• Because Mad Tosh

    If anything was going to drag me back into blogging it was going to be three skeins of mad tosh.

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    It was the one yarn I had never tried. The one yarn I had lusted after for years and never bought. Then I was at a convention for my other job and there was a yarn shop booth across from mine. There was a whole pile of Madtosh sport weight for me to stare at all in colors that I could not refuse. I let the yarn sit for a while because I didn't know what to make with it. I knew I wanted a shawl, but I didn't like any of the shawl patterns I could find. They just didn't work for me so I took Dream Stripes by Caillieau Berangere and changed the striping. I wanted big thick stripes so I could see Mad Tosh's mottled colors.  

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    I'm tempted to knit a star applique in a pink or a yellow to put at the top of the shawl. We'll see. 

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    It's nice to have time to knit amongst all the crazy. 

  • Color Me Amused

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    From Pema Chodron's Taking the Leap:

    "The fundamental, most basic shenpa is to ego itself: attachment to our identity, the image of who we think we are. When we experience our identity as being threatened, our self-absorption gets very strong, and shenpa automatically arises. Then there is the spin-off-such as attachment to our possessions or to our views and opinions. For example, someone criticizes you. They criticize your politics, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your dearest friend. And shenpa is right there."

    Knitting has taught me many things. Patience, generosity, friendship, consistency, courage, persistence and kindness. 

    It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who could benefit from learning how to knit. 

  • Green to Blue

    Nice weather has a way of making a knitter feel guilty.

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    It's been spring for a few weeks now and among knitters, well at least with this knitter spring brings a new kind of longing: the onset of autumn. Yes, you would think that with winter just ending that one would not dare wish to see cold weather ahead again anytime soon, but not so with knitters, and not so with knitters who live with mild winters.

    Winter in Northern California is a quaint affair. Californians love to pretend it's cold and enjoy bundling up in hats, scarves and even mittens in 50 degree weather. When you first move to California, it's hilarious, but over time as your body acclimates to the mild weather you too begin to feel a chill at the slightest hint of cold and suddenly you want to wear a shawl in 55 degree weather. Then you realize that longtime Californians aren't pretending. They're actually cold.

    However Californians, at least coastal and midland ones are absolutely clueless about the tyranny of a true winter. You see, the chilly evenings and mornings give way to a manageable mild afternoon, and so it's never chillingly cold for a long time. Nor is there any snow to shovel or drive through. We know nothing about the suffering of a true winter, so of course we only see the benefits of winter and for Californian knitters there are two: 

    1) You finally get to wear your handknits.

    2) You don't feel guilty knitting at home when it's rainy and chilly. 

    The rest of the year I'm waiting for knitting season: when you're supposed to bake pumpkin stuff and dress like one of the models on the cover of a knitting magazine. On beautiful sunny California days, I knit guiltily knowing that I should be outside on a beach or something, having a barbecue, or prancing around a park, when all I want to do is unload my entire yarn stash onto my bed and fall backwards onto it, whispering to the cotton chenille and the wool tweed. It feels worse when I combine the love of knitting with tv bingewatching. It might be all Kimmie Schmidt all the time while I'm knitting, but I can still see the gorgeous sun shinning and the floating hummingbirds teasing me to put the darned needles down. 

    But that's why the universe made porches and benches.

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    There's much less guilt when you knit outside. 

    But I still can't wait for autumn.

    Don't be a stranger! If you liked what you read leave a comment and say hello! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Knitting Rainbows

     I went through a bit of a rainbow phase when I was five years old.

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     I guess I never quite grew out of it.

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    The blanket is actually done, but the photos of the finished object aren't, so for now you can see continued progress. We're up to lavender in these photos, a long timer favorite color of mine, dating all the way back to kindergarten when I got a lavender crown to my birthday in the classroom. 

    We're only a few weeks away from summer vacation, which I'm looking forward to even if I have few childcare plans for my children the whole summer through. No summer camps. At $300-$400 a week forget it. I'd rather get to hang out with them myself. It's the last summer before both of them are elementary school students. I'd best enjoy it. 

    What are you up to?

  • Knitting Up a Distraction

    There's only four more days before the election is over. Just ninety-six hours before we know the results. There's only one thing to do.

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    Vote.

    You thought I was going to say knitting, right? Well that's helping too. We have some big fights at the ballot here in California, including ones in the city where I live. It's a mess out there people. We're still recovering from 2008 and folks aren't anywhere near back to before they lost everything. The nineties seem so innocent in comparison.

    Here's a better picture of the yarn I'm working with. Love the mottled teals. 

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    Try to keep it together everybody.

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    As much as it feels like this election might solve something, it feels more like it's just another battle finished before the next one. 

  • More Sock Yarn Hat Knitting

    I finished the other noro Taiyo hat a few weeks ago and you would think that after two straight hat projects that I would be sick of knitting hats, let alone the same sock yarn hat, but you would be wrong. 

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    I'm still working my way through all of the amazing yarn my mother in law has brought back from her trips to Austria over the years. She loves to pick up thin sock weight yarn. For whatever reason I just did not want to knit socks with all of this yarn so as soon as I found this sock yarn hat I realized that I was going to be able to do some serious stash busting knitting. So the end of 2015 is all about knitting the heck out of these beautiful single ply sockweight yarns. 

    I'm now working on some sort of German yarn. I can't find the label, but it's like a Zauberball, but not. The thin single ply was a pain in the derriere to cast on and the first couple of rounds were pretty iffy. It might be majickstricken, or something like it. Keep in mind that I've made up that name in an attempt to approximate the real name. Allow me to skip out to Ravelry for a moment to see if I can determine the real name. Wait a minute. Found it. It's not German. It's Italian and it's Lana Grosso Magico II

    I'm going to be honest with you. I'm not loving this yarn. It's the kind of yarn that looks great on the ball, but is not so great to knit, at least not for me. I prefer yarns that are hardy and stay in one piece. This is a single ply wool which breaks soooooo easily. It's not like the quality is bad, it's just what happens with these kinds of yarns. Some people like a fuzzy effect on their knitting, but I'm not one of those people. The friction between the needles and the hands encourages the yarn to loosen up and get fuzzier as you knit it. Once again, that's what happens with single ply yarns. It's not bad enough that I want to give up knitting this hat. If anything it's spurring me to try to finish this hat ASAP. Oddly enough I have another ball of this yarn in another colorway that is destined for older son so even when I finish this hat it won't be the end of sock hat knitting or single ply yarn knitting. It just so happens that we all need some snuggly hats this year, what with the rain and the chill. It will be worth the work of knitting. It's actually coming out pretty nice.

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    Speaking of rain we're getting quite a bit of that today, which is exactly what I've wanted for months. Hopefully I will not tire of this rain since we're due to receive a ton of it due to El Nino. What with the drought over the last couple of years I've also experienced a drought of knitting weather. Bring it on.

    What's your knitting weather like?

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