Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holidays and Memories

Sometimes it's unbelieveable to me how much has happened in the last year.  This year has been hard for so many reasons and so joyful for many others.  Last year at this time I was pregnant with Zoë, just past my first trimester.  I was still working part time in the store and by January I had switched to working from home for the store.  Big changes were coming. 

Every year since she was born, I have made an album for Clara with photos documenting her year.  I am by no means a scrapbooker, so get the glossy images out of your head.  These are really just snapshots of her doing stuff and some captions.  I've been going through photos recently to get ready to have the magic ones printed for her next album, and to get a good head start on Zoë's.  It has been quite a journey down memory lane, looking at the images that show our transition from working outside of the home to inside and becoming a family of four.  It's amazing how much you forget in the haze of the babymoon, and how drastic the changes in your little ones are when you can see the timelapse photography.

Just look at the difference in Clara... Most of the time, I honestly can't believe it.  Last year, decorating our tree:

And now this year:

okay, not the best photos... how about this for a difference.  Making bread last january:

And just this week eating dinner:

Really, the difference between 2 and 3 is so huge.  She's a big sister now, she uses the potty, she can climb in and out of the car and hook up her own carseat.  Her language development is insane, most folks can understand her fully now.  The decision to not work in the store was as much about her as it was about the store needing me to move to a new role.  She has always been introverted and being in the shop was just too tiring for her.  It's amazing to me just how much she has blossomed this year now that she doesn't have the stress of talking to strangers every day.  It has freed us up to get her involved in some activities, she's in the world's most adorable martial arts program for young children and she's now learning to swim! 

This year the holidays are also really different for Clara.  She knows the deal with hannukah and christmas and our weird little family traditions.  She's very excited about this tree... last year was the first time she had one, and she remembers it.  She's super excited for all the wrapping of presents and the, well, unwrapping of presents.  She is very excited for the giving of holiday cookies and cards and presents for the people she loves.

Which transitions nicely to the knitting news...We really wanted to do something for our amazing babysitter, Shayna, who has become one of Clara's favorite people.  Of course I had to knit something because, well, it's me.  So last weekend on Sunday we went down to the shop for Clara to pick out some yarn for her present.  I had in mind a pair of fingerless gloves and a hat in Misti Chunky Alpaca because that stuff is so warm and soft!  I pointed Clara to the appropriate area and told her to pick what she though Shayna would like.

She did a great job!  She picked out a lovely fuschia and a hot pink that really looked nice together.  I'm not the best at combining colors and my mom-in-law gave me a few ideas.  I worked up the Maine Morning Mitts from The Knitter's Book of Yarn in like 4 hours:

Then I found a slouchy hat pattern on ravelry and whipped that up in no time (I think 2 episodes of x files...)

But the piece I'm most proud of is the cowl I decided to make to tie the whole ensemble together.... I found a little scarf pattern that I thought would look nice in two colors.  It began as a really wide scarf, but I decided after watching some college students walk past one of the parks we visit that it would be better as a cowl.  I really geeked out because I didn't want a seam so I grafted the ends together, in pattern, on the wrong side.  It took several tries to get it right.  Since I'm used to grafting toes, in stockinette on the right side, it took a bit to get the back side (the non-pattern end, oddly) right.  But it turned out lovely and I'm super proud of it.  Here's a shot of the graft:

A close up of the pattern stitch:

And then what it looks like on me:

I'm very pleased with the results.  More importantly, so was Shayna.  It turns out her winter coat is the exact shade of hot pink Clara chose.  Good job, Clara!  The pattern for the cowl (including grafting instructions) is forthcoming.  I want to work up a version for me (single color in heavy worsted) and I'll take photos of the grafting then.  I'll post proper entries at ravelry as soon as I can get Zoë to nap again this afternoon.  The teeth appear to be moving again and hopefully when they finally arrive we'll all get some more sleep!  It's so hard to see her suffer when she has been through so much already.  She's usually so good-natured and she's been so upset!  Keep your fingers crossed for us that this one pops out soon and we have our happy little boo boo back!

Happy Hannukah!

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