Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Stillness of January

I stop knitting in January.

I'm not sure why it happens, perhaps something to do with the mania, the colors, the frenetic activity of the holidays, but after every New Year's I find myself looking at my knitting and then turning to something else.

This year it's mystery novels. Probably most years it's mystery novels.

It doesn't really make sense to me. January is quieter than December. There's more free time, time that in December is filled with card writing and present wrapping and food eating. In January, I breathe a sigh of relief that things are normal again. Normal means knitting.

But somehow not in January.

The end of December often brings tempting knitting presents, new yarn or needles or patterns, and one would think that would get me excited.

But it doesn't.

Plus, January is cold. And dreary. And often gray. One would think sitting on the couch in the evening with bright yarn in my hands would be irresistible.

But it isn't.

Thankfully, this has happened enough times that I recognize it for the temporary state that it is. I wait it out, reading and not worrying that a lack of interest signals an end to my hobby.*

I think I'm nearing the end of the Not Knitting now. I think this is what's going to do it for me.

Gradient yarn dyed during my class at Nomad Yarns,
paired with black Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted


*Terrifying. What would I do with all that yarn?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Knitsonik

I'm in a Knitsonik post! It made my day.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Knitting

A few photos of knit Christmas presents!

Brandy requested a kitty hat, modeled here by me:

Cabled Cat Ears Hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Loops & Threads Cozy Wool, Granite colorway

These seemed to go with the hat:

 Cat Wrist Warmers (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knit Picks Mighty Stitch in Ash and Cascade Heritage Solids in Pink

I gave a couple of presents from this post, the Gummy bear socks and the Turn a Square hat. Deanny looks awesome in the hat.

Turn a Square hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in leftover Noro Silk Garden in colorway 252 
and Knitpicks Swish Worsted in the Cobblestone Heather colorway

And then I went on the Book of Faces and saw this!


Holly's wearing her hat and cowl (and I'm going to believe she's wearing her mittens, too). I love love love seeing photos of knitting in the wild. It's great to see people wearing knit gifts going about their day-to-day lives.

My nephew went shopping with us one day and picked out yarn he liked and requested a hat. When a junior in high school requests knitwear, you can be sure I'm going to oblige. I can't predict how long this will last.
Squarshy hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Loops & Threads Facets

I hope you had a Merry Whatever, too!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Three Gatekeepers

Let me start by saying this isn't written passive aggressively. I have a nice family. Andrew has a nice family. Nobody is intentionally a jerk to anyone else, and everyone pretty consistently works to get along.

That being said, holidays can be trying. We have expectations of how they should be, and those expectations are unreasonable (or at least mine are). We are spending time with people who we love and yet may think in really different ways than we do. They may have different political views--and holymarymotherofgod I'm praying we can avoid all political conversations over the holidays because it will be very hard to contain my rage if someone says something stupid-- and religious views and views about how we should be living our lives.

So, for you, but mostly as a reminder to me:



Let's practice!

"It is incomprehensible to me that she remains married to that asshole."
True, but not kind or necessary

"I don't mind that there's bacon in those green beans."
Kind, but not true or necessary. 
(I don't have to apologize for being a vegetarian. 
I don't have to make a big deal of it either.)

Here's a tricky one:
"Your sugar-crazed, monstrous, spoiled, banshee children are destroying Mom's house and ruining Christmas."
No. Just no.

However:
"Your children are setting fire to the centerpiece."
True, necessary, and not unkind.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Let's be our best selves out there... 
and forgive ourselves when we fail.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Festival of Trees

The Indianapolis Historical Society is celebrating their Festival of Trees. They have 70 decorated trees throughout their building. They're sponsored by different nonprofits, companies, colleges, and families. It. Is. Awesome. Here are a few highlights.

I adore this robot ornament.


In their Stardust Cafe (excellent grilled cheese, BTW), they have a stunning tree.


See the garland?


This one celebrates comics.


And this one is from the Indiana State Teachers Association. We have a typewriter like the white one at work that we still use. If I could turn back ti-ime...


This one is made of books and called Santa's Library. They had a similar one last year, but this year is Bigger and Better.


I was fascinated by the use of Lunaria (silver dollar plant) both in the main portion of the tree and as its topper.


This one is done by my alma mater, Franklin College! The topper is the steeple from Old Main, one of the primary buildings on campus. The tree skirt was made of overlapping FC pendants.


This one is where I nearly lost my friend forever. They had mushroom stools for you to sit on so you could play different versions of Mario that were IN THE TREE. As I only had an Atari growing up, I wasn't nearly so enthralled. It's a cool tree though.


This one would have been in my top 3 if it didn't have the terrifying Santa face at the top. That Santa will kill you with his eyes. Ignoring that though, it's beautiful. The garland was made of slips of paper on which the store's customers had written what was special about an Indiana Christmas. (I saw one that said it was the snow on cornstalks, for real.) The ornaments were all vintage--tons of Shiny Brite.


I applauded this one's dedication to their theme. They're a restoration company, so their tree was Frozen and included metal pipe nestled in the boughs as decoration.


The atrium of the Historical Society has this gigantic clock hanging in it. Do you see what's at the 4?


I don't have designer trees at home. I prefer mine with its popsicle-sled ornaments I made as a kid and the ornaments Andrew and I have bought each year that we've been together. That being said, I loved walking through the Festival of Trees and seeing the beautiful things people had done (and the few fails). If you're in Indianapolis between now and December 30, I highly recommend a visit!

I wish you could click on all these to make them bigger. Sadly, when I uploaded them they all rotated oddly. I had to re-upload from a different source. Sorry about that.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hankies

I am very fortunate to have a lovely mother-in-law. In fact, Andrew's whole family is delightful. We care enough about one another not to talk about things like politics, which is the mark of a truly caring family.

Last year, my m-i-l had a surgery that went badly. In the days after, she was hopped up on lots of drugs, completely high, and yet she still was delightful. She was caring, asking (admittedly repeatedly) about other people--"Did so-and-so's son find a job? He had an interview."-- and generally not being horrible. I have a fear that if my filters were out of commission I'd become a swearing, vile bag of rudeness. Many of the things I say in my head are not for public consumption. Let's hope it never comes to that, or, if it does, the only people who witness it are those few who would not be shocked.

My m-i-l is nearly completely recovered, but she still has a couple lingering effects. One of them is that one eye waters a lot. She's taken to carrying a handkerchief in her purse for this reason. I see this as a crafting opportunity, and one of her Christmas presents this year are these:


They're a small gift in appreciation of her kindness... and the fact that she gave birth to and provided half the genes for my very favorite person.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Santa Mouse

It's been a long time with no posting. The longer I go, the more I begin to doubt whether I should still blog, or whether anyone reads it, or whether I need to catch up on All The Things.

That's silly. Let's just talk about something fairly recent.

I made a Santa Mouse.

Santa Mouse (mine ravelled here),
knit out of random bits and bobs

Family lore has it that my oldest sister checked out Santa Mouse, Where Are You? from the library as a first grader. From that point forward, Santa Mouse has been a tradition in my family. Because I am a pusher, it is now a tradition in Andrew's family and in one of our little circles of friends. Remember?

Santa Mouse travels with Santa in his sleigh. In the book, he accidentally falls from the sleigh, and he is able to make his way to a home to wait for Santa because he sees that home's Christmas lights glinting off a yellow ribbon on a package. As an expression of his immense relief at being rescued, he now leaves tiny packages nestled in the Christmas tree, all tied with yellow ribbon. Not gold ribbon, mind you. YELLOW. This is important. Do not screw up the Santa Mouse ribbon or a hole will develop in the space-time continuum and you'll find yourself playing the accordion in a pizza parlor for the rest of your life.

I briefly had thoughts of knitting Many, Many Santa Mice to give away at Christmas. Then I realized they were fiddly and not all that fun. December is too stressful and busy to be knitting projects that are fiddly and not all that fun. This Santa Mouse is nestled in our Christmas tree, and I'm glad he's not lost in the snow as in the book.

I hope your traditions bring you happiness, too!