Monthly Archives: April 2011


Since last post the family went to Texas for a visit, I attended shearing school in Vermont, and Easter happened, all worthy of mention, maybe even pictures.

But much, much more exciting: today, April 27, 2011, my older son learned to ride a bike. Fear is a greater hurdle to him than many people, so I had quietly despaired that he would ever learn. However, on the way home from school on this fine spring day without any bugs out yet, he said, “I don’t know how to ride a bike, but if I did know how to ride a bike, today would be a great day to ride a bike.” So we stopped by the garage, picked up his bike, and through a little judicious use of force (after he got on the bike and started panicking), he rode by himself. After dinner he learned to get started by himself. Now he just needs to perfect using his brakes rather than trying to stop with his feet, and we’re well on our way to giving him money in the summer and sending him down to the general store to pick stuff up (also fun biking around with friends). I suppose I should acquire some sort of bike basket. I’ve never seen a basket on a boy’s bike. Are they not supposed to get sent to the store for things or something?

Score one for the little guy and me!


Nick of time

The snow is leaving; the spring, she comes. And yet until last week my little son had only one new mitten (he has other mittens, no DCFS please). He loved his new mitten, wore it all around the house, and yet it took the ending of winter to inspire me to make another little mitten to keep his hands warm.

I started these one day when it took me forever to find a pair of gloves in the mitten/glove basket because they were almost all black. No good!

Here’s the pattern, for my reference as much as anything (mittens I knit tend to just not fit the way I wish they would. These ones are perfect for 2.5-year-old hands, so I think they are worth documenting):

Various scraps of worsted weight wools, size 3 dpn’s

CO 30 stitches in 2-colors using long-tail CO — CC1 (light blue) below and MC (red-orange) above. Drop the initial slip stitch off needle. Join using the slip-stitch-over method, leaving 28 stitches.

Cuff: 15 rounds of corrugated rib with the knit stitches in the MC and held in left hand, purl stitches in CC1 and held in right hand.

Base of hand: Drop CC1. Switch to stockinette. Using only MC, increase evenly around to 32 stitches. Knit four rounds plain.

Thumb gusset:

-On next round, K2, pm, M1, K1, M1, pm, K to end.

– K one round plain.

-K2, sl m, M1, K3, M1, sl m, K to end.

-Next round is knit plain, but add CC2 (dk green) to the mix – Alternate CC2 and MC each stitch.

-Using CC2 only, knit around, increasing thumb gusset as established above – 7 stitches in thumb.

– Alternate these two rows until you have 11 thumb stitches. Then knit three more rounds in pattern (one round CC2, one round alternating CC2 and MC).

-Slip thumb stitches to waste yarn. Drop CC2.

Hand: Using MC only in this round, CO one additional stitch over thumb hole.

-Join CC3 (lt green) – Alternate MC/CC3 for three rounds.

-Alternate CC3/MC for three rounds.

-Alternate MC/CC3 for three rounds. Drop CC3.

Mitten tip: Using MC only, K3, K2tog all around.

-K plain.

-K2, K2tog all around.

-K plain.

-K2tog all around.

-Tie off.

Thumb: Pick up 11 held stitches using MC. Pick up 4 additional stitches over the inner edge of thumb – 15  stitches total.

-Knit one round MC only (knitting through back loop as it seems necessary).

-Join CC3 (lt green) and alternate MC/CC3 in a gingham-type pattern for 5 rounds. Drop CC3.

-K plain one round, MC only.

-K1, then K2tog all around (8 stitches remain). Tie off. Both mittens the same.

-Secretly pray for just a little more snow, a little more winter. Wish later you could turn that request off when it snows every day the first week of April.

It is lovely to knit something that is loved. Even though he won’t need them much more for outside, he and his brother have developed a very surprising love of boxing, and winter mittens are required. I think they just like to take off their shirts and strut around with mittens on. I’m not sure where they picked that up, unless Brad behaves very differently when I’m not around.



  • I’m headed to Texas tomorrow, where there is no need for mittens.
  • DirecTV came today and installed an HD receiver so we can get “local” channels. It turns out the new receiver can’t talk to my ancient TV. So now we have no TV function. During March Madness, when there were frequently groups of neighborhood men in the living room squinting at the small, low-res TV, Brad started getting self-conscious about the state of things, screen-wise (Brad! self-conscious about electronics! Weird!). So he was happy to find out that now we HAVE to go buy a new TV. Neither one of us has ever bought a TV, having had old crappy ones given to us instead. Uncharted territory. I suspect that for the guys at Best Buy, our entry into the TV-buying population will be like the opening of a can of tuna is for a cat.
  • I changed to the cheapest (lamest) TVprogramming package a couple of days ago. So I guess we’ll just watch, um, the Kung-Fu Panda DVD on our new big(gish) screen. I think it’s time to try NetFlix like all you regular ‘Mericans.
  • Writing Club for Teens is still fun. They are still coming and they are writing both at the meeting and bringing in their writing to share. It isn’t all about death. The main topics seem to be love (or lack of it), despair, and zombies. Also how you can go live in the Adirondacks in case you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world. I was unsurprised to find that the kids did not recognize Mad Max references, but even the name Nightmare on Elm Street flew past them. Really? I mean, I’ve never seen any of those movies, either, but at least I know who Freddy Kruger is. Didn’t he found Kruger Grocery or something?