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Monthly Archives: November 2013


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It was a pretty nice holiday yesterday down at the farm. There was way too much food, there were way too many cats, and it was way too hot–what you get when half the people there are well past 80–but all in all, it was pretty relaxing. One plate of food, a bowl of assorted bean dishes, and a slice of pie did me in, and I was glad of the walk four of us took after dinner. Two miles, give or take, on a beautifully sunny day.

I’m glad of a more or less quiet day today, glad there aren’t too many leftovers, and glad that I’m again observing Buy Nothing Day. I’m not at all keen on the frenzied shopping that goes on at this time of year, or the retailers who no longer acknowledge the holiday and force their employees to work ridiculous hours this time of year. I’m so very, very glad I don’t work in retail anymore.

Wishing you all a peaceful day. Make it a great one!


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Barring a miracle or the knitting fairies visiting overnight–and I suppose that might qualify as a miracle–A Hat for Jordan will not be finished by tomorrow. Eh–I’m okay with that. I do love the look of it, but giving that it’s almost all ribbing (knit three, purl three), and that it takes me half of forever to do ribbing, and I get bored with it, it’s just not going to be done by tomorrow.

I’m already planning another version of it, one with considerably less ribbing. Stay tuned.

It was another very cold start to the day–it’s currently about 14 at 10:00 a.m.–and I don’t know if there’ll be a walk today or not. I’m hoping for one but I’m none too keen on getting out when the temps are too extreme. On the plus side, there doesn’t seem to be any wind today, which certainly helps in the “feeling warmer” department. And it’s sunny, and you know I like my sun.

If you have holiday travel plans, I wish you safe journeys. Happy Wednesday, all–make it a great day!Cold


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Progress update on A Hat for Jordan: it looks exactly as I’d hoped, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. It may be a simple hat, but it’s my baby and I’m proud of it. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to have it finished by Thursday, when I’ll have a couple of potentially willing, and certainly attractive, models for it. I’d love to have some photos of it to post here as well as on Ravelry.

I’m taking today as a rest day from walking, as the cold has seeped into my bones and I’m feeling pretty creaky today. A little gentle yoga later on is likely, however.

I had a bit of a midnight adventure last night. I lay in bed reading, cozy and content, until I started wondering if I’d shut the lights off at the house where I’m cat sitting. One left on overnight wouldn’t be a disaster, but the one I was thinking of was just a bit too close to the curtains for me to be comfortable about having left on. While I was about 98% sure I’d shut that particular lamp off, that remaining 2% kept eating at me. I could just see the curtains starting to smolder and then the house going up in flames. Yep, I got up, threw some clothes on, snuck out of the house, and drove down there. All was well, thank goodness, and I was able to get to sleep without that worry nagging at me. Needless to say, I’ll be a little more mindful about the routine today. Doing that kind of midnight run once is an adventure; twice, it becomes a pain in the ass.

Happy Tuesday, all! Make it a great day!

Little of this, little of that

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I made good progress yesterday on the second iteration of A Hat for Jordan and I’m really happy with the way it’s shaping up so far. Do-overs are sometimes allowed in life and when they are, you have to grab ’em and make the most of ’em.

It was warmer yesterday than on Saturday and while I was glad of it, I still faced two lingering problems on my walk–my face just about freezing off, and very cold ears. Wearing a hat alone, or even pulling up my hood over the hat, does not resolve the cold ears issue, so I’m planning on making a polar fleece earwarmer possibly later today and will see if that helps with the cold ears. As for the cold face, I’ll have to dig through my scarves to see if I have a wider, warmer one, and I may have to get cracking on the one I have on the needles.

I’m starting a cat sitting gig tonight for some new folks who found me via a Craigslist ad, and I’m looking forward to it. I can’t really explain it fully, but I really enjoy the cat sitting. I’ve updated and re-posted my ad with a focus on holiday pet needs and will see if it brings me some more business. The money is nice, but the rewards in offering this kind of service lie elsewhere. I don’t want more cats myself–the stinky cat is plenty for me–but having some loaners sometimes is pretty sweet.

That’s my Monday so far. Make it a great day, all!

Take two

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So I’ve given a bit more thought to A Hat for Jordan and I’m thinking a somewhat more robust yarn than the one I initially chose might be in order. Just like people, yarns come in different weights and thicknesses, and all of them have a place, all of them have a purpose. It just takes the right person at the right time to allow them to shine.

I’ll be casting on my second take of A Hat for Jordan later today, and fingers crossed that my notion of a sturdier yarn will pay off. I’m looking forward to whatever shakes out, but mostly, as a lover of hat knitting, I’m looking forward to a finished and eminently wearable hat.

I spent some time browsing for hat inspiration yesterday and stumbled across this guy, whose work frankly blows me away. Using only knits and purls, he’s made some amazing hats.

It’s sunny and warmer already than the high of yesterday, so I’ll be getting out for a walk later. I’ll try hard to remember to layer a little better than I did yesterday; the first part of my walk was mighty cold on my hands, and all of it was cold on my face. A wider scarf and a neck gaiter will be part of my ensemble today, as well as thicker hand gear. Barring blizzards or ice storms, I don’t plan on abandoning my walks just because it’s cold outside. I may not be able to do anything about the weather, but I don’t have to let it keep me inside and away from an activity that has become necessary to me.

That’s my Sunday shaping up, and it looks to be a good one. Happy Sunday, all–make it a great day!


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My first go at A Hat for Jordan is destined to be frogged, and I swear that knitting it at knit night and the amount of rum and wine I consumed has nothing to do with the initial failure of the project. I suspect it’s nothing more or less than part of the design process, a somewhat halting stop-and-start that will nevertheless be instructive.

What I know is wrong is that I cast on too few stitches, I knit up too much ribbing, and I forgot to follow my pattern chart when I got to that bit, and it’s a pretty sorry looking start of a hat right now. But it is a start, I have a better idea of how I want this hat structured, and I’m more than game to cast it on again and give it another go. It’s a bump in the road, not the end of it.

And here’s the thing: if I’ve learned anything over the last two years and change, it’s this–there are lots of bumps in the road. The trick is to just keep going, because it’s a long, long road.

Knitting the dozens

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But first–the socks are a bust. I think the problem is the cheap yarn, mostly, but they’re just too fiddly for my taste, and I won’t be sorry to abandon this project. I’m also glad my investment was minimal, and I can return the unused skein.

So, here’s the thing–for ages, I’ve been saying “I want to make this hat” or “I want to learn how to do cables” or “I want to try color work (again).” That’s all very well, to want to do those things, but then I dink around and never do whatever it is that I so want to do because it’s easier just to stick with the old tried-and-true.

That’s changing. Over the next twelve months, I’ll be knitting the dozens as I knit up one hat per month that is going challenge me to try new techniques, to learn some new skills, push me past my comfort levels, probably make me swear and frog and do it all again more than once, but I’m going to do it. I’ll be choosing eleven patterns from my collection–Number One has already been settled–putting the pattern names on slips of paper, and randomly drawing them from a jar. I’m doing this!

As for Number One–it’ll be my very first foray into knitting design, a hacked pattern of a hat I saw and admired some months ago. Called “A Hat for Jordan,” this one will be, despite the name, for me. It’s possible that I’ll write up the pattern and post it on Ravelry at some point, but whether or not the pattern is ever shared with anyone else, it’s going on the needles later today. I’ve been thinking of it, dreaming of it, for ages, and it’s time to make this particular dream come true.

That’s the thing about dreams–some of them are just that, bits of hope and fantasy that drift by just out of reach. Others can be grasped and made a reality with some thought and determination. And some swearing and frogging. That’s allowed.

Happy Friday, all. Make it a day to make some dreams come true!


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I’ve been knitting a lot the last couple of days, finishing up a scarf that will be sent off to a friend soon. It’s a moebius–look that up if you’re not familiar with them–and I cast on 420 or 440 stitches–I can’t remember which, but it’s a hella lot of stitches. I did the bind off last night, which took at least an hour, maybe more, and probably would have taken considerably less time had I not been moaning about the endless bind off on FB. That task is done, and I’ve been weaving the ends in this morning, glad to be at the end of this project. It’s the second time I’ve knit up this scarf, after getting to the end of it once, hating it, frogging it, and getting it back on the needles to be knit up using a different pattern.

I’d planned on casting on a hat next, because I kind of miss them and I have that goal of 30 for the year–I’m all the way up to four right now–to aim for, but dang if I didn’t cast on another moebius, this one meant for me. I picked up some cheap but soft and pretty yarn over the weekend, acrylic yarn, which I typically don’t work with, but wanting something warm, wide, and washable for my winter walks, this was seemed to fit the bill. It’s a deep indigo, shot through with lighter shades of blue. So far, so good! at least until I get to another endless bind off.

It’s been good to take up my needles again, in any case, and knit like I meant it instead of just picking at it.

Thursday already–make it a great day, all!



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I took some time last night to mend a couple of items that have needed a little attention. One, a plush bath mat, has a crocheted edging around it in a simple shell design. An end had come loose in the wash and one of the shells unraveled and part of the yarn had broken off. Given that the yarn is not really much more than string, I was able to tie on a piece of household string, crochet up the shell, weave in the ends, and now I have my pretty and luxurious mat back. I couldn’t even spot the mend this morning, so I’m calling it a job well done.

The other item is a little more pedestrian–it’s my knee brace. I wear it on my right knee when I’m out walking, and it’s been used so much that it was looking a little ragged. There are four long, thin pockets, two on either side of the knee, that hold stabilizers, and the stitches on two of the pockets had started coming loose and the stabilizers were poking out. A needle and thread and some bright light, a bit of time and some careful stitching, and my brace is now back in action, or will be then next time I go out.

I’m no seamstress, any more than I’m a crocheter, but I still have the basic skills to accomplish the mends that needed to be done. All in all, it took me maybe an hour to figure out how to do the mends, gather the materials needed, and do the work. It’s a good feeling to be able to fix what needs fixing.

It would be nice if everything that needed to be mended could be fixed so easily.

Happy Wednesday, all–make it a great day!

P.S. This is my 700th post. 700. Amazing.

Okay then

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