The ickies have landed here, affecting our youngest babe, bless her heart. I was cocky to think that we would be spared from it since the last couple of years we somehow skirted it. And while our friends washed load after load of sick-tified laundry, we simply thanked God we didn't have to deal with it.
Now that R is in preschool, the germs are running a-plenty around here. I have sheltered her all of these years, and aside from her well checkups, very rarely did we have to visit her Pediatrician. I suppose that the new germs just had a field day with her, and yesterday she unleashed the sickies that I wish she didn't have to endure. By night's end she was hugging the toilet bowl, (she is such a sweet clean-type 3 year old that she refused to mess up her clothes) wanting to sleep next to it.
Since I have started knitting again, R has been glued to my side, watching and waiting. "Is that for me?" she keeps asking. She keeps touching the wool, playing with my circulars. Soon enough, sweet child, and mama will show you everything. It thrills me that she and I can have craft in common. Maybe it will convince her that she needs no one but me! me! me! . (yeah, right, I know...but patronize me please).
I was working on the Pithy Hat for me, a free pattern from Little Turtle Knits, and realized I should have done a gauge swatch. (yes, I broke the first cardinal rule of knitting = get a swatch chic!) Halfway through the pattern, I attempted to fit it onto my head and it didn't fit.
But, it fit my wee one just perfectly. I meant to use size 8 needles - see?
This was my first try at cables and I was so pleased I conquered my cable fear.
But most of all, R loves it. Though as sick as she is, she is now napping, still with her hat on.
...seems to have been the theme around here...all of the projects listed on my to do list are quite small, and thankfully so. It's very gratifying to be able to complete something within a few days time.
It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas (or the holidays, whatever the case may be). I was reminded at how close and quickly the holidays were coming while doing this doll quilt for swap.
It's about 16x20, using a repetitive flying geese block, which coincidentally look like trees to me, perfect for that winter theme I was going for. I may be the last quilter in the world to realize that it would, but it made me giggle just the same. I was also inspired by the quilt shown on the cover of this month's American Patchwork and Quilting Mag, designed by Joanna.
I think my favorite print out of all of these are the red stripes - makes me wish for candy canes.
And to my delight...baby sweater #2 is done. Using my favorite go-to pattern - the Easy Peasy Cardigan by Little Turtle Knits. This time made with Cotton Ease...not my usual yarn, but the recipient's mommy is not fond of wool.
I hope to keep this ball rolling! Maybe this year I'll be able to send gifts out *before* Christmas.
(think I'm kidding?)
I finally finished the first of four baby sweaters I plan to make before Spring, when I expect more babes will be born. Baby sweaters are so wonderful to make - they are quick (as quick as a knitting project can be, anyway) and simple (as simple as they can be), and only use up about a skein of yarn, making it easy to use the stash I have.
I used this pattern with an olive color Cascade Tweed, which makes for a great gender neutral sweater. All I will need to do is add a snap button and a superficial button as soon as I find out the gender. Until then, it will hang in my closet for safe keeping.
I get very nostalgic making baby stuff; I tend to start to think of my own babes (though not totally grown by any means) when they themselves were still in cribs, still nursing, bald, and covered in baby rolls. In the blink of an eye they are suddenly all in school, having conversations, expressing opinions, and making decisions.
But I was reminded yesterday that despite their own individual personalities, they will do as I do. They watch me, emulate and imitate. From the way my daughter puts her hands on her hip, and how Son #2 pets and snuggles with the dog, they learn from me.
I am ashamed to admit that I thought my eldest son would not want to learn to sew. I knew he appreciated my love of craft, but didn't think he wanted to get his hands in fabric. He had a clothespin doll project for school due, and he asked me yesterday to show him how to sew felt by hand. And here he is, seaming.
Today, afterschool, he asked to sew again.
And while it brought me again down to earth, to realize that the apple does not fall far from the tree, I am indeed a proud mama.
We took a short road trip this weekend, an almost 3 hour drive to and from a friend's home, to finally get a few miles logged into our van since moving to this part of the country. And it has been long in coming, because we typically like to pile ourselves and our belongings to see even a small part of our environment, wherever we've lived.
When were young and child free and living in Europe, we took every weekend we could to explore the countryside, amassing photographs and memories of scavenging the hills for World War II bunkers and partaking of the local shopping. I can't tell you how inspiring it is to walk into a shop and know immediately that the sellers are too the makers.
Hubby and I used to go to the local grocers and pack our Honda Civic with fresh bread and local deli meats and cheeses. We spent the time in our car catching up with one another, sometimes bickering, and we worked on our marriage through these road trips. There was no one to save us or give us advice. It was he and I on the road, and eventually, at the trip's end we found our own resolutions which made us stronger as friends. I, with my travel guide and map, and he, following (or questioning) my directions, we navigated through the misunderstandings we had as a young couple. It was as if we saved all of our issues until we only had each other and there was no choice to speak.
I suppose this is why he and I still look forward to road trips today. Though now with 3 more in tow and so much baggage in addition, we still find that solace of getting to know one another again as each mile passes. And while our van is not full of the prosciutto we remember so well, the fruit snacks and granola bars we throw around is sufficient enough, not to mention the coffee we have come to be addicted to with three rambunctious children. And instead of multilingual paraphernalia on my lap, I now have my knitting on the ready for those quiet moments of understanding.
It is these things that make my life full.
I was thrilled to receive news that our friends just welcomed their second child, a son, whom they named "O" (shortened for privacy, of course). We were more thrilled, in fact, because they are a family who are the epitome of strength and faith.
"Can Do" - yes they can.
"Will Do" - yes they will.
"Do it well" - they always do...
..and all at the risk of sounding like an Obama campaign, just so I can praise their ability to rise above struggle, and to maintain family all throughout. I admire fortitude and quiet determination, and I take notice of these qualities in people. And while our families are far away from one another, I am still inspired.
It was so easy for me to jump in and make this quilt for little O. To my surprise, the Hobby Lobby in our military town has Michael Miller instock - yeehaw! I knew I wanted a novelty print for him, and these Lil Cowpokes print really fit the bill.
This is a plain courthouse steps, using 4 coordinating prints (not all MM)...a baby blanket sized...it's packed up and I neglected to measure it, but it's a bit smaller than crib quilt sized. These fabrics washed up so nicely, and it crinkled just perfectly, hiding those imperfections (*ahem*) that seem to creep in in my haphazardness in stippling.
I love it, if I say so myself...and it is all because I loved making it. I guess this is what crafting is all about, giving all you've got through a small project such as this.
Welcome to the World, Baby O! I hope you feel our family's friendship through this quilt.
The ultimate Filipino comfort food...and the first Filipino dish I learned to cook.
.....after Hubby and I married and we were left to our own cooking devices in Germany.
I still remember the call I made to my mother..."Mama, can you tell me how to make Adobo?" I spoke softly into the phone in the kitchen, away from my newly married husband. He was looking forward to a good meal, and little did he know that all I could really make was scrambled eggs and spaghetti.
Then began the Adobo adventures...my mother relayed her recipe over the phone and I copied it verbatim. I made the dish and found it to be not the same Adobo I remembered eating. Later, I came to find out that it was my Dad's Adobo I was seeking, and his recipe was almost completely different from my mother's, and much more complicated.
But luckily, since I am his daughter I am in his "circle of trust" along with my brothers. And I did receive the recipe, and even practiced making the dish in front of him to commit the recipe into memory. (My parents have this thing about legacy...and recipes are part in parcel in their quest to bequeath it to us.)
I have since tasted quite a few Adobo recipes and found that no two are alike. Not only do recipes differ from each region of the Philippines (i.e Mother from Pangasinan, Father from Mindoro), but also by family. Then comes the infusion of other spices and marinades to confuse the mix.
And, of course, there is that age-old question: sauce, or no sauce?
But what prevails is that Adobo is eaten over rice, among family and friends, and afterwards it sits in the belly lovingly until slumber.
Now, ten years later, my Adobo is definitely Filipino-American : sour enough for me, but has enough salty sweet garlic for Hubby. And I use chicken wings.
Mutt version if you will. Not quite the Adobo recipe my dad imparted and had me swear into secrecy. My brothers would probably laugh at the way I've changed it up. I do know for certain that my hubby and children love my Adobo and I hope to share the recipe with them in the future, though hopefully before they are under duress.
I suppose we all just want to be able to leave back some kind of remembrance from whence we came, and at the same time create a present history that our future (in my case, my children) can take with them. When I made this batch of Adobo tonight, I reflected on the changes we have all made in our lives to fit our situations as Americans.
We are indeed, all a mutt version of our cultural legacy. I am Filipina by birth, American in citizenship, San Franciscan in growth, and German/South Carolinian/New Yorker/Virginian/Texan in adulthood. Hubby has a completely different lineage, but ultimately we both are here. today. raising three children and struggling and thriving just as everyone else does.
And although as culturally significant it once was for the both of us to be in a mixed marriage (race/religion/politics/economics), today, he and I are sitting nicely on a bed of rice.
Yesterday, we both witnessed America making history, and irregardless of how we (all) voted, yesterday brought relevance and justification. America's face has changed. And I, along with my hybrid Chicken Adobo dish, have more of a place in it.
I think it's been over a year since I have knit and my fingers finally called for the motions. It is baby season and I have three dear girlfriends who are having their first babies! Yipee! I get to live vicariously through them, and help them clothe a little one.
And surprisingly, all three of them are choosing to wait to know the sex of their babes until day of delivery. Hubby and I waited to know the sex with all three babes and I had the grandest time finding out in the midst of pain/relief what I had been blessed with. But in terms of gift giving, I have had the hardest time figuring out what to make. I'm not inclined to gift yellow and sage green, and feared making a quilt with these colors will be overkill.
Luckily, I had a chocolate brown (though officially called "Olive") Cascade Tweed in my stash, and have quite a few skeins for several baby sweaters!
I got right on and wouldn't you know, my fingers knew what to do...enough that I was able to watch a little tv whilst working through the patterns.
Ah, knitting...how I've missed you...