Wednesday, February 27

Finished: (Much smaller) Chunky Cabled Hat

This is much better. I can actually wear it hat now!

fat hat re-do!

The hat was re-knit (see previous post for "before" photo) to make it wearable by a human. This is the "Fat Hat" from Hip to Knit. I used Cascade Magnum which I am not sure is still in production which you can find on the Cascade website. I bought the yarn from Knit Picks back when they used to sell other people's yarn instead of just their private label. They used to have a special called "Try it, You'll Like it" where one color of a new yarn would be very deeply discounted. I think now I only have one more type (group? pile? what do you call multiple balls of the same yarn?) of yarn in my stash purchased from the original Knit Picks. (Not that I mind the new KP of course!)

It was finished just in time too, since we got another 5 inches of snow Monday and are predicted to have another 1-2 tomorrow night.

This winter has literally brought more snow than I have seen at once in my whole life. We have received over 50 inches so far according to one newspaper report. Some of has melted in a rainstorm and a few sunny days, but most of the banks and drifts are still higher than my car. Not to mention iced over and caked in car exhaust and other debris. Not very pretty. I only thought to take one photo and that was with my cellphone through my windshield so the quality is not great. This is in the parking lot at work where the snow had been plowed up into a pile. Compare the pile to the stop sign!

snow at clc

I am sooo ready for spring.

Thursday, February 21


While braving the bitter cold on my way in to work from the parking lot yesterday I was pondering the fact that I do not own any winter hats. I was wearing my 180-earmuff things so my ears were warm, but my head was cold! How does a knitter not own any wool hats?

When I got home I dug through the winter items drawers in the coat closet and came across a few of the hats I have knitted in the past. I guess I do own some. Now let me just say that I am not usually one to knit swatches, especially for something as small as a hat. Which is why none of the hats I found are wearable by a normal-headed human such as myself. Here is the worst offender, knit about five years ago:

gotta redo this hat!

Does anything more need to be said? Except maybe why I cast off, why I sewed it up, why I attached the tassle, why it was still in the coat closet?

I have already frogged it and am knitting it up again in a much more reasonable size.

Sunday, February 17

Close to Home

I try to keep this blog as exclusive to knitting as possible, mostly to spare people my usually pointless rambling but also because I am a very private person. But lately I really feel like I can’t keep ignoring things going on around me.

Two recent national (world?) news headlines have occurred within the area I call home during the last month. The shootings at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park, IL and the shootings at NIU last week.

The mall area around the Lane Bryant store is new within the last few years, and I have only been there once or twice. My parents go there frequently, since there is a brand new Super Target, Best Buy, and Michael’s Crafts, among other things.

My Mom told me today that she hasn’t been able to go back to the mall yet. I know it’s not fear – but a sense of reality that is too hard to face. My Dad said that as he drove by on his way home from work he could see that they still had a cop car guarding the scene. That would be way too much reality for me.

As for NIU, I’m sure there is not much I can say that hasn’t already been said. Having spent many hours of my life on different campuses, it is sad to stop and wonder “what if” about a scenario that is be so outrageous it should be in a horror movie.

So much for “it could never happen here”.

One final incident, that isn’t related to these in reality but is connected in my head, is an article I read on the Chicago Tribune’s website about an overnight fire in one of the few remaining public housing (low income) building in Chicago. The article explained how the fire occurred during the night (2:30am) and could have been deadly if passing police officers hadn’t noticed the blaze, woken people up, and helped those trapped on the wrong side of a stairwell. They helped everyone in danger, including a few children, escape safely. To me, it was a feel good article with a happy ending and few nice photos of the kids being carried to safety. I made the rookie mistake of clicking on the comments link at the end of the article and was blindsided by a litany of nasty things like “too bad they didn’t all burn”, “why would they waste money on a candle if they live in the projects”, to comments so cruel they made me slightly nauseous read.

Since when do other human being have to be deemed worthy of our compassion? How can children escaping from a fire cause so much hate? Do people even try to put themselves in another's shoes anymore?

In my head, the comments explain why these mass murders can occur. Many people seem to value nothing but themselves, or have been so tormented by society that they feel there is no other option for them.

Just my two cents, of course. Take it or leave it.

P.S. Expressing this opinion in another forum got me called a "bleeding-heart liberal". I think that just emphasizes my point.

Sunday, February 10

Finished: Mochimochi Land Hearts


Love these!!!

You can find the pattern here. They are so fast, I finished knitting the pieces for all six during a movie last Saturday night and got them sewn and stuffed the next morning.

I've sent this batch off to my Mom for a little Valentine's Day gift. Now I need to make another set for myself!

Friday, February 8

Sweater Progress

I started the Something Red sweater from Knit and Tonic back in October. (Had to check my notes to even remember!) I cast on, worked about 10 rows, and put it down to knit Christmas gifts. I finally picked it up last week and remembered how much I love it. More specifically, how much I love the yarn I am using. It is Elsebeth Lavold's Classic AL, 50% baby alpaca and 50% Merino wool, that I got a great deal on at WEBS last year. It is so soft. I love to work on this sweater just to be able to touch the yarn. (psssst: click the WEBS link, and you'll find it is marked down to $3.49 a ball from $7!)

something red 2

The sweater itself is going quickly. I am a little bit further now than the photo shows. The sleeves are on hold and I am working even for the body on top of the ribbing. I did try it on once when I separated the sleeves and it seems to be going perfectly. I probably should knock on wood now - my row gauge is less than the pattern calls for so I needed more increases on the raglan shoulder line to reach the armhole depth. I was worried that it was going to end up too wide, but all seems to be well so far. I am going to try it on again before I start the ribbing just to make sure, since I have a bad track record of making things that are too big.

Wednesday, February 6

Ugh, I'm ready for spring.

Here in northern Illinois we are getting pounded with snow and ice from a major storm plus the ever popular "lake effect" bonus snow. We've had about a foot so far. Earlier predictions were for up to 16 inches; just shoot me now. Also, most of the road crews here are out of salt so there is nothing to put down on the roads. The only good part is that since I work at an educational institution I got to go home early today when they closed at noon. And I was off last Friday because of the weather. I almost want it to keep snowing so that maybe I will be home tomorrow. Think of all the knitting I can get done!

It is very difficult to get a photo that shows the amount of snow. I took this from our second floor balcony. You can see where the snow plow guys could not figure out where to put all of the snow and just kind of gave up.


Um, I might not be able to go to work tomorrow if I can't get my car out!