Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Hello!! to all you hangers-on to what seems to be a fading way of logging one's adventures. I still love reading blogs, but I'm quite aware of the hypocrisy of how little I write on my own anymore.

So how goes it? I'll be honest. The first two months of the year were a bit of a struggle for me for no good reason. I'm sure you're familiar--your head seems to be in a fog, you're going through motions, you're just not yourself. I was not fun to be around. I was mopey, I didn't care, I needed caffeine like I never have before just to make it through the work day. And then I happened upon a book.

On the left is the paper cover, and the right is the actual book cover. Fun, right?

I used to be amaze balls at that--ordinary, little things making me happy. And at some point, that stopped. And I didn't even realize it had happened. But this book? I read the first chapter and was nodding along and exclaiming "Yes!!!!!!" in my head. I think I had too much...noise, so to speak. I felt like I shouldn't have things, that I should be a minimalist. I felt that as I'm forty it's not "proper" to have blue nail polish, or to get excited about things covered in glitter. 

But you know what? I LIKE my quirky little collections of random things. They make me smile. So maybe Marie Kondo would give me a smack at how many things spark joy for me, but I don't care even a little bit. Can I have blue nails if I want? Yes, and with polka dots, too! And the glitter? I bought a new pink sparkly phone case that I keep turned over so I can see the glitter (as opposed to the little notification light). I even took this book with me to jury duty yesterday (which, as we all know, is the direct opposite of joy). I really feel like it's helping, and all it took was a small nudge from Yester-Bee saying "Hey, Future Self, wanna, hang out again?" But seriously, if you feel a little like you're in a rut, or that you've set up camp in the doldrums, give this book a look-see.

And just for fun here are a few pics--

I call these my Gumps. And every time I put them on I think "Ruuuun, Forrest, ruuuuuuun!"

I don't think this needs words. Thank you, Hobby Lobby.

I needed a little bit of color at my desk at work, so I spent Sunday making pom-poms. I didn't stop at this here dozen...they're quite addictive once you get going.

Just don't look super close at these embroidered necklaces, m'kay?

So the necklaces. I don't remember when I bought the kit, but I busted it out this weekend. And while I was stitching these, I kept thinking "Wow. One year ago I was in the hospital, too dizzy to open my eyes, with tingly hands and muscle weakness. And today...I'm just as not-great at embroidery as I was before all that happened." I remember making granny squares felt like a triumph, and I needed multiple naps like a toddler. And while I remember every second like it was yesterday, I still can't believe it's been a year. I was honestly fearful I wouldn't be able to return to work, make things, get the idea. And maybe all that led me away from myself, if that makes sense. 

But thanks to a moment of serendipity involving a candy-colored book, I feel like I'm on my way back.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hat for Little Nephew Based on His Favorite Video Game

In my stash, I had a ball of practically-neon green yarn that I didn't use for a project and had no idea what I would ever use it for until Little Nephew (A-train) was talking about his favorite video game Minecraft. The color reminded me of those creeper thingees that lurk around (I know less about this game than I do about rugby), so I thought I'd put those onto a hat. I couldn't find a pattern for exactly what I wanted, but I did find this one for the colorwork part (which is really all I needed).

I like the look and feel of a double-thick brim so I started off making that (using the same method I described in Big Nephew's hat), and then incorporated the pattern chart a couple rows into the stockinette section. I reeeeeaallllly like how it turned out.

There were only a few sections of long floats to trap, and it's only a nine row chart, so this section went quite quickly (and on 16-inch circulars it was easy to keep the colorwork at a good tension).

I did not like the look of the decreases in the pattern online, so I knitted even to where it looked right, and then just did some evenly spaced decreases.

And here's the whole hat--

He looooooooved his new hat, and said to me last week (in such a sincere manner I felt it in my heart...but everything he says is so sincere) "Aunt Bee, let me tell you. I would not be making it through this cold weather without this hat. It's nice and warm and fits perfect" (we had a wicked cold snap last week).

Following up on this, I got a phone call one night. "Aunt Bee. Could you please make me....gloves with the tops cut off...and this little flippy thing to make them mittens? And can you make them so they kind of match my hat?"

I found a simple enough pattern on Ravelry to base these on (I made my wrist ribbing longer instead of using stockinette, and didn't do the finishing work she did). I didn't think I had enough green left to get both mitts, so I went with black yarn (for these, what he further described as, "ninja mittens"). Oy. Let me tell you. I rarely (as in almost never until now) work with black yarn for anything beyond straight knitting for the same reason I hate sewing with black fabric--it's really tough on the ol' peepers. What should have been a few evenings of work took a good bit longer because working with black yarn in lower light is rough (at least for me). Plus I have this perfectionist streak in me so I frogged some and thought way too long on some parts. But, they ended up just how I hoped they would. 

So here they are in what is apparently ninja form--

And here is one converted for comparison--

I needed to incorporate the little creeper guy from the hat somehow, so I duplicate stitched one onto the back of the mitten, so when you unbutton the flip top he appears--

As this was my first time making these there was definitely a learning curve here, and a few things I might change up (I'd make the ribbing at the top of the mitts longer, and make the flip top a row or two longer as well). But I'm largely pleased with them, and more importantly, A-train loved them. He said, as he gave me a hug, "You deserve this hug, Aunt Bee." I am fine with this as a payment method.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Hat for Big Nephew Loosely Based on His Team's Logo

After knitting this sweater, I had a TON of yarn left over (in everything but gray). And after knitting that sweater, I felt like knitting only small projects. I enjoy knitting hats, but there's only so many hats one person can have (I know, that's an arguable point, but as a person who generally does not wear hats it seems nonsensical to keep piling them up). For some reason, I rarely make things for my nephews. I think it's because they have that "growing boy" thing going on for so long I worry that they'll outgrow what I'm making before I finish. But hats? They stretch. A lot. So they'll last a while to make a few evenings of knitting worth the effort. Especially when the colors you have are somehow perfect for their interests.

First I'll show you the one for Big Nephew, my Z-man (who will be seventeen soon, and that just makes me feel so old I can't even say any more about that right now). He's a typical teenager, very few words, constantly losing his phone charger, and quite tall and handsome. He's been playing rugby for a few years now, and while I don't understand what's happening generally I know that the ball looks different from a football, and the huddle is a scrum (I think--feel free to correct me). His team has a web store, but no knitted hats available, so I made him one in the team's colors (because in worsted weight yarn I would not have had enough room to make a good-looking logo). So here's the team logo--

--and here's the hat.

I made it with a folded brim for comfort and warmth, and went for a small band of stripes so it would be a little more low-key. My original plan was to make the whole thing ribbed, and I don't remember right now why I decided against it when it came to the stripes...I'm going to say it would have something to do with the decreases lining up.

I didn't follow a pattern for this as it's the most basic of hats. Provisional cast on, knit the brim twice as long as you want it, then pick up the cast-on edge and do a three needle join (like a bind-off except you're not binding off). Knit the hat until it's as long as you want it (generally about seven inches), and then do some evenly placed decreases. Boom. Done. I do like the swirly look of individual leaning decreases instead of the straighter look of paired decreases.

I really like how you can be staring at a thing and not see the fuzz on it until you go to post the picture. It's my favorite.

And just for obligatory good measure, here's the inside of the hat:

I suppose it's reversible depending on the look you're after (and as he's a teenager I don't know if he'll care if it's inside-out or not....or even notice, really).

I'm going to do Little Nephew's in a separate post as he threw in a special request and you'll be here all day if I put it all in one post, and I'm sure you have better things to do (though I can't imagine what they could be).


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