Tuesday, November 11, 2008

presenting...THE. YARN. CABINET.

Drumroll, please...

Ta-da! Here it is, my little corner of the world. A 1930's curio from a local antique place here. Stuffed full of knits, but getting a little bare in the yarn category (no, seriously). Here are some close-ups.
Mounds of mittens (and a few legwarmers, jingly balls, and a scarf or two)

Sweaters and scarves

Stacks of hats

Wool by the cone

Ahhhh...mohair and cotton (and a little wool)

Baby booties.

Newborn booties.

Umm...did I mention the booties?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

one of my favorites

Have you read The Ox-Cart Man? We discovered it last spring and I loooove it. It's a sweet picture book about a family that lived in the pioneer days (maybe just post-pioneer) living off of what they can produce and selling the extra for what they can't produce. There are vegetables, split shingles, wool, knitted mittens(!), candles, honey...it's just beautiful. My top recommendation lately. I think it appeals to the romantic in me who loves the idea of such a lifestyle, but I'm so grateful I don't have to butcher animals, pluck feathers, and do laundry by hand. I'm no vegetarian, I just don't like raw meat. I've begged off doing the turkey for thanksgiving this year because of the whole naked dead bird thing...gives me the heebie-jeebies. Twisting those wings back to tuck them under just about puts me on the floor.
I love to read and I'm in the middle of Sense and Sensibility right now. Every time I read anything from Jane Austen or others from that era I am just amazed at their lifestyle. Having only two or three servants was considered poor! Can you believe it? Huge houses, estates, bedroom suites, and yet...few rights for women, rough transportation, and, as some friends and I were discussing the other night, you only looked good in the fancy dresses if you had enough cleavage to fill them out! So I'm glad I'm living now and not then, either. And...I suppose...I do have a laundress (Mrs. Whirlpool), a couple of cooks (microwave and oven, fridge and freezer), and a maid (the dishwasher, the vacuum). And don't forget the real toilets. Phew.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

a couple of gifts

Our anniversary (11 years!) is next week, and as an early gift Vince gave me a laptop. We don't buy big expensive gifts for each other, and we usually pray pretty hard over most purchases over even $100, so this is a big event! But it was one of those "gift for you= gift for me" kind of deals, because now he gets to go on the (old) computer whenever he wants and doesn't have to fight with me over it. And I have a new computer, all to myself. Sort of. But I'm still trying to figure out new programs, and the littlest things drive me crazy - like how the photos upload differently, and you preview things differently, and how the mouse is one of those little rub-pad thingies that scroll sometimes, click other times, and sometimes just sit still if you didn't speak nicely enough to it. So...all that to say, he has been on this new computer almost as often as I have been in order to fix all of the quirks in it (read: downgrade it to the same quality as our old-school computer so I won't be tempted to throw it out the window).

We made another big purchase last week, too. After months of garage sale-ing, antiquing, thrift store hunting, and craigslist searching, we finally found the yarn cabinet I've been praying for. And old 1930's kitchen hutch is now dominating our living room and I love it! This, too, was one of those "gift for you=gift for me" things, because a variety of knitted baby items and knitting accoutrements were beginning to take over our closet -- and it's a nice walk-in closet, so we're talking serious yarn storage problem here-- and Vince was going to start finding knitted baby booties on his sock shelf if we didn't take drastic measures.

But now we come to the part of the blog where I have to explain why I have no pictures to show you ...and did I mention how helpless I am with technology?

The pop-up blocker is set up and I can't even figure out how to get a picture on here. Surely there is fancy geek jargon for what is wrong with my brand new computer, but I don't know what it is. Unless it's just pathetic operator error (guilty!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

new venue, finally!

Okay, now that the Etsy store is up and running I'll be better about updating this...like I need another reason to spend time in front of the computer, right?
Huge, huge, groveling thank yous to my beautiful friends and their adorable children for helping me do this. And to my hunky husband for techical support, moral support, child support (well...that didn't come out right, but you know what I mean), and everything else. And to my kids, my favorite models, for trying on various knitwear (pink or not, as long as it fits!), having their heads, feet, hands, and everything else endlessly measured, and doing school and chores without (too much) complaining...most of the time. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

let the preparations begin...modeling outtakes

The frantic prep has begun for both going online, getting ready for a Christmas show, and continuing to keep stock up at some local stores. These are good problems, I know...but I am the least tech-savvy of all people on the planet and even figuring out how to work PayPal has introduced a new conundrum to my life (please, stop rolling your eyes).

Getting enough good photos has been the biggest challenge, but I'm blessed to have some patient and generous friends with adorable children who have helped me out. And I have my own live-in models, also, which has been immensely helpful...though coercing the four-year-old out of her favorite neon green tank top and into something a little more -- shall we say, neutral?-- has been challenging at times.

Presenting hat outtakes, Summer 2008:

What did you say? You want me to move my feet?

No, Mom, my hair's okay. Really.

This one looks like an ornery booger, but he's mine...my first baby. And really, not so ornery. Mostly.
This is Afton, who I fervently hope was not eating a bug here.

And Iree, cooperating --sort of -- in a white shirt (and not a tank top!). Almost a victory!

News forthcoming regarding online ETSY store...stay tuned!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christmas, a few months early

In the middle of a drizzly, cold summer I just needed to work with reds and greens! These sweaters and hats are already at NonEssentials, but the little bitty stockings are with the growing stockpile in my closet, getting ready for the Raven Hall Bazaar in October.

Monday, July 7, 2008

new items and a new venue!

Sweaters and hats...now available in machine-washable wool! Many people like acrylic because they say it is washable. It is washable, but not recommended for babies because the same element that makes it so very washable also makes it very flammable, and not something most of us want on our sweet little ones. Wool is naturally flame resistant, and natural fibers are, in my opinion, just the way to go. So until now, most of my things were only hand-washable. After all, you wash the baby by hand, don't you?

BUT! Now I have this amazing wool that is machine washable and very soft. And I have a cooperative model willing to pose for me. Meet Mattie. He's more patient than his younger sister, and was even willing to put on the pink hat for me (just for a minute) so I could check the sizing. What a guy!

NonEssentials in the Downtown Palmer Plaza is now carrying Baruch's Lullaby. They also carry some of my other favorite things: coffee, tea, pottery, balsamic vinegars, hand-made jewelry, jellies and sauces, candles...and the last two times I've been there, they've fed me samples of blue cheese, cupcakes, chicken and rice with coconut sauce, and I can't remember what else. I had to turn down the proffered cup of coffee because I had just finished my quota of caffeine for the day and anymore would have put me over the edge!

Shown: 6-12 months sweater, 6-12 months hat, 3-7 yrs. hat

Saturday, July 5, 2008

photo shoots

This is Ireland with her new bag, packed full with her treasures and stuffed animals.

I think she's a bit camara-happy, she hammed it up so much that most of the pics were blurry. Vince and I were on the front porch, coaching her, "Stand on this spot, honey, turn that way, and look at me!" We'd get the right angle and right as I was taking the picture she'd start jumping up and down, waving her bag, pulling on her hair...while our neighbors drove by, staring at us.

And this is my little friend Annika, who started (and stayed) pretty little but is now a filled-out chunky monkey, finally fitting into her hat. She didn't jump up and down during her photos, but we did have a hard time getting her to stay in an upright position. We'd prop her up with pillows and zoom in, and she'd slump over right as I was clicking the button. I did get a good close-up of the stitch definition on the hat, though!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

sold out!

On my daughter's 4th birthday a few weeks ago, we stumbled into a beautiful local shop called Mimi's Closet. Imagine the most enchanting walk-in closet possible, with gorgeous linens, cotton dresses, silk scarves, and...you guessed it...sweet baby things. I ogled, touched fabric, drooled at little-bitty crocheted lace edgings, chatted with the woman behind the counter, and left my card. I called back a few days later to talk to the owner, who was gracious with both her time and her business sense.

Then...we met last week to discuss carrying Baruch's Lullaby products, and she snapped up ALL of my sweaters and all but two pairs of booties (insert hysterical screaming here)! Fortunately, I have a whole drawer-full (spellcheck, please?) of stuff to be felted, including about a dozen more pairs of booties. Locals can find Mimi's Closet in the Meta Rose Square in Wasilla.

The other new venue is Lotus, an almost-brand-new shop that is florist/coffee shop/gifts all in one, and the gifts are all locally made. I love the partnership of supporting a small business that turns around and supports so many others. Lotus is in Wasilla at the corner of the Parks and KGB, across the railroad tracks, and next to Three Rivers. And if you don't know what any of that means, you're not local and probably can't get there anyway. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

making change

"Culture is most profoundly changed not by the efforts of huge institutions by by individual people being changed." ~ Chuck Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict

Thank you to everyone who supported Baruch's Lullaby and the Anchorage Crisis Pregnancy Center last Saturday at the 21st annual Spring Tea! Anchorage's CPC has seen real change in the lives of women and families because it has offered a real hope and real choices to women who need truth and love instead of a destructive escape hatch. At the tea we heard from Kayla, an incredible 16-year-old who has more guts and authenticity than most of us of voting age. Her story thrilled me, and I am so proud of her and the people who are on the frontlines everyday at Crisis Pregnancy Centers around the country. And I hope baby Autumn loves her knitted dress!

Baruch's Lullaby is still taking custom orders from the tea and will still send 30% of the sale to CPC for those who attended the event. We'll make change together!

Friday, April 18, 2008

real knitters...

People have a lot of opinions on what it takes to be a real knitter, ranging from "can hold two needles for more than three minutes without dropping one of them or skewering anything" to "can knit a project requiring at least six itty-bitty double-point needles and possibly an alcoholic beverage."

Way--yull...I made requirement number two!! (Which, I have to say, I think I am better at sometimes than requirement number one) This is a glove for my husband (he has two hands, but this is the first one and the second is still in the ribbing stage) which I have finished (finished, meaning it now has fingers and a thumb) but have been too lazy to take a photo of so far. Will get to it once I have a matching set. And I know the photo only shows 5 needles (notice they're two different sets?) but that was before I started knitting the fingers. And since I'm working like mad to get ready for CPC's annual Spring Tea, it will be about three more weeks before you (or me, or my husband, for that matter) get to see it.

Unfortunately, I think we might finally be out of snow for the year --after 8 more inches last week!-- so the gloves won't be of much use.

At least, until next fall.

Unless we get snow in May.

Like we did in April.

Monday, March 24, 2008

we share our blankies in this house

This is the same blanket in that photo on the right, but two years later and snuggling the toes of his big sister.

We had a cozy and busy day rearranging our entire house. Seems that when you move somewhere, you can't just put a computer any old place you want it, unless where you want it happens to be where a cable jack is. And...well...it wasn't. Where we wanted it, that is. So for the last several weeks we've modified our plans until the magical day arrived...and we got something called a router (did I spell it right?). People who know things about computers (not me) told us that if you get this amazing router thingy it will let you put a computer anywhere you want it and still have internet connection and all that. So. We got one, tried it out...and it didn't work. Apparently you need to have a card or cartridge or a different computer or just spend more money to get a router that works with our computer. Aha. We returned that one and spent a little more, waited another week and the REAL magical router came. And worked. No kidding! But we had to do ring-around-the-rosie with a buffet, an armoire and a bookcase to get there. And so...here I am in the kitchen --which is where my computer was supposed to be all this time until tech-reality interfered with my grand plans -- and smelling leek and potato soup simmering on the stove (if you check the time, yes, we're having dinner at 10 pm. This is pretty normal for us). Have a terrific night!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

warm little leggies

In which we feature the feet of one of my favorite models...if you look real close, you can see stray mohair clinging to her toes.

And one of my other favorite models -- a big two year-old!! -- stretching in his sweater.

Friday, February 29, 2008

the new shipment is in!

Our mailman is wonderful and hand-delivered this to our door on Tuesday instead of making us go to the post office for it. I was sick, wearing no makeup, and hadn't seen another human being outside my immediate family for 48 hours, but I could've hugged the guy (though I'm sure he's glad I didn't)! Those twisted hanks (sorry, hope no one reading this is named Hank) are waiting to be turned into the previously mentioned legwarmers.

This is waiting to be turned into my almost-two-year-old's birthday present (since his old sweater now shows off his chubby midriff):

And I am waiting to be turned into Elizabeth Bennett for the umpteenth time. The last two hours of Pride and Prejudice awaits! Goodnight!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

we're back online!!!

I hate websites that are neglected and not updated for months on end...don't you? (sheepish grin) We've now moved to the Mat-Su Valley and the dust is finally starting to settle, and with a fast internet connection (we had dial-up before) I may be unstoppable. Look out!
We had a five-month transition from one house to another and I just couldn't bring myself to order more yarn until we were in the new home and totally unpacked. But we're in now and I made my order today, and who minds unpacking new yarn, anyway? Not me! I'm most excited about a handpainted mohair blend (to non-yarn people: that means striped, fuzzy, and very soft) that I'm going to be making little leg warmers out of. My daughter has finally gotten into wearing dresses (that's her in the pic, modeling her hat and mittens for me), but she goes through tights like crazy. Tights are like socks, and need to be washed after every wear due to little dirty feet. My solution is leg warmers, which, unlike tights, can be worn over and over again, providing the little princess keeps the play-doh and orange juice off of them.