size 11 Denises. The yarn says for gauge to use an 11.5 but we are not being practical remember?
So I am getting 4 repeats to one ball so I think that it will be a decent length and quick quick quick. And orderly. And I do like the wavy edges. I can only take so much order. I don’t think I will block it, we will see when we get there. I will take this order and simplicity anywhere I can get it, ’cause I am not getting that from the small hollering boys.
Oh and say a little knitter’s wish for me, in about 10 minutes I have to break a promise to myself that I am not looking forward to. There is a place I said I would never ever go and now I must or I break my child’s heart and the heart of his new friend. I have to take Angus to a party at Chuck E. Cheese.

Mom-Mom, what are you doing?

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I was asked this as I was standing outside in the pre-dawn morning. It was cold! Yippee! Cold!!!
I was so enthralled with the chill and the moon that Angus had to ask again. I came out of my trance and told him that I was taking a picture of the sky for Sandy.
Fall is coming people. And you should enlarge the above picture, the moon is really beautiful.

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