Monday, March 18, 2013

A Sweater for Ruff Ruff

I finally knitted a sweater for Ruff-Ruff!

Ruff-Ruff, of course, is a stuffed dog.  We should re-name him to "Rough Rough."  He's been on maybe one adventure too many.  He has had several surgeries. 

I used The Sitting Tree's pattern for this doll sweater, the Luna sweater

I loved the square shaping.

I also made the buttons!!  Using the tutorial at The Sitting Tree, we cut some fir branches into 1/4 inch rounds, sanded them, drilled holes, and oiled them to bring out the wood finish.  They are my favorite thing, right now!  Could the bark on the rim be any cooler??

My 8-year-old boy suggested awhile ago that it would be so nice if I'd knit something  for Ruff-Ruff, who's favorite color is maroon, by the way.   

Isn't that wonderful?

I am living a wonderful kind of life.  It's hard, sometimes painful, and very tiring, but wonderful.

My kids are different from their peers.

They make up games, they have their own inside jokes, they just filmed a short fairy-tale production.

They appreciate art, they take unique photos, they knit with me, they spend hours drawing and coloring.

They have made an art of playing with sticks and rocks.  And as I write this there sit some homeade bows and arrows near me.

I have two boys (18 months apart) that cannot call a day complete unless they have had a chance to really talk to each other.  They whine to me when the other one is gone too long. 

They don't often ask for things, and they don't expect them. 

But many kids without all the electronic bells and whistles, the fashions, and the toys their friend's have become resentful instead of creative.

My kids are not resentful. They are grateful. And they are kind.

We are not hillbillies.  My kids are even in public school, most of the time. We love our television, a lot, and probably watch way too much.   And our computer.  Maybe this would be the time to say my husband is a network engineer?  And I'm no perfect Momma:  my biggest failing is that my temper too often gets the better of me.

With 5 kids I can't do what I could if I just had one or two.  It's true. Is it ok for me to say that in cyberspace? Sometimes I feel this enormous pressure to make sure that all my kids are geniuses, athletes, and musicians extraordinaire.  There is not one single day that goes by that I don't feel that pressure. 

Funny thing is, after 14 years of this mommy stuff, I'm starting to realize that sometimes less really is more.  And sometimes, it is precisely this lack of material things and running around, that has caused my kids to draw closer to each other.  It has brought out some fierce creativity and compassion. 

And despite all of our many imperfections, we have something really special in our home.  Every day there is this feeling of acceptance and freedom to be yourself in our home.  I hope my kids never grow up! I'm sure I won't!

My daughter asked for a weaving loom for her 13th birthday.  She knew there would be no smart phone or DS.  She has created the most amazing things! Now at 14 she wants to be a fashion designer and a graphic artist.

My son asked for a kit with bird-watching stuff in it for Christmas.  Santa gave him a bird guide, some binoculars, and bird-feed.  He sits in a quiet camp chair by the creek and waits quietly for them to come by.  He finds the extra peace that he really needs.

Yes, we now have a beautiful lot with natural wonders for my kids to explore. We are so thrilled!  But this is new to us.  The seeds for this were planted long ago, with five little kids in a 1500 square foot house.  Our setting has changed for the better, but the day-to-day is still the same. 

I have been blessed, truly blessed, to share my life with these kids.  They are so patient with me.  I'm so lucky! And to every day be a small part of their exciting, wonderful world.

And all of this of course, leads to, a sweater for Ruff-Ruff.  Without suspecting a thing, my boy got to open one of Mama's signature, special brown boxes.  And he adored this little sweater.  Really.  What kid asks for that?

Mine does.

Don't I have it good?

Happy Birthday to our Alainator! May he always be just a little bit (I did say just a little bit) wild and free! Just the way we love him. 

Linking up to
Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On
Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday
Tami Ami's Finished Object Friday


  1. I love this post! And LOVE the sweater for Ruff-Ruff. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Your kids are amazing!!

    Lovely sweater por Ruff-Ruff.

  3. This is my first visit to your blog. This is a beautifully honest and very touching post.
    'Joyeux Anniversaire' to your lovely young fellow. Ruff-Ruff looks so dashing in his new coat.

  4. Your photos of your son opening his present are so lovely. They just capture his delight perfectly. And the buttons are so beautiful. Inspired I am going to go out and look for a branch and try and make some buttons.

  5. This is my first visit to your blog. Your kids sound fantastic and your photos are beautiful.

  6. Thanks so much for your comments! They mean a lot! Happy Knitting.


  7. Hello Nancy

    I have been feeling so guilty lately of removing my two from the local Steiner school due to threats, bullying and other unpleasant things, experienced by my now 9yo (then 7-8yo). My 6yo daughter misses the schooling and her friends very much because we had to stop all contact. Your blog makes me realise that my kids will continue to enjoy the lovely things assosiated with alternative education with me; or through self-education by being intouch with their surroundings like your crowd, even though they now attend a public school. Yes people I am afraid these things do happen at Steiner school, and 6 other familes also left the class, so itwasn'tjustuswiththinskins. I worked at the school too.
    I too fall to the whim of Madeline (doll)is cold and needs a jumper. Even Pongo (sons soft friend) has requested something along the lines of a suit and PJ's for cold nights. Like your photos, the majic is not snatching a few hours from some other task and getting away with it, rather the delight on their faces when you conjure up just what they had in mind. Keep on knitting, enjoying and doing what you do best: mothering