Sunday, April 23, 2006

Feel Good Road Trip

I just spent the weekend with my daughter in Vermont. It was a long drive up Saturday and back Sunday but worth every minute! She is a sophomore at the University of Vermont, majoring in Molecular Genetics and experiencing the full range of emotional highs and lows that college students go through -- brutally rigorous exams, crazy late night get-togethers with friends, relationships with people that work out and those that don't, discovering how to solve adult problems on her own and moving toward her career goals.

As a parent my dreams for my daughter are huge. They always have been and always will be. I cherish the memories of the little girl who ran to me every day after work for a big hug, never hesitating to share every thought and trusting me with her fantasies. That little girl went away for a while as she became a teenager and there were some painful times. I often felt shut out of her life and unable to say the right things to keep us close.

But now, as she approaches her 21st birthday, she seems to be coming back to me. It's a gradual process, not without its occasional backslide, but this weekend made me realize what a wonderful, mature young woman she is becoming, fun to be with and full of astute observations and complex insights. She loves her studies, has ambitious plans for her future and a steady hand on the rudder. It fills my heart with pride and excitement for her. Her future is an amazing journey to be experienced to the max. It's such fun to watch her and be there to help as I can or just listen as she figures things out for herself.

Does this have anything to do with knitting? Besides the fact that she is the most frequent recipient of my knitting projects, this weekend we shared a trip to a yarn shop on my visit to Burlington. We went to Kaleidoscope Yarns in Essex Junction, just outside the city. It is a wonderful yarn shop with so much amazing fiber and a friendly and helpful staff.

Of course she has been to yarn shops with me before but it always seemed as if she was just indulging an eccentricity. This time she seemed very engaged in the trip and interested in what she saw there. We picked out some Cascade Fixation yarn for another pair of low socks in this color.

She also saw a finished bag that she really liked and we picked out some yarn to make that. It was made with the "My Constant Companion" pattern and I had made a similar style one for my sister's birthday two years ago so I am familiar with it. It's a great pattern and very durable.

She wants to use it for schoolbooks and on-campus stuff so I'll felt it to make it extra sturdy. She picked out some gorgeous earthy colors in Cascade 220:

This is will be the base of the bag as well as the top edge.

This will be the middle part of the bag.

And this color will occasionally run through the other two and be the color of the handles.

I also have some complementary novelty yarns with some interesting textures that I may use. I think it will be a beautiful bag and one she will be proud to carry around campus.

Now I just have to find the time to do these projects! Here is what is in "the queue":

My Green Gable sweater
most of a second sock for myself
my daughter Meredith's DNA scarf which is about a third completed
a baby blanket I started four years ago
a ribbon sweater made from a discontinued yarn

Promised Projects
a pair of "cat's paw" pattern cotton socks for my sister's birthday in mid-May
a pair of socks for my husband
Meredith's sneaker socks
Meredith's book bag
Cotton sweaters for myself including a "wonderful wallaby"

Oh, so much yarn, so many ideas and so little time! I need to become a knitting hermit and do nothing else for a few years!

Here is a picture of my amazing, wonderful, brilliant, sweet daughter. This was her senior picture when she graduated from high school in 2004.

Of all the roles in my life, I am proudest of being her Mom! I know she will be embarrassed when she reads this but I hope she can understand my sense of pride and the intense love behind my "brag blog." Here's to you, cookie! Love you lots and lots!

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