These Long Dark Nights

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My Christmas Cactus is blooming, and I didn’t starve it of light this year. I moved it from the kitchen to my office, and fed it. I so much prefer this to punishing it in the coal chute. (We live in an old house with a basement that has a root cellar, which used to be a coal chute back when people used coal to heat their homes.)

Sometimes I think we do things that aren’t necessary because it was done once and we got the result we wanted, so our proven scientific method becomes the norm and the expert opinion. When, really, we could take a different path and get the same result.

We’ve had our first snowfall today, just a sprinkle. I’m trying to decide if I should go for a walk in it. I would, but I went on a six mile hike on Sunday, and my body is still recovering. I may do some yoga instead.

Look at this gorgeous pattern on Ravelry:

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(Photo copyright Crissy Jarvis. I hope it’s okay for me to post as long as I give credit.)

I’m in love with this pattern. I can’t decide if I want to knit it, though. I love the finished product, but will I enjoy the process? I didn’t used to ask myself these questions, but as a more seasoned knitter, now I know what I am willing to suffer for the final result.  I will think about it.

The days are getting shorter and I get to enjoy more of my favorite time of the day, which is twilight. I love early morning twilight best, because I’m a morning person. I still love the evening twilight, but that’s when I start to get sleepy. I find twilight beautiful and quiet, and I think I blogged about this last year when I started that bobbledy tam in the in-between twilighty color of St. Claire. I decided to rip out the yarn and save it for a cowl that I hope may be inspired by our meandering walk on a mountain biking trail on Sunday.

I wish I were a better Raveler. I love to look at the patterns and like how it helps me stay more organized on projects. It’s also a great place to share. But I’d like to spend more time on the forums. It seems like a great place to go for knitting camaraderie when you don’t feel like leaving home.

Are you on Ravelry? Do you use the forums regularly? What’s your favorite thing about Ravelry?

Taking Myself Seriously

After the bobbledisaster tam, I am reminded I should never follow a pattern blindly. As I was decreasing for the crown, I thought, “It seems too early to be decreasing.” But I carried on, thinking the pattern knew what it was doing.

This happens to me in art, in life, and at work, that moment when I stop and think, “This doesn’t seem right.” There’s a reason for that feeling, and the reason is because I know better.

So from now on, I do solemnly swear to take myself seriously (but not too seriously) and to listen to my inner voice when it graciously sends a red flag my way, and to heed it with caution, calm, and clarity, and to reassess, and reimagine if necessary, the way forward, amen.

On that note, I am taking a studio space starting in January for my fiber arts. I need the literal space and the headspace in order to design and create. This is me taking myself seriously.

That bobbledybabbity tam is going in the bin. Bobbledybin tam.

Edited to add: I’ve decided to rip it out and make a cowl.

What is it?

Is it a cake? Is it a tea cosy? It’s…

My bobbled tam blocking on a bowl! I am no longer calling it “Not Raspberry Beret.” I now dub it “Bobbledy-Book Tam” like gobbledy-gook. Here’s why:

1. It was a pain to knit. All those bobbles. All those purling multiple stitches together.

2. The top decreasing was a hot mess. No wonder the book had such bad reviews. I fudged my way through.

3. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind knit a hat flat and seam it? Unless, of course, you only have straight, inflexible knitting needles, then it is understandable of course. Maybe that was the point.

4. It is a horrible fit. Before blocking it fit like a yamaka. After blocking it flops on my head like a sack. Could be my choice of yarn, though.

Just keeping it real here.

I am glad it blocked so large. It gives me hope that I might pull out the ribbing and reknit it, decreasing so it will fit my head more snugly.

Other good news: I have enough yarn left over to knit a plain beanie. I really do love this yarn.

And, I’m glad to knock out a project.

Did you finish anything knitting related this week?

Are you excited about the new yarn emoji? I am. I tried to use it on my last blog post, but it doesn’t show up on WordPress. Oh well.

Sunday Off

Tonight I knit the neck ribbing on Harald’s sweater. I think I may have picked up a few too many stitches in the front, what do you think? Maybe it will block out? Maybe it’s because I chose mock cable rib for the chest panel? Maybe it’s close enough and I should move on?

Look at those lines from the kettle dying below the chest. I saw them when I was knitting them but decided it didn’t matter. I am still okay with it because it’s hand dyed yarn and a hand knitted garment. I hope he will be too. I might be in denial about myself being okay with it.

A friend of mine introduced me to Color Street nail polish strips. I never paint my nails because ugh! What a pain. But these are cute and really easy to use. Check out my “Fleece Navidad” Christmas sweater nails.

So fun. And you don’t have to wait for them to dry to start knitting again! Because they are already dry! I think of them as being like window clings when I am putting them on. It was my first time and I did pretty well.

It might be a little early for Christmas nails, but I rationalize it by calling them Fair Isle nails.

Today was my only day off this weekend. I tried to relax and do fun things. Middle Child and I watched Season 5 of Vikings since the new season comes out later this month. I am loving this cold weather and looking forward to a big Thanksgiving.

I see many bloggers knitting Christmas gifts. I am not ambitious enough to do that. What about you? Are you knitting any gifts this year?

Interlude Sans Knitting

I am bogged under with work right now. I have a speaking engagement out of town today and am vending at a crafty event all day tomorrow, and I’m hoping I’ll have enough energy on Sunday to attend my youngest son’s Marching Band performance in a holiday parade. I’ve missed most of his events this season, sadly.

Shout out to Bob who is playing taxi driver the next two days.

This is a photo of me and my middle child voting together on Tuesday. It was his first time voting and I have to say I was supremely proud to discuss the candidates and issues with him and walk over to our polling place together.

I have been knitting a leafy washcloth here and there for gift baskets. And of course I’m all caught up on everyone else’s knitting blogs! We’ll call it “calming.” If I don’t have the wherewithal to knit, I can at least read about knitting.

Seaming Sweaters

I seamed the shoulders of Harald’s sweater today. I was a little put out with myself because I had forgotten to keep my stitches live during shoulder shaping so I could use the three-needle bind-off method. I rationalized myself out of ripping back by telling myself this knit is drapey and a little heavy (due to accidentally knitting on size 9 instead of size 8 needles) and the seams would give it more structure. That probably isn’t true but my seams turned out nice.

I fell back into mattress stitching as if I did it every day instead of once every few years.

When you really love something I guess it is like riding a bike. You never forget!

I have been trying to find more knitting blogs to read by looking at the knitting hashtag in my wordpress reader. Do you have favorite knitting blogs? Will you share them with me?

Glorious Fall Sunday

Bob and I had a wonderful day today. It started out visiting our kid at the bakery where she works.

Everything is gluten-free and nut-free so we could eat everything! We had a tough time narrowing down our selections, so we didn’t. We each took one bite out of everything.

Then we went for a long hike at Mohican State Park. It was wet and rainy, but we were enjoying the trudge and took a break under a rock ledge.

I love to pore over the carvings in the rock. The oldest (dated) one we found was from 1871.

I brought coffee (an idea I got from stgeorgeknits) and what was left of the blueberry muffin. I may have been stalling a little on the climb up these stairs, too.

All the fall yellows were out in full force.

As you can see, I brought my Birds of Blendon Hat along.

We even got to walk across a covered bridge!

It was a charming day, and I made some progress on my sock while in the car.

And I got a thrill when we arrived back home. Kate Davies left a comment on my Instagram saying my hat was lovely! What a great topper to my day.

How was your Sunday?

Birds of Blendon Hat

I finished it!

I quite like it. It does remind me of that walk in the woods and the birds in the snow. I didn’t finish coloring in my chart, but never mind. The top is my favorite part.

I enjoyed knitting it so much I’ve decided to knit more stranded color work! I saw The Oa Hoodie on Ravelry and burst out, “I have to knit that!” When I stopped by my super local (around the corner) LYS 614 Knit to pick up some size 3 dpns for the crown of the hat, I fell in love with this yarn and it’s perfect for the pattern.

The purple will be the pop of color. I’ve never knit with Scout yarn before but it’s got a nice squish to it.

So another Kate Davies design in my queue and I haven’t even cast on the Carbeth yet. I guess I’m a fan!

Wooly Woods

I made two felt paintings for an upcoming art show. They are based on two Instagram photos I took last winter while walking in one of our local metro parks, Blendon Woods.

Photos:

Felt “paintings”:

Right now I’m in the process of framing them. I like how they turned out, and am planning to do more work like this. I’m also framing the photos to show with them, but as it’s a group show and I’m not sure how much space I’ll have, I’ll have to wait and see about that.

I am also hoping to include my Birds of Blendon hat which I am almost done with! I’ll post when completed (hopefully tomorrow.)

Are you glad it’s Friday? I worked on a budget all day. I’m glad it’s Friday.