I don’t know about the rest of the world, but it’s been spring here for about two weeks, even though it’s not supposed to officially turn over until the 20th. The sun is shining, the wind is whipping through the wind chimes outside, and no one, including pets, wants to stay indoors. With all the new plant growth and baby squirrels and rabbits popping up all over the place, it’s no wonder spring is recognized as a time of renewal. Rebirth. Re.. blogging?
Monique and I took a three month unscheduled vacation from this blog. You’ll notice she’s come back with two posts earlier this week, but I had yet to show my face. Getting hacked twice was no fun at all and after all the work it took to get the blog back on it’s feet the first time, the second time I just folded it up neatly and put it away so I could look at it later. Christmas and New Year’s came, then Valentine’s Day, and now that winter’s chill has pretty much faded (and so harsh here in Southern California), it’s time to start again. I’d like to say that in my absence I dreamed up a thousand new projects and finished almost half as many, but alas, my time off was devoured by television, like The Walking Dead.
Today I finally took my camera off it’s shelf, dusted it off, and wandered into the backyard to take some pictures of our incoming spring.
First buds on my mother's plum tree.
If you focus here, you can see very tiny buds on this branch--wait a minute!
Well, that certainly isn't a baby squirrel!
Okay, so maybe we’ll put our joy of sunshine and seasons changing on the back-burner today and instead talk about this insistent little guy! I’ve been knitting him, on and off, since the end of October. While my husband and I were on our road trip to British Columbia, we stopped in Reno and popped into a place called Jimmy Beans Wool. I hadn’t heard of it at all before we Googled “yarn store Reno” as we left our hotel that morning, but what a pleasant surprise! It’s woman owned and she’s received all sorts of recognition for being a very fast growing company. The store is clean, well organized and every skein of yarn is presented in such a way that it feels a little like walking into a pet shop. Yes, please, I’ll adopt all of them!
Luckily for my bank account, I only left with one skein. It was my first experience with Lorna’s Laces. I purchased it based on how soft it was first, then color.. but what really sealed the deal? This specific yarn coloring is called “Zombie BBQ.” Oh my gosh. As I write this, they only have four skeins available on their website. I don’t know if that means once they’re gone, they’re gone, or if that’s just current availability, but it really was a joy to knit! I’ll admit, I’ve popped “The Boy Who Lived” into my shopping cart half a dozen times lately, but haven’t been ready to commit!
With any of my electronic devices, I’m really anti-scratching. I know that sounds silly to say, because no one wants their iPad or Kindle scratched, but I’ll plop the things that will fit into single socks and use dish towels to wrap larger objects just so nothing in my purse scratches them! I was gifted an iPad not too long ago and am often envious when I see people using them at cafes because I wouldn’t dare bring mine out without any protective covering. I know, I know.. you can buy covering, but making your own is so much more fun! So, with this gorgeous skein of yard in hand, I decided I’d knit a case. This is my first time freehanding any knitting, though my coworker assures me it’s as simple as can be. I did consult a pattern or two to see how many stitches should be used for the width of the device, but after that it was all knits and purls. Now that I’ve made one, I think I’d modify that first step anyway, just to go with my own gauge and to take into account the stretch that comes with these stitches and this fantastic yarn!
I'm hanging him here so you can see all of him at once. Don't worry, he's empty at the moment. Nothing expensive came crashing down.
(Also, it’s not important, in the slightest, to note that his name is “Jake.” Or “Jack.” I can’t really remember. The knitters at work have started naming their projects because it’s much easier to complain about something with a name than to whine about a scarf or a sock. Most lunches we hear at least once or twice how tired one of the girls is of “Janet.” Poor Janet. It’s not her fault!)
The underneath is never the pretty part, but I wanted to show the reinforcing of the button holes. Had I not messed up on not one, but both holes, no reinforcement would be necessary. Instead I like to pretend that this way my monster always has red eyes, whether he's buttoned or not. And red eyes, as you know, are an excellent theft deterrent. Put your tablet in one of these babies and no one would dare get close!
Why, yes, that is a LinnPuzzle drawing of Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens playing chess as the background. How funny you noticed! (Side Note: Linn, if you ever come back to the internet and to art, know that you've been missed dearly! I've been in love with this particular piece for, oh, a million years?)
I’m rather fond of his zombie-stitched heart. It’s a working pocket, though I’m not sure what I’d ever put in there. Ear buds, I suppose. Or maybe some money, though it doesn’t clasp. But now that I think about it, I might make that modification in the next one.
For my knitting buddies at Christmas time, I picked up a few of these personalized tags from Mountain Street Arts on Etsy. She has many sample images but is able to take requests. I was so impressed with the speed in which they came and the packaging, but the nicest part was how she offered to make an entirely new set if I didn’t like the custom one I requested! (Unnecessary. It was perfect!)
So, what did I learn from this project?
1. Free-style knitting isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Apparently one does not need a pattern for everything.
2. It’s more fun to theme a knitting project: knitting with Zombie BBQ while watching The Walking Dead or my husband play Dead Island.
3. Next time I free-style something, I really should write it down so I could share a pattern with those who do enjoy them (and I still do!).
And as far as my next project, well. I have too many ideas at the moment. I’ve been paralyzed by choice for days. Hopefully by next Saturday there will be a steady project on my needles we can talk about because I don’t want to disappear for another three months! Just like diet and exercise blogs keep those folks accountable, I think this really keeps me on task.
So, thanks to all of you!