Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer is supposed to be about slowing down, right?

When I was teaching school, I thought of summer as my time to sleep in. . .sure, I might have things to get done that I couldn't do during the school year to catch up on, but it was a change from the early rising and the working late and the correcting papers and planning concerts and lesson plans. But now I'm not a teacher. I'm a mom and a knitter. Summer doesn't mean slowing down. Summer means more projects! Summer means more time with kids because there is no more preschool. Here's my 4 year old showing his muscles on the last day. . .
So in anticipation of all of the things I knew would be filling up my time this summer, I cast on and finished this sweater. It turned out well, with a few minor modifications, including switching the buttons a little to the side after this picture was taken because it grew so much with blocking. It's the Mayim pattern knit out of Knit Picks Gloss DK in the Aegean colorway. 
 Another things about summers is a lot weddings. We have been to fewer and fewer over the last couple of years, and have attended more baby showers than weddings, but we look forward to watching two friends get married this summer. I attended their wedding shower last weekend. I don't think you can ever have enough cotton dish cloths, so these five were included in the gift for them to use as they begin their new life together. I love how simple and quick they are. And how totally practical.These were made from Sugar and Cream cotton.

Remember how I said it was the end of preschool? Well Z's teacher not only oversees and teaches 22 preschool students, she also has 44 high school students in the same classroom as the preschool students (22 at a time). I always felt tired after my school year ended. I can't imagine what she feels like. So I combined the easy dishcloth pattern and some luxury linen/cotton yarn with a bar of locally made soap. I call it a "poor mom's spa package" . . . hopefully she'll get a few moments this summer to relax and enjoy and get all ready to do it again next year!

Then there is Camp Loopy. I did camp last year. It consists of three projects, the first of which started at the end of May and must be finished by the end of June. Each project must fit within the guidelines stated in order to receive credit for yarn purchased and to receive the special luxury yarn at the end. For this first project, as a tie-in to the Olympics, we had to choose a pattern that was at least 400 yards and that was written by a designer that lives in a country other than our own. I did one better! I also picked a yarn that is dyed in Australia! I am using Skein Top Draw Sock, which is a sock (fingering) weight Merino/Nylon blend. It's beautiful. I'm knitting Folded by Veera Välimäki from Finland. I made some major modifications to the pattern construction to prevent running out of yarn before it was long enough, but I love it so far and the fit is stunning. We find out next week what the second project will be. . .so I'm hoping to finish project one well before that so I can get to dreaming about the next camp adventure. Here it is before I've finished the bottom. In this photo I have about 8 inches left to go, but I'm to about 6 now.

I am also knitting a Mystery Shawl by Kirsten Kapur from Through the Loops Design. I promise to post pictures when it is complete, but since it's a mystery that I don't want to spoil for anyone, I'll leave them off for now. She releases a small piece of the pattern WITHOUT pictures every week and you have to knit it to see what it will look like. It's a fun way to do a project and knit patterns in small chunks. I'm enjoying it!

In the end though, I think it's important to stop in the middle of all the crazy and take time for family, friends and memories. I get to start enjoying daily trips to the park and the library with my boys. I have all summer to enjoy with the wonderful women who attend our local knitting group every Saturday evening. I have friends coming in to town to catch up with. And I have online friends that share a special place in my heart. This week, one of those online friends that I've also been lucky enough to meet in real life lost her grandpa. He was a special man, and in hearing her stories about him, you knew he was worth honoring and remembering. One of the things he did was break his cookies in half. He would then eat his half and place the other back in the container. Then he'd take another out and eat half and place it back. He always left the other half for someone else. In his honor, we did a cookie party this week for him. My youngest helped me. E and I made cookies and cut them in half. We ended up eating our own and then we shared the other halves with each other. It was sweet for many reasons. So while I think you have to sometimes look for reasons to slow down, I think those reasons are always worth finding.


Faking being a housewife said...

I just made one of these dish clothes and that is a great idea giving it away at a kitchen tea.

Amy K. said...

Be careful! Those dishcloths can get addicting!!