Birthday Pirate

My sweet Jack turns 39 today (for the first time). I met him racing sailboats in the Chesapeake Bay. I was 28 and he was 23. He thought I was 23 and I thought he was 28! His dad owned the boat and was essentially "first mate" and he was the driver and tactician. I was a sail trimmer. After many years of sailing with "screamers", the quiet, respectful way Jack and his dad treated one another and everyone else was a relief. And what a place to fall in love. Never mind the sea sickness and the every kind of weather we sailed in. I miss it now.

Jack is my hero for many reasons. He's very smart. An engineer by trade (my friend Colleen calls him the "rocket scientist" because he's an aerospace engineer but really he does fiber optics), he's a careful, patient practical problem solver and the perfect foil for my crazy, loud "if I can't charm it or do it easily then I don't want to" way of barrelling through life.

Jack is also very creative and, while I'm the get my hands dirty while he watches golf on TV gardener, he's the one who with very little knowledge of the subject laid out our garden plan (and did a beautiful job). And the amazing desserts he bakes! While he is a total introvert, he is wonderfully nurturing with the pets who adore him. He picks up our 80 lb dog like she's a little puppy and carries her around and puts her on his lap. You should see her face - she loves it.

You've probably guessed he's an amazing dad. Very hands-on, he's always available for the kids. He's taught them pretty much every way one can throw and catch a ball, during soccer season he runs with the girlie to get her in shape, and he does their bedtime stories pretty much every night. Their friends all love hanging out with him and their little brothers and sisters flirt with him (one of his favorite toddlers calls him "Daddy").

Here is the best story I can think of that illustrates the knid of mate he is: In the last slightly frantic days before I completed my Dad sweater and sent it off, I started using him as a living dressmaker's form. He'd come home from work and have to try it on before he could take off his shoes or have dinner. Once, I even woke him up at night to check one last thing with the neck. He said, "I really have no choice, do I?' And here's the best part. Then he said, "The next time we do this..hey, did you notice I said "we"? Next time, can we start this a little more ahead of time?" How great is that? A true partner.

Now it's true that Jack often does not agree with the way I go about things. It is his belief that I spend way too much time "playing with fiber" and not nearly enough time marketing and planning and doing important businessy things. But he is unfailingly supportive of me, and what I am trying to accomplish. Even the crazy knitting stuff.

So, without further rambling, I give you Jack, the pirate. With his pirate dog.

Modelling a nearly done hat. The skulls are not pink, I swear. And it will be Jack who figures out what is going on with the camera. And then he will translate it for me.

Pattern: We Call them Pirates

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8-ply, one skein white and one white dyed black

Needles: 3's (I knit very loose)

I had to take out 16 stitches of the pattern to get my larger gauge (6 st to the inch) to fit the size. I forgot about the row count and had to decrease two stitches at a time instead of one. Next one I make will be for me.