Wednesday, March 01, 2006

hodge podge

I'm running on a bit of an adrenaline rush right now and lack the focus to find some witty way to connect all the topics I want to blog about... so a hodge podge post in list-n-pic format it shall be!
  • My best friend (of Crunch Ali Om Yoga Bag fame) just gave birth a few hours ago (hence the adrenaline rush) to her second child- a baby girl!! She opted not to find out the sex of the baby, so we were so thrilled to find out that it was, indeed, a girl! (Oh, the Debbie Bliss baby girl knits to contemplate!) Mom and baby are doing well and the next few days promise to be busy ones as I will be babysitting her older son (Bossy's best bud!) while she recuperates. (Sorry, I kind of feel like that was an SNL General Subliminal paragraph!)

  • The Ribby Cardi of blog harakiri fame is progressing well. The back is completed, as are the two front panels. I'm working two sleeves at once on circs and am about 1/4 finished. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my next post will include pics of a completed and modeled Ribby Cardi! That, of course, is barring any unforeseen disaster with zipper installation, which I am a little apprehensive about. Any suggestions or advice (other than, "better you than me, sucker!") would be much appreciated!
  • On a more serious note, if you have the time, please consider knitting an 8" X 8" blue afghan square for Christine's brother, Jef. Jef is battling cancer and this afghan, infused with so many knitters' support and love, will be sure to bring him warmth and comfort during this difficult time. Christine is such a sweetheart, and it breaks my heart to think about what her family is going through. Please see Christine's blog for further details.
  • Today is the kick-off of lovely Lolly's Project Spectrum!! Pink and red fever are spreading through Blogland like wildfire- it's infectious! I set this yarn aside especially for Project Spectrum March and hope to finish at least one of the two intended projects before the end of the month. The red Cascade Sierra is for a Vittadini twist top and the pink Crystal Palace mohair/merino is earmarked for one of those ubiquitous Flower Basket Shawls that I just can't resist. I've also hauled out my cardstock, scrapbooking embellishments and papercrafting supplies to get started on my postcard for the Project Spectrum Postcard Swap. I'm really looking forward to exchanging crafty snail mail with my swap partner! I also have another pink project planned for tomorrow... but more on that at the end of this post!
  • After almost half a year of blogging (tempus fugit!), I finally have a blog button, thanks to wonderful Kimberly over at The Giving Flower. She creates such fun buttons and beautiful crafty items that I joked with her about making a blog button for me, not expecting her to actually take me seriously. What a sweetie! Thank you, Kimberly!
  • Several weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a contest over at Plush Knits and received this wonderful prize package from Michelle this weekend. Art Yarns Supermerino (in a gorgeous red colorway....hmm, potential 2-for-1 Project Spectrum and Sock-A-Month KAL material!), red Ghiradelli chocolate (which I'm hiding from myself), a wonderful Green Canyon Spa face care kit and beautiful stitch markers. I love it, Michelle!! Thank you so much for the lovely and generous prize!
  • Finally, tomorrow, March 3 is Girl's Day or Hinamatsuri, a day to celebrate girls in Japanese culture. Traditionally, parents or grandparents present dolls to their daughter or granddaughter at birth, which are then displayed annually during Hinamatsuri. My granparents presented me with a doll, and likewise, my parents presented Stinky with a doll just days after her birth. (Pink and red everywhere, Lolly!)The Japanese kanji next to Stinky's doll can be read as either "beautiful blossom" or "she will blossom in beauty." I guess my mom felt Stinky needed extra assurance, as the coned head and lack of hair didn't bode well for her after birth. I think Stinky's finally living up to the second kanji interpretation. ;-) It is said that it's unlucky to leave Hinamatsuri dolls on display past the 3rd, as it may forebode a delay in marriage. Growing up sansei (third generation Japanese-American), we celebrated Hinamatsuri with many traditional treats, such as mochi and hina-arare rice crackers (pictured next to Stinky's doll). Following suit, tomorrow, Stinky, Bossy and I will be whipping up some pink mochi for Hinamatsuri- sticky, sweet, yummy fun! We'll enjoy eating and sharing it... especially with Crunchy Ali's beautiful new baby girl!! Happy Girl's Day, everyone!

42 comments:

Jo said...

Congrats to Ali on her baby girl :) Girls are so much more fun to knit for! I miss seeing all the little girls dressed up for the festivals in Japan. Some of my friends and neighbours from Japan have sent Willow the little yukata outfits, but they seem strangely out of place here on the east coast ;) The only time she has had a chance to wear it them in public is when I taught her preschool class some Japanese.

I wish I had joined Project Spectrum - but I'm afraid I have more than enough on my plate these next few months.

Good luck!

Jenn said...

What a neat tradition - love that your culture celebrates being a girl!

You are kicking my butt with that ribby cardi dear! I'm hanging my head in shame right now!

I've been planning a pink FBS for myself too, what is it they say about great minds? :)

Have a great day! Go treat yourself to a piece of chocolate - it's girls day!

Scoutj said...

You need t oget that On Skein book for baby swag!

Also, you're making me feel guilty about my UFO Ribby... *Sigh*

Karen said...

How exciting - a baby girl!!!! I'm convinced that Heidi is having a girl too, although I won't knit anything pink until after the birth (which will now be on or before March 21st - how soon depends on her blood pressure stress tests today). Ribby Cardi is looking great - you're knitting so fast!! That's because you're a good knitter who doesn't have a dozen WIP's going at once. Argh, zippers, I always had trouble with them on regular fabric - so the thought of knit fabric scares me so. You'll have to let us know how it goes. Love your pretty pink and red yarns - I'm so excited for Project Spectrum to be starting!!! A button . . . I'm saving it now! It's so pretty!! Love your wonderful prize package - enjoy all that goodness. And lastly (since my comment is almost as long as your post) thank you so much for telling us all about Hinamatsuri. I loved reading about it and love learning traditions from other cultures (Russian, Asian and Indian have always been my favorites). I think it is so special that you and your family keep the traditions alive. I should make a point to honor my Italian culture more - since my grandmother died we don't keep up the traditions like she did, but it's so important to pass along to the next generation. Have fun making the mochi (but be careful, I read on your link they are a choking hazard. And thank you so much for your e-mail - it made me feel so much better. I'll answer soon, I promise!!

Chris said...

Wow, what a great prize! You are SO covered for the Project Spectrum colors this month. :)

Have a wonderful Hinamatsuri tomorrow - I love the idea of pink mochi!

amylovie said...

Your button is fab! Don't you feel all official now?!? :)

Amy

Alison said...

Wow, all that red and pink! Wonderful colors and Ribby looks like it's progressing very nicely.

(I LOVE Ghiradelli chocolate, especially the really dark kind!)

christine said...

Oh, Chris, you are indeed one of the knitting angels.........thanks. (teary-eyed)

Jennifer said...

It's a pink and red extravaganza! I love it!

Reading about Girl's Day is very interesting! I prefer the translation, "She blossoms in beauty." Very poetic. And mochi... Yummy!

Talitha said...

Happy Girl's Day to you and all your girls, too! I want a baby girl to knit for, I'm so jealous! I just found out yesterday that my best friend's is to be a little boy (yay!) so, still no pink frillies in my knitting future. Perhaps that should be my project spectrum project! Then, even though it wouldn't be for anyone I would have an excuse to knit it. Oh the brilliance!!!

carrie said...

oh, i need to get moving on project spectrum. your yarn looks fabulous.

Beak-Knits said...

Thanks for sharing about Girl's Day!!

My brother is engaged to a girl form Japan, and will be moving to Tokyo after they get married in May. We're looking forward to learning more about Japanese culture...fortunatly she is very patient with all our goofy questions!

Happy new baby!

Agnes said...

Thanks to you, I joined the Sampler Stole KAL. It seems that March would be a VERY BUSY month for you!
Mmm ... I love mochi! Yummy.

msubulldog said...

Yay for babies! The happiest days are when babies come. :)
As for the zipper, I am in the process of installing one in a sweater I knitted for Aaron and really like the tutorial at And She Knits Too!. I'll cross my fingers for both of us!
And, how timely that you should post about "Comforting Jef"! I emailed Christine yesterday about a square for Jef's afghan. I figured with a boy around the house, I should have plenty of blue yarn to spare for such a great cause.
Have fun with Project Spectrum (such a great idea) and Happy Hinamatsuri to Stinky! :)

Mrs.Curvy said...

Happy Girls's Day!! Your moving right along on your Ribby. It looks nice! I'm glad you like your gift(hugs).

e said...

ahhh, it's so nice to be back in the land of blogs and yours is so inspiring that I just had to post a comment...without having much to say except, Thanks!

kimberly said...

What a great package you got!! I love all this pink and red floating around everywhere-I just happen to be in a red phase, so I'm very pleased with it!!
I've got the Ribby pattern and can't wait to knit it, but I'm trying to be good and finish all my UFOs first. Aren't you impressed? This means some real discipline on my end. Oh hell, this is hard seeing all this great stuff being knit. I can't wait to see how your Ribby turns out.
Your button looks great. Did you get the other button? I thought the shadowing on the letters looked better on the other one.
I adore that Japanese tradition!! Well, Alida has about 50 dolls, but I guess that doesn't count.
Congratulations to your best friend!! I'll stop writing now and leave some room for others. ;)

Kim said...

Wow--all kinds of exciting news today! You got some great yarn--I can't wait to see it all knit up :)

JessaLu said...

Congratulations to your friend!!

Great progress on the sweater :o)

MORE prizes? Holy Crap!

Happy Girls Day :o)

Teresa said...

Ohhh-a baby girl-how wonderful!! Can't wait to see the new knits for Project Spectrum...that pink is just gorgeous. What a wonderful tradition 'Girl's Day' is, and that you are honoring and celebrating it with a new generation!

And look at you rockin' that new button-sweet!

Take care, and good luck with that zipper-I am in zipper attatchment hell right now, so I feel for you sister!

xo,
-T

Olga said...

Hey, Amanda! Isn't that quote about "the happiest days are when babies come" from Gone with the Wind?

Anyway, Chris, lovie, this is a drive-by comment (time crunch, sorry!). Yay! Flower basket shawl! Yay! Girl child! Yay! Ghirardelli chocolates! Yay! Love that doll tradition! Yay! Mochi!

Judy said...

Happy Girls' Day! Where's your doll, we want to see it too. ;-)

Loving all the pink and red action in blogland right now, even though I didn't get around to joining Project Spectrum. And how exciting to have a new baby girl to knit for!

Sonya said...

Hinamatsuri sounds like such a wonderful tradition! And a new baby girl in your circle of friends at the same time. Perfect! Your ribby cardi is flying along. I bet my progress pics would be a lot better if I didn't knit 2 rows on 5 different projects every night. ;o)

Your prize package looks fabulous. My eyeballs went right to the chocolate. And then that gorgeous Supermerino. Wow. Love those colors. Have a great day, Chris! I hope Bossy and his best bud aren't running amok.

Leah said...

Wow! I got an adrenaline rush just from reading the post. Congrats on your friends baby (which makes it congrats to you)!

Your red and pink fibers are dee-lish!!

myra said...

Wow! Lots to take in. Looks like you have a full month of wonderful knitting ahead. And congratulations to your best friend!

I love Stinky's doll! I hope you all have fun making mochi today and have a wonderful girls day!!

Lolly said...

What happy and sweet news for your friend! Congratulations to the family - and to you for having another little girl to knit for ;) That is so fun! Auntie Chris! Your Ribbi sure is knitting up quickly. Such a functional and pretty sweater - it is hard to find one that is both! I can't wait to see more. You are set for Project Spectrum, and I have to say, I can't wait to see what you make. The yarn you got is lovely, and I know your postcard will be fun too. Cute new button too!

Have a great day, sweety Chris!
Love,
L

Terby said...

Cool tradition! Your blog is all about pink and red today. I'm blown away by the speed of your progress on your Ribby Cardi- mine was pokey to the point of my banishing it to the closet. Have a fantastic day, Chris!

Stricken madchen said...

Your cardigan looks great! And what a fun prize! I'm beginning to wonder why I haven't joined Lolly's Project spectrum? The yarn you picked out for your projects look very yummy. ;-)

Lynette said...

Congratulations to your friend on her newest bundle of joy! I'd be interested in finding out how "that all" went...I am an anxious/excited mom-to-be too, of a little girl. The Girls Day tradition sounds so endearing. I've never heard of it before but that's the sort of thing that's missing in American culture - we don't seem to appreciate or respect the bonding between mother and daughter like that.

Oh, and your knitting/yarns...I'm impressed with all that you've got going on, you're still churning out these fantastic knitted goods. You go, woman.

knittinmom said...

Holy random stuff, batman! You have got a lot of yarn in those pics (and it seems to all be in the pink/red family - hmm...)! Congrats to Ali - little girl clothes are the cutest, aren't they? Can't wait to see that finished Ribby Cardi!

Dina said...

Congrats to your friend and her baby girl! Can't wait to see your cardi, though I feel your pain, all-over rib is not the most inspiring pattern to knit. Also can't wait to see what you have brewing for Project Spectrum! Cool button and prize too -- bonus week! Happy Girls Day to you, Stinky, and everyone here. And in celebration of Hinamatsuri tomorrow, Nugget and me will go shopping :)

Have a fun weekend!
Dina

AmyArtisan said...

What a fun entry Chris! I can't wait to see your red & pink plans come to completion this month. :) Thanks also for sharing about Girl's Day - what a neat thing to learn about! :)

Say said...

Congrats on your friend's baby girl!!! And your new blog button!

I remember (a million years ago) being obsessed with short stories about children from around the world, one of the books being about children in Japan. I remember vividly the Doll Festival and another that had to do with girls and cherry blossoms (?), although my frantic memory isn't bringing it back any clearer for me.

Happy Girl's Day!

debbie said...

happy girls' day to you and stinky! my eyes zeroed in on the ghiradelli dark chocolate - an addiction of mine at the very moment....oh, and congratulations to your best friend on birth of another girl! i also joined the postcard swap and am turning ideas over in my head.....

erin said...

Enjoyed your post today, so many funs things. My parents went to Tokyo some years ago and bought this Japanese doll for my daughter. Ahh, now I know it is for girls' day. Enjoy your babysitting, I also get very excited when someone close has a baby!

Bitterknitter said...

Congrats to your friend! I'm looking forward to all the red and pink loveliness you are sure to create! The ribbi cardi is looking great, and 2 at a time sleeves are really the only way to go, IMHO. :-) Thanks again for all the goodness and kindness you spread around "Fyberspace" Chris! You are an inspiration!

Catherine Kerth said...

wow! what a beautiful doll, and that tradition is really wonderful! i just ordered the pattrn for the flower basket shawl, and i got pink mo hair for it too ;) how cool is that? you got some fab. goodies thanks for sharing them, and congrats on your friends new baby girl!

Sandee Yo! said...

Your ribby is looking fantaboo! I haven't installed a zip in mine and still haven't decided whether I want to put one in or not. I was thinking maybe hooks n eyes instead (mine is a funky blue color so oni hahd match da zippah color!).

Congrats on the baby girl to your best friend!

Thanks for reminding me that it's girls day...shame on me for almost forgetting. You and Stinky have a GREAT day!

Sheryl said...

Oh, so much to write about. I have missed reading your blog - life in Yarntopia-land doesn't leave room for much else these days. Wow to everything. What a cool Japanese tradition. Happy Girl's Day to you.

Jenn said...

What a beautiful tradition! I'm so many different things that we don't really celebrate any cultural traditions. Happy Girls Day!

So how did you go about hiding that chocolate? The only effective way that I can think of to hide chocolate from myself is to bury it in the backyard.

Congrats to your friend and her family! Hope you have a great weekend.

Cathy said...

Congratulations Auntie Chris! Little girls are so much fun to knit for - endless possibilities:) The new button is great, Kimberly really is a sweetie! - The cardi looks fantastic, I can imagine it getting a lot of use - it looks so warm and inviting. Your gifts are lovely and the dolls and treats are a wonderful tradition - thanks for sharing - I love learning about different traditions :) Happy Girls Day Chris! Enjoy!

lexa said...

My husband doesn't like me being around baby girls - he says it may, "give you ideas". (We have two boys, but I really had hoped the second was a girl. Ultrasound proved otherwise.) Anyways, my oldest had parent/teacher day, and one of his classmates has a two-week-old baby sister. What a little cutie! Knowing my luck I'd have another boy! (I suppose as long as it's healthy it doesn't matter what you get!)