Friday, November 30, 2018

Treat.Yo.Self

So, there have been some sales lately, I have many upcoming gift-giving occasions, and I need to be prepared.  What's that you say?  You're super-curious about my shopping?.  Well, I did manage to score a sweet deal on hand sanitizer for the stockings.  I'll stop there before you become overwhelmed with jealousy.  

Ah, but now you are wondering if I saw many things I would like, too?  You bet.  However, I do not have limitless funds, and besides, I was really looking for gifts for others.  That does not mean I was totally selfless; I did pick up some things just for me.  I bought some markers, and that's a treat just for me.  I picked up some deodorant, and that's a treat for everyone.  Then there's this other thing I bought myself.  Well, I can use it to make things for others, but you understand what I mean.  Anyway, even though it was not a time-limited sale, it was still a good deal as it was on clearance, and you know you need to snap up those clearance bargains when you have a chance.  

Ta-da!  The waves of jealousy return, no?  I mean, who doesn't wish for five pounds of polyester fiberfill?  I actually did need to get more of this stuff(ing), but seeing as how I mostly use it to fill those teeny-tiny knits, I may have achieved SABLE status for this.  Maybe I just need to knit a bunch more for the Knit Ball Pit.  Those need much more stuffing to fill.

Yeah, this was what I was waiting on delivery for yesterday.  The package of markers is included for scale.  They were delivered separately yesterday.  The whole thing is more amusing to me than it should be, but we all have to find our ways to cope.  Anyway, I'm a little concerned about opening the box because of the potential for expansion issues.  Maybe I need to have a Space Bag ready.  
           

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Everything Except What I Was Supposed to Do

Yeah, that kind of sums up my Thursday.  Actually, that mostly just reflects my feelings.  I did many of the things I was supposed to do yesterday, but the things I did not do are glaring at me, arms crossed, feet a-tapping.  Mostly, it's that trip to the post office that is crossest at me for skipping it.  I was waiting for a delivery.  I saw that the package was on the truck and out for delivery in the wee hours, and then I waited.  I actually received a delivery from that carrier this morning for something not predicted to be here until Saturday.  Then, it was after six o'clock, I checked the tracking, and I see it is back at the facility, scheduled for delivery tomorrow.  Well, there you go.  I could be annoyed, but I really just have to laugh.  I wonder if it was on that first truck, they missed that I had an additional package, and then they weren't going to go back to this end of the route when they realized what had happened.  Also, it is kind of comical.  I'll show you what I mean when it all arrives.  

Anyway, so that's a lot of nothing to see here.  I'm working the thumb on a mitten.  I started watching The Handmaid's Tale, but now I need to wait for my mom.  She wants to watch with me.  I've only watched the first episode, so it isn't a big deal.  I may watch a couple more to get through these thumbs.  I don't mind re-watching.  Besides, I'm not absolutely sure she will enjoy the show so it might be good if I watch ahead to check out things.  It is nice to have a bit of a viewing line-up ready for her.  Soon we will re-watch GOT in anticipation of the new season beginning in April.  

So, what do I have to show for my Thursday?  Well, I already put away the laundry I did.  I know you're totally disappointed.  I was going to turn it into an Unconscious Mutterings post, but there's not a list this week.  Well, I wasn't about to finish the mittens that quickly, so I threw up my wings and drew a little owl.    
 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I Suppose it Depends on What You Think

By that, I mean embroidering on the thumbs of a mitten is either more difficult or exactly as difficult as you think.  Although in the end, it was totally worth it.  I say that not because I did such a great job with it, but because the little bird looked like an ugly blob without the embroidered details.  Now, it kind of reminds me of a lumpy version that jerk chickenhawk in the cartoons, so, improvement?   

Anyway let us go back in time to the knitting days of yore.  The pattern:  Bird in Hand by Kate Gilbert, the knitwear designer who spread TheClap to so many.  I admired it and considered getting the pattern and knitting a pair, but I did not.  Fast-forward, and a different Pattern Fairy sent it to me.  Then I began knitting these, and then they sat.  I cannot account for my time.  I did not document.  Life, the world, and just generally being me, m'kay?  


For the yarn, I chose this color combination.  It is somewhat similar to the only pair of gloves I've ever knit.  That's right, I already knew that the colorwork would not be very clear and I did it anyway.  Not only that, I mixed alpaca and wool yarns.  I love how soft alpaca is, but it is kind of dead in comparison to wool's liveliness.  So, that's going to be an enjoyable and winning combination for knitting colorwork, yeah? 

I guess what I'm trying to get at, is that I'm finished making these.  For a pair of mittens I like so well, I sound really negative, eh?  These are really nice, warm mittens.  The softness of all those alpaca floats is very nice, and adds to the wearing experience.  Also, there is a small bird on each thumb!     

           

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Two Thumbs Down, Two Thumbs Up, Nothing to See Here

With the completion of the first pair of mittens, I've decided to work on the thumbs for the other long-unfinished pair.  Hey, at least this time all of the components are already together.  Since I haven't finished them and I already gave you an unimpressive picture of soaking mittens yesterday, I'll spare you the progress shot.  I will tell you the major part that holds me up when it comes to finishing these (and almost any, but mostly colorwork) mittens--picking up the stitches for the thumbs.  I don't know why I get such a mental block about it, but I do.  I mean, the thumb is such a small amount of knitting, but transferring the live stitches from waste yarn to needles (confession:  that's as far as I've gotten on the next mitten) and then picking up the rest of the stitches drains away my will to live, and we all know that is a constantly dwindling resource on my best days.  Oh, well, I'll get through it.  Until then, here's a picture of a tiny figurine the son gave me.  I think it was a gift he received in Japan but does not want.  That's fine--I love it!        

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Mitt-Vember Miracle

There I was, innocently popping over to Ravelry, where someone had shared a gorgeous hat (and mitten) pattern.  I instantly adored it but tried to talk myself out of it by saying that it wouldn't fit my big head.  Besides, my unfinished mittens were right when they objected from their bags.  So, I backed away from the pattern (Confession:  I left the tab open) and moved on with my day.  Then I decided to do a bit of thumb wrestling.  Yep, it was time.  

Imagine my surprise when I opened the bag and found only the needles and one mitten and none of the yarn for finishing it.  Now why I had bagged up only one of the mittens and not the other and the yarn is a mystery to me.  The good news is that the location of the other unfinished mitten and yarn did not remain a mystery.  The even better news is that I finished them.  The bad news is that you only get this non-photogenic picture of them soaking.  
p.s.  Even more good news?  The pattern fairy sent me a gift of the hat and mitten set!    

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Homes Sweet Homes




You know how you start a plan and set a goal and then run off on it the very next day?  Well, maybe I did that with yesterday's plan, or maybe I just needed to get out of the house for a bit.  It was tree and gingerbread house time today at my sister's, so I popped over there for a little bit to be a part of the fun.   

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Should Have Set Aside More Time for This


Sure, I still have hope that increased experience will translate to increased speed, but right now, I am just slow.  Yeah, that could apply to many things, but tonight we're talking about decorating the balls I have knit for the Knit Ball Pit.  I have only finished a few, and I haven't even attempted any of the elaborate ideas I have.  And to make matters worse, I don't feel like they look as good as they should.  I even snipped and reworked one, but I'm glad I took the time for that because I would not have felt right sending it.  

Anyway, I'm thinking about making a bit of a schedule for the finishing work on these.  You know, something like embellishing a minimum of seven each week.  That seems doable and will give me time to get them off in the post before the end of the year.  Yes, it might be bumping up against being ambitious, but I think once I really get going with it, it will help me keep going.  Ah, if only I had set November goals, maybe I would be in a better place with all of this.       

Friday, November 23, 2018

UM...uh...erm...

Is it better to do the Unconscious Mutterings list when you can focus, or when you can't? Any guesses as to which I am right now?
  1. Hack :: No, it's a tip
  2. Unimpressed :: Tired
  3. Garden :: Variety
  4. Saliva :: Spit
  5. Ache :: Everywhere
  6. Elect :: Choose
  7. Format :: Improper
  8. Temper :: Tantrum
  9. Snail :: Pace
  10. Holidays :: Home

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

It may not be original to say that Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine because of the focus on thankfulness, but it's true.  And I have so many reasons to be thankful, and thinking about them makes me feel even more thankful.  I'm not going to list them all, but I'll name a few, and I'm starting with you.  I suppose if I were a better writer, I might be able to express how and how much the connections, relationships, and inspirations I've had from blogging have added to my life.

I'm thankful for my family, and writing about that is even more challenging and complicated than writing about blogging.  I had a wonderful time with them today.  I had hoped to get more photos, but this was it.  These three occupied most of my time today--in fact, it was someone else's turn to come home with us, much to the sadness of the two others. 


I'm thankful for all of the quiet hobbies I've explored that keep me company, give me comfort, provide an outlet, and engage my mind.  I closed out the evening drawing animals with my niece, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack together.  A couple songs in, and she was wondering what this music was from, and that she needs to tell her mom about it.  It might not last long, but right now, if I ask her, "What's your name, man?" she responds, "Alexander Hamilton."         

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Change in Plans

On Thanksgiving Eve, all through the house, well, there isn't a poem to go with this, but you get where I was going with it.  We started our Wednesday making our main goals--flu shots for each of us.  Then it was off to one of our Wednesday Family Meals (not every Wednesday, and not just Cracker Barrel anymore, either).  We finished eating, and Bruce made one of his regular pitches--let one of the niece-nephew crew come home with us and spend the night.  Well, finally Bruce is feeling well enough for this to happen, there is no school tomorrow, and Aunt Sarah is a pushover, (and she loves spending time with the kids, too) so we got an overnight guest.  

So prep for tomorrow has not gotten as far as I had hoped.  We did mostly finish the S'more Pies, with the exception of making the whipping cream to top them.  I'm fortunate to have a great assistant to help me with that.  


Now I have the much to do in the morning, and with a little added luck, get a shower before we head out to my brother's house.  I hope the rest of the house sleeps in late because we are all up way too late and I doubt I will get much sleep.  However, I have gotten to play a lot of Nintendo, heard fascinating anatomical pronouncements such as, "Your skin is there so you don't have to see what is under your skin because everything under your skin is the most disgusting thing ever," and fielded questions like, "Do you pee in Heaven?"  

I already have so much to be thankful for, every day.    

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Riddle Me This

There has been so much talk amongst so many in the family about limiting carbs, but I just bought fifteen pounds of potatoes for Thursday.  And you know what?  There probably won't be any leftover mashed potatoes.  Ah, but it's all good.  I'll make the S'More Pie and Squash Casserole on Wednesday, and the mashed potatoes just before we go on Thursday.  Maybe I will make gravy, but I haven't yet decided.  This year my brother is bringing in a turkey from a barbecue place some friends own, so we'll see how that goes.  

Everything seems to be coming together for a good time.  I think we have our wild cards limited to three, and probably only one of them would cause enough of a disruption to be a real problem.  I think that's pretty good for a family.  That being said, I help out in the kitchen and with kiddos, so that usually means I have a great time.  

Now, I just have a bit more time to lie about like that sack of potatoes and do as little as possible.  I'm really just so much more tired than I would like to be right now, but I'm not worrying.  I probably just need to rest a bit.    

Monday, November 19, 2018

Who are You Calling Chicken?

Not me, surely.  You've got to be brave to play Wii tennis and baseball with the 5-6 year niece-nephew crew.  Yes, it has been an afternoon of auntliness here.  We had a good time, and the good times kept rolling so long as they were constantly being entertained and/or fed.  I kid.  They're good younglings.  They ask Alexa to flip a coin to settle disputes and to set a timer for taking turns.  

We even managed to end the visit without tears.  They left without taking all of the weaving treasures they discovered; instead, they were satisfied with snack size M&M's, and I got to finish knitting a small chicken.  If that's not a successful day, I don't know what is.             

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Petrified, I Tell Ya

 
Be afraid; be very afraid.  When we're talking about knitting sweaters next year, I should be afraid.  I have last year's NaKniSweMo sweater sitting around here with probably less than three inches of it knit hoping it will have its time.  And, if I'm being sensible about this, it should.  But, hey, friends on the internet bullying encouraging us to knit sweaters next year is not the time for being sensible.  

I think I'm supposed to blame Cheryl for this adventure, but Squish is upping the crazy for me.  She reminded us of the Less is More pattern from Amy.  I kind of feel like this is my kind of crazy and that I should do it.  I also feel like it might be a terrible idea, and I should do it.  I also feel like it is too complicated for me, and I won't be able to do it, but I'm also having some trouble concentrating right now, so perfect time to sign up, eh?           

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Making Good Use of My Time


We went to go see the new movie, Fantastic Beasts:  The Crimes of Grindelwald today.  We liked it, but probably need to see it another time or three.  Also, why can't the next movie be here now, because we have questions.  Follow up question, why isn't there a book for us to have already read?

I won't bother to ask why the popcorn and drinks are so expensive.  We enjoyed the movie and had a nice time, and that makes it all worth it to me.  I hope you did something nice with your Saturday.    

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wanderings


We've been out in the world, far from home, but we are back now.  It was a pretty good trip, if I do say so myself.  The only thing I missed while I packed was a pencil sharpener, and that bothered me much more than it should have, but that's just me.  We won't even think about the ways that I overpacked.  

We had a relatively laid-back adventure, but it still took a lot out of us.  Now there is laundry, unpacking, and Thanksgiving prep.  Also, and quite importantly, it seems we're all well enough to go get out flu shots!  So, fingers crossed for us that we can cross this very important healthcare to-do off our list!  

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Desperate, but not that Desperate

It's the last night of the trip.  I finished the last bits of knitting I planned to complete, and I cannot sleep.  The son is snoring on the couch, and Bruce's PLMD is really going.  So, here I sit, listening to and watching them while I try to figure out what to do.  
I can hear a bit of rustling from the knitting bag, a crying out for attention, if you will.  I'm tempted--I could be making good use of my sleeplessness, and it is getting colder.  Those mittens will have their time, but the middle of the night, knit by headlamp while everyone else sleeps is not that time.  I'm just going to eat clearance Halloween candy, listen to podcasts, and maybe scroll twitter.  Don't judge me.   

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sheepy

I like these little sheep so much, that it could make me question why I didn't get the pattern sooner.  However, things can work out in their own time, and my not having it let me receive it as a gift.  Anyway, when I sat down to knit these, I decided to go for a colorful flock to start.  
While I did pack well with my knitting for this trip, little sheep ended up being the sum total of my knitting.  One of these has magnets inside and will be surruptitiously placed on the side of the son's refrigerator as we leave.  I wonder how long it will take him to notice it.  Last year I left the small, magnetic, knit turkey in the cupholder in his car as we left, and even though we clued him in to its being and location, it is still in the car.

Monday, November 12, 2018

UM...You Might Want to Look Away

I hadn't played in a while, but it seemed like a good idea to give it a go. I might have been wrong.
  1. Notification :: Text
  2. Vote :: Early and Often
  3. Simmer :: Boil
  4. Biology :: Chemistry
  5. Constant :: Companion
  6. Nail :: Polish
  7. Filter :: None
  8. Curls :: Natural
  9. Sensation :: New
  10. Strap :: On

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I Never Knew Her


I didn't know whether to bother digging into the past to pinpoint when I knit it.  It was years ago for someone I had never met, with just a person in common.  Anyway, she was getting married, and it seemed like the thing to do.  Over the years I heard some of the high- and lowlights of her life, but over the last bit, the updates have only been of the latter, and this last bit has lasted longer than many had guessed, but now it is over for her.  

I don't know if she ever wore the shawl, if she liked it, if it made the cut as she packed and moved from state to state, or if it still exists in the home where she lived.  If it is still there, will it go to her mom now, will it go to her daughter, will it be thrown away, or shoved into a box that no one can ever get rid of or open?  

I don't suppose I'll ever have answers to those questions, I'm certainly not owed them, and I don't think I really want to know.    

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Friday, November 09, 2018

Raggged

I did another WAL over on Yarnworker, and I felt like I was behind from the start.  We wove rugs and covered two different patterns.  The two selections from Handwoven Home are the Two-Color Krokbragd Rug and the Fabric Stash Rag Rug.  Well, I didn't have all the materials for the Krokbragd, so I went for the Fabric Stash Rag Rug.

It was a fun weave.  My biggest stresses came from my own error following the pattern, but it worked out just fine.  Then I had another oopsy and could not continue weaving, and it actually made my previous mistake something that worked very well.  I like it so much, that I haven't put this on the floor to be used.  I need to get over that. 

 As always, I learned a lot through this process.  I want to weave more rugs, and maybe even get a temple.  I enjoyed this weave-along so much and learned enough that I decided to tackle a bit of Krokbragd, but that's a story for another day.   

Thursday, November 08, 2018

How Much Are You Really Going to Knit?

I am, of course, talking about packing knitting for a trip.  It's always the same questions, always the same plans, always the same ideas.  Why must we make this so complicated?  I suppose it is not for the "monogamous" knitters.  They just bring the current project, and possibly whatever is next in the queue.  But that's not me, so there is rumination, wishful thinking, superstition, and good intentions "helping" me decide.  I mean, for a moment, we will even set aside issues of space, and it really doesn't simplify things much. 

So, what am I thinking about when I think about packing my knitting for a trip?

  • The UFOs
    • How many can I quickly remember?
    • Can I find any of them?
    • Do I want to finish any of them?  
    • Bringing nothing but these will definitely make me finish one or more. 
  • The Teeny-Tiny Mochimochiland patterns  
    • How much stuffing do I need?
    • Physical or electronic patterns? 
    • How many different colors of yarn should I bring?
    • Should I try to knit all of one pattern or a variety of different patterns?
    • Wouldn't it be neat to knit one for everyone I see while there and one for everyone I miss while I'm away?
  •   Gifts 
    • What if I only work on gift knitting?
    • Gosh, I don't have much gift knitting planned this year.
    • If I really keep at it, I can make something for everyone.
    • Maybe I should just skip gift knitting this year.
  • How Much Do I Think I Will Really Knit?
    • There are about 16 hours in the car, round trip.
    • Oh, but I could be driving part of that time.  
    • Then again, I might just be sleeping--I'm already very tired.  
  • Superstition
    • If I bring a lot of knitting, there will be no traffic problems.  
    • If I bring my knitting with me everywhere, we will stay so busy doing such fabulous things that I will not have time to knit.  
    • If I have my knitting, my mental wellbeing is assured to be stable.  
Hrm...maybe I should just bring the Kindle and its charger.      

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Better in Real Life

Before Washing
So, in keeping with catching up on some of the things I did during my blogging absence, I present some of the least-impressive-looking weaving I did.  These are the linen face cloths from Handwoven Home.  

After Washing
After Washing
It was another WAL over on Yarnworker.  I was not particularly interested in the pattern as I looked at it in the book, and I considered skipping it, but I am glad I did not, for several reasons.  First off, I always learn so much doing her weave-alongs.  Second, the more I weave, the more I improve.
Third, I have never woven with linen and was happy to have the support.   Linen may never become my favorite fiber to weave with, but the effort was worth it, to me.
   

Anyway, these are not particularly impressive looking pieces.  They do look better in person, as I just could not take a decent photo.  Washing them transformed the pieces so much.  They softened a lot and have been put into use here at home.  That makes them a success in my book, and I think I might weave more of these.

 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Now, We Wait

There was only one thing left to do, and I did it.


   

Monday, November 05, 2018

Time Passes

Five years ago, I was knitting this hat at the hospital, waiting for my niece to be born.  


Today I baked a cake for her 5th birthday.  
    

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Swatchy-Swatchy!

I've been weaving more this year, and learning so much.  Just like knitting, over and over, weavers are advised to swatch with new yarns and colors before starting a large piece.  Similar to the whole, "Take time to save time; check gauge."  Well, now I have these new tools to help me follow that wisdom.  
The gauge will be a quick way to check yarn for sett.  The Swatch Maker Weaving Looms will be great for sampling, trying out colors, and, well, swatching.  I can't wait to try them. 

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Beginner-ness

I'm good at some things, and being good at them adds to my enjoyment of doing them.  However, there are also some things that I've worked at over the years without gaining great skill, speed, or ease in doing them, but I keep at them.  Drawing is one of those things.  I do love collecting the supplies.  I have so many pens, pencils, paints and markers.  I have paper, notebooks, and sketchbooks.  I have instructional/guide/how-to books to help me along, and now I have a new one.  Ah, another opportunity to revel in my beginner-ness!  Keeping joy and learning in life is always good.  
  

Friday, November 02, 2018

Can't Stop

The first ball for the Knit Ball Pit worked up so quickly and easily, I was soon working on the next, and the next, and the next.  It is possible that, on occasion, I knit little things as a bit of a stress reduction technique, and to paraphrase what others have said, 2018 has been quite a decade.  I have something else to show at a later date, but for now, I showcase my Knit Ball Pit.  
They really work up quickly.  I've used nearly an entire bag of polyester fiber stuffing.  Sure, these are only the begininnings of what their final forms will be, but for now, I'm just knitting the balls.  I've knit most of these while phonebanking.  We're almost to the big day.  I'm doing all I can. 

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Little Bits Here and There

It certainly has been a bit since I checked in here.  Actually, that's not true; I have been here several times, though I have nothing but half-hearted, barely started drafts to show for it.  Life has been challenging.  There's been the personal stuff that isn't particularly interesting or unique, but it still takes its toll.  Then there's the big stuff happening in the world that has been rather a lot to process, but there are many people fighting the good fight, and we each do what we can.  So that's us caught up then, eh?  Yeah, this is why I have so many discarded drafts.  Perhaps we should move on to something I have made.  Yes, that's probably best.  

I set a Ravelry goal of knitting sixty things this year.  While that seems rather ambitious, and in some ways it is, it is not as unrealistic as it might seem.  I planned to knit a teeny-tiny-mochimochiland item each week.  I even had a blogging plan to go with it, but you can see how well I did with that.  Anyway, some weeks I have knit none, and some weeks I have knit more than a couple, so it is all working pretty well.  This summer I knit these from the Doggie Treats collection.

If only I were making as much progress on my Goodreads goal.  

But wait, there's more!  I've been knitting for the community project--The Knit Ball Pit!  You can see in the picture above the first one I knit, but it needs decorating.  I hope to contribute many more for the children.