Passport Photos Round Sixty-Seven. Also, Ice Cream.









I just had a four-year-old come into my room as I'm writing this, asking if she can take off her pants and put on a tattoo.

I don't know what kind of show she thinks we're running here, but I understood when I looked up at her: that would be a tutu, darling.

Last week, after the homemade passport photo debacle, (and you must know that we had three or four separate photo sessions followed by running all over here and beyond trying to find a place with decent printing services, all for naught) it was decided that we would task the professionals  with the impossible job.  So off we went to the other side of the city, and the professionals took approximately 10 minutes to obtain suitable photos of all the children, who calmly and peacefully obliged with perfect passport poses.  Naturally.

On the way home, we had to stop at this epitome-of-ice cream-parlors, Aglamesis Bros.  I'd just been out this way the day before, and stopped at a very swish yarn store next door.  I knew I'd have to bring the kids in, because could I not?

Yarn Along on a Misty Moisty Morning


Joining in the Wednesday Yarn Along with Ginny of Small Things.  That's a lot of capital letters.  I don't usually write in the mornings.  You can see why.

 I have a bit of a girl crush on Ginny, who recently designed a most gorgeous little cardigan, that I am eager to get started on.  However, that's not what is on the needles.  What is on the needles is another gorgeous little cardi by Georgie Hallam of TiKKi.  Wannie picked out the pattern, which is called Annie, and since it has new-to-me stitches, (I'm endeavoring to learn a new stitch, design element, or technique with each project) I said "oooooookay."  I was chucking a bit of a sad because I wanted to knit the Sunday Sweater that Ginny just published, but unfortunately I bought yarn that was too light-weight for the project.  It seemed heavier than its label described, but not long after casting on, I knew it wasn't going to work.

Never mind!  I love the Annie project so far and the daisy pattern is so much fun, and the color of the yarn -- Berroco wool blend -- is delicious knitted up.  So, it's all good.

I'm reading (which is unusual, because my normal now is listening to library recordings while I knit or clean or whatever I'm doing) this book, Discipline by Elisabeth Elliot. I just got it the other day and I'm only reading a chapter at a time (also unusual for me -- I usually devour books in a single session).  It's not a self-help book, it's a book about spiritual discipline.  I love Elisabeth Elliot, one of the few female Christian authors who are honest, blunt, and to-the-point. 

I've promised to make apple fritters for the kids this morning as it's Donut Day around here, but I'm trying to save money, and $7 for donuts is not in this week's budget.  So we'll give homemade donuts a try.   I need to get to it.  It's a gray moist morning and the fritters will be well-received, I'm sure.  I have a small conundrum related to them: the book I'm reading says a bit -- well, quite a lot, really -- about food and the eating of too much of the wrong kinds of it.  I am fairly sure that apple fritters are not spiritually enhancing, but...maybe one?  Just one? 

I Love Yarn Day (two weeks early)







My sister said something today about it being I Love Yarn Day.  As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but fortunately I do have something that I'd already planned to share with you today.  
My project, the one I am so excited about, is finished.  It's a fair-isle stocking that I designed.  I'm surprised and thrilled it turned out.  Mostly surprised.  

The knitting group is having a Christmas stocking competition, and everyone else was knitting fabulous stockings, including all the newbie beginners.  I tried to hold out and just focus on the little girls' cardigans, but as more and more people entered their creative and colorful projects, I was feeling left out of the fun.  So I joined in too. 
One day to make the design, with pots of tea and candles and flowers and teacups and snowflakes, and hubby, the six kids and me. Then a couple days to knit it up as I could find the time.  It would have been quite fast, but I had to frog the lace at the top a lot of times, and then a few more froggings of other bits as well.  A challenge, but it was fun, so much fun, to do this.  And really, not hard.  Surprisingly easy, in fact, once I figured out what I was doing.

So here are some pictures, for I Love Yarn Day, of some of the stocking entries at the knitting group and my little stocking as well.  I do love yarn, I really really do.  When is I Love Knitting Day?

** I've just been googling I Love Yarn Day and it's not until October 12!  I'm early!  Woot :)

Project details: pattern adapted from Leisure Arts 4962, Old-fashioned Christmas Stocking.  Yarn is Berroco Comfort DK in Aegean Sea and White on size 6 needles.  Fair Isle pattern is custom design.

Joy Comes in the Morning





Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a morning person, at all. Unless 11pm could be considered morning, because without fail, that is the time that I wake up and finally get my groove on for the day. That said, lately, I've been awake earlier, in the yet-tender hours of the morning. Maybe it's the thyroid meds finally (finally) kicking in, or maybe -- and this could certainly be the motivator -- it's the promise of knitting that exciting, intriguing, can't-put-me-down project currently on the needles, before the hordes crash and smash their way into the day.

 In hopes of motivating myself to not waste the morning hours with one eye barely open and the other mostly shut, I cajoled cooperation out of myself by promising and swearing not to get up choring, but to get up knitting. Oh yes, that makes a difference. You should try it.

This morning, in the tender hours, it was unusually quiet and serene, and yet I was still not eager to face the chilliness of the early autumn air. But then: a cinnamon candle, a pot of tea, and, oh yes -- something I've been meaning to share with you -- a GIFT! A gift from a very kind and generous reader, Joy, who sent me the little card I set on my tray because it looked SO well with my cheery yellow teapot, and because it made me feel really, really happy even though it was morning.

 Thank you, Joy, for sending me some joy in the morning.

 Joy has many other gorgeous self-made cards for all occasions: you would be blessed to see her etsy site and maybe order a little gift for someone you love.

It's the time of year, already, for goldenrod. Oh, goldenrod. I love it. Subjectively. Because: yarn. Dye. Gold-dyed-goldenroddy-autumny-yellow-yarn. Goldenrod is the last of the summer sun's rays, stored up and gifted to us to glow sunnily through the winter in the form of warm, soft, golden-yellow-dyed sweaters and shawls and scarves and hats. Oh, I'm dying to do something with it. We have so much of it!

But but but. Time. We have so little of that.  We are moving, you know. Slowly.

It Really Works and You Can DO It!

A very clever reader, Lea, sent me a note to tell me about her success with using the Broke Monkey cake decorating method.

She says:
I just made a Scooby Doo cake with your instructions and it turned out so great!
I made the Scooby Doo several days before hand and just left it sit in my freezer until i needed it. Worked awesome, no problems at all.
And, here's the proof:

 Thanks so much for sending me the photos of your great cake, Lea! It's awesome.  I bet he loved it.


So He Says to Me, He Says.....

"Passport photos are going to be really expensive for all six kids..."

I groan with dismay.

"What?" he says.

This is not mamma's first time at this rodeo.  That's what.

Bright and Sunny Sunshine Morning



Suddenly in sunshine
Out we go in Sunday best
To whirl and twirl and see ourselves
Unusually well-dressed.

If Mama lingers long enough
And doesn't catch us first,
By the time we leave for church
We'll be in Sunday worst. 
edit: in response to commentor's question: yes, I knitted those!  I'm chuffed, love the pattern.  It's Tiny Tea Leaves by Madeline Tosh .
I'm still learning to knit.  Stay tuned, I have something cool on the needles. :)

School is in Session


















I can't imagine having gone to a school like the farm school my older kids have attended.  Can you imagine shearing the sheep and washing the wool; carding and dyeing; making felted puppets to act out the poems you've created? Picking the apples and making applesauce; honey harvested from the bees, and candles from their wax; outdoorsy time in the trees and swamp, indoorsy time in pine-cosy shelters and homes with tables in the floor and ponds, inside?  Singing and playing and eating and enjoying.  I wish everyone's school was like this school.

You see how the older ones have graduated from decorating windows with stars and watercolors to quadratic equations.  It can't be helped, really.

How is school getting along at your place this year?
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