Friday, May 30, 2008

Sunny days, Frosty nights

It's been really beautiful weather around here, the kind you can get outside and start darkening your skin in. (Not that you should. We know too much about skin cancer now) Being Native American, I used to get really dark in the summer, though. In fact, the other kids and I would sometimes hold contests, putting our arms together all summer long, to see who could get the darkest. I won, because I put the time in, people! I worked for the honor. Oh, and I might have had a slight melanin advantage, but that wasn't my fault. Then, one summer, disaster. I was in Florida, with my awesome base tan, oiled up and laying poolside, and I clearly had not enough respect for Florida sun versus Michigan sun. Well, it's the same sun, right? But I burned, for the first time in my life, in my early 20's, and it was a good one, a most respectable burn. Apparently the sun tries harder in Florida than it does up in the north. The little old ladies at the pool were tsking in sympathy, because they knew what was coming before I did. My skin was pink that night, right through my tan, and my arms felt funny and kind of like the skin was too tight. I showed them to everyone around dinner, and we remarked on how odd it looked. I put Noxema on, just like my girlfriend in college, who had red hair, and knew from burns. Still, I spent the next week peeling and hiding out in the cabin. Worse than that, my skin hasn't been able to tolerate the sun since. I get nasty rashes that look like psoriasis on my arms, if the sun even hits them through the car window. I am, as my friend Melanie gleefully points out, an Indian who can't go out in the sun. Respect Ra, folks, is all I'm saying.

As for the frosty nights, my poor garden is trembling in fear! We're fighting the frost as best we can, with every Elmo and Care Bears plastic cup we've got. My garden looks so silly, I had to take a picture for the blog.

Go, little bean plants, go! And yesterday, in a frenzy of domesticity, I bought pepper and tomato plants, too many for me to ever use. I don't even like growing tomatoes, darn it. They get those disgusting horned tomato worms on them, always. Then the kids and I have to pick them off, and it's all just too gross. So if you live near me and want a tomato plant, please stop by. I got extra.

And finally, a teaser. I bought myself a sock pattern and great yarn on Mother's Day, but I'll have to show pics next time, as the kids have to go to school!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pictures Update!

It's really gardening season here, but the weeds are going crazy. So much for fertilizer - the grass loves it! So I've been uprooting and uprooting, but at least my daughter is helping me. We're really having fun, pulling up a little weed, then showing each other how much root was hiding under it. I know, at least, that I'm going to look back on this age with her and be glad we did things like weeding the garden. Then, when I'm older and remembering (most likely by reading my own blog), I can think, "Well, I didn't knit all the time!"

Besides gardening, we're cleaning up the house for the big birthday party tomorrow. The littlest one shall be four years old, and much to-do is being made of her. I've taken pics of her in her new party dress, which she has already stained, so she'll be wearing a shirt and skirt tomorrow. I've also taken a picture of the prairie costume I made for my oldest which, thankfully, I've been able to lend out to a friend already. It would have been too much work for something that will only be worn once. You'd think I could save it for the other two girls, but they've already become quite cavalier about my sewing, and they want their own dresses. We're suddenly very Anne of Green Gables around here, growing our own crops and sewing our own clothes. I do believe cancelling the satellite was the best thing I've done so far as a parent. They're reading all the time, building worm farms and trying to hatch dragon eggs. Right now they're following a map for buried treasure. All they need to find is an island with a volcano, to start measuring from.

Check out this picture of the kids playing tug-of-war in their dresses. Too funny! Only the boys let themselves get dragged through the mud, the girls staying appropriately proper, yet still kicking butt in the game. Heh!

And finally, yes, I do knit. Here is a picture of the youngest in a striped sweater. I don't even remember the name of the yarn, but it's self-striping, DK weight, and washable, of course. It's roomy on her yet, which is good, because she has several other sweaters that fit her right now. I don't really think of myself as knitting all the time, but when I look at the kids' closets, they're in pretty good shape. =)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I concede. Wait. Does that mean I give up?

There has been a lot of discussion on blogs about the latest Interweave Knits, and it seems the general consensus is that there aren't a lot of good patterns in this one. Personally, I gotta say, I like this issue. I've found at least three patterns in there I would buy the yarn for now, except there's so much yarn in the yarn room back room. There's a couple of patterns I would like to wear, were it not for the fact I never really bounced back from the third baby. And the article about Elizabeth Zimmerman and Schoolhouse Press was really neat to read. I love how it seems like such a large business, but is still run by family, and just a few people, at that. The article on combining two different strands of color, knitting them together, and making a new color - boy, I read that article three times. My fingers are just itching to try it.

So I'm a fan. And I found the Brick Pullover sweater on Knitting Daily's email, went to my magazine, searched and found it. I like it. I don't know how I missed it on the first run-through, but I think it's pretty nice. I've finished the husband's last sweater. (no pictures? I wonder why... But would someone please explain this whole short-row through the shoulders technique to me? I think I need to learn it.)

I think I could knit him another sweater, anyway. This sweater. It looks pretty interesting, nice color, and I like how the sweater is put together through the shoulders. So I set it out casually the other night, when we were all outside. I had a girlfriend there, and she said she liked the sweater, so I showed it to the husband. He looked at it, started to say something, then stopped. Then he looked at me and said carefully, "It's ni-ice." Grr. So I showed it to mom for a third opinion. After all, what did he know about sweaters? But she really didn't care for it, either. Now, Mel and I can't be wrong about this sweater, but two other people with pretty good taste in clothes don't like it, so really, there's probably no point in knitting it. Unless anyone else agrees with me, and wants to knit it along or something? I really would have liked a reason to knit this sweater...

Today, however, I am sewing. I had to make a new dress for my youngest last week. Did everyone see Enchanted? The heroine from a fairy tale gets trapped in our world. She makes friends with city animals, finds her true love and - oh, yes. She makes her clothes from the things she sees around her, drapes, shower curtains... I suppose I should have seen it coming. My three-year-old took a pair of scissors to her prettiest dress, trying to alter it, because the gauzy overlay was bugging her. That was last week, and the only way I could calm her down was to make her another dress. This week, my oldest daughter is going to a village on a field trip, where everyone dresses like pioneers, brings an old-fashioned lunch - I'm thinking of packing her summer sausage - and watches reinactments of the good old days. I hope there's a spinning wheel, cuz I signed up to go and watch over four of four hundred children that will be at this event. (Light a candle for me, if you've got one) I'm nearly finished with her pioneer dress (needs a hem), and her bonnet (needs a brim), and I need to cut out her apron. It's okay, right? I mean, we're not leaving until tomorrow morning. Easy peasy. I'll hopefully remember to take pictures before she drags everything through the mud, since it's raining like crazy right now.

Then I am off to Maryland for the weekend! Whee! I think I'm a week or so late on the Maryland Sheep and Fiber Festival, but it's going to be a quick trip, anyway, to visit a friend. But if I could have managed it for the same weekend, I'd have been really torn on whether to drag my friend there or go to the festival and come back another weekend. =) (JUST KIDDING, Mary! I'd have dragged you there. Then I'd have made you buy a spinning wheel, because there's a better chance of convincing your husband it's just a decorate device than to convince mine.) So everyone have a good weekend, and I'll take pictures for the blog as soon as there's more finished product!