Love play work
Sunday February 17th 2019, 12:32 am
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift,Life

Finished the hat during the drive to Salinas for a family get-together.

We went home by way of Mutari for hot chocolate in Santa Cruz, making it back just in time for our niece, who had carpooled with us, to make it to her next thing. (Which meant taking 17 home. In the rainy season between storms of the day. I know one friend who will read that and cringe at the thought, but the redwood that fell across the highway had been cut up and pushed out of the way by then.)

Then daughter and husband fixed the plumbing under the bathroom sink and I can’t tell you how good it feels to have that working again.

Then out to get ice cream to celebrate.

Lots and lots of family this morning, some I hadn’t seen in half a dozen years, and it felt like so much life was all packed into one short day.



Tree hats, people hat
Wednesday February 06th 2019, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knitting a Gift

Two frost covers, one greenhouse, two strings of incandescent Christmas lights plus a heater made it 54F this morning under the covers with the mango tree vs 29F for the outside temp. Three more mangoes have begun to turn yellow, determined to become what they were meant to be.

Meantime, Malabrigo Mecha is proving to be easier on my tendonitis to knit than that fluffy grabby red alpaca was, and I find it very encouraging. It felt good to see something brand new coming to be.



At the edge of the polar vortex
Thursday January 31st 2019, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

Yay for tracking numbers. Yay for the post office. That sweet little girl got her baby blanket back Wednesday, cold weather or no.



Malabrigo to the rescue
Saturday January 12th 2019, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life,LYS

Today we picked our daughter up on the way and discovered for ourselves why she loves Dandelion Chocolates in San Francisco so much. Wonderful, wonderful place: happy people, great pastries, and you can watch the chocolate coming to be, right there, while they offer you samples. Yum.

More on that later.

And then because my husband and daughter really love me they humored me in letting me spend a few minutes at Imagiknit nearby.

Before we left for the City, having read the weather reports, I grabbed a Malabrigo hat that matched my outfit just in case. The coldest winter Mark Twain supposedly spent was a summer in San Francisco, but the winters right by the ocean can be pretty brisk, too.

It came home again and got put back away unworn with the feeling that that just wasn’t quite it yet–but, something…

This evening we were heading out again and I found myself going back to that ziplock of recently-knit Malabrigo Mecha hats that were still here. I looked at the two teal ones and went no… They’re close, but not the one from this morning; this one instead. And stuck it in my purse.

We went to our Saturday evening stake conference (ie a semi-annual multi-ward meeting) and offered a ride home to a friend whose car had broken down.

We needed a few things on the way and so did Karen so that was easy; we stopped by Safeway.

She got a little ahead of me–there’s always something to be distracted by in a grocery store–and she stepped into a line behind a couple Richard and I recognized but don’t really know. She did, though. They had been at that meeting, too, and the wife turned to us and said she’d shivered through that whole thing and was still cold and wondered if we were as well? She was clearly seriously uncomfortable.

I was already silently noting how the hat in my purse matched her outfit.

How often do you get a chance to actually rescue someone from being cold in California? I told her happy birthday as I handed it to Karen to hand to her.

She tried to turn it down but when she saw I really and freely meant it she let me give it to her, gobsmacked and thrilled. It went right on her head and it was going to stay there. Her husband exclaimed over what a beautiful color it was.

Who else could it possibly have been for?

Besides, Karen (who had such a big grin on her face while being happy for her friend) already has hers.



That’s okay, I can make more
Monday December 17th 2018, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

So the moss green Diamante found its owner yesterday, that Piuma did, too.

And I had one more with me.

It had been my last two skeins probably forever of the discontinued 70/30 baby alpaca/bamboo Chalet in a gray just slightly on the earthy side. It had worked up quickly while I’d waited for the next green hat yarn to arrive, it was soft and warm–and it had not yet found its home.

During the last meeting there were four of us sitting on our row on the side and as I looked across I knew that it would look so great on her. I debated: if I got up and went around to her at the end, it would be when the meeting would be over (since it was just about to start), everybody would be rising and talking and I wouldn’t hear a thing. If I just passed it down the row right now quick before the meeting, my ears were stuffed and she was far enough away that I wouldn’t hear a thing.

Not that it’s about me anyway. Okay so that settled it.

The woman next to me had just gotten one of my cowls in October and the woman next down had long since gotten hers and knew what I was up to, so no feelings were going to be hurt: I got it out and asked the other two to pass it on down.

The woman at the end was new and had not the slightest idea what was up as it was handed to her with grins on the others’ faces.

“It’s my favorite color!” she exclaimed once she got that no, this really was for her. Her next thought was, “Oh, my daughter’s going to steal this!”

I do have another good yarn that is gray…



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.