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Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for March, 2010


Spring Babies!

Dear Ellen,

dscn2720.JPGAs suspected, the babies are here!  Here’s what you could see of them on Sunday.

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dscn2723.JPGAnd here’s what you could see of them tonight!!  I think there are three — one on the other side of mom, but they keep wiggling about so, that it’s hard to tell.  Mom seem’s pretty proud.

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Love, Jan

I am pooped…

Dear Jan,

I went poop farming on Sunday morning and harvested a lovely 9 bags of well-ripened horse manure from Wilson’s cousin’s equine friends.  We are thinking about going into business, delivering this excellent poop all around the Twin Cities.  It will be highly lucrative, I am sure.

19.jpgWe did not bring Kaiden’s poopy diaper home from our visit with him, but we did bring home some pretty cute pictures.

62.jpgDon’t you think Kaiden is probably thinking, “wow! that guy would sure make a great granduncle or grandpa!”?

151.jpgIt is apparent that despite Kaiden’s length (23″ at birth and getting longer every day), the sweater I knit him will fit for awhile.

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161.jpgAnd something that definitely didn’t poop me out – my mini mitered bag from Annie Modesitt’s on-line class.  That woman is a great teacher in person and it comes through loud and clear in her on-line class.  I loved looking at the videos any time of day over the course of the month, and in fact didn’t even use the pattern handout until I got clear to the edging of the bag.  The class was like a video pattern!  It was fun seeing what other folks were doing with their bags, and the on-line chats were a ton of fun.  I used every scrap of my Black Water Abbey sportweight leftovers from my “Oh, Snap!” hat.  See that little tail on the strap – the last yard of grey.

If I hurry I can get a little spinning in yet tonight.  I’m never too pooped to spin.

Love,

Ellen

P.S.  L is doing well.  Two of her three chest tubes are out and things are looking up.  I am so happy and so relieved that R and family are seeing some good progress.

Out of surgery, but not out of the woods yet…

Dear Jan,

L’s surgery today went fine.  Now we need to focus energy on healthy lungs.  Thank you to everyone who is offering up prayers, energy, and love for her.

Love,

Ellen

More Snack Knitting

Dear Ellen,

I am happily putting off work on larger projects (like my top down sweater and Hanami) by finding a variety of small projects that just must be completed before I can do anything else.  I think I’m suffering from a bit of AADD.  Regardless of the source, I’m rather pleased with the by-product of this small project startitis.  I’ve already told you about the Easter Anklets, now I’ll tell you about the scarf that I’ve started for Ava H., our near niece and daughter of our very good friends John and Katie.

I asked Katie if Ava would like me to knit something for her and (after consultation with Ava) she responded that Ava would like a scarf — purple, orange and pink with sparkles in it.  I considered a number of different possibilities for pattern and then decided I should just see if I could find suitable yarn first.  I went to Fibre Space, my favorite local yarn store and found some wonderful Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted that is purple, orange and pink (and a bit of orange-yellow).  It’s awesome…but not sparkly.  dscn2717.JPGSo then I went around the corner to the Potomac Bead Company and found the perfect seed beads to go with the yarn.  Then I went home to think…still couldn’t come up with an answer.  Made the trip to Rome.  Still no answer.  Then serendipity occurred.  I started thinking about entrelac with beading on some of the squares, but I really didn’t want to fiddle around with edge squares and knitting back and forth, so I set that idea aside.  Then I wrote the post on the Easter Anklets and added them as a project on Ravelry.  When I realized I didn’t have the name of the colorway that I had used I went to the SWTC web site to figure that out.  RIGHT THERE was the answer.  On the Karaoke page is a free pattern called “Not Entirely Entrelac.”  It mimics the look of entrelac, but eliminates the fiddliness.  It was perfect.

dscn2715.JPGI started last night — after threading some 350 beads onto my yarn (3 per times 104-116 planned for squares).  That bit was somewhat tedious, but we were watching Inglourious Basterds in the meantime, so it gave me something to focus on whenever Tarentino got a bit too gorey.  I got a bit of actual knitting done (modifying the pattern to add a bit more width), and more today.  I am LOVING the yarn and the pattern is turning out very cute.  (Who knew Shepherd Worsted was SO soft!)  I think Ava will really like it — and it may still be cold enough in Japan for her to use it if I get it mailed off this week.

I still have a post on Rome to come…but I’m going to spend the remainder of the afternoon with Marie and Heidi.  They spent the weekend with us and it has been so nice to have them here.  Marie performed last night (while we were watching the movie) and Heidi had been in town for some work at the home office.  I’ll give them your love.

Love to you from me,

Jan

More miracles, please…

Dear Jan,

L came through 8 hours of surgery yesterday only to have to go back in today – too much bleeding somewhere in all the stitching.  Her mother is comforted by the prayers and wishes.  Please keep them coming.

Love,

Ellen

Calzinetti di Pasqua

Dear Ellen,

dscn2714.JPGThe Anklets of Easter have arrived!  I grabbed two balls of SWTC Karaoke on my way out the door to the airport for my trip to Rome and NATO’s Network Enabled Capabilities Conference.  (I am determined to make an effort to knit from stash this year…this trip I forced myself to find something there.)  With those and my size “large 2” dpns, I managed to whip out a pair of cute anklets.  I cast on just after boarding the flight out of Dulles and I bound off on the ride home from Dulles to our townhouse.  With Easter around the corner and the fact they were made on a trip to Italy, I couldn’t help but give them an Italian name.  Calzini are socks…these are really just anklets, so I used the diminutive form and am assuming the translation is close enough.

dscn2587.JPGThe were a fast knit, but a bit hard on the hands as the yarn is really more suited for larger needles.  I wanted a very firm, cushioney fabric to make these suitable for wearing with tennis shoes, so went for the smaller needle size.  They’re toe-up with Judy’s magic cast on and Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off.  Ribbed lace is the motif, I imagine seeing bunny ears in the pattern.When I grabbed the Karaoke, I hadn’t checked on how well (or badly — depending on perspective) Karaoke felts, so this may have been a bad choice.  Coincidentally I was listening to an old Stash and Burn podcast on the plane where they talked about how easily and well it does felt.  In theory these are Mom’s birthday present, so I’ll have to make sure she knows how to wash them or she’ll have toddler socks on her hands.

Speaking of presents…July is not that far around the corner…what size are your feet?  I think 8 1/2?  And do you like loose or snug socks?  Of course, I have no intention to knit socks for you — just wanting to make you think I might be.  🙂

Love, Jan

Miracles all around us…

Dear Jan,

Wilson and I have been together over 30 years now, and I think we both feel more connected than even in the heady days of falling in love.  Given the perilous nature of the modern relationship – the stresses of work, days apart due to travel, the distraction of individual obsessions, the focus on children or friends in joy or in need – I took a moment yesterday to be appreciative of the millions of times our paths must have taken the small turning back towards each other in order for us to stay together.  They all add up to a miracle.

I am not a believer in a deity, but this makes no difference if one defines a miracle as something occurring against amazing odds and for which one is profoundly grateful.  Your gratitude for such a thing may go out to a specific being; mine goes out to the universe.  What matters is that we appreciate the outcome in a deep and mindful way.

Today I am thinking about the physical miracle of our beings.  How billions and billions of happy accidents add up to each life, how each body keeps working – pumping blood, transmitting nerve signals, heck, even how those nerve signals add up to thoughts or drive actions – crazy miraculous, if you ask me.

You recall that I met L’s mother in grad school, the woman whose humor and loving heart got me through failing my thermodynamics qualifier and celebrated with me upon completion of my dissertation.  A significant disappointment of my life is that I had to move away just before L was born and didn’t get to hold her as she entered this world, but I’ve tried to make up for that by spending as much time with her and her younger sister, C, over the years as I could.  They are nieces of my heart, rather than by blood or marriage.

Many billions of happy accidents brought L into our lives, one more miracle for those of us who know her.  She is one of those people whose enthusiasms are colossal.  She doesn’t love strawberries, she LOVES!!! strawberries.  She isn’t interested in astronauts, she owns a flight suit and collects NASA material and dreams daily of the stars.  She doesn’t pass through the medical system, she studies the history of the surgeries she is undergoing and delves into the biographies of the doctors who invented the procedures.  How did we get so lucky to share this earth with this wonderful creature?

You also know that L had an unhappy accident along her way towards being, probably one tiny gene mutation.  Born with a serious condition that required heart-lung surgery when she was just months old and several times since, she is in surgery once more this morning.

Lauren once again approaches a point where her existence could go in so many different ways, even the very real possibility of coming to an end.  I am doing my best to focus on the billions and billions of happy accidents that brought her to us, and how just a few more this morning are undeniably, even if seemingly unbelievably, possible.

Blessed be,

Ellen

Winter is bearly gone…

Dear Jan,

18.jpgThough he will come to aggravate me in coming months as he chases the little birds off the feeder, I so welcome the first red winged blackbird of the season.  Technically, I saw the first a couple of days ago, but couldn’t get a good shot till now.  The ladies have yet to show, as they are dallying along the way north, letting the males check out the real estate market.  It looks as though this guy has figured out where some good restaurants are, anyway.

23.jpg The season is less frosty now, but there will be a little more snow and frost, I’m sure, to provide company for my Rimfrost sweater.  I should be able to finish the yoke before we hit frost-free weather (mid-May around here), but I am not guaranteeing anything more than that.

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33.jpgI’m trying to avoid knitting deadlines – so I can feel free to spin.  Though it isn’t 100% clear that this isn’t a passing fad instead of a long-term trend, the data is looking ominous.

Does Rome have red winged blackbirds?  If not, they should get some.

Love,

Ellen

dscn0194.JPGP.S.  Another sign of spring – I saw a bear.

Hugs and Kisses

Dear Ellen,

XXOO

dscn2554.JPGdscn2553.JPGThat and I finished my Hugs and Kisses Socks.  I really like the way they turned out.  That knit from the toe till the sock fits to the crook of your thumb works perfectly for the right amount of negative ease.  My toes are very comfy in them!  The pattern is nearly ready too…I should be able to put it up in TwinSet Designs on dscn2551.JPGRavelry next weekend when I get back from Rome.

XXOO  More hugs and kisses for you…can’t wait for Yarnover!  (Well, yes, I can, but you know what I mean.)

Love, Jan

Signs of Spring from around the Neighborhood

dscn2577.JPGApple leaf buds swelling…

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dscn2561.JPGdscn2576.JPGTrees in blossom.

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dscn2569.JPGdscn2566.JPGdscn2571.JPGDaffodils, jonquils, whatever-they-really are (I can never remember the difference) .

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dscn2574.JPGdscn2556.JPGHyacinths and crocuses.

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dscn2579.JPGBut no babies yet!!

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