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Puttering Along On Things

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Suddenly the pace of my life has picked up a great deal, perhaps it’s because I’m able to walk on my healing ankle so much better now.   Last month I had a period where I had not been home at night until quite late for 12 days in a row!   It has been such fun, dinners and cocktails out, baseball games and opera, entertaining at home, cleaning up after entertaining at home, having house guests,  but no much time for knitting.

I am tired.  I need to putter for a while and have some down time, some knitting time would be nice too.

Today I found at the Ferry Building in the Heath Pottery stall a mug that matches my Camino Bubbles shawl.  I love it!  I came back from my walk in the cool misting fog and put the mug to immediate use with some green and lemongrass tea.

My new mug matches my new shawl
(Heath Pottery coupe mug in mushroom/green)

Camino Bubbles update
(see, the same green as my mug!)

My shawl is too large to fit into my handbag now, which means I am about three-quarters of the way done.   The length is about four feet and I still have the bulk of the second skein of yarn to use.

 

A___ came over for the Sharknado pizza party (check my other blog soon for details on that night) and saw the shawl on my bed.  She did her usual trick of picking up the work, draping it around her and twirling and posing in the mirror, exclaiming, “Is this for meeee???”.    So darling, however, it is *not* for her, not this time!   All of the ladies at the party want one now in various colors.   I hope that I don’t get sick of this pattern so that I can fulfill their wishes and gift them one someday.  This is the very best kind of peer pressure!

My latest “handbag worthy” project is the ongoing mobius cowl from last Fall.

A handbag worthy project has to have several important and necessary criteria:

  • It needs to fit in my handbag, first and foremost!
  • The pattern needs to be simple enough that I can knit without having to refer to a complicated chart, or a chart that I have not yet taken the time to copy out of a knitting book or magazine (see first bullet – must fit in my handbag)
  • The project cannot have too many stitch markers because when you are knitting on a bus or a bench or at a friend’s house stitch markers have a strange tendency to fly off your needles and mysteriously vanish before your eyes.  It’s almost as if they have their own Bermuda Triangle thing going on.

The mobius is perfect on this count, it’s a one ball of yarn project, fits in my pretty knitting bag which is almost too large to fit in my capacious handbag, and is straight stockinette, despite the unusual cast on arrangement on a coiled cable in order to achieve the magical mobius.

The Mobius cowl is getting close to bring done!

 

(Please note my SF Giants stitch marker, a gift from the team a few years ago!)

 

It doesn’t really look like a cowl at this point but once I remove the twice coiled cable it will loop into a mobius that should reach just mid bust on me.  The colors are really unusual for my wardrobe which is inspiring me to expand my color palate a bit more.

I hope to finish it next week or soon enough to wear during our perpetually fogged in summers.  The Camino Bubbles shawl will take a bit more time, since I will working on it solely at home, either that or I should get a larger handbag.  Hmmm, now isn’t that an interesting thought?

San Francisco Giants’ Stitch and Pitch Night and Camino Bubbles

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I've missed my Willie

Every year our San Francisco Giants host a night for knitters and crocheters called Stitch and Pitch. Stitch and Pitch is a national initiative where local knitters can support their local team and get swag and recognition on the jumbotron. Some teams go all out and make the icons for the bases into balls of yarn and other neat tricks. Here in SF we are just happy to be mentioned and get to sit together in the chilly night air, huddled for warmth, knitting things we wish were finished in time for the game that night.

This year was no exception. Despite it being the official first day of summer although it was warm at lunchtime by nightfall the airs were quite frigid and we were grateful for our lap blankets, warm coats and fuzzy knitting things, and my hat from a previous year.

The teeshirt they gave us this was extra special, it has a sleeve patch that says 2012 World Series Champions! I think it’s really sweet that the Giants make up shirts for their knitting fans.

We didn’t have a special section this year but rather were scattered throughout the stadium, over 500 knitters were there this year.

My view, waaaay up there

Nice view, right? We really cracked up the people sitting behind us though, they just couldn’t believe we actually knit at the game. Yes, we do, and my Camino Bubbles shawl was wonderful to work on, being so warm and fluffy.

Of course we really enjoy the food at the ballpark too, it’s one of the highlights. Where else can we enjoy a “California Cheese Steak Sandwich” which is chicken, mushrooms, onions and peppers and “cheeze sauce”.

So wrong - so fucking right

After a thorough handwashing, I worked on my shawl until it got too cold and then just huddled my hands inside of it.

Camino bubbles 1/2 way through

I am about halfway through at this point. Although the Ivy Trail colorway looked great wound inside the ball, I am not very much in love with the colors as they appear in the shawl. I am committed to it though and I am sure I will find the finished object more versatile colorwise than it appears to me now.

Camino Bubbles update

Sadly we lost the game that night but it was fun to be out there wearing our Stitch and Pitch orange and black.  Can’t wait for my next game!

Knitting Green Leaves

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At Stitches West this year I found a beautiful pattern for the Cedar Leaves Shawlette. The model was knitted in some sort of wool/silk combination but nowhere in the vast hall of yarn booths could we find anything remotely similar. I purchased the pattern in the hopes a perfect yarn would find me. And it did!

Knitpicks had a very nice sale on their Andean Treasure 100% alapca and the heathered green colorway was absolutely perfect. I knitted up the shawl body on Sunday in between my frenzied cooking, and then that evening  started knitting leaves.

Leaf after leaf grew on the shawlette, bursting open like the spring that is upon the Bay Area.

Cedar Leaf Shawlette

I should be finished with it in time for the weekend, when colder, more San Francisco spring-like weather, is predicted.  Knitting this little shawlette, or scarf as it really should be called, is part of my quest this year for knitting for myself, to heap love upon myself in many ways, including wonderful fibery creations.

Bring it, fogbank, I will be covered in leafy green alpaca and laughing at you.

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?

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.

Sunday Mornings

Peaceful Sunday mornings….

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…don’t get any better than this. A huge cappuccino, my Crazy Zauberball sock and Good Neighbors on the iPad.

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