Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hat Madness!

I think that 2014 is the year of hats and washcloths. So, first off I'll show a small smattering of the hats that I made this year. Why not show all of them? I don't have the pics all in one place and couldn't find them. This year I supported 2 charities, Knots of Love (the charity my work knitting group supports) and Halos of Hope (the charity a LOT of podcasters did a contest for). I like Halos of Hope a lot because they are not as picky with their yarn requirements, which means that I can go to the Yarn Swap at Purlescence (Sunnyvale, CA LYS) and just take balls of people's leftovers that I like which can be worked into hats as decoration. Here are some of the hats I made for the 2 charities and I think a couple that went to my mom's church auction.

I think the stats worked out like this:
Knots of Love - 20?
Halos of Hope - 7?
Church/co-workers - 10?

I like this set, it was all based off one main big ball of grey that I got at a swap. Then I was able to take scraps obtained at previous swaps of marigold and magenta, as well as some left over green from my stash, and improvise.

These two were a ball of brick red striped with the leftover blue from the other hat. The blue hat has stripes of purple and the same marigold from above (hard to see, sorry)

I took three balls of similar weight that went really good together and came in the same bag in the swap - light green, yellow, and salmon, and made a couple hats with variations on stripes. One was 2 rounds of stripes in orer, the other was a mix of 1-3 rounds per stripe.

And this cute set is in acrylic that I purchased about 4 years ago specifically for the little girl when she was a baby. I turned out not to think of anything to make her out of it until this year (I made her other items but couldn't decide with this stuff). Oh, and it's acrylic because she is little, allergic to wool, and the colors appealed to me. 

And that's it for now. Next post: washcloths!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Imaginary Blog

While I know that I haven't updated this blog in roughly a million years (that's the scientific term), I feel like I'm always blogging. I think about this a lot - I mean sometimes as often as daily. It's the same with my limping along podcast of 5 years.....I think about it, and that somewhat scratches the itch. Then I end up making my plan for the update, and it ends up not happening. But somewhere, the part of my brain that bookmarks that this task must get done records this as complete, and then the cycle repeats. 

Now, granted, there are some other factors at work here. One is that my phone is always with me, and far easier and immediate than my camera. Anyone who has read this blog will know by now that I am not a very good photographer. It's just not something I've invested my time in (one of the few) and, as a result, I've never been very good at it, even when I have tried. I don't have a quick and easy way to move the photos from my phone that fits into my normal life rhythm, so I don't have those pics to add to here, which is challenging because this is a primarily photo blog. 

Another is that my job prides itself on just getting harder every year. People actually smile at the challenge and say "It's not like we only work 40 hours" Har Har Har. And I know I'm lucky to have a good job, with people I really like, at a company I respect, where I get to feel like I really make a difference. But that does not solve for everything - it will never give me more time for my crafting or more time with my family. That brings me to my biggest time-sink.....

The Tiny Overlord

I the crap out of this little sleep-thief and agent of chaos. He's amazing, but he is a handful and only stops running around when he's sleeping. And there's really nothing I'd rather do than find new ways to make him laugh and smile or chase him around the park, or help him learn. So, other parts of my life have had to shrink to accommodate him. That's ok, but it makes for some rather boring blogging- as you'll see in my next post, when you'll either see some of the multitude of boring hats I've been making or the endless amount of washcloths.

- Miss K

Monday, March 24, 2014

Life is Happening....

Hello everyone, sorry for the long absences. I keep feeling like blogging and then not doing it because I don't have pictures with me. I love reading blogs with pictures. Those without, well, they just don't captivate me the same way. Due to that, I try to always include pictures. Maybe that's where I 'm going wrong. I take some pictures, but generally either forget to upload them or wait until far too late to upload so they are no longer relevant.

Let's face it, I'm a troglodyte.

Like most things in life, it's easier to get back to blogging if I just stop putting it off, right? Rip it off like a band-aid! So here I am, stealing back the lunch "hour" I've already worked through. A quick note on that - I don't mind working through lunch. No really. I don't. It's not that I'm some mega-virtuous company girl - it's that I know that my working through a little "personal" time here and there protects my unplugging at night. I didn't always used to be this way. I used to work through lunch everyday, and work every night and weekend. Having a getting married, having a baby, and growing up a little changed that. I'm willing to make the small sacrifices that allow me to really enjoy my life outside of work.

But today, we blog!

Not a lot to cover. Wanted to direct you to the blog I'm currently enjoying reading through: The Zero Waste Home Not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm finding it riveting as well as inspiring. I don't know that Zero Waste is my thing, but I'm certainly hoping to lower my family's waste and overall carbon foot print. And while we're at it, why not declutter a little bit as well so we can fully enjoy our space?

Just don't touch my stash!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Small Problems

And in the true spirit of the universe, as soon as you complain about a problem, you are shown just how small that problem is.

My friend, Jim, died two nights ago. In his sleep. He's not that much older than my husband. We weren't super close friends, but when we were working fair, we'd often stop to flirt and hang out with each other. He was the kind of person who can do sleazy/charming. The definition of an adorable scoundrel. In character, he straddled the line between smarm and gentlemanly perfectly. He was a flirt, and always had a witty or fun comment. He was a great Bass and a fantastic actor. He's been going through a lot. I spent a day at fair just sitting and talking with him all day last year. He was sharing his pain and I was coping with early pregnancy. I never would have thought he would be dead a year later. I wish I'd be at fair last weekend to see him.

Ah Jim, I hope you're having a great time wherever you are. You will be missed.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


TL;DR - Everyone is ok! Scary day. Croup is no joke.

I am exhausted.

My kid had a sudden onset of Croup on Saturday afternoon (Croup is known for being sudden). I did all the correct things (thanks, Uncle Internet and Aunt Web MD), but he just kept getting worse. This culminated in a trip to the emergency room around 9pm. My husband drove so I could ride in the back our son and keep him calm and, if need-be, perform emergency CPR if he stopped breathing for good.

Yes, it really was that bad.

He was so tired from trying to breathe that he wasn't eating or sleeping and continually stopped breathing as if he were trying to hold his breath. Regardless, I still suspected that we were being over-protective parents. As a first-time Mom, I try so hard not to be that mom (you know the one - she's jumps at every and any little thing and is ready to call 911 at the drop of a hat). I don't want to be made fun of and I don't want people rolling their eyes at me. I'm not a hypochondriac and I don't want my kid to be one. So I'm sparing with Dr. visits and with medications. Until my husband got home, I was still holding my kid over the humidifier in stubborn insistence that it would fix him.

However, the Emergency Room staff immediately made me feel better. They kept telling me we did the right thing and that this was serious. Up until that moment, I had half-suspected that we would just be sent home, something that's happened to a lot of my friends when they seek care they don't really need, even though they may think it's serious. We were in a room with him hooked up to machines and receiving treatment within 10 minutes of arrival (including the walk from the parking lot).

We spent that night in the ER, watching the hours tick by slowly as our child received treatments every couple hours and wavered between getting better and getting worse. It was the single scariest night of my life. Everytime he started barking instead of breathing, my heart sank. The Dr kept warning us that he was looking like he may need to be admitted to the nearby hospital with a children's ward. I hate hearing that hospitals even need a children's ward. No child should have to be in the hospital.

15 hours later, we were finally allowed to leave - with the planned follow-up appointment for the next day. Neither of us had slept, but our son had. And we drove home hungry and weary, but full of relief that our son was (at least temporarily) better. I stayed home with him Monday and Tuesday (and got sick myself) but I reveled in all of his crying and coughing and hoarse babbling because it meant he was BREATHING.

So, yeah, that was my weekend. I had thought croup was a relatively minor thing that I wouldn't have to deal with at all, but a piece of cake even if I did. I was wrong. I wonder how many other things I'm going to be wrong about in this first year.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I am Untrustworthy

So, I had this plan. The plan was that I wouldn't buy any yarn or fibre from when my son was born until Stitches West. In my last post I showed you how I accidentally (and yes, it was an accident, I legitimately forgot I was doing this) ruined this and purchased two skeins of yarn the other week. Fine. That's not so bad. It was a temporary lapse caused by mommy-brain (which is, as it turns out, a real thing).  Of course I would just start over and hold fast to my non-fibre-purchasing goal from now on.

Not so much.

 As it turns out, I am incredibly untrustworthy.

Pictured to the right is my latest and largest fail. You see that? I even had to buy a bag to put it all in. That bag is literally crammed full of yarn. Crammed.

What was I thinking, you ask? I'm kind of laughing over here, since I'm pretty sure that nothing can really justify this amount of purchasing while being on a self-imposed and much needed yarn diet. It's not that I'm being draconian on myself, it's that I have so much I have run out of room in the fiboreum to stash it all. As a result, I have a mini-yarn stash in the living room under the built-in bench seating and have just expanded that to a cupboard in the living room's armoire. I actually do have too much yarn at this point. I am using it, true, but not nearly fast enough to purchase any more at the moment, and certainly not fast enough to warrant this much more.
 Here's the view of the contents of the bag unpacked. We'll get to close-ups and what it's actually for in a moment. Do you see that?

That's 26 skeins of yarn. 26!

The needles are beyond reproach since needles are never counted in my yarn diets. Needles are what makes it so you can use your yarn. They are tools, not stash. Especially when you're buying sizes you don't have yet.

 This picture is a little dark, but is meant to show 18 specific balls of yarn. The red, green, and white (the white has sparkles, by the way, very cool) are for my son's christmas stocking. About now you are probably wondering what type of stocking takes 18 balls of yarn. Funny there I was in the yarn store deciding on stocking yarn and my addled, sleep-deprived, new-mom brain says "but wait, what if you have another child? You'll want to make sure you get enough yarn to make him/her a matching stocking." So I grab another ball of each color. Then my brain says "You never know, it could be twins." So I grab another ball of red. Then the brain says "Shouldn't you consider making your husband one to match?" Another few balls get added onto the pile. "And what about your future grandchildren?" And that's when I emptied the yarn cubby into my basket.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

 The other 8 skiens? Well, what can I say? They were on sale.

The turquoise has already fulfilled its purpose and been given to the coworker I bought it for. That's 1 down already!!

The 4 variegated are  being banked for next year's charity knitting at work. I figured I might as well get a price break on yarn I'd be buying anyway.

And the other 3 are that pull-apart net-like yarn that's so popular for making ruffly scarves. I'll be using it to turn out some quick co-worker gifts.

Not too bad, right??



Monday, September 09, 2013

August 2013 catch-up

Did you miss me? I missed you. Between feeding and caring for a baby and trying to keep my household running, I find that I have much less time for crafting than I previously had. It was expected, of course, but it's still an adjustment. However, it doesn't mean that I could stop knitting. That's like dying, right? 

Anyway, let's take a look at a few things from August. Now, don't judge. I am only human. Just be glad that I've managed a shower in these pics....and remember, this was about a month after having a baby. I'm not going to be svelte for a while. Besides, you're supposed to be looking at the knitwear.

Alright, look at this!

This little shawl-thingy is called Good Vibrations and is by SaBine Vogelpoth. You can get this pattern free on Ravelry (at least that's where I got it).  Hers is done either in a variegated or self-striping or in two yarns to show off the pattern. However, I thought it would look smashing in a yarn with long repeats - like Noro. I found the pattern while I was trying to figure out what to do with 2 skeins of Noro Taiyo Sock that my mother had given me a couple Christmases ago. The pattern is not specifically calling out this yarn, but I thought the long color repeats would help to accentuate the great detail of the triangles on the edges of the shawl.

Here's the closeup. I made the shawl much longer than the pattern goes, but since it's an easy and easily memorable pattern, it was easy to extend. I just kept going until I ran out of yarn.  This is a great pattern for anyone who needs a relatively easy project that doesn't need much attention. It's garter with shortrows every now and then. Simple and yet really nice.

What's this? GORGEOUS is what it is. I had decided to be on a yarn diet after my son was born until Stitches next February....and I completely forgot when I stopped by Purlescence to show off the baby and pick up a couple needed needles.

At least when I fell down, I bought something gorgeous.....oh, and it's Madeline Tosh!!

Did you know that Crown Mountain was ceasing its operations in June? Yes, I mean this passed June. Well, knowing that, I felt the need to make an order. It was not a huge order, like some of my friends did. But I did buy four 8oz bumps of roving.

My thought process was that I wanted to branch out, color-wise, before they closed. I always buy blues, reds, pinks, purples, greens. I decided that I needed to buy somethings that made me explore color - oranges, yellows, browns, and mixes that were more wild than what I would normally choose.

So, here are the 4 that I purchased - they came in the mail after a long wait - but that makes sense. I ordered them at the very last minute and I know, for a fact, that several people ordered large amounts before me. I was surprised these came so relatively soon.

Oh, and also, they are beautiful. This brown and orange one is really a leap of faith for me. I don't really love it now and I'm afraid I won't love it when it's spun. But I needed to branch out and knowing that I couldn't order more later made it a real sh*t or get off the pot situation.

So, 4 lovely colors to spin, nowhere in my Fiboreum to store them, and a new baby who is leaving me no time to spin.....