unicorn dress report: all the knitting is done, it just needs a good blocking to stop the sleeves from rolling. i sewed the skirt and it fits, but lily has to walk like a giesha with it on, so i'll obviously need to make some alterations. but for now the whole thing is back on hold until i return from our trip up north for the 4th.
now for the pleasantries. we're leaving today for northern minnesota to visit some friends at their lake cabin. they have a son who is lily's age so when i saw this post on the maya*made blog i thought they would be perfect for lily and ian up at the lake. i also made one for my niece, who is coming to visit in a couple weeks.
now i am not by any means an expert seamstress (need i remind you of the above mentioned geisha skirt situation?) i have trouble both cutting and sewing in a straight line. but i found that maya's tutorial made making these pillows very easy indeed. the directions are very straightforward and the pictures are helpful too.
and even more importantly, lily really seems to like her pillow. she got antsy waiting for me to finish taking pictures - she just wanted to run off and give her pillow a test snuggle.
okay, i will be the first to admit that until last night i had never eaten a turnip. in my mind turnips were some sort of mythical root vegetable that people only ate in stories from my childhood, not something my family and i would (could?) eat for dinner.
so when turnips showed up in my csa box both this week and last i was excited (at the prospect of trying something new) as well as a bit trepidatious, because well... they're turnips, they don't have the most glowing reputation as far as vegetables go.
they're definitely pretty though, don't you think?
i googled around a bit to find a recipe for us to try out. most of the ones i found were for some form of mashed turnips, which while not bad, wasn't quite what i was looking for. when i found this recipe for crispy turnip fries i was sold. (the parmesan cheese was what put me over the top.)
i didn't follow the recipe exactly - we didn't have anywhere near three pounds of turnips, so i halved all the spice amounts, and honestly i didn't measure the parmesan - i just dumped some on. i also didn't cook them in the oven, instead cooking them out on the grill with the rest of our dinner.
and you know what? they were really tasty!
everyone liked them (well lily liked them until we told her what they were, then she didn't want to eat them anymore... stubborn 4 year-old) and we ate all but jut a few of the fries. yum!
i'm glad that our little turnip experiment went well, since we have another bunch of them in the fridge. hooray for our csa, for exposing us to new foods and one last hooray for the turnip! (i mean who knew?!? the turnip!)
yesterday was my last day of my first year in kindergarten. i have taught first grade many times before but this was my first time working with the extra young ones. not to mention that my children all come from either the projects or the local domestic violence shelter, so they are often both very underexposed and carrying extreme emotional challenges/situations with them.
the first two months i thought i'd never make it. i mean, it was really a shock of reality. these kids couldn't do ANYTHING. couldn't sit, couldn't stand in a line, couldn't write their names, couldn't read most of their letters, couldn't gotwo seconds without wiping various bodily fluids all over everything.... it was a mess. and don't even get me started about the constant tantrums.
as soon as the tantrums were under control a bit (notice i said a bit) we really started to have a lot of fun.
celebrated historic events together,
and by january, low and behold, they had learned a few letters.
and then by june? it is absolutely INCREDIBLE that this is the same group of kids i started the year off with.
now they are readers! and writers!
and even photographers!
honestly, every teacher should, at one point in their career, have the privilege of teaching kindergarten. there is absolutely NO other grade in which you see such overwhelming progress over such a short period of time. and, while you might be cursing yourself for the first few months of the year, the joy of seeing (what appear to be at first) snotty little aliens turn into functional, bright and talented students is completely priceless!
(realizing of course that the reason i chose i had to blog about this the day after my last day of school, when i am on a 'hooray for kindergarten' high- is the fact that, come september i will need to come back in the archives and remember why on EARTH i willingly chose to do kindergarten again).
this is why:
how else would i ever in my life be able to encounter "the ultimis marble in the world"?
("ultimis?" i asked him, "do you mean, ultimate?" "NO! ultimis!" he replied)
i could not possibly be more proud of these kids! hooray for kindergarten!
there, i've said it. and right in the title and everything! now i can't weasel out of it. this is going to be the weekend for finishing the dress!
the past few days while i was ignoring the dress i worked some on blankie and then made up a few little fishy scrubbies for lily to use in the bath.
it's the wishy washy fishy tawashie pattern by rhonda white (pattern or rav link).
i had been gifted one of these little guys in a swap and lily promptly confiscated it. she's been using it faithfully ever since. i figured since she liked them so much she could have a few more. the pattern is easy and fast! i'm not kidding - in an hour you'll have a little fishy.
okay, enough stalling - i'm off to knit on the dress!
my friend (and honorary little sister) raindrop (we'll call her for privacy's sake- she's very modest) is the most
selfless person i know.she never
ceases to amaze me with her thoughtfulness and generosity.
today raindrop gave one of her kidneys to a friend of
hers.i really have no words to
explain how deeply i admire and respect what she did. i mean, seriously, does it get any more
selfless than that?
so what on earth little token could i possibly send her to
give her a little joy (and maybe a giggle) before facing her surgery?
a kidney, of course.
i found this great pattern (rav link )for a felted kidney. (isn't ravelry amazing?! i mean there's a pattern for everything on there!) it was a super fast and easy knit. only problem was that being a big city
girl now, felting isn’t the easiest thing to do. somehow i just don’t trust doing it at the laundromat. and i think i’d be especially hesitant
to felt body parts in public. i mean, we DO see everything in nyc, but i think that’s pushing it just a smidge.
so i nervously had to set to the task of felting at
home. enter one bucket of
boiling hot, sudsy water, and one bucket of ice cold water.
drop in the kidney, get out my potato masher and stab and stab and stab.
a few minutes in i’m totally nervous this is never in a
million years going to work—for my little kidney has actually doubled in
size. and the fact that it’s
stuffed already makes it extra tricky and seemingly impossible to ever get to
it is only when one has been stabbing a kidney for half an
hour that one:
1 1. wonders if what they are doing is not actually a present for a friend but a selfish excuse to pound out the kindergarten stress of the
2. 2. realizes that i absolutely don’t have the proper
soundtrack for such things. i mean, what do you listen to when hammering body parts? i began craving thrasher metal
for the first time in my life.
had to settle for a singing along to:
(stab, stab, stab),
TAKE IT, (stab stab) TAKE another
little piece of my heart now baby (stab,
well i am happy to report that after a full hour of pounding
and squeezing and stabbing—it actually worked and the kidney has felted.
a GIANT hug to you raindrop if you are reading this- you are an
absolutely incredible woman who i am so privileged to know and to love.
I have been driven to work with bright, vibrant colors like a thing possessed. Phazelia's Laptop case (rav link) reached out and grabbed me; I am compelled to make this even though I don't know anyone who needs or wants a laptop case.
I found the brightest yarn I could.
And went to town making hexagons (even though there is a lady waiting in the wings).
This voracious appetite for color reminds me of one of my favorite children's books, The Rainbow Goblins by Ul de Rico.
"The goblins lived on colour - they prowled the valleys and climbed the highest mountains looking for rainbows, and when the found one, they caught it in their lassoes, sucked the colours out of it and filled their bellies with its bright liquid"
"All seven goblins had a wonderful dream - the same wonderful dream about the paradise of Rainbowland, where all you had to do was lie on your back and open your mouth, and the most succulent colours dripped down your throat"
i think it's time to admit i'm there with the jane austen dress (rav link) i'm knitting for lily.
i've been struggling with what's wrong, i love this dress. i've loved it since the book first came out last fall. when i saw heather ross' new far far away fabric line i knew the time has come to make this dress for lily.
(is this not the perfect fabric for her? i so need to finish this project, she's going to love it!)
i was nervous about the skirt attachment, the directions are not very thorough, but i figured i could deal with that when i got there.
poking around on ravelry i discovered that a lot of people thought the pattern made the arm holes too small, but no one gave specific directions for how they altered the top. i've reached the point in the pattern where i have to split for the armholes and i'm frozen. i can't seem to continue.
now i'm normally not one to fastidiously follow directions, so i'm having a hard time understanding why i am so paralyzed by this particular lack of specific directions.
i know that all i have to do is measure the armholes on a dress that fits her and then keep trying the top on lily while i'm knitting the arm holes until it's the right fit. and i know that i'll be fine sewing on the skirt when the time comes. but right now for some reason these two tasks seem insurmountable. i'm stuck in a knitting mental block.
has this happened to anyone else?
what do you to to kick yourself out of it?
please help me - i want to make lily a unicorn dress!
i tend to be a creature of habit. perhaps it's my german side, i don't know- but i find comfort in routine and am oftentimes stubbornly resistant to change.
lama, on the other hand, thinks change is the greatest invention known to man (or feline, as the case may be). new people in the house- he couldn't be happier. every new package or bag that enters- must pass his thorough inspection. every time something is changed or altered in the house- he is instantly there to check out the new digs.
like when i moved a box off the shelf in the purple room.
within seconds he found himself a new spot. and happily settled in.
perhaps i need to take a lesson from lama.
and challenge myself to try out new places, and check out every new thing i come across.
and enjoy the newness of it all!
thanks lama, for reminding me that new and different can be fun.