not quite picture perfect

Today I just want to cry – in fact, I have…a few times. I want to curl in a ball and not come out.

This morning I came up the stairs to my husband turning my son around so I could see his face and his handful of hair. He had cut the front right off. I know – most parents have a story of at least one of their kids doing this and it does grow back. I know it is only hair. But I still just want to cry.

It isn’t going to be an easy fix. I would have been fine with trimming it or even cutting it short – in fact I ask him every few weeks if he wants to trim it as it does fall in his face a lot. So far he’s decided to keep it, “long and beautiful” which makes me happy because it really does suit him long. But this is not going to clean up easily. He took out the full thickness and it’s REALLY short on one side.

The thing that pains me the most is that I finished my sweater last night. The one I’ve been desperately trying to get done so we can get professional family pictures done for the first time in 2 years. The one that I love so very much and is fall colours. The one that I bought sweaters for the rest of the family to match. The one that took so long because the little one has been getting teeth and had thrush and a sore throat and I just couldn’t find time to knit because my arms were full. And I received a gift for my patience. The weather forecast is beautiful next week and perhaps it could happen after all.

And now the middle one looks goofy. I mean, I’ll take him to the hair dressers’ and we’ll fix him up as best as we can (recommendations for places are welcomed)…but these pictures that I’ve been so excited about and for which I’ve put so much effort into getting ready will not be what I was imagining.

It’s hair. He’s still exactly who he was yesterday even if he looks a little goofy. It will grow back. It’s just not quite picture perfect…

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Tappan Zee Because Mom Loves Me

* This is my first knitting post and also the post where I get to talk about my awesome mom. Sorry if I make you jealous that you don’t have her but as many of my friends can attest, she’s a great mom-of-a-friend too!

A few months ago, I did something really challenging. It brought me great stress and anxiety. A week later my mom was out of town at a little fabric and yarn shop (As she is a quilter, she was there for fabric – but knows how much I love yarn…) She decided to get me something while she was there. Knowing my mom, she probably went over every yarn in the shop to find the perfect one for me. And she did.

The next time she saw me, she brought me a bag containing the 6 most lovely skeins of Manos Del Uruguay Merino Silk Blend Yarn that I ever did see. They were soft and squishy and colours that I could easily put on any of the three kids or myself. She knows that I love this line of yarn because of the story (click here to learn more about the Manos Del Uruguay Project) and because they make lovely yarns. I have felt this particular yarn before but have never bought it because of the price and because I have such an awesome stash I usually can’t justify another yarn store purchase.

She also gave me a lovely note that told me that it was a gift not because it was a special occasion but rather just because she loves me and is proud of the person I am. She knew how much I needed to hear that right then and it made the gift a very special one.

It had the same copper as my daughter’s hair and would look lovely on her. On the other hand, it was a blend of colours that my boys often wear. I hit Ravelry that night to figure out what I could make with my present. I knew I wanted to start knitting with it right away. I was pretty excited to find out that she had bought enough for me to make myself a short sleeved sweater. It felt a little bit selfish to use it for myself and to devote a few months’ worth of my limited knitting time to a sweater for me when neither of my sons have hats that match their snowsuits and there were a few baby showers coming. But I chose to make myself my very own Tappan Zee (a pattern by Amy King) out of this amazing yarn anyways. And I don’t regret it at all!

I got gauge with sz 7 needles knitting flat, knit the size 42, and made a slight modification to the underarms to allow for the girls. I used up 5.5 sk or 275g of the yarn. I also made button holes all the way down – requiring 8 buttons. I did not do the chart repeat at the bottom but instead did the single lace row at 13 inches when the chart would have started (this paragraph really is just for my records!) I will likely make this sweater again as a pullover or mock cardigan with ¾ sleeves.

I was hoping to get this done in time for a family picture session this autumn but a teething toddler messed with too many evenings worth of knitting and too many nights worth of sleep. I finally finished the knitting last night and the buttons this morning. I love how it looks and it’s like hugging a cloud (well….a dry one.) Having said that, what I end up loving most about this sweater is that the whole time I worked with this beautiful yarn, I was reminded that my mom loves me, is proud of me, and understands what I was feeling.

You see, if she had saved this yarn until Christmas or my Birthday, it would have been the same yarn but it would not have been the same gift.

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