Monday, August 07, 2006

Whew! That's Over For Another Year

Remind me why we always end up having our granddaughter’s birthday bash at our house? Oh yeah. We have a large deck, shady grass, and… we’re available to do all the work! The T-Man and I spent 2 days cleaning, gardening, shopping for last-minute paper plates and spoons, putting up the bug tent (for the kids in case the wasps got bad), making salads, and getting out the big trestle table. Here’s T relaxing before the onslaught:

And here’s the birthday girl unwrapping her first present:

After that she went off to play in my water garden with the spatula and soup ladle from the kitchen leaving her mom to open the rest! That picture includes (from left to right, back) my mother-in-law, my soon-to-be-kid-in-law, my kids, (front) my kid-in-law, and granddaughter plus someone’s gratuitous hand. Another nice surprise was my birth mom bringing my brother, whom I haven’t seen in ages. He was down from Kamloops sorting out his retirement from the local bus drivers in order to do the same much nearer to home. (No more 3 or 4 hour commute on winter highways. Yay!) Tired as we are today, that was a lovely gathering of mostly family and a few friends. Just don’t ask me yet whether or not we’ll do it again next year.

The socks went over ok with the birthday girl’s mom, but of course it was too hot to even try them on. I also had a chance to ask my future son-in-law if he wants socks too since he had his birthday a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to knit something that wouldn’t get worn so I figured it was safer if I asked him in person. The answer was yes, he'd love some — if they’re toned down from my usual rainbows. Perhaps black, grey or denim blue. And his feet are the same size as his sweetie so that makes it easy. I’ll be knitting her birthday socks soon too! DIL’s socks are also the same size and I’m almost down to the toes, so those needles will be free. And oh dear! I have to go to the LYS and buy some more sock yarn! It seems I don’t have anything suitably dull for guy-socks. Well, if I must. Such a hardship though.

Speaking of knitting, I got the Fall issue of Interweave Knits. There are some nice sweaters in there. Have you noticed how so many are now nicely fitted on the body with proper sleeve caps and all? Much nicer than those oversized sacks from the last 20 or 30 years but maybe not as warm. I particularly like the Gatsby Girl Pullover and the Sienna Cardigan. I also totally fell in love with a small shawl in this issue: Swallowtail. I have the perfect cashmere/merino laceweight yarn to use with it. It’s officially on The Neverending List. I wouldn’t ever wear a large shawl, even though I know I have the knitting chops to make one. But I will wear a small one that can be slung around like a scarf. And a small one might get finished sometime this century. T-Man was kind of hinting that he liked the Spartan Pullover, which I guess means that IK has actually got a good guy sweater there, even if it is very plain drop-shoulder with no shaping. The only embellishment is the simple one-colour Fair isle border around the middle above the garter hem. I think I’d like it better if it had proper set-in sleeves but that would be easily fixed.

What else? I also got the new Fall issue of Art Doll Quarterly magazine. There are some wonderful dolls in there as usual. Some pretty, some creepy. I used to really like “pretty” but now I’m drawn to the more creepy ones. Hmmm…what does that say about me? Maybe I do actually have a dark side? Nah! Not really. I’m just finding some things too sickly sweet for my current taste. It is nice to see though that this magazine doesn’t just cater to that one esthetic but encourages a spectrum of tastes and styles and definitions of “doll”. I really appreciate that. ADQ is not a cheap magazine, nor does it have specific “how-to’s” though it does talk about process. What it does have are lots of wonderful photos and articles on who the artists are and why they do what it is they do. And the dolls aren’t always extremely complex; some are very simply made, but always very intriguing. What is it about the human form that’s so compelling?

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