a ukelele and a scarf turned cowl


Sitting on the couch, sandwiched between three whining kids, Jonny sighs and says, “There’s no peace around here.”  Larkspur and Beatrix want him to read a book, Silas wants him to read a different book, a baby book that the girls don’t care for.  It’s not quite late enough for baths and bedtime.  Everyone is fussy.  “Can’t you just nurse him, Mommy?”  I tell her, “I was, but he’s done.”  I’m taking a little solo trip next week, and it may just be the end of nursing for Silas.  My body seems to be finished anyway.  I’m not letting myself think about it too much.  No sense in getting sentimental and upset.  He’s nearly two.  I think we’ve done pretty well.  He is also moving into a place where he oftentimes prefers Jonny over me.  I have mixed feelings about that.  It’s definitely not a good thing when Jonny needs to go to work.

Silas started saying, “No” this week.  He says it with a bit of southern twang, and we have all been asking him lots of questions just to hear him say it.  “Do you want to go night night Silas?” is a popular one.  He also says, “Mine” now.  He has found plenty of opportunities to say it this week, because we bought him his very own ukelele.  He is always dragging out either Jonny’s mandolin or Keats’ violin.  We needed to give him a less expensive instrument to play, and the ukelele at just over twenty bucks seemed like a good idea.  He was thrilled when the package came and we told him it was for him.  He insisted on opening it himself, although really he couldn’t, so that was a challenge.  So far he’s having fun with his ukelele, but I think his favorite part is saying either “No” or “Mine” when his siblings ask for a turn.  He’s the youngest of six, and this is his first really “good” possession.  He’s guarding it.  (Please ignore the fact that he’s wearing Bea’s old pink flowered pajamas!)  The other thing that he says these days is “Awww, Mommy!”  He says this with the tone of a much older child anytime I do something that he doesn’t like.  It’s hard to appreciate without hearing him say it, but trust me, it’s hilarious.

One recent evening, as I sat knitting on the endless scarf and complaining about it, Jonny suggested that I make it into a cowl.  I may have given him a dirty look as I refused.  A couple of days later, I remembered that Jonny is a genius.  I didn’t have enough yarn for a long scarf anyway.  I think this really works as a cowl, although the color doesn’t really go well with anything I own, maybe most definitely not that teal cardigan (It was my stepmom’s and I wear it all the time whether it matches my outfit or not.)  Trying to get a decent photograph of myself wearing a finished knit is motivation never to knit for myself again.  It was really awkward to get these photos.  I just got my hair cut, and it is the shortest it has been in about 15 years.  I had just decided that I needed to grow it out long again, and not worry that it’s too thin and straight to look good that way.  Then my other personality made a hair appointment and when the girl who cuts my hair asked what we were doing, I heard myself agree when she said, “Chin length?”  I guess it will be good for spring and gardening and all that.  But, it’s quite the reality check to get the haircut you had at 20, at 35.  I don’t look the same.  The important thing is that I (sort of) finished my scarf.


  1. I think you (and your haircut) are beautiful!

  2. Your haircut was the first thing I noticed and my reaction was, “What a GREAT haircut she got!” I think it looks absolutely perfect for your hair type and face. I was so surprised when I read that you achieved it through split personality! 🙂

  3. We are our own worst critic they say ~ I think your Haircut looks AWESOME, you have the face shape to pull that cute cut off! Love the “long scarf turned cowl” too!

  4. You’re adorable! And that “baby” oh my…hilarious and too too cute!

  5. I haven’t visited for awhile Ginny,
    My first thought was that the color of the cardigan matches your eyes, how sweet that it also has such special memories for you when you wear it.
    I grew up in New Zealand but live in Maine now. Everyone here loves the way I talk, but in NZ they think I talk like a Yankee, which I do not.
    My Oldest talks with a slight Kiwi accent, but is very particular about only pronouncing things the American way which is very funny.
    I need to borrow Bea to help me clean out my chicken coop, that was great!
    You should send the quote in to Backyard Poultry magazine with a photo of your coop and chickens and they might put it in the magazine.

  6. Priscilla says:

    I do love the combo of the teal cardigan and your new cowl! How does it work, knitting a feathered shawl together for a cowl, did you graft it? Also love the hair, it doesn’t look too short on you at all.

  7. Your hair is stunning … and the cowl is perfect!

  8. And the first thing I thought when I saw your photo was Oh, I love her hair-cut!
    I have wild curly hair and wish I could have such a bob. It looks like easy hair, something I would like to have, like wake up – comb – done for the day and enough time to spend with my family!
    Ahw, maybe it just looks like that but isn’t all that easy… Still love it!!!

  9. I noticed your hair cut right away and I love it, it looks really healthy and great on you!

  10. I’ve been spending less time looking at blogs this Lent, but I find it impossible to stay away from yours!
    Your hair looks great, and so does the cowl.
    And there’s no peace here, either…sometimes it’s a regular loony-bin here, and there are days when I can enjoy that, and other days when it really gets to me!

  11. I didn’t realize you had a haircut, but thought when I looked at this post how cute your hair looked! It is a great cut. Love the cowl and the stories.

  12. Oh Ginny, I have missed you visiting you here at your blog (though our little emails have been nice…) You always make me smile, laugh…
    I happened to catch your comment on Bea’s british accent, so funny cause people say that about the girls sometimes.
    Well how cute you are looking. Your knitting is so fancy (to me) and so beautiful. Though I will admit that the old cardigan is more my style (which I will admit is not very stylish…)
    Oh and I can just imagine the sweetness of that little Silas voice, especially with his aww mommy. But I cannot understand that he is almost 2 already. you probably have that same feeling.
    Hope you have a good weekend! XO Renee

  13. Your hair is very cute and looks so, so easy. The enless scarf turned cowl is lovely but I am a new knitter and can’t figure out how you joined it.

  14. Mae Fleming says:

    I love the cowl and I think your haircut is adorable 🙂

  15. Debi Miller says:

    Ginny the cowl goes really well with the sweater. I think you are the master of wearing neutral colors. Cute hair! As always, I love your posts.

  16. Your hair looks great! I love the scarf turned cowl, very pretty. I had to laugh at the pictures of Silas in pink pj’s. My 3 yr old(6th baby, boy after 2 girls)wears his sister’s pj’s all the time. He is still nursing also, even after an almost 4 day trip away. Bittersweet, I can’t turn him down, although he can go without.

  17. I love the ukelele! My hubby’s a musician (we own 3 guitars, or maybe it’s just 2 now…a stand-up bass, electric bass, a Turkish hand-drum and a flute in need of serious refurbishing.) Every year for Christmas, he gives my oldest a musical instrument, and we have the same ukelele. Eddie Vedder would be proud, I’m sure. What a lovely, bubbling, musical household you have!

  18. I have had my eye on that pattern for a while now but I am guessing that it gets tedious after a while? Perhaps I better start eyeing something else up!

  19. This is a brilliant blog post, I love the story and the idea of giving him a ukulele! The scarf-cowl is brilliant, I need to find me a genius like that!

  20. I was thinking as I scrolled through the photos, “She got her hair cut.” It looks great! Love the cowl too.

  21. You look beautiful! And your handiwork is amazing:) The children and the scarf!!! I knit in my heart, but can’t knit a straight line with my hands!!!

    God bless and thank you for allowing us to see into your lives through your blog…I’m new to this blog reading thing and love meeting other beautiful families this way!

  22. I think the cowl goes great with the cardigan! Cowls are the best, they won’t come unwrapped on a windy day!

    I love ukuleles, that is awesome that Silas got his very own. He is so cute! I think it’s adorable when he wears his sister’s hand-me-downs!

  23. Funny, I was thinking your hair looks super cute! I love the cut, and the layers in the back. We are our own worst critics though. That saying is so true 🙂

  24. Lori Ann says:

    Before I read the text I was thinking how lovely the cowl looked with the teal sweater – and how nice your hair looked! What a dear little one with his ukelele. We had one when my son was small and he loved it. Also nice is the lap-harp (Magic Cabin I think!) It is a great learning instrument when Silas gets a little bigger!
    Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks! I guess I shouldn’t be so critical of my outfit choices! I just feel pretty frumpy most of the time and never feel like I am good at putting things together. The lap harp sounds great!

  25. When I saw the pictures I thought: I LOVE her hair. I think it really suits you 🙂

  26. Agree with all above – like the outfit and your hair cut. Hair cuts are so tricky; I am so far not getting my cut much other than when I go back to Ottawa (moved 6 months ago) to the hair dresser I had for 7 years and always does my hair in ways I like…. so I understand the hair cut quandary we often find ourselves in.

    I love wearing clothes of those I love also; keeps them close…

    Kids bring so much joy and laughter – it is a gift – love hearing about yours! Blessed weekend to you!

  27. Your haircut looks fantastic! I would love to have a haircut like that, sadly when my huge curly hair is cut short it looks like a christmas tree.

    PS I hope weaning is gentle on you both & lots of hugs to you.

  28. I think your hair cut suits you! and how about finishing a scarf via cowl? That is a great idea and a perfect solution to finishing the never ending project that is now ending and that negates the name never ending! Have a great weekend and wear that cowl, it doesn’t have to “match” just “go” with your outfits.

  29. My daughter was born just before Silas, I think (May 3rd). She hasn’t been very attached to nursing since she was about 15 months, but I just can’t make myself cut off the one nursing before bed she still asks for. I am having another baby in July, and I don’t think there’s any milk left, but when she says, “please? milk?” there’s just no way I can do it!

    Luckily, she does go to bed without me when I’m gone at night. I hope this trip works out for you and Silas! I’ve never been attached to the idea of nursing for a very long time, but now that I have this sweet little girl who asks so nicely, it’s so hard to stop!

    I think your hair is very cute! I wish I could pull off short hair.

  30. The cowl looks perfect wight the sweater! Don’t change a thing!

  31. I’m new here, so my opinions may not matter much, but…. Just wanted to say that the haircut is very nice and that the cowl and the cardigan are a perfect combo. The colors look great, and the styles are perfect together. It’s pretty but not fussy. That should definitely be a “go-to” outfit when running errands!

  32. I was just thinking how cute your new haircut is when I read that you’re not sure about it. How funny! And the cowl turned out beautifully.

    Silas cracks me up. How he must feel the need to “keep up” with the older kids! :-). And how happy to have his very own ukulele. Have a wonderful weekend.

  33. I love your new haircut, and your new cowl.

    I also had the experience of the haircut-from-20-at-35; I was growing it out when Julia was born, and when she started grabbing hair I chopped it all off again. I’m talking pixie-cut, here. Looked awesome on me when I was 20. Notsomuch at 35; I thought it made me look like an old lady trying to look young. I’m thinking I might try it on again at 50 or 60, when it’ll be a sassy-old-lady style.

    You, on the other hand, look adorable! That’s a style that works at any age & I love it on you. xo

    • PS – I meant to mention – Silas’s accent made me think of it – Asher drops his r’s like a champ. He was born here in WNY but he must have an inkling of his parents’ New England roots because he sounds like an old man from Downeast. My mother asks him questions about where things are just to hear him say “hee-ah” and “they-ah”. 🙂

  34. Love your blog. Makes me wish for a country house and to learn how to knit! I’ve recently gotten to know your blog, and so this may have been discussed in previous posts, but my husband and I just decided we are going to homeschool our 4 kids next year and wondered what you use for curriculum? Do you make up your own or purchase or mix and match? Thanks for your blog.

  35. Beautiful! – haircut and scarf – you look really pretty! I have a problem with my pictures because I look fat in all (because I am fat actually:-) – so when I take picture od scarf – it is quite fine, only my had and scarf:-))) and thanks God for oue new Pope:-) nice weekend!

  36. Ginny,
    I think your hair looks great! Very chic 🙂 And love the scarf-cowl.

  37. I think your cowl turned out lovely! And I know what you mean about that time before getting ready for bed…oh, the whining!

    Where did you get the ukelele? It’s beautiful, and if it’s as affordable as you say it might be a good fit for our little music lover 🙂 She’s a wee bit too small for our guitars!

    Prayers for you as you wean, and congrats on making it so long! No matter when you do it, it really is so bittersweet, isn’t it?

  38. Oh, I think your haircut looks great!

  39. We had the youngest weaned a month ago because I had to go on some very strong meds. Almost 4 weeks with no nursing. Then one day he asked for it. No more meds so of course I gave in. He is almost 2.5. This is the longest one of them has nursed. I am having a hard time letting go. He will not be our last child but he is the baby right now…
    I am so close to doing with my hair what you have done with yours. Then I regret it. Then I curse the long hair. I think this is just the nature of the hair. If it were up to me, it would be fashionable for ladies to have shaved heads. My husband would die. 😉

    Congratulations on finishing another project!

    • I am ready to wean him, but I get upset if I put a lot of thought into it, so I try not to! I don’t know if three days away will be enough to do it though at his age. Older babies remember! Beatrix stopped nursing a month before she turned two (I took a week long trip without her) and then started again after Silas was born about seven months later!!

    • Oh, and I am with you on the hair. It’s a big flaw of mine: hating my hair. I shouldn’t care so much.

  40. I thought your had your hair cut, I really like it. You, dear Ginny, are beautiful and I love seeing photos of you with your knits, they are just super.
    I do wish I could hear young Silas with his southern twang, all my boys have a twang and I kind of think its pretty special; well, I did marry a southern man after all so I guess so!

    • Thank you Tracey! My older kids don’t have the southern twang–at least I don’t think they do, and Beatrix tends to sound like she has a bit of a British accent (??) It’s funny because we all talk differently. I remember when Gabe first came home, Seth would try to talk to him with a Liberian accent, I guess thinking that would help Gabe understand him better. It was hilarious.

  41. I think the cowl DOES go with the cardigan, and I love that there’s a sentimental story behind both. 🙂 And I think your hair looks awesome! I’m 28 and if I could get my hair to look like that when it was short I would cut it that length. 🙂

    • Oh good–because I’ve been wearing them and wasn’t sure. I am pretty clueless when it comes to putting outfits together! These pictures were taken the day my hair was cut. It will never look that polished again! I can’t for the life of me master the round brush + hair dryer combination.

  42. I think you look pretty good! It’s so funny to think of you guys having a southern twang (I’m a reader from the UK – so of course you speak like I do in my mind!) I too have 6 children and the youngest is very close in age to Silas and she does say some funny things copied from her siblings, and I’m sure she is the naughtiest of them all and gets away with it too much!
    As always, love your blog

    • Silas definitely has a very naughty streak! The hard thing is not laughing at him, because at this age it’s cute. I remind my other kids that it won’t be in a couple of years.

  43. Ginny, you look lovely with your shorter hair and your cowl is gorgeous!! I love the stitch technique you have it knitted in, it makes the piece flow and gives it a dynamic kind of movement.

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