18 September 2020

Friday FO: When Four Quarters Make One Gift

I am feeling quite pleased with myself at the moment, because I have completed a project for Christmas gifts that means one entire family is already marked off my list!


Project:  KJPO Hats (Ravelry link)

Pattern:  Olmsted Hat, by Jaclyn Salem (also a Rav link)

Needles:  Size 4US

Yarn:  See each individual project. Everything was leftovers from previous projects.  Except when I used yarn that remained from my Crazytown Cowl (which was DK yarn to being with), I used two strands together to make the DK weight needed for the pattern.

Notes/details/modifications:


K Hat - leftover sock yarn, held together to make DK weight. The whole thing uses some Hedgehog Sock yarn in the colorway Construct; the other two yarns used are Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the colorway Spats (around the brim), and Ancient Arts Fibres in the Grey Tabby colorway.   

Knit exactly as pattern indicates.  Started: August 17 ... Finished: August 24.


J Hat - leftover yarn from my Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry; a small amount of Good Ole Pip in Plucky Sock; Orange Tabby from Ancient Arts Fibre Sock; Slutty Pumpkin from Nomadic Yarns; two random amounts from minis.  Followed pattern as written, but started the decreases at 6 inches instead of at 6.5 inches.  Started:  August 30 ... Finished: September 4.


P Hat - leftover yarn from my Shift Cowl (aka Crazytown Cowl) by Andrea Mowry.  Adapted for a kid's head. Cast on 96 stitches, and knit for 5.5 inches before starting decreases.  Started: August 25 ... Finished: August 29


O Hat - used Ancient Art Fibres sock in Grey Tabby, along with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Peppermint Mocha; Nomadic Yarns Twisty Sock in the McGonigle and the Dumbledore colorways.  Cast on 92 stitches, and knit for 5 inches before starting decreases.  Started:  September 1 ... Finished:  September 12.

I love how each hat turned out - different but with some similarities.  After making a hat for The Tim last year using this pattern, I thought that it would be very adaptable to size, since it is a pretty versatile pattern that starts out stretchy when you follow the pattern exactly.  I adjusted sizes mainly so that none of the hats would be too slouchy, because when I tried on the one I made for The Tim, it fit me just fine, but there was a lot of extra material to be either slouchy or for a large folded over brim.  In any case, I highly recommend this pattern.  It is very clearly written, very straightforward, and knits up quickly, since the only point where you have to pay close attention is when you get to the decreases.  

So now I have some Christmas knitting completed - early enough to give me some time to decide what else I should attempt for others. 😊

******

I've been able to do a lot of knitting during the pandemic, and I have to say that not only has it given me something to keep my mind and hands busy, but it has also helped me maintain a certain degree of normalcy.  True, there have been plenty of times when the world has been too crazy and too upsetting to even consider doing anything at all that required any brain power or concentration.  But when I was able to rein in the panic, being able to read or knit or stitch meant that I wasn't constantly in a state of major anxiety.  

Unfortunately, it's not looking like things will settle down anytime soon here, at least not in the U.S., so I hope I can continue to manage my feelings with things that are only only enjoyable, but that take my thoughts in another direction and allow an escape, no matter how brief.

I have never been more grateful to have a decent sized stash, let me tell you!

******

I hope all of you have a good weekend.  It's the last weekend of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and in Philadelphia, there has definitely been some hints of autumn in the air.  Whereas some people find that depressing, since it takes us into the seasons of colder weather, and fewer hours of daylight, I look forward to the cozy.  

I'm especially grateful my biggest concern right now is locating some warmer things to wear; I don't have to deal with flooding from hurricanes or evacuating due to wildfires, or face the daunting fact of starting over with nothing.  

Take care, everyone.

16 September 2020

One Down and a New Book Started

Here we are again, for Unraveled Wednesday with Kat and others.  Be sure to visit the link if you are curious about what everyone else is making and reading.  

I'm pleased because this week I have a HO (Half-finished Object) to show you:


This is the first of a pair of socks that I am making as a birthday gift for The Tim.  I was so happy to have the first sock off the needles that I immediately took a picture, which is the reason it looks so misshapen and lumpy.  But I am so pleased with it nonetheless.  I cast on the second sock last night, and managed to knit the cuff before tiredness took over.  But I'll be able to get some more done today, and have no doubt these will be ready for his birthday in November.

I started a new book, by an author who is new to me, and so far, I'm really enjoying it.


I heard about this author here, and decided to see if I could find her books.  Fortunately (and somewhat surprisingly) my library had the e-book, and there was no waiting list, so as you can imagine, I checked it out right away.  I am sad to know that the author has brain cancer, because at least based on this book, she has a lot of good writing in her.

In other news, I finished the last of the hats I was making for my niece and her family for Christmas, so I'll have a post about that coming up soon.  I'm very pleased with how they all turned out, and even more pleased that four gifts are finished!

I hope your reading and making is going well, and that wherever you are, the weather is as lovely there as it is here today.  

14 September 2020

There Was a Lot of Relaxing

No one will ever be able to say that anyone in our house did too much this weekend.  Other than getting dressed, feeding everyone, and the necessities of Hamlet's "toilette," no one did anything requiring effort.  Which is fine, but the addition of really really really nice weather all weekend took it to a new level.

Though Milo the Koodle started early, on Labor Day weekend.  My houseplants live in a space where they are across from a window, but don't get a ton of sun.  So I try to remember to place them on the windowsill on extra nice days to soak in some extra sunshine.  Labor Day weekend was another nice one, so I set the plants out to enjoy the holiday.  Then someone else decided that *they* wanted to sit in the sun too ...

This piece of nature art is entitled, "Koodle in the houseplant jungle."

He was surprised when I took the photo, because I'm pretty certain that he thought no one could see him.  😏

Anyway, this weekend relaxing was taken to a new level.  We have Pip doing some extremely dramatic lounging.


Though he does look comfy, doesn't he?  He stayed in this position for a couple of hours.  (Why do cats never seem stiff from sleeping in weird positions??)

Not to be outdone, the Koodle decided to play "Why don't you try to figure out how many paws are in this picture?"


Seriously, it looks like more than four, don't you think???  He is sleeping on Hamlet's bed, which of course meant that Hamlet was unable to use it at all.  Because even though Hamlet is about ten times the size of the cats, he will never ever challenge them about anything!

We were able to spend a lot of time outside in the garden, and I got a lot of reading and knitting done both inside and outside.  I managed to finish the last hat in my group for Christmas gifts, and just have the toe to finish on the first sock of a pair I'm knitting.  I finished one book and started another.  I enjoyed watching the Notre Dame football game, and was happy they won; otherwise, it was a PITIFUL weekend for any Philly sports fans - the Phillies and the Eagles both lost in the kinds of showings that should be used forever as examples of how NOT to play!  

Me:  Well, at least the Union [Philadelphia Union, pro soccer team] won on Saturday night ...
The Tim:  I don't care about them at all, but I'll take it.

(Things are really bad when The Tim takes it to heart!)

Sometimes it just goes that way, what are you gonna do, right?

This morning I hope to finish the sock, and start the second one.  Then I want to spend some time thinking what/if/how I can make any other gifts for this year.  I'm kind of at a loss, because I want quick gifts and the others I want to make them for are knit-worthy, but not with a lot of variety, if you know what I mean.  So we'll see what happens.

I hope you enjoyed the weekend as well, and that the coming week is kind to you. 

11 September 2020

I've Made a One-Time Exception, For a Good Reason

If you know me, you know that I really really really really cannot stand the f-word.  I get so sick of hearing it all of the time, but realize that most people now use it regularly without even thinking.  I won't go into further detail here about my feelings, but I am writing to let you know that I have made a one-time exception.


Around the beginning of April, I saw that a company called Lipslut was planning to produce this lipstick.  I preordered six of them - one for me, one for a dear friend whose mother recently died from Covid-19, and one for each of my nearby nieces (geographically speaking).  They finally arrived earlier in the week, and I just returned from a trip to the post office to mail them.  Inside each package, I enclosed this note:

Dear _____:
I preordered these, and they were supposed to arrive in July, but like everything else, they were delayed due to the pandemic.

Unlike Trump, these lipsticks are:
  • cruelty-free
  • good for all skin tones
  • proceeds go to Black Lives Matter
Wear with pride, and VOTE!!!
Love, Bridget

According to the person at the post office, they should all arrive on Monday - I'll be happy if they just arrive before the election!

But in any case, I am pleased to have purchased these and spread the word.  Sometimes an exception is worthwhile. 😊

Should you care to own one yourself, they are currently available here.  You can choose where you would like your donation to go, though the Black Lives Matter choice was only available during preorders.

For anyone who finds this offensive, I apologize for the [implied] language of the product, but not for the sentiment, as I find the man and his entire family and administration abhorrent.  So you may want to stop following the blog anyway.

******

In other news, they are currently digging up our street to resurface it.  On the one hand, this is good news (despite the NOISE), because it has been in really bad shape!  On the other hand, being in bad shape kept drivers from speeding through when using it for a shortcut.  We have lived in our house now for nearly 30 years (!) and they have never touched the street during that time.  I told The Tim that I think 2 things are happening: 1) the city has it on their schedule that every 50 years, they resurface our street, and 2) since our street is only one block long, they can do it in only a few days, and still mark it as a street that has been fixed for their statistics.  😏

I hope all of you have a good weekend.  I am going to try go get myself together a bit more - those couple of weekends when I didn't feel well threw me off entirely.  

See you next week.  Take care.

09 September 2020

More Than Meets the Eye Here

How is your week going so far?  Mine has been uneventful for the most part, though yesterday was a day at work and let's just call it one of those days you hope to not repeat anytime soon and leave it at that.

Our Labor Day weekend was really enjoyable, full of nothing really out of the ordinary, but such nice weather you were glad to just be able to be.  Saturday I had a haircut appt, and I was actually kind of disappointed that they were ready for me right when I got there.  I had been sitting in the shade outside the salon watching the world go by, and it was quite enjoyable.  Having said that, it was even more enjoyable to get my hair cut!

Today I am happy to join Kat and the others for Unraveled Wednesday.  As usual, I've been doing a lot of reading, but my current book is especially interesting:


I had read a review of it in the New York Times Book Review a couple of months ago, and added it to my "Want to Read" list on Goodreads.  Then to be honest, since it hadn't been published yet, I forgot all about it.  Then I saw a post on Instagram (back when I could use Instagram) where someone was reading it and liked it, and lo and behold, it was available on Overdrive without having to add my name to the hold list!

I would say that if you like women's history, medical history, and World War I, that you will like this book.  (I don't mean "like" WWI in the sense that you think it must have been wonderful, of course.  I mean that you find it interesting and fascinating to read about, as I do.  I'm saying that because once I said I loved reading about WWI, and someone lectured me because "you shouldn't love war."  Sigh.)

Anyway, it's an excellent book so far.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through it.

Knitting-wise, I'm still working away on the hats I'm making (I'm on #4 out of 4!), but I have also started another pair of socks, this time for The Tim:


Actually this is an old photo - I am now on the heel flap of this sock, so I've made a lot of progress, I just haven't photographed it recently.  This is just a plain vanilla sock pattern with texture stitching that I'm doing along the leg.  The yarn is the Yukon Cornelius colorway from Sweet Sparrow Yarns.  Sadly, she has stopped dyeing these Christmas colorways - I've had this in my stash for a few years - but at least I got a few when they were still available!  These will most likely be a birthday gift (November) for The Tim; if for some reason I am delayed in finishing them, I'll aim for Christmas.  

And do you like the project bag?  I LOVE it so much, and after seeing it on the Crazy Sock Lady's podcast (she was using one), decided that I would use some of my "treat me" money to get one for myself.  I got it from SewCrazyCrafter on Etsy, and oh does she have some nice things to choose from!  But I just love this - the knitting squirrel, the eyeglasses, the saying - it just makes me happy whenever I see it.  

That's the news for today's installment.  If you want to see what others are reading and making, hop over the Kat's blog (link above).  And no matter what else you do or don't do, I hope you have a good day.