Rules are made to be broken.

Back in the day, when I was doing a lot of yarn bombing, I had two rules:  No Trees and Nothing Politics.  Well, needless to say, given the political strife of late, I’ve relaxed one of those rules.

Last week’s bike rack cozy was my first political yarn bomb.  It went on the bike rack just outside my local watering hole.  This is the same pub that hosts my weekly knitting group.  I’ve yarn bombed this particular corner quite a few times.  Both of these lasted more than a year:

So imagine my surprise when my hot pink political statement was gone in 4 days!

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I wasn’t particularly happy with the lettering.  It’s duplicate stitch turned on it’s side.  It was weird.  It stretched funny.  I don’t mind that it’s no longer on display.

I’m not even that mad it got taken down so quickly.  Knowing I pushed someone’s button enough to see it and then return later with scissors to cut it off, I enjoy that bit.  Especially because I already had another yarn bomb ready to go.

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I tried a lot of different methods for the lettering.  Ultimately I decided on this free hand, skewed back stitch.  I didn’t follow a chart so it went fast.  I just kinda winged it, making sure all my lines had a slant to them.  I did this to keep the letters from falling into the ditch between stitches.  They would get completely lost so this was an attempt to fix that.

Not only did I fix the problem, I improved the situation, if I do say so myself. I really like it.  It’s accidentally punk!  It’s got a bit of edge.  It’s not just cutesy and soft.  It’s an homage to the graffiti ancestors that inspired it.

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So, Random Neighborhood Trump Lover, thanks for cleaning up my trash!  This second one is even better!  Now, lets see how long it lasts.

I have a feeling the third one (let’s face it, there IS going to be a third one.) will be even better because, nevertheless, I persist.


 

FO Friday – Pussy Hat

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My week started with days 5 & 6 of sitting for jury selection.  If you’ve never had to sit through the process, let me tell you, it’s absolutely maddening.  It’s slow, repetitive and inefficient.  The pool stated with ~250 potential jurors.  At the end of day 6 when the jury was finally selected, I was still sitting in the gallery with 7 other lucky SOBs.  I’m happy it’s over.  I’m happy to not be on the jury but I’m an idiot for showing up in the first place.  And then to sit there for six days, only to realize they wouldn’t have known if I was missing.  Aaarrrggghhh!  It’s the cherry on the insult cake that was this week.

I got me a bit worked up.  The Bite Me cross stitch helped with the relaxation process though.  Something about the repetitive stabbing motions…

and I managed to get a bit of knitting done.  I finished my long overdue Pussy Hat.

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The yarn is White Birch Fiber Arts SW Merino, in a worsted weight.  It’s a generous skein so I’ve got yarn left for a second hat.  I think I made this one just a touch too long.  I think square hats should be a bit shorter than a regular hat.  It makes the ‘ears’ pop a bit more.  I wanted to end with a black stripe though.  I might walk on the wild side and end the second hat on a pink stripe?!?

Then again, I may never get to it because I’m loving the Marled Magic so much!  I’ve finished the YO, K2tog mesh section and I’ve moved on to the seed stitch section.

I started off with a kitchen sink colorway.  I just threw all my little scraps into section 1.  Anything that was only going to last for a few rows.

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For the seed stitch section, I’ve moved to a mostly green set of colors.

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As usual, I’m not planning anything, just letting it happen.  It’s happy place knitting and after all the jury duty rage knitting I’m ready for a little happy place action!

And just in time for Labor Day weekend!  My favorite weekend in SF all year long…the place clears out!  The kids all go to burning man!  It’s awesome.  The city is calm and quiet.  And this year, even with temps predicted in the 80’s, it’ll be cool compared the 110’s predicted for the east bay.  Yikes!  That is warm!

If anybody needs me I’ll be in the fog.  Knitting!


 

WestKnits Sunday

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My Dotted Rays with a Speckle Fade is done!  It’s definitely my new favorite thing!

I love the chevron border with it’s high contrast!  The purple yarn is MadTosh EuroSock and it’s parter in striping was a skein of Magpie Fibers MCN.  It’s super soft.  I don’t mind having leftovers from that skein!

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The body is four colors, starting over at the upper right corner, faded together.  Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Single in Boombox!  Western Sky Knits MCN!! and then two skeins of Hedgehog Sock.  I was unimpressed with the Hedgehog Sock.  It was very think and rather splitty.  I can’t imagine knitting actual socks with it.  I’d need quadruple zero needles for that.   No, I think my money is on the Skinny Single in the future.

Like all good shawls though, it’s only exciting until the next one comes off the needles.  With that in mind, I’ve started my next WestKnit.

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I culled at the skinny little scraps and half balls from the stash.  Sometimes I think the only reason I use fresh skeins is to turns them into leftovers.  I really love scrap projects!

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This one is Stephen West’s Spring 2017 MKAL.  I didn’t have time to do it then and I was still bummed about not loving the Building Blocks MKAL in the fall.  This one is called Marled Magic!  Despite kicking off with my least favorite stitch — YO, K2tog mesh, I knew I wanted to knit this shawl when I saw what Stephen did with all those ends on the side.

The tails are all cut at deliberate lengths.  Instead of weaving them all in at the end (nightmare!!) they’ll be braided together down the center of the shawl, into a big tassel off the point.  It’s a clever little treatment.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I’m willing to deal with a tassel for it!

Tomorrow, it’s back to jury duty.  UGH.  At least I’ll have knitting time!


 

 

FO Friday – Jury Duty Sucks

I’ve had jury duty this week.  I started the week thinking I enjoyed the process and I was not opposed to being on a jury.  And then, reality set in.  Four days of being called to the courthouse, four days of zero progress, four days of bullshit from lawyers.

Despite the knitting time provided by constant waiting, I’m still rather hostile.  Especially because it’s not over and I have to return on Monday.  UGH.  Not happy.

Instead of focusing on the bullshit that makes me hostile, I’ll focus on the knitting.  I was able to knit an entire bulky brioche cowl, so there’s that.

This is two balls of the yarn that shall not be named, in two different colorways.  I wish I was knitting with something less squeaky and splitty.  Nicer yarn may have improved my attitude.  I wasn’t sure about security though.  Might as well have it be the yarn from the time out corner get confiscated, if that was necessary.  The good news of the week:  courthouse security doesn’t mind knitting!

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Another bright spot:  the colors really look fantastic in brioche!  I didn’t like either of these colorways individually.  The sum of the parts is certainly greater than the whole, in this case.  I’m pleased.

And it was a great way to interact with my fellow hostages jurors.  After day one, people starting coming to check on progress at each break.  It’s interesting to see relationships developing in the gallery.  Crisis really does bring people together.

The cowl is generously sized so it even pulls down over the shoulders.  This yarn really pains me because it’s not bad to wear…how can the process be so horrible but the garment not?   I actually think this is going to get some wear.

There’s my courtroom selfies.  I was trying to avoid being seen by the bailiffs.  They never stopped me from knitting but they were definitely busting people with phones.

While we’re talking FOs from yarn that shall not be named, I finished this scarf a while back.  It’s a ‘shawl in a ball’ yarn and this is the recommended pattern.  An easy garter stitch boomerang.  Again, not a fan of the yarn but the FO doesn’t necessarily reflect that.  That’s just how good I am.  LOL.

And now, time for work.  I’m really happy to be going to work today.  Perspective is everything!  Happy Friday!


 

Down the Rabbit Hole

First, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and a lot has happened in the world.  It used to go without saying that nazis are bad.  Not anymore, so I’ll say it, just to be clear.  Whatever the label, nazi, white nationalist, alt-right, kkk…I strongly disagree with it all.   Killing people is bad.  Violence is bad.  Hate is bad.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let me share some fun!  I’ve been busy making things!

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It started innocently enough with one funny cross stitch piece.

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But it’s developed into a major bathroom redecoration scheme.

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After the first two hoops were completed, I had to go back for more.

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These aren’t complicated designs.  Naturally, that lead me to the craft store saying I can do that…if I just had a few more supplies!

Soon enough, I was designing things that aren’t for the bathroom.

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Indeed, it seems I am going way down the rabbit hole with this one.  Never fear, there is also knitting progress!  The Dotted Rays, WestKnits Fade is off the needles and it’s an amazing color explosion!  It’s blocking, but you’ll get to see it soon!

There’s still plenty of knitting love.  It will return shortly.  But for now, I think my next cross stitch will be the immortal words of Rodney King…

“Can we all just get along?”


 

Super Secret FO Revealed

Once upon a time, my weekly knitting group decided no one ever knits for knitters, so we should knit for ourselves.  Each year at the holiday party, we draw names and six months later at our anniversary party, we swap gifts in the form of things we’ve knit for each other.

I’ve received some terrific knitted items, a pair of socks, a felted bag that I carried everywhere for at least a year, a westknits cowl that I never would have knit for myself.

I’ve taken different approaches to what I knit each year.  Sometimes, there are many consultations with other people, will so-and-so like this? Knitting by committee is definitely a thing with a project by a knitter, for a knitter, in a knitting group.  One year, I openly blogged about it.  One year, I forgot to take pictures almost entirely.

5 years of swap collage

This year, it’s been completely secret!  I didn’t share who I picked or what I was knitting at all.  I mean, I told the group I was knitting a pink fringed poncho.  We’re celebrating year 8, pretty sure no one believed me when I said that.

So, without further ado, I present this year’s super secret knitting…the Dragon Wing Cowl!

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Details:  Pattern – Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie Rayot, Yarn – Cephalopod Yarns Beastie in Man-Eating Tree, My Ravelry Page.

The construction is super fun!  You start off with a long garter stitch rectangle…

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It’s got a series of increases to give you the wing effect.  The spines come from dropping stitches all the way back to the cast on…

 

 

 

and then picking them back up in segments of stockinette stitch…

 

 

 

 

Lots of fun!  and they look great!

 

 

 

Block the points out, add some real bone buttons…

 

 

 

and it’s a cowl fit for a Khalessi!  Thanks to HBO, it seems like I planned this perfectly!

Best news of all, it was very well received and as soon as the recipient put it on, she had styled it better than anything I had managed to do in two months.   That made me very happy! It was super as I finished it but it came to life as soon as she put it on.  It was clearly meant to be!

And in true O.Henry fashion, she was the same person who picked my name!  I’ll show you what she knit me after I’ve had some daylight to take pics!  Hint:  Cat Socks!!


 

FO Sunday

Two things about me…

First, I don’t like being told what to do.  (See:  my inability to follow a pattern.  I’m not gonna let a piece of paper tell me what to do!?!)

Second, I don’t like having my picture taken.

These two things are universal truths about me.  They have always been true and probably always will be.  This is me, in kindergarten.

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This photo cracks me up every time.  I’m sure the photographer wanted me to smile.  I’m sure he tried to get me to smile.  Why would I care about that?  I don’t need to be part of the dog and pony show if I don’t want to be.  I’m not smiling and you can’t make me.  LOL.  It’s pretty amazing, actually, that I’ve changed so little.

And so, with that explanation, here’s today’s FO.

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It’s another garter & brioche cowl with the yarn that shall not be named.  I just could not coax myself into smiling though.  I wasn’t feeling it.  OH well.  I tried.  I have a whole slew of pouting outtakes.  That’s just the way some days go.

I do feel bad for people who try to take pictures of me.  I don’t really help the process along.  Even when the photographer is me.  LOL.

 

And, the FO isn’t really that bad either.  While I detest working with the yarn that shall not be named, it’s a much better FO.  Wearing it, you’d never know the passion with which I hate this yarn.   The colors are lovely and there’s not an itch in sight.

As for the pattern, I improvised along the same lines as the last one, provisional cast on, a bit of garter stitch, a bit of brioche (only one color this time), a bit more garter, a bit more brioche, graft the ends together.

I did not intend for this cowl to become a Möbius but it did.  I sort of like it.  It’s certainly not offensive enough to undo it and re-graft it.  That leaves me with 3.5 balls of this yarn left.  I’m thinking another cowl, complete with Möbius modification.  Taller, longer…more around the shoulders.

SO many knitting plans, never enough time.  Happy Sunday!