No theme today, just a bunch of miscellaneous photos.

Yesterday I finished knitting a hat to match Ben's scarf from last year.  Turn a Square hat by Jared Flood.

Perfect  for the foot of snow we got over the last two days.  It was a good sticky snow that hung on all of the tree branches and now is frozen there with our 7 degree weather today.  I saw some fantastic snowmen in the neighborhood, but I didn't have my camera with me.  Maybe tomorrow.

I've been busy taking pictures of Henry indoors instead.  
Here's a glamour shot on the blankie I made early this year.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I know I will. Henry and I are meeting up in La Crosse with Melissa from the Knitting Sandwich.  I'm so excited!

Six Months!

This guy is getting so big.  I know that is a cliche, but the surprise of a momma is very sincere.  When Henry's first two teeth came in I just looked at him in amazement and told Ben, "We made one that can grow and make things like teeth."  Ben said, "You mean we didn't make a dud?"

P.S.--Yes, that is a momma handknit.  Started in May before he was born but finished just in time for winter wearing and before he grows out of it.


I went for a bike ride the other day.  Just 10 minutes with the baby at home with Daddy, and I felt so free and alive.  Legs and heart pumping and the breeze blowing on my skin.  I used to do fun rides of 15 miles on any given day, charity bike rides of up to 100 miles, and Ben and I went bicycle camping and hauled all of our gear to a state park.
This year I was on my bike 3 times.  Once at 7 and a half months pregnant--a horrible idea, once about 3 weeks after giving birth--an equally horrible idea, and then this ride.  The most glorious 10 minutes all week.  I can't recommend it enough.
What little escapes make you feel free?

Welcoming Ceremony

When Ben and I designed our wedding ceremony, we chose to invite only 30 people.  They were members of the short list of the people that had to be there or the wedding didn't count.  Daria, my friend of 17 years then, got ordained so she could perform the ceremony.  Everything was just right.  We were married under a shag bark hickory tree with candles hanging from the boughs and our feet inside a circle of flower petals and the butterflies flew around us.

Henry's birth was also picture perfect.  It was a gorgeous summer day as we walked the neighborhood around the Birth Center.  When I was ready to come inside to the room, we had our midwife, Anastasia, and two birth assistants dipping in and out of the room as needed.  Ben was my constant as I labored in the birthing tub.  He sang songs and told me stories from our backpacking trips together to keep me centered, and he helped catch Henry as he was born.  The midwife and birth assistants took pictures, encouraged me when I didn't think I could go on and told me how beautiful my boy was.

Last week, I had an idea to throw together a quick welcoming ceremony for Henry.  Quick not because I didn't want a meaningful event, but because I still had Henry's placenta in my freezer and it is fall in Wisconsin.  I called Daria and asked her if she'd put together a few words to say over the speaker phone the next day.  I know, that is not ideal, but you settle for good enough as a new mom (my hair is brushed enough,  my kitchen is clean enough, etc.)  Thankfully, Daria was able to visit and facilitate another fitting ceremony.  On Sunday, I took a bath with Henry as we told him the story of his birth.  It was really interesting to recall the detail of those events as he splashed and played in the tub.  Then we sat out on a blanket and Daria told Henry about his sources of nourishment starting with the placenta, then breast milk and then the Earth.  We placed his placenta in the ground and then we planted some written hopes for Henry as he grows up and added flower petals to the top. Then we filled in the area with dirt and planted some daffodil bulbs.  We hope the daffodils will bloom on his birthday next June.  It was a gorgeous night.  A 60 degree evening in late October in Wisconsin is hard to come by.  In the still night air we sat around a candle and talked about our dreams for our guy.  Our little man got tired just when Ben was ready to entertain him with some dirt shoveling, and then he was off to bed.  I'm glad that Daria was there to help us welcome Henry into our family officially.

Handknits by Momma

I've shown you some handknits by friends, but very little by me.  Rest assured, my needles have been busy as of late.  Here is the hat I made in February of last year, before Henry was a zygote.  The sweater is another picture of the lovely one from Nicole.

Here is the vest I started after Henry was born.  I love the smile in this picture.  He does that a lot now.

And, lastly, here is some other fun knitting.  They may look threatening :) but they are only an inch and a half tall. 

Between these little guys and the popcorn, I've been doing a lot of small item knitting with lots of bobbles.  (Here is the link to the pattern.  Be careful, they are addictive.)

I've got another sweater for Henry on the needles and more lovely gifted sweaters so you'll see more handknits here soon.

Huge Crafting Post

I've been crafting like a busy bee over here, but have been slacking in the photographing and blog posting departments. It doesn't help that we've had a very rainy couple of weeks which makes for poor lighting for the pictures. Anywho...

I recently finished a picnic blanket using vintage sheets and very loosely using the instructions from Amanda Blake Soule's book, Handmade Home. I love, love, love the prints and colors. I also love using sheets that I've collected over many years of shopping at secondhand stores. Yay for thrifting!

That project has gotten use on a picnic and in the backyard already.

I whipped up this hat in three days for a baby shower at work. It is the same pattern as Henry's green hat and I'm thinking of making him another one (bigger of course).

I've also been knitting popcorn! Why? Well, I found a pattern for knitted popcorn and cranberry garland at Knitpicks. I love the look of fresh popcorn and cranberry garland, but I don't like it when it starts to fade and fall apart. I also have the worst time not breaking the kernels when stringing the popcorn. Solution: knit it!

I should have some new baby sweater knits and some handmade stamps to post here soon. Until then, I'll be busy crafting and waiting for sunshine.

Happy Night

Ben, a sleepy Henry and I were swinging out in the yard tonight. Henry really likes to be sung to sleep, so Ben was singing Greg Brown's "Spring Wind."

"Children go to sleep now. You know it's gettin' late.
I know you don't like to miss nothin' and school ain't that great.
Oh, I’ll dance with you when you’re happy, and hold you when your sad,

and hope you know how glad I am, just to be your dad."

Henry gave a HUGE sleep smile when Ben sang that last line.

Absolutely heart-melting.


I've had a wicked case of startitis lately. My bathroom and basement are not finished, I have a pile of sewing projects so big that I set up and filled a shelving unit, my craft table is still overflowing, and my desk is showing geologic layers. But, I did finish two knitting projects this weekend! The first is my stripey scarf and the second is the super-soft baby blankie that I started on inauguration day.

I'm still a little overwhelmed that the baby's due date is 2 and 1/2 months away, but finishing anything makes me feel like things may just be manageable.

Not for our baby

This is a long overdue gift knit for a friend's baby, Oliver, born at the end of December. (Luckily people seem more willing to forgive my lateness these days.) I don't think Oliver will remember since he hasn't been able to keep his eyes open on the other two times I've visited him.

I forgot to add the knitterly information about this sweater (thank you for the reminder, Marjory). This is a free pattern from f.pea--she generously shares free and very cute patterns on her blog. (She currently has a baby cardigan pattern that uses leftover sock yarn that looks tempting, but, I digress.) This is the Organic Guernsey pattern, 6 month size, and made with Plymouth Yarn Encore, worsted weight on size 7 circulars.

I'd like to add a big "Happy Birthday!" to my dad today. If he wasn't 6'1" and didn't hate sweaters, I might have knit him one of these and been terribly late getting it in the mail. Happy Birthday, Dad.

For a Good, Sweet Kitty

Our cat, Kiwi, had a lot of personality. She was the mouthiest cat I've ever met, but also the only cat I've ever known to crave/demand so much human attention. She became sick with kidney disease this past year and died on January 2nd, 2009. She was likely 18 years old.

I got her from the Humane Society in April of 2001 and the people that surrendered her said she was 11 years old with a long tail and liked to lay in the sun. I picked her out because she was social and talkative, and at the time I lived by myself in a studio apartment. A couple of weeks after I brought her home, I called a friend to ask if I could come over to escape Kiwi's constant talking. We contemplated dialing the phone for her so she could prank call someone else.

After the studio apartment, I moved into a co-op house where she had many more people to talk to. She became an outdoor cat after many days of demanding at the door that she be let outside. At first she would just follow people around the garden in the yard, but she then became bolder and bolder as the summer went on. Kiwi's most infamous story was the time I got a call from the Barrymore Theater in Madison. Someone checked her tag and called to inform me that Kiwi had talked one of the theater owners out of a chicken dinner and then waltzed up on stage to meow at the crowd that had paid to see the heavy metal band that was performing. I'm not kidding. She was on stage with the band 2 or 3 times that night. Her risk-taking behaviors increased in late summer/early fall when she was found lying in the middle of our side street just daring someone to tell her to get out of the road. Eventually, she got picked up by animal control and had to spend the night in kitty jail. When the authorities brought her home she was grounded to the indoors for the rest of her life. This probably annoyed my housemates to no end, but it shortly turned to winter and then Kiwi and I moved into our own place again.

We moved to a third floor apartment with only a door to a hallway that she could easily be caught in. She got used to the idea. On Gilman, she enjoyed the sunny south-facing windows with views of other rooftops and the chimney swifts. Kiwi came with me when I moved into my first apartment with Ben in Madison, but she had a difficult time adjusting to him being on her side of the bed. Eventually she disrupted his sleep enough that we had to find her a different place to sleep at night.

Kiwi always hated car rides and would scream and pant until the car stopped. We had to drug her to bring her to our new home in Beloit. She slept most of the way, but would wake to pitifully try to dig her way out of the cat carrier. She quickly became accustomed to the new house and enjoyed greeting my yoga students after class to try to get as much attention as possible before they would be allowed to go home. Once, on a sunny spring day, we put her outside in our tent so she could get some fresh air. She didn't like the idea and promptly peed in the tent. Kiwi was always a great mouser (even without front claws) and she caught at least 8 mice last winter in the basement. In the past two years she'd taken up studying math on Ben's lap while he graded homework on the couch.

Kiwi was always good to the children that visited us. She didn't actually like being touched by them or even near them, but would tolerate anything like a true martyr. Once, our nephew cornered her by the couch and laid his head on her soft fur and she put up with it until she could escape. The picture below was taken just last month for our Christmas card and shows just how much she'd put up with.

She was a good and sweet kitty to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.