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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Make Your Own Market Bags

Suddenly bored with my möbius cowl and not interested in knitting socks just now, I remembered I have long wanted to knit myself a market bag.

Years ago I made a bunch of these Monteagle Bags  by Ann Hahn Buechner after reading about them in a blog in 2008 but I never got around to making one for me.

The yarn is a lovely Egyptian plant cotton (or papyrus) yarn from our local treasure, Artfibers, called Kite. It’s very sturdy and yet soft to the touch. This is important as you don’t want your precious vegetables to be scratched up by hard fibers or an uncomfortable strap digging into your shoulder.

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I knit and try to think about something else. I am worried about my family, I’m worried about my upcoming test results, I’m worried about work and about everything, life feels quite upsetting. Knitting stitches that look like macramé requires concentration. It does help to focus on these finicky stitches. I breathe and relax and watch the funky stitches form under my hands.

Sitting at my kitchen table sipping Cafe du Monde cafe au lait and watching some wonderful British cooking shows with one eye on the screen is quite the pleasant and low key afternoon. I’m too sunburned from my day in the sun yesterday to go out so with the window open and the lovely warm breeze coming in off the fire escape I am quite happy with my perch up in the Roost.

I finished this bag and used it at the market Saturday. It was a gorgeous foggy then sunny day and my bag was fantastic.

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I should have taken a picture of it laden with all the vegetables I bought that day, it swelled and stretched and yet kept everything in great shape and it was comfortable and stylish.

In hindsight I will add more rows of the lower row of tighter stitches, perhaps triple what the pattern calls for, to allow for smaller objects to stay tucked in more securely during shopping.    I made some pattern notes on my project page on Ravelry about the bottom and cast on and my pattern modifications.   Perhaps I should cast on another bag!

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Feel Good Knitting – Knitting for Charity

There is nothing better than showering knitted love on people who really need a dose of love in their lives.

Through my Twitter friends I heard of Gabe.  He’s a darling boy of all of four years and was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  My “tweep” J___ is gathering knitted squares for a quilt for Gabe.  When I read this I just knew I had to send her a square.

A square for Gabe's Quilt

I used leftover Crazy Zauberball sock yarn and the quilt is being made using the Barn Raising Quilt pattern.  I hope this little square helps ease Gabe’s suffering and I hope the funds raised help his family.  Here is his family’s Facebook page.  He’s an adorable little boy and I send him and his family all best wishes and strength to beat this cancer.

If you feel you can spare something, donations to the family can be made via PayPal to Prayersforgabe (at) yahoo (dot) com

Then, I heard that one of J___’s friends is expecting a baby in September, but when her friends shared their joyful news they started receiving hate from family and their community.  Why would such great news evoke such hate?  Because her friend is gay.

Can you imagine?  A loving couple happily sharing news that is the highlight of their life and the reaction is one of hate and recrimination.  J___ said she was going to knit this baby girl “everything” and I felt moved to ask if I could knit her something too.

Here’s my little bit of knitted love for this little girl, the Wave Jumper, I call it the Cherry Blossom Wave Jumper because this yarn reminds me of the Cherry Blossom Festival we just had here in San Francisco.  Sadly I lost the ball band to this yarn, but it sure is gorgeous wool superwash sock yarn.

Wave baby dress

If anyone recognizes this yarn, please tell me, I would love to get some more.

Does anyone recognize this sock yarn? I lost the ball band. It's gorgeous!

Many years ago one of my recipe swap friends had a brain aneurysm and because of the surgery lost her gorgeous long blond hair.  I offered to knit her friend a hat, the Selbu Modern in Shelridge Farms yarn.  Years later her friend found out I was the one who had made the hat, which she loved, and now we too are lovely close friends ourselves.  We still haven’t met but we chat online many times a week and knowing her has added so much to my life.

Catherine's hat
This year I planned to focus on knitting things just for me, but then I realized just how happy it made me to knit these few little things for people who need love, even if I have never met them.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Bacon Makes Everything Better

Bacon makes everything better. Bacon yarn definitely makes socks better.

I am just smitten with my newest socks knitted using the Holiday Yarns bacon colorway and Knitty’s Skew pattern.

Bacon socks

Aren’t they just so tasty?

It makes me smile every time I look at them, and it heightens my almost constant craving for a slice of bacon.

I have one more skein of bacon yarn to knit up, for my Bacon Queen friend! If you have any sock “recipe” suggestions I would love to hear what you think would maximize the design of this yarn.

The Ease of Distraction

Spring has arrived in San Francisco. As I sit in the sun at a roof garden next to my namesake blooms, the sun kneads my shoulders with warm fingers and I tune out the sound of the city on the streets below.  The sky is soft blue and I gave away at the high rises around me.

Vitamin D break. Ahhhh....

 

I am breathing deeply and knitting a sock and admiring my jewelry flashing in the sun.

Knitting provides the ease of distraction of a busy day. My mind wanders as my fingers create perfect tiny stitches, a sock for foggy nights grows in my hands.

In my purse is a warm scarf for later tonight, but for now the sun and knitting is lulling my nerves and filling me with peace.

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Crazy Blue Socks and Bacon Socks

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It’s Easter and I am up at my parents. My stepdad’s newly diagnosed dementia (discovered at Thanksgiving) has suddenly taken a huge downturn and he is temporarily in a convalescent hospital. My mom has been living at the hospital at his side and while it seems the crisis has passed he is not well enough up come home. We ate together though, now, for this weekend and that is the best thing.

Last weekend my sister and I visited and took care of a lot of things that had piled up over the 3 weeks my parents had been at the hospital. This weekend mom is sick and I’m not feeling well either. We can’t visit the hospital, their rules, so there is nothing to do but to be at the house and try not to worry. We are all a bit manic with worry. My only salvation, besides comforting and amusing texts from friends, is knitting.

I finished a pair of socks I started last year. This is the longest I’ve ever taken to make a pair of socks, particularly since its just a simple ribbed sock pattern using the Zauberboll Crazy yarn in shades of blue.

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I brought a ball of bacon striped yarn and started a pair of toe up socks right away. This is the Skew pattern from Knitty. I thought its design would really let the bacon effect shine.

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Tomorrow, Monday night, we will have our Easter dinner if mom is feeling better. I’m hoping my sore throat is better then too and I’m not starting the same cold. Meanwhile, knitting is keeping me relaxed and my mom and sister love watching the bacon socks grow.

It’s normal for me to be up here, plopped in the orange Danish chair that was my childhood favorite, knitting and chatting with my stepdad while he watched whatever sports was on the tv. Now, even though the couch is empty and a cooking show or old movie is on tv, to my family it looks normal. I’m doing my little part to keep normalcy by knitting, although on the inside I’m a matted skein of yarn.

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