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Goal: Knit 5,000 yards of stash sock yarn
Knit on, soldier girl





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Sunday
Sep152013

Baby Quinn's Big Girl Quilt

One of my favorite friends had a baby awhile back. I was suprisngly on top of things and found the inspiration for a great baby quilt months before Kate was due. I started tracing and cutting my pieces way ahead of the big arrival.

Or so I thought. Little Quinn came early, early enough to scare her mother and send me into a panic (about my friend, not the quilt) when I heard the news. And so I stopped. I mean, if you can't get the quilt to the lady before the baby is born, there's really no rush to get it to her right after the birth. Nobody cares about a quilt when they're trying to figure out how to be a parent and get milk to come out of their breasts. Right?

That's what I told myself. So I hemmed and hawed (and forgot to sew down the inside of the letters) and jacked up binding and was very nearly ready to give up. It went to time out. And just after her first birthday, I took another look and deemed it good enough for public consumption, so I put it into the mail and hoped it wasn't too late or too dumb or too...homemade.

Quinn's Qute Quilt

And looking at it now, from a distance of both time and location, I can say that I rather like it. It's fun, it's cute without being girly, and it will hopefully have many years of being dragged through the mud and sick-tummy cuddles.

Quinn's Qute Quilt - words close-up

It was super simple to make. I used Kona Cotton for the background and words. I did the words in, uh, Word, printed them, then transferred them to double-sided fusible web. Once everything was in place, I stitched over the edges with my machine's blanket stitch. Not the neatest finish, but I got better as I went along.

The quilting is actually my first attempt at all-over free-motion, and I had a blast. I did lots and lots of rambling daisies and outlined the letters. It went surprisingly fast - I got all the quilting and binding done during a one-day KCMQG retreat.

Quinn's Qute Quilt

The back is probably my favorite part. I just love that fabric. I picked it up during the KCMQG's first weekend retreat in 2012 with this quilt specifically in mind. It took a long time to get there, but I think it was worth the wait.

Wednesday
Sep042013

Things you missed while I forgot I had a blog:

1. I finished stuff. A lot of stuff. I promise to tell you about it in the coming days.

2. This kid started school.

3. He also turned two. His cake had hotdogs on it.

Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Jenny4. Gracie turned 7. She is increasingly strange with each passing year.

5. Most of my free time was spent staring at photographs of British actors.

You can hardly blame me for that.

Tuesday
Jul022013

Let's get real.

Dear Henry,

In 17 short days, you will finally be two. Two! You don't even know how many that is, but you do know that two M&Ms are better than one M&M and that's all that really matters.

Let's get real for a minute, Hen. I don't know what I'm going to do with you. The teeny-tiny baby that shot out of me is now a giant stomping, roaring, screaming mess of hugs, kisses, and tears. You are positively wild. You literally make Mommy's head hurt (usually by bashing the bridge of my nose back into my brain). I have scratches all over my face from never-ending power struggles, and you can't seem to go more than 10 minutes without just walking over and slapping me.

This would be so much easier if I didn't love you, if I didn't sneak into your room late at night to gently stroke your flushed cheeks, if my heart didn't still when you lean in to give me a kiss. It's the defining struggle of motherhood, I think -- loving someone so completely while absolutely hating their guts.

I have to believe that I'm going to forget about all of this in two, five, 10 years. I will forget how you chase Gracie with your school bus, scaring her so much that she hops onto the bed and refuses to get down even when I yell. I'll forget how you thrash every time I pick you up for a diaper change. The days you refused to nap will seem like something I made up in a sleep-deprived stupor.

And when you are 32 and your toddler is driving you batshit insane and you're considering running away to live under a bridge with the other trolls (because that's what parenthood does - it makes you feel like the meanest troll in all of trolldom) and you call to ask if you were ever that bad, I'll say what my parents said to me. "Oh no, you just sat quietly and played with your toys. You were never like that." And while you fret that your child is well on his way to becoming either an international superstar or a serial killer, I'll doze in the shade and replay your perfect toddlerhood in my mind.

I love you, you crazy turkey. God help me, do I love you.

Mama

Wednesday
Apr172013

His name is Henry.

How did your Senator vote today? One of mine was awesome and the other needs a kick in the head. I'll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about politics, but the rage of motherhood isn't taking a back seat on this one. Here's the letter I sent to Republican Senator Roy Blunt (MO):

***

Dear Senator Blunt,

I'm sure you have hundreds of letters waiting for you, constituents irate about your vote today and your unwillingness to work in the favor of the American public instead of  yourself. I'll be brief.

Senator Blunt, I'm scared. I have a 21-month-old son, and frankly, I'm terrified of what our country will be like by the time he's ready to go to kindergarten. I worry when we're at Target picking up paper towels and bananas; I worry when we're at the zoo to see the tigers. Maybe part of being a parent is that constant fear for your child's safety, but Senator Blunt, you're not making this easier. You are, in fact, making it worse. I want my little boy to grow up without having to worry that a bad person will break into his school and start shooting guns. I want him to run and jump and play and read and do all the things a little boy does.

His name is Henry. He likes blocks, cars, and cheese. He gives open-mouthed kisses and meows every time he sees a cat. He doesn't know about cowardice and he doesn't know about ego or pride, but even he knows when he's done something wrong.

Make it better.

Sincerely,

Kristin

***

Angry mothers of the world: unite. Write to your Senator. Tell them about your kids. Tell them about your fears. Tell them that ain't nobody got time for that. Tell them that their term will end soon.

Sunday
Mar312013

The saddest sweater story you'll ever read.

Ugh. Sweater.

Sweater, we have had good times. We have had bad times. And by the looks of you, this should be a good time. All finished up, button bands and collar sewn on nice and neat, complete with rustic buttons fashioned out of driftwood.

But you don't fit my husband, sweater. You're a little snug (I say) and just kind of weird. Or maybe you fit perfectly (he says) and everything feels just right.

But there is no maybe about this:

That shawl collar is THE WORST. I was so excited after my marathon seaming-and-finishing extravaganza. It was 11:00 on a Saturday night. I dashed upstairs and lo, Justin was still awake and ready to try on the sweater of his dreams.

He looked like a damn woman.

There is nothing, nothing masculine about this sweater. At least not with that collar.

Worse from the back? Yes."But Daniel Craig wears a shawl-collared sweater! So does the guy from the LL Bean catalog!"

Friends, as much as it pains me to admit this, my husband is not Daniel Craig. He is not built like an inverted pyramid. He is built like a tall, slim, delicious piece of man who looks horrible in shawl collars.

Remember that part in Jurrasic Park where Newman is traipsing about in the rain and he sees a sweet little dinosaur and all of a sudden it goes batshit crazy and eats him?

That's pretty much what he looks like in that sweater.

So the collar and button bands are no more. The good thing is that they were knit last and seamed to the body. The bad thing is that I have to figure out what I want to do now. The LL Bean version (which this is modeled after) has a ribbed buttonband and collar. I'm probably going to go in that direction, but with a crew collar instead of full on shawl. I'm also going to install a zipper instead of screwing around with buttons, which will give me some extra room in the body.

(And since you will ask, yes, I tried it on, and yes, it looked great on me - BECAUSE I'M A GIRL - even though it was about two sizes too small. Which tells you exactly how bad it looked on him.)