Nesting Instincts

I am on another charity knitting kick – because the projects are small and the recipients are cute.  I continue to make nests for Wildcare, which cares for injured wildlife in my county:

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My cousin and I dropped off the nests on Saturday, and we took a brief tour of the Wildcare out in the public areas – hawks, a spotted owl, a woodpecker, tortoise, ducks, a pelican, just to name a few. It was so peaceful and restful to hang there with the critters.

And I’m on a jag of knitting baby items (hats and socks) for Afghans for Afghans. So cute, so fast!

These hats are out of self-striping washable wool, pattern is the Brioche Baby Hat. I used DK and worsted weight yarn instead of fingering, and used the preemie # of stitches, but knit the newborn length!IMG_1523

And some socks, with more to come!IMG_1525

and there’s a friend who’s having baby number two, and I haven’t started the sweater, and a pattern than must be conquered asap. Plenty happening, but fun too!

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Knitting Diversions

On my trip to Mendocino, in addition to seeing all the beautiful things in the area, I did happen to stop at the Mendocino Yarn Shop, which is adorable.

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Alynn has lovely yarn, and a beautiful store. Even though I’d brought enough yarn to knit for three times the length of my stay, the shine new yarn soon consumed me, to the exclusion of a lot of other things I should have probably been doing. Yes, forgive me, knitting Gods, for I have lusted after other projects!

First, there was the Regia North Pole Color, which is a DK weight of their sock-blend yarn. This colorway is so cheerful it immediately turned into slipper socks that I wear around the house:

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In fact it is so cute that I also made a brioche baby hat for the June Afghans for Afghans “baby shower” – some infant’s head will be warm and cozy too!

While I was up in Mendocino, my eye also caught the lovely The Fiber Company Meadow, in the colorway Cornflower. This is a lovely light fingering weight yarn with wool, silk, llama and linen!  It has a bit of bounce, but also lovely drape and a bit of shine. Rosemary Hill had just published a new to us lace shawl pattern (I saw it at Stitches West in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth) for the Year Four of her shawl series, and this yarn was a perfect match.

I might have gotten a little addicted to this pattern, even though it was a rather challenging knit at first.

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Romi charts differently that most of her colleagues in the US – it’s a knit what the chart says for that stitch, not a knit what you see (what matches the actual knitting). Here’s my take on this: if you are forest person, who looks to see how all the stitches interact with one another, then this type of charting might be less appealing. But if you are a tree kind of knitter – just tell me what stitch to knit next, exactly as I will do it, this is a perfect version for you – you will never have to translate in your head the mark on the page to what you need to do to have it match in your knitting.

Unluckily for me, I am a forest knitter (which is no surprise to folks who have test-knit for me – LOL!).

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While I knit a shawl of Romi’s way back when I had the chicken pox, I actually had no memory of her charting method. It was like I was doing this for the first time. Guess I was pretty sick then. So in dealing with this charting method, I might have definitely whined a bit about this, especially because I was also coping with using the KnitCompanion version of the pattern, and you’d think with all the technology brought to bear on knitting patterns with this software, you could toggle this to make it look like you would prefer. You would (and I was) wrong about that.

Nevertheless, I was really happy with knitting something big and lacy and just for me. So it went pretty fast, and now I have this too!

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And I am thrilled with the finished shawl – light, airy, and just perfect as an additional layer when it cools off or gets chilly in the evenings!

 

 

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Revknit’s Eiregal
Of course, all this means that I’ve been diverted from other projects. Which I now return to with pledges of fidelity.

What are your “knitting diversions?”

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A Visit to Mendonoma

Mendonoma – you won’t find it on a standard map of California, but yes, it apparently does exist:

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This little slice of California has almost everything that makes California a wonderful place to live and visit – rolling hills, vineyards, coastal fog, gulls and redwoods.  Just go north of San Francisco on 101, then take Route 128 at Cloverdale for a lovely drive through many micro-climates.

Here are a few photos of my visit to Mendonoma:

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One thing I will talk about is the upcoming yarn bombing (oh, I hate the name for a wonderful thing) in Mendocino. Streetcolor, well-known down here in Berkeley, is collaborating with the Mendocino Art Center and town businesses for a yarn-bombing this summer. I got a sneak peek at her dyed felted pieces,

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and some felted flowers (so beautifully dyed)

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and when I went to the Mendocino Yarn Shop (a great store, go if you are in the area!), owner Aline was getting ready with her knitters for the installation outside their shop.

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I was sorry that I missed seeing the installation, which is called “The Crayon Box”, but there will be photos as things get installed. There are already some photos-up!

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I can see clearly now.

It’s been one week since the great Clear Out began. Yesterday the housecleaner came as we transitioned to the great Clean Out and made things sparkle. I can see clearly now that the windows are washed!

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It’s lovely and amazing to have my apartment back again, and it feels a million times lighter too. While I still have more projects to do over the summer, it’s now at a pace where I can do one a week and be done with things.

And you might wonder what knitting occurred during this endeavor. Simple, my friends, I kept it very simple. There’s wasn’t much bandwidth to work with considering all the other decisions I was making. I knit a pair of sock booties – mostly stockinette, a little ribbing:

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There are also some baby nests ready to be felted in the washer for Wildcare:

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And Afghans for Afghans is having a “Baby Shower” in June – we are knitting socks and hats for a hospital, so if you have some spare yarn and want to knit a couple of things, then check out the campaign! I’ve knit a couple of baby socks (one shown):

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Today begins the real vacation – heading up to Mendocino Coast for a few days of R&R. I had visions of a bigger trip, but what I really need is rest, so this is as far as I really have the energy to go. It is stunning coast to wander, and there’s a killer yarn store in the town of Mendocino. The yarn and spinning projects I am bring are also very simple, that’s all I want to deal with at the moment.

I might buy yarn, but don’t tell Pam, my organizer, which reminds me of a funny story.  Yesterday my friend Judy, a knitter/spinner/weaver came by and we looked at my newly organized yarn in the closet. She turned to me, after hearing that my organizer thought I had perhaps too much yarn, and said, “She doesn’t know your friends, does she?” Exactly.

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The Great Clear Out – Part 3

We are on the downswing in the great Clear Out. Yesterday we moved out some old stuff (mostly for a rummage sale), moved in some family pieces, and down I’ve got the last bits to do. Today I carted off my e-waste and shredding to my amazing credit union that is having a free community event.

One sign that things are good is that the master bedroom, which had been the best room in the apartment organizationally, is now the worst, because we loaded spare boxes into a now-empty corner, and there’s a headboard that needs to be attached.

So, what’s new/old at Casa del Revknits? First up, these beautiful Mexican tile tables were made by one of my cousins on my Dad’s side – I don’t know which one:

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I love how my knitted afghan is a perfect complement color-wise.

There’s a lovely washstand that now holds photos, with a cat bed below. Ignore the painting behind, I’m working on the furniture before I get the artwork hung and centered. This is a family piece on my mom’s side.

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Then there’s my maternal grandfather’s original Mission style rocking chair – Thomas Evans was his name, and he read Emerson. I think I would have liked him.

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But there’s something missing. Oh, this is better!

Everything is better with a cat around.

Everything is better with a cat around.

Finally on the tour is a mid-century chair that was in my parent’s house as long as I can remember. The fabric is great. But the cushions needed work:

Sad chair

Sad chair

So I went to the local futon place, and they cut me a deal to replace the foam right then and there for cheap. Thank you Mary!

That's better!

That’s better!

Whew.

This afternoon as I am writing this (Saturday) I napped for two hours – the mental and physical demands have been pretty great this week, so that was good.  There are still things to be done – sorting through family photos, looking up a few things of my brother’s online to see if I can sell it for something, shipping some boxes, downsizing my storage unit (!). That will come in the coming weeks, but I am over the hump.

One thing I learned from this effort – a good organizer can save you a lot of time and money. Mine paid for almost half her fee by helping me repair my vacuum cleaner instead of buying a pricey pet-hair one for big bucks. They also know local folks who can do the things you need and organize them. If you can’t afford that, find a friend who can help you – it is so much better to have someone else pushing with you to get it done. This would have gone badly had I tried it on my own.

Finally, because I like to share good folks,  here are some local-to-Marin vendors who were really great!

Pam Will – not just organizing, she is an amazing personal assistant, etc. She’s also a former parishioner of mine, so I can totally vouch for her. She’s reasonable.

Guy With a Truck – Alex runs his own business, he knows Marin and the City completely. In two hours we made 5 stops! He uses himself and 2 guys, and it goes fast. And he’s pretty cheap.

Mary’s Futons – Mary has been in business forever, and her prices are fair, and great customer service.

Northgate Sewing and Vacuum – amazingly good service (ignore the old reviews on Yelp – this guy is super helpful).

Redwood Credit Union – I am a member and love this credit union. The shredding/e-waste event today was a free event to the community, and it showed how great they are for the community: they used the Computer & Technology Resource Center — it’s a non-profit e-waste collector – they re-use everything they can, and donate the good stuff to schools and the like, instead of shipping stuff to a third world country and polluting a poor place. The shredder was a big truck on site so you could watch your stuff shredded. A class act all the time.

The place where my electronics went was the Computer & Technology Resource Center — it’s a non-profit e-waste collector – they re-use everything they can, and donate the good stuff to schools and the like.

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