Chateau chapeau
Monday December 10th 2018, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Another one, at the same stage as the one on the left was last night.



Leafy greens
Sunday December 09th 2018, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

The silk in the cowl really lightens it for the camera, but these two are a good match for each other.

Which means that if one of the nephews picks that hat, I’m tempted to buy a second skein to make one for the husband of the woman getting the cowl.

Here, let me go finish off that last bit at the top now.



Their gift back
Friday December 07th 2018, 12:25 am
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I got word back about the undyed cashmere/cotton blanket that I knit awhile back, going beyond baby blanket size because I had the yarn and I could and that I told the parents they could use it for their new daughter or as an afghan on the couch–it was whatever they wanted it to be for.

Turns out it has gone through the laundry any number of times (shed a bunch of fluff in the process I have no doubt) and has done fine.

And, though they don’t let her toddle around the house dragging it behind her, their little girl goes to bed cuddling with it every night. It is the lovie that every knitter aspires for their baby blanket to become.



A circular moss gathered no stitches
Wednesday December 05th 2018, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Life

Before our trip to Alaska I was working on this moss-green cowl for someone but put it aside to work on my nephews’ hats.

Then I couldn’t find it.

I have this assignment at church I love, to bring chocolate every week to the mothers’ nursing lounge, slipping in before and after the meetings so that none of the kids figures out what I’m up to and tries to raid the stash. Since Stitches, for that task I’ve been using the purple bag my Lisa Souza yarn came in: it’s pretty and it’s celebratory without being too loud. Not to mention, any adult on cleanup duty who took one look at it would know exactly who it belongs to–the knitter.

I finally figured I must have had the cowl ziploc with me at church and put it in there at one point–but I’d left the bag with someone else while we were going out of town and then this past Sunday we met in a different building, where chocolate wasn’t my responsibility, so it had been gone from me two weeks now.

I sent off an email.

I got no response.

The person I was making it for had already seen it and knew it was coming and I had to get on it, but I can’t do what I can’t do. There was simply no sign of it here absolutely anywhere.

So… I grabbed some plain ecru Piuma cashmere and started a substitute, because even if you don’t get the color you want, nobody can complain about cashmere, right? (The other was cashmere/silk/merino, though.) I had to have something come Sunday.

I had very nearly finished the new cowl today a few minutes after sending one last message to the holder of that purple bag. She answered this time: there was no knitting to be found there.

I did the last row and a half, the cast-off, and having used unscoured yarn straight from the cone I put that Piuma in hot soapy water, where the yarn poofed out and came to life with the mill oils gone. So soft now. (Note the pattern is a mesh one that works up fast. That was on purpose.)

Thinking about that moss green Diamante that I so wanted to give to the person who has so been looking forward to it, I walked back across the house thinking, Did I look over at…? I had to have. I looked everywhere. But I’m going to just go see just to be sure.

It looked up at me from under that Time magazine as innocent as a cat in a Christmas tree. It had gotten me to knit an extra, at record speed, in December. Hah.

It’s got an extra leaf motif in it now…



Sunday’s forecast there: snow
Saturday December 01st 2018, 11:31 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Plain, simple, thick, soft, warm, machine washable hats in Mecha.

In Salt Lake three weeks ago I offered to knit one for my niece. (She wanted cream.)

Single moms and their kids could use a little love and a little warmth against all kinds of cold, and with their dad having ditched them, they all need family-centered moments and memories that bring them together when so much in their world has been torn apart.

Which means she got these first two photos today and was told that just because these are the ones I knitted so far doesn’t mean these are the ones her kids had to like–I can knit more and I can buy more yarn. It is a privilege to be able to.

The skein on the left, one of the boys asked.

Sure! I dove right in and kept going till my hands demanded I do something else for awhile.

This is at night, and sunlight will brighten things up a lot, but even though I really like this this isn’t quite what I was expecting–it’s a lot less blue–and I’m not sure it’s what he is either.

So the keyboard and I just opened up a couple of other options and we’ll see how it goes when they come. I want to make the choices theirs as much as I humanly can from an internet away with what photography skills I (don’t) have.



The AQI is supposed to be worse tomorrow
Thursday November 15th 2018, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Knitting a Gift,Life,LYS

Malabrigo Mecha is my favorite for making a quick, warm, densely knit, beautiful hat out of, and my two brothers and the two local daughters of one of those brothers each ended up with one last weekend.

Which (thinking of the relatives we got to see while we were at the reunion) was just the start. But I was out of that yarn again other than a bag of ten dedicated to becoming an afghan.

There is only one local store that sells it and hey, twist my arm, so I headed out today towards Cottage Yarns.

North or south, whichever way you looked getting onto the freeway the instinct for self-preservation did not want to go there: if there’s that much smoke there could be a fire just beyond, and since the wind can pick up embers and toss them twenty miles down the road (but we’re two hundred from Paradise) maybe I should have checked the latest report first?

Stop it, I told the stupid little fear. Just go. You know it’s okay.

All the cars looked like a variant of spring fever: coated in fire pollen.

The air quality index in South San Francisco was even worse than ours at 211; we were at 179. I was told later that San Jose was nine times worse than Beijing today.

The door to the shop was open only just enough to let people know they could come in.

I talked to Kathryn a moment, being in no hurry to go back out into that, and she told me they’d had a sale last weekend and she’d figured it would be a bust because who would want to come out into the smoke.

What had happened instead is that people had shown up, lots of people: since officially nobody’s supposed to be outside they were buying yarn to have something new and happy to do inside and to create something good in the face of the firestorm, so much so that it turned out to be her best sale event ever. People came together before spending their time separated, and it was clear it meant a lot to her.

I headed home the longer way, through the hills rather than the heavier traffic of the valley floor.

There’s that stretched-out bridge with the reservoir below and the Flintstone House off to the left. The vivid orange beamed like a lighthouse against the smokey storm but to the right, you could not tell that there was water below. At 1:45 pm. It was that bad.

One of my nieces had requested an undyed white hat. If I get it done fast enough it’ll still be that color when she gets it. I think I’ll stay home tomorrow and knit.



Big and cuddly
Tuesday October 30th 2018, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Just had to hurry up and get that baby alpaca Chalet off the needles to be freed for that next project. Took two skeins.

Now for a good dunking on the thing.



All you need is love. Purple Piuma helps with that.
Thursday October 25th 2018, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Life

There was a phone call, there was news, it’s temporary (you know, one of those learning experiences), but for the moment it’s painful for the sake of the person going through it.

Man it felt good to sit down for an hour afterwards and make more of something soft and pretty to put out into the world. To do what I can to speed up the healing.

I really needed that.



Let’s see, do I have any more yarn around here…
Saturday October 06th 2018, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Due to three two-hour sessions today of General Conference: Malabrigo Mecha in Hollyhock, size 9 US needles, done. Two more sessions tomorrow.

I was afraid it came out a little small (see picture), but once it hit the water it grew really nicely.



For a survivor
Wednesday October 03rd 2018, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

This shouldn’t be taking me so long but at least I made some good headway on it today. It needs to get in the mail, and soon.



Congressional hearing
Thursday September 27th 2018, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Knitting a Gift,Life

I promised myself I would use the time to knit. With the time zone difference and our morning schedule, I missed some of Dr. Ford’s testimony but what I saw was riveting and heartbreaking and as real as it gets.

Kavanaugh‘s Yale roommate said he was mean when he was drunk. Today we got to see the guy sober–and I wouldn’t want to be around him when he’s anything worse. Self-righteous, highly partisan, self-pitying, loud, angry, bombastic, rude, steamrollering, and over the top: this is the kind of man that women stay as far away from as they can.

Judy’s cowl is almost done.

I can’t change what the Senate might do tomorrow, but I can make a difference to one woman with it.



Stash to the rescue
Sunday September 23rd 2018, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

Judy!¬†You like that shade of red so much (her face: you noticed?!) but it’s been a really hard one to find: yarn store after yarn store, and this is what I could come up with. (Reaching into my purse.) It’s way thicker though than… (and it’s not as soft as I want to knit for you. I didn’t say that part.)

That’s a lovely color!

It won’t be… (I tried to briefly describe its potential. It was fuzzy-ish and downright chunky. It was definitely for warmth, not for glamour.)

Oh but I like it! It’s very nice.

And then I pulled out my backup plan: some Malabrigo Rios in the deep Purple Mystery colorway. Much softer a yarn, much more of a weight you’d want for a cowl, perfectly spun and a little bit luminescent in that light and she actually did a little gasp as she saw its merino-y goodness.

Oh that’s PERFECT!

She was happy but now she was really happy, which was the point, and so, Purple Mystery is my project for the week whenever I’m not working on the baby blanket I just started for my daughter’s friend’s little one on the way. The fact that the cowl-to-be could withstand a trip through the laundry if her grandkids should get too helpful just made it all the better in her eyes.



Spring all over again
Monday September 17th 2018, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Mango tree

If I think about the dozen cowls and three afghans in my mental queue it can be a bit overwhelming. Better to take it one project at a time.

So having a finished one helps a lot.

Photo’d,then rinsed, now blocking.

It was 44F this morning, which is why the mango tree has been back to being lit up and covered over at night of late. Right now it’s 49 vs. 68 under there.

Its response to the artificially warmer nights is that those fruits are growing fast enough to see the difference in a day or two–and some branches started doing a new growth flush today. Which means we could end up with holiday-season blossoms to feed the bees and start up the next batch.

 



Sunshine yellow
Sunday September 16th 2018, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I was so close, but no, it just didn’t feel finished to my eyes today. But I did happen to start to open a door at church just as Hannah was pushing on the other side of it and we did a mutual surprised oh, hello!

Which gave me the perfect, unexpected one-on-one moment.

There’s this mill outlet, I started to babble, stepping forward to put my purse on the table and open it up, And they had this one single skein (I was not going to explain yarn cones, skein conveyed the idea well enough) and I knew it was just the thing. It’s cashmere. But it took ordering it and waiting for two weeks for it to get to me and all that anticipation… (Then there was the baby blanket knitting time in between because it had a deadline, but never mind.) Tell me if I got the color right?

For what? She had no idea what I was doing or what I was talking about. Did you make something?

I pulled it out and showed her what it was, and with it mostly done it offered a good account of itself.

For you! I answered.

She was speechless.

YES! I love that color! She couldn’t believe I’d done that for her. That I’d seen it and instantly thought of her. But I had.

Same time next week, then!

For my part, it almost feels like cheating that I’ll get to be happy twice over the same project. But I think I can live with it.



Pilot light hat
Friday September 14th 2018, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I had an appointment to get my hair trimmed today, and looking at her schedule a few days ago, Gwyn realized that the person she’d put on her calendar to do right before me–was my old friend Kevin. Whom she knows from her theater work. We’d once done a double-dose on her Facebook page of, wait, how do you guys know each other?!

One of the three Kevins from the late great Purlescence.

Kevin’s hat wasn’t fancy, because the wool was a thick single and the yardage short and you run out fast if you try anything more than a simple beanie; it’s hard to join skeins and have it look good when it’s spun like that. But the Malabrigo colorwork stands on its own.

We had a great mini-reunion. It was the first time the three of us had been in the same place at the same time together. He loved his hat.

After I finished it last night… There was some bright yellow cashmere I’d bought specifically for someone who wears that shade all the time. It was not my color at all but I knew it was hers.

Between the, oh, that would be perfect for –! and the two weeks till it arrived, which coincided with the need to not use my right arm much the first week of the broken rib, that cowl lost its urgency.

And yet not. It sat in my stash and nagged at me. I should be a good person who doesn’t care that I don’t love that color–it’s not about me. I knew that it wasn’t just the potential gift nor the fiber but the being clearly thought about that that friend needed right now and why wasn’t I getting this done? What was the holdup? What was my excuse?

With that hat happily grinning Look at me! (You did it!) Look at me! I started off the day casting on that cashmere so that I would have something to work on while Gwyn finished up with Kevin.

If it’s not done before Sunday, I can show it to the recipient halfway along and then she gets to spend a week looking forward to it.

Thank you, Kevin. And Gwyn! My knitting got relit!