Saturday, June 26, 2010


Perfect way to spend a gorgeous Saturday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hooded Sleep Sack for Baby

Today I finished the hooded sleep sack I've been working on for Valerie's baby.

This is the first time I've sewn fabric to a knitted piece. It was a little tricky, but I managed. Some parts, like the sleeves, had to be hand sewn because I didn't want to contort myself too much to make them fit in the machine.

It's a little hard to tell in the pictures, but there's a zipper that closes up the front.

And since I don't have a baby to model this on, and I didn't think the cats would sit still long enough for a picture, I decided to let Joe's monkey try it on.

I think it needs a cute patch for the front. What do you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

homemade sorbet

We restarted our CSA subscription with Full Circle Farm and picked up our first box last week. Inside there was, among other things, a fresh cantaloupe and a recipe for "Homemade Cantaloupe Sorbet." How could I resist that?

My cantaloupe sorbet is still firming up in the freezer, so I can't tell you yet how yummy it is. But in case you'd like to find out on your own, here's the recipe, paraphrased a bit:

Handmade Cantaloupe Sorbet from Full Circle Farms

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cup 1-inch pieces peeled, seeded cantaloupe (I just used the whole melon, however much that was)

Heat sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and water boils. Pour into medium bowl and allow to cool. Puree cantaloupe in food processor until smooth (mine was a little chunky, but mostly smooth). Mix pureed cantaloupe with sugar water mixture and stir until well blended. Freeze until almost firm, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours or overnight. Using a heavy whisk, beat air into mixture until fluffy. Return to freezer until firm without stirring, at least 3 hours or overnight. Keeps for about three days. Serve with mint.

I'm still working on the "freeze until firm" part (pre-whisking).

You could use the same recipe with any fruit. I think peach would be good, too.

Since I had the food processor out, and we were running low, I decided to make some more peanut butter using a recipe from The Tangled Nest.


Perfect start to my summer vacation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Made with Love

Friday after work I went to the fabric store to buy a zipper for the baby sleep sack I'm making. I ended up leaving the store with a zipper, some remnant baby flannel, batik fabric that I turned into pajama pants yesterday, and these cute iron-on labels.

The directions said to iron on a low setting for 20 seconds. Which I tried, but it didn't work. So I added some stitch witchery, which did the trick. It could be that since my iron is old, it didn't get to the correct temperature. Or it could have been something about putting a patch onto a knitted garment. I'm not sure.

Either way, it's a cute addition to an otherwise simple sweater. A little reminder that it was made with loving care.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I pass death with the dying

I buried a squirrel today.

It was 2:40pm, the final bell had just rang and I had a million things to do before 3:30 when my carpool left. A student was planning on staying after school for help, I had referrals to write, and there were some emails that needed replies. I walked out of my classroom, intending to quickly handle the paperwork so I could work with my student. As I walked towards the office I noticed a group of students staring at something on the ground: an injured squirrel, helplessly flailing around. I quickly shooed the students away and then stood there.

I watched the squirrel flail.

I had no idea what to do.

No idea what to do, no desire to watch an animal suffer, yet a strange feeling that if I didn't give it my full attention I was somehow disrespecting a fellow creature. So I watched, and soon other adults came and stopped to help me figure out what to do.

After much discussion and a frustrating call to Animal Control (who, by the way, do not deal with "wildlife"), the squirrel died. I felt both relieved that it was no longer in pain, and also sad that I wasn't able to help it.

I'm not even sure how it ended up on the ground, or how exactly it was injured. But I realized that when I have children of my own, teaching them to not only respect living things, but also to respect death and dying is going to be one of my top jobs. Before other adults joined me there were a couple students gawking nearby. One of the students made some very disrespectful remarks about the squirrel and its situation. I pulled him aside and explained to him that watching an animal suffer caused me to suffer, and that his words were not only insensitive, but that they added to the suffering of both myself and the squirrel. The look on the student's face confirmed that he understood what I was trying to say.

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg
of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
And the cow crunching with depress'd head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.

-Walt Whitman

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baby Knits in Progress

What used to be an ever-elongating rectangle is now starting to take shape.

I'd still say I'm about half-way done, but at this point I can finally see what it will become.

This odd-shaped bit of yarn will eventually become a hooded sleep sack (or carrying bag, as Debbie Bliss calls it).

I'm thinking of lining it with some baby flannel, since it's not too thick. I picked some up at the store the other day, just in case.

What is currently on your knitting needles?