Goodbye, Summer

It’s that time again – back to school. Jerry and Maggie started today. Unlike last year, I didn’t spend the day crying thank heavens. For me it was a mix of happy, sad, and rushing to get ready last minute. Jerry is going to a new school for 5th grade and the bus came for him first.

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Yeah, it was too early for actual sunlight. Good thing I grabbed my flash at the last second! Considering he is going to a school where he doesn’t know anyone, and will be in a more challenging environment, he was surprisingly calm. I’ve been thinking about him all day and I hope he’s doing well!

Maggie, sweet Maggie, started first grade today. She popped out of bed with a smile on her face and didn’t stop talking for one minute. She is excited about school. Her teacher said they will be having a classroom pet and that is obviously the most exciting news in the entire world. We did not know if Humphrey the Hamster would be there today, but I’m sure I’ll get a full report when she gets home. Her bus was late so we had time for more pictures,  in the daylight this time.

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Where does the time go, exactly? Because I’d really like to know. It feels like we just did this.

Happy school days, everyone! I hope it’s a great year!

the suspender sweater

new sweater

What you need to know about the pattern:

The pattern, Suspender Sweater, is from Knit One Knit All (scroll down), the posthumous garter stitch frenzy book by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I started this sweater over a year ago. Maggie was smaller then, but there were just a few adjustments needed to make it work with her current size without starting from scratch.  The pattern is written as a regular pattern (with regular directions like, “cast on…sts”) but also has all the information necessary to adjust for any gauge and any size. I figured out my gauge using Nature Spun Sport on size US 4 and went from there.

I experienced a lot of trouble with various aspects of this project, none of which were anyone’s fault but my own, I assure you. First I had trouble picking up stitches. Then I misunderstood the meaning of the word “center”. Next I knit the first sleeve too narrow and didn’t admit this until the sleeve was almost fully knit. After that I knit the second sleeve too long, and really there is no excuse for that sort of thing when you have the first sleeve (complete with easy-to-count stripes!) to compare it to. Finally, I had to unsew one of the woven (garter stitch kitchener) side seams and re-do it because apparently the direction in which you do that trick matters.

But from the very beginning of this project I pictured the finished sweater and thank goodness because that is a lot of roadblocks to overcome. I knew this sweater was going to be The Cutest. And finally this morning I saw the results of all that knitting, unknitting, reknitting, ad nauseum. It’s exactly as cute as I hoped it would be.

What you need to know about the pictures:

Maggie likes the sweater much more than she likes modeling the sweater for pictures. I really wish you could have heard the monologue she performed during our 10 minute photo shoot. It was a lot of “Wouldn’t it be good if we went on the tire swing?” and “I’ll be right back, I need to get my bird!” and “Let’s go over here!” and “I’ll put on this bonnet!” until I was exasperated and had to remind her that I was in charge of the pictures and please do what I say!

Maggie did her own styling, including props.

I took a bunch of pictures and a lot of them are posted here. There are even more in the Suspender Sweater set on flickr.

First, a picture of the underarm; the sleeve (top) is a sewn seam and the side (bottom) is the woven garter stitch. Details. They matter.

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And now the model, my Maggie.

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new sweater

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new sweater

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new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

One last picture. When I was ripping out the first sleeve Maggie drew me a surprisingly accurate schematic in order to help me get it right the next time. I was sort of blown away.

Maggie's surprisingly accurate schematic of the sweater I knit her.

I got it right, Mag! Finally!

Birthday Girl

Well, Maggie turns SIX today. I’m so excited to have such a sweet six year old girl, but I also can’t stop thinking, “My, how time flies.” The first picture here is Maggie at two days old.

Day Two

First Birthday (in her Pea Pod Baby sweater…I no longer have the pattern, so please don’t ask.):

Maggie's first birthday

Second Birthday:

two.

Near her Third Birthday (I Heart You sweater) (wtf why can’t I find actual birthday party pictures?):

i heart you

The day she turned Four:

birthday girl

Fifth Birthday:

Five!

And yesterday, at her 6th Birthday Party:

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

She did not get this bike for her birthday. It was the training wheels that were new, and she was beyond excited. There was also a new horn for the bike. We all went out last night to ride her bike for the first time. She was amazing, until she fell off; then she was forlorn.

My favorite picture I took of her yesterday was a knitting-related one. I’ve been meaning to get a picture of this sweater, because every once in a while she puts it on.

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

The sweater is the February Baby Sweater that I knit for her when she was one. ONE. And it looks better on her now than ever before. Although I do love this picture from April 2007, shortly after her 1st birthday.

February Baby Sweater

It has been fun, if a bit teary, looking back at all these old pictures. But I need to stop so I can get ready to go to her classroom with cupcakes.

Happy Birthday Maggie!