Somehow we’ll find us a rainbow connection
Wednesday November 02nd 2022, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

Little cloudbursts today, somehow never while I was actually driving.

Which I was doing for three and a half rush hour hours, just like yesterday. How on earth do people who have to do this every day do this every day?

It’s been a very unusual week where he had to be in the office and I had waited months for those appointments. So we made it work. There was a cashere/merino/silk skein‘s worth of bridge tolls. (Rainbow came today. I’m going to steal their photo to show it off because my phone’s pretty dead after running Waze to dodge the worst of the traffic.) 

And yet.

It was like the good old days, when his commute was three miles and he got to decompress by having me come get him, with the two of us together on his way home with no other responsibilities in those few moments but to be focused on each other. We’d missed that.

He got lots and lots of decompression time.

(Links so I can find them later: California major reservoir levels  and 24 hour rainfall totals)

Somehow all that time at the wheel helped make me feel a need to knit and to finish an old project, so a plain black hat that had been boring my needles to death is now done and my circs freed up for something a whole lot more fun that was waiting when we walked in the door tonight. And I didn’t even expect it to arrive yet!

Play ball!
Wednesday September 28th 2022, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

My mail got hacked last week and yonder computer nerd worked on it briefly and all seemed well–except that I’ve found that at random times it will both say that I responded to a message and that it got sent while telling me it did not, in fact, send it. I can only guess. So if you’ve sent me anything and I haven’t answered, please know that I did but I can’t tell if it got anywhere and trying twice made no difference–and yet at other times everything’s perfectly normal. We’ll get this fixed, and sorry, meantime.

Back to the trip.

Sunday, Spencer wanted to play with yarn, too, so while Maddy was putting every bit of her concentration into her stitches, he kept batting her ball around.

Maybe we should tell him this is not, in fact, how you make socks.

I looked at him with blue yarn all over the floor and pronounced to his sister with a grin, Spencer is a cat.

She enjoyed that very much: it is always fun to pretend to be a cat. But she was too busy to join in just then.

I remembered then that while getting ready for the trip I had come across a very small ball of turquoise Rios in the bottom of my purse that must have fallen out from the carry-around project previous to the one that I didn’t know would be important on our flight in a few hours. So. It was too small to worry about and just enough yards to tangle with to his heart’s delight. It was the same color and yarn as the baby blanket I had made four years earlier for–you guessed it–Spencer.

And so he could have his own, truly his own, to play with to his heart’s content. (While keeping a close eye on him just to be sure.)

First project
Tuesday September 27th 2022, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

I cast on five stitches of Malabrigo Mecha for Maddy, a soft thick wool, and did the first row to get it started.

Random draping back loops and added and missing stitches later, she had herself a little rectangle (mostly) and asked me, But what do we DO with it? Knitting clearly made practical things as well as beautiful and she wanted to be part of that, too.

I asked her to let me add a little to it, and I doubled its length with some nice steady stockinette stitch and then showed it to her doubled over.

She instantly figured out we had a finger puppet there, and she was right! So I got out a yarn needle and sewed up the sides for her.

She is very proud of her finger puppet and how it lets her show off her knitting.

I debated dubbing it the Cookie Monster but quietly decided that was up to her; a seven year old might not want to be associated with toddler motifs.

Actually, it kind of looks like Her–now His–Majesty’s guards with the bear hats thing going on, only in blue.

It’s going for a home run
Tuesday September 20th 2022, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

The new post office guy on the case sent me a picture of the address it was sent to: where my street name and address should have been, in transcribing from whatever Etsy or PayPal had told her in an alphabet much less language different from her own, she’d put my phone number.

And so it was now on its way back to her.

I asked him, You had my (obviously-local) phone number right there on the package; why didn’t anybody call to ask my address? Someone took a picture so someone knew I was looking for it. Someone had it.

He wrote back that if I had phoned before it got to this point they could have intercepted it.

(Head smack) I went in in person as soon as I knew there was a problem and filed a report. How could I call to stop you from sending it to Carson and now Ukraine back when I didn’t know anything yet except that it was supposed to arrive?


The ironic thing is that it got through the postal system in Kiev in two days, which is lightning fast–four to six weeks is more the norm during this war.

Oh well. At least the artist and I both know now where it’s actually going and I asked her to let me pay for the next go-round on the postage.

Meantime, re the afghan, the trees are on their third sets of branches. I can at least make something make progress!

I’d almost forgotten what it’s like
Sunday September 18th 2022, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Knit

We moved here while there was late snow on the ground in New Hampshire, landing at the start of what was then considered a drought. (We hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.) Our then-youngest turned one and started walking.

Six months later there were sounds outside that our baby had no idea what to make of.

There was water. Falling out of the sky. Water doesn’t do that. She was staring out the window. She asked to go outside and toddled over to the edge of the patio.

It was cold! And wet! She ran back towards me and away from it but stopped–because this mystery hadn’t been solved yet.

She looked for it: yup, the sprinkler was over there. It was off, she checked it out, it really was.

So then what WAS this?! Water doesn’t just fall out of the sky, you know!

Years later and we’ve learned a bit more about drought, for sure.

It rained last night for the first time since what–January? But it was over by the time we got up, which is pretty normal for around here. There were occasional sprinkles during the day.

But then during my knitting group Zoom this evening the skies abruptly opened up and the rain pounded down. I amused my friends by going, Can you *hear* that?! RAIN!!! I jumped up to go get a closer look, to remember what it even is, what it’s even like (except I didn’t need to go out in it to prove the cold and the wetness.)

They chuckled, and I said, I feel like a little kid, I want to jump up and down in excitement.

And the conversation flowed away as such things do, soaking in over here, running off over there. And I went back to knitting my stick figures of trees.


Thick and warm
Sunday August 28th 2022, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Knit

Maybe because the first few leaves–maybe half a dozen scattered across the taller cherry tree and on one peach– have already turned yellow, as if telling Fall to hurry up: making something warm appealed, and besides, I needed a small carry-around project for a doctor appointment tomorrow. I did not want a cone. I did not want to wind yarn.

And so I found myself doing a stash dive this morning and coming up with this baby alpaca/merino/yak blend, one of those online buys that when it comes you think, oh. That’s not what I expected. Oh well. And then it sits there.

Two skeins, ready to go. I surprised myself when I thought decisively, That one. (Really? Curious.)

Since Richard was feeling contagious, we did church by Zoom and I got this started because it’s way more fun to have something to actually show off tomorrow if you’re going to be knitting in public, right?

The color is actually bluer than this, and that is a good thing. Taupey grays, which this has in the mix, are not my thing.

I have no idea who it’s for but I expect I’ll find out soon enough, and that’s the fun part.

Use up the fruit
Monday August 22nd 2022, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Food,Knit,Recipes

Just for fun, a Ukrainian beaded necklace in granny squares. In late ’60’s colors to keep in character.

Made some progress on the afghan.

Meantime, I had some plums from Andy’s that needed to be put to good use, most quite small and a few of another variety a fair bit bigger. I whipped a warm stick of butter with 2/3 c sugar, then with 2 eggs, then added in a mixture of 1/2 c flour, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch salt. Put it in a 9″ nonstick springform pan with a parchment bottom (my 9″ circles came with pull-up handles) and arranged halves of the small plums in a circle, skin side up, and half one of the big ones in the center.

I should have taken a picture of my pretty sunflower cake before baking it. It really did look like one with those golden plums and darker plum in the center.

When I pulled it out of the oven 45 minutes later (the recipe I was riffing off of with that almond flour said an hour and I knew that was wrong, 45 was pushing it but okay) I looked at that thing and there was only one description for it.

A bellybutton cake.

And it is very very good.

Also the favorite food of elk
Thursday August 18th 2022, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Knit,To dye for

I guess you can make rayon out of just about any cellulose-based fiber, and I’ve seen a few oddball yarns from time to time. Sugarcane viscose? As Richard put it, well that one makes sense, it would be like bamboo, they’re both tall woody stalks.

Stinging nettle? I’ve heard its praises sung but I remember stinging nettle at my grandparents’ mountain cabin in Utah when I was a kid–I learned the hard way to stay on the path but that it didn’t have the manners not to lean over it. You had to be careful. It hurts like mosquitos itch.

Crustacean shell yarn, touted for health effects: that one didn’t seem to last on the market very long. Imagine if your recipient had a shellfish allergy you didn’t know about. It was the only yarn I’ve ever heard of with a warning label.

Rose yarn. Okay, put away the pruning shears and that’s another stiff long-limbed woody plant, okay.

Today Etsy sent me one of those “New Items!” notifications re a vendor I’d bought from pre-pandemic. Yeah, I clicked.

It really was. 100% dandelion yarn. Shiny, white, described as soft.


Laceweight, too, so you’d be putting a lot of time into figuring out whether it was worth putting any time into and whether it would hold up, or else you’d have to hold a bunch of strands together; well, hey, the vendor wouldn’t mind if you bought extra cones. Oh and look they have peppermint yarn, too. Does it give your hands fresh breath?

I’m picturing a Monty Python Killer Rabbits sketch with bunnies leaping for your shawl for snacks and then polishing it off with a mint.

Do what to it?
Wednesday August 17th 2022, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit,Life

Next Tuesday, Amazon said. The box showed up today. Ask me if I mind.

Comes assembled, they said. But, it turns out, screw the knob on the drawer yourself, lady. Yeah, I think we can handle that. (Note the lack of application of said knob. That drawer came in handy already!)

I tested out the setup by talking with my mom while trying not to lean on its slight wobbliness, and we now know that my sister Carolyn’s name types out as Kill Christmas. You know, I can actually do that kind of word mangling better than it can but it’s trying.

Speaking of whom, she and her husband have been househunting online. A few days ago, she flew to see her grandkids in Ohio with a day trip to the town in New York where she’s been looking. On that very day the most perfect house for them went up for sale–and now it’s theirs. Great condition and reasonably priced, to top it off. And she got to see it in person. Because it was on the one day.

I can’t wait to see what she does with her new horse carriage in back. Would it kill Christmas if I asked her for a pony? Always wanted one when we were kids.

Nina got her peaches and dried apricots from Andy’s and I threw in some of his plums, too. The lady at his farm agreed with me that fruit straight off the tree was the perfect homecoming after time in the hospital.

My heart monitor came off and went in the mail per protocol.  So did a birthday present for Lillian, who is turning three whether her Grammy can fathom that number so soon or not.

Writing all this it suddenly struck me what it was that I didn’t do today and I didn’t even think of it till just now: I didn’t knit.

Wait, how did that happen?

Just pick it up and look at it
Monday August 08th 2022, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Knit

I hadn’t done anything on the latest project because I’m making it up as I go along and I hadn’t decided exactly how I was going to do the next part. Much less row.

So I didn’t do anything at all.

Looking at the clock after sundown, I finally decided I didn’t want tomorrow to be a no-progress day too, because those just feed on the next one and the next. So I made myself sit down, look at the thing, and at least make that one row come out of my hands.

And what do you know. Totally broke the logjam. I kept going till my hands said stop.

A mind of its own
Tuesday July 12th 2022, 9:30 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Life

So I sent off that note. She sent me a sweet note back.

I decided to add a detail I hadn’t mentioned: that the consul’s American counterpart had taken my picture. That my hair was not having a good day at all but I still felt like I looked good because of how good her blouse looked on me.

She told me she’d laughed, and thanked me.

Which means I just spent the whole day (even through the Jan 6 committee hearing) quite delighted that I’d made someone in Ukraine have a good chuckle at the world.

Meantime, I was working on this. 

That sinking feeling
Tuesday July 05th 2022, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Knit

Just for fun:

Taking a break for my hands between rows, glancing at what the real estate vendors are throwing at my inbox…

Picture number twenty had me doing a double take.

There isn’t. Do you see one? There isn’t. There’s a faucet, yes, but there’s no sink beneath it, just flat counter space.

It says the sellers remodeled recently. So how did an inspector let that get past them? Can you just imagine how much fun little kids could have with that when no grownups are looking? And how much it would entice them to wait till they weren’t? I mean, when you were five, wouldn’t you?

Not a day for warm accessories
Tuesday June 21st 2022, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

I finished clearing some old Piuma cashmere out of my stash today that was very very bright. Blocking helped lengthen it a bit as the water eased the lacework flat but that’s all there was. Fern lace. That bit of STABLE is over: I have now outlived a small portion of my stash.

While munching a couple of dried slab Blenheim apricots from Andy’s and considering how they should be even sweeter this year because we haven’t had fires clouding out the sunlight. No smoke particles.

An hour later someone posted this article.

That’s my route home from Cottage Yarns. Man. Glad I didn’t go today. Mandatory evacuations is not when you want to get in anybody’s way. But that shaded area on the map… I fired off a note to a friend whose daughter and family had finally managed to buy an old house and had done some of the remodeling themselves to really make it nice for their two little ones to grow up in.

They’re okay. Yay for firefighters who are willing to work at a fire when it’s 102F out. We cannot pay them enough.

Near a substation, looks like? Waiting for PG&E to be found at fault in 1, 2, 3…

Ecru, Brute?
Tuesday June 14th 2022, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Knit

Colourmart, which deals in mill ends, sent an email. Things were a little slow, so they cut prices in half on a few silks and cashmeres for the week. (Note that you can pay them $5 per cone at checkout to twist the finer stuff into a thicker yarn.)

Thirteen dollars for 150g, and it still did the 22% discount for buying six. Now that was a deal. They say the US postal service now basically requires a tracking fee that they can’t afford to cover, but I could deal with that.

There are those who are even allergic to cashmere, but everyone I’ve ever known has been able to tolerate silk and I’ve worked with and know that yarn so I’m pretty pleased about it.

It’s been a goodly while since I added to my stash simply to have it on hand for when it’s needed. I have a feeling it will be. Because it’s too good to let it just sit there.

They had just the right ones
Saturday June 04th 2022, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Knit

So the answer is, a week ago I wasn’t ready to go to Cottage Yarns because I hadn’t done enough yet to know what I needed. Now I do. And so I went. (Quick, before I run out of the aptly-named Whales Road colorway.)