do-over

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This is the winter of knitted do-overs. First the gray hat for Jonas (visible here, covered in snow and inside out), which was lost for a time and then found, only  to be too short for his liking. Then the red hat for Sylvan, which again needed more length, and less smudgkin. Now, the realization that the neckwarmer for Sylvan is too big and should be torn out and re-knit. What the heck is going on here?

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As you know, I’m not afraid to pull up my big girl panties, rip it out and do it over so it can be right. Because what looks right to me may not match what feels right on the recipient. It’s OK. Why make something wearable at all if you’re not interested in balancing form and function? (Well, OK, I hear you art people thinking sometimes you’re just making something and it’s about the process of making and I get that.)

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It isn’t surgery. Or landing planes on aircraft carriers. Or souffles. It’s knitting! It can be wrong and that’s OK, because anything knitted can be ripped out and made right. You call it tinking, because tink is knit backwards, if you are un-knitting one stitch at a time. Other times you are frogging because you rip-it, rip-it, rip-it out, just pulling the stitches right off.

This is life. It’s how we learn. Making mistakes, reflecting, trying to assess where it went wrong, thinking about our thinking process and how it went awry, trying again. And again, maybe the same mistake again…like me and the darn knitwear. The perfectionist in me took a long time to really know this in my heart and practice. I don’t love to be wrong, I don’t love to do it over, but it’s easier with things than people. It’s hard to make mistakes that hurt people—those are the mistakes I will always hate.

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This is kind of like my masters e-portfolio. I write a 5-10 page essay, submit it to my advisor; she reads it and approves it or offers me feedback for what to change. So far I have passed 2 of my 14 competencies; one was a redo. I have submitted 3 more and am waiting to hear if I passed them the first time out of the box or will need to revise.

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I like this February afternoon light right now. It’s making things look very mellow. Oh my goodness, did you notice that tiny green SPROUT bookmark? Something special from a girl who knows my heart. They are adorable as you can see. So cute and softly rubbery that I want to eat them. And if you are trying to impersonate Totoro these bookmarks make a handy umbrella.

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did you hear about the snow?

SONY DSCIt was an event. There were some threads on Facebook that wondered why hardy New Englanders, Mainers even, were getting so wound up about this. People! Global weirding is happening: this means epic snowstorms and even regular, run-of-the-mill snowstorms are not a regular feature of the winter season anymore (more’s the pity). (Case in point: RAIN and 40 degrees forecast for tomorrow?!) We get excited because having a real snowstorm feels like sighting an endangered animal.

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look at how cute our little cars are, all snuggled up together

So this storm brought our family a lot of delight. Snow was blowing sideways! Winds howling! Drifts up to 4 feet in places and bare grass in others! Goggles were necessary if you wanted to stay outside and play! Fluffy cold powder! (Which is still heavy to shovel, btw.) It snowed for TWO DAYS STRAIGHT.
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SONY DSCWe sought entertainment in the form of movies, reading, knitting, playing games, cooking, listening to music, and irritating each other. You know, the usual things. Also, making Sylvan a transformer suit out of (mostly) eco-packaging material plus a lot of tape.

SONY DSCAnd how about this monogrammed wooden/plastic sled? Still going strong after years of use, made by Mountain Boy Sled Works! I took a couple of spins down the hill myself.

SONY DSCSome boys thought a great game would be to see who could put his face in the snow for the longest amount of time. I think Jonas won. And then accused his brother of cheating. Because it wouldn’t be any fun otherwise, right? But really, can you declare yourself a winner when your face and ears are full of snow?!

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Sylvan’s greatest wish is to one day sled off our roof. We didn’t make it there with this storm (plus this was only day 1) and I’m thinking he may have to relocate to Russia or Norway for that kind of rugged fun. But he made a pile of snow under a tree and fell out of the tree onto the pile. No broken limbs!
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Cozy eating/cooking was provided by recipes from the blog, Dinner: A Love Story, and I am coveting the book. This is my kind of blog writing: funny and fun, the right non-dogmatic attitude, and great recipes. I like it that this is one family’s way of connection, over food at dinner. We’ve had homemade franks and beans (I used the crockpot!), shrimp tacos (yay Maine shrimp!), and kale avocado salad (you can’t go wrong with pickled onions!). But this lunch-making contract is hilarious reading.

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It was my birthday this week: I’m 38. Lots of special surprises and beautiful cards, a yummy dinner out with Mr. Crafty, and family snuggle time. Perfect.

in our hands

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On the needles: Hitchhiker Shawl

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In Sylvan’s Hands: Hand-dyed, embroidered handwork bag

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On the table: Lola Arts

On my mind: Downton Abbey Season 3, producing regular amounts of academic writing, keeping the house neat(ish) for potential buyers, Skate Club (dusted off my rollerskates and pads), birthday #38, yet another repugnant brown frozen winter.

On my bedside table: The Count of Monte Cristo (1st time read) and Howard’s End (re-read).