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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quick Post

I've been missing because of Easter preparations and celebrations. I've actually still been knitting, but haven't finished anything recently. This is just to check in and let you know that I am still here.

For our Paschal feast, we hosted our church again. We made three herb rubbed legs of lamb, one butterflied and grilled and two roasted. We also made pita bread, hummus, baba ghanooj, some rum spiked lemonade and two triple chocolate cheesecakes. My mom made tabbouleh, and folks brought lots of devilled eggs, chips and layered dip, cheese twists, squash stuffed with applesauce, cinnamon, nuts and raisins, stuffed peppers, shortbread apple tart, cinnamon rolls, lots of sodas and sparkling drinks and wine. We had a great time. Even though the ground was sodden, the older kids still set out an Easter egg hunt for the younger kids. We capped off the evening by watching the Incredibles, which Rich and I still had not seen. We loved it!

Amira wore her gorgeous Easter dress, and during nap time ripped off the organza over skirt. So, we cut it the rest of the way off, and she wore it without the overskirt, the bodice still had organza, but it was stitched together with the main fabric and kept attached with embroidery through both layers. I figure we can use it as a veil for her confirmation. I have no idea if we got any pictures of her in it before she destroyed the skirt, even if we did, it would have been with her cape over it. Oh well, she was quite beautiful in it anyway. The boys got to wear their little suits and were also very adorable.

During the movie, we had a little knitting clinic, and I got through the sixth repeat of the lace pattern on the Flower Basket Shawl. Although the pattern only says to do seven repeats, I was planning on nine repeats, but may go to ten before I do the finishing edging.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Progress on Cross Your Heart, Lara & a Secret Pal Box!

This post will be full of photos, so bear with me. I finally have some pictures of my Cross Your Heart progress and the first picture of Lara. I also have a photo of the Flower Basket Shawl so far and some fun pictures of the kids.

I tried to show the detail on the yoke of Cross Your Heart, so you can see the cabling a bit more than before:

Here it is with the sleeves and saddles sewn to the body, I still have the still have the sleeve and side seams and the neck to knit up.

Lara is half finished:

The Flower Basket Shawl is about a third of the way finished:

I also wanted to let my Secret Pal know that I got the package on Friday! I love it, there was a ceramic sheep which now resides on top of my baker's rack, a letter R keychain, a photo book, which I love, because I keep meaning to get one for my purse, and a box of Easter Jelly Bellies! I ate all the cinnamon and lemon ones today. There was a note enclosed which was quite complimentary about my family, which I of course appreciate. Thank you!

For those of you who saw Amira last year around Easter, you will recognize this dress. It was long and covered all of her, belled out around her and the hat flopped all over her head. Here she is in her pansy dress now:

And here are all the kids asleep in the car after a wild night of partying on St. Patrick's Day. It must have been all that green kool-aid.

That is all for now, folks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Orthodox Christian Knitters Blog Ring

I finally got the rules up on the main page. I want to clarify that when I say orthodox I'm saying it in lower case. I don't mean only Eastern, Russian, Greek, Antiochian, etc, I mean any person who follows an orthodox form of Christianity, be they Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, even Protestant. Read this article to get a better understanding of how I am using the term. Then, go to Orthodox Christian Knitters and read the rules before you join.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Forgot This Yesterday

I was half asleep when I heard this yesterday morning, but it cracked me up. Apparently, malls either around Washington or the country (this is where I was still asleep) are moving away from using the Easter bunny at this time of year because, get this, they don't want to offend people by using religious imagery! Rich and I wondered if perhaps they wanted to stop the spread of paganism in the US, or what, since the Easter bunny is not a religious figure in Christianity, Judaism or Islam, but it is a fertility symbol from pagan cultures.

As for Pascha, Rich and I are hosting the Paschal feast again this year in the afternoon. We will be roasting 3 legs of lamb and grilling a butterflied leg on the barbecue. Right now, we are getting ready for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I can't believe that Lent is almost over. I have been pleased with the growth God has brought me to during this time. Our boys are really growing as well and have found this a valuable time of learning. It was difficult because even though they go to Christian schools, the grade school is part of a church that doesn't observe Lent, so this has been "Easter season" there, and the other does observe it, but evidently doesn't feel the need to explain much about it to the kids. They've had to observe it a little bit on their own and in contrast to those around them. In a way this is good, as it prepares them for the world around them as they grow.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Interweave Knits Arrived!

Friday, nearly seven weeks after the order was processed, my spring issue arrived. Finally! I do like the paisley shawl a lot, the vintage pink cardigan (though I'd probably make it in a grey or fawn color), and I've already played with the grand plan capelet pattern to make a couple Amira sized patterns. I like the idea of the Chanel looking jacket, but to recreate it in yarns that are more affordable (and colors I like better) is too much for me to figure out right now. You can see pictures of the patterns here. I liked the idea of the fitted dolman, but it cuts you off at the widest part of your body, then has that weird hem which makes even the skinny model look fat. I like the idea of it, but not how it was made. Someday, I may fiddle with the pattern and shorten it and have a normal hem.

Lara is moving so fast! I am almost finished with the left front, am about half way through the back, and it's using up yarn at a rate that makes sense based on the amount listed in the pattern. I am still finishing up Cross Your Heart, though I'm a little closer to finished. I put aside the Flower Basket Shawl for a little while, but picked it up again this past week. I'm about halfway through the lace pattern, and could arguably have this finished in a week or two. Still slogging though the 576 stitch section of my Pi. I'm going to do the last section a little differently than the pattern, I've decided. Rather than four repeats of the small diamond pattern (the original was two, but I wanted it to be doubled the way the other sections were), I'm doing a small diamond, then a large diamond, then back to the small diamond.

A lady from our Ultreya passed on a large box of crochet and knitting magazines. I sorted through them and have saved a bunch and will bring the rest to our church's St. Patrick's day feast for the rest to decide if they like anything. The rest will be donated. There are some scary things that people have made with crochet. Some examples: A crocheted mime, I'm not kidding, I may have to post a picture of this, and a crocheted campfire. Not a blanket or wall hanging with a campfire picture, mind you, but actually the logs and flames crocheted and stuffed. Rich suggested that we could have a burning of the mime on the campfire, or make the mime to punt and work out our aggressions on it.

Maybe it is because I like knitting a bit more, but it seems to me that there are fewer hideously useless knitted items. Oh, there's plenty of ugly knitting, just like crocheting, but fewer designs that seem to have no purpose. I think crochet is best for lacy things and baby clothes, and I really like Irish crochet, crocheted flowers and such. But how many toilet paper cozies does anyone need? Oh, and toilet seat covers! There was a whole bathroom ensemble in one, you can dress the toilet seat, the tank, the lid, the trash and make a matching rug! This seems to me like the knitted/crocheted dog sweaters. I'm sure I will offend someone now, but if you need to make sweaters for your dog to keep it warm, then it is a flawed dog. They have fur for crying out loud!

As for our government and unemployment status, I could be mixing up the state of Washington with federal stuff, but I could have sworn I had to fill in unemployed on the expanded census form we got (lucky us!) instead of homemaker/housewife/mother. They also confused race and ethnicity, like so many other people. That's a whole different post, though. Even still, I know people who are always looking for work and can't find a job, not because there aren't jobs, but because they aren't willing to work in things that they see as beneath them. I understand the desire to pad a resume with relevant work, but when you're struggling to pay for your home and groceries, you take what you can get. I wouldn't count those people toward unemployment, since they are choosing to be unemployed. When we first moved here and Rich was struggling to support us on his flight school paycheck, he took an evening maintenance job at McDonald's to make ends meet. That job was far "beneath" his education, training, abilities, and so on, but it allowed us to survive and pay our bills. He didn't see it as beneath him, he saw it as a way to provide for his family.

Anyway, this weekend, I went to the baby shower for our friend's daughter and gave her the newborn hat along with a store bought airplane sweater. She seemed to like it, and I was able to encourage her about both labor and delivery and babies in general. She seems to be like I was and has really been enjoying pregnancy. I meet with her mom once a week for group reunion and I'm sure I'll be seeing lots of cute baby pictures soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Amira!

Today my little baby is a year old! We all sang to her as we got her out of her crib, and at breakfast the boys sang to her. She had a great time and loved all the music. Rich had to hold her hands down away from her face so she would let him put the pear in her mouth, because she saw the pear pieces and thought they were apple, which she does not like and kept hitting him away. When she realized he was trying to feed her pear pieces, she started eating them herself and then got mad when she ran out! The rest of her breakfast was pretty basic: cereal and milk.

As I said, we won't be doing anything out of the ordinary tonight. Dinner will be chicken stuffed with spinach and cheese, a bulgur pilaf with celery, scallions and pine nuts and a salad with dijon mustard vinaigrette. I made the vinaigrette a little too salty this time, trying to make it taste more of the mustard. I am going to add some more garlic, olive oil and thyme to it to balance out the flavor. I'm trying to decide between spiced pork chops and lasagne for dinner on Sunday when we will have her cake.

No knit gifts for her for this birthday, in fact the only gift she has that we know of is a red dress that she managed to get pee all over yesterday (she was playing in the potty seat after Elijah left the bathroom), which Marthie gave her. I have some red shoes that I gave her for Christmas, but they didn't fit her then, are still a little too big (she has tiny feet!) and the red is a blue red as opposed to the orangey red of the dress.

My red sweater: I have finished sewing the saddles to the body of the sweater. I really wish I had just bound off the sleeves on the inside of the body, so I wouldn't have to deal with sewing them now. I thought the saddles might complicate that, but now I see they wouldn't have. Anyway, I'm hoping I'll get to wear it at least once before it gets too warm for a long sleeved, high necked, cabled, wool gansey. Rich asked me about the neck last night, and I said something about knitting the turtle neck. He said "But you're going to stop before it's a turtle neck, right?" I said I would see what the neck looked like on before I decided. He muttered something about hating turtle necks. Since I have about five hanks of the Candide left, I could make myself a matching hat, some mittens, and a small sweater that will fit Amira to match. The yardage on this pattern was way off. I bought almost double the yarn I already had so I could make it, and really needed only part of one other skein.

I'm on the fifth ball of Follies for Lara. It looks like I will have about a ball extra when I finish. I should make something to match, but I don't think I will have enough for a hat. Maybe a muff or something, or fingerless mitts. I think the fingerless mitts is the right answer. I could make them simple like the jacket with the deep ribbing.

I have a surprise to post about, but until I get the pictures and fiddle with them, I don't really want to say anything about it. It's been hard not to talk about it, though.

Oh, something that has been annoying me lately: Surveys and forms that do not have a space for homemaker/housewife. I have noticed a change, it used to be that most forms included a spot for my job, now most forms do not consider my work to be work. The most recent form had:


Full Time
Part Time
Not Employed
Prefer Not To Answer

No longer is homemaking seen as employment. Somehow, my not receiving a paycheck makes me unemployed, rather than not working for money. Before anyone starts talking about how employment really means that you have a boss/company, may I remind them of people who work for themselves are still seen as employed (self employed), the heads of companies are seen as employed and especially those of us who are crafters employ ourselves and our hands with our work. There is a cultural shift that has said that if something doesn't make money it isn't work, and if it isn't work it isn't valuable. I had to choose between Not Employed and Prefer Not To Answer, because these people, like so many others, do not recognize my work. It makes it easier to talk about the high unemployment rate in our country when we automatically discount anyone who chooses to employ his or herself in homemaking or volunteer work. This is part of why I don't buy all the of the noise about our unemployment rates, the government counts me as unemployed. I'd be willling to bet I work harder than most of the people who make those policies and statements about the high number of unemployed people in America.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Amira is 364 days old today. Her favorite game right now is something we call the name game. I was trying to get her to learn that my name was Mama and her name was Amira. So, I'd say "My name is Mama!" and point to myself, then point to her and say "Your name is Amira!" She thought this was the funniest thing in the known universe. She now yells "Name!" happily and laughs and laughs. She also expects me to yell name back, equally joyful. This isn't too hard, since it makes her face light up and her laugh is so funny it makes anyone around her laugh, too. The amazing side effect of this game is that it has gotten her to call me Mama. However, it wasn't because she was learning all about what names and nomenclature are, but because I was driving and not paying attention to the name game, so she really yelled: MAMA! and got my attention, then said "Name!" so I would say the same back. Whatever it takes.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Getting Irritated

Perhaps this is a way I can develop the virtue of patience. The Spring issue of IK is still not here. It has now been six weeks and two days since they processed the order. Eight weeks and five days past the date they said they would ship it in the first place. I hate waiting like this.

Meanwhile, I have finished the first sleeve on Lara, made no progress on the Flower Basket Shawl, am on the 576 stitch section of the Pi Shawl, and have done zero finishing work on either Cross Your Heart or Little Boy Green. I have been feeling pretty cruddy and tired, and just haven't wanted to look at finishing work.

Rich flew me down to the St. Martha's Guild this weekend. His mom and aunt were in town and they watched the kids so we could do that. It was nice to have the time together. The only bad thing that happened was that I stepped in a hole in the lawn on the way to the plane as we were heading home and twisted my ankle something fierce. Yesterday was tough, and I had to wear sandals to church, but I'm doing much better today.

I hope to have some cool pictures tomorrow, but we'll see.

Friday, March 04, 2005

MIA: Spring Interweave Knits

I did call them the other day. The lady said that because of Christmas, orders that came in December weren't processed for a little while afterward and that the gift from my friend didn't get processed until January 22. She said it took four weeks for the magazine to get to me. That would be February 19th, still four days after they appeared on the stands, but understandable. It is now March 4. If it is not here tomorrow, that will be six weeks. Assuming it might take up to six weeks, I hope it is here tomorrow. Considering the fact that they ran out of the Fall issue, and many subscribers didn't even get that, I am concerned that I won't get this issue. The confirmation to my friend said that they would mail the first issue out on January 12. Hmm.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


So, Alexander lost his second tooth last Tuesday. He now is in the possession of two half-dollars from the tooth fairy, aka Rich, but he didn't get the second one until Wednesday night, as he lost it too late in the evening Tuesday for the request to be processed at the Tooth Fairy's call center. Sometimes she's on vacation, too.

Amira will be a year old in seven days. I cannot believe that a year has past already. It makes me sad a little bit that it has flown by so quickly. She has six teeth, she stands up on the furniture and cruises around. She says all sorts of words (but not mama) like Baba (for Rich), up, tickle, piggy, car, ball, jet (she even makes jet sounds and zooms toys in her hands), yeah (but not yes), love you, she has said Elijah once, and even said Larry Boy while reaching for the Larry-mobile. She claps, makes kisses, nods and shakes her head, but doesn't wave bye-bye.

Our boys all said Mama first. They also didn't really like Rich all that much, Dominic was openly hostile toward him until he was about two years old. Then he went into toleration, he adores his Baba now, but it took some time. Rich says it's nice to have a baby who loves him. Now, I get to feel a little of what Rich felt with the boys. She doesn't dislike me, but she prefers Rich, and now that she's weaned, she figures he's just as good as I am and she is his girl. She only says love you to me, and she only makes kisses to me, but she wants her Baba when she is hurt or sad, and she says Baba all the time and has only recently started saying anything that resembles Mama.

I'm trying not to be too wrapped up in this, after all, even Dominic adores Rich now, and Rich got his turn to be the boys' favorite, and I want him to have a close relationship with Amira. I just want one, too. I have to admit I'm a little envious that she has a father who is around and dedicated and loves her so much, he is the kind of father I wish I had had. So, I'm thrilled that she has a father like Rich, and maybe part of this is just that I don't know what it looks like to have a father-daughter relationship, or really a father-anyone relationship, as a child. There is something special about the bond between mother and son, and I imagine it is also true with fathers and daughters, I just never got to experience it. I take comfort in the fact that Alexander, who was our most independent child, even as an infant, and made me feel like he somehow wasn't attached to me, is now my best helper and closest son.

Anyway, we're not planning on doing a big birthday bash for her on her birthday, both because she wouldn't know and because it is Lent. So, on the following Sunday, I am going to bring a big fancy layered carrot cake with candied carrot ribbons tying it up as decoration and share it with the church so we can celebrate together and then a family party at home.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Knit Picks Yarn!

Hooray! My Knit Picks Yarn arrived yesterday!

Here is a picture:

You just cannot see the luster and depth of these colors in the photo. The peach, especially, is actually the color of a peach, with red, orange, yellow, golden shades heathered throughout. The turquoise is alpaca and silk and will be used on the Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting, the tidepool is baby alpaca and will be used for the Creatures of the Reef Shawl. These are both far future projects, but I saw the perfect yarns for them and went for it. The peach will be used for the Candleflame Shawl, but I plan to make it at a much looser gauge, in this sport weight, and make it more of a lacy shawl. It will go to Elijah's surgeon. The other two are all for me, me, me!

As for Interweave Knits, I am rather irritated. Still no magazine. It has been on the stands since February 15. This kind of mailing unreliability was part of why I cancelled my subscription to Vogue Knitting, and Interweave has always been so much better than they were. To make it worse, this was a gift subscription from a friend of mine, and she has asked about it, and I had to tell her that I hadn't gotten it yet. She ordered on Christmas Eve, they e-mailed her the confirmation and charged her credit card, and told her that my first issue would be mailed 1/12/05. Very bad.

However, I did receive the new issue of Fine Cooking the day before yesterday and have been having a grand time paging through it and planning menus. I could cook my way through three of their articles and have quite the tasty dinner for the family.

In other news, I have started an orthodox Christian knitters ring for knitbloggers. I couldn't find one, so I just started it. There was one other Christian blog ring, but there were some statements made on it that I couldn't sign on to, so I didn't. I still haven't even posted the definitions or rules on the ring page, but you can see the basic layout by clicking the link in my sidebar.

I made some more progress on finishing Cross Your Heart last night at home group, and knit quite a bit on Lara (until I ran out of yarn, didn't bring another ball with me). Tomorrow, Becky will be coming over to help me sew my cape. I've decided I want to line it in a contrasting color, Rich thinks that the tan color of the main fabric will make me look naked. Friday, Marthie is coming over after she teaches Spanish at her youngest two children's classes to have a very knitty day with me. We will pull out all the magazines and books and yarn and needles and have at it until we both have to go to pick up our kids from school. Whee!

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