Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Episode 20: Coping Mechanisms

My focus was off. I mean the camera focus, literally, was off in the beginning. I think my dog did it with her nose as I was setting up. Geez.  It's not terrible but I'm not doing it over. If it bugs you, close your eyes and just listen... Other than that, I ramble a bit. But stick with me and hear my idea for a new Knit-along and let me know what you think.



This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog: www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelifehttps://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
On Ravelry as mamatronic: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&search=
On Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamatronic/albums

My question for you: How would you feel about doing a #WingItKAL where we do something, even if it's small, to modify an existing pattern or create one of our own. I'm talking anything from a dishcloth to a sweater. Are you up for that?

Oak Crest Hat pattern by Vanessa Townley: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/oak-crest

mine knit in Knit Picks Capra, Thicket: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Capra_DK_Yarn__D5420109.html

Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sunset-highway

mine knit in Tosh Merino Light, Chicory: https://madelinetosh.com/collections/tosh-merino-light
Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Cully: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Fingering_Multi_Yarn__D5420251.html
Voolenvine Yarns Footsie, I am No Bird: https://www.voolenvineyarns.com/pages/colorways
with a bit of Peepaloo Fields Sensible Sock, agave: https://peepaloofields.com
A Homespun House Soft Sock, Digital Bath: https://ahomespunhouse.com

BSF International: https://www.bsfinternational.org

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/tag/move-your-dna/

Her Podcast Episode on Calf stretch: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/the-calf-stretch-podcast-episode-88/

Yoga with Adrienne: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

An article on Chinese medicine's take on grief: http://www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com/livingafulfilledlifeblog/2017/11/5/the-virtue-of-grief-life-lessons-from-a-powerful-human-emotion

Dami Roelse: https://thetrek.co/author/dami-roelse/

Floozy by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/floozy-2

knit in YarnFloozy yarns: https://yarnfloozy.co.nz

My test knit is in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, currant and bare: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Wool_of_the_Andes_Worsted_Yarn__D5420103.html

Lovebird Lane Yarns, Michelle: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovebirdLaneYarns

Smooth Operator by Susan B. Anderson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/smooth-operator-socks

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/alterknit-stitch-dictionary

My modified Eased by Alicia Plummer: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2015/09/lund-or-linden-sweater.html

My Seamless Yoked Sweater Recipe by Elizabeth Zimmerman: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2014/11/bus-stop-pullover.html

Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman: https://www.schoolhousepress.com/books/general-knowledge/knitting-without-tears.html

My Rockefeller Sweater by Wenlan Chia: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2011/08/rockefeller-sweater.html

My reverse engineered cardigan: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2011/05/mrs-darcy-aka-prometheus-penance.html

My StripeEd Cowl pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stripe-ed-cowl

Mindful Shawl by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mindful-shawl

Ewe Hues, Mmmm...chocolate: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EweHues

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cardamom Coffee Hat

Cardamom Coffee is a good for soothing Sleeve Madness, an ailment from which I constantly seem to suffer. I knit this hat for the Ramblin Rhinebeck Knit-along with Caitlin Hunter, the designer, and The Farmer's Daughter Fibers.




The whole feel of this KAL was 70's Country/Americana. Caitlin's Ramblin Woman pattern debuted at the end of it and was inspired by country glam legends, like Dolly Parton. The Farmer's Daughter Fibers was the perfect for this because their inspiration is often found in Montana's history, comprised of both ranchers and Native Americans.


She had some awesome kits for Ingalls and Tecumseh.  But I had my Sunset Highway that still needed sleeves and yarn ready for Guthrie, not to mention a test knit and Floozy, all needing sleeves, on my needles. I knew I couldn't do a sweater for this KAL. Instead, I chose this hat and I'm so glad I did because it gave me a chance to try a new fiber- Soka''pi.

Soka'pii is a yarn that I have been dying to try.  It's a Rambouillet singe ply yarn from Montana and Wyoming sheep. It means "good" in Blackfeet. I love Wyoming. Our family backpacking trip thru the Tetons and traveling through the Black Hills has given me a tender spot for it's history in my heart.

I've always heard people say that tightly plied yarns are best for colorwork,  so I was unsure if it would be good for this project. I did notice Caitlin's sample used Tosh Merino Light, which is a super wash merino singles base and lots of FOs used it too. Then, Candace encouraged me that it would work out, via instagram, so I started.




It felt like real wool. You know what I mean- woolly, nubby non-superwash wool that doesn't take dye as vividly, but just feels real in your hands. I loved every second of working with it. It was actually very soft to begin with, but it bloomed into more softness after blocking.

Details: I used US size 1 needles for the ribbing and size 2.5 for the body. My colors were Rank Bronc, Napi, and Monarch. Oh, and I could have knit with Monarch all day. The CC2 portion is so small in this hat that, though it does shine, I was a little disappointed to not use more. Good thing I have a ton of the skein left.


In fact, I have a whole unused skein of Rank Bronc and a third of the other left, too. So I added another skein of Napi when I placed my order for the Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL patch. Now I should have enough Soka''pi for another hat.

I topped this hat with a faux fur pompom by FFFabuknits on Etsy. They are a great price and come in all sizes.  This is not even the largest size.

If I'm honest, I have been interested in using Candace's yarn for some time and Caitlin's patterns are always "must knot." But access to this patch/ pin that Caitlin designed was the biggest motivating factor in my joining the KAL. I'm so glad I did because...Willie!!! and I've found a new favorite dyer.


I see that Hill Country Weavers is now carrying The Farmer's Daughter Fibers, too, so maybe next time I visit my daughter we can swing by the "yawn" shop.


Did I tell you?!? My daughter joined Ravelry. She went to HCW with me, picked out some yarn for a hat and scarf, started it, then got angry with it and quit. But, the point is: she joined. I'm okay with her addiction starting slowly.

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

I talk about this hat some on my podcast episodes 17, 18, and finished on 19.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sea Glass and Driftwood

Is it wrong to be prideful about something I've made? The word prideful has such negative connotations, but "full of pride" is the only way to describe how I feel about this test knit. It just seems so intricate and the tonal colors blended so perfectly.  Then, there's the fit, which I got exactly right. That never used to happen on my first try.

Now, get ready for photo overload.  I loved Sea Glass and Driftwood so very much that I wanted to take a million photos of it.  Unfortunately, I had to be wearing it, so most of them were of me looking stoned with  half-closed eyes.  I swear that's the only reason you aren't scrolling through a mile of sweater pics.



It's Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton.  You may know her better as Boho Chic Fiber Co online. She has designed some pretty big hits in the knitting world, like Navigate (from Rib Magazine), Kerrytown, and Indie Mash Up.  Those are some of her more popular knits, but really, she has an incredible body of work for someone who hasn't been designing all that long. I scroll through her patterns, on Ravelry, and I cannot understand why there are not more FOs of Nadia,
Macomb, Madame George, and Wild Mystic! How can Pi shawls be all the rage and there aren't more Wild Mystics being knit?! I mean, I know my excuse: I am collecting enough washable worsted to knit this as a giant throw/ coverlet for my bed. This will let me use it year round, rather than my usual month of winter. I also have some stash yarn earmarked for both Madame George Pullover and Lunaria.  I just need time...



When Annie started teasing photos of her newest colorwork design on instagram, I really wanted to be a tester. I figured I had a good chance of finishing it before it got cold here (I did.) and I would easily be able to finish it before the test knit deadline. (I didn't.) But she was understanding of our family emergency and had plenty of testers who did finish by mid October. You can see their glorious finished sweaters here. Several used tonal or variegated yarns, like me. Nikki, of Forest Fiber Arts, dyed her own and those can be found in her shop.  And that shop is full of rich, autumnal colors right now. 


Anyway, most of the testers knit fairly fitted versions of this. I did too, but only because I lacked enough of the Hawthorne Fingering Multi, in Nob Hill, to make a size medium. I was planning on this, so it wasn't a problem. I employed a little blocking magic to get something between the fit of a small and medium. The Hawthorne is super wash and grew beautifully.

Here's the thing- it looked great as a fitted sweater too.  I was tempted to keep it as such, but I know myself and how I almost always opt for baggy.


Some things I love about this sweater, beyond the obvious allover colorwork, is the visible seams at the shoulders.  It gives it a slightly deconstructed or homespun look to me. I just love that detail. Not sure if I'm saying that right, but I like the result.  

I also love the boxy fit (should you choose to knit it oversized). Then there's that colorwork pattern.  It looks so complicated but really only involves a few rows repeated at a time.  This could even be knit in the round, up to the armholes, to facilitate speedy knitting. I did things as directed, since it was a test, though.


Details: I knit this with US size 2.5 needles and 3 skeins of Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Nob Hill (a discontinued colorway), with 2 skeins of Stroll tonal in Pearlescent.  All of these skeins were bought on sale, but the Nob Hill was a very good deal. I was so happy to have a special purpose for that colorway. I had always wanted it but didn't actually pull the trigger on buying until it was discontinued, then I only got a small amount.


I wasn't sure it would be appropriate since it is more variegated than tonal, but it was fine. Pretty soon, I quit alternating skeins and just used one at a time for most of the body. Alternating skeins with two color Fair Isle would be murder. Why make myself hate my favorite hobby? Thankfully both colorways were consistent enough to make that unnecessary. 

My only mods: I added two extra stitches on each sleeve because it seemed to help with gapping at the underarm.  I also made them three-quarter length because I was running low on the Nob Hill.  Remember only three skeins, people!


I also worked the first I-Cord bind off on the neckline and it seemed like it would roll and show the inside of the sweater too much.  After trying a couple of times, I decided to try one purl round, then knitting 6 rounds of stockinette to create a rollback neckline, before binding off.


When I got to the sleeves, I did the regular I-Cord bind off and it worked fine, maybe because there wasn't the bulk of Fair Isle just above the edge, encouraging it to roll upward. I then did an I Cord bind off on the bottom. It is a little roll-y but it doesn't look bad. I don't think the fix I used on the neck would have worked any better than I-Cord did at the bottom edge, so I left it as-is. Maybe I just haven't found the proper tension for I-Cord bind offs. I have much to learn. But did you get that I got the fit right on the first try. That's happened on every sweater I've knit the last year or two!!

Oh, and here's my nose:

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

If you're interested in more complex colorwork, or at least complex-looking stranded knitting, try this pattern. I cannot say enough about it and I don't want to bore you with more exclamations and photos of me reveling in my perfect Fair Isle knit.

This knit also on my podcast Episodes 17, 18, and 19.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Episode 19: Thank You & a Giveaway

Episode 19: Thank You & A Giveaway



On my blog: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife: https://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
On Ravlery as mamatronic: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&search=
On Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamatronic/albums

My Question for you: What are some of your coping mechanisms when grieving or sad?

Stuff I mention in Episode 19:

my last episode Cheap Camera tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXYpwiKjIA4

the Instagram slideshow of my dad: https://www.instagram.com/p/BopzIUlFGJo/?taken-by=mysocalledhandmadelife

The other slideshow: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bop2sTvlcNs/?taken-by=mysocalledhandmadelife

Fito Olivares y Su Grupo, Zoológico Tropical: https://www.amazon.com/Zoológico-Tropical-Fito-Olivares-Grupo/dp/B00ABH6CQ8

Who Am I- Jackie Chan clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=navB1r96_do

Hill Country Weavers: https://hillcountryweavers.com

Yashica Electro 35 GSN: https://www.thephoblographer.com/2011/07/26/review-yashica-electro-35-gsn-the-poor-mans-rangefinder/

YashicaCameraShoppe, where I got my accessories: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YashicaCameraShoppe?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Polaroid Spirit 600: https://www.amazon.com/Polaroid-Spirit-600-Management-System/dp/B0038ODDUE

Road Week 2018: https://www.flickr.com/groups/roidweek2018/

Strange Brew Creative Photo Challenge: https://www.strangebrewcreative.com/blog-1/2018/9/29/a-new-challenge-whos-with-me

Polaroid SX70: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polaroid_SX-70

Polaroid film via Polaroid Originals: https://us.polaroidoriginals.com/pages/instant-film?gclid=CjwKCAjw39reBRBJEiwAO1m0Ofq8EeNFwM9eCiMwa0qaCrEA1uOSUpM2z0FCHUvTV4U6mBWw4BfpYBoCwR4QAvD_BwE

The Knits:

Twas the Night Before Christmas Socks by Dani Jorge: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/twas-the-night-before-christmas-socks

Knit in Sweet Sparrow Yarn, Peppermint Mocha: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1381756736

Michelle Socks (Smooth Operator pattern) by Susan B. Anderson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/smooth-operator-socks

Knit in Lovebird Lane Yarns, Michelle colorway: https://www.etsy.com/listing/617657579/fangirl-collection-swindern-sock?ref=shop_home_active_9

Oak Crest by Vanessa Townley: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/oak-crest

-possibly in Knit Picks Capra: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Capra_DK_Yarn__D5420109.html

Wheat Scarf by Tin Can Knits: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wheat-4

Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/search#photo=yes&sort=started&topic=3806764&view=thumbs

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cardamom-coffee

-knit in Farmer's Daughter Fibers Soka'pii, Rank Bronc, Napi, Monarch: http://thefarmersdaughterfibers.com/sokapii

-Pompom by FFFabuknits on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FFFabuknits

Floozy by Libby Jonson: https://us.polaroidoriginals.com/pages/instant-film?gclid=CjwKCAjw39reBRBJEiwAO1m0Ofq8EeNFwM9eCiMwa0qaCrEA1uOSUpM2z0FCHUvTV4U6mBWw4BfpYBoCwR4QAvD_BwE

-Knit in YarnFloozy Merino/Silk/Cashmere, Foliage, Wildberry, and Chewy Caramel: https://yarnfloozy.co.nz

Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sunset-highway

-Knit in Tosh Merino Light, Chicory: https://madelinetosh.com/collections/tosh-mo-light-solid

-Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Cully: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Fingering_Multi_Yarn__D5420251.html

-Voolenvine Yarns Footsie, I am No Bird: https://www.voolenvineyarns.com

-A Homespun House Soft Sock, Digital Bath: https://ahomespunhouse.com

Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton (BohoChicFiberCo): https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-glass-and-driftwood

-Knit Picks Hawthorn fingering, Nob Hill (discontinued): https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Fingering_Multi_Yarn__D5420251.html

-Stroll Tonal, Pearescent: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Stroll_Tonal_Sock_Yarn__D5420134.html

Guthrie by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guthrie

-to knit in Spincycle Yarns, Dyed in the Wool, Mississippi Marsala: https://spincycleyarns.com/collections/dyed-in-the-wool-sport-weight

-and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport, Fedora: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Wool_of_the_Andes_Sport_Yarn__D5420110.html

Nightshift Shawl by Andrea Mowry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nightshift

-to knit in Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy: https://www.stonehedgefibermill.com

-I bought at The Wooden Needle Store on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWoodenNeedleStore?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Nurtured by Andrea Mowry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nurtured

-to knit in Nurtured by Julie Asselin, Courtepointe: http://www.julie-asselin.com/en/yarns/

-found at Firefly Fibers: https://fireflyfibers.com

-Laine Issue 6: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/laine-magazine-issue-6

-Handywoman by Kate Davies: https://fireflyfibers.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/kate-davies-handywoman

-CocoKnits Sweater Workshop: https://store.cocoknits.com/books/cocoknits-sweater-workshop#.W9dvjS-ZNBw

The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-easy-bulky-one

-knit in Patons Classic Tweed, Black Tweed: https://www.joann.com/patons-classic-wool-tweeds-yarn/xprd274963.html

Jelly Donuts by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jelly-donuts

from Great Northern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/great-northern/patterns

To knit while rewatching Seasons 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks

Old Harry by Kat Riddell: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/old-harry

to knit in Gynx Yarns worsted, Favor House Atlantic: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnwcVuOnplg/?taken-by=mysocalledhandmadelife

Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/birds-of-a-feather-14

to knit in Gynx Yarns, Vampire: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTp9azxAD4R/?taken-by=mysocalledhandmadelife

and ColorPurl Adore Lace, Espresso Bean: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1495010771

Ewe Hues Merino/ Bamboo Sock yarn and MCN Sock yarn: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EweHues

Viking Naturgarn: https://www.viking-garn.no/garn/naturgarn

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Episode 18: Cheap Camera Tour




On my blog: www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamatronic/albums
On Ravelry as mamatronic: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&search=
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife: https://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

My questions for you:

1) Have you ever tried to say nothing negative to someone for a set amount of time and how did it work out?  If not, would you be willing to try it for a week and tell us how it went?

2) Anything you want to see more of here?

Stuff I mention on Episode 18:

The Knits:

Sea Glass and Driftwood test knit: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic/sea-glass-and-driftwood-test-knit

for Annie Lupton: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/annie-lupton

knit in Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, Pearlescent: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Stroll_Tonal_Sock_Yarn__D5420134.html

and Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Nob Hill (discontinued): https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Fingering_Multi_Yarn__D5420251.html

comparable yarns would be other Fingering Multi colorways or Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Tonal_Hand_Paint__D5420312.html

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/floozy-2

knit in YarnFloozy Yarns: https://yarnfloozy.co.nz

FloozyKAL in Truly Myrtle Ravelry group: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/truly-myrtle/3813810/1-25

Summer Sweater Knit-along FOs: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/search#photo=yes&sort=started&topic=3818425&view=thumbs

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cardamom-coffee

knit in The Farmer's Daughter Fibers Suka'pii:http://thefarmersdaughterfibers.com

for the Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-farmers-daughter-fibers-sisterhood/3806763/51-75#68

Inspirational Stuff:

BSF, where I volunteer: https://www.mybsf.org

Katinka's inspirational Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/aknitak1katinka/

and her creative work on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aknitakcreate/

and her Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKbT4SpMk4c&feature=youtu.be

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: https://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/

The Happier Podcast: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/

Camera Joy:

Polaroid Originals: https://us.polaroidoriginals.com

Argus 75: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Argus_Argoflex_Seventy-Five

Through the Viewfinder Photography: https://www.shutterbug.com/content/ttv-photography-duaflex-lives-again

Polaroid 210 Land Camera: https://filmphotographyproject.com/content/reviews/2010/12/polaroid-210-automatic-land-camera/

More on film for 210: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/the-polaroid-210-yes-they-still-make-film-for-that

Instax 210 Wide: https://shop.lomography.com/en/fuji-instax-210-wide-camera

Instax Mini 90: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/256652-introducing-the-new-instax-mini-90-neo-classic

Minolta X9: https://www.lomography.com/cameras/3332595-minolta-x-9/photos

FED Cameras: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FED_(camera)

Yashica Electro 35 GSN: https://kenrockwell.com/yashica/electro-35.htm

Diana + Camera: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/2324-lomography-diana-f-plus-staff-review

The Diana Show is the book that first got me interested in toy cameras: https://www.amazon.com/Diana-show-Pictures-through-Untitled/dp/0933286171

Lensbaby Composer kit: https://www.amazon.com/Lensbaby-Composer-Digital-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B001GCUC6S

Lots of my photos, including embarrassing attempts on my Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamatronic/albums


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Episode 17: What to Do with Myself



This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog: https://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife: https://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
on Ravelry as mamatronic: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&search=

Stuff I mention in Episode 17:

My Plum by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic/plum
Part of the Junko June and July KAL: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/junkojuneandjuly/


Braid and Tinker Podcast:

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/floozy-2
knit in Yarnfloozy kit with colors Foliage, Chewy Caramel, and Wildberry: https://yarnfloozy.co.nz
Floozy KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/truly-myrtle/3813810/1-25

mosaic knitting rather than stranded: https://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/tech-tip-mosaic-knitting/
combination knitting tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnPesmBWB-I
Summer Sweater KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/very-shannon/3818425/1-25

Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/annie-lupton
knit in Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Nob Hill (discontinued): https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/knit-picks-hawthorne-fingering-multi
and Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Pearlescent: https://www.knitpicks.com/cfYarns/Yarn_Display.cfm?ID=5420134&media=PPCGNBT&gclid=CjwKCAjw2rjcBRBuEiwAheKeL1wY1cfpdzGcXHTA16y7nStUZrZzKMDSdowfLNIN8-szZvqeKvo-3hoCRT4QAvD_BwE&utm_source=media&utm_medium=marketing&utm_campaign=PPCGNBT

Other designs by Annie Lupton:

Madam George Pullover: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/madame-george-pullover
Studio Slub: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/studio-slub
Kerrytown: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kerrytown
Wild Mystic: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wild-mystic
Nadia: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nadia-7

My Blog post on social media friendships: http://www.mysocalledhandmadelife.com/2017/08/gathered-around-me.html

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: https://gretchenrubin.com/books/

Happier Podcast: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/

The Expanse series: https://www.amazon.com/Leviathan-Wakes-Expanse-major-Netflix-ebook/dp/B004XCGKYQ

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cardamom-coffee

knit in The Farmer's Daughter Fibers Soka'pii yarn in Rank Bronc, Monarch, and Napi: http://thefarmersdaughterfibers.com/sokapii/

Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-farmers-daughter-fibers-sisterhood/3806764/151-175#175

Any Hat KAL2018: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/anyhatkal2018/

Patterns by Andrea Jimenez:
Spruce Pine: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spruce-pine
Buckalope: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/buckalope
Regalo Messy Bun Beanie: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/regalo-messy-bun-beanie

The Kohler Method of dog training: http://www.koehlerdogtraining.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Episode 16: How we Connect

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.



On my blog: www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelifehttps://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
On Ravelry as mamatronic: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&search=

My question for you:

Have you ever used knitting, or crafting, to cross cultural or social barriers in order to connect with another person?

Stuff I mention in Episode 16:

Intuition shawl by Stacy Elstone: https://www.stressknits.com

in her Stress Knits Squishy base, Eliza colorway: https://www.stressknits.com/?category=Squishy

Your wool blend recommendations for summer:

Woolbu: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/blue-moon-fiber-arts-woobu

Samite: https://www.blackeryarns.co.uk/yarn/samite-silk-blend

BambooPop: http://www.universalyarn.com/quality_color.php?quality=325

Knit One Crochet Too Elfin Tweed: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/knit-one-crochet-too-elfin-tweed

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/elsebeth-lavold-silky-tweed

Tegna by Caitlyn Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tegna

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/floozy-2

Kit in FloozyYarn: https://yarnfloozy.co.nz

There's a FloozyKAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/truly-myrtle/3813810/1-25

Summer Sweater KAL: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/very-shannon/3813773/101-125#119

Our combined "Next sweaters" list:

Guthrie by Caitlyn Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guthrie

Meg by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/meg-9

Jelly Donuts by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jelly-donuts

My Annie Lupton Driftwood and Seaglass Test knit: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl_x3xbFC9N/?taken-by=bohochicfiberco

in Knit Picks Hawthorne Multi in Nob Hill (discontinued color): https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Hawthorne_Fingering_Multi_Yarn__D5420251.html

and Stroll Tonal Pearlescent: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Stroll_Tonal_Sock_Yarn__D5420134.html

Ready for Fall by Isabell Kraemer: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ready-for-fall-2

Mix and Match by the Knitting Expat: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mix--match-cardigan

O' Keeffe by Bristol Ivy: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/okeeffe-2

Piper by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/piper-12

Wool and Honey by Andrea Mowry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wool--honey

Timely by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/timely

and something... anything... Junko: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/junko-okamoto

Thoughts on Connecting via social media:

Melanie of Braid and tinker Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfKhtTdIw20lQY0AuKjLgOQ

and Melanie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanie_knits/

Just one of many articles about social media protest: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/activism-is-broken-heres-how-we-fix-it/9077372

People skills by Robert Bolton: https://www.amazon.com/dp/067162248X/?coliid=I16WNKYLQOMRR&colid=2NJ2XYEEGK0QJ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg: https://www.amazon.com/dp/189200528X/?coliid=INUOCAEKBWJJ8&colid=2NJ2XYEEGK0QJ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

And connecting through craft:

Katinka of Aknitak Creations Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC61E1yCsPEe21ZoaS0ZEBrg

and Katinka on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aknitak1katinka/

Day One Journal App: http://dayoneapp.com

Emilie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilie_idea/

and her plastics graphic: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/256564510007702813/

What the heck are soap nuts?: https://econutssoap.com/what-are-soap-nuts/

Lovebird Lane Yarns: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovebirdLaneYarns

Our Junko Patterns:

Plum: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plum-7

The Twigs: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-twigs

Lee Beret: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lee-beret

Rug: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rug-11

Igawa: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/igawa

Acorn: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/acorn-16

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Episode 15: Honey Extraction

Hillbillly honey gathering and lots of Fall knitting talk:



On my blog: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife: https://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
On Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic

Questions I have for you, these are easy ones:

What wool blends have you used and enjoyed?

What is your next sweater project going to be?

Stuff I mention in Episode 15: Honey Extraction

Junko June and July KALhttps://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/junkojuneandjuly/

Plum by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plum-7

Knit in Moeke Yarns, Elena base: http://www.moeke-yarns.com

Igawa by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/igawa

Rug by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rug-11

Lee Beret by Junko Okamoto: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lee-beret

Giveaway donation by Lovebird Lane Yarns: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lovebirdlaneyarns

Book, Podcasts, App, Song, and Site recommendations:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062414852/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also, Gretchen's Happier Podcast: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/

Book stand for knitting and reading bliss: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07459P7BF/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ice Cream for Breakfast: https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-Breakfast-rediscovering-problems/dp/1473659981/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533070492&sr=1-1&keywords=ice+cream+for+Breakfast

Recommended by Melanie of the Braid and Tinker Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfKhtTdIw20lQY0AuKjLgOQ

Day One Journal App: http://dayoneapp.com

Muzzle of Bees by Wilco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XH5Hr1XlM0

AKC Rally competition for dogs: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/sports/rally/how-to-watch-akc-rally/

And someone's video of a Rally testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZPgPpOwJo8

Backyard Beekeeping: https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/backyard-beekeeping-zmaz75zhol

Knit for Peace: http://www.knitforpeace.org.uk

Fantastic CBC Radio episode on Sagas of the Icelanders: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fpodcast-a.akamaihd.net%2Fmp3%2Fpodcasts%2Fideas-yxASNbHp-20180612.mp3&event=comments&redir_token=N5ErCuYptMLtFvgAJ-otZNWseXh8MTUzMzE3MjQzMEAxNTMzMDg2MDMw

The Sagas of Icelanders: https://www.amazon.com/Sagas-Icelanders-Penguin-Classics-Deluxe/dp/0141000031

Dagmar's 28th Great- Grandfather, Egil!!!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egil%27s_Saga

Test Knit: Intuition Shawl will be released soon by Stacy of StressKnits Yarn: https://www.stressknits.com

Stress Knits Yarn Squishy Base, Eliza colorway: https://www.stressknits.com/?category=Squishy

My Muddlings Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNrkWmNXfeSClo-EVMHl1yA

Warm Weather Knitting:

Mae by Andrea Mowry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mae-15

in Berroco Remix Light: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/berroco-remix-light

PomPom Quarterly Issue 25: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/pom-pom-quarterly-issue-25-summer-2018/patterns

Judoka byLia Moya: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/judoka

Herrera by Paula Pereira: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/herrera

Bayadere by Lori Versaci: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bayadere-2

to be knit in Classic Elite Song: http://www.classiceliteyarns.com/product_page_detail.php?category_id=1&item_id=3

My Julia sweater was knit in a 50/50 Classic Elite yarn too: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2017/03/julia-sweater.html

Dana does lots of projects, even stranded colorwork, in summer weight yarns: https://www.instagram.com/callmedwj/

In thinking about the Summer Sweater Knit-along in Very Shannon Forum: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/very-shannon

Guthrie by Caitlin Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guthrie

in Wool of the Andes Sport: https://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Wool_of_the_Andes_Sport_Yarn__D5420110.html

and Spincycle Dyed in the Wool, Mississippi Marsala: https://spincycleyarns.com/collections/dyed-in-the-wool-sport-weight

Great Northern on Ravelry (though not all the patterns have been entered in the data base yet, they are all in the ebook): https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/great-northern

Based on styles from Twin Peaks (season 1 is my favorite) here's a blog post on it: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2015/09/great-northern-blog-tour.html

And another post: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2015/09/audrey-inspired-and-cowichan-esque.html

Lonely Souls by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lonely-souls

Cherry Pie by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cherry-pie-10

From Another Place by Leah Coccari-Swift: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/from-another-place-crop-top

Jelly Donuts by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jelly-donuts

Stag Wall Hanging by Teresa Gregorio: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stags-head-wall-hanging

Friday, July 20, 2018

Zida

After a while, it gets hard to express how much I enjoyed a knit without sounding repetitious.  I say a lot of the same things, especially if it's a favorite designer- and Libby Jonson is one of those.  But, I don't want you to become desensitized to my exuberance about a project, because this was anything but run-of-the-mill.

So I will get the usual, but very true, stuff out of the way:  I did love it!  I found it interesting, even challenging.  And I like to have at least one knit that requires some focus on me at all times.  I also can't wait for the slightest breeze to throw this around my neck.

 





Some other things I thought as I worked on Zida:

Libby seems a little closer, not halfway around the world, as I knit on Zida.

I feel like I know a designer a little better after knitting several of their patterns.  It's like having a peek into their brain and seeing that it's your kind of place.  And since you know you'll like all of their stuff, it starts to feel like every design is put out there just for you.  I know, such ego.


I took this to a few coffee dates and a couple of restaurants and enjoyed the soft clicking of my wooden needles as an accompaniment to our conversations.  I wonder if my children will remember that sound, subconsciously, and if they hear it later.  Will they be overcome with a sense of dejá vu, like when I smell lotion that makes me think of my mother's blue Deep Magic bottle.  Deep Magic would be a great colorway name.


The color I began with was Gentleman.  No matter how beautiful a solid is, I tend to be impatient to get to the variegated skein and I was impatient with this first garter section... until I hit the gathered bit.  The gathered stitch was something new for me.  There are a lot of things I haven't tried, but the list is shortening as the years go by.  I always enjoy varying combinations of familiar stitches, but when I get to try a completely new one, that's special.  Suddenly Gentleman was hard to leave as I transitioned to the Soft Romance colorway for slip stitch.


The slip stitch section is such a smart, graphic way to tie the lace to the garter.  It was my favorite. Plus, stripes, you know? The fact that each of these striped little sections was small made it like a mini dessert.  You know how restaurants serve those little mini desserts in cups and you order it all demure and seemingly moderate, but you really want a big hunk of chocolate mousse?  It was like that.  It drove my knitting and made me want to hurry to the next bit. With slip stitch stacked on top of garter ridges, stacked on top of gathered welts and connected to variegated lacework- the whole thing feels like garment architecture.


I think I am a texture person.  You know how everyone has a favorite element of knitting- color, shaping, intricate lace, etc.  Well, mine must be texture and lines.  That's why I loved the Rattan, Zelda, We were Seeds, and Marley so much.  All have an element of texture and strong line (so Project Runway).  The thing is, I wouldn't expect a large, lace shawl to be so toned down by those elements, but I love that it is because I don't normally gravitate to lace.


Then there was an aha moment with the slip stitch section when I knew I could do it without relying on my pattern so much.  I love when that happens.  I think I was re-watching Lost with my son when it happened.  It was right when things on the island were getting intense, during season 1, so that's lucky.  When I really "get" what I am knitting I feel like I accomplished something, even if the meat hasn't thawed by seven and if I have a dozen things still undone.  It is something I can hold up to the family and say, "But look, I did this!"  Of course, they're all looking down at devices, but I can say it all the same.

Every time I think of these colors: Gentlemen and Soft Romance, I think of Scarlet and Rhett.  Why? He was the best, but he wasn't really a gentleman and their romance was anything but delicate.  Maybe it's just the fact that I hear them in a southern accent.


I read Gone With the Wind the summer I graduated.  Then I re-read it when my first child wouldn't nurse unless I was laying down (I know. Weird.)  So I spent a lot of the first few months of her life laying down and I mowing through several good books like Imperial Woman.  Gone With the Wind was the best of them, though. Then I read the sequel.. yuck. and a Margaret Mitchell biography...meh.

Details: I knit Zida with US size 4 needles, I think.  I used Red Sock Blue Sock Yarns' Singleton in the beautiful Gentleman and Soft Romance colorways, which seem made for each other and for me.


That's that.  I made no modifications, but I did find the edge of this shaw very forgiving as far as stitch count is concerned.  If I was off by one stitch, once in a while, I would just fiddle with it to avoid having to rip back.  I can't tell at all.



Ramble's done. Have a lovely weekend, friends!!



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Episode 14: Running the Gamut of Topics

This took a little longer than expected due to computer issues, so if I don't show your Junko June and July project or mention a timely comment, I'm sorry.  I spent every night last week on the phone with Apple Care sorting through my tech problems.  It was like being a teenager again, spending all evening on the phone with that special guy, only it wasn't a rotary phone with an extra long cord, and he was 20 years younger than me, and lives across the country from me, and is not romantically interested in me, or even remotely interested in me, and I will never talk to him again after this.  But, there was a lot of that awkward small talk as various things uploaded.

Episode 14: Running the Gamut of Topics



This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog: https://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com
@mysocalledhandmadelife on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mysocalledhandmadelife/
mamatronic on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic?set=&columns=&view=thumbnail&page=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&project_status_id=0&search=

My Questions for you:

1) What are simple, daily things you can do to grow your happiness?
2) Do you ever not knit something you want in an effort to practice intentional consumption, as in this article?  https://www.becomingminimalist.com/less-consumerism/ 

Stuff I mention in Episode 14:

Summer Sweater KAL on the Very Shannon forum: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/very-shannon

Walk the Block MKAL by RizzaKnits: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic/walk-the-block-mkal

My Walk the Block: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic/walk-the-block-mkal

Mobility Justice on Nutritious Movement: https://nutritiousmovement.com/the-city-moves-you-podcast-episode-103/

Ted Talk with Enrique Peñalosa: https://www.ted.com/speakers/enrique_penalosa

My blog post on Movement in the community: http://www.myso-calledhandmadelife.com/2018/07/the-mystery-knit-along-and-thoughts-on.html

RAICES Texas: https://www.raicestexas.org

#JunkoJuneandJuly: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/junkojuneandjuly/

Moeke Yarns: http://www.moeke-yarns.com

Plum sweater: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plum-7

Igawa: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/igawa

Rug: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rug-11

Flax Sweater by Tin Can Knits: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flax

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman: https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=katy+bowman+move+your+dna&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=234324221948&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14441740058252790045&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027870&hvtargid=kwd-302928697342&ref=pd_sl_2aa8vy3nie_b_p37

Zida Shawl by Libby Jonson: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mamatronic/zida

Juniper Shawl: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/juniper-20

to be knit in Julie Asselin Fino: http://www.julie-asselin.com/en/yarns/

Intuition test knit for Stacy Elstone: https://www.ravelry.com/people/StressKnits

to be knit in Stress Knit's Eliza colorway: https://www.stressknits.com

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Project-Revised-Aristotle-Generally/dp/0062414852

@beginswithac on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beginswithac/

The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne: https://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Approach-Reverse-Autoimmune-Disease/dp/1936608391/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531255242&sr=1-3&keywords=the+paleo+approach

and her blog, The Paleo Mom: https://thepaleomom.com

Bible Study Fellowship International, my other people: https://www.bsfinternational.org

The Sagas of Icelanders: https://www.amazon.com/Sagas-Icelanders-Penguin-Classics-Deluxe/dp/0141000031/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531261455&sr=8-1&keywords=sagas+of+the+icelanders

Berserks are creepy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Mystery Knit-along and Thoughts on Walking My Block

How often do you walk your city block?   I walk daily, multiple times, either blissfully in my own little world or looking harried while being dragged behind the hounds.  It's a commitment that is a constant challenge in my neighborhood.  This KAL got me to try knitting while walking and though I probably won't do that too often, it did translate to higher knitting volume while doing all sorts of other stuff like watching pots on the stove, sitting in a dark theatre, and stretching in front of the tv.

More than that, it added some oomph to my commitment to move more.  It brought to mind my grandmother's stories of her family parking downtown on a Sunday to people watch and walk around, as a social outlet.  That is something so lacking in my town, other than one restaurant with a patio bar.  I do see many more runners in the last ten years, but they have earbuds and don't make eye contact.  Maybe it's us that we are in an awkward place between the community vibe of a big city and the natural beauty of a rural environment, which leaves with neither.

But first: The mystery of my Walk the Block MKAL Wrap, by Cassondra Rizzardi, is revealed: yes, it is very cool.




I didn't have the time or spare cash to get the mini skein set from Six and Seven Fibers that was used for the sample knit.  They were really great.  I love Rachel's color sense.  I would happily buy all of her stuff if I could.  However, I was relegated to my leftovers bag, which is actually pretty great.  I found 12 little balls of yarn that looked good together.  I tried to place them in line with the same sort of shared color relation as the mini set, though they are completely different colors.  I just hoped they would compliment each other similarly.  I laid them out in order from top to bottom, just like the skeins Cassondra laid out for the KAL.  So when she picked skeins 8, 9, and 10 from her lineup, I did the same from mine.  This added to the mystery of what shape each section would take.  The only time I changed the order of yarns was when I went with a lighter shade yarn on the third from the last section to avoid having three very dark colors next to each other that obscured the cute pattern made by short row shaping.

The whole experience was very different for me.  I've never done a MKAL and I have never used so many colors for a garment.  It was a big question.



Details: I used US size 2 needles and 12 bits of leftover yarn whose names you can find on my Ravelry project page.  I didn't deviate from the pattern at all except to substitute a color I had used earlier for the third from last short row on the scarf for more contrast.


I knit a good bit of this scarf barefoot and outside.  It was surprisingly easy to knit when distracted, even without looking.  Cassondra was right: you can feel the short row turns and lace wraps and get accustomed to knitting without having to look down.

I have a queue a million miles long, but I wouldn't mind making another one of these.  I'd be interested to see what color combo I could come up with now that I know what the finished product will look like.



Back to the Jack Handey portion of this post.  It's connected because one of the points of the MKAL was to get out and move within our communities.  THat's something I've been thinking a lot about since reading Move Your DNA.  A podcast viewer recently recommended we listen to a Ted Talk with Enrique Peñalosa about how his city, Bogotá, transitioned from mostly car traffic to using city buses in order to reflect a more democratic notion of transit equality.  His goal was to see that the space and movement needs of each citizen were seen as equally valid.  It got me thinking, and reading other things, about how the little amount of time we spend outside, has a lot to do with bending our lives to fit around transportation.  I don't even live in a true urban sprawl area.  There is a grocery store, hardware store, school, doctor's office, park, and church within the distance of a 15 minute bike ride from my house.


A short distance doesn't necessarily mean a safe one, though.  There are certain hours of the day that aren't very safe for me to walk out of my little block.  I have to use highways or roads where drivers speed and try to pass, when they shouldn't, if I am to get anywhere.  It is very unsafe at night and even during school pick up hours.  Just yesterday I saw two cars narrowly avoid colliding on a sharp curve right next to where I had just been walking.  Had it been a moment sooner, and had they crashed, I might have been hurt.  This happens so often.  If I am going to be outdoors, I have to be alert.  Seriously, I have almost been hit more times than I can count and twice it was by a school bus- and only one time did the driver apologize.  People do not expect pedestrians and even give angry gestures and glares, as if to say, "Quit hogging the road with your body width, you nut!"  It seems that the streets are just for cars and loose dogs- the other bane of my existence.


Of course, I can get behind Peñalosa's ideas about green spaces and more streets designated as car- free. But I haven't thought much about urban planning for the future, so his idea that an 80 passenger bus should be given eighty times the space of a single passenger car was interesting.  In other words, he made a bus lane in his city and it encouraged less vehicle traffic while giving those who didn't own a car the ability to travel without grid-lock.  He also asserts that building and maintaining car-free roadways and regular roadways that have less car travel is much more affordable for a city than the usual highway and road repairs, another thing that has never been on my radar.

This led to another Ted Talk with Peter Calthorpe about city layouts that could be equally attractive to political, housing, and environmental interest groups, while being better for a community.  They involve semi-high density neighborhoods with mixed, street-level shops that allow a person to get what they need within a walkable radius.  He also emphasized costs, but goes into the savings per household and in agricultural resources, too.  His ideas sounded great, but it is only a 14 minute talk and just a cursory search online landed me at this article that makes it seem more involved than that.  Here's another article on cities  combatting urban sprawl, if you're interested.

All of this is on the heels of considering the concepts of mobility justice and our failing health, due to sedentarism, which I've discussed some on Episodes 11-13.  These concepts are the ones that have impacted me the most, though I only mention them here.

I don't have strong conclusions to draw about all of these points.  I have always leaned more towards a solitary cabin in the woods kind of life.  We talk a lot about moving one day and cutting costs by living in a place where we definitely wouldn't need multiple cars and, maybe, not even one.  That's even though my husband's job is dependent on the auto industry.  But I am planted where I am, at least for the next few years, so how can I be part of making my city more inviting, equitable, and healthy?  If the opportunity ever came to move toward public transit or walking more, I'd take the bus.

I could also get more involved in city council meetings, though I shudder as I type that, to be a voice in favor of sidewalks, shade trees, and walking paths.

I have also made a commitment, now that I am not driving and sitting all the time out of necessity, to never return to a sedentary way of life.  I'm trying to work lots of practical walking and movement into every day.  It is a challenge in my neighborhood, but even if it is without destination, I am still going to do it.  This really only helps me, but it is an example to my family, at least.

One last thing I can do to make a difference in the community aspect of my city is to make efforts to talk to people I see when I'm out. All kinds of people, unless they've got earbuds in and are in "the zone."  This is not something I could have easily done when I was younger and very shy.  I want to make others feel at ease in my presence when waiting in a line or passing on the street in the evening.  To linger a bit beyond, "How are you?" and, of course, to extend myself to everyone, equally.  We can always be a bit more inviting.  To this end, I am training my dogs (yes, still) so that it will be easier to take them out without too much ridiculous barking at everything with wheels and I carry the bopper (rolled up newspaper) in my pocket.  Hmm, maybe that doesn't look quite so inviting.

(more on Ravelry, Kollabora, Instagram, and Flickr)

How are you contributing to a healthy, equitable, sense of community in you town? Are you vocal in town hall meetings?  Are you chatty?  Give me ideas.

Another post on this wrap is here.