November is over, long live November

I didn’t really “win” NaBloPoMo this year. I missed many days and didn’t even apologize for it. Sheesh, how rude. However, I enjoyed blogging again even if this year didn’t result in any long introspective posts or posts about dryer lint. I am going to try to keep up a habit of posting at least a couple of times a week, as usual, I make no promises.

But now: more hats!

Super Bulky Pussycat Hat

I crocheted this one out of that same super bulky yarn, thinking crochet would go faster. It didn’t. I think that is true in part because I was trying a new stitch (the crochet ribbing on the edge, it is front post dc alternated with back post dc, both new to me) in a fuzzy yarn. Also, bulky yarn can be cumbersome to work with, I think.

The funny thing about that hat is when I put it on to take the picture, Docker growled at me. I took it off and showed it to him and he jumped back like it scared him. Maybe he thought it was a big fuzzy pink monster trying to eat my head. In any case, he didn’t like it.

I have started another in a thinner yarn.

Another Pussycat Hat

It is still not going super fast. Sewing up the sides is also a slow process for me. Maybe the next one will be the crochet pattern in the round, or maybe I will knit another. The super bulky yarn is gone but I have a large ball of this hot pink to get through.

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so that’s why that happened

I had a day, two actually, that ended with an, “oooooh!” of comprehension. Yesterday I emailed a friend and invited her to hike later this week at a park where I never hike. I don’t hike there because I like to hike with my dog and that park doesn’t allow dogs. She figured I wanted to try something new so didn’t question my sanity when I invited her to hike at the dogless park. I didn’t even realize I had mentioned that park until she pointed out that I had.

I went to Trader Joe’s today. I had it in the back of my head that I would buy another box of Candy Cane Joe-joe’s (their Oreo-like cookie, but with mint flavoring) but they only had the gluten free. I walked past the display of the Dark Chocolate covered Candy Cane Joe-joe’s and thought I restrained myself. When I got the cashier, he asked how I was doing and I was about to comment that I kept myself from getting cookies right as he was scanning the box of cookies that I put in my cart and then promptly forgot.

Then I came home and had a migraine. The friend I am hiking with said the headache knew I would want them. I think the headache put them in my cart without me seeing. Headaches are sneaky that way.

hats for marching

A friend on Facebook posted a link to the Pussy Hat Project today. I’m a sucker for knitting for a cause so I went out and got some pink super bulky yarn and knit two hats for them today.

Protest hats

Protest hats

That ball of yarn was massive and I am currently crocheting another hat. I suspect that will use it up, or at least use up enough that I won’t be able to make another hat. I also got some worsted yarn so I will get going on that next.

I might need to go back to Joann and get some of this yarn in a color I would want to wear because that hat was super soft and cozy. I also bought a zipper so I can finish off Stefan’s sweater now that it is actually cold outside.

solo-ish hike

I didn’t manage to find a hiking buddy today so it was just Docker and I on the trail.

Just Docker and me hiking today. #dogsofinstgram

Because I didn’t have someone to talk to, I noticed a few interesting things, like this shocked fence.

This fence is SHOCKED!

A beautiful view (which I do notice even when people are with me).

Fremont Older view.

And a field of clover.

The rain brings out the green.

It was a lovely walk.

I did embroider today, I started on the leaves at the bottom of the house. I didn’t take a picture, though, because it didn’t feel like enough progress to document. I will hopefully get more done tomorrow and have more to show you.

not so daily

On Monday I wrote the following:

I took my older son and three of his friends to see Dr. Strange yesterday. I really enjoy that he (and his friends) enjoy all the nerdy/geeky things I enjoyed as a teenager: comics, sci-fi, doctor who, role playing and board games. It is incredibly satisfying to watch your child grow into a person that you want to hang out with, and that his friends are also equally enjoyable.

I was going to add more and then got distracted and forgot. Then yesterday… the election happened and I could barely stand to have thoughts let alone put them down in a blog post.

So today is Wednesday, November 9th. The first full day of trying to accept the results of this election. I’m not sure I’ve done that yet, but I am trying.

Today, I wrote the following on my Facebook page:

I have an old cast iron pan that belonged to my grandmother. It has a lot of old, baked on junk stuck to it. I decided recently that I wanted to try to get it clean and I have been working on scrubbing it down to the base layer, like the online tutorial I found told me to.

I have decided that, while cleaning the toilets was apt for the election season, this cast iron pan is an apt metaphor for what we have to do now. Our country has years and years of baked on junk: racism, sexism, xenophobia, protectionism, authoritarianism. We need to get out the steel wool and scrub that crap off because, underneath, the pan, or country, is a good and sturdy thing, and we need to scrape it down, reseason it and move forward!

Time to get out the rubber gloves and steel wool!

Of course, a friend commented that it is easier to use oven cleaner, or even the self-cleaning cycle of the oven, but burning things to the fundamentals is probably  not the best strategy for our country right now. I am taking comfort in the fact that more people voted for Hillary than for the hatemonger and 70% did in my county, but that doesn’t let me off the hook of having to do the work, having to continue to speak out against racism and for social justice.

So this is my knitting/crafting blog, and here is my knitting/crafting update: I finished the i-cord bind off on the front of my son’s sweater and I even embroidered a few stitches. I need to weave in ends and buy a zipper so that sweater can be totally done. I might even start considering another sweater for me. I have a few sweater quantities of yarn. Just a few.

so tragic

So, I missed two days. Whoops. Then today I realized that I was a month off on my accounting of the Cozy Blue Stitch Club kits. The one I have in progress currently is the August kit, not the September one. I just received November’s, so I now have three club kits waiting to be stitched, plus one kit that I had purchased in June. Double whoops? I better get to stitching!

I finally got a picture of the cowl that I finished.

1-2-3 cowl
1-2-3 Cowl

Tiny yarn on tiny needles, so it turned out tiny. My 10 year old son has adopted it, though, and it’s a good size for him, so it all worked out. I’m also doing very well with the sweater I am making for him.

Ryan Cardi in progress
Ryan Cardi in progress

Since I took this photo I have picked up the stitches for the other side and started the i-cord bind off. I’m quite pleased with this sweater, I hope my son likes it when it is done as well!

nothing to see here

I did a lot today but I took no pictures. These days life is “pictures or it didn’t happen” but sometimes pictures don’t happen. 

I worked in the sewing class. We have a kinder heavy class this year so there was a lot of convincing kids to keep going but some of the older kids seemed fairly into it, so that is good. This is my 10th year working in this class, my 18th session! Wow. I am either dedicated or a glutton for punishment. 

After school I took the dog out for a play date with a friend’s puppy and we hit the dog park for a little playtime as well. He was really tired out. I think this was the first time we left because he initiated leaving by heading into the gated exit area when someone opened it to leave with their dog. 

I had a little afternoon downtime and then a school board meeting. I did get to knit in the meeting, since I am just there as a member of the public, listening. I finished the attached i cord on one front of the cardigan for my son. I need to pick up stitches for the small band and then do another i cord. I am really in the home stretch with this sweater! I will need a zipper for it soon. 

That is it for today. Tomorrow is a busy day, but hopefully I will manage to take my sweater progress photo!

Catching Up

I haven’t been knitting all that much in the past year, but I do have a few finished things and WIPs to share.

I knit a bunny for a friend’s baby.

Untitled

I knit a hat for my son, at his request.

droste effect hat

I am now working on a sweater for him in the same yarn. It is almost done but I don’t have a good photo of that. I will save that for another day.

Using the same pattern as the green hat for my son (Droste Effect), I knit a few chemo caps.

droste effect hat droste effect hat red chemo cap second ice blue chemo cap

I donated the above hats to The Bay Cancer Connections. They use the caps to provide to local cancer patients to provide comfort. Nothing like handknits for the comfort factor! I hope they helped someone.

I knit myself a two color cowl, with two balls of the same yarn, but with the color changes at different points. I like the way it turned out, and I enjoyed the brioche pattern.

brioche cowl

In February, I went to Stitches.

Stitches stuff

I didn’t buy a lot of yarn, but I bought some silk from Redfish which I think will become a color affection one of these days.

Stitches stuff

Also, these adorable stitch markers.

Jennie the potter mug

And a lovely Jenny the Potter mug which I have since cracked. Now it sits on the window sill in my kitchen so I can enjoy looking at it, even if I can’t use it.

3.2.1 cowl

To justify the “need” for yarn, I started a cowl with the previous year’s Stitches yarn purchase. I have since finished it, even though it is the tiniest yarn (lace weight) on the tiniest needles (1s). I was starting to think it would be never be done, but I was luckily wrong about that! I don’t have a finished picture of it yet, but, again, a picture for another day.

In June, I took up embroidery. It is all my friend Rebecca’s fault, or her responsibility, depending on your perspective. I joined the Cozy Blue Stitch Club and have been embroidering the club items, as well as purchasing a couple of kits.

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June

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July

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A kit I purchased because I love this sentiment.

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August

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September, in progress. I better get it finished, since October is waiting and November will arrive soon!

Whew, that is all my crafting over the past year or so. I used to be much more prolific, but life changes and time commitments with them! One of the things that changed was that we got a dog in May. He is the main attraction of my Instagram feed.

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Also, he is totally adorable!

Okay, now that we are caught up, I can post like a normal person starting tomorrow. Also, maybe I will actually start to do candletime tomorrow! Whoops.

unplugged, or not

It is almost the end of NaBloPoMo and I am running out of topics. Also, I had sort of a low key day without much blog fodder happening. I went to the farmer’s market and it was cold (well, California cold, bordering on actual cold). I went for a walk with a friend her dog. I knitted a little. Here’s a picture of that.

log cabin beginnings

I am making a log cabin baby blanket, sort of like the one in the drawing in that book, but with fewer stripes and simpler colors, I think. It’s for a friend’s daughter who is pregnant. The yarn is really soft and cozy and I have rainbow colors.

So, what I was going to write about was an answer to the Daily Post’s promptSometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

This prompt has touched a nerve since I would say I am in fairly constant need of unplugging. A few times I have deactivated my Facebook account when I feel overwhelmed by either negativity there or I feel like I am comparing my insides to other people’s outsides too much but other than that I don’t unplug unless forced.

So now I think I should make a plan for unplugged time to happen regularly in my life. I try to put the iPad away a while before bedtime but I’m not always good at that either. I should probably start with a daily unplugging at a certain time of night and then expand to not checking my social media once a week or something. I don’t want to disconnect from my phone completely because I have several friends who are far away (or not that far away) that I reach out to for moral support on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes a digital connection is also a human connection but I do need to learn to disconnect from the mindless scrolling of Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, and online news sites.

Thanks for the prompt, Daily Post, it has given me something to think about.

honey cowl is finished!

My first finished project since September!

Finished Honey Cowl

I love it!

Finished Honey Cowl

Yes, really, even though I am not smiling at all. It took all day to dry and now it’s late and I’m tired.

This yarn came from a friend’s haul at Goodwill and I have three more skeins of it. I need to figure out what the rest of it will become. I do have my next project all picked out. It’s a log cabin baby blanket in a fuzzy, soft cotton yarn. I have high hopes for it.