Right now the house is quiet. Emilia is asleep. Matthias is reading (although I think he is asleep as well). It's one of those days today when the weather can't quite decided if it's summer or winter. That in-between time when the air is warm but the wind blows winter, or visa versa. It's the type of weather than reminds you that change is about and soon you'll be wrapping yourself up in scarves and wishing for openfires. The last few nights the thermometer has been etching towards zero and this weekend I decided it was time to call it quits on our summer harvest. Two beetroots, four potatoes and a couple of green beans. Not even enough to make a salad! They're tiny too - the beetroot is about the size of my baby finger. Our pumpkins got eaten by the resident possum, as did the cucumber. I still have a few tomatoes sitting on the bush but they're not even looking like ripening. I think I'll have to find some green tomato chutney recipe for next weekend. Oh well, better luck next year I guess.
Eight month photos with a narrative from Emilia.
Hey, this TV Tower looks different to last time. I'm sure it used to be red.
Yep, it was definitely red last time.
Mama. Oi Mama! You've given me the wrong prop.
You're kidding me right?
You really think you'll be able to trick everyone and just pretend it's the red one? Or are you somehow going to suggest it's been green all along and just ignore the fact that at 3, 4 and 5 months I was playing with a red softie?
Okay then. You're the boss. Ready?
Done and we're away.
Time to go inspect the fluff that's building up on the carpet.
Much, much later I found the red softie (in the car).
Emilia at: seven months six months, five months, four months>
In amongst all the celebrations last weekend there was also quite a bit of gift giving to be done. I think I've mentioned before that I've been having fun playing with all the patterns in Bambeanies. It really is a wonderful book. Twenty hats for toddlers and kids. Rowan's wearing Beamish and Otto has Tipper. Beamish is more-or-less a bog-standard beanie with a bit of i-cord fun at the top. It was a quick and simple pattern which was great, as I ended up casting on a few times before I was happy with the size. (Rowan has an adult-sized head and I needed to do a bit of fiddling to made sure it'd fit).
Tipper is a rectangle, knit on the bias, folded in half and sewn up to create a large square-shaped hat. It doesn't look like much without a head inside it. Truthfully, I was a little dubious it'd look any good at all, but I think the horns look pretty cute on a toddler. It looks even cuter worn "sailor style" as Otto prefers although unfortunately I didn't manage to get any photos of that. They'll be more of these made, I'm sure.
And of course E ended up with her own. This one is Damsel. And yes, I photographed it before I'd properly sewn on the buttons and cut the ends. But it is such a lovely hat that I couldn't resist. It's still a little bit big for her and I'm hoping it'll fit through the winter. Such a cute design and it manages to keep ears and neck warm without the necessity of ear flaps or pesky ties. The pattern was also one of the best introductions to short-row knitting that I've found. I've struggled and given up with short rows in the past but the instructions in Bambeanies were perfectly easy to understand and left me wondering why I'd previously had so much difficulty.
I imagine that they'll be more knitting from this lovely little e-book in the months to come. Hats, I've decided, especially kid-let hats are my favourite kind of knitting.
Sometimes you do get what you want. A long weekend and a very special birthday for my Mum had us hopping on a plane down to Melbourne and spending a wonderful Labour Day weekend with my family. The sun shone! We ate, we celebrated, we relaxed. I felt the warm embrace of family. It required an excel spreadsheet to coordinate cars, baby seats, sleeping arrangements and catering, but aside from a few frayed nerves when we realised that another trip to the shops was required because somehow a dinner's worth of meat got left off the shopping list, the weekend was pretty much perfect.
International Women’s Day. I nearly let the day pass. My womanly soul is weary and celebrating womanhood somehow feels disingenuous. I feel a bit battered and bruised and probably – while I’m being honest - a little bit confused about what this womanhood/motherhood caper is all about.
I’ve been back at work a month now. I’m not enjoying it. My working days have become so full of the ‘everyday’ that I have almost no time for anything else. I read this week in the newspaper that a study recently found that most women have less than ½ hour “me time” built into their days. I found myself nodding in agreement. I find myself choosing between sleep and just a bit of time for me– half an hour of knitting or five minutes more in the shower.
And I was so hopeful last year. Standing on the cusp of motherhood I was so optimistic and assured of my rights as a woman and mother. I was so sure about what I thought I wanted and I was quietly confident that society would help me out; turns out that I didn’t have a clue.
So in no particular order, here’s what I want: I want a career. I want to be heard. I want to cuddle Emilia and have her shower me with her sloppy, open mouth kisses a hundred times a day. I want equal pay and the rightful acknowledgment of my experience and qualifications. I want to stay home and nurse my baby and not send her off to childcare with a bottle. I want to make things; big vintage quilts, knitted cardigans and woolly hats. Mostly I just want to make things and give them to the people I love. Occasionally I want to sell them too. I want to dream; big dreams that might one day come true; dreams of a ‘forever house’ in a ‘forever town’. I want the sun to shine and the rain to stop, just for one day. I want to watch Emilia take her first steps and I’m terrified it might happen while I’m at work. I want to hear her say Mama and Papa and Ja und Nein. I want a full night’s sleep and a drunken night on the town. I want to wake up and be excited about my day. I want to lead. I want a clean house, fresh sheets and the ironing basket empty. I want Emilia to grow up knowing that she is enough; that she can say no (or yes) and that’s okay. I want Emilia to grow up knowing that she is a she and Australian and Austrian with white skin, blue eyes and dumpy legs and all of these things are as relevant and irrelevant as the next.
I know that was a rather abrupt end to this post, but it’s kind of how I feel about the issue today. And yes, I know that I can't have everything that's on my list. Well, at least not all at once. But still, a few of those things should be possible, no? So, get out and celebrate being a woman today; a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother. Talk about it, think about what you want. Dream big. It’s only by doing these things that we can hope to finally get want we want.
The weather has turned decidedly towards winter around here. A week of constant rain. It's all a bit glum really as we really were hoping for a few more summer days and a final trip to the beach before we packed away the bathers and towel for the year. Through the rain I've been knitting. Knitting, knitting, knitting. Nothing like rain, a cosy couch and some good quality knitting time to sooth the soul into winter. A quick wander through my house today and I found five knits in various stages of "finished". Yes, that's two hats sitting on the flour jar (it's the perfect shape for wet blocking), and that rather tiny ribbed square is supposed to be a beanie. It's not finished, but I'm still not convinced. I'm still working on Dad's jumper, but in the inbetween times I've been having fun with the hats in Bambeanies - finished photos to come soon - and perhaps, a proper review of the book (but just quietly, I love it.)