Thursday, March 22, 2012

like "let's knit something!"

The one button cardigan is just the way I wanted it.  Just look at her - I cannot believe that I did not want any pink gifts when I was expecting. Of course my friends gave me only pink clothes for my daughter, and ever since she has not wanted to wear anything but pink.  This simple pattern leaves a blank canvas for embellishments... I am anxious to finish it, but also slightly distracted.

See, I want to finish this blanket.  We are all crocheting squares, and I hope to finish it before the grandmothers leave in about 3 weeks.  I should add, my mother-in-law will join us in crocheting as soon as she finishes the mittens she is knitting.  She says she cannot crochet, but I do not believe her :) 

She whipped up this mitten in one afternoon.

My mother discovered cowls.  She finished this one in the time my mother-in-law finished the mitten, and is now moving on to her next one, in signal red. (She is cleaning up the leftover yarn from the stripey sweater.)

And on top of that, I know of four little babies that will join us soon, and they all need something hand knit.
This picture appears as if it was photoshopped and something went wrong - I promise, I did nothing.  Neither the yarn nor the grass is that bright, it just appears to be. I will probably be able to show you the finished product next week, since babies are so ridiculously small.  By then I'll have done something to tone it down, I promise, don't worry.  I know all about overstimulated babies, I've been an Occupational Therapist ages ago, I'll handle this.  (If you suspect you are the recipient of this, and you hate it, just e-mail me.  Keep in mind that I will simply say: "No, of course this is not for you. I knew you would hate this.")

Reading?  Not this week.   Just knitting and drinking way to much coffee and catching up on three years' worth of visiting.  And of course, joining Ginny's yarn along.

Friday, March 16, 2012

my big brother

Today I remember my big brother.

Artist at heart, farmer, carpenter, clown, philosopher.
He was born on 16 March 1966, and he went home on 21 December 1998.  Just weeks before that day, he visited my mother.  I was getting married, and we were all missing my father who passed away early in 1996.  He told her that he was sure that we should really not be sad anymore, that Dad is with God, and that there is no better place to be.

But I am sure that he would be okay with it if we were sad just a couple of days a year. Because we miss them.  Happy birthday, Martiens.  We will light a campfire on this side.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pondering the meaning of "project"

Maybe I should redefine what "a project" is.  Maybe it should include finding German side tables at consignment stores, on rainy days, with four children not dressed warmly enough.  And then finding the perfect spot for it.

I know, how did they figure out it was German?

Or it could be having fun with my camera, finally starting to capture the elusive beauty of everyday life.

I should rather say - the abundant beauty, that is so elusive when you want to capture it.

 This one was even more elusive than the other two:

I guess a project could also be starting our mud pie kitchen, the one Ginny described in a Rhythm of the Home online magazine, that led me to her blog and all the yarn along people...

Or buying and planting the long coveted strawberry pot.

There is still so much to be done.  I should have been cleaning more today, since our guests will be here in fewer than 48 hours. We are still not sure whether or not this house will  be available for rent after May, so I should not be working in the garden. But today the weather was just perfect.  It had been raining for three days, the soil was soft and friendly, the sun was warm and the breeze was cool. 
And look at who I ran into at church:

Dietes Grandiflora - a fellow South African.  The Fairy Iris.
It was so strange, the first year in Texas, to keep looking at the trees and flowers, waiting for their names,  remembering nothing about them at all.

But today I did not pull up a weed in one of the garden paths, because I thought that it might be a bluebonnet.  I noticed that the black butterfly visited the Mountain Laurel, while the orange ones preferred the yellow weeds. I know that "oranges ones" and "yellow weeds" will be filled in, eventually, and I will be able to say something like "look at this, it is a dietes grandiflora.  They are wonderful landscaping plants, their common name is the Fairy Iris - don't the flowers remind you of fairies, especially on the slender stems among leaves? And the amazing thing is, they actually react to barometric pressure, or so I have been told.  When the flowers open, there is a good chance that it will rain."  And if you are not a plant person, you will be bored to death.  Sorry.  But if you are, I will listen to you with as much interest as you listened to me, and we will spend a lovely afternoon.

So I guess I will clear all of this away.  (This is only half of the fenced in vegetable garden, I have pretty much cleared the other half.)

And I will plant these strawberries.

Now that would be a project.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A white cardigan

I did cast on something new, but it is impossible to photograph white yarn at 11 pm if you really did too much already and should be getting your priorities straight.  I guess like many who join yarn along, I feel slightly lost if I do not have something to sit down with when I want to sit but still "make progress."  I remember that when I had only one baby, I discussed with a friend how incredibly efficient my mother must have been to be able to manage with four children...

I do not mourn free time the way I did when there was still a fresh memory of it in my mind.  And I have the privilege of reading the beautiful blogs of mothers who have survived this phase, and are now in a season where they look back and enjoy, and have some free time again.  They inspire and sustain me.  I know this precious time will pass.

I am knitting a one button cardigan for Melva.  I am not reading the catalog.  I am looking at it, wishing that my sewing skills were so much better than they are right now.  It is from the aptly named shop:  Cute, Well Dressed Kids.  I will probably make some alterations to the cardigan: I might give the sleeves a slight flare, increasing a bit instead of decreasing towards the cuff.  Maybe a simple lace pattern near the cuff, or a picot edging?  But the best thing of all is that I will be doing it with the help of my mother and my mother-in-law, both experienced knitters, both coming to visit for a month!

(My mother is leaving her farm in Namibia on Monday.  My sister who (coincidentally) also lives in Tsumeb will be driving her to Windhoek.  She will fly to Johannesburg, meet my mother-in-law from Nylstoom, and together they will fly for 26 hours with one stop in Atlanta to Bergstrom International here in Austin. We cannot wait.)

I am reading "The Elements of Style". (Can you tell yet?)  It is very dense; I wish I were taught all of it while I was still at school.  I also read "Absolutely Normal Chaos", by one of my favorite authors, Sharon Creech, this week.  A journal of 13 year old girl, not very much like the 13 year old girl that I was, but a very likeable girl nevertheless.  Sharon Creech inspires, or rather, rekindles a love for writing in me - with "Love that Dog" and "Hate that Cat" she introduces young readers to poetry, in this book she intertwines the story with short summaries of chapters out of The Odyssey.

And that is that for now.  I wish I could get to this blog more often, but I am actually putting plants in the garden, decluttering and cleaning for all that I am worth.  Everything has to be done and just right by Tuesday!