Over here

Whoosh! Was that a whole month flying by? Yep. Many things have happened, many blog posts have loitered on the fringes of my brain, and absolutely nothing has come out of my fingers here at Whistling Girl. This is partly because a person can only do so much writing about knitting, and all of that energy for the month of June has been dedicated over there. (There’s a little essay in there, too, and more to come for Brooklyn Tweed.) There’s plenty of knitting, but I can’t show it to you, so that’s Dullsville. Which leaves us with kids. Now would be a great time to ply you with photos of my part-time cherubs, one of whom just turned two, but I’ve been pretty lazy with the real camera. I tried to get a few shots of the birthday festivities, but the best one of the party boy, character wise, is laughably out of focus:

untitled (6 of 21)

A big plastic wading pool is, apparently, the smartest $20 you can spend on your children. They badger me to fill it before they’ve even had their cereal in the morning, when the dew is still on the grass and the sun is nowhere to be seen and the mercury hasn’t been chivvied past 56 (that’s Fahrenheit, international friends).

untitled (19 of 21)

They also acquired some $6 water squirters at a friend’s party and it’s been one of my chief joys to watch our Jolly master the technique of pulling back the plunger to suck water into the squirter, turning to me to affirm, “Not ‘pway Mama?” and then attempting to hit the garage roof. I won’t post photos here because he prefers to undertake his marksmanship in the buff, like the ancient Greeks, and this is the internet, and one day he might want to run for ninth-grade class president or apply for a job. So you’ll have to put the image together for yourself. Picture one of these fine fellows doing something like this, with fierce expression and manly thrust.

What else? I did some sewing. I actually pulled off an entire woman-size dress in three days, and I’m rather chuffed about it, but haven’t roped my husband into photography because life has just been too busy. And in fact I’ve never showed you his completed Christmas shirt. Note to self: Bring said items on vacation and take pictures while the children romp with grandparents. Oh, here, I also sewed a baby dress:

untitled (3 of 21)

Pattern: A free one from Anna Maria Horner via Janome. I made the largest size for our wee friend Kira, who turned one. Ada picked the fabric from my stash. I really intended that brown magnolia print for her, but there’s still enough to make something of it. I did a blind hem for the first time and whiffed it only a little… one day I’ll wrap my head properly around the concept of stitch width and which dial controls it.

What else? Soccer! Much World Cup love chez WGK. Ada can tell whether it’s going to be a corner or a goal kick (though she still calls the chap arbitrating the play the recipe); Jolly’s spectacular at yelling, “Come on!” He also charms us by kicking a ball under the piano and shouting, “Big kick! Ah win!”

Sweet days, all in all, flurried though they are. We have momentous plans for this summer—construction, international travel, a new job for Mr. G, much knitting and writing for yours truly. But I’ll try to be here in the interstices. Here’s to long light and summer babies and outdoor supper with friends and mojitos from the mint barrel.


Easter2014 (4 of 5)

Easter2014 (3 of 5)

Easter2014 (2 of 5)

Easter2014 (1 of 5)

Easter2014 (5 of 5)

The big one: Too quick to capture with manual focus. The little one: Watchful, intent. When he realized that chasing his sister around wasn’t the point, he was just as good a finder as she was. And his squeals of glee upon spotting an egg… I’ve folded them into my heart to keep forever.

And yes, he’s wearing a shirt that says “big sister.” I fished it out of the bag of outgrowns so he could wear something spoilable for egg dyeing. And now he doesn’t want to wear anything else. “Pink! Me! Heart!” (There’s one dotting the i.)

We left the egg hunt until late in the day, choir having gobbled the morning. Afterward, a first-of-the-season dinner with the neighbors in their garden. The light is lingering late enough to knit outdoors when the littles are in bed. How I love spring.


I always looked down my nose at siblings who wore matching outfits to school when I was a kid. Where was their sense of individuality? Were their parents to blame for this indignity? I’d secretly change in the bushes rather than suffer that oppression, I told myself—not that my parents ever would have suggested their children should dress alike. We wore whatever we pleased as long as it wasn’t unreasonable filthy. And yet I found myself sewing a skirt with a couple of eager onlookers.

“Mama, when you finish your skirt will you make one for me?”

“I will. What color would you like?”

“Purple. Will you make me a purple skirt? With pockets?”

“I’d be glad to.”

“Jolly, you like a purple skirt, too?”

He gave me his most solemn, round-eyed look. “Ja,” he said. (Because apparently he is a German toddler. He can say “yes” in the context of “yeh pleeh!” but it’s always “ja” when he doesn’t stop to think about his manners.) What mother could resist?

PurpleSkirts (1 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (2 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (3 of 8)

I used Anna Maria Horner’s “All Set” skirt pattern, size 5 for Ada and size 2 for Jolyon. (I didn’t account for the bustle effect of a fat cloth diaper, and neither did Anna Maria, so his is pretty comical in shape.) The fabric is from the talented Rashida Cole (purple) and Lotta Jansdotter (gray). Here are my skirtlings in action:

PurpleSkirts (4 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (5 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (6 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (7 of 8)

PurpleSkirts (8 of 8)

Yeah, we need to paint our garage. But it’s so tough to get photos of this fast-moving pair that I didn’t much care what backdrop they picked.