Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Taki!

It is hard to believe that our Taki turned 30 on August 8.  It is especially hard to believe when I consider we cannot get him to not make a silly face in a photograph.  Of course, his new birthday hat is a bit different, too, so it really is not out of place to pull a face when modeling it.  The knit was a labor of love, and that made the challenging aspects worth the effort.  I think it is quite a spectacular hat, and I hope his sister does not think it is so fabulous that she needs one too.  

The pattern is Samurai Kabuto from Folk Hats, and it is the original reason I bought the book.  It took a few years before I felt like tackling the challenge, and Taki's 30th birthday seemed like the perfect occasion.  It was knit either this hat or a thirty-piece mochimochi sushi refrigerator magnet set.  Maybe that will be his Christmas present.  That way, I do not need to knit thirty of them.  Anyway, the hat even goes with the theme of one of the rooms in his house, and recently, he has had more interest in researching his samurai ancestry.  

The pattern really is quite well written, and if you combine following the directions with patience and determination, the hat is totally doable.  I suppose that goes for just about any knitting.  Well, except for the good pattern part.  We have all encountered those that were not.  /ahem Knitting this took a lot out of me during a time when many people needed a lot from me.  In fact, I was sewing a few last details in the car on our way to the party.  However, I think it turned out great, he likes it, and he is very much worth it.          

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I received a wonderful box overflowing with prizes from Stacey's NMO fundraiser.  I love it all so much, and have been making plans.  I do have some singles waiting for their plying time before I should get into my new fibers.  After that, my next challenge will be to find the time to play with it all.  Then again, there is a lovely new drop spindle in my prize package, and that is a great way to spin when time is scarce, and it would not interfere with the plying.  Well, only if you count the fact that time spent not plying means that plying does not happen, but we are not super interested in reality right now.   

Since this is week 500 for Unconscious Mutterings, it seems like the right time to participate again.  I did the exercise as soon as the list was posted because I thought it might be unwise to peer into my mind later.  This is the time to remember--Do Be a Do-Bee.   

Call ::  Me
Instinct :: Killer
Toffee ::  Nut
Cleaner ::  Professional
Gut ::  Feeling
Leveled ::  Demolished 
Discover ::  New
Together ::  Again
Attack :: Killer Tomato
String ::  Along

Saturday, August 25, 2012

All Thumbs

While I started these mittens over a year ago, it is only now that I am getting ready to finish them, and I am so close and yet so far. I really do not remember why I set them aside. I picked them up the other day and breezed my way to the tip of the second mitten and feel like tossing them back in a yarn bin, but I will not. I will weave in ends and knit the thumbs. Then it is only a dunk in the bath, the drying, and I will have new mittens. I can do this, and I will.

It is just that I have been a bit unsettled with my knitting lately. That can be a perfect opportunity to attend to the odd piece left unfinished. It is a good time to just knit without thinking about what I want to knit and just follow along and form stitch after stitch after stitch. When I do not feel like knitting, there are plenty of ends waiting to be woven in and snipped. While I am feeling a bit meh, I am going to use it to make my way through something I might otherwise set aside in pursuit of more exciting knitting. Then, when I cannot stand it, I will paint my nails and bask in the luxuriousness of forced idleness while I wait for them to dry.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Feeling Like a Champion

After taking some time to diagnose the problem with my computer, gathering the confidence to order the part, and then finding the courage to tackle the repair, I am back. It feels good to figure out a problem and then fix it myself. It also feels good to return to blogging. Blogging is a weird thing, I often have very different thoughts about it, and yet, here I am. I could have kept up better while my computer was down, but stepping back from it was helpful. It even gave me the opportunity to build up a bit of blog fodder to help me as I work my way back into it. That is not to say you will be subjected to every baby bib and burp cloth I have sewn lately, but I do have them, and if I come up short for a photo to go along with a post, you just might get to see them.

Sewing is not all that I have done. I was social once for a little bit, and that was mighty nice. It allowed me to vent a bit. It was mostly just a little unnecessary family drama that will be just fine. I was super tired when I learned of it and am glad that I have time to prepare before I really have to deal with it. You know, it is one of those times when one is called upon to be the bigger person and do the right thing when it seems pretty pointless. Well, besides the fact that doing the right thing is right. I am still looking for ways to squeeze more positive and joy out of the situation, because there are still some opportunities for that. Well, that is my hope, anyway.

Oh, but let us get back to the social bit. It was not all about me dumping my stress out all over the place. It was also a good time of catching up with one another, and even discussing things that were not me. I like that the best. Helen had recently returned from family vacation, and she brought back these lovely gifties. I love my new mug and socks. Thank you, Helen! Those are not the only fabulous prizes I have received lately, but they will wait for another post.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


We traveled about 800 miles over the weekend, and by weekend, I mean just Saturday and Sunday. That was about 150 more miles than we intended, due to an unfortunate missing purse incident. That story is not particularly entertaining, was incredibly stressful, and all was pretty much put back to right in the end. We are so relieved to be home, and grateful that when all was said and done, everything worked out, eventually.

There was both newness and oldness in the adventure, so we prepared as best as we could and hoped it would be good enough. As far as that goes, we did pretty well. My biggest decision for the trip was the knitting. I decided to go with what has served me well in times of stress this year. No, not more owl hats, but rather the teeny-tiny mochimochis. I opened another package of magnets, put them in my accessory pouch and then tossed patterns in a knitting bag with an assortment of small balls of Knit Picks Palette. It turned out to be good car knitting. I learned that I-65 around Birmingham is not ideal if it is time to do assembly or embroidery, and that I would be better off starting a new creation and coming back to it, or I waste a good chunk of time. The handle in the car door is a great spot for the chibi, scissors, and clipped yarn pieces. By the time we returned home, I could feel phantom dpns from all of the times I had temporarily stuck them in my hair. I also had a few new pieces, and they followed a theme.
I came upon the theme before I knew how true it would be, but it was still silly enough that I kept with it. I held up the panda and gnome I had knit and said to Bruce, "It's PandaGnomeum!" He is so good to laugh at the silly things I say.

Unfortunately, the PandaGnomeum has continued, and we are struggling to keep afloat. One thing after another pops up before we have a chance to think about unwinding and catching up on things like laundry, grocery shopping, and computer repair. We will be fine; we just feel a bit out of sorts.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

This is Not Car Knitting


The knitting I should have done by now just got underway at the end of last month.  I am making the Samurai Kabuto for Taki's birthday, and it will be tough to finish it in time (August 8th).  I have made progress on it, but now I am down to the brim, the tassel, the dragon, and assembly and finishing work.  The neck protector section took much longer than I had anticipated because the button stitch rows took forevah, and the row that followed was always a bit tougher because of it.  I am working on the dragon now, and that involves things like measuring, and I have learned (why, yes, I do learn my lessons sometimes) that is best done when one has a firm, flat surface.  That is to say, measuring on my thigh while riding in the car is not the best path to success.  Since we will be traveling many miles this weekend, I will probably leave the hat at home and knit something else.  I just do not know what that something else should be.