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!

catching up

Okay, I have been pretty busy in the past year, craftwise. I didn’t realize it until I sat down to look at all the pictures and update you. All of my project information can be found on my Ravelry profile. Pardon me for not linking individually!

First up, January was all about Pussy Hats for the Women’s March. I made 18 in the end, I think. I gave some to local friends and  mailed others off to far away relatives, friends, and friends of friends). It was a good project for me to throw my energy into in the aftermath of the election. My hats went to the Oakland, San Jose, DC, and Philadelphia marches.

Speaking of hats, I also knit three Habitat hats, one for my older son and two for my nieces.

Then I knit my dog two sweaters, one too big and one too small. I am thinking it’s time to knit him the just right Goldilocks sweater.

In February, my cousin’s daughter had a birthday, so a dress for her American Girl doll was next up.

My younger son already had a hat (a Droste hat, not Habitat, but similar style to Habitat) but I knit him a sweater in the same yarn for our trip to the Netherlands. He is seen here enjoying an amazing hot chocolate on said trip.

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While we were there, I decided I needed a hat too, so I knit myself a star-crossed slouchy beret.

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In April, a teacher at my children’s elementary school was pregnant and moving away, so, of course, she had to get a bunny before she left.

 

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In May, I taught a knitting class with my Textiles co-lead as one of the parties for our silent auction, so I had to knit a cowl for that.

My younger niece had a birthday in June and asked for a “fuzzy blue blanket”, so I had to oblige, of course!

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Last but not least, I finished a silk cowl I was knitting in a beautiful gradient yarn! This reminds me that it is almost cold enough to wear this one. I should figure out where I stashed it once it was done.

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Last-ish, actually, because there were some non-knitting crafts. I drew some robots and colored with my water color pencils.

My younger son and I each embroidered something for his 5th grade teacher. (He loves sloths, so he made the sloth for her.)

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I sewed a dress that I am not sure I like, but I am glad I got the practice sewing garments. It’s a little too tenty on me and the blue color was an unfortunate choice that ended up making it look a bit like a scrub shirt.

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Finally, I embellished and embroidered on this piece of an art quilt that a student at the Social Justice Sewing Academy put together. I liked the message, I hope the student likes what I did with it.

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Whew! Lots of catching up! Tomorrow I will share my current WIPs.

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Apparently, I’m a giver

It’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo for short) and I will be posting every day, or trying to do so. As Phoebe so aptly put it, my Novembers are well documented.

We’ll start, as I think we usually do, with a finished object round up.

There were teacher gifts…

Clapoktus

French Press Cozy

A gift for my mother-in-law

finished magrathea

A bunny for a new baby

more bunnies are better

Chemo caps (I only knit the top one and a couple others, a lot of those were knit by friends of mine. Thanks, friends!) donated, again, to The Breast Cancer Connection in Palo Alto.

Chemo Caps

A mouse for my son’s friend

Mouse for W

A scarf in UNR colors for a friend whose oldest son is going there

Husky Stripes

And, finally, a couple of things for me…

A Lintilla scarf

Posh Lintilla

And a Dark Side cowl.

ArtFibers Brogue Cowl

Wow, seven out of the last nine projects here were gifts. I think the last two I finished before this were also gifts. I am either selfless or stupid or overrun with knitting. Anything is possible.

I am not making any promises for this year’s NaBloPoMo. Last year I wanted to post a picture every day but I started Project 365 this year and bailed on that, so no promises from me!

Here’s to a postastic November! Hopefully we won’t have to talk about dryer lint at all this year. Again, no promises.

2011 FO Round-up

It is time for this year’s Finished Object Round-up. This year I finished 27 knitted, sewn, or woven objects. There are only 26 pictures because I didn’t get one of the second of the fuzzy blue bunnies and it has been absorbed into the vast quantity of stuffed animals in our house.

FOs 2011

How depressing! And now for the even more depressing part: I calculate the amount of yarn in my stash and it is somehow up to 71,727 yards (or 40.75 miles)! That is almost three times what it was last January. That seems impossible to me somehow. I think I either miscalculated then or now. I’m not sure which. I calculated how much yarn I used (not counting the six projects I made with Karen’s yarn) and I come up with 5,714 yards used. That is less than previous years but that still doesn’t account for 50,000 yards of yarn!

I think that I’m going to stay in my cozy little denial corner and refuse to believe it. That and maybe I will drag out the yarn this week once the kids are back and school and try to assess. There must be some that can go! Yeesh.

crocheting like crazy

I have been neglectful of my blog… again. Sorry about that… again. In June a friend from my knitting group passed away from breast cancer. Her daughter saw on our group’s email list that we were having a yarn swap in the summer and asked if she could bring her mother’s yarn for us to divide up. I didn’t end up getting the yarn from her until after the swap and I was talking to Kristi about it, debating what to do when Kristi came up with a brilliant idea: crochet items for donation to Breast Cancer Connections. We are crocheting because it is fast and uses up lots of yarn but also because our friend was mostly a crocheter. She used to make bed-sized afghans and give them away. They were truly epic creations: so big that she carried them in a bag from Costco. Shortly after this decision, I went to visit Kristi and delivered some of the yarn to her so she and I (and Janice and Cookie) have been crocheting away. Teenuh has been weaving and I haven’t gotten a chance to see her woven scarves in person but the photos have been lovely!

In any case, here is what I have made so far. The charity only wants “hats, scarves, and booties” so that’s where I have been going.

slippers

The slippers didn’t quite work. I don’t think this pair is going to get donated because I don’t think they will stay on. I might try to find another pattern to use instead.

first timba hat

Janice designed this pattern with the yarn I delivered to her. I think mine is bit too big and I’m working on a second with a smaller hook. It’s a very cute hat though, huh?

first divine hat

I liked this pattern so much…

second divine hat

… that I made two in a row.

very not tiny scarf

A very-not-tiny scarf.

checkers

This was actually the first project I made, although I got a foot into it and had to rip it out and restart because the hook was too small at first and the resulting scarf was, in Teenuh’s words, like iron. She was right to talk me into ripping it.

potato chip ruffle scarf

Potato chip scarf, so named because you can’t make just one, I think. I did, though, just make one.

kristi's scarves

This is Kristi’s pile so far (sitting on my bike just because it was there). She also made a tiny scarf, two flower motif scarves, and a big, cozy fringed scarf. I might have to make a fringed one too. That one is coziest.

There has been some knitting going on as well, with my own yarn.

finished palindrome infinity scarf

I started this infinity scarf as a car project when we drove to Southern California. I really like it. The yarn is bamboo and is soft and warm. I have another skein of it that might need to become another cowly and/or scarfy thing. One can never have too many scarves, cowls, and shawls, right?

annis in progress

I hope not because this is also the very beginning of a shawl. This pink silk yarn ended up in my stash after the yarn swap with the BobaKnitters. I’m making an Annis but I opted for beads in place of the Nupps. I was really into that pattern for a few days but it’s 300-something stitches so I didn’t get very far. When I’m done crocheting, I hope to get back to it.

giants zito socks scarf in progress

My final current project is a Giants Scarf “Zito Socks Style” as requested by my friend Sandy who is a Giants SuperFan. I am hoping to finish it before baseball seasons ends but she is such a fan that she wears Giants colors all year round so I know she’ll get use out of it even if the Giants are done playing by the time it’s done. Also, there’s always next year.

Whew. I’ve been busy, huh?

2010 FO Roundup

Happy New Year, everyone! A new year means that it’s time for me to look back and count my projects and yarn used. Yes, I’m weird, but that is what it means to me. Here’s this year’s mosaic of finished object photos.

2010 FO Mosaic

There are only 27 projects in this year’s mosaic. I had 39 in 2009 and 51 in 2008! I am going to attribute my finished object count drop to there being fewer crocheted items, dishcloths and bunnies in each passing year. Also, this year’s count includes three sweaters knit for myself. Three! Then there are two kid sweaters that add up to almost as much yarn as I’d use for a sweater for me.

I went through my projects on Ravelry and added up yarn usage. This year, I used 9,712.5 yards, or about 5.5 miles of yarn. That is only 100 yards less than I used up last year. Somehow, though, my current stash total (from my Ravelry Excel export) is only 23,655.4 yards, or 13.4 miles of yarn. That is 20,000 yards, or just over 11 miles less than last time I posted a number. That was two years ago but when I calculated last year I said that the amount was approximately equal to the amount that came in. I know I bought yarn this year, in sweater quantities, so I don’t now that I’m really down so much. Maybe the Ravelry spreadsheet has changed?

Anyway, enough stash-navel-gazing! Here is my current project instead.

aidez sleeves in progress

It’s Aidez, a new Berroco free pattern. It’s knit in super bulky yarn that I can’t use because of wool content so I’m knitting in Remix instead, because I was given that for my birthday and I’m excited to use it. I think the sweater will look great in it. Since I’m changing the gauge, I’m also changing the construction and am doing a bottom-up, seamless raglan. That’s why I’m knitting the sleeves first: so I can then knit the body and connect them all for the shoulder shaping.

Here’s another shot of the sleeve, with my arm in it, so you can get a better view of the stitch detailing.

close up of stitch pattern

The funny thing is, Juls brought me souvenir yarn from Tahoe because she saw it and thought of me. Guess what it was?

berroco remix

Yes! The same yarn I’m using for my sweater. It really is a nice yarn and the yardage per ball is great. This ball is a chocolatey brown color which didn’t come across in the picture at all. Oops. I’m thinking that it’s destined for a cowl for me.

She also gave me some leftover Summer Tweed.

summer tweed

I’ve been wanting to try this yarn but haven’t ever gotten around to it. I’m thinking this will be a gift scarf because the colors aren’t very me but I’m really looking forward to knitting it! Thanks again, Juls!