Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Only connect

You guys don't even get decent photos on this post today - just random ones from my phone!

A year ago, I had a million and one projects going, I was cooking all the time and I had a nice, regular little schedule here. Now, my days are a muddle of naps (or no naps), nighttime marathon feedings, laundry and quick, uncreative dinners. I'm in awe of a friend of mine who manages to blog three or four times a week, scrapbook and do art projects with her four- and nearly-three-year old -- AND take care of her tiny new twins! That's not me, not this time around.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this blog a lot lately and trying to figure out if it still fits in my life, and if so, where? I'm not ready to let it go yet -- every time I think about it, I also think about some of the great things I want to share, and all the cool stuff I've learned from others. But this space is neither my main focus right now nor even my main writing focus. I'm putting more energy into book blogging, since I'm lucky enough to be one of the writers at Forever Young Adult, but that doesn't mean I want to quit this yet.

I will be rethinking what I do here. I've been (re)reading E.M. Forster lately, and have been struck by his plea to "Only connect." And that's really what these public-private spaces are all about, really. Connecting knowledge with learners, enthusiasts with each other.

When I first started this, I was mainly sharing my projects with my husband, who was in Afghanistan. My first subscribers (6!) included my mom, grandmother and dear friend from college. I don't have loads more readers now, but I don't really care about that.

What I am getting at (eventually ... I do have a point!) is I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing here. Even though I know the blogs I visit over and over are the ones that let me peek at the writers' lives, I have a hard time sharing much. I don't want to be solipsistic. Who cares about my boring struggles with laundry? But I want to share more. Like this:


Mr. T has TWO teeth! And has outgrown his infant car seat (well, he has about an inch of clearance, but has been averaging an inch a month).
I've started running again (I hope - today was week 1, day 1 of couch-to-5k for about the fifth time).
My parents just left after a week's visit, and it's awfully lonely, but at least I have Daisy back! And the bookcase my dad built.
I have about a zillion things I want to make, and enough spare time each day to either empty the dishwasher OR start something new. (Un)happily, the dishwasher has been winning.
There are so many people I want to be like, but every day I still wake up just me. And I guess that's ok :)

Anyway, I suppose my point is, for this year I have a simple goal: Only connect.

Check out these wonderful people I have been lucky enough to connect with in the last year, online and in real life:

Nicole at Blue Bicicletta, my penpal and wonderful artist
Melissa at Yummy Goods, co-founder of the Bronte-along an fabric designer extraordinaire
Beth at An Accomplished Young Lady, other co-founder of the Bronte-along
Fourteen Countess, an amazing stitcher
Kayanna of the delightful June Craft
Olivia, who always has interesting travels, musings and thoughts about books (ok, this is kind of cheating because we've been best friends since college, but y'all, she's awesome)

Are you connecting - really connecting - this year?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Trellis for T

I call this T's old man sweater - the combination of heavy cables and the shawl collar makes a cardigan that looks like it's made for a grandpa, and that just makes it extra charming on a little boy.

The pattern is Trellis, from Knitty 2005, and I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It's a great yarn for baby things because as a microfiber/merino/cashmere blend it's soft, squishy and machine washable - without being made of squeaky acrylic. It also knits up fast, and I haven't noticed any pilling yet.

The pattern was great, too. It was easy to follow, and had enough going on to make it interesting, but it wasn't too crazy I couldn't knit while watching tv, listening to a book or while in company. I also managed to get it finished in only a couple of months (a normal person could probably knock one of these out in weeks). I made a 12-mo size, but there's not tons of room to grow and he's only 7 months old, so keep that in mind.

The red buttons came from my grandmother's button stash, and they're absolutely my favorite part of the sweater, aside from the kid wearing it, of course!
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