Mending

Today I’m mending Bob’s pants. They were too long to begin with — which is why they were fraying — but not so long I could turn up the hem twice after cutting. I used bias tape instead. I’m not sure where I picked up this trick, probably from Grandma. Now Bob’s favorite pants are good as new! Better, because they are the correct length.

I love mending because it’s very zen and I don’t have to follow instructions. I also love making something damaged like new, and reusing, and saving money! And I gotta pay for this sewing machine, right?

Do you mend? Do you darn your knitting? I’ve never been very good at darning. I need more practice.

Sunday Grace

We went for a hike yesterday. I’m thankful for time in nature. And wildflowers.

Bob made soy custard berry tarts for my birthday treat. I’m thankful for Bob.

My boys came to share a birthday meal and treats with me. I’m thankful for my boys. Especially their intelligence and humor and ability to argue any point no matter how ridiculous. Is a bean bag a chair? A bean bag is an armchair but not a chair because a chair has legs. Puzzle that.

My mother always told me I would argue with a signpost. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Soon I will have a new blue beanie to wear over my mess of white hair. I am enjoying this mindless knit.

square

I ordered some pink yarn to make this shrug. I imagine myself wafting over pink tile wearing this, but in pink. The designer says this stitch pattern is meditative. I hope so.

Speaking of pink tile, the lender ordered a second appraisal. We are in home-buying limbo.

It will be okay either way. Trust in the Universe.

Me Me May

Today is my birthday and I wasn’t feeling my current projects, so I cast on another blue hat. This one is Onion Organic Wool + Nettle in Denim, I think, or maybe it was Blue Jeans?

As you know, a blue hat is my favorite thing to knit. Doesn’t the nettle give the yarn a nice sheen and crisp stitch definition?

I’ve spent the day reading and knitting and listening to podcasts and trying not to work. It’s a blustery day out there, but we did get a walk in!

A Quiz!

Karen posted a quiz and I need a prompt!

What one thing has kept you from losing it entirely the last couple of months? It can be crafting but feel free to step outside that box.

Work has kept me steady during the pandemic. It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps my brain sharp. It has been stressful because of all the change. But knowing we support artisans and producers — who were already at risk of poverty before COVID-19 — who depend on our orders, well… it keeps me motivated. I’m glad we can reopen stores this week, although we are taking steps to ensure everyone’s safety. I am hoping I can take some time off later this month, though.

Secondarily, knitting and the Talking Tudors podcast have kept me going during downtime. I may have also purchased a little more yarn than I absolutely needed.

What meal is your absolute favorite? Be as vague or specific as you wish. Include an appetizer, dessert and drink if you wish.

If we’re living in fantasy land, it’s My Pi Pizza. It was a restaurant from my childhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma which served the gooiest, cheesiest, doughiest, thickest Chicago-style pizza I have ever eaten. I’ve never been able to recreate it and now that I am gluten and dairy free, forget about it.

If we’re living in reality, I think it might be a salmon and tuna poke bowl from Hai Poke with their ginger green tea.

When you think back to your childhood, what is your fondest memory? Again feel free to be vague or specific.

Most of my fondest memories happened at my Grandparents’ farm: shelling peas on the porch, walks down the dirt road to get the mail, Grandma teaching me how to sew and embroider, feeding the cows with Grandpa, picking blackberries, horseback riding, and going fishing. I’m thankful every day for the time I had with my Grandparents and I miss them so much.

Do you plant a vegetable garden or a flower garden (or both!)? What is your favorite thing to grow? Do you ever experiment with what you grow? What was it?

I usually plant vegetables and herbs. I’ve held off this year since we’re hoping to move. Last year I purchased plants from an urban farm instead of starting them myself from seed. I think they performed a little better since they had a longer growing season. I want to plant a hummingbird garden at the new house this year, assuming everything goes as planned. We are still waiting to hear back in the appraisal.

Blogville Knitters’ Challenge

Where is your favorite place to knit? Blog about it for us however you wish. You can post a photo or describe it. Tell us what you like about it. This should be about your favorite place to knit, not where you knit most often (unless they are the same).

My favorite place to knit is on the hammock on the front porch in front of a fire in the chimenea.

I don’t knit here very often, but it was a nice day and Sarah recently blogged about knitting outside. I remembered how I used to love to sit outside and knit and read and listen to music. So I took a half day of PTO today and made a fire. I’ve been knitting on my sock and listening to Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Volumes 1 and 2. It reminds me of my boys. We used to listen to it in the car quite a lot.

Today I was visited by our neighbor boys. They remind me of my boys when they were little. They wanted to dig up our house so it would fall down. I told them to go for it.

Sometimes JoJo visits me on the hammock.

Sometimes she does this and chews on my needles so I can’t knit. But that’s ok.

I finished the gusset and it’s easy knitting and listening from here on out.

Please share about your favorite place to knit on your blog or in the comments below!

The Outer Limits (of my mind)

I don’t know about you, friends, but I feel stretched to my limits. I am no longer capable of further complexity in my life. I made a silly mistake on my Farmhouse Cardigan and had to rip it out. I began some Wide Legged Pants only to be confounded by taping the pattern pieces together. It is important during these troubled times to recognize your limits, be gentle with yourself, and reach for what comforts you.

I decided patterns are a no go right now (although I wouldn’t turn down an oatmeal raisin cookie) and cast on a simple cowl. This is Knitpicks Swish Bulky in Saffron from my stash. It was a FibreShare gift. Sweet simple hygge bliss. I will make a hat to match! (And call him George and hug him and pet him…)

Why do we have a large hunk of quartz in our house? I think it was here when we moved in. Maybe it was meant to be a doorstop? It has migrated to the living room.

If you’ve watched a lot of Time Team, as I have, you will remember they find early medieval church altars made from quartz. Was this because it was believed to hold special properties? Was it because it was readily available and shiny? Did it raise the spiritual energy of the congregation? Do you believe quartz holds special metaphysical properties? I think I do believe it, as do many people of different cultural backgrounds. So what is the significance of this chunk of quartz in our house? Is it clearing out bad vibes?

Ooommmmm. I know you probably can’t tell what I’m doing, but it’s a face plant on quartz. There are definitely some weird things afoot at my house, and not just yours truly needing a mental clearing.

What’s bending our forks? Poltergeist?Misdirected quartz vibrations? Teenagers eating ice cream? (Or… aliens?)

I stopped by my LYS to show my support in these times of economic uncertainty. (It had nothing to do with me needing yarn therapy I assure you.) I did my patriotic duty and picked up the knitting game I’ve wanted since Christmas, plus yarn to match for good measure. It’s such a happy blue. Maybe another simple cowl and hat is in my future. At least there is some certainty to be found in knitting.

Weekend Quizzaroo

(Image credit The Knitting Goddess)

Karen posted a sock quiz! I’m a notorious sock knitting eschewer but quizzes are great for personal development and blog fodder.

1. Do you knit/crochet socks?

I want to knit socks. I have knit socks. But generally, no, I don’t.

2. If yes, how long have you been making them? If no, why not?

It doesn’t sound fun. I’m primarily a sweater and hat knitter.

3. What is your preferred method? Top down, toe up? Which needles? Do you have a preferred heel type?

I prefer toe up so I can make sure the foot fits well. I hate a baggy sock. I prefer fine yarn for socks but they sure do take a long time! I like a well-turned heel. I’ve never tried an afterthought heel. Are their more flaps than that? Double point needles for me.

4. Have you gifted socks? Were they worn, loved and appreciated?

Never! I am considering knitting a pair for Bob, though. It’s a lot of pressure.

5. Could you make nothing but socks for the rest of your life and be happy?

If I can knit one more pair of socks (I’ve made two pair in my life so far) I could be happy the rest of my life never knitting them again. Or, who knows, I might knit another pair and enjoy them so much I will want to knit more! That’s my hope.

6. One of the most addictive things about sock knitting is the amazing selection of fingering weight yarn that is available. What is your favorite yarn for socks? Do you prefer solid or multicolor yarn? Do you have a fiber preference?

For me it will need to be crazy hand painted colors or solid yarn with textured knitting. Wool plus silk (for strength) is my favorite fiber combo. Throw some cashmere in there and I’m hooked.

Well, that was fun and inspiring. Maybe I will cast on a pair of socks today.

February Frogs:

I’m pulling out the linen stitch cowl. It is taking too long and I am afraid I don’t have enough yarn for it. My Hogwarts yarn will make a great pair of clog socks though.

I’m pulling out this Bousta Beanie. It’s not happening.

Do you like my new photo prop? It’s Fair Trade and I picked it up at Pachamama Market when I was in Troy, OH for a work meeting.

I think one should feel good about frogging and this wool felt sunflower does the trick for me.

The new The Just Craft is up!

Quiz Deux

Here’s another quiz from Karen via Hannah! Why not?!

1. Are you named after somebody?

I’m named after my Mother. Her name is Alethea, but mine is Alissa. It’s pronounced Alisa. I think I’m going to start spelling it the Finnish way, Aliissa. That way everyone will know how to pronounce it.

2. When is the last time you cried?

Today. I’ve decided to get off medication so right now everything is making me cry.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

No. It’s a mess. Maybe I should slow down and write more mindfully.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?

Egg salad

5. Do you have kids?

Yes!

6. Farthest place you have traveled?

France

7. Do you use sarcasm?

See question number 1

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

Nope

9. Would you bungee jump?

Hell no

10. What is your favorite cereal?

Mesa Sunrise

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

If required

12. Do you think you’re strong?

Emotionally I am. It doesn’t always feel that way, but this life has thrown a lot at me and I still manage to show up everyday. I’m not that interested in being physically strong. This may change if we start a sheep farm.

13. What is your favorite ice cream?

Honestly, I’d rather have a cupcake. Anyway, I can’t eat ice cream. I am casein intolerant, yet surprisingly fine with lactose.

14. What is the first thing you notice about a person?

Eyes

15. Football or Baseball?

No

16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself?

My sense of humor. I amuse myself.

17. What colour pants are you wearing?

Navy sweats

18. What was the last thing you ate?

A piece of salted caramel chocolate

19. What are you listening to right now?

The soft rumbling of the furnace accompanied by the shrill shooshing of the toilet refilling.

20. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Cerulean

21. Favorite flavour?

Rosemary

22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My friend Iderah

23. Favourite sport to watch?

Bob trying to keep all the Tupperware from falling out of the cupboard

24. Hair colour?

Silverrrr

25. Eye color?

Sort of golden brown with a ring of olive green (BROWN)

27. Favorite food?

Any form of potato

28. Scary movies or happy endings?

Scary movies, of course

29. Last movie you watched without falling asleep?

Little Monsters. Really adorable zombie movie. I highly recommend. “One two three! Eyes on me!”

New Year’s Quiz

Yay, a New Year’s Quiz from Karen!

How will you spend the last night of 2019? Will you party all night? Will you go to bed early?

I will knit on the couch while watching TV and then go to bed early. I wish I lived near Karen. We could do that together!

Do you have any little superstitions about ringing in the new year?

Black eyed peas must be on the menu New Year’s Day.

Do you have craft plans for 2020? Are you hoping to try new things or improve your current set of skills?

I’m hoping to set up a new craft area in my house since I have moved out of my studio. I’m also hoping to primarily knit and sew from stash.

Do you have resolutions for 2020? If so what are they? If not do you have a word or goal for the new year?

Both. I will journal every morning, a practice I’ve already started. I think my word for 2020 will be “mindful”, as in mindful exercise (walking, yoga,) mindful eating, mindful planning of my day. Being mindful is a great way to slow down and savor life, as well as take care of yourself and act in accordance with your core values. At least, that’s what I’m hoping will happen. 😆

I’m almost finished with Twilight Toujours. I can’t wait wait to post a pic!

I am the Twilight

And JoJo is The Night.

I conquered my social anxiety and went to my LYS’s holiday party. It was fun and I got to chat with fellow Harry Potter nerds. There was a dirty Santa gift exchange and I “stole” this yarn.

I almost felt bad but it was the only yarn I liked, and I figured that’s what a Gryffindor would do. (And according to Pottermore, that’s what I am.)

I have a sudden desire to knit a Gryffindor hat.