Today, we took a family field trip (as I like to call them) to Looped Yarn Works, the LYS nestled in D.C.’s Dupont Circle…precisely one block away from where I used to work back in my international development days…if you haven’t been to this store, you don’t know what you’re missing. The feeling is great, with all kinds of fiber candy to delight your senses. I never found so many original looking things in a yarn shop before…from knit/purl/balls of yarn earrings and brooches to yarn already beaded to yarn that literally screamed out to me, “Make me into a party dress! Make a shawl for yourself already!” I mean the yarn talks. If you can’t hear it, you’re deaf to fiber. And if you don’t listen or answer the call, you’ll be regretting it. Badly.

The atmosphere in the place was so nice…whereas Old Town’s Fibre Space might be considered more of an indie/younger-crowd type shop, I got the motherly vibe from Looped. It’s very cozy. The women working there were very embracing…one of the owners, Susan, wanted to know my name, and shook my hand and helped me find the perfect green which I can’t find anywhere without a hefty price tag…Kerry, who also works there, taught my TWO AND A HALF YEAR OLD DAUGHTER how to wind a ball of yarn…they felt like family…

I will be back there. Believe me. When I finish this dress. In this yarn that I picked up today. InshAllah.

The granny-apple-sour-apple-green that alludes me...even this picture doesn

Mmmmm..yarn candy..


Knitting 101: “Purl towards Mecca”

the beginnings of my first swatch

Oh my goodness, I just learned to knit. Call me a crochet snob, but I never thought I’d enjoy using two needles to make stitches. I knew the day that I’d learn was coming soon, but I thought that it would feel more like a chore to achieve a certain goal rather than make me feel good. Now I can’t seem to stop and I want to learn more, more, more. It’s like a different kind of a food, an inspiration…and I’m actually pretty good at it! But what’s really got me is the fact that I just want to stitch again. I have started so many projects in the past couple of months just to frog them or leave them unfinished, and now I just want to finish something. Look out! I think there will be some finished objects coming your way soon! A special shout out of deep gratitude to Jessica for taking the time to teach me this morning! I will never forget to purl towards Mecca :).

What’s up with the owls?

So, have you noticed all the owls floating around? They are everywhere! On fabric, jewelry, hats…it’s hard not to find them! But I wondered why they were popping up everywhere…so I googled the fashion trend and here’s what I found. Owls are flexible…adaptable, if you will, to many aesthetic tastes. For instance, they can be seen as symbols for wisdom, intelligence, protection, or mysticism, and depending on the colors and depictions used, they can be serious, whimsical, cute or scary. So they are versatile to grown-folks and little-folks tastes. And I must admit, they are growing on me. I saw the cutest matching mommy and me pajama set in a catalog…I yearned for Noora and I to be twins. (Yeah, I have this thing for matching with Noora). But since my husband and I decided not to dress Noora in clothes with figural embellishments when it could be avoided, I won’t buy those pajamas. But that doesn’t mean that those fowls still aren’t cute…especially when they are appliques or make up the entirety of a little person’s hat. I’ll just settle on making this Forest Friends Hoodie for Noora, or the Springtime Friends equivalent by Anji Beane….complete with Moroccan hood (YEAH! Now that’s a touch I love!)…and I’ll probably end up trying to make one for myself too…of course, fowls and other animal friends excluded. Anyways, by the time I get to this pattern, the trend will probably have moved on to mushrooms or snails. And that’ll be right on time for the embellishments that I’m going to add instead of our furry creature friends :). But on the other hand, there’s always the Ermeline Moroccan-esque jacket, and the matching mommy-counterpart…just saying! we could be twins…next fall!

Crocheting a Beard?

I read about this phenomenon last May, but I was waiting for a time when I could intelligently respond…have you ever heard of a knit or crocheted beard? You don’t believe me? Just check out this site or this site! I first read about it on Green Prophet. Apparently, it was all the rage last year in Europe as a type of facewarmer–what a great alternative to the regular ski mask, no? But what I loved about Green Prophet’s article was highlighting the fact that a beard is a sunnah (a Prophetic tradition) and a beautiful symbol of manhood and maturity. I must admit that while I’m all for the natural beards that men grow, I was a bit perplexed by the idea of a yarn-made beard. I mean, women are wearing the beards too…hmmm…can we think of a more feminine facewarmer option? But I could see myself making this beard…if I had a son one day…and we were going skiing…so his face could be warm…and he could be just like Dada…and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 🙂

The Official Launch of Good AfterNoora!

A year ago, I started this blog. And while it is still in development, I never dreamed that it would grow to be what it is today. Before my sights were just set on showcasing work for admirers who wanted to purchase it. But then something happened. I found that I wanted to learn more in the realm of handicrafts, and communicate that. Arts and crafts, after all, are my passion, and always have been. Here’s the post from The Sandal that started it all, my Ode to Crochet. But this site is so much more…While I’d like to think that I was inherently good in my life before Noora, there is no doubt in my mind that I became much better after Noora. I truly believe that parenting brings out the best in us. We know that we are role models and that however our kids turn out, it is ultimately because of the actions and values that we have (or have not) displayed. Our children are entrusted to us to guide and shape into moral, ethical beings. Beings that know how to have a good relationship with Creator and creation. So Good AfterNoora not only details my my thoughts, feelings, and adventures in mothering and child-rearing which ultimately led me to explore handicrafts, but my recommendations for products that make that weight-of-the-world-on-your-shoulders-job so much easier. Here’s to Good AfterNoora!


Cow’s Milk

Today was a bittersweet day. You know, I’ve been longing to get back on a farm…get closer to nature and all. And we found one! Right in our backyard! Literally! It’s walking distance from our house (though the sidewalk disappears for a few yards on the way…). Yup, it’s a farm complete with chickens, pigs, geese, horses, and cows. AND you can feed them too! It’s really a toddler’s (and a parent’s) dream come true!

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But while I’m happy about going to the farm today, what makes it so bittersweet is noticing how much our family has grown. You see, today, my daughter milked a cow. Yes, she sat on the ranger’s lap and squirted milk out of a cow. I might add that she was MUCH better at it than me. But maybe it’s because she only stopped nursing last week…which brings me to the bittersweet part. For 29 months, this girl has been attached to my breast, and now she’s finally grown up to the world of not breastfeeding. And I remember how I described myself as a true cow throughout the breastfeeding experience…being a Taurus breastfeeding mother and all. Well, I guess there is a time for us all to grow up. And just like it seemed to be me suffering from withdrawal more when we stopped co-sleeping, it’s again me who must embrace the concept of letting go…

Subhanallah. I just am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to breastfeed her for this long. What a blessing!

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