Island

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This one has island blood. He shrieked to be free of his carrier as soon as we scrambled down to the beach. I lowered him to the sand and he was off to explore.

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This one needed some food before she was ready to brave the slippery seaweed and the chilly water. (In fact, there was a whole week that felt like an endless succession of meals punctuated by the declaration, “I’m STILL hungwy!”)

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Jolly couldn’t be bothered with a bathing costume. In he went.

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Oh, that island of mine. I’m never ready to leave. Ada, though, was missing her own home. Despite the beach, despite swimming in the lake, stalking deer with a gaggle of other little people, cooking out with friends, exclaiming over the cows every time we passed their fields, eating ice cream and watching the ferry churn away from the dock, staying up late for live music, and riding the patient horses at Plum Pond, my girl was asking to go home to Portland. It’s a little sad to know our deepest roots won’t be sunk in the same soil and that she may never love the island in her marrow the way I do. But there’s time for her to claim a second home as she grows. And I’m glad she loves the life we’ve made for her in the city.

I have a souvenir of this vacation: a finished sweater! I stuffed the ends I hadn’t woven in up the sleeves and made my husband pull the car over on the way to the ferry to take pictures before we left. Stay tuned…

Sand

 

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On Friday we went to the coast. It was a harebrained idea, loading my back seat with people whose combined years number fewer than the hours they’d have to spend there. (You may wish to incorporate this newly formulated Law of Logic into your own vacation planning.) But the bit where we were actually in/on Cannon Beach was brilliant. The sea was cold but good for splashing. Ada taught everyone how to make sand angels. (You execute them tummy-down, then scuff your feet backwards to make the tails — sand angels have tails — when you stand up again.) Jolly shrieked and flapped at the kites other beachgoers were flying. Tufted puffins abounded. Seagulls ate part of our lunch, but left us the string cheese and the vegetable-fruit paste pouches we call num-nums. And we supplemented with muffins from the Sleepy Monk Café.

Ada’s nap went awry on the way home and we got mired in traffic, but we were saved from the ensuing ugliness by eight cement mixers and The Highwaymen. No one can stay surly in the face of heavy construction equipment and ’60s folk music. By the time we finally reached I-84, Ada was cheerful enough to sing along and replace lyrics with “slice of cheese!” at random, to everyone’s amusement.

All in all, a good day. And I’ll be even more thankful to have a co-pilot along when we all head north to Friday Harbor for family vacation.

Vortex

My life seems to be orbiting an ever-growing cluster of babies and their needs at present. This is basically always true, given the two I’ve got at home (especially when they’re sick, as they are this evening, poor mites), but two very special new ones have joined our solar system in the last couple of weeks. One is a nephew by blood and the other is a nephew by knitting sisterhood. Each sweet fellow’s little project came off the needles the day he went home from the hospital; photographic evidence is shoddy. But this will keep Mateo warm this autumn:

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The oft-knit Pebble vest by Nikol Lohr was a favorite for my own babies and I hope it will serve this new family as well as it did mine. I even got the buttons on the correct shoulder this time! This edition is knit from the delectable Swans Island Merino Alpaca, which has to be among the most luscious yarns I’ve ever handled. It’s like homemade bread still warm from the oven. I can’t tell you how it wears yet so I’m not ready to take the expensive plunge for a sweater for myself, but I’ve plenty left over to knit a swatch and beat it up. The color is Oatmeal and it looks good with absolutely everything.

Stephen, when he grows quite a bit larger, will be sporting this:

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This one is my own design and I’m planning to grade it for larger sizes and send it around to testers later this summer. It’s a scholarly little raglan cardi (you’re looking at the back here) knit — uncharacteristically for me, but with good reason — in pieces and I’ll have more details to share soon, I hope.

Dear Stephen and Mateo, grow well. Nurse like champions, sleep like logs, charm the socks off your families. I love you, little scrumptious boys.