For this post, you're going to have to use your imagination... ready?
(Imagine 4 charming children- cousins, in fact- ranging in age from nearly 4 months to just past 10 years, all in a row, smiling and sporting coordinated Ts, each one appliqued with the initial of their first name.)
Did you see it? Because the only way you will get to is in your imagination...
Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to Pittsburgh for a mini family reunion. My 96 year old grandma lives there, along with my mom's sister and brother-in-law. My cousin (their daughter) was going to be in from sunny CA with both of her little ones, and so we seized the opportunity, along with my mom, to see everyone at once. Another cousin flew in as well- we ended up down just one as my only other cousin was too sick to make it :-( We ended up with my grandma, 2 of her 4 kids, 3 of her 4 grandkids, and all 4 of her great grandkids together over the weekend (plus several inlaws)! VERY cool indeed.
Being me, I decided the great grandkids simply HAD to have special matching shirts for the occasion of their first meeting. I got 3 Ts and a onesie, all in different colors, and picked just the right fabric to use to make the initial of each kid's first name on their shirt. Doggie pawprints on turquoise for Annie, camo on green for Henry, guitars on navy for Noah, and sweet heather ross matrioshkas on purple for Celia. I got all 4 letters done with 48 hours to spare. They weren't as perfect as they were in my head- are they ever?- but they were done, dammit.
And there ended my plan of adorable ensemble photos. I had forgotten how tricky the under 3 set can be- especially when out of their time zone by 3 hours and missing their dads... Everyone did indeed wear their Ts, but we never managed to get everyone awake and/or cheerful at the same time. Ah, well. It's the thought that counts- and the fun the kids had all together. And the Ts came out well enough, don't you think?
A for Annie
H for Henry
N for Noah
And now you'll have to use your imagination one more time, to picture the adorable Miss C in her purple onesie- I managed not to get a single photo where you can see the applique!
Working on these didn't make my whiplash flare up too much, so perhaps I'm mended enough to get back to sewing for real. Stay tuned!
First, let me say Happy Mother's Day to anyone out there who has played an important role in a kid's life, mother or other... I know firsthand how difficult this motherhood gig is, and my hat is off to all of us!
And now on to the knitting. Many moons ago (February), I cast on the fabulous and lovely Coquille shawl from Knitty First Fall 2010. It's one of those fabulous knits that uses a simple trick to dramatic effect- in this case, knitting the shawl from side to side and using short rows to create nifty ruffles. It was a time consuming knit- and a bit dull after a while- but the perfect knit to take along to say, an Avs game.
(Even if, after I for the first time ever publicly professed my love of a team and a sport, they went on to break my heart with a mind bogglingly terrible season...The game pictured above? I think we were down by 5 in the first 10 minutes.)
Simple pattern aside, this knit was not so fun. Why? My fisrt ball of Schoppel-Woole Zauberball was just fine. But the second ball? Pure misery. The color striations were completely different (bad Sam, check your dye lots). Not their fault. Their fault? The thick/thin transitions of this ball were ludicrous. In more than one place, the "thin" section of the yarn simply disintegrated, leaving me with multiple ugly fixes throughout the last few inches of the shawl. And the thick sections were chunky and ugly. I have used this yarn in one other project and not had an issue, and the first ball was fine, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming I ended up with the yarn equivalent of a lemon...
Each and every time my mother happened to see this shawl on my needles, she raved about the colors. As I became angrier and angrier at the yarn, a perfect solution materialized. Give mom the shawl! I couldn't forgive it, and she totally loved it. Everyone ends up happy, right?
It was going to be a mother's day surprise, but a few weeks back, while it was blocking on the dining room table, Annie made a big point of showing it to my mom and letting her know it was for her. D'oh. After it dried, I hid it away and brought it out today- where she had either forgotten, or put on a good show. Or, maybe she never really liked it and she had hoped it WOULDN'T show up on mother's day? Hope not! Because that's all she got from me (though my lovely husband did take us all out to brunch, but that's another story. We survived...)
What do you think?
Today Annie is 10. If you've been around for a while, you know that she arrived in the world very dramatically, and that it wasn't much fun for either of us. We've been working together to figure it out ever since... The last 10 years have been quite an experience. Motherhood is nothing like I imagined- cliched to say, but, totally true. I'll leave it at that!
We celebrated last week, as we didn't want her party to compete with family Easter or Passover celebrations. With the help of the amazing Miss Traci, who used to teach at Annie and Henry's preschool and who now has a crafty side business (with no website for me to link to), we helped the 6 little girls create their own one of a kind Ts. I had visions of adorable stencils- we had a cupcake!- and fun applique- we had a bunch of yo yo makers!- but I let the girls lead the way. And so we had an awful lot of fun with the fabric paint- at one point all 6 girls worked on one T shirt and squeezed all of the 20 colors of paint onto it at once...
While the finished products looked nothing like *my* vision, it was awesome to watch all the girls explore the materials. I raided my stash for anything that might be fun, and found some beaded trims I bought years ago during my very very brief lived handbag sewing stint. Annie and I went to JoAnn's and Michael's and made good use of their weekly 40% off coupons to buy paints and stencils.
We also found a huge bin of ribbons on clearance at Michael's- so we picked out many spools, and the girls had a blast getting Miss Traci to sew it onto their shirts.
The girls had a total blast and were so proud of their creations... I'm not totally certain the paint will ever dry on a few of them, they laid it on so thick!
The birthday girl was pretty content, too!
Happy Birthday, Annie! Here's to many more years of creative, crafty adventures!
Last week SUCKED.
I won't be elaborating, this isn't the place, but let's just say I've been in a bit of a funk since last Wednesday.
What better to perk me up than knitting two tiny hats that look like animals?
Remember the quilt I made for my new cousin Celia? I decided that she and her older brother needed bunny hats for Easter. Naturally. What else would you make for a newborn and a toddler of mixed faith? But I'm hoping bunnies can mean spring as much as they mean easter- and let's face it, they are part of the secular easter and not so much the church one...
The photo is lousy as I finished the hats at 10pm last night and dashed them off to the post office before the tax day rush...and in so doing nearly forgot to photograph them at all! Hopefully I will get some adorable photos of the hats being worn, and I will share those.
I myself will be heading south, not west, tomorrow, for a 4 day, 3 night escape, with no kids, and just my lovely husband, to the fabulous Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Thanks to my mom for braving the kids all by herself for the weekend!)
But before we hit the road, we'll be stopping at the post office. I need to send 2 paperback swap books, return a pair of shoes, and, oh, yeah, mail the Monkeyshines quilt off to California! Because it's all done-
and it WOULD have been done in time for my new cousin's due date, which was today, but, she decided to show up a wee bit early... BTW, does anyone know what you call your first cousin's kid? Is she my 2nd cousin or my 1st cousin once removed? Regardless, we call her Celia- isn't that lovely? I am mildly worried that this quilt is a bit to masculine for a little girl. But everyone loves sock monkeys, right? The quilt is cotton on top, flannel on the back, and bound with some fun polka dots. I am becoming incapable of binding a quilt without plaid, dots or stripes...
In that same California-bound box is a little something for Celia's older brother, Noah. He turned 2 in December, and is the sweetest little guy ever. He loves trains and 'tars- which would be GUItars, for those of you not in the know. I figure it's not very fair for the little sister to get everything and the new big brother nothing (even if he did get a pretty cool quilt of his own back in the day...), so I whipped up a special 'tar gift for him:
Okay, must sleep and pack before we head off to the magical city of Santa Fe. Did I mention that our hotel room has a fireplace? Nuff said.