Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Feelin' Epiphanic

Here we are, then: Epiphany. The finish line. I cleared the triple hurdle of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve with no more than a bruised knee and periodic outbreaks of flop sweat.

Magi PWNage

And how, my dears, are you?

Are you perhaps thinking, as I do, that it might be nice if we spread the winter holidays out just a shade more? Frontloading all the Big Stuff into forty days is an appalling strain on the nerves, not to mention the finances.

It also leaves one staring forlornly across the frozen tundra without the comforting beacon of even one really good all-inclusive reason to get down and boogie. Valentine’s Day is for couples. St Patrick’s Day is for the Irish. Easter is too damned early in the morning.

And when I speak of the frozen tundra, remember that I live in Chicago, where global warming is something that only happens to other people. Come March, when we could really use it, the holiday glow has long since fizzled to a heap of dead ashes. So we huddle indoors, eating and drinking too much–kinda like Christmas, except that without decorations and presents and Very Special Episodes of “Gossip Girl” it’s mostly just depressing.

I haven’t felt my toes since late November. And according to the scum-sucking hag weather lady* our present blast of cold air is about to be supplemented by an additional blast** plus a blizzard.

At a time like this, knitting ceases to be a fiber art. It becomes a martial art. Me and my yarn versus frostbite and cabin fever. And if Old Man Winter throws down with me, he’s going to get a US 7 right in the groin shins.

He'd better steer clear of my posse, too. Especially this one.

In the Kitchen
"You know what would be great in these?
A slug of bourbon."

In case you don't recognize her, that is my Exceptional Niece Abigail,™ just a shade over two-and-half years old and already a dab hand at mixing our family's traditional butter cookies.

I arrived at Abigail's house in a gray mood, disinclined to rock around the Christmas tree. She was such a tonic to my nerves that a few days later, when Santa landed on the hearth rug, I forgot to kick him in the nuts shins.

One highlight of my stay was a guided tour of her stuffed animal collection. What began in 2007 with a cow and a bunny is now the largest private zoo in the Western hemisphere. It rivals, both in numbers and biodiversity, the population of the Serengeti Plain.

But the animals are as nothing when compared to the babies. Abigail has in her care enough infants to make Mrs. Duggar pay a call on Planned Parenthood. They're quite literally everywhere. On the couch, the windowsill, the stairs. Under the kitchen table. In the bathroom. They drip from the eaves. They clog the gutters.

Spot the Handknits
"Let's play Count the Handknits."

To keep track of so many, Abigail has had to eschew traditional names like Wilma and Cherise in favor of more starkly descriptive labels like Naked Baby. This is Naked Baby.

One Doll
"Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form."

Naked Baby arrived wearing clothes, but they were removed within minutes and haven't been seen since. Her only concession to modesty is this burping cloth sarong, which I think makes her look like a mendicant Buddhist nun.

This is Hair Baby, so called in recognition of her crop of brushable, tuggable hair.

Another Doll
"Mama says I'm the pretty one."

I also met, but neglected to photograph:
  • Purple Baby, whose sewn-on purple pajamas saved her from being christened Naked Baby II.

  • Pink Baby. As Purple Baby, but in pink.

  • Band-Aid Baby, who has an oval logo on her knee that looks like a Band-Aid. (Abigail is fond of Band-Aids and often applies them decoratively, like temporary tattoos.)

  • New Baby. No longer, strictly speaking, new; but retains the title out of courtesy.

  • Mexico Baby, who short-circuited after falling down the stairs and now speaks only Spanish.

  • Pajama Baby, who came in a car seat. We expected she would be christened Car Seat Baby, but Abigail likes to throw a curve ball now and then.
Christmas Knitting

Christmas knitting was very subdued this year. No great plans, no big surprises.

Last year, I knit my first pair of mittens as a gift for Abigail. Through the entire Maine winter they kept her hands warm and dry, and they wore like iron; but by first snow this year, she'd outgrown them. So I presented a new pair.

Mittens 02

These are improvised along Norwegian lines, by way of Elizabeth Zimmermann in Knitting Around. The orange blossoms are out of left field. I think Dolores slipped something into my Virgin Egg Nog.

Mittens

Not fancy, but she seemed taken with them and they've already seen action.

Snow Art
"I call them Romulus and Remus."

There was also a sweater, of course. Here's a peek, while I await the full photographs of her in it. If it looks familiar, it's because you've seen it here once before.

They say they want to eat our brains.
"Get off my front porch before I call the cops."

I made some small tweaks to Abby's version, because apparently I can't even knit my own patterns as written.

I've been thinking about and working on socks, too; but more about that after I've polished off the last box of chocolate. (If you eat Christmas candy after Epiphany, the calories count.)

*I know. The weather lady is just doing her job. But I hate the way she smiles when she says, “Stay inside or die.”

** Thanks again, Canada.

115 comments:

Aidan said...

Just this evening I vowed to hunt you down if you didn't post soon.

You dodged the bullet again.

She is six ways to adorable, isn't she!

Hope all is well. Hope we can catch up soon. I need you to show me how to do something. Although I read the instructions (with yarn and needle in hand) I still can't wrap my head around knitting on a lace edging. And in 23000 stitches I have 1152 rows of edging to knit.

Happy New Year, Dear Yonkel.

anne marie in philly said...

we are fine, dear one, and as cold as you are. you have been missed!

ENA has grown sooooo much! she is a smart one, just like her unka fwank!

don't be a stranger; drop around here more often! and bring dolores and harry too!

janna said...

Abby's so grown-up! Thanks for sharing with us! But for some reason this post says it was posted on Dec 29, not Jan. 6...

Tasha said...

Lord, I laughed until I cried. Franklin, I've missed you.

meezermeowmy said...

What you need is a good dose of Louisiana. The balls begin on Epiphany (12th Night) and go on through Mardi Gras.

THEN begin the 40 days to endure.

Which are followed by 50 days of Easter, party again!

Life is good!

Alwen said...

Man, they grow fast! (I used to hate it when the aunts would say that - now I am one of them.) My own little baby is halfway to eleven. Eleven! I think I need some of Abigail's bourbon.

hokgardner said...

My daughters have similar names for their babies. We have: naked baby, psycho baby (because of an unfortunate washing incident), blue borrowed baby, pink borrowed baby and bitty baby.

And down here in Austin, the weather people are having fits about our predicted lows in the 20s - GASP.

Rudee said...

The mittens are absolutely beautiful.

Happy New Year. May a soothing Chinook wind blow your way soon instead of those nasty Alberta clippers.

adriene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

** You're Welcome!

Canada

theaudiochick said...

As a Canadian from Halifax, currently living in Ottawa: Sorry, but we had to share the warmth... er, wealth.

You're a joy to read dearest Franklin, keep on posting and I'll keep on reading.

-Cheers!

Penny said...

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend! Looks like you and us down in Central IL are not going to escape the snow....good weather for knitting!

JelliDonut said...

This was delightful, and much needed in the midst of our current snow storm. Happy survival.

Destiknit said...

Again, great post!

Mel said...

I was bummed our paths didn't cross this year, but it sounds like the holidays were action-packed for both of us. I'm very much in agreement with Sue about you and Tom needing to come visit in the summer. Two words - Ogunquit Playhouse.

Kathie said...

Two and a half??? When the heck did THAT happen? She's gorgeous :)

Slip, Knit... Meditate said...

You are the BEST UNCLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!

Sahar said...

And just when we thought we had Abigail's naming tendencies all figured out, she gave a little stuffed dog an Actual Name. Up til this point the animals, like the babies, just had names like Brown Bear, Wiggle Puppy, Spotty Dog, and Teddy Goat (What. It's from Tibet.) Out of the blue, two days ago, Abby began playing with Sahmi (Sawme? Somi? Dunno. She doesn't spell...yet). Sahmi is a blue and white puppy with a name tag that reads Tully (irrelevant, obviously) that she's had since she was a baby. Just thought you all should know. Oh, and Franklin's new sweater for Abigail is Positively GORGEOUS!

Lene said...

I am Norwegian, living in wonderful, but veeery cold, Norway. I am sure that Christmas were decided on just to make us survive the cold, dark season. However, no one tells us how to get from January to April... It's dismal! Knitting is sheer necessity.

Thanks for a wonderfully entertaining blog:)

woolpunk said...

I was on Aidan's posse I guess. It's so good to read your post-festivities post. Thanks for letting us in on your wonderful family all these years, and glad you're back, wit blazing as always.

Carol said...

Thank you for such an uplifting post. I hardly recognized your niece - so grown-up already. The mittens are just gorgeous as well. We'd love for you to join our January kal of NaKniMitMo on Ravelry. Mittens + cold weather = love and survival!

xx from New England

Carol said...

p.s. just read Sahar's post. Surely Abigail doesn't mean Salome for the dog??

Cheryl :) said...

She's adorable-- and so lucky to have an uncle like you. I wish my son had an uncle like you.

Meredith said...

Thank you, Franklin, for making me feel better about DC's winter. It's cold and windy, but it could be worse.

I love Abigail's mittens. The orange blossoms are a wonderful accent.

Susanne said...

We may be responsible for the weather that we merely call "winter"! BUT, at least we celebrate Thanksgiving when the harvest is ready, like early October. None of these "harried Holidays" for us...no, no...we enjoy our Thanksgiving Turkey and are ready to eat another one in late December.
Enjoy that cold weather!!!

junior_goddess said...

Uncle Franklin-buy a skein of pink. Pink is the unwritten retail rule of the land for all girl children who are to young for the prostitot (7-14) section of the clothing store.

You don't need a lot of pink. Just a little.

Erin said...

Delurking to say we should all be so lucky as to have a doting uncle to keep us warm with his gorgeous knits. :-) Nice to see you posting again!

JudithNYC said...

I like it when you are feeling epiphanic.

Leslie said...

OMG! Is that the "big Tupperware bowl" in its original yellow color? I saw THAT right away and had a flashback! MY bowl is school bus yellow and is probably 30 years old but I still remember, as a child, the yellow color.

Abigail is gorgeous and makes me wish my 3 girls were small again. I still remember sitting all three of them on the kitchen island with a bowl of frosting, cupcakes and plastic knives.......

Have a super day, Franklin! If you see my daughter, Beth, buzzing around on her black and baby pink bike, wearing black and a hot pink crocheted hat and scarf, tell her Mom says hi!

sue said...

Great to hear from you again - missed you during the long dry spell.

nosenabook said...

You've been having Fun! I knew you must be traveling but forgot the probable effects of ENA on your holidays.
BTW, I'm surprised we don't have more Baby photos to go with the list, by Royal Command!

Evelyn said...

What a man, leaves Chicago for a vacation in Maine. In the winter. Well, I live in Los Angeles, and during my long winter break, I have planned a trip this week to Maine to visit parents and sister, followed by a visit to daughter in Chicago in February. Why don't any of my friends and family live in the south of France, huh?

Dalila said...

Sounds like you had a great time!
It's good to have a dose of your humour again!

Pelagius said...

I did not expect to run into the Heart Sutra while reading about your niece's dolls. I laughed so hard that I spilled coffee on my pants. Gassho.

knittergran said...

Those mittens---not fancy??? They are gorgeous!!!
As is your sweet niece!

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. You provided the first hearty laugh I've had since this silly season began!

Kelly said...

Happy New Year! In Pre-Reformation Europe the "holiday season" continued with feasts and celebration through the winter, all leading up to Lady Day on March 25 (the "original" new year, and used as the new year in England until the 18th century) and ultimately Easter. Being Jewish we've got two holidays to help pull through the winter: Purim - costumes, noisemakers, booze, need I say more? and Passover- cooking, eating, and a 4 glass of wine minimum. Plus the added bonus of all holidays starting at sundown.

Marie said...

Your niece is delightful.
My daughter also showed similar creativity when naming her dolls - pink baby, blue baby, green baby. Now that she is older (8) she has taken to naming her dolls and stuffed animals after her school friends. It is endearing, although slightly odd.

Penny said...

Change in my plans for the weekend...I have had this respiratory crud since New Years and it just won't go away....it is probably better if I don't try and infect the entire population....sorry I am going to miss it, I was really looking forward to all three classes.

Kristen said...

You need Feb Club: a party every single night in February, no matter what. I'm sure you can enlist the help of some other foiks in Chicago to make it happen.

Thanks for the Abigail update, even if it does spook me to realize how quickly time has been flying.

Lynae said...

Looking forward to the photography class on Saturday!

Just an FYI to let you know that the baby dolls and the zoo will be around for years to come! My daughter is almost 10 and I can't see her giving up any of the menagerie ever.

Tracy said...

Naked Zen Baby! love (100)

Sending warm vibes from the desert.

Yvonne said...

My how that girl has grown! Thank you for sharing bits of your life with us.

It's frozen here, but no snow & Thank God, no wind. Much better than last year so far, when I swore I must have been in Minnesota. I changed weathermen.

Still haven't finished my Christmas knitting. . .

Corbie said...

It's nice to see you back! I hope the cold (ugh!) has departed at last. I only *wish* the holidays were over. In our house, Christmas is followed by my husband's birthday (this Saturday), Aunt's birthday (this Sunday) and closely followed by Valentine's Day and our anniversary (April). Not necessarily "sad panda" so much as "pooped panda".

Seanna Lea said...

There are no toes, just cubes of ice that someone stuck in our shoes. I tell myself that I need to add special socks to my inventory (smart wool), but I feel bad that my own sock knitting efforts aren't warm enough.

mary lee said...

Always good to hear your voice

Anonymous said...

Franklin, I read your blog at work (of course) and have to keep my laughing quiet (difficult to do) but just can't help myself when the tears start rolling down my cheeks (which makes my co-workers wonder why I'm crying at work)(maybe they just think I'm the hysterical lady in the corner office). Thank you so much for making my day!

sajbat said...

Couldn't stop laughing! The different dolls are hilarious and I'm sad not to have pictures of Pajama Baby and Mexico Baby. Gorgeous mittens, too, as always.

Heidi said...

Thank you, thank you for this. Perfect timing and SO very much appreciated on this ten-below morning.

haricot vert said...

I like the mittens. Makes me want to knit a pair of my own.

And I must say, your niece continues to be one of the most cheerful looking kids I've seen in a while.

Liz Cadorette said...

Franklin. I don't know if this is old news, or what, but the photo of you on back cover of Varena magazine's Winter 2010, for the Addi ad?

Sweet buttermilk biscuits, man -- HOT!!

Anonymous said...

You can always escape a week of the March Madness by coming to the Men's Retreat in New Zealand. :)

Barb B. said...

It's not our fault! Honestly it isn't. I think it came to Canada from Russia. The tears are frozen permanently to my cheekbones. The dog thinks I am the devil went I let the poor thing out. IT'S NOT OUR FAULT! IT WAS THE ONE ARMED WEATHERWOMAN!

Marlowe said...

Love, love the mittens. If I still lived in the Sierras, I'd make a pair for myself, down to the daisies.

Anonymous said...

So glad for a new post. Laughed myself out of a headache! Abigail is very Exceptional, as are her toy collections and photos by her Adoring Uncle.

I bought a copy of Yarn Forward #10 magazine online, but was surprised to find the contents were issue #9, which has a lovely interview with you.

My verification word is 'inglooge'. Wonder if that means 'tucked into the igloo for the duration'.

CatBookMom

Kristen said...

Posts like this one are why I keep checking back here, even when you vanish for months.

LindaWD said...

Is it just me - or in the picture of the snowmen in the snow - doesn't the one on the left look like Delores?? Just wondering....

PS-sorry about the cold....we don't like it much either....

Dakini.Grl's Library said...

Franklin, your wit, sharp eye, knitting, and sense of humor are priceless. Thanks for writing it all down!

Eileen said...

I envy you Abigail. I've got four nephews, only one of whom is interested in hand knits. Maybe I could apply to be a niece? Wouldn't mind being on the other side!

I'm with you on the calories thing. I haven't taken down the tree yet (bad cold) which is liberally decorated with cookies and chocolate...and it's too late.

p.s. Okay, so it's filming in LA, but David Tennant will be in the pilot for "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer". It's set in Chicago, anyway. Doesn't that cheer you up?

Gail said...

Oh, thank you! Now Abigail has acted like a tonic on me, too.

Helen said...

I read 'comforting beacon' as 'comforting bacon'. I think that says everything you need to know. It's just as well children don't realize how much we love them, or they would take over the world. If you have time, click through to my blog post for 30 December for another angel. Happy New Year, and thanks for all the posts.

Beth V. said...

Wow. I really could have used a dose of Abigail's cuteness- babies, menagerie and all- this holiday season!! To say I was a bit rough around the edges due to holiday stress would be the understatement of the decade. I love my eight & ten year old boys beyond measure, but neither one fits in my lap anymore!! You were fortunate enough to enjoy the best "tonic" there is. Nothing beats the sweetness & pure love that small children give so freely and openly.

Susan said...

.."and Easter is too damned early in the morning."

Damn right. My mother always asks me to go to the sunrise service on Easter Sunday; my reply is that Christ will still be risen at eleven.

dale-harriet said...

Oh hell, Franklin, I love you shamelessly, our obvious differences notwithstanding. You're what I want to be when I grow up. Well...ok, so we ARE both grown up, but in neither case is it obvious. "Oh hai, iz myrrh". Yep, I love you.

Patti said...

because of the long frozen tundra ahead, and no holidays worth celebrating, I leave up my christmas tree till st patricks day and I don't care what anyone says. It's little twinkly lights cheer me up on the cold gray dreary days of winter. And I live in California.. imagine if I lived in the REAL tundra.. I'd have to set the house on fire to chase away the blues...

Anonymous said...

Hey! Don't blame us here in Canada! When bad weather is heading our way, the weatherfolks tell us it's coming from Texas. I"m not sure how that can be, though. I thought Texas had warm weather. Anyway, 'tis not our fault! :) samm

The Knifty Knitter said...

I started laughing at the Easter being too early in the morning comment and didn't stop until the very end. Great post!

Ali P said...

s: You're welcome , darling!

Kathleen said...

Those baby names sound awfully familiar. We have Purple Baby and Green Baby in our house. The rest have actual names only because they came with them. And yes, many of them are also currently naked.

diane said...

We had an Uggie Baby - and was she ever ugly! And Baby Jesus (he played the part one Christmas at church). Come to think of it I bet Uggie is still around here someplace, and my youngest is 19!

=Tamar said...

May I suggest Nerdigras? The rationale: March 5 is 3-5, or 35. 35 squared is 1225, or 12-25. So March 5 is Christmas squared. March 14 is 3-14, Pi Day. March 5-14 are The Ten Days of Nerdigras, a time to celebrate our inner (and outer) geek in whatever way seems appropriate.

Anonymous, too said...

Welcome back, Pinocchio. Yes, we really DO believe you were drinking "Virgin Egg Nog" -- before you corrected the drink's "seasoning."

Abby is adorable. And, having two sisters and four nieces, I can attest that nearly every little girl Abigail's age has a Naked Baby (NB).

The NB may not be named "Naked Baby," but there will be one around the house. Like Abby's, the NB may come with clothes. It may even have a 50-piece wardrobe and be sold as "Baby Clothes Horse." But once the doll is naked, it will be naked forever more. It is also likely to be the child's favorite doll and/or weapon. (You really don't know all the shades of pain if you've never been knee-capped by a toddler swinging a baby doll!)

The Naked Baby will also be followed by a Naked Barbie (NB v. 2.0) within a few years.

Anonymous said...

Franklin you need to move to Australia, where we don't do Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year fall smack in the middle of summer. You can recover between and after the holidays by going to the beach or lazing by the pool.
Emily

Kathy said...

Thanks for giving me a huge laugh so this early morning. Reading your blog is a great way to start my day!

Caroline said...

Abigail is very similar to my daughter in some of her tastes. Decorative band-aids will last until she's nearly ready for kindergarten, I predict. We had several babies also, and the mountain of stuff animals in her room is as big as she is, and she's now 8 1/2. Amazing how kids are so consistent.

Cathy said...

Franklin-- love your blog. Loved the Seasonal card --- took me a while to interpret it but when I did I split my sides laughing. It really does look as if BJ is saying "Don't want it".
Loved the shot of you on the latest issue of Verena --- I remember when you blogged about your trip to Skacel.

Your niece is beautiful --- thanks for capturing those childhood moments -- I had two boys and I loved that age -- I sometimes wish I could time travel back to them and scoop them up for a cuddle.

Amy S. said...

No winter holidays? If you have any Jewish friends, try celebrating Purim (Feb 28).
Those mittens are gorgeous. Improvised, huh? You are a genius.
(And the verification word on my program is "angst"!)

Nancy said...

I've never met Abigail, but I love Abigail. (you too)

Cheryl said...

I have a friend in Missouri who gives us her weather report on Facebook, and we get it in southwestern Ontario the next day. Every time.
Love the mittens; they are beautiful. Abigail looks so much older; she's so cute. Happy New Year, Franklin...and please post more. We miss you when you are quiet.

Kathleen said...

I laughed until the tears came over the babies. We have a similar number of enfants and naming system here (bathtub baby, soft baby, and other bathtub baby to name a few). Suddenly, it doesn't seem quite so cold in New York.

Sara in WI said...

You're the best, Franklin! Thank you for sharing your life with us...Also snowed in in Wisconsin...

sheila said...

I can't stop laughing about the weather lady!!! Being in Chicago as well, I can only assume that you are talking about "Trixie" (as I like to call her) Butler!

If feeling adventerous, you could use the Winter Olympics as your next thing to look forward to, that's my plan. Besides, they only happen every 4 years and they give me the perfect "excuse" to plant myself for 2 1/2 weeks and knit without interuption from the hubster asking "what are we going to do today/tonight?" (which my usual response to him is "get a hobby, I could teach you to how to knit!"

Benita said...

The larger of the two snowmen remind me of Harry - I think it's the smile. :)

Ola said...

Ican't help but see some family resemblance between Harry and the Snowman - was the sockey one modelling?

Cassia said...

My only regret is that I didn't find your blog sooner. Laughing this hard has got to be considered an ab workout, right?

Jenni said...

Oh. My. Well, it's good to know that all little girls are alike. My 3-year-old has Baby and Other Baby. Up until recently, they too were naked. Now, we have marathon fashion shows for the kinder set.

Patti (from Ottawa, Canada!) said...

I love you, Franklin!

I remember feeling nonplussed when I first heard of celebrating Thanksgiving in November. Weird! I NEED the two months after Thanksgiving to get ready for Christmas. Yours seem awfully close together.

As for January, it IS a problem. I'm looking back to my pagan roots. Apparently Yule is celebrate-able quite a way into January. I'm off to do some Yule-tide merry-making! Wishing you some of the same.

Mari said...

My goodness I needed a good giggle and your recount of the impending and long-standing winter gloom gave my many such giggles. While I have left the tundra of new england, I seem to have landed in a temporary frozen lot near dallas, its a whopping 18 degrees right now. I feel and appreciate the need for knitting as martial art. Love the gifts for Abby...spring is on the way, hopefully :)

Diane said...

Good to hear that you've survived another holiday marathon. I agree, let's move Thanksgiving to the same day as Canada (gives quite a few more weeks of prep time) and create some sort of new holiday for end of Feb/early March, when winter has just become way too much to bear. Maybe the whole decorate the outside of the house in miles of lights could move to the new hoiday?

Mittens are fabulous...the left field orange blossoms totally set off the pattern...I'm sure I'll want to copy sometime.

Abigail is just the cutest little one!

joeyshouse said...

Since I live in Canada I would normally smile maniacally and cackle evilly, but it is just TOO COLD!

Anonymous said...

Love the card
How can ENA be 2.5 - she's a little girl now, rather than a baby.
MargieinMaryland

JanKnitz said...

My daughter's doll was called "Baby Pie". It took us a few years to figure it out. My daughter loved being called "Sweetie Pie", so of course, her baby was "Baby Pie".

Abigail is so cute I want to eat her up! Those cheeks remind me of someone . . . Uncle Franklin ;o)

Holli said...

so glad you're back, and that you survived the yearly juggernaut. we're fine as you can see.

darling Abigail is surely happy about now that she has a warmth-making machine in her loving uncle.

say hello to Harry and Dolores. hope to see more of you this year.

kateyule said...

OMG that's Abigail?!

Thank you for keeping us au courant with the State of the Niece. I hope she understands why an entire section of bleachers at her HS graduation is full of cheering knitters.

Agree completely that our winter holidays are unbalanced. Yuletide celebrations come when the nights are longest, but we NEED them later, when nights are coldest and cabin fever strong.

Sarah said...

Sigh. I love you so, Franklin.

Thanks so much for sharing your days with us. And those lovely knits as well. Very inspiring.

Knittingfiddler said...

Abigail and I are cut from the same cloth-a slug of bourbon is one of my favorite ingredients! Lovely photos, lovely post. Thanks for the giggles, Franklin =)

SusieQ100 from the Netherlands said...

Dear Franklin, I love every post you write; I wish I were so witty!! Many thanks for entertaining us with your wonderful tales of life and knitting.

Best wishes for 2010.

mildawg said...

Here's hoping you ride out the cold. Thank you for your post -- once again, it brightened my morning.

Crochet Goddess said...

Your Neice is so cute. 2 1/2 already! Children grow up so fast. She looks like a little lady. The mittens are very pretty.

Janet said...

Wanting to be comment 100 - I do enjoy your blog Franklin.

Question - where are the 1000 knitters now? Have I missed something?

There are theories about the affect on very young babies when different music is played for their tender years. Was Abigail a Mozart baby? She looks mighty mellow.

Laurie in Mpls said...

Franklin, we frontload the holidays like that because back the olden days, it was that or let a lot of perishable harvested things perish. :( So we feasted the crap out of the beginning of winter on the stuff that wouldn't keep back when preserving food mostly meant drying it or large quantities of salt. The food deprivation part of Lent? That's just because that's what's in the larder at that point. ;)

I feel your Midwestern winter pain, though. When the high temp for the day is in the single digits (or even the *negative* digits) all you can do is bundle up inside and work on something soothing. I'm contemplating a couple of sweaters right now, one in Linus and one in Jasper (merinooooo...sigh). Who gets to be warm first, me or the husband? Hmmmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Geesh aren't we grumpy - dearest, you live in CHICAGO!!!! Although an interesting city it's one that gets my vote for worst weather - ever! Humid and wretched in the summer, mostly windy all the time and humid and awful bone penetrating biting cold in the winter -- and I lived for six years in Minnesota so I get to say that! FL is freezing my buns off right now so I know you must be suffering, but again....it's CHICAGO!!!

I did perk right up, as you seemed to, at your mention of The Babies...oh my! Fun-ny! Kids are the best and the most natural of comedians. Glad you enjoyed her! She certainly got an amazingly beautiful present in the form of mittens and a sweater.

Hope you had a HAPPY NEW YEAR! -- even tho' you do live in CHICAGO!!! :D
--elizaduckie

Corbie said...

I forgot to mention...when did your niece get so big??!? Last I remember, she was a cute little baby and you scrambled to get a christening blanket done and then a cute little "politician's sweater" done. Now, she's a cute little girl. Next thing I know, it'll be next week and she'll be a cute big college valedictorian!

Could you work on slowing time down, please? Thanks!

WillyG said...

And this is why we keep children around. What a delightful read!

Brenda said...

Thank you, thank you, honey, for a seriously needed laugh at the end of seriously not-laughing day.

And I too have an Abby, a one year old granddaughter.

Bake on.

Sharon Rose said...

Romulus and Remus? With an arm punched through the head of the little one, it looks more like Cain & Abel! :)

jessbcuz said...

just discovered your blog but loving it so much already. you are an antidote to the soulemama variety that I do indulge in but have left me with a sticky sick feeling after too many reads and must be tempered with posts like yours. (in fact my own blog probably needs to be counteracted with one like yours too.)
as a new knitter I was thrilled to find you to keep me company in my new hobby.

Lee said...

Cannot believe that she is so big! It's not fair when someone else's niece makes me feel old.

My daughter's two favorite babies were "MaMa baby" named after the grandmother who gifted her and "Babulee" named, we think, after Baby Lee in day care.

FiberQat said...

That Abigail. She's such a pistol!

With all the careening about you've been doing lately you'd think you'd be carrying around a bag of travel socks to be knitting so you aren't running around Chicago with numb feet. Then again if you're nice I could knit you a pair if only I knew your shoe size. I remember them being rather elfin.

Becky said...

Soooooo funny! My daughter's baby collection is sure to rival your niece's. She names her animals like that, eg. 'Pink kitty' but her babies are named things like 'Vaniller' and 'Sugar Rainbow' and 'Horna'... must be from my great-grandmother who named her daughters: LVera Adrienne, Ivetta, and Irma Clara. Stay warm!

scottlaw said...

Those baby names really cracked me up - seriously, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! My daugher names all her babies and stuffed animals boy names, Chip and Jack are favorites. Your niece is quite clever.

Happy New Year!

Rosi G. said...

Awwww, she's sooo sweet and big! Many blessings.

Seeing her and learning what age she is when you post about her tells me how long I've been enjoying your blog. I started when she was still in the oven. :o)

marijka said...

I just discovered your blog and have shared it with everyone I know, even my non-knitting brother. Love, love your enthusiasm and, especially, your biting wit. Maybe I need to graduate beyond scarves, because the 6-yr-old twin boys next door just don't seem to enjoy them as much as your niece delights in your mittens... :-) PS I rolled with joy over her dolls' names.

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