Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday musings and music....

in which our plucky heroine is awed by courage...

Here at what feels like the end of the Anthropocene it is difficult to maintain any equanimity. Troubles large and small beset me, and many people I know, and even more people I do not know. Often I think of how this future has been rolling in slowly and inexorably for as many decades as I have had awareness to see it, even longer than that of course, but I often feel like someone on the edge of the Great Molasses Disaster, stuck in place as the hot tide rises to unbearable heat


And yet, in the face of all this uncertainty, I persist in makerie, I resist the impulse to give up, and I cheer those who bravely do even more than I can... Dear friends are going to have a baby early this Autumn. Deeply wanted, and to be cherished by not only the immediate family, but by our whole community, which has very few children compared to the number of adults. I live too far away to be an immediate part of their lives, but as an auntie on the fringes, I am putting together handmade goodness to add my own small prayers and wishes for the child that is coming.

Back in June I started on a handknit rainbow octopus baby rattle, which I finally finished this weekend. I have used this pattern before to make a baby toy, and this time, instead of a jingle bell inside a film can (which sounds rather like a spray paint can when shaken) I used the chime ball that was a gift from an old sweetheart, which makes a much gentler pleasant sound, wrapped inside the stuffing so as to be secure and safe. Of course, for a baby toy, the legs do NOT get pipe cleaners, but they stitch up into wiggly shapes even without the extra help, and eight tentacles give lots of things for babies to grip!


Next up were some tiny rainbow bootees, because autumn babies need warm feet! I was unsure if continuing on with this theme would be a good idea, but when I asked Ariadne if a rainbow baby sweater would be too much, she responded "there is no such thing as too much rainbow"... indeed, my plan has been to create useful and colorful gifts that do not reference the current obsession with gendered baby gear, but celebrate the vivid reality of our outer and inner worlds.


The current knitting project is an Elizabeth Zimmerman "Baby Surprise Jacket" in the same rainbow wool as the bootees. I love the colors of the yarn.

It is very slow going on this project… the knitting itself is not difficult, but the yarn, which I've never worked with before, is a challenge. It is very soft and smooth, feels more like cotton than wool, which will be really lovely for a baby sweater. OTOH, it is very splitty to knit with, which given that I needed to go to size 2 needles to get gauge, means that I cannot simply knit on, but need to pay careful attention to every stitch. Using it as an opportunity to focus attention on good wishes for the child coming to my dear friends, rather like a fairy godmother would do…

Thanks to Sharon Rose for lending me the wee size 2 long circular needle! (and the EZ book with the instructions so I don't have to keep borrowing the book from the library)

July SMART goals (x=extra)
1 20 enamels for Wastekeep apron dress yard waste bin
2 tiny peach enamel workbench refurbishbag to Goodwill
3 tiny linen bag closet cleared left bag to Goodwill
4 octopus rattle x x
5 rainbow bootiesx x
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


  1. I can just see a darling baby's plump fingers tightly gripping those vivid tentacles! All your colorful creations are sure to be favorites in the baby's household. Bless you for cherishing the tiny new life even before it has exited the womb.
    With your typical genius for finding the most wonderful videos you did it again. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Carol! The people expecting the child are some of my most dear friends in the world...

  2. Babies are the most fun to make things for! The things are small so don't take forever and babies are devoid of preconceived notions about colours and styles. I love the dear octopus!

    Chin up, Alison! There's only so much one has control over and worrying about the rest isn't really very helpful. I know, easy for me to say, huh!? Sending warm thoughts your way...

    1. Aww Louisa, I am glad that you like the fun little octopus. I am choosing gifts that I hope will appeal to the parents... And it is definitely true that worrying doesn't help anything. Thank you for your kindly thoughts.

  3. Like the image of you being a fairy godmother, knitting the gifts into the objects.

  4. Like the image of you being a fairy godmother, knitting the gifts into the objects.