March 2008 Archives

Easter weekend


With the patine cowl finished, I am now fully immersed in an unbloggable project (or two). But I think I can still find some useful blog fodder. I have some plans to do some more Excel for pattern writing posts, if that's something you guys like. And if I make good progress on the piece, I'll probably be doing some serious swatching for another personal (that is, blogable) design.

In the mean time, I leave you with some beachy cuteness from this weekend. See all the pictures, over on Flickr

Panda: "Do I want a cookie? What sort of question is that?"
Thea: "Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy."

A refreshing dip on a gorgeous day.

Pogo dog.

Thea looks uncharacteristically serious.

The girls at a down-stay, waiting for Leo to throw the squirrel.

Exhausted puppies snuggle up for the ride home.



This piece is so different than my normal style. Usually, I like to create something you couldn't just pop into Old Navy or Gap and buy. But sometimes it's nice to crank out something so utilitarian that you could wear it twice in a week and no one would notice.


There's not too much to say about it. The lines and construction are all quite simple. It's incredibly comfortable and should be a nice layering piece on those rare occasions I need to be in the office for work.


I think my mannequin wears it a little better than I do. She's such a show off.

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Even though this piece feels a little "blah" to me, there are elements I like. I find the wide ribbing very flattering and I thought the way the collar looked, when half finished, could be modified into an interesting shawl collar on a cardigan.

For now, this piece is off to New Hampshire to get a warm dip in a dye bath.

No longer a bastard


Yesterday was a very special day, but this story starts quite a few years back.

The year was 1989 and my mom was a 40 something divorcee in a little town in NH, with two kids. She had started dating a year or two before and I was as glad for her to be starting fresh as an indifferent tween can be. You see, I was suffering from a severe mental disorder commonly called, puberty, and my brother, well, he always had a knack for making a scene, and he felt there was nothing quite so entertaining as horrifying my mom and her suitors for sport.

So, occasionally, a nice man would offer to treat the whole family to dinner and get to know the kids, and, well, if my mother ever writes her memoirs, you'll be able to laugh at the results.

But in 1989, my mom met Ben. He was an affable and gentle guy who shared the whole family's twisted sense of humor. Over the next few years, we saw him more and more and it was clear that he and my mom were growing closer, despite her demon-like offspring. Finally, one day, they gave me the news.

"Marnie, we're getting married."


I'd been living with this woman for the past 16 or so years and I was wondering if this guy was loco. "Don't you guys want to try living together a little first?" I asked.

But they were resolute. "We love each other and living together isn't going to tells us anything we don't already know.

I thought they were insane. I left them with a shrug and some parting words, "Well, if you get yourself knocked up, don't come running to me for free childcare."

My mom and Ben married in 1992, in a lovely little ceremony in Maine.

My mom throwing her bouquet at the wedding.

In the years since, Ben has seen some of the hardest times our family has been through and brought us countless laughs. He has embraced our insanity and added a dash of his own to the mix.

Ben and my mom at a friend's wedding.

I'm sure there have been times when Ben has wondered what he got himself into. Heaven knows, I still think he's crazy.

But after nearly 20 years with our ragtag family, Ben has made official what has felt true for so many years. Ben is now, officially, technically, legally and biologically (wait, not that last one) my father.

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My adoption papers and Ben and his lawyer at the court house.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy-o!

Caught in a ray of sunshine


Two pups napping.


A little more progress on the cowl.


Right after Leo and I met, we both picked up cute little red Ducati bikes. Mine was a Monster named Lorenzo and Leo had a Super Sport named Buttercup. Unfortunately, for most of our time in LA, we had barely enough money for rent and other expenses, and eventually, the bikes had to be put in storage.

But Portland has been good to us and the cost of living is much lower, so we decided to revisit our bikes and decide how we wanted to handle them.

After much assessing and debating, and with a bit of a twinge in our heart, we decided to trade in the two smaller bikes for a bigger bike that would be good both for the long rides the two of us take together and the short commute Leo makes daily to work.


Sexy, no?

It's a 2004 Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS with a mere 2000 miles on it.


Once the rain passes, I think we'll be putting this baby to good use, but even the short rides we've done so far, have been fun.

But that's not all the fun I had this weekend. I also got to host a friend and a fetus for a few days. It wasn't nearly long enough to do all the stuff we wanted, but we fit a lot of fun in, nonetheless. We even got to Larissa and Martin's book signing over at Abundant Yarn.


That store is yarn overload, and Larissa and Martin's book is fantastic.

And I got my book signed



Paging Nurses Panda and Theano


Leo has been sick...icky sick, since Wednesday night. It seems like it may finally be passing, but for a while, he was in rough shape.

Luckily, I didn't have to tend to him alone.


Panda monitored his vital signs.


And Thea...


She made sure Leo got plenty of sleep.


If you haven't already, I suggest you get one of each for yourself, in case you get sick.

When they weren't tending to the sick, they helped me get a few shots of the cowl in progress.


I actually knit about a skein's worth of cowl and hated what I did. I got a little too creative with it and it wasn't pretty. We are ripped back to this point.

Not much to show


It feels like I haven't done too much lately. Work has been one crazy deadline after another and by the time the day is up, not even my crafting looks appealing to me.

I have made some incremental progress on the cotton cowl.

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I think you might even be able to make out some of that bleached effect, in these pictures. It's noticeable to me, but I've been staring at it for a couple weeks.

I've also purchased a few new tatting supplies.


I bought two balls of variegated thread, and three new shuttles. So far, I like the little hooks at the end of the Boye shuttles (the ones with the bobbins) but I find my original Clover plastic shuttles a little nicer to hold, because they are so light. It doesn't seem like the bobbin holds much more of the #5 pearl cotton, but I'm sure its fantastic with fine threads.

The pretty little silver shuttle is lovely to look at but with no hook or pick at the end, it requires that I always keep a fine crochet hook around for joining picots and that's just a bit of a drag.

I also got myself an inexpensive little picot guide (not shown). If I ever make anything that could be an heirloom, it'll sate my persnickety side that wants everything to be just right.

My humble little tatting collection all fits snuggly in a tea tin, right now.


I'm not sure how long that will last, but I like it for now. Since I've started working from home, I've gradually moved from being a coffee drinker to being exclusively a tea drinker, and I have many little tins and containers to prove it. Any opportunity to put them to good use fills me with a bit of glee.

Lastly, I've finished Leo's second beanie.


I've had this done for a while but black knits are a real beast to photograph and I've been dragging my feet on it.

I still want to knit him at least one more hat, in something easy to care for. The pima/silk blend is a delight to knit and wear, but he needs some real work horses to keep up with his beanie wearing schedule.

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