hat, beach

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not-so-bulky waffle hat

I finished another hat! It’s also too late to donate. Now that I have two I will probably keep knitting hats to donate to Bay Area Cancer Connections. The pattern called for bulky yarn but I knit this one in Cascade Fixation. It is one of my favorite non-wool yarns for chemo caps. It is cotton and elastic, so it’s machine washable, without too much synthetic content and it is pretty soft. It’s easy to knit with and it comes in a variety of colors. I also seem to have acquired a sizable stash of it somewhere along the way. Since I finished it, I was able to pick up my blue sweater again! I am working on the first band. The end is in sight! I might even get there before the weather changes!

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my boy at the beach

Speaking of weather, it has been beautiful and clear for a few weeks. We had a beach day last week to take advantage of that. My 12-year-old spent a bunch of time at the edge of the water, kicking at the waves and building drizzle castles. He will be 13 next week and every time I see him off playing like this I wonder if it is the last time. My 16-year-old has no interest in the beach anymore but he did dig in the sand when we went to the beach for a week with their cousins. Kids, man, they grow up fast and you turn around and they are almost adults. Sunrise, sunset and all that!

shelves, beach, hat

My husband is off from work for the week between Christmas an New Year’s Day, so I took advantage of that to get some projects done around the house. This week’s project was the assembly of an Elfa shelving unit for the living room. It was a bit like putting together IKEA furniture with more vague instructions. There was a lot of “according to your design” in the instructions, which isn’t super helpful when the design was a schematic without measurements. I am quite pleased with how it came out, though, even if it is taller than I anticipated.

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woo, shelves!

We also had a beach day, which is always something I enjoy. Someone took the time and care to craft a peace sign on the dune behind my favorite dog beach.

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peace man, cool yeah

It was a beautiful day! I read somewhere recently that looking at the horizon shifts your mindset to the big picture and gives you perspective on your place in the world. I am not sure I would have been able to put it into words so clearly but a trip to the beach gives me a mental reset. One of my life goals is to live walking distance from the beach but until I can, being able to drive there in about an hour to soak in this beauty is the next best thing.

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waves and rocks

In knitting news (since this is ostensibly my knitting blog) I finished a hat just too late to donate to my Hats for Paradise project. I have another one on the needles as well. I might drop them off at Bay Area Cancer Connections. I have donated chemo caps to them before and this one might fit that bill.

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finished a little too late

I have been thinking a lot about the goal of posting on my blog rather than Facebook and I’m still feeling a bit uncertain about my plans. I know that I don’t want to be on Facebook as much but I would still like to share what I am doing with friends and family. Without sharing the links to these posts on Facebook, though, I am not sure that anyone sees it. Am I blogging into the void? Perhaps. Will it be a good exercise for me anyway? Also, perhaps.

I hope you will join me for the experiment to see how it goes!

 

knitting and cookies and new games, oh my

I finished some knitting projects! (I know, shocking, right?)

First up, the results of my hats for Paradise project. I made six hats.

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My mom made one with a cute pom pom.

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I also decided to donate some scarves I had knit for another donation project and never got around to mailing (oops) plus a cowl I made as a sample for knitting class and the purple one I was knitting over the summer.

A friend of mine from my mostly defunct knitting group also gave me a couple hats, a scarf, a couple cowls, and a baby blanket.

All of these items are now on their way to Paradise, hopefully to bring someone some warmth.

I also put the finishing touches on a baby dress I had knit and whipped up a bunny for the couple who sells my favorite coffee at the farmer’s market.

I love that bunny pattern. If Ravelry is to be believed, I have knit it 28 times. You would think I would have it memorized, but I have to look at it for the ears. I can manage the rest.

In other exciting news, I baked fancy cookies.

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And I got a new game with many game pieces to pop out and build into adorable trees. It’s called Photosynthesis. I grew the best trees when Niels and I played it this afternoon. Go me!

sleeve and garden

Leading with actual knitting content: I am making good progress on the second sleeve.

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second sleeve! (and my bullet journal peeking through)

That is nine of the 15 sets of decreases done. I would like to get the sleeve done and then start on the hats I mentioned. After the sleeves, I will have to do a lot of picking up of stitches to knit the front bands and the collars, and that is no fun at all.

I also moved my garden today.

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garden plotting (ha ha)

Last year in the early spring I got a spot in the community garden in our city which happens to be very close to my house. When you first get a spot, you get one back against the fence which might not get great sun so at renewal time I asked if I could move up, and I got a spot! I know this photo isn’t exciting but I am quite excited about moving up. I’m less excited that there are only two of my tomato cages in this photo, because the other two I had went missing somehow. (“Somehow.”) I sent an email to the gardener email list asking for them back so I am hoping someone returns them.

I’m not holding my breath, though.

hats for paradise

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Niels modelling a Habitat

I have decided to start a charity knitting project and I would like to invite local knitters to join me! A woman who taught at my sons’ elementary school has family in Paradise (both her parents, I believe, and siblings with small children) and she organized a collection through our school community to collect stuff for her to drive up to Chico and distribute to people she knows who have been displaced by the fire. Somewhere in the midst of all of that I saw that someone had knit hats for people in Paradise and I thought I should make some for the next time she drives up from our area.

If you would also like to knit some hats and get them to me then I will get them to her to transport up there. It has gotten cold and rainy, which is helpful in clearing the air and controlling the fire but not helpful in that a lot of people are living in tents in the Walmart parking lot currently.

Here are some hat resources if you would like to participate:

Local knitters, let me know if you can make some! Scarves and cowls might also be welcome!

cookies and my favorite author

I spent a bunch of time today making mini corn muffins and The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies for my sons’ pot lucks at school tomorrow.

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look at these cookies
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aren’t they terrible looking?

As you can guess, they’re actually very delicious. That is fortunate, because school has been canceled tomorrow due to the impending apocalypse.

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i live in that purple blobby bit over San Jose

To escape from thinking about the apocalypse, I went to see Neil Gaiman speak at Stanford.

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my fave

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. I have been to many of his readings, signings, and speaking engagements since 2001 when I saw him read from American Gods. He never fails to delight and entertain. He read us a story about wildfires, read a section of Good Omens, answered some audience questions, and let us all know that what he believes in is empathy and leaving the world a better place than when you turned up.

Also, he compared writing Norse Mythology to knitting. He said writing it was his knitting, like how knitters knit between things and in the end they have a sweater.

Funny he should mention knitting, because that was what I was doing while I listened. I got a couple inches of sleeve done. I am making good progress.

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just the sleeve, but the rest of the sweater was there on my lap

Maybe that can be my project for our “smoke day” tomorrow: finishing this sleeve!

 

new filters and fuzzy friends

In case anyone is curious, this is my new air filter. It kind of looks like a giant version of the old iPod nano.

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shiny

I bought it on Amazon, of course. For comparison, this is my old air filter, which doesn’t have fancy cycling modes or an air quality indicator (that blue light on the right goes red when the air is bad) and it is super loud but if the light on the new one is to be believed, it has been doing a pretty good job!

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less shiny but still doing its duty

I need to figure out what model it is, actually, and buy a new filter. It has been running constantly for several days and I last replaced the filter last year during a bad fire week. I’m not sure how much of the smoke they can handle and I’d rather be safe than sorry!

In less boring, more cute news, my dog had a playdate today. They spent some time wrestling under the couch as usual, but then they had a rest, adorably.

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doing a snoozle, as they say

I have been knitting on the sleeve since I last posted about the sweater problem but it’s too late to get a new picture. I’ll aim for that tomorrow!

sweater problems

I posted about my breezy cardigan in progress last year on November 3. As you can see, I have made almost no progress since then!

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looks just like last year’s shot!

The problem is that i think the sleeve is too big. I knit a whole sleeve and didn’t like it and ripped back but I’m not sure it’s making any improvement.

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bunch sleeve?

Then again, the store bought hoodies I wear aren’t exactly form-fitting either.

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same problem, different sleeve

So maybe it is not so bad and I can just just keep knitting? That is the plan I am going with for now. The body of this sweater is just so much knitting. I can’t face frogging the whole thing and starting again. It’s an open, loose cardigan, it doesn’t matter if it has loose fitting sleeves as well.

Right?

(Please say right.)