Just a few more hours
Tuesday August 01st 2017, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Knitting a Gift

This one is to make the parents happy, and whether they use it for the baby is up to them but I decided I wanted it long enough to curl over the mom’s feet during 3 am feedings, if nothing else, and that as long as that giant ball kept going so would I.

Three repeats done today to bring it to twenty-two before I broke out the icepacks. Two more to go and then that’s all there is.

I like having less left to do tomorrow than what I did today.

(I think. Wait, did I weigh that ball one repeat ago or two?)

Sunday July 30th 2017, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life

Oh, right, the purple cowl. And I went to grab it before church.

Something in me said and grab that pink pearl-yarn one, too.

?? Okay, so, I did, a little surprised. I’d forgotten even making it and here I was looking for it. I grabbed a back-up purple, too, but I didn’t think that one was quite it.

As church was letting out, I found a private moment and gave the friend who’d wanted purple her choice of the three; she picked the one she didn’t know I’d made specifically for her this past week and put it on instantly no matter the thickness in summertime and wore it proudly. Totally made my day.

Then I went looking for another friend. She was wearing a white dress and I was mentally going through my stash of white yarns when I finally caught up to her collecting her children.

“Are you allergic to any fibers?”

A surprised, “Am I what?”

“Are you allergic to anything? What’s your favorite color?” When she still looked like wait, this is completely out of left field, what?! I added, “I’m a knitter.” (Yeah, yeah, she knew that.)

She was startled and laughed and couldn’t believe I was asking her and shook her head no on the allergies thing and pronounced, “Pink!” And then went, “Well…” and tried to describe the kind of pink she really likes.

Reaching into my purse, pulling out just enough for her to see: “Like this shade?”

“YES!” And then she was instantly embarrassed because it wasn’t like she was trying to ask for the thing, while I was marveling at how it had just happened to be there. I told her, I didn’t know who I made it for but I knew I made it for someone and then it just sat there waiting for its moment and then this morning it demanded to come here with me. Well there you go.

It was beyond perfect as far as she was concerned, and I wondered why I hadn’t figured out sooner that she was the person for it.

But after a few hours’ reflection, I think it’s this. She had taught the lesson today and had told some stories on herself that she might have wondered if they would make anyone think less of her. I would be very surprised if anybody did–allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is the greatest act of faith in one’s listener one could ever offer them, and she’s a peach.

Today was the day that young mom needed that vote of confidence. And it was waiting for her before she said a word.

Round and round and round it goes
Thursday July 27th 2017, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Spinning

If you ever want your inbox to go weirdly silent for an entire day, offer a lot of very nice people something you only have one of. Niddy-noddy? Anybody? Drill a hole and reposition an arm? Use as is? Take one arm out, thread a string through the hole to suspend it by and hang cat toys from the bottom arm? Help me out here.

Meantime, I was discussing something with a friend the other day and she tried to describe her favorite shade of purple. She finally pulled out her phone, went to her alma mater’s site, and there it was in full and official color.

(Actually, I had something like that kicking around…) So today, it didn’t matter what I’d planned on, it leaped onto the needles.

Funny how that happens.

Healthcare bill
Tuesday July 25th 2017, 10:55 pm
Filed under: History,Knitting a Gift,Lupus,Politics

Being the political junkie that I am, I got some good knitting time in while watching the Senate vote 50-50 today with Pence tipping the scales. Watched John McCain give the speech of his life after casting the vote that utterly mocked everything he would say immediately thereafter. He could have put a stop to it all right there, and it would have been over for good just like the version in April was. This was a vote to allow the bill to continue to the floor, and he promised not to vote in the future for that bill as it now stands. (Knowing full well that after amendments and arguments it would not be as it now stands, for better but also for worse.)

But that is pure hubris anyway. He might be in the hospital then, he might not even be alive.

I don’t know how many people know that the current Republican bill, among its many other problems, would allow employer-based health insurance to reach in and deny coverage to the chronically ill—lupus is specifically targeted, hey, it was nice knowing you all–coverage that the employees are paying for out of their paychecks, and with the ACA gone we patients would be unable to buy any anywhere else, either.

But hey, I got a lot of blanket knitted!

I called McConnell’s office, got through on the first ring, and told whichever intern answered the phone that McConnell is only pushing on that bill because my uncle the late and generally-right-wing Senator Bob Bennett of Utah is dead. Because McConnell wouldn’t have been able to look Bob in the eye.

Bob was a Republican, but he also believed American businesses could not compete as long as their workers knew they were one medical crisis away from losing everything. He had lived through losing his job and his insurance when he’d had a young family to support. He knew.

So he wrote, with Ron Wyden, a Democrat, the first draft of a bill. Romneycare had worked in Massachusetts, so…

Baby blanket
Monday July 24th 2017, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Seventeen repeats done, five or so to go.

I think. Since no water has touched that lace yet, it’s a guess how far it will stretch. It’s either 34″ long now (relaxed) or 43″, depending on whether or not you pull it to where you think it might go later.


Second Hat Syndrome
Saturday July 22nd 2017, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knitting a Gift

Location location location. Sewn in February, about three feet apart. Now about 15″ high vs over 5′. I planted my tomato seedlings in what was a nice sunny spot last year, but I guess the tree nearer the smaller ones grew more than I thought.

But then I only had enough wire framing to keep the raccoons out of the one plant, so that works, right? And the guardian acanthus stalks are drying out fast.

Meantime, the second hat is done and the ends are about to disappear into them and then they will be tattooed with a “made with pride by…” label inside. Via a separate strand so that if the feel of it ever bugs them, they can simply tug on it gently till it comes out.

Friday July 21st 2017, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

One down. Let’s see if I can make a second by tomorrow night.

Roughly the same color
Thursday July 20th 2017, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Knitting a Gift

With a little more brown to the hat.

Yeah, yeah, baby blanket baby blanket but this merino just leaped onto the needles in spite of me and demanded to be done right now. Right now. (Don’t look too closely at that cast-on edge, I was in a hurry.)

Clearly it is the boss of me.

Meantime, Richard is finally getting a pie from the cherries I bought at Andy’s last Friday. It seemed the right day for it. It doesn’t look perfect either but I just pulled it out of the oven and trust me when I say that that won’t stop us. (Pro tip: if you open the oven with one hand and try to take the photo of it there with the other, that hot steam as you look through the viewer is not your phone melting after all.)

Knitting a bundt cake
Monday July 17th 2017, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

I gave my hands a break for most of the weekend, but I’m starting to catch up again.

Backup plan
Sunday July 16th 2017, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

Re this cowl: she thought the color was perfect and she loved it.

And then there was the one for Don’s wife.

My husband came home from a meeting recently with a nice and brand new pair of shoes–and quite surprised, I asked, Where did those come from?!

I had been trying to buy him a new pair for some time. Going shopping for shoes, online or in person, is absolutely not his thing. I had tried three times to order him some but he said the fit was wrong and they didn’t work. Back they went, one after another, and it had been kind of bugging me that his feet were beginning to look a bit sad. I was trying.

And then suddenly here was this beautiful pair of black Clark’s. They fit perfectly.

So I cornered Don at church. His wife’s not a Mormon and I don’t see her very often, but I have met her and I remember her wearing a denim skirt. I had some denim-ish colored yarn, and due to the recent Colourmart sales, it was a yarn one could brag about just by saying it.

I thanked him for those beautiful shoes as I fished through my purse and pulled out a cowl in a small ziploc. I asked if she would like the color?

He was slightly unsure at first glance: “Well, she usually wears brighter colors…” But when I said it was cashmere he was gobsmacked. (And like the Fluffball, the yarn had grown fairly thick in the pre-scouring.)

I told him I could overdye it to a darker shade of anything blue-based, or tell me what color to go for and I could knit something else.

But this one was growing on him fast. He couldn’t wait to give it to her.

And he told me, well, they’d bought the shoes in Vacaville. (I almost exclaimed out loud, You drove all the way to Vacaville?! I knew there was a big outlet mall there, but there’s another one in Gilroy and at an hour away it’s a whole lot closer. Although don’t ask me what the shoe stores currently are in either, I have no idea, so, never mind. And maybe it was on their way home from visiting grandkids, who knows.) So. When they really just didn’t fit no matter how much he’d wanted them to, there was no way they were going all the way back there, so he’d been looking for someone to give them to and was glad they’d worked out so well for us, even more so when I told him just why doing that right now was such an extra gift. (Richard told me after church that Don had been very pleased to see those shoes on his feet.)

Cashmere. Oh he was thinking now that that would most definitely do, and he loved that I’d knitted it for his beloved.

I have gray, brown, (thrills chills and excitement), an earthy purple and a dye-able white cashmere on hand in case it doesn’t, but he smiled and kind of waved all that away.

Thursday July 13th 2017, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

I think knitting an entire Colourmart cone in 48 hours is probably a record for me.

I’ve never knit this lace pattern in anything heavier than fingering weight, so it was a complete surprise as I laid it down and patted it out on the floor to see how big it was so far (48″ wide by ~23″ long at, now, 9.5 repeats.) Not that this photo shows it well, but…

I’m knitting a bundt cake!

Adjusting the picture
Monday July 10th 2017, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I was on what I’d decided was going to be the last repeat when the so-obvious smacked me upside the head: I know who wears turquoise. (Which this is in real life.) A lot. Like, does she ever wear anything that’s not? Her dad just passed away–you know she could use a good hug. And she’s a knitter!

I used 40 grams of the merino/silk and I have 90 g left. We’ll see how the length and fit of the thing looks once that lace is dried, and if I need to make a second on a larger scale to match her better, I certainly have plenty to do it with.

I’ve wanted to knit for her for a long time and at last I have a plan. And maybe even the cowl.

Meantime, this is how the back of the pattern that my Water Turtles shawl is done in looks like, and I just think it’s really cool.

Change of plans
Sunday July 09th 2017, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Thoughts during a summer full moon’s brightly lit and long, sleepless night:

Y’know? I have a lot of people I want to be knitting for right now for a lot of very good reasons.

If I put another day’s work into that afghan project I’ll have a really nice soft black scarf that the recipient will love just as much as any bigger object and would probably actually use it more. How much the yarn shrinks or blooms wouldn’t matter then: I could seam the ends for a doubled-over infinity scarf or leave them open, and I don’t even have to decide yet. I can knit it to the point where I’d cast off if I were doing that, leave it waiting, and if I find I want to and have the time I can keep going from there as I’d originally planned.

But right now is just not that time, no matter how much I might want it to be. I might even be able to pull off doing both from those cones–making the scarf a swatch. A really big swatch.

The moon finally went behind the camphor tree’s leaves, and at some time well after 2:00 am I fell asleep at last.

I cast on a turquoise cowl in the morning.

Faster faster
Saturday July 08th 2017, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Wildlife

Yardage times desired length divided by time…

And so I supplemented the 900 grams of heavy dk weight with 760 grams of a matching thinner 4-ply, even if it meant waiting for the second cone to arrive. It just came.

I swatched on the 10s–that would go fast for sure.

In your dreams, honey. I scoured it in hot water, hoping it would shrink enough. A little, maybe, but, c’mon.

I swatched on the 9s. Give it up, honey.

8s are as low as I’m going. It *will* shrink, but it will also bloom out when I wash the finished afghan. But I am not pre-scouring two pounds on that niddy-noddy at once. Okay, then, we’re on.

It’s a race to see which runs out first, the yarn or me. Me. There’s probably ~2500 yards on the dk and twice that on the 4-ply, and starting a black afghan in two strands of loosely-plied yarns was probably not my smartest move–it was the fifty bucks for two pounds of cashmere (the best bargains went fast) that did me in and here we are.

I’m figuring I need to do five inches a day to totally be on the safe side, time-wise. So far, I’ve done a whopping three. Which is actually not shabby at all.

(Edited to add: got it to 4,” we’ll say five if you stretch it. Meantime, someone’s setting off illegal fireworks outside and made a skunk mad, which is good for my asthma but probably not what they intended.)

Straight off the needles
Friday July 07th 2017, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Spinning

Bedtime. That satisfying snap as the last of the ball is broken away at last. Lights, action, camera!

I’m just really glad right now that I made two more skeins of this yarn, because it exactly matches a sweater I love. I’ll have plenty of time to knit another before it gets cold.