Patterns Projects

In which I show finished objects.

Despite the summer slumpiness (that’s a word, right?) in my knitting, I have been finishing things. One thing I finished were a pair of booties that simply needed amazing ribbon put through the laces:


The pattern is the very reliable Stay On Baby Booties, knit out of Cascade Fixation. They are part of a set (which I’m saying work together even though that judgment should be suspect) for a beautiful little baby named Elsie, whose photos on Facebook charm me. I made her a sweater and hat set:


The sweater is the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and the hat was a made-up pattern to mimic the sweater. The parents run their own stuffed toy craft company, so the more color, the better! I am happy with how they came out. Notice in the hat I varied the color order from the sweater, I wish I’d done the hat’s order for the sweater, but I was not re-knitting a striped sweater, even a baby one, again to achieve perfect color harmony.

I also completed my second Leftie. The first one I gave away and regretted afterwards that I didn’t have one. The base color yarn is Vice – a lovely fingering weight in wool and silk, with great sheen and drape. The leaves on the shawl are from sock yarn leftovers (and yes, there is still a 2.5 gallon ziplock with more where these came from). I love how it came out, and have loaned in for about the next six weeks to Bluebird Yarn and Fiber.


This is also the season I start knitting for Christmas, because I hate knitting at the last-minute, and I do not have all that much time in December for Christmas Shopping and the like. So these socks (Hickory pattern from The Knitter’s Book of Socks, except I knit them toe-up). They don’t look like much off a leg, but check out the stitch pattern on projects in Ravelry, it adds an unusual twist, but still workable for a guy to wear.


And now there are only secret knitting projects on the needles. I’ll need to start something public to knit asap!



Shaking It Up (the literal edition)

You might have heard that we had a bit of an earthquake (6.1 on the Richter scale). Anything around 6 and you’re likely to feel it, and this one was shallow, which meant more of us were shaken.

Me? As a gal who grew up in California, I woke up briefly, knew it was an earthquake (the vibrating and noisy thing), but it wasn’t so big that I jumped out of bed and turned on the TV. I just went back to sleep (which these days is a blessing). I can’t speak for the cats, my guess is that they freaked out more than I did.

At alarm time, I turned on my clock-radio, realized that it was earthquake coverage, so maybe this was a bigger deal than I thought. Five minutes in, the announcer says that my church, First United Methodist Church of Vallejo, has had bricks falling off one side of the building. Ok, now you’ve got my attention.
Still, it look a bit to get the fog cleared, but I managed to call one of the nearest members, who told me her husband and a few of the guys were down at the church to clean up. Which they did well, making sure to put up tape and other safety precautions so folks wouldn’t get hurt if/when there is an aftershock. By the time I arrived (which was just when all the roads were back open, thank goodness), all that remained was a bit of vacuuming in the Sanctuary for worship.
This is the damage that we experienced:


Yeah, that’s a whole chunk of facing brick gone. The church is actually not a brick building, it’s wood (that’s good in earthquake country), with a shell of bricks covering it.
I got one more minute of fame again (apparently briefly on a local TV station, interviewed in the LA Times), and now in the middle of working to coordinate repairs.
We were very, very lucky. A church one block down was red-tagged and they will have to pull down the bell tower because it is so dangerous. None of our members were injured, although some lost glass items.
To the north, Napa is reeling. Our counterpart Methodist church in Napa has at least $1 million in damages because a wall of the Sanctuary separated from the rest of the building. Many businesses are shut, homes are in disarray, utilities being restored.

One irony for me was that I had bought two more Earthquake backpack kits on Friday to give as Christmas gifts (a Living Social coupon I had to use up by that date). If you don’t have a bigger kit at home and another in your car, and a few items at your place of work, now is the time to get started. I like this company here in San Rafael, but please, get prepared!


Summer Slump

Summer – the bane of knitters. I really have nothing to complain about, living where I do. It’s cool enough on most days to knit without air conditioning (since I don’t have any, that is very good), and sometimes cool enough to wear things besides linen and cotton.

Yet, it is summer, and I’ve been in a knitting slump.  After churning out countless socks and hats for the June-July baby shower for Afghans for Afghans, I kinda hit a wall.

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I think I hit charity knitting burnout.

Fortunately, I had packaged up a lovely project a few months ago – a Leftie shawl using some of my multitudinous leftover sock yarns. And while I was up at Lake Tahoe, I began to knit it. And because it wasn’t in my head how to do the leaves, very little got knit because there was not much down time.

Once home, I was doing more, and it became great TV knitting because the little balls are a pain to travel with, but behave nicely on the couch. While watching True Detective (somehow I have free HBO, don’t know how that happened) on demand, it slowly progressed.


Now the knitting is done, and I need to block and weave in ends. But yay!

Another project that I have started are some annual gift socks for a family friend. I have some Cascade Heritage Paints that I got on sale from the WEBS spring sale, and in a very subdued guy colorway. I’m knitting the Hickory socks (rav link) which are a variation on simple ribbed but cool looking:


These will be great to work on while watching the Outlander series are Starz. A friend told me about this series back in the early 1990s, and I’ve been reading them ever since. In my mind, the first 4 books are the strongest, and they’ll be great if they can go 4 seasons. We’ll see. I watched the premiere episode with friend, and we all loved it.

The things I completed stalled on have been my own design work. Dealing with some medical stuff, so my brain is not all up to snuff, and it sucks to not be able to focus the way I know I can. I’m hoping to get to the bottom of this stuff soon so that I can actually, you know, think!

Thus far, the yarn diet has held, much to my amazement, but see above, summer slump, plus easy access to stash means you knit from it, I’m finding out – who knew?

Today my copy of Interweave Knits came, and all the lovely sweaters look so amazing that I really, really got inspired to knit some kind of sweater for Fall, probably a cardigan (post-menupausal woman that I am!), and Twist Collective has some yummy things too. And hopefully things will improve so that I can get back to designing!