Teddy Bear Picnic

I’ve changed my mind 3 times since I cast on this baby sweater. First it was for our family’s friend’s new baby. Then it was for my son in California new baby. Now I’m thinking I should save it in case my youngest son has another boy next April (I am casting on a pink layette tomorrow regardless).

Wherever it goes, it is finished. I happily sat outside on my deck and sewed it all together today in the decidedly fallish air. it’s been a busy weekend as we had our first visitor since February. My daughter from Connecticut came with her dog to see us. We all wore masks, even in the house. Husband was depressed about it but I was adamant as young people tend to let their guard down and I’m not taking any chances. Luckily it was nice enough to eat outside.

The dogs (all 4 of them) were uproariously full of barks and chaos. Those puppies have not been socialized properly because of social distancing so they didn’t know what else to do. It was loud and fun and by the time she left they were all great friends. But they conked out and slept for 3 hours while I finished the sweater. They didn’t even have the energy to bark at the rabbits that are plaguing us.

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A Baby Changes Everything

With my son’s newborn safely delivered (just in the nick of time) 19 minutes after they arrived at the hospital, and all the gushing and joy that comes with one such arrival, we breathe a sigh of relief. They live in California near the ocean in Big Sur. This year there are wildfires blazing. It’s been very worrisome. It was compounded by them being evicted 3 days prior to that birth. They had to move into a 20 foot trailer on their mountain property. This is why birthing is for young people. As for the baby, he’s blissfully unaware and surrounded by two parents who gaze in wonder at this new life they have created. They kindly sent me photos of his homecoming dressed in the layette I made.

Baby Finley in his layette
Baby Finley wrapped in his blanket

And if that wasn’t enough, my son here on Cape Cod just announced that he and my daughter-in-law are having another baby in April! Such joy and goodness in the midst of such a difficult year. We are very thankful.

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Moving Along, Nothing to See..

With the kitchen nearly complete and extremely usable, I should have slid back into knitting mode but I suddenly realized summer is nearly over. My birthday came and went with cakes and calls and presents and flowers, but not with people. It turned out fine. Low key the way I actually prefer them. But it also spurred me into action knowing there are only 2 weeks left of summer. I had started a checkerboard cardigan for my friend’s baby (to be given in December) but after knitting 5 inches I realized it was going to be way too big so I tore it out. I’ve worked on the never ending houndstooth blanket but it’s really to hot to be knitting blankets. So basically nothing has gotten done. Some days I just waste time gazing at my new kitchen. It opens to the dining room and family great room so it seems huge and bright and airy now that the plastic walls are gone. And some nights I get to gaze at the stars through my new birthday telescope from my husband. It’s one of the best gifts ever!

Maybe next week I’ll have something tangible knitted to show.

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The Heart of a Home

Before the advent of flip-the-switch fireplaces, I think this little phrase used to refer to the ever present fireplace, preferably in the kitchen. But maybe it implied the kitchen itself. I have been 2 months without a kitchen. Living on take-out food the entire time. I’ve actually, if we’re counting, been 6 months without a fully functional kitchen and just as long with plastic walls dividing the rest of the house to protect from construction dust and possible coronavirus contamination from the plethora of workers it takes to get something like this done. But I am here to announce that the kitchen is finally DONE. Well, most of the cabinet handles are still on backorder and a bit of backsplash tile has yet to be installed. But after we fired the (every-excuse-in-the-book) electrician and hired a fast young crew, it all came together in a day. Lights are on, paint is dry, stove is amazing, microwave is practically a live-in cook and even the fancy touch to operate faucet works like magic. I was so excited when the last worker left that I wanted to drag my sleeping bag in there and sleep on the shiny new floor.

It’s been hell to live through with a pandemic raging, new puppies to raise and incessant delays but here we are; literally cooking with gas. I have no knitting to report as I’ve only started a Drops Design sweater and jumpsuit for my friend’s baby (still not born yet). I’m happy to report I can get yarn from Wool Wearhouse in the U.K. again and it ships to the US in like 4 days! But that’s for next week. This week it’s all about the kitchen, the heart of my home.

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Caribbean Blues Blanket

I started making this cotton blanket to go with the Ducks in a Row baby sweater but could see there wasn’t enough of the sea green so I ordered more cotton from my supplier in the UK and it actually came in just a few weeks. I wasn’t even sure I had enough for the border and that yarn is discontinued, but it worked out. Now when does that happen?! Now that it’s finished (shh, it needs blocking & the ends are all hiding underneath, waiting to be woven in) it reminds me of the water in Turks and Caicos. We went there for our honeymoon and the color of the water was incredible. Every gorgeous turquoise hue you could think of with the backdrop of blues skies and billowing clouds.

So as soon as I get those little chores are done it will be off to join the sweater. And I actually made it in time before the baby is born!

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Fast and Furious

This has been one of the hottest weeks of July I can remember in a very long time. But my needles still had to keep flying fast and furiously as now there are only 2 weeks left till our dear Mandy’s due date. It’s not the time (or need, for that matter) to be knitting a blanket, but here we are.

Notice I’m talking about the good stuff first this time. That’s because it’s FINISHED !

The not so good stuff is that the painters arrived on cue Thursday after the carpenters finished installing all the cabinets and new ceiling. But the painters have been sanding with electric sanders on walls, ceiling, cabinets, everything, everywhere. Its loud, so loud you have to either be outside or wear noise canceling headphones. In this brutal heat my poor puppies are about melted but we made it. Also the head painter has a bit of a Picasso complex. He keeps repeating to me how it’s a Big Job and it must be smooth as glass. Pretend you can see my eye roll. I just want my sink back. And my stove, refrigerator, cabinets, dishes, etc. it will still be another 2 weeks before it’s all put back together so expect to hear my whining next week as well.

In the meantime I’ve picked back up the cotton blanket I started knowing I will run out of yarn. I have some on order from the U.K. and my tracking tells me it’s in the US now so I’m hoping customs clears it soon so I can finish that blanket before little Bode is born. (She’s naming the baby Bodin William and calling him Bode for short).

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All My Ducks in a Row

The kitchen saga continues. The cabinets are in but alas, one is missing. The workers have checked every job site to no avail. I know they think the kitchen is almost finished, I feel like a woman in her 9th month of pregnancy. You know, that feeling that the baby will NEVER be born. I am tired of living out of my screened in porch with a microwave and a hot boil kettle. I’m tired of no way to vacuum or actually clean. I tired of going in and out f the house through 4 doors just to wash my hands. It’s still a construction zone and I can’t even go in there until they leave and I disinfect every surface. I figure I’m allowed to complain. This project was started in February & my husband is the contractor.

But what this whole sorry project is doing is forcing me to sit it out and that gives me a ton of time to knit. So the friend’s baby that will be actually be born in 2 weeks or so now has a coming home sweater and almost a blanket (as if he will need it in the sweltering heat wave we’re having). I wanted sailboat buttons, I settled for aqua ducks.

When I gave her the sweater she proudly showed me the nursery, painted, stocked with every conceivable item a baby will need and it was all blue and tones of brown. So the summer blanket I started has been set aside while I furiously knit a blue and browns blanket to go in the crib. It’s using a lot of odd skeins in my stash. The whole time I’m dreaming of using the new kitchen (if it ever gets done).

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And Now the Push is On

Out of the blue my son here on the Cape texted me, “You’re making a blanket for Mandy, right?” My startled reply was “WHAT?” Oh yeah the baby shower is tomorrow. Well, with the virus everywhere and it being summer I didn’t feel the need to make an entire blanket in one day for his dear friend. Mandy was his best friend after school. She was married 2 years ago and has no family to speak of so of course there will be a blanket, sweater, booties, hat…

I had toyed with the idea of giving the green blanket to her but that is for my other son’s upcoming arrival. The green sweater is finished (just waiting for buttons) but it is a 6 month size. So I quickly cast on the Sweet Manitee for her baby (boy) and have been furiously knitting ever since. It’s nearly done. Just the sleeves which I hope to finish today. I used costal colors to sweeten up the blue which seemed too plain. She is due August 7th and it’s her first baby so I should be fine. I want it for her trip home from the hospital. So now for the blanket…

Ack! My kids (all 9 of them) and their last minuteness!

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Slow Summer Knitting

There are several reasons for slow knitting and slow blogging. The main one is that it suddenly got hot in New England and the project I have going is a rather large blanket. After months of staying inside it is glorious to get out in the sun. My little garden, potted deck plants and the general landscaping have been coaxed into leaf and bloom, the pollen has fallen and been washed away and now I want to be outside enjoying my own little world of summer. But knitting a heavy blanket is not enjoyable even in the shade. So it’s going slowly.

In other news my long awaited kitchen is starting to take shape. Half the cabinets are in and the stove gets hooked up this week (fingers crossed, there’s always some glitch). The counters must be measured and installed (another week) along with wall tile and cabinet door handles (which aren’t even ordered yet) but I’ve got those cupboards filled. If you squint you can imagine it all finished. It’s particularly difficult with workers in the house. I insist on masks and plastic partitions because of the virus. So it’s is also slow going.

So most days, after a morning walk when it’s relatively cool for these densely furry Corgi puppies, we hang out in the shade on the deck with an iced tea and a big bowl of water just watching the grass grow and soaking up the warmth. Maybe a few rows get done, maybe not. I’ve started a cotton baby sweater to match the last blanket I made. That at least is easier to manage in the heat. But I’m not complaining. Summer is slow, gloriously slow.

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We Cannot Afford to Stay Silent

After reading the Monday morning blogs I follow I have some inspiration to add my voice to what is happening here in America. Up to this point I was so shocked and dismayed that I didn’t know what to say. I will start by saying that not only do I not support or condone the direction or actions of the current administration in government, I never have. I saw this coming in 2016 when they were “elected” because I don’t believe they were. There is something very dark and sinister going on here that is left over from every power grab and war that ever was. But I am frightened for the survival of humanity as a whole. We cannot survive until we accept that we are all in this world together and MUST WORK TOGETHER. No one group has the right to overpower another. Until we as a human species recognize this there will always be wars and oppression. What is happening to the black community because of the color of their skin is unconscionable. It seems ridiculous to use skin color as a reason for oppression. Every group has suffered at the hands of white privileged people. I can’t understand what for. As a white privileged person myself I don’t feel I have a right to even speak to this issue, but I will have my voice at least be counted as opposed to the sickening acts committed by the people I have been born into. As a woman I’ve had my share of human rights trampled. But I could just as easily been born into any other oppressed group. So let me be clear: I DO NOT support or condone the actions of any group to overpower another. We are all children of humanity. If one of us suffers we all do. And I will not be silent about it.

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