Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yarn along..and a few 'answers'

Knitting along with Ginny this week...
Some finished projects to share!

First, the Cappucine hat. Ah, it's probably the most awesome hat I have ever owned. And an easy pattern, too! I used an unbelieveable 1 hank of Noro Furisode; thinking all the while that I would never have enough to finish the project with the tassels and all. Surprisingly enough, I had a good amount left over! I purchased this 50/50 silk and wool yarn at our local knitting store which is a dangerous 3 blocks from our home.
Trust me, friends. You are going to want this hat for your own. It is warm, soft, beautiful and fun to knit.

I also finished seaming up W's 2nd of 4 sweaters I am knitting for the Fall; the Sideflap sweater from Knit Picks. It was an easy knit until one odd section which I needed some serious help with. I brought this project to the knitting store during general class hours and even the teacher was stumped. In the end, she figured out another way to get past this very strange hump. This was my first real "stitch and bitch" and it was so much fun! I've never had more fun with old ladies; drinking wine out of paper cups and all...I'll be back next week:)

I noticed a few questions in the comments section lately that I feel I should address...

One thing I am wondering, I know that during the week you have lots of little ones.Do you mesh your daily work with them, do you drop certain things you used to do, do you work in your own hobbies/crafts somehow?
A great question that surely deserves an honest answer! I mesh nearly all of my housework with the little ones. It may take longer, but it is so worth it. My main goal of the playschool day is to set an example of purposeful work for the children to imitate.  When they do this, they are imitating life. I find that I get so much more housework done when the children are about because I am aware that they are watching me. If I were on my own, would I be ironing all of my dishtowels? Probably not. But, because of the children, it is now part of my weekly rhythm and they come to expect it. It is also lovely to have a basket full of crisp and pressed towels, I think:) The children enjoy cleaning the kicthen floor using rags as "ice skates" and my floor has never been more clean. The broom is pushed across the floor numerous time a day along with a song. It is presented as joyful work and part of life.
I have a weekly cleaning schedule of my own when the children are not with us, such as vacuuming, sanitizing the bathroom, kitchen sink, etc. I do most of this when W is in bed or when Jay is home from work.
As far as hobbies/crafts, my main handwork is knitting at this time. I do this when W is in bed; this is my "free time." I probably stay up way too late, but once I start, I find that it is hard to stop. Jay will tell anyone that knitting has taken his place, and I am working on paying more attention to him; the poor guy!
During playschool days, I embark on handwork that is purposeful, such as knitting a dolly blanket, fixing a broken toy, mending clothing. I put scraps from my work in a basket so the children can imitate this work in their own way.

The silks look beautiful. Silk is a wonderful material I love it. But I struggle with the fact that all caterpillars die in the silk industry. How do you think about that?
That's a tough one. Back in 2005, I was a very serious animal rights activist. I spent nearly every weekend at protests and really tried to live out my convictions. I do believe that animals shouldn't have to die for our selfish 'needs'; the fur industry would be a perfect example of this. There's just no reason for it. If you would have asked me this question 7 years ago, it wouldn't have applied to me, since I didn't wear wool, leather, silk and abstained from any and all animals products. However, along my path, I met a few very radical people who changed my thinking...
I feel truly thankful for any product that comes from an animal, no matter how small or big. I'll never eat meat; I haven't in over 15 years, but I've come to be "ok" with other animal products, such as textiles, etc. A wool sweater that keeps a child warm is something beautiful that can be used over and over again. A silk cloth which inspires hours of imaginative play is something to be very thankful for in many ways. Warm beeswax which beautifies a home and the senses is something to be in awe of. I try to think of the sentient beings which these things have come from and to me, it is a full circle. Some of you may think that I am a hypocrite for being an ethical vegetarian (and former vegan) but still using other animal products, but this is where I am in my life journey right now. And this makes sense to me.

...Really enjoyed this post. It felt so relatable to read about the struggles as well as the joys :) Most days I look at this blog and think- this just isn't reality. I know most blogs focus on only the joys but it just seems too perfect here some days. So thank you, again, for sharing.
Well, I'm not sure how I feel about this, and to be honest, it's kind of been irking me the past few days. Is this blog "reality?"
It is. I am a positive person who loves the beauty in life. What helps me to see this beauty most is children...being around them, caring for them, listening to their voices, helping them through their struggles and seeing them emerge all the better. Would I have had so much beauty and spirit around me 10 years ago? Certainly not in the same way. It would have been much harder to find.
This blog serves as a live journal and possibly an extension of a teaching portfolio/resume. I want to remember these days, good times and bad times alike. However, I am hesitant to put too much personal information about myself or family "out here", as I feel it is just not wise. I enjoy a good rant here and there, but I like to focus on what is beautiful in my life. And there is so much.
I strive my very, very hardest to provide an idyllic setting for the playschool children and an idyllic childhood for my son. I feel it is their right and my responsibility. I pay close attention to detail, such as smells, placement of toys, the fibers of clothing, quality of food, because it is my job and my joy, both as a mother and care provider. I take both jobs very seriously. I try to convey that in this space. 
Is every day perfect?
Hell no.
Some days I feel overwhelmed. Some days I feel like I am trying to please everyone but forgetting so much about myself. We all feel like this from time to time. But 9.5 days out of 10, I feel incredible.
In closing, I still find it hard to believe that anyone reads this blog regularly. It's so nice to read your thoughts and comments and I take them all to heart. Thank you for sharing this space with me!
Love, Your Friend,


  1. as always it is lovely to read your thoughts and see what has been going on in your home and setting. I know what you mean about the blog being a work portfolio too. Mine is the same. i do put some personal stuff on but nothing ranting. Mainly play with my own children over the weekends. that sort of thing.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Hello dear friend, I have so enjoyed reading your thoughts on all of these topics. We are all learning, growing, finding our way. Your striving shines through in this beautiful life you are creating.
    My children, my family, my home and the work that I do here, that is my joy too. I love the way you put it.
    I wish I could more eloquently share my thoughts, but for now I will go knit and contemplate instead...

    And soon I will write to you with a skirt update. I just got a little preoccupied with beginning our homeschool year and bushels of apples, things like that...

    Sending love XOXO

  3. thank you for the sweater link and for the wonderful openess and honesty that you share here. I love your positive attitude and I find it so inspiring :-) hugs Laura x

  4. Thank you for sharing the links.I am a socker for hats.just love them :-)
    And also thank you for your honesty.

  5. Oh my goodness Rebecca ! I am in love with that hat ! you can really knit mama !! Ok - that's it -- you've INSPIRED me ... i am going to the wool store and i am finally gonna learn to knit ! i have tried half heartedly a few times -- but that hat is enough to make anyone more patient ! Maybe - i'll yarn along with you and Ginny .... thanks for the inspiration hun! light and love xoxo

  6. Hello Rebecca, Thank you for your posts and for answering these questions. They help us a lot on this path Bear and I are taking. Take care.

  7. I remember you posting about what a beginner knitter you were. My how quickly things change! Beautiful! I want to see more pics of the hat!!!

    I find it odd that we assume that the negative, or the bad days are truly what reality is. That bad experiences are the stuff of life. I mean I've been sucked in by that idea at times as well. I think we all have. It's beautiful to think that life is really in the wonderful, love-filled moments. Not perfect human moments, But moments where we are touched by the divine- love, good, truth- this IS reality! Now I've waxed philosophical. Just something I've been thinking about lately.


  8. Rebecca, this is wonderful.
    I've been a bit irked over the past year- there seems to be a "their blog is too perfect" accusatory tone circulating around cyberspace, as if people cannot believe in someone else's peace and happiness. My blog is also a positive one, I share what I feel to be moments of beauty and peace and hopefully inspiration throughout our days. Of course we have some difficult times, but they do not dominate, nor are they for the publics' eyes and ears. Also, I am a very optimistic person as well, and choose not to dwell on the difficult times- we work through things as family. Also our privacy is important to us. I feel it would be horribly disrespectful for instance to my children to relate difficult times we might be having with one of them. I also try to write my blog with them in mind, keeping their dignity preserved- sharing what I know they'll feel comfortable with.
    I find your blog to be so utterly peaceful and full of joy, and so very real too- that's why I love to come here. And the reverence with which you regard children, it is priceless today.
    Love, Melanie

  9. PS LOVE your knitting projects!!! Don't you just love garter stitch sweaters on small children? Are you on ravelry?

  10. Thank you for your response to the questions. When I first camne across your blog about 8 months ago I remember thinking "wow, this woman is so peaceful and has such a positive attitude. Can it all be real?" But having read your blog religiously (I LOVE it!) it has become so clear to me that this is who you are. You have a peace and serenity about you that is so obviously genuine. And anyone who reads carefully will soon realize that you have challenges too. It's how you respond to them that makes you different from a lot of people - you try to remain positive and work around them. I loved hearing about W wanting to nurse during your puppet show. That's exactly what my 2 year old might do. And it would really fluster me. But reading your post reminded me that I can respond differently. And that is my choice. So thank you for being so honest, but also for demonstrating a better way of being, an attitude that can truly transform the way we live.


  11. I'm really so sorry to have offended or "irked" anyone! That was not my intention with that comment! Just recently on Facebook (which is my blog, of sorts) I had a friend tell me I am her mom hero because she sees my life as me and my children and husband "living in a perfect little cottage with sweet children who help me bake pies and do yoga every morning before reading poetry in the organic vegetable garden". Of course that's not how it is. I choose to share only the beauty in my life and save the rest because I know that the rest is the same stuff that's going on in everyone elses lives- never ending laundry, a mind heavy with adult matters, struggles with disciplining the children and family that doesn't understand our slightly alternative lifestyle among other things. I understand why you write about the things you do on here and I come here every day for inspiration. I admire your lifestyle and strive to run a household as peaceful as yours seems. I never meant to say that this blog is not your reality, I was saying that some days it just doesn't seem real because it all looks too good to be true. I was encouraged by the fact that W was just being a kid and didn't listen when your Aunt and Uncle were asking him to stop throwing the apples. Some days I come here and think "wow, those kids all look so well behaved and I'm sure she never has to raise her voice or threaten or..." The "Gone Picking" post reminded me that you're just a normal person too. I am so sorry for the misunderstanding and I hope this clarified my comment for you.

  12. Wow I am in awe of your knitting Rebecca! I knew W's sweater must have been a mamamade, it's gorgeous!
    I'm so sorry that you felt irked about someone's comment, remember to focus on all the encouraging kind words that support what you are doing here and how you live. It is truly a gift to be able to find the joy in things and not let the troubles in our minds take over. Treasure that gift my friend!
    ~ joey ~

  13. What a lovely post. So nice to read a little more about your home and life :)
    Your blog is so beautiful and inspiring.
    Love the hat too! It looks so cosy.
    Your "stitch and bitch" session made me smile... paper cups, wine and all! Sounds like my kind of knitting group :)

  14. Hi Rebecca,
    I've never commented before, but I just wanted to say that there are even "anonymous" people that read your blog regularly! I open yours every day to see if there is a new post, and I appreciate how often you write.
    Thanks! Helen

  15. Thank you very much for your answers!
    I think I mostly agree with you on the "silk issue". I try to use it very little. My children have shirts of wool with silk. And I sometimes use silk in a story that I play or on the nature table. It looks a magical, has a beautiful shine. I was very curious what your idea was about this. Thanks again!

  16. Thanks for answering my question Rebecca. I try to get my children involved, but a lot of the time there is too much bad attitude or fighting etc, and they are at school. My toddler however enjoys helping me (sometimes too much!) and she meshes ok into my work.

    My current handwork is knitting too! I have knit three sweaters so far for my children, working on mine and have another to go. I get sidetracked and want to start new projects constantly though! Needle felting looks soooo interesting, but it has to wait till my other stuff is done :)At least I tell myself that, we'll see...

  17. cute screens :)

    Do you following me? I follow you :)

  18. love your knitting Rebecca. I think its so important to everyday look at the positive. I love that about your blog. I know that no ones life is perfect. Everyone has something, but its how you choose to look at it, be content and move forward that will make a difference in the lives of the ones around you. I think you are such a blessing to those little kids in your playschool. They will look back on their days with such fondness!

  19. Oh, I think I'm going to have to make that hat too! It's really lovely :0)


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