Category Archives: Blogs

Not going anywhere

Despite all evidence to the contrary, and for those who have wondered and sent thoughtful emails, I am not going anywhere — and neither is my blog home! The blog break was unintentional, but I leaned in to it. I recently decided that I’m taking this semester off from school and am not enrolled in any classes. Instead, I’m really looking forward to spending quality time with my yarn!

Sock planning session

Last week, I had a fun planning session related to my sock knitting queue. I love knitting socks, and I want to honor that this year, because time and knitting opportunities are precious. Since I already have (and continually seek) more sources of sock knitting inspiration than anything else (books, individual patterns, Pinterest, Ravelry), I am excited about my idea. (Obviously, I also have the stash to support it). I am not ashamed to admit that I focused on a plan that works out in my favor:

Sock of the Month plan

Short version of my plan: I get to start a new sock on the first of every month. To make the decision making process easier, I am working ahead to match patterns to stash, printing out hard copies of patterns (or referring to the book or digital source) and placing yarn, pattern, and related notions in a plastic zipper bag. I can choose one bag every month, and leave the bin undisturbed till I get another “turn” the following month. (Hat tip to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who had a similar idea a few years back). Eight months later, she updated that the system was really working out for her. The main difference between her plan and mine is that I don’t have to intend to complete a pair before I start a sock project on the first of the month. (After all, it’s my plan and I can do as I want, right?) Also, my rules are loose enough that I’m not going to blindly choose a bag — I’ll decide when I open the bin which project I want to knit.

Guess who’s looking forward to February 1st?

Care package from Chica

It’s become an annual tradition; but sometimes my shipping-on-time skills leave a lot to be desired. For the most part, however, we typically mail our respective care packages at JUST the right time — when they’re apt to bring the biggest smile, much-needed joy, and of course — inspiration:

Chica's Package

Chica knows my color preferences and all the things that are likely to make me giggle. I always love the Avril kit surprise and this year’s was a choker kit with three long strands of Avril (Habu) yarn to crochet into a chain and wear as a necklace or choker (or skinny scarf). I’m hoping to share the finished product soon!

I can’t wait to use the cute bookmark she sent — sheep on a string 🙂 This will go in a favorite knitting book — likely my copy of Knitting Around.

There’s a reusable black shopping bag (it’s the one that looks like a small purse — ingenious!) and the irony is that I sent her a reusable shopping bag too, imprinted with the logo of her favorite “local” yarn shop.

Here’s something really unique and useful:

Chica's Package

Chica's Package

Fellow knitters: look closely at the instructions to see how ingenious these little tools are.

One of my favorite things in the package was a small bag containing coil-less safety pins; they’re a unique shape — somewhat like a light bulb — and I’m already using them on a special WIP. These will deserve their own post soon. The sheep notepad is going in my knitting bag; I’m always needing something to jot down notes!

As for the yarn — I can’t wait to use it, but I always struggle with the “preciousness” of yarn from Japan. But I’m going to get over my fear of using it and find inspiration in the books she sent me a couple of years ago.

Last but not least: adorable screen-printed fabric with bicycles. (I love the ones with baskets on them)! I have a project in mind for this and I hope it works out.

Thank you again, Chica!

Now is a good time to share some of the patterns I’ve found on Ravelry whose sales benefit Japanese relief agencies as well as international aid agencies who can use the funds to send help where it’s most needed:

Mason-Dixon Knitting – Mitered Crosses (go see Chawne’s mitered cross square – it’s what alerted me to the pattern) – 100% of the proceeds (over $5,000 to date) benefit Mercy Corps in Japan.

Wendy Knits – Japanese Garden Shawl – 100% of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross

Janel Laidman (author of The Enchanted Sole) – Eiki Shawl – benefitting the Japanese Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

I’m sure I’ve missed a lot more out there — please leave a link in the comments if you would like to share your own or others’ pattern sales for Japanese relief efforts.

Finished: Fingerless Mitts

Last month, in the middle of a lot of pre-Charlie preparations, I decided that a nice knitting diversion was in order. When the opportunity presented itself to knit something tailor-made for a young lady with an aversion to pink, I immediately pictured something that would allow her fingers to fly free:


[ Ravelry Details Fast Fassett Fingerless Mitts ]

SoKnitPicky blogged about it here, and shared her photo with me.

This satisfied an urge I had at the time to cast on for some socks . . . but with so much in my queue and unfinished WIPs mocking me, there was no way I was going to do that! But at really stressful times, I crave the satisfaction of knitting a tube — just knitting around and around. It’s mesmerizing, meditative. So while it was a gift intended for another, it ended up being a gift I gave myself as well. Another added bonus was that I decided I really like purple after all!

Effort

It takes effort to compose a picture-perfect, photo-ready world and as much as I enjoy that in other blogs, I’ve realized that something I enjoy more is hard truth and answers to our common dilemmas. I don’t want to know how to make my life more photogenic — I still want to find the beauty in my day, but I want to experience it rather than style it.

I want to see and know the (wo)man behind the curtain, the one lingering there in pajamas and yesterday’s t-shirt. And while I don’t necessarily want or need to see the visuals, the subtle hints that things aren’t picture-perfect all the time will be liberating.

She fixes his breakfast every morning and it always includes at least one egg. He often takes a series of photos during breakfast, from the same chair, the same perspective. On those days, the photographer uploads the photos or a short video and shares them with the world. He’s Norio Kobayashi and his site is Digital Kitchen