Friday, September 21, 2007

Peace, baby!

Today is the International Day for Peace and I thought I'd knit a little somethin' somethin' for my Lolo to commemorate the occasion.

Presenting a new annypurls original pattern: Peace, Baby! Because really, when it comes right down to it, what better ambassador for peace than an innocent child wearing a hand knit pullover his mama lovingly made for him while he napped?

I think about peace, a lot. It's the mother in me. We are so lucky to live lives where we have the luxury to worry about stupid things like gauge and matching dye lots. And really, I don't think there is that much more than luck that separates me from a mother who is right now trying to protect her child from the savagery of war while mine are napping safe and sound. I just happened to be born here. That's it really.

During the Lebanon conflict (was that last year or the year before? I forget already) I saw a horrifying picture of a toddler, alone, crying in the middle of the street surrounded by crumbled buildings and the image will forever be seared in my mind. Julian was about the same age as this boy and I recognised that look for fear and helplessness in that child's eyes and I just wanted to jump into the photo, wrap my arms around that boy and never letting go. I imagined it being my son, separated from his parents as this boy was (were his parents injured, or worse?) while bombs dropped out of the sky and men brandishing weapons ran around, not one caring about his poor frightened soul. Just remembering the inhumanity of it all opens the floodgates.

This is not a political statement. It's not about who's fault it is, what's justified, or who's side I'm on. It's about one thing. Peace. It's about recognising that we are all one and that we have a responsibility to those who right now lay in war torn countries or refugee camps and who can only dream of peace.

My little sweater started out as a cute little keyhole sweater for my lemondrop to wear, but my hope is that it turns into a meaningful gesture of support and compassion for those who dream of peace.

Look for more details in the next few weeks as I work out extended sizes from newborn to preschooler. All proceeds of this pattern will go directly to an organisation that supports mothers and children who dream of peace. Whatever I can do...

Peace to you and yours ;0)

Monday, September 10, 2007


The past couple of weeks have been kind of a blurr and I have so much to tell you about. Some sad knitting stories, some great big huge moments of my own, and real estate developments with my Jubilee Bubilee. We also were busy little bees getting ready for Logan's baptism which we celebrated during mass on Sunday.

It was a beautiful ceremony. Lolo was all smiles thoughout, looking intently at Father Gavin and even reaching out to hold his fingers during the ceremony. It was very sweet. Julian was terrific too and as a treat, he got to go up to the bell tower and ring the bells for his brother at the end of the mass. It was really special and I was filled with pride for both my sons. It was a beautiful moment. We then had everyone back at our house for brunch and had a really nice time.

And didn't my lemondrop look beautiful in the gown his father and brother wore to their baptisms? My mother in law made the gown for my husband when he was a baby and I'm so honoured that both my children got to wear it too. I had hoped to have Logan baptised in the same church where my husband and Julian were baptised and were Stephen and I exchanged our wedding vows, but sadly that chapel has been sold and is being torn down (see note at the end of this post for the whole sad story).

I wanted to knit a little something something for Lolo to wear with his gown. I spent hours looking for the right pattern and not having found it, decided to design my own. I had an idea for a beautiful capelet and bonnet and settled on the madeira lace pattern from one of the Barbara Walker Treasuries. It took a few days to knit. It was my first time knitting with bamboo yarn and I was completely smitten with its luster, drape and hand. It was a tad split-y but definately worth the extra attention because the result was incredible...until I wet blocked it! Bamboo doesn't like to be wet blocked as it happens and all the beautiful body and luster of the bamboo became a stiff, stretched out of shape, limp disaster. Not good. I cried. All that work. All that time. And sooo not heirloom worthy!

So I took out all my books again and planned another project. I just couldn't decide. Too much pressure to knit an heirloom. I started poking around the web and found this cute little set and started knitting the booties and bonnet out of stash Dale of Norway Baby Ull On US1 needles! It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to knit the bonnet!

I finished it on Thursday night. Tried it on my Lolo only to discover that it was too small and that he really didn't like the feel of the yarn. And I did't cry so much but was angry and mostly stressed out that I only had 2 days left in which to knit AND tidy up the house AND prepare a brunch buffet for 25 people!

But I didn't want to let my Lolo down and was determined to knit him an heirloom. So I planned for a cropped cardi of my own design knit from the same bamboo (no lace = no blocking so I figured it would be okay). I had planned to embroider his monogram on the back and to knit a bonnet with an embroidered cross on the back. I knit and knit and knit. And knit some more.

I tried all my tricks to stay awake and finish it in time. It was 2 am on Saturday night...only 7 hours before the start of the ceremony when I finished the back, both sleeves and one of the fronts. I started seaming what I had and even taught myself crochet for a fancy scalloped edging, then crept upstairs to where all my boys were asleep in my bed and delicately tried the sweater on my sleeping angel only to discover that...the sleeves were too narrow!

Argh! I was so upset that I couldn't sleep. I'm a knitter. That's what I do. All the time. And I got in my own way a lot and not for lack of trying, my son had nothing to wear with his short-sleeved gown on a chilly September morning... Not to mention, no heirloom baptism knit to pass on to his children. The pressure really got to me and having 3 disasters in a row has kinda shaken my knitting confidence a bit.

So my plan for the day is to stash dive, find a fool-proof project and get back on the saddle before I lose my knitting mojo again...

Any suggestions?

* And now, a sad church story for anyone curious as to how it is one looses their church!

Our chapel was on the second floor of a private school which used to be run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. They sold the building to a private enterprise a few years ago and rented the chapel space from the new owners and everything was as it has always been. But this spring, the new owners decided to convert the chapel into a library for their students and gave our parish a 90-day notice after which we would no longer have access to the chapel.

It was so upsetting to me that not only did we have to find a new place of worship, but that this one which had been a pillar of our community for so long (almost 40 years) and which has been the cornerstone of so many important moments in our own lives would be torn down and exist only in our memories. That chapel is where Stephen was baptised, where we celebrated every holiday together for the past 10 years of our courtship, where we were married, and where our Julian was baptised. It was also where we prayed with Stephen's parents most Sundays since we were married three and a half years ago.

It had beautiful stained glass windows and artfully arranged lighting which both our children delighted in when we went. And I will always have fond memories of that church. I had hoped to have Logan baptised there as well but it wasn't meant to be and so we waited to get settled into our new church (rented from a neighbouring parish) to have Logan baptised. And even though we had tried so hard to do it at the old place, in retrospect I am glad we didn't in a way, because now the new place holds a special place in our hearts too ;0)