Sunday, July 8, 2007

Scavenger Hunt

Problem: I am excited! The house is clean. Dan and his mother are off on an excursion. I have a new book with a beautiful sweater pattern that I can't wait to begin. I have cashmere and silk yarn that is as seductive as the siren's song, and ...........I have an 11 year who has just announced that he "is bored" and "there is nothing to do". I want to knit and need some time relatively free of distraction. What to do?
Solution: Hand Kenny my digital camera and tell him he is on a scavenger hunt. His mission? To photograph as many different creatures on our property as he can find. Since Kenny is NEVER allowed to touch my camera, he is both awe stuck and excited. Tossing a careless "Bye, Mom!" over his shoulder, Kenny is out the door.
I wind center pull balls of yarn --- thirty of them. Then I cast on 104 stitches for the back of the sweater. At the end of five rows, Kenny is back. He proudly shows me his first captures........

A swallowtail butterfly.....

......and a honey bee. Then he is gone. I am now ready to begin some minor shaping. I change my needle size, decrease 2 stitches on the each end of the sixth row, and knit 6 more rows. I check the gauge just to be on the safe side and am relieved that it is exact. As I pick up my needles to start the next row, Kenny is back. This time he has photographed.......

.........a banana slug.........

.......and another swallowtail butterfly. I tell Kenny that he has already photographed a swallowtail butterfly and he indignantly tells me this is a different butterfly (it is lighter than the other one). Sensing that I may end up with scads of butterfly pictures, I quickly change the rules. I tell Kenny that the animals have to be different species. "Oh." he says and off he goes. I knit another 10 rows. The yarn is almost worsted weight so I am beginning to see significant progress on the back.

Here comes Kenny. "Look, Mom!", he says as he shows me the display picture. I don't see anything. "Look closer" he insists. There, in the center of the picture, is a tiny toad's head. "In case you couldn't see it, I took another one."

Then he is out the door again. I continue to knit. The back of the sweater is stockinette so it is mindless knitting. I am enjoying the feel of the yarn and the quiet rhythm of the needles. The sliding glass door opens. "I need help getting pictures of this one, Mom!", he yells. I need a break to stretch so I stand up. "What do you have?"

"A snake!" I look. Kenny has captured a garter snake. No offense to the snake, but I have baited hooks with worms bigger than this fellow. I obligingly take the picture. And so the morning goes........I knit....he takes pictures. By the time Dan and his mother return, Kenny has photographed.......

.........Mothra (this moth was almost two inches long). I made sure that it went outside immediately....you can't trust any moth around wool..........

..........a squirrel (in the bird feeder, of course!).........

.........and the biggest prize of all... this doe.

As for me, I was able to knit a significant portion of the back of the sweater relatively undisturbed.

A good morning all around.

13 comments:

5elementknitr said...

Wow! What excellent shots! Does your son have a naturally excellent eye or is you camera just that good/easy? (If it's the camera, what kind is it?)

Yarnhog said...

I am so impressed--both with your ingenuity and with Kenny's scavenging and photographing! What a great idea, and what terrific pictures (there's no way I could have taken any half as good). I especially love the snake. We're big snake fans around here.

Danielle said...

Those are beautiful pictures and a great reminder of why I love living in this part of the US.

The sweater is coming along so well!

Mel said...

You are a fantastic mom! What a great idea. And please pass along to Kenny what a great job he did! (Good eye for the frog, kid.)

knottykitty said...

What a great post! It's so great how you cleverly found something both interesting and worthwhile for your photographically-talented son to do, while meanwhile making time for some peaceful knitting time....genius! Love the pics and the sweater looks sooo soft! :)

zquilts said...

WOW ! Good on you to figure out such a fine plan for Kenny and what an amazing sweater you are beginning. It will be fabulous! Kenny did a REALLY good job !

Ginger said...

What a great distraction! I'll have to remember that one.

Your sweater is really comming along.

sophanne said...

That Kenny is some kid! What excellent shots- and what a vast array.

Yay mom!

sue said...

What a talented photographer you have in the family. Maybe you need to let him take pics more often. You seem to have knit quite a lot too.

Sharon said...

Kathleen--& Kenny--I thoroughly enjoyed the photos. Great work all around!

kimber said...

Those are some great pics!! Loved the toad and the butterflies. I can tell from the even tension on the knitting that it was truly a relaxing day!!

kimber said...

Loved the pics!! I can tell it was a relaxing good time from the even tension on the knitting!!

fig said...

Thank you for the critter-and-knitter story. I loved that!