Monday, February 11, 2019

Oh Sh*t she still Knits.

Sorry for the crass title, but I live for a bad rhyme and a knit joke.

Anyways, lookee here some finished knits!

A few years ago I knit a Gramps sweater for a coworker of my husband's who has always been so supportive of him. And well she was having baby 2 and knowing that her kid actually wore it he asked if I'd consider knitting the family something else. He was originally thinking a replacement sweater for the eldest since he had grown out of the original and the new little would get it, but I thought, why not something new for both.

Seemed like a great idea at the time. I chose patterns I had knit before (practical) and gave myself a reasonable size and timeline for both.

Shamefacedly 5 months later I am finally finishing them. My knitting mojo was hit or miss 2018 and honestly, I've just been so tired mentally and physically at the end of the day. I basically wait for everyone to go to sleep (not that anyone asks much of me) and then shut down. And in all fairness, I have been enjoying other hobbies as well.

Okay I just have to say the Navy is heathered and it still caused me all kinds of eyesight problems. I dropped stitches that I didn't find until AFTER I bound off the body. I dropped stitches yet again during short row collar shaping and could not figure out how to fix it so I had to tink back hundreds and hundreds of stitches over a week. Then literally 3 rows from binding off brand new knitters pride needles I purchased for this project "snapped" (the line from the needle) and I dropped a buttload of stitches and had to keep from screaming in the middle of the night. It was a journey. One I do not plan on taking for a while. So people do me a favor and slow your roll with the babies.

I've already cast on my next project another sweater for a grown person. A new to me pattern, so I have to really think but who cares, the yarn is a blue gray so I can SEE my stitches (insert cackling laughter here).

I also still have a pair of man socks I need to finish. I'm trying a higher cast on this time. How many rows do you guys usually make for your man sock legs? I think I did 70 but it seems short? Oh well, it is what it is now.

All the best,


Friday, February 1, 2019

Winter Reading Review

One of my dance instructors, Kyle Limon regularly brings a book to class to share. He is either reading it or has finished it. He gives us a quick explanation of what it's about or why he's reading it. Towards the end of the year he talked about how good reading is for you and for dancers how it can help you improve your retention (for choreography).

I was just beginning to enjoy books a little more frequently either in audio or traditional format, but it was a little inspiration to get back to it.

Here is what I've read so far this winter.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky: Honestly I love the story and the adventure. I was really intrigued how this story came to be. Here's a reference. There is a bunch of other stuff out there about this title too. I don't mean to be a snob and yuck someone else's yum, but as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the writing was a bit flat for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly prose. Does this make sense?

Britt-Marie Was Here: I was so charmed by a Man Called Ove (thank you reading knitters!) that I wanted to read something else by the author. I loved his ability to turn out a quirky character that could be both annoying and self sabotaging but good enough in their own way that you were cheering for them. This one incorporated a mature woman going through a pivotal transition in her life and soccer. Well ... seemed like the one for me. It was entertaining and enjoyable. However it felt familiar even with the new characters and setting and I love a Man Called Ove and I can't help but compare. If you were to choose go with a Man Called Ove, but this is good too, just um, not as good.

The Alienist: A historical fiction of the development of early forensics and it featured a strong woman in a time where it's hard to imagine such independence. I had been meaning to read this for a while but I actually watched the TNT series before I read the book. I liked the series enough to seek the source material and see if it matched up. I have to say I knew the series took liberties and I was a little sad that they felt the need to modify some of the characters but I understand that they like to add side plots and complexity and consolidate other things for the sake of visual story telling. Cary Fukunaga wrote 2 of the episodes and was an Executive Producer on the series and I like his work so I may be a bit biased.

This is a dark story and not for the squeamish. The most vulnerable are hurt in this story and you really need to be able to get past that in order to appreciate that it is a look into how life experiences shape human behavior and character and how they can manifest in horrible violence.

This was my favorite of that photographed stack.

Meanwhile I finished this last weekend:

I know what you're thinking ... Ellen, really, MORE serial killer stories? Look it's actually somewhat humorous and it's really good story telling. It's more about the relationship between sisters and how family experiences drive the dynamics of a family no matter what age you and your siblings are. You know how people will talk about their youngest sibling or their youngest child and call them the baby and how the baby has always needed help or has always been the most affectionate etc? Generally it's because the family has always treated them as if they are the baby and often helped or offered to help without the baby even asking. Not to say these people aren't their own capable independent people, but in the FAMILY they are the baby because they've always been babied not because they are the youngest. (True confession, I'm the eldest.)

Hmm, I'm reading that back and I'm still not making a decent point. But I'm leaving it because there's a point in there somewhere that you might be able to suss out and win a prize for.

Anyways I really enjoyed it. I think I read about it in the Times. There is a reason it gets a lot of buzz. Really enjoyed it and am recommending it constantly.

Have a good weekend folks. Use it to enjoy yourself the best way you know how. Be good -- even to your big and little siblings that may or may not deserve it. Remember when all else fails blame bad parenting. These books are giving me a complex.

Monday, January 14, 2019

What is this stitch?!?!

Dear Knitters,

Someone posted this and then tagged me thinking I could help. At first glance it's something like a seed stitch, then I was thinking trinity or star. I think I started seeing things.

Here is the wrong side.

Anyone know?!? If they learn first, I'll report back!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, December 14, 2018

I lied to you.

I didn't knit this weekend or the one before that. I didn't manage a single row or round.

None of us are shocked. I know. It's okay, it was still a good weekend.

I slept, I had coffee, I exercised. I got some chores done. I kept my nag levels down. I did bake a bit.

This was my second time doing the brown butter cookies. I froze the dough for days I don't have time to do everything from scratch. I thought they baked up even nicer this time around. My son thinks I overbaked them. Shrug.

Sunday I cooked some food and baked cookies for my friend who recently had knee surgery. Our other friends had already been taking the family over some food to keep our friend off her knee a bit. Even though she's already healing pretty well, I wanted to help her out and hopefully keep her on the healing track.

My friend is Canadian so I used the opportunity to workshop a Maple cookie. My husband loved fiddling with the special message cookie stamp. I wasn't going to use it because I didn't have a lot of time, but despite a wonky C, we thought it was cute.

Most importantly they were tasty!

I experimented a bit with some gingerbread this past week and some sprinkle cookies and neopolitan cookies. Trying to figure out my Christmas game plan.

But really, this weekend I'm going to knit ...

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Once Upon a Knitting Time

A long long time ago I had the intention of knitting a larger hat for my cousin's baby who well ... was not a toddler anymore and had outgrown the original I knit him.

This kid is so loving and sweet. He is a HUGE fan of his Dad. I figured, why not matching father/son hats? So after a pause I knit a matching hat.

This little cousin has an older brother who works a lot in the stables and Kathy B said she gave fingerless mitts to her fellow stable volunteers where she lives so ... after a pause I knit a pair of handwarmers.

Well this older brother has an older sister who also works in the same stables ... so after another pause, I knit another set of handwarmers. So essentially 6 months after my original send date ... most of the family got some handknits.

My dear cousin in Colorado told me everything is fit. (I figured the elder siblings would work out which one got which pair -- same size and whatnot.) I apologized profusely for taking SOOOO long, but they were all very thankful and understanding.

The End.

I'm still finishing 2 baby sweaters. This weekend I swear it. I just am not knitting very much because that is just how it goes sometimes.

I do enjoy gifting knits, but I think I am going to do some random fancy free knitting in 2019.

Do you enjoy gift knitting?

Friday, November 16, 2018

The air is really bad in San Francisco

Our State is on fire. Unfortunately despite our amazing Emergency Responders people's lives have been lost and forever changed. Landscapes are scarred, and our horizons are unrecognizable.

Hundreds of miles from the nearest of the worst fires our air has officially put us at the top of the worst of the world list. (This is under some debate, but suffice to say it's pretty crap right now.)

I supply you with photographic evidence.

Last week  vs this week: the view from my street (admitting different zoom levels)

But seriously, where did the Salesforce tower go?!?

We are reduced to this when we have to travel outside. This is lunch with the ladies (I'm the second from the right.)

Ours schools were closed today. Sports for the kids have been cancelled after already being postponed. Playoff games were settled with a coin toss. (I had to verify this a few times).

With the fires up in Napa /Santa Rosa we experienced something similar. This is MUCH MUCH worse. Fire season feels like it has become a thing. Our lungs hurt, our eyes burn. Everyone feels a mess. 

Anyways. That's what is happening. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Scenes and Memories from October in San Francisco

Sometimes I'm not sure what to post. I don't produce a lot of knitting. My life is pretty routine. (This is not bad, but maybe not super exciting for the rest of you.)

So I thought I'd share a few photos from some moments between the grind this last month.

October is one of my most favorite months in the Bay Area. The weather wavers between a late summer and a crispy morning and evening. The light is lovely and the temperature is comfortable.

This photo was from a Sunday around 1pm when I went to meet my husband after a morning of exericse. I needed to pick up some flowers and we went to the Farmer's Market near our apartment at the Civic Center. It's not as nice a neighborhood compared to the other farmer's markets in the city, but it's always been our go to, though usually he goes on Wednesday mornings for work. I think he was somewhat amused to be there on a Sunday. (that's him in the bottom right corner, making the "where'd you go?" face.) It was funny because some of the farmers and vendors that have been in the stalls for over 10 years still ask him how our son is. When we lived in the Tenderloin when our son was born, he stayed home with the boy when I went back to work, and the Farmer's Market was part of their regular Father/Son weekly schedule. I probably had one of the few preschoolers addicted to pomegranates. Ha!

Just across the road before the City Hall Playground and Courtyard the trees were yarn bombed. This seems to be a regular occurrence, maybe it's a type of agreed upon exhibit? Last time I was walking around there, it was giraffes. But that weekend it was Otters in trees!?

I think the thing on his chest is a clam, but I can't get the photo to display in the correct orientation so you'll have to take my word for it.

At the beginning of the month I took a Friday off from work and watched the Parade of ships come in through the Gate for Fleet Week. There were only a few ships this year, and I didn't really get a photo because it was too far away and there were a bunch of people. But it was a lovely day. I sat outside with 2 very good friends and we had lunch with our toes in the sand and watched the tourists and the air show while our boys were all at school.

Blue Angels!

 What have been this month's highlights for you?