The State of the Boo

Dear Boo,
This past Friday was your seventh (!) birthday, and your first ever sleepover. Well, first sleepover at our house, that is. You had three friends come over after school, and the four of you plus your big sister proceeded to spend the next 8 hours alternately: 1) presenting a true-to-the-movies recreation of the Harry Potter series (complete with arguements over who was going to be Hermione and who was going to be Voldemort). You, predictably enough, were Hedwig and you capered around flapping your arms and hooting; 2) eating your way through vast quantities of food - for five reasonably normal sized children of your age, you can put away a remarkable amount of cheese pizza. And carrot sticks. And broccoli. And Tangtastic Haribos. And chocolate cake...; 3) having drama-filled relationship meltdowns and makings-up over a time course that would make a soap opera star's head spin.
It was a lovely party, and I think everyone had a good time, except when I had to camp out in your room at 11:00 pm and tell two of you little gabbers to "Stop. Talking. Now." in a very serious tone of voice every 3.5 minutes until you actually shut up and went to sleep. The next day was punctuated by having a lovely time until everyone else went home and then stomping off upstairs in high dudgeon over...something? Your sister found you passed out on the guest bed a little while later, and mid-afternoon when you finally woke up, you were back to your usual sunny self.
It's been quite a year for you m'dear - you are in the oldest class at your school, and you have handled the increasing pressure of next school assessments with nary a blip. I think it helps that you only did one assessment, because your parents have chosen logistical ease over all else and are sending you off to the same school as Devil. I have discovered though this process that you have fewer inhibitions around strange adults when your parents are absent; the faculty member that interviewed you described you as "quite a character". Apparently that is a good thing (sometimes it's really hard to tell with the Brits...), and I'll be happily popping you on the bus alongside your sister next autumn.
You continue to attack the world with fearlessness and curiosity, as evidenced by your recent "mastery" of alpine skiing. I put mastery in quotes because, although you are now competent to ride up on a lift and schuss down ski slopes in a variety of colors, your concern with anything other then pure speed (i.e. turning, stopping, not killing anyone...) is perhaps a bit lacking. In one notable exception over half term, you decided to use the banks of snow on the edge of the trail to slow yourself down. Imagine your surprise when this tactic resulted in you jamming the tip of one of your skis into the bank, popping it loose and launching yourself over the side of the trail into the unknown. Thankfully, I skied over to find you lying on your back, laughing like a loon. Good thing you have rubber bones kiddo...hope they hold on long enough to get you to the Winter Olympics in 2030.
As always, it is a pleasure being you mother 95% of the time (Monday mornings could take a long walk off a short pier and never come back, but I think most people feel that way). I love you so very, very much, and I can't wait to see what adventures you get into next.

Six. Wait, what?

Dear Boo,

Well sweetie, on thursday, you turned six years old.
It's been a big year for you, hasn't it? You're at school all on your own with out your big sister around as a buffer, and until recently that's been just fine by you. But you spent most of the month of February at home either sick or on half-term, and going back has been a bit of a struggle. Mostly I think because you are still a bit overwhelmed by vast numbers of people focusing on you (hmmm...I wonder who you get that from?) and wanting to talk to you and find out what's happening and on and on and on. It's all a bit much for a girl who is still perfectly happy to do her own thing and play on her own without a lot of input from anyone else. Day by day you are getting better with the transition, and I'm glad to see it.
You are still on track for your future brilliant career as a vet, although it's up in the air whether you're going to go into the small animal or livestock versions of veterinary medicine. Or maybe a zoo, who knows?
Your sister continues to be your best friend ever, except when she's not. Sadly, those moments are becoming more and more frequent as you two figure out how to resolve your differences, but generally speaking she is your inseparable companion. I think you've missed her at school this year, but its also been a good opportunity for you to be out on your own in the world.
You are evidencing some pretty phenomenal focus these days my dear. Sometimes, it's the most frustrating thing in the world as you seem to honestly not hear me when I ask you to put your shoes on forty two times in the morning. That same focus has also resulted in this,
and this, which makes your fiber-obsessed mother over the moon with joy (have to find a good hiding place for my stash).
I can't wait to see what the next year brings kiddo!

Much love,

Last minute crafting

Right, this is going to be a quick drive by posting to show you that the wee walrus for my wee nephew is proceeding well.
Dismembered walrus
I've finished all the brown pieces, and now need to dig out some white sport weight for the tusks. I might just use the white I used for the potholders/baby blanket now that I think about step after the tusks is to sew the whole thing together. It should be done by the beginning of next week. Hooray!

However, the tusks will not be done tonight. Because tonight is all about digging out my sewing machine and the cutest dog fabric ever, and making Boo a birthday pillowcase.
Doggie pillows
Oy. As if Halloween weren't bad enough, now I've moved on to last minute birthday gift crafting? Someone shoot me now.

Post-release bliss

I've spent the last week or so working on other people's projects. Which is to say, working on patterns that I didn't write/am not currently writing/am not planning on writing up and publishing. It's been very enjoyable!

I've been doing some spinning...
JUS needs more yarn
I ran out of yarn with one row and ten stitches left in the third chart of Jane's Ubiquitous Shawl, so over the weekend I spun up 8 more ounces, and last night I plied it all (in less then 2 hours - love the miniSpinner for plying!). It's now having a bit of a soak, and it should be dry by tomorrow, so I can motor on with that project.

I've been working on Ruth's Mystery KAL, a pair of gloves in Botany Lace.
KAL gloves in progress
I'm almost done with last week's clue on glove #2, which is good because the last clue was released this morning. I think these are going to end up as a Christmas present.

And I've been cranking along on Boo's Christmas sweater.
Boo's Christmas sweater
Despite all evidence to the contrary, she is not colorblind. She simply wants to look like a green and purple bumblebee. We had a mini-P3 reunion lunch last week, and the general consensus was "Did you talk to her about the color wheel at all??!!!"* and "You should probably do some kind of slip stitch when you change colors..."
Boo's Christmas sweater
The end result is a slip stitch color change row of which I am becoming increasingly enamoured. If I hadn't put a mental moratorium on designing projects** until after the new year, I would be starting a steeked fingering weight cardigan using this switch over. But in some more appealing colors, to be fair...maybe I can just do a bit of swatching?

* The girl is not yet six, but she has pretty definite ideas of what she wants. Color wheel, shmolor wheel. Green and purple it is.
** Note: this does not mean I'm not going to buy yarn for it. Knitpicks doesn't deliver to the UK, but they do deliver to my parents' house! Hello Christmas present to myself.

FF: Boo's 'andspun socks

Yarn: handspun Cheviot (some details here), approximately DK weight
Needles: US 5/3.75 mm
Start/finish: 6 Oct - 9 Oct 2011 (hooray for large gauge and small feet!)
Comments: a totally plain vanilla sock, toe up, with gusset and heel flap a la Cat Bordhi, with 1x1 ribbing at the top. I knit the first sock until I had used up 48 gr of the 100 gr I started with - I am less stressed out with handspun yarn and socks if I leave a couple of grams leeway for the second sock, since weight is not always an accurate reflection of yardage (particularly the way I spin).

I continue to be a huge fan of Cheviot. Not only was it fun to spin, and the yarn felt softer then the combed top, but the knitted up socks are soft and cushy and springy and just about perfect.

Handspun Boo socks

Boo is very pleased with them. I finished them Sunday morning and she promptly put them on to go for a walk in the Surrey Hills. They are a bit big, so she should be able to wear them for at least this winter. Now it's actually cooling down so that thick, cozy wool socks sound pretty good instead of overwhelming. Hooray for autumn!