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.

Advertisements

embroidery, sunflowers, and congress

I spent some quality time with my embroidery today and made progress on the outline of the house.

House progress. #cozybluestitchclub

I also wanted to share this photo I took of the sunflowers I bought myself at the farmer’s market.

Sunflower. #nofilter

They are so cheerful! I need cheer because of things like having to call my congresswoman to ask her to speak out against a white supremacist being placed into the incoming president’s cabinet. I have never called my representative before! There is a first time for everything.

ticks and stitching and folding, oh my

I found a tick on my dog. I did NOT take a picture of it either before or after it was removed (you’re welcome). While my husband was patiently trying to remove the tick without leaving any bits in the dog or squeezing the body and potentially leaving pathogens in him, I wondered if this was another metaphor for the election and our new president. I am not going to think that one through but I’m sure there is something there. Let’s just leave it that. The good news is that the tick is off and the dog got a bath out of the deal. He didn’t think the bath was good news but he sure liked the treat I gave him afterwards.

In crafty news, I started working on my embroidery again.

Stitching again. A little behind on the club. #cozybluestitchclub

I’m going to finish the house and then work on the leaves. I might be reading too much into everything, but I do feel the symbolism of working on an embroidery of a house, like I am turning inward. As I said, reading a lot into everything.

I also folded a paper bird for my husband.

Origami bird

He bought something called “muscle wire” which he plans to use to make the bird’s wings flap. I am intrigued to see the finished product! Hopefully that bird works, but I found a lot of different origami bird instructions online. This one was supposed to fly like a paper airplane as well but I think I did the tail slightly wrong and it didn’t glide nicely like the video I watched.

Look! I posted two days in a row!

in a funk

Like many people out there, this week has put me in a bit of a funk. Since deleting my Facebook app, I have been trying to stay off of it but I can still use a browser so I can still get on. It slows me down a little but doesn’t stop me from reading everything. I am mostly trying not to argue with people, because it feels so pointless.

A friend posted incredibly moving cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, sung by Kate McKinnon and I had to share it. I still don’t want to argue with anyone, though, I just want to watch that video and cry.

taking a break

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and iPad today. I started the day working at my younger son’s school in the sewing class that I have either lead or helped lead for since 2008. I often check my phone while our lead is talking to the kids, if I don’t have anything else to do and I got wrapped up in Facebook and all the (very understandable) hurt and anger that people are feeling and found myself arguing with a friend of a friend in her comments. In that moment, I felt like I needed someone to take Facebook away from me and not let me back on. This afternoon, I decided to be that someone. Obviously, I can still get back on but not having the app reminds me not to check it. Not to get sucked in. Instead, I donated money this evening to the ACLU and to Planned Parenthood and I will participate in other productive ways in the coming months but for now, I needed to step back and breathe.

Instead, I want to focus on the work I am doing to make my small part of the world better: my volunteering for the school. As I said, I have been working in the sewing class since my older son’s kindergarten year. This is my 18th session of the class. I know I am resistant to change but I’m still amazed that i have been doing it so long. One of my younger son’s classmates is in the class this time and he decided to draw his own design for the embroidery. He drew this cute cat face.

arts focus embroidery
M’s cat

I love to see the kids enjoy embroidery. Some of them struggle with it, some do intricate stitches and some, like this kid, have a vision of what they want to make and just go for it. He almost completed it today.

One of the kids said to me that embroidery takes a lot of time, and old people must do it because they have a lot of time on their hands. I told her that I embroider even though I don’t always have a lot of time because it just feels good to make things. It really does, it feels good to make things. So that is what I am going to do: make things and breathe and work on helping the kids at my child’s school appreciate the enjoyment of handwork and making things. Just because.

For those of you who came to this from Facebook, you can always comment here, or email me, or follow me on Instagram, or text me. I’m not hiding.

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 ┬ánot 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.

IMG_2990
June

IMG_1210
July

IMG_3074
A kit I purchased because I love this sentiment.

IMG_3385
August

IMG_1252
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.

IMG_3787

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.

It’s November …. again

Apparently, I only blog in November. Every year when I do this NaBloPoMo exercise, I think I should blog more often and then, I don’t. Well, that is a topic for another time, I think. Today I am just going to declare that I am going to try to post every day for the month of November.

Tomorrow, when I am less sleepy and there is more light, I will try to catch you up on the knitting I have finished since last year. Sadly, it isn’t much!

See you tomorrow!