links for 2009-10-03

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links for 2009-09-28

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Blue Meanies

I’ve been in quite a blue funk lately. A large chunk of that is due to hitting 41, which seems to have affected me more than 40 did by a large margin. The “thinking about mortality” issues that advance with each turn of the year tend to thrust themselves into my conscious mind with alarming regularity. It does not help at all that I’ve had friends die in recent years, and parents of friends are having serious health issues. It occurs to me that this is one of the purposes of babies – watching them grow and discover the world and all the promise of youth is definitely a positive distraction from looking in the other direction.

The other source of the blues is work-related, which is mainly why I haven’t written much about the blue meanies going on in my life right now. I’ve had a long-standing policy of not blogging about work, in order to avoid creating problems with my source of income. I’m somewhat violating that here, but I think it’s fair to say that my morale about our product development is quite low, and that has affected practically everything else in my life; my weekends are filled with pouring over problems and frustrations, and I find it hard to let go and just enjoy the times when I’m not at work.

Photography and knitting have been lifesavers recently — normally I’d take out my frustrations on some fun online project, but web design is the last thing I want to think about when I leave work these days, so other creative outlets have filled in the gaps. I love photography and have learned a lot; I think I’m a bit suspended figuring out where I want to go with it next. I’ll land in the right spot on that soon.

Knitting. Knitting is awesome. I’ve found I’m quite good at what I’ve learned so far, and as a zen “take your mind off things” activity, it’s stellar. Have I even mentioned it here? Holy moley, I haven’t have I? Other than a photo I put up back in May, I haven’t.

Stephanie has been a crocheter for 17 years or so, and has made afghans, scarves, blankets, etc. for people in that time. She’s been wanting to learn to knit, but my mom hasn’t had a chance to teach her because she’s been so busy. One of Stephanie’s skating friends taught her some really simple knitting on a trip to a competition, but she needed more info, so we went to Mass Avenue Knit Shop to find out about classes. I was charmed by the atmosphere of the shop and the wild varieties of yarns they had available, and asked if she minded if I took the class too. So we signed up together. The class teaches how to create a beginner sweater, which covers pretty much everything you need to learn to knit well.

On the side, I’m working on two other winter scarves – one of alternating red and yellow stripes that will look somewhat like this:

Gryffindor Scarf
Gryffindor Scarf

Evoking a bit of that Gryffindor magic, doncha know.

The other scarf is my own variation of a Dr. Who Scarf, which is far enough different in concept to be actually not a Dr. Who Scarf at all, except that it will be super-long and striped. I find I have to disclaimer that because Dr. Who Scarf fans (they are legion) are very religious about their patterns and making their scarves match the props used in different seasons of the show exactly. I find that the preciseness of people who fit into the cross-section of Dr. Who fans with knitting fans to be charming, if not a bit on the unnerving side.

Part of my motivation for this scarf is that it will replace one that I lost – I had a great multi-color striped scarf from the Gap that disappeared from work last winter, and I haven’t been able to find a winter scarf that I liked as well as that one. So I’m making my own!

Tom Baker Doctor Who Scarf
Tom Baker Doctor Who Scarf
Doctor Who Scarf
Doctor Who Scarf

Mine will be alternating stripes of color with black. I’ve restarted it several times; I started with it being too wide and with lots of dropped stitches and holes, so I’ve taken it out and started over repeatedly. I finally have it going the way I want, but I imagine it’s going to take a while to do, because I’m knitting in the round to create a tube so that the “finished” or knit side is the only one that shows (that’s another variation of mine from Canon; real Dr. Who Scarves are garter stitch, not stockinette.) The yarn I’m using is all the left-over bits of stuff that Stephanie used on various crochet projects over the years, so I have the bonus of using up lots of scraps and having a really varied color combination.

Photos of both of my scarves in progress will be coming forthwith. Eventually. Really Soon.

2022-03-12-Update: I made exact replicas of the Doctor Who Scarf and of the Gryffindor Scarf. It took a long time, but it was great. I’m really good at this knitting thing now, former me. Here are the photos, as long ago promised.

My Doctor Who Scarf
My Doctor Who Scarf

Gryffindor Scarf
Gryffindor Scarf
Continue ReadingBlue Meanies

Knitting project

Knitting project

I’m learning to knit. This piece will be a scarf alternating brightly-colored stripes with stripes of black.

2022-03-12 Update: After starting and stopping this 12 times, I ended up knitting it in the round and then stuffing it as a bolster pillow that is uneven and lumpy. It’s now in the attic. I should get it out.
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links for 2008-03-14

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Handmade Quilts for Katrina Victims

I mentioned back in April of 2004 that my mom has made hats for premies babies and hats for soldiers.

Lately, though she volunteered with the Quiltmakers shop in Fishers that coordinated a large-scale event last Saturday where quilters sewed quilts for Katrina victims using materials donated by fabric companies. They made 51 quilts. That’s awesome.

Continue ReadingHandmade Quilts for Katrina Victims

Knitting For The Troops

One of the things my mom has been doing lately is knitting hats for the Ships Project, which distributes hand knitted hats and socks to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world. I didn’t realize how cold it is in some of the places the soldiers are stationed, even in the Middle East. The pictures of all the troops modeling their hats are really cute.

She’s also been knitting tiny little hats for the Stitches From the Heart program, which gives the hats to newborns and premies in hospitals all over the country. Before that, she was making american flag quilts that got sent to each of the family members of the 9/11 victims.

I don’t say enought that I think my mom’s a really wonderful person.

If you want to participate in the Ships Project, visit their website for more information on how to join the program.

Continue ReadingKnitting For The Troops