28 February 2011

for later

I've mentioned before my affinity for knitting small things.  To begin with, the scale is nothing short of adorable.  And little projects are finished quickly.  There's no time for me to get distracted.  And since the time investment isn't a big one, I can plow through confusion or frustration or technical challenges because the prospect of starting over isn't really that terrifying.  And besides, things usually work out in the end.

The sweater is the Baby Bolero from Leigh Radford's One Skein.  I've had the pattern--and the yarn--stashed away for awhile.  This is actually the second time I've made this sweater, and to be honest, I think it came out much better this time around.  The pattern calls for a lot of picking up stitches and sewing seams--two things that I am not incredibly good at.  I'd like to think I'm improving, though; maybe the practice is paying off.

Now that the project is off the needles, lightly blocked, and dry, I guess it's time to pack it up and put it away.  I'm not sure what I'm saving it for.  I've tried to resist the idea that I'm knitting for some imaginary baby in our future.  It seems better to keep my options open.  It would make a great gift, for instance, for someone else down the line.

I still really want to keep it.

I'll be finishing up a few other small things in the next few days.  Maybe I'll have some photos to share later in the week...

21 February 2011


It's hard to believe, but today is the one-year anniversary of my very first post here at the Sparrow.  Sometimes it feels like it was ages ago, but other times, it seems like just yesterday.

Lots has happened in the past year, on this blog and in our lives.  I can't begin to guess what the next year will bring, but experience has taught me that some of it will be good, some bad, and most of it will remain unimaginable until it actually happens.

I want to thank you all for visiting this space.  I love being able to share projects and ideas with you.  Please don't think I'm being melodramatic if I say that occasionally, you're the reason I get up in the morning.

There will be a few changes coming to the Sparrow, soon.  Nothing scary, I promise.  I've got another plan up my sleeve, too, but I'll keep that a secret, for now.  In the meantime, I pledge to return to a regular posting schedule and a few little tweaks, here and there.

I hope you'll help celebrate this blog birthday with me by sharing in the comments below.  If you're a lurker--and you know who you are--consider being a follower.  If you're a follower, I hope you'll think about sharing the Stubborn Sparrow with your friends.

I wish I could share cupcakes with you all, but if you feel like hosting a little party of your own, here's a doozy of a recipe for you.

A hearty thanks to all of you!  Happy Monday!

18 February 2011


I've been making lots of trips to the thrift store lately, and mostly, I've been coming home empty-handed.  I'd like to think this is because I'm becoming incredibly choosy about what I bring home.  It's more likely, though, that our neighborhood Goodwill has become a little too popular and picked-over.

I did manage to snag a cute kid-sized quilt the other day, though, and while it's a little kitchsy in a Seventies sort of way, it has the handmade charm of something that someone worked hard on.  And besides--I kind of like kitsch.

Especially when it comes with a Holly Hobbie print for the backing.

There are a few repairs to make, but I think they're things that even a novice like me can handle.   Besides it will give me some more practice before I start tackling a quilt of my own.

I've got knitting on my to-do list for the weekend, though.  And pizza-making.  And Girl Scout Cookie-eating.  And maybe some laundry-doing.

Or maybe not.

The weather forecast in these parts is looking pretty dreary.  If you're like me and looking for some color and excitement, here are a few sweet things for your weekend:

confetti packaging via Oh Joy!
and oh my gosh can you believe there's a new wedding line from the Anthro folks?

Happy weekend to you!

14 February 2011


Wishing you a love-filled day!

11 February 2011


I'm one of those girls who used to go around telling boys that she didn't believe in Valentine's Day--and then would have her feelings terribly hurt when those boys didn't do anything special for her in honor of the occasion.  I'd like to think that I've gotten better about this in recent years.

Along with improving my communication skills, I've also started celebrating Valentine's Day as less of a romantic Hallmark moment and more of a general celebration of love and friendship.  As someone said to me the other day, "Don't we all need more love in our lives?"

Yes.  Yes, we do.

My man and I are planning a pretty low-key evening.  At the rate things are going, we'll probably be having this for dinner.  And in what is becoming an annual tradition at our house, there will be some of this for dessert.

I don't know that our celebration will include much handmade detail this year.  I certainly don't have anything like this up my sleeve.  I think that's okay, though.  I'm still getting the hang of this whole marriage thing, but if I'm understanding it right, you don't need lots of drama and fireworks to make something special.  You just need each other.

I am a sap.

If you're a sap, too--or just a sucker for a good holiday--here are some last-minute ways to make your Valentine smile:

Have a lovely weekend!

04 February 2011


I know.  I said I was going to start sewing.  And, for the record, I did use the sewing machine for several hours last weekend, making strange little sewing machine messes.  I had a relatively good time and was much less intimidated by the machine than I'd thought I'd be.  In the end, though, I didn't have much to show for my efforts.

So I've gone back to my "safe place."  I'm back to knitting.  I haven't quit the sewing, I promise.  I think just need to spend some time working on things that I'm already comfortable with.  Like yarn.

This particular yarn is something I've been hoarding for some time.  It's from a fiber farm in Connecticut--you can view their Etsy shop here--and I got a skein of it as a gift from my dear sister-in-law a few Christmases ago.  It's handspun alpaca and incredibly soft.  The best part about the yarn, though, might be that it came packaged with photographs of the two alpacas that the fiber came from.

I used a little bit of the yarn last summer to make a tiny pair of baby mittens.  Last week, I picked up what was left over and decided that the little bundle would make a sweet little pair of baby socks.

My fallback sock pattern is from an ancient issues of Martha Stewart Living.  Fortunately, for people who don't have mountains of back issues lying around the house, it's also available on-line.  Yes, I know the pattern says it's for Christmas stockings, but if you look closer, there are also instructions for a women's medium sock and a teeny tiny baby sock.  It's a very straight-forward pattern, and if you're a knitter who's never tried socks before, I'd certainly recommend it.

The pretty alpaca I used is more of a sport-weight than a fingering weight, which means that the socks aren't really newborn-sized.  In fact, they're almost toddler-sized.  Now, all I have to do is find someone with a toddler who would like a pair of beautiful, soft, and--ahem--handwash only socks.

With the socks finished, I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest of my weekend.  If you're in the same boat--or just wish you had more time than you knew what to do with--here are some fun things for your weekend:

finally--someone to do all the cake-eating for you
gorgeous vintages textiles via design*sponge

Happy weekend to you!